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Spain stay unbeaten under Lopetegui with Swiss draw

Vila-real (Spain) (AFP) – Ricardo Rodriguez equalised for Switzerland as World Cup contenders Spain were held to a 1-1 draw at home in their final friendly before jetting out to Russia next week. Real Sociedad right-back Alvaro Odriozola volleyed Spain ahead on 29 minutes in Vila-real with a fantastic strike from the edge of the area in just his third international appearance. Andres Iniesta drew a sharp save from Yann Sommer at his near post before the break, and the veteran midfielder went close again early in the second half before he was replaced to a warm ovation ahead of

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Spain stay unbeaten under Lopetegui after Swiss draw

Vila-real (Spain) (AFP) – Ricardo Rodriguez equalised for Switzerland as World Cup contenders Spain were held to a 1-1 draw at home in their final friendly before jetting out to Russia next week. Real Sociedad right-back Alvaro Odriozola volleyed Spain ahead on 29 minutes in Vila-real with a fantastic strike from the edge of the area in just his third international appearance. Andres Iniesta drew a sharp save from Yann Sommer at his near post before the break, and the veteran midfielder went close again early in the second half before he was replaced to a warm ovation ahead of

The post Spain stay unbeaten under Lopetegui after Swiss draw appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Neymar thrilled to be back, at ’80 percent’

Liverpool (AFP) – Brazil star Neymar said he was “very happy” to have made a goal-scoring comeback in a 2-0 friendly victory over Croatia on Sunday, but insisted he was only firing at “80 percent”. “It’s been three months that I’ve been injured,” said Neymar, with the World Cup to start in Russia in 10 days. “To come back and do what I love the most, playing football, and furthermore to score a goal, is an immense joy. I’m very happy.” The Paris Saint-Germain forward appeared as a half-time replacement for Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho as the Selecao stepped up

The post Neymar thrilled to be back, at ’80 percent’ appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Guerrero scores twice on Peru return after doping ban drama

St. Gallen (Switzerland) (AFP) – Paolo Guerrero scored twice in a 3-0 friendly win over Saudi Arabia to cap an emotional week for the Peru captain who was cleared to play at the World Cup after his long legal battle against a 14-month drugs suspension. The 34-year-old striker won a last-ditch legal appeal on Thursday to appear at the tournament in Russia despite being banned after testing positive for traces of cocaine following a World Cup qualifier against Argentina last October. The Swiss federal tribunal, Guerrero’s last legal recourse, overturned a ruling by the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)

The post Guerrero scores twice on Peru return after doping ban drama appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Turkish tycoon ousts Fenerbahce supremo after two decades

Istanbul (AFP) – Turkish football and multi-sports giant Fenerbahce on Sunday elected a scion of one of Turkey’s wealthiest industrial dynasties as its new chairman, ending the two-decade reign of longstanding supremo Aziz Yildirim. Businessman Ali Koc was elected new Fenerbahce chairman in a landslide ballot win among members, winning 16,092 of their votes compared to just 4,644 for Yildirim. The change at the top marks a turning point for the Istanbul club, which has been dominated by Yildirim since he became chairman in 1998. “A historic runaway victory,” said leading newspaper Hurriyet. “A page is closed at Fenerbahce. And

The post Turkish tycoon ousts Fenerbahce supremo after two decades appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Argentina’s 1986 World Cup-winning coach Bilardo hospitalised

Buenos Aires (AFP) – Carlos Bilardo, the coach of Argentina’s World Cup-winning side in 1986, has been in a Buenos Aires hospital since Thursday, local media reported.  The news was confirmed by family sources and the Telam news agency, with reports indicating the 80-year-old complained of significant discomfort and is suffering from severe depression. Bilardo served as the national team coach from 1982 to 1990 and guided an Argentina side featuring Diego Maradona to a second World Cup triumph at the 1986 tournament in Mexico. He was coach of Argentine giants Boca Juniors as well as Estudiantes and San Lorenzo,

The post Argentina’s 1986 World Cup-winning coach Bilardo hospitalised appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Tite hails ‘extraordinary’ Neymar’s golden return

Liverpool (AFP) – Neymar proved his fitness for the World Cup with an explosive return to action that left Brazil manager Tite stunned as the superstar’s superb strike inspired Sunday’s 2-0 win over Croatia. Sidelined for 98 days after breaking a metatarsal and spraining his ankle while playing for Paris Saint-Germain in late February, Neymar had confessed to concerns about his fitness ahead of the World Cup in Russia. But, after appearing as a half-time replacement for Fernandinho, Neymar eased his country’s fears by scoring a magnificent individual goal in the 68th minute at Anfield. Tite couldn’t believe what he’d

The post Tite hails ‘extraordinary’ Neymar’s golden return appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Barcelona extend Umtiti’s contract until 2023

