Paris

AFP

Picture this! Pensive Neymar stirs renewed PSG fever

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Paris (AFP) – Neymar’s decision to post a photo of himself in thoughtful contemplation sparked a fresh wave of speculation that he is on the verge of sealing a world record 222-million-euro ($256.8 million) move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.

The Instagram picture, even accompanied by a matching emoji, shows the 25-year-old Brazilian superstar stretched out on the pitch with his chin resting on his left hand.

Picture this! Pensive Neymar stirs renewed PSG fever

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Paris (AFP) – Neymar’s decision to post a photo of himself in thoughtful contemplation sparked a fresh wave of speculation that he is on the verge of sealing a world record 222-million-euro ($256.8 million) move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.

The Instagram picture, even accompanied by a matching emoji, shows the 25-year-old Brazilian superstar stretched out on the pitch with his chin resting on his left hand.

Alves targets history after PSG switch

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Paris (AFP) – Brazil international Dani Alves admitted the prospect of “making history” by winning the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain factored into his decision to join the French heavyweights.

Alves was unveiled as the club’s second signing of the close season on Wednesday after joining PSG in a two-year deal on a free transfer following his exit from Juventus last month.

Fitness and finance jostle for football pre-season spotlight

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Paris (AFP) – Real Madrid and Barcelona square off in a rare overseas Clasico while Manchester United and Manchester City meet for the first time outside Britain as the world’s leading clubs strive to optimise their pre-season preparations.

Pre-season tours have grown significantly in importance over the past decade as teams promote their brand visibility while simultaneously striving to ensure players are ready to hit the ground running.

Fitness and finance jostle for football pre-season spotlight

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Paris (AFP) – Real Madrid and Barcelona square off in a rare overseas Clasico while Manchester United and Manchester City meet for the first time outside Britain as the world’s leading clubs strive to optimise their pre-season preparations.

Pre-season tours have grown significantly in importance over the past decade as teams promote their brand visibility while simultaneously striving to ensure players are ready to hit the ground running.

Benzema wins court battle over sex-tape

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Paris (AFP) – France’s highest court on Tuesday struck down a ruling putting Real Madrid star Karim Benzema on trial over the sex-tape blackmail of fellow former international Mathieu Valbuena.

The Court of Cassation annulled a Versailles Court of Appeal ruling in December to send Benzema to trial for allegedly attempting to blackmail Valbuena over the sex tape.

Benzema wins court battle over sex-tape

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Paris (AFP) – France’s highest court on Tuesday struck down a ruling putting Real Madrid star Karim Benzema on trial over the sex-tape blackmail of fellow former international Mathieu Valbuena.

The Court of Cassation annulled a Versailles Court of Appeal ruling in December to send Benzema to trial for allegedly attempting to blackmail Valbuena over the sex tape.

Barcelona-target Verratti apologises to PSG over transfer talk

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Paris (AFP) – Italian international midfielder Marco Verratti has apologised to Paris Saint-Germain officials and fans in a video posted by the Ligue 1 side over the furore whipped up by his desire to leave the club.

“I’ve been here for five years, and if I’ve become a good player it’s thanks to Paris Saint-Germain, who believed in me from the start.

Marquinhos extends PSG deal to 2022

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Paris (AFP) – Brazilian international defender Marquinhos has penned a three-year contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain that runs until 2022, the Ligue 1 club announced Saturday.

“I have always said I’m happy to play for Paris Saint-Germain, and this contract extension is further proof of my commitment to the club,” said Marquinhos, who joined PSG from Roma in 2013.

Southgate gauges gap to best as England lose in France

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Paris (AFP) – England manager Gareth Southgate admitted Tuesday’s 3-2 friendly defeat to France in Paris provided further evidence of how far his side still have to go before they can be considered contenders at next year’s World Cup.

They were unable to hold onto an early lead given to them by Harry Kane and ended up conceding defeat despite the hosts playing most of the second half with 10 men at the Stade de France.

France honours terror victims as Macron, May attend England friendly

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Paris (AFP) – An emotional tribute was paid to the victims of the recent terror attacks in the United Kingdom prior to England’s friendly match with France in Paris on Tuesday evening.

