Alvaro Arbeloa retires from football

​Former Liverpool, Real Madrid and West Ham defender Alvaro Arbeloa has announced his retirement.

The 34-year-old former Spain full-back made three Premier League appearances for the Hammers last season before being released.

He spent three years with the Reds before returning to Madrid, for whom he made his senior debut, in 2009.

Arbeloa won one La Liga title and the Champions League twice at Madrid before signing for West Hamlast August.

“It’s time to say goodbye,” he said. “Physically I was OK to keep playing.”

“I always thought I would play until my legs held out, but in the end it was a head and motivation issue,” he told Marca.
Many times you consider life in a way or see the future in a way, but life has other things prepared and you have to know how to accept them and face them.
“Things this season did not come out as I had dreamed. I am being honest with myself when I say goodbye.” 
He added: “It has been complicated. It’s something that when it comes to my mind I try not to think much about.
“At a professional level it has not been an easy year and that also has a personal impact, of course.”

He made more than 200 appearances in total for Liverpool, Madrid and West Ham between 2007 and 2017 and was capped 56 times by Spain.

He was part of his country’s World Cup-winning squad in 2010 and helped them win the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.

Reports on Monaco teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe 

  • ​Paris St-Germain have offered Monaco a world record £119m for 18-year-old striker Kylian Mbappe.

  • But Arsenal are preparing a new bid with Arsenal Wenger confident of a deal for the in-demand forward.
  • And the highly-rated 18-year-old is open to the idea of moving to Arsenal.
  • Liverpool’s 100m euros (£87.89m) bid for the Monaco forward has been rejected.
  • He is said to have had a conversation with Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.

PSG’s Angel Di Maria is ‘no Angel’ as he is sentenced for tax fraud in Spain

Paris Saint-Germain player Angel Di Maria has accepted a one-year prison sentence and will pay a total of €2 million in back-taxes and fines for committing tax fraud in Spain.

Di Maria is accused of failing to pay 1.3m euros to the Spanish tax authorities while at Real Madrid in 2012-2013 by giving up his image rights to companies based in tax havens, such as Panama.

The Argentina winger will admit to two counts of tax fraud after an agreement was reached between the former Real Madrid midfielder’s lawyers and the public prosecutor on Wednesday.

However, the deal must be formally processed in a hearing before a judge.

The 29-year-old made a deal with Spanish tax authorities to avoid a trial, with each of the two counts coming with a six-month sentence.
In Spain, sentences less than two years are normally suspended unless the individual has a prior conviction. Hence, Di Maria will avoid jail.

Di Maria left Madrid in August 2014 and signed a five-year deal with Manchester United after a £59.7m deal was agreed.

He would only play for one season at Old Trafford before moving on to PSG in the summer of 2015.

Former Real team-mate  Cristiano Ronaldo is  expected to testify in his  tax case on July 31and Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has  defended his tax history  in Spain after allegations  of fraud against him.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho charged with tax evasion in Spain

Jose Mourinho has been accused of tax fraud by Spanish prosecutors investigating his time as Real Madrid’s head coach.

A Madrid prosecutor said on Tuesday that a claim of two counts of tax fraud in 2011 and 2012, when he was manager of Real Madrid, had been filed.

Mourinho owes the Spanish tax authorities £2.9m (€3.3m), according to a statement, which added it had presented a claim to a local court.

The allegations follow those made against Cristiano Ronaldo made by Spanish tax authorities last week, which led to the player disclosing a wish to leave the country and perhaps work with Mourinho again at Old Trafford.
Other footballers accused of tax fraud in Spain include:

  • Barcelona and Argentina footballer Lionel Messi, who has been handed a 21-month jail term. His father Jorge, who manages his finances, was also convicted.
  • Barcelona defender Javier  Mascherano- also an Argentine – admitted tax fraud, escaping a jail term with a one-year suspended sentence.
  • Barcelona and Brazilian star Neymari s also facing allegations of corruption and fraud over his transfer to the Spanish club in 2013 – a case which also involves his parents. Prosecutors allege the transfer cost much more than publicly declared, and that millions were concealed from authorities
  • Former Barcelona president Sandro  Rosell, was arrested in May as part of a money-laundering investigation.

“I wish he was Argentine” – Maradona on Cristiano Ronaldo 

Diego Maradona says he wishes Cristiano Ronaldo was Argentine, but still prefers Lionel Messi to lead the Albiceleste.

“Cristiano is an animal,” Maradona told TyC Sports. “I wish he was Argentine.

“But I still prefer Messi. He is enjoying playing football and goes by opponents with ease.

“I don’t remember seeing Messi play badly. Even if Messi does not win a World Cup, he will be remembered in football history.

“Leo cannot deliver the World Cup on his own. Even if he does not win a World Cup, we will still remember him.”

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric investigated for perjury


Croatian authorities have launched an investigation into the captain of the national football team, Luka Modric.

The midfielder, who also plays for Real Madrid, is suspected of making false statements at the tax fraud trial of Zdravko Mamic, his former manager.

Mr Mamic, a powerful figure in Croatian football, was Mr Modric’s boss at leading club Dinamo Zagreb.

Mr Mamic, his brother Zoran Mamic, and two others are accused of corruption that reportedly cost Dinamo Zagreb more than 15m euros (£13.1m; $16.7m), and the state 1.5m euros.

Cash is said to have been embezzled via phoney deals where they took a cut from the sales of players.

If found guilty of perjury, Mr Modric could face between six months and five years in prison.

Mr Modric was asked to testify about his multi-million pound transfer from Dinamo the English club Tottenham Hotspur in 2008.

Florentino Perez stay on as Real Madrid president


Florentino Perez will stay on as Real Madrid president until 2021 after no other candidates presented a bid to rival the incumbent before Sunday’s deadline.
Perez, who first held the position in 2000, won uncontested, the Spanish and European champions announced on Monday.
The 70-year-old has overseen a period of continued success at Madrid, who claimed their third Champions League in four seasons in 2016-17.