Saturday, August 3, 2013

Xabi Alonso fires Barcelona warning

The Spaniard believes the Bernabeu outfit is already competitive ahead of the new season and paid tribute to assistant coach Zinedine Zidane
Xabi Alonso has fired a warning to Barcelona by claiming Real Madrid is in rude health after bolstering its squad in the transfer window.

Los Blancos were beaten to La Liga by Barcelona last season and lost the Copa del Rey final to Atletico Madrid, resulting in the departure of Jose Mourinho and the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti in the Madrid hotseat.

The Italian has wasted little time in stamping his mark on the side, bringing in the likes of Isco, Asier Illarramendi, Dani Carvajal and Casemiro, as well as chasing

Wenger: Arsenal doesn't need Suarez

The Gunners manager is confident in the ability of his squad to challenge for the title, even if it is not successful in its pursuit of the Uruguay striker
Arsene Wenger has insisted Arsenal can win the Premier League this season without signing Luis Suarez from Liverpool.

Wenger has so far only added 20-year-old Yaya Sanogo to his squad despite strong speculation linking the club to the wantaway Liverpool striker.

But the Frenchman insisted in the wake of the club’s 2-2 draw with Napoli in Saturday’s Emirates Cup encounter that he felt confident in his

Mourinho slams Madrid 'politics'

The Portuguese has hit out at his former club by claiming there was not enough emphasis on football
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho has slammed the "politics" surrounding Real Madrid for bringing his tenure at the club to an end.

The 50-year-old was shown the door after a desperately disappointing final season that saw Los Blancos surrender their Liga crown to Barcelona and lose the Copa del Rey final to

Monaco 5-2 Tottenham: Spurs miss Bale as Falcao inspires hosts to easy win

The injury-plagued north London club, without the in-demand Welsh star, was ruthlessly exposed at the Stade Louis II, with the French side's Colombian striker bagging a double

Tottenham was given a worrying taste of life without Gareth Bale as it slumped to a 5-2 defeat against Monaco in the penultimate match of its preseason campaign.

Right back Andrea Raggi opened the scoring at the Stade Louis II with a well-executed volley, before the Ligue 1 outfit upped the tempo in the second half and struck two quick goals through Lucas Ocampos and Radamel Falcao.

Substitute Harry Kane pulled a goal back but any hopes of a comeback were short-lived as Monaco's record signing doubled his tally before Mounir Obbadi bagged the

Pogba wants Pirlo's position

The Frenchman has his eye on the Italy veteran's spot in the team, while stressing that the Bianconeri are stronger than last campaign when they lifted the Scudetto again.

Paul Pogba has his eyes on Andrea Pirlo's position in the Juventus team ahead of the new Serie A season.
The former Manchester United midfielder, 20, has just begun preseason training after his international exploits with France, winning the Under-20 World Cup.

Pogba started 18 league games for Juve last

Suarez worth as much as Bale, claims Rodgers

The Liverpool manager suggests Arsenal should pay closer to the 100 million euros Real Madrid is set to splash out if the Gunners want to sign the wantaway Reds striker
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers thinks striker Luis Suarez is worth as much as Gareth Bale and has reiterated his desire to keep hold of the Uruguay international.

Arsenal is keen to sign the controversial striker and tabled two bids in July, with Suarez also signalling his intention to leave Anfield, while Real Madrid is in negotiations with Spurs over a 115 million-euro deal for

Arsenal 2-2 Napoli: Late Koscielny leveler salvages draw for plucky Gunners

After a sloppy first half in which Rafa Benitez's side scored twice through Lorenzo Insigne and Goran Pandev, the hosts rallied with second half strikes to secure a deserved draw 

Arsenal fought back from two goals down in its Emirates Cup opener to salvage a 2-2 draw with Napoli.

It was a typical Arsenal performance in that individual errors initially cost the Gunners, before a rousing late comeback staved off defeat and kept their tournament hopes alive.

