Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Real Madrid banned Shakira over Barcelona links!

Shakira has been banned from Real Madrid.
AS says Shakira's music, which was often played at the Santiago Bernabeu in the lead up to the kickoff of Real games, has now been silenced.
After the Colombian popstar came clean over her relationship with Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, Real's entertainment boffins decided it best not to include Shakira's songs in their playlist.
Only yesterday, Shakira carried a first photo of her together with Pique on her twitter site.
"Here, I present to you my sunshine," she tweeted.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Shakira to move to Spain to be with Barcelona defender Pique

Shakira is ready to move to Spain to be close to new beau Gerard Pique.
Sport says the Barcelona defender and Shakira are now house-hunting in Puigcerdà.
The pair are running their eye over several properties, including one offered to them by local journalist Julia Otero. Though, for the moment they're keeping their options open.
Pique and Shakira are now an item after meeting during last year's World Cup in South Africa.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lionel Messi: I will never join Real Madrid

Lionel Messi has declared that he will never swap Barcelona for Real Madrid, and pledged his long-term future to the Catalan giants.

The Argentine international does not ever see him moving away from the Camp Nou, such is his love for the club, and when asked whether he would ever consider playing for the Blaugrana's arch rivals.

He told Sky Sport Italia: "I will never go there or to any other teams. 

"You can never say never, but my choice is to stay here. My relationship with Pep Guardiola has always been excellent, and he has created a united group here.

"I always want to stay here, finish my career with Barcelona and then maybe play in Argentina. I would like my European career to be around here."

Inter have previously been linked with an audacious move for the 23-year-old, but the player ruled out a move to the current European champions.

"I thank [Inter president Massimo] Moratti, but my career will all be at Barcelona," he said.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Do you know Shakira is 34-year-old and Gerard Pique is 24. That's 10 years difference! Didn't stop Shakira and Piqué from sharing a passionate kiss on magazine cover

They've been romantically linked since last year but are rarely seen out together.

But now Shakira and Spanish footballer Gerard Piqué have made their relationship official - as a photograph of the couple sharing a passionate kiss has been used on the cover of Colombian magazine Caras.

The 34-year-old singer is seen closing her eyes and leaning in for a romantic embrace with her 24-year-old sportsman beau.

Shakira announced at the start of the year that her 11-year relationship with lawyer Antonio de la Rua, 37, the eldest son of the former Argentinian premier, amid rumours that he had been cheating on her.

And last month, Piqué, who plays for FC Barcelona, uploaded a photograph from his birthday on February 2 of himself and the Colombian singer celebrating with friends.

The singer first met Piqué last spring while shooting the video to her song Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) - the official track of the 2010 World Cup.

Barcelona-based newspaper El Periodico de Catalunya claimed they had a string of secret encounters following their initial meeting.

It said they both spent a night in the seven-room Hotel Atzaro in Ibiza last July. The footballer is said to have arrived and left wearing the same clothes.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Barcelona fear Arsenal have Guardiola deal lined up

Barcelona fear losing coach Pep Guardiola - to Arsenal.
The Daily Star Sunday says there’s growing concern at the Nou Camp following the Barca boss’s decision to sign only a one-year extension to his contract.
The Catalan club wanted their brilliant boss to pledge himself to the club on a longer deal.
And the Premier League is seen as the most likely destination if Guardiola decides he needs a new challenge.

He’s been touted as a candidate to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson, 69, at Manchester United when the Red Devils’ boss finally calls it a day but Arsenal l is said to be the club closest to Guardiola’s footballing heart.
The key to any move, of course, is the future of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, 61, who has been in charge at the north London club for nearly 15 years – and who still enjoys the support and respect of the board at The Emirates.
And yet despite that backing, even Wenger needs to win trophies – something he’s failed to achieve for six years – which makes the rest of this season and the next campaign crucial for the Frenchman’s future.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Michael Essien's father vowed to take his son to court for using the name "Essien"!

