Liga Sagres: Moreirense 0 Maritimo 1

9 October 2012 00:36

Maritimo claimed an important 1-0 away win against Moreirense on Monday to stay in the top half of the Liga Sagres table.

After a dour first half, Rafael Miranda scored the winner in the first minute after the break to send his side into sixth place at the end of the sixth round, equal with Rio Ave and Vitoria de Guimaraes.

Crucially, the victory keeps Maritimo within the qualification zone for European tournaments.

Out-of-form Moreirense, who have now lost their past three matches, were not helped when goalkeeper Ricardo Ribeiro was given a red card in the 69th minute.

Moreirense will get a chance to bounce back when they take on Olhanense on October 27 while Maritimo face Braga at Madeira Island the next day.

Giuliano wants Neymar´s jersey

9 October 2012 00:11

Giuliano has revealed his ambition is to bring back Neymar’s jersey to Dnipro once his international commitments with Brazil are over.

The 22-year-old has been named in Mano Menezes’ most recent party for upcoming friendly matches against Iraq and Japan, and will be looking to add to his tally of five Brazil caps in the near future.

However, according to the former Internacional midfielder who now plays in Ukraine, his immediate objective is to pry away the forward’s shirt before next Tuesday, but jokingly warned his club-mates that he is in no mood for sharing.

“The players from my team came and said ‘when you are with the Selecao, bring back a shirt from Neymar’,” Giuliano told Globo Esporte. “And I responded, ‘you will have to get in line’.

“It will be difficult but I will try to get Neymar’s shirt. Only if I get it, it will be for me, not for them.”

Meanwhile, Neymar himself suggests having Real Madrid star Kaka in the squad can only be a good thing for Brazil.

“It’ll be nice. I hope he can help us. The experience he has will be very important for the national team. It can help us a lot. God willing, it will work,” he said.

Brazil face Iraq on Thursday and then encounter Japan five days later.

De Jong hails ´important´ win over Frankfurt

8 October 2012 23:12

Borussia Moenchengladbach striker Luuk de Jong said that Sunday’s win over Eintracht Frankfurt came as a much-needed confidence boost.

Having qualified for the Champions League last season, Lucien Favre’s side have so far failed to live up to expectations in the Bundesliga this term, registering a string of disappointing results.

However, they overcame newly promoted Frankfurt, with the Dutchman finding the net, and De Jong admitted that his side were in dire need of a win.

“It’s a good feeling. We’re pleased that he won today,” he told Bundesliga.com. “Leading 2-0 at half-time gave us a lot of confidence.

“It wasn’t an easy game, but we were compact and hardly let them have any good chances to score, and we grabbed two ourselves.

“We needed this win. It was important. Our last few games didn’t go as planned so this win will give the whole team confidence again.”

De Jong was also on the scoresheet as Gladbach crashed to a 4-2 loss to Fenerbahce on Thursday, but insisted that personal achievements only matter if the team does well.

“It’s always nice to score, but it’s worthless if I score and we lost the game. But I’m a striker, so of course I’m pleased when the ball hits the net,” he said.

The former Twente man was left out of Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands squad this month and despite admitting his disappointment at losing his Oranje place, he has vowed to keep fighting.

“Of course I’m a bit disappointed. Everybody wants to play for their national team, but now I’m focusing on the Under-21s. I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

“I’m still at an age where I can play for them and we have an important playoff against Slovakia and we want to qualify for the European Championship.”

Williams delighted with Wales captaincy

8 October 2012 23:07

Ashley Williams says the decision to make him Wales captain has given him a confidence boost ahead of the clash against Scotland.

The 28-year-old excelled last season under Brendan Rodgers as Swansea impressed in their debut Premier League season, although the former Stockport defender has admitted to finding the new campaign tougher.

And after Wales manager Chris Coleman took the decision to replace Aaron Ramsey when Wales were crushed 6-1 by Serbia, Williams said that he is happy to get a timely boost in confidence ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier.

“I’m pleased to get the captaincy. It’s obviously a great honour and once I meet up with Wales I’ll speak more to the gaffer and know a bit more about what he wants from me,” Williams said.

“It’s a nice little boost for me at a time when things haven’t been going well.

“I’ve captained the team before so it’s no great change. The boys know me and I know them so we’ll go into a massive week and the most important thing, irrespective of who the captain is, is a win – especially in that first game.”

Williams also said that Ramsey bears no grudge towards him after taking his role as captain, and has played down suggestions of tense relations between the pair.

“I haven’t spoken to Aaron yet, but I’ll speak to him at the camp,” he said.

“I know people will talk about it and look into it, but I get on with Aaron well and I’m sure it’s going to be okay. We’ll just get on with it and we won’t probably even speak about the captaincy. It will just be a normal camp.”

Williams is keen to get up and running in his first game as permanent captain, with a clash against Scotland promising to be a tight affair as the Dragons look to improve their qualifying prospects.

“The Scotland game is must-win for us. If we get two positive results in the next two games we’ll still be involved in the group as no-one is really going to run away with it,” he said.

“I think the Scotland game takes care of itself and you’ll see a better performance from us this time.”

Wales welcome Craig Levein’s side to the Cardiff City Stadium on Friday with Coleman looking to secure his first victory after losing their opening Group A games to Belgium and Serbia.

They then travel to Croatia on Tuesday evening.

De Bruyne happy at Werder Bremen

8 October 2012 22:42

Werder Bremen midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has slammed suggestions that he is unhappy in Germany.

The 21-year-old, currently on a season-long loan from Chelsea, was quoted in local media as saying he was not enjoying his time in the Bundesliga and had a poor relationship with manager Thomas Schaaf.

The quotes were taken from a translated interview which De Bruyne gave to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.

But the youngster insists his comments are a result of a poorly translated article.

He allegedly said: “I miss the warmth and the atmosphere that I had in Genk.

“Germans are more formal, more serious. If Werder is a family club, it’s more for the German players.

“The coach is okay but we don’t talk. It’s simple: He hasn’t come up to me and I haven’t come up to him.

“I started having German lessons but I have stopped. I don’t like it. Honestly speaking, I don’t want to live in Germany in the future.”

But the ex-Genk man has used his Twitter account to refute the quotes, claiming he is happy in Bremen and is enjoying learning the language.

“To everyone who reads German papers: the interview that has been published about me is a translation of a Belgian interview,” he wrote.

“In the translating process, some things obviously went wrong. I really am happy in Bremen and I’m fully adapting to the German mentality.

“I’m here to learn and I’m learning each and every day. I only said I miss my friends and my life in Belgium, but I certainly didn’t say that I’m unhappy here!

“I hope this clears things up for everyone. Focus on the national team now!”