Tottenham target Memphis Depay better than young Cristiano Ronaldo

Memphis Depay has lit up the Eredivisie this season with some blistering displays for table-topping PSV and was heavily linked with a January move to Tottenham as a result.

With every chance that the Netherlands international will leave the Philips Stadion outfit this summer, the North London side are expected to revisit their interest this summer.

Ed van Steijn, the man who scouted Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United, has told Dutch media that Depay is better than the Real Madrid star was at the same age.

“If I compare him to a young Cristiano Ronaldo at the time, then Depay has more strings to his bow. I like him better,” Van Steijn told Algemeen Dagblad.

“Ronaldo did the same things wrong at Manchester United as he did when he was 17.”

Depay has scored 16 Eredivisie goals in 22 outings for PSV this season and is the top goalscorer in the Dutch top flight as a result.

His strikes have fired Phillip Cocu’s men to the top of the domestic standings, with PSV looking set to end a four-year period of dominance by rivals Ajax.

Chelsea ‘appalled’ by FA decision on Matic ban

Chelsea 'appalled' by FA decision on Matic ban

Chelsea say they are “appalled” by the Football Association’s decision not to reduce Nemanja Matic’s three-game ban to the maximum extent permitted after the midfielder was sent off against Burnley on Saturday.

The Serbia international shoved Ashley Barnes to the ground during the 1-1 draw, but was on the receiving end of a horrific tackle from the Burnley striker beforehand – a challenge labelled “criminal” by Blues boss Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea subsequently appealed the decision in a bid to have the red card rescinded, but the FA have only decided to reduce the ban to two games – thus ruling him out of the League Cup final against Tottenham and the Premier League clash with West Ham.

“In reaching this decision the members of the Regulatory Commission rejected the mitigation advanced by Nemanja Matic in respect of the provocation and tackle he received which led to his act of violent conduct,” said Roger Burden, chairman of the FA’s regulatory commission, in a statement.

“The violent response of Mr. Matic to the nature of the tackle cannot be condoned and does not vindicate his subsequent actions. The members of the Commission did, however, accept the mitigation in respect of the level of force used by Mr. Matic and the nature of the contact he made with Mr. Barnes of Burnley FC.

“Having made those considerations we determined that the standard punishment of a three-match suspension would be clearly excessive and, therefore, ordered that the suspension be reduced to two matches.”

However, Chelsea have expressed their frustration at the decision, and claim that Matic has been “unjustly punished” for his reaction to a “career-threatening tackle”, and also maintain that the affair is evidence that referees need to do more to protect players from such challenges.

“The Chelsea Football Club board is extremely disappointed and frustrated that the FA Regulatory Commission has today decided not to reduce Nemanja Matic’s suspension to the maximum extent permitted under FA rules,” read a statement.

“Chelsea FC challenged the standard three-match suspension which automatically followed the red card issued to Matic by referee Martin Atkinson during Saturday’s Premier League match against Burnley.

“There has been universal condemnation of the reckless challenge made by Ashley Barnes on Matic and it is the club’s view that he has been unjustly punished with a two-match ban for his reaction to a career-threatening tackle.

“It is Chelsea’s opinion that referees and the football authorities must do more to protect players at all levels of the game from dangerous challenges. This decision also clearly demonstrates a need for consistency and fairness in the disciplinary process.”

Barcelona asked to identify fans seen chanting about Cristiano Ronaldo

The Spanish government’s anti-violence commission has asked Barcelona to identify the 200 fans seen on video singing songs calling Cristiano Ronaldo “a drunk” during Sunday’s 5-0 La Liga win over Levante at the Camp Nou.

As part of a widespread crackdown on anti-social behaviour by ultra groups,the La Liga authorities asked the government body to punish the offendingBlaugrana supporters, who were referring to Real Madrid attacker Ronaldo having celebrated his 30th birthday on the night his team were humbled 4-0 at Atletico Madrid.

The government body — the State Commission Against Violence, Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance in Sport — confirmed the request had been made to Barcelona in a statement following its weekly meeting in Madrid.

Neymar fluffs it but scores

The moment when Barcelona went 1-0 up against Levante was full of suspense.

Messi centred the ball precisely behind the visitors’ defence for Neymar to shoot at Mariño’s goal, but Neymar mishit the ball and the whole stadium believed it was going over the bar.

And yet… the ball described an amazing parabola and crossed the goal line to the surprise of everyone, Neymar included.

Pedro Rodríguez was following the play close behind but he avoided touching the ball so as not to be offside.

