Dani Alves has revealed the secret behind his former team-mate Lionel Messi’s success. The duo were at Barcelona during the wonder years, under Pep Guardiola, but according to Alves it is the Argentinian superstar’s ability to perfect his already incredible skills that makes him the best in the world.
Speaking to the Times, the Paris Saint-Germain defender praised Guardiola’s vision for their success at Barcelona. But he made sure he distributed praise equally between his boss and genius team-mate Messi.
Alves, 35, said: “Our great connection wasn’t just about us being good at what we did. “At Barcelona we had a lot of great ‘executors’, but we also had great understanders of football- people who understood the concepts. ‘Ah, if my team-mate gives the ball in this position, I’ll give it back to him here, because I know he’ll be making that run’.
“It was an amazing connection with so much synergy. When we connected, our opponents didn’t stand a chance.”
No player had provided Messi with more assists in La Liga than Alves, until last month. Luis Suarez has now trumped his 26 assists, by providing his 27th when Barcelona faced Valencia.
Alves is an undeniably special player and has lifted more trophies than any other active player, but he his full of praise for the other half of the dangerous duo, from his Barcelona years.
Speaking about the secret behind Messi’s success, Alves said: “The hardest thing isn’t just doing it; it’s going back and doing it again, better than you did it before.
“Not many people have that ability. I believe that Messi is one of the few. He does something, then does it better, then does it better again.
“In that way, he has maintained his level for a long time. People are born with a gift, but they have to perfect it. The real key to his success is the perfecting of his gift.”
The Argentine ace has been hailed as somewhat of a magician thanks to his goal scoring exploits and boasts five Ballon d’Ors as a result.
Usain Bolt has revealed that he stopped having sex, after he discovered that it was affecting his performance in athletics championships.
The world’s fastest man who spoke to Sunday Times, further revealed that he reached an agreement with his coach on partying provided he kept winning races during his athletics days.
Usain Bolt who retired last year from athletics having broken the 100m and 200m world records and winning eight Olympic gold medals, also talked about his relationship with Kasi Bennett, the Jamaican model and businesswoman who he has been dating for more than five years. According to him, they’ve discussed marriage and he’s eager to have kids one day.
“In the early days, I did try having sex before a race, just to see if it helped. It was a disaster. I was nowhere.”
“I’m a young guy. I like to have a good time. I can train hard, but I also need some down time. If I don’t go out and let off steam, I go a bit crazy.
“My coach understood, and we worked out a good system. Even though I went to parties, I was still winning races. If I was coming last, sure, you can tell me to stop partying, but if I’m breaking world records, you got no right to tell me what to do.
AC Milan striker, Gonzalo Higuain has apologised for getting dismissed during his side’s 2-0 defeat by Juventus in the Serie A encounter played on Sunday.
Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic ensured that Max Allegri’s side defeated Milan at the San Siro Stadium.
Higuain, who is on loan from Juventus, missed a penalty before being sent off against his parent club.
“First of all, I want to apologise to the team, the coach, the supporters and the referee for my reaction,” Reuters quoted Higuain as saying at post-match.
“I take responsibility for what happened. Obviously, I hope that it doesn’t happen again. It was one of those moments — we were losing, I missed a penalty and we aren’t robots but people. But I don’t want to try and justify my actions.”
Juventus forward, Cristiano Ronaldo has disclosed what he told AC Milan star, Gonzalo Higuain following the striker’s red card in his side’s Serie A 2-0 win on Sunday.
Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic ensured Max Allegri’s side defeated Milan at the San Siro Stadium.
Higuain, who is on loan from Juventus, missed a penalty before being sent off against his parent club.
When asked what Ronaldo had said to Higuain, Ronaldo told Sky Sport Italia: “I told him to calm down, as he risked an even heavier ban.
“He didn’t do much, he was irritable at losing the game, that’s understandable and I hope he is not punished too severely.”
Ronaldo added: “I do hope Pipita [Higuain] apologises to the referee for his attitude.
“He needs to learn to control himself more. I saw how much pressure he felt on his shoulders, taking a penalty against his old club, anyone who has played football knows that emotions can get to you in these situations.
The win over Milan means Juventus now top the Serie A table with 34 points from 12 games.
Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho has stated that his side should not be speaking of winning this season’s Premier League title after losing 3-1 to Manchester City in the Premier League derby clash on Sunday.
