5 Things to Know About Rumoured Barcelona & Real Madrid Target Pedrinho

Having produced some of the biggest players in the history of the game, Brazil continues to churn out the gems. Linked with a move to both Real Madrid and Barcelona, 20-year-old Pedrinho is the latest talent off the South American conveyor belt to earn rave reviews for his early performances.

Already one of the main stars at club side Corinthians, the attacking midfielder has shone at domestic level and has helped the side to considerable success. With a price tag of €25m reportedly set, here is a list of five important things you need to know about Brazil’s latest midfield prodigy. 

5. He Turned Down a Move to the Chinese Super League

Oscar. Alexandre Pato. Paulinho. Hulk. Just four big Brazilian names to have left the glamour and fame of European football for the money on offer in the Chinese Super League.

A move to China and a chance to earn a bumper contract has proven far too tempting for even established footballers, let alone someone as young as Pedrinho. However, the 20-year-old resisted the lure of a multi-million pound deal to ply his trade in Asia, and has instead insisted his goal remains to play in Europe.

He is quoted as saying on the prospective move: “It was flattering to receive the offer, but as soon as my agent told me about the offer I told him that I wasn’t interested.

“I’m not ready to leave Corinthians and I certainly didn’t want to leave at that time and not for China. If I do leave Corinthians one day, I expect it to be for a European club, the aim for any player in Brazil.”

4. Voted Best Player in Brazilian U20 Tournament ‘Copinha’

A revered tournament in Brazil, the Copa Sao Paulo de Futebol Junior, more commonly known as the ‘Copinha’, is annual cup competition contested by some of the best U20 sides in the country.

The tournament has given people their first glimpse at the players of the future, with superstars like Kaka, Neymar, Lucas Moura and Gabriel Jesus all making their entry in the Copinha. 

In the 2017 edition, Pedrinho, along with his potential Real Madrid teammate Vinicius Junior, took the limelight. In his nine games, the midfielder fired in six goals and registered a further six assists, including a wonderful solo strike against Flamengo. It really was a case of ‘remember the name’.

3. Left-Footed With Excellent Close Control and Dribbling

Boasting an electric turn of pace, Pedrinho’s fine dribbling and close control has made him into a feared opponent in Brazil’s Serie A. Playing predominantly off the right-hand side where he can cut on to his left foot, the 20-year-old has been equally adept at operating more infield and orchestrating Corinthians’ attacking play.

Whilst his versatility at such a young age is impressive, his long-term future may see him as a side’s number 10, with his vision and composure in tight spaces marking him out amongst his current contemporaries. 

2. Yet to Make an Appearance for Brazil at Any Age Group

Despite the undeniable promise, Pedrinho has surprisingly yet to find himself capped at any level for his country. Whilst Brazil have been blessed with precocious attacking talents in recent years and are perhaps well stocked in that department, it is nevertheless intriguing that the 20-year-old hasn’t even featured for the junior sides.

To put into context, by the time PSG superstar Neymar had turned 21, he had already found the net 17 times for his country in his 26 appearances. 

The comparison between the two may not be the fairest, but Pedrinho has a long way to go to make his mark at international level if he is to enjoy the kind of stellar career his Brazilian compatriot has had.

1. Comparisons With Both Lionel Messi & Neymar

When you’re linked with two of the best players on the planet right now, you know you must be doing something right. In his native Brazil, Pedrinho has earned lofty comparisons with Barcelona great Messi and PSG hotshot Neymar for both his style of play and ability to go far in his career.

As a left-footed winger cutting in from the right a la Messi in his younger years with the Catalan giants, Pedrinho’s dribbling and ability to shrug off defenders is reminiscent of the Argentine. And with a penchant for extravagant skills and flicks even in the most demanding of atmospheres, the midfielder has been likened to Neymar whose youthful exuberance lit up Santos years ago. 

The next step for Pedrinho no doubt is to follow in similar footsteps and make his mark in the European game just like Messi and Neymar have done. 


How Real Madrid & the Cleveland Cavaliers Mirror Each Other With Their Plights

All good things come to an end. That is a universal parable, capable of explaining all kinds of historical demises. And, even in a medium as institutionally heavy as sport, the cyclical nature of the world persists.

The Dynasties eventually fall, and a grace period is required for the rebuild. Think Liverpool in the Premier League era, or Manchester United since Sir Alex Ferguson. It would be fair to say that basketball operates on a much more fleeting, unpredictable plain. Because of the nature of the salary cap and the draft system, cycles are much more sudden, and more evenly spread out than in football. 

Since its first inception in 1947, the NBA (or BAA as it was initially known) has produced 19 champions – 23 if you count teams which relocated in between titles, which you should. Comparatively, in 18 more years of existence, Spanish football has offered up only nine winners, while England has just 24 conquerors in 120 years of competition.


