Why is Neymar not facing Real Madrid tonight? Paris Saint-Germain forward’s Champions League ban reduced but he’ll miss huge clash

17 Sep

Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar has had his three-match Champions League ban reduced to two games, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has ruled.

The 27-year-old was punished for insulting match officials over social media comments made in the wake of his side’s controversial 3-1 home defeat by Manchester United in March which denied them a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Neymar will now miss only two Champions League matches rather than three
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PSG challenged the decision and, after UEFA had initially dismissed the claim, the Ligue 1 champions appealed to CAS – who ruled on Tuesday that the Brazil international will now serve a two-match ban.

It means he will sit out Wednesday’s Group A opener at home to summer suitors Real Madrid, as well as the trip to Galatasaray on October 1, but will now be available for their third game away to Club Brugge.

“The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rendered its final decision in the appeal filed by the French club Paris St Germain and the player Neymar Da Silva Santos Jr. against the decision taken by the UEFA Appeals Body on 18 June 2019,” a CAS statement read.

“The player was found to have insulted match officials through social media at the end of the Champions League match Paris St Germain vs Manchester United on 6 March 2019 and sanctioned with a three-match suspension from UEFA competition matches for which he would otherwise be eligible.

“Following an appeal filed on 18 July 2019 by both Paris St Germain and the player, this CAS procedure was referred to a sole arbitrator, Prof. Ulrich Haas (Germany). A hearing was held at the CAS headquarters on 13 September 2019, during which the parties and their legal representatives were heard.

“In application of Art. 15 (1) lit. b of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations which provides for a minimum suspension of two matches in case of “abusive language” directed at a match official, the sole arbitrator partially upheld the appeal and reduced the suspension imposed by UEFA on Neymar Jr. to two (2) UEFA competition matches for which he would otherwise be eligible.”


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Neymar was injured for the game at the Parc des Princes as Marcus Rashford’s controversial late penalty, awarded via the use of the video assistant referee, saw the Red Devils overturn a 2-0 home defeat to advance on away goals.

He later wrote on social media: “This is a disgrace, they put four people that know nothing about football in charge of looking at the replay for VAR.”

The former Barcelona forward was heavily linked with a summer move back to Spain and was jeered by PSG supporters on his return to the team for Saturday’s 1-0 win over Strasbourg.

Neymar appears to have garnered so much ill-feelings among the club’s fanbase that he was also booed when converting a stoppage-time overhead kick to win the game for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Neymar nets incredible stoppage-time overhead kick to earn PSG win and silence hostile crowd

14 Sep

Neymar issued the perfect response to his critics after netting an incredible stoppage-time bicycle kick to earn PSG a 1-0 win over Strasbourg.

The Brazilian has been sidelined with injuries so far this season – but was booed by the PSG supporters due to his efforts to force a move away from the Parc des Princes in the summer.

Neymar scored a sensational goal to silence his critics
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Neymar was close to making a return to Barcelona but a deal was unable to be reached between all the parties.

And after making his playing return during the international break, the forward was picked to start, which didn’t go down well with Ultras in the crowd.

The Parc des Princes faithful unveiled a banner that read “Neymar Sr, go sell your son in Vila Mimosa”.

Mimosa is a part of Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro most famous for it’s prostitution district.

But, Neymar did not let the jeers get him down, netting an overhead kick late on to hand PSG a 1-0 win as Mauro Icardi and Ander Herrera made their Ligue 1 debuts.

Prior to the match, PSG boss Thomas Tuchel said the flamboyant winger would have to accept the hostile atmosphere from the crowd.

In his pre-game press conference, the German coach said: “Now that the transfer window is closed it’s not a distraction anymore.

“Life is not too hard for him, living and playing in Paris.

“I can’t control how the fans will react. But the more you talk about something the more it becomes a big thing.”

Premier League’s most valuable XI includes Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham stars… but how does it compare to LaLiga and Bundesliga teams?

12 Sep

Earlier this week it was revealed that Manchester City have become the first club in football history to build a squad worth over a staggering €1billion.

