Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Tottenham defender Aurier undergoes hand surgery


The Ivory Coast international damaged his hand while on international duty for his country at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

Tottenham Hotspur defender Serge Aurier has undergone surgery on a hand injury suffered at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the club confirmed.

Aurier was part of the Ivory Coast squad which reached the quarter-finals of the continental showpiece in Egypt, where they bowed to Algeria.

During the competition, the right-back played only two games and suffered a hand injury during the Elephants' 1-0 loss to Morocco in their second Group D fixture.

Senegal's Moussa Wague resumes training with Barcelona


Following his international commitments, the 20-year-old is back in Spain to fight for his place in Ernesto Valverde's ahead of the new season

Senegal international Moussa Wague has cut short his holiday to resume training with Barcelona.
Wague was present at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt where he made three appearances for Senegal who finished as runners-up behind Algeria.

The 20-year-old played in the Teranga Lions' first two group matches against Tanzania and Algeria, and was later introduced as a substitute in the 110th minute of their semi-final game against Tunisia.

Caster Semenya ruled out of athletics world championships after Swiss court re-imposes IAAF regulations



Caster Semenya of South Africa, a two-time Olympic champion of 800 meters, will not be eligible to run her signature event at this year’s world track and field championships after the latest legal ruling in an ongoing, highly-charged case about testosterone levels and restrictions placed on intersex athletes to compete in certain women’s events.

Semenya sustained a setback on Tuesday, July 30th when the Swiss Supreme Court reversed a decision it made in June and temporarily reimposed the hormone restrictions set forth by track and field’s world governing body in women’s events from 400 meters to the mile.

“I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title. This will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned”, Semenya said in a statement about her ineligibility to run the 800 at world track championships, to be held from Sept. 28-Oct. 6 in Doha, Qatar.

Despite Tuesday’s interim ruling, Semenya’s attorney said she planned to continue an appeal. She is seeking to overturn eligibility limitations placed on athletes in the affected women’s events who have disorders of sexual development and possess X and Y chromosomes, the normal male pattern.

In June, the Swiss court temporarily suspended the rules governing testosterone levels, which allowed Semenya to continue running the 800 this summer. She is undefeated in the event since 2015 and, if eligible, would be a heavy favorite to win a third gold medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

A statement Tuesday by Semenya’s representatives said the Swiss court reversed itself upon determining that Semenya had failed to meet the “strict requirements and high thresholds” necessary to continue the interim suspension of the I.A.A.F.’s testosterone rules.

'Dembele won't move' - Man Utd target won't be sold by Lyon, says Sylvinho


The striker has been linked with a transfer to the Premier League, but his club have no plans to do a deal during the summer window

Lyon boss Sylvinho has shut the door on a potential move for rumoured Manchester United target Moussa Dembele.

United are reportedly interested in signing the forward as a replacement for Romelu Lukaku, who looks to be edging closer to Serie A.

Dembele scored 15 goals in Ligue 1 last season and did nothing to deter suitors by striking twice in Lyon's 2-1 pre-season win over Arsenal on Sunday.

Pogba would be fantastic, but I trust Madrid squad - Varane


The Los Blancos defender would welcome his World Cup-winning colleague to the Bernabeu
Raphael Varane believes France team-mate Paul Pogba would be a "fantastic" addition if he joined Real Madrid during the transfer window.

Pogba, 26, has been heavily linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu this off-season, but the midfielder remains at Manchester United and played 40 minutes in Tuesday's 1-0 friendly victory against Norway's Kristiansund.

Varane, whose team's pre-season struggles continued with a 1-0 loss to Tottenham at the Audi Cup on Tuesday, would welcome Pogba to the Spanish capital.

Lille To Sign Nigeria's Osimhen As Replacement For Arsenal Bound Pepe



Nigeria international Victor Osimhen has been scheduled to have his medical and finalise his move to Lille this week, according to France Football.
This comes as Lille star man Nicolas Pepe arrived in England on Tuesday to undergo his medical examination ahead of a £72 million move to Arsenal.
The transfer fee will make the 24-year-old Ivorian the Gunners' most expensive signing, and he will sign a five-year deal which will earn him around £150,000 per week.
Osimhen is expected to undergo a medical on Wednesday, before signing a 5-year contract with Lille. Belgian side Charleroi have accepted a €12m excluding bonuses offer from Lille and the youngster will sign a 5-year contract with LOSC Lille should the medical run smoothly.
Osimhen netted 20 goals in all competitions for Charleroi last season and was part of the Super Eagles squad that won the bronze medal at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The Greatest Football Players Of The Last 25 Years

