David Luiz bites back at Neville's 'Playstation' jibe: He lacked respect… he's still learning

Sep 04, 2015 Posted Under: News

The former Chelsea defender insists he holds no grudge against the England coach and indicated that the departure from the Blues was his decision

Paris Saint-Germain defender David Luiz has suggested that former Manchester United full-back Gary Neville lacked respect when likening the Brazil international to a 10-year-old on a PlayStation.

The former Chelsea player formed part of Laurent Blanc’s 2014/15 Ligue 1 winning side, after leaving Stamford Bridge following the 2014 World Cup.

But Luiz, who was singled out for criticism following Brazil’s 7-1 defeat to Germany in the World Cup semi-final, indicated that though Neville’s comments were wrong, he does not hold a grudge.

“I think that respect is imperative,” Luiz told Bleacher Report.

“I’m not saying that people have to like me or that nobody can criticise me. Do it with reason and balance, though, with responsibility. Not lacking respect.

“You can criticise someone, say they didn’t play well. That’s fine. When Gary Neville talked about me being like something out of a video game, that’s the sort of thing that lacks respect, especially because he was a player.

“But I reacted in a positive way because I know that he’s learning, and he’s growing into a new profession. I think he realised that he’d made a mistake, and he spoke well of me later on. These things happen.”

The 28-year-old also commented on his departure from Chelsea and his relationship with manager Jose Mourinho during and after the 2014 World Cup, with the defender insisting that the move to PSG was his choice.

“I’d had four happy years at Chelsea, and they offered me a new contract, but I preferred to go. It was my decision,” Luiz added.

“When I left [the Chelsea squad at the end of the 2013/14 season], I was with Brazil, and I didn’t really have any contact with [Mourinho].

“I was in Brazil on holiday first, then preparing for the World Cup. Everything was presented to me, I accepted, and he sent me a little message saying ‘good luck.’

“Afterwards, I went straight to Paris. I didn’t go back to London.”

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Azpilicueta on De Gea: Man Utd fans love him… they'll welcome him back

Sep 04, 2015 Posted Under: News

The Chelsea defender is convinced that his compatriot will be have no trouble being accepted by supporters at Old Trafford, despite his aborted move to Real Madrid

Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta says that Spanish national team-mate goalkeeper David de Gea is loved by Manchester United fans, and will be welcomed back by them.

De Gea was all set to move to Spanish giants Real Madrid until a problem with paperwork halted the move, with both clubs laying the blame at each other’s door.

But despite the goalkeeper’s attempted move away from Old Trafford, Azpilicueta says that De Gea will have no problem with the United fans upon his return to Manchester.

“As a rival, I’ve experienced the affection the United fans have for De Gea,” Azpilicueta told reporters. “They always respect him and they will continue to do so.

“He is very loved there, and the United fans will welcome him with respect.”

De Gea has one year left on his current contract at Old Trafford, but is said to have been in contact with his agent, Jorge Mendes, to discuss the possibility of signing a new long-term deal with the club, such is his dismay at the collapse of his proposed move to Madrid.

But De Gea has yet to feature for United this season, with manager Louis van Gaal insisting that he was not focused with on-pitch matters.

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Pedro: Valdes gave me Van Gaal warning prior to Man Utd snub

Sep 03, 2015 Posted Under: News

The winger has admitted his former team-mate told him his only “problem” at Old Trafford was with the coach but insists it did not influence his decision to choose Chelsea

Pedro has revealed his Spain team-mate Victor Valdes warned him of his “problem” of playing under Louis van Gaal at Manchester United before he joined Chelsea.

The winger was linked with a move to Old Trafford for much of the summer before Chelsea took advantage of their rivals’ indecision by completing a late deal.

And while United goalkeeper Valdes spoke highly of the club and its supporters, Pedro admits he did not recommend life under Van Gaal.

“He told me it was a very good club with great supporters and the only problem was with the coach,” Pedro told Marca.

Valdes has been left out of United’s Champions League squad following the collapse of David de Gea’s move to Real Madrid and Pedro believes his former Barcelona team-mate is being treated unfairly.

“It is true that I do not like the treatment of my [Spain] team-mates, especially Victor, who has been a reference for me and is a model professional,” he added.

“I don’t think it’s fair, but that did not influence my decision [to join Chelsea].

“I just saw Man Utd wasn’t convinced to take the step of signing me, they were delaying a lot and I needed a team with which to start the new season. Chelsea acted more decisively.”

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Hazard: I'll never be a true scorer like Messi or Ronaldo

Sep 02, 2015 Posted Under: News

The Chelsea forward accepts that he does not have the predatory instinct to push and push for as many goals as possible, admitting that he tends to ease off when the job is done

Chelsea forward Eden Hazard admits that he “will never be a true scorer” as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are.

Having been crowned Player of the Year after driving the Blues to the Premier League title last term, the Belgian has been talked up as having the potential to rival the Barcelona and Real Madrid stars.

With 19 goals to his name in all competitions last season, manager Jose Mourinho and team-mate Cesc Fabreas were among those to hail Hazard’s potential.

However, the 24-year-old says that he is not convinced of rivalling Ronaldo or Messi – who have been crowned the world’s best player five times between them – in terms of goals.

“I often ask myself what I can do to become like Messi and Ronaldo and score 50 or 60 goals in a season,” Hazard told Sport/Foot Magazine.

“I try of course but I realise that I will never be a true scorer. It’s not in me. It is mainly mental – at 2-0, not thinking that is enough, for example. Sometimes I still think, after a goal, ‘that’s enough’.

“I’m not in search of records like some other players… if I can score between 15 and 20 goals each season, I will be very happy.

“I’m at a peak of my career but I want to become even better every day. I’m not there yet.”

Hazard has endured a sluggish start to the season and is yet to score from four Premier League outings, with Chelsea surprisingly languishing in 13th.

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Diego Costa: I need goals to kick-start my Spain career

Sep 02, 2015 Posted Under: News

The Chelsea striker says that he has “no excuses” not to show what he can do while on international duty with Spain, expecting confidence to follow when he gets on the scoresheet

Chelsea striker Diego Costa is hopeful of kick-starting his international career with Spain, having yet to make his mark for La Roja.

Vicente del Bosque’s side face Slovakia and Macedonia in Euro 2016 qualifiers, with Costa expected to lead the line for the European champions.

With just one goal to his name from four outings with Chelsea this term, the Brazil-born forward hopes to add to his solitary international goal before returning to Stamford Bridge.

Costa told reporters: “I think what’s missing is that I need to score goals. Every game, I’m getting better physically. I know I can give a lot more to the team and hopefully that will start right now. Strikers need to score goals; that’s what I’ve been lacking here.

“When I score, my confidence will be higher and everything will come together. We have very skilful players and I don’t have any excuses; I have to do things better.

“I’m getting to know my team-mates better and, although the style is different for me, there are great players here. I need confidence. Adapting to this style is easy.

“I feel that I owe the team, I haven’t done anything yet. I have to repay the faith that has been placed in me. Maybe I have been a bit nervous but that’s why it’s important to play well now.”

Costa enjoyed a prolific debut season with Chelsea in 2014-15 and opened his international account in October during a 4-0 win over Luxembourg.

Having opted to represent Spain last year, he is wary that he runs the risk of being dropped if he fails to find form.

“That can happen at any time,” Costa accepted. “I know that, if I’m not playing well and someone else is, the gaffer won’t call me up. I’m only thinking about being fit, coming here and playing. I hope that, in these games, everything will be better.”

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