THURSDAY’S BIG STORIES
Monte Carlo and bust
The universe is built on sand; everything is fleeting. The sun rises and disappears again. Flowers bloom and then die. Adorable kittens become miserable old cats become compost.
So it was that this Monaco side – a thing of delicate beauty, all the more alluring for having blossomed so unexpectedly – was always destined to hit a brick wall at some stage. Such is the way of things. Beauty never lasts.
Hopefully, they’ll win Ligue 1. With a dash of luck, they’ll be able to hold onto a few players when the vultures come in search of flesh this summer. There might still be better things to come. But not this week, not in this Champions League campaign.
On a chastening night at the Stade Louis II, Juventus took one glance at Monaco’s youthful vim, laughed, and steamrollered them with withering ease. It was men against boys – quite literally in some areas of the pitch – and from the very first knockings there was only ever going to be one winner.
Portly poacher Gonzalo Higuain will hog most of the headlines after scoring both of Juve’s goals, but really this was a display of collective might, every player contributing. It is inconceivable that they will let this lead slip back in Turin and very conceivable indeed that they will be lifting the trophy in Cardiff in a few weeks’ time.
Kylian in the name of
He’s a pacy, technical forward capable playing out wide or through the middle. He’s racked up the goals for Monaco and looks destined to lead the line for France for years to come. Little wonder, then, that Kylian Mbappe is already being compared to a bona fide Premier League legend. But who will win the race for the ‘new Emmanuel Rivière’?
Only joking! See what we did there? Of course, he’s really the ‘new Anthony Martial’ and might even be playing alongside the old Anthony Martial next season if Manchester United’s plans come to fruition. The Guardian report that the Red Devils had a £72million bid turned down earlier this week, with Monaco apparently holding out for £100million.
Those lofty figures are of course catnip for Ed Woodward, so there’s every chance that this will develop into one of those long, drawn-out summer sagas that literally no one enjoys. Yay!
Kenny for your thoughts
To Merseyside, now, and the news that Liverpool have renamed Anfield’s Centenary Stand in honour of one of their greatest ever players. Sadly, though, The Warm-Up will have to wait a few more years for the inauguration of the Philipp Degen Tribune, for the Reds have played it safe and opted to christen it the Kenny Dalglish Stand.
Bad news for people who like iconic footballers: Francesco Totti has announced that he is retiring at the end of the season. For The Warm-Up’s money, the Italian has been chronically underappreciated over the last couple of decades – in part a result of his steadfast refusal to leave boyhood club Roma, perhaps.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: The Warm-Up: Youthful vim no match for this Old Lady