20. Sergio Busquets
He rarely hogs the headlines – few holding midfielders do – but Busquets has quietly accumulated one World Cup, one European Championship, a trio of Champions Leagues and seven La Liga titles. His slick passing has proved integral to arguably the two best teams of the modern era.
19. Luka Modric
“Give the ball to Modric,” was Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham tactic – and it worked. Good things happen when the midfielder is in possession; that’s why he’s won four Champions League trophies in five years, helped Croatia to a surprise World Cup final appearance and won the Ballon d’Or after 10 years of Messi and Ronaldo.
18. Eric Cantona
Eric Cantona
“I don’t care about being some sort of superior person. If I want to kick a fan, I do it. I’m not a role model. That’s why I hit him again. But I didn’t hit him strong enough. I should have hit him harder.” FFT 171 (November 2008)
17. Gabriel Batistuta
Wembley, October 27, 1999. Batistuta shifts the ball to his right, then hammers a thunderbolt into the top corner from an impossible angle. This Champions League goal for Fiorentina against Arsenal epitomised Batigol’s career – as a goalscorer, he was unstoppable. No other player in history has scored a hat-trick at two World Cup finals.
16. Luis Figo
“Great personality, great charisma, great talent. I was lucky, because I never faced him during his Real Madrid period. When the ball was at his feet, it literally disappeared. If you want to keep the ball, pass it to Luis.” Franco Baresi, FFT 211
15. Wayne Rooney
Did Wazza live up to all that early-career promise? Probably not. Does that matter? Definitely not. Among the most naturally gifted players English football has produced, Rooney should be remembered as the primal juggernaut who first announced himself against Arsenal as a teenager or the more nuanced centre-forward he became. Remember the name.
14. Kaka
Kaka
Unexpectedly quick, Kaka glided over the pitch with the grace of a gazelle and the vision and intellect of a footballing nuclear physicist. His assist for Hernan Crespo to put Milan 3-0 at half-time in the 2005 Champions League Final is a contender for the greatest pass of all time: it took four players out of the game, having already turned Steven Gerrard inside out. A Rolls-Royce playmaker.
13. Ryan Giggs
Giggs was part of the reason a mag like FourFourTwo suddenly needed to exist: Manchester United’s 1990s poster boy made football fashionable again as the Premier League age dawned. The winger pocketed a record 13 league titles in total, owing to his mercurial ability and approach to staying fit. “You look for players who have flair, or can cross, or can pass well or work hard,” Teddy Sheringham told FFT in 2002. “Normally, you might get two of the four, but Giggsy has all those qualities.”
12. Fabio Cannavaro
You also have to be some player to win the Ballon d’Or as a defender (none have managed it since Cannavaro in 2006), and to go up against Serie A’s offensive brutes at 5ft 9in and emerge victorious. Cannavaro was just that: an incredible reader of the game who always seemed to be in the right place at the right time – fast, technical and one step ahead of the most skilful opponent. As Italy’s most capped captain, Cannavaro’s greatest glory arrived in the summer of 2006, as he led the Azzurri to World Cup victory in Germany.
11. Rivaldo
As the ‘90s drew to a breathless end, the bow-legged Barcelona winger was probably the best player in the world. Strong and skilful, Rivaldo combined the balance of a ballet dancer with an assassin’s killer instinct. He had absolutely everything. Except a right foot. Most of the time, he didn’t even need that.
10. Roberto Baggio
“I’ve lost three World Cups, all on penalties,” Baggio once said. “If you’ll allow me this… it really gets on my nerves.” Unfortunately, the Divine Ponytail will always be known for blazing Italy’s crucial spot-kick over the bar in the 1994 World Cup Final, handing the trophy to Brazil. It affected him for years.
It’s a tremendous shame, because Baggio was one of history’s most technically blessed attacking midfielders – a playmaking grandmaster for Juventus, Milan and the Azzurri. When he was on song, he possessed a cutting edge and vision that dazzled one and all.
“I always admired Italians’ defensive excellence, even though they were often cheating buggers. But this lad wasn’t. He was poised, decisive and also tall enough to be vital at the far post for inswinging corners. Like the Bank of England – hard to get past and get in. For such a handsome young man, he was never scared about picking up any bruises.” Brian Clough, FFT 101
8. Andres Iniesta
Andres Iniesta
Iniesta embodied a style of football responsible for the sport’s biggest sea-change since FourFourTwo’s inception: a receive-pass-offer-pass doctrine that conquered all for Barcelona and Spain. Suddenly, everyone wanted to keep the ball, and there was hope for little guys worldwide who wanted to get a game alongside six-footers.
His crowning glory? Capping a man-of-the-match display with the winning goal in extra time of Spain’s 2010 World Cup Final victory over a Dutch side that had tried and failed to bully him.
7. Xavi
“In my very first training session at Barcelona in 2006, I tried to take the ball from Xavi but it was impossible,” Gianluca Zambrotta told us in 2016. “I knew he could be the best player in the world. With Iniesta, he grew and matured in a team that got better and better.”
Coaches saw it, too. They would tell young midfielders just to watch Xavi’s movements in order to learn the game. He bagged eight league titles and four Champions Leagues while completing more passes than anyone on Earth, and for many he’s the greatest Spanish footballer ever.
6. Thierry Henry
A chance meeting on a flight from Turin to Paris in early-summer 1999 was all it took to turn a frustrated Juventus wide man into the most feared centre-forward on the planet. “You’re wasting your time on the wing,” a wise old sage told the 21-year-old on the plane, “you’re a No.9.” Within a month, Arsene Wenger had signed Thierry Henry and Arsenal would never be the same again.
Deployed through the middle, feeding off the bullets Dennis Bergkamp loaded, the Frenchman usurped Ian Wright as the Gunners’ all-time leading goalscorer, was twice voted PFA Player of the Year and won the football writers’ accolade three times. Henry was quick, lethal and effortlessly cool, that right-footed side-foot across the goalkeeper from the inside left channel.
5. Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho
Blame the pooch. “As a kid, I honed my dribbling with my dog,” Ronaldinho told FFT in 2012. “When my friends got tired, he ran after the ball.” That mutt assisted in creating possibly the best technician in the history of football in Brazil. Brazil. Juninho declared Ronny “the most skilful player I’ve ever seen,” adding, “There was no end to his tricks.”
He did them at top speed, too, which felt almost disrespectful. It all added up to winner’s medals at the World Cup and in the Champions League, La Liga and more, even if he will be remembered for that other Brazilian cliché: playing with a big, toothy grin.
4. Ronaldo
“When I made my Brazil debut in 1999 he was my idol – and 18 years later it’s the same. He was so welcoming to me. When I get praise from Messi for fostering his growth at Barça, it’s largely thanks to the role model I had with Brazil. Even now, I find it hard not to feel shy around Ronaldo because he has such a presence.” Ronaldinho, FFT 277 (July 2017)
“I was generally very calm and composed as a player – but never when I came up against O Fenomeno. He’d do a quick feint in and out and then run off in a completely different direction, which would leave you standing and unable to recover. Defenders knew he was going to embarrass them.” Alessandro Costacurta, FFT 276
“Ronaldo is more than goals and titles. He overcame so much. He deserves to be treated as a hero. If not for his knees, he would’ve won five Ballons d’Or.” Cafu, FFT 240
3. Zinedine Zidane
Study Zizou’s bare statistics and they’re not all that special – a goal every six games or so, just one Champions League title and another in La Liga for Real Madrid. He wasn’t particularly quick or strong and was poor in the air (despite scoring twice in a World Cup final with his bonce). Some would question whether the Frenchman really warrants such a lofty position on our list.
To call such methodology reductive doesn’t begin to scratch the surface and is the football equivalent of dismissing Vincent van Gogh because he only sold one painting in his lifetime. Put simply, watching Zidane conduct a football match was the closest thing to art the beautiful game has ever produced. The touch, skill amd mesmeric grace you never see, combined with a headbutting temper that made him human. Glorious.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo is a freak of nature. His talent is ludicrous, yet it’s the Portuguese’s constant desire for self-improvement which stands CR7 apart from his peers.
Named after then-US president Ronald Reagan, Ronaldo was determined to escape what was an impoverished childhood. It’s partly why he’s managed to evolve from a fancy-dan winger who struggled for end product at Sporting and early on at Manchester United to the deadly wide-cum-centre-forward which got his move to Real Madrid and continued success at Juventus.
1. Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
If Cristiano Ronaldo is Rafael Nadal – never stopping in the relentless quest for perfection – then Messi is Roger Federer. The most naturally gifted athlete his sport has ever produced, the Argentine normalises the superhuman, achieving apparent perfection with an insouciant swish of his left foot.
“I feel sorry for those who want to compete for Messi’s throne,” Pep Guardiola once said. “It’s impossible, this kid is unique.”
Trying to make sense of Messi is to give up on football, to forget the reason why you first started watching in the first place, cross-legged in the front room or open-mouthed on the stands. Suspend your disbelief and follow what most opponents do. Admire.

