Looking for Soccer and FootballInternational News?

Blog Posts and Articles that give you up to the minute news and information about the world Leagues, Teams, Players and Updates.

‘Hardest decision ever’- Fans struggle to choose between Manchester City and Chelsea in Champions League final

The Blues saw off Zinedine Zidane’s men to book a date with their arch rivals in the top European competition

Football fans have taken to social media to react to Champions League final fixture between Chelsea and Manchester City.

The Blues defeated Real Madrid 2-0 in the semi-finals of the elite European tournament on Wednesday night to reach the final of the tournament on 3-1 aggregate.

The Citizens have already secured their place in the final following their victory over French side Paris Saint-Germain in the last four of the competition on Tuesday night.

Football fans have taken to the social media to reveal the club they will be supporting in the final, with some recollecting their last time both met in the competition, which resulted in the Blues defeat
Original author: Gbenga Adewoye
  1 Hits

Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Man City reverse course on Fernandinho

Goal takes a look at the biggest transfer news and rumours from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and around the world
Original author: Goal
  1 Hits

How Drogba and music star Mr. P celebrated Chelsea's Champions League final berth

Thomas Tuchel's men confirmed their place in the European competition final after claiming a vital win at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba and African music star Peter Okoye – Mr. P joined the club faithful across the world in celebrating their progress to the Uefa Champions League final.

The Blues defeated Real Madrid 2-0 on Wednesday, thanks to goals from Timo Werner and Mason Mount, and they advanced to the final stage with a 3-1 aggregate win over the Spanish giants.

The progress leaves Chelsea with a chance to win their second Champions League title after their triumph in Munich in 2012.

Drogba, who led the Blues to the top of European club football eight years ago, immediately celebrated Thomas Tuchel’s men at the end of Wednesday’s match and he also shared his feeling with the women also set to play in the Uefa Women's Champions League final against Barcelona.

Mr. P, however, could not keep calm as he rolled on the floor to rejoice over the crucial result against Zinedine Zidane's side.

Mr. P was a member of the defunct music duo - P-Square and they won several group awards including the MTV Africa Music Awards, the Headies, Nigerian Music Awards amongst others.

Chelsea will battle Southampton in the FA Cup final on May 15 before they face Manchester City in the Champions League final, 14 days later in Istanbul.

Original author: Taiye Taiwo
  1 Hits

'Maybe he should lose sleep over us!' - Mount hits back at perceived Kroos slight after Chelsea win

The England international had choice words for his opponent in the wake of the Blues' victory at Stamford Bridge

Mason Mount has hit back at Toni Kroos following Chelsea's Champions League semi-final victory over Real Madrid, with the Blues star feeling slighted by the German's pre-match comments.

The England international helped Thomas Tuchel's side seal a trip to Istanbul to face Manchester City later this month after he doubled Timo Werner's earlier finish with a close-range tap-in of his own.

Speaking after the game however, the playmaker seemed to take aim at Kroos after the Madrid man said that no opponents in his career made him lose sleep.

What has been said?

"I saw one of their players say before that he doesn't lose sleep over individuals," Mount told CBS Sports.

"But as a team, they need to lose sleep over us as a team. We give so much, we defend for our lives.

"You saw that in not many chances that we gave away. We are solid and we need to keep that going."

What was Mount responding to?

The attacking midfielder's comments came in the wake of Kroos' statement at Madrid's pre-match press conference on Tuesday, ahead of the clash at Stamford Bridge, where the Germany international appeared to indicate that few, if any, opposition sides had left him uneasy.

"In my 15 years playing football, I never lost sleep," the 31-year-old stated. "They showed in Madrid that they play as a team. They have a German coach so that doesn't surprise me. They defend well and have pace up front, those are their strengths."

Further Reading

  1 Hits

'It gives us a good feeling' - Tuchel says Chelsea are confident ahead of facing Manchester City in Champions League final

The Blues impressed as they saw off Real Madrid to set up an all-English showpiece, and their manager thinks they can upset the odds

Chelsea are confident of beating Manchester City in the Champions League final, despite the Premier League champions-elect being the "benchmark" in European football, says Thomas Tuchel.

The Blues set up an all-English final against the Citizens after beating Real Madrid 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in their semi-final second leg clash on Wednesday night, completing a 3-1 aggregate victory.

They will start as underdogs against City, who could claim the English title if they beat Chelsea in the Premier League this weekend. However, Tuchel feels his side can beat anyone if they play their best.

What has been said?

