The Sunderland boss, Gus Poyet, is extremely saddened by the fact that Phil Bardsley left the club this summer.
Bardsley had had altercations with Sunderland hierarchy at the start of the 2013-14 Season and he was sidelined by the club because of that, but, Poyet, after taking charge, brought him back in and the defender responded fantastically well.
His solidity in the deep helped Sunderland pull off some good results in the last couple of months of the season and they ended up escaping demotion to the second tier.
Not only that, Bardsley was a big contributor in the Black Cats’ campaign in the league Cup as well.
So, quite obviously, Sunderland wanted him to sign the extension during the summer, but, the 29-year old refused and preferred to go to Stoke City instead.
That hurt Poyet and rightly so. He had given a new lifeline to the player and thus, he must have expected loyalty from him. But, it wasn’t to be.
This Tuesday, Bardsley will be representing Stoke against Sunderland in a Cup game.
In the press conference ahead of that match, when Poyet was asked if it’s going to be hurtful to see Bardsley featuring for the opposition side, he said, “Yes of course, but, in professional soccer, these things are common.”
“In Bardsley’s case, yes, there is some disappointment. He was fantastic last season coming into the team, but, then, he decided to move away. It happens at times.”
In their first Cup game this season, the Black Cats had beaten Birmingham City by 3-0 at St. Andrews. That match was played on 27th of last month.
Sunderland has not won any game in the Premier League though this season. They have played three draws, but, no win.
The Frenchman Karim Benzema has recently been linked with a move to Liverpool after the Premier League club offloaded their star striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona. The manager of Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers is eager on finding a player in the transfer market that can fill in the gap left by the Uruguayan attacker and now he is setting his sights on Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.
Liverpool is edging towards a move with Loic Remy and Dejan Lovren and Benzema is the latest player to enter the radar of Brendan Rodgers as he is trying to reinforce his squad before the start of the next season.
Even with all of the recent reports and rumors that are linking Karim Benzema with Liverpool, it does not seem like Carlo Ancelotti has any plans of releasing of the Frenchman anytime soon. During the upcoming season it’s expected that Benzema will be playing alongside C.Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez as the main attacking players for Real Madrid and their journey of protecting their Champions League title.
With the 2014 World Cup having reached its end, many people are questioning the performances of the French players as they were knocked out from the worldwide event during the quarter-final stages when playing against Germany, where they ultimately lost 1-0.
When the journey was over for France, Benzema remained optimistic about what his teammates accomplished as he went on saying that the team should be proud about how far they reached.
“We can be proud of ourselves. Do not forget that this is one of the best teams in the world and not one of us had played in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.”
Considering the fact that Real Madrid has a price tag of €40 million for Karim Benzema and his substantially high wages, it would not be a viable option for Brendan Rodgers to spend that amount of money for Benzema who already has a clear future with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has stated that he is hoping that his international teammate Franck Ribery is not at his best when he comes back against him in the Champions League semi-final. Ribery was not very influential when his Bayern Munich team met Real Madrid in the first leg of the semi-final. Benzema scored the decisive goal, as the Spaniards managed a 1-0 win. However, the victory margin could have been even more decisive had the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel di Maria been more clinical with their finishing.
Ribery, on the other hand, was replaced much earlier than expected, as he did not create a lot of impact. His teammate Arjen Robben was also not great either, as Bayern Munich controlled possession, but they were not able to create much penetration. The second leg is expected to be much different since Guardiola will be making a couple of changes in the hope of getting back into the tie. Further, the team also will be motivated heavily by the home fans behind them. Due to these advantages, Bayern Munich are the favourites for the return leg.
Ahead of the match, Benzema has stated that he is hoping that Ribery has one of his off days like he had last week.
“The team. All of the team has to be strong. Franck Ribery is a really great player and I hope he doesn’t have his best day. I don’t know if it will be decisive. It’s true he knows the team well, but we also know how he prepares his sides. We are very focused and we’ll give everything to win this game. There isn’t a special plan. We know how they play, they like to have the ball and take their time to attack. We are very fast. A win is essential for us,” said Benzema.
There was a time not so long back when Real Madrid fans used to be glad to know that their team was going to be up against Atletico Madrid and the main reason behind that was Los Blancos’ domination during the Madrid derbies, but, in the last one year or so, things have changed. The Madrid derbies have no longer remained one sided.
