On Thursday evening The World Cup 2014 was kicked off with a bang. Brazil defeated their group A rivals Croatia 3-1 in an enthralling way.
The start was quite awful for the hosts. Marcelo had an own goal just at the very beginning of the match. But eventually they got themselves leveled before the half time. This was absolutely earned by Neymar’s scuffed effort. Then it was again Neymar, who converted a penalty for the Selecao to take the lead. Finally Oscar capped a magnificent display by poking a late effort into the bottom corner and take it to three.
Formations: Brazil vs Croatia
Brazil just started with the exact same XI that started the 2013 Confederations Cup final. For their usual 4-2-3-1 formation, Luiz Gustavo was held off the challenge of Fernandinho midfield. Also another notable thing about Neymar as he started as no. 10.
Croatia also started with their regular formation, with three exceptional playmakers Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Ivan Rakitic. Dejan Lovren was kept at the first eleven and Sime Vrsalkjo played out of position at left-back.
As it happened: Brazil vs Croatia
Belying Luiz Felipe Scolari’s year-long tradition Hulk started on the left and Oscar on the right. But it was not working well. Suddenly with Croatia bagging an excellent early goal, pressure grew at immeasurable level for the Selecao team.
As Neymar was playing as a No. 10, he was swamped out by the studious Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric. It was an easy job for them to shackle him and stop receiving balls to feet. Consequently this isolated Fred in turn and stumped the attack for the Brazil team.
On the other hand, The Vatreni were flying from the first minute. Olic burst forward inside the first minute and broke a challenge. It was a real threat for the defense. But the third wide attack was a genuine score.
It was Paulinho, who put his teammates in a real hole. Though there were a plethora of errors in the buildup to the Croatia goal. As he knows Ivan Rakitic has a runner (Olic) outside and a man free (Mateo Kovacic) to pass. So, the last thing he should do is dive in and “force” the action from the ball-player. Probably this was an example of how naive defending can kill you on the flanks.
Thiago Silva was also quite slow to come out. As David Luiz allowed his man across him, Marcelo scored an own goal. But the thing started on the Croatia half.
Eventually Brazil snapped out of it. Truly speaking, it wasn’t a systematic change that sparked the recovery. It was totally individual effort and determination that allowed Brazil to get back into the game.
It always happens for two same formation teams meeting together. Midfields are matched man for man. So it becomes tough to find space. An individual needs to beat a challenge to open it up and that began happening soon.
Paulinho first broke into the box and split the centre-backs. Soon enough, Neymar danced around Rakitic and hit the byline for a cross. Then it was the excellent Oscar who did the damage by laying it off to Neymar and letting the 50-cap wonder do the rest for the Selecao.
Oscar looked like the man of the Brazil vs Croatia match. He tried his hardest to make things happen and change the flow.
After going down, Croatia pushed forward and opened the distance between their midfield and defensive lines. They just tried to allow more players to attack.
Scolari also matched the strategy by introducing Hernanes and Bernard.
For the final 15 minutes, with space in the midfield allowing players to travel with the ball and take each other, it was astounding. Especially when it seemed as though Croatia could sneak a late equalizer, Oscar charged down the other end and punted an 18-yard effort into the corner to seal it.
The newspapers on 5th July said it all. On Friday night, The host Brazil may have reached the semi-final beating Columbia, but the full cost of their quarter-final victory was being counted. Neymar Jr, the 22 year old super star of this world tournament, the player has kept the weight of Brazilian expectation with calm and some extraordinary good grace, is out of the world cup with a fractured vertebra.
It put thousands of football fans in mourning while watching a newsstand to see image after image of Neymar in agony, being stretchered off the pitch. As Neymar departed down the tunnel, a hush of agony fell over the Fortaleza Stadium as well as over the fan parks across Brazil. The news on O Tempo said that Brazil won the game but lost his star. The Lance demanded in their front page,
“ Play for him”.
“The World Cup was Neymar’s dream and for years he has been thinking about it”,
Neymar’s friend and agent Wagner Ribeiro said.
Neymar was flown to Galeao air base, Rio de Janeiro after the match. Then he was taken by ambulance to Grange Comay Hospital in Teresopolis, the Brazil training base. Outside the hospital, hundreds of fans gathered holding the banners saying “ Forca Neymar”. The phrase also trended on Twitter by Brazil’s 1970 World Cup winning Captain Carlos Alberto Torres. Now, all Brazil is with Neymar with a hope of his recovery and return to the pitch soon.
There was a burst of anger among the fans alongside the sadness and the realization of what this might mean to Brazil in winning the world cup on home soil. The headline of Extra said it all,
The match possessed 54 fouls in total, more than in any other game at this World Cup. However, 31 of them were committed by Brazil. Rotating the offender to avoid cards, tactical fouling, have been the pattern of Brazil’s play throughout this World Cup. The hosts committed 28 of total 51 fouls in their last match against Chile, the second most fouls match of this tournament.
If there was anger in Brazil, there was even more fury in Colombia too. The newspaper Hoy, Diario del Magdalena was in doubt who was to blame for their defeat. It screamed on the front page accusing the Spanish referee.
The incident of the injury didn’t seem noteworthy in the context of a robust game. Zuniga leapt for a high ball while Neymar didn’t. In that, he failed with the Colombian Defender Zuniga making clean contact with the ball. The Spanish referee Carlos Carballo decided the challenge as clean. The defender’s knee caught Neymar in the back in this incident. It is difficult to say whether there was a deliberate attempt to injure or whether he was simply trying retaining the balance.
For Zuniga it was a normal action. He said,
”I never intended to cause harm the player, although we have to play tough on the field.”
