Former Barcelona and Manchester United goalkeeper Victor Valdes retires

Ex-Barcelona and Manchester United goalkeeper Victor Valdes has decided to retire from football, according to a report in El Mundo Deportivo.

Valdes, 35, had offers from Deportivo La Coruna, Real Betis and Las Palmas to continue to play after leaving Middlesbrough in the summer, but has opted to hang up his gloves and focus on his new TV production company.

Valdes’ agent Gines Carvajal would not confirm or deny the story when contacted by ESPN FC.

The former Spain international has set up Crazy4fun TV, which was launched on July 27, an international production company with bases in Barcelona, London and Abu Dhabi.

El Mundo Deportivo reports that Valdes will not only be behind the camera but is also expected to present a TV show that will feature former players that has already been sold to 12 countries.

Valdes left Middlesbrough in May after his one-year contract expired following the club’s relegation from the Premier League, making 28 appearances for the club.

Valdes was a huge figure in Barcelona’s success, playing 535 games and winning 21 titles, including six La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies in his 12 years at the club.

He left the Camp Nou at the end of the 2013-14 season and eventually signed for Manchester United in January 2015, but failed to impress at Old Trafford under Louis van Gaal and moved to Standard Liege on loan a year later.

As an understudy of Iker Casillas, Valdes made 20 appearances for Spain and was part of the squads that won the 2010 World Cup and the European Championship two years later.

Nemanja Matic takes a dig at Chelsea, claims Manchester United are ‘definitely’ a bigger club

Nemanja Matic has had a dig at his former employers Chelsea, insisting Manchester United are “definitely” a bigger club.

The midfielder made the switch to Old Trafford this summer in a £40million deal, ending a three-and-a-half year stint in his second spell with Chelsea.

Matic was awarded man-of-the match in his Premier League debut for United as they ran out comfortable 4-0 winners over West Ham.

Asked if United were the biggest club he has played for, Matic told Sky Sports:

“Definitely, everyone knows what Manchester United is about. “When you say Manchester United, it is different.

“Also Chelsea is a big club, Benfica are the biggest club in Portugal. But Manchester is Manchester.

“When I came here for the first day, I could feel that the people at the club help you every day if you need something and supporters are very important for this club.

“After every training session, they are waiting for us outside the training ground to take pictures, to give a signature so I think the club is one of the biggest in the world.

“Maybe you have two or three clubs similar to United, but Manchester is one of the biggest clubs in the world for sure.”

Matic also revealed that Mourinho was a big factor in convincing him to swap blue for red.

“He was very important for me,” Matic said of Mourinho. “He bought me to Chelsea from Benfica and now when I decided to come to Manchester, he was a reason to come here.

“Mourinho was the reason and so was the club, Manchester United, so you don’t need to think a lot about if you are going to come. “My decision was very quick and very clear.”

EPL results – Lukaku scores twice as United cruise; Champions Chelsea shocked by Burnley; Liverpool held by

SUNDAY

  • Manchester United 4 – 0 West Ham United

Romelu Lukaku announced his arrival at Old Trafford by scoring twice on his Premier League debut for Manchester United as they embarrassed West Ham.

Jose Mourinho’s team were a constant threat against a poor Hammers side, offering excitement and encouragement to their supporters on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season.

Lukaku, a £75m summer signing from Everton, put the Red Devils ahead with a rising drive off the post after racing onto Marcus Rashford’s pass.

The Belgium international doubled the lead after half-time, glancing in a header from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s inswinging free-kick.

United teenager Rashford curled against the inside of Joe Hart’s left-hand post before substitute Anthony Martial ended the match as a contest with a slick finish.

There was still time for a fourth, however, as Paul Pogba curled in from distance.

The Hammers offered little going forward in a passive performance, although new signing Marko Arnautovic did flick a header onto the top of the home crossbar at 2-0.

The Red Devils have now lost only one of their 14 opening-day Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford, while West Ham’s season began with a record 11th defeat.

  • Tottenham 2-0 Newcastle United

Tottenham made a winning start to the 2017-18 Premier League season as 10-man Newcastle endured a difficult return to the top flight.

The Magpies, promoted as winners of the Championship last term, had captain Jonjo Shelvey sent off early in the second half for standing on Dele Alli.

The Spurs attacker then put his side ahead with a close-range finish before Ben Davies finished off a neat move for Tottenham’s second.

It was a harsh re-introduction to life back in the Premier League for Newcastle, who were relegated from the division at the end of the 2015-16 season.

Rafael Benitez’s side did not really threaten Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal until late on, Christian Atsu forcing the goalkeeper into a low save and Ciaran Clark going close with a volley from 12 yards.

Instead, Spurs could have added to their lead as Harry Kane, last season’s Premier League top scorer with 29 goals, struck the post in injury time.

