Thursday, June 20, 2019

Femi Kuti, Others to Perform at AFCON 2019

The Organising Committee of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) has announced that Nigeria’s legendary Afro-beat singer, Femi Anikulapo-Kuti will perform at the opening ceremony of the competition.
Kuti, a four-time Grammy Award nominee will be joined by two other musicians, Hakim from Egypt and Dobet Gnahore from Ivory Coast.
The 2019 AFCON is set to kick off with the new expanded 24 teams on Friday in Egypt, it will be preceded with a colourful opening ceremony.
In a post on CAF’s official Twitter handle, the continental football body confirmed that Femi would perform the official song for this year’s AFCON alongside Hakim and Gnahore.
The Afrobeat singer will perform in English, while Hakim and Gnahore performs in Arabic and French respectively.
The three international musicians will sing, “Metgamaeen” (We Are Together) produced by Synergy, together on stage in Cairo, Egypt.
Femi had previously performed at the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa at the Soccer City Stadium on June 11, 2010, in Johannesburg.
Host, Egypt will play Zimbabwe in the opening match while the Super Eagles will take on debutants, Burundi in their opening fixture on Saturday.
The 2019 AFCON will hold from June 21 to July 19.

Gernot Rohr Closes Door to Fans, Media, Onlookers as Eagles Prepare Against Burundi

Head coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, has closed the door to fans as he prepares his team for their first game against Burundi on Saturday.
The team will now train behind closed doors in their last two workouts.
The Super Eagles’ training sessions will hold at the training pitch of the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Alexandria, starting from 1700 hours each day, according to the Nigeria Football Federation.
This is to enable Rohr go through his tactics without the prying eyes of onlookers, the media and fans, who will be allowed to witness only the first fifteen minutes of each session on Thursday and Friday.

The team’s first official press conference of the 2019 AFCON will hold at the Press Conference Hall of the Alexandria Stadium from 2-2:30pm on Friday, June 21, 2019.

Real Madrid Offers Neymar £510,000-a-Week Salary

Paris Saint-Germain superstar, Neymar, has been offered a £510,000-a-week salary by Real Madrid as reported by Mundo Deportivo on Thursday.
The Spain newspaper claimed that Zinedine Zidane’s side want to sign the former Barcelona star in a bid to strengthen their squad ahead of next season.
The report also claimed that the Los Blancos have made an offer of £115 million plus, either Gareth Bale or James Rodriguez to PSG to land the Brazilian international this summer.
DAILY POST recalls that PSG will consider selling Neymar this summer if they receive a substantial offer.
Chairman and CEO, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, told France Football that: “Players will have to be more responsible than before.
“It must be completely different. They will have to do more and work harder. They are not there for their own amusement.
“If they do not agree, the doors are open – Ciao! I do not want star behaviour anymore.”

Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr to be confirmed next week

Boxing promoter, Eddie Hearn, has disclosed that Anthony Joshua will finalise a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr next week.

Joshua’s world heavyweight title reign and unbeaten record were ended by a stunning defeat to Ruiz Jr in New York earlier this month and Hearn has activated a clause to enforce an immediate second fight.

A number of British venues, including the Wembley Stadium, are being considered for a date in November or December.

But Hearn has revealed that Joshua is still open to the idea of staging the return bout at the scene of his first defeat – Maddison Square Garden.

“The job over the next week is just to finalise the details now of just where and when that will be.

“I can’t tell you too much, just because I don’t know other than, between November 16 and December 14 will be the date of the fight. We’ve had offers from five different countries to stage the fight. For me, it’s a straight decision between the UK or America.

“In the UK, we’re talking to Cardiff, to Wembley, to Tottenham and in America, we’ve had a couple of approaches, but our preference is Madison Square Garden.

“A sensible man would say ‘Do it in the UK’.

“Anthony feels as though it would be special to rewrite history and get the win at Madison Square Garden. It’s really not about the money so much, it’s just about where we believe this fight should take place and those decisions will be made in the next week,” Hearn told Sky Sports News.

Marco Giampaolo appointed new head coach of AC Milan

AC Milan have appointed Marco Giampaolo as their new head coach on a two-year deal with the option of a further year.

The 51-year-old succeeds Gennaro Gattuso, who quit the club last month after the Serie A side missed out on Champions League qualification.

Giampaolo left Sampdoria at the end of last season after guiding them to a ninth-placed finish in Serie A.

The Italian has also had spells in charge of Cagliari, Siena, Brescia and Empoli during his career.