Chelsea have already beaten City in one knock-out competition this season, defeating them in the FA Cup semi-finals, and Tuchel was asked if this gave his side the upper hand as they prepare to face Pep Guardiola's men once again.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, Tuchel said: "No, but it gives us a good feeling, and confidence that we played that semi-final on the edge, we used it because like I said before, I will say it always, for me Bayern Munich with Manchester City are the benchmark and we wanted to close the gap to Man City."

The Blues were clearly the better team in their second leg clash with Real, and other than the goals scored by Timo Werner and Mason Mount, had several other great chances to score and win the game more comfortably.

Tuchel said: "This one match in the semi-final, we did that with a very impressive performance and we need that again. It gave us belief and confidence for every game after that because it is the highest level you can face."

What next for Chelsea?

By a quirk of the football calendar, this Saturday will see a preview of the Champions League final as Chelsea travel to City for a Premier League fixture, in which three points will earn Guardiola's side their third domestic title in four seasons.

The following Saturday they face Leicester in the FA Cup final, while they will also attempt to finish in the Premier League top four amid a competitive race to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Plenty of focus will now be on May 29 however, when City and Chelsea meet in the Champions League final in Istanbul, as the Manchester club aim to win the trophy for the first time, while the Londoners look to emulate their triumph of 2012.

Further Reading

  2 Hits

'Superior' Chelsea deserved to win, admits Zidane as Madrid crash out of Champions League

Los Blancos fell shy of reaching another European final under their manager, after they were outclassed by Thomas Tuchel's side at Stamford Bridge

Zinedine Zidane has admitted that Chelsea were "superior" and "deserved to win" in their Champions League semi-final victory over Real Madrid, as the Frenchman saw his side crash out at the penultimate hurdle.

Goals from Timo Werner and Mason Mount ensured that Los Blancos fell short of a shot at a fourth European title under the World Cup winner, as they were outclassed at Stamford Bridge by the Blues.

The result means that Thomas Tuchel's side will face Manchester City in Istanbul later this month, while Madrid will attempt to muster a last-gasp defence of their crown in La Liga.

What has been said?

“They were superior, they deserved to win," Zidane told RMC Sport after Chelsea's 4-1 aggregate triumph. "They were more effective over the course of the match, they had a lot of chances too.

"Over the course of the two matches, they deserve the qualification. These are matches of a very high level, [and] we missed something tonight. It is not about organisation, even though in the duels it was difficult.

"But anyway I have said that, but I remain very proud of my players. The path they have achieved with the difficulties that we have experienced. We have to congratulate ourselves for getting here. We were one match away from the final. But tonight they were better.”

Zidane also played coy on whether this was his final Champions League game in charge of Madrid, adding: "I have not thought about anything, tonight it is just disappointment for everyone.

"Aside from that, we have four more matches in La Liga, we are going to rest and focus on that to go and get something."

The bigger picture

With their European exit confirmed, Madrid's only chance of silverware now remains achieving a successful defence of their title in La Liga.

They faltered in their first Copa del Rey game of the season, losing in extra-time to Alcoyano, and also lost to Athletic Club in their Supercopa de Espana semi-final.

Now, their lone hope is the league - but to win, they would require results to go against rivals Atletico Madrid and Barcelona to give them a clean shot.

Further Reading

  2 Hits

Chelsea 'should have scored five' against Real Madrid, says Mount after Champions League semi-final win

The Blues took 15 shots and repeatedly exposed their Spanish opponents on the counterattack but were at times wasteful on Wednesday

Mason Mount said Chelsea "should have scored five" against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final Wednesday but were let down by poor finishing in a victory he believes should have come much easier.

Despite creating abundant chances, it took until the 85th minute for the Blues to put the tie away, with Mount powering in a Christian Pulisic cross to secure a 2-0 (3-1 on aggregate) win. Chelsea took 15 shots, five of which hit the target, through a counterattacking approach that at times was lacking the proper finishing touch.

Still, Mount walked away proud of the rest of Chelsea's display, emphasising that "the most important thing is we won" en route to a European final date with Manchester City.

What has been said?

"It was a tough, tough game," Mount told BT Sport. "They're going to come and give it everything but we worked hard. We should've probably had about five! But the most important thing is we won tonight. We want to go into every game winning it.

"I can't put it into words. Great performance tonight.

"It was 1-0 but that really didn't matter because if they score, they were back in the game. To get that one late on, you can see by the celebrations, it was a massive goal for us and gave us breathing space in the last five minutes.

"We gave everything and we had that desire to win first half. We had a couple of opportunities where we won the ball and should've scored but we got the one late on and it's great."

Added captain Cesar Azpilicueta: "We have a fantastic squad, everybody pushes hard in training, to be together, to fight for everyone and to help each other. This is massive and we have created a strong group. We have plenty of things to fight for."

