Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ronaldo runs from 'martian' Messi

It is a regularly debated topic by readers of Goal.com: Who is the best player in the world, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?
The pair are set to come up against each other again this season in La Liga, and in the running for personal accolades such as the Ballon d'Or and the Goal.com 50.

But, according to Argentine coach Alfio Basile, the Barcelona superstar is hiding something of an unfair advantage.

"You cannot compare anyone to Messi," Basile said. "Cristiano Ronaldo is a great human player, but Messi is a Martian."

Shevchenko the elder statesman of strikers retires to go into politics

It was the end of an era for Ukrainian football on Saturday, with legendary striker Andriy Shevchenko announcing his retirement from the game.

The 35-year-old has concluded an illustrious career which saw him line up for the likes of AC Milan, Chelsea and Dinamo Kiev, with his final appearance for the national team coming in last month’s Euro 2012 tournament – played host to by Ukraine and Poland.
Yet a career in management does not await for Shevchenko, with the player announcing his intention to enter the world of politics instead…

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Balotelli dreams of UFC glory

A Premier League title followed up by three goals for Italy on the way to the final of Euro 2012 - you could be forgiven for thinking Mario Balotelli might be happy with what he achieved over the last season.

But the striker - who is never too far from the news - harbours some sporting ambitions of an entirely different kind.

The Manchester City man has declared his love for UFC and suggested had he not become a professional footballer, he might have turned his hand to fighting in the octagon.

Jimmy Jump at the Olympics

Team GB & Spain fall at first hurdle

The men's London 2012 Olympic football tournament kicked off on Thursday, and there was no shortage of entertainment - as well as a few surprises along the way.

Despite Craig Bellamy's first-half opener, Team GB were pegged back by a physical Senegal side and had to settle for a draw at Old Trafford.
And earlier, in the biggest shock of the round, Spain, featuring Juan Mata and Javi Martinez among others were beaten by Japan.

With the host nation and one of the favourites to win the gold medal stumbling at the first hurdle, another nation could emerge as victors.

Pearce stunned by Bale's miracle recovery

Team GB kick off their Olympic campaign against Senegal at Old Trafford, but one player who will not be present is Gareth Bale.
The Tottenham winger was initially named in Stuart Pearce's squad for London 2012, but was forced to withdraw due to continuing problems with his back.

Bale travelled with Spurs on their pre-season tour of the USA however, playing 74 minutes and scoring in the 1-1 friendly draw with LA Galaxy.

If Team GB coach Pearce was tuning in, he can be forgiven for being shocked at the sight of the Welsh star striding around in the California sun...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Inzaghi receives offside flag salute

By moving into a coaching role with AC Milan, Filippo Inzaghi has brought to an end a career littered with trophies including Serie A titles, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League, to name just a few.
The 38-year-old, who reportedly had offers to extend his playing career elsewhere, will instead coach the young players at the club where he spent over a decade.

So, the man who Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson once famously said was "born offside" has been flagged by officials for the last time.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sir Alex keeps fishing for summer capture

Manchester United have been reasonably busy so far this summer, having signed Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund and Nick Powell, the young Crewe academy product.
But Sir Alex Ferguson appears to be far from finished in the transfer market, after claiming interest in Robin van Persie this week, and speaking openly about an approach for Brazilian sensation Lucas Moura.

However, Van Persie's future remains unclear, while Lucas' agent claims a move to Old Trafford is off, meaning the Red Devils boss may have to keep fishing for a star signing this summer.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Madrid-bound Modric ditches Spurs

Luka Modric looks set to finally get his move away from White Hart Lane this summer, with the Tottenham man continually linked with a switch to Real Madrid.

New boss Andre Villas-Boas has already conceded he will allow the Croatian to leave the club for the right price, but that does not seem to be enough for the 26-year-old, who is desperate to seal a switch to Santiago Bernabeu.

