AJAX HERO BACKS BARCA

Barcelona spent a huge amount of money in trying to bring Neymar and they were ultimately successful to be competitors like Real Madrid for his signature. It has been reported that they have spent close to € 87 million in securing Neymar from Brazil.

He has been extremely good for the club in the opening half of the season and it has helped Barcelona go top of the table – albeit on goal difference. Neymar has already scored 11 goals and created 10 more in just 26 appearances for the club. He has now been compared with former Barcelona great Johan Cruyff by midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

Barcelona spent a huge amount of money in trying to bring Neymar and they were ultimately successful to be competitors like Real Madrid for his signature. It has been reported that they have spent close to € 87 million in securing Neymar from Brazil.

He has been extremely good for the club in the opening half of the season and it has helped Barcelona go top of the table – albeit on goal difference. Neymar has already scored 11 goals and created 10 more in just 26 appearances for the club. He has now been compared with former Barcelona great Johan Cruyff by midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

The former Arsenal man says that Neymar is very much similar to Cruyff because he plays with the same guile and composure that the Dutchman showed during his time at the club. Cruyff went on to be recognised as some of the greatest players ever and Fabregas reckons that Neymar can follow in his footsteps. The 21-year-old is currently on the sidelines after being injured in a recent match. He is expected to return to first-team action just in time for the Champions league clash with Manchester City.

Cruyff spent five seasons at Barcelona, while he also returned to the club as a manager. Until now, he has been involved in the Barcelona board because leaving due to ideology clashes.
“He reminds me of Cruyff. I never got to see him play live, but Cruyff had an incredible change of rhythm, like [Neymar]. He starts fast, slows down suddenly, then starts again with a lot of speed. I also remember him having the same speed when driving [forward],” said Fabregas.

Fabregas himself has been brilliant for Barca this season. After being linked with Manchester United throughout this summer, he has been an ever present for Gerardo Martino’s team.

BABEL BACKS LFC

Former Liverpool midfielder Ryan Babel has said that he is happy to see his former club at the top of the table. Liverpool have been suffering a lot over the last few years, but Brendan Rodgers has been able to get the team to the top of the table on Christmas Day.

The last time they were in position was under Rafa Benitez five years ago. Babel played for the club during that period, as he was a Liverpool player from 2007 to 2011. He has already called those memories and has also stated that he is happy that Liverpool are doing well right now.

Former Liverpool midfielder Ryan Babel has said that he is happy to see his former club at the top of the table. Liverpool have been suffering a lot over the last few years, but Brendan Rodgers has been able to get the team to the top of the table on Christmas Day.

The last time they were in position was under Rafa Benitez five years ago. Babel played for the club during that period, as he was a Liverpool player from 2007 to 2011. He has already called those memories and has also stated that he is happy that Liverpool are doing well right now.

Liverpool looked at their imperious best in the 5-0 win over Tottenham on Sunday. This match also saw the departure of Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas. Luis Suarez has been at the forefront of this good form for Liverpool and he once again demonstrated his importance by scoring two goals. Liverpool were certainly helped by the red card for Tottenham, but there were impressive nonetheless. Despite the victory, Brendan Rodgers will be hoping to keep the feet on the ground especially because Liverpool have two tough matches away from home against Manchester City and Chelsea
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“Whenever i’m not playing myself i try to catch a game ! Very proud to c that LFC find their selves back after a few difficult years. Spurs away has always been difficult in my time at LFC, So it was def a big result ! If LFC remain the form they currently have, they definitely have a big chance ! Dec/Jan are the most difficult months… C how they do,” said Babel. The former Ajax youth team product is currently playing in Turkish football with Kasımpaşa.

He is right now trying to resurrect his career that showed a lot of promise during the early period.

LIVERPOOL ON THE UP

Ryan Babel’s former club Liverpool’s 5-0 victory against Tottenham allows them to keep up the pressure on the table toppers Arsenal who are only 2 points ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea.

