Sunday, 21 December 2014
The attacker has been in fine form for AC Milan following his move from Paris Saint-Germain, having scored eight and set up one in his 16 league appearances.
The 27-year-old says he is happy again following the move back to Serie A, despite rarely cracking a smile on the pitch.
"I must smile more. My father and my brothers tell me so," he told Telefoot. "But it’s misinterpreted because people think I’m not happy. I’m just a shy person and I think that in football, you must be fake to be loved. But I don’t like that, it's not me."
The former Roma player says he was offered a chance to stay in Ligue 1, but was attracted to Milan because of Adriano Galliani and coach Filippo Inzaghi.
"In December, PSG offered me a contract, but I already decided to leave to do something else. It was not about money, my biggest pleasure is to play football.
"When the phone rang, I learned that Inzaghi and Galliani wanted to see me and it was an honor. I was on vacation in Ibiza and they came to see me, that was proof that they wanted me."
Menez added that he hopes to become a bigger influence for France in the build up to Euro 2016.
"I haven't done anything for Les Bleus yet and I want to open a new chapter with the French national team.
"I didn’t give my all on the pitch and that is why I wasn’t called this year. I want to come back and show my qualities to help France. I came to Milan to play all the games and come back to France "
Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus has agreed a deal with Real Madrid. The Germany international is set to sign a five-year deal with the European champion.
Source: Daily Star
Sunday, December 21, 2014 8:51 AM
Tottenham preparing Berahino bid
Tottenham has made West Brom striker Saido Berahino its No.1 transfer target in January and will lodge a bid as soon as the window reopens. The 21-year-old is seen as the ideal partner for emerging star Harry Kane.
Source: The Sun
Sunday, December 21, 2014 8:50 AM
Laurent Blanc will stay until the summer
Laurent Blanc will stay at the helm of PSG at least until next summer despite PSG's bad results according to L'Equipe.
Sunday, December 21, 2014 8:23 AM
Man City readies £20m De Bruyne move
Manchester City is lining up a bid for ex-Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian failed to make the cut at the Blues and was sold to Wolfsburg but the Premier League champion is readying a £20m bid.
Source: Daily Express
Saturday, December 20, 2014 7:53 PM
Bale greenlights Man Utd move
Gareth Bale has reportedly given his approval on a move to Manchester United. The Welshman would command a fee of £80 million should he leave Madrid in the summer.
Source: Daily Express
Saturday, December 20, 2014 7:40 PM
Arsenal tests Leverkusen with Kramer bid
Arsenal will test the waters by offering Bayer Leverkusen £20 million for World Cup winner Christoph Kramer. The German midfielder, on loan at Gladbach, is believed to be available but for no less than £25m.
Source: Daily Mail
Saturday, December 20, 2014 7:35 PM
Napoli lines up Balotelli
Napoli will launch a loan bid for Mario Balotelli in January. The Liverpool forward has struggled since moving back to England in the summer and is expected to be moved on sooner rather than later.
Source: Daily Mail
Saturday, December 20, 2014 7:05 PM
Liverpool serious about Torres return
Liverpool is strongly considering a move for Fernando Torres in January. The Spaniard is currently struggling on loan at Milan and reports suggest he may be sent back to Chelsea, opening up an opportunity for the Reds.
Source: Daily Mail
Saturday, December 20, 2014 7:02 PM
Cleverley to make Villa move permanent
Tom Cleverley will make his loan move from Manchester United to Aston Villa permanent. Paul Lambert's side will spend £7.5 million to snap up the England international when the January transfer window opens.
Source: Daily Mirror
Saturday, December 20, 2014 6:48 PM
Southampton heads race for Elia
Southampton is leading the chase for Netherlands winger Eljero Elia. The 27-year-old is currently at Werder Bremen but is believed to be available for a transfer in January.
Source: Daily Mirror
Saturday, December 20, 2014 6:13 PM
Friday, 5 September 2014
Sunday, 13 July 2014
The attacking midfielder was the breakout star in Brazil, inspiring his side to a first ever appearance in the quarter-final stage by netting six times in just five games.
|GOLDEN BOOT STANDINGS|
However, after doubling his overall World Cup goals tally with five strikes during Germany's triumphant campaign, the 24-year-old is now a very serious contender to break the all-time record held by team-mate Miroslav Klose (16).
Lionel Messi, meanwhile, had high hopes of claiming the Golden Boot after racking up four goals in his first three games but the Argentina captain failed to score in the knockout stage.
Consequently, the Barcelona No.10 finishes fourth, just ahead of Netherland striker Robin van Persie on account of the fact that the Dutchman did not register any assists.
