Transfers Move to China? Iniesta is still needed at Barca Ben Hayward 07:36 2/17/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Barcelona Eibar v Barcelona Eibar Primera División Opinion The midfielder signed a “lifetime” contract with the Catalan club in October and would be better off staying at Camp Nou for the foreseeable future Andres Iniesta is the longest-serving player in Barcelona’s squad. The 33-year-old arrived at La Masia at the age of 12 in 1996, and has gone on to win 30 trophies for the Catalan club. So the thought that he may leave is probably too much for many fans to bear.All players move on eventually, either calling time on their playing days like Carles Puyol, to seek a new experience elsewhere as Neymar did, or to end their careers with a lucrative move to a lesser league, such as Xavi.Iniesta, it has been reported in the Catalan press, is being tempted by such an offer from China. As well as high wages, it is said to include an agreement for advertising campaigns and also commercial promotion for his wines. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player At the age of 33, he may well be tempted. In the knowledge that life after football will be less lucrative, players place much importance on their final contract and a mega-money deal in China would mean Iniesta would never need to work again.Not that he really does anyway, of course, but even the wealthiest footballers can get a little nervous about the future when their careers are almost over. And Iniesta probably lacks the personality to be a coach or even a pundit when he hangs up his boots.The midfielder brings in around €20 million after tax as part of his current contract, the first-ever “lifetime” deal offered to a player by Barca, and he is said to have turned down almost twice that amount (€35m) to play for an unnamed Chinese club.Meanwhile, reports in Spain claim the player has invested around €5 million in his own businesses away from football, including the production of wine, cheese and olive oil, and that he has lost money in those operations.However, he still should be more than comfortable on his current wages and for the moment, he is needed at Barcelona. Firstly, because he remains one of the world’s best midfielders. And secondly, to help January signing Philippe Coutinho adapt to life at the club.Barca boss Ernesto Valverde was asked about the reports on Friday and said the club had not received any offer for Iniesta from China or anywhere else.”If that happens, we will think about it then,” he said. “I don’t have anything to say. I haven’t even thought about it. Iniesta is with us and we want him to help us a lot, as he always does.”Iniesta has played more under Valverde than he did last season under Luis Enrique, so it still seems the player has much to give at Camp Nou. And until the end of the season, he will focus on trying to help Barca win La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.Should Barca win another treble, he may just decide to walk away as Xavi did in the summer of 2015. That, however, would be a shame for the club, for the fans and for the player himself – because it will be a long time before the Camp Nou, or indeed Spanish football, sees his like again.
Bayern München v Borussia Dortmund Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview Goal Last updated 1 year ago 14:30 3/31/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images Bayern München v Borussia Dortmund Bayern München Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga Der Klassiker continues at the Allianz Arena on Saturday evening as Robert Lewandowski and Co. welcome Peter Stoger’s BVB side to Bavaria Bayern Munich can all but secure their sixth consecutive Bundesliga title with a win against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.The Bavarians have not won a Bundesliga title at home since 2000 but will be confirmed as champions if they beat Peter Stoger’s side and Schalke fail to beat Freiburg earlier in the day.Bayern were beaten 2-1 at RB Leipzig last time out while Dortmund registered a 1-0 victory over Hannover to tighten their hold on a Champions League qualifying position. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Game Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund Date Saturday, March 31 Time 17:30 BST / 12:30 ET Stream (US only) fuboTV (7-day free trial) TV Channel & Live Stream In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream FOX Network fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on BT Sport 2 and online via the BT Sport App. UK TV channel Online stream BT Sport 2 BT Sport App Squads & Team News Position Bayern players Goalkeepers Neuer, Starke, Ulreich Defenders Sule, Hummels, Martinez, Rafinha, Bernat, Boateng, Alaba, Kimmich Midfielders Thiago, Ribery, Robben, James, Rudy, Vidal, Tolisso, Coman, Dorsch, Benko Forwards Wagner, Lewandowski, Muller Manuel Neuer is continuing his recovery from his foot injury so Sven Ulreich will continue between the sticks for Bayern.Niklas Sule will start at centre-back if Jerome Boateng does not recover in time, while Kingsley Coman’s ankle issue means he will also miss out.Potential Bayern starting XI: Ulreich; Kimmich, Hummels, Sule, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal, Thiago; James, Lewandowski, Muller Position Dortmund players Goalkeepers Fabianski, Nordfeldt, Mulder Defenders Van der Hoorn, Mawson, Olsson, Rangel, Naughton, Bartley, Fernandez Midfielders Ki, Britton, Fer, Dyer, Carroll, Routledge, Clucas, King, Sanches, Maric, James, Roberts, Byers Forwards Bony, Abraham, Narsingh, J. Ayew, A. Ayew, Baker-Richardson Michy Batshuayi, Dortmund’s top scorer in 2018 with six Bundesliga goals, will lead his team on Saturday, with Christian Pulisic likely to take up a role on the wing due to Marco Reus’ absence.The attacker missed his side’s 1-0 win over Hannover before the international break due to an adductor problem.Dan-Axel Zagadou, Sebastian Rode, Shinji Kagawa, Andriy Yarmolenko and Erik Durm will also miss out for the away side.Potential Dortmund starting XI: Burki; Piszczek, Akanji, Sokratis, Schmelzer; Dahoud, Weigl, Castro; Pulisic, Batshuayi, SchurrleBetting & Match Odds Bayern are 2/5 favourites to win the tie with dabblebet, with Dortmund placed at 7/1.A draw is currently priced at 4/1.Click here to see all of dabblebet’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview Jupp Heynckes is on the verge of his fourth Bundesliga title as Bayern Munich coach.The Bavarian club can secure the German championship if Schalke lose their home game against Freiburg and they come out on top in Der Klassiker.Bayern’s 18-match unbeaten run came to an end last time out as they were beaten at RB Leipzig but their home form remains intact – they are now undefeated in their last 35 home league matches.”We faced an excellent opponent today,” Heynckes said after the game. “We have to acknowledge that. Leipzig were really aggressive and ran hard to press us. We didn’t play as well as in recent weeks. Leipzig deserved to win.”Borussia Dortmund are now unbeaten in 12 Bundesliga matches under manager Peter Stoger and can climb to second if results go their way this weekend.Stoger has only taken one Bundesliga point from Bayern in six attempts as a Bundesliga coach, though, and faces a tough task at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
World Cup Guardiola available ’24 hours a day’ during World Cup for Stones Matt Dorman 17:49 6/9/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images World Cup England Tunisia v England Manchester City Premier League Guardiola Having taken his game to “another level” under the Catalan coach, the Manchester City defender will be seeking advice from his club boss this summer England defender John Stones will have a direct line to Pep Guardiola during the World Cup as he aims to make up for a “difficult” Euro 2016.Now an integral member of Gareth Southgate’s back three, Stones is set for his first minutes at a major tournament after going unused by Roy Hodgson two years ago.The then-Everton player watched from the bench as England scraped through the group stage in France before crashing out to Iceland in a deflating last-16 defeat. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move He has since blossomed into a Premier League winner under Guardiola at Manchester City and the 24-year-old will look to his club boss for guidance in Russia.”I will definitely speak to him in the tournament. He’s very open,” Stones told reporters.”He said we can call him or text him whenever we need to, 24 hours a day.”He’s always said that which is brilliant of him as a person in my opinion. Even if it’s not football-related. That’s important.”Stones has played under Guardiola for the past two seasons and attributes his greater importance for England to the Catalan’s influence.”Mostly Pep! Definitely Pep, the players I’m playing with at club level, and obviously becoming more mature, knowing myself and knowing the game better,” he said.”I think the thing for me is how he has made everything so simple. He has taken my footballing brain to another level.”Everyone thinks they know football and different systems but when I turned up at City and trained with him it was like a new door opening that I never thought would be there.”
