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Sahin joins Werder Bremen after Borussia Dortmund cancel contract – football news

Nuri Sahin has joined Werder Bremen after Borussia Dortmund agreed to cancel his contract, which had one year remaining.

The 29-year-old has signed what is believed to be a two-year deal with Florian Kohfeldt’s side, where he will wear the number 17 shirt.

“The talks with the owners and the coach were very good,” he told the club’s official website. “Werder are a big club, where you have the feeling something is growing. I’m looking forward to being part of it.”

Kohfeldt said: “I don’t think there’s much more to say about the qualities of Nuri. He has experienced almost everything in the Bundesliga, been a champion and cup-winner with Dortmund and played for Real Madrid and Liverpool.

“He has the potential to improve us further and gives us more options.”

Earlier, Sahin had thanked Dortmund and their fans for their support during two separate spells with the club, the first of which began when he joined as a youngster in 2001.

“I’d like to thank the club and the fans with all my heart for the past few years we’ve had together,” he said. “I’m not leaving, because Borussia will always be in my heart.

“I deeply thank [CEO Hans-Joachim] Watzke and [sporting director] Michael Zorc as well as all my coaches, but especially Jurgen Klopp, who always supported me.”

Sahin became the youngest player to appear in the Bundesliga, at the age of 16 years and 355 days, back in 2005. He was then the division’s youngest goalscorer when he struck against Nurnberg in November that year.

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After winning the Bundesliga under Klopp in 2010-11, Sahin joined Real Madrid, but his time in Spain was blighted by injury problems.

He spent half the 2012-13 season on loan at Liverpool before rejoining Dortmund, eventually on a permanent deal.

Sahin made 18 appearances in the Bundesliga last term, but the signings of Axel Witsel and Thomas Delaney had seen the Turkey international slip further down the pecking order.

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Mourinho cites philosopher in latest bizarre Man Utd news conference – football news

Jose Mourinho cited philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in his latest bizarre news conference appearance.

The Manchester United manager appears to be feeling the pressure after Monday’s 3-0 home defeat to Tottenham.

After that game, Mourinho walked out of his media conference demanding “respect” from journalists, noting his three Premier League titles is more than the other division’s bosses combined.

United have taken three points from their first three Premier League games, leading some reports to speculate Mourinho could be sacked should his side lose at Burnley on Sunday.

Mourinho was in typically defiant form at Friday’s pre-match news conference, though, issuing a reminder he has won eight league titles across spells at Real Madrid, Inter and Chelsea.

“Did you read any philosopher or in your formation you never spent time reading, for example, Hegel?,” Mourinho asked one reporter.

“Just as an example, Hegel says the truth is in the whole, it’s always in the whole that you find the truth.”

Mourinho famously described himself as a “Special One” at his Chelsea unveiling back in 2004, a bold claim he backed up with Premier League titles in his first two campaigns.

But Spurs fans mocked Mourinho on Monday, singing “you’re not special any more” at the Portuguese, who was quick to reference United’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

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“They didn’t have that song when we beat them at Wembley a couple of months ago,” Mourinho said.

“It was for a cup final they had a big dream to go to – a title they had a big dream to win because they don’t win many – in that night at Wembley the United fans were singing ‘the Special One’ and of course they [Spurs supporters] were not singing that.”

Mourinho also declared himself “one of the greatest managers in the world”, despite United finishing 19 points behind rivals Manchester City in last season’s Premier League and failing to win any silverware.

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Disappointing Kelechi Iheanacho has failed to deliver on preseason promise – football news

Frustration. That’s probably what Claude Puel and, to a larger extent, Kelechi Iheanacho felt following the forward’s withdrawal against Southampton just after the hour mark in gameweek three last weekend.At the time of the Nigeria international’s substitution, in the 67th minute, the Foxes had only just equalized through Demarai Grey 10 minutes earlier, and many would have expected the French coach would have kept Iheanacho on, given that the game was there for the taking.

Puel’s side eventually won 2-1 thanks to Harry Maguire’s late, late strike, however, the decision to bring on Marc Albrighton spoke volumes about the forward’s ineffectual display, and how Puel sees Iheanacho.

The dissatisfaction about the frontman’s performances, even at this early stage of the campaign, stems from the fact that he had a superb preseason, scoring four goals in three games – against Udinese, Valencia and Lille respectively.