Messi, though, was pipped to third place in the standings by Neymar as his club-mate - who also set up one goal - only played five games before his tournament was ended by a back injury sustained in Brazil's quarter-final win over Colombia.
James Rodriguez, of course, also ended that game in tears but at least the Monaco man's late penalty in Fortaleza has proven no mere consolation goal, as his successful spot-kick has ultimately earned him the Golden Boot - and a place in World Cup history.
The Barcelona attacker was on the losing side in Sunday's tournament decider, with the Albiceleste going down 1-0 to Germany after extra-time in Rio de Janeiro.
However, Messi has been rewarded for carrying his side to the final, with the 27-year-old having racked up four goals and one assist in seven appearances.
In claiming the prestigious prize, Messi emulates the achievement of the man with whom he is so often compared, compatriot Diego Maradona, who skippered the Albiceleste to success in Mexico in 1986.
Messi is the third Argentine to receive the Golden Ball, with Mario Kempes having become the inaugural winner in 1978 on the back of his sensational goalscoring exploits during the country's victorious campaign on home soil.
Meanwhile, Germany's sweeper-keeper Manuel Neuer beat off competition from fellow finalist Sergio Romero, of Argentina, and Costa Rica shot-stopper Keylor Navas for the Golden Glove.
Saturday, 12 July 2014
Arsène Wenger is preparing to follow up the signing of Alexis Sanchez with a new holding midfielder and has made enquiries over this past week on Germany internationals Sami Khedira and Lars Bender.
Arsenal are also now finalising deals for two new right-backs, with Mathieu Debuchy’s £10 million move from Newcastle due to be confirmed in the next 48 hours and Atletico Madrid's Javi Manquillo also ready to arrive, probably on loan.
It is the possible addition of Khedira or Bender, however, that will most excite Arsenal fans and serve as further evidence, following the acquisitions of Sanchez and Mesut Ozil over the past year, that Wenger is again able to compete for the world’s best players.
Khedira has been one of the best midfielders at the World Cup and, although he has only got one year left on his contract at Real Madrid, the Champions League winners would still demand in excess of £20 million.
Madrid have also held talks with Khedira about a potential new contract and, while the 27-year-old would be interested in following Germany team-mates Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski to London, Arsenal would also face competition from across Europe.
After having a £19 million bid rejected last summer, Wenger is also still a big admirer of Bender, who is younger and likely to be cheaper than Khedira. Bender was in Joachim Low’s provisional 30-man Germany World Cup squad but was forced to withdraw following a thigh injury.
The arrivals of Manquillo and Debuchy will almost certainly mean that Carl Jenkinson will be loaned out this season, with Wenger keen for him to play regularly at this stage in his development. Newcastle and Stoke City are among the clubs who would be interested in recruiting Jenkinson. Arsenal and Atletico are still in talks over whether the Manquillo deal should be permanent or simply a one-year loan.
Having completed his medical on Thursday before being confirmed as Arsenal’s most expensive ever striker, Sanchez is now excited by the prospect of playing in the same team as Ozil. “With Ozil in the squad Arsenal were (close) to winning the league title,” said Sanchez. “The team not only plays really good football, but the squad is really good and we can win silverware. We can achieve big things.
"Playing regularly wasn't the only reason why I came here – I came here to win the league title, the Champions League.”
As was the case with Ozil’s signing last summer, the personal touch of Wenger was critical in making the deal happen. It is understood that Sanchez also took the advice of Cesc Fabregas, his former Barcelona team-mate, before choosing Arsenal above both Liverpool and Juventus.
“I know this club has a manager that looks after his players and takes care of them as well,” said Sanchez. “I was told that he is a manager you can learn a lot with. He wants to achieve great things in football and that helped me make the decision to sign for Arsenal. Arsène Wenger's style of play is the sort of style the Chilean national team has, so therefore I am used to it.
“The manager has mentioned some certain positions, but I am not worried about it right now. The manager and I will talk about my role as soon as I start training.”
Neuer has started every game for finalists Germany, keeping a clean sheet on three occasions and impressing with his 'sweeper keeper' performance against Algeria in the round of 16.
Levante's Navas kept two clean sheets in the group stages as Costa Rica topped Group D ahead of Uruguay, Italy and England, before saving a penalty in the last-16 shootout win over Greece and pulling off a number of saves in the quarter-final loss to Netherlands.
Romero managed four clean sheets during Argentina's run to the final and stopped Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneidjer from the spot in the shootout victory over Netherlands in the semi-finals.