Werner breakthrough

Timo Werner has been heavily criticised this year for not finishing his scoring opportunities, so his team-mates were thrilled when he netted the opener.

"I said to Timo: 'It must've felt like an eternity for the ball to drop down!' We're all buzzing for him," recalled Mount.

Manchester City awaits

Chelsea will meet Manchester City in an all-English final on May 29. It will be their fourth clash of the campaign, as they played one another in the FA Cup semi-final in addition to two Premier League contests.

"It's a Champions League final!" Azpilicueta said. "We have played them lots of times but it's the Champions League final. We believe in ourselves, we know we have to work hard but we are ready for it."

"We haven't won anything yet. Hopefully we've got two massive cup finals and hopefully we can win."

Further reading

  2 Hits

Cameroon star Bassogog rescues Shanghai Shenhua from defeat against Shanghai Port

The 25-year-old found the back of the net in Wednesday's league outing as the Flower of Shanghai extended their unbeaten start to the season

Cameroon forward Christian Bassogog rescued a point for Shanghai Shenhua with his stoppage-time strike in their 1-1 draw with Shanghai Port in a Chinese Super League match on Wednesday.

After replacing South Korea’s Kim Shin-Wook in the 57th minute, Bassogog scored a penalty in the 92nd minute to cancel out Aaron Mooy's opener for the visitors at Suzhou City Sports Centre.

Wednesday’s strike was the 25-year-old’s second goal after three appearances in the Chinese top-flight and it also helped Choi Kang-Hee’s men maintain their unbeaten start to the 2021 season (two wins and a draw).

Gabon's Alexander N'Doumbou was the other African player present at the Suzhou City Sports Centre but he was an unused substitute for Shanghai Shenhua.

Bassogog only moved to Shanghai in February on a permanent deal from rivals Henan Songshan Longmen, following the departures of Nigerian duo Odion Ighalo and Obafemi Martins from Choi Kang-Hee's team earlier this year.

The 25-year-old is not new to Chinese football and he has been plying his trade in the Asian country since 2017 after he left Danish club AaB.

Having equalled the two goals he scored in eight league matches last season, Bassogog will be focused on surpassing his best scoring record in the Super League when he scored 10 goals in 24 games in 2017.

Shanghai Shenhua are second in the league table, level on seven points with leaders Shanghai Port and third-placed Hebei after three outings.

The Flower of Shanghai will be aiming to stretch their unbeaten run and also grab maximum points when they face Hebei at the Jiangyin Sports Park Stadium for their next Super League fixture on May 10.

Original author: Taiye Taiwo
  1 Hits

'Tuchel for Lampard is the best managerial decision' - Twitter celebrates Chelsea's progress to Champions League final

The Blues set up an all-English Champions League final after they defeated Zinedine Zidane's men at Stamford Bridge

Thomas Tuchel’s appointment as Frank Lampard’s successor has been described as ‘the best managerial decision this season’ after Chelsea defeated Real Madrid 2-0 in the second leg of their Uefa Champions League semi-final match.

Goals from Timo Werner and Mason Mount in each half of Wednesday’s encounter were enough for the hosts to grab a 3-1 aggregate win over Real Madrid.

The Blues will tackle Premier League rivals Manchester City in the final scheduled for the Ataturk Olympic Stadium on May 29 and they are also in contention for the FA Cup as they will face Southampton in the final on May 15.

Tuchel's impact at Stamford Bridge has been impressive so far and fans seems to have understood the club's decision to show former captain Lampard the exit door after a poor run of results in January.

Original author: Taiye Taiwo
  1 Hits

Tuchel makes managerial history as Chelsea reach Champions League final

The German boss has now led two different clubs to the European showpiece in consecutive seasons - the first coach ever to do so

Thomas Tuchel has become the first manager to reach the European Cup or Champions League final in successive seasons with different clubs.

Chelsea defeated Real Madrid 2-0 on Wednesday in their semi-final second leg, sealing a 3-1 aggregate win and a place in the final alongside Manchester City. 

Tuchel led PSG to last year's Champions League final, seeing his side fall 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

What was said?

When BT Sport posited that Tuchel must be doing something right to have achieved such a feat, the manager said with a laugh: "Or not because it's not the same club! It depends who you ask."

Tuchel added: "I'm very happy that we've achieved this. I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to live my life in football and this passion as a profession.

"So grateful to do it on this level and to get to another final, I'm very grateful for that."

Managerial change pays off again for Chelsea

Chelsea have now reached their third Champions League final and in all three seasons they have done so, they sacked their manager mid-season.