Here is a report on all Womens Championship/Shield/Plate matches throughout the quarter finals, semi finals, play-offs and grand finals. This report will be updated as the matches progress. WOMENS CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISIONS (1st-8th place): Quarter finals: The Womens Championship finals kicked off with QSST showing why they’re ranked number one, an impressive 12-1 victory ending the hopes of TouchWest. NSWCHS showed they’re contenders but may struggle against the QSST side with a hard fought 4-2 win over the Brisbane Cobras, a team QSST beat 12-2 in the pool matches. SQBD piled on the scores in the second half to end the interstate challenge and stop the ACT from going on any further, showing they may just be title contenders. In the closest match of the Womens Championship quarter finals CQ held of the NSWCCC 3-2 with a miracle score in the corner giving them the win. QSST will now face CQ in their semi final, while SQBD will meet NSWCHS. Semi finals: Both NSWCHS and QSST survived scares in their respective semi finals. CQ surprised QSST to be constantly with them throughout the match and QSST looked a little tentative in their toughest match of the tournament so far. NSWCHS led 4-2 at half time but were unable to score from then on, sneaking through to the grand final with a 4-3 win. Play-offs: The ACT came from behind at half time to take the 7th position after scoring three touchdowns in the second half for a 4-3 win over a TouchWest side who have had a great tournament. The Brisbane Cobras secured 5th position with a 9-6 win over NSWCCC. SQBD staked their claim as the strongest non-schools side in 2004, winning the play-off for third against CQ 4-2. Grand finals: The match up between QSST and NSWCHS in the Womens grand final was highly anticipated. With NSWCHS taking the 2003 title, Queensland were out to claim it back and opened the scoring with Emily Hopkin’s great step allowing Gemma Etheridge to cross and score. An intercept from NSW’s Tegan Considine brought the crowd to their feet, which then lifted even more as Queensland’s Teneille Shaw chased 25 metres to touch Considine. With neither team able to score for the remaining time in the first half, it was Nicole McHugh who brought NSW back to even with a touchdown to open the second half. This was as close to winning as NSW would get though, with Queensland’s captain Courtney Hipperson scoring to give them a 2-1 lead. Belinda Hammett dived across the line for a 3-1 advantage to Queensland before the NSW side could bring it back to 3-2 with nine minutes still to play. NSW looked as though they were still in with a chance as the Queensland girls failed to make the most of their opportunities and extend their lead. When Delwyn Tupuhi and Hipperson both added to the Queensland tally, a 5-2 lead was too much for the NSW girls. With five minutes to go the NSW side also lost experienced Australian representative Kirstie Jenkins to an injury and the game was all but over. For Queensland coach Peter Bell, the win was a reward for how hard his players have worked. “They’ve put in a lot of training for this and they’re a great group of girls,” Bell said. Captain Courtney Hipperson agreed. “It feels awesome, we’ve had great teamwork and really bonded as a team, we knew we were good enough to win this and we came here to do that,” Hipperson said. Placings: 1. QSST 2. NSWCHS 3. SQBD 4. CQ 5. Cobras 6. NSWCCC 7. ACT 8. TouchWest WOMENS SHIELD DIVISIONS (9th- 14th place): Quarter finals: Both of the Womens Shield Quarter final matches were decided by drop-offs with NSWCIS continuing their most successful Championships ever, winning 5-4 over NQ. The Mets also won a close 4-3 encounter over fellow Sydney side the Scorpions. Semi finals: The Southern Suns ended the dream run of NSWCIS in their semi final, a 5-4 heartbreaker denying the NSWCIS girls a place in the grand final. While no doubt disappointed, they can be proud of being the highest achieving NSWCIS Womens team ever. SunCoast also won their way through to the Shield grand final with a comfortable 7-3 win over the Sydney Mets. Play-offs: In the Womens Shield play-off for 13th position, the Sydney Scorpions and NQ were deadlocked 1-1 at half time and a single touchdown in the second half gave the Scorpions a 2-1 win. NSWCIS also finished on a high, taking 11th place with a 4-3 win over the Mets. Grand finals: SunCoast won the Womens Shield title with a tight 4-3 win over the Suns. The match was full of diving touches and great runs. Placings: 9. SunCoast 10. Suns 11. NSWCIS 12. Mets 13. Scorpions 14. NQ WOMENS PLATE DIVISIONS (15th-20th place): Quarter finals: The Tasmanian Women were kept scoreless again, as the Hunter Western Hornets scored an easy 7-1 victory in their quarter final; it certainly hasn’t been an easy induction back into the National Championships for the Tasmanian girls. NT made their way through to the Womens Plate semi finals with a controversial win over SA, a scoring dispute was finally sorted out with the promise of video footage if the referees needed it; the final result 6-5 to the NT girls. Semi finals: SWQ and the Hunter-Western Hornets progressed to the grand final for the Womens Plate division, after wins over the NT and Sydney Rebels respectively. SWQ defeated NT 6-1 and the Hornets had a comfortable 8-2 win over an injury-hit Rebels. Play-offs: SA denied Tasmania their first win of the tournament and recorded their own first win in the play-off for 19/20 after a 3-2 win in a drop-off. Ultimately, a positive end for both sides with a tough game to finish. The Sydney Rebels finished on a high, winning the 17/18 play-off 6-5 against the NT in a drop-off. Grand finals: The Hornets, struggling with injuries, had a comfortable 7-4 win in the Womens Plate final over SWQ. Placings: 15. Hornets 16. SWQ 17. Rebels 18. NT 19. South Australia 20. Tasmania By Rachel Moyle, email@example.com
