Barcelona Condemn Fans Abusing Koeman After Clasico Defeat

Both teams’ players greet each other at the end of the Spanish League football match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 24, 2021. (Photo by Josep LAGO / AFP)

 

Barcelona condemned abuse from fans aimed at coach Ronald Koeman on Sunday as he left Camp Nou following the team’s 2-1 defeat by Real Madrid.

Koeman is a Barca legend after scoring the winning goal in the 1992 European Cup final but he has been under heavy pressure as coach in recent weeks.

“FC Barcelona publicly condemns the violent and disdainful acts that our manager experienced when leaving the Camp Nou,” a club statement read.

READ ALSO: Real Madrid Beat Struggling Rivals Barcelona In La Liga

“The Club will take security and disciplinary measures so that such unfortunate events do not happen again.”

Fans were seen gathering around Koeman’s car and shouting abuse at the Dutchman as he attempted to drive out of the stadium.

Barcelona had just lost to Real Madrid for the fourth time in a row, their longest run of defeats in the fixture since 1965.

The result leaves them eighth in La Liga and puts renewed pressure on Koeman, whose future has been uncertain after a poor start to the season.

Real Madrid Beat Struggling Rivals Barcelona In La Liga

Real Madrid’s players celebrate after the Spanish League football match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 24, 2021. LLUIS GENE / AFP

 

Real Madrid piled renewed pressure on Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman as David Alaba scored a scintillating goal to help them seal a 2-1 victory in the Clasico at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Alaba’s bending shot had Madrid in front for the majority of an end-to-end contest, with Lucas Vazquez making it two in injury-time before Sergio Aguero tapped in his first goal for Barcelona with seconds left.

Barca have now lost a fourth consecutive Clasico for the first time since 1965 and stay a lowly eighth in La Liga, five points behind Madrid, who surge back to the top of the table.

After beating Valencia and winning a crucial Champions League game against Dynamo Kiev this week, it represents a fresh set-back for Barca and Koeman, whose future will again come under scrutiny.

Madrid, meanwhile, see their own recovery bolstered, after backing up a thumping win over Shakhtar Donetsk to leave a rocky run in the rear-view mirror.

This was the first league meeting between these clubs without either Lionel Messi or Sergio Ramos since 2005 and while there were still veterans on the show – Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema, Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets all starting – it was a Clasico more about the future.

For the first time in 65 years, six players younger than 22 began the game while Gavi, Barcelona’s 17-year-old midfielder, was the youngest Barca starter in a Clasico in almost a century.

The promotion of a duel between Ansu Fati and Vinicius Junior perhaps felt a little forced, but both players have become symbols of hope.

Fati endured one of those games to be expected sometimes of an 18-year-old, with the occasional threat dotted across a quieter display than he would have liked.

Vinicius, though, was electric from the start, a constant thorn in Barcelona’s side, especially in the first half, and instrumental in Alaba’s superb, counter-attacking opener.

Barcelona were the more purposeful early on, setting their stall out by dominating the ball but Madrid were happy to sit deep and posed the greater problems on the break.

Vincius beat Oscar Mingueza with a superb turn through his opponent’s legs and as Mingueza scuttled back to recover, Vinicius cut across him and fell to the floor. The contact was there but minimal and the referee was unconvinced.

Not long after, Vinicius was in again and while replays showed he was just offside, Marc-Andre ter Stegen did brilliantly to slow the striker, take him wide and force a finish with defenders back to block.

In between, Barca were controlling the ball, their more patient approach yielding a golden opportunity for Sergino Dest, the American more accustomed to right-back than right-wing, who blazed over from six yards after Memphis Depay slid across.

Madrid made Barcelona pay in the 32nd minute with a wonderful goal. Alaba tackled Depay on the edge of his own box and kept going, at first wanting it down the line from Vinicius, who instead switched forward to Rodrygo.

This time Alaba would get it back, his space opened up by the curving run of Benzema, and from the edge of the area he swerved the ball inside the far post.

Benzema and Fati both went close before half-time when Koeman introduced Philippe Coutinho for Mingueza and switched from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1.

Barcelona grew in confidence before the hour. Fati’s finish found Thibaut Courtois. Jordi Alba swept free after a skirmish with Rodrygo. Coutinho glided a switch right to Dest.

