PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS

Los Angeles Galaxy Introduce Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, No. 9, LA Galaxy

 

PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS

Carlo Ancelotti may be back, Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaves Man United for LA Galaxy

Carlo Ancelotti update

Carlo Ancelotti is hinting that he is waiting for the right England Premier League job to open up by postponing talks with the Italian National Team until the summer. Italian manager Ancelotti was sacked by Bayern Munich earlier this season. He is currently not working, but he has been linked with a return to England. In the past, Ancelotti led Chelsea to the double in 2010 but was sacked by the club’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich. Since then Ancelotti has healed the wounds of being fired with the Russian and he’s believed to be considered to replace current Chelsea boss Antonio Conte if he leaves. Meanwhile, Arsenal are planning for Arsene Wenger’s retirement and Ancelotti is in the running to replace the Frenchman if he leaves. The Italian is delaying talks with his country to see what becomes available in England. Reportedly Wenger could step down this summer.

Kickers Offenbach v Bayern Muenchen - Friendly Match

Carlo Ancelotti was asked whether he’ll become Italy’s next manager.

“My answer is this - the federation, now with the help of Coni (Italian Olympic Committee), must create its own new structure, after which it will make the decision,” replied Conti. “I can’t make a decision now. It needs clarity, then you can think about it, even if my goal is still to train a club team. I still do not know, it’s all on the high season, you have to wait a couple of months.”

Ancelotti has ruled out managing in France and Germany again, while AC Milan are his only option in Italy. The Italian has already managed Real Madrid.

Los Angeles Galaxy Introduce Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, No. 9, LA Galaxy

 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic update

Last Friday, after a three-year courtship the LA Galaxy got their man. Sweden superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has just signed with the US football team LA Galaxy who had come close to signing Ibra several times in the past. MLS club LA Galaxy were in touch with the Swedish celebrity soccer player on and off for the last three years and almost got him on board in 2017 before a major knee injury he suffered last April put off any talk of the then Man United superstar striker moving from Manchester to the City of Angels. As Ibrahimovic was healing from his injury, LA kept up the conversation and remained in contact with Zlatan, periodically checking in on him until, about four months ago when he was first returning to competition for Manchester United from his ruptured ACL. At that time Ibra let Galaxy know that he thought the time was right for him to finally make the move to MLS. LA still wanted him, but Galaxy president Chris Klein said that the club initially thought Ibrahimovic wouldn’t agree to move until the summer since he was still under contract with Manchester United through the end of the 2017-18 English Premier League season in May. Ibra worked his way back into the United’s regular rotation following his initial return from injury in November. After playing in seven matches from November 18 to December 26, Zlatan missed all of January and much of February to recover further from reinjury of his initial injury. Another factor in Zlatan’s decision to leave Manchester United was their falling out of contention for trophies in the Premier League and UEFA Champions League. Serious negotiations with Galaxy began a few weeks ago, with Jose Mourinho and Manchester United confirming Thursday that they’d terminated Ibrahimovic’s contract, making him a free agent. Galaxy announced the next day on Friday that they’d signed him to a two-year deal using Targeted Allocation Money. The hiring of Ibrahimovic is the biggest signing in an offseason in LA, who endured the worst season in club history last year when they finished tied for last in MLS with just 32 points.

“They see that I played in Europe at big clubs, forget the Champions League,” said Zlatan Ibrahimovic about his move. “They see that I was at Manchester United. They know that I understand what they’re going through, what they’ve been through, and what they’re going to because I played for the Galaxy too. That’s massive for me. I tell them the truth, the pros and cons of everything. In the end, selling what the Galaxy is, who we are, and AEG... that’s the biggest thing.”

The communication with LA Galaxy began during Ibra’s final days at PSG in 2016 through a chance meeting between the Swede, his agent, and club president, Chris Klein. About a year later, Ibrahimović and his family visited LA with Kirovski serving as the tour guide, showing them around the stadium. The trip ended with a dinner between the Galaxy’s technical director, Ibrahimović, and football legend David Beckham at a chi-chi Beverly Hills restaurant.

