Champions League Final: Liverpool Goalkeeper, Karius Speaks On His Mistakes In 3-1 Loss To Real Madrid

Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius, has opened up on the terrible mistakes he made during their Champions League final against Real Madrid on Saturday.

The German goalkeeper had issued a heartfelt apology to Liverpool fans after his nightmare against Real Madrid.

Karius campaign ended in disastrous fashion in Kiev after Karim Benzema intercepted his attempt to roll the ball out to open the scoring and the former Mainz goalkeeper flapped Gareth Bale’s game-clinching strike into his own net with seven minutes remaining.

He spoke with talkSPORT afterwards, “I don’t feel anything today. I lost my team the game and I feel sorry for everyone.

“I’m sorry for everyone – from the team, from the whole club – that the mistakes cost dearly. If I could go back in time, I would. I feel sorry for my team. I know I let them down today.

“It’s very hard right now but that’s the life of a goalkeeper. You have to get your head up again. These goals cost us the title, basically.”

Asked what the mood was like in the Liverpool dressing room after the defeat, he added, “There’s not much I had to say. Of course everyone tried to cheer me up – but there was just silence everywhere because everyone was really disappointed.

 

Speaking about Bale’s second goal which went through his hands, Karius said, “It moved around a lot. I tried to catch it, maybe I should have done it safer and just put it out of play instead of trying to catch it. I judged it wrong and it went in.”

Cristiano Ronaldo Set To Quit Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo cast a shadow over Real Madrid’s third consecutive Champions League triumph by suggesting he could have played his last game for the Spanish giants in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Liverpool in Kiev. Real Madrid’s French coach Zinedine Zidane (R) celebrates with Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo after winning the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, on May 26, 2018.

Ronaldo, 33, has now won five European Cups in all, but failed to score in a fourth final as Gareth Bale was the hero for Real after coming off the bench to score twice. “I am going to enjoy this moment and in the next few days I will give an answer to the fans, who have always been at my side,” Ronaldo told BeIN Sports Spain. “It was very nice to be at Real Madrid. In the next few days I will speak.” Ronaldo later admitted his immediate post-match comments had been ill-timed. “It wasn’t the perfect time. I don’t want to take away any credit from what Madrid have done. To win three consecutive Champions Leagues is a unique moment, he added. “Personal situations are not important at this moment.” Ronaldo’s comments appeared to target Real president Florentino Perez for a lack of support. However, Perez hinted he was tired of Ronaldo’s intimations he could leave. It isn’t the first time Ronaldo, who joined Real from Manchester United for a then-world record fee in 2009, has appeared close to the exit door at the Santiago Bernabeu. In 2012 he claimed to be “sad” in Madrid, and, even after securing a first European Cup and La Liga double for Madrid in 59 years last season, Ronaldo was also reportedly looking to leave. Then, it was for what he perceived as a lack of support from the club over an ongoing tax investigation into the management of his image rights from the Spanish authorities. Ronaldo himself said this week of speculation over who might arrive at Real: “They always speak about 50 players and in the end no one comes.” “Here the most important thing is the club, and the most important thing is that we are celebrating this Champions League,” Perez told Antena3. “I am not going to go into the personal situations of any player because, as he himself says, nothing ever happens.” Ronaldo still has three years to run on a lucrative five-year contract signed in 2016. “Cristiano likes to be wanted,” said Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos. “He will not find a better place than here. He is our true star, whether he scores goals or not. I don’t know why he has said that, but we respect him.” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, who become the first ever manager to win three consecutive European Cups, said that Ronaldo must stay. “I’m not thinking about that. We are thinking about what we are doing now, about the game, about what we have achieved,” said the Frenchman. “Cristiano has to stay.”

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Bale The Hero As Madrid Grab 13th UCL Title

LORIS Karius was the villain for Liverpool, while Gareth Bale scored one of the greatest goals seen in Champions League history as Real Madrid notched an incredible 13th title.

