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Cruzeiro are the champions of the Brazilian Cup!

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The Brazilian Cup Final took place in Sao Paulo last night. The match between Corinthians and Cruzeiro were highly expected, mainly for the home side, Corinthians, who were said to be the underdogs plus lost the first leg away by 1-0 and the whole squad and its supporters were confident on a comeback.

On the other side, we had Cruzeiro. The Blues from Minas Gerais were defending their title as they won the same cup last year, against Flamengo on the Penalty shootouts. Cruzeiro were certainly the favorites to even win the second leg away.

However, Corinthians were brave. They started the game at an incredible pace and they could threat Goalkeeper Fabio in some occasions. Everything indicated that the game would be solved on the single details.

And the away side could take advantage of it. At the 28th, Robinho – not THAT Robinho, just a random one – got the ball from outside the box and fired home straight to the bottom corner. 1-0 Cruzeiro.

The Lula Arena got silenced with the away side opener. The home side needed to respond on the pitch. At the 36th, Jadson’s excellent cross found defender Henrique, alone inside of the area. But his header went wide.

After the break, Corinthians managed to quickly equalize the game as at the 51st, midfielder Ralf got fouled in the area. After 4 long minutes reviewing it through the VAR, the referee confirmed the Penalty which was converted by Jadson, who fired home into the left bottom corner, sending Fabio to the wrong side. 1-1.

The Lulao was on fire again and Corinthians had a chance. If they scored another one, they would go to the Penalty shootouts.

At the 69th, Pedrinho got the rebound and attempted from distance. He was lucky enough that his effort deflected off and ended up looping over Fabio. What a goal from Corinthians youth.

However… 2 minutes later, the goal was canceled due to a foul before Pedrinho’s shot. All even again.

Corinthians were full attack as Cruzeiro held on as they could. On a counter-attack, they killed the game though. Striker Raniel drove forward and passed it to Puskas nominee Giorgian Arrascaeta. The Uruguayan got into the area and cleverly slotted home, over goalkeeper Cassio. 2-1 Cruzeiro.

The referee gave 7 minutes of additional time and Corinthians had chances to at least equalize, but it wasn’t enough to deny Cruzeiro.

Congratulations, Cruzeiro! It was their 6th Brazilian Cup in History and their 2nd one in a row.

Deportes

Liverpool initiate pre-season with a 6-0 win over Tranmere Rovers

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The European Champions are back in action! On this Thursday, Liverpool with mostly their reserves, made their first preseason friendly, ending up thrashing Tranmere Rovers 6-0.

The highlight of the match was young striker Rhian Brewster who showed up his “classic number nine” skills and scored twice in the small Prenton Park stadium in Merseyside. Nathaniel Clyne opened the scoring in the six minutes and Brewster scored at 38 and 45. With 11 changes in the second half, Liverpool scored three more through Curtis Jones, Divock Origi, and Bobby Duncan.

As expected, coach Jurgen Klopp used all 23 players at his disposal, among recently promoted youngsters and some reserves, as goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, midfielder Adam Lallana, striker Divock Origi and midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who returned to the fields at the end of last season after a year recovering from a serious knee injury.

Among the holders of the last season, the Brazilian midfielder Fabinho and defender Joel Matip, who were called only in the second half, and midfielder James Milner, who played in the opening stages, were already in the first friendly.

At the end of the match, a good part of the supporters invaded the pitch to take pictures with the players. The most requested one was the UEFA Champions League hero, Divock Origi, who recently agreed his contract extension with the Reds. I’m excited to see Rhian Brewster in action for the main team. I also think that Jurgen Klopp needs to give some chances to Ryan Kent, and Harry Wilson to be at least backup pieces to this squad. It’s hard to say only based on a 6-0 win over Tranmere Rovers, but it’s undeniable that the Reds keep on fire. Will Liverpool and Klopp repeat last season, and maybe finally conquer the so dreamed Premier League this season? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!

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The Retirement of a Giant!

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Everything comes to an end… And on this Friday morning, notorious English striker Peter Crouch announced his retirement from football. At the age of 38, the 2.01m giant used his official Twitter account to inform fans of his decision.

The former Liverpool player said he got it all thanks to football and still made a point of thanking everyone who helped him out during his career in the sport.

“After much consideration this summer, I decided to retire from football. Our wonderful game gave me everything. I am very grateful to everyone who helped me to get there and to keep me for so long.” He wrote.

Crouch was revealed by Tottenham back in 1998 and had also played for clubs like QPR, Aston Villa, Norwich, Stoke City, and Burnley. However, a two-meter giant needed a club with his proportions… And he found everything he was looking for at Liverpool, as he played important roles, scored decisive goals, and even disputed a UEFA Champions League. Also, it was playing for the Reds that Crouch was called to defend England National Team back in the World Cups of 2006, and 2010.

“If you told me, when I was 17, that I would play in World Cups, reach a Champions League final, win the FA Cup and get 100 goals in the English Championship, I would not believe. It was absolutely a dream come true.” Added the player.

In his last season, Peter Crouch began playing in the second division, with the shirt of Stoke City. He then went to Burnley, where he played six games in the English Premier League and did not score goals. He’s a very nice guy, and almost everyone likes him. He’s always making fun of himself due to his big size, and even compare him to a giraffe. I’m pretty sure Liverpool fans will always remember him.

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Griezmann signs for Barcelona!

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Finally, the Griezmann conundrum is solved! After over a year of rumors and speculations, Barcelona announced today the signing of French striker Antoine Griezmann. The confirmation of the transfer occurred with the payment of the fine of 120 million euros to Atletico Madrid, held at the headquarters of the Spanish League.

In a statement, the Catalan team reported that Griezmann signed for five years, until June 30, 2024. Also, the Catalans have set a buyout clause in Griezmann’s contract of about 800 million euros.

Griezmann had the opportunity of joining the Catalans a year ago, but he opted for staying at Atleti. However, something made him change his mind up, as he joins Ernesto Valverde’s side. Griezmann will “steal” Philippe Coutinho’s number 7, as the Brazilian midfielder is currently numberless, and dignity-less as well at the Catalan club.

If Barcelona and Griezmann are happy, apparently the other side, Atletico, is not. The club from Madrid is arguing that Barça should pay 200 million euros instead of 120, as the agreement for the French player was sealed back in March when the fee to sign Griezmann was higher. Atletico is also complaining about the “Barça-way” of approaching their targets, as they seem to forget about etic values and fair play to the other clubs.

But let’s be honest… 120 million euros for Antoine Griezmann is such a joke. He’s a very good player, maybe he’s been world-class at his prime, but he is a merely good player nowadays. Not to mention average season last season with Atleti.

In my opinion, the Griezman arrival in Barcelona is one more problem for Ernesto Valverde to solve. He’s got into such a situation where he needs to figure out how to play Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Arthur, and maybe Neymar together at the same time. What a squad Barça is building up by the way. They’ve got everything to become the new “Galacticos” maybe? Yeah, who knows… Only time will say!

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