GK Gigi Buffon: “the wall”
RB Lilian Thuram: “the animal”
CB Thiago Silva: “complete”
CB Fabio Cannavaro: “the pitbull”
LB Maxwell: “elegant, simple as that”
RW Andres Iniesta: “magic”
CM Patrick Vieira: “the leader”
CM Xavi: “perfect, very simple”
LW Pavel Nedved: “because he is a machine”
FW Lionel Messi: “genius”
FW Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “The God”
FIFA Puskás Award NOMINEES ANNOUNCED
Besides the shortlist of forwards for the World XI and Ballon d'Or nominees (share your wishes/predictions here!), FIFA also announced the shortlist for the Puskás Award aka the best goal. Here are the 3 nominees:
• Stephanie Roche - 20 October 2013, Peamount United v Wexford Youths, BEWNL (Ireland Republic)
• James Rodriguez - 28 June 2014, Colombia v Uruguay, 2014 FIFA World Cup
• Robin van Persie - 13 June 2014, Spain v Netherlands, 2014 FIFA World Cup
(Last year the winner was Zlatan The God's acrobatic goal in a friendly against England. Rewatching it now, I think this year only The Flying Dutchman can compare.)
• THIERRY HENRY confirms MLS exit
• BALOTELLI still sidelined for Liverpool
• GERRARD offered new contract
• KLOSE unhappy at Lazio due to little play time
• WENGER hits out at critics: "I started to manage a team at the top level in 1983. If I am completely useless tactically, I am a genius [because] I can hide it very well. Look, in [each of] the last 15 years, we are qualified for the last 16 in the Champions League. Give me another club who has done that. I think we have shown extreme consistency and that’s all we can do. We’ve had ups and downs in the league - yes, it’s true, but you only come back again when the spirit is strong and healthy and united inside the club. And I think if you have shown such a consistency, it’s because we have that at the club. We have values and we respect them."
• LOUIS VAN GAAL praises himself: "Before I came here, of course, I had heard of his reputation. But, from the first day, he was not the Wayne Rooney that people had talked about. He was, in my eyes, a great example in training and, of course, he has achieved a certain level. I think he shall always play with me - although, when he is in a bad moment, maybe I can be convinced to change him. But he is my captain now. He is the man who sets the example for the other players. So I'm very pleased. I have the impression that he lives for football and that he likes being the captain of Manchester United. Of course, being captain of England helps him to be a better captain of United. He has more experience. But I have to remind everyone that I put him first as captain. Roy Hodgson followed my advice. I can make every player better. I'm sorry. That's arrogant, but I can."
• SIMEONE will leave Atlético sooner or later: ''I'm a spontaneous guy, and spontaneous people are notoriously impatient. I can't stay for 10 years at the same club.''
• KLOPP is not leaving BVB because (as long as?) there is no one to replace him: "If it is only about luck and a change of coach can bring that, you only have to call me up and I will step aside. But it is not so simple. As long as nobody comes and says to me, 'we have someone who does it better', then I cannot go. I won't stand in the way, but I cannot go before there is a better solution, the responsibility is great and I can accept it."
Which 11 players would you have in YOUR Dream Team?