Three goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero and IIkay Gundogan ensured victory for Guardiola’s men.
Forward, Anthony Martial’s lone strike was not enough to get a point for Mourinho’s side.
Mourinho, however, has now stated that the Red Devils cannot think about the English top-flight crown, adding that they must first try to make the Premier League top-four.
The defeat to City leaves United 12 points behind the Premier League champions.
Mourinho told Sky Sports: “We are outside the top four. How can we speak about the title?
“To speak about the title you need to be in the top positions. So let’s fight to close the gap and jump into the top four, if one day we jump into the top four, we’ll see what the difference is.
“It’s 12 points. I think our team is improving a lot, even defensively conceding three goals, it was a positive defensive performance.
“We knew that there is a difference in potential. Since the beginning of the season, we knew that our second position last season was a fantastic achievement for us, and this season we are going to fight for the top four.
“We are outside of that, we are having very difficult fixtures, away at Chelsea, away at Manchester City, almost impossibly difficult for us to win three matches in a row. Now we have to go for it and try to build on what we are doing.”
Former Manchester City star, Pablo Zabaleta has said that his former side defeated Manchester United on Sunday because they (City) had more quality in all areas.
Manchester City clashed with rivals, Manchester United, at the Etihad in the Premier League on Sunday.
City took the lead after just 12 minutes with three-time Premier League winner, David Silva, finishing from close range with a right-footed effort.
Zabaleta told Sky Sports that it was clear right from the half time the difference in quality between the two teams.
Zabaleta, who now plays for West Ham, also pointed out that City could have scored more before half time.
“I thought it was what we expected, the game we mentioned before the game”.
“Two different styles of play between Man United and Man City.
“Man City have been dominating the first half.
“I think the quality, the difference between both clubs, is unbelievable.
“They’ve got so much quality on the ball but off the ball the way they press is just unbelievable.”
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are reportedly not in the running for the Ballon d’Or. The superstar pair have split the last TEN crowns between them – with Kaka the last player to beat them in 2007.
But, according to leaked information, neither is currently in the top three of the voting at the halfway stage.
French journalist Eric Mamruth claims he has had a sneak peek of the standings, and Luka Modric , Raphael Varane and Kylian Mbappe are the names battling it out at the top.
Real Madrid midfielder Modric , 33, is the current bookies’ favourite having already won Fifa’s The Best award this year.
But Ronaldo, also 33, came second at the London bash, ahead of Liverpool’s Mo Salah.
And it would represent a real shock if the now-Juventus forward – who netted 15 goals in 13 games during Real Madrid’s Champions League winning campaign last season – failed to make the podium.
He, and Argentinian rival Messi, may have been affected by their nations’ poor showing at the World Cup this summer – though Ronaldo did net a sensational hat-trick in Portugal’s 3-3 draw with Spain.
Votes are cast by a group of international journalists with no more than one per country. The winner will be revealed on December 3 in Paris.
Interim boss Santiago Solari guided Real Madrid to a fourth consecutive win in all competitions on Sunday as they eased past Celta Vigo 4-2 in LaLiga.
The Argentine has steadied the ship following Julen Lopetegui’s dismissal last month and will fancy his chances of landing the top job on a permanent basis with his 14-day temporary spell now at an end.
Karim Benzema was in inspired form for Los Blancos, scoring his side’s first after 23 minutes with a composed finish and then forcing Gustavo Cabral into an unfortunate own goal 11 minutes into the second half.
Gonzalo Higuain missed a penalty and was sent off in a nightmare meeting with Juventus as his woes cost AC Milan dear in a 2-0 loss at San Siro on Sunday.
Having overcome a back problem to start, Higuain – moved out on loan following Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival in Turin – might have wished he skipped the visit of his parent club after Wojciech Szczesny denied him from the spot in the 41st minute.
The champions had already established an eighth-minute lead through Mario Mandzukic and made the result safe thanks to Ronaldo’s sealer nine minutes from time.
Substitute Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored a late equaliser to stretch Arsenal’s unbeaten run to 16 matches and deny Wolverhampton Wanderers a famous win at the Emirates.
Ivan Cavaleiro’s close-range finish looked like securing the Black Country club their most eye-catching victory since returning to the Premier League this season.