Lorenzo Insigne opened the scoring after a mistake from Carl Jenkinson, before Goran Pandev doubled the advantage midway through the first 45 minutes. Olivier Giroud scored a spectacular bicycle kick beyond

Bale left out of Tottenham squad for Monaco friendly

The Welshman has not travelled to the south of France with the rest of Andre Villas-Boas' squad as he continues to edge closer towards a world record transfer to Real Madrid
Tottenham forward Gareth Bale has been left out of the club's squad for its preseason friendly with Monaco.

The 24-year-old forward is believed to be nursing a minor injury but his absence will only add more fuel to the speculation over his big-money move to

Dani Alves: Martino has given Barcelona back the intensity we missed last year

The Brazilian defender is confident that the Blaugrana will be successful under the Argentine, who has succeeded Tito Vilanova at the helm.
Daniel Alves has heaped praise on new Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino and claims that the Argentine has brought back the intensity that the Catalans were missing last season.

Martino replaced Tito Vilanova at the helm this summer following the latter's decision to step down due to his ongoing health issues and Alves is confident that the Blaugrana will

Liverpool 2-0 Olympiakos: Suarez cheered on Anfield return as Reds claim victory in Gerrard testimonial

Goals from midfield duo Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson secured Brendan Rodgers' side's fifth win in as many games as the Reds continued their buildup to the new season

Liverpool celebrated the career of Steven Gerrard with a routine 2-0 win over Olympiakos in the England captain's testimonial at Anfield.

Goals from midfielders Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson made it five wins from five for Brendan Rodgers' side during

Cristiano is not the 'real' Ronaldo - Mourinho

The two-time Champions League winner has previously claimed that his compatriot "thinks he knows everything"
Jose Mourinho has taken another swipe at Cristiano Ronaldo by claiming that that his fellow Portuguese is not the "real" Ronaldo.

The Chelsea boss, who recently stated that his former charge at Real Madrid "thinks he knows everything", insinuated that he has more respect for Brazil legend Ronaldo, with whom he worked during his time at Barcelona under the guidance of Bobby Robson.

"I was manager for the first time in the 2000 year but, before that, I was assistant in

Chiellini: Serie A history is against us

The Italy international believes Juventus has the quality to win a third successive Scudetto but is wary of the stiff competition it faces in 2013-14
Giorgio Chiellini is confident that Juventus has what it takes to win its third consecutive Serie A title in 2013-14, but has warned it will be no easy task.

The Turin giants finished last season with a nine-point lead over runners-up Napoli to secure its second Scudetto in a row and the defender is hopeful of winning a third this term - although he acknowledges that sides have struggled to achieve the feat in the past.

"History dictates that winning three

Anderson ready to challenge for regular role at Manchester United

The Brazilian is unhappy with his string of fitness problems at Old Trafford but says he is preparing to play every game under new manager David Moyes this season
Manchester United midfielder Anderson admits he has been frustrated by his form and injuries but insists he is ready to challenge for a regular first-team place under David Moyes.

The 25-year-old, who was signed from Porto in the summer of 2007, made just nine Premier League starts last season due to fitness problems.

"It’s not just the fans who’ve been frustrated, I’ve been

FIFA blames cocaine and marijuana for failed doping tests

The governing body's chief medical officer claims positive testing in football is frequently as a result of recreational drug use
FIFA chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak believes there is no systematic doping in football, blaming the 70 to 90 positive tests per year on the use of cocaine and marijuana.

The World Anti-Doping Authority (Wada) revealed earlier this month that footballers across the world produced 250 urine samples which led to further investigation by drugs testers in 2012, but football's governing body has stressed that recreational drug use is often to blame for

Mourinho: Chelsea style must change to suit Torres

The Blues boss believes the Spaniard's teammates have not yet adapted to his required type of football but remains confident he can get the best out of the £50 million man
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes Fernando Torres has struggled to make his mark in London because his teammates have not adapted to him.

