Category Archives: fifa

Manchester City has a strong faith to beating Euro-rivals

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City prepare bumper deal for Dortmund star?

Europe’s elite clubs will be busy batting their eyelashes at Marco Reus from now until the summer, though the Daily Star reports that Manchester City are confident of landing the Borussia Dortmund star ahead of the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Reus, 25, is thought to have a 25 million-euro release clause that activates at the end of the season, and the Star states that City boss Manuel Pellegrini is lining up a bumper 200,000-pound-a-week contract offer to tempt Reus into moving to Manchester.

The attacker will have his pick of the clubs come this summer, but with City seeking a creative outlet on the flanks, it seems they will break the bank to try and land the Germany international ahead of their continental rivals.

Marco Reus indicates to Man City how big he expects his paycheck to be.
Van Gaal playing the waiting game?

And so the discussion over potential Manchester United defensive cover rumbles on for another day… the Manchester Evening News reports the Red Devils are not interested in Valencia centre-back Nicolas Otamendi, and are instead happy to wait until the summer to launch a bid for Mats Hummels.

Prising Borussia Dortmund captain Hummels away from BVB with the club sitting in the Bundesliga relegation zone seems highly unlikely given his character and standing, though MEN understands Van Gaal will bide his time in order to land the World Cup winner.

Another potential recruit is Netherlands international Bruno Martins Indi, who Van Gaal knows well from his time as Oranje coach. The Porto defender is reportedly available for 10 million euros, and at 22 would be a young, inexpensive acquisition for United.

Tottenham target Toffees swap?

Despite Kevin Mirallas’ ludicrous penalty antics on Monday night, the Daily Mirror reports that Tottenham are still keen on the Everton winger and will offer the Toffees cash plus Aaron Lennon to land the Belgium international.

The 27-year-old has 18 months left on his Goodison Park deal, and though Roberto Martinez subbed Mirallas at half-time on Monday after taking — and missing — a spot kick ahead of Leighton Baines against West Brom, the Toffees boss is reportedly desperate to keep the attacker.

However, a move to London to work with Mauricio Pochettino could prove tempting for Mirallas, and a small fee plus the arrival of Lennon in return would cushion the loss for Everton.
Arsenal closing on defensive duo?

Arsenal fans will be hoping that their side’s impressive victory at Manchester City is the chrysalis stage of a leaner, meaner Gunners team ahead of a potential title charge in the second half of the season, and supporters will be further buoyed as Arsene Wenger prepares to add more steel this winter.

The Daily Star reports that Wenger is interested in a nine million-pound deal for Newcastle midfielder and master of the tactical foul, Cheick Tiote. Whether Arsenal will pay his reported 80,000-pound-a-week demands is another matter, though Tiote would undoubtedly offer more fire in the middle for the north London club.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reports that Arsenal have opened talks with Villarreal over a deal for centre-back Gabriel Paulista, but may have to wait on a work permit for the Brazilian 24-year-old.

Benzema to become a Kop hero?

Will Karim Benzema ever be truly loved at Real Madrid? The notoriously fickle Bernabeu faithful have finally taken the striker to their hearts after years of Blancos goals, though he always seems to have one foot out the exit door.

The Metro has picked up on reports from Spain that Liverpool have made the France international their No.1 target this summer, and will seek to land his signature with a 38.1 million-pound transfer offer.

That type of cash would help the Real money-men land the next Galactico of their choosing, and Kop could potentially have a new hero. As The Stone Roses’ Ian Brown once sang: “I want to be adored”. Benzema may fancy trying it sometime.

The important Major League Soccer player : Sebastian Giovinco

Italy Soccer Serie A

The 27-year-old Italian playmaker’s spurning of top European clubs to join Toronto FC could signal a new era and identity for MLS.

The numbers have left observers scratching their heads. The Atomic Ant will earn a mountain of money. A reported $7 million per year or so for each of the next five years.

Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC’s latest mega-signing, will make more than Kaka, Frank Lampard,David Villa, Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane or any of the league’s other bona fide stars. He’ll make more than David Beckham or Thierry Henry ever did here. He’ll also make more than U.S. national team stalwarts Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, who were lured home at great expense.

All for Sebastian Giovinco, the tiny 5-foot-5 playmaker who turned out not to be the next Alessandro Del Piero as he and Juventus and all of Italy had hoped.

Yet on the strange and twisted grading curve set by the long list of pricey Designated Players signed by MLS since Beckham arrived in 2007 – leaving aside for a moment the fact that the league minimum was still only $36,500 in 2014 – Giovinco actually represents good value for that amount of money.

He isn’t a true star, the way all of the aforementioned are or were, whether at home or in Europe. He doesn’t add that cachet and won’t sell tickets on his own. But in a lot of ways, he could be the league’s most important signing since Beckham.

[FC Yahoo: Don’t worry, American soccer fan – MLS trend will be good for USMNT]

Giovinco, after all, is only 27. And word has it he had options. According to the well-informed Toronto Sun, he could have signed with Arsenal, Tottenham, Fiorentina and Monaco. The English press – actually far less reliable on transfer matters – claims he had also drawn interest from Liverpool and Chelsea. In other words, Giovinco is a player in his prime who was in high demand among some of Europe’s biggest clubs. Some of the other, bigger names to land in MLS could have easily stayed in Europe as well, but none had more good games in front of them than behind. Giovinco just might.

