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Hazard Says Goodbye to Chelsea for Real Madrid; Childhood Dream Wins

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Hazard Says Goodbye to Chelsea for Real Madrid; Childhood Dream Wins

Childhood dream for the Chelsea forward, Eden Hazard finally came true with an official announcement to Real Madrid, Friday. As per the sources, Real Madrid have offered Belgian, £88.5 million, with additional perks that could take this deal to £130m mark, as per ESPN FC.

Scoring 110 goals in 352 games for the Stamford outfit, Hazard’s dribbles often made defenders puff out of their cheeks. Seven years of precision, class, and persistence at the club also saw the Belgian winning two Premier League titles, besides six major trophies.

His latest trail of class was quiet at display in the Europa League final against Arsenal. Scoring twice while assisting Pedro, the forward signed off with another European major and a man of the match award.

“Leaving Chelsea is the biggest and toughest decision in my career to date,” said Hazard.

Writing on Facebook, he added: “I hope you understand I had to pursue my next chapter, just as each and every one of you should when you have the chance to pursue your dreams. Now it’s in the open I would like to put on record that one thing was always clear to me, I have loved every moment at Chelsea and not once did I ever consider, nor would I have left for any other club.”

Mired midst a lot of controversies, due to transfer ban, it will be a huge task for Chelsea to find the replacement. Nonetheless, even if the ban is lifted under some circumstances, it is to be seen if the club could ever sign a real replacement for the 28-year-old.

Hazard Leaving Behind the Legacy

Belgian, who was also sought by Manchester United, made an immediate impact with two assists on his league debut. He went on to score 13 goals, alongside 23 assists in 2012/13 season.

He also won back-to-back player of the season awards, following Jose Mourinho’s return to the club in June 2013, besides achieving the same feat four times in six campaigns.

A consistent match winner for the Blues, Hazard also scored the only goal to lead his side to victory in an FA cup final against the Manchester United, last year.

Besides, even in his last season at the club (2018/19), Hazard scored 16 goals, while assisting 15, assuring the Champions League spot for his club in the process.

“When I think back over my special moments in a Chelsea shirt, there are so many, we are lucky to win many more games than we have lost,” said the Belgian. “Those who know me understand it is not me to list what I have won, all I can say is each and every award both as a team and as an individual has been incredible,” he added.

Meanwhile, with the move now, it is expected that Hazard will finally taste the Champions League success with Real Madrid, and add the much-awaited accolade to his cabinet. He will kick-start his new journey with the Spanish club on July 1 2019.

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Chelsea Boss Frank Lampard backs Tammy Abraham and Condemns Racial Slurs

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Frank Lampard

Following the penalty shootout at the UEFA Super Cup final, Liverpool emerged victorious after a beautiful save by Adrián against the penalty shootout of Chelsea player, Tammy Abraham.

Following the penalty miss out, the 21-year-old striker for the English Club Chelsea became a target of online racial slurs as his shootout proved decisive for the fate of Chelsea, costing them the UEFA Super Cup.

However, this did not seem to affect Chelsea Manager Frank Lampard as he along with other team players came forward to back Tammy Abraham. The Blues’ manager asserted that he will not remove Abraham from the squad against Leicester City in the upcoming match of 28th Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

After the online racial abuse, anti-racist organisation Kick It Out not only termed the comments as “predictable, but no less disgusting”, but also issued a “call to action” to the social media channels.

In a press release, Chelsea’s manager in response to the online abuse against Tammy Abraham said, “Tammy is more than disappointed. I am disgusted by a so-called Chelsea fan. I don’t know how it’s allowed on the social media platforms. It’s too easy, so something needs to be done.”

The ex-player of Chelsea and now the manager, Frank Lampard, further added, “To say they need to be thick-skinned is too easy to say. When it becomes you and it becomes hurtful, it’s a problem we have to deal with. The social media companies, are they ever going to stop someone casually putting up what someone did against Tammy? That’s their responsibility.”

Famed footballer and winger for Chelsea, Christian Pulisic also came forward in the support of Abraham and said, “It’s penalties, man – somebody has to miss. He’s going to get his head up. Obviously it’s tough but penalties are like that. He can deal with it and he’ll be fine. He’ll move on, score a goal in the next game and everything will be forgotten. We’re there for him.”

