Real Betis defender Bartra blasts Vinicius Jr: He remembered my mother three times…by Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Betis defender Marc Bartra has hit out at Real Madrid attacker Vinicius Junior after yesterday’s clash.Madrid won 2-1 with former Barcelona defender Bartra having a running battle with the Brazilian teen.He barked: “Vinícius was on the ground for longer than he was standing, I asked him not to dive and he called me a son of … well, he has remembered my mother three times.”Bartra offered Vinicius some advice: “He has a lot to learn, I do not think they are the right actions for a Real Madrid player.”He added: “The points escaped us, but at the level of sensations we have been very superior, that gives us a lot of confidence, it is a good line for the future.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Liverpool ace Mane: Lovren’s right! He’s one of the bestby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool ace Sadio Mane won’t hear criticism of teammate Dejan Lovren.The Croatian was trolled when he claimed “People should recognise I am one of the best defenders in the world” before the start of the season.Yet he helped Liverpool to last season’s Champions League final and his country to the World Cup final.And Mane backed him, despite sniping from other fans.He said: “I agree. Even now Dejan is one of the best defenders out there.“He went to the World Cup and we saw what he did. In football it is normal for us to give ourselves morale in major competitions. So if he said he is the best defender in the world, why not?“He was playing amazingly well, so there is no problem with that.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Marseille teammates liken Dario Benedetto to Sergio Agueroby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveValere Germain has likened Olympique Marseille teammate Dario Benedetto to Sergio Aguero.Benedetto has quickly won over his new OM teammates since arriving from Boca Juniors.”Dario Benedetto? The last time I heard (Sergio) Aguero. It’s not necessarily the same profile, but they are players who are not very tall, who fight, keep the ball very well and finish the opportunities they have,” said Germain. “So maybe he looks a little like Aguero. We hope in any case that he will do as good a season that what Aguero will do with (Manchester) City.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry: These 3 helped me at Arsenalby Paul Vegas20 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry has named former three team-mates who helped him during his time with Arsenal.The German international fired himself back into the headlines this week when he scored four times for Bayern Munich during their 7-2 win over Tottenham in north London.Gnabry told The Athletic of Robin van Persie: “He always told me to go for it.“That I could do it when I got my first few minutes on the pitch.“As a young player, his words meant a lot to me.“He was a great help, as were Mesut [Ozil] and Lukas [Podolski]. They encouraged me by telling me about their problems and giving useful advice.“I was lucky that I could learn from them.”“As much as I loved Arsenal and being in London, I realised that I needed to play regularly.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Police investigate three Brighton fans after racist incidentsby Ian Ferris17 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveThree Brighton fans are under investigation by Sussex Police following two separate incidents of racism at the club’s Amex Stadium, reports BBC Sport.The first incident involved two fans and took place at an Under-23 fixture against Tottenham on 27 September.The second occurred during Saturday’s win over Spurs, with one person arrested by police at the stadium.Brighton chief executive Paul Barber condemned the behaviour and thanked fans who reported the incidents.”It is very encouraging that in both incidents our stewards were alerted to this totally unacceptable behaviour by other Albion fans and, working with Sussex Police, our staff were able to take swift action, which hopefully will increase the chances of a conviction,” Barber said. TagsPremiership NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say
Twitter/@Fine_and_Tandy Twitter/@Fine_and_TandyLouisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino has had a rough season in the PR department, between the alleged sex scandal rocking his program and the way he acted following his team’s loss to Kentucky on Saturday. One writer believes that the recent developments have vaulted him into a league of his own – one you don’t want to be in.FOX Sports’ Aaron Torres believes that Pitino is now the “least likable figure in college sports.” Here’s his thought process:…He’s a man who has proven to have virtually no moral compass off the court, and on the court, has a program that is currently in the midst of the NCAA’s crosshairs. And yet despite all that, despite the fact that he continues to make an embarrassment of both his school and himself, he found time to put himself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons again this weekend. That man is Rick Pitino, and while fans continue to dislike Coach K, Calipari and Saban for reasons only known to them, I am here to say that Pitino is, without a doubt, the most impossible person to like in all of college sports. And since no one else is going to call him out for making a fool of himself Saturday I will do so here. Obviously, coaches stick around much longer than players in college athletics, so they’re going to make up the majority of any kind of list like this. Pitino certainly has his fair share of questionable incidents over the years to justify a spot on here.But is he the least likable of all? You can read Aaron’s entire column here.
In the new era where transfer fees of £50 million or more are spent on a regular basis, money is everything in football.There is no doubt that clubs can buy success in the beautiful game but with the advent of Financial Fair Play, they have to bring in money in order to spend it.Here are the 20 clubs with the highest revenue in the world, according to the Deloitte Football Money League from the 2017-18 season.
