Tag: Football News

Unearthed Potential Arsene Wenger Sees Indian Football's Golden Opportunity

Unearthed Potential: Arsene Wenger Sees Indian Football’s Golden Opportunity

Renowned Football Figure Arsene Wenger Collaborates with AIFF and FIFA for India’s Football Future

Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, engaged in productive talks at Football House, meeting heads of national academies. Discussions with AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey and Acting Secretary General Satyanarayan M centered on launching the AIFF-FIFA Academy for youth development in India.

Wenger’s FIFA Talent Development Scheme team is in India for a three-day visit, culminating in inaugurating the AIFF-FIFA Academy in Bhubaneswar on November 21, 2023, marking Wenger’s maiden visit to the country.

AIFF President expressed gratitude, acknowledging Wenger’s invaluable football expertise, hoping for sustained involvement in India’s Talent Development Scheme.

Chaubey emphasized not merely developing Indian football but etching a global presence, leaving a mark in world football’s narrative—a sentiment echoed by all present at Football House on November 20, 2023.

Credit By: the-aiff.com

Mr. Wenger expressed his enduring fascination with India, emphasizing his global football improvement goals. Highlighting India’s vast population and untapped potential, he voiced optimism, citing incredible qualities that fuel his belief in the country’s football prowess. Eager to contribute, Wenger’s motivated team aims to expedite India’s football growth, foreseeing substantial progress in the near future.

Drawing parallels, Wenger recalled Japan’s football evolution from his experience in 1995 to their presence at the World Cup in 1998, stressing the transformative power of an effective talent development scheme when initiated early.

Credit By: the-aiff.com

How will football evolve by 2030? Envisioning the necessary skill set for that time remains speculative. However, the cornerstone lies in technical prowess. Football hinges on technique; hence, it’s crucial to furnish players aged five to 15 with superior technical abilities. Simplistically, fostering a close relationship between the player and the ball is paramount. Other facets can be honed subsequently. This fundamental aspect stands as a vital foundation.

Credit By: the-aiff.com

Here’s where our focus lies—to assist in cultivating technical excellence in young players. Our program’s initiation involves talent identification and the amalgamation of the finest talents,” he explained.

Delving into India’s prospective aspirations, Mr. Wenger highlighted the country’s untapped potential. “Consider the immense possibilities if we execute our strategies effectively. My primary aim is to persuade individuals that there exists an untapped gold mine in this region, awaiting full exploration, exploitation, and encouragement.

England Stifled in Disappointing Draw in Final Euro Qualifier

England Stifled in Disappointing Draw in Final Euro Qualifier

England Secures Top Seeding for Euro 2024 Despite Draw in Skopje

Although already qualified, England’s quest for a top seeding at Euro 2024 was confirmed in Skopje, maintaining consistency following their recent lackluster performance against Malta in a 2-0 win.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Southgate noted, “In both matches, we’ve assessed different players while aiming for victory. It’s an advantage for us to learn from these games ahead of March.”

Controversy arose when debutant Rico Lewis conceded a penalty at the end of the first half, allowing North Macedonia’s Enis Bardhi to capitalize after England’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford initially saved the spot-kick.

England leveled the score in the 59th minute when Phil Foden’s corner, under pressure from Harry Kane, deflected off Macedonian Jani Atanasov.

The single point secured England’s spot in pot one for the Euro 2024 draw, having amassed 20 points from eight qualifying matches as one of the top five group winners.

England’s Disappointing Finish in Skopje against North Macedonia”

Former England goalkeeper Rob Green criticized England’s lackluster performance in Skopje, contrasting it with their earlier 7-0 victory against the same opponent at Old Trafford in June. Green described the game as “rushed” and lacking in quality.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Green expressed, “Two disappointing performances to conclude the campaign. After the equalizer, North Macedonia created problems, and England faced their own challenges.”

Initially showing promise, England had opportunities with Declan Rice hitting the post and Ollie Watkins missing a free header in the opening minutes. However, controversies emerged, including a possible penalty call against Harry Maguire for a challenge on Elif Elmas.

The penalty given to North Macedonia just before halftime, after referee Filip Glova consulted the monitor following Rico Lewis’s challenge on Miovski, appeared harsh on England.

England had a goal disallowed for offside early in the second half, with Jack Grealish’s timing mistimed, before eventually equalizing through Harry Kane’s involvement in Jani Atanasov’s own goal from Phil Foden’s corner.

Despite England’s late efforts, they struggled to breach North Macedonia’s defensive setup throughout the match.

Reflecting on the game, Southgate acknowledged, “We aimed to score more goals, but North Macedonia proved resilient. They held Italy to a draw and made it challenging for us.

Southgate Finds a Bright Spot in Teenager Lewis’s Debut for England

credit by: bbc.com

In a positive turn for Southgate, teenager Lewis marked his debut for England, becoming the country’s 20th youngest player, just a day before his 19th birthday.

The versatile Manchester City player, who made his club debut less than a year ago, showcased his abilities in both defense and midfield for Pep Guardiola’s side this season. At the Tose Proeski Arena, playing from left-back, Lewis demonstrated his agility by firing a shot over the bar within the first three minutes.

Despite conceding a penalty and earning a yellow card, Lewis rebounded impressively, forcing Macedonian goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski into a remarkable diving save just before halftime.

Southgate praised Lewis, stating, “He performed excellently. His adeptness in receiving the ball in tight spaces stood out. His courage in possession and resilience after a setback, not of his making, were commendable.”

Lewis’s unique playing style and adaptability intrigued Southgate, highlighting his exceptional ball retention and ability to thrive under pressure as valuable assets.