According to Frank Lampard, Tammy Abraham has a “hunger for scoring goals, gets in positions regularly” and that displays his character as a player, who does not believe in hiding.

This is not for the first time that football lovers have made racist slurs towards the Black English players. Seeing the current policies of social media and behaviour of the fans, it definitely won’t be the last, unless there is a change in policies and a strict action is employed against those found involved in such actions.

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Man United Spoil Chelsea’s Dream as it Nets Four at Theatre of Dreams

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Manchester United

Going hammers and tongs at Chelsea’s defence, Manchester United ruined Chelsea’s opening day of the Premier League big time. The hosts, who looked a little unsettled at the initial stage, eventually won the match by 4-0 on the night.

The victory also spoiled Frank Lampard’s party in his first ever Premier League match as Chelsea manager, with his side unfortunately denied by the frame of the goal twice. Scoring four of the very best goals, Manchester United drew first blood after Kurt Zouma gave away the penalty in the 18th minute, and Marcus Rashford converted from the spot.

As the match went on, Chelsea made a ball or two, but Aaron Wan-Bissaka alongside Hary Magurie made some brilliant interceptions, denying the team from moving forward. However, even at that time, the Blues were pressing and looking to work away and get in behind United’s defense.

Nonetheless, the team could not yield anything positive other than hitting the post, as the Red Devils went in with a goal to the good at the half-time break.

Coming in for the second half, Manchester United readjusted their strategy and maintained a good amount of possession in the final three. The team made chances, got in behind Chelsea’s defence, and even converted the chance as it fell their way in the 65th minute; via Anthony Martial.

With two goals up, Chelsea were certainly starring down the barrel, and in the hast to make a comeback, the team made another mistake and gave away the ball to the opposition. The Red Devils were quick to capitalize on the counter, as Paul Pogba played a fantastic ball ahead to Marcus Rashford, who easily put it past Kepa Arrizabalaga to make it 3-0. The goal also took his personal tally to 2 goals.

But it was not all from Manchester United on their first match day, as Substitute Daniel James– on his Premier League debut– scored nine minutes from time to make it 4-0. It was also an emotional night for the 21-year-old, who lost his father just before signing for the club.

The Blues couldn’t really make anything happen in the remaining knockings of the game, as the official blew full-time whistle at 4-0.

“We made four mistakes, and they put them away,” Lampard said. “It is a reality check for us all. We are Chelsea. We don’t want to come here and lose 4-0. It wasn’t a 4-0 game for long periods, but we need to accept it,” he added.

Chelsea are up against Leicester City in their next Premier League encounter, while Manchester United play Wolves.

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Liverpool Leave Norwich in Disarray; Register Victory in League Opener

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Liverpool Leave Norwich in Disarray; Register Thumping Victory in League Opener

Spellbinding, heartwarming and most importantly clinical, Liverpool’s down under in Premier League once again got off to a winning flyer against Norwich City, Friday. The European champs left Tim Krul reeling with 3 flamboyant strikes and an own goal, in reply for just a goal; winning 4-1 on the night.

The victory implied that the Reds extended their unbeaten run to 13 league matches, and showed early signs of dominance. Picking up from where they left last season, Liverpool to a lot of people’s surprise, played Divock Origi ahead of Sadio Mane. However, the decision came off perfectly for Jurgen Klopp, as the Winger scored Liverpool’s fourth goal, just 3 minutes before the half-time whistle.

Meanwhile, in the succession of goals scored on the first night, the deadlock was ironically broken by a no look finish from Norwich’s Grant Hanley, who made a mess of the ball played in by Origi. The situation left Norwich tottering and resulted in goals from Mohammed Salah and Virgil van Dijk, with under 30 minutes played. By the half-time break, Liverpool had already banked 4, while the away side still drew blank.

Liverpool started the second half with the same spirit, but failed to convert the opportunities that fell their way. However, Teenu-Pukki — who was last season’s top scorer in British football’s second tier–gave the visiting fans something to cheer about after he finally swept home in the 64th minute. Yet, as the game went on, Pukki’s goal only counted as a consolation for the away side, as referee blew the full-time whistle at 4-1.

“It was a pretty good second half from us,” Pukki told Sky Sports after the match. “We decided at half time it was maybe too much to get some points so we just wanted to go and try and score,” he added.