In 2007-08, Jose Mourinho left the club and was replaced by Avram Grant, who helped Chelsea to the European showpiece. The Blues fell in penalties against Manchester United that season.

The Blues also reached the 2011-12 final under a new boss, with Andre Villas-Boas sacked mid-season and replaced by Roberto Di Matteo, who led Chelsea to victory over Bayern Munich in the final. 

History has now repeated itself after Tuchel took over for Frank Lampard in January. The German has led Chelsea to the FA Cup and Champions League finals and has the club on course for a top-four finish in the Premier League as well. 

Managerial change hasn't only helped Chelsea in the Champions League though, as six of the club's last seven European finals have come after sacking their head coach during the season. Only in 2018-19, when Maurizio Sarri won the Europa League with the Blues, has a mid-season change not been made.

Tuchel solidifies Chelsea's defence

Much of Tuchel's success at Stamford Bridge stems from his ability to strengthen his side's back line. 

Chelsea kept just 26 clean sheets in 84 games under Frank Lampard – managing the feat 31 per cent of the time. Under Tuchel, the Blues have kept 18 clean sheets in 24 matches – 75% of the time. 

Further reading

  2 Hits

'Mendy can save relationships' - Fans buzzing after Chelsea goalkeeper's heroics against Real Madrid

The Senegal international produced a stunning performance between the sticks on Wednesday as the Blues progressed into the final

Football fans are buzzing on social media after Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy's saves against Real Madrid in the Uefa Champions League semi-final encounter. 

The Senegalese produced stunning displays to stop Zinedine Zidane's men from finding the back of the net on Wednesday as the Blues secured a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Earlier in the encounter, Mendy stopped Luka Modric from opening the scoring before his eye-catching leap to parry Karim Benzema's header. 

Timo Werner's 28th-minute goal put Chelsea ahead while Mason Mount doubled the lead as they progressed into the final with a 3-1 win but fans were pleased by Mendy's display.

 

Original author: Taiye Taiwo
  1 Hits

Osimhen: Napoli forward will become a superstar – Notaro

The Belgian tactician is confident the Nigeria international has the quality to get to the top of his profession

Former Sporting Charleroi manager Mario Notaro has thrown his weight behind Victor Osimhen to reach the peak of his career.

The 22-year-old burst into the limelight at the 2015 U17 World Cup, where he starred for Nigeria in the tournament and has not looked back since the fine showings.

He featured for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga before moving initially on loan to Sporting Charleroi and after delivering convincing showings he was handed a permanent deal, where he had an opportunity to work with Notaro.

The centre-forward moved to Lille and starred in Ligue 1 which saw him join Napoli in a club-record fee last summer but the forward is yet to fully settle in at Stadio San Paolo due to injuries and coronavirus-related problems.

Notaro, however, is convinced the attacker, who has eight goals and two assists in 20 league games this season, has all it takes to become a superstar.

"I must say that you could already see he was very strong, Napoli has taken on a striker who will assert himself a lot,” Notaro told Radio Kiss Kiss.

"I am convinced that he will become a top player in the world. He is truly extraordinary and has incredible quality, it is no coincidence that he is showing what he is capable of doing. "

Osimhen will hope to deliver another convincing performance when Napoli square off against Spezia in their next league game on Saturday.

The Parthenopeans are currently fifth on the Serie A table after gathering 67 points from 34 games this season.

Osimhen will be expected to help Gennaro Gattuso’s men secure a place in the Champions League next campaign.

The centre-forward remains a key member of the Nigeria national team and recently helped the Super Eagles qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, bagging five goals in the qualifiers.

Osimhen has made 12 appearances for the three-time African champions since his senior debut in 2017 against Togo.

He will be expected to play a key role for Gernot Roht in the World Cup qualifying campaign starting in June.

 

 

 

Original author: Gbenga Adewoye
  0 Hits

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Mngqithi issues update on Zwane injury

The Bafana Bafana star lasted just 12 minutes and went out seemingly in pain while clutching his left leg

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi has estimated Themba Zwane will be out between a week and 10 days following a hamstring injury sustained during Wednesday’s Premier Soccer League game against Maritzburg United at Loftus Versfeld.

Zwane was involved in the match for just 12 minutes into the contest before being replaced by Promise Mkhuma and Sundowns went on to win 2-0 but there were concerns in the way the midfielder injured himself in an off-the-ball situation and was heavily limping.

Masandawana coaches were also forced to substitute Sphelele Mkhulise just after the hour mark due to injury and Mothobi Mvala came on for him.

With Sundowns facing Al Ahly in the Caf Champions League quarter-finals, first leg away on May 14, it is not yet clear if the two will make it for that match. 

