Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone will “sooner or later” become coach of Serie A giants Inter Milan, his sister and agent claimed on Sunday.
“I think it’s only a matter of time. He loves the club, the atmosphere and living in Milan. Inter is a side he would really love to coach,” Natalia Simeone said in quotes in the Italian press.
Former Argentina international Simeone spent two years as a player with Inter, whom he joined from Atletico Madrid in 1997, winning a Serie A title and the Uefa Cup.
He then went on to play for four years with another Italian club, Lazio, before returning to Atletico Madrid. Place bet on LIVE matches 24/7
“Diego said it too, sooner or later, he’ll end up at Inter,” said Natalia.
“Inter is a team that he would like to coach so much, but he has remained very close to Lazio, too.” Continue reading “Simeone will love to coach Inter later says agent”
Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has criticised the introduction of the video assistant referee (VAR) in Spain this season, saying it disrupted the natural flow of games and that he would prefer to see the use of goal-line technology instead.
Suarez scored a goal in Barca’s 8-2 win over Huesca on Sunday which was initially ruled out for offside but later awarded after the referee consulted VAR, leaving the Uruguayan unconvinced by the system.
“VAR stifles celebrations,” Suarez said in an interview on Wednesday.
“Defenders are now asking for something the whole time. I would prefer to just have goal-line technology. With VAR, the game can lose naturalness,” he added.
“Perhaps a play starts with an involuntary handball, you counter-attack and score, then they review the play and rule it out.” Continue reading “Video assistant referee (VAR) disrupts flow of game – Suarez”
When Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid in July it was the end of an era at the Santiago Bernabeu as the European champions said goodbye to their all-time top goalscorer and best player.
But although Julen Lopetegui’s side failed to sign a replacement, they have started the season flying with three wins from three games.
Joint top of the table with arch-rivals Barcelona, both boasting 100 percent records, it has been a seamless transition into the post-Ronaldo period at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real thrashed Leganes 4-1 at home on Saturday, taking their tally to 10 goals in three games in the Spanish top-flight. Place bet on Live matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Although a relatively easy start to the season has helped, Real have started playing with joy and it looks as if pressure has been lifted off the team’s shoulders.
“The truth is that now Madrid are playing with 11 and not 10 plus one, like in the last nine years,” wrote Spanish newspaper.
“Now if a player receives a bad pass they try to encourage the teammate who made the error. Before it was different, Cristiano Ronaldo was understandably demanding, but everything is a lot friendlier now.” Continue reading “Unity will be a vital key for Real to forget Ronaldo”
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scored twice each as La Liga champions Barcelona turned on the style to hammer Huesca 8-2 on Sunday and join Real Madrid as the only teams in the league to win their opening three games.
Top-flight debutants Huesca took a shock early lead in their first league visit to the Nou Camp when Colombian forward Cucho Hernandez deflected the ball in from point-blank range but Messi soon dampened the celebrations of the visiting supporters by cannoning a shot in off the post to level in the 16th.
An own goal from Jorge Pulido gave Barca the lead and Suarez extended their lead by scoring for the first time in five games in all competitions after the video assistant referee (VAR) overturned an offside call from the linesman. Place bet on today’s on games on NaijaBet
Huesca’s Alex Gallar pulled one back before halftime to make it 3-2 but any hope of a revival from the visitors was soon killed off by three Barca goals in 11 minutes from Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic and another strike from Messi.
Jordi Alba capped a brilliant performance to score the seventh after setting up two of the earlier goals, while Suarez added No 8 with a penalty in stoppage time as Messi turned down the chance to complete a hat-trick, offering the spot-kick to the Uruguayan instead. Continue reading “Messi and Suarez show no mercy as Barca sink Huesca”
Thibaut Courtois was expected to quickly assume the role of first choice goalkeeper for Real Madrid after arriving from Chelsea for €35 million this month.
