December 15th, 2014
Former Tottenham midfielder Gica Popescu has been sentenced to prison for three years for tax evasion and laundering of money.
His former team mate Gheorghe Hagi has said that he would not attend Romania’s international matches in person. He has said that he had no intentions or desires to go and watch the matches of the national team while his former team mate Gica Popescu was behind bars. Gheorghe is a midfielder who was at its best at the world cup of 1994 and also told the local media that the local football authorities had not doing anything much considerable to save and help the former captain of Romania. Not watching the international matches in solidarity is a form of his protest.
Some of the Romanian team members along with Gheorghe had gone to pay a visit to Gica. They wanted to express their best wishes and support on his birthday. Gica has been sentenced in prison for a term of three years and a month. As told by a former defender for Romania, Daniel Prodan, he was very happy to see them and know that they were there for him. It was a way of showing and telling him that he has not been forgotten and that they were all there right beside him. Gica had a very flourishing career. He had been named the player of the year in Romania six times. It is believed that soon he was also going to become the president of the domestic football federation. He was among some of the favorites. It has come to the news that Gica along with seven more people were connected to the game that was guilty of damaging the state. It was almost a sum of 1.7m Euros in unpaid taxes and hand in hand several clubs had lost 10m Euros. This was because the officials had registered false sums of money for the transfers of almost 12 players between the time period of 1999 and 2005.
September 29th, 2014
Arsene Wenger feels that midfielder Jack Wilshere has finally silenced his critics after scoring a goal in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City. The media have been extremely critical of the 22-year-old England international, despite having hailed was one of the greatest prospects for England since the days of Wayne Rooney. Wilshere, for his part, has also been called in a number of scandals like smoking cigarettes. This is certainly not helped his performances, as the midfielder has been consistently overshadowed by the likes of Aaron Ramsey even within Arsenal.
The midfielder, though, returned to form with a sublime finish against City on Saturday that finally appeared to show the quality within their shoulders. Wenger has been extremely protective of his star player in the last few months. The Frenchman even failed to discuss about will have publicly when he was caught smoking for the second time in the space of a few months. Wilshere’s goal was of extreme importance, as its absence would have seen Arsenal suffer a defeat for the first time this season. Even though Arsenal have been involved in several draws in the early stages of this league campaign, a defeat against one of their title rivals will be very disappointing for the morale of the team.
“The best place to answer critics is on the pitch. That’s what Jack did, but I don’t believe we can explain his good performance through the criticism of Paul Scholes. But you have to respond to critics when you’re in a public job. You have accept criticism, go on the pitch and show you have the talent. The most important thing is to go show how good you are. Jack finished with his right foot and chipped a goalkeeper who knows him well,” said Wenger, who also defended German international Mesut Ozil after a poor performance.
August 18th, 2014
The new boss of Barcelona, Luis Enrique has the pressure and challenge of restoring the glory days for the Spanish club and hopefully erases all of the misery that arrived during the time when Gerardo Martino was in charge of the club and could not win a single major trophy.
Barcelona has spent well over €140 million during this transfer window and this sum of money might turn even higher if more players join the Spanish club. Luis Enrique was the man chosen to guide all of these new players and find a winning combination with Messi and the rest of the titans.
Winning the Spanish League is one of their primary goals but even with all these new arrivals to the team nothing is secured and Enrique has the added pressure of not being able to utilize all of his latest arrivals to the squad in the start of the season.
Luis Suarez is still banned after biting Giorgio Chiellini during the 2014 World Cup, Xavi Hernandez is out injured with a calf injury, Neymar is completing his last stages of his recovery but remains unknown if he will be able to perform at the start of the season. The Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen is another casualty and one of the latest players that have picked up an injury is Marc –Andre Stegen.
Even with all of these injuries, Enrique should still be able to cope with the absence of all these players but if they continue on picking up more setbacks it’s something that can cause major concern for Enrique as any amount of negative results could result in Barcelona falling short once more and having to settle with a 2nd or even 3rd place in the Spanish League. This is what happened in the last season where Barcelona lost their grasp and allowed Athletic Madrid to take full advantage as they finished the season by lifting the league title.
July 8th, 2014
In this summer transfer window it seems like Real Madrid is attempting to sign all the major stars around the globe as the Spanish club is constantly being linked with: Toni Kroos, James Rodriguez, Luis Suarez and even Paul Pogba.
James Rodriguez was not such a well-known player compared to Paul Pogba or others, but the Colombian attacker has made his presence felt as he displayed world class abilities which helped his country in advancing through the group stages of the 2014 World Cup. The 22 year old player managed to score in every single match he played at the international stage for Colombia and this has sparked the interest of clubs around the world.