Pep Guardiola’s side is one of the strongest in the world, with a host of sensational attacking players like Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling backed up by a stronge backline that boasts players such as Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte and Ederson.

Raheem Sterling is now worth more than double the £49million Man City spent on him four years ago
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But how many City stars make it into the most valuable XI of current Premier League players?

talkSPORT have dug through transfermarkt.co.uk’s valuation data to create the most pricey XI for the Premier League – and we decided to have a look at Europe’s four other top leagues as well.

Find out below which division can claim to have the most valuable XI…

Premier League most valuable XI – total market value = £1.04billion

Allison (Liverpool) – £72m

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) – £72m

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) – £81m

Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City) – £67.5m

Andy Robertson (Liverpool) – £54m

N’Golo Kante (Chelsea) – £90m

Paul Pogba (Manchester United) – £90m

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – £135m

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – £117m

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) – £126m

Harry Kane (Tottenham) – £135m

There are no real surprises in the Premier League’s most valuable XI, possibly with the exception of there being more Liverpool players (4) than those from Manchester City (3).

Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah are valued the highest out of all Premier League players, both at £135m.

LaLiga most valuable XI – total market value = £934.9million

Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) – £90m

Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid) – £45m

Jose Gimenez (Atletico Madrid) – £63m

Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) – £63m

Jordi Alba (Barcelona) – £45m

Saul (Atletico Madrid) – £81m

Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona) – £76.5m

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – £135m

Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid) – £90m

Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) – £135m

Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona) – £117m

Once again, it is no real surprise to see Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid dominating, with no player from outside Spain’s big three making it into the most valuable XI.

Lionel Messi and new Real Madrid signing Eden Hazard are the most expensive players in the squad, both valued, like Salah and Kane in the Premier League, at £135m.

Serie A most valuable XI – total market value = £644.3million

Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan) – £49.5m

Alessandro Florenzi (Roma) – £22.5m

Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli) – £67.5m

Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus) – £67.5

Alex Sandro (Juventus) – £40.5m

Miralem Pjanic (Juventus) – £63m

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio) – £58.5m

Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina) – £54m

Paulo Dybala (Juventus) – £76.5m

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) – £81m

Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan) – £67.5m

Five Juventus players feature in the most valuable XI for Italy’s Serie A, including Cristiano Ronaldo.

Despite the inclusion of the Portuguese forward, the Serie A XI has a relatively low overall value and does not feature a single player worth more than £100m.

Bundesliga most valuable XI – total market value = £624.8million

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich) – £16.2m

Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich) – £63m

Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich) – £54m

Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich) – £63m

David Alaba (Bayern Munich) – £49m

Thiago (Bayern Munich) – £63m

Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich) – £45m

Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) – £90m

Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen) – £81m

Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund) – £45m

Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) – £58.5m

England wonderkid Jadon Sancho is the most valuable player in the Bundesliga XI, with the teenager already worth £90m.

He is one of only four players in the XI not contracted to Bayern Munich, along with his Borussia Dortmund team-mate Julian Brandt.

Ligue 1 most valuable XI – total market value = £677.5million

Anthony Lopes (Lyon) – £22.5m

Thomas Meunier (PSG) – £27m

Marquinhos (PSG) – £58.5m

Thilo Kehrer (PSG) – £31.5m

Layvin Kurzawa (PSG) £15.75m

Marco Verratti (PSG) £67.5m

Houssem Auoar (Lyon) £40.5m

Florian Thauvin (Marseille) – £40.5m

Pablo Sarabia (PSG) – £36m

Neymar (PSG) – £162m

Kylian Mbappe (PSG) – £180m

Perhaps the only surprise is to see that PSG have only eight players in this most expensive XI – rather than eleven!

Kylian Mbappe and Neymar both feature, being valued at £180m and £162m respectively. They are the two most valuable players in the world right now, according to transfermarkt.

