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06-05-2016, 01:00 PM

Ibrahimovic: I'm still getting better


Zlatan Ibrahimovic insists he is only getting better as the Swede reportedly inches closer to a Manchester United move.The 34-year-old is coming off another impressive campaign at Paris Saint-Germain, scoring 50 goals in 51 appearances in all competitions.

Ibrahimovic, who is preparing for Euro 2016 with Sweden, is reportedly close to sealing a move to Old Trafford as his next destination.The striker said he was still getting better despite approaching his 35th birthday."Whether I am 34 or 35, I have never had a better season than this," Ibrahimovic told the Daily Mirror.

"I am still developing as a player, but it is all about getting the job done – and I do a hell of a job."Ibrahimovic said he had proven he was still capable of performing, having helped PSG to four straight Ligue 1 titles.

"I have proved that I still have a young mind," he said."The mental part is 50 per cent of football and that has never been a problem for me."

Ibrahimovic and Co. will take on Belgium, Italy and the Republic of Ireland in Group E at Euro 2016, which starts on June 10.
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laugh Copa America Fixtures 2016.06.05 - 06-05-2016, 03:14 PM

Copa America Fixtures 2016.06.05



--------------------------

Jamaica Vs Venezuela

Mexico Vs Uruguay
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06-06-2016, 09:29 AM

Ronaldo backs 'unique' Rooney for England role


Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has hailed the "unique" Wayne Rooney and believes the England captain still has a crucial role to play in the national team.

Rooney's place in the England line-up has been questioned with strike duo Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy in fine form ahead of Euro 2016.But former Manchester United team-mate Ronaldo has no such queries, insisting the 30-year-old is a key for Roy Hodgson's side.

Ronaldo and Rooney have history at international level, with the Portuguese star getting the Englishman sent off during a clash at the 2006 World Cup.

"A match against England would be very emotive for me – because of Wayne Rooney and because of many other things too. Roo is now a leader and that’s not a surprise," the Real Madrid star told the Daily Mirror.

"I was always convinced that he would be a star for England and, inevitably, captain one day. It's a perfect role for him after the era of [David] Beckham and [John] Terry."For me, the character and pride of Rooney is unique – he's still very important for England."

Ronaldo believes Hodgson's men are capable of challenging in France, particularly with Vardy and Kane coming off strong Premier League seasons.Kane won the golden boot with 25 league goals, while Vardy struck 24 in Leicester City's title-winning campaign.

"I've watched some of England's recent matches and they have been good to watch. They could do well this time," Ronaldo said.

"For me, England always have a chance to do well in big tournaments and this time they are arriving in France with some interesting young players who have a big future.

"The connection in the team and the team spirit looks positive. Both Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane have scored a lot of goals and had success this year too."
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06-06-2016, 09:30 AM

Carvalho: Mourinho can emulate Ferguson



Ricardo Carvalho has backed Jose Mourinho to follow in the footsteps of Alex Ferguson and win trophies at Manchester United.

Mourinho has been tasked with returning United to the Premier League summit after replacing former manager Louis van Gaal on a three-year deal.

With a point to prove at Old Trafford following his split from Chelsea during the London club's horrendous title defence, Carvalho - who played under Mourinho at Stamford Bridge and Real Madrid - is confident his countryman will lead United to their first Premier League trophy since 2012-13.

"I know that Jose will be a success at Manchester United," said Monaco's Carvalho, who is preparing for Euro 2016 with Portugal. "I have no doubt that he can bring trophies back to United again and that he will make them champions.

"He has the quality to make Manchester United win again."I don't know if it will be in the first year, the second year or the third, but he will win the title again. My prediction is that it will be in the second year."United have struggled since Alex Ferguson retired, but Jose can be the one to replace him.

