5th May 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
Last summer, Real Madrid's versatile defender, Nacho, had a tough decision to make on whether to leave Los Merengues, the club he joined as an 11-year-old, or seek a move away in an attempt to get the playing time he craved.
AS Roma appeared the likely destination, but the 27-year-old ultimately chose to remain loyal to his beloved Madrid. Without doubt, it's been the right move, for he's enjoying his best season ever working under the tutelage of Zinedine Zidane.
"I have already gone through periods of doubt, that's logical. Each summer you have temptations. But I have always been faithful to my ideas," he explained.
"Last summer, the coach, the club and myself all agreed that I would stay at Real for another year. I think it was the perfect decision. Given how the season has gone, I can say that I didn't make a mistake. I'm where I want to be, happy and as I often say, I want to finish my career at Real."
- Posted: May 05, 2017Categories: Real MadridRead more »
5th May 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
- Posted: May 03, 2017Categories: Chelsea, Real MadridRead more »
3rd May 2017. By Ryan Baldi.
With Cristiano Ronaldo ebbing slowly out of his prime, the rumours that Real Madrid have made Chelsea's Eden Hazard their top summer target could perhaps be construed as bad news for the four-time Ballon d'Or winner.
The 32-year-old Portuguese superstar, who is just nine months removed from leading his national side to success in the European Championships, is still able to boast an impressive return of 32 goals from 40 games this season. However, his current strike rate of 0.8 goals per game is lower than at any other point in his eight years with Los Blancos.
It goes without saying that, having bagged a hat-trick to see off Bayern Munich at the quarter-final stage, Ronaldo remains key to any hope Madrid have of becoming the first team to retain the European Cup in the Champions League era. But manager ZinÃ©dine Zindane would be wise to already be formulating a succession plan for his iconic No.7.
With that in mind, M
- Posted: April 12, 2017Categories: Hoffenheim, Blackburn RoversRead more »
Wednesday 12th April. ByÂ Ryan Baldi
To Premier League fans with little interest in German or French football, Anthony Modeste is a name that is unlikely to conjure too many vivid memories. If the Cannes-born striker left any lasting impressions at all after his short-lived loan spell with Blackburn Rovers during the 2011-12 season, they will be predominantly negative.
Modeste played just nine games for the Ewood Park club, failing to find the net at all during his six months on loan from Bordeaux. The campaign ended in relegation for Rovers while the Frenchman returned to his homeland, sealing another loan switch, this time to Bastia.
So those (un)fortunate enough to have witnessed his unproductive stay in Lancashire would surely be surprised to learn that, now with Bundesliga side KÃ¶ln, Modeste has developed into one of the hottest marksmen in Europe.
With an incredible return of 24 goals from 30 games in all completions 22 of those com
- Posted: April 03, 2017Categories: Tottenham HotspurRead more »
3rd April 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
Erik Lamela's tremendously frustrating 2016 2017 season has now officially been drawn to a premature close. After his sterling efforts in the 2015/2016 campaign, he started this term in equally strong fashion. Having played a pivotal role in Tottenham Hotspur's monumental victory over a previously undefeated Manchester City outfit in October, plus consolidated his place in Mauricio Pochettino's plans with solid performances domestically and in the Champions League, everything came to a grinding halt on the 25th of October last year. In Spurs' EFL cup loss to Liverpool, a game where Lamela came on as substitute for the last 30 minutes, it was discovered that he'd suffered a nasty hip injury, despite running out the match.
The skillful Argentine disappointingly hasn't played since that fateful day, instead he's been condemned to receiving treatment that's
- Posted: March 31, 2017Categories: Celta VigoRead more »
31st March 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
Not many would've predicted at this stage of the season that Iago Aspas would be in the top five in the La Liga goalscoring charts, ahead of some of the league's biggest stars in Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema and Neymar.
Aspas' sensational 15 strikes see him currently sitting in fourth place in the Pichichi race behind only Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, in what's arguably been his finest season at the professional level. His form's been so impressive that Julen Lopetegui even handed him his debut for the Spanish national team back in November of last year. Indeed, his La Roja bow went onto to be a real fairytale occasion for the 29-year-old, as he scored after coming off the bench to instigate Spain's comeback 2-2 draw with England at Wembley.
