Tag Archives: FC Barcelona

Golden Boy 2020 Nominees Revealed

Tuttosport yesterday revealed their long list of the 100 young footballers nominated for this year’s award, given to the best player under the age of 21 playing in a major European league.

Last year’s winner Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix fails to make the cut this time around, after he narrowly pipped Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho in 2019.

The Englishman is one of the favourites to scoop the prize this year, alongside club teammate Erling Haaland and Bayern Munich’s rising star Alphonso Davies. All three have had staring roles in the Bundesliga this term, with Sancho netting 17 goals in the league and providing 16 assists.

Nineteen year old Haaland only arrived in Germany in January, but already has 11 goals to his name in just 12 appearances whisky Canadian Davies has put in a number of eye catching performances at left back as Bayern Munich romped to their 8th consecutive Bundesliga title.

Twenty-three starlets nominated ply their trade in the top flight, coming from nine different Premier League clubs. One of them will be hoping to become only the fourth player to win the Golden Boy whilst starring in the Premier League.

Arsenal’s Trae Coyle, breakthrough stars Bukayo Saka, and Gabriel Martinelli as well as on loan St Etiene defender William Saliba make the list, alongside North London rivals Spurs’ duo Oliver Skipp and Ryan Sessegnon.

Both Manchester clubs have three young guns nominated, Phil Foden, Eric Garcia and Claudio Gomes for City and Angel Gomes, James Garner and Mason Greenwood for United.

European champions Liverpool are represented on the list by Scouser Curtis Jones, full back Yasser Larouci and Dutch centre back Sepp Van den Berg, whilst Norwich’s flying full back Max Aarons also makes the cut.

Chelsea have four nominees; Tino Anjorin, Scotsman Billy Gilmour, RB Leipzig loanee Ethan Ampadu and winger Callum Hudson-Odoi. Wolves’ Pedro Neto and Morgan Gibbs-White alongside Southampton’s Irish striker Micheal Obafemi complete the list of Premier League players chosen.

Two Americans make the long list for the award, which is whittled down to just 20 players through of a public vote, before a panel of 40 esteemed journalists choose the winner later in the year.

Nineteen year old Ajax defender Sergio Dest, who was named Ajax’s Talent of the Year makes the cut alongside Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna, who has enjoyed a breakout campaign, scoring once and providing an assist in 16 appearances this term.

Celtic’s young sensation Karamoko Dembele makes the list along with a number of La Liga stars. Valencia’s Ferran Torres and Lee Kang-In, Real Madrid trio Vinicius Junior, Takefusa Kubo who is currently on loan at Real Mallorca, and Rodrygo are also included alongside seventeen year old Barcelona star Ansu Fati, who has scored six goals already this term.

Rennes prospect Edoardo Camavinga and Brescia’s Sandro Tonali who are attracting interest from top clubs across Europe are some of the other notable inclusions. A shock exclusion was Birmingham’s sixteen year old wonder kid Jude Bellingham, who has registered 32 senior appearances, scoring four Championship goals, and is rumoured to have agreed a deal to join Borussia Dortmund.

Full List of Golden Boy Nominees:

Goalkeepers: Ionut-Casian Rus (Cluj)

Defenders: Max Aarons (Norwich), Ethan Ampadu (RB Leipzig), Benoit Badiashile (Monaco), Mitchel Bakker (PSG), David Colina (Hajduk Split), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Sergino Dest (Ajax), Tiago Djalo (Lille), Eric Garcia (Manchester City), Lutsharel Geertruida (Feyenoord), Ozan Kabak (Schalke), Yasser Larouci (Liverpool), Svetozar Markmovic (Larisa), Loic Mbe Soh (PSG), Juan Miranda (Schalke) Patricio Nehuen Perez (Famalicao), Jean-Claude Ntenda (Juventus), Strahinja Pavlovic (Partizan Belgrade), Eduardo Quaresma (Sporting CP), William Saliba (Saint-Etienne)

