Las Palmas vs. Real Madrid – Football Match Report – March 31, 2018

Gareth Bale scored 2 times as Real Madrid warmed up for their Champions League clash in opposition to Juventus with a 3- win at struggling Las Palmas, whereby Cristiano Ronaldo was rested.

With a single eye on upcoming week’s European quarter-remaining 1st leg in Turin, Los Blancos coach Zinedine Zidane opted to depart in-kind frontman Ronaldo behind for the vacation to Gran Canaria.

Nonetheless, Real Madrid never looked in any real threat of not getting the position carried out as Bale fired them in the entrance on 26 minutes ahead of Karim Benzema converted a penalty and the Wales forward additional one more location-kick early in the second fifty percent.

The win moves Real Madrid to in just a point of second-put Atletico, who host relegation-threatened Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.

There was also no place in the Real Madrid squad for midfielder Isco, who skipped out with a back again issue owning netted a hat-trick for Spain in opposition to Argentina, while captain Sergio Ramos was also not in good shape.

Las Palmas came into Saturday’s match some 7 points adrift of security and could have found by themselves a goal down early on, but Bale’s near-array hard work from Carlos Casemiro’s cross was dominated out for offside.

The home aspect then went near when Jonathan Calleri’s push strike the outside of the post ahead of Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas pushed away a small twenty-lawn yard work from Alen Halilovic.

The visitors, however, shortly commenced to get into their rhythm as Bale picked out Marco Asensio at the near post, but Leandro Chichizola generated a wonderful fingertip save.

Real swept into the guide on 26 minutes. The hosts have been caught out pressing a high defensive line as Luka Modric’s move sent Bale obvious down the remaining, and Wales forward charged into the penalty area ahead of lashing the ball into the significant corner.

Zidane was then compelled into earning a change when defender Fernandez Nacho hobbled off, to be changed by Achraf Hakimi.

Genuine doubled their lead on 38 minutes as a result of a penalty from Benzema.

Calleri needlessly went as a result of the back again of Lucas Vazquez, leaving the referee minor alternative but to point to the location.

Frenchman Benzema, on his 400th appearance for Los Blancos, drilled the ball into the base remaining corner.

It was now a scenario of hurt limitation for Las Palmas, who made a couple of variations for the start off of the second fifty percent.

Real Madrid, however, even further extended their guide on fifty-one minutes with one more penalty.

Defender Ximo Navarro was dominated to have caught Bale with a late tackle, and this time the Welshman obtained up to get the location-kick, which he clipped past Chichizola.

Benzema saw his near-array hard work saved ahead of at the other conclude Las Palmas substitute Erik Exposito fired more than immediately after Navas made a hash of his clearance in the area.

Calleri’s header dropped on to the leading of the crossbar, ahead of Bale was denied a hat-trick by a previous-ditch tackle from Javi Castellano.


Lionel Messi named in Barcelona squad irrespective of ‘small problem’ damage

Lionel Messi named in Barcelona squad irrespective of ‘small problem’ damage

Who is most likely to win the World Cup Golden Boot, the distinctions involving Maradona’s Argentina and Messi‘s Argentina and a lot more.

Spain’s Sergio Ramos thinks that absence of Argentina star Lionel Messi has contributed to Albiceleste 6-1 thrashing.
The guys answer to your tweets about Lionel Messi‘s international profession, Gonzalo Higuain, troublesome defenders and Stevie’s MLS Coach of the Year trophy.
Following Jorge Sampaoli likened the World Cup to a revolver to Lionel Messi‘s head, the FC crew explore the strain on Messi to carry Argentina in Russia
Barcelona has involved Lionel Messi in their squad for this weekend’s game in opposition to Sevilla irrespective of Ernesto Valverde admitting the forward is, however, struggling with a hamstring damage.

Messi missed Argentina’s matches in opposition to Italy and Spain throughout the international break and returned to Barcelona for checks earlier this week.

The Catalan club’s health care team gave him the inexperienced light to just take element in coaching on Thursday and Friday, but Valverde discovered the forward does, however, have a small trouble.

Barca’s coach will now have to decide regardless of whether to possibility him from the start off in opposition to Sevilla or deport him on the bench with Wednesday’s Champions League game in opposition to Roma in the brain.

“We are having the care of Messi, just as Argentina did, but we will have to hold out right before selecting [regardless of whether to start off him],” Valverde told an information convention on Friday.

“He [however] has a tiny trouble and we have to stay away from making it even worse. I would like it if he failed to have any complications, but it’s usually at this stage of the time.”

Questioned if Messi’s health troubles have been retaining him up at night time, Valverde replied: “I am like any manager would be when they have a significant player with a knock. You can picture!”

Messi, however, stays in excellent spirits irrespective of the criticism which followed Argentina’s 6-1 hammering in opposition to Spain on Tuesday in Madrid — a match in which he failed to play.

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“He is high-quality,” Valverde extra. “I spoke with him [on Thursday] when he bought back again about how he is. Clearly, he would have preferred [Argentina] to win [in opposition to Spain] but as for the criticism which has followed, he is applied to dealing with that.

“I will not feel his mood has been impacted by that perception, he is accomplishing perfectly high-quality.”

Valverde insisted Barca’s eleven-point guide at the major of La Liga and Wednesday’s looming Champions League quarterfinal meeting with Roma would not affect regardless of whether he selects Messi in opposition to Sevilla on Saturday.

Sergio Busquets will surely overlook the excursion to Sevilla but Valverde expects him to return to coaching next week and to be healthy for Roma.

