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Neymar: 'I couldn't look at a football' after the World Cup
Neymar, with his son Davi Lucca, in an interview at his charity Neymar Junior Project Institute, in Praia Grande, Sao Paulo, Brazil July 21, 2018. — AFP pic PRAIA GRANDE, July 22 — Brazil superstar Neymar admits that after his nation's quarter-final defeat to Belgium at the World Cup he couldn't look at a ball and didn't want to see any of the remaining matches.“I wouldn't go as far as to say I didn't want to play again but, I didn't want to see a ball, or to see any more football played,” 26-year-old Neymar told AFP in an exclusive interview yesterday.The Paris Saint Germain forward was talking at his Neymar Praia Grande institute where the Red Bull Neymar Jr 5's (five-a-side-football) tournament was being played.Dressed in a sleeveless T-shirt, with his six-year-old son Davi Lucca sat upon his knee, the striker was however in a relaxed mood as he explained his post-World Cup blues.“I was in mourning, I was really sad about it, but sadness passes, I have my son, my family, my friends and they don't want to see me moping around. I've got more reason to be happy than sad,” said Neymar, reflecting on his team's 2-1 quarter-final defeat to Belgium.Asked about reports in Spain linking him with a transfer to Real Madrid the forward said “that's all speculation from the press.”“The guys who come up with these stories seem to know more about my life than I do. I won't respond to this type of question because nothing happened,” he scoffed.The Brazilian superstar, who moved to PSG for a world record €222 million (RM1.05 billion) last year, insists that the burden of expectation on his shoulders — whether with his club or country — does not weigh heavily.“No, all the great players feel pressure,” he said.“It's true that when it comes to me, there are double standards. I have been aware of this responsibility, not only for Brazil, but also in club fotball, since I was 17, 18 years old.“I have prepared myself to handle this pressure and I know that when the results are not what they should be then that pressure increases.”Neymar has been hit by a barrage of criticism for theatrical rolling around after being fouled at the World Cup, but says he should have been better protected.'Criticism of me exaggerated'“People were faster to criticise the one being fouled than the one doing the fouling,” he insisted.“I went to the World Cup to play, to beat the opposition, not to get kicked. The criticism of me was exaggerated, but I'm a big boy, I'm used to dealing with this kind of thing“And I can't be the referee and play at the same time, but there are times I wish I could,” he said.Earlier this week, Neymar took a swipe at his critics with a tongue-in-cheek video in which he teaches children how to fall to the ground.“One, two, three, go!” shouts Neymar on the Instagram video as around a dozen youngsters fall to the ground of a parking lot.“That's a free-kick!” screams the Brazilian breaking into fits of laughter.The video was released with a hashtag #ChallengeDAFALTA, the free-kick challenge in Portuguese.During the recent World Cup, the player's antics sparked the “Neymar Challenge” where he was widely mocked.In Mexico, a football club even rganised a competition in which contestants attempted to roll the entire length of the pitch.Meanwhile, Neymar described PSG's new coach Thomas Tuchel as a great addition to the club.“He's a great coach and we're hoping for a great season,” he said.“I'm really looking forward to it,” Neymar said of his second season in Paris.“We have signed a football legend (Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon) who will bring with him all his experience and that will be a great help for this coming season.” — AFP [...]
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Chelsea transfer news: Blues to play transfer hardball amid £150million Real Madrid link
CHELSEA will play hardball with Eden Hazard and ensure he fulfils his contract. [...]
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Liverpool transfer news: New signing Alisson reveals Ederson advice
LIVERPOOL’S new keeper Alisson has revealed how his big Brazilian rival Ederson urged him to make his world-record move to Anfield. [...]
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Transfer news: Wolves considering triggering Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore's release clause
The 22-year-old Spaniard is considered a diamond in the rough by both Wolves and Huddersfield, who have both made their interest known [...]
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Watford news: Tom Cleverley to miss start of Premier League season after Achilles operation
The 28-year-old is beginning a rehabilitation programme at the Hornets' training ground [...]
