Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi has been proclaimed the best ever footballer by Pope Francis!
Barcelona and Argentina’s all-time leading goalscorer, Messi, has constantly been compared to past greats Pele and Diego Maradona, while also going head-to-head with current Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Continue reading Pope Francis: Messi better than Pele and Maradona
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a second half goal on a brilliant solo effort as English giants Arsenal earned their second win of their US tour by defeating Chivas Guadalajara 3-1.
Oxlade-Chamberlain scored just five minutes into the second half, using a back heel flick to loose a Chivas defender, and then cut to the middle before hammering a left-footed shot into the far corner.
England Under 21 striker Chuba Akpom out-muscled a Chivas player in front of the goal in the 56th minute to make it 3-0 in front of a crowd of 24 000 at the StubHub Centre stadium in south central Los Angeles. Naijabet.com
Akpom also scored the winner in Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over the Major League Soccer all-star team on Thursday in San Jose, California.
The 20-year-old is hoping to establish himself in Arsenal’s first team squad this season and was impressive during the Gunners pre-season tour of the United States.
Continue reading Arsenal wrap up US tour with a win
Kevin Gameiro says he always wanted to join Atletico Madrid despite attracting the interest of Barcelona prior to his move from Sevilla.
The 29-year-old was long linked with a move to Barca, but ultimately signed for Atletico on Saturday, agreeing a four-year contract with Luciano Vietto heading to Sevilla on loan as part of the deal.
After scoring 29 goals in all competitions last season and winning three straight Europa League crowns with his former club, Gameiro set his sights on LaLiga and Champions League glory as he was unveiled to supporters on Sunday. naijabet.com
“In my head, it was all clear,” the Frenchman added, “I wanted to join Atletico from the beginning and I am confident of good times ahead. I have signed a four-year deal and am optimistic about the future.
“There is always pressure, but that can be a good thing. I will just play my game and I will score many goals here.
“Diego Simeone has shown that he knows my qualities and that he wants me in the squad. I like his outlook too.
“He knows what I can offer. I think I can adapt and become more aggressive. I like spontaneity and he also wants to win every game. We will sit down and talk when the squad get back from Australia.
“I’m here to win titles; the Champions League and LaLiga. I’m really looking forward to the season ahead. This is a great club and can’t wait to challenge for the league title and Champions League this season – I would love to win a trophy.”
Gameiro was also questioned about Atletico’s interest in former striker Diego Costa – now of Chelsea – and said it was clear his new team had made their choice.
“The most important thing is that I’m talking to you,” he said. “The club chose me and I will give my all.
“The important thing is that I’m at a club that has chosen me and I’ll do everything I can to win every game for the team and for the supporters.”
Paris Saint-Germain head coach Unai Emery said Saturday that the French champions could sign Real Madrid forward Jese Rodriguez before the end of the transfer window.
The 23-year-old would provide support in attack to Edinson Cavani for PSG, who saw talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic leave at the end of the past season before joining Manchester United.
“It’s a possibility, as are other opportunities in the transfer window,” Emery said during PSG’s tour of the US. Naijabet.com
“I know Jese well, the club knows Jese well, he is a good player.”
Jese scored five league goals for Real last season, but struggled to force his way past Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo to get into the starting line-up.
PSG play Premier League champions Leicester City on Saturday in California in their final International Champions Cup friendly, before opening the domestic season in a week’s time against Lyon in the French Champions’ Trophy.
No deal has been reached between Juventus and Manchester United concerning the touted transfer of French international Paul Pogba, the player’s agent Mino Raiola insisted on Friday.
No deal done between clubs,” Raiola wrote on Twitter. “It’s a game between Italy press and UK press who announce it first and who is worse.”
United have reportedly had an £86 million offer turned down by the Italian champions as they try to lure Pogba back to Old Trafford four years after allowing him to leave on a free transfer. Naijabet.com
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho all but confirmed United were interested in signing the 23-year-old playmaker last week, stating: “You have smoke, you have fire. I am not going to try to make you naive and believe that we are not trying for one player.”
Raiola responded on Twitter the following day: “There is no deal done regarding Paul Pogba, lots of bla bla bla.”
The French striker scored 17 goals in 71 games for the Welsh side but now returns to his homeland on a season-long loan
Swansea City have announced the departure of striker Bafetimbi Gomis to Marseille on a season-long loan.
The 30-year-old was left out of the Swans’ squad for their pre-season tour of America. naijabet.com
Gomis made 18 starts and 15 substitute league appearances last season, scoring six goals, having arrived from Lyon on a free transfer in 2014.
The former France international graduated from the Saint-Etienne academy and went on to make 159 appearances.
Middlesbrough have made their eighth signing of the summer after agreeing a deal for Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
The United States international has agreed a two-year contract with the Teessiders.
Guzan made 34 appearances for relegated Villa last season and played every match in the USA’s run to the Copa America semi-final. naijabet.com
The 31-year-old is likely to be back-up at Boro to former Barcelona and Spain goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who joined the newly-promoted Premier League club earlier this month.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech expects manager Arsene Wenger to bring in the right players necessary to improve Arsenal’s bid to win a first Premier League title since 2004 without wasting money on panic buys.
Wenger has made three additions to his squad so far in the close season, bringing in midfielder Granit Xhaka, defender Rob Holding and striker Takuma Asano, and, according to media reports, is actively looking for another forward.
“I think you need to buy players you need, you need to buy players that will improve the team and not to buy players just for buying. That’s the philosophy of the club,” Cech said.
“I’ve been here since last season and you can see that every time we bring in a player, it’s a player we need, and the manager believes he improves the team. Naija and Bet
“There is a core of the players who have been at Arsenal for years, and they know that is an advantage as well. People get to know each other, how to play together.”
Continue reading Cech trusts Wenger to buy players that will improve the team
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed he is interested in signing Everton’s young centre back John Stones, who has been linked with a £50 million move to the Etihad Stadium.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss, who also suggested he would be “happy” to sign winger Leroy Sane from Schalke 04, told reporters on Thursday: “It’s the same answer (as) for Sane – he’s a player for Everton. Everyone knows we’re going to try but we will see.” Naijabet
Stones, 22, joined Premier League Everton from Barnsley for 3 million pounds in 2013 after only a handful of appearances for the Championship club.
He developed a reputation as a ball-playing centre back, earning his first England cap in 2014 and travelling to France as part of England’s Euro 2016 squad, although he did not feature in any of their games.
Despite a dip in form last season, Stones is highly regarded by top clubs in England and abroad and was the subject of bids from Chelsea last year after they won the Premier League title.
Continue reading Man City confirms interest in Stones and Sane
French winger Franck Ribery has again criticised his ex-Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola during the club’s tour of the United States, claiming the Spaniard talks too much and lacks experience.
Guardiola is now head coach of Manchester City after three seasons with Bayern and Ribery has wasted no time in criticising his former boss.
Bayern lost 5-3 to AC Milan on Wednesday in a penalty shoot-out after their friendly in Chicago finished 3-3 after extra time.
Ribery netted twice, including converting a 90th minute penalty, and has refound his form after injury restricted his number of appearances last season. Naijabet
Carlo Ancelotti, 57, has replaced Guardiola as Bayern coach for the 2016/17 season and Ribery has been quick to praise the Italian, at the expense of the 45-year-old Guardiola.
Continue reading Ribery keep criticizing Guardiola