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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

~ Latest Football News ~

Tension Between Guardiola And Eto’o At Barcelona Training

Things may be going swimmingly well for Barça on the football pitch, but on the training ground, signs of stress are starting to show.

Tension Between Guardiola And Eto’o At Barcelona Training

Barcelona continue to run away with the 2008/09 La Liga title as they demonstrate no intent of slowing down until they cross the finish line and lift the trophy.

The Blaugrana are also targeting the Champions League and the Copa del Rey and as they prepare to face Espanyol for the latter competition, reports have emerged that an argument broke out at the training ground.

According to Catalan-friendly paper, El Mundo Deportivo, coach, Pep Guardiola ordered striker, Samuel Eto’o to hit the showers early before the morning workout session was over.

It was believed that the Cameroonian did not perform to his best ability and was duly berated, to which the temperamental forward responded with harsh words of his own. Guardiola promptly put an end to the argument by expelling the 27-year-old from the Ciutat Esportiva training pitch.

There were no follow-up reports on whether the quarrel was anything more than a heated moment or if the duo made up, but it is certain that the coach is definitely not allowing his players to relax and become complacent, even in training.

Life Is Perfect For Dani Alves At Barcelona

The flying full-back has stated how content he is with his new club after his big-money move from Sevilla...

Life Is Perfect For Dani Alves At Barcelona
More than a few eyebrows were raised when one of Pep Guardiola's first tasks as Barcelona boss was to secure the signing of Dani Alves for a fee of around
<> €32m, a world record for a full-back.

However, if anything, Alves looks to be have been money well spent, and has further enhanced his reputation as the best right-back in the world with a series of impressive displays this season.

All seems to be rosy in the garden in Catalonia at the moment, and Alves admits he has settled in effortlessly to his new surroundings.

He said, "In life I have always enjoyed my football but now I do so even more. I'm passionate about this game and I think it is beautiful.

"Now when I see people and players that I used to admire alongside me as my colleagues it truly is a wonder."

The Joy of Messi

The Brazilian has, understandably, singled out Lionel Messi as the players he enjoys playing alongside the most.

He said of the Argentine superstar, " He is easy to play with because he is an intelligent footballer, he finds space and creates chances.

"I know that for me he is the best in the world right now."

Alves also emphasised the caution emanating from the Camp Nou at the moment, with no-one wishing to be complacent and claim the title is theirs until they have crossed the finishing line.

He finished, "The three titles we are going for are still along way away. Thinking about it now would be a mistake. We must continue with this humility and not relax."

Manchester United Eye India Shirt Deal

Reports in the Indian media suggest that Premiership giants Manchester United are scouting for sponsors worldwide, with the Sahara Group being high on their wishlist...

Manchester United Eye India Shirt Deal
According to unnamed sources, the Manchester club has been looking for sponsors for their team shirt ever since AIG got affected by the financial meltdown, and have been attracted by the Sahara Group, which has been the sponsor of the Indian cricket and hockey teams for many years.

Sahara corporate communication head Abhijit Sarkar has confirmed receiving the proposal from United, but refused to make any further comments.

The reports also say that Richard Arnold, United's commercial director, has already sent a proposal letter to Sahara, along with other materials, which include the team's shirt with the Sahara logo, and a collection of photographs in which players like Rooney and Ronaldo are wearing t-shirts with the company's name on it.

Sources say that Sahara would like the English champions to first come to India and play a few games before taking this proposal forward.

It is also being claimed in India that United are planning to set up a few academies in various cities in the country.

AIG's deal with Manchester United expires in 2010.

Cristiano Ronaldo: I Feel At Home With Manchester United

FIFA World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo, has given a clear indication that he will be staying at Manchester United in the long run by declaring that he feels at home in Manchester.

Cristiano Ronaldo: I Feel At Home With Manchester United

With all the hullabaloo over Kaka's failed record-breaking transfer to Manchester City, it was easy to forget the speculation surrounding FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo's switch to Real Madrid.

According to reports, CR9 has been copyrighted, giving a clear indication that the Portuguese winger's time at Manchester United as CR7 is up, and that a move to Madrid was on the horizon.

Ronaldo though told The Independent that he "feels at home here," and has given the clearest indication that he is at Manchester United to stay.

"Everything that revolves around Cristiano Ronaldo is a bit of speculation," he stated. "Everything that I do generates a certain interest from the press and public.

