Moise Kean became Italy’s second youngest ever goal scorer last night when he netted for the Azzurri in their Euro 2020 qualifier against Finland. Kean scored Italy’s second in the 74th minute after Nicolo Barella had put the home side ahead four minutes earlier. Barella’s strike also made him the first Cagliari player to net for Italy since 2013.
Italian papers Corriere dello Sport and Gazzetta both carried the same headline “Yes We Kean”
Italy’s next fixture will again be at home, this time in Parma against minnows Liechtenstein, who lost 2-0 to Greece in their opening game.
TuttoSport carried a slightly different headline, but also praised the young Juve forward- “Grande Kean, Grande Italia”. It also talked about the 40,000 strong crowd expected for Juve Women’s clash against Fiorentina.
Here are the Spanish papers’ reporting on Paul Pogba’s recent comments on Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane. The French medio said in a press conference that Real were a dream club for every player, and more so under Zidane. He however did add that he was happy in Manchester, but the first few lines were enough to drive the transfer rumour mills into overdrive.
Here are some reactions from the media in Spain.
Zidane is widely expected to overhaul the Real squad next summer and several names from the Premier League, key among them Chelsea star Eden Hazard, have been named as possibilities to move to the Spanish capital for the 2019/20 season.
The 26 year old Pogba made this comments ahead of France’s European qualifier against Moldova.
The sports world has started to run out of accolades for Lionel Messi after the Argentine superstar masterminded another win for Barcelona, this time against Betis. His performance was so good that it had the opposing crowd on their feet, recognising that a great player had graced the Villamarin.
The Spanish media went one step ahead, and asked a Barcelona based physicist to analyse Messi’s magical third- a wondrous chip against Pau Lopez. The article (in Spanish) talks about the distance between the goal and Messi, the speed he hit the ball at, and the maximum height it needed to be at.
Is it time for Spallexit? Inter fans may certainly be feeling so after last night, which saw their team crash out of Europe following a 1-0 loss at home to Eintracht Frankfurt. Having drawn the first leg 0-0 in Germany, Inter would’ve been favourites to progress at the San Siro, but an early Luka Jovic goal put paid to their hopes. It’s been a disastrous European campaign for the Nerazzurri, first failing to qualify from a Champions League group that also consisted of Barca, Spurs and PSV (they needed to beat PSV at home on the final match day, but failed to do so!), and now bowing out of the EL in the Round of 16.
The Italian papers, full of praise for Cristiano after his performance against Atleti, were blunt in their assessment of Inter’s exit.
CdS ran the wonderful headline “Patatracht”, a play on the Italian word (patatrac) and Eintracht’s name. TuttoSport went with “Che Disastro”. GdS chose “Notte Fonda” (dead night)
Inter’s exit now means Napoli are the last Italian team left in the Europa League, and they’ve been given tough last eight opposition in the form of Arsenal, who beat Rennes 3-0 at home to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg at the Roazhon.
In the immediate aftermath of England’s World Cup, there was hope that more unlikely heroes in the same mould as Tripper, Lingard, Alexander-Arnold and Rashford could emerge. Followers of the Premier League have not been disappointed, and several new stars have enjoyed a breakout campaign.
Gareth Southgate has placed an emphasis on youth- only three of England’s 23 member WC squad were above the age of 30, and with recent success at lower age group levels (they’re the reigning holders of both the U17 and U20 World Cup trophies), there is hope that this generation could emulate, or perhaps even do better, than the legendary squad of 1966.
Cristiano Ronaldo wrote himself into Juventus history books with a virtuoso performance that saw the Bianconeri come from 2-0 down for the first time ever in a Champions League knockout tie. Ronaldo’s hat trick, with two fine headers and a penalty converted under immense pressure saw Juve win 3-0 in Turin to send Diego Simeone’s Atleti, known for their defensive steel, crashing out of the competition. It was only the second time Los Colchoneros had lost in the knockout phases of the CL under Simeone- the other time was to Real Madrid when Ronaldo played for Los Blancos.
Check out the Italian papers’ reactions to Ronaldo’s hat trick against Atleti.
TuttoSport ran the headline “Marziani” (Martians) while Gazzetta went with “Ira d’Iddio” (Wrath of Gods). Corriere dello Sport chose the headline “Mostruoso”, paying tribute to the Portuguese superstar’s monstrous performance.
Liverpool will look to make it a quartet of English teams in the last eight of the Champions League by beating Bayern when the two European heavyweights do battle at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.
With Man Utd, Tottenham and Man City all beating their respective Round of 16 opponents, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds beating the Bavarians will not only make it four English teams in the quarters, but will also end Germany’s representation in the competition- Bayern are the only Bundesliga side left following exits for Schalke and Borussia Dortmund.
When was the last time four English clubs made it to the last eight of the Champions League?
It’s been almost a decade- the last time this happened was in the 2008/09 season when Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and United all made it to the quarters. That was also the year of that epic Chelsea-Liverpool quarterfinal, which the Blues won 7-5 on aggregate. The tournament that year was won by Barcelona, who are also in action tonight against Olympique Lyonnais. Like Bayern, Barca are also their country’s solitary representatives left following shock defeats in the Ro16 for both Real and Atletico Madrid. Continue reading
For the third consecutive time in their history, Roma were knocked out in extra time of a Champions League tie, with Eusebio di Francesco’s men falling 3-1 to FC Porto to be knocked out 4-3 on aggregate. Leading 2-1 from the first leg thanks to a pair from Zaniolo, Roma were cautiously optimistic heading to the Dragao, but their poor record in away Champions League knockout games continued as goals from Tiquinho and Moussa Marega took the game to extra time, and then a penalty from Alex Telles sent the Giallorossi out of the competition.
