ALL SMILES: Philippe Coutinho after signing for Bayern Munich. Photo Bayern Munich FC Loyalty is a word you hardly hear when talking about professional footballers, unless of course it is preceded by the words ‘doesn’t’, ‘have’ and ‘any’. No matter how many times a player kisses the club badge, professes his love of all things (insert name of club here), and says he has never been happier, when a team offering a larger pay cheque comes calling, chances are he will pick up the phone. Take Mohammed Salah for instance. Currently plying his trade with the champions of Europe. Word on the street is that come the end of the current campaign, Mo will sign for Real Madrid, and will be no doubt kissing the crest on his shirt after slotting his first goal at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. But this week I did see a tiny glimmer of hope in the noir world of professional football that maybe, just maybe, there are players in the game who are still … [Read more...] about Finally, loyalty from a professional footballer, kind of
Premier league prize money
BIG BEARD: Wolves manager Nuno Santo will surely be a wanted man next season. AFP Photo BY PAUL KENNEDY There is little doubt in any right thinking football fans’ mind that the Premier League manager of the season has to be Pep Guardiola. The Manchester City boss has been outstanding, leading his team to an historic domestic treble, emphatically clinching the third trophy of the season on Saturday with a 6-0 demolition of Watford in the FA Cup final. He may personally be a little disappointed that City fell short in the Champions League, but what Pep has achieved this season qualifies unreservedly for the prize of Manager of the Year. But an honorary mention must go to one Nuno Herlander Simões Espírito Santo, the manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers. The former Portuguese goalkeeper took charge of the Black Country club in May 2017 and earned promotion winning the Championship with two games to spare in his first season at the helm. With financial support from … [Read more...] about Can Wolves keep the wolves at bay?
Eden Hazard is one of the French academy system's finest exports in the past decade but he could be the man to end Didier Deschamps's bid for World Cup glory. Belgium's forward Eden Hazard reacts during training session of Belgium's national football team at the Guchkovo Stadium in Dedovsk, outside Moscow, on Jul 8, 2018, ahead of their World Cup semi-final football match against France. (FRANCK FIFE/AFP) Born to two footballing parents in the Belgian municipality of Braine-le-Comte, Hazard's reputation spread across the border and saw him snapped up by Lille at the age of just 14. Two years later Hazard made his professional debut in Ligue 1 and went on to become French football's brightest talent, twice winning the league's player of the year prize and leading Lille to a Ligue 1 and Cup double in 2010-11. When a big-money move inevitably came, it was Chelsea who won the race in 2012 with a £32 million (US$43 million) capture that now seems like a bargain. In six … [Read more...] about Belgium’s Hazard spells danger for France