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In her column for BBC Sport, Chelsea Ladies and England striker Eniola Aluko has rubbished the critics of the Women’s World Cup, and commented on her own experiences so far.

England will qualify for the round of 16 should they beat Colombia in Montreal, following a 0-1 loss to France and a 2-1 win over Mexico.

However, many have criticised the tournament over a number of supposed mistakes from players and officials. But, Aluko has hit back at the critics:

“When you are testing the success of a tournament, I would say that is one of the key criteria so it surprises me that there has been some criticism of the standard on show back home.

“People might look at the Women’s World Cup and compare it to the men’s tournament but to make that sort of reference is a bit uneducated really. Those people who don’t want to see women’s football for what it is have used men’s football as a reference, but when you read educated opinions about sport, you actually see that there is no need for comparison.

“My advice is: just judge the Women’s World Cup on its own merits. If what you see is of a poor standard, then that’s a different story but in this tournament, the first time it has expanded to 24 teams, we are seeing a great show.

“You want great goals? Colombian Daniela Montoya’s strike against Mexico was world-class. Inspiring stories? Look at my team-mate Fran Kirby. She scored against Mexico in her first World Cup start, four years after she quit football following the passing away of her mother.

“Overall, I think women’s football is in a great place. So I think it’s time that people just got over their opinion that the game is somehow inferior.

“If you don’t like women’s football, then my message would be: don’t watch it. I know that sounds controversial and we have a responsibility to grow the game but actually the product is very good and I think that people saying negative things about women’s football are now in the minority.”

Although the standard may supposedly differ, FIFA expects around one billion people to tune in to the Women’s World Cup. 2.4 million watched England take on France. The empty seats that are seen can be explained by football’s much less prominent position in Canada compared to Europe.

Even so, 45,000 watched Canada take on the Netherlands.

Aluko is yet to score in the tournament but has hit the bar twice, and came very close on two other occasions against Mexico following a quiet match as the isolated striker against France.

Mark Sampson’s side beat Mexico in Moncton through goals from Fran Kirby and Karen Carney, and Aluko has been quick to praise who many are calling a ‘Mini Messi’.

“I’ve spoken in previous columns about the inspirational players in our team and Fran Kirby is certainly one of them.

“I couldn’t even imagine what it felt like to lose her mum at such a young age. She seems very philosophical about it now, which is amazing for someone who is only 21, and sees her mum almost like a guardian angel.

“So for Fran to score against Mexico in her first World Cup start the day before her mum’s birthday, well it’s hard to put that sort of achievement into words. When I found out I nearly broke down in tears. Every time I think about it now, it brings me out in goosebumps.

“Everyone in the squad is so happy for Fran and I love playing alongside her on the pitch because she is very good at seeing different movements and we combine well.

“I’m just really pleased that she made a big impact on the world stage but I’m not alone in thinking that this is just the start for her in a great career.”

 

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Leicester City have sacked three players after they were seen in a racist sex tape taken on the club’s tour of Thailand.

21-year old striker Tom Hooper, 22-year goalkeeper Adam Smith and 22-year old defender James Pearson – the son of manager Nigel Pearson – have all been released after the video, which was leaked by the Sunday Mirror in late May, showed the trio racially abusing Thai women whilst having an orgy with them.

The video, which was sent to friends back in the UK, shows the players using terms such as “minging,” “slit eye” and “1 out of 10″.

The players involved later apologised for the incident, which received heavy criticism from many Leicester fans.

The incident occurred whilst the club were on a “goodwill” tour of the Thaliand, the home country of the club’s owners, father and son Vichai and Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha.

In a statement, Leicester said:

“Leicester City Football Club is acutely aware of its position, and that of its players, as a representative of the city of Leicester, the Premier League, the Football Association and the club’s supporters.

“It is committed to promoting a positive message of community and family values and equality, and to upholding the standards expected of a club with its history, tradition and aspirations.”

