Budweiser Launch 'Blessed Beer' Ahead of World Cup – Brew Infused With Fan Pride & Passion

​Budweiser has officially launched ‘Blessed Beer’, a beer by the fans, for the fans. It is a brew that will be ‘infused with the die-hard support’ of football fans from across the United Kingdom.

Budweiser will be touring the country with a tanker of the ‘UK’s finest malt’ and encouraging football fans to sign and bless it before it makes it way to breweries.

The tanker tour began at Wembley, the home of football, with ex-England captain Steven Gerrard and a group of fans representing different countries that will be participating at this summer’s FIFA World Cup™ in Russia.

Budweiser Blessed Beer

Every time the Blessed Beer tanker is signed by a fan it is ‘infused with supporter pride and passion’ and Budweiser will brew and bottle the beer for sale ahead of the big kick off in June.

The Blessed Beer tanker will next meet football fans in ​Birmingham on the 29th March, before arriving in Manchester on 31st March.

The final leg of the tour will see the tanker stop at two of Budweiser’s UK breweries: Magor, Caldicot; and Samlesbury, Lancashire, where the beer will be expertly brewed, bottled, and made available to purchase in-store nationwide.

“The 2018 FIFA World Cup™ only comes around once every four years, which is why I was so excited to work with Budweiser to deliver a beer that captures the raw fan energy of football fans up and down the country,” Gerrard said.

Budweiser Blessed Beer

“The sport would be nothing without its dedicated supporters, and Budweiser is celebrating them by creating a beer that bottles their passion and pride – for fans of every nation to enjoy for the tournament. I can’t wait to crack one open in June!”

Rowan Chidgey, Marketing Manager at Budweiser UK, commented, “Budweiser has a long history of supporting the fans when it comes to football, and we wanted to go that extra step in rewarding supporters as part of our 2018 FIFA World Cup™ sponsorship with the unique Blessed Beer.

“Giving fans the opportunity to infuse the brew with their excitement is something truly special and signals the start of Budweiser’s mission to light up the FIFA World Cup™ and bring people closer together.”

World Cup Russia 2018  - Fans Of The 32 Nations

The 2018 FIFA World Cup™ will begin in St Petersburg on 14th June, with England’s first game to be played four days later against Tunisia.

Limited-edition packs of Blessed Beer will be available in-store from June for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™. Come and visit the tanker at Victoria Square in Birmingham on 29th March and White City Retail Park in Manchester on the 31st March.

Report Reveals Aston Villa's Asking Price for Leicester Target as Foxes Hunt for Mahrez Replacement

​Leicester are hoping to sign ​Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish as a replacement for Riyad Mahrez should the Algerian winger complete an expected switch to ​Manchester City in the coming days.

According to Sky Sports, Leicester believe the 22-year-old would be ideal candidate to fill the creative gap left by Mahrez.

Villa are reportedly keen to hold on to Grealish but know that their failure to gain promotion to the Premier League, following last week’s playoff final defeat to Fulham, could prove to be a deciding factor in the English midfielder’s future.

According to Sky, the West Midlands club are looking to bring in around £40m for Grealish as they look to meet FFP regulations. 

Leicester are also looking at ​James Maddison and Patrick Roberts should the Grealish deal fall through.

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Claude Puel’s side enjoyed a comfortable season in the Premier League last term, ultimately finishing 9th, after a shaky start that saw manager Craig Shakespeare depart in October.

Mahrez leaving will represent a blow in their efforts to build on the foundation built by Puel, but Leicester believe Grealish would serve as an adequate replacement for the influential playmaker, who notched 12 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League last campaign.

Grealish is thought to be highly sought after following an impressive season, which culminated in a superb playoff final performance as Aston Villa lost out narrowly to 10-man Fulham. 

French Report Claims Spurs Are in a Fight to Sign Exciting French Winger But Fans Are Unconvinced

​​Tottenham Hotspur are interested in signing Marseille winger Florian Thauvin and have competition in the form of ​Bayern Munich and ​Atletico Madrid – but fans have their reservations about the star.

The former ​Newcastle United flop has turned over a new leaf since returning to Ligue 1 and shone in 2017/18, scoring 22 goals and notching 11 assists in the league.

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​His value has sky-rocketed, and ​RMC Sport report that Spurs have now joined Bayern and Atleti in the race to sign the 25-year-old following his new found confidence.

