Top 10 Passers – FIFA 17 Player Ratings on fifa15guide

Posted September 15th at 1:00pm.

Never underestimate a playmaker. They might not be putting the ball in the back of the net, but the best ones are able to find the open teammate and change the complexion of a match.

10. Lionel Messi

9. Iniesta

8. David Silva

7. Xabi Alonso

6. Francesco Totti

5. Parejo

4. Dimitri Payet

3. Toni Kroos

2. Cesc Fabregas

1. Andrea Pirlo


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FIFA 17 – All Leagues & Teams in FIFA 17 on fifa15guide

Posted September 16th at 9:00am.

Over 30 leagues and more than 650 playable teams from around the world will feature in FIFA 17 on console and PC. Below is the entire list of leagues and teams available to play as or against in FIFA 17.

 

Alka Superliga

Brøndby IF

Silkeborg IF

Aarhus GF

Odense Boldklub

FC København

Aalborg BK

Viborg FF

Esbjerg fB

AC Horsens

SønderjyskE

FC Midtjylland

Randers FC

FC Nordsjælland

Lyngby BK

 

Pro League

RSC Anderlecht

Club Brugge

Standard Liège

Sp. Charleroi

KRC Genk

KAA Gent

Sint-Truiden

KVC Westerlo

KV Oostende

Sport. Lokeren

KAS Eupen

Zulte-Waregem

KV Kortrijk

KV Mechelen

Waasland-Beveren

Excel Mouscron

 

Liga do Brasil

Please note: Brazilian clubs will launch with generic player names, and will not be included in FUT. We’ll update all FIFA 17 fans about player names when and if information becomes available.

Palmeiras

Botafogo

Fluminense

Cruzeiro

São Paulo

Atlético Mineiro

Atlético Paranaense

Internacional

Santos

Grêmio

Vitória

Ponte Preta

Coritiba

Figueirense

Sport

Santa Cruz

América Mineiro

Chapecoense

 

Eredivisie

Ajax

Feyenoord

PSV

ADO Den Haag

Roda JC Kerkrade

FC Utrecht

AZ

Willem II

FC Twente

Vitesse

NEC

SC Heerenveen

PEC Zwolle

FC Groningen

Excelsior

Go Ahead Eagles

Heracles Almelo

Sparta Rotterdam

 

Premier League

Arsenal

Chelsea

Everton

Liverpool

Manchester City

Manchester United

Middlesbrough

Southampton

Tottenham Hotspur

West Ham United

Leicester City

Sunderland

West Bromwich Albion

Watford

Burnley

Crystal Palace

Stoke City

Bournemouth

Hull City

Swansea City

 

EFL Championship

Aston Villa

Blackburn Rovers

Leeds United

Newcastle United

Nottingham Forest

Queens Park Rangers

Birmingham City

Derby County

Ipswich Town

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Fulham

Norwich City

Reading

Rotherham United

Preston North End

Sheffield Wednesday

Brighton & Hove Albion

Wigan Athletic

Bristol City

Brentford

Barnsley

Huddersfield Town

Cardiff City

Burton Albion

 

Ligue 1

SC Bastia

Girondins de Bordeaux

En Avant Guingamp

LOSC Lille

Olympique Lyonnais

FC Metz

AS Monaco

Montpellier HSC

FC Nantes

OGC Nice

Paris Saint-Germain

Stade Rennais

SM Caen

FC Lorient

Olympique de Marseille

Angers SCO

Toulouse FC

AS Saint-Étienne

AS Nancy

Dijon Football

 

Domino’s Ligue 2

AJ Auxerre

Racing Club de Lens

RC Strasbourg

Nîmes Olympique

FC Sochaux

ES Troyes AC

Stade Brestois 29

Stade de Reims

AC Ajaccio

Le Havre AC

Chamois Niortais FC

Stade Lavallois MFC

Clermont Foot

Amiens SC

GFC Ajaccio

Tours FC

Valenciennes FC

Bourg en Bresse 01

Red Star FC

US Orléans

 

Bundesliga

Bayern München

Borussia Dortmund

Borussia M’gladbach

SC Freiburg

Hamburger SV

1. FC Köln

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

FC Schalke 04

SV Werder Bremen

Hertha BSC

1. FSV Mainz 05

VfL Wolfsburg

Eintracht Frankfurt

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

FC Augsburg

SV Darmstadt 98

FC Ingolstadt 04

RB Leipzig

 

