Spain midfielder Jonathan Viera heads to China

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Madrid (AFP) – La Liga strugglers Las Palmas on Monday confirmed that Spanish international attacking midfielder Jonathan Viera is leaving the club to join Beijing Guoan in the Chinese Super League. Las Palmas did not reveal the transfer fee for the 28-year-old Gran Canaria native, although club president Miguel Angel Ramirez admitted that they could not match the money on offer in China. “On signing his contract they are offering him seven million euros ($8.6m) net, and what we can’t do is ruin the life of one of our own,” Ramirez said in a press conference. Spanish press reports suggested the deal could be worth upwards of 20 million euros to Las Palmas, while the Spanish side revealed they would receive 30 percent of any future transfer of Viera as well as potential bonuses. However, Las Palmas, who are currently fighting against relegation from La Liga, also revealed that Continue reading "Spain midfielder Jonathan Viera heads to China"

Five Serie A things you may have missed

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Milan (AFP) – Napoli matched Juventus with a 1-0 win over SPAL on Sunday to regain top spot in Italy from the champions who won the Turin derby by the same score. The two Serie A pacesetters both bounced back from European setbacks to claim their ninth consecutive league wins. Here are five talking points from the weekend’s Serie A action: Diabate keeps Benevento alive New Malian signing Cheick Diabate kept Benevento’s faint Serie A survivial hopes alive with a last-gasp goal in a 3-2 win over Crotone. “If we lost today then it would be impossible to recover and believe in survival,” said coach Roberto De Zerbi. The promoted side from outside Naples are 11 points short of safety, having acquired just ten. “The ranking shows our limits but pride and dignity must never be lacking. Mathematically we can still get the points we need.” Gattuso tells Cutrone Continue reading "Five Serie A things you may have missed"

Is VAR ready for Premier League rollout?

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> London (AFP) – VAR technology is back in the spotlight after Manchester United’s Juan Mata was controversially denied a goal in a confusing incident that raises questions over whether it is ready for a Premier League rollout. The video assistant referee system has been trialled in hundreds of matches around the world to review key moments linked to goals, penalty decisions, red-card incidents and cases of mistaken identity. Football’s governing body FIFA will decide next month whether to officially endorse the VAR system, a move that could see the controversial technology used at the World Cup.  The Premier League is lagging behind the Bundesliga and Serie A, which are testing the technology this season but Saturday’s incident, which saw a Mata goal cancelled out after a lengthy delay, was just the latest in a series of contentious moments involving VAR in England. AFP Sports looks at the key issues
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James Rodriguez – Bayern Munich’s ‘godsend’

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Berlin (AFP) – Unloved at Real Madrid, yet declared a “godsend” by Bayern Munich, James Rodriguez has rebooted his stuttering career in Bavaria and is set to shine again in the Champions League. In his preferred attacking midfield role, Rodriguez is set to face Besiktas on Tuesday in the first leg of the last-16 tie at Munich’s Allianz Arena.  In Germany, the Colombia international has rediscovered the form which saw him light up the 2014 World Cup and finish as the competition’s top scorer. Working alongside veteran head coach Jupp Heynckes has rejuvenated the 26-year-old after three challenging seasons at Real, where he fell out of favour under Zinedine Zidane. Real paid Monaco 75 million euros ($93 million) in the wake of his dazzling displays in Brazil four years ago, but the Spanish giants shipped him out to Bayern on a two-year loan deal last June. It is a
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Former Premier League Africans net first goals for new clubs

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Paris (AFP) – Former English Premier League strikers Diafra Sakho and Brown Ideye scored their first goals for new clubs on a mainly low-key weekend for Africans across Europe.   Senegalese Sakho, who joined French Ligue 1 outfit Rennes from West Ham United, equalised and then put the visitors ahead in a 2-2 draw at Caen.  Nigerian Ideye, whose many previous clubs include West Bromwich Albion, netted for Spanish La Liga strugglers Malaga in a 2-1 home defeat by Valencia. SPAIN BROWN IDEYE (Malaga) The Nigerian forward scored his first goal for Malaga in their 2-1 defeat at home against Valencia. The well-travelled Ideye returned to Europe last month when he joined Malaga until the end of the season on loan from Chinese side Tianjin Teda. His new club are rooted to the bottom of La Liga though. IMOH EZEKIEL (Las Palmas) Ezekiel made his debut as a substitute Continue reading "Former Premier League Africans net first goals for new clubs"

Arsenal announce record shirt deal with Emirates

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> London (AFP) – Arsenal announced the club’s biggest-ever sponsorship deal on Monday, extending their shirt partnership with Dubai-based airline Emirates by five years. The Gunners confirmed the branding of Emirates, which began its sponsorship agreement with the north London club in 2006, would continue to feature on the shirts and training kit of all of their teams until the end of the 2023/2024 season. “Our shirt partnership is the longest-running in the Premier League and one of the longest relationships in world sport,” said Ivan Gazidis, chief executive of the club, who have not given a figure for the deal. “This mutual commitment is testimony to the strength and depth of our unique relationship.” “Emirates are again demonstrating their great belief in our approach and ambition and their significantly increased investment will help us continue to compete for trophies and bring more success to the club and our fans Continue reading "Arsenal announce record shirt deal with Emirates"

Galatasaray’s Gomis collapses during match

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Istanbul (AFP) – Galatasaray striker Bafetimbi Gomis collapsed during a Turkish Super Lig game late Sunday, but insisted after the match that he would continue to play “like a lion”. The 32-year-old former Swansea City and Lyon player fainted early in the first half of the 2-1 defeat against Istanbul team Kasimpasa but returned to the field shortly afterwards after doctors gave permission. The French player was seen bending over before falling to the ground in the seventh minute. The medical team quickly intervened and his teammates gathered around him but Gomis, who was taken off, was able to return within minutes and play the rest of the match. Gomis suffers from a vasovagal condition that makes him prone to fainting. Previous episodes took place during his career at Lyon and also when he was playing for Swansea against Tottenham in 2015. Gomis has had the condition, linked to low
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