However, the Belgian World Cup semifinalist watched the European champions crush Girona 4-1 from the bench in the La Liga on Sunday at Montilivi, with Keylor Navas excelling in goal.
Every summer since 2015 Madrid has tried to sign a new goalkeeper to be their regular No 1, but Navas has doggedly held on to the position, helping the club to three consecutive Champions League titles.
The Costa Rican’s time finally appeared to be up when Courtois forced through a move to the Spanish capital from Chelsea, but thus far Julen Lopetegui has kept his faith in Navas.
He was in goal for the Uefa Super Cup game against Atletico Madrid on 15 August when Courtois was not in the squad, having only completed his move from Chelsea a few days before. Place bet on Live matches 24/7
Despite Real conceding four goals in a 4-2 defeat, Navas kept his place for the opening game of the La Liga against Getafe, which Real won 2-0. Continue reading “Keylor Navas shows Courtois who is Real’s No 1”
Real Madrid got off to a winning start in La Liga on Sunday by comfortably beating neighbours Getafe 2-0 at home with an inspiring performance from Gareth Bale in the European champions’ first league game in the post Cristiano Ronaldo era.
Bale crashed a diving header against the crossbar early on, then helped to set up Dani Carvajal’s looping header which broke the deadlock in the 20th minute, wrapping up the points with a powerful first-time finish early in the second half. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
The Wales forward was given a standing ovation by the home supporters in his first competitive game back at the Santiago Bernabeu since scoring twice in the 3-1 win over Liverpool in the Champions League final.
The result lifts the pressure on new coach Julen Lopetegui after Wednesday’s painful 4-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Uefa Super Cup and sees Real join champions Barcelona on three points after one game, although Sevilla lead the standings on goal difference after their 4-1 win at Rayo Vallecano.
Lopetegui again chose Costa Rica international Keylor Navas in goal ahead of €30-million signing Thibaut Courtois and fielded Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos over Luka Modric, who was also left out of the starting line-up in the Super Cup game but came on in the second half. Continue reading “Bale shines as Real down Getafe in La liga”
Madrid defender Sergio Ramos criticised Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp’s poor record in finals in the latest installment of their long-running war of words on Tuesday.
The German recently blasted Ramos for injuring Mohamed Salah and colliding with goalkeeper Loris Karius during Liverpool’s 3-1 Champions League final defeat by Real in May.
Salah suffered shoulder ligament damage and left the pitch in tears with huge questions hanging over his participation at the World Cup in Russia. UEFA Super Cup various betting options are available on site, Bet Now.
It later emerged that Karius had suffered a concussion, and following the incident, he made a couple of blunders to concede two goals.
“It’s not the first final (Klopp) has lost, he should stick to his own business,” Ramos told reporters ahead of the UEFA Super Cup showdown with Europa League winners Atletico Madrid. Continue reading “Real skipper Sergio Ramos hits back at Klopp”
Barcelona battled back to defeat Sevilla 2-1 and win the Spanish Supercup on Sunday with French World Cup winner Ousmane Dembele hitting a sensational winner to help give Lionel Messi a winning start as captain.
It was Barcelona’s 13th Supercup and sixth in the last nine seasons.
However, Sevilla squandered a golden chance to send the match into extra-time when Wissam Ben Yedder missed a last-minute penalty.
Pablo Sarabia gave Sevilla the lead after just nine minutes on a counter-attack.
Gerard Pique, who announced his international retirement with Spain on Saturday, levelled three minutes before the interval for Barcelona after he was fastest to respond to a loose ball following a Messi free-kick. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
That set the stage for French star Dembele to take the headlines with a 78th minute screamer from 25 yards and again Messi played a crucial role with the key pass.
There was still time for late drama when Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen brought down Aleix Vidal in the area as the Sevilla youngster closed in on an equaliser. Continue reading “Barcelona sink Sevilla to win Spanish Supercup”
Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas says the signing of Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois has affected his desire to remain at the triple European champions as he emphatically ruled out leaving the club in order to be assured of first-team football.
