Liverpool Star Virgil van Dijk Claims Real Madrid Captain Sergio Ramos Is Not ‘His Kind’ of Defender

Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk has chimed in on the broad debate over Sergio Ramos’ playing style, insisting that the Real Madrid captain is not ‘his kind’ of player.

Spanish international Ramos has been the subject of widespread commentary around Europe, with many praising the defender’s leadership and battling qualities. On the flip side, others have tended to criticise the 32-year-old’s occasionally aggressive conduct.

The ongoing debates over the iconic Spaniard have only increased in recent times, and Netherlands international van Dijk has now thrown his opinion into the mix. The ​Liverpool defender told De Telegraaf, via ​Marca: “He’s not the best.

“He’s a great player and I respect him for what he has achieved, but he’s not the kind of defender I like.”

​Ramos’ rather unorthodox defensive style has established the ​Real Madrid hero as a largely divisive figure, with his discipline and solidity in defence often leaving much to be desired. 

However, the former Sevilla man has led Los Blancos to three successive Champions League triumphs.

The maverick defender has enjoyed a trophy-laden career which also includes a World Cup win and two European Championship successes with the Spanish national team. However, it is ​Raphael Varane, Ramos’ defensive partner at Real Madrid, whom van Dijk most admires.

“He [Varane] is my favourite,” van Dijk added.

“He’s an excellent defender who is still young and has improved. His way of defending is different because he tries to avoid being in situations where he has to intervene and tackle.”

Whilst the Real Madrid duo were on the agenda for van Dijk, following Liverpool teammate ​Dejan Lovren’s recent public dispute with Ramos, the Dutchman remains the world’s most expensive defender.

The former ​Southampton star has become the defensive bedrock of Liverpool since completing his £75m move to Jurgen Klopp’s side from St. Mary’s in January.

Having added the kind of leadership and resolve which was previously seen as a missing ingredient at Anfield, van Dijk helped Liverpool reach the Champions League final last term.

Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Group C

With all signs being that Liverpool’s new-found solidarity has put them on course for further improvements this term, van Dijk has formed a formidable partnership with Joe Gomez at the heart of defence this season.


Jamie Redknapp Explains Why Luka Modric Is ‘the Best in the World Right Now’

Former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder Jamie Redknapp has explained how Real Madrid star Luka Modric improved massively whilst at White Hart Lane despite initially ‘struggling’ following his move from Dinamo Zagreb.

Modric spent four years at Tottenham between 2008 and 2012 before joining Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid for £27m and Redknapp has lauded the former Spurs man who he describes as the best player in the world’.

Modric and Croatia knocked England out at the semi-final stage of the 2018 World Cup and Redknapp says the 33-year-old is a very difficult player for opposition teams to stop.

“Before the semi-final you try to get a plan in your head about how you stop certain players,” Redknapp said on ​Sky Sports (as reported by the ​Express.)

“There’s certain players that you have to respect that are so good on the ball.

“The way that they manipulate it, the way that they touch it, the way they receive it, whether they pop it off first time or play a long pass. And he’s one of those.

“You just have to do your best to stop him as much as you can.”

England v Croatia - UEFA Nations League A

The Croatia superstar played an integral role in the Madrid team that won the Champions League in four of the last five seasons and also shone as Croatia reached the World Cup final in the summer.

Redknapp paid tribute to the 33-year-old’s time at ​Tottenham, saying it had a tremendous influence on his career.

“If you let him have time on the ball, there aren’t many better. He’s the best player in the world right now, he’s been voted by everybody.

Tottenham Hotspur's Croatian player Luka

“I remember when he first arrived at Tottenham and he struggled a bit, I think the physicality of the Premier League.

“Obviously going to Real Madrid and playing with great players has helped him.

“But I think playing in the Premier League have him a massive appreciation of how you have to be so fast on the ball and the development of how much he improved at Tottenham was amazing.


“Now I see a player and he’s such a nice guy as well, an unassuming superstar if you like. He deserves all the plaudits he’s getting right now.”

Modric has made ten starts for the ​La Liga club this term contributing with two assists for his team but has been recently linked with a move away from the Bernabeu. 


Chelsea Star Mateo Kovacic Refuses to Be Drawn on Speculation Over Permanent Switch From Real Madrid

On-loan Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic has refused to be drawn on speculation over whether he will make his temporary move to Chelsea permanent at the end of the season.

The Croatian star has made an encouraging start to life at Stamford Bridge, featuring regularly in midfield alongside N’Golo Kante and Jorginho under Maurizio Sarri.

