Barcelona Femini Confirm Lieke Martens Agrees Contract Extension Until 2022

?Barcelona Femeni have confirmed that Dutch forward and 2017 Best FIFA Women’ Player award winner Lieke Martens has agreed to extend her contract with the club until 2022.

Martens will officially sign the paperwork ‘in the coming days’.

The 26-year-old, who joined Barça from Swedish side Rosengard shortly after winning Euro 2017, played for the club in last season’s Champions League final against Lyon and reached this summer’s Women’s World Cup final as part of the Netherlands squad.

She scored twice at the World Cup but was nursing an injury ahead of the final against USA.

Martens helped Barça win the Copa de la Reina in 2018, but the club hasn’t finished top of Spain’s Primera Division since 2014/15, with domestic rivals Atletico Madrid winning in each of the last three seasons. Wrestling back national dominance is now the key target.


It has already been a busy summer for Barça. England forward Toni Duggan has left, but Nigerian international Asisat Oshoala has joined permanently after an initial loan period, while Norway’s Caroline Graham Hansen has also bolstered the attacking ranks.

On top of that, former Barça star Jenni Hermoso has rejoined the club from Atletico.


Sead Kolasinac Offers Encouraging Update on Himself & Mesut Ozil Following Mugging Attempt

Arsenal full back Sead Kolasinac has offered an encouraging update on the status of himself and Mesut Ozil after being on the receiving end of an attempted carjacking.

The Arsenal teammates were driving through the streets of north London when a pair of machete-wielding attackers attempted to commandeer the vehicle, prompting ?Kolasinac to get out of the car and fend them off with his bare hands.

And, following a club statement claiming the pair were ‘fine’ on Thursday evening, Kolasinac has confirmed as much on Friday, posting a picture of himself and Ozil with wide smiles on Twitter, as they returned to work with Arsenal.

Alongside the image, the Bosnian full back added the caption, ‘Think we’re fine #M1Ö #SeoKol’ with a fist bump and happy face emoji added for good measure.

The 26-year-old was immediately ?heralded a hero on social media for his incredible bravery in the face of such a terrifying situation.

Speaking on the attack, an eye witness revealed: “It was totally mad and strange. His car was standing there empty in the middle of the road with its door hanging open.

“Ozil looked absolutely terrified, as anybody would after being chased by men with knives. He looked like he was running for his life. And I suppose he was.

“I saw him disappear into the restaurant with the motorcycle guys on his tail. They didn’t take off their helmets and were all in black, wearing long-sleeved tops in this hot weather. They stood out. It was really creepy.

“God knows what would have happened if they’d caught him. It looked to me like he’d have been hacked to shreds and he clearly thought so too.

“As soon as the restaurant staff started to come to the window and to the doorway, they turned around and roared off. The police were there shortly afterwards and the road was almost blocked off.

“It was totally surreal, just surreal and strange. You don’t expect something like that to happen at any time, particularly the mid-afternoon.”


Lionel Messi Enjoys Hilarious Rondo Session With His Sons & Absolute Unit of a Dog

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is yet to join up with his teammates on pre-season, having led Argentina to the Copa America semi finals earlier this summer. 

And the number ten is certainly making the most of his holiday. After enjoying a kickabout with an outrageous lucky young fan on an Antiguan beach earlier in the week, the 32-year-old then engaged in a spot of rondo with his two sons, Mateo and Thiago, as well as his massive Dogue de Bordeaux – Hulk.

As posted by OTRO on Twitter, the Messis can be seen enjoying a garden kickabout with the imposing pooch, with the animal acting as the piggy (puggy?) in the middle as Lionel and his sons attempt to keep the ball away from him. 

Throughout the video, Mateo, adorned in a Barcelona number 10 shirt, can be heard laughing hysterically, which is understandable considering how ludicrously large the creature hunting him down is.

