<![CDATA[RSS Sambafoot]]>http://sambafoot.com/en(sambafoot.com)sambafoot.comsambafoot.comen-en<![CDATA[Atlético Madrid defender Filipe Luís expects open second leg against Chelsea but rues the loss of captain Gabi]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59535_atletico_madrid_defender_filipe_luis_expects_open_second_leg_against_chelsea_but_rues_the_loss_of_captain_gabi.htmlDefender Filipe Luís expects the second leg of Atlético Madrid’s Champions League semi-final against Chelsea to be more open.

The first leg, which finished 0-0 at the Vicente Calderón, was a tense affair, but Filipe insists Atlético will not sit back at Stamford Bridge.

“The return leg is completely open,” he told UEFA.com. “We will look to try to score there, all the while being sensible. 

“We know it can still go either way but they are playing at home and are very strong [at Stamford Bridge].”

If Atlético are to make it through to the final, they will have to do so without captain Gabi, who is suspended. Filipe admits the midfielder will be missed, but believes other players can help cover for his loss.

“[Gabi’s suspension for the second match] represents an important loss to us, especially as he is our captain,” the Brazil international continued. “We will try to cover that loss as best as we can.“

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398288404.jpgWed, 23 Apr 2014 20:26:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Atlético Madrid defender João Miranda disappointed with Chelsea result]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59534_atletico_madrid_defender_joao_miranda_disappointed_with_chelsea_result.htmlAtlético Madrid defender João Miranda has admitted he is disappointed with Tuesday’s 0-0 draw against Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

In a tense contest at the Vicente Calderón, Atlético struggled to create many clear openings.

With Chelsea preferring to sit deep, it was always going to be difficult for the Spanish outfit and Miranda believes they suffered for not scoring an early goal.

“Tonight's result is a pity.” he told UEFA.com. “I think if we had scored an early goal the game would have been completely different. 

“Chelsea have a solid defence and worked hard for their draw. They are strong at the back and have big defenders who were excellent today.”

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398288274.jpgWed, 23 Apr 2014 20:24:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Atlético Madrid defender Filipe Luís accepts 0-0 draw against Chelsea]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59529_atletico_madrid_defender_filipe_luis_accepts_0-0_draw_against_chelsea.htmlAtlético Madrid defender Filipe Luís believes Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea was a fair result.

The Champions League semi-final remains in the balance after a tense game at the Vicente Calderón and Filipe admits Atlético was stifled by Chelsea's tactical approach.

“I think the result is fair,” he told UEFA.com. “Chelsea knew what they were coming here to do, but then so did we. 

“Chelsea were clued up on how we would play. They put tall players in to stop our aerial game. I think they studied us well. It was a very tactical game.”

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<![CDATA[São Paulo President Carlos Miguel Aidar believes Kaká should return]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59528_sao_paulo_president_carlos_miguel_aidar_believes_kaka_should_return.htmlSão Paulo President Carlos Miguel Aidar has admitted he would love to bring Kaká back to the club.

The Brazil international started his career with the Tricolor, before moving to Milan in 2003.

After leaving the Rossoneri for Real Madrid in June 2009, Kaká rejoined Milan last summer, but speculation suggests he may be on the move again at the end of this season and Carlos Miguel Aidar is seemingly ready to pounce.

“Everyone likes to dream,” he said, as reported by Football Italia.

“We would love to see him on the São Paulo field along with Hulk, Dani Alves, Alan Kardec and why not Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar!

“Joking aside, there is only one name that I really want - Ricardo Kaká. It would be a dream to bring him home.

“For us he would be perfect. He has the face of someone from São Paulo, he is beautiful, good, speaks well and has all his teeth.

“We could not compete with the money of the Arabs and the Chinese, but he knows that here he would be the right man in the right place.”

During his first spell with São Paulo Kaká won the 2001 Torneio Rio – São Paulo.

