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Real Madrid adds Reinier Jesus
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Real Madrid adds Brazilian teen phenom Reinier Jesus

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Barcelona and Real Madrid may be neck-and-neck in the short-term, but the Madrid side keeps landing stars for the bigger picture.

The latest add is Reinier Jesus, a $33 million price affixed to the teenage phenom from Brazilian side Flamengo. As Joel Soria wrote earlier this month, the victorious fee is around half of Reinier’s reported release clause.

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Marca brands the kid a physically-gifted player in the Kaka mold, which is lofty praise given the latter won a Ballon d’Or.

Reinier, an attacking midfielder, joins wingers Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior in forming a young Brazilian heart of the squad’s future.

Renieir, no relation to Man City forward Gabriel Jesus, turned 18 on Sunday. He is coming off six goals and two assists in 17 senior appearances for Flamengo and is expected to be one of the stars of Brazil’s Olympic qualifying fight, which is currently underway in Colombia.

That team, should they qualify, would be terrifying at full strength. Brazil could utilize Douglas Luiz, Rodrygo, Thiago Maia, Wendel, and Renan Lodi.

 

Report: Real Madrid, Flamengo agree on $39M fee for starlet Reinier

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The next Vinicius Junior is on his way to the Spanish capital.

Flamengo forward Reinier will join the Real Madrid later this month for a fee of $39 million, according to Goal.com.

Highly-rated Reinier, who will turn 18 on January 19, is set to follow in the footsteps of Vinicius Junior after nixing the opportunity to sign for Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

The Brazilian and Spanish giants will wait to announce the deal until the Brazil under-23 ace turns 18, which came at half of the price that Flamengo were originally asking for ($78 million), per the report.

Flamengo will receive 80 percent of the transfer fee, while the player and his representative will receive the rest.

In November, Reinier renewed his contract with the Copa Libertadores champions, extending his stay in Rio de Janiero until 2024.

The 17-year-old scored six goals in 14 appearances in league play, helping Flamengo lift the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A title.

In July, Reinier made his first-team debut with Flamengo against Emelec in a Copa Libertadores bout. He’s expected to be an integral part of Brazil’s under-23 team, who look to claim one of the two spots available for 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan over the summer.

Klopp: ‘I struggle for the right words to describe my respect for the boys’

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With an extra-time 1-0 victory over Flamengo in the Club World Cup final, Liverpool have landed on the moon.

At least that’s how Jurgen Klopp described what winning the trophy would be like: “I don’t know how you approach something that has never been done before – it is like landing on the moon,” Klopp told reporters in Qatar on Friday.

It was not an exaggeration from the German coach.

Liverpool are the first English club to secure the continental treble – Champions League, Super Cup, and Club World Cup. Saturday’s historic victory wouldn’t have been possible without Roberto Firmino, whose goal in extra time sealed it for the Reds, similar to his game-winning goal against Monterrey in the semifinal bout.

Last-minute goals are becoming one of the many strengths this unbeaten Liverpool boasts.

“It looks like a strength,” manager Klopp said after the match about his team’s knack for scoring late recently. “We don’t want to have [the late goals] but they are necessary as it was level in the game. They were all very important like tonight. When you start believing, you believe for the 90 or 120 minutes. We believe in a chance.”

“In moments like this, I struggle for the right words to describe my respect for the boys,” Klopp added. “I don’t how they do it. An incredible performance against a good team.”

The chances for Liverpool – and Firmino – were plentiful throughout the 120 minutes at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha. As usual, the Reds’ captain, Jordan Henderson, was pulling the strings.

The 29-year-old’s cutting pass to an attacking Sadio Mane eventually led to the Brazilian’s goal from point-blank range.

On the podium, Henderson, like a true captain, was the first to lift Liverpool’s first-ever Club Word Cup silverware, giving outsiders every reason to believe that there is no team better than Liverpool at the moment.

For Henderson, however, the thirst to improve is there.

“It was an interesting game,” the Liverpool captain said. “I am sure it was interesting to watch but we kept going, good performance and mentality shined through. We could have scored a couple more. Overall delighted with the result and performance in difficult conditions.”