Luis Suarez was the backbone of Liverpool during that match as he scored twice and created the same amount of assists for his teammates. Thanks to the burst of success that he has been experiencing this season, he was awarded with the Football Supporters Federation.

The former Ajax player thanked the Liverpool supporters for having faith with him and believing in his capabilities when things got tough for him in the club.

Ryan Babel’s former club Liverpool’s 5-0 victory against Tottenham allows them to keep up the pressure on the table toppers Arsenal who are only 2 points ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea.

Luis Suarez was the backbone of Liverpool during that match as he scored twice and created the same amount of assists for his teammates. Thanks to the burst of success that he has been experiencing this season, he was awarded with the Football Supporters Federation.

The former Ajax player thanked the Liverpool supporters for having faith with him and believing in his capabilities when things got tough for him in the club.

“After so many difficult moments for me I was able to win the supporters back, and that was unbelievable when I came back to play.They helped me, and that was important for me, for my confidence, and for my family, because they are together with me in this”.

“The award is very special for me because my hard work on the pitch is recognized. Everybody knows about my problems and my difficult year, but after that I forgot everything and have been able to get back on the pitch. Liverpool are starting to reach their potential and we can play our best on the pitch’’. Suarez said.

All the clubs in the Premier League are preparing their plans for the transfer window and Liverpool has been linked with new targets that can possibly make a move to the team of Brendan Rodgers.

Some in the media have likened the transfer window to some kind of lottery – maybe the clubs would be better off trying their luck somewhere else instead!? – but if Liverpool manage to make the right signings then the push for the title could really take shape.

Ivan Rakitic of Sevilla was in the radar of Liverpool last summer but no official offers were made for the midfielder and now it is believed that the Premier League club will take it a step further this time around although Rakitic’s clause of €40 million will make it tough for Liverpool to offload that amount of money just for 1 player.

Konstantinos Mitroglou is another player that Liverpool is keeping close tabs on and it’s a much more economical option considering he is valued at around €8 million.

DRAW WITH BURSASPOR

Kasimpasa failed to close the gap between themselves and the current leaders of the Turkish league Fenerbahce as they could only manage to claim 1 point in their latest encounter that saw them drawing 1-1 against Bursaspor.

Since the creation of the club in 1921, they have spent much the majority of the time in the lower divisions of Turkish football until making a breakthrough after 43 years as they got promoted to the Super Lig for the 2nd time of their history.

Following a number of events that saw them being relegated and promoted they are now making a statement by fighting at the top spots of the Super Lig.

Kasimpasa failed to close the gap between themselves and the current leaders of the Turkish league Fenerbahce as they could only manage to claim 1 point in their latest encounter that saw them drawing 1-1 against Bursaspor.

Since the creation of the club in 1921, they have spent much the majority of the time in the lower divisions of Turkish football until making a breakthrough after 43 years as they got promoted to the Super Lig for the 2nd time of their history.

Following a number of events that saw them being relegated and promoted they are now making a statement by fighting at the top spots of the Super Lig.

The sudden rise to glory has even made the vice president Hilmi Oksuz speak to the press and say: “Our plan points to be champions within five years after having achieved promotion in 2012. We aim also to get to European competition in three years and I am sure that we will succeed. Hope to get a place in next Champions League. Every year we get stronger.”

According to the latest football betting, Kasimpasa are third favourites to take the title, though if they are still up there at the start of the New Year, anything could happen…

Much of the success can be attributed to the latest signings made in modern times including the addition of the veteran goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson who entered the club back in 2012 and helped the club fight for the top spots of the league.

Other crucial signings include the central defender Ryan Donk and former Ajax player Ryan Babel as well as the Argentine player Ezequiel Scarione but now the real tests are ahead of them as they have to prove they are worthy on maintaining the top spots of Super Lig.

NO LET UP

The manager of Netherlands football team, Louis Van Gaal, has said that his team shouldn’t take its next World Cup qualifier against Andorra lightly.

Netherlands is currently at the top position in the Group D points table. They have won 6 out of the 7 World Cup qualifying games that they have played so far. They currently have 19 points which is 6 more than the no. 2 Romania.

