Stoke City: Former defender Dionatan Teixeira dies aged 25

Former Stoke City defender Dionatan Teixeira has died at the age of 25 from a suspected heart attack.

He joined Stoke in 2014 having had trials at a number of Premier League clubs including Manchester City.

But the Brazilian’s time in England was blighted by injury and he made only two substitute appearances for Stoke in three years at the club.

“The thoughts of all at Stoke City are with his family and friends,” the club said in statement.

Teixeira was in his native Brazil when he was taken ill and he died on Sunday after a suspected heart attack, according to his current club FC Sheriff, a Moldovan side who are playing in the Europa League this season.

The club, who won the domestic league and cup double last season, added: “He will remain forever in our hearts.”

Source: BBC


Evra sent off during warm-up for kicking own team’s fan in head

Patrice Evra was sent off after kicking one of his own team’s fans in the head before Marseille’s Europa League defeat at Vitoria Guimaraes.

Footage shows the 36-year-old ex-Manchester United defender aiming an acrobatic kick at a supporter at the side of the pitch during the warm-up.

Substitute Evra was dismissed before kick-off in Portugal, and Marseille started with 11 players.

Uefa’s disciplinary body is likely to rule on any further action on Friday.

French newspaper L’Equipe reported that Marseille supporters had been jeering Evra for about half an hour while the players prepared for the game, which the French side lost 1-0 after Paolo Hurtado’s late goal.

L’Equipe’s reporter said Evra had initially gone over to the fans to talk to them, but the situation had escalated quickly.

“Pat has experience and he must not react, it’s obvious,” Marseille coach Rudi Garcia said.

“Patrice is a more-than-experienced player. You can’t respond to insults, as bad as they are and as incredible as they might be. He must learn to keep his cool.”

Evra, who won five Premier League titles and the Champions League during eight years with Manchester United, joined Marseille from Juventus in January but has made only two appearances this season.

The incident evoked memories of Eric Cantona’s infamous “kung-fu kick”during Manchester United’s game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in January 1995.

The Frenchman was banned for nine months by the Football Association for the incident, which took place as he left the pitch following a red card.

Source: Ghana/myjoyonlne

I want the other two belts out there

Anthony Joshua says “the possibilities of 2018 are great” after cementing a record-breaking year with a dogged win over Carlos Takam.

The British WBA and IBF heavyweight champion built on his April win over Wladimir Klitschko by stopping Takam in 10 rounds at a captivated Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

His promoter Eddie Hearn says a meeting with WBC champion Deontay Wilder “has to happen”, while coach Rob McCracken hopes a bout against WBO king Joseph Parker presents itself first.

“The possibilities are bubbling nicely in the distance,” said Joshua, 28. “I’m not worried about 2018 because of the potential possibilities to come.

“I want the other two belts out there, whether it’s Wilder first or Parker.”

Both bouts – but Wilder in particular – would serve to elevate Joshua’s seemingly unstoppable rise through global sport further.

A smooth-talking Briton versus a flamboyant American, both raw in the ring, both powerful. What is not to like? The sooner it happens the better.

Or maybe not. Takam – though well beaten and aided when he damaged the champion’s nose after a head collision – perhaps showed enough resistance to deploy brakes of caution on the Joshua bandwagon when the dust settles.

“This was just the type of fight, experience and adversity that ‪Anthony Joshua needed,” said Britain’s former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.

“He wasn’t at his best, but you won’t always be – and it’s those times you have to find a way.”


FIFA set to allow more players switch nationality

FIFA is considering changing international cap rules, to allow more players to switch allegiances than the current law allows.

As things stand, one a player has played a competitive game for one nation he is ineligible to represent another, aside from newly created countries such as Kosovo.

Frosinone goalkeeper Samir Ujkani played for Albania, but switched to Kosovo when the national team was given permission by FIFA to play against FIFA member associations in international friendlies.

Players are also able to switch if they’ve only played in friendlies, which is why Napoli’s Jorginho can still be called by Brazil, despite his two Italy caps.

However, Reuters is reporting that FIFA is considering changes, such as allowing a player to switch if he’s only played one or two matches and has no chance of a recall.

“There are so many issues that have popped up over the years because the world is changing, immigration is changing,” CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani told the news service.

“There are nationality issues that pop up all over the world, in Africa, there are issues in Asia and CONCACAF, so its a good time to have a look at this and see if there are solutions, without hurting the integrity of the game”.


Cristiano Ronaldo beats Lionel Messi to win men’s Fifa best player award

Cristiano Ronaldo was named the world’s best men’s player at the 2017 Best Fifa Football Awards in London.

The Real Madrid and Portugal forward beat Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Paris St-Germain’s Neymar to the honour.

Ronaldo, 32, helped Real to a Champions League-La Liga double in 2016-17.

Lieke Martens of Barcelona and the Netherlands won best female player, Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane was named best men’s coach and Netherlands’ Sarina Wiegman the best female coach.

Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud received the Puskas award for the best goal of 2017 for his ‘scorpion kick’ against Crystal Palace in January.

Celtic won the fan award after they honoured the club’s 1967 ‘Lisbon Lions’ with a stunning 360-degree card display on the 50th anniversary of their historic European Cup win.

Celtic Park
At Celtic Park in May, 60,000 people created a visual display in honour of the Lisbon Lions

What’s the difference between the Ballon d’Or and Best Fifa?

This is the second edition of the Best Fifa Football Awards, which are different to the Ballon d’Or.

A version of the Ballon d’Or has been awarded by France Football magazine since 1956, but world football’s governing body has ended its association with that honour.

Instead, it introduced the Best Fifa Football Awards, with Ronaldo the first recipient of its main prize in January.

Voting for the player and coach categories was by national team captains and managers, selected journalists and, for the first time, an online poll of fans. Each counted for 25% of the total.

Image showin that 43 percent of voters for the main award backed Ronaldo

Best Fifa men’s player – Cristiano Ronaldo

It has been another hugely impressive year for Ronaldo, who won the inaugural Best Fifa Football Awards gong on the back of leading Portugal to victory at Euro 2016.

This year he scored two goals in Real’s 4-1 win over Juventus in the Champions League final and also found the net 25 times in 29 appearances as his club won La Liga for the first time in five years.

“We are in England for the first time, and I win it for the second consecutive time. This is a great moment for me,” Ronaldo told the awards ceremony.

Best Fifa women’s player – Lieke Martens

Martens, 24, was instrumental in the Netherlands’ European Championship victory this summer, winning the player of the tournament accolade.

She saw off competition 2016 winner from Carli Lloyd of the United States and Deyna Castellanos, the 18-year-old Venezuela forward.

Fifpro World XI

Fifa made three changes to the side selected in 2016. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon replaced Manuel Neuer, while AC Milan’s Leonardo Bonucci replaced Barcelona’s Gerard Pique in defence and PSG forward Neymar came in for Luis Suarez in attack.

The line-up featured five players from Real Madrid, two from Barcelona, two from PSG, one from Juventus and one from AC Milan. No Premier League players were included.

Fifpro World XI

Best men’s coach

Real ended last season as the champions of Spain for the first time since 2012 and champions of Europe for the second successive season.

Zidane won the award ahead of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who lifted the Premier League title in his first season, and Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri, who led his team to a league and cup double in Serie A and Coppa Italia.

Best women’s coach

Netherlands coach Wiegman led the Netherlands to the Euro 2017 title on home soil, playing excellent attacking football. It was their first major women’s international tournament title after a thrilling victory over Denmark in the final.

Puskas award for best goal

The best goal of 2017 was, officially, scored by Arsenal’s Giroud.

It came in the Premier League match against Palace on New Year’s Day, the France forward converting a superb ‘scorpion’ kick volley in which he flicked an Alexis Sanchez cross from behind him over his shoulder and into the goal, via the crossbar, with his left heel.

Olivier Giroud scores for Arsenal against Crystal Palace
Olivier Giroud’s goal got 36.1% of the 792,062 votes

Best goalkeeper

A World Cup winner, a 10-time Serie A winner, and now Gianluigi Buffon is the first winner of the best goalkeeper award.

The veteran Italian helped Juventus to a sixth consecutive league title and went 600 minutes without conceding in the Champions League.

Buffon, 39, won the award ahead of Keylor Navas, part of a Real Madrid’s Champions League and La Liga double-winning side, and Manuel Neuer, who helped Bayern Munich win the Bundesliga.

“This is a great honour to receive this award at my age,” said Buffon.

Fair play award

The ceremony also included the Fair Play Award, which recognised the gesture by Togolese player Francis Kone, who performed life-saving first aid on Bohemians 1905’s goalkeeper Martin Berkovec during a Czech League game in February.

Source: BBC Sports

Five reasons why Bastie Samir kayoed Bukom

Make no mistake about it, Bastie “The Beast” Samir took a huge risk by accepting to fight Braimah “Bukom Banku” Kamoko at cruiserweight.

Thankfully, his gamble paid off and he battered Banku over seven rounds, handing him the first loss of his career and he is GH¢105,000 richer as a result of his win.

Several key factors played a role in Samir’s most famous victory as a boxer and below are five of the reasons why he may have accepted that challenge and gone on to win the bout with a seventh round TKO;1. Coach Ofosu Asare: Who could have developed a better strategy to halt Bukom Banku’s 29-fight unbeaten juggernaut than the man who as head coach of the national amateur boxing team (Black Bombers), took him to 1999 All-Africa Games organised in Johannesburg, South Africa where he won a bronze medal.

Banku himself credits coach Ofosu Asare for guiding him in the early stages of his career and going against the wishes of certain persons by sending him to the All Africa Games that year.

However, last Saturday they were in opposing corners and this time coach Asare used his knowledge of Banku’s boxing style to the benefit of his fighter and their tactics worked perfectly after a slow start.

