HOW Chelsea’s Premier League winners’ medals will be distributed, Dirk Kuyt’s incredible YNWA rendition with 130,000 fans, and Bastian Schweintegier sheds more light on his time under Jose Mourinho.
It’s all in Paper Talk!
EVERY CHELSEA PLAYER COULD GET A MEDAL
Even though Asmir Begovic has played less than five Premier League games, Chelsea confirmed the reserve goalkeeper will receive a winners’ medal, according to Sky.
At first it was thought Begovic, who’s played two matches this season, and youngsters Nathan Ake, Kenedy and Ola Aina would miss out on medals due to a lack of appearances for the 2016-17 top-flight champions.
However, the Blues are set to receive 40 medals, with the leftovers to be distributed to coaches and squad members as the club sees fit.
Only players who played five or more games are allowed to be involved in the official trophy ceremony that will take place at Stamford Bridge next Monday morning AEST after the final matchday clash with Sunderland.
KUYT SINGS YNWA TO 130,000 FANS
Feyenoord’s hero and captain Dirk Kuyt hasn’t forgotten his Liverpool roots.
After a hat-trick on the final matchday to hand his side the title, the ex-Red belted out ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in front of 130,000 fans.
LAVEZZI DENIES RACISM AS ‘WACKY’ POSE CAUSES STORM
Argentina international Ezequiel Lavezzi has issued an apology through his Chinese club after publicity photos showing him in a slant-eyed pose caused outrage on social media.
Lavezzi, who joined Chinese Super League (CSL) side Hebei China Fortune last year from Paris Saint-Germain, landed in hot water over the weekend as photos emerged with the 32-year-old smiling and pulling the corners of his eyes back.
“The club has discussed this matter with Lavezzi, who said he meant no racial offence and apologised deeply for any harmful impression that it created,” the club said in a statement on Sunday.
The club did not announce any punishment for Lavezzi.
MONTGOMERY TAKES EXPERIENCE TO THE NPL
Days after confirming his retirement from professional football, former Central Coast Mariners skipper Nick Montgomery made his debut for Wollongong Wolves in a 2-0 NSW National Premier League win over Rockdale City Suns.
The midfielder will take up a coaching role with the Mariners, but will also play the final rounds of the 2017 NPL season with the Wolves.
Montgomery said he’s already been impressed with the players and will savour “mentoring young players”.
“I just needed to get in there and provide a bit of leadership and talking to the boys on the field, and I felt I did that well yesterday,” he told Goal.com.
“The boys performed really well and worked hard for each other, and we got a 2-0 win, which was more than deserved.”
BASTI HINTS JOSE WASN’T SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS EXIT
Bastian Schweinsteiger was brought to Manchester United by Louis van Gaal, but was never in favour under Jose Mourinho.
It led to him being froze out of the first-team squad, training alone for three months, and then leaving for MLS club Chicago Fire.
Mourinho revealed he regretted how the German World Cup-winner was treated before his departure, but Schweinteiger has hinted it was not solely the Portuguese’s fault.
Schweinsteiger told ESPN FC: “I had a talk with him and he had an opinion – maybe it was not made by himself.”
“I think after I trained and I played, and he could see how I behaved as a professional, he had a different opinion.
“It was a little bit unfortunate I think. If we had met in a different situation…
“In my eyes it was not the right decision, but in life sometimes you have this kind of situation where you’re sometimes not correct and not right in your way, but you have to accept it, and I accepted it.
“I said ‘OK I accept it, but I still want to stay here and want to train. I want to show I am a player you can trust.’
NEVILLE: JOSE ‘REDEFINED’ FERGIE
When Mourinho won the 2004-05 Premier League in his first season in charge at Chelsea, Manchester United defender Gary Neville feared the Red Devils might not win a title again.
The arrival of the Portuguese manager at the Blues, who recorded a record 95 points and 15 goals conceded in the campaign, also had a massive impact on legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
“Arsenal had won the league the year before Jose’s first title,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“I think that was the only point in my United career when I had a feeling we might not win the title again.”
“It was a more of a Jose thing really.
“When a new manager would come in, Sir Alex Ferguson would try to dominate them. He dominated them in interviews, he tried to dominate them on the touchline.
“He adopted a different approach with Jose. I think he felt this was a guy who could stand up to him.
“He redefined how Sir Alex and maybe us as a team thought of a title in the sense that we always started pretty slowly, knowing full well even if we were 7-8 points behind come Christmas, we could always catch up.
“We’d get stronger as the season went on.
“But in those two Jose Mourinho years they went hard from the start and they never came back.
“It just meant that everyone had to refocus how you thought about a title – losing hardly any games, conceding very few goals, difficult to beat.
“It was certainly a time when United were in transition and it was a doubtful time for United. Certainly the most doubtful time that I had at the club in the sense of ‘would you win the title again’?
“When Jose left, it was a big sigh of relief I think. Sir Alex will have thought ‘I’ve seen him off, I needed him out of there’, because he was a massive strength for them.”
WHAT AN OUTFIT
Lyon’s Memphis Depay won goal of the year at the French Football awards for his incredible strike near the halfway line.
However, the former Red Devils’ outfit was arguably more outrageous; a Michael Jackson-style jacket.
Fellow Dutchman Frank de Boer has warned the 23-year-old about performing on the field before stepping into the limelight off of it.
In this case, his goal stood out as much as his outfit.
PSG striker Edinson Cavani was voted the Players’ Player of the Year while Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe won the under-21’s title.
Monaco midfielder Bernardo Silva and Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette came in second and third behind the Uruguayan.
Here’s the moment PSG defender Marquinhos broke down in tears after being told by his wife that they’re having a baby.
Manchester City’s 2014 Premier League-winner Martin Demichelis has announced his retirement from football at age 36.
He said: “I want to be honest, I lost the strength in my legs and my concentration. But I want to give thanks to football.”
While he had a cult following at the Etihad, his announcement prompted social media reaction that Marcus Rashford had ‘ended’ his career with his goal in the Manchester Derby last season.
– Additional reporting with AFP.