Real Madrid’s Marcelo Takes Knee & Raises Fist in Solidarity with BLM Movement After Scoring Goal Against Eibar

Marcelo is taking a new in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement…

The 32-year-old Brazilian soccer player and Real Madrid left-back took a knee and raised his fist after scoring in the team’s 3-1 La Liga victory over Eibar on Sunday.

Marcelo

Marcelo tallied the Real Madrid’s third goal of the day — pouncing on a poor clearance and beating Eibar goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic with a low, driven shot from the edge of the penalty box. 

He then immediately dropped to his knees, lowered his head and raised his right fist — a gesture which is often seen as a symbol of the Black Power movement that gained prominence in the United States in the 1960s and ’70s and associated with the current Black Lives Matter movement.

The display comes as players, clubs and leagues throughout the sport have expressed solidarity in the wake of the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a black man, who died after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes in Minnesota. Floyd’s death has spurred demonstrations against racial injustice around the world.

Several clubs paid tributes earlier this month to Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement on their warm-up shirts prior to league matches. Marcus ThuramJadon SanchoAchraf Hakimi and United States international Weston McKennie have been among the players who have showed their support. And last week, the Premier League announcedit will allow players to replace the names on the back of their jerseys with the words “Black Lives Matter” for one round and that teams will wear a patch to show support for the movement for the rest of the season.

FIFA, whose rules prohibit “any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images” on equipment, made a rare public statement last week in which it urged competition organizers to apply “common sense” and consider not sanctioning players for solidarity during matches.

Adam Lallana Signs Short-Term Contract Extension with Liverpool

Adam Lallana is staying put a bit longer…

The 32-year-old English professional soccer player of Spanish descent has signed a short-term deal at Liverpool.

Adam Lallana

Lallana will leave Liverpoolas a free agent at the end of this season after manager Jurgen Kloppsanctioned the contract extension for the midfielder to “finish the job” of delivering the Premier Leaguetitle to Anfield.

Lallana’s contract was due to expire at the end of June, but Liverpool have confirmed that he has now signed a deal that will keep him at the club until the end of the 2019-20 season.

Despite injuries during the latter part of his Liverpool career, Klopp said Lallana, who arrived from Southamptonin June 2014, deserves the chance to share in the club’s imminent title celebrations, with the team needing just six points from nine remaining games to win the league for the first time since 1990.

“I know how highly sought after Adam is in this moment by other clubs who want him for next season, so for him this is a commitment to us and we are very appreciative to him for it,” Klopp told the club’s website.

“This is absolutely how it should be, too, because I am so pleased he will be with us to finish the job this season and have the farewell he deserves so much.

“Adam always puts the club first — always. In the conversations we have had, he has been the first to express that my priority as a manager needs to be the players who are at this club for longer than just the rest of this season.

“He wants to be here to finish the job and do it properly, but it says everything about him that his biggest concern was blocking the progress and opportunity of a player who is under contract for next season also.

“But his role is too important to lose him before this season is done. So, it’s fantastic we can delay our messages of gratitude and good luck until the end of July now.”

Lallana has started just three league games this season, coming on as a substitute on 12 occasions, and said his role is likely to remain as a squad player in the final weeks of the campaign.

“The gaffer has been different class and we’ve had an honest conversation about what my role will be in the remaining weeks,” Lallana said.

“I want to contribute in the most positive way possible that helps him and the team, not just for the remaining matches of this season — but also what they’ll need to consider for next.

“I’m totally at peace with what that looks and feels like, and I know the role I’ll be playing for this team will help in what’s going to be an extraordinary period — the likes of which none of us have ever experienced.

“I feel in my time at Liverpool I’ve always looked to do the right thing for the team, the manager and the club in every decision I’ve made. I think this one fits into that category as well, so I’m buzzing to be seeing out this campaign and hopefully get to celebrate something memorable with an amazing group of people.”

Barcelona Expresses Interest in Eric Garcia

There’s growing interest in Eric Garcia… 

Futbol Club Barcelona has enquired about the 19-year-old Spanish footballer’s situation at Manchester City as they line up a potential move to bring the defender back to Camp Nou, according to ESPN.

Eric Garcia

Manchester City was quick to knock back Barca‘s initial approach, with high-ranking executives at the English club making it clear that Garcia isn’t for sale. 

Team manager Pep Guardiola is especially fond of Garcia and, while ManCity hope to sign a new centerback this summer, they also want to keep him involved as part of the first-team squad.

However, there is also an understanding at the club that the uncertainty over Guardiola’s long-term future could become a problem at some point. Players are also in the dark and with two years left on his contract, Garcia is in a strong negotiating position.

This provoked Barca to ask about his availability during recent talks between the two clubs regarding a possible swap deal involving right-backs Nelson Semedo and Joao Cancelo.

Garcia was considered one of the brightest prospects in Barca’s La Masia academy when he decided to leave in 2017 to join Premier League champions Manchester City,

Guardiola handed him his full debut in a League Cup game against Leicester in 2018 and he has made 11 appearances this season, starting twice in the league and once in the Champions League.

