Football

Luis Suarez Scores Brace for Inter Miami; Bellingham Suspended for Scoring; Haaland scores 5 in FA Cup; De Gea to join Barcelona

Last week the footballing world witnessed some of the biggest stories unfold, however not all of them can be covered, hence here is our hot take on what are the biggest news that brewed last week.

Table of Contents

Inter Miami 5-0 Orlando City: Luis Suarez embarks American journey after scoring brace; best mate Messi scores twice too

Inter Miami continues their dream run in 2024 MLS Season after a Luis Suarez-Lionel Messi combination launched a scathing attack at Orlando City, thus cementing their position on the top of the table. Former FC Barcelona and Liverpool great Suarez got his first goals for the Herons, as the match ended with a berserk brace from football’s all time greatest, Lionel Messi.

Inter Miami blanks Orlando City

Inter Miami might have performed on a mediocre basis last season, but they have transformed since the advent of Messi magic. The former FC Barcelona and PSG legend, who has reached the zenith of success after lifting the World Cup in Qatar after battling out an intense French side led by Kylian Mbappe, the Argentine arrived on the American soil last year, and has indeed swooned Miami with his magic web.

He led the side to their maiden title, as the Herons lifted the Leagues Cup, edging fellow MLS side Nashville, and this season, Tata Martino led side has already shown the world that they are ready to win the league. After a classy victory against Real Salt Lake in the inaugural game followed by a meagre 1-1 tie against Los Angeles Galaxy, Miami showcased their exuberance in routing Orlando City, smacking them for five goals without reply.

America got a glimpse of Messi-Suarez camaraderie, a sight which Catalan fans have been familiar with since last few years, as they have cemented their position on the top of the table, ticking all the boxed before a huge clash against Nashville in CONCACAF Champions Cup on Thursday.

Luis Suarez began the proceedings with a flashy goal within the remaining five minutes, as newly signed Julian Gressel combined to give the Uruguayan his first goal with the Herons. He quickly followed with a second goal following a swift brilliance from Gressel, who helped the former Atletico Madrid star to get his second, as Miami set the game for a classy finish.

Messi ends the game with a blitzkrieg brace

The game seemed to have been killed by Finnish striker and Messi’s strike partner since last season Robert Taylor, when he scored a exuberant goal within the half-hour mark, from an assist from Luis Suarez, thus leading the score line for a grandstand finish with goals galore. The game approached half-time after an onslaught inflicted by the Herons, but little did the visitors knew that a Messi-magic is waiting for them after restart.

The Argentine superstar scored his first goal just before the hour-mark, as he led the score by four goals, as Orlando City’s hapless keeper Gallese could barely find any solution to this mammoth attacking line-up comprising Messi and Suarez. To add to their woes, Messi completely killed the game after Suarez’s chipped-in pass across the edge of the box towards Messi helped the World Cup winner to head in, as Miami ended the game, leaving the home fans ecstatic with this victory. Miami rose to the top of West Conference, as David Beckham owned side have started to show glimpses of a team which houses the famous Barcelona quartet of Messi-Busquets-Suarez-Alba.

Jude Bellingham: Real Madrid star suspended for hurling abuses at referee; match ends in a controversial note

In a shocking series of events in a vital Real Madrid-Valencia clash in La Liga, the Spanish capital side’s poster boy Jude Bellingham, has been shown a red card after erupting in a fit of rage when his potential winner was discarded. The match ended in a sour 2-2 stalemate, as the leaders drop further points in the race to title.

Real Madrid impress in remarkable comeback

Real Madrid and Valencia were engaged in a thrilling fight on Saturday night football at Mestalla, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side being the clear favorites to win the game, thus drifting farther away from second-placed Girona. But, Valencia, as their reputation of giant-killers goes by, Los Che almost pulled off a remarkable victory against the Spanish capital side, when they went 2-0 up within first thirty minutes, owing to a stunner from Hugo Duro, who headed in Fran Perez’s scuffed shot into the goal, followed by a Roman Yaremchuk strike, who pounced upon a Dani Carvajal mistake, whose lose pass was intercepted by the Ukrainian to slot the ball into an empty net.

But, as Real Madrid have maintained their remarkable ability to spark a miraculous remontada, they performed it once again last night, as Vinicius’ brace almost sealed the deal for Los Blancos. The Brazilian stalwart was adept in pulling one back right at the stroke of half-time break, followed by a strike on the 76th minute, with his close-range header helping Madrid fans to pursue their dream of winning the game.

Bellingham red card sparks controversy

But, although the game was poised for a spectacular ending, a red-card shown to Jude Bellingham might have erupted at the Spanish capital, as Real Madrid’s poster boy, who has wreaked havoc on the field owing to his exuberance and caliber, was suspended for ranting at the referee.

What happened?

It has been reported that Real Madrid might have scored the winner through Jude Bellingham, when he hit the ball at the final minutes from the edge of the six-yard box, but the goal stood disallowed as referee’s final whistle blew before the cross was played. As the Madrid players swarmed the referee, it was informed that the final minutes were completed with his final whistle, eventually disallowing the goal. Amidst the chaos, Bellingham was seen mouthing the match official, which led to his suspension. He was heard saying, “It’s a f*cking goal, the ball is in the air. What the f*ck is that,” according to football transfer pundit Fabrizio Romano.

