Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Taiwo to play for Kiev next season

Dynamo Kiev have sealed a loan deal with Nigerian defender Taye Taiwo from AC Milan for a season. 

Taiwo joined Milan from Marseille last summer but struggled for a regular first-team place, spending the second half of the campaign on loan at Premier League club QPR. 

"Coming to the Ukraine is a great opportunity for me to earn a regular first-team place," he told the media yesterday. 

"I know Milan is a big club but I am not a player who is happy to sit down, collecting salary without playing football. 

"I've considered a lot of things and I realised going elsewhere for regular football is greater than a life on the Milan bench." 

Dynamo Kiev have been given an option to sign Taiwo outright for â?¬2m at the end of the season. 

English Premier League pair Queens Park Rangers and Reading, Portuguese side Benfica and French outfit Marseille approached AC Milan for the Nigerian. 

But his wage demands derailed talks of a switch to England, Portugal or a return to former club Marseille, where he is still a crowd favourite. 

Taiwo explained: "It was a dream to move to AC Milan but to be honest I never had the chance to show what I am capable of doing but that is life. 

"I chose to come to Dynamo Kiev because of the opportunity to play in the Uefa Champions League and also to experience a new life. 

"It was very important to consider my international career and I took this decision with that in mind." 

Taiwo will play alongside compatriots Yusuf Ayila, Lukman Haruna and Brown Ideye at Dynamo. 

"I know them [the Nigerians] from the national team set-up. I have been friends with Yusuf [Ayila] for several years. That makes it a lot easier to settle down. 

Morangella expelled for Racist tweet

Michel Morganella was expelled from the Olympics on Monday for his threatening and racist message on Twitter about South Koreans. The announcement came hours after Switzerland lost to South Korea. 

Morganella "discriminated against, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korea football team as well as the South Korean people," Swiss Olympic team chief Gian Gilli said through a translator at a news conference. He said the player was stripped of his Olympic accreditation. 

Morganella is the second athlete kicked off a London Olympics team for offensive Twitter comments, following Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou. 

He posted the message after playing in the 2-1 loss against South Korea on Sunday. He said in the tweet that South Koreans "can go burn" and referred to them as a "bunch of mongoloids." 

The 23-year-old player later released a contrite statement through Swiss Olympic. 

"I am sincerely sorry for the people of South Korea, for the players, but equally for the Swiss delegation and Swiss football in general. It's clear that I'm accepting the consequences." 

"After the disappointing result and the reaction from Korea that followed, I made a huge error," Morganella added. 

Officials from the South Korea team declined to comment when asked about Morganella during a news conference Monday at Wembley Stadium that had been scheduled before the uproar. 

Gilli said the player had been "provoked" by comments sent to his Twitter account after the match. 

Still, the Swiss team leader acknowledged that Morganella had to be sent home under the terms of the International Olympic Committee's code of conduct, which requires athletes to show mutual respect. 

"In this case, we felt we have no alternative," Gilli said. 

Swiss media published images of a tweet from Morganella's account (at)morgastoss. The account has since been deleted. The tweet was written in a garbled form of French, appearing to combine a kind of French slang called verlan and text-messaging style. 

Swiss officials with the team in Cardiff, Wales, said players were told Morganella was already on his way home. 

Gilli said he had tried to contact the head of the South Korean team in London to offer a personal explanation. 

"We would like to apologize, especially to the South Korea National Olympic Committee and the South Korea Football Association for the behavior of the player," he said. 

Morganella played the entire game in both of Switzerland's matches. He received a yellow card against South Korea in Coventry. The Swiss drew 1-1 with Gabon in Newcastle on Thursday. Switzerland plays its final group match against Mexico on Wednesday, needing to win by two goals to have a chance of advancing. 

"We have to focus on the game," coach Pierluigi Tami said. "The other stuff we don't want to think about. Maybe we shouldn't read any newspapers for the next two days." 

Morganella debuted with the senior national team in May and currently plays for the Italian club Palermo. 

"We hope that he will draw the necessary lessons for his still young football career," Gilli said. 

Last week, Greece Olympic officials tossed Papachristou off the team after she posted a comment mocking African immigrants and supporting a far-right political party. 

Monday, 30 July 2012

Spain bow out of Olympics

An out of sorts Spain crashed out of the Olympic Games after they suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Honduras. 

The Spanish have now lost two games from as many played in the Olympics, which means they have failed to qualify for the next stage with one more group match at hand. 

Jerry Bengtson scored a seventh-minute header, the Honduran striker's third goal in two games, to have the Spaniards' fate doomed. 

In an ill-tempered encounter, Iker Muniain hit the post and substitute Rodrigo the bar amid a second-half Spanish onslaught, but the Central American side battled heroically to keep Luis Milla's star-studded side at bay. 

