Tag Archives: soccer

Madrid edge Al-Hilal in eight-goal thriller to win Club W’Cup.

European champions Real Madrid overcame Al-Hilal in an eight-goal thriller at the final of the FIFA Club World Cup on Saturday night to seal a fifth title in nine years.

The game, played in the Moroccan capital, saw Nigerian forward Odion Ighalo feature in the final minutes for the Saudi Arabian side.

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Asian champions Al-Hilal, who trailed by two goals before 18 minutes, did put up a monumental fight against their European counterparts but it was Real who clinched the victory with a 5-3 scoreline.

Read Also: EPL: Arsenal drop points again, Chelsea continue winless run

Al-Hilal goalscorers were Luciano Vietto (a brace) and Moussa Marega while Vinicius Junior and Federico Valverde netted a brace each for Real Madrid, and Benzema scored a goal.

Carlo Ancelotti’s team successfully added to their four cups from 2014 to 2018, and their triumph meant European teams have won the past 10 editions of the tournament.

Meanwhile, the competition features reigning continental champions and champions of the host country. But FIFA has announced its intentions to change the format from June 2025 to feature 32 teams and be held every four years


PSG finally finds Lionel Messi’s substitute.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi, president of Paris Saint-Germain, has chosen Liverpool legend Mohamed Salah to replace Lionel Messi at the French champions.

The Egyptian football icon will partner Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in PSG’s attack, according to El Nacional

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Messi’s current deal expired at the end of the current season and nothing has been finalised on a new contract.

The Argentine is looking at some jaw-dropping offers from Saudi Arabia and Major League Soccer and could be on his way out of PSG.

The PSG President for this reason is said to have identified the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations finalist as a potential replacement for the football king.

Salah has scored 17 goals and has provided seven assists in 31 games across competitions for the Red this season despite Jurgen Klopp’s side struggles.

The Egyptian forward, who moved to Anfield in 2017, has scored 173 goals in 285 games and provided 70 assists for the Reds, helping them win the Champions League and the Premier League

Man Utd 2-0 Nottingham Forest (Agg 5-0): Player rating.

Manchester United secured their place in only a second major final in six seasons on Wednesday night with a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford.

Goals from Anthony Martial and Fred decided the game, bumping up an already comfortable aggregate lead from the first leg to 5-0, setting up a clash with Newcastle at Wembley this month.

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The hosts had mild penalty appeals when Alejandro Garnacho went down under pressure from Neco Williams and Willy Boly. But nearly half an hour had passed before either side had a clear sight of goal, with a powerful Casemiro header saved by Wayne Hennessey’s outstretched right foot.

Despite chasing an aggregate deficit, Forest had seen very little of the ball but probably should have taken the lead on a rare foray forward. A throw-in gave Brennan Johnson the chance to dribble his way through, but the pacey Welshman’s finish straight at Tom Heaton lacked conviction.

Antony’s cleanly hit strike from outside the box in the closing stages of the first half had Hennessey worried as he flew to his left, seeing the ball just rise over the crossbar.

Wout Weghorst then struck the post right before the interval after an otherwise quiet opening 45 minutes from the Dutchman, while Forest winger Emmanuel Dennis had his head in his hands when his goal-bound effort was inadvertently blocked by teammate Sam Surridge.

United had stronger penalty appeals not long into the second half when Weghorst nicked the ball in front of Forest defender Scott McKenna, whose attempt to clear then upended the forward. It was given the VAR treatment but the on-field decision surprisingly stood.

Tempers flared a little around the hour mark, with tackles flying and Alejandro Garnacho involved in an ongoing fracas with Johnson and Williams on Forest’s right flank. The young Argentine forced Hennessey into a good save at the near post in one of his final acts before Ten Hag made a flurry of changes, including the return of Jadon Sancho after more than three months out.

With United already starting to turn the screw, those changes triggered the second half goals. The first went to Martial, capitalising on a rebound after fellow sub Marcus Rashford had seen an attempt blocked following an initial run by the Frenchman.

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Sancho was then involved in the second goal not long after, feeding Bruno Fernandes on the right. The United skipper’s exquisite outside-of-the-foot ball to the far post was then put back across the box by Rashford for Fred to score an easy tap-in.

Heaton still had to have his wits about him late on to preserve his clean sheet, throwing a big hand up to parry a powerful drive from Danilo as Forest searched for a very late consolation. With the goal gaping, Surridge skied his own attempt on the rebound.

Man Utd player ratings (4-2-3-1)
GK: Tom Heaton – 6/10 – A deserved opportunity but hardly a busy night until a spectacular late save.

RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 7/10 – Took up an interesting position relatively high up the pitch and often tucked inside that made it difficult for Dennis and made space for Antony.

CB: Lisandro Martinez – 7/10 – Commanded every situation.

CB: Raphael Varane – 7/10 – Always composed and in control.

LB: Luke Shaw – 6/10 – Back after illness and can be satisifed with this performance.

CM: Casemiro – 8/10 – Another fine example of the type of performance that has really driven the whole team’s resurgence this season.

CM: Fred – 7/10 – Has been thriving alongside his fellow countryman and could play an awful lot more now that Christian Eriksen is out for a few months.

RM: Antony – 6/10 – Inches away from a great goal and posed a threat early on.

AM: Bruno Fernandes (c) – 8/10 – Put in a star turn, especially after moving to the right in the seconc half. Went close to a goal of his own late on.

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LM: Alejandro Garnacho – 7/10 – Becoming more and more at home in this team.

ST: Wout Weghorst – 6/10 – A quiet opening 45 minutes until hitting the post on the stroke of half-time. Probably deserved a penalty after the break.

SUB: Marcus Rashford (62′ for Garnacho) – 7/10

SUB: Jadon Sancho (62′ for Antony) – 7/10

SUB: Anthony Martial (63′ for Weghorst) – 7/10

SUB: Victor Lindelof (80′ for Casemiro) – N/A

SUB: Harry Maguire (80′ for Varane) – N/A

Erik ten Hag – 9/10 – Went with a strong side to avoid any slip-ups, but it was the substitutions and slight tweak in shape as Fernandes moved to the right that made the difference.