Out of all three players, only Pearson has made an appearance for the first team. His sole outing came in the League Cup defeat to Shrewsbury last season. His father, Nigel, is a patron for the Show Racism the Red Card organisation.

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Tommi Miller is a 7-year-old boy who suffers from leukaemia. The small hero until recently had only one dream – to meet his heroes from Chelsea especially his biggest idol Petr Cech. And today his dream come true.

The little hero was probably the happiest kid in the world when Petr Cech together with Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, Loic Remy, César Azpilicueta, Kurt Zouma and Jose Mourinho paid him a visit.

His mother said :

“He did go to Chelsea and had a lovely VIP day. Thankfully we choose the right weekend as he ended up in hospital again for another six weeks. We came away delighted and we got lots of photographs and autographs from the players and Petr Cech who is Tommi’s idol gave Tommi his shirt. Tommi absolutely loved it and still talks about it daily.”

 

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Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is aware of the great interest in his player Gonzalo Higuain from the English clubs. That is why raises the price of transfer of the player all the time. He may do it on purpose in order not to let Higuain go.

Since the beginning of the transfer window, Argentinian striker was heavily linked with a move to Premier League. Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal were seriously considering setting an offer for the player.

According to the rumours, the English clubs were able to offer something around £30m while the Italian team ask for nearly 3 times more ! The latest buy-out clause has increased to £72m.

It seems that even Higuain’s boss knows that such amount of money is an absurd. De Laurentiiss told Gazzetta dello Sport :

“If a madman arrives and offers to pay his buy-out clause then one must consider it. Otherwise Pipita (Higuain) will remain here.”

Gonzalo Higuain joined Napoli in 2013 from Real Madrid. The Azzurri paid £28m for the player. How far his best years of career was in Real Madrid where in 190 appearances he scored 107 goals. After joining Napoli his statistics slightly decreased but still stand at a good level. In 69 appearances he scored 35 goals.

Due to the fact that Napoli not qualified for a future edition of the Champions League there have been many rumours about Higuain’s potential leaving. But president De Laurentiis effectively took care of it.

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Few months ago the Spanish court has opened an investigation into Neymar’s move to Barcelona. The Brazilian is accused of a misappropriation of funds. And today judge Jose de la Mata has ordered Chelsea, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester City to reveal “copies of bids or transfer proposals for Neymar while at Santos” between 2009 and 2013.

Neymar’s transfer to Blaugrana is the subject of a court case in Spain. Brazilian Investment fund called DIS – Esportes y Organizacao de Eventos Ltda. sues the Brazilian striker for “corruption” and “fraud” perpetrated by Neymar, his father and FC Barcelona.

DIS who owes a 40 percent stake in Neymar’s transfer rights claims that they were paid only half of the money for striker move to Camp Nou.

Quoting Goal :

”The 23-year-old was officially signed for 57.1 million euros but it was later claimed that the total cost was around €95.1m, with the vast majority alleged to be tied up in bonus payments and agency fees paid to the player’s father.”

While Barcelona claim to pay only 17 million euros for Neymar. As a result of such a large discrepancy in the amount of money  judge Jose de la Mata has ordered Chelsea, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester City to reveal “copies of bids or transfer proposals for Neymar while at Santos” between 2009 and 2013.

However the list of witnesses in the case is really interesting: Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu,predecessor Sandro Rosell, former Santos directors Luis Alvaro de Oliveira and Odilio Rodrigues and of course Neymar and Neymar’s father.

The investigation continues.

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Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is convinced that Jose Mourinho will not be able to provide Falcao a regular game. That is why he considers this transfer as a strange move – at least this results from his post at Kicca.

Falcao transfer from Manchester to Chelsea since a few days is the subject of a fierce debate. Everybody speaks  about the pros and cons of Mourinho’s decision. Also former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp decided to write few words about it. In his latest Kicca post we see his skeptical attitude to this transfer.

 

 

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Former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins expressed his support for the idea of bringing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at Stamford Bridge. In his opinion such a player would quickly fit in the team.

