Kevin De Bruyne continues to inspire as he sets his sights on achieving his Champions League dream with a two-year European ban over Manchester City
- Kevin De Bruyne desperately wants the Champions add League to his resume
- It may take two years before he can win if Manchester City fails this year
- The club was banned by UEFA for violating their Financial Fair Play rules
- Although the club will contest the ban with the Court of Arbitration for Sport
- Manchester City defeated Leicester 1 -0 and are now focusing on a collision with Real Madrid
If Kevin De Bruyne his career ends without the medal of a Champions League winner, it would be extremely unfair for those who have seen him as a new standard for midfielders in the Premier League.
There have been many such missed opportunities in recent decades: Johan Cruijff made it to the World Cup and Lionel Messi still has to taste the glory in a big tournament with Argentina. Steven Gerrard has been unable to provide a top title since 1990 for Liverpool while Ronaldo's offensive genius – Brazil – was never part of a successful Champions League campaign.
In business De Bruyne is in the same boat as Ronaldo. Manchester City & # 39; s midfield driver at least has time to rectify the situation, but he will be June 29 and will desperately add club football's biggest prize to his resume – especially with a possible two-year ban on the Champions League is above its current club.
The city says they have not violated any rules and will contest the UEFA's punishment at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. But when they approach the Champions League on Wednesday 16, the first match draw against competition specialists Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, the stakes can hardly be higher.
The best players will generally win the biggest prizes, but sometimes simple career choices – sliding door moments – mean that they don't. If De Bruyne had been signed by Madrid instead of City in 2015, he would now have three Champions League winner medals in his pocket.
If a player can help City forget his problems outside the field and drive to unconquered territory, it is De Bruyne. Here in the 1-0 win in Leicester, he was not as spectacular as on other occasions, but there is a ruthlessness in his performance that few others can match.
Although the home team started brighter here and had the breadth of a message away from taking an eighth minute lead by Jamie Vardy, it wasn't long before De Bruyne bent the game to his will.
Drifting in the spaces between his fellow Belgians Dennis Praet and Youri Tielemans, De Bruyne was at the heart of everything, sent full-backs Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy running the flanks or played Bernardo Silva and former Leicester striker Riyad Mahrez in promising positions.
Just before the break, De Bruyne released Sergio Aguero for a glorious broken finish, only for the purpose of being correctly excluded from offside.
De Bruyne slipped into the Leicester box in the beginning of the second half after Youri Tielemans was caught by Rodri, cut in and hit Kasper Schmeichel with a low blow seemed the best in his near post. Somehow the Dane adjusted his balance and kept it out.
When City continued to dominate the possession, De Bruyne played a fantastic back that freed Mendy close to the six-yard box. Again, Leicester's dedicated defense kept the ball out of their goal.
When Aguero missed from the penalty spot after Praet was rightly penalized for handball after a VAR check, City could have been forgiven because he thought this was not the case, he said goodbye.
With players like De Bruyne on the field, however, there is no such thing as a lost cause, not a matter of settling for a draw. Time and again he shot towards Leicester's defense and kept his teammates focused on the cause.
And yes, finally the goal came. Mahrez rushed in from the right flank and let the ball slide to replace Gabriel Jesus, who took the ball early and beat Schmeichel up close.
Real Madrid has the individual talent to do more damage to the city than Leicester, but with De Bruyne in the ranks of City, they will believe they can overcome.
& # 39; It can be quite hostile … we can use it to our advantage & # 39 ;: Wales Lock Jake Ball warns inexperienced side of France that they are ready to take advantage of the Cardiff atmosphere for their Six Nations campaign to get back on track
- Wales is determined to inflict a first defeat against Six Nations 2020 on France
- The visitors to Cardiff have so far been undefeated after the victories of England and Italy
- Wayne Pivac's side would like to have experience counting against young opponents
Les Bleus have been unbeaten in the tournament so far after victories against England and Italy at home.
But since 2010, the Welsh have not lost any more in France in their capital – and since 2017 no-one anymore – so the youngsters of Fabien Galthie warned of a tough test.
Lock Jake Ball said: “It is a great place to play, but it can also be quite hostile and we can use that to benefit or r .
& # 39; They have two home games, two wins, but this is the first away game, so it's the opportunity for us to put them under pressure.
& # 39; When you & # 39; you don't hear the crowd en masse on the field.
