All posts by Adii Noble

Born to be Successful 🔥🔥🔥 ...It's all about sport... Football lover Adii 10

Just in: Willan officially announces his departure from Chelsea

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BREAKING: Willian announces he is leaving Chelsea amid Arsenal links

Willian has confirmed his exit from Chelsea – paving the way for Arsenal to snap him up on a free.

The Brazilian released an emotional statement on Sunday, thanking the fans and reflecting on his seven years at Stamford Bridge.

Willian is now expected to pen a contract worth £150,000-a-week at Arsenal.

The 32-year-old forward wrote: “They were seven wonderful years.

“In August 2013 when I received the offer from Chelsea, I was convinced that this was where I had to play. Today I am certain that it was the best of decisions. There were no many happy times, some sad, there were trophies and it was always very intense.

“Yet, beyond the trophies, I learnt a lot about myself. I developed a great deal, becoming a better player and a better person. With each training session, with each game, with every minute spent in the dressing room, I was always learning.

“I am really grateful to the Chelsea fans for the affectionate way they welcomed me at Stamford Bridge and their support throughout my time at the club.

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“There was also criticism, which is normal, what is important though is that both the affection and criticism drove me to always give my all in every training session, every game, to be constantly improving until my very last minute in a Chelsea shirt!

“The time has now come to move on. I am certainly going to miss my team-mates. I will miss all the staff at the club who’ve always treated me like a son and I will miss the fans.

“I leave with my head held high, safe in the knowledge that I won things here and always did my best in a Chelsea shirt!

“My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you and God bless you! Borges da Silva.”

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Real Madrid offers £90M plus Isco or Kroos for Dybala

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Real Madrid are set to table a sensational £90million player-plus-cash deal for Juventus superstar Paulo Dybala, according to reports.

After the LaLiga giants’ early Champions League exit at the hands of Manchester City, Florentino Perez has set his sights on securing Dybala and believes him to be an integral part in helping the club lift the coveted trophy again.

It has even been suggested that Real would be willing to include either Toni Kroos or Isco to bump up the overall value of the package.

Sport Mediaset are reporting that the ambitious proposal is expected imminently.

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Juventus are believed to be keen to keep hold of Dybala, however, following their own continental heartbreak.

The club are currently undergoing a period of transition Turin legend Andrea Pirlo replaced after Maurizio Sarri and are hopeful of retaining their key assets for the new man at the helm.

But the uncertainty surrounding the future of talisman Cristiano Ronaldo may force Juventus’ hand.

The 35-year-old was clearly disappointed by his team’s knockout to Lyon, and speculation has mounted over a potential switch to Paris Saint-Germain.

The Italian title holders would never offload Dybala in the event Ronaldo was to leave this summer.

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They may reportedly reconsider their stance should the Portuguese icon remain in Turin though, particularly due to his hefty wage salary.

And the prospect of Kroos or Isco making the move to Italy may entice the Old Lady into brokering a deal.

Real are said to value the experienced German midfielder at no less than £45m, with Isco’s price tag standing at around £54m.

Dybala has been locked in talks with Juventus over a new contract. His 11 goals and six assists this season saw him named as Serie A’s ‘MVP’ of the campaign, and the 26-year-old is expected to extend until 2025.

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Real Madrid prepares swap deal for Dybala to include Isco or Kroos


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Real Madrid prepares swap deal for Dybala to include Isco or Kroos

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Real Madrid are reportedly ready to part with one of their stars in order to sign Juventus attacker Paulo Dybala.

Could Paulo Dybala swap Italy for Spain? The Juventus attacker was close to leaving Juventus for either Manchester United or Tottenham prior to the 2019-20 season, while Paris Saint-Germain were also linked.

Now, Real Madrid are reportedly targeting the 26-year-old.

Kroos/Isco switch for Dybala?
Real Madrid are set to offer Toni Kroos or Isco as part of a deal to bring Juventus star Paulo Dybala to the Santiago Bernabeu, according to SportMediaset.