Giampaolo's arrival comes just days after AC Milan legends Zvonimir Boban and Paolo Maldini took up new positions at the club.

Boban left his position as deputy secretary general at Fifa to become Milan's new chief football officer.

Former captain Maldini, who spent 25 years at the club, has been confirmed as the club's new technical director.

AC Milan, seven-time champions of Europe, have not played in the Champions League since 2013-14.

Manslaughter arrest over Emiliano Sala's death

A man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter over the death of Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala who died in a plane crash.

The striker, who had signed with Cardiff City, was killed in the crash along with pilot David Ibbotson.

A 64-year-old man from North Yorkshire had been arrested and released while investigations continue, a spokesperson for Dorset Police said.

The force added the families of the two men who died had been informed.

Mr Sala, 28, had been travelling from Nantes to Cardiff on 21 January when the plane he was in lost contact with air traffic control north of Guernsey.

His body was recovered in February but Mr Ibbotson's has never been found.

Mr Sala's body was brought to Portland and Dorset Police has been carrying out inquiries on behalf of the coroner.

Det Insp Simon Huxter, of the force's Major Crime Investigation Team, said: "As part of this investigation we have to consider whether there is any evidence of any suspected criminality and as a result of our inquiries we have today, Wednesday 19 June 2019, arrested a 64-year-old man from the North Yorkshire area on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act.

"He is assisting with our inquiries and has been released from custody under investigation."

Det Insp Huxter urged people not to speculate about the identity of the man as it could hinder the investigation.

The Piper Malibu aircraft was carrying Mr Sala and Mr Ibbotson, from Crowle, Lincolnshire, after the footballer returned to FC Nantes to say goodbye to his former teammates.

An official search operation was called off on 24 January after Guernsey's harbour master said the chances of survival were "extremely remote".

Shipwreck hunter David Mearns found the plane wreckage on 3 February, 220ft (67m) below the surface of the English Channel, using sonar financed by an appeal that raised £340,000 (371,000 euros) to find the aircraft.

Spain manager Luis Enrique quits after 11 months

Spain manager Luis Enrique has stepped down for personal reasons and will be replaced by assistant Robert Moreno after less than a year in charge.

The former Barcelona boss signed a two-year contract in July 2018.

Enrique had been absent since March because of "a family matter of an urgent nature" according to the Spanish Football Federation.

The 49-year-old took over the national team following their exit from the 2018 World Cup in the last 16.

"It was a decision Luis Enrique took himself, which we are grateful for," said Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

"We will have a perfect memory of him. It's a personal matter which doesn't depend on us. We think it's the best thing to do.

"We are convinced that the best response is the most prepared team, and that team is represented by Robert [Moreno] and his group, who arrived with Luis Enrique."

In a brief statement on the RFEF website, Enrique later thanked staff at the federation "for the faith they have shown me and for understanding the situation".

Enrique took charge of Spain's Nations League campaign, where they failed to reach the semi-finals, and began their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

He travelled back home for a family matter before Spain's 2-0 victory in Malta in March and Moreno was placed in temporary charge.

Copa America: Messi Salvages Point For Argentina

Lionel Messi salvaged a vital point for Argentina as they struggled in a 1-1 draw against Paraguay in the Copa America in Belo Horizonte.

The Barcelona forward's 57th-minute penalty cancelled out a first-half opener from Paraguay's Richard Sanchez.

Argentina remain bottom of Group B with one point from two games.

"We are lucky that we are still alive in this tournament," said coach Lionel Scaloni, whose side must win Sunday's fixture against Qatar.

"Our first half was not good, we played with desperation at times and we couldn't control the play or create attacks. We had a very clear plan but couldn't execute it as we kept losing the ball.

"They scored with their first attack and that caused us a lot of uncertainty. For a team like Argentina, which feels like it always has to win, the first blow is hard to take, but we assured the players at half-time that it was just one goal."

Minutes after Messi's equaliser, Paraguay were awarded a spot-kick of their own but Derlis Gonzalez's effort was punched away by Argentina keeper Franco Armani, who narrowly avoided a red card when he fouled Gonzalez outside his area at the end of the first half.

"We trust Franco. He is our starting goalkeeper. He saved a penalty and kept us alive. I'm glad he had a good performance," Scaloni said.

The draw followed their opening defeat by Colombia on Saturday. The two best third-placed teams advance to the quarter-finals, meaning Argentina will be knocked out of the tournament with anything less than a win against Asian Cup winners Qatar.