Michael Essien's father has vowed to take his son to court to stop him using the family name.
In an astonishing move, James Essien says he has instructed a lawyer in Ghana to take the case on against Chelsea midfielder Michael, who he has not spoken to for 10 years.
Essien Snr claims Michael's mother is lying by telling people he never took care of his son when he was a small child.
He said: "I will take Michael to court to get him to stop using the Essien name. I have a lawyer who wants to help me achieve this aim.
"If we achieve my aim then everyone will know he is no longer my son.
"The name has blessings on it and that's why he has been a great player."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lionel Messi - Cristiano Ronaldo head to head, statistical data, expert analysis, and progressive season records compiles the statistical data, expert analysis, and progressive season records on two of the best players in the world, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

For this week's head-to-head, we look at the streaks and records that both players have amassed so far this season.

How they played this week

Who came out on top in the recent round of Primera Division action?

In the midweek 1-0 win over Valencia, Messi scored a pivotal winner late in the game when he slotted home Adriano's cutback, but missed a number of chances including an audacious chip over Guaita which sailed over the bar.

Barcelona had to labour to another 1-0 triumph at the weekend against Zaragoza, but Messi failed to find the back of the net this time. With Bojan Krkic leading the attack, Leo took on more of a supporting role and only managed one shot on target. However, he created the winning goal when he dribbled past three defenders down the right channel to the byline, before pulling the ball back for Seydou Keita to score. It was not recorded as a direct assist as it took a touch off a defender. Player Ratings Comment: Created the goal with a dazzling run which made his markers look like they were on rollerskates. Probably would have buried his half-volley in the 73rd minute on another day but a decent warm-up for the Champions League.

Returned to the scoresheet in style in midweek by bagging a hat-trick against Malaga. 

His first came when he traded passes with Mesut Oezil before sliding a low shot past the goalkeeper. He then onverted a penalty with a fierce shot into his top left corner, before completing his hat-trick when he connected with Sergio Canales' cross to tap the ball home at the near post from close range. He went on to substitute himself after picking up a hamstring strain.

The injury consequently ruled him out of Sunday's 3-1 win over Racing Santander, ending a remarkable streak of 26 consecutive league starts. Player Ratings Comment (vs Malaga): Voted Top of the Match by editors and readers. Continues to amaze. Scorer of three goals, involved in pretty much all of the goals bar the opener. Played with a smile on his face, enjoying it. Took himself off after he scored his third, due to a possible injury.

Streaks and records

Cristiano Ronaldo's absence on Sunday against Racing Santander ended his run of making 26 consecutive starts in La Liga this season. 

Now, we look at some of the other streaks and records that both players have set in the 2010/11 league campaign.

Consecutive league starts

An ankle injury early in the season, plus being handed a rest by coach Pep Guardiola for the match against Levante on matchday 18, has limited Messi’s consecutive league appearances.

Ronaldo’s hamstring injury that forced him to miss Sunday’s fixture against Racing was the first match that the Portuguese missed this season. He started all 26 La Liga games prior to his injury, totalling 2500 consecutive minutes.
Scoring streak

From matchday eight through to match day 12, Messi was in sparkling form, netting both goals in the win over Zaragoza, then following it up with efforts against Sevilla, Getafe, Villarreal and finally with a treble against Almeria.

From matchday six through to matchday nine, Ronaldo embarked upon an astonishing run of scoring in front of goal, striking braces against Deportivo and Malaga, then a quartet of clinical finishes against Racing, before ending his run with a double against Hercules in Alicante.
Most goals in a single game

Messi has struck two hat- tricks in La Liga this season. He notched a treble in the resounding 8-0 win against Almeria, then struck all three goals as he put Atletico Madrid to the sword.

Ronaldo showcased his ability to finish with unerring accuracy in the 6-1 demolition of Racing, scoring three times from inside the penalty area before adding a fourth from the penalty spot.
Most consecutive assists

The Argentine created two goals in the 5-1 derby rout of Espanyol on match day 16, before providing the key pass on two occasions against Deportivo. An assist against Malaga then followed, before ended his streak by laying on a goal in the defeat of Racing.