The former Brazilian striker and the World Cup top scorer Ronaldo mentioned the action ‘very violent’. The phenomenon sent his condolences to Neymar saying the whole country is proud of him. The team is now determined to win the world Cup and dedicate to him.
However, winning the hexa with Neymar in the Hospital and Thiago Silva in the bench will be harder than anytime for this Brazil team.
1. Gareth Bale (€100,000,000) : Tottenham to Real Madrid
On September 1 2013, Real Madrid announced their agreement for the transfer of Gareth Bale. The British press reported a transfer fee of €100 million as a world record. This transfer broke the record of Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer fee of €94 million. Gareth Bale was assigned the number 11 shirt for Real Madrid. So far, it is the highest transfer fees in World football.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo ( € 94,000,000): Manchester United to Real Madrid
On 26 June 2009, Real Madrid took the sign of Cristiano Ronaldo for a transfer fee of €94 million with a six year contract. The contract is worth €11 million per year. On July 6, Real Madrid handed him the jersey number 9 and it was presented by the Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano. Now C. Ronaldo is holding the number 7 jersey for Real. C.Ronaldo holds the second highest transfer fees in World football.
3. Neymar (€86,000,000) :Santos to Barcelona
Neymar signed the contract with FC Barcelona on 27 May 2013. He was signed for five years but neither Neymar nor the club officials released details on the transfer fees. Eventually the club vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu disclosed the fee and it was €86 million and his release clause was set at €190 million.
4. Zinedine Zidane (€ 75,000,000): Juventus to Real Madrid
Zinedine Zidane joined Real Madrid from Juventus in 2001 for a world record fee of €75 million. He signed a four-year contract with Real.
5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (€69,000,000): Internazionale to Barcelona
Ibrahimovic signed a five-year contract for €46 million and the exchange of Eto’o which valued at €20 million and some loan from Alexander Helb, making him worth €66 million. He cost Barcelona €69.884 million which included other fees too.
6. Kaka ( €65,000,000): AC Milan to Real Madrid
Kaka moved to Bernabeu on a six year deal on 8 june 2009. The transfer from Milan was estimated €65 million. It is in the 6th position in our list of top 10 highest transfer fees in World football.
7. Edinson Cavani (€64,000,000): Napoli to PSG
Cavani joined French champions Paris Saint-Germain on a five year contract on 16 July, 2013. The fee believed to be around €64.5 million ,making it the sixth largest transfer in the history of football.
8. Figo (€ 62,000,000) : Barcelona to Real Madrid
Figo’s €62 million move to Barcelona’s bitter rivals Real Madrid in July 2000, was as surprising as controversial. Figo’s arrival at Real Madrid signaled the beginning of “ Galactico era”. The Barcelona fans felt betrayed by his transfer. Figo won Ballon D’or in November 2000 wearing the white shirt of Real Madrid, making him star and reliable for Real.
9. Radamel Falcao (€ 60,000,000): Atletico to Monaco
On 31 May 2013, Monaco announced that they had reached an agreement with Atletico for transfer of Falcao for a five year contract and a transfer fee around €60 million. Radamel Falcao gave an emotional farewell to atletico in a press interview and expressed his enjoyment with the club as he spent “the best time of his career” there.
10. Fernando Torres (€ 58,000,000): Liverpool to Chelsea
On 31 January 2011, Fernando Torres completed his move to Chelsea for an undisclosed fee reportedly €58 million and signed a five-and-a-half-year contract. The transfer fee set a new record for a British transfer and made Torres the sixth most expensive footballer in the history.
The eyes of the whole world have been on Neymar Jr. since his high profile move to Barcelona. His talents may have been known to many, but there are some unknown facts about him which may seem very much interesting.
This article of Sporty ghost will serve to give the footballing world an inside track on Neymar. His limitless potential and specialty with the ball have established himself at a very high peak of success at such a young age. Here are some top 10 unknown Neymar facts that might interest you to some extent.
Top 10 unknown Neymar facts:
1. Santos has been his only club
Until Barcelona, Santos has been his only home. He has showcased his extraordinary skills at Santos for years. The 21-year-old Neymar joined Santos in 2003 and has been there until the big offer came. This explains some emotional tears surrounding the last game he has played for the club.
For the first time in his footballing career, Neymar Jr is wearing foreign jersey in a land of Barcelona, Spain.
Possibly, it may be one of the unknown Neymar facts to the viewers.
2. Neymar is a father
The football world nearly stood when Lionel Messi became father. But no one realizes that Neymar beat the Argentine legend by a few years!
After coming Barcelona, the father and son have fitted perfectly. Very often we get the chance to see them together with smiling faces.
The fact is indeed among the unknown Neymar facts.
3. Neymar scored his 100th professional goal on his 20th birthday
Well in February 5, 2012, it was that very special day on which he scored 100th professional goal along with his 20th birthday.
The goal was well remembered and it was come against Palmeiras in the traditional Neymar way. The timing of the goal was surprising enough for the spectators.
There are few lucky faces whose can claim to score on their birthday. At the age of 20, who else ever celebrated their 100th professional goal? Incredible indeed.
4. On the cover of TIME magazine
It is quite hard to believe that Neymar Jr. is the only Brazilian athlete to ever grace the cover of world renowned TIME magazine. It is truly a magnificent feat for the country.
Infact, other Brazilians are not even athletes, rather powerful politicians to find their way on the cover of TIME.
5. Neymar nearly joined Real Madrid at the age of 14
The football giant Real Madrid had missed out the golden opportunity indeed.
At the age of 14, Neymar flew to Spain to join the Spanish side. He passed all the tests and was ready to make the move. Then Santos came out with a hefty price to keep him in Brazil.
