Ruben Neves signs new contract keeping him at Wolves until 2023 – reports

30 Jun

Wolves midfield maestro Ruben Neves has reportedly signed a new five-year contract to stay at Molineux.

Neves, 21, was instrumental in helping Wolves win the Championship and thus earn promotion to the Premier League.

Neves celebrates winning the Championship with his family last season

Despite being overlooked for a place in Portugal’s World Cup squad, Neves had been linked with the likes of Liverpool earlier this summer.

But according to the Express and Star, Neves has put pen-to-paper to keep him at the club until 2023.

Neves was a surprise arrival at Nuno Espirito Santo’s outfit after signing from Porto for a league record £15.8million.

He lived up to his price tag, scoring six goals including a goal of the season contender against Derby.

The newly-promoted side have been busy in the transfer market this summer, having recruited fellow Portuguese star Rui Patricio from Sporting Lisbon on a free transfer.

Wolves have also acquired Mexico striker Raul Jimenez on loan from Benfica.

 

 

 

England are not at the World Cup to have fun, says Tottenham’s Kyle Walker

30 Jun

Kyle Walker insists England’s players are focused on being at the World Cup for a long time, not just a good time.

The Three Lions are preparing to take on Colombia in the last 16, a match manager Gareth Southgate has already billed as the nation’s most important fixture in a decade.

Walker says England are not messing around

Since arriving in Russia, Southgate has encouraged his squad to enjoy themselves on the biggest stage of all and they have obliged in a variety of colourful ways.

There have been inflatable flamingo races in their hotel pool, an ongoing darts challenge against the travelling media, endless references to Love Island and Fortnite and even Jamie Vardy questioning Harry Maguire about the size of his head during a press conference.

But Walker has made it clear the team will not be distracted from the job at hand.

“We all need to go and express ourselves, but there’s a fine line between having fun and obviously getting down to business,” he told FIFA.com.

“I think there’s a fine line. You don’t want it to be regimented or to feel as if it’s being dictated to you. We are all good players, otherwise we wouldn’t be in the England team, and we are in the business end now so we’ll put the fun on the back-burner a bit. But we still need to enjoy our football.”

Walker in action against Panama

England have not played Colombia since 2005, when a Michael Owen hat-trick sealed a 3-2 win, and the business of analysing the South Americans has been ongoing for the past couple of days at the team’s Repino base camp.

“We’ve seen a few clips of them, we know where their weaknesses are but we also know where their strengths are,” said Walker.

“They’ve got (Juan) Cuadrado, a very experienced and direct player, and (Radamel) Falcao speaks for himself. He gets goals and is a big threat in the box, so we just have to try and play our game, and let them worry about us. We have key men in key areas and we will be a really big threat to them, I believe.”

“I want to play against the best players in the world week-in, week-out because it’s only going to make me better as a player, so I’m excited.”

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Wolves sign Leo Bonatini and Ruben Vinagre on permanent contracts

30 Jun

Wolves have turned the loan moves of Leo Bonatini and Ruben Vinagre into permanent deals.

Bonatini, who scored 12 goals in 43 games as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side won the Sky Bet Championship title last season, arrives from Saudi Professional League side Al-Hilal for an undisclosed fee.

Bonatini impressed while on loan

The Brazilian, 24, has signed a four-year deal, while Vinagre, 19, joins from Monaco on a five-year contract.

“We are delighted to secure the services of two players we rate very highly, and we believe can play a huge part in our plans for our first season back in the Premier League and beyond,” Wolves sporting director Kevin Thelwell told the official club website.

“Both players have been part of this group for a season, and that means they can hit the ground running and won’t need any additional time to adjust to Nuno and his coaching staff’s high standards of preparation and training.

Vinagre has a lot of potential

“Leo Bonatini was unstoppable for a long stretch last season – his goals played a huge part in our promotion – and we have no doubt he can reproduce that kind of goalscoring form in the Premier League.

“Ruben Vinagre is a hugely exciting prospect, and we are really looking forward to him developing further under Nuno’s tutelage.”

Both players will join up with the Wolves squad on Monday, before travelling to Switzerland for a pre-season training camp the following week.

Wolves have strengthened ahead of their return to the Premier League by signing Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio from Sporting Lisbon and Mexico forward Raul Jimenez.

Chelsea expected to announce Maurizio Sarri as new manager next week

30 Jun

Chelsea are set to announce Maurizio Sarri as their new manager next week.