The father of James Rodriguez, Wilson James Rodriguez has already revealed that the promising star is interested in playing for Real Madrid as he told reporters.
“Since he was very little he was saying he wanted to play professionally in Spain because it is similar to Colombian football, with great technique. They have players such as Ronaldo. For the style of football, he prefers Real Madrid. James aspires to achieve great things. Zidane was his idol when he was playing for Real Madrid.” Wilson James Rodriguez stated.
Real Madrid recently confirmed their interest in signing the Colombian star but it still remains unclear as to how the negotiations are going concerning the agent of James Rodriguez.
The Spanish club is also being linked with Toni Kroos and reports continue on being spread around and they are claiming that the German midfielder has already agreed on transferring to the Santiago Bernabeu but an official announcement is expected to take place within the next few days.
If all of these rumors are indeed true and Real Madrid is inching their way closer on signing all of their summer targets, the club is preparing themselves with some of the best players available on the transfer market and they are not holding anything back as Madrid wants to win it all in the next season.
June 23rd, 2014
Italian Serie A club Fiorentina has confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu from Romanian club Steaua Bucharest on a five year deal.
The goalkeeper left the Romanian club as a free agent after the end of his contract period and was quickly snapped up by the Italian club as they look to add cover to their goalkeeping ranks ahead of a season in the UEFA Champions League.
Tatarusanu was offered a new deal to stay on at the Romanian giants but he was unwilling to put pen to paper on a new long term deal at the club and has said that he is looking forward to testing himself in one of the best and toughest leagues in the world.
Speaking to the Italian club’s official television channel, the 28 year old stated that he couldn’t wait to get stuck into what is going to be a great experience for his professionally. He went on to add that he wanted to make the move to Fiorentina from the very beginning, as soon as they offered him a contract because according to him, the club has ambitious plans and he wants to help the club achieve those.
He further added that the team plays very attractive football, they have one of the most passionate set of fans in Italy and the club is at one with the city as well. Moreover, Florence is also among the most beautiful cities in the world, the birthplace of Italian art of the Renaissance period and he cannot wait to shift his family to the city.
Ciprian Tatarusanu thanked the supporters of his old club on Instagram stating that he wants to let them know the gratitude he feels towards them for years of support and wished them all the best for the future.
May 23rd, 2014
The last league match of Barcelona was played on May 17 as they went head to head with Athletic Madrid in an encounter that would be the deciding factor as to which team would lift the league title and it was Athletic Madrid who came out on top.
Even though the league was concluded not even 2 weeks ago, Barcelona has undergone a series of changes not only inside the squad but outside of it as well.
Gerardo Martino’s disappointing debut season in charge of Barcelona saw him being unable of winning any major trophy and this led to him being sacked and replaced by Luis Enrique.
Luis Enrique used to play for Barcelona in the 90’s where he managed on winning a number of trophies along the way and now he has signed a 2 year deal with the Spanish club as he is the successor of Gerardo Martino.
During one of Enrique’s first press conferences in charge of Barcelona, he stated that there will be a number of changes that are going to be done as he already seems to know what he is going to do in order to avoid any further disappointing seasons.
“There will be changes in several positions; we need to strengthen the team as much as possible. A year at Barça is not any year. If you aren’t up to the job, it’s time for a change. We’ll make adjustments in every area and the better players we have the better it’ll be for everyone because we’ll have a team that generates expectations”. Enrique expressed.
Meanwhile there has recently been a new addition to the squad as Marc-Andre Stegen signed a 5 year deal contract with Barcelona with the German goalkeeper expected to replace Victor Valdes and Jose Pinto both of which have left Barcelona.
March 25th, 2014
Former coach of the Romanian national team and legend of Romanian football, Gheorghe Hagi says that the nation can certainly hope towards qualifying for the Euro 2016. Romania recently failed to make it into the World Cup 2014 after not doing well in the play-offs. They came extremely close to reaching the finals. The team has been slowly improving in recent years, but they still remain far away from the glory days achieved when Gheorghe Hagi was playing for the team. Now one of the owners of a football club, Hagi is at the top level of Romanian football.
He says that the nation can certainly aspire towards reaching the Euro 2016 after UEFA president Michel Platini decided to extend the number of participating teams to 24. As a result, three teams can hope towards qualification from every group. The first two will be automatically qualifying for the competition, while the third placed team will have to go through a play-off. Romania have been grouped along with Greece, Finland, Hungary, Northern Ireland, and Faroe Islands. Amongst them, Greece recently qualified for the World Cup 2014 and there will be a major force in the group stages.
Apart from them, Hagi says that Romania and Finland will be the top opponents and he has asked to the national team to make use of this advantage and qualify for the Euro 2016.
