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Giggs to leave Man United after 29 years

Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs will leave Old Trafford after rejecting Jose Mourinho’s offer of a reduced backroom role, according to British media reports on Friday.

Giggs is the most decorated player in United’s illustrious history and he amassed a record 963 appearances and 35 major trophies before going on to serve as an assistant to David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.

But the 42-year-old is set to quit United because he feels snubbed both by the club’s hierarchy, who reportedly told him he would be offered the chance to succeed Van Gaal when the Dutchman left, and Mourinho, who opted not to give him a senior role in his coaching team.

Giggs had one more year on his contract as assistant manager, but Mourinho was said to be concerned the former Wales winger had distanced himself from both Moyes and Van Gaal rather than offering public support during the team’s struggles in recent years.

Mourinho was also believed to be worried that Paul Scholes, a close friend and former United colleague of Giggs, had become a very vocal critic of Moyes and Van Gaal.

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Kompany confident of Belgium’s chances

Belgium’s improving potency in front of goal at the European Championship will fill them full of confidence ahead of their quarterfinal clash against Wales in Lille later on Friday, injured defender Vincent Kompany has said.

After losing their opening game 2-0 against Italy, Belgium scored eight goals in their next three matches, including a 4-0 rout of Hungary in the last 16 in Toulouse.

“Our squad is on a cloud right now and the players have every right to be positive about our form going into the quarterfinals, and about our chances of going much further in this tournament,” Kompany wrote on the BBC website.

The Manchester City captain, who missed the tournament with a thigh injury, however acknowledged that Wales beat the Belgians 1-0 in Cardiff and drew in Brussels in qualifying.

“The Wales team will not need to watch a lot of videos before the game, because they know us so well – and we know them so well too,” Kompany added.

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Del Bosque quits after Spain fail in Euro 2016

Vicente del Bosque quit as Spain’s coach after the defending champions crashed out of Euro 2016, ending one of football’s most successful managerial dynasties.

Del Bosque, 65, won a World Cup and a European Championship in a glorious era for Spanish football. He also won the Champions League twice with Real Madrid.

His legacy was tainted by Spain’s disastrous first round exit at the 2014 World Cup and now their defeat in the last 16 at the European Championship. Some of the team’s greatest players are also expected to retire soon. Naijabet

“Without a doubt, I have no intention to remain as coach, but you have to be discreet,” Del Bosque told Spanish public radio RNE late on Thursday.

“No matter what the result of the Euros, I had no doubt about what my future would be.

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Neymar to sign five-year contract with Barca

Brazilian striker Neymar will sign a new five-year contract with Barcelona this week, his agents said on Thursday, ending speculation over his future at the Spanish champions.

The international, 24, is widely regarded as one of the finest talents in world football and is part of the much-feared attacking trident alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at Barcelona.

“The athlete, along with his family, has decided to stay with FC Barcelona and will renew his contract for five more years,” said NN Consultoria, the agency representing the international forward, 24.

“The contract will be formalised this week. The decision puts an end to speculation about the star’s future.” Naijabet

Neymar wrote on Twitter: “I am very happy to continue living this dream. Long live Barca and long live Catalonia!”

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Ronaldo’s Euro dream still alive after shootout win

Cristiano Ronaldo took his dream of an international title another step closer when Portugal beat Poland in a penalty shootout to reach the European Championship semifinals.

Robert Lewandowski scored barely 100 seconds into the latest night of Euro 2016 drama before Portugal unleashed the player who many say could lead the country’s post-Ronaldo era.

Making his first start at Euro 2016, Renato Sanches, a powerful 18-year-old and already a 35 million euro ($38 million) player, smashed home a 25 metre drive to equalise the match that went into extra time and then penalties.

Sanches followed Ronaldo in hitting home his spot kick as Portugal won 5-3, having again failed to win a game in the alloted 90 minutes. That did not prevent relieved Portuguese celebrations.

Ronaldo said it had been an “unforgetable” night as Portugal had reached their target of a semifinal place. “Everyone should be congratulated.”

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Bale sets tone for Wales in Euro 2016

Wales manager Chris Coleman promised that his team were not coming to Euro 2016 “for a laugh”, but his players have been having the time of their lives in France.

From Gareth Bale’s training ground tomfoolery to Joe Ledley’s outlandish dance moves, the Welsh players have seemed immune to the pressures of major tournament football.

Friday’s quarterfinal with Belgium is Wales’s biggest game since a 1-0 loss to Brazil in the last eight at the 1958 World Cup, but Coleman’s men are taking everything in their stride.

“With our team spirit, it’s like being with your mates on holiday,” said Real Madrid star Bale, lead prankster at the team’s Dinard base in Brittany, northwest France.

“Doing quizzes all the time, playing games. The fact we all enjoy spending time with each other, it helps with the downtime.”

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Czech Republic coach Vrba resign from his job

Czech national team manager Pavel Vrba has quit the job and signed a contract with Anzhi Makhachkala, the Czech Football Association and the Russian Premier League club said on Thursday.

The Czech team suffered two defeats and drew once at the group stage of the Euro 2016 before being eliminated from the tournament. Naija and Bet

The result was a big disappointment for the Czech fans who had hoped for much more after the team won their qualification group which included last World Cup bronze medal winners, the Netherlands.

Vrba, 52, joined the national side in January 2014.

Vrba had successfully managed top Czech league team Viktoria Plzen, winning two titles and bringing the club twice to the group stage of the Champions League.

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Mosimane dismisses Enyimba in the reverse fixture

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane believes his side will beat Enyimba in the reverse fixture of their Caf Champions League clash in Nigeria in August.

The Brazilians prevailed 2-1 over the seven-time Nigerian champions on Wednesday courtesy of goals from Leonardo Castro and Wayne Arendse which rendered Dare Ojo’s stunning volley merely academic at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium, Pretoria.

Mosimane believes that ‘Downs can repeat the feat when Enyimba enjoy home advantage in the reverse fixture. Naijabet

“Being patriotic as a South African, it’s good to beat a Nigerian team.

“There’s always that talk about South African teams not being able to beat Nigerian teams. This talk must stop at this point in time.

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Bournemouth sign Ake from Stamford Bridge

Left back Nathan Ake has joined Bournemouth on a season-long loan from Chelsea, the Premier League clubs have announced.

Ake, 21, signed a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge last year despite making only 12 senior team appearances and spent the previous campaign on loan with Watford.

The Netherlands under-21 international made 32 appearances for Watford last season.

“For a player of his age he already has great experience in the Premier League and we believe he will bring a lot to our squad,” Bournemouth Chief Executive Neill Blake said in a statement.

“He is an international player with great pedigree, so we are really excited to have him join us for the upcoming season.”

Manchester City sign Australia midfielder Mooy

Australia midfielder Aaron Mooy has signed a three-year deal with Manchester City, joining the English Premier League side from sister club Melbourne City.

Mooy is a creative attacking midfielder who enjoyed a stellar 2015-2016 season with Melbourne City, scoring 11 goals and providing an A-League record 21 assists.

Melbourne City were founded as Melbourne Heart but rebranded in 2014 after their purchase by the Abu Dhabi United Group, whose City Football Group (CFG) also owns and operates Mooy’s new club.

Mooy, who has played 15 times for his country, should be prepared to spend time on loan at other clubs if the experience of other Australians who have joined City is anything to go by. Naijabet

Defensive midfielder Luke Brattan, who moved to Manchester in October 2015, had a spell at Bolton Wanderers and will be loaned to the Melbourne franchise for the next A-League season.

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