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(Kansas City Chiefs Albert Wilson Game Nike Men's White Jersey) NFL Road #12 Gareth Bale has insisted that he has no intention of leaving Real Madrid this summer amid speculation that Manchester United may attempt to sign the Wales international for a fee of more than £100m. Bale was a second-half substitute in his home city of Cardiff as Real became the first side to retain the status as European champions since the Champions League era began with a comprehensive 4-1 win against Juventus on Saturday. That victory ensured Bale became the first Welshman to win club football’s most prestigious tournament for the third time at the end of a season during which the 27-year-old has been plagued by injury. Bale made only 19 league appearances for the club as they won a first La Liga title since 2011. Having attempted to prove his fitness for the final, Bale did not start against Juventus with the manager, Zinédine Zidane, opting instead for Isco. David Lee Authentic Jersey That has fuelled rumours that United could turn to Bale after cooling their approach for Antoine Griezmann after the Frenchman confirmed on Sunday that he would not be leaving Atlético Madrid this summer after the Spanish club’s transfer ban was upheld by Fifa. Bale, who agreed a new deal in October lasting until 2022 worth £350,000 a week after tax and with a €1bn buyout clause, was adamant that he wants to remain at the club he joined in September 2013 from Tottenham Hotspur for £85m, which was then a world-record fee. “I’ve signed a long-term contract at Madrid,” he said. “My family is happy and I am happy so, yeah, we will continue what we are doing. We are winning trophies and I am happy. “I’ve worked double sessions for three, four weeks to get myself ready for this, to get myself fit, recover from the surgery – which still has a little more healing to do – but I will be able to rest in the summer, Albert Wilson Youth Jersey do some more rehab and then come next season stronger. It’s been a tough year with a lot of football and the injuries, but the main thing for me is to get my ankle sorted and give it that rest it needs. I came back too early from the surgery. But I still finished the season happy, it’s a great finish with another trophy.” United tried to sign Bale in 2013 when David Moyes succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford but were beaten to his signature. The Welshman’s representatives have dismissed reports linking him with a return to the Premier League, stressing that he has no desire to leave the most successful club in global football. Given that he has now won seven major trophies in only four years in Spain, it is hard to argue that this Madrid side is up there with some of the most successful in history. “We’re used to this,” Bale said. “We have won three Champions Leagues in four seasons so we have to be in that category. All we can keep doing is keep working hard and hopefully there will be more to come. I think we can get better. “We are still quite young as a whole team and we have a great squad. We haven’t just got a great eleven, we have a great squad so if any injuries come along there are other people who can do a job. We are strong and confident and the plan is to win more. “This adds to the history of this club. This club is the biggest in Champions League history ever and now we have even more. It’s great to be a part of.”
Men's Majestic New York Yankees #13 Alex Rodriguez Replica Black MLB Jersey Chelsea’s domestic campaign ended on a sour note, with last Saturday’s 2-1 FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal denying Antonio Conte the double in his first campaign at Stamford Bridge. But it is Conte who has been Chelsea’s superstar this season and his decision to switch from 4-3-3 to 3-4-3 in autumn should be considered among the most decisive tactical moves in the 25-year history of the Premier League. After changing to that system, Chelsea steamrollered their way to the title and eventually recorded 93 points – the second-most in the Premier League era. Conte, however, is unlikely to rest on his laurels and will strive to improve Chelsea further next season. It is notable that no one has retained the Premier League since Manchester United won it in 2007-08 and 2008-09 and Conte will need to create a stronger squad to cope with the added demands of European football if he is to defend the league title successfully. Indeed, since that decisive switch to 3-4-3 in the second half of a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal in late September, Conte essentially used only 13 players to any great extent. Alexander Radulov Youth Jersey As with Leicester in 2015‑16, it is easy to identify Conte’s first‑choice starting XI, with only a minor debate about whether Willian or Pedro should start on the right and a late flourish from Cesc Fàbregas testing Conte’s faith in his regulars. Conte’s main task now will be developing his squad for next season for a Champions League challenge and he may even prioritise European competition as a personal mission, considering his inability to take Juventus past the quarter-final stage. Either way more rotation will be required. Chelsea appear well‑stocked in defence, with Nathan Aké and Kurt Zouma likely to play a more significant role next season, but Chelsea are woefully short of midfield back-ups after the mid-season departure of Oscar to Shanghai SIPG. Up front, Michy Batshuayi provided some decisive contributions from the bench but Conte will need to use him more next season. In a tactical sense, too, Chelsea may need to evolve. If it would be unfair to suggest that opponents have found out their system, it is clear the 3-4-3 did not work quite so effectively after Christmas, with Tottenham, Manchester United and then Arsenal all genuinely outplaying Conte’s side. It is notable that Chelsea went 11 games between January and the end of April without keeping a single clean sheet, an amazing statistic considering they kept six in a row immediately after the change of system. Opponents exploited weaknesses in the 3-4-3 more readily: Spurs successfully exposed Gary Cahill’s lack of mobility and César Azpilicueta’s lack of height. Bernie Parent Youth Jersey Other sides have caused Chelsea problems with energetic pressing and have exposed Fàbregas’s tactical indiscipline when he has started in a central role, and Manchester United man-marked Eden Hazard very effectively, leaving Chelsea without genuine creativity. Arsenal used Danny Welbeck up front to prevent Chelsea’s defence from keeping a high line and then, when Conte asked his players to press, Chelsea lack compactness and Arsenal played through them easily. The level of opposition scouting and data analysis in modern top‑level football means systems can be considered unbeatable one month and fundamentally flawed the next, and top-class managers are always seeking to evolve their side and keep opponents guessing. How, then, will Conte change things next season? First, Diego Costa may depart and the nature of his replacement may cause a fundamental restructuring of Chelsea’s attacking play. A pure speedster up front, for example, might mean Conte is more likely to field a defined midfield playmaker. On that note, Fàbregas has proved almost irresistible in recent weeks, having been excluded from the starting XI at the start of the campaign, although in big games the Catalan surely needs two defensive midfielders behind him, which would necessitate a change of formation.
Men's Bruce Bowen Swingman White Adidas Jersey: NBA San Antonio Spurs #12 Home It is July 2015 and the Juventus manager, Massimiliano Allegri, is talking excitedly about the club’s latest signing. Juve may have won the league title by a whopping 17 points the previous season but Allegri wants his squad to evolve and to become even better. “He seems like a little kid on the first day of school,” Allegri says of the new arrival. “He’s in great shape because he’s been training over the summer and he’s really enthusiastic – it’s contagious. He’s a huge, strong and charismatic signing for us. He’s shown great professionalism. You know, in terms of experience we’ve got all we need. I’m really pleased with this project.” Who was the player the manager was so delighted to have landed? A certain Sami Khedira, Authentic Adidas Calle Jarnkrok Womens Jersey who had made only 11 league appearances in his last season at Real Madrid, scoring no goals. His injury record was poor and there were even suggestions that, at 28, he had peaked. Juve and Allegri saw it differently. They saw a World Cup winner with huge potential and a desire to prove everyone wrong. The best thing about it? He arrived on a free transfer. And the German midfielder is not the only player to have cost Juve nothing. Last summer Dani Alves also joined on a free, Barcelona having decided that the Brazilian was no longer of any use to them. He, too, has been an excellent acquisition. Alves and Khedira are two big reasons why Juve have reached the Champions League final against Real Madrid on Saturday and while no one is pretending that they are a poor club punching above their weight – they are, in fact, ridiculously wealthy – they have showed a lot of clubs around Europe how to recruit in recent years. They have kept their reliable veterans at the back – Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli – brought in cheap but invaluable experience in Khedira and Alves and added star dust, Authentic Andrew Heaney Youth Jersey goals and creativity in expensive signings such as Gonzalo Higuaín, who cost a mouth‑watering £75.3m from Napoli last summer, and Miralem Pjanic and Marko Pjaca for a total of £48.5m. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Juve’s recent transfer policy is that they ended up with a net spend of only £15.67m last summer after selling Paul Pogba (who arrived on a free), Álvaro Morata and Roberto Pereyra among others. Here are five Juventus players who – for very different price tags – have contributed towards making Allegri’s squad one of the best in European football. The Brazilian has confounded his critics – once again – by overcoming a broken leg in November to play a crucial part in getting Juventus to the Champions League final. In the semi-finals against Monaco, the 34-year-old had a hand in all four Juventus goals in the 4-1 aggregate win, scoring one and providing three assists. But it is not only on the pitch that Alves has had an impact. He is an infectious character who has brought a bit of joy and sparkle to a “serious” dressing room. “I’m a big believer in energy, and I feel that what you do on the pitch reflects who you are off it,” he said last month. “That’s one problem I’ve had. In Italy team-mates can be a bit serious and not very expressive. I’m the complete opposite – I’m happy, fun to be around, and I like to get an atmosphere going.” Bonucci calls him “an alien” who has reached “surreal levels” this season.
The 20 Premier League clubs earned record income of £3.649bn in the last year before the more lucrative TV deal began, a Guardian analysis has revealed. Men's Premier Reebok Calle Jarnkrok White Away Jersey - #19 NHL Nashville Predators The financial statements of the clubs in the Premier League in 2015-16, the most recent year for which accounts have been published, showed they made £200m more than in the previous year that was itself a record. By far the biggest earners were Manchester United; the accounts for the main United company, registered in the Cayman Islands tax haven, showed income of £515m. It was £123m higher than the club with the next highest income, Manchester City. Income has increased dramatically since then, as 2016-17 was the first year of the new TV deals, which increased from £5.14bn in 2013-16 to £8.4bn from 2016‑19. Adam Duvall Youth Jersey That 60% uplift will be seen in the clubs’ accounts for the 2016-2017 season when they are published next year, with a similar rise expected in the money paid to players. The 2015-16 figures show wages paid to all staff not just players was £2.247bn, another record. That was a £200m increase on 2014-15 but remained steady at 61% of the clubs’ total income, a proportion seen by experts as quite sustainable. Clubs’ management of the extraordinary TV money improved immediately after the introduction of financial fair play rules for the 2013-16 TV rights cycle, which limited the amount of the increase that could be paid to players and the losses clubs could make. In 2012-13 clubs spent 67% of their income on wages and 12 clubs made a loss. In 2015-16 12 clubs made a profit, although the clubs made an overall loss of £117m last year due to significant losses by Chelsea, £85m, relegated Aston Villa, £81m, Sunderland, £33m and Everton, £24m. Analysis of the statements, which include ownership, shows only four clubs are principally owned in the UK: Newcastle United, Norwich City, Stoke City and West Ham United. Increased TV and commercial income, Authentic Alcides Escobar Womens Jersey combined with the FFP rules which have made clubs more profitable, have continued to attract investors, many owning clubs via tax havens. Of the 2015-16 members of the Premier League, seven now have substantial ownership by US investors: Arsenal, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Manchester United, Sunderland and Swansea City. Three clubs have substantial ownership by Chinese business interests: Aston Villa, Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion, where the owner and chairman, Jeremy Peace, sold his shareholding to the Chinese billionaire Guochuan Lai for a reported £150m to £200m. Two clubs are Russian-owned: Chelsea, by Roman Abramovich, who increased his funding since his 2003 takeover to £1.14bn, and Bournemouth, majority owned by the petrochemicals magnate Maxim Demin. The other non-UK owned clubs are Everton, substantially owned by the Monaco-based Farhad Moshiri; Manchester City, majority owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the ruling family in Abu Dhabi; Leicester City, owned by the Thai duty-free businessman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha; Southampton, by Katharina Liebherr, a Swiss citizen; Tottenham Hotspur, owned by Joe Lewis in the Bahamas, and Watford, held by Gino Pozzo via a Luxembourg holding company. While staff at Premier League clubs, and particularly contracted matchday workers, have in many cases been paid less than a living wage, being a chief executive is a well-rewarded position. The highest paid director of Manchester United, assumed to be the executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, earned £2.962m in 2015-16; Daniel Levy of Spurs £2.843m, and Ivan Gazidis, the Arsenal chief executive, £2.648m. Those salaries were trumped by Richard Scudamore, the executive chairman of the Premier League, who was paid £3.448m in 2015-16, including a £1m bonus for the TV deals of that year, and £1.5m for the new deals that started in 2016-17.
Men's Replica Majestic Alcides Escobar Royal Blue Jersey - #2 MLB Kansas City Royals USA Flag Fashion Gareth Bale fought through the pain, obliged to take pills to get him through training and matches, but he concedes that the Champions League final in his home city might still have come too soon for him to start. Real Madrid’s Cardiff‑born forward admitted that he returned too soon after surgery on an ankle ligament injury sustained in November and that he is not yet fully fit. He said he was prepared to play a substitute’s role in the match with Juventus at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, after six months of suffering. Bale’s ligament came away from his right ankle during a Champions League match against Sporting Lisbon in November and although he came back to action to score on his return against Espanyol 88 days later, he was still struggling with the effects of the operation, Chandler Parsons Womens Jersey even though calf problems were cited as the immediate cause. Bale admits that he may have returned too soon and he was forced to withdraw in the first half of the clásico on 23 April. The 27-year-old has not played since, although he is in full training with team-mates as he works towards Cardiff. The debate in Spain has been over whether it would be Isco or Bale who starts the final but the Welshman appeared to have few doubts that it would be the Spaniard who gets the nod. Although he described the final as “very special” he will accept that. Indeed, he appears to expect that. It has been a long road back and it is not yet over. “I am not 100%: I haven’t played for six or seven weeks: I obviously had my operation which still really hasn’t recovered,” Bale said. “If I’m called upon to start, I will start obviously. But to last 90 minutes: I haven’t played a lot of football this year since my operation, so that would be difficult. Isco has been playing fantastically well for us, at the end of the season, so whatever the manager decides I will [accept it]. Whether he or I start, we’ll both be cheering each other on. “I’m sure [Zidane] will speak to us and I’ll find out at some point, but I have been working hard, training now the last few days. We had a practice game on Saturday and I came through it all unscathed. I feel strong, feel fit, [but] obviously match fitness is a different thing. “It has been a difficult season, so whatever I am required to do [I will do]. I obviously have battled hard to get fit for this, and whatever is the best for the team is the most important thing: to lift that Champions League trophy is the most important thing.” As Bale explained the recovery process, he gave the strongest indication yet as to the gravity of his injury, the difficulties he faced and possible mistakes made in his rehabilitation, and the doubts it provoked. Authentic Bobby Rainey Womens Jersey The time out of action has at least allowed him to focus more fully on a more fundamental, underlying problem: the rehabilitation of the ankle, which was still incomplete. “The last six or seven weeks have enabled me to rest my ankle a bit and really try to get it a bit better, and obviously recover from the injury which it caused,” Bale said. “I am not 100%, but I have been working hard, double sessions the last few weeks, to get myself as ready as I can, whether to start or to be involved at some point. “I have been playing with a lot of pain. Even when I came back, I was taking tablets to get through games and training. There have been moments when I have had to consider other things with my ankle.” Bale did not clarify what he meant by “other things”, whether that suggested more radical treatment, or perhaps even more difficult decisions, but he did say: “It has just been difficult to come back from the ankle operation. Obviously, any surgery is difficult, but in the middle of a season is always that bit more difficult. “You want to come back as soon as possible. In hindsight, I should have stayed out a bit longer and let it heal and strengthen. But obviously that wasn’t the case, I’ll live and I’ll learn, and now I can concentrate on [the injury]. “I have had to work tirelessly hard, double sessions, being away from my family a lot working hard on it. It has been difficult, physically and mentally, but the most important thing is to try and get myself to be ready at some point for the game, whether that is starting or coming off the bench. “It has been difficult for sure. It has been difficult since coming back from my operation, but it is one of those I have really worked hard towards. Even if it wasn’t the Champions League final I would have been working hard to get back as much as I can, but obviously this is a massive game: we ultimately want to win the Champions League. And it is massively special for me personally, as it is where I was born, where I grew up. Any Champions League final is special, but this is a little bit extra special.
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