Tuesday, June 15

Tag: Julen Lopetegui

Sevilla’s Bounou: Europa League final save is best in my career
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Sevilla’s Bounou: Europa League final save is best in my career

A year ago, the Morocco international produced a standout performance as Julen Lopetegui's men saw off the Nerazzurri in Cologne Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou has chosen his save against Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku during the 2019-20 Europa League final as the best in his career so far. With the score 2-2 at the RheinEnergieStadion, the 30-year-old produced a moment of brilliance to stop Lukaku from beating him for a second time after the Belgian star had earlier converted a penalty in the fifth minute. The save helped Sevilla from going behind in the encounter as the former Manchester United forward later deflected Diego Carlos's strike in the 74th minute which turned out to be the match-winning effort.
Lopetegui Names Right Manager to coach Real Madrid after Champions League exit
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Lopetegui Names Right Manager to coach Real Madrid after Champions League exit

  Sevilla manager, Julen Lopetegui, has said that Zinedine Zidane is the right manager to coach Real Madrid following their Champions League exit last Wednesday. Zidane suffered huge criticism from fans after Chelsea eliminated Real Madrid from the Champions League, following Timo Werner and Mason Mount’s goals. However, Lopetegui, who replaced Zidane as Real Madrid head coach in 2018, believes there is no room for critics to doubt the Frenchman’s ability. “I don’t have much to say [about the criticisms of Zidane],” said Lopetegui in his pre-match press conference ahead of Real Madrid’s LaLiga clash with Sevilla on Sunday. “Zidane’s work speaks for itself, there’s no room for doubting his ability. “He’s the ideal coach for where he is.”
En-Nesyri: Sevilla striker can punish Real Madrid despite Chelsea setback
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En-Nesyri: Sevilla striker can punish Real Madrid despite Chelsea setback

The Morocco forward’s frustrating night vs the Blues shouldn’t be used against him when Julen Lopetegui selects XI for Los Blancos clash When Youssef En-Nesyri’s tame header trickled into the arms of Edouard Mendy in the closing seconds of Sevilla’s humbling night against Chelsea on Wednesday, it was hard not to feel sorry for the frontman. On a night where Julen Lopetegui made a swathe of changes to the side, last year’s Europa League winners were thoroughly beaten 4-0 in Andalusia, with the North African forward cutting an isolated figure for the majority of the game in Seville. Even though qualification was already sewn up, both sides opted to rest usual starters despite first place in the group up for grabs. In the end, Chelsea’s superior quality told, as Frank Lampard was still...
Asensio’s post-Ronaldo nightmare: How it all went wrong for Real Madrid’s boy wonder
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Asensio’s post-Ronaldo nightmare: How it all went wrong for Real Madrid’s boy wonder

The winger was set for a more prominent role again under Zinedine Zidane, but has been hit with a devastating ACL blow just two games into pre-season Zinedine Zidane’s return to Real Madrid provided a lifeline for many of those case aside by Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari. Isco and Marcelo were expected to be two big winners from the move , having both fallen out of favour when the 47-year-old coach initially left in the summer of 2018. Marco Asensio was another. The young winger had been deployed in a less favoured left wing role which he felt didn’t get the best out of him.
Sevilla seal deal for PSV and Netherlands striker De Jong
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Sevilla seal deal for PSV and Netherlands striker De Jong

The 28-year-old will end a five-year spell in the Eredivisie as he joins up with Julen Lopetegui's side ahead of the new campaign Prolific Netherlands forward Luuk de Jong has signed for Sevilla in a deal to take the PSV Eindhoven star to La Liga on a four-year deal, with the striker adding that he feels "in the best form" of his career. The 28-year-old, who had previous spells with Borussia Monchengladbach and Newcastle, has established himself as one of the leading lights of the Eredivisie since returning to the league in 2014. He brings to a close a half-decade spell with Mark van Bommel's side, having won three league titles and finished last season as the division's top scorer.
Spain captain Ramos offers tribute to Luis Enrique after Spain coach steps down
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Spain captain Ramos offers tribute to Luis Enrique after Spain coach steps down