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<![CDATA[Napoli defender Henrique believed to be unhurt after car accident]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59527_napoli_defender_henrique_believed_to_be_unhurt_after_car_accident.htmlNapoli defender Henrique is believed to be unhurt after being involved in a car accident.

The 27 year-old lost control of his Porsche when driving in Castel Volturno on Wednesday and collided with the central reservation.

The car was completely written off, but Henrique escaped with just bruising. Whether that will affect his participation in Saturday's clash at Internazionale remains to be seen.

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<![CDATA[Fiorentina forward Ryder Matos thanks head coach Vincenzo Montella for giving him confidence]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59526_fiorentina_forward_ryder_matos_thanks_head_coach_vincenzo_montella_for_giving_him_confidence.htmlRyder Matos has thanked Fiorentina head coach Vincenzo Montella for giving him confidence.

The 21 year-old returned to the Florence-based club last summer after a loan spell at Bahia and has gone on to make 21 appearances this term.

“I would give myself 6.5 out of 10 for the season,” he told Radio Fiesole. “I hope to continue that way.

“I’m still missing a goal, I will look to get it as soon as possible.

“Montella has shown faith in me and given me confidence and I need to thank him.

“I hope that [Giuseppe] Rossi and [Mario] Gómez are back for the Coppa Italia final against Napoli. We will give 100 per cent to bring it home.

“I have bonded well with everyone, but especially Borja Valero, [Alberto] Aquilani, Gonzalo Rodríguez and [Juan] Cuadrado.”

Matos is still looking for his first Serie A goal, but has netted against CS Pandurii Târgu Jiu and Paços de Ferreira in the Europa League.

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398286050.jpgWed, 23 Apr 2014 19:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Brazil 2014: Oscar's poor form for Chelsea becoming a real concern ]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59522_brazil_2014__oscar_s_poor_form_for_chelsea_becoming_a_real_concern_.htmlChelsea's 2-1 home defeat to the lowly Sunderland on Saturday pushed the Blues into the psychological abyss, with their title aspirations taking heavy damage, and Jose Mourinho's proud 78-game unbeaten run obliterated by former striker Fabio Borini's late, contentious penalty.

It was the climax of a particularly poor patch of results for the Champions League semi-finalists, and was another in a long line of sub-par performances from first choice number 10, Oscar.

The 22-year-old has barely had an impact on his Chelsea team for months, and has only completed the 90 minutes seven times all season in the Premier League. Considered by most world cup betting previews and tips to be a key component of Brazil's push for their 6th World Cup, it is evident that the former Internacional man has lost the magic.

Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has already come out in defence of both Neymar and Paulinho concerning their club form this week, but considering there are only 51 days left until this summer's World Cup kicks off, the Seleção's secret weapon, Oscar, is worryingly become an ineffective one.

Many will point to the amount of football he has played over the past two seasons, with the attacker playing a part in 110 club matches for the Blues in just two years, and they would have a point. At 22, he is susceptible to burnout, something that would certainly go some way in explaining his lack of form.

But Belgian winger Eden Hazard has only played two games less than his Brazilian teammate, and has gone from strength to strength, being compared to the likes of Crisitano Ronaldo and Leo Messi this year. The 23-year-old has taken the step up to the next level, while Oscar seems stuck in first gear.

The match against Sunderland was a good example of this, as in the absence of Hazard, the Blues looked to Oscar to unlock the stubborn Black Cats defence; but this he failed to do.

Not for a lack of time and space did Oscar not provide the answer for the desperate Blues, with the midfielder picking the ball up in the final third on numerous occasions, but choosing the wrong option, or trying an ill-conceived shot from too far out. He did not take the game by the scruff of the neck, and provide the much-needed cutting edge, and was hauled off on the 58 minute mark for Demba Ba as Mourinho went for battering ram, with his silenced pistol perennially jammed.

Oscar has only three goals to his name in the league since the turn of the year and, even more worryingly, just three assists. He will be looked to to provide the killer pass in the two-legged Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid this month, and Chelsea will be praying for a return to prominence from their little maestro. The same goes for Scolari and Brazil, who will need their secret weapon back to his best as soon as possible.

