‘You Didn’t Hear it From Me!’: Roma Legend Totti Makes His Pick Between Ronaldo & Messi

AS Roma legend Francesco Totti has joined the world’s greatest debate and tossed in his two cents.

The Italian, who retired from football after a remarkable 25-year career with the aforementioned outfit, spoke during the International Sports Conference in Dubai, lending his opinion on the changes in football.

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“Football has changed profoundly between my time and now,” he said, via Mundo Deportivo. “I prefer the romantic football of before, now everything is a matter of business.

“There are players like [Cristiano] Ronaldo and Neymar, but Neymar is an example of this exaggerated price, it is too much to pay 220 million euros for a player. This goes beyond reality.”

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Totti also said who he thinks is better when it comes to Ronaldo and arch-rival Lionel Messi. The Portuguese star was named the Best FIFA Men’s Player for 2017, also winning the Ballon d’Or this year. But the former midfielder picked Messi as the best player in the world, adding a snide remark as well.

“Messi is number one,” he said. “But do not tell Cristiano!”

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La Liga Giants Real Madrid Interested in Sought-After Fulham Left-Back Ryan Sessegnon

Real Madrid are currently eyeing up a shock move for Fulham left-back Ryan Sessegnon, who has also drawn interest from the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

The youngster has become a fixture in the side this season, showing the great form, which has ultimately led to talk of a departure to sides from Europe’s top leagues.

Tottenham came close to landing the 17-year-old in the summer transfer window before he decided to stick with Fulham and sign a new contract, putting an end to any immediate speculation about his future.

However, AS claim that the versatile left-back has caught the eye of Zinedine Zidane who could swoop in during the January transfer window to take Sessegnon to the Spanish capital.

Madrid are seemingly looking for a long-term replacement for 29-year-old Marcelo, whose future looks to be in question and the Fulham wonderkid would be the ideal candidate.

Although Los Blancos already have Theo Hernandez, who has shown a lot of promise, in the same position, the signing of Sessegnon could spark healthy competition within the side.

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However, Real are to face stiff competition in signing the youngster, as Premier League giants Manchester United are keen on their own issues at left-back as Luke Shaw, Dailly Blind and Matteo Darmian all have their future in question.

Spurs have also reportedly had a look at the left-back to replace Danny Rose who ironically has been linked to a move to Old Trafford.

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Fulham will do well to hold on to their star asset until the end of the season, but if Madrid comes knocking then Fulham must be prepared to part ways with their young prodigy.

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Real Madrid Will Only Attempt to Sign Bilbao’s Kepa Arrizabalaga in January

​Real Madrid aren’t planning on making many signings during the January transfer window.

In fact, according to ​AS, Los Blancos only have one target on their radar. And despite losing the recent Clasico to rivals Barcelona, the Primera Division title holders have not altered their plans, as it relates to recruitment, and will only be looking to sign Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

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The 23-year-old has decided against signing a new deal at Athletic and Real will begin their pursuit as soon as the window reopens on January 1.

Arrizabalaga’s current deal runs up until next June and he will be free to negotiate with other clubs next month. His representatives have been informed of Real’s intention to trigger his €20m release clause, but there’s still the matter of agreeing personal terms.

AS understand that the player will be offered a six-year deal with a yearly salary of €3m. 

The club are said to be well aware of Athletic’s stance, and won’t even attempt to enter into negotiations with the side as they already deem it to be pointless. Their only means of signing the player in January will be through the triggering of his buyout clause.

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As much as Madrid rue the 14-point gap between themselves and Barcelona, they do not intend to bring anyone in apart from Kepa, who is simply a long-term target that has now become available due to his unwillingness to remain with his current club.

Los Blancos are said to have kept their trust in the transfer plans drawn up during the summer and will not deviate in spite of their misfortunes this season.

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Newcastle United Set to Sign Real Madrid Stopper Following Bernabeu’s Unveiling of Kepa Arrizabalaga

​Newcastle United could be set to sign out-of-favour ​Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla, with Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa Arrizabalaga looking likely to join Los Blancos in January.

Magpies boss Rafa Benitez is said to be a big fan of Casilla, and is determined to sign the shot stopper as soon as he can – with a ​Premier League relegation dog fight looming.

And now, according to Marca (via Sport Witness), Casilla could well be on his way to St James’ Park for as little as no fee. Madrid are keen to get the 31-year-old off their books, and feel a debt to the player, who has very much been second fiddle to number one Keylor Navas ever since he arrived for his second stint at the Bernabeu.

