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05-16-2018, 09:46 AM

'God chose De Gea in goal and Messi on the pitch' - Herrera



Ander Herrera has put Manchester United team-mate David de Gea in the same bracket as Lionel Messi, stating that God chose both stars to play in their respective positions.

De Gea once again stood out across the 2017-18 Premier League season and was crowned the fans' Player of the Year for a fourth time.In addition, he also scooped the Premier League's Golden Glove award after keeping 19 clean sheets throughout United's domestic campaign.

And Herrera believes that it is a special innate talent that allows his countryman to consistently perform at the level only achievable by the very best in the game.“For me, David is the best by far,” he told The Big Interview.“I think he has something that comes from God – God chose him in the goal and chose Messi on the pitch.

“You cannot train what he did against Liverpool. You cannot train what he did against Kun Aguero when he was two metres in front of him and he put his hand out.“He's really good - you can see when he receives the ball he knows always what to do.

“He has some special abilities that I think he hasn’t trained them, because you cannot train them, you just have them.”Manchester United are next in action against Chelsea on Saturday as two of England's heavyweights go head-to-head in the FA Cup final. Kick off is at 5.15pm UK time.
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05-16-2018, 09:49 AM

Arteta in pole position to land Arsenal job as Gunners begin major staff overhaul



Mikel Arteta has emerged as Arsenal's primary target to become the club's new manager.

The former Gunners midfielder, who currently works under Pep Guardiola as a coach at Manchester City , is now the frontrunner for the post after Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri all but removed himself from the running.Allegri and Arteta were seen as the two leading contenders ahead of Arsene Wenger's final match in charge on Sunday, but it is now felt that it would be extremely difficult to tempt the former away from Turin.

Instead focus is now firmly on Arteta, with chief executive Ivan Gazidis and head of football relations Raul Sanllehi - who has in turn warned the club off Luis Enrique following their time together at Barcelona - both now keen to appoint the 36-year-old.The potential appointment of Arteta is likely to signal the arrival of a whole new backroom staff at the Emirates Stadium, with stalwarts such as Steve Bould and Jens Lehmann unsure if they will be stay on under the new regime despite being told they still have a future at the club.

Should they depart they would follow the likes of Colin Lewin out of the door, with the club's head of medical services having seen his 23-year tenure at the club ended on Monday among a swathe of changes to the club's support staff.Players have been left particularly shocked by the departure of Lewin, with a number of the squad particularly close to the 44-year-old.

Such sweeping changes are part of an overhaul being overseen by Gazidis in the wake of Wenger's exit following 22 years in charge of the north London outfit.Gazidis himself has moved into a new office at the club's Colney training ground in a bid to mirror the approach taken by continental clubs and is actively looking to add a younger, potentially female face to the club's board.

He will also play a major role in the club's recruitment process alongside Sanllehi, head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and Wenger's replacement.
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UEFA Europa League Final 2018.05.16 - 05-17-2018, 01:13 AM

UEFA Europa League Final 2018.05.16

Half Time

Marseille 0 Vs 1 Atletico Madrid
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05-17-2018, 01:15 AM

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05-17-2018, 02:24 AM

Full Time

Marseille 0 Vs 3 Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid Goal(s)

A Griezmann 21',49'
G.Fernández 89'
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05-17-2018, 02:26 AM

Atletico Madrid are the Europa League Winners 2018!

Congratulations Atletico Madrid!

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05-17-2018, 10:39 AM

Marseille 0 Atletico Madrid 3: Griezmann nets double to seal Europa League glory



Antoine Griezmann scored twice as Atletico Madrid won the Europa League with a 3-0 victory over Marseille in Lyon on Wednesday.

The France international has been persistently linked with a move away from the Wanda Metropolitano, with Barcelona reported to be among his biggest admirers.But if this season is to be his last with the club, Griezmann produced the perfect parting gift at the Groupama Stadium.A Marseille error opened the door for the forward to put Atleti in front after 21 minutes, before a delightful finish doubled the advantage for Diego Simeone's men early in the second half.

The Ligue 1 outfit had started brightly but had their momentum checked by Griezmann's opener, and an injury to captain Dimitri Payet before the break came as a further blow to their hopes.Their best chance to pull a goal back came 10 minutes from time, when substitute Kostas Mitroglou headed against the post, but Gabi wrapped up the victory with one minute remaining.

Atleti's win secures a third Europa League triumph, pulling them level with Juventus, Inter and Liverpool behind five-time winners Sevilla on the competition's roll of honour.


The lingering smoke of flares hung over the opening stages, and Jan Oblak will have been thankful to see Valere Germain lift an effort over after emerging from the clouds to run on to a Payet throughball in the fourth minute.As the haze started to lift, Simeone – watching from the stands thanks to a touchline ban – will have seen his side continuing to come under pressure from a Marseille side who looked lively.

