Manuel Neuer Responds to Marc-André ter Stegen Outburst Over Lack of Germany Playing Time

?Manuel Neuer has insisted goalkeepers must ‘stick together’ following recent comments from Marc-Andre ter Stegen complaining about a lack of playing time with the German national team.

Despite featuring every week for Barcelona, Ter Stegen finds himself as second choice with Die Mannschaft, as stalwart Neuer is chosen ahead of his teammate by manager Joachim Löw. Despite making his Germany debut in 2012, since the 27-year-old has only made 22 appearances due to the immense form of his compatriot.

The most recent outing for the duo came during the recent international break, with the ?Bayern Munich stopper getting the nod over ?Ter Stegen in both the defeat to Netherlands and subsequent win over Northern Ireland. That prompted some questionable comments from the ?Blaugrana goalkeeper, who hinted at a potential exit from the national side if things didn’t improve.

“It drives me a bit mad. You give the best of yourself and you aren’t where you want to be,” he ?said. “I have established my priorities. I want to be successful and the big objective I have is to be the first choice keeper for my country.”

Those comments prompted a response from the more senior figure of Neuer, who insisted that his fellow countryman must think of the team in such instances, with unity the key to success no matter who plays in between the sticks.

“I think he’s a good keeper and he is performing well, but I’m not sure if that helps us,” Neuer told Sky, via ?Marca.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen,Manuel Neuer

“We are a team and should present ourselves as such. We have great goalkeepers. We have Kevin Trapp, Bernd Leno… these are all great goalkeepers who also want to play and then sit on the bench. We are a team. We have to stick together. The goalkeepers also have to stick together.”

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David Beckham’s Inter Miami ‘Step Up’ Pursuit of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi

Since the transfer window closed and killed dead any concrete transfer speculation, ?Lionel Messi’s hypothetical Barcelona exit has become one of the major stories in European football. 

But while we had previously had no word on where he may actually go if and when he decided to call time, with vague suggestions he could join Andres Iniesta in Japan or head to MLS, reports have now boldly named David Beckham’s Inter Miami as a potential destination. 

Beckham’s new franchise will make their debut in the 2020 season which gets underway in March, and their squad is still in the embryonic stages of its development, with just four players announced as having signed – most recently Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder David Norman. 

They are yet to add any marquee stars to their ranks ahead of their debut campaign, and while it’s reasonable to expect them to venture into Europe to recruit one or two big names, ?the Sun say that Beckham is eyeing the coup of all coups, and wants to take advantage of the reported clause in Messi’s contract that will ?allow him to leave on a free as of next summer. 

Yep, that’s the same Messi who is currently second favourite for the Ballon d’Or, after a season that saw him score 51 goals in 50 appearances. 

Regardless of the facts, the report pushes ahead with claims that Beckham desperately wants to make the move happen, and wants to bring Messi in for the start of the next MLS season in March – when Barcelona will hope to be firmly in the throws of a Messi-inspired Champions League campaign. 

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If interest does come to fruition, then it may all hinge on how keen Messi is to secure a move away from his beloved Barcelona. 

But let’s be real – an MLS move would make no sense while the Argentine is at the peak of his powers. Try this one again in a few years’ time. 

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Barcelona 5-2 Valencia: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Brilliant Ansu Fati Puts on a Show

?Barcelona thumped a rather tepid Valencia side 5-2 to get their second win of the season, and pile more misery on a struggling team in the midst of a managerial crisis.

A Lionel Messi-less Barca certainly didn’t look like they were missing him, with two goals inside the first 10 minutes, which was a major hammer blow to Valencia.

16-year-old Ansu Fati emphatically side-footed home the first goal from a Frenkie de Jong cross, and the youngster returned the favour for the Dutchman with a brilliant assist four minutes later.

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Valencia hit back soon after, with Kevin Gameiro poking home after a VAR check.

However, Gerard Pique restored Barca’s two goal cushion in the second half after former Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen fumbled Antoine Griezmann’s shot.

?Luis Suarez was soon after subbed on for the brilliant Fati, and scored with practically his first touch – a fantastic finessed finish into the near post. He then doubled his goal tally with around five minutes left with a near post strike that, in truth, Cillessen should probably have done better with again.


In the dying embers of the game, substitute Maxi Gomez managed to score his first goal for the club and, although it was simply just a consolation, it may give the forward some confidence going into a crucial couple of games for Valencia.

Without Messi, Barca have now shown in consecutive game weeks that they can cope without him in these games, while Valencia know that despite being outclassed by a brilliant Barcelona, they were no where near good enough, and have some serious thinking to do.


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?Key Talking Point

Much of the talk before the game was about wonder kid Ansu Fati; and boy did he deliver. The winger scored in Barca’s last game, and today he upped the ante.