Bundesliga 2

1. FC Kaiserslautern

TSV 1860 München

VfB Stuttgart

Arminia Bielefeld

VfL Bochum

SpVgg Greuther Fürth

1. FC Nürnberg

Hannover 96

Dynamo Dresden

Erzgebirge Aue

1. FC Union Berlin

Karlsruher SC

SV Sandhausen

Würzburger Kickers

FC St. Pauli

Eintracht Braunschweig

Fortuna Düsseldorf

1. FC Heidenheim

 

Calcio A

Atalanta

Inter

Juventus

Lazio

Milan

Napoli

Roma

Torino

Udinese

Bologna

Chievo Verona

Pescara

Empoli

Sampdoria

Cagliari

Palermo

Fiorentina

Genoa

Crotone

Sassuolo

 

Calcio B

Brescia

Perugia

Hellas Verona

Ternana

Ascoli

Bari

Avellino

Salernitana

Pisa

Spezia

Cesena

Frosinone

Cittadella

Benevento

Novara

Pro Vercelli

Carpi

Trapani

Latina

Spal

Vicenza

Virtus Entella

 

MLS

Columbus Crew SC

D.C. United

New York Red Bulls

New England Revolution

Chicago Fire

Colorado Rapids

FC Dallas

Sporting KC

Los Angeles Galaxy

Houston Dynamo

Vancouver Whitecaps

Real Salt Lake

Montreal Impact

Portland Timbers

Seattle Sounders

Toronto FC

San Jose Earthquakes

Philadelphia Union

Orlando City SC

New York City FC

 

Tippeligaen

Rosenborg BK

Lillestrøm SK

Viking FK

Molde FK

Tromsø IL

Stabæk Fotball

FK Bodø/Glimt

SK Brann

VÃ¥lerenga

Strømsgodset Toppfotball

Odds Ballklubb

FK Haugesund

Sogndal Fotball

IK Start

Aalesunds FK

Sarpsborg 08 FF

 

Scottish Prem

Aberdeen

Celtic

Heart of Midlothian

Kilmarnock

Motherwell

Rangers

Dundee FC

Hamilton Academical

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Ross County

Partick Thistle

St. Johnstone

 

LaLiga Santander

Atlético de Madrid

FC Barcelona

RC Deportivo

Real Madrid

Athletic Club de Bilbao

Real Betis Balompié

RC Celta de Vigo

RCD Espanyol

Real Sociedad

Real Sporting de Gijón

Valencia CF

Deportivo Alavés

SD Eibar

UD Las Palmas

CA Osasuna

Sevilla FC

Villarreal CF

Málaga CF

CD Leganés

Granada CF

 

LaLiga 1|2|3

Real Zaragoza

CD Tenerife

RCD Mallorca

Real Valladolid

Elche CF

CD Numancia

Rayo Vallecano

Levante UD

Getafe CF

UD Almería

Córdoba CF

Cádiz CF

Nástic de Tarragona

AD Alcorcón

Girona FC

CD Mirandés

Sevilla Atlético

Real Oviedo

CD Lugo

SD Huesca

CF Reus Deportiu

UCAM Murcia

 

Allsvenskan

IFK Göteborg

Malmö FF

Helsingborgs IF

AIK

IF Elfsborg

IFK Norrköping

Örebro SK

Hammarby IF

Djurgårdens IF

BK Häcken

Kalmar FF

GIF Sundsvall

Gefle IF

Jönköpings Södra IF

Falkenbergs FF

Östersunds FK

 

EFL League One

Bolton Wanderers

Charlton Athletic

Millwall

Shrewsbury Town

Sheffield United

Milton Keynes Dons

Coventry City

Gillingham

Walsall

Bradford City

Oldham Athletic

Chesterfield

Port Vale

Northampton Town

Swindon Town

Peterborough United

Bury

Scunthorpe United

Oxford United

Southend United

Rochdale

Bristol Rovers

AFC Wimbledon

Fleetwood Town

 