The former Barcelona man has resigned after 11 months in charge and the Real Madrid skipper has lent his support to the 49-year-old Spain captain Sergio Ramos has paid tribute to former coach Luis Enrique after the ex-Barcelona man stepped down from his role as boss of the national team. Having taken on the role at short notice ahead of last year’s World Cup, the 49-year-old brought to an end an 11-month tenure in the post having been absent from the international camp since March due to personal reasons. Enrique was appointed last July after Fernando Hierro stepped down following their round-of-16 exit to the hosts in Russia, with the latter himself having been hired at short notice to replace the unceremoniously sacked Julen Lopetegui.
I’m Happy Zidane is Back at Real Madrid – Hazard
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I’m Happy Zidane is Back at Real Madrid – Hazard

Chelsea star, Eden Hazard, has admitted he is pleased Zinedine Zidane has returned to Real Madrid. Zidane won three straight Champions League crowns with Madrid, before abruptly resigning following their 2018 triumph in Kiev. After the brief failed tenures of Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari saw Madrid lose sight of Barcelona in LaLiga and eliminated in both the Champions League and Copa del Rey, the club brought back Zidane. “I am not a Real Madrid player but as a supporter of Zidane, I was very happy that he came back because football needs Zidane. “For Real it is good, for the supporters of Real it is good. “But for the other teams, a bit less because Real Madrid with Zinedine Zidane win a lot, so it will be difficult,” Hazard told RMC Sport.
Zidane Desperate to Land Premier League Star for Real Madrid
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Zidane Desperate to Land Premier League Star for Real Madrid

Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane, is determined to resurrect a deal for Sadio Mane, France Football reports. Zidane was close to signing the Liverpool winger, at the end of his first stint as Real boss. Mane was expected to seal a move to the Spanish capital in the summer of 2018, with Zidane desperate to make the 26-year-old his first signing. However, the Frenchman’s sudden departure saw the deal scrapped. Incoming Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui decided to pursue other targets and Mane remained at Anfield. But now Zidane has returned to Real Madrid after the sacking of Santiago Solari, he wants to finally complete the transfer he had his heart set on a year ago. Mane has been in sensational form this season and he’s joint-second in the Premier League scoring ...
Isco, Bale get Zidane’s second coming off to winning start for Real Madrid
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Isco, Bale get Zidane’s second coming off to winning start for Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane’s second spell as Real Madrid coach got off to a promising start with a 2-0 win at home to Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday. The two goals came thanks to goals from Isco and Gareth Bale, who had fallen out of favour with previous coach Santiago Solari. Spain midfielder Isco was handed his first start in the league since October by returning hero Zidane and broke the deadlock in the 62nd. He only had to tap in a low cross from Karim Benzema at close range. Luka Modric had a goal ruled out for offside earlier in the second half and Bale, who had struck the crossbar in the first period, sealed victory with a shot in off the post in the 77th minute. The goal further lifted the mood at the Santiago Bernabeu. Real are third in the league standings with 54 point...
Zidane Considers Bale, Isco For Celta Vigo Match
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Zidane Considers Bale, Isco For Celta Vigo Match

Zinedine Zidane has offered a way back for Gareth Bale, Isco and Marcelo at Real Madrid as he prepares for his first game against Celta Vigo on Saturday since being re-appointed as coach. Bale, Isco and Marcelo have all endured difficult seasons under Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari, with Bale heavily criticised for his form while Isco and Marcelo have been dropped. Zidane’s return puts Bale’s future in further doubt, given the pair’s relationship became strained last season, before the Welshman said he was considering his future at the club. “I am not going to talk about Bale’s season, I only talk about the 11 games we have left,” Zidane said on Friday. “We all know the player that Gareth is. I am counting on him like everyone else, we are ready and Gareth is ready.” Wh...
Mourinho Admits he Could Return to Real Madrid
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Mourinho Admits he Could Return to Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho has admitted that he has “no problem” returning to Real Madrid this summer. The Portuguese, who was sacked last December at Manchester United, spent three years with the Spanish giants between 2010-2013. Santiago Solari is currently in charge of the Champions League holders, after Julen Lopetegui was sacked earlier this season. However, despite being handed a contract until June 2021, Solari is under pressure at Madrid, after the defeat by Barcelona left the club 12 points adrift of the league leaders. Mourinho, who has been linked with the job, says he will have no qualms coming back. “To a club that I have been before? If I think the right club, the right structure, the right ambitions, I will have no problem at all. “I think it’s...
Valverde Speaks On El Clasico Being LaLiga Title Decider
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Valverde Speaks On El Clasico Being LaLiga Title Decider

Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde, has insisted that the title race in LaLiga will not be over, even if they win away to rivals Real Madrid on Saturday. Madrid are nine points behind Valverde’s men, who won 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday to book a place in the Copa del Rey final. They are also winless in their last five league games against Barcelona, with October’s 5-1 thrashing at Camp Nou leading to the sacking of Julen Lopetegui. “We have points to play for in this game, it’s a different competition to Wednesday. “It’s very difficult, as I said the other day, for the same result to occur in the same game twice in a row but we would obviously like that to happen. “We’re going there to search for a win that would be a big blow for them and a bi...
Ramos Leads Rejuvenated Madrid in 600th Appearance
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Ramos Leads Rejuvenated Madrid in 600th Appearance

When Real Madrid slumped to a 3-0 defeat against CSKA Moscow in their last Champions League group game in December they looked far removed from the defending champions, let alone like the side that had just won the competition for the third straight time. It compounded a woeful few months for the club as coach Julen Lopetegui came and went before former player Santiago Solari replaced him in November. They sat sixth in La Liga and appeared a team in decline, sorely missing forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who left for Juventus last summer. But fast-forward to February and all of a sudden Real look like they could once again be the team to beat in Europe this year. Rejuvenated and unbeaten in the league since early January, they head into Wednesday’s game with Ajax full of confidence havi...
Real Madrid Appoint Solari Until 202
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Real Madrid Appoint Solari Until 202

European champions Real Madrid have handed Santiago Solari a contract as first team coach through to June 2021, the club announced in a statement on Tuesday. The 42-year-old Argentine has led the team to four wins in four games since taking over as interim manager in place of sacked former Spain coach Julen Lopetegui two weeks ago. Solari has enjoyed the best start of any coach in the club’s history and his appointment as permanent manager was approved by the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) on Monday. He played for Real from 2000 to 2005 in the Galacticos era alongside Zinedine Zidane. The former France captain became the club’s coach and won three UEFA Champions League titles in a row before stepping down. Solari led Real’s reserve team from 2016 until he took over from Lopeteg...
Madrid Confirm Solaris As Manager
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Madrid Confirm Solaris As Manager

Interim Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari was appointed permanent coach on Monday after overseeing a startling upturn in the European champions’ fortunes since he stepped in to replace Julen Lopetegui. “Everything is in order. Real Madrid have worked out his contract and there are no problems,” the Spanish football federation stated. Solari has led Real to four wins out of four since being installed on a caretaker basis following Lopetegui’s abrupt sacking last month. santiago solari santiago solari And with 15 goals scored and only two conceded he has established the best ever start for a Real manager. After thrashing Melilla in the Copa del Rey, they won 5-0 away to Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League, between victories over Real Valladolid and Celta Vigo in La Liga. The upturn ...
Real Madrid Making Moves to Appoint Solari on Permanent Basis – RFEF
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Real Madrid Making Moves to Appoint Solari on Permanent Basis – RFEF

Santiago Solari will become Real Madrid’s permanent coach until the end of the season, according to papers filed with the Spanish football association, the sports channel ESPN reported on Monday. The 42-year-old Argentine has led the team to four wins in four games since replacing Julen Lopetegui at the helm of the European champions two weeks ago. Spanish rules prevent an interim coach from staying in charge for longer than 15 days, which expire on Monday, without being appointed on a permanent basis. The Spanish Football Association (RFEF) told ESPN that Real Madrid had filed papers to hire Solari on that basis. Solari has enjoyed the best start of any manager in the club’s history with victories over Melilla, Viktoria Plzen, Real Valladolid and Celta Vigo. Lopetegui was s...
Real Madrid Chief Butragueno: Statement Did Not Seek To Criticise Lopetegui
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Real Madrid Chief Butragueno: Statement Did Not Seek To Criticise Lopetegui

Real Madrid chief Emilio Butragueno insists the club did not seek to insult Julen Lopetegui after his dismissal on Monday. Many were critical of Real's statement confirming the coach's departure. However, after their Copa win against Melilla, Butragueno defended Real's management. "We have great respect for Lopetegui, he is a great professional," said Butragueno. "The statement was not a criticism of anybody. (Santiago) Solari? Now he's our coach, let's see what happens."  
Real Madrid Sack Manager Julen Lopetegui
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Real Madrid Sack Manager Julen Lopetegui

