Brazil legend Ronaldo believes Real Madrid and Barcelona should be among the leading clubs competing for the Champions League crown this term. Real Madrid have dominated the competition with four titles from the previous five seasons but they have their task cut out this time around with Cristiano Ronaldo no longer at the Bernabeu.
Despite this, Brazil’s Ronaldo feels both Real Madrid and Barcelona should be up there come the end of the season but they could be surprised by the English clubs, he said: “The favourites to win UEFA Champions League are always the same: Real Madrid and Barcelona are ahead of the rest – Real Madrid, because of their history and tradition, and that they have won four of the last five titles, including three in a row. They are always among the favourites for this competition. The Spanish clubs know this very well, but I think we might be surprised by the English sides, because they are very strong and have the economic power to buy top players.”
Former Dutch legend Johan Cruyff said that France deserves to win the World Cup in Russia and that they were the best team in the tournament. He said that France has some good players with not only the skills but also the experience to win such a demanding tournament.
Johan Cruyff said that France has had some excellent player development program in place for quite some time now and that they are now reaping the benefits. He said that France players are not only good technically but also physically which makes it quite difficult to play against.
New Netherlands coach Guus Hiddink was an angry man after the club lost its second match under his regime. A lot of positivity was expected from Hiddinka��s second spell in charge of national team. This was also a high-pressure job for the former Chelsea boss considering that he had to follow in the footsteps of Louis van Gaal, who was highly successful prior to him. The new Manchester United manager led the Dutch national team to a third-place finish at the World Cup 2014. Hiddinka��s reign this time round has started in an extraordinarily poor fashion.
The team suffered a 2-0 defeat against Italy in a friendly match. This was Hiddinka��s first match in charge of the team and it did not strike fear into the supporters since it was only a friendly encounter. However, a 2-1 defeat against Czech Republic in the opening Euro 2016 qualifying match has raised concerns about the team even at this early stage. Even though it was an away match, Netherlands were expected to comfortably overcome Czech Republic, who even failed to qualify for the World Cup 2014. Questions were raised to the manager after the defeat, but Hiddink refused to blame the 3-5-2 system that he has carried over from the previous regime.
Instead, he said that poor defending was responsible for this defeat. a�?In the final seconds of a match you should never ever lose. We were able to just walk out of here with a 1-1 draw. We gave it away so stupidly. When I talk about it now I get extremely angry again. After the first goal we reorganised our formation to 4-3-3 but at the end it was a really unlucky defeat for us. It is very difficult to consider your tactical formation if your defenders make such mistakes,a�? said Hiddink.
Luis Enrique has reinforced many areas of the team of Barcelona with Luis Suarez, Jeremy Mathieu, Claudio Bravo, Thomas Vermaelen being some of the more recognized and well known players that will be joining the Spanish team for the next season and all of the challenges that are waiting for them.
Barcelona had to spend around a�� 144 million in order to bring Vermaelen, Bravo, Suarez and Mathieu to Camp Nou which is a significantly higher amount of money compared to their eternal rivals Real Madrid but at least Luis Enrique has fortified many aspects of the squad in comparison to Madrid as they only upgraded their attacking options.
The majority of Barcelona supporters are happy and content with the signings that the club has made as it will surely increase the chances that the club has on not only fighting for the Spanish League but more importantly, the Champions League but the former player Barcelona Johan Cruyff is not so sure about all of the new arrivals and changes that the club is going through.
“Kroos was one of the best players at Bayern and at the World Cup. He sprays the ball around really well. James is also a terrific playmaker. Barca always used to sign lots of playmaker, but now Real have done so. Barca have gone in a new direction and we have to give them the benefit of the doubta��a��
“They’ve spent a lot of money, which always brings a lot of scrutiny, and we’ll have to see how it goes. I’ve been impressed by new Barcelona coach Luis Enrique’s enthusiasm to get down to work and give his all in his new role, though. I don’t know if the team won’t end up unbalanced. You’d have to be on the inside to know exactly what the situation is. Hopefully Luis Enrique will be able to bring him into line so he does what he’s there to doa��a��
That was the statement of Cruyff said as he praised Real Madrida��s signings but remains uncertain about Barcelonaa��s newest arrivals and whether or not they can all work and play together in the pitch at the same time.
