“Buffon Deserves Ballon d’Or More Than Ronaldo”

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Fabrizio Ravanelli says Gianluigi Buffon deserves to win the Ballon d’Or more than Ronaldo and believes Dybala is a future winner.

The dybate on who would win the prestigious individual award has begun, with regular contenders, Messi and Ronaldo in the mix.

Buffon has been tipped by a couple of players and pundits to win the award, for his exploits with Juventus. He helped them win a sixth straight Scudetto, the Coppa Italia and Juve are on the brink of completing a treble, if they beat Real Madrid in the UCL final.

The former Juve striker told AS: “Dybala has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or in the future.

“He’s extraordinary but Buffon is the one who deserves the award the most this season. Much more than Ronaldo.

“Gigi has had an amazing season despite his age. Cristiano is a great player but he has already won so many Ballon d’Ors.”

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Conte Says Moses Was Tired And Did Not Intend To Dive

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Chelsea gaffer Antonio Conte believes the only reason Victor Moses went to the ground, was because he was tired not because he wanted to dive.

The winger was sent off after receiving his second yellow for the simulation, with his first coming from a tackle on Welbeck.

Even so, Conte would not judge Moses and believes he only crashed to the floor because he was fatigued.

“Honestly, I did not see the situation. I do not know for sure, but there is a lot of attention on this moment. Sometimes I think it could be tiredness,” Conte said.

“We are at the end of the season and a lot of players are tired and then there is a lot of pressure. For sure, it is not a good situation to dive, it is true.

“But Moses is an honest player and, if there was this situation, he was tired and he did not want to cheat the referee.”

Chelsea eventually ended up losing the final 2-1, with Aaron Ramsey netting the winner with 11 minutes left on the clock.

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Conte Says Moses Was Tired And Did Not Intend To Dive

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Chelsea gaffer Antonio Conte believes the only reason Victor Moses went to the ground, was because he was tired not because he wanted to dive.

The winger was sent off after receiving his second yellow for the simulation, with his first coming from a tackle on Welbeck.

Even so, Conte would not judge Moses and believes he only crashed to the floor because he was fatigued.

“Honestly, I did not see the situation. I do not know for sure, but there is a lot of attention on this moment. Sometimes I think it could be tiredness,” Conte said.

“We are at the end of the season and a lot of players are tired and then there is a lot of pressure. For sure, it is not a good situation to dive, it is true.

“But Moses is an honest player and, if there was this situation, he was tired and he did not want to cheat the referee.”

Chelsea eventually ended up losing the final 2-1, with Aaron Ramsey netting the winner with 11 minutes left on the clock.

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Chiellini: Juventus Has Gotten Better Since The 2015 UCL Loss

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Giorgio Chiellini is of the mind that Juventus has improved since their UCL final loss two years ago, but is wary of how good Madrid is.

Juventus lost 3-1 to Barcelona back in 2015 at Berlin, with Chiellini missing the match due to injury.

And the veteran defender fancies their chances of winning the European showpiece, despite the class Madrid has.

“Our start to the match will be crucial,” Chiellini told a news conference. “We have to be organised – that’s essential in a one-off game and it gives you the best chance of reading the play.

“We meet a team that have won this trophy twice in the last three years. They’re even more dangerous, because just when you think you’ve got the game by the scruff of the neck, they strike.

“We feel we’ve improved in the last two years and the squad has got better, but the key to everything will be our willingness to go the extra yard.

“In a Champions League final you have to do your basics well but also be able to go above and beyond.”

Chiellini thinks Juve have learnt from the 2015 defeat, where he attributed their disappointing display to a nervy first half.

“We’ll use our experience from Berlin two years ago in the build-up to this final,” he said. “This is our second final in three years and that definitely means something.

“We’ll stay calm this week. We were too tense at the start of the 2015 final and we conceded in the first half. Even when we got back into the match they responded because we were too exposed defensively.

