The 8 Players That Have Played for Capital City Rivals Atletico Madrid & Real Madrid

Whatever country, whatever league, whatever level, it takes a brave player to don the strip of two fierce footballing rivals during their career. Not many do so, whether it be down to sheer respect for a former club or simply because they dare not face the ridicule, it’s a huge step to take. 

Granted, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid don’t have the most heated of rivalry in world football (El Clasico is perhaps more important to Los Blancos), but a rivalry it is nonetheless. 

With a transfer across the capital nearing ever closer for one Marcos Llorente, we here at ​90min have taken a look at the eight players to play for both of the two biggest clubs in Madrid.   ​


Hugo Sanchez 

Hugo Sanchez is, to this day, arguably one of the greatest forwards to not only don both shirts but to ever play the beautiful game in general. 

The Mexican signed for ​Atletico Madrid in 1981 and found the net an impressive 54 times in 111 ​La Liga appearances over a five year spell. His reward for his outstanding performances was a transfer to the white side of Madrid where he stayed until 1992.

During his time at Real, Sanchez hit 35+ goals for four seasons in a row, including breaking the 40 mark twice. Deadly. 


Juanfran

Juanfran,Cristiano Ronaldo

Many casual fans may not even realise that Juanfran spent some time at Real Madrid after being so used to seeing him wearing the red and white over the last decade. 

Before his transfer to Osasuna in 2006, the full back came through the ranks at Los Blancos before breaking into the senior team in 2004. 

The Spaniard only made six appearances for Real before his eventual transfer away but as they say, one man’s loss is another man’s gain. Juanfran made his move to Atletico in 2011 and has since cemented himself as a bit of a club legend. 


Jose Antonio Reyes 

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The late Jose Antonio Reyes, well known to many for his time at ​Arsenal, had a loan spell at Real Madrid before making a permanent move to the other side of the capital. 

Arsene Wenger sent the winger on loan to Los Blancos in 2006 and despite impressing during his short time, decided to take up the option to sign for their rivals, Atletico in 2007. 

Reyes was an extremely likeable character and player wherever he went. Sadly, the 35-year-old passed away following a car accident earlier this year and tributes flooded in from around the footballing community, honouring the Spaniard and his great career. 


Bernd Schuster

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Bernd Schuster decided to one up everyone in the list by not only playing for Atletico Madrid and ​Real Madrid, but prior to both, playing for ​Barcelona also.

The German midfielder transferred to the Sanitago Bernabeu following an eight-year spell at the Camp Nou and caused a huge stir over in Spain due to the fierce rivalry between the two. 

Following a successful period at Real, Schuster then caused another stir by making the move to Atletico. He went on to score the opening goal in the 1992 Copa del Rey final versus the Los Blancos, cementing himself in the history books for eternity. 

In 2007, he once again returned to the white side of Madrid but this time as manager. We’ve come to the conclusion that the former playmaker just likes being controversial. 


​Raul

Raul; yes that is Real Madrid legend Raul, had a spell at Atletico Madrid. In fact, the legendary striker spent two years of his youth career at the Wanda Metropolitano before making the move to Real in 1994. 

Ok, so maybe he didn’t go on to make a senior appearance for the Los Rojiblancos but we didn’t want to leave him out due to our sheer astonishment of the fact Atletico let him slip through their fingers.

One of the greatest strikers of his generation, the Spaniard went on to make 550 appearances for the Los Blancos, scoring 228 goals. 


Santiago Solari 

Santiago Solari,

Maybe known more recently for his time in the Real Madrid dugout, Santiago Solari spent time as a player at both Atletico Madrid and Real in the 90s. 

Midfielder by trade, Solari joined the Los Rojiblancos in 1999 and despite impressing in his first season, couldn’t save the club from relegation from La Liga. 

The Argentinian did however impress enough to be scouted by Vicente del Bosque who took him across the capital to join their rivals. ​He made 131 appearances for the Los Blancos before making a move to Italian giants, ​Inter. 


Thibaut Courtois

​Thibaut Courtois was bought by ​Chelsea in 2011 after impressing as a youngster with native club, Genk and was immediately sent out on loan to Atletico. 

