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  • Serena Williams exits Olympics after loss to Elina Svitolina-Rio Olympics

    Defending champion Serena Williams is out of the Olympics after losing to Ukrainian Elina Svitolina in the women's singles third round.

    Williams lost 6-4 6-3 to Svitolina, ranked 20th in the world.

    The world number one's struggles were highlighted by five double faults in the seventh game of the second set.

    Williams and sister Venus were knocked out of the women's doubles on Sunday when they lost to Czech Republic pair Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova.

    Williams follows men's top seed Novak Djokovic in exiting the Olympics after he was defeated in the men's singles and doubles.

    Source:BBC sport 

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  • Swimming : Robel Kiros Habite the slowest swimmer at Rio Olympics!

    if some swimmers consider second place to be first of the losers, spare a thought for Ethiopian Olympic debutant Robel Kiros Habte.

    By the time the chubby 24-year-old had emerged for air from his opening dive off the blocks in the 100 meters freestyle heats, he was already almost a body length behind and it did not get any better.

    The only one of the 59 entrants in the heats not to complete the distance in under a minute, Habte touched the wall with a time 17 seconds slower than Australian pacesetter Kyle Chalmers who clocked 47.90.

    Habte's only rivals in the three-man opening heat, Thibaut Danho of the Ivory Coast and Johnny Perez Urena of the Dominican Republic had removed their caps and were leaning on the lane markers as he trailed in more than 12 seconds behind.

    The crowd, recognizing a valiant effort, raised a cheer for a man whose land-locked compatriots are considerably better known for long-distance running feats than any exploits involving water.

    Habte acknowledged he had swum faster, his personal best being 59.08 seconds, and suggested morning training had left him feeling strained.

    But he told Reuters he was delighted anyway.

    "I am so happy because it is my first competition in the Olympics," said the Ethiopia-based university student, whose entry for Rio was secured on a special invitation from world body FINA extended to athletes from under-represented countries.

    "So thanks for God."

    If the performance attracted attention, so too did the swimmer's physique with some social media commentators highlighting his midriff in comparison to more finely-honed denizens of the Olympic pool.

    They also recalled, somewhat unfairly, the exploits of Equatorial Guinea's Eric 'the Eel' Moussambani who struggled to complete the 100 meters freestyle at the 2000 Sydney Games.

    Compared to Moussambani, who clocked out in one minute 52.72 seconds and more than 50 seconds slower than anyone else, Habte was motoring.

    It may be some time before Habte is described as 'sculpted' or 'chiselled', and he has no plans on competing again, but he will always be an Olympian. For him, Rio was never about the winning, only the taking part.

    "I wanted to do something different for my country, that’s why I chose swimming," he said. "Everybody, every day you wake up in Ethiopia, you run. Not swimming. But I didn’t want to run, I wanted to be a swimmer.

    "It didn’t matter where I finished."

    source ;Reuters

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  • West Ham pay Record fee for Ghana striker Ayew

    (Reuters) - Ghana striker Andre Ayew has joined West Ham United from Premier League rivals Swansea City for a club record fee of 20.5 million pounds ($26.74 million), the Londoners said on Monday.

    The 26-year-old has agreed a three-year contract with the option for an additional two years.

    Ayew played a pivotal role in steering Swansea away from relegation last season, netting 12 times in 34 starts as Francesco Guidolin's side finished 12th in the table.

    He leaves Swansea one year after signing for the Welsh team on a free transfer from Olympique Marseille.

    Ayew's fee breaks the previous record of 15 million pounds set when forward Andy Carroll joined from Liverpool in June 2013.

    "I am very proud and happy to be at this magnificent club. I hope to make the people very happy here," Ayew told West Ham's website (www.whufc.com).

    "The club have a lot of ambition and have a great manager (Slaven Bilic). They want to become a bigger club every year and with the new (Olympic) stadium and a new training ground, you can feel they are moving on to another level.

    "I want to train hard, do my job and show that I deserve to play for West Ham United. I want to give back to the manager and the fans the confidence they are showing me."

    Ayew, who has registered 11 goals in 67 appearances for his country, becomes the London team's fifth close-season signing. He follows winger Sofiane Feghouli, defender Havard Nordtveit, striker Toni Martinez and left back Arthur Masuaku.

    Source : Reuters Africa 

     

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  • The Fastest Family on the Planet - DIBABAS FAMILY

    Ethiopia is a running-mad country—but it’s never seen anything like the Dibabas. Chloe Malle heads to Addis Ababa to meet the fastest family on the planet.

