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.

Barcelona’s Luis Suarez Gets All-Clear to Return to the Pitch

Luis Suarez is officially back in commission…

The 33-year-old Uruguayan professional footballer and Barcelona striker has been given the green light to return to action almost five months after undergoing a knee operation

 Luis Suarez

Suarez last played for Barca in a 3-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid on January 9 and underwent surgery three days later to repair a problem in his right knee.

Suarez would have missed the remainder of the season had La Liga not been halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The striker’s return will be a boost for Barca manager Quique Setien, with Suarez having scored 11 goals and set up seven more in 17 league appearances before he sustained the injury.

Barcelona trained at the Camp Nou stadium for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown on Saturday.

Barca are set to return to action against relegation-threatened Mallorca on June 13.

Barca hold a two-point lead over rivals Real Madrid at the top of La Liga with 58 points after 27 games. Their last game in the league was a 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad on March 7.

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.

Lionel Messi Leads Barcelona to 1-0 Win Over Atletico Madrid

Lionel Messi leads Barcelona back to the top of the standings…

The 32-year-old Argentine soccer star hit a sensational late goal on Sunday to give Barcelona FC a 1-0 win against rival Atletico Madrid, as the team reclaimed the top spot in La Liga from Real Madrid.

Lionel Messi

Messi, playing his 701st game for Barca, settled a pulsating and tense encounter in the 86th minute, galloping down the right wing before cutting inside and playing a one-two with Luis Suarez before guiding the ball into the bottom corner.

It was Messi’s first goal against Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium and gave his side their first win over their rivals at the ground in three attempts after successive draws in the last two seasons.

“Whenever you have a game like this which is really tight and really tough, being able to count on Messi is always an advantage,” said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde.

The strike saw Barca return to the top of the standings with 31 points after 14 games, ahead of Real Madrid on goal difference, while Atletico were left in the sixth spot with 25 points, having played one match more than Barca and Real.

Both sides hit the woodwork and Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen also made two stunning saves, while Atletico felt that Gerard Pique should have been shown a second yellow card in the second half for a late tackle on Alvaro Morata.

Atletico were also fortunate not to have a player sent off when Vitolo slammed into Pique’s knee with a fierce challenge a few minutes later after picking up an earlier booking.

“We feel very hard done by,” said Atletico midfielder Saul Niguez. “We played superbly and Barcelona had hardly any chances but when Messi appears he is capable of doing anything and he made it look so easy, that’s why he is the best.”

Atletico had won only one of their previous six games in all competitions and looked intent on making an early statement as they came out pressing Barca high up the pitch and peppering their box with crosses.

Real Madrid Phenom Rodrygo Makes History with Hat-Trick Against Galatasaray

Rodrygo is proving age is but a number while making history…

The 18-year-old Brazilian soccer player and Real Madrid forward scored a blistering hat-trick as his team pummeled Galatasaray 6-0 at home on Wednesday to take a giant step towards qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages.

Rodrygo

Rodrygo put the 13-times European champions ahead in the fourth minute by turning two defenders in the area and firing into the bottom corner to score for the first time in Europe’s elite competition.

Rodrygo struck again in the seventh by nodding home a cross from compatriot Marcelo, completing the fastest double in Champions League history.

Real Madrid didn’t ease off after their rampant start and extended their lead in the 13th minute with a typically cheeky ‘Panenka‘ penalty from captain Sergio Ramos.

Karim Benzema netted their fourth on the stroke of halftime, knocking the ball into the net after another thrilling piece of play from Rodrygo.

Benzema struck again from close range in the second half to move on to 50 Champions League goals for his club, moving ahead of Real great Alfredo Di Stefano as the Spanish side’s third top scorer in Europe’s top competition.

But the night belonged to Rodrygo, who rounded off a dream home European debut at the Santiago Bernabeuby completing his treble in added time, racing towards goal and exchanging passes with Benzema before tapping into the net.

Rodrygo, who became the second-youngest player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League after Real great Raul, was serenaded by the home crowd.

“Hearing the Bernabeu singing my name is a dream come true,” Rodrygo said. “I’m so happy, it has been a joyous night but I must try and stay calm.”

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane praised the youngster’s performance.

“When he has the chance to play, he plays well and he’s done it again,” Zidane said. “It doesn’t surprise me, we all know the quality he has. He came here to do what he’s doing. This is just the beginning. Let’s hope he carries on like this. We need to stay calm with him.”

Real Madrid, who picked up only one point from their first two games in the competition, are second in Group A with seven points from four matches.

Their next opponents Paris Saint-Germain are at the top with 12, with Club Brugge third on two and Galatasaray bottom on one.

Victory over PSG, who have reached the last 16, would send Real Madrid into the knockout stage with a game to spare.

Vinicius Junior Scores a Goal to Help Put Real Madrid Atop the La Liga Standings

Vinicius Junior helps lead Real Madrid to victory…

The 19-year-old Brazilian professional footballer and his compatriot Rodrygo sent Real Madrid to the top of La Liga as both scored in a 2-0 win over Osasuna on Wednesday.

Vinicius Junior

Vinicius ended a goal drought which had dragged on since February with a deflected effort in the first half from the edge of the box.

Zinedine Zidane started a heavily rotated XI with Karim BenzemaEden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois all on the bench, and the hosts went close twice inside of 20 minutes with Luka Jovic firing over the crossbar from close range and Toni Kroos just missing a golazo from distance soon after.

