Football would always be a funny business. Claudio Bravo just spent the last few months being taunted by every dick and harry with access to internet data, and all it took for the Chilean to become the most popular man on the internet for the past few hours is three straight penalty saves from the spot kicks of three wimpy Portuguese – with Cristiano Ronaldo waiting to take the final kick that would send them to the final.
In a similar manner a tournament – this time Brazil 2014 – gave him the chance to show the rest of the world of how awesome he can be – except when standing between the sticks in the Etihad – the veteran, after the most testing season of his career reminded everyone following this year’s Confederations Cup of his quality.
He always had it. At Real Sociedad where he played over 200 La Liga games; at Barcelona where he played a bit part role till he got signed by Manchester City on Pep Guardiola’s orders – seriously you don’t get picked by such a coach if you got no special in you.
For some reason that still eludes both Man City, the fans and maybe Bravo himself, the Chilean was every shade of awful at the Etihad as his outings became more of “how many mistakes will he make today?” than the actual role expected of a goal keeper. (more…)
Alexis Sanchez has confirmed that he has no interest in taking decisions on his future, as it is completely left on his agent’s hands.
The striker is currently preparing for the Confederations Cup in a few weeks. He says that it is too early to talk about his future, as he is only focusing on this international tournament. Sanchez has just 12 months left on his contract, and there has been widespread rumours linking him with a move to Bayern Munich. Recently, the Chilean national team labelled Sanchez as a Bayern Munich player rather than Arsenal player.
A move to an Allianz Arena will reunite him with his international teammate Arturo Vidal, and there are rumours that Bayern Munich are ready to take the player with the huge offer. Earlier in the season, it was speculated that the lack of clarity surrounding manager Arsene Wenger’s future at the club was proving to be the reason behind Sanchez not signing a new contract. (more…)
La Liga giant Barcelona seems to have found their mojo again.
They did the greatest upset in Champions League football when they defeated French side Paris St Germain 6-1 in the return leg of the round of 16 clash on Wednesday.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi was impressive in the game. He has now scored five goals in five games. He was a bit dull in front of goal last month but he has quickly showed why he could be the best soccer player ever. He converted the last-minute penalty against Leganes in the league, then he scored a crucial goal against Atletico Madrid before increasing his tally in the last two matches.
Manager Luis Enrique is usually not given his due when he gets the big results, as many claim Barca is a well set-up team without an special boss. While the coach may leave at the end of the season, the players are keen on giving him a loud ovation when he does. (more…)
Paris St Germain manager Unai Emery says that he is not bothered by the recent media reports that he could be sacked by the French club after a string of poor form since the start of the campaign.
Emery came to the French capital with a big reputation after having won the Europa League in three successive seasons with one team – Sevilla. His remarkable success with the Spanish outfit in the European competition was really one of the major factors in getting the job at PSG, who have been desperate for European success since new owners came to the club a few years ago.
Even though the club have spent vast sums of money in terms of transfer fees and wages, they have failed to appear in the final of the competition. It has been a very poor record, butEmery was expected to bring success. This has not been the case, as the replacement for Laurent Blanc has struggled since taking over in the summer. (more…)
Former Manchester United defender NemanjaVidic has revealed that the only thing he hated in Manchester was the weather.
Despite playing in Russia, he said that the Manchester weather was worst and that this made him sick.
Other than that, he stated that he had enjoyed eight wonderful years at Manchester United where he has lifted several trophies for the club.
He admitted that he had some difficulties to cope with the weather when he first came to Manchester United.
Although Russia had some cold winter, they did not have rain like Manchester, and he could get plenty of sunshine.
Concerning food, he said he was able to cope with English food. He said that his wife was an excellent cook and managed to cook typical Serbian dish at home. He stated that he was also given Serbian dish at the Manchester United training ground in order for him to feel at home.
He said that it was a pleasure for him to have played for Manchester United and that the only thing that he could not adapt with was the weather. He said that his three children were born in Manchester and that he had a formidable moment there. He loved the city so much that he still has a house there.
Concerning the club, he believes that they will improve under Jose Mourinho. He said that the manager is a good one and that he definitely has the necessary experience to manage a team of Manchester United stature. He said that he should be given at least one more year because you cannot build a team in a few months. He believes that the club will improve during the season and that they should qualify at least for Europe. He said that he understands how fans are feeling, but he has encouraged them to get behind the team.
Stephan Lichtsteiner is set to make his way to the Catalan giant in the next transfer window, with Aleix Vidal poised to take a walk, reports say.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Lichtsteiner will leave Serie A giants Juventus in January or worst in June. The current deal with the Turin-based side is set to lapse this year. Reports say he wanted to leave during the summer for Inter Milan but Juve refused to let their opposition have him. With Barcelona being abroad, a move for the right back is likely.
Aleix Vidal has struggled to establish himself at Camp Nou, and has decided to walk away when the next transfer window presents itself. Lichtsteiner is reportedly his replacement as he is set to exit the Bianconeri. Aside the Catalan giant, Lichtsteiner could join any of Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich or Chelsea, as Juve would not want to sell to its competitors.
Lichtsteiner’s position is threatened by the acquisition of Dani Alves this summer. Since his move to Juventus in 2011, he has been a regular in the squad. Last term, he shared play time with Cuadrado. This year, after he was left off the UEFA Champions League squad list, it became apparent that the defender would exit the side. Even if his move to Barcelona was successful, he would be ineligible to play.