Elsewhere in Group B, Colombia clinched the top spot with six points with a 1-0 win over Qatar.

Paraguay, who were held to a 2-2 draw with Qatar in their first game, are second on two points and must beat Colombia to be guaranteed a spot in the quarter-finals.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Former UEFA President Michel Platini arrested by French police for awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar

Former UEFA president Michel Platini has been arrested over the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

French legend Platini was elected in 2007 and served as president until 2015 when he was banned by the FIFA Ethics Committee. French publication Mediapart claim Platini was taken into custody on Tuesday morning as part of the investigation into the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar.

Platini is reported to have been taken to the premises of the Anti-Corruption Office of the Judicial Police (OCLCIFF). Back in December 2010 Qatar was controversially revealed as the hosts of the 2022 World Cup, following on from Russia in 2018. 

A number of people have issues have arise regarding the decision to select the peninsular Arab country, including human rights concerns and the status of homosexuality. In 2014 Platini admitted holding a secret meeting with the disgraced football official Mohamed Bin Hammam, shortly before casting his vote for Qatar.

Lukaku Told to Leave Manchester United

Head coach of Belgium national team, Roberto Martinez, has urged Romelu Lukaku to leave Manchester United.
Lukaku’s future at Old Trafford is in doubt, following a difficult second season.
The 26-year-old fell out of favour under new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Marcus Rashford being preferred upfront.
Lukaku netted 15 goals in 45 appearances for United in all competitions, a drop from the 27 goals he scored in his debut campaign following his £90million move from Everton in 2017.
That dip in form has sparked rumours of a potential summer move, with Serie A outfit Inter believed to be leading the chase for the striker
“It is clear that he has to leave Manchester United.
“It would be a good thing for both parties. It is now important that Romelu finds the right club,” Martinez told Belgian outlet Het Laatste Nieuws.

Coutinho Snubs Man Utd move Because of Liverpool

Barcelona midfielder, Philippe Coutinho, will turn down a move to Manchester United this summer out of respect to former club Liverpool, Sky Sports reports.
Coutinho is widely expected to leave Spain in the transfer window, after a below-par season at Camp Nou.
United were thought to be the frontrunners for the 27-year-old and were weighing up a move for the Brazil playmaker.
However, Coutinho is unwilling to consider a move to Old Trafford, after his spell at Liverpool from 2013-2018.
After a loan spell in Espanyol, Coutinho left Inter Milan permanently in January 2013, to join Liverpool for £8.5m.
It was at Anfield that Coutinho’s career really began to take off, with the Brazil international quickly becoming a key figure for the Reds.
Coutinho eventually left for Barca in January 2018 for a reported fee of £142m.

Rohr Names Toughest Opponent Nigeria will Face in Egypt

Head coach of Nigeria, Gernot Rohr, has identified debutant Burundi as the toughest opponent the Super Eagles will face at the group stages of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, in Egypt.
Rohr stated this following Nigeria’s 1-0 defeat to Senegal on Sunday in their final warm-up match before AFCON kicks off this weekend.
Nigeria will tackle Burundi in their first Group B opener on 22 June.
Rohr’s men are also in the same group with Guinea and Madagascar.
“The Burundi match will be our toughest in the group stages.
“Once we get it right, we can go on from there,” Rohr said in an interview with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) YouTube channel.

How Chukwueze Reacted to Reported Interests From Liverpool, Man City

Villarreal forward, Samuel Chukwueze has reacted to reports linking him to Liverpool.
The winger, who is currently in Super Eagles camp for the African Cup of Nations in Egypt, insisted that he was not distracted by the speculations.
Chukwueze had an impressive season for the Yellow Submarines scoring 8 goals in 38 appearances for the first team in all competitions.
Liverpool and Manchester City have been reported to be pushing for the signature of the 20-year-old.
Chukwueze told Tribalfootball, ”I just keep my head focused on my career. I don’t want any distraction from my football. Coverage in the media is good but my focus is on my football.
“I just want to keep on working hard and continue to improve. Me generating coverage in the media does not get into my head.
”This is just the beginning and I know my target and my focus is to achieve the target.”

Ex-UEFA President, Platini Arrested in France

Former UEFA president, Michel Platini was arrested by the French police on Tuesday morning in Nanterre, a western suburb of Paris.
According to Mirror UK, the ex-France international was detained by the police over the decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
Platini’s arrest was part of the investigation into corruption surrounding how the 2022 World Cup hosting rights were awarded.
The 63-year-old was UEFA president from January 2007 to 2016.
He was banned from football for six years, which was later reduced to four after appealing the sanction at the Court of Arbitration for Sports.
The ban expired in March this year, but investigators leading the fight against corruption within football have arrested him as part of the case and looking into how Qatar won the right to host the next World Cup.