“According to the doctors Zwane’s injury never looked like a grade two. They are hopeful that maybe in a week or 10 days he might be back,” Mngqithi told SuperSport TV.

“Mkhulise’s one we don’t think it is something very heavy. We are hopeful that he will come back. It is just that it is a very difficult muscle to know what is going to happen. But we are hopeful that they will be able to come back. We also took them out early to make sure that we don’t exacerbate the injuries.”

Sundowns' victory saw them opening a four-point gap at the top of the table with five league matches remaining and they have played a game less than second-placed AmaZulu.

Mngqithi was, however, not entirely pleased by the way his charges expressed themselves. 

“Not the best [performance] but businesslike, we wanted to win the match. We had to give ourselves to the team and everybody ran because when you play against a complicated team like Maritzburg, they are not an easy team for anyone,” said Mngqithi. 

“I always tell people that Ernst is one of the top coaches. He may have been unlucky but his strategies can put you off at times. So we knew it was not going to be an easy one and we had to take the few chances that we got. 

“We were then fortunate to get a penalty. It’s always good for the team and the second goal I think Gift took it very well. We have always known he is one of the best finishers in the country. I even told him before the match that today is his day to score.

“When he scored he immediately pointed at me because he knew I had told him that today is his day and I was happy for that.”

Recently, Sundowns went for four consecutive matches without recording victory, a run which threatened their title defence and helped AmaZulu edge closer to them.

But they have bounced back to winning ways after beating Orlando Pirates 3-0 last Sunday.

“This is one cycle [in which] we looked like we were not going to do well,” Mngqithi said.

“I think we had five points after flour matches, it did not look very good. We wanted to make sure that in our process we at least got to eight and we managed that because our focus is on that side of our cycle to make sure that we achieve the targets that we set for ourselves.”

Original author: Michael Madyira
  2 Hits

LIVE: Chelsea vs Real Madrid

Chelsea will face Real Madrid for the fifth time in European competition, while they are unbeaten against them in the previous four (W2 D2). This will be the first time across the five meetings that Chelsea have hosted the Spanish side.

Zidane makes a huge call by bringing Ramos back into the side after he recovered from a calf problem that ruled him out for a month. The Spaniard's presence is required as Raphael Varane is absent with a thigh injury. Nacho and Mendy start in the full-back slots, while Kroos and Modric return to the midfield alongside Casemiro. Hazard starts against his former club in the final third with Vinicius and Benzema.

Chelsea have made four changes to their side that defeated Fulham last time out. Rudiger comes back into the side at the back in place of Zouma, who drops to the bench. Kante and Jorginho are restored to the middle of the park, while Azpilicueta gets the nod over James at right wing-back. The biggest decision comes in the final third where Havertz is retained ahead of Pulisic, despite the American's strike last week.

REAL MADRID SUBS: Marco Asensio, Marcelo, Andriy Lunin, Federico Valverde, Alvaro Odriozola, Isco, Mariano Diaz, Rodrygo Silva, Diego Altube, Sergio Arribas, Antonio Blanco, Miguel Gutierrez.

REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Nacho Fernandez, Eder Militao, Sergio Ramos, Ferland Mendy; Luka Modric, Casemiro, Toni Kroos; Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior.

CHELSEA SUBS: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcos Alonso, Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic, Willy Caballero, Kurt Zouma, Olivier Giroud, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Hakim Ziyech, Billy Gilmour, Reece James, Emerson.

CHELSEA (3-4-3): Edouard Mendy; Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger; Cesar Azpilicueta, N'Golo Kante, Jorginho, Ben Chilwell; Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner.

Real Madrid were not at their best last week, but still managed to secure a draw out of the contest. Los Blancos need to be better this evening in the final third, knowing that they have to score to advance to the final. Zinedine Zidane's men have won the Champions League in four out of the last seven years, and are bidding to reach a record-breaking 17th final. Their form has been up and down of late, but a victory over Osasuna at the weekend sends them into the contest with momentum.

Chelsea begin the evening with an away goal advantage courtesy of Christian Pulisic's strike in the 1-1 draw in Madrid last week. The Blues were solid last week and arguably should have taken a lead back to Stamford Bridge. However, Thomas Tuchel and his men are well placed to reach the final for a third time and first since their triumph in 2012. The Blues are in good form and will be confident, having dispatched Fulham 2-0 in their last outing.

Good evening and welcome to the live commentary of the second leg Champions League semi-final clash between Chelsea and Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge.

