Belgian duo Vincent Kompany and Thibaut Courtois have laughed off the idea of Romelu Lukaku retiring from international football after Euro 2020. The Manchester United striker recently claimed that he has the plan to step down from national team duty after the next major tournament but his compatriots don’t believe that would be the case.
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Speaking to reporters, Red Devils captain Kompany was surprised by even the thought of Lukaku hanging his boots in 2020 and feels the striker may end up regretting the statement, he said: “I can hardly imagine that I’m going to have a lot of trouble convincing him to go even further. Young players sometimes say things that they later regret. We all laughed at it.”
Tottenham Hotspur defender Kieran Trippier has admitted that he is keen to take his game to the next level after starring for England at the recent World Cup. The 27-year-old was a regular for the Three Lions in the right wing-back role during the tournament and he scored a remarkable free-kick against Croatia at the semi-final stage, although it came in a losing cause.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Trippier admitted that he was delighted to have made the mark at the World Cup after making his debut only a year ago. He added that the performances have given him plenty of confidence going forward and he is hoping to play a fundamental role for Spurs during the course of the current campaign.
Hungary have appointed former Brescia defender turned coach Marco Rossi as the manager of the national team ahead of Euro 2020. The Italian would now replace Belgian Georges Leekens as the Hungary Football Association (HFA) prepare for the continental event which is only two years out.
The 53-year old coach was handed a two year deal with a clear mandate on helping the team develop into a world class competitor as they jointly host the event. The 1938 and 1953 World Cup finalists are aware that so much work needed to be done. They lost three games and played a draw in one to make four friendly games under Leekens. The HFA sacked Leekens not solely because of the losses but because the manager in their opinion brought minimal improvement to the team during his time at the helm.
England has played under various captains since Gareth Southgate has taken charge and the head coach intends to persist with this policy for some more time as he reckons it’s helping him explore the leadership abilities of the members of the squad.
As per Southgate, having used different individuals as skipper on different occasions, he has found that quite a few individuals in the current group are capable of leading the side and that doesn’t include only the seasoned players, but some of the youngsters as well.
Also another advantage of giving different players the opportunity to lead is that it makes all of them more responsible and in that way, the team becomes a closely knit unit with everybody wanting to set an example.
On asked when he would be eventually naming the permanent skipper, Southgate says he is no hurry to do that. Yes it’s something that he will sit and think about at some point of time, but, it’s certainly not one of his top priorities right now. Continue Reading
Former Manchester City star, Micah Lincoln Richards is expected to remain at Championship side, Aston Villa beyond the close of this month’s transfer window.
The defender was recalled to the match day 18 squad for the recent 2-2 draw with Preston North End and is still part of manager, Steve Bruce’s plans.
The 28-year-old signed a four year contract with Aston Villa after his release by Manchester City on free transfer in the 2015/2016 season and has gone on to be an integral part of the squad in the West Midlands.
The defender has attracted interest from a number of Premiership clubs as reports gathered claim that West Ham United are keen on signing Richards this summer, while Hull City and Sunderland, managed thenby Sam Allardyce, were also interested.
Richards has also had offers from a number of foreign clubs to consider but decided to stay at Villa Park despite not featuring too often under ex-boss, Roberto Di Matteo. Continue Reading
Brussels, venue for the Euro 2020 might have a stadium less available for the competition as Belgium top football officials claim a planned new stadium might not be ready in time.
There are political issues involved with the planned 60,000 capacity Eurostadium project.
A FIFA Council member Michel D’Hooghe says: “If they want to build it they have to start building very soon, and there I have severe doubts.”
Thirteen cities are to host the tournament across the continent and UEFA chose Brussels in 2014. UEFA has another city in mind for the tournament as problems hamper the planning, D’Hooghe added.
City and regional lawmakers’ disputes made Brussels club Anderlecht cancel plans of using the new stadium. The 50,000 capacity King Baudouin stadium lacks the required facilities for the competition of that magnitude.
Unlike previous occasions – France hosted the 2016 event, and Ukraine and Poland were the co-hosts in 2012 – 13 cities would host the Euro 2020 tournament in an unprecedented move. Continue Reading