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    Eight ex-Liverpool players who should never have left, including Philippe Coutinho, Fernando Torres and Michael Owen

    PHILIPPE COUTINHO is redeeming himself at Aston Villa after returning to the Premier League last year.The Brazilian, now 30, flopped at Barcelona after a staggering £142million from Liverpool, but playing on our shores has reignited some of the old spark.
    Coutinho and Can are just two players to regret quitting Liverpool
    But Coutinho is by no means the first former Liverpool player to see his career stall after quitting the Kop, with Sadio Mane the latest who appears to not be enjoying his time away.
    Take a look at EIGHT stars who’ve all regretted a move away from Merseyside…
    Bayern Munich (June 2022)
    FOR many years, Sadio Mane was a king at Anfield. The winger may have not have received as many plaudits as teammate Mohamed Salah, but he was equally dangerous and devastating going forward.
    The Senegalese legend made a surprise move to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2022 after six dazzling years at Anfield.
    But his first season has not quite got going and reports in Sport1 from Germany have suggested that the club’s hierarchy are growing concerned by his performances.
    The 30-year-old has not scored since October but has missed three months of the season with injury.
    Juventus (July 2018)
    AFTER his drawn-out Anfield exit, Can – now at Borussia Dortmund – played a big role in Juventus’ success in 2018-19, playing 29 times in Serie A, as well as making six Champions League appearances.
    However, after another big summer of signing at Juve, Can was left staring into the wilderness.
    Huge, free arrivals in the form of Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot quickly shifted Can down the pecking order. He departed for Germany and the midfielder, now 29, is now playing his football at Borussia Dortmund.
    The Reds would go on to win their first-ever Premier League crown not long after he left. Can could have been a part of history.
    Barcelona (January 2018)
    Coutinho has been given a second chance to prove himself at BarcelonaCredit: Getty
    AFTER leaving Inter Milan in January 2013 for just £8m, Coutinho quickly became one of Liverpool’s best players.
    As the years rolled on and the “Little Magician” continued to put in a series of glittering performances, the Brazilian then became one of the best on the planet.
    Barcelona came knocking and as is often the way, the South American’s head was turned.
    Coutinho quit the club in January 2018, much to the disgust of the Liverpool faithful.
    Ever since, the Brazilian playmaker has quickly faded into mediocrity. However, his reunion with Steven Gerrard at Villa Park appeared to briefly get a tune out of him again.
    And since Gerrard’s sacking, he has still occasionally manages to show glimpses of his old self under Unai Emery.
    Bournemouth (July 2016)
    Jordon Ibe left Liverpool just as his stock was rapidly risingCredit: Getty
    THE English winger may not be in the same league as Coutinho or Can – but you had better believe he could have been.
    After joining the Reds from Wycombe, the Londoner worked his way through the youth ranks before bursting into the first-team in the 2014-15 season.
    After spells on loan at Birmingham and Derby, Ibe quickly showed his promise – before taking on a key role in 2015-16.
    Ibe made 27 appearances that season in the Premier League alone – and 41 in all competitions – including some Man of the Match displays, including the Merseyside derby against Everton.
    But as he believed he was slipped down the pecking order, Ibe left Anfield just one year into his new five-year deal to join Bournemouth.
    At the time, the winger was being tipped for a call-up to the England set-up – but now he is playing in the second tier of the Turkish league for Adanaspor.FERNANDO TORRES
    Chelsea (January 2011)
    Fernando Torres was left to regret leaving Liverpool for Chelsea in 2011Credit: Reuters
    NOW this one always shows up on lists of “worst transfers ever”…
    Torres infamously left Liverpool in the January window of the 2010-11 season for a whopping £50m fee.
    The Spanish legend had shown signs of slowing down at the Reds after a series of frustrating injuries.
    But after joining Chelsea, Torres looked a shadow of his former self, scoring just 20 times in 110 Premier League games, compared to 65 goals in 102 Liverpool matches.
    The 110-cap international bounced around the world for the rest of his career, having spells at AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Sagan Tosu in Japan, before hanging up his boots.
    Real Madrid (August 2004)
    Michael Owen spent just one season at Real Madrid after leaving LiverpoolCredit: AP:Associated Press
    LIVERPOOL born and raised, Owen spent 13 years at Liverpool in all, including his five seasons in the youth team.
    The striker scored 118 Premier League goals in just 216 games, quickly establishing himself as a legend for club and country.
    The 40-goal Three Lions forward believed he could do better, as Liverpool continued their PL title drought.
    He moved to Real Madrid in a shock move in the summer of 2004 for a fee of just £8m.
    Owen scored 13 times in his sole season at the Bernabeu before he made the “biggest mistake of his career” as he called it, in joining Newcastle in 2005.

