John Collins

  1. Kylian Mbappe: The most talked about young footballer in 2017

    22nd February 2017. By Ryan Baldi.
    "He is the talk of the town and has so much talent. He has skills, goals, assists. He can do what he wants with the ball."

    Writing in his regular column for The Sun, Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry was effusive in his praise of Monaco youngster Kylian Mbappe.

    The 18-year-old forward is the hot topic of European football right now, with the biggest and richest clubs on the continent thought to be monitoring his progress.

    A surprise inclusion in Monaco's starting line-up against Manchester City in the Champions League last night, the teenager produced his devastating best form, netting his first goal in Europe's premier club competition on arguably the biggest night of his young career.

    Having progressed through the ranks at the Principality club as the ex-France striker did in

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  2. Emerson Palmieri: Persistence Pays of at AS Roma

    20th February 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    Emerson Palmieri's encouraging finish to last season was a reward for all his hard work in training trying to impress his manager, the tactically sophisticated AS Roma's Luciano Spalletti.

    With Lucas Digne ahead of him in the pecking order, Emerson's patience and persistence finally paid off, with Spalletti granting him some valuable appearances off the bench and one start towards the end of the 2015/2016 campaign.

    In Roma's final match of the crusade, against AC Milan, a game the Giallorossi went on to win 3-1, this served as a landmark occasion for the Brazilian. Coming off the bench, the then Santos loanee produced a splendid cameo that culminated in him scoring his first ever league goal for the club.

    "I'm happy to have the coach's faith," a delighted Emerson said after the game. "I'm doing everything

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  3. Dries Mertens: unlikely hero who could fire Napoli to victory over Real Madrid

    15th February 2017. By Ryan Baldi.
    Napoli will take on Real Madrid in the Champions League last-16 this week, and, in Dries Mertens, they have unearthed an unlikely hero who could fire them to victory over the European champions.

    The diminutive Belgian has been in superlative form this season, but he probably wouldn't even be starting against Los Blancos were it not for the fact that circumstance robbed the Italian side of two top class strikers over the summer.

    Replacing a player of Gonzalo Higuain's calibre is never easy. Especially after the Argentinian striker set a new Serie A record with his 36 goals last season.

    But that's the task Napoli were faced with last summer, and, almost by accident, they found their new star in the last place they thought to look: right under their nose.

    Napoli were powerless to stop Higuain from sealing his record-breaking €90million move to champions Juventus last July as the player's contract contained a

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  4. 15 Year wait Pays off for Cameroon

    14th February 2017. By Danni Biggs
    Cameroon, the underdogs during the African Cup of Nations final against the much-fancied Egyptians gave us a truly breathtaking performance where they came from behind to make it their fifth title.

    Sunday 5th February saw Cameroon's 15-year long wait came to an end. The Indomitable Lions one of the heavyweight nations beat the 7-time champions Egypt in Libreville, Gabon, despite being beset with pre-tournament problems. In previous finals in 2008 and 1986 Cameroon suffered defeats from Egypt and now meeting again Cameroon were mean to be the underdogs who did indeed put up a thrilling performance which saw them crowned champions with a late goal at two minutes to go until full-time.

    Sealing their Fifth African Cup of Nations Title

    After being second best to Egypt in previous finals it was Cameroons turn to dominate and sure they did. Match statistics

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  5. Fabian Orellana Makes Deadline Day Move to Valencia

    6th February 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    Securing the signature of Fabian Orellana on deadline day from Celta Vigo was definitely a shrewd piece of business by Valencia.

    Following a fiery dispute with his manager at Celta, Eduardo Berizzo, that was reportedly due to Orellana trying to force a move away from the club without advising the club or his coach, this left his relationship with the Galician outfit in tatters.

    While Berizzo never officially disclosed the reason for his subsequent decision to no longer pick the wantaway Chilean, his actions and words spoke volumes over his dissatisfaction towards his once loyal charge. "I decided to leave out Orellana because of an unacceptable lack of respect towards me," Berizzo fumed.

    "My decision is firm and I told the club, who are in agreement. As long as I'm here, he will no longer be a part of this team. One thing is discipline and another issue is disrespect. He has not apologised but it doesn't matter. I have

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  6. Dani Ceballos Beginning to Shine at Real Betis Under Victor Sanchez

    3rd February 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    Having started just one game under Real Betis' previous manager, Gus Poyet, Dani Ceballos' fortunes have improved drastically since Victor Sanchez took over the managerial reigns in November.