  3 Hits

CBS commentator Beglin apologises for 'Latino temperament' jibe at PSG forward Di Maria following Man City red card

The EX-Ireland international was heavily criticised for his remarks on the American broadcast of the Champions League after the player was sent off

CBS Sports commentator Jim Beglin has apologised for his comments about Angel Di Maria after he was sent off against Manchester City on Tuesday.

Di Maria was issued a red card for kicking out at Fernandinho, which led Beglin to say of the Argentine star: "It's that Latino temperament.”

Beglin said sorry on air after the comments and later issued a longer apology on Twitter. 

What was said?

“I apologise for my culturally insensitive remarks during the Champions League tie between Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain,” Beglin said on Twitter. “I wrongly used a racial stereotype. This was inappropriate and unacceptable.

“Words have a strong impact and I fully understand the severity of what I said when Angel Di Maria was sent off. I will learn from this and be better moving forward.”

What happened in the incident?

With PSG down 2-0 in the second half of Tuesday's semi-final second leg, Di Maria and Fernandinho were involved in a confrontation on the sideline after the ball had gone out of play. After the pair had words, Di Maria kicked out and stomped on the Brazilian, drawing a red card from the referee.

Man City would go on to advance to the Champions League final with a 4-1 aggregate win.

Further reading

  3 Hits

Matchday LIVE: Chelsea vs Real Madrid in Champions League semi-final second leg

Stay up to date with Goal's live commentary coverage as Thomas Tuchel attempts to overcome Zinedine Zidane and set up an all-Premier League final
  1 Hits

Who is Stan Kroenke & what is the Arsenal owners' net worth?

The American billionaire faces an ownership challenge, but who is the Gunners chief and how much is he worth?

Stan Kroenke's stewardship of Arsenal came in for scrutiny in 2021 following the attempted launch of a breakaway Super League featuring 12 of Europe's biggest clubs.

The Gunners were among a cohort of teams, which also featured the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United, that sought to establish their own elite tournament outside of UEFA.

A backlash has been felt by owners of most of the clubs involved, with Arsenal fans - including Spotify owner Daniel Ek - suggesting that a change is needed.

But who is Kroenke exactly and just how much is he worth? Goal takes a look at the Gunners owner's financial might and background.

On this page

Who is Stan Kroenke? What is Stan Kroenke's net worth? Which sports teams does Stan Kroenke own?

Who is Stan Kroenke?

Stan Kroenke is an American businessman who is the owner of Premier League club Arsenal. He was born on July 29, 1947 in Missouri.

A billionaire, Kroenke's interests are split between real estate and a variety of sports teams, with the Gunners being just one of a number in his Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) portfolio.

His life in business first centred around land development - both commercial and residential - and grew considerably in the 1980s.

By the end of the 20th century, Kroenke branched out into sports and entertainment, founding KSE in 1999 in order to manage those affairs.

As well as purchasing a number of major stadiums, he has also invested in teams across some of the biggest sporting leagues in the United States.

Kroenke is married to Ann Walton, a daughter of Walmart co-founder James 'Bud' Walton and owner of NBA team Denver Nuggets and NHL side Colorado Avalanche.

Their son Josh Kroenke is also involved in the family business and is often seen alongside his father at sporting events.

What is Stan Kroenke's net worth?

Net worth: $8.2 billion (2021)
Source of wealth: Real estate, sports & entertainment
Date of Birth: July 29, 1947
Country of birth: United States

Stan Kroenke's net worth is believed to be somewhere between $8 billion (£5.7bn) and $9 billion (£6.4bn).

In early 2021, American business magazine Forbes put Kroenke's net worth at $8.2 billion (£5.8bn), while Bloomberg estimated it to be $9.7 billion (£6.9bn).

He is one of the biggest landowners in the United States according to Land Report, which places him in the top 10 in the country, alongside the likes of John Malone and Ted Turner.

To put Kroenke's wealth into context, he was placed just outside the top 300 in Forbes' 2021 list of the richest people in the world and just slightly behind his wife Ann Walton, whose net worth was put at $8.4 billion.

If Kroenke's wealth is combined with that of his wife it would amount to $16.6 billion, but even that immense number still pales in comparison to those at the top of Forbes' list.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos topped that list with a staggering net worth of $177 billion (£126bn), followed by Tesla and SpaceX chief Elon Musk, whose net worth Forbes estimated at $151 billion ($108bn).

Kroenke is one of the richest football club owners in the world, but trails the likes of RB Leipzig owner Dietrich Mateschitz and Chelsea chief Roman Abramovich.

Which sports teams does Stan Kroenke own?

Kroenke became the majority owner of Arsenal in 2018 when Alisher Usmanov accepted a buyout offer believed to be in the region of £550 million.