Women’s open:NSW Scorpions 7 def NSW Mets 6.It has been described the best game of the 2014 X-Blades National Touch League.NSW Scorpions ended NSW Mets’ domination in the women’s division by claiming the Elite Eight title in a thriller.A touchdown to Yasmin Meakes with 15 seconds left on the clock gave the Scorpions a 7-6 victory.Three touchdowns were scored in the final minute as the two combatants threw everything but the kitchen sink at each other.The win maintained the Scorpions’ perfect record at the 2014 tournament.It also gave them their first NTL women’s open title.Scorpions’ captain Elesha Dougal said it was an incredible achievement for her team.“People said at the start [of the tournament], ‘errr, I don’t know how they will go’ but we have just proved them all wrong,” Dougal said.“I am so proud of the girls. It was the hardest game we’ve played in and I knew it would be; so credit to our team and credit to Mets. They pushed us.“We believed in ourselves so a full credit to the girls and the coaching staff.”In a match that was tit-for-tat until the final whistle, the Mets opened the scoring first through Botille Veitte-Walsh.Both teams attacked each other’s scoreline but could not get the touchdown.A bit of Kylie Hilder magic put Laura Peattie over for a touchdown to level the scores.The Scorpions hit the lead through Yasmin Meakes but it was cancelled out by Claire Moran’s touchdown in the corner.In the final two minutes, Mets scored twice and Scorpions once, which made the score 4-3 in favour of the two-time champions.Shortly after the break another Hilder pass put Sarah Peattie over the line and levelled the scores again.Scorpions hit the lead when Lizzy Hewitt found the scoreline and immediately after, Mets were disallowed a touchdown due to a forward pass.But it soon did not matter as Kristin Boss scored to level the scores.The final minute had the crowd on the edge of their seats.Scorpions thought they had won it when Rachelle Davis buried her way over the line to score.But Mets’ captain Claire Tandek scored immediately and a drop-off was highly likely.The Scorpions had one last shot and they made it count when Meakes scored the decisive touchdown in the corner with 15 seconds to go.The referees conferred on the field and they were happy for the touchdown to count.Touchdowns: Scorpions 7 (Yasmin Meakes 3, Sarah Peattie, Laura Peattie, Lizzy Hewitt, Rachelle Davis); Mets 6 (Botille Veitte-Walsh 2, Claire Moran, Kirstie Jenkins, Sarah Peattie, Kristin Boss).Player of the final was Danielle Davis (Scorpions) and the player of the series was Tamika Upton (Queensland Country Outlaws).Women’s open final timeline:3rd minute Mets 1-0 Scorpions – Botille Veitte-Walsh touchdown.9th minute 1-all – Laura Peattie touchdown.13th minute Scorpions 2-1 – Yasmin Meakes touchdown.14th minute 2-all – Claire Moran touchdown.18th minute Mets 3-2 – Botille Veitte-Walsh touchdown.19th minute 3-all – Yasmin Meakes touchdown.19th minute Mets 4-3 – Kirstie Jenkins touchdown.Half-time – Mets 4-3.23rd minute 4-all – Sarah Peattie touchdown.32nd minute Scorpions 5-4 – Lizzy Hewitt touchdown.36th minute 5-all – Kristin Boss touchdown.39th minute Scorpions 6-5 – Rachelle Davis touchdown.40th minute 6-all – Claire Tandek touchdown.40th minute Scorpions 7-6 – Yasmin Meakes touchdown.You can keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the 2014 X-Blades National Touch League in the following ways:Websiteswww.ntl.mytouchfooty.comwww.austouch.com.auSocial MediaFacebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #NTL2014)Instagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustraliaYouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballausRelated LinksWomen’s open final By BEN HARRIS
Sevilla attacker Luis Muriel wants Fiorentina over AC Milanby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSevilla attacker Luis Muriel is ready to move to Fiorentina.Muriel was expected to join AC Milan in January, thanks to his agent Alessandro Lucci’s good relationship with the Rossonero.However, Muriel would prefer to move to the Viola.Fiorentina have already offered a first proposal of €12m, which has fallen short of Sevilla’s valuation.Milan coach Rino Gattuso, meanwhile, confirmed yesterday: “I don’t know if we’ve got him, but we have talked about him.“We talked about him, as we did about other players.“Muriel can play wide, but you need to make the most of his characteristics and get him to attack the goal. He can play as a support striker too.