Elsewhere Great Britain moved within a point of qualifying for the last eight after they beat United Arab Emirates 3-1. 

Two second-half goals from substitutes Scott Sinclair and Daniel Sturridge proved crucial after captain Ryan Giggs became the oldest goal scorer in Olympic history. 

Ten-man Senegal blew Group A wide open with a shock 2-0 win over highly-fancied Uruguay at Wembley. 

Egypt's hopes of qualifying for the last eight of the Olympic football tournament took a blow as they drew 1-1 with New Zealand at Old Trafford after wasting several chances. 

Giovani dos Santos' two-goal cameo from off the bench gave Mexico a 2-0 win over Gabon and sent El Tri top of Group B. 

Kim Bo-Kyung was South Korea's hero with a second-half winner as they beat Switzerland 2-1 in their Group B encounter at the City of Coventry Stadium. 

Striker Kensuke Nagai fired Japan to the brink of the quarter-finals with a late winner against Morocco. The Grampus Eight frontman struck with an instinctive lob six minutes from time to settle a tight Group D encounter with a 1-0 victory. 

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Neymar dazzles in Brazil win

Brazil led by a sparkling performance by Neymar came from a goal behind to beat Belarus 3-1 at a packed Old Trafford on Sunday to ensure a spot in the Quarter Finals 

According to reports, Barcelona are the latest leading club to have expressed an interest in the 20-year-old and it was easy to see why as, thanks largely to Neymar's brilliance, they qualified for the quarter-finals of the Olympic tournament with a match to spare. 

On the pitch though, Belarus took a shock lead in front of a crowd of more than 66,000 at the home ground of English giants Manchester United. 

But from then on Brazil battled back in this Group C clash, with Neymar setting the seal on a superb display with a 65th minute free-kick bent over the wall and beyond the reach of diving Belarus keeper Aleksandr Gutor. 

Brazil, seeking a first Olympic gold medal, were 1-0 down when Belarus's Renan Bardini Bressan opened the scoring with an eighth minute header. 

However, Neymar then took centre stage, crossing for AC Milan star Pato to equalise, then putting Brazil in front and also setting up Oscar for the clinching third goal. 

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Thursday, 26 July 2012

Team GB held by spirited Senegal

In their first fixture in Olympics since 1960, Team Great Britain started off with a draw against Senegal in their opening game of the Olympic London 2012 football tournament at Old Trafford. 

Craig Bellamy looked to have given Great Britain an historic victory to follow their female counterparts with a goal after 20 minutes, but the match hinged on referee Ravshan Irmatov's refusal to award the Liverpool striker a penalty after a clattering challenge from Salio Ciss. 

The Senegalese took full advantage of their reprieve and equalised seven minutes from time following a sweeping counter attack; finished off by Moussa Konate. Substitute Marvin Sordell could have grabbed a late winner but struck the bar as Stuart Pearce had to settle for a point ahead of group games against United Arab Emirates and Uruguay. 

In Team GB's first competitive fixture for 50 years, Pearce began with seven players from England and four from Wales against a Senegal side, of which five of the squad graduated from Patrick Vieira's football academy, who required a play off against Oman in April to qualify for the main draw. 

Ryan Giggs, who began as captain in his maiden international tournament at the age of 38, started in the centre of midfielder alongside fellow countryman Joe Allen and club teammate Tom Cleverley. 

While the hosts looked disjointed in the opening stages, Senegal's athletic side looked a threat in the final third and Jack Butland had to be alert to prevent Salio Ciss' deflected cross breaking the deadlock. 

Having recover from viral meningitis to take his place in the Games, Daniel Sturridge was replaced at half time, with Marvin Sordell introduced to spearhead GB's attack, but it was Senegal who again posed the more potent threat, with Stephane Badji's producing a sprawling save out of Butland. 

The Birmingham City stopper was again called into action as the home side allowed Ciss enough time to shoot from range, before Danny Rose headed off the line from Abdoulaye Ba's header from the resulting corner. 

Allen and Bellamy's departure, following a challenge from Ciss in the penalty area which went unpunished, saw GB's authority continue to diminish, and Senegal eventually drew level after a move which Konate saw sweep home. Sordell should have snatched all three points after Aaron Ramsey's storming run, but hit the bar, as Senegal held out to frustrate the host nation at the Theatre of Dreams. 

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La Roja go down to Japan

Japan beat defending World and European champions Spain 1-0 on the first day of the men's Olympic football tournament on Thursday, while Brazil held on for a 3-2 victory over Egypt. 

In other matches, Uruguay and Belarus also won as the tournament got under way with eight matches a day before Friday's opening ceremony. 

Japan pulled off the upset after outplaying gold-medal favorite Spain, which went a man down in the first half and couldn't fight back. 

