Sergio Busquets talks about Real Madrid after Cristiano Ronaldo

Earlier this summer, Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo completed a sensational move worth 112 million euros to Italian giants Juventus. The Portugal captain and five-time Ballon d’Or winner is already enjoying new pastures with the Italy based club. His debut match last weekend ended in a 3-2 win for the Bianconeri. Though he was not on the score sheet thanks to the heroics of Chievo Verona’s goalkeeper, it indeed was a dramatic start to life in the Serie A.

Having won a lot of major titles with his former club, including four UEFA Champions League medals, he was a thorn in the side of Barcelona. Cristiano Ronaldo netted 18 times against the Spanish giants over 31 appearances. Sergio Busquets is one of the loyal defendants of the Barcelona crest and spoke about the potential troubles Real Madrid will face after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. However, he also affirmed how Lopetegui can manage to bring the best out of every player in his team.

“I hope they miss him and notice the lack of goals,” he told El Pais. “But I know his coach and he will make Real Madrid more of a team.” Messi and Busquets have been teammates for a long time now with the Spaniard having seen a lot of the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry. He was all praise for his Argentinian teammate while he also spoke of Andres Iniesta who recently departed for Japanese club Vissel Kobe.

“To have Leo in the team solves almost everything because he unbalances opponents, scores goals and creates them,” he said. “The more time the ball is at his feet, the better and more advantage we will have. It’s logical that our game has to go through him. It’s not being dependent on Messi, it’s being smart and taking advantage of the best player in the world.

When I’ve got the ball, I try to find him. Sometimes too much. But I prefer to take the risk. I think the most difficult moment will be when Leo leaves, our generation is almost all the same age and we could finish almost at the same time. Better not to think about it and enjoy the moment.”

While Sergio Busquets is completely correct about Real Madrid’s dependence on Cristiano Ronaldo, he needs to see how much his own club is dependent on Messi too. On the other hand, Madrid has proved that they can get goals from elsewhere after Ronaldo went, but I am not very sure if we can say the same thing about Barcelona once Leo Messi is no more at the club.

Julen Lopetegui Praises Real Madrid Ace After Stunning Display

Real Madrid started their league campaign on a perfect note with a routine 2-0 win against Getafe. Gareth Bale starred for the Blancos again, scoring one and assisting another for Dani Carvajal. The Welsh express had a good preseason and started the proceedings this term with a goal and an assist.

Julen Lopetegui enthused his team’s performance in the post-match presentation, hailing the contributions of Bale and Dani Ceballos. The Spaniard started ahead of Modric and delivered a solid performance in front of the home crowd.

Speaking to journalists after the game, Lopetegui hailed Gareth Bale’s performance on Sunday. He said,”I liked the team’s performance in general and Bale had a very good match. He offers lots of different things, like the other players. We must continue working, the team always comes before individual talent and that goes for Bale too.

The 51-year-old gaffer also lavished praise on Ceballos, saying,“He put in a very worthy display. He’s got real character, works hard and is a fine footballer. We’re happy because he put in a worthy performance and he’ll have his part to play.”

✅ It was great to kick off our LaLiga campaign with a deserved win! #RMLiga pic.twitter.com/1DtYEvl6Py

— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) August 19, 2018

Having overseen the arrival of Thibaut Courtois, Lopetegui started Keylor Navas in goal, however, reports suggest the former may become the first choice keeper soon. “We’ll be running with three goalkeepers in the squad,” he added.

“We’re delighted with the competition for the goalkeeper’s jersey. It’s marvelous and I don’t see it as a problem, but rather see it as us having several options. We’ll make decisions as the season progresses. We’re really happy with the performance levels of our goalkeepers.”

Ronaldo’s departure might have taken a toll on Madrid’s audiences but not in their performances. Bale was at the center of things against Getafe and will have added responsibility this term. Lopetegui’s choice of not bringing in a high profile replacement for Ronaldo has been a questionable call but if Bale can retain his fitness, he will be the ideal man to lead Real Madrid in terms of goals.

