Former Barcelona star Rivaldo has backed Lionel Messi to win the Ballon d’Or crown after impressing on the individual scale during the previous campaign. The Argentina international has won five Ballon d’Or titles during his illustrious career but none of those have resulted during the previous three editions of the prestigious accolade.
Speaking to Betfair, Rivaldo said that Messi has the chance to secure a record sixth Ballon d’Or crown this year, considering he was exceptional on the individual scale with more than 50 goals across all competitions, he told: “In my opinion, the Ballon d’Or of this season is Messi for what he has done. He didn’t win the Champions League, but because it is an individual prize he scored a lot of goals, important goals.”
Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp has said that his team’s promotion to the Premier League should put an end to the Carlos Tevez saga. The Blades were previously relegated from the top-flight during the 2006/07 season after the Hammers beat the drop through a Tevez winner at Manchester United on the final day.
Speaking to reporters, Sharp said that the Blades return to the Premier League should erase some of the bitterness associated with Tevez’s winner for the Hammers, he told: “I actually really liked Tevez as a player and, obviously, that hurt when that happened. But that’s forgotten about now and we are back in the top flight. I’m sure the games against West Ham will be fiery ones anyway and that will be brought back up again, but for me it’s forgotten. I have no grudges against Tevez. I’m a Sheffield lad and a Sheffield United fan and to be able to play in the Premier League with this club will be unbelievable.”
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has hailed the qualities of Lionel Messi and the Barcelona side ahead of the first leg of their Champions League semi-final. The Reds have done extremely well to progress to the final four of the competition for the second-straight year, but they need to overcome the challenge presented by the Blaugrana to reach the final in Madrid.
Speaking to reporters, Van Dijk stressed that he is not thinking about the Ballon d’Or title after recently being honoured with the PFA Player of the Year accolade. Implying to Messi, he added that there are players, who are basically out of the world and he has yet to showcase such kind of consistency.
Former Premier League full-back Danny Mills has compared Heung-min Son to the likes of Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The South Korean star has been a revelation for Tottenham Hotspur during the ongoing campaign and he is currently the second-highest scorer for the team behind Harry Kane this term.
Speaking to Stadium Astro, Mills indicated that Son has been restricted with his performances whenever Harry Kane has been on the field. He added that the former Bayer Leverkusen man can be compared to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, given his urge to have more of the ball to make an impact, he said: “Whenever you play with a superstar player, as one of the ‘lesser’ players you’re going ‘right, I need to give it to him’. And I think sometimes there is that focus – Harry Kane’s available, let’s give it to him.
Paris Saint-Germain defender Dani Alves has said that Neymar has been misunderstood at the Capital outfit, and the team need to show more trust towards the attacker just like Lionel Messi at Barcelona. The Brazil international joined Les Parisiens in a world-record deal from Barcelona in the summer of 2017 and he has since fared impressively across all competitions despite suffering a couple of metatarsal injuries.
Speaking to RMC Sport, Alves said that Neymar has yet to gain the trust from every member of the current squad and the same needs to happen sooner for the Brazilian to excel with the club, he said: “Here, everyone has not yet understood Neymar.When the ball is at the feet of this kind of player, there is like the scent of truffles. What’s going on is like with Messi. Around Messi, there are other players.
Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has named Sergio Aguero as the most complete striker in the Premier League despite him playing for arch-rivals Manchester City. The Argentina international has enjoyed another successful season in the English top-flight and he is currently leading the race for the Golden Boot with 18 goals in the bag.
Speaking to GQ Magazine, Rashford said that Aguero is probably the complete marksman in the Premier League, given he can find the scoresheet even on an off day. He added that Harry Kane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are other big-name players, who could make the top three of the league in terms of centre-forward qualities.
Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti has acknowledged that it was a tough decision to strip Mauro Icardi from the captain’s armband. The Argentine has been the skipper of the San Siro side for the past three-and-half seasons but he has been ousted from the duties amid his poor run of form and contract dispute with the club.
Speaking to reporters, Spalletti said that it was not easy to strip Icardi from the captaincy but the club had to do so with his current situation at the club, he said: “It was a difficult and painful decision, we all know his worth. We made it together with all of the components of the club and it was done exclusively for the good of Inter and of the team. There are some things concerning the player that had to be worked out. He was disappointed, he was upset. It was difficult to tell him… These things embarrass the team, of which he was captain, and the club.”
Former Milan CEO Adriano Galliani claims that one of his biggest regrets was with Carlos Tevez not joining AC Milan when he was at the club. AC Milan were under the control of former Italian president Silvio Berlusconi before it was sold to Asian investors.
This brought an end to a 30-year regime at the club and it also saw the departure of Galliani. Galliani was famously responsible for procuring a number of deals throughout his time at the club, but he says that his biggest regret would be to not bring Carlos Tevez to the San Siro.Continue reading
Chelsea have reportedly reached an agreement to sign Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain on a short-term loan. The Argentine is currently on a season-long loan with AC Milan but the Rossoneri are expected to terminate the deal with the marksman seemingly keen on a reunion with manager Maurizio Sarri at the Bridge.
According to Sky Sports News, the west London giants have already agreed on a loan package for the former Napoli man and the move could go through in the next few days. It is added that the club have finalised a six-month loan for the Argentine, though they have the option to extend the deal for a further year with the choice to buy, if they wish.
Argentine Football Association Claudio Tapia is confident that Lionel Messi will return for national team duty at the turn of the year. The Barcelona superstar has not featured for the South American heavyweights since the summer World Cup where the nation were ousted by France at the round of 16 stage.
Speaking to reporters, Tapia highlighted that Messi has never put himself out of contention for national team duty and believes the attacker’s love for the shirt, should see him return for the next round of internationals in March, he said:“Lionel Messi never left the Argentina national team. I believe that the love which he has for the shirt is so great that when he will be called, he’ll be there. I have no doubt about it.