Everton F.C. Signs Allan from S.S.C. Napoli

Allan is headed to England…

The 29-year-old Brazilian soccer player, whose full name is Allan Marques Loureiro, has been signed by Everton F.C. from Italian side S.S.C. Napoli on a three-year deal, the Premier League club announced on Saturday.

Allan

It’s reported Everton paid around £25 million to Napoli for the midfielder.

Allan scored 11 goals and grabbed 16 assists in more than 200 appearances for Napoli across all competitions, and helped them claim the Coppa Italia last season.

“It is a real pleasure to sign for Everton. I am immensely happy to be here,” Allan said in a club statement.

“I hope, like I have done in my entire career, I contribute with my performances together with my teammates and that I put in some great games, great performances and win important things.”

Capped nine times by Brazil, Allan was part of the squad that won the Copa America in 2019.

At Everton, he’ll be reunited with manager Carlo Ancelotti, having previously played under the 61-year-old for two seasons while the Italian was in charge of Napoli.

“It is a club with a rich history in the Premier League, has real ambition and then there is Professor Ancelotti. He has done everything possible to bring me here,” Allan said.

“It is the size of the club and the name of the coach, which means you don’t think twice about coming to Everton.”

Everton have also been linked with Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez as Ancelotti aims to strengthen the Merseyside club’s midfield ahead of the new season.

Everton finished 12th last term and begin their new Premier League campaign with a trip to Tottenham Hotspur on September 13.

Rafa Marquez Begins Coaching Career at Spain’s Real Sociedad Deportiva Alcala

Rafa Marquez is grooming the next generation of soccer stars…

The 41-year-old Mexican former professional footballer, regarded as the best defender in Mexico’s history and one of the best Mexican players of all time, has begun his coaching career training youth at Spanish fourth division side Real Sociedad Deportiva Alcala.

Rafa Marquez

Marquez, who’s nickname is El Káiser, retired in July 2018 after playing in his fifth World Cup and had a nine-month stint as Atlas‘ sporting president after that, but has now moved into the world of coaching.

“It’s a nice opportunity that I’m very grateful for,” said Marquez in quotes announced on the club’s website. “I’ve had a very warm welcome at the project, to which I feel very committed and to which I come in good spirits to help and offer all my experience as a player and now as a coach.”

Marquez, who holds a Spanish passport after his time with Barcelona, is currently studying in for his UEFA Pro license with the Spanish Football Federation as he transitions into being a head coach.

“The young players at Alcala will have the fortune to learn from a player who, after shining for his national team at the Copa America in Paraguay in 1999, left Atlas for European football, where he carried out practically all his successful sporting career,” read the club’s statement.

Marquez left Atlas last May after the club was bought out by Grupo Orlegi and became a fierce critic of the way the Mexican game is being run, slamming the suspension of promotion and relegation: between the top two divisions.

“Instead of moving forward each day, we are going backwards with these decisions and when it is run like this, with team owners’ interests [take priority], we won’t achieve anything on the sporting side,” he told ESPN in April.

Formiga Signs One-Year Contract Extension with Paris Saint-Germain’s Women’s Side

Formiga is staying in the game…

The 42-year-old Brazilian footballerwill extend her professional career into a 27th season after signing a one-year contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain‘s women’s side.

Formiga

Formigais the French side’s vice-captain and is now tied to the club until the summer of 2021.

Formiga – whose full name is Miraildes Maciel Mota– has been in Paris since January of 2017 when she joined from Sao Jose.

She scored four goals en route to winning the 2018 Coupe de Franceand has made 77 PSGappearances. She set the record for the oldest female scorer in European competition at 41 years and 193 days when she found the net in a 7-0 rout of Sporting Bragain the Champions Leagueround-of-16 first leg in September 2019.

In 2015, Formiga became the oldest scorer at a women’s World Cupwhen she netted at the age of 37 years, three months and six days.