Paul Pogba ‘agreed’ to leave Manchester United for PSG in stunning summer transfer… but move failed because of Neymar saga

12 Sep

Paul Pogba allegedly agreed to a transfer which would have seen him leave Manchester United and sign for Paris Saint-Germain during the summer.

But the move eventually did not happen – because of Neymar.

According to stunning reports in Italy, Pogba, the France midfielder, agreed a huge £429,000-a-week contract with the Ligue 1 champions just days before the transfer window closed.

Pogba was reportedly close to joining PSG this summer
Getty Images - Getty

Pogba was strongly linked with an Old Trafford exit all summer long, having admitted he was ready for ‘a new challenge’ after a tough season with the Red Devils.

Real Madrid and his former club Juventus were said to be front-runners to sign him, but the World Cup winner ultimately remained in the Premier League as Manchester United chiefs stood firm.

However, Italy outlet Calciomercato claim the club had agreed to let their star asset go back to his homeland in the summer in a stunning agreement with PSG.

But the report says the deal didn’t go through as Neymar didn’t complete his purported return to Barcelona.

Pogba’s switch is said to have hinged on the Brazilian’s possible exit.

Neymar allegedly wanted to leave Paris to secure a return to former club Barcelona
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But he ended up staying in Paris as the LaLiga champions couldn’t match PSG’s eye-watering £273million valuation.

The Pogba saga appears far from over, however.

A move in January could still be on the cards, with Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos recently opening the door for his move to the Bernabeu.

Tottenham Hotspur star Davinson Sanchez sends Neymar crashing into advertising hoardings during Brazil friendly

7 Sep

Davinson Sanchez made sure to let his presence known against Neymar on Friday night, by leaving the forward crumpled in a heap on the ground.

The Tottenham Hotspur defender, who is currently on international duty with Colombia, sent the Brazil forward crashing into the advertising boards behind the goal with a robust challenge.

Davinson Sanchez sent Neymar flying on Friday night

With the scores level at 2-2, Sanchez appeared to kick out at Neymar before pushing an elbow into the 27-year-old’s back.

Such was the force of the tackle, the former Santos man was then unable to stop his momentum from taking him head over heels and landing straight into the billboards behind the goal.

The incensed Brazilian players rushed to surround the referee in protest at the brevity of Sanchez’s tackle.

But the former Ajax defender looked bemused at the accusations, despite Neymar lying on the turf in some distress.

Neymar crashed into the ad boards behind the goal
The Spurs defender made absolutely no attempt to play the ball, despite being in the box

Brazil took the lead in the 20th minute when Casemiro headed home a corner from Neymar, who was making his return to the national side after missing their victorious Copa America campaign.

Luis Muriel equalised from the penalty spot six minutes later after Alec Sandro was penalised for a clumsy challenge, and he gave Colombia the lead 11 minutes before half time when he rifled high into the net from 10 meters out to finish off a superb team move.

Brazil improved in the second half and Neymar got them level after 58 minutes when he tapped in from close range after Philippe Coutinho had split the Colombian defence with a long pass.

Why Neymar’s proposed summer transfer from Paris Saint-Germain to Barcelona failed to materialise

3 Sep

Barcelona were determined to re-sign Neymar over the summer but Ousmane Dembele’s refusal to leave Camp Nou allegedly ended any chances of a transfer going through.

Neymar, 27, was desperate to return to Barca after becoming increasingly unsettled with life at Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar failed to seal a return to Barcelona before Monday’s European transfer deadline
Getty Images - Getty

The Independent claim the LaLiga giants worked hard to broker a deal to bring the Brazilian superstar back to Spain, but neither them nor Real Madrid had the necessary funds to match PSG’s £200million asking price.

Therefore, any transfer was dependent on players going in the opposite direction as part of a player-plus-cash deal, with three Barca stars lined up for moves to the French capital.

The Catalan giants, who also needed to reduce their wage bill to facilitate a move for Neymar, were prepared to let Ivan Rakitic and Jean-Clair Todibo leave the club as both agreed to move to Paris.

However, the third player, Ousmane Dembele, had no intention of leaving Barcelona.

