Cercle coach hails ‘incredible’ Chelsea whiz Kylian Hazard after career best performanceby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea midfielder Kylian Hazard produced perhaps the performance of his career to inspire Cercle Brugge to victory over Anderlecht on Sunday.Hazard, on-loan at Cercle, scored his second goal of the season and produced a five-star performance as his team defeated Anderlecht 2-1.Cercle coach Laurent Guyot declared afterwards: “Kylian has shown that he has an incredible potential. “The next step now has to be that he also puts a little more regularity in his performance. Because this Kylian I want to see every game. The audience gave him an ovation, although his change was not meant as applause. “We did not have the result yet and we could use some extra energy.”Hazard is on-loan at Cercle to the end of this season. TagsLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Galatasaray, Marseille join battle for Tottenham striker Llorenteby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveThe race for Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente is heating up.Llorente is prepared to leave Spurs next month after being restricted to a bit-part role this season.The centre-forward has talked up a return to former club Athletic Bilbao, however they’re not alone in their interest.Fotomac says Galatasaray and Marseille are also interested in Llorente.The 33 year-old’s contract runs out at the end of this season.
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Guardiola admits Man City must take ‘big opportunity’ against Liverpoolby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePep Guardiola has admitted Manchester City have a big opportunity to chase down Liverpool with a victory on Thursday night.A victory will see City reduce the gap to the league leaders to four points.And Guardiola knows all three points will go a long way to keeping their title hopes alive.”I have the feeling it is a big opportunity for us to reduce the gap but our focus is the same,” Guardiola added. “Everybody asks what we are going to do if we lose, but we are going to try to make our game and to win it.”At the moment Liverpool are the best team in Europe for the way they play and control the details in their game. It’s a good challenge for us.”
TagsLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea defender Zappacosta suffers serious knee injury at Romaby Paul Vegas21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea defender Davide Zappacosta has suffered a serious knee injury in training with AS Roma.The Italy international joined the Serie A outfit on loan until the end of the season on transfer deadline day after becoming surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.However, the 27-year-old is likely to be out for the rest of the campaign after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in a training session in a “non-contact incident”.Roma confirmed the full-back had successfully undergone surgery on his right knee in Rome to repair the ligament damage.”The club can confirm that Davide Zappacosta underwent surgery on Friday afternoon to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee,” a statement read.
Inter Milan superkid Sebastiano Esposito excited being part of Italy U18 squadby Carlos Volcano16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveInter Milan superkid Sebastiano Esposito is delighted to be part of Italy’s U18 squad.Carmine Nunziata’s young Azzurri are preparing for the U-17 World Cup, which will start on 20 October in Brazil.Esposito told Sky Sport: “I’m really happy to be here, I’m enjoying being part of the National Team and I get on well with all the other guys here. It’s a great honour, a great source of pride to wear the Azzurri shirt. We want to make ourselves known at the World Cup for how we play and for the values of this team.“I have to remain calm and humble and I need to continue to work. Obviously, I have objectives and dreams, such as making my debut in Serie A and winning with both Inter and in the shirt of Italy.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Carlos Vela keen on Barcelona loan moveby Carlos Volcano12 hours agoSend to a friendShare the loveLos Angeles FC striker Carlos Vela is hopeful of joining Lionel Messi in a loan spell at Barcelona once the MLS season is over.LaLiga giants Barça reportedly considered a left-field move for the former Arsenal and Real Sociedad forward in January as they sought cover for Luis Suárez. Vela told the New York Times: “Who could say no to playing with Messi for four months and then coming back to LA? Enjoy, learn and then come back home.” For now, Vela is focused on LAFC’s playoff campaign and an El Tráfico meeting with LA Galaxy in the Western Conference semi-finals on Thursday.”I have not had the pleasure [of meeting Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic],” Vela said, adding: “Maybe the people don’t really love my decision [to play in MLS]. But for me, it was the best option, and I’m really happy that I made it because I am enjoying it.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Claude Puel insists Leicester City can make no excuses after they suffered a humbling defeat to Newport County in the FA Cup third round.Padraig Amond’s late penalty sent Newport through on Sunday, three minutes after Rachid Ghezzal had cancelled out Jamille Matt’s opener.Leicester dominated at Rodney Parade, with Newport goalkeeper Joe Day in fine form behind the hosts’ stoic defence, while Marc Albrighton – who gave away the penalty – also hit the woodwork. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? But Puel, who may now be back under pressure at Leicester despite a fruitful festive period which included Premier League wins over Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton, says his side should have had the quality to progress.”I think we had a good team with eight who played winning the title with Leicester, and a lot of experienced players and quality on the pitch,” Puel, who made seven changes from the side that beat Everton on New Year’s Day, told reporters.”I think we had enough quality on the pitch to qualify, I don’t want to look for excuses about this.”I think we lost together, we are all together disappointed and frustrated after this game, because it was an objective for us. This competition was important.”Magic of the Cup pic.twitter.com/pQs1KATK1H— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 6, 2019Captain Wes Morgan returned to Leicester’s side after a spell on the sidelines, and rued the visitors’ inability to convert more of their 24 shots at goal.”It was a difficult day,” Morgan told Leicester’s official website. “The magic of the FA Cup happened today, definitely.”I thought we played well, especially the second half. We had loads of half chances in very good positions where we should score.”On another day they all go in, but today it didn’t happen for us. I don’t want to take the shine away from Newport, it’s a big day for them.”I wouldn’t say they deserved it, but they battled to the end. Good luck to them.”