Midfielders: Yacine Adli (Bordeaux), Lucien Jefferson Agoume (Inter), Faustino Anjorin (Chelsea), Adil Aouchiche (PSG), Edoardo Camavinga (Rennes), Phil Foden (Manchester City), James Garner (Manchester United), Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolves), Bryan Gil (Leganes), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), Claudio Gomes (PSV), Matias Goncalo Ramos (Benfica), Ryan Jiro Gravenberch (Ajax), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Mohamed Amine Ihattaren (PSV), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Takefusa Kubo (Mallorca), Dejan Kulusevski (Parma), Alessio Riccardi (Roma), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham), Dominik Szoboszlai (RB Salzburg), Sandro Tonali (Brescia), Hamed Traore (Sassuolo), Sepp van den Berg (Liverpool)

Attackers: Abel Ruiz (Braga), Karim-David Adeyemi (RB Salzburg), Marley Ake (Marseille), Angel Gomes (Manchester United), Myron Boadu (Alkmaar), Rayan Cherki (Lyon), Facundo Colidio (Saint-Truiden), Trae Coyle (Arsenal), Leon Dajaku (Bayern Munich), Jonathan David (Gent), Karamoko Dembele (Celtic), Sebastiano Esposito (Inter), Daniel Fabio Silva (Porto), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Lyle Foster (Cercle Brugge), Zeljko Gavric (Red Star), Willem Geubbels (Monaco), Lorenzo Gonzalez (St Gallen), Amine Gouiri (Lyon), Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), Mamadou Kaly Sene (Juventus), Mohammed Kudus (Nordsjaelland), Diego Lainez (Real Betis), Kang-in Lee (Valencia), Daniel Maldini (Milan), Felix Khonde Mambimbi (Young Boys), Antonio Marin (Dinamo Zagreb), Alejandro Jose Mendez Marques (Juventus), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Michael Obafemi (Southampton), Paulinho (Bayer Leverkusen), Pedro Neto (Wolves), Euclides Rafael Camcho (Sporting CP), Reinier (Real Madrid), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Miguel Romario Baro (Porto), Thomas Sabitzer (LASK), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Sergio Gomez (Borussia Dortmund), Mathias Soule (Juventus), Mateus Tete (Shakhtar), Ferran Torres (Valencia), Amad Traore (Atalanta), Lassina Traore (Ajax), Heorhiy Tsitaishvili (Dynamo Kiev), Yari Verschaeren (Anderlecht), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid), Dusan Vlahovic (Fiorentina)

La Liga Preview: Seville Derby Kicks-off restart

After a break of three months, La Liga will resume this week with all eyes on the race for the title between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

After Madrid’s El Classico victory over Barcelona, the Catalan club’s lead at the top of the table has been cut to only two points. It isn’t just at the top of the table that remains interesting, there is plenty of interest in the battle for Champions League qualification, with just five points separating third placed Sevilla and seventh placed side Valencia.

At the bottom Espanyol, Leganes and Mallorca are separated by just five points with Celta Vigo and Eibar perilously close to danger.

The action resumes behind closed doors on Thursday when Sevilla entertain Real Betis.

Before the break Sevilla had picked up a useful point at Atletico Madrid with Real Betis gaining a well-deserved home win against Real Madrid. Real Betis have certainly struggled on the road this season, picking up just a single victory on their travels.

The hosts will be without Nemanja Gudelj who is currently serving a one match suspension, whilst Betis continue to be without Juan Lopez who is expected back in action shortly.

On Friday Getafe travel to ninth placed Granada.

Getafe certainly enjoy playing away, having picked up 21 points so far on the road. Before the break both sides picked up a point apiece and both teams have two victories out of their last five games played.

Granada could well be without as many as five regular players for Friday nights game with Antonio Puertas serving a one game ban and Angel Montoro doubtful alongside long-term absentees Alex Martinez, Quini and Neyder Lozano.

The visitors will be missing a trio of players due to suspension. Nemanja Maksimovic, Jaime Mata and Mauro Arambarri all are serving a one game ban with Filip Manojlovic out with a back injury.

Also, on Friday Valencia host Levante at the Mestalla Stadium.

