Is Raheem Sterling on Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s level? Man City star’s stats compared to world’s best players

13 Sep

Former England international Trevor Sinclair believes Manchester City ace Raheem Sterling is on a par with Barcelona and Juventus superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Sinclair joined talkSPORT earlier this week to heap praise on the forward after he scored twice for England over the recent international break, saying he is an invaluable part of Pep Guardiola’s Man City squad,

Sterling netted in both of England’s recent wins, against Bulgaria and Kosovo
Getty Images - Getty

“Raheem Sterling is right at the top of the tree,” said Sinclair. “If he’s not worth £200million now, I’d be surprised.

“He’s the best player playing for England and he’s the first player on the team sheet for Pep Guardiola.

“The big question now is where do you put him with the likes of Messi and Ronaldo? I would put him right amongst them. He’s there now.”

But does Sterling deserve to be rated alongside the two legends of the game, who for over a decade have played at an elite level perhaps never seen before in the world of football?

The England forward has been in sensational form for Man City over the past few years, coinciding with Guardiola’s arrival at the Etihad.

Since the start of the 2016/17 season, when Guardiola was appointed City manager, Sterling has scored 64 goals in all competitions, adding a further 55 assists. This means Sterling is providing a direct goal contribution ever 1.25 matches – a stunning ratio for a player who was criticised in his early career for supposedly lacking an end product.

While Sterling is a fantastic player, Sinclair’s bold claim was that he is up there with Ronaldo and Messi, two of the world’s best players.

Last season, Messi scored 36 goals and assisted a further 13 in 34 LaLiga games. The Argentine managed a remarkable 1.44 goal contributions per game during this campaign, leaving Sterling’s excellent 0.79 contributions per game paling in comparison. In all competitions, Messi scored 51 goals, in 50 appearances.

Lionel Messi has scored 603 goals for Barcelona throughout his storied career
AFP OR LICENSORS

On the other hand, Ronaldo had a fairly poor debut season with Juventus compared to his usual elite standards.

Nonetheless, his numbers are still better than most other players, scoring 21 times and adding eight assists in 31 Serie A games. He also netted another seven times in cup competitions.

Ronaldo’s 0.94 goal contributions per game means he also, like Messi, fared better than Sterling last term apropos his impact in the final third.

Not too shabby from a bloke who turns 35 later this season.

Sterling vs Ronaldo and Messi since start of 2018/19 season

Raheem Sterling – 56 appearances, 31 goals (in all competitions)

Lionel Messi – 50 appearances, 51 goals

Cristiano Ronaldo – 45 appearances, 29 goals

Cristiano Ronaldo is currently in his second season with Serie A side Juventus following his big money move from Real Madrid
Getty Images - Getty

Turning back the clock to evaluate a 24-year-old Ronaldo also makes for stunning reading, as he is so far ahead of Sterling, who enjoyed his 24th birthday last December.

During the 2009/10 season, the Portugal winger scored a staggering 33 goals in 35 games for Real Madrid, also registering 12 assists for a remarkable 1.29 goal contributions per game.

All things considered, Ronaldo and Messi are not only two of the best players in the world right now, but also two of the greatest players to ever step onto a football pitch.

To claim Sterling is not at their elite level is not a knock on the Englishman, but just further proof that Messi and Ronaldo are once in a generation talents.

Sterling is undeniably a supremely talented player, and his five goals in four games so far this season prove he is set for another impressive campaign.

He will be hoping his goals lead City to their third consecutive Premier League title, to further fill his trophy cabinet and stake a serious claim for future Ballon d’Or success.

However, Sinclair may have been looking through slightly rose-tinted glasses when placing Sterling on the same level as two of the greatest to ever play the game.

