Matthijs De Ligt becomes the world’s most expensive defender

Dutch central defender Matthijs de Ligt, one of the most coveted young players in world football, signed Thursday for Juventus from Ajax for a fee of 75 million euros ($84.2 million) plus add ons.

The 19-year-old agreed a five-year contract with the Italian champions.

Juventus said in a statement the fee would be paid over five financial years, with “additional costs” of 10.5 million euros.

The combined fee makes De Ligt the world’s most expensive defender, surpassing the 84 million euros Liverpool paid to sign his Netherlands teammate Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton in 2018.

De Ligt is Juventus’ third most expensive signing after the 105 million euros they paid to buy Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in 2018 and the 90-million-euro transfer of Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli in 2016. Bet Here 

De Ligt had also been linked with Manchester United, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain after his impressive performances for a young Ajax side that reached the Champions League semifinals last season.

Continue reading “Matthijs De Ligt becomes the world’s most expensive defender”

OFFICIAL : Allegri set to leave Juventus at end of season

Coach Massimiliano Allegri will leave Serie A champions Juventus at the end of the season after guiding them to five straight Italian titles, the club said on Friday.

“Massimiliano Allegri will not be on the Juventus bench for the 2019/2020 season,” the club announced in a surprise development.

Allegri, 55, held meetings with the club’s hierarchy earlier in the week during which a clear disagreement between the two parties emerged.

He had rejected reports saying he was about to be dismissed last Saturday adding he had already been making plans for the side’s future for the past six months.

Juventus have already wrapped up their record eighth consecutive title, and Allegri’s fifth in as many years and he lifted the Coppa Italia on four occasions since replacing Antonio Conte in 2014. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

The club’s former midfielder Conte along with France boss and ex-defender and boss Didier Deschamps, Champions League finalist Mauricio Pochettino of Tottenham and Lazio’s Simone Inzaghi have been linked with taking over from Allegri in the Italian press in recent weeks. Continue reading “OFFICIAL : Allegri set to leave Juventus at end of season”

Lazio defeat Atalanta to win seventh Coppa Italia

Lazio lifted the Coppa Italia for the seventh time on Wednesday after late goals from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Joaquin Correa guided them to a 2-0 final win over Atalanta on a night in Rome dogged by fan violence.

Milinkovic-Savic’s fine header set Lazio on their way with eight minutes left at the Stadio Olimpico, seconds after coming on as a substitute, before Correa sealed victory in the closing moments of the match.

The victory books Lazio a ticket to next season’s Europa League, much-needed for Simone Inzaghi’s side as they are eighth in Serie A, four points off the European berths with two games left to play.

“We really wanted this Cup,” said Inzaghi.

“It’s a great satisfaction, we deserve it because we’ve come a long way.”

However his side’s win was marred by clashes outside the stadium between Lazio’s hardcore ‘ultra’ supporters and police before the game. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

Fans threw projectiles at officers as a police car was burnt near the Ponte Milvio bridge not far from the Stadio Olimpico. Continue reading “Lazio defeat Atalanta to win seventh Coppa Italia”

Ronaldo’s return for Juventus vital UCL semi-final success

Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to fitness could be vital to Juventus’s bid to end their Champions League drought going back 23 years as they head to Ajax on Wednesday with uncertainty over whether their superstar will play or not.

Ronaldo hasn’t played for the Serie A leaders – who are just one point away from sealing an eighth Italian league title – since scoring the sensational hat-trick that saw Juve come back from a 2-0 first-leg deficit to knock out Atletico Madrid last month.

He was rested in the subsequent 2-0 league defeat at Genoa and then picked up a thigh injury on international duty with Portugal two weeks ago.

But coach Massimiliano Allegri remains confident the 34-year-old will be ready for Wednesday’s game in Amsterdam.

“He (Ronaldo) always feels ready. We are confident of having him at Ajax on Wednesday,” said Allegri after Saturday’s 2-1 league win over AC Milan.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner joined his teammates for training on Monday and is expected to travel with the team to the Netherlands.

