FIFA Propose Extending Expiring Contracts & Delaying Transfers to Finish Domestic Campaigns

Players looking to move when their contracts expire on 30 June will be made to stay at their current clubs until the season is completed, in proposals outlined in a new FIFA document.

The measures are part of the governing bodies plans to deal with the effects of the coronavirus on the football season. 

Extending the campaign beyond the end of June – when many players’ contracts run out – has been a subject of significant contention in discussions about how best to complete this term’s remaining fixtures.

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However, a new document presented to FIFA’s coronavirus working group, via The Ti?mes, says the crisis constitutes a “force majeure” – an unforeseen situation that can allow contracts to not be fulfilled. This also permits FIFA to introduce emergency powers such as restrictions on transfers until the season is complete. 

“This is an unprecedented time for football,” an extract from the document in which this plan is outlined begins. “It is very likely that any such completion will occur after the original end date of the season.” 

“Article 27 of the Regulations on the status and transfer of players (RSTP) states that cases of force majeure shall be decided by the Fifa council, whose decisions are final.”

“The proposals, the details of which were being discussed by Fifa’s high command today, have been drawn up by the organisation’s working group on Covid-19 and also recommends that clubs work with players and staff on deferred or reduced salaries ‘by reasonable amounts for any period of work stoppage’.”

Player contracts usually run from 1 July until 30 June, but FIFA argue that these dates are only chosen because they coincide with the football season. Therefore, ‘the true intention of all parties’ is to employ players for the duration of the campaign. 

These plans could even delay transfer that have already been agreed, such as Hakim Ziyech’s move to ?Chelsea. 

Some players who have agreed deals which included a significant pay rise could also stand to lose a significant amount of their earnings. Thus, FIFA’s decision seems likely to face a legal challenge.


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10 Pairs of Footballers You’d Never Remember Were Teammates

?Some teammates are so synonymous with each other it feels wrong mentioning one without the other. 

Xavi and Iniesta. Ferdinand and Vidic. Heskey and Owen. Just three examples of when such a  pairing cements itself into the footballing vernacular. 

In stark contrast, some teammates just do not look right together. So much so that when an image of them wearing the same shirt pops up on your phone, you perform a double take to make sure it’s not one of your mates playing a prank on you. 

We feel it is important at this point to promise that there is no Photoshop related trickery contained in the forthcoming article.  

Each and every one of the unlikely duos listed below genuinely played together at some point… as hard as it is to believe in some cases.


Robert Pires and Ashley Young

Robert Pires

By the time Robert Pires joined Aston Villa at the start of the 2010/2011 season his best years were very much behind him. Ashley Young’s career on the other hand was about to go stratospheric. 

This was Young’s final campaign at Villa Park before sealing a £17m move to ?Manchester United and what better way to spend it than in the company of a ?Premier League legend? 

Pires spent the majority of the season playing in a number 10 role, with his fleet footed colleague operating down the right hand side as the Villans secured a ninth placed finish. 


Fabinho and Cristiano Ronaldo ?

The story of Fabinho at Real Madrid is as curious as it was short. The Brazilian rocked up at Santiago Bernabeu on a one-year loan deal from Portuguese side Rio Ave. 

After impressing for the B Team, he was afforded a solitary appearance for the senior side against Málaga, helping Los Blancos see out a 6-2 win alongside the likes of Luka Modric, Mesut Ozil and of course, Cristiano Ronaldo. 

He can’t have impressed that much as Real failed to make his loan move permanent at the end of the season.


Louis Saha and Alan Shearer 

Louis Saha

?Louis Saha has been around the block a few times, playing for Fulham, Manchester United and ?Everton among others. However, did you know before he carved out a niche as a short term striking solution, a young Saha had a fleeting loan spell with Newcastle. 

This was a Magpies side in their pomp as well. Newcastle Brown Ale sponsored shirts, Sir Bobby Robson patrolling the touchline and Alan Shearer banging in 150 goals a season. 

Saha did not quite manage to reach the same heights, netting just once during his time at St. James’ Park. 


George Weah and Shaun Wright-Phillips 

George Weah, Nicky Butt

?The only African player to ever win the Ballon d’Or, George Weah had a career filled to the brim with highlights. 

However, the cream of the crop must have been his two month spell playing with a teenage Shaun Wright-Phillips at ?Manchester City.

Should Wright-Phillips ever desire a career in politics he should give his former teammate a call. You know, given that’s he’s now President of Liberia.


