Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ceremony Of The Olympic Games in Beijing

The inaugural ceremony of the XXIX Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, capital of China. The main Olympic ceremony became a director famous Chinese director Zhang Imou, known for the films "Hero" and "House of flying daggers." During a ceremony in Beijing, observed 91 - thousand spectators at the stadium to the podium and nearly 4 billion people on the planet.

All files in one folder - FileBox

All files in one folder - Rapidshare

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Madrid Prepare Villa Bid

Real Madrid are reportedly lining up a move for prolific Valencia striker David Villa, Robinho's agent has claimed.

Madrid Prepare Villa Bid

The Spain international has been strongly linked with a summer move following his good performances at Euro 2008.

Villa's summer transfer saga seemed to be drawing to a close after his representative, José Luis Tamargo, held initial talks over a new deal with Los Che.

Tamargo was even quoted as saying that he could assure Villa's stay at Mestalla after a summer of speculation.

But now Real Madrid appear to have joined the equation, having reportedly switched their attentions to Villa after missing out on Cristiano Ronaldo, according to Robinho's agent, Wagner Ribeiro.

"I say that it is true that Real Madrid are trying to sign David Villa," Ribeiro said.

Villa has been on the radar of the Spanish capital club for quite some time now, yet the Merengues had never stepped up their interest in the Valencia man.

Valencia coach Unai Emery has indicated that he believes El Guaje will stay at Mestalla but Real Madrid's reported interest may well put on hold Villa's renewal process if Ramón Calderón offers the €50 million that Valencia are asking for their striker, according to El Mundo Deportivo.

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Ferguson Ready To Swoop For Silva?

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is planning to get another one over Real Madrid following his win in the Cristiano Ronaldo fight. The Scottish coach is now trying to swoop for Valencia star David Silva, who is also a target for Los Merengues, according to Marca.

Ferguson Ready To Swoop For Silva?

The wily coach is trying lure the Los Che winger to Old Trafford and a €25m bid seems on the horizon.

Silva has been linked with a number of top-clubs but Valencia have been resistant to the demands. However, an offer from the reigning Premier League and European Champions might prove a little hard to refuse for directors at the Mestalla.

Barcelona and Real Madrid are also in the running but Manchester United seems the likelier option for Silva.

The player has, in the past, expressed his desire to play abroad and this is the perfect opportunity.

United’s offer is likely to convince the club to allow the player to make the switch to England. Valencia’s recent financial woes are still weighing upon the shoulders of the club’s hierarchy and the sale of Silva can alleviate such a burden.

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Mourinho Closes The Door On Quaresma

Inter coach Jose Mourinho has closed the door on Ricardo Quaresma by insisting that he has enough wingers in his team, even though the Porto man would give them another dimension.....

Mourinho Closes The Door On Quaresma

The ‘Special One’ has been after Quaresma all summer but his €27m price tag seems to have scuppered any chance of negotiations between the two clubs.

The former Chelsea coach is aware of the Dragoes midfielder’s abilities but it seems as if he will not take his interest in the winger any further.

“Quaresma can give the team a chance to play with other options but we already have plenty of midfielder’s in the side,” Mourinho told Record.

“If we want to play with wingers, we have [Luis] Figo and [Amantino] Mancini.

“Or we can play with one winger and two strikers and we are not short of names in that department either.”

Just days ago, Inter president Massimo Moratti revealed that he was not prepared to pursue the Porto star and his message seems to have reached Mourinho.

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Mourinho Can Make Me Better - Ibra

Inter striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic talked about his condition on his return from injury and his relationship with Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho Can Make Me Better - Ibra

Inter star Zlatan Ibrahimovic managed to get some playing minutes on his return from injury today in the first match of the Amsterdam Tournament against Sevilla. After the match, which finished goalless, he talked about his condition and his impression of coach Jose Mourinho.

"I felt good, I played without feeling pain," he said. "I am improving every day. I've been working to come back for over a week. Clearly I still lack the match rhythm, but it all went well, just like we hoped.

"Mourinho had asked me how I felt the last few days. He saw I did well during training and I told him I was ready to get back on the pitch. It was important to verify how the work was going and the result was positive.

"I'm very happy about the things Mourinho has said about me in this period, he has trust in me and I have faith in him too. I think he can still give me a lot to grow and I think I can give a lot to him and to Inter."

Mourinho announced today that the Swede will play 45 minutes of tomorrow's match against his former club Ajax, who are hosting the tournament.

"We will evalute in the next few hours how the knee is doing but I think there are no problems, so I hope to play tomorrow and also in Lisbon against Benfica in the last friendly," Ibra concluded.

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Owls Fly To The Top As Rams Crash

Sheffield Wednesday thumped Burnley 4-1 but Derby went down 1-0 at home to Doncaster and QPR beat Barnsley 2-1 at home as the Championship got off to a goal-laden start…

Owls Fly To The Top As Rams Crash

After the opening game of the Championship season needed an injury-time goal by Birmingham’s Kevin Phillips to rescue it from goalless obscurity, the ten three o’clock kick-offs started with a blizzard of goals - seven in six minutes as the campaign roared into life.

In fact there were goals in all but one of the ten afternoon games, with the shock of the day coming at Pride Park, heavily-backed Derby County going down to newly-promoted Doncaster Rovers 1-0. Sheffield Wednesday roared to the top with a resounding 4-1 win over Burnley, while promotion favourites QPR beat Barnsley 2-1 despite being a goal down.

Wolves came from behind twice to draw 2-2 at Plymouth, while FA Cup finalists Cardiff beat Southampton 2-1 somewhat controversially at Ninian Park.

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Former Madrid Star Signs For Anorthosis

Former Brazilian international Savio has been revealed as Cypriot champions Anorthosis' latest signing, leaving Desportiva Capixaba without having played a game...

