A temporary revolution in football. Coaches will temporarily be able to use five substitutions instead of three Due to the coronavirus crisis, football teams will be able to temporarily use five substitutions in matches instead of the current three. A revolutionary change in the rules was announced today by the world federation FIFA. The novelty will apply in all competitions ending on 31 December this year. FIFA has stated that it will be up to the individual organizers of the competitions whether they will take advantage of the change. According to the World Federation, the novelty was introduced due to the busy calendar that teams are waiting for after the release of coronavirus measures and the resumption of competitions.
Both the Belarusian league and the local FK Sluck gained unusual popularity When it comes to the Belarusian league, or Belarusian football in general, most ordinary fans will remember Alexander Hleb's long-standing European football team or BATE Borisov's multiple participation in the Champions League, led by the domestic victory over Bayern Munich in the 2012/13 season. Dinamo Minsk, Viktoria Plzeň's opponent in the basic group of the European League 2015/16, is probably also known for Czech fans. Connoisseurs may remember the Dnieper Mogilev - especially Baník fans may still have no idea how they could have fallen out with him in the third preliminary round of the 2010/11 European League football after an opponent arrived in Ostrava after 18 hours in a regular bus. Today, however, thousands of football fans around the world know teams and players known only to hardcore punters until March this year. This is simply due to the declaration of a pandemic and the gradual interruption of the vast majority of world leagues. During April, only the highest competitions in the states remained in operation, the representatives of which either completely banned the use of the word "coronavirus" (Turkmenistan) or declared that it was only the flu (Nicaragua and Belarus). As the quality of the competition in Turkmenistan and Nicaragua is more reminiscent of our division (for the hardy; streams can be found on YouTube), all attention soon shifted to Belarus. He is helped by the fact that the local president Alexander Lukashenko is a passionate athlete despite his advanced age. His pieces on the ice are almost as legendary as Vladimir Putin's five goals in a duel against the NHL stars. It was Lukashenko who appeared on skates several times during the hockey game in April to promote the sport as a cure for the virus. His report became famous that what reliably banishes the coronavirus is regular visits to the sauna, exercise, 50g of vodka three times a week and work in the field. In other words, Belarus has embarked on a path of ignoring the threat and not restricting social freedom. In this situation, therefore, the state structures clearly recommended the Belarusian Football Federation to start a new season of the Belarusian Supreme Competition (Vysshishaya Liha) according to the original plan. In Belarus, the spring-autumn system is played, so the first round was played carefree on March 19. Since its inception, the Belarusian league has become the world's main competition for bookmakers, with dozens of opportunities being announced. Bettors also adapted - they started watching streams and honestly gather information, but even that did not prevent an immediate harvest of (betting) surprises. Few could have expected the defeat of BATE at the Minsk Energetika-BGU (BGU - Belarusian State University, hence the nickname "students"), the draw of the master (if someone likes clichés, then ex-Ličkova) Dynamo Brest with a newcomer Smolevichi-STI or five whistled penalties in the duel FK Sluck - Slavia Mazyr. However, the main response was in the sports media around the world, which at the time of coronavirus had little to write about. From the BBC to our Sport Diary, there was criticism and shaking of the head. Why do the "fools" continue to play football during the pandemic, and even in front of the spectators? Last year's league winner Marcel Lička or the only Slovak in the competition, Július Szök, the interest in football in Belarus grew comfortably, initially only dozens, but later hundreds of fans, mostly from Anglo-Saxon countries, who began to follow social networks of Belarusian clubs and establish foreign language versions. The hunger for live football broadcasts that bring positive emotions has been and continues to be great, especially among spectators who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic (judging by social media posts, this is a large part of the new fans of the Belarusian league). The Belarusian Union managed to react surprisingly quickly and, thanks to a sensational increase in interest in its league product, sold television rights to the highest competition abroad for the first time in history. Today, the Belarusian League runs on sports channels in more than 15 countries around the world. For those who live in countries without broadcasting rights, it is possible to watch every match live and completely free of charge on the official official YouTube channel from the second round onwards. Within a few moments, goals, the best moments and 6-7-minute cuts in good image quality are published for all those interested. By Eastern European standards, this is a truly above-standard spectator service, behind which our highest competition lags significantly behind. In the interest of better live broadcast comfort, it is also possible to watch English commentary on the broadcasts in the form of online radio (CWSports), where matches are accompanied by a voice enthusiast who normally concentrates on English divisional football. This easy availability of live broadcasts has enabled the further development of the league's popularity and the creation of an international fan community connected to social networks, and in particular Twitter. The unique thing about this situation is that at one point, a new fan community was divided into camps for all 16 teams of the Belarusian top competition, whether at the club or personal level. For example, Norwich