After spending three years on loan in the Spanish capital, he quickly established himself as one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world and eventually cemented himself as Chelsea’s number one. 

Following numerous successful seasons in London in which he became a ​Premier League champion amongst other honours, he transferred to the Los Blancos at the start of the 2018 season.


Alvaro Morata 

Alvaro Morata

​Courtois isn’t the only former Chelsea player to have connections to Madrid. ​Alvaro Morata spent the second half of the 18/19 season in the Spanish capital but this isn’t his first spell with Los Rojiblancos. 

Morata was born in Madrid and came through the ranks with Atletico before making the move to rivals Real in 2010. The Spaniard became a bit of a super sub at the Bernabeau, spending a lot of the time playing second fiddle to the likes of ​Karim Benzema, before eventually making what looked to be a breakthrough move to London in 2017.

The 26-year-old, however, couldn’t stay away from his native land and was loaned to his home team following an uninspiring spell at Stamford Bridge in which he never really settled. 

Despite his loan only officially running until the end of the 2018/19 season, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see him lining up at the Wanda Metropolitano again come August.


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PSG President Provides Update on Kylian Mbappe’s Future Amid Real Madrid Links

​Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has said he is ‘200% sure’ that Kylian Mbappe will remain at the club beyond the summer, despite growing speculation linking the 20-year-old with Real Madrid. 

Since moving to the Parisians from Monaco in 2017, for a fee believed to be around £100m, the 20-year-old has more than lived up to the billing, scoring 60 goals in 87 appearances and winning a World Cup with France in the process.

Such has been his growth in stature that it would surely take a stratospheric offer to pry him from their grasp, but two years on, there is some galactic interest in his signature, with ​Real Madrid reportedly seeing him as one of many targets for their squad overhaul – which has already seen them spend close to £200m on Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy. 

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The club’s president, however, has moved to put an end to the rumours that Mbappe could become one of them once and for all, saying via France Football (as quoted by ​Marca): “I’m 200 percent sure that he will be at PSG next season.”

​Mbappe will perhaps become even more central to PSG’s fortunes going forward, as Al-Khelaifi’s previous comments on the club’s ‘celebrity culture’ gave rise to speculation that Neymar could be moved on this summer. 

The president said on Sunday: “Players will have to assume their responsibilities even more than before. It must be completely different.


“They will have to do more, work more. They are not there to please themselves.

“And if they do not agree, the doors are open. Ciao! I do not want to have any celebrity behaviour anymore,” he concluded.

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7 Players Who Returned to Their Former Club as Manager & How They Fared

​It started as a pipe dream, a lovely idea and all that, but one that would never actually happen.

However, the notion of Frank Lampard returning to Stamford Bridge – his spiritual home – doesn’t seem quite so ridiculous anymore. It is very much on the cards after Maurizio Sarri left Chelsea to become Juventus’ new boss and there have even been whispers that a deal to bring Lampard back to west London has already been struck behind closed doors.

​​You may hear people say it’s too early and that Super Frank is too inexperienced as a coach. You may also hear others say that this is the best news from the ​Blues since it was announced in 2003 that some Russian oligarch would be pumping ungodly amounts of money into the club (of which the benefits are equally debatable).

To be perfectly honest, either group could be right. There’s a long history of players taking charge of their old club, with varying degrees of success and it is impossible to say whether Chelsea will live to regret appointing Lampard. 

Here’s a look at some of those individuals who went on to coach the teams they used to play for.


Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry is a really, really nice man. Unfortunately, he is also a really, really bad football coach. Ok, that’s a bit over the top, but my goodness he had a nightmare start to his managerial career.

He lasted 104 days in the Monaco hotseat having come through the Ligue 1 side’s academy in the 1990s. Now, that might seem harsh, but had they given him much more time it would have been because of blind loyalty rather than Henry actually earning it.

The ex-striker won just 20% of the matches he oversaw, collecting just a single point in the ​Champions League group stages and leaving the club in the relegation zone by the time of his dismissal in January.

Success Rating: 0/10


Gennaro Gattuso

Gennaro Gattuso

Renowned for his bullish attitude and fierce on-field demeanour, Gattuso is decidedly less intimidating following a testing period as ​Milan boss. They finished fifth in the league last term, agonisingly close to securing a return to the Champions League.