Notched up an assist each in the first three games of the season. He set-up Ricardo Carvalho's winner against Osasuna, scored from a deflected freekick against Real Sociedad, which was credited to Pepe, and assisted Gonzalo Higuain against Espanyol.

Consecutive games without scoring

Messi’s sensational form in front of goal this season has meant that he is only ever one match away from netting in the Primera Division, and indeed there has only been six league matches where he has failed to find the target.

On three separate occasions Ronaldo has failed to score in three consecutive matches: the first three games of the season; matchdays 19, 20 and 21 which saw Madrid score just twice and drop five points; while his hat-trick against Malaga last midweek ended his second run of three games without scoring.

Minutes Played
  • Penalties  
  • Free kicks 
  • First goals
  • 2
  • 1
  • 10
  • 6
  • 2
  • 5
Total Shots (On target)
118 (66)
197 (76)
(team total: 21,257)
(team total: 15,10)
Passes Completed
(team total: 18,635)
(team total: 12,279)
Fouls Suffered
Fouls Committed
19's Season Average Player Ratings

Goal counter

Keep track of Messi and Ronaldo's goal haul in all competitive club matches what is expected to be a record-shattering 2010/11 season...


Messi is currently ranked top of the Castrol Rankings with Ronaldo second.

Yuto Nagatomo pays tribute to supporters after scoring first Inter goal and hails Javier Zanetti

Inter full-back Yuto Nagatomo has dedicated his first goal for the club to his current employers and his new fans, as a repayment for the faith they have shown in him.

Nagatomo joined in January from Cesena in a deal which saw Davide Santon switch on loan the other way. After only a number of glimpses at the left-back's potential, he found the net for the first time on Sunday against Genoa, and took the time to thank the club for his opportunity at the Milan giants.

"I am the one who should be thanking Inter for this opportunity and everything they have given me during this period," Nagatomo told the Inter Channel.

"I also thank the supporters, as my work is principally in defence and I’m not supposed to score goals, so what happened is a wonderful gift that I give to the club and the fans. Leonardo is a great coach, so I wanted to thank him by bringing over my joy for everything that he has done since I came here."

Nagatomo explained that while he is adapting to life at Inter, he is using club captain Javier Zanetti as a role model and asking the experienced Argentine for advice.

He added: "When I arrived at Inter, communication was a little difficult but now everything is almost perfect and I am taking a lot of satisfaction from playing here. Zanetti is my point of reference, my model to follow, the person who takes care of me, gives me advice and tells me the way."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mastermind behind Barca's home-grown superstars

The Mastermind

THIS is the man who discovered Andres Iniesta. And Cesc Fabregas.
But above all, Albert Benaiges is the coach who helped create all of Barca's home-grown superstars as head of the Catalans' youth set-up for over 20 years.
Now head of Barcelona's schools, though still working closely with the academy, he said: "A blind man could discover Andres, a player of such quality and intelligence.
"We went to a tournament in a village outside Madrid to watch his team, Albacete, in a youth tournament. We felt he was marvellous. But his first four months with us were extremely difficult. He spent every weekend at my house. He missed his family so badly. He says I was like a second father and I love him as my own son.
"Leo Messi was always quiet. You couldn't get him to say a word he was so shy."
And how did Benaiges discover Fabregas? He added: "The late Oriol Tort, who founded La Masia, came to me and said 'Go and watch this lad from Arenys'. We organised a game and Cesc, then nine or 10, came to play. I thought 'Wow, he's good'. At that time we didn't have taxis, as we do now, to bring kids from around Catalunya back and forth from the academy. But a year later we did and that is when Cesc joined us at the age of 12."

The Philosophy

CARLES FOLGUERA, the head of La Masia, was asked to explain the club's secrets at a conference for all 20 Premier League clubs.
He replied: "I am just explaining the model of Barcelona. It's not the best. It's just our model. The question you have to ask yourselves is 'Do we have a football model, a style of play? Do we have a philosophy and values? Within that, do we have teachers and coaches that are suitable to our model?' If it's like that, your model is the best.
"Why did Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, Pedro, for example, come out of here who are just 5ft tall? Because our principal value is not the physical aspect. It's the talent. It's the ability. This has nothing to do with height.
"Maybe when our current coach Pep Guardiola started, physically he had difficulties. But his coach put his faith in Pep, because he had other very important elements like vision for the game. And if you don't see that at 14, you will see it at 15, 16 or 17. The one who is best at 12 may not necessarily be best at 17 or 18.
"What is important is to show the football world that you can be someone who has huge talent, money, fame but also can be an excellent person.
"Just because you're the best, it doesn't mean you can't be a good team-mate or humble. That's the philosophy."