The club’s non-World Cup players return for pre-season training on July 9th, a week on Monday, and the Blues want their new man unveiled by then.

Sarri has long been the favourite to replace Conte

The former Napoli boss is preparing to finally succeed Antonio Conte after months of uncertainty and instability at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea’s players have been left in the dark over who their boss will be next season, but there is a feeling among the squad they will return to work under Sarri or Conte, rather than anybody else.

According to the Telegraph, the Blues have held talks with Aleksandr Golovin, Alisson and Daniele Rugani, all of whom are rated highly by Sarri.

Whereas Conte is not understood to have been involved in any talks with the club over transfers.

The west London club are reluctant to pay Conte off with his compensation package worth around £9million if he doesn’t work for the 12 months remaining on his contract.

Conte has even prepared a rigorous pre-season schedule for the players just in case he remains in charge next season, according to The Sun.

Uruguay 2-1 Portugal: Euro 2016 champions out of World Cup thanks to Edinson Cavani’s brace

30 Jun

Uruguay made it to the World Cup quarter-finals for the second time in the last three occasions after Edinson Cavani’s brilliant double saw them edge to a 2-1 win over Portugal in a scrappy encounter at Sochi.

Cavani gave La Celeste a dream start when he got on the end of Luis Suarez’s menacing cross. Replays show that the ball actually struck the PSG man’s face en route to the net.

The two-time world champions will play France in the quarter-finals

Pepe brought Portugal on level terms ten minutes after the break with a towering header – getting on the end of Raphael Gurreiro’s searching cross following a trademark Portuguese short corner from the left.

But Uruguay regained the lead moments later and it was that man Cavani who produced a delightful curling shot into the corner of the net, giving Rui Patricio no chance as Oscar Tabarez’s men booked themselves a quarter-final date with France on Friday at Nizhny Novgorod.

STAR MAN

Suarez and Cavani terrorised the Portugal defence for large periods of the game

This was a game where the stage was set for the likes of Suarez or Cristiano Ronaldo but it was Cavani who stole the show.

Defenders Diego Godin and Jose Giminez produced a mammoth shift at the back and Suarez was brilliant up top – causing problems for his opponents all game.

However, it was Suarez’s strike partner who scored the two crucial goals to send Uruguay through.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Both of Cavani’s goals were great to watch but his second goal was the better strike.

Cavani steered the ball magnificently beyond the reach of Patricio – who is no slouch between the sticks – to ensure Uruguay would make the last eight.

Cavani took the shine off Portugal’s talisman Ronaldo

LINE-UPS

Uruguay: Muslera, Caceres, Godin, Gimenez, Laxalt, Torreira, Vecino, Nandez(Sanchez 81), Bentancur (Rodriguez 63), Suarez, Cavani (Stuani 74)

Subs not used: Campana, Varela, De Arrascaeta, Gaston Silva, Maxi Pereira, Gomez, Coates, Urreta, Martin Silva

Portugal: Patrício, Ricardo Perreira, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro, William Carvalho, Adrien (Quaresma 65), João Mário (Fernandes 85), Bernardo Silva, Ronaldo, Guedes (Andre Silva 74)

Subs not used: Lopes, Bruno Alves, Joao Moutinho, Dias, Bruno Fernandes, Gelson Martins, Mario Rui, Cedric, Beto

talkSPORT are with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.

Fans react to Luis Suarez constantly going down in Uruguay’s World Cup clash against Portugal

30 Jun

Luis Suarez is never far from World Cup controversy.

As I’m sure you’ll remember, he denied Ghana a place in the 2010 semi-finals with a last-gasp handball on the line, before taking a chunk out of Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder in 2014.

Suarez angered viewers with his antics

However, we’ve also seen the devilish brilliance of the man and Uruguay’s last-16 clash against Portugal showed the best and the worst of the former Liverpool striker.

It was his sensational cross which created Edinson Cavani’s opener, but his performance was marred by play-acting and cynical tactics. His usual tricks, many said.

Here are the best tweets:

talkSPORT are with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.

The location for England’s international against Switzerland has been decided and it’s not Wembley

30 Jun

Leicester’s King Power Stadium will play host to England’s international friendly against Switzerland in September.

The game will kick off at 8pm on Tuesday September 11 and will be the second game the Three Lions will play after their World Cup campaign.