Since the arrival of impact players like Diego Costa, Atletico have gone from strength to strength and they have now become a side which possess the capability of beating Real Madrid. They have done that twice in the recent times and they would have the chance to do it again as they take on their local rivals this weekend in the first leg of the Copa Del Rey semi final.
The match will take place at Santiago Bernabeu. So, Real Madrid would definitely have slight advantage as they would have the crowd right behind them, but, they are not the favourites; that’s for sure. They don’t have as many in form players as Atletico have at this point of time.
However, the availability of Gareth Bale for the game is a positive thing for Real. The Wales international has recently regained complete fitness, but, he hasn’t had much training under his belt. So, whether to get him into the match day squad or not, that would be a big call for the Real management.
Injury has consistently troubled Bale since the time he has made his way to Spain. He could have made a lot more appearances for Real by now if his fitness had been good.
The winger has so far played only 22 matches for the Spanish giants in which he has found the net 10 times.
Real Madrid’s Karin Benzema is on the radar Arsenal as the Premier League club is still trying to find a player that can go alongside Giroud in the pitch. Although a move for the 26 years old Frenchman might be harder to get considering that Benzema is a regular starter for Ancelotti.
Not only that but Benzema seems to be happy playing in Real Madrid as he is playing an important role for Real Madrid and their journey to dethrone Barcelona in La Liga as well as helping the Spanish titans on winning the Champions League.
The Frenchman recently talked about the 2014 World Cup as France was pitted in a group against Honduras, Switzerland and Ecuador. Benzema said that playing in a competition such as the World Cup is the best thing that can happen to anyone in their career as he spoke to the media.
‘’For a player being able to participate in a World Cup is the single best thing that can occur in his career. It is a chance to play at a higher level and with the best players in the world, it’s a dream’’.
‘’I think it is not going to be an easy group as every team and nation have different playing styles. We will do everything we can to advance into the next stages. It is true that we had luck in being placed into this group. This will be my 1st World Cup and in a country like Brazil, I am sure it will be special and different than many others’’
‘’We will have to face off against good teams. We have to play our very best football if we really want to get as far as possible. I wish good luck to my teammates of Real Madrid who will also be fighting with their fellow national teams and hopefully one of us will be the next champions’’. Benzema said.
Real Madrid are planning a January swoop for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and will offer French striker Karim Benzema and £ 20 million in cash to bring the player to the Santiago Bernabeu, it has been revealed.
The Uruguayan international striker still wants a move away from Merseyside in spite of the impressive start that Liverpool have made to the Premier League campaign and clubs are circling over the player with reports suggesting Arsenal will also slap in a bid for the player in January after failing to land him in the summer.
But the Uruguayan still has his heart set on a move to the Spanish giants under Carlo Ancelotti, and the nine times European Cup winners believe a big name player along with a huge cash offer will tempt the English giants to part with their star striker.
Madrid value the Frenchman Karim Benzema at £ 20 million and the offer of another £ 20 million in cash makes the deal worth £ 40 million, which is reported to be the release clause for the player. Arsenal failed with a cheeky bid of £ 40 million and a quid for the player in the summer with the club blasting their Premier League rivals for disrespecting them and the player but Real think Liverpool will not have any qualms about selling their top scorer to a club in another country, provided they are adequately reimbursed for it.
However, the one potential stumbling block that Madrid might have in making the deal happen is convincing Karim Benzema to make the switch to Liverpool, who does not play in the UEFA Champions League. But they are also said to be readying a contingency plan of a full cash offer if the player does decide against moving to the fallen giants of English football.
The agent of France international striker Karim Benzema has categorically denied that the player is angling for a move away from the club, amid speculation about a transfer to Italian giants AC Milan. It had been reported that the seven time European champions were preparing a massive bid to bring the Frenchman to Italy, preparing a high pay package as well as the lure of regular first team football but his agent has stated that he knows nothing of this speculated bid.
Karim Djaziri, Benzema’s agent also stated that he had not been contacted by AC Milan officials about any kind of deal between the two parties and after the player was named in squad to travel to the United States of America for the Guinness International Champions Cup, Djaziri insists that there is no way that Karim Benzema will be leaving the club this summer at least.
According to the Frenchman’s agent, the striker still has a long term contract with the club and he is not seeking a move, especially after the appointment of a new manager which gives him the chance to prove himself once again to him and get into the first team on a regular basis. Speaking to reporters in Spain about a potential transfer to Milan, his agent stated that Benzema is staying with Madrid, adding that there is absolutely nothing with Milan and there is nothing more to say at this moment.
