‘No Liverpool player would make Real Madrid’s team’ – Del Bosque

‘No Liverpool player would make Real Madrid’s team’ – Del Bosque

The former Blancos manager is supremely confident his old team will beat Jurgen Klopp's men in this weekend's Champions League final Former Real Madrid manager Vicente Del Bosque insists that no Liverpool player would get into Los Blancos' team as the two sides prepare to face off in this weekend's Champions League final. The Reds defeated Roma to reach the showpiece in Kiev, while Real overcame Bayern Munich in the last four . Both sides have been in exciting, swashbuckling form in Europe, with the Reds scoring 17 goals in just six knockout fixtures, and Real hitting 13. 'READY FOR RONALDO' - LOVREN & LIVERPOOL LOOKING FEARLESS AHEAD OF 'DREAM' FINAL MORE TO REAL MADRID THAN JUST RONALDO - ROBERTSON Mohamed Salah has inspired Liverpool's superb run to the final, scoring 10 goals in 12 appearances in Europe's premier club competition, but Del Bosque does not believe the Egypt international would make Zinedine Zidane's starting XI. Indeed, the 67-year-old, who won the Champions League and La Liga twice apiece...
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Zidane – Real as desperate as ever to win the Champions League

Zidane – Real as desperate as ever to win the Champions League

Zinedine Zidane has told Liverpool his Real Madrid team are hungrier than ever to win the Champions League, despite clinching the title in three of the last four years. Real are gunning for an unprecedented third consecutive success in the competition on Saturday while Liverpool have reached the final for the first time since 2007. “No one can tell us we are less hungry,” Zidane said. “I can’t speak for our opponents but we want to stress we will always have the same motivation, the same as always, no one can tell us we are less hungry than the rest. “We are Madrid and despite what we have, we always want more, and we will give everything to get even better.” Real’s experience at the deep end of the Champions League dwarfs that of this Liverpool team, who do not have a single player to have made it this far before. Zidane also has his own personal achievements to draw upon, having won the most...
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Bale can make difference in Champions League final, says Giggs

Bale can make difference in Champions League final, says Giggs

Wales manager Ryan Giggs has warned Liverpool that Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale can make the difference in the Champions League final. Bale is not certain to start Saturday’s showdown in Kiev, despite scoring five goals in four La Liga games for the reigning European champions. But Wales manager Giggs said the 28-year-old has the right mindset to make a decisive contribution from the bench, if that is the role given to him by manager Zinedine Zidane. “Every time Gareth plays he makes an impact,” said Giggs. “It just shows the professional he is that he’s not sulking (when he’s a substitute) as he always seems to come on and score. “He’s one of the best players in the world and every time he comes on to that pitch he makes a difference. Again that’s a credit to his professionalism, his hunger and desire to get in the team for that final.” A 13th European title for Real on Saturday would see Bale equal the...
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Perez double condemns woeful Chelsea to Europa League

Perez double condemns woeful Chelsea to Europa League

Chelsea’s failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League was confirmed as they completed a disappointing Premier League campaign by collapsing to a dismal 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United on Sunday. In what is widely expected to be Chelsea manager Antonio Conte’s final league game in charge, Ayoze Perez scored twice after Dwight Gayle’s opener, and the below-par Blues had to settle for finishing fifth. That condemns them to a place in the less prestigious Europa League next season. Victory at St James’ Park allied to a final-day defeat for Liverpool would have seen Chelsea snatch fourth, and while they failed in their task, it was rendered academic as Jurgen Klopp’s Champions League finalists ran out comfortable winners against Brighton. Conte’s side still have the incentive of silverware to play for when they face Manchester United in the FA Cup final next Saturday. But they go into that game with a continuing question mark over their Italian coach following their failure to qualify for Europe’s...
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Top-four finish “perfect” preparation for Champions League final – Klopp

Top-four finish “perfect” preparation for Champions League final – Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes he can now enjoy the “perfect” preparation for the Champions League final after Liverpool confirmed their spot in next year’s competition with a 4-0 rout of Brighton. Led by Mohamed Salah’s record-breaking 32nd Premier League goal of the season, Liverpool’s victory at Anfield on Sunday secured fourth place, five points clear of Chelsea, who failed to apply any pressure in losing 3-0 at Newcastle. Liverpool face Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Kiev on May 26, but can rest at ease that a return to the competition is not dependent on beating the Spanish giants. And Klopp is now hopeful an injury-hit Liverpool squad can rest up to be at their best in Ukraine. “Some people have asked me if two weeks is too long and I say: ‘no, it is perfect’,” Klopp said. “That is for us like a little pre-season to the game. Everyone can imagine the boys need a bit of rest. “This was the perfect...
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Conte warns Chelsea flops to shape up ahead of Cup final

