Neymar & Coutinho Both Named Real Madrid as ‘Dream Club’ as Youngsters in 2008

​Neymar and Coutinho, despite their respective sagas in this summer’s transfer window, both shared the same dream as teenagers.

It turns out that the Brazilian duo aimed to play for Real Madrid, not Barcelona, although both expressed their admiration of the Spanish top flight.

Neymar, of course, departed Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month, bringing to an end a four-year spell that began when he arrived at the Nou Camp from Santos in 2013.

Coutinho, meanwhile, has been at the centre of a number of failed bids from the Blaugrana, with Liverpool determined to keep the midfielder at Anfield.

But neither had Barcelona as their ideal future destinations when speaking to ​Marca in a 2008 interview, while playing for the Brazil under-16 squad.

Asked of their dream clubs, Coutinho said: “Real Madrid. It is the best team in the world.” Neymar echoed his compatriot. “Real Madrid.”


And quizzed on their idols growing up, Neymar confessed to admiring then Los Blancos forward Robinho. “I joined Santos aged seven,” he said. “At the start I played football sala and then moved to Portuguesa Santista before returning to Santos. 

“I saw Robinho a lot on the television and I tried to copy him all the time above all the way he looks to beat players. I also love Spanish football. They play attractive football, that is fast and with a lot of quality.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Coutinho’s answer was the same. “I learnt to do bicycle kicks watching Robinho on the television,” he replied. “I like a lot to watch Real Madrid and Barcelona which are my favourite teams in LaLiga.”

[embedded content]

He added: “In the Spanish league there are the best players in the world like Robinho and Ronaldinho.”


VIDEO: Gareth Bale Makes Young Wales Fan’s Dreams Come True With Spontaneous Gesture

Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale made one young Wales fan’s dreams come true when he stopped to sign autographs after a national team training session this week.

The fan, who told Bale he was his ‘most favourite player in the world’, didn’t seem to quite believe at first that his idol was actually standing in front of him.

“Are you actually Gareth Bale?” the youngster asked.

The winger signed items and posed for a picture, before then asking if the fan, named Curtis, wanted the training top he was wearing.

The supporter could barely contain his excitement, jumping up and down, and asking if Bale could also sign the top as well.

Republic of Ireland v Wales - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

Taking to Instagram on Wednesday, Bale posted a video of the encounter alongside a caption that read, “Really good to meet the fans at training yesterday. Hope you all had a great day!”

Bale and the rest of the Wales squad are currently preparing for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Moldova early next month.

Both are must-win games if the team is to kick on from last year’s incredible journey to the Euro 2016 semi-finals and qualify for a first World Cup since 1958. They currently trail Serbia and the Republic of Ireland by four points after drawing five of their opening six games.

” data-viewability-attr=”narcos”>



Wales Boss Chris Coleman Advises Bale to Stay at Real Madrid as Links to Man Utd Refuse to Die

​Wales manager Chris Coleman has expressed his belief that Gareth Bale should remain at Real Madrid amid continuous links with a move to Manchester United.

Spanish outlet ​Diario Gol claim that United have made a £97m bid for the winger as they look to complete a deal before the close of the transfer window on Thursday.

The 28-year-old was whistled by Real Madrid fans after struggling in Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Valencia at the Bernabeu, and United are believed to be confident that a deal could be done.


But Coleman has insisted that Bale should stay in the Spanish capital, despite some expressing doubt over his place in Zinedine Zidane’s side in recent weeks.

“Gareth has won three Champions Leagues medals,” Coleman said, quoted by the Mirror. “No one else has ever gone to a foreign club from this country and done that. Absolutely nobody can doubt him.

“Being selfish, I think he’s better off at Real Madrid. You work all your life to get the top and when you get there, you don’t want to give that up. Where do you go from Real Madrid that’s better? There are one or two clubs up there, but none better.

Republic of Ireland v Wales - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

“Gareth is always a story, he’s one of the best players in the world. Things will be said and that’s the way it is. He knows that. But nobody should ever doubt him about what he is capable of.”

Coleman, whose Wales side will play Austria in a crucial World Cup qualifier on Saturday, added that Bale is more than capable of handling criticism.

“Knowing Gareth for the last five or six years, he won’t be any different,” he said. “He won’t be fazed by it. You are like a film star when you play for Real Madrid.

[embedded content]

“There have been been a couple of periods where he has been under a lot of pressure, but all he needs to do is put his medals up. He has absolutely cruised through it.

“He’s answered all the critics. He’s come through it with flying colours. I’ve seen him mature in the last four or five years, like I have a lot of our players.

