Super Mario could be heading back to England this summer.
According to a report in the Mail on Sunday in the UK, Mario Balotelli’s time at AC Milan could be up and a move back to the Premier League is likely after the fiery forward is said to be sick and tired of the racist abuse hurled at him in Serie A.
Plus, he apparently realizes that life as PL superstar wasn’t all that bad, after all.
Balotelli, 23, left Manchester City in January 2013 after helping the Citizens to win the PL title but his wacky antics on and off the pitch all became a bit too much for everyone at the Etihad Stadium.
However with both Arsenal and Liverpool on the hunt for attackers to boost their squads for an assault on the Champions League next season, Balotelli’s big-game experience could be crucial. If you manage to massage his ego, Balotelli showed in his second season at City that he can be a real handful. He scored 17 goals in 32 games and proved he’s an absolute menace… when he wants to be.
The Italian international suits English soccer as his pace and power are perfect for the PL and if he’s handled correctly — that’s difficult to do after stunts such as setting off fireworks from his bathroom, handing out money to homeless people, being allergic to grass and many other issues — he could be an absolute bargain with Milan ready to offload him and they can’t offer him European soccer next season after they finished seventh this season. Despite their struggles, Balotelli has banged in 30 goals in 54 games for AC over the last two seasons and will be at the World Cup in Brazil this summer, strutting his stuff with his usual panache.
Do Arsenal or Liverpool need Balotelli?
Liverpool could certainly use depth up top because if either Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez get injured for a long period of time then stand-ins such as Iago Aspas could struggle massively. As for Arsenal, they have Olivier Giroud and then youngster Yaya Sanogo who occupy the top two spots on their depth chart of strikers. For so long Arsene Wenger has been urged to go out and buy a top quality striker. Is Balotelli the right man for the Gunners? His direct style of play is certainly something very different to what they are used to and I’m not sure I can see Wenger putting up with Balotelli’s antics for too long.
Both PL teams need to buy a striker this summer to be successful domestically and in Europa next season, but is Balotelli the man they will go for?
Play until you hear the referee’s whistle. In theory, so simple. In practice, it only takes a single second of concentration lapse to become an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons.
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Such is life for Karyn Forbes, member of the Trinidad and Tobago women’s national soccer team. In the above video, you’ll observe Forbes, a 24-year-old midfielder, giving away perhaps the most bizarre penalty kick you’ll ever see. You’ll have to watch for yourself to believe it.
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Unfortunately for Forbes, though the whole of the ball might have crossed the whole of the end line, the referee did not blow her whistle… not until Forbes picked the ball up with her hands and carried it to her goalkeeper.
BERLIN (AP) The German Football League (DFL) has given the go-ahead for the possible testing of video replays in the Bundesliga over a two-year pilot phase.
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The DFL says it will be lodging an application with FIFA to take part if the pilot phase is approved by the International Football Association Board at its next annual general meeting on March 5.
The DFL says video replays could be used by a “team of impartial match officials for the purpose of avoiding any evidently incorrect decisions” and that the pilot phase would be preceded by “intensive preparations.”
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These would include the settlement of costs among FIFA, the IFAB, the DFL and German football federation, as well as training for the candidates.
West Ham United hope Dimitri Payet is going absolutely nowhere after the club announced on Thursday the 28-year-old Frenchman has signed a contract extension through the summer of 2021.
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Payet’s current contract was scheduled to keep him at the Premier League club through the summer of 2020, but a series of standout performances (6 goals, 4 assists so far this season, mostly during the season’s opening three months) and rumors of interest from “bigger” clubs meant tacking on another year — and plenty more cash — was the best way to keep Payet in east London for the foreseeable future. The club confirmed earlier this week that negotiations over an extension were underway.
“He’s the best player I’ve signed in 25 years,” said West Ham co-owner David Sullivan. “He’s a [$43 million] player. He’s a supreme footballer. He makes every player in our side play better. On his day, he’s world class, he’s unstoppable.”
Payet, who’s been at West Ham just eight months after signing last summer, could still depart in the summer should he finish the current season strong and/or show up and show out at the European Championship, which kicks off in June. In that event, West Ham would now bag a much heftier transfer fee than they would have done prior to the extension.
Remember that Dele Alli goal? No, not that one… that one. Of course you remember it. How could you not?
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How often does a player receive the ball out of the air, flick it over his head, spin 180 degrees and hit an inch-perfect volley from 20 yards out to secure all three points for his team? The answer is, of course, not very often.
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Thus, a goal such as Alli’s stunning winner against Crystal Palace last month has been, and will continue to be, immortalized through numerous recreations in this Digital Age. Above is Alli’s goal recreated in hand-drawn crayon.