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La Liga giants Barcelona played a 1-1 draw in the Catalan derby against Espanyol on Sunday. It was rainy and the pitch was waterlogged but the game continued. Barcelona are unbeaten in the league but they almost lost that record against their derby rivals.

This was the third meeting between both sides in two and half weeks after they met recently in the Copa Del Rey quarter final. Espanyol were the side that ended Barca’s unbeaten run in the Cup and their only loss so far this term. When they met in the Copa del Rey first leg, Espanyol won 1-0 with Lionel Messi losing a penalty. Barca won the reverse fixture to qualify on 2-1 aggregate.

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Barcelona top choice keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has received commendation for his recent efforts at the club. He is usually praised for his footwork but his performance as a shot stopper was obvious when the Blaugrana played Athletic Bilbao.

Barca defeated Bilbao 2-0, with the clean sheet courtesy of a brilliant display by the German. About 17 shots were sent his way but Ter Stegen remained solid in the game played at the San Mames stadium. The keeper stopped Bilbao star Aritz Aduriz four times from getting a goal. Aduriz sent a tricky header in the 17th minute but Ter Stegen handled it. Minutes later a chipped pass beat the defence but Ter Stegen was on hand to deny the striker again.

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During the 2017 edition of the summer transfer window, there were many players making their way out of clubs and joining others but without any doubt, the transfer that received the most attention and was a surprise to many people was Neymar’s move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for a transfer fee of €222 million.


This is the biggest amount of money that any club has ever splashed out to sign any footballer but PSG did it in order to lure the 25 year old Brazilian player.

 

Neymar spent 4 seasons in Camp Nou performing for Barcelona and during this period of time, he was able to lift the Spanish League twice, the Copa del Rey on 3 occasions and the UEFA Champions League just to name a few of the more renowned pieces of silverware.

The Brazilian player formed one of the best attacking combinations in the history of football as he played alongside Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi which was a nightmare for defences.

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This is a huge question that only the player or those really close to him can answer.


Why would Neymar leave the successful Barcelona team where he is celebrated and well paid? After their 4-0 defeat in the first leg in the hands of Paris St Germain, many thought the Spanish side would be knocked out. However, Neymar almost singlehandedly restored parity before Barca pulled the greatest comeback ever in European football.

Neymar grabbed a brace and one assist in seven minutes to put the Blaugrana on a sound footing to move past the French soccer giants.Lionel Messi scored a penalty that Neymar was fouled for before the team tipped the game in their favour. Neymar was praised as much as many other members in the team like Luis Suarez. However, Messi was named the hero of the night. It is obvious that Neymar needed his own turf, where he could run riot and his praises be sung.

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho seems to have quieted on the purported move of Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann.


The striker was a reported top target for Mourinho considering that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is out injured and developmental projects in Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford were not yet suitable for the role solely.

Mourinho avoided being drawn into the issue as the team cruised to the Europa League title after defeating Ajax. Griezmann earlier has odds of 6/10 at moving to Old Trafford this summer but everything seems to have suddenly cooled down. Atletico’s appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) against a FIFA-sanctioned transfer ban is believed to play a part.

“I do not want to talk about Griezmann because that would be disrespectful to his club, Atletico. Just how I do not like others talking about my players, I’m not going to talk about Antoine either,” Mourinho fired when asked about the French star.

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