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  1. Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has joined Ligue 1 side Monaco, managed by his former Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry, on a three-and-a-half year deal. A sparkling Premier League career concludes with two winners' medals and 350 appearances over two stints in England. The Spain international joined Arsenal in 2003 and spent eight years with the north London club, becoming captain under Arsene Wenger before departing for boyhood side Barcelona. Fabregas was back in England with Chelsea in 2014 and finally got his hands on a Premier League title in his debut season at Stamford Bridge, winning another two years later. With the 31-year-old seemingly unlikely to be seen on English shores again, we take a look at the numbers behind his time in the Premier League. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 350 - Fabregas bows out after 350 appearances, starting on 295 occasions and playing 26,372 minutes. 104 - A sizeable chunk of Fabregas' Premier League appearances came as a teenager. Only Wayne Rooney (105) made more before his 20th birthday. 50 - Fabregas' half-century of goals has him joint-fourth for Spanish players in the Premier League. Fernando Torres (85), David Silva (54) and Diego Costa (52) have more than Fabregas and Juan Mata. 4 - Fabregas is the fourth youngest goalscorer in Premier League history. His maiden strike against Blackburn Rovers in August 2004 came at the age of 17. James Vaughan, James Milner and Rooney (all 16) have hit the net at a younger age. 15 - Fabregas' career-best Premier League season for goals came in 2009-10. As well as hitting the net 15 times, he provided 13 assists in a campaign that ended with a World Cup triumph in South Africa. 111 - The number of assists the Spaniard has tallied in the Premier League. Only Ryan Giggs (162) has managed more. 18 - The midfielder's best season for assists came in 2014-15. In Premier League history, only Thierry Henry (20 in 2002-03) and Mesut Ozil (19 in 2015-16) have bettered his 18 in a single campaign. That tally is matched by Kevin de Bruyne and Frank Lampard.
  2. Aaron Ramsey has agreed a five-year deal with Juventus worth £36m and will join the Italian champions on a free transfer at the end of the season. The midfielder has been discussing a move for weeks and will leave Arsenal after 10 years at the club. It had been clear the Wales international would move in the summer and Juventus had been the frontrunners to secure the 28-year-old’s signature. Ramsey will be paid around £140,000 a week (£7.2m a season), making him Juventus’s second-highest earner behind Cristiano Ronaldo but ahead Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa. Juventus, who have won the past seven Serie A titles, signed Ronaldo for €100m last summer and are nine points clear of Napoli in second place after 19 games. They have reached two of the last four Champions League finals, albeit losing both, to Barcelona in 2015and Real Madrid two years later. They are in the last 16 of this season’s competition, where they face Atlético Madrid.
  3. Japan make Arsene Wenger their No 1 target as they look to appoint former Arsenal manager on long-term deal Arsene Wenger is the No 1 target for the Japan FA as they look for a new national manager. The former Arsenal manager had been linked with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain but Madrid is now out of the equation after the appointment of Julen Lopetegui while Wenger would be a director football at PSG rather than in management. Several clubs in China are keen on the former Arsenal manager Wenger – indeed he rejected an offer of around £30million two years ago to move there and opted to stay at Arsenal. Now Japan want to bring Wenger back to the country where he worked with considerable success in the mid-1990s at Nagoya Grampus Eight. Wenger is highly respected and regarded in Japan and he has always spoken of how he enjoyed his life there. And the hierarchy at the Japanese FA now want to bring him back to take over the national team. It has been a turbulent time for the Japan team. Vahid Halilhodzic, the man who took them to the World Cup finals in Russia, was sacked just two months before the tournament.
  4. Ex-Barcelona and Roma coach Luis Enrique has been appointed as Spain manager on a two-year contract. The 48-year-old former Spain midfielder replaces Fernando Hierro, who stepped down as interim boss on Sunday. Hierro - who is not returning to his role as sporting director - was placed in temporary charge of the team after Julen Lopetegui was sacked on the eve of the World Cup. Enrique has been out of management since leaving the Nou Camp last June. Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales said: "The decision was unanimous. I like his commitment and he has turned down better-paid jobs in order to coach Spain. "He's a coach who has all the requirements the federation was looking for." He takes charge of a team that were knocked out of the World Cup at the last-16 stage on penalties by hosts Russia. Enrique, who played for Real Madrid and Barcelona, won the La Liga, Spanish Cup and Champions League treble as Barca manager in 2015. His first game in charge will be a Uefa Nations League game away to England at Wembley on 8 September. The RFEF announced his appointment on Monday and also named Jose Francisco Molina, a former Spain keeper, as their sporting director.