Article by Tom Gatehouse.

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<![CDATA[Roberto Carlos praises ‘genius’ Neymar and backs Brazil for World Cup glory]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59520_roberto_carlos_praises____genius____neymar_and_backs_brazil_for_world_cup_glory.htmlFormer Brazil legend Roberto Carlos has backed Luiz Felipe Scolari to lead his country to World Cup glory this summer and lauded the “genius” that is Neymar.

The legendary left-back spoke to Bild about the World Cup and how he has been hugely impressed with the 22-year-old Barcelona forward.

Neymar has come in for criticism lately but Carlos believes he can be key for Brazil this summer.

Goal.com quoted the former Real Madrid defender, he said: "(I think we will win) not only because of the advantage of playing at home, but because Luiz Felipe Scolari changed the way we play football in the Confederations Cup last summer.

"Neymar is a genius. He will be a key player at the World Cup. What is most striking about him is his character. Players with good judgement and confidence are needed."

Carlos is currently manager of Turkish outfit Sivasspor but does have big ambition for the future, including one day coaching his national team.

He added: "The Bundesliga is incredibly sexy, or do you think Pep Guardiola went over there because Germany has the best beer?

“Maybe I will be the first Brazilian to manage a Bundesliga club.

"One day I want to manage Brazil." 

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<![CDATA[Benfica forward Lima hails ‘best moment’ of his career]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59515_benfica_forward_lima_hails____best_moment____of_his_career.htmlBenfica forward Lima has revealed he is in the “best moment” of his career as his double helped win the Portuguese League Championship last weekend and now he has targeted Europa League success.

Juventus stand in Benfica’s way of reaching another Europa League final but the 30-year-old believes they can reach their second consecutive final.

Lima was quoted by Tuttosport, he said: “I can say that this is the best moment I have experienced as a player.

“The title we have just won embodies the essence of Benfica, I am happy for everything, this club and its wonderful supporters.”

Football Italia quoted the Brazilian forward about the Europa League tie with Juve, Lima said: “The Europa League, as we have seen, is a very tough competition, more demanding than last year, when we reached the final.

“And it is demonstrated in the names of the clubs still in the competition.”

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398264273.jpgWed, 23 Apr 2014 14:39:57 +0000
<![CDATA[Atlético Madrid’s Diego disappointed not to get Champions League first leg win over Chelsea]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59519_atletico_madrid___s_diego_disappointed_not_to_get_champions_league_first_leg_win_over_chelsea.htmlAtlético Madrid attacker Diego Ribas admitted he was disappointed not to beat Chelsea on Tuesday night but did concede it wasn’t the worst result possible.

Atlético played out a goalless draw with Premier League Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final’s and when speaking to AS after the game, the Brazilian revealed his regret at the final scoreline.

“This wasn’t our objective. We wanted more but we couldn’t find the goal,” Diego said.

“It’s not a bad result. The game is still open and it might be different next time.

“We have to be smart and take advantage of our opportunities.”

Diego was asked about his substitution and if he was disappointed not to complete the 90 minutes.

He also revealed his thoughts on the second leg suspension of captain Gabi.

Football Espana quoted the Brazilian, he said: “I was prepared to play but the coach Diego Simeone knows when to put me in. I respect that.

“We have to prepare well for the next match. We would like Gabi with us but we will remain competitive.”

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398267476.jpgWed, 23 Apr 2014 14:37:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Willian focused on Chelsea’s Premier League match against Liverpool, not Champions League semi-final]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59518_willian_focused_on_chelsea___s_premier_league_match_against_liverpool__not_champions_league_semi-final.htmlWillian has echoed the sentiments of team mate Ramires about the need to concentrate on the Premier League first before casting their minds to the Champions League next week.

Chelsea and Atlético Madrid drew 0-0 yesterday in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

However, the Brazilian duo both insisted that the Blues focus was on Liverpool in the Premier League this weekend.