Nottingham Forest player ratings (4-2-3-1)
GK: Wayne Hennessey – 6/10 – Made a handful of saves to keep it 0-0 for at least a while.

RB: Neco Williams – 7/10 – Had his hands full with Garnacho but ultimately outlasted his imprssive opponent, before switching to the other side.

CB: Scott McKenna – 5/10 – Arguably fortunate not to give away a penalty for a swinging leg that caught Weghorst.

CB: Willy Boly – 6/10 – Stood tall for long periods until the resistance finally broke.

LB: Renan Lodi – 5/10 – Barely touched the ball and had a tough night of defending.

CM: Remo Freuler (c) – 5/10 – Tough night against a very good United midfield.

CM: Orel Mangala – 5/10 – Similar story to Freuler, found it hard going.

RM: Brennan Johnson – 6/10 – Should have done with a great first half chance that he created himself, having already done the hard bit.

AM: Gustavo Scarpa – 6/10 – Had promising moments just as in the first leg.

LM: Emmanuel Dennis – 5/10 – Late replacement for the injured Jesse Lingard and initially struggled to get into the game. Had one decent chance blocked by his own teammate.

ST: Sam Surridge – 5/10 – With little of the ball, frustrations got the better of him when he cleaned out Raphael Varane to pick up a yellow card.

SUB: Alex Mighten (64′ for Johnson) – 5/10

SUB: Danilo (64′ for Freuler) – 6/10

SUB: Serge Aurier (65′ for Lodi) – 5/10

SUB: Oliver Hammond (86′ for Scarpa) – N/A

SUB: Detlef Osong (86′ for Surridge) – N/A

Steve Cooper – 7/10 – Set up his side well and they did admirably to hold out for as long as they did.

Player of the match – Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd)


Martin Odegaard says Arsenal not competing with Manchester City.

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard says his side are focused on their own progress and not the challenge of Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Odegaard’s Gunners beat Manchester United in a thrilling Emirates encounter on Sunday, with Eddie Nketiah scoring twice including a dramatic winner to send Arsenal 11 points clear of United.

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City remain Arsenal’s biggest challengers at the top of the table and the two sides are still to square off three times this season – firstly in Friday’s FA Cup meeting before league clashes in February and April.

City beat Wolves earlier on Sunday before Arsenal reinstated their five-point lead over Pep Guardiola’s side by beating United. The two sides are the clear frontrunners for the title, though Norway international Odegaard insisted Arsenal are maintaining focus in north London first and foremost.

Asked about City’s presence, Odegaard said: “No, honestly, we don’t care about City or any other team. We expected them to win so that was not a big surprise and we just focused on our game, to come here and win and that’s what we did. The way we won this game gives us a special feeling that will help as well.”

Marcus Rashford had given United the lead with a strike from distance in the 17th minute but Nketiah converted Granit Xhaka’s equaliser before Bukayo Saka struck home brilliantly in the second half.

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Lisandro Martinez brought United level with a header from a scrappy set piece, but Nketiah’s late winner ensured Arsenal maintained their lead in the Premier League heading into the FA Cup weekend

Frank Lampard’s worst defeats as Everton manager.

Frank Lampard is the next manager to have been chewed up and spit out by the poisoned chalice that is Everton Football Club.

Defeat to West Ham on Saturday proved to be the final straw, with the former midfielder receiving his marching orders at the start of this week. By doing so, Lampard has become the sixth boss to depart the blue side of the Mersey in as many years.

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It was always going to be a challenge for a man that’s yet to prove himself as a head coach, and his tenure was laden with drab performances and even worse results.

Here are some of the worst defeats Lampard suffered as Everton boss.

Tottenham 5-0 Everton – 7 March, 2021/22

Seamus Coleman, Abdoulaye Doucoure
Everton were absolutely spanked in north London / James Williamson – AMA/GettyImages

The Toffees had shown plenty of fight the week prior in a 1-0 home defeat to Manchester City, and Lampard’s stellar record against Tottenham as both a player and manager meant some supporters were optimistic that Everton could upset the odds in this Monday night clash.

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The visitors, however, were nothing short of a dire and a Spurs side on the come-up under Antonio Conte took full advantage. Michael Keane set the tone when he booted one into his own net to give the hosts the lead before Jordan Pickford let a rather tame Son Heung-min effort squeeze underneath him.

Harry Kane tripled Spurs’ advantage before half-time and by the 55th minute, they were 5-0 ahead before taking pity on their woeful visitors.

Crystal Palace 4-0 Everton – 20 March, 2021/22

Frank Lampard
Everton’s FA Cup run ended abruptly / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

We all remember Lampard’s primitive summary of Everton’s FA Cup defeat at Selhurst Park, right?

According to the already under-the-cosh Everton boss, the Toffees had been dismantled in the cup due to a bunch of weak goals.

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“Allow a goal from a corner…allow another average goal…then a fluke goal…then another average goal. Take responsibility.”

This was a big chance for the Merseysiders to play in a Wembley semi-final and offer their fans a hint of joy amid a bleak campaign. But, they failed to show up in south London as they were thumped 4-0.

Burnley 3-2 Everton – 6 April, 2021/22

Maxwel Cornet
Maxwel Cornet struck a late winner for Burnley / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

This was billed as a mammoth relegation six-pointer. Everton had won just once since their drubbing at Spurs and, alongside Burnley, were fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table.

A Richarlison brace from the penalty spot overturned an early deficit in the first-half as the visitors matched their physical hosts in testing conditions. Everton proceeded to enjoy much of the second-half after they were pegged back by Jay Rodriguez just before the hour, but a pair of errors from Pickford and Ben Godfrey allowed Maxwel Cornet to snatch a seemingly crucial winner five minutes from time.

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This was the night that many realised Everton were not too big to go down. Relegation was a very real prospect.

AFC Bournemouth 3-0 Everton – 12 November, 2022/23

Everton's supporters were kicking off on the south coast
Everton’s supporters were kicking off on the south coast / Stu Forster/GettyImages

After eventually clinching survival, Lampard sought to turn things around at Goodison Park at the beginning of the 2022/23 season. However, the Toffees enjoyed a winless start to the new campaign before a goalless draw in the Merseyside derby on matchday 6 ignited a mini-resurgence.

However, the dark clouds were forming over Lampard’s tenure just before the World Cup as they suffered back-to-back humiliations on the south coast. Bournemouth beat Everton 4-1 in the Carabao Cup just days before they thrashed them 3-0 in the league.

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The feeble visitors were bullied by an over-performing Cherries outfit at the Vitality Stadium and the travelling supporters made their feelings very clear at the final whistle as a despondent group of players walked over in appreciation of their support.

Everton 1-4 Brighton & Hove Albion – 3 January, 2022/23

Pascal Gross, Jordan Pickford, James Tarkowski
Pascal Gross’ dinked effort was the final nail in the coffin for Lampard / Jan Kruger/GettyImages

This felt like the point of no return.

There had been little to suggest that Lampard was the right man to lead Everton forward either side of the World Cup, but a well-earned point at the Etihad at least offered a glimmer of hope. Still, the Toffees were winless in six games when a dynamic Brighton side came to town and put four past them in a chastening home defeat.

Goodison Park is meant to be one of the toughest places to go and win in the Premier League, but the Seagulls made the challenge look worryingly simple. Everton inexcusably conceded three goals in six second-half minutes to put the game beyond them as a powerless Lampard watched on in the home dugout.

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Despite Demarai Gray’s late consolation, this was a defeat that Lampard was never going to recover from.

West Ham United 2-0 Everton – 21 January, 2022/23

Frank Lampard
Lampard’s former club West Ham put the nail in his Everton coffin / Vince Mignott/MB Media/GettyImages

And yet Lampard managed to keep hold of his job for a few more pointless weeks.

He took the Toffees to London Stadium to face fellow strugglers West Ham, with pressure mounting too on Hammers boss David Moyes.

A first-half brace from Jarrod Bowen proved to be the difference. Fans unfurled flags at full-time protesting against the board. Only a handful of players came over to applaud their support.

It was over.

Everton sacks Frank Lampard as manager.

Frank Lampard has been relieved of his managerial duties by Everton following a barren run of form.

The Toffees have failed to win any of their last 10 games in all competitions, slipping to 19th place in the Premier League table and being eliminated from both domestic cup competitions.

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The nail in the coffin proved to be Saturday’s limp 2-0 loss at relegation rivals West Ham United, which leaves Everton off the foot of the table by virtue of goal difference only.

Lampard spent just shy of one year as the Toffees manager and could only muster a win percentage of 27.3% in that time.

Everton have yet to release an official statement but 90min understands they have informed Lampard of their decision.

More to follow…

Aston Villa Agree Deal For Colombia Forward Jhon Duran.

Aston Villa have reached an agreement to sign Colombia forward Jhon Duran from Chicago Fire in a reported £18 million ($22 million) deal.

Villa are set to pay an initial £14.75 million, with the fee potentially rising due to add-on clauses in his contract.

READ ALSO: UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou Stripped Of Title

“Aston Villa can confirm that an agreement has been reached with Chicago Fire for the permanent transfer of 19-year-old striker Jhon Duran,” said a statement from the Premier League club on Monday.


“The deal is subject to the player passing a medical, agreeing personal terms and obtaining the necessary work visa.”

Duran scored eight goals and provided five assists in 27 MLS appearances for Chicago last season.

The teenager, who has played three times for Colombia, is set to be Villa’s second January signing after the arrival of Real Betis defender Alex Moreno.




City fumes as VAR helps Manchester United win.

Manchester United fought back for a dramatic 2-1 win against Manchester City that left their arch-rivals fuming over a controversial VAR decision to allow Bruno Fernandes’ equaliser, while troubled Liverpool crashed to a shock 3-0 defeat at Brighton on Saturday.

On a dramatic day of Premier League action, Everton boss Frank Lampard was pushed closer to the sack as his struggling side were beaten 2-1 by relegation rivals Southampton.

With just 12 minutes left at Old Trafford, United were trailing to Jack Grealish’s 60th minute header in the season’s second Manchester derby.

But City’s title defence suffered a damaging blow as Portugal midfielder Fernandes equalised in hugely debatable fashion before Marcus Rashford bagged United’s 82nd minute winner.

Fernandes’ goal was the turning point and City boss Pep Guardiola and his players were seething after the flag went up for offside when Rashford ran on to Casemiro’s pass.

READ ALSO: Arsenal Primed For Test Of Title Mettle At Spurs

Rashford did not touch the ball and was deemed by VAR not to have interfered with play, but City were adamant the England forward clearly distracted the defenders and goalkeeper Ederson.


“The first goal is a joke that it can be allowed,” City defender Manuel Akanji told BBC Sport.

“He runs for 30 metres, he’s chasing the ball. In the situation, I played him (Rashford) offside. I understand he doesn’t touch the ball, but for me it is clearly offside.”

Guardiola insisted there was no doubt Rashford’s run impacted the reactions of Akanji and Ederson.

“The decision is the referee’s, the VAR, but our defenders make a line for Rashford,” he said.

“If we know it’s Fernandes we don’t make the line, we follow the action, and after the action the interference for Ederson.”

Third placed United are now just one point behind second placed City, who are in danger of losing substantial ground in the title race this week.

A win for leaders Arsenal at north London rivals Tottenham on Sunday would put the Gunners eight points clear.

While City splutter, United are in fine form following their ninth successive victory in all competitions.

Asked if they are in the title race, boss Erik ten Hag said: “The fans may dream but we are not. We have improved, that is obvious. There is still a long way to go.”




Brighton 3-0 Liverpool: Player ratings as March double extends Reds rot.

From the AMEX – Solly March scored a double as Brighton embarrassed Liverpool to move up to seventh in the Premier League, further harming the injury-stricken visitors’ Champions League qualification hopes with a 3-0 victory.

