Mino Raiola Discusses Paul Pogba’s Man Utd Future Again – And, Shock Horror, There’s Nothing Doing

Super agent Mino Raiola has been stirring the pot surrounding Paul Pogba’s future at Manchester United once again – telling Juventus fans to “dream” the France international will return to the club.

Pogba’s long-term future at United has been called into question this season and he’s expected to make a decision at the end of the campaign, with Real Madrid and Juve keeping a close eye on developments at Old Trafford.

But in typical Raiola fashion, Pogba’s infamous agent told Juventus fans to “dream” the midfielder could return to the club, only to contradict himself by stating now isn’t the time to be talking about his future.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia"Germany v Mexico"

Juve fans should dream, because if you do not dream, then you are dead,” Raiola said, quoted by The Daily Mail. “I do not work in dreams, but in the real world, so have to make the right choices for my clients.

“This is not the right moment to say what Paul’s future will be.”

Despite flirting with the prospect of Pogba moving back to Juventus, Raiola’s statement can just be chalked up to another attempt by the 52-year-old to see his name on the back pages – an opportunity that he rarely passes up.

The comments came after Raiola watched AC Milan’s 1-0 win over Brescia on Friday. The Italian-born Dutchman was at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti to keep an eye on another of his high-profile clients, Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The 20-year-old goalkeeper is also a transfer target for Juventus at the end of the season, although Raiola has played down the chances of that move going through at any point in the near future.

If they didn’t like Donnarumma, it would mean they didn’t know anything about football,” he added. “I got threatened and insulted by Milan fans just because I said something was going to happen and then it did.

“Let’s go forward for another two years, I don’t want to create any more controversy.”


For more from Ben Carter, follow him on Twitter!

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5 of the Best Moments of Omar Sivori’s Career

Omar Sivori is number 46 in 90min’s Top 50 Greatest Footballers of All Time series.


Omar Sivori scored 17 international goals in 28 games (very good).

He also scored them for two different countries (weird). 

He scored a lot of club goals and won a bunch of titles (also good). 

This is Omar Sivori. 


First League Title

Playing for the team of your home city? Footballer’s dream. Winning the title with them? Something so many absolute stars spend their entire careers dashing themselves time and time again on the rocks of that dream.

Omar Sivori did it within a couple of months of turning 20. Some kinda of ‘academy prospect, couple of sub appearances, get the medal’ thing? Nah, he scored 11 of River Plate’s 53 goals that season as they topped the table as the country’s leading scorers. 

Only went and did it again the next season (scored 10 of 61, earned a world record move) too didn’t he?


Copa America Dominance

Wicked, two domestic league title titles wrapped up at the age of 21, let’s go play international football. The club thing’s way too easy, let’s hang out with pals – the famous Angels with Dirty Faces – and play against the best teams on the tournament. That’ll be more of a challenge.

Except Sivori led Argentina to the Copa America (sorry, South American Championship) title at the first time of asking, and was named player of the tournament. Again, at the age of 21. He led the Angels to 24 goals in their first five games of the round-robin tournament, before they went down 2-1 to Peru in a dead rubber at the end. Handy. And then…


6 Goals vs. Inter, 16th April 1961


Then he moved to Juventus (world record fee, built River a stand at el Monumental) and got barred from playing international football for Argentina. Oops.

He was the league’s Capocannoniere in his third season, scoring 27 times in 31 Serie A games, but it was against Inter in his third Scudetto season that his crowning moment came. In a game postponed from a few weeks earlier, Sivori started the scoring in the 11th minute with a left-footed strike. He continued it in the 12th with another. And in the 17th with, yes, another. 

He ended the 9-1 drubbing with six goals, all struck from his famous left foot. That return still remains a Serie A record for a single game, level with Silvio Piola. 


Scoring Twice Against Argentina

Omar Sivori,Elsener

One of those rare ‘double international’ creatures, Sivoli was registered for his new home barely four years after leaving Argentina and being banished from la Albiceleste’s books. 

He started his life with gli Azzurri with a goal in a 3-2 win over Northern Ireland, and then another in a 3-2 defeat at the Olimpico against a Jimmy Greaves-inspired England. But it was his third match that mattered. The match against the FA who had thrown him out for having the temerity to go and play on another continent. 

