Man Utd Icon Rio Ferdinand Concerned for Liverpool Ahead of Champions League Final

?Former ?Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand thinks Liverpool will struggle to contain Real Madrid marksman Cristiano Ronaldo in Saturday’s Champions League final.

Ronaldo has been on scintillating form in European competition this year, hitting 15 goals in Real Madrid’s run to the final, and Liverpool face a tough task of containing him if they are to win the iconic trophy for the first time in 13 years.

Ferdinand, ?as quoted by sportlens.com, was asked on Alan Brazil’s Sport Breakfast what Liverpool can do to keep the forward quiet, and said:

“What? Other than foul him?

“I saw a thing the other day, just check this stat out because it tells you how good this guy is: in eight seasons, continuous, he has scored 50 plus goals.

“There are strikers who struggle to do that in Sunday football but he’s doing that at the top level.”

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Ferdinand, who played with Ronaldo for six years at Man United, added:

“That just tells you who you’re dealing with and what you’re up against as a Liverpool player.”

But while Ronaldo looks set to finish as the competitions top scorer, the next three highest totals are held by Liverpool players; with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane hitting 29 goals between them in this season’s Champions League.

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And Liverpool, who finished 4th in the Premier League and have been the surprise package of the Champions League this campaign, will be relying on the firepower provided by their front three if they are to offset the threat posed by Ronaldo and co. and claim the trophy for a historic sixth time. 

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Spain Officially Announce 23-Man World Cup Squad as Chelsea Stars Miss Out

Chelsea front man Alvaro Morata was the biggest casualty as Julen Lopetegui? announced his 23-man squad for Spain’s World Cup campaign.

While Morata’s Blues teammates Cesc Fabregas and Pedro were also omitted, it is the former Juventus forward’s lack of inclusion which was perhaps the most surprising from Lopetegui, who instead opted for in-form La Liga-based forwards Rodrigo Moreno (Valencia) and Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo).

Premier League stars who did make the cut include Manchester United’s David De Gea, Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta and Manchester City’s David Silva. However, London duo Hector Bellerin and Marcos Alonso both miss out.

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With an embarrassment of riches, particularly in midfield, in-form stars Luis Alberto, Dani Parejo and Asier Illaramendi all miss out despite recent call-ups.

There is room for Real Madrid duo Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio, while Diego Costa’s recent form with Atletico Madrid has seemingly earned him the spot as first choice striker.

All 23 members of Lopetegui’s squad have been capped before, though Álvaro Odriozola and Kepa Arrizabalaga currently have the least amount of international experience, having earned just one cap each.


Full Squad

GoalkeepersDavid de Gea (Manchester United), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao), Pepe Reina (SSC Napoli)

Defenders: Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Álvaro Odriozola (Real Sociedad), Gerard Piqué (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Nacho (Real Madrid), César Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal)

MidfieldersSergio Busquets (Barcelona), Saúl Ñíguez (Atlético Madrid), Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona), Thiago Alcántara (Bayern München), Koke (Atlético Madrid), Isco (Real Madrid)

ForwardsDavid Silva (Manchester City), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Lucas Vázquez (Real Madrid), Diego Costa (Atlético Madrid), Rodrigo (Valencia), Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo).

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Real Madrid Set Sights on Finally Landing Key Target as Hazard Hints at Chelsea Exit

Eden Hazard is closer to joining ?Real Madrid now than he has ever been, according to reports. 

Los Blancos have long been interested in the ?Chelsea attacker, whose penalty fired Antonio Conte to his first knockout trophy as well as the Blues’ eighth FA Cup success against Manchester United on Saturday. 

According to ?Daily Mail journalist Pete Jenson, the Spanish giants are closing in on the Belgium international, with this summer tipped to be the one where the switch finally occurs. 

The report claims a whole host of reasons as to why Hazard’s time has now come to join Zinedine Zidane’s men, compared to other transfers windows since 2016 when Real Madrid’s initial interest came to the fore. 

?Barcelona’s expected signing of Antoine Griezmann for around €100m being one; with Florentino Perez and the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu hierarchy needing to counteract their Catalonian rivals’ business to avoid further domestic humiliation next season. 

Their already eluded to third-place finish and disappointing showing in the Copa del Rey this term is indeed also another significant factor, with Los Blancos’ failings highlighting Zidane’s need to strengthen this term; a position that could be made stronger if ?Liverpool are able to topple the reigning European Kings in Kiev on Saturday. 

