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Man Utd star Paul Pogba’s journeyman brother Mathias joins 11th club as he signs for third-division side Racing Murcia

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man utd star paul pogbas journeyman brother mathias joins 11th club as he signs for third division side racing murcia scaled

MANCHESTER UNITED star Paul Pogba’s brother Mathias has joined his 11th club as he signs for third-division Spanish side Racing Murcia

Mathias, 30, completed his move to Murcia during the final days of the transfer window.

Mathias Pogba alongside his brothers Florentin and Paul

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Mathias Pogba alongside his brothers Florentin and PaulCredit: AFP or licensors

He had initially signed for them in August when he left from another Spanish side Lorca FC.

Speaking on the move he wrote on his Instagram: “God is great. He never, never, never sleeps.

“Thank you, Racing Murcia City FC, for your faith in me.”

His transfer to Murcia makes it his eleventh club in as many years.

Mathias has also previously played for Wrexham, Crewe, Crawley Town and Partick Thistle.

He is part of a trio of brothers who are all professional footballers, including his twin brother Florentin Pogba and Paul Pogba.

Florentin plays in France for second division club Sochaux, who he signed for earlier this year.

Paul is the star of the family who is a World Cup winner and one of United’s biggest stars.

He has come under fierce criticism during his time at Old Trafford with many calling for boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop him.

Recently, United legend Bryan Robson said that Solskjaer needs to drop Paul for the sake of the team’s progress.

Paul also came under fire for his performance in his side’s 6-1 thrashing by Spurs.

He caught flack for not tracking down Serge Aurier for Spurs’ fourth goal and conceding the penalty which rounded off the defeat.

Man Utd star Paul Pogba and Spurs ace Ndombele test positive for coronavirus and omitted from France squad

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Derek Chisora must face Anthony Joshua if he beats Oleksandr Usyk says Haye

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derek chisora must face anthony joshua if he beats oleksandr usyk says haye

Derek Chisora should immediately become the WBO mandatory challenger to face Anthony Joshua if he defeats Oleksandr Usky on Saturday, according to David Haye.

Haye is strongly driving the cause for Chisora to go up against Joshua and be handed the opportunity to leapfrog Ukrainian powerhouse Usyk in doing so.

Usyk, 33, has been patiently waiting to face AJ as his mandatory challenger having unified at cruiserweight and stepping up to heavyweight, but now Haye feels Chisora will have earned the right given he is a huge underdog heading into Saturday’s Wembley showdown.

Calls are being made for Derek Chisora to become Joshua's mandatory if he wins at Wembley

Calls are being made for Derek Chisora to become Joshua's mandatory if he wins at Wembley

Calls are being made for Derek Chisora to become Joshua’s mandatory if he wins at Wembley

David Haye, who trains Chisora, feels the fight will be earned and hopes for 'common sense'

David Haye, who trains Chisora, feels the fight will be earned and hopes for 'common sense'

David Haye, who trains Chisora, feels the fight will be earned and hopes for ‘common sense’

Speaking this week to iFL TV Haye, who now trains the 36-year-old Chisora, said: 

‘I’ll find out this week. I’ve written a letter to Paco [Valcarcel], the president of the WBO, stating that Derek should be, by beating the mandatory [Usyk], he should become mandatory himself.

‘There’s only so many times he can go to the well. If there’s ever a chance for him to get a world title shot, it’s off the back of this victory.

‘We believe common sense will prevail and that the WBO, a great organization that Derek has worked closely with for many years, this is his opportunity.

Joshua is set to defend his WBO, WBA and IBF world titles against Kubrat Pulev in December

Joshua is set to defend his WBO, WBA and IBF world titles against Kubrat Pulev in December

Joshua is set to defend his WBO, WBA and IBF world titles against Kubrat Pulev in December

‘This is something on the sidelines.’

Chisora first made a world title shot in 2012 when he fell to a points defeat against Vitali Klitschko.

He has lost nine times in his career, including twice to Tyson Fury and once to his now trainer Haye.

Meanwhile Usyk is already looking past his fight with Chisora, envisioning a win that will set him up with bouts against both Joshua and Fury and then even catapult him towards a career in Hollywood.

