Gianluigi Buffon set to mark his 500th appearance for Juventus

It has ever been a dream for every player to earn a maximum number of caps playing for his club and this achievement often stands him in line with legendary players who have proved their class in the past. Italian soccer is something that is known for its longest running history and some of biggest stars of the game. Gianluigi Buffon, the 36-year-old legendry Juventus goalie, is going to name himself among some all-time most played players in national history with his 500th appearance for the Bianconeri against Genoa this Wednesday. On this occasion, he is going to wear a captain’s armband emblazoned with the No 500 to mark the landmark match. The feat is significant since only six players have played more games than him for any club in Italian history. While Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Franco Baresi, Javier Zanetti, and Giuseppe have all retired, Francesco Totti is still playing for Roma. Today, when not a single player can confirm his inclusion in the final eleven, Buffon has been playing as the number one goal post holder since more than a decade now. Moreover, he has also been the first choice for national duty along with serving Vecchia Signora.

If we look at his achievements playing for the side, Juventus has won five Serie A titles including three that happened consecutively. Moreover, he has also been the IFFHS Goalie of the year for four times along with being named as the goalkeeper of the decade in 2012. This is just a small list of his feats he achieved playing for the Italian side since 2001 when he was the most expensive goalkeeper in the history with a £38million price tag. Like any proud coach, Massimiliano Allegri talked about his goalie’s upcoming feat during a news conference where he said, “It’s a goal that very few get to realize. Gigi deserves it and I think he still has a lot more to give because he’s got the enthusiasm of a young boy with the serenity and wisdom of a veteran. He’s a veteran in football terms, but still young in life. Let’s just see if I name him in the team.

“It’s an added bonus to have him in the side. Also in terms of his professionalism in the dressing room, it’s great for the younger players to have people like him, Barzagli, Chiellini and Pirlo around — they are an example for anybody who is new here.”

Brendan Rodgers talks about Daniel Sturridge’s persisting injuries

Injuries have ever been the biggest obstacle for any promising player no matter which club he plays with. Secondly, there has always been a complaint by big clubs that their star players often return injured after serving an international duty that is why many clubs hesitate releasing their players for an international call. Liverpool, who is among the few unfortunate sides this English season with more injuries than any side, seems to be feeling the pain more than any other English club since players like Daniel Sturridge are not playing for a long time for persisting injuries despite having scored 32 goals in 46 games for the Reds since he made a switch from Chelsea back in 2013. Now, even manager is worrying about his unavailability and says these injuries are not letting him grow like a big striker of the game. It is also Sturridge’s bad luck coz whenever he feels like coming back into the side; he sustains another injury sidelining him for another few months. If we look at Liverpool spell in this season, they are much below the standard they set in the last season winning just two out of six games in the English topflight.

Rodgers talks about his team in a recent interview and some promising stars he has in the side and said, “He (Sturridge) won’t become a top European striker until he plays consistently. It doesn’t matter about potential. You have to play. When Daniel comes back into the team, you will see the confidence because of the movement and the dynamic.

“But he isn’t fit and he hasn’t been for a long time. We just have to work without him and, while we are doing that stay up and around the top end of the table.” Questioning his consistency, he further added, “He won’t become a top European striker until he plays consistently. It doesn’t matter about potential. You have to play. When Daniel comes back into the team, you will see the confidence because of the movement and the dynamic.

“But he isn’t fit and he hasn’t been for a long time. We just have to work without him and, while we are doing that stay up and around the top end of the table.”

The substitute Italian forward Balotelli, who was hired by the Anfield side for 16 million pounds, is also not living up to the expectations and scored just once in eleven played games worrying the manager even more.

Mourinho underplays Chelsea’s lead for the English topflight

Guessing a winner has ever been a hot topic in England; perhaps it is converted as the only point of discussion in between of a session and if you are an EPL fan, you can’t imagine how media guys look around for any interesting story related to a possible winner of the season. Chelsea, who has ever had a good spell in English topflight, is undoubtedly the only eye candy for fans this time for their unbeatable run until now, in fact, they have registered seven wins out of eight played matches drawing just one game which obviously makes them the biggest contender for the title. If you remember correctly, Blues were likewise heading towards the top of the leaderboard in last season as well, but that time, Manchester City played much lesser number of games than Stamford Bridge side hence no one was really taking them as the true leader of leaderboard. But this year is different; Chelsea is indeed on the top with a confident lead from Southampton, the second place holder who is trailing by good four points. Like any brainy manager, Jose Mourinho is not willing to weigh too much their title winning stories hence denying accepting that they can triumph the English topflight.

