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FC Barcelona

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Thibaut Courtois could leave Chelsea for Barcelona next summer.

The Belgian goalkeeper recently went public with his distaste of life in England, moaning about the high intensity of each game, that he has to play almost every three days and that hotel overnight stays are a regular occurrence. He also claimed that he feels more comfortable when playing with Belgium defense instead of his Chelsea mates, all signs that he might want to leave next summer.

Courtois got three years more left on his deal with Chelsea, but with the Blues not taking part to next Champions League he’s tempted to go back to Spain, this time to join Barcelona.

The Blaugrana are ready to pay at least the half of his -huge- buyout clause to sign him: Chelsea fixed a £73m fee on him, and Barcelona can bid at least £40m to have Courtois in their next squad.

Antonio Conte won’t have an easy job this summer, with many of his stars ready to leave for chasing Champions League glory around Europe. For him it will be tough to keep all of them and Courtois seem one of the top players set to leave Chelsea.

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While a guest to Sky Sports program Monday Night Football Cesc Fabregas spoke also about his former boss Pep Guardiola, that next year will come to Premier League to manager Manchester City:

“What he [Guardiola] wanted to do is change formation,” said Fabregas about the Spanish coach playing style.

“I think after three years playing at a fantastic level and winning many things, he felt the other teams were catching the way of playing against Barcelona on a 4-3-3.

“He wanted to play a different system with three at the back, four in midfield plus Lionel Messi dropping deep – he wanted to dominate midfield more than anything – and to have two wide players always open and threatening to go in behind defenders.

“Yes, [I enjoyed it] because I had a lot of freedom. They tell you play wherever you feel you are dangerous and I love this kind of thing, because it’s like a number 10, but with the mentality of the goalscorer.”

Fabregas also revealed why he left Barcelona:

“There’s a little thing with Xavi in 2010 before the World Cup he told me ‘you have to come, my Achilles, I will not last too long’ – and then I came and he still played for five years and that didn’t help,” Fabregas said, joking.

“But 100 per cent it didn’t help there were so many midfielders and there was one less spot than when I came under Pep.”

Cesc also gave his opinion on Guardiola being next Manchester City boss:

“You always want to play against the best, 100 per cent Pep will bring new things to the Premier League, to Man City.

“They will be a force next year, they are already this season, you see they are in the semi-finals of Champions League and fighting to be in the top three. All the teams will have to be even stronger.”

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Chelsea have issued a hands off warning to Barcelona and Bayern Munich who are both said to be interested in the signing of on-loan defender Andreas Christensen.

Christensen is currently at Borussia Monchengladbach on a 2-year loan deal that started last summer. His performances for the Bundesliga side have sparked interest from clubs around Europe and have even tempted Chelsea into cutting the deal short and bringing the 20-year-old back to Stamford Bridge.

However, Chelsea have decided not to recall the Danish international as they believe another year of regular first team football would put him in a position to compete in the Chelsea ranks for the 2017/18 season.

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Ex Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini paid tribute to football legend Johan Cruyff, who died today aged 68 in Barcelona after a battle with cancer.

While speaking to Goal.com the Italian former player- now coaching Ireland U21- said:

“It is such a great loss for the football world, he was the best player in the world at his time. 

“He always came across as a great man who has an unbelievable knowledge in football and I think he changed the way football was played.

“He changed the mentality with a lot of players in Barcelona and he’s been an amazing figure in football.

“As a manager he left a big imprint on the football coaching (world).

“I want to post my condolences to his family and the people who are close to him.”

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Football legend Johan Cruyff died this morning in Barcelona at 68 after a long battle with lung cancer.

His Holland national team and him were considered the fathers of modern football, thanks to their playing style that dominated the football scene in the 70’s.

Cruyff was the legend and captain of Ajax and Barcelona, he also managed both teams and conquered the first Champions League in 1992 in the Blaugrana‘s history in a thrilling final against Sampdoria: his compatriot Ronald Koeman, now manager at Southampton, scored the winner on free kick in the extra time.

