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UCL Round 16 – Key Matches To Watch Out For

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UCL Round 16 - Key Matches To Watch Out For

The feels and thrills of the UEFA Champions League return on Tuesday after months of not witnessing any European Club Competition games. But, all is now set for another masterclass performance in the second round of the competition.

A total of 308 goals were scored in 96 matches played in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League this season and it’s mostly possible to see at least 30+ goals in the current round due to some irresistible matches that will take off right from this current stage of the competition.

As it stands, it’s evident that some big clubs will have to kiss the Champions League goodbye right after this stage. But before then, Cheapgoals will consider some of the epic matches that must not be missed by every lover of the round leather game.

Atlético Madrid v Liverpool

UCL Round 16 - Key Matches To Watch Out For

An encounter of the defending champions and last season’s quarter-finalists. This undoubtedly is a game of two spectacular sides; Atletico is a side that hardly leaves spaces behind for opponents to exploit. The Kop, on the other hand, are a side that forces their opponents to make defensive errors with the help of the two fullbacks they possess.

The Merseyside club has played 35 times against Spanish teams and they’ve won 15 times, played 8 draws and lost 10 times. Maybe not a bad record against teams from Spain. But one worrying factor for Liverpool will be their away form in the Champions League.

The miracle of last season might not happen again should Liverpool lose by a large margin on their visit to Wanda Metropolitan. However, Atlético will have to make sure they’re on top of their game to stop the hottest team in Europe at the moment right from the first leg in Spain.

Borussia Dortmund v Paris St Germain

UCL Round 16 - Key Matches To Watch Out For

The German team finished second behind Barcelona; Perhaps, the biggest hurdle to scale through. Qualifying from a group that had Inter Milan, Slavia Prague, and Barcelona. Same for the Paris outfit, they qualified as winners in the group that consists of Real Madrid, Galatasaray, and Club Brugge.

More so, they didn’t concede more than two goals in the group stage (the two goals incidentally came on matchday 5 at the Bernabeau) and didn’t lose any of the six matches. This for sure will also be another cracker as two ultra attacking sides will get to face off and look forward to getting the better out of themselves. Goals will be scored aplenty no doubt!

Real Madrid v Manchester City

UCL Round 16 - Key Matches To Watch Out For

These two teams last met in the quarter-finals of the 2016/2017 season, and for the records, The Los Blancos were the better sides as well as eventual winners of the competition. Many people will want to pay attention to this important match more than other games in the second round.

For Manchester City and Pep, the holy grail has been the Champions League since they’ve dominated the English scene for two years on the bounce, and right now doesn’t have a hope of winning the EPL any longer, thus making them switching the attention to Europe – is it feasible for them to win? Time will tell!

While for Real, they’re looking forward to replicating the 2017/2018 success of doing the doubles of La Liga and UCL trophy. We keep our fingers crossed as to what will happen eventually.

Chelsea v Bayern Munich

UCL Round 16 - Key Matches To Watch Out For

This is a battle of one of the most experienced teams (Bayern Munich) in the Champions League this season and one of the youngest sides (Chelsea). The fixture will have on the pitch the competition’s top scorer (Robert Lewandowski) and his cohorts from Germany take a trip to London to face the Blues. One thing happens when The Bavarians visit London – Goals are always abounding and the last time they played in England, they were on a rampage against Tottenham Hotspur.

It’s safe to say that the two managers will be facing tougher tests from each other; only the fittest will survive…

Atalanta v Valencia

UCL Round 16 - Key Matches To Watch Out For

Atalanta is a very high scoring side with much confidence and concentration on their game. Evidently that has made them one of the best-attacking sides with a crazy fluid of play in Europe this season.

The Italian club qualified at the expense of the regulars in the Champions League (Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar Donetsk). The hope of some lovers of the game seems to be high on these debutants after they’ve impressed many in the group stage. Valencia on the other hand also seeking a breakthrough in Europe this season.

This is a battle of the underdogs that will bring about goals in both legs of the encounter. One match to watch out for as well.

 

UEFA Round 16 Fixtures

Tuesday 18 February

Dortmund v Paris
Atlético v Liverpool

Wednesday 19 February

Atalanta v Valencia
Tottenham v Leipzig

Tuesday 25 February
Chelsea v Bayern
Napoli v Barcelona

Wednesday 26 February
Real Madrid v Manchester City
Lyon v Juventus

 

 

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3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

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3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.

The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.

Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues

  • Paulinho

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.

Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.

They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.

He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.

The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.

In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.

Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.

Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”

  • Iago Aspas

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.

After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.

At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.

In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.

READ ALSO: 10 Premier League Players With Most Own Goals

  • Diego Forlan

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.

Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.

Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.

In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.

The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.

With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.

Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.

Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.

 

Conclusion

There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.

These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.

 

 

 

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Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

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Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

Ligue 1 no doubt harbors quite a number of talented players, as such it’s quite understandable for those considered to be world-class players among them to cash out hugely on what they earn at the end of the month.

As of late, the players’ salaries have given indications of solid development, on account of the tremendous income pouring into the game. The fierce rivalry between the country’s top football clubs has brought the nature of the competition higher than ever. The league has more than its own fair share of highly paid players.

Here is a rundown of the top 15 highest-paid players in the Ligue 1

  • Neymar Jr – (Paris Saint Germain, – €3.06 Per Month )

Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

Behind Ronaldo and Messi, the Brazilian forward is regarded as the third-best player in world football since moving from Santos to Barcelona in 2013 for a deal reported worth €86.2million.

After apparently growing and widening his status as a footballer with his achievement on and off the pitch, it was evident that the former Puskas Award winner would go on to attract top elite clubs.