  5. Fernando Hierro, who led Spain at the 2018 World Cup, has stepped down as coach and will not return to his former role as sporting director. Hierro was placed in temporary charge of the team after Julen Lopetegui was sacked on the eve of the tournament. However, the 2010 world champions were knocked out on penalties by hosts Russia in the last 16. Hierro, 50, has decided to "seek new horizons", according to the Spanish football federation (RFEF). A statement said the former Real Madrid player had "declined" to return to his previous role and has opted to "undertake new professional challenges". Lopetegui was sacked two days before their opening World Cup match with Portugal after he was named Real Madrid boss. Lopetegui became Spain manager in 2016 following Vicente del Bosque's retirement, and remained unbeaten through his reign. In Russia, Spain topped Group B under Hierro. However, they conceded a late equaliser against Portugal and trailed Morocco 1-0 and 2-1 before scraping a draw in injury time. After their surprise exit to Russia, Hierro said he accepted responsibility for the team's failure to advance any further. "We all tried to give it our best but that's football," he said. "I don't think you can talk about the team breaking down or collapsing. There's a fine line between winning and losing."
  6. AKIRA NISHINO will quit as Japan manager at the end of the month, with his contract due to expire – despite receiving a rapturous welcome back to Tokyo. The Blue Samurai put up one heck of a fight when they played Belgium in a World Cup classic on Monday and stunned the Europeans by going 2-0 up. But Roberto Martinez' side fought back to win the clash 3-2 and Nishino cut a stunned figure on the touchline after Nacer Chadli's 94th-minute winner. JFA president Kozo Teshima told a media conference: "We will not persuade Nishino to stay on the job as his term comes to an end." Japan's squad returned home on Thursday following the round-of-16 defeat and held a press conference at Tokyo Airport, where they were greeted by thousands of appreciative fans. Nishino, 63, took over just two months before the World Cup following the surprise dismissal of Vahid Halilhodzic.
  7. ARSENAL have completed the signing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund. The Greece defender, 30, joins on a long-term contract for a fee believed to be in the region of £16million. Sokratis, who has encouraged fans to call him "Papa", will wear the No5 shirt and follows keeper Bernd Leno and defender Stephan Lichtsteiner through the Emirates doors this summer. He will also link up with former Dortmund team-mates Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who he says persuaded him to join. He said: "I spoke to them a lot of times. They said the best thing about this club is that it's one big family and they called me also - not every day but a lot of times - to come here." Sokratis won two Bundesliga titles and a German Cup during his time at Dortmund.
  8. Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has signed a new five-year contract with the club. The 26-year-old Egypt international joined the Reds for £34m from Roma last summer and has scored 44 goals in 52 appearances for the club. His new deal, which runs until 2023, does not contain a release clause. "It demonstrates two things very clearly - his belief in Liverpool and our belief in him," said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Salah was the top scorer in the Premier League last season, netting 32 goals - the most by a player in a 38-game campaign - to win the Golden Boot. His performances also helped him win last season's Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award and Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year.
  9. Real Madrid have appointed Spain manager Julen Lopetegui as their new head coach on a three-year deal. Zinedine Zidane, who led the club to three successive Champions League titles, stepped down in May, saying the club needs "a different voice". Lopetegui previously managed Porto for two years, before taking over at the Spanish national team in July 2016. The 51-year-old will take up the position after the World Cup, which begins on 14 June.
