Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has said he would like another shot at managing the team within the next decade so he can try again to lead them to a trophy.
The Argentine took Spurs to the Champions League final last year but his side were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool and he was sacked in November, ending a successful but silverware-free four-year spell in charge.
“It was an amazing journey that finished in a way that no-one wanted it to finish, but deep in my chest, my soul and heart I’m sure our paths will cross again,” Pochettino said on Wednesday.
“From the day I left the club my dream is one day to be back and try to finish the work we didn’t finish. It was an amazing journey, we were so close to winning the right trophies like the Premier League and Champions League, we were very close.”
Pochettino, who also led Tottenham to four consecutive top-four finishes and the 2015 League Cup final, is currently without a club. Play Live bet on NaijaBet.com
Tottenham Hotspur are the latest side to announce a limited return to training following the suspension of football activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the players respecting social distancing rules as they get back into shape, the club said.
Spurs said a limited number of players will be taking part in each session at their Enfield Training Centre, and there will be no access permitted to any building on site.
“From tomorrow, the club shall be making a limited number of pitches available at our training centre for members of our first team squad to use for individual running sessions on a strict rotational basis,” the club said on its website.
“No more than one player per pitch will be permitted at any one time to undertake on-pitch exercise, with only a restricted number of the squad coming to the training centre each day. PLAY NOW
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte gave the go-ahead on Sunday for professional sports teams to start training again in May following the novel coronavirus outbreak but did not set a date for soccer’s top-flight Serie A championship to resume.
Conte, announcing measures to ease the lockdown during a televised address to the country, said individual training could start on May 4, when players would still have to respect social distancing rules, and that team training could begin on May 18.
Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the coronavirus and Serie A has been suspended since March 9. The suspension followed a chaotic fortnight in which the country attempted to carry on with matches behind closed doors.
Conte said sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora would work “intensively” with scientists and sports leaders to ensure training was safe.
“Then we will try to see if they can continue with the championships that are suspended. We will only reach this conclusion if it can be guaranteed that it is safe. We don’t want our athletes to get sick. Place bet on Live Events 24/7
“I’m passionate for football,” he added. “Like many Italians, I initially found it strange that the championship could be interrupted or suspended but I think that even the most ardent fan understands that there wasn’t an alternative.”
Arsenal will re-open their London Colney training ground to their players next week for individual training but the Premier League club will continue to observe social distancing rules amid the coronavirus outbreak, they said on Saturday.
Soccer in England was suspended indefinitely last month due to the virus and no clubs have been in training.
“Players will be permitted access to the Colney grounds next week,” Arsenal said in a statement.
“Access will be limited, carefully managed and social distancing will be maintained at all times. All Colney buildings remain closed.
“Players will travel alone, do their individual workout and return home,” the club added. Make cool cash from home with NaijaBet Virtual Games
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus on March 12, which led to the Premier League postponing the next round of matches and none have been played since.
National League clubs have voted to end the regular season at its current point, with promotion and relegation outcomes “under careful consideration”.
The league’s board had urged clubs in its three divisions to vote in favour of ending the regular season without further games because of coronavirus.
The league said there was a “clear majority of clubs in favour” from the almost 90% of responses returned.
Football in the fifth and sixth tiers was suspended on 16 March.
Clubs in the National League, National League North and National League South divisions that have not yet voted still have an opportunity to do so, the league’s board said, but it “would not change the outcome”.
A National League statement added: “In the knowledge that the ordinary resolution has passed, the League’s board has chosen to communicate the decision now and before the last few responses are received, which will not change the outcome, to enable clubs to make business decisions with greater clarity as soon as possible.
“The options concerning the sporting outcomes of the 2019-20 season remain under careful and timely consideration, and further updates will be given in due course.”
Football is re-awakening amid the Covid-19 pandemic but the sense of hope at teams which have started training is mixed with worry over whether it might be too soon and the uncertainty of how to keep players safe.
On hold since mid-March, many European leagues are hoping to start up again in the next two or three months, without spectators, and training has begun in Germany and Austria. Yet re-starting remains fraught with difficulties.
“There is a huge logistical and medical/scientific question about testing and protocols but also a social one,” said Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, secretary-general of the global players’ union Fifpro.
“We need guidance and protocols on how to return in a healthy and safe manner. Football is a contact sport and we feel very high protection standards are required.”
There was also a moral question. “Are we sending the right message to society, and are we encouraging a healthy return to normal life, or are we sending a bad signal that football has different rules to the rest of the world?” he added. Place bet on Virtual Games 24/7 on NaijaBet
On the other hand, the Swiss Football League said a successful re-start, under scientific supervision with a risk management concept, could allow football “to send a signal that it is possible to return to something closer to normality”.
