The 5 Teams That Hit the Woodwork the Most Last Season in Europe

Hitting the post or the bar can be extremely frustrating and the fans of the following five clubs know that more than most, with their respective sides leading Europe with the amount of times they struck the woodwork last season, as per Squawka.
However, there does seem to be a correlation between hitting the woodwork and having a successful season…

5. Real Madrid

Number of times they hit the woodwork last season: 22 
With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos in their side, it’s no wonder that Real Madrid consistently hit the woodwork (as well as the back of the net) last season with amount of attacking talent they possess. Despite the close misses, the La Liga giants romped to a league and Champions League double. 

4. Roma

Number of times they hit the woodwork last season: 22
The Serie A runners-up were one of the most-trigger happy teams in Italy last season and ended up with the second most amount of goals scored, even outscoring champions Juventus. The team from the capital had a lethal attack consisting of the likes of Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah, both of whom were eager to shoot at any opportunity. 

3. Tottenham Hotspur

Number of times they hit the woodwork last season: 22
Spurs narrowly missed out on the title last season, succumbing to the ever-consistent Chelsea who emerged as Premier League winners. Had Mauricio Pochettino’s side seen some of their 22 efforts which hit the frame of the goal, nestle in the back of the net instead, it could have been a different story for the North London club.

2. Barcelona

Number of times they hit the woodwork last season: 24
With arguably the best attack in world football, it is not that surprising that Barcelona feature on this list as the triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar naturally shoot whenever possible. According to the Catalan club’s high standards it was a below-par season, they nonetheless picked up the Copa del Rey.

1. Bayern Munich

Number of times they hit the woodwork last season: 28
Leading the quintet is Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, who, in addition to striking the woodwork 28 times in the league last year, scored a total of 89 goals, seventeen more than anyone else in the league. Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti is unlikely to be too concerned with this number…


Drama in LA as Man Utd Clash With Real Madrid Over Training Facilities & Training Ground Bomb Scare

​Manchester United and Real Madrid’s bitter ongoing feud has been reignited over the use of facilities for their pre-season tours of the US.
​The Sun and ​Daily Mirror have both reported that the European giants are at loggerheads over which club should be entitled to use the best training facilities on offer in Los Angeles ahead of the International Champions Cup pre-season tournament.
The row became so heated at one point that ICC officials had to wade in to calm tempers, while a source from the organisers claimed that the situation had become something of a “nightmare” to deal with.
Real have been left unimpressed after United managed to snag the impressive Drake Stadium pitch after the latter arrived stateside two days before their Spanish counterparts did.
That early arrival also afforded Jose Mourinho’s stars the opportunity to check in to the five-star rated Montage Hotel and famous Beverly Wilshere Hotel right around the corner from the UCLA training pitches that they are using for pre-season preparations.
Los Blancos, meanwhile, have had to make do with the Beverly Hills hotel a few miles away from the camp they are using to prepare for the 2017/18 campaign.

My understanding is Madrid won out in this “battle” over facilities, definitely using same hotel as back in 2011:— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) July 13, 2017Arguments first emerged after Real landed in the US as they questioned why United had been given all of the best facilities on offer and, with the two first-team squads now training a few yards away from each other, the row has escalated as the week has gone on.
Both sides may be forced to hold off on training schedules on Thursday, however, after the UCLA training base was evacuated on Wednesday evening over fears of a bomb scare, although a UCLA spokesperson told the ​Daily Mirror that it was merely a “precautionary” measure.
Bad blood already exists between the pair thanks to Real’s protracted pursuit of Red Devils goalkeeper David De Gea, with the Spain international’s 2015 move to the Bernabeu collapsing at the final hurdle.
Both clubs blamed each other for failing to get the deal over the line, while legendary United boss Sir Alex Fergson famously told reporters that he “wouldn’t sell Real a virus” as the La Liga champions wrested Cristiano Ronaldo away from Old Trafford in the summer of 2009.
Real and United’s complicated transfer dealings have continued this summer with Alvaro Morata seeing a switch to the Premier League fall apart after the Europa League winners decided against paying Real’s reported £78m asking price, and instead brought in Romelu Lukaku for an initial £75m.
United and Real will face off against one another on 23rd July as part of the ICC in Santa Clara’s Levis Stadium, before playing each other again on 8th August in the UEFA Super Cup.
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Alvaro Morata Doesn’t See Chelsea Move as ‘Feasible’ According to Spanish Journalist

​Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata is reportedly not keen on a move to Chelsea this summer, despite the possibility of leading the line as first choice striker should he join the Premier League champions, rather than another season potentially as a backup in Spain.
According to Spanish broadcaster David Alonso for radio Onda Cero, Morata doesn’t see a transfer to Chelsea as a ‘feasible’ option and remains committed to focusing on Real.
The player is also said to have received an offer from Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian, where ex-Real defender Fabio Cannavaro is currently manager, that would pay him €30m a year, but the financial incentive has failed to convince him to quit Europe.
Morata was believed to be on the verge of joining Manchester United last week to link up with Jose Mourinho once more. But the Old Trafford club pulled the plug on the proposed deal at the last minute and sealed a £75m transfer for Romelu Lukaku instead.
Lukaku had been expected to re-join Chelsea after leaving Stamford Bridge permanently in 2014, but after losing out on the Belgian it was thought Morata might become their primary target instead.
Antonio Conte was previously said to be keen on signing the 24-year-old Spaniard after he was in charge at Juventus when Morata made the move to Italy in 2014. They only worked together very briefly, though, as Conte left to take over the Italian national team just weeks later.

I don’t think it’s a reflection on Chelsea, just sounds like focusing on Real is a better option for him personally after getting burned.— Jamie Spencer (@jamiespencer155) July 13, 2017Yet rather than open himself up to the possibility of another transfer saga after being jilted, Morata seems intent on staying put for the time being. He still scored 20 goals in all competitions last season despite his regular substitute role and will now aim to establish himself at the Bernabeu.



Madrid Make Fresh Contact With Mbappe to Assure Him He Has Guaranteed Starting Role

With Paris Saint-Germain seemingly closing in on Monaco wonderkid Kylian Mbappe, Real Madrid have once again made contact with the 18-year-old to assure him that he has a guaranteed role at the club – to ease any fears he may have about his playing time at the Bernabeu. 

The Spanish giants have admitted that none of the attacking trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale or Karim Benzema (aka the BBC) will be sold this summer, however they have claimed that they are no longer untouchable.

According to reports from ​Marca, the Spanish giants touched base with the striker on Wednesday to reaffirm their interest in securing his signature and to reiterate how important he will be to Zinedine Zidane’s side, should he join the club. 

However, the 18-year-old has been subject to overwhelming interest from across European football, with PSG posing as a serious threat to Real Madrid’s ambition of signing the striker – seemingly pushing the transfer fee over €140m.

Mbappe’s season in numbers:
Directly involved in 37 goals2⃣6⃣Goals ⚽️1⃣1⃣Assists 
No Monaco player bettered that 
— Unibet (@unibet) July 3, 2017

Despite the enormous pressure place upon him, Mbappe is understood to have made it clear that he alone is the decider of where he will be playing his football next season – with a return to Monaco for pre-season training scheduled for next week. 

Mbappe is said to have proclaimed his desire to play for Real Madrid at the start of his off-season, but the involvement of PSG has seemingly complicated matters for all parties as the money involved will have turned a number of heads. 
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However, Real Madrid’s most recent approach has reportedly not been to change their proposal but to make it clear that Mbappe can take a starting spot ahead of any of the BBC, as the club see the striker as the club’s main man for the future. 

With BBC having an average age of 29, Mbappe would add much needed youth and exuberance to Real Madrid’s ageing attack, where he could seemingly lead the line for the foreseeable future. 


