Tag Archives: leonardo

Real Madrid to share 8m Champions League bonus

Madrid stars to share 8m bonus pot if Mourinho guides his side past United and on to Champions League glory

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

09:38 GMT, 24 January 2013

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UPDATED:

09:58 GMT, 24 January 2013

Real Madrid's players have been given an added incentive to beat Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-finals after being promised a 335,000-a-man bonus if they win the competition.

The Spanish giants have not won the competition since 2002 and manager Jose Mourinho is desperate to win the trophy for the third time after tasting success with Porto and Inter Milan.

Madrid's players will also rake in 295,000 should they somehow overhaul Barcelona's 15-point lead and defend their La Liga title, according to reports in Spain.

In the money: Real Madrid players are in line for an 8million bonus

In the money: Real Madrid players are in line for an 8million bonus

But Mourinho has already dismissed the idea that Madrid can win the league and also distanced himself from taking over at Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

'The La Liga title is impossible now,
there is too big a gap,' he said. 'We have to focus on other goals like the Copa
del Rey and the Champions League.

Under pressure: Jose Mourinho has struggled with Real Madrid this season

Under pressure: Jose Mourinho has struggled with Real Madrid this season

'It
does no good to obsess over these things, obsession only makes things
more complicated. Nothing will be easy. We need to stay calm and make
the most of every opportunity.

'No, I don’t think I will coach PSG,'
he added. 'The success of PSG with Ancelotti and Leonardo means they
have no need for another coach. I hope everything goes well for Carlo
and PSG.'

Gareth Bale talks about diving reputation with referee Andre Marriner

Bale dives into face-to-face talks with ref Marriner as Spurs ace tries to get rid of his reputation

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UPDATED:

15:03 GMT, 14 December 2012

Gareth Bale has taken part in face-to-face talks with Premier League referee Andre Marriner in a bid to understand why he keeps getting booked for diving.

The Tottenham winger was booked for simulation in consecutive games against Liverpool and Fulham and has received four yellow cards so far this season for the offence – the most of any player in the top flight.

Rough tumble: Gareth Bale has picked up four bookings for diving this year

Rough tumble: Gareth Bale has picked up four bookings for diving this year

Rough tumble: Gareth Bale has picked up four bookings for diving this year

The issue was raised when Marriner visited Spurs’ training ground this week as part of an annual visit by a Premier League referee, but Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas insisted Bale’s reputation for diving was unfair.

The boss said the player would keep trying to protect himself when running at players with his blistering pace and does not care he has been labelled as a ‘diver’.

Villas-Boas said: ‘We have received the visit of the referee this week. We have spoken, me and Gareth, with the referee about the situation.

‘He has had potentially-career threatening injuries and sometimes for the pace that he goes at it looks like a dive from the player when he is actually protecting himself. He told me that.

‘He avoids opponents' tackles (and with) the pace that he approaches challenges it's very difficult for referees to judge.

'It's a tag that if he has gained it is unfair. But it doesn't bother him in any way shape or form so we keep doing our job.'

Spotlight: High-profile incidents involving Santi Cazorla and Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci have bought diving back into focus both in England and abroad

Spotlight: High-profile incidents involving Santi Cazorla and Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci have bought diving back into focus both in England and abroad

Spotlight: High-profile incidents involving Santi Cazorla and Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci have bought diving back into focus both in England and abroad

Leonardo Bonucci dive for Juventus v Palermo

Is this the most embarrassing dive ever Juventus cheat Bonucci leaves Cazorla and co in the shade

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UPDATED:

13:04 GMT, 11 December 2012

If you thought Santi Cazorla’s dive against West Brom on Saturday was disgraceful then just be thankful that Leonardo Bonucci isn’t also trying his simulation antics in the Premier League.

Cazorla won a highly controversial penalty for Arsenal, which played a big role in sealing a 2-0 win for the Gunners, after going to ground despite not being touched by Steven Reid’s attempted tackle for the Baggies.

Scroll down to watch the video…

Tumble: Bonucci is challenged by Samir Ujikani (above) and celebrates with his team-mates (bottom left) after the win at Palermo

Tumble: Bonucci is challenged by Samir Ujikani (above) and celebrates with his team-mates (bottom left) after the win at Palermo

Tumble: Bonucci is challenged by Samir Ujikani (above) and celebrates with his team-mates (bottom left) after the win at Palermo

But although the Spaniard managed to con
the referee, Bonucci was fooling nobody after the Juventus defender’s
antics in a Serie A match at Palermo on Sunday.