Several leagues around the world have produced a medical protocol for training, mostly along similar lines.
Paris St Germain and Brazil forward Neymar says that not knowing when football will be played again is making him anxious.
The 28-year-old is preparing for an eventual return at his home in a gated community in Brazil under the supervision of Ricardo Rosa, his long-standing physical trainer.
Despite Rosa’s best efforts to keep him active with a varied daily routine, Neymar said that absence of football due to the COVID-19 pandemic was weighing on him.
“Not knowing when we will play again is causing anxiety. I miss playing, competing, the atmosphere of the club and my PSG teammates. It’s a real longing for football!” he said on his website.
“I’m sure that the fans want to see everyone back on the pitch, the earlier the better. I hope the decision is made as quickly as possible,” added Neymar, who had scored 18 goals in 22 appearances for PSG before the season was halted in March. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Rosa said that his main job was not to add to the pressure which Neymar is already under.
Germany’s health minister is open to a resumption of Bundesliga football matches on condition that they are played behind closed doors, he said on Wednesday ahead of a crunch decision by officials on Thursday.
Jens Spahn, recognising that such ‘phantom games’ are important for millions of footbal fans, said the decisive factor in making the judgment call on returning to action was whether the players’ health could be secured.
“If this can be achieved with a minimised, or as far as possible excluded risk of infection, then it can certainly be done”, Spahn said.
The Bundesliga has been suspended since mid-March due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, which has infected more than 145 000 people and killed over 4 800 in Germany. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Regional leaders in Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia said on Monday that any league resumption would be without fans and that there would be no action before May 9.
The Swiss football league (SFL) says it has submitted a detailed plan to the government, drawn up in co-operation with health experts, for the possible resumption of training and matches in the aftermath of the coronavirus shutdown.
The Swiss government last week announced a gradual end to restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus, starting with beauty salons and hairdressers on April 27.
This raised hopes the football season, which was suspended on March 2, could get underway again in the near future.
Football in Europe is currently at a standstill although teams in neighbouring Germany and Austria have restarted training under strict social distancing restrictions in preparation for a resumption of their seasons.
The SFL said in a statement that restarting the championship, even with matches played behind closed doors, could be a positive sign for the country in general but was also necessary to prevent the financial ruin of Swiss football. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
“With the resumption of play with ‘ghost games’ (matches without spectators), under scientific supervision and combined with a risk management concept, top football wants to send a signal that it is possible to return to something closer to normality as soon as possible,” it said.
League leaders LASK Linz on Monday became the first Austrian top-flight team to re-start training amid the Covid-19 outbreak, with the players divided into small groups and observing social distancing guidelines.
Austria has become one of the first countries in Europe to loosen a lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and the government gave the go-ahead last Wednesday for professional teams to start training again.
Under government rules, the Linz players were divided into groups of six for practice and stayed two metres apart. Other Austrian teams were due to start training on Tuesday.
“We’re all happy to be on the pitch again,” said LASK captain Gernot Trauner.
The Austrian Bundesliga is hoping to resume the season in mid-May though all games would have to be without fans for the foreseeable future. Place bet on Virtual Games 24/7 on NaijaBet
“It’s a completely new situation, we are starting from scratch,” said LASK coach Valerien Ismael.
Several top-flight players have signed up to represent their clubs in the ePremier League Invitational tournament next week to generate funds for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The inaugural edition of the knockout tournament will see players test their Fifa 20 video game skills against each other between April 20-25 from the comfort of their homes.
Among the players who have confirmed their participation are Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Diogo Jota and Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.
“The thoughts of everyone at the Premier League are with all those directly affected by Covid-19,” Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said in a statement on Saturday. Play bet on Virtual Games 24/7 on NaijaBet
“The league, our clubs and players are providing valuable support for communities and the NHS.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp feared getting sacked by the Premier League club early in his tenure if he was not afforded the time to reshape the squad, he said on Wednesday.
The early years were spent building the team into title contenders and Klopp said he knew he had to convince Liverpool’s owners – Fenway Sports Group – that he needed time to change their playing style.
“It was clear we cannot fix it overnight. Everyone wanted that but we couldn’t so I had to ask for time, I knew,” Klopp said on Sky Sports’ Football Show.
“Before that in my career I never got the sack so I had no experience with that, but I knew then it was a different level, and if I can’t deliver here quick enough, then I will get the sack.
“We got that time and the nice thing is that after six, seven, eight games, they were really positive about the situation, they realised we were on the right path. From that moment they didn’t question it one second.” Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet
Klopp, who took over from Brendan Rodgers in 2015, led the club to three finals in three years – Europa League and League Cup in 2016 and Champions League in 2018 – but ended up on the losing side each time.