fans have generally embraced Neman Hrodno as their new yellow-green color combination. Fans of rivals from Ipswich, on the other hand, started to support FC Vitebsk in full blue jerseys. In this case, even the official Twitter Ipswich Town shares posts about the Vitebsk club. There are also many funny bets associated with watching the Belarusian league. At Twitter, for example, at one point, the story of 16 friends began to circulate, who randomly divided the clubs among themselves, saying that whoever finishes the club last must fly to support the team for at least one home match directly to the stadium. One of them, supported by Torpedo Belaz Žodino, also became the founder of one of the most active unofficial accounts. Many such initially completely unofficial accounts now often work with official club staff (or volunteers - not all clubs have English-speaking staff), while the more active clubs also publish information in English and thank them for supporting their new fan base. The sale of scarves, jerseys and other club items is also slowly starting. The most interesting initiative came from Dynamo Brest, when the payment of a ticket for a home match meant the reservation of a seat in the stadium, which was provided with a portrait of the payer in question. Half of the proceeds from the ticket were donated to the fight against coronavirus. A peculiar phenomenon is the popularity of the football club from Sluck, a historic town about an hour south of Minsk. This until recently interesting club was founded only in 2008 as a corporate advertisement of a local sugar factory. FK Sluck quickly climbed the rankings of Belarusian football and in the 2013/14 season he appeared for the first time in the highest competition. However, his results progress stopped, so his seventh place from 2016/17 remains his highest position so far. However, with the club's initially dizzying results, the support of the fans did not increase proportionally - for home duels in the pre-coronavirus era, the team was unable to fill its stadium - even for Belarusian conditions - with a maximum capacity of 1,896 spectators. To date, FK Sluck has curiously more fans abroad than at home in Belarus. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. It all started in March in Australia, when a group of friends from Adelaide went through the names of the clubs of the Belarusian top competition, and got stuck on FK Sluck. The English transcription of the name of the town of Sluckk (Czech Sluck) is Slutsk, which is the source of a somewhat childish joke (sluts) and the whole origin of the current enormous interest in the local football club. Of course, Sluck no longer bothered anyone in Australia with the Slavic "u", and not the English-speaking "a". Soon, the Facebook group FK Slutsk Worldwide was formed, and what initially looked like unimaginative fun, over time it became a real support. Especially after the new fans found out that "their" club is on the verge of bankruptcy and almost didn't sign up for the new season. The financial situation of the club depends on its founder, sugar magnate Andrei Grudnikov, and he recently liked the Belarusian elites, so today he is awaiting trial in custody. In the difficult situation, the new management of the sugar factory stopped the financing of the club and thus brought it to the brink of bankruptcy. Based on this, the Australians have set up a fundraising site, where over five thousand Australian dollars have been collected so far. The FK Sluck Facebook community has developed from Australia around the world and has also connected with the club's officials, who have accepted their new fan base. He publishes bilingually on his social media profiles, organizes Q&A with players, hoists the Australian flag and banner at home games, and turned his unofficial anthem from a song by a New York fan, later converted into rock by the brother of ex-Slavic Vitaly Trubila, Yuri. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o91axfV3yiY With each round played, the club's popularity grows; the aforementioned FB group now has over six thousand members from around the world. In the Russian-speaking world, a video has become a hit, when one of the most famous Russian coaches, Leonid Sluckij, from his quarantine, prescribes tactics for FK Sluck players for the next match with Vitebsk. Last week, the official twitter account of AS Roma was announced by FK Sluck as the team of the week. https://twitter.com/ASRomaEN/status/1255485912047370246?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw With the growing popularity, the team's results are also growing. Since the home defeat with Dynamo Brest in the second round, FK Sluck has not lost and after the seventh round he has led the competition table with a two-point lead. Foreign popularity is certainly not the only cause of unusually great results; in addition, FK Sluck also has a great deal of luck, a very effective attack and apparently won the lottery with the choice of African players during the winter break. In some matches, he was also wished by referees (eg with Slavia Mazyr or Belšina Bobrujsk), who are generally terrifying and prone to card marriages or ordering meaningless penalty kicks. Otherwise, Sluck demonstrates an interesting offensive football for the Belarusian conditions and the quality of the staff. From the matches I have seen myself, I would compare the level of a team to the teams involved in the fight to save in our league. Sovereignly the most popular player for foreign fans became the local "Lord Bendtner" - Artyom Serdyuk. This thirty-year-old Russian striker, with a resume from lower Russian competitions, really resembles the former Arsenal forward with his play and character; his technical imperfection, his assistance to be missiles, and similar cult issues are celebrated. Serdyuk accepts his newfound popularity with grace, is an active contributor to the FB group and carefully responds to fans with his almost non-existent English. The second most popular member of the squad is the 38-year-old matador of the Belarusian highest competition, goalkeeper Boris Pankratov. Pankratov represents the old