Daily Archives: November 8, 2017

Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool boss tells media to be calm over friendlies

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Jurgen Klopp has called on the media not to get carried away with England’s showing in their forthcoming friendlies against Germany and Brazil.

England, led Gareth Southgate will face the world’s two highest-ranking nations at Wembley on Friday and next Tuesday respectively as they begin their build-up to next summer’s World Cup.

There is anticipation in those exhibition games both due to the calibre of opposition and the fresh and youthful nature of Southgate’s squad, after the head coach has dropped seven players from England’s previous call-up in addition to bringing in uncapped players.

However, Klopp has called for caution and even suggested that the Football Association may be mistaken in choosing two such strong opponents.

“If you want to play a friendly you should choose another team than Germany. And Brazil is the second one, that’s really funny,” said the Liverpool manager. “All the journalists need to cool down and don’t expect too much. It’s not that they [England] cannot win, of course, but you make it too big if they win, too big if they lose.”

“When qualification was over, people said now the problems start because the tournament is coming up. So England has a bunch of fantastic young players, that’s how it is. I’m not sure how Germany will line up but it’s a very good game for sure but I would not say it should be a sign for the future.”

Klopp also feels England’s prospects lies in their youth group who won the under-17s’ recent World Cup triumph following on the back of the under-19s winning the European Championship and the under-20s also being crowned world champions.

“The sign for the future was the Under-17 and the Under-20 World Cup successes,” Klopp said. “We have to make sure they are coming through.”

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho told to sell before he can buy

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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho will be told to sell a number of players if he wants to add to his squad in January.

Officials at the Old Trafford board has reportedly revealed their intentions to control costs before sanctioning more outlay on new signings, after Mourinho has spent £285m on transfer fees on six major signings during his two years at the club.

While sixteen first-team squad members have left since Mourinho took charge in May 2016, only the £16m sale of Memphis Depay and the £22m departure of Morgan Schneiderlin generated significant income.

High-earners Wayne Rooney and Bastian Schweinsteiger have also left the club, but their parting left United without any profit gained as both left on free transfers.

It would also factor in the calculations of United’s board that their most recent financial results, released in September, showed that their wage bill had risen by 13.5% to £263.5m.

Amongst the likely departures are defender Luke Shaw, who cost United £27m in 2014 but has started in only four Premier League games in 12 months through a combination of injury and poor form, and has not started this season either.

The future of Marouane Fellaini is also remains unclear; the Belgian midfielder’s contract with United will be expiring in the summer and, like Rooney and Schweinsteiger, he will be free to negotiate with overseas clubs in January.

Meanwhile, Manchester United is left eight points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City after their defeat at the hands of Chelsea.

Italian legend Andrea Pirlo retires from football

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Andrea Pirlo has announced he is retiring from football after playing his last game for New York City FC in the MLS.

Pirlo, 38-year-old won 116 caps for Italy and helped them win the 2006 World Cup. He began his career at Brescia in 1998, and has also played for Inter, AC Milan and Juventus, before moving to New York City FC in July 2015 and playing for the MLS side for two seasons.

In October, he announced that he would retire at the end of the MLS season, and has make good by formally retiring after his club was knocked out of the playoffs.

“I want to thank everybody for the kindness and support they have shown me in this incredible city,” Pirlo said in an official statement. “Thank you to the amazing supporters, thank you to the coaching staff and everybody that works behind the scenes, thank you to my team-mates.”

“Not only my adventure in NY comes to an end but my journey as a football player as well. That is why I would like to take the opportunity to thank my family and children for the support and love they always give me, every team that I had the honour to play for, every team-mate that I have been pleased to play alongside, all the people that made my career so incredible, and last but not least, all the fans around the world that always showed me support.

“You will always be on my side and in my heart.”

In addition to the World Cup, Pirlo had gained numerous domestic honours in his career including two Serie A titles, two Champions Leagues and a Club World Cup between 2003 and 2011 with Milan, before playing an instrumental role in helping Juventus win four successive Scudettos between 2012 and 2015.

After arriving in the states, he has helped New York City FC manager Patrick Vieira reach the MLS play-offs in each of the past two seasons, although he was unable to end his career with any further trophies.

Defending Italian champions Juventus has described him as a “true genius”, and Vieira said Pirlo “changed football forever”.