With the World watching, LeBron James once again showed everybody just what a special talent he is.
His accolades, of which there are many, almost don't do him justice.
In the last 14 months, LeBron has gone from a pantomime villain to one of the most revered sportsmen on the planet. You only have to look at what he's won in that time to see just how much he's accomplished:
- 2x NBA Most Valuable Player (4th Overall).
- 2x NBA Champion.
- 2x NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
- Olympic Gold Medal (U.S National Team).
Not many players can boast that sort of success in their entire careers, James has done it in just over a year.
This latest NBA championship, may be the sweetest of all.
While his first championship got the proverbial monkey off his back, repeating the feat is an ambition few manage to achieve. Although they were considered the favourites throughout the season, Miami have struggled to assert their dominance at times in these Playoffs. Almost all of their roster has struggled at times in the postseason, either with their shot, their defensive intensity or their health.
Everyone but James.
The Azzurri haven't defeated Selecao in 30 years and Brazil have only lost one competitive game on home soil in the last 50. Yet, on Saturday Italy will be focusing on something more important - avoiding Spain in the semi-final round. So what should we expect when the two square off for the final group game? Let's dig in to see where the value lies.
To start with, let's dive right into the big roster changes. Some people were worried about Neymar's fitness heading into this match, but those fears have been calmed as he's ready to play. The same can't be said for Andrea Pirlo though. The crafty Italian has been ruled out of this one with a calf injury. Daniele De Rossi is also out, but his absence comes in the form of a suspension for receiving multiple yellow cards in the previous matches.
According to reports via ESPN on Friday, Liverpool, Juventus and Manchester United were interested in signing Saint-Etienne's highly rated defender, Kurt Zouma. But now all three clubs have backed out due to the £8.5 million price tag that has been slapped on the 18-year olds head.
They went on to confirm that there is still an English club and a German club in for Zouma and other sources are positive that the English club could potentially be Chelsea, who would like to add more quality depth to that area of their squad. The fee would be considered large for a player of that age but with his qualities and potential taken in to account, the amount won't put Chelsea off.
Zouma is a physically built defender with good ability and is touted as a top future defender, he features regularly for his country France at youth level and is currently at the Under-20s FIFA World Cup with the squad. The players agent had also confirmed that his client would 'prefer England' when talking about his future.
Barcelona and Spanish International striker David Villa is wanted by both Arsenal and Tottenham. Another London club had also been interested in making a move in the shape of Europa League Champions Chelsea, but it looks like their interests is based elsewhere with Napoli's Edinson Cavani being top of the agenda.
Allegedly it is now a two horse race for the 31-year-old technically gifted forward, who is drawing near to the end of his reign with the Spanish giants. Tottenham were apaparent favourites to sign Villa but it has emerged that Arsene Wengers Arsenal are in close contention . The Emirates club have almost aqcuired the capture of Real Madrid sensation Gonzalo Higuain but Wenger wants to add even more fire power up top and is also chasing Manchester United and England forward, Wayne Rooney.
Chelsea winger Gael Kakuta has struggled to break in to the side at Stamford Bridge and after many seasons out on loan, he now looks set to stay with Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, where he played last season on loan. According to The Mirror the French winger will be offered in a swap deal for Arnhem's highly rated youngster Marco Van Ginkel, who Chelsea have been scouting for some time.
The report on Friday claims that The Blues are ready to cut ties with Kakuta and the Dutch club are apparently keen on the deal also. 20-year-old Van Ginkel should be available for around £8 million and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich wants to reduce that fee with Kakuta going to other way, thus gaining his club a bargain signing. Van Ginkel is wanted by a whole host of clubs and Dutch side Ajax are also looking to make an offer this week.
Kakuta signed for Chelsea in 2007 after a controversial deal saw Chelsea recieve a 12-month transfer ban, making supporters wonder whether it was at all worth the hassle as he is now on the verge of leaving The Bridge.