  10. Antoine Griezmann scored twice as Atletico Madrid swept aside Marseille in Lyon to win the Europa League for the third time in nine years. France forward Griezmann opened the scoring by punishing Andre Zambo Anguissa's poor touch to coolly slot home, then casually dinked in a second. Captain Gabi drilled in the third goal late on as Atletico again lifted the trophy they also won in 2010 and 2012. The outcome could have been different had Marseille forward Valere Germain taken an early chance, before Griezmann's lethal finishing allowed Atletico to take control. Marseille skipper Dimitri Payet, an injury doubt before the game, lasted just half an hour before hobbling off in tears. Without their inspirational midfielder, the French side caused Atletico just one major scare as ex-Fulham striker Kostas Mitroglou headed against the post. Atletico have been one of Europe's most consistent teams in recent seasons, breaking Barcelona and Real Madrid's stranglehold on La Liga by claiming the title in 2013-14. Second in the Spanish top flight with one match remaining, they are on course for a top-three finish for the sixth straight season and have appeared in two Champions League finals in that period, losing on both occasions to city rivals Real. With manager Diego Simeone in the stands - serving a four-game ban for being sent off in the semi-final against Arsenal - Atletico repelled Marseille's early thrusts and produced a performance which has become a trademark under the Argentine. Griezmann's clinical double took his tally for the club this season to 30 before Gabi added the third as the Ligue 1 club tried in vain to breach a backline that has conceded just 33 goals in 58 games all campaign.
  11. Barcelona's dream of going a whole La Liga season unbeaten ended in their penultimate game as they were beaten by lowly Levante in a remarkable match. The hosts moved into a 5-1 lead, with Emmanuel Boateng scoring a hat-trick and Enis Bardhi netting twice. Barca's Philippe Coutinho scored a hat-trick of his own and Luis Suarez netted a penalty to set up a tense finale. But the champions could not find an equaliser as they fell to a first La Liga defeat in 44 games. Ernesto Valverde, beaten in the league for the first time as Barcelona boss, may regret his decision to rest top scorer Lionel Messi for the trip to 15th-placed Levante. After coming through their game against Real Madrid unbeaten last weekend, it looked as though history beckoned for Barcelona. No side have gone an entire Spanish top flight season unbeaten since the 1930s, when there were only 18 games in a season. But they fell just short in a match that almost defied logic - they had only conceded 24 goals in their opening 36 games. With the league and cup double already wrapped up, and their Champions League run long over, it makes next Sunday's final game against Real Sociedad largely irrelevant - except to send off departing captain Andres Iniesta. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVxgcOzYrKo
  12. Andres Iniesta has reached an agreement to sign with Japan's Vissel Kobe, sources have confirmed to ESPN's Jordi Blanco. Spanish outlet Cadena Ser were the first to report the agreement between Iniesta and the J-League club. According ESPN's sources, the 33-year-old will sign a three-year deal with an annual salary of $30 million. Hiroshi Mikitani, owner of Vissel Kobe, is also the CEO of Barcelona's main sponsor Rakuten. His participation in the negotiations with Iniesta would have been a pivotal part to close the deal, sources said. The news came only hours after Chongqing Lifan announced through an official statement that Iniesta won't be moving to the Chinese Super League due to financial concerns. Iniesta has played 672 times for Barcelona, scoring 57 goals and adding 141 assists while collecting nine La Liga championships, six Copa Del Rey crowns, and four UEFA Champions League titles.
  13. i think 10 years in EPL finish...lost 1-2 to Crystal Palace...a shambolic season for them... Now see WBA will join them or not
  14. Wolves have been promoted to the Premier League with four games to spare after Fulham drew at home to Brentford. Fulham needed to win all four of their remaining matches to stand any chance of catching the Championship leaders. But Neal Maupay's injury-time equaliser earned the Bees a 1-1 draw and ensured Wolves will play in the top flight next season for the first time since 2012. Wanderers, who host Birmingham on Sunday, require a maximum of four points to be crowned champions. Nuno Espirito Santo's side have led the Championship table since 18 November and at one stage had looked on course to challenge the Championship record points tally of 106, set by Reading in 2005-06. A sequence of poor results in January and February saw that possibility diminish, although they could still reach a maximum of 104 points if they win their remaining four games, starting with Sunday's West Midlands derby against Birmingham City. Chinese owners Fosun have spent heavily to help Wolves achieve promotion, although the method of their player recruitment has been questioned by some other Championship clubs. In March, Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani confirmed he had written a letter to the English Football League to clarify the legality of Wolves' links with Portuguese agent Jorge Mendes, although the Molineux club do not believe they have broken any rules. Star player - Ruben Neves signed from Porto
  15. Liverpool will play Roma in the Champions League semi-finals, with Bayern Munich facing Real Madrid. The Reds, who beat Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate in the last round, will host Roma on Tuesday, 24 April with the return leg on Wednesday, 2 May. Arsenal will face Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals, while Red Bull Salzburg meet Marseille. The Gunners will play the first leg at home on Thursday, 26 April, with the second leg a week later on 3 May. The Europa League final will be in Lyon, France on Wednesday, 16 May, with the winner guaranteed a place in next season's Champions League. The Champions League final will be held in Kiev, Ukraine on Saturday, 26 May.
