Category Archives: International Friendly

Aritz Aduriz earns debut international goal at age 35

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Aritz Aduriz earns debut international goal at age 35

35-year-old Aritz Aduriz has earned his first international goal in the friendly match between European Champions Spain and Italy to hold out for a fortunate 1-1 draw.

The Azurri led as Napoli winger and substitute Lorenzo Insigne made a clinical finish from a counter attack, diverting Emanuele Giacchirini’s low cross past David de Gea and ending Spain’s run of six clean sheets 67 minutes after play.

However, Aduriz, who made his only previous appearance for Spain six years ago, replied with Spain’s first shot on target.

It was a testament to his prolific form with Athletic Bilbao this season, which incidentally was also the reason he was recalled on to the international stage on this occasion.

Cesc Fabregas floated a free kick into the Italy area, and Gianluigi Buffon failed to hold on Alvaro Morata’s header. Pouncing on the loose ball, Aduritz buried it into the roof of the net amidst defenders who swarmed him.

But Spain could hardly cherish such a result; their seven wins streak had been brought to a halt. In fact, they would have lost without a stellar performance from keeper David De Gea.

Insigne would have thought that he scored the winner for Italy following a chip over De Gea, but the Manchester United goalkeeper managed to keep it out by tipping the ball over the bar.

Both national teams would prepare for the Euro 2016 finals, but the hosts who played in a 3-4-3 formation played livelier by far. Spain will travel to Romania next, as Italy travels to face World Champions Germany.

Holland-France game will halt in Johan Cruyff

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Holland-France game will halt in Johan Cruyff

The Netherlands’ friendly match against France will be halted at 14 minutes after play for a minute to remember the life of European football great, Johan Cruyff.

“On Friday, the Dutch national team will face France in Amsterdam. Because of the great contribution of Johan Cruyff to national and international football in the 14th minute, the match will be shut down for a minute’s silence,” the Dutch FA’s website announced.

The reason for Cruyff’s legacy to be remembered in the number 14 was that it was both his number for club and country. He scored 33 goals in 48 appearances for Holland between 1966 and 1977 including in the World Cup against Brazil.

He was also famous for inventing the “The Cruyff turn”. He faced Sweden defender Jan Olsson and experienced a moment that of football brilliance that was combined with instinct, quick thinking, athleticism and natural ability.

Dragging the ball behind his standing leg with the inside of his foot, Cruyff feinted one way and twisted to the other. Bamboozled, then 32-year-old Olsson stumbled backwards and was left staring into space.

He was also arguably the man who would made Barcelona into the great team today, a pioneer who had embellishing his game with purist principles he espoused from the dug-out, which transcended everything else.

“Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is,” Cruyff told his players in one early message.

After playing for the Spanish giants from 1973 to 1978, he returned to Barcelona as coach in 1988, transforming twice a club that had lost its way and giving them a sense of identity that also makes him the founding father of the modern-day club.

“Cruyff painted the chapel, and Barcelona coaches since merely restore and improve it,” said Pep Guardiola, a known prodigy of the first European football star.

Joachim Löw vary of English threat in Euro 2016

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Joachim Löw vary of English threat in Euro 2016

Germany’s World Cup-winning manager Joachim Löw believes that England are serious contenders to win Euro 2016.

“This will be a taste of what we can expect at the Euros,” he said, as Germany prepares for England and Italy in friendly matches that were warm-ups prior to the European international tournament.

“The opponents are both interesting and are two of the favourites to win the European Championship. It will be a good test.”

“The battle for places in the Germany squad is seriously beginning now – there are still eight weeks until the end of the season.”

Emre Can, Mesut Ozil and Bastian Schweinsteiger are the Premier League players that Löw has picked for Germany’s 26-man squad ahead of the upcoming friendlies.

“We have selected a large squad in order to speak with the players about what we expect. We are looking at their form and fitness as a whole.”

England qualified for Euro 2016 with a winning streak and was the only team to do so.

However, the level of opposition England faced on the way to Euro was hardly an accurate measure; whereas the match with Germany on Saturday would give a more accurate reflection of how England may truly fare in the tournament.

So far, Roy Hodgson had named a number of forwards for England that presented stellar performances, but is wary of the hype that comes with. He warns that although his new crop strikers of strikers that include Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane had performed brilliantly for club they have yet to gather enough experience on a national level.

International Friendly Full-time Result

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Football

France

0

2

England

Ft 90+3

Ht 1 – 0

Alli 39

Rooney 48

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Wembley was lit up in French colours and France’s national motto.

It was an emotional night as more than 70,000 fans honoured the victims of the Paris attacks in Wembley.

The Football Association (FA) had encouraged England supporters to learn the words to La Marseillaise in a show of solidarity and Wembley’s arch was lit up in the blue, white and red of the French flag.

Applause greeted the end of the anthems before a minute’s silence was impeccably observed, with one side of the London stadium creating a Tricolor mosaic with coloured cards.

Earlier, it was reported that France’s game with Germany at the Stade de France was targeted in the attacks.

But France chose to go ahead with Tuesday’s game, which ended 2-0 to England, amid heightened security.

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Prince William and the opposing managers, England’s Roy Hodgson and Didier Deschamps of France lay wreaths before the match.

There was an excellent show of unity for the French national anthem before England and France mixed in with each other for a pre-match team photograph to huge applause.

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England and France mixed in with each other for a complete pre-match team photograph.

England boss Roy Hodgson and his France counterpart Didier Deschamps embraced after joining Prince William, president of the Football Association, in laying flowers for those killed.

The visitors went close to opening the scoring when Crystal Palace midfielder Yohan Cabaye, one of six Premier League-based players starting for France, fired narrowly over from 25 yards.

Alli, 19, showed great maturity to open the scoring from outside the area as the Tottenham midfielder starting the move with a crunching tackle before firing home.

Rooney doubled the lead with a close-range volley from Raheem Sterling’s cross, the culmination of a move started by Alli.

France’s Anthony Martial was pictured on crutches after the game, possibly handing United boss Louis van Gaal yet another injury problem to deal with.

After the match, Hodgson said: “It was a very poignant occasion and we achieved all the things we wanted to achieve in the remembrance.”

“An act of defiance was better than the other alternative,” he added, relating to France going on the match despite clear security threats.

Meanwhile, France boss Didier Deschamps thanks everyone for their statements and their actions of solidarity.

“We feel very grateful because not just the people at Wembley, but the whole nation has supported us,” he said.