Conte warns Chelsea flops to shape up ahead of Cup final

Antonio Conte claims Chelsea have no chance of an FA Cup final victory over Manchester United unless they improve quickly after questioning the desire of his players. The Italian has demanded a vast improvement after a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle on Sunday ended a disappointing Premier League season which has seen last year’s title winners fail to qualify for the Champions League. Conte’s side have a chance to atone for a below-par fifth-place finish which condemned them to a place in next season’s Europa League — when they face United at Wembley on May 19. In what is widely expected to be Conte’s last game in charge as Chelsea come up against former manager Jose Mourinho, the 48-year-old acknowledged his side need to up their levels in all departments to have any hope of clinching the trophy for the first time since 2012. “We wanted to end the season in the best possible way, but we can do better than this,” he said. “For that,...
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Kane fires Spurs into Champions League as Chelsea’s charge falters

Kane fires Spurs into Champions League as Chelsea’s charge falters

Harry Kane fired Tottenham Hotspur into next season’s Champions League as Chelsea faltered in a 1-1 draw at home to Huddersfield on Wednesday that secured survival for the Terriers. A point for Huddersfield also ensures Swansea will join West Brom and Stoke in being relegated to the Championship barring a 10-goal swing in goal difference between the Welsh side and Southampton on the final day of the season on Sunday. At the other end of the table, only defeat for Champions League finalists Liverpool at home to Brighton at the weekend will give Chelsea any chance of a top-four finish as their late season charge came undone at Stamford Bridge. Spurs capitalised on Chelsea’s slip-up to ensure they will have Champions League football for a third consecutive campaign when they move into a new 62,000 capacity stadium next season. “For the club (it) is a massive thing to move to the new stadium and play Champions League,” said Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino. Tottenham had won...
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Guardiola, Pochettino ‘happy’ Ferguson is out of intensive care

Guardiola, Pochettino ‘happy’ Ferguson is out of intensive care

Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino said they were delighted that former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is out of intensive care following surgery on a brain haemorrhage. United announced on Wednesday that Ferguson no longer needed intensive care following his emergency operation at the weekend and would continue rehabilitation as an inpatent. “His family have been overwhelmed by the level of support and good wishes but continue to request privacy as this will be vital during this next stage of recovery,” said a statement from the club. Before the club issued their update about the 76-year-old’s condition, current boss Jose Mourinho spoke positively about his hopes for Ferguson’s recovery. Gestures of support continue for the Scot, who retired in 2013 after guiding United to 13 Premier League titles as well as five FA Cups and the Champions League twice. United are reportedly considering a gesture of support for Ferguson at their final Premier League match of the season, at home to Watford on Sunday. Tottenham manager...
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Dembele edges Barca closer to unbeaten season as Real Madrid loses

Dembele edges Barca closer to unbeaten season as Real Madrid loses

Ousmane Dembele scored twice as Barcelona thrashed Villarreal 5-1 on Wednesday and edged closer to their first ever unbeaten season in La Liga. But Real Madrid slipped to their only league defeat since February as a heavily-rotated side lost 3-2 away at Sevilla. Lionel Messi volleyed in a sumptuous pass from Andres Iniesta at Camp Nou to put Barca three up at half-time after Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho had scored one apiece in the first 16 minutes. The second period, however, belonged to Dembele, who capped an excellent individual display with two goals after the Frenchman’s sensational run had also earlier set up Coutinho. Villarreal managed a consolation when Pablo Fornals’ shot deflected in off Nicola Sansone but any fears Ernesto Valverde’s side would feel the effects of Sunday’s ‘Clasico’ proved unfounded. The league leaders moved 15 points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top while Villarreal stay sixth. The Yellow Submarine are only three points ahead of Sevilla, however, who climbed back into the Europa...
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Dembele edges Barca closer to unbeaten season as Real Madrid loses

Dembele edges Barca closer to unbeaten season as Real Madrid loses

Ousmane Dembele scored twice as Barcelona thrashed Villarreal 5-1 on Wednesday and edged closer to their first ever unbeaten season in La Liga. But Real Madrid slipped to their only league defeat since February as a heavily-rotated side lost 3-2 away at Sevilla. Lionel Messi volleyed in a sumptuous pass from Andres Iniesta at Camp Nou to put Barca three up at half-time after Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho had scored one apiece in the first 16 minutes. The second period, however, belonged to Dembele, who capped an excellent individual display with two goals after the Frenchman’s sensational run had also earlier set up Coutinho. Villarreal managed a consolation when Pablo Fornals’ shot deflected in off Nicola Sansone but any fears Ernesto Valverde’s side would feel the effects of Sunday’s ‘Clasico’ proved unfounded. The league leaders moved 15 points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top while Villarreal stay sixth. The Yellow Submarine are only three points ahead of Sevilla, however, who climbed back into the Europa...
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