Valencia will be looking to get back to winning ways again after just one win in their last five games-  a 2-1 victory over Betis, whilst Levante will be hoping to improve their dismal away record which currently stands at 11 losses on the road.

In the previous five meetings between the sides Levante have still yet to take a point of Valencia.

The hosts will be without Geoffrey Kondogbia due to suspension with Ezequiel Garay sidelined with a knee injury. For the visitors Ivan Lopez will miss the match due to a knee problem.

Four matches are scheduled for Saturday, with the action commencing with basement club Espanyol entertaining Alaves.

The hosts, who have managed just a single victory at their headquarters this season are up against 14th placed Alaves who have won just twice on their travels.

The home side will go into Saturday’s encounter without Diego Lopez who is serving a one game suspension, whilst Joselu will be missing for the visitors due to suspension.

Celta Vigo, who are only a single point ahead of the bottom three, face Villarreal at Abanca- Balaidos.

The home side go into the game on the back of no win in their last five, whilst Villarreal are winless in their last three games.

Vigo will be without Sergio Alvarez, who is still out with a meniscus injury. As for the visitors, they will be missing Rueben Pena through suspension, with Bruno Soriano, Ramiro Mori and Ramiro Guerra all out through injuries.

Struggling Leganes host Valladolid on Saturday evening at Estadio Municipal de Butarque.

In the last three meetings between the sides Leganes hold a record of two wins and a draw.

Leganes go into the game on the back of their last match before the enforced break which was a 2-1 victory against Villarreal.

Saturday will also see Barca travel to Mallorca in the last match of the day.

Despite an unblemished home form, Barcelona have struggled on their travels this season picking up 18 points from 13 matches.

In their last three meetings between the sides Barcelona have hit 14 goals, with Mallorca replying with just two.

The hosts will be missing Lumor Agbenyenu and Leonardo Koutris through injuries with Clement Lenglet out for Barca due to suspension.

Athletic Bilbao take on Atletico Madrid in the first of three games on Sunday.

The home side will go into the game with bags of confidence having won their last two matches against Vallodolid and Villarreal. Madrid are certainly becoming the draw specialist on their travels- so far having picked up seven- and three victories.

The visitors have doubts for Sunday game with Angel Correa, Joao Felix and Sime Vrsaljko injured along with long term Dario Poveda who is out for the season.

Second place Real Madrid take on Eibar on Sunday at the Bernabeu.

Madrid who are currently unbeaten at home will be strong favourites to take all three points having beaten Eiber four times in their last five meetings between the sides, however Real go into the game having had only one win in their last five games. Eiber have only one win in their last five games and that was against Levante.

Gareth Bale is a doubt for the home side, with Nancho Fernandez and Luka Jovic out. For the visitors, Gonzalo Escalante misses the match due to suspension.

The final match on a packed weekend of La Liga action sees Real Sociedad entertain Osasuna.

Fourth placed Sociedad are on fire at the moment having won four of their last five matches before the break.

Ander Guevara is a doubt for the hosts with Osasuna coming into the game without potentially as many as seven players.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: THE GOOD WORK CARRIED OUT WITHIN FOOTBALL CLUBS

Professional football clubs have an immense following within their local community with increasing influence on a global scale. With their top-tier status in society, this must used to the advantage for the people.

In the last decade, the relationships between football and charities has rapidly grown, and rightfully so. Perhaps the most famous partnership with La Liga highfliers Barcelona who wore the Unicef logo on the front and back of their famous burgundy and navy stripes for over ten years. The connection of the two organisations saw the Spanish club contribute £2 million per year from 2016, in aid of improvement of education through sport and play in countries where the United Nations charity operated. The perennial champions of La Liga successfully support this wonderful charity, but should management of football clubs begin to focus upon taking advantage of their platform to provide social responsibility?

Looking most recently at the disastrous situation down under, the destruction of homes and wildfire life has caused a sad scene for all. With premise of the Australian open being held in Melbourne on the 20th January, elites of the game have subscribed to play in an exhibition match to raise money for those affected by the bush fires in Australia. A simplistic idea but an event which will not only bring enjoyment for spectators to give break from their hardships, with participation of Rodger Federer, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal confirmed, but is also an effective money maker for the economic help the country needs.

