Archive for the ‘EPL’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Bad loser Mou, takes on old foe in classic friendly

Make no mistake about it, Mourinho will play his strongest eleven for possibly the whole 90 mins, and judging from his recent press conferences there will be no love lost between his former team. Mou still has fresh memories of how Real Madrid kept him till the last game of the season when the fans and president Florentino Perez had turned against him.

Tonight he will look to put one over his old rivals. Mourinho has accused Real Madrid of not being ‘a football club’, admitting ‘Madrid is not about football’. During his time in Madrid, Mourinho broke all records at Real including scoring 117 goals 2 years ago when they won the league. He would have been a little bit dissapointed as he was competing with one of Barcelona’s greatest team of all time but the supporters are only used to winning and success and Mourinho simply did not deliver enough.

We will wait and witness a classic as these two titans of football will clash tonight.

As reported by an online sportsbook Real Madrid will start the game as slight favourites.

PostHeaderIcon Ronaldo is world’s most complete player!

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Cristiano Ronaldo has become the ‘complete player’ since leaving Manchester United for Real Madrid over three years ago.

Ronaldo joined Real Madrid for a world record fee of £80 million in the summer transfer window of 2009, having established himself among the world’s elite during his time with Manchester United besides winning the adoration of the Old Trafford faithful who up to today can be heard singing Ronaldo’s praises from the terraces.

The Portugal captain scored 118 goals in 292 appearances for Manchester United, but has reached another level since signing for Real Madrid.

Ronaldo has found the net on 174 occasions in only 172 games for the Santiago Bernabeu side, and is now considered among the best players in the history of the sport.

Ferguson has seen a marked improvement in both performance levels and maturity in Ronaldo since the 27-year-old left Old Trafford and says the former Manchester United star is now complete.

“Maturity brings many things,” Ferguson told Inside United. “When I went to see them play against City, some of his decision-making in terms of passing was brilliant. One-touch passing, good crosses.

“In the six years we had him, you just saw his game grow all the time, and he was a fantastic player. Now you see the complete player.

“His decision-making, his maturity, his experience, plus all the great skills he has got, they all make him the complete player.”

Ronaldo displayed his credentials once again on Wednesday evening as he scored a hat-trick for Real Madrid in a 4-0 defeat of Celta Vigo.

The Portugal international, meanwhile, has been linked with a summer transfer back to Manchester United.

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PostHeaderIcon Your soccer bonus is here!

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PostHeaderIcon Real Madrid v Manchester United: The match the world wants to see

Jose Mourinho has build up something of a reputation during his time in England and also had the cheek to refer to himself as ‘the special one’. Now, beating Manchester United in the last 16 of europe’s most coveted prize will be right up there with his main acheivements as Mourinho said that Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are the ‘toughest opponent’ and says this game is the “match the world wants to see”, adding that the prospect of the two legged encounter is so tantalising that it should really be the final.

The Portuguese coach was spotted at Old Trafford, sitting alongside England boss Roy Hodgson not to mention that he may have shared a bottle of expensive wine with his compatriot… during which  he ran the rule over the Premier League leaders in their 2-1 victory over Liverpool yesterday, ahead of Real Madrid’s meeting with United at the Santiago Bernabeu on February 13.

“This is the match the world wants to see,” the former Chelsea manager told The Sun. “Real Madrid against Manchester United. Sir Alex against his friend Mourinho. The only shame is that it is not the final.

“We know we can beat them. We know they can beat us — but we will be ready.”

Real Madrid have endured one of the most difficult draws in Europe’s elite club competition this season, having been entered into this year’s ‘Group of Death’, where they finished runners-up to Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund, knocking out Manchester United’s local rivals Manchester City in the process.

Mourinho bemoaned the tough hand his side has been dealt, as he looks to win Real Madrid their 10th Champions League crown, as well as becoming the first manager to win the European Cup with three different clubs.

“Now we get the toughest opponent in the biggest tie of the last 16.”

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PostHeaderIcon Giggs receives glowing praise from Portughese legend Figo!

“He has the most talent than any other football player. He is delicate and dynamic. He is the player chosen by God. If Ryan was with us, strongest in Europe would definitely not been France.” These are the words by Portugal legend Figo, who has showered Manchester United winger Giggs with glowing praise,

At international level, Giggs did not have any opportunity to shine except for the last Olympic tournament, but unfortunately Stuart Pearce, the Great Britain Caretaker, did not bother to play him in every game. It is remarkable that such a talent has never graced an international tournament like the European Championship or the World Cup. However, this could be seen as some consolation with Giggs getting outstanding reviews from former great players.

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PostHeaderIcon Premier League breaks 250 million mark!

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The Premier League welcomed its 250 millionth fan through the turnstiles yesterday, twenty years after its inception in August 1992.

Fans have been treated to two decades of high quality football, and last night’s fixtures at Villa Park and the Stadium of Light saw the Premier League pass its latest milestone – although to say the least that yesterday’s game at Villa Park did not go down as the most exciting game in the history of the EPL.

More than 250 million people have watched Premier League football live over the past twenty years. To say the least it is a phenomenal number and crowds have been growing year after year.

Despite the rise of televised football, funnily enough people still enjoy going to games. And new statistics collected by Premier League sponsor Barclays and published on Liverpoolfc.com reveal which clubs have been watched the most since August 1992.

