Zidane, Guardiola, Lopetegui Pay Tribute To Iniesta

  Spain’s king Felipe VI looks at Barcelona’s Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta kissing the trophy after the Spanish Copa del

 

Zidane, Guardiola, Lopetegui Pay Tribute To Iniesta
Spain’s king Felipe VI looks at Barcelona’s Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta kissing the trophy after the Spanish Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) final football match Sevilla FC against FC Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on April 21, 2018. Barcelona won 5-0.

LLUIS GENE / AFP

 

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has paid tribute to Andres Iniesta after he said he was leaving Barcelona and believes the midfielder should have won the Ballon d´Or in 2010.

Iniesta announced on Friday he will be leaving Barca at the end of the season, bringing an end to a 22-year association with the club. He is expected to move to China but is yet to name his next team.

The 33-year-old has enjoyed a glittering career, winning eight La Liga and four Champions League titles, but has never claimed football’s most prestigious individual award.

Iniesta was beaten to the Ballon d´Or by Lionel Messi in 2010, despite clinching the World Cup that year with Spain, and scoring the decisive goal against Holland in the final.

“What I’m going to say will maybe make headlines tomorrow,” Zidane said with a smile on Friday.

“I think he really deserved to win the Ballon d´Or when he won his World Cup, he had an exceptional year and he finished the World Cup by winning it, by scoring (in the final), so obviously that year he would have deserved it.”

It was the period when Iniesta was arguably at his best, as Barcelona won three consecutive league titles under Pep Guardiola, as well as the Champions League twice.

“I could spend a lot of minutes talking about him, he’s another part of the history of Barca in the last 15 or 20 years which would not be possible without him,” Guardiola said.

“I just want to say thank you because he helped me to understand the game better.

“Just watching him do what he does on the football pitch despite the amount of tackles, the way he’s a professional… I thank him so much for what he has done.

“When he decides to retire, maybe a decade from now, he will come back into football – at Barcelona especially – and he can teach others what he’s shown on the pitch.”

Iniesta is expected to announce his international retirement after this summer´s World Cup, when he will be hoping to go out on a high by winning the tournament again with Spain.

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has no doubt about Iniesta´s motivation in Russia.

“Andres is a player absolutely in the first class,” Lopetegui said.

“I would not speak of Andres in the past, I speak of him in the present. The recognition he has had at all levels of international football is not earned by chance.

“How he has won and how he has behaved in victory makes him loved in all the stadiums in Spain and abroad, and that is a treasure very few players in history can have.

“He has maximum motivation to be at the World Cup and to finish well with his team like he did with Barca in the Copa del Rey final.”

AFP

The post appeared first on Channels Television.

Pep Guardiola is trying to persuade Andres Iniesta to join Man City

According to a report from Spanish outlet AS this afternoon, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is attempting to dissuade Barcelona

According to a report from Spanish outlet AS this afternoon, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is attempting to dissuade Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta against moving to China, with the Spanish tactician keen to coax his fellow countryman to the Etihad for next season.

Icon

Iniesta, 33, is expected to announce his departure from Barcelona imminently, with the legendary midfielder set to join Chinese Super League outfit Chongqing Lifan.

The 125-time capped La Roja international has been on the books of Barca since 1996, and has racked up an incredible 31 major trophies since making his first-team bow in 2002.

The last 16 years have seen Iniesta go on to establish himself as not only one of the greatest midfielders in the club’s storied history, but also in the history of football as a whole.

Andres Iniesta

MADRID, SPAIN – MAY 27: Captain Andres Iniesta offers the King’s Cup to the audience after winning the Copa Del Rey Final between FC Barcelona and Deportivo Alaves at Vicente Calderon Stadium on May 27, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Premier League future?

While the 2010 World Cup winner is said to have an agreement in place to join Chongqing at the end of the season, a report from AS this afternoon has suggested that Iniesta nevertheless has offers on the table from several European clubs, who are keen to see him prolong his career at the top level.

And, as mentioned above, the side pushing hardest to dissuade the veteran from making the move to China this summer are Premier League champions Manchester City.

Citizens’ boss Pep Guardiola is said to be the man behind the club’s late push for Iniesta, with Guardiola keen to reunite with his former Barca charge at the Etihad this summer.

However, the report adds that the former Blaugrana and Bayern Munich boss is fighting a losing battle, with Iniesta’s CSL switch having been in the pipeline for over a year now, and the financial offer on the table too good to turn down.

Fred to Man United, Jorginho to Man City

Ederson reveals his Man City scoring plans

Pep Guardiola tips former Arsenal & Man City man to replace Arsene Wenger

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has today revealed his opinion that Patrick Vieira is more than ready to take over

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has today revealed his opinion that Patrick Vieira is more than ready to take over from Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.

