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”
Argentina’s national football association (AFA) president Claudio Tapia has said he has spoken to captain Lionel Messi about playing fewer games for La Liga side Barcelona in order to stay fresh for his country ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
Tapia’s pleas have largely gone unheeded by Barca coach Ernesto Valverde, who has started Messi in 33 of the team’s total 39 games this season, only leaving him out of the matchday squad in three King’s Cup games.
The coach did leave Messi out of the starting line-up for the first time in the league against Espanyol on 4 February but threw the Argentine on as a substitute to help salvage a 1-1 draw.
“I hope all the players arrive in the level they are at the moment. Sergio Aguero is playing outstanding right now and Lionel Messi is always at the top of his game,” Tapia said. Naija and Bet
“That’s vital for the directors and the coaching staff. We have spoken to Messi about taking care of himself and about playing less for Barcelona.” Continue reading “Argentina want Messi to reduce his Laliga playing time”
Record signing Philippe Coutinho will need time to settle into the Barcelona side after he made a quiet La Liga debut in a 2-1 win against Alaves on Sunday, coach Ernesto Valverde said.
All eyes were on the 142-million-pound playmaker but he was substituted in the second half for striker Paco Alcacer as Barca chased the game after falling behind to John Guidetti’s 23rd minute opener, eventually mounting a comeback with goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. Play bet on Live matches 24/7 online on NaijaBet
Coutinho, playing on the right of midfield, linked up well with his new teammates but failed to make a significant impact on his full debut at the Nou Camp after making his first appearance as a substitute in Thursday’s 2-0 win over Espanyol in the King’s Cup.
“Players aren’t machines that you can just put in a factory and start to work right away,” Valverde told reporters in defence of Coutinho. Continue reading “Valverde defend Coutinho quiet La Liga debut”
Barcelona reached the King’s Cup semifinals with a 2-0 win over Espanyol on Thursday to overcome a first-leg deficit on a night when new signing Philippe Coutinho made his debut.
Early goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi calmed the nerves at the Nou Camp after Barca’s great rivals Real Madrid, as well as Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad, had been knocked out of this season’s competition by unfancied opponents.
Facing city rivals Espanyol was a potential banana skin for Ernesto Valverde’s side, who lost last week’s first leg 1-0, but Barcelona were rarely troubled in front of a vibrant Nou Camp.
Barca’s new Brazilian attacking midfielder Coutinho, who arrived from Liverpool this month for a club record fee of 142 million pounds ($200.65 million), was given a standing ovation when he came on to take his bow in the second-half. Place bet on today’s game on NaijaBet
His every touch was loudly cheered on a night when Barca bade farewell to their versatile Argentine Javier Mascherano who is joining Chinese Super League side Heibei China Fortune.
Mascherano was given a guard of honour before the game in recognition of his seven-and-a-half years at the Nou Camp. Continue reading “Barca sink Espanyol to book Cup semifinal spot”
Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano is to leave the club after seven-and-a-half years at the Nou Camp with the Spanish league leaders confirming on Wednesday that the player is joining Chinese Super League side Heibei China Fortune.
In China, the 33-year-old will link up with Argentine compatriot Ezequiel Lavezzi at a side coached by former Real Madrid and Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini.
Mascherano made 334 appearances in a successful spell at the Catalan side, lifting 18 major honours, including two Champions League triumphs and four La Liga titles. Naija and Bet
“Javier Mascherano is leaving FC Barcelona after seven-and-a-half seasons. The Argentinian will be receiving an institutional farewell from the club on Wednesday,” Barcelona said in a statement.
“The club president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and the first team squad will be present. The player will say goodbye to the fans on the pitch ahead of the club’s King’s Cup tie against Espanyol on Thursday.” Continue reading “Barcelona confirm Mascherano Departure to china”
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane on Wednesday confirmed that he has signed a contract extension which will keep him at the European champions until 2020.
“It’s signed,” said the French star after his side drew 2-2 with Numancia to progress to the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey 5-2 on aggregate.
After a dream start at Real, with eight trophies out of a possible 10, Zidane has endured a tough season with his side 16 points behind Barcelona in the La Liga title race.