Additionally, Kyle Walker became England’s 126th captain, temporarily filling in for Kane until the Bayern Munich forward appeared in the second half.

England concludes their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign undefeated and is set to encounter Brazil and Belgium in friendly matches come March.

Reference:

https://sauce.co.ke/2023/11/england-held-in-disappointing-draw-on-final-euro-qualifier-game/

https://news.knowledia.com/GB/en/articles/southgate-learned-a-lot-from-north-macedonia-draw-4413915ab1f440cc960b279012385e2f85a54244

Benjamin Mendy's Lawsuit Against Man City for Unpaid

Benjamin Mendy’s Lawsuit Against Man City for Unpaid

Mendy’s Employment Tribunal Claim Cites ‘Unauthorized Wage Deductions’ Amid Rape Charges; Acquitted in 2021

Benjamin Mendy Initiates Multi-Million-Pound Claim Against Manchester City Over Unpaid Wages

Former Manchester City defender, 29-year-old Benjamin Mendy, has recently lodged a significant claim with the Employment Tribunal. Mendy alleges ‘unauthorized wage deductions’ following his 2021 charges of rape and sexual assault.

In July, Mendy was acquitted of all charges in a retrial at Chester Crown Court. Earlier, he had been found not guilty on some counts, but a retrial was initiated due to the jury’s inability to reach a verdict on two charges.

The claim seeks compensation for wages owed until the conclusion of Mendy’s contract in June 2023. Nick De Marco KC, representing Mendy, confirmed the filing of the claim on behalf of the current Lorient player.

A statement from De Marco KC read: “Nick De Marco KC (instructed by Laffer Abogados, Madrid) is representing former Manchester City player Benjamin Mendy in a multi-million-pound claim for unauthorized wage deductions.

“Manchester City FC Allegedly Withheld Mr. Mendy’s Wages After Charges, Despite His Acquittal, Until Contract End in June 2023. Employment Tribunal Expected for Claim.”

There was no comment from Manchester City when approached by Sky Sports News.

Mendy, who became the Premier League’s costliest defender with City’s £52m acquisition from Monaco in 2017, contributed to three league titles and was part of France’s victorious 2018 World Cup squad.

His last appearance for City was in August 2021; he currently represents Lorient in Ligue 1

Reference:

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/67477576

https://www.firstpost.com/sports/football-news/benjamin-mendy-to-sue-manchester-city-for-unpaid-wages-13411332.html

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/benjamin-mendy-suing-man-city-28141587

Italy Clinches Euro 2024 Spot vs Ukraine, Advances as Group C Runner-Up, Chasing Reigning Champs England

Italy Clinches Euro 2024 Spot vs Ukraine, Advances as Group C Runner-Up, Chasing Reigning Champs England

Italy Secures Euro 2024 Spot Despite Ukraine Challenge

In a pivotal clash, Italy needed just to avoid defeat against Ukraine, their previous encounter’s 2-1 win giving them an edge, to secure their place in next summer’s finals. The high-stakes match in Leverkusen, Germany concluded in a goalless draw, ensuring the Azzurri’s qualification.

Although Ukraine, in third place, now pins their hopes on the March playoffs, the passionate support amid the ongoing conflict fueled their determination. Despite appeals for a stoppage-time penalty, dismissed after Mykhailo Mudryk’s challenge from Bryan Cristante, Italy held on.

The Italian side, guided by Luciano Spalletti, ensured their eighth consecutive European Championship appearance, poised to defend their crown in Germany. Meanwhile, England had already secured qualification, drawing their final Euro 2024 qualifying match unbeaten.

Addressing the challenging backdrop, Ukraine boss Serhiy Rebrov emphasized the players’ struggles amid the ongoing war.

“In this atmosphere, it is not easy to work,” Rebrov stated. “But we understand we are presenting as a very strong country, and I think today on the pitch all the players showed that we have character and that we fight for our country.”

Ukraine, having previously taken points off England, started energetically, with Heorhiy Sudakov’s attempt testing Italy’s Gianluigi Donnarumma. The game saw an intense back-and-forth, including a spectacular save by Anatoliy Trubin to deny Nicolo Barella during the opening exchanges.

The Azzurri Show Resilience Against Ukraine; Italy’s Qualification Confirmed

Italy gradually asserted dominance, with Trubin denying Frattesi’s attempt and Raspadori narrowly missing Chiesa’s cross. Donnarumma’s swift recovery after a fumble secured Italy’s grip as tension mounted at BayArena, ultimately resulting in Italy holding firm.

Luciano Spalletti, Italy’s recent head, acknowledged the team’s achievement: “We deserve a moment of recognition. The competition intensifies now; the real excitement begins.”

In other Monday fixtures, the Czech Republic and Slovenia secured their qualifications. West Ham’s Tomas Soucek contributed to the Czech Republic’s 3-0 victory over Moldova, securing their spot in Group E behind leaders Albania. Despite qualification success, Czech boss Jaroslav Silhavy resigned post-qualification.

Slovenia, finishing as Group H runners-up to Denmark, clinched their place with a 2-1 win against Kazakhstan.

Reference:

https://sports.yahoo.com/ukraine-0-0-italy-azzurri-214942213.html

https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/italy-reach-euro-2024-after-tense-0-0-draw-with-ukraine

Barcelona considers a potential transfer for Liverpool's coveted replacement for Salah

Barcelona considers a potential transfer for Liverpool’s coveted replacement for Salah

Barcelona has reportedly joined the competition for the signature of Bayern Munich winger Leroy Sane, who has been strongly linked with a return to the Premier League.

Sane, 28, departed England to join Bayern in 2020, and there is considerable interest from Liverpool in acquiring him as a potential long-term replacement for Mohamed Salah, according to recent reports.

