Rivaldo Exclusive: If I could’ve played for any English club it would’ve been United

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Manchester United would have been my English team

At the time that there were rumours about my potential transfer to Manchester United, they had recently won the Champions League in an epic final against Bayern Munich. I was in the stands at the Nou Camp that night and thought that, if I were going to play in the Premier League one day, my club of choice would be United.

Of course, there were other good clubs in England then like Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool, but United always caught my attention for everything they were achieving and the way they were playing in those days.

Sir Alex Ferguson always said good things about me when I faced them, so I have a particular affection for the club and it would be my choice if I was allowed to pick any club in the Premier League.

I remember playing against them in the Champions League, especially in two huge games that ended with the same result – 3-3 – one at Old Trafford and the other at Camp Nou in the 1998/99 competition.

Griezmann will stay at Barca

There are growing rumours about a potential Antoine Griezmann transfer to Internazionale in exchange for Lautaro Martínez or even a deal that could see the Frenchman go to PSG and Neymar come the other way. But I believe that Barça’s board will give Griezmann more time to make an impression at the club.

In Italy, Griezmann would have more difficulties and I think his future is in La Liga where he is well-adapted and ready to show his best game regularly. Barcelona just needs to be a little more patient before he builds more confidence and starts playing with more personality.

It could be time to sell Dembélé

Ousmane Dembélé signed for Barcelona almost three years ago and he has already had enough time to establish himself in the club and prove his value. It’s possible that he will never show his quality at the club.

He is still a player with huge potential, but I think this summer could be the right opportunity for Barcelona to sell or even exchange him for a player they’re chasing already.

He’s been unlucky with injuries, but he might also have tried to give more at some moments. Things haven’t gone according to expectations and he might be able to revive his career at another club where he will feel more confident to play at his best.

Barcelona seems to be trying to sign Neymar and Lautaro Martínez, so Dembélé will probably struggle to get in the first team next season. Additionally, Barcelona would need to reduce its squad and earn some money if they really want to succeed in bringing in their current targets. To sign new players, others must leave.

Aubameyang is good, but he must fit the system

Barcelona always looks for the best players available in the market and Aubameyang is obviously a great player who could be a boost for the club.

But other than simply signing a player, Barcelona must study if a certain player will fit into their current system, or if a transfer could end up forcing the new player to play in a different role, harming his own performance and potentially causing the team problems as well.

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So, it’s crucial to analyse these factors carefully before making an offer to sign a player, as it isn’t just the taste of the president and board that should decide this kind of stuff. You need to understand if the manager would approve of it and will have a space for the player in his system.

To fit on a new team’s system is crucial, so Barcelona must be aware of that all the time and ask: Would that player fit on Quique Setien’s system?

Teams will need time to train

There are some rumours mentioning that competitions might resume soon, but before that turns into reality clubs and players will need at least a few weeks of training to recover some of their lost form.

Besides the normal concerns about their health and safety for returning to competition, the teams will need to refocus and recover their chemistry and improve their fitness as they lose it after so much time without competing.

It would be a tough process as there is still a lot of caution with the virus still around, so I expect a lot of meetings and discussions before we have a final decision about this.

Furthermore, and as I already mentioned, many players are out of form and may have gained some weight, so they need time to recover and avoid quick injuries after returning to competition.

Break will affect some teams’ form

This is just a thought, but this extended pause in the competitions is more likely to harm the clubs that were playing well and will probably favour others that were struggling to play their best football.

It could change the tendency in some competitions, but we’ll have to wait to understand if that’s going to be the case with the closely fought European leagues like La Liga or Serie A this season.

Important to keep your own form up!

Despite not playing professional football anymore, I’m still working on my form and doing my exercises at my home. Yesterday I pedalled for 40kms on my bicycle and I have other ways of training at home and keeping sharp.

Here in the US, we are still allowed to go out of home to train and I have enjoyed a few runs as well as some home exercises using my gym equipment. Of course, it isn’t the same as going to a proper gym but is enough to maintain my form with some improvisation.

Source: Betfair Premier League