Spurs have raided Marseille on two previous occasions to sign Clinton N’Jie and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou. Neither of those players made an impact at all when they moved to north London, but it could be third time lucky with Thauvin.

Spurs supporters have greeted the news with scepticism though, given Thauvin’s previous failings in the Premier League.

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He only spent a season-and-a-half at St. James’ Park and made 16 appearances for the club, scoring one goal in the League Cup.

He was loaned to former club Marseille in January 2016 and impressed enough to be granted a permanent move there, where he has proven to be a fantastic signing.

It may be that Thauvin’s stint with Newcastle was too much too soon, but with a couple more years of experience under his belt, he might feel ready to give English football another go.

The lure of Bayern Munich could be difficult to ignore, with the club boasting a growing French contingent including Franck Ribery, Kingsley Coman and Corentin Tolisso.

Report Reveals Key Reason Why Man Utd May Pay 'Over the Odds' for Porto Defender Diogo Dalot

​​Manchester United are prepared to pay over the odds to sign Porto right back Diogo Dalot, because they want to get in there before any of their rivals.

The 19-year-old has seemingly emerged out of nowhere as a transfer target for the Red Devils, ​with reports first surfacing on Tuesday that the club are set to pay his £17.5m release clause.

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That release clause becomes active tomorrow but United, as reported by the ​Times, are contemplating paying £19m to make sure they sign him today (Thursday).

Dalot hasn’t really been linked with any other Premier League clubs, but the Red Devils are not willing to take the risk and want his signing confirmed asap.

The youngster will become Antonio Valencia’s understudy and potentially work his way into the starting XI as he gets older.

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Ecuadorian international Valencia turns 33 in August and there are now doubts about how long he’ll be able to continue coping with the physical demands of the Premier League.

Dalot is a player who has always played in the above age groups for the Portuguese youth teams, and he is a league title winner with Porto and a UEFA European U17 Championship winner.

Interestingly Dalot has a sister currently studying in London, which is bound to help him settle ahead of his move to the Premier League giants.

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Why Zidane Should Be Remembered as the Champions League's Greatest Head Coach in Wake of Madrid Exit

​In any other season, the departure of yet another name from the Real Madrid managerial hot-seat in the close season would hardly be regarded as a shock, even if said individual had guided his side to silverware that season.

But in the case of Zinedine Zidane, the shock announcement of the Frenchman’s departure from the Bernabeu has sent tremors reverberating around not only the Spanish capital, but the footballing world as a whole.

Real Madrid Celebrate After Victory In The Champions League Final Against Liverpool

Despite Los Blancos having lost their La Liga crown to Barcelona – finishing no less than 17 points behind La Blaugrana – as mastermind of a remarkable third consecutive Champions League crown last weekend in Kiev against Liverpool, Zidane deserves to be recognised as arguably the greatest coach to have lifted the Champions League.

Before the Spanish club’s victory in the Ukraine less than seven days ago, Zidane’s position had been questioned as Madrid steward going forward, but having retained the crown once more – a feat that had been in previous years been regarded as simply unattainable – the 45-year-old’s third occasion in lifting ‘Ol Big Ears’ surely erased any doubts. Or so it seemed.

Zinenide Zidane Announced As New Real Madrid Manager

They were, largely, the same concerns that were voiced when Zidane took over as Madrid manager following Rafa Benitez’s dismissal just four days into 2016. 

As former darling of the Galacticos between 2001 and 2006, the Frenchman took the reins with aplomb having been promoted from the club’s second team Real Madrid Castilla, Zidane took his side past AS Roma, Wolfsburg and Manchester City to book their place against Los Coloncheros in the Champions League final in Milan.

Real Madrid v Club Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final

If his legendary status wasn’t guaranteed already, Madrid then beat their fierce city rivals on penalties, as Zidane lifted the European Cup once again – but for the first time as a manager – less than six months into his tenure at the Bernabeu.

The following season, despite finishing behind Borussia Dortmund in the group stages, the Spaniards eliminated the hugely-fancied Napoli and Bayern Munich, before again subjecting Atletico to further European heartache in the semi-final to book a date with Juventus in the final in Cardiff in early June of last year.

It was the final that Bianconeri were expected to win and finally hand Gianliugi Buffon his first Champions League winners’ medal. However – perhaps unsurprisingly – Cristiano Ronaldo had not read the script.

Since the inception of the Champions League in 1992, no team had successfully retained their crown in 25 years of trying. In the Zidane era, history was made.