Real Madrid have sacked manager Julen Lopetegui after just four months in charge of the Spanish club. His dismissal comes just a day after Real Madrid suffered a humiliating 5 - 1 defeat in El Clasico clash against Barcelona. The club's Castilla coach, Santiago Solari, will take over on an interim basis starting on Tuesday. A club statement read: "Real Madrid's board met today on 29 Oct 2018 and has agreed to end the contract linking coach Julen Lopetegui with the club. This decision has been taken to change the dynamic in which the first team finds itself, when all the objectives for the season are still achievable. "The board understands that there is a big difference between the quality of Real Madrid's squad, which has eight players nominated for the next Ballon D'Or, somet...
BREAKING: Julen Lopetegui Sacked But Antonio Conte Move Now In Doubt
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BREAKING: Julen Lopetegui Sacked But Antonio Conte Move Now In Doubt

Real Madrid have confirmed the sacking of head coach Julen Lopetegui. President Florentino Perez called an emergency meeting with his board for Monday evening after yesterday’s 5-1 defeat at Barcelona at Camp Nou, where the former Spain coach's fate was sealed. Real Madrid face Melilla in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night and Castilla coach Santiago Solari will take charge of that match, while the Argentine could also be on the bench for Saturday’s La Liga clash against Valladolid. In the meantime, Spanish station Onda Cero have reported that Antonio Conte will now not be joining Real, with other outlets echoing that information. The broadcaster claims negotiations with the former Chelsea manager have broken down, although the reasons are unclear at this stage. It ...
Club President Perez’s Attitude Made Me Leave Real Madrid- Ronaldo
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Club President Perez’s Attitude Made Me Leave Real Madrid- Ronaldo

Juventus FC forward Cristiano Ronaldo says his decision to quit Real Madrid last summer was because the Spanish club’s president only ever saw him as a means of making money. “He (Florentino Perez) only ever looked at me as a business relationship. I know it. What he told me was never from the heart,” the Portuguese forward told France Football magazine. The 33-year-old Ronaldo signed for Italy’s Juventus from Real Madrid in July for 100 million euros and has helped his new club to an unbeaten start in Serie A this season. Cristiano Ronaldo He has scored seven goals in 10 appearances for the Italian champions. “In the first four or five years (at Real Madrid), I had the feeling of being ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’. Less so afterwards. “The president looked at me through eyes that didn...
Why I want To Leave Chelsea – Morata
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Why I want To Leave Chelsea – Morata

      Morata was dropped from the Spain squad after scoring only three times in 23 games for Chelsea in the second half of last season. “Yes I considered returning to Spain or Italy, but you cannot always escape reality,” Morata said.      “I left Spain to be at the World Cup and I did not go.”   Since then, Luis Enrique has taken the Spanish reins from Julen Lopetegui’s short-term replacement, Fernando Hierro, while Maurizio Sarri has arrived at Chelsea after Antonio Conte departed in July.   Enrique’s first squad included a recall for Morata, who has also started Chelsea’s four Premier League games so far under Sarri.   “Last year I started well but in the end it was a disaster,” Morata said. “I did not even know where I was when I went out to play.”   ...
DONE DEAL: Real Madrid striker Raul de Tomas joins Rayo Vallecano
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DONE DEAL: Real Madrid striker Raul de Tomas joins Rayo Vallecano

Real Madrid striker Raul de Tomas has joined Rayo Vallecano. De Tomas will play on loan at Rayo next season which leaves Borja Mayoral as the only back-up for striker Karim Benzema in Julen Lopetegui's squad. The youth product returns to the club where he was last season and it is a breakthrough for Valladolid who have the player that helped them win promotion with 24 goals in 32 games. For Madrid though they appear short on the ground in terms of cover and it is still possible that a striker, with Valencia's Rodrigo linked, comes before the window closes.  
Spain Sacks Coach Julen Lopetegui After Taking Real Madrid Job
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Spain Sacks Coach Julen Lopetegui After Taking Real Madrid Job

Less than 24 hours after the unexpected announcement that Spain manager Julen Lopetegui would take over at Real Madrid next season, the Spaniard has been sacked by the country’s football federation. Lopetegui’s dismissal comes just two days before Spain’s opening World Cup game against Euro 2016 winners Portugal on Friday. “We have been forced to make this decision,” Spanish Football Association President, Luis Rubiales said according to a series of tweets from the official Royal Spanish Football Federation’s official twitter account (RFEF). “RFEF cannot be sitting on the sidelines whilst someone negotiates with one of its employees and then find out five minutes later before the news is made public,” added Rubiales. “It’s a difficult and painful situation, and we would have liked ...
World Cup Heartbreak As Fabregas, Morata, Marcos Alonso And Bellerin Axed From Spain 23-man List
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World Cup Heartbreak As Fabregas, Morata, Marcos Alonso And Bellerin Axed From Spain 23-man List