Mikael Silvestre and Ronaldo 

Mikael Silvestre

?The often ?underappreciated Mikael Silvestre had a single season stint at ?Inter, before rejecting Liverpool to sign for Manchester United in 1999. 

While he was there, a striker by the name of ?Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima was terrorising defenders for fun. 

Silvestre must have dreaded going in training, having to stop prime Ronaldo scoring every day. No wonder he only lasted a season…


Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Eden Hazard  

Lille's forward  Pierre Emerick Aubameya

?Prior to establishing themselves as superstars, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and ?Eden Hazard briefly shared a changing room at Lille. 

While Hazard started to shine during the 2009/2010 season, Aubameyang – who was on loan from ?Milan at the time – found things more challenging. 

The Gabonese striker only managed two Ligue 1 goals all season – an utterly unthinkable tally given the goalscoring form he has showcased since. 


Sol Campbell and Andy Carroll 

Emmanuel Adebayor,Sol Campbell

?After an utterly bizarre stint at Notts County and a fleeting return to ?Arsenal, Sol Campbell saw his career out with Newcastle. 

While on his welcoming tour of St James’ Park, Campbell would have likely come across a massive Geordie bloke with luscious long hair. 

A matter of months later, a media hype train would earn that very same man a £35m move to Liverpool. Yes that’s right. Let us never forget that Liverpool genuinely spent £35m on Andy flippin’ Carroll.


Serge Gnabry and Darren Fletcher 

West Bromwich Albion Unveil New Loan Signing Serge Gnabry

At first glance ?Serge Gnabry and Darren Fletcher seem to be from two completely different footballing eras. The thought of them being teammates is a strange one. What’s even stranger is that the man who brought these two players together was Tony Pulis. 

Unsurprisingly the flair-centric talents of Gnabry rubbed the work rate-obsessed Pulis up the wrong way, with the Welshman boldly claiming that he was not good enough for the Baggies starting XI. 

I wonder if he watched the Tottenham vs ?Bayern Munich game this year and thought: “Ah, that was good. But Chris Brunt is still better.”


Marko Arnautovic and Mario Balotelli 

Inter Milan's Austrian forward Marko Arn

With these two hell raisers in the dressing room, it is nothing short of a miracle that Inter managed to win a Serie A and Champions League double during the 2009/2010 season. 

To be fair, Arnautovic barely played with José Mourinho claiming that he had an ?”a?ttitude of a child.”

As for Balotelli… “I could write a book of 200 pages of my two years at Inter with Mario, but the book would not be a drama –? it would be a comedy.”

We guess that’s better. 


Yakubu and Shkodran Mustafi  

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?Shkodran Mustafi cut his teeth in Everton’s youth ranks, learning the art of the defensive blunder from the likes of Phil Neville and Tony Hibbert – sorry guys, that’s harsh. 

His only ever senior appearance for the Toffees came in the Europa League against BATE Borisov. 

With qualification secured, Everton fielded a much rotated side but a few first team players remained, including Premier League icon Yakubu – making Mustafi’s 10 minute cameo that little bit more special. 


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7 of Chelsea’s Best Big Game Players of the Premier League Era

?During the Premier League era, Chelsea have become one of the most successful clubs in the world.

They experienced cup success in the late 1990s before becoming a force in this current millennium, winning five Premier League titles and five FA Cups. No matter which manager was in charge, from Ruud Gullit to Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea have always managed to remain in contention and win major honours at the highest level.

Yet fans tend to remember those players who stepped up in the big moments. Those players who single-handedly won the cup for their team and did everything they could to bring silverware home.

With that being said, here are Chelsea’s seven most clutch, big-game players…


Eden Hazard

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The most recent club great, ?Eden Hazard was a talent who endeared himself to Blues fans for his displays at Stamford Bridge.

He came to London from Lille in 2012 and swiftly showed off his talent to create and score at any given moment ?Chelsea needed him to. For his displays in the Blues’ 2014/15 title-winning season, the Belgian won numerous Player of the Year awards and established himself as one of the best attacking talents in the world.

With six trophies under his belt, Hazard left Stamford Bridge for Real Madrid as a club great, finishing with 110 goals in 352 appearances.

Most Clutch Moment: Scoring twice and assisting another in the 2019 Europa League final victory over ?Arsenal.


Branislav Ivanovi?

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Few knew a lot about Branislav Ivanovi? when he arrived in 2008, but many at Stamford Bridge now remember him fondly – especially his knack for scoring crucial goals.

