About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool ace Mane: No-one saying we overpaid for Van Dijk nowby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool ace Sadio Mane says no-one can say they “overpaid” for Virgil van Dijk today.The Dutch centre-back produced another dominant performance in Friday’s 2-0 win at Wolves which kept the Reds’ title challenge on track.“It’s been a big, big impact. We’ve all seen it,” Mane said.“Of course at the time he signed people were thinking that the club had over-paid for Virgil.“But since then everyone has forgotten about the fee because his form has been so good. He’s done such a great job for us back there. I am so happy to have him as a team-mate.“He’s one of the leaders. You can see it in every single game. He has proved he’s one of the best defenders in the world.”Van Dijk also wrapped up the points at Molineux with his first Premier League goal for the Reds with a classy finish from Mo Salah’s cross. Mane is convinced there will be many more to come.“I said to Virgil: ‘Finally, you have scored in the Premier League for us!'” Mane joked.“It had been a long time. Everyone is happy for him and he’s such a good player that I’m sure that more goals will follow for him.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Nantes coach Halilhodzic upset with Kita over Cardiff Sala talksby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNantes coach Vahid Halilhodzic is demanding club owner Waldemar Kita keep hold of Emiliano Sala.Kita is locked in talks with Cardiff City about a fee for the striker – a move which Halihodzic is unhappy about.The coach said, “If I’m not happy, I know what I’ll have to do, do not worry.”We must understand why the president wants to sell a player while the club is in deficit. But who will assume if the club goes down in Ligue 2? There can be many things happening. “Football is a liar in poker.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Lindelof: I’m a better person for Man Utd moveby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United defender Victor Lindelof is happy to put down roots.The Swede penned a new deal this week.He told the club’s website: ““I think I’ve matured a bit more in my way of playing and upped my game a little bit more. Also, the things that I’m good at I’m even better now than I was before. Then, as a person, the club have helped me a lot, as have the players, and I think I’m a better person now.“I hope [I can develop] a lot, I want to be even better and I want to help the team win trophies and games. I want to improve and be even better than I am today, that’s my main goal, and I know I have to work very hard to achieve that. I think I’m at the right club to do that.”
About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Chelsea hero Nevin explains Lampard’s secret weaponby Ansser Sadiq9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea legend Pat Nevin has spoken about the secret weapon in the hands of manager Frank Lampard.Nevin spoke about the style of the team and the intensity of their play this season.And he believes that a “secret weapon” that Lampard possesses could be his ability to get maximum effort from every single player.While Chelsea have issues with parts of their game, Nevin cannot help but admire the work ethic of the team in every game under Lampard.In an interview with the club website, Nevin said: “For all the positives we have enjoyed so far this season, including the exciting style, the large number of goals and the hope that has been brought for the future, it is the total effort we love. “Every single player has been pressed to give their best every time by a coach who was exactly like that throughout his career with the Blues. “It may well be that this is Frank’s secret weapon, one that I can promise you not every coach has in his armoury. “We Chelsea fans in the stands and around the world admire, like and respect Frank. “It would appear that everybody in that dressing room feels the same way too.”Long may it last because that is precisely how you get the best out of any group of players.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Juventus chief Paratici confirms Mandzukic exit plansby Paul Vegas2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveJuventus sporting director Fabio Paratici admits they’re ready to sell Mario Mandzukic.Paratici has opened the door for Mario Mandzukic to start training with another side ahead of a January transfer move.The striker is still being linked with Manchester United.”We are talking to Mandzukic to find the best possible solution,” Paratici told Sky Italia.”We remain open to any scenario, so staying here or going elsewhere. We are discussing it to find the best solution for both parties.”Mandzukic is not training with us, in agreement with the club. If the agreement changes, I am open to everything.”
SYRACUSE, NY – MARCH 27: Former Basketball player Earvin “Magic” Johnson claps in the second half of the game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Oklahoma Sooners during the East Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Carrier Dome on March 27, 2015 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)Magic Johnson, perhaps the greatest player in the history of the Michigan State men’s basketball program, is in attendance at the Spartans’ NCAA Tournament game vs. Georgia this afternoon. Johnson, who starred in Lansing from 1977-79, leading MSU to a national championship his final season, is watching No. 7 seed MSU take on No. 10 seed Georgia in the Second Round. The 55-year-old NBA legend had quite an audience around him at halftime. [email protected], your thoughts on the first half? #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/UBzuQ8LSKV— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 20, [email protected] taking time to sign autographs and photos at the half of MSU game #classact #gospartans pic.twitter.com/Y863b05KFD— Chris Brislin (@brizbear13) March 20, 2015Magic Johnson spending halftime with some Michigan State fans pic.twitter.com/g0azEcLtC0— Kyle Austin (@kylebaustin) March 20, 2015Johnson witnessed a pretty impressive performance by the Spartans in the first half, as they lead the Bulldogs, 35-22, after 20 minutes. Michigan State and Georgia’s game is being televised on truTV.
