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Santos beat Boca Juniors, and will face Palmeiras in Copa Libertadores final
Santos beat Boca Juniors, and will face Palmeiras in Copa Libertadores final
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Santos will face Palmeiras, who overcame River Plate on Tuesday in the other semifinal, in the decider of Copa Libertadores on January 30 at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

After drawing the first leg 0-0 in Buenos Aires last week, Santos were vastly superior to their sluggish opponents, hitting the post inside the first minute and then taking the lead after a quarter of an hour.

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Palmeiras into Copa Libertadores final despite defeat to River Plate
Palmeiras into Copa Libertadores final despite defeat to River Plate
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

In a thrilling match in São Paulo, the game hinged on a series of contentious decisions that went against the visitors after consultations with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). River won the game 2-0 but it was not enough to revert the 3-0 Palmeiras' victory in Buenos Aires.

Palmeiras will play either Boca Juniors or Santos in the final of the Libertadores, South America's equivalent of UEFA's Champions League, later this month.

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Soccer: Kazuyoshi Miura to play on at 54 after signing an extension with Yokohama FC
Kazuyoshi Miura in 2012
Kazuyoshi Miura in 2012 Credit: norio nakayama (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Japanese soccer legend Kazuyoshi Miura is set to play another season after extending his contract with Yokohama FC. Miura will be aged 54 when the season starts.

The striker is one of the most revered sportsmen in Japan and was at the forefront of the country's football boom in the early 1990s when he was the poster boy of the newly launched league in 1993.

The Guinness World Record for the oldest professional footballer is held by Israeli Isaak Hayik, who played in goal last April for Israel's Ironi Or Yehuda, aged 73.

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Lucy Bronze and Robert Lewandowski are The Best soccer players of 2020
Lucy Bronze and Robert Lewandowski are The Best soccer players of 2020
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Poland and FC Bayern München striker Lewandowski was named The Best FIFA Men's Player for the first time in his career.

Likewise, defender Lucy Bronze is also a maiden recipient of The Best FIFA Women's Player Award after rounding off an impeccable spell with Olympique Lyonnais in style before returning to England to play for Manchester City WFC. 12).

Jurgen Klopp was declared the winner after a close race with Hans-Dieter Flick (FC Bayern München), with the outcome, decided on voting by the national team coaches.

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France Football announces the all-time Ballon d'Or Dream Team
France Football announces the all-time Ballon d'Or Dream Team
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

France Football announced Monday its all-time Ballon d'Or soccer Dream Team after voting by 140 journalists:

  • Lev Yashin
  • Cafú
  • Paolo Maldini
  • Franz Beckenbauer
  • Lothar Matthäus
  • Xavi
  • Diego Maradona
  • Pelé
  • Messi
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Ronaldo
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UEFA Champions League round of 16 draw puts Barcelona against Paris Saint-Germain
UEFA Champions League 2020-21 round of 16
UEFA Champions League 2020-21 round of 16 Credit: UEFA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

After a draw made on Monday, UEFA Champions League round of 16 ties are:

  • Borussia Mönchengladbach (GER) vs Manchester City (ENG)
  • Lazio (ITA) vs Bayern (GER)
  • Atlético (ESP) vs Chelsea (ENG)
  • Leipzig (GER) vs Liverpool (ENG)
  • Porto (POR) vs Juventus (ITA)
  • Barcelona (ESP) vs Paris (FRA)
  • Sevilla (ESP) vs Borussia Dortmund (GER)
  • Atalanta (ITA) vs Real Madrid (ESP)

The first legs are scheduled for 16/17 and 23/24 February, with the second legs on 9/10 and 16/17 March.

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Italy World Cup legend Paolo Rossi is dead
Paolo Rossi
Paolo Rossi Credit: STF / AFP Photo / UPI (Public Domain)

Italy's 1982 World Cup hero Paolo Rossi has died aged 64. His death was announced on Thursday, following what Italian media report had been a long illness.