LaLiga champions Madrid are eyeing a move for Dybala, who has been in negotiations with Serie A titleholders Juve over a new contract amid reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

However, Juve are unwilling to part with the Argentina international – who enjoyed a fine Serie A campaign prior to Maurizio Sarri’s sacking as he looks ahead to life under Andrea Pirlo.

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Laliga Race will be highly Frenetic – Toni Kroos


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Atletico Madrid confirms two positive Covid-19 cases

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Atletico Madrid discovered on Sunday that two members of their travelling expedition to Portugal have tested positive for coronavirus, one day before they fly to the neighbouring country.

The PCR tests were taken on Saturday prior to training, with the results now affecting all the foreseen plans.

The two people will now go into isolation and Atletico have activated the protocol they had been using in these cases.

“Yesterday, Saturday, August 8, all the members of the first team and the club’s expedition to Lisbon took PCR tests at the Ciudad Deportiva de Majadahonda, as required by UEFA protocol for taking part in the quarter-finals of the Champions League,” Atletico’s statement read.

“Among the results known today [Sunday], two positive results have appeared, with both isolated in their respective homes, and this was immediately communicated to the Spanish and Portuguese health authorities, UEFA, the Spanish Football Federation, the Portuguese Federation and the National Sports Council.

“Likewise, the corresponding protocol of action foreseen for these cases has been activated, which requires new PCR tests to be carried out on the first team and members of the expedition to Lisbon and the closest contacts of the positive cases, and which has caused changes in the training schedules, in the structure and development of the trip and accommodation in the Portuguese capital.

“The club will coordinate the new schedules with UEFA and as soon as there is a new plan it will be made public.

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“We also ask for maximum respect for the identity of the two positive cases.

“After the end of LaLiga, Atletico Madrid requested that Spanish teams that are still competing in Europe should continue to do so voluntarily and with the help of LaLiga, following the same rules of the prevention protocol against COVID-19 that had been developed during the return to competition.

“Although UEFA only require a negative PCR test from each member of the expedition to Lisbon 72 hours before the trip scheduled for Monday, August 10, the club has complied with the protocol established at the time by the National Sports Council and LaLiga, keeping the weekly tests carried out on the return to league competition under the control of the same LaLiga inspector who supervised compliance with the protocol during the 11 league matchdays.

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“The first team and all the personnel working and in contact with them, a total of 93 people, underwent a PCR test and a serological test the day before returning to training, Sunday, July 26, and the first session, planned individually for that Sunday, was postponed as a precaution to Monday 27 in the afternoon until it was known that 100 percent of the tests had given a negative result.

“After the first week of training, again the first team and the rest of the club’s members that work around them underwent new PCR tests on Sunday, August 2, with a new negative result in all cases, resuming training on Monday afternoon after knowing the results of the tests.”

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Barcelona’s target ‘Lautaro’ is happy at Inter

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Lautaro Martinez has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona this summer but his agent Beto Yaque said the Argentina striker is happy at San Siro.

Lautaro Martínez is “very happy” at Inter amid links to LaLiga giants Barcelona, according to his agent Beto Yaque. The Argentina striker has been tipped to leave Inter for Barça at the end of the season for a potential ink-up with international teammate Leo Messi, though the Italian side have regularly insisted they have no plans to sell the star forward.

The 22-year-old’s €111million (£98.8m) release clause expired in July and Yaque played down the prospect of a transfer from San Siro to Camp Nou.

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“Lautaro’s transfer is more in the media than real life,” Yaque told La Figura de la Cancha. “Lautaro has three years on his contract with Inter and is very happy where he is. He’s had a very good season, still has the Europa League to play for and I hope Inter can go all the way in that competition.”

“I’ve never needed to give Lautaro advice”
Yaque added: “I’ve never needed to give him advice and I don’t need to now either. He’s always been a complete player and has matured over the years.”

Martínez scored 14 Serie A goals as Antonio Conte’s Inter finished second and a point behind champions Juventus in 2019-20.

The Argentina international has managed 19 goals across all competitions ahead of Inter’s Europa League quarter-final against Bayer Leverkusen on Monday.