Kanu Nwankwo, Drogba, Eto’o, Others get new Appointments

Arsenal legend, Kanu Nwankwo, has been appointed by the Confederation of African Football, CAF, to be part of the special envoy for the upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, in Egypt on Friday.
The 42-year-old was shortlisted along with six other African legends for the special roles, according to Sporting Life.
The other six African legends that made the list are: Mahmoud El Khateeb (Egypt), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba (Both Cote d’Ivoire), Rabeh Madjer (Algeria), and El Hadji Diouf (Senegal).
Kanu won the CAF African Footballer of the Year in 1996 and 1999 respectively.
The former Super Eagles captain featured in six AFCON editions for Nigeria from 2000 to 2010.
AFCON will begin on 21 June with the final scheduled for 19 July.

Kylian Mbappe sparks Liverpool transfer theory as eagle-eyed fans spot Instagram activity

The Paris Saint-Germain forward is currently on holiday in Tokyo, following a break in California.

When he returns to Paris, it is likely that he could have a new strike partner at the start of the new season.

Both Neymar and Edinson Cavani have been linked with moves away from the Parc des Princes, while Antoine Griezmann could be brought in as a replacement for either star.

However it is Mbappe that some Liverpool fans hope could be on the move, after some suspicious Instagram activity.

On Monday, one eagle-eyed fan noted that he had followed Liverpool players past and present, including Fabinho and Mohamed Salah.

He also followed former Reds Philippe Coutinho, Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez, along with other rumoured transfer targets Nabil Fekir and Memphis Depay.

To further set pulses racing, he also posted an Instagram story with a black background and the caption: “SOON”, leading many to hope he was referring to a potential move to Anfield.

Mbappe arrived at PSG for £166m, a world record fee paid for a teenager, two years ago and has established himself as one of, if not the best, players in Ligue 1, having won back-to-back titles.

Real Madrid to Unveil Zidane’s fifth Signing Today

Real Madrid will unveil their latest summer signing, Rodrygo Goes, on Tuesday after the 18-year-old’s loan deal at Santos was brought to an end, AS reports.
Madrid paid the Brazilian club 40 million euros for the under-20 international last summer and then loaned him back for a season as part of the deal.
Santos were keen to extend the arrangement, but the LaLiga giants want the attacker to join up with the squad as soon as possible, as Zinedine Zidane continues to overhaul his squad following the arrivals of Eden Hazard, Éder Militão, Ferland Mendy and Luka Jovic.
Rodrygo is set to be presented at the Bernabéu at 13:00 CEST on Tuesday after arriving in Madrid from São Paulo.
He will undergo the obligatory medical, before giving his first press conference as a Madrid player later in the day.
“It motivates me to go to Madrid. It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“For the sheer size of them, it is scary, but it’s a good fear. It motivates me even more and it means I have to show why they have confidence in me to sign me,” Rodrygo said as he bade farewell to Santos.

All the 12 teams that have qualified for Round of 16 in 2019 Women’s World Cup

As at Tuesday morning, 12 out of the 16 spots in the knockout stage of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, have been taken.
With the group games ending on Thursday, June 20, there are four more slots left.
Here’s a rundown of Monday’s action:
Germany 4 South Africa 0
Spain 0 China 0
Norway 2 South Korea 1
France 1 Nigeria 0
The teams that are now through to the round of 16 officially are:

Women's World Cup: France Beat Nigeria To Top Group

France finished top of Group A after a twice-taken penalty by Wendie Renard gave them victory over Nigeria in an incident-packed Women's World Cup game.

The initial penalty - awarded after a video assistant referee review for a foul on Viviane Asseyi - hit the post.

But keeper Chiamaka Nnadozie was ruled to have moved off her line early and Renard slotted the re-taken spot-kick.

Despite losing 1-0, Nigeria still have a big chance of making the last 16 as one of the best third-placed teams.

Group winners France, meanwhile, head to Le Havre to meet as yet unknown opponents on 23 June.

This was an unconvincing display by Corinne Diacre's side against a team ranked 38th in the world, with France guilty of wasteful finishing before the late drama in Rennes.

However, the France boss was full of praise for Renard, saying: "I'd like to commend the courage Wendie showed.

"She had that tenacity to go back to the penalty spot and take that kick."