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Real Madrid target Eriksen sends Tottenham message: They know what I wantby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChristian Eriksen says Tottenham know what he wants from a new contract amid interest from Real Madrid.The Spurs ace has less than 18 months to run on his current deal and talks over an extension have stalled.It is believed the club will hold out for £225 million for the Real Madrid target. However, Eriksen is seemingly keen to re-sign with Tottenham, but only if they meet his demands.He told TV3 Sport: “[The future is] not something I’m thinking of. I focus on playing football, and there are many battles you have to think about which must be won.”Responding specifically to Madrid’s interest, he added: “It is not the first time that there have been rumours, and when the newspapers write something, it is not something we are masters of. If there is nothing concrete, then I just comment on rumours.”I think people know what I want, and I know what they [Tottenham] would like. There is a nice dialogue so there is nothing [new] there.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man City eyeing West Ham midfielder Declan Riceby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City are eyeing West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.The Sun says City boss Pep Guardiola knows he needs to find a young successor for Fernandinho, who turns 34 before the end of the season.And West Ham’s highly-rated teenager Rice is the player who has caught his eye – despite only signing a new long-term contract with the club last month.Rice has emerged as one of the country’s most promising young players this season after becoming the main man in the Hammers midfield.The way he has dominated Premier League matches despite only being 19 years old has caught the attention of Guardiola and his coaching staff at the Etihad.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd striker Marcus Rashford happy with penalty successby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United striker Marcus Rashford was happy to prove the matchwinner against Leicester City.Rashford has revealed what was going through his mind ahead of his first-half penalty yesterday.“There has been a lot of talk [about penalties] but it is all about clearing that out of your head and just getting back down to basics,” Rashford told MUTV.“When it comes down to it, that is all you know, to get to the first team, it is by doing the basics and working hard.“I just try to look at the keeper, especially a keeper like him because he has a good jump and likes to go early. If it is not hard and in the corner, then he has a chance of saving it. But it was a nice feeling to score.”
Wolves boss Nuno hails players’ spirit after Crystal Palace pointby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWolves boss Nuno hailed his players’ spirit for their 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.Diogo Jota’s dramatic stoppage-time equaliser rescued a point for Wolves at Crystal Palace.Leander Dendoncker’s own goal had seemed certain to give Palace victory before Jota’s late strike for the visitors, who had Romain Saiss sent off for two bookings.Wolves boss Nuno said: “This happens in football. The spirit of the team – we have it. First half was really good. When we speak of mistakes, it is from both sides. I am not happy with that. We controlled and dominated the game. When we have it so well we must punish. We speak about what can happen, with the reaction of Palace.”We risk everything. Palace had chances and we made saves. It is not the game we like to see. But we had a lot of heart and character. More with the head, though.”We know what the situation is. We have to play Thursday and Sunday and manage the game. We wish it to happen.”On Romain Saiss’ red card: “First one I am not sure. Second one was close to me and the referee decided. The VAR also. If they see it clear they have to decide. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella: Why I rejected concrete Chelsea offerby Paul Vegas19 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveInter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella admits he was close to joining Chelsea in January.The Italy international was with Cagliari at the time and would eventually sign for Inter over the summer.”Chelsea wanted to recruit me in January, the negotiations were concrete,” the midfielder tells Gazzetta dello Sport. “At Cagliari I said: ‘It is no easy period for the team, I will stay here for the season. “‘Then I will make a decision’.” Barella admits he’s enjoying playing for former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte at Inter.He added, “Do you see how Conte’s team is running? It is not just because they are well prepared. It’s the result of what he puts into your head.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Mike Weber put quite a move on a Rutgers defender during Saturday’s contest.Earlier Saturday, it was revealed that Ohio State running back Mike Weber was paying homage to former tailback Ezekiel Elliott by wearing a crop-top ahead of his team’s contest against Rutgers. It looks like he’s emulating his level of play, too.Weber put a nasty sidestep move on a Rutgers defender in the first half. Check it out:?Mike Weber just made a Rutgers defender look SILLY. pic.twitter.com/H1PaN9PSjj— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) October 1, 2016Mike Weber with the Juke ? pic.twitter.com/zXS6IdItl4— Abdul Memon (@abdulamemon) October 1, 2016Ohio State, leading 16-0, is rolling against the Scarlet Knights.