The last of his goals, a brace against Les Dogues, saw the Foxes end their winless run in preparatory friendlies after three successive games without success.Eric Bailly, Kelechi Iheanacho

At the blast of the final whistle at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Iheanacho will have had his gaze firmly fixed on the league opener against an ailing Manchester United at Old Trafford. Given the state of the Red Devils in preseason, with a lingering uncomfortable atmosphere that’d carried on from the previous campaign, the forward was predicted to hurt Jose Mourinho’s side on opening day.

However, his performance in the 2-1 loss was a stark contrast to the player who had terrorised defences during friendlies in the preceding weeks; his touch was heavy, his interplay in tight spaces nonexistent and he seemed incapable of taking advantage of the couple of chances that fell at his feet to stun the Manchester giants.

 

In all honesty, the single fact that the encounter was at Old Trafford made it an uphill task before a ball was kicked. Without an away win at the home of the Red Devils since Tony Cottee fired Leicester to a 1-0 win in January 1998, the East Midlands side have endured just over two decades of hurt since and were consequently fighting a losing battle before the season opener.

Nevertheless, and hindsight is a good thing, the defensive capitulation of Mourinho’s side in their 3-2 loss at Brighton & Hove Albion and Monday night’s 3-0 home loss to Tottenham might have had the Leicester lads thinking what might have been.

Puel’s side might feel they could’ve got a better result given how recent events have panned out, and maybe curse their luck for playing the Manchester giants before truly realizing just how deep their malaise runs.Daniel Amartey

The Foxes, and Iheanacho, weren’t helped on that day by Daniel Amartey’s irrational handball only seconds into the encounter. Paul Pogba sent the home side ahead, and it had the visitors playing catch-up, consequently ruining what Puel set out to achieve.

If the plan was to hit Mourinho’s side on the counter, that was quickly thrown out of the window after three minutes as the early goal saw the hosts retreat into their half and play the visitors at their own game.

It made it difficult for Iheanacho to have a telling impact as the ball didn’t arrive in the final third early enough for the forward to have a devastating impact. His side saw more of the ball but rarely did in very positive attacking situations, which had the attacker dropping deeper to have an impact.

Claude Puel Leicester City

A similar theme played out against the Saints as the frontman sought the ball outside the box as opposed to being a presence in goalscoring areas. That can be interpreted either as a player trying extremely hard to impact the game, or as one lacking confidence to carry out his primary duty, and then tries to overcompensate in other areas.

It was the first time since 2015 that Leicester had started a game without one of Jamie Vardy, who was suspended following straight red against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante, and they struggled badly – especially in the first half.

In 67 minutes on the south coast, Iheanacho failed to register a single effort at goal of the Foxes’ four at the time, which further highlights his ineffectiveness.

Against United in gameweek one, his two blocked efforts from outside the box were all he could muster in 90 minutes. To put this stat in perspective, the introduced Vardy had two of Leicester’s 13 attempts, both from inside the box and scored with one. The visitors had three other efforts from inside the penalty area, with none involving the Nigerian.

With Vardy’s so-far interrupted campaign, one would have hoped Iheanacho would strive to make a much better impression, yet he’s failed.

It hasn’t helped that the quality of opposition faced has seen Puel focus on results as opposed to playing fluid football. It also doesn’t help that the next side in sight are Liverpool, a team brimming with confidence after their perfect start to the campaign.Kelechi Iheanacho Leicester City 2018-19

The Reds have been pristine this year and are yet to concede a goal.

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They’ve also shown they can win without particularly hitting the heights – as seen in their 2-0 win at Crystal Palace and 1-0 success last time out against Brighton – and Iheanacho might be in for yet another tough afternoon at the King Power Stadium.

It will be the final game of Vardy’s three-game suspension, and the Nigeria international will hope to pick up where he left off in the Foxes’ 4-0 League Cup win over Fleetwood Town – where he scored the third of the home side’s four – as the East Midlands side seek to be the first team to put a dent in Liverpool’s unblemished start.

Otherwise, the frontman risks ruing yet another missed opportunity to really force himself into Puel’s plans…and the Leicester reckoning.

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Al Ahly confirm Phakamani Mahlambi’s move to Mamelodi Sundowns – football news

Mamelodi Sundowns have finally landed their transfer target in Al Ahly  striker Phakamani Mahlambi as they look to bolster their options upfront.

Speculation was rife in the media that the Brazilians were chasing the Al Ahly attacker following the departure of Percy Tau to Brighton & Hove Albion, and the Red Devils have now confirmed Mahlambi’s return to South Africa.