With the Bianconeri leading 1-0 and on the counter attack, the Italian ran the full length of the pitch to latch on to a pass inside the box, only to crumble in a heap when faced one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

After doing brilliantly to beat the offside trap, it all became so bad it’s laughable. Faced with the on-rushing Samir Ujkani, Bonucci dragged the ball back to nobody before flopping over a keeper who never even made a challenge while on the ground.

Not even the Palermo players could be
bothered to protest as the referee booked the Italian international
straight away, forcing him to miss the club’s next match.

Unlike Cazorla though, Bonucci admitted on Twitter he was wrong trying to win a penalty shortly after the Serie A leaders’ 1-0 win.

Shameful: Cazorla takes a tumble against West Brom

Shameful: Cazorla takes a tumble against West Brom

Shameful: Cazorla takes a tumble against West Brom

Bonucci said: ‘I had to shoot but I got stuck for ideas. I picked up a caution and set a bad example, I serve a lesson.’

But is it the worst dive ever There are a plethora of candidates so let us know yours by naming and shaming the worst offenders in the comments section below.

Joey Barton should be football"s gay hero – Martin Samuel

Gay hero Surely there's only one man to herald football's watershed moment… step forward Joey Barton

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UPDATED:

09:41 GMT, 5 December 2012

Could just one footballer please come out and be gay, so everybody can be really cool about it and the sport can get on with its life Just one, it’s not much to ask surely

Football is beginning to sound a little desperate with its pleading. Rugby, cricket, they’ve all had their gay watershed moment.

Man of the moment: Joey Barton

Sensitive soul: Joey Barton in his Marseille tracksuit

Man of the moment: Joey Barton is a sensitive soul who adds a French twist to his English words

And until football does, too, it will
continue to be presumed that the sport has not evolved enough to handle
male homosexuality.

(Hope Powell, the manager of England’s women, has been openly gay for years, without comment, yet that does not seem to count.)

The gay pressure group, Stonewall, has called again for football to tackle its ‘culture of fear’, while Anders Lindegaard, the Manchester United goalkeeper, has said that football needs a ‘gay hero’.

So here’s a thought. Joey Barton continues his quest for intellectual and social respectability. Why not come out as gay

Outspoken: Barton has often found himself at the centre of attention

Outspoken: Barton has often found himself at the centre of attention

Instant credibility, instant respect, untouchable by the Football Association or future employers. His past misdeeds mentally reprocessed and explained.

‘Well, of course he put his cigar out in that bloke’s face, Gary. He was a tortured soul, forced to live a lie.’

And imagine the new material. A never-ending treasure trove for Barton’s Twitter feed: Alexander the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, Oscar Wilde, Lady Bunny.

And, let’s face it, with that new accent, he’s probably halfway there.

Watch Barton's hilarious French accent below… and read Martin Samuel's column here

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Lucas Moura denies Manchester United snub was for money

Moura claims PSG move not about the money after Brazil star snubbed United

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UPDATED:

10:42 GMT, 5 November 2012

Brazilian star Lucas Moura has denied money was the motivation behind his decision to snub Manchester United in favour of Paris St Germain.

The 20-year-old will move to the French capital in January after agreeing a 35million from Sao Paulo during the summer.

United, along with Inter Milan, were favourites to lure the midfielder away from his homeland, and were poised to have 30m bids accepted before PSG, who are bankrolled by the Qatari royal family, made their move.

Franch fancy: Lucas Moura will complete his move to PSG in January

Franch fancy: Lucas Moura will complete his move to PSG in January

But in admitting he is anxious ahead of the switch in 2013, Moura, who starred in the Olympic football tournament for Brazil, says he chose Paris for the familiar faces already at the club.

'Thiago Silva has told me a lot about the club and its facilities, and it will be nice to have him as my team-mate,' he told French media. 'However, I have to admit that I do have a bit of fear about how things will pan out. I don't know how it will go.

'I am not thinking about money, but I am more concerned with whether my next destination will be the right one. PSG's ambition and the presence of the other Brazilians convinced me to sign.

'I am following PSG from a distance. I am mainly focusing on the end of the season with Sao Paulo for now.'

At the time of the deal, Sao Paulo vice-president Joao Paulo de Jesus Lopes revealed the club's former star player Leonardo – now PSG's sporting director – had been key in seeing the midfielder chose Ligue 1 over the Premier League.

Ashley Cole could stay in Premier League as PSG close door

Cole set to spark United v City transfer tussle as PSG pull out of race for Chelsea defender

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UPDATED:

07:46 GMT, 17 October 2012

Ashley Cole could be set to stay in the Premier League after Paris St Germain chief Leonardo closed the door on a move for the Chelsea defender.