Torres joined Chelsea from Liverpool in January 2011 for 50 million pounds but has scored just 34 goals in 131 appearances for the London-based English Premier League club, prompting plenty of speculation the 29-year-old Spanish striker is past his

Benitez: Higuain will face Arsenal

The Napoli coach has confirmed that the Argentine is set to debut against the Gunners, having joined from Real Madrid in July
Napoli coach Rafael Benitez has confirmed that "top-class" Gonzalo Higuain is set to make his debut against Arsenal on Saturday.

The Argentina international joined the Serie A runner-up from Real Madrid as a replacement for Edinson Cavani in July, with the Gunners failing in their attempts to sign the Argentine attacker.

Now he is set to feature against the

Neymar says goals will come

The forward was thrilled to face his former club on Friday night and is confident his name will soon grace the scoresheet
Neymar has insisted goals will soon come in a Barcelona jersey after the Blaugrana's 8-0 win over Santos.

A Cesc Fabregas double and goals from Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez, Pedro, Adriano, Jean Marie Dongou and an own goal by Leonardo, secured the

Martino: Fabregas must decide future

The midfielder scored twice in his side's 8-0 win over Santos on Friday and his coach has pleaded with him to remain at Camp Nou
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino says Cesc Fabregas must decide his own future, amid speculation he could join Manchester United.

The 26-year-old has attracted intense and public transfer interest from the Red Devils, who are believed to have fielded a final 40 million euro offer for the

Barcelona 8-0 Santos: Blaugrana savage Brazilians in eight-goal rout

Tata Martino's side produced a sublime attacking display to claim the Joan Gamper Trophy for the 36th time

Barcelona won the 48th edition of the Joan Gamper Trophy in style, thumping Santos 8-0 at Camp Nou.

Strikes from Lionel Messi, a Leo own goal, Alexis Sanchez and Pedro put Barcelona firmly in control at the halfway mark before second half goals from Fabregas (2), Adriano and Jean-Marie Dongou gave the Catalan side the biggest winning margin in the

Boateng glad he didn't quit Milan

The Ghana international considered leaving Italy after he was the victim of an episode of racism, but is content with his decision to remain at San Siro
AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng has revealed he is glad he decided against quitting Serie A after being racially abused last season.

The 26-year-old walked off the pitch in a friendly match against Italian side Pro Patria in January after being the subject of racist remarks from fans.

But after initially contemplating leaving Italy in a bid to

Friday, August 2, 2013

Clint Dempsey set to be announced as a Sounders player

The USA captain is set for a sensational move back to Major League Soccer, and could be announced as soon as Saturday.
U.S. men's national team captain and Tottenham Hotspur forward Clint Dempsey is set to make a return to Major League Soccer with the Seattle Sounders, and the deal could be officially announced over the next 24 hours.

Keith Costigan of Fox Soccer first reported Seattle's interest in Dempsey on Thursday, and reports of the 30-year-old at San Francisco International airport set off a flurry of rumors and

Dembele and Vertonghen convinced Chadli to join Tottenham

The Belgian pair, who play alongside the winger internationally, told the former Twente man he "had to come" to Spurs, who the 24-year-old believes were his best option this summer
Nacer Chadli says he was persuaded to join Tottenham by fellow Belgians Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen.

The former Twente winger joined the club in July and could make his first appearance for the club in a preseason friendly against Monaco on Saturday after training with the squad on its recent tour of Hong Kong.

Chadli has made 14 appearances for Belgium and says compatriots Vertonghen and Dembele played a crucial role in convincing him to move to

Totti: Roma must offer deal

The 36-year-old is growing frustrated at the lack of progress on a possible new contract, while urging Daniele De Rossi to stay with the club
Francesco Totti has told Roma to offer him a new deal in a bid to end any uncertainty over his future.

The Giallorossi captain presented the club’s new kit to fans earlier this week, calling it ‘the last in a long line’ for him, with his contract set to expire this summer.

But while he insists his comments were not to be taken seriously, the 36-year-old has urged the club to move swiftly in extending his

West Brom signs Paris Saint-Germain defender Lugano

The Uruguay international captain has moved to the Hawthorns in a two-year deal and is eagerly anticipating fulfilling his ambition of playing in the Premier League
West Brom has signed Diego Lugano from Paris Saint-Germain, the Ligue 1 champions have confirmed.