He was the first player, later equalled by Ronaldo, to win the World Cup, the top scorer title and the Golden Ball in the same year.

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Alejandro Sabella, former Argentina's Head Coach died
Alejandro Sabella
Alejandro Sabella Credit: Víctor Santa María (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Alejandro Sabella, the coach who led the Argentinean National Team to the runner-up in the World Cup in Brazil, died Tuesday at the age of 66.

Sabella has suffered from a severe heart disease since 2015 and had been placed in intensive care just a day after the footballing world mourned the death of Argentine legend Diego Maradona.

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Stephanie Frappart becomes first female referee in the Champions League
Stephanie Frappart becomes first female referee in the Champions League
Credit: El Loko Foto / via Wikimedia Commons

Stephanie Frappart from France is the first woman to whistle the Men's Champions League. The 36-year-old whistled 3-0 in the match between Juventus and Dinamo Kiev and received much praise for her unagitated and assertive performance.

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Paid maternity leave for female soccer players
Brazil women's national football team
Brazil women's national football team Credit: Mariana Sá/CBF

According to the new FIFA regulations, professional female soccer players worldwide should be able to take paid maternity leave. For at least 14 weeks, two-thirds of the salary will be paid, and discrimination based on pregnancy will be prohibited. Also, clubs will be obliged to reintegrate the players after their return and to provide medical support. Now the FIFA Council still has to approve the new regulations.

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Argentinean police raid house and clinic of Diego Maradona's doctor
Diego Maradona Graffiti at La Boca, Buenos Aires.
Diego Maradona Graffiti at La Boca, Buenos Aires. Credit: Cadaverexquisito (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Argentine prosecutors are investigating Diego Maradona's doctor, Leopoldo Luque, for possible manslaughter following the footballing legend's death four days ago. The police have searched the doctor's house and private clinic, trying to establish if the soccer legend's treatment, after his surgery, was negligent.

There are suspicions that the star's convalescence at home might not have met the conditions of his discharge from the clinic, such as a 24-hour team of nurses "specialised in substance abuse", the on-call presence of doctors and a stand-by ambulance equipped with a defibrillator.

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Napoli to rename San Paolo stadium to Diego Armando Maradona
Napoli to rename San Paolo stadium to Diego Armando Maradona

Naples city mayor Luigi De Magistris and Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis confirmed Thursday the city stadium would be renamed San Paolo-Diego Armando Maradona.

Maradona, forged a strong bond with the Italian club and its supporters during his seven-year spell between 1984 and 1991 when he won their only two Serie A titles - in 1987 and 1990 - along with the Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup.

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Diego Armando Maradona has died
Diego Armando Maradona has died
Credit: Autor unknown / via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

The soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona died on Wednesday morning at the house in the San Andres neighborhood, in the city of Tigre, where he lived for some days after having been operated on the head. Maradona has died at the age of 60 after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Maradona, regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, helped Argentina win the World Cup in 1986, the pinnacle of an illustrious career.

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20 members of the Uruguayan national team tested positive for Covid-19 one week after facing Brazil for World Cup Qualifiers
20 members of the Uruguayan national team tested positive for Covid-19 one week after facing Brazil for World Cup Qualifiers
Credit: unsplash.com / Bence Balla-Schottner

A new round of tests done this week raised the number of Uruguayan national team players and staff members who tested positive for Covid-19 up to 20.

Washington Tabarez, the national team coach tested negative. The whole country's numbers of cases raised abruptly in the last weeks, and the latest numbers pointing to 108 positive cases for one day.

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Manchester City Pep Guardiola signs new two-year deal
Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola Credit: Terry Kearney (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Pep Guardiola has signed a two-year deal that will see him remain as Manchester City manager until the summer of 2023. Guardiola told City's website:"We have achieved a great deal together, scored goals, won games and trophies, and we are all very proud of that success."