"He will not worry what went before. He will want to make his own success. Jose deserves to be at the biggest clubs because he is one of the top coaches."
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06-06-2016, 09:31 AM

Matath hithenne SAF giya passe apu hodama manager thamai dan set wela thiyenne
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06-06-2016, 09:34 AM

Sweden 3-0 Wales: Coleman's men winless in four ahead of Euros



Wales signed off their Euro 2016 preparations with a 3-0 loss to Sweden in Stockholm on Sunday, stretching their winless run to four matches.

With Gareth Bale named among the substitutes at the Friends Arena following his Champions League-winning exploits with Real Madrid last weekend, it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden who dominated possession and chances throughout.And Ibrahimovic was key to the hosts' opener, teeing up Emil Forsberg to find the net from the edge of the box after 40 minutes.

Mikael Lustig forced the Swedes' second over the line 12 minutes after the break, before John Guidetti wrapped up the win three minutes from time, sending Erik Hamren's side into their tournament opener against Republic of Ireland on the back of a first win in four.

Bale was introduced in the 64th minute by manager Chris Coleman, but he was unable to salvage a result for Wales, who face Slovakia in Bordeaux next Saturday.

Sweden, host nation of the 1958 World Cup, was a fitting location for Wales to finalise preparations for their first major tournament appearance in 58 years, but it was the hosts who posed the early threat, with Martin Olsson firing high and wide from close range after being played in by Ibrahimovic.

Lustig then headed over from a corner as Wales struggled to settle, although Jonny Williams and Aaron Ramsey both looked bright – quite literally in the case of the latter's new peroxide blonde hairstyle – when called upon in attack.

Williams and Ramsey formed part of an unfamiliar midfield and forward line-up for Wales, joining Andy King, David Vaughan and Sam Vokes in front of Chris Coleman's first-choice back line. Of the five, only the Arsenal man would be considered a guaranteed starter in France with everyone fit.

Ibrahimovic's first chance to test Welsh goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey came after 20 minutes, but the outgoing Paris Saint-Germain striker dragged his shot well wide of the left-hand post from the edge of the penalty area.Half-hearted appeals for a penalty against James Chester for handball were dismissed by referee Tobias Welz 10 minutes from half-time, but Forsberg soon put the hosts in front.

Ibrahimovic drove down the left as Sweden mounted a quick counter-attack, squaring the ball for the advancing Forsberg to place a shot into the bottom left-hand corner from 18 yards.

Sweden goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson did not emerge for the second half after struggling with an apparent back problem during the opening 45 minutes – Robin Olsen his replacement.

Wales' only change also came between the posts as Danny Ward came on for Hennessey, and the Liverpool keeper was almost beaten by a Marcus Berg chip within three minutes of the restart. A desperate clearance off the line by Chester spared his blushes.

Sweden continued to control proceedings, with Forsberg proving a persistent menace to the Welsh defence, but it was Lustig who eventually doubled the advantage.

Erik Johansson's header was blocked on the line by Neil Taylor and the rebound fell kindly for Lustig, who, after having his own first attempt blocked, slotted the ball beyond Ward.

Anyone hoping for a head-to-head between Ibrahimovic and Bale was left disappointed as the two effectively switched places shortly after the hour mark, but Guidetti capped off the win for Sweden by applying a composed finish to another swift counter.
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06-06-2016, 09:35 AM

Belgium 3-2 Norway: Hazard leads home fightback



Belgium launched a stirring fightback to defeat Norway 3-2 as their preparation for Euro 2016 ended on a high in Brussels.

Romelu Lukaku scored his fourth goal in as many games for his country in the third minute, but Joshua King levelled midway through the opening period.Veton Berisha put Norway ahead fewer than three minutes into the second half, marking only his second cap with a first international goal.

It looked like the hosts were set to fall to a shock defeat, but captain Eden Hazard's header brought Marc Wilmots' men level before Montreal Impact defender Laurent Ciman's first Belgium goal proved decisive.