Nigeria boss Thomas Dennerby described his players as "heroes" before, when asked about the twice-taken penalty, adding: "If I give you my honest feelings, they'll probably send me home so it's better I don't say anything.

"Of course I'm disappointed by the result, France is a really good team and don't need support from anybody to win games.

"The girls were fighting so well, they followed the match plan and it's getting destroyed by people that we're not so happy with."

Nigeria, who had produced a gritty defensive performance, were on course for a deserved point when a penalty was awarded after a VAR check following Ngozi Ebere's foul on Asseyi.

Ebere, who had been booked in the first half, was sent off for a second yellow card before Renard's first penalty hit a post. However, the officials adjudged 18-year-old Nnadozie had left her line early and Renard duly scored from the second attempt.

Francesco Totti leaves Roma after 30 years as he resigns as director

Francesco Totti says leaving Roma after 30 years is "like dying" after he resigned from his role as a director at the Serie A club.

The World Cup winner, 42, spent his entire professional career at Roma and retired from playing in July 2017.

His relationship with president James Pallotta reportedly deteriorated, but last week the American said he offered Totti the role of technical director.

Roma finished sixth last season and missed out a Champions League place.

"I resign as a Roma executive," said the Italian former forward, speaking at a news conference that lasted well over an hour. "I was hoping that this day never came, instead this ugly and heavy day has arrived.

"I never had the chance to work on the technical area with Roma."

He added: "This is far worse than retiring as a player. Leaving Roma is like dying. I feel like it'd be better if I died."

Totti criticised the club's American ownership and the influence of former director and now club consultant Franco Baldini.

"This is a club to be loved and supported," he added. "There shouldn't be pro-Totti, pro-Pallotta or pro-Baldini factions. Just Roma fans.

"As I said, presidents pass, coaches pass, players pass, but the flags do not.

"They knew my intentions and what I wanted, to give so much to this club and team, but they never wanted me to, in all honesty. They excluded me from every decision."

Totti's exit follows former team-mate Daniele de Rossi, 35, who left the club at the end of last season after 18 years.

"The main focus of certain people has been to remove Romans from Roma," Totti claimed. "In the end, the truth came out, because they achieved what they wanted."

Totti joined Roma's youth academy in 1989, making his senior debut in 1993 as a 16-year-old. He went on to score 307 goals in 785 games, winning Serie A in 2001 and the Coppa Italia twice. He also won 58 caps for Italy.

He said the only way he would return to the club is under new ownership.

"If I was the president of Roma and had two icons like Totti and De Rossi, I'd put them in charge of everything," said Totti, who said he would still like to attend a Roma game next season with De Rossi, but that the pair would "need wigs, or we won't see much of the game".

He added: "Pallotta surrounded himself with the wrong people and he only listens to them. Everyone makes mistakes, but if you make the same mistakes for eight years, you have to ask yourself some questions. Something clearly is going wrong."

I Was Never Away From The Eagles — Mikel

Super Eagles’ captain, Mikel John Obi has revealed that he was never away from the National team despite missing majority of the county’s matches during the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, reports.
In an exclusive interview with, which was monitored by, the 32-year-old stated he was in constant touch with the team despite being away for almost 327 days.
Read Also: Captain: Rohr insists on Mikel
“I’m happy, to be honest; it’s been a long time about a year now since I haven’t been here with the team but I have kept in touch with the team and have followed all that was going on and wished the guys the best of luck whenever they went on to play a game.
“For me, I had a good conversation with the coach after the World Cup, like you know I have been serving the country for 15 to 16 years so I had to take a break but now I am back to help the team and see if we can try and win another Nations Cup,” Mikel said.
The 2013 AFCON winner who made his long-awaited return in the goalless draw against Zimbabwe last weekend in Asaba, now has his sights set on securing another AFCON trophy for Nigeria to end his illustrious international career on a high.

Nigerians Storm Super Eagles Camp In Cario, Egypt Ahead Of AFCON 2019

The Nigeria Football Federation took to their official Twitter account to appreciate Nigerians who came to visit the super eagles camp in Cairo just to wish them well in the coming AFCON 2019.
See tweet below..
We appreciate the support of Nigerians in Cairo who visited us in camp just to wish the team a very successful #TotalAFCON2019 campaign.
We will not disappoint you #SoarSuperEagles #Team9jaStrong.