Guardiola's current five-year stay is already the longest commitment he has made to a team since becoming a manager in 2008.

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Covid-19: Egypt, Liverpool star Mohamed Salah tests positive
Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah Credit: Анна Нэсси (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

A tweet from the Egyptian FA said that testing results showed "our international player and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah to be infected with coronavirus ... despite not having any symptoms."

Photographs and videos of Salah - in some of the images, without a face mask to protect against the virus - dancing among dozens of people at his brother's wedding, held earlier this week in Cairo, have gone viral on the social media over the past days.

Salah's positive test result comes ahead of Egypt's Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match on Saturday against Togo.

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England's FA plead with UK government to grant Iceland players travel exemption
Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium Credit: David Wilson (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Talks are continuing on Thursday between the FA and senior government officials in an attempt to clarify whether existing coronavirus regulations denying Iceland's players and staff entry into the United Kingdom will remain in place. The current restrictions relate to a new coronavirus strain that has spread to humans from mink in Denmark.

"We have asked the Government to consider allowing us to play our final Nations League match at Wembley Stadium, by giving travel exemption to the Icelandic team subject to strict medical protocols," the FA said on its Twitter account.

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Diego Maradona successfully underwent surgery for a blood clot on the brain
Diego Maradona successfully underwent surgery for a blood clot on the brain
Credit: Doha Stadium Plus Qatar (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Argentina football legend Diego Maradona underwent successful brain surgery for a subdural hematoma on Tuesday after he was admitted to a hospital a day earlier.

"I was able to evacuate the hematoma successfully, and Diego tolerated the surgery very well," Leopoldo Luque, Maradona's neurosurgeon and personal physician, told reporters outside the Olivos clinic in Buenos Aires province where dozens of fans were gathered.

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Josep Maria Bartomeu resigns as Barcelona president
Josep Maria Bartomeu resigns as Barcelona president
Credit: pscbarcelona (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has resigned. The bureaucracy and the open war with Messi, the bad sports results and the economic situation of the club left Bartomeu on the wire. Still, it has finally been the motion of censure, with more than 16,000 signatures, that has precipitated the resignation of the president.

Bartolomeu resignation comes three days after Barca's 3-1 home defeat to Real Madrid, and just a day after he said: "that it had not occurred to him to resign."

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Santos and Robinho part ways over repercussion of his conviction of sexual assault in Italy
Robinho
Robinho Credit: Ivan Storti/Santos FC

Santos and striker Robinho announced on Friday the suspension of the contract between the club and the player, who had agreed his return on October 10.

The decision comes after pressure from advisers, sponsors and the disclosure by the Brazilian media of excerpts from the Italian court sentence that sentenced Robinho and a friend to nine years in prison for group sexual violence against a young woman of Albanian origin.

Former Brazilian International, Robinho also played for Real Madrid, Manchester City, Milan and, most recently, İstanbul Başakşehir.

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Cristiano Ronaldo tests positive for Covid-19
Cristiano Ronaldo tests positive for Covid-19
Credit: IamAlwaysHere / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Portuguese soccer player for Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive for Covid-19.

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Robert Lewandowski named Europe's player of the year by UEFA
Robert Lewandowski named Europe's player of the year by UEFA
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was named Europe's best male footballer of 2020 on Thursday by the UEFA, European football's governing body.

The 2019/20 season was one of the greatest in Bayern's 120-year history, and no player contributed more to it than Lewandowski. The Poland striker scored in every game en route to the UEFA Champions League final in Lisbon, picking up 15 goals and six assists as well as the trophy he had coveted for so long. He also hit 34 goals in 31 Bundesliga matches and six in five German Cup games.

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Covid-19: Genoa confirms 14 cases among players and staff
Covid-19: Genoa confirms 14 cases among players and staff

A total of fourteen between team members and staff of Serie A side CFC Genoa have tested positive for Covid-19, the club announced in a statement on Monday.