The game was filled with emotional outbursts involving Vinicius who held up his fist after scoring the first goal to reduce the deficit, as it marked his return to Mestalla following his racial abuse last season. With this tie, Real adrift farther from second placed Girona and third-placed FC Barcelona, who trail them by seven and nine points, respectively, with their fixtures lined up tonight.

FIFA: Blue cards set to be scrapped off from football games, confirms FIFA President Gianni Infantino

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has rejected the idea of utilizing blue cards in football, as he has confirmed in his official statement saying, “It is red card to the blue card.” With rule-makers in football seemingly approving the idea of sin-bin trials, they need to be scrapped off with FIFA president declaring rejection publicly.

Infantino says “no way” to blue cards

The Sin-Bin trials were set to be implemented after its introduction last month, but it is increasingly getting evident that senior figures within the ranks of football were not impressed with this idea. It was proposed that plans of this trial were set to be discussed by International Football Association Board (IFAB) in its general meeting at Loch Lomond in Scotland.

According to FIFA president Infantino, these blue cards are a strict “no way” in football, as he was heard saying, “This is a topic that is non-existent for us. FIFA is completely opposed to blue cards. I was not aware of this topic, the president of FIFA – and I think FIFA has a say in IFAB. No way.”

“We have to be serious. We are always open to look at ideas and proposals and everything has to be treated with respect of course. But once you look at it you also have to protect the essence and tradition of the game. There is no blue card.”

Since the surface of this news, football managers have erupted, citing their own reasons why this is a terrible idea, with further discussions to be settled in the meeting. A report claims that discussions would be taking place about the implementation of “cooling off periods”, slated to be followed by a press conference.

“VAR is future”

It has also been informed that discussions about football’s most controversial issue, VAR, would take place, with a topic about the current trial of referees to be centered. Infantino was seen speaking about VAR, as he mentioned, “It will be difficult in a stadium to hear what is happening in the VAR booth. But explanation by referee is an important step in the right direction in explaining to the public and people in the stadium why he took a certain decision.”

“VAR isn’t that old. It has made a lot of progress and will make more.” When asked about his faith on the technology-associated with referees, he said, “Very much so. You can’t imagine football anymore without VAR. Nobody can do that.”

Kylian Mbappe: French stalwart subbed off against Monaco; boss Enrique confirms decision “for the good of the team”

French football might have got into a bit of frenzy when Kylian Mbappe was taken off during half-time in their game against heavyweights Monaco. Luis Enrique has confirmed his intention to take off Mbappe was for the “good of the team”, as the Parisian giants stayed put on top of the table, twelve points ahead of second-placed Brest, who has played a game less.

Mbappe: a French striking metronome

Kylian Mbappe, the French captain, was subbed off in a game against Monaco, thus raising questions of potential injury ahead of an important International Break, but PSG manager Luis Enrique has cleared all suspicions about his star player. In the second half, it was seen that Mbappe came on the sidelines, flaunting his tracksuit and in good spirits, chirping with his mates. He has previously confirmed club officials about his decision to end a seven year-long association with the defending champions, as Spanish capital club Real Madrid emerging as a possible destination. PSG ended the game with a draw, snatching one point from the principality, stretching their lead to 12 points from Brest.

As PSG inch towards another French title, and with hopes of securing a Champions League quarter finals berth after leading Real Sociedad 2-0 in the first leg, it remains to be seen whether Mbappe will be started in the second leg, as he has either been replaced or started on the bench since his information of leaving the club at the end of the season surfaced.

“I took this decision”

Speaking about taking off Mbappe at the break, PSG manager Luis Enrique took full responsibility of this, as the former Spain and FC Barcelona manager has informed that it would be up to him as whom he will play and whom he will take off. He was heard saying, “It was 100 percent the coach’s decision, because sooner of later we will have to get used to playing without Kylian Mbappe. I took this decision for the good of the team.”

He started last weekend’s home fixture against Rennes wearing the captain’s armband, as regular skipper Marquinhos was absent, but was eventually taken off, with PSG eventually ending the game in a monotonous draw. Last night, he was replaced by compatriot Kolo Muani, as the Real Madrid-target greeted the fans, before sitting with his family, and enjoying the match. Fans might have been under the impression that he was injured owing to a Maripan challenge in the first half, but his behavior and antics after the break made fans breathe a sigh of relief as he was seen in happy spirits.

Enrique further added, “I am not going to play this game. For me there is no problem, this is just how I want to handle things.” PSG might thank their custodian Donnarumma for a respectable 0-0 score line, while Monaco striker Ben Yedder hit the post in the second half, as Monaco’s Cote D’Azur rivals Nice might leapfrog them to fourth spot with a win against Toulouse on Sunday.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Former Real Madrid and Manchester United stalwart banned by Al-Nassr for obscene gesture on field

Al-Nassr footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has been banned by club officials following his obscene gestures towards fans chanting Messi’s name on the stands in their 3-2 victory against Al-Shabab. He has also been imposed a fine of 20,000 Saudi Riyal for this mockery, and is slapped with a match ban, which might act as a major hurdle for the club in their race to Saudi Pro League title.

