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‘Excited’ Salah misses Egypt’s first training session in Russia

Grozny (Russia) (AFP) – Liverpool star Mohamed Salah sat out Egypt training again on Sunday following the north Africans’ arrival in Grozny ahead of the World Cup in Russia. Nursing a shoulder injury suffered in the Champions League final — which Liverpool lost 3-1 to Real Madrid — Salah did come out onto the pitch in Grozny accompanied by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov to greet fans eager to catch a glimpse of the English Premier League player of the year. Salah is facing a race against time to be fit to lead Egypt in Russia since injuring his shoulder when

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World Cup hopefuls France arrive in Russia

Moscow (AFP) – France’s attack-minded squad arrived in Russia on Sunday full of hope that they can win a second World Cup 20 years after their first victory. Led by forwards Antoine Griezmann and teenage star Kylian Mbappe, the French flew into Moscow before heading to their base in the forest in Istra outside the Russian capital. France suffered a stumble in their final warm-up game on Saturday, needing a 78th minute goal from Mbappe to earn a 1-1 draw with a youthful United States team in Lyon. Didier Deschamps’ team will play Australia in their opening Group C match

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Lost bag hiccup delays start of Iceland’s World Cup adventure

Gelendzhik (Russia) (AFP) – Iceland needed police help to keep their World Cup plans on track after coach Heimir Hallgrimsson put his bag on the wrong bus in a comical start to their debut campaign. Hallgrimsson’s bag was on a bus headed for northern Iceland rather than the team coach bound for the airport on Saturday, a slip that delayed the group’s departure by half an hour while the item was recovered. “It was good for the guys that they can laugh at me,” Hallgrimsson told AFP on Sunday after the team’s first World Cup training session close to the

The post Lost bag hiccup delays start of Iceland’s World Cup adventure appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Russia recruits army of volunteers for World Cup

Saint Petersburg (AFP) – They aren’t big fans of football, but Viktoria, Roman and Valeria are ready to spend a month of their time helping visitors attending the World Cup in Russia. “Of course the World Cup is an enormous, important event, but for me personally it is more about helping people. That’s the reason I became a volunteer,” said economics student Viktoria Astanina. The 22-year-old and her friends are among the 3,500 volunteers recruited in St Petersburg alone for the June 14-July 15 tournament. The numbers swell to more than 15,000 across the 11 Russian cities hosting matches at

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Guardiola hits back at Toure’s racism jibes

Madrid (AFP) – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hit back at Yaya Toure denying accusations he’s racist in an interview on Spanish television. “He knows I’m not,” insisted Guardiola when asked about Toure’s previous claims the Spaniard “has problems with Africans”. “What do you want me to do,” added Guardiola in an interview with TV3. “We were together for two years. (He had) 365 and 365 (days) to tell me (his feelings). “It’s not important, it doesn’t matter.” Ivorian international midfielder Toure had told France Football magazine earlier this week that he had questioned whether his skin “colour” had

The post Guardiola hits back at Toure’s racism jibes appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Indian captain Chhetri equals Messi’s tally of 64 goals

Mumbai (AFP) – India’s football captain Sunil Chhetri Sunday joined Argentine star Lionel Messi as the second highest international goal scorer among active players with his 64th strike for the country. Chhetri scored twice in his team’s 2-0 win over Kenya to lift the Intercontinental Cup in Mumbai that saw another good crowd turnout after the the star striker’s appeal for fan support earlier in the tournament. The 33-year-old Chhetri scored in the eighth and the 29th minute to get equal with Messi. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo leads the active players’ scoring tally with 81 goals from 150 matches. Chhetri, with 102

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Neymar scores stunner for Brazil as Ronaldo trains in Russia

Moscow (AFP) – Neymar scored on his return to the starting line-up in Brazil’s final World Cup warm-up on Sunday as Cristiano Ronaldo trained with European champions Portugal and Mohamed Salah touched down in Russia. As the clock ticks down to Thursday’s World Cup opener in Moscow between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia, Neymar found the net for the second time in a week in a morale-boosting 3-0 win against Austria. Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho netted either side of Neymar’s strike in Vienna as the world’s most expensive player confirmed his return to fitness following a foot operation three

The post Neymar scores stunner for Brazil as Ronaldo trains in Russia appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Birthday boy Chris Coleman gifted China club job

Shanghai (AFP) – Former Wales and Sunderland boss Chris Coleman was named coach of Chinese side Hebei China Fortune on Sunday — making it a 48th birthday to remember. Coleman is the surprise successor to Manuel Pellegrini, who left Hebei last month to take over at Premier League West Ham United. Coleman, who turned 48 on Sunday, is just the latest foreign coach in the ambitious Chinese Super League (CSL) and was available after recently losing his job at Sunderland following their relegation into England’s third tier. “We welcome the arrival of Mr Coleman and expect him to bring new