Yet Madrid survived and threatened a second as Luka Modric’s bending effort was blocked and then he teed up Benzema, who volleyed at Ter Stegen.

The game had become stretched and there was a dramatic finish.

Pique wanted a penalty when he was prevented from finishing in the box and on the counter-attack, Madrid made it two, Marco Asensio’s shot swept in by the sliding Vazquez in the 93rd minute.

There was still time for an Aguero goal in the 97th, a sharp finish from Dest’s cross, but not for a comeback

UCL: Benzema Scores As Real Madrid Thrash Shakhtar Donetsk

Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema celebrates after Shakhtar Donetsk's Ukrainian defender Serhiy Kryvtsov scored an own goal during the UEFA Champions League football match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev on October 19, 2021. Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP
Real Madrid’s French forward Karim Benzema celebrates after Shakhtar Donetsk’s Ukrainian defender Serhiy Kryvtsov scored an own goal during the UEFA Champions League football match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev on October 19, 2021.
Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP

 

Real Madrid thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday as Karim Benzema scored on the eve of his trial in France on charges of complicity in blackmail.

A first-half own goal from Serhiy Kryvtsov put Real on their way before Vinicius Junior scored two superb goals before setting up Rodrygo for the fourth.

Benzema added the fifth in injury time in a game played in Kiev.

READ ALSO: Real Madrid Star Benzema Goes On Trial In Sextape Case

The French international striker goes on trial in France on Wednesday with four other men accused of complicity in the attempted blackmail of his former international teammate Mathieu Valbuena in a case known as the “sextape affair”.

It is not known if Benzema will be present for the start of the trial.

It was a welcome win for Real, the 13-time European champions, after they slipped to an embarrassing home defeat to Moldovan minnows Sheriff Tiraspol in their last match.

Sheriff lost 3-1 to Inter Milan on Tuesday but Real are still second to them in Group D with both clubs on six points.

 

AFP

Real Madrid Star Benzema Goes On Trial In Sextape Case

France’s forward Karim Benzema reacts as he takes part a training session at the Olympic stadium in Turin, on October 8, 2021 two days prior to the UEFA Nations League final football match between Spain and France. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

 

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema goes on trial in France on Wednesday accused of complicity in the attempted blackmail of former international teammate Mathieu Valbuena in a case known as the “sextape affair”.

Benzema, 33, stands accused of helping a group of alleged blackmailers to approach Valbuena in an attempt to extort money. Four other men are also on trial.

The case cost both Benzema and 37-year-old Valbuena their place in the French national team, although Benzema was restored to the lineup for this year’s European championship.

The case centres on the role that Benzema is suspected of playing in the murky affair six years ago, which started when Valbuena handed his smartphone to Axel Angot, a man connected to footballing circles in the southern port city of Marseille, with the request to transfer its contents to a new device.

READ ALSO: Osimhen Fires Napoli To Top Of Serie A

Angot, now on trial for breach of trust, came across sexually explicit footage on the phone involving Valbuena.

Prosecutors says he then explored ways — together with a friend, Mustapha Zouaoui — to approach Valbuena and threaten publication of the footage unless he paid them.

Valbuena received several calls in June 2015 threatening exposure of the footage, which he reported to police.

The blackmailers then went to former French international Djibril Cisse, who refused to act as their messenger, instead warning Valbuena of what was brewing.

Cisse, who played for Premier League club Liverpool during his career, was initially charged in the case, but later cleared.

What followed is an imbroglio involving several shadowy middlemen, one of whom turned out to be an undercover agent called “Luka” placed by police who were trying to get proof before taking action against the protagonists.

Eventually the presumed blackmailers went to one of Benzema’s old friends, Karim Zenati, who prosecutors say enlisted Benzema’s help to reach Valbuena.

‘Very heavy criminals’

On Oct 6, 2015, Benzema went to see Valbuena in his room at the French national team’s training centre at Clairefontaine, west of Paris.

He told his teammate that he could introduce him to a “trustworthy person” to help him “manage” the possible publication of a compromising video.

