FIFA World Cup 2018 Logo Unveiled

The next edition of the FIFA World Cup will be held in Russia and 13 venues are already under contruction/renovation to welcome players and fans.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has revealed the 2018 World Cup logo.

While unveiling the logo on a Russian state TV talk show on Tuesday, Blatter said the logo would show Russia’s “heart and spirit”, reports Xinhua.

The logo depicts the World Cup trophy in red and blue, colors from the Russian flag, with a gold trim.


English Premier League: Raheem Sterling Makes a Point in Liverpool’s Thrilling Win vs QPR

Criticised for asking for a break ahead of England’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Estonia, Raheem Sterling’s late strike  against Queens Park Rangers helped Liverpool F.C. to a 3-2 win.

Raheem Sterling ended a difficult week on a high as the teenager inspired his Liverpool F.C. to a dramatic 3-2 win over QPR in an incredible finish featuring three goals in stoppage-time at Loftus Road on Sunday.

Sterling had endured widespread derision after England manager Roy Hodgson revealed the Reds star had told him he was too tired to play in last weekend’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Estonia.

The 19-year-old’s commitment to his country and passion for the sport were subsequently questioned, but Sterling made a point to the critics as he played the entire 90 minutes at Loftus Road and produced two key contributions to seal the points for Brendan Rodgers’ men.

With Hodgson watching from the stands, Sterling, who began his career as a QPR trainee, won a free-kick which led to Hoops defender Richard Dunne turning into the net for Liverpool’s second half opener.

Vargas levelled again in stoppage-time, but Liverpool still emerged with three points thanks to Sterling, whose cross was deflected into his own net by QPR defender Steven Caulker with virtually the last kick of the match.

Leroy Fer should have put the hosts ahead just before the half-hour mark when Bobby Zamora’s cutback picked out the Dutch midfielder in yards of space inside the penalty area, but instead he fired his shot onto the crossbar.

Liverpool’s notoriously creaky defence remained in danger of crumbling and there was another moment of mayhem in the visitors’ area when Martin Skrtel’s poor clearance let in Zamora down the right.

Rodgers’ side were faring no better in front of goal and Mario Balotelli’s lethargic performance was summed up when he somehow blazed over an open goal from close range after Adam Lallana’s shot was pushed into the Italian’s path by QPR goalkeeper Alex McCarthy’s fine save.

Sterling had been the catalyst for that Liverpool break and the teenager played a key role again when the Reds took the lead in the 67th minute.

After looking lethargic in attack for so long, Liverpool were suddenly provoked into life and Coutinho looked to have won it when he finished a flowing move between Sterling and Steven Gerrard with a fine low strike in the 90th minute.

Coutinho’s pass set Sterling away down the left edge of the QPR area and he calmly cut a cross in the direction of Balotelli, only for the ball to hit Caulker and deflect past the wrong-footed McCarthy to spark wild celebrations among Liverpool’s players and travelling supporters.


La-Liga: Cristiano Ronaldo Brace Powers Real Madrid to 5-0 Win Over Levante

Cristiano Ronaldo stretched his fine scoring streak at club level to nine games. He has scored 15 goals in just seven appearances this season.

Real Madrid ensured they will head into a big week full of confidence with a 5-0 thrashing of Levante ahead of their meetings with Liverpool and Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo stretched his fine scoring streak at club level to nine games as he opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Javier Hernandez headed home to double Madrid’s lead before half-time.

Ronaldo powered home his 15th league goal in just seven appearances this season to make it 3-0 before sweet finishes from James Rodriguez and Isco rounded of a seventh consecutive win for the European champions.

Madrid now lie just a point adrift of leaders Barcelona, but the Catalans can restore their four-point advantage with a win over Eibar later on Saturday.

Real boss Carlo Ancelotti was missing a host of first team regulars as Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane missed out due to a fever, Sergio Ramos was sidelined by a calf injury and Gareth Bale handed a rare rest after his exertions with Wales in the past week.

However, the visitors could still have put the game to bed inside the first 15 minutes as Ronaldo was uncharacteristically wasteful in front of goal.

The Portuguese captain sliced wide with just Diego Marino to beat after a wonderful through ball from Luka Modric and then pulled another shot wide from the edge of the box moments later.

Ronaldo, though, wasn’t to be denied on 12 minutes as Hernandez was tripped inside the area by Juanfran and the World Player of the Year slammed home the resulting penalty.

Levante reacted well to going behind and came close to an equaliser twice in a matter of seconds midway through the first-half as Marcelo diverted Pape Diop’s effort inches past his own goal.

Madrid made sure of the three points seven minutes before half-time as Rodriguez’s in-swinging cross was turned home from close range by Hernandez to register his third goal for the club.


