April 2017 - Soccer Wiretap

Lionel Messi's Brace Defeats Real Madrid, Puts Barca In La Liga Chase

Apr 23, 2017 6:55 PM

Lionel Messi had a brace in Barcelona's 3-2 win over Real Madrid that will send La Liga into the final weeks of the season.

Madrid scored the opening goal in the 28th minute when Casemiro tapped in a rebound off a Sergio Ramos shot that came off the post.

Barcelona scored three minutes later when Messi took three fast touches before beating Keylor Navas. Messi had a bandage in his mouth as he was bleeding after a Marcelo elbow.

Ivan Rakitic scored from outside the box in the 73rd minute with a brilliant strike.

Sergio Ramos was sent off with a straight red after a reckless challenge on Messi that brought Madrid down to 10 men. But James Rodriguez scored in the 85th minute, converting a cross from Marcelo.

Madrid continued to go for the win as time was running out despite only having 10 men on the pitch and overextended themselves, which allowed Barcelona to counter and eventually found Messi on a run that he calmly converted. Messi took off his jersey and held it up to the Bernabeu crowd.

Sid Lowe/The Guardian

Tags: Barcelona, Real Madrid

N'Golo Kante Named PFA Player Of The Year

Apr 23, 2017 6:58 PM

N'Golo Kante has been named the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Player of the Year.

Kante is on the brink of becoming the first player to win successive league titles with different clubs.

"To be chosen by the players to be player of the year means a lot to me," said Kante.

"It means the world to be chosen and it's been two beautiful seasons, one with Leicester, and we are in good form with Chelsea. To be player of the year, it's a great honor."


Tags: Chelsea, Personal Award

Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool Has Become More Attractive To Transfers

Apr 22, 2017 1:07 PM

Jürgen Klopp has said Liverpool will be a more attractive proposition to transfer targets this summer. Klopp added that positive talks have already taken place.

The Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, Bayer Leverkusen winger Julian Brandt and Leipzig midfielder Naby Keïta are among those on Klopp’s wishlist.

“I would say together with Tottenham the average age of the team is such that there’s still a lot to come. They are obviously a few steps ahead but they have played longer together. We feel in a good way and, if a player wants to be part of this way, then it’s easier to make this decision this year than last year. But actually not a lot of players told me last year: ‘I don’t want to be part of this, but let me see what happens next year and then we can talk again.’ It’s more my feeling than anything I could say about what a player thinks. But the talks we’ve had so far are very positive. That doesn’t mean it will all work out but they are really positive and they all see the progress. That’s good.”

Liverpool has an excellent chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season.

Andy Hunter/The Guardian

Tags: Liverpool, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

El Clasico Generates More Than $40M In Media Value For Sponsors

Apr 21, 2017 7:06 PM

El Clasico generates over $40 million in media value for sponsors but live TV broadcasts for less than half of that figure.

The combined TV and social media value of the last El Clasico in December 2016 generated around $42.5 million for sponsors. 

Social media made up 12 percent of that figure.

“With social media adding over $5 million in total value to sponsors, this shows just how critical a medium it has become,” said Max Barnett, Nielsen Sports’ head of digital.

The Drum

Tags: Barcelona, Real Madrid

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Out Until January With ACL, PCL Tear

Apr 21, 2017 3:33 PM

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has suffered serious ligament damage in his right knee and is likely to be sidelined until January 2018 at the earliest.

Ibrahimovic suffered the injury in the Europa League on Thursday.

The injury has now placed doubt over the player's club future, with his United contract due to expire at the end of this season. It is unclear if United is under an obligation to honor the extended contract following his injury.

Ibrahimovic had been the subject of interest from MLS clubs LA Galaxy and LAFC.

Mark Ogden/ESPN

Tags: Manchester United, Injury

UCL Semifinals: Real Madrid/Atleti, Juve/Monaco

Apr 21, 2017 10:25 AM

For the fourth straight year Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will meet in the Champions League as they have been paired in the semifinals.

The Madrid clubs have met in two of the past three Champions League Finals (2014, 2016) as well as the quarterfinals of 2015. Real Madrid has come out victorious in all three previous matchups with the final in 2014 being decided in extra time and the 2016 final decided in penalty kicks.

Juventus will play Monaco in the other semifinal.

Real Madrid will host Atletico on Tuesday, May 2nd with the return leg at the Calderon on Wednesday, May 10th.

Monaco hosts Juventus on Wednesday, May 3rd with the return leg in Turin on Tuesday, May 9th.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Atlético Madrid, Juventus, Monaco, Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid Rejects $53.5M Bid From Liverpool For Marco Asensio

Apr 20, 2017 6:42 PM

Real Madrid have rejected a €50 million bid from Liverpool for Marco Asensio.

Real Madrid have no intention of selling Asensio, who scored in their win on Tuesday in the Champions League against Bayern.

Zinedine Zidane is high on Asensio and is willing to let Real Madrid sell James Rodriguez in the summer in order to clear space for him.

Sergio Santos Chozas/As.com

Tags: Liverpool, Real Madrid, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Liverpool Uninterested In Joe Hart

Apr 20, 2017 1:30 PM

Jurgen Klopp has ruled out the possibility of Liverpool signing Joe Hart this summer.

Hart is currently on loan from Manchester City with Torino.

Liverpool has an uncertain goalkeeper situation with Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius.

"You ask about goalkeepers but you don’t say the name. Is it about Joe Hart? We don’t usually talk about these sort of things but in this particular case I think we can. He is a fantastic goalkeeper, the goalkeeper of the English national team, highest quality, but we have highest-quality goalkeepers. It is not for us in this moment and hopefully not in the future – not because of Joe but because we already have two strong goalkeepers.