In what Benzema later claimed was an attempt to help his teammate out of a difficult situation, he told him: “Be careful ‘Math’, these are very, very heavy criminals.”

Benzema then called his childhood friend Karim Zenati, who was by then acting as an intermediary for the alleged blackmailers, and told him in a conversation wiretapped by police: “He’s not taking us seriously.”

Prosecutors say that the word “us” proves that Benzema saw himself as part of the blackmail scheme.

Valbuena said later that the conversation left him with the feeling that he was “being played for a fool”.

“If he doesn’t want us to handle this for him, he’ll have to deal with the piranhas,” Zenati said, claiming later that all he wanted to do was alert Valbuena to the existence of the video.

Benzema replied that “they will piss on him”, and in a subsequent conversation referred to Valbuena with a derogatory term for a homosexual, which he said later was meant “in a friendly way”.

The maximum sentence for complicity in attempted blackmail is five years in prison and a fine of 70,000 euros ($81,000).

Benzema has argued that the undercover police officer used dishonest methods to draw him into the affair.

It was unclear on Monday whether the striker, who is scheduled to play for Real Madrid against Shakhtar Donetsk in a Champions League match in Ukraine on Tuesday, will attend the trial. His lawyers did not respond to AFP’s requests for clarification.

Valbuena, who now plays for Greek club Olympiakos, will be present, his lawyer said.

The sextape case caused Benzema to be exiled from France’s national football team for years — a decision he called ‘racist’ — but the striker returned to “Les Bleus” this year in time for the European championship.

France coach Didier Deschamps said this month that “he’s no longer the same person, he’s matured”.

Benzema has scored a total of 243 goals for Real and remains a key part of their side.

Real Madrid Slip To Liga Defeat Against Espanyol


Espanyol’s Spanish defender Aleix Vidal celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the Spanish League football match between RCD Espanyol and Real Madrid CF at the RCDE Stadium in Cornella de Llobregat on October 3, 2021. LLUIS GENE / AFP

 

Real Madrid slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Espanyol on Sunday as Carlo Ancelotti’s side followed up a shock Champions League reverse with their first Liga defeat of the season.

Real, who lost to Moldovan minnows Sheriff Tiraspol on Tuesday, blew a chance to pull ahead of Atletico Madrid, who beat crisis-hit Barcelona 2-0 on Saturday to draw level with their city rivals on 17 points.

Ancelotti said Real had played “our worst match of the season”.

“I agree, we played badly,” the Italian coach added.

“We now need to use the international break to think about why this team’s attitude has changed in the space of a week.”

Espanyol took the lead on 17 minutes at the RCDE Stadium in Catalonia when Raul de Tomas found the net.

Aleix Vidal scored a sparkling second goal after nutmegging Nacho and smashing the ball past Real ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois 15 minutes into the second half.

The defeat leaves Real without a win in three games after they were held to a goalless draw by Villarreal in their previous league match.

READ ALSOMessi Suffers First PSG Defeat In Loss At Rennes


Real Madrid’s French forward Karim Benzema (C) vies with Espanyol’s Spanish defender Sergi Gomez during the Spanish League football match between RCD Espanyol and Real Madrid CF at the RCDE Stadium in Cornella de Llobregat on October 3, 2021. LLUIS GENE / AFP

 

Karim Benzema had the ball in the net early in the second half but the goal was ruled out for Luka Jovic’s offside.

Just as Espanyol appeared to be about to extend their advantage again, Benzema pulled a goal back on 71 minutes, firing into the bottom corner after the Frenchman collected a pass from Jovic for his ninth league goal in eight games this season.

Espanyol had won just once in seven games this season but they hung on grimly in five minutes of added time to take all three points.

AFP

Ronaldo To Make Second Man Utd Debut Against Newcastle

A cardboard cut out of new signing Cristiano Ronaldo is held by Manchester United supporters during the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on August 29, 2021. Oli SCARFF / AFP
In this file photo, a cardboard cut out of new signing Cristiano Ronaldo is held by Manchester United supporters during the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on August 29, 2021. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed Cristiano Ronaldo will make his first Manchester United appearance since his blockbuster move from Juventus when Newcastle visit Old Trafford on Saturday.