Sterling, Ronaldo and Messi's careers so far

Raheem Sterling

Age: 24

Club appearances: 325

Club goals: 98

International appearances (England): 53

International goals: 10

Lionel Messi

Age: 32

Club appearances: 687

Club goals: 603

International appearances: 136

International goals (Argentina): 68

Cristiano Ronaldo

Age: 34

Club appearances: 808

Club goals: 602

International appearances: 160

International goals (Portugal): 93

Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti stunned with San Paolo renovations unfinished days before Liverpool Champions League clash

12 Sep

Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti has slammed the local council over their failure to complete renovation work at the Stadio San Paolo on time.

The Serie A club have had to play each of their first two games this season away from home as work on their stadium is still not complete, despite initial estimates suggesting it would be finished during the summer.

Ancelotti has raged at the poor conditions of the San Paolo
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The San Paolo dressing rooms remain a building site
Twitter @sscnapoli

Napoli are set to host Sampdoria in the Serie A and Liverpool in the Champions League on Saturday and Tuesday respectively, and Ancelotti is worried over where his players will change as the work on their dressing room is somehow still not finished.

Social media footage showed the shocking state of the stadium
Twitter @sscnapoli

Napoli shared the below video on Twitter, showing just how far the dressing room is from completion.

The seasoned manager shared his unhappiness at the state of the changing rooms in a statement on the club’s website

“You can build a house in two months, but they weren’t capable of renovating the dressing rooms,” said Ancelotti.

“I have seen the state of the dressing rooms at the San Paolo. There are no words. I accepted the club’s request to play the first two games away from home to allow the work to be finished, as was promised.

The dressing rooms remain far from finished
Twitter @sscnapoli
Napoli are expected to be handed the dressing rooms back on Friday
Twitter @sscnapoli

“Where are we supposed to get changed for the games against Sampdoria and Liverpool? I’m shocked at the incompetence of the people in charge of the work.

“How could the region, municipality and commissioners fail to respect the commitments that were made? It smacks of disregard and a lack of a bond with the city’s team. I’m dismayed.”

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
Getty Images

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.

Tottenham transfer news: Spurs ‘open to swapping’ Christian Eriksen for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala in January

12 Sep

Tottenham could allow Christian Eriksen to join Juventus in January as part of a stunning swap deal for Paulo Dybala.

According to reports in Italy, Dybala could end up moving to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after all when the transfer window re-opens, having been strongly linked with Spurs over the summer.

Dybala does not want to move to Manchester United, according to reports
Getty Images - Getty

The north London club were one of the sides linked with a move for Dybala, with Premier League rivals Manchester United also keen, but the Argentine ace ultimately stayed in Turin.

However, it appears his days at Juve are numbered as he has only played 14 minutes of football under new manager Maurizio Sarri this season.

And Tuttosport claim Tottenham could offer Eriksen to the Serie A champions in exchange for the forward.

Eriksen was also heavily linked with leaving Spurs over the summer but, after a nervous wait for manager Mauricio Pochettino, he stayed put.

However, the Danish playmaker’s current contract expires at the end of the season and he is unlikely to sign an extension, having admitted he is keen for a new challenge.

It means the Champions League finalists could lose their star man for nothing next summer, and he could even agree a pre-contract deal with another club as soon as January, with Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus all waiting in the wings.

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Spurs are said to be resigned to Eriksen’s exit, but are willing to let him join Juventus as long as Dybala comes the other way as his direct replacement.

Eriksen has been one of the Premier League’s most prolific goal creators since joining Tottenham from Ajax in 2013 for just £11million.

He has made a total of 281 appearances for Spurs, scoring 67 goals and providing 86 assists.

Losing Eriksen will be a huge blow for Tottenham
AFP or licensors

Dybala would be a decent replacement for the Dane. The 25-year-old was Juventus’ main man until the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo which shifted him out the starting XI.

That had an effect on his goal output last season, scoring just ten and assisting five, but his numbers before Ronaldo make for impressive reading – 26 goals and seven assists in the 2017/18 campaign, 19 goals and nine assists in 16/17 and 23 goals and nine assists in 15/16.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan reveals he fell out of love with football while at Arsenal and Manchester United

11 Sep

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has opened up on his Premier League nightmare, revealing he no longer enjoyed football at Arsenal.