    Leeds (August 2002)
    Nick Barmby struggled to maintain his best form when joining LeedsCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
    OFTEN a forgotten man amongst Liverpool fans, Barmby enjoyed plenty of success at Anfield.
    The 23-cap England star was part of the squad that won a hoard of trophies including the FA Cup and Uefa Cup around the turn of the new millennium.
    But he left after just two seasons, in 2002, to join Leeds United – in what should have been then prime years of his career.
    Both the player and club quickly suffered a downturn in form, with the Elland Road giants relegated and Barmby making just 25 appearances in two years.
    After a loan spell at Nottingham Forest, Barmby played the final eight years of his career at his home-town team, Hull.
    Leeds (November 2001)
    Robbie Fowler fell out with Liverpool management and quit in 2001Credit: PA:Press Association
    IN defence of “God”, as he was known by Liverpool fans, Fowler had spent 17 years at Anfield – including nine years with the youth teams.
    Fowler quickly became a club legend, scoring 120 Premier League goals in just 236 outings.
    But after reports of a rift with boss Gerard Houllier and his assistant Phil Thompson in 2001, Fowler left just a handful of games into the 2001-02 season.
    Having been a true icon in Liverpool, Fowler failed to settle anywhere else after joining Leeds.
    Fowler spent two years in Leeds, leaving the season before they were relegated to join Manchester City.
    He returned to Liverpool three years later for a cameo spell at the club, in which he scored eight times.
    The 26-cap England star wound-down his career with spells at Cardiff, Blackburn, North Queensland Fury, Perth Glory and Muangthong United before he returned in 2012. More

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    Anthony Joshua needed to be ‘helped up’ after being knocked out by David Price with a ‘big right hand’ in sparring

    DAVID PRICE claimed Anthony Joshua had to be “helped up” after he knocked him out with a “big right hand” in sparring. The pair of British heavyweights were former training partners at Team GB’s Sheffield HQ.
    Anthony Joshua once admitted to being dropped in sparring by David PriceCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    And one session in 2011 stands out among them all as Price floored then-amateur champion AJ.
    Opening up on the incident, Price told iD Boxing: “I just caught him with a big right hand and down he went.
    “He had to get helped up, type of thing, and ushered out the ring.
    “And it was no big deal to me at the time, and there was no shame in that happening to you if I hit you.”
    Joshua was one year away from winning Olympic gold in London, which later paved the way for two unified world title reigns in the professional ranks.
    And in 2018 he admitted to being put down by Price, just hours after leaving a police cell.
    Joshua revealed: “I had come out of a police cell the day I went up to training. I won’t use it as an excuse.
    “I was coming up to training camp, Thursday to Sunday, because I was on a development course.
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    “But I got nicked on the way to training camp – for just trouble – and I got out on the Saturday.
    “I started sparring as soon as I got up there, straight from the station, I do think he was very good at the time, very strong and I was making too many mistakes.
    “Those circumstances don’t help when you’re sparring an elite fighter.
    “I even had to get the train to Sheffield because they took my car – just to show my commitment. What I learnt was you cannot stop someone like me.
    “They say you have two types of fighters; those that get dropped and stay down.
    “But the ones you have to be wary of are the ones who keep on coming. You just cannot stop someone like that.
    I just caught him with a big right hand and down he went. David Price on flooring Anthony Joshua
    “I learnt it will take more than just power or durability to stop me.”
    Joshua, 33, is now set to return in the spring of 2023 following consecutive losses to Oleksandr Usyk, 36.
    AJ is scheduled to fight Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena on April 1.
    Meanwhile Price, 39, is currently retired and insisted he only ever made the sparring tale with Joshua public to chase a fight with the star.
    He said: “I never ever mentioned it until I started getting mentioned as a potential opponent for him in 2016 when he fought Erik Molina.
    “I was in the IBF top ten so it could have been a voluntary defence for him and I was calling for the fight and people were laughing at the thought of me fighting him, and that’s when I thought I’ll spill the beans then and let the people know that he isn’t indestructible.
    “Because at that time people thought AJ was the terminator and that he would never ever be hurt.
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    “Or it was this new generation of fans that people were talking about him and I thought I’d just let the cat out the bag type of thing.
    “Only for my own benefit, not to try and put him down it was to try and gain something from it myself. But it didn’t work out anyway, I didn’t get the fight.”
    David Price opened up about dropping Anthony Joshua in sparringCredit: Getty More