It took him some time to establish himself in Chelsea’s first team, but once that happened, Ivanovi? became a colossal figure in the Blues’ defence. The Serb was superb in the air and could be counted on to nab a late goal for his team.

Ivanovi? won ten trophies during his time at the club and made himself a ?Chelsea legend before departing in 2017.

Most Clutch Moment: Scoring a header in stoppage time to win the 2013 Europa League for Chelsea in their 2-1 final win over Benfica.


Gianfranco Zola

Man United v Chelsea Gianfranco Zola

Gianfranco Zola is largely viewed as one of the best foreign players to ever play in the Premier League.

The former Parma star arrived in November 1996 and had an immediate impact, helping the club win the 1997 FA Cup. That same year, he won the Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year award, despite having not played a full season at Stamford Bridge.

He helped the Blues win four more trophies and delighted the Chelsea faithful with an array of stunning goals and wonderful skill throughout, leaving in 2003 with a total of 80 goals in 312 games. Zola recently returned and was a coach under former manager Maurizio Sarri.

Most Clutch Moment: Coming on as a substitute and scoring the winning goal after 30 seconds in the 1998 Cup Winners’ Cup final against Stuttgart.


Roberto di Matteo


It’s hard to argue with Roberto Di Matteo when he called the old Wembley Stadium “a very lucky ground for me.”

Following his arrival in 1996, the Italian instantly made a name for himself at Stamford Bridge. It would take him just 42 seconds to score from 30 yards to help Chelsea win the 1997 FA Cup – a record for the fastest goal in a FA Cup final until 2009.

He later scored in another cup final – this time in the 2-0 1998 League Cup final win against ?Middlesbrough. Di Matteo would help the club win three more trophies before retiring and later managed the Blues to Champions League glory in 2012.

Most Clutch Moment: Scoring the winning goal in the 2000 FA Cup final victory over Aston Villa.


Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard

It’s hard not to bring up Frank Lampard’s contributions when discussing the success Chelsea have experienced in this millennium.

Joining from ?West Ham in 2001, he became one of the great English centre midfielders with a knack for scoring and creating for others when his team needed him to. It was his brace against Bolton that secured the 2004/05 Premier League title for the Blues and he won the Premier League Player of the Season award for his efforts.

Lampard went on to win the ?Premier League twice more, as well as four FA Cups and a Champions League title among many other honours. Now back at Stamford Bridge as manager, he will be hoping to lift more silverware in the years to come.

Most Clutch Moment: Scoring the winner in the 2009 FA Cup final against ?Everton.


Didier Drogba

Chelsea's Ivorian forward Didier Drogba

Joining Chelsea in 2004, Didier Drogba would go on to become a club legend.

In his first season, he scored in the Blues’ 3-2 extra-time win over ?Liverpool in the 2005 League Cup final. It would be the first of many trophies for the Ivorian, who contributed hugely with his goalscoring, with two Premier League Golden Boot accolades to his name.

With numerous cup-final winning goals, Drogba was one of the best world strikers in football, and they have struggled to replace him since his departure in 2012.

Most Clutch Moment: Scoring the equaliser and then the winning penalty in the 2012 Champions League final victory over ?Bayern Munich.


Petr ?ech

Chelsea's Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech is

Arguably the finest goalkeeper to have played for Chelsea, Petr ?ech established himself as an icon at Stamford Bridge by saving his team regularly.

He arrived in 2004 and quickly became the first-choice goalkeeper, keeping a clean sheet on debut against ?Manchester United. The Czech continued to set the goalkeeping standard and was voted UEFA’s Goalkeeper of the Year three times during his time at the Blues.

?ech was in goal during Chelsea’s successful league-winning campaigns, as well as their cup final successes, leaving with 15 medals in 2015. Together with Lampard, he will strive to bring more success to Stamford Bridge in his current role as an adviser to the Blues.

Most Clutch Moment: Saving a penalty in extra time and then two more in the subsequent penalty shootout as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich to win the 2011/12 ?Champions League.

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On This Day in Football History – March 25: Inter Run Riot, Derby Victories & More

Day one of lockdown in the United Kingdom and nobody knows what day it is unless you’re a bit weird. But what we do know is it’s day 25 of the third month in the worst year EVER.

25 ?March isn’t necessarily a special day in the footballing calendar. Pretty irrelevant, in fact.

But in unprecedented times like these, it’s about time we took a trip down memory lane to see what exactly went down on this day.

So, here we go, people – it’s time for you to take a break from kicking bog roll around your gaff or chipping golf balls into a water-filled cup. 


