Hearts manager Craig Levein has urged Steven Naismith to resist the option of heading to Major League Soccer as that could squander his prospects of earning a berth with Scotland, should they qualify for Euro 2020. The veteran recently made a national team comeback after 18 months after the good form at Hearts and he managed to make amends with goals against Albania and Portugal.
Speaking to reporters, Levein stated that Naismith could be better off staying with the Scottish Premiership side next season in order to realise the ambition of featuring for Scotland at the European Championship, should they progress, he said: “Through his efforts at Hearts he has got himself back into the Scotland squad and scored important goals at that level.
Spain national team coach Jose Enrique has acknowledged that Isco may no longer be an automatic pick with La Roja after struggling for gametime at Real Madrid this term. The Spaniard has not started a league game for Los Blancos since October 28 and this has coincided with the appointment of Santiago Solari as the club’s head coach.
Speaking to Movistar, Enrique has admitted that Isco may not make the squad for the forthcoming internationals against Norway and Malta until he can get more minutes under the belt at the club level, he said: “Right now, I do not know if I will call him up, we will treat each case individually. Continue Reading
There have been a lot of speculations in recent months over the future of Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, as his future at the club continues to remain uncertain.
A number of elite European clubs have shown interest in the Croatian and it continues to seem increasingly likely that the player will be exiting Barcelona in the summer.
France international Raphael Varane has said that Les Blues remain ambitious to secure more trophies after their wonderful expedition at the summer World Cup where they outclassed Croatia in the final. Speaking to Voix du Nord, the Real Madrid star admitted that the expectations are high on the World Cup champions for the forthcoming tournaments and the team cannot afford to hide from the challenges ahead.
He said:“It’s not a fault in football to be ambitious, far from it. We can win it, although it will be very difficult. There’s a lot expected of us, which we saw in our recent friendlies and in the League of Nations matches.We cannot hide and we know that teams who play us will be very motivated. But we’re capable and we’re going to do everything to get there. We must take things day by day and not lose our heads.”
Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has admitted that he was disappointed by the criticism from Scotland supporters after his decision to snub a call-up to the national team back in October. The marksman had opted for a call-off from international duty to focus on his fitness during that period but that did not go well with the country’s faithful, who ridiculed him through different social media platforms.
Speaking ahead of the Motherwell game, Griffiths acknowledged that he had to take the abuse by the chin after getting a frosty reception from the Scotland fans at that point of time, he said: “You could say it was brave but a lot of people didn’t agree with that and I had to take the abuse I got in the chin. It was unfortunate that I was ill and injured at the same time. It is always difficult when people want to question it.”
Germany head coach Joachim Loew has said that he is focused on qualifying for the 2020 European Championship after the former World Cup champions’ failure to impress in the newly-formed Nations League. Germany are already out of contention for the playoffs after experiencing three winless games in their group and they are facing the prospect of being relegated to League B with a two-point deficit to the Netherlands.
Speaking in a news conference, Loew admitted that the team remain keen on avoiding relegation but the result no longer lies on their hands. He added that the focus should hereafter lie on building a team for Euro 2020 where he is likely to make notable changes to the current squad, he said: “Obviously we want to do all we can to stay in League A, but it’s not in our hands anymore. We’re looking at more than just the Nations League. EURO 2020 is our next main aim. Until then, we want to have a powerful team on the pitch once again.