Former Brazilian international Savio

The winger made his name as a youngster at Real Madrid, playing an understated part in los Merengues' golden era either side of the millenium, winning three Champions League titles and a Primera trophy while at the club, as well as an Intercontinental Cup and European Super Cup.

He later left the European heavyweights but had further spells in Spain with Real Zaragoza and a brief period with Real Sociedad as well as Levante. He then returned to his native Brazil, but has already made a move back to Europe.

Savio arrives as the Cypriots Champions League third qualifying around against Greek giants, Olympiacos.

"I have experience of playing in big games and I still believe that I have the same pace and imagination when I'm playing," said the 34-year-old. "I will give everything so as to help my new club achieve their main target of qualifying for the Champions League group stage."

Though the odds are against Anorthosis making any further progress, overcoming Rapid Wien during the week to make it through to face Olympiacos was a shock in itself.

Savio was capped 44 times for Brazil between 1994 and 2000, scoring an impressive 17 goals.

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Arsenal In €7.5m Swoop For Giovinco?

Arsenal are ready to table a €7.5m bid for Juventus starlet Sebastian Giovinco according to Calciomercato.

Arsenal In €7.5m Swoop For Giovinco?

The Gunners have been keeping close tabs on 'La Formica Atomica' and they are ready to try and pick the Old Lady’s pockets for their target.

The Juve youth product has been in stunning form and he is using the 2008 Olympic games as a shop window.

However, that window seems firmly shut as the Bianconeri are not willing to let him go.

Calciomercato claims that the Gunners are ready to swoop with a €7.5m offer for the 21-year-old prodigy.

A number of clubs including Palermo wanted Giovinco but Juve stood firm and resisted offers as the player is considered an important part of the team’s future.

Arsene Wenger’s penchant for signing youngsters is showing no sign of changing as he is also looking to sign Udinese’s Gokhan Inler.

The player’s agent recently revealed there was contact with Arsenal, but so far nothing has been written in stone.

Giovinco is likely to be used as a first choice player in Claudio Ranieri's side and he is being regarded as their heir to Pavel Nedved's throne when the Czech midfielder hangs up his boots.

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Mancini Tells Roma: They Treat Me Equally Here

Inter midfielder Amantino Mancini has hit out at his old club Roma and former coach Luciano Spalletti by suggesting he was not treated fairly in the Eternal city.

Amantino Mancini, Milan-Inter

The Brazilian, who spent five seasons with the Giallorossi, moved to San Siro this summer after falling out with his old side.

Reports claimed that his poor relationship with Spalletti caused tension in the dressing room and ultimately, it led to his exit.

Mancini spoke about his days at Roma and he has revealed that everyone is treated more fairly at Inter.

“Roma is now in the past, Inter is my life now,” Mancini told La Repubblica.

“I can say that everything is different here both in terms of football and life.

“I have understood what football is all about in Milan and now I have to adapt to the Milanese lifestyle.

“Of course, I will never forget the five years I had at Roma. I always found myself well there during that time.

“All I will say is that here people are treated equally and in the same way, both from the coach and from the clubs directors.”

Mancini has enjoyed a good pre-season with the Nerazzurri and he is likely to be the first choice winger in Jose Mourinho’s favoured 4-3-3 formation.

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Everton Close In On M’Bia

Everton appear to be on the verge of signing Rennes midfielder Stephane M’Bia, according to a report in The Mirror.

Everton Close In On M’Bia

The Toffees are reportedly preparing a £6 million offer for the midfielder which they hope will be accepted by the French side.

The paper also quotes the player as saying that he is happy to leave the club and move to the Premier League. According to The Mirror, M’Bia reportedly said: “I want to go - the offer from Everton is real - and the club are getting £6million for me.”

The paper also goes on to report that Rennes will allow the player to leave, should they be happy with Everton’s offer. According to the player: “Pierre Drossi the Rennes chairman promised me at the end of last season I could go if the right offer came - and it has.”

The news is likele to help placate Everton fans who have been expressing their dissatisfaction with the club over the lack of signings over the summer. To compound matters David Moyes has also allowed Andy Johnson and Lee Carsley to leave the club in recent weeks, which has not helped ease the fans’ fears.

M’Bia is a defensive midfielder who has been at Rennes since 2004 and has made almost 100 appearances for the French side. The Cameroonian is just 22 but already has 11 international caps to his credit and played in this year’s African Nations Cup. The highlight of his tournament were his two goals agianst Tunisia which handed Cameroon victory.

The Rennes man may be an ideal replacement for Carsley, however with Johnson departed, David Moyes may also be in the market for a new striker. Recent reports have suggested that he may be interested in signing Newcastle United’s Alan Smith with a fee of £5 million thought to be imminent.

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Video:Arsenal beat Ajax 3 -2 after being 2 goals down..

Video:Arsenal beat Ajax 3 -2 after being 2 goals down.

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Beijing Olympics: An old nemesis rears its head

Beijing Olympics: An old nemesis rears its head

I just saw Hope Solo and Lisa Chalupny, in a tentative moment, make the first big mistake as both were unable to thwart Leni Larsen Kaurin's header in thPublish Poste opening minutes.

A few minutes later, veteran Kate Markgraf could only look on as her under pressure backpass found a hustling Melissa Wiik latch onto the astray pass and lash the ball past a hapless Solo into the right hand corner of the net. Two down in the first five minutes. Could the US Women's team mount a stirring comeback against Norway? After all Norway has proven to be the team to beat after their sudden death victory over the US in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The US has claimed a number of victories since then but this is a US team minus its most potent offensive weapon, Abby Wambach.

It was not to be as the Norwegians sturdy as wood shut the US team down. NBC's crack reporting team was left chastened and questioning on camera. The US hopes to rebound against Japan.

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Olympic videos: USA vs Japan,Brazil vs Belgium

USA beat Japan by a solitary goal from Stuart Holden. Japan have been seven times in the tournament and started as the favourites.Great upset by the USA.