Reports claim that Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has already told his teammates that the club have managed to get Kepa’s signature – the second string Spain keeper intended as the long term replacement for Navas.

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​Newcastle came knocking for Casilla this time last year, and Los Blancos turned Benitez away immediately, not even discussing any terms of a potential sale.

And with Kepa arriving, the club are believed to feel bad that they blocked the player’s move. He could now be fully settled in England’s top flight rather than on the hunt for a new club midway through the season.

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​​As a result, the Spanish champions are willing to be very lenient with Newcastle, and are said to be even willing to let the now third-choice keeper leave on a free.

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VIDEO: Chelsea Ace Eden Hazard Weighs in on ‘Messi vs Ronaldo’ Debate Naming Who He Thinks is Better

​Chelsea star Eden Hazard has had his say on the on-going debate over who is the best player in the world – ​Barcelona’s Lionel Messi or Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. The Belgian international opted for the former, who got one over on his ​La Liga rival after Barça beat Los Blancos 3-0 in the Bernebéu last weekend.

Speaking on Chelsea TV, via twitter user Breathe_Messi, Hazard said:

“Of course, when you are playing football you want to play against the best – the best team, the best players in the world. (Lionel) Messi is the best player in the world.”

The long-standing rivalry between Messi and Ronaldo has been lighting up La Liga for the best part of a decade, as both players have hit their peak in the Spanish top-tier – beguiling fans and pundits alike with performances that have seen both touted as the best player in the history of the game at times.

26-year-old Hazard has been widely tipped to have the potential to step-up to the level of the two stars, but his lack of consistency for ​Chelsea has thwarted his attempts to be considered as one of the best players in the world. ​Real Madrid are long-term admirers of the former Lille man, who are thought to see the talented midfielder as potential successor to Ronaldo.

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Hazard has recovered well from ankle surgery in the summer, and is starting to show signs of hitting the form that has seen him become a fan’s favourite at Stamford Bridge in recent years. 

Playing in his preferred number 10 position, Hazard has forged an impressive partnership with Álvaro Morata – scoring eight goals and contributing four assists.

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Stats Reveal Messi Was Able to Dominate El Clásico Despite Literally Walking for Most of the Game

​Barcelona star Lionel Messi was reportedly moving at walking pace for more than 80% of Saturday’s 3-0 Clásico triumph over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, the third straight year that the Catalans have emerged victorious from the clash in the capital.

Given the huge impact he had on the game – a goal and an assist – it is rather remarkable.

Research from El Periodico has revealed that Messi was walking for 83.1% of the contest, likening it playing with his two children, Thiago and Mateo, at home.

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He was jogging 10.8% of the time, running 4.95% of the time and sprinting just 1.15%.

It was intelligent play from Messi, moving into the right places at the right time to hurt Madrid the most, all the while conserving energy – it must be pointed out that the 30-year-old is the only outfield player to have played every minute for Barça in ​La Liga this season.

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Messi himself is said to have made six dribbles during the game, three times more than the entire ​Real team combined – their tally of two was comprised of one each from Croatian pair Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic.

He created nine chances, five of them deemed to be ‘clear’ chances, and enjoyed 864 seconds on or near the ball. All of that, and yet he spent most of his time walking…

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For Messi and his team-mates, who hold a nine point lead over ​Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga, they are now enjoying a well deserved Christmas break. Training will resume on 30th December, with the first game of 2018 coming in the Copa del Rey on 4th January.

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Real Madrid’s Isco Left Feeling ‘Fed Up’ After Zidane’s Recent El Clasico Snub

​After signing a new contract with Real Madrid in August, Isco had been a regular starter at the Santiago Bernabeu, with the BBC trio of Bale, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo broken up by injury.

In the opening months of the season it seemed as though Isco had cemented his place as a first team regular, contributing 10 goals from 24 appearances across all competitions, but since the return of the BBC attacking trio, the Spaniard has been reduced to a place on the bench, with Croatian Mateo Kovacic replacing him in midfield.

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After not featuring in the famous Clasico match, whereby Los Blacos fell to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of their fiercest rivals Barcelona, Isco has been left feeling betrayed by manager Zinedine Zidane, as reported by Spanish publication ​Sport.

