World Cup Winner Matuidi Leaves Juventus

(FILES) French world champion Blaise Matuidi on August 12, 2020 ended his contract with Juventus Turin by mutual agreement. (Photo by Isabella BONOTTO / AFP)

 

 

France’s World Cup-winning midfielder Blaise Matuidi is leaving Juventus by mutual consent after three years, the Italian champions announced on Wednesday.

Matuidi, 33, joined the Turin giants from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 and had one year left on his contract.

It is reported he is set to move to the United States to join David Beckham’s Major League Soccer club Inter Miami.

“Blaise Matuidi and Juventus say goodbye with the consensual termination of the player’s contract,” Juventus said in a statement.

“With our colours on his back, he fought and played his heart out in every single game; placing constant pressure on the opponents, tearing apart the run of play and ever so eloquently relaunching the ball into action.”

 

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 07, 2019 Juventus’ French midfielder Blaise Matuidi eyes the ball during the Italian Serie A football match lazio Rome vs Juventus Turin on December 7, 2019 at the Olympic stadium in Rome. – French world champion Blaise Matuidi on August 12, 2020 ended his contract with Juventus Turin by mutual agreement. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP)

 

Matudi, who played in the 2018 World Cup final when France beat Croatia 4-2, won three Serie A titles, one Italian Cup and the Italian Super Cup at Juventus.

He also won four Ligue 1 titles during six years at PSG, having previously played for French clubs Troyes and Saint Etienne.

Matuidi played 98 games for Juventus in Serie A and 133 times in all competitions, second only to Argentine forward Paulo Dybala (134).

He helped Juventus win a ninth Serie A title in a row this season.

But the club’s failure to advance past the Champions League last 16 led to the sacking of coach Maurizio Sarri after a single season. He has been replaced by former Juventus and Italy star Andrea Pirlo.

 

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 21, 2019 Juventus’ French midfielder Blaise Matuidi controls the ball during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Verona on September 21, 2019 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. – French world champion Blaise Matuidi on August 12, 2020 ended his contract with Juventus Turin by mutual agreement. (Photo by Isabella BONOTTO / AFP)

 

“To have been a member of the Juventus family is a dream come true, an honour,” Matuidi wrote on Instagram.

“I discovered an incredible institution, teammates who have become more than that.

“I will always remain your number 1 fan, or rather number 14. Thank you Juventus, a very real thank you.”

 

 

-AFP

Juventus Player, Matuidi, Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Juventus' French midfielder Blaise Matuidi (R) kicks the ball past Inter Milan's Italian forward Antonio Candreva during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Inter Milan, at the Juventus stadium in Turin on March 8, 2020. Vincenzo PINTO / AFP
Juventus’ French midfielder Blaise Matuidi (R) kicks the ball past Inter Milan’s Italian forward Antonio Candreva during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Inter Milan, at the Juventus stadium in Turin on March 8, 2020. Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

 

France World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi has tested positive for coronavirus but is currently asymptomatic, his club Juventus confirmed on Tuesday.

“Matuidi has undergone medical tests that have revealed his positivity to the Coronavirus-COVID-19,” the Italian champions said in a statement.

Juve added 32-year-old Matuidi, who lifted the World Cup in 2018, is currently “in voluntary home isolation”.

The midfielder’s club teammate Daniele Rugani was the first top-flight footballer to be diagnosed with coronavirus last Wednesday, sending the entire team into quarantine.

The 25-year-old Italian was also asymptomatic and is currently self-isolating in a room at the team’s J-Hotel, beside the team’s training centre.

Matuidi had urged his fans to “take care” in a post on Instagram at the weekend.

“In this difficult time for all of us, I just wanted to invite you to follow the official recommendations carefully and to take great care of yourself and your loved ones,” he said.

“A lot of encouragement and infinite thanks to all the medical and nursing staff. We are with you.”

In total 12 Serie A players have officially been diagnosed with the illness including seven from Sampdoria and three at Fiorentina.

The virus has killed more than 2,500 people in Italy and infected over 31,000.

 

AFP

World Cup Semis: Matuidi Returns for France, Belgium Draft In Dembele

France’s midfielder Blaise Matuidi greets the fans after the Russia 2018 World Cup quarter-final football match between Uruguay and France at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod on July 6, 2018. Johannes EISELE / AFP

 

France boss Didier Deschamps and Belgium coach Roberto Martinez both made just one change for Tuesday’s blockbuster World Cup semi-final between the neighbouring European nations in Saint Petersburg.

Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi returned from suspension for France in place of Corentin Tolisso as Deschamps named the same side that beat Argentina 4-3 in the last 16.

Martinez’s change was a forced one, with right wing-back Thomas Meunier suspended and could prompt a change in formation.

Tottenham’s Mousa Dembele, a central midfielder by trade, comes in and could deputise on the flank or see Kevin De Bruyne pushed wide in an attacking set-up from Martinez.

France (4-2-3-1)

Hugo Lloris (capt); Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez; Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante; Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Blaise Matuidi; Olivier Giroud

Coach: Didier Deschamps (FRA)

Belgium (3-4-3)

Thibaut Courtois; Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen; Mousa Dembele, Marouane Fellaini, Axel Witsel, Nacer Chadli; Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard (capt)

Coach: Roberto Martinez (ESP)

Referee: Andres Cunha (URU)

AFP

Cagliari Apologise To Matuidi For Fan Racism

Cagliari Apologise To Matuidi For Fan Racism
Juventus’ midfielder Blaise Matuidi (R) talks with referee Gianpaolo Calvarese during the Serie A match between Cagliari Calcio and Juventus at the Sardegna Arena stadium in Cagliari, on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, on January 6, 2018. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

 

Serie A club Cagliari apologised on Sunday to Blaise Matuidi for the racist abuse fans directed at the Juventus winger during the Italian champions 1-0 win in Sardinia on Saturday, the second time he has received such abuse in as many weeks.

Writing in French on their Twitter account, Cagliari apologised for the abuse, which took place late in the first half of a tense encounter at the Sardegna Arena following a clash between Matuidi and a Cagliari defender.

“You are a fantastic player and an example to young people. We want to apologise to you if you were insulted for the colour of your skin at the Sardegna Arena,” said the club.

“The Sardinian people want nothing to do with racism. Only ignorance can explain certain behaviour. Respect.”

After hearing the abuse from the stands Matuidi rushed to referee Giampaolo Calvarese but the official ignored the French international’s pleas to intervene and Medhi Benatia and Paulo Dybala had to calm their teammate down.

“Today I experienced racism during the match. Weak people try to intimidate with hate, I am not a hater and can only be sorry for those who set bad examples,” Matuidi said in a statement to AFP.

“Football is a way to spread equality, passion and inspiration and this is what I am here for. Peace.”

On Sunday Matuidi’s old club expressed their support for their former player, saying on Twitter that “The Paris Saint-Germain family is with you”.

The abuse Matuidi received at Cagliari came after similar racist chants directed at him during Juve’s 3-1 win at Hellas Verona late last month, for which Verona were fined 20,000 euros ($24,000) by the Italian league.

AFP

Nigeria Out Of World Cup As Team Loses To France

eagles_superNigeria are out of the World Cup championship holding in Brazil after a 2-0 defeat by France.

With the victory over Nigeria France have progressed to the quarter final and will meet the winner of the match between Algeria and Germany.

The first half of the game ended goalless after a goal by Emmanuel Emenike in the 19th minute was disallowed for offside.

Emenike, had started celebrating his goal, thinking he had put Nigeria ahead, only to fall foul of a controversial offside call.

Nigeria goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, who plies his trade with Lille in the French top flight, made several saves, denying Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba opportunities to score, but made a blonder at the 79th-minute of the match that had seen the Nigerian team put up an impressive performance.

Paul Pogba got the opener for France after he headed home the ball pushed to him by Enyeama, who came out to defend a corner kick. The victory was sealed when Joseph Yobo deflected the ball into his own net during the added time.

France came close to leading at the 70th minute after Benzema exchanged passes with Giroud’s replacement Antoine Griezmann to beat the Nigeria defence line, but the Real Madrid forward’s effort was partially stopped by Enyeama and Moses was back to hack clear as the ball looped towards the net.

Pressure increased on the Nigerian side after a midfielder, Onazi was injured by Blaise Matuidi, who picked up a yellow card for the rough tackle.

Onazi had to go off on a stretcher, forcing coach Stephen Keshi to make a change.

The defeat ended Nigeria’s hope of progressing to the quarter final in the country’s fifth appearance in the world cup.