Mbappe and Neymar to be the next great rivals

It has been a few years in the making and still appears a few years off arriving, but football fans regularly contemplate what life will be like when Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo either fall from their ridiculous standards or retire gracefully. Aged 31 and 33 respectively, they are at the time of the career when most normal footballers exhibit some signs of decline. Yet the reason they have had such longevity at the top of the game is their work ethic combined with ludicrous ability. Perhaps it could be the arrival of two new bona fide superstars that will encourage Messi and Ronaldo to hang up their boots.

If Messi or Ronaldo had been able to carry their national side to a World Cup title, they could have looked around the sport and decided that there were truly no more worlds to conquer. Instead, Ronaldo was his usual prolific self but received little help, while Messi never really looked comfortable in Argentina’s system under Jorge Sampaoli. Two men who have enjoyed far more successful World Cups are Kylian Mbappe and Neymar. The latter is, of course, Messi’s former Barcelona team-mate, while both are players who have been linked with moves to Real Madrid at various times to either supplement or usurp Ronaldo. Mbappe even grew up idolising Ronaldo, which, if nothing else, should serve to make many of us suddenly feel very old. (more…)

Will Hierro Be Spain’s Iron Man?

On the eve of their preparations for this Summer’s FIFA World Cup, Spain’s plans will have been thrown into disarray. Julen Lopetegui, who had only signed a new contract until 2020 as recently as May of this year, is no longer in charge of the nation which won the 2010 edition of the tournament.

The former Barcelona goalkeeper announced just two days before the first ball in Russia was kicked that he was going to take charge of Real Madrid for the start of next season. The only problem was that it was the first the Spanish FA had heard of it. (more…)

Jose Mourinho Counting On Ashley Young Next Term

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has praised the impact of Ashley Young during the current campaign and believes the Englishman could have a similar role to play next term. The 33-year-old has been the undisputed first-choice in the left-back position this season, contributing two goals and seven assists in 36 appearances for the club.

Speaking to MUTV, Mourinho was pleased with the performance of Young over the course of the season and feels the Englishman has answered plenty of questions which were pointed out towards his fitness, age and ability to play at the highest level. He said: “When I arrived, he was playing a few matches per season. For the last couple of seasons, lots of injuries, lots of doubts, lots of question marks about his future at the highest level. (more…)

Joel Pereira Keen To Repay Jose Mourinho’s Faith

Portuguese goalkeeper Joel Pereira is keen to live up to his potential with Manchester United. The 21-year-old is currently the Red Devils’ third-choice goalkeeper behind David de Gea and Sergio Romero, but he has been backed by Jose Mourinho to become one of Portugal’s best shot-stoppers of the current generation.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Pereira stressed that he is very happy at Old Trafford despite playing deputy to De Gea and Romero, he said: “I’m very happy. As the number three, I have two top goalkeepers in front of me, and they help me a lot too. They have lots of experience and they can help me with that. Obviously, I have a manager who has helped me so much and has always been by my side. I’m learning a lot so I am happy where I am. Obviously, it’s very nice to hear good stuff coming from the manager. Now is my time to show people that he’s right about me and everything he says is actually the truth. I’m just learning and getting some experience. We’ll see what happens next.”


Henrikh Mkhitaryan insists Manchester United stint was a success

Armenia international Henrikh Mkhitaryan has stressed that his 18-month spell with Manchester United was a success. The 29-year-old netted 13 goals in 63 appearances for the Red Devils before making the switch to Arsenal in a swap agreement involving Alexis Sanchez.

In an interview with SFR Sport, Mkhitaryan defended his stint with the Red Devils, and believes he had relatively good success with the club, having netted the crucial second goal during the Europa League final win over Ajax last season, he said: “I think I left an impression in Manchester, although I had difficulties. We won three titles in a year and a half — not every club does that. We won the Europa League, and I scored a goal in the final. If people say that I did not have enough success it is their opinion but I believe that I had a lot of success at the club.”


Nemanja Matic Has No Excuse For Manchester United’s Champions League Exit

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has admitted that the team can provide no excuse for their lacklustre showing against Sevilla in the round of 16 of the Champions League. The Red Devils failed to show up over the course of the two-legged tie, and they eventually lost by a 2-1 aggregate scoreline.

The Red Devils played out a dull 0-0 draw on the road to Sevilla last month, and this had put them in a strong position to beat the Andalusian outfit at home, where they had lost only to Manchester City this term. However, their approach towards the game was negative from the start, and they came on to haunt them in the final 20 minutes with Wissam Ben Yedder coming off the bench to score a match-winning brace. Romelu Lukaku did manage to score in the 84th minute, but it only turned out as a consolation.


Pull the Other One, Defoe: Veteran Striker Has No Chance of Going to World Cup

At 35 years old, Jermain Defoe is fast-approaching the end of his career at the top of the game. If he does a John Terry and decides to move down a league or walks off into the sunset a rich man, there’s no doubt the East London-born scorer has put in a shift over the years.

The well-travelled England cap – who has represented his country at every level from U16 to the senior squad – is currently plying his trade at Dean Court in the colours of Premier League club Bournemouth but his CV shows stints at West Ham, Tottenham and even Portsmouth (when they used to be half-decent). (more…)

Manchester United target Arturo Vidal hints at Bayern Munich stay

Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal has reportedly delivered a blow to Manchester United’s transfer ambitions for the summer. The Chile international has been identified as one of Jose Mourinho’s prime targets to bolster the centre of the park, though the 30-year-old appears content to remain with the Bavarian giants.

In an interview with Sport1, Vidal has suggested that he could stay put with the German champions beyond the summer irrespective of the club’s agreement to sign Leon Goretzka from Schalke 04, he said: “I play in this team for a reason, and I’m certainly one of the world’s best in my position for a reason. I do not think about a change, I feel really good here. Of course I would like to extend. This is an option and my children are very happy here.”

Germany Grows Up

Prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Germany was positioned in 2nd place of the FIFA World Rankings but after the team of Joachim Low emerged as the victorious side with a 1-0 triumph over Argentina, they earned an escalation to the 1st spot, and they’ve been at the top pretty much ever since, even though there has been a changing of the guard in recent years. If anything they are more vibrant, exciting and entertaining now than ever, and well worth watching in action on if you get the chance!

The German squad that came out on top in 2014 has experienced many changes as Bastian Schweinsteiger, Phillip Lahm and Miroslav Klose all retired from the international stage, and the guys that we’d all watched on streams as kids slowly moved on to less competitive (MLS) football, or away from the game completely. Whilst this has been sad in some respects, with legends of the game now past their pomp, it also gives a chance to fresh young footballers keen to make a name for themselves! (more…)

Jose Mourinho has £100m left to spend

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho could extend his spending spree this summer after being given the backing to spend another £100m on new signings.

The Special One has already spent £106m on Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof in the transfer window, but this is only the start of what could be a busy summer for the Mancunian giants.

The Red Devils have been negotiating deals for a whole lot of players in recent weeks but they have been left disappointed with clubs sticking to their asking price. According to The Sun, the Special One has been given the go-ahead to pursue a deal for Perisic after having failed with an initial £26m approach for his services.

The Croatia international is considered as one of the most valuable players in the Inter Milan ranks, but Mourinho is confident that a fresh attempt of £35m would be sufficient to convince the Nerazzurri into a sale. Meanwhile, Mourinho could also move for another defender during this summer’s transfer window while the search for a central midfielder is still on with Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier and Roma’s Radja Nainggolan leading the shortlist. (more…)