New Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli gave an interview to the club web site that was rolled out alongside his signing, and it’s not without interesting quotes from the mercurial Italian talent.
First, Balotelli admitted his move from Manchester City to AC Milan wasn’t his best idea.
“I’m happy to be back because I left England and it was a mistake. I wanted to go to Italy but I realised it was a mistake,” he said.
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It’s part of a wide-ranging interview in which he explains his love for the uniform No. 45, his experience winning the UEFA Champions League with Inter Milan and ‘beautiful’ English football.
There was a lot of ‘happiness’ mentioned by Balotelli in the interview. He was asked about his admiration for Anfield and whether he expected the grand reception he’s received thusfar.
I didn’t expect it because I’ve always been playing against Liverpool. Whenever I played against Liverpool, the fans weren’t nice with me but that’s normal – it’s football! Now that I play for Liverpool, I can see the expectation in people. They’re very happy and that makes me very happy at the same time.
Balotelli even went ‘next level’ with a philosophical answer to the following question:
Q: Finally, what are your ambitions here at Liverpool? What do you hope to achieve?
A: As much as I can.
No doubt he will. No doubt.
MEXICO CITY (AP) Mexican soccer star Rafael Marquez is back with his club more than a month after the U.S. Treasury Department named him on a sanctions list for alleged drug trafficking ties.
Atlas said Monday that the 38-year-old defender is practicing with the team again.
In August, Marquez was among 22 people sanctioned by the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. He was accused of acting as a frontman for the Raul Flores Hernandez drug trafficking organization.
Marquez has denied any wrongdoing and said he will work to clear his name. He is not known to face any criminal charges in the United States or Mexico.
Atlas says Marquez will continue his legal fight while at the team.
Marquez has played internationally with AS Monaco, Barcelona and the New York Red Bulls.
WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) Wolfsburg has hired Martin Schmidt to coach the Bundesliga side as a swift replacement for Andries Jonker.
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Jonker was fired on Monday after less than seven months in charge, with Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Stuttgart leaving Wolfsburg with four points from its opening four league games of the new campaign.
The 50-year-old Schmidt has signed a contract through 2019 and he will take charge of Tuesday’s game against Werder Bremen.
The Swiss coach left Mainz by mutual consent in May after almost three years in charge. Mainz finished last season in 15th place in the Bundesliga, above Wolfsburg on goal difference. Wolfsburg only survived in the Bundesliga last season by a winning a playoff.
More AP German soccer coverage: http://www.apnews.com/tag/Bundesliga
It wouldn’t be the first time a professional athlete has tried his hand at another sport, but this one is a bit surprising.
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The Telegraph is reporting that ex-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is poised to become a professional boxer and is expected to announce his decision on Tuesday.
The 38-year-old has been a pundit for BBC and BT Sport since retiring from soccer 2015, but the six-time Premier League winner appears ready to tackle a new venture.
Ferdinand will attempt to follow in the footsteps of former Sheffield United striker Curtis Woodhouse — who went on to become British light-welterweight champion.
Below is a video Ferdinand posted to his Instagram account on Monday which appears to show him practice dodging with a personal trainer.
Paris Saint-Germain picked up its sixth consecutive win to start the Ligue 1 season on Sunday, but something else happened during the team’s 2-0 victory over Lyon that should be a show for concern.
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In fact, two notable sequences occurred during the match that proved money cannot buy chemistry — or how the saying goes.
The issues on both occasions were between summer signing Neymar and Edinson Cavani — who has been with PSG since 2013.
First, a free kick situation arose where Cavani had appeared that he was going to take the set piece, until Brazilian defender Dani Alves stepped in and took the ball and proceeded to give it to his national and club teammate, Neymar.
The second occurence was even more embarrassing though, as Neymar and Cavani argued over who would take a penalty kick, which Cavani ultimately got his way before having his shot saved by goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.
Below is a video containing a piece of both instances.