He was electric, constantly causing problems for Valencia, and even managed to grab a goal and assist.

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He looks the real deal, and if he continues to perform this way, then ?Barcelona have something seriously special. 

Lionel Messi who?


Player Ratings

Starting XI: ter Stegen (6); Semedo (5), Pique (7), Lenglet (6), Alba (6); Arthur (7), Busquets (7), de Jong (8); Perez (6), Griezmann (8); Fati (9*)

Subs: Suarez (8), Rakitic (6), Vidal (6)


STAR MAN

Yup. You guessed it. Ansu Fati. This felt like a huge game for the youngster, as he seemingly announced himself to the world.

I’ve already heaped enough praise on Fati. It’s early days of course, and he needs to follow up this exhilarating performance to prove he’s not just a one game wonder. 





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?Key Talking Point

There’s only one place to start: the shock sacking of Marcelino Garcia Toral – the man who bought solidarity to Valencia and a first trophy in 11 years – threw the club into crisis.

There had been a problem stewing for a while, and with the appointment of Albert Celades, Valencia’s season faces the threat of going from bad to worse.

Jose María Sanchez Martinez

The mauling they received at the hands of Barca won’t be the biggest disappointment; he manner of it was the largest problem. There was simply nothing – at all – good about the performance. 

Celades needs to find a way to turn this around, and fast.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Cillessen (4); Wass (5), Gabriel (5), Garay (5), Gaya (5); Torres (5), Coquelin (7), Parejo (5), Guedes (5); Gameiro (7*), Rodrigo (6).

Subs: Lee Kangin (5), Cheryshev (6), Gomez (7).


STAR MAN

Kevin Gameiro was definitely the best player on the pitch for Valencia. His all-round game was brilliant and he was constantly a huge thorn in Barca’s side during the game.

His hold up play was impressive, and his good performance included a tidy finish into the bottom corner.

The Frenchman is a fine striker, and will cause a lot of problems to many a La Liga defence this season.




Looking Ahead

Barcelona needed this win. They picked up just the one win from their first three games, and needed a boost going into their Champions League fixture against Borussia Dortmund.

?They take on Granada next week and will be looking to get their La Liga campaign really up and running with back to back victories. They will likely be without ?Messi once again, but they have an in-form Fati in his absence.

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A loss to Barcelona isn’t the end of the world for Valencia, but with all the chaos of losing their manager, they really need to get a positive result as soon as possible.

Valencia take on a flying Chelsea and Tammy Abraham in midweek, and know they face an uphill task in that game.

It’s set to be a tough week for Valencia.

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Neymar: PSG Fans Call Brazilian Star a ‘Son of a B***h’ During Return for French Side

?Neymar made his return for Paris Saint-Germain in Saturday’s game against Strasbourg, but the Brazilian star received anything but a warm welcome from the Parisian supporters, as they chanted ‘Neymar, son of a b***h’ at the Parc des Princes.  

The 27-year-old made it clear that he intended to leave les Parisiens this summer, and the French side were in talks with Barcelona over a potential move to Camp Nou. 

The deal never materialised however, and Neymar was left with little option than to play for PSG – at least until January. 

The Brazil international has not been welcomed back with open arms by the PSG faithful however, as ?Get French Football News tweeted a video of supporters singing ‘?Neymar, hijo de p**a. 

The PSG faithful sang their insults in Spanish to make their feelings truly known to the Brazilian star, their song translating to ‘Neymar, son of a b***h’.

Their anger didn’t stop there, as they then booed every touch that their want-away star took, during the French champions’ disappointing first half against Strasbourg. 

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It is unlikely that Neymar’s long-term future remains in France, as la Blaugrana are likely to make another bid for the ?ex-Barca player next summer. 

The Spanish giants were very keen to bring Neymar to La Liga, but they could not afford another big signing following the arrival of Antoine Griezmann from ?Atletico Madrid. 

Until the next transfer window opens however, the Brazil international may need to put up with some harsh treatment from his supporters, as he has clearly not earned their forgiveness just yet. 

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Barcelona Launch Super Vibrant Champions League Goalkeeper Kit & Twitter Is Divided

?Barcelona have revealed their new third-choice goalkeeper kit for the 2019/20 season and supporters online were left debating wondering whether it is a piece of art or rubbish.

The strip is made by Nike – who used a similar template on recent Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur shirts – and will be worn during La Blaugrana’s Champions League campaign. The front panel has a multi-coloured graphic that dominates the design, oozing yellow, pink and blue in a style befitting the 1990s. 


The sleeves, collar, shorts and socks of the kit are entirely black. Likewise, the Nike logo and that of sponsors Rakuten are black, whilst inky stripes stretch diagonally across the front of the shirt.

Number one Marc-Andre ter Stegen could debut the kit on Tuesday night as he and his teammates travel to Signal Iduna Park, where they will open their European campaign with a game against ?Borussia Dortmund.