In an extraordinary final, Liverpool were rocked by a devastating first-half injury to star Mohammad Salah that could leave the Egyptian’s World Cup hopes in doubt.

And while the first half was a goalless arm wrestle, the second half produced even more drama as Karius produced two mind-boggling howlers – and Bale etched his name into Champions League history as Real Madrid triumphed 3-1 to claim the biggest prize in European football.

Bale, controversially benched by Zinedine Zidane, was introduced into the game in the 61st minute with scores level at 1-1.

Within three minutes he’d sent the crowd at Kiev’s Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex into raptures with a spectacular, athletic bicycle kick which gave Real Madrid the lead.

Earlier, Real Madrid had taken the lead through a stunning howler from Karius who cleaned up a simple ball – only to roll it into the path of Karim Benzema, who stuck his foot out and poked it into the goal.

Karius’ blushes were, briefly, spared when Sadio Mane tapped home four minutes later following a pinpoint James Milner corner.

In the 83rd minute, Bale sealed the final with another winding long-range effort, but it should’ve been saved by Karius who produced his second blunder.

Bale rocketed a shot from long distance and it appeared comfortably in Karius’ grasp, before bursting through his fingers.

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Underdogs Nigeria Eye World Cup Knock-Out Rounds

Nigeria can surpass expectations at the World Cup finals by demonstrating the same fighting spirit and teamwork that got them to Russia, captain Mikel John Obi said on Friday.

The Super Eagles are currently 47th in the FIFA world rankings — the lowest of their opponents in Group D, Argentina (5th), Croatia (18th) and Iceland (22nd).

But former Chelsea star Obi said that could spur the Super Eagles on and beyond their previous tournament best of reaching the round of 16.

“Being underdogs is good for us. It means we have to do more, we have to be humble,” the experienced midfielder, who is set to play in his second World Cup, told a news conference.

“That means we can do better than what people expect us to do.”

He added: “We have to do better than we have ever done. It will be tough because we’re in a tough group and so our first game (versus Croatia) is very important.

“It’s important we win that game.”

Nigeria were in the southeastern city of Uyo to prepare for a warm-up game against the Democratic Republic of Congo in Port Harcourt on Monday.

Obi said his side had shown fighting spirit to qualify in the first place from a tough group that included African champions Cameroon and Algeria.

“One thing that will help us is we need to be together, play as a team, and the fighting spirit we have all this time, we need to show it in Russia,” he said.

“We need to continue the way we have done. We are a young and energetic team. We go as one, Nigeria and the team come first.”

Serena Return Will Keep Us On Our Toes – Wozniacki

Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki says that Serena Williams’ comeback will force the current top-ranked players to raise their games at the French Open.

The former world number one will be looking to build on her long-awaited maiden Grand Slam triumph in Melbourne, but she has never reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros.

Despite being in the opposite half of the draw to three-time champion Williams, Wozniacki knows that Serena’s presence as an unseeded player will put pressure on her rivals.

“I think it’s always great to have the best players play, and it raises your level,” said the Dane.

“You have to play your best level, and I think having someone like Serena back, it’s keeping us all on our toes and we have to keep improving all the time.”

Wozniacki finally claimed her first major title this year, and admitted that it has lifted a weight off her shoulders.

“I think the biggest difference is really when I’m in here in the press conferences,” she said.

“I think that’s the biggest difference, because I’m not getting asked anymore, you know, what it takes to be a Grand Slam champion, why I haven’t gotten there yet.

“It feels amazing to have that with me now, and hopefully I can build on that.

“We have three more Grand Slams left this year, and this is the first one after Australia and I’m going to try and do my best to go as far as I can.”

Wozniacki is the second seed in Paris, behind only Simona Halep, who she beat in the Australian Open final and is still searching for a Grand Slam crown.

The 27-year-old showed improved form on clay 12 months ago when she was beaten in a tight quarter-final by eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko.

