Arsenal’s Ramsey Signs Four-Year Juventus Deal

 

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has signed a four-year deal to join Juventus on a free transfer from next July, the Italian champions said on Monday.

The 28-year-old Wales international will arrive in northern Italy on July 1 with his contract running until June 30, 2023.

As his contract will have ended, Arsenal will not be entitled to a transfer fee.

“As a result of the registration of the player, Juventus will incur additional costs of 3.7 million euros ($4.1 million), to be paid by July 10,” the Serie A champions said.

The move brings to an end Ramsey’s 11-year spell with the Gunners having moved from Cardiff City in 2008.

Over the past decade he has played 256 Premier League games, scoring 38 top-flight goals, and winning three FA Cup and two Community Shield.

He also had two loan spells at Nottingham Forest in 2010, and back at former club, Cardiff in 2011.

“I wanted to issue a personal statement for all the Arsenal fans who have been extremely loyal and supportive,” Ramsey wrote on Instagram.

“You welcomed me as a teenager and have been there for me through all the highs and lows I have encountered during my time at the club.

“It is with a heavy heart that I leave after 11 incredible years in north London. Thank you.

“I will continue to give the team 100 per cent and hope to finish the season strongly, before heading on to my next chapter in Turin.”

Ramsey has 58 caps for Wales, scoring 14 goals, and was a part of the Welsh side that reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

He becomes the third Welshman to play for Juventus following club legend John Charles and former European Golden Boot winner Ian Rush.

Ramsey had turned down the offer of a new deal at Arsenal, with clubs including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich linked with the player.

“Everyone at Arsenal Football Club wishes Aaron Ramsey a happy and successful future,” the London club said in a statement.

“Aaron’s made a fantastic contribution to our club since joining from Cardiff City in 2008. He has always been a consummate professional and will always have a special place in the hearts and memories of Arsenal fans around the world.”

Juventus have an 11-point lead on top of Serie A and are on track for an eighth consecutive league title.

They are through to the Champions League knock-out rounds and will play Atletico Madrid in the last 16 starting next week.

Ramsey will reportedly become Juventus’ second-highest earner behind Cristiano Ronaldo earning 7 million euros ($7.8 million) a season.

Ramsey To Stay At Arsenal Throughout The Season

Wenger Relishes Arsenal's Chances With Ramsey's Return

 

Aaron Ramsey plans to stay at Arsenal for the rest of this season and not make a cut-price January move after the collapse of contract talks with the Premier League club.

Arsenal could attempt to cash in on the 27-year-old midfielder in the January transfer window, with top Premier League, La Liga and Serie A clubs reportedly monitoring the situation.

But Ramsey, who is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, said: “I am contracted to Arsenal and I am going to do my best now this season to try and achieve something special.

“Everything has been going great with the club. We thought we were in a position where we had agreed a deal but that’s no longer the case.

“So I just have to carry on playing my football and do my best for Arsenal this season and I’ll leave the rest with the club now.”

The Wales international, who scored a stunning back-heel effort in Arsenal’s 5-1 win at Fulham on Sunday, has scored 59 goals in 338 appearances for Arsenal since joining from Cardiff in 2008.

Asked if he was disappointed that there was no contract on the table, Ramsey said: “That’s a decision they (Arsenal) have made and things happen in football. You just have to get on with it and carry on playing the best I can.”

Arsenal manager Unai Emery said recently that Ramsey’s contract situation would not affect his performances.

“Each player, they have their individual situations with their contracts,” Emery said of Ramsey. “He is an important player and he will be helping the team with his performance.”

AFP

Ramsey, Lacazette Strike As Arsenal Thrash CSKA In Europa

Ramsey, Lacazette Strike As Arsenal Thrash CSKA In Europa
Arsenal’s Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the UEFA Europa League first leg quarter-final football match against CSKA Moscow at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 5, 2018. Ian KINGTON / IKIMAGES / AFP

 

Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette scored two goals each as Arsenal humbled Russian club CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Europa League first leg quarter-final match on Thursday at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners romped towards the Europa League semi-finals with a 4-1 win in a match devoid of any of the political tension that threatened to overshadow the tie due to frosty relations between London and the Russian capital.