The former Manchester United playmaker recently joined Roma on loan from the Gunners, but a return to the Emirates looks unlikely in light of his recent comments.

Mkhitaryan starred in Germany but failed to replicate his Borussia Dortmund form in the Premier League
Getty Images - Getty

Mkhitaryan was part of the swap deal which saw Alexis Sanchez join the Red Devils in January 2018, a move which has proved disastrous on both sides.

The Armenian failed to meet expectation at both English clubs, and now he admits his struggles made him fall out of love with football.

“Now I am in Rome and I focus on them,” he said. “This is not a step backwards as great football is played here. I wanted to change scenery and for me it is an opportunity to be seized.

“I have to enjoy playing football, no matter the place. In England, I no longer felt this pleasure.

“The messages after the two national matches made me happy, but now I have to concentrate on Rome.”

Mkhitaryan brushed off any concerns about his troubles continuing in Italy, insisting his recent woes will help him cope with the pressure of joining a new club.

He added: “I will never give up and I will fight to the end. I’m not afraid of pressure, I’m used to it having already played with great teams.

“I know that the slightest mistake is criticised while a good performance is exalted. If you agree to play football you must be ready to face criticism.

“Serie A is a great opportunity, I accepted immediately with enthusiasm. We didn’t even talk about money.”

Inter Milan release incredible retro Nike third kit inspired by Ronaldo with Futura logo and fans absolutely love it

10 Sep

Inter Milan have released their new third strip for the 2019/20 season and the kit is a sure fire winner with fans.

The retro Nike design is predominantly black, with striking yellow features, with the iconic Pirelli logo made to look even more eye-catching.

The new shirt pulls together elements of the iconic looks from two seasons in which the Nerazzurri were one of the best sides in Europe: 1997-98 and 2009-10.

The new Inter Milan third kit is a thing of beauty
Nike

Ronaldo (known as ‘El Fenomeno‘) was one of the best in the world when he was at the San Siro and the influence from the 1997/98 kit is evident with the return of the silhouette.

The shirt is accented with a bright yellow trim and detailing and a clean crew-neck collar, the same style the Nerazzurri donned in ’09-10 when the team won an unprecedented treble.

“Black and yellow is always a winning combination, and Inter’s third kit looks especially dynamic,” says Pete Hoppins, Nike Football Apparel Senior Design Director.

“We’ve taken inspiration from two special older kits, kept things on trend with the ’90s themes we are seeing in streetwear at the moment and the result is something that we hope will appeal to all fans.”

Fans would be forgiven for wearing the shirt after the final whistle blows
Nike
Nike have released a series of stunning retro third kits this season
Nike

It comes after Nike also released a mint green away kit for the Italian giants and follows in their latest edition of retro third kits.

The Chelsea alternate strip for this season also features the retro ‘Futura’ logo and is black with a vibrant orange trim.

How Manchester United star Marcus Rashford compares to Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane at the age of 22

10 Sep

Marcus Rashford burst onto the scene at Manchester United in 2016 as a fresh-faced teenager and tore through some of the best defences on the continent.

Arsenal and Manchester City found out the hard way just how talented the striker was, with former England boss Roy Hodgson taking the raw talent to Euro 2016.

Marcus Rashford missed a crucial penalty against Crystal Palace
Getty Images - Getty

Given the responsibility placed upon his young shoulders, Rashford has continued to develop his game and has the ability to play either on the wing or up front.

However, as the responsibility grew, so did the pressure.

Questions about Rashford’s consistency and his decision-making began to be asked, with fans slowly but surely losing patience.

However, when compared with some of the world’s best strikers, it seems as though the criticisms are unfair.

While it is evident the 21-year-old has a penchant for the spectacular, he still has displayed a ruthless side in front of goal which means he has more goals than Raheem Sterling had before reaching the age of 22.