Real Madrid star reveals if Gareth Bale can succeed Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid ran a dominant display over Getafe as they emerged as 2-0 winners in their first outing of the Spanish League. Dani Carvajal headed home past David Soria in the first half before Gareth Bale hammered home another from a low driven shot early in the second half. Two goals and a fantastic performance handed Madrid with a comfortable win.

However, one problem was the attendance in the Estadio Bernabeu. It was the lowest record in ten years when only 48,000 odd spectators attended the match. While some experts pointed out towards the extremely late match timing, a few thought that Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure could have led to a poor sell out.

Since the Portugal international’s departure to Juventus, no player has been signed by Europe’s defending champion to fill the gap. Gareth Bale has been tipped to do so by several pundits of the game. The Welsh Wizard is expected to be the center of attention every time Real Madrid play, but his teammate Nacho Fernandez believes otherwise.

“I’m delighted for Carvajal,” Nacho said. “As for Bale, it’s not a question of him following in Ronaldo’s wake. Cristiano left his mark on a whole era here. Bale is a really key player for us and he’s won many trophies here and has nothing to prove to anyone. Everyone knows they can count on him and I’m sure that he’ll continue to perform well. The fans are fully behind Bale and he’s very happy at Real Madrid. We’ve got some fantastic strikers here.”

Meanwhile, Julen Lopetegui also went home happy with his team’s display. “We’ve managed to dominate a good team, scoring two goals and creating chances almost without conceding any,” Lopetegui said. “Every team has room for improvement, but we’re happy. We attacked well with the ball. If we have it we suffer less, but we’re not satisfied with just having it.”

Author’s Take

Gareth Bale has done well in pre-season and in the first two matches to prove himself. However, it does feel that Madrid need a goal scoring player since replacing 40-50 goals a season is not an easy task. Perez reportedly has 300 million euros of stash to spend, so here’s hoping that a major signing arrives. Madrid visit Girona next in what is their final league game before transfer deadline day.

Barcelona star in awe of Lionel Messi after 3-0 win over Alaves

Messi scored a brace in the win after overcoming a disappointing World Cup campaign which saw him and Argentina crash out to France in the Round of 16. But with new acquisitions and signings, Messi will look to forget the World Cup failure and by going all out at the club level and achieving continental success by winning the Champions League for the 5th time and at 31, he’s still going strong according to his colleagues.

Image result for messi and alba vs alaves 2018

And Alba claims no player will ever replicate the 31-year-old’s feats.“Leo makes the difference all the time,He hits perfection every year. We’ll never see another like him” said Alba post match. Messi has truely taken his game to another level after scoring over 600 goals for Barcelona. Messi also scored the 6000th goal for Barcelona in Spanish Top Flight.

Even the Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde couldn’t hesitate in praising his star player. “Messi is a genius, We are lucky to be able to see him every day.” He told in a news conference. “There’s still room for Messi to surprise us. He always surprises you- he never ceases to amaze me, honestly. You have to be ready to expect anything from Messi because he sees what no one else sees.”

Messi put a free-kick under the wall in the 64th minute to give Barca the advantage, before slotting home in injury time after Philippe Coutinho had extended the lead.

Alba was not alone in hailing Messi, who’s opener was Barcelona’s 6,000th La Liga goal. Sergio Busquets said: “It was quite hard, until Messi appeared with his work of art.” While Sergi Roberto quipped: “Leo is still up to his tricks.”

Alaves did little to trouble Barca’s goal even after going behind, but it was far from a convincing display from the hosts, who handed league debuts to Arthur and Arturo Vidal in the second half.

This might not be the ideal style in which Barcelona are used to playing but if they are getting the best out of Messi and Suarez, they will get chances to score. This shows the amount of contribution that Messi has made under Valverde. Even in a more pragmatic system, he created the most chances for Barcelona, gathered more assists and scored more goals than anyone else last season.

Barcelona Target Demands A Massive Salary Bump To Stay

The former Manchester City youth product has been in a phenomenal form for the Ligue 1 leaders this term, bagging 42 appearances, and was arguably the only Paris Saint-Germain player who could hold their head high after the last 16 Champions League tie against Spanish giants Real Madrid.

The midfielder was part of France’s initial 30 man side for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and while he did not play in the tournament, however with the passing years he has proven to be an increasingly influential figure at the Parc des Princes since moving to the city of lights in 2012.