The experienced center back, a Uruguay international and captain of his country, moves to the Hawthorns in a two-year deal. The 32-year-old spent time on loan with Malaga last season but the Premier League side have snapped up the defender.

"Paris Saint-Germain thanks [Lugano] for the professionalism he has shown

Gerrard: Liverpool's Champions League hopes rest on Suarez staying

The 33-year-old says the team's ambition of a top-four finish will turn on whether the Uruguay international leaves but accepts that the Reds are "not the same club" any more.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard admits that the club's chances of qualifying for the Champions League rest on whether or not Luis Suarez remains at Anfield.

The Reds' top goalscorer is subject to interest from rivals Arsenal, with outlets reporting that the North London club had tabled a bid of £42 million in July.

"I think the only person who knows what's

Improved Altidore ready for Premier League return

The USA international believes that he has grown as a player since his ill-fated loan spell at Hull City during 2009-10, during which he netted only once in 28 appearances.

Sunderland and U.S. national team striker Jozy Altidore think there is plenty reason to believe that his second go around in the Premier League will go better than his initial try.

The American forward spent the 2009-10 season on loan at Hull City, struggling to only one goal in 28 league appearances as the Tigers were relegated. His fortunes have changed in

Pogba aims to emulate French greats Zidane, Thuram, Deschamps

The 20-year-old Juve starlet says he aspires to be at the level of the legendary Frenchmen, while noting Andrea Pirlo is his modern-day hero.
Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has outlined his ambition to emulate the likes of Zinedine Zidane in the colors of the Bianconeri.

The France international has emerged as one of the continent's finest youngsters following a promising first season in Italy - which resulted in a Scudetto - after his

Don't expect too much in Zaha debut season, warns Manchester United legend Andy Cole

Though Dwight Yorke is enthused by the youngster's attack-minded play, his former strike partner argues that the ex-Crystal Palace star must not be put under needless pressure.

Manchester United should not put too much pressure on youngster Wilfried Zaha too early, according to former striker Andy Cole.

The forward arrived at the club from Crystal Palace last January, spending the remainder of the season in the Championship as he helped push the club to victory in its playoff final triumph against

Besiktas makes Ronaldinho bid

Nur Cebi has announced his desire to sign the former Barcelona star this summer, after coach Slaven Bilic admitted he would "love" to have the player in his ranks.

Besiktas president Ahmet Nur Cebi has confirmed the club has made an offer for Atletico Mineiro playmaker and Brazilian icon Ronaldinho.

The former Barcelona forward, who has less than six months remaining on his current

Wenger hoping for 'amicable' Suarez deal with Liverpool

The Arsenal boss insists that the North Londoners will respect the Reds in their pursuit of the Uruguay striker but are still working "very hard" to win his signature.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says the Gunners are working hard to sign Luis Suarez from Liverpool and is hoping an "amicable" deal can be done between the two clubs.

The striker, who finished the season as the league’s second highest scorer last season, has been the subject of a reported bid from the North London club of 42 million pounds. Despite Liverpool managing director Ian 

Ayre remaining adamant that the

Strootman: Roma's midfield is 'perfect' with De Rossi

The new signing says the Giallorossi cannot afford to lose the services of Daniele De Rossi this season due to his importance to the team's dynamic in the midfield.

Kevin Strootman believes Roma has a "perfect" midfield with Daniele De Rossi as a part of it and that there is already a strong understanding amid speculation that the Italian may be permitted to leave the Stadio Olimpico this summer.

De Rossi, who has spent his entire career at the club, has recently hinted that he was prepared to remain with the Giallorossi despite interest from Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain this summer. Strootman, who completed a

Newcastle agrees to fee for Lyon striker Gomis

The club has seen a bid for the France international accepted by his club, with complications regarding the payment of fees likely to be resolved within the next 48 hours.
Newcastle have agreed on a fee for Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis, according to Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.