Tottenham Prepared to Launch £15.8m Bid for Venezuelan Starlet Yeferson Soteldo

​Tottenham are understood to be ready to launch a £15.8m bid for Venezuelan midfielder Yeferson Soteldo – with Real Madrid also reportedly interested in the 20-year-old. 

The pocket-sized midfielder – currently playing for Chilean side Huachipato – offers the versatility to play as winger on either flank, or in an attacking midfield position, and Spurs are seemingly eager to bring the highly-rated youngster to the Premier League. 

Reports from ​Don Balon suggest Spurs are very interested in acquiring the 20-year-old, and a move from Mauricio Pochettino’s side could force Real Madrid to enter the fray a year earlier than they had hoped.

The Spanish giants are understood to have wanted to make a move for Soteldo next summer to allow the midfielder to continue his development in South America before they made a final decision. 

I am totally ok Yeferson Soteldo. If they can get a good deal then why not.
— Gville Spurs (@Hampdathird) July 6, 2017

Soteldo – who stands at just 5’3 – made the move to Huachipato in January after securing a move from Zamora FC, however the 20-year-old is yet to hit the back of the net in his eight appearances for his current side.

However, the Venezuelan did score 21 goals in 84 appearances for his former side and is known for his close ball control and dribbling ability, which has also reportedly attracted the interest of Watford. 

Just watched a video on Yeferson Soteldo and I can verify that he is in fact the best player in the world
— Ben (@Pochspur) July 1, 2017

His impressive performances have earned him international recognition as the 20-year-old already has four senior caps for Venezuela. 

Soteldo also starred for his country in the Under-20 World Cup, who ultimately fell at the final hurdle to England to finish the competition as runners-up. 


PSG Chief Meets Cristiano Ronaldo in Private to Persuade Star Striker to Move to French Club

Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly met ​Paris Saint-Germain chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi in a private gathering in Ibiza, as the French club look to persuade the star striker to move to Ligue 1.

The future of Real Madrid’s talisman is anything but certain following reports suggesting the 32-year-old wanted to leave the Bernabeu due to tax allegations lodged against him by the Spanish authorities, as PSG look to make a swoop for the forward.

Ronaldo has since denied the allegations which allegedly claim the 32-year-old owes £13m for image rights income, with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez understood to have calmed the striker down as he reassured Ronaldo that his future is at Real. 

However, with his intentions yet to be declared, Spanish outlet ​Diario Madridsta has claimed PSG are prepared to make a swoop for the striker, as Al-Khelaifi is determined to land the Portugal international this summer.

If Ronaldo ends up at PSG he could be the biggest celebrity in the world, if he wasn’t already. Would be insane
— Snoop (@itsproprietary) July 6, 2017

The French club are so determined to land Ronaldo that Al-Khelaifi made the trip to Ibiza where Ronaldo is currently on vacation to sound him out ahead of a possible offer during this transfer window.  

Despite being contracted to Real until the summer of 2021, the PSG chief is said to be hoping his relationship with the forward’s agent – Jorge Mendes – will assist him in completing a move for Ronaldo which won’t come cheaply.

£875m to be exact, if the striker’s reported release clause is accurate.
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It would be a sensational transfer if PSG were to get the deal over the line, although it is seemingly unlikely as Real will not want to depart with their striker who scored over 40 goals for the club last season in 46 appearances and played a crucial role in securing the Spanish league and Champions League double.

Real Madrid Target Dani Ceballos Said to Be ‘Lying’ to the People Around Him By Journalist

A Spanish journalist who claimed Dani Ceballos was expecting an imminent offer of €25m from Real Madrid has now said that the player is ‘lying’ to people around him about a potential move.

The Real Betis playmaker has emerged as one of world football’s hottest prospects alongside Marco Asensio and Saul Niguez, after a stunning U21 showing in Poland where he won the Player of the Tournament.

​It has been reported that the starlet is set on joining La Liga reigning champions Real Madrid, but on the condition that he won’t be sent out on loan, and that James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata are both sold this summer – as reported by ​Marca.