Elsewhere - in the battle of the B's ( Brazil vs Belgium) Brazil beat a 9 man Belgium again by the solitary goal.

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Video:Messi scores in Argentina's Olympic opener

Lionel Messi scored for his country in their opening Olympic men's football match in a narrow 2-1 win over the Ivory Coast on Thursday.Scoring for your country has to beat scoring for your club.Messi also helped setting up the second goal.He was adamant about wanting to be part of the Olympics and Barcelona,despite winning an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport giving the club the right to stop him playing,lifted their ban at the 11th hour.Good for them and good for the game.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Arshavin On Strike

Andrei Arshavin has allegedly gone on strike at Zenit St Petersburg after refusing to play in his side’s Russian Cup defeat on Wednesday night.

Arshavin On Strike

Zenit crashed out of the competition in Siberia against second tier opponents Sibir Novosibirsk, but Arshavin reportedly ruled himself out of contention for the game.

It has also been reported that the 27-year-old has vowed to stay away from training until Zenit succumb to his transfer demands.

Arshavin’s impressive Euro 2008 form caught the eye of a number of potential suitors, including Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur.

It is believed that Zenit are steadfastly asking for a fee in the region of £25million, a price tag that both Barça and Spurs have hitherto been unwilling to pay.

Arshavin had earlier favoured a move to boyhood idols Barcelona, but now apparently has his heart set on a move to north London and will not work until his wish is granted.

The player’s agent, Dennis Lachter has accused Zenit of mistreating the playmaker, and suggested that the club is run like a ‘dictatorship.’

He told the Independent: "This is the Russian way. Nothing will change because this is the old Soviet Union way. For the Russian sports establishment the desires of the player mean absolutely nothing. They are the big bosses. It is a dictatorship. He is a slave."

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Milan: No Serious Problem For Kaka

Milan club doctor Jean Pierre Meersseman has eaten a slice of humble pie by admitting there is no serious problem with Kaka. Hours earlier he revealed there was.

Champions League: Kaka, Milan - Manchester United and running under rain

On Thursday morning Meersseman seemed to suggest that Kaka didn’t need a recent operation and he described it as being “unnecessary and damaging”.

The doctor has now changed his tune regarding the Brazilian as he tries to reassure everyone at the club.

“There really and truly is no alarm regarding Kaka,” said Meersseman.

“For now he just has to do some precise exercises with his knee.

“We will now have to plan his recovery as per usual when the new season begins.

“He will need just a little time to recover fully.”

Kaka underwent knee surgery in Brazil last month, and that was carried out by the Selecao’s medical staff.

It was this operation which caused Meersseman concern initially.

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Jol: We'll Get Over Van Der Vaart

New Hamburger SV boss Martin Jol has insisted that the club are big enough to get over the loss of Rafael van der Vaart, though within the same breath he admitted that they may have to adjust their targets for the season downwards because of his departure.

Jol: We'll Get Over Van Der Vaart

The prodigious Dutch playmaker officially signed for Real Madrid on a €9m deal earlier this week, leaving a gaping hole at HSV which Jol admits will be extremely hard to fill.

"Without van der Vaart half of our productivity is gone," the ex Spurs boss grudgingly admitted in an interview with Kicker magazine.

"He was involved in 60% of the goals last year, and his offensive numbers and his goals per chance ratio was almost better than the strikers.

"Nevertheless, we will do everything to reach our goals," he added, though before that he had suggested that they could very well miss out on a spot in Europe as a result of their star player's departure.

Jol went on to insist that he will gamble on unknown quantities in their search for a replacement for van der Vaart.

"I need the finished article," he stressed. "Anything less would be a joke."

The Dutch coach will be thrown right into the deep end, as they will take on defending champions Bayern Munich to start the season on August 15.

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Impressions from Barca's Thrashing of Red Bulls

Goals galore in an exhibition game that left no one unfulfilled, and All4All Blogger MoHaMeD was there to enjoy it all.

Juan Pablo Angel (New York), Rafael Marquez (Barcelona), New York Red Bulls v. Barcelona friendly, Aug 2008

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -- It took the crowd of 38,152 a few minutes to settle into their seats, but FC Barcelona needed no such coaxing. From the first whistle Pep Guardiola’s side, fielding close to a full-strength XI, ran rings around the Red Bulls en route to a comfortable 6-2 pre-season win.

It was pure champagne soccer in the first half as Barcelona played the equivalent of half-court basketball. The backline of Eric Abidal, Carlos Puyol, Rafa Marquez and Daniel Alves defended comfortably from the halfway line; their midfield combination of Xavi and Andres Iniesta passed at will and controlled the flow of play.

The Red Bulls could only watch and defend as chance after chance flashed in front of Jon Conway’s goalmouth. When Thierry Henry found the net on 15 minutes, tapping in a Samuel Eto’o pass from the left, the relief on Conway’s face to see the linesman flag up said it all.

It was to prove light relief, though, because less than three minutes later, Alves flung a menacing cross in from the right wing on the overlap, and Xavi rose unmarked between at the edge of the 6-yard box to head home through Conway’s hands.

The vocal, playful crowd expected more. They had come to see all that Barcelona is supposed to be, creative, quick, mythical, almost. And they were not to be disappointed.

Barely a minute later, Barca struck again. The Red Bulls lost possession--again. Iniesta pushed forward, untouched, before releasing Eto’o up the middle with a perfectly weighted pass that left Carlos Mendes and Jeff Parke helpless to Eto’o’s crisp, low finish under Conway. Brilliant execution from the mercurial midfielder, who enjoyed a wonderful run of form during Spain’s route to victory in Euro ’08, and it sent the carnival crowd into delirium.

There was a palpable tension in the press box by this point, as writers stopped to laugh and guess as to just how high the score might get. It was both curious and frustrating. No one wants to see a professional team, the home side, even, crushed beyond recognition.

