EPL Talk Archives for January 2016

5 Premier League players who need a deadline day move

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With meager few grains of sand left in the top of the hourglass tracking the time left in this transfer window, plenty associated with Premier League clubs will be on edge up until Wednesday's 11 p.m. deadline.

For supporters, one eye is kept on social media and the other on their television screens, as yellow-clad presenters manically discuss potential deals.

1.9 million tune in to watch Club America vs. Chivas on Univision and Univision Deportes

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Saturday night's Súper Clásico between Club America vs. Chivas Guadalajara was watched by a whopping 1.9 million people across Univision and Univision Deportes.

The match between the two most high-profile Liga MX teams ended in a 3-0 away victory for Chivas. The win for Chivas helped narrow the gap between 7th-placed Chivas and 5th-placed Club America after 7 games for each club in Liga MX.

Olympiakos sells Pulido to Guadalajara

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Piraeus (Greece) (AFP) Mexican striker Alan Pulido has been sold to Guadalajara by Olympiakos, the Greek champions announced Tuesday.

No details of the transfer were revealed by the Super League club but Greek media reported that Olympiakos will receive 6.5 million euros for the deal.

Pulido, 25, played in eight matches scoring five goals for Olympiakos last season and also played for Greek side Levadiakos and Mexico's Tigres UANL.

Arsenal reinforce back-line with Valencia’s Mustafi

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London (AFP) Arsenal have signed German international central defender Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia, the London club said on Tuesday.

"He is at the right age," Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said of the 24-year-old who was in Germany's 2014 World Cup winning squad. "And he has good experience," Wenger added of the Euro 2016 semi-finalist.

Rob Holding is yet another gem unearthed by Arsene Wenger

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Last year at this time, Rob Holding had just made his debut with second-tier side Bolton Wanderers in the Championship. The defender played 79 minutes in his first senior league match with his boyhood club, before being substituted off during an eventual 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough. Despite the successful appearance for the teenager, Holding was left out of the senior squad until December, when he then began a string of 20 consecutive appearances in the starting XI for the club.

Arsenal’s Gnabry poised to join Bremen

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Berlin (AFP) Arsenal's Olympic silver medallist Serge Gnabry is set for a transfer back to Germany, Werder Bremen's sports director said on Tuesday.

"We have an agreement in principle with Arsenal, but it is not yet signed," Bremen boss Frank Baumann told reporters.

"We have agreed terms with the player and I really think it will happen.

Man City’s Aguero charged with violent conduct

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London (AFP) Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is in danger of missing the Manchester derby after he was charged with violent conduct by England's Football Association on Tuesday.

The charge relates to an incident during City's 3-1 home win over West Ham United last Sunday when Aguero appeared to swing his left elbow towards visiting defender Winston Reid.

Inter announce ‘Gabigol’ deal

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Milan (AFP) Inter Milan confirmed on Tuesday the signing of exciting young Brazil striker Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa from Brazilian side Santos on a five-year deal.

"Gabigol is an Inter player. Fresh from winning Olympic gold with Brazil, the striker has signed a five-year contract with the Nerazzurri until June 2021," said a statement by the Serie A giants.

Albrighton signs new four-year Leicester deal

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London (AFP) Marc Albrighton has become the latest Leicester City player to commit himself to the club after the Premier League champions announced he had signed a new four-year contract on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old former Aston Villa winger played a key role in Leicester's 5,000-1 title triumph last season.

Hull sign Mason in ‘club-record’ deal

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London (AFP) Hull City announced the signing of English central midfielder Ryan Mason from Tottenham Hotspur for a "club-record fee" on Tuesday.

Hull did not specify how much they had paid for the 25-year-old, but they were reported to have spent 10 million pounds ($13.1 million, 11.7 million euros) on previous record signing Abel Hernandez in 2014.

Arsenal sign Perez as English spending soars

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London (AFP) Arsenal completed a move for Spanish striker Lucas Perez on Tuesday as the clock ticked down towards Wednesday's 2200 GMT deadline in the mid-year transfer window.

Premier League clubs have already surpassed their previous record of 870 million pounds ($1.1 billion, one billion euros) of spending in a single window, and that could soar above one billion pounds by the deadline.

Ecstatic Torino fans welcome England ‘keeper Hart

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Milan (AFP) England goalkeeper Joe Hart was given a rousing welcome by ecstatic Torino fans Tuesday as he held up the team's jersey ahead of signing a season-long loan with the unfashionable Serie A club.

Hart, 29, fell out of favour with new coach Pep Guardiola at Manchester City following the signing of Claudio Bravo from Barcelona and has caused general surprise by joining Torino in a bid to preserve his international career following England's spectacular Euro 2016 exit.

NBC’s Hull vs. Manchester United broadcast tops 1.1 million viewers

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Saturday's Premier League match between Hull City and Manchester United averaged 1.16 million viewers to rank as the eighth most-watched live Premier League match in U.S. history (tied with Man City-Man United, 3/20/16 on NBC, and West Ham-Man City, 1/23/16 on NBC).

The first Premier League broadcast on the NBC over-the-air network in the 2016/17 season ended in an exciting 1-0 win for Manchester United after Marcus Rashford scored a late goal that resulted in a mini pitch-invasion by United supporters.

English clubs pushing prices up – Schalke boss

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Berlin (AFP) The financial strength of Premier League clubs is driving up transfer prices in Germany, according to Schalke's sports director Christian Heidel, who recently sold Leroy Sane to Manchester City.

The transfer budgets of England's top clubs have grown considerably since the English League's television rights were sold in 2015 to Sky and BT in the United Kingdom for a massive £5.

Opening game of 2016/17 Bundesliga season on FOX Sports gets off to slow start

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The opening game of the 2016/17 Bundesliga season between Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen was watched by a viewing audience of 59,000, according to SportsTVRatings.com.

The match, which was televised live on FOX Sports 1 in the United States, was a one-sided 6-0 victory for Bayern Munich in a match that aired from 2:30-4:30pm ET.

Remy loaned to Crystal Palace by Chelsea

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London (AFP) France international striker Loic Remy will spend the 2016-17 season on loan at Crystal Palace from Chelsea, the two Premier League clubs announced on Tuesday.

Remy, 29, has been used sparingly since joining Chelsea from Queens Park Rangers in August 2014, making 46 appearances and scoring 12 goals.

Platini demands CAS reasoning for four year ban

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Paris (AFP) Former UEFA president Michel Platini has demanded that the Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS) explain the reasoning behind their decision to ban him for four years from all activities relating to football.

Originally banned for eight years, reduced to six on appeal, Platini took further court action in May and had the ban cut to four.

Joe Hart arrives for Torino medical

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Milan (AFP) England goalkeeper Joe Hart arrived in Turin on Tuesday ahead of undergoing a medical that should see him sign a season-long loan deal with the unfashionable Serie A club.

Hart, 29, has fallen out of favour with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City following the signing of Claudio Bravo from Barcelona and is set to join Torino in a bid to preserve his club future and international career following England's spectacular Euro 2016 exit.

Valencia’s Alcacer joins Barca

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Barcelona (AFP) Spain international Paco Alcacer has joined Barcelona from Valencia in a 30 million euro (£26 million, $33 million) five-year deal, announced the Catalan giants on Tuesday.

"Valencia's Paco Alcacer is now a Barcelona player and has signed a five year contract." said Barcelona in a press release.

Hart arrives for Torino medical

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Milan (AFP) England goalkeeper Joe Hart arrived in Turin on Tuesday ahead of undergoing a medical that should see him sign a season-long loan deal with the unfashionable Serie A club.

Hart, 29, has fallen out of favour with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City following the signing of Claudio Bravo from Barcelona and is on his way to join Torino in a bid to preserve his club future and international career following England's spectacular Euro 2016 exit.

Malouda returns to Indian Super League

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New Delhi (AFP) Former Lyon and Chelsea star Florent Malouda has returned to the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) as the marquee player for the Delhi Dynamos team.

The French international, who won four consecutive Ligue 1 titles with Lyon and the 2012 UEFA Champions League with Chelsea, played for Delhi last season as an attacking midfielder.

Chelsea striker Bamford loaned to Burnley

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London (AFP) Young Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford has joined Burnley on a season-long loan, the two Premier League clubs announced on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old England Under-21 international, signed from Nottingham Forest in January 2012, has never played a competitive game for Chelsea.

He has previously been loaned out to Milton Keynes Dons, Derby County, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace and Norwich City.

Germany fans cool on Schweinsteiger’s farewell

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Berlin (AFP) Bastian Schweinsteiger is going, but not many fans are set to come to his farewell Germany appearance when the exiled Manchester United midfielder takes his bow in Wednesday's home friendly.

The international against Finland in Borussia Moenchengladbach, which is doubling as Schweinsteiger's farewell on his 121st appearance, is not expected to sell out.

New Russia coach shakes up squad amid World Cup worries

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Moscow (AFP) New Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov has made wholesale changes for his first game in charge against Turkey as he bids to revive a demoralised squad to host the World Cup in less than two years.

Only eight of the 23-man squad that crashed out of Euro 2016 have been retained for the friendly against Turkey in Antalya on Wednesday.

Schweinsteiger won’t give up his Man Utd dream

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Berlin (AFP) Ahead of his final Germany appearance, Bastian Schweinsteiger said Tuesday he will not give up on his dream of playing again for Manchester United despite his exile by Jose Mourinho.

Germany's friendly against Finland in Moenchengladbach on Wednesday doubles as Schweinsteiger's farewell on his 121st and final international appearance when he will captain die Mannschaft for the last time.

Wayne Rooney to end England career after 2018 World Cup

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Burton-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) England captain Wayne Rooney announced on Tuesday that the 2018 World Cup in Russia will be his final tournament as an international footballer.

"Realistically, I know myself that Russia will be my last opportunity to do anything with England," Rooney told a press conference at St George's Park in Burton, central England.

No regrets for legend Keane as he prepares final bow

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Dublin (AFP) Retiring Ireland legend Robbie Keane says he would not have swapped a major club honour for his international career.

The LA Galaxy striker will play for his country for the last time in Wednesday night's friendly with Oman at Lansdowne Road.

With 67 goals in 145 appearances, Keane is 15th on the all-time international goalscorers list, just one behind German legend Gerd Muller.

Hart set for Torino medical: BBC

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London (AFP) England goalkeeper Joe Hart looks set to clinch a much-needed loan move from Manchester City before the transfer deadline as he is to undergo a medical at Serie A side Torino according to the BBC.

The 29-year-old whose hopes of a move to another English club seemingly evaporated when Everton said they were not interested last week has been permitted by the Football Association (FA) to temporarily leave the England camp preparing for Sunday's World Cup qualifier with Slovakia.

Rooney retains England captaincy under Allardyce

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Burton-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) Wayne Rooney will remain England captain going into the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, manager Sam Allardyce confirmed on Monday.

The 30-year-old striker, who also captains Manchester United, has been England's skipper for the past two years.

He will don the armband under Allardyce for the first time on Sunday when England launch their attempt to reach the next World Cup in Russia with a game against Slovakia in Trnava.

African Nations Cup qualifiers on US TV and streaming

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The final round of qualifiers for the the 2017 African Nations Cup will take place this weekend from September 2nd to 4th, and the good news is that many of the games will be available for viewing in the United States. The current round consists of 13 groups with all group winners qualifying for the final tournament along with the best two second-placed teams.

Allardyce open to foreign-born England players

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Burton-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) The dwindling English talent pool in the Premier League may leave England's new manager Sam Allardyce with no option but to naturalise overseas-born players, he said on Monday.

After naming his squad for England's opening 2018 World Cup qualifier in Slovakia on Sunday, Allardyce revealed he had made an unsuccessful attempt to call up Sevilla's French midfielder Steven N'Zonzi.

Maradona recognises long denied son

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Diego Maradona junior has finally been accepted by his father, Diego Maradona the Argentinian football legend, with whom he spent this last weekend in Buenos Aires.

Diego Junior was born in Italy in 1986 from an extra marital affair but was never previously officially recognised by his father, even after being forced to pay monthly upkeep in 1992 by an Italian judge.

New Southampton star Sofiane Boufal in five points

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London (AFP) Five things about Moroccan international midfielder Sofiane Boufal who joined Southampton in the English Premier League on Monday for a reported club record £16 million ($20 million/18 million euros):

Growing in stature

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder will join the growing band of small players aiming to make a big impact on the Premier League.

Wonderkid Sanches out of Portugal squad

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Lisbon (AFP) European champions Portugal will take on Switzerland in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier without rising Bayern Munich star Renato Sanches, the Portuguese federation said on Monday.

The 19-year-old midfielder who moved to Germany after a sensational season with Benfica and a thrilling showing at Euro 2016 has a torn thigh muscle.

Lacazette rests, Fekir under the knife

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Lyon (AFP) France international Alexandre Lacazette has been told to rest after a knock sustained in Lyon's 4-2 defeat to Dijon on the weekend whilst teammate Nabil Fekir has started his recovery after undergoing surgery, the Ligue 1 club announced Monday.

Preliminary scans showed that Lacazette had not suffered any major damage to his knee but the 25-year-old will be sidelined for at least two weeks, meaning he will miss Les Bleus' friendly against Italy in Bari on Thursday and their opening World Cup qualifieragainst Belarus in Borisov on September 6.

CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers on US TV during the international break

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Matchdays 7 and 8 of the South American qualifiers for World Cup 2018 take place Thursday, September 1 and Tuesday, September 6. The kickoff times for both matchdays are not very conducive for those who do not like spoilers as both beIN SPORTS networks and the companion streaming service (beIN SPORTS Connect) will be getting a workout on the two days.

Ramos surprised by Casillas’s Spain snub

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Madrid (AFP) Stand-in Spain captain Sergio Ramos has expressed his surprise at Iker Casillas's exclusion from Julien Lopetegui's first squad as Spain boss.

Ramos is expected to lead the 2010 world champions in their first 2018 World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein on September 5 after the 35-year-old Casillas was dropped in favour of David de Gea, Pepe Reina and West Ham's Adrian.

Messi Argentina return in doubt, Aguero out injured

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Lionel Messi's return to international duty with Argentina could be delayed by a groin injury his club side Barcelona stated on Monday.

Messi was set to return for the two-time world champions' World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela after reversing his shock decision to retire from international football in June.

Aguero out injured, Messi makes Argentina return

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Sergio Aguero and Javier Pastore have pulled out of Argentina's tie with Uruguay through injury but superstar Lionel Messi has confirmed he will feature for the double World Cup winners, the Argentinian federation (AFA) announced on Monday.

Aguero injured himself in Manchester City's 3-1 victory against West Ham at the weekend.

Maradona grounded after passport mix-up

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Diego Maradona was not able to leave Argentina on the weekend because his passport had been reported "stolen", preventing him from travelling to Dubai, according to his lawyer.

"It's a very rare occurence," said Diego Morla, the double World Cup winner's lawyer.

"They told him his passport had been reported as stolen despite Diego holding it in his hands!

Ex-Dodgers owner McCourt set for Marseille takeover

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Marseille (AFP) American businessman Frank McCourt, former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, on Monday entered into exclusive discussions for the acquisition of Marseille football club.

McCourt sealed the deal in a meeting with incumbent owner Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, who will maintain a minority shareholding, and Marseille mayor Jean-Claude Gauldin, saying afterwards that there was a process under way that would lead to the takeover being completed "before the end of the year".

Schedule of CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers on US TV

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The 4th Round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying comes to a close Friday, September 2 and Tuesday, September 6 with the final 2 matchdays of the round.

Reminder: The top 2 teams from each of the 4 groups advance to the 5th and final round of qualifying (the Hexagonal where the top 3 gain a berth to the World Cup 2018 tournament,while the 4th place nation plays a home-and-away playoff against the 5th place AFC nation).

US TV schedule of European World Cup qualifiers and friendlies during international break

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Now that the international break is upon us, there are plenty of games to look forward to.The action in Europe kicks off on Wednesday with several friendlies. Meanwhile,Thursday,September 4 will mark the start of qualifying for 54 FIFA affiliated nations of UEFA for World Cup 2018.

The nations will be divided into 9 groups of 6 nations each.

Germany coach Loew eyes young blood for Confederations Cup

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Berlin (AFP) Germany coach Joachim Loew is aiming to blood some younger players at next year's Confederations Cup with an eye on defending the World Cup in 2018.

"I would like to use the Confederations Cup as a tournament based on the future," said Loew, hinting that some of his senior players would be rested for the competition.

10 things we learned from MLS gameweek 25 of the 2016 season

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Here are the ten things we learned from Week 25 of the 2016 MLS season.

1. Timbers Wallop Seattle

For various reasons, it's hardly felt at times this year like the Portland Timbers are MLS' defending champions. But on Sunday afternoon at Providence Park, facing a make-or-break Cascadia derby against Seattle, the Timbers looked the part.

Madrid city demands 18.4 million euros from Real

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Madrid (AFP) The Madrid city government said Monday it will pursue Real Madrid for 18.4 million euros ($20.6 million) in illegal state aid that the European Commission ordered the club to repay.

Real, Spanish champions Barcelona and other clubs were found to have received an "unfair advantage" by the commission in July due to tax breaks and overpriced land deals.

Premier League gameweek 3 review; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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Welcome to the latest episode of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, the longest running soccer podcast on the planet (since 2006).

In this episode, host Nipun Chopra is joined by Kartik Krishnaiyer and Kris Heneage to discuss the third weekend of the 2016/17 Premier League season as well as a review of the other top leagues in Europe.

Rashford must earn England recall – Allardyce

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Burton-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) Marcus Rashford needs to play regular first-team football for Manchester United if he is to regain a place in the England squad, national manager Sam Allardyce told reporters on Monday.

Rashford, 18, made his first appearance of the season for United as a substitute at Hull City on Saturday and tapped in a 92nd-minute winner to give Jose Mourinho's side a 1-0 victory.

Barcelona maintain hunger for titles: Luis Enrique

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona coach Luis Enrique highlighted the hunger of his squad not to be ousted by Real Madrid as Spanish champions after a hard-fought 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao maintained their perfect start to the season.

The Catalans had to win their final five league games of last season to stave off Real's late charge and claim a fifth title in seven seasons.

Five things we learnt from La Liga

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Madrid (AFP) Barcelona and Real Madrid made it two wins from two, but both were thoroughly tested and trail surprise early leaders Las Palmas, whilst Atletico Madrid's title hopes continue to disintegrate already.

Here are five things we learned for week two in La Liga:

Atletico's title challenge over before it began?

Guardiola ready to play on without Aguero

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was relaxed about the possibility of losing star forward Sergio Aguero to suspension after television footage appeared to show him elbowing West Ham United's Winston Reid on Sunday.

Aguero could face retrospective action by the Football Association, and suspension, if the incident in City's 3-1 Premier League win is judged to have been deliberate.

Cagliari come from two down to hold Roma

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Milan (AFP) Marco Sau produced a last-gasp leveller for newly-promoted Cagliari as they battled back to draw 2-2 with Roma in Serie A on Sunday and complete a difficult few days for the Giallorossi.

Genoa, who saw new Italy call-up Luca Pavoletti hit a brace in a 3-1 win away to newly-promoted Crotone, are top of the fledgling table, albeit level on a maximum six points with champions Juventus, Sampdoria and Sassuolo.

Fekir, Lacazette, Cabaye out of France squad

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Paris (AFP) Lyon duo Alexandre Lacazette and Nabil Fekir and Crystal Palace midfielder Yohan Cabaye have withdrawn from the France squad for upcoming matches against Italy and Belarus, the French Football Federation confirmed on Sunday.

Lacazette came off with a knee injury in Lyon's 4-2 defeat at Dijon in Ligue 1 on Saturday while Fekir is due to undergo minor knee surgery and will be sidelined for three weeks.

Champions PSG beaten by Monaco

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Paris (AFP) Reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain suffered their first defeat under new coach Unai Emery on Sunday, going down 3-1 to a rampant Monaco at the Stade Louis II.

Joao Moutinho put Monaco ahead before a Fabinho penalty doubled their lead just before half-time to leave the visitors up against it.

Rakitic winner edges Barcelona past Athletic Bilbao

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Madrid (AFP) Ivan Rakitic's first-half header maintained Barcelona's 100 percent start to the La Liga season as the champions withstood a wave of late pressure to win 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Rakitic finished off an excellent team move after 20 minutes, but with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez uncharacteristically wayward in front of goal, Athletic nearly grabbed a point when Benat Etxebarria's free-kick flew just wide late on.

Anderlecht sign Romania’s Stanciu

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Bucharest (AFP) Romania attacking midfielder Nicolae Stanciu has joined Anderlecht on a five-year deal from Steaua Bucharest for a fee that could reach 9.8 million euros ($11m, £8.4m), the Romanian side announced on Sunday.

Steaua owner Gigi Becali revealed that the Belgian club will pay "four million euros now, another 3.

Five things we learnt in the German league

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Berlin (AFP) After defending champions Bayern Munich thrashed Werder Bremen 6-0 to kick-off the 2016/17 Bundesliga season on Friday, AFP sports looks at five things we learnt from the opening weekend:

Have Bayern made the Bundesliga boring?

Bayern's drubbing of Bremen delighted the Bavarian giants' fans but left Bundesliga bosses wondering if the product they want to export is too boring compared to other top European leagues.

Antonio in Allardyce’s first England squad

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London (AFP) Sam Allardyce marked his first squad announcement as England manager on Sunday by including uncapped West Ham United midfielder Michail Antonio in a 23-man party for next week's World Cup qualifier in Slovakia.

Antonio was included on the same day he scored for the Hammers in their 3-1 loss away to Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Sabitzer strike rescues debutants RB Leipzig

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Berlin (AFP) After four promotions in seven seasons, RB Leipzig made an impressive Bundesliga debut on Sunday, twice coming from behind as Marcel Sabitzer's equaliser sealed a 2-2 draw at Hoffenheim.

Founded in 2009 by Austrian energy drink's firm Red Bull, RasenBallsport Leipzig are widely unpopular amongst German football fans, due to the commercialism they represent and resentment caused by their sponsor's deep pockets.

Icardi on target but Inter Milan slip again

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Milan (AFP) Mauro Icardi hit his first goal of the season but Inter Milan's plans for Champions League qualification suffered a second knock in as many weeks in a 1-1 home draw with Palermo on Sunday.

After last week's shock 2-0 defeat at Chievo, Inter were keen to make amends in their first game of the campaign at the San Siro, where new signing Joao Mario was presented to fans minutes before kick-off.

Sterling double maintains Pep’s perfect City record

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Raheem Sterling struck twice and Fernandinho added another goal as Manchester City made it five wins in as many matches under the management of Pep Guardiola with a 3-1 victory at home to West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday.

Guardiola's men made hard work of seeing off the Hammers at Eastlands before securing a win that left City top of the Premier League, on goal difference from Chelsea and Manchester United, who've also won their opening three matches in English football's top-flight.

AC Milan’s Montella backpedals after China gaffe

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Milan (AFP) AC Milan coach Vincenzo Montella has been forced to backpedal after a joke about the Serie A giants' lack of summer transfer spending compared to city rivals Inter went down badly at the club.

Montella joked after Saturday's 4-2 defeat to Napoli that the Chinese consortium who have agreed to buy the seven-time European champions "got the address wrong when they made the bank transfers".

Euro winner Mario set for Inter unveiling

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Milan (AFP) Inter Milan are set to complete the signing of Euro 2016 winner Joao Mario from Sporting Lisbon after presenting the midfielder to fans at the San Siro on Sunday.

Reports claimed Joao Mario, 23, will join Frank De Boer's side for 40m euros plus 5m in bonuses to Sporting.

"It's great to be at Inter, I want to thank the fans who have given me such a fantastic welcome," Mario told Sky Sports in an interview pitchside minutes before kick-off.

Super sub Schieber seals Hertha’s dramatic win

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Berlin (AFP) Julian Schieber's injury-time winner sealed Hertha Berlin's 2-1 victory at home to newly-promoted Freiburg on Sunday for a dramatic start to the hosts' 2016/17 German league season.

Hertha were cruising to a 1-0 win at Berlin's Olympic Stadium on the opening weekend of the Bundesliga, thanks to Vladimir Darida's second-half goal before the game burst into life in the final ten minutes.

Rolan strike sees Bordeaux past Nantes

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Paris (AFP) Bordeaux edged a tight encounter with Nantes 1-0 on Sunday at the Stade Matmut-Atlantique to register their second successive home win of the new Ligue 1 season.

Uruguayan striker Diego Rolan tapped in the only goal of the game in the 31st minute from close-season signing Jeremy Menez's cross.

Baggies and Boro in goalless stalemate

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West Bromwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough scrapped their way to a goalless draw in a Premier League game of few chances at The Hawthorns on Sunday.

The point apiece saw newly-promoted Boro climb into sixth place, with West Brom moving up to tenth in the table.

Where to find Athletic vs. Barcelona on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Athletic vs. Barcelona, you've come to the right place.

After Barcelona's impressive 6-2 victory last weekend against Real Betis, Athletic Bilbao will be worried about how powerful Barca will be. Even more so given that Real Madrid won on Saturday and have six points under their belt.

Infantino says FIFA salary less than $2m

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Geneva (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in an interview published Sunday that he will make less than two million Swiss francs a year, well below the salary of his disgraced predecessor, Sepp Blatter.

Infantino has not yet agreed to terms with FIFA but speaking to Switzerland's Blick newspaper, he said his salary "will be less than the two million francs ($2 million, 1.

Klopp confident Liverpool are on right track

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London (AFP) Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp expressed optimism about his team's progress despite the frustration of a 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

James Milner put Liverpool ahead with a 43rd-minute penalty in Saturday's game, but the visitors could not make their superiority count and conceded a 72nd-minute equaliser to Danny Rose.

Ranieri plays down Schmeichel injury fears

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri played down fears over the fitness of Kasper Schmeichel after the goalkeeper was injured during the Premier League champions' 2-1 win over Swansea City.

Ranieri's side secured their first win of the season on Saturday as Jamie Vardy ended his wait for a first goal of the campaign and then, in an added bonus, Claudio Ranieri allayed concerns about Schmeichel.

Conte wants more from revitalised Hazard

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London (AFP) Chelsea's revitalised winger Eden Hazard has been challenged to step up his performances even further after making an impressive start under new Blues boss Antonio Conte.

Hazard, England's Footballer of the Year in 2015, endured a difficult campaign last season when Chelsea finished 10th in the table, Jose Mourinho was sacked and the Belgian international failed to score a Premier League goal until May.

Wenger looks for more goals from Ozil

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Watford (United Kingdom) (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has urged Mesut Ozil to build on his scoring start to the season after admitting the one element the midfielder's game has lacked is goals.

Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez were on target in the Gunners' 3-1 Premier League win at Watford on Saturday, their first victory of the campaign.

Rodgers hails ‘near-on perfect’ start with Celtic

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers hailed his players for making what he described as a near perfect start to the season after a 4-1 win over Aberdeen took them top of the Scottish Premiership.

It capped off a great week for the Scottish champions who clinched a place in the lucrative group stage of the Champions League following a 5-4 aggregate win over Israeli side Hapoel Beer-Sheva on Tuesday.

Zidane expects James to remain at Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane closed the exit door on Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez despite leaving the 2014 World Cup's top scorer on the bench once more for Real's 2-1 win over Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Rodriguez has fallen down the pecking order at the Bernabeu since Zidane took charge in January with Madrid's latest sensation Marco Asensio joining the likes of Isco, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric ahead of him for a place in Real's congested midfield.

Mourinho delighted with contribution of goal hero Rashford

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Kingston upon Hull (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes that Marcus Rashford is proving his value to the side after the young striker scored the late goal that defeated Hull City on Saturday.

Rashford hit eight goals in 18 matches for United last season, having broken into the first team in February, and went on to win a place in England's Euro 2016 squad.

Where to watch Sporting CP vs. Porto on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Sporting CP vs. Porto, you've come to the right place.

Two of the biggest clubs in Portugal clash on Sunday when Sporting Clube de Portugal take on FC Porto with a game scheduled to kick off at 1pm ET. For soccer fans in the United States, the match will be shown live in the US courtesy of the legal soccer streaming service fuboTV.

FIFA’s chief Infantino says salary less than $2m

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Geneva (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in an interview published Sunday that he will make less than two million Swiss francs a year, well below the salary of his disgraced predecessor, Sepp Blatter.

Infantino has not yet agreed to terms with FIFA but speaking to Switzerland's Blick newspaper, he said his salary "will be less than the two million francs ($2 million, 1.

NBC’s debut of Premier League Goal Rush a smashing success

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The United States debut of Goal Rush was a smashing success on the NBC Sports App today.

The live look-in program features all of the goals and key moments of Premier League matches between the 10am-Noon ET timeslot. The first US broadcast of the program featured an average of 2.5 goals per game as 15 goals rained in from the 6 matches that were played.

Kroos winner rescues Real, Atletico lose more ground

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid shrugged off the absence of the injured Cristiano Ronaldo to extend their perfect start to the season with a 2-1 win over Celta Vigo on Saturday thanks to Toni Kroos's late winner.

The European champions now lead their opponents in May's Champions League final by four points after just two games as Atletico Madrid were held 0-0 at newly promoted Leganes.

Khedira winner for Juve as Napoli beat nine-man Milan

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Milan (AFP) A second-half winner from Sami Khedira made it two wins from two for Juventus as Napoli edged nine-man AC Milan in a dramatic 4-2 win on Saturday.

Juventus, who started their title defence with a 2-1 win over Fiorentina last week, were kept on a tight rein by Lazio throughout a first half of few chances at the Stadio Olimpico.

Kroos winner rescues Ronaldo-less Real Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid shrugged off the absence of the injured Cristiano Ronaldo to extend their perfect start to the season and a La Liga win streak to 14 games with a 2-1 defeat of Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Alvaro Morata looked to have Real on their way to another three points when he eventually broke Celta's resistence by smashing home on the hour mark.

Kroos winner rescues Ronaldo-less Real Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid shrugged off the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo to extend their perfect start to the season and a La Liga win streak to 14 games with a 2-1 defeat of Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Alvaro Morata looked to have Real on their way to another three points when he eventually broke Celta's resistence by smashing home on the hour mark.

Rashford strikes late to extend United’s perfect start

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Kingston upon Hull (United Kingdom) (AFP) Marcus Rashford extended Manchester United's 100 percent start to the Premier League season with a dramatic strike two minutes into stoppage time to seal a 1-0 win at Hull City on Saturday.

Teenage forward Rashford, left out of the starting line-up for each of United's opening three matches, made his case for greater involvement as he came on as a substitute to convert Wayne Rooney's low cross from close range.

Celtic thrash Dons to move top

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic leapfrogged rivals Rangers to move top of the Scottish Premiership with a comprehensive 4-1 win over 10-man Aberdeen at Parkhead on Saturday.

Leigh Griffiths fired Celtic into a 13th-minute lead before Aberdeen equalised against the run of play through Adam Rooney in the 32nd minute.

Hazard gem sparkles in Chelsea’s perfect start

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London (AFP) Antonio Conte has won his first four games as Chelsea manager after Eden Hazard's sublime strike inspired a comfortable 3-0 victory over Burnley to leave his side top of the Premier League on Saturday.

Former Italy coach Conte needed Diego Costa to score in the closing moments of his first two games in England to secure three points but there was never any need for that kind of late drama at Stamford Bridge this time.

Khedira hits winner as Juventus beat Lazio

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Milan (AFP) Sami Khedira hit a second-half winner as champions Juventus made it two wins from two at the start of the new Serie A season with a 1-0 victory away to Lazio on Saturday.

Juventus, who started their title defence with a 2-1 win over Fiorentina last week, were kept on a tight rein by Simone Inzaghi's hosts throughout a first half of few chances at the Stadio Olimpico.

Lacazette injured as Lyon humbled by Dijon

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Paris (AFP) In-form Alexandre Lacazette scored before coming off injured in the first half as Lyon collapsed to a 4-2 defeat away at promoted Dijon in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Lacazette put the visitors 2-1 up on 37 minutes at the Stade Gaston-Gerard with his sixth goal already this season after Corentin Tolisso's opener for Lyon had been cancelled out by a Frederic Sammaritano penalty.

Hull vice-chairman confirms sale imminent

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Kingston upon Hull (United Kingdom) (AFP) Hull City's owners hope to sell the troubled Premier League club within the next fortnight, vice-chairman Ehab Allam confirmed on Saturday.

The Allam family, who have owned Hull for six years, announced a deal has been agreed with prospective new owners ahead of Saturday's clash with Manchester United at the KCOM Stadium.

Wenger expects to seal deals for Mustafi and Perez

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Watford (United Kingdom) (AFP) Arsene Wenger has confirmed Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi and Deportivo La Coruna striker Lucas Perez are on the verge of signing for Arsenal.

Wenger has lined up deals for the pair as he seeks to bolster his squad after a quiet transfer window and the Gunners boss is confident both players will arrive at the Emirates Stadium before Wednesday's deadline.

Wolfsburg’s Dost eyes Sporting Lisbon move

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Berlin (AFP) Dutch striker Bas Dost said Saturday he hopes to transfer from VfL Wolfsburg to Sporting Lisbon imminently, with his Wolves place under threat following the arrival of Germany's Mario Gomez.

The transfer window closed at midnight on Wednesday (2200 GMT), but Dost hopes to be plying his trade in the Portuguese league soon, with the deal set to cost up to ten million euros ($11m).

Pellegrini appointed manager at Hebei Fortune

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Beijing (AFP) Former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has been appointed by China's Hebei Fortune, the club announced on social media.

"Welcome Pellegrini", the club which is based in the northeastern port town of Qinhuangdao posted on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, together with a picture of the Chilean.

Stoke of luck gives Everton points at Goodison

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Liverpool (AFP) Veteran goalkeeper Shay Given's unfortunate own goal proved the difference as Everton continued their fine start to the new season by beating Stoke City 1-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.

The 40-year-old Given, who was in the Republic of Ireland squad at Euro 2016, did well to turn a Leighton Baines penalty onto the post six minutes into the second half, only for the ball to come back off him and in.

CSKA win at Tomsk to go top in Russia

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Moscow (AFP) Finland international midfielder Roman Eremenko scored the only goal as champions CSKA Moscow squeezed past promoted Tomsk in the Russian Premier League on Saturday.

The away win lifted CSKA top of the Premier League table, one point ahead of city rivals Spartak, who visit Anzhi Makhachkala on Sunday.

Ozil on target as Gunners finally fire

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Watford (United Kingdom) (AFP) A goal from Mesut Ozil on his first start of the campaign rounded off a much-needed win for Arsenal as they secured a comfortable 3-1 Premier Leaguetriumph at Watford.

SantiCazorla, from the penalty spot, Alexis Sanchez and Ozil were all on target to put the Gunners in total command by the interval.

ESPN add Asia World Cup Qualifiers to schedule

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Just in time for the next round of World Cup Qualifiers next weekend, ESPN has added the rights to the region's World Cup 2018 Qualifiers to its already extensive list of properties. In the past, One World Sports has shown qualifiers from Asia but not for the current Russia 2018 tournament.

The AFC qualifiers enter their thirdRound on September 1with 12 teams divided into 2 groups, which will play a full home-and-away series of matchestobe completed bySeptember 2017.