Guillermo Ochoa misses out despite consistently impressing during Mexico's run to the knockout stages, while Tim Howard is also overlooked despite a record-breaking 16 saves during USA's match against Belgium.
Fifa's Technical Study Group, comprised of selected coaches and football analysts, will determine the winner after Sunday's World Cup final.
Lionel Messi, Neymar and Arjen Robben are among the nominees for the Golden Ball award for best player at the World Cup, while Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane and Memphis Depay are shortlisted for the Best Young Player prize.
The 29-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan at Vicente Calderon after impressing in his first spell at the club in the Europa League-winning campaign in 2011-12.
However, following a lengthy spell of negotiations, the Brazilian has now signed a three-year deal with the Istanbul outfit at a reported salary of €3.5 million per year after neither Atletico nor Wolfsburg opted to extend his deal.
"I am very happy to be here. This dream finally came true," he told reporters.
"There had been contacts with Fenerbahce for several years.
"I came to a winning club and I will continue to win. I want to show my ability. I talked to my friends about Fenerbahce and I am aware of the greatness of this club."
Diego spent the latter half of the 2013-14 season on loan at Atletico, where he played a role in leading the club to a Liga title and a runners-up spot in the Champions League following his incredible long-range strike against Barcelona at Camp Nou.
City have agreed a €40 million deal with Porto, while the 23-year-old is scheduled to join pre-season training following a post-World Cup holiday.
City have prioritised the recruitment of an elite central defender to deploy alongside Vincent Kompany for over a year now. They came close to signing Mangala in January, with the investment trust that owns a percentage of the player's economic rights prepared to accept an offer below his valuation but Porto refusing it.
Delaying until the summer window opened up the possibility of other interested parties convincing Mangala to move elsewhere. Targeted by Jose Mourinho since before the manager's return to Chelsea, Mangala publicly expressed his preference for the west London club in May and refused to sign terms with any of his suitors until the end of France's World Cup campaign.
Aware that they might lose Mangala to a direct rival, City are understood to have set a deadline of Sunday for him to accept their approach. As an insurance policy, an outline deal had been put in place with Roma for Morocco international Mehdi Benatia.
The demand for physically robust defenders who are also capable ball players has seen centre-back become one of the hardest positions for Champions League clubs to fill, leading Paris Saint-Germain to spend €50m acquiring David Luiz from Chelsea at the beginning of this summer. While widely admired, Mangala does not come without an element of risk.
Brought from Standard Liege for €7.5m in 2011, Mangala played less than a 100 first-team games over his three seasons at Porto and has yet to establish himself as a starter for his national team. His form deteriorated during a difficult campaign in which the Portuguese title was ceded to Benfica.
Arguably the most successful transfer-market operators in European football, Porto have entered discussions to bring Portugal centre back Bruno Alves back to the club. Fenerbahce are asking for a fee of €6m for the 32-year-old, who would be expected to make a large salary sacrifice to complete the deal.
Saturday, 5 July 2014
The club's honorary president, who turned 88 this week, was reportedly taken ill after leaving a restaurant in Calle Juan Ramon Jimenez in the Spanish capital, and was rushed to the Gregorio Maranon hospital after being treated by paramedics.
It is understood the former striker suffered cardiac arrest and is now in intensive care.
A source from Madrid emergency services unit Samur told EFE: "A cardiac arrest was attended by Samur staff and they immediately transferred the patient to the Gregorio Maranon hospital."
Argentina-born Di Stefano won eight Primera Liga titles and five European Cups in a sensational decade at Santiago Bernabeu, in which time he scored over 300 goals in 396 appearances.
The former Spain international, who was made honorary president of the Spanish giants in 2000, suffered a minor heart attack in December 2005.
Sunday, 1 June 2014
Saturday, 17 May 2014
Atleti got the point they required with a 1-1 draw at Barcelona, with Diego Godin's header enough to deny the home side the win which would have seen them defend the title based on their head-to-head record.
It is a remarkable achievement for Atletico, whose budget is a fraction of those enjoyed by Barca and Real Madrid, and Villa believes a great work ethic – and the brilliance of Simeone – proved vital.
He told Canal Plus: "Cholo [Simeone] is everything here. He is the courage, he is the reflection. With his knowledge and a lot of warriors, we have achieved.
"I'm very happy to have put the icing on this successful season."
Atleti's hopes hung in the balance after Alexis Sanchez put Barca in front after 34 minutes until Godin’s towering header at the start of the second half proved enough for the visitors.
Former Barca striker Villa added: "This match was a reflection of the year. We gave all we had. We had everything against us today, with two injuries [to Diego Costa and Arda Turan], but we learned how to react.