The System

THE Barca youth set-up consists of Catalan kids, who mostly live at home, and youngsters from the rest of Spain and abroad who live in La Masia or in the nearby Nou Camp. The name La Masia encompasses the whole system.
Barca have more than 100 scouts all over Spain and worldwide.
Their 'football schools' are separate and anyone can join if their parents pay a small fee to cover costs. Gerard Pique and Victor Valdes were discovered at one.
La Masia chief Carles Folguera explained: "I don't work on their sporting development. I work on their heart, character, and values. The coaching staff do the rest and deal with their development as athletes. If they arrive at their dream, then it's a job well done by the scouts, the coaches and La Masia or the futbol base as a whole.
"Three things give me pride. When they arrive in the Barcelona first team. When one of them speaks to the Press and transmits to the fans positive values. And when a chap who came out of La Masia, regardless of whether he has made it as a player, has an academic development. The majority, of course, don't make it.
"At La Masia they only train a maximum of two hours a day and always with the ball. It's part of the philosophy. This is the great difference with England."

Introduction to Barcelona's Superstar factory- La Masia

Barcelona's superstar factory has a production line that is the envy of the world.
And SunSport has been granted unprecedented access as the Catalan giants opened their doors to showcase football's most successful youth system.
Boss Pep Guardiola's side have been dubbed 'the best team of all time' for their epic success in the last three years.

Leo Messi, Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol, Victor Valdes, Pedro, Xavi, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Bojan Krkic and Jeffren all came through Barca's youth set-up.
Each is a product of what Barca call 'futbol base'.
Today, it numbers 330 kids and hundreds of employees, costing the club upwards of £10million a year.
Central to that is La Masia, the 'chalet' adjacent to the Nou Camp stadium where 60 top talents - those whose families live in remote parts of Spain or abroad - reside in the hope of making the first team.

An inauspicious, two-storey building, it has one dining room, six bedrooms, a library, a computer room and a recreation room.
Just 12 of the kids sleep in the building. The rest have dormitories in the first floor of the stadium, a mere 30 yards away.
Messi, Iniesta, Puyol, Valdes and Pedro lived at La Masia for years. Krkic and Jeffren were also residents, while Xavi went there for meals, so the club could monitor his diet. Pique and Busquets lived with their families elsewhere in the city.
Guardiola spent years at La Masia as well in the 1980s before becoming a legend as a player. So did his No 2, Tito Vilanova, and the man who today heads the youth set-up, Guillermo Amor - another former Spain international. All three were in the same class of 1986-87 and today this trio runs every aspect of the club from the footballing side.
A quarter of a century on, they ensure the continuity in a philosophy of excellence, both sporting and human, that has been established within the Spanish giants.

Other one-time La Masia residents include Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas, Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina, Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta and Atletico Madrid's ex-Arsenal midfielder Fran Merida. The list is endless.
Even Nayim, the former Tottenham midfielder most famous for a 45-yard Euro strike against Arsenal in 1995 while with Real Zaragoza, came through the Barca ranks.

