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Ferdinand: I was close to joining Barcelona

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Ferdinand I was close to joining Barcelona

Manchester United icon Rio Ferdinand has admitted that at one point in his career he was close to moving to Barcelona.

Ferdinand spent 12 seasons in the Manchester United shirt, winning six English titles and one Champions League title. But now he has revealed that in 2008 he was close to Barcelona, ​​which was then led by Frank Rijkaard.

“It was actually after the game in Barcelona where we drew 0-0, in the tunnel after the game I spoke to him. 

“The problem with me going abroad, I always said I definitely wanted to go abroad and play, but the only thing that would ever have stopped me was if I was successful on home shores and I was lucky and fortunate to find a great club in Manchester United where it was going to be almost impossible for me to leave. 

“We beat them and went on to become European champions, so why would I leave the European champions to go to another team in transition. At that point Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, they weren’t the players they were three or four years later so it was a very different landscape at that time in Barcelona.”

SEE ALSO: Suarez chooses: Neymar vs Lautaro Martinez

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Suarez chooses: Neymar vs Lautaro Martinez

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Suarez chooses: Neymar vs Lautaro Martinez
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Luis Suarez has been Barcelona’s goalscoring talisman alongside Lionel Messi for quite some time now.

They used to be part of a lethal trident but Neymar’s departure left these two veterans forwards carrying the team. With the prospect of Neymar’s return looming large, will Suarez accept him back? Or does the Uruguayan forward now want Barcelona to bring in young Lautaro Martinez, a forward of immense potential?

With the transfer season coming close, here is what Luis thinks!

“It is difficult to talk about players today due to the situation in the world,” he told Mundo Deportivo.

“Talking about who could come in is complicated but I can speak about what they are like and they are huge players.

“Obviously, everyone knows Ney and we have a great appreciation for him in the dressing room which is indisputable as a player because he still has so much to give.

“He would always be welcome in this dressing room because of the affection we have for him. Lautaro is a player who has grown a lot in Italy and is a No. 9 with spectacular movement.

“That reflects what a great striker he is.”

But will Griezmann in the team and Lionel Messi indispensable, will it affect Suarez’s role in the team? When asked, Suarez spoke like a true leader who can put the team first. 

“It isn’t that you feel compatible but you feel happy that the club wants to sign players who can come in to help and fulfil the same objects as everyone else,” he said.

“We always want to win everything. Then when it comes to healthy competition, which there will always be, we’ll always be on the same side.

“So players who come to fight for a place in the team and help us will always be welcome. It will always be better and strengthen the group.”

See More: Lionel Messi Leaving Barcelona For Inter Milan Not Impossible: Moratti

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Former Barcelona star Ronaldinho out of jail!

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Former Barcelona star Ronaldinho out of jail!

Ronaldinho’s lawyer has paid a 1.6m-euro bail for the client and his brother to be released from prison in Asuncion, Paraguay.

For the past 32 days, the Brazilians have been behind bars for using false documents when entering the country. They are also accused of money laundering after being invited to be part of a children’s charity match by a casino owner. They have now been released.

The former football ace was supposed to defend himself from prison, but in the end the prosecution accepted the bail and placed him in a hotel in the city center. He will be under surveillance 24 hours a day to prevent him from returning to his native Brazil.

The Brazilian duo was arrested on March 6, unaware that they had committed a crime. In prison, the two were well received, given Ronaldinho’s popularity with football fans around the world.

Photos and videos released to the public showed that the Brazilian was in a great mood all the time, although the testimonies of the prisoners say that he struggled and had trouble accepting his fate.

These are not the first problems for Ronaldinho with the law. He was convicted in his home country of illegally building on a land. The fine they received is 7.5 million euros, which has not yet been paid, and because of that, their passports are in the hands of the Brazilian judiciary.

In his best days as a footballer, the Brazilian international won the Ballon d’Or, the Champions League title and became world champion with Brazil in 2002.

SEE ALSO: Messi, Rooney hailed as role models and inspiration in fight against CoVID-19

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Messi, Rooney hailed as role models and inspiration in fight against CoVID-19

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Messi, Rooney hailed as role models and inspiration in fight against CoVID-19
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In a time the world is struggling to fight off the pandemic of CoVID-19, people are looking for leaders and inspiration.

Sports Psychologist Tom Bates has hailed football icons Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney for showing the way. 

Of the thousands of players now accepting and iniating wage cuts of 70%, Lionel Messi was the first man to lead the way by reducing his wages at Barcelona. Wayne Rooney for his part not only spoke about letting go of his entire wage but also off the mental effect it can have on young, inspirational players encouraging thousands of inspirational footballing superstars of tomorrow to come forward and deal with their problems.

