Valencia victory confirms Champions League return | MUNDIAL MORNINGS

WEDNESDAY 26 AUGUST 2015

Spanish side Valencia defeated AS Monaco 4-3 on aggregate to
secure a spot in the Champions League this season.

Champions League football has been non existent for the last two years, although the win means ‘The Oranges’ will once again join four
other Spanish teams in the group stages.

‘Five star’ Spain will be the first country ever, to have five
teams in a Champions League group stage. Valencia will join FC Barcelona, Real
Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla who won the Europa League last season.

Australian goalkeeper Matt Ryan played an influential role
in holding off the French champions over the course of two legs. Ryan was signed to Valencia at the beginning
of the season, after proving to be the best goalkeeper in Belgium for two years.

Ironically, the Champions’ League group stage draw will be
hosted in Monaco this Thursday.

EUROPEAN HEARTBREAK FOR CELTIC

Scottish side Celtic bowed out of the Champions League
yet again after losing their two legged tie to Swedish champions Malmo.        

The defeat came controversially after Celtic was denied of a
goal due to an apparent foul in the box. Midfielder Nir Bitton scored what
would have been a wonder goal, scoring from a corner only to be disallowed by Serbian
referee Milorad Mazic. Malmo won the tie 4-3 on aggregate.

Celtic no doubt has some of the best fans in the world, and
their absence will be noticed once again in this seasons Champions League.

Failure to qualify will cost the Scottish side £15million.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila could
be in hot water after failing to qualify his team for the second year in a row.

“We looked scared, uncomfortable and stressed,” Deila said
last night. “And that is my responsibility. I have to go through what happened
and learn from this, that is so important”.

SUPER MARIO RETURNS TO ROSSONERI

Liverpool flop Mario Balotelli has returned to Italian club
AC Milan on a season long loan deal.

Balotelli completed his medical for the Rossoneri and will
finally be handed some first team football.

The big question on the minds of Milan fans, is whether the
troubled Italian can resurrect his rocky career.

Balotelli scored 26 goals in 43 appearances in the 2013/14
season for Milan and will hope to replicate the same sort of form once again.

“Did I imagine returning to Milan? Yes, I always had Milan
in my heart and I always hoped to come back.

“Will I finish my career at Milan? I have to work hard and
do well this year, and then I’ll think about that.“

BARCELONA BURIES NEYMAR UNITED SPECULATION 

FC Barcelona has extinguished any spark to the flame with rumours that
Manchester United were close to signing 23 year old Neymar.

Even Neymar’s dad said he is son is happy to stay at the club which
was officially backed by club president Josep Maria Bartomeu in an interview to a Catalan
radio station Catalunya Radio.yesterday.

"Neymar is happy at Barca. We don’t want Neymar to
leave at all.

"He is a young player that has an international
football projection above the norm. He has helped us a lot in our recent
successes.

"In a few months’ time we will discuss his contract
extension as he has three years left on his current deal.

"We want him to stay for many years, three, five, 10 or
even 15 years more with us.”

By ARI CHARILAOU

Mundial Mornings is your morning wrap of world football. The latest news, transfers, matches, rumours from Australia and the world delivered every morning.
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Ari Charilaou