Roma coach Rudi Garcia has claimed that his team will be focused only on the upcoming league match against Empoli rather than the Champions League encounter in the midweek. Roma return to the Champions League after several years, which has raised the expectation levels in the Italian capital. The club, though, will not be detracting from the primary job at hand – winning the league title – according to manager Garcia, who led the club to a second-place finish in his first season at the club. Roma are expected to rest a couple of important names like Gervinho for this encounter.
The club have begun the new season with a 2-0 win over Fiorentina which was a huge morale booster. Fiorentina were expected to be one of the challenges for a Champions League place at the end of the campaign. Garcia’s men looked impressive in the opening weekend, but this away match against Empoli could prove tricky. Their opponents lost 2-0 to Udinese on the opening day of the season. They are expected to struggle with relegation this campaign, but home advantage could be a major reason for worry.
Roma are in a very difficult group in the Champions League as they will face CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, and Bayern Munich. They open the campaign with a home match against CSKA Moscow. “I have to keep the team focused on Empoli, for me this is the big game. I do not even remember that we have to play on Wednesday. The international break? It’s happened before with Fiorentina, we only had two days to get everything ready. It’s new, however, we have demonstrated a great capacity to adapt and tomorrow will show that it takes two days to prepare for the match,” said Garcia.
Roma need to take three points against CSKA in order to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
Former Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has revealed that one of the reasons for joining Roma after deciding to leave Chelsea was the presence of a player like Francesco Totti. The England international recently left Chelsea after eight years for the club. During this period, he cemented his reputation as one of the world’s best left back. Towards the end of his Chelsea career, though, first-team opportunities became far and few between. It was becoming apparent that Chelsea were not going to offer a new deal.
Hence, Cole started negotiations with clubs from across the world. It was heavily expected that he would complete a move to the MLS since North America is one of the favourite places for the 33-year-old. Cole, though, has shocked everyone by completing a move to Roma. He has signed a two-year contract with the Italian club, who finished second in the table last season. It clearly shows that most of the top clubs in the world still regard Cole as one of the best left backs. Cole has played for the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal – two London clubs with a lot of rivalry.
He says that he is quite amazed at how Totti has been able to become one of the Roma legends by staying at the club throughout his career despite interest from several clubs.
“Why Roma? It’s a great club with real ambition. Last year they came second. I talked with the Coach and he expressed the ambitions he had and showed a real will to win. I want to contribute to a team that will win the League. I faced Totti several teams, the first when I was 19, 20. He was extraordinary. He’s a god here. I’m sure we’ll have a good chat soon,” said the former Arsenal defender after signing the contract.
Colombian forward James Rodriguez says that they will not be feeling any pressure ahead of the World Cup quarter-final match with Brazil. Colombia managed to overcome one Latin American team in the form of Uruguay to reach the quarter-finals of the competition. Their progression in the tournament so far has been hugely helped by the form of James Rodriguez, who at 22 years of age is looking like a star in the making. He has scored five goals and is leading scorer in the tournament, when he has also contributed through assists as well.
Brazil will be providing the toughest test for Colombia so far in this tournament. As the hosts of the World Cup and one of the strongest teams in the world, Brazil will be considered as favourites to win the match. However, the odds have been slightly shifted after the latest round of last 16 matches. Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team struggled to find a way past Chile in the last 16 match. The only narrowly scraped through after a penalty shootout win. The prospect of having to come up against another South American team will be viewed with dissatisfaction amongst the Brazilian players.
Colombia have been a surprise package and Rodriguez feels that they can continue this form going into the quarter-finals as well. “Obviously, we have to watch Brazil closely. They have very good players and they play good football, but they’ll have to watch us closely as well. There’s no pressure, we have good players and we can be dangerous. I think it’s going to be a beautiful match. I only want to help the team. I’m playing at a good level. We’re scoring goals and I’m happy because of that,” said the 22-year-old forward who moved to Monaco last summer. He is valued at more than £ 30 million.
Sky Sports has launched a dedicated channel for European football coverage. Sky Sports 5 will be coming along with the package without any extra cost. This will be providing the user with all forms of European football like Euro 2016 qualifying matches, Champions League, Spanish league, and Copa del Rey along with the numerous of the matches as well. For the first time, British users will be able to watch the Dutch Eredivisie on Sky Sports 5. The channel intends to show matches involving top teams like Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven, Ajax, and FC Twente.
Sky Sports has been facing intense competition from BT sports in recent months. BT sports recently managed to get the rights for the Champions League from the next season onwards. In order to cope with the extra pressure, sky see this new channel as an alternative. It remains to be seen how they will schedule the matches once the Champions League rights go away to BT sports. The competition between these two giants has seen television money increase rapidly. Premier League clubs recently registered a huge increase in the television money compared to last season.
Even the team that finished bottom of the table got £ 60 million and in addition to the parachute payments that they will receive over the next four years. “Sky Sports 5 takes our unrivalled live football coverage to the next level offering more European football than ever before. There’s never been a better time to be a Sky Sports customer and with two years’ free totally unlimited broadband, we offer the ultimate package for sports fans,” said the managing director of Sky Sports. “Sky Sports 5 will offer all the drama and excitement that European football has to offer and I’ll certainly be gripped,” said brand ambassador David Beckham about the new channel.