That’s hardly an abysmal showing. Still, the feisty Italian squandered £170m on a host of new recruits who, for the most part, looked disinterested and sub-par. Worse still, he lost 5-1 to ​Arsenal (ARSENAL!?) in the Europa League in 2018 – that’s just unforgivable.

Success Rating: 3/10


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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Never get in a car if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is at the wheel. The ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ flattered to deceive at ​Manchester United, initially looking like the messiah before his Red Devils side started to splutter and choke.

Things were rosy when March rolled around and Ole had been in the job for a few months, with the Norwegian having the second best win ratio in United history by that point. By May he had the worst. 

Nevertheless, this may be less of a Solskjaer problem and more of a Manchester United one – no coach has truly impressed at Old Trafford since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement and the squad seems to be lawless. However, it’s still early days for Solskjaer and he’s already proven he can get this team back on its feet.

Success Rating: 4/10


Pep Guardiola

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No one can deny that Pep Guardiola’s tenure at ​Barcelona brought unparalleled success to Camp Nou. What people do debate, however, is how much of it was down to Pep and how much was due to the insanely talented squad at his disposal.

Firstly, he is not a fraud. Yes, he has spent gargantuan sums of money on recruitment, but that is because his breathtaking style-of-play requires a certain calibre of players. Of course, the need for significant financial backing and a team with such immense levels of skill does slightly detract from the impressiveness of the Catalan’s record.

Nevertheless, two European titles and the most trophies collected by any Barça manager is rather good. There’s also the intangibles to account for; the impact he had on the growth of ​Lionel Messi and his teammates, the delicious brand of football he created and the influence ‘Tiki-Taka’ had on the future of the sport. Pep’s done alright.

Success Rating: 8/10


Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane

Nine pieces of silverware were collected during Zinedine Zidane’s first stint with ​Real Madrid, the Frenchman winning three more trophies at the Bernabeu than he did as a midfielder in roughly half the time.

A hat-trick of Champions League triumphs is a superb achievement, but Zidane has been unable to work his magic since rejoining Los Blancos in the spring. Between 2016 and 2018 he had a win-percentage of 70%, but in 2019 he has struggled to motivate a lethargic Real outfit.

He must stop the rot or risk his magnificent reputation in the Spanish capital turn to dust (Madrid fans have notoriously-short memories).

Success Rating: 8/10


Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe

31 December 2008: Eddie Howe becomes caretaker manager at League Two relegation-fodder ​Bournemouth, who are under a transfer embargo.

27 April 2015: Bournemouth are promoted to the ​Premier League for the first time ever after winning the Championship with 90 points. 

21 May 2017: Bournemouth finish in ninth place in the top-flight, above last season’s champions Leicester City.

The facts do all the talking when it comes to Howe’s performance with the Cherries. He is a delightful man and a splendid coach, ensuring that his team plays football that is both attractive and effective. No, he hasn’t won a trophy, but the story of Bournemouth FC is beautiful and unbelievable.

Success Rating: 9/10


Kenny Dalglish

Kenny Dalglish,Craig Johnston,Steve Nicol

King Kenny’s greatest contribution to ​Liverpool is not related to matters on the field. They were vastly superior to every other club in the land under Dalglish, tasting glory on numerous occasions.

However, it was the Scotsman’s courage and grace in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster that make him so respected and adored. He held the Reds together in their darkest hour, showed what it really means to be brave and carried the weight of a weeping city on his back.

Success Rating: 10/10

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Neymar Edging Closer to PSG Exit as Club Looks to Rid Itself of ‘Celebrity Culture’

Reports from France are indicating that Paris Saint-Germain are willing to sell Neymar this summer, two years on from his record-breaking move from Barcelona.

Neymar arrived in Paris in 2017 for a monumental £200m fee, making him the most expensive player in the world. The Brazilian has largely been a success on the pitch for the Parisians, registering 51 goals and 29 assists during his time in the French capital, but reservations still linger over whether he has lived up to his huge price tag.

