Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has heaped praise on Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane, saying the club will always be their home.
Both men departed Los Blancos in the summer, Ronaldo joining Juventus and Zidane resigning after back-to-back Champions League victories.
‘There are two figures that I want to refer to: the worthy successor of (Alfredo) Di Stefano and the club’s top scorer, Cristiano.
‘During nine seasons, he has been a benchmark and his achievements will be recounted from generation to generation.
‘He is an example for all those who wear the Real shirt and those who have the dream of doing so in the future. Thank you very much, Cristiano. Read more... (170 words, estimated 41 secs reading time)
Maurizio Sarri warned it may take another year before Chelsea are a match for Liverpool as he braced himself for two games in four days against the Premier League leaders.
Sarri, having seen his team drop their first points of the season in a goalless draw at West Ham on Sunday, heads to Anfield next for a Carabao Cup third round tie on Wednesday.
Jurgen Klopp’s team will then test their 100 per cent record at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening. Read more... (345 words, estimated 1:23 mins reading time)
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has ruled out the possibility of his team playing a La Liga match in the United States in the future.
As part of a 15-year deal signed with entertainment and sports group Relevent in August, the Spanish top flight wants to play at least one regular-season game a year in North America.
La Liga and Relevent hoped that the first of those would be Girona’s ‘home’ game against Barcelona in Miami on January 26, but the plan has provoked controversy ever since it first emerged. Read more... (286 words, 1 image, estimated 1:09 mins reading time)
Massimiliano Allegri has defended Cristiano Ronaldo’s slow start to life at Juventus, saying the Portuguese has nothing left to prove at the top level of the game.
Usually a prolific goalscorer for club and country, Ronaldo has netted just twice since joining the Italian champions for £100million from Real Madrid over the summer.
He was controversially red carded in the midweek Champions League win over Valencia following an altercation with defender Jeison Murillo, adding further scrutiny to his early performances for his new side.
However, speaking before Juventus’ trip to newly-promoted Frosinone on Sunday evening, Juventus manager Allegri believes it is only a matter of time before the forward comes good. Read more... (249 words, estimated 1:0 mins reading time)
The plans to stage a La Liga match in the United States has been plunged into doubt following a meeting between the Spanish FA and FIFA.
The Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales, FIFA head Gianni Infantino and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez have all voiced their disapproval of the move – which has caused discontent and havoc among managers and players – after holding a meeting in Madrid this week.
According to Spanish publication Marca, it is now ‘highly unlikely’ that plans for Barcelona to face Girona in Miami in January will go ahead amid the country’s political standoff with Catalonia. Read more... (351 words, estimated 1:24 mins reading time)
Zinedine Zidane has indicated his desire to return to management in the near future.
The former France midfielder has been taking a break since resigning as Real Madrid in May after guiding the Spanish club to a third successive Champions League title during his two-and-a-half years at the club.
Zidane is the favourite to replace Jose Mourinho at Manchester United if the Portuguese departs Old Trafford and he has suggested he is getting ready to return.
“Yes, surely. Soon I will return to training because it is what I like and is what I have done all my life,” Zidane told the Spanish broadcaster TVE. Read more... (275 words, estimated 1:06 mins reading time)
Saul is the new Steven Gerrard, Luis Enrique is an inspired choice as new coach, and bring on next summer’s Final Four. They were some of the reactions to Spain’s 6-0 win over Croatia.
The only negative on a night when Croatia had been made to look like minnows was the fact that all this came two months too late for the World Cup finals.
The magnitude of Luis Enrique’s start certainly magnified the chance that was lost in Russia. Saul – the new engine at the heart of Spain’s midfield – did not play a single minute of football at the World Cup. Read more... (626 words, estimated 2:30 mins reading time)
The first CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post of the 2018/19 season looked at the transfers that took place over the summer and identified who the bargains were. What players were purchased below their fair market values? They also identified the players that teams overpaid the most for.
According to the report, the bargain of the summer was Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who moved to Real Madrid for €40m, a €22.6m discount on his real market value of €62.6m. Read more... (320 words, estimated 1:17 mins reading time)
FIFPro, the worldwide players’ union, and FIFA have announced the 55 names in contention for the FIFA FIFPro World11 2018.
The FIFA FIFPro World11 is decided by the players, for the players and involves votes from almost 25,000 professional footballers from 65 different countries. During voting, they each select one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards.
This year’s list includes some familiar names, and standout statistics. Ten of last year’s World11 return to make the 55-man list, with Real Madrid the most-represented club side, seeing a full 11 players make the cut. Spain (nine) and France (eight) are the countries with the most players represented on the list. Read more... (618 words, estimated 2:28 mins reading time)
Scotland got their Nations League campaign off to a winning start with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Albania at Hampden Park.
Steven Naismith was guilty of an awful first-half miss but made up for it shortly after half-time when his header went in off Albanian defender Berat Djimsiti.
The in-form Hearts striker then added a second goal, punishing an error from goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha, as Scotland’s persistent pressure eventually paid off.
Bekim Balaj was guilty of spurning Albania’s best chances, firing straight at Allan McGregor when the score was 1-0 before later blazing a volley over the crossbar from close range. Read more... (630 words, estimated 2:31 mins reading time)