English Premier League Arsenal have got one foot in the draw for the Champions League group stage after a comfortable 2-0 victory at Celtic in the first leg of the ‘battle of Britain’ qualifier.
Arsenal will face Celtic in a mouthwatering all-British tie later this month to decide who reaches the Champions League group stage. Scottish side Celtic went into the final qualifying round with a superb 2-0 away win over Dinamo Moscow earlier this week, overturning a 1-0 deficit from the first leg. Arsenal, who reached the semifinals of the Champions League last season where they lost to Manchester United, will be favorites to go through, but according to their former striker Charlie Nicholas, who also played for the Celtic, they will not be relishing the task
Whether it be his sublime skills or serious sulks, in six years at Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo has been no stranger to the headlines. Born February 5 in Funchal on the Portuguese island of Madeira, he made his debut for Sporting Lisbon in the Portuguese Super Liga at the age of 17 after winning international caps for Portugal’s youth sides
Dutchman Frank Rijkaard has been appointed as the new coach of Turkish giants Galatasaray on a two-year contract. The 46-year-old, who has previously coached the Dutch national side, Sparta Rotterdam and Barcelona, replaces Bulent Korkmaz — who resigned earlier this week. The Istanbul-based side finished a disappointing fifth in the top flight Super Lig, a clear 10 points behind champions Besiktas.
Former World Player of the Year Luis Figo has announced that he will retire from football at the end of this season. The 36-year-old is hoping to go out on a high note after Inter Milan’s match match of the Italian season at home to Atalanta on Sunday. Jose Mourinho’s side have already wrapped up the Serie A title — the fourth that former Portugal captain Figo has won with the club since joining from Real Madrid in 2005
Cristiano Ronaldo has warned holders Manchester United that Champions League quarterfinal opponents Porto will be no pushovers, ahead of Tuesday’s first leg clash at Old Trafford. “Porto are a very good team,” said Portugal’s World Player of the Year. “They are top of the league back home, ahead of Sporting Lisbon and Benfica and we know how strong they can be.” But Ronaldo, who scored twice in the dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa that sent United back to the top of the Premier League, is confident enough to predict that United will reach the last four “The good thing is we have two games against them and I feel that will be enough to get us through,” he said.
European champions Manchester United will play Porto in the quarterfinals of this season’s Champions League, while Liverpool and Chelsea were drawn to face each other in the knockout stages for the fourth time in five seasons. English sides dominated the eight-team draw in Nyon, Switzerland, with Arsenal making up a quartet of Premier League clubs chasing European football’s top prize.