Brighton dominated the Reds and made the breakthrough at the start of the second half when March touched Kauro Mitoma’s cross past Alisson.

The winger scored a stunning second minutes later to give Roberto De Zerbi’s side victory, with Jurgen Klopp’s visitors failing to conjure any moments of attacking quality.

Substitute Danny Welbeck came on to net a brilliant third, gathering March’s flick before powering his shot into the back of the net.

The home side started on the front foot and zipped passes around, with Trent Alexander-Arnold clearing March’s off-target shot just over the bar. A header from Alexis Mac Allister – making his first club start since the World Cup – from the subsequent corner was held by Allison.

Liverpool were penned in for the majority of the opening 25 minutes, only booting the ball into space for attackers Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo to chase. Their first proper sighter fell for Gakpo, whose fiercely-struck shot was charged down.

Brighton continued to recycle possession, constantly finding routes through the middle of Liverpool’s midfield before going wide to Mitoma and March.

It was March who appeared to win his side a penalty after going through and being brought down by Alisson, but the video assistant referee spotted his offside run in the build-up.

Liverpool’s midfield trio of Fabinho, Thiago and Jordan Henderson failed to exert any control on proceedings and Brighton got the lead they deserved when March tapped in.

The brilliant Mitoma again worked his way into the box and scuffed the ball across goal to March, who had the simple task of poking past Alisson for the game’s opener. It was his first strike at home in the league since 2020, but he didn’t have to wait much longer for his second.

The 28-year-old has hit his best run of Premier League form ever and his second strike took him to four goals in his last three top flight appearances. He was played through by emerging striker Evan Ferguson before arrowing a left-footed strike into the far corner.

A host of changes from the visitors did produce decent openings for Gakpo and Harvey Elliott, but the points were wrapped up with a third from home substitute Danny Welbeck. March flicked on a throw into Welbeck, who beat both Konate and Joe Gomez before firing in the third.


Brighton are now up to seventh thanks to their fifth win in seven league games, while Liverpool slip to eighth.

Brighton player ratings
GK: Robert Sanchez – 6/10 – On alert a few times to come out of his box and clean up, but not a busy day.

RB: Pascal Gross – 7/10 – Tucked infield pretty regularly and helped Brighton play through Liverpool’s lacking press.

CB: Lewis Dunk – 7/10 – Brought down Gakpo for a yellow card. Rarely had Liverpool attackers running in behind and used the ball well.

CB: Levi Colwill – 6/10 – Cool and calm when briefly put in tough spots in the first half.

LB: Pervis Estupinan – 7/10 – Bombed forward to provide Mitoma with more options in atack.

CM: Moises Caicedo – 7/10 – Constantly picked up loose possession and quickly asserted himself against Liverpool’s ageing midfield.

CM: Alexis Mac Allister – 7/10 – Combative, played cheeky passes around the corner and in tight spaces. Straight back into the flow on his first start since the World Cup.

RW: Solly March – 9/10 – Has hit form in recent weeks but this was an all-time career best performance from March. He gambled to get into the middle for his first strike and produced a brilliant finish to seal the points. Assisted Welbeck later with a header.

AM: Adam Lallana – 7/10 – Liverpool’s centre backs couldn’t decide who should pick up Lallana and he made use of the space, playing passes around the box to keep Brighton’s attacks flowing.

LW: Kaoro Mitoma – 8/10 – Slowed down and sped up out wide, constantly keeping Alexander-Arnold guessing. Deserved the assist for March, even if it was slightly scuffed.

ST: Evan Ferguson – 7/10 – Provided a physical contest Liverpool’s defence struggled with. Good pass played in March for his second.

Joel Veltman (66′ for Lallana) – 6/10 – A more conservative switch which paid off.

Danny Welbeck (66′ for Ferguson) – 8/10 – Added pace to Brighton’s counter attacks and sealed the win with a brilliant effort after collecting March’s header.

Jeremy Sarmiento (83′ for Mac Allister) – N/A

Tariq Lamptey (90′ for Mitoma) – N/A

Adam Webster (90′ for Dunk) – N/A

Roberto De Zerbi – 8/10 – Got his set-up spot on, exposing Liverpool’s ageing players and targeting their weaknesses out wide.


Liverpool player ratings (4-3-3)
GK: Alisson – 5/10 – Almost conceded a penalty but saved by VAR intervention. A couple of saves but not at his intimidating best.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 3/10 – Cleared a shot going wide over the bar. Saw Mitoma run past him again and again and Liverpool were eventually made to pay for it.

CB: Joel Matip – 3/10 – Slid in hard on Mitoma for a booking. Sloppy pass led to March’s opener.

CB: Ibrahima Konate – 4/10 – Slightly more composed than Matip but looked similarly at sea with Ferguson at times. Lost March for the third.

LB: Andy Robertson – 5/10 – Was high up the pitch when Matip gave the ball away, allowing March to exploit his absence. Probably the best of Liverpool’s defenders but hardly a standout performance.

CM: Jordan Henderson – 3/10 – Frustrated late tackle on Caicedo saw him booked. Off the pace.

CM: Fabinho – 2/10 – Couldn’t stop Brighton playing straight through Liverpool’s midfield and was positionally unaware throughout the contest.

CM: Thiago – 3/10 – Liverpool only started getting more of the ball late on, by which time is was a little late for Thiago to make an impact.

RW: Mohamed Salah – 4/10 – Had to chase long balls from the outset and didn’t get many scoring opportunities. Cut a frustrated figure.

ST: Cody Gakpo – 4/10 – First Premier League appearance and will hope for much improvement. Scarcely involved except for one blocked shot.

LW: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 3/10 – Only playing because of the injury crisis across Liverpool’s front three.

Ben Doak (68′ for Oxlade-Chamberlain) – 6/10 – Showed some vigour but the result had already been sealed.

Naby Keita (68′ for Fabinho) – 5/10 – Struggled similarly to Fabinho.

Harvey Elliott (69′ for Henderson) – 5/10 – Dragged one good opening wide when well placed.