After being criticised for a poor draw against Finland last time out, Belgium – the highest-ranked nation playing at Euro 2016 – needed this morale-boosting victory ahead of the tournament, although defensive concerns remain.Norway, meanwhile, have lost two of their last three matches as they turn their attention to World Cup qualification.

It took only 153 seconds for Belgium to move into the lead when Kevin De Bruyne's pass was deflected into the path of Lukaku and the striker breezed past Jonas Svensson to blast a shot beyond a static Orjan Nyland from outside the penalty area.Axel Witsel was inches wide with a low strike for the hosts, but Norway equalised in the 21st minute.

Radja Nainggolan was dispossessed by visiting captain Stefan Johansen in a dangerous area and the Celtic midfielder's clever reverse pass allowed King to dispatch an excellent first-time finish in off the far post, leaving Thibaut Courtois with no chance.

Having been second best prior to their goal, Norway could have gone into the break ahead, with Courtois reacting superbly to push away a stinging Berisha drive, before King stabbed wide from close range after outfoxing Toby Alderweireld.

In a thrilling start to the second half, Belgium came close to regaining the lead before being punished at the other end. First, Nyland got down to save Witsel's long-range attempt and did even better to deny De Bruyne on the rebound.

A few moments later, though, Berisha cut inside unchallenged from the right and arrowed a magnificent left-footed shot into the top corner.Belgium responded well and Lukaku stretched to shoot wide, while Nainggolan and Witsel forced Nyland into further action.

A leveller was coming and De Bruyne's dinked cross from the right was diverted in by Hazard's faint header with 20 minutes remaining.Belgium continued to pile on the pressure as Dries Mertens fired wide from a tight angle and Lukaku's goal-bound effort was blocked having rounded Nyland.

The turnaround was complete in the 73rd minute when Mertens' corner was helped on by Alderweireld and headed home by a stooping Ciman just seven minutes after coming on, providing Wilmots with relief ahead of the trip to France.
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06-06-2016, 09:37 AM

Mexico 3-1 Uruguay: Marquez and Herrera inspire win



Late goals from Rafael Marquez and Hector Herrera saw Mexico seal a 3-1 win over Uruguay in their Copa America Centenario opener on Sunday.

Mexico captain Marquez smashed home a loose ball in the area after both sides had been reduced to 10 men at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, before Herrera capped off the result in stoppage time.

An own goal from Alvaro Pereira gave Mexico an early lead, before a second yellow card for Fiorentina midfielder Matias Vecino saw Uruguay go a man down on the stroke of halftime.

However, Mexico also saw red when Andres Guardado received his second yellow, and Uruguay skipper Diego Godin found an equalizer from the resulting free kick to bring it back to 1-1.

But it was Mexico counterpart Marquez who stole the show, putting the side ahead in the 85th minute with an unstoppable strike, before Herrera headed in a late goal to seal the win.

The 3-1 result meant Mexico's clean sheet streak under coach Juan Carlos Osorio came to an end, but it still saw the side extend its unbeaten run to 20 games - which includes 10 straight wins.

Uruguay's defensive stocks had been boosted by the returns of Atletico Madrid pair Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez, who missed the warm-up game against Trinidad and Tobago due to the Champions League final.

However, Godin and Co. were thrown off their game before the match had even started, with organizers inside the stadium playing the Chilean anthem instead of Uruguay's.

The confusion appeared to throw the side off, and Mexico came out of the blocks firing and took the lead in just the fourth minute, with Pereira unintentionally heading in Guardado's teasing cross. Mexico continued to threaten in the early stages and Javier Aquino had the chance to double the lead but his shot was collected by Fernando Muslera.

Uruguay began to slowly work its way back into the game and Carlos Sanchez beat the offside trap, but his cross was brilliantly snuffed out by Mexico captain Rafael Marquez.

Guardado went into the book in the 25th for a late challenge on Sanchez, before Vecino returned the favor on the PSV midfielder two minutes later, also shown a yellow card.