Cameroon footballer Clinton N'jie streams sex video of himself and a woman to his followers


Cameroonian footballer and former Tottenham forward, Clinton N'jie, has been forced to tender an apology after live-streaming himself having sex.

The 25-year-old who had recently signed a four-year deal with the Russian club Dynamo Moscow after a disappointing season with Marseille, accidentally filmed himself and a female partner in a compromising position.

The footage was posted via his Snapchat account before he realised his mistake and quickly deleted it.

Apologizing later,  the former Marseille winger said he mistakenly pressed the wrong button while as he was trying to search for himself on the internet

'I’m sorry, I had drank too much,' he told Orange.fr. 'I celebrated my new contract and wanted to read the news. I pressed the wrong button.'

Scaloni to stay on as Argentina coach for 2022 World Cup qualifiers


The former assistant to Jorge Sampaoli is to keep the job full-time after guiding his side to third place at this summer's Copa America
Lionel Scaloni will take charge of Argentina in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) has confirmed.
Scaloni was part of Argentina's coaching staff for their poor campaign at Russia2018, after which Jorge Sampaoli left his post.
The AFA put the former Deportivo La Coruna defender in charge, initially on a temporary basis, and he led Argentina to the Copa America semi-finals, where they lost to rivals and eventual champions Brazil.