It seems like Ac.Milan is only a few a few months away from experiencing a change in ownership as Silvio Berlusconi has signed a preliminary agreement to sell the Italian club to a Chinese consortium.
This transfer will be seeing a relocation of 99.93% of shares from Fininvest to Sino-Europe Sports which is expected to be officially completed by November 4.
The deal is valued at around €740 million with the new owner Yonghong Li already reportedly agreeing to clear all the debt of the club which is at €220 million and also expected to invest €350 million to Ac.Milan.
Silvio Berlusconi became a saving grace for Ac.Milan back in February of 1986 as he acquired the club and saved it from bankruptcy and the entrepreneur went on to invest a hefty amount of money in order to sign players, clear the debt, get managers, staff members and just about everything that the club needed at that time.
The investment that was made by Berlusconi paid it’s dividends as Ac.Milan went on to win a number of titles and the squad during the season of 1978-1988 is even considered to be as one of the absolute best teams in the history of the sport as the team had top players such as: Ruud Gullit, Marco van Baste, Frank Rijkaard, Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta and Roberto Donadoni.
This team has even been compared to the Barcelona squad of Pep Guardiola which was being guided by Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.
Berlusconi has stopped splashing out cash in the past few years and now he had opted to sell the club. There is a group of fans of the club that are fairly happy to see a new group of investors taking control of the team as it might be what Ac.Milan needs in order to be considered as one of the best clubs in Europe.
Even though Berlusconi cancelled his cash injection to Ac.Milan, he did voice his love for the club as he bid his farewell to the supporters of the club as the Italian entrepreneur said: “Thirty years ago I bought Milan as an act of love. I’m selling for an act of even greater love: I’m entrusting the team to a group which has the necessary resources and the will to invest to bring Milan back to competing with the big international clubs.
Aston Villa manager Roberto di Matteo has stated that he is not afraid to give young players an opportunity in the team.
He believes that if you are good, enough you should be playing in the team irrespective of your age. He said that he has always worked with young players in the past and that there is no shortage of them at Aston Villa.
Roberto di Matteo believes it is possible for Aston Villa to mount a serious promotion push next season and get back to the Premier League. He believes that the longer the team stays in the Championship, the more difficult it will be to get back to the Premier League.
Roberto di Matteo admitted that he needs to find the right balance between youth and experience if Aston Villa is going to make it back to the Premier League. He said that you need not only skills in the Championship to win matches but also experience. He said that the players need to be prepared to fight in every game if they want to win points in the league. He stated that he would love to put the ball down and keep possession in the games but knows that it will be difficult because of the physical nature of Championship football. (more…)
French veteran Matthieu Delpierre is set to retire as soon as Melbourne Victory’s season ends this season in a decision that he coined ‘hard to make’.
Delpierre is not the only player leaving the shores of Melbourne this summer though with Kosta Barbarouses and Gui Finkler departing for new ventures at Wellington Phoenix. This means Melbourne Victory will have at least a number of three foreign player spots to fill the squad with this summer – an opportunity for commuting players to make an impact like many others who are now attracted to the growing A-League
Matthieu will see the rest of the season out with Melbourne however there isn’t much left to play for at this stage. He may feature in their last Asian Champions League group game against Japanese bottom of the table Gamba Osaka where a win would most likely see them through to the round of 16 stage of the competition where they will face the winner of group E – a game which Delpierre could also feature. (more…)
Antonio Conte has revealed that he will conduct an enquiry of the players following a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of world champions Germany.
This result is certainly not good for the Italian national team considering that it comes only a few weeks ahead of the Euro 2016. The regime of Antonio Conte is set to conclude after the tournament and the former Juventus manager will want to go out on a high. He has certainly not enjoyed his time with the national team after openly admitting the same on numerous occasions.
The national team has also not been through a good run of form. After a 1-1 draw with Spain a few days ago, Italy were hoping to win their first game in three. They have not won since the 2-1 victory over Norway in October. The team did achieve the objective of qualifying for the competition as group winners, but they finished only four points ahead of second placed Croatia
. The team has a potentially tough draw at their Euro 2016 with teams like Belgium and Republic of Ireland in the same group along with Sweden. The former have been viewed as underdogs while Sweden will always pose a threat with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the lineup. This is likely to be the last major tournament for the 34-year-old and he will want to go out successfully. (more…)
Paul Pogba is not thinking about the move from Juventus according to the club’s sporting director Giuseppe Marotta.
The Frenchman has become one of the most wanted midfielders in world football. Clubs like Barcelona, Manchester City, and Chelsea have been trying to bring him on board. Juventus remarkably secured him on a free transfer when he was released from Manchester United as a teenager. The 23-year-old is valued in excess of £ 70 million, which makes him accessible only to a handful of clubs across the world. Juventus are aware that they cannot hold onto the player for long without Champions League success.
Pogba will see clubs like Barcelona and Bayern Munich achieve success in this European competition on a regular basis. However, this has not been the case with the Italian clubs in recent times. In fact, Inter Milan were the last Italian team to win this competition and this was back in 2010. Juventus came close to resetting this record, but they were beaten by Barcelona in the final last season. Pogba was part of the team that suffered a narrow defeat against the Catalan club. Even though he has not publicly acknowledged his desire to leave Juventus, there are plenty of rumours suggesting the same. (more…)