Son amused by Mexico fans thankful for World Cup favor

Son Heung-min is amused by his newfound cult hero status in Mexico but admitted he also is a bit frustrated El Tri wasn’t able to help Korea out in the World Cup.

A month ago, on the final day of play in World Cup Group F, Son and his Korea teammates engineered a stunning upset of reigning world champion Germany. Son scored a stoppage-time goal to seal a 2-0 victory over the Germans that meant no matter what happened in Mexico’s contest with Sweden, Mexico would go through with six points.

That was good news for Mexico, which lost 3-0 to Sweden – triggering celebrations with Mexican fans thanking Koreans. A throng of fans in Mexico City went to the South Korean embassy and coaxed the ambassador to come join the party where they were signing “Korea, hermano! Ya eres mexicano!” or “Korea, brother. You’re now Mexican!” 

While he’s enjoyed the rousing reception from Mexico fans, Son said he still wishes Mexico could’ve done its part. Had El Tri topped Sweden, Korea would’ve had a chance to advance to the round of 16 instead of Sweden with goal difference the tiebreaker.

“I’m thankful for that and grateful for that,” Son said of the reception. “I was a bit upset, of course. I thought Mexico was gonna win against Sweden and I was supportive of Mexico. Mexico played very well at the World Cup. It was unlucky they got out at the round of 16, but I’m really thankful for the Mexico fans.”

The well-wishes have continued even with Son returning to his club, though he will leave Spurs just after the start of the season to take part in the Asian Games. As Son has continued to be cheered by Mexican fans like the ones who watched Tottenham’s 4-1 win over Roma in San Diego, California, he’s considered that there could be a strong bond between Mexican and Korean fans for years to come.

“What should I say?” he said with a laugh when asked if he wanted to send a message to Mexican fans. “Thank you for loving me, supporting me. Keep going and maybe we can be good friends – Mexico and Korea.”

Tottenham’s International Champions Cup slate continues Saturday with a match against Barcelona in the Rose Bowl before the club closes out its tour in Minnesota with a contest against AC Milan.

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The best Premier League apps to download this year

With club football set to begin imminently, what better way to keep track of the Premier League than with a series of handy apps?

It can be overwhelming to keep track of all the latest scores, fixtures and standings, but you can be on top of your game after downloading some of the most useful apps to keep your football knowledge in check.

To help you stay on top of the action, Goal has put together a list of the best apps around to enhance your matchday experience of the Premier League.

1. Goal Live Scores

Goal Live Scores is the fastest live scores app on the market and sends you instant goal alerts, so you can be sure you’ll be the first to know whenever a goal is scored.

Outside of scores, its extensive match statistics, head-to-head data and a Premier League news feature also ensure you know what’s happening as soon as it happens.

Additionally, personalised news alerts mean you won’t miss any of the action this time around.

Download Goal Live Scores on iPhone or Android

2. Official Premier League app

What better way to keep up with the goings-on in the Premier League with its official app? With this app, not only can you customise your app to centre on just your favourite team, but you can handle your fantasy football team right from your mobile device. You can also keep track of standings, upcoming fixtures and the latest scores through just a handy click of a button.

The Premier League app lets you choose specific teams to customise your user experience with but its handiest feature is the inclusion of the fantasy football features – and you can handle transfers, formation changes, and keep tabs on how you’re doing in your fantasy leagues straight from your phone. 

Did you forget that it was the deadline to make a transfer and you’re 15 mins away from it and nowhere near a computer? No worries – use the PL app to make the deadline!

Download the official app on iPhone or Android

3. Sky Sports mobile TV app

If you’re on the go and don’t have time to catch the football on the television, have no fear – the Sky Sports mobile tv app is here.

Whether you’re running in between tube stations or nowhere near a television set, you can keep up to date with all the football games shown on Sky with their official viewing app on mobile, with their cheapest pack available at just £5.99 / €6.99 per calendar month.

If you are a Sky TV customer with the complete Sky Sports bundle, you can watch all eight of the Sky Sports channels at no extra cost – including all the football.

Download the Sky Sports mobile TV app on iPhone or Android

4. FIFA Soccer

An app that millions of people have already downloaded, FIFA Soccer lets you take most of FIFA 18 on the road with you – as well as FIFA 19 when it is released this autumn. Doesn’t need much more of an introduction, this one.

Download FIFA Soccer on iPhone or Android

5. Football Manager Mobile 2018

Andrew Robertson Liverpool Premier League Team of the Week

If you’re not a player, maybe you’re a manager. Everyone has their own ideas on what managers should do (or should have done), and Football Manager lets you put your money where your mouth is.

Take control of your favourite team and guide them through to Premier League glory, or take an underdog side and lead them to win the Champions League. With this app, Football Manager will give you a new appreciation for managers everywhere.

Download Football Manager Mobile 2018 on iPhone or Android

6. Livescore App

Keep track of all the live scores and in-game updates taking place through the Livescore app, which is a handy tool if you want to check the results of several games going on at the same time – or just want to keep track of running commentary while you’re watching the main event on the telly.