“It needed to make sense,” Klein said about the hiring. “We didn’t put on a piece of paper ‘Sign one of the biggest names in the world for TAM’ and think that will cure all of our problems. We knew that it needed a systematic approach, that it needed some additional quality signings in the offseason and to build some stability in the team. Just take that next step forward, that was the objective for us. And when the opportunity presented itself with Zlatan, we evaluated it from all sides and decided it was the right thing to do.”

Reportedly Galaxy will pay Ibrahimovic $1.5 million per season during his deal. Signing him at that price was the only way for LA to land the 36-year-old Ibrahimovic. The Galaxy already employs the MLS League maximum of 3 Designated Players on their roster - Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos and Romain Alessandrini. The most Galaxy is allowed to spend without selling one of them was $1.5 million per year, the maximum amount MLS allows to be paid to players whose salaries are brought down using TAM. Ibrahimovic was reportedly making several times that salary at Manchester United. Klein said that Ibrahimovic, who will probably look to line up several major US endorsement deals in LA, was eager to accept when offered.  

“I can’t say enough about the off season that we had and making so many changes with Sigi Schmid and VP of soccer operations Pete Vagenas and what our entire soccer operations group did to build the team and to leave room to be able to bring a player like Ibra in,” Klein said. “To have him come in as a TAM player, it didn’t even really take convincing. He wanted to come and he had the insight and the wherewithal to understand that he didn’t want to blow up our team to do it. And doing that, you hear all the time in sports that it’s not about the money, it usually is about the money. But with him, it wasn’t.”

Ibra will head from Europe to LA this week and may feature in the Galaxy’s first-ever match against expansion club LAFC on Saturday at the StubHub Center. The Galaxy have a very high-powered attack with Ibrahimovic, the dos Santos brothers, Alessandrini and striker Ola Kamara, but their defense is lacking in similar star power and is coming off a season in which they conceded 67 goals, the second-worst record in MLS.

LA re-shaped their backline in recent months, following up their September signing of center back Michael Ciani by acquiring Norwegian center back Jorgen Skjelvik, Venezuelan right back Rolf Feltscher and former San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham while re-signing left-back Ashley Cole in the winter. The group has started solidly, allowing just three goals through three games, but it’s an open question whether they’ll hold firm when paired with a group of attackers not known for their defensive work. For now, though, Klein and LA aren’t worried about that. With Ibrahimovic on their side, LA Galaxy has increased their options to succeed in the 2018-19 season.

“There’s a lot of optimism both in our front office and within our soccer operations group and with our players and with our fans,” said Klein. “We know we have a long, long way to go. We’re three games into a 34-game season. No one goes undefeated in our league, no one stays at the top for the entire time. We know that challenges lie ahead, but we’re certainly prepared for those and we feel good about the group that we have.”

Sweden's international soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic left one of Europe’s wealthiest clubs to sign with the Los Angeles Galaxy, and he is taking a massive pay cut to come to the U.S. At Manchester United, where he was returning from a serious knee injury, he was reportedly earning $27 million a year. At the Galaxy, his salary will be $1.4 million, reports Sports Illustrated citing the Spanish newspaper Marca - 95 percent less. Ibra is one of the most famous football players in the world. In a video announcing his arrival to Los Angeles that the Galaxy posted on Twitter, Ibrahimovic walks beside a lion and says, "Los Angeles, welcome to Zlatan."

 

On Friday of last week, Ibrahimovic took out a full page of the LA Times to post an ad.

"Dear Los Angeles, You're welcome."

MLS clubs have a $4 million wage cap, but they can exceed that limit with a few exceptional players thanks to the Designated Players Rule, otherwise known as the "Beckham Rule." After David Beckham joined the Galaxy in 2007 to earn $255 million over his six years in the American league.

 

“Great things also come to an end and it is time to move on after two fantastic seasons with Manchester United,” said Ibra. “Thank you to the club, the fans, the team, the coach, the staff and everybody who shared with me this part of my history.”