    The only sound at the top of the Entoto Mountains is the thwack of a cowherd’s staff against the tree trunks as he leads his small herd of oxen home. I am doing my best to keep pace with Tirunesh Dibaba, 30, and her younger sister, Genzebe, 25, two wisplike Ethiopians with wide smiles and a fiercely close bond who may be the most formidable female track stars in the world. In the late-afternoon light high above central Addis Ababa, we zigzag between the majestic eucalyptus trees, paying heed to the uneven ground below and staying alert for the not-uncommon hyena sighting—no problem, the sisters assure me, as long as you clap loudly and throw a rock in the animal’s direction.

    The Dibabas’ dominance in the field of distance running has captivated the track-and-field community. “There are a few running families, but not like the Dibabas,” says the Ethiopian track legend Haile Gebrselassie. These are the only siblings in recorded history to hold concurrent world records, and they are as charmingly unassuming in person as they are fearsome on the track. The sisters were raised three hours south of here, in a tukul, or round mud hut, without electricity—their parents subsistence farmers growing teff, barley, and wheat. Their mother, Gutu, credits her daughters’ success to a loving environment as well as a steady supply of milk from the family cows.

    In fact there are seven Dibaba siblings, and all of them run. “What the Dibabas have is what Serena and Venus have, except there are more of them,” says Ato Boldon, NBC’s track analyst. “It’s not a stretch to say they are the world’s fastest family.” Tirunesh is the most decorated, with three Olympic gold medals; Genzebe is tipped to win her first in Rio. Their older sister, Ejegayehu, 34, is an Olympian, too, with a silver from Athens, and their cousin Derartu Tulu was the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold, in the 1992 games. “World records, Olympic medals, world championships—the Dibabas’ accomplishments are unprecedented in this sport,” says Boldon.

    With Rio on the horizon, the focus is squarely on Tirunesh and Genzebe. This is Tirunesh’s comeback season after taking a year off to raise her now one-year-old son, Nathan; meanwhile, Genzebe had a record-breaking summer, decimating the competition in August’s world championships and winning IAAF’s Athlete of the Year award, a crowning glory in the sport. “Last year Genzebe was head and shoulders the best athlete in the world,” says race coordinator Matt Turnbull, who has worked with the Dibabas for almost a decade. “And with Tiru being out for so long now, people are excited to see what will happen. They’re a fiercely competitive family, and they really dictate the landscape.”


    As modest (and petite) as the Dibabas are face to face, they are outsize celebrities on the chaotic, construction-clogged streets of Addis Ababa, where they travel by car to avoid being mobbed. Their arrival at their favorite restaurant, Yod Abyssinia, is greeted with hushed whispers (“Dee-ba-ba, Dee-ba-ba”) and reverential stares. The sisters duck under the restaurant’s theatrical thatched straw canopies and take a table against the wall, smiling patiently as a young man approaches and asks for a photo. Afterward Tirunesh takes out her iPhone 6 Plus—one of the few in the country, bought in Europe—her cerise-lacquered nails clacking against the screen as she swipes past the photo of chubby Nathan. For a night out, she’s neatly coordinated in skinny red jeans, a black blazer with white piping, and similarly duo-toned wedge sandals. She admits that she loves to shop when she is competing abroad, particularly on Newbury Street in Boston and at any Michael Kors store. Genzebe, who prefers Zara, compensates for her timidity with a sweet attentiveness. Her feet look tiny in black ballerina slippers with grosgrain bows over the toe box. She has replaced her Garmin GPS training watch with a gold one whose pavé diamond–ringed face takes up the entire width of her narrow wrist. Both women have braids in their thick hair and giggle while confirming that they share a hairdresser. Their respect and affection are obvious: Genzebe lives with Tirunesh, sharing a bedroom with her baby nephew, and when she becomes flustered following a question about her love life, Tirunesh protectively steers the conversation elsewhere. (For the record, Genzebe has a boyfriend, but he is not a runner, and she doesn’t want to talk about him.)

