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Griezmann eyes club link with Pogba but plays down Manchester United talk

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Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann have said they would like to play together at club level — but Greizmann stressed that did not mean he was going to Manchester United.

Pogba returned to United from Juventus in 2016, while Atletico Madrid’s Griezmann was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford last summer.

The players, preparing for France’s friendly against World Cup hosts Russia in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, told Canal+ they would like to work together as club teammates as well as with their national team.

“If only we could do this every day,” Pogba said, with Griezmann responding: “That would be great. But hey, that doesn’t mean I’m going to go to Man U.”

Pogba added: “The whole year together, winning trophies. I really hope we’re going to do that one day.”

France are among the favourites for the World Cup, but stuttered in qualifying and lost 3-2 to Colombia in a friendly on Friday having held a 2-0 lead.

But Pogba, who played only the last 25 minutes of the match at the Stade de France, urged fans to unite behind them.
“Please, no criticism — we don’t need it,” the United midfielder said. “You have to put us at the top. Put us at the top and we’ll put you at the top.

“With the squad we have, the atmosphere and the team spirit that there is, I can only think of the best for the World Cup.”
After Didier Deschamps’ side had squandered the advantage given to them by Olivier Giroud and Thomas Lemar inside 26 minutes, Giroud said they needed to be stronger.

“The problem was in our heads, not in the tactical set-up,” he said. “We lacked character.
“You have to be strong in your head to be able to turn around any situation or hold on to the scoreline.

“In the teams in which I have played, there have always been several leaders who showed the way to go on the pitch.
“We mustn’t get carried away because we made a mess of one half, and call everything into question.

“It’s more a problem of attitude, of slackening off than the lack of a leader. It’s true we don’t have a player who barks at us, but we have a lot of leaders in terms of technique.”

Meanwhile, Griezmann’s Atletico teammate Lucas Hernandez made his senior debut for France when he came on 14 minutes from time having opted to represent them rather than Spain, where he has lived since the age of four.
“I’m proud to be a Bleu and wear this shirt. I’m going to defend it to the death,” he said.

“I’m a very ambitious player — those who know me know what kind of a person I am. It’s true I hadn’t had any news from France.
“Personally when the coach called me to ask about my situation and what I was going to do, I didn’t hesitate a minute.

“I told him immediately that I was ready to defend this shirt. When you don’t get any news, when you don’t know anything, it makes you think of things, but when the coach calls you, when you’re told you’re being counted on, there’s nothing to think about.

“When I say Spain has given me everything, personally and in football terms, it’s true. When I say that I speak Spanish better, that’s true too. But that doesn’t change the fact that France is my country.”

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GRAPHIC VIDEO: Angry boxer attacks coach after losing match

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Boxing fans were left shocked when a fighter on the Hughie Fury-Kubrat Pulev undercard attacked his own trainer ring-side.

Levan Shonia gave viewers more than just a warmup spar when he took on unbeaten Spas Genov.

The Georgian fighter went on to lose the match, his 12th career defeat.

But instead of calling it quits, Shonia appeared to take out his anger on his unfortunate coach.

The pair were standing in the corner, with Shonia inside the ring with his trainer standing on the edge.

And for no apparent reason, Shonia was seen throwing a punch with his right hand, hitting his trainer on the shoulder.

The stunned man took a moment to take in what was happening before knocking Shonia back with a slap.

The response then saw Shonia throw another punch, this time with his left.

Watch video here..

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Super Eagles jersey worn by Mikel Obi during 2018 World Cup added to FIFA museum collection

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The FIFA museum located in Zürich, Switzerland has just announced that the jersey worn by Mikel Obi at Nigeria’s 2-0 victory at the Volgograd Arena at the 2018 World Cup has been added to its collection.

 

Below is how they announced it…

Argentina couldn’t claim three points against hardy newcomers, Iceland, but the @NG_Supereagles did – and they did it in style. The jersey worn by @Mikel_John_Obi at Nigeria’s 2-0 victory at the Volgograd Arena at the 2018 World Cup has been added to the FIFA Museum collection

The Super Eagles jersey worn by Mikel Obi during 2018 World Cup has been added to the FIFA museum collection

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Emery demands first-half improvement despite 11th straight Arsenal win

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Unai Emery demanded Arsenal improve their first-half performances despite the Gunners recording their 11th straight win in all competitions by beating Sporting CP.

But, as in Monday’s Premier League defeat of Leicester City, Arsenal did not impress in a flat first-half performance.

Although Arsenal are closing in on Europa League qualification, Emery feels there is an obvious area where his team can get better in the weeks to come.

“Each match there is a big opportunity to improve and one is this,” Emery told a news conference. “We spoke about it before the match.

“When we were in the dressing room at half-time we spoke and said, ‘okay today also, we cannot impose our game in first 45 minutes, but the second half we have the opportunity to change the result and continue in our way, thinking only of winning this match and improving things in the second half’.

“And I think the team did that in the second 45 minutes. But we need to continue finding the solution for the first half to be better.

“The match, for the 90 minutes, there were different things happening tactically and individually.

“The first half is not clear for us, there was not a lot of chances. The second half step by step we imposed our job, our play to win this match.”

Emery has regularly spoken of his desire for Arsenal to thrive in the Europa League, a competition he won three years in a row with Sevilla.

And after Welbeck’s late impact ensured Arsenal moved clear at the top of Group E, Emery reiterated the value he places on the tournament.

“For us it’s very important because we want to finish first in this group,” Emery said of the win.

“And at the moment the other club who is with us is Sporting. But also because we want to continue this process. There were many positive things.”

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