Sir Alex heaps praise on Mourinho; envious of Liverpool, Klopp

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When Sir Alex Ferguson talks, everyone sits up and listens.

[ MORE: Mourinho reacts to Chelsea loss ]

The legendary former Manchester United manager has been speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt London event where he has backed Chelsea’s underfire manager Jose Mourinho and also revealed the respect he has for newly appointed Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

Ferguson, 73, showed incredible support for Mourinho — many believed the Portuguese coach would replace Ferie as manager of United when he announced his retirement at the end of the 2012-13 season — in his latest comments, with the Scotsman pleading for Chelsea’s owner to give his manager more time to turn around their alarming slump.

“[Roman Abramovich] has sacked so many coaches in the last 10 years that I am sure he has learned by it. He has to trust and have confidence Jose can turn around,” Ferguson said. “There is no point in sacking one of the best coaches of all time, he’s won the European Cup twice, he’s won the league in each country he’s managed in, he’s won the big trophies.”

[ MORE: Timbers win first-ever MLS Cup ]

Fergie also revealed he’s been in touch with Mourinho recently and believes despite Chelsea’s defeat to Bournemouth at the weekend — that’s now eight defeats in 15 for the reigning PL champs this season as they languish in 14th place — he can turn things around.

“I have been watching Jose recently and spoken to him a couple of times, and this is the first time he has been confronted with non-success,” Ferguson said. “If you look at his whole career there has been nothing but a rise all of the time so for the first time in his life he has had to deal with bad publicity, adversity and that is a challenge for him, but there are signs he is getting back to a balanced level although they lost on Saturday.”

Mourinho only signed a new four-year contract in August to extend his stay at Chelsea until 2019, and despite him leading the Blues to the title last season he admitted that finishing in the top six could be a push this year after a dreadful start to the campaign. Well, at least he has Fergie on his side…

As for another charismatic and much-spoken about manager in the PL, Ferguson had plenty of kind words to say about Liverpool’s new boss Klopp and is worried that the arch rivals of the team he lead to 28 major trophies during his 26 years in charge could challenge for plenty of titles under the German coach.

“I’m worried about him because the one thing United don’t want is Liverpool to get above us,” Ferguson admitted. “He’s a fantastic personality, with those big white teeth always showing. Even at Newcastle when they lost the second goal he goes over to Steve McClaren to congratulate him. That’s class, that. And the work he did at Dortmund. I know him quite well from the coaching seminars. He’s going to make a difference at that club with his personality, drive and knowledge. Things are looking up there.”

So, Fergie seems to be mellowing a little as the years go by and this is now the third season since he retired after his incredible success as a coach which spanned nearly 40 years in total.

With these comments it is clear that one of the greatest managers in soccer history is backing arguably the two best managers (Arsene Wenger aside) in the PL. Or, is the United legend buttering both Klopp and/or Mourinho up to take over at United when Louis Van Gaal‘s contract runs out in the summer of 2017 or if the Dutchman leaves before that?

In the strange world of soccer, stranger things have happened, especially after LVG threatened to quit United if his players aren’t buying into his philosophy.

This is likely just support towards two top-class managers from Fergie, but given how the way in which he emphatically backed Mourinho and has always had good things to say about him, the respect between them is clear.

Follow Live: Jamaica hosts Honduras in first Gold Cup match in Kingston

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With Curacao v. El Salvador as the undercard, host Jamaica will make history on Monday evening ahead of its match v. Honduras in Kingston.

The evening at the National Stadium at Independence Park represents the first time that Gold Cup will be held in the Caribbean, an historic achievement as CONCACAF looks for ways to continue growing the game across the entire region.

[ LIVE: Latest Gold Cup scores ]

Although it struggled in World Cup qualifying, Jamaica seems like it has turned a new leaf and after a 2-0 win over the U.S. Men’s National Team in Washington D.C. earlier this month, the Caribbean nation is riding plenty of confidence and is looking to make yet another deep run at the Gold Cup. Standing in its way is plucky Honduras, who always seems to come up with goals when it’s least expected and manages to put together a strong defense to make things difficult for opponents.

It should be a fun opener in front of a partisan, but decidedly local crowd in Jamaica.

Report: Barcelona in negotiations with PSG to sign Neymar

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In a stunning development, Neymar could be returning to the Camp Nou as early as this summer.