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Neymar on target again as Brazil beat Austria

Vienna (AFP) – Neymar marked his return to the starting line-up with another brilliant goal as Brazil eased to a 3-0 win over Austria in Vienna on Sunday in their final friendly ahead of the World Cup. Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho netted either side of Neymar’s strike at the Ernst Happel Stadion, as the world’s most expensive player confirmed his return to fitness following a foot operation three months ago. It was an encouraging way for Tite’s side to complete their preparations before their departure for their base in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi. The Brazilians

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beIN SPORTS to televise World Cup 2026 Vote on Wednesday

beIN SPORTS will broadcast a live show on Wednesday, June 13 that will feature live updates and reactions to FIFA’s decision on whether 2026 World Cup will be awarded to the united bid of USA, Mexico and Canada or Morocco. The coverage, which begins at 6am ET on beIN SPORTS, will feature analysts and reports from Moscow. The broadcast will be hosted by Kay Murray and Jeremy St. Louis. And, impressively, beIN SPORTS will have three hours of coverage (from 6am to 9am ET). beIN SPORTS will follow up with a special episode of The Xtra from Noon-1pm ET as

The post beIN SPORTS to televise World Cup 2026 Vote on Wednesday appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Neymar starts for Brazil as Ronaldo trains

Moscow (AFP) – Neymar made his first start since February in Brazil’s final World Cup warm-up match on Sunday as Cristiano Ronaldo trained with European champions Portugal. As the clock ticks down to Thursday’s World Cup opener in Moscow between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia, Egypt’s Mohamed Salah touched down, facing his own fitness battle. Neymar, who broke a bone in his foot in February, made an explosive return to action against Croatia in Liverpool last weekend, scoring a stunning goal in a 2-0 win for the five-time world champions after coming on as a substitute. The Paris Saint-German star

The post Neymar starts for Brazil as Ronaldo trains appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Salah’s World Cup fitness uncertain as Egypt arrive in Russia

Grozny (Russia) (AFP) – Egypt’s Mohamed Salah arrived in Russia Sunday, with the Pharaohs hopeful the star striker can complete a dramatic injury comeback in time for their opening World Cup match against Uruguay. Salah and his teammates touched down in Grozny ahead of Egypt’s third appearance at the World Cup, ending a drought stretching back to 1990. The seven-time African champions play their opening Group A fixture on Friday, June 15, against Uruguay. “The team is ready for the competition and morale is high,” national team manager Ihab Leheta told AFP at the Grozny International Airport. The Pharaohs have

The post Salah’s World Cup fitness uncertain as Egypt arrive in Russia appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Low key arrival for unfancied Australia

Kazan (Russia) (AFP) – Australia on Sunday finally arrived at their base in chilly Kazan, where the ‘Socceroos’ will begin preparations for what many pundits believe will be yet another early departure from the World Cup. Scheduled to meet highly-fancied France in their World Cup opener on June 16, Bert Van Marwijk’s men touched down shortly after midday and made the short trip from Kazan airport to their hotel and training complex a few kilometres from the centre of the colourful, windswept Tatar city. Australia, whose best World Cup performance was reaching the last 16 under Guus Hiddink in 2006,

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Ukrainian Hungarians win alternative World Football Cup

London (AFP) – Karpatalja won the alternative CONIFA World Football Cup 2018 on Saturday in a remarkable triumph for a side drafted in as a last-minute replacement shortly before the tournament kicked off. The team, representing ethnic Hungarians living in modern-day Ukraine, beat Northern Cyprus 3-2 on penalties after a goalless draw to win the biennial competition for football’s unrecognised nations and other outsiders. The 16-team tournament was staged at non-league grounds around London and the final at Donkey Lane drew thousands of spectators, including flare-firing hardcore Hungarian football fans. The 10-day competition has proved a colourful, more grassroots counterpart

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For African footballers Russia is a land of false promises

Moscow (AFP) – As football’s top stars arrive in Russia chasing World Cup glory, young African players lured to the country with promises of lucrative contracts say that for them it is a place of scams and shattered dreams. “We are the team of false promises,” said Ismael Soumahoro, who was 16 and playing in Ivory Coast’s top flight when a scout convinced him “football is Africa is good but it would be better to take my chances in Europe.” Soumahoro paid the scout 3,000 euros ($3,500) only to find, like so many before him, that promises of a spot

The post For African footballers Russia is a land of false promises appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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