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European Football Transfers: Top Signings of Summer 2017

European Football Transfers: Top Signings of Summer 2017

It only seems five minutes since the football season ended, but it’s already back and like it’s never been away. The opening Premier League weekend was full of goals, red cards and controversial decisions – but the English league isn’t the only one to have its fair share of the drama. Across Europe, teams have been putting their new players to the test – and here we take a look at some of the most interesting European football transfers to keep an eye on over the coming months. Neymar – Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, approx. £198 million They say money can’t buy happiness, but PSG fans might disagree should their newest signing lead them to the Champions League title this season. The most expensive player of all time, Neymar’s move to the French side has to top any list of top European football transfers this summer and the world is waiting with bated breath to see how he will perform. The 25-year-old striker certainly has a lot of pressure on his shoulders, with the club hoping that not only will their star signing get them back to the top of Ligue 1, but also pave the way for them to lift the European trophy which has so far eluded them. The Brazilian forward will be keen to prove his worth and show he can be a star without Messi and co. by his side. Dani Alves – Juventus to Paris Saint-Germain, free Alves might have already done his most important job for PSG this season – by persuading one of his closest friends and former teammate Neymar to join...
Euro 2016: Who’s in the Shop Window?

Euro 2016: Who’s in the Shop Window?

All eyes will be on France this summer as Europe’s best players touch down for Euro 2016. The 24 competing nations have just announced the squads they hope will lead them to victory in what looks set to be one of the most fiercely competitive tournaments in recent years. The Euros are likely to play a major role in the summer transfer window, with clubs all over Europe keeping a beady eye on proceedings in a bid to bolster their squads. More money is changing hands than ever before between Europe’s top clubs. Last season Premier League spending on transfers topped £1 billion for the first time. This may have been fuelled by the record £5.14 billion Premier League TV rights deal signed by Sky and BT last year. With this in mind, some players will be vying to put themselves in the shop window in the hope of a big money move to a new club. We’ve taken a look at some of the players to watch out for at Euro 2016. Álvaro Morata   The 23-year-old Spanish striker moved to Juventus from Real Madrid in 2014, and has noticeably matured in Italy. Whilst Morata’s overall scoring record is modest, in the past year he’s scored in both legs of a Champions League semi-final, a Champions League final and a Coppa Italia final. Few doubt he has the talent and potential to to be a top-class striker, and he’s already had ‘tempting’ offers from Premier League clubs. From June 1 Real Madrid have the option to buy Morata back for €30million. This is expected to start a bidding...
Road to the Semi-Finals – Liverpool’s Journey

Road to the Semi-Finals – Liverpool’s Journey

Liverpool FC are one of the biggest clubs in Europe and around the world, so it’s great to see them playing well in a European competition again. It has now been 11 years since that incredible comeback against AC Milan in Istanbul to win the Champions League final. So can Liverpool go all the way to Basel this year and end the wait for European success? Road to the semi-finals – Liverpool’s journey Liverpool finished sixth in the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season and were rewarded with a place in the Europa League. They were put into a group with Bordeaux, Rubin Kazan and FC Sion. Liverpool started their European campaign with three straight draws. However, two of those draws were at Anfield where they were expected to win. They then managed to get two straight wins against Bordeaux and Rubin Kazan. A draw against FC Sion in the final game made sure that Liverpool topped the group and progressed into the knockout stages. The round of 32 – Liverpool’s journey In the round of 32 Liverpool were drawn against FC Augsburg, a German side they were expected to beat comfortably. The first leg was in Germany and it proved to be a very tough match. Liverpool really struggled to break down the Augsburg defence and had a lot of defending of their own to do! There were no goals in the first leg, which meant a nervous trip back to Anfield as the away goal rule was now in play. The second leg was a much better all-round performance by Liverpool and couldn’t have started much better. They...
Toulouse – La Ville Rose: A city guide