And the 45-year-old cautioned: “I’m enjoying what I do every day, because that’s the way it is. I can’t imagine myself as a coach in two, three years, because things are not like that. Naija and Bet
“I know how it goes, nothing more, even with this contract it does not change anything.”
On Wednesday, Real fielded an almost unrecognisable team and struggled into the Copa del Rey last-eight. Continue reading “Zidane sign new Real Madrid deal until 2020”
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has defended his players and dismissed talk of a crisis at the reigning Spanish and European champions after seeing them fall further behind La Liga leaders Barcelona.
Madrid ended an outstanding 2017 with a 3-0 defeat at home to their bitter rivals in the Clasico and their first La Liga outing of 2018 saw them draw 2-2 at Celta Vigo on Sunday.
That means they lie fourth in the table, 16 points behind Barca, the unbeaten leaders, as the halfway stage in the season approaches. They have a game in hand, but their hopes of a successful title defence already appear in tatters. Naija and Bet
“When things go wrong, I am not someone to throw two or three players into the shit. We are all in the same boat, all responsible, me the first as coach,” said the Frenchman as he refused to blame any individual members of his squad for their slump in form.
“We had two spectacular years and people should not forget that. I know the next game is the most important. We will not live in the past, but will not throw away what has been done either.” Continue reading “Zidane hope for better Real squad”
Philippe Coutinho will not be able to make his Barcelona debut for about three weeks because of a thigh injury he sustained while at Liverpool.
The Brazilian playmaker passed a medical on Monday during which Barcelona doctors analysed the injury that kept him out of Liverpool’s Premier League win over Burnley on January 1.
“Coutinho has an injury in his right thigh. He will be out for 20 days,” Barcelona said in a statement, meaning he is likely to make his debut in the Catalan derby against Espanyol on February 4. Naija and Bet
Barcelona agreed a 142 million-pound ($192 million) deal with Liverpool on Saturday to buy Coutinho, who became their record signing.
Defender Dani Carvajal insists Real Madrid can still win the Spanish league, despite the 3-0 El Clasico defeat by Barcelona that left them 14 points adrift in the LaLiga title race.
“We have not lost it nor has Barcelona won it. It is a lot of points. But we are going to try to win the matches that remain and see if we can lift the title.
“La Liga is not won or lost in December,” he said in an interview published Wednesday in Spanish sports daily AS.
“It was a hard loss, but we are Real Madrid. We have had a fantastic year and there are still six months left in the season,” the 25-year-old added when asked about Real’s loss at home to Barcelona. Naija and Bet
The Spanish giants completed a double of Champions League and La Liga titles last season and have since added the Club World Cup trophy and the European and Spanish Super Cups. Continue reading “Carvajal not giving up on LaLiga title race”
Cristiano Ronaldo returned to full training on Friday with his Real Madrid teammates to quash fears he could miss Saturday’s huge El Clasico clash with Barcelona at Real’s Santiago Bernabeu.
The world player of the year received rough treatment as he scored the winner in the Club World Cup final over Brazilians Gremio last weekend, but Ronaldo had insisted he would be fit for the lunchtime visit of league leaders Barca. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet
Ronaldo didn’t train with the rest of the Madrid squad on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday as a precaution.
Madrid will need Ronaldo in the form he has shown of late, having scored five goals in his last four games as the European champions look to claw their way back into the title race. Continue reading “Ronaldo back in training ahead Saturday’s of El Clasico”
Atletico Madrid have reported Barcelona to Fifa for an illegal transfer approach for Antoine Griezmann.
The French forward has been linked with the Catalan club in the Spanish media and Barcelona director Guillermo Amor told Movistar on Sunday that president Josep Maria Bartomeu may have made contact with Griezmann’s family, who are also his representatives, over a potential move. NaijaBet
“Atletico Madrid have presented a complaint about Barcelona for repeated contact between Barcelona, the player and his people,” Atletico said
“Griezmann has a long contract and this cannot be permitted, while the club also considers it could affect the competition [La Liga] in which Barcelona are currently top and Atletico are second.” Continue reading “Atletico report Barca to Fifa over Griezmann move”