Spurs star Kane in doubt for Man United clash – Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino revealed star Harry Kane is no certainty to face Manchester United on Saturday after missing the EFL Cup midweek.

Liverpool Slump: Stop Comparing Jurgen Klopp With Brendan Rodgers

The Reds are stuck in a rut but a major change in approach is unlikely to get them out of it, meaning the players will have to take responsibility.

'It Would Have Been Easy To Sack Wenger' - Arsenal Owner Kroenke

The Gunners boss signed a fresh two-year deal at the Emirates Stadium at the end of last season amid calls from supporters for him to leave the club.

Koeman: Failure To Sign Giroud Caused Everton Sacking

The inability to sign a high-class forward to replace Romelu Lukaku has been cited by Dutchman for his departure from Goodison Park.

Super Mario Balotelli Is Back To His Best

The 27-year-old's resurgence is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore for Azzurri boss Gian Piero Ventura ahead of next month's World Cup play-off.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Serena Williams’ husband speaks of pride after Wimbledon run

Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
Serena Williams’ husband speaks of pride after Wimbledon run
Williams was beaten 6-3 6-3 by Angelique Kerber in Saturday’s final.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

7 weird and wonderful moments you half-remember from World Cup third-place play-offs

Dream Team FC
7 weird and wonderful moments you half-remember from World Cup third-place play-offs

World Cup third-place play-offs are unique games of football.

Two disappointed semi-finalists face off for a relatively meaningless consolation prize in a fixture that’s half-friendly, half-World Cup final.

We went back and reviewed the last seven third-place play-offs and picked out some moments you vaguely remember…

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1 Bastian Schweinsteiger’s exhibition

Jurgen is down with the kidsReuters

In 2006, a 21-year-old Schweinsteiger informed all his compatriots that he was to be the midfield general for the following decade.

It was Germany v Portugal and for 22 second-half minutes, Basti decided to just kick the ball as hard as he could whenever he was in possession.

He scored twice from distance and forced Petit into a shinned own goal by smashing the ball across the face of goal from a free-kick.

It was also Oliver Kahn and Luis Figo’s last international games — the latter providing a glorious assist for Nuno Gomes in the 88th minute but it finished 3-1 to the Germans.

2 Davor Suker’s golden touch

It takes a brave man to meg Jaap StamAP:Associated Press

Croatia are immensely proud of their efforts in 1998, and rightfully so.

Their magnificent kit billowing around Suker as he unleashed a volley of powerful shots at whatever poor, unfortunate goalkeeper stood in his way is an enduring image of the tournament.

Croatia’s No9 scored his sixth goal of the campaign to win the Golden Boot as Netherlands narrowly missed out on the podium.

Bolo Zenden scored an unnecessarily good goal for the Dutch consolation — dribbling 30 yards off the wing before walloping the ball past Drazen Ladic from outside the box.

3 Brazil break an unwanted 74-year record

Booooooo!AP:Associated Press

After having their reputation blended up and guzzled down by Germany in the semis, Brazil had plenty of pride to play for in the third-place play-off in 2014.

Which makes the selection of Jo even more bizarre.

Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands were in no mood for mercy.

Neither was the referee, who awarded the Dutch an early penalty despite the fact a) Arjen Robben performed a trademark dive and b) the contact occurred two yards outside the box.

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Robin van Persie converted and when Daley Blind made it 2-0 after 16 minutes, a traumatising deja vu looked possible.

It ended 3-0 and the home fans booed their side off the field — a first for a third-place play-off.

4 Henrik Larsson’s glorious dreadlocks

One of about eight men in all of history capable of pulling off this look

Bulgaria were ‘doing a Brazil’ when David Luiz was just a schoolboy.

Hristo Stoichkov and his band of merry men were 4-0 down at half-time against Sweden in 1994, thanks in part to Larsson and his distinctive barnet.

The Swedes took it easy after the restart with no goals being scored in the second half, somewhat sparing Bulgaria’s blushes.