Though, he also issued similar statement in the last year as well, but that was a completely different scenario, now they have not played more matches than any other team. Actually, Manchester City has played one more game than Blues and residing on the third spot. Talking about their show this season and what they carry from 2005 and 2006 when they won the two league titles back to back, former Everton manager said, “Last time we won a lot, so I don’t like to compare this team yet.

“This team is showing great quality in its football and if we manage to win also titles, it can be better, but this is not the moment to start talking about that. We are a good team, we know that, but we are not as good a team as the Chelsea team that won so many titles. We are in October. It’s too early for comparisons.” Adding how dressing room atmosphere affects a manager’s performance, he added, “I think top managers they don’t have a style that is just for them. Top managers they use the players they have in the best possible way.

“To speak about Louis van Gaal’s style when he was at Ajax, or Bayern Munich, or AZ, or the national team with Netherlands at the World Cup, you see there are differences. These teams did not all play the same way and it is the same for me and this Chelsea squad.”

N.F.L. Team Signs Agreement with Fantasy Sports

Ladbrokes

Boston based daily fantasy sports startup DraftKings has teamed with the New England Patriots on a marketing deal for the current N.F.L. season.

This is the first time that a daily fantasy site has entered into a partnership with any professional football team in the flourishing daily fantasy sports sector.

The deal will include enhanced public exposure for DraftKings through the popular LED display of its brand at the football club’s Gillette Stadium and its publicity content will also appear on New England Patriot’s social media accounts, newsletter as well as “Tip of the Week” on the Patriot’s official website.

Paul Liberman, the Marketing Executive at the fantasy sports company revealed that DraftKings is extremely proud of its association with the New England Patriots which is one of the league’s most successful franchises, right in their backyard.

Liberman also said that the Patriots are one of the league’s model franchises and that they are extremely pleased to align themselves with them. He added that they are looking forward to bringing the excitement of daily fantasy sports into the game-day experience.

Daily fantasy sports are continuing to fill the void that was left after the U.S. Department of Justice cracked down on online poker and other gambling during 2011. DraftKings and FanDuel are amongst other sites that allow their customers to compete for cash prizes in short term contests that are based on the real-life outcomes of sporting events. The contests are legal as federal law treats fantasy sports as games of skill and therefore not gambling.

Suarez finally debuts for Barca, assisted in first goal for the Spanish giant

Over the last three months, ever since former Liverpool player Suarez has been slapped with a lengthy international ban, sports media has been exaggerated his return into the field for new side Barcelona. In fact, excitement enhanced further knowing that he would play his first Spanish game against Real Madrid and fans kept their fingers crossed to see his firing action after facing lots of criticism for biting Italian player in the world cup game. Finally, we saw his return and a rather unexciting game for Barca fans all over coz the game itself got into the fame for Real Madrid and its world’s priciest forward line that took the glory into their hands. They not only won the game comfortably with a 3-1 margin but also did not let Suarez factor overshadow their brilliant show. However, there is one relief for the Carlo Ancelotti since Uruguayan international helped scoring the first goal of the game within first three minutes and after that it was all Real game and they successfully overshadowed Blaugrana. Real came from the back scored three goals one after another to gain full three points out of the game.

Suarez played for long 67 minutes until been replaced by Pedro Rodriguez confirming their defeat. Even the media guys were hungry to know what he feels after long awaiting return for the Spanish giant and he proudly replied, “I am very happy to be able to return to play, it is a very big relief and I am very happy that this time is over. The sensation is bittersweet for the result, but this team has lifted itself up many times. It is very difficult to play here. Everyone knows how clasicos are played, the first minutes are very difficult, but football has these things. We lost control after going ahead, and they were very good on the break and killed the game.

“I have been training every day during these weeks, thinking about this game,” he said. “I was fit to play in it. I found out I was playing an hour and a half before the game, during the boss’s pre-game talk.”

Like anyone else in the team, he, too, praised two biggest stars of the team: Messi and Neymar and added, “Neymar and Messi are very good players. We know are difficult games. In matches to come we will look to connect more. Now the team must forget about this and think about Celta.”