Spain international Jordi Alba has committed his long-term future to Barcelona by signing a fresh five-year extension. The left-back’s previous deal with the Blaugrana was due to expire at the end of the campaign and this had recently linked him with the likes of Juventus and Manchester United ahead of the summer.
However, the speculation has now been put to bed with the Spaniard penning a new five-year deal with the Spanish champions. A statement on the club’s website read: “Barcelona and Jordi Alba have reached an agreement to renew his contract for the next five seasons, until June 30, 2024. The buyout clause is set at €500M. Over the course of the next few days, we will announce when the official signing of the new contract will be held.”
Former Barcelona forward David Villa has joined up with the Vissel Kobe squad for the first time as the club continued their preparations for the new season. He was greeted by a few familiar faces as he walked onto the training pitch.
Villa joined up with former teammate Andres Iniesta and Lukas Podolski for his first training session at the Japanese League outfit. The trio posed for pictures after the session as the Spaniard enjoyed his first training in Japan.
The star from the Athletico Madrid team is quite disappointed with the fact that he finished in the third place after Modric and Ronaldo in spite of having a great season with both the country and the club. He expressed being sad over the fact that he could not win one of the most coveted trophies in football for any individual but he was happy to put the upcoming world cup in its place.
Griezzmann has been instrumental in setting up France to be the world champions in the recently concluded World Cup in Russia and has also been a part of the campaign in the Europa League where Athletico Madrid emerged as winners.
Mexico international Javier Hernandez has paid tribute to Juan Carlos Osorio shortly after it was confirmed that he has stepped down from the managerial role with El Tri. The 57-year-old had been with the national team for the past three years where he produced a number of impressive results including a shock win over Germany at the World Cup. Despite this, Osorio snubbed the prospect of a contract extension with El Tri and he has now decided to pursue a fresh challenge elsewhere.
Amidst this, Hernandez has taken his time to praise Osorio via his Instagram account and believes the Mexican was one of the best managers he has worked under during the course of a nine-year international career, he penned: “Thank you for these three years, profe. Thanks for so much. There are mixed feelings. The thankfulness is what sticks out the most because our paths crossed.
Scottish football heavyweights Celtic are reportedly close to completing a deal for Liverpool teen star Rhian Brewster. The Scottish Premiership side are keen on acquiring the services of the teenage sensation.
Brewster is a top rated youngster at Anfield and the Reds are open to allowing him go out for further development. He played a key role as England won the Under-17 World Cup last year and was part of the young players’ former Reds coach and now Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers signed. Rodgers signed Brewster from Chelsea and is keen on working with him again at Parkhead.
With due respect to the current political turbulence between Russia and Ukraine, FIFA boss has declared to keep the two national football teams separate at 2018 World Cup finale- in case Ukraine qualifies & there is no improvement in the relation between the two Balkan nations.
“You could be certain about it”, stated the FIFA President while inquired whether the teams would be placed apart in tune with the latest hostile political climate where Kiev is accusing the Russian capital of supporting Russian separatists along east Ukraine.
Blatter was recently on a trip to the Russian capital to unveil the 2018 World Cup logo and inspect the preparations in Putin’s territory for the mega event. Amidst huge criticisms against Putin from many quarters for hosting the World Cup in a war infested scenario, the FIFA boss extended full support for the Russian head’s decision, asserting that political situations shouldn’t affect sports. There were calls to shift the upcoming World Cup to some other venue given Russia’s declining relation with Ukraine.
“A boycott can’t achieve anything & doesn’t get any positive effect”, emphasized Blatter. “FIFA is in full support of World Cup 2018 in Russia. When we got letters advising shift of the World Cup venue, we said that it’s football. We have full faith in Russia & their government.”
“Mass media must back up here”, continued the FIFA chief.”We had similar experiences in the past during the Sochi Olympic Games. However, during & after the Sochi event, there wasn’t any bad word spread regarding the Games. Being the biggest nation of the world, Russia is always under the influence of world press. Football would not only unite the country but would also prove to the entire world that the sports stand stronger in comparison to any sort of protest movement.”
The start of a new season brings forward new players to a club and in some cases new managers whilst this is not the situation of Real Madrid as they will be sticking around with Carlo Ancelotti, the man that made his debut in charge of the club by winning the Champions League and the Copa del Rey they will be however introducing new players to the pitch as well as a new third kit for this season.