French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May attended the match at the Stade de France, to the north of the capital, as the hosts offered their solidarity to their visitors.

France honours terror victims as Macron, May attend England friendly

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Paris (AFP) – An emotional tribute was paid to the victims of the recent terror attacks in the United Kingdom prior to England’s friendly match with France in Paris on Tuesday evening.

French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May attended the match at the Stade de France, to the north of the capital, as the hosts offered their solidarity to their visitors.

Confidence boosting friendly wins for Dutch, Ireland

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Paris (AFP) – The Netherlands warmed up for a vital 2018 World Cup qualifier next week with an emphatic 5-0 friendly win against Ivory Coast on Sunday.

The Dutch are struggling to make it to Russia next year, placed only fourth in Group A on seven points behind leaders France (13) Sweden (10) and Bulgaria (9).

Confidence boosting friendly wins for Dutch, Ireland

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Paris (AFP) – The Netherlands warmed up for a vital 2018 World Cup qualifier next week with an emphatic 5-0 friendly win against Ivory Coast on Sunday.

The Dutch are struggling to make it to Russia next year, placed only fourth in Group A on seven points behind leaders France (13) Sweden (10) and Bulgaria (9).

Last-gasp own goal hands PSG French Cup

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Paris (AFP) – The unfortunate Issa Cissokho headed agonisingly into his own net in stoppage time to give Paris Saint-Germain a 1-0 win over Angers in the French Cup final at the Stade de France on Saturday.

Extra time loomed at France’s national stadium - where French President Emmanuel Macron was among the spectators - when Cissokho turned an Angel Di Maria corner past his own goalkeeper while under pressure from Blaise Matuidi at the near post.

PSG want French Cup season swansong

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Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain will seek to draw their bitter-sweet season to a winning close when they take on unheralded Angers in Saturday’s French Cup final.

PSG missed out on the Ligue 1 title to rivals Monaco, who finished eight points clear at the top of the table to break the Parisians’ hopes of a fifth consecutive trophy.

Di Maria, Pastore homes raided in PSG tax probe

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Paris (AFP) – Investigators raided the headquarters of Paris Saint-Germain and the homes of the club’s Argentinian stars Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore on Tuesday in a tax fraud probe, legal sources said.

French prosecutors launched the investigation in December following revelations by the “Football Leaks” website concerning financial transactions and other details involving top football players.

Champions Monaco sign off with Rennes win

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Paris (AFP) – Monaco capped their French title-winning season with a record 12th consecutive victory after beating Rennes 3-2 on Saturday, while Bastia and Nancy were both relegated from Ligue 1.

Fabinho tucked home a rebound to give Monaco a first-half lead at Roazhon Park, and defender Jemerson added a second from a corner shortly after the interval.

Champions Monaco sign off with Rennes win

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Paris (AFP) – Monaco capped their French title-winning season with a record 12th consecutive victory after beating Rennes 3-2 on Saturday, while Bastia and Nancy were both relegated from Ligue 1.

Fabinho tucked home a rebound to give Monaco a first-half lead at Roazhon Park, and defender Jemerson added a second from a corner shortly after the interval.

Cavani wins French players’ player of the year

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Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain’s Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani was voted French players’ player of the year on Monday with Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe winning the under-21’s title.

Cavani has flourished in the absence of departed Zlatan Ibrahimovic and has notched up 35 league goals so far since moving into the centre forward slot from the wing where he was exiled while the giant Swede was around.

Falcao fires Monaco to brink of French title

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Paris (AFP) – Radamel Falcao scored twice as Monaco strode to within a point of the Ligue 1 title after Sunday’s 4-0 home win over Lille left them on the verge of dethroning Paris Saint-Germain.

The Colombian striker netted either side of a Bernardo Silva goal before Junior Alonso bundled into his own net as Monaco reeled off a 10th straight Ligue 1 victory, although PSG’s 5-0 rout of Saint-Etienne prevented Leonardo Jardim’s side from officially securing the title.