& # 39; Sometimes during those important moments of the game, when there is a break in the game, maybe a penalty kick to the corner, you hear it and you feel that energy. There is no doubt that it is an advantage.
& You are extremely proud of playing at home. Every time you put on the shirt, you feel proud and know what it's like when you lose a game, you don't leave the house, it's a terrible feeling.
& # 39; So only the feeling you have to win and the pleasure you get from it is a huge part of why I play the game. & # 39;
Wales only lost back-to-back Six Nations games under Warren Gatland three times, so with the new man Wayne Pivac in the lead they hope to show similar resilience after their loss to Ireland.
& # 39; The core of the team is the same, there have not been many changes, & Ball added.
& # 39; So we all die to have a great win over the weekend and train like that. We had a very good day today and we are being pumped up for France at the weekend. & # 39;
Ethan Ampadu no longer stands out because of his hair, but the talent of Chelsea borrower meant that he appeared when RB conquered Tottenham … Frank Lampard will certainly label him as another young talent for the future
- Ethan Ampadu made his first Champions League start for RB Leipzig on Spurs
- He took the opportunity and impressed when they won the match 1-0
- The Chelsea loan used to have long locks, but had a shorter trim
- It did not stop him from falling out on the field for his talent on Wednesday
Ethan Ampadu never bothered to attract attention to pull. Trademark dreadlocks, huge and bushy, flowing out of his head like inverted tree roots, have always made the teenager stand out even before a ball is kicked.
It is not so easy for him to grab immediate attention. Gone are the dreads, cut off by a famous hairdresser, replaced by a shorter, tighter, trimmed top trim.
Maybe he thought it was time for a change. Switch things on, spark something new. Maybe the chance.
The 19-year-old had not started the Bundesliga competition for RB Leipzig the entire season. He had started more in all competitions for Wales than his club. That was not the intention when he joined Chelsea on the German side in the summer.
You can hardly blame the manager of Leipzig, Julian Nagelsmann. His side is second in the Bundesliga, one point behind Bayern Munich. He has the will of Dayot Upamecano for him. In a 30-minute cameo against Werder Bremen, he won five tackles and all his duels in the air and on the ground. And with injuries that piled up and Upamecano was suspended, Ampadu got his chance to start.
Back in London, from all places. Against Tottenham, the rivals of his parent club, of all opponents. In the Champions League, from all competitions.
A huge opportunity not only at the heart of the defense of Leipzig in their first ever knockout game in the Champions League, but also for his career in Chelsea. Frank Lampard certainly looked seriously at yet another young player who was available to him in the future.
And if he were, he would have liked to see what he saw. Ampadu started in the middle of a back three and was deep in all outfield players in Leipzig. He was composed on the ball and showed the attributes that also thrive in the defensive midfield.
No one on the field had more touches, no one played more passes – almost 100 of them with a completion rate of nearly 95 percent. Most short and tidy, others in midfield. The stranger drives forward with the ball at his feet.
Ampadu is said to be a popular member of the dressing room of Leipzig and has started learning German. Perhaps that is why the youngster sometimes looked like the old pro with his constant applauding, jockeying, and beating teammates when he felt they needed it.
It was from the ball that he bore the most rust. He made a hash of a long, hopeful clearance by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, which made it bounce under pressure from Lucas Moura, and was spared only by the lack of control of the Spurs forward and smart coverage by Marcel Halstenberg.
Not that Ampadu, or the rest of his teammates in Leipzig, were tested too much. The German side dominated the ball, the game and the chances against a tepid, tepid Mourinho outfit.
Ampadu remained focused and, when it came down to it later, stepped out of defense twice to sniff any last reefs of danger while Leipzig secured the victory, a clean slate and the advantage for a place in the quarterfinals . What is it like to stand out?
& # 39; He is one of the greatest players in history & # 39 ;: Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic admits he wants to play with former Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo … but explains teammate Lionel Messi the best in the world [19459003]
And he admits that the prospect of playing alongside Ronaldo is very attractive.
He told Bleacher Report : & Of course I would [want to play with him]. He is also one of the greatest players in history.
& # 39; You enjoy seeing him play and he is doing well in Juventus. & # 39;
Although he would like to join the five-fold Ballon d & # 39; Or, he admits that teammate Lionel Messi is the best player in world football.
& # 39; It's great to play with him – he is special. There have been great players in every age, but I am sure he has been the best in the last 15 years, & Rakitic said.