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    England and Man City star Jack Grealish reveals secret behind his big calves and why he wears his socks low

    ENGLAND superstar Jack Grealish has revealed the secret behind his low socks and massive calves.The £100million Manchester City midfielder, 27, has a eye-cathing look on the pitch and has lifted the lid on his style.
    Jack Grealish has revealed the superstitious reason behind his famous low socksCredit: AP
    England ace Grealish has also opened up over his huge calvesCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
    On those famous calves, he claimed it is all genetics, saying to the Daily Mail: “I actually don’t do anything. It’s just something that runs in the family.
    “My grandad always had big calves when he used to play football.
    “But I don’t do any calf exercises or calf routines in the gym or anything. Honestly, it’s just something that I’ve had since I was young.”
    And on those well-known low socks Grealish shared that superstition is the reason behind it.
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    He said: “I think I was about 14 or 15 and we were sponsored by Macron at Aston Villa and the socks used to shrink in the wash.
    “In training I couldn’t get them over my calves because the socks were so small.
    “So I started wearing them below my calves in training — and that season I ended up playing really well.
    “So then I started wearing my socks below my calves in games. It was just something that stuck because I’d had such a good season.”
    Fans had their say on Grealish’s calves when he played for the Three Lions in Qatar at the World Cup last year, with one saying: “So like, how big are Grealish’s calves going to get?”
    Another wrote: “Was very into the US-England game until noticing Jack Grealish’s mutant calves, which became my entire focus afterwards.”
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    One declared: “Jack Grealish wears his socks so low cause if he pulls them over his calves he’ll lose circulation to his legs.”
    Another added: “Someone hit me up with Grealish’s calves workout.” More

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    Ex-England star David James claims he smoked 20 cigarettes a day and drank at bar until 3am as a Three Lions hero

