James Rodríguez dreams of joining Real Madrid

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Fantastic performances at the World Cup — soccer’s biggest stage — can help players secure massive moves to massive clubs. Colombia’s James Rodríguez is hoping that his excellent showing will help him fulfill his dreams.

Speaking to Spanish media outlet MARCA, James said:

Playing for Real Madrid is my life’s dream: it’d be a privilege to play alongside so many stars. If it happened, I’d enjoy it to the max. It’s really flattering to know that a club of Real Madrid’s stature is interested in me. It’d be a dream to join the club of my dreams. I have a great deal of respect for other clubs and admire the good football they play, but ultimately Real Madrid are Real Madrid. I’ve always had a thing for them, like I said before.

Various reports have indicated Real are interested in the 23-year-old. However, that doesn’t mean James’ dream will come true.

Just last year, Monaco paid €45m to bring the forward in from Porto. The Ligue 1 side are one of the richest clubs in Europe, and have no need to sell one of their star players. Just last week, Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev said that although there are no guarantees that players will not be sold, but there had been no discussions with any club over a move for James. Vasilyev went on to indicate that Monaco’s desire to keep James:

We believe in him a lot. He’s very important to the team. He still has four years of his contract left and we’re going to do a lot of good things together.

Still … never say never, James.

Newcastle’s Krul on crutches after injury in Dutch win

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03:  Tim Krul of Newcastle United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at Etihad Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.

Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.

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Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.

Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.

The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.

McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.

VIDEO: Marco Verratti plays a brilliant pass to Eder for Italy goal

PALERMO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 06:  Marco Verratti of Italy in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Italy and Bulgaria on September 6, 2015 in Palermo, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
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Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.

The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.

The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.

Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.


Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.