But there was nothing New York could do when Barcelona struck again just five minutes on. Marquez flicked Iniesta’s shot into the roof of the net, leaving Conway helpless. After the goal, his facial expression shouted for mercy; wide-eyed, bemused and befuddled, he couldn’t help but crack a small smile as Barca celebrated. Hard as it is for any goalkeeper to swallow goals, he knew was this was: Barcelona’s day, their spotlight, and despite his inability to fend off their attacks, one got the impression that he couldn’t help but enjoy the atmosphere.

It wasn’t all glory and gusto from the Blaugrana, as veteran goalkeeper Victor Valdes gifted a simple tap-in goal to Seth Stammler on the half-hour mark. Dave van den Bergh’s seemingly innocuous cross from the right slipped right through Valdes’ grasp, and Stammler was on-hand to smash the ball into the empty net.

The game sagged a little heading into half-time, although Barca’s fourth goal on 43 minutes was the pick of the bunch: recent Arsenal transfer Alexandre Hleb cut in from the right flank, beating two defenders into the box before feeding the electric Eto’o. His first touch brushed him past a tackle and his next slid the ball under Conway for his second goal of the night.

Barcelona made several changes at half-time and let their up-and-coming teenagers run the show. While the tempo and pace became less frantic after the break, Barca ceded little time or territory to the Red Bulls, dictating the game in the same way their seniors had done: controlled passing, sustained possession, continual off-the-ball movement and constant menace. Yaya Toure and Sergio Busquets, while lacking the polish of Xavi and Iniesta, gave assured, confident performances that must delight Guardiola as to the strength in depth of his squad.

However, it was the Red Bulls who scored first after the restart, thanks to another Valdes error in judgment. While their goals were far from goodwill in this playful fixture, a dangerous cross from the right side by the tireless Parke skidded under Valdes’ late dive and Rojas tapped it in for his first goal as a Bull. Obviously Valdes was going through the motions on this night. Either that, or Guardiola better start looking for a new goalkeeper.

From there, the game became the usual mish-mash of mistimed tackles and substitutions that one finds in friendlies such as this, but the Blaugrana still found time to squeeze in two late goals; the first saw Puyol (playing a more attacking role in the 2nd half, much to his delight) advance down the right and cutting the ball back to the penalty spot for sub Jeffren Suarez to curl it round substitute goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell, whle the second saw Suarez’s mazy run down the right end with a cut back to Pedro who finished firmly from close to the penalty spot five minutes from time.

After all the off-field distractions involving Ronaldinho’s protracted transfer to AC Milan and the confusion surrounding Messi’s desire to play for his country during the Olympics, it was another self-assured, clinical outing for the Barca superstars, most of whom took a spot on the bench for the second half. La Liga is grueling, and they need to take this sparkling run of form (19 goals and only 5 allowed in 4 matches before tonight) into their early-season schedule. Their midfield shone brightest, and Eto’o put his own petulance behind him with two well-taken goals.

For the Red Bulls, there were few positives, but Rojas and half-time substitute/new face Gabriel Cichero acquitted themselves well against the Barcelona attack. It was hardly the best pick-me-up after a difficult run of recent form, but the Red Bulls must put the carnival behind them and concentrate and reversing the tide of four defeats in their last 5 competitive matches. Meanwhile, it’s onward and upward for Barcelona, who begin preparations for their UEFA Champions League qualifier against Polish league champions Wisla Krakow.

The crowd filtered out in the last few minutes, missing the obligatory swapping of shirts and handshakes between the teams, but they took home the memories of a clinical, thoroughly enjoyable match. Barcelona fans outnumbered Red Bulls supporters in the stands, but the most uplifting sight came in the vast number of neutral fans that flooded the Meadowlands to enjoy the festivities.

Surrounded by the vocal Barca culers, beating drums and dancing from start to finish, they were given a show that everyone could appreciate, regardless of allegiance. It was a welcome alternative to the dour, unimaginative performances from West Ham and Everton against MLS sides in recent days, and as we headed back to the car, passing fans in soccer shirts from around the world, there was precious little to groan about.

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Robbie: Torres Will Only Get Better

New Livepool signing, Robbie Keane, has moved to praise strike partner, Fernando Torres, after the Spaniard mentioned he was relishing working with the former Hotspur...

Robbie: Torres Will Only Get Better

Irish international, Keane, hopes to strike a formidable partnership with Spaniard Torres. Speaking to Liverpool's official magazine, the Kop's new number 7 said:

"I think he’ll get better this year, which is great news for Liverpool and will to be a worry for the rest of the league. Torres has to be the best striker in the world. You saw how good he was at the European Championships, and I’m sure scoring the winning goal in the final will have done his confidence the world of good."

Liverpool will get to see their new strike partnership in competitive action on Wednesday the 13th of August as they visit Standard Liege in the final qualifying round of the Champions League.

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Ferdinand Advises Roma: Buy Malouda

Transfer advice for Roma has come from a very unlikely source in the form of Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand.

Ferdinand Advises Roma: Buy Malouda

Rio Ferdinand spoke to Il Romanista today with very kind words for a Premier League rival. The one time England captain was talking about Frenchman Florent Malouda of Chelsea, whose possible move to Roma has caught his attention.

The complimentary Ferdinand said of the 27-year-old winger: “I think Malouda is a great player, especially when he was at Lyon, where he did many great things.”

Knowing the player well from the many intense matches Manchester United played against Chelsea last season, the Englishman continued: “I think he can adapt well to any team he plays for.”

After a less then ideal season at Chelsea the French international will be keen to move on and ply his trade elsewhere, but Rio clearly rates the much-maligned Malouda.

Despite praise from his peer, however, Malouda himself will be keen to prove his worth after frequent criticisms, whether he stays at Chelsea or moves on to new pastures.

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Robinho Free To Leave Madrid?

With the signing of Rafael Van Der Vaart now complete Bernd Schuster appears ready to let Robinho leave Real Madrid and join Chelsea.

