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Can PSG be Considered One the World’s Best Clubs?

With the latest signings of AC Milan’s defender Thiago SIlva and striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a combined £49 million ($75 million), PSG didn’t find any trouble complimenting their newest forward, Ezequial Lavezzi who signed to them earlier this month.

Being bought earlier this year by Qatar Investment Authority, Paris Saint-Germain broke the single season record for money spent at €108 million.

Signing key players in every position, PSG is showing why they are a club to be reckoned with.

Let’s take a look at this new powerhouse’s recent key transfers starting with the defenders.

Defenders

Thiago Silva– Thiago Silva can easily be considered to be the world’s best defender. SIlva captained the AC Milan squad to a second place finish in last year’s Serie A campaign, four points behind the winners Juventus.

What separates Silva from other central defenders around the world is his uncanny ability to be a huge asset to the midfielders and forwards with his great speed and passing touch.

Silva is a special talent and can easily bring the leadership and skill that he brought night in and night out in Milan to PSG.

Alex– After submitting a transfer request on December 3rd 2011, Alex finally got his wish and on January 27th 2012 was transferred to PSG.

Even though being plagued by injuries in almost all of his seasons at Chelsea, Alex was a huge part of the defence system made by Carlo Ancelloti. Once Ancelloti was sacked it was if Alex was lost also, telling the media the reason for him wanting to leave was because new manager Andre Villas-Boas had not given him enough playing time.

Like is new teammate Alex plays for the Brazilian national squad. Alex transferred from Chelsea FC for a reported €5m.

Midfielders

Javier Pastore- 23 year old Javier Pastore signed with PSG in the summer of 2011 for a fee of €22.8 million from the Serie A squad, Palermo.

Pastore was awarded the Serie A Young Player of the Year award in 2010. In that year he recorded 11 goals in 25 appearances.

Carlos Ancelotti, left, with Lavezzi, middle, and Pastore, right.

In his first  year with PSG, Pastore recorded a career-high 16 goals and 8 assists.

Club manager Carlos Ancelotti has said on many occasions how he believes Pastore could be a one of the worlds best midfielders over time.”He’s getting better with each match. He still needs to work on his fitness because he’s not yet 100%,” Ancelotti told the club’s official website. “But I’m happy because he’s making the difference we need.”

Ezequiel Lavezzi- One of PSG’s first summer transfers, Lavezzi was acquired for a fee of €30 million.

Lavezzi is a speedy left-winger in which PSG desperately needed. He’ll add experience, playmaking and leadership to this newly assembled squad.

Like his new teammate Javier Pastore, Lavezzi is Argentinian and both play for the national team. Lavezzi could play the part of mentor for the budding star who is Pastore, in which he desperately needs.

In his 5 years with Napoli, Lavezzi scored 48 goals and 49 assists.

Forwards

Zlatan Ibrahimovic- Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the latest signing by PSG. He was acquired for a fee of around €20 million.

Ibrahimovic’s 3-year contract would see him receive a net annual salary of €14 million including bonuses. This makes him the second highest footballer in the world behind Samuel Eto’o.

Ibrahimovic recorded 28 goals in the Serie A for Milan in the 2011-2012, a career high. Ibrahimovic won Serie A’s top scorer award that year.

Ibrahimovic, considered to be one of the worlds best strikers when he’s in form, is the player up front in which any team in the world could thrive from. He is a great addition the team and will go right in and dominate the way he has in almost every team he has played for.

Do not be surprise to see a new powerhouse in the world of club soccer. PSG is determined to leave their fingerprints in next years UEFA competition. As Football fans we are in for a a french club who can dominate this tournament in ways we have never seen and we will be nothing but pure entertainment to see.

Written by: Mohamed A. Mohamed

Roberto Mancini signs a New Five-Year Deal with Manchester City

20120709-144622.jpgManchester City and Roberto Mancini have come to agreements on a new deal, which will see Mancini managing the team until summer of 2017.

The club released a statement saying,”Manchester City Football Club today are pleased to announce that a new contract has been agreed with manager Roberto Mancini.”

Mancini managed the squad to their first EPL season championship in 44 years.

Manchester City finished the season with a 28-5-5 record.

Written By: Mohamed A. Mohamed

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The Wiz Kid

Let me introduce you to one of football’s youngest talent. This here is Hachim Mastour, a 14 year old from Reggio Eilia, Italy. who has been picked up by italian giants AC Milan for £500,000 from Reggiana.

With Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Inter Milan rumoured to chasing after Mastour, AC Milan were able  to attract him to the club for a record fee.