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Now, according to French outlet ​L’Equipe, PSG will be happy to part ways with ​Neymar this summer – so long as they receive what they would consider to be a suitable offer.

The imminent arrival of Leonardo as the club’s new sporting director will spell a new era for the French champions, who are looking to shake things up behind the scenes to ensure that they are able to make the next step – particularly on the European front.

The report also suggests that the player himself is also happy to move on this summer, which could open the door for the likes of ​Real Madrid and former club ​Barcelona, who have both previously ​been linked with an approach for the Brazilian. 

The news follows recent comments from president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who recently told France Football (via ​The Sun) that he is looking to clamp down on celebrity culture at the club.

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“Players will have to assume their responsibilities even more than before. It must be completely different,” he declared.

“They will have to do more, work more. They are not there to please themselves.

“And if they do not agree, the doors are open. Ciao! I do not want to have any celebrity behaviour anymore.”

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Luka Jovic Reveals His Thoughts on Real Madrid Move After Presentation at Santiago Bernabeu

Real Madrid’s newest striker Luka Jovic has described his move to the Santiago Bernabeu as a ‘gift from heaven,’ and talked about his desire for Champions League glory with Los Blancos. 

The 21-year-old Serbian international was one of European football’s most sought after players this summer, following a remarkable campaign with Frankfurt that saw the striker bag 27 goals in 48 appearances.

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However, despite interest from the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, it was Los Blancos who managed to secure the Serbian’s signature. 

Speaking to Real Madrid’s official website Jovic stated: “It’s an incredible feeling. I’m thrilled to be part of the biggest club in the world. It’s an enormous pleasure to be pulling on the Real Madrid jersey.

On his feelings at stepping out onto the pitch at the Santiago Bernabeu for the first time he said: “It was wonderful. A gift from heaven. It’s such a pleasure to have the opportunity to wear this club’s jersey.”

Luka Jovic,Florentino Perez

Jovic detailed how it was extremely motivating to sign for a club with such a rich European Cup history, and outlined his aims for the coming season with Madrid.

I would love to keep winning titles and I hope I can help us to win Champions League. My dream is to win the Champions League,” he added.

The 21-year-old was also full of admiration for veteran Madrid striker, and the man whose place he may soon usurp, Karim Benzema.

He’s undoubtedly one of the best forwards of the last decade,” Jovic said. “When he signed for ​Real Madrid I was 11 years old. I’ve seen loads of his goals, lots of his matches and it’s a great honour to be his teammate. I hope to learn a lot from him.

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Someone else the 21-year-old will undoubtedly be looking to learn from is new teammate, Eden Hazard. The pair join Eder Militao, Rodrygo Goes, and more recently Ferland Mendy, as the new wave of ‘Galacticos’ that manager Zinedine Zidane has brought in as he looks to wrest the La Liga title away from rivals Barcelona. 

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Andriy Lunin: 4 Things to Know About Real Madrid’s U-20 World Cup Golden Glove Winner

The Ukranian goalkeeper had a sensational U20 World Cup with his team, beating South Korea in the final to lift the coveted trophy.

The 20-year-old has impressed in the World Cup, making crucial and difficult saves throughout the tournament, most importantly in the final to keep the South Koreans at bay. For his heroic efforts, Lunin deservedly won the Golden Glove for the best goalkeeper in the tournament.


Here are four things to know about Real Madrid’s young keeper.


Full Ukranian International

Andriy Lunin

The ​Real Madrid stopper has featured three times already for Ukraine’s senior side, with his appearances in coming in 2018 in friendlies against Saudi Arabia, Albania and Turkey.

He conceded just two goals in those three fixtures but he was not able to showcase his class as he had limited action in those games.

Shakhtar Donetsk’s Andriy Pyatov is currently Ukraine’s number one but he is 34 years old, giving Lunin the chance to take the coveted spot of being first choice for his country in the near future. Therefore, it is not unexpected that Lunin will start to win more caps sooner rather than later and establish himself as Ukraine’s best goalkeeper for the next decade.


Commanding Presence

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At 6’3″, the 20-year-old is nearly as tall as Manuel Neuer and David de Gea, which bodes well for him in the future as he will continue to grow. His game is similar to that of Neuer as well with his main strengths being his distribution and reflexes.

