Alvaro Morata Reveals Mourinho Inspired Hefty Challenge on Diego Costa During Madrid Derby

​Alvaro Morata has revealed how Jose Mourinho’s passion at Real Madrid made him ‘kick’ former Chelsea star Diego Costa during a tense Madrid derby.

The now Blues striker used to play for Los Blancos before he switched to the Premier League with the reigning champions last summer, and was quoted by the ​Mirror as he spoke about life under former boss Mourinho at Santiago Bernabeu,

The Portuguese gaffer is known for his desire to win and, when younger, implored whichever side he was in charge of to do whatever was necessary to secure all three points on the day.

Real Madrid - Training & Press Conference

That led to Morata getting a bit too carried away when Real took on fierce city rivals Atletico one season, and the Spain international explained how he took on his international teammate in one particular challenge due to Mourinho’s words.

Morata said: “I played with Nacho in the reserves and he told us that we had to fight hard, that is what he wanted, what he likes.

“Mourinho told the two of us that in the Calderon [against Atletico Madrid] we had to fight. I almost took out Diego Costa, I gave him a brutal kick. Sometimes I remind Costa and we laugh.”

(You may also be interested in ​Conte Hails ‘Important’ Giroud & Praises Morata on Return After Chelsea Victory Over West Brom)

Speaking more in depth about Mourinho’s spell in charge of one of La Liga’s giants, Morata revealed how the now Manchester United manager always managed to get the best of those available to him.

The 25-year-old is one of the top performers within Europe’s top five leagues, and he stated his belief that his drive to score more goals was down to Mourinho instilling a driven determination him to win when he was a teenager.

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Morata added: “He has character, he took care of the homegrown players. He gave me the first big contract with Madrid and he told me: ‘If you get it right you will not have to work in your life.’

“I did not focus from the first moment, I was 17 years old and trained to have fun, not to be a Madrid player or to have to support my family. Mourinho told me I had to focus on me. He gave me the alternative.”


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Bayern Munich Will Seal €55m Transfer for Loanee as Bavarians Begin Long-Term Planning

Bayern Munich will look to bring James Rodríguez to Bavaria on a permanent basis if the Colombian can maintain his current form.

Rodríguez moved to the Allianz Arena in the summer, leaving Real Madrid on a two-year loan that cost Bayern close to €13m. There was also an option to buy the 26-year-old included in the loan deal, something that would set Bayern back an extra €42m if activated.

It was understood that the Bundesliga giants weren’t decided on whether they should sign the Colombian midfielder on a full-time basis. 

However, Rodríguez’s performances during the German Rückrunde have left Bayern’s chiefs keen for a deal to go through, according to Sport Bild (via Sport.de).

It is understood that Real Madrid do not have an option to veto a permanent move to Bavaria, with Bayern Munich only having to convince Rodríguez after the €42m clause has been activated.

Despite having impressive performances with FC Porto and AS Monaco in his early career, Rodríguez didn’t become a household name until his outstanding performances with Colombia in the 2014 World Cup.

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Fresh off the back of the tournament in Brazil, Rodríguez sealed a €67.5m move to the Santiago Bernabéu.

Despite making more than 100 appearances for Los BlancosRodríguez was never able to cement his place in their first-team. 

Since moving to Bavaria, the Colombian playmaker has begun to kick-start his career and is once again being considered as one of the best midfielders in European football.

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Report Claims Cristiano Ronaldo Is Keen on Return to England With Premier League Trio Contacted

​Cristiano Ronaldo is keen on a return to the Premier League and is looking for a move to a London club, according to a report. 

Ronaldo is said to be unsettled at Real Madrid and ​L10 Sports claim he wants to leave the club at the end of the season as he is not happy with contract negotiations.

The report claims the Portuguese superstar is very keen on a move back to the Premier League but is not willing to work under Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho again, after the two fell out at Los Blancos.

A second report in ​L10 Sports says Ronaldo is already making moves in order to come back to England, specifically London. It claims that Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all been contacted by representatives of the attacker in anticipation of a transfer. 

Reports emerged last month that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was ​open to a move to current champions Chelsea and it now seems other clubs may be in the frame too. 

Ronaldo has scored 547 goals in 716 appearances so far in his career, including 118 strikes during a four-year stint with Manchester United. 

The French outlet also reports that Paris Saint-Germain is an option for the 33-year-old if he is to leave Real at the end of the season, although it is said Ronaldo has his heart set on a return to the Premier League. 

The attacker recorded a hat-trick in his last outing for Real in a 5-2 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday and will have the chance to add to his tally in the Champions League game against PSG on Wednesday. 


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Roma Look to Extend Allison’s Contract Amid Interest From Real Madrid & Liverpool

​Serie A giants Roma are looking to extend the contract of their in-demand Brazilian keeper Allison, in order to stave off any summer moves for their prized asset, according to Italian outlet Calciomercato. 