Atletico Madrid captain Koke has praised James Rodriguez and insisted that the Real Madrid playmaker would be welcomed at the Wanda Metropolitano.James, 28, is set to leave the Santiago Bernabeu, with Goal having reported that both Atletico and Napoli are keen on signing the Colombia international.And Koke would seemingly like to see James join Atletico, talking up the former Bayern Munich midfielder’s talent and insisting he would be welcomed should he make the switch to join Diego Simeone’s side. Article continues below Editors’ Picks 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? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? “He is a Madrid player,” he told Cadena SER.”He is a great player and we don’t know what will happen. If he comes, he is welcome and if not, I wish him luck in the team he is at.”It is Napoli who are viewed as the favourites to land James, however, with Carlo Ancelotti keen to be reunited with a player he coached at both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.Indeed, the Serie A club’s chairman Aurelio de Laurentiis has revealed that the Italian has asked him to sign James although he feels Madrid need to lower their asking price.James’s agent Jorge Mendes has suggested no club is close to finalising a deal for the player, telling reporters to ask Los Blancos president Florentino Perez if they want an update on his situation.Atletico, meanwhile, have gone through a rebuild in the close season, signing the likes of Kieran Trippier, Marcos Llorente, Mario Hermoso and Joao Felix, for a club-record €126 million (£113m/$142m) fee from Benfica, among others. And, with big things expected of 19-year-old Felix, he scored one and assisted two others in Atletico’s 7-3 thrashing of Real Madrid at the International Champions Cup on Friday.Koke has, however, urged fans to be patient with the Portugal international, insisting he needs the freedom to develop and learn under his team-mates and head coach Simeone.”He is a great footballer and you have to be patient, you have to keep working and you’ll see good things,” he said.”He gave two assists, scored and hopefully continues at this level. The boy is excited and you don’t have to put pressure on him.”Let him listen to his team-mates and the coach.”
Nebraska NutritionAt 2-7 on the season, the Nebraska Cornhuskers are playing for respect. Ahead of their game against Illinois, the team had practice during a snowy day.First-year head coach Scott Frost had the bold idea to use the snow to exercise and have fun at the same time.A video from Nebraska Performance Nutrition shows a shirtless Frost instructing the team while they all make snow angels.You can see the video right here:First snow for some of the Nebraska players from the south gave the team a chance to have some fun during the start of practice Thursday. Shirtless coach Frost right in the middle of it all. GBR! #fuelingtactics #fuelNhuskers pic.twitter.com/kP9yBFN6Lk— Nebraska Performance Nutrition (@HuskerNutrition) November 9, 2018Nebraska started the season 0-6, allowing 33 or more points five times during that span.The Cornhuskers got their first win of the year against Minnesota on October 20th and followed that up with a win over Bethune-Cookman of the FCS the following week.Last week, Nebraska’s two-game winning streak was ended in a 36-31 loss to Ohio State.At 4-5, Illinois are hoping to secure their first winning record in the regular season since 2007. A loss would still give them a window to make a bowl game.UPDATE: We now have a clearer image of a shirtless Scott Frost.Thanks to @Chaz_in_Socal, here is the shirtless Frost pic.twitter.com/KxkoX1jvrf— Jim in MN (@HuskersMN) November 9, 2018
LINCOLN, NE – SEPTEMBER 08: Head coach Scott Frost of the Nebraska Cornhuskers leads the team on the field before the game against the Colorado Buffaloes at Memorial Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)After finishing its season at 4-8, Nebraska football missed out on a bowl by two games. Scott Frost’s staff is looking to take advantage of the situation on the recruiting trail.Huskers coaches are going to be all over the place over the next few weeks. From the Omaha World-Herald:“Ryan Held plans to hit at least five states the first week. Greg Austin doesn’t think he’ll need to leave the country, but his passport is handy just in case. Barrett Ruud knows he won’t see his wife much in the next couple of weeks.Ask any Nebraska coach where they’ll be the next three weeks and they laugh. Everywhere, hopefully, as they aim to close the 2019 class and continue to search for difference-making talent wherever it might be.”Nebraska’s class currently features 21 players, and ranks No. 22 in the country. The staff isn’t done yet, either.This weekend, the focus will be in Lincoln, with a number of big Nebraska football recruits coming to town.Three-star