"We have been better than our rivals in the Liga.
"The last 10 minutes of the first half showed this. Another team, against Barcelona, in their stadium would have collapsed, but not us."
Next up for Atletico is the Champions League final against city rivals Real in a week’s time.
"We have to celebrate this Liga title, there is time to prepare for the final. There is still the desire to keep going," said Villa.
On the final whistle, and having witnessed Atletico fight out a 1-1 draw which preserved their three-point lead at the top of the table, the Blaugrana fans broke out in spontaneous applause.
It was quickly recognised by Atleti boss Diego Simeone, who in turn waved his thanks before later remarking: "It was one of the nicest things in football. Barca fans, players and coaches showed they have class."
The same Barca fans were not so generous towards their own team, however, with whistles pouring down from the stands at full-time.
A win would have been enough for the Catalans to retain the title and it looked on the cards when Alexis Sanchez smashed in a 34th-minute opener.
But the visitors were rewarded for a strong start to the second half when Diego Godin powered in a header from a right-wing corner.
Atleti held off some concerted Barca pressure in the final 20 minutes to claim their first Liga title since 1995-96 and become the first team outside of Barcelona and Real Madrid to win the league since Valencia in 2004.
Diego Simeone's side sealed a 1-1 draw in a thrilling showdown on Sunday, with Diego Godin's header ensuring they finish three points clear of last season's champions in the table.
Barca led for the first 50 minutes thanks to Alexis Sanchez's stunning strike but were unable to find a winner and Iniesta believes they paid the price for failing to take their chances.
"It was a sad end. We had it until the end. We have to congratulate Atletico. They are deserving champions," he told Canal Plus.
"We have failed, as a group. We had chances until the last match, like them. Atletico have been better, and are champions. There is nothing to say."
Speculation has persisted this week over the future of coach Gerardo Martino, with Luis Enrique - widely reported as a prime candidate to take over at Camp Nou - stepping down from his post at Celta Vigo.
Iniesta, however, insists Barca cannot look for excuses after surrendering their domestic crown.
"It hasn't affected us, thinking about other things these last weeks. It's talk for talking. It hurts losing this league, nothing more," he added.
Barcelona needed a win to claim the title, while a draw was enough for Atletico as Diego Simeone's side went into the game with a three-point lead over Gerardo Martino's men.
Atleti were hit with a double blow early on as first Diego Costa and then Arda Turan limped off with injuries, but the Rojiblancos continued to compete in an evenly disputed first half.
But almost out of nothing, Alexis Sanchez blasted Barca into the lead with a fierce angled drive after 33 minutes.
Atletico started the second half with a bang, however, and after David Villa had hit the post, Diego Godin headed home from a corner to make it 1-1 after 49 minutes.
Lionel Messi had the ball in the net later in the half, but the Argentine's strike was correctly ruled out for offside and Atletico held on to claim La Liga by a three-point margin - their first title since 1996.
Thursday, 15 May 2014
Enyeama, who spoke from his France based said he was delighted that he was picked as Africa’s best player in France and has been totally enthralled by the huge support of Nigerians over the award, promising that he will not fail the country during Mundial 2014 in Brazil. #G
Park, who joined the Reds from PSV Eindhoven in 2005, played 205 times for United and scored 27 goals before departing to QPR in 2012. He finished his career this season with a loan spell back at PSV.
Here, we pay tribute to a player who became popular with the fans for his commitment to the Old Trafford cause…
Sum him up It’s easy to overlook Ji’s technical and tactical nous when you consider the ground he covered in matches and the sheer hard work he was willing to put in. Yet all those attributes often made him the ideal counter-balance to Cristiano Ronaldo on the opposite flank of Sir Alex Ferguson’s all-conquering side in the mid-to-late 2000s. Park was a versatile performer on either flank or when set on specific midfield missions.
Best game Arsenal will recall several troubled encounters with the Korean, who often caused them problems with his clever positional play, tactical knowhow and ceaseless running, but Ji’s man-marking job on Andrea Pirlo in 2010’s Champions League clash with AC Milan at San Siro stands out as the kind of selfless sacrifice he would make for the greater cause of the team. It was a characteristic he displayed regularly, rarely better than this.
Red remembered Commitment to the cause quickly garners favour among fans of any club, but Park rapidly endeared himself to supporters after moving from PSV in 2005 when, after a tireless Premier League debut against Everton, he was named Man of the Match. First impressions count, and for a player who became known as ‘Three-lung Park’, that was merely a sign of things to come.
What are your favourite memories of Ji-sung Park as a Red?