Aghahowa Sends Strong Message to Rohr over Team Selection

Former Nigeria striker, Julius Aghahowa, has advised head coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, to maintain a consistent selection, as the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations kicks off this weekend.
Aghahowa also urged the team to get their acts together in Egypt.
“As we head into this tournament, a lineup filled with a consistent selection from the coach will be an integral decision to posing a huge threat of winning the title.
“I know frequent changes would be made but fielding players who are familiar with playing each other would be key and will also give us the edge over any team in the African Cup of Nations,” Aghahowa told AOIfootball.
The former Wigan Athletic striker also gave a few thoughts on the Gernot Rohr’s final squad selection.
“I am happy with the final 23-man list made by the coach. He knows why he dropped others, and we must respect that.
“They were all good players but of course, some had to be dropped because you can’t go with everyone,” he concluded.

Chelsea Decide on Willian’s Move to Barcelona and Atletico Madrid

Chelsea have finally decided not to allow forward Willian to leave Stamford Bridge in this summer transfer window, after rejecting a £35million offer from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid for the winger, Sky Sports reports.
The report claimed that Chelsea are willing to offer Willian a new two-year deal after declining bids from Barca and Atletico.
Willian has drawn interests from both the Spanish La Liga giants in recent months.
The Brazilian joined the Blues from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013 and has made over 250 appearances for the West London club.
His current contract at Chelsea will expire next year.
The 30-year-old has helped Chelsea win two Premier League titles, the Europa League, FA Cup and EFL Cup during his time at the club.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Paul Pogba posts throwback snap with his dad and recent photo with baby son as he celebrates Father's Day

Paul Pogba has posted a throwback snap with his dad and a current photo as he celebrates Father's Day.

The Manchester United midfielder's father passed away in May 2017 at the age of 79 after a long-battle with illness. And Pogba paid tribute, captioning the image with: 'RIP Papa'.

He also posed in a t-shirt with the phrase 'Best Dad in the Seven Kingdoms' — a reference to TV show Game of Thrones — alongside a stroller containing his son.

Girlfriend Maria Salaues and Pogba welcomed a son into the world in January this year.

The France international can clearly already see the similarities between himself and his kid, writing on Instagram: 'Like father like son'.

He added: 'Happy father's day to all the dads in the world. So blessed'.

Arsenal 'reach agreement' with Saint-Etienne for 18-year-old defender William Saliba

Arsenal have reportedly reached an agreement with Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba.

The Gunners are eager to bolster their defensive options this summer and 18-year-old centre-back Saliba, who enjoyed an outstanding season with Saint-Etienne, has been heavily linked with a switch to the Emirates Stadium.

As reported by Foot Mercato, Arsenal have agreed a five-year deal for Saliba and must now strike a deal with Saint-Etienne.

France Under-19 international Saliba has been linked with several other major clubs, including Manchester City an Manchester United.

However, Arsenal appears his most likely destination and the tall defender would relish the opportunity to test himself in the Premier League.

Arsenal again struggled defensively last season, with Shkodran Mustafi error prone and Laurent Koscielny injury prone, a new centre-back is a must for Unai Emery's side.

Emery can also call upon Sokratis, Rob Holding (who is currently recovering from injury), and Konstantinos Mavropanos at the heart of the defence, but Saliba would represent an intriguing alternative option.

Copa America: Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani scored as Uruguay thrashed 10-man Ecuador 4-0

Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring early on before Uruguay made the most of their player advantage, as an Arturo Mina own goal completed the rout.

Ecaudor's Jose Quintero was sent off for an elbow on 24 minutes after the referee consulted VAR.

Uruguay - who have won the Copa America a record 15 times - started strongly in Belo Horizonte, with Seattle Sounders midfielder Lodeiro scoring in just the sixth minute,

Quintero then received a red card for a flailing arm. The 28-year-old had initially been shown a yellow, but it was converted to red after referee Anderson Daronco consulted VAR.

Paris St-Germain's Cavani scored an acrobatic bicycle-kick before Barcelona forward Luis Suarez tapped home a record 57th international goal to make it 3-0 before half-time.

Mina's volleyed own goal in the 78th minute compounded Ecuador's miserable night.

Ecuador head coach Hernan Dario Gomez said his side were "not as bad as that" with the game "getting away from us" after the sending off.

Juventus appoint Maurizio Sarri as manager

Maurizio Sarri has left Chelsea to become manager of Serie A champions Juventus on a three-year deal.

Sarri, who joined the Blues from Napoli in July 2018, led them to third in the Premier League and won the Europa League in his one season in charge.

It is understood compensation in excess of £5m has been agreed between the two clubs for the 60-year-old.