She broke another record in France last summer when she played in her seventh World Cup– 24 years after the first of her 195 caps, in which she has scored 29 goals.

Formiga was also a Copa Americawinner with Brazil in 2018 and has made six Olympic appearances with the aim of retiring from the professional game after the rearranged 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

PSG were second to Lyon in the table, three points behind and due to host the leaders next, when football was brought to a global standstill by the coronavirus.

Although the French Football Federationhave since announced that the 2019-20 season has been brought to premature end, Lyon have not yet been officially crowned champions for a record 14th time.

Gabriel Jesus Leads Brazil to Copa America Title

Gabriel Jesus is being hailed a hero in his home country…

The 22-year-old Brazilian professional footballer, a forward for Premier League club Manchester City and the Brazil national team, scored and assisted on goals before being sent off in Brazil‘s 3-1 win over Peru in the Copa America final on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro.

Gabriel Jesus

The hosts opened the scoring in the 15th minute after Jesus slipped past two defenders and crossed the ball for Everton to finish first time past Peru keeper Pedro Gallese.

The two teams traded goals right before halftime with Paolo Guerreroconverting a spot kick for Peru after Thiago Silva was whistled for handball and Jesus cooly finishing from the top of the penalty area to restore Brazil’s lead at 2-1 before the break.

Peru had not won this tournament since 1975 and they bounced back quickly with an equalizer a minute before halftime when Paolo Guerrero scored from the penalty spot after Silva was adjudged to have handled the ball.

The goal was the first Brazil had conceded in six games since the Copa America began.

Jesus was controversially sent off in the 70th minute for a foul on Carlos Zambrano with the Man Citystriker being shown his second yellow card and leaving Brazil to finish the match with 10 players.

“I want to apologize,” said Jesus. “I could have avoided it and I also need to grow up a lot.”

Despite being down a man, Brazil was still able to force the issue on the field and goalscorer Everton drew a penalty, which substitute Richarlison converted to give Brazil their ninth Copa America title and first major trophy since 2007.

Peru coach Ricardo Garecarecognized Brazil was the superior side but said his team, who played at their first World Cupin 36 years in 2018, were competitive throughout.

“It was fair that Brazil won,” he said. “We had our momentum but the second goal…

“They took advantage of their opportunities.

“We came here hoping to win but they were very effective,” he added. “But looking beyond the pain of the defeat, I think we are on the right path, that is the feeling that I have.”

An injured Neymar and his son sat close to Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro among the crowd of nearly 70,000 at the Maracana as the Selecao secured a historic one for Brazil manager Tite, who becomes the first coach to oversee a win in the Copa America, the Copa Libertadores( Corinthians, 2012) and the Copa Sudamericana(Internacional, 2008).

Anitta to Perform Duet with Pedro Capó at the Copa America Closing Ceremony

Anitta is getting in to the futbolgame…

The 26-year-old Brazilian singer-songwriter will perform alongside Pedro Capó at the Copa America Brazil 2019 closing ceremony at Maracana Stadium on July 7, the organization has confirmed. 

Anitta

 It’ll be the first time that  Anitta will perform a duet with the Puerto Rican singer.

“I was very honored and happy with the invitation,” Anitta said in a press statement. “I’m sure this will be another unforgettable moment in my career.”

Capó added: “Conmebol Copa Americapromote the spirit of Latin American sport, and unites us culturally. Not to mention the fact of sharing this moment with Anitta in her country. I am very lucky.”

This year’s 46th edition of Copa America returned to Brazil after 30 years, with games taking place in six stadiums in five host cities (Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and São Paulo). Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela), Japan and Qatar participated in the matches. 

Powerhouses Brazil and Argentina faced off in one semifinal on Tuesday, with Brazil coming away the winner. Chile and Peru will fight it out in the other semifinal on Wednesday night (July 3).

Gabriel Jesus & Roberto Firmino Lead Brazil Into the Copa America Finals

Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino are hometown heroes…

The Brazilian soccer players scored the two goals that helped lead Brazil to a 2-0 victory against old rival Argentina in the Copa America semifinals.