Some years ago Barcelona was starting to promote and showcase their youth players and they still are indeed promoting and focusing on having a new generation of players in their squad but this has recently been taking a turn and this can be evidenced by the amount of players being signed as well as the large sum of money that has been spent.
Jose Mourinho is a coach that has made a number of controversial decisions and actions which is one of the reasons on why some players and coaches consider the Portuguese coach to be one of the best of his generation while others contemplate him as a negative coach who always blames his players when things go wrong.
The Dutch legend Johan Cruyff claims that Jose Mourinho only thinks about the result above everything and the star of Barcelona is even predicting that Mourinho will lose control of the Chelsea dressing room just as what happened in Spain with Real Madrid.
It’s always the same with him. When things are going well, it’s the result of his good work, but the players are to blame when things are going badly. He already lost the dressing room at Real Madrid because of that and I can see the same happen at Chelsea. “The problem is simply that Mourinho always focuses squarely on the result. Everything else is secondary, even all the top players he has running around for him.”Cruyff revealed.
Cruyff coached Barcelona during 1988-1996 where he managed to secure 11 trophies and his contributions for the Spanish club have not gone unnoticed as he was named as a honorary president of Barcelona in March of 2010 but a few months later Sandro Rossell stripped the Dutchman of that role and Cruyff cut all of his relations he had with Barcelona.
According to the new president of Barcelona FC, Josep Bartomeu he has been contacting Cruyff who he considers to be a very important player for the club.
“We have been in contact with people close to Cruyff. We will keep talking. He is a very important person for us and for this club. Little by little, things will return to normal.” Bartomeu said.
He also stated that his recent call ups with Cruyff are a way to reward him for all the work he has done for Barcelona. Barcelonaa��s infamous tiki-taka style of playing is generally credited to Johan Cruyff as it was during his time in charge of the Spanish club that it was starting being created and developed.
Newcastle United striker Loic Remy, who is on loan from QPR till the end of the season, has been a huge hit at St Jamesa��s Park. He has already scored 13 goals in just 24 matches for the club. It includes the winner against Aston Villa recently. It looked like the match was heading into a stalemate with both clubs unable to find the opening goal, but the Frenchman stepped up to score the only goal of the game in injury time to give Newcastle three vital points. After the match, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew gave the highest possible praise for the Frenchman by comparing him with Dutch legend Johan Cruyff.
He says that Cruyff had an ability to slow the game down for his benefit and Remy is one of the few players he has seen do the same. The Frenchman has already been attracting a lot of attention from other Premier league clubs in the last few months. Pardew has admitted that Newcastle face a huge fight in order to keep him at the club, while he has even said that he may go to extreme lengths in order to keep him at St Jamesa��s Park. The former West Ham manager says that Remy maybe dropped for the next match in order to prevent interest in him from growing.
“I think that’s fairly obvious. Somebody just said to me the game seemed a little bit slower when he was on the ball and I think when you get a quality player that’s what they can do. Players like Cruyff and Bergkamp, they can slow the game down and he can do that. He’s going to be hot property, he’s going to get a lot of press tomorrow and I’m going to leave him out the next 11(!)” said Pardew.
The legend of Barcelona, Johan Cruyff was awarded with the 2013 UEFA Presidenta��s Award as a way to recognize his achievements in revolutionizing how the Dutch superstar has influenced the sport in both of his roles as a player and a coach.
The UEFA president, Michael Platini was the person that gave Cruyff the award and the former player of Barcelona later stated that it is one of the highest accolades that you can get.
a�?It is a great privilege for me to present the UEFA Presidenta��s Award toA�Johan Cruyff, one of the truly great footballers and ambassadors for the game. First as a player and then as a coach, he was committed to entertaining the public with his own unique brand of football.a�? Those were the words that Platini used to describe Cruyff as he was giving the former Dutch player, the prestigious award.
Cruyff stepped up and received the award by saying:
a�?Herea��s Amsterdam where it started. Ia��m really proud to have received this award. This is one of the highest accolades you can get. Ita��s unique when you think of players like Beckenbauer and Di StefA?no and all these players who have had a huge impact in their countries, and the fact that you are part of that is amazing.a�?
Alfredo Di Stefano, Franz Beckenbauer, Bobby Charlton, Raymond Kopa, Gianni Rivera and Eusebio are some of the other previous winners of the award. Some of the highlights of Cruyffa��s playing career are when he won 4 consecutive La Liga titles with Barcelona and when named into the dream team of the Catalan club.