However, Netherland’s last game against Estonia was a draw. They were actually in a spot of bother in that game and at one point of time; it seemed as if they would suffer a shocking defeat, but, a superb leveller scored by Robin Van Persie just a couple of minutes before the end saved them from that humiliation.

Talking to the reporters ahead of the game against Andorra, Van Gaal said, “We can’t take this game easily. Yes, we are a better side on paper, but, that doesn’t matter. It all depends on how you execute your plans out there. We were the favourites against Estonia as well, but, we just got one point from that game.”

The Dutch manager also backed Stefan de Vrij who is being heavily criticized for a poor outing against Estonia.

Van Gaal said, “Soccer is a team game. So, picking out a single player and saying that he is the main culprit, it’s not fair.”

Arjen Robben who was one of the two goal scorers for Netherlands in that game against Estonia will not feature against Andorra because of the suspension. When asked about that, Van Gaal said, “We haven’t got too any options on wing. So, his suspension is definitely a big blow.”

If the Dutch team wins the game against Andorra and Romania doesn’t secure 3 points against Turkey, the Oranje will make their way into the finals.

The manager of Netherlands football team, Louis Van Gaal, has said that his team shouldn’t take its next World Cup qualifier against Andorra lightly.

Netherlands is currently at the top position in the Group D points table. They have won 6 out of the 7 World Cup qualifying games that they have played so far. They currently have 19 points which is 6 more than the no. 2 Romania.

However, Netherland’s last game against Estonia was a draw. They were actually in a spot of bother in that game and at one point of time; it seemed as if they would suffer a shocking defeat, but, a superb leveller scored by Robin Van Persie just a couple of minutes before the end saved them from that humiliation.

Talking to the reporters ahead of the game against Andorra, Van Gaal said, “We can’t take this game easily. Yes, we are a better side on paper, but, that doesn’t matter. It all depends on how you execute your plans out there. We were the favourites against Estonia as well, but, we just got one point from that game.”

The Dutch manager also backed Stefan de Vrij who is being heavily criticized for a poor outing against Estonia.

Van Gaal said, “Soccer is a team game. So, picking out a single player and saying that he is the main culprit, it’s not fair.”

Arjen Robben who was one of the two goal scorers for Netherlands in that game against Estonia will not feature against Andorra because of the suspension. When asked about that, Van Gaal said, “We haven’t got too any options on wing. So, his suspension is definitely a big blow.”

If the Dutch team wins the game against Andorra and Romania doesn’t secure 3 points against Turkey, the Oranje will make their way into the finals.

CLUBS CHASE AJAX STARS

A number of Premier league clubs have been showing interest in Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld as we approach the final few days of the transfer window.

Alderweireld has done nothing to dismiss the speculation by admitting that he would be open to a move to the Premier league. He did admit that he has not taken a decision on his future yet. The 24-year-old is a highly rated young defender, who is on the eyes of several Premier league clubs. His future has also been much speculated along with midfielder Christian Eriksen, who has been linked with Tottenham and Liverpool.

Tottenham also appear to be interested in Alderweireld, and he has said that the English outfit has not made an official offer yet. It is quite possible that Tottenham will be on the lookout for a new defender after allowing the likes of Caulker to leave the club in the last few weeks. The release of defender William Gallas has also made Tottenham extremely thin in this position.

The club has already enjoyed a lot of success in the form of signing a player who has played in the Dutch league in the past. Jan Vertonghen appears to have successfully settled following his transformation from the Dutch league to the Premier league.

“We will see, if they [Tottenham] are very interested then I will hear what their plans are. [There is no offer from Everton] that I know of, maybe my manager knows. But I was focusing on the [Belgium] game and now I’m focusing on Sunday. I didn’t hear from those clubs. But those are beautiful clubs and the Premier League is a beautiful competition, so we will see,” said Alderweireld. He has been at Ajax since 2009. His versatility of being able to play at right back along with centre back has appealed to a lot of clubs.

A number of Premier league clubs have been showing interest in Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld as we approach the final few days of the transfer window.