“We don’t want to make the same mistakes twice, though I tend to take the positives from past experiences, even unhappy ones.”

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Chiellini: Juventus Has Gotten Better Since The 2015 UCL Loss

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Giorgio Chiellini is of the mind that Juventus has improved since their UCL final loss two years ago, but is wary of how good Madrid is.

Juventus lost 3-1 to Barcelona back in 2015 at Berlin, with Chiellini missing the match due to injury.

And the veteran defender fancies their chances of winning the European showpiece, despite the class Madrid has.

“Our start to the match will be crucial,” Chiellini told a news conference. “We have to be organised – that’s essential in a one-off game and it gives you the best chance of reading the play.

“We meet a team that have won this trophy twice in the last three years. They’re even more dangerous, because just when you think you’ve got the game by the scruff of the neck, they strike.

“We feel we’ve improved in the last two years and the squad has got better, but the key to everything will be our willingness to go the extra yard.

“In a Champions League final you have to do your basics well but also be able to go above and beyond.”

Chiellini thinks Juve have learnt from the 2015 defeat, where he attributed their disappointing display to a nervy first half.

“We’ll use our experience from Berlin two years ago in the build-up to this final,” he said. “This is our second final in three years and that definitely means something.

“We’ll stay calm this week. We were too tense at the start of the 2015 final and we conceded in the first half. Even when we got back into the match they responded because we were too exposed defensively.

“We don’t want to make the same mistakes twice, though I tend to take the positives from past experiences, even unhappy ones.”

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Oxlade-Chamberlain: I Never Feared Penalty After Moses Went Down

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed he never feared he had committed a foul and given away a penalty when Victor Moses went down in the box during the FA Cup final.

Moses was shown a second yellow card and given his marching orders, after diving in the box as he attempted to break away from the English player.

Despite calls for a penalty, Oxlade-Chamberlain was certain he had pulled out of the challenge early enough to avoid a foul.

“I didn’t fear the worst, not at all,” he told Arsenal’s website.

“I think obviously when he went inside there was a moment when I sort of went to go for the ball, and then I thought he might just be a little bit ahead of me so I decided to pull out and not go for it.

“So as soon as Moses went down I was fully confident that I was nowhere near him and that the referee should have seen that so my heart didn’t really go in my mouth.

“I didn’t realise he was on a yellow so when [the sending off] happened that was more of a surprise for me.

“But I knew I didn’t go anywhere near him and obviously it helped us to victory in the end.”

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Bartra Feared He Would Not Play Again After Bus Attack

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Marc Bartra has revealed he feared for his career after the bomb attack on the team bus, that delayed their UCL match against Monaco.

The defender was the only player injured in the explosion that wrecked the bus and had to had surgery on his right wrist.

However, Bartra returned to action against Werder Bremen and he stated he thought the incident would force him into early retirement.

“When the attack happened, I thought I would never be able to play again,” Bartra told Kicker after Dortmund’s DFB-Pokal final win against Eintracht Frankfurt.

“I could not move in the first five or 10 minutes and I could not hear anything.

“When the doctor told me after the surgery that everything was going well and I was going to be able to play again in a month, that was indescribable and the most beautiful news.

“I feel stronger today than ever before. I was very sad that such a thing could happen – it was a few damn difficult weeks – but now we can all enjoy this victory.”

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Football Headlines: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Rumors This Evening

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MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS

  • Ander Herrera will snub any approach from Barcelona to lure him to the Nou Camp from Manchester United.
  • Manchester United will face competition from Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Andrea Belotti, according to reports.
  • Jonny Evans was “made to play for Manchester United” and it was a huge surprise when the club let him go, according to former team-mate Phil Bardsley.

