Frenkie de Jong says Barcelona have assured him with sufficient gametime next term

Netherlands international Frenkie de Jong has revealed that Barcelona had provided him assurance of regular gametime in order to acquire his signature. The Ajax midfielder had been fancied to join Paris Saint-Germain in a pre-contract agreement earlier in the month but in a strange change of events, the Blaugrana managed to pursue his services.

In a report covered by Marca, De Jong acknowledged that it would be difficult to break into the first-team squad of the Catalan giants, once he makes the switch to the club during the summer. However, he added that assurances were offered regarding the gametime and he expects opportunities to impress with the first-team, he said:“I know that it will be difficult to break into the first-team, but the club have said all of the right things and have made it clear that I will get my chance.”

Unbeaten Alisson Makes Liverpool History And Tops Javier Mascherano

Alisson, the Liverpool goalkeeper has made a new record with his sixteenth Liverpool game without a defeat. This puts him above Javier Mascherano on the list of all faultless stars. Liverpool is known to have invested a great deal on the Brazilian international goalkeeper for summer since they planned on addressing the obvious weaknesses in relative areas.

The transfer fee of £65 million has made him one of the most expensive ones in world football for some time with Jurgen Klopp preparing to speculate for accumulating. It looked like the money had been spent well in the opening months of that season.

Matthijs de Ligt compares himself to Barcelona’s Gerard Pique

Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt has compared himself to Barcelona’s Gerard Pique in terms of his style of play. The Netherlands international has been strongly linked with the Catalan giants since the summer and the teenager has now fuelled more speculation by citing that Ajax and Barcelona play a similar kind of football.

In an interview with Sport, the Dutch teenager said: “I am similar to him [Pique. I like to carry the ball out from the back. Defensively I am strong and, like Gerard, I also started as a midfielder. “Ajax’s style of play is similar to Barcelona’s. High press, a high defensive line, and a high level of ball possession.”

Diego Maradona not in favour of Lionel Scaloni to manage Argentina

Argentina legend Diego Maradona does not fancy the prospect of Lionel Scaloni being in charge of the national team. The South American heavyweights were expected to make a big-name appointment after the departure of manager Jorge Sampaoli following a disappointing World Cup campaign but they have for now stuck with Scaloni on an interim basis.

Speaking to reporters, Maradona highlighted the disappointment after Argentina failed to meet their expectations at the World Cup and believes they should have recruited a better head coach than Scaloni, who does not have the reputation by his side, he said: “It hurt me a lot what happened at the World Cup because there wasn’t respect.

Lautaro Martinez hopeful of being called up by Argentina

Inter Milan’s summer signing Lautaro Martinez is hoping to earn a call-up to the Argentine national side after making a good impression for the Nerazzurri in pre-season. The 20-year-old has been one of the standout performers for Inter during pre-season with four goals and he is now optimistic of being called up for the upcoming set of international friendlies.

Speaking to reporters, he said: “Hopefully I can be called-up. I’m going to keep working to complete my objective.” Meanwhile, Martinez spoke about his friendship with compatriot Mauro Icardi, who is presently the captain of the Nerazzurri, he added: “We get along very well and he’s helped me a lot on a day to day basis. We are taking advantage of it and we are very happy with what we are doing.”

Jose Pekerman: Japan deserved to beat Colombia

Colombia manager Jose Pekerman has admitted that Japan were the better team in the World Cup encounter and deserved to beat the South American outfit. Colombia witnessed Carlos Sanchez sent off in just the third minute after denying a clear goalscoring opportunity with his hand and shortly after, Shinji Kagawa converted the resultant penalty.

Thereafter, Japan had the better chances to find the scoresheet but Juan Quintero pulled things level for Colombia with a brilliant free-kick prior to the break. Despite this, Japan continued to push for the winner amid the tired legs in the opposition side and Yuya Osako bagged the match-winning goal for the Samurai Blue in the 73rd minute.

Argentina Chief: Lionel Messi Cannot Win World Cup By His Own

Argentine Football Association president Claudio Tapia has said that Lionel Messi has the ambition to win the World Cup, but this may not be possible unless his teammates perform to the best of their abilities. Messi cut a frustrated figure after witnessing Argentina lost 1-0 to Germany at the 2014 World Cup, and he has since experienced further disappointments with the nation being defeated by Chile on penalties in the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Copa America.

Javier Mascherano: Playing at centre-back for Barcelona was a thankless task

Argentina international Javier Mascherano has revealed that it was a thankless task of playing in central defence during his seven-and-a-half year spell with Barcelona. The 33-year-old ended his long-term association with the Catalan giants to join Chinese outfit Hebei Fortune last month.
In an exclusive interview with Gerard Pique for The Players' Tribune, Mascherano admitted that he contemplated leaving Barcelona on several occasions previously as he wanted to enjoy more playing time in the central midfield role.

He said: "Let's just say my time at Barcelona is one of contrast in that regard. Because the best years of my career, where I could enjoy myself the most [were at Barcelona], I felt complete as a footballer, but I didn't get the chance to play as a midfielder. But [maybe] that is as if your glass is half empty. Those were the cards which were dealt. But when I had doubts about leaving before, that was why. No one knows better than you [Pique] how thankless a task it is to be a Barca defender. One mistake and you pay dearly."

Mascherano thinking of finishing career at River Plate

Javier Mascherano has revealed that he has designs on returning back home to his first club River Plate in Argentina before he retires from the game but he does not want to make such a promise if he isn’t unable to keep to it.

The Barcelona defender started his professional career with River Plate before moving to Corinthians. He then went on to play for West Ham and Liverpool in England before ending up at the Nou Camp.

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