World Cup Buzz

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August 30, 2016 12:01 UTC
August 17, 2008 11:24 UTC

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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".