La Liga: Barcelona, Real Madrid Win Ahead of El Clasico Clash

After a frustrating opening 45 minutes, Barcelona got three goals past the Eibar defence with Neymar, Xavi Hernandez and Lionel Messi scoring one each.

Barcelona maintained their four-point lead over Real Madrid at the top of La Liga ahead of next weekend’s first El Clasico of the season with a 3-0 win over Eibar on Saturday.

Madrid cruised to victory earlier in the day as they secured a seventh consecutive win in all competitions with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice in a 5-0 rout away to Levante.

After a frustrating opening 45 minutes, Barca finally went in front when Xavi Hernandez dinked home his first goal of the season from Lionel Messi’s slide rule pass on the hour mark.

Neymar then volleyed home to double the hosts’ advantage before the Brazilian teed up Messi to drive home the third and take the Argentine to within one goal of equalling Telmo Zarra as the all-time leading scorer in La Liga.

“We struggled to make the breakthrough, but once you score the first one it is a lot easier,” Xavi told Canal Plus.

Messi was looking to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his Barca debut this week by breaking the record, but he was frustrated by Eibar’s massed ranks of well-organised defenders during the opening 45 minutes.

The four-time World Player of the Year should have opened the scoring on 20 minutes after a neat one-two with Dani Alves but Xabi Irureta’s trailing leg prevented Messi’s attempted nutmeg from finding the net.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, ensured they will head into a big week full of confidence with another five goals at Levante, the fifth time they have struck at least five goals in their last seven outings.

Cristiano Ronaldo stretched his fine scoring streak at club level to nine straight games as he opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Javier Hernandez headed home to double Madrid’s lead before half-time.

Ronaldo powered home his 15th league goal in just seven appearances this season to make it 3-0 before sweet finishes from James Rodriguez and Isco rounded out the scoring for the European champions.

However, Madrid have a number of injury concerns ahead of their midweek trip to Liverpool in the Champions League, before hosting Barca at the Santiago Bernabeu next Saturday.

Karim Benzema, Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos missed the match, while Gareth Bale was an unused substitute after returning from international duty with a gluteal muscle injury.

“I think we are arriving well into this week. We had a difficult game to prepare here, but we played very well and seriously. We were very concentrated and it all went well,” said Ancelotti.


English Premier League: Sergio Aguero Hits Four as Manchester City F.C. Survive Penalty Drama to Rout Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

Sergio Aguero was the headline act in a memorable encounter as Manuel Pellegrini’s second-placed Manchester City closed the gap on Chelsea to two points ahead of the leaders’ trip to Crystal Palace later on Saturday.

Sergio Aguero fired a four-goal blast as Manchester City thrashed 10-man Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 in a remarkable Premier League clash featuring four penalties at Eastlands on Saturday.

Aguero was the headline act in a memorable encounter as Manuel Pellegrini’s second-placed team closed the gap on Chelsea to two points ahead of the leaders’ trip to Crystal Palace later on Saturday.

The Argentina forward opened the scoring in the 13th minute and then struck from the penalty spot seven minutes later after Christian Eriksen’s 15th-minute equaliser.

Aguero missed a chance to seal his hat-trick before half-time when his second penalty was saved by Hugo Lloris.

Referee Jon Moss awarded the third penalty of the match in the 62nd minute when Martin Demichelis tripped Tottenham’s Roberto Soldado, with replays indicating the offence took place outside the penalty area.

Moss gave his fourth penalty in the 68th minute when Federico Fazio pulled back Aguero, a foul that also earned the Argentine defender a red card on his Premier League debut.

Aguero, who is now City’s record scorer in the Premier League era, stroked home the penalty and sealed the one-man demolition job with another clinical strike to make it four in the 75th minute.

The English league record for penalties in a single game is five awarded by referee Kelvin Morton when Crystal Palace met Brighton in March 1989.


AC Milan Eye Two Brazilians to Replace Thiago Silva

Defenders Gil and Dede are reportedly being considered by AC Milan as replacements for veteran Thiago Silva who was sold to Paris St. Germain.

Italian football club AC Milan is considering a move for Brazilian defenders Gil and Dede in a bid to fill the void left by Thiago Silva, according to reports in Brazil.

Gil, 27, has impressed for Sao Paulo-based outfit Corinthians while Dede, 26, played a key role in Cruzeiro’s 2013 Brazilian Serie A title victory, reports Xinhua.

“In search of the next Thiago, AC Milan have turned to the Brazilian market to find a quality central defender that is not as expensive as the big names in Europe,” news portal Lancenet reported.

The portal added that both Gil and Dede are “experienced players at their peak”, meaning they are ready to step directly into Filippo Inzaghi’s first team.