“Danny Ward is at Huddersfield and playing a brilliant season. He is our player so we will bring him back so there is competition. The young ones have made really big steps, Caoimhin Kelleher and Kamil Grabara, and that is really good. I understand the question but I cannot give the answer probably a few people want but we think about it all the time.”

Andy Hunter/The Guardian

Tags: Liverpool, Manchester City, Torino, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

City To Make Leonardo Bonucci Top Priority

Apr 20, 2017 1:14 PM

Manchester City are preparing a fresh pursuit of Leonardo Bonucci of Juventus, making him their top defensive target.

Pep Guardiola has long been enamored by Bonucci.

Bonucci signed a contract extension until 2021 with Juve in December, but he hinted last week that he could now be prepared to make a move to England after telling So Foot that the Premier League "fascinates" him.

City could face competition for the defender's signature from Chelsea.

Bonucci had a heated argument with Massimiliano Allegri in February but they've since claimed to settle the issue.

Jonathan Smith/ESPN

Tags: Juventus, Manchester City, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Jose Mourinho: Anthony Martial 'Needs To Give Me Things I Like'

Apr 19, 2017 1:36 PM

Jose Mourinho has warned Anthony Martial that he needs to learn from the example of Marcus Rashford if he wants to regain a spot in Manchester United's first team.

Martial’s next goal, his 25th for United, will cost the club another £8.5 million as part of the structured transfer fee that saw him sign from Monaco for £36 million, potentially rising to £58 million, in September 2015. 

Mourinho was asked whether Martial’s absence on Sunday was a sign the manager was still dissatisfied and, choosing his words carefully, he made it clear he expected the player to be working harder.

“We are together for almost 10 months. The same way I know the players much better now, the players should know me much better. The same way I know what the players like, the players know what I like. The same way I have to go in the direction of the players, the players have to come in my direction.

“That’s the point. That’s why Marcus Rashford, even without scoring goals, even with being since September without a goal in the Premier League, was always a player I trusted, I played, I supported because he was always coming in my direction, in the direction I want from a player and what I want as a Manchester United player. He [Rashford] is about that.

“Do I think Anthony is a player with great potential? Yes, I think. Do I think he can play successfully for me? Yes I think. But he needs to give me things that I like.”

Daniel Taylor/The Guardian

Tags: Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo: I Don't Know Who Doubts Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo was whistled by some of Real Madrid's home fans at the Santiago Bernabéu during their Champions League match against Bayern Munich.

Sid Lowe/The Guardian

Thomas Muller: Bayern Had To Play '10 Against 14'
Bayern were angered by several key decisions by referee Viktor Kassai.

Mark Lovell/ESPN

Sergio Ramos: Pique Should Look Back At PSG Match On Referees
Sergio Ramos responded to a Tweet from Gerard Pique that appeared to question the refereeing in Real Madrid's extra time win over Bayern Munich.


Inter Milan Preparing Major Offer To Diego Simeone
Inter Milan are preparing an offer of €10 million to €11 million per year to Diego Simeone.


Michael Reschke: Bayern Don't Make 'Super Transfers' Like Madrid
Bayern Munich technical director Michael Reschke predicted fewer big money transfers in coming years.

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

John Terry To Leave Chelsea After Season
Chelsea expects John Terry to eventually return to the club in a non-playing capacity.

Liam Twomey/ESPN

Neymar Believes Barcelona Can Complete Another UCL Comeback
Barcelona enters the second leg trailing Juventus 3-0 on aggregate.


Pep Guardiola Misses The Pressure Of Spain, Germany
Pep Guardiola believes there is less pressure on players in the Premier League than in La Liga or in the Bundesliga.

Ben Fisher/The Guardian

Pochettino: Spurs 'Not Building In Artificial Way' Like Chelsea
Spurs have invested more than £170 million on recruits over the past three seasons.

Sachin Nakrani/The Guardian

Eden Hazard Admits 'Personal Ambitions' For Other Clubs
Eden Hazard has rediscovered his form under Antonio Conte.

Liam Twomey/ESPN

Jurgen Klopp Takes Barca's Interest In Coutinho As 'Positive'
Liverpool have reportedly told Barcelona that Coutinho won't be for sale this summer.


Isco Continues To Want To Remain With Real Madrid
Isco perhaps played his best match with Real Madrid in their 3-2 win over Sporting Gijon, scoring twice including a last-minute winner.


Paulo Dybala Suffers Ankle Injury
Massimiliano Allegri is optimistic Paulo Dybala will be available for the second leg of Juve's Champions League tie against Barcelona.

Ben Spratt/Goal.com

Wenger Dismisses Report Of £300k Per Week Offer To Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez's extension talks will pick up in the summer.

Mattias Karen/ESPN

Real Madrid Using UCL To Showcase James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez is the 12th most used player for Real Madrid during the Champions League, which is in contrast to La Liga in where he rarely plays.


Everton Gives Ross Barkley May Deadline On Extension
Ross Barkley has 14 months remaining on his current deal.

Andy Hunter/The Guardian

Marc Bartra Out Four Weeks With Injuries From Bus Attack
Marc Bartra was hit by shrapnel as three explosions hit the bus.

Adriana Garcia/ESPN

AC Milan Officially Sold For €740M
Silvio Berlusconi has sold AC Milan to a group of investors from China for €740 million.

Ben Gladwell/ESPN

Thomas Tuchel Criticizes UEFA For Treatment Following Attack
UEFA treated the attack on Dortmund's team bus in a casual manner.

Stephan Uersfeld/ESPN

Paulo Dybala Agrees To Become 2nd Highest Paid Player In Serie A
Paulo Dybala has received interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Romeo Agresti/Goal.com