Instead, Modric has decided to ditch Spurs and boycott their pre-season tour of America as he looks to force his move to the Spanish capital…

فلترة الانترنت وتقييد الحريات في الاردن

Cristiano Ronaldo takes aim at the farest of them all

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has bemoaned the fact that no-one believes him when he says he's an old romantic at heart.

The man with a long list of beautiful women in his past states that: "I always look at her heart. I think that is the most valuable attribute. I try to be romantic, but no one believes me!"
So, who could he be looking at next when Cupid's arrow strikes? Well....

Ferguson muscles in on Van Persie transfer saga

Robin van Persie’s potential Arsenal exit looks set to be the transfer saga of the summer, with Premier League champions Manchester City touted as the Dutchman’s most likely destination until recently.

On Friday, reports emerged that Juventus had told the striker of their desire to pair him with Liverpool’s Luis Suarez in Turin, with Sir Alex Ferguson also revealing that Manchester United had launched a bid to snatch the 29-year-old away from the Emirates.

While Arsene Wenger remains hopeful of keeping his star man, Sir Alex has moved to make sure he is in prime place to make a shock swoop for the striker…

Friday, July 20, 2012

Beckham hits back on the pitch after his Team GB snub

Team GB will take on Brazil on Friday ahead of the Olympic Games but David Beckham will not be present despite the midfielder's key role in helping to bring the sporting showpiece to London in the first place.

Stuart Pearce has earned widespread criticism over the England international's exclusion from the squad for the Games as Team GB prepare to face Senegal on July 26.

Beckham himself, however, has let his football do the talking by scoring four goals in his past three games for MLS side LA Galaxy to remind Team GB just what they are missing...

Zlatan makes a big impression after arriving in Paris

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's move to Paris Saint-Germain was confirmed on Wednesday, with the Sweden international arriving at Parc des Princes in a deal that, combined with Thiago Silva's switch, will see the French club pay AC Milan around £51.5 million.
The striker has claimed his move to the French capital from Serie A side AC Milan is "another dream come true", as he sealed his place in the record books as the most expensive player ever.

And with Zlatan fever set to take over in Paris, the 30-year-old is on course to make another big impression on one of Europe's top leagues...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wenger halts Van Persie's Great Escape

Robin van Persie may have declared his intention not to renew his current contract with Arsenal, but the Gunners have no plans to allow their captain to exit the Emirates Stadium this summer.
After a superb campaign in north London last year, the Dutchman is keen to ply his trade elsewhere, with speculation over a move to current Premier League champions Manchester City refusing to go away.

However, Arsene Wenger is prepared to play hard ball with Van Persie in order to keep his star striker for a final season…

Uefa stun the world with shock Best Player in Europe Award nominee

Things just keep getting better for Fernando Torres, with the Chelsea striker a shock member of Uefa's 32-man shortlist for the European Player of the Year Award.
After another campaign filled with stutters, the Spaniard rounded off the footballing year by enjoying Champions League glory with the Blues before helping Spain to Euro 2012 success, in turn grabbing the top goalscorer award in Poland and Ukraine.

Yet despite the 28-year-old's turnaround in form towards the end of the season, his inclusion amongst Europe’s top players comes as something of a surprise…

Monday, July 16, 2012

Can Totti's dog save Serie A?

Francesco Totti just can't do anything wrong - a skill that appears to have translated to his pets, past and present.

Ariel, a labrador whom Totti donated at a young age to be trained as a professional sea rescue dog, made headlines on Sunday when it emerged that she had saved an eight-year-old girl and 64-year-old man from drowning in the Sant'Agosto area.
With the animal's life-saving abilities now proven, the young mutt may now want to help by bailing out some of Italy's biggest clubs to help make a real game of it in Serie A...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Happy Bastille Day as Thiago Silva continues French revolution

Paris Saint-Germain's summer revamp continued on Saturday after the Ligue 1 club confirmed the signing of AC Milan defender Thiago Silva.

