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Stam insists Lionel Messi deserved the Ballon d’Or ahead of Virgil van Dijk

Former Manchester United star Jaap Stam has said that Lionel Messi deserved to win the Ballon d’Or last year despite the consistent form of defender Virgil van Dijk, who contributed to Liverpool’s Champions League success. Messi bagged his sixth Ballon d’Or in December 2019 but it was by the finest of margins with only seven points separating them.


Speaking to Goal.com, Stam said that defenders are getting more appreciation for their work nowadays but the attackers continue to get more attention. He added that Messi deserved the accolade as he is still the best player in the world, he told: “Normally a defender is underestimated and people don’t think a lot about them. I think nowadays it is becoming better and people appreciate the job of defending a lot more. But goalscorers earn more money and they get more attention. That’s how it’s always been and that’s how it’s going to be in the future. And looking at the world now, I think Messi is still the best player.”
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Ballack believes Mount had a tough game against Alphonso Davies

Former Germany star Michael Ballack has said that Mason Mount was probably unlucky during Chelsea’s round of 16 first-leg clash with Bayern Munich. The west London side had gone into the game with the hope of defying the odds and they produced a good first-half display where Mount was impressive with his movement in the final third.

However, the second half was a different case with Bayern stepping up to score on three occasions. Mount did gain the advantage over left-back Alphonso Davies on a couple of situations in the attack but the Canada international managed to easily cover the ground and intercept the play, much to the frustration of the Blues supporters.

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Arjen Robben admits he had the option of joining PSV

Former Dutch star Arjen Robben has admitted that he had the option of signing for PSV Eindhoven after ending his decade-long stay with Bayern Munich. The 35-year-old was fancied to make a comeback to the Dutch top-flight with either Groningen or PSV this summer but he instead decided to hang up his boots.

Speaking to a Dutch outlet, Robben has now revealed that he had the serious thought of rejoining PSV in the Eredivisie but he eventually decided to step down from the game, he told: “It has been an option, absolutely. It’s no secret that I have good contact with Mark. There were a few options and PSV was definitely one of them. I seriously thought about it, but finally decided to quit. That has nothing to do with any club, so not with PSV either.”

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Robin van Persie advises Manchester United on Paul Pogba’s position

Former Arsenal and Manchester United star Robin van Persie has said that the Red Devils should play Paul Pogba in the ideal position in order to get the best out of him. The Frenchman has been inconsistent with his performances for United over the past year and this has resulted from the fact that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has regularly changed his role in the first XI.

Speaking to Optus Sport, Van Persie said that Solskjaer needs to set a permanent position for Pogba and the number 8 role suits him better than operating as the defensive midfielder, he told: “For him, the coach, for us, for everyone, it’s just important to choose a position. Choose where you think, and the coach thinks, he plays the best football for himself and for the team. I would play him not as a defensive midfielder, and not as a number 10 but in between — number eight position. So, he still has his freedom, he’s not judged then on 20-plus goals a season, if he scores 10-plus goals, makes assists, everyone will look differently at him then, but it needs to be clear for everyone.”

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Frenkie de Jong insists Barcelona did not play well against Arsenal

Netherlands international Frenkie de Jong has insisted that Barcelona did not play well during the recent friendly against Arsenal. The Blaugrana found themselves 1-0 behind after the first period of the Joan Gamper trophy but they managed to seal a comeback win after an own goal from Ainsley Maitland-Niles and a late strike from Luis Suarez.

Speaking after the game, De Jong said that the team did not produce the best performance on the night and he did not deserve the MVP award after participating through the opening half of the encounter, he told: “The presentation of the squad and the support from the fans in my debut at Camp Nou was very impressive. We did not play a good match. I believe we must have a better rhythm when circulating the ball and do a better job pressing after losing it. There are differences

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Arjen Robben names Jurgen Klopp as the coach he regrets not playing under

Dutch footballer Arjen Robben has said that Jurgen Klopp is perhaps the head coach he regrets to have not played under. The 35-year-old came against Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund on numerous occasions during his time at Bayern Munich and he has been impressed with the man-management skills of the 52-year-old.