SATURDAY

  • Chelsea 2 – 3 Burnley

Champions Chelsea suffered a nightmare start to their Premier League title defence, having two men sent off as Burnley claimed a superb win at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea were down to 10 men with 14 minutes gone when captain Cahill was dismissed for a lunging challenge on Steven Defour, and they fell behind with 24 minutes gone as Sam Vokes guided the ball past Thibaut Courtois.

Burnley’s lead was doubled when, with a little over five minutes remaining until the break, Jack Cork set up Stephen Ward to hammer home, and it was 3-0 before the interval when Vokes scored his second with a header.

Marcos Alonso had an effort saved by Burnley keeper Tom Heaton early in the second half before Alvaro Morata was brought on for Michy Batshuayi, and Alonso had a free kick saved soon afterwards.

Morata dived to head home his first Premier League goal from a Willian cross and bundled the ball home moments later only to see an offside flag deny him.

Fabregas then saw red for a second booking — but David Luiz pulled another one back to set up a frenetic finish in which Burnley’s Robbie Brady hit the post and Morata failed to touch home late on.

There was no Diego Costa (on his way out), no Eden Hazard or Pedro(injured) and, after 24 minutes, no Cahill, exposing the decisions to let Nathan Ake join Bournemouth and fellow defender Kurt Zouma go on loan to Stoke.

Cahill’s red card ended Jeremie Boga’s shock debut early, as he was replaced by Christensen, and handed the initiative to Burnley, whose three-goal salvo added disbelief to the list of negative emotions ripping through the home support.

  • Everton 1 – 0 Stoke City

Wayne Rooney scored on his Premier League return to Everton as they beat Stoke 1-0 in their opening fixture of the season.

It was a fairy-tale return to his boyhood club as Rooney headed home the winning goal in the added minute of injury time in the first half, and sealed the three points for the hosts.

The Toffees had drawn their last four opening day matches but managed to hold out for the victory against a Stoke side who had very few clear-cut chances, with Xherdan Shaqiri almost snatching a draw late on, only to be denied by a superb Jordan Pickford save.

  • Watford 3 – 3 Liverpool

Liverpool conceded an injury-time equaliser as they were held 3-3 at Watford in their Premier League opener.

Mohamed Salah looked to have netted a winner on his Liverpool debut, but Miguel Britos headed home from point-blank range in the dying moments to secure a share of the spoils.

Liverpool — without Philippe Coutinho, who was ruled out with a back injury amid intense speculation over his future — fell behind on eight minutes, with Stefano Okaka taking advantage of some poor defending from a corner to head past Simon Mignolet.

Sadio Mane hit back on 29 minutes, but Liverpool’s defensive weaknesses were exposed again as Abdoulaye Doucoure slotted in for 2-1.

Liverpool turned it around early in the second half, with Roberto Firmino equalising from the penalty spot after Salah was brought down in the area by goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes on 55 minutes and then Salah nudging home.

  • Brighton & Hove Albion 0 – 2 Manchester City

Sergio Aguero was on target as Manchester City denied Brighton any hope of a shock on their Premier League debut.

Pep Guardiola’s side, for all their riches, took time to get into their groove in a 2-0 win at the Amex Stadium.

But the moment they did it was ruthless as striker Aguero converted 20 minutes from time.

Lewis Dunk turned Fernandinho’s cross through goalkeeper Mathew Ryan grasp and into his own net soon afterwards as City prevailed after previously being frustrated.

  • Bromwich Albion 1 – 0 AFC Bournemouth

West Bromwich Albion made another set piece pay as they opened the season with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth at The Hawthorns.

The visitors produced plenty of neat football throughout, but were unable to create much threat and fell behind after 31 minutes when Ahmed Hegazi headed in a Chris Brunt free kick.

Jermain Defoe came on for Bournemouth after the break, replacing Benik Afobe, but the former Sunderland striker had little to work with as West Brom held firm.

  • Crystal Palace 0 – 3 Huddersfield Town

Two goals in three minutes set Huddersfield up for a dream start to life in the Premier League as they defeated Crystal Palace 3-0 at Selhurst Park.

Tom Ince missed an early chance to give the Terriers the lead when he sent a bouncing effort from Tommy Smith’s cross straight at keeper Wayne Hennessey.

But they were ahead after 23 minutes when Palace failed to deal with an Aaron Mooy corner and the ball deflected in off Joel Ward — and with Palace rocking Mooy crossed again and Steve Mounie headed home. Palace made a half-time change, with Andros Townsend coming on in place of Luka Milivojevic, and Christian Benteke almost pulled a goal back — but Huddersfield made sure when Mounie struck again.

  • Southampton 0 – 0 Swansea City West

Southampton suffered a frustrating afternoon as they were held 0-0 at home by Swansea City.

