Daily Archives: December 15, 2017

AC Milan shows support to Gianluigi Donnarumma amidst fan abuse

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AC Milan say they “know where the evil comes from” as they show support to Gianluigi Donnarumma, who was left in tears by abusive fan amidst reports that he wants to leave.

Donnarumma, 18, had looked likely to leave Milan after turning down a new deal in June, but then extended his contract until 2021.

However, a number of papers published the story that the Italian wanted the deal he agreed in July cancelled, as it was signed under “psychological pressure”.

In response, fans unfurled a banner during the Coppa Italia win over Verona on Wednesday saying they had “lost patience”.

AC Milan sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli said they will protect Donnarumma, but that there is “someone who is damaging our image”, adding that the club have not met Donnarumma’s agent, Mino Raiola and there was “nothing else to say”

“I think that one day he [Donnarumma] will realise what’s good and bad,” said Mirabelli, who asked fans to “whistle our opponents, not our players.”

“Gigio has never said he wants to leave. There’s someone who is trying to organise something deliberately, but we will look out for Milan’s interests in every arena.”

“Gigio is very young. It’s not entirely his fault. We’ll always protect him, he’s our asset. We know where the evil comes from, we hope to solve this issue over the next few months.”

Club coach Gennaro Gattuso had also backed his player, adding: “He’s not how some people depict him. His team-mates are backing him too, he’s a very humble guy.”

Donnarumma had broke into the first team in AC Milan as a 16-year-old teenager, and have since featured more than 80 times in Serie A for the team and won four caps for Italy.

Gareth Bale marks return from injury with winning strike

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Gareth Bale scored moments after coming on as a substitute for only his second appearance since suffering a calf injury in September. to score Real Madrid’s winning goal with his first touch in their FIFA Club World Cup semi-final match against Al Jazira.

Bale, 28, scored after Al Jazira had taken a first-half lead through Brazilian forward Romarinho, who capitalised on a mistake from his Brazilian compatriot Casemiro to score four minutes before the break at the Zayed Sports City Stadium.

Mbark Boussoufa then had a strike ruled out for offside by the virtual assistant referee before Cristiano Ronaldo equalised for Madrid with a fine strike, as the Portuguese becomes the all-time top scorer in FIFA Club World Cups with six goals — one above Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Cesar Delgado’s five.

The Club World Cup features FIFA six reigning confederation champions plus the league winners, Al Jazira, of the host country, United Arab Emirates. Their loss meant that Zinedine Zidane’s side will now play Brazilian side Gremio in Saturday’s final.

“It is great to get a goal,” Bale said. “When you come on you like to make an impact like that. The most important thing is to get the win and get into the final.”

“I have still got some way to go get back to full fitness. It takes time but I have to be patient and listen to my body.”

Before falling behind Madrid had two first-half goals ruled out for infringements, with Karim Benzema’s header being disallowed for a foul by Ronaldo in the build-up and Casemiro denied after the video assistant referee gave offside against Benzema.

Benzema also hit the post twice between Ronaldo’s equaliser and Bale’s winning goal.

Real Madrid, who won the competition in 2014 and 2016 would equal Barcelona’s record amount of tournament wins if they are able to achieve a third success on Saturday.

Javier Mascherano to leave FC Barcelona for China in January

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Javier Mascherano will not end the current La Liga season at FC Barcelona after a decision has been taken that will allow him to close a move to Chinese side Hebei Fortune.

Mascherano, 33, is set for a move to China despite his current contract with Barca that runs until 2019 as the player’s been given the necessary guarantees from the club for a smooth transition.

Barca will receive around €6 million for the Argentine international, who will sign a deal worth €7m per year in China.

There have been numerous links between Mascherano and other top clubs at Europe including his old club Liverpool FC ever since he had fallen out of favour at Nou Camp and was relegated to being the third-choice of centre-back under coach Ernesto Valverde behind Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti.

“I think so, My stage here is ending.” Mascherano said last month when asked if he was entering his final days at Barcelona, therefore indicating that he was intent on not making the same mistakes as he did before leaving Liverpool in 2010.

“It makes sense that after such a long time there’s not much more I can do in this club. I’m not saying it with a heavy heart. I’ve had the best years of my career in this club. I’ll never forget it.”

Still, efforts have been made to keep Mascherano at Barca with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu asking him to remain longer with the Catalan club, while Andres Iniesta also recently declared that Barcelona were not yet resigned to losing Mascherano — who has been absent since he was sidelined with a hamstring injury early November but could return against Deportivo La Coruna this weekend.

However, it is far more likely likely for Mascherano to leave when after it was understood that his desire was so strong to leave — he already tried in the summer — they felt he had earned the right to choose when he moves on from Camp Nou.