Champions League

Rasheedat Ajibade hails CAF for introducing Women’s Champions League

Super Falcons and Norwegian Toppserien forward Rasheedat Ajibade has applauded the decision of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to introduce Women’s CAF Champions League. Speaking in a chat, Ajibade said CAF women’s champions league will encourage female football development in the continent and also benefit women clubs more as they would have something to play at the end of every league season. “I must tell tell you that it is a very good development. I personally applauded CAF for the initiative to introduce Champions League for Women. “It will help in increasing numbers of female participation in football and strengthened female club management. ” It will also bring out healthy competition among clubs and also attract foreign players both within and outside Africa. “Also the ...

Gerard Houllier: Liverpool need tough love from Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool have always been a side that needs “tough love”, says Gerard Houllier, with Jurgen Klopp proving to be the perfect coach to deliver “vision” and long-term success at Anfield. Those on the red half of Merseyside are currently basking in the warm glow of a first title triumph in 30 years. Since last getting their hands on the English top-flight crown in 1990, many managers have tried and failed to get Liverpool back on the loftiest of perches. Houllier spent six years at the helm between 1998 and 2004, delivering domestic cup success and a UEFA Cup win. He also carried the Reds close to a long-awaited title, as did Rafa Benitez and Brendan Rodgers. Klopp has been the man to get Liverpool over the line, while also claiming Champions League and Club World Cup honours, with the German...

Jose Mourinho claims Arsenal are ‘in trouble’ ahead of upcoming derby

Jose Mourinho has hit back at Arsenal after their social media account taunted his side after they failed to beat Sheffield United on Thursday evening. The Gunners moved to taunt our rivals with a post of our side beating Sheffield United the morning after Spurs were beaten 3-1 by the same side below. The Spurs boss moved to react to the post, claiming that we wouldn’t be enjoying their misfortune in such a way if they had more to celebrate themselves. “I think if they were top of the league or fighting for top four in a really good moment they wouldn’t enjoy the problems of others,” he said ahead of his side’s game with Everton on Monday night. “You only enjoy the problems of others when you are also in trouble. “In the end it says more about them, they don’t have much to celebrate, they ...

Pep Guardiola ‘interfered in medical matters’ at Bayern Munich – ex-team doctor

Getty Images Pep Guardiola “interfered in medical matters” at Bayern Munich, according to former team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt, who says the highly-rated coach thought he “knew everything better than I did”. Guardiola was drafted in to replace Jupp Heynckes in the Allianz Arena hot seat in the summer of 2013, inheriting a treble-winning squad brimming with world-class talent. The Spaniard had already established himself as arguably the finest manager in Europe by that time, after assembling one of the greatest teams in history at Barcelona between 2008 and 2012. As expected, Bayern continued to dominate the domestic scene in Germany with Guardiola at the helm, but he was unable to deliver success in Europe. The 49-year-old picked up seven major trophies during his time at the A...

Diego Simeone hails Yannick Carrasco’s impact in Barcelona draw

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has singled out midfielder Yannick Carrasco for praise, following their 2-2 La Liga draw at Barcelona. The Belgian international caused problems for Quique Setien’s side right from kick off at the Camp Nou, with the home defence struggling to contain him. He won a 14th minute penalty following a foul by Arturo Vidal, with Saul Niguez converting, after a retake was ordered following Diego Costa’s miss. The former AS Monaco star continued to pose a threat after the break, winning a second spot kick just after the hour mark, and Simeone was impressed at full time. “Carrasco did a good job tonight. He has found it difficult since coming back, and he put in a huge effort here,” he told a post match interview with Marca. “He played a decisive role tonight. Agai...

Champions League: UEFA revamp sets up exciting fortnight of football

The announcement that this season’s Champions League will culminate with a ‘final eight’ tournament in Portugal is an exciting development for the competition. The implementation of a straight knockout format from the quarter-final stage changes the dynamic of the tournament and should prove to be hugely attractive for fans. Read on as we take a closer look at the revised format for the Champions League and predict who we think will contest the final. Champions League Schedule The remaining round of 16 ties will take place on August 7 & 8, with the four winners progressing to the quarter-finals. Those ties will be played from August 12-15 as single-leg fixtures which will be hosted in the stadiums of Benfica and Sporting Lisbon. The two semi-finals will be staged in the same venues on ...