LONDON EVENING STANDARD

  • John Terry has called on Chelsea “act fast” in the transfer window this summer as the club looks to build on their title-winning success.
  • Frank Lampard has praised Mauricio Pochettino’s methods at Tottenham as the former Chelsea player looks to move into management.
  • Eden Hazard has joked that a new contract could prevent Chelsea signing Romelu Lukaku this summer.
  • New West Ham signing Pablo Zabaleta has urged the club to adopt a new mentality in their quest to win a first major trophy since 1980.

LIVERPOOL ECHO

  • Morgan Schneiderlin admits that his January move to Everton has helped put a smile back on his face.
  • Chelsea striker Diego Costa has welcomed the prospect of Romelu Lukaku joining him at Stamford Bridge.

NEWCASTLE CHRONICLE

  • Newcastle United will be offered the opportunity to sign Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia this summer.
  • Sunderland target Derek McInnes says it would ‘take something special’ for him to leave Aberdeen.

SUNDERLAND ECHO

  • Jordan Pickford is in high demand this summer with West Ham United the latest club to be strongly linked with a move for the Sunderland goalkeeper.
  • Italian giants AC Milan and Lazio are reported to be weighing up moves for £6m-rated Sunderland striker Fabio Borini.

BIRMINGHAM MAIL

  • Birmingham City boss Harry Redknapp is reportedly lining up a raid on former club Queens Park Rangers with Conor Washington said to be on his radar.
  • West Brom have been named among a host of fellow Premier League clubs who are said to have watched Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic at Hampden Park on Saturday.

EXPRESS & STAR

  • Defender Gareth McAuley has backed Tony Pulis to remain as Albion head coach despite reports surfacing he is considering his future.

THE SENTINEL

  • Lee Grant insists he has now got his head around the body blow of being dropped in favour of Jack Butland towards the end of the season.
  • Port Vale’s longest-serving player, Adam Yates, is hopeful of agreeing a new contract to keep him at the club for a ninth season.

THE DAILY ECHO

  • Southampton are being linked with AZ Alkmaar’s 23-year-old left-back Ridgeciano Haps.

LANCASHIRE TELEGRAPH

  • Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray says decisions over incomings and outgoings at the club will lie with him.

BOURNEMOUTH ECHO

  • Eddie Howe is convinced Jordon Ibe will fulfil his potential with Cherries but admits the winger is finding his club-record price tag “difficult” to handle.

LEICESTER MERCURY

  • Ron-Robert Zieler is in high demand with a host of clubs looking to offer the Leicester City goalkeeper a return to the Bundesliga.
  • Manchester United have reportedly put Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel on a two-man transfer shortlist.
  • Leicester City’s Tom Lawrence has reportedly been made a top target by Newcastle as they look to strengthen for their Premier League challenge.
  • Leicester City are reportedly in talks to sign the former Barcelona and Juventus centre-half Martin Caceres.

NOTTINGHAM POST

  • Pajtim Kasami looks set to leave Olympiakos following his unsuccessful loan spell at Nottingham Forest.

THE PINK UN

  • Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber are on the same page when it comes to Norwich City raiding the German transfer market this summer for new recruits.

WALES ONLINE

  • Swansea City have been tracking Eibar midfielder Dani Garcia.

WIGAN EVENING POST

  • Portsmouth boss Paul Cook is looking increasingly likely to become the new Wigan Athletic manager.

THE STAR

  • Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom insists it would take a huge job to lure him away from the club.
  • Charlton Athletic and Southend have been warned to expect further bids for Ricky Holmes and Ryan Leonard as Chris Wilder presses ahead with his summer recruitment drive.

HUDDERSFIELD EXAMINER

  • Huddersfield Town’s Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown will discuss his future with his agent after Monday’s Championship play-off final.

BRISTOL POST

  • Bristol City have reportedly made a bid for Swindon Town midfielder Yaser Kasim.
  • City have also been linked with Premier League striker and former Bristol Rovers loanee Oliver McBurnie as speculation continues around who might replace Tammy Abraham in the Robins side.