Chelsea take pole position, Arsenal end winless run

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London (AFP) Chelsea swept to the top of the Premier League with a 3-0 victory over Burnley, while Arsenal won 3-1 at Watford to ease the pressure on Arsene Wenger on Saturday.

After a dismal title defence last season, Chelsea look revitalised under new manager Antonio Conte and the Italian was able to celebrate his third successive win after the most emphatic display of his brief reign.

Vardy helps champs Leicester clinch first win

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jamie Vardy scored his first goal of the season as Leicester energised their Premier League title defence with a 2-1 win against Swansea in a torrential thunderstorm on Saturday.

Vardy's 32nd-minute strike gave Claudio Ranieri's side a deserved half-time lead and captain Wes Morgan added the Foxes' second goal on 52 minutes at the King Power Stadium.

Where to find Club America vs. Chivas on US TV and streaming; El Súper Clásico

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Liga MX's Súper Clásico match between America vs. Chivas will be shown live on US television and streaming. The two biggest rivals and the most successful clubs in Mexico are going head to head in El Súper Clásico this Saturday.

Here are the details of where and how to watch the match:

Programming note:Even if you don't have a TV subscription to Univision or Univision Deportes Network, you can watch America vs.

Bremen boss fears axe after Bayern rout

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Berlin (AFP) Werder Bremen coach Viktor Skripnik admits he fears for his job already after his side were crushed 6-0 by champions Bayern Munich in their opening game of the Bundesliga season on Friday.

"I'm in no-man's land and I'm under the microscope now, I know," he said after his team's lacklustre display at the Allianz Arena.

Dann snatches Palace first point of season

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London (AFP) Scott Dann's last-gasp equaliser grabbed Crystal Palace a 1-1 home draw with Bournemouth at Selhurst Park on Saturday, as both sides picked up their first Premier League point of the season.

Bournemouth striker Josh King put the visitors into an early lead, before Palace midfielder Yohan Cabaye saw his penalty saved by Artur Boruc.

Rodriguez late strike extends Sunderland’s August drought

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Southampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jay Rodriguez's first goal in two years for Southampton denied Sunderland their first victory in the opening month of the past six Premier League seasons, as the two sides drew 1-1 at St Mary's on Saturday.

Rodriguez's goal aided by a terrible error by the previously impressive young goalkeeper Jordan Pickford cancelled out Jermain Defoe's 80th-minute penalty, the sixth successive away game the former England striker has scored in.

Aubameyang nets twice as Dortmund win opener

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Berlin (AFP) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has resumed his duel with Robert Lewandowski to be the Bundesliga's top scorer by netting twice in Saturday's 2-1 win over Mainz on the opening weekend of the new season.

Aubameyang netted 25 league goals last season, finishing second to Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski's 30 in the scorers' charts, and the duo look set to lead the way again in 2016/17.

Qatar hits back at FIFA over possible ban for official

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Doha (AFP) Qatar Football Association on Saturday backed its vice president Saoud Al-Mohannadi and took aim at FIFA after the governing body called for a two-and-a-half-year ban against the senior official.

On Friday, FIFA's ethics commission recommended the ban, stating that Mohannadi had refused to cooperate with an inquiry.

Ancelotti happy to inherit Guardiola’s Bayern

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Berlin (AFP) Pep Guardiola's successor Carlo Ancelotti says he has changed little at Bayern Munich as the defending German champions drubbed Werder Bremen 6-0 on Friday to kick off the new season.

The Italian is clearly a fan of the adage 'never change a winning team' after Guardiola led Bayern to the German league and cup double on his swansong last season.

What Lucas Perez will bring to Arsenal

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It appears as if the Gunners have finally made a move for a center forward during the current summer transfer period. BBC have reported that Arsenal have met the release clause of about £17 million for Deportivo La Coruna forward Lucas Perez. Mirror have also claimed that the Spaniard arrived in England for a medical with the north London club on Friday.

NBC Sports to broadcast Transfer Deadline Day Special on Wednesday

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NBC Sports will broadcast a Premier League Transfer Deadline Day Special on Wednesday night from 5-8pm ET.

The program will air live on NBCSN, the NBC Sports App and Sling Blue.

The summer transfer window closes on Wednesday night at 6pm ET/3pm PT (11pm UK time), so the first hour of NBC's special program can bring viewers up to the minute transfer deals as they are announced across England and Wales.

Where to watch Nacional vs. Benfica on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Nacional vs. Benfica, you've come to the right place.

So far this season, Benfica is undefeated after one win and one draw. They'll be hoping to make that two wins today when they play away at Nacional who lost 2-0 to Arouca last weekend.

For soccer fans in the United States, the match will be shown live on US TV and streaming.

Liverpool pricked by Rose thorn in Spurs draw

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London (AFP) Left-back Danny Rose's 72nd-minute equaliser earned Tottenham Hotspur a 1-1 draw with Liverpool in a hard-fought Premier League encounter at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

James Milner gave Liverpool a deserved lead with a penalty shortly before half-time, but Spurs got their reward for a spell of sustained second-half pressure when Rose drilled home the equaliser.

Liverpool pricked by Rose thorn in Tottenham draw

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London (AFP) Left-back Danny Rose's 72nd-minute equaliser earned Tottenham Hotspur a 1-1 draw with Liverpool in a hard-fought Premier League encounter at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

James Milner gave Liverpool a deserved lead with a penalty shortly before half-time, but Spurs got their reward for a spell of sustained second-half pressure when Rose drilled home the equaliser.

Liverpool pricked by Rose thorn at Tottenham

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London (AFP) Left-back Danny Rose's 72nd-minute equaliser earned Tottenham Hotspur a 1-1 draw with Liverpool in a hard-fought Premier League encounter at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

James Milner gave Liverpool a deserved lead with a penalty shortly before half-time, but Spurs got their reward for a spell of sustained second-half pressure when Rose drilled home the equaliser.

Life’s a beach for frazzled Conte

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London (AFP) Antonio Conte will head to the beach next week as the frazzled Chelsea manager gets some well deserved rest after battling in vain to land his top transfer targets.

Although Conte has hit the ground running with three successive wins to start his Chelsea reign, the Italian has endured a frustrating time in the transfer market since taking charge at Stamford Bridge in July.

Rooney hails Man Utd momentum as Hull await

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London (AFP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney believes new manager Jose Mourinho's methods are already bearing fruit ahead of his side's Premier League trip to Hull City on Saturday.

United have won their two opening games, against Bournemouth and Southampton, and go into the weekend level on points with Manchester City, Chelsea and, unexpectedly, Hull at the head of the table.

Bravo must await debut as City host Hammers

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Claudio Bravo must wait to make his Manchester City debut as he prepares to watch his new club's home Premier League game with West Ham United on Sunday from the stands at the Etihad Stadium.

The Chilean goalkeeper has completed the formalities over his reported £17 million ($22 million, 19 million euros) move to the Premier League, but his lack of training with his new team means manager Pep Guardiola has not considered him for a starting place.

Where to find Spurs vs. Liverpool on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Spurs vs. Liverpool, you've come to the right place.

The match between Tottenham and Liverpool should be a fascinating duel between teams known for pressing, led by Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp. With Spurs gaining an impressive draw against Everton and a win against Crystal Palace, the team is starting to find its feet.

Where to watch Lazio vs. Juventus on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Lazio vs. Juventus, you've come to the right place.

After last weekend's exciting finish to the Juventus-Torino game where Gonzalo Higuain scored the winner, Juventus are back today with an away match versus Lazio. Speaking of narrow victories, Lazio got one last week too with an entertaining 4-3 win away at Atalanta.

Klopp seeks Liverpool lift-off on Tottenham return

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London (AFP) Jurgen Klopp returns to the scene of his first game as Liverpool manager at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday, still searching for an effective winning formula.

Liverpool won 4-3 at Arsenal in their opening league game, but lost 2-0 at promoted Burnley last weekend before bouncing back to beat second-tier Burton Albion 5-0 in the League Cup.

Where to find Real Madrid vs. Celta on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Real Madrid vs. Celta, you've come to the right place.

Real Madrid will play its first home league game of the season today after Los Blancos defeated Real Sociedad 3-0 away last Sunday. Celta Vigo, on the other hand, lost 1-0 to recently promoted Leganes last weekend.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC, Gameweek 3

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NBC Sports Group's Premier League coverage begins at 6:30 a.m. ET this Saturday, August 27, with Premier League Live on NBCSN, followed by Tottenham v. Liverpool at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC UNIVERSO. Tottenham are unbeaten in their first two matches of the season, coming off a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace last weekend.

Rangers held by 10-man Kilmarnock

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Glasgow (AFP) Rangers had to settle for a point against 10-men Kilmarnock as they came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw in their Scottish Premiership clash on Friday.

Kris Boyd came back to haunt his former club as he fired Kilmarnock in to a 29th minute lead.

Rangers grabbed an equaliser when James Tavernier sent a curling free-kick past Jamie MacDonald in the 59th minute before Killie's Greg Taylor saw red for a reckless challenge on Joey Barton four minutes later.

Bayern draw top-flight Augsburg in German Cup

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Berlin (AFP) Holders Bayern Munich will host Bavarian neighbours Augsburg in an all-Bundesliga clash in the second round of the German Cup, following Friday's draw.

Defending German league champions Bayern completed the double last season by beating Borussia Dortmund in the Berlin final last May and will host Augsburg at Munich's Allianz Arena.

Rashford better off with Under-21’s: Mourinho

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Striker Marcus Rashford is better off in the England Under 21 side than playing second or third fiddle to Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy for the England senior team, says his club manager Manchester United's Jose Mourinho.

The 18-year-old one of the rare successes under Mourinho's predecessor Louis van Gaal, scoring eight times last term played only a peripheral role in England's disastrous Euro 2016 campaign making two tardy substitute appearances.

Lewandowski hits hat-trick despite hole in right boot

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Munich (Germany) (AFP) Hot-shot Robert Lewandowski blasted a hat-trick in Bayern Munich's 6-0 win over Werder Bremen in Friday's opening game of the Bundesliga season with a hole in his goal-scoring boot.

"It didn't seem to affect me much," Lewandowski, the Bundesliga's top scorer last season with 30 goals in his 32 games, told broadcaster ARD.

Marseille see off Lorient for first win

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Marseille (AFP) Marseille got their Ligue 1 campaign up and running as they beat Lorient 2-0 at the Stade Velodrome on Friday to pick up their first win of the season.

Remy Cabella fired Franck Passi's hosts in front with a brilliant first-half free-kick, and Bafetimbi Gomis added a second in the 70th minute.

Norwegian international Johansen leaves Celtic

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London (AFP) Norwegian international midfielder Stefan Johansen will miss out on Champions League football after he left Scottish champions Celtic for second-tier English side Fulham on Friday.

The 25-year-old who has scored 20 goals in 114 appearances for Celtic since joining from Stromsgodset in 2014 agreed to the move after failing to get the terms he wanted on a new contract at the Scottish side.

Lewandowski hat-trick as Bayern rout Bremen in season opener

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Berlin (AFP) Robert Lewandowski claimed a hat-trick as defending champions Bayern Munich brushed Werder Bremen aside with a 6-0 win in Friday's opening match of the new German league season.

Bayern Munich's Polish striker Robert Lewandowski celebrate after his second goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich vs SV Werder Bremen in Munich, southern Germany, on August 26, 2016

After Xabi Alonso scored the first goal of the 2016/17 campaign at Munich's Allianz Arena, Lewandowski netted either side of the break before captain Philipp Lahm added a fourth.

Napoli sign youngster Diawara from Bologna

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Rome (AFP) Defensive midfielder Amadou Diawara has left Bologna to sign for Serie A rivals Napoli, the two clubs announced on Friday.

The 19-year-old Guinean impressed last season as Bologna finished 14th in the Italian top flight, making 34 league appearances.

He started his career playing for San Marino Calcio in the third division.

Guardiola won’t guarantee Hart bench role

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola warned goalkeeping outcast Joe Hart on Friday that he is not even guaranteed a place on the bench if he fails to leave the club.

Hart, 29, is in limbo after losing his place as the club's first-choice goalkeeper following Guardiola's arrival and City are not reported to have received any bids for the England international.

Stuttgart sign Japan’s Asano on loan from Arsenal

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Berlin (AFP) German side Stuttgart confirmed on Friday that they had signed Arsenal's Japanese forward Takuma Asano on a year-long loan.

"Takuma completes our attacking players," said Stuttgart's sporting director Jan Schindelmeiser.

"He is very dangerous in front of goal, is comfortable with both feet and is very mobile.

TV viewing figures for La Liga and Serie A opening weekend; Weekly TV ratings roundup

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Serie A and La Liga both kicked off lastweekend on the networks of beIN SPORTS. La Liga's opening weekend viewership peaked Sunday afternoon when 294,000 watched Real Madrid face off against Real Sociedad on beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español. Saturday's match between Barcelona and Real Betis drew 238,000.

Higuain to again start on bench as Juve face Lazio

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Rome (AFP) Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed that record signing Gonzalo Higuain will once again start from the bench when the defending champions go to Lazio on Saturday.

"Higuain is doing really well and is very close to his top condition but in the last couple of days he's had to slow down a bit because he's had a little bit of a strain," Allegri said at a press conference on Friday.

La Liga to hold minute’s silence for Italy victims

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Madrid (AFP) Games in Spain's top two divisions will hold a minute's silence before kick-off over the weekend for victims of the devastating earthquake in Italy.

"Professional football expresses its solidarity with all the Italian people and particularly with the families and friends of people who lost their lives in this natural disaster," the Spanish football league said in a statement.

Olympics trio named for Schweinsteiger’s Germany farewell

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Berlin (AFP) Germany head coach Joachim Loew has called up three members of the team which lost the Olympic final in Rio for Manchester United reject Bastian Schweinsteiger's farewell international next Wednesday.

Inexperienced trio Julian Brandt, Niklas Suele and Max Mayer have been included in the squad for the friendly against Finland in Moenchengladbach, which will be Schweinsteiger's 121st and final appearance for die Mannschaft.

Mourinho gives Schweinsteiger Man Utd warning

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho indicated to out-of-favour midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger on Friday that there will be no place for him at Old Trafford this season.

The Germany international has two years to run on a reported £190,000-a-week ($251,000, 222,200 euros) contract, but has been frozen out by United's new manager.

Injured Ronaldo absent from Portugal squad

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Lisbon (AFP) Still recovering from the knee injury that forced him off in the final of Euro 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo is not in the Portugal squad for the start of their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

"I have been told that Cristiano Ronaldo is clinically unfit," Portugal coach Fernando Santos said at a press conference on Friday.

Belgium football squad to play Spain and Cyprus

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Brussels (AFP) New Belgium manager Roberto Martinez announced a squad featuring no surprises for his first games in charge against Spain and Cyprus in September.

Belgium face Spain in a friendly in Brussels next Thursday and then take on Cyprus away in Nicosia in their opening qualifying Group H match for the 2018 World Cup on September 6.

Klopp seeks Liverpool lift-off on Spurs return

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London (AFP) Jurgen Klopp returns to the scene of his first game as Liverpool manager at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday, still searching for an effective winning formula.

Liverpool won 4-3 at Arsenal in their opening league game, but lost 2-0 at promoted Burnley last weekend before bouncing back to beat second-tier Burton Albion 5-0 in the League Cup.

Celtic improving but far from finished article

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Glasgow (AFP) Brendan Rodgers may have guided Celtic into the Champions League group stages for the first time in three years but his side are still very much a work in progress.

Glamour ties against five-time European champions Barcelona, English Premier League giants Manchester City and German side Borussia Monchengladbach await them in Group B.

United star Mata warns against complacency, City’s Bravo eyes debut

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London (AFP) Juan Mata has warned Manchester United not to underestimate Hull ahead of their trip to the surprise high-flyers, while Claudio Bravo's footwork will be in the spotlight if Manchester City's new goalkeeper makes his debut against West Ham.

Going into the third round of Premier League fixtures, there is nothing unexpected about three of the four teams with 100 percent records.

No easy games, Carrera warns, as Spartak visit Anzhi

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Moscow (AFP) Russian league leaders Spartak Moscow visit Anzhi Makhachkala on Sunday, their Italian coach Massimo Carrera urging his side not to take their opponents lightly.

The nine-time former champions, who beat FC Krasnodar 2-0 in Carrera's first match as Spartak's official manager last week, are two points ahead of Amkar Perm and city rivals CSKA.

Champions League duo Monaco, PSG primed for duel

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Paris (AFP) With their Champions League qualification assured, Monaco switch their focus to hosting French title-holders and fellow European hopefuls Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 this weekend.

Monaco secured an impressive 3-1 aggregate victory over Villarreal of Spain in midweek, no insignificant result as the principality club attempts to keep hold of its top players.

Main German league transfers for 2016/17

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Berlin (AFP) Ahead of the start of the 2016-17 Bundesliga season on Friday, AFP Sports takes a look at the main transfers during the close season in Germany:

Bayern Munich:

Departures: Mario Goetze (Borussia Dortmund), Mehdi Benatia (Juventus/ITA), Sebastian Rode (Borussia Dortmund)

Arrivals: Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Renato Sanches (Benfica/POR)

Borussia Dortmund:

Departures: Moritz Leitner (Lazio/ITA), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United/ENG), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City/ENG), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Jakub Blaszczykowski (VfL Wolfsburg)

Arrivals: Andre Schuerrle (Wolfsburg), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Raphael Guerreiro (Lorient/FRA), Emre Mor (Nordsjaelland/DEN), Sebastian Rode (Bayern Munich), Marc Bartra (FC Barcelone), Ousmane Dembele (Stade Rennes/FRA), Mikel Merino (Osasuna/ESP)

Bayer Leverkusen:

Departures: Christoph Kramer (Borussia Moenchengladbach)

Arrivals: Aleksandar Dragovic (Dynamo Kiev/UKR), Kevin Volland (Hoffenheim)

VfL Wolfsburg:

Departures: Max Kruse (Werder Bremen), Andre Schuerrle (Borussia Dortmund), Dante (Nice/FRA)

Arrivals: Mario Gomez (Besiktas/TUR), Josuha Guilavogui (Atletico Madrid/ESP, permanent signing after loan), Jakub Blaszczykowski (Borussia Dortmund)

Schalke 04:

Departures: Leroy Sane (Manchester City/ENG)

Arrivals: Coke (Seville/ESP), Baba Abdoul Rahman (Chelsea/ENG), Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham/ENG, loan), Benjamin Stambouli (Paris SG/FRA)

Werder Bremen:

Departures: Anthony Ujah (Liaoning FC/CHN), Papy Djilobodji (Chelsea FC, loan return)

Arrivals: Max Kruse (VfL Wolfsburg), Fallou Diagne (Rennes/FRA), Lamine Sane (Bordeaux/FRA)

The post Main German league transfers for 2016/17 appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

Defiant RB Leipzig braced for Bundesliga hostility

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Berlin (AFP) RB Leipzig make their Bundesliga debut on Sunday, but the East German outfit, sponsored by energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull, are already far from popular in Germany's top-flight.

For the 2016/17 season, the Bundesliga will finally have a club from former East Germany for the first time since Energie Cottbus were relegated in 2009 the year RB Leipzig was founded.

UEFA guarantee four Champions League berths to top leagues

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Monaco (AFP) The top four leagues in Europe will be guaranteed four places in the group stage of the Champions League from the 2018/19 season, UEFA confirmed on Friday.

The changes affect the top four domestic leagues in UEFA's ranking, which are currently Spain's Primera Liga, Germany's Bundesliga, England's Premier League and Italy's Serie A, and will initially run until 2021.

Sunderland lose Mannone for three months

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London (AFP) Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone will be out of action for at least three months after tearing elbow ligaments, manager David Moyes revealed on Friday.

Moyes said the club were waiting to see if the 28-year-old former Arsenal player would require surgery, but he is already planning to bring in a replacement.

Palace chairman slams Spurs over Zaha pursuit

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London (AFP) Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish criticised Tottenham Hotspur over their pursuit of Wilfried Zaha on Friday, branding their bid for the winger "ridiculous".

Parish claims to have rejected an offer of 12 million pounds ($15.9 million, 14 million euros) for the 23-year-old, who returned to Palace from Manchester United in February 2015.

Wenger ’99 percent confident’ on Arsenal deals

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London Colney (United Kingdom) (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed the club were close to completing transfers on Friday, amid reports they are poised to sign Germany centre-back Shkodran Mustafi and Spanish striker Lucas Perez.

British press reports claim Mustafi, 24, will sign from Valencia for around 35 million pounds ($46.

Thierry Henry becomes Belgium assistant coach

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Brussels (AFP) Former France star Thierry Henry has been named as the new assistant coach of Belgium, the national coach announced Roberto Martinez announced on Friday.

"Thierry is an important figure. He will bring something different. He agreed right away to join us," said Martinez, who was appointed at the start of the month to succeed the sacked Marc Wilmots.

Casillas left out of new Spain coach’s first squad

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Madrid (AFP) New Spain coach Julen Lopetegui on Friday left out veteran captain Iker Casillas, the country's most-capped player, from his first squad as manager for upcoming internationals against Belgium and Liechtenstein.

Goalkeeper Casillas, 35, has won two European Championships and the World Cup over the course of his 167 senior appearances for his country.

Where to find Bayern Munich vs. Werder Bremen on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Bayern Munich vs. Werder Bremen, you've come to the right place.

Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen kick off a brand new season of German soccer. Bayern Munich are the massive favorites to clinch what'd be a fifth successive Bundesliga title in 2016-17, as new boss Carlo Ancelotti seeks to build on the sterling work done by his predecessor Pep Guardiola.

Man Utd set for Van Persie reunion in Europa League

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Monaco (AFP) Manchester United will come up against their former striker Robin van Persie after being placed in the same group as the Dutchman's current club Fenerbahce in Friday's draw for the group stage of the Europa League.

Jose Mourinho's side will also come up against Dutch giants Feyenoord and Zorya Luhansk of Ukraine in Group A.

Bundesliga 2016/17 preview: German upstarts dare to challenge Bayern Munich

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Bayern Munich are the massive favorites to clinch what'd be a fifth successive Bundesliga title in 2016-17, as new boss Carlo Ancelotti seeks to build on the sterling work done by his predecessor Pep Guardiola.

Indeed, the new Manchester City manager steered the side to three divisional wins in succession and did so playing a vibrant brand of expansive football.

Blatter fights FIFA ban in marathon final appeal

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Lausanne (AFP) Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter fought to overturn his ban from football in a marathon, 14-hour appeal hearing on Thursday, in a long-shot bid at redemption after his career ended in disgrace.

Blatter mounted his defence against the six-year FIFA suspension imposed over ethics violations at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which typically has the final word in major sport disputes.

West Ham knocked out of Europa League

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Paris (AFP) English Premier League club West Ham suffered a shock defeat by Romanian side Astra Giurgiu on Thursday that saw them knocked out of the Europa League in a mirror image of last season's campaign.

Slaven Bilic's side had left the tie in the balance after a disappointing 1-1 away draw a week ago and that result came back to haunt them as Astra took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Filipe Teixeira.

Krul completes Ajax bound loan

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Newcastle (United Kingdom) (AFP) Dutch international goalkeeper Tim Krul joined Dutch giants Ajax on loan until the end of the season on Thursday from Newcastle, after signing a one-year contract extension with the Championship side.

The 28-year-old who became the first goalkeeper to be sent on for a World Cup finals penalty shootout at the 2014 edition and saved two of the Costa Rican penalties as the Dutch won 4-3 has agreed to remain a Magpies player until the summer of 2018.

Lorient’s Jeannot suspended for pushing referee

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Paris (AFP) Lorient striker Benjamin Jeannot has been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing after pushing a referee during his team's 3-0 home loss to Bastia last weekend, the French football league (LFP)announced on Thursday.

The LFP announced they were taking the decision based on the "brutality of the act".

West Ham sign midfielder Fernandes

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London (AFP) West Ham announced Thursday that Swiss midfielder Edimilson Fernandes had joined the Premier League club from FC Sion for an undisclosed fee.

The 20-year-old was introduced on the pitch of the Hammers' London Stadium ground before kick-off in Thursday's Europa League qualifier against Romanian side Astra Giurgiu.

Guardiola handed Barcelona reunion with Manchester City in Champions League

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Monaco (AFP) Pep Guardiola will return to former club Barcelona with Manchester City in the Champions League after the two sides were drawn together in Thursday's group stage draw in Monaco.

Guardiola, a European Cup winner with Barca as a player in 1992 before twice guiding the Catalan giants to the Champions League title in 2009 and 2011, will also come up against Borussia Moenchengladbach and Celtic in Group C.

Big spending clubs shatter Premier League transfer record

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London (AFP) Big spending English clubs have shattered the Premier League's transfer spending record after the total splashed out reached £880 million ($1.1 billion, 1 billion euros) on Thursday.

By 1500 GMT, shortly after Manchester City's signing of Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was confirmed, the Premier League clubs' gross spending in the current transfer window had topped the record of £870m set last year.

Commentator assignments for beIN SPORTS’ weekend of La Liga, Serie A and Ligue Un

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beIN SPORTS has revealed their commentator assignments for this weekend's featured matches.

Fan favorites Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson return to commentate the Real Madrid and Barcelona matches. Meanwhile, the duo of Andres Cordero and Matteo Bonetti will be announcing Lazio vs. Juventus as well as recently promoted Leganes versus Atletico Madrid.

Ronaldo crowned UEFA Best Player in Europe

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Monaco (AFP) Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo won the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award on Thursday after winning both last season's Champions League and Euro 2016 with Portugal.

Ronaldo received the accolade for the second time in his career after finishing ahead of Real team-mate Gareth Bale and Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann.

Chelsea sign Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper Eduardo

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London (AFP) Chelsea signed Portugal goalkeeper Eduardo from Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb for an undisclosed fee on Thursday.

Eduardo agreed a one-year contract with the Premier League club and will provide cover for Chelsea's first choice keeper Thibaut Courtois and deputy Asmir Begovic.

Guardiola handed Barcelona reunion with Manchester City in Champions League draw

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Monaco (AFP) Pep Guardiola will return to former club Barcelona with Manchester City in the Champions League after the two sides were thrown together in Thursday's group stage draw in Monaco.

Guardiola, a European Cup winner with Barca as a player in 1992 before twice guiding the Catalan giants to the Champions League title in 2009 and 2011, will also come up against Borussia Moenchengladbach and Celtic in Group C.

Blatter mounts final FIFA ban appeal

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Lausanne (AFP) Disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter fought to overturn his six-year football ban on Thursday in a marathon appeal at the world's top sports court, pledging to accept the verdict.

Blatter's last and unlikely shot at redemption rests with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which is hearing his challenge against a penalty imposed by FIFA for ethics violations.

Maradona criticises Messi over international retirement

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Argentina great Diego Maradona has criticised Lionel Messi, suggesting that the Barcelona star's retirement from international football, and subsequent change of heart, was "staged".

"I don't know whether this was staged to make us understand that he'd lost three finals, but we never lost by big margins," said Maradona to radio station La Red.

Maradona criticises Messi over international retirement

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Argentina great Diego Maradona has criticised Lionel Messi, suggesting that the Barcelona star's retirement from international football, and subsequent change of heart, was "staged".

"I don't know whether this was staged to make us understand that he'd lost three finals, but we never lost by big margins," said Maradona to radio station La Red.

Everton boss Koeman rules out Joe Hart move

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London (AFP) Everton manager Ronald Koeman has dismissed talk of a move for out of favour Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Hart is set to leave City after being reduced to a fringe role since Pep Guardiola's arrival as manager and the England international had been strongly linked with a switch to Everton.

Rashford drops down to England Under-21s

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London (AFP) Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has lost his place in England's senior squad after being called up for the Under-21s for the first time.

Rashford made two substitute appearances at Euro 2016 to cap a meteoric rise in the final weeks of the campaign that took him from United's youth teams to international recognition.

Bravo joins City as Hart’s replacement

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London (AFP) Manchester City have completed their swoop for Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, the Premier League club confirmed on Thursday.

City manager Pep Guardiola's move for Bravo is likely to push England goalkeeper Joe Hart closer to an exit from Eastlands after he lost his place to back-up Willy Caballero at the start of the season.

Watford vs. Arsenal to be first Premier League Goal Rush game on US TV

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As we exclusively revealed yesterday, NBC Sports will debut their newest program Goal Rush this Saturday. It'll be shown on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App from 10am to Noon ET.

And the first Goal Rush game to be shown in the United States is this Saturday's clash between Watford and Arsenal, live from Vicarage Road.

Neil Ashton, the unsung star of NBC’s Premier League coverage

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The number of written words given to NBC's Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe, Kyle Martino, Lee Dixon, Graeme Le Saux, Steve Bower and Arlo White could fill a book. The talent at NBC Sports does a fantastic job of bringing the Premier League to us in the United States, but one unsung hero often gets overlooked.

Lacazette, Fekir return to France squad

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Paris (AFP) Lyon duo Alexandre Lacazette and Nabil Fekir have been recalled to the France squad as the Euro 2016 runners-up begin their qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup in Belarus next month.

Lacazette was not included by coach Didier Deschamps for the European Championship despite finishing last season in prolific form but he could no longer be ignored after netting five times in Lyon's opening two Ligue 1 matches this season.

Schalke swoop for Bentaleb and Stambouli

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Berlin (AFP) Schalke 04 strengthened their squad for the new German Bundesliga season on Thursday by confirming the loan signing of Algerian international Nabil Bentaleb and closing in on the capture of French midfielder Benjamin Stambouli.

Schalke, who finished fifth in Germany's top flight last season to qualify for the Europa League, have signed Bentaleb from Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur on a season-long loan for a fee of around one million euros.

Australian veteran Cahill makes low-key debut for Melbourne City FC

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Sydney (AFP) Veteran Tim Cahill made a low-key debut for Melbourne City after hitting the right notes in a team karaoke session.

The 36-year-old who made his name at Everton came on as a second-half substitute in a 2-1 cup win against Brisbane Strikers on Wednesday night.

It was Cahill's first club game at home in Australia since he joined London club Millwall from Sydney United nearly 20 years ago.

Ancelotti’s Bayern kick off eyeing fifth straight Bundesliga title

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich kick off the 2016/17 German Bundesliga season at home to Werder Bremen on Friday with their rivals out to stop them winning a fifth straight Bundesliga title.

Germany defender Mats Hummels and burly Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches have been Bayern's only off-season signings, but it's all change behind the scenes at the Munich giants.

US Soccer slaps Hope Solo with six-month suspension

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Los Angeles (AFP) USA women's goalkeeper Hope Solo has been slapped with a six-month ban from the national team for her comments in which she called the Swedish players "a bunch of cowards", US Soccer announced Wednesday.

The 35-year-old Solo made the comments after the Americans were eliminated in a penalty shootout from the Rio Olympics women's soccer tournament on August 12.

New-look Dortmund resume Bayern pursuit in German Bundesliga

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Berlin (AFP) Last season's runners-up Borussia Dortmund resume the chase to knock Bayern Munich from the top of the German league having made eight new signings and losing a trio of stars.

Dortmund start their campaign at home to coach Thomas Tuchel's ex-club Mainz on Saturday.

But things looked bleak when captain Mats Hummels, then midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan announced, one after the other, that they were leaving during the close season.

Sepp Blatter mounts final FIFA ban appeal

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Lausanne (AFP) Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter began his final appeal Thursday against his six-year ban from football, in a long-shot quest for redemption after his career ended in scandal.

Blatter entered the world's top sports court for a one-day hearing seeking to overturn a suspension imposed by FIFA over ethics violations.

Spanish giants feared in Champions League group-stage draw

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Monaco (AFP) The eyes of European football will be on Monaco on Thursday as holders Real Madrid and the rest of the continent's elite discover their fate when the Champions League group-stage draw is made.

Zinedine Zidane's side won the trophy last season a record 11th in the club's history as Cristiano Ronaldo scored the decisive penalty in the shoot-out against city rivals Atletico after the final in Milan finished 1-1.

Drinkwater signs new deal with Leicester City

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London (AFP) Leicester City and England midfielder Danny Drinkwater signed a new five-year contract with the Premier League champions on Thursday.

Drinkwater, 26, joins Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Kasper Schmeichel in committing his future to the club since the end of last season.

"I've loved playing for this club.

US Soccer slaps Solo with six-month ban for ‘cowards’ comment

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Los Angeles (AFP) USA women's goalkeeper Hope Solo has been slapped with a six-month ban from the national team for her comments in which she called the Swedish players "a bunch of cowards", US Soccer announced Wednesday.

The 35-year-old Solo made the comments after the Americans were eliminated in a penalty shootout from the Rio Olympics women's soccer tournament on August 12.

Bayern chairman dampens treble dreams before season start

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Berlin (AFP) On the eve of the new German Bundesliga season, Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has poured cold water on their fans' dreams of winning another treble.

"Of course, I know that the public is dreaming of the treble, but we also know well enough how difficult and unpredictable the Champions League is," Rummenigge wrote in the programme for Friday's season opener against Werder Bremen.

Barcelona complete signing of Jasper Cillessen

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona have completed the signing of Dutch international goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen from Ajax, the Spanish champions confirmed on Thursday.

In a statement on their official website the Catalans confirmed they had signed the 27-year-old on a five-year contract for a fee of 13 million euros (£11.

Sepp Blatter wages final FIFA ban appeal

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Lausanne (AFP) Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter mounted his final appeal Thursday against his six-year ban from football, in a long-shot quest for redemption after his career ended in scandal.

Blatter was at the world's top sports court for a one-day hearing seeking to overturn a suspension imposed by FIFA over ethics violations.

Klopp tries to keep peace with frustrated Sturridge

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London (AFP) Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is trying to keep the peace with Daniel Sturridge after the frustrated striker complained about being played out of position.

Sturridge has been deployed on the right wing rather than in his preferred central striker's berth in his two appearances for Liverpool this season and he made it clear he is unhappy Klopp has used him in the unfamiliar role.

Russians Rostov through to Champions League group stage

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Paris (AFP) Unheralded Russian side Rostov qualified for the group stage of the Champions League with a famous win over Dutch former European champions Ajax on Wednesday.

Rostov comfortably won 4-1 in front of a delirious crowd at their compact Olimp-2 stadium to win the play-off round tie 5-2 on aggregate, with Iranian striker Sardar Azmoun, Alexander Erokhin, Ecuador midfielder Christian Noboa and Dmitry Poloz scoring the goals.

Russians Rostov, Man City through to Champions League group phase

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Paris (AFP) Unheralded Russian side Rostov qualified for the group stage of the Champions League with a famous win over Dutch former European champions Ajax on Wednesday.

Rostov comfortably won 4-1 in front of a delirious crowd at their compact Olimp-2 stadium to win the play-off round tie 5-2 on aggregate, with Iranian striker Sardar Azmoun, Alexander Erokhin, Ecuador midfielder Christian Noboa and Dmitry Poloz scoring the goals.

Fans hail Hart as Man City reach group phase

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Joe Hart played potentially his last Manchester City game as Pep Guardiola's team rubber-stamped their place in the Champions League group phase by beating Steaua Bucharest 1-0 on Wednesday.