EFL League Two

Grimsby Town

Crewe Alexandra

Barnet

Doncaster Rovers

Exeter City

Yeovil Town

Morecambe

Stevenage

Carlisle United

Portsmouth

Luton Town

Blackpool

Plymouth Argyle

Wycombe Wanderers

Colchester United

Cheltenham Town

Notts County

Mansfield Town

Hartlepool United

Cambridge United

Leyton Orient

Accrington Stanley

Crawley Town

Newport County

 

SSE Airtricity Lge

Bohemian FC

Shamrock Rovers

Cork City

St. Patrick’s Athletic

Derry City

Sligo Rovers

Dundalk FC

Bray Wanderers

Galway United

Longford Town

Finn Harps

Wexford Youths

 

Ekstraklasa

Lech Poznań

Ruch Chorzów

Wisła Płock

Legia Warszawa

Wisła Kraków

Górnik Łęczna

Jagiellonia Białystok

Pogoń Szczecin

Cracovia Kraków

Zagłębie Lubin

Arka Gdynia

Korona Kielce

Piast Gliwice

Lechia Gdańsk

Śląsk Wrocław

Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza

 

Russian League

CSKA Moskva

Krylya Sovetov Samara

Lokomotiv Moskva

Anzhi Makhachkala

Spartak Moskva

Zenit St. Petersburg

Terek Grozny

Rubin Kazan

FC Rostov

Tom Tomsk

Amkar Perm

Arsenal Tula

FC Ufa

FC Ural

FC Krasnodar

FC Orenburg

 

Süper Lig

Galatasaray

Fenerbahçe

BeÅŸiktaÅŸ

Trabzonspor

Antalyaspor

Bursaspor

Medipol BaÅŸakÅŸehir

Kayserispor

Gaziantepspor

Gençlerbirliği

Atiker Konyaspor

Çaykur Rizespor

Adanaspor

Kasımpaşa

Akhisarspor

Kardemir Karabükspor

Osmanlıspor

Alanyaspor

 

Rest of World

Olympiacos CFP

PAOK FC

Vasco da Gama

Panathinaikos FC

HJK Helsinki

Shakhtar Donetsk

Kaizer Chiefs

Orlando Pirates

Goiás

Criciúma

Joinville

World XI

Classic XI

MLS All Stars

Avaí

adidas All-Star Team

 

Men’s National

England

Austria

Belgium

Bulgaria

Czech Republic

Denmark

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Italy

Norway

Poland

Portugal

Republic of Ireland

Romania

Russia

Scotland

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Turkey

Wales

Argentina

Brazil

Paraguay

Uruguay

Mexico

United States

Cameroon

China PR

Australia

Hungary

Netherlands

Northern Ireland

South Africa

Peru

Colombia

Cote d’Ivoire

Egypt

Bolivia

Canada

Chile

Ecuador

India

Venezuela

 

Women’s National

Australia

Brazil

Canada

China PR

England

France

Germany

Italy

Mexico

Netherlands

Norway

Spain

Sweden

United States

 

Ö. Bundesliga

Red Bull Salzburg

Sturm Graz

Rapid Wien

Austria Wien

SV Ried

SV Mattersburg

SCR Altach

FC Admira Wacker Mödling

Wolfsberger AC

SKN St. Pölten

 

K LEAGUE Classic

Seongnam FC

FC Seoul

Suwon Samsung Bluewings

Ulsan Hyundai

Pohang Steelers

Jeonnam Dragons

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

Jeju United

Sangju Sangmu

Incheon United

Gwangju FC

Suwon FC

 

RSL

FC Vaduz

Grasshopper Club Zürich

FC Basel

FC Luzern

FC St. Gallen

BSC Young Boys

FC Thun

FC Lausanne-Sport

FC Lugano

FC Sion

 

Liga NOS

SL Benfica

FC Porto

Sporting CP

Chaves

Vitória Setúbal

Rio Ave

Vitória Guimarães

Belenenses

Nacional

Paços de Ferreira

Marítimo

SC Braga

Boavista

Moreirense

Feirense

Estoril Praia

Arouca

Tondela

 

Camp. Scotiabank

Universidad de Chile

Audax Italiano

Universidad Católica

Santiago Wanderers

Unión Española

Cobresal

Colo-Colo

CD Huachipato

CD Palestino

CD O’Higgins

Deportes Iquique

Deportes Antofagasta

Universidad de Concepción

Everton de Viña del Mar

San Luis de Quillota

Deportes Temuco

 

