Monday, December 3, 2012

Sour grapes for Zlatan over Messi nomination

Paris Saint-Germain's outspoken centre-forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic courted controversy once more last week by stating that Barcelona striker Lionel Messi shouldn't pick up the Ballon d'Or award this year.

The 31-year-old Sweden international believes that after having already won it three times in a row, that the Blaugrana genius would be far from a deserving winner and that it should be shared around more.

With Fifa whittling it down to just a three-man shortlist, and Messi competing alongside team-mate Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic may have to wait a little while longer to get his wish, with the Argentine the current front-runner and overwhelming favourite.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo beat Atletico Madrid

Hollywood ending for Beckham as curtain closes on LA journey

oes he write his own scripts? He must do, right? David Beckham ended his time in the United States by helping LA Galaxy triumph 3-1 over Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup final.

It meant the California franchise retained the MLS Cup for the second year running and ensured Becks left an indellible print on Major League Soccer after his five-and-a-half year association with the league.

Though he lived up to Los Angeles expectations with the happiest of endings - Beckham was substituted in the 94th minute to give him a chance to wave to the fans, hug his team-mates and indeed one 'unidentified fan' (Robbie Keane) - there is a sense that this isn't quite the end for the 37-year-old.

He admits he has "no idea" where he will move to for his final, final swansong, but you would not bet against him bringing just as much drama and theatre to proceedings - after all, he has now won the league title in his final year at Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fear of Falcao keeps Mourinho up all night

This weekend, the Santiago Bernabeu plays host to one of the most hotly-anticipated Madrid derbies in years, with Jose Mourinho's struggling Real taking on Diego Simeone's in-form Atletico.

The fixture has traditionally been something of a mismatch, with Real invariably enjoying comfortable victories over a succession of talented but underachieving Atletico sides.

This season, however, the tables appear to have turned. Real lie eight points behind their Madrid rivals, having already tasted defeat three times this season.

Atletico, however, have established themselves as Barcelona's closest La Liga challengers, inspired by their prolific Colombian striker Falcao, who has already netted 11 times in the league this season.

Mourinho is a known admirer of Atleti's irrepressible No9, labelling him "forbidden fruit" earlier in the campaign, and it is Falcao who will surely have been keeping an anxious Special One awake this week.

Holloway desperate to block Wenger in pursuit of Zaha

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway has come out fighting after Arsene Wenger confirmed that Arsenal are mulling over a move for starlet Wilfried Zaha.

Following the Frenchman's comments, the former Blackpool boss lashed out at the north London outfit's manager for talking about his players in public, telling The Sun he would be ringing the Gunners' manager to complain about his "totally bad etiquette".

However, as exclusively revealed by, the Gunners are now in talks with the Championship outfit about a proposed £12 million January move for the 20-year-old.

But this is unlikely to stop Holloway from doing all he can to keep hold of the attacker, who recently won his first senior England call-up, even if it means getting in Wenger's way.

Benitez feeling Blue after firing another blank

It is fair to sat tha the appointment of Rafael Benitez as Chelsea interim manager has been greeted with a less-than-positive reaction from the club's fans.

The Spaniard drew a blank in his second game in charge - at home to west London rivals Fulham - directly after another goalless draw against champions Manchester City on Sunday, and the boo boys were out in full force come the final whistle once again.

With the pressure already mounting on the 52-year-old, even at this early stage, he faces a fight to try and win over the supporters.

Can you Adam and Eve it?! Beckham denied New York MLS investment

Well, while David Beckham may have played his last game for LA Galaxy, it has not put 'Golden Balls' off investing in an MLS side in the future, with the New York Red Bulls an obvious attraction.

However, there is a spanner in the works - or rather, a snake in the boots - in the form of Don Garber, who says Becks will not be able to take a tasty bite of the big apple anytime soon.

So, where next for Posh & Becks? Will he repay Galaxy's faith (and some of their huge wages no doubt) and invest in his former club? Or will he jack it all in and take the family to Paris for the riches of PSG?
Who knows, there is always 'Arry and QPR...