Leading 5-0 from last week's away leg, City completed a 6-0 aggregate victory courtesy of Fabian Delph's second-half header, putting them in Thursday's group-stage draw in Monaco with room to spare.

Al Nasr, Seoul in control in Asian Champions League

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Seoul (AFP) FC Seoul took a grip of their AFC Champions League quarter-final after overcoming Shandong Luneng 3-1 in the first leg in the Korean capital on Wednesday.

Goals from Park Chu-Young, Dejan Damjanovic and Brazilian top scorer Adriano gave them a deserved two-goal cushion to take to China for the second leg on September 14.

NBC Sports to launch Premier League Goal Rush on NBC Sports App and online

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Beginning Saturday, NBC Sports is launching a brand-newprogramcalled Goal Rush, which will be available on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com.

The concept behind Goal Rush is simple and perfect for many soccer fans wanting to stay on top of everything that's happening.

Hart, Toure handed Man City starts

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Goalkeeper Joe Hart and midfielder Yaya Toure both make their first competitive appearances of the season in Manchester City's Champions League play-off round, second leg against Steaua Bucharest on Wednesday.

Both players have fallen out of favour since Pep Guardiola's appointment as manager during the close season and have been tipped to leave the club.

Coleman slams Allardyce’s Team GB bid

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London (AFP) Wales manager Chris Coleman has slammed England boss Sam Allardyce's claim that a Team GB football team should play at future Olympics.

Allardyce backed the return of a British Olympic football team after men's and women's sides were not entered at Rio 2016.

Great Britain teams competed in London 2012, but the home nations insisted that was a one-off to support the host country.

Last season ‘the best of my career’ – Ronaldo

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Paris (AFP) Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted he didn't believe his country could win Euro 2016 and said that last season was probably the best of his glittering career.

"To be honest I didn't think Portugal could win the Euro. But match by match I started believing it was possible.

Keane named in Republic squad for farewell appearance

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Dublin (AFP) Robbie Keane will make his final appearance for the Republic of Ireland in next week's friendly against Oman after the country's record goal scorer announced his imminent retirement from international duty.

LA Galaxy forward Keane was included on Wednesday in Martin O'Neill's 28-man squad to face Oman and then Serbia in a World Cup qualifier.

Ireland legend Keane set to retire from international duty

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Dublin (AFP) Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane announced on Wednesday he will retire from international football after an emotional farewell in next week's friendly against Oman in Dublin.

LA Galaxy forward Keane, 36, will bring the curtain down on a memorable 18-year international career that includes all-time Republic records of 67 goals and 145 senior caps.

Swedish goalkeeper’s attacker ‘had bet on game’

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Stockholm (AFP) A teenager who attacked a goalkeeper on the pitch during a Swedish first division match acted because he was about to lose a bet he had placed on the game, the prosecution said Wednesday.

In the 90th minute of a match between Jonkoping and visiters Ostersund on August 15, the 17-year-old, who was clad in black and whose face was masked, stormed the pitch and assailed the away keeper, Aly Keita.

Clarke confirmed as new FA chairman

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London (AFP) Greg Clarke has been confirmed as the new chairman of the English Football Association, the governing body said on Wednesday.

Clarke takes over as the permanent successor to Greg Dyke after being approved by the FA Board on July 22.

The 48-year-old's appointment was formally ratified by a full meeting of the FA Council at Wembley Stadium and his first day with the governing body will be September 2.

Hammers boss Bilic hints at Wilfried Bony move

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London (AFP) West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has hinted the injury-hit Premier League club could make a move for Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony.

Bilic had been looking for a new forward throughout the close-season, but his need has grown more urgent after injuries to three of his main attacking options.

Dad-to-be Grigg to miss Northern Ireland qualifier

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Belfast (AFP) Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill says Wigan Athletic striker Will Grigg will miss next month's World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic while his partner gives birth.

Grigg has become a cult hero with Northern Ireland fans since breaking into the international squad, with the chant "Will Grigg's on fire" a constant soundtrack to their Euro 2016 campaign.

Watford sign Janmaat from Newcastle

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London (AFP) Watford have signed Netherlands defender Daryl Janmaat from Newcastle United, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

Janmaat agreed a four-year contract with the Hornets, who are reported to have paid a fee of £7.5 million ($9.9 million, 8.8 million euros) as he returns to the Premier League following Newcastle's relegation last season.

Ancelotti defends ‘ticking time-bomb’ Ribery

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich's new coach Carlo Ancelotti has defended veteran winger Franck Ribery, who has been dubbed 'a ticking time-bomb' in the German media after a string of on-field tussles.

Bayern start the new Bundesliga season on Friday at home to Werder Bremen and Ancelotti says people are getting carried away in their criticism of Ribery.

Watch the Bundesliga for free with a 7-day trial to FOX Soccer 2GO

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For a limited time, FOX Sports is offering a free 7-day trial to its streaming service FOX Soccer 2GO so you can watch as many Bundesliga games as you like.

With the Bundesliga season kicking off this Friday featuring Bayern Munich against Werder Bremen, you can watch that game plus every single Bundesliga match from the entire opening weekend.

Gudjohnsen signs up for Indian Super League

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New Delhi (AFP) The veteran former Chelsea and Barcelona forward Eidur Gudjohnsen signed up Wednesday for the third edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) as the marquee player for FC Pune City.

The much-travelled Icelander, a two-time winner of the English Premier League with Chelsea and a Champions League winner with Barcelona, said he still has an appetite for the game at age 37.

Seoul in control after 3-1 win over Shandong

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Seoul (AFP) FC Seoul took a grip of their AFC Champions League quarter-final after overcoming Shandong Luneng 3-1 in the first leg in the Korean capital on Wednesday.

Goals from Park Chu-Young, Dejan Damjanovic and Brazilian top scorer Adriano gave them a deserved two-goal cushion to take to China for the second leg on September 14.

Five major transfers to Germany for 2016-17

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Berlin (AFP) Ahead of the start of the 2016-17 Bundesliga season on Friday, AFP Sports takes a look at the five biggest incoming transfers of the close season in Germany:

Alen Halilovic (CRO)

Barcelona (ESP) to Hamburg, five million euros ($5.6m)

Halilovic was 16 when he made his professional debut for Dinamo Zagreb and having been billed as Croatia's 'next big thing', he was snapped up by Barcelona in May 2014.

Blatter in last fight against FIFA ban

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Geneva (AFP) Sepp Blatter will mount his final challenge against his six-year FIFA ban on Thursday, following more than a year of scandal that saw him thrown out of football in disgrace.

The former FIFA boss has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) seeking to overturn a suspension imposed by world football's governing body.

Father-figure Ancelotti out to keep Bayern on top

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich will chase a fifth straight Bundesliga title when the new season starts on Friday, with new coach Carlo Ancelotti attempting to continue the dominance forged by predecessors Pep Guardiola and Jupp Heynckes.

The Bayern hierarchy are expecting the 57-year-old Ancelotti to keep the Bavarian giants, who kick off the new season at home to Werder Bremen on Friday, at the pinnacle of German football.

Dortmund beat Bayern to sign Dembele – CEO

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Berlin (AFP) Borussia Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke claims they beat Bayern Munich to sign French starlet Ousmane Dembele, but admits it will be harder to halt the Bavarians bid for a fifth straight German league title.

The new German league season starts on Friday with Bayern, under new head coach Carlo Ancelotti, hosting Werder Bremen at Munich's Allianz Arena while Dortmund start their Bundesliga season on Saturday at home to Mainz.

Benfica loan out Ola John to Wolves

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Lisbon (AFP) Benfica Lisbon have loaned out Dutch striker Ola John to English side Wolverhampton on a one year deal and have also loaned Brazilian Talisca to Besiktas, the Portuguese champions announced.

"Ola John has extended his contract for another season," said Benfica, adding that the loan deal had gone through.

Schweinsteiger not giving up on Man United

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London (AFP) German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said on Wednesday that Manchester United would be his "last club in Europe" and vowed to fight for his place in the team.

Schweinsteiger, 32, has been frozen out by new United manager Jose Mourinho and is yet to make a competitive appearance this season.

Injured Aaron Ramsey not in Wales squad

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Hensol (United Kingdom) (AFP) Injured Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey was not included in the squad announced by Wales manager Chris Coleman on Wednesday for next month's opening World Cup qualifier against Moldova.

Ramsey, 25, is nursing a hamstring injury and will miss the Euro 2016 semi-finalists' opening Group D fixture against Moldova in Cardiff on September 5.

Dundalk’s Champions League dream ends in Poland, but Europa League beckons

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The year 2016 has been a monumental year for Ireland and Irish everywhere. It was the centennial of the Easter Rebellion and the birth of the nation. This year also marked 100 years on from the Battle of the Somme, which ensured the division of Ulster and Ireland. It was the advance, however, of the Lilywhites of Dundalk FC to the UEFA Champions League Playoff Round that will forever be enshrined in Irish sporting lore.

Celtic survive scare as Porto dismiss Roma

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Paris (AFP) Scottish champions Celtic withstood a furious fightback from Hapoel Beer-Sheva to reach the Champions League group stage on Tuesday despite a 2-0 defeat in Israel, while Porto beat nine-man Roma 3-0 to advance.

Leading 5-2 from last week's first play-off leg in Glasgow, Celtic were made to sweat in the Israeli desert with goals from Ben Sahar and Ovidiu Hoban setting up a nervy finish.

Liverpool cruise, Chelsea squeeze in League Cup

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London (AFP) Daniel Sturridge scored twice as Liverpool strolled into the League Cup third round with a 5-0 win at Burton Albion on Tuesday, while Chelsea edged third-tier Bristol Rovers 3-2.

Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino and Sturridge all scored as Liverpool, last season's beaten finalists, crushed Championship side Burton, who are managed by ex-Liverpool midfielderNigel Clough.

Sanchez, Vidal to lead Chile in qualifiers

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Santiago (AFP) Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi named a familiar squad on Tuesday for the reigning South American champions' upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Chile, who beat Argentina on penalties in the Copa America final two months ago to successfully defend their title, currently hold the fourth and final automatic South American qualification spot for the World Cup in Russia.

Argentina coach hoping to ease Messi workload

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Buenos Aires (AFP) New Argentina head coach Edgardo Bauza said on Tuesday that he wants to see his side rely less on Lionel Messi, after the Barcelona forward's brief retirement from international football.

Messi said that he was going to quit playing for his country in the aftermath of their second successive Copa America final defeat on penalties to Chile two months ago.

Iceland hero Sigurdsson joins Fulham

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London (AFP) Ragnar Sigurdsson, one of the stars of Iceland's Euro 2016 campaign, has signed for Fulham from Russian side Krasnodar, the English second-tier club announced on Tuesday.

Sigurdsson played a starring role in Iceland's stunning 2-1 win over England in the last 16 at Euro 2016, scoring his side's opening goal and being voted man of the match.

Germany’s Marin signs with Olympiakos

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Piraeus (Greece) (AFP) Olympiakos have signed German midfielder Marko Marin from Chelsea for an undisclosed fee, the Greek champions announced on Tuesday.

While the club did not announce the duration of the contract, Greek media reported it was a three-year deal.

Marin, 27, had been with Chelsea since 2012, but only made six Premier League appearances, before spending loan spells at Sevilla, Fiorentina, Anderlecht, Trabzonspor and Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Burnley’s Gray charged over ‘homophobic’ tweets

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London (AFP) Burnley striker Andre Gray has been charged with misconduct over allegedly homophobic comments he posted on Twitter in 2012, England's Football Association announced on Tuesday.

Gray, 25, published the tweets when he was a non-league player, but they resurfaced on social media after he scored in Burnley's 2-0 home win over Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday.

NBC’s Match of the Day returns this weekend for season debut

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NBC's Match of the Day makes it season debut this Saturday after missing the first two weeks due to the Olympics.

The Premier League highlights show, which also includes analysis from the NBC Sports team, will air at midnight ET on Sunday night on NBCSN.

In addition to the one hour Match of the Day program, NBC Sports will broadcast the Premier League match of the week at 1am ET Monday, which will also be repeated at 8:30pm ET on Monday night.

Hulkless, goalless Shanghai SIPG held by Jeonbuk

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Shanghai (AFP) Injured Brazilian forward Hulk sat out again as his Shanghai SIPG side drew 0-0 at home to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the Asian Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday.

The powerfully-built attacker played just 21 minutes of football before being injured on his debut on July 11 after a high-profile 55 million euros ($61 million) transfer from Zenit St Petersburg.

Ventura wants to freshen up Italy squad

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Rome (AFP) New Italy coach Giampiero Ventura said on Tuesday that he wanted to build on the foundations laid by his predecessor Antonio Conte by adding more youth to the squad.

An ageing Italy outfit impressed in Euro 2016, where they chalked up excellent wins over Belgium and Spain, only to be beaten in the quarter-finals by Germany after a marathon penalty shoot-out.

NBC Sports announces Premier League TV schedule for gameweek 3

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Chelsea supporters should rejoice and Arsenal fans may want to plan ahead after NBC Sports revealed today their TV schedule for gameweek 3 of the Premier League season.

Forthe Saturday 10am ET / 7am PT matches, Chelsea against Burnley will be featured on NBCSN and NBC Universo, but Watford versus Arsenal will only be available live via Premier League Extra Time and the NBC Sports App.

De Laet leaves Leicester for Aston Villa

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London (AFP) Belgian defender Ritchie de Laet has left Premier League champions Leicester City for a move across the Midlands to Championship side Aston Villa, it was announced on Tuesday.

De Laet, 27, has arrived at Villa Park on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee, having helped Leicester win the Premier League title last season as well as being a member of the Middlesbrough team that gained promotion to the top flight while on loan to the north-east side.

Guardiola confirms Bravo on his way to replace Hart

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Pep Guardiola insisted on Tuesday that he will continue working with Joe Hart at Manchester City, even as Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo flew in to replace the unwanted England international.

Hart has been the most high-profile victim of Guardiola's new reign as manager of the Premier League club, with the City boss publicly announcing his preference for a goalkeeper who can play better with the ball at his feet.

Bayern boost security, ban bottles, large bags

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Berlin (AFP) Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich have tightened security measures at their stadium, banning spectators from carrying big bags and bottles, ahead of Friday's home match the first of the new German league season.

Germany's league champions have stepped up measures for the 2016/17 season as they prepare to host Werder Bremen, with a sell-out crowd of around 70,000 expected at Munich's Allianz Arena in a high-profile match.

Reborn Sterling leads Manchester City’s Champions League charge

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London (AFP) As Pep Guardiola's Manchester City advance upon the Champions League group phase, previously maligned winger Raheem Sterling appears to have been reborn.

Sterling, 21, joined City from Liverpool in a fractious 44 million pounds ($57.8 million, 51.1 million euros) move last year,but flattered to deceive and ultimately lost his place in the starting XI.

Where to find Burton Albion vs. Liverpool on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Burton Albion vs. Liverpool, you've come to the right place.

The League Cup game between Burton Albion and Liverpool will be shown live on US television via beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español. But whether you get beIN SPORTS or not on your cable or satellite system, you can watch the game for free with a 24-hour trial to legal streaming service fuboTV.

Allardyce ponders England recall for Terry

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Burton-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) New England manager Sam Allardyce will consider ending former captain John Terry's four-year international exile, he revealed on Monday.

Terry, 35, retired from England duty in September 2012 after the Football Association charged him with racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.

Brazilian Dante reunites with Favre at Nice

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Berlin (AFP) Brazilian centre-back Dante will reunite with former coach Lucien Favre at Nice in Ligue 1 after completing his move from Wolfsburg, the two clubs announced on Monday.

The 32-year-old returns to France a decade after spending two years at Lille early in his career and will rejoin Favre, whom he played under at Borussia Moenchengladbach while in Germany.

Kagawa sparks Dortmund romp in German Cup

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Berlin (AFP) Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa scored twice as Borussia Dortmund eased into the second round of the German Cup with a 3-0 victory away to fourth-division Eintract Trier on Monday.

Kagawa struck with just eight minutes gone before adding a second on the half hour, with close-season signing Andre Schuerrle netting his first goal since arriving from Wolfsburg on the stroke of half-time.

Leganes claim historic first La Liga win

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Madrid (AFP) Victor Diaz scored the only goal as Leganes defeated Celta Vigo 1-0 on Monday in the club's first ever game in the Spanish top flight.

Diaz steered in from a corner on 75 minutes to hand Leganes victory on their La Liga debut, having won promotion to the top tier by finishing runners-up in Spain's second division last season.

Comparison of different Sling TV packages available for soccer fans

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Sling TV offers so many different streaming packages that it can sometimes be confusing which one is the best one for you.

With Sling TV, you can watch the best soccer leagues from around the world without needing a cable or TV subscription. Plus you can save money by switching to Sling TV and still watch your favorite team week-in week-out.

Celtic fans raise funds for Palestinian charities

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Glasgow (AFP) Two Palestinian charities have picked up an unexpected financial windfall with £45000 (52000 euros, $59000) raised by supporters of Scottish Champions Celtic it was revealed on Monday.

One of the historic club's supporters groups Green Brigade launched the fundraising effort initially to match an anticipated £15000 fine from European governing body UEFA for fans waving Palestinian flags at last week's Champions League qualifying first leg clash in Glasgow against Israeli side Hapoel Beersheba.

Pescara sign PSG’s Bahebeck on loan

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Rome (AFP) Paris Saint-Germain striker Jean-Christophe Bahebeck has joined Pescara on a one-year loan deal, the Serie A club announced on Monday.

Pescara achieved promotion to the top flight at the end of last season and the Italians do have an option to buy Bahebeck at the end of the loan.

Tite names uncapped quintet in first Brazil squad

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) New Brazil head coach Tite on Monday named five uncapped players in his first 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Colombia in September.

With several Europe-based players deemed not fit enough, Tite has turned to youth with Gabriel Jesus, Taison, Rafael Carioca, Fagner, and goalkeeper Weverton the players selected who are yet to play senior international football.

Newcastle loan De Jong to PSV Eindhoven

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London (AFP) Dutch international forward Siem de Jong has joined PSV Eindhoven on a season-long loan from Newcastle United, the English second-tier club announced on Monday.

De Jong, 27, joined Newcastle from Ajax two years ago, but injuries have prevented him from establishing himself at St James' Park.

Sanches returns to Bayern training

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Munich (Germany) (AFP) Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches returned to training with Bayern Munich on Monday, but is unlikely to be fit to make his debut against Werder Bremen on Friday.

The 19-year-old, who joined the Bavarian giants from Benfica for 35 million euros ($39.6m) in the close-season, suffered a thigh injury in training a fortnight ago after helping his national side win the Euro 2016 title.

England football coach Allardyce stands by Hart

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Burton-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) Goalkeeper Joe Hart will retain his place in the England squad despite being dropped by Manchester City, national coach Sam Allardyce said on Monday.

Hart, 29, is yet to play for City this season after his new manager Pep Guardiola decided to install Willy Caballero as his first-choice goalkeeper.

10 things we learned from MLS gameweek 24 of the 2016 season

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Here are the ten things we learned from Week 24 of the 2016 MLS season.

  1. Seattle's Charge Continues

The Seattle Sounders are back.

The Rave Green won their third consecutive game on Sunday night at CenturyLink Field, and in doing so, got the one they really wanted: A 3-1 rout of the Portland Timbers that pushes Seattle to within two points of the Western Conference playoff places.

Five things we learned from Rio men’s football

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Five things we learned from the men's football tournament at Rio 2016:

Olympic football matters

Often looked down upon in Europe, football is a cornerstone of the Olympics for many countries in South America and Africa.

Aided by hosts Brazil's run to a first Olympic gold, a dramatic penalty shootout final win against Germany was played out in front of the biggest crowd of the whole Games as 78,000 crammed into the iconic Maracana.

Wydad need point at Zesco to finish first

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Johannesburg (AFP) Wydad Casablanca of Morocco need a point at Zesco United of Zambia on Wednesday to win Group A and set up a CAF Champions League semi-final showdown with Zamalek of Egypt.

But if the 1992 African champions lose at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, they will drop to second spot and face Group B winners Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa instead.

Eriksson’s Shanghai side faces injury woes

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Shanghai (AFP) Former England head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is facing a struggle to save Shanghai SIPG's season with key players out for their Asian Champions League (ACL) quarter-final, first leg at home to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on Tuesday.

Chinese Super League (CSL) club SIPG signed striker Hulk for 55 million euros ($61 million) from Zenit St Petersburg last month, but the Brazilian lasted just 21 minutes on debut before being injured, and has not played since.

Maiden Wanyama goal gives Tottenham victory

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Paris (AFP) Victor Wanyama the only Kenyan playing in a major European football league scored his first goal for Tottenham Hotspur in a 1-0 weekend victory over Crystal Palace.

The former Celtic midfielder struck eight minutes from time to give Spurs their first English Premier League win of the season after an opening-weekend draw at Everton.

Bilic expects West Ham to thrive in new home

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London (AFP) Slaven Bilic insists West Ham United's move to the London Stadium will be a big success as long as his team keep winning.

Bilic's side celebrated the first Premier League fixture in their new home with a 1-0 victory over 10-man Bournemouth on Sunday thanks to Michail Antonio's 85th minute header.

Premier League gameweek 2 review; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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Welcome to the latest episode of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, the longest running soccer podcast on the planet (since 2006).

In this episode, host Nipun Chopra is joined by Kartik Krishnaiyer and Kris Heneage to discuss the second weekend of the 2016/17 Premier League season touching on Manchester City and Manchester United's 100% record, as well as the other 8 matches in the league.

Wijnaldum calls for Liverpool League Cup reaction

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London (AFP) Georginio Wijnaldum has called on his Liverpool team-mates to put the disappointment of defeat by Burnley behind themin Tuesday's League Cup tie at second-tier Burton Albion.

Liverpool started the Premier League season in enterprising fashion with a thrilling 4-3 win at Arsenal, only to lose 2-0 at promoted Burnley on Saturday despite enjoying over 80 percent of possession.

De Boer admits Inter job will take time after losing start

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Rome (AFP) Frank de Boer admitted he has his work cut out if he is to turn Inter Milan into Italian title contenders after a shock defeat to Chievo on Sunday.

Speaking after his first Serie A match in charge of the Chinese-owned club, the former Dutch international said he had not had enough time to put his stamp on the team after only two weeks in charge.

Juventus rivals struggle in Serie A openers

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Rome (AFP) Inter Milan crashed to a shock 2-0 defeat at the hands of Chievo on Sunday in the biggest upset of the opening weekend of the new Serie A campaign.

Two second-half strikes by Chievo's Slovenian winger Valter Birsa made it a night to forget for Inter's new boss Frank de Boer, installed by the club's Chinese owners after they fell out with De Boer's predecessor Roberto Mancini.

Wasteful Cavani jeered as PSG see off Metz

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Paris (AFP) Lucas, Layvin Kurzawa and Marco Verratti got the goals as Paris Saint-Germain beat newly promoted Metz 3-0 at the Parc des Princes in coach Unai Emery's first home game in charge on Sunday.

The result allowed PSG to continue their perfect start to life under their new Spanish coach but the evening was somewhat overshadowed by the whistles of the home support towards striker Edinson Cavani.

Bale fires Real Madrid to opening win

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Barcelona (AFP) A Gareth Bale brace and a Marco Asensio lob helped Real Madrid make light work of Real Sociedad, running out 3-0 winners at Anoeta in their opening game of the season in La Liga.

Bale was the only member of the renowned 'BBC' forward line who was fit enough to play in Sunday's game, asZinedine Zidane's team travelled to San Sebastian in the midst of an injury crisis, with five regular starters unable to make the squad.

Penalty let-off for Milan after Bacca hat-trick

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Rome (AFP) Colombian striker Carlos Bacca hit a hat-trick as AC Milan began a new era under Chinese ownership with a nervy 3-2 win over Torino on Sunday.

It took an injury-time penalty save by 17-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to secure the three points for Vincenzo Montella's side after Torino mounted a stoppage-time fightback.

Marseille lose again, Pogba sees Saint-Etienne win

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Paris (AFP) Troubled French giants Marseille slumped to a 2-1 loss at Guingamp in Ligue 1 on Sunday, leaving the nine-time champions still searching for their first win of the new season.

Meanwhile, Manchester United star Paul Pogba was in the crowd in Saint-Etienne to watch his brother Florentin turn out for Les Verts in a 3-1 win over Montpellier.

Werder Bremen suffer shock German Cup defeat

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Berlin (AFP) Bundesliga side Werder Bremen kicked off their new season by being dumped out of the German Cup in the first round with a 2-1 defeat at third-tier club Sportfreunde Lotte on Sunday.

Viktor Skripnik's Bremen fell behind early on to a goal by defender Matthias Rahn, but Austrian international Zlatko Junuzovic levelled on the stroke of half-time.

Antonio late show makes West Ham feel at home

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London (AFP) Michail Antonio made West Ham United feel at home in the first Premier League match at their new London Stadium as his late header clinched a 1-0 win over 10-man Bournemouth on Sunday.

After 112 years playing just down the road at Upton Park, West Ham have entered a new era this season following their move to the venue used for athletics at the 2012 Olympics.

Struggling Marseille slide to Guingamp defeat

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Paris (AFP) Troubled French giants Marseille slumped to a 2-1 loss at Guingamp in Ligue 1 on Sunday, leaving the nine-time champions still searching for their first win of the new season.

Yannis Salibur struck after just 32 seconds in Brittany with Jeremy Sorbon netting Guingamp's second shortly after half-time as the hosts withstood late Marseille pressure.

West Ham striker Carroll sidelined by knee injury

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London (AFP) West Ham United striker Andy Carroll will be sidelined for several weeks after suffering a knee injury, Hammers boss Slaven Bilic revealed on Sunday.

Carroll sustained the problem during West Ham's Europa League play-off first leg 1-1 draw against Astra Giurgiu on Thursday.

The injury-plagued 27-year-old is expected to be out of action for four to six weeks, while France playmaker Dimitri Payet was also ruled out of Sunday's Premier League clash with Bournemouth.

Stuani gives Middlesbrough northeast spoils

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Sunderland (United Kingdom) (AFP) Uruguayan striker Cristhian Stuani's fine brace earned Middlesbrough a 2-1 win at Sunderland on Sunday in the northeast rivals' first Premier League encounter since January 2009.

Stuani put Aitor Karanka's Boro ahead with a glorious 25-yard strike in the 13th minute at the Stadium of Light before finishing off a neat team move on the cusp of half-time.

Campbell joins Sporting on loan from Arsenal

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Lisbon (AFP) Costa Rican winger Joel Campbell has joined Sporting Lisbon on a season-long loan from Arsenal, both clubs announced on Sunday.

The 24-year-old signed for Arsenal in 2011, but struggled for first-team football and spent spells on loan at Lorient, Real Betis, Olympiakos and Villarreal.

Where to watch Milan vs. Torino on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Milan vs. Torino, you've come to the right place.

AC Milan will start their 2016/17 Serie A season today to try to improve upon its 7th place finish, where the team missed out on Europa League qualification. Torino, too, will be looking for improvement after finishing 12th last year.

Olympic football gold only medal that counts for Brazil fans

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Brazil won the entire Olympics or so it felt for fans dancing in the streets after Neymar fired the winning penalty for football gold.

Drivers of cars and trucks hooted and crowds in countless bars across the city screamed in a Saturday night delight.

At one open-air bar along Rio's iconic Copacabana seafront, every man, woman and child leapt from their seats, hugging, pouring beer and, because this is Brazil, dancing samba between the tables and on the sidewalk.

Where to find Atletico Madrid vs. Alaves on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Atletico Madrid vs. Alaves, you've come to the right place.

Atletico Madrid kicks off its 2016/17 La Liga season with a home match against recently promoted Deportivo Alaves. The late game will be shown live on US television via beIN SPORTS. But whether you get beIN SPORTS or not on your cable or satellite system, you can watch the game for free with a 24-hour trial to legal streaming service fuboTV.

Wenger rails at Arsenal transfer focus

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hit out at criticism of his club's transfer policy after he once again came under pressure from supporters to spend money on new players.

Wenger has made only one major close-season signing, recruiting Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka from Borussia Moenchengladbach for a reported fee of 35 million pounds ($45.

Neymar’s nerves of steel hand Brazil first football gold

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Neymar struck the winning penalty as Brazil claimed a first ever Olympic football gold medal with victory over Germany on penalties at Rio's Maracana.

The 5-4 shoot-out win exacted revenge for a humiliating 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany two years ago.

Olympic gold was the only major title to have escaped five-time world champions Brazil in their history.

Juve boss hails 90-million man Higuain

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Rome (AFP) Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has hailed Gonzalo Higuain's debut goal as testimony to the predatory instincts that prompted the club to splash out 90 million euros ($102m) on him.

The Argentina striker came off the bench on Saturday night to fire the Italian champions to a 2-1 win over potential title rivals Fiorentina, making it a perfect start to Juve's bid for a record sixth straight title.

Confidence high in Celtic camp, says Forrest

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Glasgow (AFP) Winger James Forrest says confidence among the Celtic players is sky high ahead of their crucial Champions League play-off match against Hapoel Beer-Sheva.

The Hoops star grabbed the third goal in a 4-2 win over St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday as the champions warmed up for the return leg in Israel by continuing their winning start to the domestic season.

Where to find Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid, you've come to the right place.

Real Madrid's opening game of the 2016/17 La Liga season will be live on US TV via beIN SPORTS in the USA. But whether you get beIN SPORTS or not on your cable or satellite system, you can watch the game for free with a 24-hour trial to legal streaming service fuboTV.

Olympic football gold only medal that counts: Brazil fans

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Brazil won the entire Olympics or so it felt for fans dancing in the streets after Neymar fired the winning penalty for football gold.

Drivers of cars and trucks hooted and crowds in countless bars across the city screamed in a Saturday night delight.

At one open air bar along Rio's iconic Copacabana seafront, every man, woman and child leapt from their seats, hugging, pouring beer and, because this is Brazil, dancing samba between the tables and on the sidewalk.

Where to watch Benfica vs. Vitória Setúbal on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Benfica vs. Vitória Setúbal, you've come to the right place.

Benfica and the Primeira Liga have a new home on US television and streaming, and its name is fuboTV. Benfica's second game of the season will be shown live and exclusively in the USA on fuboTV, which is a legal streaming service that will be bringing you Benfica games in Portuguese all season long.

Chinese takeover approach for Liverpool – report

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London (AFP) Premier League giants Liverpool are the target of an 800 million pounds ($1 billion, 924 million euros) takeover bid backed by the Chinese government, British newspaper the Sunday Times reported.

China Everbright, a state-backed financial firm, are leading the bid, backed by the country's main sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Corporation (CIC), the paper said.

Andre Silva signs new five-year Porto deal

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Lisbon (AFP) Portugal Under-21 striker Andre Silva has penned a five-year contract extension with Porto, the Portuguese giants announced on Sunday.

Silva, 20, broke into the Porto first team last season and his new deal, which includes a 60-million-euro ($68 million) release clause, will keep him at the club until 2021.

Klopp baffled by Liverpool meltdown

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Burnley (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jurgen Klopp admitted he was baffled by Liverpool's surprise defeat at Burnley in which they enjoyed over 80 percent of possession, but still lost 2-0 to the newly-promoted club.

Reds boss Klopp confessed he thought his team had actually seen more like 90 per cent of the ball at Turf Moor on Saturday, but they failed to create a single noteworthy chance as first-half goals from Sam Vokes and Andre Gray earned Sean Dyche's team their first points of the season.

Conte salutes spirited Chelsea

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Watford (United Kingdom) (AFP) Chelsea manager Antonio Conte praised the commitment and focus of his players after their 2-1 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road.

Late goals by Michy Batshuayi, his first for the club, and Diego Costa gave Chelsea three points that seemed unlikely when Etienne Capoue put Watford ahead early in the second half on Saturday.

Getting the winning feeling back delights Tottenham’s Pochettino

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London (AFP) Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham Hotspur can now start looking forward after a first victory of the campaign helped draw a line under the disappointment of missing out on the Premier League title last season.

The north London club's challenge fell away last term with Pochettino's side eventually finishing third after pushing champions Leicester City until the closing weeks.

Brazil-Germany football final goes to penalties

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Brazil's quest for a first ever football Olympic gold medal will be decided on penalties after a 1-1 draw with world champions Germany.

Barcelona star Neymar's stunning first-half free-kick had the hosts headed for gold.

However, Germany captain Max Meyer equalised on 59 minutes and, despite Brazil's dominance, they couldn't find the winner in 30 minutes of extra-time.

Neymar penalty wins Brazil first football gold

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Neymar struck the winning penalty as Brazil claimed a first ever Olympic football gold medal with victory over Germany at the Maracana on Saturday.

The 5-4 shoot-out win exacted revenge for a humiliating 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany two years ago.

Olympic gold was the only major title to have escaped five-time world champions Brazil in their history.

Neymar’s nerves of steel hand Brazil first Olympic football gold

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Neymar struck the winning penalty as Brazil claimed a first ever Olympic football gold medal with victory over Germany on penalties at Rio's Maracana on Saturday.

The 5-4 shoot-out win exacted revenge for a humiliating 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany two years ago.

Guardiola surprised by Manchester City’s flying start

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Stoke-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) Pep Guardiola admits he is surprised how well Manchester City have started under his management after a 4-1 victory at Stoke City extended their winning start to the season on Saturday.

Guardiola's team have won two Premier League games, either side of a 5-0 victory at Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League, since the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager replaced Manuel Pellegrini in the close-season.

Brazil-Germany football final goes to extra-time

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Brazil's celebrations of a first football Olympic gold medal were put on hold as Germany captain Max Meyer cancelled out Neymar's stunning first-half free-kick to send Saturday's final into extra-time.

Barcelona star Neymar struck a pose in honour of the watching Usain Bolt when he curled into the top corner as Brazil sought revenge for a 7-1 humiliation at the hands of Germany on home soil at the 2014 World Cup.

Higuain shows worth as Juventus, Roma start with wins

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Rome (AFP) Gonzalo Higuain repaid a first chunk of his 90-million-euro ($102m) transfer fee by firing Juventus to a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina in their Serie A opener on Saturday.

It was the perfect start to the champions' bid for a record sixth consecutive Italian title against opponents who finished fifth last season and are tipped to do better in this campaign.

Barcelona confirm ‘agreement’ with Manchester City for Bravo

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona have confirmed Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo will join Manchester City as soon as the Spanish champions sign a replacement for him.

"We have an agreement in principle with Manchester City for Claudio Bravo. We are waiting for events this week. We will open the door for Claudio when we sign another goalkeeper," sporting director Robert Fernandez said after the 6-2 win over Real Betis on Saturday at the Camp Nou.

‘Lightning bolt’ Neymar gives Brazil half-time lead

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Neymar gave Brazil a 1-0 lead over Germany at half-time in their Olympic Games men's football gold medal match on Saturday.

The Barcelona star curled in a 27th-minute free-kick at the Maracana and celebrated by performing Usain Bolt's trademark 'Lightning Bolt' pose, in honour of the star sprinter who was watching in the stands.

Higuain fires Juventus to winning start

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Rome (AFP) Gonzalo Higuain needed less than nine minutes to start paying off his 90-million-euro ($102m) transfer fee as Juventus began their Serie A title defence with a 2-1 win over Fiorentina on Saturday.