Lancenet.com quoted Willian, who said: "We have many important games ahead, we have to go step by step.

"A win against Liverpool will show our strength as it would be in an away game against a team that have a fantastic attack, and we will be missing players.”

Sky Sports reported quotes from Willian and he said once the Liverpool clash is over, then they can think about national team call-ups and the Champions League.

The playmaker added: "We can focus on the second (leg) against Atletico and on the Brazilian national team call-ups (after the Liverpool match).

"We have to prioritise each at a time."

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398265655.jpgWed, 23 Apr 2014 14:10:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Ramires focused on matters with Chelsea at the moment]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59517_ramires_focused_on_matters_with_chelsea_at_the_moment.htmlRamires believes Chelsea have to switch their attention to beating Liverpool this weekend, rather than concentrate on the second leg of their Champions League semi-final next Wednesday.

Atlético Madrid and Chelsea played out a goalless draw on Tuesday night, a result which firmly leaves the tie in the balance.

After the game the Brazilian spoke to Lancenet.com about the upcoming week, he said: "We can't even think much about the result in Madrid, although it wasn't bad.

"We have to focus on the Premier League.

"The fight for the title is hard but if we beat Liverpool, we can win the league. We are focused on both fronts.

"Our thought is that any team would like to be in our place, fighting for a place in the Champions League final and fighting for the national title.”

Ramires went on to admit that he and his fellow countryman haven’t even had time to think about the national team recently, such is their focus on current matters with the west London club.

"It's been such decisive days that we can't even think about the Brazilian national team call-ups,” Ramires said.

"This shows how much we are focused."

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398265220.jpgWed, 23 Apr 2014 14:04:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Sambafoot are looking for new writers]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59514_sambafoot_are_looking_for_new_writers.htmlSambafoot are looking for a new collaborator to join their current team of news writers as they prepare for the upcoming World Cup.

The football website focused purely on Brazilian football news believes 2014 will be a major year for the company and would like to add one more content writer to the team.

They currently have four daily news writers although one will depart in May and that opens up the opportunity for an aspiring sports writer to join the team.

If you fancy yourself as an able writer and have an interest in Brazilian football news then why not apply? It could be the perfect opportunity to break into the tough sports journalism industry.

If you are interested send an email to contact@sambafoot.com for the latest details and include your CV to register your interest in the vacancy.

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:37:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Neymar announced as Castrol Oil promotional face ]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59511_neymar_announced_as_castrol_oil_promotional_face_.htmlBrazilian superstar Neymar will add to his already considerable marketing portfolio after it was announced that he is to front a campaign to promote Castrol Oil products.

Neymar, who has been at the centre of a media circus surrounding his transfer to Barcelona from Santos last summer, currently holds several marketing pay cheques and the adding of a deal with Castrol will increase his earnings, albeit no fees have been disclosed.

He will front the campaign with 46 year-old professional rally driver Ken Block, who is a major name in his own profession.

The Brazilian attacker will be hoping for some slick performances at the World Cup on the back of this latest news.

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<![CDATA[Thiago Ribeiro backs Santos teammate Leandro Damiao]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59509_thiago_ribeiro_backs_santos_teammate_leandro_damiao.htmlSantos attacker Thiago Ribeiro has backed new teammate Leandro Damiao to rediscover the form that had initially linked him with moves to several big European clubs only a short while ago, when he was plying his trade at Internacional.

Ribeiro, 28, is not alarmed by Damiao's lack of goals in his short time at Santos and believes the striker is contributing in other facets of the game.

"Damiao is an important player for us. It is normal for there to be a recovery when goals are not coming," Ribeiro told Lance.

"Damiao's compensation has been important in other areas, assisting and creating spaces. The players on the pich can see his importance to the team."

Leandro has seen his World Cup dreams fall away in the past year or so, with Brazil set to leave him out in favour of Atletico Mineiro hitman Jo.