Somewhere else, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Gerard Pique, Nelson Semedo and Denis Suarez have all recovered from several complications and are out there for assortment.

Defender Lucas Digne, however, is out for the next a few months with a thigh strain.

Ogenyi Onazi desires to make Nigerians proud in Russia – 2018 FIFA World Cup

Ogenyi Onazi desires to make Nigerians proud in Russia

 Ogenyi Onazi,Nigeria

Ogenyi Onazi

Nigeria’s global midfielder Ogenyi Onazi suggests he has developed in leaps and bounds since generating his debut for the Tremendous Eagles for a long time in the past. Onazi made his debut in the course of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and points have been relatively demanding although donning the Tremendous Eagles environmentally friendly.

Just after failing to qualify for successive 2015 and 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournaments for the initially time in about forty a long time, he admits the place was struggling. “At that minute we experienced a lot of issues in the place, with the federation, between the players and there was a lot of confusion in the team,” Onazi admitted to “We did not give up mainly because we experienced the option to demonstrate we were really a team and we were capable to make it. “We just advised ourselves we have to do this for all people we gave all our hearts from working day one to the pretty final.” However, in advance of the 2018 global tournament’s version, the Trabzonspor player extra that he desires to make persons pleased and proud of the team.
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“This is my goal in lifestyle: To make persons pleased and to make certain that they have hopes that points are likely to be improved in lifestyle,” extra Onazi. “It was a really good minute for us. We experienced to celebrate it pretty effectively with our captain John Mikel Obi.”

Liverpool focus on Alisson and Cengiz Beneath not for sale at Roma this summer months

Liverpool needs to form out their goalkeeper situation this summer months and likely offload Simon Mignolet.

Alisson and Cengiz Beneath this summer months will not be leaving Roma this summer months with president James Pallotta expressing his club are “not a grocery store.”

Goalkeeper Alisson is earning the plaudits owning come to be No. 1 next to the departure of Wojciech Szczesny to Juventus, and his stock is increasing with numerous of Europe’s top-rated clubs.

Resources have explained to that Liverpool has not long ago stepped up their pursuit of Alisson following keeping talks with the player’s agent.

Beneath is on Barcelona‘s radar, in accordance to Roma sporting director Monchi, and he has by now been made knowledgeable of the La Liga side’s desire.

“There is an aggravation on my aspect that persons go ‘Oh, Roma’s a supermarket,'” Pallotta explained to Sirius XM radio. “We are not trying to just market players. We’ve tied Beneath down on a five-calendar year agreement, and the situation’s similar with Alisson.

“I was a supporter of his appropriate from the day a person and I’m happy he is lastly displaying how good he is because he is been remarkable. I imagine players like [Patrik] Shick are also going to be incredibly useful in the potential.

“Monchi has experienced to face numerous troubles because of to fiscal truthful play and you can find even now a bit of doing the job to do, but we’ve recognized numerous ways in which we can improve the team in the coming five years.”

Jim Pallotta, the proprietor of @ASRomaEN, expressed his aggravation with the plan that his club is a ‘supermarket.

The sale of Miralem Pjanic to Juventus and Mohamed Salah to Liverpool ended up inescapable, on the other hand, and not a craze Pallotta can see continuing.

“Two of our players, like Pjanic — he experienced a launch clause. He experienced to go,” he reported. “Salah, even though he is tearing up the Premier League, he asked us and reported that he desired to leave and experienced no time still left on his agreement, so we experienced no preference.

“There are matters that go on driving the scenes that persons do not realise. Both players want to leave or there are matters we have to do.”

Pallotta nevertheless believes the Giallorossi have a powerful facet, powerful plenty of even to give Barcelona a game in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

“I couldn’t have been happier [with the draw] because I feel we can keep our very own in opposition to any person,” he reported. “We’ve by now carried out it with Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Shakhtar and I’m really confident about Barca.

“People say it can be a bit like David in opposition to Goliath, but I do not glimpse at Roma as any fewer than Barcelona.”

Roma vacation to the Camp Nou subsequent Wednesday prior to hosting the Blaugrana the next Tuesday. They have in no way attained the semifinals of the Champions League, even though they did attain the remaining of its precursor, the European Cup, in 1984 and ended up UEFA Cup finalists in 1991. Considering the fact that then, they have in no way progressed past the quarterfinals of any European club opposition.

Hatem Ben Arfa confirms PSG exit ‘I will usually really like this club’

Hatem Ben Arfa confirmed he will soon depart Paris Saint-Germain in a concept on his Instagram account.

Ben Arfa, PSG

Ben Arfa

The France international has been out of favour with coach Unai Emery for much more than a yr and was instructed final summer months to find a new club.

Ben Arfa, 31, rejected moves absent final summer months and in January to try out to do well with his boyhood club, but he has been notable change his PSG fortunes all around.

“Soon my PSG adventure will finish,” Ben Arfa wrote. “In spite of the complicated moments, I am delighted to have worn this shirt. I will retain some fantastic recollections of my teammates and with this concept, I would like to get the possibility to thank the many who have supported me.

“I will usually really like this club.”
It is unclear where Ben Arfa will go, but he has been joined with moves to the Chinese Tremendous League and Significant League Soccer given that getting educated he is surplus to necessities in Paris.

Ben Arfa‘s final competitive outing for PSG was in April 2017, when he scored two goals in a 4- win over Avranches in the Coupe de France quarterfinals.

He has not featured this period immediately after Emery and sporting director Antero Henrique manufactured it very clear he is no for a longer time preferred at the club.