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Could this be the start of Madrid’s misfortune?

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Real Madrid’s second round curse in the Champions League may have returned.

The Spanish champions have fallen before the quarter-finals for two consecutive seasons now after dominating the competition for the last decade.

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Real Madrid faced similarly disappointing European adventures in the first decade of the 21st century, falling in the last 16 in six consecutive seasons between 2004/05 and 2009/10, which remains a stain on the club’s rich continental history.

Jose Mourinho’s arrival changed that, though, as he guided them to the semi-finals three times.

Real Madrid’s conquering of Europe in 2013/14, which finally delivered La Decima, started a winning streak.

Barcelona won the following season, defeating Real Madrid’s semi-final conquerors Juventus, but Los Blancos then won the 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 editions of the Champions League.

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David Silva bids farewell after Madrid’s clash


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Messi snubs referee’s handshake after Napoli’s match

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Lionel Messi refused to shake the hand of referee Cuneyt Cakir at the end of Barcelona’s 3-1 victory over Napoli for the official’s involvement in some controversial VAR incidents in the first half.

Messi was the star of the show at the Nou Camp after firstly scoring a brilliant goal, having one disallowed and then winning a penalty, with Barca sealing progression to the Champions League quarter-final with a 4-2 aggregate victory.

Messi thought he had put his side 3-0 inside half an hour but, after a lengthy VAR check, the goal was ruled out. Soon after, the referee took over four minutes to award Barca a penalty for what looked like a clear foul on the Argentine.

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The forward was judged to have handled Frenkie de Jong’s delightful cross before firing home, sparking controversy due to the touch appearing to be more of a chest.

Later in the half Messi snuck in front of defender Kalidou Koulibaly who brought him down with his swinging leg for what seemed a clear penalty, but it was originally denied by the official before being eventually given but only after a four-minute VAR check.

The incidents did not cost Barca in the end but Messi was visibly unhappy with Cakir and made his feelings clear during the post-match hand shakes and fist bumps.

In a video circulating on social media, Cakir could be seen holding out his fist towards Messi but the Argentine could be seen wagging his finger and shouting ‘NO’ at the official before walking in the other direction.

Fans were quick to pick up on the incident on Twitter, with @Holuwadami saying ‘whoa… didn’t see that coming’ while @Messigician7 said ‘Savage Messiah’.

@MJSnow25 also pointed out that Cakir was part of a similar controversial incident involving Messi at the 2018 World Cup for a penalty call for a foul by Javier Mascherano, with Argentina also progressing despite the mistake.

@ClassicMessi10 replied, saying ‘Yes exactly bro, never liked this referee, it’s like he has an agenda against Messi, the fact that he also had to spend 5 minutes checking that stone wall penalty on Messi is disgraceful’.

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Chelsea latest transfer Fables

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This transfer window is likely to throw up some tough decisions for Chelsea boss Frank Lampard to make.

Lampard is experiencing his first summer window at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea’s transfer ban, and the Londoners have already made positive moves in the market.

Both Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner will add world-class qualities in attack with Kai Havertz also believed to be on the cusp of signing for the club.

Elsewhere, defensive issues will most likely need addressing, and entering the transfer market could be the most logical way of doing that. Liverpool demonstrated a few years ago just how effective the right players can be, with Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker transforming the club into title contenders.

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Here are the latest Chelsea transfer rumours.

Chelsea eye Atletico defender
Chelsea have reportedly made Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez the club’s top defensive transfer target this summer.

report states thatLampard is eager to sign the central defender to address issues at the back.

The 25-year-old is understood to have a release clause of £110m but Football Insider claims Chelsea hope to land their man for £60m this summer.

Gimenez’s arrival at Stamford Bridge would mark a significant step in the direct direction for Chelsea as they look to balance out the squad after multiple attacking arrivals.

Blues in ‘advanced talks’ with highly-rated Madrid left-back
Advanced talks are reportedly underway between Chelsea and Real Madrid over the transfer of Sergio Reguilon.

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According to NobleSports, the 23-year-old left-back is already in advanced talks to join the Blues this summer after an impressive loan spell with Sevilla.