The rest remains history.
6. West Ham was the first club to bid on Neymar
Neymar was just beginning to show his skills in Santos. Then back in 2010, his performance attracted the attention of West Ham United.
West Ham quickly made a bid of £12 million for Neymar, but were turned down the offer immediately. This bid drew eyes to Neymar on a worldwide level as Chelsea then took interest before other clubs joined the transfer frenzy.
Did you know it? Or it’ll be one of unknown Neymar facts to you.
7. The interesting beginning of international career
Despite his amazing talents, however, Neymar was overlooked early on by the Brazil National team. Brazilian legends like Pele and Romario influenced Dunga to include him in 2010 World Cup squad, followed by a petition signed by 14,000 fans.
Surprisingly, Neymar was not included in the World Cup squad. He was not included even in the stand-by list. But, it was only a matter of time.
The purchase either means that Barcelona pulled off an incredible deal for Neymar or has been a huge spender over the last few years. It is a bit of both, really.
10. Neymar is a marketing machine
In 2012 and 2013, Neymar has been named the most marketable athlete in the world by SportsPro magazine. In this race he defeated Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Usain Bolt and Rory McIlroy.
In fact, he is so good at selling products that some people have called him as “Neymarketing”. His pretty face landed him on a cover of Vogue, Brazilian edition with Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen. I dont think you are familiar with all these unknown Neymar facts.
Neymar has taken the world by a storm and he has achieved the peak of success in his short career.
Last Sunday Brazil got a 2-0 win over Mexico. Brazil team was literally good with some monotonous overtones. But as matter of fact, the Copa America is not only winning the title. At least for the strong sides in this tournament believe this as greater competition within the region. In fact Brazil must have been fascinating to forget those 20-odd minutes of madness last July in FIFA World Cup 2014, Brazil.
It was the Selecao’s first match on home soil since beaten by Holland on July 12. Now Brazil team pretty more prepared to take on Peru this Sunday in their Copa America opener in Chile. The 1994 World Cup winning captain Dunga (current coach of Brazil National Team) is keeping faith in Neymar. He will be counting on his talisman after he reported for national duty last Monday.
Neymar Arrival boosts Brazil for Copa America:
Anyway, you cannot just allow guarantee about the 23-year-old to play any part against the Central Americans. But it was truly a happy ending for Neymar on Champions League Final against Juventus. He netted the third on that night in Berlin last weekend. Dunga believes European success can also help to lift his second continental title. As he had already won the 2007 edition following a 3-0 rout of Argentina recently.
Neymar has far shown no fatigue with 39 goals this season for Barcelona. Even he was a very regular footballer for international arena since 2011. Some say, he needs rest and for the purpose to serve, it will be wise to leave him out of Wednesday’s friendly squad.
After winning the Champions League Final on Saturday, Neymar joined the Brazil squad yesterday. With Neymar’s absence for the match, one man who could return is Santos forward Robinho. Recently the journeyman has returned to the international fold as one of the experienced heads in Brazil.
He is very much expected to be shown as the principal feeder between the freely fluctuating lines between midfield and attack for Selecao team. Elias on the other hand had an excellent performance in both goals as he battles with Casemiro for a place alongside Fernandinho.
The back line now picks itself with Jefferson behind Danilo, Miranda, David Luiz and Filipe Luis. But the Porto right-back is not confirmed for Wednesday’s game. He had recently endured an ankle problem following from Javier Guemez. May be Fabinho would be set to deputies. Again, Willian has stepped up in the absence of midfield partners Luiz Gustavo and Oscar.
This is actually a beneficial chance for Dunga to test a few broader options in Porto Alegre. Shakhtar midfielder Fred had already failed to impose himself on proceedings. While Brazil appear to be on an upward trajectory since the World Cup, last form tells a different guidelines.
Dunga needed to redesign the Brazil side after Luiz Felipe Scolari’s tenure. And probably he has forged a first XI that looks prepared enough on the eve of Copa America. Brazil reverted to two lines of four without the ball against Mexico.
Willian and Coutinho proved capable of causing problems for teams set up to utilize the man marking system. When Robinho drops back into a 4-2-3-1, it leaves Diego Tardelli to lead from the front. Hopefully the lack of definitive positioning will play to Brazil’s strengths this time.
As the tournament approaching just the corner, Dunga must have wished for fine-tuning his prime instruments. Brazil have fond memories of their last visit to Porto Alegre. They had 3-0 win over France on the eve of the Confederations Cup last time.
That was an absolute success for Brazil romped to the title.
On the eve of competition once again, Selecao team appears to be purring. Though Brazil has overwhelmed in last 10 wins from 10 matches, Dunga likes to think only about the upcoming first match for them. And no doubt, with the present focus, Neymar arrival, Brazil team is genuinely boosted for the Copa America chances.
Undoubtedly football is one of the most followed sports in this world. So, it is no surprise, highest level of financing and commercialization should enter this very sporting arena. Though, there is always mixed reactions about this commercialization from spectators around the globe. People now can enjoy a variety of international talent at various domestic leagues. While, they often criticize the highest paid soccer players for being overly paid. Sometimes the reaction is, they don’t worth that much money.
Here we are trying to make a list of 10 highest paid soccer players especially for the year 2016. And we don’t believe to hide the secret that this list is made mostly based on the latest list by Forbes.
According to the magazine, the 29- year old Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo is the leader of this short list. The second ranked is now at no#1 in the list of highest paid soccer players in the world 2016 with an estimated earnings of 80 million USD.
Top 10 Highest Paid Soccer Players 2015:
From last year, the boost is around $30 million for Cristiano Ronaldo. And now on, the Spanish Primera owns the top two spots as Lionel Messi from Barcelona is next with $65 million. Though he is expected to receive a raise of $13 million after the next deal is signed.