Cristiano Ronaldo slapped one-game ban

Cristiano Ronaldo is considered to be one of the greatest players and has been wreaking havoc in the football arena since last decades. Along with his generational rival Lionel Messi, the Portuguese superstar has reached the zenith of success, while playing for heavyweights like Real Madrid and Manchester United. The 39-year old joined Saudi Pro League giants Al-Nassr in January 2023, and had created a Saudi football storm after reaching the middle-east. Several top stars like Sadio Mane, Karim Benzema, Neymar have followed his path, thus joining him in football’s “next big thing-Saudi Pro League”.

In his inaugural season, his side managed to complete on second position, with Ronaldo making his name on the scoring charts, after his second stint at the “Theatre of Dreams” turned sour, with reports of his feud with Erik Ten Hag surfacing. But, this season, although Al-Nassr have cemented their position on the second place, Ronaldo’s camaraderie with the Saudi fans does not seem to be upbeat. He has been vocal about the status of Saudi League, while comparing them to Europe’s biggest leagues, as he said that this league has “more quality” than those in the European continent, eventually facing tremendous backlash for it.

Messi chants taking an ugly turn?

However, in recent days, he seemed to have broken all barriers of decency while playing for his side, as few incidents have been reported which has indeed made the football world think about his antics. In a game against Al-Shabab, which his side won the game eventually, Ronaldo was seen making obscene mockery towards fans who were chanting his arch nemesis Messi’s name. He was leading his side across the center, while making this gesture has forced Saudi Football authorities to slap a ban on the talisman.

He needs to pay 20,000 Saudi Riyal for this ban, and would be unable to appeal against this decision, as reported by the Disciplinary and Ethics Committee of Saudi Arabia Football Federation. It is not the first time that he has been revoked by fans who were chanting Messi’s name, as earlier in a game against Al-Hilal, he responded to opposition fans waving Messi’s shirts by placing his hand in his genital area. In their loss in Riyadh Season Cup final against Al-Hilal few weeks back, he made the headlines for all wrong reasons when he shoved an Al-Hilal shirt that came his way while walking back the tunnel.

Manchester United: Nottingham Forest player grabs Bruno by the neck, as Red Devils edge past opponents courtesy a Casemiro stunner

Manchester United fans could sign a breath of relief as they have advanced into the next stage of FA Cup, owing to a Casemiro strike on 89th minute, which have helped them edge past Nottingham Forest. After a 1-2 loss at the hands of Fulham in Premier League matchday last weekend, this hard-fought victory would indeed bring smiles to Erik ten Hag’s face. But, it was a Bruno Fernandes-Felipe fiasco which highlighted at the end of the game, as Forest defender dodged a controversial red-card after a challenging gesture.

Manchester United edges past Nottingham Forest

In a tumultuous week for the Red Devils which included a last-minute heartbreak in Premier League, owing to a fantastic stunner from Alex Iwobi for Fulham, they might have got their redemption after Erik Ten Hag’s men edged past Nottingham Forest, which, coincidentally involved a final minute goal from seasoned stalwart, Casemiro. With shocking exits from Champions League and Carabao Cup before Christmas, and a rather mediocre performance in the Premier League, United had FA Cup as their only source of getting a silverware this season, and they have fared quite well in quest of it. Although they were wasteful throughout the game, which has highlighted their frailties in this season, luck was with them as Casemiro went down the memory lane in scoring a winner, a sight similar to what he had done for Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid since last decade.

It was United skipper Bruno Fernandes who was instrumental for the goal, as his wonderfully delivered free-kick helped Casemiro strike a classic goal with a miraculous header, which went through the keepers’ legs, reminiscing the age old saying of legendary cricket commentator Richie Benaud, who said about Warne’s ball of the century, “he has done him between his legs”.

But, it was a different incident which marred the victory as Forest defender Felipe had a bad outing with his side, which involved grabbing Bruno by the neck, fortunately dodging a red card.

Felipe left United fans fuming

With Felipe grabbing Bruno after a heated altercation along the sidelines, the match was slated to have been finished with a man down from the “Tricky Trees”. He had dodged further punishment after this incident, as fans have slammed PGMOL yet again with their inability to banish players who are undisciplined on the field, which involved using VAR to an adept utilization. Fans have responded their views on this issue, as one fan said on “X”, “The @FA_PGMOL have confirmed players are now allowed to grab opponents around the throat,” while others said, “Complete joke.”

Coincidentally, Casemiro was suspended for committing a similar foul on a Crystal Palace player, Will Hughes, eventually ending on the suspension books of referees. He even served a six-match ban for this incident, as one fan reminisced about this, saying, “Remember Casemiro being sent off for exactly the same thing.”

With a 1-0 victory, United is pitted against high-flying Liverpool in the quarter finals, who have recently etched their name on the history books by winning the prestigious Carabao Cup for a record 10th time, courtesy a late Virgil Van Dijk winner on the 118th minute.

Lamine Yamal: A new feather added as Adidas signs sponsorship deal with La Masia starlet

FC Barcelona starlet Lamine Yamal has already etched his name across the record books owing to his utmost exuberance and caliber. Yesterday, he added one more feather to his cap following a contract deal with superstar brand Adidas, as confirmed.

Lamine Yamal- a La Masia gem

La Masia has once again produced a gem, who has already lived up the hype owing to his sheer brilliance and caliber across the left flanks, have yet again etched his name across accessories arena, after he signed a sponsorship deal with Adidas. As he showcases his stellar rise across the ranks of Barca’s academy, he has already had two sponsors bidding for him, at the prime age of 16.

