Juventus makes its moves

Juventus logo By J Hutcherson (Jul 17, 2018) US Soccer Players - When Juventus arrives in the United States later this month, they're not going to be the team anybody expected. That includes their fellow European teams on their International Champions Cup schedule as well as the MLS All-Stars they'll play in Atlanta on August 1. Nobody saw Juventus deciding to reinstate their super club status by successfully putting in a transfer bid for Cristiano Ronaldo. Nobody saw Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo's former coach at European champions Real Madrid, following in a few months as a "special advisor". Juventus has reset the stage domestically and in Europe, and they've done it in time to raise their profile on tour in the United States this summer. Obviously, none of the teams or personalities involved are new to a live US audience. Ronaldo wasn't in the squad when Real Madrid played the MLS All-Stars last Continue reading "Juventus makes its moves"

Juventus remembers to be a super club

juventus-new-logo The soccer news starts with something that seemed reserved for clubs outside of Serie A. That is until Italian champions Juventus went all in and set a new incoming transfer record in Italy. It cost them over $131m dollars to get Cristiano Ronaldo, and with it they sent a clear message. In an era of Premier League money and Spanish dominance in Europe, Juventus decided to play. It's not often that the key player on a Champions League winning team decides to call time on a club, but this isn't a regular offseason for Real Madrid. They've already lost their coach, Zinedine Zidane, and with him at least some of the momentum that produced their Champions League three-peat. Zidane's decision convinced pundits that Real Madrid was a club in transition. Ronaldo and Gareth Bale both suggesting their time with the club might be over helped fuel that narrative. Still, Ronaldo Continue reading "Juventus remembers to be a super club"

The Champions League changes all over again

The UEFA Champions League logo. By J Hutcherson (Jul 10, 2018) US Soccer Players - The champions of Scotland began their 2018-19 season on Tuesday, with Celtic on the road in Armenia in the Champions League qualifiers. Yes, the same day two UEFA national teams meet in the World Cup semifinals in a European country, Europe's governing body needed to get on with their club competition. That the initial stage involves the winners of the Scottish Premier League is down to bigger leagues wanting more group stage places for their clubs and the UEFA coefficient. That doesn't mean it makes sense. It's easier to make the argument against Celtic and the reconstituted version of Rangers as two of the biggest clubs in British soccer. They're giants sharing a city and a lengthy history now dominated by Celtic. Whatever your feelings about the current version of Rangers, they're playing in the same shirt and stadium as Continue reading "The Champions League changes all over again"

Sokratis Papastathopoulos flies to London to finalise £18m Arsenal switch

Subject to a report published by Sunday Express, Borussia Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos has supposedly embarked to London to finalise a highly-anticipated £18m switch to Arsenal, having agreed upon a deal with the north-Londoners a fortnight ago. Flying from Kalamata, Greece, it’s said that the centre-half boarded a British Airways flight last night with his wife, Xanthippi, in […]

Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos hits back over Salah and Karius criticism

• Spain defender insists he was not to blame for injuries
• ‘I didn’t want to speak because everything is magnified’ Sergio Ramos has dismissed suggestions that he was to blame for the challenge that hurt Egypt star Mohamed Salah in the Champions League final. Salah left the field in tears after injuring his left shoulder in a tussle with Ramos with the score 0-0 in the first half of the final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Kiev. Madrid went on to win the match 3-1 and their third straight European title, with Ramos also accused of deliberately elbowing Loris Karius – an incident that is believed to have caused the goalkeeper to suffer concussion. Continue reading...

Concussion may have led to Loris Karius’s calamities, says US hospital

• Massachusetts General ‘carefully reviewed the game film’
• Liverpool fined €29,000 for three instances of crowd disorderLoris Karius’s calamitous performance in the Champions League final could have been a result of concussion he sustained against Real Madrid, a doctor who assessed the Liverpool goalkeeper in Boston has said. Liverpool sent Karius for a head scan at Massachusetts General Hospital last Thursday amid concern at his reaction to a collision with Real’s captain, Sergio Ramos. The 24‑year‑old made two major errors that contributed to Real’s 3-1 victory. The first presented Karim Benzema with the opening goal and came soon after he received a blow to the head from Ramos as they challenged at the near post. Later Karius allowed Gareth Bale to put the contest beyond Liverpool with a long-range shot that squirmed through his hands. Continue reading...

Two sides to the crying game on display at the Champions League final | Barry Glendenning

Paul Scholes was mystified at Karius, Carvajal and Salah’s tears but the former Manchester United midfielder’s past suggests a sympathetic soul lurks beneath the gruff exteriorA week on from a Champions League final that proved remarkable on many different levels and the tears have, presumably, dried. When they had been seen streaming down the faces of Loris Karius, Mo Salah and Dani Carvajal, among other grief-stricken footballers, it was intriguing that Paul Scholes found himself at something of a loss. A star guest at a viewing party in London, the former Manchester United midfielder wasn’t so much critical of these grown men being so publicly reduced to sobbing wrecks, as generally bemused by their ostentatious displays of emotion. Related: Mohamed Salah will be fit to play in World Cup, says Egyptian FA Continue reading...