Joe Gomez (69′ for Matip) – 5/10 – Couldn’t help clean up Liverpool’s poor defending.

Jurgen Klopp – 4/10 – Needed a more dynamic presence in midfield from the outset and saw his players overrun. Hands are tied a fair bit by injury but this defeat felt bleak.

Player of the match – Solly March




Chelsea reveal update regarding Mykhaylo Mudryk transfer.

Chelsea have confirmed that they are nearing the signing of Mykhaylo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.

𝕹𝖔𝖇𝖑𝖊 𝕽𝖊𝖕𝖔𝖗𝖙𝖊𝖗𝖘 𝕸𝖊𝖉𝖎𝖆 reported that the Blues had hijacked Arsenal’s attempts to sign the highly-rated Ukraine winger.

The Gunners had been in extensive talks with Shakhtar regarding a deal for Mudryk but a fee proved to be a sticking point, with Chelsea in line to pay a package of up to €100m – a price Arsenal were reluctant to meet.

And the west London club confirmed on Saturday night that a deal to sign Mudryk was close to completion.


Chelsea said in a statement: “Chelsea are discussing terms with Shakhtar Donetsk for the transfer of Mykhaylo Mudryk.

“Should a deal be agreed between the two clubs then the Ukrainian international, who can operate as a winger or a forward, will discuss personal terms with the Blues ahead of a permanent transfer.”

Chelsea are believed to have handed a seven-and-a-half year contract to Mudryk, who is now flying to England to iron out the final details of his transfer to Stamford Bridge.

Prior to this confirmation, Chelsea had teased Mudryk’s signing through social media posts.




Liverpool breaks silence on Liverpool’s loss to Brighton.

Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp, has revealed that he was responsible for his side’s Premier League 3-0 defeat to Brighton on Saturday evening.

Klopp also admitted Liverpool are at a “really low point,” saying it was his job to make the right line-up to set up the right tactics against Brighton.

The German watched as a brace from Solly March and a goal from Danny Welbeck gave Brighton all three points against Liverpool at Falmer Stadium.


Speaking at his post-match press conference after the game, Klopp said that the outcome of the match was ‘horrible to watch.’

Klopp said, “I’m not sure if it’s because the game is still a few minutes ago, but I can’t remember a worse game. I honestly can’t. Not only Liverpool.

“That’s my responsibility. That makes it a really low point.”

He added, “It’s fully my responsibility with a different formation and it didn’t work out. The outcome was horrible to watch.”




Scholes names team to win title after Manchester City lose against Man Utd.

Manchester United legend, Paul Scholes, has insisted Manchester City are still favourites to win the Premier League this season.

City threw away a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 to United on Saturday.

Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford struck late in the game to cancel Jack Grealish’s opener.


Scholes feels United are now title contenders, but still expects City to chase down Arsenal, who can go eight points clear if they beat Tottenham on Sunday.

“We’ve learned that Manchester United can beat a big team when the pressure is on and when they need to.

“Are they in the title race? I think you have to say they are. If they keep people fit, they are one point behind Man City now.

“City are still the favourites for me, they’re still the best team in this league,” Scholes told BT Sport.




Manchester United goes third on EPL table after beating Manchester City.

Marcus Rashford scored the winner as Manchester United came from behind to beat Manchester City 2-1 in a thrilling match at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Both United goals came in the final 12 minutes as Erik ten Hag’s side moved to within one point of their local rivals in the Premier League table after inflicting a damaging blow to City’s hopes of retaining the title.

Pep Guardiola’s men looked to be heading to victory when Jack Grealish came off the bench to head the visitors into the lead.

But Bruno Fernandes’ controversial equaliser turned the game and four minutes later Rashford netted for the ninth consecutive match at Old Trafford.


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City could now fall eight points off the top of the table should Arsenal beat Tottenham in the north London derby on Sunday.

The victory for United was sweet revenge after being destroyed 6-3 when the sides met in October.

The scoreline even flattered United at the Etihad thanks to two late goals from Anthony Martial.

However, Ten Hag’s men have now lost just once in 19 games since in a stunning turnaround in the Dutch coach’s first season in charge.




Spain Court Investigates Sexual Assault Claims Against Dani Alves.


A Spanish court has opened an investigation into allegations former Brazil defender Dani Alves sexually assaulted a woman at a Barcelona nightclub last month.

A Barcelona court opened a probe “into an alleged crime of sexual assault as a result of a complaint filed by a woman against a football player,” the Superior Court of Catalonia said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Messi Set For First PSG Appearance After Qatar

While the statement did not name Alves, informed sources confirmed to AFP the former Barcelona and Juventus player was the subject of the investigation.


Catalan police said they had received a complaint on January 2 from a woman who said Alves had touched her inappropriately.

The alleged sexual assault took place at a popular Barcelona nightclub overnight December 30-31, according to Spanish media reports.

The player was accused of putting his hands down the woman’s pants, according to the reports.

Alves, 39, has confirmed he was at the night club at the time but has denied any wrongdoing, telling private Spanish television Antena 3 last week that he has “never seen” the woman before.

“I was there, at that place, with more people having fun. Everybody knows I love to dance. Having a good time but without invading the space of others,” he added.

Alves, who now plays for Mexican side Pumas UNAM, was in Barcelona on holiday following his participation at the World Cup with Brazil in Qatar.

He was the oldest player to represent Brazil at the men’s World Cup.




Chelsea signs Joao Felix on loan.


Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix has joined Chelsea on loan for the rest of the season, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old will bolster the attacking options for manager Graham Potter, whose squad is currently hard-hit by injuries and languishing in 10th spot in the table.

Chelsea described the Portugal international as a “skilful and stylish attacker” who is best in a fluid forward role.


“Chelsea is one of the great teams in the world and I hope to help the team reach their objectives, so I am very, very happy to be here and very excited to play at Stamford Bridge,” Felix said in a club statement.

Atletico said Felix had extended his contract with the Spanish club for one more season, until June 2027.