He’s also been capped five times by Spain under-21s and Barca have followed his development closely since he left three years ago.

A number of different sources at Barca said the club view Garcia as a “good fit” centerback for the team’s style of football. He was brought up on the club’s philosophy and one of his major strengths is his ability on the ball.

Barca, who missed out on Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus last summer, have been searching for a central defender for a long time as they contemplate a future without Gerard Pique, who turned 33 in February.

Manchester City’s reluctance to sell makes a move for Garcia this summer unlikely, especially as Barca expect to be less active in the transfer market due to the effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on their budget. They will focus on their main target, Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez, and will not have money left over to invest elsewhere.

But sources tell ESPN that Barca will not give up on Barcelona native Garcia in the long-term and will continue to monitor his situation as he moves into the final two years of his contract at the Etihad Stadium.

Pablo Mari to Join Arsenal on Loan

Pablo Mari is headed to Londontown…

The 26-year-old Spanish professional footballer, currently a central defender for the Brazilian club Flamengo, has agreed a move to Arsenal on loan until the end of the season, with the option to make the deal permanent in the summer.

Pablo Mari

The move ends what turned out to be a topsy-turvy transfer deal that initally stalled and saw the defender return to Brazil.

The clubs seemingly agreed to the deal last weekend, with Mari traveling from Rio de Janeiro to London to undergo a medical and sign with the Premier Leagueside.

However, negotiations suffered a setback on Mondaywith Mari then returning to Brazil.

Mari put pressure on the Flamengo’s hierarchy to accept Arsenal’s offer and sources told ESPN the deal was never dead despite Flamengo putting out a statement criticizing Arsenal’s attitude.

Nonetheless, the deal now sees Mari reunite with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. Mari was on Manchester City‘s books between 2016 and 2019 — where Arteta served as an assistant for Pep Guardiola— but never actually played for the first team.

He’s due to return to London now that the deal is agreed and become Arteta’s first signing at Arsenal.

“Pablo is an experienced player who will provide us with additional defensive quality,” Arsenal technical director Edusaid.

“We have been monitoring Pablo’s career for a while and we are very pleased to have reached agreement with Flamengo for him to join us initially until the end of our season.

“Together with Mikel and his coaching team, we are all looking forward to seeing Pablo in an Arsenal shirt.”

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in Talks to Transfer to LA Galaxy

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez may be heading to a new galaxy…

The LA Galaxyare in talks with the 31-year-old Mexican professional footballer, who plays as a striker for Spanish club Sevillaand the Mexico national team.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez,

A Galaxy spokesperson told ESPN that the club continues to speak to Hernandez and Sevilla about a transfer. A report from Marcastated that Sevilla is willing to part with Hernandez for a $10 million transfer fee, which would be a Galaxy record, but the Galaxy spokesperson said no deal was in place, nor was one imminent.

Galaxy general manager Dennis Te Kloese told the Los Angeles Times about the possible acquisition of Hernandez, adding: “I think he could be good for us. We’ll give it a serious try.”

Hernandez, Mexico’s all-time leading scorer with 52 goals, is in his first season with Sevilla after moving last summer from West Ham Unitedfor $8.7 million, but he has found playing time hard to come by. Hernandez has made just 15 league and cup appearances, scoring three goals.

The Mexico legend would be tabbed to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who, after scoring 31 league and playoff goals last season, departed the club and eventually signed for AC Milan

Given his Mexico roots, Hernandez figures to be a massive box office draw, should he sign with the Galaxy.

After breaking in with Liga MXside Chivasin 2006 and spending four years with the club, Hernandez has spent the bulk of his career in Europe, suiting up for the likes of Manchester UnitedReal MadridBayer Leverkusen, West Ham and eventually Sevilla.

At club level, Hernandez has scored 156 goals in 424 club appearances. He was on two Premier League-winning sides with Manchester United in 2010-11 and 2012-13, and he won the 2006 Apertura with Chivas.

At international level, he has been part of three World Cupsquads with Mexico, making 109 appearances.

Mikel Arteta Agrees to Become Arsenal’s New Manager

It’s official… Mikel Arteta has some new arsenal

The 37-year-old Spanish professional football coach and former player has agreed to become Arsenal‘s new manager and will sign a three-and-a-half-year deal as soon as the paperwork is finalized, according to ESPN.

Mikel Arteta

The club hopes to announce his appointment on Thursday and his first game will be the Premier League test against Everton on Saturday at Goodison Park, where he played between 2005 and 2011.

As previously reported, Arteta was the only candidate the club wanted to replace Unai Emeryand take the place of interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg.

Talks between Arteta and his former club, whom he played for between 2011 and 2016, have gone on since Sunday and a final agreement was found on Wednesday.

His final interview with Josh Kroenkeon Tuesday went very well. The Manchester City coach got reassurances on the direction of the club as well as a transfer budget.

It will be Arteta’s his first experience as manager of a club’s first team after three-and-a-half years working alongside Pep Guardiolaat City.

