Buffon returns on his farewell and Bernardeschi discusses being at Juventus

buffon

Gianluigi Buffon participated to the TV show Tiki Taka and added some tidbits about his departure from Juventus, confirming it was a mutual decision: “I miss it, I do not want to say that it was my whole life, but it was certainly an important part of it. I lived it for 20 years, spending every ounce of sweat for the cause. However, there are moments when it is right look each other in the eyes, realize that it is time for something new and hug it out.”

“I understood it was over while talking amicably with the president, after such a long and stressful period, because being a Juventus player and captain wears you down even though it is an honor. Continue reading

Can Juventus put Italy on the map once again and challenge for the Champions League?

zzzzzz (4) (1)

There was a time when Italy was the toast of Europe, regulary winning the Champions League and contesting in finals. From the inception of the competition in 1993, Italian teams featured in the final for 6 years in a row. Winning in 1994 with AC Milan and 1996 with Juventus.

In the 2000s despite the emergence and then the dominance of the Spanish La Liga, Italian football was still strong. There was an all Italian one in 2003 when AC Milan beat Juventus on penalties and Milan would go on to make the final in 2005 losing historically to Liverpool after being 3-0 up at half time and then getting their sweet revenge over the same club in 2007.

But it was around this time when Italy was hit by betting scandals that saw Juventus relegated to Serie B, teams banned and their league titles in the mid 2000s wiped out. And then came Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to put the nail in the hammer being in Spain and dominating with their clubs and end of year trophies.

Of course Inter Milan provided a speed bump by winning the Champions League in 2010 in incredible fashion but they remain the last Italian team to win Europe’s most sought after prize. Since then the flag has been solely flown by Juventus who have reached 2 finals in the past three seasons, losing to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

Now Juventus equipped with Cristiano Ronaldo who has won the competition an incredible 5 times will have their sights on lifting the trophy next year for the first time in 23 years. It would only be the clubs 3rd title if they did so, not so many considering that Juve remain the biggest team in Italy.

But can they do it? Former goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon who has never won the competition believes that they are one of three teams that will win this season alongside Barcelona and Manchester City. Buffon now plays for PSG in a last bid attempt to win it, the only major trophy missing from his resume.

Juventus have been strong this season and yet lost at home to a beleaguered Manchester United side, although they did beat them at Old Trafford. However if those two games had been a knock out one they would be knocked out now. As for Ronaldo he will be trying to win his 4th title in a row and 6 overall to equal the Real Madrid great Gento.

Juventus will be there and thereabouts and it would be a surprise if they didn’t at least reach the semi finals, and it will be fascinating if the old lady can finally rise to the challenge. They are in the last 16 now and have every chance to go as far as they believe in.

Buffon set for showdown talks with PSG boss Tuchel

buffonGianluigi 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.

Continue reading

Gianluigi Buffon’s move to PSG could backfire on Italian legend

zz

When Gianluigi Buffon one of the greatest goalkeeper’s this century left Juventus after 17 years it wasn’t supposed to mean he would end up warming the bench but that is exactly what has happened at his new club PSG.

When he joined it was seen as a surprise given that he is 40 and whilst he can still do a job it was expected that Buffon had seen his best days at club football and would instead join a mid table team. Then the offer from French giants PSG came in and Buffon took it with both hands.

It’s difficult not to side with Buffon’s choice of new club given that he will win more trophies to add to his 22 that he already has. PSG winning something at least domestically is almost a given this season and they have started their league campaign in style winning all 4 games. The other factor in Buffon deciding to switch to the Parisians is the UEFA Champions League. Remarkably despite appearing in 3 finals in 2003, 2015 and 2017 respectively, Buffon has yet to win the trophy which is the only major piece of silverware missing from his resume.

The closest he came was in 2003 when after 120 minutes of football the final played against Italian rivals AC Milan came down to penalties and Milan came out victors. It is the one trophy he is seeking and desperate to win and with PSG he has a realistic chance even if the team have fallen in the competition when it has really mattered in recent seasons.

But what Buffon could not have envisaged was that he would be PSG’s boss Thomas Tuchel’s No.2. Former PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp left the club in the summer and Buffon stepped in so it was supposed to be a simple process, not so. The form of French keeper Alphonse Areola has thrown that into jeopardy. It was telling that Buffon started the season in goal only for Areola to start the last 3 games and the only reason Areola has not made the line up in every game this season in Ligue 1 is because he was given an extended holiday after the World Cup. Areola also took advantage of Hugo Lloris being dropped from the French national side after his drink driving charge in London.