Barcelona midfielder Arthur says that he has learned from “the best player in history” Lionel Messi while also building confidence thanks to his relationship with Brazil team-mate Neymar.The Brazilian joined Barcelona this past summer 20 total appearances for the club since moving from Gremio.He’s rapidly become a steady presence in the midfield for the club, who sit atop the La Liga standings. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Arthur credits Messi for helping him assimilate to the team, saying the Argentinian star has given him the confidence needed to find his way at a massive club.”Honestly I didn’t expect it. He’s a guy I admire and, in my opinion and many other people’s, he’s the best player in history,” Arthur said, according to Globoesporte.”He gave me a lot of confidence, he helped me in training and in games. If the best player in the world praises you, I think that gives you some extra confidence.”I am really grateful for his words and the attitude he has with me and everyone else in the dressing room.”Messi isn’t the only star to help out the young Brazilian as Neymar has also played a big part in his development.Arthur recently said he is praying for his countryman to return to Barcelona but, even if he doesn’t, the midfielder says he remains close friends with the Paris Saint-Germain star.”[It] began with the national team. He’s a simple guy, really playful,” he said.”We’ve got close, he helped me a lot with Brazil. When I came to Barcelona, I called me to do dinner, to do something, to meet up.”Online I play video games with him. We speak nearly every day. When he plays on my side, he wins, but when he’s against me, he loses.”Arthur has earned the praise of former Barca star Xavi, who says that the midfielder reminds him of himself when he was younger.The midfielder says he looked up to both Xavi and Iniesta and, now wearing the latter’s No. 8 shirt, Arthur hopes to continue on the legacy of great Barca midfielders. “I always admited [Xavi] . Everything he did, I tried to do the same,” he said. “He’s a phenomenon. It’s much more cerebral than anything else.” “It’s special to use the shirt of your idol,” he added of Iniesta. “I felt really happy to get his number and I hope I can honour a shirt which has given so much joy to the Barca fans.”
Manchester United are set to participate in next season’s EFL Trophy for the first time in their history.The Red Devils will enter a team comprised largely of Under-21 players as they make their debut in the competition.The rules of the EFL Trophy state that at least six of the club’s starting line-up must be 21 years old or younger as of June 30. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Additionally, no more than two of the players over 21 can have made more than 40 first-team appearances, also as of June 30.United’s Head of Academy, Nicky Butt, explained that the motivation for entering the tournament was to provide young players with the opportunity to test themselves against older, more experienced opposition.“We are looking forward to being involved in the EFL Trophy next season,” Butt said on Manchester United’s official website.“The competition provides a range of experiences that will act as the ideal platform for the development of our homegrown talent.”We are always looking to be innovative in order to find the best development path for our young players; the opportunity to face senior opponents will benefit them greatly.”United will be hoping to blood promising youngsters such as Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood in the tournament, as they look to younger players in a bid to improve on a disappointing season.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope that participation in the competition spurs the development of some of his young players along enough for them to make an impact in the first team as they bid to return to the Champions League in the 2020/21 season.Liverpool will also be involved for the first time, meaning that every one of the Premier League’s top six clubs are participating in the competition, with 10 other sides also invited to enter their youth teams, alongside the 48 senior teams from League One and League Two.Last season, Portsmouth ran out winners after a penalty shootout victory over fellow League One outfit Sunderland following a 2-2 draw, beating both Tottenham’s and Arsenal’s youth teams en route to the final.The Gunners were debutants themselves last year and made it to the first knockout stage, but were bested by the eventual winners. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi has compared Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s physique to that of Cristiano Ronaldo’s as he backed the Swede’s ability to still cut it in Serie A.Despite turning 38 in October, Ibrahimovic continues to fire freely in the MLS for LA Galaxy with 13 goals from just 16 games this season. Ronaldo is similarly ageing gracefully, striking 21 times last season for Juventus in Serie A having turned 34 in February. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? With Ibrahimovic contracted in America until the end of 2019, Moggi has called on Italian side Fiorentina to contemplate signing a striker with a physical build like Ronaldo. “This would be something not useful, but more. Zlatan has a biological body that allows him to make the best even at his age, just like Cristiano Ronaldo,” Moggi told FirenzeViola. “He is sowing victories everywhere, even in America. “Certainly it will not be as easy in Serie A, but the goals have to be made wherever we go to play and, if he came to Fiorentina, even for the youth players it would be fantastic because they could perhaps learn something more from him that not even the coach is able to give.”But it is obvious that he is no longer the player he used to be.”While backing Ibrahimovic to have a big impact in Italy, Moggi isn’t convinced the likes of Suso and Franck Ribery could have the same impact. “Suso and Ribery I have doubts that they can be useful, it takes a player who gives substance like him,” he said. After spending his career in Europe playing for the likes of Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Inter, AC Milan and Juventus, Ibrahimovic has found America’s approach to the MLS frustrating. Recently asked about the play-off approach in the MLS, the Swedish star didn’t hold back in his assessment. “I think the system is sh*t,” Ibrahimovic told reporters in LA earlier this month. “How can you learn mentality if you only have to reach the playoffs?””You just need to win the play-offs, and that’s it. The results in each game are important, but here, if you come in seventh place, you make the playoffs and win, you are champion.”For me, the mentality is every day, training the way you train is the way you play a game, and with the MLS system, how do you create that mentality to be in your toes 24 hours? It’s very difficult.”