Portuguese teammate Joao Cancelo, himself recovering from a calf strain, believes that Ronaldo will be present. Continue reading “Ronaldo’s return for Juventus vital UCL semi-final success”

Juve set to win eighth-straight SerieA title in record time

Champions Juventus turn their focus to nailing down an eighth consecutive Serie A title in record time this weekend, days after a row erupted over racist abuse aimed at starlet Moise Kean in Cagliari.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side return to their home comforts of the Allianz Stadium in Turin to host AC Milan after their trip to Sardinia on Tuesday ended amid scenes of chaos as Kean and teammate Blaise Matuidi were subjected to monkey cries and racist chanting.

Juventus could win the league title with seven games to spare – the earliest any team has ever sealed Serie A – if they beat AC Milan and nearest challengers Napoli lose at home to Genoa.

The Turin giants have an 18-point advantage on Napoli and have won both their direct clashes with Carlo Ancelotti’s side this season.

“The eighth consecutive championship is in the ‘loading phase’,” said Juve captain Giorgio Chiellini. Bet Now

“Right now, the ‘uploading’ is getting closer to completion. These will be two very important weeks for us.” Continue reading “Juve set to win eighth-straight SerieA title in record time”

Ronaldo absence gives Kean chance to shine at Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence through injury could give Moise Kean the chance to shine with Juventus after the teenager’s stunning breakthrough with Italy during the international break.

Ronaldo looks set to miss the champions’ next three Serie A games, against Empoli on Saturday, Cagliari on April 2, and AC Milan four days later after picking up a right thigh injury playing for Portugal.

The 34-year-old was rested by Juventus in their last Serie A game, after his hat-trick against Atletico Madrid sealed a place in the Champions League quarterfinals against Ajax.

And without the Portuguese star Massimiliano Allegri’s side suffered their first league defeat this season. 2-0 against Genoa.

Juventus are still closing in on an eighth consecutive Scudetto with a 15-point gap on second-placed Napoli. Start forecasting your weekend games Now

And Kean will be hoping to get a chance to showcase his talents for their first game at home against Empoli since their dramatic victory over Atletico in the Allianz Stadium. Continue reading “Ronaldo absence gives Kean chance to shine at Juventus”

Ronaldo faces Uefa disciplinary hearing over goal celebration

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo is facing disciplinary action for his celebration after one of the three goals he scored in last week’s 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

Uefa said the Portuguese would face a hearing on Thursday for “improper conduct” during the last-16 second leg match, where Juventus completed a 3-2 aggregate win.

Ronaldo made a similar gesture to Atletico coach Diego Simeone, who celebrated his team’s opening goal in the first leg by turning to the crowd and putting his hands on his trousers. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

Simeone was fined 20 000 euros ($22 708) for the incident but escaped a touchline ban for the return match. Juventus face Ajax Amsterdam in their quarterfinal.

Juventus lose without Ronaldo, Inter go third with Milan derby win

Cristiano Ronaldo was rested and Juventus crashed to their first Serie A defeat of the season at Genoa on Sunday following their Champions League heroics, as Inter won a fiery Milan derby clash 3-2 to move into third ahead of city rivals AC Milan.

Ronaldo had fired Juventus into the European quarterfinals with a comeback victory over Atletico Madrid last Tuesday.

Without him the team slumped to a 2-0 defeat but still remain comfortably on track for an eighth consecutive league title.

Juventus’s lead was cut to 15 points by Napoli who got back winning, prevailing 4-2 against Udinese after goalkeeper David Ospina collapsed on the pitch after suffering a head injury.

The on-loan Arsenal goalkeeper was later given the all clear following a CT scan at a Naples hospital. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

Juventus had won 24 of their 27 previous matches in Serie A this season with three draws, including a 1-1 stalemate against Genoa in Turin.

Continue reading “Juventus lose without Ronaldo, Inter go third with Milan derby win”

Milan hold Lazio to dull draw in Coppa Italia semi

AC Milan held Lazio to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semifinal in Rome on Tuesday as the home side wasted numerous chances.