Despite Liverpool successfully retaining the 31-year-old Egyptian during the summer transfer window, the allure of the Saudi Pro League persists. There are suggestions that Salah might depart Anfield in the coming years. With 12 goals and four assists in all competitions this season, Salah remains Liverpool’s most potent attacking force.

His potential departure would create a significant void in Jurgen Klopp’s forward line, prompting the club to explore the possibility of signing Sane.

However, Liverpool faces competition for Sane’s services, as Manchester City has also been linked to re-signing the winger.

Adding to the mix, Spanish outlet SPORT has reported that Barcelona has entered the race to secure Sane’s signature, aiming to enhance the options available to manager Xavi.

Raphinha to fund Sane move?

FootballTransfers has learned that Brazilian winger Raphinha may depart Camp Nou next year, as Barcelona has set a €70 million asking price for him.

Barcelona is reportedly open to letting Raphinha go in 2024, and Tottenham Hotspur has shown interest in bringing him back to the Premier League.

This potential move could create space in Barcelona’s squad for Leroy Sane, and the funds generated from Raphinha’s departure could be crucial in addressing the club’s well-documented financial challenges.

Barcelona’s interest in Bayern players extends beyond Sane, with his international teammate Joshua Kimmich also catching the eye of manager Xavi. Kimmich is being considered as a potential addition to bolster the team’s midfield, particularly in the defensive role.

While Oriol Romeu joined as Sergio Busquets’ replacement during the summer, the 32-year-old is viewed as a short-term solution, prompting Barcelona to explore longer-term options for the position.

Reference

https://www.footballtransfers.com/en/transfer-news/uk-premier-league/2023/11/barcelona-transfer-news-leroy-sane-mohamed-salah-liverpool

Manchester United entices Griezmann with a threefold increase in salary.

Manchester United entices Griezmann with a threefold increase in salary.


Manchester United is reportedly prepared to triple Antoine Griezmann’s current salary at Atletico Madrid in a strategic move to entice him to join Old Trafford, as per a report from Spain.

Griezmann, who had an outstanding 2022/23 season, earning a Ballon d’Or nomination, continues to play a crucial role for Diego Simeone’s team in the current season, netting 12 goals in 16 appearances across all competitions—a firepower that Manchester United is eager to incorporate.

Despite being 32 years old, the French international has been the subject of transfer rumors linking him to the Saudi Pro League or MLS. However, according to El Nacional, Manchester United is gearing up to present a substantial offer to Griezmann, including a significant increase in his earnings.

The report suggests that the Red Devils are prepared to offer Griezmann approximately €21 million annually to secure his services at Old Trafford, nearly three times his current salary at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Griezmann is currently under contract with Atletico Madrid until 2026, having returned to the club from Barcelona in October 2022.

Despite the speculation, Atletico Madrid is adamant about retaining their star player, with president Enrique Cerezo expressing that Griezmann is welcome at the club “until he wishes to leave.”

Credit By: .footballtransfers.com

Will Griezmann move to Man Utd?


It would come as a surprise for Manchester United to pursue a player like Griezmann at this stage in his career, despite the previous interest in the star during his time with Barcelona.

While Griezmann is an experienced player who could potentially offer short-term benefits at Old Trafford, the Red Devils must consider long-term planning, especially with the involvement of incoming minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Bringing in a new player, likely at a considerable cost, who will be 33 before the next season begins seems unlikely given the club’s strategic direction.

Moreover, Griezmann does not fit the profile of the physical center-forward that Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has demonstrated a preference for in the past.

This raises doubts about the credibility of the transfer rumor, suggesting that it may be little more than speculative discussions.

Reference

https://www.footballtransfers.com/en/transfer-news/uk-premier-league/2023/11/man-utd-transfer-news-antoine-griezmann-atletico-madrid-wages

https://onefootball.com/en/news/manchester-united-ready-to-return-for-antoine-griezmann-with-mega-salary-proposal-38582975

Manchester City has announced a record-breaking revenue of $888 million in the

Manchester City has announced a record-breaking revenue of $888 million in the

Manchester City has set a new Premier League record with a revenue of £712.8 million ($888 million) for the 2022-23 season, marking a significant increase from the previous record held by Manchester United at £648.4 million ($808 million). The club also reported nearly doubling its profits from £41.7 million ($52 million) in 2021-22 to £80.4 million ($100.3 million) in the latest season, achieving both as club records.

The 2022-23 season witnessed Manchester City securing an unprecedented Treble, winning the Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup – a feat accomplished only by Manchester United in 1999 among English teams. Reflecting on the financial success, club chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak stated, “Last season saw Manchester City achieve the greatest football and commercial year of its storied history.”

“In the aftermath of the UEFA Champions League win in Turkey and the completion of ‘The Treble,’ the question I was asked most often was, ‘How do you top that?’ The answer is by doubling down on the proven philosophies and practices that have brought us this success and to challenge ourselves to continue to constantly innovate in order to achieve new levels of performance both on and off the field,” Al Mubarak added in a statement featured in the annual report for the year ended June 30, 2023.

Manchester City’s revenue surge was driven by various factors, including a £17.4 million ($21.7 million) rise in matchday revenue, increased broadcasting rights, and notable player transfers, such as Raheem Sterling to Chelsea and Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal.

Despite the financial success, the club faces challenges, having been accused by the Premier League of breaching over 100 financial rules. These allegations involve issues such as providing inaccurate financial information, non-compliance with UEFA’s financial fair play (FFP) regulations, and violations of Premier League rules on profit and sustainability.

Acknowledging potential risks and uncertainties, Manchester City stated that the Board recognizes factors that could significantly impact the club’s performance. The Premier League has referred the club to an independent commission, and while City expressed surprise at the breaches, they also welcomed the review by the commission.

