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Jurgen Klopp response to Adebayo Akinfenwa’s request following Wycombe promotion



The veteran striker pleaded for the Liverpool manager to get in touch following their win at Wembley and Klopp responded in style

Jurgen Klopp has responded to Adebayo Akinfenwa’s request to “hit me up” by sending the striker a congratulatory video message following Wycombe’s promotion to the Championship.

The Chairboys beat Oxford United 2-1 in the League One playoff final on Monday night and will play in the second tier of English football for the first time in their history next season.

The larger-than-life Akinfenwa, who is a big Liverpool fan, was released by Wimbledon four years ago and famously asked any watching managers to “hit me up on the WhatsApp and get me a job.”

The 38-year-old was in much better spirits following the win against Oxford, and told Sky Sports at full-time: “Let me tell you something, the only person that can hit me up on WhatsApp this time is Klopp, so we can celebrate together. You get me? Oi!”

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Akinfenwa then shared a video to his Twitter account in the early hours of Tuesday morning, in which he is seen still dressed in his full kit standing in a street.

The clearly delighted player shows to the camera a video message Klopp had sent, in which the Liverpool manager says: “Hello big man. Congratulations. I watched the game but I didn’t see the post-match interviews but Hendo and the boys told me to get in contact with you on WhatsApp so here we go.

Congratulations! I’m pretty sure your whole life you wanted to be at least a Championship player and now, finally, you are there. Well done. Great, great victory.

“Even in these strange times I hope you celebrate appropriately.”

Akinfenwa then yells in delight: “Come on! Klopp you’re a legend! We did it, I told you it would be up on WhatsApp, we celebrate together. You’ll never walk alone! Beast mode!”

He also shared a caption along with the video which read: “Are u crazyyyyyyy the man, the myth, the legend sent me a Watsapp. Today can’t get any better. Thank you Klopp #YNWA#Beast20#BeastMode we did it #champHereWeCome ”

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Akinfenwa is considered one of the biggest personalities in English football, and recently received a fine from his club after he turned up to training with a Liverpool shirt on the day after the Reds clinched the Premier League title.
But he may now receive some money back after he told the Liverpool Echo ahead of the game against Oxford : “To be fair the gaffer told me he would halve my fine if we got promoted but I’d be so happy if we went up, I’ll still gladly pay the full amount. It would be money well spent.

“It’s crazy because in my mind I’ve visualised Liverpool doing what they’ve done and winning the Premier League and then on a personal note, us getting promoted to the Championship.

“It would be a very good middle to 2020 for me because this year has been kind of different.”


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France Football: The Annual Ballon d’Or will not Award Prizes in 2020



The magazine behind the annual Ballon d’Or award, have announced that the prize will not be handed out this year.

The decision comes due to the complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which put a halt or cancelled the major football leagues.

It’s the first time since 1956 that the Ballon d’Or will not be awarded.

“There will be no edition in 2020, because it turns out, after thoughtful consideration, that all the conditions are not met,” Pascal Ferre, editor-in-chief of France Football, said in a statement.

“We believe that such a singular year cannot -and should not- be treated as an ordinary one.

“From a sports perspective, two months (January and February), out of the eleven generally required to form an opinion and decide who should lift the trophies, represent far too little to gauge and judge; without forgetting that the other games were played – or will be played – in unordinary conditions (behind closed doors, with five replacements, Champions League’s Final 8 played in a single game).

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“Finally, the equity that prevails for this honorary title will not be warranted, especially when it comes to accounting and preparation : all the award seekers will not be in the same boat, some having seen their season cut short. Therefore, how can we establish a fair comparison? To avoid overly convoluted calculations and projections, we chose the least bad of the options.

“This decision, which was taken of course with all the Group stakeholders, does not delight us but it seems to be the most responsible one. Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such an award also means ensuring its flawlessness over time.

“The Ballon d’Or will gather again the football big family and enthusiasts in 2021, to relive the happiness that surrounds the ceremonies as we have experienced them in recent years.”

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi was aiming to retain his award after triumphing in 2019. He was set to face competition from Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and many more who lit up 2020.