This list of highest paid soccer players is presented here with stars strictly from the Spanish Primera, English Premier League and France’s Ligue 1.
10. Fernando Torres – Atletico Madrid
Fernando José Torres Sanz is a Spanish professional footballer. He played as a striker for both the Spain National Team and English Club Chelsea. He started his career with Atletico Madrid in 2001.
Torres is now at number 10 in the list of top 10 highest paid soccer players 2015-16. He has an annual earnings of 20 million USD. And he is continuing his sponsor deals with Adidas and Pepsi.
Very recently Torres refused to move for Italy as the Chelsea Boss Jose Mourinho is very keen to keep the 50 million striker for the English Club. He might have planned to play his last match at Stamford Bridge. He came back to join Atletico Madrid last season. His performance is increasing with time.
Now at this moment he is no longer considered one of the top strikers in the world football. But probably his sponsorship deals still rank him among the highest paid soccer players 2015-16.
9. Yaya Toure – Man City
Gnégnéri Yaya Touré, known as Yaya Touré, from the Ivory Coast National Team, now plays as a midfielder in Premier League club Manchester City. Formerly this versatile player played as a center back for FC Barcelona. He is renowned for combining passing ability and physical power with technique.
For the list of top 10 highest paid soccer players 2015-16, he is at number 9. His annual earning is around 21 million USD, of which he receives almost 19.2 million USD from salary and the other 3 million from endorsements.
Toure signed a new 4-year contract to stay at the Etihad Stadium until 2017, last April. He is the captain of Ivory Coast National team. Toure was selected for the African Player of the Year for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. So far, he has scored 53 goals for Manchester City.
Yaya Toure was third (just below his teammate) in the last BPL with 20 goals. And naturally his contract is loaded with much more incentives. Definitely his wages can reach sky high next year, especially if Manchester City performs well again.
8. Sergio Aguero – Man City
Sergio Leonel “Kun” Agüero Del Castillo known professionally as Sergio Agüero is an Argentine professional footballer. He also plays as a striker for Premier League club Manchester City and the Argentina national team. One of the forever legends, Diego Maradona’s Son in law, Aguero started with the European side Atletico Madrid in 2006.
Sergio Aguero is presently representing the 8th position of top 10 highest paid soccer players 2015-16. Recently (on 14th August 2014) he has signed a five year deal with the city for about 42.35 million Euros. And also the Sponsorship deals with companies like Puma, Pepsi and Gillette are facts about being 8th richest soccer player of 2015-16.
Definitely Sergio Aguero is one of them who helped City capture a second EPL title in the last three years. He scored 17 total goals this season, which is fourth most in league for the term.
7. Wayne Rooney – Manchester United
Wayne Mark Rooney is an English footballer who plays for both Manchester United and the England national team. Recently he was seen as captain for both the teams. Probably he is one of Most Gifted Footballers, England Ever Produced. Undoubtedly he can find his place in the all-time best striker list for England. At the age of only nine, he joined the Everton youth club and finally moved for the United in 2004 summer transfer window. So far, he has scored 192 goals in the English Premier League, which makes him the second most top scorer in EPL. He is currently the most decorated Barclays Premier League player.
And for the updated list of highest paid soccer players 2015-16, Wayne Rooney is the 7th highest paid soccer player in the world. He has a grand total of 23.4 Million USD annual earning. This also includes the 5 Million sponsorship deals.
The famous club rewarded 10-year veteran Rooney with a record 4-year contract extension, which worth up to $104 million.
The Red Devils along with Rooney have trudged through a downtrodden English Premier League season. But now with the new manager they are willing for a better prospect. And endorsements from Nike, Samsung and Harper Collins, still keeping the 28-year-old MANU forward in the list of top 10 highest paid soccer players 2015-16.
6. Neymar – Barcelona
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, commonly known as Neymar or Neymar Jr., is a Brazilian professional footballer. He plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Brazilian national team as a forward or winger. For the time being he is considered as one of the Most Rising Star in Football Arena.
Neymar started his career with the Brazilian club Santos in 2003. And after rising through ranks, now he is transferred to the Spanish club FC Barcelona last year.
Neymar was transferred with a record €57, which was 10th most expensive transfers in football history. Currently he is at number 6 in the list of top 10 highest paid soccer players 2015-16. Annually he earns almost 34 Million USD. Of which, 16 Million, he receives via sponsorship deals form Nike, Panasonic and Volkswagen.
Neymar announced on 27 May 2013 that he would sign with the FC Barcelona. On June 3rd, Neymar was unveiled by Barcelona and presented at the Nou Camp in front of 56,500 fans, which was a record turnout for a Brazilian player.
Probably Neymar is the only player on the list of highest paid soccer players 2015-16, whose endorsements outweighed the salary. The Brazilian superstar has already become a sensation for the Barcelona side. And above all, he is expected to represent Brazil for their sixth World Cup title.
5. Radamel Falcao – Chelsea
Radamel Falcao García Zárate, commonly known as Radamel Falcao, Falcao García or Falcao in South America, is a Colombian professional footballer. Only a few days ago he was transferred to Manchester United on loan from AS Monaco. He plays as a striker for both the club and the Colombian national team.
He had already travelled so many famous clubs like Lanceros, River Plate, Porto, Atletico Madrid, Monaco and now the big one Manchester United.
The 28 year old Star struck a 5 year deal that doubled his salary with AS Monaco, bankrolled by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev.