Beckham's substantial income included more than just his $6.5 million a year salary. It came largely from endorsements and "revenue sharing." The superstar was such a valuable asset when it came to filling up stadiums, selling merchandise and promoting the brand that the Galaxy gave him a portion of the money it brought in.

 

Many European players later followed Beckham to the U.S. as "designated players" including Thierry Henry, Steven Gerrard and Andrea Pirlo. Ibrahimovic will not be a designated player. But, like Beckham, he could still receive income from sponsorship and endorsements. The Sweden superstar is bringing both his talent and his personality to LA. His arrogance is endearing not only because it is funny, but because he can back it up. He is Sweden's all-time top goalscorer, having won 33 club trophies in his career. His impressive resume spans Europe's top clubs. Prior to his stint with Man United, he had stints at Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus. And he has won the league cup in four different nations. "No one in the world has won in five." Ibra has scored some stunning goals including a one-time bicycle kick from 30 yards out. There are rumors he will be coming out of international retirement to play with Sweden in the World Cup this summer.

 

"After being in Europe, winning 33 trophies, playing in the best teams in the world, playing with the best players in the world, I wanted to come to the U.S. and play my game there," Ibrahimovic said of the transfer. "I wanted people to enjoy my game there and to win, and I chose the Galaxy to do that."

 

Ibrahimovic admitted he had doubts about joining LA Galaxy but insisted he remains ‘hungry’ for success.

 

“I decided to sign with Galaxy because I think it’s the right place for me,” he told the club’s official website. “I have a lot to give, I can help them a lot, and they are the best team in the US. There were no doubts. I have a lot of expectations, I put pressure on myself, I demand a lot in my game. I’m just looking forward to playing, I need to play. I’m like a little child who you give candy to for the first time and he’s looking for the candy all the time. That is what I need. I need to play and I want to play. I’m hungry to play because it’s gone too long now, I haven’t felt involved in the game and I need to feel involved. Because this is what I’ve been doing all my life.”

 

LA Galaxy, also known as the Los Angeles Galaxy, is an American pro soccer franchise based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California that competes in Major League Soccer, as a member of the Western Conference. Manager: Sigi Schmid. Owner: AEG MLS Cup titles: 2014, 2012, 2011, 2005, 2002.

Zlatan Ibrahimović will be available for selection for this weekend's match against LAFC. Ibrahimović will train with his new LA Galaxy teammates for the first time on Friday and be available for selection by LA Galaxy Head Coach Sigi Schmid for LA Galaxy's sold-out weekend fixture against LAFC on Saturday, March 31.

Watch Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s former club Manchester United compete in live action in the England Premier League, Manchester Derby against Manchester City, and FA Cup.

Buy all Premier League ticketsManchester United tickets and FA Cup tickets securely online from LiveFootballTickets.com! APR 7 2018 English Premier League Manchester City v Manchester United Tickets Etihad Stadium - Manchester, United Kingdom. APR 21 2018 FA Cup Semi-final Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur Tickets Wembley Stadium - London, UK

 

Los Angeles Galaxy Introduce Zlatan Ibrahimovic

At his first press conference with Galaxy, legendary Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimović said that joining the LA Galaxy was always written in the stars. The Galaxy unveiled the 36-year-old superstar striker on Friday before more than 100 media members from across the globe. The press conference was the culmination of a three-year-long pursuit by LA Galaxy. For Ibrahimović, it was always "destiny" that he'd join the Galaxy.

“It was supposed to happen before Manchester United. My head was here. I wanted to come here and it didn’t happen,” said Ibra. “Destiny said I would come here. Los Angeles called, and I answered.”

Ibrahimović says there is no pressure on him to prove anything, he simply wants to help Galaxy win titles.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity that I can go in and collect what I’ve been collecting all these years," he said. "I just opened the door. I’ll step in and I’ll bring in so many trophies to this club.