It’s certainly a bold and eye-catching design for ?Barça to go with, which has unsurprisingly divided the fan base. 

A few adored the design and were quick to let social media know…


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However, some of their fellow supporters were less impressed…


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Others just compared it to the works of Pablo Picasso…


But, not everyone is a fan of Cubism…


The kit is available for £74.95 on Barcelona’s official online store, which can be found ?here.

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Barcelona Confirm Samuel Umtiti Injury Diagnosis Following Withdrawl From France Duty

?Barcelona have confirmed that defender Samuel Umtiti is set for at least five weeks on the sidelines as a result of the foot injury which kept him out of international duty with France.

Umtiti missed Les Bleus’ meetings with both Albania and Andorra as he returned to Barcelona for a ?haematoma in his right foot, but no official recovery time was given to begin with.

Samuel Umtiti

However, ?Barcelona have confirmed on their ?official website that, during their treatment of the injury, they have discovered that Umtiti has suffered a small bone fracture in his foot, and he will now miss between five and six weeks of action.

Not only will he miss Saturday’s meeting with Valencia, but he is expected to miss important games against Villarreal and Sevilla, whilst he also remains a doubt for the visit of fierce rivals ?Real Madrid on 27th October.

Umtiti will also have to watch on as Barcelona begin their ?Champions League campaign against ?Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, whilst ?Inter’s visit to Camp Nou on 2nd October will also come too soon for the Frenchman.

For Umtiti, it is a continuation of the struggles which have plagued his Barcelona career. The 25-year-old lost his place in the starting lineup as he battled with a knee injury last season, and there is no chance of him getting that back any time soon.

In his place, fellow Frenchman Clement Lenglet will likely continue to line up alongside ?Gerard Pique, whilst 19-year-old Jean-Clair Todibo could also be handed opportunities to impress in Ernesto Valverde’s side.

Clement Lenglet

La Blaugrana currently sit eighth in ?La Liga, having picked up four points from their opening three games. They have been without a number of attacking stars – ?Lionel Messi, ?Luis Suarez and ?Ousmane Dembele have all been injured – but they now have a defensive injury problem to solve.

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Liverpool Join Barcelona & Real Madrid in Race for Napoli Star Fabian Ruiz

Liverpool have reportedly entered the race for Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz, with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich already circling the Spaniard.

Ruiz, who is a graduate from the Real Betis academy, was snapped up last summer by the Partenopei for €30m, after several high-profile Spanish sides, including Barça, passed up the opportunity to sign him. 

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La Blaugrana also had several chances to sign the Spanish international before that, once for as little as €6m, but passed every time, a fact which has fortified their desire to bring the player to Camp Nou in the coming transfer windows.

However, as reported by Calciomercato, they are now set to face considerable competition from Liverpool for his signature, alongside the already-interested pair of Bayern and Real. 

Ruiz has notched seven goals and three assists in 42 appearances thus far for Carlo Ancelotti’s side, and has a deal with the Italian side until 2023.

Ancelotti and Napoli club president Aurelio de Laurentiis are aligned in their desire to keep the 23-year-old at the Stadio San Paolo, hence why they have already begun talks with the player about a new deal with the club.


Jurgen Klopp, however, is keen to bolster his midfield, with James Milner getting on in years and last year’s summer signing Naby Keita failing to ignite his Anfield career thus far.

And the German will have a chance to scout Ruiz next Tuesday, when his European champions travel to the south of Italy to take on Napoli in the Champions League group stage. Of course, as is a given these days, the Italians will not be willing to let their man leave on the cheap, with a fee of more than €60m already mooted.

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Marc-Andre ter Stegen Claims Lionel Messi ‘Deserves to Choose His Own Future’ Amid Exit Talk

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has stated he believes that teammate Lionel Messi ‘deserves to choose his own future’, following the Argentine’s remarks about his future at the club. 

Messi sowed some seeds of doubt surrounding his future at the Nou Camp on Friday, when he admitted: “Barca is my home. I don’t want to leave, but I want to play in a winning team.”


And, as quoted by Goal, Ter Stegen was quick to come to the Argentine’s defence, affirming that at the end of the day it is Messi’s decision alone to make.

“[Messi] deserves to choose his own future,” he said. “The easiest thing is for us to tell him to stay because he’s a key player for us and his level is so high.

“I’m convinced he’s really happy in the team, at the club and in the city. It’s hard for him to move.

“Personally, I want him to stay, but I don’t decide. We’re going to tell him to stay and we hope he does.”

The club haven’t won the Champions League since 2015, when Neymar was propping up the frontline alongside Messi and Suarez, and after the club failed with a bid to bring the Brazilian back to Barca, the Argentine was also critical of the club’s efforts in this pursuit.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen

However, on that failed transfer, the German said: “It is a question that is currently difficult to answer. ?Neymar is a spectacular player, he spent many years with us and took another step.