 

Barca president says Real Madrid behind Neymar tax case

Hours after being named a suspect in a tax fraud case regarding the signing of Neymar, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu said the club was the victim of an “attack” involving fierce rival Real Madrid and the Spanish state.

Bartomeu said late Tuesday in an interview on Catalan television that “all this comes from someone who did not want (Neymar) to come to Barca.”

“All we have done is bring a player like Neymar (to the club). Barca, its executives, its employees nor its directors have done anything wrong,” Bartomeu said. “Neymar’s father said that he had a better offer from Madrid, and that did not go down too well.”

Bartomeu added that the probe, which started by National Court judge Pablo Ruz investigating whether former president Sandro Rosell misappropriated funds to hide the transfer cost paid for Neymar, was also motivated by Barcelona’s links with the regional independence movement in Catalonia.

“I don’t have any evidence but there are facts,” he said. “Last year we allowed the stadium to be used for the ‘Freedom Concert,’ and we played a game wearing the Catalan national flag kit. (A) Catalan independence march passed through Camp Nou (Stadium) and so perhaps that was not to everyone’s taste. … I am convinced that there are certain powers of state that are not happy that Neymar came to Barca.”

Real Madrid said it had no comment when telephoned by The Associated Press.

The Spanish league president said he didn’t believe Madrid had any part in the court investigation, but he also said he had his doubts about the legal standing of Ruz’s decision to name Bartomeu a suspect.

“(Ruz’s) writ contains juridical errors,” Javier Tebas said. “But I don’t see Real Madrid’s hand behind this.”

On Tuesday, Ruz said he would investigate whether Bartomeu, as club president, defrauded Spain’s Tax Office of 2.8 million euros ($3.2 million) in 2014. Prosecutor Jose Perals said Barcelona’s unpaid taxes — including the amount attributed to Bartomeu’s oversight — amounted to more than 12 million euros.

Bartomeu insisted the transfer cost paid by Barcelona to secure Neymar’s move from Brazilian club Santos in 2013 was 57 million euros.

“We said the signing cost 57 million (euros) and we stand by that figure,” Bartomeu said. “There are some contracts that Barca interprets one way, and the national court another, that is where the difference lies.”

Bartomeu is summoned to appear before Ruz in a Madrid court on Feb. 13.

This is the latest blow to Bartomeu since he took over when Rosell resigned in January 2014 after being named a suspect in the Neymar investigation.

Last month, Bartomeu was forced to call for early elections to be held this summer— the date is still not set — following the club’s failure to overturn FIFA’s one-year transfer ban for violating rules on signing youth players. That led to Bartomeu firing sports director Andoni Zubizarreta and announcing he would cut his mandate short by one year to hold elections he hoped would stabilize the club until the end of the season.

Bartomeu reiterated on Tuesday his intention to run for another term.

Neymar, who turns 23 on Thursday, is having an excellent second season with Barcelona. He is the team’s second-leading scorer behind Lionel Messi, with 22 in 26 appearances.

How To Unlock Every New Celebration in FIFA Game

There are a grand total of 40 celebrations in FIFA 15 which is quite low when you think about all the different routines that have been utilised in the modern era of the game.

EA Sports has kept the numbers so low on purpose, or so it seems. They want to get you spending you hard earned FIFA coins on stuff that arguably should be in the game already.

Over in England, Samuel Eto’o’s infamous old man celebration was shown in the game’s adverts, goading both fans of Chelsea and Everton, and maybe those of Barcelona and Inter Milan too, into buying a copy of the game just to see it.

To their shock and horror, no doubt, the old man is nowhere to be seen in the untouched version of the game. This celebration is one of 18 preliminary unlockable pieces of choreography in the game.

The celebrations are really easy to unlock, maybe too easy that just putting them in the game to start with might have been the best option. All you need to do is play FIFA15 in any mode, whether that be exhibition, career or Ultimate Team and accumulate coins. Simple as that.

Then, as you work your way up through the levels, more and more of these special serenades will become available, you just need to spend some FIFA coinage in the EAS FC Catalogue to make them usable.

Here are the 18 unlockable celebrations in FIFA 15.

18. Muevelo

EA Sports

What this is all about is anyone’s guess. Your scorer takes up a gorilla like stance and moves from side to side. You need to see it for yourselves, it’s just too weird to describe.

You only need to pass level one to be able to buy it. Once it’s in your arsenal (no pun intended) hold L1 then flick R3 right then left. For Xbox hold LB and move RS right then left.

 

17. Right Here Right Now

EA Sports

The Cristiano Ronaldo, as it’s widely known.

We’ve all seen it a million times since CR7 joined the Galaticos, he runs to the corner, jumps, spins with his arms clenched at his side.

