Premier League starlet handed a nine-month ban

A 16-year-old Premier League footballer has been handed a nine-month ban from the sport after the player breached an anti-doping rule for possession of a banned substance, England’s Football Association said on Wednesday.

According to ESPN, the player, whose age and club has been redacted from the report, was found in possession of a “pen-type dispenser” containing growth hormone somatropin when he was 15 years old.

The player had also been charged for using the growth hormone but an independent regulatory commission found that claim to be unproven and applied a back-dated nine-month suspension that will conclude on May 7.

“Athletes, their parents and the teams they play for, all have a role to play in helping to keep sport clean,” UK Anti-Doping director of operations Pat Myhill said in a statement.

“This case demonstrates that the anti-doping rules apply to all athletes, regardless of age, and serves as an important reminder of the serious consequences that can apply if those rules are broken.

“If you are responsible for a young athlete, you should take a proactive approach to ensure their participation in clean sport and help to protect them from the risks of doping.”

Tuchel heaps praise on Chelsea for making Atletico Madrid “suffer”, reveals his instruction before clash

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has paid tribute to his side for making Atletico Madrid ‘suffer’ during their 1-0 win on Tuesday night.

Olivier Giroud’s stunning overhead kick gave the Blues a precious away goal to take back to Stamford Bridge for the second leg of their Champions League last 16 clash.

On BT Sport, Tuchel said: “Fantastic result, fantastic goal. Well deserved.

“We wanted to dominate in the opponents’ half, to never lose concentration, not to do any easy mistakes and always be aware of quick counter-attacks for all their quality.

“It was a very disciplined performance – a deserved shut-out. This is the hard work, a team effort – the basis for a big win. We knew it [Atletico packing their defence] could happen.

“We told the guys if it happens maybe it’s our quality and the respect. We wanted to be brave and play in their half. We knew they were ready to suffer with eight people in the box. The intention was to keep the intensity high.

“This is what we did very good. We never let them breathe or come out for counter-attacks. We have a big reward with this result. This is one of the toughest challenges to open a defence like Atletico.”

Romelu Lukaku says he has “nothing but love” for Chelsea, describes Antonio Conte’s training as “warzone”

Romelu Lukaku has expressed his love for Chelsea, saying he has “nothing but love” for the west London club.

The Inter Milan hitman answered fan questions about Antonio Conte’s training, his rapport with Lautaro Martinez, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Days after the 3-0 victory over Milan that sent them four points clear at the top of the Serie A table, the Belgium international held an impromptu Q&A via Twitter.

He was asked what he said straight after scoring that goal when running from the centre-circle in the derby, in which he seemed to switch languages mid-way through.

“Man I talked a lot of ****, adrenaline I guess!” was the response.

He provided an assist for Lautaro Martinez too in the game, confirming their excellent rapport.

“Communication is key! We have a great feel for each other, but most importantly we work for the team.”

There was also an insight into how Conte runs his training sessions at Inter.

“Training is actually a warzone. Our manager don’t play lol. He doesn’t like it when we hold in, haha. I love it.”

Naturally, there were a few questions from Premier League fans about moving on from Manchester United, Everton and Chelsea.

When asked if he has regrets, his response was: “I use failure as motivation.”

Lukaku has “nothing but love” for Chelsea. “They gave me an opportunity to come to the Premier League as a kid. You can’t have everything in life and I’m cool with that. I’m glad that experience got me to where I am today.”

And where he is now is “home,” as replying to someone asking when he was ‘coming home’ to England.

“(Ole Gunnar Solskjaer) is doing great. You guys have to know I love him as a manager and as a person and I wish him nothing but the best.”

(Watch Video) Elche goalkeeper star-struck as Lionel Messi asks for his shirt after La Liga clash

Lionel Messi left Elche goalkeeper Edgar Badia in shock following Wednesday night’s LaLiga clash – by asking for his shirt.

The Argentine legend scored twice in the second-half to give Barcelona a comfortable 3-0 win at the Nou Camp.

After the game, Badia approached Messi and asked him for his shirt.

As he was given the iconic Barcelona No10 jersey, Badia was left visibly perplexed as Messi asked for his in return.

A mixture of sheepish and giddy, the Elche stopper ripped off his top and handed it to Messi.

The pair shared a laugh, shook hands and went their separate ways.

Ex-Chelsea starlet dumps England for Germany after meeting with national team boss, gives reason for decision

Jamal Musiala has announced his decision to play for Germany national team instead of England after a talk with head coach Joachim Low.

The Bayern Munich teenager became the youngest English scorer in the Champions League when he netted for the Bundesliga giants in Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Lazio in Rome.

Hours later the 17-year-old attacking midfielder announced his decision to play for Germany.

“I have a heart for Germany and a heart for England,” Musiala told Germany’s ARD Television as cited by ESPN.

“I thought about it a lot but at the end I listened to the feeling that it is the right decision to play for Germany.”

The Stuttgart-born Musiala played almost his entire youth career at Chelsea from 2011 before joining Bayern in 2019 and thus was eligible to also play for England.

He has also represented both Germany and England at national youth level but said a chat with coach Low helped swing the decision in Germany’s favour.

“I had a very good an honest discussion with Joachim Low. We met in Munich and he showed me clearly my way to the national team,” Musiala said.

He said Germany team director Oliver Bierhoff had also been present.

“I was impressed by how well informed they both were. Mr. Low analysed very well my style and my weaknesses. He sees me in the future in my strongest position, that in the attacking midfield,” Musiala added.

Germany have advanced to this year’s European Championship and Low said Musiala would be called up next month for their three World Cup 2022 qualifying matches.

“I see huge potential in him,” Low said. “Obviously we had him in our sights for some time.

“No one can give a guarantee at this stage, that would not be serious. But I think that we will call him up in March especially as the squad will be bigger due to the three international matches.”

Photo Credit: FCBayernEN/Twitter