Karim Benzema joined the capital giants from French club Lyon for a massive fee back in 2009 and has been linked with a swap deal with Liverpool for Luis Suarez as well, as Madrid try and thrash out a deal for the Uruguayan striker. But nothing has been mentioned of that deal as well and it seems he will stay in Madrid.
The striker of Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, has made it clear that he is not going to join Manchester United.
There have been speculations in the last couple of weeks that Benzema is on the radar of the new United manager David Moyes and he might be moving to England this summer. But, those speculations have been denied by the 25 years old French striker.
Talking to the correspondent of a Spanish newspaper, Benzema said, “I am not planning to make a move this summer. I will continue playing for Real Madrid. I have no reason to leave at the moment. I am quite happy playing for them.”
The performance of Real Madrid wasn’t that good in the last season. They didn’t win even a single title in the entire season. They finished the La Liga season at no. 2 with 85 points in 38 matches. They remained 15 points behind the title winners Barcelona.
Real Madrid couldn’t do well in the Champions League either. They were knocked out of the semi finals by the German club Borussia Dortmund. They lost the first leg by a huge margin of 1-4. Although, they bounced back to win the return leg by 2-0, but, that was not enough to wipe out the deficit.
Real Madrid lost the final of Copa Del Rey as well. They got beaten by the arch-rivals Atletico Madrid by 1-2.
When asked about the performance of Real Madrid in the last season, Benzema said, “It was not the best of the seasons for us. In big matches, we couldn’t do well under pressure and let the supporters down. But, that’s life. It can’t go our way every season. I just want the fans to keep backing us. We will bounce back hard next season.”
The French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has backed the Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema to find the back of the net in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. The former Lyon striker has come under intense criticism from the French media after failing to score in the last 11 matches.
France will be taking on the current world and European champions Spain in a crucial World Cup qualifying match. After the recent round of matches, France have been able to take the lead ahead of Spain in the group stage, which would allow them to qualify automatically for the World Cup.
Spain would have to go through the play-offs despite being the current world champions if the group stages finished as it is. Hence, there is a lot of impetus for France to extend the lead even further, but there is a section of fans who believe that Benzema should not be taking part in the match due to his poor form for the national team. The Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris, though, has backed Benzema to find the back of the net against Spain. He expects him to completely overcome the delicate situation. Lloris has said that they have to be prepared extremely well ahead of the match with Spain.
“There is no problem with Benzema in the team. We respect him. We are here to help him overcome this delicate moment. We have prepared in the best way possible and are very conscious of the importance of the game. We need the team to respond. We are facing the best team in the world. We are going to suffer but we know we can pose Spain problems. We hope to finish the game without any regrets,” said Lloris. After failing to establish himself in the Tottenham first-team in the first half of the season, Lloris has been the stand out performer for the Premier league club in recent months.
Real Madrid has defeated Valencia in a Copa Del Rey clash played at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday. Madrid won the match by 2-0. Although, the margin of the victory suggests that the match was one side but, it’s not the true story. Valencia put up a gutsy performance, but, Madrid proved to be too good for them at the end.
Madrid lost a few opportunities at the start. Jose Mourinho’s team got a couple of free kicks in the first seven minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo took both those free kicks, but, he didn’t manage to place his shot well on either of them.
Madrid had another chance to take the lead when Karim Benzema had given Luka Modric a fantastic pass and Modric had enough time to get into the right position and slot the ball into the net, but, the Croatian midfielder failed in doing that. His shot went wide of the net and another chance went begging.
Madrid eventually managed to take the lead in the 37th minute of the match. It was Benzema who took his team ahead. He got Sami Khedira’s pass outside the box. He controlled it and then, beat a couple of Valencia players to make his way into the box before firing it into the net from a close distance. It was a fine strike by the French striker.
The score became 2-0 in the favour of Madrid in the 73rd minute of the match courtesy of an own goal from Jose Andres Guardado.
The Valencia team earned a free kick just a couple of minutes before the end of the game. Daniel Parejo took that free kick, but, he wasted the opportunity by smashing the ball over the head of his teammates.
Valencia didn’t get any more chance after that and ended up losing the match.
These two teams will again take on each other in a La Liga clash on Sunday at Estadio Mastalla.