Long-standing England midfielders Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were asked by manager Roy Hodgson to speak to the Three Lions players and staff ahead of the nation’s second World Cup match of the tournament.
Facing certain elimination with a second loss after falling to Italy in the opener, Hodgson thoughts their words could help spark England in its Thursday match against Uruguay (which should have Luis Suarez but will be missing two key players).
Plus, there is a certain “warn the youngins exactly how hellish the English media can make their lives” factor at play.
From the BBC:
“It wasn’t to scare any of the lads but a wake-up call to everyone – staff and players,” captain Gerrard said.
“I have had that feeling of going out of a major tournament. I know what that feeling is about and that is the feeling I don’t want come Friday morning.
“A lot of people in the dressing room already know that,” said Gerrard. “But we have a few young lads and it was important for them to realise what is at stake and how important this game is.
“There is no hiding place for a player when you go out of a tournament. You go home earlier than you expect. It can be tough as a player and it can take an awful long time to get over it.”
The idea that any World Cup player needs to hear such a thing given the circumstances is unnecessary, but Hodgson feels the need to push every media and motivational button possible.
England hasn’t been eliminated in the group stage during its last six World Cups and last two European championships. Uruguay lost its tournament opener against Costa Rica, the CONCACAF nation set to square off with the Italians on Friday.
MADRID (AP) Jose Mourinho’s agent says the Manchester United manager paid more than 26 million euros ($27 million) in taxes when he lived in Spain from 2010-13.
The information was made public on Tuesday by Gestifute, a company run by Mourinho’s agent, Jorge Mendes.
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The Portuguese company has been releasing details about its clients’ tax declarations after European media outlets published what they claimed were details of apparent tax arrangements made by top soccer players and coaches, including Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil.
Gestifute, which also has Ronaldo as a client, has already published documents allegedly showing that Spanish fiscal authorities have certified that Mourinho and Real Madrid star Ronaldo are “up to date on … obligations.”
Mourinho coached Real Madrid from 2010-13 and took charge of United this season.
This is going to turn out to be one of the most exciting years of Matt Hedges’ life.
The FC Dallas man lead one of the best back lines in Major League Soccer to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the Supporters’ Shield.
[ MORE: PST talks with Hedges, Zimmerman ]
He’s also likely set for a chance to return to the USMNT fold under new coach Bruce Arena, as Hedges is one of the best players to be largely ignored by Jurgen Klinsmann.
Hedges, 26, was named the MLS Defender of the Year and made the Best XI, and now he’s inked a new long-term deal with FC Dallas.
The four-year deal will keep Hedges in Dallas through his 30th birthday. Capped once, Hedges has 159 appearances with 11 goals for FCD.
Christian Pulisic is one of the most exciting young prospects in the world.
It’s a statement that isn’t often said without hyperbole when it comes to American standouts, but the 18-year-old Borussia Dortmund man has seen his names in the gossip pages a few times this year.
While Liverpool has often been the destination, Italian site Calcio Mercato says Premier League interest is wider than Merseyside. The clubs? Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
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Dortmund doesn’t want to sell the youngster, who is locked up through 2019. The whispered price has been $31 million at a minimum, but perhaps BVB would be tempted given their wealth of young attacking options.
Pulisic has made 27 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, nabbing four goals and six assists. He has 11 caps and three goals for the USMNT as well.
Cristiano Ronaldo had been linked with massive tax evasion, but Real Madrid would ask you to kindly go back to treating him like a king now that he’s proven his innocence.
In a move usually reserved for politicians aiming for high office, Ronaldo’s agent released some of his tax documents to prove everything’s above board.
It all looks good, unlike what befell Neymar and Lionel Messi, so back off, huh?
[ MORE: Wednesday’s Champions League preview ]
From Real Madrid:
In view of the stories published over recent days and in consideration of the certificate issued by the Spanish Tax Agency which confirms that our player Cristiano Ronaldo is up to date with all of his tax obligations, Real Madrid C. F. call for the utmost respect to be shown towards Cristiano Ronaldo, whose conduct has been absolutely exemplary throughout all of his time at our club.
Only the utmost for CR7.
Real Madrid hosts Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday in a match which will decide Group F of the UEFA Champions League.