“The players that I have spoken with from the Premier League all the way through, they have different perspectives, naturally,” he told Stats Perform.

“One of the things that the guys have said is, ‘Well, actually at our club we are quite a wealthy club, so we could probably afford to keep our staff paid, but other clubs in different leagues won’t be able to do that’. Others feel like taking a pay cut to keep their staff on board is absolutely fine.

“The classic case is Leo Messi, who started this and was one of the first players to take a 70 per cent pay cut in order to make sure the staff at Barcelona were able to carry on working, and I think that really is a global example to everybody when you’re talking about that level in money in wages, and that type of athlete.

“I am very privileged: I have met Leo Messi and [Pep] Guardiola over there in Barcelona together as a team, and it doesn’t surprise me that they are leading the way with this.

“If there was going to be a global example of a player out there doing something for the greater good of their club – and he embodies that for me – so, in my professional opinion, if you can afford that and if you’re able to support by taking a pay cut, then clearly those who need it the most are going to benefit.”

On Rooney, he went on to say:

“Wayne is in many ways an ambassador, he is a cultural leader for the game, especially because what he has achieved at international level, and certainly to be continuing his career even now and still performing at a very high level encourages others to do the same,” Bates said.

“When you have somebody like Wayne come and be very open and very honest about mental health on a global level within the game, that can only be a good thing because it encourages others to have conversations, to open up conversations and be courageous enough to talk about their own mental health, and of course talking about it is the first step to improving it.”

See More: Suarez strikes: Barcelona board called out yet again!

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Gerard Pique to leave Barca in the summer

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Gerard Pique to leave Barca in the summer

Barcelona will be without one of their key players this summer. Spanish media claim that Gerard Pique was ready to leave the “Nou Camp”.

The media speculate that Pique has already announced the decision to the club’s leader and Lionel Messi that he will leave the club.

The 33-year-old has a contract with Barcelona until 2022, and his next destination should be the MLS league.

Don Balon announced that Pique’s wife, pop star Shakira, had agreed to move the family to Miami, and that Pique would wear the Inter Miami jersey owned by David Beckham.

Pique is just one of many players Beckham wants to bring to his team. David Silva, Sergio Busquets and Edinson Cavani are mentioned as potential reinforcements for Inter Miami.

SEE ALSO: Lionel Messi Leaving Barcelona For Inter Milan Not Impossible – Moratti

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Lionel Messi Leaving Barcelona For Inter Milan Not Impossible – Moratti

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Lionel Messi Leaving Barcelona For Inter Milan Not Impossible - Moratti

Former Inter Milan president, Massimo Moratti believes Lionel Messi’s move to the San Siro is not “a forbidden dream”.

Messi is in direct conflict with the Barcelona board members after several incidents that tested his patience.

First, it was Eric Abidal’s comments regarding the Barcelona players which Messi spoke out against. Then, the Argentine came forward and criticized the Camp Nou chiefs over their handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. He defended the player’s right to chose whether to give up their wages or not. Overall, the Catalan giants are really struggling to keep their star forward happy with his contract also due to end in June 2021.

“I don’t think it’s a forbidden dream at all. Maybe it wasn’t even before this misfortune,” Moratti told Radio Rai. “Messi is at the end of his contract and it would certainly be attempted to bring him home. I don’t know if this situation will change anything, but I think we will see strange things at the end of the year.”

Messi’s nemesis, Cristiano Ronaldo moved to the Serie A in 2018 and even challenged the Argentine to make the switch to Italy. Fans would be ecstatic to see these rivals go at each other in the same league once again.

Barcelona are interested in signing Lautaro Martinez from Inter. Moratti suggested that the striker could be used as an exchange piece for Messi. “He [Martinez] is a very good lad, he cares about his career,” Moratti said. “But, as I said before, we have to see if it’s part of an operation for bigger players like Messi.”

READ MORE: Barcelona All-Time Top Scorers

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Why Barcelona failed to bring Neymar back in summer 2019

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Why Barcelona failed to bring Neymar back in summer 2019

The newspaper that is considered close to Barcelona – “Mundo Deportivo”, revealed the latest offer with which the Catalan giant wanted to return the Brazilian international Neymar to the “Nou Camp” which in 2017 was sold to PSG for a record 222 million. euros.

As the summer transfer window approaches, the information that Barça will try to secure the services of the winger again is becoming more frequent. On that occasion, the Catalan daily revealed that at the end of the previous summer transfer window, Neymar was offered to PSG, by the reigning Spanish champions.

The Barça package included Croatian international Ivan Rakitic, then 20-year-old defender Jean-Clair Todibo, who is currently on loan at Schalke, while France international Ousmane Dembele was due to go on a one-year loan deal. In addition to these three, Barça was ready to spend 130 million euros for compensation.