  16. Tottenham's Harry Kane has been awarded Spurs' second goal in Saturday's 2-1 win at Stoke after a successful appeal. The Premier League goals accreditation panel had initially given it to Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen. It said the decision had been reversed "after taking the player's testimony into account and reviewing the match footage". It means England striker Kane's tally for the season is now 25 - 4 behind Liverpool's Mohamed Salah. The Premier League said a three-person panel agreed that "the final touch on the ball belonged to Kane". The 24-year-old said after the game that Eriksen's free-kick grazed his shoulder before crossing the line. "I swear on my daughter's life that I touched the ball, but there's nothing I can do," he added. "If they turn it around, they turn it around. If they take my word, they take my word. "It is what it is - the most important thing is that we won the game." Reaction Alan Shearer, Premier League record scorer with 260 goals: "I wonder if they will give me the other nine I also scored but were not given! #269 #appeal." Former England striker Gary Lineker: "I can think of half a dozen for the national side I might claim. I was only 10 yards away from Platt's volley against Belgium if that's near enough? Could yet be England's leading scorer." National League club Gateshead FC: "Our second goal at Tranmere Rovers last night has now been awarded to Harry Kane."
  17. England women’s boss Phil Neville was given a stern ticking off after he came to the rescue of a Welsh player suffering from cramp. The former United star nipped onto the pitch during tonight’s 2019 World Cup qualifier to stretch out midfielder Kayleigh Green’s leg. But Neville’s touching actions did not go down too well with the FIFA fourth official, who ordered him to stop and gently marched him back to the dugout. Green was then treated by club physios. [MEDIA=twitter]982347545522290689[/MEDIA] Footage shows the fourth official smiling and joking with Neville after the second half incident, but he doesn’t appear too happy.
  18. Last week serie a game between Bologna and Fiorentina saw 2 goals direct from corner kick...jin satki
  19. A referee who aimed a kick at a player then sent him off has been banned for six months, half of which is suspended. Tony Chapron fell to the ground when his heels were clipped - apparently accidently - by Nantes' Diego Carlos during a league match last month. Chapron, 45, kicked out at the player, then booked him for a second time. The referee - who was suspended after the game - was given his punishment by a French league disciplinary committee on Thursday. Carlos' booking was rescinded at Chapron's request. Chapron has been refereeing in France's top flight since 2004 and taken charge of more than 400 matches in that time - including the French Cup final in 2014. Prior to the incident he had announced that this would be his final season as a referee. Original Incident [soccer] Referee kicks player then send him off
  20. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjM827E4_k0 Between Claudio Ranieri’s Nantes vs Neymar’s PSG Toobiantai for soccer @XianGe @absoluthell @Sinkiearsenal
  21. Ryan Giggs is set to be named the new Wales manager on a four-year contract. The Football Association of Wales has called a news conference for Monday afternoon in Cardiff, where the former Manchester United winger is expected to be unveiled. Provided there is no late hitch, Giggs will be announced as the successor to Chris Coleman, who left for Sunderland in November. Craig Bellamy, Osian Roberts and Mark Bowen were also interviewed. The panel set up to conduct the search, led by FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford, is expected to put the finishing touches to the agreement on Monday morning. The recruitment panel decision does not have to go to the ruling council of the association because they have full powers to make the choice. Giggs, who has long been a target for the FAW, was one of the favourites for the role once Coleman departed after Wales failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
  22. The England international, 24, has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal with last season's Premier League champions. Barkley, who leaves Everton after 13 years at Goodison Park, has not played for seven months because of a hamstring injury and had surgery in August. "He's very young and has a lot of space for improvement," said Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. "He's a good prospect but at the same time, it will be very important to understand, if the player signs, we must have patience to help him recover." Barkley turned down a £30m move to Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day in August after rejecting a new deal at Everton. But with his Goodison contract expiring in the summer, he has now moved for £15m less. He will wear the number eight shirt at Chelsea - previously worn by Frank Lampard and Oscar. "To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea, it's unbelievable for me," said Barkley, who made his Toffees debut in 2011. Barkley joined Everton's academy as an 11-year-old in 2005 and played 150 times in the Premier League, scoring 21 goals. He has 22 caps for England and played at the 2014 World Cup.
