Alisson joins list of Liverpool’s most expensive signings

Alisson’s arrival means seven of the top 10 have also arrived during Jurgen Klopp’s reign at Liverpool.

alisson
Alisson played in all of Brazil’s matches at the World Cup in Russia

Liverpool’s £65million capture of Alisson makes him Liverpool’s second most expensive signing, pushing Adam Lallana out of the club’s top 10 splashes.

This comes in the same summer Fabinho arrived for £39.3million and Naby Keita’s near £53million move was finally made official.

The trio’s arrivals see them shoot towards the upper echelons of the club’s biggest ever signings, easily entering the all-time top 10.

Indeed, both Alisson and Van Dijk are now the most expensive players in their respective positions.

What should be noted, perhaps, is how the top six have all arrived at Anfield over the past 12 months – hinting at a real shift in intent from owners FSG.

Alisson’s arrival means seven of the top 10 have also arrived during Jurgen Klopp’s reign.

Here are the club’s most expensive signings.

Virgil Van Dijk (Southampton, £75million)

Liverpool’s record signing was finally confirmed on December 27, 2017, with Liverpool agreeing to pay Southampton £75million for the Dutch defender.

The deal put an end to a transfer saga that had raged on for months with Southampton refusing to budge during the 2017 summer window.

Since arriving at Anfield, Van Dijk has been a complete success. He has been integral in helping Liverpool shore up a previously suspect defence. A great physique, calm demeanour and great ability to play it out from the back ensure that Van Dijk is a perfect modern day centre-half and has been one of the high points of Jurgen Klopp’s career at Liverpool so far.

Alisson after signing for Liverpool
Alisson after signing for Liverpool (Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC

Alisson (Roma, £65million)

A true transfer saga unfolded but ended with Liverpool possessing the world’s most expensive goalkeeper to join the costliest defender in football.

Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards moved decisively to secure Alisson’s services after Roma’s asking price dropped and the 25-year-old made it clear that his heart was set on signing for the club.

The Reds had initially walked away after being quoted £90million by Roma sporting director Monchi in May and then £75million in June.

However, Roma significantly reduced those demands and as Chelsea sat waiting for Thibaut Courtois to be sold to Real Madrid, Liverpool acted swiftly to beat the Londoners to Allison’s signature.

The Brazilian no.1 has caught the eye during his time in Italy, despite shipping seven goals against the Reds in the Champions League semi-final last season.

(Image: Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Naby Keita (RB Leipzig, £52.75million)

At £52.75million, the second most expensive player to walk through the doors at Anfield will certainly have a lot of pressure on his shoulders.

Based on his displays for RB Leipzig over the past two years, Liverpool fans have nothing to worry about. Keita has boundless excesses of energy, pace to burn allows him to cover right across the middle of midfield and he possesses a genuine talent on the ball that holding midfielders often lack.

Often likened to Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, if Keita can achieve even a fraction of what Kante has in the Premier League then the Reds will have found themselves one of the top midfield talents in world football. Expect him to deliver and then some.

(Image: Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Fabinho (Monaco, £39.3million)

Another big splash into the central midfield department, Fabinho may well partner Naby Keita in the Liverpool engine room this season.

Similarly energetic and strong in the tackle, Liverpool look to be building a side that is equipped to take on any style of play and make an assault on the Premier League crown.

At 24 years old, Fabinho will soon be hitting his prime years and, with international caps for Brazil and a host of Champions League appearances under his belt for Monaco, won’t be concerned by the prospect of signing for such a big club.

(Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Mohamed Salah (Roma, £36.9million)

An argument for THE success story of this list, Mohamed Salah comes in as Liverpool’s fourth most expensive signing. The fee could rise in the future and move him up this list but the current £36.9million outlay spent last summer to bring the Egyptian to Anfield now seems like an absolute snip.

Forty four goals in all competitions for the Reds last season, a Premier League Player of the Year award and coming runner-up in the Egyptian election all mean that Salah has had a year to remember.