Alderweireld has done nothing to dismiss the speculation by admitting that he would be open to a move to the Premier league. He did admit that he has not taken a decision on his future yet. The 24-year-old is a highly rated young defender, who is on the eyes of several Premier league clubs. His future has also been much speculated along with midfielder Christian Eriksen, who has been linked with Tottenham and Liverpool.

Tottenham also appear to be interested in Alderweireld, and he has said that the English outfit has not made an official offer yet. It is quite possible that Tottenham will be on the lookout for a new defender after allowing the likes of Caulker to leave the club in the last few weeks. The release of defender William Gallas has also made Tottenham extremely thin in this position.

The club has already enjoyed a lot of success in the form of signing a player who has played in the Dutch league in the past. Jan Vertonghen appears to have successfully settled following his transformation from the Dutch league to the Premier league.

“We will see, if they [Tottenham] are very interested then I will hear what their plans are. [There is no offer from Everton] that I know of, maybe my manager knows. But I was focusing on the [Belgium] game and now I’m focusing on Sunday. I didn’t hear from those clubs. But those are beautiful clubs and the Premier League is a beautiful competition, so we will see,” said Alderweireld. He has been at Ajax since 2009. His versatility of being able to play at right back along with centre back has appealed to a lot of clubs.

HEADING TO TURKEY

Ryan Babel has signed for the Turkish club Kasimpasa. The manager of the club, Shota Arveladze, confirmed his signing yesterday.

Babel’s former club Ajax Amsterdam decided not to give him a contract extension at the end of the last season. So, the Dutch international was available on a free transfer.

Babel had joined Ajax for the second time in his career at the start of the last season. He had signed just a 1-year deal with his boyhood club.

Babel’s performance for Ajax in the last season was not that poor. He had featured for them in 22 games and had found the back of the net 5 times. He had also assisted 7 goals.

Actually, Babel had begun his career at Ajax. He started playing for the senior team of Ajax in 2004. His debut match was against ADO Den Haag. That was an Eredivisie match and Ajax won it by a huge margin of 4-0.

Babel didn’t get any more playing opportunities in the remaining part of 2003-04 season. His first goal for Ajax came in the first half of the next season in a match against De Graafschap.

Babel always struggled for consistency during his first tenure at Ajax and that’s why, he never managed to cement his spot in the starting XI.

Babel played 73 games for Ajax during his first tenure and netted 14 times.

In July 2007, Babel was sold to Liverpool. The transfer fee paid by the Reds for buying Babel was 14 Million Pounds.
After signing for Kasimpasa, Babel said, “People of Turkey absolutely love their football and I am looking forward to playing there. It would be fun playing in front of jam packed crowds.”

Babel has signed a 3-year deal with Kasimpasa.

Ryan Babel has signed for the Turkish club Kasimpasa. The manager of the club, Shota Arveladze, confirmed his signing yesterday.

Babel’s former club Ajax Amsterdam decided not to give him a contract extension at the end of the last season. So, the Dutch international was available on a free transfer.

Babel had joined Ajax for the second time in his career at the start of the last season. He had signed just a 1-year deal with his boyhood club.

Babel’s performance for Ajax in the last season was not that poor. He had featured for them in 22 games and had found the back of the net 5 times. He had also assisted 7 goals.

Actually, Babel had begun his career at Ajax. He started playing for the senior team of Ajax in 2004. His debut match was against ADO Den Haag. That was an Eredivisie match and Ajax won it by a huge margin of 4-0.

Babel didn’t get any more playing opportunities in the remaining part of 2003-04 season. His first goal for Ajax came in the first half of the next season in a match against De Graafschap.

Babel always struggled for consistency during his first tenure at Ajax and that’s why, he never managed to cement his spot in the starting XI.

Babel played 73 games for Ajax during his first tenure and netted 14 times.

In July 2007, Babel was sold to Liverpool. The transfer fee paid by the Reds for buying Babel was 14 Million Pounds.
After signing for Kasimpasa, Babel said, “People of Turkey absolutely love their football and I am looking forward to playing there. It would be fun playing in front of jam packed crowds.”