Deportivo La Coruna v Real Madrid - La Liga

“Gareth has matured in handling a lot of things, so this latest episode won’t faze him at all. I’d be amazed if it did.”


Italy Stalwart Leonardo Bonucci Reveals His Choice for World’s Best Defender & it Isn’t Him

​Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci has given his take on who the best defender in the world is, and the new AC Milan man didn’t pick himself, as many would have expected.

Bonucci, who had an immensely successful seven-year spell at Juventus, moved to Milan this summer.

Italy Training Session And Press Conference

The Italian helped Juve win six Serie A titles, and came close to winning the Champions League last season, impressively beating Barcelona to make it to the final where they were stopped by Real Madrid.

Sergio Ramos was on hand to keep things steady at the back for the La Liga giants, and his performance during the match, as well as the many others over the years, has seen him rated as the best defender in the world – by one of the best defenders in the world.

Speaking at a press conference (H/T ​Football Italia) ahead of Italy’s World Cup qualifying match against Spain, Bonucci said exactly what he thought of the Spanish centre-back.

[embedded content]

“Sergio Ramos? He’s the best defender in the world,” he declared. “He got the award for the best defender in last season’s Champions League and that proves he’s the best.”

Referring to the match itself, Bonucci said: “We want to win but it won’t be easy. We’ll have to suffer against Spain, though, because they have great champions so we’ll need the best Italy.

“The motivation this game brings will allow us to overcome the precarious physical condition [caused by an early-season game].

” data-viewability-attr=”narcos”>



PHOTO: Cristiano Ronaldo Proudly Shares First Full Family Photo via Instagram

Cristiano Ronaldo may be the most famous footballer in the world, but he proved that he still values time with his family by posting a photo on Instagram. 

” data-viewability-attr=”narcos”>

The Portuguese international posted a picture with his son Cristiano Jr., his two newborn twins and his pregnant girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez, alongside the caption ‘family mood’. 

Ronaldo became a father for the second time earlier this year, with the two twins – Eva and Mateo – rumoured to have been born to a surrogate mother in USA. He was already a father to seven-year-old Cristiano Jr.

His family will grow further next year, as girlfriend Rodriguez announced in June that she was expecting her first child with Ronaldo.

The Real Madrid star has enjoyed a good week, having been named as the UEFA Player of the Year at the Champions League group stage draw on Thursday. His side were then drawn alongside Tottenham Hotspur in Group H, which will see a return to England for Ronaldo.

The 32-year-old is currently serving a five-match domestic ban in Spain – after pushing a referee in the Spanish Super Cup 1st leg against Barcelona – but will head on international duty with Portugal. 


The Euro 2016 winners will face Faroe Islands and Hungary in World Cup qualifiers as they look to overcome Switzerland at the top of Group B and qualify for Russia.


Real Madrid Stalwart Sergio Ramos Claims it Wouldn’t Be Crazy for Him to Win the Ballon d’Or

Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos has claimed it wouldn’t be crazy for him to win the Ballon d’Or even though the coveted prize hasn’t been won by a defender since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006.

Ramos added to his already heaving trophy cabinet last season, with a La Liga and Champions League double and has his sights set on more major honours.

The former Sevilla star also won the World Cup in 2010 as well as European titles in 2008 and 2012 with the national team, establishing himself as one of Spain’s greatest ever defenders.

However, the defender has yet to be given football’s highest individual honour despite being named in UEFA’s team of the year in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, and captaining Los Meringues to three Champions League titles in four years.


Speaking to Italian magazine Undici via ​Marca, Ramos said; “Recently it has been a personal matter between Messi and Cristiano.”

“But Cannavaro, for example, won it and I do not see it as crazy for me to win it.

“If they give it to me, it will be a historical moment.”

” data-viewability-attr=”narcos”>



Valencia Midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia Takes Sly Dig at Cristiano Ronaldo After 2-2 Draw

​Valencia midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia wasn’t holding back after scoring in his side’s 2-2 draw against Real Madrid on Sunday.

Signed on loan from Inter this summer, the French midfielder put his side in front at the Bernabeu, before a Marco Asensio free-kick rescued a point for the hosts.

And asked after the game about the significance of the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, serving a five-game suspension, Kondogbia gave a cheeky response.

Real Madrid v Fiorentina

“The best player was missing…” the journalist said, via ​Sport. “I did not know Messi played in Madrid,” replied Kondogbia.

It’s certainly clear where the 24-year-old stands on the incessant debate as to which of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is the world’s greatest.

Kondogbia added that he was pleased with the performance of he and his teammates in what was a hard fought point against last season’s La Liga title winners.

“We played well,” he said. 

