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Martinez injured, to miss Spain friendlies 

Javi Martinez has been ruled out for an undisclosed time, after suffering a muscle injury. This means, he will not feature in Spain’s friendly against Italy this weekend.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation shared the news via a statement, which read that Martinez will be spending some time in the sidelines.

Though the statement did not reveal when the 28-year old picked the injury, it is suspected that it must have been during training because he played all 90 minutes of Bayern Munich’s draw against Cologne on Saturday.

“The medical staff of the German club informed the RFEF of the discomfort the player suffers currently,” an RFEF statement read. “Ahead of the training camp, medical tests were carried out where it was confirmed the player has a torn adductor on the left hamstring, whereby it has been decided it is best for him to miss the upcoming games.”



Valencia: Pradelli aims for Champions League return

Newly appointed Valencia coach Cesare Pradelli has revealed that he aims to return Valencia back to their glory days, when they competed in the Champions League, as a result of an impressive La Liga finish.

This seems like a tall order because Valencia is currently at the bottom of the La Liga table after 8 games, though the he admitted it was a long term project and cautioned fans not to expect immediate results.

Pradelli who was appointed after the club sacked Pako Ayesteran, is full of hope as he shared his plans for the team.

“I think Valencia have an interesting football project,” he said. “I’m optimistic. There are interesting players and my intention is trace a balance in the game.

“The intention is a return to the Champions League, being a long-term project. Maybe in six months or one or two years. I want to play a collective game. Have the ball but always is not possible. We want a compact team with a football idea. We have to be precise on that.”

The former Galatsary coach revealed that he is determined to give the players within his current squad a chance to turn things around for Valencia and currently says he has no desire to sign new players.

“At the moment I do not think of the winter,” he added, having signed a contract that runs until June 2018. “I think there is the right to give value to this squad. It is a misconception in the market, to assess this squad [now]. With Peter Lim, I had a very interesting meeting. It is a project long-term.”



Balotelli unbothered with Italy snub

Mario Balotelli has admitted that he accepts the decision of being left out of Italy latest squad, despite being in great form.

The former Liverpool striker has been left out of Italy’s squad since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He went through a difficult spell at AC Milan and Liverpool, scoring just four times across all competitions since then.

He left Liverpool for Nice on the close of the transfer window and his recent form has shown that it was the right decision. He has made 3 starts and scored 5 goals so far.

Though with his recent upgrade in form, fans expected him to be called back to the National team, Balotelli says he is fine with the decision as he targets a return in the near future.

“I’ve missed it for some time, but it’s been deserved,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “I hope to return in blue very soon, but only at my best. To me, it’s better to have skipped this match. I want to be at my best for the upcoming games.”

Speaking on his move to France and why he made the move, here is what he had to say:

“The city where I am now is beautiful,” said the former Inter striker. “The environmental aspect played a role in my decision, having recently lived in Liverpool and Milan. The team, however, are very young. We’re almost all the same age, this is the football that I like. I have no more dreams in football, only targets. The ranking of the teams where I have felt good? Nice, Manchester City and… that’s it.”


Written by Doyinsola Olaniyan

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