September 22

Barca sack sporting director Eric Abidal

first_imgRelatedPosts Suarez agrees Atletico terms Barca president Bartomeu says he won’t go to war anymore with Messi Messi scores twice in Barca friendly Barcelona have terminated the contract of sporting director Eric Abidal a day after sacking head coach Quique Setien.The move is one of “many changes” set to take place at the Catalan club following their 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final on Friday. A statement read: “The club publicly expresses its gratitude to Eric Abidal for the professionalism, commitment, dedication and positive and close treatment he has always shown towards all the estates that make up the Barça family, and wishes him luck and success in the future.”Abidal, 40, played for Barcelona from 2007 to 2013, winning four league titles and the Champions League twice.After retiring he returned to the club as the director of football in June 2018, replacing Roberto Fernandez.Abidal had at times proved a divisive figure during his two-year spell as sporting director, having blamed the players for Ernesto Valverde’s departure back in January.Lionel Messi called on Abidal to name names following the accusations, adding: “We are all being dirtied and it feeds comments that are made and are not true.” Abidal played a key role in selecting Setien as Valverde’s successor, and some eight months later he has now followed the head coach out the door at the Nou Camp.Ronald Koeman is on the brink of becoming the club’s new head coach, while it remains to be seen who will take Abidal’s palce.The club have also brought forward the presidential elections to March next year, with Victor Font a frontrunner to take Josep Maria Bartomeu’s place.Tags: BarcelonaEric AbidalErnesto Valverde’sLionel MessiNou CampQuique Setienronald koemanlast_img read more

September 21

Ferguson hails ‘exceptional’ Giggs

first_img “He has never carried any weight, has never suffered a serious injury and never misses a training session. He is still at the head of the pack during pre-season. He just has this insatiable appetite to continue playing. “He will play next year and who knows he could possibly play for another year after that. I am sure he will get to 41 and still be playing because he is such a fit lad.” As one of United’s few non-internationals, Giggs would appear to be a prime candidate to figure in Saturday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Sunderland. Already 15 points clear, Ferguson’s men can extend their massive advantage even further given Manchester City are not in action until later in the day. Yet Ferguson has an additional target to aim for, eclipsing the mark set by Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in 2005, which in turn would end any lingering hope City have of hauling back that huge deficit. “The record is 95 points by Chelsea,” said Ferguson. “If we get to 95 points I would be absolutely delighted. That would be a fantastic season. And if we do get to that position, we have probably won the league.” It has been the best possible recovery by United after having the title snatched from their grasp by City striker Sergio Aguero with virtually the very last kick of last season. And one that Ferguson did not expect. “I expected it to be really tight,” he said. “The first point was that after last season, we wanted to make sure we didn’t lose it on goal difference, and that has improved markedly. But I never thought we would be 15 points clear at this stage of the season.” Press Association The Manchester United man’s one-year contract extension will take him past his 40th birthday, which will enable him to join Gordon Strachan and former Red Devils team-mate Teddy Sheringham in a very exclusive veteran’s club for outfield players. Yet Ferguson does not believe that will be the end of Giggs’ assault on the personal record books. “Ryan is an exceptional human being,” Ferguson told Sirius XM. center_img Sir Alex Ferguson is tipping Ryan Giggs to become the oldest outfield player in Premier League history.last_img read more