According to Italian soccer newspaper 'Gazzetta dello Sport', eleven out of fourteen positive cases are players, while three are members of the staff.

In a statement posted on their website, the club wrote: "The club has activated all the procedures according to the protocol and informed the authorities. The club will provide updates as the situation evolves."

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Gareth Bale is back to Tottenham on season-long loan
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Welsh forward Gareth Bale is back to Tottenham on a season-long loan from Real Madrid. Bale left Tottenham in 2013 to join Real Madrid.

On a video released by the Spurs, Bale said: "It's nice to be back. It's such a special club to me. It's where I made my name." said Bale.

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Lionel Messi is the fourth athlete to reach $1 billion in pretax career earnings
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi Credit: Lluís (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

After earning $126 million in 2020, the Argentinean player Lionel Messi became the fourth athlete to reach a career total of $1 billion in pretax earnings. Before Messi, only golf legend Tiger Woods, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Cristiano Ronaldo had reached the same milestone.

In 2020 Messi had $92 million paid to him as salary and $34 million from endorsements.

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German soccer player Leistner attacks fan of opposing team
Toni Leistner 2016
Toni Leistner 2016 Credit: Textilvergehen from Berlin, Deutschland (DE) (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

After the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) between Hamburger SV and Dynamo Dresden had concluded, the HSV player Toni Leistner went to the spectator stands, grabbed a Dresden fan by the upper body, and pushed him to the ground.

He later stated on his Instagram that he had been "massively insulted after the game from the stands in my home town. I can usually handle that. But then it went extremely below the belt against my family, my wife and my daughter. At that moment, my fuses blew".

He added an apology stating that he formally apologizes for his "behavior and can only promise that no matter what insults are thrown at me, nothing like this will ever happen again".

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Lionel Messi stays with FC Barcelona
Lionel Messi stays with FC Barcelona
Credit: Via Twitter

The sports journalist and insider Fabrizio Romano has announced that Lionel Messi will stay with the FC Barcelona for the 2021 season as he did not want to get "into a legal dispute".

Following a quote of Messi that he published he soccer player stated that "the management of the club led by Bartomeu is a disaster".

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PSG: Neymar, Di Maria and Paredes tested positive for Covid-19
PSG: Neymar, Di Maria and Paredes tested positive for Covid-19
Credit: Antoine Dellenbach (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

PSG announced three positive cases for Covid-19 after the tests carried out Wednesday morning, and according to the French newspaper L'Équipe, the tests were positive for Neymar, Leandro Paredes, and Angel Di Maria.

The three players have returned from vacations in Ibiza, Spain, and will observe a one-week quarantine.

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Lyon win the UEFA Women's Champions League for the fifth time in a row
Lyon win the UEFA Women's Champions League for the fifth time in a row
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Lyon beat VfL Wolfsburg 3:1 on Sunday to win the UEFA Women's Champions League for an unprecedented fifth time in a row. Lyon, which has won seven of the last 10 Champions League crowns, also beat Wolfsburg in the finale in 2016 and 2018.

Eugénie Le Sommer, Saki Kumagai, and Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir scored for the French side, and Alexandra Popp scored for Wolfsburg.

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LaLiga says it will not terminate Messi if he does not pay the termination clause
LaLiga says it will not terminate Messi if he does not pay the termination clause
Credit: Lluís (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

LaLiga has stated that Lionel Messi will not be released of his contract with the FC Barcelona without paying €700 million as defined in his contract clause.

Messi has stated that he considers his contract the be expired and did not show up for the mandatory Covid-19 test of the FC Barcelona.

According to LaLiga "the contract is currently in force and has a 'termination clause' applicable in the event that Lionel Andrés Messi decides to request the unilateral early termination of the contract, carried out in accordance with article 16 of Royal Decree 1006/1985, of June 26, 1985, which regulates the special labour relationship of professional sportsmen and women".