Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Assou-Ekotto reads up on latest Tottenham arrival

Known for having absolutely no interest in football, Tottenham defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto may get into a spot of bother when he arrives at pre-season training.

The 29-year-old has admitted he does not know the first thing about Tottenham's latest signing Paulinho, who has arrived at White Hart Lane from Corinthians.

“I don’t know what he looks like,” Assou-Ekotto told Goal. “I don’t know him, I don’t follow this kind of news.

“It’s like two or three years ago, Rafael van der Vaart was there in training one day. I said hello to him but I didn’t know he was Rafael van der Vaart." 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Moyes tight-lipped on Rooney future

David Moyes hosted his first press conference as Manchester United manager on Friday and spent the most part batting away questions on Wayne Rooney's future.

And while he was at pains to point out that the England striker is not for sale, he refused to be drawn on whether he has categorically stated his desire to stay at Old Trafford. 

Inter & AC Milan aghast at Raiola's merger proposal

The summer transfer window is prone to wild speculation but this week has also seen one of the most ludicrous proposals in football.

Mino Raiola, the agent who represents Mario Balotelli and Zlatan Ibrahimovic among others, believes that AC Milan and Inter should merge in order to become a dominant force in Europe.

“The situation Italian football finds itself in is difficult,” he told Gazzetta.it.

“Milan and Inter, instead of competing against one and other, they should join forces.

“Lazio and Roma could have one strong club, rather than only two weak ones.” 

Isco in the doghouse over pet Messi

Real Madrid officially announced the arrival of Isco on Wednesday but the 21-year-old may get a few scornful glances from his new team-mates if he ever brings his dog to training.

It had been revealed that the midfielder's dog is named after Lionel Messi and the Spain Under-21 star insists it will remain that way - despite signing for Real Madrid.

"I also had another dog called Figo. It's just an anecdote," Isco said.

"I'm not going to change my dog's name from Messi now because if I did, he would ignore me." 

Gotze considers Messi an idol

Amid reports suggesting Pep Guardiola will deploy Mario Gotze as a 'false No.9' at Bayern Munich, the Germany international says he keen to aspire towards the playing heights of Barcelona's maestro.

"Lionel Messi is a role model for everyone, including me," Gotze said.

"I don't see the transfer amount as extra pressure. It's something to be proud of having just turned 21.

"Looking back, it wasn't easy when the news broke that I was leaving Dortmund, but that's behind me now. The important thing is to develop myself and I wanted to do that at Bayern." 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

First day nerves for new boy Moyes

As players and managers report back from their summer break for the gruelling pre-season regime, David Moyes embarks on one of the trickiest jobs in football - succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

For Moyes, the daunting prospect of arriving at Carrington was cushioned by the announcement of his backroom staff as Steve Round follows the Scot from Everton to become the assistant manager at United, while Chris Woods and Jimmy Lumsden have also joined from Goodison Park. 

Ruthless Brazil sink Spain

Brazil claimed the Confederations Cup on Sunday with an emphatic victory over world and European champions Spain.

Vicente del Bosque's side were fancied by many to win the competition, which served as something of a dress rehearsal for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

But the tournament hosts raced out of the blocks and led through a Fred goal after just two minutes.

Neymar added a second just before half time, before Fred completed the scoring shortly after the interval.