Robinho will leave or not

It’s been a difficult summer for Robinho at Real Madrid. The Brazilian has been refused permission to travel to the Olympics and has said on numerous occasions that he wishes to leave Spain because he feels undervalued by the club.

However, Madrid have denied him an exit - perhaps ironic considering the voices coming from Madrid regarding Manchester United and their strong stance on Cristiano Ronaldo.

Now, though, it appears that with Rafael Van Der Vaart safely at the Bernabeu they may finally be ready to let Robinho leave. Both Ramon Calderon and Pedja Mijatovic are believed to have OK’ed the move in the past but coach Bernd Schuster was reluctant to sell without a replacement.

'There Is Time'

Despite the replacement not being Ronaldo, it is still thought Real will now open the door for Chelsea to sign Robinho. The cost, of course, could yet be the snag. It is thought that Chelsea made a bid of €30million for him in the past but that was rejected as Real wanted €40m, a fee which even big-spending Chelsea might have to consider.

Peter Kenyon, executive director of Chelsea, has already stated their desire to buy the Brazilian and sstated recently that: “One of the keys to buying to Robinho is that Real find a replacement.” This now looks to have transpired.

For Madrid, this transfer could well prove more than just monetary gain. In allowing a highly valued player to leave simply because he wishes to move on they may well set a precedent and take the moral high ground over the deal.

It is believed that one of Robinho desires to link up with former Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari again as a Blue. Where he would fit in at Chelsea though it is not yet known and Kenyon confirmed that they would not rush things, saying: “The door is open to the end of August, so there is time.”

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Late rally saves Serbs

In a match that fell somewhat below expectations, Serbia and Australia drew 1-1 in the first match of Group A in Shanghai. Ruben Zadkovich shot Australia into the lead after 69 minutes, but Slobodan Rajkovic's header nine minutes later gave the Serbians a well-deserved point.

The early exchanges were uninspiring, with neither side holding on to possession particularly well. There were no chances until the 13th minute, when the lively Zoran Tosic was played in by Dusan Tadic following a corner; Tosic's eventual shot was deflected wide by an Australian defender.

Tosic was involved again on 37 minutes, when his long-range strike thundered off the crossbar. The Serbian attacker tried his luck from distance again in the final minute of the half, but Adam Federici saved well.

The game settled into a pattern in the second period, with Serbia piling on the pressure and Australia defending resolutely. For all their pressure, the Serbs failed to create any clear chances, and it was Australia who went ahead in the 69th minute, against the run of play. David Carney made his way cleverly down the left and crossed, and Ruben Zadkovich stabbed the ball in at the far post.

The game opened up, and Australia missed an excellent chance to secure the three points when substitute Billy Celeski struck the post following a vigorous right-wing move. Soon afterwards, however, Serbia equalised, when Rajkovic's header from a left-wing corner made the score 1-1.

Although Serbia continued to press for a win thereafter, they were unable to make the most of the half-chances that fell their way. The two sides emerged with one point apiece, and the general feeling among the spectators was that Serbia had provided the better entertainment.

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Wigan fans want Zaki to start against Hammers

Amr Zaki earned 91% of the votes in a poll conducted on the Wigan fans’ website to choose who should start up front against West Ham.

Hibernian 0-1 Wigan: On-loan Egyptian striker Amr Zaki scored the only goal of this tightly contested match.
The pair Zaki and Emile Heskey got the highest clicks as they earned 80% of the votes, until Thursday.

He came also second alongside Henri Camara (9%) while his combination with King got only 2% of the votes.

The Egyptian international striker produced an impressive performance as he scored twice in Wigan’s past couple of games.

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Messi magic saves Argentina

Lionel Messi scored a goal and created another leading Argentina to a precious 2-1 victory over Ivory Coast in their Olympics opener.

Lionel Messi (L) of Argentina's Olympic football team celebrates with his teammates after scoring against Ivory Coast during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games first round football match at the Shanghai stadium on August 7, 2008

The Barcelona forward broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute but Sekou Cisse brought the score level 1-1 in the 53rd minute.

Lautaro Acosta had the last word as he scored the winner in the 86th minute when he struck from close range Messi’s deflected shot.

The Albiceleste manager fielded an all-star team including Messi, Juan Riquelme, Sergio Aguero and Javier Mascherano.

They created the best of chances in the first half until Messi was sent clear on target in the 43rd minute to chip the ball calmly into the net.

Lionel Messi (C) of Argentina kicks the ball to score during the 2008 Beijing Olympic games first round football match Ivory Coast vs. Argentina on August 7, 2008 at Shanghai stadium. Argentina defeated Ivory Coast 2-1

The Africans showed a lot of improvement in the second half and Cisse rose high to score the equalizer 8 minutes after the break.

The Elephants had some real chances to get the lead and they surely regretted it when Acosta snatched the winner in the dying minutes.

Argentina are now top of group A with three points, two ahead of Serbia and Australia who tied 1-1 earlier.

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Brazil beat nine-man Belgium in Olympic soccer opener

A late strike by Hernanes earned Brazil a tight 1-0 win over brave Belgium to clinch their first three points in Beijing 2008.
Brazil defeated Belgium in Group C opener in 1-0 in Shenyang on 7 August.

The Selecao were held until the 78th minute when the Sao Paolo midfielder dribbled in the area to hit a wonderful goal in the top corner.

The Belgian side ended up the game with only nine men on the pitch as Vincent Kompany and Marouane Fellaini were sent off by Saudi referee Khalil Al-Ghamdi.
Vincent Kompany (2nd R) of Belgium receives a red card from the referee during their 2008 Beijing Olympic Games first round Group C Men's football match against Brazil at the Shenyang Olympic Stadium in China on August 7, 2008. Brazil defeated Belgium 1-0
Ronaldinho, Diego and Rafinha played in the game despite the recent Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) ruling allowing clubs to recall their players from the Olympic Games.

In group A Australia were held to a 1-1 draw by Serbia while the United States snatched a 1-0 win over Japan in group B.

