Tag: champions league

UEFA introduces new rule to allow new players represent new clubs

UEFA has changed their ruling in order to allow players represent two different clubs in the same European cup competition from next season.

The current ruling enforces that January signings cannot play for a second club in the Champions League or Europa League if they have already featured in that competition, but by next season a club may register three new eligible players without any restrictions after the group stage.

“This is in line with the existing regulatory situation in the different domestic leagues,” UEFA added, “which does not impose restrictions on the eligibility for competitions of players registered for a new club during the winter transfer window.”

The current ruling saw FC Barcelona being unable to select Philippe Coutinho for their Champions League knockout ties because he featured earlier in the competition for Liverpool.

The same goes for Arsenal as striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cannot play for the Gunners in their Europa League campaign because they were in the same competition as Borussia Dortmund, for whom he played in the Champions League before Christmas.

Other ruling UEFA added include the allowance of a fourth substitute but only in extra time of knockout ties, while up to 12 substitutes can be named in the finals — meaning that teams contesting the Champions League and Europa League finals, plus the UEFA Super Cup, can name a matchday squad of 23 players instead of the 18 allowed in the rest of the competition.

Additionally, a number of Champions League group games will kick off earlier — at 17:55 BST/GMT, although all knockout ties will keep with their kick off time at 20:00 BST/GMT.

As for the Europa League, matches from the group stage until the last 16 will kick off at 17:55 and 20:00. Starting from the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final, fixtures will all kick off at 20:00.

Pep Guardiola: Kevin de Bruyne needs trophies to win Ballon d’Or

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says that team playmaker Kevin de Bruyne needs to win “lots of titles, especially the Champions League” to win the Ballon d’Or.

Belgium international de Bruyne made three assists in City’s 5-1 victory over Leicester on Saturday, taking total in the league this season to 14, four more than the next best player, his club teammate Leroy Sane.

However, while Guardiola is certain that it would be difficult to find anyy other player performing as well across Europe, that de Bruyne would first have to gather more accolades to his resume before he is to win football’s top individual award — a title dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo every year since 2008.

“No doubt,” said Guardiola. “He is not (just doing it in) one game. It’s the whole season, every three days playing that way. Every three days.”

“But he knows and everyone knows, to be there you have to win titles – and titles and titles, especially one. But the way he’s played it’s difficult to find one (better) in Europe.”

When asked if the ‘one’ title he was referring to was the Champions League, Guardiola said: “Of course. You have to be there in the latter stages. Without the latter stages you will not be nominated.”

Although Bruyne has now provided 18 assists for his team-mates in all competitions this season but the Belgian insists that he is not interested in individual praise.

“I am doing what I have to do,” the 26-year-old said. “It is something you reflect on after you get something like that. I am not busy with that before.”

“I do everything to win titles with the team. What happens after is an extra. I am very pleased with the way everything is going for me. I am playing this way because the team is playing this way. It makes it easier for me, it makes it easier for them.”

“At the end, if you get an individual honour, it is beautiful.”

Manchester City considering defensive boost in Dani Alves

The Manchester City squad could receive a boost in their defense through the signing of Dani Alves as coach Pep Guardiola considers signing the former Brazilian international over the summer.

Alves’s current club Juventus confirmed their interest in letting the former Brazilian international goal despite a impressive run of form into the Champions League final — notably in the semi-final victory against Monaco, in which he was involved in his side’s first three goals across the tie before scoring the fourth.

Guardiola, who had worked with Dani Alves at FC Barcelona, won three La Liga titles, two Spanish Cups and two Champions Leagues together as coach and player before Guardiola left the Nou Camp in 2012.

Alves still holds the Catalan in high regard. In the buildup to the Champions League final earlier this month, Alves had high praise for the Catalan, saying in a column on the Players’ Tribune: “If you turn the word ‘computer’ backwards, it spells ‘Steve Jobs’. If you turn the word ‘football’ backwards, it spells ‘Pep’. He is a genius. I’ll say it again. A genius.”

Should his transfer takes place, Alves could be the key to City’s defensive next season after the squad had put up defensively suspect performances through the 2016-17 Premier League season, with easy goal conceding rates hurting their charge for the title early on.

The Blues are also currently lacking in their back four options since defensive duo Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta will leave the club when their contracts expire at the end of this month, and, with a move for Tottenham’s Kyle Walker falling through, Guardiola is inquiring after Alves.

Nonetheless, City have been told that a bid of around £5m would be sufficient to persuade Juventus to sell the 34-year-old, who has only one year left in his contract.

While reports in Spain claimed that a deal has already been agreed, it is understood negotiations are continuing but Alves has agreed a contract in principle to link up with his former manager at FC Barcelona.