They got the winner in Glasgow when forward Yuki Otsu broke away from his marker during a corner in the 34th minute and the ball landed right at his feet for a simple tap-in past Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea. 

Spain was reduced to 10 men just a few minutes after the goal when center back Inigo Martinez was sent off for a foul while trying to stop a Japanese player from scoring. 

"It was an important win for us," Japan captain Maya Yoshida said. "Spain are a very strong team in the group and we played well against them. We worked really hard and we will enjoy our victory. We can get a lot of confidence from this." 

The La Roja has two more matches to turn it around, against Group D opponents Honduras and Morocco, which drew 2-2 in Newcastle. 

"Our aim is to win both of them. We have to," said Spain forward Juan Mata, who is one of the three overage players. "We need to improve some things and we have to play better." 

In Cardiff, Brazil got goals from Manchester United's Rafael in the 16th, Leandro Damiao in the 26th and Neymar in the 30th to earn a comfortable halftime lead before Egypt made it interesting with goals by captain Mohamed Aboutrika in the 52nd minute and substitute Mohamed Salah in the 76th minute. 

Brazil leads Group C along with Belarus, which beat New Zealand 1-0 in Coventry with a first-half goal by Dmitry Baga. 

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AS Roma beat Liverpool in a pre-season friendly

Two second half goals from Michael Bradley and Alessandro Florenzi helped AS Roma to a 2-1 victory over Liverpool in a preseason friendly at Fenway Park on Wednesday. 

Son of a former US coach- Bradley sent a right-footed shot past keeper Brad Jones that boomed in to the goal off the left post in the 63rd minute, drawing chants of "USA! USA!" 

Florenzi scored off a rebound from directly in front of goal in the 69th minute - two minutes after entering the game. Charlie Adam scored in the 80th minute for Liverpool. 

Liverpool was without captain Steven Gerrard because rules require rest following international tournaments. Luis Saurez (Uruguay) is scheduled to play at the London Olympics and also isn't on the North American tour for Liverpool. 

The match was played in the home of the baseball's Boston Red Sox, owned by Fenway Sports Group - also the owner of Liverpool. 

In the first half, Liverpool's best chance came when Jon Jo Shelvey's left-footed kick from just inside the box was stopped by keeper Bogdan Lobont in the 41st minute. 

Liverpool also had a good chance in the 33rd minute when midfielder Joe Cole lofted one that landed on the top of the net, just over the crossbar. 

Roma's Pablo Daniel Osvaldo had an excellent bid in the 8th minute, but goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi made a sliding right arm stop. 

It was the second of a three-game tour for Liverpool, which will face English rival Tottenham on Saturday in Baltimore at the home of the NFL's Ravens. Liverpool earned a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday at the Rogers Centre. 

Team GB off to a winning start in Olympics

Stephanie Houghton scored off a free kick to give Team Great Britain a 1-0 win over New Zealand in the opening women's football match of the London Games, two days before the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. 

Houghton sent a right-footed shot into the left side of the net in the 64th minute, getting the ball just inside the wall to beat the Kiwi keeper. 

Team GB are one of the favorites to advance from Group E along with 2008 silver-medalist Brazil, which will play Cameroon later in the day at the same stadium. 

The football tournament started before Friday's opening ceremony because of its long match schedule. The men's competition will begin on Thursday. 

New Zealand, which has never won a match in the Olympics or the World Cup, began controlling the match but Britain took over about midway through the first half, creating a series of dangerous scoring chances. 

The best chance before Houghton's goal had come in the first half when midfielder Anita Asante's header struck the woodwork and just trickled out in the 34th minute, prompting Bindon to kiss the post in appreciation. 

Asante also just missed with a header in the 36th minute off a corner, and Alex Scott's shot in the 38th minute went just wide after she got past a defender inside the area. 

New Zealand had one of its few scoring chances early in the second half, when Amber Hearn's free kick shot sailed wide but close to the goal in the 49th minute. 

Britain continued to attack and substitute Ellen White missed a chance in the 63rd minute after entering the area free from defenders. Her shot was just blocked by Karen Carney at the last moment. 

Bardsley also tipped a shot from Hearn over the crossbar in the 84th minute. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Thorgan Hazard completes move to Stamford Bridge

As previously reported by Soccerazzi, Chelsea have agreed upon and signed a 1 million Pounds deal with Lens to sign Eden Hazard's younger brother Thorgan.
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has already splashed out around 38 million Pounds on new players this summer, including 32 million Pounds just on Lille ace Eden Hazard. However, Di Matteo is now ready to push his spending close to the 40 million Pounds mark, by bringing in Thorgan, who will initially be part of the club's reserve ranks. 

The 19-year-old striker, who has only made 11 first-team appearances for French side Lens, has snubbed the offer of a new contract with the Ligue 2 club, in order to force through a switch to West London. 