The Argentina striker came off the bench to seal the three points with a typical poacher's strike a quarter of an hour from the end at the Juventus Stadium.

Brazil v Germany Olympic football final starting line-ups

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Starting line-ups for the Rio 2016 men's football final between Brazil and Germany at the Maracana stadium in Rio on Saturday (2030 GMT kick-off):

Brazil (4-2-3-1)

Weverton; Zeca, Marquinhos, Rodrigo Caio, Douglas Santos; Walace, Renato Augusto; Gabriel Barbosa, Luan, Gabriel Jesus; Neymar (capt)

Germany (4-2-3-1)

Timo Horn; Jeremy Toljan, Matthias Ginter, Niklas Suele, Lukas Klostermann; Sven Bender, Lars Bender; Julian Brandt, Max Meyer (capt), Serge Gnabry; Davie Selke

The post Brazil v Germany Olympic football final starting line-ups appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

Ranieri accepts Leicester penalty calls

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri refused to criticise referee Mark Clattenburg after the Premier League champions were denied two penalties in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Arsenal.

Leicester, beaten 2-1 at promoted Hull City in their opening game, had a penalty appeal turned down late in each half at the King Power Stadium.

Stalemate keeps Leicester and Arsenal grounded

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Premier League champions Leicester City and last season's runners-up Arsenal remain without a win this season after a slow-burning 0-0 draw at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Beaten 2-1 at promoted Hull City last weekend, Leicester avoided the ignominy of becoming the first English champions to lose their first two games since Aston Villa in 1981.

Roma off to a flier with Udinese thrashing

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Rome (AFP) Roma got their Serie A campaign off to a flier with a 4-0 demolition of Udinese in the season opener at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Two second-half penalties from Argentinian midfielder Diego Perotti and late strikes from Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah delivered a convincing win after what was a sluggish start by Luciano Spalletti's side.

Suarez hits hat-trick as Barcelona thump Betis

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Barcelona (AFP) Lionel Messi and hat-trick hero Luis Suarez were in sensational form as they helped Barcelona start their title defence with a crushing 6-2 win over Real Betis at the Camp Nou on Saturday.

Messi scored twice and set up another goal, dominating proceedings, while Suarez added three of his own after Arda Turan's opener.

Relief for Monk as Leeds gain first Championship win

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London (AFP) Garry Monk's future as Leeds United manager took on a rosier hue on Saturday as his side secured their first win this season in the Championship, beating Sheffield Wednesday 2-0.

Goals by new signing Marcus Antonsson and New Zealand international Chris Wood his second in as many games proved enough to seal an impressive away win over the 'Owls', who got to the play-off final last season.

Lukaku will stay with Everton says Koeman

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West Bromwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) Everton manager Ronald Koeman says Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has decided to stay at Goodison Park despite strong interest from Chelsea.

Lukaku has been high on Chelsea's wanted list since Antonio Conte took over as manager in the close-season and the west Londoners were considering whether to make a bid close to Everton's reported £75 million asking price.

Sinclair scores again as Celtic edge St Johnstone

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Glasgow (AFP) Scott Sinclair scored his third goal since joining Celtic a fortnight ago as they went top of the Scottish Premiership with a 4-2 win over St Johnstone on Saturday.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers named a strong side which contained just two changes from the midweek Champions League win over Hapoel Beer-Sheva of Israel and they dominated the first half at McDiarmid Park.

Costa strikes late as Conte masters old rival Mazzarri

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Watford (United Kingdom) (AFP) Antonio Conte won the battle of two old Serie A adversaries as Chelsea came from behind to beat Walter Mazzarri's Watford 2-1 on Saturday thanks to Diego Costa's latest last-gasp winner.

Etienne Capoue put Watford ahead after 55 minutes with his second goal of the season, but Michy Batshuayi equalised in the 80th minute with his first goal for Chelsea, six minutes after coming off the bench, thanks to an error by Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

Vokes and Gray cut Liverpool down to size

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Burnley (United Kingdom) (AFP) Burnley forwards Sam Vokes and Andre Gray each scored their first Premier League goals as the promoted club inflicted a surprise 2-0 defeat upon Liverpool on Saturday.

Liverpool had edged Arsenal 4-3 in a ding-dong opening fixture, but they were cut down to size by a Burnley team whose top-flight return had ended with the damp squib of a 1-0 defeat at home to Swansea City.

Hernandez, Maloney on target as Hull bare their claws

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Swansea (United Kingdom) (AFP) Late goals by Shaun Maloney and Abel Hernandez gave under-strength Hull City a 2-0 win away at Swansea City on Saturday and a perfect start to their Premier League campaign of two wins from two.

Caretaker manager Mike Phelan, who has been in charge since Steve Bruce resigned shortly before the start of the season, could well see his job made permanent as Hull recorded back-to-back wins at the start of the season for the first time in their history in the top flight.

Cologne run riot, RB Leipzig exit German Cup

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Berlin (AFP) Cologne routed sixth-division Berlin-based BFC Preussen 7-0 on Saturday in the first round of the German Cup, as newly-promoted RB Leipzig were the only Bundesliga team to suffer a shock defeat.

Leipzig, sponsored by energy drink giants Red Bull, will make their debut in Germany's top flight when the new season starts next weekend.

Boschilia gives Monaco win at Nantes

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Paris (AFP) Gabriel Boschilia's strike gave Monaco a 1-0 win at Nantes on Saturday, despite coach Leonardo Jardim making wholesale changes ahead of their Champions League play-off, second leg against Villarreal on Tuesday.

Brazilian winger Boschilia grabbed the only goal of the game with a first-half free-kick, and a toothless Nantes outfit never seriously threatened a much-changed Monaco team.

Barry header hands Everton victory

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West Bromwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) Gareth Barry's second-half header gave Ronald Koeman his first victory as Everton manager, with the Toffees beating West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

The Baggies started the match brightest with Gareth McAuley heading in after just nine minutes, but Kevin Mirallas equalised for the visitors on the stroke of half-time with a low drive.

Tottenham’s Wanyama strikes late to sink Palace

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London (AFP) Victor Wanyama sparked Tottenham's season into life as the Kenya midfielder's late goal secured a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.

Wanyama's 83rd minute header at White Hart Lane finally broke the resistance of a Palace side who are without a goal and without a point after the opening two games of the campaign.

Arthur Friendenreich, the first great Brazilian footballer

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The Beautiful Game in Brazil is well known worldwide. It's fashionable to own a scarf, or jersey, or know their players. There are many podcasts and computer games that help people learn about the players from the past. But what if I told you there was a player before Pele thatwas better? His name was Arthur Friendenreich.

Aguero, Nolito doubles inspire Man City

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Stoke-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) Pep Guardiola extended his 100 per cent start as Manchester City manager as Sergio Aguero's brace and a late double from Nolito secured an impressive 4-1 win at Stoke on Saturday.

City's away form last season undermined their efforts to regain the Premier League title with just four wins from Manuel Pellegrini's last 16 away league games in charge.

Where to watch Porto vs. Estoril on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Porto vs. Estoril, you've come to the right place.

Porto and the Primeira Liga have a new home on US television and streaming, and its name is fuboTV. Porto's second game of the season will be shown live and exclusively in the USA on fuboTV, which is a legal streaming service that will be bringing you Porto games in Portuguese all season long.

Aguero double inspires Man City stroll

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Stoke-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) Pep Guardiola extended his 100 per cent start as Manchester City manager as Sergio Aguero's brace and a late double from Nolito secured an impressive 4-1 win at Stoke on Saturday.

City's away form last season undermined their efforts to regain the Premier League title with just four wins from Manuel Pellegrini's last 16 away league games in charge.

Where to find Barcelona vs. Real Betis on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Barcelona vs. Real Betis, you've come to the right place.

Barcelona returns to league action in their race to win the 2016/17 La Liga title. The entire Barcelona squad except for Neymar is expected to be available for selection including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

I’ll give Pogba Man Utd freedom, vows Mourinho

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho pledged to shape his team around Paul Pogba after the France midfielder made a successful Old Trafford return in a 2-0 win over Southampton.

Pogba played the whole game as Zlatan Ibrahimovic's brace sank Southampton on Friday, a week after returning to United from Juventus in a world-record 89 million pound (105 million euros, $116 million) transfer.

Where to find Leicester vs. Arsenal on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Leicester vs. Arsenal, you've come to the right place.

With both Arsenal and Leicester suffering defeats in their first games of the season last weekend, both teams will be focused on getting their first points of the season in a match that should give us a good idea of which team is progressing or regressing.

Crystal Palace pay club record $27 mn fee for Benteke

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London (AFP) Belgian international striker Christian Benteke became Crystal Palace's record signing on Saturday as the Premier League club paid £27million (31m euros, $35m) with add ons to end his unhappy spell at rivals Liverpool.

The 25-year-old, who cost Liverpool £32.5m when he joined from Aston Villa last year but fell out of favour with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp when he replaced Brendan Rodgers, said he was looking forward to moving on.

Crystal Palace pay club record £27 mn fee for Benteke

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London (AFP) Belgian international striker Christian Benteke became Crystal Palace's record signing on Saturday as the Premier League club paid £27million (31m euros, $35m) with add ons to end his unhappy spell at rivals Liverpool.

The 25-year-old, who cost Liverpool £32.5m when he joined from Aston Villa last year but fell out of favour with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp when he replaced Brendan Rodgers, said he was looking forward to moving on.

Five facts on new Crystal Palace signing Christian Benteke

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London (AFP) AFP Sports picks out five facts on Belgian international striker Christian Benteke who completed his move to Crystal Palace from Liverpool for £27million (31m euros, $35m) on Saturday:

Congo's loss Belgium's gain

Benteke was born in the then Zaire and what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Five things we learned from Rio Olympics women’s football

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Five things we learned from the women's football tournament at Rio 2016:

Brazil finally gets women's football

Women's football opened the Olympics in underwhelming circumstances with barely a few hundred spectators attending the opening match between Sweden and South Africa at Rio's 60,000 Olympic stadium.

Slimline Ronaldo resumes training at Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) Portugal's Euro 2016 winning captain Cristiano Ronaldo resumed training for his club Real Madrid on Saturday after picking up a knee injury in the final victory over France.

No date has been set for a full return to action but a slimline and tanned Ronaldo trained separately from the rest of the group, as did teammate Karim Benzema, who has also been sidelined through injury.

Where to watch Juventus vs. Fiorentina on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Juventus vs. Fiorentina, you've come to the right place.

Despite losing Paul Pogba to Manchester United, Juventus will start their 2016/17 Serie A season today to try to win another scudetto against a talented Fiorentina side. Out of all of the Serie A matches this weekend, this one is the most high profile.

German women give coach Neid golden goodbye

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Germany handed departing coach Silvia Neid the perfect send off by claiming women's football Olympic gold for the first time thanks to a 2-1 win over Sweden in front of a huge crowd at Rio's Maracana.

Dzsenifer Marozsan's sweet strike and Lisa Sembrant's comical own goal put Germany 2-0 up early in the second-half before Stina Blackstenius gave Sweden a lifeline.

Lewandowski treble sees Bayern through in German Cup

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Berlin (AFP) Robert Lewandowski netted a hat-trick on Friday as holders Bayern Munich brushed past minnows Carl Zeiss Jena with a 5-0 away win in the first round of the German Cup.

The Poland striker put Bayern ahead after just three minutes at fourth-division club Jena, the former East German champions who have fallen from grace, combining with Thomas Mueller before slotting home.

Ibrahimovic slays Saints as Pogba makes Man Utd return

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked his competitive home debut with a brace as Paul Pogba's second Manchester United debut ended in a 2-0 Premier League win over Southampton on Friday.

Pogba played for the full 90 minutes after his return to United in a world-record 89 million pounds (105 million euros, $116 million) transfer from Juventus, but it was Ibrahimovic who stole the show.

Germany win women’s football gold

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Germany handed departing coach Silvia Neid the perfect send off by claiming women's football Olympic gold for the first time thanks to a 2-1 win over Sweden in front of a huge crowd at Rio's Maracana.

Dzsenifer Marozsan's sweet strike and Lisa Sembrant's comical own goal put Germany 2-0 up early in the second-half before Stina Blackstenius gave Sweden a lifeline.

Pogba quickly at home on second Man Utd debut

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Paul Pogba produced an assured display as he made his second Manchester United debut in Friday's 2-0 home win over Southampton following his world-record transfer from Juventus.

The France international, 23, earned the approval of the Old Trafford crowd with some elegant touches and came close to scoring on several occasions as he completed the full 90 minutes.

In-form Lacazette again Lyon’s match-winner

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Paris (AFP) Alexandre Lacazette made it five goals from two Ligue 1 games this season as his brace of penalties allowed Lyon to beat Caen 2-0 on Friday and continue their perfect start to the French campaign.

Lacazette's first penalty came in the 31st minute and he netted again from 12 yards in the fifth minute of added time after an occasionally nervy second half for Lyon at the Parc OL.

Tunisian coach banned for two years after fight

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Tunis (AFP) The coach of Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel, Faouzi Benzarti, has been suspended for two years after violent clashes during a game against rivals Esperance Tunis, the Tunisian Football Federation announced on Friday.

A fight broke out around the hour mark during the match on Tuesday, with Benzarti and Esperance physio Yassine Ben Ahmed the main protagonists.

La Liga commentator assignments for opening weekend on beIN SPORTS in US

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For La Liga's opening weekend of the 2016/17 season on beIN SPORTS, several familiar voices return to the airwaves to bring you the best of Spanish soccer to TV sets across the United States.

beIN SPORTS' crown jewel of Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson will announce the Barcelona and Real Madrid games this weekend, while Andres Cordero and Matteo Bonetti will call the Atletico Madrid match.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC, Gameweek 2

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Leicester City host Arsenal in a match between last season's top two clubs this Saturday, August 20, at 12:30 p.m. ET, on CNBC, highlighting this week's Premier League coverage. In an early meeting between the two clubs, reigning champions Leicester City take on an Arsenal side that handed the Foxes two of their three Premier League losses last year.

Pogba starts on second Man United debut

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Paul Pogba was named in Manchester United's starting XI for Friday's Premier League home game with Southampton following his record-breaking return to the club from Juventus.

Pogba, who has not played since France's 1-0 loss to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final on July 10, replaced Ander Herrera in the only change to the team that started last weekend's 3-1 win at Bournemouth.

No Olympic medal for Marta’s Brazil women

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Brazil's female footballers suffered a second heartbreaking defeat in three days on Friday as a 2-1 bronze medal match loss to Canada in Sao Paulo saw the hosts fail to make the podium.

Goals either side of half-time from Deanne Rose and veteran captain Christine Sinclair silenced a passionate crowd and saw Canada defend the bronze medal they won in London four years ago.

Celtic face UEFA sanctions for Palestine flags

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Paris (AFP) UEFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against Celtic after a section of their support displayed Palestine flags during Wednesday's Champions League play-off first leg against Hapoel Beer-Sheva of Israel.

European football's governing body said Celtic had been charged for displays of an "illicit banner" and added: "This case will be dealt with by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on 22 September.

Football manager Conte insists all ‘normal’ with Mazzarri

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London (AFP) Antonio Conte is adamant none of the fiery exchanges he had with Walter Mazzarri in Italy will spill over into England now they are both managers in the Premier League.

Conte clashed with Mazzarri when they were both in Serie A and the pair will be in opposition again when Conte's Chelsea travel to Mazzarri's Watford on Saturday.

Celtic skipper Brown retires from international football

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Glasgow (AFP) Scott Brown chose club over country on Friday, announcing his retirement from international football so he could prolong his career with Scottish champions Celtic.

The 31-year-old midfielder who won his 50th and final cap against Denmark in March said it had been a tough decision but after much thought he had decided to call it a day and had informed national coach Gordon Strachan.

Brazil eye history not revenge in Germany Olympic football final

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) The chance to make history by winning Brazil's long-awaited first football gold medal will override desire for revenge insists Brazil coach Rogerio Micale ahead of Saturday's final against Germany at Rio's Maracana.

Germany inflicted the worst defeat in Brazil's history in a 7-1 World Cup semi-final mauling just two years ago.

Top 5 must-watch soccer games this weekend on US TV and streaming

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Domestic soccer is back on the agenda again in the majority of European football's elite leagues this weekend, meaning a return for our Top 5 feature.

It's Week 2 in the Premier League after a gripping opening weekend, although we'll likely learn more about the state of the elite sides when they take to the field over the coming days.

What Arsenal should do with Serge Gnabry

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Arsenal midfielder Serge Gnabry is currently tearing up the competition with Germany at the Olympics in Brazil. The 21-year-old winger has netted six goals in just five matches, tying him for most goals scored in the tournament with teammate Nils Peterson (one of Germany's three over-aged players).

Pardew backs Benteke to plug Palace gap

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London (AFP) Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew is confident the proposed arrival of striker Christian Benteke from Premier League rivals Liverpool will help bolster spirits at the south London club.

A reported fee of £27 million ($35 million, 31 million euros) plus a further £5 million of add-ons has been agreed between Liverpool and Palace for the services of Belgium striker Benteke, who now has to agree personal terms and pass a medical to complete the move.

Guardiola says Hart can leave Man City

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will not stand in Joe Hart's way if the out-of-favour goalkeeper decides to leave the club, he said on Friday.

Guardiola has left Hart on the bench for City's first two games of the season, with Willy Caballero starting instead, and is reportedly close to signing Claudio Bravo from his former club Barcelona.

Where to find Manchester United vs. Southampton on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Manchester United vs. Southampton, you've come to the right place.

Today marks the first official start of Friday fixtures in the Premier League. Starting off, it's Manchester United against Southampton at Old Trafford in Paul Pogba's Premier League debut.

Liverpool keen to back up Arsenal win at Burnley

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London (AFP) Liverpool travel to nearby Burnley on Saturday eager to prove their opening weekend 4-3 win away to Arsenal was no flash in the pan.

Raising their game against English football's established powers has been something successive Liverpool teams have had no problem in doing.

But the five-times European champions have, remarkably given their once entrenched domestic dominance, yet to be crowned champions of England since the advent of the Premier League, with the last of their once record 18 championships coming back in 1990 still the days of the old First Division.

New-look Juve face tricky first test in title defence

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Rome (AFP) After a busy close season in the transfer market, Juventus kick off their bid for a record sixth consecutive Serie A title on Saturday by entertaining Fiorentina.

The visit of Paulo Sousa's squad, fifth last season, will provide a tricky first examination for a Juve side that has seen change aplenty in the close season.

Iheanacho boost as Manchester City face Hart dilemma

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City's new manager Pep Guardiola takes his team to Stoke City bolstered by the news that promising forward Kelechi Iheanacho has signed a long-term deal to stay with his club.

The 19-year-old Nigerian came off the bench in the opening-day victory over Sunderland, and is considered one of the game's most exciting prospects with an excellent career record of eight goals in seven Premier League starts.

Leicester and Arsenal seek to pick up pieces

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Following opening-day defeats, champions Leicester City and Arsenal, last season's Premier League top two, will be desperate to get their campaigns in gear at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Three months on from their fairytale 5,000-1 title win, Leicester were stunned 2-1 by crisis club Hull City last weekend, while injury-depleted Arsenal were run ragged by Liverpool in a 4-3 home defeat.

Barcelona hit by injuries before Liga opener

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Barcelona (AFP) Javier Mascherano has joined the queue to the Camp Nou treatment room with champions Barcelona hit by a spate of injuries before they begin the new season in La Liga against Betis on Saturday.

Luis Enrique's side paid a high price for winning the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla, with captain Andres Iniesta and defenders Jeremy Mathieu and Mascherano sustaining injuries over the two legs that will keep them out of Saturday's game.

Barcelona add youth ahead of treble bid

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona head into the new season looking to wrestle the Champions League trophy back from Real Madrid, while defending their La Liga and Copa del Rey titles for the third year running.

Having already started the season in the best way possible, by beating Sevilla and lifting the Spanish Super Cup, Luis Enrique has won a magnificent eight trophies out of 10 competitions entered as the club's coach.

Klopp hopes Mane man is back for Burnley clash

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Burnley (United Kingdom) (AFP) Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is relieved Sadio Mane's freak training ground injury will not keep him out for long with the forward possibly in contention for Saturday's trip to Burnley.

The Senegalese international, a £30 million ($40 million, 36 million euros) buy from Southampton, was taken to hospital after landing awkwardly on his shoulder in an accidental challenge on Wednesday morning.

Rogic flourishing under Rodgers at Celtic

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Glasgow (AFP) This time last year, Tom Rogic's career at Celtic was at a crossroads.

The Australian international had endured a frustrating time at Celtic Park following his arrival from A-League side Central Coast Mariners in January 2013.

The Socceroo star suffered several injury problems and found his game time limited before being shipped back to Australia for a loan spell with Melbourne Victory.

Chelsea bid to continue solid start under Conte

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Watford (United Kingdom) (AFP) Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will pit his wits against a familiar face on Saturday as his side travel to face a Watford side coached by fellow Italian Walter Mazzarri.

Conte was recruited by the Stamford Bridge hierarchy partly because of his reputation as a determined and demanding coach, qualities he demonstrated with Italy and Juventus.

Tottenham’s Pochettino looks to build round playmaker Eriksen

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London (AFP) Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is planning to further strengthen his squad during the remaining weeks of the transfer window and expects Christian Eriksen to commit his long-term future to the club.

Pochettino is attempting to bring together a group of players capable of coping with the demands of playing in the Champions League and improving on last season's third-place finish.

Silva sparking Monaco’s start to the season

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Paris (AFP) After being deprived of a place in Portugal's Euro 2016 squad due to injury, Bernardo Silva is the man of the moment for Monaco at the start of the new season.

The principality club travel to face Nantes at the Stade de la Beaujoire on Saturday on the second weekend of the new Ligue 1 campaign and do so buoyed by the impact of the 22-year-old Silva over the last week.

Benfica break Portuguese record for Rafa Silva

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Lisbon (AFP) Attacking midfielder Rafa Silva, who was crowned champion of Europe with Portugal during the summer, has just signed a five year deal with Portuguese giants Benfica Lisbon.

Benfica broke the Portuguese transfer record to table a 15 million euros (£13 million) deal for the Sporting Braga man completing the most expensive transfer in Portuguese history.

Don’t expect Pogba fireworks, says Man United boss Mourinho

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has warned supporters not to expect too much of Paul Pogba, who he does not believe is capable of scoring 20 goals a season.

Pogba, 23, will make his second United debut in Friday's home game with Southampton, having returned to the club in a world-record 89 million pounds (105 million euros, $116 million) move from Juventus.

How to use beIN SPORTS Connect to watch soccer with fuboTV

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As beIN SPORTS adds rights to more and more soccer leagues and competitions as well as adding college football, motocross and other sports, the amount of live games the US sports network can fit on beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español is reduced.

That's why beIN SPORTS Connect, beIN's streaming channel, will be more useful this season than ever before.

Gold medal demanded of Brazil’s golden boy Neymar

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Neymar's road to redeeming Brazilian football hasn't always been smooth, but the Barcelona star now has the scene he craved to deliver a first football gold medal for the Olympic hosts.

Saturday's final against Germany the side that has inspired much soul searching for Brazil since a 7-1 humiliation on home soil at the 2014 World Cup in front of a full house at Rio's iconic Maracana offers the chance to win Brazil's most desired medal of the Games.

La Liga preview and predictions ahead of a season full of hope

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A pulsating end to the 2015-16 La Liga season left the watching world enchanted and similar drama is anticipated in what will be another blockbuster edition of Spanish soccer's top flight this term.

Eventually, Barcelona clung on to their position at the top of the table and will be favorites to do so again in 2016-17.

Singing Sundhage aims for changing times against Germany in Rio

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Sweden coach Pia Sundhage is hoping for a change of luck against old foes Germany to win her third consecutive women's football gold medal in Friday's final.

Two-time world champions Germany have an impressive record against Sweden, winning all three previous Olympic meetings between the sides in 2000, 2004 and 2008, as well as a 4-1 thrashing at last year's World Cup.

German club cleaner wipes away star autographs

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Berlin (AFP) A Bavarian amateur club is desperately contacting some of the game's biggest names after an over-enthusiastic cleaner wiped away autographs of stars like Pep Guardiola, Manuel Neuer and Jurgen Klopp.

The signatures had adorned the glass of a framed vintage club emblem which took pride of place in SpVgg SV Weiden's VIP lounge.

‘Sensational’ Germany eye double football gold

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) World Cup winners Germany want to make more history by securing the Olympic double as their men's and women's teams battle for football gold.

This is the first time teams from the same country will contest both the men's and women's finals at an Olympic Games.

Two years ago, Joachim Loew's Germany humiliated Brazil 7-1 in the semi-final on the way to winning the 2014 World Cup final at the Maracana.

Schalke’s Uchida jets to Japan after injury set-back

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Berlin (AFP) Japan defender Atsuto Uchida is set to fly home on Friday to be treated by a specialist doctor after suffering with on-going knee problems, his Bundesliga club Schalke 04 confirmed.

The 28-year-old, who missed the whole of last season with injury, has been blighted by knee problems for two years and has been out since a relapse in April 2015.

Pogba poised for second Manchester United debut

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Four years after he left through the back door, Manchester United will roll out the red carpet for Paul Pogba's second debut in Friday's Premier League home game with Southampton.

Pogba first donned a United first-team shirt when he came on as a half-time substitute for Ryan Giggs in a 3-0 League Cup win over Leeds United in front of 31,031 people at Elland Road in September 2011.

FOX Sports hits low with their worst MLS TV ratings ever

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MLS and FOX Sports experienced another poor weekend with Sunday evening's matchup between the Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake attracting only 50,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1 and an additional 6,000 on FOX Deportes. Not only are those the worst numbers for any game this season, they are also record lows for both networks.

Leicester boss Ranieri wants more from Mahrez

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London (AFP) Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has told winger Riyad Mahrez he expects him to improve after the Algeria star committed his future to the Premier League champions by signing a new four-year deal.

Mahrez ended speculation about his future on Wednesday when it was announced he was extending his stay at the King Power Stadium after both he and Leicester team-mate Jamie Vardy, also staying put at the Midlands club, were linked with moves to Arsenal

The 25-year-old Mahrez was a key figure in Leicester's shock run to the 2015/16 title, which saw the Foxes defy odds of 5,000/1, scoring 17 goals and getting an extra 11 assists.

Klopp will make his own call on Moreno

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London (AFP) Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted the torrent of criticism pouring down on Alberto Moreno will not affect his judgement of the Reds left-back.

The Spanish defender was widely regarded to have had a poor game during Liverpool's Europa League final defeat by Sevilla and came under fire agin following last weekend's 4-3 win over Arsenal, where he conceded a penalty and was out of position for the Gunners' first goal.

Gomez targets Champions League return with Wolfsburg

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Berlin (AFP) Mario Gomez said Thursday that his priorities at new club Wolfsburg are to get them back in the Champions League and make sure his want-away Germany team-mate Julian Draxler stays.

The 31-year-old Gomez is enjoying an Indian summer of his career, having been top scorer in the Turkish league last season with 26 goals while on loan at Besiktas.

Riise, Forlan sign up for Indian Super League

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New Delhi (AFP) The Indian Super League's reigning champions Chennaiyin on Thursday announced the signing of Norwegian defender John Arne Riise for the tournament's upcoming edition.

Riise, 35, a Liverpool veteran and Norway's most capped international, most recently played for Norwegian club Aalesund.

Mourinho confirms Pogba to make Man Utd return Friday

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho confirmed on Thursday that record signing Paul Pogba will make his second debut for the club in Friday's Premier League home game with Southampton.

Pogba, 23,returned to United from Juventus in a world-record 89 million pounds (105 million euros, $116 million) transfer last week, four years after leaving the club.

Serie A preview and predictions ahead of exciting season in Italy

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Although Juventus have lost the most expensive player of all time this summer in Paul Pogba, on the cusp of a brand new Serie A season it's almost impossible to the see the Italian champions for the last five terms in a row letting their crown slip.

Under the guidance of manager Massimiliano Allegri, the Bianconeri have been so dominant over the last two campaigns, continuing the trend set by Antonio Conte in the three previous years.

Wenger adamant he’s ready to spend as Leicester loom

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London (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hit back Thursday at suggestions he is afraid to spend in the transfer market amid concerns the Gunners are losing ground to other leading Premier League clubs.

The north London club, who were last crowned Premier League champions back in 2004, are estimated to have cash reserves in the region of £200 million ($263 million, 232 million euros).

Bayern’s Ancelotti relishing Jena return

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Berlin (AFP) Carlo Ancelotti re-visits the scene of an embarrassing defeat on Friday when holders Bayern Munich play minnows Carl Zeiss Jena in the first round of the German Cup.

Back in their heyday, Jena once reached the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final, beating Roma, for whom Ancelotti was a player at the time, on the way.

Messi, Turan lead Barca Super Cup romp

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Barcelona (AFP) Arda Turan and Lionel Messi blew away Sevilla as Barcelona lifted their 12th Spanish Super Cup with a 3-0 victory at the Camp Nou Wednesday.

With the hosts already leading by two goals from the first leg, Sevilla bar an early flurry of chances were on the receiving end of a Barcelona football master class.

Five challengers to Barcelona and Real Madrid in La Liga

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Barcelona (AFP) Ahead of the start of the 2016/17 La Liga season on Friday, AFP Sports takes a look at the five most prominent challengers to champions Barcelona and European champions Real Madrid (last season's final position in brackets):

Atletico Madrid (third)

The undoubted third force of Spanish football missed out on the title by just three points last season and, having firmly established themselves as a European power with a second Champions League final appearance in three years, have finally survived a summer without having to sell one of their top players.

Enrique hails Barcelona squad as Messi leads Spanish Super Cup romp

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Barcelona (AFP) Luis Enrique wanted his players to take the plaudits as Barcelona crushed Sevilla 3-0 to win their 12th Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday, 5-0 on aggregate.

Arda Turan and Lionel Messi blew away the Andalusians at the Camp Nou, with victory meaning the coach has won eight of the 10 competitions he has contested while in charge of Barcelona.

Fresh faces boost Juventus ahead of Italian Serie A title defence

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Milan (AFP) Roma, Napoli and Inter Milan hold high hopes ahead of the new Serie A season beginning on Saturday, but defending champions Juventus have laid down a marker with an impressive summer spending spree.

After cruising to the title for a record-equalling fifth season in succession three months ago, few would bet against Massimiliano Allegri's men making it six Scudetti in a row.

Celtic still have ‘massive job’ in Israel: Rodgers

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers refused to get carried away after his side took a major step towards qualifying for the Champions League group stages with a 5-2 win over Hapoel Beer-Shevaon at Parkhead on Wednesday.

The Scottish champions are] looking to book a berth in the lucrative group stages of Europe's elite competition for the first time in three years.

The evolution and importance of the MLS Designated Player

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Frank Lampard was the worst Designated Player signing in MLS history. Then, he got on the field.

Since making his first start of the 2016 season on June 18th at Yankee Stadium against the Philadelphia Union, Lampard has scored nine times in ten games over a stretch in which NYCFC has gone 6-2-2 and vaulted to the top of the Eastern Conference.

Bayern boss targets September return for injured Coman

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti says Kingsley Coman's ankle injury is not as serious as first suspected and hopes to have the French winger back by the middle of September.

Coman was stretchered out of Bayern's training session on Wednesday, clutching his left ankle after a collision with Javi Martinez, and has damaged ankle ligaments.

Pogba poised for second Man United debut

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Four years after he left through the back door, Manchester United will roll out the red carpet for Paul Pogba's second debut in Friday's Premier League home game with Southampton.

Pogba first donned a United first-team shirt when he came on as a half-time substitute for Ryan Giggs in a 3-0 League Cup win over Leeds United in front of 31,031 people at Elland Road in September 2011.

Ayew long-term injury is a Hammer blow

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London (AFP) West Ham announced Wednesday that their club-record signing Andre Ayew is facing "a significant rehabilitation period" as a result of the thigh injury sustained in Monday's Premier League match at Chelsea.

Ayew, who joined the Hammers from Premier League rivals Swansea for £20.

‘Monster’ Neymar leads Brazil to Germany rematch

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Neymar scored twice, including the fastest goal in Olympics history, as Brazil set up a blockbuster showdown with Germany for Olympic gold by thrashing Honduras 6-0 on Wednesday.

The sides will meet on Saturday at Rio's iconic Maracana just two years after Germany inflicted Brazil's heaviest defeat of all time in a 7-1 thrashing in the 2014 World Cup semi-finals.

Griffiths stars as Celtic thrash Beer-Sheva

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic have one foot in the group stages of the Champions League as they recovered from a second-half scare to seal a commanding 5-2 victory over Israeli champions Hapoel Beer-Sheva.

A dominant first-half display appeared to have Celtic cruising to victory at Parkhead as Australian international Tom Rogic fired home a ninth-minute opener, before Leigh Griffiths doubled Celtic's advantage with a 39th-minute header.

Germany to face Neymar’s Brazil for Olympic football gold

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Germany will face Brazil for the men's football gold at the Rio Olympics after goals from Lukas Klostermann and Nils Petersen handed the world champions a 2-0 win over Nigeria in Sao Paulo.

Brazil earlier thrashed Honduras 6-0 with Neymar and Gabriel Jesus scoring twice to set up a fascinating rematch just two years after Germany thrashed the hosts 7-1 in the World Cup semi-finals.

Neymar deserves more respect – Brazil coach

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Brazil Olympic coach Rogerio Micale described star forward Neymar as a "monster" who is too often criticised after inspiring the hosts into Saturday's gold medal match with a 6-0 thrashing of Honduras on Wednesday.

Neymar scored twice, including the fastest goal in Olympic history after just 15 seconds, as Brazil delighted a near capacity 78,000 crowd at Rio's iconic Maracana to move to within one win of delivering a first ever football gold medal.

Roma hold Porto, Monaco win at Villarreal

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Paris (AFP) Ten-man Roma held on to draw 1-1 at Porto in the first leg of their Champions League play-off on Wednesday, while Bernardo Silva gave Monaco a 2-1 victory over Villarreal in Spain.

Luciano Spalletti's Roma are looking to reach the group stages for the third time in a row, and they took a 21st-minute lead at the Estadio Dragao when Porto defender Felipe put through his own net.

Mahrez commits to champions Leicester

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London (AFP) Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez has ended speculation about his immediate future by signing a new four-year contract with the English Premier League champions.

"Leicester City Football Club is delighted to announce that Riyad Mahrez has signed a new contract, committing his future to the Foxes until June, 2020," said a statement issued by the Midlands club on Wednesday.

Dzemaili joins Bologna from Galatasaray

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Rome (AFP) Swiss international Blerim Dzemaili joined Bologna from Turkish giants Galatasaray on Wednesday, the Serie A side announced.

The 30-year-old midfielder left Napoli for Istanbul two years ago, but made just 11 league appearances in his first season in Turkey and spent last term back in Italy on loan at Genoa.

Germany’s Gomez signs for Wolfsburg

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Berlin (AFP) Germany forward Mario Gomez will return to the Bundesliga with the ex-Besiktas and Fiorentina striker joining VfL Wolfsburg, the club said on Wednesday.