Having struggled for game time previously with parent club ​Real Madrid, it has been suggested that the 24-year-old could look to seal a permanent switch to west London. However ​Kovacic insisted to Marca, via ​Football.London: “I wanted to be happy and at ​Chelsea I am.

“I just wanted to be happy and play matches, feel a responsibility within the team and I’ve found that at Chelsea.

“This is not the time to talk about anything other than playing and enjoying. I don’t want to think about what will happen and do want to be happy doing what I like, which is to play football every week.”

Kovacic joined Real Madrid with a reputation as one of the brightest young midfielders in Europe as he moved from ​Inter in 2015. However, the Croatia international struggled to find his feet at the Bernabeu.

With the likes of ​Luka Modric and ​Toni Kroos ahead of him in the pecking order, Kovacic became a largely peripheral figure in the Spanish capital, making just 73 appearances in three years with Los Blancos.

By contrast, the playmaker has featured in 10 of Chelsea’s 12 Premier League games this term since joining on loan at Stamford Bridge during the summer.

Chelsea v Derby County - Carabao Cup Fourth Round

Kovacic appears a far more trusted and well-utilised figure under Maurizio Sarri’s management, with his technical quality and strong passing range better showcased in Chelsea’s midfield setup.


Analysing What Success Will Look Like This Season for Santi Solari at Real Madrid

Santiago Solari’s interim appointment couldn’t have gone much better at Real Madrid. His team won four out of four games and scored a resounding 15 goals in the process, impressing the board, fans and players alike.

It was no surprise then to see him handed the role permanently, but just what would qualify as a successful season for Madrid now? Especially considering Solari’s predecessor, Julen Lopetegui, oversaw one of the worst starts to a campaign in recent memory for Los Galacticos.

It was a turbulent appointment for Lopetegui, who was preparing for the World Cup with the Spanish national team at the time. The move created much controversy as the Spanish FA stripped Lopetegui of his position, affecting the team’s fortunes at the upcoming tournament.

The pressure of that controversy was maybe still hanging over the Spaniard, as he began his disastrous spell at Santiago Bernabeu. Madrid hit trouble after a thumping defeat at the hands of Sevilla, a result that sent them spiralling out.

Defeats to Alaves and CSKA Moscow marked low points that led up to a humiliating 5-1 defeat to Barcelona.

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

Real Madrid had slumped to ninth by the time Lopetegui was sacked and Solari took over.

Madrid’s improved form under Solari, coupled with Barcelona’s shock defeat to Real Betis last week, have put them back in the title picture. La Liga is awfully bunched up at the top though, and Madrid still sit behind five other teams in sixth.

Los Blancos’ domestic form was part of the criticism waged towards former boss Zinedine Zidane, despite three consecutive Champions League titles. Madrid have only won one of the last six La Liga crowns and are already playing catch up to recent winners Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

They haven’t fared much better in the Copa del Rey either, having lifted the trophy just twice in the last 25 years, while rivals Barcelona have won the double in three of the last four seasons. 

Madrid dominated Europe under Zidane, and in doing so became the first team to win three consecutive titles since Bayern Munich between 1974-1976.

They would match their own record dating all the way back to the 50’s if they were to win again, so that seems like a tall order for the newcomer – particularly without talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, whose influence cannot be underestimated despite his advancing years.

The decision to back Vinicius Junior as a long-term successor to Ronaldo has undoubtedly left them a weaker side in the short-term. After finishing 17 points behind Barcelona last season, it looks unlikely Solari will master a title triumph in the remainder of the season.

AC Milan v Juventus - Serie A

The three-point gap between Los Galacticos and city rivals Atletico Madrid is an achievable goal though, particularly if they maintain current form. The Copa del Rey would make an excellent accompaniment to the season as well considering Madrid’s recent record in that competition.

The board often demand greatness at the Santiago Bernabeu hence the pressure on Zidane in recent seasons. 

If Solari can secure a runner-up spot and a major domestic trophy though, it must be deemed a successful campaign given the circumstances of his appointment. 


Falcao ‘Offers Himself to Real Madrid’ in Attempt to Escape Problems at Monaco

​Monaco forward Radamel Falcao has offered himself to La Liga giants Real Madrid, as he attempts to escape what looks to be a sinking ship under Thierry Henry.

Monaco currently sit in a lowly 19th position in the Ligue 1 table, and haven’t seen the usual new manager bounce since hiring Arsenal legend Henry as manager – drawing once and losing the other three matches since he took charge.

AS Monaco v Paris Saint-Germain - Ligue 1

According to Marca, Falcao and his agent Jorge Mendes are aware that the situation in Monaco is no longer suitable for the player – the club’s president was recently arrested on suspicion of corruption – and as a result he’s been offered to Real Madrid. 