Man Utd's Maguire move backed by record scorer Rooney


Manchester City have also been linked with the England defender, who the forward says has improved as a player in recent seasons
Harry Maguire would be a good signing for Manchester United if they can lure him from Leicester City, says Wayne Rooney.
Maguire is reportedly a target for United, as well as Premier League rivals Manchester City, but the Foxes are said to value the England international at £80 million ($97.3m), which would be a world-record fee for a defender.
Brendan Rodgers has confirmed Leicester have already turned down two offers for the England international, who missed training on Monday, although James Maddison joked on social media his team-mate's absence was due to an upset stomach.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Mustafi has had 'no contact' with Roma or any Serie A side over transfer, according to Arsenal defender's father


The Germany international has been linked with a move away from the Emirates this week, but his father and representative says it won't be to Italy

Shkodran Mustafi’s father has poured cold water on reports linking the Arsenal defender with a summer transfer to Roma.

Unai Emery is claimed to be trying to get rid of the Germany international, after three seasons in which he has consistently failed to impress at the Emirates.

Mustafi, though, is reported to want to stay at the club, despite rumours linking him with a move to the Italian capital.

Salah and Keita resume training with Liverpool


The Africans stars are back with the Reds ahead of Sunday's Community Shield encounter against Man City

Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita have resumed training with Liverpool ahead of the 2019-20 season.
The duo were granted extended break after their international outings at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, although Keita had to fight his way back from an abductor injury.

Salah was part of Egypt’s squad which exited the continental tournament in the Round of 16 after a 1-0 loss to South Africa, while Keita could only feature in the group stage as Guinea bowed out in the knockout round.

Super Falcons deserve same pay as Super Eagles - Desire Oparanozie


The Nigeria women's captain is demanding her side be paid the same as their male's counterparts
Desire Oparanozie believes the Nigeria women's team deserve to receive the same pay as the country's male side.

Oparanozie, who captained the Super Falcons to a Round of 16 finish at the 2019 Fifa Women's World Cup, made the comment at the 2019 Ladies In Sports Conference in Lagos.

In 2018, Thomas Dennerby's side piped South Africa to win their ninth African Women's Cup of Nations crown in Ghana, making them the African team with the most titles.

Guardiola has become more magical over time - Thiago


The pair worked together at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and the creative midfielder has nothing but love for his former mentor.

Thiago Alcantara feels Pep Guardiola has only become better and more magical over time, and believes the current Manchester City manager has been able to show more of what he can achieve as he got to work with better players.

The Bayern Munich star first worked with Guardiola at Barcelona and was then re-united with him following his move to the Allianz Arena in 2013.

Guardiola is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the world and Thiago has stressed the City boss continually evolves and gets better at what he does

Ronaldinho's property seized over unpaid fines and taxes


Former Brazil forward Ronaldinho has had 57 properties seized and his Brazilian and Spanish passports confiscated over unpaid taxes and fines, according to reports in Brazil.

The twice World Player Of The Year was fined 9.5m reais (£2.06m) for illegally building a pier at his lake house in the city of Porto Alegre, the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo said.

But as well as the environmental fine, Ronaldinho is also being pursued by creditors seeking to recover £1.69m in other debts, such as council taxes.

A judge in Porto Alegre told the Reuters news agency that because the case was under judicial secrecy rules, no details of the newspaper report could be confirmed or denied.

Ronaldinho was the 2004 and 2005 World Player of the Year and enjoyed the prime of his career at Spanish giants Barcelona. He won the World Cup in 2002 alongside fellow superstar forwards Ronaldo and Rivaldo.

The captain of that team, Cafu, is similarly facing financial problems, having had various apartments he owns in Brazil seized by the authorities.

Ronaldinho's net worth is estimated at £80-100m and he is reported to charge around £150,000 for a single promoted Instagram post.

Neymar rape case dropped over lack of evidence


Police investigating rape allegations against Brazilian football player Neymar say they have closed the case.

The São Paulo attorney general's office said the case was suspended due to a lack of evidence, but will be sent to prosecutors for a final decision.

The investigation was opened after Brazilian model Najila Trindade alleged the footballer attacked her in a hotel in Paris, France, in May.

Neymar has denied the accusations, saying he is being extorted.

A spokesman for Neymar told AFP that he was not able to comment on the police decision.

The case has gripped Brazil, where it has dominated newspaper headlines.

It first came to light in June, when the Paris St-Germain star released a seven minute video on Instagram revealing that he had been accused of rape. He also published Whatsapp messages and images that he claimed to be of the woman.

In the video he says he had to make them public to "prove that nothing really happened".

Ms Trindade then went public, giving a television interview and releasing footage and a video clip purportedly showing an altercation between the two.

Police later filed a defamation suit against Ms Trindade, who allegedly insinuated the force was corrupt, according to news agency AFP.

The model was also dropped by several lawyers.

Prosecutors now have 15 days to evaluate the case before a judge makes a final ruling.

Juventus and Manchester United are reportedly closing in on a swap deal including Dybala and Lukaku


According to Corriere dello Sport in Italy, the swap is 'ready', with a deal very close to being agreed between the two clubs.

Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici is said to be pressing to convince the Argentine that a move to Old Trafford would work, with the end of the English transfer window edging ever closer.

The Belgian striker has not travelled with his United team-mates to a training camp in Norway this week, further hinting at his impending exit.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given the 26-year-old four days to complete his move away, and although he looks set for a move to Italy, it is as yet unclear exactly where.