And yet, the two retain many similarities. This was proved over the summer, when two ageing empires began their descents into ignominy: Real Madrid and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In both cases this was on the surface precipitated by the loss of a generational talent – LeBron James and ?Cristiano Ronaldo. But in reality, the writing had been on the wall – one that was plastered with temporary wallpaper to cover the deepening cracks – for some time.

Now, before we set out about aligning these two teams, it’s worth pointing out the obvious differences. For one, Real Madrid are a far, far more successful entity, from the standpoint of both recent and ancient history. Los Blancos have 33 La Liga titles to their name, 19 Copa del Reys and 13 Champions League triumphs. 

Cleveland, on the other hand, have one solitary title. One lonely championship banner, accompanied only by meaningless boasts of divisional and conference wins. 

NBA Global Games Rio 2014 - Practice Day

Their respective mires reflect this – naturally, a team as storied as Real Madrid are going to have a more expectant and reactionary fanbase. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and thus Madrid’s demise is not as drastic as their Ohio counterparts. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t followed dramatically similar paths. 

As alluded to, their declines had been coming. Despite winning an extraordinary three Champions League titles in three years, the Spaniard’s spending power had been compromised in this period. 

Thanks to a TV deal that was becoming more and more dwarfed by that of the Premier League, and a gargantuan wage bill – second only to La Liga rivals ?Barcelona in world football – the Galactico model of old had been replaced with a more net spend and youth conscious M.O.

This was greatly necessary. There was no getting around the fact that their incredibly successful team was growing old – during the 2017/18 season, Zinedine Zidane put out the second oldest starting XI the club had used this century. The same problem was occurring 3,991 miles away in Cleveland. 

A year removed from their unprecedented triumph, and fresh from a summer in which their second best player, Kyrie Irving, had moved on (to ?forge his own destiny away from LeBron’s shadow) the Cavs possessed the oldest roster in the NBA, with an average age of 30. 

Though these facts were at times evident during the ensuing season – especially during the initial stages – by and large it was covered up by the success had at the end of it. For the Cavs, a fourth straight Play-Off Finals was reached, while Madrid made up for a poor domestic campaign by winning the Champions League once more. 

It would not be hyperbole to suggest the principle propellors behind these runs were LeBron and Ronaldo. With 15 goals and three assists, the Portuguese forward contributed to more than half of Real’s 33 scores in the competition. Meanwhile, in his 16th season in the league, and 12th consecutive post-season, James was a statistical marvel – averaging nine assists (a career high) and 34 points, in what many deem his greatest play-off showing ever.


Now obviously losing that is going to hurt you, no matter the infrastructure. But the problem with both of these sides, was that their foundations were weaker than expected. For the Cavs, this was mostly thanks to LeBron. His sudden return in 2014 thrust this short-term vision upon them, forcing them to hand out exorbitant contracts to ageing players on his advice.

While it didn’t quite happen like that at? Real, the remaining cast was still found wanting. They still had world beaters at almost every glance, but these were now tired world beaters. World beaters who had beaten the rest of the world so many times, they were beginning to get tired of it. And if not of ‘it’, then of their Spanish surroundings.

Of course, it being modern sport, the first ones to pay for this weren’t the players themselves, but the managers. After replacing Zinedine Zidane – who clearly saw the tides were changing and left of his own accord – in June 2018, Julen Lopetegui was relieved of his duties just four months later, on the 29th October, following a 5-1 defeat to Barcelona in El Clasico.

A day earlier, Tyronn Lue had been sacked after leading his group of overpaid hasbeens and bit-parts to an 0-6 start to the season.

In 2017/18, Cleveland had the highest roster salary of any team in the NBA. They now have the 19th highest, after some enforced culling of the more outrageous contracts, and they’re not done yet. While Real Madrid’s financial might will never dwindle to this extent, such actions may be required for success in the long-term. 

The key difference between basketball and football, is that in the former being bad earns you the chance to be good – the teams with the worst records have the best chance of getting the number one pick in the Draft at the end of the season. 


The same option clearly isn’t available to Real, but they may have to take a leaf out of this book.  The disinterested and overpaid may have to be cast out, and the fledgling talents given a chance to stretch their wings, if success is to be sustained in the future. 

While failure will not reap the same rewards, time and experience just might.


Real Madrid Ponder Audacious Move for Zlatan Ibrahimovi? as Key Duo Fail to Fill the Ronaldo Void

?Real Madrid are reportedly plotting to sign veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovi? in the January transfer window, having grown impatient with the efforts of Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema since club legend Cristiano Ronaldo left to join Juventus last summer.

It was always going to be tough to get by without the club legend, but Los Blancos fans will have been shocked by the extend to which his departure has effected the team’s form – with the side winning just six of their opening 12 La Liga matches and new manager Julen Lopetegui getting the chop before November.

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

According to Sport?Real Madrid regret not signing a top quality replacement for Ronaldo, and have been disappointed with ?Bale and ?Benzema‘s form in front of goal – with the pair mustering just eight goals between them so far this season. Los Blancos headed into the international break lying sixth in the league table, with immense pressure on the side to improve.

