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Chelsea star is the best player in the world – Juventus Legend

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Former Parma and Juventus defender Lilian Thuram believes white players should do more to tackle racism in football and claims Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is the best player in the world.

Thuram, 49, is one of the best defenders in the history of the game. A 1998 France World Cup winner, he played for Parma and Juventus in Serie A, before joining Barcelona in 2006.

At the end of his playing career, he became an activist taking public positions on several issues related to racism and equality.

“I am very lucky. I made a good life as a player, today I like to go and discuss to make people understand that everyone can contribute to a more just society,” the former defender told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

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“Since I was nine years old, I was trying to understand myself. When I retired, I started to travel with my foundation to defend justice. Who has a role in sport must also discuss other things to have an impact.

“White players have an important role in this, they should make their voice heard,” he continued. “A non-white person must go beyond himself to get to the top. Football is politic, economy and capitalism, I love to watch football and great players, but I don’t support any team.”

Who was the best player when he was a footballer?

“Ronaldo.”

And who is the best now?

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“Romelu Lukaku is incredible, then [Kylian] Mbappé and Marquinhos.”

Any Italian player he likes?

“If I think about Juventus, I say Federico Chiesa, but also Moise Kean. I like Nicolò Barella and that young Roma player, [Nicolò] Zaniolo, great player.

“I have two young sons who are footballers, Marcus was born in 1997 and plays for Borussia Monchengladbach. Khephren is a midfielder, born in 2001, he plays for OGC Nice.”

Marcus was linked with a move to Inter in the summer.

“He speaks Italian, a footballer always wants to play in the best clubs and in Italy, there are some of the biggest. However, my sons will take their own path, I am just their father.”

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Thuram played five seasons at Juventus and the only goal he scored was in a home game against Milan in November 2002. The Bianconeri meet the Rossoneri again tomorrow, with Juve still without wins in Serie A this term.

“The season is still long. Don’t write Juventus off, because they can still win,” Thuram warned.

“Giroud is a great striker, he’s always done well in his career. I like Theo Hernandez and I know him well because he played in the national team with my son. It will be a great game.”

Thuram: “Giroud un grande per lo scudetto ma è ancora lunga. Occhio alla Juve” https://t.co/o4pq9vc13j

— La Gazzetta dello Sport (@Gazzetta_it) September 18, 2021

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Three Man United youngsters impressing Erik ten hang in training, with new boss shocked by one

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Erik ten Hag has only been coaching at Manchester United for a couple of days – but there are already three youngsters reportedly impressing their new boss.

The Dutchman has a good record of promoting youth players into the first team, which is something he did so well at Ajax.

And there is a trio of teenagers at Old Trafford who want to follow in the footsteps of Sergino Dest, Jurrien Timber, Ryan Gravenberch and Noa Lang, who were all given opportunities by Ten Hag in the first team of his former club.

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The Sun report that Zidane Iqbal is one of those, having signed a new contract at the Premier League side earlier this summer.

The 19-year-old, who made his first-team debut against Young Boys in the Champions League last December, has ‘shocked’ his new boss, who could be set for more minutes under the Dutch boss.

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Argentine winger Alejandro Garnacho is another who has caught Ten Hag’s eye in training, after scoring twice in the FA Youth Cup final against Nottingham Forest last season.

Garnacho, 18, trained with the Argentina senior squad earlier this year, having made two sub appearances for United.

He was also given Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick ball after his treble against Norwich.

Hannibal Mejbri, 19, made a number of appearances towards the end of last season – including a fiery performance in the club’s heavy defeat to Liverpool.

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And he is another academy graduate who Ten Hag could throw into the first-team fold, especially with Ronaldo reportedly wanting to leave the club.

To expect any of that trio to immediately replace the wantaway superstar would be unrealistic.

But, give it a few years, and United could have the next Ronaldo on their hands.

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Erik Ten Hag demands Man Utd ‘be fast’ about getting £43m signing over the line

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Erik ten Hag has told Man Utd to hurry up over a potential deal to sign Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez, according to reports.

The Red Devils are looking for a new centre-back this summer to give Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane some competition.

Man Utd have been linked with a number of defenders but a potential transfer for Martinez seems to have legs with a number of respected journalists revealing Ten Hag’s interest in a deal.

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The Argentina international was one of Ajax’s best players under Ten Hag last season with the 24-year-old playing 37 times in all competitions for the Eredivisie champions.

Ajax have been holding out for €50m (£43m) for Martinez but reports yesterday indicated they are ‘willing to cooperate’ with Man Utd after the Red Devils put an offer of €41m plus €4m in add-ons on the table.

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And that will be music to Ten Hag’s ears with journalist Fabrizio Romano claiming that the Dutchman has told Man Utd ‘to be fast’ over sealing a deal for Martinez with competition coming from fellow Premier League side Arsenal.

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It is understood that Martinez is ‘pushing to leave Ajax’ this summer and Ten Hag wants the Argentine as his next signing after Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia.

Arsenal are described as ‘still there’ in the race for Martinez but Romano adds that Man Utd boss Ten Hag ‘wants him strongly’.

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Barcelona do not want to sign Ronaldo, Lewandowski is the priority

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Following the meeting between Barcelona and super-agent Jorge Mendes on Monday, there has been non-stop speculation that the Catalans have been offered a chance to sign Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 37-year-old is intent on securing an exit from Old Trafford this summer, just a year after returning to his old stomping ground.

The lack of Champions League football and the failure to sign any players so far have been cited as reasons for the Portuguese maverick to seek a move.

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There have been talks with Chelsea, while a move to Bayern Munich has also been mooted. And following the meeting between his agent Mendes and Barcelona president Joan Laporta, it is being heavily speculated that Ronaldo has been offered to the Blaugrana.

However, as per a report from journalist David Bernabeu Reverter, there is zero chance that Barcelona will sign Ronaldo this summer.

The Spanish journalist claims that Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski remains the utmost priority for the Blaugrana this summer and their stance on the matter is non-negotiable.

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Barça have been pursuing Lewandowski for months and even have a three-year contract agreement in place with the Poland captain.

However, Bayern Munich’s unwillingness to negotiate with the Catalans is proving to be a major hurdle.

In spite of that, the Blaugrana remain intent on signing Lewandowski and are not considering bringing in Ronaldo, as per the aforementioned update.

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Despite being 37, Ronaldo remains in tremendous shape and scored 24 goals in all competitions last season. However, he has a rich history with Real Madrid.

The Portugal captain is Los Blancos’ all-time leading goalscorer and a club legend. So, it is hard to fathom that a move to Camp Nou can materialise.

As things stand, at least according to what David Bernabeu Reverter’s sources are stating, Lewandowski is the absolute priority for Barcelona.

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