"But 90 per cent of what is said and written about me stems from speculation. The only thing that is true is that I am happy at Manchester United.

"This is my home. Because I am winning things, because of friends, because of fans, I have always felt very loved.

"I feel at home here, it is a very lovely stage in my career, as much because of the coach, who has always supported me, as because of the players.

"I feel part of the furniture at United. I don't know what is going to happen tomorrow, but I feel very happy here."

He continued: "I never imagined playing at a club like Manchester United. I dreamed of Benfica, Porto and Sporting, but never arriving at this level.

"I always dreamed of being a professional footballer but never even thought about signing for a club like United, to the extent that even when they came to see me I thought nothing would come of it, but after it proved true that they were interested in me."

Aside from international honours, Ronaldo has won it all. Champions League, the Premier League, the FIFA Club World Cup, the FA Cup, and the League Cup, together with a plethora of seemingly never-ending individual awards.

"I have never counted them, but there is space for more still," he said. "I want to win more things.

"What I have already won is an incentive, but I want to win more.

"In two or three years from now I want to have another Golden Boot, another Ballon d'Or and, who knows, maybe another World Player of the Year award."

Sir Alex Ferguson: £120m Wouldn't Buy Cristiano Ronaldo

After seeing Manchester City bid £107 million for Kaka, the United boss ensures his city rivals that Ronaldo is not for sale...

Sir Alex Ferguson: £120m Wouldn't Buy Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has told his city rivals Manchester City as well as Real Madrid that they will not be able to prise Cristiano Ronaldo from Old Trafford.

Reports suggesting Madrid are ready to make a massive €115 million bid for the Portuguese star have begun to circulate in the world's media once more, but Ferguson is adamant the 23-year-old is not for sale at any price.

City have almost convinced AC Milan to sell their most valuable asset in Kaka after offering £107m for the 26-year-old and if they manage to push that transfer through have their hearts set on other world stars such as Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero.

Speaking to the Daily Star, Ferguson said, "If Kaka is worth £100 million then Ronaldo and Lionel Messi must be worth that, too.

"And as Cristiano has just been named World Player of the Year ahead of those two, you could say he is worth more – £120 million.

"There would be no chance of a deal, and that is the attitude of the owners even more than me.

"Cristiano is fully settled down here now.

"We worked hard to achieve that in the summer and I think he realises that he could only have achieved these individual awards through being a Manchester United player."

José Mourinho Surprised By Inter's Performance Against Atalanta

José Mourinho admits that he was surprised by just how poor Inter Milan were as they were beaten by Atalanta in Serie A last weekend.

José Mourinho Surprised By Inter's Performance Against Atalanta
Inter coach Jose Mourinho has seen his side's six point lead on Juventus dribble away to just three due to two disappointing performances by his side in Serie A play this year.

Following the winter break, the Nerazzurri seem to have lost their edge as they were far from impressive against Cagliari and Atalanta, although Mourinho has drawn comfort from the performance against Genoa in the Coppa Italia.

"Against Genoa, even though they ended up with ten men, we played a game of great intensity against a very good team," explained the former Chelsea coach. "It was 120 difficult and well-played minutes."

"In fact, my greatest surprise was that, in Bergamo, we did not play with the same intensity and positive impact, which we should have derived from the match against Genoa.

"I was surprised by the way the team went on the pitch and by the way we started to play. In other words, everything that was negative, we had already highlighted."

Inter enjoy a three point lead over Juventus and six points over Milan as the second round of Serie A starts this weekend.

Paolo Maldini: Inter Are Not Unbeatable

Paolo Maldini is confident that Inter have shown enough abilities in their play to allow AC Milan to continue closing the gap on their city rivals.

Paolo Maldini: Inter Are Not Unbeatable
Milan defender Paolo Maldini believes that the Scudetto race is not yet over for his side, especially following the latest results, which proved that Inter are far from perfect.

Maldini feels that the Nerazzurri are not as strong as they were depicted until a few weeks ago and has stated that the Rossoneri will do their utmost to topple their city rivals from the first place.

"There's the sensation that Inter are not unbeatable," declared the Rossoneri's captain.

"We will have to believe [that we are capable of winning the league] until the end [of the season] and we must not demoralise ourselves.

"The league is long and our main competitors will have to play in the Champions League, therefore, we can even continue dreaming about winning the Scudetto."

Milan are three points behind Juventus and six points behind Inter as the title race heats up with the start of the second round in Serie A.

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