“Now nothing can be changed. The club has tried what it could. We are delighted to have the best players in the squad. I’m happy with the team we have.”

Teammate Ivan Rakitic was mooted to be involved in the deal for Neymar, but the keeper has backed the Croatian to bounce back, declaring: “It’s what happens every year.

“In the end, the good thing is that we have people like him who give everything for the club and, personally, I think it is fantastic that he stayed because he gives us a lot of quality.

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“He is one of the pillars of our team as a person and as a footballer. He has a contract for some years and we hope he stays.

“I am not the coach to decide, but I hope he plays a few more minutes – although that is the coach’s decision and he will choose those he thinks can help us more.”

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Paco Alcácer: How Europe’s Most In-Form Goalscorer Is Already Making Barcelona Squirm

Scoring more goals than Marco Reus, Timo Werner and even Luka Jovi? during an initial loan spell in the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund’s Paco Alcácer made a clear statement last season that Barcelona jumped the gun by not giving him a chance to impress in Catalonia.

He made 50 appearances at Barcelona but struggled to play more than 45 minutes during each run-out, spending most of his time as the club’s fourth-choice striker and ultimately leaving with his tail between his legs after not being given the opportunity to shine.

But with nine goals for club and country during the 2019/20 season, Alcácer has established himself as European football’s most in-form striker and he’s already got his sights set on facing Barcelona in Dortmund’s Champions League group stage opener.

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Since moving to the Westfalenstadion last summer, Alcácer has scored 25 goals for Borussia Dortmund and another six for Spain, but it’s not just his individual stats in front of goal which have highlighted a flaw a Barcelona’s cut-throat approach to transfers.

The Spain international is one of the most highly regarded finishers at the highest level of the sport, with his positional play and ability to poach goals inside the area earmarking him as a talent ever since he broke through at Valencia.

But Alcácer isn’t a one-trick pony when it comes to finding ways to get the ball into the back of the net, scoring goals on his weaker left foot (six), in the air (four) and also from direct free-kicks (four), while he’s only scored one penalty since joining Dortmund on 28 August last year.

Alcácer has outscored both Luis Suárez (30) and Antoine Griezmann (27) during the same amount of time too, with many expecting that the best might be yet to come as the 26-year-old enters the prime stages of his career.

Although Alcácer certainly impressed last season, making his €21m price tag (as well as an initial €2m loan fee) look like a massive bargain, he struggled to reach peak fitness during the Hinrunde and at times was left on the bench in favour of Mario Götze.

It’s been a completely different story this season, however, as Alcácer has been one of just two Borussia Dortmund players who have played every single minute of football across all competitions so far, including in the DFL-Supercup.

Paco Alcacer

Alcácer will certainly be looking to add to his four-goal tally this season when domestic action returns against Bayer Leverkusen, but he’ll also be keeping one eye on a reunion with Barcelona in the Champions League on September 17.

He’ll also have the chance to return to Catalonia in November after a doubleheader against Inter, boasting a record of two wins and one defeat as an opposition player at the Camp Nou.

Alcácer might not be able to make an impact against Barcelona until next week, but his performances over the last 13 months have already proved why the Spanish champions were wrong to offload him last year, something which has only been to Borussia Dortmund’s gain.

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Lionel Messi Will Equal Astonishing Raul Champions League Stat if He Scores Against Dortmund

?Every other week it seems like Lionel Messi is breaking a new record, with football fans accustomed to his otherworldly brilliance so much that it has somehow become normal. 

Messi’s career achievements include scoring an astonishing 91 goals for club and country in a calendar year (2012), scoring the all-time most goals in the top five European leagues with 419 and winning the most European Golden Shoe awards with six. 

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However, Champions League records have largely been dominated by ?Cristiano Ronaldo, who has the most goals (126) and assists (39) in the history of the competition, as well as the most competition wins by an individual, with five. 

This season, however, Messi could equal a Champions League record, with ?Barcelona having been drawn against Borussia Dortmund in the group stage. 

Despite an injury making the 32-year-old a doubt for the away tie, Messi has a chance to make his first appearance against the German outfit on 27 November. 

According to Opta, Messi has scored against 32 of the 37 different opponents that he’s faced in the Champions League. Indeed, should he score against ?Dortmund he would equal the record of different teams scored against, set by Raul (33 clubs). 

Although scoring against Dortmund isn’t a straightforward task, Messi makes the extraordinary ordinary, and it would be no surprise whatsoever to see the Argentina captain bag against last season’s Bundesliga runners-up.

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In doing so, Messi would cement himself even further in the history books with yet another footballing record, advancing his claim to being the greatest footballer of all time.

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