EVENING TIMES

  • Rangers have been told they will not get Motherwell duo Louis Moult and Ben Heneghan on the cheap this summer.
  • Brendan Rodgers is believed to be keen on taking Aberdeen winger Jonny Hayes to Celtic Park this summer.

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Inter Milan Confirm Manchester United Interest In Signing Ivan Perisic

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Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio has confirmed that Man Utd are interested in Ivan Perisic.

Ivan Perisic, 28, has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer, with Sky Sports claiming United are in talks with Inter over signing the Croatia international.

“[United] haven’t made us an official offer for Perisic but their interest is there,” he told Premier Sport. “We want to improve Inter and this is why we do not have any sellable or un-sellable players as of now.

“We know that we already have many important players within our roster like Perisic and before we decide to sell him, we have to think about what’s best for Inter.

“For me we have an as good squad or maybe even a better squad than most of the teams who finished ahead of us. We don’t need all that much, we will certainly make some moves but we will first have to see what our new coach will want.”

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Roma Manger Luciano Spalletti Relaxed About His Future

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Roma Head coach Luciano Spalletti is relaxed about his future at Roma despite facing a fan backlash over his treatment of departing club great Francesco Totti.

The head coach faced a chorus of boos when his name was read out before Totti’s last match in a Roma shirt, Sunday’s 3-2 Serie A victory over Genoa at the Stadio Olimpico.

Spalletti left 40-year-old Totti out of his first team for most of the season as a younger forward line plundered the best part of the 90 goals that secured an impressive second-placed finish for Roma.

Inter Milan are reportedly keen to offer Spalletti a new challenge at the San Siro but the former Zenit St Petersburg boss is still weighing up his options in the Eternal City.

Spalletti told Gazzetta dello Sport: “When you train a team like Roma you have to always be focused on securing victories.

“Sometimes second place is not acceptable, but I think this has been a great achievement.

“I am going to have an end-of-season meeting with the board and after we’ve talked I’ll make my position clear. We will do it as soon as possible, because it’s right that you all know what’s happening.”

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Gianluigi Donnarumma Must Decide On His Future, Says AC Milan CEO Marco Fassone

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AC Milan CEO Marco Fassone says the club must come up with a “plan B” in case Gianluigi Donnarumma leaves as he continues to be linked with a move elsewhere.

Marco  Fassone does not want the issue to drag on all summer, though, and he has told the 18-year-old goalkeeper, who has been linked with some of Europe’s top clubs, that he must make up his mind quickly.

“Donnarumma is a cornerstone, a pillar, a foundation for next season and we told him this the first time we met for talks,” Fassone told Mediaset. “We’ve been telling him that now for 45 days. I can see in his eyes that light, that willingness to stay and do great things with this Milan, but what we cannot do is wait.

“We need to give [coach Vincenzo] Montella his squad for next season on July 3. Our time is more pressing than [Donnarumma’s agent Mino] Raiola’s. We need to know if we have a goalkeeper, if we don’t have him or if we have him with his contract expiring. There hasn’t been any meeting yet.

“As you can easily imagine, no club would leave a goalkeeper like Donnarumma in the stands, but we cannot have a goalkeeper at Milan whose contract is expiring. But I’m confident. We need to have a plan B in case things don’t go the way we hope, but I am convinced that our offer and our plans for him are good. If the answer were still to be negative, then we would have to accept it and activate plan B.”

Fassone also said that the club intend to build their future around coach Montella.

“Things are working really well with Vincenzo,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “He’s a great technician on the field. He’s our coach and certainly he’ll be our coach next year. I’m convinced he will be the coach who leads us to the top again.”

 

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John Terry Hoping To Become A ‘Top-Level’ Football Manager

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Chelsea legend John Terry says he has not yet decided whether he will retire from playing this summer, but says his long-term aim is to become a top-level manager.