Atletico Madrid legend Diego Godin reveals why he turned down chance to sign for Manchester United


Atletico Madrid legend Diego Godin has revealed why he turned down a big-money move to Manchester United last summer.

The Uruguayan has since switched Madrid for Milan at the end of his Atletico contract, but had a chance to move to Old Trafford a year ago.

Instead, the now 33-year-old opted to spend another year at the Wanda Metropolitano, turning down the advances of Jose Mourinho.

'Yes, a year ago there were offers from Juventus, Manchester United, in the past also Man City,' Godin told Gazzetta dello Sport.

'But at that moment I had a contract in force with Atletico, I didn't think of leaving. This time it was different, I was near the end of my contract.'

Godin moved to Inter Milan on a free transfer at the start of the summer, bringing to an end his nine-year spell at Atletico.

For the legendary centre back, something was different when the hierarchy at Inter Milan came calling. 

'I can say that no club convinced me how Inter managed to,' he added.

'They came alive first and decidedly with more conviction than other clubs. They showed me the project: it's ambitious, like me.

'And I liked the idea of ​​being part of it and being able to help Inter realise it.'

Jose Mourinho eager to return to the dug-out in one of Europe's top five leagues


Jose Mourinho has admitted he is 'missing football' and is 'full of fire' for his next challenge in the game.

The Portuguese manager was sacked by Manchester United on December 18 last year and has resisted the temptation to make a swift return to the dug-out despite receiving offers.

Though the former Chelsea and Real Madrid coach insists he will wait for the right opportunity to come along, he is finding a blank pre-season a little surreal.

Mourinho told Sky Sports News: 'This is basically the first time I have time to think, the first time I am in Setubal at the end of July or beginning of August in more than 20 years.

'I have some time to think, to rethink, to analyse and what I feel is exactly that 'Ze' [Mourinho nickname as a boy] is full of fire!

'My friends tell me "enjoy your time, enjoy your July, enjoy your August, enjoy what you never had". Honestly, I can't enjoy. I am not happy enough to enjoy.

'I miss my football, I have the fire, I have a compromise with myself, with people that love me, with so many fans that I have around the world, so many people that I inspired.

'Ze has to be Ze and Ze until the last day, but I don't see the last day because my next move will be like the start!

'I don't feel it's just one more year in accumulation of how many years I've worked, how many titles I've won. That is history, that is the museum!

'My future will start in my next move and, as I was saying, it looks a little bit ridiculous with so many beautiful things around me and so many things I didn't [have] for so many years, but I can't really enjoy my free time.'

Mourinho, 56, has rejected offers from his former club Benfica and a lucrative £88million contract from a Chinese Super League club since his acrimonious departure from Old Trafford before Christmas.

He says his intention is to return to club management and only at a club from one of the top five European leagues - the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga.

Arsenal will pay an initial fee of £20million to sign Lille forward Nicolas Pepe


Arsenal will pay an initial £20million for Nicolas Pepe, as the Lille attacker moves closer to a club-record £72m switch.

Despite working with a limited transfer budget this summer, Arsenal look on course to complete what could be the most expensive signing by any Premier League club in this window.

It is understood Arsenal will stay within budget by paying as little £20m up front for the Ivory Coast international, with the remaining £52m paid in instalments within five years.

Winger Pepe is expected to have a medical by the end of the week before completing his move to the Emirates Stadium.

The signing will be an impressive coup for the Gunners hierarchy given Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Napoli have all been credited with an interest.

The 24-year-old Pepe will form part of what should be an exciting forward line next season.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette scored 50 goals between them last season and Pepe will add to manager Unai Emery’s firepower.

He was second only to PSG’s Kylian Mbappe in the Ligue 1 scoring charts last season, registering 22 goals and 11 assists as Lille finished second.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Patrice Evra announces his retirement


Manchester United legend Patrice Evra has announced his retirement from football.

The former France international, 38, enjoyed a trophy-laden career which spanned 20 years and eight clubs.

Evra is now looking to make the transition into coaching and hopes to fulfil a prediction made by his former boss at United, Sir Alex Ferguson.

'My playing career is officially over,' he told Gazzetta dello Sport. 'I started training for the UEFA B Coaching License in 2013, now I want to finish it and then go on to get the UEFA A License.

'In a year and a half, if everything goes well, I'll be ready to lead a team. Sir Alex Ferguson had predicted at the time that two of his players would become coaches of a high level: Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra.'

Federation Cup: Kano Pillars fans on rampage again despite victory over Niger Tornadoes


Ugly scenes greeted the 2019 Federation Cup final at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, where Kano Pillars defeated Niger Tornadoes 4-3 on penalties on Sunday.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), security officials had to resort to the use of teargas to disperse rampaging Kano Pillars fans after their team’s victory.

The teargas used by the security officials led to pandemonium, as many inside the stadium scampered for safety, including the dignitaries who were present.

Those reportedly affected include the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, as well as an unidentified player who was driven away in an ambulance, and several fans who lost consciousness.

NAN reports that the trouble started when Kano Pillars fans allegedly broke the barricade to enter the pitch in order to celebrate with the players.