Silva was sold by AC Milan to French club Paris Saint-Germain in July 2012.


Germany in State of Shock After Poor Euro Start

World champions Germany have managed just four points from their three Euro 2016 qualfiers. Retirement of big stars and injuries to some of the current heroes in the team has compounded the problem.

Just three months after their World Cup triumph, Germany are in a state of shock following the poor start to their Euro 2016 qualifiers with Joachim Loew vowing to make amends.

With four point from their first three qualifiers, including their shock defeat to Poland and draw with the Republic of Ireland, Germany find themselves in the unusual position of third in Group D.

They are already three points adrift of leaders Poland and the second-placed Irish with fans wondering where it all went wrong.

German supporters were still in a state of World Cup euphoria after the Brazil triumph in July when the Euro qualifiers began as the world champions laboured to a 2-1 win over Scotland in September.

The retirements of defenders Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker and goal-machine Miroslav Klose took a combined tally of more than 350-caps worth of experience with them.

njuries to midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira meant head coach Loew had to pack new talent around the skeleton of the team which won the World Cup.

Midfield stars Mario Goetze, Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller all have experience beyond their tender years with memories of that fabulous night in Rio de Janeiro still fresh.

But having spluttered badly against Scotland and in the 4-2 friendly defeat to Argentina, Loew’s finely-tuned machine finally broke down in Warsaw last Saturday.


Luis Suarez Receives Golden Boot, Eyes Barcelona Debut

The Uruguay international was suspended for four months at club level — and nine competitive internationals — after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup in Brazil.

Barcelona forward Luis Suarez is looking forward to ending his FIFA ban and says he will be fit to face Real Madrid if selected later this month.

“There’s not long to go and my eagerness to play is always there,” Suarez said Wednesday as he picked up a Golden Boot award, which he shares with Cristiano Ronaldo. The two forwards were Europe’s top league scorers last season with 31 goals each.

The Uruguay international is suspended for four months at club level — and nine competitive internationals — after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup in Brazil.

Suarez could make his competitive Barcelona debut alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar on Oct. 25, a day after the ban ends, when the Catalan side visits Madrid.

Asked if he felt ready to play at the Santiago Bernabeu, Suarez said: “Right now I am at 100 percent. A player always needs to be prepared, and making a debut at the Bernabeu would be wonderful, given the rivalry that exists.”

Suarez received the award from former Liverpool coach Kenny Daglish who signed the forward for the Merseyside team in 2011.

“He’s a fantastic player, Liverpool needed somebody and when the director of football put his name forward it was an immediate ‘yes’,” Daglish said.

“You were unbelievable all season for us, a magical player, and Barcelona are very, very lucky to have your services moving forward,” Gerrard said.

Suarez joined Barcelona for 81 million euros ($108 million) in a bid to help the club return to winning ways after it failed to win major silverware last season.

The Uruguayan said he felt proud to be sharing the award with Ronaldo, whom he described as “an important player on a worldwide scale.”

Ronaldo will pick up his award at a ceremony in Madrid next month.

Messi had won the Golden Boot for the previous two seasons.


Hope Lionel Messi Has a Bad Day, Says Barcelona Teammate Neymar

The Barcelona teammates – Lionel Messi and Neymar – will come up against each other when Brazil play arch-nemesis Argentina in an international friendly in Beijing.

Recently-appointed Brazil captain Neymar hoped his Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi will endure a bad day when the two face-off against each other in an international friendly on Saturday in Beijing.

“We hope he does not have a good day and does not touch the ball. Seriously, we have said that we have to be careful because you must always be on alert with a great player. Playing alongside him is a great honour, he is the best in the world. Playing against him is not very nice, but I hope I can do better than him,” Neymar said.

“We cannot let him have time to think or start his mazy runs. Well, we basically cannot let him do anything. But we do have to win this game,” he added.

Interestingly, four-time world player of the year Messi had earlier hailed his “fabulous” Barcelona teammate as a future Ballon d’Or winner.

“He’s going to get it, through his qualities, the way he is, I’ve no doubt that he can at some time win it,” said the 27-year-old Messi.


Brazil to Take on Turkey, Austria in Friendlies Next Month

Five-time world champions Brazil will play Turkey on November 12 and Austria six days later in Vienna.

Five-time world champions Brazil have scheduled friendly matches against Turkey and Austria in November, the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) confirmed on Tuesday.

The team, who crashed out of the World Cup they hosted last July in the semi-finals against eventual champions Germany, take on Turkey on November 12 before playing Austria six days later in Vienna.

They are also set to face South American arch rivals Argentina in Beijing on October 11 and then Japan three days later in Singapore.