Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is demanding more of his team, even though they are top of Serie A and lead their Champions League group.
A win at home to Olympique Lyonnais will take Juventus into the last 16 of the Champions League with two games to spare but Buffon said they also need to think about the more difficult challenges that lie ahead.
“We need to realise the current level won’t be enough, so we need to take steps forward,” he said after Saturday’s 2-1 win over Napoli. Naijabet
“If we go into the next round in Europe, it will get really tough from March and we’ll have no more time to work on it then. We need to make those improvements now.”
Juventus have won the last five Serie A titles but, although they reached the 2015 Champions League final, their performances in Europe have not matched the standards set by Italy’s top teams in the past.
Continue reading Juventus still far from finished product – Buffon
Leicester City have turned their debut season in the Champions League into a cakewalk and victory over FC Copenhagen on Wednesday would seal their place in the last 16.
A narrow win over Copenhagen a fortnight ago made Leicester one of only five group stage debutants to win their first three games and should they make it four from four and Porto fail to beat Club Brugge they will secure top spot in Group G.
That would, in likelihood, spare them a clash with one of the big guns in the first knockout round when the competition begins again in the new year. Naijabet.com
How Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, England’s other three representatives, would like to be in that position with two group games to spare?
Yet Leicester’s European form has been in stark contrast to their domestic performances as they struggled to adjust to wearing the English champions’ crown.
Continue reading Leicester seek to continue UCL winning
Stung by a chastening 4-0 defeat at Camp Nou two weeks ago, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola makes a second attempt to outwit his former club Barcelona on Tuesday.
Guardiola’s men were undone by the second-half dismissal of goalkeeper Claudio Bravo on October 19, when Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick to propel his side five points clear of City at the Group C summit.
Another defeat would give Borussia Moenchengladbach and Celtic an opportunity to overtake City and Guardiola knows his side face a major test of their nerve at the Etihad Stadium.
“We have to be focused for 90 minutes, knowing they are going to provoke our mistakes because of the quality they have,” said Guardiola, who led Barcelona to European glory in 2009 and 2011. Naija and Bet
“Barcelona provoke your mistakes. But we had a few chances and have to keep going in that sense and try to finish better than we did in Barcelona.
“We will try. We will try it again. I’ve never thought we could not win. I have never entered a match thinking we can’t win.
Continue reading UCL : Manchester City seek revenge against Barca
Gareth Bale’s new six-year Real Madrid contract will see the Welshman reportedly rake in well in excess of €115 million as the Spanish giants bet on Bale to lead another glorious era at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Bale, who has won two Champions League titles in three years in Spain, solidifies his position as one of the highest earners in football along with the likes of Real teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Neymar.
The flying winger, 27, is set to take home as much as £350 000 a week after tax, according to British media, though figures vary wildly.
“That’s for me to know and no one else to find out, sorry,” said a smiling Bale when quizzed on his new salary.
However, Ronaldo looks set to retain his status as top dog of the pay packets at the Bernabeu with the Portuguese expected to become the latest Madrid star to extend his deal in the coming weeks. Naijabet.com
Real have already handed lucrative renewals to Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez to hold onto their key men with a one-year transfer ban imposed by Fifa to come over the next two transfer windows.
Continue reading Bale sign Real Madrid mega deal
Play maker Juan Mata says he did not lose any sleep over Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Manchester United despite longstanding and widespread rumours that the pair had fallen out when they were both at Chelsea.
Mourinho dropped the Spaniard during his time at Stamford Bridge before selling him to United in January 2014 for a then club record fee of 37 million pounds ($45.24 million).
Mata has been a key player for the Premier League club this season, however, scoring twice and racking up an assist in eight league games.
“Too many things were said. Too many stories were created as well – lies,” Mata, who was given the captain’s armband for Saturday’s goalless draw with Burnley, said. Naija and Bet
“When the manager came in I was always thinking the same as I have always, I am going to give my best, and I believe in myself and I think this can work out.
Continue reading I feel important at Man United – Mata