5 Hakan Sukur’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment

Getting on with things2002 AP

10.8 seconds.

That’s how long it took Turkey’s Hakan Sukur to open the scoring in 2002 — quite the effort considering South Korea kicked off.

The game was a thriller from start to finish with both teams (rare visitors to the late stages) giving it everything.

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After half an hour the score was 3-1 to Turkey — Song Chong-Gug’s injury-time goal made it 3-2 but Turkey held on for the bronze medal.

FUN FACT: Sukur’s post-football political allegiances means he is no longer welcome in his home country, under threat of death.

6 A sad goodbye and one-World Cup wonder

What a month…AFP - Getty

You’ve heard of one-season wonders but how about a one-World Cup wonder?

Salvatore Schillaci scored seven international goals in his career and six of them came at the 1990 World Cup.

The Italian forward scored his sixth of the tournament in the third-place play-off against England to clinch the Golden Boot.

Italy won 2-1 as a rare Peter Shilton mistake gifted the hosts a goal — it was the legendary goalkeeper’s last game for England and his 125th cap.

7 The tale of the two Jabulani whisperers

He’s coming for you, Miroslav Klose…Action Images - Reuters

In 2010, everyone was losing their minds about the World Cup ball.

Adidas’ Jabulani was supposedly bending around corners like a bullet in the Matrix or that terrible Angelina Jolie film.

Thomas Muller and Diego Forlan tamed the beast, finishing the tournament with the Golden Boot and Golden Ball respectively.

Both scored in the third-place play-off between Germany and Uruguay, which ended 3-2 to Muller and co.

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Forlan struck the bar with a devilish free-kick, the last touch of the game, denying us all what would have been an entertaining extra-time.

Long live the third-place play-offs!

CATCH UP ON THE LATEST WEIRD AND WONDERFUL NEWS FROM THE 2018 WORLD CUP

Friday, July 13, 2018

Juventus' Joao Cancelo keen to win Champions League, secure Portugal spot

ESPN FC News
Juventus' Joao Cancelo keen to win Champions League, secure Portugal spot
New Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti says Italian football will be highly enriched with Cristiano Ronaldo joining Juventus. ESPN FC's Stewart Robson and Craig Burley explain just how monumental Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Juventus is for world football. Speaking in March 2018, Cristiano Ronaldo admitted he loved watching Juventus play as a child ahead of his transfer from Real Madrid to the Italian side. Stewart Robson tells us how Cristiano Ronaldo will fare at Juventus and if his goal-scoring prowess at Real Madrid will continue in Turin. Juventus defender Joao Cancelo said he is focused on winning the Champions League and securing a place in the Portugal national team after his move last month from Valencia. Cancelo, 24, made the €40.4 million switch on June 27 after spending last season on loan at Inter Milan. "My objective here is to win titles, starting with the league and Coppa Italia," Cancelo said at a news conference. "I would define the Champions League as an objective too, but not an obligation, as there are several...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

World Cup 2018: Photographer Becomes Part Of Croatia World Cup Goal Celebration

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World Cup 2018: Photographer Becomes Part Of Croatia World Cup Goal Celebration
Quick as a flash, he picked up his camera and took some remarkable close-up shots of the Croats' joy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Chelsea transfer news: Jorginho hosts goodbye dinner with Napoli team-mates as Blues prepare to announce double swoop with Maurizio Sarri

Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun
Chelsea transfer news: Jorginho hosts goodbye dinner with Napoli team-mates as Blues prepare to announce double swoop with Maurizio Sarri

CHELSEA are closing in on a double swoop for Jorginho and Maurizio Sarri, according to reports.

Former Napoli boss Sarri, 59, is set to replace Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge after lengthy negotiations.

Maurizio Sarri knows Jorginho well from their time together at NapoliGetty Images - Getty

And Sky Italy claims his first act as Blues chief will be to complete a move for Italy international Jorginho, who starred for him last season.

