Daniel Sturridge was forced to pull out of England’s last two qualifiers, missing both the 4-0 win over Moldova and the 0-0 draw with Ukraine. The Liverpool forward injured his thigh two weeks ago against Manchester United, but completed the match, seeing out his side’s 1-0 win, a victory courtesy of Sturridge himself. In fact, Sturridge has scored Liverpool’s only league goals this season, and in total has five goals in four matches for the Reds.
So the news that the 24 year old could well be fit for Monday’s game against Swansea was welcomed by Liverpool supporters, but it left a sour taste in the mouths of some England fans. It didn’t help that, during an interview, Sturridge said he was more worried about Liverpool winning matches and challenging for trophies than he was about playing for England. Some began to wonder if the striker was legitimately injured for the World Cup qualifiers, or if he was simply concentrating on staying as fit as possible for club play. With England facing an injury crisis up front — missing Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck for the Ukraine match — and only holding a slender lead at the top of their group, emotions were running high.
But now Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has come out in defense of Sturridge, noting that the striker’s absence was legitimate, and that it was medical experts, not the player, who made the ultimate decision. Rodgers went on to say that the fact that the Swansea clash takes place on Monday is a contributing factor, explaining, “If it was a Saturday game he may well have struggled but that extra bit of time gives him a chance and I would suspect he will hopefully be fit, although he won’t be 100% fit.”
You’ve got to appreciate the over-sized ego of Cristiano Ronaldo, even if it is deserved.
The 33-year-old Real Madrid striker was bestowed the 2017 Player of the Year award from the Portugal FA, earning 65 percent of the vote. But more than winning yet another trophy to add to his burgeoning case was what he told the media after accepting the award.
“We have to defend what is ours because there is always a Portuguese in the fight (for the top awards),” Ronaldo said, via AS. “I always believe and say that I am the best, whatever they say, and then I show it in the field. We are in the fight year after year.”
Ronaldo did score 42 goals last year for Real Madrid and has scored 18 goals in 2018 alone already for Los Blancos as the club look to go back-to-back-to-back in the UEFA Champions League.
Last October, for reasons unknown, Matt Miazga didn’t make the U.S. Men’s National Team squad for its final two World Cup qualifiers.
Five months later, he’s risen to the top of the centerback depth chart.
[MORE: Digging into the USMNT roster]
The hulking centerback spoke on Tuesday as the USMNT started off its training camp in Cary, N.C., noting that the youth-laden squad wanted to make an impression to stay in the picture moving forward. With four years until the next World Cup and still more than a year until competitive matches, there is still plenty of shuffling and expanding of the player pool to do before then.
Have a listen to Miazga and enjoy the sights and sounds of the USMNT training camp ahead of its friendly match against Paraguay.
MILAN (AP) Bank boss Gaetano Micciche has been elected president of Serie A.
Micciche, the president of Banca IMI, was chosen unanimously on Monday by the Italian league’s 20 clubs.
He succeeds Maurizio Beretta, who left the position nearly a year ago.
[ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]
The league has been under emergency leadership, first by former Italian football federation president Carlo Tavecchio then by Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago.
Malago recommended Micciche for the position.
The federation remains under emergency leadership following Tavecchio’s resignation in the wake of Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup.
Liverpool has a message for any club looking to sign Mohamed Salah this summer: Not gonna happen.
The Merseyside club has reportedly said it will “not sell Salah under any circumstances this summer” as the Reds look to hold off the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, according to The Telegraph. Salah’s four-goal tally against Watford on Saturday took his goal total to an incredible 28 in 32 Premier League games, with another seven goals in cup competitions.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]
Liverpool famously kept Barcelona – and Arsenal – off Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan striker wanted to leave in 2013, but Liverpool was only able to stop Barcelona from signing Philippe Coutinho for six months.
As things stand, Liverpool are qualified for the 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League with the club sitting in a top four Premier League place, and keeping Salah is absolutely vital if the Reds want to make a deep run in the competition and compete for a Premier League title. It remains to be seen though if Salah is happy to stay at Liverpool or if a big-money offer from Spain or France can tempt him otherwise to set himself and his family financially for life.