Wolfsburg confirmed earlier reports from German daily Bild and magazine Kicker as well as agencies DPA and SID, an AFP subsidiary, that claimed the club was set to complete Gomez's signing from Fiorentina.

Neymar leads Brazil into Rio gold medal match

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Neymar scored twice, including the fastest goal in Olympics history, as Brazil coasted into Saturday's gold medal match with a 6-0 thrashing of Honduras at Rio's iconic Maracana.

The hosts now have the chance to ease some of the pain caused by a 7-1 humiliation at the hands of Germany on home soil at the 2014 World Cup by delivering Brazil's first football gold medal.

England women’s football manager laments British Rio absence

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London (AFP) England women's manager Mark Sampson has rued the sporting politics which he believes has denied a British team from adding another gold to the nation's growing medal collection at the Rio Olympics.

Sampson guided England to a bronze medal at last year's Women's World Cup in Canada a result that would have seen any other country gain a place at the Olympics.

Neymar shines as Brazil rout Honduras to reach Rio football final

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Neymar scored twice, including the fastest goal in Olympics history, as Brazil coasted into Saturday's gold medal football match with a 6-0 thrashing of Honduras at Rio's iconic Maracana.

The hosts now have the chance to ease some of the pain caused by a 7-1 humiliation at the hands of Germany on home soil at the 2014 World Cup by delivering Brazil's first football gold medal.

Man Utd rumours won’t distract Fonte, says Puel

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London (AFP) Southampton manager Claude Puel is confident rumours linking captain Jose Fonte with a move to Friday's opponents Manchester United won't stop the Portugal defender concentrating on the task at hand.

Fonte was a key member of the Portugal side that won Euro 2016 and is understood to be a target for several major clubs, including a United team managed by compatriot Jose Mourinho.

Neymar scores in 15 seconds and Brazil go 3-0 up in Rio semi

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Neymar scored the fastest goal in Olympics history and Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus struck twice as Brazil went 3-0 up against Honduras by half-time in Rio.

The hosts now have the chance to ease some of the pain caused by a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Germany on home soil at the 2014 World Cup by delivering Brazil's first football gold medal.

Germany’s Gomez set to sign for Wolfsburg – reports

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Berlin (AFP) Germany forward Mario Gomez is set to return to the Bundesliga with the ex-Besiktas and Fiorentina striker poised to sign a three-year deal with VfL Wolfsburg, according to reports.

German daily Bild and magazine Kicker as well as agencies DPA and SID, an AFP subsidiary, all claim that Wolfsburg are set to complete Gomez's signing from Fiorentina.

Some sports ‘impossible without doping’, says Arshavin

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Almaty (Kazakhstan) (AFP) Comments by former Arsenal midfielder Andrei Arshavin suggesting all athletes competing in certain Olympic sports use banned performance-enhancing drugs rattled Russia's media on Wednesday as the country remains embroiled in doping scandals.

Arshavin, in an interview with a Kazakh news site published late Tuesday, said athletic success in "cyclic sports", which require repetitive movements, was "simply impossible without doping.

Carrera named Spartak Moscow coach

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Moscow (AFP) Russia's most successful club Spartak Moscow announced on Wednesday they have appointed Massimo Carrera as their new manager.

The Italian had been named caretaker boss after head coach Dmitry Alenichev resigned earlier this month following Spartak's elimination from the Europa League qualifying stages.

Liverpool to honour Hillsborough 96 and Paisley at new-look Anfield

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London (AFP) Two public areas around the redeveloped Main Stand of Liverpool's Anfield ground are to be known as 96 Avenue and Paisley Square, the Premier League club said Wednesday.

96 Avenue, a name honouring the victims who were killed in a terrace crush during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground, is a tree-lined path in front of the stand linking Walton Breck Road high street with nearby Stanley Park.

Football: Bayern’s Coman out ‘until further notice’

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman will miss the opening weeks of the new Bundesliga season after damaging ankle ligaments on Wednesday, with the club confirming he will be out 'until further notice'.

Bayern have given no fixed time for how long the French international forward is expected to be out, but some German media outlets expect him to miss at least the next eight weeks.

Brazil’s Neymar scores goal in 15 seconds in Rio semi-final

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Brazil star Neymar scored the fastest goal in Olympic history when he gave the hosts the lead after just 15 seconds in their semi-final with Honduras on Wednesday.

The Barcelona forward robbed Johnny Palacios and saw goalkeeper Luis Lopez's desperate effort to clear ricochet off his chest and into the net for his second goal of the tournament at the Maracana.

US to face New Zealand in World Cup qualifiers warmup

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Chicago (AFP) The United States will play host to New Zealandin an October football friendly in Washington as a warm-up for the start of final-round qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

The Americans will meet the All Whites on October 11 at RFK Stadium in their first friendly since 2003, with the US beating the Kiwis 2-1 in both prior meetings.

beIN SPORTS prepares for La Liga season with new improvements

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If you watched beIN SPORTS' coverage of La Liga last season, you would have noticed a discernible difference. The production quality in beIN SPORTS' studio was raised. There were far more pre-match, half time and post-match discussions on camera with their talent. There were several welcome surprise visits by world-class footballers.

Advocaat promises to reinvigorate Fenerbahce fortunes

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Istanbul (AFP) Experienced Dutch coach Dick Advocaat on Wednesday vowed to reinvigorate the fortunes of Fenerbahce with attacking football as he was officially unveiled as the new coach of the Istanbul giants.

Advocaat had arrived in Istanbul earlier this week as the surprise choice to replace Vitor Pereira, whose one-year stint ended in an acrimonious parting with the club unilaterally terminating the contract of the Portuguese coach.

NBC Sports should consider launching a Premier League Channel

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If you're like me, you love NBC Sports' coverage of the Premier League. The coverage is hands down the best we've ever seen when it comes to soccer, and the network hardly ever makes a wrong move. But you want more. Wouldn't it be great to see more replays shown during the week? Would youtune in every day to watch Premier League news, interview and discussion shows?

Podolski says Germany should have won Euro 2016

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Berlin (AFP) Lukas Podolski believes Germany wasted their chance to lift the Euro 2016 title and admits he was sad to see Portugal win the final of the European championships.

The 31-year-old Galatasaray striker announced his retirement from international football on Monday, having scored 48 goals in 129 appearances for Germany, and was in the squad which won the 2014 World Cup.

Marta in tears as Sweden dump Brazil in penalty shoot-out

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Sweden ended a disconsolate Marta's dreams of guiding Brazil's women to a first Olympic football gold medal with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win to set up a final with Germany.

The five-time world player of the year walked off in tears after the upset before 70,000 people in a stunned Maracana stadium.

Sling TV adds NFL Network and NFL RedZone to streaming services

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Sling TV has added the NFL Network and NFL RedZone to its array of streaming channels, to offer sports fans a chance to watch the best NFL action in addition to soccer, entertainment and other channels.

All Sling Blue customers will automatically receive NFL Network, while NFL RedZone is available to Sling Blue customers as part of the "Sports Extra" add-on pack for an additional $5 per month.

Mourning Brazil must bounce back for bronze – Marta

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Women's football legend Marta insisted the Brazil team will keep getting better despite an agonising semi-final Olympic exit on penalties to Sweden, which goalkeeper Barbara described as being like losing a family member.

Despite dominating for 120 minutes at a packed Maracana stadium in Rio on Tuesday, Marta couldn't unlock the defensive-minded Swedes as both sides settled for their second consecutive penalty shootout after a 0-0 draw.

Russia scrambles after work halted at 2018 World Cup venue

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) With the 2018 World Cup less than two years away, Russia is scrambling to resume construction at one of the tournament's flagship stadiums where labour disputes have threatened to derail efforts to meet deadlines.

Work on the futuristic 68,000-seater stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia's second city, was halted last month over a contractual disagreement between local authorities and the firm overseeing construction.

Aguero hat-trick fires City to Steaua rout in Champions League

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Paris (AFP) Sergio Aguero brushed off two missed penalties to score a hat-trick as Manchester City outclassed Steaua Bucharest 5-0 on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League play-off tie in Romania.

The result means that new City coach Pep Guardiola can breathe a huge sigh of relief as the Abu Dhabi-backed club have one foot in the lucrative group stage.

Bayern’s Coman suffers injury in training

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman had to be carried out of Wednesday's training session on a stretcher after suffering an ankle injury, leaving the German champions sweating about the extent of the problem.

"He was lying there and was obviously in pain, which is never a good sign," Bayern captain Philipp Lahm told Sky.

Leicester’s Mahrez says ‘Two or three clubs’ could tempt me away

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Paris (AFP) Riyad Mahrez, one of the stars of Leicester City's unlikely Premier League title triumph last season, has hinted that only "two or three" clubs could tempt him to leave the English champions.

Algerian international Mahrez, who was named player of the year in England by his fellow professionals last season after playing a crucial role in Claudio Ranieri's side's success, has been linked with a big-money move away in the summer.

FOX Soccer 2GO launches 7 day free trial of their soccer streaming service

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FOX Sports has launched a new 7-day trial to FOX Soccer 2GO, its soccer streaming service that includes the UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga, MLS, Europa League, Scottish Premiership, FA Cup and much more.

FOX only offers the 7-day trial typically twice a year, so now is the time to sign up for the trial before the offer ends on August 31.

Marta in tears as Sweden inflict penalty pain on Brazil

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Sweden ended a disconsolate Marta's dreams of guiding Brazil's women to a first Olympic football gold medal Tuesday with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win to set up a final with Germany on Friday.

Brazil had thrashed the Swedes 5-1 in the group stages just 10 days ago, but were held to a third consecutive 0-0 draw and, as in their quarter-final win over Australia, forced to go through the agony of penalties.

Aguero hat-trick fires City to Steaua rout in Champions League

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Paris (AFP) Sergio Aguero brushed off two missed penalties to score a hat-trick as Manchester City outclassed Steaua Bucharest 5-0 on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League play-off tie in Romania.

The result means that new City coach Pep Guardiola can breathe a huge sigh of relief as the Abu Dhabi-backed club have one foot in the lucrative group stage.

Brazil’s Games legacy needs Marta – coach

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Five-time World Player of the Year Marta needs to put her disappointment of a crushing Olympic semi-final defeat to Sweden on penalties behind her for the good of women's football in Brazil, according to coach Vadao.

Marta, 30, sank to her knees in tears as Lisa Dahlkvist converted the winning spot-kick to seal a 4-3 win for the Scandinavians after a 0-0 draw over 120 minutes in front of over 70,000 fans at Rio's Maracana stadium.

Football star Marta in tears as Sweden inflict penalty pain on Brazil

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Sweden ended a disconsolate Marta's dreams of guiding Brazil's women to a first Olympic football gold medal Tuesday with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win to book their place in Friday's gold medal match.

Brazil had thrashed the Swedes 5-1 in the group stages just 10 days ago, but were held to a third consecutive 0-0 draw and, as in their quarter-final win over Australia, forced to go through the agony of penalties.

Aguero hat-trick fires City to Steaua rout

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Paris (AFP) Sergio Aguero brushed off two missed penalties to score a hat-trick as Manchester City outclassed Steaua Bucharest 5-0 on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League play-off tie in Romania.

The result means that new City coach Pep Guardiola can breathe a huge sigh of relief as the Abu Dhabi-backed club have one foot in the lucrative group stage.

Villa fans pay homage to former star Atkinson

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London (AFP) Aston Villa fans paid a moving tribute to former star striker Dalian Atkinson who died on Monday after being Tasered by British police.

The supporters now watching Championship football the second tier of British football broke into a minute's applause in the 10th minute of their game on Tuesday against Huddersfield.

Brazil’s Marta in tears as Sweden inflict Rio penalty pain

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Sweden ended a disconsolate Marta's dreams of guiding Brazil's women to a first Olympic football gold medal Tuesday with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win to book their place in the gold medal match.

Cristiane, the Olympics' all-time top scorer, and Andressa saw spot-kicks saved by Hedvig Lindahl after neither side could score a goal in 120 minutes.

Journeyman Matri joins Sassuolo from Milan

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Paris (AFP) Italy international striker Alessandro Matri has joined Sassuolo from Serie A rivals AC Milan, the two clubs said on Tuesday.

A fee for the 31-year-old journeyman, who had been loaned out to Lazio, Juventus, Fiorentina and Genoa in recent seasons by Milan, was not disclosed but the contract is for two years.

Havelange, FIFA king who abdicated in corruption scandal, dead at 100

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Joao Havelange, who died Tuesday at 100, turned FIFA into a global business behemoth and helped bring the Olympics to Rio, only to resign in disgrace after a corruption scandal.

The Samaritano Hospital in Rio de Janeiro confirmed that Havelange, who had been treated there in July for pneumonia, died early in the morning.

Brazil crash out to Sweden in women’s football semis

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Sweden ended Brazil's women's dreams of a first Olympic football gold medal Tuesday with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win to book their place in the gold medal match.

Cristiane, the Olympics' all-time top scorer, and Andressa saw spot-kicks saved by Hedvig Lindahl after neither side could score a goal in 120 minutes.

NBC finalizes Premier League TV schedule for weekend games

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Now that the opening weekend of the Premier League season is in the bag, we can look ahead to this weekend's fixtures which will include the first of many regular Friday games as well as the Premier League debut for West Ham United's Olympic Stadium and matches featuring all of your favorite clubs.

Fenerbahce agree deal with Advocaat as new coach

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Istanbul (AFP) Istanbul football giants Fenerbahce said on Tuesday they had agreed a deal with the experienced Dutch coach Dick Advocaat to be the new manager of the Turkish Super Lig side.

"Our team as reached an agreement in principle with Dick Advocaat," Fenerbahce said in a statement, adding his signing ceremony would take place on Wednesday at 1130 GMT at the club's stadium.

Hammers sign Argentine marksman Calleri on loan

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London (AFP) Highly-regarded Argentine striker Jonathan Calleri joined ambitious English Premier League side West Ham on a season-long loan from Uruguayan outfit Deportivo Maldonado on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old, who played for his country at the Rio Olympics, could make his debut for the Hammers in their Europa League play-off first leg clash with Astra Giurgiu in Romania on Thursday.

Ex-FIFA chief Havelange, mired in corruption scandal, dies at 100

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Joao Havelange, who died Tuesday at 100, turned FIFA into a global business behemoth and helped bring the Olympics to Rio, only to resign in disgrace after a corruption scandal.

The Samaritano Hospital in Rio de Janeiro confirmed that Havelange, who had been treated there in July for pneumonia, died early in the morning.

Where to watch La Liga on US TV for 2016-17 season

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The 2016/17 season of La Liga is here. Whether you support Real Madrid, Barcelona or any of the teams in Spain, the league always promises and delivers quality, exciting football.

Looking ahead,the 2nd leg of the Spanish Super Cup between league champions Barcelona and last season's Copa del Rey runners-up Sevilla (Barcelona won the Copa) takes place Wednesday,August 17 —only 2 days before the official start of the 2016-17 La Liga season.

Spurs star Lloris hamstrung by injury

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London (AFP) France international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris could miss Spurs' opening Champions League group match as the Premier League club revealed Tuesday he has a hamstring injury which might sideline him for up to a month.

The 29-year-old who captained hosts France to the heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final in July suffered the injury in their opening 1-1 draw with Everton last Saturday.

Exclusive club bows out with Havelange

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Paris (AFP) A species on its way to extinction: Joao Havelange belonged to a group of all-powerful administrators who dominated the sporting world for decades.

Here are five members of the exclusive club who ruled with an iron fist and bottomless pockets:

Football: Joao Havelange

President of football's world governing body FIFA from 1974 to 1998, Havelange who died Tuesday at the age of 100, helped transform football into a global institution.

Schweinsteiger, Podolski to play in final Germany friendly

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Berlin (AFP) Bastian Schweinsteiger will play one last game for Germany at the end of August, it was announced on Tuesday, despite the exiled Manchester United midfielder confirming his international retirement.

After 120 appearances and having won the 2014 World Cup title with die Mannschaft, the 32-year-old told head coach Joachim Loew at the start of August that he has retired from international football after 12 years in the famous white shirt.

Bilic waits on Ayew scan result

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London (AFP) West Ham's record signing Ghanaian international Andre Ayew is to undergo a scan on the thigh he injured in his Premier League debut for them in the defeat by Chelsea.

The 26-year-old France-born forward who cost West Ham £20.5million (24m euros, $26.6m) when they signed him earlier this month from rivals Swansea cut an unhappy figure as he left the pitch midway through the first-half of the 2-1 defeat.

Manager Conte defends Chelsea match-winner Costa

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London (AFP) Chelsea manager Antonio Conte defended Diego Costa after the snarling striker found himself at the centre of controversy once again in his side's 2-1 victory over West Ham United.

Costa struck an 89th-minute winner in Monday's game at Stamford Bridge to give Conte victory in his first Premier League match at the Chelsea helm.

Rodgers, Celtic target Champions League return

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic will be on familiar ground when they take on Hapoel Beer-Sheva for a place in the Champions League in the first leg of their play-off tie at Parkhead on Wednesday.

For the past two seasons the Hoops have reached the play-off round to put themselves within touching distance of the riches of the group stage only to see the £20 million (23 million euros, $25.

Sevilla face mission improbable in Super Cup

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Madrid (AFP) Sevilla have a mountain to climb in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday if they are to overcome Barcelona.

Goals from Luis Suarez and Munir El Haddadi earned last year's Liga and Copa del Rey winners a 2-0 victory in Andalusia on Sunday and they have one hand on the trophy.

Germany star Reus finally passes driving test

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Berlin (AFP) Germany winger Marco Reus who was fined half a million euros in 2014 after it emerged he had been driving for years without a licence has finally passed his test.

The 27-year-old sat out June's European championships with a groin injury as Germany lost to France in the semi-finals, but used his time in the off-season to swot up on his skills behind the wheel and prepare for the theory test.

Burnley splash out record fee for Belgian star Steven Defour

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London (AFP) Belgian international midfielder Steven Defour became Premier League newboys Burnley's record signing on Tuesday with the English club spending a reported £7.5million (8.6m euros, $9.7m) to lure him away from Anderlecht.

The 28-year-old capped 46 times and played for Belgium at the 2014 World Cup signed a three-year contract and his fee eclipsed the £6m paid for striker Andre Gray last year.

Beginners guides for Premier League, La Liga, Champions League and Bundesliga

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Do you know how teams are relegated from the Bundesliga and how they determine who gets promoted to Germany's top flight league? Do you know your Copa del Rey from your Supercopa de España? Or how about the differences between the FA Cup, League Cup and EFL Cup?

No matter what your knowledge level is about the Beautiful Game, there should be something for newbies and experts in our new series of Beginners Guides.

NBCSN’s Arsenal-Liverpool most-watched opening weekend TV cable match ever

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Sunday's broadcast of the Arsenal vs. Liverpool match on NBCSN averaged 745,000 viewers, which makes it the most-watched Premier League opening weekend game ever on US cable television.

The match was shown live from 11am-1pm ET, which ended in a thrilling 3-4 scoreline.

In addition to the 745,000 viewers, which was helped by NBCSN's coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the Arsenal-Liverpool broadcast was the third most-streamed Premier League match ever for NBC Sports with 6.

Costa late show gets Conte’s Chelsea off mark

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London (AFP) Diego Costa thrust himself back into the headlines with an 89th-minute winner as Chelsea edged West Ham United 2-1 in Antonio Conte's first Premier League game as manager on Monday.

Eden Hazard, symbol of Chelsea's slump from champions to a 10th-place finish last season, opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge with a penalty early in the second half, before James Collins equalised in the 77th minute.

Brazil’s feminist footballers leaving a Games legacy

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Brazil's emotional journey to the semi-finals of a home Olympic Games has the potential to change the perception of women's football in the soccer-mad country for generations, according to coach Vadao.

The Canarinha will face Sweden for the right to guarantee a medal in front of a capacity 75,000 crowd at the Maracana on Tuesday just the second time the women's national team have played at the iconic home of Brazilian football.

Ex footballer Dalian Atkinson dies after police Tasering

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London (AFP) Former Premier League star Dalian Atkinson, who played for Aston Villa and Spanish club Real Sociedad, died Monday after being Tasered by British police, relatives said.

Atkinson, 48, who played for Villa in the early 1990s and won the inaugural Premier League goal of the season award, had been battling kidney problems and had a weak heart, relatives said.

Don’t expect this Premier League season to be as crazy as the last one

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One of the common narratives for the new Premier League season has been how wide-open the new campaign might be. There are plenty of strong teams, plenty of new managers; an influx of even more cash, meaning what usually is a fairly crazy league might be even more unpredictable. But after Leicester City won the title, can the league get any crazier?

Germany waves goodbye to golden generation

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Berlin (AFP) Joachim Loew has had to part company with key players that helped build Germany's success over the last decade after multiple retirement announcements in the last couple of weeks.

Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and now Lukas Podolski have all put an end to their glittering international careers in an era where Germany dominated world football.

Fenerbahce choose Advocaat to reverse fortunes

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Istanbul (AFP) Dutch coach Dick Advocaat on Monday arrived in Istanbul to take over as manager of Turkish giants Fenerbahce and reverse the club's fortunes after it failed to win silverware last season and exited this year's Champions League.

Advocaat's rapid appointment follows the sacking of Vitor Pereira in an acrimonious parting that ended with the club unilaterally terminating the contract of the Portuguese.

Iniesta out with knee injury

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Madrid (AFP) Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta will be out for two weeks after picking up a knock in the the 2-0 first leg Super Cup win over Sevilla this weekend, the club said on Monday.

The injury means the 32-year-old picked up a strained knee in the first game of the season on Sunday, and will miss the return leg at Camp Nou on August 17.

Everton sign winger Bolasie from Palace

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London (AFP) Democratic Republic of Congo winger Yannick Bolasie has joined Everton from Premier League rivals Crystal Palace on a five-year contract, his new club announced on Monday.

The fee for the 27-year-old was not disclosed, but British media reports said Everton had paid 25 million pounds ($32.

Ibrahimovic treads in Cantona’s Man Utd footsteps

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London (AFP) It is very early days in Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Manchester United career, but the Swedish striker's initial successes have already evoked memories of Old Trafford legend Eric Cantona.

Cantona made an extraordinary impact when he arrived from Leeds United in November 1992, inspiring Alex Ferguson's team to end the club's 26-year wait for the English title.

Germany’s Podolski announces international retirement.

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Berlin (AFP) German striker Lukas Podolski announced on Monday his retirement from international duty for the Mannschaft after appearing 129 times for the World champions and scoring 48 goals.

The Galatasaray forward is the second German veteran to announce his retirement in the last two weeks after Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger also announced his retirement.

10 things we learned from MLS gameweek 23 of the 2016 season

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Here are the ten things we learned from Week 23 of the 2016 MLS season.

  1. History for Bradley Wright-Phillips

The New York Red Bulls were back in the winner's circle on Saturday night at Red Bull Arena, pasting the Montreal Impact by three goals to one.

The Red Bulls were led, once again, by the goals of Bradley Wright-Phillips.

Mourinho expects Ibrahimovic to make his mark

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Bournemouth (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic's influence on his Manchester United team-mates will be just as crucial as his inspirational contribution on the pitch.

Ibrahimovic marked his Premier League debut for United in memorable fashion as the flamboyant Swedish striker hammered a 25-yard strike past Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc to cap his new team's 3-1 win at Dean Court on Sunday.

Brazil’s women desperate to taste Maracana magic

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Already buoyed by the pursuit of landing a first gold medal in the sport for football-mad Brazil, the hosts' women will be inspired by the rare chance to play at the iconic Maracana in their Olympics semi-final with Sweden on Tuesday.

Having lived for so long in the shadow of their male counterparts, the Canarinha are loving their time in the limelight with a nation enthralled by their emotional run to the last four.

Rio heroics offer lesser-known footballers big-money shop window

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Honduras goalkeeper Luis Lopez faces the biggest challenge of his career when he confronts the might of Brazil's Neymar in a David and Goliath Olympic semi-final match-up at Rio's Maracana on Wednesday.

Having dumped Argentina out of the group stages, another monumental shock would make Lopez and his teammates national heroes by delivering a first ever Olympic medal for Honduras.

‘We’re not ready,’ says Wenger after opening loss

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London (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his team were not physically ready for the Premier League season after opening the campaign with a chaotic 4-3 defeat at home to Liverpool.

With Per Mertesacker and Gabriel injured and Laurent Koscielny short of match fitness, Wenger deployed Calum Chambers, 21, and 20-year-old debutant Rob Holding at centre-back in Saturday's game.

Fenerbahce to name Advocaat as manager

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Istanbul (AFP) Istanbul football giants Fenerbahce are set to name the well travelled Dutch coach Dick Advocaat as their new manager following the sacking of Vitor Pereira, reports said Monday.

Advocaat was to travel to Turkey following secret talks in the Netherlands and could be taking charge of the team's training as soon as Tuesday, the NTV channel and Fanatik sports daily reported.

Malaysia loses FIFA event over Israel visas

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Kuala Lumpur (AFP) Malaysia has relinquished the rights to host the 2017 FIFA Congress, a sports official said Monday after the predominantly Muslim country refused to issue visas to Israeli delegates.

"We were advised by the government to withdraw from hosting the congress due to security issues," Affandi Hamzah, deputy president of the Football Association of Malaysia, told AFP.

Suarez gives Barcelona edge in Supercup

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Madrid (AFP) Luis Suarez and Munir El Haddadi shot down Sevilla to give Barcelona a comfortable victory in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup final on Sunday.

The Uruguayan opened the scoring early in the second half, making amends for two misses earlier in the game, before Munir sealed the win when he ran on to a Lionel Messi through-ball.

Bayern clinch Super Cup on Ancelotti debut

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Dortmund (Germany) (AFP) Carlo Ancelotti claimed his first title as Bayern Munich coach on Sunday as a 2-0 victory at Borussia Dortmund gave last season's double winners the German Super Cup.

The 57-year-old has succeeded Pep Guardiola, who won seven titles in three years as Bayern coach, and Ancelotti made a flying start on his first competitive match with Munich.

Bayern clinch German Super Cup on Ancelotti’s debut

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Dortmund (Germany) (AFP) Carlo Ancelotti claimed his first title as Bayern Munich coach on Sunday as a 2-0 victory at Borussia Dortmund gave last season's double winners the German Super Cup.

The 57-year-old has succeeded Pep Guardiola, who won seven titles in three years as Bayern coach, and Ancelotti made a flying start on his first competitive match with Munich.

Nice honour attack victims, Lacazette hits hat-trick

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Paris (AFP) Nice started the new Ligue 1 season with a 1-0 victory over Rennes on Sunday as emotional tributes were paid to the 85 people killed in last month's terror attack, while Alexandre Lacazette's hat-trick powered Lyon past Nancy.

Teenage debutant Malang Sarr's second-half header ensured a winning start for new Nice coach Lucien Favre, but the atmosphere was sombre at the Allianz Riviera just a month after the southern French city was rocked by the July 14th attack.

Cech prangs car after Arsenal defeat

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London (AFP) Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech's day went from bad to worse as he conceded four goals in a 4-3 defeat by Liverpool on Sunday before crashing his car into a pillar.

The former Czech Republic international, 34, was beaten four times at the Emirates Stadium as Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool came from behind to condemn Arsenal to defeat in their opening Premier League game.

Five things we learnt in the Premier League

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London (AFP) The Premier League season began this weekend, with Hull City stunning champions Leicester City while both Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Manchester United counterpart Jose Mourinho made winning starts.

Here are five things we learnt.

Leicester left in the starting blocks

Leicester's players cannot say they were not warned as the champions lick their wounds after Saturday's embarrassing 2-1 defeat at crisis club Hull City.

Klopp takes rap for Liverpool scare

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London (AFP) Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said his over-exuberant celebrations were to blame for his team almost throwing away victory in their pulsating 4-3 Premier League win at Arsenal on Sunday.

After Theo Walcott put Arsenal ahead at the Emirates Stadium, Philippe Coutinho scored twice and Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane also found the net as the visitors stormed into a 4-1 lead.

Nice beat Rennes as attack victims honoured

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Paris (AFP) Nice started the new Ligue 1 season with a 1-0 victory over Rennes on Sunday as emotional tributes were paid to the 85 people killed in last month's terror attack.

Teenage debutant Malang Sarr's second-half header ensured a winning start for new coach Lucien Favre, but the atmosphere was sombre at the Allianz Riviera just a month after the southern French city was rocked by the July 14th attack.

Coutinho fires Liverpool to thrilling Arsenal win

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London (AFP) Philippe Coutinho's double inspired Liverpool to come from behind and beat Arsenal 4-3 in an action-packed clash of Premier League heavyweights at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

After seeing a penalty saved by Simon Mignolet, Theo Walcott put Arsenal ahead, only for Coutinho to reply with a picture-perfect free-kick in first-half injury time.

Mourinho salutes Ibrahimovic’s immediate impact

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Bournemouth (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho expects Zlatan Ibrahimovic to help Manchester United rule the Premier League after the Swedish star marked his debut with an excellent goal in Sunday's 3-1 win at Bournemouth.

After winning league titles with Ajax, Barcelona, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, Ibrahimovic has his sights set on adding a Premier League medal to his glittering trophy cabinet.

Lacazette hat-trick powers Lyon past Nancy in Ligue 1

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Paris (AFP) Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette scored a hat-trick on the opening weekend of the French season as last year's Ligue 1 runners-up won 3-0 away to promoted Nancy on Sunday.

Lacazette, who has been linked with a move to the Premier League as well as Paris Saint-Germain this summer, fired Lyon ahead on 33 minutes at the Stade Marcel Picot before adding a second just before half-time.

Mourinho’s United off to flying start

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Bournemouth (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United made a flying start to the Jose Mourinho era as goals from Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealed a 3-1 win in their Premier League opener at Bournemouth on Sunday.

Mourinho is desperate to restore his tarnished reputation after being sacked by Chelsea last season and the United manager enjoyed an encouraging return to the touchline in his first league match since a December defeat at Leicester triggered his exit from Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho’s Man United beat Bournemouth in opener

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Bournemouth (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho got his first Premier League campaign as Manchester United manager off to the perfect start with a 3-1 win at Bournemouth on Sunday.

Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney put the visitors, who were without world-record signing Paul Pogba through suspension, two goals ahead, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted on his Premier League debut before Adam Smith's consolation for the Cherries.

Where to watch Bundesliga and DFB Pokal on US TV for 2016-17 season

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The German SuperCup will mark the opening of the Bundesliga/DFB Pokal 2016-17 season this Sunday. US TV and streaming rights for all Bundesliga matches, as well as the Super Cup, belong to FOX Sports while the German Cup competition DFB Pokal is exclusive to ESPN. Unlike many domestic cup competitions, all top division teams participate from the start of the DFB Pokal competition and are even made to play on the road to add a level of difficulty to their advancement.

Germany’s Boateng plans September comeback

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Berlin (AFP) Germany's newly-nominated player of the year Jerome Boateng says he plans to return from injury after September's international break.

Boateng, 27, has been injured since tearing his right thigh when Germany lost to France in the semi-finals of Euro 2016 last month, but is targeting a return for Bayern Munich at Schalke on September 9 in his club's second league game of the season.

Schweinsteiger’s Man Utd exile baffles Neuer

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Berlin (AFP) Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer says he is baffled as to why Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has demoted World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger and banished him from United's senior squad.

"I can't understand it. Bastian is a super player and an important figure with a lot of experience, who is very important for the team," Bayern Munich's goalkeeper Neuer told German daily Die Welt on Sunday.

Guardiola gives Hart and Toure Manchester City hope

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said the door was not closed for club stalwarts like Joe Hart and Yaya Toure despite dropping them for his first Premier League game.

Guardiola picked Willy Caballero in goal for Saturday's narrow 2-1 win over Sunderland instead of Hart, whose future at the club is in doubt, while Toure did not even make the match-day squad.

Pochettino expects improvement from sloppy Spurs

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Liverpool (AFP) Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino believes his players might take a little longer to completely recover from their international exertions after they salvaged a 1-1 draw at Everton on Saturday.

Pochettino was happy with the second-half comeback that earned his side a point in their opening match of the Premier League season, yet a flat first-half display led to some tough talk from the Argentine at half-time in the visiting dressing room.

French manager Puel frustrated as Southampton held by Watford

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Southampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) Southampton's French manager Claude Puel made a valiant attempt to communicate with the media in English after his first Premier League match ended in a 1-1 draw with Watford.

But Puel would have got his message across more quickly if he had known the good old-fashioned English footballing expression 'a game of two halves'.

Conte hopes to banish sleepless nights with Chelsea

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London (AFP) Antonio Conte hopes his first taste of the Premier League doesn't end in another sleepless night as Chelsea's new manager starts a new era at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

Conte is eagerly awaiting his introduction to the English game after spells as Juventus and Italy coach, but the renowned perfectionist knows he is in for a long night of soul searching if the Blues come unstuck against London rivals West Ham United.

Where to find Arsenal vs. Liverpool on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Arsenal vs. Liverpool, you've come to the right place.

Both Arsenal and Liverpool kick off their 2016/17 campaigns in a match live from Emirates Stadium in north London. When the two teams played in January, the match ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw, so expectations will be high that we can see another entertaining game between the two legendary sides.

Neymar comes alive as Brazil edge Colombia at Rio Olympics

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Neymar led Brazil into the semi-finals of the Olympics with his first goal of the competition to edge the third of a trilogy of grudge matches with Colombia in three years 2-0.

The Barcelona star curled home an inch-perfect free-kick after just 12 minutes of Saturday's game, but was lucky to escape with a yellow card for chopping down Andres Roa and provoking a brawl between the two teams just before half-time.

Ranieri rues stage fright as Hull City stun Leicester

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Kingston upon Hull (United Kingdom) (AFP) Claudio Ranieri admitted his Leicester City side were suffering from nerves after they began their Premier League title defence with a surprise 2-1 defeat at managerless Hull City.

Ranieri's team suffered only three league defeats all season on the way to winning the title for the first time in their history last May as they finished 10 points clear of runners-up Arsenal.

Off-field chaos costing Africans World Cup – Nigeria boss

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Nigeria's Olympic football coach Samson Siasia believes an African country could win the World Cup if it weren't for the pitiful state of sports administration blighting their chances.

Siasia led Nigeria to the semi-finals of the Olympics on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Denmark despite a chaotic build-up to the tournament in Brazil and rows over player's allowances.

Premier League schedule revealed for NBC’s October and November games

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The Premier League has announced the TV fixtures for the UK for October and November, which means we can extrapolate which games will be featured on NBCSN in the United States.

Out of the games that have been moved, they include big clashes between Liverpool-Manchester United, Chelsea-Manchester United, Arsenal-Spurs, Manchester United-Arsenal and Chelsea-Spurs.

Burned-out Sweden keeper blazes a Rio trail

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Defeating the dominant world champion and three-time reigning Olympic gold medallist USA women's team is tough enough, but Sweden's Hedvig Lindahl also had another "enemy" in their shock quarter-final win the beating Brasilia sun.

Goalkeeper Lindahl suffers from vitiligo, a condition that causes patches of skin to lose their pigment, making the skin particularly sensitive in the sun.