The report also states that a fee of around €25m (£22.5m) could be enough for the west London side to secure the full-back’s services before the end of the transfer window.

Chelsea were believed to have made Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell the main target to address problems at left-back but Reguilon would certainly be a more cost-effective option for the Blues to explore.

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Gallagher transfer stance outlined amid Premier League interest

Conor Gallagher is reportedly available for another loan move next season as Chelsea look to continue the youngster’s development.

According to football.london, the Blues are open to loaning the 20-year-old out next season as long as the destination matches Chelsea’s style of play.

Crystal Palace and 11 other clubs are believed to be chasing the highly-rated midfielder’s signature after he impressed on loan in the Championship last season.

Impressive spells with both Charlton Athletic and Swansea City demonstrated Gallagher’s capabilities and a loan move to the Premier League could be the natural next step in his personal development.

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Messi’s first half speech: let’s not looseguard here, calm and play

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Barcelona defeated Napoli by a 3-1 scoreline on Saturday night, with all the goals coming in the first half.

Given that they had a two-goal advantage at the midway point, Lionel Messi urged his teammates to remain calm while maintaining focus.

“Let’s not be stupid here,” he was heard shouting in footage captured from the tunnel as the players prepared to come out for the second half.

“We have a two-goal advantage, so calm now.

“Let’s play calmly.”

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‘Lewandowski is more better than Messi this time’ – Müller


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UCL POTW award: see players who makes the list

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UEFA have announced the Player of the Week nominees for the Champions League games this week.

Lionel Messi (Barca)
Lionel Messi scores incredible solo goal for Barcelona vs Napoli in Champions League, the onus is always on him to inspire Barcelona and he did just that against Napoli on Saturday night.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

Ronaldo scored twice, once in each half to bring his side closer to a miraculous comeback after the visitors took an early lead in the match and doubled their aggregate score. The Portuguese maestro equalised a couple of minutes before half-time with a penalty and equalised on aggregate in the second half with a stunner that has rendered many speechless.

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern)

Robert Lewandowski scored his 12th and 13th UEFA Champions League goals of the season and set up Ivan Perisic and Corentin Tolisso as Bayern Munich beat Chelsea 4-1 at the Allianz Arena (7-1 on aggregate) on Saturday night.

Kyle Walker (Man City)
Phil Neville, UEFA technical observer: “Aggressive in his defending, really positive in possession and had good quality on the ball.”

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Europa league continues…


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‘Lewandowski is more better than Messi this time’ – Müller

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Bayern Munich forward Thomas Mueller believes Robert Lewandowski can prove he is better than Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in next week’s Champions League last-eight tie.

Lewandowski has been in the form of his career this season, netting 53 goals in just 44 games in all competitions for the German champions – and scored twice Bayern’s 4-1 Champions League win over Chelsea on Saturday.

Barcelona captain Messi also scored in the Champions League on Saturday night with a sensational solo goal, as the Catalans beat Napoli 4-1 on aggregate to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final contest against the Bundesliga giants.

When Mueller was asked whether Lewandowski is the best all-round attacker in the world right now, he said: ‘We’ll see that on Friday. Lewy will have to answer this question.

‘Messi also played very well today. But it’s up to Lewy and us to answer this question in Lewy’s favour on Friday.’

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Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick was also delighted with Lewandowski’s contributions in the win over Chelsea, describing the Polish forward as a vital component of his side.

The head coach said: ‘We would not mind if he continued like this. He showed again today how important he is for us.

‘He not only scored two goals, but also assisted two goals. We are very happy that we have him in our team.’

Winning the Champions League would cap off a brilliant season for Bayern Munich, who have already lifted the Bundesliga and German Cup trophies this term.

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It is a different story for Messi’s Barcelona, who failed to win a domestic trophy during the 2019-20 after conceding the league title to rivals Real Madrid and being knocked out of the Copa Del Rey by Athletic Bilbao in February.

Despite this disappointment, Mueller says the La Liga side should not be underestimated by Bayern ahead of the last-eight contest on Friday.