The France international’s representatives made any deal all but impossible by setting extortionate financial terms, which both clubs were unwilling to meet.

Ousmane Dembele’s refusal to leave Barcelona proved the critical stumbling block in any move
Getty Images - Getty

Neymar now faces another year with PSG, who completed two signings on deadline day of the European transfer window.

Goalkeeper Keylor Navas was brought in from Real Madrid, while Mauro Icardi, the Inter forward, signed on a season-long loan deal with a £59m option to buy.

What happened on transfer deadline day around Europe? Mauro Icardi, Bobby Duncan, Ryan Kent and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all move clubs

3 Sep

On a busy transfer deadline day, Henrikh Mkhitaryan joined Roma on loan, while Liverpool sold youth team striker Bobby Duncan to Fiorentina.

Mkhitaryan made 59 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal, scoring nine goals.

It is understood the Italian club will pay all of his £180,000-a-week wages and have an obligation to sign him on a permanent deal next summer, which is thought to be triggered by him playing 25 matches.

Fiorentina have reportedly paid £1.7million up front for Duncan, scorer of 32 goals for the under-18s in his first season since arriving from Manchester City in 2018 and there is also a 20 per cent sell-on fee for the player.

Matteo Darmian, meanwhile, is the fourth player to leave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United side for Serie A this summer, with Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez having joined Inter before Chris Smalling made his loan switch to Roma last week.

The full-back has returned to Italy to join Parma and the deal is also believed to include a sell-on clause, with the Italy international signing a deal until 2023 at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.

Darmian joined United in 2015 from Torino in a reported £12.7million deal and went on to represent the club 92 times in all competitions.

Solskjaer confirmed on Friday a move was on the cards for the full-back and later reiterated Paul Pogba would not be leaving for Real Madrid or anywhere else before the European deadline.

Notable transfers

Mauricio Pochettino can relax now, the transfer window is closed until January

Mauro Icardi: Inter to PSG (season-long loan)

Yannick Bolasie: Everton to Sporting (season-long loan)

Henrikh Mkhitaryan: Arsenal to Roma (season-long loan)

Bobby Duncan: Liverpool to Fiorentina (£1.7m)

Javier Hernandez: West Ham to Sevilla (£7.3m)

Ryan Kent: Liverpool to Rangers (£7m)

Radamel Falcao: Monaco to Galatasaray (loan)

Keylor Navas: Real Madrid to PSG (£13.6m)

Asmir Begovic: Bournemouth to Qarabag (season-long loan)

Fernando Llorente: Napoli (free – had been released by Tottenham)

Matteo Darmian: Man United to Parma (£3.6m)

Javier Hernandez stunned Sevilla sporting director Monchi by taking a pay cut to leave West Ham, Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has moved to Azerbaijan outfit Qarabag on loan and former Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente has joined Serie A side Napoli.

Llorente had been without a club since he left Spurs at the end of his contract in June, while Spurs also sold 20-year-old Marcus Edwards to Portuguese club Vitoria.

Chelsea winger Kenedy has completed a season-long loan move to Spanish club Getafe.

The Brazilian, who is in the final year of his contract, spent the last 18 months on loan at Newcastle, where he scored three goals in 41 appearances.

Despite featuring in Chelsea’s pre-season preparations, Kenedy has failed to break into Frank Lampard’s first-team squad for the Premier League campaign.

Since joining the Blues from Fluminense in 2015, Kenedy has made 27 appearances and was an unused substitute in the first two league games of this season.

Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina has joined Galatasaray on a season-long loan.

Galatasaray fans seem happy Falcao has joined their club
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Celtic have signed teenage defender Jeremie Frimpong from Manchester City, with the 18-year-old right-back has agreeing a four-year contract with the Scottish champions.

Striker Stefano Okaka has joined Udinese from Watford on a permanent deal and Yannick Bolasie has joined Sporting from Everton on loan, having been at Goodison since 2016.