The new kit was designed by Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto and features 2 dragons which are supposed to represent: ‘’the power, greatness and glory’’ of the club. This all-black kit will be worn during the Champions League journey that Real Madrid will be going through in this season.
During the unveiling of this new kit, Gareth Bale took the chance to express some of his own and the clubs’ objectives for this new campaign as the Welshman wants to make history with Real Madrid by becoming the first club to protect the Champions League silverware.
Gareth Bale said: “I think for all of us at the club, to win the Champions League was a dream last year and it was one the club has been trying to win for a while. We’re now looking to the future and want to win the Champions League again and win as many trophies as we can. We want to try and make history and be the only club to win the Champions League back-to-back. There’s always pressure at a club like Real Madrid and we love to thrive off that pressure. We’ll be doing that again this season.”
The Welshman is eager on lifting more trophies with Real Madrid but it will be easier said than done as their rivals Barcelona has strengthened their squad by signing players such as: Luis Suarez, Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu. Barcelona is also hungry for titles.
The poor run of form for Barcelona came to an end after they managed a 2-1 defeat of Athletic Bilbao in the league to stay in touch with leaders Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.
Barcelona’s form has been criticised throughout the season, while their style of play has come under increasing pressure from the home supporters. Barcelona have deviated quite a lot from the Guardiola days when they used to play with the ball at the feet of the players. Now, the team is looking for a long pass at every opportunity. Read more
Real Madrid has cemented its place in the semi finals of Nyons and all credit goes to Sanchez who controlled all the men of the opponent’s team in just only 55 minutes which decided the fate of the game. Only 10 men of the Madrid team made a 1-0 victory over the Sant-German team of Paris which visibly struggled to make their way to the nets battling through the Madrid men.
The players of Paris made an excellent start right at the beginning of the match but only after Sanchez’s active take on the match, the Paris men started losing their control over Real Madrid men. Even though lost to play with their fellow players right in the middle of the match after seeing red card for his aggressive moves, the Paris players, could not make its benefit out of this. Saint German players thought of improving their game when the Real’s became 10 from 11, but adroit skills of the Real players left no ground for the Paris men.
Striker Coman also presented an excellent show by putting up a great defense against the opponents, and Ismael Cerro also showed his acrobatic skills on the ground to make his fans happy. However, the Real Madrid men enjoyed the entire support of their thousands of fans cheering the team from the stands. But instead of becoming weak after losing one player from their team, the Real players braced up and gave a tight challenge against the Paris team.
Sanchez’s head from a corner decided the fate of the match immediately proving that performance from great players, no matter, how much they are less in number can fix victory for a match. However, the Paris Sant German team thought that, after making its place into the quarter finals, they will put up a straight battle against the Spanish club, but failed to materialize their plan and gave in to the skill and strategy of the Real Madrid players.
The match called in a great crowd at the stadium that not only cheered for the Real Madrid players but also helped improved the morale of the Spanish men.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has for the first time stated that the decision by the club to sell midfielder Mesut Ozil to Arsenal was a mistake. The German international was sold to Arsenal on the final day of the transfer window for a hefty transfer fee of £ 42.5 million. This huge transfer fee helped Real Madrid offset some of the £ 86 million they paid to Gareth Bale. Even though Ozil had a fantastic start to the season, his form has dipped in recent weeks. He was a key player for the Spanish club during the time of Mourinho.
However, there has been bad mouth between the two parties after his departure to Arsenal. Real Madrid have criticised Ozil for not being professional, while the German has claimed that it is almost impossible to make 150 appearances in three years without being professional. Ozil claimed that he did not feel wanted at Madrid when they decided to sell him in order to raise money for Bale’s transfer. Sami Khedira recently revealed that he was the first to be subjected under transfer rumours, but the club later decided to sell Ozil instead.
The 25-year-old has scored four goals in 17 appearances for Arsenal in the league, as they currently top the table after 22 matches. He was recently substituted in the 2-0 win over Fulham after a very poor performance.
“I think we made a mistake when we gave him the possibility to leave the club. However, we have fantastic strikers and don’t need a back-up after Higuain’s departure,” said Ancelotti.
Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo have been the main strikers for Real this season. Ancelotti has said that the Spanish outfit do not plan to sign players in the January transfer window and it does not exist as far as they are concerned.