Usyk plans to dominate the heavyweight division, before resuming a fledgling acting career and take his place alongside the biggest names in film.

Ukrainian powerhouse Usyk has already started thinking beyond his fight with Chisora

Ukrainian powerhouse Usyk has already started thinking beyond his fight with Chisora

Ukrainian powerhouse Usyk has already started thinking beyond his fight with Chisora

‘As long as I am motivated to get up at 5am to train and work hard, I will box,’ Usyk told Sportsmail.

‘The moment I feel I don’t want to get out of bed, I will start thinking about finishing my boxing career and starting on my Hollywood movie career.’ 

Usyk has made cameos in a few movies back in Ukraine and has even taken acting lessons. In 2017, ahead of his fight with Marco Huck in Germany, the 33-year-old was approached by Sylvester Stallone who wanted to cast him in the latest Rocky spin-off, Creed II.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Jamie Carragher BACKS Karim Benzema’s dressing-down of Real Madrid team-mate Vinicius

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jamie carragher backs karim benzemas dressing down of real madrid team mate vinicius

Jamie Carragher has come to the defence of Karim Benzema after the Real Madrid striker was caught on camera urging Ferland Mendy to stop passing to fellow team-mate Vinicius.

The bizarre scenes were captured at the half-time interval during Madrid’s recent Champions League clash against Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany.

Madrid had entered the break trailing 1-0 and a furious Benzema was unaware of a camera in the player’s tunnel which captured him instructing Mendy: ‘Don’t play with him. On my mother’s life, he [Vinicius] is playing against us.’

Cameras in the tunnel at Borussia-Park picked up a conversation in French between Benzema (bottom right) and Ferland Mendy, who were reportedly talking about Vinicius (far left)

Cameras in the tunnel at Borussia-Park picked up a conversation in French between Benzema (bottom right) and Ferland Mendy, who were reportedly talking about Vinicius (far left)

Cameras in the tunnel at Borussia-Park picked up a conversation in French between Benzema (bottom right) and Ferland Mendy, who were reportedly talking about Vinicius (far left)

Jamie Carragher defended Benzema and suggested many pros have said something similar

Jamie Carragher defended Benzema and suggested many pros have said something similar

Jamie Carragher defended Benzema and suggested many pros have said something similar 

The incident became big news across the football world, with many pundits and former professionals weighing in with their opinions regarding whether Benzema was right to be so brutally critical of a team-mate during a game.

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher however insists conversations like the one Benzema had with full-back Mendy are all too common in football, admitting he had said similar things about team-mates before.

Speaking on CBS Sports, Carragher said: ‘As a club Real Madrid, it is not one of those things where if it lands on the manager’s doorstep that’s like “oh you don’t need that type of thing”.

The Brazilian (top centre) was stood within earshot of the duo during the half-time break

The Brazilian (top centre) was stood within earshot of the duo during the half-time break

The Brazilian (top centre) was stood within earshot of the duo during the half-time break

Benzema went on to score in the 87th minute of the match as Madrid battled for a late draw

Benzema went on to score in the 87th minute of the match as Madrid battled for a late draw

Benzema went on to score in the 87th minute of the match as Madrid battled for a late draw

‘But in terms of what Benzema did, that is something I have said before, and if I have said it about someone else I can guarantee someone has said it about me. He has just been caught saying it. 

‘Now there’s two sides to it. I think there is one where you think you are helping the team, which I think is the case with Benzema.

‘If someone is having a really poor game, you are almost having a go at the guy who is maybe behind him, maybe it’s a full back and there’s a winger in front and you’re saying “use your brain, he’s not having the best of games, look for someone else”‘.

Carragher went on to elaborate, saying that sometimes players struggling for form would actually prefer to see less of the ball in their direction, though did also go on to question Benzema’s possible motives. 

‘Ok, if it’s there and it’s obvious, give him the ball but if he’s not play somewhere else, give him a touch, help him,’ Carragher added.

‘He probably doesn’t want the ball, he was having a really poor game. 