French side PSG snapped up Mauro Icardi from Inter on loan and landed Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas, while in Istanbul, Galatasaray fans lit flares to await the arrival of Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco.

Nice vs Marseille in Ligue 1 stopped by referee due to homophobic banners in stands

29 Aug

Wednesday’s Ligue 1 match between Nice and Marseille was stopped for 10 minutes due to the referee seeing homophobic banners in the stands.

Clement Turpin halted the game 25 minutes in when a sign was held up in the Nice end, which resulted in the Marseille players walking off the Allianz Riviera pitch.

The banners could be seen in the Nice end of the stadium
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According to The Sun, one banner made reference to Ineos, the petrochemicals company founded by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who completed his takeover of Nice earlier this week.

A sign also used the word ‘pedale’, which translates to ‘pedal’ and is allegedly a derogatory term for a gay person.

Turpin was praised for his decision to stop the match.

Marlene Schiappa, France’s gender equality minister, wrote on social media: “Congratulations to referee Clement Turpin, whose commitment to respect for football is known to have interrupted the match #OGCNOM #NiceOM, despite the fact that, despite several withdrawal requests, a homophobic banner dirtied the stands.

“Football is a matter of passion not hate.”

Andre Villas-Boas took charge of Marseille earlier this year
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The match eventually restarted with Marseille going on to claim their first victory of the season, with Dimitri Payet scoring the winner from the penalty spot after Wylan Cyprien had earlier cancelled out Dario Benedetto’s opener.

Nice’s defeat was their first of the campaign and prevented them moving joint-top of the embryonic table.

‘Alex From Glasto’ who sang Thiago Silva song with Dave has Paris Saint-Germain shirt signed by the footballer

28 Aug

They say never meet your heroes but Thiago Silva finally got the chance to when ‘Alex from Glastonbury’ travelled to France.

The teenager, whose real name is Alex Mann, became a Glasto legend for his performance at the festival in June.

Instagram @PSG
Thiago Silva watches Alex sing Thiago Silva at Glastonbury[/caption]

Instagram @PSG
The real Thiago Silva then signed a message for his hero on a PSG shirt with his name and number[/caption]

Instagram @PSG
Who wore it better?[/caption]

Joining rapper Dave on stage, Alex took on the role of AJ Tracey effortlessly rapping every word to the song ‘Thiago Silva’ in honour of the Paris Saint-Germain defender.

Coincidentally, he was wearing a PSG shirt with the name and number of Silva across the back and the video has already been viewed more than 23 million times.

Of course the man himself tweeted his appreciation, with Silva thanking Alex and adding two hand clapping emojis and asking followers to help him find the aspiring rapper.

Now two months on, the pair finally met, with Alex travelling to Paris’ Parc des Princes where he got his shirt signed by the skipper.

Alex tweeted an image of the moment, along with the caption: ‘Well that was an experience’ and it has been liked more than 18,000 times.

The Chelsea fan also joked he has still not forgiven Silva and his PSG team-mates for dumping the Blues out of the Champions League in 2016.

Kylian Mbappe injury: Why is PSG superstar out of Champions League clash against Real Madrid?

26 Aug

Kylian Mbappe will miss Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League showdown with Real Madrid tonight as he continues to recover from a tear in his thigh.

The France forward was one of THREE players who left the field in agony in last month’s 4-0 win over Toulouse which has left Thomas Tuchel in the midst of an injury crisis.

Kylian Mbappe underwent tests at a Paris hospital, to determine he has a tear in his thigh
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According to Le Parisien, the 20-year-old will miss a month after undergoing tests at a hospital in the French capital.

It means the forward will miss PSG’s Champions League group stage opener against Real this evening.

The 20-year-old left the pitch in some discomfort
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Neymar is suspended tonight after insulting match officials last season while Cavani is also out injured and loan signing Mauro Icardi is lacking match fitness.

Real also have issues to contend with as Marcelo, Luka Modric, Isco and Marco Asensio are injured and Nacho and Sergio Ramos are suspended.

The blockbuster European tie will be live on talkSPORT 2.