The 2013 winners had plenty of opportunities to claim an advantage, including Ciro Immobile’s delicate lob in the second half, but Gennaro Gattuso’s side will return to the San Siro the happier of the teams.

“The regret is that we didn’t manage to score,” Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi said.

“We were only missing a goal. But the lads put in a great performance, were always very focused against Milan, who are the form team in Serie A right now.”

After a poor opening quarter of an hour as both teams failed to assert any control, the ball broke to Lucas Paqueta in the home side’s box.

Tiemoue Bakayoko’s deflected shot fell to Paqueta but his shot was weak in threatening Thomas Strakosha. Continue reading “Milan hold Lazio to dull draw in Coppa Italia semi”

Ronaldo on bench as Juventus warm up for Atletico and Frosinone

Cristiano Ronaldo is set for a rare start on the bench as Juventus host struggling Frosinone on Friday looking to pull 14 points clear in Serie A with an eye towards next week’s Champions League trip to Atletico Madrid.

Portuguese star Ronaldo brought his tally to 20 goals for Juventus in all competitions last weekend in a 3-0 win over Sassuolo.

But the 34-year-old will start on the bench for just the second time this season before the former Real Madrid player returns to the Spanish capital next week.

Paulo Dybala returns to the starting line-up, forming an attacking trident alongside Mario Mandzukic and Federico Bernardeschi.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri’s defensive problems have been eased with trio Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini back training. Various Betting Options are available on Site

Juventus captain Chiellini is expected to return on Friday.

Continue reading “Ronaldo on bench as Juventus warm up for Atletico and Frosinone”

Late Ronaldo penalty help Juvetus to sink Lazio

Cristiano Ronaldo converted a penalty two minutes from time as Serie A leaders Juventus came from behind to win 2-1 at Lazio and go 11 points clear at the top on Sunday.

Lazio dominated the first hour and went ahead with an Emre Can own goal in the 59th minute before Joao Cancelo levelled for Juve in the 74th, four minutes after coming on as a substitute.

The Portuguese also won the penalty which allowed his compatriot Ronaldo, who missed a spot-kick against Chievo in his last game, to score his 15th league goal of the season.

Juventus, chasing an eighth successive title, have 59 points out of a possible 63, while second-placed Napoli are on 48 after their 0-0 draw at AC Milan on Saturday. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

Lazio are seventh after continuing their dismal run against Serie A’s so-called big teams – Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, AS Roma and Napoli. They have taken only one point in seven games this season against sides from that group. Continue reading “Late Ronaldo penalty help Juvetus to sink Lazio”

SerieA Match Preview: Torino vs Juventus

Torino are unbeaten in their last three games and they head into the weekend’s action only four points off fourth place.

Juventus slipped to a shock 2-1 defeat away to Young Boys in the Champions League in midweek but still managed to secure top spot as Manchester United also lost. Max Allegri will demand a response from his players.

Torino can be happy with their season so far but they will need to be even better if they are to get a positive result against Juventus. The Old Lady have only dropped points in the league once this season and should return to winning ways here.

Team News- Torino- Cristian Ansaldi is finally back at full fitness and might keep Ola Aina on the bench.

Daniele Baselli is reportedly a doubt, which means Roberto Soriano could start instead. Place bet on Live matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

Former Juventus duo Simone Zaza and Tomas Rincon will have to settle for places on the bench. Continue reading “SerieA Match Preview: Torino vs Juventus”

Messi should try something new or come to Italy – Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has urged long-time rival Lionel Messi to be more like him and push his limits by challenging himself in another league than Spain.

“I’d like him to come to Italy one day. I hope he accepts the challenge like me, but if he’s happy there then I respect that,” Ronaldo told the Italian press on Monday.

The two strikers have been rivals for the past decade winning five Ballon d’Or trophies each before their domination was broken by World Cup runner-up Luka Modric last week.

Asked if he missed the 31-year-old Argentinian, who has spent his entire senior career at Barcelona, Ronaldo replied: “No, maybe it’s him who misses me …

“I’ve played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal and for my national team, while he’s still in Spain.