“We have found a way for a long time now,” he added. “Some late goals, we just want to keep going, keep improving. Keep working hard and putting in performances like that.”

Liverpool win Club World Cup, beat Flamengo

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Liverpool are officially the best club team on the planet. The Premier League leaders won the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup on Saturday as they beat Flamengo 1-0 in the final in Doha, Qatar.

Roberto Firmino scored the only goal of the game in the 99th minute, as Jurgen Klopp‘s reigning European champs beat the South American champions in a draining, tense final.

The Reds have never won the Club World Cup and they become just the second Premier League club, after Manchester United in 2008, to win the title.

They are the first English team to hold three international trophies in the same year.

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Naby Keita should have put Liverpool 1-0 up early after Jordan Henderson set Mohamed Salah free over the top and he set up the onrushing Keita who fired high and wide.

Trent Alexander-Arnold flashed a shot just wide from distance as Liverpool dominated the early stages.

Flamengo improved drastically as Bruno Henrique caused Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez plenty of problems, with Gabigol sniffing around for a chance.

Liverpool came flying out of the traps in the second half as Roberto Firmino hit the post then Salah flicked a shot just wide.

Flamengo answered as Gabigol’s low shot was pushed wide by Alisson as the Brazilian giants impressed.

Salah then smashed over after catching Flamengo on the break as Liverpool huffed and puffed in the latter stages.

Gabigol sent an acrobatic effort in on goal which Alisson scrambled to save and then came Liverpool’s predictable late onslaught.

Salah had a shot blocked then Jordan Henderson’s superb shot was tipped over by Diego Alves and a huge moment of controversy arrived in stoppage time.

Sadio Mane was played in and Rafinha appeared to trip him as he raced in on goal as the referee awarded a penalty kick. But VAR was used and no penalty was awarded as the game went to extra time.

Firmino then struck in extra time as a counter attack led by Mane saw him flick the ball to Firmino and the Brazilian striker slotted home to spark wild scenes of celebration.

In the 119th minute Flamengo had their best chance of the game to score but Lincoln fired over, as the European champions were crowned as the best club team on the planet.

Preview: Liverpool to face Flamengo in Club World Cup final

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Already the reigning kings of Europe, Liverpool will go for global glory when they face Brazilian side Flamengo in the final of the 2019 Club World Cup on Saturday (12:30 p.m. ET) in Doha, Qatar.

[ MORE: Klopp: “So many strange things happened” in CWC semifinal win ]

Jurgen Klopp‘s side advanced to the final on Roberto Firmino’s stoppage-time winner to defeat Mexican side Monterrey in Wednesday’s semifinal. Naby Keita opened the scoring in the 12th minute, but Rogelio Funes Mori drew the CONCACAF Champions League winners level just two minutes, and Liverpool were in for a tough fight the rest of the way.

Monterrey out-shot Liverpool 16 to 12 (8 to 6 on target) and nearly became the first side to defeat the UEFA Champions League winner since 2012, when fellow Brazilian side Corinthians topped Chelsea in the final.

The Reds were were without superstar defender Virgil Van Dijk (illness) on short notice, forcing Klopp to drop Jordan Henderson back to center back alongside Joe Gomez. At this point, it is unknown whether or not Van Dijk will be recovered to feature in the final.

Klopp described it as a thoroughly “strange” game. Given the absence of Van Dijk and the chaotic nature of the game up until Firmino’s late winner, Klopp said after the game, “I was afraid of extra time, to be honest.”

[ MORE: Solskjaer, Rashford excited for Manchester Derby in League Cup semis ]

While the Club World Cup is clearly a secondary competition for Liverpool this season, James Milner was clear about one thing after Wednesday’s great escape: they are far from satisfied with having won one trophy — it’s dynasty or bust.

“It was important to get that first trophy on the board. We were unfortunate not to win in a few finals but you see how the team has moved on. Like I said before, we don’t want to be remembered as the team who won one trophy once. You want to be a part of a group where you forget which year you won one trophy.”

Flamengo advanced with a 3-1 victory over Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal. After falling behind in the first 20 minute, Flamengo stormed back with a trio of second-half goals.