The Brazil-born playmaker, 26, hosted a goodbye meal with his team-mates last night and reportedly ended up in tears as he bid farewell.

Manchester City have been chasing Jorginho all summer but look set to lose out at Sarri uses his influence.

The Blues have been locked in discussions over the Italian tactician’s release clause despite Carlo Ancelotti already being brought in as his replacement.

FROM RUSSIA WITH LIVE All the latest action, news, goals and gossip from the World Cup
Jorginho was a No1 target for Manchester City but Pep Guardiola could miss outGetty Images - Getty Stamford Bridge chiefs are working on a double swoopGetty - Contributor

But Sky Italy claims by including Jorginho into the deal, the Blues are hopeful of getting both their men for £57million.

In a blow to their plans, Stamford Bridge chiefs are concerned Real  Madrid will swoop for Eden Hazard after Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus for £99m.

Real president Florentino Perez is desperate to make a marquee signing on the back of Ron’s exit and the World Cup.

And with Paris Saint-Germain determined not to let either Brazil superstar Neymar, 26, or France ace Mbappe, 19, go this summer, Real are set to make Hazard their prime target.

Antonio Conte has been taking Chelsea training as normal despite increasing doubts over his futureGetty - Contributor

 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

FIFA 18: EA Sports just gave Jordan Pickford an enormous upgrade… but it’s still not good enough

Dream Team FC
FIFA 18: EA Sports just gave Jordan Pickford an enormous upgrade… but it’s still not good enough

Jordan Pickford was immense against Sweden the other day – pulling off a handful of incredible saves.

Rightly so, EA Sports handed the keeper an upgrade – only it’s perhaps not as good as he deserved.

Don’t get us wrong, though, it’s still pretty substantial. I mean, take a look at these stats.

Pickford has seen huge leaps in diving, handling, kicking, reflexes , speed and positioning.

Handling has had one of the largest boosts – climbing from 79 to 85.

But it’s positioning that steals the show – up from 74 to 83. Rightly so, given that during the Sweden match, Pickford seemed to be in the right place at the right time every time the Swedes attacked.

Jordan has been class for England throughout the competitionAlamy Live News

Still, at justy 82 rated, some would feel Pickford’s overall is too low, especially given the fact that higher rated keepers, such as Manuel Neuer (92) and (97 top card) both struggled for form at the World Cup.

Should the Englishman pull off another incredible performance against Croatia on Wednesday, EA Sports will have no choice but to give him another substantial boost.