Not only had ‘Zizou’ managed a side of not only the greatest talents in world football, be had successfully balanced the weighty egos of the Madrid dressing room. And not only that, but Zidane got the best to deliver on the biggest stage.

Ronaldo’s brace that night in the principality cemented his boss’ legacy amongst illustrious company in the tournament. Until then, an elite list comprising Jupp Heynckes, Sir Alex Ferguson, Vicente del Bosque, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti – the Italian at that point being the only man to have won three Champions Leagues – to have won the European crown in its’ current guise on two occasions. 

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If victory in his sophomore season was something of note, to once again mark football history with a third European trophy this season – a ninth in total during his tenure – is surely the stuff of legend for Zidane.

If domestically questions had arisen of Zidane’s methods, few could dispute his ability to scrap a result on the continent of which their is no greater example than this past campaign.

For the second season running, Madrid finished as group runners-up to a rejuvenated Tottenham Hotspur and were again forced to negotiate the toughest route to the final. But again, Los Blancos left all in their wake. Just about.

Teddy Sheringham

Beating the French champions Paris Saint-Germain – albeit without the injured Neymar – Zidane led his men to narrow wins over both Juventus and Bayern Munich to face off with the Reds and Mohamed Salah in 2018.

Even the most ardent Manchester United fan would admit their victory over Die Roten at the Nou Camp at the turn of the millennium was fortunate in the extreme, but the best managers have got the results and little will say otherwise in the record books.

Zidane must surely be the antithesis of that in European competition. With a returning Gareth Bale champing at the bit for a place in the starting lineup against Liverpool, the Welshman was again left on the bench in the wisdom of his manager.

Real Madrid v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

That would have done little to damped rumours of a falling out between player and manager, but Bale’s contribution – though likely to prove more to Zidane than himself – again left the Frenchman smelling of the finest of French lilies.

Bale’s 28-minute cameo will go down as one of the most historic single-handed outings in a Champions League final, and the history books will indeed read Zidane as architect.

It will also state a feat that will doubtful be ever repeated; a club and indeed manager to win the Champions League three times on the bounce, even in its’ pre-1992 European Cup form.

Less than 29 months after taking the reins at the Bernabeu, the Marseille-born former midfielder who left a legend in 2006, leaves the Spanish capital for the second time as not only a managerial great, but arguably the greatest the UEFA Champions League has ever seen.

There are surely few that can lay claim to that.

Peru Captain Paolo Guerrero Cleared to Play in World Cup After Court Temporarily Lifts Drugs Ban

​Peru have been handed a huge boost ahead of the 2018 World Cup after captain and all-time top scorer Paolo Guerrero was cleared to play despite a drugs ban.

Guerrero tested positive for cocaine in October and was given a twelve-month ban by FIFA, which was then halved to six months by FIFA’s appeal committee.

The original sentence was completed in May but within two weeks the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) had ​extended Guerrero’s ban to 14 months after an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

It would have meant that Guerrero, who has scored 32 goals in 86 appearances for his country, would miss Peru’s first World Cup appearance since 1982.

In a remarkable act of sportsmanship, the captains of Peru’s three Group C opponents – France, Denmark and Australia – all wrote to FIFA requesting that Guerrero’s ban should be lifted so that he could compete at the tournament.

​BBC Sport reports that a Swiss tribunal has now ruled that the extension was “unjustified” and is “provisionally deprived of effect.” Guerrero will therefore be free to represent his country in Russia.

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Guerrero made his debut for Peru in 2004 and sits 8th in the list of all-time appearance makers for La Blanquirroja. In 2016 he passed Teofilo Cubillas to become his country’s record goalscorer.

Peru have warm up matches against Saudi Arabia and Sweden to play before flying out to Russia ahead of their first World Cup match for 36 years. Their campaign gets underway against Denmark in Saransk on 16 June.

They then face France in Yekaterinburg five days later before finishing in Sochi against Australia on 26 June.

Crystal Palace Fans React on Twitter After Club Is Linked With Promising French Goalkeeper

​​Crystal Palace fans have been reacting to the news on Twitter that ​the club have been linked with a move for promising French goalkeeper Alban Lafont.

While his club side Toulouse narrowly avoid relegation from Ligue 1 with a relegation play off win against AC Ajaccio, Lafont enjoyed an outstanding personal season, keeping 12 clean sheets in 38 league games.

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Despite only being 19 years old, Lafont has already amassed over 100 appearances for Toulouse, and has represented France from Under-16 level through to their Under-20’s. 

