WEEKLY SOCCER FIX – August 4th, 2017

Neymar

WEEKLY SOCCER FIX

The latest highlights of the week from the beautiful game

August  4th, 2017

IT’S OFFICIAL, NEYMAR IS NOW A PSG PLAYER AND LEAVES BARCELONA

Farewell Neymar

The drama involving Neymar’s exit from Barcelona has come to an end, as the Brazilian has been officially transferred to French club, PSG. Rumors involving his exit from the Catalan squad quieted down after a photo on Instagram was published by Gerard Pique in which he appears alongside the Brazilian star, with the caption “Se queda”, which translated from Spanish to “He stays”. However it seems that even Pique was fooled, as days later unexpectedly, Neymar appeared in pictures leaving the Barcelona training ground after reportedly saying goodbye to his teammates. This was later confirmed in a social media post published by Messi in which he wished the best for his teammate and friend. Minutes later, Barcelona released an official statement saying that Neymar was no longer part of the club,  and shortly after PSG announced the biggest transfer, not just of the summer, but in the history of football after paying 222 million Euros, and giving the former Santos player a contract to receive a salary of 30 million Euros free of taxes until the year 2022. With this ends an era in Barcelona that will go into the record books, as Neymar’s exit also means the end of the MSN. The attacking trio that put him together with Messi and Suarez, that combined, scored a record number of 298 goals, making them the best trio of strikers in the history of football. But while Barcelona will certainly miss him in their ranks, PSG is eagerly waiting his arrival to complete one of the most powerful squads in World football. Neymar will now arrive in the French capital to lead a team made up of other star Brazilians like Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva,  Lucas Moura, and Maxwell, as well as other big names like Marco Verratti, Cavani, Angel di Maria, and Julian Draxler. As Neymar leaves a great era with Barcelona behind, it seems he can certainly look forward to a brand new one with PSG, and now, not in the shadow of Messi anymore, as the leader of a club eager to win some titles.

REAL MADRID DEFEATS THE MLS ALL STARS IN PENALTIES 

The European champions Real Madrid defeated the MLS All Stars last Wednesday night in Chicago in what proved to be an entertaining match, that could have well ended before having to reach a final penalty shootout confrontation, if it wasn’t for some great stops made on both sides, by Tim Howard and Keylor Navas. The first half began with most of the MLS’s big stars on the field, like Kaka, David Villa, and Bastian Schweinsteiger, along with some American internationals like Jozy Altidore and Michael Brandley, facing a Real Madrid side composed of a mix of substitutes and familiar names like Isco, Toni Kroos, and Sergio Ramos. The game proved to be very balanced at the beginning of the match with Real Madrid slowly dominating and creating some chances that could have ended in goals, if not for some great interventions by Tim Howard. But just as Real Madrid appeared to be in control of the game, a counter attack by the MLS ended in a great Kaka run through the sideline who delivered a cross to David Villa, who managed to shoot inside the box only to have the ball stopped by a very agile Keylor Navas. On the second Half Real Madrid send some reserve players to get some playing time, and the MLS also substituted the whole team. This time, players like Miguel Almiron, and Giovani Dos Santos took the field as they faced a very young Real Madrid B. But just as the game appeared to be looking better for the MLS, Danny Ceballos made a great through pass that would reach youngster Borja Mayoral, who would go on to make the opening goal at the 58th minute to make the score 1-0. To make matters worse for the MLS, Real Madrid would bake some substitutions after the goal. Benzema, Bale, Marcelo, Kovacic, and Carvajal all went into the pitch for the galacticos, who afterwards dominated through much of the game, creating several chances on the MLS goal. But just as things were looking gray for the MLS, Dom dwyer would score the equalizer at the 86th minute after heading in a corner, to send the game into penalties. On the penalty shootout, Real Madrid would go on to win by 4-1 after Luca Zidane, son of Zinedine Zidane, would go on to stop a penalty, giving his father the first win of the pre-season. Now Real Madrid will go back to Spanish territory to prepare for their upcoming match for the UEFA Super Cup, as they face Manchester United on the 8th of August.

WOMEN’S EURO FINAL: NETHERLANDS VS DENMARK

The Women’s Euro tournament will  come to an end next Sunday after the final between Netherlands and Denmark. Two powerhouses in women’s football, host Netherlands arrives after defeating  England by 3-0, and Denmark has reached the final after defeating Austria on penalties. The Netherlands are only the second hosts to reach the final, following champions Germany in 2001 and are certainly the favorite to win the tournament with inspired midfielder Daniel Van de Donk, star of the Arsenal ladies club. But Denmark won’t be an easy team to beat. The Danish women have delivered some solid performances,  and will be looking for revenge after losing to the Dutch during the group stage by 1-0. The final will be played on Sunday, the 6th of August, and will see win the Netherlands, or Denmark lift the Women’s Euro trophy for the first time.

VENUE OF THE WEEK: CHICAGO

The city that collides with Lake Michigan, is the third most populated in the United States hosting more than 2 million people. Chicago is one of the most important business and financial centers in the world but is better known for being a center for the musical industry, being the home of jazz, hip hop, and gospel music. Some of its famous landmarks  include the Millennium Park, the navy pier, the Sears Tower and Magnificent Mile.  The main Sports venue in the city is Soldier field, with a capacity of 60,000 people, that has hosted the 1994 World Cup, the 1999 Women’s World Cup, multiple CONCACAF Gold Cup’s, the Copa America centenario, and recently the 2017 MLS All Star game. Chicago is also the the home of MLS soccer club Chicago fire, that plays in the Toyota Park. The Chicago Fire were one of the MLS’s first expansion teams and have won the U.S. Open Cup 3 times. The Club has had many notable players like Mexican internationals Pavel Pardo, Nery Castillo, and Cuauhtemoc Blanco, as well as American internationals like Brian McBride, Carlos Bocanegra, and Damarcus Beasley.

THIS WEEK’S TRANSFER UPDATES AND RUMORS 

Official Transfers:

Neymar from Barcelona to PSG

Nemanja Matic from Chelsea to Manchester United

Jonathan dos Santos from Villarreal to LA Galaxy

Alvaro Negredo from Valencia to Besiktas

Mendy from Monaco to Manchester City

Chicharito Hernandez from B.Leverkusen to West Ham

Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid to Chelsea

Dani Ceballos from Real Betis to Real Madrid

Bonucci from Juventus to Milan

Rumored:

Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich to Chelsea

Costa from Chelsea to Atletico de Madrid

Coutinho from Liverpool to Barcelona

Hazard from Chelsea to Barcelona

Carlos Vela from Real Sociedad to Real Betis

Pepe Reina from Napoli to Manchester City

Dybala from Juventus to Barcelona

Mahrez from leicester City to Tottenham

Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrande to Barcelona

Mbappe from Monaco to Real Madrid /Barcelona

Upcoming games to watch:

Netherlands vs Denmark 17:00hrs Central Time  August 6th WOMEN’S EURO FINAL  

Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich  13:30hrs Central Time  August 6th GERMAN SUPERCUP 

Arsenal vs Chelsea  08:00hrs Central Time  August 6th FA COMMUNITY SHIELD   

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