Los Blancos are still looking to strengthen their attacking options after coming off the back of a well publicised goal drought.

While Falcao could certainly offer Real some added firepower, it’s understood that the move isn’t looked upon kindly by some members of the Real board, who believe the club should continue with their policy of signing young and talented players.


Falcao, who is fast approaching his 33rd birthday, doesn’t fit in with their view of what Real’s future should look like.

Should a permanent move to Madrid not materialise for the Colombian, a loan deal is plausible and could work for both parties – Monaco no longer have the financial capability to pay players like Falcao who are on high wages and Real wouldn’t have to commit to a long term deal with a player whose best years may well be behind him.


Virgil van Dijk Claims Real Madrid ‘Ganged Up’ on Liverpool Defender in Champions League Final

​Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has revealed that he believes Real Madrid ganged up on teenage defender Trent Alexander-Arnold during last season’s Champions League final.

Two howlers from Liverpool ‘keeper Loris Karius and an overhead kick from Gareth Bale were enough for Los Blancos to lift yet another Champions League in a 3-1 victory over the Reds, who were without Mohamed Salah for the majority of the match after a controversial challenge from Sergio Ramos injured the Egyptian.


Speaking to De Telegraaf, as quoted by the Sportsman, Van Dijk outlined a change of mentality he identified when Salah was forced off through injury.

He said: “Mentally, something changed for Real Madrid once Salah left the pitch. Suddenly Marcelo, Benzema and Ronaldo all ganged up against our young right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold and left the whole right flank free. With Salah, they would not have dared.”

Van Dijk may have a point, Real Madrid’s second goal came down the right flank, and while Alexander-Arnold didn’t look out of place at that level, his inexperience may have told on such a big stage.

UEFA Champions League'Real Madrid v Liverpool FC'

Despite the disappointment in Kiev, there can be no doubting that the young right back now looks right at home for both club and country. 

Alexander-Arnold has turned himself into one of Liverpool’s most consistent performers, providing considerable quality from dead balls and shutting down some of Europe’s most dangerous wingers.

While some may view Real’s choice to focus on the right back last season as unfair or a negative thing, it’s the kind of ruthlessness that has seen the Spaniards become so successful in Europe in recent years. It may have been harsh, but the experience did Alexander-Arnold the world of good.


Dejan Lovren Launches Explicit Rant Towards Sergio Ramos Following Croatia’s 3-2 Victory Over Spain

​Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has directed an expletive-laden rant at Real Madrid star Sergio Ramos, following Croatia’s dramatic 3-2 victory over Spain in the UEFA Nations League on Wednesday.

Lovren and Ramos have clashed previously, with ​Lovren suggesting that he is the superior defender after featuring in both the Champions League and World Cup finals in recent months. The pair’s negative relationship dates back to the Champions League final, when Mohamed Salah was forced off the field after suffering an injury in a clash with Ramos.

Following the game, ​Lovren took to Instagram to send his latest message to ​Ramos. He is quoted by The Star as saying “elbowed him good” after making an elbowing gesture to the camera, before saying: ”Go ahead and talk now buddy. Buddy! They are a bunch of p******.”

Lovren continued to dominate headlines after his rant by claiming that Spain lacked respect for the Croatians. He told Croatian outlet ​Vecernji list“We lost 6-0 and we congratulated them. But after the last few seconds, they left without acknowledging us. Only ​Morata stopped. 

Spain  v England  -UEFA Nations league

“I have not experienced that yet, so the victory is even more fun. Great matches, but I have not yet experienced that someone shows such little respect for the opponent.”

Finally, Lovren admitted to ​Vecernji list that he was frustrated with the fact that Croatia do not have a permanent home. The team have played at three different stadiums in 2018, and Lovren insisted that a new stadium should be built. 

He said: “There are good memories, some memories from this stadium, but it is time to build us something more beautiful.

Croatia v England - UEFA Nations League A

“If not, then take the shovels into your hands and dig up something else.”

The result means all three teams in Group A4 – Spain, Croatia and England – can finish in first position in the table, whilst both Croatia and England face the prospect of relegation. The two meet in a crucial clash on Sunday, and the two sides will be desperate to emerge victorious.


Juventus Reject Chance to Sign Out of Favour Real Madrid Goalkeeper Keylor Navas

​Juventus have rejected the chance to sign Real Madrid’s relegated keeper Keylor Navas, despite a relative lack of world class depth in the position. 

After losing Gianluigi Buffon to Paris Saint-Germain over the summer, the Old Lady designated their vacant number one spot to Wojciech Szczesny, whilst also bringing in Genoa’s Mattia Perin for a modest €12m fee. 

Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen - UEFA Champions League

The former Arsenal man, who was bought for £11m in July 2017 after a successful loan spell at Roma, has had an up and down season between the sticks so far, and has come in for some criticism on occasion, as I Bianconeri attempt to triumph on all fronts.

According to reports from Italian publication Corriere di Torino, as outlined in the ​Mirror, the Costa Rican custodian’s representatives were alert to this fact, and thus attempted to feel out the possibilities of a switch for their client. 

The ​Real Madrid man has been forced to deputise for summer recruit ​Thibaut Courtois this season, settling for just seven appearances across competitions. He has not appeared in La Liga since August.

Evidently seeking pastures new, the 31-year-old was hoping ​​Juve’s uncertainty surrounding their number one, and their eagerness to win the Champions League, of which he is a three-time winner, could land him a new home.

However, the ​Serie A leaders were not on the same wavelength, choosing instead to stick with their Polish international for now. Considering the 28-year-old’s crucial penalty save in their last clash with Milan at San Siro, it may have been the right call.


Cristiano Ronaldo ‘Proposes to Georgina Rodriguez’ & Spends £27,000 on Wine in London Restaurant

​Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly proposed to his girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, and the couple are set to get married soon.

Ronaldo has opted to spend the international break on holiday with his family in London. He has visited the Royal Opera House and was also present for the ATP Finals tennis match between Novak Djokovic and John Isner.


News of his successful proposal comes from Portuguese outlet ​Correio da Manha, who claim to have been informed of the news by someone close to ​Ronaldo. The source said: “Cristiano has asked Gio to marry him and the wedding will take place soon, although only a handful of people know the details.”

Ronaldo is said to have proposed to his girlfriend ahead of a dinner at London restaurant Zela, with the couple then posting several pictures online which show them wearing rings.

During their time in London, the couple visited Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair where, according to ​The Sun, he is said to have spent £27,000 on two bottles of wine in just 15 minutes. A source who saw Ronaldo at the bar said: “Ronaldo was in a great mood and wanted to celebrate.

“It was the first birthday of his daughter Alana Martina. Ronaldo and Georgina marked the occasion in style.

“His group were in and out of Scott’s in little over 15 minutes. They hadn’t booked and just rocked up and sat at the bar.

“They had about a glass and a half of wine each before rushing off to watch some tennis. They didn’t even finish the second bottle.

AC Milan v Juventus - Serie A

“But the bill was £27,000. It was just small change to Ronaldo – he didn’t blink an eye. It was the talk of the restaurant all night.”

The first bottle was the world’s most expensive wine, Richebourg Grand Cru, which is only offered to exclusive guests at £18,000 per bottle. The second was a 1982 Pomerol Petrus, which cost Ronaldo a further £9,000.

The Juventus forward has not been called up for Portugal’s upcoming fixtures with Italy and Poland as he fights allegations of rape which date back to 2009. However, Ronaldo vehemently rejects the accusations and is currently fighting the case.


Karim Benzema Remains a Target for Milan Despite Striker Rejecting Rossoneri Contract Offer

​Karim Benzema has reportedly turned down a chance to join AC Milan in favour of staying with Real Madrid, but the Italian giants remain highly interested in the French striker. 

According to Gazzetta dello Sport (via TransferMarketWeb), the 30-year-old met with representatives from the Milanese club over the summer, but was insufficiently impressed by his potential salary, and opted to stick with the project in the Spanish capital.

RC Celta de Vigo v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

However, according to​ another report from Italian paper Gazzetta (this time via Mundo​ Deportivo), the Italian side still see Benzema as a ‘main objective’ and could yet offer improved terms for the number nine, whose contract in Madrid runs until June 2021. 

Spanish rumours site Don Balon (via ​CalcioMercato) even claimed earlier in the week that Milan floated an offer of around €65m to Florentino Perez for the veteran forward. However, the site is notoriously unreliable.

Despite Real Madrid’s well documented troubles this season, ​Benzema has had a fairly profitable campaign so far, picking up 10 goals and three assists in 18 appearances across competitions so far. 

In light of this, it appears that ​Milan may not be deterred by their continued rejection as they seek a new striker – despite the presence of Gonzalo Higuain in their ranks and a rumoured interest in bringing back Zlatan Ibrahimovic back to San Siro.

However, according to Don Balon’s report anyway, ​​Los B​lancos are more enticed to engage in negotiations with Milan’s cross-town rivals Inter. 

As opposed to the purely financial remuneration that the Rossoneri could offer them, Madrid could seek to seal a cash plus player deal for coveted Nerazzurri striker ​Mauro Icardi.