Ben Arfa has two goals from 15 appearances with France at international degree and final featured for Les Bleus in late 2015.

Koscielny credits his injury-free season to his yoga classes

Koscielny credits his injury-free season to his yoga classes

Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal

Laurent Koscielny

Arsenal defender, Laurent Koscielny has credited his yoga classes for the relative ease he has enjoyed this season despite his long-standing Achilles injury.

The France International revealed in May 2017 that he will have to be treated daily for the rest of his career so as to deal with chronic tendinitis in both feet, this has prompted his club and national team to manage him cautiously.
He has enjoyed a relatively injury-free season as the 32-year old has made 24 appearances in the League for the Gunners this season.

In January, Koscielny began a course of yoga and has only missed three games, two of which were Europa League round of 32 ties against Ostersund where he was on the bench.

“I feel a lot better physically,” Koscielny said. “My tendons don’t hurt anymore, I’m more relaxed and positive. I’ve found a way to get away from football.
“I was a little reticent at first, but there are a lot of areas which have helped me relax and be a lot more positive in terms of football and also my everyday life.”
He added: “I can recover better after the matches. At Arsenal, a yoga teacher comes once a week to give classes, which is another form of therapy that allows you to work on relaxation, meditation, breathing, stretching, many important areas for a football player.”

Kylian Mbappe is a Phenomenon

Kylian Mbappe is a Phenomenon

Kylian Mbappe, PSG

Kylian Mbappe

France midfielder, Blaise Matuidi has sung praises of his national teammate, Kylian Mbappe, tagging him a phenomenon after the Paris Saint Germain forward scored a brace in France’s 3-1 victory over Russia on Tuesday.

The former PSG player linked up with Mbappe with a tipping pass for the 19-year old to score his second of the evening. While speaking with reporters after the match, Matuidi said: “I think that Kylian is getting better and better. He is a phenomenon — absolutely extraordinary.
“Aside from that, I am a bit of a grizzled old veteran so it is sometimes necessary to pull him by his ears to get him to chip in defensively.”
The two goals Mbappe scored made him the youngest player to score a brace for France in the postwar era. Team legend, Christophe Dugarry, who won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship with France, compared him to Brazilian legend Ronaldo when he was breaking through as a teenager.
Kylian, alone, took the offensive side of the game completely in hand,” Dugarry, who is now a pundit stated.

“He reminds of Ronaldo when he was just 19 years old — he is the same!”
The young sensation ended the game with a knock which might make him unavailable for the Coupe de la Ligue final against his old club, Monaco on Saturday.

Valverde: Spain’s 6-1 victory over Argentina could be distracting

Valverde: Spain’s 6-1 victory over Argentina could be distracting

Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona

Ernesto Valverde

Barcelona Manager, Ernesto Valverde believes that the 6-1 win recorded by Spain over Argentina in an International friendly match in preparations for the summer World Cup can be distracting and ultimately dangerous.

The 2010 World Champions thrashed a Messi-less 2014 finalist after Isco scored a hat-trick and other goals from Diego Costa, Thiago Alcantara, and Iago Aspas completed the massacre.

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has earlier cautioned his side of excessive excitement after extending his unbeaten run in charge to 18 matches stating that a friendly victory means nothing for his side’s World Cup hopes.

Vaverde stands with Lopetegui as he stated that he is unsure if the 6-1 victory is a good thing for the team at this point in time. He noted that over-confidence could be a problem for Spain seeing that they made light weight of an Argentina team that consists of many stars.

“We can think that we will win it all,” said Valverde. “6-1 is a wide margin, but that’s all.

“It’s dangerous because it can make you think that you have more points than you have before you start.

“[Argentina] lost a friendly game, but that doesn’t mean anything. The World Cup has not started. There’s nothing won by Spain or lost by Argentina.”


Atletico would provide Isco with continuity – Koke

Atletico would provide Isco with continuity – Koke

Real Madrid midfielder, Isco appeared to be dissatisfied with his role in the Madrid team as he gave signals of a possible move-away from the Bernabeu while speaking with reporters after his hat-trick against Argentina.

The stylish playmaker complained about his limited game-time at his club and his international teammate, Koke has suggested to Isco that Atletico might provide just what he wants for him.

“Julen [Lopetegui] shows me confidence with minutes,” Isco said. “I do not have the confidence that a footballer needs [at Madrid]. Maybe the problem is me, that I do not know how to win Zidane’s confidence.”

However, Spain coach Lopetegui refused to blame Zidane for Isco’s situation at Real Madrid when he was asked to comment on Isco’s statement seeing that the 25-year old is far from automatic selection despite his five goals and five assists in the Spanish League this season

This has prompted Koke to advise Isco about the possibility of moving to Madrid’s neighbor, Atletico to guarantee his development.

“I see it well, the time we are together and when he plays with us is the best,” Koke said.

“His level is spectacular. In his club, I do not see him every day and I do not know what Zidane thinks, but I love Isco.

“If he does not have continuity there, maybe at Atleti he would have it.”


We found a way to change a bit after the team meeting – Mustafi

We found a way to change a bit after the team meeting – Mustafi

Arsenal defender, Shkodran Mustafi has stated that the meeting that the players decided to hold after a series of consecutive defeats was instrumental in bringing some positivity and belief back into the squad.

The Gunners had a miserable time in February as they suffered three consecutive defeats in the League and were also badly beaten by Manchester City in the EFL Cup final. The fall-apart was unsurprising though as Wenger’s team has been known to lose momentum in February in recent campaigns.