Goal kings Monaco poised for French crown

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Paris (AFP) – Free-scoring Monaco could wrap up a first Ligue 1 title in 17 years on Sunday as defending champions Paris Saint-Germain need a near-miracle to earn a fifth straight championship.

Monaco enjoy a three point lead, have a massive goal difference advantage of 19 and even hold a game in hand as they host 11th placed Lille, with the Parisians facing a tough trip to Saint Etienne’s raucous stadium.

Evra nets first Marseille goal to sink Nice

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Paris (AFP) – Patrice Evra scored his first goal for Marseille in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Nice to extinguish the visitors’ hopes of claiming an automatic Champions League qualifying spot.

Ricardo Pereira and Dalbert both hit the post for Nice inside the opening 15 minutes, but Marseille grabbed the lead when Bafetimbi Gomis headed in his team-leading 18th goal of the season.

Evra nets first Marseille goal to sink Nice

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Paris (AFP) – Patrice Evra scored his first goal for Marseille in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Nice to extinguish the visitors’ hopes of claiming an automatic Champions League qualifying spot.

Ricardo Pereira and Dalbert both hit the post for Nice inside the opening 15 minutes, but Marseille grabbed the lead when Bafetimbi Gomis headed in his team-leading 18th goal of the season.

Monaco take step closer to French title

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Paris (AFP) – Player of the year nominee Bernardo Silva was on target as Monaco eased to a 3-0 win at Nancy on Saturday to leave them on the brink of a first French title since 2000.

Monaco had seen nearest challengers Paris Saint-Germain trounce bottom club Bastia 5-0 earlier in the day, but they responded in style with a comfortable victory at the Stade Marcel-Picot.

Monaco take step closer to French title

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Paris (AFP) – Player of the year nominee Bernardo Silva was on target as Monaco eased to a 3-0 win at Nancy on Saturday to leave them on the brink of a first French title since 2000.

Monaco had seen nearest challengers Paris Saint-Germain trounce bottom club Bastia 5-0 earlier in the day, but they responded in style with a comfortable victory at the Stade Marcel-Picot.

Monaco revert to title chase after Euro blow

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Paris (AFP) – Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim has called on his players to put their Champions League disappointment out of their minds and take a big step towards securing the French title when they go to Nancy on Saturday.

The principality side look set to bow out of the Champions League in the semi-finals after losing 2-0 at home to a superior Juventus at the Stade Louis II in Wednesday’s first leg.

Monaco revert to title chase after Euro blow

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Paris (AFP) – Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim has called on his players to put their Champions League disappointment out of their minds and take a big step towards securing the French title when they go to Nancy on Saturday.

The principality side look set to bow out of the Champions League in the semi-finals after losing 2-0 at home to a superior Juventus at the Stade Louis II in Wednesday’s first leg.

Ronaldo leads charge into Champions League semis

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Paris (AFP) – Europe’s hottest strikers from record-breaker Cristiano Ronaldo to potential heir Kylian Mbappe take centre stage this week in two tasty Champions League semi-final first legs.

Ronaldo and Real host Atletico Madrid on Tuesday and Mbappe’s attacking Monaco welcome Juventus the next evening as Europe’s biggest club competition approaches its climax.

Ronaldo leads charge into Champions League semis

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Paris (AFP) – Europe’s hottest strikers from record-breaker Cristiano Ronaldo to potential heir Kylian Mbappe take centre stage this week in two tasty Champions League semi-final first legs.

Ronaldo and Real host Atletico Madrid on Tuesday and Mbappe’s attacking Monaco welcome Juventus the next evening as Europe’s biggest club competition approaches its climax.

Balotelli strikes to give Monaco big helping hand

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Paris (AFP) – Mario Balotelli hit his 14th league goal of the season and Ricardo Pereira scored a cracker as Nice blew a big hole in Paris Saint Germain’s title defence with a 3-1 win on Sunday.

PSG are chasing a third consecutive sweep of domestic honours but finished the weekend three points behind Ligue 1 leaders Monaco, who also have a game in hand, and played the last moments in Nice with only nine men after they had two men sent off in quick succession.