The app is great to follow the progress of teams in all divisions around the world, as well as handy league fixture tables and all the scores available throughout all the matchday brackets. You can also follow of detailed in-game action through their live feed, and keep track of your team’s table standings.

Download the Livescore app on iPhone or Android

7. Goal Fantasy Football

Kevin De Bruyne Dele Alli Tottenham Manchester City Premier League

Excited for the new season? Need to make amends for a shocking fantasy football loss, or want to hammer home your fantasy skills before the next season starts?

The Goal Fantasy Football app lets you do just that for the Premier League. Pick your team, decide on a name, and take on the world. You can even win some fantastic prizes up to £10,000 in value.

Download Goal Fantasy Football on iPhone or Android

8. Soccerway

To help make sure you’re on top of your fantasy football game, Soccerway has all the latest stats from Opta – including things like team line-ups, tables and more.

The fixtures feature is handy to keep an eye on specific fixtures in general as well, helping you not to miss any key action during the competition.

Download Soccerway on iPhone or Android

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Why the big winner from Ronaldo’s shock transfer is Bale

After Real Madrid won the Champions League final by beating Liverpool in Kiev on May 26, both Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo hinted that they may leave Real Madrid.

At the time, Ronaldo’s remarks seemed little more than a strategy to earn a better contract and a little of the limelight, with Bale’s complaints borne of frustration following another difficult season at the Santiago Bernabeu.

If anyone was going to leave, it would surely be Bale and not Cristiano. But two months on, the Portuguese is now a Juventus player and the Welsh winger is gearing up for a sixth season at Real.

“I will speak to my agent this summer,” Bale said straight after the final whistle in Kiev. “I need to play more. I’m not happy with the minutes I have played this year. Not starting the final was a disappointment.”

It must have been. However, he made up for that disappointment and also proved a point by coming off the bench to score the two decisive goals in a 3-1 win, the first a spectacular overhead kick.

Later, in a Q&A session in Cardiff, Bale said: “I was frustrated, I’ve said before, not to start the game. But I knew I was capable of being involved in the game and I was.

“It was great to get the goal; pure emotion. It’s just kind of one of those things that you don’t think about, you just react to it. I’ve always wanted to score a bicycle kick. Such an occasion was the place to do it.”

For his part, Ronaldo had netted a similar strike in the Champions League quarter-finals away to Juventus, earning an ovation from the Italian supporters in the process.

Next season, those fans will be his own after the five-time Ballon d’Or winner completed a shock move to the Italian champions for a fee in excess of €100m earlier in July.

Following his departure, Real Madrid set their sights on a replacement, with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Eden Hazard the targets to fill the substantial void left by the Portuguese, who hit 450 goals in 438 appearances for Los Blancos in his nine seasons in Spain.

However, Paris Saint-Germain are not contemplating the sale of the Brazilian attacker or the France forward, while a move for Chelsea’s Belgian star also looks difficult after his brother hinted on social media this week that he will not be joining Real and new coach Maurizio Sarri saying he hopes to improve him as a player at Stamford Bridge.

Gareth Bale Real Madrid 2017-18

Either way, Real Madrid do not want Bale to leave and that was the case even before Ronaldo’s exit. With the Portuguese now gone, he is an even bigger part of the club’s plans for next season.

“Galactico on call” Madrid-based sports paper AS wrote on their front page on Monday of this week, explaining that the Madrid side in 2018-19 will be in his hands following the departure of Ronaldo and the difficulty to bring in another top player.

Bale, who turned 29 earlier this month, has netted 88 goals in 189 games for Real in his five seasons at the club, helping Los Blancos win four Champions League crowns in that time.

Gareth Bale Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid

He has only played 53 per cent of the total minutes since he has been at Madrid, scoring a goal every 159 minutes (compared to Cristiano’s strike rate of a goal every 84 minutes) in his Real career and one every 112 last season (to Ronaldo’s one every 83 minutes in 2017-18).

However, the Portuguese took all the penalties and free-kicks and also took up the more central positions at Real, especially in the last few seasons when he has been more of a penalty-box player than the winger of old, with Bale seen as more of a creator.

That is not say that the Welshman will score as freely as his former colleague, but there is often the impression that his best performances came when Cristiano was not in the side and that he was somewhat inhibited by the presence of his high-profile team-mate.

Now, with Ronaldo part of the past at the Santiago Bernabeu, he should get more minutes and Real Madrid might well see a different Gareth Bale – and that could be great news for Los Blancos as they begin an uncertain new chapter without their prolific Portuguese.

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Pulisic on Klopp, why Dortmund can learn from Liverpool and THAT Anfield Europa League night

Christian Pulisic hopes Borussia Dortmund can follow in Liverpool’s footsteps by making an impact in the Champions League this season.

The USA international got a close look at Jurgen Klopp’s Reds when the sides met in their International Champions Cup clash in Charlotte, North Carolina last weekend.