Argentina arrived in Florence. Argentina stepped out on the pitch. Omar Sivori scored twice to send them packing, Italy winning 4-1. Revenge. Served. 


Ballon d’Or


Turns out there were loads of really, really good footballers around at the start of the 1960s. Luis Suarez was dictating play in Barcelona and Milan, Lev Yashin owned the USSR, Puskas and Di Stefano were united in the Spanish capital and Fulham had one of the world’s best, Johnny Haynes.

In 1961, with that six-goal game against Inter, a domestic record near as damnit to a goal every game and an international record better than that, Sivori came out on top of them all – winning the Ballon d’Or, a handful of votes ahead of Suarez and with more than double the points of any of his competitors. In Europe, that year, he was peerless. 


For more from Chris Deeley, follow him on Twitter at @ThatChris1209!


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90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings: Week 18 – Derry Girls Special

​Following a week in which: 

– Liverpool won AGAIN hi.

– Benfica won AGAIN hi.

– Ciro Immobile scored AGAIN hi.

– Brendan Rodgers whitened his teeth AGAIN hi. 

We, using quotes from my hometown’s favourite TV show Derry Girls, rank the 15 best football teams in Europe. Lethal hi. 


15. Willem II (New Entry) 

Damil Dankerlui

“Slainte muthaf**kas!”

Didn’t expect to see Willem II in the Definitive European Power Rankings, did you? Neither did I to be honest, but because it’s been a pretty lean week, I scoured Eredivisie and found Shatner FC are actually really good. 

They’re unbeaten in their last seven league games, and have beaten Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and AZ Alkmaar in recent weeks. That’s impressive. 

So raise a glass to Willem II, and congratulate them on their first ever appearance in 90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings. Leefs hi. 


14. Schalke 04 (New Entry) 

Yevhen Konoplyanka

“Directly before the weeping, can you remember what you were doing? What you were talking about?”

After a Christmas period of mourning the loss of their prodigious goalkeeper – Alexander Nübel – to Bayern Munich (yeah, that’s happened before…), Schalke 04 stopped weeping, dusted themselves down and got back to business. 

And by back to business, we mean beat high-flying Borussia Monchengladbach. Pure class hi. 


13. Marseille (New Entry) 

FBL-FRA-CUP-TRELISSAC-MARSEILLE

“Ach, Fionnula, what about you? I thought I could smell vinegar!”

Ach, Andre Villas-Boas, what about you? I thought I could smell Premier League flop! 

And after flopping, in a big, big way in England, it looked like AVB’s managerial career might’ve been dead and buried. 

But now he’s back, in pog form (wrong show, but it had to be done)! 

The former ‘next big thing’ is making waves in France with Marseille, playing some of the best football in Europe and guiding them to second in Ligue 1. Fair play hi. 


12. Bayern Munich (Up 2) 

Thomas Mueller,. Thiago Alcantara

“Oh, bunk. I’ll find some dirt on you yet, boy. I’ve got people working on it.”

​Bayern are working on it. 

They’re working on a way to reinvigorate their squad. 

They’re working on a way to challenge RB Leipzig at the top of the Bundesliga. 

They’re working on a way to get out of paying £120m for a Philippe Coutinho – because he’s pure brock hi. 


11. Benfica (Up 2) 

Players of SL Benfica celebrate

“Step aside, we are armed.”

Benfica’s last 14 Primeira Liga games: 

Played: 14. 

Won: 14. 

Drawn: 0.

Lost: 0.

Goals Scored: 37.

Goals Conceded: 4.

Goal Difference: +29. 

Step aside Portuguese football teams, Benfica are armed and dangerous. Far too good hi. 


10. Barcelona (-)

Quique Setien

“They were having a party. I could hear the music.”

Thou shall not make any Ibiza jokes. Thou shall not make any Ibiza jokes. Thou shall not make any Ibiza jokes. They’re lazy and everyone else has done them…

The Quique Setien era at ​Barcelona began in earnest this past week, with the former Real Betis overseeing surprisingly slender wins over Granada and Ibiza.