1965 – Copa Libertadores Classic

We’ve had to delve deep for this Copa Libertadores classic between Uruguayan outfit Penarol and Pele’s Santos.

March 25 played host to the semi-final first leg between the two sides in Brazil, with a Pele brace guiding Santos to a remarkable 5-4 victory.

It would be Penarol who would have the last laugh, however, as they qualified for the final with a 2-1 victory in the playoff in Buenos Aires. Pele, of course, was on the scoresheet once more.


1990 – Inter 7-2 Atalanta

We arrive at San Siro 25 years after the South American classic, with reigning Serie A champions Inter beating Atalanta 7-2.

The Nerazzurri side, which boasted the likes of Lothar Matthaus, Jurgen Klinsmann, Andreas Brehme and Giuseppe Bergomi, were in full cry that day as they found themselves 4-0 up after 27 minutes, with Klinsmann eventually hitting their seventh with just under 20 minutes left.

And while that Atalanta side isn’t comparable to the dynamic Gian Piero Gasperini side of the current day, they were no slouches either as they’d go on to finish seventh in the 1989/90 season. Inter, meanwhile, finished third.


2000 – Jadon Sancho Is Born

Three years ago and this event would’ve felt totally irrelevant in the scope of modern football history. Jadon Sancho was a mere teenager, wasting away in the Citizens’ youth squads.

But now, as we celebrate Sancho’s 20th birthday, the Dortmund man has swiftly established himself as one of the world’s leading talents, ready to define the post-coronavirus era.

The electric winger has 73 goal contributions in 90 games for BVB and is set to depart Signal Iduna Park for a nine-figure fee whenever the next transfer window arises.


2006 – Chelsea 2-0 Manchester City

It’s fair to say Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea were a bit good during the ‘Special One’s’ first two years in SW5 as the Blues won back-to-back titles.

And this routine 2-0 victory over a then irrelevant Manchester City came at a rather pivotal time. They’d just lost 1-0 in the west London ‘derby’ and could ill-afford to slip up once more with Manchester United hot on their heels.

A quick-fire Didier Drogba brace sent them on their way that day, while they’d go on to wrap their second consecutive Premier League crown six weeks later with an unforgettable 3-0 win over the Red Devils at Stamford Bridge.


2006 – Liverpool 3-1 Everton

Also on 25 March, 2006, we saw Liverpool topple Everton in the Merseyside derby at Anfield.

The Reds overcame an early Steven Gerrard sending off to beat their closest rivals 3-1, as a Harry Kewell scorcher put the result beyond doubt in the closing stages after Tim Cahill had pulled a goal back for the Toffees just after the hour mark.

That victory was the third in a mightily impressive nine-game win streak to round off the 2005/06 Premier League campaign, as Rafa Benitez’s side finished third.


2014 – Manchester United 0-3 Manchester City

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for City on this day, as eight years after their defeat at Stamford Bridge, they’d go on to thump their bitter rivals in the Manchester derby. 

Manuel Pellegrini’s men were in fine fettle when they arrived at Old Trafford that day, and when Edin Dzeko put the visitors 1-0 up with barely 60 seconds on the clock, the Red Devil faithful – who had seen their side lose 3-0 at home to Liverpool nine days prior – knew they’d be in for a long night. 

And that they were as a totally superior City side outclassed David Moyes’ men on their way to a 3-0 triumph – with Dzeko and Yaya Toure netting in the second period.


2014 – Bayern’s Way Too Easy Title Victory

Since the demise of Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund, Bayern have gone on to attain total domination of the Bundesliga – winning each of the last seven Meisterschales.

Amid regular strolls to the German crown, their success in the 2013/14 season came at a frightening canter.

By the time they’d won the title at Hertha Berlin in Bundesliga-record time, Pep Guardiola’s side were unbeaten – dropping just six points all season. Defeat away at Augsburg at the start of April, however, ended their invincible dream.


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Rating the Suitability of the Left-Backs Linked With a Move to Chelsea This Summer

?After having his hands tied by a transfer ban last time out, Frank Lampard is gearing up for his first summer transfer window as Chelsea boss. 

Hakim Ziyech has already been snapped up and next on the Blues’ shopping list is a new left-back. 

A sizable collection of names have been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge over the last month or so, suggesting that Lampard has not yet decided who he wants to bring in. 

Good thing 90min is here to help then, eh Frank? Here it is, each of Chelsea’s supposed left-back transfer targets ranked in order of their suitability to life in west London. 