Manchester rivals City and United have been keeping a close eye on Cole's situation since Sportsmail revealed the England full-back is ready to walk out at the end of the season after failing to agree terms on a new contract.

Where to now Chelsea defender Ashley Cole is set to leave Stamford Bridge

Where to now Chelsea defender Ashley Cole is set to leave Stamford Bridge

PSG appeared to be favourites to sign Cole amid talk of a three-year deal worth 23million while Real Madrid are also keen on the 31-year-old.

Cole's former boss Carlo Ancelotti is coach of the big-spending club from the French capital but sporting director Leonardo said: 'Besides Lucas [Moura], nothing is done and there is no discussion with any player.'

When asked about Cole, he told Le Parisien: 'Neither this winter nor next season.'

The Blues could get rid of Cole in January if Ryan Bertrand continues his ranks up the rise at Stamford Bridge. Bertrand was called up to the England squad last week.

Cole is reported to be holding out for a two-year deal but the European champions are prepared to offer just 12 months.

Cole has played in 188 out of a possible 235 games in the Premier League since signing from Arsenal six years ago.

He missed the majority of those games in his first two seasons because of problems with his ankles, but he has been reliable in the past four years.

Although Cole has to bathe his ankles in ice after games and has specially-adapted training, he has no fears about playing long term.

Oscar can become Chelsea great, claims Petr Cech

Oscar can become Chelsea great, claims Cech after Brazilian's masterclass

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UPDATED:

07:16 GMT, 21 September 2012

Petr Cech believes Oscar is already proving to be worth every penny of his 25million price tag as Chelsea's man of the moment looks to build on his sensational debut in Saturday's clash with Stoke.

Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo should confirm on Friday whether Brazil star Oscar is fit to start the club's Barclays Premier League game at Stamford Bridge after he limped out of Wednesday's Champions League game against Juventus.

Having his ankle trodden on by Juve defender Leonardo Bonucci – before watching his own team-mates squander their two-goal lead to draw 2-2 – soured what was otherwise a 'dream' first start for Chelsea for the 21-year-old, whose blistering brace made him an instant Stamford Bridge hero.

Sensational: Oscar scored twice on his full Chelsea debut against Juventus

Sensational: Oscar scored twice on his full Chelsea debut against Juventus

With Daniel Sturridge ruled out of the game with a hamstring injury and Fernando Torres continuing to misfire, the Blues arguably need Oscar's goal threat again this weekend.

Goalkeeper Cech has seen plenty of young stars come and go during his eight years at the club but felt he might be witnessing something special in the shape of the 21-year-old.

'He has quite a big price tag on him for a young guy and he's under extra pressure,' said Cech.

'It's been great for him, obviously, his performance and two goals.

Pegged back: Oscar celebrates but Juventus improved to earn a point

Pegged back: Oscar celebrates but Juventus improved to earn a point

'They will give him a lot of confidence and people will realise that he is really good value.

'He's settled in quite quickly and you can see he's really worth the money the club spent, obviously, now.

'So let's see how well he's going to develop over here.

'He has a pretty good set-up here too to become a great player.'

Cech also delivered a stinging rebuke to Chelsea's Champions League critics as he urged his team-mates not to play as if they have to prove themselves worthy European champions.

The keeper bristled at the mention of the outrageous fortune the club enjoyed en route to last season's triumph, bemoaning the fact Barcelona had little such criticism when they fluked a semi-final win over the Blues three years earlier.

'I don't think we have to prove anything to anybody, because we won the Champions League last year,' he said.

Beaten: Fabio Quagliarella sends the ball past Petr Cech for Juventus

Beaten: Fabio Quagliarella sends the ball past Petr Cech for Juventus

'We have to play 13 games to win the Champions League. You might be lucky in one or two games, but that's normal.

'When we got knocked out by Barcelona, they were lucky to be in the final.

'Everybody said they played brilliant football and that they won the Champions League rightly because they beat Man United in the final.

'But they shouldn't have been in the final. Nobody talks about that.

'You have 13 games and everything can happen, and you have to go step by step. The knockout stage, last 16, quarter-finals, semis, and then win a final.

'We won those games. We didn't steal it. We deserved to win.'

US Open 2012 draw: Andy Murray faces Alex Bogomolov in first round

Murray will face Bogomolov in US Open first round… and is in Federer's side of the draw

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UPDATED:

16:48 GMT, 23 August 2012

Third seed Andy Murray will play Russia's Alex Bogomolov in the first round of the US Open and was placed in Roger Federer's half when the draw was made on Thursday afternoon.

