Aged 31, Mexico international Andres Guardado recently told FIFA.com that he now prides himself more on bringing “balance to the team” rather than being the “box-to-box player” of old, so the Real Betis midfielder is probably less than pleased with the club’s defensive record this season — they’ve allowed 34 goals in 18 matches, third-worst in La Liga.
Former Chelsea, Real Madrid and AC Milan midfielder Michael Essien has joined the lofty ranks of footballers with extremely messed-up statues. Essien is in good company, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Diego Maradona.
Essien's bad statue exists in his native Ghana, and folks, it is not a good statue.
It wasn’t that long ago (three weeks really) that Jack Wilshere was seen as a Europa League and Carabao Cup specialist winding down the final days of his contract at Arsenal. Once hailed as the future of Arsenal’s English-infused era of dominance and the answer to decades of hurt in the Three Lions’ midfield, Jack the lad became a Mr.
Did you make a decision today? No. You did not. You think you did, but you didn't. What you thought was a decision made by you was actually made by Sergio Busquets. Busquets is the string-puller, the puppetmaster, the orchestrator. What you thought was fate was actually Sergio Busquets. What you thought was destiny was actually Busquets. There is no such thing as a coincidence. There is only Busquets.
It’s not an easy thing to break into the Paris Saint-Germain midfield as an attack-minded 21-year-old. With a guaranteed front three of Edinson Cavani, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe balanced by the automatic midfield selections of Adrien Rabiot and Marco Verratti, there’s only one remaining spot outside of defense for the likes of Angel Di Maria, Julian Draxler, Javier Pastore, Thiago Motta and Giovani Lo Celso (the 21-year-old referenced above) to battle for.
Compared to the pain of missing the event entirely, the tale of the USMNT’s 2006 World Cup can now be viewed in a more favorable light. However, after reaching the quarterfinals of the 2002 competition and subsequently breezing through CONCACAF qualifying for the ’06 tournament in Germany, it was with huge belief and soaring naivety that we approached the world’s biggest stage.
Back in August of 2017, The18 staff writer Connor Fleming predicted that Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva would be the signing of the season. What a prat that guy is, but hey, that guy is me.
Here at The18, we typically steer clear of transfer rumor nonsense fueled by nothing more than the strange fancies of dubious websites because we’re not hacks. That’s why our award-winning staff is so often likened to German dachshunds with regards to the transfer market — we sniff out the nonsense and we piss on it.
This is dumb, but in some ways Sergi Roberto is simply too good. He’s too intelligent, too tactically aware and too adaptable. The likes of Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde never complained, but it’s also made the 25-year-old something of an unknown quality outside of those who watch FC Barcelona play week in, week out.