Toulouse – La Ville Rose: A city guide

Toulouse has much to offer everyone, whether you are a sports fan, history buff or wine connoisseur! Visiting the Pink City seems to be the easiest thing in the world. Just jump on the flight at London Gatwick and about two hours later you will find yourself at a modern airport suitable for a city the size of London. The first thing you will notice on arrival in Toulouse are the Belugas. No, not the marine mammal; that would be ridiculous. Looking like a massive metal dolphin, the Beluga is an Airbus cargo plane. Toulouse is not just famous for being one of the EURO 2016 hosting cities; it is also a renowned city of science and well known for its professional rugby team. What’s in Toulouse? If your travel comrades don’t happen to be keen on whoever will be getting through to the quarter-finals, there’s still a reason for them to travel along. There’s so much to do there! Toulouse’s aviation museum “Aeroscopia” offers displays of the famous Concorde and many other air vehicles, while the Airbus factory presents the exciting chance to see how planes are built. The interactive aerospace museum Cité de l’espace showcases the Mir space ship (that was used for training), real satellites, an IMAX cinema (showing different films about space) and so much more. In addition to this, Toulouse boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Canal du Midi and the Basilica of St Sernin. If that doesn’t do it for you then the countless châteaus offering wine tastings and restaurants with brilliant French food should do the trick! The buzz in the city The Pink City is definitely buzzing with...
1966 and all that – is football success coming home?

1966 and all that – is football success coming home?

“50 YEARS OF HURT….. NEVER STOP ME DREAMING” Remember Frank Skinner and David Baddiel’s  England anthem “Football’s Coming Home” from 1996? It features the infamous line “30 years of hurt never stopped me dreaming”. Well,  it’s “50 years of hurt” now! England fans are still hurting, and their dreams of tournament success have faded as the failures pile up. It’s 50 years since the England football team won a major tournament but can we dare to dream of glory again in EURO2016? It has been a year of shocks in the Barclays Premier League with Leicester sitting at the top of the table after almost being relegated last season and the reigning champions Chelsea languishing in the bottom half. Remember when Denmark came off the beach to win EURO’92?  When Greece beat Portugal in their back yard to win the EURO title in 2004? Football is full or surprises, that’s for certain – don’t write off England just yet. “50 YEARS OF HURT….NEVER STOP ME DREAMING” England have a young team with some great emerging stars. Dele Alli, Ross Barkley and Harry Kane, in particular, are a trio of talent that may well come into their own in the summer. It’s possible that, for once, a lack of expectation on the part of England fans and the media may help the team by relieving the usual pressures that we traditionally pile on them prior to a tournament. Imagine if England were in a final or even in a semi-final (how many of us serial sufferers would settle for that!) and the excitement that would exude across the nation at home and on the road...
Barcelona: A City Guide

Barcelona: A City Guide

The capital of Catalonia has much more to offer than sandy beaches, tasty Sangria and the architectural works of Antoni Gaudi and Lluis Doménech i Montaner. As well as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the city offers various sports events throughout the year. Well known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics, the city offers an exciting football season, a fab Grand Prix weekend and a competitive tennis tournament. When the sleepy Barcelona opens its eyes in the early warm summer mornings, there’s nothing better than strolling down La Rambla – the tree-lined pedestrian mall stretching for almost a mile. Or perhaps, having an early drink on the beach (it’s a holiday, it’s allowed!). Most sporting events start either early afternoon on in the evening, giving the perfect opportunity to use the mornings for relaxing, discovering Barcelona’s cultural heritage sites and some retail therapy. Read on for more info on sports travel in Barcelona. An exceptional footballing pedigree   We’re six months into the current La Liga season, with its culmination coming on 15th May. Barcelona, the defending champions, have been typically prolific this season, with Neymar winning the player of the month gong in November and Luis Suarez being the top goalscorer with 20 goals (and without biting anyone!) Furthermore, the club equalled its own Spanish record of being unbeaten in 28 consecutive matches. Attendances at the majestic Camp Nou continue to dwarf much of Europe – there were over 93,000 people watching Barcelona v Atletico Madrid on 30th January. Barcelona are currently top and are expected to be crowned champions on May 15th, but with Atletico Madrid in second place with...