“Hopefully one day I’ll be back here [at Wembley] as a manager, that’s kind of the ambition. It has been difficult for me actually as a player because I’ve been looking to do coaching for the last year,” he said after Saturday’s FA Cup final loss to Arsenal.

“But, if I do stop or if I do carry on playing, I will press on in that [coaching] regardless. I do want to be a manager.

“I think I’ve got too much to give and I’ve learned too much not to pass that on, whether that’s initially to a younger generation or eventually at this level. Listen, this is the target – being here, managing a top side.”

John Terry was an unused substitute in Saturday’s 2-1 FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal at Wembley.

He has made 717 appearances for Chelsea and is a five-time Premier League title winner with the London club.

He has also won the Champions League and Europa League, as well as five FA Cups and three League Cups.

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Arsene Wenger Believes He Deserves A New Contract After FA Cup Win

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Arsene Wenger says Saturday’s FA Cup final win over Chelsea proves that he is worthy of a new contract at Arsenal.

Asked if he would be preparing a presentation ahead of a board meeting on Tuesday, Wenger said: “The best presentation is to watch the game [against Chelsea].

“I’ve played until the end of my contract, which is today basically. I think I have shown you that I have exactly the same commitment.”

“For me, the contract does not have special meaning but, because of the debate, maybe I should have sorted that out earlier.”

And Arsene Wenger says he drilled into his players that succeeding against Chelsea was more important than what his own future holds.

“I just told them to focus on what is important, our future, the future of the club, whether I stay or not,” he added.

“The players play for their future, for their next season.

“I love my job and I love to win. I love to build, I love to get people going and I love what I do.

“I invite you to live with me one day and one thing you cannot question is my commitment.”

Wenger criticised those fans who had called for his exit during matches in the latter part of the season, but said he does not have to hold it against them in the long run.

“I am a forgiving man,” he said. “You cannot be in this job (if you are not forgiving).

“This job is basically trusting human beings. If you cannot forgive, you cannot trust.

“The only bit of advice I have for young coaches – if you have a tendency to be paranoid, don’t do this job.

“I meet many Arsenal fans who are absolutely fantastic. It was maybe one per cent. Ninety-nine per cent of our fans are absolutely fantastic. We play for the 99.9 per cent.

“That’s why I said it’s not about popularity, it’s about consequence.

“It’s the board who has to decide who will lead the club in the future. It’s for me afterwards to decide, if they want me, whether it’s yes or no.”

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Gerard Deulofeu Thanks AC Milan For ‘Amazing’ Loan Period As He Ponders Barcelona Return

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Although rumours continue that Gerard Deulofeu will move to AC Milan permanently after a loan spell from Everton, he has taken to Instagram to thank the Serie A club after the season ended over the weekend. 

He says: “The season is over. I have only thankful words for AC Milan. I was happy and I got the support and love of both my colleagues and my fans. Thank you for your heart.”

Barcelona have an option to re-sign Gerard Deulofeu for 12 million euros and Robert Fernandez has already said the club are keen on paying the clause to bring him back from Everton.

But as with all transfers, there are three parties involved: Barça, Everton and Deulofeu. The Blaugrana can’t complete a deal until there is an agreement with the player.

In other circumstances, Deulofeu would have no doubts and his desire to success at Camp Nou is huge. He joined the club as a nine-year-old and was tipped as one of the biggest stars in La Masia.

But Gerard, 23, doesn’t want to bore himself on the bench and is aware that to have minutes in a team which features Neymar, Suarez and Messi may be complicated.

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Ernesto Valverde Set To Replace Luis Enrique As Barcelona Manager

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Barcelona are set to name their new coach on Monday evening, with Ernesto Valverde widely expected to take charge.

President Josep Maria Bartomeu said last week the club would announce Luis Enrique’s successor on May 29, and the Catalan giants have called a press conference for 1900 local time.

The club have not announced what the conference, held by Bartomeu, will include, but it takes place following a board meeting and should see the Catalan giants’ new coach unveiled.

