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Aguero Clears Air On Coming Out Of Retirement

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Former Manchester City forward, Sergio Aguero, has debunked reports that he is planning to come out of retirement after being given a clean bill of health by his doctors.

Aguero retired from football in December 2021 at the age of 33 due to a heart condition.

He was a Barcelona player at the time after leaving Man City.

This week, there have been reports of him considering coming out of retirement to train with Argentinian club Independiente.

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Aguero, reacting, said: “It’s totally a lie, I’m not going to train with Independiente.

“Sometimes things are invented. I reiterate that the cardiologist said that I am well, that it is important that I am in good health.

“But to return to training at the First Division level, I would need to undergo a lot of tests.”

 

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20-year-old English Midfielder, Bellingham Wins 2024 Laureus World Sports Breakthrough Award

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Jude Bellingham has been awarded the 2024 Laureus World Sports Breakthrough of the Year prize in recognition of his startling season for Real Madrid and England.

The 20-year-old English midfielder established himself as the Spanish giants’ main man since moving to the club from Borussia Dortmund last summer,

Bellingham, who has a tally of 21 goals produced another starring role in Sunday’s El Clasico victory over Barcelona.

He scored the late winner that secured a 3-2 win over Barcelona.

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Jude Bellingham wins 2024 Laureus World Sports Breakthrough of the Year award

Elsewhere, Novak Djokovic and Aitana Bonmati were the other big winners at the ceremony held in the Galeria de Cristal in Madrid on Monday night.

Djokovic was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for a record-equalling fifth time after winning the Australian Open, French Open, and US Open to lead the way with 24 grand slam men’s singles titles.

‘I am incredibly honoured to have won my fifth Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award,’ said Djokovic.

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‘I think back to 2012, when I won it for the first time as a 24-year-old. I am very proud to be here 12 years later, reflecting on a year that brought me and my fans a lot of excitement and success.

‘It was thrilling to return to Australia last January and win my 10th title. It is a tournament that is so dear to my heart and set me up for an incredible 12 months.

‘I could not have achieved so much success without an incredible team behind me, and inspirational rivals who have always pushed me to be the best version of myself.’

The 25th Laureus World Sports Awards took place on Monday 22 April in Madrid, celebrating the leading names in sport from across the globe.

 

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Former Arsenal Chairman, Keswick Is Dead

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Former Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick has died at the age of 84.

Keswick, a successful merchant banker, first joined the Gunners board as a director in 2005 before going on to take the mantle of chairman in 2013.

He served in that role until retiring in May 2020, though he maintained an interest in the club.

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A club statement read: “It is with great sadness that the club reports the death of former Chairman, Sir Chips Keswick. A lifelong Arsenal supporter, he was a regular at Highbury after first standing in the boys’ enclosure in 1949 and listed his early heroes as the Compton brothers and Jimmy Logie but, above all, goalkeeper – and later manager – George Swindin, as young Chips was a budding schoolboy keeper himself.

“But it was in the banking industry Sir Chips made his name, where he was a very senior figure for many years, rising to become Chairman of Hambros Bank and also a Director of the Bank of England.

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“It was during his successful banking career that he became good friends with our former Chairman, Peter Hill-Wood – a former Vice-Chairman of Hambros – and Peter recognised that his business acumen, common sense and love of the Gunners would make him an ideal board member at Highbury.”

Former Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick dies at 84

It was during Keswick’s reign as chairman that the Gunners clinched four FA Cups, along with runner-up finishes in the Premier League, Europa League and Carabao Cup.

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[UPDATED] Mbappe’s PSG Punish 10-man Barca To Reach Champions League Semis

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Kylian Mbappe struck twice as Paris Saint-Germain battled back to beat 10-man Barcelona 4-1 and book a place in the Champions League semi-finals with a 6-4 aggregate triumph on Tuesday.

Raphinha fired Barcelona ahead early on but Ronald Araujo’s 29th-minute red card turned the tide in PSG’s favour, despite the Spanish champions leading by two goals following a 3-2 quarter-final first-leg win.

Ousmane Dembele and Vitinha levelled the tie for PSG and the deadly Mbappe hit a brace to put them into the final four for the first time since 2021.

The French champions have never won the trophy despite huge investment but demonstrated they have the attacking weapons in their squad to do so.

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Five-time winners Barcelona were dreaming of a first semi-final return since 2019 but Araujo’s red card for pulling down the relentless Bradley Barcola undermined their grip on the tie.

PSG coach Luis Enrique, who led Barca to the 2015 Champions League, said he believed his team would turn things around despite never having managed to after a first-leg defeat, and so it proved.

The visitors started with determination and penned Barcelona back in their territory, but it was the hosts who took the lead.

Explosive 16-year-old starlet Lamine Yamal ripped past Nuno Mendes and crossed to the near post where Raphinha turned home despite pressure from Achraf Hakimi.

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It was the Brazilian winger’s third goal of the tie after his brace in Paris.

Robert Lewandowski fired another chance over the top for Barcelona before Barcola tilted the tie in PSG’s favour. The winger was a nightmare for his French compatriot Jules Kounde to handle.

Barcola teed up Mbappe but Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen denied him well before Araujo was sent off for bringing him down.

The Uruguayan centre-back pulled Barcola back as he burst into the area, leaving Barca with 10 men.

Dembele whizzed the resulting free-kick narrowly over, but soon found the net, as he did in the first leg.

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The former Barcelona winger struck after 40 minutes from another Barcola cross, which raked across the area to the back post where Dembele was arriving to fire into the roof of the net.

Barcelona sacrificed Yamal for defender Inigo Martinez after Araujo’s red card and it left them with few outlets in attack.

– No escape –

With PSG controlling the game Barcelona soon paid the price for their inability to keep possession.

Vitinha was given far too much space on the edge of the box and he drilled into the bottom corner to put PSG ahead on the night.

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Ilkay Gundogan hit the post at the other end for Barcelona before their coach Xavi was sent off for a show of dissent on the touchline.

The Catalans were losing their heads and Joao Cancelo clumsily fouled Dembele to hand PSG a penalty.

Mbappe, who had been kept quiet in the first leg, hammered it into the top corner for his 40th goal across all competitions.

The striker’s future may lie in Spain, with Real Madrid aiming to sign him in the summer at the end of his contract, and he made no friends in Barcelona by hopping the advertising hoardings and running towards fans to celebrate.

Another member of Barcelona’s backroom staff was dismissed after Gundogan had a penalty appeal waved away and it became clear the hosts had no response.

Mbappe wrapped up the win in the 89th minute after a fine Ter Stegen double save, leaving Barcelona the victims of another bitterly disappointing night in Europe.

AFP

 

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