Portugal superstar Ronaldo returned to United in a shock transfer just before the transfer deadline.

The 36-year-old striker, who left United to join Real Madrid in 2009, has been training with his new team-mates for the past few days.

United manager Solskjaer confirmed on Friday that Ronaldo would play at least some part in the Premier League clash with Newcastle but it remains to be seen whether the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will start or come off the bench.

“He’s been having a good pre-season with Juventus, he’s played for the national team, he’s had a good week with us here,” Solskjaer said.

“He will definitely be on the pitch at some point, that’s for sure.”

Ronaldo won three Premier League titles and the Champions League during six trophy-laden years with United, before going on to shine with Real and Juventus.

His status as one of the world’s all-time greats is unquestioned, but initially it seemed United would miss out on a reunion with their former star when Manchester City moved to sign him.

Ronaldo said his relationship with former United manager Alex Ferguson played a key role in convincing him to return to Old Trafford.

Solskjaer, who played with Ronaldo during his first spell at the club, said: “Of course we’ve followed his career from afar since he left here and I think everyone’s very happy to have him back.

“He can speak for himself but he seems like he’s happy to be back as well.

“The mood’s been very good, he’s worked well and we’re looking forward to Saturday, of course.”

READ ALSOFIFA ‘Regrets’ Chaos At Abandoned Brazil vs Argentina Match

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‘No place to hide’ 

Fergusson retired from Manchester United in 2013. Photo: Instagram/Manchester United.

 

Ronaldo’s return to Manchester came after Solskjaer had already strengthened his squad with swoops for England forward Jadon Sancho and France defender Raphael Varane.

United will be expected to challenge champions Manchester City for the title after such a productive transfer window.

Solskjaer believes Ronaldo will add a higher level of quality to the squad, both physically and mentally, as they look to win the first trophy of the Norwegian’s reign.

“We have grown as a group the last few years. The determination, the desire, the focus has improved over time and bit by bit,” he said.

“Even like bringing Raphael (Varane) in, he’s come in with a winner’s mentality, an unbelievable focus.

“Then of course Cristiano comes in as well and there’s no place to hide when you’ve got winners like them. You can’t go into training and give 95 percent or not being focused.”

As a former Manchester United player, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce appreciates what an emotional afternoon it will be for Ronaldo and the club’s supporters on Saturday.

“The goals he’s scored at every club he’s played for is quite remarkable,” Bruce said.

“That, quite rightly in my opinion, makes him the best player in the world. It’s a terrific signing by Manchester United.

“It’s quite an incredible story of him going back and I’m sure they could have sold out Old Trafford 10 times over if they wished.”

AFP

Egypt Name Ex-Real Madrid Boss Queiroz As New Coach

Queiroz Plays Up Iran Unity Ahead Of Morocco Clash
Iran’s coach Carlos Queiroz (C) leads a training session at Saint Petersburg Stadium on June 14, 2018, ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup football game Iran vs Morocco. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

 

Carlos Queiroz was appointed Wednesday as Egypt’s new coach following the sacking of Hossam El-Badry after an unconvincing start to qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

The Egyptian football federation said Queiroz, a former Manchester United assistant and Real Madrid manager, would be supported by Diaa El-Sayed and long-time former national team goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary on his coaching staff.

It is the latest in a long line of international jobs for the 68-year-old Queiroz, who took Portugal to the 2010 World Cup. He also coached Iran at the 2014 and 2018 tournaments.

The Portuguese will take over from El-Badry, who was dismissed Monday in the wake of a 1-1 draw in Gabon.

Egypt’s sluggish performance against Gabon on Sunday, in which they needed a 90th-minute equaliser to rescue a point, and a laboured 1-0 win against Angola in their opening World Cup qualifier, had prompted furious criticism from disappointed fans on social media.

Egypt are second behind Libya in their group with four points from two games. They face a crucial doubleheader against the Libyans in October, with only the group winners advancing to the final qualifying round.

Queiroz is expected to arrive in Cairo next week. He left his role as Colombia coach late last year after a 6-1 defeat by Ecuador.

A former assistant to Alex Ferguson at United, Queiroz has also previously had spells in charge of South Africa and United Arab Emirates.