In fact, he is level with Cristiano Ronaldo as well, although some way behind the likes of Harry Kane and Lionel Messi.

Former teammate Romelu Lukaku, whose departure to Inter Milan perhaps placed more pressure on Rashford’s young shoulders, has almost double the number of goals.

The forward does not turn 22 until Halloween of this year, so still has time to catch up with England colleague Kane and current teammate Anthony Martial.

The England international scored a brace against Chelsea on the opening day of the season
AFP or licensors

CLUB GOALS BEFORE THE AGE OF 22

  • Romelu Lukaku – 93
  • Wayne Rooney – 81
  • Lionel Messi – 80
  • Harry Kane – 52
  • Anthony Martial – 48
  • Marcus Rashford – 47
  • Cristiano Ronaldo – 47
  • Raheem Sterling – 39

It is worth taking into consideration how many of Kane’s 52 goals before the age of 22 were scored in the lower leagues, with the England captain spending time on loan from Tottenham Hotspur at a number of clubs.

Rashford scored twice on the opening day of the season as the Red Devils thrashed Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford in a clinical display.

However, he has failed to score since then and even missed a crucial penalty during the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at home.

Manchester United news: Marcello Lippi reveals Roy Keane was ‘very close’ to leaving Old Trafford for Juventus

7 Sep

Former Juventus manager Marcello Lippi has revealed he was ‘very close’ to signing Roy Keane from Manchester United during his time with the Old Lady.

The 71-year-old was in charge in Turin between 1994-1999, and seemingly attempted to lure the midfielder away from Old Trafford in the early stages of his United career.

Lippi claims Keane almost left Manchester United early on
getty

In an interview with the Mail, Lippi said: “I loved [Roy] Keane.

“He was very close to moving to Juventus but then failed to negotiate.

“I also loved [Paul] Scholes. he would have liked it anywhere and always played.

“[Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer was very good as a player and I hope he will do very well as a coach, he deserves it.”

6. Marcello Lippi (China manager): 8 trophies
Marcello Lippi won the World Cup with Italy in 2006
Getty

Ultimately, Keane ended up staying with Manchester United between 1993-2005.

In this time he won seven Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the UEFA Champions League.

However, it did not end on great terms as he eventually fell out with Sir Alex Ferguson and they have a feud that is ongoing to this day.

Forget Boris and Jo Johnson – The top 10 brothers in football, including the Toures and the Nevilles

6 Sep

Boris Johnson will continue to campaign for an election he is yet to successfully call, after a torrid day where his brother RESIGNED from Government while describing being torn between family and ‘the national interest’.

The Prime Minister visited Scotland on Friday, to drum up support among voters, as opposition leaders continue their talks over how to prevent a no-deal Brexit on October 31.

Boris and Jo Johnson have endured quite the falling out in Parliament
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The PM’s continued campaigning comes after a day of unwelcome events saw Jo Johnson quit as a senior minister attending meetings of his brother’s Cabinet.

The pro-EU Johnson described facing ‘unresolvable tension’ and being ‘torn between family loyalty and the national interest’.

But Boris Johnson maintained his uncompromising stance on Brexit, saying in a televised speech that he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than go to Brussels to ask for a further delay.

Although rare, sport often offers siblings the chance to bury any lingering issues from childhood and build successful bonds.

Despite the ongoing rifts between Boris and Jo, we thought it apt to celebrate the footballing siblings who went from teenage tykes to winning trophies.

Check out the top ten below.

10. Filippo and Simone Inzaghi

Filippo enjoyed the more decorated playing career, but Simone is proving to be a better manager thus far
Getty Images - Getty

‘Pippo’ made a name for himself as the archetypal poacher, a Fox in the Box whose six-yard strikes helped him win two Champions League titles, three Serie A titles and the World Cup in 2006.