Chelsea have moved quickly for the player, and now expect Hazard junior in England before the weekend to complete the formalities of his switch. 

Lens sporting director Antoine Sibierski is quoted in the French media as saying his club are happy with the deal, after admitting yesterday that the lure of Chelsea would be different for Thorgan to reject: 

'I can understand why a player would want to leave Ligue 2 to go to Chelsea, Sibierski said. 

'Now, like in every transfer with a year left on his contract, it must be paid for. 'There are also compensation fees for training him.' 

The Blues will hand over around 1 million Pounds initially to the French Ligue 2 side. 

Inzaghi to stay back in Milan

After months of speculation, AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi has ended his playing career to take over as the club's youth-team coach. 

The 38-year-old was a pale shadow of his former self last season and made just seven substitute appearances for Milan scoring the final goal of his 22-year career with an 82nd-minute winner in his farewell appearance, a 2-1 win over Novara on May 13 this year. 

He ends his career second on the all-time goalscoring charts in European competition with 70, second only to Raul's 77, and in all he scored 126 times in 300 appearances for Milan. 

He added 25 in 57 caps for Italy, who never lost a match in which Inzaghi scored. 

Previously, he had been linked with moves to Watford, under new coach Gianfranco Zola, or Malaga but has signed a two-year contract to coach Milan's Allievi Nazionali (national students), their junior squad. 

"My time with Milan finished in the best possible way, with a goal in the final game, so it was all perfect," Inzaghi, 38, told Italian media. 

"Now I begin another dream, which is to be a coach and hopefully win the Champions League." 

Inzaghi, who scored 156 Serie A goals in 370 games, added: "I couldn't go to play elsewhere, as I could not just leave Milan. Today I received a proposal from England, but I can't leave Milan. 

"I signed a two-year contract and will coach the youth team, then I hope one day to lead the senior squad too." 

Monday, 23 July 2012

Manchester United look to seal Moura deal

According to reports Manchester United have agreed a 26 million Pounds deal to sign Lucas Moura from Sao Paolo. Leading European clubs Chelsea and Inter Milan had been linked to the attacker but it is United who have reached a deal with the player's club. 

Moura is currently part of the Brazil Olympic Squad. 

This signing has been denied by Ferguson but the United boss confirmed interest in the player and that they were in talks with the player's club whilst considering other options to improve the squad. 

United arrived in China yesterday as they continue their pre-season tour having spent the past week in South Africa. After a tame 1-1 draw against Ajax Cape Town where Bebe scored a late equaliser, United will hope to improve when they come up against Shanghai Shenhua on Wednesday night who now have a reconciled partnership of Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka. 

Sir Alex Ferguson has publicly defended United's owners, the Glazer family. The manager praises the owners for the sensible management of the club and touches on the club's recent successes of four Premier League titles and a European Cup as proof of the club's consistency and continued competitiveness. 

Also, Michael Carrick has broken his silence on his England absence saying that he was disappointed when he was not called up for the European Championship squad following the withdrawals of Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry through injury but declares that he would consider the call if Hodgson were to select him. 

Tim Cahill to join New York Red Bulls

Everton confirmed yesterday that star Aussie midfielder Tim Cahill is set to join the New York Red Bulls.

The Everton website said, "Everton have agreed with Major League Soccer that Tim Cahill can be transferred to the New York Red Bulls," the Toffees official website stated. 

"Tim, 32, will move to the Red Bulls for a nominal fee, subject to agreeing personal terms and passing a medical. He will travel to the US in the next few days." 

The MLS club acknowledged Everton's release but refused to confirm the news. 

"We are aware of Everton's statement regarding midfielder Tim Cahill and our club," the Red Bulls said. 

"However, we have no comments at this time regarding him or any other non-New York player." 

Cahill represented Everton 278 times since moving from Millwall in 2004, scoring 68 goals but could manage only 3 last season. 

Reports suggest that the fee will be around 1 million Pounds (1.51 million Dollars). 

Cahill, who had two years to run on his contract with the Merseyside outfit, will link up with former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry at the New York outfit. 

Liverpool close in on Dempsey, Allen deals

Liverpool are trying to work out a compromise with Fulham in a deal where they can swap Blackpool import Charlie Adam for Clint Dempsey.The Scottish midfielder only joined the Reds last summer but already finds himself out of favour here. 

Liverpool are leading the race for American Dempsey and could be convinced to include Adam, who would be further sidelined if new boss Brendan Rodgers completes a 15 million Pounds move for Swansea's Joe Allen. 

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup, on the other hand would let Allen move to Liverpool as he made Rayo Vallecano midfielder Michu his third signing of the summer on Friday following the captures of Chico Flores and Jonathan de Guzman. 

Laudrup though made it clear that Swansea are yet to receive any contact from Liverpool, but has a plan in place should Allen move on. 
'You always have to be one step ahead so we have to be prepared for everything,' he said. 