Speaking after the club’s victory over AS Monaco, Rabiot discussed his future with Calcio Mercato. The midfielder said: “Will I still be here next year? I do not know, we’ll see, but I enjoy every moment and every trophy that I win with my club.”

However now according to Italian publications CalcioMercato, Rabiot is demanding a fee of about €5 million and has rejected offers of a new contract already, with the likes of Juventus, AC Milan, and Barcelona lurking. New Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel wants to make Rabiot a talisman of the side and wants him to stay at the club as well. Paris Saint-Germain though has failed to pay Rabiot as much as the player demands.

Barcelona are still following the tracks of Paris Saint-Germain’s French midfielder Adrien Rabiot. Rabiot’s contract expires next summer. [calciomercato via md] pic.twitter.com/5BmGy0KLTc

— Barça Centre (@barcacentre) August 19, 2018

Paris Saint-Germain won Ligue 1 last season, but the Champions League is the club’s real ambition and their exit at the last-16 stage will feel like a disappointment. The defeat may cause the club to re-shape their squad, and Rabiot’s situation may be of concern. His contract expires in 2019, and if the club does not renew his deal, he will be able to walk away as a free agent.

The Ligue 1 giants have been a massive part of the transfer rumors ever since they stole Neymar from right under Barcelona’s noses. And now according to some conflicting reports, Paris Saint-Germain plans of letting Adrien Rabiot leave, with the Frenchmen refusing to sign an extension.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Paris Saint-Germain plans of selling Adrien Rabiot in order to bring in funds, to fund another move for an Atletico Madrid star Filipe Luis. Mundo Deportivo understands that PSG has already made the Brazilian an offer with a potential three-year deal.

However as things stand now, Rabiot is a Paris Saint-Germain player and would be back in action on Saturday when Les Parisiens take on Angers in a bid to continue their lead on top of the Ligue 1 table.

Paris Saint-Germain should renew their star midfielder as soon as possible. The Frenchmen is capable of playing anywhere in the midfield, from the holding role to a more box to box attacking role. Rabiot’s contract extension would be another major statement for the club as they look to continue their dominance in Ligue 1.

 

 

 

 

Shocking: PSG to raid Barcelona midfield to sign two superstars worth €325m

PSG shocked the world last year to sign Neymar Jr. from Barcelona for a record transfer fee. And the Ligue 1 club is trying to pull off the same maneuverer once again as they have now targeted Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets.

According to the reports in Sport, PSG board is in the transfer market to sign a seasoned campaigner for an important role in the midfield. And they have shortlisted both Rakitic and Busquets for a role. While Ivan Rakitic has a release clause of €125m, Sergio Busquets has also recently agreed to a new deal with the club. The Spaniard’s release clause will continue to be €200m, but he is expected to get a pay-rise.

The release clauses of both the midfielders will make life difficult for the French side, but they do have financial resources to work on transfers. But the Catalans will be eager to keep Rakitic and Busquets at the Camp Nou, as the duo, along with Messi, Suarez and Pique are the pillars of Valverde’s side.

Rakitic’s stocks have risen since his exceptions performance in the World Cup. The Croatian played a crucial role in his countries first ever appearance in the World Cup final. Sergio Busquets, on the other hands, has been a backbone of Barcelona side for almost a decade now. The Spaniard’s role of a defensive midfielder has done wonders for Barcelona as he has silently helped them to win a number of titles.

#DailyWarning ⚠️
Les clauses : #Rakitic 125M€, #Busquets 200 M€. pic.twitter.com/YDvvkrYQ0H

— Daily Barça (@Daily_FCB) August 20, 2018

The La Liga champions started their title defense with a convincing 3-0 victory against Alaves on Saturday.

Both Rakitic and Busquets are a crucial part of Barcelona’s side and the club cannot afford to lose them so late in the transfer window. And as for Busquets, Barca do not even have a natural CDM to replace him. It looks really difficult for PSG to take any one of them away from Barcelona right now.