“I think I have proven myself that I can actually play on this surface, and, you know, it’s all about trying to get the timing and trying to get the head right, really,” she said.

Before the start of the tournament on Sunday, though, Wozniacki will be cheering on her beloved Liverpool in Saturday’s Champions League final, and she’s hoping the Premier League side’s fearsome attack can see off holders Real Madrid.

“Obviously Mo Salah has been playing incredibly and (Roberto) Firmino as well.

“There is a lot of attacking going on and a lot of goalscoring. I think when they play on their highest level they can beat everyone. It’s going to be exciting tomorrow.”

Atletico Beat Nigeria 3-2 In Gotv Max Cup

Atletico Madrid  defeated the  Super Eagles  3-2  in Uyo to win the GOtv Max Cup on Tuesday.

Kelechi Nwakali put the home team in front with a superb strike from outside the box that beat goalkeeper Jan Oblak, according to soccernigeria.com.

However, Europa League champions Atletico  drew level soon after when Emem Eduok was dispossessed in his own half of the pitch.

Substitute Destiny Ashadi  should  have restored the Eagles lead just before the interval, but he shot way off target from right inside the box after he was set up by the bright and lively Samad Kadiri.

Substitute Fernando Torres put Atletico ahead for the first time on 64 minutes after they had missed a sitter earlier in the second half.

The former Liverpool  star was presented with a special gift to celebrate his final game for Atletico after this game.

Usman Mohammed will then draw the Nigerians level in the 79th minute with a great solo goal when he dribbled his way inside the box.

However, when both teams were getting set for a penalty shootout to decide the winners of the GOtv Max Cup, Borja Garcies fired past goalkeeper Femi Thomas from inside the box for the winner five minutes from time.

 

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I Left Germany For Biggest Challenge In England – Balogun

German-born Leon Balogun  has become  the second Nigeria player to seal a move ahead of  the summer market less than a week,  after Dutch-born  Tyronne Ebuehi  swapped ADO Den Haag  for Portuguese powerhouse  Benfica on Saturday.

Premier League side Brighton completed the signing of  Balolgun on Tuesday as a free agent  after his contract with  German  club Mainz 05 expired  at the end of the recently-concluded Bundesliga season.

The 29-year-old, who  has been listed by Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr in his 30-man provisional squad for the summer World Cup in Russia,  was linked with a move to another Premier League  outfit Huddersfield this month, but they have been beaten by their rivals, who unveiled the defender immediately he put pen to paper on a two-year deal.

Seagulls boss Chris Hughton expressed his delight at  the signing  of the former  Fortuna Dusseldorf star, saying his experience would  help the  team, who  battled to 15th-place finish in the Premier League last season.

“I am delighted to welcome Leon to the club,” Hughton told the club’s official website after Balogun’s unveiling.

“He will add more depth to our defensive options, and I am pleased to get our first piece of business done so early in the summer.”

The Super Eagles centre-back Balogun expressed his admiration for the club’s recent journey to the Premier League, saying he is ready for the challenge.

“I always had a dream to play in the Premier League, and Brighton was one of the first teams to show an interest in me,” the former Werder Bremen player told the club’s official website.

“I’ve been following English football as much as I can in Germany, and I saw how they got promoted from the Championship.

“I liked the way they played last season in the Premier League too and how they were able to maintain their status. It’s really impressive how they work, not just as individuals, but as a team too.”

He added, “I think the Premier League is more competitive. The Bundesliga is probably the most comparable to the Premier League.

“Every footballer wants to compete and I think that’s the biggest challenge. It’s more physical, which I personally like. It’s a bit quicker as well and the individual quality in each team is on another level in comparison to the Bundesliga.

“This is my first club outside of Germany, so there will be a lot of new stuff to adapt to, but I am looking forward to this new experience.”