Remarkably, you only need to pass level three to enable this unlockable. Once you’ve bought it, hold R1 and press circle, or RB and B.

 

16. Hand Bite

EA Sports
Vintage Fabio Borini.

The Liverpool man has used this celebration throughout his career and his performances for Sunderland last season convinced EA to include it in this year’s title.

To buy this celebration you only need to pass level six. To use it, hold L2 and flick R3 down then up. Use the same respective buttons for Xbox.

 

15. The Prancing Bird

EA Sports

The bird walk is one of the most loved celebrations on the FIFA series today. However, you can take it to a whole new level and perform the bird walk on steroids.

You need to pass level 11, buy it, hold R1 a hit square. Or RB and X for Xbox.

 

14. The Old Man

EA Sports

Jose Mourinho claimed that the then 32-year old Eto’o was 35. The Cameroonian decided to mock The Special One for this mistake with his celebration after a goal against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

To be eligible to unlock The Old Man, need to have passed level 12. To use it, simply hold L2 and press R3, or LT and RS on Xbox.

 

13. Muscle Flex

EA Sports

The celebration Mario Balotelli made famous during the Euro 2012 semi-final against Germany. Many different memes were made in it’s honour and now it has made it to FIFA’s games,.

You need to pass level 16, buy it, then hold R1 and flick R3 up and down to use it. For Xbox it’s the same story, hold RB and flick RS up and down.

 

12. Dance #1

EA Sports

A very similar story to that of the Muevelo, you really need to see it to understand what’s going on.

Once you’ve passed level 22 and bought it from the EAS FC Catalogue, hold R1 and flick R3 down twice. Same goes for the Xbox.

11. Stand Up Tall

EA Sports

It’s a sight Manchester City fans won’t be too fond of given the fact Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney used this pose after scoring THAT overhead kick back in 2011.

Once you’ve passed level 26 and bought it, hold RB down and hold RS to the left. Same buttons apply for PlayStation users.

10. Kiss The Wrist

EA Sports

This is a sight that will upset Liverpool fans. Luis Suarez kisses a couple of tattoos he has on his wrist every time he scores.

After level 27 has been passed and the celebration has been bought, hold L2 and double tap circle. Or if you’re on Xbox, hold LT and double tap B.

 

9. Flag Kick

EA Sports

A celebration for the passive aggressive gamer out there. Run to the corner and flatten the corner flag with a scissor kick of sorts.

After level 28 has been negotiated, hold L1 and double tap square.

8. Calm Down

EA Sports

One for all the scousers out there. Shhh you opponent’s fans by telling them to calm and/or sit down.

This celebration is available after level 31 has been passed. Once bought, hold LB and double tap Y. Same applies for PS users.

 

7. The Worm

EA Sports

The move former WWE superstar Scotty 2 Hotty made famous world wide in the early naughties.

You need to pass level 37 to be able to unlock this gem. Once you have, hold R1 and swizzle R3 round clockwise. Same controls apply for Xbox users.

 

6. One Arm Push Ups

EA Sports

Tire your scorer out even more by making him do one armed push ups, albeit not very convincing ones.

You need to pass level 41 for this to become available to buy from the catalogue, once you have, hold R1 and flick R2 right then left. Or RB and RS right then left.

 

5. The Bear

EA Sports

Scare your opponents into defeat with the bear, made famous, sort of, by Mr Ronaldo.

Once you’ve passed level 47, simply hold both LB down and RS up. Same combination applies for PlayStation users.

 

4. The Chicken Dance

EA Sports

A more complex version than the version West Ham United’s Kevin Nolan made famous, but entertaining all the same.

Simply hold L1 and flick R3 up and then down. Same routine goes for Xbox users.

 

3. The Gallop Dance

EA Sports

Oppa Gangnam Style!

Once you’ve passed level 54 and bought this celebration, which Lord Bendtner pulls off so very well, simply hold LB and press RS in. Or L1 and R3 for PS4 users.

 

2. Patty Cake

EA Sports

Patty cake, patty cake, bakers man… Make the superstars of the football world look like little school girls.

Once level 59 has been negotiated, simply hold L1 and flick R3 to the right twice. The same configuration goes for Xbox.

 

1. Riding The Cat

EA Sports

EA Sports has called this celebration riding the cat, but it is more reminiscent of a cat that has an itchy anus that need scratching. If you have a cat, or a dog for that matter, you’ll know what this is about.

Once you’ve passed level 77 this celebration becomes available. Once purchased, hold L1 and R3 down. For xbox, this means holding Lb and RS down.