Farewell

As has been the talk of world football over the last couple of days, Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger confirmed on Friday morning that he is set to bring his 22-year spell in charge of the capital outfit to an end this summer:

Candidates

Following on from the flood of tributes from players, managers and pundits alike, thanking Wenger for what he has done for the game and wishing him well with his future endeavours, the other big story in the English media has surrounded who could be set to replace the Frenchman in North London this summer.

Along with the likes of Carlo Ancelotti and Brendan Rodgers, another tactician to have seen his name touted as an early favourite for the Arsenal job has been Gunners’ legend Patrick Vieira.

Vieira, 41, previously spent time coaching Manchester City’s reserves, and has been the first-team boss of MLS outfit New York City FC since 2016.

Patrick Vieira

Arsenal are said to have been impressed by the progress of the American outfit under Vieira over the last two years, with the status of the 107-time capped French international at the club adding weight to the links between he and the soon-to-be vacant hotseat at the Emirates.

Ready

Vieira himself revealed yesterday that he is in no rush to depart New York, explaining that his past links to the club are ‘not enough’ to ensure that he is the right man to take over from Arsene Wenger.

However, one man who certainly feels as though Vieira is more than ready to make the return to North London is Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

When asked whether he feels as though the Frenchman can become a top manager, Guardiola replied:

‘Of course, he already is.’

‘Now, with what happened [Wenger’s announcement] there is a lot of names there,’ Guardiola continued.

‘Arsenal is going to take the best decision for them. But, of course, he (Vieira) is ready.’

‘I think all the names that are going to start to go – this name or this name or the other one – all of them, they are ready.’

Surprise Man City star breaks Cesc Fabregas’ Premier League passing record

Jose Mourinho on why Man United could struggle to catch Man City again next season

Pep Guardiola’s winning philosophy in his own words (brilliant video)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has today provided a brilliant insight into his footballing philosophy, after the Citizens secured the

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has today provided a brilliant insight into his footballing philosophy, after the Citizens secured the Premier League title courtesy of Manchester United’s loss to West Brom yesterday evening.

0-1

United welcomed the bottom-of-the-table Baggies to Old Trafford, with most having viewed the fixture as a mere formality for Jose Mourinho’s men to emerge with all 3 points.

However, a stoic defensive showing from West Brom, couple with a major lack of cutting edge from the hosts, saw Darren Moore’s side head home with a morale-boosting, and thoroughly deserved win, courtesy of a late Jay Rodriguez header.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 15: Jay Rodriguez of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring his sides first goal with his team mates as Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on April 15, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Celebrations

Aside from proving an embarrassing result for the Red Devils, yesterday’s loss was compounded by the fact that it handed the Premier League title to Manchester City.

The Citizens, who were of course denied the chance to clinch the English top-flight title by United at the Etihad last weekend, cemented their place in the history books of the Premier League by securing the title with 5 games to go, equalling the record previously set by Everton and Manchester United (twice).

Dominant

Despite a recent blip in form over the last couple of weeks, Pep Guardiola’s City have been, by far and away, the outstanding team in this season’s edition of the Premier League.

The Sky Blues have showcased some of the finest football ever witnessed in England to this point in the campaign, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Raheem Sterling having helped City to stand a clear tier above the rest of the Premier League’s top sides.

Key figure

But, while a number of City’s stars have been nothing short of sensational this season, the true mastermind behind the brilliance of the Citizens has undoubtedly been manager Pep Guardiola.

And Spanish tactician Guardiola, who was heavily criticized last season as he struggled to implement his philosophy in England, has today provided a wonderful insight into some of the teachings and values which he has instilled in his Manchester City squad, with the clip, courtesy of the club’s official Twitter page, showcased below:

Man City’s Kyle Walker reveals Tottenham wish

2019 Premier League outright odds: Liverpool & Man United favourites to stop Man City

EPL: Guardiola reveals what he would be doing instead of watching Man United vs West Brom

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola said he won’t be watching Manchester United clash with West Brom tomorrow. Manchester City would

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola said he won’t be watching Manchester United clash with West Brom tomorrow.

Manchester City would be crowned champions if the Red Devils is defeated in the game.

But Guardiola said instead of watching the match he will be playing golf.

City beat Tottenham 3-1 with an impressive performance at Wembley on Saturday in which Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling were on the score sheet.

The result puts Man City three points away from winning the title and they may well be champions before playing again next weekend if West Brom defeat United.

Asked if he would be watching United play West Brom, the Spaniard told Sky Sports, “No [I won’t watch], I have golf game tomorrow.

“Yeah tomorrow I have golf game. I have three days off and tomorrow I have golf.

“Golf, my son, friends. Tomorrow is golf.”