Sarri will replace fellow Italian Massimiliano Allegri, who left Juventus at the end of last season.

"In talks we had following the Europa League final, Maurizio made it clear how strongly he desired to return to his native country, explaining that his reasons for wanting to return to work in Italy were significant," said Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia.

"He also believed it important to be nearer his family, and for the well-being of his elderly parents he felt he needed to live closer to them at this point."

Sarri signed a three-year deal last July but now becomes the ninth full-time manager to leave Chelsea under Roman Abramovich, who bought the club in 2003.

Paul Pogba says 'now could be good time to leave'

Manchester United's Paul Pogba says this summer "could be a good time to move elsewhere".

The France World Cup winner has been linked with a big-money move to Spanish giants Real Madrid or former club Juventus, the Serie A champions.

However, the 26-year-old midfielder, who was named in the PFA Team of the Year in 2018-19, is contracted to the Premier League club until July 2021.

"I am thinking of this: To have a new challenge somewhere else," Pogba said.

"For me, I have been for three years in Manchester and have been doing great; some good moments and some bad moments, like everybody. Like everywhere else.

"After this season and everything that happened this season, with my season being my best season as well... I think for me it could be a good time to have a new challenge."

Despite the views of their record signing, it is understood Manchester United believe Pogba will still be at Old Trafford next season.

Pogba moved back to Manchester United after four years at Juventus for a then-world record £89.3m fee in August 2016, after originally progressing through the youth ranks at Old Trafford.

Pogba has made 89 league appearances in his second spell at United, scoring 24 goals.

In April, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he expected Pogba to stay at the club next season.

Copa America: Colombia Stun Argentina

Argentina's bid to reach a third straight Copa America final began with a 2-0 loss against Colombia - a first defeat to their South American rivals in 12 years.

Roger Martinez and Duvan Zapata scored in the final 20 minutes after an Argentina side featuring Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero had dominated.

Messi, 31, said the Group B defeat left his side "feeling bitter".

"We didn't want to start this way," the five-time Ballon d'Or winner said.

"But now we have to lift our heads and keep going."

Argentina have won the tournament 14 times - second only to Uruguay - but have not triumphed since 1993 and lost the last two finals on penalties against Chile.

Barcelona's Messi missed his side's best chance to score in Salvador, heading a rebound wide after David Ospina had saved from Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi.

Colombia, managed by former Portugal and Real Madrid head coach Carlos Quieroz, scored both of their goals against the run of play.

Substitute Martinez cut in from the left and drove his effort into the top corner in the 71st minute after being set up by James Rodriguez.

Zapata, who scored 23 goals to help his Italian side Atalanta qualify for the Champions League for the first time last season, sealed the win with a late close-range effort, having replaced captain Radamel Falcao.

Argentina next face Paraguay, who begin their campaign against invitees Qatar on Sunday (20:00 BST).

Former Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic appointed at Qatar Super League side Al-Gharafa

Former Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic has signed a two-year deal with Qatar Super League side Al-Gharafa.

The Serb has been without a club since being sacked by the Cottagers last season, having guided them back to the Premier League in 2017-18.

Jokanovic, 50, was replaced by Claudio Ranieri, who made way for Scott Parker, but they finished 19th in the table.

Al-Gharafa are seven time winners of the league, most recently in 2010, and finished eighth last season.

Earlier in June, it was reported that midfielder Mohamed Diame was close to joining the club on a free transfer after his release by Newcastle United.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Middlesbrough confirm former captain Jonathan Woodgate as new manager

Jonathan Woodgate has been appointed manager of Championship outfit Middlesbrough on a three-year deal.

Boro's former captain Woodgate will be joined in the dugout by current Republic of Ireland assistant manager Robbie Keane.

Diego Maradona steps down as Sinaloa Dorados manager in Mexico

Diego Maradona stepped down as coach of Sinaloa Dorados of Mexico's second division on Thursday due to medical reasons.

58-year-old Maradona took over in September and took the team that was near the bottom of the league to consecutive final series in the Apertura 2018 and Clausura 2019 tournaments.

Both times, the team fell to Atletico San Luis, who reached the top flight.

'Diego Maradona decided to not continue as the head coach of Dorados,' Maradona's manager, Matias Morla, said on his Twitter account.

'On medical advice he will dedicate time to his health and will have two surgeries: in the shoulder and knee. We are thankful with the Dorados family and will continue the dream together in the future.'

In January, Maradona was admitted to a hospital in Argentina suffering from stomach bleeding, just a few days before returning to Mexico for his second season with Dorados.