“From Atletico de Madrid we wish Joao Felix every success in this new professional stage,” the club said




Ronaldo Clear For Saudi Debut On January 22 – Source.


Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo could make his Saudi Arabian debut on January 22 after he was successfully registered by new team Al Nassr, a club source told AFP on Saturday.

Ronaldo, who was unveiled to fans this week, joined the squad list after Al Nassr terminated Manchester United-linked striker Vincent Aboubakar to stay within the maximum eight foreign nationals stipulated by the Saudi league.

He will now be available for the January 22 home game against Ettifaq after completing a two-match ban issued in November for smashing a fan’s mobile phone while playing for Manchester United.

“Al Nassr terminated Vincent Aboubakar’s contract by mutual consent and he received all his financial rights,” the club source said, adding that Ronaldo was registered before Al Nassr’s game against Al Ta’ee on Friday.


“So now he served one game from the ban and will serve the other one against Al Shabab” on January 14, the source said.

The official did not address reports that Aboubakar, 30, could be on his way to Manchester United, saying he was now a free agent and could negotiate with any team.

Ronaldo, 37, joined Al Nassr in a deal believed to be worth around 200 million euros that has shone an unprecedented light on the Saudi Pro League.

It comes as Saudi Arabia, which watched as neighbour Qatar hosted the World Cup in November and December, considers a joint bid for the 2030 tournament with Greece and Egypt.

The deeply conservative kingdom is snapping up sports assets as part of a drive to soften its harsh image, attract foreign interest and diversify its oil-reliant economy.


Critics have accused the Saudis of “sportswashing” — using sport to deflect attention from human rights controversies.




Tottenham: Conte rules out loan exits for Sarr and one other.


Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has dismissed the idea of sending Oliver Skipp and Pape Matar Sarr, instead predicting big roles in the first team for the young duo for the remainder of the season.

22-year-old academy graduate Skipp started the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace in the absences of the suspended Yves Bissouma and injured Rodrigo Bentancur, with Sarr replacing him off the bench midway through the second half.

The two young talents both made an impression on Conte, who ruled out sending either player on loan and backed both Skipp and Sarr to help out the senior side.

“Skipp and Sarr showed they are really reliable players for me and I’m really happy,” he said. “We exploited the period of the World Cup to work with these young players to improve themselves under the tactical aspect and physical aspect.

“Now they stay with us in the squad. I don’t want to send these young players on loan because the league is very difficult. We have to play Champions League, we have to play FA Cup. I think these young players can stay here to help us face these three competitions.”


Central midfield has been a problem area for Spurs this season. While the combination of Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has earned positive reviews, the lack of senior depth outside of Bissouma has been touted as a concern.

However, with Skipp back from a foot injury and Sarr using the World Cup break to impress his boss, Conte now appears to have found two more dependable options for the remainder of the season as Spurs look to compete on three fronts.

The Spurs boss also had plenty of praise for young forward Bryan Gil, who has impressed in recent weeks as Richarlison, Lucas Moura and Dejan Kulusevski continue to battle injury.

“We are talking about a player who was born to play football,” Conte said of Gil. “He understands football quickly. He’s so clever, so intelligent to understand the situation.

“Then you know this league is difficult, because you have to be good in quality and be fast and to have good endurance and he has this type of quality.”




Manchester United confirm loan signing of Jack Butland.


Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Crystal Palace goalkeeper Jack Butland on loan until the end of the season.

The Red Devils had been on the lookout for a backup goalkeeper after Martin Dubravka was recalled from his loan deal early by parent club Newcastle United.

𝕹𝖔𝖇𝖑𝖊 𝕽𝖊𝖕𝖔𝖗𝖙𝖊𝖗𝖘 𝕸𝖊𝖉𝖎𝖆 confirmed earlier this week that talks had been ongoing between United and Butland’s representatives, and now a deal has finally been ironed out.


Speaking to the club’s official website after making the move, Butland said: “This is an amazing club and one that I am now proud to represent. I’m really looking forward to working with an unbelievable goalkeeping group, supporting each other every day to create the best training and playing environment for the team.

“I’ve played against David de Gea and represented England alongside Tom Heaton; they are top-class ‘keepers, and I am relishing the opportunity to compete alongside and support them as teammates. There is a lot that this group can achieve this season and I’m excited to play my part in helping everyone to reach these ambitions.”


Butland had been a first-choice Premier League goalkeeper earlier in his career but has been a backup for Crystal Palace in recent years and will take up at similar role at Old Trafford.




Klopp discusses Liverpool’s interest in Jude Bellingham.


Jurgen Klopp has confessed that Liverpool would have to be ‘stupid’ not to be interested in Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham.

The Reds are on the hunt for midfield reinforcements this summer and are looking to lure Bellingham back to England, although they will have to fend off interest from both Manchester City and Real Madrid to do so.

Speaking to Sport Bild, Klopp did not shy away from admitting Liverpool’s interest in Bellingham but did his best to avoid giving too many details away.


“Jude is a great player who we obviously know,” he said. “We would be stupid if we didn’t have him on the screen. But there is nothing more to say about it at the moment.”

Asked whether there was any truth to the reports that Liverpool had already met with Bellingham’s family to discuss a move, Klopp insisted: “These things don’t work at all because he’s under contract with Borussia Dortmund and that doesn’t work without consent. So it’s not true.”

Dortmund have ruled out offloading Bellingham in January and 𝕹𝖔𝖇𝖑𝖊 𝕽𝖊𝖕𝖔𝖗𝖙𝖊𝖗𝖘 𝕸𝖊𝖉𝖎𝖆 understands the German side have made an offer to the midfielder to try and keep him beyond the summer, urging him to delay his expensive transfer like former teammate Erling Haaland, who is now shining with Man City.

That being said, all three of Liverpool, City and Real believe they have made a compelling case to Bellingham and it is now up to the 19-year-old, whose contract runs until 2025, to make the final decision on his future.


Recently, Klopp confessed that he had no idea how much Bellingham would cost, admitting the teenager is a truly special talent.

“I don’t like to talk about money when you talk about a player like him. Everyone can see he is just exceptional,” said the Liverpool manager.

