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Willian ‘never wanted to leave Chelsea’ amid Man Utd, Real Madrid & Barcelona transfer talk – football news

Willian claims to have “never said that I want to leave Chelsea”, with the Brazilian having been heavily linked with Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The 30-year-old forward established himself as a key figure at Stamford Bridge during the 2017-18 campaign, with regular game time allowing him to find consistency in his game.

A personal best return of 13 goals was recorded as a result, along with eight assists across Premier League and Champions League competition.

That fine form sparked talk of a possible reunion with former Blues boss Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, while La Liga heavyweights Real and Barca were also said to be keen as they scoured the market for attacking reinforcements.

No deal was done and Willian, who has now spent five years on the books at Chelsea, is delighted to have stayed put.

He told the club’s official website:  “A lot of people they say a lot of things in the press, but I never said that I want to leave Chelsea, never.

“Always I say that I want to stay at Chelsea as long as possible, and I am happy to stay here.”

Willian, who was snapped up for £30 million ($39m) from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013, is fast closing in on 250 appearances for Chelsea.

He hopes there will be many more to come, with his current deal set to keep him in west London until at least 2020.

“When I arrived here my plan was to stay here as long as possible and now I am here five years I hope to stay five more!” Willian added.

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“I know I have two years of contract left but I hope to stay more years in the Premier League.

“I am very happy to be here five years. I have won titles and played a lot of games with a lot of happy moments, and a few sad moments as well but that is part of football, but these five years have been very good for me and I am proud to be a Chelsea player.”

Willian has helped Maurizio Sarri’s side to make a faultless start to their 2018-19 campaign, with four successive victories secured heading into the first international break.

The Blues will return to action on Saturday with a home date against Cardiff.

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WATCH: Morocco defeat Malawi in Casablanca – football news

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Goals Scored By Non Footballers ● Dog, Ball Boy, Manager

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‘As long as you don’t see me in a Barcelona jersey…’ – Pogba dismisses rumours of Man Utd exit – football news

Paul Pogba has dismissed suggestions that he will be sporting the Barcelona jersey in the near future as he remains committed to Manchester United. 

The World Cup winner was linked with a move to Camp Nou towards the end of the summer transfer window as reports emerged he wanted to escape Jose Mourinho, who has come under pressure in the early stages of the season.

Pogba suggested this week that his future at United remains uncertain, but he has since shrugged off the persistent rumours about a future in La Liga.

“Talking about a transfer, I’m under contract,” he told Telefoot. “There have been some little things with the coach, the relationship is always the same – coach and player. We have common goals, which are to win.

“As long as you don’t see me in the Barcelona jersey, it’s because I’m at Manchester, there will always be rumours.”

Although he continues to face criticism in England, Pogba’s journey to world glory in the summer has made him a hero in France, and the 25-year-old says it has changed him in many ways. 

“It’s wonderful, the world champion’s life, our life is changing, people’s perceptions are changing too, I’m always the same” he added. “The change in me was made during the World Cup, I needed to become more mature, growing up, it was everything. I have a very good relationship with coach Didier Deschamps, he told me about his experience and I took it into account.”

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Pogba was credited with playing a big role in motivating Les Bleus to their 4-2 win over Croatia in the final. The former Juventus star told his team-mates they had 90 minutes to “write the story” and “change everything”. But he says he was just saying what everyone else was thinking.

“I did not feel like doing it before. There with the World Cup, I freed myself, it’s me who speaks but it’s in everyone’s mind,” he said.

Pogba is set to line up for France on Sunday as they take on Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League before returning to United for their Premier League clash against Watford on September 15.

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Liverpool enemy Ramos still one of world’s best, admits Alexander-Arnold – football news

Trent Alexander-Arnold continues to hold Sergio Ramos in high esteem despite the simmering tension between Liverpool and the Real Madrid captain.

Ramos has been the target of anger from Reds fans following his part in the shoulder injury Mohamed Salah sustained during last season’s Champions League final.

Jurgen Klopp labelled the 32-year-old’s actions “ruthless and brutal” and he was booed throughout Spain’s 2-1 win over England at Wembley in the Nations League.

Ramos himself has insisted his “conscience is really clear” over the incident and Liverpool teenager Alexander-Arnold, who watched Saturday’s match from the bench, remains deferential to his fellow defender.