When it comes to international football with Argentina, Lionel Messi has been on a sabbatical.The Barcelona star has won everything there is to win at club level, but international glory continues to elude him.AdChoices广告While he boasts an Olympic gold medal and won the Under-20 World Cup, he has yet to win a single senior honour with his country, despite featuring at four World Cups and four Copas America. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Of those eight major tournaments he has played in, the Barca forward has been a beaten finalist on four occasions and recent failures have left the star questioning his future with the national team.With Copa America 2019 on the horizon this June, Goal takes a look at Messi’s current international hiatus and whether or not he will return to the fold.Has Lionel Messi retired from playing for Argentina?There has been no official announcement to say that Messi has retired from international duty with Argentina, so he is, in theory, still available for selection.The Barca star has previously retired though, famously quitting after the disillusionment of Copa America Centenario in 2016, when Argentina lost the final against Chile.A repeat of the 2015 final, the Albiceleste suffered a penalty shootout defeat with Messi missing his spot-kick. It was his third consecutive loss in a major final with Argentina and his fourth overall.”I tried my hardest. It’s been four finals, and I was not able to win,” a despondent Messi told reporters at the time.”I tried everything possible. It hurts me more than anyone, but it is evident that this is not for me. I want more than anyone to win a title with the national team, but unfortunately, it did not happen.”However, following widespread appeals from players, supporters and even politicians, he reversed his decision to retire in August that year, two months later.While he came back and dragged Argentina to the World Cup in Russia, his previous decision to retire after serial disappointment understandably has fans on edge.When was the last time Lionel Messi played for Argentina?Messi’s last appearance in an Albiceleste shirt came in the summer of 2018 at the World Cup in Russia.He featured in each of Argentina’s matches at the tournament, but, as has become a recurring theme, his last game was a crushing disappointment: a quarter-final defeat to France, which took place on June 30.Les Bleus triumphed 4-3 in the game and, while Messi did not score himself, he supplied assists for Gabriel Mercado and Sergio Aguero.The loss was another devastating blow for the forward, who is, no doubt, all too aware that it could potentially be his last World Cup, given that he will be approaching 35 by the time of the 2022 edition in Qatar.Ahead of the tournament, he hinted that he could retire once again, but permanently this time. “I don’t know,” Messi told Sport. “It will depend how we do, how it ends.”Will Lionel Messi play for Argentina at Copa America 2019?As one would expect, the question of whether or not Messi will play for Argentina again is a serious point of concern in the country.Any team that has been shorn of their best player is prone to suffer, let alone a player widely considered to be among the greatest of all time.Argentina have played six games since their elimination from the World Cup, including high profile friendlies against Brazil and Mexico, but Messi has not been involved in any of them.However, it must be said that the Barcelona captain was not the only notable absentee from those games, with boss Lionel Scaloni using experimental squads to identify which players are worthy of selection.Argentina’s next game is a friendly against Venezuela, which is scheduled for March 22 and will, crucially, be played in Spain, something that conveniently makes things a little easier for Catalunya-based Messi.Goal understands that Messi will be included in the panel for the game and the noises emanating from those within the Argentina camp have all pointed to the likelihood that Messi will not retire any time soon.Scaloni told reporters in November that he believed Messi would play for the team again and, in December, he expressed further confidence in that notion.”We are going to try for him to join us in 2019, we have pending talks and we are optimistic that it will be positive,” said the Argentina coach.”For us it is something important. Any coach would like to coach him, myself more than any.”Messi’s Argentina team-mate Mercado admitted that it was simply “not the same” without the Barca star, telling Goal: “We have to respect his decision.”He has his reasons for wanting to take time out and if he wants to consider a return at some point, that will be really important.”All Argentineans are waiting for him with open arms, so we have to wait and see what will happen.”Argentina’s 🔟?Messi or nothing! pic.twitter.com/75EZOXc23V— Goal (@goal) September 11, 2018Diego Maradona has passionately defended Messi in the past, hitting out at those who laid all the blame for Argentina’s inability to triumph in the international arena squarely at the 31-year-old’s feet.However, Maradona subsequently expressed the view that Messi will feature again for his country, but warned – as he has done before – that they will struggle in his absence if he elects not to play any more.”I think so,” Maradona told Marca when asked if he thought the star would return. “We will see, because if not then we are in trouble.”Another Argentine icon, Juan Roman Riquelme, says he has “no doubt” that Messi will play for the team again. The former Boca Juniors star told Fox Sports Argentina: “Looking at it from the outside, I think he will come back. He loves playing for Argentina.”Carlos Tevez, who won 76 caps for Argentina over the course of his career, believes that Messi is “the soul” of the national team and the country.”As a player and as an Argentine I tell him that we need him, that he tries to rest, that he keeps a cool head and that we need him,” Tevez told ESPN after Argentina’s World Cup elimination.”We need him because he is the soul of Argentina and, as long as he continues playing football, it has to be that way because he is Argentina’s biggest idol and he has to take that responsibility.”However, while most people are eager for Messi to return, Juan Sebastian Veron is adamant that Argentina need to stop relying on the Rosario native so much, particularly as he moves into the autumn of his career.”It’s time to build a group,” the former Manchester United and Lazio midfielder told ESPN Argentina. “Obviously, if Leo is eager [to be part of the national team], they would need to involve him little by little.”I think we have to prepare the base and once and for all think about a team and not think about someone who can save us.