He had been involved with the north London club since 2007 after buying a 9.9 per cent stake and increased that share to 63% in 2011 before assuming full control in 2018.

As well as Arsenal, Kroenke, through his company KSE, has a number of investments spread across sporting disciplines, most of which are based in the United States.

Team League Sport
Arsenal Premier League Football
Los Angeles Rams NFL American Football
Denver Nuggets NBA Basketball
Colorado Avalanche NHL Ice Hockey
Colorado Rapids MLS Football
Colorado Mammoth NLL Lacrosse

*Clubs owned by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment

His first major involvement in sport came with NFL team Los Angeles Rams in the mid-1990s, when he helped move the team to St Louis in his home state of Missouri, where they became the St Louis Rams. He then moved the Rams back to California for the 2016 season.

While Arsenal are undoubtedly the biggest soccer team in his business portfolio, they are not the first. In 2004, Kroenke purchased MLS team Colorado Rapids from Philip Anschutz. They tasted MLS Cup success in 2010 and have competed in the CONCACAF Champions League twice since Kroenke became owner.

The state of Colorado figures prominently in Kroenke's sporting interests. NBA team Denver Nuggets and NHL side Colorado Avalanche are also in the KSE portfolio, for example, though they are officially owned by Kroenke's wife Ann Walton.

Original author: Goal
  2 Hits

Mamelodi Sundowns 2 - 0 Maritzburg United: Motupa infuence helps Masandawana extend lead

Mamelodi Sundowns 2 - 0 Maritzburg United: Motupa infuence helps Masandawana extend lead

The Tshwane giants appear to have rediscovered their form after hitting a bad patch of form in recent games

Gift Motupa earned Mamelodi Sundowns a penalty and scored as the Brazilians defied an early loss of Themba Zwane due to injury and open a four-point gap at the top of the Premier Soccer League standings following a 2-0 victory over Maritzburg United at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday.

Ricardo Nascimento thrust Sundowns in six minutes before halftime via a penalty win by Motupa, before the former Orlando Pirates man himself took the responsibility to double his side’s advantage in the 71st minute.

It was a result which helped Sundowns stay on course for a fourth successive PSL title as they are now four points clear at the top of the table, having played a game less than second-placed AmaZulu.

Maritzburg remained on position 12 with just a point above the relegation zone.  

In his only second league start for Sundowns and sixth appearance, Motupa scored his first ever goal in the Brazilians’ colours as the Tshwane are firing again after a difficult run in recent outings. 

Gaston Sirino, Lebohang Maboe and Kermit Erasmus were ruled out of Wednesday's due to injury but the hosts never showed depletion in attack. 

Sundowns thought they had taken a lead through Mosa Lebusa five minutes into the match but the defender’s goal was disallowed as having been scored from an offside position.

The Masandawana coaches were forced to make an injury-inspired substitution in the 11th minute when Zwane went out limping, clutching his hamstring and Promise Mkhuma came on for the Bafana Bafana star.

The visitors’ first chance at goal came 15 minutes into the contest when Dusan Stevic forced Denios Onyango to dive and save the Serb’s low drive. 

Shortly after, Peter Shalulile was twice denied by the woodwork within a minute; first beating Maritzburg goalkeeper Marcel Engelhardt but only to witness his short hitting the upright post and Mkhuma took long to shoot from the rebound, allowing Maritzburg defender to close in.

Seconds later, Shalulile rose high to head in a corner kick and Engelhardt tipped it onto the crossbar. 

Maritzburg then nearly went ahead on 22 minutes when Bongokuhle Hlongwane chipped over Onyango but agonisingly watched his effort go over the bar with. 

Hlongwane was back again 10 minutes before halftime but had his headed effort narrowly missing the target off a Thabiso Kutumela cross. 

Motupa then earned Masandawana a penalty when he was tripped inside the box by Clayton Daniels. 

Up-stepped Nascimento who beat Engelhardt to separate the two sides and it was the Brazilian’sanother goal from the spot for the second game running.  

On the other end, Hlongwane continued to shake the Sundowns defence and this time saw his curler going just inches away from Onyango’s goal. 

Nascimento almost grabbed a brace five minutes into the second half but his attempt with his head went just wide off a corner kick and two minutes later, the Brazilian defender again headed a Modiba corner kick delivery but Engelhardt was alert to make a save. 

Injury struck Sundowns again when Sphelele Mkhulise was stretchered off the pitch just the hour mark and replaced by Mothobi Mvala. 

Mvala then made an immediate impact, setting up Motupa to fire in a hard and low which gave Engelhardt no chance and grab his 44th PSL goal.

Since then, there were liitle chances for the visitors to launch a comeback as Sundowns protected their lead.