era of goalkeepers with good reflexes and effective interventions on the line, but with a completely non-existent game with their feet. In any case, the most interesting player for me is the "sluice Yaya Toure", Yuri Kozlov. Bald tall box-to-box midfielder, sometimes a little stingy for a step, but for the Belarusian league incredibly technically equipped and willing to do a loop in any situation on the field. A kind of "enfant terrible" of the club is Marat Burajev, a player about 160 cm tall with a Napoleonic complex, excellent dribble and Admir Ljevaković's bad habit of getting a yellow card in about every match. The rest of the team is made up of home players, with a couple of Russians and Ukrainians and four African players (three from Burkina Faso, one from Nigeria). The story of FK Sluck has a good end for the moment, as the Ukrainian betting agency PariMatch has bought a place on advertising banners around the stadium and the financial situation of the club has thus stabilized. Goalkeeper Pankratov said in an interview that payouts go regularly and the club even recently hired a reinforcement for the wing of the Armenian league in the person of Alan Karoyev. Players also enjoy fame and are grateful for their support; in the last match, they performed a goal-kangaroo jump celebration dedicated to their numerous fan base in Australia. Fans and experts speculate how long the game and result success can take - whether FK Sluck can be Leicester of the Belarusian league. Probably not, especially since BATE has taken good form in the last rounds and will want to return the title to Borisov. Even so, the story of the Slug phenomenon is one of the few positive reports in quarantine times and an important distraction for all new fans. For the Belarusian league, every week the non-running top leagues bring popularity, a financial injection and for young players the opportunity to "sell" to better leagues. If you really miss live football and you like football delicacies like Příbram-Karviná, with a similar spectator backdrop (hard-core fans boycott the Belarusian league due to disagreement with the coronavirus situation) and the quality of football, I highly recommend you to grind in Belarus.
China is another country where players and coaches will temporarily receive lower salaries during the coronavirus break, by up to fifty percent. They will help clubs mitigate economic losses. It is not yet clear when the postponed season will begin in the country from which the disease began to spread at the end of last year. The real deadline is the end of June. The leadership of the local association announced today that wage cuts were not mandatory for clubs, but urged teams and players to take this step. Players and coaches will lose 30 to 50 percent, including foreign stars. "The covid-19 epidemic had a major impact on the football industry. Leagues at all levels were forced to postpone the start of the season, which affected club operations," the union said in a statement. The Chinese Super League was originally scheduled to start the season on February 22. The optimistic assumptions for an early start after the pandemic then took hold after a positive test by former Belgian national team member Marouane Fellaini at the end of March after returning to the Shandong Luneng club.
About Banks and Bonetti and the power of football moment Their careers are inextricably linked to most witnesses, but only one of them could be relatively indifferent to it. They formed an almost unshakable goalie tandem across the best four-year cycle of the English national team and in the middle of the golden era of the British goalkeeper school, but only one of them regularly collected starts. Now, with a gap of about one year, both inseparable legends have moved to the football sky ... Even recent history is not stingy on the memorable battles of sovereignty between the three poles. Francesco Toldo and Gianluigi Buffon fought one of the more balanced ones immediately after the 1998 World Cup. Lehmann's postponed resignation of Oliver Kahn will be remembered for a long time just for the domestic world championship. Depending on who you are asking, Iker Casillas has 'blocked' perhaps up to four quality goalkeepers during his career. And sometimes it comes together even in a less pronounced football landscape - if it weren't for Samir Handanović, Jan Oblak at the age of 27 could easily have had a double portion of national team starts. It is only at this point that the much-discussed goalie rivalries take place in Germany and Brazil, but the concentration of quality that Albion was proud of in the 1960s and 1970s is hardly comparable. Sir Alf Ramsey led the English national team in 1963-74 and had Gordon Banks at his disposal for most of that period, according to many of the most talented goalkeepers of his generation, so it was never an unenviable dilemma, but how many potentially different starts must have been drilled on the bench / tribune, the choir is frosty when thought of the later decades lined with mediocrity. But judge for yourself: the first and last gold-plated Albion (Gordon Banks), the architect of the first Chelsea triumphs in both the FA Cup and the League Cup (Peter Bonetti), the last team of the last teams of Busby Manchester United and the first English winner of the European Champions Cup (Alex), made their debut under Ramsey. Stepney), holder of the club record in the number of net accounts (21) on the road to Everton's second post-war title (Gordon West), the central face of the phenomenal Clough Nottingham Forest from the late 70s (Peter Shilton) Clemence). The last two named were at least born after the guns were silenced, and side by side they continued the era defined by one Gordon Banks. However, he himself managed to limit the aforementioned Bonetti-Stepney-West trio to only 11 starts. Collected together. Who knows, it was perhaps Banks' insurmountable shadow, and not just the officially declared "homesickness" that led Gordon West to turn down the invitation to the 1970 World Cup. The same Mexican mundial, which forever framed the career and the whole legacy of Bonetti and Banks ...