Liverpool were undoubtedly the better side throughout the game, except for the fact that their defense looked a little fragile at times. We didn’t underestimate them at all,” Liverpool defender Joe Gomez told Sky Sports. “We knew they’d come here to play football, the manager warned us about that, and they got behind us a few times. It was frustrating to concede the goal but we have to learn from it and progress,” he added.

In addition, the bigger worry for Liverpool is the loss of their goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who was forced off in the first half after picking up an injury. The Brazilin was named the golden glove winner for most clean sheets last season, and the Reds would undoubtedly want him back in the mix.

Meanwhile, next up for Liverpool in Premier League is Southampton, while Norwich will square off against Newcastle.

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Micah Richards hangs boots on his football career

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Micah Richards hangs boots on his football career

Ex-England Defender Micah Richards has hung boots on his professional football career. Playing along the greats of the game, both at international and club level, Richards’ defending skills were second to none.

However, his decision to part ways with the game has come after a persistent knee injury, which kept him astray of consistently performing at the club level. The 31-year-old last played for Aston Villa in October 2016. The club released him this summer, and now he is set to move on with a promotional cum punditry role at Manchester City – his former club.

Richards, while sharing his delight, told the BBC sport: “From when I was a young kid I dreamed that I would win the Premier League and play for England, and I am very proud I achieved both.”

The defender has played 295 games for Manchester City, Fiorentina and Villa, besides winning 13 caps for England. He debuted aged 18 for his national side, and remains the youngest defender, scoring a goal for his country- against Israel in 2007. He also lifted the coveted FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League title with Man City in 2011/12.

“My time at Aston Villa was very frustrating because I wanted to play but my knee would swell up so I could not even train. But it was still an honour to play for them, and I am just sorry I could not do more for them on the pitch, Richards said on his retirement.

“It is great to be asked to come back and be involved at City, because they hold a special place in my heart. Everyone there took me under their wing right from when I joined,” he added.

Micah Richards joined City from Oldham as a 14-year-old, and busted onto the scene for the club aged 17, in 2005. He marked 245 appearances for the blue side of Manchester, before spending a season on loan with Fiorentina in 14/15. He further signed a 4-year-contract with Villa, which ended last month.

A City spokesman on the news of Micah’s arrival said: “Everyone at the club still thinks very fondly of Micah. The fans love him to bits and we are looking forward to working with him at events home and abroad in the future.”

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Can Women’s Inaugural FIFA Football Conference End Inequality Chants?

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FIFA Football Conference

Recently concluded, the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France was the one that will be remembered for the heroics of the US national team. However, this is not it and the tournament will once again take the centre stage in Milan on 22 September, as FIFA moves ahead to host the first ever women’s FIFA Football Conference. The meetup is aimed at analyzing the women’s’ performance at the world’s grandest stage.

Technical directors and women’s national team coaches of FIFA’s member associations (MAs) will be amongst those invited, alongside all six confederations’ technical directors and heads of women’s football.

Such a presentation will not only help make things better, but would also give women’s game the status they rightly deserve. In recently concluded final, there were chants for equal pay, and it was surely no co-incidence that the crowd got involved to once again highlight the issue at world stage.

Before beginning of the competition, Ada Hegerberg of Norway also sidelined the bid to play in the Women’s World Cup, citing gender inequality in the game.

Nonetheless, FIFA Football Conference would also include an analysis from technical, tactical and physical point of view. Discussions on the main footballing trends in comparison to previous editions of the tournament will also be covered.

“This historic conference will give us a unique opportunity to better understand how women’s football has been developing on the pitch and the main lessons learnt from France. It’s also an ideal platform to share experiences between well-established women’s football powerhouses and those member associations that are starting to invest more and more in the female game,” said Branimir Ujević, FIFA’s Head of Coaching & Player Development and the Project Lead for the Technical Study Group in France.

The FIFA Football conference will be held on the eve of the Best FIFA Football Awards 2019, and will crown, The Best FIFA Women’s Player, The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper and The Best FIFA Women’s Coach.

Though the step marks significant improvement in the status given to women, but it still doesn’t assure if demands for equality would stop, unless both genders are recognized equally by FIFA.

A similar conference was also performed after the conclusion of the men’s FIFA World Cup in Russia last year.

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