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Gary Neville thinks Manchester United need a right winger like Ismaila Sarr



Gary Neville believes Manchester United should be looking at Watford winger Ismail Sarr as a potential summer signing, describing him as a ‘big, big talent’.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to strengthen his frontline this summer despite the excellent recent goalscoring form of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood, with Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho his top target.

But with Dortmund holding out for in excess of £100million, Neville has proposed Sarr as a cheaper option to play on the right wing at Old Trafford – particularly if Watford are relegated.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ The Gary Neville Podcast after Watford’s defeat to West Ham on Friday, he said of Sarr: ‘Manchester United need a right winger. He’s a big, big talent, honestly he really is.

We’ve seen his performances before but tonight he was a shining light, even in that first half there were periods where Watford did attack and it was through him. So yeah he’ll be sought after and Watford will, I’m sure, cash in if they get the right bid.’

READ   Gary Neville thinks Manchester United need a right winger like Ismaila Sarr

On what makes Sarr so good, Neville continued: ‘I always think, particularly as a wide player, what would I have not wanted to have played against?

‘The first thing is pace. And then you’ve got to think about, can he use his pace? Well yes he can, because he makes really good quality runs: the spin in behind, straight, but also the run inside in between full-back and centre-back – which I always think is the most difficult to mark.

And then you think, well has he got quality on the ball? Could you just left him have it? Sometimes you’ve got quick players, let him have the ball.

‘But when you let him have the ball, he can get it out of his feet and whip ridiculously good crosses in. So that’s when you’re thinking about the fact that you’ve got a real problem, as a full-back.

‘Because if I get tight, he’s going to spin in behind me. If I drop off him, he’s just going to get an easy cross in and you can’t win.

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That’s where sometimes you’ve just got to hold your hands up as a full-back and – I’ve said it many, many times – don’t be embarrassed about asking for help. If the player that you’re playing against is special and he’s causing you too many problems.

‘I actually thought Aaron Cresswell did really, really well. He stuck to his task, but he’ll come off that game tonight knowing that he’s had a tough game and he’ll be thankful in that dressing room. He won’t be celebrating. ‘I’ve been there, where you come off and you think, “Oof, I’ve had a tough game there, but I’ve dug in”. And his manager will go over to him and say, “Well done, you stuck at your task, you were playing against a really good player”.’


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The former Wednesday youngster could be given a chance against Sheffield United tonight



Injuries to a clutch of Leicester City stars could mean a place in squad for son of Owls’ legend

Leicester City are facing a potential injury crisis ahead of tonight’s visit of Sheffield United.

The Foxes are fourth in the Premier League – four places and five points ahead of the Blades.

The two meet at the King Power (6pm) for a clash that could go a long way to deciding their respective European hopes.

But the hosts are poised to enter the contest with a lengthy list of absentees.

Brendan Rodgers is definitely without defensive duo Ricardo Periera (injury) and Caglar Soyuncu (suspension) for the rest of the season.

And he could have to do without Ben Chilwell, James Maddison and Marc Albrighton with the trio all doubtful for the visit of Chris Wilder’s side.

The lack of bodies and the increase in matchday squads to 20 player could mean Rodgers hands a call-up to a former Sheffield Wednesday player.

George Hirst, son of Owls’ legend David, has been training with the Foxes’ first team squad in recent weeks.

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Hirst and fellow youngster Luke Thomas have been among those regularly involved.

When quizzed on the possibility of Hirst, or one of his peers, being involved against the Blades Rodgers said: “It’s difficult because they haven’t played so many games over these last number of months but I always look to young players if I have to play them.

“If I think that’s the best possibility, of course I will do that.

“It’s certainly something I always look at, to see when is the right moment, if it is, to play a young player.”

Hirst left Wednesday under a cloud back in 2018, when he joined Belgian club Leuven – a sister club of Leicester City. This was after plenty of speculation that the Foxes had been knocked back by the Owls in the past.

Unsurprisingly, a year later saw Leicester pay a fee to sign Hirst from Leuven and thus complete their long pursuit of him.


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