Guardiola Dreams Of Miracle, Klopp Of Holding City At Bay

  Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola                           

 

Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola                                          Photo: OLI SCARFF / AFP

 

Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City are destined to win the Champions League one day, even if they fail to overcome a 3-0 quarter-final first-leg deficit against Liverpool on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Reds had been sweating on the fitness of forward Mohamed Salah but the Egyptian was named in their starting line-up by manager Jurgen Klopp.

A hitherto spectacular second season under Guardiola for City has unravelled in the past week as they were thrashed at Anfield in the first leg, and then let a 2-0 lead slip with the chance to seal the Premier League title against Manchester United in a 3-2 derby defeat on Saturday.

Even if City go out, Guardiola could badly do with them winning at least the match to restore battered morale ahead of a tough league encounter with in-form Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend with the Premier League title potentially theirs for the taking.

The trouble for Guardiola is that as well as Salah — who scored his 38th goal of the season in the first leg before limping off — Liverpool have no shortage of firepower up front in the shape of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

Klopp said on Monday that Salah was more of a “yes” than a “no” for the trip to the Etihad, and he has clearly decided that it is worth taking a risk on his top scorer regardless of his fitness.

Salah’s presence is a huge boost for Liverpool, as is the fact that Guardiola has lost six times before in the Champions League knockout stages and four of the teams who bested him went on to lift the trophy.

The Spaniard believes that if his team can pull off an extraordinary comeback, it would take Abu Dhabi-backed City — who have only reached the last four of the competition once — to another level.

“I know we are judged on results, but on the performances my team is extraordinary. It is not comparable for many others, it’s top,” Guardiola, whose side still boast a 13-point lead at the top of the Premier League, said.

“They are exceptional, so I will be close to them no matter what happens between now and the end of the season. It’s a joy to be manager of this team, even three days ago the way we played.”

‘I’m never nervous’

One area of hope for Guardiola is that Liverpool’s Achilles heel has been their defence, although Dutchman Virgil van Dijk has added some steel since joining from Southampton in January.

The Dutch captain will be examined to the full at the Etihad, though, where Liverpool were thrashed 5-0 earlier in the season, albeit before Van Dijk joined signed.

Klopp’s men were also crushed 4-1 by Tottenham and were involved in thrilling 3-3 draws at Arsenal and Sevilla as they were routinely torn apart on their toughest travels, before the addition of the tall Dutchman.

Van Dijk, though, says he is not nervous at all about the impending clash — indeed, if anything, the 26-year-old admits to being too relaxed.

“I always have been, sometimes a little too much,” Van Dijk said.

“Sometimes that cost me back in the day. What we do as players is something you need to enjoy.

“I’m never nervous.

“I’m just excited. I think, ‘Look where I am. Playing for the semi-finals of the Champions League with my team. Just enjoy it and love it.'”

Van Dijk will do well to remain so relaxed given he faces a City side that will go all out in attack, with Guardiola going with a back three and with David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus all starting.

Sergio Aguero is on the bench.

If Guardiola is to seek inspiration in terms of a miraculous comeback, then United set him an example last Saturday of how quickly a match can turn on its head.

AFP

The post appeared first on Channels Television.

Pep Gaurdiola’s sarcastic response when asked about Ashley Young’s tackle on Sergio Aguero (Video)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola this afternoon provided a cheeky response, after being questioned on Sergio Aguero’s well-being following Ashley

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola this afternoon provided a cheeky response, after being questioned on Sergio Aguero’s well-being following Ashley Young’s controversial tackle on the Argentine during Saturday evening’s Manchester derby.

Matchup

The giants of Manchester went head to head at the Etihad two days ago, with the Citizens having headed into proceedings a massive 16 points clear of 2nd-placed United in the Premier League table.

As such, as was widely covered in the media ahead of kick-off, 3 points for the hosts would have seen Pep Guardiola’s men clinch the Premier League title in the most fairytale manner imaginable, courtesy of a victory over their fierce inner-city rivals.

***LEFT IMAGE*** MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 27: Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United looks on prior to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on April 27, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) ***RIGHT IMAGE*** MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 21: Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on prior to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Burnley at Etihad Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

2-3

Upon Martin Atkinson’s half-time whistle sounding at the Etihad on Saturday, it looked as though City were all but set to be crowned champions of England, after a dominant display over the course of the opening 45 minutes saw strikes from Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan send the Sky Blues into the interval two goals to the good.

However, Manchester United, on the back of a resurgent Paul Pogba performance, incredibly managed to find the net 3 times in the space of 15 minutes during the second-half, spoiling the party of their neighbours and clinching a morale-boosting 3 points.

Flashpoint

While the Red Devils took all 3 points on the day, the result could very easily have been a completely different one, had one major decision gone in favour of hosts City.

The decision surrounded a second-half challenge made by Ashley Young on Sergio Aguero inside the Manchester United box, which left the latter in a heap and thousands of home fans at the Etihad crying out for a penalty.