He won 9 Dutch titles, 6 Dutch cups, 1 Spanish title, 1 Copa del Rey and 3 European Cups as a player.

His manager’s trophies were: 4 Spanish titles, 1 Copa del Rey, 1 European Cup, 1 Dutch Cup and 1 Cup Winners Cup.



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Chelsea will travel again to the USA for their pre-season tour this summer.

The Blues were invited another time to the International Champions Cup, along with other nine European top clubs:

AC Milan, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Celtic, Inter,  Leicester City, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

The Blues will open the tour in Los Angeles facing the Reds on Wednesday 27 July at the Rose Bowl stadium.

They will then travel to a city yet to be announced to face Real Madrid on 30 July, before finishing the tour in Minneapolis on facing AC Milan at the brand new US Bank Stadium on 3 August.

The full competition schedule:



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Jose Mourinho and his backroom staff at Chelsea © Francesca Ceciarini

Former Chelsea manager José Mourinho thinks that team are more important of individual players in contemporary football, with one little exception: Lionel Messi.

The Portuguese coach thinks to have him in your side makes winning a little easier, even if the team performances are still important.

Barcelona can become the first team in the modern Champions League to hold the trophy:

“First of all it’s about individual players. Just to give you an example, [Leo] Messi won the Champions League with three different managers,” he said in an interview with BT Sport.

“I think it’s easier to win with him, than against him. I am a football manager. I know that sometimes people think that the individual is more important than the team.

“But when I feel that it is time for me to take a permanent holiday – I still think that the team is more important than anything.

“But the obvious reality is that there are some players who can make a difference.”

About his future, Mourinho said:

“Yes I was lucky enough to have good options since I left Chelsea in December – not just options but good options,” the Special One added.

“But I made a decision to wait calmly. The reality is that I want to work. July, mid-July, new pre-season starts and somewhere, I want to be there.”

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kenedy chelsea

FC Barcelona will try an assault on Chelsea wonderkid Kenedy in the next summer transfer window, that’s what the Spanish sport newspaper Mundo Deportivo reveals today.

According to the Catalan media the Champions of Europe have been tracking him for several years and will try to steal him from Chelsea trying to convince him with money and participation to the Champions League next year, competition where the Blues won’t take part due to their bad position in the Premier League.

Anyway, it won’t be easy for Barcelona to sign Kenedy since Chelsea consider him a key player for their future project.

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Ex Chelsea manager José Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

José Mourinho released his first interview since he parted company with Chelsea in December.

He did while being in Sweden for commercial act with Jaguar, whose the former Blues manager is testimonial.

In the cold Arjeplog, a one horse town in the far north of Sweden whose horses swell in number every winter as the car industry decamps to inflict a brutal cold weather testing regimen on still-secret new models.

“I remember playing a match in Russia,” Jose Mourinho says. “It must have been -10˚C, so cold that some of the players were crying. We thought that one of the linesmen had died…

“Look at the nature. My football world involves thousands of people, and we travel to the biggest cities. So to come here, it’s an empty place, but it’s so full of so many things. I just love it. I know it’s very cold, I know that I would not survive outside for many hours here, but the experience is magnificent, the beauty is fantastic. For people in my world, a few days in a place like this is amazing.”

And so José sits down with GQ and give his first interview since he left Stamford Bridge a week before Christmas:


You’re a big fan of London. Why?

When my kids were younger, we could move a lot, experience different countries and in my case different clubs, different football. But there was a moment where they needed some stability: so we made a decision three years ago to move back to London, and we manage my professional life around that. It’s an amazing place to live, amazing for them to study and search for their future, and for the family to be together.”

So you’re staying in the UK?

“At this moment I don’t have a job, and I don’t know where football will take me, because in football you never know. But for sure for sure for sure, as a family, our home will still be England, our home will be in London. But obviously I am ready to move. As a professional, I am ready to move, especially because football in London for me, in terms of clubs… I think it is clear that I have to move.”

It’s noble that your decision is at least partly down to your family’s needs. What else motivates you?