'It's not only in this case, but with each position in the team. 

'When the transfer window closes on August 31 you can breathe a sigh of relief, but you only have three or four months when people do not talk about transfers because then you look ahead to January 1. It will be the same then. 

'You have to think about the present window as well as the future, which will be the winter window. 

'But we obviously want to be able to have the best possible team available'. 

He said: 'I haven't spoken to Joe since I have taken over. I haven't spoken to any of the three Olympics players and we have not had any contact from Liverpool. 

'I am in contact with the chairman every day. We agree that if there will be an approach then we will have to talk to the player. 

'We cannot just answer 100 per cent yes or no without having talked to the player. 

'That's a problem because he has to concentrate on the Olympics but we will have to deal with that if and when it comes to that. 

'You can force players to stay but how does that help? It doesn't work like that. It's better to find a solution that suits both parties.' 

Laudrup also denied reports that Swansea have made an offer for Bolton midfielder Mark Davies. 

'We have made no approach,' he said. 'He's a good player, but it is just rumours. 

'I can imagine why there are these rumours because you also have the rumour about Joe Allen and Liverpool.' 

Modric fined by Spurs

Luka Modric is at it again! He has been fined by his current club - Tottenham Hotspur for the second time in three days after refusing to travel on the club's pre-season tour of America, in his latest attempts to force through a transfer to his dream club-Real Madrid. 

Last week, Modric decided to take matters into his own hands and did not turn up for the team flight to Los Angeles. Modric has been fined for a second time by the club for missing the flight, following an earlier fine for missing training on Friday without permission. He stands to lose up to four weeks' wages - around 160,000 Pounds - with the likelihood he will be fined the maximum two-week fine for both offences. 

His absence prompted an angry response from Andre Villas-Boas, the new Spurs manager, who told the Spanish sports newspaper AS that this latest move on Modric's part would not go down well with the club's chairman, Daniel Levy. Villas-Boas said: "I think Modric is wrong. This will go against him. He has worsened the situation with what he's doing and now the chairman [Daniel Levy] is very angry." 

Spurs' priority is a cash deal and that is still the most likely outcome, although it is not impossible that a player might be put in by Madrid. So far they have offered the Turkish midfielder, Nuri Sahin, whose high wages are a problem for Spurs. 

As has been the way in recent dealings with Levy and big-name departures from Tottenham, the chairman holds all the cards having persuaded Modric to sign a six-year deal in May 2010, which puts the club in a favorable position. 

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Arsenal dismiss initial bids for RVP

Arsenal have dismissed Manchester United's bid for Robin van Persie, with offers from Manchester City and Juventus also short of their expectations. Arsenal are hoping that one of these teams would be willing to pay 25-30m Pounds. 

Van Persie, 28, will not be part of the Gunners squad that leaves on Saturday for a pre-season tour to Asia. 

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Manchester United have made an offer. 

"Obviously Arsenal have given out the fact that we've made a bid for him," Ferguson told MUTV. 

"We try to keep business as close as possible to us until the moment we conclude a deal. There's no point talking about something that might not happen. 

"There are other clubs interested in the player. We've shown an interest and that's where we're at at the moment." 

The striker, whose contract ends in 2013, says he will not sign a new deal. 

Van Persie scored 41 goals in 53 games for club and country last season and was named Professional Footballers' Association and Football Writers' player of the year. 

After meeting with manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis in mid-May, captain Van Persie revealed he had disagreed with both men on the way the Premier League club should move forward. 

"I've thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract," he wrote on his website. 

"This was a meeting about the club's future strategy and their policy. Financial terms or a contract have not been discussed, since that is not my priority at all. 

"I personally have had a great season but my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days. 

"Out of my huge respect for Mr Wenger, the players and the fans I don't want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward." 

Van Persie is set to remain in England while his team-mates are away on tour training at Arsenal's London Colney training base. 

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Brazil down Team GB 2-0 in pre Olympic friendly

Stuart Pearce's Team GB side suffered a comprehensive 2-0 defeat to Brazil in a pre-Olympic friendly at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium. 
First-half goals from Sandro and Neymar earned the South Americans a deserved win. Team GB start their campaign against Senegal on Thursday. 

Pearce named Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele in his starting XI, and while the Newton Aycliffe-born shot-stopper acquitted himself well, he was unable to keep Brazil at bay before the interval. 

Brazil should have claimed the lead as early as the sixth minute, but while Santos striker Neymar outpaced James Tomkins to reach Leandro Damiao's flick on, he blazed a wild shot over the crossbar. 

The visitors did not have to wait long to claim the lead though. Six minutes later, Neymar floated over a free-kick from the edge of the penalty area and Tottenham midfielder Sandro peeled off at the back post to head home from an acute angle. 