Although he was with Nike, its rival Adidas has announced a latest sponsorship deal with the starlet, as they have confirmed a long-term contract with him. According to Relevo, Lamine would be the face of several of Adidas’ campaigns, including his own range of boots, which will be displaying his absolute craze for the game.

Messi-Analogy at its best?

Lamine is unfairly compared with the greatness of the face of FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi, owing to his exuberance across the left flank, coupled with his extraordinary talent of scoring goals and assisting prowess. With his deal with Adidas, Lamine-Messi analogy has reached new heights, with Messi, formerly being with Nike, eventually ending up being the poster boy of Adidas.

He has been racking up numbers with the Catalan giants this season, after a record-making debut in the last campaign, where he became the youngest player ever to play for Barcelona, at 15 years of age. This season, he has potentially brushed aside any injury problems for the Catalans, as they have been plagued with injuries and suspensions since the start. He has started in almost every game, with 5 goals and 7 assists to his name and have gradually made his permanent mark into the starting eleven, earning Xavi’s praise and trust.

David De Gea: FC Barcelona eyeing a legendary swoop for former Manchester United goalie

FC Barcelona might be looking to explore options between the sticks, with a favorable yet legendary name surfacing across Spanish media, as former Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea might be considered to join the defending champions.

David De Gea: a legendary Red Devil

David De Gea has been one of the stalwart custodians since last decade, as the Spaniard have lived up to his name since joining the “Theatre of Dreams”. A goalkeeping metronome, whose 12-year stint at the Premier League heavyweights have fetched him a historical status in record books, is without a club since last summer, when his contract expired with Manchester United. With the signing of former Inter Milan star Andre Onana, who had not yet lived up the hype, De Gea was bound to get lesser minutes in the bag, eventually ending his 12-year long camaraderie with the club. The Red Devils had offered him a fresh contract, but later rescinded with it, offering him a proposal with lower wage, thus De Gea opting to bid farewell to his favorite club.

His last game with United was in FA Cup final against Manchester City, where he was blamed blatantly for conceding both goals, but, according to Mundo Deportivo, he is slated to make a comeback to football with a fresh club, at FC Barcelona.

Financial constraints to be reduced?

With Ter Stegen’s rejuvenated interest from Saudi Pro League clubs, De Gea might be looked as a viable option, as his second fiddle, Inaki Pena, who was part of the starting line-up during Ter Stegen’s injury sabbatical, might be a transfer interest himself. With the shackles of FFP lying heavily on Barca’s fortunes, a free signing with De Gea might open up further opportunities to bring in better players, as they have spent more than 40 million pounds on Brazilian prodigy Vitor Roque.

At the current moment, it is understood that De Gea would be acting as an understudy to Barcelona’s numero uno, Marc Andre Ter Stegen, with Joan Laporta and brigade reluctant to offload him. With the legacy of someone like De Gea, he was previously considered by other heavyweights, including Barca’s arch rivals Real Madrid, who were exploring suitable chances to bring on deck a superb custodian, owing to Thibaut Courtois’ ACL injury, which would keep him off the team for the entire season. Later, Los Blancos went with former Chelsea keeper Kepa as the Spaniard is keeping well during his stint at the Spanish capital.

So, only time and Fabrizio Romano would be able to tell about the future destination of David De Gea, as Barca fans would be hoping to bolster their strength between the sticks.

FC Barcelona: Catalan giants confirm final list of managerial options to replace Xavi next season

FC Barcelona has finally put to rest any potential rumors about next manager, as according to Diario Sport, the defending champions have shortlisted four probable names who would replace Xavi on the sidelines next season.

FC Barcelona narrows down to four names

It has been few weeks at the Catalan suburbs of Spain, when Xavi has announced his decision to leave the club at the end of the season, following a 3-5 harrowing defeat against Villarreal in La Liga. Since then, the defending champions have outclassed every opponent, and has mustered 13/15 points in their five games, along with an away tie against Italian heavyweights Napoli in the first leg of Round of 16 in UEFA Champions League.

Since Xavi’s announcement, football world has gone whirlwind about a possible name on the sidelines of Barcelona, as fans and journalists have one question in mind, who will replace the legendary Xavi within the Barcelona dressing room. Finally, all those rumors might have been put to rest, as according to leading Spanish news outlet Diario Sport, the Catalan side have skimmed their search for managers to four heavyweights, and this high-profile list includes: Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi, Former Bayern Munich and Germany coach Hansi Flick, present Germany national team manager Julien Nagelsmann and recently lopsided Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel.

A high-profile switch from England to Spain on the cards?

With all four names possible for the next season, current Brighton manager De Zerbi has emerged among the favorite name to replace Xavi, but his release clause at the Premier League side’s contract is acting as a major obstacle for the club. If any possibilities emerge for him to sign for Barca, he needs to mutually part ways with the club from English south coast.

Apart from De Zerbi, the German trio of Tuchel, Nagelsmann and Flick are being considered with their pros and cons alike. Tuchel might be a viable option as he would be without a club after the end of this season, as string of poor performances with the Bavarian giants have rather forced the club to negotiate a premature exit.