AFP

Uncertainty Trails Mbappe’s Transfer To Real Madrid As Deadline Looms- Reports

Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe runs on the pitch during the French L1 football match between Stade de Reims and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stade Auguste Delaune in Reims, northern France on August 29, 2021.
FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

Kylian Mbappe’s dream move to Real Madrid hangs by a thread as the deadline to the transfer window draws close.

Mbappe stole the show on Sunday by scoring both goals in a 2-0 win against Reims in Ligue 1 despite Lionel Messi making his debut as a 65th-minute substitute for Neymar.

Madrid has offered PSG an amount in excess of €170m for Mbappe, but the French giants are yet to reply.

Europe’s transfer window closes on Tuesday.

Madrid are said to be waiting till Monday evening for a formal response, according to Sky Sports.

Earlier in the week, Paris Saint-Germain’s sporting director Leonardo had confirmed the 22-year-old wanted to leave the club but was adamant he wouldn’t let the superstar leave without the appropriate price tag placed on him being met.

“If Real Madrid are making an offer, that seems clear. We cannot, the week before the end of the window, change our plans. If he wants to leave, we will not hold him back, but on our terms,” he said in an interview with EuroSports.

Leonardo was also critical of Madrid’s conduct, claiming the Spanish club have contacted Mbappe illegally.

“For the last two years, Real Madrid have been behaving like this, it is not correct, illegal even because they contacted the player,” he said.

“It is unacceptable for us because it is not correct. It is proof of the strategy: an offer comes 1 year before the end of his contract and 7 days before the end of the window.”

Real Madrid are keen on landing Mbappe, and if talks fail to yield positive results before deadline day, they will try to sign him on a pre-contract agreement in January as he runs out of contract at PSG in 10 months.

PSG Reject Real Madrid Offer For Mbappe

Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe reacts during the French L1 football match between Stade Brestois and Paris Saint-Germain at Francis-Le Ble Stadium in Brest on August 20, 2021.
LOIC VENANCE / AFP

 

Paris Saint-Germain turned down Real Madrid’s bid to prise away Kylian Mbappe on Wednesday, with sporting director Leonardo saying the offer of around 160 million euros ($188 million) was “not enough” for a player they wanted “to keep”.

“Our position has always been to keep Kylian, to renew his contract” which expires next June, said the Brazilian to some media including AFP.

He went on to describe the Spanish club’s approach to the France World Cup winner as “disrespectful, incorrect and illegal”.

Leonardo went on to say that if the 22-year-old Mbappe “wants to leave, we will not retain him, but he will leave or stay on our terms”.

“If a player wants to leave, he will leave. The club, the project, remain above everyone,” added the Brazilian leader, addressing some media including AFP. But “we have done everything” to convince him to stay.

PSG paid 180 million euros to Monaco for the forward in 2017 and are keen for him to sign a new deal.

After the arrival of Lionel Messi in Paris, earlier this month club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said Mbappe “has no reason to do anything else” but stay.

Mbappe has scored once and provided two assists in three appearances so far this term with Messi expected to make his PSG debut at Reims on Sunday.

-AFP

Man Utd Agree Deal To Sign Varane From Real Madrid

 In this file photo taken on January 04, 2020 Real Madrid's French defender Raphael Varane celebrates his goal during the Spanish league football match between Getafe CF and Real Madrid CF at the Col. Alfonso Perez stadium in Getafe on January 4, 2020. OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP
In this file photo taken on January 04, 2020 Real Madrid’s French defender Raphael Varane celebrates his goal during the Spanish league football match between Getafe CF and Real Madrid CF at the Col. Alfonso Perez stadium in Getafe on January 4, 2020. OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP

 

Manchester United have agreed a deal with Real Madrid to sign France centre-back Raphael Varane, the Premier League giants announced Tuesday. 

“Manchester United is delighted to announce the club has reached agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of French international defender and World Cup winner, Raphael Varane, subject to a medical and to player terms being finalised,” said a club statement.

It is not expected, however, that Varane will be able to undergo a medical until next week because of current UK coronavirus restrictions.

No fee has been disclosed but British media reported value the deal at £34 million ($47 million) rising to £48 million with add-ons.