Micah Richards saw a 15th-minute header cleared off the goalline by Thiago Silva, but that was to prove a rare positive moment for Team GB amid a barrage of Brazilian attacking. 

Leandro Damiao headed Rafael Da Silva's right-wing cross over the crossbar shortly before the half-hour mark, but the visitors deservedly doubled their lead shortly before the break. 

Richards fouled Hulk as he twisted beyond the British back four, and Neymar calmly drilled a powerful penalty beyond Steele's right hand. 

Steele was replaced by Jack Butland at the interval, and the Birmingham goalkeeper produced smart saves to deny both Oscar and Leandro Damiao in the opening ten minutes of the second half. 

Bellamy drew an excellent point-blank save from Brazil goalkeeper Rafael Barbosa, although the Liverpool striker had already been flagged offside, and the hosts at least enjoyed a greater share of possession in the latter stages. 

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Friday, 20 July 2012

Another Hazard for Chelsea!

Chelsea have agreed for a 1 million Pounds deal with Lens to sign Eden Hazard's younger brother Thorgan. 

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has already splashed out around 38 million Pounds on new players this summer, including 32 million Pounds just on Lille ace Eden Hazard. However, Di Matteo is now ready to push his spending close to the 40 million Pounds mark, by bringing in Thorgan, who will initially be part of the club's reserve ranks. 

The 19-year-old striker, who has only made 11 first-team appearances for French side Lens, has snubbed the offer of a new contract with the Ligue 2 club, in order to force through a switch to West London. 

Chelsea have moved quickly for the player, and now expect Hazard junior in England before the weekend to complete the formalities of his switch. 

Lens sporting director Antoine Sibierski is quoted in the French media as saying his club are happy with the deal, after admitting yesterday that the lure of Chelsea would be different for Thorgan to reject: 

'I can understand why a player would want to leave Ligue 2 to go to Chelsea, Sibierski said. 

'Now, like in every transfer with a year left on his contract, it must be paid for. 'There are also compensation fees for training him.' 

The Blues will hand over around 1 million Pounds initially to the French Ligue 2 side. 

Ledley King calls it a day

Former England and Spurs' defender Ledley King announced his retirement from football on Thursday, calling time on a playing career which was plagued by injury. 

The 31-year-old will remain on at White Hart Lane in an ambassadorial capacity though, club chairman Daniel Levy confirmed yesterday. 

A London native, King joined Spurs' youth ranks as a 14-year-old in 1996 and spent his entire career at the club, a rarity in the modern professional era. He made his senior debut away to Liverpool at the tail end of the 1998/99 season and went on to make 313 senior appearances, scoring 15 goals. 

As club captain, he led Spurs to Carling Cup victory over London rivals Chelsea in 2008 and was a key part of the squad which saw the club qualify for its first-ever Champions League campaign in 2009/2010. 

His time on the pitch was cut short however by a chronic knee problem which forced him to sit out training sessions and prevented him from playing more than one game in a week. 

"I have missed a lot of football over the years, but the Spurs fans have always been patient and incredibly supportive with me during difficult periods," King said. "Sadly my injuries and inability to train have now finally brought an end to my career." 

"Ledley has made a magnificent contribution to this Club - as a wonderful player, captain and ambassador," said Levy. 

It has been well documented how he has battled against injury over the years and it is testament to the character of the man how he managed to sustain such high standards of performance on the pitch, while providing such fine leadership. 

It is in an ambassadorial capacity that Ledley will continue, playing a crucial role in supporting the Club's work in the community and the ongoing regeneration of the Tottenham area, whilst also being a hugely positive role model for our younger players. 

On his new role at the club, King said: "I have been in Tottenham for around 17 years, having started at Spurs when I was 14. It is a second home for me and I pleased that I can continue to work within the Club and for the local community, especially after the devastation caused by the riots last year. 

"I am already heavily involved with the work of Spurs Foundation and the new stadium scheme will be a major factor in the regeneration of the area, so I am delighted that I shall be part of that." 

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Malaga players withdraw claims of unpaid salary

In the latest turn of events, Spanish La Liga side-Malaga authorities say that the players who complained about wages due have withdrew their claims. 

Santi Cazorla, Joris Mathijsen, Salomon Rondon and Ruud Van Nistelrooy were the players who were named by the Spanish press as those who had earlier contacted the Spanish Players' Union (AFE) to report that up to 40% of their salaries from last season had not been paid. 

But the club released a statement on their site which read thus: "Malaga football club would like to communicate that, at the expense of finalising the relevant administrative procedures, the players that had made a claim against the club have withdrawn it and agreed to a payment method that the rest of the first team squad had already agreed to." 

Spurs coast to first win under AVB

Latest Tottenham import Gylfi Sigurdsson scored 10 minutes into his Tottenham debut to give Andre Villas-Boas his first win in charge of the London based Premier League side. 