  23. 1st leg: Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnJSoUofZ1I 2nd leg: Real Madrid 2 Barcelona 0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuuM2C0EdwE
  24. http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/800/cpsprodpb/13420/production/_97008887_morata2-2.jpg Chelsea have agreed a deal to sign Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata for about £60m. The Spain international must now agree personal terms and pass a medical to complete the transfer. The 24-year-old would be the Premier League champions' fourth signing of the summer, after goalkeeper Willy Caballero, defender Antonio Rudiger and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko. Morata scored 20 goals last season after rejoining Real from Juventus. He won La Liga and the Champions League, but the majority of his appearances were as a substitute. Morata could replace Spain team-mate Diego Costa, who says he has been told by manager Antonio Conte that he is no longer in Chelsea's plans. Manchester United had been interested in Morata prior to signing Everton striker Romelu Lukaku for an initial £75m. "I'm going to the team managed by the coach who has placed the most faith in me, and that's great for me," Morata told AS on Wednesday. Morata joined Real Madrid's youth team in 2008 and was handed his senior debut aged 18 in 2010. The 6ft 3in striker moved to Italy in 2014, scoring 27 goals in two years for Juventus, winning both Serie A and the Coppa Italia twice and playing in the 2015 Champions League final. Real exercised a buy-back option in June 2016 to take him back to the Bernabeu. Morata has won 20 caps for Spain, scoring nine goals, since his international debut in 2014.
  25. Thomas Tuchel has left his position as coach of Borussia Dortmund, the club have announced. The 43-year-old, who led Dortmund to victory in the DFB-Pokal final three days ago, has parted company with the club after two seasons in charge. Dortmund said in a statement that the decision to “go their separate ways with immediate effect” was made at a meeting on Tuesday between the chief executive, Hans-Joachim Watzke, the sporting director, Michael Zorc, Tuchel and his agent. Dortmund defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 to win the German Cup on Saturday but despite the victory Tuchel’s time at the club has been brought to a close after reports of a strained relationship with the board. Tuchel confirmed on Twitter on Tuesday that he had left the club. He said: “I am grateful for two beautiful, eventful and exciting years. Too bad that it does not go [on]. Thanks to the fans, to the team, to the staff and to all who supported us. Wishes the @BVB all the best. TT.” The Dortmund statement read: “We’d like to thank Thomas Tuchel and his coaching team for their successful work at BVB, which culminated in the DFB-Pokal win over Eintracht Frankfurt in Berlin on Saturday. We would like to wish Thomas all the best in his career.” Relations between Tuchel and the club’s hierarchy, in particular Watzke, have appeared openly strained since the bomb attack on the Dortmund coach before their Champions League game with Monaco last month. The match in Dortmund was postponed and played the following day, with Tuchel making no secret of his anger at the decision to play the game so soon after the incident, in which his defender Marc Bartra was injured. An angry Tuchel said at the time the decision, about which he said his team was not once consulted, left “a very bad feeling”. Uefa bore the brunt of Tuchel’s fury, but it said Dortmund had agreed to the rearrangement of the game. The implication was Dortmund’s bosses had not run the decision by the team. Tuchel was appointed as Jürgen Klopp’s successor at Signal Iduna Park for the start of the 2015-16 season. He led the club to second place in the Bundesliga last term and third this campaign, although they have not been able to provide a real challenge to a dominant Bayern Munich.
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