Mbappe clowns Kurzawa and Balotelli sails the seas – Ligue 1 goes social

Football fans who want to see Paris Saint-Germain left-back Layvin Kurzawa play in England may be left disappointed – as the defender’s mastery of the language is not what it might be.

Indeed, the France international has been ridiculed on social media this week by team-mates Kylian Mbappe and Julian Draxler because his level in the foreign tongue is basic at best.

Mbappe took to Instagram with the Germany midfielder to have a friendly dig at his team-mate. “When your team-mate doesn’t know how to say ‘three’ in English!” he exclaimed, while holding up three fingers on each hand. In truth, it is a dig that Kurzawa seems to have taken in good spirits, and besides, he would get his own back later in the week.


Quand ton collègue ne sait pas dire 3 en anglais @kurzawa_20 @draxlerofficial

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After Mbappe helped PSG rout Celtic 7-1 in the Champions League in midweek, he returned to Monaco on Sunday, the club where he made his name last season.


Victoire 7-1 contre le Celtic

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Although his overall performance was of a high level generally, for once his finishing let him down as he missed four great chances to strike against his former side.

All of those were missed – and to compound the issues it was off his head that Joao Moutinho’s free kick deflected to give the hosts late hope.

PSG ran out 2-1 winners in the end, but Thiago Silva admitted after the game that the Parisians were teasing Mbappe by reminding him that he does not play for Monaco any more.

His inability to put the ball in the goal will have disappointed the forward, who said prior to the match: “A game as special as it is important.”


Match aussi important que spécial… @nikefootball #playfire #mercurial #asmpsg

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If Mbappe was quiet with his fans after that encounter, which puts PSG nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, Dani Alves, who had scored a fine goal earlier in the week against Celtic, praised the ethic of his team. “Great work and a big victory my men!” he said.


« Grand travail et grande victoire mon gars » #GoodCrazy

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A busy week of football means that there has been little time to relax for Ligue 1’s biggest stars, including Neymar.

Nevertheless, he has shown a glimpse of his home life by posting a picture of his son on a skiing trip as well as his three dogs, Poker, Truco and Flush.


My little boy

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Poker Truco Flush

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And no week would be complete without an offering from Nice striker Mario Balotelli, who found a pirate skeleton in his club’s gear to pose beside.



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It is another busy week for France’s top flight, with midweek matches again set to limit the players’ time to enjoy themselves – but no doubt Kurzawa will be brushing up on his English before his next training ground test!


Balotelli’s world at Man City – Smashing plasma TVs, handing out cash and collecting parking tickets

Mario Balotelli smashed a plasma TV after being sent off and left a collection of parking tickets in his locker when departing Manchester City, Les Chapman has revealed.

A former kit man at the Premier League club has lifted the lid on the antics of an enigmatic striker who spent two-and-a-half years at the Etihad Stadium.

Man City -2 21/20 v Southampton

Balotelli’s misdemeanours throughout his colourful career are legendary, with the 27-year-old never far from the headlines.

That was certainly the case during his time in England, with Chapman – who made the famous ‘Why Always Me’ t-shirt displayed against Manchester United in October 2011 – left bemused by most of the Italian’s behaviour.

He told the Daily Mail on Balotelli: “He was a complete one-off, the most unpredictable man on the planet. When he got sent off at Arsenal he threw his boot through the plasma TV in the dressing-room!

Mario Balotelli Les Chapman Manchester City boot plasma

“But he was bright, he wasn’t stupid, and he was very generous. He would go into a garage and pay for everyone’s petrol or give a homeless guy a wad of cash.

“Then he used to wonder why his car was impounded 27 times… because it was painted in camouflage and he parked it on double yellows outside San Carlo restaurant in the middle of Manchester every day.

“I opened his locker after he left and all his parking tickets just fell out!”

Among those Balotelli clashed with during his time at City was former manager Roberto Mancini – a coach he also worked with at Serie A giants Inter.

Chapman believes falling outs were inevitable, with a Premier League title-winning boss a difficult man to work with.

He added on Mancini: “We won the Premier League and FA Cup and he is a legend to the fans, I understand that, but he was too confrontational. He was irrational.

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“I saw him fall out with Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott, Samir Nasri, Edin Dzeko, Vincent Kompany, Carlos Tevez… when Manuel Pellegrini came in it was the opposite, he actually spoke to you and shook your hand.”

