Zidane is perfect for Madrid says Nadal

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14-time Grand Slam winner Nadal is a lifelong Los Blancos fan.

Tennis legend and Madrid fanatic Rafael Nadal believes Zinedine Zidane is perfect for a club of the size and stature of Real Madrid.

Zidane was named new manager of Madrid on Monday following the dismissal of Rafael Benitez just 25 games into the La Liga season. 

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One of the major criticisms against Benitez was that he upset senior members in the Los Blancos squad including Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos. 

Nadal, however, believes the profile and aura of Zidane will help bring the squad together, describing the Frenchman as a “humble” person.

Speaking at the Qatar Open in Doha, Nadal said: “Zidane is history of the sport, history of football, and he’s part of the history of Real Madrid. 

“I know him. He’s a good person and humble person, and I think he deserve to be where he is today.

“It’s obvious that he’s good for the players. It’s good that, as one of the most important clubs of the world, Real Madrid have somebody like him on the bench managing the club, and I am happy for him. 

“I wish him the best of luck.”

Nadal also voiced regret for Benitez, who released a statement on Tuesday night expressing his gratitude for having the opportunity to manage Real Madrid.

He added: “I’m sorry for Benitez, that he was not having the success that he expected, probably. And it’s tough to start a new project and after a few months goes out, so I feel very sorry for him. 

“But if the feeling is needs a change, I think Zidane is the perfect position today.”

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Pep Guardiola reveals desire to manage in Premier League

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Guardiola will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

Pep Guardiola has revealed the desire to manage in the Premier League is behind his decision to walk away from Bayern Munich.

Last month the Spaniard confirmed he would be standing down as head coach at the end of the campaign after three successful years at the helm.

– Premier League: January transfer window watch

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– Ligue 1: January transfer window watch
– La Liga: January transfer window watch

It inevitably led to heighten speculation about the former Barcelona boss moving to England, with Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United all strongly linked.

Such talk will only increase after the Bayern manager confirmed his desire to move to the Premier League after leaving Germany.

“The only reason I am not renewing my contract is that I am looking for a new challenge,” the 44-year-old told a press conference, as reported by Bayern’s Twitter feed.

“I have several offers from England but I haven’t signed anything yet.

“If I were 60 or 65 I would’ve stayed, but I think I am too young. I need a new challenge.

“It was a dream, it is a dream. I am very grateful to Bayern for this huge opportunity.”

Guardiola took over from Jupp Heynckes in the summer of 2013 on a three-year contract and has won back-to-back Bundesliga crowns, as well as the DFB-Pokal, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.
That haul is almost certainly going to be added to this season, complementing an impressive trophy haul that includes, amongst others, two Champions League and three Primera Division titles from his time as Barcelona boss.

It is no wonder there is so much interest from Premier League clubs in Guardiola, with Manchester City the bookmakers’ favourites.

The Spaniard previously worked with City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Beguiristain during his time at Barca.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is said to be a great admirer of Guardiola and is on the look-out for a permanent successor to Jose Mourinho, with Guus Hiddink in interim charge at Stamford Bridge until the end of the season.

As for United, Louis van Gaal’s immediate future seems secure but Manchester United could possibly be tempted to replace one former Bayern Munich boss with another.

City’s current manager Manuel Pellegrini has had to deal with recurring speculation linking Guardiola with his position throughout his tenure at the club.

The latest developments will have come as no surprise to him but he was unwilling to comment when asked at his latest press conference.

Pellegrini said: “I don’t have a reaction about that or feelings on other managers. It is a question I answered two weeks ago when I said no more about that.”

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Suspended FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke faces nine-year ban

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Suspended FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke is facing a nine-year ban from the game.

Suspended FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke is facing a nine-year ban after an ethics investigation into several alleged offences including being connected to black market sales of World Cup tickets.

FIFA's investigatory chamber has finished its probe into Frenchman's activities and has recommended a nine-year ban and a 100,000 Swiss franc fine on charges including conflicts of interest and offering and accepting gifts and other benefits.

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– La Liga: January transfer window watch

Valcke was suspended in September after allegations were made claiming he planned to benefit from black market World Cup ticket sales. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Last month, FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini were both banned for eight years by the ethics committee.

Dr Cornel Borbely, chairman of FIFA's ethics committee investigatory chamber, has handed over his report on Valcke and recommendations to the adjudicatory chamber chaired by German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert.

Valcke's 90-day suspension from all football-related activities ends at midnight on Tuesday but a 45-day extension has been requested by Borbely.

A statement from FIFA's ethics committee said: "The chairman of the investigatory chamber recommended imposing a sanction of a nine-year ban and a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs on Mr Valcke for alleged violation of the general rules of conduct, loyalty, confidentiality, duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting, conflicts of interest, offering and accepting gifts and other benefits, and general obligation to collaborate.

"Until a formal decision is taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, Mr Valcke is presumed innocent."

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