A heartbreaking early exit from the Champions League final due to injury only endeared him to the fans more, and he’ll be ready to bounce back following a disappointing summer with his country at the World Cup.

(Image: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal, £35million)

The £35million spent to bring Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal to Liverpool last summer was viewed as a big risk in certain sections of the media and amongst many Liverpool fans.

Proving the doubters wrong, the midfielder has proved great value for money, putting in stand-out performances such as the one against Manchester City in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.

A terribly cruel injury ruled him out of the final in Kiev, and subsequently the entirety of next season, in all likelihood.

(Image: Action Images / Paul Thomas)

Andy Carroll (Newcastle, £35million)

The first on this list that Liverpool fans would rather forget is joint-fifth. Andy Carroll.

Signed for £35million and unveiled alongside Luis Suarez, who cost £22.8million, it isn’t hard for Reds to decide which was the success story. Carroll’s short stay on Merseyside was dogged with injury and poor form. He only managed 11 goals in 58 appearances for Liverpool and was eventually loaned out to West Ham where he remains permanently.

Two of those 11 goals did, however, come against Everton.

Christian Benteke (Aston Villa, £32.5million)

The second disappointment on this list, it is dumbfounding to know that £32.5million Christian Benteke was more expensive than names such as Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres and Sadio Mane.

Signed in July 2015 as the man to fill the void left by Suarez, Christian Benteke came to the club with the reputation of a striker who could score goals and bully defences into submission.

What Liverpool received was 10 goals in 42 games for the club before departing for Crystal Palace. A wonder strike at Old Trafford aside, Benteke’s Anfield career was very much a non-event.

Sadio Mane (Southampton, £30million)

Another big spend that now looks to be an absolute bargain, Sadio Mane cost Liverpool £30million when arriving from Southampton in the summer of 2016. Scoring 33 goals in 73 games so far, Mane has been a huge success and is a key part of Liverpool’s three-pronged attack that also features Salah and Roberto Firmino.

Full of pace, tenacity and skill, Mane also has the knack of scoring in big games. He and Liverpool fans alike will be expecting another strong campaign this season as Liverpool look to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title.

Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim, £29million)

Roberto Firmino arrived from Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim in July 2015 for £29million after an impressive four-and-a-half-year spell in Germany.

‘Bobby’s’ first two seasons at Anfield saw him play very well, working incredibly hard for his teammates and providing an effective foil for the other attacking players in the side.

Last season saw Firmino reach a new level. A career best 27 goals has seen him silence the critics that claimed he can’t deliver the goals to be the central striker at a top club. In doing this, he has also managed to maintain his workrate and team ethic.

‘My heart is Palestinian,’ Maradona tells Abbas

Former Argentina footballer Diego Maradona has told Mahmoud Abbas, “My heart is Palestinian.” The football icon met the Palestinian President in Moscow on Sunday.

Diego-Maradona-and-AbbasDiNwtXfXkAA7pfQ
Former Argentina footballer Diego Maradona (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas [Twitter]

Maradona posted a video of the short meeting with Abbas on his Instagram page. It was reported widely in the Arab and Israeli media, including Ynet News.

The footballer regarded by many as the best ever told Abbas that he sympathises with the plight of the Palestinians. “This man wants peace in Palestine,” he said after a short hug. “President Abbas has a country and has a right.”

Abbas thanked Maradona and presented him with a gift in the form of a painting of a dove carrying an olive branch, as well as some Palestinian olive oil.

Read: Argentina cancels match with Israel amid protests

Penniless and homesick Nigerian world cup ‘fans’ got stranded in Moscow

This is how penniless and homesick Nigerian world cup ‘fans’ got stranded in Moscow

The World Cup, ending this Sunday, brought to Moscow fans from all over the world. Among them were at least 300 Nigerian fans who had hoped to see their national team clinch the trophy.

However, among them were other ‘fans’ who went to Russia with the hope of gaining employment.

Upon arrival, they were surprised to discover it was part of an elaborate scam. Not only were the numbers of their ‘prospective employers’ fake, the money they had carried was not enough to cater for their accommodation and food in the Russian capital.