Reference:

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/manchester-city-posts-premier-league-141700050.html

Luis Suarez Back in Uruguay Squad for Argentina Showdown

Luis Suarez Back in Uruguay Squad for Argentina Showdown

Uruguay’s all-time top scorer, Luis Suarez, earns inaugural call-up from coach Marcelo Bielsa for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Argentina.

Luis Suarez, Uruguay’s top scorer, earns his inaugural call-up from coach Marcelo Bielsa for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Argentina. Despite the 36-year-old’s impressive 16 goals in 29 games for Gremio, he hasn’t played for Uruguay under Bielsa’s leadership since May. Thursday’s clash marks Suarez’s return to the national team, marking his first appearance since their early exit from the World Cup in Qatar last year.


Edinson Cavani, with 58 international goals, is sidelined due to injury from Boca Juniors. Suarez, possibly facing ex-Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi, who secured a 2-0 win against Peru last month. Argentina leads the qualifiers with a perfect record of four wins, totaling 12 points, five ahead of Venezuela, Brazil, and Uruguay. In the quest for the FIFA World Cup 2026 hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, six South American teams will qualify.

Reference:

https://www.thedailystar.net/sports/football/news/suarez-returns-uruguay-squad-argentina-clash-3469341

https://sports.ndtv.com/football/luis-suarez-returns-to-uruguay-squad-for-argentina-clash-4572064

https://www.daily-sun.com/post/721458

Xabi Alonso's Success Spurs Bayer Leverkusen's Title Aspirations

Xabi Alonso’s Success Spurs Bayer Leverkusen’s Title Aspirations

Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen has enjoyed an exceptional start to the season with 16 wins and a draw in 17 matches across all competitions.

With 16 victories and a draw in 17 matches across all competitions, Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen is enjoying an outstanding start to the season. A seasoned winner in his playing career with Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich, Alonso played a pivotal role in Spain’s World Cup victory in 2010, flanked by two European Championships. After retiring in 2017, he transitioned to coaching, leading Real Sociedad B to promotion to the second division.

Joining Leverkusen in October 2022 amid relegation concerns, Alonso, despite a shaky start, guided the team to a sixth-place finish by the season’s end and a Europa League semi-final. Leverkusen’s impressive beginning in 2023-24 has ignited hopes among fans for their first-ever Bundesliga title. Beyond Germany’s football-centric Rhine-Ruhr region, many see Alonso, one of the game’s premier players, evolving into the next elite manager.

Leverkusen, showing “big potential,” has amassed 31 of 33 points in the Bundesliga, equaling a record set by Pep Guardiola’s Bayern in 2015-16, where Xabi Alonso played in midfield. Alonso, now the coach, emphasizes his coaching approach is about communication, improvement, and fostering a collective and individual training environment. While Leverkusen’s style echoes Guardiola’s, Alonso rejects simple comparisons, stating it’s not “tiki-taka,” emphasizing a more nuanced approach. He underscores the importance of player agency, acknowledging their knowledge and quality to make decisions on the field. Viral videos showcase Alonso’s precision in passing, and he admits missing playing but values the coaching experience. Alonso downplays the ‘Neverkusen’ tag, focusing on proving consistency rather than challenging Bayern for the title. He praises Jurgen Klopp, expressing admiration for his coaching style, and backs him to coach Germany in the future. Amid speculation about a move, Alonso remains focused on Leverkusen, asserting his decisions won’t be rushed.

Reference:

https://newswav.com/article/serial-winner-xabi-alonso-has-soaring-leverkusen-dreaming-of-title-A2311_c4urIi

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/sports/serial-winner-alonso-has-soaring-leverkusen-d-1767911.html

Liverpool's Luis Diaz Reunites with Father After 12-Day Kidnapping Ordeal

Liverpool’s Luis Diaz Reunites with Father After 12-Day Kidnapping Ordeal

Liverpool forward Luis Diaz experienced an emotional reunion on Tuesday with his father, who was liberated last week following a harrowing 12-day kidnapping by Colombia’s ELN guerrilla group.


Liverpool’s striker Luis Diaz shared an emotional reunion with his father, Luis Manuel Diaz, on Tuesday after being freed last week from a 12-day kidnapping ordeal by Colombia’s ELN guerrilla group. Diaz, back in Colombia for a World Cup qualifying match against Brazil in Barranquilla, arranged the meeting with his father. The heartfelt embrace, captured by the Colombian Football Federation (FCF), showed tears of joy. Luis Manuel Diaz, 56, wearing a shirt that read “No more kidnapping,” experienced the first contact with his son and family after enduring moments of anguish during the abduction. Luis Manuel and his wife Cilenis Marulanda were kidnapped at a gas station in Barrancas near the Venezuelan border on October 28. While Marulanda was rescued promptly, a massive search operation ensued for Luis Manuel Diaz.

The ELN, currently engaged in peace talks with the government and under a six-month ceasefire since August, acknowledged the kidnapping by one of its units as a “mistake.”

After days of negotiations, the rebels handed Luis Diaz over to humanitarian workers in a mountainous border area last Thursday. Diaz shared his ordeal at home in Barrancas the following day, describing extensive walking and sleep deprivation by his kidnappers.

On Saturday, the police arrested four suspects related to the crime. Luis Manuel Diaz, founder of the only football academy in Barrancas, played a pivotal role in his son’s development. The elder Diaz, an amateur coach, supported his son’s rise by selling food to fund trips to Barranquilla for early football exposure. Known as “Lucho,” the young winger played for Porto and currently represents Liverpool, becoming the first Indigenous Colombian in top-level world football.