Italy thrashed Honduras 3-0 to go top of the group D.

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Messi is going back home,no he's staying in China

First the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on Wednesday that clubs were not obliged to release players for the event.
Argentina's Olympic Team coach Sergio Batista defied the court order and said ....
"The player is here and will remain with the team. He will start Thursday's game (against Ivory Coast in Shanghai) from the beginning and I'm sure he can be with us for the rest of the competition."

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Video :Darron Gibson's fine goal for Man U

Darrron's goal in a recent friendly between Alex Ferguson and his son Darren Ferguson's teams

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Zidane .. best memories

Best shots for zizou in the world cup 2006 ,, unforgettable moment for zidane

ZidanePress Here To Download

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Club vs Country: Blatter is reviewing the situation

Some of the players who will be on Olympic duty.
* Arsenal: Alexandre Song (Cameroon)
* Aston Villa: Brad Guzan (USA)
* Blackburn: Ryan Nelsen (New Zealand)
* Chelsea: Saloman Kalou (Ivory Coast)
* Everton: Victor Anichebe (Nigeria)
* Fulham: Adrian Leijer (Australia)
* Liverpool: Javier Mascherano (Argentina), Ryan Babel (Holland)
* Manchester City: Jo (Brazil)
* Manchester United: Anderson (Brazil)
* Portsmouth: Franck Songo’o (Cameroon)
* West Brom: Gianni Zuiverloon (Holland)

FIFA is having yet another meeting to review all that has already been reviewed so that the London 2012 games may be spared of a similar club vs country messi - ness.
The Youtube video below shows a Blatter lookalike singing the song that fits in very well with the abovementioned meeting.
You have to imagine Blatter singing
..."A man's got a heart hasn't he,jokin apart hasn't he?
And though I'd be the first one to say that I wasn't a saint,
I'm finding it hard to be really as black as they paint.
I'm reviewing the situation
Can a fellow be a villain all his life?
All the trials and tribulations!
Better settle down and get myself a wife.
And a wife would cook and sew for me,
And come for me, and go for me,
The fingers, she will wag at me.
The money whe will take me.
A misery, she'll make from me....I think I'd better think it out again....! .

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Video:Ronaldo,Real Madrid and Wesley Sneijder's knee

Cristiano Ronaldo is more likely to go to Real Madrid now because Wesley Sneijder took a bad knock on his knee [ out for six months].This is the latest twist in the saga.....

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Adebayor was for Barca before he was against it

In political parlance he is a flip flopper. The fans at the Emirates let him have it when he showed up to play Juve. The only thing that can get Ade back in favour would be to keep a low profile and repeat a 30 goal scoring season. In the end if that leads to meaningful silverware, then all can and will be forgiven.

Here is Arseblog's considerably more forceful take on Adebayor >>

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Video: Chelsea beat AC Milan 5 - 0

It was the third place play-off of the Russian Railways Cup.Anelka hit four out of the 5 goals and the other one came from a Lampard free kick.It helped that AC Milan were missing key players such as Kaka, Pato, Inzaghi and Borriello.They went into half time 3 goals down and stayed down.Is this enough to make Kaka change his mind and move to Chelsea?There's a chap writing on ESPN that thinks so.

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Video: New MLS Adidas ad - without Beckham.

Adidas' latest effort at promoting soccer in USA.Website.Beckham conspicous by his absence. Website here...

Dream MLS from Jason Zada on Vimeo.

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Blatter in denial........

"I have never said that Ronaldo is a slave," he told reporters on Wednesday during a visit to Vietnam...........................!
Okay let's see.What will he deny next.
He will deny denying this.

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Beijing Olympics: Suck up that smog

Beijing Olympics: Suck up that smog

It appears that the sky over Beijing has cleared up to some extent and there is some optimism that the Olympics will take place relatively pollution free. But athletes are not exactly rushing into China as yet.

The Australian Olympic Committee has decided not to force its athletes to compete if they are concerned about the pollution causing long term harm to their health. Athletes at risk are cyclists, endurance runners, and soccer players. Here is a more dire prediction.

Well, my take is the Olympics are for guts and glory. I still remember the heroics of Derek Redmond in the 1992 Olympics, tearing his hamstrings in the 400m, crumpling to the track in agony.

On the track, Redmond realizes his dream of an Olympic medal is gone. Tears run down his face. "All I could think was, 'I'm out of the Olympics -- again,'" he would say.

As the medical crew arrives with a stretcher, Redmond tells them, "No, there's no way I'm getting on that stretcher. I'm going to finish my race."

Then, in a moment that will live forever in the minds of millions, Redmond lifts himself to his feet, ever so slowly, and starts hobbling down the track. The other runners have finished the race, with Steve Lewis of the U.S. winning the contest in 44.50. Suddenly, everyone realizes that Redmond isn't dropping out of the race by hobbling off to the side of the track. No, he is actually continuing on one leg. He's going to attempt to hobble his way to the finish line. All by himself. All in the name of pride and heart.

Slowly, the crowd, in total disbelief, rises and begins to roar. The roar gets louder and louder. Through the searing pain, Redmond hears the cheers, but "I wasn't doing it for the crowd," he would later say. "I was doing it for me. Whether people thought I was an idiot or a hero, I wanted to finish the race. I'm the one who has to live with it."

I remember Redmond's father running onto the track and holding his son as he painfully limped along to the finish line. There was not a dry eye left in that stadium or in the millions on TV watching this extraordinary act of courage unfold. It was one of the purest moments in sporting history, one that brought home with stunning clarity, in an all too rare moment, what the Olympics stood for.

Some countries have more ideal conditions than others. None are perfect. China is trying to reduce its pollution in time for the Olympics and there is a chance that seeing more blue skies and its health benefits might have a sobering effect on its government, introducing environmental safeguards even as it continues its blistering pace of industrialization. I know Brazil and Argentina whine about the high altitude being detrimental to their players health every time they play Bolivia at La Paz. FIFA obligingly tried banning high altitude matches to make sure that none of their players suffered a breathless moment. But no player has suffered any adverse health even as both countries have gone onto win 7 World Cups.