Throughout the U20 World Cup he showed that he can make difficult saves at important moments, as well as his ability to read and control high balls into his area. This lifted some pressure off of the defence and helped them to ultimately win the tournament.

Lunin does have a knack for losing concentration but that will be improved with more minutes and experience at the highest level. He has shown the potential is there and is tipped to become one of the best keepers in his generation alongside Italy’s ​Gianluigi Donnarumma and France’s Alban Lafont.


Set to Remain on Loan at CD Leganés

Andriy Lunin,Saul Niguez

Los Merengues have huge depth in the goalkeeper position with Thibaut Courtois, Keylor Navas and Luca Zidane all in the first team squad. This meant that Lunin had to leave on loan to Leganés to secure more playing time.

However, he was unable to displace first choice goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar and only played seven games in all competitions. Despite limited minutes, the Ukrainian kept an impressive tally of three clean sheets for a side that spent much of the season in the lower half of the table.

Real are set to have agreed to extend Lunin’s loan until the end of next season as Cuellar is most likely on his way out, plus the fact that Leganes boss Mauricio Pellegrino is said to be a big fan of Lunin.


Ambiguous Future at Real Madrid

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Despite his huge potential, he is yet to make an appearance for Los Blancos since he signed from Zorya Luhansk for an initial €8.5m with €5m in add-ons on June 2018.

Florentino Pérez and the Madrid board reportedly view Lunin as the back-up goalkeeper to Courtois, however Los Blancos manager Zinedine Zidane prefers Navas and his son Luca over Lunin.

However, Navas is reportedly on his way out, which could leave an opening for the Ukrainian but in order to progress, he requires more minutes. With21-year-old Luca Zidane on the books, Real Madrid will have to make a decision on who they would like to keep to be the number two keeper. Zidane would make a strong case to keep his son at the club and will have a major influence on the final say, leaving Lunin’s future at the club in limbo.

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Transfer Rumours: Lo Celso to Man Utd, Palace Line Up Wan-Bissaka Replacement & More

​Rumours, rumours and yes, you guessed it, more rumours.

Love ’em or hate ’em, they are here to stay for the summer – regardless of how insane some of them may seem. Today we’ve got Manchester United getting linked to another (that’s right, another) player, Crystal Palace planning for life beyond Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Milan prepping for a busy summer.

Let’s get started, shall we?


Giovani Lo Celso Suddenly Up for Grabs

Giovanni Lo Celso

​Manchester United have been linked to everyone from Bruno Fernandes to Frank Bruno, but the latest #goss claims that the Red Devils are also keeping tabs on Real Betis star Giovani Lo Celso.

​inews reports that Betis are suddenly resigned to losing the Argentine midfielder this summer and are willing to let him go for £22m less than his £89m release clause – for reasons that aren’t fully explained… 

As well as United, ​Tottenham also remain interested Lo Celso, having previously seen a £53m bid turned down, and the player himself is said to be favouring a move to work with Mauricio Pochettino. 

Watch this Lo Space-o.


Fabian Ruiz Is ‘Happy’ at Napoli

Fabian Ruiz

​Napoli didn’t exactly set the world alight in 2018/19. Yes, they did finish second in Serie A, but they were also 21 points behind champions Juventus. Yikes.

Inconsistent performances from the majority of the squad hampered I Partenopei but they were able to rely on Fabian Ruiz, who enjoyed a stellar campaign. That obviously means everyone wants a piece of him this summer – including ​Real Madrid.

Napoli fans can relax though as the Spaniard has suggested he is going nowhere, telling Sky Italia, (via ​Spo​rt): “I have a contract here and I am happy here, the fans can be calm. I thank the fans for the support they have given me, thank you for your love, my reception at the club has been very positive.”

Phew.


Roma Hold Firm Over Nicolo Zaniolo

Nicolo' Zaniolo

Staying in Italy, one of the hottest prospects in European football, Roma youngster Nicolo Zaniolo is being monitored by a whole host of top sides. However, it’s going to take a huge bid to take him away from the Italian capital this summer.