Ibrahimovi? has been in blistering form for LA Galaxy this season, and could jump at the chance for another high profile move before his retirement. The 37-year-old has scored goals and won silverware across Europe during his globetrotting career, but he uncharacteristically failed to impress for ?Barcelona – and returning to ?La Liga could offer him some redemption.

The report also suggests that Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gómez or Espanyol’s Borja Iglesias could be alternative options to the Swedish forward, given their strong from in the Spanish top tier so far this season. Gómez, a Uruguay international, has scored six goals in nine league outings, while Iglesias has netted seven times in twelve appearances.

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Meanwhile, ?Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kova?i? has refused to speculate on whether he will extend his loan spell with Chelsea into a permanent move at the end of the season. The Croatian ace has featured regularly for the Blues since arriving in the summer, but has maintained that he won’t be considering his future until the current campaign concludes.


Liverpool Star Virgil van Dijk Claims Real Madrid Captain Sergio Ramos Is Not ‘His Kind’ of Defender

?Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk has chimed in on the broad debate over Sergio Ramos’ playing style, insisting that the Real Madrid captain is not ‘his kind’ of player.

Spanish international Ramos has been the subject of widespread commentary around Europe, with many praising the defender’s leadership and battling qualities. On the flip side, others have tended to criticise the 32-year-old’s occasionally aggressive conduct.

The ongoing debates over the iconic Spaniard have only increased in recent times, and Netherlands international van Dijk has now thrown his opinion into the mix. The ?Liverpool defender told De Telegraaf, via ?Marca: “He’s not the best.

“He’s a great player and I respect him for what he has achieved, but he’s not the kind of defender I like.”

?Ramos’ rather unorthodox defensive style has established the ?Real Madrid hero as a largely divisive figure, with his discipline and solidity in defence often leaving much to be desired. 

However, the former Sevilla man has led Los Blancos to three successive Champions League triumphs.

The maverick defender has enjoyed a trophy-laden career which also includes a World Cup win and two European Championship successes with the Spanish national team. However, it is ?Raphael Varane, Ramos’ defensive partner at Real Madrid, whom van Dijk most admires.

“He [Varane] is my favourite,” van Dijk added.

“He’s an excellent defender who is still young and has improved. His way of defending is different because he tries to avoid being in situations where he has to intervene and tackle.”

Whilst the Real Madrid duo were on the agenda for van Dijk, following Liverpool teammate ?Dejan Lovren’s recent public dispute with Ramos, the Dutchman remains the world’s most expensive defender.

The former ?Southampton star has become the defensive bedrock of Liverpool since completing his £75m move to Jurgen Klopp’s side from St. Mary’s in January.

Having added the kind of leadership and resolve which was previously seen as a missing ingredient at Anfield, van Dijk helped Liverpool reach the Champions League final last term.

Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Group C

With all signs being that Liverpool’s new-found solidarity has put them on course for further improvements this term, van Dijk has formed a formidable partnership with Joe Gomez at the heart of defence this season.


Jamie Redknapp Explains Why Luka Modric Is ‘the Best in the World Right Now’

Former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder Jamie Redknapp has explained how Real Madrid star Luka Modric improved massively whilst at White Hart Lane despite initially ‘struggling’ following his move from Dinamo Zagreb.

Modric spent four years at Tottenham between 2008 and 2012 before joining Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid for £27m and Redknapp has lauded the former Spurs man who he describes as the best player in the world’.

Modric and Croatia knocked England out at the semi-final stage of the 2018 World Cup and Redknapp says the 33-year-old is a very difficult player for opposition teams to stop.

“Before the semi-final you try to get a plan in your head about how you stop certain players,” Redknapp said on ?Sky Sports (as reported by the ?Express.)

“There’s certain players that you have to respect that are so good on the ball.

“The way that they manipulate it, the way that they touch it, the way they receive it, whether they pop it off first time or play a long pass. And he’s one of those.

“You just have to do your best to stop him as much as you can.”

England v Croatia - UEFA Nations League A

The Croatia superstar played an integral role in the Madrid team that won the Champions League in four of the last five seasons and also shone as Croatia reached the World Cup final in the summer.

Redknapp paid tribute to the 33-year-old’s time at ?Tottenham, saying it had a tremendous influence on his career.

“If you let him have time on the ball, there aren’t many better. He’s the best player in the world right now, he’s been voted by everybody.

Tottenham Hotspur's Croatian player Luka

“I remember when he first arrived at Tottenham and he struggled a bit, I think the physicality of the Premier League.

“Obviously going to Real Madrid and playing with great players has helped him.

“But I think playing in the Premier League have him a massive appreciation of how you have to be so fast on the ball and the development of how much he improved at Tottenham was amazing.


“Now I see a player and he’s such a nice guy as well, an unassuming superstar if you like. He deserves all the plaudits he’s getting right now.”

Modric has made ten starts for the ?La Liga club this term contributing with two assists for his team but has been recently linked with a move away from the Bernabeu.