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Monday, July 9, 2018

France v Belgium: Pogba and De Bruyne confronted by Zidane's path to greatness

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France v Belgium: Pogba and De Bruyne confronted by Zidane's path to greatness
France v Belgium: Pogba and De Bruyne confronted by Zidane's path to greatness
For a dominant midfielder aiming to make their mark in the latter stages of an international tournament, Zinedine Zidane indisputably remains the benchmark in the modern era. France are two wins away from emulating their celebrated class of 1998, who prevailed 3-0 in the World Cup final against Brazil on home soil thanks largely to a first-half brace from Zidane. The ex-Juventus and Real Madrid great was only just getting started. At Euro 2000, he strode regally across a quarter-final against Spain – dispatching a precision free-kick to kick-off a 2-1 win. It was the era of golden goal extra time and Zidane displayed nerves of steel to down Portugal from the penalty spot in the semi-final. David Trezeguet brought a similarly abrupt conclusion versus Italy in the final to make it back-to-back titles for Les Blues. By the time the 2006 World Cup rolled around, Zidane had announced the tournament would be his last. His headbutt on Marco Materazzi in the final remains an indelible piece of red-blooded punctuation before Italy gained revenge, but the 34-year-old's form up until that point was untouchably majestic. Is it over the line?! It is! How cool was that from Zidane?   on Facebook now! https://t.co/uzMtTkvxsV pic.twitter.com/1Bbbm0ap7L — FIFA World Cup  (@FIFAWorldCup) May 4, 2018 A shimmy inside Carles Puyol and an arrowed finish completed a 3-1 last-16 win over Spain and another penalty meant more semi-final woe for Portugal. In between those Iberian triumphs there was a celebrated masterclass against Brazil – all improbable audacity and razor-sharp effectiveness. The simple and the sublime, never better demonstrated by the glided free-kick to present Thierry Henry with a routine winner. If anyone representing France or Belgium can approach those standards in St Petersburg on Tuesday, World Cup glory will be significantly closer for their nation. Two men in particular will have studied Zidane's footprints.   The heir apparent "Maybe we are talking about Paul Pogba a bit too much, but if he can keep up his current development he can become one of the best players ever," Zidane told L'Equipe in 2014. The caveat remains telling. It is hard to make a case for Pogba's development remaining on the upward trajectory it hit during those years of Scudetto hoarding at Juventus. Euro 2016 presented the opportunity for the parallels to become irresistible but Pogba and France fell short. Portugal exorcised their years of Zidane-inflicted misery with a shock final win at the Stade de France, the scene of Les Bleus' finest hour 18 years earlier. Pogba was ineffective on the night and Didier Deschamps' struggles to fully harness the plentiful gifts of his midfield powerhouse echo at club level. The world's most expensive player when he returned to Manchester United in 2016, Pogba's performances at Old Trafford create the levels of polarisation you might expect to lead to an ill-advised referendum in modern Britain. Direction 1/2@equipedefrance #heretocreate #fiersdetrebleus #WorldCup2018 pic.twitter.com/68IijUMxD9 — Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) July 7, 2018 Almost without exception, the best United displays of Jose Mourinho's tenure have had Pogba's prints all over them, yet relations with the Portuguese were forebodingly strained last season as the 25-year-old was dropped for key matches. Zidane would never have suffered such a fate in his prime years but the association and thirst for succession remain. Former United captain Rio Ferdinand spoke of Pogba emulating his hero and compatriot before Russia 2018. In a France side that still feels tantalisingly shy of the sum of its parts under Deschamps, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann are grabbing the headlines but Pogba was a picture of brutal efficiency in the quarter-final win over Uruguay – winning 14 duels during the 90 minutes. Mourinho probably nodded on in rueful approval. Pogba may be building towards something special. However, there is a man set to line up in Belgium red a step ahead in that regard.   The closest approximation As their World Cup dream died in Kazan, the display produced by one of their tormentors might have persuaded Brazil fans it was 2006 all over again. Kevin De Bruyne's first-half strike of pure power and precision eventually proved the difference between the sides but throughout the contest there was something of Zidane's gleeful romp in Frankfurt 12 years earlier running through the Manchester City man's display. De Bruyne's bristling intensity means first impressions do not immediately recall Zidane's languid dominance of the field. But his mastery of the open spaces, both as he tirelessly devours the turf or threads the most wonderful array of destructive passes, allayed with deft ingenuity at close quarters make him the nearest approximation of Zizou in football today. Kevin De Bruyne's goal: A short play. #BRABEL 0-2#WorldCup pic.twitter.com/lvsWvloNrm — FIFA World Cup  (@FIFAWorldCup) July 6, 2018 There is even a short, flaring temper in evidence occasionally and, thus far, it has tended to yield more productive results than headbutting an opponent in the chest. De Bruyne shaking off an ugly challenge from Dele Alli to tear at a backpedalling Tottenham before ramming home a vicious shot off Lloris' arm last December was a fine example of channelled fury and the 27-year-old's innate feel for the decisive moments in big matches. "Kevin is one of the best players I've ever seen in my life in terms of how he can make absolutely [everything happen]," said Pep Guardiola last year, a man who wearily chased Zidane's shadow during that Euro 2000 encounter between France and Spain. The greats generally grasp such moments and there lies the challenge for Pogba and De Bruyne at Krestovsky Stadium.