“Tell everyone loud and clear, I have as much enthusiasm for leaving Madrid as I do for dying,” Navas told reporters after Real’s 2-1 victory over AS Roma in a friendly at the Metlife Stadium in New Jersey on Wednesday.
The Costa Rica international joined Real in 2014 and has helped them win a remarkable three consecutive Champions League crowns between 2016 and 2018 as well as lifting the La Liga title in 2017. Place Bet on Live matches on NaijaBet 24/7
The keeper’s long term future has often been in doubt, however. He was on the verge of joining Manchester United in 2015 when Real’s pursuit of David de Gea fell through on transfer deadline day, while the club also failed to sign Spain goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga last January from Athletic Bilbao. Continue reading “Navas ready to stay at Real Madrid despite Courtois competition”
Portugal winger Gelson Martins has signed for Atletico Madrid as a free agent, the Spanish side said on Wednesday.
“Our club has reached an agreement with Gelson Martins, making him a new Atletico player,” said a statement from last season’s La Liga runners-up.
“The Portuguese attacker, who arrives as a free agent, has signed for six seasons.” Place bet on Live matches on NaijaBet
Martins rescinded his contract with Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon last month, one of nine players to quit the club after an attack in May on a training camp by hooded supporters, some armed with sticks, in which Dutch forward Bas Dost was injured and the dressing room was vandalised.
The incidents came at the end of a tumultuous campaign for Sporting who finished third in the Primeira Liga and reached the quarterfinals of the Europa League. Continue reading “Gelson Martins has signed for Atletico Madrid”
Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has vowed that his club will make a splash in this summer’s transfer market.
European champions Real have had a tempestuous close season with Zinedine Zidane stepping down as coach in May days after his team won the Champions League for the third year in a row.
Real’s record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus and the club have only recruited youngsters Alvaro Odriozola (22), Vinicius Junior (18) and Andriy Lunin (19) who all arrived in the Spanish capital to little fanfare.
Traditional big-hitters when it comes to making signings, especially in World Cup years, Real have been heavily linked in British and Spanish newspapers with Chelsea’s Belgian international Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois. NaijaBet
“We need to strengthen our present and our future. This is a great squad that will be strengthened by some brilliant players,” Perez told a news conference on Wednesday. Continue reading “Real will sign more brilliant players – Florentino Perez”
Five-times world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo has signed for Italian champions Juventus from Real Madrid, the La Liga club said in a statement on Tuesday.
Ronaldo, who joined Real from Manchester United in 2008 for a then world record £80 million, is the Spanish club’s all-time top scorer with 451 goals in all competitions and won two La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies with them.
“For Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of its greatest symbols and a unique reference for the generations to come,” European champions Real said, adding that Ronaldo had asked to be transferred. “Real Madrid will always be his home”. Naija and Bet
The transfer fee was not disclosed but Spanish media said Ronaldo had signed a four-year deal and had cost Juventus €105 million. Continue reading “Ronaldo join Juventus from Real Madrid”
Cristiano Ronaldo has received an offer to leave Real Madrid and join Italian champions Juventus, a source close to the player told Reuters on Wednesday.
Ronaldo, who joined Real from Manchester United in 2008 for a then world record 80 million pounds ($105.65 million), is the Spanish club’s all-time top scorer with 451 goals in all competitions and has won two La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies with them.
Despite the glut of silverware, however, the five-times world player of the year has had frequent fallouts with Real and has declared on several occasions that he wants to leave the club. Various Betting options are Available for today’s games on NaijaBet
Moments after lifting a third consecutive Champions League trophy by helping beat Liverpool 3-1 in the final on May 26, Ronaldo appeared to suggest he had already decided to leave Real, telling a television reporter on the pitch at Kiev’s NSC Olympic Stadium: “It was beautiful to play for Real Madrid.”