But it only took one Marseille mistake for the Spanish side to snatch an undeserved lead.A calamitous touch from Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa allowed Gabi to play the ball through for Griezmann, who slotted a simple finish beyond Steve Mandanda.Lucas Ocampos sent a looping header just over from a free-kick after 24 minutes, but more bad fortune would soon follow for Marseille.

Payet, who touched the trophy as he walked onto the field before kick-off, limped off in tears after having recovered from a muscle injury to make the starting XI.

The loss of their skipper sucked some of the life from Marseille's previously spirited display and Griezmann's second, four minutes after the restart, felt like being the match winner.Koke released the 27-year-old into the box and he lifted the ball over Mandanda to double his side's lead.And after the post denied Mitroglou when he got on the end of Morgan Sanson's cross, any faint Marseille hopes looked to be over.

Gabi made absolutely sure of Atletico's sixth trophy under Simeone with a strike from the right side of the penalty area, as Koke claimed his second assist, and the departing Fernando Torres was then brought on for a glorious swansong in stoppage time.
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05-17-2018, 10:41 AM

Atletico CEO Gil Marin: Griezmann can become a great here or be forgotten elsewhere


Antoine Griezmann must decide whether he wants to make history at Atletico Madrid or join a club where he will never do so, according to chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin.

Linked with an off-season move to La Liga champions Barcelona, Griezmann was the hero for Atletico on Wednesday as his brace secured a 3-0 win over Marseille and the Europa League trophy.It may have been Griezmann's parting gift amid Barca's interest in the France international forward, who opted to remain in Madrid for the 2017-18 season despite Manchester United's efforts to lure the 27-year-old to the Premier League.

Asked about man-of-the-match Griezmann following Atletico's third Europa League triumph, Gil Marin told Cadena SER : "It will depend on his feelings more than anything else.

"If he wants to make history at Atletico Madrid where everything revolves around him or go to a club where he will never enter history."Contracted to Atletico until 2022, Griezmann – who has won two trophies since arriving from Real Sociedad in 2014 – was in no mood to discuss his future after the clash in Lyon .

Gil Marin, however, added: "If he decides that he does not want to continue with us, we have to respect his decision."I am not optimistic or pessimistic. I do not know what will happen, it is not a decision for him to say after the final."

Gil Marin also hit out at Spanish rivals Barca once again amid their public pursuit of Griezmann.Atletico have already slammed Barca for "an absolute lack of respect" in their attempts to prise Griezmann to Camp Nou after Luis Suarez suggested a deal to sign the Frenchman was a formality.

Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu also claimed he met with Griezmann's representatives last October."It does not make sense what they are doing," Gil Marin said. "After the statement, Bartomeu has not answered me."
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05-17-2018, 10:41 AM

'This cup has to be mine' - Neymar hungry for World Cup success in Russia


Brazil star Neymar spoke of his hunger to lead the nation to World Cup success in Russia.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward , 26, is on the comeback trail from a broken foot , less than a month out from the start of the showpiece event.Neymar is desperate to help Brazil – one of the favourites for the tournament – to their first World Cup title since 2002.

"What inspires me the most is playing football. Being inside the field is my greatest joy," he told Desimpedidos in a Facebook interview."The World Cup is the biggest championship in the world, I just want to play and be a champion. This cup has to be mine."

Tite's men have been drawn with Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E, with their first outing on June 17. Having been sidelined since February, Neymar said he was slowly nearing a return."I've already started to train with the ball, I felt good, comfortable," he said.

"Of course I had a little fear, but I'm slowly coming back." Brazil and Neymar will also be looking to erase the taste of failure from the 2014 World Cup, when the side were throttled 7-1 by Germany in the semi-final on their home soil.
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05-17-2018, 10:42 AM

'It is a fantastic ending' - Torres thrilled to fulfil childhood dream with Europa League final win


Fernando Torres says Atletico Madrid's victory in the Europa League final on Wednesday represented the realisation of a childhood dream.

Atleti triumphed 3-0 over Marseille in Lyon to win a sixth trophy under Diego Simeone.However, it was a first piece of major silverware with the club for Torres, despite having spent 11 seasons as a Rojiblancos player across two spells.

In what could well be his final appearance for Atleti as he prepares to leave at the end of the season, former Liverpool and Chelsea striker Torres was introduced in place of two-goal hero Antoine Griezmann in the 90th minute."Winning with Atletico was a dream I had as a child and it has become a reality," he said.

"Being part of this group is amazing, this is just the beginning of something very big.
"For me it is a fantastic ending. I'm going to be grateful to this team always."Atleti captain Gabi, scorer of the third goal, added that Torres deserved the honour "more than most".

"This cup has given us a lot," he commented. "Torres deserves it more than most - there's no better way to say goodbye to Atleti."
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