But, according to Sport, the situation needs to be monitored closely as they suggest that “the final decision should not take more than a month and will be made by Deco together with the Blaugrana president, Joan Laporta.”

Erling Haaland: Norwegian beast Haaland pounds five goals in FA Cup; Cityzens thump six past Luton to advance to next stage

Manchester City ran riot against Premier League relegation strugglers Luton Town, as Pep Guardiola’s men smoked the Hatters, scoring half a dozen goals to advance into the next stage of FA Cup. Among those six goals, Norwegian goal scorer Erling Haaland had his name on five of them, thus showcasing his goal scoring exuberance across the English football arena once again.

City demolishes Luton Town

Manchester City and Luton Town were involved in one of the high-scoring clashes at FA Cup, as Pep’s brigade outclassed the Hatters, with Erling Haaland being named as the player of the game owing to his sheer brilliance, in which he scored five goals. Although it was reported before the game that Luton might provide a bit of resilience to the high-flying City squad, but the results seem to speak something else, as they were completely crashed at home, helping their opponents into the next stage of FA Cup.

The ball was in the air for the opening few minutes as both sides aimed at their tall center-forwards who were waiting to pry upon any favorable chance, which would give their side the anticipated lead. It was the visitors City who made the initial breakthrough, as a rapid counterattack from Belgian midfield stalwart Kevin De Bruyne helped Haaland net his first goal of the night. Within five minutes, the score was in favor of the visitors as Haaland finished from close range.

Although Luton responded well, banking on their home support to create two heroic chances of their own, persuading City to restrain themselves from playing their fluidic style of attack, thus holding fort to prevent any goal. As the clock reaches 18 minutes, it was the De Bruyne-Haaland duo at bay once again, as the Belgian played a perfect pass to the Nordic giant, who scored the second goal of the night.

Five minutes before first half whistle, the deadly combination pounded another attack against the home side, thus helping Haaland complete a memorable first half-hattrick in style. But, Luton had their reply ready in the form of Jordan Clark, whose long-range curler from the edge of the box had left little for Ortega, who was seen scampering for the ball, thus reducing the lead to two goals.

Luton tries to regain stature, Haaland breaks backbone once again

As the second half commenced, Jordan Clark set Kenilworth Road alight with his sublime finish on the 52nd minute, as his strike reduced the gap with City to a solitary goal, with Hatters set for a grandstand finish to the game.

But, to no surprise, it was the midfield-attack duo once again who rekindled the two-goal lead, as De Bruyne assisted one more goal to Haaland, with the Norwegian pounding a forceful shot to get his game tally to four goals.

He completed his five-goal onslaught after a Bernardo Silva assist made it 5-2 in favor of the visitors, after the Portuguese metronome found him at the edge of the box to end all of Luton’s hopes. But, Mateo Kovacic decided to go one step further, when his long-range effort smashed the net past Tim Krul, thus completing the rout for his side.

RB Leipzig: German club announces brand new partnership with apparel brand Puma

German club RB Leipzig has announced a new long-term deal with exclusive kit manufacturer Puma, as the brand becomes the latest partner with the Bundesliga club. With Puma’s contract signing, Leipzig terminate their 10-year long association with Nike.

Leipzig signs long-term deal with Puma

Clothing and kit brand Puma has signed a long-term contract with Bundesliga giants RB Leipzig, thus culminating Die Roten Bullen’s decade long association with Puma’s fierce competitor, Nike. It has been reported that Puma will be their kit supplier from next season, as according to Sky Germany, this humongous deal costs more than 100 million pounds.

With this latest association with RB Leipzig, Puma broadens its horizons in the German football arena, as it has already made its statement while designing kits for Borussia Dortmund, Heidenheim and Borussia Monchengladbach. It is reported to have a longer history with Borussia Dortmund, as it has been with the Black-Yellow since its golden era, making and supplying kits since 2012. It is also confirmed that Puma owns a 5% stake with the Bundesliga giants.

A sponsorship metronome

Along with kits, Puma is also reported to be a extravagant boot supplier for several superstars like Marco Reus, Kingsley Coman and Jonas Hoffman, with latest entrants to their list to be RB Leipzig player Xavi Simons and Arsenal star Kai Havertz.

According to rumors, this successful company was built after a vociferous argument erupted between brothers Rudolf and Adi Dassler. Eventually, Rudolf went on to create Puma, whereas Adi founded Adidas. Both companies are based out of Nurnberg, in Germany. Thus, Leipzig fans would be hoping for a rejuvenated strip when Puma creates kits for their club in the next season.

Serie A: Fiorentina edge out Lazio in a classic Italian encounter, stuns Sarri and his men

In a shocker in the Italian league, Vincenzo Italiano’s side Fiorentina outpaced Maurizio Sarri’s side after showcasing an outstanding comeback, scoring two goals within a span of ten minutes. This victory leaves Fiorentina on the seventh spot, leapfrogging Lazio, who remain on the eighth spot.

Fiorentina stuns Lazio

Although it was a game between the upper middling teams in the Serie A roster, the game mostly involved a clash between the masterminds, with Maurizio Sarri and Vincenzo Italiano displaying an intricate finesse of tactical prowess. It was Luis Alberto, who scored the opener at the stroke of half-time, as the lanky Spaniard struck a well powered shot into the bottom corner with a sweeping move, thus helping the visitors with a remarkable lead. At the break, it felt like Lazio might continue their impressive run which spans across the Europe, where they have defeated Bayern Munich in the first leg of UEFA Champions League, leaving the former champions on the brink of exit. But, little did they knew that destiny had different plans for them, after the restart.