“Marcelino told me before the game that I should play with confidence as I know I can do it. I had a good game.”

Real Madrid v Valencia - La Liga

On his second half goal, he added: “Rodrigo was going to give me a pass back and I saw a good opportunity to score. I found the gap in the goal and scored. I’m very happy, you have to be satisfied.”

This is Kondogbia’s second spell in La Liga, having previously played for Sevilla, before moving to Monaco and later joining Inter.

[embedded content]

He made 50 appearances for the Serie A club but reportedly fell out with the management during the summer.


Real Madrid Star Marcelo Refuses to Criticise Fans for Hostile Treatment of Gareth Bale

​Real Madrid ace Marcelo has refused to criticise the Bernabéu fans for their treatment of Gareth Bale during their disappointing 2-2 draw with Valencia on Sunday night. 

The home fans whistled Bale as the game went on, as they appeared to be frustrated with the player’s inability to make an impact on the match.

Speaking to Spanish sports station El Chiringuito following the match, Marcelo was quizzed by the interviewer on the fans’ treatment of Bale. Marcelo’s response translates as:

When the Bernabéu whistles at you it is normal, you have to work hard so that they don’t whistle you”.

The weight of expectation is so high at Real Madrid, that the players are often subject to abuse from their fans if they don’t win a home match. 

Marcelo’s refusal to condemn the behaviour could potentially rile Bale, who has been rumoured with a move away from the La Liga Champions during the summer transfer window.

Manchester United are reportedly keen to bring the Welsh superstar back to the Premier League, and could make a sensational effort to add the tenacious 28-year-old to their already impressive squad. 

The rapid emergence of Marco Asensio at the club has also lead to rumours of Bale making an exit, as the 21-year-old is a direct competitor for a first-team spot.

Juventus v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final

Real Madrid have established themselves as arguably the best side in the world after their performances last season – which saw the club become European Champions for the second year running and scoop their 33rd La Liga title.


Manchester City Beat Real Madrid & Bayern Munich to Signing of Ghanaian Youngster Aminu Mohammed

​Manchester City have beaten Real Madrid and Bayern Munich to the signing of Ghanaian youngster Aminu Mohammed, ​The Sun have reported.

After impressing during a two-week trial at the Etihad, City have paid £2m to his home country’s WAFA Academy.

The 16-year-old had attracted the attention of City scouts while playing in a youth tournament in Qatar for Red Bull Salzburg, where he scored a brace in a 3-2 victory over Paris Saint-Germain.

The Austrian club are a partner club to the WAFA Academy, and Mohammed has been monitored by the Austrian national team.

Real Madrid and Bayern were also believed to be keen on the teenager, who has earned comparisons with Neymar.

Mohammed will now be sent out on loan to a European club having confirmed his arrival at City, most likely in Norway, Holland, France or Belgium to continue his development.

[embedded content]

The winger is also expected to play for Ghana at the Under-17 World Cup in India this October. 

He missed the African U17 Championship in Gabon early this year when he was targeted by agents who wanted to steal him from WAFA during the Black Starlets training camp ahead of the competition.


Arsenal Lining Up Massive £75m Bid for Real Madrid Starlet Marco Asensio as Transfer Deadline Nears

​Arsenal are lining up an optimistic bid for Real Madrid starlet Marco Asensio.

After signing Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon and Sead Kolasinac from Schalke, Arsenal have been quiet in recent weeks of the transfer window but could be set to make a massive signing in the form of Asensio.

Real Madrid v FC Barcelona - Supercopa de Espana: 2nd Leg

Seen as one of the best young talents in Spain, Asensio has established himself as an important first-team member for Los Blancos under Zinedine Zidane and has a penchant for scoring huge goals for the club, including a strike in last season’s Champions League final.

Asensio has a £75m buyout clause in his contract and ​the Express believe Arsenal, whose record signing is the £45m Lacazette, could try to persuade the 21-year-old to ditch the Bernabeu for the Emirates.

With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Isco likely to command first-team spots for much of the season, Asensio could be restricted to the same substitutes role he performed so well in last season.


The Spain international ended the 2016-17 campaign with three goals and two assists in 23 La Liga appearances, while he also managed a further three strikes in the Champions League and opened his account for this season with goals in both legs of the Supercopa de Espana against Barcelona.

Asensio has already turned down a move to French giants Paris Saint-Germain and is also attracting interest from Inter Milan, who reportedly want to sign Arsenal centre-back Shkodran Mustafi.

[embedded content]

Arsenal have also agreed a deal to sell left-back Kieran Gibbs to Watford, with the England international due to discuss personal terms with the Hornets in the near future.