Former Liverpool Striker Fernando Torres Offers His Answer to ‘Messi or Ronaldo’ Debate

Fernando Torres has offered his thoughts on the hottest topic in European football over the last decade: Who is better, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi?

The Atlético Madrid striker spent two years in England at the same time Ronaldo was at Manchester United, following a £34m move from the Spanish capital to join Liverpool in 2007. Ronaldo departed Old Trafford in 2009, while Torres remained a Premier League player until 2014.

Since returning to Spain in 2015, following a short spell with AC Milan, Torres has featured against Messi and Ronaldo on a number of occasions. As a result, the 33-year-old has made up his mind over who is better between the two superstars.

“Messi. I have not seen or will ever see a player like Lionel Messi,” Torres told Marca when asked who was better between the two.

“He dominates all aspects of the game. He is the absolute best in 90% of the categories.”

Both Messi and Ronaldo are currently tied with the number of Ballon d’Or awards they have received, the two wingers having shared the trophy an equal amount of times over the last decade.

So far this season, Ronaldo has notched 16 goals in all competitions – an underwhelming tally by his high standards. Messi is only slightly ahead with 18 goals in all competitions, however, the Argentine’s tally of 14 goals in La Liga is far better than Ronaldo’s four.

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PSG Director Slams Real Madrid Following Attempts to Unsettle Record Signing Neymar

Paris Saint-Germain’s director of sport Antero Henrique has hit out at Real Madrid’s attempts to unsettle Neymar – making it publicly clear to the world that Los Blancos would love to sign the Brazilian from PSG.

Madrid president Florentino Perez has spoken very highly of Neymar in recent weeks. According to reports, the Spanish side see the former Barcelona man as a long-term replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who turns 33 in February.

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And now, the PSG director has spoken out about Perez’s attempts to get into Neymar’s head, claiming that the move has backfired – unsettling Ronaldo instead of Neymar.

“If Neymar could leave PSG to go to Madrid? No. Because he is happy, he loves the club and is fulfilling here,” Henrique told AS (via the Mirror).

“It’s not a question of money, it’s a question of balance. Neymar accepted our vision, he has a lot of ambition and PSG offered him space for his ambition.

“To speak about about a player from another club on the day in which [Cristiano] Ronaldo wins the Ballon d’Or is not good for the player.”

The Parisians signed Neymar in the summer for a world record transfer fee (roughly £200m), and so far it seems money well spent. So far, after 19 games, the 25-year-old has been involved in a remarkable 30 goals – scoring 17 and assisting 13.

However, there are claims that he is unsettled in the French capital, despite his success on the pitch. His very public feud with strike partner Edinson Cavani is one massive talking point, and Madrid appear to be trying to lure him back to Spain having missed out on his signature in 2013.


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Chelsea Boss Antonio Conte Dodges Questions on David Luiz’s Future Amid Real Madrid & Arsenal Links

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has responded to questions regarding current speculation surrounding Brazilian defender David Luiz – claiming that he doesn’t read about the rumours, and doesn’t wish to lie to the press.

Rumours are rife about Luiz’s possible departure, with teams such as Arsenal and Real Madrid reported to be interested in the 30-year-old’s signature.

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However, Conte has avoided the subject completely, admitting that he doesn’t even read the reports linking his player with a ticket out of Stamford Bridge.

​”I don’t read and I solve the problem.” He said in his pre-match press conference ahead of his side’s Wednesday night encounter against Bournemouth (via Sky Sports).

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“I don’t read and I don’t have some information about this topic. I repeat, I’m a person who is very realistic. I like to tell the truth and I answer you three days (before a match) here in the press conference about the team. I think that also I don’t want to annoy you with some lie.

“I repeat, I don’t read, I don’t listen, I don’t have anything about this. I don’t read about speculation.”

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With January just around the corner, Conte will be praying he can keep hold of as many players as possible, having already spent much of the current season complaining about a lack of depth in his playing squad.

With the transfer window soon to open, the Blues have been linked with all sorts of different players – the two most notable being Juventus’ Alex Sandro, and AS Monaco’s Thomas Lemar.

Sandro’s arrival would take a lot of pressure from the the left-back position – with Marcos Alonso the only player able to fill in at that space right now – and signing Lemar would give Conte more attacking options for the rest of the season.


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Real Madrid Set to Offer Liverpool Eye-Watering Swap Deal for Mohamed Salah

Real Madrid are set to make an offer for Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah, just half a season after the forward joined the Reds from Roma.

The Egyptian has been in legendary form so far this season, scoring 20 goals in all competitions so far, more than any team in the bottom half of the Premier League table.

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Despite only arriving in June, Salah is already under the noses of the European heavyweights and a move to Madrid has been heavily reported in recent weeks.

