Santiago Arias Spoke to Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez About a Move to Atletico

?Atletico Madrid defender Santiago Arias has revealed he was in contact with James Rodriguez this summer about the midfielder possibly moving from Real Madrid to city rivals Atletico.

Rodriguez, who returned to Real Madrid in the summer having spent the last two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich, was heavily linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu, but eventually ended up staying.

The playmaker featured 43 times over two seasons in the Bundesliga with Bayern, racking up 14 goals and 14 assists in this time before returning to Madrid in July. Arias, who is a teammate of Rodriguez’s in the Colombian national side, said he did speak to the 28-year-old about a move to Atletico.

James Rodriguez

As quoted by ?Marca, Arias stated: “We talked about ?Atleti, I asked him if the rumours were true and I explained how things were here, but not much else.

“There were options, but we didn’t speak about it much more because it was down to the clubs.”

In the end James stayed with ??Real Madrid and has featured six times this season in La Liga, including a cameo appearance from the bench in September against Atletico in a 0-0 draw.

Arias however did not face his Colombian teammate Rodriguez that day as he has found himself below new signing ?Kieran Trippier in the pecking order at right-back. However, despite the competition between the pair for selection, Arias insisted he has a good relationship with the England international.

Santiago Arias

“I have a good relationship with Trippier, it’s healthy competition,” he said. “You have to respect this, you can never wish anything bad on anyone.

“On a personal level, we speak in English, I learned [to speak] it in Holland. The important thing is having a good team, that the best players play. He has good strengths; you can learn from everyone.”

Both Arias and Rodriguez have stayed in Madrid during the international break with neither called up to the Colombia national squad. 

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Real Madrid Turn Attention to Erling Håland as They Continue Youth Recruitment Policy

?Real Madrid are said to be considering a move for Red Bull Salzburg striker Erling Håland, as the 19-year-old continues to impress mightily in the Austrian Bundesliga and the Champions League. 

Having scored a dramatic equaliser against Liverpool in his side’s 4-3 defeat at Anfield, he’s scored four goals in two ?Champions League appearances and sits on a science-defying 18 in 11 in all competitions. 

Such form is likely to attract interest from the top clubs across Europe, and Napoli were ?recently linked with a move for Håland and teammate Dominik Szoboszlai in a double deal. 

RB Salzburg v KRC Genk: Group E - UEFA Champions League

The game may have just changed, however, as reports from Spain indicate that ?Real Madrid have entered the hunt and are keeping a close eye on the Norwegian international. 

This one comes from ?AS, who are sparse in detailing the interest, but do suggest it hasn’t gone far beyond courting the player as a long-term target just yet. 

If they are serious about their interest, however, the report does note that it would perhaps be in their best interest to act sooner rather than later. Håland’s value is expected to rocket to stratospheric heights if he continues on his current trajectory, and the days of being able to secure him for a reasonable price are looking increasingly numbered.

RB Salzburg v KRC Genk: Group E - UEFA Champions League

The report also notes a lack of urgency for a striker, with Karim Benzema and Luka Jovic currently in the ranks, but they are prepared to make exceptions for players who ‘fit their criteria’ – in other words, exceptionally talented young players.

They moved for both Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr. despite an apparent wealth of options in the wide positions at the point of acquisition, so the precedent is there if the player merits being treated as a special case.

And with the numbers Håland is hitting at present, it certainly seems he is of the standard required. 

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90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings – Week 7: Succession Special

?Following a week during which: 

– Juventus put Inter in their place AGAIN.

– Chelsea’s young guns shot the lights out AGAIN.

– Liverpool won AGAIN.

– Manchester City dropped points AGAIN.

We, using quotes from Succession season two, and while listening to Pusha T’s remix of the Nicholas Britell penned Succession soundtrack (?yes, this is a real thing), rank the 15 best teams in Europe.


15) Nantes (New Entry) 

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-NANTES-NICE

If I was to give Tom a letter grade, I’d give him a B+ for Bad plus Terrible.”

If I was to give Nantes a letter grade, I’d give them an A+ for Amazing plus Incredible. 

La Maison Jaune have won three on the bounce in Ligue 1 and now sit second in the table, just two points adrift of Paris Saint-Germain.

If that’s not Amazing plus Incredible then I don’t know what is. 