Original author: Michael Madyira
  2 Hits

African sextet wins Bulgarian league title with Ludogorets

Following the victory over Beroe, the Eagles have now won the Bulgarian elite division title for the tenth consecutive season

Six African players have won the 2020-21 Bulgarian First League title with Ludogorets with four matches to spare.

They include Olivier Verdon (Benin Republic), Stephane Badji (Senegal), Bernard Tekpetey (Ghana), Jordan Ikoko (Congo DR), Anicet Abel (Madagascar), and Mavis Tchibota (Congo).

Valdas Dambrauskas’ Eagles sealed their triumph for the tenth consecutive season following their 3-1 triumph over Beroe on Tuesday night at the Huvepharma Arena.

Goals from Kiril Despodov, Dominik Yankov and Claudiu Keseru helped Ludogorets silence the visitors – who have failed to win any of their last six games in all competitions.

With that result, it is now impossible for second-placed PFC CSKA-Sofia to catch up with them with four matches remaining.

Manager Dambrauskas has not hidden his excitement following their historic feat achieved against Petar Kolev’s Greens.

“I want to congratulate all the people who worked hard for this success to come. It might seem easy but it is not. The people of Razgrad and everyone within the club can now walk tall, as they’ve earned it,” he was quoted by the club’s website.

“I cannot say it is easy because it is my first year here. When you become a champion, some things lose their meaning. You need to succeed in every match. We had rough moments, but we found the right path. We deserved the title.”

He also lauded the contribution of star midfielder Yankov while talking about the need to embrace the Video Assistant Referee.

“I told Yankov that he will score the goal that will bring us the title because players like him dream of this happening,” he continued.

“He achieved his dream and this goal is something he will repeat many times ahead in his career.

“He is very talented, and he has a bright future. He and Keseru were replacements but made all the difference. All the players who contributed to each win during the season matter.

“VAR is not a new system for me, as I’ve worked with the system for ten months in Croatia.

“We scored a goal and it was checked. There was a penalty kick for Beroe and it was allowed. It takes some of the emotion, but it is needed for clarification.

“We need to adapt to it. I think that we need to develop our DNA in the upcoming matches – we need to underline we are the champions.”

Although the title is sealed and delivered, they will take on Lokomotiv Plovdiv in their next outing on Saturday.

Original author: Shina Oludare
  4 Hits

'I lost four kilos' - Aubameyang opens up on malaria battle & how it's the worst sickness he's ever had

The Arsenal striker had to spend three days in hospital recovering from the disease and has explained how his condition deteriorated

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has opened up about his battle with malaria, admitting the disease left him feeling the worst he has ever felt in his life.

The Arsenal captain was diagnosed having fallen unwell soon after returning to England last month following a spell away with Gabon during the international break.

Aubameyang actually played in games against Liverpool and Slavia Prague before his condition got so bad that he called Arsenal’s club doctor and said that he needed to go to hospital.

What has ben said?

Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final second leg against Villarreal on Thursday night, Aubameyang described the events leading up to his diagnosis.

“I was feeling a bit down,” he said. “I thought that it was the travel.

“As you know, going to Gabon is not so close to here. I felt just a bit tired, especially against Liverpool, but I thought it was just because of the travel.

“I don’t know what the percentage of my form was at that moment. But definitely, yeah, I felt a bit tired.”

What happened next?

After coming on as a late substitute in the 1-1 home draw against Slavia Prague last month, Aubameyang’s health began to take a turn for the worse.

“I was feeling very, very bad,” he said. “This was the worst moment of being sick in my life because it was really hard.

“I had three days in a row, fever, all day and all night, non-stop. Even the paracetamol and stuff had no effects on this.

“After that, I spoke to the doctor and I said I needed to go to the hospital because I had travelled to Africa so maybe it was something like malaria.

“I stayed in hospital for three days and I think I lost four kilos. It was a really bad moment and I think my family was a bit scared to see me like this.

“After that, I had some good treatments and the staff did very well and the doctors as well in the hospital.

“I am lucky that we took it in the end at the right moment because sometimes with malaria, if you don’t treat it quickly, you can have some big problems.”

And how is Aubameyang feeling now?

Arsenal’s captain started his first game since returning from his illness on Sunday and scored in the 2-0 win against Newcastle.

He is expected to start again against Villarreal on Thursday and although he admits that physically he might not be back at his very best, he is still ready to make an impact.

“In my mind I feel more than 100%,” he said. “But physically maybe I’m not 100%. Hopefully my body will respond well.

“But I’m ready definitely. In my mind I’m ready.”

Further reading

Original author: Charles Watts
  1 Hits