According to Alternativa, a movement against human trafficking and slavery, at least 60 Nigerians have been stranded in the streets of Moscow after they realised that their return tickets were cancelled by the agency in Nigeria. This meant that they had to pay their own way back to their homes.

According to the AFP, the Nigerians had purchased the tickets that included plastic-coated passes that enable foreign fans to enter Russia without a visa during the World Cup.

It is not indicated how the Nigerians were able to obtain these tickets and sell them to fans, although there were reports of plans by human traffickers to flood the World Cup with trafficked people including sex workers.

The football governing body, FIFA stated that it is making effort to identify and stop unauthorised sales of passes.

The Nigerians are currently at the Nigerian Embassy and at the Vnukovo airport in Moscow, seeking help to get home.

“We’ve been sleeping on the floor like fools. We’ve got no place to go. We really do want to go back to our country. We’ve cried, we’ve wept, but still, no solution,” Alonge Ademola, 35, a cement dealer from Lagos told AFP.

According to Crime Russia, some Nigerians ended up at the Sheremetyevo in a bid to get on a Turkish Airline flight that was rumoured to take them home but in vain.

“[On Thursday] in Sheremetyevo about 40 citizens of Nigeria, when attempting to fly to their homeland, encountered problems on registration, their return tickets were invalid,” the Interfax source at the airport said

Alternativa has already helped 50 Nigerians so far, but it believes the number of stranded football fans is still high.

The Nigerian embassy, according to Ambassador Steve Davis Ugbah, is unable to pay for the tickets of all the fans and has since turned to the Russian authorities for help.

He has also counted out the deportation of his country people, insisting that a solution will be found soon.

It is against FIFA rules and values to practice human trafficking.

“Practices of human trafficking are in opposition to FIFA’s own values. The competence to address issues related to human trafficking, like any other criminal activity, is with the relevant national and international authorities (policy, judicial and governmental), and FIFA welcomes the steps that are taken in that respect,” FIFA said on Friday.

How Brazilian soccer legend Pele called for a two-day ceasefire during Nigeria Biafra war in 1960s

pele
‘I promised my father I’d win the World Cup’– Pelé recalls remarkable life in football

He was so powerful and admired by many people in his heydays that he was able to achieve what political leaders and the international community couldn’t – stop a devastating civil war in Nigeria on his own.

The Biafran War was rampant in the 1960s, following the desire of the Igbo people to separate from Nigeria and form the independent Republic of Biafra in the east of the country.

The violent and bloody conflict killed over 3 million people and displaced many.

Pele was then a household name who was playing for a Brazilian club called Santos and had already played in three World Cups.

In 1969, Santos FC realized that the domestic league was not helpful to them, so they started travelling around the world playing exhibition matches against top teams, and Nigeria’s team was one of them.

Two games had been arranged in advance, and due to financial reasons, the Brazilians decided not to cancel the matches despite the ongoing civil war in the West African country.

With football’s magic to bring people together and the influence of the soccer star, Pelé, the two factions in the war agreed on a 48-hour ceasefire so that the games could be carried out peacefully for people to come and watch.

During both matches, it is said that the stadium was fully packed, with spectators, including soldiers from both sides carrying extra chairs to acquire seating for themselves to see the world’s best player display his amazing footballing skills.

The military even opened heavily guarded checkpoints so that people could make their way to the games.

The two sides in the war watched the game together, showing unity despite this being for a brief period.

Once the games were over after the 48-hour period, the two sides got back fighting and killing each other in one of the most brutal wars in history.

The Biafran War ended in 1970 after the Nigerians captured the entire territory. The football legend, Pelé, went ahead to play and win laurels and praises everywhere around the world.

By Crimson Tazvinzwa

Croatia came, fought and conquered while England trudged in lumber; very far, but not far enough

AIWA! We Press: It is painful for everyone. But it is a fact. Football is about winning and losing. And today England lost because of this simple fact.

gareth

On a night of almost unbearable tension, Mario Mandzukic’s well-taken goal in the second half of extra-time was enough to end all the unlikely English dreams and secure Croatia a World Cup final with France.