“Mohamed Fadl, Ahly’s contract manager, said he had reached an agreement with South Africa’s Sundowns to transfer Phakamani Mahlambi from Al Ahly for $900,000 and get 20 percent of his resale or loan,” Al Ahly announced on their website.

“The contracting manager revealed that a clause in the contract stipulates that the player is not entitled to play in Egypt,” reads the statement.

“In case of violation of this clause, the parties (the player and the club) pay one million dollars. If the contract is cancelled, the club pays $1 million,” concluded the club.

Mahlambi had been touted as coach Pitso Mosimane’s main target because of his trickery and pace to trouble opposition defenders.

Moreover, the deal comes as the Premier Soccer League (PSL) is set to pull down the curtain on the current July-August transfer window on Friday, August 31.

The former Bidvest Wits striker’s return was announced after Mosimane’s hint on Thursday that they were not done in the market and could bring a 21-year-old back to the PSL before the transfer window deadline.

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Meanwhile, Mahlambi is seen as a perfect man to solve the reigning PSL champions’ troubles upfront as they have gone four matches without scoring in all competitions.

The Bafana Bafana international left the Clever Boys in September last year to join the Egyptian Premier League (EPL) giants on a four-year deal, but has spent a season in Cairo.

For the Brazilians, Mahlambi will compete against the likes of Ali Meza, Anthony Laffor, Toni Silva and Sibusiso Vilakazi as they now focus on their domestic campaign.

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Steven Pienaar: Manchester City can do well in Uefa Champions League – football news

Former Bafana Bafana and Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar believes this year’s Uefa Champions League will be tough, but said he wants the English Premier League clubs to do well.

Speaking to Goal after the draw was conducted on Thursday, the ex-Tottenham Hotspur star said he also wants to see his former club, Ajax Amsterdam, doing well because he knows they are an ambitious outfit.

“It’s going to be a tough competition I can tell you because there are strong teams in every group. For me, it is difficult to call it for now,” Pienaar told Goal.

“I think it will be like last season where there are teams you picked to well and reach the knockout stages, but end up failing to progress,” he reacted.

“Teams like Bayern Munich, Paris Saint Germain were tipped as favourites to win it, but they couldn’t mount a serious challenge. So, it’s just difficult to predict now as it is early,” added Pienaar.

“I also did not believe that (Real) Madrid would go on and successfully defend it because there were good teams such as Manchester City, PSG, Bayern and so on, but they showed desire and experience to go and win it,” continued the legend.

“If you look at teams and groups on paper, City would win it without a doubt, but you can’t really tell for now because it is the beginning and anything can happen you know,” said the Johannesburg-born former international.

“There are teams like Juventus; they have good quality players and experience. PSG are always an ambitious team and those are the teams you can say they will reach the Last 16, the Last 8 and so on. So, let’s just see and make a call as the tournament progresses,” he added.

Speaking about a team capable of shocking the world by marching all the way to the final and dethrone the Los Blancos, the former midfielder backed the Dutch giants, Ajax Amsterdam to surprise many.

“I hope Ajax can do better than the previous years and shock many. Obviously the club has ambitions and it’s yearning for glory in European football,” he revealed.

“But, there is quality in the Madrid team although they do not have Cristiano Ronaldo; there are star players such as Gareth Bale and the likes of (Luka) Modric,” noted Schillo.

“I think Bale is doing well from what I have seen so far and I hope he will raise his hand to own that position and score goals to go all the way and defend their trophy, but I would also want to see Barcelona do well in this year’s edition,” he said.

“They have a new coach and a couple of players who will want to prove it to their manager that they can do the job. So, I am sure the competition will be one to watch for everyone,” Pienaar reacted.

When asked about which team from the English Premier League is capable of replicating Liverpool’s exploits as they reached the final last season, the 36-year-old said the Manchester City have the capacity to do well.

The Premier League will be represented by Pep Guardiola’s City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur, but Pienaar reckons some will only do well at home.

“I think like I said, it’s going to be a challenge for some English clubs and it will be interesting in the group stages,” he responded.

“English teams are strong at home in the United Kingdom, but tend to struggle away, and a team like Hotspur, I don’t think they will go all out when playing away and yeah, I am not a fortune teller, but I hope EPL teams do well this year,” he added.

“To be honest, City have a great manager and based on their run in the EPL last season, I think they can do well this year and because they have depth – they have a chance in my opinion,” said the former Bidvest Wits midfielder.