Here’s is the newspaper reaction from Italy to Roma’s exit! Courtesy Gazzetta, Tutto and CdS- the three biggest in the country.
Bayern Munich fans unveiled this banner, criticising the European away ticket policy of both the Bavarian giants and Liverpool during the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie at Anfield on 19 February, 2019.
The three banners together read
“Away ticket LFC 48£ FCB 55€“, “Th€ gr€€d knows no £imits“, “Twenty is plenty”
Liverpool fans were in full agreement and voiced their support for the banner.
The game ended in a goalless stalemate, leaving it as a winner takes all clash in the second leg at the Allianz Arena.
Pic of the banners for “Twenty is Plenty” by Bayern Munchen supporters at Anfield
Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini has said that Atletico Madrid are more of an Italian team rather than a Spanish one ahead of Juventus’ Champions League clash against Los Rojiblancos.
The 34 year old veteran also lavished praise upon Cristiano Ronaldo, saying that the Portuguese superstar had helped fill the void left by Gigi Buffon’s departure from Turin.
Chiellini also remarked that the best defender in the world was not him, but Real international Sergio Ramos.
Echoing Chiellini’s thoughts, former Juventus star Alessio Tacchinardi also said that Atleti and Simeone were perhaps the “worst possible opponents” for the Old Lady at this stage of the competition.
Juventus come into the first leg of this Round of 16 clash on the back of a 3-0 win over Frosinone, while Atleti were narrow 1-0 winners over Rayo in La Liga.
Maurizio Sarri’s position at Chelsea appears to be hanging by a thread after Manchester United beat them 2-0 at the Bridge to knock them out of the Cup. With several other high profile teams like Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool already out of the competition, the FA Cup was a good chance for the Blues to pick up some silverware, but Solskjaer became the first United manager in nearly seven years to win at the Bridge to set up a quarterfinal tie against Wolves.
Sarri’s results against top four teams this year has not been encouraging- he has lost 3-0 to Spurs, 2-0 to Arsenal, 6-0 to Man City and now 2-0 to Man Utd. It seems he no longer has control of the dressing room and even the fans seem to be fed up of his tactics- with several in the crowd heard saying “F*ck Sarri ball”
Against United, Sarri made his traditional changes, and even when they were 2-0 down, chose not to bring another attacking player on (despite Chelsea having several options on the bench), and instead subbed in Zappacosta. Callum-Hudson Odoi’s reaction on the sidelines, captured in this pic, tell a story in itself.
Sarri can probably redeem himself with a League Cup win over Man City, although few will bet on them given the Blues’ recent struggles under the Italian.
Pundit Chris Sutton called for Sarri to be sacked, and added that lack of action from Roman Abramovich could potentially be seen as disinterest in the club from the Russian.
Inter Milan appear to be ready to dig their heels in over the Mauro Icardi issue after the Argentine striker was not included in their lineup to play Sampdoria over the weekend. Icardi, who had been stripped of captaincy earlier in the week, also didn’t make the trip to Austria to play Rapid Vienna in the first of their Europa League knockout tie.
Inter won both games without Icardi by a single goal margin, beating Rapid 1-0 and Sampdoria 2-1. Against Rapid, the winner was scored from the penalty spot by Icardi’s compatriot Lautaro Martinez, while the goals against Samp came from the boots of Danilo D’Ambrosio and Radja Nainggolan. It was a third straight win (and a third straight clean sheet) for the Nerazzurri while Samp slumped to their third straight loss after previous defeats at the hands of Napoli and Frosinone.
Inter will be at home to Rapid for their next game while Sampdoria will travel to Cagliari.
Inter Milan have officially taken the captaincy off striker Mauro Icardi and handed it to goalkeeper Samir Handanovic. The announcement was made earlier today and raises doubts over the Argentine international’s future at the San Siro.
Icardi had inked a contract extension in 2016 that would keep him at the club till 2021. That deal also included a 110 million euro release clause for any foreign clubs interested in his services. The likes of Chelsea and Real Madrid were linked with him last summer, but no deal materialised, and the striker stayed at the club.
Inter apparently want Icardi to ink a new deal, but progress on that front has been non existent. Club officials put it down to the hard negotiating nature of Wanda Nara, Icardi’s wife and agent, and talks have apparently reached an impasse, which has forced the powers that be to take the armband off him.
Icardi is also not in the Inter squad for their midweek Europa League clash against Rapid Vienna.
Icardi’s team mate, Marcelo Brozovic, was seen liking posts on social media site Instagram that talked of the captaincy being taken off the former. It’s been long rumoured that Icardi’s relationship with the Croatian contingent at Inter isn’t exactly the best.
Could Icardi be off in the summer? Appears so, unless the club and he both have a change of heart!
France Football have today unveiled a rather interesting list- rating teams by their “mythical status”. The best way we understand this is for teams that had their heyday in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, or influenced the game in a manner that saw them write their names into the annals of history.
It probably explains why Ajax, with ex legends both on and off the pitch, like Johan Cruyff and Rinus Michels, and their Total Football concept, are first on this list. And also explains why teams that have obtained success in more recent times, like Manchester City and PSG, are not on it.
Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester United and Barcelona occupy spots 2-5. Other teams that certainly fit into this category (in our opinion!) are the likes of Santos, Benfica, River Plate, New York Cosmos and Budapest Honved. There is a sense of nostalgia about the past greatness of these teams in the current generation, which explains their mythical status.
Interesting list though- here it is below in full (countries on the side in French)