Liga Dimayor

Atlético Nacional

Junior Barranquilla

Deportivo Cali

Independiente Medellín

Independiente Santa Fe

Millonarios

Once Caldas

Deportes Tolima

Deportivo Pasto

Boyacá Chicó

La Equidad

Envigado

Patriotas Boyacá

Atlético Huila

Rionegro Águilas

Alianza Petrolera

Fortaleza CEIF

Jaguares de Córdoba

Cortuluá

Atlético Bucaramanga

 

LIGA Bancomer MX

Monarcas Morelia

Monterrey

Cruz Azul

América

Guadalajara

U.N.A.M.

Toluca

Tigres U.A.N.L.

Atlas

Necaxa

Santos Laguna

Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz

Pachuca

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro

Puebla

León

Tijuana

Chiapas FC

 

Meiji Yasuda J1

Júbilo Iwata

Kashiwa Reysol

Vissel Kobe

Kashima Antlers

FC Tokyo

Yokohama F. Marinos

Urawa Red Diamonds

Kawasaki Frontale

Nagoya Grampus

Gamba Osaka

Omiya Ardija

Vegalta Sendai

Albirex Niigata

Sanfrecce Hiroshima

Sagan Tosu

Shonan Bellmare

Ventforet Kofu

Avispa Fukuoka

 

Dawry Jameel

Al Hilal

Al Ittihad

Al Shabab

Al Ettifaq

Al Nassr

Al Ahli

Al Faisaly

Al Fateh

Al Qadisiyah

Al Raed

Al Taawoun

Al Wehda

Al Khaleej

Al Batin

 

Hyundai A-League

Adelaide United

Brisbane Roar

Central Coast Mariners

Melbourne Victory

Newcastle Jets

Perth Glory

Sydney FC

Wellington Phoenix

Melbourne City

Western Sydney Wanderers

 

Primera División

San Lorenzo de Almagro

River Plate

Boca Juniors

Estudiantes de La Plata

Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata

Racing Club de Avellaneda

Vélez Sarsfield

Independiente

Atlético de Rafaela

Arsenal de Sarandi

Lanús

Newell’s Old Boys

Olimpo Bahía Blanca

Banfield

Colón

Quilmes Atlético Club

Rosario Central

Patronato

Belgrano de Córdoba

Godoy Cruz

Aldosivi

Atlético Tucumán

Defensa y Justicia

Huracán

San Martín de San Juan

Club Atlético Tigre

Unión Santa Fe

Talleres de Córdoba

Sarmiento

Temperley

 


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Top 20 J-League Players – FIFA 17 Player Ratings – fifa15guide.net

Posted September 17th at 5:00pm.

These are the top 20 J-League players in FIFA 17.

Marquinhos Paraná

Shunsuke Nakamura

Yasuhito Endo

Masaaki Higashiguchi

Kim Seung Gyu

Moestafa El Kabir

Takeshi Aoki

Yoshito Okubo

Masato Morishige

Shinzo Koroki

Patric

Tsukasa Shiotani

Kengo Nakamura

Junya Tanaka

Muriqui

Tomoaki Makino

Ademilson

Toshihiro Aoyama

Avraam Papadopoulos

Peter Utaka


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Top 20 Women – FIFA 17 Player Ratings on fifa15guide

Posted September 18th at 5:00pm.

Based on international performances, these are the 20 highest rated women’s players in FIFA 17.

20. Caroline Seger

19. Wendie Renard

18. Steph Houghton

17. Sophie Schmidt

16. Erin McLeod

15. Rosana

14. Cristiane

13. Julie Johnston

12. Tobin Heath

11. Alex Morgan

10. Nilla Fischer

9. Dzsenifer Marozsan

8. Alexandra Popp

7. Becky Sauerbrunn

6. Ada Stolsmo Hegerberg

5. Amandine Henry

4. Christine Sinclair

3. Marta

2. Megan Rapinoe

1. Carli Lloyd


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Top 20 Goalkeepers – FIFA 17 Player Ratings – fifa15guide.net

Posted September 19th at 1:00pm.