    DAVID JAMES has revealed that he would smoke 20 cigarettes a day when he first joined up with the England squad.The goalkeeper, who would go on to win 53 caps for his country, has opened up about what it was like in the Three Lions camp back in the 1990s.
    David James won 53 caps for EnglandCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
    Chatting to his former boss Harry Redknapp on the 76-year-old’s podcast, Jamo said: “Peter Taylor was the first one to take me for a warm up.
    “It was weird: ‘we are going to go out for a warm up.’ He put me through my paces.
    “I thought – ‘hang on a minute. I’m knackered.’ The fact that I smoked 20 fags a day didn’t help.”
    He then continued: “Things change. We used to meet up in the England squad back in the early 90s and the first thing you’d do is meet the whole staff in the bar down at Burnham Beeches.
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    “It was like.. well done this weekend guys. We will be training tomorrow at some point.
    “And you’d be in the bar until two or three o clock in the morning. And that was just standard.
    “You can imagine now. I can’t imagine Gareth Southgate saying come on lads meet you in the bar.”
    James, now 52, also admitted that players in the England set-up back then largely had freedom to do whatever they wanted.
    Jamo won the FA Cup under Redknapp in 2008Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
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    He added: “The squad then.. Paul Gascoigne was part of that squad. Wrighty was part of that squad.
    “We used to have The Queen Vic, which was Ince’s room.
    “We’d go in The Queen Vic each night – drink beers – play computer games and smoke fags.
    “Not everyone – but whoever wanted a drink could have a drink and whoever wanted a smoke.
    “It was a communal space. Really, really good.”
    James went on to be selected by his country for three World Cups and a European Championship, as well as winning the FA Cup under Redknapp with Pompey in 2008. More

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    I’m a professional footballer for Bayern Munch and live a cool life – but after training I have nothing to do

    BAYERN MUNICH star Alphonso Davies has opened up on the pros and cons that come with being a football superstar. The 22-year-old is among the hottest properties in world football, and widely regarded as one of the best left-backs on the planet.
    Alphonso Davies has given an insight as to what life is like a professional footballerCredit: Getty
    The 2020 Champions League winner said being a pro is “very cool” – but there are plenty of drawbacksCredit: EPA
    Davies admitted he often has “nothing to do” after he finishes trainingCredit: Instagram / @alphonsodavies
    But, according to Davies, while life as a footballer is “very cool” there are plenty of downsides.
    He split from his football pro girlfriend Jordyn Huitema last year after five-years of dating and is currently single.
    And he admitted living as a professional football star is harder than what people might think.
    The Canadian international revealed there is “nothing to do” once his Bayern Munich training is finished.
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    He also confessed that he is far from a social butterfly, and only has five friends.
    Speaking before breaking up with his long-term partner, Davies said on his Twitch channel: “Life as a professional footballer is very cool, no doubt.
    “To chill and enjoy life. But after training, there’s nothing to do.”
    Davies was born in a refugee camp in Ghana after his family fled civil war in Liberia.
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    He spent the first five years of his life in the camp before settling in Edmonton, Canada.
    The full-back continued: “For me, because I don’t have a family and my girlfriend not living with me, I’m by myself.
    “It’s a little bit worrying not having something to do and especially when all your friends have work.
    “I probably have like five friends. I’m a popular loser.” More

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    Eddie Hearn FLOORS Matchroom right hand man in sparring with huge body shot as he shows off his own boxing skills

    EDDIE HEARN proved he can walk the walk and talk the talk by showing off his own boxing skills. The Matchroom Boxing chairman, 43, got stuck in with a body spar against his right hand man, Frank Smith.
    Eddie Hearn proved he can walk the walk and talk the talk by showing off his own boxing skills
    Eddie Hearn got stuck in with a body spar against right hand man Frank Smith
    Smith has been touted as the man to replace Hearn when the promoter packs it in, but the son of Barry proved he is still the boss.
    Hearn landed a perfect left hook to Smith’s stomach which floored the Matchroom CEO.
    But credit to Smith – who has been with Hearn since he was 14 – as he got to his feet and boxed on.
    Perhaps Hearn always had the upper hand in the spar, after all he boxed three times for Billericay Amateur Boxing Club as a teen, winning them all.
    read more in boxing
    He was introduced as ‘Eddie Hills’ as his famous dad feared their surname would cause opponents to ‘take liberties’.
    But in a 2017 interview with Boxing Social, the future boxing matchmaker admitted he was not cut out to be a fighter after all.
    Hearn said: “They introduced me as ‘Eddie Hills’ and I was devastated. I told my dad and I found out it was all his idea.
    “He thought if they knew who I was, they would really put it on me and take liberties.
    Most read in Boxing
    “I had some skills, I fancied myself a bit, I thought I was Sugar Ray Leonard, but you can’t be a fighter if you grow up in a nice house and go to public school.
    “The other lads were much tougher than me.
    “I remember seeing one of my opponents in the changing room before we boxed and telling my dad: ‘Great, I’ve got the fat kid.’
    “But he almost took my head off.”
    Eddie Hearn pictured with Matchroom No2 Frank SmithCredit: @franksmith More

