Real Madrid and Barcelona are set to meet at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Saturday in their final La Liga game of 2017.
Spain national team coach Julen Lopetegui has confirmed that striker Diego Costa will be included in the national team fold only when he sorts out his future.
The striker has been unable to feature in the Chelsea first-team nor has he been able to secure the transfer to Atletico Madrid. Both clubs have been unable to agree on a transfer fee before the end of the summer transfer window. As a result, Costa will be remaining as a Chelsea player – without playing – until January. Chelsea are demanding around £ 50 million for his signature while Atletico are not prepared to pay more than £ 30 million.
Since coming to Chelsea in 2014 for around £ 32 million, he has been one of the top players in the Premier League and has been able to score the highest number of goals at Chelsea for three consecutive campaigns. (more…)
Spain national team boss took the surprise step of bringing backLopetegui to the national team fold for the upcoming World Cup 2018 qualifiers.
Spain are up against Italy and Liechtenstein September. The national team has to win these games in order to seal qualification to the World Cup 2018 in Russia. Spain are top of the group G, but they are only in this position due to a better goal difference than Italy. A positive result for the latter in the upcoming fixture would be disastrous for Spain, as it would mean a possible play-off place for the team.
The contest in the next four matches will only be about the top two places. ManagerLopetegui recognises the importance of having some of the best players in the squad. As a result, he has gone back to the basics by bringing in David Villa – the record goalscorer for Spain with 59 in his 97 appearances. (more…)
For a player that has managed to be around and active in the terrains of professional football, have an amazing run with both club and country, Sergio Ramos has time and again betrayed the elder statesman status he ought to be living at this time and age of his career.
The Andalusian is a fine player no doubt and an intelligent one even given how he seamlessly transitioned from being a right back to a center back. However, the thing with professional football is that you may play over 50 matches a season but the tiny bits of edge-of-the-cliff moments most times define a whole season or tournament.
A missed tackle, split second of poor positioning, lack of absolute concentration, all do most of the damages encountered in crucial matches. That is where Ramos falls short. It is not as if that characteristic is all that matters, rather, it has to do with the fact that as players get old, self control becomes their ultimate fort and while the teenagers allow their emotions to get the better of them, the veterans prove to handle anything that comes their way with better judgments. (more…)
Spain international Nolito is reportedly eyeing a potential return home following an unfruitful first season with Manchester City.
The former Celta Vigo attacker joined the Citizens for £13.8m last summer after he got the chance to work with Catalan tactician Pep Guardiola.
Nolito made a bright start to his Citizens career with six goals and two assists in his first 10 outings, but he therein fell out of favour under Pep with Leroy Sane being preferred ahead of him in the pecking order.
The ex-Barcelona man had been restricted to just nine league starts over the course of the previous season, and he now hints that he could move on in order to reclaim his place with Spain for the 2018 World Cup, he told El Transistor: “I am under the contract, so the club will decide, but I want to leave. I haven’t played in six months. I will do everything possible to make Spain’s World Cup squad.
“I have learnt very, very little English – it’s very hard. Just ‘tomorrow’, ‘good morning’, ‘good afternoon’ and a little more. My daughter’s face has changed colour — it looks like she’s been living in a cave.” (more…)
New Spain national team JulenLopetegui believes that the national team is underperforming at the moment and that they will need to improve.
He said that there are already some good players in the team and that you just need at the quality of La Liga to understand that there is some good potential in the team. He said that the national team has been underperforming ever since they won the World Cup and the Euros and that they will need to improve.
Lopetegui said that he accepted to take charge of the team as he feels that there is some good potential in the Spanish team and it is up to the players to rise to the occasion and make sure they deliver the goods.
The new Spain, national team coach, said that he has been observing the national team for quite some time and he feels that there needs to be a new winning mentality in the team. He said that the players have become quite comfortable and it is up to the manager to bring this motivation and determination in the team. (more…)
Luis Suarez is hoping an appeal will save him from missing the Copa del Rey final after being sent off for Barcelona in a bad-tempered semi-final, second leg against Atletico Madrid.
Suarez scored the vital goal as three players were dismissed in a 1-1 draw on Tuesday that secured the team’s place in a fourth straight final, Barca winning 3-2 on aggregate.
However, the Uruguayan – sent off for the first time in three years since his move to Spain – claimed a stray elbow on Koke as the game entered stoppage time was not even a foul.
“It makes me laugh because it was like he [the referee] wanted to do it,” Suarez told Gol Television.
“We need to see if we can appeal the second yellow because it isn’t even a foul, but we already know how these things go.
“That is why I am so angry because it was absolutely nothing. The first yellow was also for the first foul I committed in the game, but you could see it coming.” (more…)
Star player Gaston Ramirez has joined up with his teammates in Spain as he is set to continue with the club this term.
The player was heavily linked with a move to struggling Leicester City but Boro disallowed the deal.
The player is now keen to rebuild his reputation at the club after he handed in a transfer request to exit the Riverside Stadium. The former Southampton player has not featured in the last six games for Boro due to a knee injury he picked up. The 26-year old playmaker would join teammates in Spain for a four-day training break so he can return refreshed for the race to finish the campaign well.
“He is and he will be an important player in this team and he knows that. He know the effort that the club made to sign him last season and therefore that the club made this summer to sign him permanently,” Boro manager Aitor Karanka said. (more…)
Pep Guardiola believes that one of the primary objectives of him switching teams after every few years is the desire to have more and more idea of the game of Football.
As per Guardiola, if that desire to gain knowledge was not there, he would not have moved out of Barcelona. His tenure there was going like a dream and he could have glued himself to that position of Barcelona coach. The sword of axe was definitely not hanging over him.
But, he had to see other places, other leagues, different approaches, different conditions and that took him first to Germany and now to England where he is now coping with different ‘refereeing methods’ too as he pointed out in one of his latest press conferences. (more…)
Chelsea’s Diego Costa has recently sustained a thigh injury that has forced him to stay out of the latest training sessions of the Spanish national football team and this has compelled the head coach Julen Lopetegui on having to search for a replacement which is what the 50 year old Spanish tactician did as he recently called up Iago Aspas.
While Diego Costa is out injured and unable to perform, Julen Lopetegui opted to give Iago Aspas the chance to perform for the Spanish national side while Costa is unable to compete.
The 50 year old manager Julen Lopetegui has also recently talked about the possibility of calling up David Villa and give the veteran attacker the chance to come back to the international stage after having retired on 2014.
David Villa decided to retire from the international scene on 2014 after having scored 59 goals in 97 appearances but Julen Lopetegui has hinted out the possibility of making a surprise call up as Lopetegui appears to be closely monitoring David Villa in the MLS.
“The truth is that I saw him very well and playing with a lot of intensity. Villa continues to play at a very good level and in the future we will see if he can return. We don’t close the door to any player and we always have consideration for players that can help the national team. Villa is well, playing with a lot of rhythm, scoring lots of goals and showing a great attitude. He is a player who has done priceless things for Spanish football.” Spain’s Julen Lopetegui said.
David Villa is a 34 year old attacker who is currently performing for the MLS side, New York City FC and the Spanish player is a hugely influential player for the American outfit as he was the top goal-scorer of New York City FC after scoring 18 goals during the 2015-16 season and Villa has continued his impact with the club by netting 22 goals in 32 appearances.