Looking specifically at professional footballers, their social media platforms could be used as a gateway for good causes. An impeccable example is of Aston Villa man Tyrone Mings. On top of establishing a football academy which targeted those who had been affected by homelessness, just as he had as a youngster, he opened up his executive box for the Christmas game against Southampton. The regular starter at Villa Park used Twitter to announce his opening and his followers may send nominations of inspirational people who perhaps could not make the game in normal circumstances. Social media was full of praise for the kind gesture but most importantly those who spent the day in Aston Villa’s hospitality, courtesy of Ming’s, had a once in a life time experience.

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Growing up in a homeless shelter, Tyrone Ming’s uses his status to help those who descend from a similar background has he did.

Aston Villa as a club, along with many others, have a close relationship with their local hospice. Acorn Children’s Hospice have been the official charity partners of Villa sine 2006 and have quoted on their website the players regularly visit the hospice to show support and awareness for those who use the hospice and those working there. It can be a very humbling experience for the players, but with the stature of their football player title, you can imagine what it will bring to those they are visiting.

Footballers have the status and ability to make these simplistic gestures which has potential to be a once in a life-time experience. It is clear to see many clubs and individual players are aware of the positive effect they can have on wider society and do show social responsibility. There is always room for further improvements and clubs and players should be encouraged to increase and maintain their interaction within society to the upmost.

Three potential replacements for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal

With the news that Arsenal legend, Arsene Wenger will leave the Emirates at the end of the season. Wenger has enjoyed unrivalled success at Arsenal, and despite the turmoil he has endured over the last few seasons, is still the greatest manager in the clubs history. After his illustrious career in North London, attention now turns to his possible successor, with many possible candidates being considered.

Diego Simeone- Simeone has done a brilliant job at Atletico Madrid, managing to break the stranglehold the big two have on Spanish football, and making two Champions League Finals in the process. His style of play would go against the traditions at Arsenal, with his preferred counter attacking style being a polar opposite to the possession based flair Arsenal fans have got used to over the last 22 years, but this change could be exactly what Arsenal need. Young, hungry and with a proven track record at the highest level, Simeone would surely be top of most Arsenal fans wish list.

Luis Enrique- The ex Barca gaffer excelled in his first job at the Nou Camp, winning nine trophies in his three years. Enrique would offer Arsenal a seamless transition from the Wenger years, with his style of play being very similar to that of Wenger. The current bookies favourite, is already rumoured to be in discussions with the Gunners, and is a young coach that is readily available should Arsenal come calling. His record proves what he is capable of achieving, and is another coach Arsenal fans will be excited about.

Eddie Howe- A slightly controversial choice, that is unlikely to happen, but wouldn’t a young English coach getting a job at a top six club be good for English football? Howe has done a superb job at Bournemouth, taking a struggling cash-strapped League Two club to the Premier League, and done it by playing good football to boot. He has not changed his style of play since gaining promotion to the Premier League, a very gutsy move from a young manager, but one that has paid off and seen Bournemouth become an established Premier League side.

Is this former international striker set to take over at the Kassam Stadium

Oxford United are still on the look out for a new manager eleven days after Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth took control of the club. Plenty of high profile names including the likes of Craig Bellamy and Steve McClaren have been linked with the post but as of yet nobody is in the hotseat, but is this about to change…

The Sun reported yesterday that the club were in talks with former Dutch international Patrick Kluivert to take the helm at the Kassam Stadium. Kluivert recently had a post with Paris St-Germain as Director of Football, and has previously held assistant manager positions with the likes of Az Alkmaar, NEC and also the Dutch national side.

Kluivert would bring a wealth of experience with him, having played at the highest level for the likes of Ajax, AC Milan and FC Barcelona and could attract some big names to the Kassam Stadium should he take charge of the League One outfit.

From this it is clear to see that new Oxford owner wants to put a high profile name in charge of the club and this will in turn give The U’s every chance of getting out of League One and into the Championship.

Oxford United fans would you like to see Patrick Kluivert as your new manager? Let us know in the comments section…