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398259358.jpgWed, 23 Apr 2014 12:16:00 +0000
<![CDATA[New Botafogo goalkeeping coach happy with options]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59500_new_botafogo_goalkeeping_coach_happy_with_options.htmlBotafogo's new goalkeeping coach, Victor Hugo Signorelli, has praised the quality of stoppers he has at his disposal at a time when Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will be finalising his options in that position for the upcoming World Cup.

Speaking with Lance, Signorelli said: "Botafogo does a good job with goalkeepers, they always bring players through."

"Those who are here have a lot of quality, Renan for example is an excellent keeper. Without a game during this week I will get to know them more and work on the essentials."

Jefferson is the imcumbent at Botafogo, the Brazil keeper pretty much assured of a place in Scolari's final 23 man squad, barring injury. The 31 year-old has represented his country on nine occasions since making his debut in 2011.

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<![CDATA[Giovane Elber praises Bayern ahead of Champions League semi final]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59501_giovane_elber_praises_bayern_ahead_of_champions_league_semi_final.htmlFormer Brazil and Bayern Munich striker Giovane Elber has praised the work of pep Guardiola at the German club and suggested that they have bettered the expectations bestowed on them when the Spanish coach took over last summer.

Speaking with Goal, Elber, who won 15 Brazilian caps, scoring seven goals, said: "I had good expectations for Bayern, but they've been impressive so far."

"In the Bundesliga they are clearly superior to all of their opponents and play wonderful football. I see Bayern Munich as the favourites to win the Champions League along with Real Madrid. The other teams are all underdogs in my opinion."

Bayern face Real in the Champions League semi final first leg this evening at the Bernabeu Stadium in the Spanish capital.

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398236788.jpgWed, 23 Apr 2014 06:05:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Atletico Mineiro almost at full strength for Copa Libertadores trip to Colombia]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59499_atletico_mineiro_almost_at_full_strength_for_copa_libertadores_trip_to_colombia.htmlAtletico Mineiro will tonight attempt to take a further step closer to defending the Copa Libertadores title they won last year when they travel to Colombia to take on Atletico Nacional in the first leg of their second round tie.

The Brazilian outfit, one of only three teams from the country to reach this stage, did so by topping Group 4 and were mobbed at Medellin airport upon arrival as fans clamoured to catch a glimpse of Mineiro's stars, notably Ronaldinho Gaucho.

According to reports in the Brazilian media, striker Jo is the only real fitness doubt for the visiting team, who have not conceded a goal in four games (only scoring once themselves in the process), a run stretching back to the Libertadores draw against Santa Fe in Argentina.

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398235322.jpgWed, 23 Apr 2014 05:34:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Joao Miranda calls for Atletico Madrid focus for return Champions League game with Chelsea]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59498_joao_miranda_calls_for_atletico_madrid_focus_for_return_champions_league_game_with_chelsea.htmlBrazilian defender Joao Miranda has told his Atletico Madrid teammates to fully focus on their Champions League semi final second leg against Chelsea next week after the pair played out a goalless and largely unevenful draw at the Vicente Calderon in the Spanish capital last night.

Speaking with ESPN Brazil, the centre back said: "It was a dangerous game, a risk, and they came with that mentality to defend."

"In London they will try to come out and play and we can surprise them.We know the strength of our team and we need to get focused to win."

Chelsea are set to be without the highly experienced trio of Frank Lampard, John Terry and Petr Cech for the return leg next week and Miranda gave his views on the possoble advantage: "They lose a little experience but they have good players and our thinking is to only focus on our team and make a great game."

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<![CDATA[World Cup winner Carlos Alberto Torrres targets Brazil 2014 win]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59497_world_cup_winner_carlos_alberto_torrres_targets_brazil_2014_win.html1970 World Cup winner Carlos Alberto Torres has endorsed Brazil's chances of lifting the trophy on home soil this summer after speaking to reporters in Rio de Janeiro as part of the build up to the ever-nearing tournament.