It seems they have now found form again as they defeated Italian giant, AC Milan over two legs in the Europa League last 16 before beating Watford 3-0 in the league.

“Everyone knew it was a difficult period,” Mustafi said. “The meeting was about trying to listen to different opinions, different ideas, and different feelings, and I think we found a way to try to change a bit.

“It’s not that easy because one meeting is not going to change a lot, especially not during the season when you’re playing every three days, but it was important to speak our opinions out loud. Overall it was about giving 110% to try to get out of it, and I think we managed it well.”

The Gunners are in the quarter-finals of the Europa League and are positioned sixth on the League table, 13 points off the top-four spot.

I was told that I’d never play for my Country – Beckham

I was told that I’d never play for my Country – Beckham

David Beckham, England

David Beckham

England Legend, David Beckham has said that his talent was doubted by a youth coach who alleged that he will never play for England because he was too small.

Beckham, who claimed that he was only 12 at the time eventually because one of the greatest players to have ever worn the Three Lions shirt as he went on to make 115 appearances for the National team. His record is bettered by only Peter Shilton, who played for England 125 times and Man United legend, Wayne Rooney, who also made 119 appearances

He also enjoyed a distinguishing club career which saw him feature for one of the biggest sides in England, Spain, Italy, and France before finally retiring in 2013.

While speaking with reporters on the need for young players to believe in themselves, the 42-year old super-model said: “At about 12 years old, I was told I would never play for my country and that was said to me by an England coach at the time, at a lower level.”

“I was trying to get into a school, academy, and they said you’re too small, not strong enough and ‘you’ll never play for your country’.

“Thirty years on, I made 115 appearances for my country, captained my country, played three World Cups and had a pretty good career.

“So, my message to young people out there is, there might be difficult times, difficult moments, but believe in yourself, have fun, enjoy yourself and just love the game.”

Emre: If I could spool back time, I would stay at Inter

Emre: If I could spool back time, I would stay at Inter

Emre Belozoglu, Inter Milan

Emre Belozoglu

Former Inter Milan midfielder, Emre Belozoglu has stated that if it was possible for him to rewind time, he would have remained in Milan.

The 37-year old Turkish player currently plays for İstanbul Başakşehir but his four-year spell in Italy remain in his memory as one of his unforgettable days as a footballer.

While speaking with Gazzetta Dello Sport; he said: “Italian football isn’t the same as it was, when it was like the NBA in basketball.”

“Now foreign countries have more appeal and more money, Italy is struggling to keep up. That said, Inter will always remain in my heart.

“It was the first time I had left my own country. I have so many memories, they immediately welcomed me as one of them.

“Then there was [President Massimo] Moratti, a gentleman of football and a true champion.

Juventus and Milan? Their growth was constant, we changed too much on the bench and on the pitch, so we had a hard time winning.

“Then there was Calciopoli. We had a similar situation in Turkey in 2010. It was a heavy blow for all of Italian football.

“Psychologically it was tough, we gave 100 percent while outside things were happening…

“Regrets? My goodbye, I’ll never forgive myself for that. I was 25 and had a different mentality, if I could go back I’d stay at Inter.”

We wouldn’t park the bus like Mourinho would do against Barcelona – Di Francesco

We wouldn’t park the bus like Mourinho would do against Barcelona – Di Francesco

Eusebio Di Francesco, Roma

Eusebio Di Francesco

AS Roma Manager, Eusebio Di Francesco says he wouldn’t adopt Mourinho’s ultra-defensive approach in their quarter-final clash with Barcelona in the Champions League next week as he doesn’t have any belief in such tactics.

Barcelona is definitely going to be viewed as the favourite going into the encounter but with Roma topping a group that consisted of Atletico Madrid and Chelsea and eliminating Shakhtar Donetsk in the last 16, they are assuredly a team to watch out for.

When Di Francesco was quizzed if he would rather opt for the approach Mourinho successfully implemented to win the title for Inter Milan in 2010, eliminating the Catalan giant 3-2 on aggregate on the way to the final, he responded by saying “it’s unlikely”.

“I don’t think I’ve got this tactical attitude to face Barcelona in that way,” he told Sky Sports Italia. “I think we must not lose our own identity and not sit back much. My idea is not to play a game in which we just wait for them, trying to stay in their half as much as we can.

“We’ve got to play this game with great respect for our opponents, but without any fear, that is something we need to keep at a distance.”

Even as he admitted that it is going to be a difficult task to stop a Barca side with Lionel Messi, he insists that his side must make the encounter worth it.

“The fact we’ve never got this far in previous years means we’ve achieved something important, and the chance to go even further gives us great satisfaction,” Di Francesco said. “What I say to my lads and the whole club environment is that we must not settle for what we’ve got.

“In any case, we’re not only focusing on stopping [Lionel] Messi, who I feel is the best player in the world but stopping the whole of this Barcelona team. This is the most important thing. Man-marking doesn’t exist, in my opinion, although we are going to have to pay him particular attention.”