Guardiola admits Manchester City ‘a little lucky’

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Pep Guardiola conceded that fortune had favoured Manchester City after beginning his tenure as manager with a laboured 2-1 win over Sunderland on Saturday's Premier League opening day.

City needed an 87th-minute own goal from Sunderland debutant Paddy McNair to secure victory at the Etihad Stadium after Sergio Aguero's fourth-minute penalty was cancelled out by Jermain Defoe.

Germany rout in Rio ends Portugal’s perfect 2016

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Arsenal's Serge Gnabry became the Olympics' top scorer as Germany ended Portugal's hopes of adding gold to a glorious 2016 with a 4-0 thrashing to reach the Rio 2016 semi-finals on Saturday.

Victory takes Germany one step closer to a mouthwatering rematch with hosts Brazil in next Saturday's final two years on from smashing the five-time world champions 7-1 on home soil at the 2014 World Cup.

Hull stun champs Leicester, Guardiola makes winning start with Man City

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London (AFP) Leicester City's Premier League title defence got off to a dismal start as crisis-club Hull clinched a 2-1 win over the champions, while the Pep Guardiola era at Manchester City started with a dramatic 2-1 victory against Sunderland on Saturday's opening day.

Three months on from their 5,000-1 fairytale title triumph, Leicester fell to Scottish winger Robert Snodgrass's 57th-minute strike after Riyad Mahrez had cancelled out Adama Diomande's opener.

Sunderland’s McNair gifts Guardiola opening Manchester City win

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Sunderland debutant Paddy McNair scored an 87th-minute own goal to earn Pep Guardiola a 2-1 victory in his first Premier League game as Manchester City manager on Saturday.

City took an early lead courtesy of Sergio Aguero's penalty, but they failed to make their territorial dominance count and Jermain Defoe looked to have earned Sunderland a point with a second-half equaliser.

New-look Bordeaux off to winning start in France

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Paris (AFP) New Bordeaux coach Jocelyn Gourvennec saw his side hold off a late Saint-Etienne fightback to win a thrilling encounter 3-2 on the opening weekend of the French Ligue 1 season.

Gaetan Laborde, Uruguayan international Diego Rolan and Brazilian youngster Malcom all netted for the hosts at the Matmut Atlantique but they were made to sweat as Romain Hamouma and Alexander Soderlund both scored late goals for the visitors.

Pardew expects Bolasie to quit Crystal Palace for Everton

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London (AFP) Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew expects unsettled Democratic Republic of Congo winger Yannick Bolasie to complete his proposed move to Everton in the next few days.

Bolasie is keen to quit Palace after Everton made their interest known and the two Premier League clubs have been haggling over the fee.

Newcastle winless after Huddersfield stunner

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London (AFP) Newcastle United's troubled start to life in the Championship took a turn for the worse as they were beaten 2-1 by Huddersfield Town at St James' Park on Saturday.

Rafael Benitez's side were installed as pre-season favourites for promotion after finishing last term strongly despite their relegation.

Lamela saves Tottenham Hotspur in Everton draw

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Liverpool (AFP) Erik Lamela's second-half header rescued a 1-1 draw for Tottenham Hotspur and denied new Everton manager Ronald Koeman a winning start at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Lamela equalised in the 59th minute after Everton had claimed a deserved lead through Ross Barkley's early goal.

West Brom’s Rondon gives Pulis winning Palace return

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London (AFP) Salomon Rondon's 74th-minute header earned West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis a 1-0 victory on his return to former club Crystal Palace on Saturday's Premier League opening day.

The Venezuelan striker glanced in a free-kick from substitute James McClean to give West Brom a first league victory in 10 attempts.

Appendicitis sidelines PSG new boy Jese – reports

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Paris (AFP) Paris Saint-Germain's summer signing Jese Rodriguez requires surgery and faces up to three weeks on the sidelines after being diagnosed with appendicitis, Spanish media announced on Saturday.

Sports daily AS reported that the 23-year-old would be out for a month while Marca said the Spanish attacker would only be missing for two weeks.

Snodgrass stuns champions Leicester, Spurs held on opening day

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London (AFP) Robert Snodgrass scored the winner as crisis club Hull City brought Premier League champions Leicester City crashing to earth with a shock 2-1 victory on Saturday's opening day.

Three months on from their 5,000-1 fairytale title triumph, Leicester fell to Scottish winger Snodgrass's 57th-minute strike after Riyad Mahrez had cancelled out Adama Diomande's opener.

Southampton’s Puel, Watford’s Mazzarri open with St Mary’s draw

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Southampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) The battle between new Southampton manager Claude Puel and his equally fresh Watford counterpart Walter Mazzarri ended in a 1-1 draw in Saturday's Premier League opener at St Mary's.

Etienne Capoue put Watford ahead early on, but Nathan Redmond levelled on his debut for Southampton following his move from relegated Norwich City.

NBC Sports App no longer supports Premier League games on Windows 10 and Xbox One

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NBC Sports' coverage of the 2016/17 Premier League season began with a downer on the opening day when Microsoft Windows 10 and Xbox One users discovered they were unable to use the NBC Sports App to watch the world's most exciting soccer league.

The NBC Sports App, previously named NBC Sports Live Extra, allows soccer fans in the United States to stream every single game of the Premier League season to computers, smartphones, gaming consoles, Roku and other over-the-top devices.

Snodgrass stuns champions Leicester, Spurs held

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London (AFP) Robert Snodgrass scored the winner as crisis club Hull City brought Premier League champions Leicester City crashing to earth with a shock 2-1 victory on Saturday's opening day.

Three months on from their 5,000-1 fairytale title triumph, Leicester fell to Scottish winger Snodgrass's 57th-minute strike after Riyad Mahrez had cancelled out Adama Diomande's opener.

Stoke’s Shaqiri strike frustrates Middlesbrough

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Middlesbrough (United Kingdom) (AFP) Middlesbrough were left frustrated on their return to the Premier League as Stoke's Xherdan Shaqiri rescued a 1-1 draw at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

Aitor Karanka's team are back in the English top flight after a seven-year absence and they experienced a rollercoaster opening match of the new campaign.

Man City manager Guardiola drops Hart from Premier League opener

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola dropped goalkeeper Joe Hart in favour of Willy Caballero for his opening Premier League game against Sunderland on Saturday.

Guardiola has been linked with German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who plays for his former club Barcelona, and cast doubt on Hart's future during a press conference on Friday.

Robben returns to Bayern training

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Munich (Germany) (AFP) Bayern Munich's attacking midfielder Arjen Robben, who injured himself in July during pre-season, resumed physical training on Saturday, a day before the Bundesliga side face Borussia Dortmund in the German Supercup.

The Dutchman has had recurring injuries to his hamstrings throughout his career and hasn't featured for Bayern in a competitive match since March.

Leicester’s setback at Hull a reality check for Ranieri

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Kingston upon Hull (United Kingdom) (AFP) Claudio Ranieri says Leicester City's shock 2-1 defeat against troubled Hull City on Saturday should serve as a reality check for the Premier League champions.

Ranieri's side were stunned by goals from Adama Diomande and Robert Snodgrass at the KCOM Stadium.

Troubled Hull stun champions Leicester in Premier League opener

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London (AFP) Leicester's Premier League title defence got off to an embarrassing start as the champions crashed to 2-1 defeat at troubled Hull in the season opener on Saturday.

Just three months after their astonishing title triumph, Claudio Ranieri's side were brought back down to earth by a team whose preparations for the new campaign were marred by the resignation of manager Steve Bruce and their failure to sign a single player.

Rangers claim first win since Scottish Premiership return

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Dundee (United Kingdom) (AFP) Rangers earned their first win of the Scottish Premiership season as they ground out a 2-1 victory over Dundee at Dens Park.

The off-balance Harry Forrester scored a superb opener for the Glasgow giants as he fired past Bain in the 14th minute, before veteran striker Kenny Miller doubled their advantage with a fine finish 25 minutes later.

Alli’s shirt to say Dele on the back

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London (AFP) Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli will wear his first name on the back of his shirt this season, rather than his surname, his club announced on Saturday.

"I wanted a name on my shirt that represented who I am and I feel I have no connection with the Alli surname," the England international, 20, told the Tottenham website ahead of his side's opening game at Everton.

Injured Mertesacker named Arsenal captain

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London (AFP) Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has been named as the Premier League club's new captain even though the injured German may not play again this year.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger defended the curious decision and said he will choose from a pool of experienced players to lead the side during Mertesacker's prolonged absence.

Chelsea manager Conte brushes off Mourinho title jibes

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London (AFP) Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has hit back at Jose Mourinho's claim that only Manchester United are willing to publicly declare they can win the Premier League.

On the eve of the new campaign, Mourinho has set his sights on the English title and poured scorn on the more cautious attitudes of the managers of United's title rivals.

Solo blasts Sweden ‘cowards’ as USA women bow out of Rio

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Outspoken USA women's goalkeeper Hope Solo labelled Sweden "cowards" after the world champions' bid for a fourth straight Olympic gold ended in quarter-final defeat.

Sweden progressed to their first ever Olympics semi-final 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Brasilia as Sweden coach Pia Sundhage ousted the US team she led to gold in 2008 and 2012.

EPL soccer fans, don’t forget to switch NBC Sports App to the Sports Channel

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Soccer fans in the United States looking forward to watching the Premier League on US television this August will need to remember an important step.

If you've been watching a lot of the Olympics like I have, you may have selected the Olympics Channel on the NBC Sports App (previously known as NBC Sports Live Extra).

Bayern, Dortmund in Super Cup showdown

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Berlin (AFP) Borussia Dortmund host champions Bayern Munich for the German Super Cup on Sunday with Mats Hummels and Mario Goetze set to be scrutinised following high-profile returns to each rival team.

The showdown between German league and cup champions Bayern and last season's runners-up Dortmund, who finished second to the Bavarians in both competitions, has plenty of added spice a fortnight before the start of the Bundesliga season.

Where to find Everton vs. Spurs on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Everton vs. Spurs, you've come to the right place.

The opening day of the 2016/17 Premier League season features Everton versus Tottenham Hotspur, live from Goodison Park in Liverpool, England. With Everton under the management of Ronald Koeman, the Toffees will be focused on getting a positive start to the new season.

Wenger steels depleted Arsenal for Liverpool test

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London (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is grappling with a defensive injury crisis ahead of his team's Premier League opener at home to Jurgen Klopp's buoyant Liverpool on Sunday.

Wenger is set to be without his three senior centre-backs at the Emirates Stadium and in Liverpool faces a team who put four unanswered goals past Barcelona in a recent friendly.

Beaten USA blast Sweden ‘cowards’, Brazil survive Marta miss

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Outspoken USA women's goalkeeper Hope Solo labelled Sweden "cowards" after the world champions' bid for a fourth straight Olympic gold ended, whilst Brazil edged past Australia in a marathon penalty shootout despite a miss from star Marta in the quarter-finals.

Sweden progressed to their first ever Olympics semi-final 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Brasilia as Sweden coach Pia Sundhage ousted the US team she led to gold in 2008 and 2012.

Selection headache for Barcelona ahead of Super Cup

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Madrid (AFP) Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has a tough decision to make before his side's first game of the season against Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup first leg on Sunday.

The Catalans travel to the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan to face the Europa League winners in a repeat of May's Copa del Rey final, which they won 2-0 after extra-time, but many of his usual first-team stars are lacking match fitness.

Five questions ahead of Premier League season

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London (AFP) Ahead of Saturday's opening day of the new Premier League season, AFP Sport looks at five key questions to follow over what promises to be a gripping campaign:

Rivalry renewed in Manchester

In the season's most spicy Premier League sub-plot, Manchester's already intense rivalry will provide the backdrop to the renewal of the bitter feud between United manager Jose Mourinho and City boss Pep Guardiola as the old enemies pit their wits in a battle for more than local bragging rights.

Mourinho, Guardiola launch Premier League title pursuit

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Boasting perhaps the most compelling cast of characters in its 24-year history, the Premier League resumes this weekend with the duel between Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho taking centre-stage.

England's elite have spent big in the hope of usurping champions Leicester City and nowhere will the battle be more intense than between Manchester City manager Guardiola and his Manchester United counterpart Mourinho.

Chastened Mourinho on a mission at United

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Bournemouth (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho has pledged to turn Manchester United's underachieving stars into Premier League title contenders with a relentless diet of hard work.

Mourinho will take charge of his first league match as United manager on Sunday when his new team kick off their domestic campaign at Bournemouth.

Goalkeeper Solo blasts Sweden ‘cowards’ as USA women bow out of Rio

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Outspoken USA women's goalkeeper Hope Solo labelled Sweden "cowards" after the world champions' bid for a fourth straight Olympic gold ended in quarter-final defeat Friday.

Sweden progressed to their first ever Olympics semi-final 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Brasilia as Sweden coach Pia Sundhage ousted the US team she led to gold in 2008 and 2012.

Goalkeeper Solo blasts Sweden ‘cowards’ as USA women bow out

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Outspoken USA women's goalkeeper Hope Solo labelled Sweden "cowards" after the world champions' bid for a fourth straight Olympic gold ended in quarter-final defeat Friday.

Sweden progressed to their first ever Olympics semi-final 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Brasilia as Sweden coach Pia Sundhage ousted the US team she led to gold in 2008 and 2012.

Premier League season preview and predictions

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An upcoming Premier League season is always expected to be the most exciting of all time. Although as we stand on the brink of another nine months of frenetic action from English football's top flight, anticipation is huge.

Not only will last season's surprise champions, Leicester City, be defending the crown they won with such a swagger, those who tune in for the competition can feast their eyes on the most expensive footballer of all time, as well the finest collection of managers ever assembled in a competition.

Kurzawa winner edges PSG past Bastia

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Paris (AFP) Layvin Kurzawa scored a second-half winner as four-time reigning French champions Paris Saint-Germain began the defence of their Ligue 1 crown with an unconvincing 1-0 victory at Bastia on Friday.

Unai Emery's side demolished Lyon 4-1 last weekend in the Champions Trophy, but PSG were forced to wait until the 73rd minute at the Stade Armand Cesari before Kurzawa volleyed home the decisive goal.

Messi rejoins Argentina football for love of country

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Star striker Lionel Messi will return to play for the Argentine national football team for "love" of his country, despite earlier vowing to retire in frustration, he said on Friday.

It was heartening news for the country's demanding soccer fans after Argentina were knocked out of the Olympic Games this week in the group stage, their latest in a string of humiliations.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC, Gameweek 1

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NBC Sports Group's coverage of the 2016-17 Premier League season kicks off tomorrow, Saturday, August 13. Coverage begins at 6:30 a.m. ET with Premier League Live on CNBC followed by newly promoted Hull City v. last season's champions Leicester City at 7:30 a.m. ET. Coverage continues throughout the season on the networks of NBCUniversal, on the Premier League Extra Time bonus TV package, and streamed live on NBCSports.

Neymar renews bruising Colombia rivalry as football giants clash

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Brazil superstar Neymar renews his bruising rivalry with Colombia in Saturday's Olympic Games quarter-finals while Germany face Portugal in a clash of world and European champions.

Neymar again failed to find the net as Brazil staved off a humiliating early exit on home soil, but was the creator in chief as Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa struck twice in a 4-0 win over Denmark on Wednesday to kickstart a hitherto stuttering campaign for a first football gold.

USA women’s football stunned by Sweden on penalties in Rio

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Women's football world champions the United States' bid for a fourth consecutive gold medal was ended by a shock 4-3 defeat on penalties to Sweden after a 1-1 draw in Brasilia on Friday.

Defeat is the Americans' first in 15 games at the Olympics and only their third ever in Games history having won four golds and a silver since women's football was introduced to the Olympic programme.

Pogba banned for Manchester United opener, says FA

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United's new signing Paul Pogba is suspended for his side's Premier League opener at Bournemouth on Sunday, England's Football Association announced on Friday.

The 23-year-old France midfielder was booked twice while playing for Juventus in last season's Coppa Italia, incurring a one-game ban that has been transferred to England.

Defending champions USA knocked out of women’s football

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Women's football world champions the United States' bid for a fourth consecutive gold medal was ended by a shock 4-3 defeat on penalties to Sweden in Brasilia on Friday.

Defeat is the Americans' first in 15 games at the Olympics and only their third ever in Games history having won four golds and a silver since women's football was introduced to the Olympic programme.

Messi says he will return to Argentina football squad

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Star striker Lionel Messi will return to play for the Argentine national team for "love" of his country, despite earlier vowing to retire, he said in a statement on Friday.

"I gave serious thought to quitting, but my love for my country and this shirt is too great," the player was quoted as saying in a statement released by his management company.

Landon Donovan ready to help Swansea City during crucial season

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Photo Credit: Eric Nalpas

It's been a busy summer for former US soccer player Landon Donovan. In addition to being the shining star for FOX Sports' coverage of Copa America, the player who The Guardian named as the best American footballer of all time became a part owner of Swansea City.

Unpaid Argentina football coach forced to borrow from daughter

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Crisis ridden Argentina football association (AFA) were mired in more scandal Friday as Olympic coach Julio Olarticoechea revealed he hasn't been paid, forcing his wife to borrow money from the couple's daughter.

Argentina crashed out of the Olympics at the group stages on Wednesday after a 1-1 draw with Honduras.

Argentina football team to say today if Messi in squad

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Argentina's new coach is set to announce whether superstar striker Lionel Messi has abandoned his vow to quit and will rejoin the squad for looming World Cup qualifiers.

National coach Edgardo Bauza met with Messi in Barcelona this week hoping to convince him to rejoin the squad after he said in June he was quitting.

Chinese fund to take 20-percent stake in France’s Olympique Lyonnais

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Lyon (AFP) Chinese investment fund IDG Capital Partners is to take a 20-percent stake in the holding group that owns French Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnais, the club said Friday.

The fund will pay 100 million euros ($112 million) for the stake, which will be used to help reduce debt, partly incurred from building a new stadium, it said.

Jon Champion to sub in for Arlo White on NBC’s Premier League commentaries

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With NBC Sports lead Premier League commentator Arlo White on assignment in Brazil announcing Olympic soccer games for the next two weeks, Jon Champion will step in for the role as lead commentator for NBC's main games this weekend.

Champion, one of the best commentators in the business, will announce the Manchester City vs.

Traore extends Chelsea deal, joins Ajax on loan

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The Hague (AFP) Chelsea signed forward Bertrand Traore to a new three-year deal on Friday before sending the Burkina Faso international out on loan to Dutch giants Ajax for the upcoming season.

Traore, 20, joins the four-time European champions ahead of the first leg of their Champions League play-off tie at home to Rostov on Tuesday.

Chelsea boss Conte vows to keep Juve target Matic

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Cobham (United Kingdom) (AFP) Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has told Serbia midfielder Nemanja Matic he won't be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge despite interest from Italian champions Juventus.

Reports in Italy claim Juventus are considering a bid for Matic as they look to replace Paul Pogba after the France star's move to Manchester United.

Turkey seeks arrest of football hero in coup probe

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Istanbul (AFP) Turkey issued an arrest warrant for its former star footballer Hakan Sukur over last month's failed coup as Ankara said Friday it had detected the first progress in persuading the United States to extradite the alleged mastermind of the putsch.

With the shockwaves from the July 15 coup aimed at unseating President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shaking Turkey four weeks later, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said 32 diplomats recalled to Ankara were still missing.

fuboTV acquires US streaming rights to Portugal’s Primeira Liga

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Great news for fans of Portuguese clubs that play in the top flightPrimeira Liga. Legal streaming service fuboTV has acquired the US online streaming rights to all of the games in the Primeira Liga beginning with the second weekend of the season.

For the first weekend of the season, Univision Deportes will be broadcasting Rio Ave versus Porto (which is also available on fuboTV).

Mourinho claims Man Utd are title contenders

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho insisted Friday that Manchester United will be contenders for the Premier League title in his first season in charge at Old Trafford, and criticised some of his rival managers for not being brave enough to make the same claim.

United have not won the league title since Alex Ferguson's last season at the club in 2013, with David Moyes and Louis van Gaal both failing to mount a challenge during their spells as managers.

Guardiola casts doubt on Hart’s City future

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola cast doubt on goalkeeper Joe Hart's future at the club on Friday after indicating that his place in the squad was up for discussion.

Hart, 29, has been City's first-choice goalkeeper for the past six seasons, contributing to two Premier League title wins, two League Cup successes and their 2011 FA Cup triumph.

No urgency over Sanchez, Ozil contracts – Wenger

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London (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists now is not the time to worry about the long-term futures of star duo Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez on the eve of the new Premier League season.

The Gunners kick off their campaign at home to Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday but on Friday Wenger was forced to play down concerns over the situation of both Ozil and Sanchez at the club.

Harnessing Manchester United’s attacking free spirits key for Jose Mourinho

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At the start of Jose Mourinho's second season in his second spell at Chelsea, one that ultimately yielded a Premier League title, the ethos of the illustrious coach seemed to have shifted substantially.

The Blues began the campaign with a swagger and, as is uncharacteristic for the Portuguese's teams, a cavalier attacking flair.

Man Utd’s Januzaj loaned to Sunderland

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Belgian winger Adnan Januzaj has joined Sunderland on a season-long loan from Manchester United, his new club announced on Friday.

The move will reunite Januzaj, 21, with Sunderland manager David Moyes, who gave him his United debut in August 2013.

Januzaj made a strong impression in the 2013-14 season, but failed to hold down a first-team place at United and spent the first half of last season on loan at Borussia Dortmund.

Paul Pogba banned for Man United opener

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United's new signing Paul Pogba is suspended for his side's Premier League opener at Bournemouth on Sunday, England's Football Association announced on Friday.

The 23-year-old France midfielder was booked twice while playing for Juventus in last season's Coppa Italia, incurring a one-game ban that has been transferred to England.

Newcomers Puel and Mazzarri pit wits on opening day

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Southampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) Southampton manager Claude Puel begins his Premier League career by pitting his wits against Watford boss Walter Mazzarri in a battle of two newcomers to the English top-flight.

Both men know they have a task on their hands to match the achievements of their predecessors as the two sides meet at St Mary's on Saturday.

Champions Leicester fire Premier League starting gun

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London (AFP) Three months and six days after their glittering coronation as Premier League champions, Claudio Ranieri's Leicester City launch the new season with a trip to promoted Hull City on Saturday.

The novelty of their 5,000-1 triumph is still to wear off, but Leicester are already looking to the future.

Where to find USA women’s Olympic soccer team vs. Sweden on US TV

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch UUSA women's Olympic soccer team vs. Sweden in the Olympics, you've come to the right place.

The US Women's Olympic soccer team faces Sweden in the quarter-finals of the tournament. After defeating New Zealand and France, and drawing Colombia 2-2, the USA will be looking to put aside their disappointing performance against Colombia by getting a win which will take them to the semi-finals.

Manchester City enter Guardiola era with Sunderland visit

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) After a four-year gestation period, the Pep Guardiola era at Manchester City begins in earnest on Saturday when his side tackle Sunderland in their opening Premier League fixture.

City began preparing the ground for Guardiola's arrival in 2012, when they appointed his former Barcelona allies Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain as chief executive and director of football respectively.

Ranieri phones home as Foxes mount defence

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Kingston upon Hull (United Kingdom) (AFP) After watching their team complete a footballing miracle in May, Leicester City's fans will be cautious about writing off the Premier League champions' hopes of a repeat.

Manager Claudio Ranieri, however, is happy to dismiss the Foxes' chances of a second fairytale out of hand.

Pochettino backs Spurs to make amends for title choke

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Liverpool (AFP) Mauricio Pochettino believes his Tottenham players have learnt from the painful experiences of last season as they prepare to kick off their Premier League campaign at Everton on Saturday.

Pochettino's side were enjoying the club's best season since the early 1960s as they tussled with Leicester for the Premier League title.

Turkey seeks arrest of football hero Sukur in coup probe

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Istanbul (AFP) Turkey issued an arrest warrant for its former star footballer Hakan Sukur over last month's failed coup as Ankara said Friday it had detected the first progress in persuading the United States to extradite the alleged mastermind of the putsch.

With the shockwaves from the July 15 coup aimed at unseating President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shaking Turkey four weeks later, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said 32 diplomats recalled to Ankara were still missing.

USA women face familiar foe in fourth football Olympic gold chase

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) If anyone should know how to derail the USA's women's charge of a fourth consecutive football Olympic gold it should be the woman charged with plotting their downfall in Friday's quarter-finals.

Pia Sundhage was US coach for their gold medal runs in Beijing and London, but leads her native Sweden into battle in Brasilia.

MLS suffers worst weekend of season for TV viewing audiences

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Last weekend was an awful one for MLS.Broadcasts of the league averaged just 139,000 viewers on TV during weekend, the worst of the season.

FOX Sports 1 delivered the two least viewed matches of the season with both games failing to break the 100,000 viewer mark. You would certainly expect more from a doubleheader featuring some of MLS' biggest franchises (Seattle-Orlando, and Los Angeles-New York Red Bulls).

Pochettino wanted to “kill” Tottenham Hotspur stars

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London (AFP) Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was so angry with the collapse of his side's Premier League title challenge last season that he says he felt like killing his players.

Pochettino's men were hot on the heels of eventual champions Leicester before a four-match winless run at the end of the season ended their hopes of a first English title since 1961.

How to watch Premier League on Sling TV with this step-by-step guide

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With Sling TV adding NBCSN to its new Sling Blue streaming service, you can watch Premier League games televised on NBCSN and NBC without needing a cable or TV subscription.

In addition to NBCSN and the Premier League, Sling Blue also includes NBC, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, FOX, BBC America, Univision, UniMas and 25+ over channels.

Nigeria hotshot Ighalo pens new Watford deal

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London (AFP) Watford's Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo has signed a new five-year contract at Vicarage Road, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

"Odion Ighalo has signed a new five-year contract with #watfordfc," Watford wrote on the club's official Twitter account. "Congratulations @ighalojude!

Terror victim homage to mark Nice football opener

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Nice (France) (AFP) Nice's football club will honour the 85 victims of the July 14th terror attacks by wearing special shirts bearing the names of those who died, when they take on Rennes in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

The attack which claimed the lives of 85 people and injured hundreds more happened just four days after the end of Euro 2016 in which Nice, with its revamped Allianz Riviera stadium, was one of the host cities.

Argentina coach upbeat after meeting Messi

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Argentina's new coach Edgardo Bauza said Thursday he was optimistic he can convince Lionel Messi to come out of international retirement after meeting the five-time World Player of the Year.

Bauza said he had "a good conversation" with the 29-year-old superstar when they met earlier on Thursday in Barcelona.

Aliens more likely than Leicester repeat, jokes manager Ranieri

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri joked onThursday that there is more chance of aliens landing in London than there is of his side successfully defending their Premier League title this season.

Leicester defied odds of 5,000-1 to win last season's title and on the eve of their new campaign, which begins with a trip to promoted Hull City on Saturday, Ranieri insisted that lightning would not strike twice.

Mueller eager to end Bayern’s Super Cup drought

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Berlin (AFP) Thomas Mueller says Bayern Munich are desperate to end their German Super Cup drought against Borussia Dortmund on Sunday after three years without getting their hands on the trophy.

The German champions have lost the last three Super Cup showdowns, when the best two teams in Germany go head-to-head, and they face last season's Bundesliga runners-up Dortmund at Borussia's sold-out Signal Iduna Park stadium.

Pochettino disappointed to lose Spurs ally

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London (AFP) Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino admitted on Thursday that he is "very disappointed" by head of recruitment Paul Mitchell's decision to leave the club.

Mitchell, 34, followed Pochettino to White Hart Lane from Southampton two years ago and helped to shape the team that threatened to pip Leicester City to the Premier League title last season.

Fenerbahce ‘sack coach Pereira’

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Istanbul (AFP) Istanbul giants Fenerbahce have sacked Portuguese coach Vitor Pereira after just over one season in charge following the Turkish side's exit in the qualifying stages of the Champions League, reports said Thursday.

Fenerbahce's board decided to part company with Pereira after the team's defeat at the hands of Monaco in the third qualifying round of the Champions League earlier this month, the NTV and A-Haber TV channels said.

Lahm set for future Bayern role: Rummenigge

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said current captain Philipp Lahm could be offered a key upstairs role at the club once he hangs up his boots.

The 32-year-old ex-Germany captain, who retired from international duty after lifting the 2014 World Cup, has a contract until 2018 and has spent virtually his entire career at Bayern.

PSG without Cavani, Thiago Silva for season opener

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Paris (AFP) Edinson Cavani and captain Thiago Silva are injured and will not feature for Paris Saint-Germain when the champions travel to Bastia in their Ligue 1 season opener on Friday.

The Brazilian defender has a hip injury and Uruguayan striker Cavani is sidelined with a thigh problem, coach Unai Emery confirmed on Thursday.

Landon Donovan considering FOX, ESPN and NBC commentary options

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After asummer where Landon Donovan was the stand-out star for FOX Sports' coverage of the Copa America Centenario tournament, the former player has yet to make a decision regarding his color commentary future — although he wants to continue working in the broadcast profession.

"I'm not contracted [with FOX Sports currently]," said Donovan, in a phone interview with World Soccer Talk this week.

Sissoko hopeful of Real Madrid move

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London (AFP) Newcastle United's France international midfielder Moussa Sissoko hopes to complete a move to Real Madrid before the end of the transfer window, he said on Thursday.

"I hope Real will come for me. I'm still waiting," Sissoko told the BBC World Service radio station.

"If Real Madrid are interested in you, then of course you will be happy, but right now I am still a Newcastle player.

Russia names Cherchesov as new football coach

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Moscow (AFP) Russia's Football Union (RFU) on Thursday appointed ex-Legia Warsaw boss Stanislav Cherchesov as the country's new national coach, handing him the daunting task of leading the team into the 2018 World Cup.

Russian Cherchesov, 52, replaces CSKA Moscow coach Leonid Slutsky, who resigned from the position after Russia crashed out of Euro 2016 without a win.

Swansea announce club-record £15.5 mn Borja move

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London (AFP) Spanish striker Borja Baston has joined Swansea City from Atletico Madrid for a club-record fee of 15.5 million pounds ($20.1 million, 18 million euros), the Premier League side announced on Thursday.

The 23-year-old signed a four-year contract after successfully undergoing a medical and will wear the number 10 shirt at the Liberty Stadium.

Top 10 Premier League transfers for 2016-17

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London (AFP) Ahead of the new Premier League season, AFP Sport runs down the 10 biggest incoming transfers of the close season (all fees as reported by British media):

Paul Pogba

Juventus (ITA) to Manchester United, 89 million pounds ($116.4 million, 105 million euros)

The close season's most long-running transfer saga concluded with France midfielder Pogba returning to former club United in a world-record move.

Crisis-hit Argentina and holders Mexico exit Olympic football

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Crisis-hit Argentine football suffered another blow Wednesday when they were dumped out of the Olympics at the group stages by Honduras, whilst 2012 gold medallists Mexico were also sent packing.

Hosts Brazil hope to avoid the same fate as their eternal rivals later when they take on Denmark in Salvador needing to win to guarantee their place in the last eight.

Cahill signs for Australia’s Melbourne City football club

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Sydney (AFP) Tim Cahill is returning to Australia to end his career playing in the A-League for Melbourne City, putting to rest speculation over the talismanic striker's future.

The 36-year-old, who is Australia's top goalscorer, signed a two-year playing contract with the sister club of the English Premier League's Manchester City after leaving Chinese Super League (CSL) side Hangzhou Greentown last month.

Conte puts spotlight on Chelsea flops

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London (AFP) As Antonio Conte gesticulated wildly on the touchline, the Chelsea manager felt his voice cracking and took a moment to register a sensation that spells bad news for his club's underachieving stars.

Possessing a menacing glare that suggests he isn't to be trifled with, the no-nonsense Conte has swaggered into Stamford Bridge determined to shake up a squad that went stale during their woeful Premier League title defence even if it means he loses his voice in the process.

‘Gabigol’ rescues Brazil from Olympic shame

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Brazil escaped a humiliating early exit from the Olympics despite another scoreless performance from Neymar as wonder kid Gabriel Barbosa struck twice in a 4-0 win over Denmark on Wednesday.

The in demand Barbosa, nicknamed 'Gabigol' for his prolific exploits for Santos, broke Brazil's 200-minute goal drought after goalless draws with Iraq and South Africa to get their quest for a first football gold medal back on track.

Wenger, Klopp, Pochettino out to upset Manchester club scene

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger, Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino head into the new Premier League season with the burden of expectation weighing heavily on their shoulders.

In contrast to the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea, the trio are familiar with their surroundings, no one more so than Wenger at Arsenal, whilst Pocchetino starts his third campaign with Spurs and Klopp his first full season with Liverpool.

Villarreal part company with coach Marcelino

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Madrid (AFP) Spanish Champions League hopefuls Villarreal have been rocked ahead of the start of the new season by the departure of coach Marcelino.

"Marcelino Garcia Toral is no longer the coach of Villarreal," the club announced in a statement published on their website on Wednesday evening.

Sunderland sign young Man Utd pair

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London (AFP) Sunderland have signed youngsters Paddy McNair and Donald Love from Manchester United for a combined fee of 5.5 million pounds ($7.1 million, 6.4 million euros), the club announced on Thursday.

The versatile 21-year-old players have both signed four-year contracts and join former United manager David Moyes at the Stadium of Light.

Russia name Cherchesov as new coach

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Moscow (AFP) Russia's Football Union (RFU) on Thursday appointed ex-Legia Warsaw boss Stanislav Cherchesov as the country's new national coach, handing him the daunting task of leading the team into the 2018 World Cup.

Russian Cherchesov, 52, replaces CSKA Moscow coach Leonid Slutsky, who resigned from the position after Russia crashed out of Euro 2016 without a win.

Premier League plans to add manager halftime interviews to TV coverage

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The Premier League plans to allow halftime interviews with managers to some of its TV broadcasts this season, according to an executive at US sports broadcaster NBC.

"There are a couple of unique things that the Premier League are adding to enhance the coverage such as additional feeds and additional coverage from the game," said NBC Sports Coordinating Producer Pierre Moossa, who is the lead soccer producer for NBC's coverage of the Premier League.

Germany’s Mustafi and Arsenal agree terms – agent

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Berlin (AFP) Valencia and Germany defender Shkodran Mustafi and Premier League side Arsenal have agreed transfer terms, his agent is reported to have said on Thursday.

"Skhodran and Arsenal are in agreement. Now the clubs just have to agree a transfer fee," Mustafi's agent Ali Bulut told German website Spox.

NBC reveals exciting changes for Premier League 2016/17 season

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Pierre Moossa, coordinating producer of NBC Sports Group's Premier League coverage, is in Rio where he's responsible for the production of the Olympics gymnastics as well as the closing ceremony. But while Moossa's time is consumed for the next few weeks by the Olympics in South America, he took time out of his busy day for a phone interview with World Soccer Talk to update soccer aficionados about the details for the 2016/17 season of the Premier League that kicks off this weekend.

Crisis-hit Argentina and holders Mexico exit Olympics

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Crisis-hit Argentine football suffered another blow Wednesday when they were dumped out of the Olympics at the group stages by Honduras, whilst 2012 gold medallists Mexico were also sent packing.