Gabriel Jesus & Roberto Firmino

Both sides tried to impose themselves physically early on but it was Jesus who gave Brazil the lead after 19 minutes when Firmino sent in a low cross for the unmarked striker to side-foot home from close range.

The two combined again on the counter-attack after 71 minutes to make it 2-0 after great work from Jesus left Firmino with the simplest of tap-ins.

Brazil, who have lost twice in 42 games under coach Tite, will face either Peru or Chile in Sunday’s final at Maracana Stadiumin Rio de Janeiro and captain Dani Alves said their goal was within reach.

“There is one more step to go before we fulfil our objective,” he added. “The standard here is very high there are no easy teams. You have to work and fight for what you want and we worked for this.”

Argentina have not beaten Brazil in a major competitive fixture dating back to 2005 and that run rarely looked like ending in front of 52,000 fans at the Mineirao Stadiumin Belo Horizonte.

Sergio Aguero hit the bar with a header in the first half and Lionel Messi struck the post 11 minutes into the second period but the visitors had little luck in front of goal and were never on top for any length of time.

While the tournament has been plagued by lengthy stoppages for the video assistant referee (VAR), Tuesday’s officials preferred to let the game run, though Argentina were incensed VAR did not come into play when Arthur felled one of their players at a corner.

Messi, who has still not won a major title with Argentina, was more influential than in his first few matches here but was still a pale shadow of the player who has won everything with his club side.

“We had chances, the ball hit the woodwork, it flashed across the six-yard box, there were penalties that weren’t given,” said Messi, who like coach Lionel Scalonicomplained about the refereeing.

“Today it just didn’t happen.”

Argentina bow out after scoring just five goals in five games and are still looking for their first major title since lifting the Copa America in 1993.

“We knew that it would be difficult because of the players they have,” Brazil’s Casemiro said.

“It’s about details. We knew it would be scrappy and that there would be wind-ups and time wasting. But we have to congratulate our strikers who did a great job. When they got chances, they scored.”

Karol G Records Official Copa America Song “Vibra Continente” with Léo Santana

Karol G is raising a Copa to futbol…

The  28-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer and songwriter has joined voices with Brazilian artist Léo Santana for “Vibra Continente,” the official song for the 2019 Copa America running from June 14 to July 7 in Brazil.

Karol G

The song fuses trap, merengue and samba melodies with Portuguese and Spanish lyrics that capture the soccer event’s vibe and energy. 

“Another achievement in my big list,” Karol G previously wrote on Instagramduring the filming of the music video.

The two-minute clip, which was released Sunday, shows the two artists singing and dancing in a soccer field. 

“Vibra Continente” kicks off the 2019 Copa America taking place in five different host cities in Brazil. The first game is Brazil vs. Bolivia at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, June 14.

Lionel Messi to Play for the Argentina National Team in March

Lionel Messi will be kickin’ it for his homeland…

The 31-year-old soccer star, a forward for Barcelona, will return to the Argentina national team for their March friendlies against Venezuela and Czech Republic, according to ESPN, ending his self-imposed exile from the squad.

Lionel Messi

Messi has not featured for Argentina since captaining the team at the World Cup, where they were knocked out by winners France.

Argentina take on Venezuela in Madrid on March 22 and the Czech Republic in Dresden, Germany, four days later, with the friendlies part of their preparations for the Copa Americain June.

Argentina coach Lionel Scalonisaid last week he had “a good feeling” the five-time Ballon d’Orwinner would return in March.

Asked about Messi’s possible return, Scaloni told reporters: “We will probably talk days before we provide the list for the FIFAMarch window.

“When the time comes, we will speak to him, and we have a good feeling. I hope he can be with us and be happy.”

Scaloni, who took charge of Argentina on a temporary basis after the World Cup before accepting the role full-time last month, said his only regret so far was not having had the chance to coach Messi.