Sven Ulreich (31) is the undisputed substitute behind captain Manuel Neuer (34)! And highly regarded by the Bayern Bundesliga stars. Müller celebrates him in training with "Ulle, Ulle, Ulle!" Calls. "Ulle" got the nickname "Zu-Nulle" from Kimmich. With the change from Alexander Nübel (23) there is new competition behind Neuer in the summer. And a goalkeeper discussion about number 2! Does the substitute now force a change due to Nübel? Ulreich says to BILD: “I will look at everything that will happen in the next few weeks. I said yes, if something opens up where I can play, I like to do it. Otherwise I will give my all here in my last year of contract. " Ulreich has been with Bayern since 2015, has already completed 13 Champions League games and still has a contract until 2021. Now he is waiting. In summer Hertha BSC with Bruno Labbadia (54) could become an issue. Reason: Ulreich and Labbadia know each other from Stuttgart. According to BILD information, this is an option, but nothing is concrete. Hertha is said to have him on the list. Coach Hansi Flick (55) recently said to the "kicker": "We want to develop him further (Nübel; Anm.d.Red.), But it is also clear that the performance concept counts at FC Bayern. And currently Sven Ulreich is doing really well. ” Ulreich consultant Jürgen Schwab (61) is considered a goalkeeper expert in the scene, was formerly a goalkeeper himself, and in addition to Ulreich with Steven Benda (21 / borrowed from Swansea to Swindon) is another goalkeeper who is about to break through in England.
The French football league will take out a state-guaranteed loan so that it can pay the first and second league clubs money for television rights that they would otherwise lose due to the prematurely closed year. The LFP decided on this at its general meeting. The LFP ended the season on Thursday after the local government banned all major sporting events until September two days earlier due to a coronavirus pandemic. The winner of the unfinished year was Paris St. Germain, descending Toulouse and Amiens. Thanks to the loan, the competition management will pay the promised amounts to the clubs. "These amounts cover the last two installments for audiovisual rights for the 2019/20 season, originally scheduled for 5 April and 5 June," the LFP said in a statement. Some clubs do not like the premature end of the year. Olympique Lyon will claim damages, which it has estimated at tens of millions of euros. Legal action is also being considered by the descending Amiens, who have called on the league leadership to review the decision. Amiens considers the expansion of the competition for the upcoming season by two teams to 22 to be the fairest solution.
Anthony Martial took over Manchester United's 9 shirt again this season, and he did it in a big way. Pairing mainly in attack with Marcus Rashford, who moves to the left with the Frenchman playing as central striker, Martial has registered with a goal or an assist every 115 minutes in all competitions (Premier League, Emirates FA Cup and Europe League) during 2019/20, adding 16 conquests in total. Establishing himself as a central striker in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's 4-2-3-1 formation, the French netbreaker has had his best scoring season (not including penalties) in his entire career. In addition, he adds 2.9 shots and 1.9 shots from outside the area every 90 minutes, another personal record for him in the Premier League. The numbers also show that Martial is more aggressive than ever in attack: He has an average of one shot for every 4.7 touches inside the box, compared to one shot for every 7.6 touches last season. Even more impressive is his great ability to settle in the danger zone: Martial has 11 shooting goals inside the area, versus 8 shots off target inside the area. But his evolution has gone beyond goals. The 24-year-old forward has won 63 percent of his personal Premier League duels this season, compared to a 54 percent success rate on 2918/19. In addition, he has an average of 3.59 personal duels every 90 minutes this season, versus 3.17 the previous season. Martial has finished nine times after beating an opponent this season, versus seven times in 2018/19 and eight times in 2017/18. On average, the Frenchman pressured the rival in possession of the ball four times every 90 minutes last season. In this campaign, on the other hand, he has done it nine times every 90 minutes. It is a notorious increase and a sample of the progress that Martial has made under the Norwegian coach. The success rate of this pressure has also risen from 25% to 29%, which shows that it has also been more effective in this area. In summary, the French striker has definitively affirmed himself in the Solskjaer scheme in 2019/20. Martial's numbers and performances support him, and at just 24 years old, he is a player who can continue to evolve in the coming seasons.
