Lewandowski: ‘Jorginho had an insane year’

Robert Lewandowski explains why he voted for Chelsea and Italy midfielder Jorginho to win FIFA’s The Best award. ‘The year for him was insane.’

The Brazil-born player who has been in Italy since he was a young teenager had the most successful 2021 of anyone, winning the Champions League and European Supercup with Chelsea, then UEFA EURO 2020 with the Azzurri.

Everyone had to give their top three players for the award in order, and Bayern Munich and Poland hitman Lewandowski chose Jorginho, followed by Lionel Messi and ex-Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I always look at offensive players, but what Jorginho won means a lot,” Lewandowski told Goal.com.

“You have to remain neutral. He also scored important goals despite being a number six.

“The year for him was insane with Chelsea and Italy.”

Despite that vote, Jorginho ended up sixth in the final tally on 24 points, well behind Lewandowski, Messi and Ronaldo.

Jorginho was also given first place in the marks by England manager Gareth Southgate, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and of course Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini.

Jorginho with the trophy

Bonucci: ‘Juventus can win Champions League’

Leonardo Bonucci insists this could still be a glorious season for Juventus, as they want to ‘win the Champions League’ as well as grab a top four finish in Serie A.

The Bianconeri are hovering just behind fourth place domestically and lost the Supercoppa Italiana to Inter in extra time.

Nonetheless, Bonucci has high hopes for the 2021-22 campaign, after they topped their Champions League group ahead of Chelsea.

“We want to secure a place in the Champions League for next season and will fight to the last minute to win this season’s Champions League trophy too,” the defender told Juventus Channel.

“Last year we showed that Juve are still hungry and can have our say in one-off games. We didn’t get the Scudetto last season, but we won the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa, giving a response to those who said we were sated by success. It was proof Juve are always there in knockout rounds.”

Bonucci earned a place in the FIFPRO Men’s World XI for 2021, largely thanks to his performances for Italy at UEFA EURO 2020.

“It means once again being recognised by my colleagues, which is the most important thing in this work. They recognise the importance of what I do on the pitch. It was a great year for me and my statistics speak for me.”

Video: what 10-year-old Foden said about Balotelli

The video of a very young Phil Foden in Milan has emerged on social media with the now Manchester City star sharing his thoughts on Mario Balotelli.

The Italian striker played at the Etihad Stadium between 2010 and 2013, scoring 30 goals in 80 appearances.

Back in 2011, Foden travelled to Milan to play a game with Manchester City academy and was asked by an Italian journalist his thoughts on Super Mario.

“He is a good player, but he has a bad attitude off the pitch,” said the now England and City star.

Foden made his senior Man City debut in 2017 and has gone on to score 38 goals in 144 appearances with the Premier League giants.

FIFA The Best: Gazzetta complains as Tuchel and Mendy beat Mancini and Donnarumma

La Gazzetta dello Sport wrote that Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph was ‘forgotten’ as Thomas Tuchel and Edouard Mendy beat Roberto Mancini Gigio Donnarumma at the FIFA The Best Awards.

The FIFA The Best award took place last night, but the Azzurri may not have received much recognition despite winning the Euros last summer.

Both Roberto Mancini and Gigio Donnarumma failed to win the best coach and goalkeeper of the year, beaten by Chelsea’s Tuchel and Mendy.

La Gazzetta dello Sport commented, saying that the award ‘cancelled’ UEFA Euro 2020 and that the outcome of the vote was ‘wrong.’

However, Donnarumma were included in the Team of The Year along with his compatriots Leonardo Bonucci and Jorginho.

The Chelsea playmaker who finished third at the Ballon d’Or ranked sixth at the FIFA The Best behind Karim Benzema and his teammate Ngolo Kante.

Robert Lewandowski received the FIFA The Best Men’s Player award, while Cristiano Ronaldo won the FIFA Special Award as the best goalscorer in the history of FIFA competitions.