Now Areola has the taste of being the number 1 keeper for his national side the pressure is on Tuchel to keep him playing otherwise he will have to force a move away in order to stay in French manager Didier Deschamps radar. So what could the solution be? One likely one would be to play Areola who needs more game time than Buffon in all games for Ligue 1 and play Buffon in the cup matches including the Champions League- one last hurrah for the Italian legend if you like. Only time will tell how long Buffon has at a top club but it would be no surprise if this was his last season and last chance to get his hands on a trophy once described as ol’ big ears.

 

Julian Draxler: Set for the bench at PSG?

Image

cropped_2017-02-14T203105Z_130105865_MT1ACI14751517_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-CHAMPIONS-PSG-FCBThe Parc des Princes erupted with joy as attacker Julian Draxler wheeled away in celebration after scoring a sensational goal against Spanish giants FC Barcelona in the home leg of the Round of 16 stage of the UEFA Champions League. The fans were full of praise after the sensational performance by the German attacker on the night with many hailing him as the man to watch out for in the away leg at Camp Nou. Sadly, the 24-year-old flattered to deceive as has been the case throughout his career so far.

The ex-Schalke attacker was hailed by footballing experts after he decided to take a plunge into the unknown by signing on for French giants Paris St Germain from Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg for a then-record sum of £40m. Draxler was more than happy to bid adieu after a cold reception from the fans who indicated their immense disapproval by whistling vociferously during a cameo against Hertha Berlin.

Continue reading

Angel Di Maria: PSG’s X-Factor under Tuchel

Image

psg_021517080031

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.

Continue reading

David Trezeguet weighs in on Ronaldo, Champions League and more

trezeguet

Juventus great and now club ambassador David Trezeguet talked to Sky yesterday at the opening ceremony of new store in Roma: “We got off to a great start with three wins in a row, proving that the team is focused and eager to achieve its goals, even though it is still early. The coach is doing a good job managing a deep roster, where everybody wants to play and contribute. He is the one calling the shots, as normal. The objectives are very clear and never changed in Juventus’ history: winning every competition they partake to.”

On Cristiano Ronaldo: “I do not need to give him any advice. He is fully aware that this is different league compared to what he saw in England or Spain. He is an incredible player who wants to showcase his skills, he is working with great determination. Continue reading

Ligue 1 stars Mbappe, Neymar, Fekir, Depay, Thauvin & Cavani back in Action!

Ligue 1 kicks-off on Friday, August 10th with Marseille hosting Toulouse! The French fans have celebrated a glorious summer with the likes of Kylian Mbappe helping Les Bleus lift the World Cup! However, this Friday, Fantasy Football Managers will be looking to the likes of Florian Thauvin to earn precious fantasy points in the long and exciting quest to be crowned best Ligue 1 Fantasy Manager!

While PSG may be clear favorites to repeat as champions, in particular with Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Neymar all on the club’s payroll, Lyon- as long as they keep Nabil Fekir, have an exciting and fun core in Fekir, Memphis Depay, Bertrand Traore and striker Mariano. Marseille have some good players, and not just Thauvin, but it will be hard for them to compete with PSG in a long season due to the low budget limiting the club’s ability to lure quality signings.

Finally, Monaco have sold players again this summer but they have made a habit of rebounding and performing well with the help of clever signings and quality work by coach Leonardo Jardim.

So who will be on your Ligue 1 Fantasy Team? How about Cavani who is PSG’s all-time leading scorer (he surpassed Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s record last season), or perhaps iconic Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon?

Remember to play now and invite your friends to join your Mini-League! It is Free to join, so what are you waiting for? If you believe you have what it takes to challenge other Ligue 1 Fantasy managers then click the following link now: https://ligue1fantasy.com/users/register and prove your knowledge of French football!

 

Serie A Weekly News Recap

buffon4

The transfer market formally opened this week and so a flurry of moves were made official. Gianluigi Buffon joined PSG; Inter signed Stefan De Vrij and Kwadwo Asamoah on free transfers and acquired Lautaro Martinez from Racing; Milan brought in Pepe Reina, Ivan Strinic and Alen Halilovic without paying anything.

Napoli announced the arrivals of Alex Meret and Orestis Karnezis from Udinese and Fabian Ruiz from Real Betis, for whom they paid around €30M. Sampdoria have bought Jakub Jankto from Udinese, who totalled nine goals and 12 assists over the last two seasons with the Zebrette. Continue reading

Gianluigi Buffon joins PSG

buffon3

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