Mueller added: ‘Barca may not have won the Spanish championship and they have certainly revealed some problems.

But anything can happen in these knockout games. Any run can end there if you have a bad day.’

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Barcelona 3-1 Napoli; (4-2 agg) Napoli defeated at Camp nou

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Barcelona are through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League after beating Napoli 3-1 at the Camp Nou.

Goals from Clement Lenglet, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez sealed the win for Quique Setien’s side, with Lorenzo Insigne scoring from the spot for the visitors.

2019/2020 UEFA Champions League
3-1
Lenglet (10′)
Messi (23′)
Suarez (45’+1′ PEN)
Insigne (45’+5′ PEN)


Match Events


3′ CLOSE! Mertens hits the post

4′ Rui’s Iob shot wide out

10′ GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Napoli (Lenglet)

15′ Rakitic’s long shot wide out

23′ GOAL! Barcelona 2-0 Napoli (Messi)

30′ Handball! messi’s goal disallowed

46′ Penalty Goal! Barcelona 3-0 Napoli (Suarez)

50′ Penalty Goal! Barcelona 3-1 Napoli (Insigne)

52′ Insigne’s header too straight

71′ Lozano’s header over the bar

81′ OFFSIDE! Milik’s goal disallowed

85′ Lozano hits the post

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Line-ups
Barcelona XI: Messi, Suarez, Pique, Rakitic, Alba, Griezmann, Ter Stegen, Roberto, Lenglet, Semedo, De Jong

Subs: Neto, Firpo, Pena, R. Araújo, Jandro Orellana, L. Reis, Monchu, Riqui Puig, Óscar Mingueza, K. De La Fuente, Fati

Napoli XI: Ospina, Mertens, Callejon, Manolas, Insigne, Mario Rui, Koulibaly, Demme, Zielinski, Di Lorenzo, Fabian Ruiz

Subs: Llorente, Karnezis, Maksimovic, Allan, Hysaj, Milik, Lobotka, Politano, Luperto, Meret, Lozano, Elmas.

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Magic Messi: Messi dribbles past not three but 4 of Napoli’s defense


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Bayern 4-1 Chelsea: (7-1 agg) Chelsea suffers double defeat

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Game is over and the final score is Bayern 4-1 Chelsea. Here is the match report.

2019/2020 UEFA Champions League
4-1
Lewandowski (10′ PEN)
Perisic (24′)
Tolisso (76′)
Lewandowski (83′)
Abraham (44′)


Match Events


0′ Players are warming up before the game

1′ The match is about to start!

10′ Penalty Goal! Bayern 1-0 Chelsea (Lewandowski)

14′ CHANCE! Muller’s shot over the bar

24′ GOAL! Bayern 2-0 Chelsea (Perisic)

28′ OFFSIDE! Hudson-Odoi’s goal disallowed

39′ Muller’s back-heel flick stopped

44′ GOAL! Bayern 2-1 Chelsea (Abraham)

49′ Mount’s shot too straight

61′ Muller’s shot over the bar

67′ Alaba’s long shot too straight

72′ Coutinho’s shot over the bar

76′ GOAL! Bayern 3-1 Chelsea (Tolisso)

83′ GOAL! Bayern 4-1 Chelsea (Lewandowski)

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Line-ups
Bayern XI: Neuer, Boateng, Perisic, Alaba, Muller, Lewandowski, Thiago, Goretzka, Gnabry, Kimmich, Alphonso Davies

Subs: Martinez, Ulreich, Coutinho, Sule, Tolisso, Odriozola, Lucas, Cuisance, Hoffmann, M. Tillman, J. Musiala, B. Arrey-Mbi

Chelsea XI: Caballero, Barkley, Kovacic, Zouma, Emerson, Christensen, Kante, Abraham, Mount, Reece James, Hudson-Odoi

Subs: Giroud, Batshuayi, Rudiger, Kepa, Tomori, Cumming, D. Simeu, Maatsen, L. Bate, H. Lawrence, A. Broja.