Arteta, who will be under contract until June 2023, is now working on building his coaching staff. Ljungberg should be part of it, as should City coach Rodolfo Borrell, sources said.

Arteta will say farewell to City after their Carabao Cupgame at Oxford Unitedon Wednesday evening where he will be on the bench alongside Guardiola.

Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola, who has been a friend of Arteta’s since they were 15, has encouraged him to take the job.

Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos to Join Arsenal on Season-Long Loan

Dani Ceballosis weaponizing…

The 22-year-old Spanish professional footballer has agreed to join Arsenal on a season-long loan with the Gunners expected to finalize the terms of the agreement with Real Madrid soon, according to ESPN FC.

Dani Ceballos

Tottenham HotspurSevilla and AC Milan also tried to sign the midfielder but different sources told ESPN FCthat Unai Emery has been decisive in Ceballos accepting Arsenal’s proposal even though they won’t participate in the Champions League this season.

Another key factor in Ceballos’ decision was Arsenal’s flexibility to accept a personal loans deal without an option to buy as opposed to the Spurs‘ insistence on a permanent deal being an eventual feature of any deal they made.

Ceballos has failed to establish himself at Madrid since joining from Real Betis in 2017, but club sources trust that this loan will help him to earn “regular time” and prove why Real Madrid “made a big gamble” on him in the summer of 2017.

Ceballos caught the attention of Milan, Tottenham, Sevilla and Arsenal after helping Spainwin the European Under-21 Championshipearlier in the summer.

Ceballos wanted to leave on loan to find regular playing time and decided the Premier Leaguewas the best place to continue his development.

Tottenham looked the favorites but sources close to Emery said he has been “key” in the decision as the Arsenal manager is ready to “to give him regular game time to prove his worth” and to “give him freedom to shape the game in the midfield.”

The agreement between clubs is also on track and several media outlets in Spain are even claiming that that the player could undergo his medical exams this week before travelling to USA to join Arsenal in their preseason tour.

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).

Lionel Messi Wins Record Fifth Golden Shoe as Europe’s Top Goal Scorer

Lionel Messi is making history again…

The 31-year-old Argentine soccer star has earned his fifth Golden Shoe prize for being the top goal scorer in Europe last season.

Lionel Messi

Messi, who said he never expected to have such a successful career, scored 34 times in La Liga last season to claim his fifth Golden Shoe award, one more than JuventusCristiano Ronaldo has won.

Messi beat out Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah to the prize after the Egyptian netted 32 times in the Premier League.

“When I started playing I did not expect all this. My dream was, obviously, to be a professional, but I didn’t imagine so much,” Messi said at a gala in Barcelona.

“This is thanks to hard work and effort and, above all, my teammates. I have the best players in the world in their positions playing beside me and that makes everything easier and lets me win these prizes.”

Messi, who also earned the Golden Shoe in 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2016-17, led Barcelona to a league and cup domestic double last season.

The forward leads La Liga’s top scorers chart with 14 goals in this campaign, more than any other player in the top five European leagues.

David De Gea Among 55 Players in Contention for FIFPro and FIFA’s World XI

David De Gea is in the running…

The 27-year-old Spanish soccer play, a goalkeeper for Premier League club Manchester United and Spain’s national team, is among the contenders in the reckoning to feature in FIFPro and FIFA‘s World XI.

David De Gea 

FIFPro and its affiliated player associations asked professional footballers to pick a team from the best players in world football last season.

It will include one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three attackers who were the best at their position in 2017-18.

Once the 55 players have been selected, the XI will be unveiled by FIFA and FIFPro during the Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in London on September 24.

De Gea, on a five-man shortlist that includes last year’s winner Gianluigi Buffon, is joined by Manchester United teammate Paul Pogba.

Other Latino players on the list include Barcelona‘s Philippe Coutinho, Real Madrid‘s Isco (Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez) and Manchester City’s David SilvaAndres Iniesta, who left Barcelona for Japan’s Vissel Kobe, is on the list for the 12th year in a row. He has already won nine World XI awards, including last year’s.

Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos— who lifted Real Madris’s third successive Champions League trophy, at the expense of Liverpool– also appears on the list alongside his Madrid teammate Marcelo.

The 20-strong list of defenders also includes Barcelona’s Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba. Daniel Alves and Ramos are on the list for the 12th consecutive time, level with Bayern Munich legend Philipp Lahm. All three now share the record among defenders.

This is the 14th edition of the World XI.

Here’s the complete list:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon, Thibaut Courtois, David De Gea, Keylor Navas, Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Defenders: Jordi Alba, Dani Alves, Daniel Carvajal, Giorgio Chiellini, Virgil van Dijk, Diego Godin, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Dejan Lovren, Marcelo, Yerry Mina, Benjamin Pavard, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva, Kieran Trippier, Samuel Umtiti, Raphael Varane, Sime Vrsaljko, Kyle Walker.

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Casemiro, Philippe Coutinho, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Andres Iniesta, Isco, N’Golo Kante, Toni Kroos, Nemanja Matic, Luka Modric, Paul Pogba, Ivan Rakitic, David Silva, Arturo Vidal.