So for those doubters, suck it up and remember Derek Redmond.

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David Bentley wants to stick it to Arsenal

David Bentley wants to stick it to Arsenal

Bentley, an Arsenal product did not leave on the happiest of terms as he could not break into Arsenal's first team. He appears to have carried a grudge and joining Spurs seems to have loosened his lips.

On October 29th, Spurs visit the Emirates and as per Bentley he is relishing the encounter. "I just want to stick it up the Arsenal."

Well those are fighting words and I am sure Gunner fans will be waiting to give him a 21 gun salute. Bring it on, Bentley!

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Video:Chelsea lose another shootout...

Chelsea lose another shootout...

Deja vu ? Andriy Shevchenko did a John Terry in the Railways Cup game against Lokomotiv Moscow.This was the third consecutive shoot-out that Chelsea have lost.More Chelsea trauma for Shevchenko.Scolari ( smiling bravely) said he did not blame any player.The chuckling you can hear in the background is probably Mourinho.The two goals that came in the run of play here...

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The great ball of China

The great ball of China

The headline might have misled you into thinking that this post was about a large spherical object made of porcelain - visible from the moon.No it's not.It's about this football which apparently is going to be the official football of the Beijing Olympics.If so it is going to be kicked around by Messi and others shortly.There is also a rumour circulating that the symbols you can see on the ball are either the Nike logo or the Adidas logo - in chinese - or both logos one on top of each other.
And while we are talking about the great ball of china take a look at this video.I'm not sure if it's in China - but that football certainly comes under the great ball category too....!

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United To Let Ronaldo Leave

The latest reports claim that Manchester United will hope to keep hold of Cristiano Ronaldo by promising the want-away winger he can leave the club...

United To Let Ronaldo Leave

Next year, that is.

According to The Sun, United have become desperate in their attempts to withhold Ronaldo from the clutches of Real Madrid and are entertaining the possibility of letting the Portuguese superstar depart at the end of the upcoming season.

It is understood that the Red Devils' owners, the Glazer family, are tiring of the saga and wish to wrap up the situation as quickly as possible, one way or another.

Los Merengues are offering around £70million for the 23-year-old, a world-record fee that would go some way to clearing United's mountain of debt.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson remains determined to block Ronaldo's exit and, as with all transfer dealings, has the Glazers' full support in this endeavour.

But a compromise could be on the horizon; one that would see a get-out clause, which would be triggered by bids of a certain amount, inserted in the player's contract.

A United source reportedly said: "Sir Alex is determined he will not let Ronaldo go now, if only on principle.

"But there are one or two people at United who are thinking ‘What’s the point of hanging on to him?’ when Real are ready to offer so much money. And Ronaldo will miss the start of the season in any case through injury.

"One solution being looked at is for Ronaldo to stay one more season, with the guarantee he can go for an agreed fee at the end of next season."

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Barça Eye Berbatov Even If Eto'o Stays

Dimitar Berbatov is back on Barcelona's agenda and the Catalan club could make a move for the Bulgarian striker when the squad returns from the United States.

Barça Eye Berbatov Even If Eto'o Stays

Coach Pep Guardiola wants to add another forward to his line-up even if Samuel Eto'o stays and sees the creativity that the former Bayer Leverkusen goalscorer would bring as an exciting prospect, according to El Mundo Deportivo.

Barça have been linked with several strikers this summer including Emmanuel Adebayor, Karim Benzema and Didier Drogba, but none of them are now likely to be moving.

Instead, Eto'o has returned to the squad and has impressed in pre-season despite being told that if he can agree a deal with a new side then he can go.

Guardiola has told his board that he wants more new faces and competition for the central striker would ensure that if Eto'o stays he will have to work hard to justify his place.

Tottenham have made no announcement about selling Bebatov, but is a public secret that if a club meets their asking price then negotiations would quickly follow.

In pre-season, the 27-year-old has given mixed displays where he has looked happy and settled in one game before appearing to be moody and distant in others.

Barcelona would be a preferred option for Tottenham to sell their star striker after a spat with Manchester United over contact with the player or his agents.

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I'll Help Madrid Win The Champions League - Van Der Vaart

Real Madrid midfielder, Rafael Van Der Vaart, is delighted with his move to the Spanish capital and he insists he will fight for a place to help his side win the Champions League, but he doesn’t mind sitting on the bench if he has to.

Bundesliga: Arminia Bielefeld - Hamburg HSV, van der Vaart

The Netherlands star was unveiled by Los Merengues after they finally managed to capture him following a long pursuit.

Van der Vaart is aiming high and he cannot wait to get started at the Bernabeu.

He said: “I will fight to hold down a place in the team but Real Madrid has a lot of great players in their side and so, if I sit on the bench, it wouldn’t be a problem.

“Real Madrid has an objective, and that is to win the Champions League. I can help them but the important thing is to play.

On the summer's hottest transfer saga - Cristiano Ronaldo - he added: “Ronaldo? It would be good if he came.”

Van der Vaart then explained the reason why he didn’t play against Real in the Emirates Cup. The midfielder seems to suggest he missed the clash because he didn’t want to risk an injury.

He continued: “Everyone saw what happened to Wesley Sneijder, things like this can always happen and it was just a friendly.”

The former Hamburg player will now be hoping to prove himself as his new team challenge for the Champions League as well as La Liga.

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Zokora To Join Jol In Hamburg?

Hamburg SV boss Martin Jol is keen to sign Didier Zokora for a second time, according to the latest reports out of Germany.

Zokora To Join Jol In Hamburg?

The ex Spurs manager is not exactly light in the pocket anymore after they grudgingly sold Dutch ace Rafael van der Vaart to Real Madrid and it being claimed that he now has his heart set on reuniting with Zokora.

