Liverpool star Dejan Lovren has revealed that he wants Jurgen Klopp’s side to replicate Barcelona’s trophy spree and be remembered as one the greatest teams in history.
Between 2008 and 2012, Barcelona went through one of the most successful phases in the club’s history, as they also became the first and the only team so far to win six trophies in a calendar year. They also won the La Liga thrice and the Champions League twice during this period.
Meanwhile, after missing out to the Premier League title to Manchester City by a solitary point last season, Liverpool are now 22 points clear of Pep Guardiola’s men this season, with an astonishing 24 wins from 25 league matches so far. They are definitely on course to put a 30-year-old domestic title drought this season – but Lovren wants more from his team.
In a recent interview with Sky Sports, he said that everything “has fallen perfectly into place” this season and he now hopes Liverpool can emulate Barcelona and deliver trophy after trophy.
“I’ve been there from the beginning with Jurgen and it took quite a while, two or three years to build everything up,” he said, before adding:
“Let’s say, we clicked this year – maybe even last year – but we missed out by one point.”
“Now we understand each other, what we need, what we want. And I especially want, that we are remembered maybe like the Barcelona team that won in four years [something like] 20 trophies.”
“Why should we not do that? I think we can do it and I want that we are remembered as one of the best teams that have played – not only for this year but for many, many years.”
“It’s a privilege to be in the dressing-room and to see smiley faces, but it’s not just about smiley faces – it’s about how we are still reacting on the training ground,” he added further, before concluding:
“We are still hungry, still greedy and this is what makes us special, to be honest.”
Zidane issues update on Eden Hazard’s injury ahead of Manchester City clash
With only a few hours left before Real Madrid take on Manchester City in the first leg of the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League round-of-16, Zinedine Zidane has issued a worrying update on Eden Hazard’s injury.
Speaking in the pre-match press conference ahead of the Manchester City game, Zidane said that he is unsure if Hazard will play for Real Madrid again this season.
The former Chelsea star is set for a second injury lay-off this season, after fracturing his ankle during Real Madrid’s defeat to Levante in the La Liga last weekend.
The Levante game was only his second appearance for Los Blancos since November 2019, after he recovered from another injury to the same ankle.
Hazard’s injury and his subsequent lay-off is definitely a big blow for Zidane and co, as they gear up for a crucial week in both the UCL and the La Liga.
“He [Hazard] loves playing football and while I can’t tell you what is in his eyes, I can see he is not happy,” the Real Madrid boss said.
“It’s important he stays positive but, of course, it’s difficult. It’s a bad moment, it won’t be easy and he will feel like that for a while. I do not know if he will have to go through an operation. It is not my area and I don’t know if his season is over, but I hope not,” he went on.
“I am not the right person to say what should have been done or shouldn’t have.”
“We are not happy about his injury, it comes at a bad moment. He wanted to play and help us but now he is out again, which is sad of course,” the Frenchman added further, before concluding:
“I hope when he’s back again he is completely fit. That’s what everyone wants and that’s it.”
Quotes via Mirror.
Dries Mertens suffers bruised ankle after equalling Napoli record
Dries Mertens suffered a bruised ankle in the Champions League draw against Barcelona after equalling Marek Hamsik’s goalscoring record for Napoli.
Mertens scored his 121st goal for Napoli in all competitions on Tuesday as the Italian side drew 1-1 with LaLiga champions Barca in the first leg of their last-16 tie.
The 32-year-old forward matched the record with a stunning 30th-minute opener at Stadio San Paolo, where Barca salvaged a draw thanks to Antoine Griezmann approaching the hour.
Mertens, who leapfrogged Diego Maradona (115) into second place on the all-time list in October, was substituted in the 54th minute at home to Lionel Messi’s Barcelona.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 25, 2020
Afterwards, Napoli released a statement which read: “Dries Mertens sustained bruising to his right ankle during a collision which forced him to leave the pitch early in the second half of tonight’s match against Barcelona.”
Mertens joined Serie A side Napoli from PSV in 2013 and the Belgium international has flourished.
Of Mertens’ 121 goals, 90 have come in Serie A, with another 26 via European competition.
This term, Mertens – who is out of contract at the end of the season amid links to the likes of Inter and Chelsea – has scored 12 goals across all competitions for Napoli.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s birthday gift to Hansi Flick hints at Bayern Munich stay
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge delivered a birthday present to Hansi Flick which suggested he will stay long-term as Bayern Munich coach.
Hansi Flick appears to have a long-term future as Bayern Munich head coach after a not-so-cryptic clue from CEO Karl-Heinze Rummenigge.
Bayern appointed Flick as interim boss following the dismissal of Niko Kovac in November and a month later announced he would stay in charge until the end of the season.
Under Flick, Bayern have returned to the top of the Bundesliga and a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Chelsea in Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 first-leg tie at Stamford Bridge means they have one foot firmly in the quarter-finals.
Flick celebrated his 55th birthday a day before Bayern’s fixture in west London and received a gift at a banquet after the game from Rummenigge, who hinted it was a sign of an extended stay.
“Our coach turned 55 yesterday [Monday],” Rummenigge said.
“This is a good age. We’ll give you a pen in this red packet. Sometimes you sign papers with pens.”
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 25, 2020
He added: “Stay how you are. We are very, very happy with how the team is playing, as well as with the results and the football they are playing.”
Bayern have lost just twice in the Bundesliga under Flick and sit one point clear of RB Leipzig after 23 matches.
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