Watford 3 – 3 Liverpool

Chelsea 2 – 3 Burnley

Crystal Palace 0 – 3 Huddersfield Town

Everton 1 – 0 Stoke City

Southampton 0 – 0 Swansea City West

Bromwich Albion 1 – 0 AFC Bournemouth

Brighton & Hove Albion 0 – 2 Manchester City

Tottenham 2-0 Newcastle United

Manchester United 4 – 0 West Ham United

Guillermo Varela leaves Manchester United to rejoin Penarol

Uruguayan defender Guillermo Varela has left Manchester United to return to his home-town club Penarol.

The 24-year-old spent last season on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt, where he made 11 appearances.

He was suspended by the German clubin May when he suffered an infection after getting a tattoo against orders.

Varela became the first player to sign under David Moyes’ reign at Old Trafford, when he joined on a five-year deal in 2013.

United’s official Twitter account posted a message reading:

.@Guille_Varela4 has left #MUFC to rejoin Penarol. All the best for the future, Guillermo!’

Varela was hopeful of a move throughout the summer and a source close to him told the Manchester Evening News earlier this month that he wanted ‘personal tranquility’.

They continued: ‘The player decided it after how badly he was treated in Frankfurt. His experience in Europe was not good. In 2017-18, Guillermo would have been making only £4,000 per week.’

He went on loan to Real Madrid Castilla in Spain the following summer, having failed to make an appearance for United.

On his return, in 2015-16, he featured just four times in the Premier League.

He scored an injury-time winner to help United clinch the Under-21 Premier League title in April 2016.

Earlier this month, the Manchester Evening News cited a source close to the player as saying:

“Guillermo decided to play in Penarol for personal tranquillity.

“The player decided it after how badly he was treated in Frankfurt. His experience in Europe was not good. In 2017-18, Guillermo would have been making only £4,000 per week.”

UEFA Super Cup- Real Madrid beat Manchester United to retain Super Cup title

Real Madrid 2-1 Manchester United

Real Madrid lifted a second successive UEFA Super Cup after a 2-1 victory over Manchester United in Macedonia.

In the battle of last season’s European trophy winners, it was the Champions League holders who took the lead with Casemiro opening the scoring in the 24th minute.

Zinedine Zidane’s side doubled their lead in the 53rd minute through Isco and were in total control until Romelu Lukau pulled one back for the Europa League winners.

United rallied late on with substitute Marcus Rashford denied by Keylor Navas and it was Real who held on to become the first team to win successive UEFA Super Cups since AC Milan in 1989 and 1990.

Real coach Zinedine Zidane called Mourinho’s bluff by playing Gareth Bale 24 hours after the Manchester United manager had suggested bidding for the Wales star if he was left out of the line-up —

and Zidane won just about every other battle on the night as well.

Southampton sign Mario Lemina on a five-year deal from Juventus

Southampton have signed midfielder Mario Lemina from Juventus for £15.6m.

The 23-year-old Gabon international has put pen to paper on a five-year contract with the Saints.

Juventus confirmed in a statement on their official website the deal was worth 17million euros (£15.6m), which could increase by a further three million euros (£2.77m).

The transfer is believed to be a club record deal.

Their previous record signing was Moroccan attacking midfielder Sofiane Boufal, who joined from French side Lille for £16m in August 2016.

Lemina said on http://www.southamptonfc.com:

“I am really happy to have signed for Southampton. I think that it was the project that attracted me the most and the one my family was really behind.”

Lemina started his career in France with Lorient before joining Marseille in 2013.

The midfielder signed initially on loan with Juventus in 2015 and after completing a permanent transfer last summer, went on to help the Bianconeri win the Serie A title as well as reach the Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Southampton vice chairman Les Reed feels Lemina will be a welcome addition to Mauricio Pellegrino’s squad.

“Mario is an outstanding talent who has already achieved a great deal in his career, winning a number of titles and gaining experience of playing on some of the biggest stages in world football,” Reed said.

“Investing in a player of Mario’s quality and buying from a club like Juventus is a significant statement of intent from the club, and this is a purchase that has set another club-record fee.

“Mario still has his best years ahead of him, and we believe that he will not only be an excellent acquisition for us in the immediate future, but that he will also be able to realise even more of his potential here in the years to come.

“In a volatile market with some extraordinary and inexplicable transfers taking place, we are determined to go about our work in a diligent and correct way. This is a player who has won trophies and played in the Champions League final less than three months ago and he has signed for Saints amid a host of suitors.

“Mario will complement what is already an extremely strong group of midfield players in our squad, and we are excited about what he will bring to the group.”

Jose Mourinho claims Manchester United lead the queue for Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Jose Mourinho has revealed Manchester United are at the head of the queue to re-sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic in January.

“Maybe he’ll stay with us,” Mourinho told Italian broadcaster Sport Mediaset.

“He has no contract but he is closer to Manchester.”

The Swede has remained in Manchester to work on his rehabilitation, with an aim of being fit again in January.