El Barcelona se rinde a Gento

Paco Gento es el único jugador de la historia del fútbol que ha ganado 6 Copas de Europa. Defendió la camiseta de nuestro club entre 1953 y 1971, y durante sus 18 temporadas en el Real Madrid ganó, además de las 6 Copas de Europa, 12 Ligas, 2 Copas de España, 1 Copa Intercontinental, 1 Pequeña Copa del Mundo y 2 Copas Latinas. En el Real Madrid jugó 600 partidos y marcó 182 goles”

Real Madrid, club de Fútbol

Las cuatro empresas finalistas que pujan por los derechos de la UEFA

Team Marketing, Revelent Sports Group, Infront Sports e IMG quieren hacerse con los derechos de las máximas competiciones europeas y sólo una de estas se hará con el ciclo 2024-2027, con una opción de ampliarla de 2027-2030. La subasta incluye los derechos de medios y patrocinio de la Champions League y Europa League, las dos máximas competiciones europeas masculinas. Se espera que recauden más de 30 millones de dólares en ambos ciclos.

La temporada 2024-2025 será una prueba importante para la UEFA, ya que La Liga de Campeones renovará su formato a partir de 2024, donde participarán 36 equipos en vez de 34. Los equipos jugarán diez partidos de fase de grupos en lugar de los seis actuales.

Team Marketing es la empresa con más de 25 años de experiencia como titular de los derechos. Infront, IMG y Sports también tienen una larga trayectoria en derechos de fútbol. Tanto las empresas como la UEFA se han negado a comentar al respecto. El acuerdo es administrado por una empresa conjunta entre la UEFA y la Asociación Europea de Clubes (ECA) llamada UEFA Club Competitions SA.

Los clubes más grandes de Europa han asediado a la UEFA solicitando pagos más altos, uno de los motivos por los que se creó la Superliga, comandada por los presidentes del Real Madrid, Barcelona y Juventus, para distribuir pagos más grandes a los mejores clubes europeos.

Esta licitación dependería de si los finalistas están dispuestos a ofrecer un ingreso mínimo garantizado, por lo que la UEFA tendría la garantía de adquirir una gran suma inicial que distribuiría a los clubes inmediatamente. Además, están buscando la forma de añadir a los derechos la Europa Conference League, la tercera competición europea.

Ramos: objetivo Real Madrid

Sergio Ramos no está teniendo, por el momento, la temporada deseada en París. El central aterrizó en julio en la capital francesa como un fichaje estrella y, hasta la fecha, únicamente ha podido disputar tres partidos, dos en la Ligue 1 y uno en la Copa de Francia. En lo que llevamos de 2022, el camero no ha jugado todavía y Pochettino no le sacó ni un minuto en el empate contra el Lyon del pasado domingo.

“Ha sido una elección que no jugara. Espero que pueda jugar los próximos partidos. Pero la competencia es alta en todas las líneas”, reconocía Pochettino respecto a la competencia que hay en la línea defensiva. Tanto Marquinhos como Kimpembe llevan dos temporadas siendo inamovibles en el eje de la zaga y el estado físico de Ramos no ha invitado al optimismo para asentarse como pareja del brasileño. Este sábado, contra el Brest, el exjugador del Real Madrid podría reaparecer, pero no hay indicios ahora mismo que puedan anticipar su titularidad.

Para Luis Fernandez, exentrenador del PSG, la solución está en “la rotación”. El actual comentarista de BeIN Sports apuesta que Ramos volverá al 100 % y que tiene que asentarse de cara a la doble confrontación contra el Real Madrid en la Champions League. Para Éric Rabasendratana, exjugador del PSG, Ramos es el mejor y tiene que jugar tarde o temprano: “Es el mejor el que juega. Y, en principio, el mejor es Ramos. Pero no debería jugar con él todos los partidos. Para un tipo que acaba de regresar del otro lado del mundo, hay que integrarlo gradualmente. Por eso en Lyon, si estaba realmente en forma, habría sido bueno que jugara un poco”.

El PSG fichó a Sergio Ramos para ganar la Champions League. Es por ello por lo que el objetivo del conjunto parisino debe ser el de poner en forma paulatinamente al internacional español de cara a la eliminatoria contra el Real Madrid. Todo lo que no sea ver a Ramos en esos dos partidos podría interpretarse como que su fichaje fue innecesario, o directamente que el defensa andaluz no está en condiciones físicas para competir al máximo nivel. Los próximos partidos del PSG serán esclarecedores tanto para predecir el estado físico del camero, que hasta la fecha solo ha podido disputar tres encuentros con la camiseta de su nuevo equipo.

Neymar vuelve a París: objetivo Real Madrid

De forma prevista, Neymar aterrizó este domingo por la noche en París tras haber acordado con el PSG volver el 9 de enero. El brasileño sigue aquejado del fuerte esguince que sufrió el pasado 28 de noviembre contra el Saint-Étienne y, aunque ya está sin muletas, el exjugador del Barcelona sigue convaleciente, tal y como ha informado L’Équipe.

