Cartoon of the Day: Messi avoids Ronaldo shaped elephant in the room

After Cristiano Ronaldo expressed his unhappiness at a “professional issue” at Real Madrid, La Liga rival Lionel Messi was quizzed on the situation at a press conference.

Some quarters have suggested that the former Manchester United man is upset because he did not win the Uefa award for the best player in Europe, with Messi’s team-mate Andres Iniesta instead collecting the trophy, while others think he is jealous of the Argentine.

However, the Barcelona star refused to comment on the Portuguese’s comments, instead stating: “There’s no reason to ask me about what he says and vice-versa. It’s nothing to do with me.”

Messi avoids Ronaldo shaped elephant in the room

New Manchester City signing Javi Garcia proud to join 'biggest club in England'

Manchester City’s deadline day recruit Javi Garcia believes he has joined the top team in the Premier League, suggesting they also have the quality to get out of their tough Champions League group.

Goal.com exclusively revealed that City had agreed an €22 million fee for the 25-year-oldafter Roberto Mancini missed out on other central midfield targets Daniele De Rossi, who stayed at Roma, and Javi Martinez, who joined Bayern Munich.

The former Real Madrid man is set to face his former club with City, when they travel to the Bernabeu in two weeks’ time for their first Champions League fixture this season.

The Spaniard admitted that with Dutch and German champions Ajax and Borussia Dortmund making up the group, his new team-mates face a big task in progressing, but insisted that as one best teams in Europe they can compete with anyone.

He told reporters: “Without a doubt, I’m at the biggest club in England and one of the biggest in Europe.

“So I’m very proud but also aware that I’m joining a great side full of top players.

“The Champions League group is a tough one but it’ll be a lot of fun.

“The Real Madrid game is a great way to start out but we have the team and players to compete against any opposition.”

Mancini’s men will play a Premier League clash with Stoke City on September 15 in their next match after the international break, before facing the Spanish champions in their opening group game of this year’s competition for Europe’s elite three days later.

Santos chief: Manchester United did not bid for Neymar

Brazilian club Santos have dismissed rumours that Manchester United made a lucrative offer for wonderkid Neymar on transfer deadline day.

Reports had suggested that the Red Devils were ready to splash €48.1 million for Neymar, who has scored 111 goals in 185 appearances for his club.

Goal.com

understands that United were priced out of a move for the Brazil international, who has a €63.3m buy-out clause at Santos.

The Old Trafford outfit had previously pursued Neymar’s fellow countryman Lucas Moura earlier this summer but were unable raise funds for a €38m move for the Sao Paulo attacker.

However after the playmaker joined big-spenders PSG, who also signed the likes of Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic from AC Milan, the Premier League outfit reportedly turned their attention to Neymar and tabled a bid.

But Santos’ director of football Felipe Faro has denied the speculation, insisting he does not know where they rumours came from and revealing that no transfer offer was received.

He told Globo Esporte: “I have no idea where that came from, but it’s not true.”

The South American has consistently been linked with a move to La Liga duo Real Madrid and Barcelona ever since he exploded onto the scene in Brazil, but the player has always indicated that he is happy in his native homeland for now, with the club also delighted to keep hold on him.

His father, Neymar Santos, also laughed off the reports that he was the subject of an offer, joking: “Neymar was sold two years ago but we are still here.”

Kaka and Carvalho named in Real Madrid Champions League squad

Jose Mourinho has named his squad for Real Madrid’s Champions League campaign, including both Ricardo Carvalho and Kaka, who were heavily linked with moves away from the club this summer.

New signing Luka Modric has been awarded a place, after his arrival from Tottenham, aswell as loan signing Michael Essien, who has rejoined his former manager from Chelsea.

Castilla players Nacho Fernandez and Denis Cheryshev also have been given a position in the squad.

Full squad list:

Name
Goalkeepers:
Iker Casillas
Adan
Jesus Fernandez
Defenders:
Pepe
Sergio Ramos
Fabio Coentrao
Ricardo Carvalho
Marcelo
Alvaro Arbeloa
Raul Albiol
Nacho Fernandez
Varane
Midfielders:
Sami Khedira
Kaka
Mesut Ozil
Xabi Alonso
Michael Essien
Juanfran
Luka Modric
Jose Callejon
Di Maria
Denis Cheryshev
Cristiano Ronaldo
Karim Benzema
Gonzola Higuain

Barcelona is a happy club, says secretary Toni Freixa

Barcelona secretary Toni Freixa says Tito Vilanova’s camp is a happy one, in response to questions regarding the troubles of Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo in the Spanish capital.

Speaking during an announcement regarding the club’s finances, Freixa was asked whether Lionel Messi is treated better than Ronaldo, which he answered by stating that the Argentine star ‘deserves everything,’ while moving to insist a new contract was not yet in the offing for the player.

The Barca spokesman told those in attendance that ‘here at the club we are all very happy’, in contrast to Ronaldo’s recent media outburst.

The accounts revealed at the press conference showed revenue of €470 million and expenses of €427.29m, leaving the club an estimed profit of around €35.9m.

The previous year ended with a record profit of €48.8m. All of the figures given by Freixa have been approved by Barca’s board, but await ratification by the relevant authorities.