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    Premier League winners worst XI, from Jack Rodwell to Arsenal flops Pascal Cygan and Jeremie Aliadiere

    WINNING the Premier League is no easy task.It takes the right manager, a strong mix of players, hard work, dedication, skill…
    These XI players were somehow part of Premier League-winning teams
    No wonder that picking up a winners’ medal in the top flight is among the most impressive feats in football.
    The Premier League celebrating its 30th anniversary this season – Arsenal and Man City going head-to-head in the title race.
    As a result, there are plenty of those precious medals swirling around.
    And they’re not only adorning the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Thierry Henry’s mantelpieces.
    For every superstar champion, there’s a backup player in dreamland, clutching the trophy with a medal around their neck.
    In tribute to them, here’s an XI of those Premier League winners you can be forgiven for having forgotten down the years.
    Pantilimon was a less than convincing presence between the sticks for Manchester CityCredit: Mark Robinson – The Sun
    The Romanian had size on his side… but not an awful lot else.
    Standing at 6ft 8in, Pantilimon should have been an imposing, authoritative figure between the sticks.
    Most read in Football
    The blunder-prone keeper played seven times in Man City’s 2013-14 triumph as stand-in for Joe Hart, and is now general manager of Romanian side Politehnica Timișoara after poor spells at Sunderland, Watford, Nottingham Forest and Denizlispor in Turkey.
    Bosingwa’s defending could be erratic during his four years at Stamford BridgeCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
    When Chelsea signed Jose Bosingwa from Porto in 2008, Blues fans would have had reason to be optimistic.
    After all, they had raided the same club for the likes of Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira, with great success.
    But the monobrowed right-back was often a calamity at Stamford Bridge… and subsequently even worse at Queens Park Rangers – when he once refused to even take his place on the bench.
    Somehow, however, he managed to wrack up 125 appearances in four years at Chelsea – bagging the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League along the way.
    Frenchman Cygan was prone to a gaffe at ArsenalCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    “He’s bald, he’s s***, he plays when no one’s fit – Pascal Cygan, Pascal Cygan!”
    This is not, perhaps, the chant you would expect to be most associated to a member of Arsenal’s famous ‘Invincibles’ side of 2003-04.
    But the blundering French centre-half wasn’t Arsene Wenger’s finest addition from his homeland and often had Gunners fans’ hearts in their mouths when he took to the field.
    After four years at Highbury, he signed for Villarreal, before subsequently joining Spanish lower league side Cartagena to round off his peculiar career.
    Stepanovs was given a torrid time in Arsenal’s 6-1 defeat at Old TraffordCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    When Arsenal skipper Tony Adams picked up an injury in 2000, boss Arsene Wenger turned to the transfer market to solve his defensive woes – spending £1.35million on unknown Latvian defender Igor Stepanovs from Skonto Riga.
    Things were going okay for the burly 6ft 3in centre-back… until it came to a match at Old Trafford.
    Stepanovs and Co were trounced 6-1 by Sir Alex Ferguson’s men that day, and the defender’s time at Arsenal struggled to ever get going again.
    He did pick up a title-winner’s medal in 2002, however, before embarking on a nomadic career that took him to Switzerland, Denmark and Russia.
    Alexander Buttner scored on his United debut… before things fizzled out for him at Old TraffordCredit: Mark Robinson – The Sun
    Alexander Buttner was brought into Manchester United in 2012 as a potential long-term replacement for the legendary Patrice Evra at Old Trafford.
    Things started well for the Dutchman, as he even managed to score on his debut against Wigan.
    Despite picking up a winner’s medal in that first season, he was promptly given the boot by Louis van Gaal in 2014 – and a few years later was embarrassingly dropped by Vitesse for being too fat.
    At 34, this once bright talent is now playing for De Graafschap, having left his boyhood club Vitesse in 2019.
    Cuadrado struggled to take to life in the Premier LeagueCredit: Graham Hughes – The Times
    Juan Cuadrado arrived at Chelsea to much fanfare in January 2015 for around £23m from Fiorentina, with the Blues flying high at the top of the Premier League.