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Although many will pick Barcelona to do everything right and lift the trophy after starting on a high note in the Spanish La Liga this term, ‘Schillo’ believes all the groups are very tough in the European club competition.

“I’m not going to lie to you and say there is an easy group. You see in each and every group there are strong teams and these are teams that are looking to challenge for honours,” he told Goal.

“You see Barcelona have the likes of Inter Milan, Bayern have Ajax in the same group and Real Madrid will also face tough teams in their group. So, I believe it will be difficult to single out one group and say this is the easiest or toughest one – there are no easy groups,” concluded Pienaar.

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Former Celtic star Maloney joins Henry on Martinez’s Belgium coaching staff – football news

Roberto Martinez has drafted former Celtic and Wigan star Shaun Maloney into his coaching staff with the Belgium national team.

The Red Devils were in the market for a new addition following the departure of Graeme Jones.

A man who has worked alongside Martinez throughout his managerial career has returned to club football as deputy to Darren Moore at West Brom.

Jones has been replaced as number two within the Belgium set-up by Thierry Henry.

The Arsenal legend, who linked up with Martinez in August 2016, remains part of the fold after turning down the chance to move into management at Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.

His promotion has allowed Maloney to be brought in by Belgium, with the 35-year-old a man Martinez knows well.

The Spaniard signed the Scot during his time in charge of Wigan, with the pair spending two years together at the DW Stadium.

Maloney, since hanging up his boots in the summer of 2017, has been cutting his coaching teeth within the academy set-up at Celtic.

Martinez is delighted to have welcomed a familiar face on board, telling reporters at the announcement of his squad for upcoming fixtures against Scotland and Iceland: “Graeme Jones did a fantastic job as assistant coach. We wish him all the best.

“We are delighted that Thierry Henry has decided to carry on and stay with the team. He will now work on a full-time basis for Belgium.

“Shaun Maloney is a football player that I worked with. He knows the way we work and is someone who has an exciting coaching career in front of him.”

Belgium are set to face Scotland in an international friendly contest on September 7 before opening their UEFA Nations League campaign against Iceland on September 11.

Martinez added on the challenges which lie ahead for a team which finished third at World Cup 2018: “The Nations League brings a real meaning to the games we will play.

“This is a new and different format that is going to be successful.”

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Ronaldo’s sister hastily removes Instagram image that appears to take dig at Modric winning UEFA award – football news

Cristiano Ronaldo’s sister hastily removed an Instagram post that appeared to take a dig at Luka Modric winning the UEFA Player of the Season award.

The Croatia midfielder was honoured by the governing body at the Champions League group stage draw on Thursday, with Real drawn alongside Roma, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen.

Ronaldo’s Juventus will play the Portuguese’s former club Manchester United, as well as Valencia and Young Boys.

However, despite the Portuguese’s heroics as Real won the competition last season – he scored 15 goals in 13 games – Modric, the midfield metronome at the centre of Real’s triumph, claimed the coveted award.

Ronaldo had picked up the prize in 2016 and 2017, and his sister was stunned by the outcome.

Posting on the social media site, in a post which has since been deleted, she wrote: “Okay!!! Everyone can draw their own conclusion.”

Ronaldo was not present at the awards ceremony, but he did win the Forward of the Year prize, and Sergio Ramos admits he and his team-mates were surprised that the 33-year-old did not turn up.

“We found out practically when the microphones were being set up and we were surprised,” the centre-back said. “But he does what he wants.”

Ronaldo

Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, was fuming that UEFA decided to snub his client.

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“Football is played on the field and that’s where Cristiano won,” he told Record. “He scored 15 goals, carried Real Madrid on his back and conquered the Champions League again.

“It’s ridiculous, shameful. The winner is not in doubt, as Ronaldo is the best in his position.”

Ronaldo has yet to score for Juventus, but will be hopeful of replicating last season’s form in the Champions League this term.

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Bolt on bench for Central Coast Mariners friendly – football news

Usain Bolt is in line to make his first appearance for Central Coast Mariners after being named as a substitute for a pre-season friendly.

The Mariners take on Central Coast Select and coach Mike Mulvey previously said Bolt is likely to play “some part” in the game, which has unlimited substitutions.

Sprint star Bolt has made it his goal to earn a professional football contract after retiring from athletics in 2017.

“There will be nerves,” the 100m world record holder told reporters ahead of Friday’s match.

“It’s not like it is a charity game anymore, this is a career that I am pursuing.”

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Bolt, who has trained with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund, played a friendly during a trial with Norwegian side Stromsgodset earlier in the year.

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