Babel has signed a 3-year deal with Kasimpasa.

TIME FOR ERIKSEN TO GO?

The director of football at Ajax Amsterdam, Marc Overmars, has admitted that Christian Eriksen might want to take a transfer at the end of this season.

A lot of big clubs have shown interest in signing Eriksen recently and a couple of months back, Eriksen himself had also admitted that he would like to play for a Premier League or a La Liga club. So, there have been speculations that Eriksen might leave Ajax during the upcoming summer transfer window.
The Premier League clubs which have shown interest in Eriksen are Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

When asked if he thinks that Eriksen might leave the club at the end of the ongoing season, Overmars said, “That might be the case. Obviously, we don’t want him to take a transfer as he has been a match winner for us. Let’s see what happens. If Christian gets offers from big clubs, obviously, he would want to leave. But, if he doesn’t get big offers, probably, he would stay here.”

Eriksen’s agent, Martin Schoots, has also hinted that the Danish midfielder would consider a move away during the summer transfer window.

Schoots said, “It’s not the right time to talk about transfer issues. The season is still in progress and Christian only wants to focus on his game at this point of time. After the end of the season, we will see. But, I would not say that he would not accept any offer during the summer transfer window. If he gets a good offer, he might accept it.”

Eriksen had joined Ajax in October 2008. Ajax had paid a transfer fee of 1 million Euros for buying him from Odense Boldklub.

Eriksen has played 99 matches for Ajax so far and has netted 20 times.

The director of football at Ajax Amsterdam, Marc Overmars, has admitted that Christian Eriksen might want to take a transfer at the end of this season.

A lot of big clubs have shown interest in signing Eriksen recently and a couple of months back, Eriksen himself had also admitted that he would like to play for a Premier League or a La Liga club. So, there have been speculations that Eriksen might leave Ajax during the upcoming summer transfer window.
The Premier League clubs which have shown interest in Eriksen are Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

When asked if he thinks that Eriksen might leave the club at the end of the ongoing season, Overmars said, “That might be the case. Obviously, we don’t want him to take a transfer as he has been a match winner for us. Let’s see what happens. If Christian gets offers from big clubs, obviously, he would want to leave. But, if he doesn’t get big offers, probably, he would stay here.”

Eriksen’s agent, Martin Schoots, has also hinted that the Danish midfielder would consider a move away during the summer transfer window.

Schoots said, “It’s not the right time to talk about transfer issues. The season is still in progress and Christian only wants to focus on his game at this point of time. After the end of the season, we will see. But, I would not say that he would not accept any offer during the summer transfer window. If he gets a good offer, he might accept it.”

Eriksen had joined Ajax in October 2008. Ajax had paid a transfer fee of 1 million Euros for buying him from Odense Boldklub.

Eriksen has played 99 matches for Ajax so far and has netted 20 times.

DE BOER WILL STAY

The Ajax manager Frank de Boer has revealed that he has already turned down two opportunities to leave the club. The manager of the Dutch team has said that he received a great offer from Spartak Moscow, who are currently without a manager following the sacking of the former Valencia manager Unai Emery.

It is thought that they had made Frank de Boer their number one target, but the Ajax manager has revealed that he has turned down that opportunity to remain with the Dutch club. De Boer is in the process of rebuilding the Ajax team to the former glory.

Despite being in a very tough group in the Champions League, de Boer has been able to get Ajax to the Europa league knockout stages. They are also third in the Dutch Eredivisie, but just three points behind leaders PSV. Hence, they have a real opportunity to win the title this season. Despite having a number of volatile players in the squad, de Boer has been able to bring them together and get results. It has impressed the eastern European club Spartak Moscow, who were on the lookout for a replacement for Emery. As a result, Spartak Moscow have now appointed the technical director Valery Karpin as the manager till the end of the season.

