The US national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann has claimed that he has no problems with LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan, who is due to retire from football at the end of the season. The 32-year-old is regarded as one of the best American players ever to grace the game. He has represented the likes of Bayern Munich and Everton during his stellar career, while he has also featured in 156 international matches for the US national team. Klinsmann is regarded as the manager who finally brought an end to Donovan’s career at international level.
The former Tottenham star left out Donovan from the World Cup 2014 squad despite many regarding the Galaxy forward as a crucial part of the team. Donovan also retaliated by criticising Klinsmann’s tactics several times during the World Cup 2014. However, it seems that the pair have made up their differences after Klinsmann said that he has immense respect for the 32-year-old’s achievements in the game. Donovan is set to receive a huge accolade when the US national team takes on Ecuador in a friendly match in October. This will be Donovan’s final appearance for the national team, while he is also set to retire from all forms of football at the end of the 2014 MLS season, which is fast approaching its climax.
“It’s not awkward at all for me. As a player, obviously he deserves every piece of recognition for an amazing career. [He's] done so much for the national team program. It’s a pleasure to give him that farewell match and give him that recognition. I decided the players in his position, whether it is forward or midfielder or whatever, are just ahead of him. That he is upset about that decision and not going to the World Cup is, for me, a good reaction. It means he cares,” said Klinsmann.
Mario Balotelli may have blown his first chance to impress the Liverpool faithful in Saturday’s defeat to Aston Villa, but manager Brendan Rodgers still believes he can handle the responsibility of being the Reds’ senior striker.
In the absence of Daniel Sturridge, Balotelli, 40/1 now with Paddy Power to finish top goalscorer in the football betting markets, was given the chance to lead the line against Villa at Anfield. However, after 71 frustrating minutes, the Italian was hauled off and replaced by Rickie Lambert. Rodgers claims that his preparations for the game had been hampered by illness but questions will be raised as to whether the Liverpool boss can really get the best out of Balotelli. Read more »
Former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain has been linked with a move to Barcelona this summer. This is despite the poor form he showed at the World Cup 2014 by just scoring just one goal for Argentina. Higuain is thought to enjoy a good relationship with Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi. After their pursuits to sign Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero came to an end, Barcelona reportedly turned towards Higuain in order to ensure that Messi remains happy at the Camp Nou. However, it appears that the 26-year-old may not be joining Barcelona since he feels happy at Napoli.
Napoli signed Higuain only last summer for around £ 36 million. Even though he finished as one of the top scorers in Italian Serie A, he was not consistent enough. This meant that Napoli were unable to mount a title challenge and eventually finished third. They were a whopping 24 points behind eventual champions Juventus at the end of the season. Due to the inconsistent form, it has been reported that Napoli may prefer to cash in on the 26-year-old. Higuain has also revealed that the transfer rumours linking him with Barcelona are true and that means he tried to convince him while he was playing for Argentina.
“Did I want to go to Barcelona? I always told the truth and that is that I wanted to think only of the World Cup and then I would return to Napoli. So I kept quiet and I had nothing to fear, because there was nothing to comment about. Messi said certain things and I can only be flattered by them. I believe that every player would love to play alongside a great champion like him, but that does not mean that I ever wanted to leave,” said Higuain about the transfer rumours linking him to Barcelona.
Manchester City midfield lynchpin Yaya Toure will hold crunch talks with the club hierarchy over his future at the Premier League champions.
According to reports, the two parties are set to hold the meeting during the club’s pre-season tour of the United States of America as City sweat on sorting out the future of the talismanic Ivory Coast midfielder.
The 31 year old had been involved in a very public spat with high ranking City officials after claiming that the club management had not given him the recognition he deserves after leading the club to two Premier League titles in three years apart from ignoring him on his birthday. He also claimed that the City officials did not allow him to spend time with his cancer stricken brother Ibrahim who was admitted in a Manchester hospital. Read more »