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Magic Messi: Messi dribbles past not three but 4 of Napoli’s defense

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Lionel Messi produced yet more magic to give Barcelona a 2-0 lead against Napoli on Saturday evening.

The Argentine wove his way through three Napoli defenders, despite ending up on his hands and knees en route, before dispatching a fine strike.

After getting back to his feet to shoot, Messi managed to whip his shot around Kostas Manolas, who hadn’t left much space to aim at, and into David Ospina’s goal.

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‘Goodluck juve’ Pjanic delivers last message in Turin

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Miralem Pjanic brought his stay in Serie A to a close after Juventus’ Champions League elimination at the hands of Lyon on Friday, and he has said an emotional farewell to fans of the Bianconeri.

Pjanic has agreed to sign for Barcelona from the 2020/21 season in a move which brings further experience to Los Cules’ midfield ranks, although it can hardly be considered a long-term solution given the playmaker’s age.

“I defied the past to hold onto the present, at least for a while longer,” Pjanic posted on Instagram.

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“Today our paths separate, but I walked every inch to get here knowing I would be part of something great

“This is a place that will remain in my heart and you will stay with me, wherever my new path takes me.

“Good luck, Juventus.”

Over the course of his four seasons in Turin after leaving Roma, Pjanic has won four Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia trophies and one Supercoppa Italiana.

The 30-year-old also played in the 2017 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

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Barca’s incredible record: no defeats at home since 2013

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It won’t be a normal Champions League night at the Camp Nou this Saturday evening, with the match taking place at the weekend and without supporters, but Barcelona will feel comfortable when the ball gets rolling in their fortress.

Not since the 2012/13 semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich have they lost a home game in Europe’s premier competition.

That was back on May 1, 2013, and since then they’ve gone 35 home Champions League games without tasting defeat

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It’s not just that they’ve hardly lost, it’s that they almost always win as they’ve had 31 wins and four draws in that time.

Even though they lost against Osasuna in their most recent fixture at the Camp Nou, their home form in general has been good of late.

That defeat against the Pamplona-based side in the penultimate round of LaLiga Santander was Barcelona’s first home defeat of the entire 2019/20 campaign.

Now, they’ll be looking to get back to winning ways against Napoli and to make it 36 home Champions League games in a row without losing.

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Barcelona Vs Napoli lineups confirmed


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Officially: Pirlo named new Juventus head coach

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Juventus have officially appointed Andrea Pirlo as their new senior coach after sacking Maurizio Sarri, just a week after hiring him for the Under-23 squad.

The club confirmed ex-Chelsea boss Sarri’s exit on Saturday afternoon following their Champions League last 16 defeat to Lyon, despite the Italian guiding them to the Serie A title in his first season.

Meanwhile, Pirlo was appointed as Juventus U23 manager at the end of last month, marking his first role as a coach after hanging up his boots three years ago.

But he is set for a promotion to take charge of the senior team just days after he was unveiled.

As a player, the Italy legend enjoyed a glittering four-year spell with Juventus in which he won four league titles and the Coppa Italia.

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Juventus makes Zidane first choice to replace Sarri


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Bayern Vs Chelsea starting Xi’s revealed

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The line-ups of Bayern vs Chelsea have been announced.

Bayern XI: Neuer, Boateng, Perisic, Alaba, Muller, Lewandowski, Thiago, Goretzka, Gnabry, Kimmich, Alphonso Davies

Subs: Martinez, Ulreich, Coutinho, Sule, Tolisso, Odriozola, Lucas, Cuisance, Hoffmann, M. Tillman, J. Musiala, B. Arrey-Mbi

Chelsea XI: Caballero, Barkley, Kovacic, Zouma, Emerson, Christensen, Kante, Abraham, Mount, Reece James, Hudson-Odoi

Subs: Giroud, Batshuayi, Rudiger, Kepa, Tomori, Cumming, D. Simeu, Maatsen, L. Bate, H. Lawrence, A. Broja.

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‘I’m 100% ready for Bayern’s departure’ – Thiago Alcantara


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Barcelona Vs Napoli lineups confirmed

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Barcelona vs Napoli LINE-UPS: Messi, Griez & Suarez start together at Camp Nou for the important 2nd leg.

Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Rakitic, De Jong, Sergi Roberto; Messi, Suarez, Griezmann

Subs: Neto, Inaki Pena, Junior Firpo, Ricard Puig, Fati, Ronald Araujo, Monchu, Mingueza, De La Fuente, Reis, Orellana

Napoli XI: Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Demme, Fabian Ruiz, Zielinski; Callejon, Mertens, Insigne.

Subs: Meret, Karnezis, Allan, Llorente, Lozano, Elmas, Luperto, Maksimovic, Politano, Hysaj, Lobotka, Milik.

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Coutinho becomes Unwanted in Barcelona

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The beaming smile from Phillipe Coutinho during his unveiling at Barcelona faded quicker than expected. All the glitz and the glamour that greeted the tricky playmaker’s arrival has since failed to mask the sheer disappointment from both parties.

The LaLiga giants splashed out a fee of £145million to sign him from Liverpool, a deal which smashed their club record. Coutinho was plunged into a world of uncertainty and a seemingly bleak future after struggling to settle. Neither side can claim the switch has worked out for them.

With Barcelona openly voicing their desire to cut their losses and ship out Coutinho this summer, it appeared Arsenal would be the club brave enough to take the plunge and broker a deal. Unfortunately for the former Inter Milan talent, the North London outfit have since walked away after choosing instead to focus on signing Willian from Chelsea on a free transfer.

The exact reasons behind Coutinho’s dramatic fall from grace are many. His Barcelona medical diagnosed a thigh injury, which he had picked up before jetting out to Spain, and the star was ruled out for three weeks straight from the start. It was a worrying portent of what was to come.

‘I am very happy, it’s a dream come true and I hope to be up to the job on the field,’ Coutinho told Barcelona fans after putting pen to paper, with that cheeky grin of his still in place. Unfortunately for him, his dream soon soured into the very worst of nightmares.

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He had even reportedly committed £11.5m of his own money to help force through the deal. Those at Liverpool were perhaps quietly glad to see the back of him after all his efforts to leave.

The Anfield giants had rejected three offers from Barcelona and even turned down a transfer request from the player himself. The final bid from the Blaugrana’s hierarchy was £118m – a total package which included add-ons equating to over £30m.

But they were met by a steadfast Liverpool, who were unwilling to lower their valuation or expectations during negotiations. Barcelona promptly fired back by insisting that they would not be drawn into a bidding war.

The rest is now history, of course. The impasse was broken and Coutinho eventually found himself embarking on his ‘dream’ move.

His highly-anticipated debut arrived in late January 2018 against former employers Espanyol in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals. Teed up by ex-Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez, Coutinho netted his maiden goal on February 8 of the same year against Valencia in the next stage of the competition.

Any initial promise soon faded out, however. He made 22 appearances during the second half of the campaign, scoring 10 goals in total.

But the superstar still felt like a jarring and ineffective cog in the Barcelona winning machine. Coutinho appeared out of place, often drifting aimlessly across the field and failing to spark a real connection with his fellow attackers.

Admittedly, struggling to adapt at a new club isn’t a serious issue to begin with. But at Barcelona, it may be the end of the world. The expectations are sky high and the pressure is unforgiving.

Coutinho was also cup tied for the 2017-18 Champions League campaign. He therefore could only watch on from the sidelines in horror as Barcelona crashed out of the competition in the most explosive of circumstances against Roma.

His second season at the club, and his first full one, proved just as ill-fated. Just 11 more goals followed in all competitions, which saw him shipped out to Bayern Munich on loan just a year and a half into his lucrative Barcelona deal.

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In terms of a trophy haul, it would not be fair to label Coutinho’s time in Catalonia as unsuccessful. With him, Barcelona won the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Super Cup and two league titles.

It may have been this respectable haul, and his occasional flashes of brilliance, which convinced Bayern Munich to bring him in on a short-term deal. The Bundesliga champions were open to paying his full £11m-a-year wage package, and also splashed out £8m on an initial loan fee.