Alberto, who scored one of the competition's most memorable goals of all time in the final 44 years ago against Italy, said: "Brazilian football is in a transitional, inter-generational phase."

"Once generation drew to a close with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. A new, very good one has taken up the baton."

"There is this lad who has become a naturalised Spaniard, Diego Costa, with whom we have lost out on a good opportunity. We do have Fred and Jo, good players with which to form a strong group and target winning the World Cup."

The 2014 version kicks off on June 12 with the hosts set to face Croatia in Sao Paulo in Group A's opening fixture.

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398234286.jpgWed, 23 Apr 2014 05:23:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Atlético Madrid head coach Diego Simeone explains decision to start Diego against Chelsea]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59494_atletico_madrid_head_coach_diego_simeone_explains_decision_to_start_diego_against_chelsea.htmlAtlético Madrid head coach Diego Simeone has explained why he started Diego in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg draw against Chelsea.

The Brazilian, who scored against Barcelona in the quarter-finals, was surprisingly selected ahead of David Villa.

"I wanted to have more options in midfield [by starting Diego there], to assist [Diego] Costa,” Simeone told UEFA.com. “I think we're looking for alternatives. [José] Sosa did well, Arda [Turan] did well. 

“In the end it was 0-0. It was an intense game with everybody fighting to get through to the final, but Chelsea have the advantage with this draw.”

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398206948.jpgTue, 22 Apr 2014 21:49:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Chelsea manager José Mourinho praises versatile David Luiz after 0-0 draw at Atlético Madrid]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59493_chelsea_manager_jose_mourinho_praises_versatile_david_luiz_after_0-0_draw_at_atletico_madrid.htmlChelsea manager José Mourinho has hailed the effort of his team following Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at Atlético Madrid in their Champions League semi-final first leg.

The Blues were on the back foot for large spells of the contest and had to deal with injuries to John Terry and Petr Čech, but held out to secure a vital clean sheet ahead of next week’s second leg at Stamford Bridge.

Speaking after the game, Mourinho singled out numerous players for their respective individual performances, with David Luiz receiving praise.

"[Gary] Cahill did a great job, David [Luiz] started in midfield so it was not easy for him to step back to centre-back [when John Terry went off],” he told UEFA.com.

“Ashley Cole was amazing after weeks without playing. Nando [Torres] was unbelievable. Every player gave everything. So I am very pleased with them.”

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398205605.jpgTue, 22 Apr 2014 21:26:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Leonardo explains why he left Milan and then signed with arch-rivals Internazionale]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59492_leonardo_explains_why_he_left_milan_and_then_signed_with_arch-rivals_internazionale.htmlFormer Brazil international Leonardo has explained why he left Milan and signed for city rivals Internazionale.

The 44 year-old spent five years with the Rossoneri as a player, before being appointed to manage them for the 2009-10 season.

Leonardo lead Milan to 2nd in the Serie A standings, but departed at the end of the campaign after disagreements with owner Silvio Berlusconi and would eventually going on to be a surprise replacement for Rafael Benítez at Inter. 

“I left Milan because of personal problems and misunderstandings, seeing as I started to feel left to one side by the club,” he told UOL Esporte.

“I was free at that point to accept any proposal and I had an excellent rapport with [then Internazionale owner] Massimo Moratti. I accepted the challenge of coaching Inter, which for me was a grand experience.

“Anyone who decides to join your team’s arch-rivals has to pay a price, which is perfectly normal criticism.

“My respect for Milan never mutated and neither has my affection for Inter.”

Leonardo left Inter in June 2011 to take up a directors role at Paris Saint-Germain. He departed the Ligue 1 side in July 2013 and has been out of work since.

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398205182.jpgTue, 22 Apr 2014 21:18:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Leonardo does not regret leaving Internazionale for Paris Saint-Germain]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59491_leonardo_does_not_regret_leaving_internazionale_for_paris_saint-germain.htmlFormer Brazil international Leonardo has insisted he does not regret leaving Internazionale for Paris Saint-Germain.