Journalist ​Gianluca Di Marzio has claimed that Roma have now placed a €70m price tag on the 19-year-old in an attempt to ward off interest from the likes of Tottenham, ​Arsenal and ​Juventus.

Juventus may not be put off by that sort of fee when you consider their financial might, but Arsenal don’t have that sort of money and, even if Tottenham do, they don’t exactly have a reputation for spending the big bucks. 

Roma have previously seen star players like Mohamed Salah and Alisson leave the club for let’s call it overly reasonable prices, and they won’t be making the same mistake twice.


Crystal Palace Prepare for Life Without Aaron Wan-Bissaka

SOCCER RED DEVILS QUALIFICATION EURO 2020 BELGIUM VS RUSSIA

One of the many transfer stories that refuses to go away is Manchester United’s pursuit of ​Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Even if Crystal Palace say that they won’t budge when it comes to the young right back, Belgian journalist ​Kristof Terreur suggests otherwise. He says that Palace have held talks with Atalanta’s Timothy Castagne, as a possible replacement in case the worst happens.

Castagne himself has recently hinted that he would like to play in England, telling Gazzetta dello Sport (via ​Football Italia): “Serie A’s a very competitive tournament, I like it, but one day I’d like to play in the Premier League.”


Watford Bolster Midfield Options With Ligue 2 Prospect

Watford v Liverpool - Premier League

​Watford have a pretty decent squad at their disposal, but there is no use in standing still.

According to journalist ​Mohamed Toubache, Watford are all but set to confirm the signing of 20-year-old midfielder Pape Gueye from Ligue 2 outfit Le Havre, before sending him straight out on loan to Udinese.

Ok… it’s not the most exciting piece of transfer news for Watford (there’s not even a photo of him in the image bank), but hey, at least it isn’t a story which involves the departure of Abdoulaye Doucoure. 


It’s All Change at Milan

Fernandez Suso

It’s been chaos behind the scenes for Milan after they failed to qualify for the Champions League.

With several players’ futures up in the air, former Liverpool misfit Suso is a target for Premier League sides Tottenham, Arsenal and ​West Ham – as well as ​Atletico Madrid – according to ​Milannews.it

The Spanish winger is unlikely to fit into the system of incoming manager Marco Giampaolo, which means he’s set for the chop this summer.

In other Milan news, the Rossoneri remain interested in a move for Arsenal’s Lucas Torreira, with the Uruguayan being described as a ‘dream’ signing. Do I smell a potential swap deal on the cards?


Leeds Not Planning to Part Ways With Key Duo

Jack Clarke

​Leeds were able to retain the services of Marcelo Bielsa: Good. 

Leeds may be forced to part ways with a number of key players this summer: Bad.

Well, not necessarily. ​The Daily Star say that Leeds are going to do everything they can to hold on to Jack Clarke and Kalvin Phillips, despite recent interest in the pair from Tottenham and ​Aston Villa.

Spurs are eyeing up Clarke after failing to secure a deal for Jack Grealish, while Villa have Phillips in their sights and are willing to fork out up to £14m for the defensive midfielder.


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Takefusa Kubo: The Bizarre Reason Why Barcelona Missed Out to Real Madrid for ‘Japanese Messi’

​Real Madrid snuck in to seal the signing of highly rated Japanese forward Takefusa Kubo from FC Tokyo for free ahead of rivals Barcelona, thanks to their attention to detail.

Clásico rivals Barcelona were also keeping tabs on the player, who spent four years in their academy between 2011 and 2015, along with Paris Saint-Germain, but it was Los Blancos who ultimately ​announced the deal on Friday.

18-year-old Kubo, who is set to spend next season in Real Madrid’s B team under the tutelage of club legend Raul Gonzalez, returns to Spain after four years, when a Barcelona transfer ban for the illegal signing of youth players ultimately led him to leave La Masia to return to Japan.

Takefusa Kubo

Nicknamed (somewhat predictably) the ‘Japanese Messi’ big things are expected of Kubo, who made his senior Japan debut in 2019. Barcelona had been tipped as favourites to re-sign the wonderkid but, according to ​Marca, they were tripped up by his contract termination date. 

