Rui Costa Expects Markovic To Become Major Player

Benfica’s sporting director Rui Costa says that he expects Liverpool’s Lazar Markovic to become a major player in the Premier league. Liverpool recently spent £ 20 million in getting the Serbian international from Benfica. The 20-year-old is regarded as one of the finest young talents in world football, but clubs have been sceptical about taking him on board due to his injury record in recent seasons. Ahead of the transfer, manager Brendan Rodgers raised the benchmark by saying that Markovic is one of the three players – along with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – to have taken him by storm.

Markovic will be coming into a Liverpool team that has just lost Luis Suarez. Hence, the winger is expected to supply ammunition only for the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Ricki Lambert. Markovic recently made his debut for the team against Olympiakos in a friendly match. After having been a star for the Portuguese national team and Fiorentina, Costa knows what it takes to be a success in football. He says that Markovic has all the ingredients to be a star in the future. After finishing second in the Premier League last season, Liverpool have spent close to £ 100 million in improving the squad.

Markovic is expected to be included in the first-team straightaway. “What I will remember most about the transfer is how thankful and emotional he was when we told him Liverpool had met his release clause and that was going to allow him to sign for Liverpool. I believe he will never forget the time he spent with us at Benfica. Markovic is a huge talent and I believe his speed and skills can make a difference in the Premier League. He is not a physical player but he has the ability and the flexibility to escape defenders easily,” said Costa.

Robinho Optimistic About Brazilian Squad Placement

Despite not having the greatest of seasons, Robinho is optimistic about getting selected in the Brazilian squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

The AC Milan striker has found the back of the net only on 4 occasions for his club in the season so far, but, he believes that his experience and his past performances would help him in securing a place in the national team.

Robinho’s mediocre form has affected Milan’s overall performance too as the Rossoneri find themselves outside the top 10 in the Serie A points table at the moment.

Talking to a Radio Network yesterday, Robinho said, “Whenever I have got the opportunity to represent my national side, I have tried to do my best and I have been fairly successful. So, hopefully, I would be able to break into that (World Cup) squad.”

Robinho is, however, not the only experienced Brazilian player who is hoping to get into the World Cup team somehow. Alexandro Pato is another one who is very keen to do that.

Although Pato is only 24 years of age but, he has been playing for Brazil since the last 6 years now. So, he has got a lot of exposure at the international level and can be termed “experienced”.

Pato who is a Corinthians player is playing for Sao Paulo on loan this season. He has featured for them in only a couple of games and has already stuck once. If he keeps up this kind of form in the upcoming matches, he has a good chance of being selected in the Brazilian squad and the young forward knows that pretty well.

Speaking to the press, Pato said, “Yes, as any other player, I also want to be picked for the world cup, but, I am aware that I would have to play well for that to happen.”

Robinho to miss Atletico Madrid match

Robinho would reportedly miss out on the upcoming Champions League Atletico Madrid match given injury issues. The match falls on the 16 Round of the championship and is very critical for Robinho’s esteemed Italian club AC Milan.

The club has already confirmed about Robinho’s non-availability for the match.

“Robinho is down with a bad muscular wound in left thigh. The forward would be going for further tests in the coming week”, stated the AC Milan announcement.

Robinho’s injuries are pretty serious at the moment and the Brazilian international would be missing out on Milan’s very crucial Series A game against Bologna as well which is scheduled for mid-February. If he is not ready by the end of the month, Robinho won’t be able to participate in the Sampodria event dated for February 23.

It seems that the forward’s fate is dependent on the test results. If the tests exhibit grave injury issues, Robinho is most likely be unavailable for Milan’s high profile game against Juventus which is scheduled for early March.

The player is serious passing through a bad phase in his career and it’s unfortunate time for his club as well since Robinho is undoubtedly one of the best strikers & his presence would be much missed.

The forward has been a regular feature for Rossoneri this session, with eighteen appearances in domestic division. The Brazilian scored 3 goals & offered 5 assists this time.

He has even netted in the European competition once this year yet won’t be able to inspire his squad during their Atletico match.

Clarence Seedorf might view the Brazilian’s injury as right timing to attempt for some tactical alteration. Kaka might be the most possible choice to fill up the void created by his famous countryman.

LAST ITALIANS

Ac.Milan somehow managed to slip into the last 16 remaining teams of the Champions League which comes as a surprise considering that Juventus was eliminated as well as Napoli. The team of Allegri is the only Italian side that managed to qualify.

Mario Balotelli expressed his disappointment after finding out that his team is the only representation of Italy in the Champions League.

“After the dismissal we had to play on the defensive. I would’ve liked to score, but the important thing was not to concede. Other Italian teams could’ve joined us in the knockouts and I’m disappointed they didn’t, but at the same time I am happy for Milan.

“Do I have any preferences for the next round? None, as either way we’ll be facing one of the group winners.” Balotelli said.

The Champions League draw has been concluded and now Ac.Milan has to go head to head with Athletico Madrid. The Spanish side finished their group being undefeated and collecting 16 points meanwhile Ac.Milan had to struggle in their last match just to survive and advance.

Ac.Milan will have Keisuke Honda and Adil Rami arriving as fresh signings for the 2014 as they are hoping to give the Italian team a much needed boost in midfield and in defence. The Japanese midfielder is ineligible to compete in Europe this season but his arrival to the team will surely give the rest of the squad a morale boost.

Japan boss and former Ac. Milan coach Alberto Zaccheroni is expecting great things when Honda arrives to Serie A.

Speaking to Radio Anch’Io Lo Sport, Zaccheroni said: “I’m convinced that he is a player who will be admired. He is physically strong, has excellent technique and great personality.

“I was in charge of Milan for three years and I know how much a player’s character is important in such a setup.”

BRAZIL EXPECTS

Robinho, at only 15 years of age was picked out by Pele as his immediate heir to the throne unfortunately for him things have not gone the way expected it to.

His impressive performances with Santos attracted the attention of clubs all around the world as he moved from Real Madrid to Manchester City and after failing to live up to the expectations he would later sign for the Italian giants Ac.Milan.

Due to the injury of Shaarawy, he is now being regularly being chosen into the starting XI lineup of the head coach Massimiliano Allegri but even though he has not made any real impact or significant difference with the team, Scolari recently said Robinho will be playing with Brazil for their upcoming international friendly matches and depending on the result, it will decide if the Ac.Milan player gets a spot for the 2014 World Cup.

The 31-year-old has not played for his country since a friendly with Japan in October of 2012 and he was chosen after Diego Costa made his decision to represent Spain and not Brazil.

“Robinho has participated in two World Cups. His quality, technique and his joy can be useful,” he added. “It was time to call him up to see if he can be important in the World Cup.”

Scolari also spoke about Kaka and his decision to make a return to Ac.Milan.

“I was happy with Kaka’s decision to sign with the team that gave him the chance to be at his best once more,” he told reporters. “I’m watching all Milan fixtures. He can certainly have a good opportunity in the future.”

With 31 years of age he is not the same explosive and energetic youngster he used to be in Santos so this might be his last opportunity to play for Brazil in a World Cup.

ROBINHO EXTENDS CONTRACT

AC Milan striker Robinho recently extended his contract with the Italian club, thus putting an end to all the speculation surrounding his future. The Brazilian has been linked with a return to his home country with the likes of Santos and São Paulo interested in signing him on a permanent basis. He has already been on loan deal with his former club Santos on 2010, but this time it has been rumoured that he was looking for a permanent move. However, Santos were unable to sign him due to the excessive transfer fees and wage demands involved in the transfer.

This prompted the striker to sign a new contract with AC Milan that would see his stay at the San Siro be confirmed until the summer of 2016. Milan recently managed a 2-1 win over Valencia in the pre-season friendly match. Speaking after the match, the 29-year-old has said that he is keen to show Milan that he deserved a new contract. Robinho will be one of the main strikers at Milan this season. The arrival of Mario Balotelli may have shifted some of the attention towards the Italian international, but Robinho still remains an integral part of the team.

The former Manchester City man scored in the first half against Valencia to demonstrate this aspect.

“I hope this will be the both AC Milan’s year and mine. I am happy to know that the club wanted to renew my contract. This becomes important year for me. I had already said that Milan has a team in which I want to play for the next 10 years. Playing against Valencia is difficult, the stadium is beautiful, the people are very charged. With the Milan shirt on you always want to win and although this is a warm-up tournament, the goal is always to win when you wear this shirt,” said Robinho.

WANTS TO STAY

AC Milan striker Robinho has said that he does not want to leave the club despite rumours persisting about an impending return to his homeland Brazil. Robinho has been consistently linked with a return to his former club Santos in recent months. He came extremely close to leaving in January, but Milan refused to sell him especially because they sold Alexandre Pato only a few weeks back. Robinho has ended up staying at the San Siro and he has been an influential figure for the club in recent weeks. Now, he has said that he wants to sign a contract with the club.

Robinho’s deal with AC Milan runs out at the end of the 2014 season, and there has been speculation that he may be sold in the summer as the club would rather get a reduced transfer fee then lose him for nothing. The 29-year-old has made 20 appearances for the Italian club this season, but he has been a major disappointment as he has scored just two goals. The arrival of Mario Balotelli and presence of players like Pazzini is threatening to make Robinho a regular substitute. However, he is happy with the amount of gametime he has been receiving in the last few months.

“I would like to sign a contract extension. I want to end the season on a high and will give my utmost in the remaining games. After that, we’ll talk about a renewal. I have a lot of respect for the coach and my teammates, but if it was up to me, I’d already be back on the pitch by now. El Shaarawy has exploded on the scene and there’s also Balotelli, Niang, Bojan and Pazzini. The second reason [for not playing] is that I’ve had some injury problems,” said Brazilian star Robinho.

BALOTELLI IS WELCOME

The striker of AC Milan, Robinho, has said that he is delighted with the arrival of Mario Balotelli in Milan camp.

Balotelli has recently signed for AC Milan. Milan has bought Balotelli after paying an undisclosed transfer fee which is rumoured to be around 20 million Pounds. Balotelli has signed a contract of four and half years for Milan.

When asked about Balotelli signing for Milan, Robinho said, “its great news for us. Balotelli is a quality player and everybody in the squad including me is happy with his arrival. He is going to be welcomed with open arms in the Milan locker room. Hopefully, he would perform well in the remaining of the season.”

“Balotelli will bring a lot of enthusiasm in the camp; that’s for sure. I am pretty excited to play alongside him.”

Balotelli will not be able to play for Milan in the Champions League matches as he has already featured for Manchester City in the earlier parts of the competition.

When asked about that, Robinho said, “It would have been nice to have him in the XI in the Champions League matches as well. But, he is not eligible for that. So, we can’t do anything about it.”

“Balotelli is going to be extremely valuable for us in the remaining matches of Serie A. We still have to play 16 matches and anything can happen.”

“The start of the season wasn’t that good for us and we are still making up for it. Our performance of late has been pretty good. But, now we have reached a critical stage and every result is important now. We need to make sure that most of the results go in our favour.”

Milan is currently at no. 5 in the Serie A points table with 37 points in 22 matches.

RETURNING SOON

The AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri has said that he feels that the Brazilian striker Robinho will be returning to his home country in the next few transfer windows. The 28-year-old has been linked with a return to Brazil for a long time now, but the club officials have maintained strongly that the player will not be sold during the summer or the January transfer window. However, the manager Allegri has admitted that the player has been away from his home country for a long time and he feels that it is the time to go now.

Robinho has been playing in Europe for the last eight seasons on the trot. He came to Europe back in 2005 with the Spanish club Real Madrid. He has since played for the Premier league club Manchester city before moving to the Italian club AC Milan initially on a season-long deal, which was converted into a permanent one recently. Following the departure of the star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho and Pato form the main striker scored the club, but they have been overshadowed this season due to the form shown by the young striker Stephan El Shaarawy. Allegri has admitted that Robinho has been the player he has utilised the most during his time at the club and it will be sad to see him leave.

“There’s not a lot I can do other than talk to him, everything else depends on the club and the player. He has played for me more than any other player and I hold him in great esteem. He has been away from Brazil for eight years and it would seem he wants to go back,” said the Milan manager. Meanwhile, the Juventus manager Antonio Conte has admitted that the club will not be making any major investment during the upcoming transfer window.

ROBINHO BACKS ALLEGRI

The Brazilian striker Robinho has backed the underfire AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri by saying that he is a great coach. He has said that if Allegri is struggling with the job, then it means that all the AC Milan players are also struggling with their respective jobs. Hence, it is not fair to criticise the performances of Massimiliano Allegri alone. The AC Milan manager has come under intense criticism in the first few weeks of the campaign after he has been unable to get any sort of form from the team. Even though they have sold a lot of high profile players and lost veterans due to their age, Milan were never expected to be closer to the relegation zone.

This has intensified the pressure on the manager, who is rumoured to be on the verge of getting the sack. Robinho, who is one of the last remaining stars in the team, has backed the manager by saying that he has always been top notch. Hence, if there is something wrong with the manager according to the media, then some portion of the blame also has to go to the players. Massimiliano Allegri has had a difficult time especially with the loss of players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva. He has also had to contend with the lack of Robinho in the first few weeks.

“It’s hard, and the season will not restart until the team really win. If he [Allegri] is in trouble, therefore so are we. But football teaches us that things can change fast. It takes two to three good games in a row and you get back on track. With Inter, they deserved to win and it is a shame that after there has been a defeat, the pressure weighs a lot more,” said Robinho.