Barcelona (AFP) – France defender Samuel Umtiti has agreed to extend his contract with Barcelona for five more seasons, the club said on Sunday. Umtiti, who is part of the French World Cup squad training at Clairefontaine, near Paris, will on Monday make a trip to the Camp Nou in Barcelona, where he will sign the contract at 10am (0800 GMT) and give a press conference 30 minutes later. Umtiti arrived at Barca from Lyon in 2016 for 25 million euros ($29 million) and rapidly cemented his place in the starting lineup. The Cameroon-born 24-year-old also has 18 France caps. The

The post Barcelona extend Umtiti’s contract until 2023 appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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World Cup On Radio: Schedule of World Cup games

For the 2018 FIFA World Cup, listening to the World Cup on radio is going to be a must-have for some soccer fans who will be working when many of the games kick off during office hours at 8am ET, 11am ET and 2pm ET. If you understand Spanish, you can listen to the World Cup on radio through Fútbol de Primera. The games will be streamed across that website, as well as via select Spanish-language radio stations in major cities nationwide. For the English-language broadcasts of the games, though, it’s a mystery. After repeated attempts to request radio details

The post World Cup On Radio: Schedule of World Cup games appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Neymar back with a bang as Brazil star sinks Croatia

Liverpool (AFP) – Brazil star Neymar made a stunning return from injury with a superb goal in their 2-0 friendly victory over Croatia on Sunday. Just 98 days after suffering an injury he feared would keep him out of the upcoming World Cup in Russia, Neymar was back with a bang at Anfield.  The Paris Saint-Germain forward appeared as a half-time replacement for Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho as the Selecao stepped up their World Cup preparations. And Neymar needed just 23 minutes to prove how important he is to Brazil’s hopes of a sixth world title. Receiving a pass from

The post Neymar back with a bang as Brazil star sinks Croatia appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Palestinian FA protests planned Messi game in Jerusalem

Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – Palestinian football boss Jibril Rajoub called Sunday on Barcelona star Lionel Messi not to play in an Argentina-Israel game in Jerusalem and urged fans to burn their shirts if he does. Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Football Association, has long demanded sanctions against Israel, which has six league teams based in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. At a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah he told journalists he had written to Argentina’s government asking that Messi not take part in the June 9 friendly. “This match has become a political

The post Palestinian FA protests planned Messi game in Jerusalem appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Neymar scores for Brazil on return from injury against Croatia

Liverpool (AFP) – Neymar celebrated his eagerly anticipated return from injury with a superb goal for Brazil in their World Cup warm-up against Croatia on Sunday. Neymar had been sidelined for over three months after fracturing his foot while playing for Paris Saint-Germain against Marseille in Ligue 1 on February 25. But the 26-year-old striker has made a strong recovery and handed Brazil a pre-World Cup boost when he came off the bench to replace Fernandinho for the second half at Anfield. And Neymar showed no signs of rust as he got on the scoresheet in the 68th minute with

The post Neymar scores for Brazil on return from injury against Croatia appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Brazil’s Neymar returns from injury against Croatia

Liverpool (AFP) – Neymar made his eagerly anticipated return from injury as a half-time substitute for Brazil in their World Cup warm-up against Croatia on Sunday. Neymar had been sidelined for over three months after fracturing his foot while playing for Paris Saint-Germain against Marseille in Ligue 1 on February 25. But the 26-year-old striker has made a strong recovery and handed Brazil a pre-World Cup boost, 11 days before the start of the tournament, when he came off the bench to replace Fernandinho for the second half at Anfield. Neymar sprained his ankle and fractured his fifth metatarsal, requiring

The post Brazil’s Neymar returns from injury against Croatia appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Smolov and Dzyuba to spearhead Russia’s attack at World Cup

Moscow (AFP) – Injury-hit Russia named their World Cup 23 on Sunday with their hopes of performing respectably as hosts riding on attacking duo Fyodor Smolov and Artem Dzyuba. Coach Stanislav Cherchesov has lost Spartak full-back Georgi Dzhikiya, CSKA defender Viktor Vasin and Zenit St Petersburg striker Alexander Kokorin to knee ligament injuries, while Spartak Moscow goalkeeper Alexander Selikhov has ruptured his Achilles tendon. Krasnodar forward Smolov, the Russian league’s top scorer in 2016-17, who finished second in the league scorers’ chart this year, will spearhead Russia’s attack alongside with Dzyuba, who was loaned from Zenit St Petersburg to Arsenal

The post Smolov and Dzyuba to spearhead Russia’s attack at World Cup appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Nigeria must improve before World Cup admits Mikel

London (AFP) – Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel admits his side have to improve quickly if they are to make an impact at the World Cup. The Super Eagles lost 2-1 to England in a friendly at Wembley on Saturday. Nigeria were punished for a dismal first half display as goals from Gary Cahill and Harry Kane put England in control. Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi pulled one back for the visitors after the interval, but Nigeria couldn’t find an equaliser despite their improved second half performance. Mikel knows Nigeria have to sharpen up in Russia if they to get through a

The post Nigeria must improve before World Cup admits Mikel appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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