The report claims that Real Madrid were aware his contract ended this summer, while (possibly confused by an error on the website Transfermarkt) Barcelona and PSG were under the impression that the deal ended on 31 January 2020.

Los Blancos made Kubo an attractive offer, a five-year contract worth 1.2m a year, in order to steal the talent from under the noses of their rivals, who were still mulling their propos thinking they had more time.

When asked about joining ​Real Madrid, the 18-year-old, who is currently on international duty, said: “I am very happy to have signed for Real Madrid. 

“I’m calm. It’s a normal day, but I’m very happy.”

On Real’s ​website, Los Blancos described their new player as ‘technically gifted and hugely talented’. 

Takefusa Kubo

Real Madrid will have one of the most promising young players in world football. An attacking midfielder of excellent technique, very skilled, with vision of game, great dribble and goal [scoring],” their statement reads.

Although not one for the first team just yet, Kubo’s signing takes Real Madrid to six so far this window as Zindedine Zidane looks to rebuild his squad and reassert their dominance in both Spanish and European football. 

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Champions League 2018/19 Fastest Players: Virgil van Dijk Tops Speed List Ahead of Man City Star

Adding to his growing list of accolades, Liverpool superstar Virgil van Dijk is now officially the fastest player in Europe beating out the likes of ​Gareth Bale, ​Kylian Mbappe and Leroy Sane to clock the fastest speed in the Champions League this season.

Van Dijk – even ahead of his own Sonic-fast team-mates ​Mohamed Salah and ​Sadio Mane -recorded a top speed of 34.5km per hour during Liverpool’s semi-final first leg against Barcelona at Camp Nou, as noted in UEFA’s UCL Final Programme

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The figure was recorded (amazingly) in the 92nd minute of the tie against ​Barça, following a Liverpool corner. 

The hosts launched a quick counter-attack in search for a fourth goal, yet van Dijk sprinted from Barcelona’s box across the length of the pitch to catch up with play in the Liverpool box at the other end. With what happened at Anfield in the second leg, Van Dijk’s herculean actions may well have been the difference between Liverpool making the final or going out in a blaze of glory.

The Rolls-Royce centre-back has been a revelation for Liverpool, proving instrumental in their Champions League triumph, and their strong pursuit of ​Manchester City in the title race. His composure is often lauded, as is his commanding physical presence. Yet with the release of these results maybe we will see recognition of his wonderful pace too. 

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Van Dijk’s sprint beat out City winger Sane’s fastest by just 0.1km per hour according to the data. Below is the full list of the five fastest players in the Champions League 2018/19:

Speed Player Match
34.5km/h Virgil van Dijk Barcelona vs Liverpool
34.4km/h Leroy Sane Manchester City vs Hoffenheim
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Real Madrid Officially Announce Signing of Japanese Youngster Takefusa Kubo From FC Tokyo

​Real Madrid have officially announced the signing of Japanese youngster Takefusa Kubo, who will join up with Los Blancos’ development squad Castilla next season.

Kubo is one of the most promising young talents to emerge from Japan in recent years, having made his debut for the national team aged just 18. He spent his early years in the Barcelona academy setup, before making his way back over to Japan to join up with FC Tokyo, where he made his professional debut back in 2017.

Takefusa Kubo,Jonathan Jimenez

​Real Madrid confirmed the transfer in an official statement on their ​club website, announcing that the youngster will be a part of the Castilla squad next season, rather than a member of the first team.

Los Blancos have not disclosed a transfer fee, or revealed any details about the length of the contract Kubo has signed with the club, but a previous reports from ​Marca indicated that the youngster was in line for a five-year deal in the Spanish capital after Real agreed a €2m fee.

The official statement from the club read: “Takefusa Kubo will reinforce Castilla next season. The first Real Madrid affiliate will have one of the most promising young players in world football. 

Takefusa Kubo

“An attacking midfielder of excellent technique, very skilled, with vision of game, great dribble and goal… Kubo has already been international with the Japanese national team.”

While he is by no means a high-profile acquisition, Kubo is the latest in a string of new arrivals at the Bernabeu after the club have already secured the likes of Eden Hazard, Eder Militao, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy.

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