Cardiff, Aston Villa battle for CSKA Sofia forward Kiril Despodovby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCardiff City face competition for CSKA Sofia forward Kiril Despodov. The Express & Star says Aston Villa are interested in signing CDespodov.The 22-year-old Bulgarian, who favours a position on the right wing, is being tipped to have a bright future after scoring ten goals and registering 11 assists in just 22 appearances this season in his native top flight.Cardiff and Middlesbrough are also reported to be interested in the £5m rated international. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Real Madrid star Casemiro burgled as wife and daughter at homeby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid star Casemiro had his house broken into while playing the derby on Saturday night.The home burglary occurred with his wife and daughter inside, says El Chiringuito.The Brazilian is the latest in a string of players to be hit while with their teams. Casemiro lives in La Moraleja, one of the most exlusive zones in Madrid.Alvaro Morata, Zinedine Zidane, Isco and Lucas Vazquez have also been hit in the Spanish capital. In Barcelona Arthur, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba have suffered similar problems.Casemiro and Madrid drew 0-0 at Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano, staying top of La Liga.
Man City chief Txiki: Claudio Bravo preparing for managementby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain says Claudio Bravo could yet stay next season.Bravo is approaching the final six months of his contract with the club and the Blues have brought in a number of goalkeepers since that will be looking to push Ederson for a place in the team; Zack Steffen and Aro Muric are both on season-long loans at Fortuna Dusseldorf and Nottingham Forest respectively. “We need a little time to confirm what we are seeing,” Txiki told El Mercurio. “We must remember that he’s been injured for a year and this is not seen in one or two months. After that time, we will make a joint decision, which depends on the two parties, because this is our decision and then his, but I want to make it clear that there is nothing settled. To this day, we are delighted with him.”He added: “He’s preparing for the future. He could have gone to another club to play every game. Here he is taking all experience, collecting everything he has lived, especially in Barcelona and Manchester, to become a great manager.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Twitter/@ReuseRecruitingAn Isaiah McKenzie touchdown catch from Jacob Eason broke a tie in Georgia’s game vs. Nicholls, which has been unexpectedly competitive today.The Dawgs entered the game as a 50-plus-point favorite over the FCS squad at Sanford Stadium. They only lead 26-14, and it took a pair of back-to-back big plays to break the tie with the Colonels.First up: a 66-yard pass from Jacob Eason to Isaiah McKenzie, who does most of the legwork.Nothing better than a great downfield block! #UGA pic.twitter.com/JPfdanciDe— Impakt Athletics™ (@ImpaktAthletics) September 10, 2016A video from UGASports.com’s Jake Reuse shows a massive block from wide receiver Javon Wims on the play.That’ll help. Huge 66 yard TD from Eason to McKenzie. #UGA 20 – Nicholls 14 in 3Q. pic.twitter.com/tPCpYH160I— Jake Reuse (@ReuseRecruiting) September 10, 2016On the second play of Nicholls’ ensuing drive, Devin Powell forced a fumble with a sack of Aaron Davis, which was returned by Lorenzo Carter 24 yards for a score.Georgia fans should feel a little more comfortable up 12, but this is clearly not the performance many expected after last week’s big win over North Carolina. Nicholls has the ball, as we enter the fourth quarter in Athens.
Twitter/Allen_GreatnessAlabama just added a four-star to its 2017 class in Christopher Allen.Christopher Allen has announced his commitment to Alabama. The Baton Rouge native is a four-star recruit and the No. 7 outside linebacker in the country for the class of 2017 per 247 Sports.Four-star linebacker Chris Allen from Southern Lab HS in Baton Rouge has committed to #Alabama. @TideSports @Allen_Greatness— Andrew Bone (@AndrewJBone) November 27, 2016Allen confirmed the commitment with a retweet of the above tweet by TideSports writer Andrew Bone. It looks as if Alabama’s 2017 recruiting class just picked up a very impressive linebackerThe 6-foot-4 linebacker has offers from a number of different schools and according to 247Sports, Florida and LSU were both in play to land Allen. He also has offers from the likes of Miami, Michigan and Florida State.Alabama currently holds the No. 1 recruiting class for next season.