The Brazil international moved to Carlo Ancelotti's side for a fee in the region of €42 million and penned a five-year deal with the French club.

With Ancelotti already having bolstered his attacking options with the signing of Ezequiel Lavezzi from Napoli this summer, the Italian is likely to strengthen his squad further by completing a move for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.


Carroll forced out by Borini and beaming Rodgers

Andy Carroll's future at Liverpool looks increasingly uncertain following the signing of Fabio Borini from Roma on Friday.

The England international's form improved towards the end of last season but new Reds boss Brendan Rodgers revealed earlier this week that he would consider sending the striker out on loan.

West Ham have already expressed an interest, while former club Newcastle United have been linked with a loan move, so could Borini's arrival force the £35 million man out of the Anfield exit door?

Money talks as Zlatan & Thiago head for Paris

The news that AC Milan have accepted a €60 million (£47m) offer from Paris Saint-Germain for star duo Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva sent eyebrows skyward this week.
Yet the Serie A giants' well-documented financial problems means that offloading the pair can save the club a sizeable chunk of money in salaries as well as wiping off a significant slice of the club's mounting debt.

With PSG now backed by big-spending Qatari owners, money appears to be no object for the Ligue 1 side, and simply irresistible for AC Milan.

And the Oscar goes to ... Chelsea!

Brazilian starlet Oscar is hot property at the moment and Chelsea look to have gazumped Premier League rivals Tottenham with a £20 million bid for the talented teenager, as exclusively revealed by Goal.com.
Andre Villas-Boas had hoped to tempt the Internacional man to White Hart Lane with a £15m bid but their London rivals are now in advanced negotiations with the South American side ahead of a summer move.

The youngster has already been likened to compatriot and Real Madrid man Kaka, a man who has often been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, but this time it seems that the Blues have got their man

Russia manager candidates get all dolled up

Following Dick Advocaat's resignation from his post as coach after Euro 2012, Russia have revealed their short-list for his replacement with some familiar names at the top of the list.

Pep Guardiola, Fabio Capello and Harry Redknapp have all been tipped to take over the job and take charge of the side that failed to make it out of their group in Poland and Ukraine.

One man, who seems to have ruled himself out of the running though is Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini after he signed a new deal with the Premier League champions, leaving the path clear for the other contenders.

Moneybags Mancini leaves Russia in the cold

Roberto Mancini's new Manchester City contract has kept Russia from luring him away from the Premier League champions.

The World Cup 2018 hosts are currently looking for a top-class manager to take over from Dick Advocaat, who parted ways with the nation after their group stage exit at Euro 2012.

Mancini was rumoured to be top of their list, alongside the likes of Fabio Capello and Pep Guardiola, after the Italian took the Blues to their first league title in over 40 years last season.

The Italian's side beat Manchester United on goal difference in the end after two dramatic stoppage-time goals allowed them to beat QPR and snatch the title from the Red Devils' grasp, something that City are keen to build on with the Italian manager...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Deschamps calls on old friends as Ribery, Nasri et al get binned

 He was, then he wasn't, but now he definitely is. On Sunday it was announced that Didier Deschamps had officially become national team coach of France.

The former Les Bleus midfielder will have to get the side's house in order after a tumultuous Euro 2012 campaign that saw bust-ups involving Hatem Ben Arfa, Alou Diarra and, most explosively, Samir Nasri.
The France campaign at World Cup 2010 was also marred by internal strife and Deschamps will be keen to instill the kind of discipline and harmony that saw France win world football's biggest prize on home soil in 1998 before further triumph at Euro 2000.

Under pressure to weed out the trouble-makers and bring glory back to Les Bleus, could Deschamps turn to the successful class of '98 in order to get the job done?

الشوابكة VS منصور مراد

Villas-Boas first in line for Man City's summer sale

With Emmanuel Adebayor edging closer to a permanent move to Tottenham, Manchester City are set to complete the first sale in what is likely to be a large clear-out at Eastlands this summer.