Despite proving to be a key member of the team when playing, Isco remains behind the likes of Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in the midfield pecking order, meaning coming by game time may prove to be a struggle for the Malaga-born man.

To make matters worse, under his current contract with ​Real Madrid, Isco’s release clause sits at a whopping €700m, meaning his future is entirely under the control of the Madrid hierarchy, should the Spain international desire a move away from the club he signed for in 2013.

It is yet to be seen how Isco will react to Zidane benching him for what is the biggest game of the season for Los Blacos however, it doesn’t bode well for the Spaniard’s future at the club, considering his manager doesn’t feel he can count on him for the big games.

After being dropped against ​Barcelona, despite showing consistently good form so far this season, Isco has been left feeling betrayed and could potentially look for the exit door at Madrid if his situation doesn’t improve.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Eats Humble Pie and Tells Lionel Messi Barcelona Deserved El Clasico Victory

Cristiano Ronaldo offered a rare show of humility in the immediate aftermath of El Clasico on Saturday, telling Lionel Messi that Barcelona were fully worthy of their victory.

The Blaugrana put huge daylight between themselves and Real in La Liga, and Zinedine Zidane’s team have a mountain to climb if they’re to catch their rivals from here.

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The 3-0 win at the Bernabeu means Los Blancos are now 14 points adrift of the leaders, and a humble Ronaldo admitted to Messi after the game that Barca deserved to win, as reported by Diario Gol.

The pair were spotted talking after the final whistle but cupped their mouths to prevent lip readers from disseminating the conversation.

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Apparently, Ronaldo was keen to confess that Barca were worth their win but that Real would not be giving up despite the huge gap.

Ronaldo was bright in the opening stages of the clash, but faded in a big way in the second half as Messi fired the Catalans to the win.


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Fabio Capello Crowns Ronaldo as the Best Player He Has Ever Coached Despite Weight Issues

Fabio Capello has had the pleasure of coaching some of the world’s best players in an illustrious managerial career which has seen him manage teams such as AC Milan, Juventus and, of course, the England national team. But who is the best player that the Italian has ever coached?

That was the question posed by Italian news outlet Sky Calcio Club, where Capello had to decide who was the best player out of a list which included footballing greats such as Marco van Basten, Alessandro Del Piero and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Juventus' Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahim

But, after much deliberation, the 71-year-old managed to come to a conclusion, while poking fun at the weight of the legendary Brazilian.

“Ronaldo. Despite the fact I had to send him away to win the league with Real Madrid,” said Capello, quoted by ​gianlucadimarzio.com. “He weighed 96 kg. I asked him how much he weighed when he won the World Cup in Japan and Korea and he said 84. So I asked him if he could get down to at least 88.”

AC Milan's Brazilian forward Ronaldo (R)

Ronaldo played under Capello during his short time at AC Milan, where he signed for the club midway through the 2006/07 campaign, before departing the in 2008.

Though Ronaldo’s time at AC Milan wasn’t the most successful spell of his career largely due to injury, the Brazilian managed to register nine goals in 20 appearances, as well as helping Milan win the Serie A in the 2006/07 campaign.

Regardless, the striker was recipient of three FIFA World Player of the Year’s, two Ballon d’Or’s and two World Cup’s- to name but a few- and his place at the top of Capello’s list is very well-earned. 


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Lionel Messi Praised One Real Madrid Player After Dominant Barcelona 3-0 Clasico Win

​Barcelona star Lionel Messi reportedly left the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium not only one step closer to the La Liga title but also gracious in victory, with the 30-year-old reportedly offering Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas praise before exiting the pitch. 

The Argentine played an instrumental role in his side’s comfortable 3-0 win over Los Blancos on Saturday, netting a penalty himself after Luis Suarez put Barca ahead and before the victory which was rounded off by Aleix Vidal to secure all three points. 

However, had it not been for the hosts’ Costa Rican custodian the scoreline could have been even more damaging for the Madridistas.

The 31-year-old made a number of fine stops during the 90 minutes to keep Barca at bay for just under an hour, and according to Spanish website Don Balon, as cited by the ​Daily Express, the shot-stopper received words of praise from Messi following the full-time whistle. 

Despite a spirited performance between the sticks, Navas has been heavily linked with a move away from Real, with Barca’s third goal showing as to maybe why – with the 2016 World Cup star allowing Vidal’s effort to roll into the back of the net after a shoddy piece of goalkeeping. 

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