USMNT in action, promotion for Fulham, three-peat for Real Madrid

USMNT coach Dave Sarachan and Christian Pulisic at a press conference. Monday's soccer news starts with the USMNT playing Bolivia later tonight (6:30pm ET - FS1). The side returns to action under interim coach Dave Sarachan once again focusing on young players. Here's our preview. Pro Soccer Talk's Andy Edwards focuses on the young USMNT players. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jonathan Tannenwald on the DC United connection between USMNT goalkeeper Bill Hamid and Bolivia's Bruno Miranda. ESPN's Jeff Carlisle talks to Christian Pulisic about a potential Bundesliga connection in midfield. American Soccer Now's Brian Sciaretta talks to USMNT player Rubio Rubin. SBI Soccer's Larry Henry Jr has USMNT coach Sarachan talking progress. SI.com's Brian Straus finds meaning in the friendlies. Returning to the club season coming to a close around Europe, Tim Ream's Fulham won their promotion playoff final over Aston Villa with a 1-0 result at Wembley. Tom Cairney scored in the 23rd minute. Fulham played a man down from Continue reading "USMNT in action, promotion for Fulham, three-peat for Real Madrid"

Real Madrid’s glory interrupted by internal politics with a twist | Sid Lowe

Cristiano Ronaldo casting doubt over his future after Champions League final has upset the president, and the fans, and the worry is that this time it could be for realReal Madrid’s president, Florentino Pérez, said we had heard it all before but we had not, not quite like this. Sergio Ramos had not even collected the European Cup, their third in a row, when Cristiano Ronaldo referred to it in the past – to all of it. “It was nice to be at Madrid,” he said, standing pitchside at the Olympic Stadium, Kiev. Was? “In a few days I will give a response to the fans, because they have always been at my side.” And so a historic moment shifted. The night had yet another narrative. Related: Real Madrid win Champions League as brilliant Bale sinks Liverpool Continue reading...

Mohamed Salah ‘confident’ of being fit in time for World Cup finals

• Egyptian injured during Liverpool’s Champions League defeat
• Goalkeeper Loris Karius tweets apologies after final blundersLiverpool’s Mohamed Salah has tweeted that he is “confident” he will be available for the World Cup finals with Egypt this summer, after his shoulder injury in the Champions League final. The Liverpool player wrote: “It was a very tough night, but I’m a fighter. Despite the odds, I’m confident that I’ll be in Russia to make you all proud. Your love and support will give me the strength I need.” Continue reading...

Jürgen Klopp deserves funds to take thrilling football to next level | Barney Ronay

The Liverpool manager requires funds to give his high-octane side a new plan of action on the biggest stage Close to one in the morning, deep in the concrete bowels of the Olympic Stadium, Jürgen Klopp sighed with some feeling and prepared to put away the frazzled but stoically brave face he’d brought to the final post-match press conference of Liverpool’s season. There were two last questions from local media. Both were essentially expressions of pleasure at Klopp’s presence in Kiev, where he is hugely popular for reasons that range from Liverpool’s diaspora support to that translatable sense of authenticity. (“I like this Klopp,” was the verdict of one ex-Soviet citizen of a similar age. “He is for the collective”.) Continue reading...

Real Madrid win with a vital ruthlessness but are they truly great? | Jonathan Wilson

The Champions League triumph against Liverpool showed that Real Madrid’s most obvious quality is simply that they win. Inexplicably at times, but remorselessly“We are Real Madrid,” Marcelo said boldly after Real Madrid had – just – held off Juventus’s fightback in the quarter-final. The reference was clear: they were not Barcelona, not the sort of team to go giving away three-goals leads as their great rivals had the previous night, not the sort of side who countenanced failure. Whether that is arrogance or a necessary mindset for winning probably depends on perspective, but what is true of that Madrid is that their most obvious quality is simply that they win. Inexplicably at times, but remorselessly. Madrid are only the fourth side in history to have been European champions three times in a row. Only they themselves, between 1956 and 1960, have had a run of sustained success better than Continue reading "Real Madrid win with a vital ruthlessness but are they truly great? | Jonathan Wilson"

‘We tried everything’: Jürgen Klopp on Liverpool’s Champions League defeat – video

The Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp, said his team “wanted everything and got minus nothing” in Kiev after they were beaten 3-1 by Real Madrid in the Champions League final. Their star striker Mohamed Salah suffered a serious injury and the side were also blighted by two dreadful goalkeeping errors from Loris Karius. Both players were left in tears while Real Madrid celebrated a third consecutive year of as kings of Europe.
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Salah’s sad exit

After bringing so much joy to Liverpool this season what a devastating way to have to go.His Sergio Ramos assisted dislocated shoulder means that he will most probably not be able to play for Egypt in the World Cup. A really cruel twist of fate. Klopp on what transpired..