    When Tirunesh’s husband, fellow track-and-field Olympic medalist Sileshi Sihine, appears, cool and handsome in tailored jeans and a shawl collar cardigan, another frisson of excitement ripples through the room. His and Tirunesh’s 2008 wedding ceremony was a nationally televised event, drawing half a million people to the city’s main square, where Olympic races are broadcast to huge crowds. The bride wore a lace-embroidered bustier top and a millefeuille tulle ball skirt; the groom, an iridescent gray pin-striped morning suit—all purchased on a trip to Milan. They don’t remember the name of the clothier, “but one of the best,” Sihine says authoritatively. “We know people.” Restaurant patrons lock their eyes on us as Sihine slips onto the low wooden stool next to his wife, squeezing her knee in greeting.

    As the string notes of the krar fill the room and dancers take the stage to perform an Ethiopian eskista dance—a shoulder-snapping feat of timing and rhythm—I ask Tirunesh what music she likes to listen to. “Michael Jackson,” she answers with a sly smile. “He is my favorite,” the last word pronounced in three crisp syllables. At this Genzebe, breaking her shell of shyness, speaks up: “For me, Beyoncé.”

    Their status—and status symbols—marks a stark contrast between the Dibabas and most others in this still highly impoverished country. Yet Ethiopia has the fastest-growing economy in sub-Saharan Africa, and Addis, with its ubiquitous eucalyptus-pole scaffolding and ragged blue construction tarps, is a riot of development. Like many of the nation’s successful track stars, the Dibabas and their in-laws have invested their fortunes back into their city; they are burgeoning real estate tycoons, owning multiple buildings in the capital—including the five-star Tirunesh Hotel, slated to open this fall on Bole Road, the Fifth Avenue of Addis.


    Along with Kenya, Ethiopia is a powerhouse for turning out elite runners. According to David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance, much of the two countries lies in an altitude “sweet spot”—around 6,000 to 9,000 feet. “High enough to cause physiological changes but not so high that the air is too thin for hard training,” Epstein says. As NBC’s Boldon explains, “When the Dibabas come down to sea level—I’m not going to say it’s like Superman coming from Krypton, but it is a version of that.” There’s also the Ethiopian diet, with its reliance on the iron- and calcium-rich grain teff, and the typical Ethiopian body type, petite and narrow, which is ideal for the sport: Tirunesh is five feet three and 110 pounds; Genzebe is five feet five and 115 pounds. “They have a lot of fight in a very small lightweight frame,” says Boldon.

    “If you compared them to a car, they would be a Ford Focus with a Ferrari engine.”

    Genzebe’s Ferrari engine is in top gear at Addis’s only track stadium for an 8:00 a.m. workout. The sun is already high overhead, and she is warming up with her nineteen-year-old sister Anna. They move at a focused, steady clip, their legs in sync, so that from across the track they look like one person, Anna’s smaller frame blending into Genzebe’s. As they speed up, moving seamlessly into sprints on the straightaways, Genzebe’s strides are precise, a strict economy of energy and movement. The two finish the warm-up and plop down on the tartan track to shimmy out of their Nike leggings, casual in their cotton underwear as they pull on micro shorts, the pink swoosh on Genzebe’s matching her fuchsia Dri-Fit T-shirt.

    The ensuing workout is a series of 20 400-meter sprints, timed by a national team coach, who jots down intervals in red ballpoint on his palm. Genzebe shaves off seconds with each rep, her muscles taut as bowstrings as she catapults herself across the finish line. Afterward it’s back to Tirunesh and Sihine’s impressive home, a two-story stuccoed mansion in one of Addis’s gated communities. Inside, framed photos of family members on victory podiums take pride of place, and a flat-screen TV plays yesterday’s Africa Cup soccer match, but Tirunesh explains that she doesn’t particularly like watching sports. She and her sisters prefer Amharic films. What American films does she like? “Anything with Angelina Jolie.” A large breakfast—traditional Ethiopian firfir and eggs—is followed by a nap, lunch, and then it’s off to the gym. They are on two workouts a day until Rio.

    The air in Entoto, unlike the exhaust-choked streets of Addis, is crisp and clean—and also thin at 10,000 feet above sea level. When we gather for our late-afternoon run, the Dibabas’ cousin Tulu arrives on the mountaintop, now retired and looking more soccer mom than Olympian. The sisters cite her as their inspiration, and her lilting voice boomerangs through the trees as they jog together into a cattle clearing. Tulu, who won the New York City marathon in 2009 at the age of 37, is a gregarious and outgoing foil to the soft-spoken Dibabas. When asked whom she will cheer for if Tirunesh and Genzebe compete against each other in Rio in the 5,000 or 10,000, Tulu does not hesitate and squeezes Tirunesh’s shoulder. “She! She is my favorite!” then looks lovingly across at Genzebe: “I am sorry!” Genzebe remains diplomatic, saying only, “The strongest will win,” while Tirunesh explains that they likely won’t be in the same heat and then looks into the sun, which is dipping behind the crest of the mountain. “But we come to win, so. . . . ” She shrugs; the end of the sentence is unnecessary.