The 25-year-old stopper, who is preferred over Manchester City’s Ederson in the Brazilian national team, was touted to leave the Stadio Olimpico in January when a number of clubs, including Liverpool and Real Madrid, were linked with a move.

The Brazilian international Joined the Serie A outfit from Brazilian second tier side Internacional in 2016. Initially, he struggled to displace Wojciech Szczęsny as the starting keeper and was handed limited playing time via cup competitions. 

After Szczesny left to Juventus in the summer, Allison grasped the opportunity with both hands and his scintillating form has seen him propelled into Tite’s World Cup plans. 

His performances haven’t gone unnoticed in Europe either, and it was heavily reported in January that he was about to join Liverpool. Real Madrid were also said to be interested, with Los Blancos looking to freshen up the position which is currently occupied by the veteran duo of Navas and Casilla. 

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In what would appear to be a blow to both team’s chances of signing Allison, the Giallorossi are set to offer the player a contract extension which he is expected to sign if his demands are met. 

As per the report, the 25-year-old is asking for €5m per season including bonuses, a significant increase on the €1.5m he currently receives. In return, Roma wish to raise his release clause to €90m, although it would only be valid for teams outside of Italy. 

The report also notes that the club would consider any substantial bid for the prized asset given their delicate Financial Fair Play situation. 

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Gareth Bale’s Agent Claims Wales Star Is Worth ‘at Least’ as Much as €222m Neymar

​The agent of Gareth Bale has insisted the winger is worth at least €222m – the sum paid by Paris Saint-German to Barcelona last summer for Neymar.

The superstar recently returned from injury for Zinedine Zidane’s side and has been an important player for the Frenchman in recent weeks.

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He is being carefully managed in a bid to prevent the recurrence of any more injuries, and was rested for the 5-2 victory over Real Sociedad over the weekend with the PSG Champions League clash in mind.

Bale’s talent, although often forgotten, is undeniable and in the eyes of his agent Jonathan Barnett, he is as valuable a player as world’s most expensive transfer Neymar.

He told tuttosport, as quoted by ​Marca: “He’s worth at least the 222 million paid for Neymar. Gareth is very happy with Real Madrid. He loves Madrid. Gareth doesn’t need Cristiano Ronaldo to leave. Bale is already a star at Real Madrid.”

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

Speculation had been rife earlier in the season that 2017/18 would be the final season at the Bernabeu for the Welshman, because the board were becoming frustrated with his lack of game time through injury.

Reports had linked him – ​some are still doing so – with a move to either Manchester United or a return to Tottenham, but if Bale can remain fit the club will surely do everything in their power to keep him.

He will be hoping to take the game to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, with the Champions League Real’s last hope of silverware this season.

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‘He Loves Madrid’: Gareth Bale’s Agent Buries Manchester United Rumours Amid Rife Transfer Talk

Real Madrid and Wales star Gareth Bale has been linked with a return to the Premier League, specifically Manchester United, for the past few seasons. 

But the player’s agent has put an end to all of the speculation by claiming that his client loves his current club and isn’t keen on leaving at all.

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Bale joined Los Blancos from Tottenham in 2013 and has helped the Spanish side conquer Europe on two occasions, as well as win the ever-elusive Primer Division title last year.

Rumours of him looking to leave the Bernabeu have surfaced every transfer window since his arrival at the club, yet the player has stayed put and according to his representative, Jonathan Barnett, the Welshman is going nowhere.

“I think I am the best agent in the world. My agency Stellar has more than 100 players, it’s the biggest one out there. I really respect (Mino) Raiola and Jorge Mendes, we are like the Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar of agents,” Barnett said to Tuttosport (H/T Goal).

“Bale? I think he’s worth as much as Neymar. He loves Real Madrid and doesn’t want to leave. Gareth does not need Ronaldo to leave Real Madrid, he is already a top star of the club.

“Bale is such a positive example for children. You will never see him in a fast food restaurant. He goes to bed early and I don’t think he is worse than Neymar.

“He can also battle it out for the Ballon d’Or in the future. When he joined Real Madrid Florentino Perez gifted me a pen to sign contracts. I always have it with me now.”

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Gareth Bale’s Agent Lifts Lid on Interest From Serie A Club and Daniel Levy’s Negotiation Tactics

​Ahead of Tottenham Hotspurs’ Champions League last 16 clash against Juventus, the Italian media have been covering the North London club intensely.

As part of their coverage they have been interviewing a number of figures associated with the club, both past and present.

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Among those interviewed was former Spurs star Gareth Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, with Turin-based news outlet ​Tuttosport speaking to the associate of the Welsh superstar.

When Bale made the switch from Spurs to Real Madrid in 2013, there were rumours linking him with a move to Juventus, upon being questioned on the truth of these links Barnett said: “No. The most concrete interest was from another Italian club, but I cannot tell you more: these are reserved matters. Tottenham, however, said no.”

There is speculation that the aforementioned, unnamed Serie A club was Inter Milan.