Read more about Zlatan Ibrahimovic:

ZLATAN SCORES ON HIS LA GALAXY DEBUT

WORLD CUP INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES RESULTS

Jamie Vardy Photos - 2 of 2200

Jamie Vardy, England

 

WORLD CUP INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES RESULTS

England 1-1 Italy

 

With an opening goal from Jamie Vardy, England came very close to victory against Italy, only to be denied late on by James Tarkowski’s clumsy tackle on Federico Chiesa and Lorenzo Insigne’s easy penalty. England won in Holland and held Italy to give them confidence going into the World Cup 2018 tournament this summer.

 

England 1-1 Italy

 

England goal: Jamie Vardy (26' minutes)

Italy goal: Lorenzo Insigne (87' minutes pen)

 

Jamie Vardy scored past Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to record his first goal for England in more than a year, but the Three Lions were denied a second successive friendly victory by a late Italy penalty awarded by the video assistant referee (VAR) at Wembley Stadium. England manager Gareth Southgate's side were enjoying their lead given to them by Vardy's powerful 26th-minute finish, fired past new superstar goalie Donnarumma after Jesse Lingard's free-kick caught the visitors out. England looked to be ensuring a confidence-boosting win until a late intervention from VAR. Referee Deniz Aytekin consulted VAR after England debutant James Tarkowski tangled with Italy’s Federico Chiesa, and decided the Burnley defender had stepped on the Italian's foot, allowing Lorenzo Insigne to beat Jack Butland with just three minutes left. The frustrated England side complained emphatically about the award of the spot-kick, but VAR got this one right much to Southgate's frustration as he was clearly unhappy with the penalty decision.

 

England finished the clash frustrated that Italy's late penalty denied them a win they deserved that would have recorded back-to-back victories in these two friendlies that are their last before Southgate names a provisional World Cup squad on 14 May. To their credit, England was energized and motivated in attack, even without the injured Harry Kane. England manager Southgate will be desperate for the Tottenham Hotspur superstar striker to recover fully on schedule from his knee injury. England looked focused and ambitious going forward, but in need of Kane's killer instinct, to pose a serious threat this summer in Russia.

 

Burnley defender Tarkowski conceded the penalty late on in an assured debut. His look of despair as referee Deniz Aytekin awarded the spot-kick was apparent in a frustrating outcome for England. Superb Raheem Sterling must have felt the love of Manchester City and England's fans. Sterling asked supporters to show the team some love before the match and he was warmly applauded by the Wembley crowd after his excellent performance as he was named Man of the Match. Sterling carried his outstanding Manchester City form onto the international stage in the friendly double-header with the Netherlands and Italy. In the first half, his strong running unsettled the Italy defense as he emerged as England's main attacking threat. Sterling stayed on his feet after being fouled twice to create a chance for Vardy and he was brought down again for the free-kick that Lingard took to set the Leicester City striker up for his goal. Sterling has enjoyed a superb season under Pep Guardiola's management at Etihad Stadium. Sterling will be a key player for England in the World Cup.

 

After the match, Southgate said that the VAR decision is not clear and obvious. Referee Deniz Aytekin consulted VAR after Burnley defender James Tarkowski tangled with Federico Chiesa.

 

"I'm glad it's not the World Cup just yet. I think the ruling is 'clear and obvious' and it's not. It's one you can debate all day,” said England boss Gareth Southgate about VAR. "It looks like James Tarkowski stands on him but it's during the running process and he's going down anyway. I think the referee had a good view already. I don't think with incidents like that VAR will clear things up. An obvious handball and stuff like that then maybe - but we have to get on with it."

 

"If VAR is going to turn us over, it's better to happen now. A clear and obviously deserved victory taken away. It's irrelevant whether they think it was a penalty or not. VAR is there for the obvious howlers. This was far from that," said Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker on Twitter.

 

England have lost only 1 of their last 20 international matches at Wembley Stadium - winning 15. That defeat was by the Netherlands in March 2016 and the Three Lions are unbeaten in 10 games at the national stadium since then. England have only earned 1 win in their last 8 matches against Italy, and have failed to keep a clean sheet in 6 of the past 7 games.