Ronaldo, 33, appeared to backtrack on that statement during Real’s celebration parade through the Spanish capital the next day, when he told a mass of supporters: “See you next season.”
The Portugal forward was reported to be on the verge of leaving last June after a news story appeared in Portuguese newspaper Record declaring he was unhappy with the club. Continue reading “Ronaldo has received offer, might sign for Juventus”
Real Madrid on Wednesday denied media reports they have made a bid for Paris Saint-Germain’s teenage striker Kylian Mbappe, who is emerging as one of the biggest stars of the Russia World Cup.
Social media user Baptiste Ripart, who identifies himself as a journalist and editor, said in a Twitter posting that the Spanish Champions League holders had agreed to a world-record €272 million fee for the French 19-year-old.
Real Madrid issued their denial after Spanish sports dailies Marca and AS ran articles citing the posting. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
“Given the information published …regarding an alleged agreement between Real Madrid and PSG for the player Kylian Mbappe, Real Madrid would like to state that it is completely false,” the club said in a statement on their website.
“Real Madrid has not made any offer to PSG or the player and condemns the spreading of this type of information.” Continue reading “Real Madrid deny report about Mbappe bid”
Spain sacked coach Julen Lopetegui just two days before the team’s opening game against Portugal at the World Cup, Spanish football federation chief Luis Rubiales confirmed on Wednesday.
In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, Real Madrid named Lopetegui as their next manager to start work after the tournament in Russia, sparking outrage among the federation and Spanish fans at the timing of the announcement.
At a severely delayed press conference at Spain’s World Cup base in Krasnodar, Rubiales appeared to say he felt Lopetegui’s decision to join Madrid so close to the start of the tournament “obliged” him to take drastic action. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
“I am here to say that we feel obliged to sack the national team manager,” said Rubiales.
Lopetegui had signed a contract extension until 2020 just last month and Rubiales is reportedly angry at only being informed of his decision to join Real minutes before the European champions made the announcement public. Continue reading “Spain sacked Julen Lopetegui 24 hours before the start of World Cup”
The Spain boss will take over at Santiago Bernabeu following the World Cup, succeeding the inimitable Zinedine Zidane
Spain manager Julen Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid coach after the World Cup, the club have confirmed.
Real had been heavily linked with a number of potential managerial appointments following the shock resignation of Zinedine Zidane, including Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and former Spurs and Porto manager Andre Villas-Boas. Naija and Bet
However, they have now decided to appoint Lopetegui, who signed a new two-year extension with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) last month.
But following the conclusion of the tournament in Russia, which La Roja are considered one of the favourites to win, Lopetegui will transition into the role at Santiago Bernabeu.
A statement read: “Julen Lopetegui will be the coach of Real Madrid after the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Continue reading “Real Madrid appoint Julen Lopetegui as coach”
La Liga champions Barcelona ended their campaign with a 1-0 win at home to Real SociedadSunday thanks to a sensational distance strike from Philippe Coutinho as the Nou Camp paid an emotional farewell to departing captain Andres Iniesta.
Coutinho drifted inside from the left and held off two defenders outside the area before rattling the ball in off the far post with a venomous shot, breaking the deadlock in the 57th minute.
The league’s top scorer Lionel Messi started the game on the bench but replaced Coutinho in the 67th minute. Iniesta was substituted in the 82nd, hugging most of his teammates as well as some Real Sociedad players and the referee as he left the Nou Camp pitch for the last time as a Barca player.
Barca’s fans held up a mosaic before the game reading “Infinite Iniesta”. They later revealed a banner saying “Thanks for so much” in tribute to a player who came through the club’s academy and spent 16 years pulling the strings in midfield, winning nine Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and six domestic Cups. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
They continued to sing Iniesta’s name long after he had gone off the pitch. The captain returned with his teammates after the final whistle to lift the club’s 25th Liga title and also show off the King’s Cup trophy which they won in April, beating Sevilla 5-0 in the final. Continue reading “Barca fans says Thank You to “Infinite Iniesta””
La Liga’s winners and losers are settled and the European qualification spots decided but for a collection of star players, the final weekend of the season will be anything but a dead rubber.