Britain has suspended high-level diplomatic contact with the Russian government after former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent in the southern English city of Salisbury last month.

However, with only around 200 CSKA fans making the long journey west, there was little bad blood inside the ground for the quarter-final first leg.

And Arsenal quickly ended any doubt over the contest on the field as Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette both scored twice in the first half to surely put the tie out of CKSA’s reach.

Languishing in sixth in the Premier League, 13 points adrift of the top four, Arsenal’s last realistic hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League is by winning the Europa League in Lyon on May 16.

And that desperation showed in a fast start with the trickery of Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan pulling the Russian defence apart.

Mkhitaryan should have put the hosts ahead inside three minutes when he shot into the side-netting before Ramsey’s first goal of the night was ruled out for offside against Ozil.

However, the Welshman did open the scoring by rounding off a fine team move on nine minutes by firing Hector Bellerin’s cross into the roof of the net.

While CSKA were unable to cope with Arsenal’s speed of thought and movement at the back, they exposed the Gunners’ own defensive weaknesses.

Aleksandr Golovin curled home a wonderful free-kick after haphazard defending from Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny to level six minutes later.

And the Russians could even have gone in front when Ahmed Musa fired into the side-netting with just Petr Cech to beat.

– Atletico in Arsenal’s way –

Arsenal got the slice of fortune they needed when Ozil was controversially awarded a penalty as he fell theatrically under Georgi Schennikov’s challenge.

Lacazette has endured a frustrating debut season at the Emirates, but made the most of the cup-tied Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s absence by confidently slamming home from the spot.

Ramsey then doubled his tally for the evening in style with an audacious flick over Igor Akinfeev with the outside of his foot to give Arsenal some breathing space from a teasing Ozil cross.

Ozil was again the creator when Lacazette also grabbed a double by shooting into the far corner for his first goal from open play in nearly three months.

Arsenal should have had an even healthier advantage to take to the Russian capital next week as Ozil, Mkhitaryan and Lacazette all passed up huge chances, while only the post denied Ramsey his hat-trick.

However, the second leg should still be a mere formality to maintain their hopes that an otherwise dispiriting season can have a happy ending.

Arsenal are likely to have to beat the might of Atletico Madrid to do so, though, as the favourites for the competition eased past Sporting Lisbon 2-0 in the first leg of their quarter-final.

Koke put the 2012 winners ahead in the Spanish capital after just 22 seconds and Antoine Griezmann’s 24th goal of the season put Diego Simeone’s men on the brink of a fifth European semi-final in his seven seasons in charge.

Elsewhere, Lazio edged a six-goal thriller 4-2 against Salzburg as all four home sides took an advantage into the second leg.

RB Leipzig lead French giants Marseille 1-0 as German international striker Timo Werner got the only goal for the Bundesliga side.

AFP

Ramsey Hits Hat-trick As Arsenal Sink Everton

Ramsey Hits Hat-trick As Arsenal Sink Everton
Arsenal’s Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey (C) celebrates scoring the team’s third goal during the football match against Everton at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 3, 2018. Ian KINGTON / IKIMAGES / AFP

 

Aaron Ramsey hit a hat-trick for Arsenal in a swaggering 5-1 rout of woeful Everton on Saturday as the club’s record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored on his debut.

Aubameyang vowed to emulate Arsenal legend Thierry Henry after arriving from Borussia Dortmund for £56 million ($79 million, 63 million euros) this week.

While it is too soon for such lofty comparisons, the Gabon striker certainly made the perfect first impression at the Emirates Stadium.

Aubameyang, recovered from an illness that had placed his debut in doubt, capped an exhilarating first half from Arsenal with a composed finish to put his side four goals ahead.