Despite finishing bottom of the table, it has been revealed that Cardiff city have earned more television money than former champions Manchester United did last season. For winning the Premier league title last campaign, Manchester United received just over £ 60 million in television revenue. This has been just overtaken by Cardiff, who finished bottom of the table this campaign. Figures released by the Premier league show that football on TV has become more popular than ever. Cardiff managed to pocket £ 62.1 million in the season.
This would be of major influence to them next season as they aim to come back to the Premier league in the first instance. This television money will be significantly greater than that enjoyed by the championship clubs against whom they will be competing next season. Cardiff were not the only team to enjoy record revenues from the television companies. The new Premier league deal, which is just over £ 3 billion for a three-year period, has also helped the top clubs record incredible turnovers as well.
Liverpool were the biggest winners because of this deal as they pocketed £ 42.7 million more than they did last season. In fact, they have managed to finish the season with more television money than champions Manchester City because of being shown as part of three more live games.
Liverpool had the most televised appearances last season, as they made an incredible 28 live games. This was primarily due to the title challenge, which went down to the last day of the season. Liverpool failed to win any major trophy, but they will now be able to enjoy even more revenue when they take part in the Champions League group stages next season. Chelsea are the second highest earners with an increase of £ 39.1 million compared to last season.
There are a few weeks remaining until the Premier League concludes and even more until the transfer window re-opens in a few months but clubs are already setting their sights for potential arrivals who could arrive.
Stoke City has enjoyed a reasonably well season as they are in the middle section of the Premier League standings which is a significant improvement from the previous season in which they were only a few points away from being relegated.
Mark Hughes is hopeful that in the next campaign Stoke City will do even better and he has a few players in his wish-list hoping to sign in order to fulfill his expectations.
Wolfsburg’s Ivica Olic is a high-profile player that Hughes is pursuing as the 510 years old coach revealed some details regarding Olic and their situation.
‘’He is a quality player and somebody I have met on a few occasions, and I really like him. He has played at the top level for the duration of his career, he possesses incredible pace and he is technically very, very good’’.
‘’We have to give the guy time to make the decision that he feels is right. It isn’t dead in the water yet – he just needs time to make what will be a key decision for him’’ Hughes said as he spoke to the media.
Mark Hughes also went on speaking about Stephen Ireland who had signed a permanent deal with Stoke City a few days ago. Ireland joined Stoke City on September of 2013 but it wasn’t until recently that he decided to join the Premier League club on a long-lasting basis. Continue reading →
Everton defender Leighton Baines has revealed that the club are looking to win the FA Cup for the first time in recent times. Everton have not won a major trophy since the days of David Moyes. The arrival of Roberto Martinez, though, has heralded a new enthusiasm within the club. They have been able to sustain a challenge for the top four positions for most of the season. After having qualified for the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, Everton have set a target of going one better than in recent seasons and actually winning the trophy itself.
The best Everton managed in the last two decades has been reaching the final of the competition when they lost to Chelsea a few years ago. Baines has admitted that the Arsenal match will pose a huge test for the club, but it is one that were planning to come out on the successful side. The England international also says that it is certainly time that the club deserved some success in terms of trophies. Everton have been one of the well-run clubs in England over the years. They have been in the top flight for most of the history.
Everton’s recent visit to the Emirates stadium ended in a 1-1 draw with the gunners.
“You would be a fool to look too far beyond that but there is no denying that we want to win a trophy. We want that in the dressing room and, ultimately, that is the aim. We know the task is a big one but you have to set yourselves targets and that is one of them. We don’t speak about it among ourselves in great detail, but we are all conscious of it. We all know. A lot of us have been here a long time and we know what it means to this football club,” said Baines.
Manchester United could thank the incredible popularity of football on TV for the rise in the second-quarter revenues. The club posted an 11% increase due to better commercial and broadcasting revenue. Manchester United have been going through a tough period since the start of the season.
The appointment of David Moyes to replace Sir Alex Ferguson has not worked exactly to plan. The club find themselves seventh in the table with only 13 matches remaining. Since they trail fourth placed Liverpool by nine points already, they cannot afford any more slipups. Continue reading →
Even at his 37 years of age Francesco Totti is regarded as one of the best players in Serie A even receiving praise from As.Roma’s manager Rudi Garcia who said that the Italian veteran sets the example to his teammates both on and off the pitch.
“I can say that Totti is a simple man, humble,” he told reporters. “He’s never skipped training, he’s never asked for special treatment even though he’s 37. He’s the kind of guy that loves football that is always available. Maybe he’s not a leader in the dressing room. He’s not one of those that shout to motivate the troops but he is appreciated by his team-mates because he’s an intelligent guy.
“And then he’s an example on the field. Having seen him, I said that he’s not only a great player, but he’s simply one of the greatest players in the history of football.”
Totti is a one man club just like Ryan Giggs and Paolo Maldini as they represent everything what their respective club represents. The coach of Italy, Cesare Prandelli said that he would like to have the star of As.Roma available for him during the 2014 World Cup in what probably will be his last one.
Prandelli said: “Before his injury, Totti did great things and proved he deserves a call-up. Then he stopped and is now getting ready for his comeback. We’ll see how it goes, as I am keeping Totti under very close observation.
“I am great friends with Francesco. Before the injury he was playing at a stratospheric level and someone like him always makes the difference. Personally, I would take him to the World Cup.” Prandelli spoke to Sport Mediaset
Totti picked up an injury during As.Roma’s match against Napoli back in October but made a substitute appearance when they battled it out against Ac.Milan and now is getting back to his usual self in the pitch.