I was never sure of going to England. But, when I made the decision to do it, I was always very clear that I would only play in one team. Manchester United. That was the club he wanted to shine with. That was the team that fit with me. Of course, I was always aware of Manchester United. The person who does not know the club never found out what soccer is about. Everyone who understands this sport knows very well the size of this institution. I remember seeing a lot of team games, of course. I remember the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich. I remember how Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came in to score the winning goals. They went from losing the title to winning it in a matter of minutes. However, the club is much bigger than that. I always had a good eye to follow Manchester United. One always remembers the waves and waves of success that they achieved under the command of Sir Alex Ferguson, a coach who knew how to dominate the Premier League. And they always played with those red shirts ... So, I said to myself: "I could defend that shirt very well, because it is not too heavy for me." Before playing at Manchester United, I went through great teams, where you can feel that typical pressure. You always have to meet and achieve the desired results, otherwise someone will most likely come and do the work for you. Anyway, I like it that way. I feel comfortable under these types of situations, because I enjoy them and they help me to become better every day. The idea is to know that I must prepare for this, train and be ready. But you have to think about the whole package, not just what leads to something new. If you focus on only one thing you will end up failing on the others. One must focus on the whole. I always enjoyed watching football this way, because this is how I manage to feel on top. When success is achieved, the feeling is much more pleasant. Going to Manchester United was a huge thing and when I arrived at the club I tried to make an instant impact. I felt this was very important to me because I knew that I would have to deal with the expectations of the fans and the usual pressure. But I came to Old Trafford with a great predisposition and will. Therefore, I did nothing but get up in the most difficult moments, since that's when I have the best time. I remember my first match. We had to play a friendly against Galatasaray in Sweden. "Ok, they are in my country now." Three minutes after the opening whistle I had already scored my first goal at Manchester United. Despite the fact that it is only a friendly match, one always has to try to leave everything, because the ideal is to get a rhythm of the game before the season starts. When you get to a club as big as this, you never know how patient they can be with a new player. It is key to adapt as quickly as possible, and that is what I tried to do at the time. I worked hard and tried to make my game to get used to a demanding environment. The idea was always to help the team. However, there are still many people who keep talking and believing that they know everything. Back then, my goal was to land in England, where people said it wasn't good enough, not only to prove them wrong, but to fill me with adrenaline. After three months everyone had to eat his words. I needed to make new enemies, because the ones I had had already become my admirers. Oh, and the Manchester United fans are amazing. I'm not saying it just because I played at the club, but because I had the chance to be on his side and I know all the love they usually give the team. I remember when I made my Premier League debut against Bournemouth, I scored a goal and it only took a few minutes for the audience to make me a song. After a while I thought, “Guys, please, this is just beginning. Wait till I get to my highest level. Wait and see. " Although inside I have said to myself: "This is tremendously fantastic!". The fans really knew how to appreciate what I did in my time at the club and were very grateful to me. This is the best way to "reward" a player, because when you do your job and receive such a response from the public it is incredible. They are part of 50 percent of absolutely everything to do with it. Imagine what it would be like to play in an empty stadium… I wouldn't. Old Trafford was always full. Forever. In addition, in every game we played as a visitor, the fans always appeared, they always encouraged us. When you receive this kind of encouragement, circumstances lead you to give more and more. We owed it to people. And I think this was one of the things that drove me the most to win titles that season. I remember when I left the locker room and stepped onto the Wembley playing field to play in the League Cup final I was stunned by all the red jerseys I saw on the rostrum. And the setting ... wow. As I said, these are the things that drive you to want to succeed. Therefore, that day I managed to score two goals and raise a new glass. Just as he had said he would. I had a chance to win everything before coming to Manchester United, and it was a pleasure that it happened again in England. Winning is in my DNA. I need it, that's my mindset. I hate to lose. I am not a bad loser, but I love to win. At the moment of starting my career at the club I said I would be successful and it was so, because we raised two great trophies. The facts speak for themselves. This whole first season at Manchester United was fantastic. I really enjoyed it. The family was happy, everyone was happy, the institution took good care of me and made everything much easier. Therefore, all I had to do was put on my boots, go out on the court and play. As a boy I had a vision about what I wanted for life. You never know what may happen in the future, but these dreams led me to be who I am today. You always have to work and fight until you reach your goal. This is how I see things. I like to feel a little pressure on the road, because that helps me believe in what I want. When I came to Manchester United and said that I wanted to conquer England, many people laughed at me. I wasn't kidding.