England Vs. Italy - International Friendly

Raheem Sterling, England, Man of the Match

 

Man of the match is Raheem Sterling who was England’s biggest threat against Italy. He had pace and skill and his direct running troubled Italy all night.

 

Squads

 

Dele Alli was not on the starting squad for either of England's two friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy, but started both games on the subs' bench, with only a cameo appearance in Amsterdam. Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Ali is a certainty to be chosen for the World Cup squad and a strong contender for a starting place. Rival Lingard has shown his ability to be a game changer and Raheem Sterling also showed his quality. Alli is still an outstanding talent but he has some serious competition for his place.

 

“We’ve picked the team we have because we want to keep some stability. We made some good progress the other night. Obviously, we need to look at some other players as well, but tonight is a really good test for us. James Tarkowski has done really well with us and his club, and he fits the way we want to play,” said Southgate about his squad choices. “We’ve also got to look at options at center-back: we’re very happy with the players who have played there up until now, but we need to see other guys who could come in. Jack Butland knew he was playing at the end of last week: most of his caps have come away so it’s nice for him to play here. Jesse Lingard and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were excellent the other day: they can break forward and score goals. Dele Alli’s not been able to train fully, but of course, he’s a very important player for us. We need a little bit more composure with the final ball, but we’ll create chances and we have the guys who can finish them. We want to finish this week on a high.”

 

Gareth Southgate handed England debuts to James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. Burnley defender Tarkowski lined up on the left of Southgate’s new back three, replacing Joe Gomez and Harry Maguire. Jack Butland took his turn in goal; Ashley Young took the place of Danny Rose at left wing-back; Eric Dier came in for Jordan Henderson, and Jamie Vardy replaced Marcus Rashford up front.

 

Italy made four changes to the side that lost to Argentina on Friday night. Davide Zappacosta of Chelsea took the place of Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi at right back. PSG midfielder Marco Verratti made way for Lorenzo Pellegrini of Roma. Inter winger Antonio Candreva replaced Fiorentina’s Federico Chiesa. Juve keeper Gianluigi Buffon at 40 years old with 176 caps made way for 19-year-old, four-cap Milan star Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Jamie Vardy Photos - 3 of 2200

Jamie Vardy, England

 

England

Butland, Walker, Stones, Tarkowski, Dier, Trippier, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lingard, Young, Vardy, Sterling.

Subs: Hart, Pickford, Pope, Rose, Henderson, Maguire, Mawson, Livermore, Lallana, Cook, Alli, Rashford, Welbeck.

 

Italy

Donnarumma, Zappacosta, Rugani, Bonucci, De Sciglio, Pellegrini, Jorginho, Parolo, Candreva, Immobile, Insigne.

Subs: Buffon, Perin, Ferrari, Darmian, Ogbonna, Bonaventura, Verratti, Belotti, Spinazzola, Verdi, Gagliardini, Cutrone, Cristante, Florenzi.

 

FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA RESULTS

 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

 

Russia 1-3 France

Switzerland 6-3 Panama

Hungary 0-1 Scotland

Germany 0-1 Brazil

England 1-1 Italy

Spain 6-1 Argentina

Curaçao 1-0 Bolivia

Japan 1 Ukraine

Tanzania 2-0 DR Congo

Armenia 0-1 Lithuania

Georgia 2-0 Estonia

Kenya 2-3 Central African Republic

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Jamie Vardy Photos - 7 of 2200

Jamie Vardy, England, celebrates scoring the opening goal against Italy

 

Note: All fans attending matches at the World Cup need to apply for a "FAN ID" following a request from the Russian authorities. The special ID is designed with the purpose to keep hooligans out of the stadium and reduce the risk of fan violence to a minimum. At Euro 2016 Russian fans were involved in violent clashes with their English counterparts in Marseille ahead of the two countries’ group stage match.

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Jamie Vardy, England, celebrates scoring the opening goal against Italy