 

AFP

Tearful Ramos Says He Wanted To Stay At Real Madrid

In this file photo taken Real Madrid’s Spanish defender, Sergio Ramos addresses journalists during Real Madrid’s Media Open Day. PHOTO: GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

 

Sergio Ramos has claimed he is only leaving Real Madrid because the club withdrew their offer of a new contract, as the defender bid an emotional farewell on Thursday after 16 years. 

Ramos said in a press conference he had pushed for a two-year contract extension and when he decided to accept one extra year, the club told his agent and brother “about a week ago” the offer had expired.

The 35-year-old, who will become a free agent on July 1, gave no indication as to where he will play next, although he ruled out joining Barcelona. He also said he was “not contemplating” a return to Sevilla.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Hopes To Seal Olympics Qualification At Lagos Invitational Relays

Ramos joined Real Madrid from Sevilla for 27 million euros in 2005 and went on to become one of the club’s greatest ever players, playing 671 games and winning 22 titles, including five in La Liga and four in the Champions League.

Despite making clear his disappointment over the failed negotiations with Real Madrid, Ramos refused to criticise president Florentino Perez directly, describing their relationship as like a “father and son”.

Perez and Ramos delivered short speeches and shared a cordial embrace during a goodbye ceremony at Valdebebas, with Ramos’ family among those in a small audience.

Ramos said bidding farewell was one of the “most difficult moments” of his life.

Afterward, he answered questions from the media on his own in a press conference room. “I have never wanted to leave Real Madrid,” he said.

“I go back to the season during lockdown when we won the title. The club offered to extend my contract but because of Covid, it was delayed.

“In recent months, the club made me an offer of one year, with a lower salary, and I want to emphasise that money was never a problem. I wanted two years for continuity, for me and my family. There was never a financial issue.

“When I finally decided to accept the offer of one year and a lower salary, I was told the offer had an expiration date that I was not aware of.”

Ramos insisted he did not know why the offer expired and said he was “really surprised”.

“I would have liked to stay here many more years,” he said. “Madrid is my home and my family.”

Earlier, Madrid’s captain opened the door to a return in the future. “This is a ‘see you later because sooner or later, I will come back,” Ramos said.

He had just started his speech when he broke down in tears as he began paying tribute to his family.

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are among the clubs credited with an interest in signing Ramos.

“We never thought about any other team but there have been some calls from interested clubs,” he said. “Now we will look for a good option.”

On the unlikely prospect he could join Barcelona, Ramos said: “It would be impossible to see Ramos in a Barca shirt. A resounding no as big as the new Bernabeu.”

He also discarded the option of returning to Sevilla.

“I do not contemplate that option, just as Sevilla does not contemplate it,” he said. “It is a different moment now, for them and for me.”

Injuries restricted Ramos to only 21 appearances for Real Madrid last season before Luis Enrique left him out of the Spain squad for Euro 2020.

But Ramos said he is fit again now and “excited to show his highest level for years to come”.

Perez said it was “not an easy day”, saluting Ramos as “one of the great legends of Real Madrid”.

“You have grown as a player and been our iconic captain for years,” Perez added.

AFP

Real Madrid Announce Ancelotti As New Coach

A file photo of new Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti.
A file photo of new Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti.

 

Carlo Ancelotti will return to Real Madrid as coach for the next three seasons, the Spanish club said Tuesday following last week’s resignation of Zinedine Zidane.

The 61-year-old Italian, who won the Champions League for Real Madrid during his first spell at the club between 2013 and 2015, will sign his new deal and be presented to the media on Wednesday, the club said in a statement.

Ancelotti joined Everton in December 2019 and thanked the English club ands its fans “for the tremendous support they have all given me”.

“While I have enjoyed being at Everton I have been presented with an unexpected opportunity which I believe is the right move for me and my family at this time,” he added in a statement published on Everton’s website.

The English club said it would “begin the process of appointing a new manager immediately and will provide updates in due course.”

Real won the Champions League three times under Zidane but ended the 2020-21 campaign without a trophy having finished second in La Liga behind city rivals Atletico Madrid.

The Spanish giants also lost to eventual winners Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals.

It was the first time that the 13-time European champions had failed to win a trophy in 11 seasons.

AFP