Shocking: Man Utd ready to steal Barcelona’s €100M-star if Pogba departs

Barcelona has a jam-packed midfield right now but that has not stopped them from pursuing a move for the World Cup winner. A rumor which only started as Pogba’s weapon for a contract renewal and Mourinho’s attention has turned into a serious one in the last few weeks.

According to the reports in Don Balon, Manchester United want to bring La Masia’s promising midfielder Riqui Puig, if Pogba decides to leave. But the 19-year old has a release clause of €100M, which will make life difficult for United.

Yet to make his debut for the first team, Puig is a totally unknown name for United fans. But the Spaniard has impressed the board members and Ernesto Valverde at Barcelona after his pre-season performances. The midfielder’s ability to keep his composure with the ball at his feet and trademark La Masia style of passing makes him a valuable presence in the middle of the field.

Paul Pogba opened Manchester United’s account for a new season with a penalty against Leicester City last week. But the Frenchman’s post-match comments suggested that all is not well between him and Jose, despite the manager’s repeated buttering-up attempts. The Frenchman has been since heavily linked with a move to Barcelona but the Catalans are yet to make any official bid for him.

Puig, on the other hands, is already considered a crucial part of Barcelona’s future. The youngster trains with the first squad most of the times. Ernesto Valverde even promised to give him a few chances in the first team this season.

United are expected to reject all the interests for Pogba in August as they cannot sign a replacement right now. But the Catalans can still swoop in until 31st August, the transfer deadline for La Liga.

This might not go down well with EPL fans, but Barcelona should secure Riqui Puig’s future rather than chasing Pogba. The youngster has graduated from La Masia and knows how the Catalans work. He is the one Barcelona need for the future with the Barca playing style. As for Pogba, where will he play if they sign him? There’s not even room left on the bench now!

Barcelona stalwart set to sign a lucrative contract extention

For Barcelona, losing Andres Iniesta will be one of the hardest things to cope up with which comes behind only the future loss of Lionel Messi. The Spaniard is a bonafide Barcelona legend and his presence in some of World football’s greatest international and club sides guarantees him a place in footballing history.

Barcelona

But replacing him is going to be one of the hardest things, Barcelona can do. It could be a task too much for Barcelona, despite the Catalan giants bringing in Philippe Coutinho, Arturo Vidal and Arthur Melo to ease the loss. However, losing another crucial star would make things even worse, which is why the club has handed stalwart Sergio Busquets a lucrative new deal. The Spaniard has been the invisible wall in front of Barcelona’s defense for the better part of the last decade or so.

However, while Busquets doesn’t always get the plaudits he deserves, disappearing amid the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta, Philippe Coutinho and even Ivan Rakitic, the 30-year-old is easily one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. His ability to pick out a pass certainly makes things easier for Barcelona, but his defensive positioning combined with his excellent ball control simply makes him that much more impressive.

Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique once revealed “He’s a one-off player. With his physical ability he’s proof that football is played by people who aren’t the fastest, other characteristics are needed. You don’t need to be one of the fastest to do what he does.  He’s perfect with pressing, with the ball, a great character, he carries himself well on the field, he’s an irreplaceable players.”

❗ Sergio Busquets and Barcelona have officially agreed on an improved contract that will keep the midfield general at the club through 2021 in addition to the heightened release clause of $200M. [rac1]

— Barca Universal (@BarcaUniversal) August 19, 2018

That’s exactly why despite being 30 years old, Barcelona have given the Spaniard the new and lucrative deal he deserves. According to reports from Marca, while Busquets hasn’t received an extension, his current salary has certainly been increased to put him just below Lionel Messi on the Barcelona pay scale.

Not only that, his current contract expires in June of 2021, with an option to extend it to 2023. The holding midfielder has a buyout clause of 200 million, and given that Manchester City and Pep Guardiola was interested in potential move less than a year ago, Barcelona are very happy that Busquets has signed the new deal.

Sergio Busquets is among the world’s best midfielders at the moment, but the 30-year-old isn’t growing any younger. While the Catalan giants have signed Arturo Vidal to help out, they need a younger and a potential long-term solution, otherwise, they will suffer. Especially with the transfer economy the way it is right now, the Camp Nou side needs to start looking.