Arsenal need to find themselves a £70 million version of Virgil van Dijk, says George Graham, with there “a lot to be done” by Unai Emery in reversing the fortunes of the Gunners.A Spanish coach has just finished his debut campaign at Emirates Stadium.He inherited a tough job from Arsene Wenger and was unable to deliver a top-four finish in the Premier League or Europa League glory – with Chelsea claiming a 4-1 win in a continental showpiece. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The Gunners are considered to have a sizeable rebuilding job on their hands, but may only have a limited budget to work with.That will be a problem, especially as Graham believes some serious investment is required.The ex-Arsenal boss told football.london: “They’ve got goals in the team and they’ve proved that this year, the way they’ve scored goals. But they’ve also conceded.“I see other teams like Liverpool, buying Virgil van Dijk for £70 million.“I think if they can do it, can Arsenal do it. They need that type of quality.”While the Gunners will be without Champions League football for a third successive season in 2019-20, and in need of another refresh, Graham sees signs of encouragement.He added: “For me, I think it’s been a good season.“If they’d have won the Europa League it would have been very good. The top six was a possibility, and they got that, but to be in the top four would have been an excellent season.“They just missed out on that and when you see some of the games you can understand why.“I’ve been there when I’ve seen them play well, against Chelsea at home, Manchester United at home, so I’ve seen them perform well. Now they’ve got to do that regularly, which is the problem.“From what I’m hearing, he’s [Emery] doing a lot of work on the training pitch. I just think that the last few years the team have been struggling.”Wenger walked away from Arsenal last summer after 22 years at the helm and Graham concedes that whoever inherited the reins was always going to find it difficult stepping into those shoes and delivering an immediate impact.“When Arsene left, whoever was going to take over, they had a big job. And it’s still a big job,” said a man who oversaw two league titles, two League Cup wins, a Cup Winners’ Cup success and FA Cup triumph during his time at the Gunners helm.“There’s a lot to be done at the club.”
Jasper Cillessen says his €60 million (£53m/$68m) price tag “doesn’t make it easy” for him to leave Barcelona, with Manchester United thought to be monitoring his situation.The 30-year-old goalkeeper completed a switch to Camp Nou from Ajax in 2016 but has since been unable to earn a regular place in Ernesto Valverde’s line up.Marc-Andre ter Stegen has nailed down the number one position at Barca, leaving Cillessen restricted to just five Liga appearances over the last three seasons. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The Netherlands shot-stopper started just 10 matches across all competitions last season and has expressed his desire to leave the club during the summer transfer window.Manchester United have been heavily linked with a swoop , as David de Gea continues to stall on signing a new contract at Old Trafford.Cillessen is the first choice for his country and wants the same role at club level, but his current deal at Barca is not due to expire until 2021.”My release clause doesn’t make it easy for me to transfer,” he told Voetbal International .”It’s clear that Barca won’t let me leave for an apple and an egg.”Benfica are also interested in luring Cillessen away from La Liga, but a €13m ($15m, £12m) opening bid fell well below Barca’s sizeable valuation .After Liverpool and Chelsea broke transfer records to sign Alisson and Kepa respectively last year, the market value for goalkeepers has skyrocketed.Cillessen feels inflation may be the main reason for him having to stay put, as he added: “The market is really crazy. Honestly. It’s true they are paying incredible transfer fees for players that we all know aren’t worth that much.”But you need to accept that it’s the market which determines the prices and each player’s situation depends on the market at the time.”However, the Dutch ace also revealed that he will accept whatever decision his current employers make.Cillessen concluded: “The club knows I’ve never been one to kick up a fuss.”
With the book closed on one continental season, the next will be upon us sooner than expected, as Champions League winners Liverpool and Europa League holders Chelsea prepare to kick-off the latest campaign in style in the UEFA Super Cup.The two Premier League sides will ensure an all-English affair for the curtain-raising clash as Jurgen Klopp’s side look to add a second piece of silverware to the trophy cabinet this year, while the Blues will give their new manager a baptism of fire.Both sides will travel out east to Turkey only days after they begin their new domestic campaigns too, as they look to begin 2019-20 on the strongest foot possible. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Here is everything you need to know ahead of the clash…Where is the 2019 UEFA Super Cup taking place?The 2019 UEFA Super Cup will be held at Vodafone Park in Istanbul, Turkey, at the home of Super Lig outfit Besiktas. It has a capacity of 41,188 and will play host to the match August 14, 2019 .The ground replaced BJK Inonu Stadium as Besiktas’ home ground in 2016, but incorporates the former Eski Acık stand as part of its structure, due to the historical signifcance of the former.Since opening three years ago, it has played host to both Champions League and Europa League football as well as live music, with pop artist Shakira performing to 50,000 fans in 2018.2019 UEFA Super Cup formatAs it has been since 1998, this year’s edition of the Super Cup will be a one-legged tie between the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League.Both teams will be looking to claim another win in the competition, with Liverpool having prevailed on three occasions and Chelsea just the once.2019 UEFA Super Cup ticketsOfficial tickets for the Super Cup will be sold via lottery, which opens on Tuesday, June 18 at 1300 GMT. Fans and supporters will be able to apply for tickets until Tuesday, July 2 at 1300 GMT.Prices begin at €50 (£45/$56) and top out at €130 (£116/$146), with those successful in their application set to be notified by mid-July.Who are past winners of the UEFA Super Cup?Save for one season, the Super Cup has not left Spanish soil for a decade, with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid all winning on three occasions apiece since 2008.The only other team to taste success in this period is Bayern Munich, who beat Chelsea in 2013 in Prague.Barcelona’s five victories in the history of the competition have been matched by only one other side, Milan.Liverpool and Chelsea, meanwhile, are two of five English sides to have won, alongside Manchester United, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa – though only the Reds have won it more than a single time. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Four years is a long time in football.Before England faced Japan in the semi-finals of the 2015 Women’s World Cup, then-manager Mark Sampson said: “If you offered me any win against Japan, however it comes, I’d bite your arm off and your two legs.”The Nadeshiko were the reigning champions, having beaten the United States on penalties at the 2011 World Cup in Germany in their first escapade beyond the competition’s quarter-final stage. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? With the likes of Aya Miyama and Nahomi Kawasumi at the peak of their powers, they won every game on their road to the final – where they were eventually upended by a Carli Lloyd masterclass.Fast forward to 2019 and, as these two prepare to meet in their final group game of this summer’s World Cup, Phil Neville saying something similar is almost unthinkable – but he does.“I’ve got to be honest, I’d bite your legs off to win tomorrow night!” he says when the quote is presented to him, but there’s a difference.While he is keen not to play down the achievements by Sampson’s team in Canada, stressing that they deserve the utmost respect for getting where they did, the consensus in the camp is that, this time around, they can do that, and they can do it their way.“When we went into that World Cup, we weren’t just happy to be there obviously, we wanted to win, but we knew the expectation wasn’t there as much,” Lucy Bronze said.“We didn’t have as much belief, we hadn’t beaten a lot of the top teams, ever. We come into this World Cup having beaten the likes of the USA, France and Germany now.“That’s why we’re going into this game tomorrow saying we want to beat [Japan] fair and square, we want to play our game, the way we want to play it, the way we want to win.”Toni Duggan reiterated that mentality earlier this week.“The players prefer this new style,” she said.“We want to be on the ball, passing and being confident and brave.”To receive praise and respect from Japan is up there with the highest, given their attractive style of play and back-to-back World Cup finals.Asked which England players she fears tomorrow, coach Asako Takakura said: “All of them.”She continued: “Seriously, England’s squad is full of excellent players.“Without us giving everything that we’ve got, we won’t be able to win the game.”The progress of the FA Women’s Super League is another factor in the growth of the national team. Bronze admitted that, despite her move to Lyon, she “can see why players wouldn’t want to leave” England, while Takakura “hope[s] the Japanese players can have that environment” someday.It’s these developments that allowed Neville to snap back at a French journalist, who suggested England’s league was weak and that British football is ‘kick and rush’, before the game against Scotland.It’s these developments that make England anything but underdogs this time around, like they were when the two met four years ago.And it’s these developments that, whether you consider England favourites or not, make considering the game a revenge mission for their 2015 semi-final defeat, quite frankly, lazy.Instead, it’s fuel for the fire in the Lionesses’ bellies, as Bronze perfectly explains.“That’s something that we’ve got over most of the teams in this tournament,” she said.“We got knocked out in the semi-final of a World Cup, and we got knocked out in the semi-final of the Euros. I don’t think there’s many other teams that are in the same position as us and are that hungry to get to a final because of those situations that we’ve been through.“That’s an extra motivation that’s been added to this team.”While there is admittedly more expectation on England as they come up against the Nadeshiko, it is pressure they have handled just fine so far.They did so in stylish fashion in the Battle of Britain when they overcame Scotland, they did so in a patient manner against a more defensive Argentina, and they will expect – and believe – they can do so again against Japan.This opponent presents a different challenge all together – something that prompted winger Emi Nakajima to say it will be “easy [for Japan] to create gaps” in England’s team.But, four years on, the Lionesses are a lot more mature and comfortable among the world’s best to get caught up in a pursuit of vengeance.
TALLAHASSEE, FL – SEPTEMBER 22: A general view of fans of the Florida State Seminoles during their game at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 22, 2012 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Florida State’s football program has received some huge news this afternoon. The Seminoles’ landed a commitment from one of the top defensive linemen in the country.Derick Hunter, a four-star defensive lineman out of Fort Myers, Fla., has announced his commitment to FSU. The top recruit announced his decision on Twitter.The four-star prospect says he’s “100 percent” committed.“100% committed to Florida State University,” he wrote.His full announcement can be seen below:100% committed to Florida State university #Tribe19 #DoSomething ???? @SWiltfong247 @HamiltonESPN @DemetricDWarren @ErikRichardsUSA @RivalsWoody @Rivals_Singer @foymeetsworld pic.twitter.com/fhCWpPQOMn— derick(RAMBO)hunter jr.? (@hunterderick31) June 20, 2018Hunter is one of the top defensive lineman in the 2019 class. He’s ranked the No. 15 defensive end in the country by 247Sports’ Composite Rankings.The four-star prospect chose Florida State over Penn State, Florida, Georgia and Miami, among other programs. It’s a big set for Willie Taggart and the Seminoles.Hunter is ranked the No. 205 recruit in the 2019 class by 247Sports’ Composite Rankings. Florida State’s class is ranked the No. 13 class in the country, No. 3 overall in the ACC.