 6. Blás Riveros

Blas Miguel Riveros Galeano

?Blás Riveros? I’m pretty sure he’s one of the starter players on PES 6 Master League? No? He plays for FC Basel? Well then. We stand corrected. 

Yes, quite why this 22-year-old Paraguay international has been touted as the answer to Chelsea’s left-back conundrum is a mystery. 

Perhaps his name was spitballed at a post-midnight meeting of the Stamford Bridge transfer committee as a bit of a joke, and somehow it managed to get out to the press. 

Riveros has been in and out of the Basel team all season, making just 19 appearances in all competitions. Definitely one to avoid. 

Suitability: 1/10


5. Matt Targett

Matt Targett

?Next up, Matthew Robert Targett – because nothing says ‘I deserve a move to a top six side’ more than playing in the worst defence in the Premier League.

?Aston Villa have conceded 56 goals this season and although Targett’s performances have not been entirely without merit, he must shoulder some of the blame. 

The only thing that just sneaks him above Riveros on this list is the fact that he’s English and might be available for a steal if Villa suffer relegation. 

However, a discount on a player is little consolation when they’re just not very good at playing football. Another bad idea this one. 

Suitability: 2/10


4. Marc Cucurella

Cucurella

?He may not be an imposing defender in a physical sense but Marc Cucurella possesses a tactical intelligence that could easily see him enjoy a career at the elite level. 

A La Masia product, the 21-year-old started his youth career at Espanyol before being snapped up by ?Barcelona soon after. 

After impressing for the B team, Cucurella was sent on loan to Eibar for a season. They then exercised their right to sign the Spaniard… only for Barça to buy him back 16 days later. Weird right? 

This season, Cucurella is on loan at La Liga surprise package Getafe, playing in a more advanced left-midfield position for the most part. Could he do it a job at left-back in the ?Premier League? We’ll be honest and say, probably not. 

Cucurella is an exciting talent but he is not a feasible option for Lampard – yet.

Suitability: 4/10


3. Ben Chilwell 

Ben Chilwell

?Last summer it was Harry Maguire and Christian Eriksen. In January it was Bruno Fernandes. This summer, could it be Ben Chilwell who dominates the transfer gossip columns? 

?Leices?ter have been a joyous revelation under Brendan Rodgers this season and prior to the break they were within touching distance of securing themselves a place in next season’s Champions League. 

Don’t be fooled into thinking that Ben Chilwell has had a flawless campaign though… 

The 23-year-old was terrorised defensively against ?Manchester City, Wolves and ?Liverpool this season and his attacking performances have also been largely ?overstated. Oh to be a young Englishman in the Premier League eh? 

Leicester have apparently slapped a £80m price tag on Chilwell. That’s too much and as the Maguire saga showed, the Foxes drive a hard bargain and may even have the extra bargaining chip of Champions League football to play with this time around. 

Don’t get drawn into a summer of drawn out negotiations Frank – he’s not worth it. 

Suitability: 5/10


2. Nicolas Tagliafico 

Dutch Eredivisie"SC Heerenveen v Ajax Amsterdam"

Nicolás Tagliafico represents an all together much safer pair of hands. The Argentine is at his peak and used to the rigours of competing on multiple fronts. 

He played a key role in the Ajax side that went within seconds of reaching the Champions League final last campaign, catching the eye with his tireless running and dogged defending. 

Chelsea will also like the fact that a move for Tagliafico would see him reunite with the man that he has had so much success with down the left-hand side in Amsterdam – Hakim Ziyech. 

Lampard will also be licking his lips at the fact that he only has two years left to run on his current deal – meaning he could be available at a knock down price. 

Suitability: 7/10


1. Alex Telles

Alex Telles

?Here he is, Alex Telles. Bask in the glory of the left-back that Frank Lampard should be bringing to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

Now 27, Telles has not followed the most conventional route to the top. Starting his career in Brazil, he earned a move to Galatasaray in 2014 before arriving at Porto in 2016 – via a brief loan spell with ?Inter.

Since then, Telles’ has been simmering away nicely, consistently proving himself to be one of the most talented attacking full-backs in world football. 

This season has been his pièce de résistance, with the Brazilian racking up a ridiculous ten goals and nine assists. Key to this has been his wand of a left foot as well as his ability to glide past defenders down the left-hand side. 

Quick! Someone make the ‘Welcome to Chelsea 2012/2021 Goals/Skills’ Youtube compilation before it’s too late… 

Suitability: 9/10


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