In Celta Vigo's hotly contested Galician derby clash with Deportivo La Coruna, the Moana born star achieved another notable landmark by bagging the all-important winner,
- Posted: March 24, 2017Categories: Atletico MadridRead more »
24th March 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
Despite only managing one goal and one assist in December and January, Kevin Gameiro's really began to hit his stride with Atletico Madrid in the months thereafter.
Since the start of February, the €30 million summer acquisition from Sevilla has embarked on a wonderful run of form, scoring six goals and supplying two assists in his previous eight matches. On top of scoring against Barcelona in Atleti's 1-1 La Liga draw, he's also bagged an impressive brace in the Champions League vs Bayer Leverkusen and blasted home a rapid hat-trick against Sporting Gijon to clinch a vital victory for Diego Simeone's men.
Simeone's recent comments on his pupil illustrate how happy he now is with the Frenchman. "For me it is what I imagined from him, he has 14 goals and I expect even more," Simeone told AS.
"I think he has been better in games than just his goals, because he has provided many assists. He gives us speed, keeps the ball, g
- Posted: March 08, 2017Categories: Manchester UnitedRead more »
8th March 2017. By Ryan Baldi.
It seemed a near certainty, if reports were to be believed, that Benfica defender Victor Lindelof would join Manchester United in the January transfer window. And when no such deal had emerged by February 1, the Portuguese press instead assured everyone that the Swedish international would make Old Trafford his new home at the end of the season instead.
However, with the news last week that Lindelof has penned a new contract with the Portuguese champions, increasing his buyout clause to €50 million, it is looking increasingly likely that the 22-year-old will be staying at the Estadio da Luz beyond the summer.
If United manager Jose Mourinho is determined to add a new centre-back to his squad, then he will have to look at alternatives to Lindelof.
Here are five central defenders who the Red Devils should consider making a swoop for when the transfer window r
- Read more »
1st March 2017. By Ryan Baldi.
"If you have ten Nainggolans you have a great team regardless of role Â… Radja is one of those players that can do anything."
Roma manager Luciano Spalletti was effusive in his praise of Radja Nainggolan after his side's 3-1 win over Inter Milan at the San Siro last weekend.
It certainly feels as though Nainggolan can do anything at the moment. The Belgian midfielder has been in outstanding form since Serie A resumed after its winter break, and his performance against the Nerazzurri was perhaps one of the finest of his career.
The 28-year-old was typically combative, while also assured and confident on the ball. Like a prime Roy Keane or Patrick Vieira, few players are able to drive their team on as Nainggolan does when at his best.
The midfield powerhouse is tenacious in carrying out his defensive duties and dynamic when transitioning into at
- Posted: February 23, 2017Categories: Galatasaray, Turkey, Fenerbahce, BesiktasRead more »
23rd February 2017. By Danni Biggs.Â
The Turkey Football Federation Chief Yildirim Demiroren told reporters at their headquarters "This time it is our right to host the championships." Brushing the threats and concerns over security and infrastructure Turkey confirms interest to host the 2024 European Championships. On the 15th February the TFF announced their ambitionsÂ bid toÂ be the host nation of this much-loved tournament.
The Turkish Football Federation announce being candidates to host the 2024 Euros. After losing out to stage the finals in 2008, 2012 and 2016 as well as disappointingly missing out on hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics to Tokyo, Turkey deserved to be announced as hosts, but is it the right decision?
So, can Turkey host the 17th edition of the UEFA European Championship? When announcing an end to its pursuit of 2020 the TFFÂ said "We believe Turkey
- Posted: February 13, 2017Categories: Tottenham HotspurRead more »
13th February 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
The partnership between Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele in central midfield for Tottenham Hotspur is hitting all the right chords at present, as they've been integral in Spurs' solid recent form.
Having started the last six league games together, a sequence that began with Spurs' sensational win over Chelsea and unfortunately ended with a loss against Liverpool, the fearsome duo have been crucial for Spurs lately. Indeed, this was something Tottenham's brilliant central defender, Toby Alderweireld, touched on just last week.
"They (Wanyama and Mousa) make our life much easier. They are playing fantastic football this season. They have helped us a lot this season and we are happy to have them," he said.
"They are very strong, good on the ball, they know tactically where to run, to stand, when to kick the ball away and keep it in the team, they have a variety