Pablo Zabaleta Announces Retirement From Football

Pablo Zabaleta Announces Retirement From Football

Former Manchester City right-back Pablo Zabalata has announced his retirement and brought an end to a playing career which brought two Premier League titles. The 35-year-old left West Ham United during the summer, having featured in just 13 games in all competition during the 2019/20 season, and has now decided to hang up his boots. "After 18 years as a professional footballer, I took the decision to retire from playing football," he confirmed on Twitter. "These have been wonderful years that gave me the opportunity to enjoy unique and unforgettable moments. "Forever, I will thank all the people that shared this journey with me; Clubs, team-mates, coaches and in particular my family and all my friends. With a lot of emotion, I leave

Chelsea Were ‘Close’ to Signing Lionel Messi in 2014

Chelsea Were 'Close' to Signing Lionel Messi in 2014

Chelsea are alleged to have been close to signing Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in 2014 in what would have been a world record transfer by triggering his then €250m release clause. The negotiations with Messi are reported to have taken place soon after an investigation was launched into his tax affairs, which is what prompted him to consider a future outside Spain – as was also thought to be the case when Cristiano Ronaldo eventually joined Juventus in 2018. Had he left Barcelona in 2014, it would have denied the world of seeing the famous 'MSN' trio at Camp Nou alongside Luis Suarez and Neymar. It would also have personally denied Messi his lasting close friendship with Suarez in particular, who arrived

2020 Golden Boy Nominees – Ranked

2020 Golden Boy Nominees - Ranked

The 20-man shortlist for the 2020 Golden Boy award has been revealed. Voted for every year by sports journalists from across Europe, the award recognises the best young player in the continent. Those nominated must be under the age of 21 and play in a top European division. Last year, Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix scooped the gong, largely thanks to his performances for Benfica. Past winners have included Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi so the award can be used as a fairly good barometer of the 'next big thing' in world football. But who's going to win this year? 90min analysed all 20 candidates in order to find out. Bakker arrived at PSG on a free transfer back in July 2019  Netherlands

England’s Best Ever Left-Footed Players – Ranked

England's Best Ever Left-Footed Players - Ranked

English footballing vocabulary consists of innumerable, unbreakable pairings. The only way to depict a goalless draw as an exciting spectacle will inevitably involve the word 'pulsating'; and regardless of a player's skill or technical ability, only a left foot can be described as 'cultured'. Perhaps by virtue of their novelty, a left-footed player is treated with special reverence. England's men's national team, across multiple generations, have endured either a feast or famine when it comes to south paws. Whether the manager has shunted an awkward righty to the other flank or widened their recruitment net to anyone on these Isles with a vague control of left side, there have always been issues in their absence. Yet, on the unevenly spread instances when a left-footer

8 Things We Learned From the International Break

8 Things We Learned From the International Break

So there you have it folks, the first international break of the 2020/21 season - no, August's break came before the start of proper football - is in the books. God, it's still pretty dire, eh? Nevertheless, before we can all enjoy the return of club football...for another 24 days before we endure more of this international nonsense, yay, let's take one final look back at what we've seen over the past ten days. Specifically, with the eight things we learned. Ten-man England fell to a 1-0 defeat against Denmark on Wednesday night | Pool/Getty Images There was a time where there was unanimous excitement regarding the England national team. With a mightily gifted generation of fresh attacking talent emerging in the wake of an unforgettable

David Alaba and Paul Pogba Named as End of Season Barcelona Targets

David Alaba and Paul Pogba Named as End of Season Barcelona Targets

Barcelona are said to be targeting a double free transfer swoop for Bayern Munich's David Alaba and Manchester United's Paul Pogba. The Catalan club have endured a turbulent year behind the scenes, and were forced into a swap deal with Juventus for 30-year-old Miralem Pjanic - with 24-year-old Arthur Melo going in the opposite direction - as a short term fix for their financial issues. Barcelona were also unable to bid for long-term target Lautaro Martínez because they did not have the funds, and according to Mundo Deportivo, they are instead focussing on players who are coming into the final year of their contracts. The Spanish news outlet states that two such players are Alaba and Pogba. Alaba has had a series of

Gareth Southgate Defends Harry Maguire After England Nightmare

Gareth Southgate Defends Harry Maguire After England Nightmare

England manager Gareth Southgate has leapt to the defence of under-fire defender Harry Maguire, insisting the large swathes of criticism he's facing currently is unfair. It has been a thoroughly disappointing start to the season for Maguire, who hit a new low on Wednesday after he picked up a red card in the first half of England's 1-0 loss to Denmark. Oh no Harry Maguire ? The Manchester United man is sent off for a second yellow card after just 30 minutes v Denmark — Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 14, 2020 Maguire had looked lost before being given his marching orders, attracting even more criticism from supporters, but Southgate insisted (via the Telegraph) that he still remains supportive of the defender and

Reece James May Be More Suited to Gareth Southgate’s System Than Trent Alexander-Arnold

Reece James May Be More Suited to Gareth Southgate's System Than Trent Alexander-Arnold

Oh England, it wouldn't be you unless you followed up beating the number one ranked side in the world with a home defeat to Denmark, would it? It can't be unsaid that Harry Maguire's sending off played a major role in the defeat, as the Manchester United captain's two, if not three, counts of foolishness saw him sent for an early shower. Up until that point, England had looked alright. There was zip to their passing and structure in midfield, and while their attacking play can be frightfully one-dimensional, they at least had the personnel to suit. Down that right hand side, the Chelsea link up between Mason Mount and Reece James was asking enough meaningful questions of Denmark. With Mount willing to

Emerson Palmieri Reveals He Doesn’t Feel ‘Important’ at Chelsea

Emerson Palmieri Reveals He Doesn't Feel 'Important' at Chelsea

Emerson Palmieri has admitted he only feels 'important' in Italy, having failed to secure a move away from Chelsea in the most recent transfer window. The left-back was one of a few Blues players who were linked with departures from west London, but despite a return to Italy being mooted, he stayed put. Ben Chilwell arrived from Leicester in a deal worth £50m, forcing Emerson further down the pecking order behind the Englishman and fellow full-back Marcos Alonso. With no move away secured, he will now be left to sit it out until the winter window opens in January. Speaking while away with the Italian national team, the 26-year-old expressed his disappointment at the situation. “When I arrive here I change my head. I

Peru 2-4 Brazil: Neymar passes Ronaldo with hat-trick

Peru 2-4 Brazil - Neymar passes Ronaldo with hat-trick

Neymar scored a hat-trick to lead Brazil to a hard-fought 4-2 win over Peru in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday. The forward starred in Lima as Brazil twice came from behind to make it six points from two games to begin their campaign. Neymar moved past Ronaldo and into outright second on Brazil’s all-time goalscoring list, taking his tally to 64 – behind only Pele (77). He first cancelled out Andre Carrillo’s opener before Richarlison made it 2-2 after Renato Tapia had restored Peru’s lead. Neymar was fouled to win a penalty for the second time and he converted before later sealing the win in what was a repeat of last year’s Copa America final. Peru were also reduced to 10 men as Carlos Zambrano