It doesn't take much to launch the Argentine legend on football. And between his career, the evolution of the game and his coaching philosophy, at the head of Defensa y Justicia in Argentina, Hernán Crespo unfolds with passion and wisdom. "If we tell you the Champions League, what do you think?"The first thing is this great event, this spectacular moment. And I dream of listening to this music as a coach, now. When it was little, it was the Champions Club Cup and, from Argentina, I watched Diego Maradona's Napoli matches in the UEFA Cup. From my other memories, I have the Milan of Franco Baresi who lifts the Cup. But, as a child, I dreamed more of the Copa Libertadores or the World Cup. I also said to myself “I want to win the UEFA Cup like Maradona”. Little by little, I fell in love with the Champions League, but it was more during adolescence. As a child, she did not yet exist. Are there goals that impressed you more than others?First, it was above all the pleasure of being able to play it. With Parma in particular, because it was the club's first and only participation in the Champions League. We qualified before being eliminated against Borussia Dortmund. Only the first one passed (Parma wins the first leg thanks to a goal from Crespo but loses the return, note). Then I was able to play it with Lazio, with Inter, with Chelsea, with Milan ... (laughs) And there is necessarily this memory, which marked the history of the Champions League and can -being even football, these are the two goals in Istanbul, in the final against Liverpool, the match from 3-0 to 3-3. Afterwards, there are other beautiful moments: my first goal with Parma against Galatasaray, at the Tardini stadium; the double of the head to Ajax with Inter; the goal in the semi-final against Monaco in 2004, with Chelsea, despite the elimination behind ... There are many! The goals remain in the memories of the supporters and, of course, it is a pleasure. But the best part is adventure. Traveling, group life with your friends, preparing for meetings ... That's what I keep, because it's also related to the emotional and human relationships. Even if for the supporters, it makes sense to remember the goals. This is what people see.Of course ! And this is completely normal. And it is a great source of pride to have been able to participate in all the great events that football can offer. Whether it be the Olympic Games (silver medal in 1996, note), the World Cup, the Champions League, the Europa League, the Copa Libertadores ... And also the Premier League, Serie A, football in Argentina ... I feel very lucky and very proud of the career I have had. And the Champions League is no exception. It is a place for the elect. Not just for clubs, but also for players. Being part of that is fantastic. I dreamed of playing ... (he cuts) Finally, dreaming is a big word! I used to watch Copa Libertadores when I was little, let's say. The Champions League is a love of the great, a love of the adolescent. Besides, it's funny because I learned about it only a few days ago, but I'm the only player in history to have scored twice in the Libertadores final and another in the Champions League final. That is why I say that I am proud, proud to have known how to be up to these important events. I was lucky to experience this without being overwhelmed by it all. Be nervous or whatever, no, no. I played hard. After the Copa Libertadores, I managed to lift the trophy, not the Champions League ... But I have the feeling of having respected this moment, of being up to this final. That's why I'm proud of it. Well, of course, we didn't win ... (laughs) But that's life! Is the Champions League the most difficult competition to win?In Europe yes, it's sure and certain. But even harder, there is the World Cup. Already because it is only played every four years ... The Champions League, with a very large club, you play it every year. It remains the most difficult all the same at club level in Europe. The formats, then, have evolved. The UEFA Cup that we won with Parma in 1999, for example, there was an eighth, a quarter, etc. The change in format offers the possibility of not being champion in your country but being able to win the League champions, unlike the old C1. It is also a story of details, of little things ...Normally, in this type of competition, a very bad bad night gets you out of the competition. It’s terrible. All the teams of the world can miss out on the time of a meeting. If that night, whatever the reason, you have a drop in shape, in precision ... Boom, outside! (laughs) It is terrible but it is also what makes the charm of the competition and which creates the emotion. Besides, we can tend to judge some players only by their prize list. It is a mistake ?It's part of the competition. Obviously, there are huge players who have never won the Champions League. It's something that doesn't make them bad ... I learned it once outside of football, but the legend of great players, next to the titles, is made over time only if you left a mark on the hearts of the supporters. It's feeling. And that is priceless. It doesn't give you any title. Of course, it's huge if you accompany it with titles. But I think that respecting the person who comes to the stadium, respecting the competition, giving everything, that is something that remains. There are titles but there is also that. This is why we are passionate about football. In football, one and one are not always two. You can ask a supporter how many titles you have won, how many goals you have put, he will not necessarily give you the answer. But he will remind you of this goal, this situation, because he was at the stadium with his dad, his son, his grandfather, his mom, his sister ... Football is sentimental. In another style, there is also the judgment that one makes of an attacker only from the bases.It's like a goalkeeper who is going to make an absolutely exceptional match. Behind, he makes a mistake ... (he rubs his hands) Ciao! It is a part of risk and of the profession of footballer. And personally, I love it! I love this risk. That's where all this adrenaline buildup comes from. But the truth is that the main thing is to be useful and to give your all. I believe that if an attacker works as he should, for the team, in any case, the supporter will appreciate. And it is still confirmed. In your entire career, Chelsea has perhaps been the greatest challenge.I have to be honest, I didn't want to leave Inter. I wanted to stay, I had bought a house ten days earlier but, for economic reasons, Inter decided to sell me. My dream was to play in Italy, it was never to play in the Premier League. And when I got there, I finally had a lot of fun! It was great, really two excellent years with a close relationship with Chelsea fans. I really liked the culture and mentality of English football. And today is the best Championship in the world. But, like the Champions League, it was a late love (laughs). As a child, I dreamed of Italy. But I am very grateful and the challenge was to allow the club to progress. The satisfaction has been overwhelming to have won the Premier League. I'm very sentimental about this. There is a photo where I look at the medal with tears in my eye (below). It was a big challenge. I managed to adapt, to gain something. And the Chelsea of the time was not the Chelsea of today. You are now a coach, with Defensa y Justicia in Argentina. You took the team in January, it's going pretty well.It is the first time in the history of the club that we have participated in the Copa Libertadores (with Sebastian Beccacece at its head, the predecessor of Crespo, the club has experienced a revolution, note). We had two terrible matches, against historic South American football teams, Santos and the Olimpia Asuncion. We made two excellent matches, only without the victory at the end ... But that is part of the process of progress, learning, the experience of the players, the club. This is what we missed. But it's adaptation, and there