Carragher admitted he said similar during his own career, and that Benzema simply got caught

Carragher admitted he said similar during his own career, and that Benzema simply got caught

Carragher admitted he said similar during his own career, and that Benzema simply got caught

‘There’s a flip side to it, with Benzema and Vinicius being attacking players. If Benzema was doing that from a selfish point of view, in terms of “don’t pass to him just pass to me, I want to score”, something like that wouldn’t be right if that was happening within a team or squad.

‘But in terms of someone having a poor game, that is something I have said numerous times, maybe at half-time, maybe at a training session. You say to your goalkeeper when he is throwing the ball out ‘go to the other side, he is struggling and having a tough time, go to the right-back or left-back.

‘It is not something that doesn’t happen he has just been caught. ‘

On the night Benzema ended up being something of a hero for Madrid, scoring in the 87th minute for his side before Casemiro grabbed a stoppage time equaliser to salvage a point at 2-2. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Wales eager to transform Parc y Scarlets into their home against Scotland in Six Nations

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wales eager to transform parc y scarlets into their home against scotland in six nations

From fake fan-tracks to pre-recorded hymns and sanitation stations, the new world has drastically altered match days in Wales.

On Saturday, for the first time in 17 years, the men will play outside Cardiff with no fans – even poor old Shenklin the goat who parades before games has to stay at his barracks – no hywl or haranguing drinkers in sight.

With the country in a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown and the Principality Stadium standing by as a Nightingale hospital still, it is out to west Wales to Llanelli and their new normal.

Wales host Scotland in their final game of their Six Nations campaign on Saturday afternoon

Wales host Scotland in their final game of their Six Nations campaign on Saturday afternoon

Wales host Scotland in their final game of their Six Nations campaign on Saturday afternoon

Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli will play host to Wales' final Six Nations encounter on the weekend

Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli will play host to Wales' final Six Nations encounter on the weekend

Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli will play host to Wales’ final Six Nations encounter on the weekend

WALES’ LAST 12 GAMES OUTSIDE CARDIFF 

Aug 27, 2003 – v Romania (W 54-8) Racecourse, Wrexham

Nov 1, 2002 – v Romania (W 40-3) Racecourse Wrexham

Apr 11, 1999 – v England (W 32-31) Wembley

Feb 20, 1999 – v Ireland (L 29-23) Wembley

Nov 14, 1998 – v S Africa (L 28-20) Wembley

Apr 5, 1998 – v France (L 51-0) Wembley

Mar 7, 1998 – v Scotland (W 19-13) Wembley

Nov 29, 1997 – v N Zealand (L 42-7) Wembley

Nov 21, 1998 – v Argentina (W 43-30) Stradey Park, Llanelli

Feb 7, 1998 – v Italy (W 23-20) Stradey Park, Llanelli

Nov 16, 1997 – v Tonga (W 46-12) St Helen’s, Swansea

Aug 30, 1997 – v Romania (W 70-21) Racecourse, Wrexham 

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It will be eerie and quiet not rocking and raging like under the roof in the capital. Attendance, officially zero; not a daffodil hat in the place for Scotland’s visit – perhaps the only positive.

For Wales, the team who perhaps rely on their supporters to drag them to results more than any other in the rugby world, there is no place like home.

But through artificial means and colour schemes they hope to re-create all that they will miss.

Alex Luff, the Principality Stadium operations manager, has helped staged Anthony Joshua fights, Take That concerts, the 2017 Champions League final and more than 100 Wales Tests in Cardiff but his task to transform Parc y Scarlets firstly into a Covid-safe arena and secondly one fit for an international has been his tallest order.

‘The Champions League Final in 2017 (where Real Madrid beat Juventus 4-1) was a three-year project for one match,’ he explains talking exclusively to Sportsmail.

‘We’ve had to condense that work into a month-and-a-half.’

As the national stadium is now Dragon’s Heart Hospital, taking patients at the start of the pandemic in the spring as the second-largest facility of its type in the UK, Wales had to play away from their ground for the first time in 108 Tests.

The WRU considered Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, West Ham’s London Stadium and even Twickenham for home matches if fans were allowed in London.

But none allowed and Scarlets was chosen for all four of their home autumn fixtures, starting with Scotland in the Six Nations this weekend.