“Everyone has their ways of winning and he has shown over the last 10 years that he’s a winner,” the Merseyside product said.

“So has his team. To win the Champions League three times in a row takes some doing.

“Ramos has probably been the best centre-back in the world for some time. Even if he was the enemy in May you still have to respect him as a player.”

Alexander-Arnold played the full 90 minutes in Liverpool’s eventual 3-1 loss to Madrid in Kiev and went on to feature for England at the World Cup.

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The 19-year-old is soaking up every step of what has been a rapid rise, having only made his Premier League debut in December 2016.

“I feel I have been very lucky,” he said.

“When you are growing up you have dreams of being a footballer, perhaps even playing for the club you support, and I am living that dream.”

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The BIGGEST Surprise Star Of The Season Will Be… | #SundayVibes – Football Daily

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Clarence Seedorf unmoved despite Cameroon’s near-disaster, Egypt’s Javier Aguirre refuses to get carried away – football news

It almost turned out calamitous for Clarence Seedorf and his Cameroon side in Comoros coastal town of Mitsamiouli as the Indomitable Lions were held 1-1 by their far less-fancied opponents.

In his first game in charge of the Indomitable Lions, the Dutchman witnessed Angers forward Stephane Bahoken save Cameroonian blushes with a late equaliser.

Red Star Belgrade forward El-Fardou Ben Mahommed had thrust Comoros ahead in the first half, in what almost became one of the biggest upsets in African football.

A relieved Seedorf knew that the Cameroonian public might take issue with the draw, but for him, it is now time to wear a brave face in the wake of this unfamiliar result.

“I’m not disappointed because I know the team has given everything they have,” Seedorf said after the match, according to Camfoot. 

“It was obviously difficult conditions. But the team spirit, the fighting spirit to try to escape with the victory was there. I do not think another team would come here to have an easy day. No, I am absolutely not disappointed, but happy with the spirit we have shown,” he added.

“It was certainly not our best game, but the second half was better, we had better chances, the players were patient,” Seedorf revealed.

“I finally got to know the players. This first step of this cycle has been very positive,” he said.

Seedorf’s decision to snub Chinese-based players might also have backfired.

Although, Cameroon have already qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament by virtue of being hosts, they are taking part in the qualifiers to earn some much-needed game time ahead of the showcase event.

Meanwhile, in Borg El-Arab, Egypt recorded the biggest win of this weekend so far with a 6-0 routing of Niger.

It was a dramatic outing with Liverpool star Mohamed Salah missing two penalties but still managed to record a brace.

Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny, Ayman Ashraf, Marwan Mohsen and Al Ahly’s 20-year-old striker Salah Mohsen went on to contribute a goal each to help the Pharaohs pump half-a-dozen goals past a hapless Niger.

It was the response that new coach Javier Aguirre needed after Egypt began their campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia.

And his players duly delivered, although the Mexican has refused to get carried away by the emphatic victory.

“It’s a good start and a big scoreline is the least from what I demanded from the players,” Aguirre was quoted as saying by KingFut. 

“The players did not carry out all the instructions given. They were happy with this camp and this helped get a big win but we have to be careful as we may not be able to beat other opponents with such a big scoreline.

“They are all getting along well because they have a good relationship with each other. We’ve only been training for four days, we’ll be better after four years.”

It was also slow beginning for Zambia coach Sven Vandenbroeck who, like Seedorf, almost witnessed a disastrous start to his tenure as Chipolopolo coach.

A Justin Shonga stoppage time freekick saved the day for Zambia who had fallen behind courtesy of Benson Shilongo’s goal for Namibia.

With the 2012 African champions having been stunned 1-0 at home by Mozambique in their opening match, they arrived in Windhoek looking for retribution.

But they remain stranded at the foot of Group K, but Vandenbroeck appears not to be too worried about dropping two points and remaining winless, describing the draw as a “fair result.”

“I think in the end the result is fair,” Vandenbroeck said in his post-match media address.

“In the first half we had some problems with the number 19 (Petrus Shitembi) just in the space behind our two midfielders we solved that at half time, I think in the second half we had better of the play, most of the ball possession and higher up the pitch. I think in the end the result is fair on a draw,” he expressed. 

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