14) Inter (Down 5) 

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-INTER-JUVENTUS

Worried that I agreed to be CEO of a dumpster fire pirate death ship.”

In previous iterations of 90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings, the following was written about ?Inter: 

We’re 95% sure Antonio Conte’s Inter are a great team. 95% sure. However, due to how disastrously pathetic Inter have been for the majority of the past decade, there’s 5% of doubt still lingering.”

BUT hold your horses, and maybe quell the “OMG Inter are going to win the league” chatter. Because we’ve seen this story play out so many times over the past few years: hope of a new dawn, painful setbacks, then embarrassing defeats, then the kicker, a fifth place finish. This season may very well be different…but…you know…it might not be…”

So after last weekend’s humbling at the hand of Juventus, we’re not going to say ‘we told you so’ but…yeah, actually, we are: 

We told you so. 


13) Red Bull Salzburg (Re-Entry) 

FC Red Bull Salzburg v Cashpoint SCR Altach - tipico Bundesliga

“I’m golden, baby.”

Played: 10

Won: 9

Drawn: 1

Lost: 0

Goals Scored: 46 (yes, 46) 

Goals Conceded: 9

Goal Difference: +37 (yes, +37)

In the Austrian Bundesliga, Red Bull Salzburg are golden, baby. 


12) Atalanta (Re-Entry) 

Duvan Zapata

“It looks like there might be a slight uptick in ticket sales.”

– Champions League football? Check.

– A top three side in Serie A? Check. 

– Exciting style of play? Check.

– World class goalscorer? Check.

– World class trequartista? Check. 

– World class, newly refurbished stadium? Check. 

It looks like there’s going to yet another uptick in ticket sales for Atalanta games in the coming months. 


11) Famalicão (-) 

Diogo Goncalves

Good story.”

New DEPR favourites Famalicão didn’t actually play this past week, but neither did any other team in the Primeira Liga, so guess what:

Famalicão are still top of the league!

So rejoice at the feel-good story of the year for one more week (at least). 


10) Manchester City (Down 7) 

Sergio Aguero

I think this might be the end of the company. We might get sucked into a black hole of embarrassment that we never get out of.”

It’s become abundantly clear in recent weeks that Aymeric Laporte’s injury might be the end of ?Manchester City’s title challenge. 

They been sucked into a black hole of playing the embarrassingly awful John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi, and until Laporte is back, they will not get out of it. 


9) Ajax (-) 

Dutch Eredivisie"ADO Den Haag v Ajax Amsterdam"

Yeah. So, I think I just, uh, turned down a quarter of a billion dollars.”

Ajax made about a quarter of a billion dollars during the 2019 summer transfer window, but they also turned down about a quarter of a billion dollars too.

And thank God they did. 

If they didn’t, they wouldn’t have the likes of Hakim Ziyech and David Neres keeping them relevant in the Netherlands and on the continent. 


8) Real Madrid (Re-Entry) 

James,Zinedine Zidane

“So I hereby convene the meeting of the newly formed ‘what the f*ck are we gonna do’ committee.”

There were, approximately 23,458 ‘what the f*ck are we gonna do’ committee meetings over the past 12 months at ?Real Madrid, as the club’s hierarchy tried – mostly in vein – to turn their faltering football team around. 

Now, it looks like they might have just worked it out. They finally found that the answer to many of their problems was right in front of them all along. 

It’s James Rodriguez…of all people. 


7) Bayern Munich (Down 6) 

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-BAYERN-MUNICH-HOFFENHEIM

The weakest strong man at the circus.”

Lads, what happened? 

How did you lose to Hoffenheim at the Allianz Arena? 

How does that happen? 

It was all going so well Bayern, you looked like the strongest strong man in all of Europe; now you’re the weakest strong man in the Bundesliga. 

Shambles. 


6) Chelsea (Up 4) 

FBL-ENG-PR-SOUTHAMPTON-CHELSEA

“Let’s move ahead with that process shall we?”

Even the most optimistic of ?Chelsea fans didn’t see this one coming. 

The Blues, armed with a myriad of young go-getters, are – out of nowhere – the second best team in the Premier League.*

They’re better than Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Manchester United (everyone is), and maybe even the Laporte-less Manchester City. Nice one. 


5) Paris Saint-Germain (-)

Pablo Sarabia

This is all normal.”