According to ​CalcioMercato, Madrid believe a €100m (£88m) bid would be enough to persuade Liverpool to part ways with the 25-year-old.

Also, Los Blancos are also reportedly open to sending Gareth Bale the other way in order to lower the financial cost of the deal.

Despite seeming settled in Spain, Bale has been linked to a move back to the Premier League in recent months, with Manchester United a prominently mentioned destination.

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But Florentino Perez may see the Welshman ending up at Anfield instead.

CalcioMercato also reports that Madrid are desperate to strengthen their squad at the end of the season, with reports that Neymar, Mauro Icardi and Harry Kane are the players in Perez’s eyeline.

But Salah is the player at the top of his wishlist. Madrid take on rivals Barcelona this Saturday in the first El Clasico of the season.

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Real Madrid Set to Bench Gareth Bale for Crucial El Clasico Match

​Gareth Bale has impressed his Real Madrid teammates and the club’s coaching staff with his performances and fitness after being three months out through injury. 

Nevertheless, Real officials are keen to avoid rushing the Welshman back to first team action -even with fierce rivals Barcelona their next opponents on Saturday. 

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Reported by Marca, the 28-year-old is not yet at full fitness and will not be a starter at the weekend for the Catalans’ visit to the capital. 

The main focus of Real’s coaching team is to gradually reintroduce him into the starting XI, allowing him to overcome his injury nightmare and physically adjust to the demands of first team action. 

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If there are no further injury setbacks, then Real coach Zinedine Zidane will increase his expectations of the talented winger and look to start him in games. However, for the immediate future Bale will have to settle for the role of impact sub, a position he appears to be comfortable with for the time being at least. 

Right now, for all concerned, his best possible contribution is coming on late in a game and using his pure power and electrifying speed against tiring opposition to have the greatest impact and benefit. Zidane clearly thinks the same and has at his disposal the best possible option from the bench – a player who can turn a match’s momentum. 

This was most evident in the recent FIFA Club World Cup competition in the United Arab Emirates; Bale’s impact could not have been greater in the fleeting appearances that he made from the substitutes’ bench. 

For the long term benefit and success of Real Madrid, a 100% fit Gareth Bale is vital and so taking a cautious approach in his recovery is the right approach. 


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Sergio Ramos Praises Zinedine Zidane & Teammates Prior to Club World Cup Triumph

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has praised Los Blancos’ coach Zinedine Zidane and teammates Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema on the ‘Telefoot’ program on French TV channel TF1.

Zidane’s Madrid are currently fourth in La Liga having played one game less than their title contenders. The Frenchman replaced Rafael Benitez as Real Madrid coach back in January of 2016. 

Since then, the 45-year-old has guided Madrid to two successive Champions League trophies – the first team to retain the European trophy in its current format – and one La Liga title. 

This season, however, his side has struggled both in the domestic league and the Champions League, and Zidane has come in for some criticism. 

Speaking prior to Madrid’s 1-0 Club World Cup triumph over Gremio in Abu Dhabi, Sergio Ramos was sticking by his coach: 

“Zidane is the best, without any doubt,” Ramos was quoted as saying by Marca. 

“We are very happy that he is our coach because with him there is continuity, and it’s rare for good players to become good coaches – but he did it.”

Ramos also praised teammate Karim Benzema. The striker has struggled this season scoring only two goals in ten league appearances for the defending champions. 

“Karim is a very good striker, with qualities and innate talent,”  Ramos continued.

“He’s a scorer and creator and he can cause problems for any defender.

“Playing for your country is the biggest honour for a player, and I know Karim would be happy to be able to represent France in the World Cup,” he revealed. 

The Spanish captain reserved further praise for Cristiano Ronaldo.  

“Our No.7 is a striker like we have never seen before,” he said.

“He is already a legend and will be recognised as one of the best players in the history of football.

“Cristiano Ronaldo has a very important role in the team everyone respects it.


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Luis Suarez Insists Real Madrid Aren’t Barça’s Only Title Challengers Ahead of Upcoming Clasico

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has admitted that a win against Real Madrid would boost their title chances, but he insisted that Los Blancos are not his side’s only challengers this season.

The ex-Liverpool man spoke after his side beat Deportivo La Coruña 4-0 on Sunday, which saw the Catalans go 11 points clear at the top. 

Suarez spoke after the victory about what a possible win at the Bernabeu would do for his sides title chances, and why Madrid are not the only title challengers this season, as quoted by ​Marca.

“It would be a boost to win at the Bernabeu. However, there are other challengers. Valencia and Atletico Madrid are both pushing us,” he said.

The Uruguayan is correct in his comments as even though Barcelona have an 11 point gap between themselves and second place Atletico Madrid, the chasing pack behind them are not far off. 

Saurez also spoke about his own personal form, after he scored twice on Sunday.

“I’m happy to help the group. I just want to keep contributing. I also want to improve on a personal level.”