The 27-year-old Gomies, who has a year left on his contract, had previously failed to meet with Aulas at the end of June for planned discussions on the player's

Milan has managed Balotelli well, says Prandelli

The Italy boss is pleased with the controversial striker's development since his return to Serie A and feels things will be easier for the Rossoneri this season.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has praised AC Milan for the way it has managed Mario Balotelli since his arrival at the San Siro in January.

The 22-year-old joined Milan from Manchester City in the winter transfer window and has since developed into a key player for the Serie A giant, receiving praise for the way he has matured since his return to his homeland in the process.

"Mario is the kind of player who needs to be

Isco: Madrid still has work to do

The Spain Under-21 star believes the Liga giant is not yet ready for the new season and is happy with life at his new club so far.

New Real Madrid arrival Isco has stressed that the Santiago Bernabeu side still has plenty of work to do before the start of the 2013-14 campaign.

The youngster, who joined Madrid from Malaga this summer, impressed in los Blancos' 3-1 preseason win over

Gotze resumes full training

The attacking midfielder has been out of action ever since late April, but is one step closer to his comeback after setting foot on the training pitch again.

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has received some encouraging news on the injury front ahead of the start of the new Bundesliga season as Mario Gotze has resumed squad training on Friday.

The Germany international, who joined Bayern from BVB for 37 million euros this summer, sustained a muscular problem in BVB's Champions League semifinal against

Ancelotti on Bale: We’ll see what happens

The Real Madrid boss wouldn't comment on the club's reported bid for Tottenham winger Gareth Bale.
GLENDALE, Ariz.--- Carlos Ancelotti was non-committal when asked about the club's reported bid for Tottenham winger Gareth Bale after his team's 3-1 victory over the LA Galaxy in both team's opening match of the Guinness International Champions Cup.

"We’ll see what happens, that’s between the two clubs," the Madrid boss said. "Right now the team is very strong and we’ll just have to wait to see what happens in the

Romelu Lukaku not bothered by Chelsea striker competition

After a hugely successful loan spell at West Brom, the burly Belgian striker must fight for his place at Chelsea all over again.
INDIANAPOLIS – It seems almost silly that Romelu Lukaku is even faced with the prospect of fighting for playing time.

After all, when a player scores 17 goals in the Premier League as a 19-year-old, the questions that follow have less to do with how much he'll see the field in the next season, and more to do with just how great he can become.

But though the second question is certainly apt in

Jose Mourinho: Premier League is the most difficult in the world

After winning back-to-back titles with Chelsea in the middle of the last decade, the Portuguese has deemed the Premier League the most difficult title in the world.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jose Mourinho has coached in four of the world's biggest leagues, so when he speaks about which one is the most difficult to win, his words carry some weight.

Not only has the 50-year-old coached in four different leagues, but he's won titles in all four as

Real Madrid 3-1 La Galaxy: Isco inspires Blancos to victory

Isco has inspired Real Madrid to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy in their opening International Champions Cup match.

Real Madrid continued its impressive preseason campaign with a 3-1 victory over LA Galaxy in the International Champions Cup.

Substitute Karim Benzema bagged a double and Angel Di Maria netted a
first-half goal for Carlo Ancelotti's  side, while Jose Villarreal was on target for the Galaxy at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

But it was the performance of new recruit Isco that stole the headlines on Thursday, with the midfielder was instrumental in Madrid's opening two goals and almost

Chelsea 2-0 Inter Milan: Chelsea gets off to fast start in ICC

Chelsea has opened its International Champions Cup campaign with a comfortable 2-0 victory over 10-man Inter Milan.

Goals from Oscar and Eden Hazard inspired Premier League side Chelsea to victory over Inter, which had Hugo Campagnaro sent off in the second half in the first-ever football match played at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts.

Chelsea will now face

Guardiola: Bayern Munich is ready

The Spaniard's troops went a goal behind but came back to beat Manchester City, with goalscorer Thomas Muller commending the side's progress.