Former Chelsea boss Villas-Boas picked a strong side with five England internationals in his line-up. 

But Sigurdsson and fellow half-time sub Jan Vertonghen proved the difference as they guided Spurs past their League One opponents. 

Until the goal Tottenham had looked short of ideas. 

And it is hardly surprising AVB is looking to add more strikers to his squad with youngster Harry Kane his only option here. 

Sigurdsson took his chance superbly, finding the far corner after Andros Townsend had pulled the ball back. 

Then he had a hand in the move that ended with Yago Falque scoring a late goal to give Spurs a 2-0 win. 

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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Chelsea gets Oscar

Chelsea is set to sign 20 year-old Brazilian ace Oscar dos Santos from Internacional at Euro 25 million. He arrived in London for a medical in the southwest London suburb of New Malden on Tuesday, 17th July and will report to Stamford Bridge after London Olympics i.e. August 2nd week.

He is included in Brazil team for Olympics and could surface in game against Great Britain's on Friday 27th July 2012.

Stats in International level:Oscar has played in 84 matches scored 19 goals and 22 assists. He has played for Brazil 6 times and is tipped to be one of the players to watch in 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Oscar is the first player to score a hat-trick in the FIFA U-20 World Cup Final, he netted three goals against Portugal on 20 August 2011.

Clubs level: He has 19 goals and 20 assists for Internacional over last three seasons, winning two State titles with the club in the Recopa Sudamericana in 2011. Internacional bought him in 2010 when Sao Paulo ended with him leaving the club after not being paid in 2009.

Strengths: Ball play, movement and shots, sharp passing; he is a fine finisher with both foot and holds potential to score many goals with runs from midfield.

Weaknesses: Not the most physical of players, Oscar can be bullied and sometimes drifts out of games towards the end once his stamina runs out.

Career high: He was named Man of the Match at the 2011 Under-20 World Cup final after scoring a hat-trick against Portugal.

Career low: A bitter fall-out with Sao Paulo ended with him leaving the club after not being paid in 2009.

Style: Techincal, agile, energetic, a versatile forward with great vision.

Quotes: "It wasn't only me at the [Under-20] World Cup. There was Dudu and Henrique too. I stood out more at the end, but it was a good tournament for everyone. Now, there are many from the Under-20 side in the Selecao." A humble Oscar on his rise to fame for the national team, 2012.

Trivia: Oscar's hat-trick in 2011 is only the second time a player has scored three goals in a World Cup final match (Geoff Hurst '66).

This season Chelsea under RDM seems to be more interested in young stars, signings this summer â?? Marko Marin of Werder Bremen for 6.5 million Euros and Eden Hazard from Lille for 32 million Euros. With Oscar Chelsea's spending this summer goes to 63.5 million Euros.

Ibrahimovic heads to France

Swedish International Zlatan Ibrahimovic has agreed to sign a deal with Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain at 15 million Euros per year (18.4 million Dollars). The fee will make Ibrahimovic the highest paid player in Ligue 1.

PSG'S sporting director Leonardo quoted "We've reached agreement, the deal is done: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of our players, he'll write history for Paris Saint-Germain."

Ibrahimovic's influx along with AC Milan defender Thiago Silva, who signed last week, comes at a predictable cost of between 70 and 80 million Euros while they have also signed young Italian defensive midfielder Marco Verratti from newly-promoted Serie A side Pescara for 11 million Euros.

PSG will play in the UEFA Champions League next season after finishing second in the league last season also procured Argentine international Ezequiel Lavezzi from Napoli earlier this month.
Ibrahimovic's agent Mino Raiola said "Everyone is happy, and so is Zlatan. With the arrival of Ibra, Paris now has another reason to be considered a city filled with beauty."

Ibrahimovic has made 85 appearances for Italian outfit AC Milan scoring 56 goals with 27 assists. Overall he has appeared in 490 matches, scoring 234 goals with 93 assists. He has also been capped by Sweden 77 times in which he has netted 31 times.

Meanwhile, AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has assured that the club will replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic with "a champion" and revealed that Robinho will remain at San Siro.

Galliani quoted "A champion will arrive in attack."

"There is time until August 31."

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Cavani to Chelsea? Not yet...

Edinson Cavani has demanded correspondence with Chelsea's other top earners when he reopens talks with the European champions this week for a possible transfer.

It is believed that the Uruguay striker's representatives will tell the London club he wants a pay deal worth 150,000 Pound a week, which would put him on a par with John Terry, Frank Lampard and Fernando Torres.

Cavani, who can leave Napoli for 35million Pound, is one of the options being considered by Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo as he looks to fill the gaping hole left by Didier Drogba.