Edinson Cavani had Uruguay's best chance of the half in the 30th minute when he was played in by Nicolas Lodeiro, but the Paris Saint-Germain forward had his strike saved by Mexico goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera.

The task at hand for Uruguay became even more difficult when Vecino received his marching orders in the 45th minute for his second bookable offence, meaning the South Americans had to play the entire second half with 10 men.

Oscar Tabarez brought on Alvaro Gonzalez in place of Lodeiro at the break, and despite the disadvantage in numbers, Uruguay was the better side in the opening stages.A rare run forward from captain Godin almost resulted in an equalizer in the 58th minute, but Diego Rolan wasted a great opportunity after Cavani's pass set him up.

Rolan was immediately replaced by Hull City forward Abel Hernandez as Uruguay continued to search for a valuable equalizer. Mexico looked shaky and were failing to deal with the 10 men of Uruguay, creating very few chances on goal as the half went on.

The game was then turned on its head in the 73rd minute when the referee sent off Guardado for a second yellow card after he brought down Sanchez. The Monterrey winger whipped in a perfect ball from the resulting free kick, with Godin heading home a well-deserved equalizer for Uruguay.

But the setback inspired Mexico back into the game, and goals from the 37-year-old Marquez and Herrera put the nation top of Group C after the first round of fixtures.
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06-06-2016, 09:38 AM

No excuses for Wales performance - Coleman

Chris Coleman insists his Wales side are capable of better following their 3-0 defeat to Sweden on Sunday.

Emil Forsberg gave Sweden a first-half lead in Stockholm, before Mikael Lustig and John Guidetti gave the scoreline a convincing edge, sending Wales into Euro 2016 without a win in four matches.

While Coleman did not name a first-choice starting XI, leaving Gareth Bale on the bench, the ease with which Sweden found their way through a full-strength defensive line will be a concern.But Coleman stressed his relief at coming through Wales' final Euro 2016 warm-up match with a clean bill of health.

"We know we can be better than that," he said. "In terms of the physical output we got what we wanted."Everybody's walked off the pitch and that was obviously the most important thing ready for next week.

"We've played better, of course. I think we're trying to get used to being in a situation we've never been in. "Leaving Cardiff yesterday and all the celebrations – we're doing things that we wouldn't normally do in preparation for a game.

"But having said that, I won't make any excuses. The boys know they're better than that, we're better than that."Wales begin their European Championship campaign against Slovakia in Bordeaux on Saturday.
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06-06-2016, 09:39 AM

'Quality' Belgium need more consistency - Hazard


Eden Hazard says Belgium's second-half performance in the thrilling 3-2 win over Norway is what they must replicate to succeed at Euro 2016.

Belgium had lost the early lead given to them by Romelu Lukaku in Brussels on Sunday thanks to goals from Joshua King and Veton Berisha, but Hazard and Laurent Ciman scored with headers in quick succession to seal a dramatic victory.

The captain has now scored in five of his last eight Belgium appearances and urged his team to be more consistent after they racked up 15 attempts in a rampant second half having only mustered four in the first period."We are showing at times that we are a good team and sometimes we are less good," Hazard told RTBF.

"I know there is quality in the group, but we can do better and we ought to have more good moments. "If we make the same efforts as we did in the second half and everyone is available, we can do that."

On his goal, Hazard added: "This was the first and hopefully not the last goal with my head, even if it is rare to see me score with that part of the body!"The Chelsea attacker also paid tribute to match-winner Ciman, 30, who plays his club football for Montreal Impact and was drafted into the squad after injuries to Dedryck Boyata, Bjorn Engels and Nioclas Lombaerts, with Vincent Kompany already ruled out.

Hazard continued: "Everyone knows his qualities as a human being. He should not be there, but circumstances dictated he is with us and he has a big mentality.
"He is someone important for the group and everyone respects him - he always gives 200 per cent."

Belgium – the highest-ranked team at Euro 2016 – have been drawn in Group E along with Italy, Republic of Ireland and Sweden.
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