Zinedine Zidane would appear to have it clear in his mind what does and does not work in Europe. Through Real Madrid’s journey to the final, he has put great faith in the likes of Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio while Gareth Bale, Isco and even Karim Benzema have found their places less secure. Benzema and Isco, however, have proven their coach’s stance can be turned and now Bale must try to follow suit.
His man-of-the-match performance against Celta Vigo last weekend would surely have made an impact on Zidane and another similar display against Villarreal on Saturday might sneak him a starting spot in the final.
Cristiano Ronaldo has shaken off an ankle sprain but the decision is whether to risk the Portugese’s fitness this weekend or, by leaving him out, his sharpness against Liverpool. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
After 674 matches and 22 years associated with the club, Andres Iniesta will bid farewell to Barcelona, who host Real Sociedad on Sunday. A grand clos- ing ceremony is planned, with the Camp Nou crowd set to form the message ‘Infinito Iniesta’ on both sides and Iniesta’s No 8 at either end. Continue reading “Iniesta & Torres set to say farewell on LaLiga finale”
Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has been in contact with Antoine Griezmann’s agent amid reports the Atletico Madrid striker is set to join the Spanish champions.
Frenchman Griezmann has a 100 million euro ($119 million)release clause in his contract and Spanish media reported that Barcelona are ready to pay it.
“We are analysing the season and we will see what we will do with ins and outs,” Bartomeu said radio station. Place bet on today’s game on NaijaBet
“I have bumped into him (Griezmann) occasionally in the Balearic Islands. I have not spoke to him this year but I did speak to his agent in October.
“With (Atletico Madrid President Enrique) Cerezo I have spoken about a lot of things, but not about this.”
Barcelona are looking to strengthen their squad after winning the Spanish title at a canter, 12 points clear of second place Atletico with three matches left. Continue reading “President Josep Maria fuels Griezmann Barca speculation”
Lionel Messi weaved his magic to keep 10-man Barcelona’s unbeaten season alive as a 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou on Sunday left Real Madrid sweating over an injury to Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo was forced off at halftime after appearing to hurt his ankle and Real will be hoping their star striker can now recover in time for the Champions League final against Liverpool on May 26.
The challenge from Gerard Pique had come as Ronaldo cancelled out Luis Suarez’s opener before Sergi Roberto was sent off on the stroke of halftime for an altercation with Real defender Marcelo.
Barca, however, took the lead in the second half as Messi scored a brilliant individual goal only for Gareth Bale, who could earlier have been sent off, to have the last word in a thrilling Clasico, his emphatic strike earning Real a deserved draw. Place bet on today’s game on NaijaBet
After initially taking treatment, Ronaldo played on for 31 minutes here before Zinedine Zidane decided to substitute him at halftime, which may at least offer Real encouragement.
His injury, however, coupled with Barcelona avoiding defeat, despite playing a man down for the whole of the second half, will mean the Catalans depart the happier side. Continue reading “Messi on target as Barca draw with Real to stay unbeaten”
Andres Iniesta has confirmed he will leave Barcelona at the end of the season after 22 years associated with the club.
In a press conference attended by members of the first team and the club’s board on Friday, Iniesta said he wanted to finish at Barca “feeling useful, feeling important and still winning titles”.
Iniesta is expected to continue his career in China but says his next move is yet to be finalised. The 33-year-old reiterated, however, he would never play against Barcelona. Start Forecasting your Weekend games Now
After joining Barca’s academy, La Masia, aged 12, Iniesta blossomed into one of the Catalans’ greatest ever players, winning four Champions League and eight La Liga titles, and lifting the World Cup with Spain. Bet Now
Struggling to hold back the tears, Iniesta said: “I understand that in the near future I will not be able to give the best of myself in all senses, both physically and mentally. Continue reading “Andres Iniesta confirms he’s leaving Barcelona”
Andres Iniesta’s move to Chongqing Lifan is just “a rumour”, the Chinese club’s coach said, as the Barcelona captain gets ready to reveal his future plans.