He also spent a very successful year with Atletico Madrid, where he scored 34 goals in one season. But Falcao justified the move to the club saying his heart had been with it since his idol Henry had played there. And magically, before that he was not even in the list of top 10 highest paid soccer players. Now he is enjoying the 5th position of highest paid soccer players 20115-16.
It is heard that Manchester United is very keen to keep the Colombian star with them, which means they are processing the deal for him. Let’s see what happens, Falcao of Monaco or Falcao of MANU??
Falcao is now playing for Chelsea on loan. He is not having a good form there as he scored only once in his nine games.
A serious knee injury derailed him from the season as well as the World Cup 2014, Brazil. But hopefully he will score again for the Red Devils this season.
4. Gareth Bale – Real Madrid
Gareth Frank Bale is a Welsh footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid. He also plays for the Wales national team as a winger. Gareth Bale began his professional career at Southampton as a left back. Very quickly he acclaimed his name as a free kick specialist.
The Spanish giant Real Madrid spent $118 million last September to sign the 24-year old Welshman from Tottenham Hotspur in the year 2013 after Neymar’s move to Barcelona.
Now Bale is at number 4 in the list of top 10 highest paid soccer players 2015-16. He earns around 36.4 Million USD per year, including 11 million via his deals with Adidas, EA Sports, Lucozade.
Bale began his professional career at Southampton. On 25 May 2007, Bale signed a four-year deal with Tottenham. And finally On 1 September 2013, Real Madrid announced that they had reached an agreement for the transfer of Gareth Bale. A six-year deal was signed with an undisclosed fee for the superstar.
Definitely the record breaking transfer to Real Madrid puts a lot of pressure on Bale. But we can say he had already proven himself worthy. His winning-wonder goal in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona solidified his place in Europe’s toughest and famous most league.
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – PSG
Zlatan Ibrahimović is a Swedish professional footballer. He plays as a striker for French club Paris Saint-Germain and the Swedish national team. Ibrahimovic is the present captain for Swedish national team. Most definitely he is one of the strongest footballer around the world.
He was the player of the year for PSG last year, in which he scored 30 goals one season. Ibra started his career with the Malmo FF in the late 90’s. Then he moved to Ajax and serially there after he played for Juventus, Internazionale, Bercelona, Milan and finally PSG.
Currently Imbrahimovic is the 3rd highest paid soccer player of the top 10 list of highest paid soccer players 2015-16. Annually he earns around 40.4 Million USD. Ibrahimovic is gaining 36.4 Million USD via salary and other 4 Million via commercial deals from sponsors.
Recently he is rewarded one year Extension in his two year contract with PSG.
Ibrahimovic is well known for his incredible goals and cockiness on the pitch. Undoubtedly he is responsible to bring back PSG amongst the top clubs in Europe with two consecutive French Ligue 1 titles.
2. Lionel Messi – Barcelona
Lionel Andrés “Leo” Messi Cuccittini, commonly known as Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team.
The Barcelona sensation had received Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations at the age of 21 only. He is definitely one of the greatest soccer players ever in this world. And still if we don’t accept him as the greatest, at least we can consider that he has certain possibilities with so many unbreakable records in his pocket.
Messi started his career with the Spanish giant club FC Barcelona and may be, he is all the through going to end up with them.
After remaining as runner up in 2013 Ballon d’Or award Messi is at number two in the list of top 10 highest paid soccer players 2015-16. He has a grand total earning of 64.1 Million USD per year. He receives 41.7 Million from salary. He also has some real big deals with sponsors like Adidas and Turkish Airline.
Recently Messi helped his team Argentina being runner up at the World Cup 2014, Brazil. He was also awarded with the player of the tournament which is commonly known as the golden ball. As always, he has never stopped surprising and undoubtedly he is ever sensational. Lionel Messi has achieved the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the 5th time in 2016.
The Argentine superstar has agreed to a new contract with the club. But he hasn’t signed yet. Most probably his wage is set to rise. Easily he can become no. 1 of highest paid soccer players next year.
Ronaldo became the most expensive player in the world when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009. He won the 2013 Ballon d’Or. And scored amazing 69 goals in only 59 matches for Real Madrid and Portugal.
Now a time, undoubtedly and most definitely Cristiano Ronaldo is at number one in the list of top 10 highest paid soccer players 2015-16.
He has a grand total earning of 80 Milliion per year. Of which, 52 Million he earns from salary and the other 28 Million from endorsements. Very recently Real Madrid has awarded Cristiano a 5-year contract worth $206 Million USD. Alongside he has some huge sponsorship contracts with Tag Heuer and underwear labeled CR7. He is at the same time most paid and most popular athlete in the world.
Cristiano Ronaldo started his career as a young player for Andorinha. He played there for two years. And moved to C.D. Nacional. In 1997 he moved to Portuguese giants Sporting CP. Finally in 2003, Ronaldo caught the attention of Manchester United manager sir Alex Ferguson. MANU signed him for 12.2 Million in 2004.
Ronaldo was the first player in England to win all four main PFA and FWA awards in 2007. In 2008 and 2013, he won the FIFA Ballon d’Or award as the best player in the world, the first Portuguese player to win the title twice. On 26th June 2009, Real Madrid confirmed his transfer from Manchester United for 80 Million, which made him the most expensive footballer in history.
This year the Madrid sensation racked up 31 goals and helped Real Madrid reach the Champions League final with his leadership and otherworldly scoring abilities. Ranking top in salary and endorsements, Ronaldo is by far the highest paid soccer player in the world.
Some of the best players in the football are preparing to take the pitch on the biggest stage in Brazil 2014 world cup. As the game is approaching rapidly, starting from 12 June, there will be a gathering of elite footballers throughout the world.
