Coutinho turns Bayern into Champions League challengers – Ederson

first_imgBayern Munich are among the favourites to win the Champions League this season following the arrival of Philippe Coutinho, Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson believes.The 27-year-old joined the German giants from Barcelona on loan for the season, with Bayern reserving an option to buy him outright at the end of the campaign for around €120 million (£110m/$133m).Although the Brazil international failed to seal a regular spot in the Barcelona team in the 18 months following his move from Liverpool, he has made an impact in Bavaria after just two Bundesliga appearances to earn the admiration of his team-mates. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Star striker Robert Lewandowski has tipped the midfielder and winger to become one of their most important players this term, saying: “He can be the key in important games, especially in the Champions League. He can give us that something special. [Coutinho’s presence] makes us more unpredictable, which makes us more dangerous.”And Coutinho’s fellow Brazil star Ederson is in agreement with Lewandowski, as he believes a “great” team has been made even stronger and could go on to win a first Champions League title since 2013.”Bayern is always a great team. Now with Coutinho they definitely belong among the title favourites for the Champions League,” Ederson told  Bild   while on international duty this week.”Coutinho is a brilliant player. Unfortunately, it did not go as well for him in Barcelona as it was in Liverpool. “At Bayern he can now show his football again and be really happy again.”Meanwhile, Brazil boss Tite is confident Coutinho can keep up the good work in the German top-flight: “He has played twice in the Bundesliga. I hope it will continue and help him to realise and develop his full potential.”And Coutinho himself is confident of improving as a player in Munich, as he hopes to thrive in a team full of strong players.”There are a lot of good players, top players and great players [here],” he said after his first start with the club – a 6-1 win over Mainz. “I’m really happy to be here so that I can learn from them and get better.”last_img read more

‘Conte is the Messi of the coaching world’

first_imgAntonio Conte is “the Lionel Messi of coaches”, according to Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni.The former Chelsea, Juventus and Italy manager has overseen two wins from two games as he settles into life at San Siro, with Inter top of the Serie A table on goal difference.It may still be early days, but following the signings of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez from Manchester United, plenty have tipped Inter to provide a real challenge to Juve in this season’s title race. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Italy Under-21 international Bastoni does not want his team-mates to get ahead of themselves, but he is loving life under his enigmatic new manager.“Everyone had spoken highly of Conte and I’ve only received confirmation of how great he is. As far as I am concerned, Conte is the Messi of coaches,” Bastoni told Gazzetta dello Sport.“He is phenomenal, has exceptional footballing ideas and always wants to go on the attack. The training schedule is very tough indeed, but so was Gian Piero Gasperini when I played for Atalanta.“The difference was that we were training in China over the summer and the humidity was incredible, so I admit that did make me suffer a lot. But when the quality level goes up, you must raise your game to meet it.“There’s no point denying it, we want to change the way the Serie A seasons have been going recently. We have the Coach and the squad to do that, but must prove it one game at a time.”Antonio Conte Romelu Lukaku InterBastoni is yet to make his debut for Inter, but has Serie A experience under his belt after coming through the ranks at Atalanta and spending last season on loan with Parma.He signed a new five-year contract at Inter last year and, having consistently represented Italy from U15 to U21 level, will be hoping to make his first-team bow sooner rather than later.For now, he is happy to continue learning his trade under one of Italy’s most revered coaches of recent years – even if his new team-mates might make life difficult for him in training.“It’s tough marking Lukaku in training,” he admitted, “but on the plus side it’s good practice for when you do go up against physically strong strikers, because they’re a piece of cake compared to him! Romelu is like a force of nature.“I’ve been so impressed by the humility of my teammates at Inter, despite them being some of the best in the world, and they give me such great advice. I’ve always supported Inter, so looking at myself in the mirror with this jersey on is a dream come true.”last_img read more