is an important lesson for us that we learn from the Champions League: Atalanta. They lost their first three games before qualifying. On our side, we lost the first two but everything still depends on us. If we stay intelligent, in learning, and correct small details, we can do it. You have to go through those moments anyway. These are the ones that allow you to improve. Since you became a coach, has your outlook changed on the game?No, because I always wanted my team, as a player or coach, to have respect for the ball, the referee, the opponent, the supporter, the game ... I want to be the protagonist. I want to play in the opposing camp, I want exchanges. I want my team to be true to what made us fall in love with this little game. And that is playing ball. To pass it, to embrace, to score goals ... It is our idea and our intention. There are matches where the opponent will be better, where he will defend well. But our proposition, our idea, is to have an identity. Let supporters and players know why they are playing and what they are playing. What about the attackers? It's okay to say “but why doesn't it go here or there” when instinct on the ground, especially for a number 9, pushes him to act differently.(laughs) Ah that ... Everything is easier sitting in the stands or on your sofa. It happens to me too ! And as a coach too, because as an enthusiast, we are born like that. But it's so simple to see things in relation to the difficulty to get there ... There is a sentence by Johan Cruyff which is excellent on this. He says "everyone knows what is wrong, some can see it, but few know how to find the solution". You understand ? It's something inherent in football. For that, we study, we work every day. We are always looking for solutions to offer the player. When he is faced with the problem, he will have the keys to solving it. Who are the coaches today who have this ability?I believe they all have it, with very distinct forms. For some, it is more offensive, for others more possession, others a little more defense ... There is no magic formula. Everyone wants to win and go to the finals. But there is no one way to achieve success. Quite the contrary. Then, in terms of entertainment and beautiful play, each makes its own way. There is still something fundamental: the players. Coaches can provide solutions, but the one who ultimately decides is the player. So we are trying to put it in the best conditions, but again, there is no quick fix. No coach in the world can guarantee results in advance. In relation to the players, where do we place the cursor of freedom?More than freedom, I would speak of tranquility. My philosophy is that for phases without a ball, you need order and discipline to be able to recover it. With it, it is to make available talent and offer freedom and tranquility to talented players, to attacking players, so that they can say that it does not matter to lose it. Quiet, they tried. The construction goes by order and discipline, necessarily, but the objective is that then, the talent is expressed. For that, you have to think, have personality.Of course, and we help them with this through a training methodology. Particularly around decision-making, how to do things the best way ... It is part of our work and as I said, offering the player a solution to his problems. Offer him keys, again around order and discipline, so that he, then, can optimize his talent. And it's relative to each. There are categories of players: those who will never play in the first division, those who will go, those of the Champions League, Europa League, World Cup ... Historical teams, young teams ... So our job is to help him use his talent by giving him options. He must be in a context favorable to the expression of his talent. And that will only make the team, the coach, the institution better. Are there attackers today who impress you?Well, there are already Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who are on a different level than the others. Then there are players that I really like. Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema, Luis Suarez ... If we only talk about numbers 9, because after, if we talk about players who have a particular vision, capable of playing the game ... (it doesn't end) For example , a player who pays a little for his transfer, must adapt, but who has an incredible intelligence, it is Antoine Griezmann. He made a World Cup ... Pfiou ... He made a World Cup ... (he insists and shows his head) He understands the game in an incredible way. In Barcelona, we haven't seen the best version of Griezmann yet. He accepted the challenge, with a completely different philosophy. It will take time. But there are a lot of players that I love. I did not speak about the Argentines, but it is the same for Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Lautaro Martinez ... One has the impression that the position has evolved a little, especially around this mission of first defender.I don't know if it's something today. What I see on the other hand, which is much more important, is communication. I remember my matches at River Plate where I was going to press the defenders, I remember the selection of Marcelo Bielsa where we were running a lot forward. But everything is done more globally now. If someone wants to play at a very high level, you must know how to do it absolutely. At the time, some said yes and others said no. Everyone tells you that it is necessary today. We hardly see any player walking. Everyone is connected to try to recover the ball. Are there any ideas you like about football today? It's always in innovation, as we saw with Pep Guardiola and its refocused sides.These are ideas that I really like. All ideas, even. I like the evolution of football in general. Everything about the deepening of the game, the use of the ball, without ever locking yourself in a box, I like it. Even if, if I am offered the vision of Pep Guardiola and that of Cholo Simeone ... (he mimics the two camps and leans towards his choice) I will prefer that of Guardiola! But I really like to listen to Cholo, to see his teams evolve. It does not always correspond to my ideal football, but there is a lot to learn. You can always remember something that is different. Deepening football and understanding it, like what Pep Guardiola, Maurizio Sarri or Jurgen Klopp do, is an opportunity to progress. We were talking about Griezmann, for example, who was a great player for Cholo and who would surely be just as great with Pep Guardiola.There are players, anyway, who are universal. When they are good, they are good. You can put them anywhere, they will always be good. That's how it is, it's related to their level, their qualities and the category in which they play. No matter the system, the trainer or whatever you want. He will adapt to any situation in a natural way. With work, of course, but that's how it is. This is why I say that it is the players who make the difference. We integrate ideas, concepts in which we believe in order to win a match, which is the best ... But the player decides. (we thank him for the interview before he goes on) I will try to manage for the translation. In French, I am zero, zero, zero. I have a lot of French friends, but I don't speak a word about it. It's hard to learn it!It's a matter of goodwill, it's like everything. Argentinian PSG players, apart from Javier Pastore, have a lot of trouble with French ...It is something curious. I don't know how Angel Di Maria, Pocho speak in his time ... But playing abroad is a wonderful opportunity to learn new languages. I have been fortunate in my career to learn Italian and the same with English. I'm weaker in English, I have a lot less vocabulary, but I'm doing well. Unfortunately, for the Frenchman, it was always something that interested me, but I never had the opportunity. I have never played it, obviously, and even if I have come to Paris many times, I have never been able to learn it. But it is a magnificent language, very sensual.