defensive end Jamin Graham out of Alabama recently hosted Frost. Now, the Nebraska staff will return the favor.He is the headliner of the visits this weekend. From 247Sports:The Alabama defensive end or outside linebacker is coming up to Lincoln just days after hosting the Nebraska head coach. Graham wants to see Lincoln and get a feel for the community, the football program and the coaching staff.Nebraska likes Graham because he’s an athletic outside linebacker with good upside and he’s got very unique measurables. The defender is considering Nebraska, along with Southern Miss, where he’ll visit next week and he’s been hearing regularly from Ole Miss and Virginia as well. It’s not a given that Graham decides to commit and sign in December at this time.Junior college defensive back Tony Wallace, a former Nebraska recruit out of high school until he signed with Arizona, is back involved with the Huskers as well. After Rich Rodriguez’s dismissal, he opted to head to community college.The team will also bring a number of current commits back to campus, which can definitely help solidify their decisions heading into the Early Signing Period, which begins on December 19, and help recruit the uncommitted players coming to campus.[247Sports]
He texted often with head coach Scott Frost and was even introduced to defensive coordinator and fellow Iowan Erik Chinander’s family.247Sports rates Gunnerson as the No. 678 overall prospect in the country. He is the No. 34 strong-side defensive end in the nation, and the No. 2 prospect from the state of Iowa.In 2017 he recorded 25.5 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and four sacks. He missed his junior season due to an injury.[The Daily Nonpareil] LINCOLN, NE – OCTOBER 20: General view of a football before the game between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Memorial Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)For the longest time it looked like three-star defensive end Blaise Gunnerson had his choices narrowed down to in-state Iowa State and Nebraska. After picking the Huskers over the Cyclones on Tuesday, Gunnerson explained why he ultimately turned down the in-state Big 12 power.In an interview with The Daily Nonpareil, Gunnerson explained that while he “leaned” towards Iowa State for several days, he came to realize that Nebraska was a better fit. He said that the academics, strength and conditioning, and coaching staff were all better at Nebraska.“I leaned Iowa State for a day or two,” Gunnerson said. “Then I kind of got back to myself and knew Nebraska was the place for me. If I go to Nebraska, they’re going to develop me to be the best version of myself on and off the field. Their academics really impressed me, their strength and conditioning really impressed me, and the coaching staff was the most important thing. Scott Frost has been completely honest with me.”He admitted to being an Iowa State fan and that the people in his hometown of Carroll, Iowa are largely Cyclones fans as well. But he said that he couldn’t choose the Big 12 giants just because he was a fan.Gunnerson noted that Nebraska had been very active in recruiting him.
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 23: GameDay host Kirk Herbstreit is seen during ESPN’s College GameDay show at Times Square on September 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)The 2019 college football season kicks off in just 11 days. Less than two weeks from now, college football fans will finally have something to do on Saturdays.To kick off the season, Florida and Miami face off in a “Week 0” contest. The Gators and Hurricanes will battle for state supremacy – sorry Florida State and UCF.With the season back on our televisions, so too, is College GameDay.Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Rece Davis and Desmond Howard are back as well. On Tuesday afternoon, ESPN revealed where the crew will be stationed for the first game of the year. College GameDay kicks off from Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on Saturday, August 24..@CollegeGameDay will have a magical start to the college football season ✨The show will be live from Magic Kingdom at @WaltDisneyWorld for Week 0. pic.twitter.com/iguwwATxwg— ESPN (@espn) August 13, 2019Earlier this week, Miami head coach Manny Diaz revealed his starting quarterback for the game. He’s going with Jarren Williams over Ohio State transfer Tate Martell and partial 2018 starter N’Kosi Perry.It’ll be interesting to see if Martell stays with the Hurricanes after the news.Meanwhile, Dan Mullen and the Gators ride with last year’s starter Feleipe Franks to lead them to the promised land this year.The action kicks off from Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida on August 24. The game will be televised on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. ET.
PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 01: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on during a play in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)Former Ohio State head coach turned FOX analyst Urban Meyer had some major praise for Trevor Lawrence this weekend, but it turns out that his comments on the Clemson quarterback were misinterpreted.Meyer was believed to call Lawrence the best college football quarterback “ever” during FOX’s college football preview show on Saturday.That’s not actually what Meyer said, though.Meyer took to Twitter this morning to issue some clarity. “The quarterback at Clemson is the best quarterback in college football. However, what about the rest of the team?” Meyer said.Trevor Lawrence is an excellent QB. For clarity, this is what I said: “The QB at Clemson is the best QB in college football. However, what about the rest of the team?”pic.twitter.com/FMLYTH4stZ— Urban Meyer (@OSUCoachMeyer) August 27, 2019It’s possible that Lawrence could go down as the best college football quarterback ever, but it’s only been one season.The Heisman Trophy frontrunner will need a massive sophomore and junior season to approach “best ever” quality.Clemson is set to open its 2019 season on Thursday against Georgia Tech. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. E.T. on the ACC Network.
Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh has been dogged by criticism from some fans and media members that he’s underachieved in Ann Arbor. Colin Cowherd does not share this opinion.This afternoon, Cowherd offered his support for Harbaugh in a segment on his show. His lengthy monologue outlined why he doesn’t believe Harbaugh has come up short thus far at his alma mater.The major building block of Cowherd’s argument is his belief that Michigan is a program that should be winning “9.5-10 games” per season with the right coach. He’s basing this on a set of criteria including academic reputation, recruiting base and location of the school.Harbaugh has won 10 games three times in four seasons and is averaging 9.5 wins per campaign. “Jim Harbaugh took over a program averaging 6 wins. He’s averaging 9.5. He’s hitting his number.” — @ColinCowherd pic.twitter.com/KYWFqmnfBM— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) September 18, 2019Most of the points Cowherd is hitting on are relevant. Harbaugh has won double-digits three times, a number Michigan hit just four times in the 15 years before he took over.Also, while the Wolverines have recruited at a high level under Harbaugh, his home base isn’t as fertile as some schools in the South.However, the overriding issue most Harbaugh critics have isn’t the number of games he wins, it has been the ones he hasn’t won. He’s 0-for-4 against Ohio State, just 2-2 against Michigan State and lost last year to Notre Dame.Additionally, Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State have all won the Big Ten East in the last four years. Michigan has not.Until those facts change, Harbaugh will face some ridicule.
How gross was Michigan’s 35-14 loss at Wisconsin? It was so bad that the block M managed to hold on to the Coveted Fifth Spot, even during a weekend when Utah laid yet another egg at the L.A. Coliseum, Washington State blew a 32-point lead to then-7th-ranked Bottom 10 team UCLA, and the SEC suffered another slew of embarrassing losses (one of those teams is coming up later in these rankings). But in the end, those other defeats still had a little bit of “Oh no! I can’t believe that!” to them. At this point in the Harbaugh era, a clunky offensive performance and a loss in a huge B1G game elicits more of an “Oh yeah. I can totally believe that.”Of course, Michigan is unlikely to stay in the “Bottom 10.” In fact, when they inevitably beat Rutgers this week, the Scarlet Knights will probably take their place.Still, the fact they are in this predicament in Year 5 of the Harbaugh Era is not a great sign. There’s only one way to change the narrative surrounding the program and its head coach right now.Win some big games, starting with Iowa next week and Penn State and Notre Dame in late-October. ANN ARBOR, MI – NOVEMBER 03: Michigan Wolverines Head football coach Jim Harbaugh watches the pregame warms ups prior to the start of the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)Michigan has taken plenty of hits in the aftermath of its 35-14 loss to Wisconsin. The latest came this morning via ESPN.Every week, ESPN’s Ryan McGee updates his “Bottom 10” rankings. It is a mix of teams who are clearly among the worst in college football and underachieving Power 5 programs.Right now, Michigan fits in the latter column. McGee has the Wolverines slotted at No. 5 on this week’s list.Arkansas at No. 10 is the only other Power 5 team in the “Bottom 10” this week.