In an attempt to stop them and prevent them from disrupting the trophy presentation ceremony, the fans clashed with the security men on duty.

The high-handedness of the security officials infuriated the agitated fans, who fought back violently and wreaked havoc; destroying billboards, pitch panels, posters and many other objects within sight.

The medal and trophy presentation was suspended and later took place in a near-empty stadium after calm had returned to the venue.

Though the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the organisers of the Federation Cup, are yet to release any official statement, many fans are calling for stiff sanctions against Kano Pillars, whose fans are now notorious for violent conducts.

Verratti drops Neymar transfer hint, Says 'PSG must not keep a player who wants to leave'


Marco Verratti has suggested Paris Saint Germain not to stand in the way of Neymar's proposed switch to Barcelona, insisting that the club "must not keep a player who wants to leave".

Neymar joined the French champions for a world record £200 million ($246m) fee in the summer of 2017, ending a trophy-laden four-year spell at Camp Nou.

The 27-year-old made the transition from La Liga to Ligue 1 seamlessly, but his first full season at the club was cut short by a metatarsal injury.

The Brazil international was also unable to complete the 2018-19 campaign in its entirety, suffering a re-occurrence of the same injury back in January.

Neymar returned to action in time to play a part in a French Cup final against Rennes, but PSG lost the match on penalties and he was hit with a ban for striking a supporter when going up to collect his runners' up medal .

The mercurial winger's attitude has been called into question on a number of other occasions and rumours of a return to Barcelona have emerged as a result.

Verratti does not wish to see Neymar leave Parc des Princes but feels PSG should sanction his departure if he no longer wants to be in the French capital.

"When a player really wants to leave, the club must let him go, according to the conditions set by the club, of course," the Italy midfielder told RMC Sport .

"But you must not keep a player who wants to leave. Of course, I would be disappointed to see him go.

"I never heard him say that he wanted to leave, after I don't know what he told the club. But personally, of course, I prefer to see him stay."

Neymar's Camp Nou homecoming has reportedly been on the agenda since late last year , but PSG want to make all the money back on their initial investment.

There has been some suggestion that Barca will include multiple players in any official offer for the Brazilian, but the club may be short on funds after a summer of lucrative spending.

Nigerian youngster Xavier Amaechi signs for Hamburg in £2.25m deal from Arsenal


British-born Nigerian footballer, Xavier Amaechi has secured a four-year deal to German club, Hamburg from Arsenal.

The 18-year-old winger who was born in Bath, United Kingdom passed a medical on Saturday and became the German club's 11th summer signing.

According to the transfer deal, Hamburg will pay a fee of around £2.25million for him, while Arsenal have a sell-on clause but no buy-back option.

Amaechi, an England youth international, told Hamburg's official website: 'The conditions here really are perfect.

'I'm really impressed by the team, the fans and the stadium. I think it's a big chance for me to play for this club.'

On Twitter, he added: 'Ready to take the next step in my career to achieve my goals, and I am very grateful for this opportunity. Looking forward to the upcoming season.'

Amaechi, who turned down offers from the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Inter Milan has been handed the No 17 shirt by the German second-tier side.

Lionel Messi attacked in Ibiza Night Club


There was pandemonium at a night club in Ibiza as Barcelona and Argentine superstar, Lionel Messi was reportedly attacked by an unknown person during a party.

The incident occurred in the late hours of Sunday, July 28, 2019.

The footballer has been holidaying in Ibiza with his wife Antonela Roccuzzo, 31, and their three children;Thiago, 6, Mateo, 3, and Ciro, 1, as well as some of his teammates.

In viral videos online, the striker was seen as he was being escorted away from the attacker as people gathered around the scene.

It is unclear what prompted the incident, and there is no suggestion if Messi did anything wrong to spark the drama during his night out on the Spanish island.

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Dead Body Found In Arsenal Midfielder, Elneny’s House


A dead body has been found in Mohamed Elneny’s house in Egypt.

Police are now investigating the matter after the corpse was discovered by the Arsenal midfielder’s father.

According to Italian newspaper Gazetta, Elneny’s dad immediately notified the authorities after he discovered the ‘lifeless body inside his son’s home’.

The house, close to the city of Mahalla Al-Kubra, is currently under construction.

Police are yet to formally identify the deceased and it is not known whether it was a criminal act or an accident.

The website 24.ae claim the body was found ‘in the patio’ at the home.

Elneny was missing from Arsenal’s squad to face Lyon on Sunday afternoon, as the Gunners slipped to a 2-1 defeat in the Emirates Cup.

In three years with the North London giants, the Egypt international has made 89 appearances, scoring just two goals.

Vincent Kompany lost his first Belgian First Division A match as player-manager of RSC Anderlecht


Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany lost his first Belgian First Division A match as player-manager of RSC Anderlecht.

The centre-back named himself in the starting XI but could do nothing to stop a late winner in a 2-1 defeat at home by KV Oostende.

Michel Vlap gave Anderlecht the lead but Ronald Vargas and Fashion Sakala scored in each half for Oostende.

It was Kompany's first competitive game since leaving Man City in May.

The 33-year-old signed a three-year deal with Belgian giants Anderlecht after 11 years at Etihad Stadium, where he won four Premier League titles.