Reference:

https://news.sky.com/story/tears-as-liverpool-star-luis-diaz-reunited-with-father-after-kidnap-ordeal-13008430#:~:text=Liverpool%20star%20Luis%20Diaz%20has,first%20time%20since%20the%20ordeal.

https://www.thedailystar.net/sports/football/news/diaz-reunited-father-after-12-day-kidnapping-ordeal-3470006

https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/sport/archives/2023/11/16/2003809249

Man United, Denmark Hit by Rasmus Hojlund, Christian Eriksen Injuries

Man United, Denmark Hit by Rasmus Hojlund, Christian Eriksen Injuries

Manchester United faces a setback as Rasmus Hojlund may miss the crucial Champions League clash against Galatasaray, compounded by Christian Eriksen’s one-month absence, marking another injury blow for the Red Devils.

Manchester United faces a potential setback with Rasmus Hojlund’s uncertain availability for a crucial Champions League match against Galatasaray, while Christian Eriksen will be sidelined for a month due to a knee issue. Despite Hojlund’s impressive five goals in four Champions League appearances, United is on the verge of elimination before their visit to Istanbul on November 29. The 20-year-old is expected to return by month-end after sustaining a muscle strain in the recent 1-0 win over Luton.

Eriksen, who exited early in the same game, faces a more extended absence. Both players have withdrawn from Denmark’s squad for the final Euro 2024 qualifiers against Slovenia and Northern Ireland. Denmark, Euro 2020 semi-finalists, require a maximum of two points to secure qualification for the upcoming Germany tournament.

United announced on Monday that Christian is grappling with a knee injury likely to sideline him for approximately a month, while striker Rasmus is contending with a muscle strain. The club expressed optimism about Rasmus’s return before the end of November.

Erik ten Hag, citing an extensive injury list, attributes United’s subpar performances this season. Defenders Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw, along with key midfielder Casemiro, have faced prolonged absences due to injuries.

In the Premier League, United currently occupies the sixth position, trailing leaders Manchester City by seven points. However, their Champions League prospects are even more precarious, with three defeats in four Group A games. A loss to Galatasaray would seal their exit, and even a draw would necessitate a victory against Bayern Munich in the final match to entertain hopes of reaching the last 16.

Reference:

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/manchester-united-denmark-suffer-hojlund-eriksen-injury-blow.1067256

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-12744587/Man-United-Rasmus-Hojlund-Christian-Eriksen-injuries.html

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/manchester-united-news-hojlund-eriksen-injury-b2446619.html

Salah Guides African Stars in World Cup Qualifiers as Egypt's Captain

Salah Guides African Stars in World Cup Qualifiers as Egypt’s Captain

Prolific Liverpool Scorer, Egypt Captain Mohamed Salah Set for Action as Africa’s 2026 World Cup Qualifiers Begin with Two Matchdays.

Prolific Liverpool striker and Egypt captain, Mohamed Salah, gears up for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in Africa with two matchdays this week. Following his two Premier League goals against Brentford, bringing his English football total to 200, Salah is poised to shine against Group A rivals Djibouti and Sierra Leone. Despite being the second-highest ranked African in last month’s Ballon d’Or, behind Victor Osimhen, who misses due to injury, Salah is ready to lead. Notable Egyptian scorers like Omar Marmoush and Mostafa Mohamed, playing in major European leagues, add to the team’s strength. Djibouti, facing Egypt in Cairo on Thursday, is among the weakest African teams, while Sierra Leone faces challenges hosting Egypt in Liberia without an international-standard stadium. Despite Egypt’s seven Africa Cup of Nations titles, they historically struggle in World Cup qualifying, having reached the finals only three times compared to Cameroon’s eight appearances.

Burkina Faso, ranked 10th in Africa, poses a significant challenge to Egypt and its Group A counterparts Guinea-Bissau and Ethiopia. Nigeria, missing key players like Osimhen and Chukwueze, faces Lesotho and Zimbabwe with Coach Peseiro relying on talents like Boniface and Awoniyi. Concerns linger over the Super Eagles’ defense, especially with goalkeeper Uzoho’s recent performances. Zimbabwe, back in international football after a FIFA ban, plays in Rwanda against Nigeria due to stadium issues.

In Group C, South Africa faces Benin and Rwanda without star Lyle Foster, sidelined with a mental health issue. Ghana, under scrutiny after a heavy defeat to the United States, strives for success against Madagascar and the Comoros. Morocco, the first African World Cup semi-finalists last December, sits out matchday one due to Eritrea’s withdrawal. Saudi Arabia-based Bounou, Hakimi, and en-Nesyri of the Atlas Lions start qualifying against Tanzania in Group E.

The nine group winners from the extensive 260 qualifiers until October 2025 secure spots in the 48-nation finals in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. A potential 10th African qualifier could emerge, with the best four runners-up entering a mini-tournament leading to intercontinental play-offs and two additional finals places.

Reference:

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20231114-egypt-captain-salah-leads-african-stars-into-world-cup-qualifying

https://www.braveloaded.com/captain-salah-of-egypt-leads-african-stars-into-world-cup-qualification/

https://thepakistandaily.com/salah-leads-african-stars-in-world-cup-qualifiers/

Italy, Netherlands, Wales Eye Euro 2024 Qualification Bid

Italy, Netherlands, Wales Eye Euro 2024 Qualification Bid

Defending champions Italy gear up for a crucial Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine, eyeing a spot in the tournament.

