PSG star Neymar anxious to face Real Madrid in Champions League tie

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With the highly-anticipated Champions League round of 16 clash between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain being just days away (February 14), the excitement is building.

Indeed, PSG forward Neymar has stated that he can’t wait to face Zinedine Zidane‘s men and is growing impatient at the prospect.

The first leg takes place at the Bernabeu with the Whites bidding to take a huge step in defending their two back-to-back crowns and the Parisians still chasing their first title.

“I’m anxious to play against Real Madrid, I want that day to come,” Neymar said following PSG’s 3-0 victory over Lille this weekend.

The Brazilian scored a free-kick during that game and will look to carry his form into the Champions League and keep PSG’s hopes flying high.

Apparently, the 25-year old was also rumoured for a move away from from Parc des Princes to Real Madrid, soon after his record transfer. from Barcelona.

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Olivier Giroud relishing Champions League challenge at Chelsea

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Olivier Giroud pinpointed a return to Champions League football as a key factor in his decision to join Chelsea from Arsenal on the final day of the January transfer window.

Giroud was a helpless spectator as Chelsea crashed to a 3-0 defeat to Bournemouth on Wednesday to harm their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

However, they remain eight points better off than Arsenal in the battle to finish in the top four, and also host Barcelona in the first leg of a blockbuster Champions League last 16 tie on February 20.

“The Champions League is massive for a football player. There is nothing above it when you’re playing for a club,” said the French international, who made six of his 10 starts for Arsenal this season in the Europa League.

“There will be two nice games against Barcelona. We know their qualities and I think everybody will need to be 100 per cent to go through.”

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s arrival at Arsenal paved the way for Giroud to leave after five-and-a-half years at the Emirates as he sought more minutes on the field to further his case for inclusion in France’s World Cup squad.

And his physical presence is just what Chelsea manager Antonio Conte sought during a frustrating January for the Italian with first-choice striker Alvaro Morata sidelined by a back injury.

“The most important thing was talking with the coach. I felt like he really wanted me and he really wanted to work with me,” Giroud added.

“I wanted to sign for Chelsea and nowhere else. I really wanted to play more. I wanted to stay in the Premier League, and Chelsea for me is perfect because I can even stay in London.

“But the first reason is the sporting challenge. That has always been my first priority. Everything is here for me to be happy.”

Provided by AFP Sport

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Man United to charge Sevilla fans £89 at Old Trafford in the Champions League

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Manchester United will charge Sevilla supporters £89 each to see their team at Old Trafford after the Spanish club refused to change their own prices for away fans.

Jose Mourinho‘s men face Sevilla in the last 16 of the Champions League and those who travel to the first leg at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on February 21 will have to pay £89 as a visiting fan, £35 more than Liverpool supporters were charged at the same venue in December.

United attempted to get Sevilla to lower the cost but, having failed to persuade them to do so, the club have said they will respond by hiking up the prices to the same amount for away supporters at Old Trafford in March’s second leg.

That additional revenue will be used to subsidise United fans £35 each for their ticket in Seville, in keeping with the £54 Liverpool fans paid, with any extra money donated to the Manchester United Foundation.

In an email, seen by Press Association Sport, that was sent to supporters that have tickets for the game in Sevilla, United’s head of ticketing and membership Sam Kelleher wrote: “In this instance we believe that our travelling supporters are unfairly being subjected to increased/excessive ticket prices from the host club.

“This view is shared generally amongst travelling supporters, and we have received lots of requests from individuals and supporter groups to intervene in this matter.

Old Trafford

“This has been raised with Sevilla, and internally, but ultimately Sevilla have not agreed to significantly lower the price of tickets for our fans to what we view as a reasonable level. Therefore we have taken the difficult decision to charge Sevilla fans for the return leg at Old Trafford the same amount as our fans have been charged for the away fixture.

“We have decided to increase the ticket prices for Sevilla fans for the game at Old Trafford, and use this increase to subsidise our fans, as we want this to act as a deterrent to future opponents who look to increase ticket prices for our travelling supporters.

“We will subsidise our travelling support by refunding the difference between the price charged (£89) and the price that was paid by Liverpool supporters in the group stage of this year’s competition (£54). The £35 difference will be refunded prior to the game taking place.

“As a result of the changes to ticket prices for away fans, should we gain any additional revenue after having refunded our supporters, we will donate this to the Manchester United Foundation.”

The Manchester United Supporters Trust (M.U.S.T) praised the club.

“We have been working with the club since we became aware of the ridiculous £89 Sevilla (away) ticket price,” they said in a statement on Twitter.

“Our primary objective was to ensure our fans didn’t end up paying this much. We are delighted United have fought our corner on this issue and are now working with the club to engage with UEFA to look at non-member fees and the lack of concession tickets which have often been used to hike up prices for our away fans.”

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