All football fans eye’s will be upon Spain, the last defending champion as well as Andres Iniesta, the playmaker for Spanish national team. As plenty of their top players returning Spanish squad is stronger than yesterday. After winning the world cup 2010 they went on to win Euro Championship in 2012 with a talented football squad. Will they repeat the history as champions once again?
Although the Spanish will have a great chance to repeat the history, the following players will certainly make the difference in 2014 FIFA World Cup. The Spaniards will have their work cut out for them.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo will perhaps be the brightest name in the 2014 FIFA World Cup starting from 12 June. He is such an international football superstar who is going to lead Portugal national team in 2014 FIFA World Cup. Although Ronaldo had fallen short with his team in the last two world cup appearances, winning FIFA Ballon d’or will make him special this time. C. Ronaldo has been playing at an elite level for his club Real Madrid. The portugese recently broke Lionel Messi’s record after scoring 15th goal in champions league. His 33 rd minute goal against Bayern Munich in the champions league semi final helped to put him in the history book. Real madrid won the game by 4-0 while 2 goals were from Cristiano. His team will face Atletico Madrid in the final on 30 April.
This session in La Liga the forward scored stunnishing 30 goals for Real Madrid, putting him three goals ahead of Lionel Messi. Probably, Ronaldo is at his best now and the 29 years is eagerly waiting for the moment to touch the 2014 FIFA World Cup thophy for his national team.
Lionel Messi, Argentina:
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo’s biggest rival is leading the Argentina National Team in 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the neigbouring country. Messi is regarded as a goal machine after netting over 350 goals for his club Barcelona and winning Champions League two times. The four times FIFA Ballon d’or winner, Lionel messi’s performance is not so promising in the national team. For Argentina he scored 37 goals in 83 appearances. But he is still the best player of the current world according to many. His Barcelona teammate Brazilian star Neymar said ,”
“I also agree that Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world, and I train every day with Messi. I know the way he plays and for me, he is the best of them all.”
As long as Messi is in form Argentina will be a threat for any team in 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Neymar Jr, Brazil:
Claiming Neymar is better than Messi, the Brazilian legend Pele has come to the focus. Ironically they are quite good competitors.
Neymar won 2011 South American footballer of the year at the age of 19 and followed it in 2012. Neymar got nomination for FIFA Ballon d’or and stood 10th. In his appearance in Santos ( 2009-2013) he netted 54 goals in 103 matches and there after he joined Barcelona. In his 25 presences he scored 9. The Guardian ranked him sixth best footballer of the world.
Putting the iconic no 10 jersey for the Brazil team he will be threating to keep 2014 FIFA World Cup in Home.
Luis Suarez, Uruguay:
Luis Suarez has been virtually unstoppable in the English Premier League this season by scoring 30 goals so far for Liverpool. He seems to improve with his every game. On 22 March,2014 he scored his sixth premier league hat-trick. For the national team he scored four goals in 2011 Copa America and Uruguay won their record fifteenth Copa America. Suarez was named man of the tournament. With 35 national goals Suarez became Uruguay’s all time record goal scorer.
Suarez is attempting to put dominance in the national team along with Diego Forlan in 2014 FIFA World Cup.
There are some other notable players that will likely turn heads in 2014 FIFA World Cup. Players like are Wayne Rooney (England), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Robin van Persie (Netherlands) and Radamel Falcao (Colombia) will be much influential along with the above four.
Brazil will chase their sixth world cup triumph on their home soil as 2014 FIFA world cup approaches. Brazil team has already announced their squad. Football star Neymar is leading from the front. Over the years Neymar has become the inspirational role model where he grew up.
Neymar in neighborhood:
Neymar’s face beams out from a huge poster advertising a house project near the Instituto Neymar Jr foundation in Santos. Neymar made up his name in Santos before Barcelona lured him away last year. In the area where he spent his childhood and which remains the home of his grandmother, children play football on the same turf where Neymar used to play as a 10 year old. The locals know him as ‘a simple, nice guy’.
Neymar and Santos:
Before Neymar heading off to Barcelona, he made his name in the Santos’ Vila Belmiro stadium. The stadium hosts a memorial to its former stars, including O Rei, the king himself, Pele, though Neymar has a trophy space of his own. Coordinator of Santos’ indoor football Jose Alexandre Cadozo said that Neymar is a kind of player who has always taken a great delight in playing football. It is the place where Neymar showed early promise before coming through the ranks to make the first team. Cadozo highly praised Neymar skills of football.
According to his early trainer Cardozo, 42, Neymar developed both feet with the same expertise and in addition he had the ability to take decisions in an instant to play at speed. Neymar showed his impressive technique in football from his early age.
Cardozo recalled himself when Neymar first came to train with Santos, he looked after him and ensured the prodigy had enough to eat. Neymar was hailing from a family of modest means.
Neymar was born in 1992 at Mogi das Cruzes near the business metropolis of Sao Paulo. His parents Neymar da Silva and Nadine Santos soon moved to Sao Vicente on the outskirts of Santos.
The neighbours in Sao Vicente witnessed Neymar playing football in the street. To them Neymar is still a simple and nice guy, though he is very famous figure now. Neymar hasn’t forgotten his home. He provides financial help to his family’s local Baptist church in Sao Vicente.
Pastor Nilton Lobato says,
“ he is very generous and a God fearing child.”
Neymar’s family home is now at Nautica 3 in a modest part of the town. It lies behind an enormous gate and is protected by closed circuit cameras.
Neymar building his dream:
Neymar built an institute named Instituto Neymar Jr in Praia Grande which will soon provide some 2500 children with activities including football coaching. The institute is a 4 million project and is running by Neymar’s parenteral uncle Jose Benicio da silva. Mentioning the lack of infrastructure and opportunity with poor education Da Silva said, “ My nephew wanted to do something for local people where he lived.”