Michael Kayode sprung surprise

With a 0-1 score line in favor of the visitors, it was expected that ‘Viola’ would put up a fight after the break, and rightly so, they embarked a superb comeback. Banking on home support, Kayode, the right-back, surprised everyone with his shooting skills, after he tapped home the leveler, with the visitors caught sleeping in their defensive sector, thus displaying their shielding woes once again.

The score could have been much worse for Sarri’s men, but Nico Gonzalez blunted a penalty away, in a night when his Argentine teammate Paulo Dybala was wreaking havoc elsewhere in Rome. On the 67th minute, Casale tripped Belotti, the Italian striker who was at loan from Roma, thus giving an opportunity to Fiorentina to get past Lazio, but Nico could not keep his shot on target. However, his blushes were spared few minutes later, when Bonaventura scored the potential winner.

It was Lazio’s heroic keeper Ivan Provedel, who had scored in the UEFA Champions League this season, as he thwarted away a Lucas Beltran effort, only for the ball to fall in front of Bonaventura’s feet, who scored the rebound, thus proving to be a winner, as the hosts kept their nose in Italy’s four-throng race to Europe next season, which includes Roma, Atalanta, Lazio and Fiorentina.

Paulo Dybala: Argentine forward showcases class, scores hattrick against Torino in Serie A

Paulo Dybala has proven his exuberance yet again in Serie A as he scores a perfect hattrick against Torino in a 3-2 victory, thus giving Daniele De Rossi a perfect start to his managerial tenure. In his eighth game in charge, the former Roma legend has set his eyes on a potential European qualification, with two points adrift of a place in the continent.

Paulo Dybala- the Argentine poster-boy

Argentine World Cup winner Paulo Dybala has been one of the leading stars at the Italian capital, since the beginning of last season. The former Juventus stalwart, who joined the Italian heavyweights in 2022, has already scored more than 20 goals, which includes a perfect hattrick against Torino last night. Although the score line of 3-2 might suggest a hard-fought victory over Torino, Roma edged their sturdy opponents, who scored through a Duvan Zapata stunner and an own goal from Huijsen.

With an European spot up for grabs for Daniele De Rossi’s men, this game indeed had become a crunch fixture, with controversy of a Torino spy emerging right before the match. The former Roma legend took over from Jose Mourinho, and is eight games old, already showcasing his managerial finesse. Although it was evident that his side lacked a rhythm, they were hardly punished by their visitors, who remain on 10th position on the Serie A table.

With this win, Giallorossi bridged the gap with fifth placed Atalanta, thus keeping their European hopes high.

A hattrick hero

With a tight score line of 0-0 in 40 minutes, Dybala found the perfect breakthrough three minutes before half-time. It was Saba Sazonov from Torino who would be held responsible for conceding the goal, as he tripped Serdar Azmoun over, thus awarding the capital side with a spot-kick. It was converted by Dybala, who, with his calm head, edged his side a sweet lead, but was soon cancelled by Zapata, who restored parity with his trademark towering header, after Bellanova’s cross met with a fantastic leveler.

As the clock neared the hour mark, Roma found a lead, once again through Dybala, who powerful left-footed shot into the bottom corner left Torino custodian Vanja Milinkovic-Savic scampering for the ball, thus restoring the lead quite comfortably.

Twelve minutes later, it was Dybala on the score sheet once again, as he scored a brilliant goal from a tight angle around the far corner, thus earning the match ball at the end of the game.

Torino later decided to go berserk in the remaining minutes, aiming for at least a point, which, they almost were on the verge of getting two more goals, as Huijsen’s blunder helped the visitors reduce the deficit to one goal, but De Rossi’s men implemented their nous to see off the game, thus inching closer for an European spot.

Alphonso Davies: FC Bayern Munich stalwart confirms verbal agreement with Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid

FC Bayern Munich left-back Alphonse Davies, nicknamed ‘Phonzy’ has reportedly agreed a verbal contract with current La Liga leaders Real Madrid, as the Canadian star’s current contract with the German champions expire in 2025. He has been in touch with Los Blancos since quite a long time, thus eyeing a classic move to the Spanish capital.

Alphonse Davies: Canadian legend

Alphonso Davies has been one of the leading stars in the ranks of Canadian National team over the years. He has joined Bayern Munich in 2019 after a stint with Vancouver Whitecaps, and had indeed showcased his stellar rise across the Bavarian hierarchy. He has often been known for his exuberant pace and dribbling skills across the flanks, as he clocks more than average speed as a left-back, thus making him one of the fastest fullbacks in the world, currently.

According to several news outlets, Davies has been contacted by Real Madrid for a verbal agreement, and the Canadian star has indeed confirmed that deal. Now, he is open to two options, either he can join the Spanish capital after his current deal expires in 2025, as a free agent, or he can sign for the La Liga leaders in a cut-price deal.