Oh, would you look at that…Paris Saint-Germain won a Ligue 1 game. 

Whoop-de-doo. 


4) Borussia Monchengladbach (New Entry) 

Denis Zakaria,Breel Embolo

The world’s tallest dwarf.”

Hallelujah! The world’s tallest dwarf (Borussia Monchengladbach) has bested the weakest strong man in the circus (Bayern Munich) and is now top of the Bundesliga. 

It’s the first time a rather tall dwarf (any German team other than Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich) has sat atop of the BuLi table in five years, and it was run of strong man dominance that Gladbach broke in style as – thanks to a Patrick Herrmann (the German) masterclass – they thumped Augsburg 5-1. 


3) Barcelona (Up 3) 

Lionel Messi

“One hundred percent based on truth.”

?Barcelona beat Sevilla 40-0 despite having nine of their ten outfield players sent off this past weekend in La Liga. 

That sentence is 100% based on truth.*

*The truth is, Barca beat Sevilla 4-0 despite having two of their ten outfield players sent off…which is still impressive…but I like my version better; it’s more dramatic. 


2) Liverpool (-) 

Jurgen Klopp

“Hey, this is where the party is at. Look at us, all the cool and beautiful people in one spot.”

?Liverpool fans, it’s time to party. 

For the first time in what feels like 3,000 years (since 1990, to be exact), your football time has won the English top flight; and deservedly so. 

What. A. Team. 


1) Juventus (Up 3) 

Maurizio Sarri

“Bill. The best boss that ever lived. It’s like Mandela f*cked Santa and gave birth to Bill.”

Maurizio. The best boss that ever lived. It’s like Arrigo Sacchi f*cked Marcello Lippi and gave birth to Maurizio. 

For he has worked wonders at ?Juventus. 

He’s revitalised Paulo Dybala, rejuvenated Gonzalo Higuain, and reinvigorated Leonardo Bonucci to make Juventus play the best football in all Europe. Impressive. 


For more from Jack Gallagher, follow him on Twitter! 

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Neymar & the 6 Other Players to Win 100 or More Caps for Brazil

?The nation of Brazil is synonymous with football.

They live and breathe the beautiful game, from kids bundled-up socks on the street to superstars donning the famous yellow and blue of the Seleção. To represent the side on over 100 occasions is the stuff every man, woman and child dreams of.

However, only a select few are fortunate enough to receive a century of caps for Brazil. Their 1-1 draw with Senegal at the Singapore National Stadium on Thursday saw another player added to the list that list, with ?Neymar reaching the landmark at just 27-years-of-age.

Here, 90min briefly recaps the international career of the Paris Saint-Germain forward, as well as six others to amass 100 appearances for the South Americans.


Neymar

FBL-WC-2018-MATCH53-BRA-MEX

Caps: 100

When he was still just a fresh-faced teenager, Neymar earned his first Brazil call-up, kick-starting a rollercoaster ride with the Seleção. 

A mixture of agony and ecstasy colour the striker’s international history. His tournament debut came in the 2011 Copa America, where his strong showings failed to save his country from a quarter-final exit at the hands of Paraguay.

Then came what promised to be the defining moment of the poster boy’s career – a home World Cup. You probably don’t need reminding that Neymar and his teammates fell in the semis, an entire nation weeping in anguish as Germany romped to a 7-1 triumph.

Redemption followed that nightmare, with the trickster’s blast from the spot sealing a penalty-shootout win in the final of the Rio Olympics. 

He’s now third in the all-time scoring charts, Neymar’s tally of 61 goals leaving him only one behind the legendary Ronaldo. Pele is the next one in his sights.


Robinho

Brazil's striker Robinho celebrates afte

Caps: 100

Despite hitting the 100-cap mark, Robinho’s time in yellow and blue was somewhat underwhelming, the winger’s performances rarely matching his potential.

Nevertheless, he can call himself a continental conqueror, having won the Copa America in 2007, as well as a pair of FIFA Confederations Cup trophies.

That elusive World Cup triumph will haunt Robinho, however. He was scapegoated for much of Brazil’s ineptitude in South Africa nearly a decade ago, yet the forward continued to represent his nation until 2017, when he was sentenced after being found guilty of rape.


Claudio Taffarel

SOCCER-WORLD CUP-1994-BRA-ITA

Caps: 104

Claudio Taffarel’s superb abilities between the sticks helped him become goalkeeping coach for both Brazil and Galatasaray once he decided to hang up his gloves.