Chelsea, Manchester United, Leicester contact Philippe Coutinho’s agent over summer move

Premier League clubs Chelsea, Manchester United and Leicester have all reportedly contacted Philippe Coutinho’s agent ahead of a summer transfer. According to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo claims Chelsea remain Coutinho’s preferred choice but Newcastle have also unofficially registered an interest. Coutinho is currently on a season-long loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona but faces a fight to return before the end of the season following ankle surgery. Bayern have the option to make Coutinho’s move permanent but have been unwilling to meet Barceline’s £100million price tag. Recent reports claimed Bayern manager Hansi Flick had been hoping to extend the Coutinho’s deal until the Champions League is completed later this summer. Yet according to Mundo, Barcelona aim to have Coutinho sold by...

Romelu Lukaku didn’t lay ‘a finger’ on Chelsea’s Champions League trophy

Romelu Lukaku admits to having not laid “a finger” on the Champions League trophy when Chelsea conquered Europe in 2012, with the Belgian still resenting Andre Villas-Boas for leaving him out of a successful squad. The potential of a powerful Belgian striker was bought into by the Blues following the appointment of the Portuguese coach who was intended to follow in the footsteps of Jose Mourinho. However Villas-Boas would last only a matter of months at Stamford Bridge, with Roberto Di Matteo eventually replacing him on an initial interim basis. Chelsea went on to claim a maiden continental crown under the Italian tactician who had become a firm fan favourite in his playing days. Lukaku, who was just a teenager and made only 12 appearances in his debut campaign, was invited to travel with ...

Emmanuel Dennis reveals highlights of 2019/20 season

Club Brugge forward Emmanuel Dennis says his goals against Real Madrid and Manchester United are the highlights of his 2019/20 campaign. The young striker hugged the headlines in October after bagging a brace against Real Madrid in a Champions League group stage fixture, that ended 2-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu. The 22-year-old also scored a goal in a Europa League round of 32 first leg tie against Manchester United in February following his team’s demotion to the UEFA second tier club competition. Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports News, the Nigeria international said; “Against Manchester United was a highlight,” “Madrid is a big team, the best in the world, but I was disappointed because I wanted us to win and we drew. I wanted those three points.” “I was happy because I was speakin...

Didier Drogba: How Juan Mata helped me win Champions League trophy

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has revealed how his former Blues’ teammate, Juan Mata, helped him win the 2012 UEFA Champions League. Chelsea defeated Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties in the final to win their first Champions League trophy eight years ago at the Allianz Arena. Thomas Mueller put the host in front with eight minutes left to the end of the match before Didier Drogba equalised for the Premier League giant following an assist from Mata as the encounter ended 1-1 after 120 minutes. “Eight years ago, the manager [Andre Villas-Boas] had been sacked by the club and we, the players, had a team meeting where we recognised being partly responsible for his departure,” Drogba wrote on Twitter on Tuesday night. “The captain @johnterry spoke, @franklampard @petrcech and other leaders in the ...

Wayne Rooney: Park was just as important to Manchester United as Cristiano Ronaldo

Getty Images Wayne Rooney has said that former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung was just as crucial to the club’s success as Cristiano Ronaldo, with the South Korean’s willingness to sacrifice himself for the team as a whole critical to lifting titles. Park and Ronaldo spent four years together at Old Trafford, winning three consecutive Premier League trophies, a League Cup and the Champions League in that time before the latter left the club for Real Madrid in 2009. And while Ronaldo’s goals, skills, speed and trickery will always be at the top of the highlight reel when looking back at that side, Rooney feels that Park’s contributions were just as important as that of the Portuguese icon. “It’s crazy but if you mentioned Cristiano Ronaldo to a 12-year-old, they would immediately...

UEFA clarify comments on teams from abandoned leagues pre-qualifying for Champions League

UEFA has made clear a statement which implied that teams from abandoned leagues would need to pre-qualify for next season’s Champions League. European football’s governing body had issued confusing comments which implied that teams such as Paris Saint-Germain would need to enter the competition in the first qualifying round. PSG, who remain in this season’s Champions League, were awarded the Ligue 1 title as the season was cancelled last month. But UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin appeared to warn that clubs from abandoned leagues – such as in France, Holland and Belgium – would need to enter European competition at the preliminary stages. UEFA have now clarified their comments, confirming that only teams in the positions normally needing to pre-qualify will need to be ready to compete in...