Ryan Giggs speaks in Bale’s defence after China Cup final defeat

Ryan Giggs speaks in Bale’s defence after China Cup final defeat

Gareth Bale, Wales

Gareth Bale

Wales Manager, Ryan Giggs has spoken in defence of super-star, Gareth Bale after the Real Madrid forward was criticized for his performance in Wales loss to Uruguay in the China Cup final.
Bale has been one of the highlights of the four-team competition in Nanning, China but his contribution in the final was overshadowed by Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez as they inspired Uruguay to a 1-0 win.
Barcelona striker, Luis Suarez hit the post on two occasions before Cavani finally scored the winner in the 49th minute of the encounter. When questioned about Bale’s display, Giggs said: “The pitch had a big part to play in it as it wasn’t ideal for dribbling or sticking the pass in.
“When Gareth gets the ball, of course, he is going to have players around him, they’re not just going to let him get it.
“They recognize the quality he’s got and make it difficult for him. But I thought he (Bale) was a threat all night.”
Wale thrashed host, China 6-0 in the semi-final, a game in which Bale became his Country’s highest goal scorer after netting a hat-trick. Both Andy King and Bale forced Uruguay’s goalkeeper to fine saves in the first half although they lost the momentum in the second half.

Giggs continued: “Of course, against teams like that you’re going to ride your luck but they showed us the utmost respect, we won’t play against much better teams than that in terms of experience and talent. It was a great learning curve for the players and a great test which I thought they stood up to.
“What I want from my team is to go to the end and I thought we did. Suarez and Cavani were going to the end, and we were still in the game.

Dybala remain a significant part of my plans – Sampaoli

Dybala remain a significant part of my plans – Sampaoli

Jorge Sampaoli

Jorge Sampaoli

Argentina Coach, Jorge Sampaoli has stated that Juventus forward, Paulo Dybala remain a very significant part of his plans for the World Cup and his decision to not play him recently is simply because he desires to see other players play.
The 24-year old was left out of the squad that played Italy and Spain in an international friendly in preparations for the summer World Cup in Russia.
Due to the enormity of stars that the former Sevilla manager has at his disposal, there have been concerns that Dybala might be dropped but Sampaoli has spoken today to calm the Argentine football fans nerves.
“It’s not correct to say that Paulo is out of our World Cup squad,” the Albiceleste boss said in his pre-match press conference against Spain.

“He’s not here because I wanted to see other players. He’s still very much in my thoughts and remains a significant part of my plans, he has the chance to be called.
“I think I’ve got 70 or 80 percent of the list, but it can also be changed by injuries or other situations which will give opportunities to others.
“There’s an advanced list, but it’s not set in stone.”

Wenger believes he is criticized because of his age

Wenger believes he is criticized because of his age

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal

Arsene Wenger

Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger has insisted that the major part of the criticism he has faced lately has been because of what he tagged “age discrimination”
The long-serving Manager is 68 at the moment and fans and pundits alike have consistently called on him to step down as he failed to qualify the club for the Champions League last season aside from that they also haven’t won the league in 14 years.
Even though Wenger agrees that his lack of success has made several voices to rise against him, he linked much of those persecutions to his age. While speaking with BeIN Sport, he said: “When you age, you focus on doing well for your club and ignore all the rest. The older you get, the more it becomes age discrimination.
“I accept if the results are not good enough then you have to take the consequences. But overall that perpetual thing of how long you have been at a club, how old you are, I find that a bit difficult to take.
“But all the rest I have to accept because I am in a public job and have to make results and I accept I will be judged on results.”

The French tactician has lifted three League titles and seven FA cups in 22 years. He insisted that he will be greatly remembered for what he did when he finally decided to step down
He added: “I am maybe naive enough to believe that with the time going on, with perspective and context what will stand out is what I have done for my club and not so much the result of the last game or how much I will be applauded when I stop one day.
“I’m a little bit fed up with all that modern thing about completely taking care of image. I’ve always worked my whole life with the idea of who you are rather than how you look so I’m not too concerned about that.”


It’s been a great opportunity to learn from van Dijk – Gomez

It’s been a great opportunity to learn from van Dijk – Gomez

Liverpool defender, Joe Gomez has stated that it is a great opportunity for him to learn from a disciplined defender like Virgil van Dijk and he is quite fulfilled to have him train with him as he believes he is no obstacle to his development.

Van Dijk has become a regular member of Jurgen Klopp squad since he completed his world-record £75m move to Liverpool in January, further increasing the competition in Gomez’s preferred position of center-back.

The 20-year-old has played the majority of his football as a full-back so far this season but states that he is taking the full advantage of the privilege to learn from Van Dijk ahead of his eventual expected move into the middle.

He said: “I didn’t see it as blocking my path or anything like that. It’s a great opportunity to learn from him.”

“I am not overly stressing about it or paranoid about other people coming in. It’s great to be in environments where I can learn from players like that. I am just trying to soak it all up and be the best sponge I can be.

“I think he has a great presence, everyone sees that. He is very dominant in the way he plays and his body language shows that he has quality on the ball.”


Didier Drogba: Jose Mourinho admires Paul Pogba a lot

Didier Drogba: Jose Mourinho admires Paul Pogba a lot

Chelsea legend, Didier Drogba has stated that the tensioned relationship that seems to exist between United manager, Jose Mourinho, and star player, Paul Pogba is because the Portuguese tactician believes so much in the French midfielder’s talent and is quite keen on his development.

The Man United pair has been consistent in newspapers’ headlines in recent weeks as many believe that Mourinho isn’t happy with Pogba’s display lately which has led to him being dropped from the starting X1 a number of times now.

His national team boss, Didier Deschamps admits that the former Juventus player cannot be happy with his situation at Old Trafford, with Scott McTominay having been preferred by Mourinho in recent games.

Drogba, who played a significant role in Mourinho’s outstanding Chelsea side of 2004/2005, spoke to Telefoot about his ex-manager’s behavior and played down any suggestion that the two are not getting along.

“It’s been hot between us [Drogba and Mourinho],” the Ivorian said. “But Jose is never going to attack people he does not like.