Reports in Spain and China say the 33-year-old Spanish international midfielder is close to sealing a transfer to the Chinese Super League (CSL), with Chongqing said to be his most likely destination.
Chongqing coach Paulo Bento, who was in charge of Portugal at the last World Cup, said: “This is a rumour and it is very difficult to comment on rumours. Bet Now
“But I don’t think there is any fan or coach in the world that doesn’t like a player like Iniesta,” the Portuguese said, according to Chinese media reports, after Chongqing won 2-0 at Anhui Hefei in the fourth round of the Chinese FA Cup on Wednesday.
Iniesta, who has been central to Barcelona and Spain’s success over more than a decade, looks set to leave his boyhood club at the end of the season. Continue reading “Iniesta leaving Barcelona is a rumour – Chongqing coach”
Zinedine Zidane insists he has no problem with Gareth Bale despite substituting him at half-time during Real Madrid´s Champions League clash against Juventus last week.
A source said that Bale was surprised and angry at Zidane´s decision to take him off at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Real trailing 2-0 in a match they went on to lose 3-1. The defending champions progressed 4-3 on aggregate
Bale was then not included in the squad for Sunday´s 2-1 win over Malaga in La Liga but Real insisted the plan had always been to rest players for the match.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Raphael Varane were also spared the trip to La Rosaleda. Naija and Bet
Real host Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday and Bale will be hoping for another chance to state his case ahead of the first leg of their Champions League semifinal against Bayern Munich next week.
Against Juve, Karim Benzema made way for Bale by dropping to the bench, but Zidane says neither player feels sidelined by recent selections.
“No I don´t think so, this is football,” Zidane said on Tuesday. “I don’t see either of them looking sad, they are training well. Continue reading “Zidane dismisses having problem with Bale”
Diego Costa will walk out for his eighth Madrid derby on Sunday, four years since his last at the Santiago Bernabeu when he scored Atletico’s winner.
Gareth Bale was making his home debut for Real that day back in September 2013, in the same week that Spain requested approval to snatch Costa from the clutches of Brazil and call him up to the national squad.
As he celebrated, Real’s fans chanted “Costa – he is not Spanish”.
All the more striking then that Costa’s shot, guided past Diego Lopez and inside the far right-hand post, still remains his only goal against Real, and the 1-0 win his sole triumph against Atletico’s fiercest rivals.
His record heading into this weekend’s derby reads played seven, won one, scored one. Start forecasting your weekend games now
If Costa is looking for positive omens, however, he might draw a parallel between his initiation with Spain in 2013 and the completion of his renaissance with the national team last week.
Continue reading “Diego Costa ready for Atletico against Real”
Angel Di Maria grabbed two goals as Paris Saint-Germain downed fierce rivals Marseille 3-0 on Wednesday to reach the French Cup semifinals, hours after the club confirmed Neymar will undergo surgery on his fractured foot.
The Argentina international replaced the injured Neymar in the starting line-up at the Parc des Princes and struck the opening goal in first-half stoppage time.
Di Maria added a second shortly after the interval before Edinson Cavani wrapped up a second 3-0 victory over Marseille in four days, following Sunday’s home league win that came at a heavy cost. Start forecasting your weekend games now NaijaBet
PSG announced shortly before kick-off that Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, would travel to Brazil for an operation at the end of the week after suffering a hairline fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot.
The club said that Rodrigo Lasmar, the surgeon with the Brazilian national squad, will perform the surgery, with Neymar expected to miss between six to eight weeks, according to his father. Continue reading “Di Maria double help PSG to sinks Marseille in Cup”