Toronto probably paid above market rate – although Giovinco will be out of contract in July and therefore won’t necessitate a transfer fee. But the point is they got him.

As TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko put it to the Sun: “ Anything is possible now. ”

That sort of goes for the whole league.

The Giovinco signing suggests that not all of Europe’s elite talent thinks of MLS as a place to go later on, when the Champions League starts to move a little fast for them and their families are sick of the paparazzi. And if they did think that way, they now probably don’t anymore.

For that reason alone, Giovinco could well prove worth every penny.

Messi may join Chelsea in the near future

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Can messi move to Chelsea on a free transfer in the near future? Many people think it is impossible. Of course, Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois also thinks that way. He has admitted he doesn’t expect Barcelona star Lionel Messi move to Chelsea in the near future, insisting Jose Mourinho would have to sell half the Blues team to fund a move.

Speculation went crazy that Messi was eyeing a move to the current Premier League leaders when the Argentina captain followed Chelsea on Instagram, along with Blues players Courtois and Cesc Fabregas.

However, the stopper insists that the media have completely hyperboliced Messi’s actions on social media:

“ He just followed my Instagram account, he did not say he would leave Barcelona. ” Courtois was quoted by The Sun.

“ I know him a little, but it’s just crazy how people can make such inventions with social networks. ”

Courtois has not only shunned the idea that Messi’s Instagram activity is important, but has also expressed just how financially difficult, or rather impossible, a move would be.

“ Nobody can buy Messi. I think Chelsea say they wouldn’t. Except if they sell half of the team! ” the keeper exclaimed.

However, despite the ongoing boardroom politics it seems that things have started to settle down again, although questions regarding prospective moves for all high-profile players are never very far away, particularly in the middle of a transfer window.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo hits a double as Real Madrid stays ahead of the Ranking

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice either side of a Gareth Bale strike as Real Madrid ran out 3-0 winners over Getafe in La Liga on Sunday.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo congratulates his teammate Gareth Bale after scoring a goal against Getafe during their Spanish first division soccer match at Colisseum Alfonso Perez stadium in GetafeIt was hardly a vintage performance from the European champions, who have stumbled at the start of 2015 and were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Atlético Madrid on Thursday, and they failed to score in the first half of a La Liga game for the first time this season.

Ronaldo broke the deadlock on a chilly afternoon at the Coliseum in the 63rd minute, clipping the ball in from close range after excellent work from Karim Benzema.

Bale made it 2-0 four minutes later when he finished off a swift break and Ronaldo grabbed his second 11 minutes from time with a powerful header, the Portugal forward’s 28th goal of the campaign in his 17th appearance.

Getafe battled bravely against their glamorous city neighbours, with their goalkeeper Jordi Codina on fine form, and almost pulled a goal back four minutes from time but a shot from Álvaro Vázquez bounced away off a post.

Real, who have a game in hand, have 45 points from 18 matches, with Barça on 41 ahead of their clash at Deportivo La Coruna later on Sunday.

Ronaldo sent a fizzing free-kick just wide of Codina’s right-hand post, but did not have to wait long to double his tally, getting on the end of another brilliant cross from Madrid’s Colombian star to head home and seal a comfortable win for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

Valencia and the champions Atlético, who host the bottom side Granada on Sunday, are level on 38 points, with Valencia ahead on goal difference after Saturday’s 3-2 win at home to Almería.

Messi proves himself by action

Lonel Messi scored a brilliant hat-trick as Barcelona sealed a comfortable 4-0 win over Deportivo on Sunday. Messi followed up a brilliant showing in last weekend’s 3-1 La Liga win at home to champions Atletico Madrid with a hat-trick in a 4-0 win at Deportivo La Coruna which kept Barca hard on the heels of leaders Real Madrid.

messiReports have been swirling about a rift between Messi and Luis Enrique, with the four-times World Player of the Year apparently unhappy with the Barca coach’s management style and tactics and said to be seeking an exit from the club he joined at the age of 13.

Messi responded by saying he was not thinking of leaving but he has not explicitly denied claims his relationship with Luis Enrique has broken down.

Whatever the reality of the situation, if Messi continues his prolific scoring form Barca will have a good chance of returning to winning ways this term after failing to win major silverware in 2013-14 for the first time in six years.

“He has been playing at a phenomenal level the whole season,” Luis Enrique told a news conference on Sunday.

“He has not dropped off at any moment” added the former Barca and Spain midfielder, who took over from Messi’s compatriot Gerardo Martino at the end of last season.

Messi’s treble was his 22nd in La Liga, one fewer than Real Madrid’s Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who beat Messi into second place to win a third FIFA Ballon d’Or award on Monday.

Messi, voted the world’s best player four times between 2009 and 2012, has hit 30 hat-tricks for Barca in all competitions and three for Argentina.

Real, who have a game in hand, top La Liga on 45 points at the halfway point of the season, with Barca second on 44 and Atletico third on 41.