Chelsea get Ramires from Benfica for £18m

August 4th, 2010 No comments

PORTUGAL - FÚTBOLPortuguese club Benfica say they have agreed an £18m deal to sell Brazil international midfielder Ramires to Premier League champions Chelsea.

The deal is subject to the 23-year-old - who has won 16 caps for Brazil - passing a medical at Stamford Bridge.

Ramires joined the Portuguese giants last summer for £6.2m from Cruzeiro.

He will become the second player to join Carlo Ancelotti’s squad this summer following the arrival of Yossi Benayoun from Liverpool.

Benfica say the deal amounts to 22m euros, which equates to about £18.2m at current exchange rates.

Ramires, whose full name is Ramires Santos do Nascimento, was praised by Brazil boss Dunga after strong displays in the opening stage of the World Cup in South Africa. Read more…

Robinho : Let me leave!!

July 30th, 2010 No comments

phpBzdjcgThe £32.5million Brazilian flop played his final loan game for Santos this week.

Robinho has begged Manchester City to let him quit Eastlands.

Now the 26-year-old striker will ask City boss Roberto Mancini to allow him to make his switch to the Samba club permanent.

He said: “I hope this is not goodbye. It’s not easy to convince the English to agree a deal, but I trust the leaders of Santos to be successful.

“I think I belong here in Brazil more than the Premier League.”

He added: “My agents have received several offers from clubs in Europe but everything is on hold until Santos meet City.”

Robinho is due in Manchester on August 4 but plays for Brazil in America six days later.

Mancini hinted City will not make Robinho stay in England. He said: “We have heard nothing from Santos and Robinho will return to Manchester.

“It depends on him. If he decides he doesn’t want to, I don’t know what will happen.”

Raul join Schalke 04

July 28th, 2010 No comments

phpT0xpUgReal Madrid’s talismanic striker Raul, forced out of the Bernabeu after 16 record-breaking seasons, has signed for Schalke at the age of 33, the Bundesliga club said on Wednesday.

Raul, who scored 323 times in 741 games for Real including a record 66 Champions League goals and is Spain’s alltime leading scorer, will try to revive his career in industrial Gelsenkirchen after falling out of favour at the club where he made his name.

“This is a great piece of news for Schalke 04,” coach Felix Magath told the club’s website after completing one of their biggest-ever signings.

“I’m happy that we’ve succeeded in inspiring such an outstanding footballer and world class player into changing to the Bundesliga and to Schalke. Read more…

Raul farewell speech

July 27th, 2010 No comments

phpX6XQOQ“Before I begin I would like to thank everyone in attendance, and thank you to the president for his kind words. I love football more than anything, and to play for Real Madrid is the best dream I can think of. I feel like a footballer, and I want to continue doing so as long as time and my body permit.”

“Throughout the years I have always tried to stay true to the values of Real Madrid. Today more than ever before I want everyone to know that I tried to give my very best in every play, every dribble, every shot and every gesture on the pitch. That is what Real Madrid is to me, and that is why the word surrender never existed in my head.”

“Today is a very emotional day. Today is a day of powerful feelings. Today is a day that cannot do without my gratitude and thanks. It is impossible to name each and every person who over this time have stood by me and helped me. Read more…

Vidic agrees new United contract

July 24th, 2010 No comments

phpQydtAwManchester United central defender Nemanja Vidic has agreed a new “long-term” contract at the Premier League club, says chief executive David Gill.

Vidic, 28, joined United in 2006 for £7m from Spartak Moscow and has been a mainstay of the side ever since.

The Serbia international had been rumoured to be leaving United with Real Madrid reportedly interested.

Gill told MUTV: “We’ve shaken hands on it and we’re confident it will all be signed and sealed in early August.”

Vidic’s decision to stay at United is a huge boost for the club considering fellow central defender Rio Ferdinand’s injury problems.
Ferdinand is recovering from the knee injury that ruled him out of the 2010 World Cup and which will see him miss the start of the domestic season.

The England captain was also plagued by back and groin problems last season, limiting his involvement.

During his four years at United, Vidic has won the Premier League three times, as well as the Champions League and three League Cup medals.

“There was a lot of speculation about Nemanja’s future but in my view it’s been the media drumming some old stories,” added Gill.