“We are not skilled at European or world for some time, so we must join together. Available and then we must all unite all means breath national football team to qualify. We’ll have an atmosphere very good that surrounds the national team’s accessible group. Depends on us, we must focus its energy on the national team in the next two years we should qualify. Should believe in our chance, everyone,” said Hagi to Dolce Sport.
February 21st, 2014
Real Madrid was completely invisible during the January transfer window as they neither saw any of their players either joining or leaving the club but things are looking very likely to change in the summer as there are a number of clubs interested in signing a few players from the Spanish club.
The Premier League side Manchester City is considering making a move for Luka Modric after the impressive performances that the Croatian midfielder has been making for Real Madrid, now City wants to add him into the main squad.
The former Tottenham player now plays a fundamental role in the club of Real Madrid but it wasn’t always like that as the Croatian player endured a tough debut season at the Santiago Bernabeu but he went through a dramatic turnaround as he is back playing like the days when he was playing Tottenham some years ago.
Raphael Varane is another player that is being watched by the Premier League as the French defender is on the wish-list of Jose Mourinho is already taking a look around the transfer market for a long-term replacement of John Terry.
Jose Mourinho and Varane have already worked together when they were at Real Madrid and it is believed that the Portuguese coach wants to reunite with the young defender.
Tottenham still have not found a player that can fill in the gap left by Gareth Bale. The Welshman along with Luka Modric formed the structure of Tottenham during the sensational season that the Premier League club enjoyed some time ago and now Tim Sherwood is reportedly ready to be closing in on a summer move to sign the Argentinean winger Angel Di Maria.
Angel Di Maria could play in a similar position that Gareth Bale played during his time in Tottenham but it is doubtful if Carlo Ancelotti is willing on selling Di Maria considering that he is a consistent performer for Real Madrid.
January 24th, 2014
According to a study made by the Football Money League, Real Madrid and Barcelona are the word’s two richest clubs for the 5th year running. Real Madrid had a turnover of €518.9 million which is 1.2% more than their previous season with the majority of that income arriving from advertising, sponsorship and merchandising while TV rights is another big source of Real Madrid’s improved year.
Barcelona on the other hand claims the 2nd spot with revenues that reach €482.6 million.
The world’s richest club is now planning on making a €25 million move for the Manchester United player Wayne Rooney. The English forward has 18 months remaining on his contract but the player himself has showed concerns about his future with the club as he is reluctant on extending his contract despite having talks with the head chiefs of Manchester United.
Sergio Aguero and Luiz Suarez are other high profile targets on the radar of Carlo Ancelotti but both players have already completed signing long-term deals with Manchester City and Liverpool respectively.
Real Madrid will still continue trying to sign Aguero, Suarez and other targets that have already committed their future with their respective clubs but it will be a much harder task for Real Madrid to accomplish.
Fabio Coentrao is wanted by Manchester United and he could be used as bait in order to lure in Wayne Rooney. The young forward Alvaro Morata was linked with Juventus and Inter Milan but there was a club that had a special interest in Morata, and that was Arsenal.
Unfortunately for Arsenal, Morata has already expressed his situation in Spain and in Real Madrid as he stated that he is happy and wants to remain where he is right now.
“Despite all the stories that have emerged, I am happy here. I have spoken with the club and the coach and told them I want to stay here. This is the team I have spent my entire life at and I will stay here and do whatever the club asks of me or needs of me, even if it’s to play a minimal amount of games.” Morata said.
October 17th, 2013
The manager of the Romania national football team, Victor Piturca, has said that he wouldn’t mind facing any opponent in the World Cup qualifying play offs which will take place next month.
Romania couldn’t qualify directly for the World Cup finals as they came second in Group D. They will be taking part in the play offs now and their possible opponent in the play offs will be one of Croatia, Portugal, Ukraine and Greece.
Talking to the reporters yesterday, Piturca said, “Earlier today, I had a look at the teams we might be playing against and I don’t think I would mind facing any of them.”
“Portugal and Greece are the two dangerous sides. People might not consider Greece that strong, but, they have got some experienced players.”
In its previous game against Estonia on Tuesday, Romania secured a 2-0 win. It was Romania’s 50th win under Piturca. He is the only Romanian manager who has guided the team to so many victories.
This is Piturca’s third tenure as Romania boss and he has been criticized at times in the recent past. According to the experts, he gets over tactical at times. But, the ex Steaua Bucharest player has made it clear that he will not bring any significant change in his approach for the play offs.
Meanwhile, the Ajaccio striker Adrian Mutu who was not included in the Romanian squad for the last two World Cup qualifiers has said that he expects the manager to call him back for the playoff games.
Mutu said, “I am expecting the manager to ring me up. I really want to feature in the play offs and play my part.”
Mutu has so far made 77 appearances for Romania and has scored 35 goals.