However, Hazard’s self-admitted unselfishness is undoubtedly the most persuasive argument, with Real Madrid’s individually-strong but cohesively weak lineup a significant factor in their troubles this campaign. 

“My father always told me that I’m too selfless and maybe it’s true,” the Belgian forward said in the build-up to this weekend’s FA Cup final. “I think now if you want to win something like the Ballon d’Or or the top-scorer (award), you need to be selfish. But I’m not like that, not at all.”

With the likes of Ronaldo, Isco and Marco Asensio all already within Zidane’s ranks, and the spotlight-craving Neymar also tipped to join the Spanish capital side over the next 12 months; the Chelsea man could indeed be the creator Los Blancos are crying out for. 

And Hazard’s comments post-match on Saturday to the ?BBC revealed that he is leaving every door open. 

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“Now I am just happy,” he responded when asked if securing silverware would be enough for him to stay in west London. “The most important thing now is that we end the season with a prize.

“In the final, you just need to win but we know we need to play better. You have not seen a big Chelsea performance but we defended well.

“It was not a great season, but at least we finished well. We couldn’t finish in the top four, we don’t have the Champions League next season, but at least we have something to celebrate with the fans.

“I will see what happens next season – if we have a new manager, if we bring new players. It’s not just about one thing. I’ll just take my time. We have the World Cup, which is important, so we’ll see.”

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Jurgen Klopp Claims it Will Take 15 Years for Mohamed Salah to Match Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo

?Liverpool manager ?Jurgen Klopp says his star man Mohamed Salah has a long way to go before he merits comparison with Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Salah has got off to a flying start in his first season back in English football, and his performances have sparked suggestions that he may be in contention to win the Ballon d’Or, an award which has been shared by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in recent years. 

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The Egyptian has scored a record breaking 32 Premier League goals for Liverpool in his debut season for the club, while also contriving to win a host of ?individual awards

However, Klopp insists that Salah needs to replicate his form over 15 more season to match the achievements of Ronaldo.

He said, via ?the Telegraph: “Mo played a fantastic season but Cristiano has played 15 seasons like this. He has scored something like 47,000 goals – crazy numbers. Why should we compare? At the time of Pele nobody compared Pele to other players and asked, ‘Is he as good as him?’

Villarreal v Real Madrid - La Liga

“Now we have Messi and Ronaldo. They have dominated football for a few years and there are so many other good players.

“Messi and Ronaldo are in the final moment very often in the right position to score a goal and that’s the most difficult thing to do in the world. That’s why they are where they are. The Ballon d’Or is always between them. It’s deserved. When they stop playing football we’ll miss them, 100%.”

?Real Madrid and Liverpool face each other in the Champions League Final on May 26 in Kiev, and despite Real Madrid having won the competition on back-to-back occasions, Jurgen Klopp will not be compromising on his team’s attacking philosophy.

He added: “If I was to ask the boys now, ‘What do you want to do in this game?’ They would say ‘What we always did’.

“You try to create a plan to deny the qualities of an opponent, but you also have to bring through your own qualities.”

Madrid’s performance against Villarreal on Saturday will give the Reds hope going into their first Champions League final since 2007. Ronaldo and Madrid surrendered a two-goal lead to fall to a 2-2 draw against Villarreal, and Liverpool fans were particularly enthused by ?Marcelo’s erratic defending. 

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Real Madrid Captain Sergio Ramos Posts Emotional Twitter Tribute to Legendary Trio

?Sergio Ramos took to Twitter on Sunday to send a farewell message to departing greats Fernando Torres, Andres Iniesta and ?Gianluigi Buffon as the three stars played their final games for their current clubs over the weekend.

The Real Madrid and Spain captain put rivalry aside in order to pay tribute to the era-defining trio as they leave ?Atletico Madrid, ?Barcelona and ?Juventus respectively to start the next stages of their careers before hanging up their boots.


As Ramos steps up his preparation for the Champions League final between ?Real Madrid and ?Liverpool in Kiev, he took a moment to send a heartfelt message to the departing stars who have made such an impact on the competition: “You have all made the battle more beautiful and football much bigger.”

This weekend saw the last round of fixtures in both La Liga and Serie A and with that were a number of farewells, the aforementioned trio being the most notable. 

All three ended their time at the clubs that made them legends on a high. Atletico Madrid’s ?Europa League win on Wednesday was the first trophy that Torres has won with the club after spending a total of nine years in Madrid, while Iniesta and Buffon both claimed domestic doubles in their final seasons.

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