Osasuna had their chances, but Real Madrid were the first to score on 35 minutes when Vinicius Jr. picked up a pass from Kross, cut to his right and fired an unstoppable shot past Ruben to give his team a 1-0 lead at the break.

Jovic made a mess of a clear-cut chance to double Madrid’s lead just after the break, somehow flashing his shot over the bar for a second time after Lucas Vazquez had set him up with a one-on-one against Ruben.

The Serbian looked to have made amends just before the hour mark, slotting home from another Vazquez assist, but Jovic, still in search of his first goal since joining Los Blancos, was adjudged to be slightly offside on the play after video review and the goal was waved off.

Rodrygo, the summer arrival from Santos, finally gave Real Madrid their second, settling a long ball over the top of the Osasuna defense with a sublime first touch and racing into the penalty area to slot home a far post shot for the 2-0 lead.

Real Madrid climbed to the top of the standings with 14 points from six games, one point and one place ahead of Atletico Madrid, whom they face on Saturday in the derby at the Wanda Metropolitano.

“We’re really pleased with the result, the work we put in and for the win,” said Real winger Vazquez.

“I’m really happy for (Vinicius), he’s a great lad, he works hard and I’m super happy for him.”

Paris Saint-Germain Signs Goalkeeper Keylor Navas from Real Madrid

Keylor Navasis headed to the City of Light

Paris Saint-Germain has completed the signing of the 32-year-old Costa Rican professional footballer and goalkeeper from Real Madrid on a permanent basis with Alphonse Areola moving in the opposite direction.

Keylor Navas

Navas established himself as the Spanish giants’ first-choice goalkeeper after his arrival in 2014 from Levanteand helped Real Madrid to three consecutive Champions Leaguetitles between 2016 and 2018.

Navas said in a tweet: “If God changes our plan it is because he has something better in mind. I hope to begin a new path and make history with PSG.”

Navas also won the La LigaSupercopa de Espana, two UEFA Super Cupsand three FIFA Club World Cuptitles but has since fallen to second in the pecking order behind Thibaut Courtois.

He joins PSG as No. 1 ahead of Sergio Rico and fellow summer signing Marcin Bulka — a move that ends years of uncertainty over the goalkeeping hierarchy.

Navas, who underwent his medical in Spain, should debut for the French champions at home to Strasbourg in Ligue 1 after the international break.

He’ll also immediately come up against his former employers Madrid in the opening match of PSG’s Champions League Group A campaign at Parc des Princes.

Areola moves to the Bernabeu on a one-year loan deal with no option to purchase.

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.

Lucas Hernandez Signs with Bayern Munich for €80 Million

Lucas Hernandezis breaking out the lederhosen

Bayern Munich have completed the signing of the 23-half-Spanish professional soccer player and Atletico Madrid defender for €80 million.

Lucas Hernandez

The France international will officially join the team on June 30.

A move to the Allianz Arenahad long been mooted for the World Cup-winner, and he will sign a five-year contract, with Atletico Madrid confirming Bayern met Hernandez’s buy-out clause.

“Today is a very important day in my career,” Hernandez said. “Bayern Munich are one of the best clubs in Europe and the world.

“I am proud to be able to fight for every trophy with Bayern in the future. I would like to thank Atletico, the management, the coaches, my teammates and the fans for a wonderful 12 years. Atletico will always be a part of me. Now I’m happy that I’m taking the next step at Bayern. “

Bayern director Hasan Salihamdzicadded: “I am very happy that in Lucas Hernandez we have been able to sign one of the best defensive players in the world and world champions.

“Lucas can be used both in central defense and on the left. In addition, Lucas will continue our tradition of outstanding French players and strengthen our team.”

Hernandez is sidelined with a knee injury picked up during the 3-1 defeat to Real Madridin La Liga, but Bayern are confident he will be fit for the beginning of the next campaign.

Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez To Transfer to MLS’ Atlanta United

Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez is headed to the ATL

The 25-year-old Argentine footballer is planning to leave River Plate and join MLS side Atlanta United after the FIFA Club World Cup.

Gonzalo "Pity" Martinez

The winger, who scored River Plate’s third goal in Sunday’s 3-1 Copa Libertadores second-leg win over Boca Juniors in Madrid, will move after four seasons at the club.

“I want to inform people that in January I will not continue,” Martinez told TyC Sports. “It’s been a very difficult decision for me, but my journey continues. I think I’ve given people what they deserve, and that is everything for those who supported me.”

Atlanta have reportedly agreed to pay the Argentina international’s $17 million release clause.

Asked why he had chosen Atlanta, Martinez said: “It’s the club that has put its trust in me. European clubs did not put their trust in me at the time, and I thought long and hard about it with my family and my agent.

“The MLS is a league that has grown a lot, and I hope I can keep on making history at that club.”

After Sunday’s Copa final at the Bernabeu, Martinez posted an Instagram photograph of himself holding the Copa Libertadores trophy.

River’s win sees them qualify for the Club World Cup, which will kick off in the United Arab Emirates later this week.

“I will play at the Club World Cup,” Martinez said. “To experience these moments with this club is the most beautiful thing in the world. There are many things I achieved with this club, and I’m going to miss it a lot.”

River captain Leo Ponzio, meanwhile, said he hoped to come up against defending champions Real Madrid in the final.

“I wish that the Club World Cup final will be River vs. Real Madrid,”he told Cadena Ser radio. “We know who they are, how they play and it would be something to enjoy.”

Atlanta United won the title in only their second season on Saturday when they beat Portland Timbers 2-0 in the MLS Cup playoff final.