    Source:hahulelu.com

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  • Paul Pogba Completing His World-Record £89m Transfer To Manchester United.

    Paul Pogba said "the time is right to go back to Old Trafford" after completing his world-record £89m transfer to Manchester United.

    The 23-year-old midfielder returns after four years away, having left United for Juventus for £1.5m in 2012.

    Pogba, who has signed a five-year deal, added: "This is the right club for me to achieve everything I hope to."

    Manager Jose Mourinho said the France international could be "the heart of the club" for the next decade.

    United will pay the Italian champions 105m euros for Pogba, plus five million euros (£4.5m) in performance-related bonuses, and other costs, including five million euros if Pogba signs a new contract.

    The fee surpasses the £85m Real Madrid paid Tottenham for Wales forward Gareth Bale in 2013.

    The announcement was made by United just after 00:30 BST on Tuesday, witha glossy video showing the player - with a red devil marked into his hair - emerging from the shadows.

    It was followed by a series of sponsor videos, including one with English rapper and grime artist Stormzy, whose most successful song to date is 'Shut Up'.

    Pogba, who helped hosts France reach the Euro 2016 final, has won the Serie A title in each of his four seasons at Juventus.

    He is Mourinho's fourth signing at United, after Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly, Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Armenia forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

    It is the first time in 20 years an English club has set a world-record transfer fee, after Newcastle United paid £15m to sign England striker Alan Shearer from Blackburn Rovers.

    Pogba joined United from French club Le Havre in 2009 as a 16-year-old, but made just seven appearances before his contract expired in July 2012.

    He has made 178 appearances for Juventus, scoring 34 goals, and helped the club reach the 2015 Champions League final.

    The Serie A side had offered him a new contract, while Real Madrid were also interested in signing him.

    Pogba said his mother told him he would return to Old Trafford and that it was his "destiny".

    Speaking to MUTV, he added: "It was like I'd just come back home. I just went for a holiday."

    Pogba said he had spoken to Mourinho "a few times", as well as talking to France team-mates who had worked under the former Chelsea boss.

    "He gave me energy, he gave me positivity," said Pogba. "They all told me he's the coach for me - he will make me improve a lot and make me work harder."

    In a series of messages to Juventus supporters on social media, Pogba said: "Goodbye means nothing, it is the time we spent together that matters. I will bring with me a piece of you and leave you a little piece of me.

     

    Source : BBC SPORT 

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  • The host Brazil Held 0 - 0 by gulf state IRAQ in RIO Olympic Games

    Host nation Brazil are still searching for their opening win of the Rio 2016 men's football competition after an embarrassing 0-0 draw against Iraq.

    Led by Barcelona forward Neymar, Brazil could not find a way past their stubborn Group A rivals in Brasilia.

    It is their second goalless draw of the tournament after another blank against South Africa on Thursday.

    Elsewhere, Germany drew 3-3 with South Korea thanks to an injury-time free-kick from Arsenal's Serge Gnabry.

    Brazil frustrated in Olympic bid

    Brazil may have won the World Cup on a record five occasions, but the football-mad nation is desperate to finally claim the one prize that has so far eluded them - Olympic gold.

    However, they were jeered by an impatient home crowd of more than 60,000 after failing to beat Iraq.

    Brazil had 20 shots at goal, but only managed six on target as the Asian side held on.

    "We need to apologise to the fans, to the people," said Brazil coach Rogerio Micale. "As the time passes and we can't score, the anxiety increases, and in this situation it's easier to make mistakes."

    Iraq coach Abdulghani Alghazali said: "It's a historic day for Iraq to be able to draw against Brazil at its home. It's a great achievement for Iraqi football."

    Denmark top the group with four points after Robert Skov's 69th-minute winner gave them a 1-0 victory over South Africa.

    Defending champions Mexico thump Fiji

    Defending Olympic champions Mexico recorded a 5-1 win over bottom side Fiji, who conceded eight against South Korea in their opening game.

    Erick Gutierrez scored four second-half goals as the Mexicans came from behind to beat the minnows in Salvador.

