Tag Archives: football

Potential Liverpool Opponents?

What a sensational game it was when Liverpool claimed the European Cup in Madrid against Tottenham after incredible run to the final.  Liverpool is heading into the Champions League 2019/20 competition as defending champions.

The Reds claimed the European Cup in Madrid against Tottenham after a sensational run to the final, having made it to the competition’s showpiece in the previous year too but losing out to Real Madrid.

The victory in June enhanced the club’s sparkling reputation in the competition, having won it six times, and Jurgen Klopp’s side is now one of the most feared opponents throughout the world.

When is the Champions League draw?

The draw takes place on August 29 at 4.30pm and will be hosted in Monaco.

You can watch the draw live on BT Sport or alternatively follow the Liverpool ECHO’s live blog to read every update as it happens.

Ronaldo accept tax evasion charges and deal to pay back

Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has cut a deal with a court in Madrid over tax evasion charges, accepting an €18.8m (£16.6m) fine. Almost all media representatives met him while he was leaving the court amid his request denial from the judge to appear by video or to enter the building by car to avoid the fans exposure.

He hardly spent mins during the court prosThe deal, agreed in advance, includes a 23-month jail sentence. But in Spain, convicts do not usually do time for sentences under two years. The non-violent nature of Ronaldo’s offense means he is unlikely to spend any time at all in jail, serving it on probation instead.

The court appearance lasted mere minutes as Ronaldo accepted the deal offered by prosecutors. The current Juventus player, who played for the club in Italy the night before, arrived at the provincial court with his fiancee Georgina Rodriguez. Smiling and giving a thumbs-up, he was apparently unfazed by the media presence.

His lawyers had argued that given his fame, avoiding the main entrance was needed for the player’s security.

What are the allegations against Ronaldo?

Ronaldo, a five-time winner of Europe’s Ballon d’Or and often titled one of the world’s best players, was accused of avoiding paying tax in Spain between 2010 and 2014 when he was playing for Real Madrid and based in the Spanish capital.

Forbes lists the 33-year-old as the third-wealthiest athlete in the world, with estimated earnings of $108m (€95m) a year.

The case centers around lucrative image rights deals. Prosecutors say the proceeds were funneled through low-tax companies in foreign nations to avoid paying the required tax.

In court, as part of his deal, Ronaldo acknowledged four incidents amounting to €5.7m owed, according to Spanish-language news agency EFE.

In 2017, when the allegations first emerged, prosecutors said it was a “voluntary and conscious breach of his financial obligations in Spain”.

But Ronaldo’s lawyers said it is all down to a misunderstanding over what was and was not required under Spanish law, and deny any deliberate attempt to evade tax.

The deal, struck in June last year, had to be agreed with Spain’s tax authorities.

Xabi Alonso also facing trial

Ronaldo is not the only high-profile player to face the wrath of Spain’s tax system.

His former Real Madrid team-mate Xabi Alonso also appeared in court on Tuesday in connection with similar offenses amounting to about €2m.

Alonso was appearing before the court for the first time, facing a potential sentence of up to five years. Unlike Ronaldo, he has not yet struck any deal with authorities and has maintained his innocence.

Shortly after Alonso’s trial began, the court suspended proceedings to consider whether it was competent to hear the case, or if it should be referred to another criminal court, EFE reports.

The longer sentence prosecutors are seeking means that Alonso could, unlike Ronaldo, face jail time.

There are several other examples of footballers facing Spain’s courts in recent years:

The recent crackdown on high-profile footballers follows the removal of a tax exemption in 2010. Known as the “Beckham law”, it had allowed footballers to curb their taxes.

Ronaldo also faces another ongoing legal battle: the football superstar is accused of rape in Las Vegas in 2009, a charge which he denies

Fantasy Premier League, Game week 4 tips: It might be time to pick and drop few

August is over, but so is the curse! Harry Kane exorcised his August demons with a thumping header against Manchester United last week. His first strike at Old Trafford came on the back of a goal against Fulham, a week earlier, that ended the England captain’s drought in the month that annually ushers in a new Premier League season.

September is usually the time when Kane puts on the proverbial scoring boots that stay in operation for the rest of the season. For Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers, the first gameweek in September is usually all about the rigours of facilitating the entry of the pricey Tottenham forward in their teams.

This season, after a fruitful August, the managers who had decided to do without Kane for the initial part of the season — partly due to the August curse and partly due to his exertions at the World Cup — might have to change plans. But with a price tag of £12.5 million around Kane’s neck, it is easier said than done.

Accommodating Kane

Harry Kane has been in fine form in August making him a desirable players for FPL managers. Reuters

It’s a bit of a task. Conceding a points hit for extra tarnsfers is almost a given, but considering Kane’s pedigree and the his FPL track record, it might be a one-time investment. But how to do it? How to carry out the entire process without making your team suffer? Here are a few ways to get the Spurs goal machine in your side.

a) Drop Mohamed Salah, Sergio Aguero or Raheem Sterling — Swapping him for another big gun will save you transfer points. You can bring in Kane with a maximum of 4 points hit using this way. But it has its disadvantages. Dropping one of the above mentioned players who too are a regular sources of points might nullify the effect of bringing in Kane. So unless you believe Kane can outperform the other big guns, don’t settle for this path.

b) Drop two mid-range players, find cheaper substitutes — There are a lot of players in the range of £8-10 million that you can get rid of to accommodate Kane. Bobby Firmino, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Leroy Sane, Mesut Ozil, Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy are some of the players who don’t come for cheap and haven’t been able to justify their price tag this season. Binning such players to raise funds for the entry of Kane might be the right thing to do. For example — Kane’s Spurs teammates Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen could be swapped for the in-form Lucas Moura. The Brazilian has outperformed both Alli and Eriksen so far this season. Playing in a more advanced role, the former PSG man is likely to be among the points a lot more often. Costing approximately £2 million lesser, Moura provides more value.