Alvaro Morata has missed out on a place in Spain's squad for the World Cup in Russia, with Cesc Fabregas, Marcos Alonso, Ander Herrera and Hector Bellerin also omitted by Julen Lopetegui. Lopetegui named his 23-man squad for the tournament on Monday, with four Premier League players included - David de Gea, Cesar Azpilicueta, Nacho Monreal and David Silva. However, there was no place for Chelsea striker Morata, with Isco, Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez, Rodrigo and Diego Costa preferred in attack. Meanwhile, Andres Iniesta has been included in the squad the day after playing his final game for Barcelona. "We've taken the players we feel are the best and feel that we have the ingredients to challenge for the title and are just anxious for things to start now," said Lopetegui.
Globetrotter Garcia Eyes Return To Russia With Spain
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Globetrotter Garcia Eyes Return To Russia With Spain

The globe-trotting midfielder, who has won league titles in Spain, Russia, England and Portugal, left Zenit St Petersburg for Betis in August, just before the team played its first game at the shiny new Krestovsky stadium, which will host seven games at next year's World Cup, including a semi-final. Now he has returned to La Liga and quickly become the anchor of a revitalised Real Betis side, however, he has renewed hope of returning to Russia as part of Spain coach Julen Lopetegui's 23-man squad. "Returning to the national team was practically impossible while I was in Russia," said Garcia, who has two caps, in a telephone interview with Reuters. "But now I'm back in Spain everyone watches Betis matches, so why not? While things are going well for the team you never know what could hap...
Lazio Midfielder Alberto: ‘Spain Dream Come True’
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Lazio Midfielder Alberto: ‘Spain Dream Come True’

“It’s a dream come true,” he told Cadena Cope. “The whole world knows what a marvel it is to see these players train and compete up close.” The former Sevilla, Liverpool, Malaga and Deportivo La Coruna man previously had just two caps for his country at Under-19 level and one with the Under-21 side. His performances for Lazio this season earned him a call from Julen Lopetegui, having contributed three goals and seven assists in 16 competitive games. He came off the bench for the final 15 minutes of Saturday evening’s 5-0 friendly win over Costa Rica.
Spain VS Costa Rica Betting: Tense Start In Exhibition Match
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Spain VS Costa Rica Betting: Tense Start In Exhibition Match

Following an impressive qualification campaign which saw them comfortably top a potentially tricky group, Spain will surely be among the favourites for next summer's World Cup and their build-up to the tournament begins with a friendly against Costa Rica in Malaga's La Rosaleda stadium. Julen Lopetegui is likely to use the game to give minutes to some of the less experienced members of the squad. Lazio defender Luis Alberto was a surprise call-up, while Liverpool's Alberto Moreno will be hoping for his first international appearance in four years and Milan forward Suso aims to make his debut. Generally, of course, La Roja are extremely tough to beat, although their last two friendlies on home soil have been a little unconvincing with June seeing them net late on to salvage a 2-2 against ...
Spain: 2018 Russia World Cup Training Top Design Leaked
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Spain: 2018 Russia World Cup Training Top Design Leaked

Spain qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia with relative ease despite being placed in a challenging group alongside Italy. Recyclable shirt design leaked Pictures of the kits that Julen Lopetegui's will wear are now beginning to filter out. Footyheadlines has already released an image of a dashing strip that Spain are likely to wear in the tournament. Now the same website has leaked an image of the Adidas Parley shirt that La Roja will warm up in. As with the Real Madrid and Bayern Munich shirts that were released in November 2016, the shirt is will be made from recyclable materials. Spain could debut the shirt in a friendly match against Costa Rica on 11 November at La Rosaleda, Málaga.
Lopetegui: We Sang, Jumped And Danced In The Dressing Room
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Lopetegui: We Sang, Jumped And Danced In The Dressing Room