However, some Liverpool-centric publications have also claimed to have heard him shout ‘Mo Salah’ while shaping up to kick the ball, which, if true, would certainly apply some salt to the Champions League wounds of his father, following that ignominious 4-1 loss in the semi final second leg at Anfield.

In any case, he didn’t let it affect him, shielding the ball with aplomb. In fact, as one Twitter user pointed out, the dog appeared to know he had little chance of taking the ball off the Argentine, and instead focussed the majority of his attention on the two younguns.


Dani Ceballos Reveals Roles Unai Emery & Hector Bellerin Played in Decision to Join Arsenal

Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos has revealed why he opted to move to north London this summer, claiming Unai Emery’s presence in the dugout was a major factor, alongside that of Spanish compatriot Hector Bellerin.

Ceballos, who joined parent club Real Madrid in 2017 for €18m from Real Betis, was being chased by a number of clubs, including Arsenal’s local rivals Tottenham.

However, speaking to the club’s offical website upon his announcement as a Gooner, Ceballos explained why chose the red half of north London, declaring: “I knew I had the confidence of the coach, which was very important for me from the start.

“I was aware of the responsibility that wearing this shirt entails and it was a tremendously proud moment when I decided to join Arsenal.”

And, expanding on Emery’s influence on the deal, he continued: “The coach was the turning point in terms of me joining this massive club. He’s a Spanish coach and he knows me from my time at other clubs. I’m really happy to be able to help Arsenal achieve our objectives.

“He’s a very tactical coach and I think that’s going to really help me to perfect my positioning. I think we’re both going to try our best to make me a better player.”

Ceballos also singled out Bellerin as another major factor in his decision, adding: “I get on really well with Hector away from football, on a personal level.

“I told him I was thinking of joining and he told me not to think twice because this is a great city and a great club and that I was going to have a great time. I can’t wait to see him and say thanks for his help in getting me here.”

As for his objective now he’s at Arsenal, the midfielder revealed: “Well, I’ve not spoken to my team-mates yet so we’re not sure of what the objective is, but obviously I’m coming here to give everything I have.

“Nobody will be able to question that because from the very first day I pull this jersey on I’ll give everything I’ve got. We’ll try to achieve the club’s objectives.”


Carlo Ancelotti Reiterates Napoli Interest in James Rodriguez as Atletico President Discusses Deal

We’ve had some pretty major developments? in the saga surrounding James Rodriguez’s future beyond Real Madrid, as both Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti and Atletico Madrid president Gil Martin have admitted to interest in the Colombian. 

Rodriguez returned to Real this summer after Bayern Munich passed on the opportunity to make his two-year loan permanent, and he is not expected to feature in Zinedine Zidane’s plans going forward.

The 28-year-old’s future isn’t as bleak as it may seem, however. Despite an injury-ravaged spell in Germany that yielded 15 goals in 67 appearances, he is likely to field multiple offers for his signature, with ?Napoli emerging as the obvious frontrunner.

James Rodriguez,Carlo Ancelotti

Some managers may opt to keep their lips tight on such speculation, but Carlo Ancelotti is not just some manager.

“There is neither optimism nor pessimism,” he said, via ?Marca. “We’ll see what happens. He’s a player that interests us. ?Real Madrid want to sell him and we want him.

“Everything is open.”

James Rodriguez

They have competition, however, chiefly from Real’s city rivals. ?Atletico have also been pretty heavily linked with the former Monaco man, and president Martin confirmed the speculation  in similarly frank terms. 

“I know that many Atletico Madrid fans would like [James],” he told ESPN, via Marca. “Additionally, speaking with some players, they believe he would bring that special quality and that is good for us.

“I know that our coach likes him, that James does not want to continue at Real Madrid and that Real Madrid do not want him to continue, but there have to be many circumstances for it to become possible. It would be very nice.

James Rodriguez

“It depends very much on the president of Real Madrid.”

It’s interesting to note that both say Real want to sell James, so if nothing else, we have a clearer indication than ever that he is on the way out from the Bernabeu this summer.