The visitors pounced on an error by Granit Xhaka, Cavaleiro and Raul Jiminez exchanging passes before the former tapped home.
Lucas Torreira and Hector Bellerin both went close to equalising while leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post before Mkhitaryan’s 86th minute cross went straight past Rui Patricio.
Manchester City returned to the Premier League summit with a convincing derby victory over Manchester United at Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s side were seeking the result they needed to go back to the top of the table after Liverpool’s lunchtime win over Fulham at Anfield – and it was rarely in doubt after David Silva bundled home an early goal to give them a narrow interval advantage.
City got the second goal their superiority deserved with Sergio Aguero’s rasping, rising finish past David de Gea three minutes into the second half following an exchange of passes with Riyad Mahrez.
Mohamed Salah helped Liverpool back to the top of the Premier League with a goal that came 14 seconds after Fulham had a goal controversially disallowed for offside.
Xherdan Shaqiri’s cushioned finish in the second half confirmed victory for the Reds who equalled their best start to a Premier League season since 2002-03.
Up until Salah’s goal it had been tough going for the hosts who started well but were then frustrated by a well-marshalled Fulham side who remain bottom of the division.
The returning Lionel Messi scored twice but was unable to prevent LaLiga leaders Barcelona slipping to a chaotic 4-3 defeat to Real Betis at Camp Nou.
Messi – making his first appearance since fracturing his arm against Sevilla on October 20 – could only watch on as Barca’s defence was ripped apart by Betis, who ended a run of eight straight defeats away to the Catalan side.
Ernesto Valverde’s men started sluggishly and were punished after 20 minutes when Junior scored his second league goal of the season before veteran winger Joaquin doubled their advantage 11 minutes before the interval.
Chelsea missed the chance to return to the top of the Premier League as they were held to a goalless draw by Everton.
In a scrappy encounter at Stamford Bridge, Maurizio Sarri’s side were made to wait until five minutes before the break for their first shot on target, as Marcos Alonso’s volley was denied by a smart Jordan Pickford save.
A frantic passage of play after the interval saw Pickford on hand again to deny Alvaro Morata, before Gylfi Sigurdsson stung the palms of Chelsea’s goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
With time running out, Marcos Alonso hit the post for the Blues, but Marco Silva’s Toffees held on for a point.
Former Chelsea defender, Celestine Babayaro, has advised Victor Moses to rescind his decision to quit international football, for the good of his club career.
New Chelsea manager, Maurizo Sarri, does not rate Moses and has told the 27-year-old he can leave in January.
Moses quit playing international football for Nigeria after the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but Babayaro believes a return to the national team set-up, will increase interest in his services from top clubs.
“A return to the Super Eagles will no doubt do his career a whole lot of good right now. He is not getting games at Chelsea but he will sure get games with the Super Eagles and that could provoke interest from top clubs unlike now where only mid-table teams will consider him.
” Moses is a talented player no doubt and he still deserves a shot at a top team but that won’t happen if he isn’t playing at Chelsea, it could happen if he impresses at international level with Nigeria, so he should consider it,” Babayaro told Owngoalnigeria.
Monaco manager, Thierry Henry, has revealed his tips for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.
The prize has been shared between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the last 10 years.
Henry played with Messi at the start of the Argentine’s career at Barcelona, but doesn’t see him in contention this time around.
And he also doesn’t think Ronaldo is in the mix either, despite firing Real Madrid to another champion League success before leaving for Juventus .
Speaking to Sky Sports, Henry said: “I think it would be a shame if a French player does not win the Ballon d’Or, apart from Eden Hazard because he was extraordinary at every Wold Cup match – defensively and on the counter-attack.
“But logically, a French player should win. Why not Varane? He won the Champions League, he was very strong.
“There is the alien (extra-terrestrial) Kylian Mbappe, and also Antoine Griezmann. But I can also mention many players.”