& # 39; I think he's the best of all time. Six years with him has been incredible. & # 39;
The 31-year-old has had 294 appearances for Barca since he moved from Seville six years ago and won four La Liga titles and the Champions League in 2015.
We also want Jadon! Liverpool is the newest club to sign Sancho from Borussia Dortmund this summer … with a £ 100 million mark on the 19-year-old Manchester City goal
- Borussia Dortmund expected £ 100 million for Jadon Sancho
- Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Man Utd are all interested
- Reds hope that Jurgen Klopp's connections in Dortmund can help them close a deal
Liverpool Premier League leaders have now taken part in the race for the teenager
Liverpool are interested in closing a club record-kit deal with Sancho & # 39; s sponsors Nike, and will hope that manager Jurgen Klopp's ties with Dortmund, which he led for seven years, in their benefit will work in the pursuit of the Londoner.
Jadon Sancho is a sought-after man this summer and Liverpool takes part in the race
JADON SANCHO IN 2019-20
- Performances: 29
- Objectives: 15
- Assists: 17
- Yellow cards: 0
Statistics in all competitions s according to Transfer Market
Sancho is also good friends with Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jordan Henderson. And he's close to Rhian Brewster, on loan to Swansea from Liverpool, the pair who helped England win the World Cup Under 17 in 2017.
Klopp admitted that in January & # 39; very difficult & # 39; would be to his team, but he is also open about his admiration for Sancho.
Klopp spoke to his former club last February for their cunning £ 8m catch of Sancho and said they had an advantage because the great clubs of England rarely do business with each other
He said: & # 39; Buying English players is a smart idea because we would never get the chance to get Sancho. We are not blind – we saw him, we liked him and then we think: "Can we get him?" No, because English clubs do not sell to other English clubs. & # 39;
Since moving to Germany, Sancho has become one of the most exciting young attacking talents of world football and has penetrated Gareth Southgate & # 39; s senior team in England.
He is in excellent shape, with 12 goals and 14 helping this season in only 19 Bundesliga games. Last month he became the youngest player to reach 25 Bundesliga goals.
Meanwhile, Klopp will talk to Mohamed Salah after Egypt has declared that they want to choose him for the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer.
Salah would miss the Liverpool preseason and start the campaign if he were to play in the Olympic football tournament, which runs from July 23 to August 8. The final decision about Salah's involvement is left to the player.
Manchester United and Arsenal & # 39; alert to Bayern Munich want to redeem Corentin Tolisso & # 39; while German giants finance Kai Havertz
Premier League clubs are & # 39; on red alert & # 39; with Bayern Munich ready to cash in on French midfielder Corentin Tolisso.
Manchester United and Arsenal are among the suitors for the World Cup winner and BILD report that Bayern will sanction his exit for a summer movement for Bayer Leverkusen & # 39; s Kai to finance Havertz.
United reportedly issued a loan in January to acquire Tolisso, and the report in Germany is likely to strengthen the Old Trafford club's hopes at the end of the season.
Ju ventus, Napoli and Atletico Madrid are the other teams said to have shown interest in Tolisso.
Tolisso moved from Ligue 1 to the Bundesliga in 2017 for £ 35 million after impressing Lyon.
He played 40 games in the 2017-18 season because he was part of the side that raised the title.
The form of Tolisso remained in the national team while playing a key role in Les Bleus' success in Russia that summer.
But a serious cruciate ligament injury two games in the 2018-19 season put him back and after he had struggled to get back the form he showed on his arrival, Bayern is now allegedly ready to cash in.
Part of their logic could be around the fee needed to sign Leverkusen star Havertz.
The Liverpool goal remains the youngest player in the history of Bundesliga to reach the landmarks of 50 and 100 goals.
Havertz is only 20 and is desirable for managers who look both to the future and to the present, with the playmaker already an integral part of the Leverkusen side.
The 20-year-old has scored 33 goals from 131 games in all competitions for the club.
Arsenal wants Arsene Wenger to return to the club in an effort to encourage new boss Mikel Arteta
- Wenger is reluctant to return after his bitter departure in 2018
- The Frenchman left a year earlier after being chased by angry fans
- His former player Arteta is now in charge after the resignation of Unai Emery
Wenger ended a 22-year reign in Arsenal in 2018, but his successor Unai Emery has already been fired by the Gunners.