PSG responded that they accept the offer, but asked for another 150 million. euros. Neymar immediately informed both sides that he was ready to give 20 million euros just to equalize the difference between what Barça is offering and what PSG is looking for. However, he would have done so only if he had been promised that the money would be returned to him within a year, through the salary he would have earned at the Nou Camp.

Such an ultimatum from Neymar was not accepted by the leaders of Barça, which already have a hige expenses when it comes to the salaries of the players, because they allocate 391 million per year. euros, i.e 83% of the club’s annual budget. For that reason, Neymar’s long-awaited comeback in the ranks of the Catalan giant Barça failed.

SEE ALSO: Neymar Lacks The Professionalism To Be Great Like Messi Or Ronaldo – Zico

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Neymar Lacks The Professionalism To Be Great Like Messi Or Ronaldo – Zico

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Neymar Lacks The Professionalism To Be Great Like Messi Or Ronaldo - Zico

Neymar needs to be more professional like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, according to Brazil’s Zico.

The former great has recognized the one problem that has been halting Neymar from being great in his career.

We are all aware of the 28-year-old’s lavish lifestyle in Paris, the birthday party he hosted just a couple of days ahead of PSG’s clash with Nantes. He has maintained an incredible scoring tally of 69 goals in 80 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit but at what cost? Neymar came to the side at a record-breaking fee of €222m but after three seasons is yet to lead PSG to Champions League success.

“I really like Ney, his way of playing is incredible. But he has to be more professional like Ronaldo and Messi, who live for football,” Zico told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Ney has too many thoughts that distract him. I spoke to him recently and asked him to be more professional. He is 28 years old now and there is a good team at PSG. They can win the Champions League. It will depend on his quality throughout the tournament, not just for one match. Now Ney has more experience and maturity.”

Neymar tried to force a PSG exit last summer but was unsuccessful. He did commit to finding success with the French side but it is unlikely that he will stay for the remainder of his contract. Can we expect a return to the Camp Nou?

READ MORE: 5 Barcelona Players Leaving

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Barcelona set to lose millions as Umtiti transfer closes in

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Barcelona set to lose millions as Umtiti transfer closes in
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Barcelona it would seem had already resigned to the sale of Samuel Umtiti this summer.

The French World Cup Winner was bought for an expensive price and has failed to live up to his hype at the club. It is now being rumored that he will be let go off in the summer, should they get the correct bid. 

He has very often been injured and whenever he has played he has not been up to the mark. Moreover, with the introduction of Lenglet at Nou Camp, Umtiti has lost his first-team spot completely. 

Amidst this situation, rose another – Umtiti wanted to be sold. There was no dearth of suitors as Premier League clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United made their interest in him clear.

Arsenal are still being considered favorites as they have ramped up their efforts to sign the defender. However, the current situation has seen markets dip if not crash yet and Barcelona are now concerned that Umtiti’s valuation has gone down.

They were expecting to earn £50 million in his sale from any suitor but are now afraid that with the market down they will not get anywhere near £40 million either. Keeping the player is no option either as they need to move him to free up salary and prepare funds for other targets.

See more: Messi confirms 70% pay cut while criticizing Barcelona board

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Barcelona Should Prioritize Bringin Neymar Back Over Lautaro Martinez – Rivaldo

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Barcelona Should Prioritize Bringin Neymar Back Over Lautaro Martinez - Rivaldo

Former Barcelona ace, Rivaldo believes reuniting Neymar with Lionel Messi should be a priority.

The Catalan giants are invested in bringing Lautaro Martinez to Camp Nou this summer. However, Rivaldo thinks bringing Neymar back should top that wish after a very troubled season.

“The rumours are growing about Barcelona’s intention to sign Neymar and Lautaro Martinez in the next transfer window,” Rivaldo wrote in his column for Betfair (via Onefootball).

“Although the young Argentinian is a good player, I think that only Neymar is a certain bet to claim a place in the starting XI side by side with Messi. Looking at the last few years we have seen many valuable players who didn’t manage to play alongside Messi – failing to perform under the expectations.

“But Neymar – like Luis Suarez – is one of the few players in the world that doesn’t feel pressure on the pitch, always playing with plenty of personality. He never gets frightened and it would be a safe option for the club while Martinez is a young, talented forward that perhaps in two or three years may become a good signing.

“For now I think the club should prioritise Neymar. I’m a fan of his qualities and personality and I know that sometimes I’m liable to criticism as some Barcelona fans didn’t like the way Neymar decided to leave the club.

“But the truth is that he is a different player now who should be a nice help to Messi and co. in trying to win another Champions League.”

READ MORE: Top 5 most carded Barcelona players

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