Valverde has been the reported front-runner for the job for some time and he last week stepped down as Athletic Bilbao boss.

The 53-year-old is a former Barca player, helping the club win the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (1989) and Copa del Rey (1990) during two years at the Nou Camp under Johan Cruyff, while a 15-year coaching career has included spells at Espanyol, Olympiacos, Villarreal and Valencia.

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I Thought About Moving On From Bayern Munich- Kingsley Coman

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Kingsley Coman has admitted that he considered leaving Bayern Munich after a difficult season under Carlo Ancelotti, although he is expected to join the club permanently after a two year loan spell from Juventus. 

“It was a complicated year for me. I thought about leaving Bayern,” he told German publication Kicker.

“It is very difficult to win a place in the team and get regular first-team action once the coach has found his starting eleven, in particular here at Bayern due to the stiff competition for places.

“But Bayern gave me the feeling they count on me on the long term, including next season. They told me to keep working hard and then things will work out.

With Ribery, 34, and Arjen Robben, 33, both approaching the twilight of their careers, Coman is seen as a natural successor to one of the two wingers with Douglas Costa also likely to become a key player in years to come.

Before agreeing to sign permanently until 2020, Coman said he had sought assurances from Bayern’s board about his future at the club.

“They gave me the feeling they have faith in me, both long-term and next season too. They said I should keep working hard and things would sort themselves out,” he said.

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Joe Hart Confirms He Will Not Be Returning To Torino

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Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart has paid a fond farewell to Torino on Instagram following the conclusion of his loan spell.

Joe Hart also confirmed that he will not be returning to Torino after spending a season on loan at the Serie A club.

The England International has conceded a staggering 62 goals in just 36 games.

He ended his spell by letting in another three yesterday in a 5-3 win against Sassuolo, leaving the Granata with a ninth place league finish.

Hart said to ESPN: “I really enjoyed it. I’m not going to come back, but I had a good time.”

Hart took to Instagram on Monday to thank the Torino fans, alongside pictures taken after his final game for the club.

He wrote: ‘Thank you Torino…. I am so proud to have played for your special football club. The way you have treated me and my family is something that we will never forget.

‘I will forever support Torino for the rest of my days. I have met so many special people and this has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I will come back to see you all one day so it is bye for now, enjoy an amazing summer’.

Grazie Torino, sono orgoglioso di aver giocato per la tua Grande Squadra. Non dimenticherò mai il modo in cui avete accolto me e la mia famiglia. Sarò un tifoso del Torino per sempre, per il resto dei miei giorni. Ho incontrato tante persone veramente speciali e questa è stata una delle più splendide esperienze della mia vita. Per adesso è solo un arrivederci, perché tornerò per vedervi ed incontrarvi tutti. Vi auguro una estate eccezionale,  mi mancherete! #forzatoro #kaammoonnnn Thank you Torino…. I am so proud to have played for your special football club. The way you have treated me and my family is something that we will never forget. I will forever support Torino for the rest of my days. I have met so many special people and this has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I will come back to see you all one day so it is bye for now, enjoy an amazing summer #❤️Manchester

A post shared by Joe Hart (@joehartofficial) on May 29, 2017 at 4:40am PDT

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Marc-Andre Ter Stegen Agrees New Barcelona Contract, Buyout Clause Now €180m

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Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has signed a new deal with Barcelona, the club have announced, and committed his future to the La Liga club 30 June 2022.

The goalkeeper has won nine trophies with Barca in three seasons and has a buy-out clause of 180m Euros. He will officially sign the new contract at lunchtime tomorrow.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, 25, had two years left on his previous deal but had made it clear that he was keen to prolong his stay.

And in a statement issued on Monday, the club said: “FC Barcelona have reached an agreement with the player Marc-Andre ter Stegen to extend and improve his contract until 30 June 2022.