Kompany, who scored five goals in 73 games for Anderlecht from 2003 to 2006, helping them to win two league titles, was given a hero's welcome by supporters at Lotto Park.

A banner of Kompany, who played the full 90 minutes, with the message "left like a prince, came back like a king!" was held up in one of the stands.

Scarves with the defender's face on and the words "Welcome home Kompany" were sold around the ground before the game.

There was also a rousing speech from former player Tomasz Radzinski, who had spells at Everton and Fulham, on the pitch before kick-off.

Former Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri came on as a substitute for Anderlecht, while 22-year-old City loannee Philippe Sandler was also named in the squad.

Football stars, Messi, Suarez, Fabregas and Jordi Alba party in Ibiza with their wives



Barcelona superstars,  Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Jordi Alba alongside their former team-mate Cesc Fabregas were pictured on Sunday, July 28,  enjoying a party in Ibiza alongside their wives ahead of the upcoming season.

See more photos below.
Football stars, Messi, Suarez, ?Fabregas and Jordi Alba party in Ibiza with their wives (Photos)Football stars, Messi, Suarez, ?Fabregas and Jordi Alba party in Ibiza with their wives (Photos)Football stars, Messi, Suarez, ?Fabregas and Jordi Alba party in Ibiza with their wives (Photos)

Everton set for further Kean talks as Toffees chase €40m Juventus star


The Merseyside outfit have made the Italy international forward their priority as they look to strengthen their attack before the start of the season

Everton have begun negotiations with Juventus over a move for forward Moise Kean and are expected to resume talks in the coming hours to seal a deal for the Italy international.

Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici is currently looking at thinning out his squad, having spent over €100 million (£90m/$111m) on new signings including defenders Matthijs de Ligt, Luca Pellegrini and Merih Demiral.

They have recouped €29.5m (£27m/$33m) from the sale of Leonardo Spinazzola to Roma, but now wish to offload attacking talent.

Flamengo boss confirms Milan deal for Duarte


The defender is likely to have played his last game for the Brazilian club with a move to San Siro reportedly imminent

Leo Duarte is set to join Serie A side AC Milan after Flamengo head coach Jorge Jesus confirmed "it's all done".

Flamengo defender Duarte has been linked to Milan and Italian rivals Roma in recent weeks after impressing for the Brazilian club.

AC Milan looked to have won the race with reports they are poised to complete a €11 million (£9.9m/$12.2m) deal for Duarte on a five-year contract.

Kano Pillars fans on rampage again despite victory over Niger Tornadoes


Security officials had a hard time curtailing ugly incidents of fan violence after Sunday’s Cup final in Kaduna

Ugly scenes greeted the 2019 Federation Cup final at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, where Kano Pillars defeated Niger Tornadoes 4-3 on penalties on Sunday.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), security officials had to resort to the use of teargas to disperse rampaging Kano Pillars fans after their team’s victory.

The teargas used by the security officials led to pandemonium, as many inside the stadium scampered for safety, including the dignitaries who were present.

Manchester United's transfer policy 'difficult' to follow, says Moyes


The former Red Devils boss believes the club have prioritised marketing ability over skill when it comes to picking new signings

Former Manchester United manager David Moyes believes the club have fallen out of competition for silverware because of their ambiguous transfer strategy.

The Red Devils have won just three trophies - the Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup - since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013.

Despite their big spending, United have finished outside the Premier League's top two in five of the last six years.

Mexico center back Moreno in Qatar ahead of Al-Gharafa move


The El Tri defender is set to undergo a medical before joining the club from Real Sociedad
Mexico center back Hector Moreno is set to become the latest El Tri player to leave one of Europe's top leagues.

The 31-year-old is in Doha set to undergo a medical ahead of a move to Al-Gharafa SC, the club announced Sunday on its official Twitter account.

The Sinaloa native found playing time tough to come by ever since leaving PSVfor Roma in 2017. He moved to Real Sociedad after just one season in Serie Abut was in and out of the starting XI with La Real. Moreno did find himself in a good rhythm after closing out La Liga play with several consecutive starts this season.

'We will be a different animal' - Klopp expects improved Liverpool against Manchester City


The Reds have struggled in pre-season but the manager vowed they would be much-improved against their title rivals

Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool would be a "different animal" against Manchester City after his side's pre-season struggles continued on Sunday.

The European champions suffered a 3-0 loss to Napoli in their penultimate friendly ahead of the 2019-20 season, the result extending their winless run to four matches.

Liverpool are set to get stars Mohamed Salah, Alisson and Roberto Firmino back on Monday, with Sadio Mane poised to return after the Community Shield clash against City on August 4.

'He is obviously a fine, fine footballer' - Klopp hails Elliott after first Liverpool appearance


The 16-year-old took in his first senior outing for the Reds on Sunday night and the German boss is excited to watch his talent blossom at Anfield

Jurgen Klopp praised Harvey Elliott after making his Liverpool debut against Napoli, describing the teenager as a "fine, fine footballer."

Elliott completed a transfer to Anfield from Fulham over the weekend and was quickly thrown into pre-season action despite his tender age.