The Frenchman, 70 years old, has said he will always be an Arsenal fan but is reluctant to return after his bitter departure.
He left a year before his final contract would expire after being hunted by angry supporters.
Wenger won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, including the Double in 1998 and 2002, during his 22-year reign.
Wenger has since taken on a role at FIFA and the move could help unite the supporters of new manager Arteta.
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho wants to sign Roma winger Cengiz Under & # 39; but will only try to buy him when they reach the Champions League & # 39;
- Tottenham Hotspur wants to strengthen their attack options this summer
- The injury of Harry Kane this term has demonstrated the lack of depth in the front line of Spurs
- Despite Roma, a major player injury season hit Cengiz Under
Jose Mourinho already has began weighing forward movements to bring Hotspur to the summer, Tottenham with Roma star Cengiz Under on his radar.
Under has endured an injury campaign at the Stadio Olimpico, but has still made a strong impression on Mourinho to make him an important target of Spurs.
In the report of the Turkish newspaper Gunes, however, every move for the 22-year-old would only come if Spurs could retain its place in the . Champions League .
Spurs face a fight to stay at the top of Europe the next period with the North London outfit currently four points off rivals Chelsea who are currently the last Champions League position in the Premier League.
Under has hit 16 goals and caught 11 helps in his 82 appearances for Roma since joining them in the summer of 2017 for £ 12 million and has 19 caps for Turkey.
Although his early season was hampered by an arm injury, he has regularly been in a Roma team that also fights to qualify for the Champions Le ague next term.
The team of Paulo Fonseca is fifth in Serie A, but is on a level with points above Atalanta in the race to reach the top four.
Regardless of the result of Tottenham's pressure to reach the top four, Mourinho will be happy to attack the legs of his side for next season.
The injury on New Year's Day by head striker Harry Kane will keep him out for much of the season and it has the North London side looking light despite Steven Bergwijn's January signing.
Son Heung-min has taken over the mantle of the leading front of Spurs line and was on target from the penalty spot on Wednesday night as Tottenham merged into the FA Cup fifth round after a 3-2 win over Southampton over White Hart Lane.
Pep Guardiola wanted to play goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in MIDFIELD, while in Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed
- Pep Guardiola won three Bundesliga titles while being Bayern Munich manager was
- The Spanish coach played Manuel Neuer in the goal as his regular number one
- Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says Guardiola Neuer on wanted to play midfield
And it has now turned out that the Spaniard was considering playing Neuer, known for his excellent ability with the ball at his feet, outfield in a match after the Bundesliga was packed, according to Rummenigge.
Pep Guardiola wanted to play Manuel Neuer in midfield during his time in Bayern Munich
The German international is known as a & # 39; sweeper holder & # 39; but played no outfield
Manuel invented the art of football as a goalkeeper and revolutionized this position, & Rummenigge Bayern & # 39; s official magazine 51 .
& # 39; I still remember how Pep Guardiola, after winning a championship, seriously came up with the idea of putting him in midfield for a game. & # 39;
He goes further and says that he & # 39; would have found it hard to keep Pep from this idea, which some of us could interpret as arrogance.
& # 39; But I am convinced that Manu would also have done well in midfield. & # 39;
Neuer, who came to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2011, has played 365 games for the German giants and has kept 260 clean sheets.
He regularly ventures out of his box to play from the back and acts as a & # 39; sweep keeper & # 39; for club and country, hence Guardiola's willingness to try him in midfield.
However, the decision was made by the club to keep Neuer under control despite the intriguing proposal of Guardiola.
& # 39; My first choice is United … but life goes on & # 39 ;: Nemanja Matic wants to stay in Manchester United when his deal ends in the summer – but admits there are other options without it a new contract takes place
- The 31-year-old is ready to commit his future to Manchester United
- His contract expires in the summer and there have been no talks about new deal
- Matic has started 10 of the last 14 games and has won in victory over Manchester City
Nemanja Matic fears his Manchester United career ends this summer despite enjoying a recent renaissance.
The midfielder's contract expires at the end of the season, although the club has the option to activate a one-year extension.
But Matic, with £ 40 million purchase from Chelsea in 2017, admits there have been no talks about a new deal.
He said to The Sun : My first option is United, but if they decide otherwise, there are solutions.
& # 39; And if not, life goes on. I can't say who's asking for me.
& # 39; But when you play at United, many clubs want to sign you. & # 39;