For brother Simone, his playing career was relatively modest and he remained firmly in his brother’s shadow.

However, his move into management has seen the roles reversed, with Simone coming into a world of his own and he has been in charge of Lazio since 2016. Filippo was in charge of former side AC Milan, but has struggled and has just been appointed as manager of Benevento.

9. Lars and Sven Bender

The midfielders played for Bayer Leverkusen and Germany together
Getty - Contributor

12 minutes is the only difference between the twins, with Sven slightly older. As youngsters, both trained at TSV Brannenburg before both moved to 1860 Munich in 2006.

However, the older brother moved to Borussia Dortmund in 2009 and the siblings were separated as Lars moved to Bayer Leverkusen. The duo enjoyed mixed success at their respective clubs, with Lars earning the captaincy of Die Werkself, while Sven reached the Champions League final in 2013.

Thankfully, Sven brought his eight-tenure with Dortmund to an end in 2017 and the pair form part of Leverkusen’s defence.

8. Frank and Ronald de Boer

The brothers literally followed one another around for their entire career, featuring for Ajax, Barcelona, Rangers, Al-Shamal and Al-Rayyan before retirement
AFP - Getty

Another set of twins, there have arguably never been a pair who impacted the game as much as the De Boers. Technically gifted, both began their careers at Ajax in 1988 and became key components of Louis van Gaal’s successful side.

They then followed Van Gaal to Barcelona for £22million, but their successful first season was prove to be a one-off. Both brothers joined Dick Advocaat at Rangers, before seeing out their careers in Qatar.

Frank was a ball-playing centre-back, while Ronald was a goal-scoring midfielder.

7. Eden and Thorgan Hazard

While Eden is currently the more successful of the two, Thorgan is making a name for himself in Germany
Getty - Contributor

For fans of the Premier League, former Chelsea star Eden will need no introduction. But the stage may soon be set for Thorgan to usurp the Real Madrid winger.

After lighting up the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach, the 26-year-old moved to Borussia Dortmund in the summer and is a regular with Belgium alongside his brother, the captain.

Thorgan has started the season for Dortmund alongside the likes of Jadon Sancho, while Eden’s start at the Bernabeu has been far from plain sailing. Questions about his fitness and even his weight have plagued the 28-year-old since he arrived in Spain.

6. Rio and Anton Ferdinand

Both came through the fabled West Ham academy, but Anton never reached the same heights as Rio
Getty - Contributor

After seeing Rio depart for Leeds United for a world-record £18million in 2000, West Ham fans were convinced they would have to wait years to see another centre-half come through the ‘Academy of Football’.

However, just a few years later brother Anton came through and displayed the same composure on the ball as well as the outstanding physical attributes which his elder brother had become fabled for.

But it was Rio who enjoyed the more glittering career, moving for another world record fee to Manchester United and winning six Premier League trophies and the Champions League, amassing 81 caps for England as well.

5. Rafinha and Thiago Alcantara

Arguably the best sibling duo still playing the beautiful game today
AFP - Getty

In terms of pure technical ability, these two may just be the best thanks to their World Cup-winning father Mazinho and their education at Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy.

But although they are both gifted midfield players., that is where the similarities end. Thiago opted to play for Spain and is sponsored by Nike. Rafinha plays for Brazil and is sponsored by adidas.

Mazinho’s career took him across the globe, resulting in his sons’ multicultural upbringing. Thiago was born in Italy and then he moved to Spain at the age of five.

For Rafinha, he was born in Brazil and failed to quite hit the heights of his older brother, currently spending the season on loan at Celta Vigo from Barca while Thiago lights up the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.

4. Michael and Brian Laudrup

Michael won league titles with Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid as well as a European Cup,. but Brian won the 1992 European Championships with Denmark
Getty Images - Getty

Before Christian Eriksen became the darling of Denmark, the Laudrup brothers were the pride of Scandinavia, with their elegance and poise on the ball mesmerising.