Current champions Italy gear up for a crucial Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine, while former victors the Netherlands and 2016 semi-finalists Wales also vie for spots in the German finals. The last two qualifying rounds unfold in the next week, with 12 nations set to secure places alongside the nine already guaranteed. Powerhouses Spain, France, England, Belgium, Portugal, and hosts Germany, Turkey, Scotland, and Austria are among the qualified for the 24-team finals scheduled from June 14 to July 14 next year. Italy, seeking to defend their 2021 title, faces a critical challenge after coach Roberto Mancini’s departure amid defeats to England. Despite recent World Cup misses, a win against Ukraine next Monday in Germany secures Italy’s qualification.

If Italy triumph over North Macedonia and secure a draw against Ukraine, they’re through to Euro 2024. However, a loss in the final game puts Ukraine in the finals and Italy in March’s playoffs, a situation they’re eager to avoid after missing the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Spalletti acknowledges the looming pressure, emphasizing the need to handle fear in the Group C climax.

The Netherlands, eyeing Group B qualification, can seal the deal with a home win against the Republic of Ireland or secure another chance against Gibraltar. Greece, assuming the Dutch qualify, settles for the playoffs based on UEFA Nations League performance.

Wales, recovering from a shaky start without Bale, aims for a third consecutive Euro finals appearance. A win in Armenia and another against Turkey can secure their spot. Poland, led by Lewandowski, faces the risk of missing out, while Denmark, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia, and Slovakia are on the brink of qualification. Albania needs just a draw against Moldova in Group E. Norway and Poland might still enter the playoffs, hoping to avoid the fate of Sweden, already eliminated.

Reference:

https://www.flashscore.co.uk/news/football-euro-italy-netherlands-and-wales-aim-to-secure-euro-2024-qualification/bcjRAOop/

https://alkhaleejtoday.co/sport/5815977/Italy-Netherlands-Wales-aim-to-secure-Euro-2024-qualification.html

Renowned Champion Xabi Alonso Fuels Bayer Leverkusen's Ambitions for Title Glory

Renowned Champion Xabi Alonso Fuels Bayer Leverkusen’s Ambitions for Title Glory

With an impressive record of 16 wins and a draw in 17 matches across all competitions, Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen has had an exceptional start to the season. Known for his success as a player at clubs like Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich, Alonso was a key figure in Spain’s 2010 World Cup victory and two European Championships. After retiring in 2017, he transitioned into coaching and achieved the promotion of Real Sociedad B to the second division.

Joining Leverkusen in October 2022 amidst relegation concerns, Alonso initially faced challenges, but he led the team to a sixth-place finish and a Europa League semi-final by the end of the season. The club’s outstanding performance in the 2023-24 season has fans dreaming of a historic Bundesliga title.

Alonso, often compared to elite managers, emphasizes open communication and personal interaction in his coaching approach. Leverkusen’s Bundesliga dominance, with 31 points out of 33, draws parallels to Pep Guardiola’s Bayern in 2015-16, where Alonso played a pivotal role.

While acknowledging Leverkusen’s potential, Alonso rejects simple comparisons to Guardiola’s style, emphasizing the importance of player agency. Viral videos showcase Alonso’s precise passing skills from his playing days, and he admits missing the thrill of being on the field.

New recruit Granit Xhaka praises Alonso for improving his game through attention to detail. Despite Leverkusen’s historical ‘Neverkusen’ tag due to near misses, Alonso remains focused on the team’s performance rather than challenging perennial winners Bayern.

Addressing speculation about a return to Real, Alonso emphasizes his commitment to Leverkusen, expressing positivity about the future. As a Basque with German influence, he admires Jurgen Klopp’s coaching style at Liverpool and sees Klopp coaching Germany in the future.

Alonso remains grounded, enjoying the coaching journey and making decisions on his terms, much like his adept decision-making as a player.

Reference:

https://sports.ndtv.com/football/serial-winner-xabi-alonso-has-soaring-bayer-leverkusen-dreaming-of-title-4575033

https://www.bundesliga.com/en/bundesliga/news/xabi-alonso-bayer-leverkusen-tactics-25350

Man City Triumph: Clinching Treble Spurs Record Profits and Premier League Success

Man City Triumph: Clinching Treble Spurs Record Profits and Premier League Success

Manchester City has set a new financial benchmark, surpassing Manchester United’s record with a £99.8m year-on-year rise, reaching £748.2m. The club’s profit soared to £80.4m, up from last year’s £41.7m record. These remarkable figures follow City’s historic achievement of securing the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League – a feat only matched by Manchester United in 1999. Although revenue is lower than Barcelona’s disputed €990m (£861.43m) in 2019, City’s chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, emphasizes their commitment to sustained success through innovation and continuous improvement. The financial statement highlights a 20.2% increase in broadcast revenues, reaching £299.4m, attributed mainly to Champions League and FA Cup success. As City looks ahead, the chairman expresses confidence in building on their collective achievements for a promising future.

The report highlights potential risks impacting the club, encompassing first-team performance, regulatory changes, and the 115 financial charges issued by the Premier League in February. City faces allegations of financial rule breaches spanning 2009 to 2018, coupled with accusations of non-cooperation since the investigation’s initiation in December 2018. The independent commission overseeing the case holds authority to mete out penalties ranging from fines and points deduction to expulsion from the Premier League. City, consistently denying financial misconduct, expressed openness to an impartial review in a February 2023 public statement. Despite a nearly £70m rise in the wage bill to £422.89m, and commitments exceeding £262m in transfer-related expenses, the club reported a £121.7m profit on player trading for the 2022-23 financial year. Notably, post-June 30, 2023, transfers, including arrivals and departures, totaled approximately £84m, featuring notable players like Jeremy Doku, Mateo Kovacic, Josko Gvardiol, Cole Palmer, Riyad Mahrez, Aymeric Laporte, and James Trafford.