Chelsea’s transfer ban may have scuppered Darius Johnson’s prospects of a contract at Stamford Bridge, but the teenager is now aiming to grasp his chance in Netherlands after previously being on the brink of giving up on football.Johnson has recently signed a three-year contract with Eerste Divisie side Volendam after taking a vastly different route into the professional game compared to his peers.The 19-year-old had been with non-league side Kensington & Ealing Borough FC, but he began to doubt he could make it as a professional footballer until Rising Ballers FC gave his talents exposure on social media. Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? His skills and ability earned him a trial with Chelsea and the Europa League winners are continuing to track his development after being unable to sign Johnson.Instead, Johnson headed to Netherlands for a one-week trial and impressed sufficiently to earn a deal with Volendam, where he will be tutored by former Ajax academy director Wim Jonk.Having chosen to turn his street footballer skills into ones more befitting of a professional, Johnson explains that player development is at the heart of his bold decision to trade west London for a small coastal town in North Holland.”I came for a trial with Chelsea, but they got the transfer ban and then they wanted to send me to another club in England,” Johnson told Goal. “I then ended up coming over to FC Volendam for a trial. I did very well that week and they came straight back to me and offered me a three-year professional deal.”When I found out, I was like wow. Am I really going to go to Holland? Change where I am living. It is a crazy feeling and it still doesn’t feel real. It is 100% a very big career step for me and it could lead to big things. It could lead to greater success in the Netherlands or back in England.”I will take every day seriously and be as open-minded as possible. I think coming here will mature me. I will learn how to live and cook all on my own. I know this country, though. It is a great place for development.”As a footballer, I think it is really going to help, and I will have great coaches here. For example, Wim Jonk, he was at Ajax Under-23s. He was their academy head coach. I really think he is going to help develop me and to make me a better player.”The main focus for me, because I haven’t been in the academy system, was player development.”Johnson is part of a new breed of footballer who has been able to use social media to warrant selection from a competitive pool of English talent for the chance to earn a professional deal.His two-footed touch was shown on Sky Sports show Soccer AM, which catapulted him from an unknown to a viral sensation.Johnson will now move into a different environment and he hopes to keep the skills he learned from playing in cages as he looks to add what professional coaches can give to his game.Former Blues winger Eden Hazard and his heir apparent Callum Hudson-Odoi rank among the silky dribblers’ role models as he makes his first steps in the game.He continued: “It is not going to be easy because there is still a lot of the game that I have to learn, and that’s the tactical side. I feel like I have a natural talent, so once I have a better understanding of that side of the game, I think there is nothing that can stop me.”I feel like if I was within the academy system that I wouldn’t be the same player that I was today. I am a very direct and entertaining player. I like taking on defenders, causing a lot of problems and getting goals and assists.”I want to play like Eden Hazard. I look up to Callum Hudson-Odoi, even though he is still so young. I like to play like him too. I just need to add to the other side of my game then I can do what I want. I have learned from five-a-side that I can do the skill side and I have the confidence to do the skill.”When you get to this level, you have to choose wisely what you do. Make good decisions about what you do with the ball. You change your game, but your skill is still there when it is needed.”A big part of Johnson’s choice to join Volendam was that his new coach, Jonk, helped to develop the likes of Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and Donny van de Beek at Ajax.Johnson admits that, after being turned down by a host of London clubs at 13, he thought he might never make it. He is thankful that Rising Ballers FC gave him his belief back and he is determined to never lose it again.”One hundred per cent I needed them,” Johnson says of the academy that helped him earn trials at a host of clubs. “I did have a lot of doubt. I even stopped playing football for a while when I was 16. I thought it was over. But then, when I came back around, I got that kick up the backside to keep going.”I had nothing to lose by going for it. Wow, Rising Ballers FC really got me so much exposure. They got me out there. They are my family; they have done a lot for me in snow, rain or late at night. In any conditions, we used to get out and work.”I would polish a few things up and work on making me a better player every day. Now I am here. I need to get my head down and work. I understand that everything before was hard work, but the hard work starts now.”I am ready for the challenges, the highs and lows. I need to stay level headed and keep my head down. I won’t get distracted.”It appears there is little danger of Johnson falling out of love with the game again as he awaits his debut in the Eerste Divisie next season.
COLUMBUS, OH – NOVEMBER 03: A general view as the Ohio State Buckeyes enters the field before the game against the Wisconsin Badgers on November 3, 2007 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 38-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)One of the top running backs in the 2020 class has announced his commitment.Darvon Hubbard, a four-star running back out of Arizona, has committed to Ohio State. The No. 6 player in the state also had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Notre Dame and others.The top recruit previously lived in Ohio before moving to Arizona.Hubbard says he’s coming home.I’m coming home …. #committed #GoBuckeyes ?⭕️ pic.twitter.com/w4q9QpuFsw— Hubb (@Iam_dxii) July 26, 2018Hubbard is the sixth commitment in Ohio State’s 2020 class.The Buckeyes’ 2020 class is ranked the No. 2 class in the country.