Maradona's orthopedic surgeon, German Ochoa, said earlier this year that the former star had no cartilage left in his knees due to severe osteoarthritis and would need prostheses.

'Together we shocked the world. We showed that soccer is all about passion and heart, you will always be a Dorado, thanks for everything Diego,' the club tweeted. 'Get well and we'll see you soon.'

Paolo Maldini appointed AC Milan's new technical director

AC Milan have appointed club legend Paolo Maldini as their new technical director.

The former legendary centre-back will work closely at San Siro alongside Zvonimir Boban, the club's new chief football officer.

Maldini's appointment has been met with delight by Milan's hierarchy, with chief executive Ivan Gazidis - formerly of Arsenal - saying: 'Paolo embodies that quality and those values that are the building blocks of our club.

'I am happy to have him at the helm of our sporting area. With him, we will be able to build a modern club, formed by professionals of the highest quality.

'It will be a journey we will pursue together to achieve a challenging and compelling project, one which will require great energy and dedication.

'I am confident Paolo will be able to project his experience, his vision and his leadership.

'Paolo is an integral part of AC Milan and knows the way to success. He will be an important point of reference for everyone.'

Chelsea agree deal for manager Maurizio Sarri to join Juventus

An agreement was reached late on Thursday evening after talks between senior officials. A deal could be completed as early as Friday.

It is understood a compensation fee in excess of £5m has been agreed.

Sarri arrived from Napoli in July 2018 and led the Blues to third place in the Premier League and won the Europa League in his one season in charge.

Despite signing a three-year deal last July, he will become the ninth full-time manager to leave the club under Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

Throughout the 60-year-old Italian's time at Stamford Bridge there was repeated speculation about his position, with Chelsea fans expressing their discontent at tactics and team selections.

One of the low points came in February when goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga challenged his authority by refusing to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley, shortly before Chelsea were beaten in a penalty shootout by Manchester City.

But Sarri did manage to win his first ever trophy as manager with a 4-1 victory over Arsenal in May in the Europa League final, and after the match said "he deserved" to stay with the club.

Chelsea are currently unable to sign any players after they were banned for two transfer windows by Fifa - a decision they are appealing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Their star player Eden Hazard has joined Real Madrid for a fee that could exceed £150m.

Significantly, Chelsea have not asked for the suspension to be put on hold until a final decision is reached. It means their only new arrival might be USA forward Christian Pulisic, a £58m signing from Borussia Dortmund in January, who spent the remainder of the campaign on loan in Germany.

Juventus are managerless after Massimiliano Allegri left at the end of last season, having won the league title in each of his five seasons since taking charge in 2014.

Hazard Reveals What Modric Told him About no 10 shirt

Belgium captain, Eden Hazard, has identified Chelsea star, Mateo Kovacic, as the player that helped him get his Real Madrid shirt.
He also revealed that Real Madrid midfielder, Luka Modric, refused to give him his Los Blancos’ number 10 shirt after he asked the Croatian international for it.
Hazard said he spoke to Modric through the assistance of Kovacic, who is on loan at Chelsea from Real Madrid.
The 28-year-old stated this on Thursday after he was unveiled as a Real Madrid player at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
The forward completed his £88.5million move to Zinedine Zidane’s side from Chelsea a few days ago.
Modric is the current owner of the number 10 shirt in the Real Madrid dressing room, and despite asking Kovacic for help, Hazard will have to wear a different number for now.
“I have been able to talk to Modric through Kovacic,” Hazard was quoted by Football London as saying.
“I was joking when I asked him to lend me the number 10.
“He said no, so I’ll have to find another number. But right now number not important for me, just to play with this badge.”

Hazard Completes His Real Madrid Medical Ahead Of Unveiling

Real Madrid have confirmed that Eden Hazard has completed his medical ahead of a presentation at Bernabeu.
Real Madrid have agreed a €100m deal plus add-ons with Chelsea over the transfer of Hazard, with rumors indicating the Belgium captain will take over the No.7 shirt.
Hazard arrived in Madrid early today and now he has completed his medical.
As is confirmed before, Hazard will do his presentation at Santiago Bernabeu at 19:00 CET today.

Eden Hazard Unveiled At The Santiago Bernabéu, His Family Present

Today Eden Hazard was unveiled at the Santiago Bernabéu.
After the unveiling to Hazard today, the Belgium player was spotted wearing the new real Madrid kit
His family came out in full support.
See more photos below…