    What followed was a frankly bizarre spell.
    He featured 13 times as the Blues won their fourth Prem title, but seemed paralysed by fear, rarely doing anything other than simply passing back to his full-back, or giving the ball away.
    The Colombian, 34, was hooked at half-time on just his third start for the club against Crystal Palace and was promptly sent packing for Juventus (where he still plays) that summer, never to be seen in the blue of Chelsea in a competitive game again.
    Midfielder Gibson was once likened to Paul Scholes by Sir Alex FergusonCredit: AFP
    Irishman Darron Gibson was once a heralded young talent at Man Utd, winning the Premier League in 2011 and drawing comparisons with Paul Scholes no less.
    Sir Alex Ferguson once said of him, after he’d scored his sixth goal of that season: “It is the kind of contribution we used to get from Paul Scholes.
    “He used to get me 12 to 14 goals from midfield all the time and we haven’t had a player like that in a while.”
    Gibson, now 35, has since struggled, however, enduring disappointing spells at Everton, Sunderland, Wigan and Salford City before a brief stint with non-league Wythenshawe Amateurs.
    Jack Rodwell struggled to impose himself at Manchester CityCredit: Mark Robinson – The Sun
    Supposedly England’s next great midfielder when he burst onto the scene with Everton, Rodwell earned a big-money £15m move to Man City in 2012 when he was just 21 years old.
    The three-cap international struggled for form at the Etihad and following their 2014 title win signed a four-year contract with Sunderland.
    This deal proved infamous, however, with the Black Cats failing to win any of Rodwell’s first 39 games at the club… and still having to pay him a reported £70k-a-week in the Championship.
    Eyebrows were recently raised when he made his Premier League comeback, being withdrawn from the bench by then-Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder.
    He moved to Australia in 2021 – joining Western Sydney Wanderers. Now he plays for Sydney FC.
    Russian Zhirkov had a forgettable two-year spell at Chelsea between 2009 and 2011Credit: Chris Bourchier – The Sunday Times
    The Russian was signed by Chelsea to much excitement for £18m in 2009, as a player that could excel either at left-back or left-midfield.
    But with Ashley Cole and Florent Malouda blocking his path, and a succession of knee injuries, Zhirkov just never got going at Stamford Bridge.
    His forgettable spell in West London came to an end in 2011, when he was sold by Andre Villas-Boas to Anzhi Makhachkala.
    Remarkably, at 38, he represented the Russian national team – with 105 caps to his name – including at the rearranged Euro 2020.
    Zhirkov played his domestic football for Zenit St Petersburg until the end of last season when he was released and had a brief stint at Khimki.
    He finally announced his retirement last month.
    Kezman struggled to find his goalscoring touch at Stamford BridgeCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
    Serbian Mateja Kezman arrived at Stamford Bridge as part of the Jose Mourinho revolution in 2004, being handed the No9 shirt vacated by Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink following his move from PSV Eindhoven.
    The striker, sporting gelled hair and a goatee, had banged in an astonishing 105 goals in 122 games in the Eredivisie – but appeared to endure a crisis of confidence in front of goal at Stamford Bridge.
    The once-great poacher didn’t manage any from open play in the Premier League until March, when his team-mates had virtually sewn up the league title already – conceding only 15 goals all season in the process.
    After just seven strikes in 41 games in all competitions, Kezman was shipped off to Atletico Madrid, never to be seen again on these shores.
    Even if he was, you wouldn’t recognise him after his dramatic change in appearance.
    Jeremie Aliadiere admitted that he was ‘scared’ when given opportunities in Arsenal’s first-teamCredit: PA:Press Association
    Arsenal’s 2003-04 Invincibles featured a strikeforce boasting the likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Sylvain Wiltord, Nwankwo Kanu… and Jeremie Aliadiere.
    The shy, reserved Frenchman admitted to that he was “scared” and didn’t “feel ready” for life as a first-team star at Highbury.
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    Wenger showed belief in him, however, picking him ten times as the Gunners swept aside all competition in the league that season.
    He remained in North London until 2007, before departing for spells at Middlesbrough, Lorient and Umm Salal in Qatar. More