Following the footsteps of Kroos and Alaba

Prior to Davies, two other Bayern Munich stars who had joined Real Madrid were Toni Kroos and David Alaba, both of whom are wreaking havoc at the Spanish capital. Los Blancos’ chief scout Juni Calafat and Jose Sanchez, and were in direct contact with Davies’ camp since months. It has also been reported that Madrid’s executives have negotiated with the Canadian to not sign a contract extension in 2025, so that he can depart the Bavarians as a free agent.

Signing Davies would be a masterstroke for Ancelotti’s men as he would be expected to fill in the legacy of Marcelo, a legendary left-back who had been a metronome for Real Madrid since aeons. Although Real have Mendy among their ranks, he lacks the attacking impetus, which would be brought by Davies’, and Fran Garcia is too young to be compared to a legend like Marcelo.

He had racked up more than 25 appearances for Bayern this season, and have been capped 44 times by the Canadian national team, as he is expected to bring his sheer versatility to the Spanish capital.

Enzo Fernandez: Argentine stalwart restrained from hurling at fan, after Liverpool supporter mocks him

It is not well in the London front of Premier League clubs as Chelsea has yet again lost out on another opportunity to win a silverware under Pochettino, as a last-minute header from Virgil Van Dijk sank millions of Blues’ hearts in Carabao Cup final, with Jurgen Klopp embarking his last dance on a fairytale cup victory. But, it was Enzo Fernandez, the Argentine World Cup winner, who had to be restrained after a Liverpool fan mocked him for bottling every game.

Enzo Fernandez: a National hero but Chelsea flop?

It was not before November 2022 that Enzo Fernandez was a pronounced name in the European football sector. His name was heard everywhere after a wonder goal which helped his country stay in the race for next round in the World Cup, when his curled-in shot from outside the box against Mexico etched his name in the history books. Since then, Enzo has been a popular cult figure in Argentina, with his exuberance and caliber across the midfield being the talk of the town. A Benfica player then, he soon was approached by top clubs, as his excellence had helped him fetch a humongous offer from Premier League heavyweights like Chelsea. Todd Boehly owned-club landed a monstrous bid for him, breaking the British transfer record of almost 107 million euros, with Pochettino forming a classic duplex at the midfield with Caicedo and Enzo.

But, things seem to have taken an ugly turn at the London club for the World Cup winner, with some disastrous results ruling against them. They are currently standing on the 11th spot in the Premier League roster, and have missed out an opportunity to make things right after losing out to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final.

Frustration reigning over?

With a late defeat against current Premier League leaders Liverpool, owing to a header from skipper Virgil Van Dijk on the last minute, frustrations and heartbreaks were reigning all over for the Chelsea players and supporters. But, Enzo might be eyed as a villain when he almost hurled at a Liverpool fan, who had mocked at him before cackling away.

Distraught stars sank on their knees after the final whistle blew, and to rub salt to their wounds, the only thing they would have wanted was to be mocked while collecting their runners-up medal. Social media has released footages of a Liverpool fan calling out Enzo an “unlucky lad”, irking a reaction from the Argentine.

The youngster stopped on his tracks, looking ghastly at his tormentor, before being ushered away by a teammate or support staff, thus setting a clear picture of frustration and angst across the ranks of the London club.

Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool: Virgil Van Dijk leaves it late to win Carabao Cup against depleted Blues’, embarks Klopp’s fairytale last dance on a dream note

Liverpool outclassed Chelsea in the final frontier of Carabao Cup, as a late Virgil Van Dijk stunner across the corner helped Jurgen Klopp’s side win a record 10th EFL Cup title. It was a match with Liverpool’s youngsters showcasing young blood against the veterans of Chelsea, as the giant Dutchman led his side from the front to achieve this outstanding feat.

Liverpool outpaces Chelsea

It was slated to be the beginning of Jurgen Klopp’s fairytale last dance, as the German managerial metronome has announced his decision to leave the club at the end of the season. With a humongous trophy haul including Champions League and Premier League titles, Klopp has already gone down in the history of Reds’ as one of the highly successful managers, thus etching his name once again on the record books after clinching the prestigious EFL Cup title, with a possible quadruple of trophies still looming over Klopp’s arena, as he might sign off from his job winning all three remaining trophies.

In a game which was slated to be played with youngsters from Liverpool, as their main stars were missing in action owing to injuries, the young blood from the Reds’ have completely surpassed their Chelsea counterparts. With injury issues plaguing the current Premier League leaders Liverpool, Klopp had named a rather unconventional side filled with young zeal and enthusiasm, as many would have thought, owing to the vast experience of the Chelsea squad, it would be easy pickings for Pochettino’s side.

An intense regulation time

Emotions were at high stakes as the game kicked off, as Liverpool and Chelsea were bent upon securing the first trophy of this season. Although football fans from all over the world would have thought that it would be an easy victory for Liverpool, owing to their recent form, Chelsea was not a side to be dismissed, as they have the ability to upset any bigger side on their day. It seemed to be that kind of day, with goalkeepers from both sides turned up big to save their side, with Petrovic and Kelleher thwarting away shots from opponents.

But, once again, VAR took center-stage when a Virgil Van Dijk goal was ruled out with video referees’ playing foul. With this decision, the video assistance have drawn flak for their unexpected outcomes this season, as Liverpool and VAR seems to be at a daggers drawn, thus keeping the score line intact at 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes. To add to that, Liverpool custodian Kelleher came up big after making nine saves, the most in a domestic cup final, thus living up to his opportunity of taking the field in place of Alisson.

