The President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara has declared that his country is ready to host the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 2021. The first gentleman of the West African country during a media interaction insisted they are fully prepared and are capable of hosting the tournament.
Ouattara equally made it known that they were putting appropriate logistics in place in order to meet and satisfy the requirements. Confederation of African Football (CAF) had earlier announced that the date for African Cup of Nationshas been changed from January and February to June and July, and also the number of participants has been increased from 16 countries to 24 countries.
Cameroon are the next and are ready to host the coming edition of the bi-annual tournament. In an attempt to respond to media speculation that the 2019 hosts may not be ready to accommodate the visitors and cope with the bigger tournament, Ouattara told reporters that his country will have everything in place for 2021 version of the tournament.
“We are very much aware of the decision to increase the number of participating teams and also the change in the usually date, in every situation, Ivory Coast has the necessary infrastructure to host the tournament,” the president said. “Some days ago, we staged the Jeux de la Francophonie with 4,000 athletes from 54 countries. So, Ivory Coast has the infrastructure and in any case, we will continue up to 2021,making available the necessary infrastructure to stage the final tournament.”
The 2021 tournament will be the first time Ivory Coast will have staged African football’s showpiece event since 1984 which is the reason Alassane Ouattara is more convinced his country can do it, as Guinea have already been nominated as the 2023 hosts.
Chelsea star Eden Hazard says that he regrets the loss of Juan Mata to Manchester United. The Spaniard was sold to United last January for a fee of around £ 37 million. This was seen as a good piece of business by Chelsea since he was largely a substitute in the final six months of his Chelsea career. Mata, though, was an integral part of Chelsea’s success in the previous two years and this saw him named as the club’s Player of the Year on two occasions. Hazard has risen to prominence since the departure of Mata.
The Belgian international enjoyed his best season till date after scoring 14 league goals last season. He has been in good form this season as well with two goals to his name so far. Hazard will undoubtedly be one of the players to watch when Chelsea visit to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in one of the games of this weekend. The blues will be going to Old Trafford looking to extend their lead at the top of the table after Manchester City suffered a defeat against West Ham on Saturday. A win for Chelsea will take them eight points clear of City, which is a huge advantage at any stage in the season.
“I was sad when Juan left because he was such a good player. But at the end of his time at Chelsea, he was on the bench and he didn’t play a lot. When you’re a great player, it’s normal that you want to play, so I respect his choice, but I wanted him to stay here because it was a pleasure to play with him. Juan is my friend, but on Sunday he plays for Man United, I play for Chelsea and I want to win,” said Hazard.
Paris St Germain manager Laurent Blanc has stated that he is willing to change the tactics of his team in order to help Edinson Cavani rediscover his form. The Uruguayan striker was a mega money signing for the club only a few years ago, but he has been linked with an exit this summer. However, Cavani failed to secure a move away from the French club as the transfer deadline day came to an end without much fanfare with regard to the French club. He is looking set to stay at PSG until next summer and manager Laurent Blanc says that he is ready to make some changes to the tactics in order to keep Cavani happy.
PSG have reiterated throughout the summer that they do not intend to sell the forward and this latest move from Blanc appears to hint at the same. Cavani was largely used on the wings last season, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the preferred choice up front. The Swede continues to hold the importance at yesterday, but it is likely that Blanc may go for a system that has two central strikers at the same time. PSG have made a tough start to the defence of their title after allowing the likes of Bordeaux and Marseille to lead the table the early weeks of the table.
“Yes why not? On Saturday? We’ll see with the players. We have to consider the health of everyone. We have some minor health problems with some players. Last year, the team evolved into one system. This year, we may be able to evolve into another, especially to save some players. The coaching staff and I need to evaluate whether it can be as effective as a system we already know,” said Blanc. Arsenal were linked with Cavani until the last few days of the transfer window.
Chelsea star Eden Hazard has claimed that the players should consider improving massively if they are to get three points from their opening league match against Burnley. Hazard’s statements came after the 3-0 defeat at the hands of Werder Bremen in the final pre-season friendly for the London club. After resisting the lure to tour the world for their pre-season, Jose Mourinho was signing prior to the match that Werder Bremen represented their ideal opponents. However, this heavy defeat has raised questions about this Chelsea team, which has seen substantial changes during the summer.
Hazard recently returned to pre-season training following his extended break because of World Cup duties. The 23-year-old had a disappointing tournament after contributing almost nothing, apart from a few assists, for Belgium at the World Cup. He will be keen to put behind this disappointment by once again playing a starring role for Chelsea. The burden on his shoulders to create chances for Chelsea will be reduced following the arrival of Cesc Fabregas for £ 30 million from Barcelona. Even though Mourinho started with a number of his key players, they conceded two soft penalties and one poor goal to suffer this heavy defeat.
Chelsea take on Burnley in an away match for the first league match of the season. The blues have failed to win the league title since the 2009-10 season.
“I don’t know what we learned but we try to improve and be ready for the first game. It was difficult against Bremen, pre-season always is, but we will see after two weeks. We played against a small team and they tried to give 100 per cent against Chelsea. For them it is always important. I’m happy to be back on the pitch with the team. I tried to give my best but it was my first minutes and it was difficult,” said Hazard.
Real Madrid are edging closer to clinching the signing of Colombian winger James Rodriguez from AS Monaco.
The 23 year old was the recipient of the Golden Boot as the top scorer in the World Cup with six goals as he led the Colombian to the quarter finals in a team that lacked their biggest star in the form of Radamel Falcao. And that led to his stock rising manifolds with many European heavyweights keen on bringing the former FC Porto player to their clubs.
