Twenty two years ago, 17-year old Gianluigi Buffon was resting in a hotel camped by Parma a day to a classic showdown with AC Milan.

The Crociati had just finalized the training for the day and in the process, lost chief goalkeeper Luca Bucci to injury.

Coach Nevio Scala was said to have visited little Gianluigi later that night and informed the teenager he would be thrown into the starting line-up. With the very composure that Gigi will later come to be known for, he succeeded in shutting out an AC Milan attack boasting of Roberto Baggio and George Weah, keeping a clean sheet and effectivelyannouncing his name to Italian football.

Years on, and none could be more symbolic nor popular than the Tuscany-born as far as Italian football goalies go. Gianluigi has become a legend and not just any legend but the type that are lucky and good enough to be viewed from a decentralized template.

Just like Totti and to some extent Andrea Pirlo, Buffon is the kind of player whose reverence thrives above rivalry, tribe or language. There are some players whose substitution even during a derby compels every spectator both for and against to register a standing ovation. Gigi is one of such. Continue reading “BUFFON DESERVED THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MEDAL”

Ronald Koeman comments on Communication gap between Players

Ronald Koeman reckons the players these days are so busy with technology that they develop a communication gap even with their own teammates and it results in poor coordination on the field.

Koeman brought up the game between Southampton and Newcastle United which was played at St. Mary’s Stadium the week before this and picked an instance from that game where three players in the defensive line of the Magpies went in the same route to tackle Sadio Mane, while, they should have gone in different directions and that error made a goal happen for the Saints.

According to Koeman, it could only have been the lack of communication on Newcastle’s part and nothing else. If there had been proper communication, different routes could have been taken and the goal could have been denied.

Koeman believes the players especially those who have grown up in this generation, they sort of build a different world for themselves and they remain busy in that world only. Face to face conversation just doesn’t come naturally to them.

That’s why, Koeman has set a rule for the Southampton players that when all of them are together, they will have to stay away from their electronic gadgets, their cell phones, laptops or whatever and instead, have a conversation among themselves to try and understand each other better and catch each other’s hints while playing alongside. Continue reading “Ronald Koeman comments on Communication gap between Players”

Manuel Pellegrini has spoken about his admiration for Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has spoken about his admiration for Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets along with their arch rivals transfer target, Sergio Ramos. Manchester United have been linked with the Real Madrid defender over the last few weeks.

They are reported to have made a £ 30 million offer for the defender. This has been rejected by the Spanish club, but the latest statements by Pellegrini hint that City could enter into the race for Ramos. After all, the Etihad stadium outfit will be free from any FFP regulations from this season. Further, they are also in need of top quality centre backs after failing to win any title last season.

Ramos’ camp has shown enough encouragement for an offer from United and there is a possibility that he could join City as well. Hijacking the transfer target of United will now be easier for City than in previous years when they did not have the power to compete with the illustrious rivals. Another player whom Pellegrini has mentioned is Busquets, who does not appear to be going anywhere. In fact, the Barcelona midfielder has spoken about his ambition to enter into a coaching career at some time in the future.

Continue reading “Manuel Pellegrini has spoken about his admiration for Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets”

Scotland full-back Alan Hutton is expected to start the crucial Euro 2016 qualifiers

Scotland full-back Alan Hutton is expected to start the crucial Euro 2016 qualifiers against Republic of Ireland in the summer.

The Aston Villa defender has had a good second half to the season and manager Gordon Strachan has included him in the squad. Ahead of the match, Hutton has revealed that the games against Ireland and England hold a special feeling for Scotland players and it is difficult to put a finger upon. After being regarded as the underdogs amongst the home nations, Scotland have a good possibility of reaching the Euro 2016. This would be their first major tournament in a long time.

Hutton is not ready to give up on this position, as Scotland target an away victory. The national team has won the last three matches with the 3-1 friendly defeat against England back in November 2014 the only sour result. Hence, the players go into the game with a lot of confidence. It is the exact opposite of the situation faced by Ireland, who have failed to kick on after the appointment of Martin O’Neill. The former Aston Villa manager did not make an immediate impact due to lack of competitive games. Now that the competitive games have arrived, he has been finding it difficult to motivate the players. Continue reading “Scotland full-back Alan Hutton is expected to start the crucial Euro 2016 qualifiers”

Gary Bowyer says that he is extremely happy to be part of the club

Blackburn Rovers manager Gary Bowyer says that he is extremely happy to be part of the club at a time when they are on the up.

The manager has headed the rebuilding job along with owners, who were heavily criticised when the club were originally relegated from the Premier League. Bowyer says that the owners have been the first to accept the fact thatthey made a number of mistakes that led to the relegation of the club. Now, they have made a lot of changes that have seen Blackburn stabilise as a club and also build for the future by investing a lot in young talent.

More positivity could await the club after this week, as it will be quite possible that they could be playing in the FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa. A sixth round replay against Liverpool may give potential scares, but the tie could not have been best placed for the Championship club. After back-to-back defeats in the league, Liverpool will be mentally tired coming into the match. Further, the match will be played at Ewood Park and the home advantage will be providing a major boost to Blackburn. More than winning the FA Cup, returning to the Premier League will be important for Blackburn andBowyer has set his sights on promotion. Continue reading “Gary Bowyer says that he is extremely happy to be part of the club”