Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis was in a state of deep despair at the end of the 2009-10 season following the side’s dismal show in the Serie-A. Napoli finished 6th on the league table with just 59 points, trailing league champions Inter Milan by 23 points despite investing a record sum for the services of talented striker Fabio Quagliarella. The local lad failed to make his presence felt racking a tally of just 11 league goals at the end of the season.
Gianluigi Buffon is set for discussions with Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel over the Italian goalkeeper’s role at the Ligue 1 champions. Reports suggest that Tuchel wants to keep Alphonse Areola as the number 1 stopper at Parc des Princes, leaving Juventus legend Buffon warming the bench. That has not sat well with the 40-year-old, who wants to continue on with plenty of game time. The club have since implied, however, that the interview in which Tuchel stated that Areola was “in pole position” to start was done in German, and so his stance was essentially lost in translation into French. The French champions have started with Buffon in goal twice and Areola three times so far this season, with the younger custodian being chosen in each of the last three.
The Old Trafford broke into thunderous applause as British record signing Angel Di Maria who had been signed from Spanish giants Real Madrid for a sum of £59.7m scored a sumptuous lob, having won the ball just past the halfway line, linking up beautifully with Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney leaving Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in a state of intense despair. The Argentinian’s impressive goal was voted as the Premier League’s goal of the season at the end of an extremely disappointing campaign for the Red Devils.
The ex-Real Madrid winger failed to reach the heights expected of him after kicking off the season on a high note. While several experts have slammed Van Gaal’s orthodox tactics which resulted in the winger being shunted across 6 different positions including central midfielder, others blamed the winger for being extremely lethargic on the field and utterly disinterested with regard to on-field proceedings.
After 17 years at Juventus, Gianluigi Buffon will defend another goal: PSG’s one. The legendary goalkeeper has reached agreement with the French club on a one-year contract with an optional second one. Buffon and the Old Lady had planned his exit at the end of the 2017/2018 season and the Turin team offered to train him to become either an executive or a coach, but the desire to play was evidently still there.
The 40-year-old goalkeeper collected 656 appearances with Bianconeri and won 11 Scudetti (two revoked for the Calciopoli scandals), four Coppa Italia and five Supercoppa Italia. Continue reading
Following on from last week’s revelation that Alphonse Areola was the best goalkeeper in Ligue 1 this season, it is time to follow that up with his closest contender. It wasn’t really a close run race in the end, but Montpellier custodian Benjamin Lecomte took the runner-up spot in this season’s goalkeeping charts. The ever-present stopper, signed from Lorient last year, has had a great season in between the Stade de la Mosson sticks, and yet there is something noticeably odd about his positioning as the second best goalkeeper in the French top flight. It is no reflection on his ability or standing in the game of course; no, but what is most unusual is that his Montpellier side actually finished 10th in the table.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Ligue 1 title win this season may have been their fifth in the last six seasons, reclaiming the crown won by Monaco just 12 months previously, but it is easy to forget that before this particular spell of dominance Les Parisiens hadn’t won the French top flight since 1994. That seems bizarre given their status as a super-power club in European football these days, and while they may still be searching for that elusive first European championship eyes don’t blink when some of the world’s finest players are linked with a move to the French capital. Indeed, they captured one of the finest players in the world last summer when they convinced Neymar to leave Barcelona behind and start life anew on the banks of the Seine.
Ahead of the weekend’s action, it’s now time to take a look at some of the players our prospective fantasy managers may want to take a look at and throw into their squads as a last minute addition.