England are currently in Russia for the World Cup

Their first game will be against Spain in the UEFA Nations League at Wembley on Saturday September 8.

The Swiss are potential quarter-final opponents for Gareth Southgate’s men if both teams can beat Sweden and Colombia in their respective last 16 ties.

England have played in Leicester once before, beatin Serbia and Monetenegro 2-1 in a friendly in 2003.

 

Gianluigi Buffon posts emotional message as Juventus contract officially comes to an end

30 Jun

Gianluigi Buffon’s time at Juventus officially came to an end today after a 17-year spell at the club.

The goalkeeper signed from Parma in 2001 and has been an iconic member of the Juve team until his contract expiry on June 30.

Buffon greeted fans after his final match

He posted a tweet (below) which translates into the following statement:

“17 years in black and white that officially end today.

“17 years of friends, companions, tears, victories, defeats, trophies, words, angry, disappointments, happiness and many, many emotions.

“I will never forget anything. I will always carry everything with me. #FinoAllaFine [#UntilTheEnd]”

Buffon is yet to reveal his future plans, but called time on his Juventus career after winning his ninth Serie A title and fourth consecutive league and cup double.

The Italian has been heavily linked with a move to PSG.

 

How many nationalities does Switzerland squad have and what other countries could they have represented?

30 Jun

Switzerland are still in with a chance of a first ever World Cup title.

Led by Vladimir Petkovic, the Swiss successfully navigated a tough Group E and will now face Sweden for a place in the quarter-finals.

The Swiss have been impressive so far in Russia
Getty

How many nationalities does the Switzerland squad have?

There are eight foreign-born players in the Swiss side.

That’s one of the highest in the tournament, only behind the African trio of Tunisia, Senegal (9) and Morocco (17).

Arsenal star Granit Xhaka, Valon Behrami and Xherdan Shaqiri all qualify for Kosovo and Albania.

And Xhaka’s brother Taulant chose to play for the Albanians, with the pair facing off during Euro 2016.

There was controversy following the game with Serbia as Xhaka and Shaqiri both performed the Albanian Eagle celebration after their goals.

Three stars were born in Cameroon, with stopper Yvon Mvogo, Francois Moubandje and Breel Embolo coming from the African nation.

What other countries could they have represented?

  • Ricardo Rodriguez – Spain, Chile
  • Blerim Dzemaili – Macedonia, Albania
  • Gelson Fernandes – Cape Verde
  • Denis Zakaria – South Sudan, Congo.
  • Mario Gavranovic – Bosnia, Croatia
  • Josip Drmic – Croatia
  • Johan Djourou – Ivory Coast
  • Xherdan Shaqiri – Albania, Kosovo
  • Francois Moubandje – Cameroon
  • Manuel Akanji – Nigeria
  • Breel Embolo – Cameroon
  • Haris Seferovic – Bosnia
  • Granit Xhaka – Albania, Kosovo
  • Valon Behrami – Albania, Kosovo
  • Yvon Mvogo – Cameroon

talkSPORT are with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.

The incredible stats behind Kylian Mbappe’s World Cup masterclass for France against Argentina

30 Jun

When a 17-year-old Pele scored his second goal in the 1958 World Cup final, his Swedish opponent Sigvard Parling admitted: “I have to be honest and say I felt like applauding.”

60 years later, there was nothing Argentina could do but admire the brilliance of 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe was unstoppable as France beat Argentina 4-3

The teenage sensation was at the double to help France edge past Argentina in one of the games of the 2018 World Cup.

On a day when Lionel Messi saw the greatest prize of all elude him yet again, a new star was born in Mbappe.

And if these stats are anything to go by, we could be watching the successor to Messi’s throne.

Mbappe is the first teenager to score two in a World Cup match since Pele v Sweden in the 1958 final 

Not bad company to be in. Mbappe follows in the footsteps of one of the greatest and most iconic players in World Cup history by bagging a World Cup brace before he turns 20.

Pele was two years younger and did it in the final, though.

Mbappe is the first teenager to score more than once in a World Cup tournament since Michael Owen in 1998

Owen bagged a goal in two separate matches in France. Argentina have fallen victim to their fare share of teenage masterclasses at the World Cup and Owen’s goal in 1998 is the stuff of legend. The Englishman went on to win the Ballon D’Or in 2001. On today’s display, it’s pretty safe to say that prize will belong to Mbappe soon enough.

talkSPORT are with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.