Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ramos: "I would love to win the Ballon d'Or"

Real Madrid and 'La Roja' defender,Sergio Ramos, has said today that he feels he is at the "most important" point of his life right now, having become a father and putting in a "great season" with his club, in addition to winning the Champions League.
"I'm at my best. I've had a great year, both on a personal and professional front. Let's hope it continues for the World Cup in Brazil. The whole Spanish national squad have to give it every last drop of sweat", he said.
"I would love to win the Ballon d'Or, but honestly, I'm not even thinking about it. In the end, individual titles are achieved with the help of all your teammates. It isn't Sergio Ramos's 'Decima', it's everyone's. There are lots of people who have worked hard to win the title. It's been a great year for all 'Madridistas'".
Prior to being presented with the City of Seville Medal by the Seville City Council, Ramos admitted that he has nothing to complain about and that he has had some "really great" experiences this year, describing becoming a father as one of the "happiest" moments of his life, with the added "bonus" of the Champions League victory which "rounds the year off perfectly".
"This is the most important time of my life and the truth is that I'm loving it. I'm really happy about becoming a father and about having had a great season. Those things all add up and make you grow emotionally" the Real Madrid star

Agüero wants to go to Barça with Messi

Leonel del Castillo,Sergio Agüero's father, assured on Esports COPE that his son "would love to go to Barcelona" to be able to playalongside Messi. Barça would love to take him on board but Manchester City insists that the player is not for sale.
Kun's father admitted that the chances of his son leaving the Premier to strut his stuff back in Spain are slight. "Manchester City make it impossible", he lamented.
Barcelona have revealed that the club is willing to fork out €38 million for the forward, but in England the word is that City won't even think about it until the figure sits at around €100 million.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

"Xavi is the architect of Barça"

The president of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell has nothing but praise for midfielder Xavi Hernandez who has just received the Agrupació Barça Jugadors (ABJ) award for fair play. As far as Rosell is concerned, he is the "architect" of the team which wouldn't be what it is today without him. He also described him as the best Spanish player in terms of numbers and statistics.
"Barça's game cannot be understood without Xavi... it would be harder for others to score without him, and he, together with Iniesta, Busquets and Messi invented 'tiki taka'. It's Xavi's trademark. Barça wouldn't be the same without him and we are very proud that he is part of our family." Rosell said at the award ceremony.
Rosell also believes Xavi is a great football player and an even better person. "He's a legend at Barça. Time always sets the record straight, and before too long when he is a coach - a proposal I second - we will realize everything Xavi has done (for the club) and say, 'Wow, amazing!'. He has helped to make Barça what it is today, a respected and admired club. He has had a hand in making it happen."
"I love statistics, and if we look at the figures, they don't lie - Xavi has made almost 700 appearances for Barça and, in terms of numbers, he is the best ever Spanish player." he concluded.

"I can't imagine Messi not playing," says Simeone

The Atlético manager looked ahead to this Saturday's game against Barcelona. "It's going to be a huge game and a beautiful one to be involved in. We'll use everything at our disposal to try and win," said Simeone.
The Argentine praised Barça and its manager, his fellow countryman Gerardo Martino. "Barcelona has an amazing squad. They're quicker, more direct and have a crossover game, which makes them very dangerous. They're better one on one and are more direct which also makes them more dangerous. Martino has given more options to a side which already had plenty," he said.
Regarding Messi's presence in the game, Simeone said: "I'm very pleased that Messi is fit and I wish him all the best because, as an Argentine, we need him to win the World Cup. It would be tough to see this game without Messi. I cannot imagine him not playing, although it's always a possibility."
He was also asked about his 'game at a time' philosophy. "I've thought the same ever since I arrived at the club. We have a better chance if we take it a game at a time. We're taking things as they come and are leading the pack", he explained.
El Cholo commented on the differences between Barça and Atlético and what type of game can be expected. "They're better than us individually. We focus on teamwork and keeping it tight on the pitch. We're stronger as a team and we challenge as such. Regarding the game, I think they'll see more of the ball than us and I expect a similar game to that of the Spanish Super Cup," he concluded.
He finally talked about what Atlético is about. "Historically, we're the people's team," he said.

Liga - Barcelona angry after Rosell targeted over Neymar contract

Barcelona have reacted angrily to a request by the state prosecutor to open proceedings against club president Sandro Rosell for the alleged misappropriation of funds in last year's purchase of Neymar.

The Brazil forward signed for the Spanish champions in the close season for 57.1 million euros, of which 17.1 million euros went to his former club Santos.
Barca club member Jordi Cases filed a complaint seeking clarification over what happened to the remaining 40 million euros and on Friday the state prosecutor asked the judge overseeing the case to open proceedings against Rosell, who denies wrongdoing.
The judge has yet to rule on the prosecutor's request.
"Barcelona Football Club wishes to express its most energetic indignation about the report by the state prosecutor on the signing of Neymar Da Silva Santos Junior," Barca said in a statement on their website ( on Saturday.
"The operation to sign Neymar Da Silva Santos Junior was complex, an example of business engineering, and we have repeatedly expressed the confidential nature of some of its agreements," they added.
"Our rivals were prepared to conduct the same operation for much more money but (FC Barcelona) won through thanks to the skill and expertise of its negotiating team.
"This contractual complexity, labelled by the prosecutor in his report as 'contractual simulation', never constitutes a crime in itself.
"We believe the prosecutor is making a mistake in believing otherwise. Faced with the seriousness of these facts, and despite a belief in the good faith of the legal authorities, we will act forcefully to defend the honour of (FC Barcelona) and its president

Bundesliga - Ribery: Ballon d'Or is either now or never for me

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has conceded that it is ‘now or never’ for him to win the Ballon d’Or.

