Six new signings to watch in Serie A

first_img0Shares0000Juventus’ forward from Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo scores a goal during the friendly football match between Juventus A and Juventus B at Villar Perosa, on August 12, 2018 at Villar Perosa. © AFP / Isabella BonottoMILAN, Italy, Aug 16 – Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus has injected an air of expectation into the Italian championship not felt in decades while spending has smashed the one billion euro mark with more than a day still to go before the transfer window closes.Champions Juventus top the spree with 235 million euros ($265 million) invested in new players — more than double rivals AS Roma and Napoli — as for the second straight year Serie A are the only one of the top five European leagues to keep pace with the big-spending English Premier League. With the transfer window slamming shut in Italy at 19:00 GMT on Friday, Serie A teams have time to overtake the 1.037 billion euros spent last summer.Here AFP Sport picks out six new signings to watch in the coming campaign.CRISTIANO RONALDO (JUVENTUS)Age: 33Position: ForwardPrevious club: Real Madrid (ESP)— Reigning seven-time Italian champions Juventus had the biggest scoop of the summer in five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo, who arrived from European champions Real Madrid in a shock 100 million euro deal.Massimiliano Allegri’s side are counting on the evergreen Portuguese superstar to help win the Champions League.Ronaldo has been the bogey man in Europe for Juventus in recent years, scoring 10 in seven games against the Serie A side for Real Madrid as the Spaniards romped to three straight Champions League titles.Ronaldo has thwarted Juve’s attempts to bag their first Champions League since 1996 in both of the last two seasons, earning a standing ovation from the Turin crowd for his superb overhead bicycle kick last season and scoring a brace in the 2017 final as Madrid thumped the Italians 4-1.GONZALO HIGUAIN (AC MILAN)Age: 30Position: StrikerOn loan from: Juventus (ITA)AC Milan’s Argentinian forward Gonzalo Higuain controls the ball during the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy football match between Real Madrid and AC Milan in Madrid on August 11, 2018. © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS— Argentine international striker Higuain scored 40 goals in two seasons at Juventus, but with the arrival of Ronaldo has opted to head for rivals AC Milan on a one-year loan deal worth a reported 18 million euros that gives the Serie A club the option to buy the striker next summer for a further 36 million euros.Higuain’s arrival has revived enthusiasm around Milan after a troubled period marked by on-pitch embarrassment and financial woes.Last season they scored just 56 league goals as they finished sixth despite spending over 200 million euros on new players. This season they have spent a more modest 81 million euros so far.LEONARDO BONUCCI (JUVENTUS)Age: 31Position: Centre-backPrevious club: AC Milan (ITA)Juventus’ defender from Italy Leonardo Bonucci kicks the ball during the friendly football match between Juventus A and Juventus B at Villar Perosa, on August 12, 2018 at Villar Perosa. © AFP / Isabella Bonotto— Italy international defender Bonucci went back to Turin, where he previously won six Serie A titles and played in both of their lost European finals, after just one underwhelming season at Milan.The 31-year-old admitted that he left Juve in a fit of pique after falling out with Allegri in 2017, but “missed home” and wanted to return after burying the hatchet with the coach.SIMONE VERDI (NAPOLI)Age: 26Position: ForwardPrevious club: Bologna (ITA)— The Italian international forward was one of Carlo Ancelotti’s first signings as Napoli coach coming in for 23 million euros despite the Serie A runners-up trailing behind their rivals in the transfer market spending.A versatile player Verdi scored ten goals last season for Bologna who he joined after Carpi were relegated in 2016, having also previous played for Torino and his boyhood club AC Milan.JAVIER PASTORE (ROMA)Age: 29Position: MidfielderPrevious club: Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)Javier Pastore (R) of AS Roma vies for the ball with Erik Lamela of Tottenham Hotspur during their International Champions Cup match in San Diego, California on July 25, 2018, where Tottenham defeated Roma 4-1. © AFP / Frederic J. BROWN— Argentinian attacking midfielder Pastore returned to Italy on a 24.7-million-euro deal.The 29-year-old previously played in Serie A with Palermo from 2009-11 and was named the league’s young player of the season in 2010.The gifted playmaker was the first major signing PSG made in 2011 after being taken over by their Qatari owners.Pastore’s move back to Italy comes with Paris Saint-Germain under pressure from UEFA to balance their books after signing Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in blockbuster deals last season, sparking an audit of their financial affairs.RADJA NAINGGOLAN (INTER MILAN)Age: 30Position: MidfielderPrevious club: Roma (ESP)— The controversial Belgium international, looking for a new challenge after being snubbed for the World Cup, links up again with former Roma coach Luciano Spalletti, as Inter look to improve on a fourth-place in Serie A and compete in the Champions League for the first time since 2011-12.“I think I had my best season under Spalletti and I hope to do just as well here,” said Nainggolan who arrives on a four-year contract worth 38 million euros. “I hope we can do well both in Serie A and the Champions League because Inter have a proud history. Hopefully we’ll get back to those heights again now.”0Shares0000(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