The mediocre performance in Ibiza was probably largely due to the fact that the Barcelona players were TOO BUSY RAVING WITH WAYNE LINEKER AND TIESTO AND [INSERT DJ NAME HERE] WAHEYYYYYYYYYYYYYY to care about the match. Nearly refrained hi. 


9. Manchester City (-)

Aymeric Laporte

“What are we going to do?”

“Well maybe we could start with calming the f**k down.”

Don’t panic ​Manchester City, the only player at the club who can actually defend is now fully fit. And judging by the fact that his return coincided with the Citizens’ first clean sheet in five games, that’s a pretty good thing. 

Nice one hi. 


8. Inter (Down 3) 

Romelu Lukaku

“Does anyone have 10p, I’m ringing Childline.”

“You can’t ring Childline every time your mother threatens to kill you.”

​Inter, you can’t sign a Premier League player every time you drop points. That isn’t going to work. 

What you really need is a tactical plan B. You need to work out a way to win games when you’re not going “100 km/h”. 

That’s the key hi. 


7. Leicester City (-) 

FBL-ENG-PR-LEICESTER-WEST HAM

“Lovely, altogether. You know, every year I sit backstage listening to the singers and it really makes me realise just how talented the professionals who originally recorded these tracks were.”

Big Brendy Baps and ​Leicester City are lovely, altogether. They absolutely pummelled West Ham in midweek and sit pretty comfortably in the top three. 

You know, watching them really makes me realise just how good Liverpool are, because they’re 19 points clear of Leicester City. That’s mad hi. 


6. Paris Saint-Germain (Up 2) 

Neymar Jr,Kylian Mbappe

“Great show.”

Kylian Mbappe’s Ligue 1 stats:

 

Games Played: 14.

Goals: 13.

Assists: 4.

Neymar’s Ligue 1 stats: 

Games Played: 12. 

Goals: 11. 

Assists: 5. 

Great showing from the two most electric footballers in Europe. Absolutely unreal hi. 


5. Real Madrid (Down 1) 

Brahim Diaz

“Relax love, we’ve a good two or three hours before the rioting starts.”

Things are going really well at Real Madrid at the moment. They’re joint top of La Liga, through to the next round of the UEFA Champions League and the Copa del Rey, and all their golden oldies are performing. 

So we can fully expect all hell to break loose, riots to ensue and the sky to fall when they inevitably are knocked out of the Champions League by Manchester City. It’s going to be a disaster hi. 


4. SS Lazio (Up 2)

Ciro Immobile

“Well I am not being individual on me own.”

Usually 90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings team laud Ciro Immobile, at least, twice a week. However, this week, we thought that it’s high time we praised his supporting cast, because they’re all bloody brilliant too.

– Simone Inzaghi: You’re best manager in Italy; keep up the good work. 

– Thomas Strakosha: It’s very impressive to be this good at 24 years old. 

– Luiz Felipe: You’re only 22? Prospect much?! 

– Francesco Acerbi: We are so glad you’re still playing football, and doing so at the highest level. 

– Stefan Radu: Nice job with the whole conversion from left back to left centre back. Seamless. 

– Manuel Lazzari: What a signing you’ve been. 

– Sergej Milinkovic-Savic: You’re probably the best midfielder in Serie A. 

– Lucas Leiva: It’s weird how good you’ve been in recent years. 

– Luis Alberto: How did Liverpool not see how amazing you are? 

– Stefan Lulic: The best LWB in Serie A for over a decade. 

– Joaquin Correa: I just really enjoy watching you play football. 

Props to you all hi. 


3. RB Leipzig (Down 1) 

Julian Nagelsmann

“Lovely job so far Seamus, but, you know, keep it moving – Rawhide is on in 15 minutes.”

Lovely job so far Julian, but, you, keep it moving – Bayern Munich have won their last four and are just four points adrift of your RB Leipzig atop of the Bundesliga. Keep up the good work hi. 


2. Juventus (Up 1) 

FBL-ITA-CUP-JUVENTUS-UDINESE

“Orla has got really into step aerobics. Her instructor says she’s a natural. Says she’s got what it takes to go all the way.”

Maurizio Sarri has really got into this whole winning this. He’s a natural. 