Ramsey had opened the scoring and Laurent Koscielny increased Arsenal’s lead before Ramsey struck again to make it three goals in the first 19 minutes.

Aubameyang’s lively debut was aided by three assists from Henrikh Mkhitaryan in his first Arsenal start.

Wales midfielder Ramsey completed his treble in the second half and the only angst for Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was the sight of goalkeeper Petr Cech limping off injured.

Sixth-placed Arsenal are now five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who face Watford on Monday, in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a top-four finish.

Wenger had bemoaned Arsenal’s defending in their wretched 3-1 loss at Swansea on Tuesday, but the two changes he made were both attack-minded as Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan came in.

Aubameyang replaced misfiring France striker Alexandre Lacazette, who has only one goal in his last 12 appearances.

Lacazette had been Arsenal’s record signing until the Aubameyang swoop, but while he has struggled to live up to expectations, Aubameyang quickly set about repaying his hefty transfer fee — with help from an old friend.

Mkhitaryan was making his home debut after arriving from Manchester United as part of the deal that sent Alexis Sanchez to Old Trafford.

Mkhitaryan rarely showed his best form with United, but he and Aubameyang had formed a deadly double act during their time at Dortmund and they were back in the groove as Arsenal took a sixth-minute lead.

When Aubameyang slipped a pass into Mkhitaryan, the midfielder whipped over a superb cross that invited Ramsey, timing his run perfectly, to slot past Jordan Pickford from close-range for his first goal since October.

– Aubameyang joins party –

Mkhitaryan went close to doubling Arsenal’s lead moments later with a fierce strike that whistled wide from the edge of the area.

Lethargic Everton were unable to stem the tide and Wenger’s men didn’t have to wait long to claim their second goal in the 14th minute.

Shkodran Mustafi met Mesut Ozil’s corner with a header towards the far post, where Koscielny stooped to head home from close-range.

Everton’s dismal display was ruining Sam Allardyce’s 500th match as a Premier League manager and there was worse to come in the 19th minute.

Afforded time and space by Everton’s statuesque rearguard, Ramsey unloaded a 25-yard strike that took a deflection off Toffees debutant Eliaquim Mangala on its way past the wrong-footed Pickford.

With Arsenal threatening every time they went forward, Aubameyang, who also scored on his Bundesliga debut, was able to join the party in the 37th minute.

Mkhitaryan’s pass split the Everton defence and, although Aubameyang looked offside, the linesman’s flag stayed down as the debutant clipped a deft finish over Pickford.

It was another remarkable goal blitz from Arsenal, who scored four times in the first 22 minutes of their previous home league game against Crystal Palace.

Everton’s capitulation made it a depressing return for Theo Walcott, who was subbed midway through the second half of his first return to Arsenal since his January transfer.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin got one back for Everton with a 64th header, but there was still time for Ramsey to strike again with a low finish from Mkhitaryan’s pass in the 74th minute.

AFP

Arsenal Crash At Home To Watford, As Chelsea Draw At Anfield

Arsenal Crash At Home To Watford, As Chelsea Draw At AnfieldArsenal suffered a shock loss 2-1 loss to Watford at the Emirates in the English Premier League on Tuesday night.

It was Watford’s first Premier League away win at Arsenal as two goals in the first 13 minutes set up the 2-1 victory.

Former Tottenham Hotspur defender Younes Kaboul opened the scoring with a powerful drive aided by a deflection off Aaron Ramsey, who limped off with an injury.

Watford’s second came three minutes later as Troy Deeney slotted in after Petr Cech parried Etienne Capoue’s shot into his path.

But Alex Iwobi slotted in from Alexis Sanchez’s chipped cross on 54 minutes and Lucas Perez crashed an effort against the crossbar as Arsenal piled the pressure on in the second half, but Watford held on.

Chelsea and Liverpool played a 1-1 draw at Anfield as the visitors missed the chance of an 11-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Georginio Wijnaldum’s header earned Liverpool the equalizer after David Luiz’s 25th minute free-kick had put them ahead.