Real Madrid is keen to bring in the winger to the Santiago Bernabeu as they look to ship Argentine winger Angel di Maria with several Premier League clubs interested in his services and are willing to use the cash from his sale to fund a move for Rodriguez. Continue reading Real edging closer to James Rodriguez
Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard has claimed that the 3-1 defeat against Paris St Germain in the Champions League quarter-finals first primarily because the Premier league outfit were tired. Chelsea conceded a goal after just three minutes when John Terry clearing header fell right into the path of Ezequiel Lavezzi. He powered home a stunning half volley, which gave PSG tremendous amount of confidence. However, Chelsea managed to wake-up from the poor start and dominate the first half. They got their deserved equaliser from Eden Hazard’s penalty after Oscar was brought down by defender Thiago Silva.
The penalty also gave Chelsea a crucial away goal, which would be massive over the two legs. However, they were unable to follow to this lead for much long into the second-half after the David Luiz scored an own goal from a set piece. From then on in, PSG started dominating the encounter. Hazard has claimed after the match that Chelsea are not be able to influence the match in the second half because they were tired after having played in numerous matches in the last few weeks. Javier Pastore’s late third goal meant that any hopes of reaching the semifinals have almost vanished.
Lavezzi has said that he wants to end any hopes of a comeback in the second leg.
“We had the game in our hands in the first half. We came back good and we managed the game. But the second half was complicated. We were a bit tired and it felt that way towards the end. Now there’s a return leg and we will do everything to push [PSG],” said Hazard, who has been courted by the French outfit for several months now. “I’m not worried about Chelsea pulling off a repeat of their comeback against Napoli because this is a completely different team and we hope to go through,” said Lavezzi.
Chelsea star Eden Hazard has dismissed fears that he could miss this weekend’s crucial match against Tottenham Hotspur after suffering an injury while on international duty with Belgium. Hazard was set to play only the final 20 minutes of the international friendly against Ivory Coast. However, he suffered an injury almost immediately after coming on as a substitute. Belgium boss Marc Wilmots said after the encounter that the 23-year-old suffered a swollen knee as a result of the knock he received. Since then, his participation in the upcoming league match against Tottenham has been a major doubt.
Hazard, though, has cleared up the fears by confirming that he is set to play against Spurs. Tottenham are chasing a top four spot and this is one of the tough matches remaining in Chelsea’s calendar this campaign. Out of the clubs chasing the title, Chelsea have a far easier run-in with only matches against Tottenham, Arsenal, and Liverpool to fear. Apart from it, they face teams from the bottom half of the table. As one of the important members of the team, Hazard’s presence is extremely vital for Jose Mourinho’s men.
He has played in every Premier league till date. Ahead of the international friendly with Ivory Coast, Hazard stated that he was in need of rest.
“It hurt, but I think I can play this weekend. After 20 seconds I got a kick. A nice welcome, but I’m not worried about the injury,” said the 23-year-old superstar after the match. “His boot was damaged, but Eden hasn’t twisted his ankle,” said Belgium’s national team manager.
“I’m not that tired. In the first half against Fulham I felt it a bit, but in the second I found my flow back. I don’t need that much rest, I’m at my best when I can play a lot of games. But I’ve to be careful that I don’t burn myself,” said Hazard prior to the match.
Since Romelu Lukaku made his move to Chelsea in August of 2011, his appearances for the Premier League club have been limited to only a few matches and even though his performances have not been up to par with the expectations that were born since he joined Chelsea, Drogba has praised Lukaku and even considers the 20 years old Belgium forward to be progressing and growing faster than him.
“I know I am his idol and we get on well. It is flattering to see that he identifies with me. But we have to stop comparing us. He is big too, certainly, but he is already tougher and he has qualities I don’t. Of course, I have some that he will only acquire with time. He will do big things and it has already started. His progression is better than mine. At the age of 19, he was at Chelsea. I was at Le Mans.” Drogba said. Continue reading DROGBA BACKS LUKAKU
Chelsea star Eden Hazard has said that he is already dreaming of winning the title this campaign. The 23-year-old fired Chelsea to the top of the table after his spectacular hat-trick against Newcastle United on Saturday. Despite having much of the ball in the opening exchanges, Chelsea failed to create the opening goal. As with many other matches this campaign, Hazard came up with the answer after his excellent play to open up Newcastle midway through the first half. He exchanged passes with Branislav Ivanovic before slotting the ball home with a thunderous effort. Continue reading HAZARD IS DREAMING
The French giants PSG have targeted Chelsea’s Eden Hazard as a top player for the January transfer window as they are looking for player that can keep up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani and play alongside them.
The Belgium midfielder Hazard has enjoyed a fairly successful spell in the Premier League ever since joining Chelsea and even in his debut season he made an extremely fast impact and adapted to the playing style of his new team in a matter of a few days.
Eden Hazard is one of the best paid players in the Premier League with wages that come close to £5m per year, but PSG does not look at that as an obstacle as they are prepared to equal that same amount and even increase it, in order to sign the former Lille player.
Hazard is a regular starter of Jose Mourinho and this will easily be the hardest task that PSG has to go through as they have to make an impressive offer just to convince the Portuguese coach on letting him go and even consider finding a replacement for the player that joined Chelsea 1 year ago.
The debut season of Hazard in Chelsea was so impressive that his consistent performances in the Premier League made him being named on the 23-man Ballon d’Or shortlist as he scored 9 goals and provided 16 assists for his teammates in the year he was brought to the club.
Real Madrid is another high profile club that is interested in signing Hazard and will try to make it happen in January although it will be a tough task for both PSG and Real Madrid to attempt and sign such an important player from Mourinho and Chelsea.