Speaking to France Football, he said: “Maybe Jurgen Klopp, whom I have often faced with Bayern, first against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and in the final of the Champions League, then against Liverpool this season in the round of 16. He is a special coach who knows how to connect with his players. The results plead in his favour, whether at BVB or with the Reds. Besides, he looks like a good guy.”

After leaving Dortmund, Klopp had a rough three-year period with Liverpool, where he did not have the luck on his side. The Reds managed to reach as many as three finals between 2015 and 2018, but on each occasion, they were on the wrong end including the 2018 Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Nonetheless, he was able to eventually redeem himself during the previous campaign whereby the Reds secure the Champions League crown. The Merseyside outfit were by far the best team throughout the knockout phase and they eventually secured their sixth Champions League title while ending a seven-year wait for a trophy.

Meanwhile, Robben is currently on the search for a new club after ending his long-term association with Bayern. The Dutchman has stressed that he is not thinking of retirement at the moment and reports have emerged that he could make a return to the Eredivisie with former club PSV Eindhoven. The club are managed by former Dutch star Mark van Bommel, who has openly suggested that Robben is welcome to make a comeback.

Arjen Robben hoping to feature for Bayern Munich before parting ways

Netherlands international Arjen Robben has said that he is hopeful of featuring for Bayern Munich during the final stage of the campaign. The Dutchman has been sidelined for the past five months with a recurring calf problem, but he has returned to first-team training ahead of the closing stages of the season.

Speaking in a press conference, Robben remained optimistic of playing some role for the club during the remaining weeks before pursuing a fresh challenge elsewhere, he said: “I’ll be happy if I can stay with the team for another one or two weeks and get a few minutes under my belt in games as well. That would be wonderful. So many people have said to me that they want to see me on the pitch one more time. Obviously that’s also what I want more than anything. I’d like to be fit and healthy when I say goodbye – preferably with another two titles. We still have some work to do and perhaps I can play a part in that.”
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Bayern Munich confirm the signing of Lucas Hernandez

Bayern have confirmed the signing of Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid for a club-record fee of £68m. The France international had been touted to make the switch to the Bavarian giants over the past few months and it has not been officially confirmed that he will be joining the club during the summer transfer window.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Hernandez said: “This is a really important day in my footballing career. FC Bayern Munich is one of the best clubs in Europe and the world. I’m proud to be able to fight for all possible titles with Bayern. I’d like to thank Atletico, the management, the coaches, my teammates and the fans for 12 wonderful years. Atletico will always remain a part of me. Now I’m looking forward to taking the next step with FC Bayern.”
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Rio Ferdinand speaks about England’s dominance after Liverpool beat Bayern Munich

Manchester United legend-turned-pundit Rio Ferdinand has said that England could be up for a period of dominance in European competitions after all four Premier League sides reached the quarter final stage of the Champions League. No English side has managed to win the elite competition since Chelsea managed the feat in 2012, but they have given themselves a strong chance of breaking the drought with the likes of Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain already eliminated.

Speaking on BT Sport, Ferdinand said that the cycle may be turning in England’s favour following a period of dominance from the Spanish sides. He added to point out that Liverpool did not produce their best performance on the night at Bayern Munich but it was the result that eventually mattered on the night, he said: “We mentioned the cycle before the game and it seems like it’s turning in England’s favour.Four teams have come through. No, it wasn’t a great performance from Liverpool. We’ve seen them play better but at this stage, knockout football is not about performing sometimes.”
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BAYERN LINEUP IVORY COAST FOWARD AS ROBBEN’S REPLACEMENT

Football club Bayern Munich, are lining up a summer swoop fooLOSC Lille forward Nicolas Pepe, as a replacement for the ageing Arjen Robben. Robben who is currently in his 10th season with the Bavarians, and at the age of 35. With the look of things, his playing days at Bayern are now numbered. Having that in mind, the club are now on a scouting mission for a potential replacement for the Dutchman, and a number of names have been flying around.

Their interest in Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson- Odoi was made known to thepublic in January, but after four rebuffed offer, they were unable to secure their target, as Chelsea maintained the 18-year-old wasn’t for sale. Reports have also linked the reigning Bundesliga champions to the signing of Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, and now a new name has been added to the list. According to media reports, the Munich based club are lining up a bid for Lille forward Pepe following the 23-year- old’s blistering start to the Ligue 1 season.
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