Mastour plays as a forward, with flawless ball control and a fierce shot. He is without a doubt a wonderful playmaker who has been compared to Wesley Sneijder as he plays a true number 10, and also Zidane, and Riquelme.

Even though he may be just a kid, and there may be a lot of pressure put down on the youngster, there is no doubt however that Mastour possess some great talent.

Here he is as well in the number 11 shirt during his short time with Inter Milan in the Memorial Ielasi tournament finals scoring the second goal.

Written By: Lawan Kakei

Where Should Robin van Persie Go?

This past week, the media has become aware of the situation surrounding Arsenal longtime great, Robin van Persie. As most of us know his time at the Emirates Stadium will be nearing an end after announcing he will not sign a contract extension with the club to which he only has a year remaining on his current contract.

Van Persie joined Arsenal in 2004 for a transfer fee of £2.75 million, and now valued at £15 million. Had he not publicly announced that he will not be signing a new contract he could have been valued at £25 million, to which they could buy a suitable replacement.

Nonetheless, many of Europe’s biggest clubs have been alerted of this situation and are rumored to want the signature of the 28 year old, but which club would best suit the striker.

Manchester City

This money splurging club has long sought after van Persie and are willing to pay him £198,000 a week as they refuse to break their wage structure for him and also because of his history of ankle and knee injuries.

Robin van Persie is also looking for silverware, and City could just be the team to provide him the opportunity to compete with the big teams in England, and most importantly all of Europe.

This is not the first time City has lured Arsenal players away from Arsene Wenger’s club with money. In the past three years they have been able to snatch Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Gael Clichy, and Samir Nasri, all at times Arsenal made efforts to push towards in improving their squad.

In order to get van Persie’s signature City coach, Roberto Mancini, will have to offload players seen as baggage to open up room to make the transfer.  Such players would include, Roque Santa Cruz, Emmanuel Adebayor, and Eden Dzeko. If he were to make the transfer to City, there will be constant competition for a position in the starting line-up.

There is far too much competition to deal with at the club for Robin to deal with. After coming back from an impressive form for Italy in Euro 2012, Balotelli is more than likely to push for a starting role in Mancini’s line up. Carlos Tevez and fellow countryman Sergio Aguero were both pivotal in the last stretch of the past season also.

His family members have told the media numerous times that he would not join Manchester City or any other premier league teams. Van Persie has too much love for the club, and the Arsenal fans to join City, which is why we are more than likely to see him offloaded out of England into other big leagues.

Manchester United   

This is a highly unlikely move for van Persie as they already have a strong attack. What they need are midfielders to solidify the middle of the field. They have already brought in 18 year old Nick Powell from Crewe Alexandra for £4 million and 23 year old Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund for roughly £17 million. These attacking midfielders are not what United need however.

United must look for a strong defensive midfielder or central midfielder who can distribute the ball, help out the defense. Essentially what they need is a younger version of Paul Scholes since Anderson simply does not cut it.

Alex Ferguson must also add depth to his entire back four, to further bolster up his defence.

They simply do not need the Arsenal captain.

Paris Saint-Germain

Lavezzi with his new squad, PSG.

Backed by their Qatari owners, League 1 side Paris Saint – Germain are the French version of Manchester City. This summer they will look to improve their squad in order to be capable of competing in Champions League football.

If van Persie joins PSG, he would play alongside Ezequiel Lavezzi after they brought him in from Napoli for £30 million last week.

With van Persie’s quality, it would not be the right kind of atmosphere for him in France. As he looks for a team that is always moving forward, and one that can compete with big European clubs a move to PSG is ultimately a step down in quality, and competition for him in League 1.

Barcelona

It would be every player’s dream to play for Spanish giants, Barcelona. They have been accumulating nearly every trophy they could grasp their hands on and being constant title contenders, which is why they currently are the team to beat in today’s football.

If Robin van Persie were to leave for Barcelona, he would be reunited with former longtime teammate, Cesc Fabregas. It has been customary for many Arsenal players to try their luck in Barcelona with the likes of Thierry Henry, Alexander Hleb and many other football greats.

This transfer could also see David Villa make his way to the Emirates Stadium as Barcelona looks to make a player swap with an additional £13 million. This does look like an incredible deal since Arsene Wenger has tried to get his signature back in 2010; however he is slowly going out of his prime. The 30-year old was hit with a leg injury for a majority of the season, and it looks like there could be more to come. The last thing Arsenal would need is for another striker to have consecutive injury-hit seasons.