Messi, who spent Christmasin his native Rosario, has yet to publicly speak about his national-team future.

Arsenal Prepared to Make Sanchez the Club’s Highest-Paid Player

It looks like Alexis Sanchez may be part of the arsenal for much longer…

Arsenal Football Club officials are ready to sit down and offer the 26-year-old soccer star a lucrative, new long-term contract, according to ESPN FC.

Alexis Sanchez

Sanchez enjoyed a stellar debut campaign with the Gunners last season, helping them win the Emirates Football Association Challenge Cup, known as the FA Cup, following his big-money arrival from Barcelona.

Sanchez has established himself as one of manager Arsene Wenger‘s key players and the club is keen to reward him for the impact he has made with a new contract.

Sanchez’s current deal expires in 2018, but the Arsenal are ready to offer him improved terms as they do not want their top stars entering the final two years of their contracts.

The Gunners are so determined to keep the forward in North London that they are prepared to make him the highest-paid player at the club.

Talks are expected to take place between Arsenal and Sanchez’s advisers before Christmas as they look to tie him to a new deal as soon as possible.

After a slow start to the season following a summer in which he helped Chile win the Copa America, Sanchez has been back to his best in recent weeks — he followed up his hat trick against Leicester with a goal against Olympiakos and a brace in the 3-0 win against Manchester United earlier this month.

Sanchez Helps Propel Chile to Copa America Title Win Over Argentina

Alexis Sanchez is kicking his way into the history books…

The 26-year-old Chilean soccer player, who plays for English club Arsenal and the Chilean national team, helped lead his country to its first Copa America title on Saturday.

Alexis Sanchez

Chile defeated Argentina 4-1 in the penalty shootout, which followed two hours of scoreless action on the field.

Sanchez gave his country the win after Argentines Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega failed to convert from 11 meters (36 feet), ending a drought of nearly 100 years for La Roja in the oldest international continental soccer competition.

The final at Santiago’s National Stadium was a clash of titans, an intense battle that was characterized more by the teams’ effort and hustle than artful play.

Chile won the possession battle from the outset, imposing its ball-control style against a side that also typically dominates in that facet of the game.

That led to a golden opportunity in the 11th minute for Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal, who received a ball that had been lobbed in the air on a deflection by an Argentine defender and nearly booted it past goalkeeper Sergio Romero, who was forced to make a diving save.

Fourteen-time Copa America champion Argentina also had some chances in the first half, including a header at point-blank range by Sergio “Kun” Agüero that Chilean Claudio Bravo was able to deflect out of play.

In the second half, Argentine midfielders Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano struggled to impose any order in their team’s attack, rendering super-striker Lionel Messi unable to work any playmaking magic.

With the Chilean crowd urging them on, Jorge Sampaoli’s squad aggressively sought out the winning goal and was nearly rewarded for their efforts when a shot by Sanchez barely missed the mark in the 82nd minute.

Then on the final play of regulation, Argentina had its best scoring opportunity of the match when Ezequiel Lavezzi received the ball on the left side from Messi and sent a pass that scooted past Bravo and found Higuain, but the Argentine forward received the ball too close to the goal line and could only slam a shot into the side of the net.

The extra period was mostly uneventful, with both teams wary of making a costly error, although a miscue by Mascherano nearly ended in a goal for Sanchez in the 15th minute.

Argentine’s offensive ineptness continued in the penalty shootout, with Higuain sending his shot far over the crossbar and Bravo denying Banega’s attempt, leaving Messi as the only member of the Albiceleste to score.

Sanchez put the finishing touch on the historic victory with a soft strike that slowly bounded into the left half of the goal after Romero had dived to the other side.

Chile finally won the Copa America title match in its fifth appearance to end nearly a century of frustration at this event, which was known as the South American Championship between 1916 and 1967.

La Roja finished runner-up in 1955 (when it was also the host nation), 1956, 1979 and 1987.