Balotelli left City to join AC Milan in January 2013, before returning to England with Liverpool in the summer of 2014.

A forgettable spell at Anfield followed, but he has rebuilt his career and reputation in France with Nice.


Panna battle: Neymar vs Jesus – Ligue 1 goes social

Neymar has shown that he poses a danger even to his team-mates in training.

The skills of the world’s most expensive player are renowned all over the globe, and over the course of the last week he has shown them with Brazil on international duty. One man who should have expected to be a victim of the 25-year-old, however, is Gabriel Jesus.

Manchester City forward cheekily nutmegged Neymar during Brazil’s training at Craven Cottage last week, and the latter got his revenge with a cruel nutmeg of his own at Wembley. 

In training prior to the scoreless draw against England, Jesus thought the session was over and was wandering towards the tunnel while taking off his bib. He did not, however, count on a cheeky piece of skill from the PSG star, who relished the fact that he had nutmegged his compatriot from long range.


Tudo que vai ….. volta! @dejesusoficial

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While Neymar clearly relishes turning out for his country, he found one aspect to his dissatisfaction in England – the weather! Although winter is yet to really arrive in London, he was well wrapped up in training and showed his preference for a warmer climate as he posted a picture of himself with a snowman emoji.



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Back in Paris, meanwhile, he tested his skills against Dani Alves in an improvised game of head tennis. Using a block as a target, the duo took a little while to get to grips with the game, but once they got their eye in both impressed. However, Neymar suffered a shock defeat to the veteran right-back in the point he posted on his social media account.



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Alves, meanwhile, is settling into life in France impressively and has already taken to calling the capital “home”, as he proved as he got back to the club earlier this week.


Back home!! #GoodCrazy #AllezPsg

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Kylian Mbappe was equally pleased to return, having played for France in their victory against Wales and then a 2-2 draw against world champions Germany, in which they were only denied another win at the very last moment.


Retour en club…

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Though he was left on the bench for his side’s 4-1 win over Nantes at the weekend, he was particularly happy to see strike partner Neymar again. “My bro,” he called the Brazil ace on social media, showing a picture of the pair in a pool.


My bro @neymarjr

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Alves was involved, however, and was impressed with the way the capital side extended their lead over Monaco at the top of the table. “Well played, lads,” he commented after a double from Edinson Cavani plus strikes from Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore gave the league leaders another thumping win.


« Bien joué mon gars » #allezpsg #goodcrazy

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One man who has not been involved either for club or country in the last couple of weeks is Mario Balotelli. He has been knocking on the door of an Italy recall thanks to his fine form in France, yet previous coach Gian Piero Ventura persistently overlooked him.

His desire to return to the Azzurri has never been a secret, and after Ventura was sacked as Italy were knocked out of the World Cup by Sweden, he posted a #TBT picture of himself with the national team. It was surely no coincidence that he appeared to be praying in the photo, showing how much he wants to return.


#tbt #italia

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Balotelli was suspended from Nice’s weekend match against Caen, which ended in a 1-1 draw, but will be back in the fold for their next outing.


‘I wish Neymar was playing’ – Balotelli wanted to face PSG ace

Mario Balotelli is disappointed he will not have the chance to go head-to-head with Neymar when Paris Saint-Germain host Nice in Ligue 1 on Friday.

Nice have endured a poor start to the Ligue 1 campaign and are aiming to break a run of three consecutive top-flight defeats at Parc des Princes.

Nice 33/1 to win EL with dabblebet

Unai Emery’s league leaders will be without Neymar after the Brazil international was sent off during last weekend’s heated 2-2 draw at Marseille.

Balotelli has been in impressive goalscoring form this term, with eight in 11 appearances across all competitions, and the enigmatic Italian striker is not giving up hope that his team-mates can spring a surprise.

“Of course it’s possible [to win at PSG],” he told Nice Martin . “It’s difficult but feasible.

“I wanted to play against Neymar, personally. I wish he were in the game.”

Balotelli’s form has led to calls in some quarters for him to earn an international recall for Italy’s World Cup play-off against Sweden next month.

A report by Gazzetta dello Sport suggested Italy boss Gian Piero Ventura is not ready to take the plunge and hand the 27-year-old his first action for the Azzurri since the 2014 World Cup and Balotelli is relaxed about the situation.

“If the national coach wants to call me up, I’m ready,” he added. “If he doesn’t want to call me up, I’ll always support the national team.”