Michael was arguably the more successful of the two, league titles with Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid as well as a European Cup. In fact, he was named as the Best Danish Footballer ever in 2006.

But younger brother Brian played a crucial role in  Denmark’s 1992 European Championships win and became a cult hero at Chelsea and Rangers during the latter stages of his career.

3. Sir Bobby and Jack Charlton

Both men won the World Cup with England in 1966 but Bobby went on to become the nation’s all time top scorer
Getty Images - Getty

Although the two brothers are no longer particularly close, their journey from the small mining town of Ashington to World Cup glory in 1966 is truly remarkable.

Bobby, the short and dynamic attacker, was a complete contract to Jack’s unerring centre-half. But the duo were brought up in an impoverished life where they only had one another at times.

As the final whistle blew on that scorching afternoon at Wembley against West Germany, Bobby headed straight for his older brother.

“Nobody can ever take this moment away from us,” he told Jack as they embraced, tears streaming down the younger sibling’s face.

2. Phil and Gary Neville

Sister Tracey was head coach of England Netball and their dad is called Neville…seriously
Getty - Contributor

The duo began their footballing careers in Bury as two tykes who just wanted to kick lumps put of each, as brothers naturally do. Older brother Gary was the more physically advanced of the two and broke into the Manchester United team first.

But it was Phil who took his brother’s right-back spot for the 1996 FA Cup Final, before being left out of England’s 1998 World Cup squad.

Phil left for Everton and became club captain, before both ended up at Valencia during an ill-fated management spell. The younger Neville is now managing the England Women’s team, while Gary can be heard airing his views on football in his role as a pundit.

1. Kolo and Yaya Toure

The best footballing brothers, let’s hope Yaya doesn’t expect a cake for the accolade
AFP - Getty

So iconic are the Toure brothers, the fan favourite song meant for them transcended football and was soon being performed on the strips of Magaluf and Malia.

After older brother Kolo earned a move to Arsenal, it seemed natural Yaya would follow. But Arsene Wenger passed on the chance to sign the midfielder and he wound up at Barcelona.

Meanwhile Kolo got a lucrative move to Manchester City and convinced Roberto Mancini his brother was the man City needed.

While neither man will have wanted to leave the Etihad in the way they did, the impact the Toure brothers had on the Premier League was huge Kolo was a key part of the Gunners’ 2004 ‘Invincibles’ team while Yaya will be remembered as one of the greatest midfielders to ever grace these shores.

Romelu Lukaku convinced me to leave Manchester United and join Inter Milan, Alexis Sanchez reveals

4 Sep

Alexis Sanchez has revealed Romelu Lukaku’s words of wisdom persuaded him to leave Manchester United and link up with him at Inter Milan.

Sanchez, who endured a miserable 19-month spell at Old Trafford, left the Red Devils last week to join the Serie A giants on a season-long loan deal.

Alexis Sanchez completed his season-long loan switch to Inter last week
Instagram / @inter

The move came after Lukaku, who he played alongside at United, signed for Antonio Conte’s men in a £72m deal.

And speaking to Sky Sport Italia, the Chile international discussed the role the Belgian striker played in his move to Italy.

“Romelu is a very good player,” said Sanchez. “He is my friend and we talk every day.

“You can see that he is happy to be at Inter and he always wants to win. He convinced me to come to Inter.”

He added: “Inter is a great team. When I was at Udinese, the Nerazzurri won the treble and at that time for me they were the biggest team in Italy.

“Playing against them was very difficult. I am very happy to be back in Serie A. I am here to win something.

“The team is very much united and this is important if you want to win.

Lukaku has scored in both of his first two matches for Inter
Getty Images - Getty

“The fans have not seen the team win anything for many years so there is great hunger to win.”

On whether he regretted leaving United, Sanchez added: “It was not the right time to go there [to United], but I do not regret it.

“United is focusing on young players, they want to grow to and back like they were in the times of Sir Alex Ferguson.”