Pulisic’s impact was decisive, the 19-year-old scoring two goals and helping create another as Lucien Favre’s men came from behind to win 3-1.

And in an exclusive interview with Goal, the attacking midfielder revealed he had watched with interest as Liverpool thrillingly fought their way to the Champions League final back in May. They eventually came up short, beaten by Real Madrid in Kiev, but Pulisic believes their run should serve as an inspiration for clubs such as his own.

“It was incredible to see their run to the final,” he said. “We would like to do something like that ourselves this year, I have to say. That’s the ultimate goal.”

Pulisic, naturally, takes a keen interest in how Klopp is doing. It was the German who gave him his first chance to train with Dortmund’s senior side as a 16-year-old during the 2014/15 season, and though Klopp would be gone before he could make his first-team debut, the two clearly share a mutual respect.

In Charlotte, Klopp spoke of Pulisic’s “huge talent” and tipped him to become “a big player” for club and country. He likes him a lot – and the feeling is mutual.

“He was there when I came,” Pulisic said. “I was obviously playing with the youth teams at Dortmund, but he was the one who gave me my first professional training session, just to give me a taste of it.

“He always accepted me and he was very kind to me, so I will always be thankful for that. I know he’s a great guy, and it’s nice to see him doing so well for Liverpool.”

Pulisic: I’ll always be thankful to Klopp

“He was very kind to me.” USMNT star Christian Pulisic discusses his relationship with former @BVB and current Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. 💛 #BVB #LFC #USMNT #ICC2018
Posted by Goal.com on Friday, 27 July 2018

Asked if Klopp was the kind of manager players enjoy playing under, Pulisic added: “Yes, absolutely. I personally didn’t get to know him too well, but I’ve heard stories from some of my team-mates who did, and they loved playing for him.”

The two had crossed paths before last Sunday’s game in Charlotte, of course. Few will forget when Dortmund came to Anfield for a Europa League quarter-final second leg in April 2016. It ranks as one of the great European nights in the Reds’ history.

Pulisic watched the drama unfold from the bench, an unused substitute on a night when Dortmund led 3-1 and 4-2 on aggregate but eventually succumbed to Dejan Lovren’s stoppage-time header in front of the Kop.

Dejan Lovren scores against Borussia Dortmund

“Yes, I remember it very clearly!” Pulisic says, with a wry smile. “I was substitute that night, and didn’t get to be involved. But it was the wildest game that I’ve ever been a part of!

“The atmosphere in that stadium… wow! You could see why it’s so difficult to play there. There was a point in that game where we were just kind of looking around saying ‘wow, this is insane!’ It was as if you could just feel what was coming. Yeah, it was a tough night for us!”

He adds: “I think there are similarities between the two stadiums, actually, Anfield and Signal Iduna Park. There is always a good atmosphere at both. But yeah, at Liverpool, it’s pretty insane!”

Pulisic, of course, is a name regularly linked with a move to the Premier League, though there is no suggestion whatsoever that he is seeking to leave Dortmund or that the Bundesliga club are ready to sell one of their prized assets. At 19, the world is at the young American’s feet.

Pulisic on Anfield atmosphere: It’s so difficult to play there

“It was the wildest game that I’ve ever been a part of.” Borussia Dortmund man Christian Pulisic recalls his side’s famous Europa League quarter-final clash with Liverpool at Anfield in 2016. 🔥 #BVB #LFC #UEL
Posted by Goal.com on Friday, 27 July 2018

But, as a fan, what does he think of English football?

“I know it’s a great league,” he says. “It’s the league I watched the most growing up. In the US, you can’t really escape it!

“I know it’s a league full of top teams, so it’s cool that we’ve been able to compete against some of those teams in pre-season. It’s been a good test for us.”

Christian Pulisic speaks to Goal's Neil Jones

Pulisic hopes Dortmund can build on a mixed campaign last time out, a season of upheaval in terms of both management and playing staff. They were eliminated at the group stage of the Champions League last season, but having squeezed into the final qualification spot on the final day of the Bundesliga campaign, he is ready for another crack at Europe’s biggest prize.

And ready to use Liverpool as a guide as to what can be achieved with the right mentality, a bit of belief and a young, hungry squad.

“Exactly!” he smiles. “Exactly.”

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Roma striker Defrel loaned to Sampdoria

Gregoire Defrel has joined Sampdoria from Roma on a season-long loan deal, with the option of a permanent move.

The forward made 15 Serie A appearances for Roma after signing from Sassuolo in July 2017, scoring one goal in the 5-2 victory over Benevento in February.

The 27-year-old began his career at Parma and played for Foggia and Cesena before arriving at Sassuolo in 2015.

His most prolific season came in 2016-17, when he scored 12 goals in 23 league starts for the Neroverdi, attracting the attention of Roma boss Eusebio Di Francesco.

However, his chances were limited in a Roma side spearheaded by Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti, and he joins Samp in the hope of more regular first-team football.

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