“His buyout clause now stands at €180 million, and his new contract will be signed on Tuesday.”

Barca paid €12m to sign ter Stegen from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2014, but it is only this season that he has become the club’s outright first choice goalkeeper.

In his first two campaigns he was backup to Claudio Bravo in La Liga, but played in both the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.

This season, following Bravo’s move to Manchester City, he has been a regular in both La Liga and the Champions League, making 46 appearances.

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Totti Not Sure He Is Ready To Quit

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Totti might postpone his retirement, as he hinted at a new adventure, following his emotional farewell at Roma.

Totti came off the bench to help Roma to a 3-2 win on the final game of the season, sending them to second and automatic UCL qualification.

It was confirmed the legendary Roma player would not be signing a new contract and he was expected to take a non-player role at the club, but that might not be the case.

“I like to think of my career as a fairytale to tell – and this is the worst part,” Totti said. “Now it really is over.

“I take off my shirt for the last time. I will fold it nicely, even if I have to admit I’m not ready to say it’s over and maybe I never will be.

“Sorry if during this period I didn’t give interviews or clarified my thoughts, but it’s not easy to switch that light off. Now I am afraid. It’s not the same fear you have in front of the goal when you need to score a penalty. This time I cannot see through the holes in the net what lies beyond.

“So allow me to be a little afraid. This time I am the one who needs you and your warmth. What you’ve always shown me. With your affection, I will certainly be able to turn the page and throw myself into a new adventure.”

“It is impossible to sum up 28 years in a few sentences,” Totti said. “I’d like to do so with a song or poem, but I can’t write any.

“Over the years, I’ve tried to express myself through my feet, which have made everything simpler for me ever since I was a child. Speaking of childhood, can you guess what my favourite toy was? A football, of course! And it still is today.

“At some point in life, you grow up – that’s what I’ve been told and that’s what time has decided. Damned time.

“Back on June 17, 2001, we all wanted time to pass a little more quickly. We couldn’t wait to hear the referee blow the final whistle. I still get goosebumps now when I think back to it.

“Today, time has come to tap me on the shoulder and say: ‘We have to grow up. As of tomorrow, you’ll be an adult. Take off those shorts and boots because starting today, you are a man. You can no longer enjoy the smell of the grass, the sun on your face as you bear down on the opposition’s goal, the adrenaline consuming you, the joy of celebrating.’

“Over the past few months, I’ve asked myself why I’m being awoken from this dream. Imagine you’re a child having a good dream… and your mother wakes you up to go to school. You want to keep dreaming… you try to slip back into the dream but you never can.

“This time, it’s not a dream, but reality. And I can no longer slip back in.”

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Cerezo Confident Griezmann Will Stay

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Despite the interest for Griezmann coming from Manchester United, Atletico Madrid president, Enrique Cerezo is confident he will stay.

Jose Mourinho is reported to have made Griezmann his number 1 target for the transfer window, after qualifying for the UCL.

However, Cerezo is quite sure the frenchman will stay and play in their new home ground of the Wanda Metropolitano.

He told Spanish newspaper Marca: “Griezmann will stay here. Not here at the Calderon, but at the Wanda.”

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Cerezo Confident Griezmann Will Stay

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Despite the interest for Griezmann coming from Manchester United, Atletico Madrid president, Enrique Cerezo is confident he will stay.

Jose Mourinho is reported to have made Griezmann his number 1 target for the transfer window, after qualifying for the UCL.

However, Cerezo is quite sure the frenchman will stay and play in their new home ground of the Wanda Metropolitano.

He told Spanish newspaper Marca: “Griezmann will stay here. Not here at the Calderon, but at the Wanda.”

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Brook Confirms Another Broken Eye Socket

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Kell Brook has confirmed he sustained a broken eye socket in his IBF welterweight title fight loss to Errol Spence Jr on Saturday.

Brook went on his knees in the penultimate round, with his left eye causing him a lot of distress, before the referee callrd a hakt to the match.

