Despite an error by the Costa Rican in the defeat at Sevilla on Sunday, coach Zinedine Zidane has complete confidence in his first-choice goalkeeper
Time to reflect again for Real Madrid. After more than eight months without defeat, Los Blancos were finally beaten at Sevilla on Sunday and immediately the inquest began – with question marks over the form of goalkeeper Keylor Navas following his poor positioning in the Andalusians’ late winner at the Sanchez Pizjuan.
In the pre-match press conference ahead of his side’s Copa del Rey clash at home to Celta Vigo, coach Zinedine Zidane was asked about the Costa Rican and said: « We went unbeaten for 40 games and he was our goalkeeper. He was there all along. »
Nevertheless, the debate rumbles on after reports in England linked Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with a possible summer switch to the Santiago Bernabeu, while the club’s interest in Manchester United shot-stopper David De Gea is long-standing.
Madrid have reduced their transfer ban to one window and will be able to sign new players again in the summer. Despite that option and the fact that Madrid were ready to bring in Gea to replace Navas back in 2015, however, the club are now very happy with the 30-year-old former Levante man.
« Navas looks really good to me, » Zidane said on Tuesday. « We can always ask more from all of the players, but up until now he has been the goalkeeper with whom we went 40 games without losing. That was for a reason. He was part of our streak. »
And he added: « Kiko [Casilla] and Ruben [Yanez] are in good shape. There’s nothing to say. These are rumours. We are concentrated on our job, on this year. Next year doesn’t interest me, it’s not the moment. I’m really happy with my three goalkeepers and I don’t want to change anything that we’re doing. »
Crystal clear. And Zidane is one of the reasons Navas is so highly regarded at the Santiago Bernabeu. The Frenchman is a big admirer of the Central American and was quick to rule out a possible move to the Premier League for the Costa Rican last summer.
He was the goalkeeper that helped him win the Champions League, with a great second half to the season. And he was also the face of the trio of goalkeepers that, according to Zidane, are working to perfection. In terms of dedication, effort, team work and solidarity – which is not always the case when there is rivalry for a first-team place.
Navas also enjoys a high standing with his team-mates. Popular from day one at Valdebebas due to his commitment and hard work, he has an excellent relationship with several of the players, including captain Sergio Ramos, that despite the fact that the Spain defender was a great friend of former number one Iker Casillas. Indeed, Navas is one of the most-loved members of the squad and his colleagues see him very much as Real Madrid’s goalkeeper. There is no debate among the players.
After a year in the shadows with Casillas still at the club, Keylor was on the verge of leaving the club in the ultimately unsuccessful operation to bring in De Gea. The Costa Rican revealed he had cried in impotence at that treatment, but said he was grateful for the chance to show he could be Madrid’s number one.
His immediate response impressed the club and even though he has not been at his best since an injury earlier this term, Zidane has no plans to sign another goalkeeper and even if he did, it is unclear whether either of the candidates would be an upgrade, anyway.
Jordan Ayew tops English Premier League sprint chart after 16 matches
Ghana forward Jordan Ayew has been rated as the player with most sprints in the English Premier League after 16 round of games.
The Swansea City attacker has always been faced with criticisms for his lack of work ethos when playing for the Ghana’s senior national team.
But the former Olympique Marseille man appears to have had the best statistics in arguably the world’s best championship in terms of a player that has made the most sprints in the league after 16 matches
The 25-year-old heads the list of the 10 players ahead of speedsters including Hector Bellerin of Arsenal, Delle Alli of Tottenham and Richarlison of Watford.
According to the Express.co.uk, with their high intensity and counter-attacking football, Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints so far this season with a whopping 6198.
However, relegation-threatened West Ham have managed a measly 4942.
Surprisingly, Manchester United only have the 15th highest amount of sprints with 5210.
Even though Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints as a team, no individual star of Pep Guardiola’s side makes the top 10.
So which Premier League ace has sprinted the most times?
1. Jordan Ayew (Swansea) – 796 sprints
2. Delle Alli (Tottenham) – 742 sprints
3. Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) – 715 sprints
4. Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)- 695 sprints
5. Tom Cleverley (Watford) – 695 sprints
6. Tom Ince (Huddersfield) – 683 sprints
7. Abdoulaye Doucore (Watford) – 682 sprints
8. Richarlison (Watford) – 677 sprints
9. Erik Pieters (Stoke) – 669 sprints
10. Pascal Gross (Brighton) – 662 sprints
Pots announced for Final Draw
With Peru completing the line-up of 32 teams for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, we now know the seeding pots for the Final Draw on 1 December.
It was confirmed in September, by the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions, that all teams will be allocated to (eight-team) pots 1 to 4 based on sporting principles. The October 2017 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be used to allocate all qualified teams to the four pots according to their ranking in descending order, after hosts Russia who take the top seeding spot.
With those factors in mind, here are the final pots for the Final Draw:
POT 1 Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
POT 2 Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
POT 3 Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
POT 4 Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia
It is worth remembering that the principle of drawing the teams into the groups will remain unchanged. This means that no teams from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, which could have up to two teams in the same group, will be drawn into the same group.
The Final Draw will take place on Friday 1 December at Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace.
« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »
Real Madrid are in a bad situation in the league, the club of Casa Blanca is currently third in Liga behind Valencia and Barça, the Catalans have taken a big lead, and this could definitely make them lose the championship in the winter. And a Madrid club player is highlighted in these poor results.
101 million euros for his transfer, 23 injuries since, 73 matches missed or 55% of the matches of his team. Statistics that would drive any coach and / or leaders crazy. You have it ?
These are the figures of Gareth Bale since his arrival at Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 from Tottenham. Whoever has played only nine games in the year 2017/2018 seems to have seriously undermined the patience of its leaders. Just back from a calf injury, he was summoned by the Welsh side to face France in a friendly last Friday, but made the choice to stay in Madrid to prepare for the derby against Atletico Madrid. But, the blow, the Welsh injured during training last Thursday and will be absent about a month.
What continue to fuel the rumors of transfers but especially what cause irritation of the board leader. The latter, tired of not being able to align their triplet « BBC », have made a decision that should be irrevocable, according to the Madrid newspaper AS: It must leave this summer. And the Spanish media also explains that the president of the Madrilenian club, Florentino Perez, added:
« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »
Yet strongly criticized last season, Bale had managed to avoid a departure last summer, claiming to want to win at Real Madrid. This year, his start to the season does not plead in his favor and he seems to have exhausted all his jokers in the Spanish capital. The departure of the Welsh international therefore seems to have been recorded.
The rumor of a return to the Premier League, Manchester United in particular, has been reactivated but the number of contenders could quickly evolve in view of the quality of the player. Be careful though, the Welsh is signed until 2022, and Florentino Perez is determined not to sell his player.
Unless a return to its best level, it is difficult to see how the Welsh international could reverse the situation. Zinedine Zidane even found his replacement for 100 million euros.
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