Reference:

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/11/15/sport/manchester-city-record-revenue-spt-intl/index.html

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2023/nov/15/manchester-city-post-premier-league-record-revenue

Newcastle's Bid for Barcelona Star Set to Shatter Isak Record

Newcastle’s Bid for Barcelona Star Set to Shatter Isak Record

Newcastle United is eager to secure the services of Barcelona’s versatile defender, Jules Kounde, and they’re prepared to break their own club’s transfer record to make it happen.

According to reports from El Desmarque, Kounde is their top priority, but it remains uncertain whether they’ll make a move during the upcoming January transfer window or patiently wait until the next summer to acquire the 24-year-old French international.

What’s clear is that Newcastle is willing to make a substantial financial commitment, with €50 million set aside as an initial fee, and the potential for an additional €25 million in bonuses, potentially raising Kounde’s price tag to over €70 million.

This figure would surpass the €70 million that Eddie Howe’s side paid for Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad in 2022.

Barcelona, while reluctant to part with Kounde, faces financial constraints, making them more open to considering significant offers.

Kounde has primarily played as a right-sided center-back for Barcelona, a role that aligns with Newcastle’s intentions. Notably, he has also showcased his versatility by featuring as a right-back for the French national team on a consistent basis.

Credit By : footballtransfers.com

Kounde has best-in-class potential

SciSports, a data analytics expert, appraises Kounde, who remains under contract with Barcelona until June 2027, at approximately €55 million. This evaluation suggests that Newcastle may have to enhance their initial offer to entice Barcelona into accepting their bid.

Remarkably, SciSports regards Kounde as a potential world-class talent. Their assessment places him among only 12 players worldwide with a higher growth potential than the former Bordeaux player. Kounde is even considered a top-tier defensive talent in the global football landscape.

Despite the acquisition by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, Newcastle’s approach to transfers has been relatively cautious. Nevertheless, they made notable signings last summer, with expenditures exceeding €150 million, including players like Sandro Tonali (€64 million), Harvey Barnes (€44 million), and Tino Livramento (€37 million).

Reference

https://www.footballtransfers.com/en/transfer-news/uk-premier-league/2023/10/newcastle-transfer-news-jules-kounde-record-bid-barelona

Unbeaten Streak Snapped Men's Soccer Suffers Defeat Against Middlebury

Unbeaten Streak Snapped: Men’s Soccer Suffers Defeat Against Middlebury

Tufts Men’s Soccer’s Unbeaten Streak Ends Against Middlebury

In a familiar tale of good things coming to an end, Tufts men’s soccer team saw their nine-game unbeaten streak break this past weekend. The Middlebury Panthers handed the Jumbos a 3-0 defeat, bringing an end to a remarkable run.

The game was a clash of NESCAC’s elite. Middlebury, ranked as the third-best Division III program in the nation, and the top team in the NESCAC, remained undefeated all season. Tufts, tied with Amherst as the NESCAC’s second-ranked team, faced a critical contest with significant postseason implications.

The match took place under less than ideal conditions, with rainy weather throughout the afternoon at South Street Field in Vermont. Despite being underdogs, the Jumbos displayed an attacking mindset from the start, attempting to win the game. Their efforts resulted in two corner kicks and a shot on the opposition’s goal before Middlebury scored the first goal.

Sophomore midfielder Daniel Yanez expressed the team’s belief in their abilities but acknowledged a few moments where they felt flat. Middlebury’s first goal came from a dispossessed Jumbos’ player in the box, leading to a successful finish by Tyler Payne. Tufts earned two more corner kicks but conceded another goal, where Gavin Randolph’s precise finish extended Middlebury’s lead.

Despite the loss, the Jumbos appreciated the quality of play demonstrated by their opponents and remain committed to their season’s goals.

Despite trailing 2-0, the Jumbos maintained their determination throughout the first half, retaining possession in Middlebury’s half. While they dominated in terms of possession and won eight corner kicks, they struggled with precision in the final third. Junior midfielder Ethan Feigin recorded the only shot on target for the Jumbos in the first half. Despite their efforts, the Panthers remained the more threatening side, especially on the counterattack.

The second half began with Middlebury being awarded a penalty kick, which Jordan Saint-Louis converted, seemingly sealing the victory for the Panthers. Undeterred, the Jumbos continued to press, outshooting Middlebury 10 to three in the aftermath of the third goal. Despite their efforts, the Panthers maintained control.

As the Jumbos’ unbeaten streak came to an end, they look ahead to the playoffs, commencing with a match against the Bowdoin Polar Bears. The team is eager to embrace the electrifying atmosphere of playoff games and is determined to strive for both NESCAC and national championships.

While one chapter closes, the Jumbos embark on a new journey, approaching every game with a win-or-go-home mentality.

Reference:

https://www.tuftsdaily.com/article/2023/10/mens-soccer-falls-to-middlebury-ending-unbeaten-run

French Soccer League Suspends Player Over Antisemitic Social Media Post

French Soccer League Suspends Player Over Antisemitic Social Media Post

The Suspension of Youcef Atal Follows Preliminary Investigation Into Antisemitic Post Sharing, Prompted by Video of Palestinian Preacher

In NICE, France, Youcef Atal, the Nice defender, has been suspended for seven matches by the French soccer league due to his sharing of an antisemitic message on social media. Atal had previously been suspended by Nice, and he issued an apology for his actions. Following a review by the French soccer federation’s ethics committee, the French league’s disciplinary commission enforced the suspension.

Atal’s suspension comes in the wake of a preliminary investigation launched by the Nice public prosecutor’s office. He is being investigated for charges related to “defending terrorism” and “public incitement to hatred or violence because of a particular religion” in connection with the message he shared online.