“He likes Paul a lot. That’s why he’s given him a lot of responsibilities.”

The 25-year old has featured in 27 games for United this season, scoring three goals and providing 10 assists.


Harry Kane is the best player on the planet

Harry Kane is the best player on the planet

Tottenham forward, Harry Kane though injured at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped him from receiving praises from different quarters.

The England International is the second leading goal scorer in the Premier League this season with 24 strikes but it’s unlikely he will win a third-straight Golden Boot after Liverpool star, Mohamed Salah scored four against Watford to take his personal tally to 28.

However, the 24-year old performance this season has been instrumental for Spurs push for a top-four finish and their hopes of winning the FA Cup after securing qualification for the semifinals with their win over Swansea in the last-eight last weekend.

While speaking with Sky Sports News HQ after South Korea’s 2-1 defeat at Northern Ireland in a friendly on Saturday, his club partner, Heung-Min Son believes that Kane is the best player on the planet right now.

“Harry Kane is, of course, very important for England because he’s the best player in the world,” Son said. “This is football, so sometimes you get injuries, but as Tottenham, we need to play without Harry.”

Also, defender, Jan Vertonghen insists that his club partner is an all-round top striker and hopes that Belgium won’t have to depend on their clash with England in their World Cup group game to qualify.

“For me, Harry is one of the top two strikers in the world because he has all the ability,” Vertonghen said. “You can have a plan against Harry and he will find something. Hopefully, England and us would have already qualified (by June 28) and he gets a rest.”

Tottenham will hope to have their key-man back in time for their FA Cup semifinal clash against Manchester United on April 21st in Wembley.

I’m convinced the coach will be replaced this summer

I’m convinced the coach will be replaced this summer – Meunier

 Thomas Meunier . PSG

Thomas Meunier

PSG defender, Thomas Meunier has hinted that he is quite convinced that the club’s coach, Unai Emery will be replaced come to the end of the season.
The Right-back is the second player in the Parisian camp that will be saying such, as a midfielder, Angel Di Maria said something similar few days ago. The manager’s contract runs till the end of the current campaign and with his failure to guide the club past the Round of 16 in the Champions League for a second consecutive year, it is likely he wouldn’t be in charge by August.
While speaking with reporters during his international duty with his country, Meunier stated that the current manager’s replacement will determine if he will still remain in Paris after Dani Alves’ arrival last summer saw him relegated to a substitute role.
“I am no longer 18,” Meunier
said when asked about his future. “I am 26. I am in clear possession of my ability. I need some clarity in my position at club level. I must also keep showing the things that I know how to do.

“PSG know my position. However, I am waiting, because many things, such as the coach, will change.”
He signed for PSG from Club Brugge in 2016 and was quite positive about his role in the Ligue 1 leaders’ push for glory in the league, the Coupe de la Ligue, and the Coupe de France before the end of the term.
“I might enjoy the greater game time,” the Belgian said. “If I do, I will have to make the most of it.
“I am more confident in myself that I was two years ago. I am looking towards the future without pressure. I feel that I have developed technically and mentally since joining PSG. I am less fatalistic.”

Liverpool have nothing to fear from Manchester City

Liverpool have nothing to fear from Manchester City – Luis Garcia

Luis Garcia, Liverpool

Luis Garcia

Liverpool legend, Luis Garcia who returned to Anfield to feature in the Liverpool Legends’ game against Bayern Munich legends believes the current squad has nothing to be scared of against league leaders, Manchester City as they hope to follow in the 2005 set footsteps.
The Champions League winning midfielder starred in an Ian Rush managed the side in their entertaining 5-5 draw against Bayern legends on Saturday afternoon.
The game raised over £1million for the LFC Foundation as the entire stadium was sold out. However, the next major game that the stadium will host is Liverpool’s quarter-final clash with their premier league rival in the Champions League and Garcia, who won the trophy in 2005 is confident that Klopp’s men can repeat history.
“No, I don’t think there’s any reason for fear,” said the Spaniard. “People won’t be thinking about that.
“The most important thing is to go into the game while being aware that both teams will have chances to go through.
“It’s great to see the team back on this stage, the history of the club shows how important Liverpool are in the Champions League.

“People know everything the team has done in the past. It’s difficult to talk about predictions right now. It’s a fantastic game that we are all going to enjoy. It will be tough because City is doing well, but so too are Liverpool. I’m sure the first game is going to be very important.”
The former combative midfielder famously scored the winning goal when Liverpool eliminated Mourinho’s Chelsea in the semi-final in 2005 en route their triumph over AC Milan to claim the title in 2005 in Istanbul.
When questioned if there was any comparison with the Reds’ latest all-English European task, he answered: “These kinds of games are totally different. You cannot expect what is going to happen because anything can happen.
“The most important thing is not to be out of it after the first game. After that, we will see what happens.”

Ayoze Perez: We have to fight for every point now

Ayoze Perez: We have to fight for every point now

Ayoze Perez, Newcastle

Ayoze Perez

Newcastle United forward, Ayoze Perez has stated that at this point of the season, every point is more like gold for them and they are determined to fight for it.
The Magpies are positioned 13th on the league table, however, they are only four points away from the relegation zone as we sail towards the tail end of the season.
The last game they played was their 3-0 victory over Southampton two weeks ago. Due to Tottenham’s involvement in the FA Cup, they will have to wait until next weekend before kicking a football again. This has prompted the team to travel to a four-day training camp in Spain where they faced Belgian side, Royal Antwerp.
While speaking with, the 24-year old Spanish International said: “It was a great couple of days; good weather, great training sessions and a great game as well, to keep the fitness up.
“It wasn’t really sunny, not really hot, but it was I think the proper weather for football, the right temperature, so it was really good. We had three days of spending time together and training really hard with double sessions, so in terms of hard work, we did it.
“It was the right idea to get a friendly game, with 21 days without football. The legs need to keep working, and we did it well.