Hosts Brazil hope to avoid the same fate as their eternal rivals later when they take on Denmark in Salvador needing to win to guarantee their place in the last eight.

NBC nets 3.6 million viewers for USA-Colombia women’s Olympic game

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The viewing audiences for the US Women's National Team in the 2016 Rio Olympics continue to increase. Tuesday night's 2-2 draw with Colombia on NBCSN from 6-8pm ET was watched by an audience of 3.6 million, which is greater than any of the US Men's National Team games from the 2016 Copa America tournament.

Argentina football crisis deepened by Rio exit

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Crisis-struck Argentine football suffered another blow Wednesday when the two-time Olympic gold medallists were dumped out of the Rio Games at the group stages following a 1-1 draw with Honduras.

Argentina needed to win to secure a place in the last eight due to their inferior goal difference with the Hondurans after both had lost to Portugal and beat Algeria in their opening two group matches.

2016-17 Premier League table predictions

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It's that time of the year to predict how you think the Premier League table for the 2016/17 season will finish.

This is our ninth year in asking you, the reader, to share your picks. The challenge is that we ask you this before the season kicks off, and before the summer transfer window ends.

Wales captain Ashley Williams signs for Everton

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London (AFP) Wales captain Ashley Williams joined Everton from Premier League rivals Swansea on Wednesday to fill the gap left at Goodison Park by the departure of fellow central defender John Stones.

Tuesday saw England international Stones move to Manchester City for a a reported £47.5 million ($61 million, 55 million euros).

Argentina dumped out of Rio football by Honduras draw

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Crisis-struck Argentine football suffered another blow Wednesday when the two-time Olympic gold medallists were dumped out of the Rio Games at the group stages following a 1-1 draw with Honduras.

Argentina needed to win to secure a place in the last eight due to their inferior goal difference with the Hondurans after both had lost to Portugal and beat Algeria in their opening two Group D matches.

Pending Tottenham departures of Paul Mitchell and staff a cause for concern

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Even when it seems all is sunshine and roses with Tottenham Hotspur, there is always a fly in the ointment. Paul Mitchell, who was recruited to join Spurs from Southampton along with his former and now current colleague Mauricio Pochettino, is leaving the club at some point in the near future, as is the player ID scout Rob McKenzie who Spurs poached from Leicester.

Pogba jackpot for Manchester United

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Paris (AFP) The world record fee paid out by Manchester United for Paul Pogba could pay dividends for the Premier League club as long as the French star lives up to his billing, experts say.

An increase in kit sales, an increase in the image rights of the player, and potentially an added value on a future transfer could see United ending up turning a profit from football's most expensive player.

China no option for Dortmund as SIPG link to Hamburg

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Berlin (AFP) Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has said they will not be tempted by Chinese investment in the future, whilst Bundesliga rivals Hamburg announced on Wednesday a partnership with Shanghai SIPG.

"You can get a Chinese investor, as Atletico Madrid has done. But we will never go down this route," Watzke told weekly newspaper Die Zeit.

Grading Arsenal’s summer preseason ahead of a crucial 2016/17 year

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With Arsenal's summer preseason officially in the books, let's take a look at how they fared heading into the 2016/17 season.

Preseason matches grade: A.

1-1 draw against Lens
2-1 win against MLS All-Stars
3-1 win against Guadalajara
8-0 win against Viking
3-2 win against Manchester City

Although wins and losses don't matter too much in preseason, the Gunners have looked strong on the pitch.

Olympics can help NBC expand Premier League to wider audience, says exec

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NBC's lead producer for its coverage of the Premier League on US television believes the Rio Olympics can have a big impact in attracting new viewers to the world's most exciting soccer league.

"One thing that I've found, especially from the Sochi Olympics, is that the Olympic coverage really helps Premier League coverage because there are so many people that are sampling the Premier League for the first time," said NBC's Coordinating Producer Pierre Moossa in an exclusive interview with World Soccer Talk.

Premier League chief wary of gaming, social media threat

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London (AFP) The chief executive of English football's lucrative Premier League believes the biggest danger to maintaining the sport's long-term popularity comes not from rival sports but social media and digital gaming.

The growth of eSports, or competitive video gaming, has seen Premier League clubs such as West Ham United and Manchester City 'sign' their own official eSports players.

Wenger ‘guilt’ over Leicester title triumph

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London (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has expressed "regret and guilt" at his side's failure to beat shock champions Leicester City to last season's Premier League title.

Wenger's side finished runners-up, 10 points adrift of Leicester, who were 5,000/1 outsiders for the title at one stage.

Jerome Boateng returns to Bayern training

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Berlin (AFP) Germany defender Jerome Boateng took part in Bayern Munich training on Wednesday for the first time since tearing his right thigh against France in the semi-final defeat of Euro 2016.

The centre-back managed some light running at Bayern's Saebener Strasse training ground.

There is no date as to when he can return to full team training having suffered the injury in Germany's 2-0 defeat to the French in Marseille on July 7.

USA women’s Olympic winning streak halted by Colombia

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) The USA women's football team's Olympic winning streak was ended by Catalina Usme's stoppage time equaliser and an uncharacteristic howler from controversial goalkeeper Hope Solo in a 2-2 draw with Colombia.

Meanwhile, two-time world champions Germany, Australia and France all booked their place in Friday's quarter-finals.

USA women’s football Olympic winning streak halted by Colombia

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) The USA women's football team's Olympic winning streak was ended by a horror show from controversial goalkeeper Hope Solo in a 2-2 draw with Colombiaon Tuesday.

Brazil's darling Marta only appeared as a second-half substitute as the hosts were also held 0-0 against South Africa to secure top spot for the hosts in Group E.

Champs Leicester face renewed challenge for Premier League title

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London (AFP) After writing the Premier League's greatest fairytale with their astonishing title triumph last season, Claudio Ranieri's side find themselves under siege from big-spending rivals determined to end their reign.

Ranieri's men made a mockery of their status as 5,000-1 outsiders as Jamie Vardy, N'Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez emerged as genuine stars and carried Leicester to the title a year after they narrowly avoided relegation.

Ranieri signs new four-year deal at Leicester City

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London (AFP) Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has signed a new four-year deal that is set to keep him at the Premier League champions until June 2020, the club announced Wednesday.

The 64-year-old Italian joined the Thai-owned Midlands side just prior to the start of last season after former manager Nigel Pearson was sacked.

Russia worried over World Cup stadium dispute

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Moscow (AFP) The Russian authorities and FIFA are concerned over a dispute that has halted construction of a key World Cup 2018 stadium, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Wednesday.

Work on the futuristic 68,000-seater arena in Saint Petersburg, Russia's second city, was frozen last month because of a contractual disagreement between local authorities and the firm overseeing the construction.

Manchester moves to ballad of Pep and Jose

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) With Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, Manchester threatens to become the centre of the footballing universe during the new Premier League season.

The cultured Catalan and provocative Portuguese contested a bitter rivalry during their time in Spain and with 44 top-level trophies between them, they are the biggest managers in the game.

Last-gasp Real break Sevilla hearts in Supercup

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Trondheim (Norway) (AFP) Real Madrid beat Sevilla 3-2 in the European Supercup final in rainy Trondheim on Tuesday thanks to a brilliant individual last minute of extra-time clincher from Dani Carvajal.

Sevilla had been on the verge of victory leading 2-1 deep into added time, before Sergio Ramos equalised in the 93rd minute with the last kick of normal time, leaving the losers to taste a double dose of pain when Carvajal grabbed the late, late winner.

Real Madrid win European Supercup

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Trondheim (Norway) (AFP) Real Madrid beat Sevilla 3-2 in the European Supercup final in rainy Trondheim on Tuesday thanks to a brilliant individual last minute of extra-time clincher from Dani Carvajal.

Madrid had needed a Sergio Ramos equaliser in the 93rd minute to force extra time, after Yevhen Konoplyanka's 72nd-minute penalty looked set to win it for Europa League champions Sevilla.

Pele hopes to be at Rio Olympics closing ceremony

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Sao Paulo (AFP) Brazil football legend Pele said Tuesday he will try to take part in the Olympics closing ceremony, after poor health stopped him from attending the opening gale.

"I am continuing my physiotherapy and focused on joining you for the closing festivities on August 21. I love you!

Monaco release veteran defender Carvalho

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Monaco (AFP) Former Porto, Real Madrid and Chelsea star Ricardo Carvalho has been told by Ligue 1 outfit Monaco he is surplus to requirements, the club said on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old central defender won Euro 2016 with Portugal this summer, but Monaco are rebuilding and have decided against prolonging his three-year stay there.

Mohamed Elneny proving to be an absolute steal for Arsenal

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In a time when the regular going rate for a top quality central midfielder is around £30 million, Arsenal have somehow hit the jackpot when they pried Mohamed Elneny from Basel for just £6 million. When he arrived to north London in January, many Arsenal fans weren't exactly thrilled to hear of the news.

Schalke had no choice but to sell Sane – Heidel

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Berlin (AFP) Manchester City's huge offer to buy Leroy Sane left Bundesliga side Schalke 04 with no choice but to sell their rising Germany star, according to his now ex-club.

Sane, 20, moved for a reported £37 million ($48m, 43m euros) and signed a five-year deal with Pep Guardiola's side, who kick off the new Premier League season on Saturday against Sunderland.

Argentina coach in Barcelona on Messi mission

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Argentina's new coach Edgardo Bauza arrives in Barcelona on Tuesday on a mission to convince Lionel Messi to reverse his early international retirement and come back to the national team.

Bauza, who started the job on August 1, left Buenos Aires on Monday night on a Barcelona-bound flight.

Blatter to attend Aug 25 FIFA ban appeal – spokesman

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Geneva (AFP) Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter will appear in person at the Court of Arbitration for Sport for his August 25 appeal against his ban from football, his spokesman said Tuesday.

"Mr. Blatter will go in person with his lawyer Lorenz Erni," Blatter spokesman Thomas Renggli told AFP.

Where to watch the EFL Cup (previously known as Capital One Cup) on US TV

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Formerly known as the Capital One Cup, the newly named EFL Cup is shown exclusivelyin the US on beIN SPORTS.

The English Football League Cup is played amongst the teams inthe top four tiers of the English League. The First Round takes place August 9-11, 2016 and involves all the teams from League 1, League 2 and 22 of the 24 Championship teams (Norwich & Newcastle received byes).

Fearless De Boer braced for Inter challenge

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Milan (AFP) Dutchman Frank de Boer vowed he was up to the challenge of reviving Inter Milan's fortunes Tuesday as he officially took over at the helm of the Serie A club.

"I'm used to pressure. I realise the fans have great expectations... I'm convinced they'll be happy with the way we play," De Boer said as the club unveiled the successor to ousted coach Roberto Mancini.

Man Utd’s Pogba ‘only listens to his mother’

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Milan (AFP) Paul Pogba may be playful off the field but when it comes to the ruthless world of professional football, the world's most expensive footballer is as shrewd as they come.

And business is usually a family affair.

"His mother is the only person Paul listens to all the time," a close family friend told AFP during an interview with Pogba's mother, Yeo Moriba, prior to Euro 2016.

Where to find USA women’s Olympic soccer team vs. Colombia on US TV

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch UUSA women's Olympic soccer team vs. Colombia in the Olympics, you've come to the right place.

With the USA winning its first two games against New Zealand and France, the US Women's National Team is in pole position needing a win or a tie in its group finale against Colombia at Amazonia Arena to finish in first place in Group G.

Premier League all stars hunt down Leicester

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London (AFP) Jaw-dropping new broadcast deals totalling 8.3 billion pounds ($10.9 billion, 9.8 billion euros) have enabled the English Premier League to assemble a dazzling galaxy of stars for the 2016-17 season.

Jose Mourinho will have Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba at his disposal at Manchester United, while Pep Guardiola has authorised a splurge of over 100 million pounds since becoming Manchester City manager.

The most expensive football transfers in history

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London (AFP) French star Paul Pogba has moved from Juventus to Manchester United for a reported 89 million pounds which would be make him the world's most expensive player if confirmed. Here are the most expensive transfers in football history:

Paul Pogba (FRA) Juventus to Manchester United 89 million pounds ($116.

All change at PSG as new French season begins

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Paris (AFP) Zlatan Ibrahimovic has gone after four prolific years in France but a Paris Saint-Germain side now coached by Unai Emery are again expected to dominate as the new Ligue 1 season begins.

It is now five years since PSG were taken over by Qatar Sports Investments and they will be looking to win a fifth consecutive league crown, albeit with a new look.

Where to find Real Madrid vs. Sevilla in UEFA Super Cup on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Real Madrid vs. Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup, you've come to the right place.

The UEFA Super Cup pits the winner of the UEFA Champions League against the winner of the UEFA Europa League, which means it's an all-Spanish affair featuring Real Madrid against Sevilla.

Mum’s the word as Pogba returns to United

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Paul Pogba said he had fulfilled the "destiny" foreseen by his mother as he completed a return to Manchester United from Juventus on Tuesday for a world record fee.

United confirmed Pogba had signed a five-year contract but did not specify the transfer fee.

Paul Pogba completes world record Manchester United return

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) French superstar Paul Pogba on Tuesday completed a sensational return to Manchester United from Juventus for a reported world record fee.

United said Pogba had signed a five-year contract but did not give the cost which British media have put at 89 million pounds ($116.

It’s official: Pogba transfer cost 105 mn euros

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Rome (AFP) Manchester United bought Paul Pogba for a world-record 105 million euros ($116 million) plus a potential bonus fee of five million euros, Juventus confirmed Tuesday.

"Juventus Football Club can today confirm that Paul Pogba has completed a move to Manchester United for a fee of 105 million euros to be paid in two financial years," the Italian club said in a statement.

Pogba completes world record 105 mn euro Man Utd return

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) The world record for a transfer fee was shredded Tuesday when French superstar Paul Pogba completed a sensational return to Manchester United from Juventus for 105 million euros ($116 million).

After a weeks-long wrangle, United announced Pogba had signed a five-year contract, marking his return to a club that had let him go for a token fee in 2012.

Inter Milan appoint Frank de Boer as new coach

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Milan (AFP) Dutchman Frank de Boer was officially appointed Inter Milan coach on Tuesday, taking over from ousted Roberto Mancini.

"Frank de Boer is the new Nerazzurri coach," the Serie A club said on its Twitter page, followed by the hashtag #WelcomeFrank.

De Boer, 46, who left Ajax at the end of last season, touched down in the northern Italian city of Milan late Monday to take over from Mancini, who left amid reports the club's new Chinese owners wanted fresh blood at the helm.

Paul Pogba factfile after record Man Utd move

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London (AFP) Factfile on Paul Pogba, who returned to Manchester United from Juventus in a world-record transfer on Tuesday:

Name: Paul Labile Pogba

Age: 23

Date of birth: March 15, 1993

Place of birth: Lagny-sur-Marne, France

Position: Central midfielder

Playing career

Clubs:

Manchester United (ENG/2011-2012)

Appearances: 7

Goals: 0

Juventus (ITA/2012-2016)

Appearances: 178

Goals: 34

National team: France

Appearances: 38

Goals: 6

Debut: March 22, 2013 (v Georgia, Saint-Denis)

Honours

Club:

Serie A (4): 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16

Coppa Italia (2): 2014-15, 2015-16

Supercoppa Italiana (2): 2013, 2015

International:

FIFA Under-20 World Cup (1): 2013

Individual

FIFA Under-20 World Cup Golden Ball: 2013

Golden Boy: 2013

FIFA World Cup Best Young Player: 2014

Bravo Award: 2014

The post Paul Pogba factfile after record Man Utd move appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

Pogba annoyed over delay to Man Utd deal

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London (AFP) Manchester United's new star Paul Pogba says his joy at completing a world record transfer from Juventus was tempered by the frustrating wait for the deal to be concluded.

United's pursuit of Pogba started soon after manager Jose Mourinho was appointed in May, but it wasn't officially completed until the early hours of Tuesday morning when the 89 million pounds (105 million euros, $116 million) deal was announced.

Man City sign Everton’s Stones for reported £47.5 mn

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London (AFP) Manchester City splashed out a reported £47.5 million ($61 million, 55 million euros) to sign England defender John Stones from Everton on Tuesday.

Stones agreed a six-year contract with City and is reported to have become the second most expensive defender in history behind Paris Saint Germain and Brazil star David Luiz.

Manchester United complete signing of Paul Pogba

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) French midfielder Paul Pogba completed his transfer from Juventus to Manchester United on Tuesday, the Premier League sideannounced without giving a fee that media reports said was a world record.

Pogba arrived at United's training complex to undergo a medical on Monday.

Dutchman de Boer tells Inter ‘happy to be here’

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Rome (AFP) Dutchman Frank de Boer, widely tipped to be taking over from ousted Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini, told the Serie A club's fans Monday he hoped "to see you soon".

De Boer, who travelled to Milan on Monday after the club announced it had parted ways with Mancini, has not yet signed up but gave his first soundbites in a video posted by the Nerazzuri giants on their official Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Barcelona loan Vermaelen to Roma

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Barcelona (AFP) Belgian international defender Thomas Vermaelen, has joined Roma from Barcelona on a one-year loan deal with a purchase option, the Spanish side said on Monday.

The 30-year-old Vermaelen spent fives seasons at Arsenal before joining Barcelona two-years ago, missing almost a whole season with injury.

Legendary Brazilian football player, coach Zagallo hospitalized

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Mario Zagallo, who was part of four World Cup winning teams as a player or coach for Brazil, has been hospitalized in Rio de Janeiro, officials there said Monday.

"The management of the Hospital Barra D'Or informs that Mario Jorge Lobo Zagallo is a patient, receiving medical assistance," the hospital's press service said in a statement.

Andre Ayew joins West Ham from Swansea

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Paris (AFP) Ghana midfielder Andre Ayew has joined West Ham United on a club record three-years deal from their Premier League rivals Swansea, the London outfit said on Monday.

The former Marseille winger and son of one-time African player of the year Adebi Pele, joined the Hammers for a fee of £20.

NBC scores 2.9 million viewers for USA-France women’s Olympic game

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NBCSN scored an impressive viewing audience average of 2.9 million people on Saturday for the US women's Olympic game between the United States and France.

The match, which was televised live on NBCSN from 4-6pm ET, outdrew the highest viewership in a Group Stage game for the US Men's National Team in the 2016 Copa America on FOX Sports 1 (2,061,000 viewers for the game against Paraguay).

NBC Sports gears up for Premier League season with new video promo

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NBC Sports is gearing up for the 2016/17 Premier League season with a new video promo, which the broadcaster recently released.

Entitled 'Bridge,' the 30-second promo features a Chelsea supporter stepping out of a British pub in New York City and —thanks to NBC Sports' immersive coverage of the league — taking him away to Stamford Bridge in London.

Paris Saint-Germain youngster Edouard loaned to Toulouse

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Paris (AFP) Paris Saint-Germain said Monday that their 18-year-old forward Odsonne Edouard had been loaned out to Toulouse on a one year deal.

Edouard first made a name for himself at the U17's European Championships in 2015 when he finished the tournament as the best scorer and best player.

Benzema doubt for Real Supercup bid

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Trondheim (Norway) (AFP) Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is an injury doubt ahead of the European Super Cup clash with Sevilla in Trondheim, Norway on Tuesday, joining a long list of absentees.

"We're aren't going to take any risks regarding Karim" Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane told a press conference.

Best 2016/17 Premier League jerseys, ranked

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With the new season comes plenty of rituals — getting your Fantasy Premier League team ready, making predictions about the upcoming season, and looking through the new jerseys that have been released for each club.

Some of what we have seen really stand out, many are middle of the road efforts but very few kits — thankfully — are just plain ugly.

Brazil’s darling Marta leaves Neymar in the Olympic shade

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Goalless, booed off twice and facing another embarrassing tournament exit on home soil, Neymar and Brazil's footballers have lost their shine as Marta's free-scoring Brazilian women dazzle the host nation at Rio 2016.

Charged with restoring Brazilian football's pride two years on from a 7-1 thrashing by Germany at their own World Cup, the Barcelona star and his proteges stooped to new lows with their second consecutive scoreless draw against Iraq on Sunday to a chorus of jeers in Brasilia.

Saint Etienne’s Dabo out for three weeks

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Saint-Étienne (France) (AFP) Saint-Etienne announced on Monday that midfielder Bryan Dabo, who joined Les Verts earlier this summer, will be out until the end of August after injuring his ankle.

The new recruit hurt himself in Athens against AEK in the return leg of their Europa League qualifier last week and has had a cast placed on his ankle.

New Dortmund duo ‘like little kids’ for Bayern clash

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Berlin (AFP) Borussia Dortmund's new signings Andre Schuerrle and Mario Goetze admit they are excited 'like little kids' at the prospect of facing Bayern Munich for the German Super Cup on Sunday.

Germany's World Cup winning duo it was Schuerrle's cross which Goetze volleyed at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro to win the 2014 Brazil title are relishing facing the German champions at Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park.

Hoeness set to return as Bayern president

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Berlin (AFP) Ex-Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness is poised to resume his former position after announcing on Monday that he will stand in November's election, despite having served a prison sentence.

Hoeness was freed from jail in February after serving 21 months in prison for tax evasion, but is set to be re-elected as the president of the German champions with current incumbent, Karl Hopfner, having already declared that he will not stand for re-election.

First look at Sling Blue and Sling Orange on Roku

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Since the launch of Sling Blue and Sling Orange, I've had a chance to give both legal streaming products a test drive on Roku to see how they work, as well as to get a better understanding of the new features particularly for soccer fans.

First, the basics. Sling Blue offers soccer fans NBC, NBCSN, FOX, FS1, FS2, Univision, UniMas and 30+ news/entertainment channels for $25/month.

10 things we learned from MLS gameweek 22 of the 2016 season

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Here are the ten things we learned from Week 22 of the 2016 MLS season.

1. The Red Bulls Get Hosed

Hilario Grajeda is one of MLS' best referees for what he doesn't call – Grajeda's games tend to flow because there are so few stoppages, and because he can maintain control without using his whistle.

PSG tie up deal for Real Madrid’s Jese

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Paris (AFP) Paris Saint-Germain strengthened their attacking options on Monday with the signing of Spanish forward Jese Rodriguez from Real Madrid on a five-year deal, the French champions confirmed.

Jese will provide cover for Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani and becomes PSG's fifth close-season signing following the arrivals of Hatem Ben Arfa, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Thomas Meunier and Giovani Lo Celso.

Bayern’s Sanches sidelined for four weeks

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich's injured star signing Renato Sanches will miss the next four weeks, including the start of the new Bundesliga season and Sunday's German Super Cup final, the club confirmed Monday.

Having cost Bayern 35 million euros ($38 million) from Benfica, the 18-year-old Portugal international was only introduced in the famous red shirt in Munich on Saturday.

Mancini takes a bow as Inter confirm exit

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Milan (AFP) Coach Roberto Mancini said his farewells to the blue and black stripes of Inter Milan Monday after the club confirmed his exit, amid media reports the Serie A giants' new Chinese owners wanted fresh blood to rejuvenate the team.

"F.C. Internazionale Milano confirms that it has parted company with head coach Roberto Mancini by mutual agreement," the club said in a statement, adding it wanted to "place on the record" its thanks to the Italian coach.

Mourinho ‘proud’ of record-breaking Pogba move

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London (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his club should feel "proud" about signing Paul Pogba as the France midfielder moved closer to rejoining his former team in a world-record transfer.

Pogba, 23, is poised to complete a reported 89 million pounds ($116.4 million, 105 million euros) switch to Old Trafford after United and Juventus confirmed on Sunday he was undergoing a medical.

Celtic boss Rodgers hails Sinclair debut winner

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers heaped praise on new signing Scott Sinclair as the winger came off the bench to grab a late winner in a 2-1 Scottish Premiership victory over Hearts.

The 27-year-old, who only completed his £4.5million move from Aston Villa late on Saturday, replaced Stuart Armstrong on the hour mark.

Inter Milan confirms Mancini out

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Milan (AFP) Inter Milan said Monday its coach Roberto Mancini is leaving, citing a "mutual agreement" amid media reports the Serie A club's new Chinese owners decided fresh blood is needed to rejuvenate the team.

"F.C. Internazionale Milano confirms that it has parted company with head coach Roberto Mancini by mutual agreement," the club said in a statement.

Liverpool’s Klopp explains Sun boycott

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Berlin (AFP) Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp says he will no longer speak to reporters from The Sun after the British tabloid carried an article about the private life of defender Dejan Lovren.

The tabloid published a detailed article about how Croatia international Lovren missed June's European championships in an attempt to save his marriage.

Boos for Brazil after Iraq stalemate in Rio

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) An irritated Neymar drew another blank as Brazil's faltering bid for a first football Olympic gold continued with second 0-0 draw in as many games against Iraq.

The Barcelona star became increasingly frustrated with the rough treatment he received and Iraq's time-wasting tactics as Brazil were booed off the field in Brasilia for the second time in four days.

Daley Blind hopes Shield is springboard for Man Utd

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London (AFP) Daley Blind believes Manchester United's Community Shield victory can be the springboard for a Premier League title challenge.

Jose Mourinho's side beat champions Leicester 2-1 in the annual curtain raiser in the English top-flight season at Wembley on Sunday.

While the Shield is not always a reliable barometer of future success, United defender Blind is confident the first silverware of the Mourinho era can be the prelude to bigger prizes.

Pogba arrives for Man Utd medical – reports

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London (AFP) France midfielder Paul Pogba arrived in Manchester on Monday to complete his record-breaking transfer to Manchester United from Juventus, British media reported.

Sky Sports News said the 23-year-old had flown to Manchester from Nice in a private jet and would undergo a medical at United's Aon Training Complex.

Brazil on brink of more home humiliation

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Brazil face another embarrassing exit from a tournament on home soil after Neymar slumbered through a second 0-0 draw of Rio 2016 against Iraq.

The Olympic hosts need to beat group leaders Denmark on Wednesday to win to avoid a stunning exit, just two years after their devastating 7-1 World Cup defeat by Germany.

Record-breaker Paul Pogba arrives for Man United medical

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) France midfielder Paul Pogba arrived at Manchester United's training base on Monday to complete his record-breaking return to the club from Juventus, an AFP photographer reported.

Pogba was driven into United's Aon Training Complex in the passenger seat of a red and black Chevrolet car provided by the club, having flown to Manchester from Nice.

Where will Pogba fit in at Manchester United?

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London (AFP) With Paul Pogba poised to complete his record-breaking return to Manchester United, manager Jose Mourinho must figure out how best to fit the France midfielder into his star-studded starting XI.

Pogba excelled at Juventus on the left-hand side of midfield in a 4-3-3 formation, but Mourinho appears set to adopt a 4-2-3-1 system in his first season at Old Trafford.

West Ham sign French left-back Masuaku

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London (AFP) West Ham United have signed French left-back Arthur Masuaku from Olympiakos on a four-year contract, the Premier League club announced on Monday.

The 22-year-old, capped by France at Under-19 level, will help provide cover for Aaron Cresswell, who has been ruled out for up to four months with a knee injury.

10-man Argentina down Algeria, Gnabry rescues Germany in Olympic football

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa scored and set up Jonathan Calleri's winner as 10-man Argentina avoided adding an early Olympic Games exit to Copa America heartbreak with a 2-1 win over Algeria in Rio.

World champions Germany also dug themselves out of trouble as a stoppage-time equaliser from Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry salvaged a thrilling 3-3 draw against South Korea in Salvador.

Arsenal’s Gabriel hurt in friendly win over City

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Gothenburg (Sweden) (AFP) Arsenal face an anxious wait over the fitness of Gabriel after the defender was stretchered off in Sunday's 3-2 victory over Manchester City in a pre-season friendly in Sweden.

Sergio Aguero gave City a first-half lead in Gothenburg, but Arsenal struck back with goals from Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott and Chuba Akpom before Kelechi Iheanacho netted a late consolation.

Germany saved by Gnabry, Mexico survive Fiji fright in Rio football

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) World champions Germany were saved from an early Olympic exit by Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry's stoppage-time free-kick to salvage a thrilling 3-3 draw against South Korea in Salvador.

Gnabry now has three goals in the competition as he also cancelled out Hwang Hee-Chan's first-half opener.

Manchester United count cost of the one Fergie let get away

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) It may be the costliest round trip in football history on Paul Pogba, Manchester United are set to spend a reported world-record fee of £89 million ($116.4 million, 105 million euros).

That is for a player who left Old Trafford for just £1.5 million four years ago.

Game a family affair for playful ‘Pogboom’

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Milan (AFP) Paul Pogba may be playful off the field but when it comes to the ruthless world of professional football, the France star is as shrewd as they come.

And business is usually a family affair.

"His mother is the only person Paul listens to all the time," a close family friend told AFP during an interview with Pogba's mother, Yeo Moriba, prior to Euro 2016.

Pogba can be world’s best at Man Utd – Mourinho

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London (AFP) Paul Pogba can fulfil his dream of becoming the world's best player by returning to his former club Manchester United, his manager-in-waiting Jose Mourinho declared on Sunday.

Pogba, 23, is close to returning to Old Trafford for a reported world-record fee of 89 million pounds ($116.

Di Matteo’s Aston Villa taste defeat in Championship opener

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London (AFP) A late Fernando Forestieri goal condemned Roberto di Matteo's Aston Villa to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday in their Championship opener on Sunday.

The defeat which was watched from the directors box by Villa's Chinese owner Tony Xia provided an early warning to Champions League winning manager Di Matteo that returning Villa to the top tier immediately is not going to be easy.

Five things we learnt from the Community Shield

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London (AFP) Manchester United beat Leicester 2-1 in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday. Here AFP Sports looks at five things we learnt from the annual curtain raiser to the English top-flight season:

Pogba deal essential for United

United's lengthy courtship of Paul Pogba appears to be reaching a successful conclusion and the France star can't arrive soon enough on the evidence of the pedestrian efforts of Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini in central midfield.

Ibrahimovic fires Man Utd to Community Shield win

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London (AFP) Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced his arrival in English football with an 83rd-minute winner as Manchester United edged Leicester City 2-1 at Wembley on Sunday to win the Community Shield.

The former Paris Saint-Germain striker had a quiet game, but he outjumped Wes Morgan to head home Antonio Valencia's cross and earn Jose Mourinho his first piece of silverware as United manager.

Mourinho hails ‘amazing’ Pogba signing

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London (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho hailed France midfielder Paul Pogba's imminent arrival from Juventus on Sunday, describing the move as "amazing".

Both clubs confirmed that Pogba was due to undergo a medical at United as the most long-running transfer saga of the close season neared a conclusion.

Five most expensive football transfers

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London (AFP) Paul Pogba's proposed transfer from Juventus to Manchester United moved a step closer to being finalised on Sunday when the two clubs confirmed the Frenchman would have a medical at Old Trafford.

The fee for the transfer is expected to exceed £100 million ($130.4 million, 117.

Shield success start of something big: Ibrahimovic

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London (AFP) Zlatan Ibrahimovic hailed Manchester United's Community Shield win over Leicester City as the start of something big after the Sweden striker secured the first silverware of the Jose Mourinho era.

Ibrahimovic marked his competitive debut for United in memorable fashion with a towering header in the 83rd minute to clinch a 2-1 victory in the annual curtain raiser to the English top-flight season at Wembley on Sunday.

Liverpool crash on Klopp’s Mainz return

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Mainz (Germany) (AFP) Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool suffered a comprehensive 4-0 defeat at Mainz on Sunday in a friendly which exposed some defensive frailties seven days before facing Arsenal in their Premier League opener.

Having hammered Barcelona 4-0 at Wembley on Saturday, also in a friendly, the Reds were brought crashing back down to earth as guests of honour in the opening of Mainz's new Opel Arena.

Carroll double has West Ham’s Bilic purring

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London (AFP) West Ham manager Slaven Bilicbelieves striker Andy Carroll could earn an England recall after he grabbed a brace in a 3-2 defeat by Italian champions Juventus on Sunday.

The 27-year-old former Newcastle and Liverpool marksman scored both with trademark headers and gave new England manager Sam Allardyce a timely reminder of his talents which has earned him nine caps so far.

Ibrahimovic fires Manchester United to Community Shield win

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London (AFP) Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced his arrival in English football with an 83rd-minute winner as Manchester United edged Leicester City 2-1 at Wembley on Sunday to win the Community Shield.

The former Paris Saint-Germain striker had had a quiet game, but he outjumped Wes Morgan to head home Antonio Valencia's cross to earn Jose Mourinho his first piece of silverware as United manager.

Sinclair enjoys dream debut for Celtic

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Glasgow (AFP) Scott Sinclair marked his Celtic debut by scoring the winner in an ill-tempered 2-1 victory over Hearts in their Premiership clash at Tynecastle on Sunday.

The winger, who completed his £4.5 million (5.3 million euros, $5.9 million) move from English outfit Aston Villa just hours before kick-off, made a surging run to get on the end of Leigh Griffiths' cross and slot home an 81st-minute winner in a match that saw 11 bookings.

Bayern boy Hummels set for Dortmund Supercup jeers

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Berlin (AFP) Mats Hummels expects to run a gauntlet of boos and whistles next Sunday on his first game back in the Bayern Munich shirt away to his ex-club Borussia Dortmund.

The 27-year-old Germany defender, a product of the Bayern academy, signed for Dortmund in 2008, but has rejoined the Munich giants after eight years at their Bundesliga rivals.

Israel charges 19 far-right football fans with attempted murder

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Jerusalem (AFP) Israel on Sunday charged nineteen members of La Familia, a group of far-right football fans of Beitar Jerusalem, with attempted murder, the police said.

The supporters, who were arrested last month, faced charges including "attempted murder", "aggravated sabotage", "racist offences" and "illegal possession of weapons", the police said in a statement.

Pogba record deal set for green light subject to Man Utd medical

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London (AFP) France midfielder Paul Pogba's world record transfer to Manchester United from Italian champions Juventus is poised to go ahead subject to him passing a medical, the clubs confirmed Sunday.

The long-running saga suddenly took a huge step forward when Juventus announced they had granted permission for the 23-year-old to undergo the medical at a club he left four years ago for a pittance.

Schalke new boy Coke suffers knee injury, expected out for months

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Berlin (AFP) Schalke's new signing Coke is expected to miss the rest of 2016 after the Spanish right-back suffered suspected torn cruciate knee ligaments in a pre-season friendly.

The Bundesliga club are waiting on an exact diagnosis to hear how long they will be without the Spanish defender, full name Jorge Andujar Moreno but known as Coke, who suffered the injury in Thursday's 2-1 win over Bologna.

Pogba deal set for green light subject to Man Utd medical

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London (AFP) France midfielder Paul Pogba's transfer to Manchester United moved a step nearer on Sunday as Juventus granted him permission to undergo a medical.

"Yes, Pogba has been authorised to undergo a medical in Manchester," a Juventus spokesman told AFP.

United also confirmed the news with a short statement on their club website.

I wouldn’t swap careers with Ranieri: Mourinho

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London (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has launched a barb at Claudio Ranieri ahead of the Community Shield by declaring he would not swap careers with his Leicester City counterpart.

"I have my career, he has his career," Mourinho said, in comments published by several British newspapers on Sunday.

