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lvaro Morata winner earns Chelsea narrow victory over stubborn Vidi

Chelsea were run close by the Hungarian side Vidi in their Europa League group game at Stamford Bridge until lvaro Morata scored to earn them a 1-0 win lvaro Morata puffed out his cheeks and tried to muster a smile. He had provided the games decisive moment and his grateful teammates ran to congratulate him after his poachers finish. Yet Chelseas matchwinner betrayed relief more than joy by burying his face in Willians shoulder, and his struggle to enjoy the feeling of ending his barren run summed up an awkward…

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Cristiano Ronaldo hits out at rape allegations: It goes against everything I am

Cristiano Ronaldo has strongly denied an accusation of rape made against him by Kathryn Mayorga Cristiano Ronaldo has strongly denied an accusation of rape made against him by Kathryn Mayorga, claiming such a crime was against everything that I am and believe in. Mayorga says she was assaulted by the footballer after they met at a Las Vegas nightclub in 2009. In an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel last weekend she gave extensive details of her claims. Ronaldo responded on Wednesday on Twitter, saying he awaits the results…

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Didier Deschamps: The biggest victories can lead to the greatest foolishness

Having led France to World Cup glory and won Fifas coach of the year award, Didier Deschamps is at the pinnacle of his trade. But the big challenge will be staying there, he tells Amy Lawrence The crescendo for a team that finds itself growing as it hurdles the different stages of a tournament usually hits a high note at which everything suddenly seems incandescent with possibility. For France at the World Cup that came 57 minutes into the group he would take to Russia. The biggest decision I made…

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Meet Nice Jos: Mourinhos radical rebrand is a welcome move | Barney Ronay

After the Special One and the Grumpy One the Manchester United managers new direction appears to be a popular one There may have been more rivetingly awkward televised football interviews in the last few seasons than Jos Mourinhos rivetingly awkward post-match exchange with the BBCs Juliette Ferrington on Match of the Day 2 on Sunday. But not many of them. And none as rivetingly awkward in quite the same way awkward to an end, pointedly awkward, awkward with a certain kind of gain in mind; and above all, just really…

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Mourinho says he is one of the great managers and quotes Hegel to prove it

Jos Mourinho has quoted the philosopher Hegel to demonstrate why he is one worlds finest managers and said finishing second with Manchester United last season was a great achievement Jos Mourinho has described himself as one of the greatest managers in the world and quoted the philosopher Hegel to defend the stance. He made the claim when asked what it meant to him to be in charge of Manchester United. I am the manager of one of the greatest clubs in the world but I am also one of the…

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Eden Hazard confirms he will not leave Chelsea this month

Eden Hazard has confirmed he will not leave Chelsea this month, describing rumours surrounding his future as stupidity Eden Hazard has confirmed he will not leave Chelsea this month, describing rumours surrounding his future as stupidity. Hazard has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge for some time, and particularly so after strongly hinting last month, following Belgiums involvement at the World Cup, that his time in west London had come to an end. 3-2 victory over Arsenal on Saturday, Hazard insisted he is not going anywhere,…

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Wayne Rooney thrust into unfamiliar role in MLS: an out-and-out goalscorer

The former England captain has had a successful start to his career with DC United as he adapts to a new approach to the game across the Atlantic If ever there was a moment to illustrate all that is good about Wayne Rooney, it came in his winner against Liverpool also in 2005, when having taken abuse from the home crowd at Anfield, he fired home to give Manchester United three points. Rooney plays best with gritted teeth and a furrowed brow. This is the line along which Rooneys career…

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Maurizio Sarri ready to lock horns with Guardiola even if Chelsea are not

Maurizio Sarri has barely had time to work with his Chelsea players but is keen to start strongly against the champions Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday Maurizio Sarri describes Pep Guardiola as a friend, somebody he respects as a person first and foremost and, as he prepared to cut his teeth in English football against Guardiolas Manchester City team in Sundays Community Shield, his mind went back to a meal they shared in mid-June. It was in Milano Marittima, the beach resort on Italys Adriatic…

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The weird world of football’s greatest conman Carlos Kaiser | Rob Smyth

In an extract from his new book Kaiser!, which accompanies the film of the same name, Rob Smyth looks at some of the tricks used by footballs greatest con artist Eri Johnson, one of Brazils most famous actors, will never forget the first time he met footballing royalty. The first time I saw Kaiser, he says, he was crossing the street with such swagger that I thought, That guy must be one of the best footballers in the world. As a big football fan, Johnson had no idea who Kaiser…

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Sombre Jos Mourinho looks a beaten man before the season even starts

Jos Mourinho should be enjoying the California sun but his constant complaining, valid or not, does not augur well for Manchester Uniteds chances in the months ahead An illustration of the pressure Jos Mourinho may be feeling, and the sombre mood he has been in during Manchester Uniteds tour of the United States, came at their UCLA training base this week. The manager was due to sit down with a TV reporter who had travelled to Los Angeles for a pre-arranged interview on behalf of a prominent broadcaster. Yet just…

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Croatia’s real World Cup star? The president in the stands

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovi saw all but one game at her own expense while sporting a national team shirt She wore the team shirt and cheered as Croatia faced France in a Golden Ball award winner, Luka Modri, as well as Ivan Perii and Mario Manduki. More than 80% of the stories were positive, Mediatoolkit said, for a woman who travelled to Russia at her own expense in economy class and often watched from the non-VIP stands missing only the semi-final against England because it clashed with the Nato summit. Boris Deulovi,…

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Photographer proves a good shot after getting squashed by Croatia players

Celebrating Croatians fall on Mexican photographer Yuri Cortez, who gets a kiss on the forehead for his troubles Give their proximity to the field of play, perhaps it is a surprise it does not happen more often. But when one World Cup photographer found himself at the bottom of a Croatian pile-on during the World Cup semi-final against England, he got closer to the action than he might have imagined. At Moscows Luzhniki Stadium to record proceedings from behind his camera, Agence France-Presse snapper Yuri Cortez became part of the…

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No more tears or pain now this young England team deserve our applause | Barney Ronay

A young, unheralded bunch of players have gone further than those before who were considered more obviously talented, more golden, more authentic Leave the flags out. Have another glass. Take another look, if you can, at those moments from Kaliningrad to Moscow when this capable England team played above itself and turned a drowsy, toxic summer back home into something else. Lets not have any anguish this time. Englands four and a half weeks at the World Cup deserves a little better, even after a Colombia and against England fans…

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Brazil knocked out of World Cup by Kevin De Bruyne and brilliant Belgium

A Fernandinho own goal and Kevin De Bruynes fine strike gave Belgium a 2-1 win over Brazil in their World Cup quarter-final In years to come, when this stadium is a crumbling white elephant, they will sit in almost empty stands, hear the wind whisper across the marsh that surrounds it and believe what they hear is the ghosts of giants. In three games Kazan has claimed the winners of 11 World Cups. First Germany went, insipid against South Korea. Then, in a full-blooded epic, Kevin De Bruyne Roberto Martnez…

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