Jean-Michel Aulas had annoyed everyone by evoking a white season in the event of a permanent cessation of Ligue 1. Gérard Lopez totally shares the opinion of the boss of OL. The president of Olympique Lyonnais had sparked a first controversy as soon as the Ligue 1 championship stopped last March, explaining in Le Monde that he thought it possible that the 2019-2020 season would be considered white. Everyone saw Jean-Michel Aulas' dream come true for the ticket to last year's Champions League for the next season. But this Wednesday, Gérard Lopez is also in favor of a white season, the Lille leader judging his team injured if the classification of the 27th day was that ratified by the LFP. The president of LOSC claims a white season, which would also allow his club to take a ticket in the Champions League. Gérard Lopez believes, in L'Equipe, that the final calendar was favorable for Lille compared to Rennes and that it would be abnormal for the sports authorities to act as if nothing had happened. “Only the white season has a legal existence, because it is written that only a season which goes after 38 days can be validated; therefore, logically, everything else cannot be. The white season poses problems for many people and clubs who find it unacceptable, which I can hear. The government could therefore allow the LFP to modify its regulations in these exceptional circumstances. But, in my eyes, the frost of the season is just as unacceptable as the white season (...) The frost does not suit me any more than the white season suits others. It does not take enough account of who played against whom, at home or away, and at what time of the season. For example: Paris SG has taken more than 2.5 points per game this season; we, the LOSC, have played twice against Paris this season (two defeats), while Rennes, which distances us by one point in the Championship, has only played it once. Is it fair? Is it fair that a team like ours be judged at two thirds on its first leg, when we know it well, the teams which play the Champions League, as we have been, are much more in difficulty in the Championship on the outward phase due to the overload of the calendar, than in the return phase, notes Gérard Lopez, who is a little more threatening when we talk about the rapid formalization of the classification of the 2019-2020 season, not pushing back not the idea of legal proceedings. If the season ends, I will fight for the interests of my club. Because a truncated Championship does not give the final result. Otherwise, why play 38 days in "normal" years, if it has no value? (...) All club presidents will fight together for French football and to find economic solutions, this is good news, I agree with it and I contribute to it, but in the debate on the final ranking of the season, I will fight for mine, LOSC, for my team and for my employees. The only club that will count will be LOSC. At least Gérard Lopez has the courage to say the reality of things about his motivation. Valbuena reveals the other XXL consequence of the sextape Mathieu Valbuena, a victim in the sextape affair, suffered the sporting consequences. But also in his private life. Mathieu de Valbuena's career can be divided into two periods. That before the sextape affair, during which the attacking midfielder had an honorable career, he who had become an indisputable manager of coach Didier Deschamps in the France team. Then the one who followed this unpleasant soap opera. Inevitably affected by the blackmail suffered, not to mention comments and mockery, the player passed through Marseille and Lyon lost much more than a status in the world of football. Indeed, Valbuena also separated from his ex-partner, mainly because of the consequences of this affair on their daily lives. “Today, I have been separated from my daughter's mother for a year and a half. But it's true that at that time, it was very difficult for her, said the Frenchman in an interview with the RMC Sport channel. Because wherever we wandered, whether in restaurants ... Did that cause the end of our history? It was a start where it was complicated. I had already warned her. And behind, wherever you wandered, whether at the restaurant where you rehashed this story ... Football, it was not going either. And I know that if football is not good, in my life neither is it good. A real nightmare for Valbuena.