The last time a men’s Test was played there was in 1998 – at the old Stradey Park against Argentina – Saturday will be world’s apart in many ways.

‘We’ve got to try and transform Parc y Scarlets into our home,’ adds Luff.

‘We want the team to feel as if they’re coming into familiar surroundings – a lot of them do play there for their region, one of the reasons we used the venue in the first place.

Wales' national ground - Principality Stadium - is standing by as a Nightingale hospital still

Wales' national ground - Principality Stadium - is standing by as a Nightingale hospital still

Wales’ national ground – Principality Stadium – is standing by as a Nightingale hospital still

‘The venue will be transformed with a lot of red branding to make it feel like home.

‘The elements you come to love and expect from the Principality Stadium will be there, albeit slightly reduced and watered down.’

That means smoke, flames and music for the teams’ entry and when tries are scored.

Those few in the ground will not hear much aside from the snap, crackle and pop of an international – with added swearing.

But for television viewers, an atmosphere will be added.

‘The Six Nations have worked with the BBC for the Scotland game and Amazon for the Nations Cup and there will be a specific home noise,’ explains Luff.

‘They will be using soundscape from a previous Wales game at the Principality and using that as the background noise for Parc y Scarlets.’

So expect the fake fans to be ‘siiing-ing Hymns and Arias, Land of my Fathers’, Ar hyd y nos.’

‘I’ve that on my playlist!’ says Luff.

Come anthem time on Saturday, Wales have enlisted the help of a 250-strong choir

Come anthem time on Saturday, Wales have enlisted the help of a 250-strong choir

Come anthem time on Saturday, Wales have enlisted the help of a 250-strong choir

Wales will be without their hugely vocal backing from their fans at the Principality Stadium

Wales will be without their hugely vocal backing from their fans at the Principality Stadium

Wales will be without their hugely vocal backing from their fans at the Principality Stadium

‘You’ll definitely hear Hymns and Arias and all the Welsh songs, although virtually, on the match-day broadcast.’

On Friday, after the team’s usual ‘captain’s run’ training session the whole stadium will be locked down, security swept and deep-cleaned.

Everyone who attends will complete a health questionnaire and have their temperatures checked, before accreditation is issued for either the red zone – for essential staff and players – or amber zone – for media and stadium staff.

Attendance will be logged by the NHS track and trace app, face-masks are mandatory for all but the players and hand-gel will abound.

The pre-match setup will be familiar. Scotland will emerge first, then Wales – with smoke and flames filling Llanelli skies.

The teams will be wetter than usual, though, with a yellow warning of rain set for Carmarthenshire and no roof now to protect them.

Come anthem time Wales have enlisted the help of a 250-strong choir — from Cor Meibion Taf, as well as Pendyrus, Pontarddulais and Cardiff Arms Park Male voice choirs — and a recording from The Cory Band to bring Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau to life, hoping to tingle spines across the country.

Wayne Pivac's Wales side will be in Llanelli until December amid the coronavirus pandemic

Wayne Pivac's Wales side will be in Llanelli until December amid the coronavirus pandemic

Wayne Pivac’s Wales side will be in Llanelli until December amid the coronavirus pandemic

‘A standard acoustic play-out of a track doesn’t really work, so ours comes with a proper supported choir back-drop,’ says Luff.

‘There will be an additional PA pitch-side, so the players can hear it and sing along properly, to make sure it doesn’t bounce around an empty stadium. It’s a moment for them.

‘Hopefully Alun Wyn Jones is becoming the world’s most capped player, so we want to make sure everything we do ensures we can create those moments we do best.’

At kick-off the rugby will take over. Wales will be in Llanelli until December as their fans are on sofas; it will take two months to fully de-commission the Principality Stadium and convert it level-by-level back into the famous rugby venue.

Whenever that day comes – financially and spiritually – Wales will be desperate to return home.

‘Having fans back will bring the soul back and what live sport is all about,’ concludes Luff.

‘Nothing beats a packed out stadium. The fans make the spectacle – them coming back safely can’t come soon enough. Hopefully that will be in February for the Six Nations.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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