The 44 year-old coached the Nerazzurri during the 2010-11 campaign, but chose to depart at the end of the season to take up a directors role at PS-G.

“I have nothing to regret,” Leonardo told UOL Esporte. “I left Italy because I received a proposal that was unique in football, as PS-G offered me total freedom and autonomy to build a team worthy of the Champions League.

“I had to accept their offer, just as the offers from Milan and Inter could not be passed up.”

Leonardo left Paris Saint-Germain in July 2013. He is expected to return to management in Europe next season.

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398204735.jpgTue, 22 Apr 2014 21:12:00 +0000
<![CDATA[River Plate forward Teófilo Gutiérrez recalls watching Ronaldo and Rivaldo at the 1998 FIFA World Cup]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59495_river_plate_forward_teofilo_gutierrez_recalls_watching_ronaldo_and_rivaldo_at_the_1998_fifa_world_cup.htmlRiver Plate forward Teófilo Gutiérrez has recalled what watching the World Cup was like for him growing up.

The 28 year-old, who is expected to represent Colombia this summer, remembers the 1998 tournament particularly clearly, with the magic of Ronaldo and Rivaldo catching his eye.

“Watching the World Cup was something else,” he told FIFA.com. “Everyone in the neighbourhood would get together, we’d put a TV in the street and we’d watch the games. I remember 1998 very clearly, with Ronaldo, Rivaldo and the rest. 

“We loved to watch good football, to see someone stroke the ball around, to hide it from the opposition and enjoy themselves on the pitch, which is the most important thing.”

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398208740.jpgTue, 22 Apr 2014 20:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Diego reveals love for Atlético Madrid and praises ‘the best coach’ Diego Simeone]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59480_diego_reveals_love_for_atletico_madrid_and_praises____the_best_coach____diego_simeone.htmlAtlético Madrid playmaker Diego Ribas has revealed his delight at signing permanently with the club and praised coach Diego Simeone.

The Brazilian spoke with El Mundo ahead of tonight’s Champions League semi-final fixture against Chelsea.

The 29-year-old went on to talk tactics but first discussed his decision to join permanently.

Goal.com quoted Diego: “It was a very good decision to join Atlético permanently. At the moment we are creating something special and, for all of the players, it is a pleasure to participate in this.

“This team has grown a lot. This team is where it is because of the great job that the coach has done and you have to respect this.

“Simeone is the best coach. When the job is done right, the team grow together. The team and coach are stronger now than ever before.”

Diego revealed that Simeone changes tactics quite often but he doesn’t mind playing anywhere, such is his love for Atlético.

He added: “I'm comfortable playing any position because the team is doing well. The system works perfectly.

“Our tactics change every game depending on how opponents defend. But I'm always comfortable.

“The love that I have for this club is very clear, and always will be.”

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398184790.jpgTue, 22 Apr 2014 16:36:12 +0000
<![CDATA[Atlético Madrid midfielder Diego Ribas backs team mate Courtois to shine against parent club Chelsea]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59479_atletico_madrid_midfielder_diego_ribas_backs_team_mate_courtois_to_shine_against_parent_club_chelsea.htmlAtlético Madrid midfielder Diego Ribas has backed team mate Thibaut Courtois to play great against Chelsea tonight in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.

Courtois has been at the centre of much controversy since the two teams progressed to the last four and even more so when they were drawn together.

The Belgium keeper is on loan at Atlético from Chelsea and despite a loan agreement initially insisting Los Colchoneros would have to pay the Blues €3 million if the stopper played, Uefa overruled the clause.

And now Brazilian Diego believes the 21-year-old keeper will perform well again tonight.

Goal.com quoted Diego after he spoke to El Mundo, he said: “This situation is not a problem for us.

“Courtois is very calm, as always. He is ready to play and is going to do great.

“Courtois is an exemplary professional, despite his youth, and he is sure to be the same as always in Tuesday’s game.”