Pep Guardiola says Bayern Munich is ready to defend its status as German and European champions following a successful preseason where it won the Audi Cup, beating Manchester City 2-1 in the final.

Die Roten racked up an incredible 65 goals in preseason friendlies, culminating in Mario Mandzukic's winner after Thomas Muller had levelled from

Barcelona insists Alexis Sanchez is not for sale

The Chilean, who has caught the attention of Napoli, will not be leaving the Catalan giants this summer, according to the club's vice-president

Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu has reiterated the club's position on forward Alexis Sanchez, insisting he is not for sale.

Alexis, 24, moved to Camp Nou two years ago from Udinese in a deal worth 26 million euros, but has found it difficult to

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Klopp: Lewandowski-Dortmund feud ends now

The German coach has endured a turbulent summer with the forward as he has been eager to move away, but he is determined to diffuse the situation.

Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp says he wants to end the ongoing feud with wantaway striker Robert Lewandowski.

The Poland international has insisted the club went back on its word and that he also feels "cheated" out of a move to Bayern Munich, which has admitted strong interest in the striker this

Suarez going nowhere, says Liverpool chief Ayre

The Reds' managing director has again reiterated that the Uruguay international will remain at Anfield after the Merseysiders rejected two bids from Arsenal for the forward.

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre says the club's position on wantaway forward Luis Suarez has not changed and reiterated the desire to keep him at Anfield.

Thee Uruguay international has been the subject of two club record bids from Arsenal, the second of which amounted to

Bayern Munich 2-1 Manchester City: Negredo's strike overturned by Muller and Mandzukic

The Spaniard opened the scoring with an impressive strike but Pep Guardiola's side, which controlled the majority of the game, was able to net twice inside seven minutes

Bayern Munich had to stage a second-half comeback in order to defeat Manchester City 2-1 at the Allianz Arena and win the Audi Cup.

Following a first half which saw City enjoy only the briefest spells in possession, Alvaro Negredo finished his most difficult chance of the match, after spurring earlier opportunities, to open the

Barcelona extends Tello contract

The 21-year-old has put an end to the speculation surrounding his future by signing a new deal which will see him stay at Camp Nou until 2018
Cristian Tello has signed a new deal at Barcelona which will keep him at the club until at least 2018.

The 21-year-old has put an end to months of speculation surrounding his future at Camp Nou, with a 25 million euro release clause inserted into his new

Bale to shine at Real Madrid, says Hughton

Tottenham has opened talks with the Blancos over a 115 million-euro transfer of the Welshman and the club's former assistant boss has backed him to succeed in Madrid
Gareth Bale would have no issue fitting in at Real Madrid, according to former Tottenham assistant manager, and current Norwich boss, Chris Hughton.

The two clubs have opened talks over a 115 million-euro deal for the Welshman, although Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy remains keen to hold onto

Maradona legacy helped sway Higuain to Napoli

The Argentina international says he took little time in deciding to move to Naples, despite interest from Arsenal for much of the summer.

Gonzalo Higuain has revealed that Diego Maradona's legacy at Napoli played a big part in his decision to join the club.

The 25-year-old moved to the Partenopei from Real Madrid in July for a reported 40 million euro fee, having been tipped to sign for Premier League side Arsenal for much of the summer. Higuain insists he was certain of

Madrid must keep Ronaldo, says Ozil

Los Blancos' midfielder says the club would struggle to replace the sheer number of goals the Portuguese has racked up in his time in Spain
Mesut Ozil has urged Real Madrid to do everything in its power to keep Cristiano Ronaldo at the club.

The Portugual international revealed he was unhappy at the club last season, resulting in speculation he could return to former club Manchester United.

Madrid's pursuit of Tottenham star Gareth Bale has added to speculation the Welshman could be a replacement for the

Strootman: I need to improve

The midfielder is confident he will get better and better with more games under his belt, while citing a need to learn Italian if he is to be a success in Rome.

New Roma signing Kevin Strootman has admitted he needs to improve ahead of the new season as he adapts to life in Italy.

The 23-year-old is currently taking part in his first preseason campaign with the Italian club, having