According to Nacho Vento though, who works for Canal Sur Radio, Ceballos hasn’t been truthful to those around him – which comes after he claimed he was about to be the subject of a
€25m offer.

Ceballos está mintiendo. Ahí lo dejo
— NachoVento (@VentoNacho) 5 July 2017

His consensus is that Ceballos is giving the impression he wants to move to the Bernabeu and that the bid is incoming, but these are just lies coming from the player which have fuelled the rumours and exaggerations might have been made about the interest.

The youngster has already made over 60 appearances for Los Verdiblanco and looks as though he feels ready to step up, but whether a move does materialise remains to be seen.


Social Media Powerhouse Cristiano Ronaldo Revealed to Be 3rd Highest Instagram Earner in the World

​Cristiano Ronaldo has been revealed as the third-highest Instagram earner in the world after socialite Kim Kardashian and singer Selena Gomez.

The footballing superstar has reached incredible performance levels on the pitch throughout his career, but he has also established himself as one of the most marketable stars in the world, period, over the past decade or so.

British-based internet company ​Hopper has determined that the Real Madrid forward earns around £310,000-per-post on social media site Instagram, which makes him far and away the highest-earning sports star through the platform.

The Portugal captain is followed by 106m people from around the world, meaning anything he uploads will be seen by a huge audience, which is a massive attraction for various different brands wanting to sponsor.

Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly earns £310,000 per commercial post on Instagram, the most of any athlete in the world. 螺
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) 5 July 2017

To put things into perspective, the next sports star on the list is basketball’s Lebron James in 10th, who can *only* command around £93,000-per-post.
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Ronaldo is a keen contributor on Instagram and so it is safe to assume that, on top of his Real Madrid wage, his weekly income is going to be absolutely off the chart. Lend us a tenner, Cris?

PHOTO: Cristiano Ronaldo Surprises Jamie Vardy’s Stepson With a Signed Real Madrid Shirt

Despite his regular on-field arrogance, Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is widely regarded as a very generous character in the footballing community off the pitch.

The Portuguese forward is aware that many idolise him and in true gentleman fashion, he sent a signed shirt to Jamie Vardy’s step son who is said to be a huge fan of the prolific goal scorer.

The Leicester man’s wife, Rebekah, uploaded the photo to Instagram with her chuffed son, Taylor, holding the jersey signed by the Ballon d’Or holder.

The shirt was personally addressed to the youngster by Ronaldo. The Los Blancos star has endured a fairly controversial summer so far with his future in Spain still undecided.

Ronaldo reportedly declared he wished to leave the club this summer following a lack of support in his tax fraud trial but in recent weeks, speculation of an exit has cooled.
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A return to Manchester United was spoken about but it seems unlikely that we will see the Portuguese forward come up against Vardy on English soil anytime soon.

Bayern Munich Would Not Risk Signing Cristiano Ronaldo Claims Former Manager

Cristiano Ronaldo would not be a viable signing for Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, according to former manager Ottmar Hitzfeld.

As reported by ​Squawka,​ while Hitzfeld feels that Ronaldo would be a “Christmas present” for the Bavarian club’s fans, signing the Real Madrid superstar would cause too much financial trouble.

Speculation has been rife that Ronaldo could look to leave the La Liga champions, following his highly publicised falling out with the Spanish tax authorities.

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United have both been linked with world record moves for the 32-year-old while Bayern have also been tentatively touted as a potential destination, given their status in European football.

And Hitzfeld, who guided Bayern to five Bundesliga titles during his two spells in charge at the club, has weighed in with his opinion of such a move, stating his belief that such a deal would only be bad news for Bayern as signing Ronaldo would break their financial structure.
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He said: “When I read the rumours I had to smile. I am happy about this idea – even if it is unrealistic. For the fans it would be a Christmas present to sign Cristiano Ronaldo but it is a utopian scenario.

“He would break the salary structure and Bayern would then have financial issues with the other players. And then the agents would use the situation to get more for their clients.

“[Bayern president] Uli Hoeness would not take such a risk.”