According to the latest rumours, Jose Mourinho will ask for the young winger in a swap-deal for Arsenal target Petr Cech. This information was a true sensation in the world of English football. Many people wonder whether Mourinho knows what he is doing. That is why former Chelsea assistant manager has decided to say a few words in defense of the Special One idea.

Wilkins told talkSport :

”Oxlade-Chamberlain is a really good footballer and I’ve thought that for a long while,”

‘’He has had a lot of injuries but hasn’t really had a fair crack of the whip in staking his claim for selection.”

”It would be a good fit he were to go to Chelsea as part of the deal for Cech.’’

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Arsenal in 2011 from Southampton. He made 36 appearances for the Saints, scoring 9 goals. While at the Emirates after 78 matches his result is 9 hits. With the arrival of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, 21-year-old winger most of the time spends on the bench.

That is why the offer of Jose Mourinho can be very tempting for him. The question is what about this idea thinks Arsenal’s coach Arsene Wenger.

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According to Le Buteur , Chelsea has just joined the race for Napoli defender Faouzi Ghoulam. The Algerian player was linked with a move to the Premier League and it is said that the Blues have offered £10.8m for his service.

Jose Mourinho considers Ghoulam a perfect replacement for the Brazil international, Filipe Luis who according to the rumours is going to leave Stamford Bridge soon. It is said that Chelsea is ready to to make a €15m bid for the defender.

Besides Chelsea also Manchester City took on the radar of Algerian player. Manuel Pellegrini looks for a back up for Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy and Ghoulam seems to fit his new vision.

According to the Italian sources, Maurizo Sarri new Napoli coach is considering bringing in Empoli left back Mario Rui. And for Ghoulam it would mean only one thing-reserve bench.

Faouzi Ghoulam joined Napoli in 2014 from Saint-Etienne. He drew the attention of the football world after his outstanding appearances in Algerian national team during the World Cup in Brazil.

His brother Samir Ghoulam told Radio Crc that his brother will stay in Napoli for sure. However he stressed that Napoli’s president de Laurentis is the only person who can make the final decisions about Ghoulam future.

 

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Chelsea midfielder, Oriol Romeu since some time has been linked with a potential move to Watford. According to the Sun, the Hornets are preparing make an offer for the player .

Oriol Romeu joined Chelsea in 2011 from Barcelona in a deal worth €5 million. He made his official debut for Chelsea on 10 September 2011 however in 22 appearances for the Blues he scored no goal. In 2012 he suffered several knee injury which ruled him out of the game for a long period of time. That is why as soon as he recovered he was loan out first to Valencia then to VfB Stuttgart.

Romeu just come back from Germany and according to the latest rumours Watford is really keen on taking the player on loan for an initial £1million fee. If the midfielder meets the hopes the Hornest does not exclude the possibility of a permanent deal next year.

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Bruno Riberio, former Leeds United and Sheffield United midfielder and in private life a close friend of Mourinho, asked his colleague for a favor during the transfer window. Speaking directly Riberio needs new players.

Coach Bruno Riberio has left Portuguese club Vitoria Setubal in order to take over Bulgarian champions Ludogorets. Due to the fact that he is a close friend of the Special One and he needs some new blood in the  team he announced that he is going to ask his friend for help. Some rumours say that and it can be even four Chelsea players.

According to Express, he said :

“I’ll talk to Mourinho and we’ll see if this can happen, we need three or four new players… But he’ll help us in any case.”

“There’s a possibility for some Chelsea players to come to Ludogorets,”

Ribeiro is really keen on joining Ludogorets. Express quoted him saying :

“I’m coming to a big club,”

“I’m impressed by what Ludogorets did in the Champions League last season and I hope to achieve the same.”

And here comes the most important question: Who will it be ? Maybe one of Chelsea’s starlets ? Maybe some back up who will never have a chance to play in the first team ? Soon we will know the answer to these questions.

 

 

 

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