With the pressure on the former Real Madrid talisman at Juventus, is this the reason for the snub at the international level? The forward would not skipper Portugal when they meet Croatia and he would not be available for the very important game against Italy in the UEFA Nations League.
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Chelsea have said they would not sell England international Ruben Loftus-Cheek. There have been claims that the player would seek a permanent shirt somewhere else as he faces career crossroad. The 22-year old had a nice season at Crystal Palace last term and has said he would return to Stamford Bridge for the pre-season before deciding on the next course of action.
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Ukraine were overwhelming favourites to get three points in the opening Euro 2016 qualifying match against Slovakia. However, the first suffered a shock 1-0 defeat that has threatened to derail player tournament qualification hopes even after just one match. Ukraine were also sensationally denied an equaliser from the goalkeeper in the dying minutes of the match. Goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov had gone up for a set piece in the last few seconds of the match and he turned out to provide an unlikely point for his team, who had been struggling up until then.
Despite having the ball in the back of the net, Ukraine were left disappointed after the referee ruled it out as a foul. Ukraine coach Mykhaylo Fomenko was not pleased with the decision of the referee, as he felt that his team had scored a fair goal. He said that Pyatov collision with his opposite number was not a foul and simply an accident. Fomenko realising that he could no longer change the match, stated that one the reasons for Ukraine’s poor performance was the large injury list that he had to contend with ahead of the match. Slovakia had only one shot on target and they scored their goal through Mak in the 17th minute with Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik being the provider.
“We scored a fair goal in the end and I was surprised the referee cancelled it. We did not foul in the penalty area, Slovakia’s keeper simply collided with his team mate. We had at least three key players missing due to injuries which affected our performance,” said the Ukraine coach. The troubled eastern European team will now be hoping to get back on track in the next round of qualification matches in October. They face Belarus and Macedonia in the next international round of fixtures.
In the last season of the Premier League, Chelsea lacked a consistent striker that could score goals and threaten the defensive sides of any club but during the transfer window they have managed to sign Diego Costa from Athletic Madrid and this has turned Chelsea into heavy favorites of winning the English League next time around.
Diego Costa was one of the most sought out players in the summer transfer window and despite having received interest from clubs all around Europe, it was Chelsea the club that managed to sign him after paying Athletic Madrid €32 million and Costa signed a 5 year long contract that will see him earning €150,000 each week.
There is no doubt that the attacking department of Chelsea is one of the best and maybe even the best out of all the clubs that are currently performing in the Premier League with the likes of: Diego Costa, Andre Schurrle, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Oscar all of which are expected to be lined up.
There is however a position in the squad of Jose Mourinho that still remains undecided as to which player will be taking up the position and this is the goalkeeper position. During the pre-season matches of Chelsea, Mourinho has switched between Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech on a number of occasions but it still does not seem like the Portuguese manager has definitely elected or announced his preferred player.
Chelsea kicks off their Premier League season on Monday, August 18 when they play against Burnley and according to Jose Mourinho, Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech will receive the news of who is going to be elected as the main goalkeeper on Sunday.
Mourinho said: “the players don’t know who’s first choice. When will I tell them? On Sunday.”
Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech are both world class shot-stoppers but unfortunately one of them will be seeing the sidelines for a substantially long period of time during the approaching Premier League season unless Jose Mourinho decides to switch them around in each match
Demba Ba’s late goal against PSG not only gave the fans of Chelsea a reason to shout and celebrate as the Premier League club was barely able to scrape past PSG and find their way into the semifinals of the Champions League but the victory also allowed Mourinho on breaking a record that Sir. Alex Ferguson had.
Jose Mourinho surpassed Sir.Alex Ferguson and marked his name on Champions League history as he reached 8 semifinals of the European competition.
Demba Ba came into the pitch during the 2nd half of the match and made a huge difference as he scored the winning goal which edged out the victory for Chelsea and he revealed his satisfaction following the end of the match.
“I’m not out for revenge, maybe Mourinho doesn’t have strikers to his liking but I know that we have three great strikers and I think that a lot of clubs would like to have them.
“I’m happy. I’m happy to have liberated us. I haven’t been given my chance much this season but here I’ve taken it. It’s the first time I’ve wished PSG to lose, and it’s me who scores the goal – luckily for Chelsea’’. Demba Ba said.
Chelsea will now have to lock horns against the team that eliminated Barcelona from the Champions League, Athletic Madrid.
The team of Jose Mourinho is lacking a world class striker at the same caliber that some other clubs have such as: Diego Costa, Thomas Muller, Benzema, or C.Ronaldo. This is one of the reasons on why Chelsea is considered to be one of the ‘weaker’ teams which are remaining in the Champions League.
A few years Chelsea shocked just about everyone around the globe as they defeated Barcelona on the semifinals of the 2011-12 Champions League and later went on winning the entire tournament by overcoming Bayern Munich on a penalty shootout and Mourinho is hoping he can accomplish it once more.
Jose Mourinho has stated that he is extremely happy with the defensive performances of his players in the last few weeks. After considering numerous goals in the first half of the season, Mourinho worked extensively on improving the defence at Chelsea. This seems to have worked extremely well after the blues have one of the best defensive record in all of Europe. They have conceded just 22 goals in 29 matches this campaign and it has been a major factor towards their push for the title.
Even though Chelsea have not scored comparable to the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal, their defensive record has been key towards opening a nine-point advantage in the table. Chelsea trailed the leaders Arsenal by five points during the Christmas period, but since the 3-2 defeat against Stoke City, there has been a remarkable change with the club. Mourinho states that the likes of Gary Cahill, Ivanovic, and Azpilicueta have all performed exceptionally well along with John Terry to create a cohesive defensive unit, which rarely concedes goals.
Chelsea managed to extend their lead in the table after a convincing 4-0 win over Tottenham. All the goals came in the second half after their London rivals dominated in the first half. Mourinho says that it was important that the team kept calm after a difficult first half.
“We work, we prepare matches, we analyse opponents. You try to find the best balance. Defensively you try to make a shape, you try to find a balance. I like Ivanovic playing right-back more than as a central defender. I like a lot the stability of Cahill and the understanding of Cahill with John. And I think at this moment Azpilicueta is unbeatable. For many, many matches I haven’t seen one player beat Azpilicueta in an individual duel,” said the Chelsea boss.
The retired Portuguese player Paulo Ferreira played list professional match of his career during Chelsea’s match against Everton which was back in May of 2013. Ever since that moment, Ferreira has been a free agent but according to reports emerging from England, he has been training with the club in his homeland and he wants to play on for at least another season if he is able to find a new team in England.
A number of clubs have already shown interest in signing Ferreira including: Leicester, Brighton, Reading, Fulham and Derby County.
Paulo Ferreira along with a number of other retired players have accepted invitations from Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane to play a charity match on March 4 at the Stade de Suisse.
The 11th annual Match against Poverty has been getting stronger support as the years pass by as more players keep on joining and being invited to the match that will have all the proceeds going in support of the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan which was one of the most powerful storms in history.
Figo, the 2000 Ballon D’or winner and the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year is very keen to support the cause. “I am making an appeal to the public to come to the Stade de Suisse,” he said. I would be delighted to see the stands full of people so we could celebrate football together in the fight against poverty. Let’s help the Philippines.”
Jamie Carragher, Robert Pires, Claude Makelele, Michel Salgado, Pavel Nedved, Gennaro Gattuso, Gianluca Zambrotta, Fabio Cannavaro, Roberto Carlos, Juliano Belletti and Paulo Ferreira are just some of the players that have been confirmed to play in either the team of Ronaldo or Zinedine Zidane.