The young winger came on for the final 11 minutes of a clash with Napoli on Sunday, which Jurgen Klopp's side ultimately lost 3-0 at Murrayfield in Scotland.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Liverpool 0-3 Napoli: Insigne too hot for Klopp's men to handle


Harvey Elliott made his Liverpool debut in a 3-0 friendly defeat to Napoli after joining the club from Fulham.

Lorenzo Insigne gave Liverpool's defenders a torrid afternoon as Napoli beat the European champions 3-0 in a friendly at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp fielded a strong side but Napoli's homegrown forward took centre stage, tormenting Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold with his pace and close control as he scored the opening goal and played in Arkadiusz Milik for the second.

Insigne was involved again when substitute Amin Younes made it 3-0 seven minutes into the second half and, although Liverpool improved with the introduction of Rhian Brewster and Harry Wilson in the last half hour, they rarely threatened Alex Meret's goal.

'Pepe is a very good player' - Emery praises Arsenal target as €80m deal nears


The Gunners are in advanced talks to sign the 24-year-old winger this summer and the coach hopes he can improve the squad ahead of the new season
Arsenal coach Unai Emery has hailed Nicolas Pepe as a "very good player" as his side close in on signing the winger.

Sources have confirmed to Goal that Gunners are close to an €80 million (£72m/$89m) agreement with Lille as talks progressed rapidly over the weekend.

Pepe had been linked to Liverpool, Manchester United, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain after tallying 23 goals and 12 assists in all competitions last term, but it is the north London side who have jumped ahead of the queue with an offer to pay Lille's asking price in instalments.

Chelsea boss Lampard hopes Hudson-Odoi renewal will be 'confirmed soon'


The wonderkid is close to signing a new deal as his manager gave the latest update on his talks with the club
Frank Lampard says Callum Hudson-Odoi is very close to renewing his contract as Willian remains locked in discussions over prolonging his stay at Chelsea.
Chelsea ran out 4-3 winners away at Reading in their fifth pre-season match under the new manager at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.
A Mason Mount double helped the Blues edge past the Championship side after earlier goals from Ross Barkley and Kenedy.

Kovac 'very confident' Bayern target Sane will join from Manchester City


The head coach of the Bundesliga champions believes the Germany international will finally make the move to Bavaria from England
Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac says he remains confident a deal can be done to sign Manchester City winger Leroy Sane.
The 23-year-old has long been associated with a move to the Bavarian giants from the Premier League champions, with Bayern looking to replace legendary widemen Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben who both left the club at the end of last season after long spells filled with trophies.
Kovac has described Sane as Bayern’s ‘dream player’, while club icon Lotthar Matthaus says he could be the new face of the club.

AC Milan 0-1 Benfica: Aguias close on ICC title thanks to Taarabt strike


Benfica can now only be caught by Manchester United in the ICC, after Bruno Lage's side claimed a slender 1-0 win over AC Milan on Sunday.
Adel Taarabt's deflected effort against his former side saw Benfica edge AC Milan 1-0 to maintain their 100 per cent record in the International Champions Cup and move top of the table.
The entertaining contest in Massachusetts provided the Serie A side with a real test, but a combination of unimpressive finishing and fine goalkeeping from Odisseas Vlachodimos saw the Rossoneri fall short.
Milan looked excellent at times in the first half and crafted a host of opportunities, but they were unable to find a way past the supreme Vlachodimos, who produced a string of impressive saves.

Reus and Klopp win major German football awards


The Borussia Dortmund captain and Liverpool's Champions League-winning manager have been honoured with prestigious accolades in Germany

Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus has been named Footballer of the Year in Germany for the second time in his career.

The Association of German Sports Journalists, in conjunction with football magazine Kicker, gave Reus 150 of the 540 votes cast to place him ahead of Bayer Leverkusen prodigy Kai Havertz and Bayern Munich full-back Joshua Kimmich.

Reus’ former Dortmund boss, Jurgen Klopp, earned the Coach of the Year title after leading Liverpool to glory in the Champions League.

De Bruyne feeling fit and positive following injury free pre-season


The midfielder is healthy and raring to go after a successful pre-season for him and the Premier League champions concluded in Japan

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is confident the fitness problems that plagued him last season are in the past.

Three knee injuries - two of them involving ligament damage - and an ill-timed hamstring issue restricted the Belgium international to 19 Premier League appearances as City retained the title.
De Bruyne admitted to feeling mentally exhausted following a frustrating setback against Tottenham in April, which threatened to finally end his abbreviated campaign.

Caf Champions League: Kotoko preparations advanced for Kano Pillars showdown


Kennedy Boakye Ansah speaks on the August 10 encounter with the Nigerian fold in the continental inter-club championship.

Asante Kotoko public relations officer Kennedy Boakye Ansah believes the club are on the right path to get into top shape for their upcoming Caf Champions League clash with Kano Pillars of Nigeria.
The Porcupine Warriors are set to face Masu Gida in the preliminary first round, the first leg slated for August 10 at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.

"Preparations are far advance ahead of our Champions League game against Kano Pillars," Boakye Ansah told AshhFM