Daily Archives: June 5, 2017

Real Madrid routs Juve to successfully defend Champions League title

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Real Madrid became the first team to successfully retain the Champions League title as Los Blancos overwhelmed Juventus in the final at Cardiff by 4-1.

It was also Real’s record 12th European top-tier victory — and third in four seasons, thanks to an almost routine performance by their star man Cristiano Ronaldo, who also became the first player ever to score in three separate Champions League finals.

While Juventus started brilliantly with clever runs and threatening plays, Ronaldo scored despite their run of play be sweeping in Dani Carvajal’s pass after 20 minutes, although Mario Mandzukic levelled with one of the most brilliant of Champions League final goals with an overhead kick beyond Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

But the equalizer would prove to amount to little as Real suddenly became unstoppable after the break, restoring their lead through Casemiro’s deflected shot before Ronaldo scored at the near post from a cross by the outstanding Luka Modric — in the space of three minutes .

The Bianconeri were dealt a further blow as substitute Juan Cuadrado was sent off for a second yellow following a clash with Sergio Ramos, and the rest passed with little to note before substitute Marco Asensio completed a precise finish in the last minute for an emphatic Real victory.

It also meant that this season, under the leadership of Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid has back-to-back Champions Leagues — the first European club to do so — while also bringing the La Liga title, the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup to the trophy cupboards of the Bernabeu.

“I feel like dancing,” he said after the win. “I consider myself a man of this house (Real Madrid). This club is really in my heart and we are going to enjoy this. Today is a truly historic day for Real Madrid, for all Madrid fans.”

The numbers in Real’s incredible title defense:

  • Real Madrid becomes the first team in Champions League to score more than 500 goals and win their last six European cup finals
  • Cristiano Ronaldo’s second goal is his 600th in all competitions for club and country
  • Zinedine Zidane is the first manager to win back-to-back European Cup/Champions League trophies since Arrigo Sacchi with AC Milan (1989, 1990)

Eden Hazard fractures ankle in Belgium training camp

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Eden Hazard is set to miss out on two international fixtures after suffering fractured right ankle in training camp, the Belgian Football Association says.

The RBFA confirmed that Hazard, 26, twisted his ankle in training, with subsequent scans revealing a fracture.

While it is not known as of yet how long the Chelsea playmaker will be out, the RBFA confirmed that he will miss Belgium international friendly against the Czech Republic and their subsequent World Cup qualifier against Estonia on 9 June.

Hazard had been influential for the Blues in the Premier League this season, scoring 16 goals in 36 games.

However, while three years remain in his contract with the club he is linked with a move to Real Madrid. The Belgian himself also admitted he would consider an approach from the Spanish Champions.

“Of course I would consider it if Madrid made an offer,” Hazard said. “I am keen to win trophies. It would be great to win the Champions League. But Chelsea’s goal is to win the Champions League as well. Honestly I do not know what will happen.”

“I only know that I still have a contract with Chelsea for three seasons and that we just had an amazing 2016-17 campaign.”

“We want to continue on this path and want to build on this in the Champions League. I am feeling very well at Chelsea. But you never know what will happen. I have not met the board yet to discuss a new deal.”

Liverpool close to agreeing deal for Roma forward Mohamed Salah

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Liverpool are close to agreeing a deal thought to be worth £35m for Roma’s Mohamed Salah, with reports suggesting that a deal for the Egyptian forward could be finalised this week.

There had been negotiations between both clubs for some time, with Roma rejecting an initial £28m bid from Liverpool a few days ago. The Italian club is understood to want between £35m and £40m for Salah.

The Reds and Jurgen Klopp is determined to acquire Salah however, and with the player also believed to be keen on the switch, it appears an agreement is close to being reached through an increased bid.

Liverpool had Salah in the sights since 2014, but could only watch as the player moved to Chelsea instead from the Swiss club Basel. But after struggling to make an impact at Stamford Bridge, Salah moved to Italy in the next year, joining Fiorentina on loan before moving to Roma, also on loan, soon after.

A long-term deal was then reached with Roma last August as Salah grew in influence with club, scoring 15 goals and assisting 13 others in 31 league appearances in Serie A.

It is believed that Salah is wanted by the Reds for his pace, a feature that is sorely missed by their team whenever Sadio Mane is injured.

The club has already signed one player in Dominic Solanke this summer transfer window. Solanke will be arriving at the Merseyside club at the start of next month as his contract with Chelsea expires.