With many people believing Lafont is set for a huge career, a move to Selhurst Park could be next for him, which has excited Palace fans who have been voicing their opinions on Twitter.

Here’s what they’ve had to say on the possibility of Lafont joining them this summer:




Clearly Palace fans would be delighted should they pull off the signing of Lafont, although he isn’t the only ‘keeper Roy Hodgson is interested in, as Getafe’s Vicente Guaita is another who is reportedly close to joining the London-based side.

With Wayne Hennessey’s future at the club far from certain, Hodgson options are rather limited in the goalkeeping department, so will be keen to bring in at least on new shot-stopper ahead of next season. 

In the wake of potential arrivals at the club, one mane who has been linked with a move away from Palace is their marauding left back Patrick van Aanholt, as Premier League rivals ​Everton are allegedly looking to revive their interest in bringing the Dutchman to Goodison Park. 

Is New Everton Boss Marco Silva Actually Worth the Hype After Previous Premier League Jobs?

Everton have a new manager in Marco Silva and optimism in the blue half of Merseyside is starting to grow ahead of next season after the 2017/18 ended with apathy towards Sam Allardyce, a man who had effectively been brought in to save the club from relegation.

In the Toffees’ official announcement, new director of football Marcel Brands, majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and chairman Bill Kenwright all spoke of the many marvellous qualities they believe Silva will bring to Goodison Park.

‘Attractive, attacking football’, ‘ vision’, ‘young, dynamic, energetic and very modern manager’ are all words and phrases used to describe the Portuguese coach and his philosophy.

Everton wanted Silva as early as last November when they were looking for a replacement for the sacked Ronald Koeman. So to finally have their man, sounds like great news.

There are two questions that remain, however. Is Silva worth the hype? And is Silva a gamble?

The 40-year-old is yet to really prove himself on a consistent basis and Everton is already the sixth job of a fledgling management career that began less than seven years ago.

Silva’s time at Estoril, his first job, remains arguably his best achievement to date. He guided the club to the Portuguese second division title just seven months after taking over and immediately oversaw a fifth place finish in the top flight to qualify for the Europa League.

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After the best part of three seasons, Silva left and was picked up by Sporting CP in 2014. He delivered the Portuguese cup, but was sacked shortly afterwards, allegedly because he breached the club dress code by not wearing official attire during a game earlier that season.

It seems like ridiculous grounds for a football manager to be dismissed, but Silva was quickly handed a new job at Olympiacos in Greece. There, he won the SuperLeague Greece with the already dominant club, who had won 16 of the previous 18 domestic titles. He also masterminded a Champions League group stage win over Arsenal, but again Silva moved on very quickly, this time choosing to step down after just one season.

Silva’s appointment by struggling Hull City in January 2017, although underwhelming at the time given how unknown he was in England, initially looked like a coup for the Tigers. A strong start -four wins in his first four home games in all competitions – soon dissipated, though, and Hull were still relegated after Silva won only of their last seven games.

Hull City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Watford were suitably impressed enough to hire him after leaving Hull, but his record at Vicarage Road was worse, with a win percentage of only 31%. The Hornets had kept him out of the grasp of Everton in November 2017, but wielded the axe only two months later and sacked him.

And yet, Everton really, really wanted Silva and are delighted to have been able to get him.

Whether through resignation or dismissal, he hasn’t been anywhere long enough to warrant the fine reputation he has developed, especially in England. The optimism surrounding his appointment is full of ideals, what people want to happen, or believe should happen with him at the helm – ultimately, the attractive football that also delivers results.

This is a results driven business and there is little patience if the ideals don’t pay off, as Ronald Koeman found out to his peril despite a previous proven track record. Silva, who has never waited very long for a job in his career, doesn’t even have that as far as the Premier League is concerned and has a lot of work to do to justify the hype.

It could pay off. But, for now at least, placing so much faith in him is certainly a gamble.

Leicester Target West Brom Centre Back With £3m Release Clause Following Premier League Relegation

​​Leicester City are reportedly interested in signing ​West Brom centre back Jonny Evans, who could be available for as little as £3m this summer, according to ​Birmingha​m Mail

Following their recent relegation from the ​Premier League, the 30-year-old has a release clause in his deal with the Baggies that allows him to leave for under half of the £7m paid by the club when they signed Evans from Manchester United in 2015.

Should the Foxes sign Evans, it would represent a real coup for Claude Puel’s side, as the player was linked with moves to the likes of ​Arsenal and ​Manchester City in January for £25m, while he boasts a wealth of experience.