“Maybe he needs me more… For me, life is a challenge, I like it and I like to make people happy. Bet Now 

“He’s a fantastic player and a good guy, but I don’t miss anything here. This is my new life and I’m happy.

“I left my comfort zone and took on this challenge here in Turin, everything has gone well, I’ve proven I’m still an incredible player,” said Ronaldo. Continue reading “Messi should try something new or come to Italy – Ronaldo”

SerieA Match Preview: Juventus vs Inter Milan

 

Juventus have only dropped two of the 42 points available in Serie A so far this season. It is in their DNA to win every single match.

Inter have dropped points in two of their last three league matches but are still five points clear of fifth.

Inter Milan may have one eye on their final Champions League group game next week, but the idea of being the first side to beat Juventus in Serie A this season should really motivate them on Friday night.

Team News

Juventus- Alex Sandro is still carrying a minor injury and may not be risked on Friday night ahead of Juventus’ busy December schedule.

Paulo Dybala isn’t scoring as much this season but is still an integral part of Massimiliano Allegri’s plans. The Argentine will find space in the starting XI against Inter. Bet Now on NaijaBet

Rodrigo Bentancur is arguably Juventus’ most in-form player at the moment. He is guarenteed a starting berth, though Emre Can has been tipped with a return to the matchday squad here. Continue reading “SerieA Match Preview: Juventus vs Inter Milan”

Mauro Icardi wins Serie A footballer of year award

Inter Milan’s Argentina striker Mauro Icardi won the Serie A Footballer of the Year award at the Gran Gala del Calcio ceremony in Milan on Monday night.

The 25-year-old becomes the first player outside Juventus to win the Italian Players’ Association award, voted for by his peers, since Zlatan Ibrahimovic with AC Milan in 2011.

Icardi was joint top scorer with Lazio’s Ciro Immobile in Serie A last season with 29 goals.

The Argentine also won the best goal award for his spectacular backheel during a four-goal haul against Sampdoria last March.

Icardi disagreed with the choice, insisting his “one (goal) at AC Milan was more beautiful”. Start forecasting your midweek fixtures Now

Juventus were voted top team with Massimiliano Allegri winning coach of the year after the Turin side won a league and Cup double for the fourth consecutive year. Continue reading “Mauro Icardi wins Serie A footballer of year award”

Juventus ready to step up their games against Florence

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has urged his side to step on the gas in December to tighten their grip on an eighth successive Serie A title before they turn their focus back to their Champions League pursuit in February.

The Italian champions booked their ticket to the knockout rounds of the elite European competition with a game to spare this week with Cristiano Ronaldo setting up Mario Mandzukic to score the only goal against Valencia.

Next up will be a trip to Tuscany side Fiorentina on Saturday, the first of six league games before the end of 2018, which includes home games against European rivals Inter Milan and Roma in Turin.

“We have reached the first goal with Champions League qualification, now we must maintain the same energy throughout December,” said Allegri.

Juventus are eight points ahead of second-placed Napoli, who were held to a goalless draw against bottom club Chievo last weekend.

But Allegri said: “We still have lots of matches to play, by dropping three points you might lose the championships in the end. JOIN NOW

“We hope to bring all the trophies home.” Continue reading “Juventus ready to step up their games against Florence”

Higuain apologises for sending off against Juventus

AC Milan forward Gonzalo Higuain has apologised for getting dismissed against Juventus, the club that sent him to San Siro on loan this season, during a 2-0 defeat on Sunday in which he also missed a first-half penalty.

Enraged after being penalised following a collision with Juventus defender Medhi Benatia, the former Real Madrid and Napoli forward was booked for dissent, then given another yellow immediately afterward for continuing to protest.

“First of all, I want to apologise to the team, the coach, the supporters and the referee for my reaction,” Higuain said.