Brazilian media giant Globo Esporte reported Monday afternoon that Barcelona is currently negotiating with Paris Saint-Germain over the signing of Neymar. According to the report, the deal could include a payment of around $112 million along with one or more players moving to Paris, including Ivan Rakitic, Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti.

[READ: USWNT: We have the best, and second best team]

There’s so many layers to this deal, so let’s break it down.

The news that Neymar could return to Barcelona comes on the heels of an interview by PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and France Football, in which he called out Neymar, stating “nobody forced him to sign here,” and that Al-Khelaifi said earlier in the interview he didn’t want “to see stars anymore.”

“I want players willing to give everything to defend the honor of the jersey and to join the club project,” Al-Khelaifi told France Football. “Those who do not want, or do not understand, we see each other and we talk to each other. There are of course contracts to be respected, but the priority now is total membership of our project…nobody forced him to sign here. Nobody pushed him. He came knowingly to join a project.”

Meanwhile, Neymar has plenty of time now to think of his future. Ever since moving to PSG, it feels like he’s been stricken by the injury bug. While he’ll probably go down as a Brazil legend when he retires, he’s on the precipice of being a what if player, as in, what if he wasn’t injured for parts of the last two World Cups, and for picking up an ankle injury that’s kept him out of the 2019 Copa America.

It’s been ankle injuries as well in February of each of the last two seasons at PSG that has effectively ended his season just as it was reaching the important stages, the start of the UEFA Champions League knockout stage.

Remember, Neymar decided to force his way out of Barcelona and move to PSG in an effort to break the hegemony of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Ballon d’Or and truly write his name in the history books. Instead, his time in Paris will be remembered abroad more for his antics, injuries, and of course, the incident with the fan at the Coupe de la Ligue final.

Of course, that’s not to say Neymar didn’t have success in France. He’s scored an incredible 49 goals in 55 games in all competitions, including in both Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League. But ultimately, Neymar wasn’t able to score goals when it mattered, like in the Champions League knockout stages or in high-pressure games.

At Barcelona, Neymar achieved some of his biggest club success and took his game to new heights after being a raw diamond needing polishing at Santos in Brazil. Perhaps Neymar has realized that it’s better to play in Messi’s shadow, and potentially win the UEFA Champions League again, than try and stake it out on his own. Neymar has a good relationship with Messi and Luis Suarez, among other South Americans on the team, and on paper he’d clearly be a big upgrade at left wing over the duo of Ousmane Dembele and Neymar’s Brazil teammate, Philippe Coutinho.

The deal makes sense for both sides, but will it get done? That’s the big question this summer, and it will remain unanswered until the second of September, the close of the Spanish transfer window.

Watch Live: Copa America — Japan v. Chile

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It may be hard to remember, since it didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but Chile is actually the twice-defending Copa America champions.

[ LIVE: Watch every single Copa America game ]

La Roja look to defend their title with the final opening game of the tournament, facing Copa America invitee Japan at the Estadio Morumbi in Sao Paulo. After both Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal announced they were leaving the national team following the failure to qualify for the last World Cup, both veterans are back and starting as Chile looks to find its 2015 and 2016 form under new manager Reinaldo Rueda, the former Colombia, Honduras and Ecuador coach.

Chile will face an interesting test in Japan, as the Samurai Blue have taken mainly an Under-23 side as it prepares for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and potentially making a deep run. Many of the starters are making their first senior international caps for Japan, as it looks to gain crucial international experience against a strong side.

Hit the link above (or click HERE) to watch Monday’s primetime fixture (in Spanish) and check back on PST for a full roundup of the day’s action down in South America.

You can watch every single game from the tournament live online in Spanish via Telemundo Deportes and via the NBC Sports App. All you have to do is click on the links below.

How Twitter reacted to VAR decisions in France v. Nigeria

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The introduction of Video Assistant Referees to top level soccer has been criticized at times, but more often than not has been given the benefit of the doubt.

That seemed to change on Monday, as France was aided by two controversial VAR decisions, which helped the European nation defeat Nigeria, 1-0, in the final group stage game for both countries at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Both VAR decisions, the first to award a penalty and especially the second, to award a retake, were planned by both journalists, fans, and even former players on social media in real time.

Here’s some reaction below to the big controversy from this afternoon’s match.