“I experimented with English, Italian and Spanish football, three of the top football sides in the world. I always say I need competition – I need competition every week. In Spain I was at an amazing club but I had four matches a year – Barcelona v Real Madrid, Real Madrid v Barcelona – and after that you win 4-0, 5-0, 5-1, 6-1…”

So it became too easy?

“Easy to win matches but difficult to win the league, because you are competing against a team that wins and wins and wins like you do, because there are two monsters together. So in the end I was champion in Spain with 100 points, and I lost the league in Spain with 91 points. Whereas in England you win leagues with 75, maybe less, so I need competition.”

Are you enjoying the down time?

“No, I am not enjoying it. I can have everything I love at the same time. I can have my family, I can have my friends, I can have my quiet life, which I also like, and I can have my football… I can have everything together and I don’t need to give up on one of them. To be fully happy I need everything, so I go back to football. I think it’s my natural habitat. I have worked since I can remember, and as a manager since 2000. I stopped when I left Chelsea in 2007, for a few months, and now is the second time I stop in 15 or 16 years, so it is not a drama. But for sure, I will be back soon.”

How do you cope with the pressure?

“Privacy is difficult to have, unless I come here for a holiday. But really, football is not pressure for me – it is a privilege. I cope because it’s easy to cope with something you like very, very much. That is why sometimes I don’t understand when players don’t enjoy their professional life. This is the kind of job were you are very well-paid, but at the same time you live the dreams you had as a kid. I think a 90-minute match is more pressure for the people that love us, the people outside. It’s why I sometimes have some conflicts with people who don’t share the same philosophy. You are in a sport to compete, you want to win, you hate to lose, you win once, so you want to win twice… When you are tired you can go home, and give up your place to someone else.”

What’s more difficult: winning for the first time, or repeating the feat?

“It depends. I always think you need new challenges, but there are different ways of getting new challenges. For example, if you are in a club that wins, if you want to win again you have to create instability in the winners. And to create instability in the winners you have to make them doubt, you have to buy new players, you have to make them feel not in their comfort zone. There is a normal tendency to go to your comfort zone. If you don’t react, if you believe that just because you won in one year that you are going to win again, it’s very difficult.”

Have you learnt everything there is to learn in football?

“Nooooo! I have always to learn. Even in football, which is an area in which I feel I am an expert, I am never perfect and I will always learn. Sometimes in my work, and also in private life, maybe people think I am not humble. But I am so humble, and I am always ready to learn from people who know more than me.”

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Guus Hiddink commented the signing of Pep Guardiola by Manchester City:

I think people were expecting this since his exit from Bayern Munich was announced, I think for young managers to act in this league is beautiful.And he will face another league than he’s used to.

“You have always this kind of domination at the teams he’s worked at before, and no one can achieve what he did. England is different from Spain and Germany because there are not dominant teams like there, it’s different but even for him is more attractive. In Spain in September you already know that one between Real Madrid and Barcelona is going to win the league, in Germany there is Bayern’s dominance.

“The big difference is that here you got a big team to play every three days.

“Guardiola is not naif, I know him personally he’s a very stable person.

“When he was playing he was already the tactical leader of the team.I met him once or twice on the pitch, working there with a team who hired the training ground and he was in the second team. He knows the youth as well. He’s very kind, but he’s also a guy that knows what to do.

“The transition to the Premier League is not that difficult because you have, in this case they have, a lot of time to prepare for the new year. They know their plans properly. You can adjust to that. But it’s a new experience, knowing that every week, or every three or four days, there will be huge opposition. But he will know. It’s not his first year in management, and the Spanish guys at Manchester City know this league.”

Hiddink was asked if after this move current Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini can go to Chelsea:

“That’s up to Chelsea to decide. What I think of him, not having met him or spoken to him, I admire his approach to football, to his team and to the game, and he’s a well balanced manager. I respect him without knowing him.”



Antonio Conte is enjoying every moment of his stay at Chelsea. The Italian manager is not only happy with his team's performances, but also with the...