Once the capture of attacking midfielder Oscar is complete, the Blues will look to complete two more deals - expected to be a centre forward and a right back - before the transfer window closes.

Cavani, 25, who is also on the Juventus wanted list, has been watched by Chelsea for some time and scored against them in the Champions League last season.

Chelsea are also exploring moves for Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao and Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain. 

Fabio Capello appointed new Russia Coach

The Russian Football Union appointed Fabio Capello as the new manager of the national team succeeding outgoing Dutchman Dick Advocat.

"Today we decided to appoint Capello as our national teamâ??s new manager," the RFU deputy president Nikita Simonyan told the press.

"We expect him to come to Moscow in the nearest future to finalize the details of his contract and sign it."

Russia's shock failure to qualify out of arguably the event's weakest group despite being packed with highly rated players such as Andrei Arshavin and Alan Dzagoev left the team a tough challenge to make the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

Capello has managed AC Milan, Roma, Juventus and Real Madrid during his managerial career, winning domestic titles with each, before becoming England manager in 2007.

Under Capello, England qualified for Euro 2012 before the Italian resigned after falling out with Football Association chiefs after he stood by John Terry as skipper despite the Chelsea man being embroiled in a racism trial which ultimately saw the defender acquitted.

The RFU last week announced a star-studded 13-man list of candidates for the post of manager that won ridicule at home and abroad.

The hugely ambitious hit-list included ex-Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, Italian veteran Marcello Lippi and Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa.

The list also contained the names of seven Russian coaches but also Capello, who in the end appeared to be the only serious candidate. Why the RFU felt the need to publish its wish-list has never been explained. Last Thursday Capello came to Moscow to hold talks with RFU and his arrival caused an immediate sensation in the Russian media.

However the Italian traveled to Moscow in a hurry and was reportedly forced to stay in the airport on arrival, waiting for several hours while the RFU officials finalized formalities to grant Capello a Russian entry visa.

After meeting, Russian football officials expressed confidence that they could agree terms with one of the biggest coaching names in the sport.

"Capello is ready to work conscientiously and live here in Russia," Simonyan was quoted as saying by the local media. "He did not make any extraordinary demands." 

Monday, 16 July 2012

Beckham bends it the way only he can

David Beckham served a timely reminder to team Great Britain manager Stuart Pearce what he is missing as he scored a spectacular brace and led Los Angeles Galaxy to a 5-3 win over Portland Timbers. 

Former Rangers striker Kris Boyd put the Timbers ahead in the third minute, but Beckham levelled in the 20th minute with an exquisite curling strike from 35 metres on Sunday. The former Real Madrid man, left out of the British Olympic squad by Pearce, then put the Galaxy ahead four minutes later with a trademark free-kick, Landon Donovan made it 3-1 from the penalty spot three minutes later and Robbie Keane got in on the act just a minute after that.

And, although Kosuke Kimura and Boyd pulled goals back for the Timbers, they sandwiched Keane's second of the night - in which Beckham also had a hand - to ensure the result was never in question.

Portland (5-9-4) struggled in its first game since coach John Spencer was fired and Gavin Wilkinson took over the team.

Wilkinson understood the firing of Spencer was likely going to have an effect on the team's play for a while.

After the game he told the players, "this one's on me."

"It's been a really crazy last week," said Kosuke Kimura, who joined the Timbers July 5 from Colorado. "Everything happened so quick. But at the same time it's a professional business."

The Galaxy are back in the playoff hunt and are in fifth place in the Western Conference. L.A. finishes its three-game road swing at Vancouver on Wednesday. 

Reds temporarily reject Newcastle's bid for Carroll

Liverpool rejected Newcastle's latest bid to re-sign striker Andy Carroll on loan, with intent of a permanent transfer. The Reds, it is understood, are reluctant to allow Carroll to leave on a temporary basis, despite manager Brendan Rodgers's admission a loan move is an option. 
Sources close to 23-year-old England striker Carroll maintain his preferred option is to remain at Anfield to try to prove himself to Rodgers.

If he does not fit into Rodgers's plans, with no club willing to offer Liverpool a significant portion of the 35 million Pound (44m Euro) transfer fee they paid Newcastle for Carroll in January 2011, the Reds may be forced into reluctantly settling for a short-term deal. They may also have to cover the forwardâ??s 80,000 Pound per week salary and agree a fee for any sale.

Newcastle have no immediate need to strengthen their hand in the striking department, although they spent the early part of the summer wooing FC Twente's Luuk de Jong, although found the asking price too rich.

However, the release clause in Demba Ba's contract makes him vulnerable, at least until the end of this month, although Pardew insisted last week that there had been no contact with any club over any of his key men.

But Ba and Papiss Cisse could be required by Senegal for the African Nations Cup, while Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands have left the club, so reinforcements will be required at some point and Carroll is viewed as a decent option.