Albert Folguera, the head of La Masia, outlined the club's approach.
He said: "It's a system of director, teachers, a doctor, a psychologist, cooks and other workers. There are three teachers, who work in the evening with the children.
"There's also a chief of studies and another administrative person who manages all the purchases, tickets and all the kinds of thing the children need for their recreation and studies. We also have three cooks and six kitchen staff."
Current maestros like Xavi and Iniesta always rave about their La Masia years.
Folguera added: "Xavi speaks about values we instil here - sharing things, camaraderie, friendship, laughter. You can't learn that, you live it.
"Do we have problems of adaptation with some kids? Obviously. They come here aged 12 and are away from their families. It's difficult but it's part of the process.
"For Iniesta, the first months were a real struggle. He missed his family, 700km away in Albacete, terribly.
"Leo Messi also. His mother and brother were in Argentina. He was only 12, had growth problems and couldn't play official matches for a year because of a documentation problem. It was soul-destroying for him.
"Victor Valdes had to go home after a season. He missed his family so much.
"Here, we manage emotions. To be made to feel at home and to be among so many people makes the children not feel isolated.
"It's more like a family. The doctor, the psychologists, the teachers and, at times, the coaches come here to eat, so the kids feel more supported.
"All the current stars who suffered away from their loved ones became great champions. They had the character and guts to overcome the difficulties."
Surprisingly, most of the day is spent on school studies. Only two hours are devoted to training in the evening - and 'always with the ball'.
Folguera declared: "This is the best time for La Masia since it was created in 1979 and also in Barca's history.
"The three men responsible for every aspect of FC Barcelona grew up in this home. The first team has 10 players from the academy, the majority of them from La Masia.
"In Barcelona B, the reserves, 12 players go to university."
Outside the windows, the only thing the talented interns can see during their long hours of study and additional home teaching, all paid for by the club, is the Nou Camp. A dream within touching distance and yet so far.
Only a fraction make it to the very top but they prepare the kids to be well rounded, well educated individuals first and athletes second.
Their education will allow them to make it in other areas if, in the end, their talent is not enough or an injury prevents them from realising their ambition.
All under the watchful eye of Guardiola. Folguera said: "I speak with Amor once a week and he informs Guardiola. Pep was here 10 days ago and we had a chat about everything. He does that a few times a year.
"Since Pep has been the coach, more 17 to 18-year-olds have trained with the first team than in the entire 32-year history of La Masia. He is the first to correct them and advise them.
"The first thing Guardiola, their youth coach and I tell them when they come back is, 'Listen. Now when you return to the youth team you have to be the one who works harder than anyone else. Don't get carried away'."
Competition is fierce and, once deemed good enough to enter the youth set-up, some pushy parents become desperate for their offspring to continue right to the top. That is why the club has banned mums and dads from training.
Folguera concluded: "La Masia is about education at all times - in the dining room, at training, in the home teaching classes.
"We tell parents, 'What we will value in your son is character, humility, hard work and discipline. But we also want him to have fun on the pitch, to have creativity and freedom of spirit.
"If you transmit that to your kid, and I transmit the same values too, that is what your son will grow up to be like.
"Xavi comes here all the time to talk, listen and advise the youngsters. Andres comes when the kids are away at school and brings boots and all kinds of equipment. They all do. They still feel part of the family."

Irina Shayk shows no sign of rumoured pregnancy

She would be the ultimate yummy mummy - but Christiano Ronaldo's girlfriend Irina Shayk was showing not a shadow of any blossoming pregnancy last night as she posed on the red carpet in New York.

The stunning 25-year-old model was wearing a breathtakingly tight black and charcoal grey bandage dress at the premiere of new movie Happy Thank You More Please - and made a point of showing off her washboard tummy.

Just last week, Portuguese newspapers reported that footballing star Ronaldo, 26, was expecting his second child, this time with his gorgeous Russian girlfriend.

The Real Madrid striker was said to also be preparing for a summer wedding after proposing to the underwear model on Valentine's Day.

Newspaper Correio da Manha said she had been seen sporting a small bump - and was showing off a diamond engagement ring.
A friend of the ex-Manchester United star told the paper: 'Cristiano loves being a father.

Although they weren't planning having a baby so soon, the truth is that nothing makes him happier than his son. And the birth of the boy awakened Irina's desire to become a mother.'

The friend said Ronaldo's mum Dolores wants the couple to marry in the footballer's home town of Funchal, on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

Ronaldo is said to have jetted 4,000 miles from Barcelona to New York to propose on Valentine's Day.

The £80million footballing star has been dating Irina for 10 ten months.



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