Chelsea could have taken all three points but Diego Costa’s penalty was saved by Mignolet.

In other matches, Crystal Palace beat Bournemouth 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium while relegation threatened Sunderland played a goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur to ensure all top teams dropped points on the night.

Elsewhere Sam Voke’s 87th minute goal was all Burnley needed to beat Leicester City 1-0 at Turf Moor while Middleborough and West Brom played a 1-1 draw in a keenly contested encounter at the Riverside Stadium.

Swansea City defeated Southampton 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium.

Giroud, Ramsey Return For Arsenal’s Trip To Sunderland

Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey, ArsenalOlivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey will be available for Arsenal’s Premier League trip to Sunderland on Saturday.

Giroud has finally overcome a long-term toe problem, while midfielder Ramsey will feature for the first time since the opening day of the season after hamstring trouble.

Manager, Arsene Wenger, however, prefers to be cautious.

“They are available for selection. I have to be a bit cautious, especially with Aaron Ramsey, because he has not played at all yet. He has only had one week with the team so I will be a bit cautious with him.”

Nacho Monreal, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott are all in a race to be fit while Lucas Perez is out for eight weeks after damaging ankle ligaments in the win over Reading in the EFL Cup on Tuesday.

The manager described the Perez injury as very frustrating, especially because it came just after the player had worked very hard to start getting games.

“Of course he is absolutely gutted, because it’s an injury coming from nowhere, and a stupid one, because it was a deliberate kick. It’s a similar tackle to (the one from) Xhaka (against Swansea), but there was no red card.

“But the red card would not have helped Lucas. What is most important is that he’s out for six to eight weeks,” Wenger said.

UEFA EURO 2016 Team Of The Tournament Revealed

Euro 2016, Team of the TournamentFour Portugal players, three from Germany and two each representing France and Wales have made the official UEFA EURO 2016 Team of the Tournament.

The team, in a 4-2-3-1 formation, is made up of: Rui Patrício (Portugal); Joshua Kimmich (Germany), Jérôme Boateng (Germany), Pepe (Portugal), Raphaël Guerreiro (Portugal); Toni Kroos (Germany), Joe Allen (Wales); Antoine Griezmann (France), Aaron Ramsey (Wales), Dimitri Payet (France); Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal).

According to Uefa.com, the team was selected by UEFA’s 13-strong panel of technical observers, led by UEFA chief technical officer Ioan Lupescu and including Sir Alex Ferguson, Alain Giresse, David Moyes, Packie Bonner and Mixu Paatelainen.

Others are Savo Milošević, Peter Rudbæk, Gareth Southgate, Thomas Schaaf, Jean-François Domergue, Ginés Meléndez and Jean-Paul Brigger.

The technical observers have made their choices based on various criteria, which had been outlined before the tournament.

The formation was selected as the most-used of the finals. Two technical observers were present at every game and their reports will contribute to the UEFA EURO 2016 technical report, which will be released on UEFA.com in September.

UEFA coaching ambassador Sir Alex Ferguson said: “After quite a bit of deliberation, the observers chose a team that features the best performing players from the best performing teams at UEFA EURO 2016.

“We have chosen dominant central defenders; full-backs who can defend and attack; deep-lying midfielders who can control the game and dynamic, flexible and creative attackers, all of whom have the ability to create and score goals.

“We believe that the selected XI represents the best of the competition.”

In the past a 23-man squad was selected with Ronaldo (2004 and 2012) and Pepe (2008 and 2012) both previously picked twice. Ronaldo was also in the All-Time EURO 11 named before the tournament.

Portugal Defeat France To Win Euro 2016 Championship

Portugal, Euro 2016Portugal are champions of Europe after defeating hosts France 1-0 in extra-time in the Euro 2016 final played at the Stade de France on Sunday night.

Substitute Eder was the hero, scoring Portugal’s lone goal in the 109th minute.