“If you mention to someone who has no clue about football, or who knows about football and has not watched it for a while, ‘How old do you think Jude Bellingham is?’, I don’t think anyone would get even close to his age. “They would say 28 or 29 because he plays so mature. He played an exceptional World Cup. Absolutely exceptional.

“With all the things he has and things he can improve, to describe him I would say the things he can do are difficult to learn, and the things he can improve are easy to learn.

“So, yes, he is a really good player. What can I say? I have thought that already for two or three years since he had his breakthrough at Dortmund. Everybody knew already but I have no idea what that means for the money side of it.

“I really think if we all want to do him a favour then we do not talk too much about money. I mean that from an England point of view. Do not throw any hurdles in his development.”




Inter Milan braced for January interest in Skriniar.


Inter remain determined to convince Milan Skriniar to sign a new contract, 𝕹𝖔𝖇𝖑𝖊 𝕽𝖊𝖕𝖔𝖗𝖙𝖊𝖗𝖘 𝕸𝖊𝖉𝖎𝖆 understands, but are braced to receive bids for his services in the January transfer window.

The centre-back is in the final six months of his contract and is now free to discuss a free transfer for the end of the season, and 90min has previously reported that nearly every European giant is interested in his services.

The likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle United are expected to offer contracts to Skriniar but the biggest complication for Inter could be offers to sign the Slovakia international immediately in January.

Indeed, long-term admirers Paris Saint-Germain, who tried and failed to land Skriniar last summer, remain interested in the 27-year-old and see him as an ideal replacement for Sergio Ramos, who is being targeted by Al Nassr for an ambitious link-up with former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.

Should Ramos be lured away, PSG would be open to making a move to sign Skriniar in January but they may have to fend off rival interest from Liverpool, who are exploring their options following the news that Virgil van Dijk’s hamstring injury is worse than first feared.


Intermediaries have reached out to Inter to discuss the possibility of a January transfer to Anfield, and while Inter want to keep Skriniar, they would consider parting ways with the defender this month if he refuses to extend and approaches a free transfer at the end of the season.

Selling Skriniar now would allow Inter to keep hold of right-back Denzel Dumfries, who is also a target for Chelsea and Tottenham.

However, January offers could spark a bidding war among the sides keen to land Skriniar on a free transfer, and the centre-back may opt to accept a lucrative move in the summer instead of an immediate switch.

Despite the outside interest, Inter’s first priority is to convince Skriniar to re-sign, but CEO Beppe Marotta recently admitted that the Serie A side face a real battle to get a deal done.

“We are negotiating with his representatives, because we believe Milan deserves to be part of our squad in the present and the future. We presented an offer to him and hope to soon reach a conclusion,” he told DAZN.

“I am always optimistic in life, but in this case I am also realistic. We know that we can do a lot, but we cannot achieve the impossible.”




Erik ten Hag calls for patience as Man Utd await Jadon Sancho return.


Erik ten Hag has warned fans that Manchester United will not be rushing Jadon Sancho back to action, calling for patience as they work with the England international away from the spotlight.

The 22-year-old has not played for United since October and, after missing out on a spot at the World Cup, has since been placed on an individual training regime which has included brief involvements in group sessions.

While Ten Hag has been crying out for attacking reinforcements in the January transfer window, he stressed that rushing Sancho back to competitive action is not under consideration and no time frame has been put on his return.

“I would like to have Jadon back as soon as possible, but I can’t force this process,” Ten Hag said. “I will do everything that’s in my power but some processes you can’t force and this is one of them.

“I also have to show patience although I don’t have patience because we have a lack of opportunities in the front line, players who are available and capable to contribute not only in the Premier League but on the highest standard in football.


“Jadon is one who, when he is fit, he will contribute and we will have an extra option and so we have more chance to win a lot of games.”

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Asked for an update on Sancho’s condition, Ten Hag admitted he has seen improvements from the winger but confessed he is not yet ready for competitive action.


“With the physical, there’s also a connection of mental,” Ten Hag continued. “I think he’s now making good progress on the physical part and that will help him.

“I hope he can return quickly but I can’t say how long it will be. In this moment, he is not fit enough, no.

“We have some hurdles to take. I think he’s (heading) in a good direction. I can’t force this process so I don’t do. I would be really happy in the moment if he returned in the squad for team training, that’s the next step.”

The United boss added: “Football players are not robots. No one is the same, I think for everyone you need an individual approach.

“Sometimes it’s good to go away from the place where you’re at daily and to get a new fight and spirit. People have a different approach and that can give you the right push to get back on track.”




Former Chelsea manager, Vialli dies at 58 after cancer battle


Chelsea and Italy legend, Gianluca Vialli has died at the age of 58.

His death comes five years after he was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Vialli scored 40 goals in 88 appearances for the Blues between 1996 and 1999.

He then won three major trophies when he managed Chelsea.


Vialli won 59 caps for Italy and after he was initially given the all-clear on his health in 2020, he worked with Roberto Mancini’s staff in the Italian national team, who won the European Championships in England the following summer.

He stepped down from the role in December when he returned to the Royal Marsden hospital to undergo further treatment on cancer, which he called “an unwanted guest”.

Vialli is survived by his wife, Cathryne White Cooper, and their two daughters, Olivia and Sofia




Man City Will Struggle To Catch Leaders Arsenal – Guardiola.


Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City have it all to do if they are to overhaul leaders Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table.

Reigning champions City can move back to within five points of the Gunners away to Chelsea on Thursday after Arsenal dropped points in Tuesday’s goalless draw with Newcastle.

“We have to reduce the gap by playing good and winning games, but they (Arsenal) get more than 100 points if they keep this average and we will not catch them,” Guardiola told a pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

“We have to be almost perfect and hope they drop points. Last night they were still excellent.”

READ ALSO: Everton Boss Lampard Defiant After Brighton Battering

Chelsea have won just one of their last seven Premier League games but Guardiola still expects a difficult encounter at Stamford Bridge.


“It’s the Premier League,” the Spaniard said.