Real Madrid president blocked Lazio star’s transfer for two particular reasons

Having played a starring role in Lazio’s 2017/18 campaign, Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was under the viewfinder of the mightier quarters of Europe, including Real Madrid. The president, Florentino Perez, too was thought to be an admirer of him and keen to bring him to the Santiago Bernabeu.

ESSEN, GERMANY – AUGUST 12: Sergej Milinkovic Savic of SS Lazio in action of Borussia Dortmund during the Borussia Dortmund v Lazio – Pre-Season Friendly at the Essen Stadium on August 12, 2018 in Essen, Germany. (Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images)

However, latest reports suggest otherwise as the construction magnate was instead balked by two things that led to him reconsidering the transfer. Firstly, Lazio have set a price tag of £107 million which he found too exorbitant. Milinkovic-Savic is only 24 and with just one successful season under his belt. So Perez didn’t think it was worth so much of investment. Also, Los Blancos are packed to the rafters with midfielders.

Inter Milan’s attempt to sign Luka Modric was never going to come to fruition, while the likes of Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Dani Cabellos are some of the other options in the midfield. However, Italian daily Calcio Mercato suggests the Spaniard didn’t find him worthy of playing for a club of Real Madrid’s stature for now.

Manchester United, Chelsea, AC Milan and Juventus were all rumored to be interested in the player alongside the reigning European champions, however, Milinkovic-Savic ended up staying put at Lazio, as manager Simone Inzaghi expressed content with the transfers.

“I asked for Alejandro Gomez as a substitute for Felipe Anderson, then we analysed the situation and we preferred to take [Joaquin] Correa, a young player who will give us so much because he boasts physical and technical qualities,” said Inzaghi, when asked about Lazio’s transfer business.

“The purchase of [Milan] Badelj, in this sense, it’s important because he’s an international football player who has great enthusiasm for having arrived on such a team and is also that player who was missing in the midfield.

“There are many voices around Milinkovic-Savic, he can change the games alone. I spoke with Sergej, he wanted to arrive two days earlier in Auronzo [at Lazio’s training camp], but I gave him two more days of holiday. I feel calm,” he further added.

It may sound arrogant, but what Perez feels is plausible. The Serb still has a long way to go and would have to repeat the trick this season too to prove he’s no flash in the pan.

PSG to let Adrien Rabiot go to fund a move for a La Liga superstar

The Ligue 1 giants have been a massive part of the transfer rumors ever since they stole Neymar from right under Barcelona’s noses. However, now with the Brazilian confirming his future, it seems that their central midfielders have been permanently linked with a move to the La Liga since the start of the summer transfer window. Both Marco Verratti and Adrien Rabiot are reportedly targets for both Real Madrid and Barcelona.

However, now despite PSG’s obstinance over not selling either of Thomas Tuchel’s key stars, it seems that the Parisians may finally be willing to bargain over one star. Adrien Rabiot’s contract with the Ligue 1 giants is slowing winding down and the 23-year-old has less than a year left on his current deal with PSG. But that only means that Tuchel has a choice to make, sell him now or wait for Rabiot to leave for free, with the former Manchester City youth star refusing to sign an extension.

And with their financial fair play troubles, after spending over 300 million last summer and this summer combined, it seems that PSG are finally willing to sell. According to reports from Mundo Deportivo, the 23-year-old will be sold to bring in funds, to fund another move for an Atletico Madrid star Filipe Luis. It further adds that PSG has already made the Brazilian an offer with a potential three year deal.

For Barcelona, this would mean that they have a chance at a bonafide Andres Iniesta replacement without spending through their teeth for Paul Pogba. Since his contract is winding down, Rabiot at 23 is a classy option and would fit their style of play brilliantly but not only that he would be available at a cut-rate price. But while Juventus were in the race, the Serie A window has shut leaving Barcelona to face against Real Madrid in the race for the 23-year-old’s signature.

Adrien Rabiot is a talented and could potentially become a world-class central-midfielder. But given that he only does have a year left on his contract and Barcelona should pounce now, especially with Real Madrid looking for a potential Luka Modric replacement. However, the lure of playing for Barcelona is simply too much for some people (just ask AS Roma) and the La Liga giants signing Rabiot would mean a complete team for Ernesto Valverde.