The project was launched three years ago. Hopefully Neymar will be able to inaugurate it ahead of the world cup, said his uncle.
Neymar, an inspirational role model:
Neymar is a charmed character with a Mohawk hairstyle in the locals. Of 10 players taking part in an under 15 futsal match at Sao Vicente on a pitch belongs to local club Gremetal, no less than eight sport the Mohawk hair like Neymar hairstyle. He has become the model of inspiration among the young footballers. A 15 year old Anderson Silva said,
“ I want to be like him.”
See, how Neymar, an inspirational role model, is so influential in fulfilling their dream!
Neymar’s struggle with football and his story of life have become an example for these youngsters. He is skillful and quick and he has a great story with his life. Poverty couldn’t stand on his journey towards success. The Brazilian Neymar is putting a inspirational urge to the poor Brazilian footballers..
Lionel Messi is quite unstoppable. If you saw the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao, it was none but Leo who spun away from three athletic defenders surrounding him and then jinked three more challenges before slamming the ball into the net. If Juventus want to win the champions league title, they must have to stop him in Berlin. Stopping Leo wouldn’t be enough for Juventus, as they also have to keep eyes on Neymar and Suarez.
Before semi-final of Champions League, Bayern Munich coach and former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola mentioned that it was quite impossible to defend against Leo Messi. To deal with Messi, Guardiola organized the front three and packed men in the midfield by pressing high up the pitch. The changing move was widely criticized and someone called it even ‘suicidal’. It was a kind of gamble which has made a certain kind of sense in this regard.
Barcelona Vs Juventus match preview:
Guardiola is man of plan. He seems to have reasoned. He probably recalled how his Barca side struggled against Marcelo Bielsa’s Athletic. So, he made up his mind to pack the midfield and pressure the ball early with a hope perhaps his Bayern could cut off the supply to the front line.
Pep Guardiola’s plan didn’t work this time. He was forced to change the tactics after 15 minutes of the first leg in semi. It turned out that, Barcelona weren’t flustered at all by being pressed. Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic were delighted in sliding passes into the space behind Bayern’s defense line for Suarez, Messi and Neymar.
Bayern fell back deeper after that despite being able to control the ball possession. Guardiola’s side were beaten brutally by 3-0.
Juventus simply don’t have to concern about dominating the ball possession. Their only plan would be to drop deep in the field, pack men into midfield and look to make everything as congested in their defense as possible. Alvaro Morata and Carlos Tevez will be waiting for a counter attack as a front runner.
The ploy worked for Internazionale against Barcelona in 2010 Champions League semi-final and also for Chelsea against Barca at the same stage in 2012. But, since then Barcelona has evolved much and hopefully the plan wouldn’t be beneficial this time. Juventus striker Tevez will have a big role to play in the final.
The new Barcelona may not adapt the idea of Total Football which was implanted at the club by Johan Cruyff and Rinus Michels. But, Barcelona will certainly be less prone to being frustrated by the packed defences. Barca’s front three dribble are encouraged to devastate all kind of defenses with the “MSN” (Messi, Suarez, Neymar). Back in the 2011/12 season, Messi, Pedro and Alexis Sanchez completed an average of 4.1 dribbles per Champions League match. According to WhoScored.com, in this season of Champions league, Messi, Neymar and Suarez have completed an average of 12 dribbles per game.
When the opponent is masked a defensive cover, rather than pass their way into space, Barcelona always have the capacity to beat the defenders with a trick. Each member of Barca’s front three has the ability to take two or three defenders out of the game easily with a moment of individual brilliance. The front line of Barcelona is so high profiled that it makes them extremely hard to defend against in any situation of the game.
Juventus would likely to play with a diamond shaped midfield in the final match. Barcelona have two full-backs, Jordi Alba and Dani Alves, who will be independent in pushing on and overlapping whenever they feel like it. And here is the real problem. Juventus may find a way to stop Leo Messi, but it doesn’t mean they will be able to stop Barcelona.
It is very charming to watch Lionel Messi playing football at his own pace. You will forget other 10 men on the pitch while watching Leo in action. The Argentine captain is so mesmeric and marvelous. In the champions league final, there was a beautiful Leo Messi move, where he float forward, making an one-two exchange with Neymar and Suarez, before striking the ball an inch wide of the top left corner of the post. Juventus goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon was turning his head, with his heart in his mouth, in order to see the ball heading in or over.
Neymar and Suarez, the cunning forward were perfectly in sync with what Lionel Messi was trying to do. After Messi’s goal that won Barca La Liga, two other goals that won them Copa del Rey, everybody thought it will be none but Lionel Messi’s goal would make the difference in Barcelona vs Juventus UCL Final 2015 .
UCL 2015 Final: Barcelona vs Juventus
And of course Leo was the key in Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Juventus in the UCL 2015 Final. Lionel Messi was the prime catalyst for the Barca’s first goal by kicking a pinpoint-accurate ball from the deep to Jordi Alba’s feet on the left of the penalty area. Then Ivan Rakitic flashed his shot across Buffon and into the net. But it was Lionel Messi who started the move. Jordi Alba, Neymar and the brilliant Iniesta put their contribution to the ball, with the latter finally bursting into the penalty box at the perfect moment to square it for Ivan Rakitic.
Every players of Barcelona played their respective part to perfection in that game. With Neymar’s superbly timed pass for Iniesta and everyone’s contribution was just amazing. The goal was to be considered as a team-goal out of several perfect individual actions. All other 10 outfield players touched the ball in building up that goal.