The Premier League champions are keen on significantly shrinking their staggering wage bill by getting rid of several fringe players, with Roque Santa Cruz, Kolo Toure and Adam Johnson all tipped to leave the Etihad Stadium before the end of August.

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas may have pounced first, but he is likely to be joined by other managers in a summer sale which could offer some real bargains.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Van Gaal in the deep end with Netherlands job

After a disastrous Euro 2012 campaign which included squabbles within the squad and a string of toothless displays, Louis van Gaal has now been handed the task of getting Netherlands back on track.
A trio of dismal performances in Group B last month condemned Netherlands to an early exit and led to the resignation of Bert van Marwijk.

With a raft of Dutch players airing their differences with each other in public at last month's tournament, Van Gaal will step into the Oranje hotseat for the second time in his career but will instantly face a tough test ahead of the World Cup 2014 qualifiers.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Man City face mountain challenge to stay on top of the pile

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini will take his squad to the Austrian Alps for an intense programme of pre-season training, it was revealed this week.

The Italian's training methods have not always been received favourably at the Premier League champions with double sessions reportedly having irked some members of the squad upon his arrival in 2009.

The players may be looking forward to some luxury chalet accommodation but may be less than impressed once the gruelling sessions get underway.

Regardless, it is likely to give Mario Balotelli an easy excuse to get the tabloid headlines into overdrive nice an early for the campaign so expect a little good to come out of the trip.

Wenger in shock as Van Persie drops contract bombshell

Once again, Arsene Wenger's hopes of returning Arsenal to the summit of the Premier League have been handed a devastating blow.
Robin van Persie revealed his intention not to sign a new contract on Wednesday, though the Gunners have stated their determination to keep their star striker at the club.

Manchester City have been strongly linked with a move for last season's Premier League top scorer, with reigning Serie A champions Juventus also said to be interested.

Whether this summer or next, though, it looks as if Van Persie will soon be riding off into the sunset...

Deschamps escapes the France hot seat

The fallout from France's uninspiring showing at Euro 2012 looks set to continue with Didier Deschamps reportedly turning down the chance to fill the coaching vacancy.
Laurent Blanc left his role in charge after a 2-0 quarter-final exit at the hands of eventual winners Spain, despite many tipping Les Bleus to have an outside chance of lifting the trophy.

Deschamps, a former team-mate of Blanc’s, was expected to accept the job offer after resigning from Marseille but, now, the search goes on...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Spain smash all the records at Euro 2012

Spain secured their third major international tournament victory on the trot by emphatically beating Italy 4-0 in the final of Euro 2012.

First-half goals from David Silva and Jordi Alba gave La Roja a half-time lead before late strikes from Fernando Torres and Juan Mata added a gloss to the scoreline.

Their run of trophies on the international stage is unprecedented but that was not the only record that Spain smashed in Poland and Ukraine.

Their 4-0 victory over the Azzurri was the biggest ever in a European Championship final, while Iker Casillas became the first player to win 100 international matches.

13 Spain players are the first to appear in and win two European Championship finals and Fernando Torres and Xavi are the first to score and assist respectively in two of those games.

El Toro

The Boss "Bruce Springsteen"

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lou Reed

Spain look to tiki-taka the Euro trophy home again

Spain go into the final of Euro 2012 against Italy with a chance of making history as they seek to become the first international side ever to win three successive major international tournaments.

The team's tiki-taka style of play - based on keeping possession through short passing and continuous movement of players - was once celebrated as the pinnacle of footballing perfection, but it has been derided in various quarters throughout the tournament for being boring and lacking entertainment value.

The defending champions won't mind one bit, though, as they bid to secure their place in the annals of history alongside the great international sides of the past. But first they have to find a way past an Andrea Pirlo-inspired Italy side, who they drew with 1-1 in their opening Group C clash.