In the end, Martin Atkinson opted against awarding a spot-kick, a call which has since split fans over the days that have followed.

‘He dived’

Speaking in a press conference ahead of his side’s Champions League quarter-final second-leg clash with Liverpool tomorrow evening, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was questioned on the fitness of Aguero, and whether Young’s challenge had resulted in any lasting damage to his side’s prolific striker.

And Guardiola, ever the opportunist, took full advantage of the question sent his way, sarcastically suggesting that Aguero had dived in a bid to win a penalty:

Jurgen Klopp’s Mo Salah update before Man City

Ander Herrera fumes after Man City: ‘Stop talking sh*t’

Manchester City Destined For Champions League Glory – Guardiola

FILE PHOTO  Credit: AFP   Pep Guardiola insisted Manchester City are on the road to winning the Champions League for

Houston Derby: Despite City Loss, New Signings Impress Guardiola
FILE PHOTO  Credit: AFP

 

Pep Guardiola insisted Manchester City are on the road to winning the Champions League for the first time, even if they fail to overcome a 3-0 quarter-final first leg deficit against Liverpool on Tuesday.

A hitherto spectacular second season under Guardiola for City has unravelled in the past week as they were thrashed at Anfield in the first leg, and then let a 2-0 lead slip with the chance to seal the Premier League title against Manchester United in a 3-2 derby defeat on Saturday.

“I know we are judged on results, but on the performances my team is extraordinary. It is not comparable for many others, it’s top,” Guardiola, whose side still boast a 13-point lead at the top of the Premier League, said on Monday.

“They are exceptional, so I will be close to them no matter what happens between now and the end of the season. It’s a joy to be manager of this team, even three days ago the way we played.”

City have only once before reached the last four of the Champions League and Guardiola has often spoken about needing to create a culture of European success in his near two-year reign.

But he believes a historic comeback at the Etihad could take City to a new level in the Champions League.

“We need titles in Europe, but that is so complicated. To win titles we need to start with nights like this so the people understand it.

“Maybe not tomorrow, but with what this club has done in last 10 years in terms of creating a lot of facilities. Of course with a lot of investment, but there are a lot of people working here with the desire that sooner or later that is going to happen.

“Hopefully we can do it, if it doesn’t happen this season then hopefully in the next one.”

Salah status still unknown 

But for wasteful finishing, even a much-changed City could have been out of sight before United mounted an unlikely fightback at the weekend.

And with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero set to return to Guardiola’s starting XI, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is wary of City’s capability to rack up goals in quick succession.

“They do it always, that’s how City plays,” said Klopp, whose side lost 5-0 on their previous visit to the Etihad this season. “If you saw the first half against United in a normal game for City, against one of the best teams of the world, they could have scored six goals.”

Mohamed Salah put Liverpool in front in the tie with his 38th goal of the season last week. But the Egyptian limped off injured early in the second half, and Klopp remained coy over whether Salah will be fit to return having missed Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Everton.

“(I’m) not sure 100 percent,” said Klopp. “We train at 5 pm (1600 GMT) at Melwood. I would rather yes (he plays) than no, but we have to see and wait for the reaction.”

Five-time European champions, Liverpool possess far more pedigree historically than City in the competition but haven’t reached the last four for a decade.

And Klopp rejected the suggestion the club’s achievements of the past give them an upper hand on the current City side.

“You can ask if the experience of your grandfather helps you a lot in your life?” the German said wryly.

“We try to do our best to gain experience and tomorrow night it is again a big test for both teams. It will be interesting to see how we deal with that.”

AFP

The post Manchester City Destined For Champions League Glory – Guardiola appeared first on Channels Television.

EPL: Man City ready to make Guardiola world’s highest-paid manager

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, is to sign a one-year extension to his contract worth £20million. The deal would make

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, is to sign a one-year extension to his contract worth £20million.

The deal would make him the world’s best paid manager and keep him at The Etihad until 2020.

Guardiola’s current contract expires next summer, but he said to be keen to stay and build on this impressive season, with City close to winning the Premier League.

According to the Mirror, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager held a meeting with City owner Sheikh Mansour and chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak in Abu Dhabi last month.

City were in the Middle East for four days of warm weather training and it was there where he reportedly agreed to extend his stay.

Guardiola took charge of City in the summer of 2016.

EPL: Guardiola reveals what he told Pogba after Manchester Derby

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola has revealed what he told Paul Pogba after the Derby on Saturday. The Manchester United

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola has revealed what he told Paul Pogba after the Derby on Saturday.

The Manchester United midfielder scored twice, as they fought back from two goals down to beat City 3-2 at The Etihad Stadium and delay their title win.

After the final whistle, Guardiola headed straight to Pogba and had a brief chat with the France international.

“I went to congratulate him on the result,” he said, offering no more insight into the exchange.