Even though the 30-year old started the season slowly, he still has nine goals and one assist in the league this season. These figures would be good for a normal striker. However, due to his previous goalscoring records, Suarez will be looking to increase his tally considerably – starting with the last match before the winter break against Los Blancos at the weekend.


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Barcelona Official Confirms No Guard of Honour for Los Blancos Despite Club World Cup Victory

Barcelona’s director of Institutional Relations, Guillermo Amor, confirmed that Real Madrid will not receive a guard of honour in El Clasico on Saturday despite their recent triumph at the FIFA Club World Cup.

Real Madrid secured a 2-1 victory over Al Jazira in the semi-final before Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal in the final gave Madrid a narrow win over Brazilian side Grêmio.

However, Amor has insisted that no El Pasillo (guard of honour) is necessary as they are usually just for Champions League and La Liga titles.

“In this club, the guard of honour is usually made when we participate in the Champions League or LaLiga… and this is not the case,” Amor confirmed following Barca’s 4-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruña, as quoted by Marca.

Saturday’s instalment will be the third Clasico of the season. Both sides faced each other in the Supercopa de España before the new La Liga campaign kicked off, with Real Madrid securing a 5-1 victory over two legs.

An own goal from Gerard Piqué gave Real Madrid an early second-half lead at the Camp Nou back in August, before Lionel Messi levelled the scoreline from the penalty spot. 

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Ronaldo then moved into the spotlight when an outstanding goal was swiftly followed by his sending off, with Marco Asensio putting the icing on the cake late on in the first-leg.

The 21-year-old then fired in from distance in the opening minutes at the Santiago Bernabéu to put further breathing space between Madrid and Barcelona, with Karim Benzema scoring the final goal of the Supercopa de España and giving Los Blancos the pre-season bragging rights.


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End of an Era: Brazil Legend Kaka Officially Announces His Retirement From Football

​After months of speculation, Kaka has officially announced his retirement from football at the age of 35.

Confirming the news in a tweet posted on Sunday, the midfielder described his career as “much more than I could ever imagine” adding that he is “ready for the next journey” as well as thanking God for his experiences.

​​In a sixteen year professional career, Kaka won the 2002 World Cup for Brazil, making 92 appearances and scoring 29 goals in all for his country. In his club career, he won the 2003/04 Serie A and 2006/07 Champions League with AC Milan, as well as the 2011/12 La Liga title with Real Madrid.

The legendary Brazilian also won an array of individual honours, and his 2007 Ballon d’Or title is the last time anyone other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo lifted football’s most prestigious individual honour.

Kaka’s retirement comes at the end of a three year spell with MLS side Orlando City, where he scored 24 goals and provided 22 assists in 75 league appearances.


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In total, Kaka retires with 746 career appearances, 237 goals, eight major trophies and millions of hearts won around the world of football.

A sad day for football to see this legend hang up his boots!

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Cristiano Ronaldo Wants Clasico Guard of Honour From Barca for Record-Breaking Madrid Side

Following Real Madrid’s record-breaking Club World Cup victory on Saturday night, man-of-the-moment Cristiano Ronaldo sparked controversy in the aftermath of the game by saying that he’d like the Barcelona players to perform a guard of honour when the two sides lock horns for this weekend’s El Clasico.

Last night’s 1-0 win over Gremio saw Real register their fifth trophy in the calendar year, a feat which the team have never reached before.

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Ronaldo’s 30-yard free-kick eight minutes inside the second-half ensured that the trophy would be coming back to Spain for the fourth consecutive season, and the Portuguese couldn’t be happier to be the man to make it happen.

Reported by Spanish publication ​Marca, Ronaldo said: “I’m happy I scored the goal, very happy. I’m having a great season. Real Madrid had never won five titles in a year and we wanted it, it’s a record.”

Not only did the victory ensure Real’s record-breaking fifth trophy of 2017, but it also saw Madrid become the first ever side to win the Club World Cup in two consecutive seasons, while also winning the trophy for the record-equalling third time.

After Real’s recent endeavours, recently crowned Ballon d’Or victor Ronaldo deems his side worthy of a guard of honour, starting on Saturday when Madrid face up against arch-rivals Barcelona in an eagerly anticipated El Clasico.

“It would be nice and I would like Barcelona to give us a guard of honour,” said Ronaldo in the post-match press conference. “I hope we win that game too so that the league is still alive for Real Madrid. We have to enjoy every moment because we don’t know what will happen in the future.”

Though Ronaldo hasn’t been in his typical startling form so far this campaign, the 32-year-old has assured he still has the same hunger for the game and has no plans of hanging up his boots anytime soon.

“I talk on the pitch, I try to give my best and for people to enjoy my football. I don’t lack motivation to continue playing and training because I enjoy football. It’s what I like the most.”


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