By defeating Albania 3-0 at the same time as Italy were held by Macedonia, La Roja ensured that they'll finish group winners, no matter what happens next Monday. "You need to celebrate the good things, so we sang, we jumped and we danced,"Julen Lopetegui said after the match. "We are pleased and proud of what we've achieved because it is important for Spain. "It's time to focus on the positive things, both in football and in this country." The Basque coach thanked the supporters in Alicante for their backing as well. "The home fans were very good," Lopetegui told reporters. Finally, Lopetegui denied that the bookings collected by Gerard Pique and David Silva were on purpose, with a view to earning a suspension for next week's dead rubber against Israel.
Lopetegui Warns Diego Costa To Get Fit Or Risk His World Cup Place
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Lopetegui Warns Diego Costa To Get Fit Or Risk His World Cup Place

While his relationship with his Chelsea coach Antonio Conte is still on the ropes, Julen Lopetegui is now worried that his main striker won't be fit for the upcoming tournament.As reported by Radio MARCA, the coaching staff of La Roja already informed Costa that in order to be included in the call-ups for the World Cup in Russia, he needs to rack up more playing time.The 28-year-old striker, who wasn't registered in the Blues' list for the Champions League, has gone the whole summer without attending his club's training sessions.On the other hand, a potential move back to Atletico Madrid in January might increase the player's chances to regain his spot in Lopetegui's starting lineup in the months before the World Cup.
‘The No.7 Belongs To David Villa’ – Morata Gives Up Spain Ahirt
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‘The No.7 Belongs To David Villa’ – Morata Gives Up Spain Ahirt

Alvaro Morata has been happy to bow to the seniority of David Villa as the veteran forward makes his return to Spain duty.The 35-year-old New York City striker has been called to Julen Lopetegui’s selection for World Cup qualifying matches against Italy and Liechtenstein, having failed to play for his country since the final match of their Brazil 2014 campaign, which ended in the group stages.Villa marked that occasion with a goal, taking his tally to 59 for his country – a figure unmatched for the 2010 world champions.As such, his recall after three years means that Morata has happily given him back his famous No.7 shirt.“The No.7 belongs to David Villa,” the Chelsea forward said upon joining the national team, despite having made that shirt his own over the course of his last two years w...
Spain fans shouldn’t whistle Barca’s Pique – Ramos
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Spain fans shouldn’t whistle Barca’s Pique – Ramos

Spain captain Sergio Ramos says he hopes that international teammate Gerard Pique is not whistled by Real Madrid supporters during Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Italy at the Bernabeu. Barcelona defender Pique has been regularly barracked for more than two years while playing for Spain, due to comments about Madrid made in June 2015. Since then the World Cup and European Championship winner has had to deal with negative attention at all home games, with the issue also reportedly linked to his perceived support for Catalan independence from Spain. Speaking as he joined up with the national squad ahead of Saturday’s game against Italy, and Tuesday’s trip to Liechtenstein, Ramos said all players who represent Spain deserved to be respected for their efforts. “I don’t want ...
Ramos Asks The Bernabeu Not To Boo Pique On Spain Duty
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Ramos Asks The Bernabeu Not To Boo Pique On Spain Duty

Pique is often booed by Spain supporters wherever the national team play and given he is a Barcelona player, it would not be a surprise for him to receive a less than friendly welcome at the Bernabeu."To Pique or to anybody else you must always respect the players," Ramos said when asked about the chances of the Barcelona defender getting a hostile reception."[I ask the fans] to support us, it will be a tense and difficult match."We want to perform well and play a good game."New York City FC's David Villa also received a surprise call-up from Julen Lopetegui, and Ramos admits that even the players did not expect to be reunited with the ex-Valencia and Barcelona forward."I think it surprised us all," he said. "But it is well received."He still has a young spirit and always wants to score go...
Lopetegui Delighted As Spain Extends Unbeaten Run To Nine Games
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Lopetegui Delighted As Spain Extends Unbeaten Run To Nine Games

Julen Lopetegui declared himself content as Spain extended their unbeaten record under him by scoring a late equaliser in Wednesday’s 2-2 friendly draw against Colombia in Murcia. Manchester United target Alvaro Morata stepped off the bench to head home an 87th-minute leveller after David Silva’s early opener had been overturned by goals from Edwin Cardona and Radamel Falcao. It stretches the unbeaten run during Lopetegui’s reign to nine games and sets them up for their World Cup qualifier with Macedonia this weekend. “It was an intense match and that was the way it had to be,” the boss said in his post-match news conference. “In the first part we have had control of the ball and the situation. “Before going 2-1 down we have had chances and have stopped the ball. The team ha...

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