While the recession has tempered ambition in recent seasons, it is a fact that it has only slowed down rather than reversed.

PostHeaderIcon Draw for U21 European Championship to take place

Way back in March 2011, the first ball was kicked in qualification as 53 nations started out on their hopeful journeys to become the 2013 UEFA European Under-21s Champions.

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Now, after 220 matches and seven play-off ties, 45 countries have fallen by the wayside, leaving just eight to compete at next summer’s Finals tournament which will take place in Israel.

On Wednesday afternoon, in Tel Aviv, the draw for the Finals will be made and the nations will learn who they’ll face when the tournament starts on 5 June.

Holders Spain will be one of two top seeds, alongside the hosts. England and Holland will be the two second seeds and, like Spain and Israel, will be drawn into separate groups.

The remaining four countries – Italy, Russia, Germany and Norway – are unseeded.
The Finals will be played at venues in four cities in Israel; Tel Aviv, Netanya, Jerusalem and Petah Tikva.

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PostHeaderIcon Ballon D’Or

Last week there was the announcement of the Ballon D’Or shortlist. All the familiar faces were present in the list; Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Radamel Falcao amongst others.

Messi is gunning for a record fourth straight ‘player of the year crown’ while Ronaldo is desperate to dislodge him and claim his second Golden Ball. This is the price that Ronaldo deems that he deserves to win ‘by far’.

It is fascinating that pair’s battle to be crowned the best has defined the last five years of world football and looks set to continue for years to come, but who actually are the players waiting in the wings to take over as the ‘best players in the world’ – who are the next Ronaldo’s and Messi’s of this world? Together with the online betting experts and collobaoration with sportbook we are listing two future potential Golden Ball Winners including a special talent at Manchester United.

Alen Halilovic, Dinamo Zagreb

At just 16-years-old, it is hard to say whether Halilovic will fulfill his promise as the next Lionel Messi, but there is no doubting the Croatian’s potential at such a tender age.

The talented youngster played his first game for Zagreb in September to become the club’s youngest ever debutant, while he scored in his next match to make him the Croatian league’s youngest ever scorer.

In October, he became the youngest player to feature in the Champions League. Not bad for someone who can’t even have a drink to toast his own talent.

If reports are to be believed, the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester City and the rest have already had an approach for the precocious youngster turned down, while Manchester City and Manchester United have been reportedly monitoring developments. Certainly one to watch.

Nick Powell

This is a role that many have tried to fill but few have had any sort of success – to the extent that the great man himself rose from retirement last season to pull on the famous Manchester United shirt once more.

A summer purchase from Crewe who was attracting interest from all corners of the Premier League, Powell, 18, announced himself to the Old Trafford faithful with a particularly Scholes-esque strike from distance against Wigan in September.

The prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to declare: “He is a good physical specimen and has terrific vision. We hope Powell fills Paul Scholes’ boots. For an 18-year-old boy it has been a terrific day.”

But judging by this wonder strike during his time at Crewe and the glimpses we have seen so far together with his physical prowess, there’s no doubting the boy’s a bit special and certainly one to watch.

PostHeaderIcon Rio Ferdinand makes dream come true for ex United team mate

Rio Ferdinand making a dream come true for his ex-Manchester United team mate.

It was a night Northern Ireland player will treasure in his life and not forget in a hurry, but Rio Ferdinand helped make it even more memorable for one star-struck member of Michael O’Neill’s side at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s shirt came second only to World Cup qualifying points as the night’s most prized possession, and the final whistle sparked a stampede by the Northern Ireland’s players in order to get their hands on Portugal’s Real Madrid winger cum forward’s shirt.
Ronaldo had the audacious and strenuous task, after being visibly upset by the result, of refusing the Northern Ireland’s players request, one by one, until Oli Norwood asked him.

Rio commented on twitter ‘Put in a cheeky phone call to Cristiano Ronaldo the other day. Thanks for handing over your shirt to Oli Norwood! Dream come true for him, nice one Ronnie’.

On the direct order of Rio Ferdinand, Ronaldo kept his word and gave his 100th appearance top to little unknown Huddersfield Town player with the name of Oliver Norwood. Norwood was an ex Manchester United youth player, who after failing to make the grade at Old Trafford signed for Huddersfield Town, where he enjoyed some success. He shares the same agent with Ferdinand, and Rio did not hesitate to forward a call to his once team mate Ronaldo.

It is a known fact that Rio Ferdinand still keeps in touch with Ronaldo and the two seem to be good friends. Ronaldo used to take part in some of Ferdinand’s production videos, where he has the catalyst for a few times in his own challenges. What is surprisingly is that Ronaldo’s reaction. He said “Yeah, Rio spoke to me. Don’t worry – the shirt’s yours.”

‘I will frame it, as soon as I get it home, and keep it. It will have pride of place among all my football possessions. I will show it my kids and grandkids in years to come and tell them that’s the shirt Ronaldo wore in his 100th international appearance. I was on the pitch with him, and there’s the evidence. I’m absolutely thrilled with it, and I owe Rio for setting it up for me. It was so good of him, and I am really grateful,’ grinned Oli Norwood who was visibly ecstatic.

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