Barcelona has become strongest with bundles of talented players. Barca goal keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has produced some matured display all through the Champions League as well as La Liga. Dani Alves. On other hand, has turned to be a big match boy, by putting consistently impressive displays, especially in big important games. And Gerard Pique has been quite outstanding for past few months, while Javier Mascherano has shut down his doubters both on the pitch and out of it.
Jordi Alba has proved to be wonderfully consistent in his playing, with his streak down the pitch to set up a goal for Neymar in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey win over Althletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon. Sergio Busquets has been showing supreme confidence throughout the season.
For Andres Iniesta, it has been a tough campaign as Barcelona’s approach seemed top-heavy before turning the year. However, it was Andres Iniesta who was awarded the man of the match in the Champions league final. As an assistant for Rakitic’s goal and two other mind blowing passes, and doing some extraordinary ball distribution, it was only Iniesta to be awarded the man of match.
Then, time for Xavi came, he entered replacing Iniesta when Barcelona was struggling to control the game despite 2-1 lead. When Iniesta left the pitch, putting the captain’s armband on Xavi, and telling him to go on and bring the cup him in his final match for the club, it was a memorable moment to see.
Xavi did his duty, winning his 25th trophy for Barcelona in 17-long season career. Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has used Xavi consistently as a substitute. The commander of the match came right at the moment when Barcelona looked to be pressurized. Xavi did exactly what a perfect captain would do in that situation of the game.
Ivan Rakitic was the first man to score in this vital game. Rakitic was actually the can-opener and it’s not the first time this season. He was the opening goal-scorer for Barcelona on five other occasions this season. When the attackers have been locked down, Ivan Rakitic is the man upon whom everyone can depend. But, that doesn’t happen frequently, when Messi, Suarez and Neymar are playing in one team. The MSN triad have scored an unbelievable 122 goals so far in all competitions this season, which has become a record for an attacking trident in Spanish football.
Barcelona emphasized the “team” nature for the victory in the UCL 2015 Final. The team was consisted of Claudio Bravo (the Zamora trophy winner), Jeremy Mathieu (first goal in the Clasico) and many more talents, enough to be the best among all European clubs.
After proving so hard to defeat all through the Champions League, the Barcelona players found it hard to take it all in. Having a 3-1 victory over Juventus in Berlin’s Olympiastadion, there had an air of disbelief about what they had achieved, which added an obvious joy and sense of vindication to the whole Barcelona team.
It is Andres Iniesta, whom you would think by now had seen it all. Literally, Iniesta had won it all. Iniesta began,
“Six years ago we thought that winning a treble again was unrepeatable. But, we did it this time and it makes your hair stand on end when you think back and see how much lucky you guys are to see winning everything. “
The new generation of Barcelona own the modern Champions League in the way their great rivals at Real Madrid owned the old European Cup. Barcelona have long been the benchmark for the European Championship and the reference point. Right now, they have again re-asserted that status. This is not just their second treble in the space of six years, as Andres Iniesta mentioned, but also their fourth Champions League in nine seasons.
That consistency is unmatched since the European Cup was rebranded and restructured in 1992. Actually, it is the longest spells of continuous success for Barcelona in its 60 years of existence. There are hardly any that can match that level of success.
This is certainly something hard to achieve. The chronological evolution and extreme success of this bunch of players was only emphasized by the order in which they emerged from the dressing room, after almost two hours of joyful celebration.
Ivan Rakitic was the first man coming out, who also scored the first goal in that final and so energetically introduced fresh impetus and proper direction to his team throughout the season. The Croatian has sped things up by releasing the rampage of attack more frequently. Rakitic shared his first Champions League medal with his young daughter, while both Luis Suarez and Neymar clearly wanted to share their first successes in the Champions league with their children too.
Next, the three-time champion Dani Alves came out with joyful bopping of his body along with the sound of music, which was coming from a set of speakers he was carrying. The joy was a reflection of his great success who had rediscovered his mojo this season along with many other players.
Then, the magnificent Leo Messi came to the arena carrying his son in one arm. He then switched his boy to other in order to shake the hand of Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri, whom he had spotted chatted to Italian media. Messi had shown a great sportsmanship to go with his place at the apex of the sporting world.
The Champions league trophy was then carried out by no other than one man, the captain Xavi. He held one arm of the prized piece of hardware, while the other arm was held by his long-time midfield partner Sergio Busquets. The other one of that fantastic central midfield trio Andres Iniesta said,
“The picture of Xavi leaving with the Champions League trophy in his arm is the most beautiful one for a footballer like him.”
There is one person who was assuredly striding out at the back of it all and he is Gerard Pique. He mentioned how Barcelona had “suffered” in the final when it went on to 1-1 following Morata’s goal. But Pique felt that the Morata score only brought out the spirit to the team that has sparked a treble season. The Barcelona team have rediscovered the motivation with so many talents, is the most remarkable aspect of all, especially from a historical point of view. All
Assuredly striding out at the back of it all, as ever and as he had done in this final, was Gerard Pique. He talked about how the team had “suffered” in the final, using some choice language about when it went to 1-1 following Alvaro Morata’s goal, but felt that the Morata score only brought out the spirit and defiance that has sparked a treble season. All three trophies of Barcelona’s treble are on the top of the display during their double-decker bus parade in Barcelona. It was quite a picture to capture and the Barca fans will remember it for long time.
While Real Madrid won five European Cups between 1955 and 1966, there were four key players who were involved in the first to last season with the team. Then came Liverpool, winning four titles between 1977-1984, having only one such player. In Milan’s triple between 1989-1994, there were six players with that potential. And with Barcelona, the number is seven.