El conjunto parisino no quiere correr ni un solo riesgo con la recuperación del jugador, consciente de que el objetivo es el de tenerle listo para la ida de los octavos de final de la Champions contra el Real Madrid el próximo 15 de febrero. Neymar todavía no puede correr, pero se espera que vuelva, a más tardar, a finales de enero a entrenar con el resto de sus compañeros.

Escudo/Bandera PSG

De hecho, Brasil podría dejarle sin convocar para el parón internacional de enero, pues ya se encuentra clasificada para el Mundial de Qatar y convocarle supondría un riesgo total a pocos días de la doble confrontación en la Copa de Europa. No obstante, el PSG viajará a Qatar la próxima semana a un stage durante varios días en el que Neymar, a priori, debería estar con el resto de sus compañeros, aunque simplemente por un tema comercial.

Conte pushes Ndombele away from Tottenham, but Serie A move unlikely

Tanguy Ndombele is looking for an escape route from Tottenham, but a move to Serie A appears unlikely despite reports linking the midfielder with Juventus, Roma and Milan.

A section of the Tottenham fanbase booed off the French midfielder during their 3-1 FA Cup win over Morecambe on Sunday.

During his post-match press conference, Tottenham boss Antonio Conte said he hadn’t heard the reactions from Spurs fans, but warned the former Lyon star.

Conte makes scathing remark about Ndombele

“I was so focused on the pitch and in football you have to be good to try to change opinions if someone is disappointed with you,” the former Juventus and Inter coach said.

The Athletic reports Ndombele wants to leave Tottenham as soon as possible, but director Fabio Paratici is struggling to find a new club for the 25-year-old who moved to North London in a €60m deal in 2019.

According to the report, Barcelona are one of the clubs interested in securing his services, but talks between the two clubs have not begun yet.

Different reports in Italy have linked Ndombele with a move to Juventus, Roma and Milan but the Frenchman’s transfer to Serie A seems unlikely, primarily because of his hefty salary.

Ndombele earns £200,000-a-week and there are no clubs in Serie A willing to offer him as much.

Milan have reportedly refused a swap deal involving Franck Kessié, while Juventus don’t want to exchange the out-of-favour midfielder with Weston McKennie.

José Mourinho’s Roma are looking for midfield reinforcement, but they will likely loan Sergio Oliveira from Porto.

epa09528831 Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele celebrates after scoring the 1-1 equalizer during the English Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, Britain, 17 October 2021. EPA-EFE/PETER POWELL EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications

Ian Rush explains why Liverpool will beat Inter and gives his verdict on Lukaku

Former Juventus striker Ian Rush believes Liverpool will beat Inter in the Champions League and praises Thomas Tuchel for dropping Romelu Lukaku after his controversial interview with Sky Sport Italia.

Inter have qualified for the Champions League round of 16 for the first time in ten years and have been paired with the Reds in the first round of the knock-out phase.

The Nerazzurri will host Jurgen Klopp’s side at the Stadio Meazza on February 16 and visit the Reds at Anfield Road on March 3.

“Two great teams, two great histories, by the way, Liverpool are playing really well at the moment as a team,” said Rush as quoted by Calciomercato.com.

“Playing an Italian team is always difficult to score, but Liverpool have a front three that will score goals. It will be a difficult game, but I can see Liverpool coming out on top.”

The Nerazzurri have adapted to life after Romelu Lukaku’s exit as they are the Serie A table leaders and have lost only one league game this season.

Lukaku’s replacement Edin Dzeko is Inter’s best scorer so far. The Belgian striker caused controversy last month by admitting that he was sorry for the way he left Inter, hoping that he would return to the club one day.

Chelsea boss Tuchel had dropped him for the game against Liverpool and reintroduced the striker after his apology.

“There’s no one bigger than the club, that’s what it is all about,” said Rush.

“The club comes first and I thought it was an excellent decision by him [Tuchel] to drop him. Lukaku will come back stronger and better. Lukaku has learned his lesson.

“If there are individuals that think they are better than the team, that creates problems but I think the coaches nailed it, it was an excellent choice from him.”

epa06607938 Ian Rush, club ambassador of Liverpool FC, attends the draw of the UEFA Champions League 2017/18 quarter final soccer matches at the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, 16 March 2018. EPA-EFE/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT