Patrick Kluivert: Champions League title better than domestic double

FC Barcelona legend Patrick Kluivert has said that Real Madrid will have had a better season than Barca if they can clinch a third successive Champions League.

The former Dutch international striker said that a Champions League win would eclipse Barca’s domestic double ahead of El Clasico.

He had previously won Europe’s premier club competition with Ajax in 1995 and said that it is the biggest achievement in football.

“The Champions League is the biggest award any club can win but it is very hard,” Kluivert said. “Winning a double is good as well but winning the Champions League is better. I would prefer to play a UCL final and win it because if you lose it and you don’t have a double, it is not good either.”

“Real Madrid are playing well and they always do what they have to do. The Champions League is the most important title, but if Real Madrid don’t win it, it will be much harder next season.”

Ahead of El Clasico, Kluivert also spoke about the two teams and their star players.

“First of all, Messi is the best for me but he can’t do it all alone; let me think about it because I don’t want to say anything I could regret! Barcelona is Barcelona and Madrid is Madrid, one can win UCL and the other has a double, all of them play for victories.”

 

“Messi and Ronaldo are different players, both in the highest level and each one deserves good words from everyone. But Messi was born with an impressive talent; Ronaldo did too, but he had to work harder to reach that level.”

David Moyes may drop Andy Carroll after row in training

Andy Carroll could be dropped for West Ham United’s crucial match against Leicester City on Saturday after the player a row with team boss David Moyes in training.

Moyes was unhappy with Carroll’s reaction to not being included in a triple substitution during West Ham’s 4-1 defeat to Manchester City at the London Stadium.

The striker did little to hide his frustration before leaving his place on the bench, and the manager vowed to tackle the situation after the game.

However, Carroll was unrepentant during talks with Moyes on Monday, leading to him being sent home from the training ground after refusing to apologise for his behaviour.

Carroll’s future at the club is now in the doubt and although their relationship is not beyond repair, Moyes is considering leaving the 29-year-old out entirely when West Ham seek to ease their relegation fears against Leicester.

West Ham could have James Collins and Pedro Obiang available for the trip to the King Power Stadium, with the former expected to train later this week after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Obiang, who has been sorely missed in defensive midfield since suffering a knee injury against Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup in January, could be on the bench after returning ahead of schedule.

Fiorentina routs Napoli to diminish Serie A hopes

Napoli’s hopes of winning Serie A for the first time since 1990 suffered a setback as a 3-0 rout at the hands of Fiorentina handed Juventus a clear advantage in the race for the title.

Defending champions Juve are four points clear with three games remaining.

Kalidou Koulibaly was sent off for kicking Giovanni Simeone, and the Argentinian struck thrice to lift La Viola to a first win in four games for mid-table Fiorentina.

Napoli played for 84 minutes with 10 men.

This season’s Serie A campaign has been one of the most exciting title chases in Europe’s major leagues, when Napoli moved to within a point of Juve after Koulibaly’s dramatic late headed winner against the leaders.

However, it is advantage Juventus again after Napoli suffered only their third league defeat of the season a day after Juve’s dramatic 3-2 win at Inter Milan.

Koulibaly was sent off after a video assistant referee (VAR) decision for preventing a clear scoring opportunity. Simeone then sprinted clear to set Fiorentina on their way and doubled the lead from close range.

Simeone, 22, completed his hat-trick with a composed finish in almost the last kick of the game.