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398184304.jpgTue, 22 Apr 2014 15:34:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Sandro speaks out about ‘war of words’ with manager Tim Sherwood]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59478_tottenham_hotspur_midfielder_sandro_speaks_out_about____war_of_words____with_manager_tim_sherwood.htmlTottenham Hotspur midfielder Sandro has spoken out and revealed he only tweeted that he wasn’t injured on Saturday to ensure fans weren’t worried about him.

The Brazilian tweeted on Saturday morning that he wasn’t injured and after it was confirmed that he wasn’t part of the playing squad against Fulham, many felt he was hitting back at his manager Tim Sherwood.

However, Lancenet.com spoke exclusively with the midfielder after Sherwood had criticised Sandro and said he wasn’t “good enough” to be in the side at the moment.

Sandro said: “I quietly heard about the news. He did say that and I respect him, I have nothing against him, let him speak.

“I will continue working quietly, I'm a professional. I have to work. Everyone loves me at Tottenham, it is my home.”

The former Internacional midfielder has been linked with a move away from White Hart Lane recently, even before his apparent war of words with Sherwood, but he insists he is happy at Spurs.

He added: “What I have to say is what everybody knows, I'm happy here in Tottenham.”

Sandro also commented on news linking himself with a move to Tottenham’s rivals Arsenal.

He said: “If the rival supporter wants me to go to their team, I think I'm doing a good job and being recognised.

“Not only rival, ours too, I just have to thank the fans of Tottenham, who are very dear to me. We have three games and I have got to work.”

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398183334.jpgTue, 22 Apr 2014 15:16:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Botafogo’s Jefferson praises former team mate Clarence Seedorf]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59477_botafogo___s_jefferson_praises_former_team_mate_clarence_seedorf.htmlBotafogo captain Jefferson has praised former team mate Clarence Seedorf and talked about how he revolutionised the club.

The goalkeeper spoke recently to Radio Globo and talked about how the Dutchman changed so much during his spell at the Rio de Janeiro club.

Lancenet.com quoted the current captain, he said of Seedorf: "Our relationship has always been very professional.

“Seedorf arrived here at Botafogo and revolutionised us with his attitude and professionalism. The motivation in him at times was very strong.

“He sometimes tried to change things too fast. I think in three or four months he tried to change things that would last maybe years.”

Despite Seedorf trying to implement changes quickly, his impact at Botafogo was certainly a positive according to Jefferson.

He revealed some of the changes he made, adding: “Seedorf certainly added a lot to the Botafogo, Botafogo has grown with his arrival.

“Seedorf has changed our way of getting to the locker room, we could not have music, the chair had to be the way he thought it had to be, things like that he wanted to change.”

After struggling since his departure, it is no surprise to hear how much Seedorf changed during his time at Botafogo.

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398182002.jpgTue, 22 Apr 2014 14:54:00 +0000
<![CDATA[PSG manager Laurent Blanc discusses belief that World Cup is distracting Thiago Silva]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59476_psg_manager_laurent_blanc_discusses_belief_that_world_cup_is_distracting_thiago_silva.htmlThiago Silva has come in for criticism recently and many believe his performances have dropped because his attention is turning to the World Cup this summer.

Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc has discussed this belief and admitted every player that will go to the World Cup will be thinking about this summers event.

But! Football Club quoted Blanc on his captain and he said: “It is a difficult period and can also be explained by the fact that he has not been spared by injuries.

“When one is sure to go to the World Cup and is captain of Brazil, all these injuries make you afraid of missing the World Cup.

“The player can sometimes unconsciously pays attention to many things and paradoxically this is where injuries are linked.”

Interesting comments from the PSG manager about his captain and he speaks from experience about being in the position of worrying about an injury ahead of a home World Cup.

Silva and Blanc will hope that PSG can wrap up the Ligue 1 title soon so any debate over his form is forgotten about.

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1398181279.jpgTue, 22 Apr 2014 14:41:00 +0000