    Thereafter, the former Deportivo La Coruna boss has quickly gone about making the sublimely talented creative midfielder a key component within his side. And the 20-year-old's repaying his manager's faith wholeheartedly, especially of late, by putting in a string of excitement laden, yet hugely effective performances.

    His man of the match display vs Barcelona at the weekend was encouragingly his best yet too, as the Spanish youth international put in a sterling shift from his tailored midfield post. Ceballos' undertook his fascinating role brilliantly, for on the attacking end he was granted plentiful freedom to get involved, but on the defensive end he was instructed to press high and man mark Ivan Rakitic, but then immediately drop back

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  7. Departure of Once in a Lifetime Striker - Kelly Smith

    1st February 2017. By Danni Biggs.
    Arsenal and England legend, Kelly Smith confirms her retirement from football at the age of 38. With 117 games, 48 goals for her national team Smith said with no regrets "I've travelled the world and, at the age of 38, the body is telling me it needs to stop."

    Kelly, 38, was awarded an MBE for her services in football in 2008, also winning numerous accolades and individual honours throughout her career including the FA Women's Players' Player of the year in 2006 and 2007. "Kelly Smith is the best women's player England has ever produced, and one of the foremost players in the history of the women's game," said Johnathan Pearce on BBC Match of the Day.

    Ending her Career on a High

    'The game is in a magnificent place at the moment and it's good to step away at the right time.' Smith said.

    At the young age of 17, Kelly made her debut for

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  8. Carlos Tevez: Record Breaking Move to China

    31st January 2017. By Danni Biggs. 
    Carlos Tevez waves goodbye to his beloved Boca Juniors and says hello to mega-money with his new signing to Shanghai Shenhua. The Argentinian, former Manchester United striker has secured his deal that will make him the highest-paid player in the world.

    Supporters were left pleading for Tevez to reconsider his move to Shanghai Shenhua by holding up signs that read "Don't Go, Carlos!" during his last game, where he was took off during the 90th minute to receive a rapturous reception, giving an emotional wave goodbye to his beloved fans as he prepares for his next chapter in his journey.

    Tevez at Boca Juniors

    As some of you loyal fans are well aware of, Boca Juniors is where Carlos Tevez began his professional footballing career. Carlos made 110 appearances for Boca in the seasons 2001 to 2004, scoring a total of 38 goals. At the young age of 16, Tevez made his debut for Boca Juniors

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  9. Borussia Dortmund's sublime Marco Reus Is Back to His Best

    30th January 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    After an injury ravaged 2016, that was punctuated by him missing 185 consecutive days, which ultimately cost him his spot at the Euros, when Marco Reus finally returned on November 23 of last year for Borussia Dortmund's Champions League encounter with Legia Warsaw, he didn't waste any time reminding us all what an extraordinary talent he is.

    In what was a scintillating man of the match performance from the classy German in Dortmund's crazy 8-4 win against the Poles, he bagged a brace and chimed in with two assists to highlight his genius.

    An unsurprisingly delighted Reus spoke of his joy at finally being able to make his long awaited return in his post match comments, saying: "I was overjoyed to play from the beginning. This is how you imagine a comeback after such a long time.

    "I was looking forward to this. This was an important step for me. I've worked hard for this moment. I didn't toil myself to death today, I'm

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  10. Alen Halilovic Joins Las Palmas After Tough Spell in Germany

    27th January 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    After a decent spell on loan at Sporting Gijon last season, where he produced plenty of glimpses of his extraordinary talent, Alen Halilovic returned to Barcelona hoping to kick on with the Catalan giants.


    But despite Halilovic and his agent stating the player's intentions to stay with Barca and fight for a place in the squad, they quickly came to a realisation that with such fierce competition, from the likes of Lionel Messi, Arda Turan, Denis Suarez, Andres Iniesta and countryman Ivan Rakitic for a place, a move away would be best for his development.


    Following plenty of consideration, Halilovic chose to join Hamburg for a transfer fee of €5.5 million that included a buyback clause of €10 million for Barca. Upon signing, the Cro

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