This deal also is reminiscent of the time Zlatan Ibrahimovic moved to Barcelona in 2009. Both van Persie and Ibrahimovic are great, similar structured strikers however like Ibrahimovic; van Persie will not mesh will with the Barcelona squad. It will take him time to get used to the system played in Barcelona, and the more time it will take him, the more it will hurt the squad as a whole. It is probable for Lionel Messi and van Persie to clash heads since Messi is the face of Barcelona, and van Persie thinking he is more than what he is playing for Barcelona.

However, van Persie could be capable to adapt to the squad as they play a similar formation, 4-3-3, and play style as well. It is all a matter of how egos will mesh with Messi and van Persie.

Juventus

After going undefeated for the entire season, Serie A champions have also their sights to buy Robin van Persie, and believe they stand a better chance than City to sign the player. Juventus are willing to smash their wage ceiling if it is an increase in wages is what van Persie is looking for.

Van Persie has a different mindset compared to other Europeans because of his nationality. There have been many players to enjoy their success in Serie A, and especially Juventus. Players such as Zinedine Zidane, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alessandro Del Piero, Pavel Nedved, and most recently Andrea Pirlo were able to succeed at Juventus.

After being relegated to Serie B in 2006 due to match-fixing, they have shown their ambition to being the top team in Italy this season. Juventus went undefeated as previously mentioned, winning 23 games and drawing 15 games as well. Their top scorer, Alessandro Matri, scored only 10 goals in 30 games. With a player like van Persie who was capable of scoring 30 goals in 38 games this past season to be added into Juventus’ would immensely increase their domination in the Italian league.

With no offence to the Italian league, it is a dying league. They are not the same league we have seen five years ago, when they were Champions league final contenders.  Robin van Persie will be soon past his prime as he turns 29 next month, and only has an FA Cup win to show for. He will get slower, his reaction time will be delayed, his touches will get worse, he may as well play in the inferior league whilst in his prime

Robin van Persie will, without a doubt, be a starter in the Juventus squad. This next season shows a lot of promise to be title contenders for the club, something that van Persie has been looking for quite some time now. He also can stay true to his Arsenal fans by opting for this move to Juventus, rather than committing career suicide at City.

Written By: Lawan Kakei

Three Players Who Are Bound to Break Out Next Year in the EPL

Mario Balotelli Goal vs. Republic of Ireland

With the Premier League training camps starting for teams earlier this week, there are 3 players who have all the opportunity to turn into the best players in the league. These players have shown they have the potential to lead their teams whether it be on the offensive or defensive ends. Two of the three players have already had much experience with the other being bought from another league.

One of these three players, and the one with the most chance to succeed is Mario Balotelli. Balotelli finished last season with 18 goals only starting 22 of his 34 games. Balotelli is also only 21, turning 22 later this summer. He played for the italian team who made it to the Euro finals last week. He tallied up 3 goals in the tournament, tied for first place. Something not shown in the stat sheet is Balotelli desire and push to win. With an unrelenting playing style and huge amount of talents Mario Balotelli is WSB’s favourite player breakout next year in the EPL.

The second player that World Sports Blog assumes will break out is Papiss Cisse. Cisse was a late addition to the Newcastle squad appearing in only 14 games and scoring on 13 occasions. One of these goals has been consider by many analysts and fans as the goal of the year.

Before he joined the team Newcastle was 8th but Cisse sparked a rejuvenated Newcastle squad all the way up to a Champions League Qualification run. They ended up finishing 5th and did not move on because Chelsea who finished 6th won the Champions league which allowed them to qualify over Newcastle and Tottenham.

The only thing which could stop Cisse from becoming great next season is his own team. Demba Ba who was the lone striker before Cisse signed was put into ESPN’s Premier League XI for the first half of the season. Ba left for the African Cup when Cisse was signed so the two never had the time to mesh as co-strikers in such an important time in the season. Newcastle must sign quality players to play with Cisse and Demba Ba so all the duties are not bestowed onto them.

Eden Hazard signs with Chelsea for £32 Million

The last and possibly the most perplexing is Eden Hazard. Hazard was transferred to Chelsea for a reported £32 million. He could easily fit into Di Matteo’s system and is exactly what Chelsea needs in a offensively gifted midfielder who can facilitate and create opportunities for himself.

Hazard finished his last season with Lille scoring 20 goals and 15 assists. He started in all of his 38 appearances.

Regardless of their impact next year, watch out for these budding stars. Whether they produce or not, they have the ability and skill to takeover any game and their respected clubs should be cautious but grateful at the same time for the talents their each player possess.

Written By: Mohamed Mohamed