Juventus approve Pogba medical at Man Utd

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Turin (Italy) (AFP) France midfielder Paul Pogba's transfer to Manchester United moved a step nearer on Sunday as Juventus granted him permission to undergo a medical.

"Yes Pogba has been authorised to undergo a medical at Manchester," a Juventus spokesman said.

The 23-year-old who left United for virtually nothing four years ago is not with the Juventus squad in London for a friendly with West Ham on Sunday.

Schweinsteiger to keep playing at top level: Voeller

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Berlin (AFP) Ex-Germany coach Rudi Voeller has backed Bastian Schweinsteiger to play at least two more years of top-level football, despite having been frozen out at Manchester United by manager Jose Mourinho.

"Regardless of where his future lies, Bastian will keep playing at the highest level for at least two more years," Voeller, sporting director at Bayer Leverkusen, told German daily Bild on Sunday.

Where to find Manchester United vs. Leicester Community Shield on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Manchester United vs. Leicester in the Community Shield, you've come to the right place.

In the match that is traditionally the grand opening of the new English season, Manchester United (led by new manager Jose Mourinho) takes on Leicester City live from Wembley Stadium in England.

Lucky 13 for rampant US women over France in Rio football

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) The USA's women's quest for a fourth straight football gold remains firmly on track after captain Carli Lloyd ensured their 13th consecutive win in the Olympics with a 1-0 victory over France on Saturday.

World Player of the Year Lloyd, who also netted the Americans' opener in a 2-0 win against New Zealand on Wednesday, slotted home the only goal in Belo Horizonte after Tobin Heath's initial effort came back off the post.

PSG beat Lyon to give Emery some early silverware

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Klagenfurt (Austria) (AFP) New signing Hatem Ben Arfa was among the scorers as Paris Saint-Germain romped to a one-sided 4-1 win over Lyon in the Champions Trophy, the traditional French season-opener, on Saturday.

Javier Pastore, Lucas Moura and Layvin Kurzawa got the other goals before Corentin Tolisso grabbed a consolation as the French champions won the trophy for the fourth year running and gave new coach Unai Emery some early silverware.

Mane sparkles as Liverpool crush Barcelona

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London (AFP) New signing Sadio Mane scored one goal and made another as Liverpool slickly defeated Barcelona 4-0 in a one-sided friendly match at a sun-soaked Wembley on Sunday.

A 34 million pounds ($44.5 million, 40.1 million euros) capture from Southampton, Mane struck a 15th-minute opener and then supplied the cross from which ex-Liverpool player Javier Mascherano scored an own goal.

Hamsik extends Napoli contract

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Naples (Italy) (AFP) Napoli have moved to quash speculation surrounding the future of Marek Hamsik by extending the Slovakia star's contract by two seasons.

"Napoli is proud to release that Marek Hamsik signed a contract extension until 2020," read a brief statement in English on the club's website on Saturday.

Canaries off to flying start in Championship

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London (AFP) Scotland international Steven Naismith was among the scorers as Norwich City ran rampant with a 4-1 win at Blackburn Rovers in their opening Championship game on Saturday.

Newcastle United, the hot favourites for the title, had slipped to a 1-0 loss at Fulham on Friday.

And Norwich, who like Newcastle are aiming for an immediate return to the Premier League, were the most convincing winners on an opening day packed with goals.

Schmeichel pens five-year Leicester contract

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London (AFP) Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has committed his future to the club by signing a new five-year contract, the Premier League champions announced on Saturday.

Schmeichel, son of Manchester United and Denmark great Peter, kept 15 clean sheets last season and played every minute as Leicester pulled off a 5,000-1 upset by winning the Premier League.

Waghorn saves Rangers blushes on Premiership return

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Glasgow (AFP) A Martin Waghorn goal midway through the second-half salvaged a point for Scottish giants Rangers as they drew 1-1 with Hamilton on their return to the Scottish Premiership at Ibrox.

Rangers, who gained promotion at the end of last season after a four-year hiatus following a financial meltdown, found themselves behind in the 30th minute when Alister Crawford sent a superb strike past Wes Foderingham.

Di Matteo out to clip Owls’ wings on Villa debut

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London (AFP) Roberto di Matteo has reached the heady heights of winning the Champions League as a manager but on Sunday he hopes for something rather more mundane: winning his first game in charge of Aston Villa.

The 46-year-old Swiss born former Italian international who won the 2012 Champions League when in charge of Chelsea takes Chinese-owned Villa to Sheffield Wednesday in the second tier Championship on Sunday.

Where to find USA women’s Olympic soccer team vs. France on US TV

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch USA Women's Team vs. France in Olympics, you've come to the right place.

This will be the USA women's biggest test in Group G against one of the best teams in the world. In the first match, the US women defeated New Zealand while France beat Colombia.

Foes reunited as Mourinho, Ranieri meet in Community Shield clash

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London (AFP) Jose Mourinho locks horns with old adversary Claudio Ranieri as FA Cup winners Manchester United tackle fairytale Premier League champions Leicester City in Sunday's Community Shield at Wembley.

Mourinho, who has succeeded Louis van Gaal at United, twice pipped Ranieri to the Serie A title during their time in Italy, where he goaded the Italian about his age, lack of success and poor command of English.

Man City sign Colombia striker Moreno

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London (AFP) Teenage Colombian forward Marlos Moreno has joined Manchester City on a five-year contract, the Premier League side announced on Saturday.

The 19-year-old arrives from his formative club Atletico Nacional and will spend the 2016-17 season on loan at Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna.

Where to find Rangers vs. Hamilton on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Rangers vs. Hamilton Academicals, you've come to the right place.

With Rangers back in the Scottish Premiership, the club opens the new season with a home match from Ibrox Stadium against Hamilton Academicals. With Rangers wanting to make an ambitious run for the title this season to knock Celtic off its perch, a win in the first game against the Accies will be just what the doctor ordered.

Benitez’s Magpies given rude awakening by Fulham

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London (AFP) Matt Smith's header made a mockery of Newcastle United's status as favourites to go straight back up to the Premier League as Fulham ran out 1-0 winners in their Championship season opener on Friday.

Rafael Benitez's side could point to not being given what looked like a penalty for handball against Ryan Tunnicliffe in the first half but his team, which has seen £45 million ($58.

Benitez’s Newcastle given rude awakening by Fulham

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London (AFP) Matt Smith's header made a mockery of Newcastle United's status as favourites to go straight back up to the Premier League as Fulham ran out 1-0 winners in their Championship season opener on Friday.

Rafael Benitez's side could point to not being given what looked like a penalty for handball against Ryan Tunnicliffe in the first half but his team, which has seen £45 million ($58.

Injured Falcao to miss Monaco’s Champions League play-off

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Monaco (AFP) Monaco striker Radamel Falcao will miss "several weeks" with a left hamstring injury, his club confirmed on Friday, ruling him out of the start of the French season and the Champions League play-offs.

Falcao pulled up injured late in the first half of Monaco's 3-1 home win against Fenerbahce on Wednesday that saw them win the Champions League third qualifying round tie 4-3 on aggregate.

Protests target Olympics ahead of gala opening

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) The Olympic torch wound its way around Rio de Janeiro's landmarks on Friday as protesters unleashed a final blast of anger before the opening ceremony of the trouble-plagued sporting spectacle.

The carnival capital of the world is hoping the extravaganza at the Maracana Stadium will draw a line under a turbulent seven-year build-up dogged by recession, rising crime and doping scandals.

Swansea add firepower with World Cup winner Llorente

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Swansea (United Kingdom) (AFP) Spanish striker Fernando Llorente, a member of his country's 2010 World Cup-winning squad, signed for English Premier League side Swansea City from Sevilla on Friday.

The 31-year-old whose only appearance in the 2010 World Cup campaign was as a substitute in the last-16 win over Portugal signed a two-year contract with the Swans after passing his medical.

2016/17 Premier League jerseys for all 20 teams

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The jerseys for all 20 clubs in the 2016/17 Premier League have now been unveiled. To make it easier to see who will be wearing what and which clubs have new kit manufacturers, we've assembled all of the home, away and third jerseys for the clubs on one page.

Click on any of the photos below to find out how to buy an official jersey for your favorite Premier League club.

Lyon provide first test for new-look PSG

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Klagenfurt (Austria) (AFP) The post-Zlatan Ibrahimovic era officially begins for Paris Saint-Germain when they take on Lyon in the French Champions Trophy on Saturday in the unlikely surroundings of the Austrian city of Klagenfurt.

PSG have undergone a summer of considerable change since securing a second consecutive clean sweep of France's domestic trophies in May, with Ibrahimovic leaving for Manchester United at the end of his contract.

Burnley sign Liverpool’s Flanagan on loan

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London (AFP) Highly regarded full-back Jon Flanagan will get the chance of regular first-team football after signing a season-long loan with Premier League newboys Burnley from Liverpool on Friday.

The 23-year-old, who has one England cap to his name, earned the nickname 'Scouse Cafu' after the legendary Brazilian, and had fought his way back into the first team at the end of last season following a 20-month absence which saw him undergo two knee operations.

Protests as Rio readies for Olympic carnival

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) The Olympic flame wound its way around Rio de Janeiro's iconic landmarks on Friday as protesters unleashed a fresh blast of anger ahead of the opening ceremony of the trouble-plagued sporting spectacle.

The carnival capital of the world is hoping Friday's extravaganza at the Maracana Stadium will draw a line under a turbulent seven-year build-up dogged by recession, rising crime and doping scandals.

Milner retires from England duty

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London (AFP) Liverpool midfielder James Milner has retired from international duty with England at the age of 30, the Football Association announced on Friday.

Milner made 61 appearances and scored one goal for his country, featuring at two World Cups and two European Championships.

But the versatile former Manchester City player was rarely a first-choice pick and has informed new England manager Sam Allardyce that he no longer wants to be considered for selection.

Luxury car gifts get Leicester players in gear

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London (AFP) Leicester City's players have been given brand new luxury sports cars by the club in recognition of their extraordinary Premier League title triumph last season.

Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and their team-mates led the club to an astonishing 5,000-1 title win and Thai owners King Power have rewarded them each with a brand new BMW i8.

Berlusconi bows out with deal to sell AC Milan to Chinese

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Milan (AFP) Silvio Berlusconi agreed Friday to sell AC Milan to Chinese investors under a deal set to end his trophy-laden three decades in charge of the Italian giants by the end of this year.

Fininvest, the Berlusconi family's private holding company, announced that after months of negotiations a preliminary agreement had been signed between the media tycoon and the prospective buyers.

Where to find Fulham vs. Newcastle on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Fulham vs. Newcastle, you've come to the right place.

Fulham vs. Newcastle kicks off the 2016/17 Championship season with the match live from Craven Cottage, which will be beamed around the world, including on TV and online to the United States.

Mourinho confident about Man Utd’s Pogba chase

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho expressed confidence on Friday that Manchester United will sign Paul Pogba in time for the Premier League season and criticised rival managers' reactions to the mooted world-record transfer.

United and Juventus are believed to be putting the finishing touches to a deal for the France midfielder expected to exceed £100 million ($130.

Chinese investors in deal to buy AC Milan

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Milan (AFP) Silvio Berlusconi agreed on Friday to sell more than 99 percent of AC Milan to a group of Chinese investors, announced Fininvest, the holding company of the Berlusconi family.

A preliminary agreement after months of negotiations sets the value of the Italian giants at 740 million euros ($825.

West Ham given Astra Europa League rematch

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Paris (AFP) Premier League side West Ham United will face Romanians Astra Giurgiu in the Europa League play-off round later this month after Friday's draw.

The ties on August 18 and August 25 will be a repeat of the tie last season when Astra beat the Hammers in the third qualifying round.

Slaven Bilic's West Ham reached this stage with a 3-0 win over Slovenian outfit NK Domzale, 4-2 on aggregate, in their first game at the Olympic Stadium, now called the London Stadium.

Old Firm rivalry resumes with Rangers back in Scottish top flight

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Glasgow (AFP) One of world football's most intense and bitter rivalries will be resurrected in this season's Scottish Premiership as Rangers return to challenge old foes Celtic, now managed by former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.

Rangers won the second-tier Championship last season and so the Glasgow giants will now compete in the Scottish top flight for the first time in four years following their financial meltdown.

Brazil booed off as Neymar flops in South Africa stalemate

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Brazil and superstar Neymar were booed off as their quest for a maiden Olympic football gold medal began with a 0-0 draw against 10-man South Africa.

Barcelona ace Neymar is by far the biggest name in the competition and has been tasked with restoring pride to Brazilian football after a catastrophic 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany on home soil at the 2014 World Cup.

Rio ready for Olympic carnival as opening awaits

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) The carnival capital of Rio de Janeiro will host a glittering Olympics opening ceremony party on Friday, hoping to draw a line under a turbulent seven-year build-up dogged by recession, drugs scandals, crime and infrastructure stumbles.

The iconic Maracana Stadium will host a pulsating gathering for more than 70,000 fans, 10,400 athletes and dozens of world leaders as the first Olympics to be staged in South America gets under way.

Booed off Brazil won’t cruise to gold – Neymar

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Brazil captain Neymar slammed his side's goalless draw with South Africa to start their Rio 2016 campaign as "a defeat" and insisted there would be no easy path to a maiden Olympic gold.

Neymar and Brazilian football's newest golden boys Gabriel Jesus, who completed a $35.

West Brom announce sale to Chinese investors

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London (AFP) West Bromwich Albion have agreed to sell the club to Chinese investment group Yunyi Guokai (Shanghai) Sports Development Limited, the Premier League side announced on Friday.

No financial details have been announced, but former chairman Jeremy Peace was looking for 150 million pounds ($197.

Everton’s Besic facing six months out

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London (AFP) Everton's Bosnian midfielder Muhamed Besic is facing six months on the sidelines with a knee injury, he revealed on Friday.

"6 months out! #devastated," the 23-year-old Bosnia and Herzegovina international wrote on his Twitter account.

Besic was forced off by injury just 12 minutes after coming on in Wednesday's testimonial match for Wayne Rooney against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo, Bale and Griezmann vie for UEFA award

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Paris (AFP) The UEFA Best Player in Europe award for 2016 is destined for Madrid after Real pair Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale plus Atletico's Antoine Griezmann were revealed as the three contenders Friday.

Bale led Wales on a wonderful run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals and also won the Champions League, and while Griezmann was a beaten finalist in both those tournaments he was however the top scorer at the Euros.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino cleared in ethics probe

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Geneva (AFP) FIFA's ethics committee on Friday cleared president Gianni Infantino of ethics violations after investigating him over his use of private jets, personal expenses, hiring methods and a contract dispute.

"After conducting both preliminary and formal investigation proceedings, the investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has decided to conclude its investigations concerning FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

Guardiola’s City draw Steaua Bucharest

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Paris (AFP) Pep Guardiola's Manchester City got a relatively easy tie as the Champions League Group phase play-offs were drawn in Nyon on Friday as they landed Romanians Steaua Bucharest.

"I wanted any team but City," said a blanched Steaua coach Laurențiu Reghecampf, while City's sporting director Txiki Begiristain took a cautious approach.

Celtic play-off in Israeli desert, Europe’s most southerly stadium

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Jerusalem (AFP) When Celtic play Hapoel Beer-Sheva of Israel in the playoff round for the Champions League group stages, it will in the most southernly stadium in UEFA's history.

The Israeli side were drawn against the Scottish giants on Friday, with the winner qualifying for the group stages of Europe's top football competition.

Guardiola’s City draw Bucharest in Champions League play-off

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Paris (AFP) Pep Guardiola's Manchester City were handed a relatively easy tie against Romanian side Steaua Bucharest as the Champions League Group phase play-offs were drawn in Nyon on Friday.

"I wanted any team but City," said a blanched Steaua coach Laurențiu Reghecampf, while City's sporting director Txiki Begiristain took a cautious approach.

NBCSN scores 1.3 million viewers for US women’s soccer game against New Zealand

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NBCSN netted 1.3 million viewers for the US women's soccer team's opening game of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

For the broadcast of Wednesday's game where the US women won 2-0 against New Zealand, the viewing figure is up 107% from the 2012 London Olympics opener when the United States played France (629,000 viewers).

Neymar fails to spark Brazil in South Africa stalemate

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Barcelona star Neymar failed to provide the expected flying start to Brazil's quest for a maiden football Olympic gold medal as the hosts were held 0-0 by 10-man South Africa in their Rio 2016 opener Thursday.

Neymar is by far the biggest name taking part in the football competition and has been tasked with restoring pride to Brazilian football after a catastrophic 7-1 defeat to Germany on home soil at the 2014 World Cup.

West Ham at home already, Europa woe for Eder

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London (AFP) Cheikhou Kouyate scored twice as West Ham United beat Slovenians NK Domzale 3-0 to reach the Europa League play-off round in their first game at their new ground.

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, Slaven Bilic's side won 4-2 on aggregate at London Stadium courtesy of Senegalese midfielder Kouyate's first-half double and Algerian winger Sofiane Feghouli's late strike.

Pele’s health threatens to douse Olympic flame hopes

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Sao Paulo (AFP) Brazil football legend Pele wants to light the Rio Olympic flame at the opening ceremony on Friday, but poor health may prevent him from accepting the honor, his spokesman said Thursday.

Doubts over whether Pele, 75, would be free to carry the torch to the cauldron in the Maracana stadium have been cleared up, spokesman, Jose Fornos Rodrigues, told AFP.

Euro 2016 hero Eder makes unhappy return to action

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Baku (AFP) Portugal's Euro 2016 final hero Eder made an inauspicious return to competitive action on Thursday as his Lille side were unceremoniously dumped out of the Europa League in Azerbaijan.

The French club went down 1-0 to Qabala in the heat of Baku to lose their third qualifying round tie 2-1 on aggregate.

Toulouse sign Swedish striker Toivonen

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Toulouse (France) (AFP) Sweden international striker Ola Toivonen has joined Toulouse on a three-year contract from Ligue 1 rivals Rennes, the buying club announced on Thursday.

Toivonen, 30, spent the past season on loan at Sunderland but struggled to make an impact, failing to score a single goal as he was limited to 12 Premier League appearances.

Sane leaves Bordeaux for Bremen

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Bordeaux (AFP) Senegal defender Lamine Sane has left Bordeaux to join Werder Bremen, the French club announced on Thursday.

Bordeaux, where the 29-year-old Sane has been since the start of his career, confirmed that he had passed a medical and penned a contract, although the length of the deal was not disclosed.

‘Bullying’ Mourinho should be jailed says FifPro member

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London (AFP) Jose Mourinho should be sent to prison for bullying and exiling Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, a member of world players' union FifPro claimed on Thursday.

Mourinho is keen to sell Schweinsteiger as he puts his mark on United's squad and reports have emerged that the Old Trafford manager has banished the Germany star to train alone and with the reserves.

Repentant Solo sees Zika chants as ‘fun’

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Outspoken USA women's goalkeeper Hope Solo shrugged off as "fun" the abuse she faced from Brazilian fans angered by extravagant social media posts showing her precautions to avoid the Zika virus at Rio 2016.

A two-time Olympics gold medallist with the all-conquering Americans, Solo was roundly booed during the USA's opening 2-0 win over New Zealand in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday and even taunted with "Zika" chants.

Coverage plans for France’s Ligue 1 season opening weekend on US TV

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The French Super Cup, known as the Trophée des Champions, will mark the opening of the new French Ligue 1 season this weekend.

In the United States, beINSPORTSown the exclusive rights for Ligue 1 as well as both French domestic Cup competitions Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue. Here is a rundown of the US TV coverage for the Trophée des Champions and the opening weekend for Ligue 1:

Trophée des Champions

Saturday, August 6

Paris Saint-Germain vs.

Injured Wilshere out of Arsenal tour

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London (AFP) England midfielder Jack Wilshere will miss Arsenal's forthcoming tour of Scandinavia with a knee injury, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

Wilshere, 24, played only three times for Arsenal last season after fracturing his shin in pre-season and then made three appearances in England's doomed Euro 2016 campaign.

Highest attendances for 2016 soccer friendlies played in North America, ranked

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Another round of summer friendlies in the US and Canada has come and gone. And they have once again been a smashing success, both in attendances and TV ratings.

This summer was truly an international flavor with teams playing on North American soil from Spain, Germany, Mexico, Scotland, Wales, England, France, Italy as well as clubs from all three tiers of US soccer.

Ancelotti rules out Bayern return for Schweinsteiger

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East Rutherford (United States) (AFP) Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti has ruled out a return for Bastian Schweinsteiger, as the German champions finished their US tour.

"Schweinsteiger plays no role in our planning," said Bayern's new Italian coach after Bayern's 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid in a friendly in New York.

Martinez hails Belgium as ‘one of world’s best’

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Brussels (AFP) Roberto Martinez expressed his delight on Thursday after being named as the new head coach of the Belgium national team.

The Spaniard was chosen as the successor to Marc Wilmots on Wednesday, after the former Belgium midfielder was sacked following the side's 3-1 defeat to Wales in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.

Bayern Munich’s Julian Green upbeat despite defeat to Real Madrid

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In one of the most highly billed matches of the fourth annual International Champions Cup, Real Madrid defeatedBayern Munich in the final ten minutes of an exciting affair Wednesday night. Despite several second half substitutions by both sides, the game was engaging and well appreciated by the 80,012 fans who packed MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Empty feeling as Brazil, USA women off to winning start

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Hosts Brazil and world champions the United States got off to winning starts in the Olympics women's football tournament although the competition met with a lukewarm response from fans.

Brazil comfortably saw off the challenge of China 3-0 at the Olympic stadium in Rio thanks to goals from Monica, Andressa Alves and Cristiane.

‘Rafalution’ gives Newcastle hope, Di Matteo rebuilds Villa

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London (AFP) Rafael Benitez and Roberto Di Matteo have no regrets about swapping the gilded life of the European elite for the Championship's war of attrition as they prepare to slug it out in the race for promotion from England's second tier.

Just 12 months ago, Benitez was preparing Real Madrid for another assault on the major prizes, while Di Matteo was linked with several prestige jobs following his departure from German club Schalke.

‘Better than Neymar’ Marta dazzles Brazil football fans

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) They share similar heavy burdens of expectation, but Brazil women's coach Vadao insists there is no battle between star footballers Marta and Neymar to be the country's darling of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Five-time World Player of the Year Marta was in sensational form as Brazil's women got off to a perfect start on the first day of competition at the Games on Wednesday with a 3-0 win over China.

Carnival after hangover as Olympics get under way

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) The most crisis-ridden Olympic Games in history opens Friday with Rio organisers hoping to draw a line under a turbulent seven-year build-up to the greatest sporting show on Earth.

Football legend Pele is tipped to ignite the Olympic flame at Rio's iconic Maracana Stadium in Friday's opening ceremony, as the four-yearly celebration of sporting endeavour arrives in South America for the first time.

Chelsea thump AC Milan 3-1

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Los Angeles (AFP) Oscar scored a second half brace as Chelsea cruised past AC Milan 3-1 in the final game of their globetrotting exhibition tour, which took them to Australia, China, England, Scotland and the USA.

The Brazilian star scored in the 70th and 87th minutes on Wednesday for Chelsea, who rebounded from a one-sided exhibition loss to Real Madrid in their last outing.

Five women to watch at the Rio Olympics

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Five women to watch at the Rio Olympics:

Brazil football superstar Marta

Marta Vieira da Silva, known as just Marta, is a superstar of women's football. The 30-year-old, dubbed as "Pele in skirts," wants to finally prove that second is not good enough for the Brazilian women long time in the shadows of their star-studded men's team, who are holders of five World Cup titles.

‘Trust us’ Rodgers urges nervy Celtic fans after Astana win

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has urged supporters to be patient after they needed a stoppage time penalty to edge past FC Astana in their Champions League third round qualifier.

The Hoops earned a 2-1 win thanks to a penalty from Moussa Dembele with the game on the verge of extra time after Leigh Griffiths' first-half stoppage time penalty had been cancelled out by a second half strike from Agim Ibraimi.

Maradona says Bauza has the right stuff

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Diego Maradona has hailed the new Argentina coach Edgardo "Paton" Bauza as a man with a record of sacrificing everything for national glory.

Bauza, 58, was appointed Argentina coach on Monday after the departure of Gerardo Martino, who left after disappointing defeats in the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Copa America finals.

Bayern finish US tour with defeat to Real

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East Rutherford (United States) (AFP) Bayern Munich finished their tour of the USA with a 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid after a stunning Danilo strike sealed the European champions' friendly victory in New Jersey.

In front of 82,012 fans at the MetLife-Stadium, the home of NFL sides the New York Jets and New York Giants, full-back Danilo hit the winning goal from 20 yards out on Wednesday, which beat Bayern's second string goalkeeper Sven Ulreich.

FIFA ban has taken a physical toll – Blatter

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Berlin (AFP) Disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has admitted his six-year ban from all football-related activity has taken a toll on his mental health.

In an interview with German broadcaster ZDF to be screened Thursday night, the 80-year-old Swiss says the ban has left 'a mark' on him as he continues the fight to prove his innocence.

Rooney praises Mourinho after testimonial

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Wayne Rooney has described Jose Mourinho's low-key approach to life as Manchester United manager but insists the new Old Trafford chief has a fierce will to win.

The United and England captain was talking after he marked his testimonial with a goalless draw against Everton, his team's final preparation before Sunday's Community Shield meeting with champions Leicester.

American soccer TV viewing figures for July 25-31, 2016

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Despite featuring a matchup between two of theMLS's strongest fanbases (Sporting KC and Portland Timbers), the viewership for this season's final MLS broadcast on the over-the-air FOX network was largely disappointing. The 348,000 viewers is the worst we have seen on the FOX broadcast network, and as one of only four MLS matches available free-to-air this year, it doesn't even crack the top 10 for English-language broadcasts.

Monaco, Celtic among sides through to Champions League play-offs

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Paris (AFP) Radamel Falcao scored before coming off injured as Monaco beat Fenerbahce in the Champions League third qualifying round on Wednesday, while Celtic also advanced to the play-offs in dramatic fashion against Astana.

Monaco played host to the Turkish giants at the Stade Louis II looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg and they wasted little time in opening the scoring before going to win 3-1 on the night and progress to the play-offs.

Zlatan makes Old Trafford bow on Rooney testimonial

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) The two clubs of Wayne Rooney's professional career played out a 0-0 draw in his testimonial game at Old Trafford Wednesday as Jose Mourinho managed Manchester United for the first time at their home stadium.

The low-key meeting with Everton was a predictable pre-season affair, with Mourinho using 22 players in preparation for the season ahead, although an occasion which the United and England captain will doubtless long remember.

US judge delays sentencing of former Honduran president

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New York (AFP) A US judge has delayed until January 27 this week's planned sentencing of disgraced former Honduran president Rafael Callejas in the sweeping corruption scandal rocking world soccer.

The 72-year-old was scheduled this Friday to become the first defendant sentenced in the FIFA scandal in New York after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering and wire fraud.

Brazil’s women off to flying start in Rio Olympic football

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Brazil's women footballers ensured the opening day of action at Rio 2016 was a happy one for the hosts with a 3-0 win over China on Wednesday.

The sight of vast swathes of empty seats at the 60,000-seater Olympic stadium for Sweden's 1-0 win over South Africa in the first match of the Games will have embarrassed organisers.

Roberto Martinez given Belgian hot-seat

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Brussels (AFP) Former Everton and Wigan coach Spaniard Roberto Martinez has been given the enviable task of leading Belgium's multi-talented national side to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, The Belgian federation said Wednesday.

The 43-year-old Spaniard known for building flair sides with a penchant for attack, takes over from the unpopular coach Marc Wilmots, who was fired after a quarter-finals elimination by Wales at Euro 2016.

Suarez and Messi lead Barcelona past Leicester

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Solna (Sweden) (AFP) Barcelona thumped English Premier League champions Leicester City 4-2 in a pre-season friendly in Sweden on Wednesday but Claudio Ranieri's side were given hope by a second-half brace from new boy Ahmed Musa.

Lionel Messi's sumptuous pass set up the first of Munir El Haddadi's two first-half goals while Luis Suarez netted in between as the Spanish champions exposed the Foxes' defence.

Inter Milan snaps up Lazio winger Candreva

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Rome (AFP) Italy's Serie A giant Inter Milan said Wednesday it has snapped up Lazio winger Antonio Candreva on a four year contract.

"I am really happy and proud to be here,"Candreva told Inter Milan's website.

"I always wanted to come to Inter and I'm really excited to become a Nerazzurri player at last," he said.

Senegal midfielder Diame joins Newcastle

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London (AFP) Senegal midfielder Mohamed Diame has dropped down a division to join Newcastle United from Hull City, his new club announced on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old, capped 28 times, has signed a three-year contract and is reported to have cost Newcastle £4.5 million ($6 million, 5.4 million euros).

Bordeaux take PSG’s Sabaly on loan

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Bordeaux (AFP) Bordeaux have signed the full-back Youssouf Sabaly on loan from their Ligue 1 rivals Paris Saint-Germain for the coming season, the two clubs confirmed on Wednesday.

Sabaly, 23, had earlier extended his contract with the French champions until 2020 before agreeing the switch to the south-west on a one-year loan.

Steven Pienaar seeks Sunderland deal

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London (AFP) South Africa midfielder Steven Pienaar is training with Sunderland as he tries to win a contract with the Premier League club.

New Sunderland manager David Moyes signed Pienaar when he was in charge at Everton in 2008 and the Scot is keen to see what his former player has to offer.

Where to find USA women’s Olympic soccer team vs. New Zealand on US TV

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch USA Women's Team vs. New Zealand in Olympics, you've come to the right place.

After winning 4 gold medals, the USA Women's National Team start their journey today against New Zealand to see if they can go all the way to win a record fifth gold medal.

Empty seats greet low key start to Rio Olympic Games

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Sweden's women claimed the first victory of the Olympic football tournament 1-0 over South Africa as Rio 2016 got off to an underwhelming start on Wednesday.

The sight of vast swathes of empty seats at the 60,000 capacity Olympic stadium in Rio will have embarrassed organisers at the first action of the Games.

US international Bedoya quits Nantes for MLS

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Nantes (France) (AFP) American international midfielder Alejandro Bedoya will join Philadelphia Union in the MLS after leaving Nantes, the French club announced on Wednesday.

"Alejandro Bedoya won't be wearing Nantes colours this season. After three years... the US international has chosen to take a new direction in his career," read a statement on the Ligue 1 side's website.

US judge wants FIFA trial in fall 2017

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New York (AFP) The US judge overseeing the sweeping FIFA corruption scandal said Wednesday that he wanted government prosecution and defense lawyers to work toward a trial starting in September or October 2017.

Judge Raymond Dearie told a pre-trial hearing in New York that it was no longer realistic to expect eight defendants who have pleaded not guilty to go on trial in spring 2017.

TV coverage plans for opening weekend of Championship season this weekend

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The 2016/17 season of the Championship kicks off in England this weekend, and beIN SPORTS has you covered as the exclusive rightsholder. In total, four games this weekend will be shown live across the beIN SPORTS networks.

While the opening weekend has 4 Championship matches, expect the number of televised games to decrease from the third gameweek onwards as other leagues around Europe will get priority on beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS Español (Ligue Un, La Liga, Serie A, etc).

Man City sign Brazil teenager Gabriel Jesus

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London (AFP) Manchester City have signed 19-year-old Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus from Palmeiras on a five-year contract, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

Jesus, who is reported to have cost City an initial fee of £27 million ($36 million, 32.2 million euros), will remain on loan at Palmeiras until December before moving to Manchester in January.

5 reasons Toronto FC are MLS Cup pretenders

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Toronto FC may sit in third place in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference – tied with two other teams on 30 points – but the Reds have shown a history of up and down performances. As much as time changes, things seem to stay the same for the Reds. This season, the team has compiled 30 points from 21 matches, but fans and the team should be worried that the attacking problems from last year are still apparent.

Roma sign Egypt winger Salah from Chelsea

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London (AFP) Egypt winger Mohamed Salah has called time on his unsuccessful spell with Chelsea after joining Roma in a permanent transfer, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

Salah struggled to make an impact after joining Chelsea in January 2014 and spent last season on loan at Roma after a previous temporary stint in Serie A with Fiorentina.

Neymar tasked with delivering Brazil’s elusive gold

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Brazil has barely got over its World Cup disaster and now it is counting on Barcelona star Neymar to finally deliver a treasured first football Olympic gold medal.

Olympic gold is the only international title to elude Brazil in an illustrious history that has seen A Selecao win five World Cups.

Zidane confirms talks with PSG over Real’s Jese

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Paris (AFP) Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has confirmed Jese Rodriguez could join Paris Saint-Germain before the end of the transfer window but said the forward may return to Spain next summer.

"It's not a done deal, but it's well on the way. When we return to Madrid we'll know more about it," Zidane said at a news conference in New Jersey on Tuesday, on the eve of Real's final US pre-season friendly against Bayern Munich.

Facebook to stream Manchester United vs. Everton game for free

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Wednesday's match between Manchester United and Everton will be streamed live for free on Facebook to soccer fans around the world, the Manchester club announced today.

"I've got some exciting news to share," said Rooney on his official Facebook page. "Tomorrow's testimonial match between Manchester United and Everton Football Club will be streamed live on Facebook (from 7:15pm BST) on both my page and the Manchester United page.

Sling Blue adds free CNBC preview in time for Premier League season

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With NBC's month of programming in August being sent into a tailspin with its exclusive coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics across all of NBC's networks, that means that many Premier League games during the first few weeks of the 2016/17 season have been moved to CNBC.

On top of that, someof NBC's Olympic programming will be on MSNBC.

Hebron’s Ahly retains Palestinian Cup

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Hebron (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) Ahly al-Khalil football club of Hebron on the West Bank won the Palestinian Cup Tuesday for the second straight year after a 1-1 home draw against Shabab Khan Yunis of Gaza.

Ahly, who beat the Khan Yunis side 1-0 in the first leg in the Gaza Strip a week earlier, will now represent the Palestinians in next season's AFC Cup, Asia's premier club football tournament.

Everton land Senegal star Gueye from Aston Villa

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London (AFP) Everton manager Ronald Koeman signed Senegal midfielder Idrissa Gueye from Aston Villa for £7.1 million ($9.4 million, 8.4 million euros) on Tuesday.

Koeman triggered Gueye's buyout clause last week and the 26-year-old has agreed a four-year contract with the Premier League club.

Sane treds well-worn path to Premier League

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Berlin (AFP) Leroy Sane's transfer to Manchester City on Tuesday follows a well-worn path of Bundesliga talent tempted by high-profile Premier League moves but many then fail to secure a first-team place in England.

City have reportedly paid £37m (43m euros) for the 20-year-old fleet-footed winger, who has just four caps for Germany and 47 Bundesliga appearances under his belt for Schalke.

Brazil hoping to end US women’s gold rush

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) A dominant United States team face stiff competition from hosts Brazil for a fifth Olympic gold medal in six games when the women's football tournament kicks off Rio 2016 on Wednesday.

The States' quest for a fourth consecutive gold begins against New Zealand in Belo Horizonte with both men's and women's tournaments spread across six cities which hosted the 2014 World Cup.

Argentina coach ‘optimistic’ on Messi comeback

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