20. Marc-André ter Stegen

19. Danijel SubaÅ¡ić

18. Yann Sommer

17. José Reina

16. Rui Patrício

15. Joe Hart

14. Ralf Fährmann

13. Claudio Bravo

12. Steve Mandanda

11. Stéphane Ruffier

10. Keylor Navas

9. Bernd Leno

8. Jan Oblak

7. Samir Handanovič

6. Petr ÄŒech

5. Gianluigi Buffon

4. Hugo Lloris

3. Thibaut Courtois

2. David De Gea

1. Manuel Neuer


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fifa15guide – Raheem Sterling hails Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers ahead of reunion

While Swansea went toe-to-toe with Manchester City in the first half, City broke away in the second via a Sergio Aguero brace.
While Swansea went toe-to-toe with Manchester City in the first half, City broke away in the second via a Sergio Aguero brace.
Even with two more goals to his name, Pep Guardiola thinks he can get more out of Sergio Aguero.

SWANSEA, Wales — Manchester City star Raheem Sterling has hailed former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers ahead of their Champions League reunion on Wednesday.

Rodgers, now in charge of Celtic, gave Sterling his debut as a 17-year-old when the pair were together at Anfield, but the England international left in acrimonious circumstances to join City in July 2015 and, just months later, Rodgers was sacked.

Rodgers said they never fell out throughout his protracted departure from Anfield and Sterling told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s game against Celtic: “He’s someone who gave me my full chance in the Premier League and gave me loads of starts and loads of confidence.

“It will be good to see him again and wish him well, but on the day it all comes down to trying to win that football match. He was massive for me. Every manager that I’ve worked with I’ve tried to learn as much as I can and he’s one that I definitely learnt a lot off. Credit to him he was a fantastic guy.

“In terms of playing me in different positions, making me understand the roles and maturing in certain systems. He gave me a lot of confidence as well.”

Raheem Sterling scored Manchester City’s third goal as they beat Swansea on Saturday.

The 21-year-old is now working under Pep Guardiola and has thrived this season with four goals and six assists from his eight appearances.

The City boss has helped him regain his confidence after a difficult end to last season when he lost his starting place at City, followed by a tough summer at the European Championship when he was criticised as England crashed out in the round of 16.

Sterling scored the third goal to kill off hopes of a Swansea City comeback in the 3-1 win at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday with a moment of sublime skill. He sent Swans defender Kyle Naughton the wrong way with a delightful dummy before passing the ball into the back of the net.

“It’s something I need to keep doing,” the 21-year-old said. “I’ve had a few chances over the last couple of years and I just need to finish them off and that’s what’s really going to make me the player I want to be — scoring more goals.

“And I just need to be cool in front of goal and keep going, trying to score as many goals as I can to help the team.

“[Pep] said just enjoy scoring goals, enjoy putting it in the back of the net. Going in there [against Swansea] I made my mind up straight away what I was going to do and luckily it paid off.

“He just gives everyone confidence — not just me. He gives everyone a belief and a motivation. His speech before was fantastic so you go out onto the pitch and you’re really fired up for the game.”

A victory on Wednesday night would go a long way toward securing a place in the knockout stage of the Champions League following City’s 4-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach in their group opener, but Sterling is expecting a difficult game and an intimidating atmosphere.

“I think I’ve played there in a preseason game already but it’s probably not going to be the same. It will be a big night there so I can expect the fans to be roaring and hopefully we can get good support out there as well,” he said.

“But it’s going to be a difficult game and we know that. We’ve got to go away now and prepare ourselves for that. Come back working and fighting to win the game.

“I’ve watched a few of their league games and watched their Champions League game so we know what they can do. They’ve got players that can score goals so we’ve got to be ready on the day — fighting and trying to win the game.”

Jonathan is ESPN FC’s Manchester City correspondent. Follow him @jonnysmiffy.

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fifa15guide | Zamalek put one foot in final

While the all-North African semi-final tie in the CAF Champions League has all but been decided after Zamalek’s overwhelming 4-0 victory against Moroccan club Wydad Casablanca, the situation down south is very different. Zambian club Zesco United, who have never progressed beyond the group stage, kept alive their hopes of a first-ever place in the final with a 2-1 victory against South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns at home.

The winner of October’s two-legged final will represent Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016 in December.

