Cristiano Ronaldo was not the first man to tell Alessandro Florenzi that he is too short. As a teenager, the Italian almost lost his place in the Roma youth system when puberty failed to deliver a growth spurt in line with his peers. Only an intervention by the great Bruno Conti – capped 47 times by Italy at 5ft 6 ½ins – persuaded coaches to give him another look. Now 28 years old, and a relative giant next to Conti at 5ft 8ins, Florenzi has made more than 250 appearances for Roma’s first-team. If Ronaldo was hoping to get under his skin with a jibe about height, then the Juventus player was destined be disappointed. The two players exchanged words in the 58th minute of the Bianconeri’s game against Roma on Sunday night. Florenzi had shouted at Ronaldo for failing to put the ball out of play so a team-mate could receive treatment. The Portuguese responded with a shushing gesture and then the rejoinder: “you’re too short to talk”. Moments … [Read more...] about Florenzi inspires Roma win and leaves Juventus and Ronaldo feeling small
Juventus champions league wins
PAUL POGBA shared a touching family snap on his wife Zulay's birthday. The injured Manchester United star, 26, posted the picture of himself and the Bolivian model in matching luxury shirts and shorts, while their baby boy sported an adorable kid's version. Zulay is grinning from ear to ear with a massive bunch of roses, but in the background fans can see a replica World Cup trophy on his cabinet. Pogba was a key part of France's triumph 16 months ago, scoring in the 4-2 final win over Croatia. The picture was shared with a caption written in Spanish for his South American wife. He said: "Happy Birthday my chubby, my mummy, my hayati, may God bless you always and give you all the best in the world."Below there are also various man of the match awards from Premier League wins with United. Pogba is expected to be back for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side next month for their clash with rivals City after playing his last match in the 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Old Trafford. He was ruled out in … [Read more...] about Man Utd star Paul Pogba posts rare family picture for wife Zulay’s birthday and has replica World Cup on his cabinet
The archetype of the football fan is trainspotter meets Trainspotting character: the unreconstructed thug with the nerdish side that enables him to recall that, say, Jesper Blomqvist made his debut for Manchester United in a 4-1 win over Charlton Athletic on September 9 1998. But that perception might need revision. For every fan who revels in the past there are several more whose term of reference is the here and now. So it is that good, often very good footballers are ridiculed for their geriatric final days rather than hailed for their athletic pomp. Managers are derided for the inevitably sad end of their era rather than the joyous beginning or middle. And Real Madrid's galactico era, the corpse of which will finally stop twitching when David Beckham is unveiled as an LA Galaxy player today, is remembered as an undignified, shambolic circus. That perception is not entirely without truth - eventually, like Ronaldo's waistline, it all bloated out of all proportion - but the … [Read more...] about On Second Thoughts: the galacticos era
AND RELAX So now we know. After all the flipping and a flopping and the incessant leap-frogging, Manchester City did possess the necessary mental fortitude to win the 14 consecutive games required to hold off the Terminator-esque pursuit of Liverpool and win their second consecutive Premier League title. For the runners-up, the long wait for that elusive latest title will now enter its 30th year and in the meantime Liverpool fans must content themselves with the knowledge that theirs was the most commendable failure to win the title in English football history. They got lots and lots of points, considerably more than most league winners usually require and so it came to pass that all the Kop had to cheer in the wake of Sunday’s win over Wolves was the sight of Little Miss Makka Salah scoring into an empty net following Liverpool’s lap of appreciation. Having seen off Brighton down on the south coast with only the bare minimum of fuss, City accepted their trophy and … [Read more...] about After all the flipping, flopping and incessant leap-frogging … it’s over
“Liverpool could finish on 97 points this season and finish second to Manchester City,” writes our very own Rob Smyth. “Would this be a record? And if not, what is the highest points tally amassed by a second-placed team?” Let’s start in England where, as recently as 2011-12, Manchester United finished on 89 points, level with Manchester City, only to lose out on goal difference because of Agüeroooooooooo! This is the English record in a 38-game season and barring a Devon Loch-style collapse, Liverpool or Manchester City (who could finish second on 96 points) look set to break this comfortably. Premier League (2011-12 ) P38 W28 D5 L5 F93 A29 +64 89 P38 W28 D5 L5 F89 A33 +56 89 In 1970-71, Don Revie’s Leeds finished second on 64 points, one point behind Arsenal. In an era of two points for a win that was quite a tally and meant they would have collected 91 points in a three-points-for-a-win season, but they played 42 games, not 38, and we are … [Read more...] about Are Liverpool or Manchester City on course for a record runner-up season?