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June 16, 2018 9:52 AM Mbappe leads France attack against Socceroos

KAZAN ARENA, Russia: France coach Didier Deschamps left Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud on the bench for a World Cup opener against Australia on Saturday as teenager Kylian Mbappe leads Les Bleus' front line in Kazan. Mbappe, one of 14 players in France's squad who have yet to feature in a major tournament, has been in great form for Paris Saint-Germain 4

June 15, 2018 11:35 PM Ronaldo toasts new career mark after hat-trick against Spain

SOCHI: Cristiano Ronaldo expressed his delight at setting another record in his remarkable career as his hat-trick against Spain on Friday allowed him to become just the fourth player to score in four World Cups. "I am very happy, it's a nice personal record to have, one more in my career," said the Portugal captain, whose goals secured a 3-3 draw for the European 4

June 14, 2018 2:10 PM Argentina great Zanetti excited by 2030 World Cup bid

MOSCOW: Former Argentina star Javier Zanetti said it would be a "great satisfaction" for his country to host the 2030 World Cup as part of a joint bid alongside Uruguay and Paraguay. The 44-year-old Zanetti appeared at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups and played 143 times for Argentina, a record he shares with Javier Mascherano. "(The bid) would be a great 6

June 14, 2018 12:05 AM PSG escape UEFA sanctions but remain under scrutiny

PARIS: UEFA have closed their financial fair-play case against Paris Saint-Germain after the Qatari-backed French Ligue 1 champions were cleared of any wrongdoing on Wednesday. The UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) had been monitoring PSG's 'break-even requirement' for 2015, 2016 and 2017. "Compliance with the break-even requirement for the 2018 financial 4

June 13, 2018 10:12 AM Mohamed Salah shrugs off injury to join Egypt training

GROZNY, Russia: Mohamed Salah gave Egypt's World Cup hopes a huge boost Wednesday when he joined a squad training session at their Grozny base. The Pharaohs' superstar has been sidelined since suffering a shoulder injury in Liverpool's Champions League final loss to Real Madrid on May 26. However, an AFP reporter saw the forward take part in his first 4

June 13, 2018 10:12 AM Julen Lopetegui sacked as Spain coach: Spanish federation (Updated)

KRASNODAR, Russia: Spain sacked coach Julen Lopetegui just two days before the team's opening game against Portugal at the World Cup, Spanish football federation chief Luis Rubiales confirmed on Wednesday. In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, Real Madrid named Lopetegui as their next manager to start work after the tournament in Russia, sparking outrage 4

June 12, 2018 10:25 AM 'Fiasco': How Saudi players had a rough time in Spain

MADRID: Nine Saudi players loaned to Spanish clubs to improve their level before the World Cup left without hardly playing in what ended up as a "fiasco". "Adapting is difficult," said David Cobeno, sporting director at Madrid-based second division side Rayo Vallecano, which signed 24-year-old Saudi midfielder Abdulmajeed Al-Sulayhem. "Everything outside 3

June 11, 2018 7:18 AM Guardiola hits back at Toure's racism jibes

MADRID: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (pix) 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 4

June 9, 2018 7:38 AM PANAMA HAVE ALREADY MADE HISTORY: EVERYTHING ELSE IS A BONUS

PANAMA CITY (dpa) – Panama are, along with Iceland, the only teams set to play their first-ever World Cup in Russia 2018. Panama earned their historic berth for the tournament with a dramatic and controversial 2-1 win against Costa Rica in the last round of qualifiers. The country’s population poured out onto the streets and Panamanian President Juan Carlos 5

June 7, 2018 2:12 PM Former Chelsea player Michael Essien released by Indonesian club

BANDUNG, Indonesia: Former Chelsea star Michael Essien has been released from Persib Bandung, the Indonesian club said Thursday, the latest big foreign signing to be axed from the national league in the past two seasons. The Ghanaian, 35, who signed with the Bandung-based club just over a year ago, had his contract terminated on Wednesday because the club had exceeded 8