So far this season, he’s become only the second manager since 1929/30 to win 14 of his first 15 home games with Juventus. Oh and he’s also accumulated more Serie A points in his first season in charge than any other manager in the club’s history. 

He’s got what it takes to go all the way with Juventus hi. 


1. Liverpool (-) 

TOPSHOT-FBL-ENG-PR-WOLVES-LIVERPOOL

“We’re basically celebrities now, we’re like The Corrs.”

The 2019/20 Liverpool team are basically the best team in Premier League history now, they’re like the Corrs…no that’s not right…I mean, they’re like a mix between Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’, Man City’s ‘Centurians’ and Manchester United’s treble winners all wrapped into one. 

Unbeatable hi. 


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Omar Sivori: The Lionel Messi Prototype That Became a Superstar at Juventus

Omar Sivori is number 46 in 90min’s Top 50 Greatest Footballers of All Time series.


Small. Left-footed. Born just to the north-west of Buenos Aires. One of the 50 greatest footballers of all time. Never won a World Cup. 

We are, dear reader, obviously talking about Juventus great and dual international Omar Sivori. 

Yes!!! It sounded like I was talking about Lionel Messi!!! Despite the name and face on the article you clicked on, you were bamboozled!!! 

Never mind that johnny-come-lately with all the tattoos and the beard who hits the deck as soon as anyone touches him, let’s talk about the OG, the bloke who kept – kept – scoring goals while getting kicked in the head. 

That’s not to say he got kicked in the head a few times during games, dusted himself off and then went and scored goals, mind. When he scored a header at Juventus, stretching all 5′ and not many inches of himself to reach the ball, he had somewhere around a 50/50 chance of taking a size 7 to the bonce. Still went for it. Still scored. Lay still on the ground while his teammates celebrated and completely ignored him. 

Born in San Nicolás de los Arroyos in 1935, Sivori was an Argentine Primera División champion when he was still a teenager – scoring eight goals in 16 games in his first season as he broke through at River Plate, then 11 in 23 as los Millonarios claimed their title back from (inevitably) Boca Juniors. 

Sivori hit double figures again the next season, while his international career was moving on apace, with nine goals in 19 appearances for the Argentine national team. Then, at 21 years old, Juventus paid a world record fee to prise him away to Europe, where his career changed entirely. 

For starters, he stopped playing for Argentina. He moved to Italy with Racing’s Humberto Maschio (Bologna) and Boca’s Antonio Angelillo (Inter) – both his international teammates – and the Argentine FA…didn’t like it. The three of them, along with Osmar Oreste Corbatta and Osvaldo Cruz, were Argentina’s ‘Angels with Dirty Faces’; one of the greatest forward lines ever assembled. 

Alfio Basile,Agustin Mario Cejas,Perfumo,Ruben Oswaldo Diaz Figueras,Juan Carlos Cardenas,Humberto Maschio,Juan Carlos Rulli,Joao Cardoso,Norberto Raffo,Oscar Martin,Miguel Mori

They scored at a rate of more than four goals per game in their victorious 1957 Copa America campaign, the last tournament they played before Maschio, Sivori and Angelillo moved to Italy. Sivori himself won the ‘player of the tournament’ award…and then they were all banned from representing la Albiceleste. For good. 

The little outcast shrugged off the disappointment of missing the 1958 World Cup (at which Argentina finished bottom of a group including Germany, Northern Ireland and Czechoslovakia) and threw himself into becoming one of Serie A’s greatest forwards. 

Almost instantly forming a deadly ‘big man/little man’ partnership with fellow ​90min Top 50 inductee John Charles, Sivori scored 31 goals in 40 league and cup games in his first season; claiming the first of his three Scudetti. 


If you watch a compilation of his goals online – and there is, for someone who played in the ’50s and ’60s, a surprising amount of footage – you notice a couple of things about el Cabezón’s playing style. One; he got called ‘big head’ for a reason, he diced up defenders for fun and revelled in it. Two; he was distractingly left-footed. Probably 25% of the goals he scored were hit with his left foot when anybody with even an unshod, misshapen stump on the end of their right leg would’ve taken a swing with the hunk of meat on their right. But it worked. 

One passage from his obituary in the Telegraph sums up Sivori as a player, to a tee. 