    Fiji held a shock half-time lead thanks to Roy Krishna's header. But Mexico, who drew 2-2 with Germany last time out, were impressive in the second half, particularly Gutierrez.

    Mexico are second in Group C, level on four points with South Korea after they were pegged back by Gnabry's late equaliser.

    There were seconds remaining when the 21-year-old winger fired in his second of the game via a deflection.

    Germany are third in the table on two points.

     

    Source : BBC SPORT 

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  • Michael Phelps wins 19th Olympics medal for his country

    Michael Phelps produced a vintage performance to claim an astonishing 19th Olympic gold medal of his career on Sunday.

    The 31-year-old, who quit the sport after the 2012 Games, was back with a bang in Rio as Team USA eased to victory in the 4x100 meters freestyle relay.
    Phelps, who produced a stunning second leg, has now won 23 medals in total, extending his record as the most decorated Olympian of all time.
    With son Boomer in attendance, Phelps did his kid proud, along with teammates Caleb Dressel, Ryan Held and Nathan Adrian.

    It was the second gold of the night for the U.S. after Katie Ledecky produced an astonishing performance to win gold in the 400m freestyle.
    The 19-year-old smashed her own world record to win in a time of 3:56.46 -- nearly five seconds ahead of her closest rival.
    Ledecky's previous best in the 400m was in August 2014, when she came home in 3:58.37 at the Pan Pacific Championships.
    But she tore that time to pieces to finish ahead of Britain's Jazz Carlin and U.S. teammate Leah Smith.
    A day after anchoring the U.S 4x100m relay team to silver, Ledecky showed just why she's being touted as the best female swimmer on the planet.

    Ledecky stunned the world at London 2012 by recording the second fastest 800m time in history at the age of just 15.
    She has now set 12 world records in the past four years and could yet add the 200m and 800m titles before she's done.
    Breaststroke sensation Adam Peaty earned Great Britain its first gold medal of the Games with a typically stylish performance.
    The 21-year-old smashed his own record to add the Olympic title to his world and European crowns.
    "It's so surreal to get Team GB's first gold," Peaty, the first British man to win gold in the pool since 1988, told BBC Sport.
    "I came out tonight and took the first 50 easy and came back with everything I have got.
    "I did it for my country and that means so much for me."
    In the first race of the evening, Sarah Sjostrom broke her own world record to become the first Swedish woman to win Olympic gold in the pool.
    The three-time world champion won the women's 100m butterfly after racing home in 55.48 seconds to finish ahead of 16-year-old Canadian Penny Oleksiak and U.S. defending Olympic champion Dana Vollmer.
     
    Source: CNN Sport Olympics 

     

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  • Majlinda Kelmendi made history at the Rio Games on Sunday as she took gold in judo

    Majlinda Kelmendi made history at the Rio Games on Sunday as she took gold in judo to become the first athlete from Kosovo to win an Olympic medal, a feeling she said she would not trade for any amount of money in the world.

    Rio marks the first Olympics at which athletes are competing under the flag of Kosovo, which proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008.

    Many competitors from the small Balkan country, which was accepted as a member of the International Olympic Committee in 2014, had previously participated under another country's flag including Kelmendi herself.

    The twice world champion, who was Kosovo's flag bearer at Friday's opening ceremony and was competing in the -52kg category, represented Albania at the London Games in 2012 but went home without a medal that time.

    "I have lived four years for this day, for this moment, and I felt so happy there at the podium when I saw my flag and when I heard my anthem," she told reporters.

    Kelmendi refused many offers to compete for other countries because she had always wanted to represent Kosovo.

    "There is no money in the world, no millions in the world which can make me feel how I feel today," she said.

    Sanije Balaj, 51, who watched from a bar in Kosovo's capital Pristina, began to cry when the national anthem played at the medal ceremony.

    "I thought I would never see this day because I thought I would die in the 1999 war. Majlinda was not representing only herself but all the people of Kosovo," she told Reuters.

    Kelmendi described her semi-final match with third-seeded Misato Nakamura, which she won on a single penalty, as her toughest of the day, calling her Japanese opponent a legend who she had always wanted to fight.

    But to claim gold she also had to overcome 10th seed Odette Giuffrida from Italy in a tense duel, winning on a point from a yuko that was initially judged to be a more valuable waza-ari.

    Nakamura and Russia's Natalia Kuziutina won bronze.