“Now, we’re back in Newcastle and we’ve still been working really hard, so it’s been a great idea to keep ourselves fit. Now we have a couple of days off (the players have Saturday, Sunday, and Monday off) to rest ourselves and get back fresher.
“For the last few days, it’s been back to normal. We’ve still been training a lot; great training sessions, hard work, trying to improve little things. We haven’t had the international boys but we’ve still been working and trying to make sure we are doing a lot of positive things.”

Angel Di Maria: Champions League Round of 16

Angel Di Maria: Champions League Round of 16 elimination was a big blow

Angel Di Maria, PSG

Angel Di Maria

PSG midfielder, Angel Di Maria has stated that their Round of 16 elimination in the Champions League from the hands of defending champion, Real Madrid was a big blow to the team and it’s very likely that it will prompt major changes in the squad.
The Ligue 1 giant signed the most expensive player in the World, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in the summer to guarantee their triumph on the continent. However, with the expectation now shattered for this season, the Argentine believes that the club hierarchy might act come summer.
The future of club manager, Unai Emery is in doubt having failed to guide the cub to a significant stage in Europe in the past two seasons.

The 30-year-old told Ole: “It was a tough blow. We spent €400m on players, the club had a different expectation with Neymar and it was normal that that expectation was very high. The club really felt it to be knocked out in the round of 16. There is going to be a big change for next year.
“It was obvious that, because of the arrival of important players, the fans were going to criticize and be disappointed. But you know you have to lose and lift your head when it happens.”
They are however on course to win the French league again as they are far ahead with a 17-point lead.

We play a more balanced style now – Ramos

We play a more balanced style now – Ramos

Sergio Ramos, Spain, World Cup

Sergio Ramos

Spain captain, Sergio Ramos has insisted that Spain plays a more balanced style now as a result of players coming from different clubs in Spain unlike when Barcelona used to dominate the first team.
The current La Roja squad has three Barcelona players in person of veteran, Andres Iniesta, and defenders, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba. Real Madrid has six while there are another 14 players from different clubs in the country and abroad.
The 31-year old claim that this mix has helped the national team set-up as they bid to make a big statement in the World Cup like they did in South Africa 2010.

While speaking with Diario AS, the Real Madrid skipper said: “Now we see more Madrid players in the Spanish squad than from Barcelona. Generations have changed and some players have retired and others have come through, but the balance of players does not make much difference.
“Perhaps now our style of play is more balanced as we have more players from different clubs and Barca’s style of play is less notable in the national team now. We have players from a mix of clubs like Valencia and Villarreal, which is beneficial for Spanish football.”
Spain will meet world champions Germany in an international friendly on Friday evening, before playing host to World Cup finalist, Argentina on Tuesday night.

Dembele must believe in himself

Dembele must believe in himself and be mentally strong – Xavi

The France International has priced away from Borussia Dortmund last summer for close to £100m but his development with the Catalan giant was hampered by an awful injury in the first few weeks of moving to Spain.
He later returned to the pitch after about three months but the 20-year old has struggled to make a major statement. This has prompted the former Barca midfielder to advise Dembele to believe in his skills and talents.
“This is the time when we will see if his mentality is sufficient,” Xavi told So Foot. “Now he must convince himself he is a
Barcelona player and to believe in himself, to be mentally strong.
“There were numerous times in training when you thought players would go on to be legends at the club but when they played in games they were nervous and crumbled.

“Ousmane needs time to settle but playing for Barca is like the final exam for a footballer, like doing a Master degree, as only the creme de La creme get this chance. He would have had more time and space at Dortmund and Renne’s, so now he must use his skill more.”
Dembele has contributed four assists in nine La Liga appearances for the league leaders this season.

This will be the first tournament I hope- Wilshere

This will be the first tournament I hope to be a part of, fully fit – Wilshere

Jack Wilshere, Arsenal, England

Jack Wilshere

Arsenal midfielder, Jack Wilshere, who started the season as a surplus to requirement at the Emirates has transformed his fortune with the club and is now on the brink of going to his first tournament “fully fit” according to him.
He was used sparingly at the beginning of the campaign as he featured only in EFL Cup and the Europa League before finally becoming a mainstay in the Gunners team going on to make 31 appearances for them this season.
The 26-year old has won a recall to the Three Lions squad by England Manager, Gareth Southgate as a result of his consistent brilliance. Southgate personally questioned his effectiveness in February but has now been included in the team to face Netherlands and Italy within the next few days.
Wilshere has not featured for England since entering the fray at half-time in that awful Euro 2016 exit to Iceland. He had only 141 minutes of action that season before the call-up and only appeared in few friendlies before the tournament. It was a similar story for 2014 World Cup in Brazil as he battled with a fractured foot for the last two months of the season.