On one occasion, in a match against Padova that Juventus already had in the bag, Sivori was awarded a penalty. He whispered to the opposition goalkeeper that he would allow him to regain some respect from his fans, telling him on which side he was going to put his shot. The keeper obligingly dived as indicated, as Sivori contemptuously rolled the ball into the opposite corner.”


Imagine being that man. Imagine. Even if he hadn’t scored 135 goals in 215 league games for Juve, if he hadn’t won three Scudetti, if he hadn’t won the literal Ballon d’Or in 1961…he’d be in the ‘all time great’ conversation for that alone. 

One other goal from his early days in Turin sums up all of the best aspects of his style. After scoring two poacher’s goals earlier in a 3-2 win over Fiorentina, his hat-trick strike was the cherry on top. Picking up the ball 25 yards out, he dropped the shoulder to jink around his closest attendant, drove forward into the box to his right to beat another, turned on a sixpence to make space for a shot and, falling down, shot…straight into the head of a defender a couple of yards away. The ball came back to Sivori off the defender’s head and – still prone on the floor – he finished calmly at the near post. Audacious, brilliant, predatory. 

After a few years residing in Turin, his Italian roots (his grandfather from Genoa, his mother’s family from Abruzzo) allowed him to play for his new home on the national stage. At the height of his powers, his first year in Italian blue saw him score eight goals in his first five appearances – but he didn’t score at the 1962 World Cup, and capped out at nine appearances for the Azzurri. 


He kept scoring goals for Juve, but silverware became rarer and knee injuries began to catch up with him; as did disagreements with management. 1965 brought a move to Napoli, but after a debut season of 33 games he played just 30 in the three years that followed – his final appearance in Italian football ending in a red card against his former side Juventus and a six match ban.

He returned to Argentina, played a handful of games for River and moved into management, became a moderately successful coach and led la Albiceleste to (but not at) the 1974 World Cup before becoming Juve’s leading scout in South America. 

Sivori averaged more than one red card per season. He humiliated opponents for fun, throwing out nutmegs like they were party favours. He was a little Argentine forward more one-footed than Lionel Messi. If he played today, they would erect monuments to his sheer audacity on the pitch. As it is, we settle for grainy footage on YouTube. We’re all the worse for it. 


For more from Chris Deeley, follow him on Twitter at @ThatChris1209!


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Juventus Targeting Cut-Price Deal for Porto Defender Alex Telles

​Juventus are eyeing a cut-price deal for Porto left-back Alex Telles, with the Portuguese giants needing to raise money to avoid Financial Fair Play sanctions.

The Brazilian has a release clause of around €40m written into his contract, but is heading into the final year of his deal.


Although Porto would prefer Telles to stay, they are acutely aware that any delay in moving him on could result in his value dropping – and they cannot risk him departing the club on a free transfer once his contract has expired.

Telles’ potential availability has perked the interest of Serie A dominators Juventus, and it’s claimed by Portuguese outlet Tribuna Expresso that a €25m bid is being lined up for the former Galatasaray star.

The report suggests Porto will be inclined to accept the proposal, rather than risk La Vecchia Signora walking away from the negotiating table.

Alex Sandro

Telles is well known to Juventus and Italian audiences on the whole, having spent a season on loan with title rivals Inter during the 2015/16 campaign.

Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus are a little short of options at left back, with Alex Sandro the only recognised player on the books who naturally plays there. Versatile defenders Danilo and Mattia De Sciglio can also play there, but both are more suited to playing on the right side of defence.

The Old Lady are currently four points clear of Inter at the top of Serie A, after four successive draws for I Nerazzurri saw them slip off top spot. Lazio are also in the mix after a sustained run of good form, and they could close their own six-point gap to top of the table with victory in their game in hand.

Telles, meanwhile, has been at Porto since 2016, and has made 170 appearances for the Dragons, winning one Primeira Liga along the way in 2018.

Tiquinho Soares,Alex Telles

His impressive form in Portugal saw him called up to the Brazil squad for the first time in 2019,

where he made his first appearance against Panama. 

Chelsea and PSG have previously been mentioned as potential transfer destinations, but with those transfer links going cold, Juventus could now be in pole position to sign one of the best defenders operating outside of the so-called ‘top five’ European leagues.

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