But a change in the dugout in Bavaria once again put a swift end to Coutinho’s hopes of long-term success. Niko Kovac was dismissed and replaced by Hansi Flick, who preferred a different system and wasn’t afraid to bench the Brazilian for the good of the team.

When he was handed a chance to shine, Coutinho was often fielded on the left or right of a three-man strike force. His preferred position, and undoubtedly the one in which he has shown the most quality, remains the playmaker position.

‘I hope the dam breaks and he shows the quality he’s got,’ Flick admitted despite the signs appearing far from promising.

Bayern have extended Coutinho’s loan stint until the end of this elongated season, but they will not be taking up the option to make the deal permanent. The clause, had it been triggered, would have cost £109m.

Coutinho netted eight goals in 23 Bundesliga appearances this campaign but has once again failed to make enough of an impact. Despite his travails, his agent Kia Joorabchian has spoken about his client’s desire to have another shot at the Premier League.

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It would be a surprising twist in the tale should Coutinho seal a return to England, but there are reportedly several teams interested this summer. Until recently, Arsenal had fronted the queue but appear to have now pulled out due to the imminent arrival of Willian.

That leaves the door open to a high-profile deal for several of the North London club’s top flight rivals. Tottenham, their arch nemesis, may attempt an ambitious coup. Jose Mourinho’s charges have undoubtedly endured a tough campaign, but they will now be able to offer Coutinho a form of European football.

There is no doubting the creative spark provided from Coutinho would be able to help Tottenham kick on under the Portuguese tactician, and talisman Harry Kane would also benefit. The move may even convince the England captain, who has hinted he may leave, to stay put.

Any form of move for Coutinho would be surprising, particularly in this summer of uncertainty, but it would underline Spurs’ ambitions to reach the next level once again for the next campaign.

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Leicester may also harbour ambitions of swooping. The Foxes fell painfully short of clinching a spot in the Champions League after a final day defeat to fellow contenders Manchester United, but the club have a proven track record of enticing talent players to the East Midlands.

Brendan Rodgers has pieced together a vibrant and attacking team, and Coutinho would fit right in provided he was afforded his favoured central role. The stumbling block would be concerned with the dynamics of the deal, with Leicester certainly unwilling to match Barcelona’s valuation of the player. An audacious loan move cannot be ruled out, however.

Perhaps the most suited match of them all is Chelsea, but this move now appears the least likely. Coutinho appeared destined to join the club at one stage, but the move never materialised and Frank Lampard has set his sights on other targets.

His pursuit of Kai Havertz has been well documented, and the additions of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech have further bolstered a frontline flowing with ability and creativity.

Unfortunately for Coutinho, there are no obvious escape routes that have presented himself. This summer is pivotal for him, and heading back to Barcelona to spend more time on the sidelines may prove to be the final nail in the coffin for a career that promised so much all those years ago.

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Neymar and Mbappe remains PSG top priority, Ronaldo snubbed

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Paris Saint-Germain have been linked to Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo but the Ligue 1 club’s priorities remain Kylian Mbappé and Neymar.

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Paris Saint-Germain are focused on tying Kylian Mbappé and Neymar down to new contracts at the Parc des Princes ahead of an eye-catching move for Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo, according to reports. Ronaldo has been linked with a move away from Turin despite seeming to suggest he would stay on for at least another season but the Old Lady’s Champions League eliminination has set the transfer rumour mill turning.

Mbappé and Neymar have also both been linked with moves away from the Ligue 1 champions, who would undoubtedly like to lay their hands on Ronaldo to team up with the prolific France and Brazil internationals in a mouth-watering front three. However, the realities of Financial Fair Play and an already sizeable wage bil at the Parc des Princes have led PSG to prioritise hanging on to their prized assets ahead of making a move for Ronaldo this summer.

PSG priority remains Mbappé, Neymar renewals

PSG would prefer to extend the contracts of Mbappé and Neymar than chase Juventus star Ronaldo, according to NobleSports.

Mbappé and Neymar are both coming to the end of their contracts in 2022 and have been linked to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

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