AFC Bournemouth v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

Making 235 Premier League appearances during his career, 28 of which coming for West Brom last season, Evans also owns three Premier League and one Champions League winner’s medals from his time at Old Trafford, and has 69 caps for Northern Ireland, four of which came during their Euro 2016 campaign. 

With Puel already signing FC Porto full back Ricardo Pereira, the addition of an experienced campaigner such as Evans will help sure up a defence that conceded 60 Premier League goals last season, with only four sides conceding more. 

Despite news of a potentially shrewd incoming at the King Power Stadium, one man who is expected to leave the club this summer is Riyad Mahrez, as ​reports claim that Manchester City are close to signing the Algerian international for fee of £75m

Pascal Chimbonda & 24 Other Classic Premier League Players You'd Forgotten: No. 14 – Linvoy Primus

Born: 14 September 1973, Forest Gate, England

Age: 44

Age in 2005: 31

Premier League Clubs: ​Charlton Athletic (1992-94), ​Reading (1997-2000), Portsmouth (2000-2009) 

Position: Centre back


Linvoy Primus always wanted to be a footballer. Even before he joined a club, he was smacking balls around his parents’ bedroom like it was nobody’s business, acting as both the attack and the defence in the imaginary arena he had created for himself. Looking back, this might be useful in explaining Primus’ confusion when he whacked the ball into his own net on his debut for Portsmouth FC against Sheffield United, perhaps momentarily believing he was a class striker rather than just an average centre back. 

But things weren’t always so grim for Linny. After marrying a woman called Trish and doing some GCSEs, the young defender signed for Charlton Athletic after rejecting an offer from ​West Ham, stating that he believed he had more chance of regular playing time with the Greenwich-based club. 

Two years and four appearances later, Greedy Prim left London in pursuit of even more game time and was duly snapped up by Third Division side Barnet who admired both him and the freeness of the transfer.

Cardiff City

(Above: Terry knew that if Prim caught a glimpse of even the green fence perimeter, he’d be gone like a shot)


Recognising Primus’ appreciation for the finer things in life, the Barnet assistant coach, Terry, told the manager: “Get Linvoy now. If he goes down and sees Cardiff’s stadium, he will won’t be able to resist signing for them.”

However, after shaking off claims of being ‘the worst player to ever play for Barnet’ and netting seven goals in 127 appearances, it was becoming increasingly clear that so much success could not simply be down to chance. Jesus and the Christian faith, Primo claimed, were the true causes behind his triumph as a professional footballer in the second lowest professional division in the country, as he decided to convert to Christianity and pay his respects for his fair-to-middling career. 

Yet it must have worked, because before long he made the gigantic leap from plying his trade just above the Conference League to getting relegated with Reading in the Second Division. His average of one point every six games for the club was deemed good enough for the defender, who stated, “I played well from the word go”. Although in fairness he didn’t specify when the word “go’ had been declared, if ever.

Portsmouth v Chelsea

(Above: Linny Prim not quite believing that he’s just been dispossessed.) 


Unfortunately not everyone agreed, and he was allowed to leave for Portsmouth on a free at the end of the 1999/2000 season to replace the outgoing Neil and Joe McNabs. Then, following a series of knee injuries, an own goal, a red card and a flirt with relegation Primus decided he had no choice but to get it all on paper before he forgot about it and began writing his autobiography Transformed, that mainly detailed his humble upbringing, humble family-life and humble complaining about not being paid enough money.

Then something magical happened. With Primus’s injuries playing up and Pompey in the doldrums, he got some fellow church goers, including Darren Moore, to speak directly to his knee and pray it better. Linvoy announced: “At that moment I knew I was a Christian, I knew that my knee was healed and I said, ‘God, I’ll do whatever you want me to do.” 

God, it turned out, decided that what he really wanted was for Primus to re-sign for Charlton Athletic, which he duly did, before calling a halt on his illustrious career to pursue things other things God wanted him to do, like walking the full length of the Great Wall of China and promoting signed copies of his book in Waterstones.

Day 59 - The Olympic Torch Continues Its Journey Around The UK

(Above: Opitmus Primus holds up traffic in Portsmouth town centre)


Where is he now?


Primus last appeared in the media when he conducted a bizarre interview for The Independent, using solely emails to communicate, presumably on the advice of some divine entity. 

What did he say?

“Portsmouth is an island. People forget that.”


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