“They’re all tough. They’re a tough side, well-managed. It doesn’t matter what position you are when you go to Stamford Bridge. It is always difficult.”

Aymeric Laporte will be given a fitness test ahead of the journey to London after missing the New Year’s Eve clash with Everton with a back problem but fellow centre-back Ruben Dias is still sidelined with a thigh injury.

Guardiola added: “Ruben is out. Ayme we will see in this afternoon’s (Wednesday’s training session.”




Newcastle manager breaks silence on Ronaldo joining club.


Newcastle manager, Eddie Howe, has reacted to claims that Cristiano Ronaldo could join the club if they qualify for the Champions League.

There have been reports that Ronaldo has a clause in his Al Nassr contract, that will allow him return to the Premier League and play for the Magpies.


Ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to Arsenal, Howe has denied that there is such an agreement.

“We wish Cristiano all the best in his venture, but, from our point of view, there’s no truth in that,” Howe said.

Ronaldo was officially unveiled by the Saudi Arabia club earlier in the day.

According to the 37-year-old, he turned down offers from the US, Brazil and Portugal.




Pele: Brazil mourns “King of Football”


Brazil started three days of national mourning on Friday for football legend Pele, the three-time World Cup winner widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, who has died at the age of 82.

The death of “O Rei” (The King) triggered a wave of tributes from around the globe to the man who both transformed football and transcended the sport. (Watch Video Here)

Pele died Thursday at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo after a long battle with cancer.

The football world — from current stars to his former teammates — honored the man who more than any other made football into the “Beautiful Game”, scoring a world record 1,281 goals in 1,363 matches during a career spanning more than two decades.

READ ALSO: ‘Football In Four Letters’: Global Media Bows To ‘King’ Pele

Brazil star Neymar said Pele “transformed football into an art.” France’s Kylian Mbappe said his legacy “will never be forgotten,” and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo called him an “inspiration to millions.” (Watch Video Here)

Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain Lionel Messi simply wrote: “Rest in peace.”

Mario Zagallo, who won the World Cup alongside Pele in 1958 and 1962, said the King had “stopped the world several times” with his talent.

“He leaves an eternal, unforgettable legacy,” the 91-year-old Zagallo said.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who declared three days of national mourning, said Pele had made football an “art and joy”, while president-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is due to take office Sunday, tweeted: “There had never been a number 10 like him.” (Watch Video Here)

Pele is the only footballer in history to have won three World Cups — in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

A wake will take place on Monday, followed by a funeral on Tuesday in Santos, the southeastern city where he played most of his career.

The city declared seven days of mourning as fans flocked to the team’s stadium to leave flowers.

In Rio de Janeiro, the Christ the Redeemer statue which overlooks the city was illuminated in homage to Pele, as was the legendary Maracana stadium. (Watch Video Here)

He had been in increasingly fragile health, battling kidney problems and colon cancer — undergoing surgery for the latter in September 2021, followed by chemotherapy.

In front of the hospital where he died, fans held up a banner which read: “Eternal King Pele.”

In a testament to Pele’s influence, international figures including US President Joe Biden and former leader Barack Obama, Brazilian music legends Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach and FIFA President Gianni Infantino also paid tribute. (Watch Video Here)

“As one of the most recognizable athletes in the world, he understood the power of sports to bring people together,” Obama wrote.

– ‘Samba football’ –
Born on October 23, 1940, in the southeastern city of Tres Coracoes, Edson Arantes do Nascimento grew up selling peanuts on the street to help his impoverished family.

He was given the nickname Pele, for his mispronunciation of Bile, the name of a goalkeeper at Vasco de Sao Lourenco, where his footballer father once played. (Watch Video Here)

Pele dazzled from the age of 15, when he started playing professionally with Santos. He led the club to a flurry of titles, including back-to-back Intercontinental Cups in 1962-1963.

He epitomized the Brazil national team’s sublime style of play, called “samba football.”

Pele set his scoring records playing for Santos (1956-74), the Brazilian national team, and the New York Cosmos (1975-77).

But beyond the many benchmarks he set, he will be remembered for revolutionizing the sport, his number 10 on the back of Brazil’s yellow shirt one of football’s most potent images. (Watch Video Here)

The first global football star, he played a key role in making the game a sporting and commercial powerhouse — and made millions himself.

He also played with heart, visible in the black-and-white footage of the 17-year-old bursting into tears after helping Brazil to its first World Cup title, in 1958.

Eight years earlier, seeing his father cry when Brazil lost the 1950 (Watch Video Here) World Cup final on home soil to Uruguay, Pele had promised to bring the trophy home one day.

– Sports royalty –
Pele reached the pinnacle of his greatness at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, where he starred on what many consider the greatest team of all time, alongside talents such as Rivellino, Tostao and Jairzinho.

He was often welcomed like royalty when traveling abroad with Santos or the national team. Legend has it that his arrival in Nigeria in 1969 prompted a 48-hour truce in the bloody Biafra war. (Watch Video Here)

Pele declined offers to play in Europe but signed for a brief, lucrative swansong with the New York Cosmos at the end of his career, bringing his star power to the land of “soccer.”

His influence extended beyond the pitch, with gigs as a movie star, singer and sports minister.

But he faced criticism at times in Brazil for remaining quiet on social issues and racism, and for what some saw as his haughty, vain personality.(Watch Video Here)

Unlike Argentine rebel Diego Maradona, one of his rivals for the title of greatest of all time, Pele was seen as close to those in power — including Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regime.

Pele’s health began to fail in the last decade. His public appearances grew increasingly rare, and he frequently used a wheelchair.

He was hospitalized several times for urinary infections, then again in 2021 and 2022 for the colon cancer that marked (Watch Video Here) the beginning of the end.

When he was sick, he continued to communicate through social media. During the World Cup in Qatar this month, he urged Neymar not to retire from the Brazil team after the pre-tournament favorites were eliminated in the quarter-finals.

“He has gone, but his magic will remain. Pele is ETERNAL!,” Neymar said following his death. (Watch Video Here)