The 66 years old tactician has also set up the Johan Cruyff Foundation which helps improve the lives of mentally as well as physically challenged children.
Sandro Rosell has resigned from being the president of Barcelona after an emergency board meeting was made at the Nou Camp. Everything is involving the transfer of Neymar from Santos to Barcelona with speculation rising about what the actual price paid by the Catalan and where that money did ultimately arrive.
Rosell has always said that the amount paid for the Brazilian player was a��47 million which was divided in the following manner, a��14 million to Santos and a��33 million to the company owned by the playera��s father which is called N&N. But when the club member, Jordi Casas asked Rosell about the payment to N&N, he was ignored and later went to the courts.
After all of the paperwork and contracts was shown, the total fee actually adds up to a��82 million. With some payments going to Brazil for them to continue developing new talents while another payment actually went to find new commercial partners for Barcelona.
Another incident that is being disputed is that in a contract which was signed back in 2011, stated that Barcelona would purchase Neymar in 2014 when his contract would be over and he became a free-agent but after everything was said and done, the money was actually paid in 2013 when the Brazilian player was still partly owned by Santos and Rosell says this was a penalty payment for breaking the agreement with N&N to sign the player in 2014 but this is disputed.
On his resignation Rosell said that threats and accusations ultimately left him with no choice but step down from his position of president of the club.
“The success the club has had has also come along with difficult moments for myself and my family. There have been threats and accusations which make you consider your position including the claim of misappropriation of funds and the court case. I’ve always stated that we acted correctly with the Neymar transfer.” Rosell said.
Rosell will be replaced by Bartomeu until the next elections are made.
Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff has said that it is disappointing to know that either Cristiano Ronaldo or Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss the chance to be at the World Cup 2014. Portugal and Sweden have been paired against each other in the play-off round for the World Cup. Only one of the team will be present in the finals, which means that either one of the superstars will have to watch the tournament on television. Cruyff has stated that he would rather prefer to see Ronaldo at the World Cup, although he is disappointed to see one of the miss out on the tournament.
Cruyff has said that the playing abilities are not responsible for his decision to pick Ronaldo, but it is the political influences that made him choose the player who plays in Spain. Cruyff is currently living in Spain after a spectacular career that saw him manage Barcelona. Cruyff is responsible for introducing the style of football that Barcelona are known for around the world. New manager Gerardo Martino has been attempting to change the style of play, and so far he has been successful in that regard.
a�?It is a huge blow for the World Cup that one of these two players won’t make it. Ita�?s a sad situation. I don’t really have a preference between the two of them, but if I had to make a choice I would rather see Ronaldo qualify. Thata��s a bit of a political decision though, as I live in Spain. Theya��re different types of players. I have criticised both of them in the past because I think they should behave like role models,” said the former Barcelona manager.
Barcelona are top of the table with a three-point advantage over Atletico Madrid and a six-point advantage over Real Madrid. Ronaldo is the favourite to win the FIFA Ballon da��Or award this season.
Former Holland international Johan Cruyff has said that the national team should improve their performance significantly if they are to do well at the 2014 World Cup. Holland have become one of the first nations to qualify for the World Cup after securing a 2-0 win over Andorra in the qualifiers. Italy are the only other team from Europe to have made it to the World Cup at this stage itself. Despite this, Cruyff thinks that the team would struggle at the World Cup if they do not improve their performance, while he also sees the lack of experience is a major problem.
Holland made it to the finals of the 2010 World Cup, but since then they have been very disappointing. The appointment of Louis van Gaal, though, appears to have made the team a little better when it comes to getting results. Of course, they have qualified for the World Cup in stunning fashion, but the real test of the team will come at the World Cup when there are only top teams involved. Brazil will be one of the favourites to win the competition being the home team. The likes of Spain and Italy will also be mentioned as possible favourites.
Cruyff is regarded as one of the best Dutch players ever and he has won numerous FIFA Ballon da��Or awards.
“If this [level] continues we will be lucky to survive the group stage [at the World Cup]. There is a lack of experience. Take, for example, Brazil and think about at the Confederations Cup. Those Brazilians in Brazil will slaughter us unless we are able to stand up in a footballing way. There is one year left. In the past we have kept things at a high level, and the last time we were in the finals. Let’s hope that this generation can match that,” said Cruyff.