“My work with Ajax is not finished. There is still a lot of growth in this team and at Ajax I have fun every day. Also my family played a part in my decision. I have three beautiful daughters and a beautiful wife. She owns her own shop where she has a lot of fun. Was I supposed to tell them ‘we are going to Russia?’ No. Money is not the most important thing. Six million euros net per year from Spartak was a lot of money but that’s me,” said de Boer.

The Ajax manager Frank de Boer has revealed that he has already turned down two opportunities to leave the club. The manager of the Dutch team has said that he received a great offer from Spartak Moscow, who are currently without a manager following the sacking of the former Valencia manager Unai Emery.

It is thought that they had made Frank de Boer their number one target, but the Ajax manager has revealed that he has turned down that opportunity to remain with the Dutch club. De Boer is in the process of rebuilding the Ajax team to the former glory.

Despite being in a very tough group in the Champions League, de Boer has been able to get Ajax to the Europa league knockout stages. They are also third in the Dutch Eredivisie, but just three points behind leaders PSV. Hence, they have a real opportunity to win the title this season. Despite having a number of volatile players in the squad, de Boer has been able to bring them together and get results. It has impressed the eastern European club Spartak Moscow, who were on the lookout for a replacement for Emery. As a result, Spartak Moscow have now appointed the technical director Valery Karpin as the manager till the end of the season.

“My work with Ajax is not finished. There is still a lot of growth in this team and at Ajax I have fun every day. Also my family played a part in my decision. I have three beautiful daughters and a beautiful wife. She owns her own shop where she has a lot of fun. Was I supposed to tell them ‘we are going to Russia?’ No. Money is not the most important thing. Six million euros net per year from Spartak was a lot of money but that’s me,” said de Boer.

BABEL HAPPY WITH CITY WIN

The Ajax midfielder Ryan Babel has said that he is extremely happy with the performance put in by their team in the last two European matches against Manchester City, which has helped them to the third position in the Champions League group stage.

Ajax have taken a total of four points from the last two matches against Manchester City. This means that they are ahead of the Premier league champions in the group, with a real chance of being able to seal a spot in the latter stages of the Europa league in the reckoning. The former Liverpool midfielder Ryan Babel, who plays for the Dutch club now, says that he is happy with the performance of the team in these two matches.

Babel said prior to the two matches that it is extremely important that Ajax look for at least a win from these two matches, but they have excelled by getting a worthy 2-2 draw at the Etihad stadium as well. Now, they will be going into the remaining two matches against Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund with real confidence that they can progress to the Europa league at least even as the prospect of reaching the last 16 stage of the Champions League looks really tough.

“It was a statement to the other teams. We have to analyse what the gameplan will be for the next two games but I think these two games will give us confidence. We have to take it step by step but I think we made a little statement,” said Ryan Babel after the match. Despite their good run of form in the European competition, Ajax are struggling in the Dutch Eredivisie. There are currently in the fourth position after having won only once in the last five matches in the league.

The Ajax midfielder Ryan Babel has said that he is extremely happy with the performance put in by their team in the last two European matches against Manchester City, which has helped them to the third position in the Champions League group stage.

Ajax have taken a total of four points from the last two matches against Manchester City. This means that they are ahead of the Premier league champions in the group, with a real chance of being able to seal a spot in the latter stages of the Europa league in the reckoning. The former Liverpool midfielder Ryan Babel, who plays for the Dutch club now, says that he is happy with the performance of the team in these two matches.

Babel said prior to the two matches that it is extremely important that Ajax look for at least a win from these two matches, but they have excelled by getting a worthy 2-2 draw at the Etihad stadium as well. Now, they will be going into the remaining two matches against Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund with real confidence that they can progress to the Europa league at least even as the prospect of reaching the last 16 stage of the Champions League looks really tough.

“It was a statement to the other teams. We have to analyse what the gameplan will be for the next two games but I think these two games will give us confidence. We have to take it step by step but I think we made a little statement,” said Ryan Babel after the match. Despite their good run of form in the European competition, Ajax are struggling in the Dutch Eredivisie. There are currently in the fourth position after having won only once in the last five matches in the league.