Balotelli strikes to give Monaco big helping hand

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Paris (AFP) – Mario Balotelli hit his 14th league goal of the season and Ricardo Pereira scored a cracker as Nice blew a big hole in Paris Saint Germain’s title defence with a 3-1 win on Sunday.

PSG are chasing a third consecutive sweep of domestic honours but finished the weekend three points behind Ligue 1 leaders Monaco, who also have a game in hand, and played the last moments in Nice with only nine men after they had two men sent off in quick succession.

Mbappe fires Monaco clear at top

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Paris (AFP) – Kylian Mbappe delivered another crucial goal for Monaco as the Ligue 1 leaders fought back to defeat Toulouse 3-1 on Saturday and move three points clear at the top.

Ola Toivonen struck immediately after half time as Toulouse threatened to derail Monaco’s title hopes at the Stade Louis II, but Kamil Glik equalised for the home side on 49 minutes.

Mbappe fires Monaco clear at top

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Paris (AFP) – Kylian Mbappe delivered another crucial goal for Monaco as the Ligue 1 leaders fought back to defeat Toulouse 3-1 on Saturday and move three points clear at the top.

Ola Toivonen struck immediately after half time as Toulouse threatened to derail Monaco’s title hopes at the Stade Louis II, but Kamil Glik equalised for the home side on 49 minutes.

Mbappe rallies Monaco past Toulouse

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Paris (AFP) – Kylian Mbappe delivered another crucial goal for Monaco as the Ligue 1 leaders fought back to defeat Toulouse 3-1 on Saturday and move three points clear at the top.

Ola Toivonen struck immediately after half-time as Toulouse threatened to derail Monaco’s title hopes at the Stade Louis II, but Kamil Glik equalised for the home side on 49 minutes.

Mbappe rallies Monaco past Toulouse

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Paris (AFP) – Kylian Mbappe delivered another crucial goal for Monaco as the Ligue 1 leaders fought back to defeat Toulouse 3-1 on Saturday and move three points clear at the top.

Ola Toivonen struck immediately after half-time as Toulouse threatened to derail Monaco’s title hopes at the Stade Louis II, but Kamil Glik equalised for the home side on 49 minutes.

PSG rout Monaco to reach French Cup final

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Paris (AFP) – Edinson Cavani celebrated his new contract with his 45th goal of the season as holders Paris Saint-Germain demolished an inexperienced Monaco 5-0 to reach next month’s French Cup final against Angers.

Julian Draxler prodded PSG ahead on 26 minutes at the Parc des Princes and Cavani, who on Tuesday signed an extension through to 2020, swiftly doubled the lead as Unai Emery’s side dominated their understrength opponents.

PSG rout Monaco to reach French Cup final

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Paris (AFP) – Edinson Cavani celebrated his new contract with his 45th goal of the season as holders Paris Saint-Germain demolished an inexperienced Monaco 5-0 to reach next month’s French Cup final against Angers.

Julian Draxler prodded PSG ahead on 26 minutes at the Parc des Princes and Cavani, who on Tuesday signed an extension through to 2020, swiftly doubled the lead as Unai Emery’s side dominated their understrength opponents.

PSG, Monaco renew battle in French Cup semi-final

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Paris (AFP) – Leonardo Jardim’s Monaco hold the edge over Paris Saint-Germain in the French title race, but the reigning champions haven’t given up hope of landing a third successive sweep of the domestic trophies.

PSG thrashed Monaco 4-1 at the start of April to retain the French League Cup, and with the principality club prioritising Europe and Ligue 1, Unai Emery’s side will again fancy their chances in Wednesday’s French Cup semi-final.

The Rest

Hard Knock Life: Mo Salah Will Have To Spend A Few Nights In Paris Before He’s Eligible To Play For Liverpool

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Liverpool are due to play Tranmere in a pre-season friendly tonight, though sadly fans in attendance will not be getting a first look at new signing Mohamed Salah in action.

The Egyptian winger completed his £34million move from Roma in the middle of June, but will not be eligible for selection by the Reds until he leaves the UK and then returns.