Portugal had to play most of the match without talisman Cristiano Ronaldo as the captain’s second EURO final ended after just 25 minutes after Dimitri Payet had clattered into his standing leg in a tackle after only eight minutes.

Despite receiving treatment, the Real Madrid star was unable to fully recover as he signalled to the bench and was tearfully stretchered and replaced by Ricardo Quaresma in the 25th minute.

Although a big blow for Portugal, the team overcame the shaky reaction to their captain’s exit and started to provide some serious challenge to France’s early domination.

The first half ended 0-0 and in the second half, France coach, Didier Deschamps withdrew Dimitri Payet for Kingsley Conman to enable them break down Portugal’s defensive.

Portugal, however, remained resolute in defense and offering next to nothing in attack.

The game went into extra-time and in the 109th minute, substitute Eder brought the Portugal bench and fans into ecstasy with a fierce low shot that beat Lloris from 25 yards.

Deschamps threw in Antonio Martial immediately to try and salvage the game but it was not to be as Portugal finally won their first ever Euro championships.

Final Pressure

Deschamps’ side had completed their run to the final at the Stade de France with a 2-0 win over Germany.

With enthusiasm around the nation reaching fever pitch in anticipation of France’s first Euro triumph in 16 years, Deschamps remained confident his players can deal with the pressure.

The 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 winning captain said that they had learnt from some nervy earlier performances in the group stage and that they would not be overawed by the occasion.

Euro 2016: Ronaldo Hopes To Fulfill Country’s Dream

Euro 2016, RonaldoPortugal Captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, hopes to fulfil the dream of winning a competition for his country after securing qualification to the finals of the Euro 2016 on Wednesday.

“The team did a marvelous job to reach the final, it’s what we have dreamt of since the beginning.

“We knew it would be a long road and we’re still in the tournament. I hope on Sunday you’ll see me crying with joy.

“I always said I wanted to win something with Portugal. We’re closer to doing it and I believe that we’ll win.

“I’ve been at the highest level for 13 years. The statistics never lie”, Ronaldo told Skysports.

Portugal last reached the final of a major tournament in Euro 2004 and Ronaldo was left crying on the pitch as his side lost 1-0 to Greece on home soil.

Ronaldo stated that “This is different…that was my first final, my debut, now 12 years have gone by and we are going to play another final.

“I have always dreamed of winning for Portugal. I hope it is our time now.

“I am very confident. I deserve it, Portugal deserves it, all the Portuguese people deserve it.

“I’ve always dreamt of winning something for Portugal and now it’s just one step away. Dreaming is free so let’s keep dreaming.”

The Portuguese all-time highest goal scorer, scored a brilliant header also assisting Lius Nani for the second goal, when they beat Wales 2-0 on Wednesday.

Either Germany or France would join Portugal in the final when they faceoff at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on Thursday.

Portugal’s Coach Santos Plays Down Ronaldo vs. Bale Duel

Euro 2016Portugal Coach, Fernando Santos, says there is more to his team’s Euro 2016 semi-final match against Wales than the much hyped Cristiano Ronaldo v Gareth Bale duel.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday evening, ahead of the match, he said, “They’re players who have experience, and are used to such pressure. There’s no added pressure. It’s not just Cristiano v Bale, it’s all the players from both sides.”

He admitted, “Cristiano has led by example here. The way he is on the training ground, with his team-mates, he’s been impeccable,” but the coach is more concerned about having not one, but all his players fit on Wednesday.

One of such players expected to produce a top notch performance against the now feared Welsh side is Pepe, who is not yet certified fit to play.

“We need the players who play in such a tough game to be 100 per cent fit. We want to make our own history. There’s the past, which is important for everyone, but we want to write our own story.

“We have been trying to do so from the off and tomorrow is another step against a very strong opponent.

“We know how hard it will be, but we’ll go into it with the same humility and attitude as ever.”

