Former Real Madrid legend Raul Gonzalez has shown his interest to extend a new deal with Schalke 04 until 2013 as the German Bundesliga club has given him back his enthusiasm for playing football.
Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is optimistic he will be available for the club’s next Premier League match against Blackburn on 2 April and expected to be “stronger and fitter than ever.”
The French defender Patrice Evra has signed a new deal with English Premier League side Manchester United which will keep him at Old Trafford until 2014.
Argentine star Lionel Messi’s late score brought a 2-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou on Sunday and also helped them to regain their five point lead over Real Madrid at the top of Spanish League.
Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko’s only goal rescued Manchester City and gave them a 1-1 draw with lowly Notts County in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday at Meadow Lane.
The Spanish club Barcelona are still maintaining their great performance as they got an easy victory on Sunday night over Real Sociedad in Spanish League. But Argentine star Lionel Messi believed that maintaining the level of performance is not easy though it seems.
France football legend Zinedine Zidane has been appointed on Friday as Real Madrid‘s presidential advisor for the football first team.
The 38-year-old former Real Madrid player will be on hand to assist president Florentino Perez and coach Jose Mourinho and will have regular contact with the first team. He will also take part in training sessions and meetings with Mourinho ahead of UEFA Champions League games.
The club said in a statement on www.realmadrid.com : “The reasoning for his appointment is to assist in optimizing first-team working conditions. Zidane will be readily available to the president and coach for all matters concerning Real Madrid’s first team, with whom he will keep in frequent contact.
“The former player will participate in Champions League events and functions. He will also travel with the team on a regular basis for said completion and will participate in the pre-match gatherings, training sessions and meetings with the head coach.”
Zidane retired from football after his fifth season with Real Madrid in 2006 and the World Cup that year.
Barcelona’s goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto has been banned by UEFA for the next two Champions League matches over “gross unsporting conduct” during the Spanish side’s 2-0 defeat of Copenhagen.
Pinto, 34, “whistled to stop a promising attack from striker Cesar Santin in the UEFA Champions League Group D match” on October 20.
The disciplinary committee of European football’s governing body read a statement on Friday: “FC Barcelona goalkeeper Jose Pinto has been suspended for two UEFA club competition matches by the UEFA control and disciplinary body. Pinto was found guilty of gross unsporting conduct. The control and disciplinary body considered that he whistled to stop a promising attack from striker Cesar Santin in the UEFA Champions League Group D match against FC Copenhagen at Camp Nou on 20 October.
“He will miss the Spanish side’s next two UEFA Champions League group stage games against Copenhagen in Denmark next Tuesday, and against Panathinaikos in Greece on 24 November. An appeal may be lodged against the ruling within three days of the dispatch of the reasoning for the decision.”
The former France international Nicolas Anelka has shown his great desire to stay at Stamford Bridge and is ready to extend his contract at the end of the season.
Anelka has scored eight goals so far this season and his 50th goal has been scored in the 2-0 UEFA Champions League victory over Spartak Moscow in midweek. He is in the best form of his career now.
Anelka said, “It is the first time I have scored that many for any club but it is first time I have spent more than two-and-a-half years at a club as well. It shows how happy I am at Chelsea. When I first signed here I knew had arrived at a big club and I wanted to stay as long as possible.”
He added: “I don’t know what will happen in the future. After this season I have one more year on my current deal and I will see what will happen because you never know. But I am very happy here and I would be glad to sign for more years. I am just very satisfied to achieve two landmarks with Chelsea in goals scored and how long I have spent here, it has just been special to score goals for Chelsea.”
Manchester United adds Jonny Evans, Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney to injury list. Continue Reading
Germany international Philipp Lahm has demanded response from Bayern’s players and urged fans to blame them for disappointing form.
Bayern’s defender Lahm said, “We have too many players who are performing below their level. If you play like that, then you cannot beat such an excited team like Mainz.”
Bayern Munich this season have won only two of their first six Bundesliga matches and the club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has ordered the team to “turn the corner ” in tonight’s UEFA Champions League game against Basel.
Lahm believes this match is the most important in Bayern’s season to date. Defeat in Switzerland would increase the media intensity on a club not used to failure.