The France international is up for the FIFA prize alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and the 30-year-old has admitted that it is his time to collect the individual honour.
"Messi and Ronaldo are two great players who score a great amount of goals, but let's not compare our stats. Our styles are different," he told L’Equipe.
"I've done everything, I avoided injuries and I've given regular performances. Ronaldo scores a lot of goals, but Messi is always the best player in the world, though he experienced some injuries this year.
"I've done everything. It's hard to give more. I've played all the games, won all the trophies and I've been decisive.
“I'm confident, I have every chance. It's now or never, I'm 30. 
"If I win it, my thoughts will go to my wife and father. They were always behind me, even when things were tough. [But] I'm fine, I don't always think of the Ballon d'Or, I don't need sleeping pills.
"For me, the Ballon d'Or would be a revenge for all I've endured. Something extraordinary. If I don't win it? Life will continue, even if it would be a great deception. I won't stop my career. It's quite the opposite. I want to have fun with Bayern and win everything again. I also want to have a good World Cup with France."

European Match of the Weekend: Atletico Madrid v Barcelona

Atletico Madrid can banish any lingering doubts about their title credentials when they hostBarcelona on Saturday but will have to subdue a resurgent Lionel Messi if they are to vanquish the champions.
It has been almost 20 years since the Spanish capital's second club mounted a genuine challenge for the La Liga crown as Barca and Real Madrid, the world's two richest teams by income, have shared the spoils apart from brief flurries of success from Valencia and Deportivo La Coruna. And what last season seemed unthinkable could become much more plausible if they beat the reigning champions on Saturday.
Last season's third place was the best Atletico had managed since they won a league and Copa del Rey double in 1996 and they even spent two seasons in the second division at the start of the millennium.
Current coach Diego Simeone, a former Argentina midfielder who was in the 1996 team, has revived memories of those glory days since he took over at the end of 2011, honing a mean defence and getting the best out of players like forward Diego Costa and midfielder Koke.
Atletico, the Copa del Rey holders, have won all their matches at their Calderon stadium this season apart from the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup in August when they drew 1-1 with Barca.
Victory on Saturday would put them three points clear of the Catalan giants with half the season played, while Atletico's city rivals Real Madrid are five points behind in third and play at Espanyol on Sunday.
Koke, who earned a call-up to the Spain squad last year, has played a key role in Atletico's resurgence, developing a lethal partnership with Costa and netting some important goals himself, including the winner in Saturday's 1-0 victory at Malaga.
However, beating Barca to head the standings at the halfway stage of the campaign would be a mere "anecdote" as what counted was the state of play at the climax of the season in May, he warned on Wednesday.
"It is irrelevant if you win this match if in the end you have not achieved your objectives," he told a news conference that coincided with his 22nd birthday.
One man who will be itching to spoil Atletico's party is World Player of the Year Messi, who came off the bench and scored twice on his return from injury in Wednesday's 4-0 last 16, first leg success at home to Getafe in the cup.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ribéry: "If I win the Ballon d'Or, it will be for Bayern"

Franck Ribéry may have the face of a film villain, but he is really a very friendly guy when you get to know him. His small stature and his little legs, which seem to make him fly rather than run, are another surprising aspect. The famous scar on his face – which he got in a traffic accident at the age of two – is something that has propelled him forward, overcoming adversity to get where he is today.

Q: Let's get straight to the point. Many people believe you will win the Ballon d'Or award. Would you feel aggrieved if it went to someone else?
A: Of course I want to win it! I would like to get it because of all the work in my career, coming through the bad times and because I think I'm at my peak. If I win it, it will be a victory for my family, my wife and for Bayern. For our great year.

Q: What would you put your recent form down to?
A: I've learnt to look after myself and recover after playing. You have to be very professional at the age of 30 to be in shape and improve every day.

Q: Is it true that you could have signed for Real Madrid a few years ago?
A: (Laughs). I'm happy now and enjoying playing well. The past is the past. In fact, I hope to finish my career at Bayern (Ribéry is now in his seventh season with Munich).

Q: Can you understand why your teammate Karim Benzema has been widely criticised in your country and at Real?
A: It's true that Karim has been having a hard time. But he has scored in France's last two games and I think this has given him more confidence. I think he has overcome his difficulties.

"The ref decided the game"

Sergio Ramos was not remotely satisfied with referee Undiano Mallenco in the 'Clásico'. The Real Madrid captain claims that his side was dealt a rough hand and that this was one of the main reasons for losing.

"There are things you can't do anything about. I've said it before. The ref decided the result," stated the Spaniard.

Specifically, Ramos believes that the referee from Navarre punished Real Madrid by not marking two clear penalties: one for a handball by Adriano and another for a push by Mascherano on Ronaldo. "The penalties were blatant," blasted the international defender.

Everyone could see that except him

After the game, Carlo Ancelotti complained about the defeat: "The second half was very good. We were in control of the game and had some good chances. It was quite obviously a penalty - everyone could see that except the referee".

"With Sergio Ramos I was looking for more stability in midfield. I talked to Sergio and he was quite happy to play there. And we didn’t play with three defending midfielders as Modric isn't one. Marcelo and Carvajal played to attack. Barça didn't attack all that much either. Just Messi and Neymar were up front", he said of the formation.

Ancelotti also mentioned Gareth Bale: "He was on for an hour and he didn't play badly. He played on the right and then in the middle, first of all putting pressure on Busquets, and then on the wing to find more space.