What do  we need to do to move forward, further than  where we have reached, where we are  here and beyond? Plan, invest, build and train: academies, coaches , managers and players.  And communities. England should not see themselves as a football team whose destination at competitive levels is always failure. Come on! Football was invented in England after all.

Gareth Southgate, the understated manager, has transformed the nation’s relationship with its football team.

He has managed to unify us where everyone else has failed; and he has gone beyond football at that. He made English football more personable to fans and the media. Commonality and a bit of national pride; one’s identity. england-squad-world-cup-2018full

And when the dust has finally settled Gareth Southgate’s The Three Lions Warriors were beaten by the better team – although there wasn’t much in it for anybody.

But England have exceeded all expectations, entered the semi-finals first time since 1966, restored some of their battered international pride and can return home with heads held high.

 

Crimson Tazvinzwa

‘Behave Yourselves’: Emergency Services Issue Warning To England Fans Ahead Of World Cup Semi-Final Clash

Police chiefs and emergency services are warning England fans to “behave themselves” ahead of tonight’s semi-final match against Croatia.

Following England’s win against Sweden on Saturday, police said there was “significant disorder” with 387 incidents across the country leading to 70 arrests.

engl fans
© Thomson Reuters

Soccer Football – World Cup – England fans watch Sweden vs England – Bristol, Britain – July 7, 2018 England fans celebrate outside Ashton Gate Stadium during the match Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes TPX

The “worrying level of mostly alcohol-related disorder” stretched forces’ resources on Saturday, said Mark Roberts, the head of football policing for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, which represents 44 forces across England and Wales.“Saturday’s match was a great day for England and it’s right to celebrate it,” he said. “The vast majority of fans do that without committing criminal and anti-social behaviour. It’s incredibly disheartening to see over 300 incidents of alcohol fuelled disorder from a minority of mindless individuals.

“This behaviour has real consequences. Numerous roads across the country were blocked, stopping emergency vehicles getting to people in need and an ambulance is now off the road while being repaired.

The Three Lions are just one game away from their first final since 1966, with Croatia standing between them

The Three Lions are just one game away from their first final since 1966, with Croatia standing between them and a showpiece against England’s players and their manager have an opportunity to achieve sporting immortality on Wednesday as they aim to reach the 2018 World Cup final to play France, who beat Belgium on Tuesday.

The names of Sir Alf Ramsey and his players – still the only 11 Englishmen to play in a World Cup final – will be recalled forever and their stories told whenever the nation’s landmark moments in sport are revisited.

This is the level of prize and prestige on offer in Moscow for a team given little hope of progressing past the quarter-finals before the tournament began.

READ:Reality Check: Do England do better in red or white?england-squad-world-cup-2018full

It is England’s most significant World Cup game since the semi-final loss to West Germany on penalties at Italia ’90 – with the prospect of matching that famous occasion from 52 years ago if they win.

And it is even more remarkable when placed in the context of the shambles of Euro 2016, when England were deservedly humbled in the last 16 by underdogs Iceland.

When Gareth Southgate took charge of England amid the chaos and confusion of Roy Hodgson’s resignation after the embarrassment in France and Sam Allardyce’s one-game reign, the notion of him potentially putting his name alongside the great Ramsey would have been regarded as plucked from the realms of fantasy.

Ramsey, reserved but tactically brilliant, took the job after winning the title at Ipswich Town. Southgate’s only venture into club management ended in the sack at Middlesbrough.

But he has rebuilt his reputation within the Football Association’s framework with such success he now has the chance to make history.

And there are certain things about Southgate that the legendary Ramsey might just have admired, namely his fierce loyalty to his players – Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli are prime examples – and the loyalty he is given in return.

READ: Prince Harry predicts football is coming home ahead of England VS Croatia

It has all come together brilliantly in a campaign that has gathered momentum as it moved around Russia.