Game of the week
Zamalek 4-0 Wydad Casablanca

Wydad Casablanca will have a mountain to climb if they want to qualify for their third Champions League final. The Moroccan club slumped to an emphatic 4-0 defeat against five-time champions Zamalek. Shikabala gave the home side the lead with a remarkable goal early on. The striker received the ball in his own half, ran over 50 meters before unleashing a powerful shot from well outside the goal area. Ayman Hefny then doubled the lead in the 18th minute, putting Zamalek firmly in control. The White Knights came out of the change rooms as charged as they were at the start of the first, scoring a third goal just a few minutes after the restart through Bassem Morsi. Worse was to follow for the visitors as Zamalek midfielder Mostafa Fathi found the back of the net from the penalty spot giving reserve goalkeeper Mohamed Akid, who had to take over from regular goalkeeper Zouheir Laaroubi, no chance. But despite achieving their highest-ever winning margin in the semi-final, Zamalek coach Moemen Soliman saw some problems with his side’s performance. “Despite the big win, we committed some mistakes that we will work hard to avoid in the coming match,” he said.

The other match
Going into their match against Mamelodi Sundowns, Zambian club Zesco United had yet to lose in African club competitions at home in Ndola. And they managed to maintain that record with a 2-1 victory against the Brazilians for a result that leaves the tie wide open. Neither side managed a goal before the break, with Jesse Were coming close for the home side early on, but his attempt found goalkeeper Denis Onyango at his best. The home side finally broke the deadlock shortly after the restart when Jackson Mwanza headed home. And the striker added another just two minutes later, deflecting a free-kick past the Ugandan goalkeeper. After falling behind Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane made three changes and his gamble paid off as Liberian substitute Anthony Laffor provided the assist to allow South African Footballer of the Year Khama Billiat to pull back a goal for the South African side – keeping the tie wide open.

Player of the week
The goals scored by Zesco United in their successful Champions League campaign this season have been scored by a number of players, with Idriss Mbombo, Clatous Chama and Jesse Were all being found high-up in the competition’s scorer charts. In Saturday’s semi-final against Mamelodi Sundowns, however, it was Jackson Mwamza who kept alive Ya Ziko’s chances of a first-ever place in the final of the Champions League. The Chipolopolo striker found the net twice to seal his side’s 2-1 victory. Although the 29-year-old is not a regular in the national team, he is not an unknown entity, having won Zambia’s Golden Boot award in 2014 with 15 goals.

The stat
6 –
The number of matches that Zambian club Zesco United have now won at home this year in the Champions League. The only blight in their record is a 1-1 draw against Wydad Casablanca in the group stage. They won the six other home games with a total goal difference of +10, with 17 goals for and seven against.

What they said
“The players’ performance was outstanding. It wasn’t only 100 per cent, but 120 per cent. I am very happy with the great victory. We respected our opponents and studied them well, and I want to thank all the players after succeeding to fulfil our expectations. However, qualification for the final isn’t ensured yet,” Zamalek coach Moemen Soliman.

Have your say
Can Wydad Casablanca become the first club to bounce back from a four-goal first leg deficit to snatch an unlikely place in the Champions League final. The 1992 winners lost the away leg in Egypt 4-0.

fifa15guide | Giroud slams Verratti after red cards

The Frenchman has hit out at the midfielder, claiming that the situation that led to them both being dismissed was “escalated” needlessly

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud criticised Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti for going to the ground easily after both saw red in the 1-1 Champions League draw.

The duo were shown second yellow cards in additional time at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday after a tangle.

Giroud brought down Verratti before Marquinhos pushed the Arsenal man into his team-mate, leading to bookings.

The Frenchman was unimpressed by Verratti, left frustrated by his sending off.

"Being on a yellow card, I didn't want to make waves," Giroud said afterwards.


READ MORE | Alexis saves Arsenal


"I obstructed Verratti, he threw himself to the ground and I don't understand. Marquinhos pushed me from behind and I don't know how Verratti falls a second time.

"It escalated the situation. It's frustrating, especially since I don't know if the referee saw what happened.

"I was really surprised at his behaviour."

Edinson Cavani had given PSG a first-minute lead at home, but Alexis Sanchez salvaged a point for Arsenal in the second half.