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard on Thursday criticised the handling of the vote to end the Scottish season in the lower leagues and called for an investigation.
Scotland’s 42 professional clubs voted digitally on a proposal to end the season immediately across the lower tiers and in the top tier Premiership if and when it becomes clear the campaign cannot be completed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The vote was passed with a majority meaning Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers were declared champions of the Championship, League One and League Two respectively.
The Premiership, which Celtic lead by 13 points from Rangers, will not be called off until at least April 23, the earliest date Uefa would accept the abandonment of top divisions to avoid the possibility of being barred from European competitions. Make cool cash from home by playing bet on NaijaBet
Championship side Dundee did not vote last week but belatedly backed the Scottish Professional Football League’s (SPFL) resolution to end the season early following a change of heart.
Rangers, who are second in the Premiership, and bottom side Hearts, who would be relegated, were not in favour of the resolution.
Tottenham Hotspur would struggle to replace captain Harry Kane if he leaves the Premier League club at the end of the season, teammate Lucas Moura has said.
Kane is contracted to Spurs until 2024 but said during an Instagram Live session with Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp last month that he could leave if he felt the London club were not moving in the right direction.
Kane, who also captains England, is Spurs’ third-highest scorer of all time but has yet to win a trophy with his boyhood club.
“I’m sure that every season Tottenham receive offers for Kane. I want him to stay because he’s very important for us and it’s not easy to find a player like him,” Brazilian forward Moura said.
“Everyone knows he’s a big player.” Place bet on Live Events on NaijaBet.com
Kane, who scored 11 league goals in 20 appearances this season, was recovering from hamstring surgery when football in England was suspended indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Predicting when soccer will resume in Europe is impossible in the current climate but there is no doubt that matches will have to be played in empty stadiums when it does, the deputy general secretary of European Leagues (EL) has said.
The EL represents professional soccer leagues in Europe and its members include the top flights of England, Spain, Germany, France and Italy, which have all been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clubs across Europe have been hit hard by the stoppage and leagues are now looking at different ways to resume their seasons, the EL’s Alberto Colombo said BBC https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/52291542.
“There’s no doubt games will be behind closed doors,” Colombo said. “But, of course, it’s impossible to answer the question: ‘When will we be back playing?’ Nobody has these answers.
“Ultimately, we all know the governments of the countries are the ones in charge for lifting the various restrictions that apply to sport.” Make cool cash from home on NaijaBet.com with Virtual Games
The English Premier League has been suspended until at least April 30 and its clubs are meeting on Friday to review the situation although a resumption in the near future is unlikely with Britain still in lockdown.
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has said he is no longer bothered by criticism from soccer pundits because he has grown used to it.
The France international, who joined United from Italy’s Juventus in 2016, has made eight appearances in all competitions this season due to injury and last featured in the Premier League in a 4-1 win over Newcastle United on Boxing Day.
“I guess they miss me,” the 27-year-old told the club’s UTD Podcast, referring to the pundits.
“I’m not someone that looks always at Sports News. When you know football, you don’t need someone to tell you what’s happening.
“If they want to speak, they are allowed to speak, it’s their job to speak. I am used to it now. I am really used to it, it doesn’t bother me.” Place bet on Live Matches and Virtual Games 24/7 on NaijaBet
Former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness has been one of Pogba’s most vocal critics and has labelled the Frenchman “selfish” and a “doddle to play against”.
France is considering restarting Ligue 1 on June 3 or June 17, with the latter date more likely, sports daily L’Equipe has reported, citing a document from league organisers (LFP).
Soccer in France was suspended indefinitely last month due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On Monday French President Emmanuel Macron extended the lockdown in the country to May 11.
The L’Equipe report said that if the season resumed on June 17 teams would have to play every three days so the regular campaign could end by July 25, leaving time for relegation and promotion playoffs to be completed by August 2.
L’Equipe also said LFP members had voted on Friday to push back the start of next season by two weeks to August 23, but that the decision would have to be confirmed by France’s Football Federation (FFF).
The Premier League season must be played to a finish after the COVID-19 shutdown is over instead of using “artificial means” to decide the champions as well as relegation and Champions League spots, Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has said.
With football in England suspended since March 13 due to the pandemic, Hodgson said teams might have to accept increased safety restrictions and having to play more games in a shorter period when play resumed.
“Everyone is in total agreement we need an end to this season,” the 72-year old told the club’s website.
“We don’t want artificial means of deciding who wins the league, who gets into the Champions League, who gets relegated and promoted. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
“Ideally our players would have three or four weeks minimum to prepare for the first match back, but I accept there may have to be a squeeze on that timeframe.
The president of Serie A club Sampdoria says he cannot see any point in concluding the season, currently suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak, if matches are played without fans attending.