He added, in a cryptic mood, “My grandmother used to say the most important thing is to wake up in the morning because it means we’re alive.”

Difficult Battle

Meanwhile, Portugal defender, José Fonte, admits that Wales would be difficult to play against having grown in confidence in the championship.

“Wales never give up. The mentality, togetherness that they’re showing and the system they’re playing suits them well.

“They know the system well, they have their strengths and are a team with a lot of qualities and they are where they are because they deserve it and we expect a tough game.

“We’ve managed to get to the semis. We’re one step from the final and we have a very important, difficult battle tomorrow.

“We want to get there and we want to give something back to the country and all the Portuguese emigrants who have supported us while we are here,” he said.

Coach Santos also acknowledged the fans, “The support has been fantastic. Whenever we go back to Marcoussis, arrive at a stadium, they’re there in numbers. Their devotion is amazing.”

Euro 2016: Teams Prepare For Semi-Final Clashes

Euro 2016Portugal have moved their training camp to Lyon venue of their semi-final clash with Wales.

Led by team captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, the players went through their training with Coach Fernando Santos and his technical team.

The semi-final pits Ronaldo against his Real Madrid team mate, Gareth Bale who has been instrumental for Wales.

The world’s two most expensive players take different approaches to their leadership role. While Bale is widely acclaimed as an inspiration for his national team, Ronaldo’s influence on Portugal has been subject of debate.

Wales’s talisman, Gareth Bale says he is just part of the team which is the star and not him.

He insists there is enough talent in the team for them not to be considered a one-man side.

Germany, Italy, Euro 2016Meanwhile, Germany team continue preparation for their semi-final against France without midfielder Sami Khedira who will miss the remainder of the tournament.

The Juventus midfielder sustained an adductor muscle injury in the quarter-final victory over Italy.

Khedira, who had played in all of Germany’s matches at the tournament, was withdrawn early in Saturday’s game after over-stretching during a challenge for the ball.

Euro 2016: Sing, Chant, Be The 12th Man, Gareth Bale Urges Fans

Gareth BaleWales star, Gareth Bale, has sent out a special message to supporters before they face Belgium in their UEFA EURO 2016 quarter-final match on Friday.

He told Uefa.com, “We know it’s a massive game, it’s a quarter final of the European Championships but it’s one we want to go out and enjoy.

“We want everybody to sing and chant, enjoy the occasion and keep an eye on the team and be the 12th man as they have always done.

“We will try as a whole nation to win the game and try to enjoy the experience as a nation. Hopefully we can celebrate after.”

Wales’s manager, Chris Coleman, also acknowledges the uniqueness of the occasion, “We’re not going to talk it down. We’re going to savour this occasion, as we have done all along.

“This is another huge test and it’s another in a line of challenges that we’ve already met. It’s a great position to be in. We’ve got to go and do all the things that have got us in this position in the first place.

“Within the group the pressure is on us to keep performing. We’ve had to win differently [at this tournament].

“Belgium are recognised as one of the best teams in international football and we’ve played them four times in the last two campaigns. But it’s all about us and our preparation. Just because it’s Belgium, there’s been no dramas in our camp.”

Belgium will be without the services of Jan Vertonghen who turned his left ankle at the very end of training and has torn two ankle ligaments.

Manager, Marc Wilmots, nevertheless is not perturbed by the setback.

“We are now in the quarter-finals – the Hungary game is in the past and we need to focus on this game against Wales. I think we have to keep doing what we’ve done well so far. Nobody knows what sort of team will be put out, so I really need everyone to stay on their toes.

“A manager is always scared of his team having an off-day. It can happen. Hungary went well, but now we must remain focused and not take it for granted that we will win easily.

“It will be a tough match, it’s a different opposition this time. They are a team with pace, who play good football and a lot of them play in England.

“They are a side who defend really well and who have real talent on the counterattack. Now the stakes are different, this is no longer a qualification game for points. We are going out there with the semi-finals of the EURO as a prize – that is completely different.”