Ronaldo returns in his favourite competition – but Madrid can now function without him – fifa15guide.net

The Portuguese is back to face his former club in the tournament he loves the most – but Los Blancos rely upon him far less these days


Ronaldo returns in his favourite competition - but Madrid can now function without him - fifa15guide.net COMMENT


It is a game he will not have wanted to miss. Cristiano Ronaldo returns against his old club Sporting CP and in his favourite competition: the Champions League. But as he starts his eighth season at Real Madrid, the team is set up to function without him these days.

Coach Zinedine Zidane is a big admirer. The French coach worked hard to get Ronaldo back on board after replacing Rafa Benitez last January. And it paid dividends: as the team improved, so too did Cristiano and there was a happy ending in May as Madrid claimed the Champions League.

The Portuguese played his part. He scored a total of 16 goals throughout the competition and his hat-trick against Wolfsburg turned over a 2-0 deficit from the first leg in the quarter-finals. Not for the first time in recent years, he had got his team out of jail.

But as Zidane builds for the future, he is keen for Madrid to function with or without Ronaldo. While the 31-year-old is there and still scoring, everyone is content at Santiago Bernabeu. But there is no longer a feeling that the club depend upon him as they once did.

In the semi-finals of the Champions League last season, it was Gareth Bale who forced the winner versus Manchester City – an own goal by Fernando – and in the showpiece against Atletico at San Siro, it was the Welshman driving the team forward, and his flick-on which found Sergio Ramos for Madrid's goal.

Later, Ronaldo missed a great chance moments before Yannick Carrasco made it 1-1 and he did very little at all until he hit home the winning penalty to take the glory and the headlines in the shootout.

"I asked Zidane if I could take the fifth penalty," he said afterwards. "Because I knew it would be the winner."

Good for him. He had his moment, he clearly enjoyed it and after everything he has done for Madrid in recent seasons, he deserved it. Now a two-time Champions League winner with Real, he has won nine trophies in total for the Spanish side and there is the promise of more this time around.

Also a European champion with Portugal in the summer, Ronaldo was injured in the final against France and has only just returned to action. Cristiano was back in action in the 5-2 win over Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday and set the ball rolling as he netted inside six minutes.

However, there were five different scorers for Madrid in that match and overall this term in La Liga, nine players have netted for Real. As usual, Ronaldo's goals will be vital for the team's hopes – but Zidane wants to see a variety of scorers in 2016-17.

The French coach will also be keen to see Ronaldo arrive at the end of the season in tip-top condition – something which has not always happened in recent campaigns. In 2015-16, just like in 2013-14, Cristiano was troubled towards the end of the season by his knee and was not fully fit for the most important games of all. Managing his fitness this time could prove key.

"What I can tell you is that he is ready," Zidane said on Tuesday ahead of the match against Sporting. "He wants to play [it all], but we will see later on. The idea is that he plays 90 minutes. Let’s see later because in the game anything can happen.

"I’m always thinking about the 60 days he was out and that for a player is a lot. He is ready, but we will see little by little. I speak with Cristiano about other things, because if you ask Cristiano, he always wants to play the 90 minutes.”


Ronaldo returns in his favourite competition - but Madrid can now function without him - fifa15guide.net Ronaldo returns in his favourite competition - but Madrid can now function without him - fifa15guide.net READ MORE Ronaldo returns in his favourite competition - but Madrid can now function without him - fifa15guide.net | Madrid impossible to improve – Florentino


Convincing Cristiano to take a break now and again will be anything but easy. But Madrid have a big squad and two players, Alvaro Morata and Marco Asensio, who can ease the burden on the rest of the attackers this season.

And even when Ronaldo is in the team, he is not the only player Madrid look to for inspiration. The Portuguese is more of a penalty-box operator now and it is Bale who has taken up the role he used to occupy, leading breakaway attacks and dribbling from deep.

Meanwhile, the craft and guile of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in midfield are essential for Real, along with the unselfish link-up play of Benzema and the driving runs from Marcelo and Dani Carvajal in the full-back positions.

So Ronaldo remains a key figure and his goals will still be important in the current campaign and probably beyond that too, but as he returns for an emotional encounter against Sporting on Wednesday night, Madrid are set up increasingly to be able to function without him.