Oh Captain!

With a potential fight between Liverpool’s rising star Bradley and Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell being stopped, the game entered into the extra time, once again. With more youngsters like Quansah and Danns coming off the bench, Liverpool seemed to outpace their opponents who were unable to keep up with the young exuberance. But, it was the captain, the giant Dutchman, Virgil Van Dijk who lived up to his name of leading his side to an outstanding victory.

Liverpool found themselves in an advantageous position after they forced off a corner on the 118th minute, with Klopp’s men increasing their chances of a victory if they score from it. Tsimikas took the corner, as Van Dijk took a stride forward in heading the goal towards Chelsea net, as the ball bounded before Petrovic, thus sinking millions of Chelsea hearts, and giving his side an unassailable lead with few seconds remaining in the game. It had to be Van Dijk, as the poetic end of a brilliant cup final approached, thus embarking Klopp’s last dance with a Carabao Cup victory, which the Gaffer has already labeled as his most “special one”.

Mikel Arteta: Arsenal boss speaks after rampant victory against Newcastle, cites dream to become “best in the World”

Mikel Arteta has targeted a potential world domination after securing a revenge win over Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United, as a 4-1 victory over the Magpies’ have caused significant changes in the Premier League table.

A three-throng title race?

With a six-game winning streak unbeaten for Mikel Arteta’s men, where they have amassed 25 goals in the process, Arsenal have tightened their grip on the title race, which incudes seasoned defending champions Manchester City and current leaders Liverpool. A three throng title race is thus on the play, which included a 4-1 victory for the Gunners, along with a 1-0 victory for Pep Guardiola’s men over Bournemouth. This victory has potentially amended their controversial defeat against Magpies at St. James Park, back in November.

After the game, Arteta was seen heaping praise on his young players and supporters, who have turned out in huge numbers in a cold Saturday night. He went on to say, “If we want to be the best club in the world we have to have the best stadium and best atmosphere in the world that’s for sure.”

“We are in a good moment”

Arteta further added, “We’re in a good moment. Players are performing individually, it is not any secret. Things are flowing. We’re scoring goals in different ways and especially we want more. When we score one, we want two, or three, or four. I love that mentality from the team.”

Jorginho earned Arteta’s praise yet again, as he agreed about his claims to be a world-class player, as the Italian star’s midfield display was the talk of the town after a frantic win at Emirates. He added, “He certainly is, but individually today we were outstanding. We raised the bar at the end because Newcastle are a top side who are really well coached. It’s really difficult to do what we did.”

“Jorginho is a top player. Especially when opponents have certain behaviors and set-ups. The way I imagine the game, he was going to have a big impact. After, you have to do it at this level. When he’s not playing consistently, credit to him because he was magnificent again today.”

He stressed on his side’s desire to become the best in the world, and spoke about how the defeat against Porto have riled them up for better performances. He said, “Winning after the Port defeat shows how much we want it. Credit to the staff as well for making all the effort they do to recover the players. But I could sense it from the moment we were in Porto that we were ready for the game and we wanted it the next day because we could have done so much better there. It’s great to see that reaction and the support we got in the stadium and we go again.”

Xavi: FC Barcelona manager confirms club still in race for La Liga title after humongous victory over Getafe

FC Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez has relayed his confirmation over Barcelona present in title race, after the defending champions shoved away a potential Getafe challenge. Raphinha and Joao Felix were back among goals, followed by strikes from Frenkie de Jong and Fermin completed a 4-0 rout against Getafe, thus leapfrogging second placed Girona temporarily.

A dominant outing

FC Barcelona have finally issued a statement victory against mid-table side Getafe, as they completed a dominant performance after a long time. Most pf their victories this season have been cynical, coming off from hard-fought games, which included last minute strikes to ensure all three points. But, last night, Barca rolled back the years when a dominant victory by three goals was a routine for the side which included Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and rest.

It all started off with a Raphinha banger, as he scored a beautiful goal after a hiatus of few games, followed by strikes from Felix, Frenkie de Jong and Fermin Lopez, as the La Masia prodigy’s goal added the final nail in the coffin for a hapless Getafe side. With this win, Barca surpassed Girona on the second spot, albeit temporarily, as the surprise packages play Rayo Vallecano today, getting a chance to overtake Barca.

“It was a complete game”

With his side’s rout over Getafe, Xavi was content over his side’s performances, as he was elated about this game. He was heard saying to Diario AS post-game, “It was a very complete game. We knew how to go into space many times and that’s where the goals came from. We matched their intensity. We’ve been very good. It was a convincing game from the team. We have surprised them. I’m satisfied with the team’s performance. The victory gives us calm.”

It also gives Barca chance to close the gap with Real Madrid to five points, as they welcome Sevilla today, which might give them the option to get further. Xavi, however remains optimistic about his side’s title chances, as he added, “I’ve already said that we didn’t throw in the towel. We have to get three points every weekend. There are twelve games left. Let’s see what Girona and Real Madrid do this weekend.”

Meanwhile, next weekend, Barca face a tricky test to San Mames, when they face Athletic Bilbao, with the hope of winning another game, in order to stay in the race for La Liga title.

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