When fans the world over marvelled at the silky skills of the Samba Boys in the late 20th century, the Santa Rosa native was the often-unheralded last line of defence.

His steady hands ensured Taffarel became the proud owner of a World Cup winner’s medal, plus two for the Copa America. 

The ‘keeper conceded just three goals at USA ’94, his intimidating presence contributing to Roberto Baggio’s infamous miss during the penalty-shootout in the final. 


Lucio

Lucio,Ri Jun-Il

Caps: 105

What a horrifyingly-good centre-back Lucio was. Back in his heyday, rampaging runs up-field were commonplace for the colossus.

With a towering, rock-solid defender like him in the heart of their backline, it’s no surprise the South Americans were crowned champions of the world in 2002.

A player like Lucio only comes once every generation – if you were fortunate to watch him at the peak of his powers, you’ll know just how influential the big man was.


Dani Alves

Dani Alves

Caps: 107

No player in the history of the game has been as successful as Dani Alves. 40 different trophies have been collected across a stupendous 17-year career that refuses to end.

The epitome of an attacking full-back, Alves’ turbo-charged feet and bottomless engine saw him dominate, wherever he lay his hat.

But, yet again, there is a glaring omission from the defender’s trophy cabinet. He – like countless compatriots – blossomed too late to play a part in the days when Brazil were at the top of the sport.


Roberto Carlos

Frank Ribery,Roberto Carlos

Caps: 125

Have you ever heard someone described as ‘the Serbian Roberto Carlos’? Or ‘the Welsh Roberto Carlos’? Or any other version of Roberto Carlos, for that matter? How about the Roberto Carlos?

There’s a reason why the ?Real Madrid icon has such a magnificent legacy and reputation among supporters and players, alike. Carlos reinvented what it meant to be a full-back, scoring screamers at will as he bombed forward for club and country.

With quads of the gods, the centurion was capable of ripping the net in half, yet he was about so much more than raw power. Delicious ball-control, pin-point crossing and positional awareness made him an unstoppable force of nature.


Cafu

WC2002-BRA-TUR-CAFU CELEBRATES

Caps: 142

Cafu’s defensive skills were freakish. The right-back’s consistency was stunning. His leadership qualities could motivate any man.

19 fabulous years as a professional footballer yielded numerous honours for the skipper, who was arguably the greatest ever player in his position.

Of course, a man like Cafu was more than capable of performing other roles, occasionally appearing as a winger or central-defender. There truly was nothing that the double World Cup champion couldn’t do.


For more from Ed Alexander, follow him on Twitter!

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Sergio Ramos Eyeing Opportunity to Represent Spain at Euro 2020 and Olympics in Same Summer

?Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is considering the possibility of representing Spain at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but he could see his wishes clash with those of the Spanish Football Federation. 

Ramos has won nearly everything both club and international football has to offer, but he is yet to feature for his country at an Olympic Games. 

He was part of the team that won the World Cup in 2010, while he has also helped his country to further success, winning the European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

Spanish defender Sergio Ramos kisses the

And with Euro 2020 not far away, the Real Madrid defender will be hoping he can guide La Roja to the top once again. However, it has now been reported that Ramos is intending to feature at the Euros, as well as the Olympic Games this summer. 

According to Spanish outlet El Mundo (?via Marca), the centre-back sees the opportunity as a dream and a chance that is “tremendously exciting for him.”

It would be a tiring summer for ?Ramos, with the Euro 2020 final – should they get there – set to take place on July 12 and the Olympic Games football tournament due to commence only ten days later. Nonetheless, it appears to be something he is very keen on. 

Sergio Ramos

Spain don’t typically send older or experienced players to the Games, and it appears as though ?Ram?os’ aims will clash with those of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF). 

?Marca have reported that the RFEF plan to keep the side who won last summer’s European Under-21 Championships together for the upcoming tournament in Japan. Olympic regulations dictates that there are only three places available for players born before January 1 1997, leaving as many as nine stars from the recent Under-21 tournament needing to fight it out over the remaining slots. 

It appears Ramos is keen to participate in Tokyo 2020, but it remains to be seen whether the Spanish Football Federation will allow him to fulfil his dream as he reaches the twilight years of his career. 

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