With the Parisian club brimming with a lot of cash to flex muscles with high spending clubs, it was just a matter of time before Neymar would join them. Fast forward to 2017, the Selecao captain signed for PSG for a world record transfer fee worth €222million, and since then he’s been an important figure of both the club and their project.

Amidst transfer rumors of him returning to his old home Barcelona, plus the fact that the Parisian are also ready to offer him a new deal that would tie him down with the French side for at least another three seasons.

  • Kylian Mbappe – (Paris Saint Germain, € 1.91m Per Month)

Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

As a World Cup winner and one of the best prospects in world football, it’s quite understandable for Mbappe to be among the highest-paid players in Ligue 1 and Paris Saint Germain. The 2018 World Cup winner burst into the scene as a young player for Monaco, making his professional debut in 2015 at the age of 15.

The Frenchman signed for the Parisian club in 2017 on loan, which was later made permanent in 2018. He has shown to be a great prospect for both the club and their project in dominating the Ligue 1 and also flex muscles with the top clubs in Europe.

His permanent transfer to Paris Saint Germain is reported to be worth €180million, making him both the second most expensive player and most expensive teenager. Since joining the Ligue 1 Champions permanently, the 22-year-old has scored over 120 goals for the Parisian club.

However, amidst the rumor of Real Madrid prepping up to break the bank in their quest to bring him down to the Bernabeu, the World Cup winner is still actively the second biggest earner in the league and of course Paris Saint Germain.

READ ALSO: Top 10 Highest Paid Premier League Players As Of 2020/21

  • Correa Marquinhos & Marco Verratti – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.2m Per Month)

Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

Since the departure of top players such as Edinson Cavani, Zlatan, and recently Thiago Silva, Marquinhos’s status has risen from being a mere squad player in the dressing room into a leader, captain, and one of the best gladiator of the club.

As a 19-year-old teenager, the Brazilian was signed in 2013 on a five-year deal by Paris Saint Germain from AS Roma for a fee of around €31.4million. And as reported by BBC Sport, the deal was said to be the highest transfer fee for a teenager then, while Sky also reports it to be the then fifth highest transfer.

The current form of the Brazilian makes him rank as one of Europe’s most valuable players, most especially as a player who is currently plying his trade with the best team in France.

According to the transfer market rating, Marquinhos market value currently stands at €70million, as such with his years of experience and playing over 313 matches for the Parisian, it’s no surprise that the club captain takes home €1.2m per month tied with the Italian on the same amount.

Veratti

As for the Italian, he’s also been a very instrumental player for the team since joining the club nine years ago. There have always been rumors concerning his future, either joining Barcelona or go back to Italy, but as it stands his current contract with Paris Saint Germain would expire in 2024.

  • Angel Di Maria – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.1m Per Month)

Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

Since joining the Parisian for €63million after a disappointing stint with Manchester United in 2015, the Argentine winger has continued to prove to the world that he’s still one of the best players in football since leaving Real Madrid.

Di Maria isn’t just rank among the highest earner for doing nothing, he earns his pay through his brilliant performances over the years since joining them, accumulating a total of 251 appearances scoring over 88 goals and 104 assists.

The former Real Madrid winger may not stay in the Ligue 1 with Paris Saint Germain for three years or more, as he’s already moving close to the end of his career. However, with his deal still running that makes him the fourth-highest earner in the league.

  • Keylor Navas – (Paris Saint Germain, €1m Per Month)

Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

When Navas joined Madrid from Levante in the summer of 2014, no one ever thought he’s going to achieve quite a number of success with Los Blancos based on where he was coming from and his antecedent as a goalkeeper.

After a successful stint with Los Merengues, the imminent arrival of Thibaut Courtois means the Costa Rican goalkeeper days at Real Madrid are numbered.

With his achievement at Real Madrid, it was evident that the Costa Rican won’t find it hard to get good European suitor to come by, as such Paris Saint Germain came calling for his services in 2019 having been told he won’t be Real Madrid number one going forward into the new season.

Following Navas’s move to the French capital, it means his salary would be on the high side based on his achievement and reputation as a Champions League winner with arguably the biggest club in Europe.

As a Paris Saint Germain player, he earns €1m per month, making the Costa Rican one of the highest-paid players in Ligue 1

READ ALSO: 10 Richest Club Owners In World Football

  • Mauro Icardi – (Paris Saint Germain, €800,000 Per Month)

Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

The imminent departure of El Matador when Icardi joined Paris Saint Germain on loan means the responsibility of goalscoring would be on the shoulder of the Argentine. The former Inter Milan forward made his loan permanent with the PSG following a strong start in Paris.

The Argentine and controversy certainly go hand in hand based on his antecedent with his previous clubs. Everywhere he goes he has always shown he could lead the line perfectly, and since he joined the Parisian permanently no report of controversy has been recorded concerning the former Nerazzurri captain.

Icardi may not be the poster boy of PSG just like his days at Inter, that doesn’t make him less of a player in the dressing room among other star players like Neymar and Mbappe who are no doubt the face of the club.

  • Leandro Paredes – (Paris Saint Germain, €750,000 Per Month)
    Juan Bernat – (Paris Saint Germain, €700,000 Per Month)
    Presnel Kimpembe – (Paris Saint Germain, €670,000 Per Month)
    Ander Herrera – (Paris Saint Germain, €650,000 Per Month)
    Wissam Ben Yedder – (Monaco, €650,000 Per Month)
    Cesc Fabregas – (Monaco, €600,000 Per Month)
    Julian Draxler – (Paris Saint Germain, €600,000 Per Month)
    Idrissa Guaye – (Paris Saint Germain, €500,000 Per Month)

 

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