The all-action midfielder joined the north London club in 2006 after impressing Jol – then at Spurs – with his displays for Saint-Etienne and the Ivory Coast, but the sense so far is that the 27-year-old is not as highly regarded by new boss Juande Ramos.

Added to this the now intense competition for midfield places at White Hart Lane, which has even prompted Ramos to use Zokora in defense during a recent friendly with Borussia Dortmund.

With Luka Modric, Jermaine Jenas, Giovani dos Santos, David Bentley, Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale all contenders for a midfield spot, something has to give, and if Jol is ready to cough up £8million this could very well be Zokora.

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Rio: No Signings? No Problem

Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand is adamant that the unusual lack of transfer activity at Old Trafford has not led to any unrest amongst the players.

Rio: No Signings? No Problem

Absolutely noting has come out of rumours linking the double crown holders to the the likes of Dimitar Berbatov and Roque Santa Cruz, with only one new player arriving thus far in the form of Davide Petrucci from Roma, who, however, has clearly been recruited as one for the future.

"We just trust the manager's judgement," Ferdinand insisted to Sky Sports News.

"The manager makes the decisions and he's never ever steered us wrong before. We go along with whatever he says.

"If we don't sign any players then we'll go into the season as confident as ever. If we do, then great."

The England defender went on to point out that the emergence of youth prospect Frazier Campbell in pre-season is akin to a new signing, and he is confident that the ex Hull loanee will rise to the occasion.

"The opportunity is there for him, I think the manager outlined that last week," Ferdinand added.

"He came on against Espanyol and looked dangerous and scored a goal.

"He's a very talented footballer, but as I've said he's young. He's at such a young age and to be thrown in at the deep end, it's a big step to take. But the manager has dealt with these situations so many times before throughout his career.

"He's the man to know when to put him in and when to take him out. If Fraizer's put in I'm sure he can do a good job."

Finally, Ferdinand threw his full support behind club captain Gary Neville, who still can't be considered even near 100 percent.

The 33-year-old missed the entirety of last season due to injuries, making just one appearance throughout the campaign - in the Champions League quarterfinal against Roma - and not risked from then on due to the form of his replacement, Wes Brown.

Ferdinand added: "Gary Neville is the Man United captain. The sooner he gets fit for Manchester United the better because he is a fantastic player.

"We are hoping he'll be fit for the new season. He's had a lot of bad luck this year with injuries and we'd like to see him fit. He's a top player.

"We had three or fours weeks off in the summer and if you speak to most of the lads we're all champing at the bit to get back. We've had a few games in the pre-season and it's starting to get back to the nitty-gritty."

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Rooney Down As United Rue Africa Trip

Manchester United's powerful forward, Wayne Rooney, looks destined to miss the season's curtain raiser as a viral infection picked up in Nigeria keeps the 22-year old sidelined.

Rooney Down As United Rue Africa Trip

Manchester United's country-hopping tour saw them take on a variety of South African teams before taking on Portsmouth in Nigeria, in what would have been seen as a warm up to this Sunday's annual showpiece, the Community Shield.

However, the effects of pre-season have not gone to plan for head coach, Sir Alex Ferguson, together with injuries to various squad members, it has now emerged Wayne Rooney has picked up a 'nasty' infection, too.

Ferguson told Sky Sports News: "He picked it up in Nigeria - it's not nice. It's 12 days to the season starts and he's not been able to train."

Manchester United are also without free-scoring wing-wizard Cristiano Ronaldo. Reports last month, from Portugal physiotherapist Antonio Gasper, revealed that Ronaldo could be out until October, as he is recovering from an ankle operation.

Ferguson continued: "I worry about whether we are going to have a team ready for the start of the season. Nani is suspended, Anderson is at the Olympics, and I doubt if we will get Rooney fit after the virus."

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Eto'o Decision Before Champions League Outing

Samuel Eto'o will know whether or not he is staying at Barcelona next season before the club play their first official game of the season in the Champions League qualifier.

Txiki Begiristain - Barcelona

The Cameroonian striker has stated that he wants to remain with the Catalan outfit, but the club have made it clear that if they receive the right offer then he can go.

Barça are due to play Beitar Jerusalem or Wisla Krakow on August 12 and sporting director Txiki Begiristain has made assurances that whether he stays or goes will be decided by then.

"The best solution will be to have it dealt with by then," he told reporters in New York.

"The transfer market will wind down soon enough and we are in the process of working out if we will be doing any more business. We have to see at how Pep Guardiola feels about the squad."

Barcelona are due to face New York Red Bulls in their second game of the trip to the United States and surprised fans and passers-by with the first training session.

Instead of going through their paces at a sports complex or stadium, Guardiola took his player to run around Central Park in the Big Apple, with not footballs in sight.

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Barça Sign Longàs With Valiente Off To Sevilla

Barcelona Atlètic have completed the signing of Antonio Longás from Real Zaragoza after several days of negotiations and have sold Marc Valiente to Sevilla.

Barça Sign Longàs With Valiente Off To Sevilla

The Catalan club's second string coach Luis Enrique will be able to include the highly-rated 23-year-old next season after the deal was completed after Barça made signing him a priority.

While Longás has peened a two-year deal with Barça, Valiente will not be around next term at Camp Nou though, after Sevilla finally reached an agreement to sign the 21-year-old defender.

The details of Valiente’s transfer to Sevilla are yet to be confirmed and it is thought they are putting the finishing touches to it this week.

Following the step up of Pep Guardiola to first team coach there is no doubt that Luis Enrique will be keen to impress with the B side this season.

Since his appointment as Barcelona Atlètic coach Enrique has already shown that the team will continue to play attractive football.

After returning to the club last month to replace Guardiola at the helm, Luis Enrique has seen several of Atlètic's best players promoted to the first team squad for the pre-season tours of Scotland and the United States.

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