July 4 is known as Independence Day in America and for Arjen Robben in 2019 the date marked the perfect time to announce his split from the beautiful game.After playing over 500 matches for club and country, the Dutch winger has decided the time is right to fly away into retirement at the age of 35.And with a trophy haul that includes league titles across England, Germany, Netherlands and Spain – who can blame him? Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare While Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have battled it out publicly over the past decade for the crown of world’s best, Robben has operated eloquently in the shadows with his impressive achievements showing he is more than deserving of a place alongside this generation’s greatest. Inevitably wherever the Dutchman has gone in his career, success has always followed.Starting out in the Eredivisie with Groningen in 2000 as a 16-year-old, Robben ended his first season with the club as their player of the year.Sealing a move to PSV two years later, he hit the ground running, scoring 12 goals from 33 matches to taste league success for the first of what would be many times.After attracting interest from Manchester United, the pacey attacker moved to Chelsea in 2004 and despite a number of injuries, still managed to strike seven times as the Blues picked up the Premier League title – something they’d also replicate the following season. Robben’s three years in England ended with him claiming two league titles, two League Cups, one FA Cup and one FA Community Shield – a haul any foreign player today could only dream of. Real Madrid was the winger’s next stop where he once again experienced immediate success as he ended his first season in Spain with a La Liga title.Only one more campaign in Madrid would follow for Robben however with the arrival of Ronaldo among others leaving the Dutchman on the outer. “It was not just Ronaldo. Perez returned as the club’s president. He then bought Ronaldo but also Kaka, Benzema and Xabi Alonso,” Robben told Goal in May. “Real spent so much money and we were told that they needed to make a bit of money back on outgoing transfers.” Humbly bowing to the star power that surrounded him, Robben happily moved to Bayern and once again took very little time to shine as he finished as the club’s top scorer in the 2009-10 season and picked up a Bundesliga title in the process.While domestic success came incredibly easily for Robben, European glory proved a harder nut to crack but one he was always destined to prise open.In the 2012 Champions League final against Chelsea, the winger infamously had an extra-time penalty saved with his former team ultimately triumphing in a shootout. Back in the decider the following year, Robben returned with a vengeance and after setting up the opener, scored an 89th-minute winner as Bayern beat bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund 2-1. It was a man-of-the-match performance to rival any other considering the turmoil the Dutchman had gone through following his penalty miss the year before – with his own fans booing him during an exhibition match between Bayern and the Netherlands played in the aftermath. “For a moment I could not believe what was happening in our own stadium. I was shocked,” Robben said.Down but not out, Robben was always destined to pick himself back up after such disappointment and it was this innate ability to rebound both physically and mentally that ensures he leaves the game as a true legend. Despite playing consistently crucial roles in his team’s success over the years, Robben rarely got the individual recognition he deserved. The fact he never finished in the top three for Ballon d’Or voting is just one example of how the Dutch flyer managed to sneak under the radar. Unbelievably, even after winning the Champions League and a domestic treble in 2013, Robben still somehow finished eighth that year in voting. But for an attacker whose assist tallies were never far off his goal-scoring returns, it’s safe to say Robben was never a player looking for individual recognition. Incidentally, playing for his native Netherlands remains one of his crowning achievements, despite the fact he never lifted a trophy with the Oranje.”It might be a cliche, but there really is no better thing than playing for your own country,” Robben said at his retirement announcement.”In the end, I decided to quit in 2017 after 96 international caps. I got to play six big tournaments and was the captain during my last years with the team.”All together, it’s an unforgettable time that I’ll always cherish.”As one of the more intelligent footballers that have graced the pitch over the past two decades, Robben’s confirmation that he was hanging up his boots had a rather poetic feel to it.”It’s July again. The time for a soccer player to be preparing for the next season. Not me,” Robben said.”I’ve used the last couple of weeks to think things through. As everybody knows I took some time after my last match for Bayern Munich to make up my mind for the future. And now I have decided to end my career as a professional player.”This has been without a doubt the hardest decision I have had to make in my career. A decision in which ‘heart’ and ‘head’ bumped into each other. The love for the game and the conviction that you can still take over the world versus the reality that it doesn’t always go like you want it to and that you’re no longer a 16-year-old boy who doesn’t know what it’s like to be injured.”And with that thoughtful farewell, one of the game’s all-time greats has said goodbye but it’s safe to say he won’t be forgotten anytime soon and should be remembered alongside the very best of this generation.
Thomas Meunier put the onus on Paris Saint-Germain to provide clarity on his future by confirming he wants to remain at the club.Right-back Meunier joined the Ligue 1 giants back in 2016, however is out of contract in 2020. Reports have suggested links with a move to the Premier League this summer, but the 27-year-old has made it very clear that he wants to remain in the French capitalArsenal and Everton have reportedly expressed an interest in the Belgium international after Manchester United filled their vacancy in the position with the signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare PSG could listen to offers if head coach Thomas Tuchel deems him surplus to requirements the player’s preference is to stay and fight for a new deal.”The club knows my intentions. I want to stay in Paris,” Meunier told France Football . “The executives know I am open to spending my fourth season here and to signing a new contract.”It will be their decision – everything is in their hands.”The player seems extremely settled in Paris, and he enjoys his time away from football in his adopted home. “When I have free time on weekends, I always do things for kids,” Meunier continued. “We often go to the Museum of Science and Industry. It’s great. “During the week, the Coach likes to set the training at the end of the afternoon. So, when my children are at school, I enjoy free time with my wife. We go to the cinema a lot. The cinema is just beautiful in the mornings. There are only three people in there, it’s perfect. We also see a lot of exhibitions. I love the Pompidou Centre. Paris is just amazing.”Meunier made 19 starts in Ligue 1 last season as he faced competition from 22-year-old Germany defender Thilo Kehrer and former Barcelona man Dani Alves, the latter who is now a free agent. It now seems like the former Club Brugge man is ready and willing to fight for his place at a club and in a city where both him and his family are extremely happy and settled.