As the interview continued, Barnett was asked about the speculation surrounding Harry Kane’s future however, he refused to make a statement on the 24-year-old England international, saying he won’t speak about footballers he doesn’t represent.

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Premier League

When asked about Spurs’ negotiation tactics and how they so often seem to play hard ball, Barnett explained it was all due to the large ambitions the club had.

The president, Daniel Levy, has done a great job: now Tottenham are among the big 6 of the Premier. And thanks to the new stadium, really world class, he can grow them further,” he explained.

Spurs have been enjoying some impressive form recently, with the most recent game seeing them triumph 1-0 over fierce North London rivals, Arsenal, with Harry Kane notching the only goal of the game to hand the hosts all three points.

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Marcelo & Carli Lloyd Join Messi & Kroos as Pepsi Continue Assembling All-Star Squad

Pepsi® continues to kick off 2018 by revealing three-time Champions League winner Marcelo and Women’s Best Player of the Year Carli Lloyd in its new world-class line up of global footballers, part of the ongoing #LoveItLiveIt campaign.

Pepsi began the year by naming Barcelona living legend Lionel Messi and Real Madrid midfield maestro Toni Kroos in an all-star squad of players.

Marcelo, who first joined Real Madrid in 2007 as a teenager, has shared a video via his official Facebook page paying tribute to his grandfather as a constant source of support and inspiration on his journey into professional football.

“Football and family are two halves of my soul,” Marcelo said.

“My grandfather Pedro: my hero. Through him I fell in love with the game. Through his sacrifice, I learnt patience, to hold onto my dreams and never give up. Because, one day, young Marcelo, you’ll make it. The dream came true.”

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For Lloyd, who temporarily moved to Europe in 2017 to fulfil a dream of playing in the Women’s Champions League, a defining moment in her glittering career came when she was dropped from the US Under-21 team. Instead of killing her desire to reach the top, it spurred her on.

PepsiCo is an official partner of the UEFA Champions League, with more to come from Pepsi throughout the year. Watch this space, #LoveItLiveIt

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Cristiano Ronaldo Criticises Real Madrid Fans for Booing Karim Benzema

Real Madrid returned to winning ways on Saturday, inflicting a 5-2 defeat on Real Sociedad, but that did not stop Madrid fans from booing Karim Benzema. Madrid were already leading 5-2 when Benzema had missed a really good chance that led to a shower of boos from the fans.

However, Marca reported that Madrid starlet Cristiano Ronaldo was not best pleased by the show fo disrespect for the French striker. Ronaldo intervened in the situation to protect his teammate from the boos from the fans. 

Ronaldo who scored a hattrick in the game was picked up on waving his finger at some supporters, before gesturing for applause by clapping his hands.

The small civil war between players and fans continued, as before the game started the singing section of the Santiago Bernabeu went on strike. Their protest came off the fact that Los Blancos’ players have not been greeting them during recent away trips.

Madrid fans have been stuck in the realm of pessimism which saw their club experience a bad run of form from. It was a bad run of form that saw Madrid fall back 16 points adrift from La Liga leaders Barcelona. Perhaps the fans will need to experience more of the good times before their hard exterior melts away.

The 5-2 victory over Sociedad comes at just the right moment for Madrid, as the Champions League returns from its hiatus on Tuesday. Madrid will want to establish a good run of form as they prepare to defend their Champion’s League crown.

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Man Utd Boss Mourinho Claims David de Gea Sale ‘Makes No Sense’ as Real Madrid Remain Interested

​Manchester United manager José Mourinho has claimed that selling David de Gea to Real Madrid wouldn’t be a nonsensical piece of business – as the club is aiming to attract quality players rather than sell them.

Speaking ahead of his side’s Premier League encounter against Newcastle United, via Sky Sports, the Portuguese manager was quizzed on the future of the talented goalkeeper, and hit out at claims that the club could sell him to Real Madrid at the end of the season. Mourinho said:

Do you think a club that is trying to attract the best players is the club that is open to sell the best players? It makes no sense.

If you want to go to that level (title winners), we have to attract the best players like we did with Alexis (Sanchez), (Nemanja) Matic, (Paul) Pogba and so on, and don’t let our best players go.”

Man Utd fans will be desperate to hold on to the Spaniard, who has become arguably the finest goalkeeper in the Premier League since making the switch from Atlético Madrid in 2011. Real Madrid are in the market for a goalkeeper next summer, as Zinedine Zidane is rumoured to be losing patience with his current first choice stopper Keylor Navas.

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If De Gea decides to stay at Old Trafford, Los Blancos may well move for Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois – ​who admitted earlier in the week that his ‘heart is in Madrid’. The Belgian’s children live in the Spanish capital with their mother, and the father of three is reportedly desperate to move closer to his sons and daughter.

With the Blues enduring an abysmal run of form, they could lose both Courtois and talismanic forward Eden Hazard in the summer transfer window – if Antonio Conte’s side are unable to secure qualification for next season’s Champions League. The battle for the top four is set to be intense, with Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs all vying for the spots below Man City.

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