The Special One’s other eye resulted in his defeat to Golovkin, and after his fight against Soence Jr, he was inflicted with the same injury.

Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ, Brook said: “They kept me in until about 3am. I had a CT scan on my eye and the eye is broken again, same as the Golovkin one, so, maybe surgery again.

“I’m devastated. I knew from round seven that the eye had gone and progressively as the rounds went on. I tried to get through the fight and it kept going double vision and then coming back into line.

“In the later rounds 10 and 11, especially 11th round, it stuck there and that’s why I went down on one knee and I remember the surgeon saying to me after the Golovkin fight if you would have gone another round or so you could be blind so I’ve got that going through my mind as well.

“I’m in my own city, I’m in Sheffield. I wear my heart on my sleeve. There were many things going through my mind but I remember thinking I live to fight another day.”

“I think the time is now maybe to move up,” Brook added. “I’ve been making welterweight since I was a teenager. My first fight I was about nine or ten.

“I went up to middleweight in my last fight, I put a lot of muscle on and it was so hard to get to welterweight.”

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Spence Jr Beats Brook To Win IBF Welterweight Belt

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Errol Spence Jr inflicted Kell Brook’s second defeat of his career on Saturday, claiming the IBF welterweight belt in the process.

The unbeaten American inflicted damage on the special one to win in the penultimate round, leading the scores on all the judges scorecards.

Brook was left with a swollen left eye after the match, a mirror of his last defeat to Golovkin, where his second eye was damaged.

Spence Jr has been cool and calm throughout his one week stay in the UK, before the match, and started out with his trademark body shots from the opening bell.

Brook tried to bully and bulldoze his younger and less experienced opponent with his speed and even though his body shots were not obvious, they were ever present.

Spence Jr endured a difficult sixth round, but inflicted enough damage in the seventh round and it became obvious, as Brook’s eye started to swell.

The bell saved Brook in the ninth round, but a combo of body shots in the next round had the former IBF welterweight champion doubling over in pain.

But the injury to Brook’s left eye was too severe and, with Spence Jr given an obvious target, it was causing more and more problems. Brook was blinking worryingly, and he sunk to his knees before the referee saved him.

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Costa: I’ll Only Leave Chelsea For Atletico

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Diego Costa says the only way he is leaving Chelsea is for his former club of Atletico Madrid.

Costa spoke to Spanish journalists after the FA Cup final , saying he is happy with life at London.

The Spanish striker has been linked with a move to China, but he insists if he is to be sold, it will be to his former team.

“I will only leave Chelsea for Atletico,” Costa said. “If not, I will stay here. I’m not interested in other clubs.

“I have a contract and no intention of leaving, but if there are changes to be made that might reduce my chances, if the coach won’t count on me anymore or is to give space for another striker, I know that I’ll have to leave.

“Everyone know what my preferred club is, there’s nothing to hide.”

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Ramsey Sure Wenger Will Stay

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Aaron Ramsey is quite sure Arsene Wenger will remain at Arsenal after the 2-1 win over Chelsea in the FA Cup.

Ramsey scored the winner, heading in a sublime cross from Giroud. The midfielder has praised Wenger for his switch in formation, which helped Arsenal win their last six games of the season.

The Frenchman’s future at Arsenal is hanging in the balance, but the midfielder wants him to sign a new contract.

“Of course I think he’ll stay,” Ramsey told BBC Sport. “He’s been fantastic for me and the players.

“We changed the formation and had a lot of success. Fair play, it paid off and hopefully he’ll be here next season. We owe him a lot.”

“I can’t describe this,” Ramsey said. “It’s been an up and down year but to finish with an FA Cup, it has to be deemed a success.

“I love this competition and I love playing here. We deserve it and I’m happy for the boys.

“That’s my game, I love to make late runs and Oli knew I’d be there. He put it on a plate for me to score the winner.”

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