Here is the list of similar bargain buys that you could look for as alternatives to some of the more expensive players, in order to bring in Kane or even otherwise.



Gameweek 4 fixtures

For the first time this season, none of the top six teams will come up against each other. That’s resulted in Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal having pretty straight forward games this week. Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham have tricky looking away games, but all the top six teams are expected to win this week. So if you have packed your team with players from the top six teams, you might be in for a good time.

The Blues have back-to-back home games against Bournemouth and Cardiff before a clash against West Ham. So it might be a good time to spend your money on a certain Eden Hazard. The Belgian made his first start of the campaign last week at Newcastle and delivered a Man of the Match performance. Every Chelsea attack went through the Belgian and he was rightly rewarded with a goal from the spot. Even in his two cameo appearances in the first two games, Hazard provided two assists. So if you have the money, bring in Hazard and make the most of Chelsea’s easy run of games.

The City midfield has become a bit of a minefield for FPL managers. With uncertainty over starters unlikely to settle soon, FPL managers might do well to avoid City midfielders. The two Silvas — Bernardo and David — appear sure starters but they haven’t been consistent enough to be picked.

Watford’s Pereyra is the third most selected midfielder this week. The return of 26 points from three GW for his price is a stunning one, but you would like to have a look at Watford’s upcoming fixtures before deciding to pick him. Watford face Spurs and United at home next, before twin trips to London to face Fulham and Arsenal. Thus, picking Watford players despite their fine run of form might not be the smartest thing to do considering their fixtures. If you are looking for cheap and effective players, Crystal Palace and Everton are certain to have better offerings in the coming weeks.

Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic is the most transferred in forward, but Zaha, with the kind fixture list that his side has at the moment, is certainly a better option. In defence, the situation is the same as every week. Attacking full-backs are the order of the day with Marcos Alonso, Kieran Tripper and Benjamin Mendy all high on demand. With these defenders rivaling the forwards for their points tallies, it is smart to go with the general trend,

Liverpool’s Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold are very economical alternatives coming at £5 million, especially considering Liverpool’s improved defensive resolve this season. Wan Bisakka’s return from suspension makes him very desirable option at a price of £4 million.

Captain conundrum

The usual suspects refuse to go away. Salah, Aguero and Kane will lead the captain’s choice again this week, but I’m slightly leaning towards the Manchester City man. The Argentine was unlucky not to score after seeing two of his efforts rebound of the woodwork last week against Wolves. Againt Newcastle expect Aguero and Co to be fired up to make up for last week’s dropped points.

If Newcastle play like they did against Chelsea at the Etihad, City who are a lot more potent in front of goal could rack up a cricket score. So Aguero is my choice for this gameweek.

Salah is never a bad option, but picking Kane is a tad risky this week considering Spurs are playing an in-form Watford side. But if you are in the mood to pull a rabbit out of the hat, a gamble on Zaha as your captain might be worth the risk.

Tags: #Aleksandar Mitrovic #Fantasy Premier League #Fantasy Premier League 2018/19 #Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 4 tips #Fantasy Premier League GW 4 tips #FPL #FPL 2018/19 #FPL GW 4 tips #FPL top picks #Harry Kane #Mohamed Salah #Sergio Agüero #Wilfred Zaha

France outclass Croatia in Fifa WorldCup Final Russia 2018

France have won the World Cup after beating Croatia in Sunday’s Final to lift the most famous trophy in world football.

Didier Deschamps’ side came out victorious in a six-goal thriller, winning the Final 4-2, in a match that saw the first ever own goal and VAR-awarded penalty  in a World Cup Final , as well as a calamitous mistake from captain Hugo Lloris.

Goals from Antoine Griezman, Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and an own goal from Mario Mandzukic won the match for the French, which saw Deschamps become only the second person in World Cup history to win the competition as both captain and manager .

Les Bleus faced Peru, Australia and Denmark in Group C, and progressed along with the latter following two wins and a draw.

France then beat Argentina 4-3 in a thrilling last-16 encounter before knocking out Uruguay with a 2-0 quarter-final win, and overcoming Belgium 1-0 in the semi-finals.

Tri-Nation will host FIFA World Cup in 2026: Fifa Officials

The US, Canada and Mexico will host football’s World Cup 2026 after it saw off a challenge from Morocco at the FIFA Congress. A joint bid by the three North American countries under the name ’United’ saw off the challenge of a rival proposal from Morocco, winning over two-thirds of the vote. The United bid persuaded 134 of the 203 delegates eligible to vote at the 68th annual Fifa congress, which was held on the eve of the 2018 tournament in Russia.

2026 wc.jpg

Morocco hoped to become the second African nation to host the tournament but earned just 65 votes on Wednesday and suffered defeat in a World Cup bidding process for the fifth time. One delegate, representing Iran, voted ‘none of the above’.


The 2026 tournament will also be the second World Cup hosted in more than one country, following Japan and South Korea’s joint effort in 2002. Canada and Mexico will stage just 10 games each, however. The United States will host 60 matches in total, including all games from the quarter-finals onward.

The US, Canada and Mexico will host football’s World Cup 2026 after it saw off a challenge from Morocco at the FIFA Congress.

The joint bid won 134 votes (67 percent) out of the 203 entitled to vote with Morocco bagging 65 (33 percent) when voting took place in Moscow on Wednesday, a day before the Russia World Cup 2018