“Let’s organise ourselves to say that this championship must end here and now,” Massimo Ferrero said television station in an interview.
“It hurts me to say this because I want to start again but only seeing my stadium, which is the most beautiful in the world, with my fans beating their drums.”
The Serie A league says it wants to conclude the season but there is no indication yet of when, or if, it can restart in a country which is among the worst hit by the coronavirus. Bet Now on Virtual Soccer Games
Matches would almost certainly have to be played behind closed doors.
Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad has urged the continent’s role-players to be ready to lead the recovery of the game once the coronavirus pandemic has subsided.
Football on the continent has been brought to a virtual standstill, with just Burundi’s league playing on, but Ahmad says stakeholders need to ready themselves to swing back into action when it is safe to do so.
“In these painful times full of worry, it only comes to my mind that all of our populations, all our living sources and our youth, will emerge from this pandemic in good health and in optimal shape to attack the recovery of our activities with courage and determination,” Ahmad said.
“Football, which brings together passions from all over the world, remains, of course, very much awaited on our continent and CAF is already focused on the conditions for relaunching our competitions and our events.
“A revival that we are studying in its smallest parameters, because it will awaken the zeal of our fellow Leaders, Presidents, Players, technical, administrative and medical staff, and all our large family.” Make cool cash from home with NaijaBet Virtual
Ahmad says that football needs to go back to basics when it does resume so that it can ensure its long-term revival and survival.
Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldinho Gaucho will be released from jail into house arrest in Paraguay on Tuesday after he and his brother paid $1.6 million in bail, the judge in his case said.
The former Barcelona, Paris St Germain and AC Milan midfielder, who won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002, was arrested on March 6 with his brother and business manager Roberto Assis.
They were accused of possessing adulterated Paraguayan passports. The brothers’ lawyer has called their detention “arbitrary, abusive and illegal.”
The pair had been previously denied bail but the judge on Tuesday said the investigation carried out in the days since favoured the detainees.
Judge Gustavo Amarilla gave no further details but said there was no reason to keep the pair in custody given their huge bail payment and on the condition they do not leave the country. Make cool cash from home on NaijaBet
The judge relayed his decision to the brothers in a video call and granted them permission to move into the four-star Palmaroga hotel in Asuncion while they awaited their trial.
Thomas Mueller looks set to spend his entire career at Bayern Munich, who he describes as his ‘passion’, after signing a contract extension until 2023, the reigning Bundesliga champions announced on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old joined the club as a schoolboy in 2000, making his debut for the Bavarians eight years later and has since racked up more than 500 appearances.
“I’m happy that we’ve reached agreement with Thomas. Thomas is a special player for us, a figurehead for the club and our fans, a leader who shows the way on the pitch and has achieved a lot with FC Bayern,” sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said in a statement.
The new deal comes after Mueller worked his way back into the side under coach Hansi Flick this season after being frozen out by previous boss Niko Kovac. Place bet on Virtual Games 24/7
Flick himself signed a deal to make his contract permanent until 2023 after guiding his outfit back to the top of the German top-flight.
Pep Guardiola’s 82-year-old mother has died after contracting coronavirus, Manchester City announced on Monday.
“The Manchester City family are devastated to report the death today of Pep’s mother Dolors Sala Carrio in Manresa, Barcelona, after contracting coronavirus,” the Premier League club said in a statement.
“Everyone associated with the club sends their most heartfelt sympathy at this most distressing time to Pep, his family and all their friends.”
Guardiola, 49, last month donated one million euros ($1 million) to buy medical supplies for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in his native Spain. Play Now
He also issued a video as part of the club’s Cityzens At Home initiative urging fans to stay at home.
England captain Harry Kane has urged people to keep calm and stay home during the coronavirus.
Like many parts of the world, Britain has been locked down because of the pandemic and Tottenham striker Kane has reminded people of their responsibility to remain indoors as much as possible.
In a video posted on social media by the Football Association, Kane said the only option was to enjoy the extra time at home with loved ones.
“During this time I think it’s important to just stay calm,” Kane said.
“On a matchday, that’s how I like to be so I’m using that same energy while I’m at home. Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet
“We can only look after ourselves, we can only stay at home and help the healthcare services and everyone saving lives at the moment.
Bayern Munich said on Sunday that players will return to training on Monday for the first time since the Bundesliga was suspended due to the coronavirus.
Bayern led the table by four points when the season was halted on March 13.
“The Bayern Munich first team will return to training in small groups from Monday, April 6,” said a statement from the club.
“This will be done in coordination with government policy and the relevant authorities.
“It goes without saying that all hygiene regulations will be strictly observed.” This the best time to make cool cash from home with NaijaBet Virtual games
German football league officials had already advised a break in training until Sunday at the earliest.