    Tensions persist between Kosovo and Serbia, which has not recognized Kosovo's declaration of independence.

    Serbia has reportedly advised its athletes in Rio to withdraw from any medal ceremonies if they have to share the podium with athletes from Kosovo, although there were no Serbian judokas participating on Sunday.

    Kosovo won further sporting recognition in May when it was accepted as a member of soccer's world governing body FIFA.

    Source :- Reuters 

     

     

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  • Arsenal beat man city 3 -2 friendly game before 6 days start of premier league

     

    With just six days to go until the big kick-off at the Etihad, Pep Guardiola’s men opened the scoring at Gothenburg’s Ullevi Stadium through Sergio Aguero on the half hour mark before second half goals from Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott and Chuba Akpom turned the tide in Arsenal’s favour.

    Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho reduced the deficit three minutes from time but his side couldn’t find the equaliser despite a late rally.

    Evident from the get-go was City’s increased emphasis on pressing and on 17 minutes, the lively Aguero burst to life, riding a couple of challenges before hitting a shot which deflected up into Petr Cech’s arms.

    That proved to be a warning shot as City took the lead on the half hour mark when Raheem Sterling produced an inviting deep, swinging cross which split the Arsenal defence and gave Aguero the simplest of finishes from six yards out, making it two goals in two games for the Argentine ace.

    Alex Iwobi hit back for the North Londoners four minutes after the interval, curling the ball around second half substitute Joe Hart’s despairing dive following a lightning counter-attack spearheaded by Theo Walcott.

    Walcott was the man who completed the turnaround for the Gunners, putting the finishing touches on an incisive move with a delightful dink over Hart and Akpom increased Arsenal’s lead when he capitalised on a defensive error to slot home from close range.

    Iheanacho came off the bench to score his first goal of pre-season, heading in a brilliant Jesus Navas cross to make it 3-2, before Jesus Navas and Yaya Toure both had opportunities to equalise in the dying embers of the match but the Gunners held on to clinch their narrow victory.

    As can often be the case when rafts of substitutions are made in the second halves of friendly matches, the game became a little more fragmented after City made six changes in four second half minutes.

    Before then, the Swedish public had been treated to a game with almost the same level of intensity as your average Premier League encounter and Arsenal seized the initiative just five minutes after the last of these alterations, with Walcott scoring the decisive third goal.

    Guardiola won’t be too concerned about these concessions, however, with five days remaining to iron out any wrinkles before Sunderland come to town.

    Man of the Match…

    Raheem Sterling

    It was tempting to give Fabian Delph the ManCity.com Man of the Match honours for the second pre-season game in a row, thanks to another tireless showing in the midfield engine room, but Raheem Sterling just edged it, thanks to his sublime assist.

    Raheem started on the right hand side, as opposed to the left where he often lined up last season, and he ensured a tough afternoon for his opposing full-back Monreal with an exciting, pitch-stretching showing on the flank.

    Guardiola has pledged to help Sterling reach his incredible potential and it’s clear the 20-year old’s confidence is returning on the evidence of his first start of pre-seas

    Sergio Aguero, Nolito, David Silva and Raheem Sterling all made their first pre-season starts for Pep as part of a senior-looking final pre-season City XI.

    Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi all didn’t travel to Sweden and so Fernando and Kolarov were at the heart of an unfamiliar back four with Clichy and Zabaleta on either side, while Delph and Fernandinho started in the centre of midfield.

    Arsenal named a strong XI with both of their summer captures, Granit Xhaka and Rob Holding, earning starts, as well as Wales’ Euro 2016 hero Aaron Ramsey and Chilean international Alexis Sanchez.

    As is pre-season tradition, both teams made changes after the break with Joe Hart replacing Caballero in the City goal at the interval, while Kevin De Bruyne, Bacary Sagna and Tosin Adarabioyo were three of a number of players introduced by Guardiola as the second half progressed.

    Source :- Manchester city 

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  • Manchester United are on the brink of re-signing Paul Pogba from Juventus in a world record £89m deal.

    Manchester United are on the brink of re-signing Paul Pogba from Juventus in a world record £89m deal.

    United will pay 105m euros for Pogba and performance-related bonuses and other costs could see that figure rise.

    The midfielder will have a medical in the next few days with the deal due to be completed in midweek.

    The 23-year-old, who left United for £1.5m in 2012, is set to return for a fee that surpasses Gareth Bale's £85m move to Real Madrid in 2013.