“I take responsibility for what happened. Obviously, I hope that it doesn’t happen again. It was one of those moments — we were losing, I missed a penalty and we aren’t robots but people. But I don’t want to try and justify my actions.” Bet Now on NaijaBet

Juventus loaned Higuain to Milan for one year — with an option to buy — in August after signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid, and the Argentine reiterated that it was not his decision to leave. Continue reading “Higuain apologises for sending off against Juventus”

Ronaldo scored, as Juventus keeps flying high

Cristiano Ronaldo scored as Juventus bounced back from their midweek Champions League defeat by Manchester United with a 2-0 win over 10-man AC Milan in Serie A on Sunday, as Gonzalo Higuain missed a penalty before being sent off for the hosts.

Mario Mandzukic headed in the opener in the eighth minute at the San Siro with Ronaldo adding a second on 81 minutes as Juventus maintained their six-point cushion ahead of the international break.

It got the defending seven-time Serie A champions back on track after suffering their first defeat of the season by United following two late goals despite Ronaldo’s stunning volley.

“Winning tonight was the only way to put aside what happened in the final five minutes of the Champions League game,” said Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“It was important to win without conceding a goal and to regain the six-point advantage over Napoli who are having an excellent championship.”

A third loss of the campaign, however, saw AC Milan drop out of the Champions League places behind Lazio who moved back into fourth despite a 1-1 draw at Sassuolo. Continue reading “Ronaldo scored, as Juventus keeps flying high”

SerieA Match Preview: AC Milan vs Juventus

AC Milan has won five of their last six games in Serie A and has only lost one of their last 10 in the league. Alessio Romagnoli has scored dramatic stoppage-time winners in their last two league outings.

Juventus slipped to a shock 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on home soil in midweek, their first defeat of the season in any competition. In Serie A they have won 10 of their first 11 matches, drawing the other.

There is a reason the Old Lady have not lost successive matches since August 2015 and they should respond in typical Juventus fashion on Sunday night.

Team News

AC Milan- Ivan Strinic, Mattia Caldara, Davide Calabria and Lucas Biglia are all sidelined for AC Milan, while Gennaro Gattuso has a raft of other injury concerns as well. Bet Now

Gonzalo Higuain is the main one and the Argentina international will be desperate to recover from injury in time to face off against his former club.

Juventus- With Federico Bernardeschi and Douglas Costa both at risk of missing out for the second game in a row, Massimiliano Allegri may be limited in what he can do in attack. Continue reading “SerieA Match Preview: AC Milan vs Juventus”

Gianluigi Buffon to start against Lille, Napoli

Italian goalkeeping “legend” Gianluigi Buffon will start for Paris Saint-Germain when they face Lille and Napoli in the coming days, PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said on Thursday.

Buffon, who joined the Ligue 1 giants in the summer from Juventus, last played for PSG in a 5-0 league win over Lyon on October 7 as he alternates with French shot-stopper Alphonse Areola.

The 40-year-old World Cup winner was suspended for PSG’s opening three Champions League group games.

But he is set to replace Areola in Friday’s league fixture with Lille and again in Naples on Tuesday when PSG will be battling for a win to salvage their flagging Champions League campaign.

“He plays a very important role for us because he’s a legend,” Tuchel said.

“He’s had a great career and has a lot of experience. He’s crucial for us thanks to his approach to the game. LIVE matches Bet Now NaijaBet

“It’s very important that he’s here and that he speaks to everyone to share his experience.” Continue reading “Gianluigi Buffon to start against Lille, Napoli”

Ronaldo shines as Juventus sinks Empoli

Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice, including a thunderous 25-yard drive, as Italian champions Juventus surged seven points clear in Serie A on Saturday following a battling 2-1 victory at Empoli.

Empoli, without a win since the opening weekend of the season, grabbed a 28th-minute lead at the Stadio Carlo Castellani as Francesco Caputo curled home following a lung-busting run by Afriyie Acquah.

But Juventus turned to their €100-million man Ronaldo in the second half, as the Portugal forward equalised from the spot before blasting home a magnificent second to secure a ninth win in 10 Serie A matches for Massimiliano Allegri’s team.

“It was a very complicated game. We knew it would be difficult, especially after a Champions League tie and we were a bit tired,” Ronaldo said.