For 2012 Euros, he was entirely absent as a stress fracture in his right ankle ruled him out. However, his time might finally be here should he successfully convince Southgate during these friendlies.
“I’ve never been right in terms of fitness at a tournament,” he told Standard Sport. “You feel like you are but looking back I didn’t really feel like I could have any influence when called upon for the team.
“At the Euros, if you’d asked me then, I’d have said I was 100 percent fit and could help the team but looking back, I probably wasn’t as fit as I could have been. I played three games and a couple of friendlies but I didn’t have that whole season under my belt like now.
“It was a big ask but I was desperate to go. I was thankful to Roy [Hodgson] and his staff for picking me but when I missed out on the first few games, I wasn’t happy but looking back it was probably the right decision. It was the same story in 2014 and in 2012 I had no chance. I hope this time it will be different if I get the chance to go.”

It was a catastrophic moment for the team after Bournemouth loss – Evans

It was a catastrophic moment for the team after Bournemouth loss – Evans

Jonny Evans, West Brom

Jonny Evans

Former Manchester United defender, Jonny Evans has revealed that a number of West Bromwich Albion first team members wept after their recent defeat at Bournemouth last weekend.
West Brom lost in an unfortunate manner to the Cherries as they were ahead going into the last 13 minutes of the game only to be beaten by Junior Stanislas’s last-minute goal to give Bournemouth a 2-1 victory. The Baggies are now 10 points adrift of safety with only seven games left.
The team captain insists that even though it is obviously tough for them to avoid relegation, it is still mathematically possible and they will only continue to fight. They have now been defeated in their last seven games and have won only a game in the league since August.
“I think there is hope,” said Evans. “Even after the Bournemouth game, there was a real disappointment in the changing room. It’s not like we have got to the point where we have accepted relegation.
“A lot of people have been writing us off. I understand the position we are in it will be very difficult to get out of.

“There were a few tears after the game at the weekend because going into that game there was a lot of hope and optimism that we would get something from it and try to turn the season around even at this late stage. We were upset.
“We were ahead and then the game swung in the last 15 minutes and I think it has been the story of our season. It’s hard to take sometimes.
“Mathematically, though, we still have hope and we keep going until it is mathematically not possible. We owe that to ourselves and the fans to do that. That’s what we will continue to do.”

Antoine Griezmann: Paul Pogba must face the situation and prove himself

Antoine Griezmann: Paul Pogba must face the situation and prove himself

Paul Pogba, Manchester United

Paul Pogba

France International, Antoine Griezmann has urged his national teammate, Paul Pogba to man up and face the situation of things in his club after an unfortunate turn of event in recent weeks.
The 25-year old midfielder has been an outcast in the United squad lately as he has only featured in only four of 11 matches in all competition. Rumours continue to grow that the £89m player has a torrid relationship with his manager, Jose Mourinho.
France coach, Didier Deschamps spoke about how the young talent has to forget his troubles with United and focus on France at moment, Griezmann has stated that Pogba is in a good state of mind and he is certain he will get over the seemingly tough situation

“He came back [to the squad] with a huge smile on his face,” he told reporters ahead of Friday night’s meeting with Colombia. “He was happy. It’s not easy when you don’t play at your club or you don’t feel at your best. It happened to me and he knows that.
“He still enjoys having fun and working hard, which are what matter the most. It’s up to him to prove and show that he’s still the player that he can be. The coach trusts him, like the entire squad. We need a smiling Paul and an efficient one on the pitch.”
The former Juventus midfielder has not been involved in a goal for United since the 3-0 league triumph over Stoke City in January.

It’s been tough since I joined United – Sanchez

It’s been tough since I joined United – Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez

Manchester United forward, Alexis Sanchez who completed his long-awaited move away from Arsenal in January has confessed that it’s been tough for him at Old Trafford as he anticipated something better.
The 29-year old has been a subject of criticism after his opening weeks display. Fans believe Sanchez who is believed to earn in excess of £500,000 a week is overpaid following his below-par performance.

The Chile International has scored only one goal in 10 appearances and was not included in the squad that defeated Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup quarter-finals last weekend.
There have been reports of growing concern within the Red Devils hierarchy as a result of what they have seen from the former Barcelona man since he joined and Sanchez himself has admitted that he needs to improve to get back to his usual self.
“As I am self-demanding, I expected something better,” he said. “After my arrival at United, it was hard to change everything very quickly. I even hesitated to come here [to Sweden].
“I had asked permission to miss these games, but then I thought better and spoke with Claudio [Bravo] and told him that we should all be united.
“The change of club was something that was very abrupt – it was the first time I’ve changed clubs in January – but many things have happened in my life that are difficult.”
He is set to be a part of the Chile national team to face Sweden and Denmark in friendly games within the next few days.

I have the quality to play for a big club next season – Can

I have the quality to play for a big club next season – Can

Emre Can, Liverpool

Emre Can

Liverpool midfielder, Emre Can have affirmed that he has the required quality to feature for a top club in Europe come next season as transfer speculations intensify about his future.
The 24-year old Germany International has refused to commit himself to a new deal at Anfield although he hasn’t ruled out a future at the Merseyside club even as he is wanted by Juventus and former club, Bayern Munich.
Meanwhile, French giants, Paris Saint Germain and Real Madrid are also reported to be interested in the defensive midfielder. His chosen club would most likely get Can for free as he has only two months left on his contract with the Reds.
While speaking with SportBild, Can refused to rule out any of the options on the table as he insisted that what he is certain about is that he will play for a big club.

“I have the self-confidence to say that my qualities are sufficient to play in a very big club next season,” he told SportBild. “I’m doing great in England. Here it is physical and that suits me. The Spanish league is also attractive.
“The same applies to Germany, where tactics are concerned, and Italy, which has recently caught up. Incidentally, the same applies to France, this league has now established itself as one of the best in Europe. Therefore, I do not want to exclude anything because I do not know what I will do from summer.”