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Countdown (22) FIFA WC: Eagles Will Not Share Money In Russia, Says NFF Boss

Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju  Melvin Pinnick has ruled out any form of money distractions for the Super Eagles at the Russia 2018 World Cup tournament. Speaking at the SUN Newspaper organized seminar titled ‘’That the Super Eagles may excel in Russia 2018 and beyond”, the NFF  President said he was confident that the Super Eagles will do well because there would be no distractions when the tournament begins. According to Pinnick, the NFF has done its home work with the players and agreed on all they stand to benefit from  FIFA largesse of FIFA’s $8m. ‘’The players will get $2.9m and we’ll go ahead to share 50-50 the other proceed depending on how far they go”. Pinnick Amaju The football supremo caused an uproar in the parked Presidential Hotel Hall when he recounted how the Super Eagles in Brazil stayed awake to share money because of lack of trust. And they lost the match to France. ‘’This ugly situation will not re-occur in Brazil because we have settled everything concerning money with the players. There is nothing we hide from them concerning entitlements due to them. They owe us to do well. Frankly, I believe that they’ll be focused and determined to go all the way to win the World Cup”, Amaju said. The NFF boss also said that the football house has worked assiduously to ensure that Nigeria would no longer become the object of laughter in the World where many believe that money would tear them apart before a major outing.

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Star-Studded Farewell For Italy Legend Pirlo

Former Italy star Andrea Pirlo took to the pitch for the final time to say goodbye to football in a star-studded testimonial “Night of the Master” tournament at the San Siro on Monday.

Champions and former teammates from all over the world — from Paolo Maldini to Gianluigi Buffon, and Roberto Baggio to Frank Lampard — joined the retiring legend to celebrate the final act of a glittering career.

“I thank my friends and all the people who came to the stadium to enjoy a fantastic evening of entertainment, sport and charity,” the 39-year-old said as he received a standing ovation from 50,000 fans.

Towards the end of the match which finished 7-7 with a hat-trick from former AC Milan and Juventus striker Filippo Inzaghi, Pirlo gave his place to his 15-year-old son Nicolo, also a midfielder and who plays for Juventus’s youth team.

“He has fun and I’m happy, he must be happy to play football, it’s the best thing in the world, in the future we’ll see,” said Pirlo.

And there was no lack of coaching talent either on the bench with former AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti leading the ‘White Stars’ team and Juventus’s Massimiliano Allegri in charge of the ‘Blue Stars’.

Italian FA vice-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta, another former AC Milan player, and who has said Pirlo could have a future role in the federation, also took to the pitch.

Pirlo said he was considering coaching.

“I have time to think about what to do. I stopped recently, I don’t miss the pitch. In the future it could be coaching,” he said.

“All my ex-teammates didn’t want to become coaches, yet they’ve all done it.”

Capped 116 times for Italy, Pirlo called time on his illustrious career last November after winning the 2006 World Cup, two Champions League titles and six Serie A trophies.

Pirlo began his career at Brescia and also played for Inter, AC Milan and Juventus before moving to play in New York City FC in the MLS.

“I chose May 21 because 21 is my number and I made my debut in May,” said Pirlo.

 

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West Ham Appoint Pellegrini On Three-Year Deal

West Ham United have appointed former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager on a three-year deal, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday. Pellegrini Chilean Pellegrini left Chinese Super League club Hebei China Fortune on Saturday and replaces David Moyes, who guided the club to a 13th-placed finish in the league this past season. “I am delighted to welcome Manuel Pellegrini to West Ham United. “He is one of the world’s most respected football coaches and we look forward to working with him,” West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan said. “It was important that we appointed someone with knowledge and experience of the Premier League. “Someone who already has an understanding – not only of the teams and players we face – but of West Ham United and our ambitions,” Sullivan explained. Former Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga boss Pellegrini returns to England two years after leaving Manchester City, a team the 64-year-old led to the Premier League title in 2013-14.

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