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Wee Wern flexes muscles in clinical win over Sivasangari
Low Wee Wern in action against Sivasangari Subramaniam at the Malaysia Open Squash Championships, July 21, 2018. — Picture by Razak Ghazali BUKIT JALIL, July 21 — Quality is undeniable and today Low Wee Wern proved she’s still a force to be reckoned with when she bested the hottest player in Malaysia S. Sivasangari in straight sets 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 in the semifinals of the Malaysian Open Squash Championships at the Bukit Jalil squash stadium.Sivasangari, the defending champion, was recently crowned the youngest national champion when she beat Wee Wern 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7 in the finals last week.It was Wee Wern’s first competitive match after 20 months out due to multiple surgeries on her left knee, which left the Penangite’s dream of playing at the Asian Games next month go up in tatters. A fighter by nature, Wee Wern worked hard with her coach Aaron Soyza and in a remarkable turnaround showed everyone her world No 5 ranking before the injury hit was no fluke. “Unfortunately the timing of my win isn’t great as the selection for the Asian Games was based on the nationals,” said Wee Wern.“I needed matches leading up to the nationals but wasn’t allowed to compete prior to it which was disappointing. At least I’m getting my PSA career back so that’s great.”Wee Wern has seen her ranking drop to 254 and making the cut for future competitions will be hard as the Professional Squash Association (PSA) is doing away with qualifiers starting August. Despite that the tenacity the 27-year-old has shown by reaching the finals is a mark of a true champion. In tomorrow’s finals she faces either Omneya Abdel Kawi or Satomi Watanabe who are scheduled to play later this evening. “Parts of how I used to play are coming back to me. I feel more confident on court and I feel a bit more comfortable on court,” said Wee Wern.“If I play Omneya, she’s one of the best shotmakers in the game while Satomi’s one of the best movers on court. It’ll be a nice match to watch and I hope they play for a long time,” she added. [...]
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Vettel on pole in Germany but drama for Hamilton
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel celebrates after qualifying in pole position at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany July 21, 2018. — Reuters pic HOCKENHEIM, July 21 — Formula One leader Sebastian Vettel put Ferrari on pole position for his home German Grand Prix today after title rival Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes broke down on track in dramatic fashion.The pole, in a track record time of one minute 11.212 seconds, drew a huge roar from the crowd on a damp day at Hockenheim.“It was amazing to see so many red flags, German flags, so much support around the track,” said the four-times world champion, who has yet to win a grand prix at the circuit nearest to where he grew up.His only previous German victory was at the Nuerburgring in 2013 but he will be the clear favourite tomorrow to extend his overall lead in the championship.“It just kept getting better and better, and I knew in the last lap I had more in me and I was able to squeeze everything out,” Vettel said of his lap.Reigning champion Hamilton’s Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas will start alongside Vettel on the front row, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen third and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen fourth on the grid.Bottas had briefly held the provisional pole before Vettel’s final effort secured the German a 55th career top starting slot.Hamilton, also a four-times champion and eight points behind Vettel, qualified 14th — assuming he does not need a new gearbox — after being sidelined by a hydraulics problem.The Briton tried in vain to push the stricken car back to the pits, with the help of some marshals, before then crouching in some distress next to it after it had been wheeled off.“I didn’t really understand exactly what had happened so in my mind I was thinking get the car back to the track, but they asked me to turn the car off,” said Hamilton, his dreams of a record-equalling fourth German GP win seemingly in tatters.“I jumped out and wanted to push it back but it was so far to go.“I saw there was leaking oil and I knew that I had to stop and let them put the car away somewhere. I have the will to not want to give up. I just want to keep pushing.”Steering worryMercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the car could have been damaged jumping over a kerb. Hamilton felt the problem was evident before then, however.“You use the kerb the same every lap. Just before the kerb I think the steering broke so I think that’s the issue,” he told Sky Sports television.“This is one of the worst tracks for overtaking, so I’ll do what I can from there.”Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen made the most of Hamilton’s absence from the final phase by putting his Ferrari-powered Haas into fifth place with French team mate Romain Grosjean sixth.Renault’s pairing of Nico Hulkenberg, the only German driver other than Vettel, and Spaniard Carlos Sainz were seventh and eighth.Sauber’s Monegasque rookie Charles Leclerc produced another fine performance with ninth on the grid for the Swiss team, ahead of Mexican Sergio Perez in 10th for Force India.The session was red-flagged for nine minutes in the second phase after Leclerc’s Swedish team mate Marcus Ericsson went off, sending a shower of gravel across the track.McLaren’s Fernando Alonso qualified 11th but Belgian team mate Stoffel Vandoorne was last. — Reuters [...]
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Chelsea transfer news: Maurizio Sarri sent huge warning by Napoli president
MAURIZIO SARRI has been warned off signing more Napoli stars by outspoken president Aurelio De Laurentiis. [...]
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Fantasy Premier League tips: Most selected FPL players from each team – Avoid these stars
FANTASY PREMIER LEAGUE managers looking to get an advantage over the masses should look for alternatives to these most popular players. [...]
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World Cup 2018: Nikola Kalinic refuses Croatian silver medal after being sent home during group stages
The veteran forward was sent home from the tournament without playing a single minute in Russia [...]
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Liverpool transfer news: Naby Keita reveals what Jurgen Klopp told him to turn down Barcelona and Bayern Munich
Barcelona and Bayern Munich were both interested in the midfielder [...]
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Transfer news, rumours – LIVE: Manchester United dealt blow in Willian chase, Real Madrid bid for Eden Hazard plus latest Arsenal, Spurs and more
All the latest transfer news plus gossip, rumours and done deals [...]
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