My Donegal… with Maria Mc Cormack from The Happy Camper

first_imgMaria Mc Cormack is a Churchill native who is best known as the friendly face behind The Happy Camper Cafe. The pancake master has been serving up treats and smiles to people outside Glenveagh since June 2016. The cafe was the brainchild of Maria and her sister Jane, who went on to set up the Happy Camper cafe at Cooneys Letterkenny.Maria was a full-time singer/songwriter for three years before the cafe. She even sang ‘My Donegal’! She is the proud mum of nine-year-old Ultan, who works with her during the summer holidays.Maria had a bumpy year in 2017, when her beloved campervan was destroyed after rolling into a bog at Easter. The accident prompted a huge outpouring of kindness from the community and it wasn’t long before Happy Camper Mark 2 was back on the road.Maria uses her famous pancakes to raise funds for local charities, and has so far fundraised around €5,000 for organisations including iCAN, the Donkey Sanctuary, the Churchill Playground and Pieta House. Maria is looking forward to raising more money for charity at an exciting event next week – For The Love Of Street Food! Manor Picnic Area will be turned into a foodie hub on January 27th to raise funds for The North West Simon Community. The Happy Camper, 9ine Hostages Coffee Co. and The Spicy Bird will be serving great pancakes, coffee, artisan treats and savoury dishes from 10am to 4pm.Here is Maria’s My Donegal…Where is your favourite place in Donegal and why?My favourite place in Donegal is Tory Island. I have only visited twice but I think  I left my heart there.Who is the one person in Donegal that you look up to and why?Last year’s Donegal person of the year award Stephen McCahill.  I listened to his speech when he opened the Churchill fair last year and he blew me away with his true love and care for improving his community.What do you think is Donegal’s best tourist attraction?Donegal has so many incredible attractions but for me, it has to be Glenveagh National Park.  Its beauty takes my breath away each time I visit.Do you prefer Donegal summers or Donegal winters?Summer … myself and my son Ultan love to get camping and swimming as.much as possible around the county.What is your favourite Donegal-made product?Bogman BeaniesWho is Donegal’s most successful businessperson in your opinion?EnyaWho is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time?Packie BonnerWhat is your favourite Donegal restaurant?Bayview DungloeIf you could change one thing about Donegal what would it be?The litter along our roads.What is your favourite Donegal saying or expression?How’s she cutting? Full of the blade.What is your favourite Donegal food?Happy Camper pancakes of course.Do you have a favourite local band?In Their Thousands… I would go to the moon to see them.Daniel O’Donnell or Packie Bonner?Daniel … I would give Maire Rua a run for her money for No 1 fan. He is a gentleman and I hope he comes for pancakes someday.Do you want to take part in the My Donegal interview series? Let us know by emailing [email protected] Donegal… with Maria Mc Cormack from The Happy Camper was last modified: February 1st, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:maria mccormackMUSICMY DONEGALthe happy camper cafelast_img read more