Real Madrid Legend Raul Reveals Football Upbringing and Addresses Values in Sport at UEFA Conference

?Real Madrid and Spain legend Raul Gonzalez spoke about his upbringing, playing football at grassroots level and respecting the values of the sport while being UEFA’s guest at its Grassroots Conference in Minsk.

The striker is revered as one of the best of his generation, scoring over 400 goals in 940 career appearances and winning countless club and personal honours across a glittering career.

A player world-renowned for his scoring exploits, Raul pointed to his love and passion for the sport as a key feature in his unwavering success as a player. Speaking at UEFA’s event, to UEFA’s head of football education services Frank Ludolph, the Spaniard pointed at the differences in grassroots football, stating times were very different from his early days on the streets of Madrid.

“There were no football schools, people would play in the parks and streets, at school during breaks, and in the playground, then you’d go out and play with friends,” he said at the ?conference.

“We always had a football at home. Until I was 11, my football education was with friends on the street. If I didn’t have friends to play with on any occasion, I’d kick a ball against the wall. The wall was my best friend. If I managed a good shot, the ball would come back to me, if it was a bad shot, I would have to go and fetch the ball.”

Real Madrid's Raul (C) celebrates his go

Addressing the issue of values within the game, the three-time ?Champions League winner with ?Madrid stated football offers a platform from which values can be learnt, and importantly, stay true to.

“I tried to live the values that I had learned at an early stage. I’ve certainly been passionate about what I do, but I try to respect others – football gave me that,” he added. “Respect is part of my being. You have to be connected with your own values… and I will always try to be connected with things that I think are good in football, and try to leave aside what is negative.”


West Ham Inform Manchester City & United of Stance of Declan Rice as Duo Make Enquiries

?West Ham have informed both Manchester clubs they have no intention of selling Declan Rice this summer, after both sides made enquiries about the England midfielder.

Rice experienced a breakthrough season for Manuel Pellegrini’s side in 2018/19, racking up 38 appearances and winning his first England caps after some fine displays for the Hammers.

Such has been the 20-year-old’s form that both ?Manchester City and ?Manchester United contacted ?West Ham over his availability this window. However, both clubs have been knocked back in their approaches, according to ?Sky Sports, with the west London side informing the Premier League duo that they will not entertain bids for their starlet.

The report from Sky Sports claims that City saw Rice as the perfect alternative for Atletico Madrid’s Rodri, as Guardiola’s side were pursuing other avenues if they were to fail in their efforts to sign the Spanish star.

It seems as though there will be no need to chase up a deal for Rice though, with the Citizens widely expected to trigger Rodri’s £62.5m release clause, after the ?Spain international expressed his desire to leave the Spanish capital.

In terms of United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made it clear this summer that young, British talent is at the forefront of his transfer plans – a ploy that was epitomised by the club’s acquisition of Daniel James from Swansea and their continued interest in Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Nevertheless, while the Sky claims that Rice remains an ‘attractive prospect’ to the Red Devils, they may well need to avert their attention elsewhere with Pellegrini intent on keeping hold of the youngster ahead of a summer rebuild at the London Stadium.


Man Utd Plan Third Bid of £45m Plus £5m in Add-Ons to Seal Aaron Wan-Bissaka Signing

Manchester United are considering returning with a third bid of between £40m and £45m up front, with £5m in add-ons, for Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Wan-Bissaka’s breakout 2018/19 season – where he made 39 appearances in all competitions -saw him become a top transfer target for United, who are looking to rebuild after a miserable campaign under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2018/19.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Recent developments indicated that ?Palace ?had rejected an offer worth £50m from ?United, which involved an initial £35m payment, plus eventual add-on fees. Palace were noted to be looking for the Red Devils to make an improved offer, which involves a larger proportion of the fee guaranteed up front, and it appears that now may come.

United, according to the ?Evening Standard, are discussing lodging the improved bid in the knowledge that the sale of Matteo Darmian could make them as much as £10m back – offsetting the higher fee they’ll put up front. The player has been told he can leave and both Juventus and Valencia are interested.

According to ?The Sun, Palace would be willing to accept an offer that includes an up-front fee of £45m – plus the previously agreed bonuses that United were willing to pay.


United, seemingly prepared for being unable to secure a deal for Wan-Bissaka, have also stepped up their pursuit of Norwich’s Max Aarons, according to Sky Sports reporter ?Kaveh Solhekol.

Wan-Bissaka was last seen in action for England Under-21’s against France in the European Championships, where he scored an own-goal during the closing stages to hand a dramatic victory to Les Bleus.


Liverpool Youngster Allan Extends Loan Spell After Impressing for Brazilian Side Fluminense

?Liverpool youngster Allan will stay at Brazilian side Fluminense for a minimum of six more months, with the two clubs having already exchanged documents to make the loan extension official.

This news comes after the player, who still isn’t eligible to feature for his parent club, impressed during his time in Brazil during the second half of the 2018/19 season.

Allan was loaned to Europa League semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt last summer but made very little impact, with his spell there consequently being cut short in January.


As a result, Allan spent the remainder of last season at Fluminense and became an influential member of their starting lineup, with ?Globo Esporte reporting he will extend his stay there.

Despite beginning his time there as a substitute, he did enough to show he shouldn’t be sitting on the bench, going on to make eight appearances for Fluminense.

A combination of his impressive performances and the fact that he’s still unable to play for Liverpool has led to a new agreement being reached allowing the defensive midfielder to remain in the Brasileirao Serie A for the rest of the local season.

This will be a further six-month period with the Brazilian football season coming to a close in December.


Despite being signed by the Reds way back in 2015, Allan is still yet to be granted a work permit meaning he is currently completing a whopping sixth loan spell out in Brazil after time with SJK, Sint-Truiden, Hertha BSC, Apollon Limassol and Frankfurt.

Prior to making the move to Anfield for just £500,000, the 22-year-old spent 15 years with Internacional between 2000 and 2015.

As much as they won’t be willing to lose any promising young talent, after spending such a long time out on loan, questions are being asked over how long it is worthwhile for ?Liverpool to keep the Brazilian on their cards.


Kyle Walker Pens New 2-Year Manchester City Extension Tying Defender Down Until 2024

?Manchester City have announced Kyle Walker has put pen to paper on a new two-year extension with the club, tying him down until the summer of 2024.

Walker has been with the Citizens since signing from Tottenham for an initial £45m fee in 2017, becoming a regular in the defence and making 100 appearances in all competitions.

During his time with Pep Guardiola’s side, he has lifted two Premier League titles, two League Cups, an FA Cup and a Community Shield – with the Catalan seeing the right back as an essential part of his future plans at the Etihad Stadium.

“I’m thrilled to have signed a new deal,” Walker ?said of the extension on the ?club’s official website. “Playing for City has been everything I’d hoped it would be and more. It was an easy decision. I want to be competing for trophies, playing at the highest level, and I feel I have improved hugely as a player during my time here.

“The club’s vision – both on and off the pitch – matches mine perfectly and I’m looking forward to spending the new five years here, hopefully winning more silverware.”

The England international’s sentiments were echoed by director of football Txiki Begiristain, who added: “We are delighted to have Kyle here for a further two years. His strength, speed and ability have been vital to our accomplishments. He is a key member of the squad.

“His experience is invaluable, particularly to the younger members of the team, and his contribution will be crucial in our efforts for continued success.”