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Rafa Returns To Madrid

Rafa-Real-Madrid1Rafa Benitez was in tears on Wednesday as he fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition taking over Real Madrid. The Madrid-born former Liverpool manager gave one of the shortest opening speeches of any coach taking over the club in the last 15 years.

‘It’s emotional to come home,’ he said. “Today is an emotional day, coming back here, to my home. I hope that things go well, we win trophies, the team play well and I can repay the faith that has been shown in me through my work”.

sergio-agueromcfcThe rumors have already begun in the Spanish newspapers that Real Madrid want to make Manchester City star Sergio Agüero their next galáctico.

Other than Paul Pogba, there are very few really great players that Real Madrid could buy to usher in the Rafa Benitez era.

Rumors of Aguero to Real are not new. Even since he left Madrid in 2011 to join City there have been stories that he wants to return to the Spanish capital

Aguero ended last season as the Premier League’s top scorer with 26 goals, five more than second-placed Harry Kane. This came despite the Argentinian missing a month of football from 6 December until 10 January because of a knee injury.

Rodgers-TaxiAccording to various media outlets, Brendan Rodgers will remain as Liverpool manager following a review of last season with Tom Werner, the club chairman, and Mike Gordon, the president of Fenway Sports Group. The question for Liverpool fans is whether that is a good move or not?

Pressure had been building on the club to remove Rodgers after a disappointing season that culminated in a 6-1 loss at Stoke City, Liverpool’s heaviest defeat in 52 years. Liverpool failed to win a trophy for the third year of his reign and failure to qualify for the Champions League, despite spending £117 million in new players.

Chelsea-ChampionsThe Premier League has released the payouts that clubs received from the leagues new TV deals, and the size of the payouts make it clear that Financial Fair Play in Europe is doomed to fail.

Chelsea’s Premier League title success earned them £9 9 million in total prize money according to official figures, the most ever earned by a single club in one season from central funds.

The precise eye-watering sum was £98,999,554, made up of £24.9 million ‘merit’ cash for finishing top of the table, £19.98 million ‘facility fees’ for being in so many live TV games, plus equal shares of the domestic TV deal (nearly £22 million), overseas TV deals (£27.8 million) and commercial income from the leagues sponsors, such as Barclays (£4.4 million).

Emirates Cup 2015 Line-Up Confirmed

emirates_cup2015The  Emirates Cup has quickly become one of the best pre-season touraments and the 2015 edition is shaping up to have some great games.

Olympique Lyonnais, Villarreal and VfL Wolfsburg will join Arsenal for the Emirates Cup 2015 on Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26.

One of the highlights will be Nicklas Bendtner’s return to the Emirates Stadium with Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, who will take on Santi Cazorla’s former club Villarreal in the opening match of the tournament at 2pm on Saturday, July 25. Arsenal will then host Lyon at 4.20pm.

The Demise Of Inter Milan

inter-championsleagueIt will be a strange season in Milan next year as both Milan and Inter will miss out on European football for the first time in 60 years.

While only Real Madrid have won more European Cups than AC Milan‘s seven, the red side of the city has not been a real European power since 2007. Inter on the other hand were crowned champions of Europe as recently as five years ago.

In a memorable night at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid five years ago the Inter side that defeated Bayern Munich 2-0 in the Champions League final contained Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso, Wesley Sneijder, Samuel Eto’o, a healthy blend of experience and top class talent which fired Inter to the pinnacle of Europe.

Mourinho-WengerArsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho will renew their rivalry on 2 August when Premier League champions Chelsea and FA Cup winners Arsenal meet at Wembley in the FA Community Shield, the official opening of the 2015-16 football season in England.

While it’s technically a friendly, this is a match that neither Mourinho or Wenger will want to lose. Both teams are expected to challenge for the title next season, and the winner will take an early lead in the head games that these managers like to play with each other.

Rafa-BenitezThe Rafael Benitez era in Naples ended in misery as his side failed to secure a Champions League spot on the final day of the Serie A season.

Victory over third-placed Lazio at home would have sent Napoli into the Champions League qualifying round in August, but they lost 4-2 and will instead play in the Europa League.

It could have been so different though if Gonzalo Higuain, who is linked with a big money move away from Napoli this summer, had not squandered a chance to put Napoli up 3-2 with only 14 minutes remaining, but he blazed his penalty over the crossbar and Napoli folded soon after.

RVP-and-RooneyPersistent rumors will not go away that Champions League finalists Juventus want Manchester united striker Robin van Persie to join them this summer, and it appears that United boss Louis van Gaal will not stand in RVP’s way if he wants a move.

After a disappointing season, it appears that the 31-year-old striker will not be seen as United’s first-choice striker next season, and all indications are that United do not want to offer van Persie an extension on his contract which ends next summer..

Barca-Sopa-WinnersLionel Messi scored another wonder goal as Barcelona moved a step closer to completing the treble on Saturday night with a 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Copa del Rey final. That is how dominant the are. This Barca side is on the cusp of being even better than the 2011 Pep Guardiola side and I did not think that was possible.

messi is possibly playing the best football of his career at the moment and the addition of Suarez and Neymar gives Barca an attacking threat that even the 2011 did not have . Barca can still pass you to death, but with that attacking triumvirate they can also be deadly on the counter-attack now.