Ronaldo & Benzema pick up injuries

The Portuguese attacker has been struggling with a back injury, while the French striker has picked up a thigh problem and both will miss the upcoming trip to Munich

Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema have been left out of the Real Madrid squad that will travel to Munich to compete in the Audi Cup.

The Spanish side take on Tottenham on Tuesday in their semi-final clash on Tuesday, but are without two of their star players because of injury.

Ronaldo is suffering from a minor back injury, while Benzema has picked up a thigh injury in training.

New signing Kiko Casilla has been included in the 24-man squad, as have Danilo and Lucas Vazquez.

Norwegian teenager Martin Odegaard is also on the list.

The full squad:

Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Kiko Casilla, Ruben Yanez.

Defenders: Raphael Varane, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo, Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Arbeloa, Danilo.

Midfielders: Toni Kroos, James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale, Casemiro, Luka Modric, Denis Cheryshev, Isco, Asier Illarramendi, Asensio, Martin Odegaard.

Forwards: Jese Rodriguez, Lucas Vazquez, Borja Mayoral.


08 2015
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Atletico are back – Koke warns Barcelona and Madrid

The midfielder has been impressed with the club’s work in the transfer window this summer and thinks they can compete for La Liga

Koke has warned Barcelona and Real Madrid that Atletico Madrid have the quality to win La Liga after a successful summer transfer window.

Atletico broke Barca and Madrid’s stranglehold on the division in 2013, only to finish fourth last season as the Catalans lifted the title.

However, the club have made a number of additions to their squad, with Jackson Martinez arriving from Porto and Luciano Vietto moving to the Vicente Calderon.

Koke, who scored from a corner-kick on Saturday in Atletico’s 1-1 draw against Sagan Tosu, thinks the new arrivals can help spark another title charge this season.

“The team are training well and working really, really hard, and I believe that this season we can compete with Real Madrid and Barcelona,” the 23-year-old, told i3 Sports.

“Last year we finished as champions, but in the past season it was Barcelona and Real Madrid all over again.
“We’ve had a lot of good changes recently, so I think that this season we can do something important. I really think the new players can bring some positive changes to the team.”

Atletico face Shanghai SIPG on Tuesday before kicking off their competitive campaign with a home tie against newly-promoted Las Palmas on August 22.


08 2015
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Juventus will never sign Isco or Oscar – Marotta

The Bianconeri chief says there is no chance either player will end up at the club, but remains keen on signing another midfielder

Juventus managing director Giuseppe Marotta has warned that signing Isco or Oscar this summer will be impossible.

Bianconeri coach Massimiliano Allegri recently admitted he was a big admirer of both players, but Marotta says there is no chance either player will end up at the club.

“We are looking for a midfielder to add to our squad, though not necessarily a particular type of midfielder,” he told Quotidiano Sportivo.

“They will join an eclectic group of midfielders that include Paul Pogba, Claudio Marchisio, Sami Khedira and Roberto Pereyra. Paulo Dybala can play in attacking midfield, too.

“Isco and Oscar are both stellar players, but in the case of Juventus – unfortunately, for now – we will never be able to sign them.”

Marotta also stressed that the future of Pogba depends entirely on the player, with the club having rejected a recent €80 million bid from Barcelona.

“In modern football, the decision of the player is paramount,” he added. “Look at Tevez, for instance [who Juve let return to his boyhood club Boca Juniors this summer].

“It’s obvious we would like to keep Pogba, but we cannot afford to give him a crazy salary whereas some clubs can pay him almost twice as much.”


08 2015
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'I don't give a f*** about Fifa' – Ronaldo storms out of interview

The Real Madrid star became extremely irritated and walked out on his interviewer when he was asked about football’s governing body and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

The corruption scandal surrounding Fifa and the 2022 Qatar World Cup is a sensitive subject in football at the moment, especially, it seems, for Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo.

Football’s governing body has been rocked by the indictment of 14 individuals, including nine past and present Fifa officials, on charges of racketeering conspiracy and corruption, leading to president Sepp Blatter’s imminent stepping down from the organisation.

And the Real Madrid talisman became extremely agitated and began to swear when he was asked about the subject in an interview, eventually storming out of it.

“I don’t care about Fifa and Qatar!” he told CNN when the subject arose. “I don’t give a f***! Speaking about Fifa, come on.”

The FBI are continuing to investigate Fifa and the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively, amid claims that officials took bribes in exchange for their votes.


08 2015
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Benzema would be a great signing for Arsenal – Parlour

The France international has been identified as a potential marquee acquisition by the north Londoners and he has been praised by the former Gunners midfielder

GOAL EXCLUSIVE   By Brendon Netto

Karim Benzema would be a great signing for Arsenal, according to former Gunner Ray Parlour.

Goal revealed in May that Arsenal had identified Benzema as a potential acquisition, with the Gunners believing that the France international would be open to a move to the Emirates.

Progress on the bid has been slow, however, and it is understood that Arsenal are happy to play a waiting game as they attempt to secure the striker’s signature.

Parlour believes the 27-year-old would represent a superb signing for the north Londoners, who have so far only acquired Petr Cech in the summer transfer window.

Indeed, with links to forwards abounding, Parlour has also praised PSG striker Edinson Cavani in an exclusive interview with Goal.

“Benzema would be a great signing for Arsenal. I think fans would be really excited to have him in the squad. Cavani’s been mentioned, whether he’s a player who could come in,” said Parlour, speaking at the launch of Arsenal’s new kit in Mumbai.

“He’s got great experience with the national side and the teams he’s been at so, if they’re available, who knows? Something could happen there. Whether we can get them is another matter.

“We know how hard it is to buy players now. I’m sure Arsene Wenger, if those sort of players are on the market and he knows he can get them, maybe they’re the ones he goes for.”

Benzema, who dropped a hint that he could join Arsenal this summer with a crypic Instagram post last week, scored 22 goals in all competitions for Real last season, while Cavani found the net 31 times for PSG.


08 2015
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