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    France superstar Antoine Griezmann picks his dream 5-a-side team including Kante, Beckham and Barcelona enigma Dembele

    ANTOINE GRIEZMANN has played with some pretty decent players in his time, it’s fair to say.But the 32-year-old France forward, who stars for Atletico Madrid, did manage to pick his dream five-a-side team of team-mates, including one footballing legend.
    France star Antoinne Griezmann has named his dream five-a-side teamCredit: The Mega Agency
    Antoine Griezmann picked his dream 5-a-side team from team-mates and one footballing legend
    And he is backing them to stay undefeated despite two notable absentees.
    The striker even opted to go WITHOUT a goalkeeper in his all-star team.
    Speaking to Oh My Goal, Griezmann talked through his side: “I’d go with Ousmane Dembele and I would say NG, N’Golo Kante, because you never lose when he’s on your team.
    “I would take Godin because he always finds a way to cheat and win!

    That means there is no place for France team-mate Kylian Mbappe in the side.
    However, when asked who the most skilful player is, Griezmann said either Mbappe or fellow Frenchman Dembele.
    The Atleti star also said that Diego Costa is the best player he has played with, saying: “I would have to say Diego Costa, for the support he gives me on the field.

    “Because he allows me to play freely. He’s a guy I really work well with on the pitch.
    “We understand each other with a single look, we know where we’re both at.
    “On top of that he’s a fighter and he brings that out in me, which I love. It’s rare to have that with a team-mate.”
    Surprisingly, Griezmann said the best player he has faced on a football field is Dutch midfielder Frenkie De Jong, who is at Barcelona.
    But Griezmann said former Real Madrid defender Pepe was the toughest to play against.
    Griezmann added: “I tried to put pressure on De Jong and never succeeded.
    “Pepe is always breathing down your neck. He’s always on top of you and he’s a player who’s very difficult to get past.”

    A team with N’Golo Kante in doesn’t lose according to his international team-mateCredit: AP:Associated Press
    Diego Godin gets into the side because he will always find a way to win – even if it means cheatingCredit: AFP OR LICENSORS

    Diego Costa helped to get the best out of his strike partner at the Wanda MetropolitanoCredit: AFP OR LICENSORS
    Griezmann struggled to even get close to Ajax and Netherlands midfielder Frenkie De JongCredit: Reuters
    But the World Cup winner was very much sat on the fence when he was asked to settle the ongoing debate.
    “Best player of all time? Well, you know… It depends on the era but I would say either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.
    “I never saw how Diego Maradona and Pele played. It’s a tough question, everyone has their own style.
    “There’s also Zinedine Zidane. Zidane won the World Cup, Messi and Ronaldo never have.”
    Finally, Griezmann – who faces England in the World Cup quarter final – made a shock selection when asked to pick his best footballing memory.
    Despite helping France win the World Cup in 2018, he did not opt for that.
    Instead, he said: “When we moved into the first division with Real Sociedad [2009/10].
    “It was honestly the first time that my knees were shaking because it was my first year and the atmosphere was incredible. It was all new for me and it was intimidating.”
    The Frenchman spent nine years at Real Sociedad and helped them get promoted back into La LigaCredit: AFP – Getty More