    The Old Trafford club still have to agree personal terms with the France midfielder, although that is expected to be a formality.

    Pogba's imminent medical was announced just over 90 minutes before Sunday's Community Shield, which United won 2-1 against Leicester.

    Boss Jose Mourinho said after the game at Wembley that United is the "perfect" club and the Premier League is the best stage for Pogba.

    "We have everything to give him and we know the reasons why he wants to come to us," added Mourinho.

    "He comes because he knows the club, knows the city, many of the players and wants to be an important part of the project.

    "If you want to be the best player in the world, if you go to Barcelona or Real Madrid you are in trouble because I don't think the other two big guys [Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo] will let you."

    Asked about the size of Pogba's transfer fee, Mourinho said: "I don't think Real were upset when they broke the record with Gareth Bale or Cristiano.

    "I don't think it's a reason to be sad - it's a reason to be proud.

    "Football is crazy and the market has become crazy. What you think this season is crazy, you realise three years later it's not crazy any more.

    "What is expensive and not expensive in football? I don't know any more. I just know he is a big player."

    In four seasons in Turin, Pogba, who helped France reach the Euro 2016 final, won four league titles.

    He is Mourinho's fourth signing at United, after Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

    It is the first time in 20 years an English club will have paid a world record fee.

    Newcastle United were the last to do so when they spent £15m signing England striker Alan Shearer from Blackburn Rovers.

    Pogba joined United from French club Le Havre in 2009 as a 16-year-old, but made just a handful of appearances before his contract expired in July 2012.

    He has made 178 appearances for Juventus, scoring 34 goals, and helped the club reach the 2015 Champions League final. The Serie A side had offered him a new contract, while Real Madrid were also interested in signing him.

    Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola, also represents striker Ibrahimovic, who signed for United on a free transfer from Paris St-Germain, and midfielder Mkhitaryan, who joined from Borussia Dortmund.

    In August 2011, then United manager Six Alex Ferguson described Pogba as a "young boy" who was "showing great promise".

    He said: "If we hold Pogba back, what's going to happen? He's going to leave. So we have to give him the opportunity to see how he can do in the first team and he's got great ability, plus he's got the physique and athleticism."

    However, later that year, with Paul Scholes retired, Owen Hargreaves leaving and Darren Fletcher injured, Brazilian full-back Rafael was preferred to Pogba in midfield, a decision the Frenchman later said "disgusted" him.

    Scholes came out of retirement aged 37 in January 2012, and Pogba said: "I didn't want to sign a contract as Ferguson didn't play me, even though there were no midfielders there.

    "I was frustrated because he spoke to me a few times and said I was nearly there. When I saw Scholes come back, part of me was really happy as he's a legend, but I knew it was the end of me."

    Pogba left United when his contract expired, with the Red Devils receiving a £1.5m fee as compensation.

    Any other reasons?

    Juventus' Paul Pogba accuses former club Manchester United of "disrespect".
     

    Archive: Man Utd disrespected me - Pogba speaking 2014

    In his second autobiography, Ferguson said he "distrusted" Pogba's agent, Raiola, describing their first meeting as a "fiasco".

    "He and I were like oil and water," said the Scot. "From then on, our goose was cooked because Raiola had been able to ingratiate himself with Paul and his family and the player signed with Juventus."

    Juventus full-back Patrice Evra, who was at United with Pogba, said the club initially "underestimated" his France team-mate.

    Speaking in 2014, he said: "I went to talk to him and spent two hours with his parents and his brothers to discuss his future, even though I'm just a player.

    "I said, 'Here in Manchester you will become a legend. Be patient'. I tried to tie him up. I even tried to put him in padlocks. But, no, he'd already made his choice."

    How good is Pogba?

    • Former France striker Thierry Henry believes he can go on to become "one of the best in history" while fellow World Cup winner Patrick Vieiradescribed him as an "extraordinary player" and said it was a "mistake" for Manchester City not to sign him from United
    • Ex-United captain Bryan Robson said Pogba reminds him of Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure because "he is very good going forward and scores spectacular goals"
    • United legend Ryan Giggs said Pogba "has got everything"
    • France legend Zinedine Zidane thinks Pogba is a "complete player"
    • Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said in May 2015 that Pogba "needs to stop showboating in midfield" and that he makes "avoidable" mistakes
    • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claims Pogba is in a "maturing period" and will not find his best form until the age of 26

    Source : BBC Sport Foot Ball 

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