Murray and Bogomolov have met three times before, with the Scot winning twice, but he did lose their first match at the Miami Masters last year.

In the first round, world No 1 Federer will face American Donald Young, who this week ended a run of 17 straight defeats by winning his first-round match against Argentina's Leonardo Mayer in Winston Salem.

More to follow.

Is it his time Andy Murray is looking for his first Grand Slam

Is it his time Andy Murray is looking for his first Grand Slam

PSG agree deal to sign Lucas Moura

Blow for Fegie as PSG beat United to signing of Brazil midfield star Moura

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UPDATED:

18:29 GMT, 8 August 2012


Paris match: Brazil midfielder Lucas Moura

Paris match: Brazil midfielder Lucas Moura

Paris St Germain have confirmed that they have agreed a deal with Sao Paulo for the transfer of midfielder Lucas Moura.

The 19-year-old will remain with the Brazilian side until January before linking up with Carlo Ancelotti's side on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

The playmaker, who is currently in Britain representing Brazil at the Olympics, began his professional career with his hometown club and has made 58 league appearances.

Moura, had been a target of Manchester United, but the two clubs failed to agree on a fee for the teenager.

Earlier in the week, Moura said: 'Without doubt it would be much better for me to stay to help Sao Paulo until the end of the year,' said the 19-year-old.

Fantasy football 2012

'I want to win a title before I leave, qualifying for the Copa Libertadores. If the deal is in January, I can do this for Sao Paulo.'

Lucas is believed to have been unimpressed with ‘boring’ Manchester and spoke to Robinho about his time at Manchester City.

But the midfielder delivered a different tone when he let slip that he had talked to PSG sporting director Leonardo and their new signing Thiago Silva.

Date with destiny: Moura has helped Brazil reach the Olympic football final

Date with destiny: Moura has helped Brazil reach the Olympic football final

'I spoke to them,' he confirmed. 'They spoke highly about the club and I know they are creating a wonderful project – a fantastic structure with major players. That’s basically what they told me.'

Silva, the Brazil defender who secured a mega move to Paris from AC Milan last month, has been an intermediary in talks.

'I recommended him to Leonardo, who asked me what Lucas was like,' said the 27-year-old. 'I didn’t say it because he is my friend, but because of his technical quality. He has a lot to give the national team, would happily be at PSG, and can help us find the gold medal.

'Certainly I would want Lucas on our side rather than against. It would be a great help to have such a skillful player on our team.'

Lucas Moura ready to snub Manchester United

Moura not interested in 'boring' Manchester as United face losing 36m ace to PSG

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UPDATED:

08:25 GMT, 8 August 2012


Paris match: Brazil midfielder Lucas Moura

Paris match: Brazil midfielder Lucas Moura

Lucas Moura has revealed he is ready to snub Manchester United after talks with Paris Saint-Germain.

United had been confident of signing the Brazil playmaker until PSG made a last-minute offer.

The Qatar-backed French club are prepared to pay almost 36million and would wait until January to take him from Sao Paulo.

'Without doubt it would be much better for me to stay to help Sao Paulo until the end of the year,' said the 19-year-old.

'I want to win a title before I leave, qualifying for the Copa Libertadores. If the deal is in January, I can do this for Sao Paulo.'

Talks with PSG are so advanced that sources in Sao Paulo say the move will be confirmed soon after Saturday’s Olympics football final between Brazil and Mexico.

'I can’t talk about it,' Lucas insisted
after the 3-0 semi-final victory over South Korea on Tuesday night. 'I’m
focused on the national team.

Fantasy football 2012

‘I can only say something after the Olympics. It’s on the right path, (but) nothing is certain.'

Lucas is believed to have been unimpressed with ‘boring’ Manchester and spoke to Robinho about his time at Manchester City.

But the midfielder delivered a different tone when he let slip that he had talked to PSG sporting director Leonardo and their new signing Thiago Silva.

Date with destiny: Moura has helped Brazil reach the Olympic football final

Date with destiny: Moura has helped Brazil reach the Olympic football final

'I spoke to them,' he confirmed. 'They spoke highly about the club and I know they are creating a wonderful project – a fantastic structure with major players. That’s basically what they told me.'

Silva, the Brazil defender who secured a mega move to Paris from AC Milan last month, has been an intermediary in talks.

'I recommended him to Leonardo, who asked me what Lucas was like,' said the 27-year-old. 'I didn’t say it because he is my friend, but because of his technical quality. He has a lot to give the national team, would happily be at PSG, and can help us find the gold medal.

'Certainly I would want Lucas on our side rather than against. It would be a great help to have such a skillful player on our team.'