Ahead of their Premier League clash at the Etihad on Sunday, Manchester United boss, Jose Mourinho has aimed a dig in the direction of his Manchester City counterpart, Pep Guardiola.Mourinho emphasised on City’s policy, especially when the club signed four full-backs last season to become the side with the most expensive defence line in the world.Guardiola’s team have come under fire during the week after the leaked data exposing their approach to avoiding Financial Fair Play.While former Chelsea boss would not directly comment on the row, he took aim at City’s recruitment policy and moaned at their superior resources in the transfer marketfCLICK TO DROP YOUR COMMENTShare this post with your Friends on “I am clearly rebuilding,” he told reporters during press conference ahead of the Manchester derby.“In my first season, I got into a situation where there were players like Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick – phenomenal players and some of the most important players in the past years of the club – coming to the end.“We had to get a player like Ibra [Zlatan Ibrahimovic] to help us to have a certain power to fight for something important, which was clearly to get back to the Champions League level.“But it’s been hard work, really hard work, with people like Luke Shaw and Tony Martial, for example.“Because for talented players like them to get to the level they are now is a process.“To transform talent in professional players into stability and performance is a process of hard work. So is it rebuilding? Yes.“If I need a full-back and I was able to buy four, it would be easier. So, when I needed a full-back, when I wasn’t happy with Luke Shaw’s level, the easiest thing would have been to buy four new players.“Some clubs can buy four full-backs. But we didn’t buy a left-back for three years because we were wishing and working for Luke Shaw to be that left-back.“But during that process, we played Matteo Darmian, we played Daley Blind, we played Ashley Young, we played Marcos Rojo.“We didn’t buy four replacements – and that is a big difference. It takes less time when you buy four full-backs.“To buy four, you need good scouting – and you need money. But to make players well that takes more time.”
Arsenal have reportedly identified £45million Lille striker, Nicolas Pepe as Danny Welbeck’s replacement at the club.
Welbeck suffered a “career-ending” injury during Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League encounter on Thursday night.
The England international landed awkwardly after leaping in the air to meet a cross just after the half hour mark against Sporting, and needed oxygen before being stretchered off the pitch
The Sun is now reporting that Welbeck’s injury will force the Gunners to speed up plans to sign Pepe during the January transfer window.
The report also claimed that Arsenal will have to rival Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund who are also interested in Pepe.
Meanwhile, English medical expert, Johnny Wilson had disclosed that Welbeck may not play football again due to the ankle injury he sustained.
Arsenal will take on Wolves in the Premier League fixture on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho resume rivalries on Sunday as Manchester City host Manchester United at the Etihad.
The first Manchester derby of the 2018-19 season arrives with both clubs facing difficult questions: United’s are on the pitch, with City’s off it.
United have recovered from a disastrous start to the campaign, but a nine-point gap between them and first-placed City after just 10 games means anything less than a win could all but spell the end of their title hopes before December has even begun.
The absence of Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will be a difficult one for Pep as he is undoubtedly one of his best players and someone who can change a game in an instant.
Likely Starting XI:
Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy, Sane, B Silva, D Silva, Fernandinho, Sterling, Aguero.
Marouane Fellaini and Antonia Valencia were both available for United in midweek for the Juventus game in Turin after shaking off recent knocks but
Romelu Lukaku’s availability for the weekend remains unknown.
Likely Starting XI:
De Gea, Lindelof, Smalling, Young, Shaw, Pogba, Mata, Fred, Matic, Sanchez, Martial.
Juventus are offering Manchester United the choice of one of three players: Medhi Benatia, Alex Sandro, or Mario Mandzukic in exchange for midfielder, Paul Pogba, according to Express Sports.
The Italian giants are stepping up their attempts to re-sign Pogba.
Juventus board wants to bring back the Frenchman to Turin when the transfer window opens in January.
But they are confident of getting their man in June in the face of competition from Spanish giants Barcelona who are also interested.
Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has been drawing up plans to get deal done.
Paratici is giving United the choice of either centre-half Benatia; left wing back Sandro or striker Mandzukic.
Manchester United were interested in all three players last summer and Paratici will tell them they can have any of them plus cash.
Pogba left Old Trafford for Turin at 19 and spent four seasons with the Serie A giants before returning to Manchester in 2016.
Pogba was asked about returning to Juventus after United’s 2-1 win in the Champions League on Wednesday, and he said,
CLICK TO DROP YOUR COMMENT
Share this post with your Friends on “Who knows? I’m with United now.
“There is so much talk about this, but am happy to be playing for Manchester United.
“It was wonderful coming back here, although it felt weird going into the ‘away’ locker room.
“I was so accustomed to the Juve one.
“The reaction of the fans really moved me, as I missed them and Italian football.
“It was great to be back in this stadium, where I started out and won big atrophies.”