“They certainly didn’t come out of the Manchester United camp and I’m confident they didn’t come out of Nemanja’s camp. Read more…

KAKA to Chelsea?

July 14th, 2010 No comments

phphr20i9Carlo Ancelotti’s admission that he would love to have Kaka at Chelsea has sparked talks between the playmaker’s dad and his bosses at Real Madrid.

Bosco Leite, who also acts as the 28-year-old’s agent, was pictured at the Bernabeu on Monday afternoon and headed for a meeting with Real director Jose Angel Sanchez, according to Madrid sports paper AS.

Kaka’s £56million signing from AC Milan 12 months ago sparked a massive summer spending spree by the Spanish giants, but the Brazil international’s performances last season were far from impressive.

The 2007 World Player of the Year was also disappointing at the World Cup after an injury-hit year and his future has been brought into question.

Kaka is recovering from thigh and pelvis injuries and Leite and Madrid met to discuss when he would join up with the club for pre-season training. Read more…

Spain v Germany : match preview

July 7th, 2010 No comments

phplkhuYDBoth coaches have big decisions to make as they prepare for a re-run of the Euro 2008 final. For Germany, who will replace the suspended Thomas Mueller? For Spain, will they keep faith with Fernando Torres?

They are big calls to decide, especially for the Spanish who must be concerned about the striker’s lack of form and are pondering a change in formation also. This is a real heavyweight clash and those selection decisions could be the key.

Touchline duel

Few coaches are as experienced and respected – and fatherly - as Vicente Del Bosque who has taken this golden generation of Spanish football to a higher level. His commitment to attacking pay is laudable although he also knows his team have not quite fired in this competition.

Joachim Löw has proved himself to be one of the most organised, articulate and impressive coaches in this World Cup and has blended together an exciting team having confirmed the belief that he was the brains behind the renaissance of German football. Read more…

Argentina 0-4 Germany

July 3rd, 2010 No comments

SOCCER-FRIENDLY/Diego Maradona’s dream of guiding Argentina to their first World Cup since he won it almost single-handedly in 1986 was ended in emphatic fashion as a rampant Germany  cruised into the semi-finals at the expense of the South Americans.

Stunning displays by Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Müller and Miroslav Klose drove the Germans to victory against woeful Argentina at Green Point Stadium.
Müller, who opened the scoring on three minutes, will now miss Wednesday’s semi-final against Spain or Paraguay in Durban after being booked in the first-half.

The loss of the Bayern Munich forward will be a major blow for Germany, but the three-time world champions will not lack confidence whoever their face in four days’ time.

With both teams suffering with a weakness at the heart of their defence, the general consensus was that Argentina’s superior attackers would prove decisive in Cape Town.

But Germany are nothing if not organised and tactically astute and Joachim Löw’s players nullified the threat of the Argentine’s in a low-key first-half.

German dominance was perhaps down to their third minute opener, when Müller claimed his fourth goal of the tournament with a clinical header from ten yards. Read more…

Argentina v Germany : a pre match analysis

July 3rd, 2010 No comments

phpNJZ3QnThe 4-1 win over England made German national team even more confident that they can go all the way in this tournament. In the last match, they outplayed the English squad and all lines in the team functioned very well.

Now Germany will face a very tough challenge playing with Argentina which will be a great match to watch and probably another classic. This would be sixteenth time for Germans to play in the quarterfinals at the World Cup history.

The biggest strength of this German team is that they play as one unit, all players and lines in the team help each other and they have a good discipline in their way of playing. Coach Loew said that they will have to repeat the performance against England in order to beat Argentina and go further.

Germany will play once again in usual formation with one striker - Miroslav Klose and two offensive midfielders behind him – Mesut Ozil and Lucas Podolski. Thomas Muller, Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger will take their places in the midfield and the captain Phillip Lahm, Arne Friedrich, Per Mertesacker and Jerome Boateng will be the defenders in front of Manuel Neuer. Arne Friedrich will be the player assigned to guard Messi and be his shadow in this match.

This will be a repeat from the quarter final match at the World Cup 2006 when Germany and Argentina played for 2-2 draw and then the Germans went on to win the game on penalties. Read more…

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