The arrival of Alisson from Roma in a record £65m ($84m) transfer in 2018-19 means that Liverpool’s chronic goalkeeper woes have finally been dealt with.Jurgen Klopp has found a solution to a long-running problem in the form of the Brazil number one, whose prowess between the posts means he should make the position his own at Anfield in the coming years.However, the Reds are also priming themselves for the future and featured in the ranks of the senior team this season is 20-year-old shot-stopper Caoimhin Kelleher, just a few years after his arrival on Merseyside. Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Indeed, the youngster could well be called into action sooner rather than later, with injuries affecting Reds goalkeepers Alisson and Adrian.For those unfamiliar with Kelleher, Goal brings you everything you need to know about him, including his previous clubs, experience and, crucially, how to pronounce his name!Who is Caoimhin Kelleher? Caoimhin Kelleher is a goalkeeper who plays for Premier League side Liverpool and the Republic of Ireland at international level.He was born on November 23, 1998 in Cork, a city in the south of Ireland and came through the ranks of his local team Ringmahon Rangers.Interestingly, he began his playing days for Ringmahon as a striker before making the transition to goalkeeper at the age of 14 after the team’s original net-minder quit.A former coach remarked in an interview with the Cork Evening Echo that Kelleher regularly scored 20 and 30 goals a season before donning the gloves permanently.He excelled as a goalkeeper and soon earned national recognition, representing the Cork Youth League in nationwide tournaments before going on to play for Ireland at youth level.Liverpool signed Kelleher from Ringmahon in the summer of 2015 and he has ascended from the Under-18 team into the Under-23 side, as well as becoming a member of the first-team squad.The summer of 2018 saw the Cork native take a massive stride into the mind of Klopp, who brought the teenager along with the first team to compete in the International Champions Cup.He replaced Loris Karius at half-time in a 2-1 win over Manchester City before keeping a clean sheet after coming off the bench in the 4-1 win against Manchester United. He also featured in a friendly victory over Blackburn Rovers.Kelleher’s progress was duly rewarded in August that year, when he put pen to paper on a long-term deal.“I’ve been doing the same things but getting better every day,” he told the club’s official website. “Training at Melwood, you improve much more. Alisson and Simon and Kamil are here and we train to the highest level every day.”In: Michael Obafemi, Caoimhin KelleherOut: Shane Long, Derrick WilliamsNew call up for training: #IRLU19 captain & @ManUtd defender Lee O’Connor.Full squad update: https://t.co/2vdDwP6AN1 #COYBIG pic.twitter.com/fORxdnSi0g — FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) November 12, 2018 At international level, he has represented the Boys in Green Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 teams.Having been included in the senior panel on a number of occasions, he will be aiming to put pressure on Darren Randolph in the coming years.Kelleher hails from a football-loving family and his brother Fiacre is a former Ireland youth international who currently plays for Macclesfield Town, having previously played for Celtic and Oxford United.What does Jurgen Klopp think of him?While Klopp has a strong array of goalkeeper options at Anfield, it is clear that he rates Kelleher very highly.”He is an outstanding talent. Outstanding,” the German coach said shortly after Kelleher signed a new deal in 2018. “[He is] very cool with the ball, you saw that in pre-season when he played in front of 100,000 people, that he wasn’t bothered about that which is a very important skill to have.”For most of his youth he was an outfield player, he has fantastic reactions. If nothing serious happens, he will have a really fantastic future.”I don’t know how many really good goalkeepers that Ireland have but one more is never a big problem. I like him a lot and he will be in our squad.”How do you pronounce Caoimhin Kelleher’s name? Caoimhin is the Irish equivalent to the English name Kevin and it is pronounced ‘ Kwee-Veen’. In some parts of Ireland the pronunciation of Caoimhin is slightly different, with ‘ Kee-Vin ‘ sometimes heard. Should Kelleher continue his ascent and carve out a career for himself in senior football, commentators are sure to have difficulties pronouncing his name.Those unfamiliar with Irish names (which can be famously baffling to those outside of Ireland) may recoil aghast when confronted with the collection of letters forming the Liverpool starlet’s first name.You can hear Kelleher’s pronunciation in the video above.Caoimhin Kelleher’s FIFA stats Given his age and relative inexperience, Kelleher’s FIFA 19 stats are not particularly eye-catching, but his potential ability suggests that he has what it takes to be a decent Premier League or Championship goalkeeper.Caoimhin Kelleher’s detailed FIFA 19 stats Overall Rating DIV HAN KIC REF SPE POS 58 58 54 52 60 37 55 In FIFA 19, his overall rating is 58, with his reflexes deemed to be his strongest attribute at 60. Kelleher’s diving is rated 58 and his positioning is slightly lower at 55, while his speed is clearly his weakest skill.With a price tag of roughly £200k in the EA Sports game, he might well be considered a bargain buy, particularly if he manages to live up to expectations. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web