It would be an understatement to say Bastie Samir stopped Bukom Banku because of the input and guidance of the men and woman in his corner.

Team Samir was led by Coach Ofosu Asare who was assisted by Ghanaian female boxing pioneer Naa Amerley Turkson.

2. Weight: For the first time in his last three bouts Bukom Banku weighed in under the required weight limit (90.7kg) and this co-incided with the first loss of his career.
Banku is notorious for weighing-in over the weight limit for his bouts, which most often progress as catch-weight contests which end in his favour.

Indeed, his arch-rival Ayittey Powers often attributes this to his successive losses to Banku.

Interestingly, his opponent Samir faced no ill-effects from having to move-up two weight from super-middleweight to cruiserweight for the clash. In fact, he weighed-in heavier (88kg) than Bukom Banku (87.5kg) for the clash.

3. Age: At age 37, Banku finds himself on the wrong-side of 30 and unless he plans to do a Bernard Hopkins (and keep fighting into his late forties), he is in the twilight of his career.

This was glaringly brought to the fore last Saturday as the usually fearless Banku (who normally fights with not much caution or defence) wilted under the powerful punches of Samir who at 31 is six years younger than Banku.

Banku proved no match for his younger opponent who was much more energetic throughout the bout.

4. Ring craft: Samir also badly exposed Bukom Banku’s lack of ringcraft (tactical skill and positioning in the boxing ring) on the way to his TKO stoppage. Even though Banku fought on the front-foot and was the aggressor in the early stages of the bout, his movement was zombie-like and predictable.
He employed the same forward motion that had served him well in the past but this time round his lack of defence and diverse movement was punished with stinging punches to his body and head.

5. Punching power: Banku’s superior punching power (22 KO’s in 29 bouts) justifies his reputation as a power-puncher and a knock-out artist but he finally “met his meeter” last Saturday at the Bukom Boxing Arena.

Asides from one moment in the second round where both fighters staggered each other in an exchange, Banku was on the wrong end of some powerful punches throughout the bout.

Ultimately, the power of Samir’s punches ensured that the bout ended before 12 a.m. Sunday. Banku visited the canvas twice during the clash – first in the third round when he was sent crashing into the ropes and finally in the seventh when a hook to his jaw left him on his backside.

Samir himself is no slouch when it comes to ending bouts prematurely as he recorded his 15th stoppage in 16 bouts with his latest win.


Barcelona ‘identify’ Phillipe Coutinho January alternatives in Julian Brandt

Barcelona are said to be ready to turn their attention to Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt or Schalke 04’s Max Meyer if they fail to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool during the January transfer window.

Sport reports on its Tuesday (17 October) front cover that the Catalans “have already talked with both wingers to negotiate their potential arrivals” to the Nou Camp ahead of the second part of the season.

Coutinho remains Barcelona’s number 1 target to bolster Ernesto Valverde’s ranks after club CEO Oscar Grau admitted last week that they are financially ready to sign the Liverpoolace.

“We are prepared to sign Coutinho or other players but the proposal has to come from the technical staff. We will do our best to meet their demands,” Grau said “If there are arrivals maybe there will be also departures. We are putting all the resources of the club [to improve the squad]. We could [sign in January]. We will study it if it necessary. The financial year runs until July so sales can also be made at the end of the season. If this is the case [If Barcelona sign players in January] we have to generate income and maybe someone have to leave. We will see it.”

Sport says that Barcelona still don’t rule out at all the signing of Coutinho but are already working on more affordable alternatives as they know that luring the Brazilian away from Liverpool will cost around €130m (£115.6m, $152m).

In this sense the Spanish publication claims that Brandt and Meyer have emerged as the two main alternatives to the Brazilian join Barcelona in January.

The Catalans’ interest in the two Bundesliga stars is not new as last month Mundo Deportivo already revealed that Barcelona international adviser, Ariedo Braida, was in attendance during Leverkusen’s meeting with Schalke in order to keep tabs on both players and as well Leon Goretzka and Benjamin Henrichs.

But speculation has increased after Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez and assistant Urbano Ortega both travelled to German on Sunday (15 October) to watch the Bundesliga 2-2 draw between Leverkusen and Wolfsburg.

Sport says that the duo kept tabs on 21-year-old Brandt with him emerging as the main alternative to Coutinho alongside Meyer ahead of the coming January window.

Brandt has a €40m (£35.6m, $47m.) release clause at Leverkusen but the Spanish publications predicts that his move to Barcelona won’t be easy either as Bayern Munich are already in advanced negotiations to lure him to the Allianz in the summer.

Yet, Sport says that the club have also identified a more affordable option target in Meyer as the 22-year-old will be out of contract at Schalke at the end of the current season.

Furthermore, both players will be able to play in the Champions League for Barcelona during the second part of the season while Coutinho is cup-tied, having already played for Liverpool.

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