He said, “We cannot allow that to happen. We have got to ensure we find our true form immediately. It is going to be really tough for us now to make up this ten-point deficit on Mainz, and that is not what we wanted.”
England international Jermain Defoe has expected to return to action within two months from injury.
The 27-year-old had been ruled out for up to three months after undergoing surgery on torn ankle ligaments but now he hopes to continue his habit of coming back from injury quicker than expected.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Defoe, who scored his first hat-trick for England this month after helping Spurs qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stages, told the Daily Mirror, “When I did my metatarsal a couple of years ago, they said I’d be back after 10 weeks and I was back after six. People were joking that I must have some special blood and that I was not normal because I’d healed really quick.
“Obviously I want to take my time with this because its ligaments and the ones that I have done take a long time to heal. But hopefully I could be back in about eight weeks.”
Portugal international and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo said on Wednesday he has almost recovered from an ankle injury and may be fit for los Merengues UEFA Champions League opener against Ajax next Wednesday at the Bernabeu. It will be Real’s first Champions League group phase match.
The 25-year-old forward was ruled out for about three weeks due to an injury and missed Portugal’s shock 4-4 draw with minnows Cyprus in a Euro 2012 qualifier on Friday and the team’s 1-0 loss to Norway on Tuesday.
Ronaldo told a press conference: “I feel better and we’ll see how it (the injury) develops. I’m still not perfect but almost at one hundred percent. I’ll return as soon as possible, may be in two days I can rejoin the squad. I believe I can be ready for the match against Ajax.”
Champions League was held for the first time in 1955, the UEFA Champions League is the podium for Europe’s finest clubs! It is argued to be the most famous club competition in football, so reason enough for football fans to secure those highly sougt-after Champions League tickets and actually attend the Champions League live! The tournament has a global audience of more than one billion people.
The UEFA Champions League anthem, officially titled simply as “Champions League”, is an adaptation by Tony Britten of George Frideric Handel’s Zadok the Priest from the Coronation Anthems. UEFA commissioned Britten in 1992 to arrange their anthem, and the piece was performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and sung by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields chorus in the three official languages used by UEFA: English, German, and French. The anthem’s chorus is played before each UEFA Champions League game, as well as at the beginning and end of television broadcasts of the matches. The complete anthem takes duration of about three minutes, and has two short verses and the chorus. The anthem has never been released commercially in its original version.
The UEFA Champions League (usually referred to as simply the Champions League or historically as the European Cup) is an annual association football cup competition organized by UEFA since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. As a reaction to a declaration by the British press on the part of Wolverhampton Wanderers being “Champions of the World” after a successful run of European friendlies in the 1950s, Hanot finally managed to convince UEFA to put into practice a continent-wide tournament. The competition began as the 1955–56 using a two-leg knockout format where the teams would play two matches, one at home and one away, and the team with the highest overall score qualifying for the next round of the competition.
There have since been numerous changes to eligibility for the competition, the number of qualifying rounds and the group structure. In 1997–98, eligibility was expanded to include the runners-up from some countries according to UEFA’s coefficient ranking list. The qualification system has been restructured so that national champions from lower ranked countries have to take part in one or more qualifying rounds before the group stages, while runners-up from higher ranked countries enter in later rounds. Up to four clubs from the top-ranked countries are currently given entry to the competition.
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho is now in pressure after a disappointing 0-0 draw against Real Mallorca in this season. He has hit out at his club for not backing him in the transfer market and leaving him short up front.
Mourinho is unhappy with lack of strikers at Real and also admitted that buying players is never easy when in charge of a big team as selling clubs inflate their prices. He told,”At Madrid I wanted another striker, Higuain and Benzema are not enough. Transfer dealings are not easy with Real, if you move a finger a storm breaks out.”
Though Real is in lack of strikers but AC Milan are now in a very strong position as they have recently signed two best strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho.
Mourinho believes AC Milan can emerge as UEFA Champions League competitors this season. He has been paying close attention to the Milan’s dealings as his Real Madrid side will face them, along with Auxerre and Ajax, in Group G of the Champions League.
Mourinho said, “With Ibrahimovic and Robinho, this is another Milan. Robinho and Ibrahimovic are among the best in the world.”
He added: “Certainly Milan is much stronger than it was a year ago. I Rossoneri are among the teams that can win the Champions League.”