Youcef Atal, a 27-year-old who also represents Algeria’s national team, expressed his understanding that his post was distressing to some people. He stated that he condemns all forms of violence worldwide in a post on Instagram.

Reference:

https://www.newsday.com/sports/soccer/french-league-suspends-atal-for-7-games-for-sharing-an-antisemitic-message-on-social-media-vlvhpa19

https://www.seattlepi.com/sports/article/french-league-suspends-atal-for-7-games-for-18447975.php

https://www.record-eagle.com/ap/sports/french-league-suspends-atal-for-7-games-for-sharing-an-antisemitic-message-on-social-media/article_1e5f765e-08d9-5e2c-85d2-ee5d4df2db6d.html

Celtic Unable to Fend Off 10-Man Atletico in an Exciting Draw

Celtic Unable to Fend Off 10-Man Atletico in an Exciting Draw

Atletico Madrid displayed resilience in an exhilarating 2-2 draw with Celtic in a pulsating Champions League Group E encounter on Wednesday. The Spanish side ended the match with 10 men.

Feyenoord claimed the top spot in the group with six points after defeating Lazio 3-1 earlier in the day. Atletico now sits in second place with five points, one ahead of Italy’s Lazio in third. Celtic remains at the bottom of the group with just one point from three games.

In a charged atmosphere at a packed Celtic Park, Kyogo Furuhashi capitalized on the host’s early pressure, slipping between two Atletico defenders to open the scoring with a composed close-range finish after just four minutes.

Atletico drew level when Antoine Griezmann tapped in the rebound after his penalty had hit the post.

Luis Palma swiftly restored Celtic’s lead with a spectacular curling shot from a challenging angle.

Nevertheless, Atletico mounted a comeback in the 53rd minute as Alvaro Morata executed a remarkable diving header that sailed over goalkeeper Joe Hart.

The visitors controlled the latter stages of the match and missed several opportunities to snatch a victory. However, midfielder Rodrigo de Paul received a second yellow card for minimal contact in a challenge with Paulo Bernardo. Despite being reduced to 10 men, Atletico held on for the draw.

Atletico defender Mario Hermoso remarked, ‘We managed to turn the game around, and in the second half, we were dominant. However, the red card for De Paul, which is debatable, was a setback. With 11 players, it could have been different, but at least we leave with a point. The team pressed, and their defense appeared fatigued. These are the twists of football, and we hope to perform well in the rematch at our home ground.’

Reference:

https://www.reuters.com/sports/soccer/atletico-fight-back-draw-thriller-with-celtic-2023-10-25/

https://sports.yahoo.com/celtic-v-atl-tico-madrid-154500385.html

Borussia Dortmund Secure Crucial Victory Against Newcastle

Borussia Dortmund Secure Crucial Victory Against Newcastle

Borussia Dortmund Revive Champions League As Felix Nmecha’s Strike Downs Newcastle

In a pulsating first half, Felix Nmecha’s clinical finish rekindled Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League dreams, securing a vital 1-0 win against Newcastle United. This victory marked their first Group F triumph after three attempts.

After an action-packed first half, Borussia Dortmund held firm in the second period. Despite a late attempt by Callum Wilson, who struck the crossbar, and another close call for Newcastle during stoppage time, the German side maintained their lead.

Newcastle’s defeat was a stark contrast to their previous victory over Paris Saint-Germain, leaving the Group F standings wide open. PSG leads with six points, while Newcastle and Dortmund are tied at four points, and Milan trails with two.

Dortmund coach Edin Terzić, speaking to TNT Sport, commented, “In the second half, we had to dig deep in defense, and we managed it with a combination of determination and a bit of luck. This group promises to be a fierce battle right until the end.

Credit By: .espn.com

“Newcastle, with a remarkable 18 goals scored in seven home games this season, including a memorable victory over PSG, faced a formidable Borussia Dortmund side. The German team showcased their European experience with a thrilling first-half display and resilient defense on a rainy night in Tyneside.

The two teams are set to clash again in two weeks in Dortmund, a pivotal match on the horizon.

Eddie Howe, speaking in challenging conditions, stated, “It’s going to be tough, but that’s the nature of the Champions League. We know we have to fight for wins in challenging places. Now, we regroup and prepare for the next encounter. I don’t believe we deserved to lose today.”

Felix Nmecha’s first Champions League goal, concluding an electrifying first half, ultimately made the difference. A swift counter-attack, initiated by a dispossessed Anthony Gordon deep in Dortmund territory, saw Nico Schlotterbeck deliver a pass for Nmecha to execute a first-time shot past Nick Pope.

Pope had previously displayed heroics to deny Dortmund, blocking a Donyell Malen shot after he broke through on goal and then making a breathtaking double save to thwart Malen and Niclas Füllkrug’s follow-up.

Gordon was Newcastle’s standout attacking force and tested Gregor Kobel with two impressive shots in the frenzied early exchanges.

Callum Wilson, who replaced the injured Alexander Isak early on, missed a golden opportunity shortly after the break, firing his shot straight at Kobel.

Dortmund then effectively stifled Newcastle’s advances, and they needed some luck in the dying minutes to secure the victory. First, Wilson’s header from a Matt Targett cross struck the woodwork, and with virtually the last kick of the game, Anthony Gordon’s deflected shot looped against the crossbar.

Dortmund’s coach, Edin Terzić, praised his team’s performance: “We had a fantastic first half, and we earned the victory. In the second half, we defended it with everything we had given. We invested a lot to secure this win.

Reference:

https://www.sportingnews.com/us/soccer/news/newcastle-vs-borussia-dortmund-score-result-champions-league/84473673eff6c90577015502

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/67209904