“We stayed in the game, increased our possession, created more chances after the break and in the end deserved the victory. Bet Now

“I don’t remember the goal very well, I’ll have to watch it again! It all happened very quickly, but I felt confident and I went for the goal.”

After Caputo’s opener, the hosts appealed for a penalty when Miha Zajc’s shot glanced the arm of Leonardo Bonucci as he attempted to charge down the attempt, but the referee opted against punishing the Italy defender after reviewing the incident on video. Continue reading “Ronaldo shines as Juventus sinks Empoli”

SerieA Match Preview: Empoli vs Juventus

Empoli are without a win in eight games but did at least draw with relegation rivals Frosinone last time out.

Juventus have started the season with 11 wins from 12, drawing to Genoa last weekend.

Juventus were fantastic away to Manchester United in midweek and will be full of confidence on Saturday.

Team News

Empoli- Luca Antonelli and Manuel Pasqual will keep rotating at left-back, with the latter expected to sit out here. Bet Now 

Coach Aurelio Andreazzoli is contemplating two systems: a 4-3-1-2 with Antonino La Gumina up front or a 4-3-2-1 with Rade Krunic pushed forward. Continue reading “SerieA Match Preview: Empoli vs Juventus”

Juventus forced me out because of Ronaldo – Higuain

AC Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain said he was treated very well by Juventus – right until the moment they forced him out of the club to make way for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Higuain moved to Milan on loan in August after two seasons at Juventus, where he won two Serie A and Coppa Italia titles and scored 55 goals in 105 appearances in all competitions.

His departure, which he said was not his decision, came shortly after the Turin side signed five-times world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.

Higuain said in an interview published on Thursday that he felt something was amiss when he was left on the bench for the Coppa Italia final against AC Milan in May. Place bet on Live matches 24/7

“That day, I had the feeling inside that maybe something had broken down. And then they signed Ronaldo,” he said. Continue reading “Juventus forced me out because of Ronaldo – Higuain”

Cristiano Ronaldo is not easy to replace – Fabio Paratici

Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici said on Monday it was not easy to replace a player of the calibre of Cristiano Ronaldo as he also dismissed a return to Italy for Manchester United’s French World Cup winner Paul Pogba.

Ronaldo, 33, joined Juventus from Real Madrid last summer for €100 million.

The Spanish club has lost three and drawn one of their last four matches and are currently fourth in La Liga.

“Ronaldo is probably the best player in the history of the game so he isn’t easy to replace,” Paratici told journalists at the Manlio Scopigno ceremony at Rieti in central Italy after receiving a “Manager of the Year” award. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

Paratici revealed that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner had been keen from the outset to join Juventus.

“We talked about it initially, and straight away we got the feeling he wanted to join us, which was a huge advantage,” he said.

“Real Madrid had a gentleman’s agreement with him, the ownership kicked things off and negotiations began.” Continue reading “Cristiano Ronaldo is not easy to replace – Fabio Paratici”

‘Rape allegations do not change opinion of Ronaldo’- Juventus

Italian champions Juventus on Thursday broke their silence over rape allegations against their superstar player Cristiano Ronaldo, saying the claims made by an American model do not change their opinion of the Portuguese striker, but US sportswear giant Nike said it was “deeply concerned”.

“Cristiano Ronaldo has shown in recent months his great professionalism and dedication, which is appreciated by everyone at Juventus,” the defending Serie A champions said on Twitter.

“The events allegedly dating back to almost 10 years ago do not change this opinion, which is shared by anyone who has come into contact with this great champion.”

Juventus later posted a video on You Tube and Twitter showing Ronaldo working up a sweat as he trained with his teammates at the team’s Continassa centre in Turin for Saturday’s league game against Udinese.

“Juventus go for goal. Cristiano Ronaldo finds the target!,” read the caption beside the video.

Juventus’s tweets were widely panned on social media as “shockingly dismissive and insensitive”. Continue reading “‘Rape allegations do not change opinion of Ronaldo’- Juventus”