Hitzfeld: Gomez in top class

2 August 2012 11:58

Former Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has declared Mario Gomez is one of the best strikers in the world.

The Bavarian club’s president Uli Hoeness recently said that the 27-year-old should not be regarded as one of world football’s elite marksmen, but the Switzerland boss feels the attacker came of age last season.

“He is one of the best strikers in the world. Mario has had a great season at Bayern with a lot of goals,” Hitzfeld told TZ.

“He was good at Euro 2012 as well. I thought he was about to explode after the game versus Greece, but then he didn’t play. I couldn’t understand that decision.

“There’s no better striker in the Bundesliga. Only (Robert) Lewandowski and (Klaas-Jan) Huntelaar are at a similar level.”

Gomez netted 26 Bundesliga goals last season, as Bayern finished second in the standings.

Keita expresses Barca regret

2 August 2012 11:40

Seydou Keita has spoken out about the way Pep Guardiola treated him during his four-year spell at Barcelona.

The Mali international, who has left Barcelona for Dalian Aerbin, was often praised by his former coach, but had to settle for a place on the bench during his final years at Camp Nou.

“I heard and read all the time that Guardiola really rated me. Everybody thought we had a great relationship, because he was always very positive about me,” Keita told Match.

“However, I never really played much under Pep. That was the only negative thing about my spell at Barcelona.

“I did bring this up with Guardiola when we met face-to-face. I told him that I didn’t appreciate it that he always praised me, but never started a match with me. I will never forget my time at Barca, though.”

Despite his reservations, Keita made over 100 Liga appearances for Barca during his four years at the club.

Lukaku demands Premier League football

2 August 2012 11:31

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku says he would only accept a loan move away from Stamford Bridge if it were to another Premier League club.

The 19-year-old is the subject of an approach from Fulham over such a deal, with a season-long switch abroad not an option for the youngster, who has insisted he ‘must play’ first-team football in 2012/13.

Lukaku moved to Stamford Bridge in 2011 and made 12 appearances without scoring in his debut campaign, but has been impressive in pre-season and has previously declared his desire to represent the club throughout his whole career.

“I did not sign for Chelsea to go into another championship,” the Belgium international warned his club while speaking to the media.

“What I learned last season was positive. Training with great players improves you.

“Now I must play. In a few weeks we’ll see what happens.”

The Blues spent 18 million pounds to bring Lukaku to London from Anderlecht in 2011.

Acerbi keen to impress at Milan

2 August 2012 11:07

Francesco Acerbi is desperate to show that he has what it takes to succeed at AC Milan, following his transfer to San Siro.

The defender joined Milan from Chievo after an eye-catching second half to the 2011/12 campaign, and he is keen to make the most of his dream switch by displaying his quality on the pitch.

“I’m very happy to be here and I hope to prove my worth. I have a lot of desire to start playing and prove that I’m Milan quality,” Acerbi told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“My dream has always been to play for Milan as I’m a Milanista.

“I knew about the negotiations with Milan at the end of the season, but there’s a big difference between negotiating and signing.”

Acerbi could make his official Milan debut in their Serie A opener at home against Sampdoria on August 25.

Arbeloa keen for more success

2 August 2012 10:00

Alvaro Arbeloa says Real Madrid want to win all the competitions they take part in during the 2012/13 campaign.

Real pipped Barcelona to the Liga title, but missed out on the Champions League, the Copa del Rey and the Supercopa.

Full-back Arbeloa, who also helped guide Spain to glory at Euro 2012, is keen to keep adding to his collection of medals.

“Our objectives are the same as every year. At Real Madrid we have to fight for all the titles possible,” Arbeloa told the club’s official website.

“We know the hardships involved, but last year we came really close in all the competitions. Clearly, the Champions League is special for the fans, but we also want to retain the league, which is the most difficult because of the consistency needed, and the Copa del Rey.

“Hopefully we can win those three titles plus the Supercopa. We will try our best.”

Madrid start the new Liga season with a home match against Valencia on August 18.