Friday, 28 June 2013

Iniesta saves Albacete from drop by stumping up €240k

Iniesta saves Albacete from drop by stumping up €240k

Iniesta saves Albacete from drop by stumping up €240k

The Segunda Division B outfit would have been demoted had their former youth team player not bailed them out at the 11th hour
Andres Iniesta has rescued Albacete from relegation by stumping up €240,000 owed to the club's players.

The cash-strapped Segunda Division B outfit would have been demoted to the fourth tier of Spanish football on administrative grounds had they not settled the debt by noon on Friday.

However, Iniesta, the largest shareholder in the club at which he began his career, came to their aid, paying the outstanding wage bill out of his own pocket.

It is not the first time the 29-year-old has come to the rescue of Albacete as he injected €420,000 into the club in 2011.

Iniesta, who lined up for Spain in Thursday night's Confederations Cup semi-final clash with Italy, spent two years at Albacete before joining Barcelona's youth academy as a 12-year-old in 1996. --------------------------

Arshavin slams 'boring' Arsenal

Arshavin slams 'boring' Arsenal

Arshavin slams 'boring' Arsenal

The Russia international was allowed to leave the club on a free transfer after losing his place in the side, and has expressed his frustration with life on the substitutes bench
Zenit winger Andrey Arshavin has claimed he "nearly suffered depression" because he was so bored during his final season with Arsenal.

Arshavin became the clubs’ record signing after arriving in a €17.5 million deal from Zenit St Petersburg in 2009 but re-joined the Russian club on Thursday following the expiration of his Gunners contract.

The 32-year-old featured in just seven league games in the 2012-13 campaign and suggested it felt like "punishment" to train each week knowing a first-team place was out of reach.

"The fact is I didn’t want to stay in England, this was clear since January," Arshavin told Sport Express.

"I don’t regret anything, but I had to leave.

"It was a punishment sat on the bench. To train even though you know you won’t play – it is psychologically difficult.

"I nearly suffered depression, but I didn’t because I’m mentally strong. The monotony of life there was crushing me."

Arshavin was the highest profile name in a list of 14 players not offered new contracts at the club this summer, allowing him to officially join his former club on July 1.

Zenit are looking to regain the Russian Premier League title from rivals CSKA Moscow, who trumped them to the prize by just two points last season. -----------------------



about 1 minute ago
Former Super Eagles Head Coach, Austin Eguavoen, said on Thursday that the team’s concentration level at the ongoing Confederations Cup in Brazil was their major undoing.

Eguavoen told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the team could have stayed longer at the tournament, if they had sustained their level of intensity in all their matches.

The former ACB FC of Lagos and Gent FC of Belgium defender emphasised the need for the Stephen Keshi-led technical crew to work more on the team’s attack line.

``In my assessment of our performance from the opening match with Tahiti, we were brilliant. We could have scored more, but we couldn’t.

``And mind you, we missed some players that would have been part of the struggle.

``In our match against Uruguay, even when we fought so hard, our major undoing was lack of
concentration, but in all, I give it to them that they did well,’’ he said.

Eguavoen, who was a member of the Super Eagles squad that won the 1994 edition of the AFCON in Tunisia, stressed that the Eagles must step up their game against the big teams.

He noted that the team initially kept pace with World Champions Spain in their last group match, but eventually lost out because they could not convert gilt-edged chances into goals. -------------------------- complete sports



about 9 hours ago
Obuh’s boys draw Group F runners-up

Olarenwaju Kayode's first goal of FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 was enough to see the Flying Eaglesof Nigeria through to the second round of the competition after a hard fought 1-0 defeat of Korea Thursday in Istanbul.

The Asian now need to wait on other results to know if they could progress to the next stage as one of the four ‘best losers.'

Nigeria took the lead inside ten minutes, thanks to Kayode's first goal of the tournament – having
struck three times at Colombia 2011. He was assisted by captain fantastic Abdul Ajagun, who swung in a superb free-kick from the left and an unmarked Kayode headed home beyond Korean goalkeeper, Lee Changguen.

Korea's marking at set-pieces was awful, leaving a lot to be desired, with the 16-year-old Onyinye
Ndidi rising above all in red to head just wide. The West Africans' were in complete control of the
early exchanges, with Kayode almost doubling his tally from a tight angle after a fine ball from
Olaitan Michael.

His next chance would have been a candidate for goal of the tournament. Song Juhun forced the
Heartland FC forward wide after a high ball, but from the right side of the penalty area, Kayode
hooked the ball back and was agonizingly close to scoring a superb lob.

The South Koreans were lacking the rhythm that had so impressed against Portugal, with that
disjointed nature continuing into the second period, while Nigeria were producing some fine flowing football at times. ---------------------- complete sports



about 9 hours ago
Ex-Eagles star warns against West Brom striker’s recall to Eagles Former Super Eagles player, Taiwo Oloyede, has reacted to the widely reported plan of coach Stephen Keshi to recall West Brom of England striker Osaze Odemwingie to the senior national team, saying the fair-skinned player should be asked to tender unreserved public apology to Nigerians before extending any invitation to him, following his twitter rants recently.

The ex-Stationary Stores of Lagos player who spoke to Complete Sports said he was of the opinion that Super Eagles coach Stephen

Keshi is still on the right track despite the team’s inability to go beyond the first round of the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil, insisting that the soccer tactician should be focused on how to improve on the present team.

“We should all understand that the Confederations Cup is as good as the World Cup and all the teams that took part in the tournament are champions of various continents and if the Super Eagles were not able to go beyond the first round, we should all understand that they need to learn from there. ------------------------------- Complete Sports

Del Piero rejects Ajaccio move

Del Piero rejects Ajaccio move

28 June 2013
Alessandro Del Piero has turned down a move to Ligue 1 club Ajaccio.
The Corsican outfit, who appointed Del Piero's compatriot and former Juventus team-mate Fabrizio Ravanelli as their new manager earlier in the month, have revealed that they made an approach for the 38-year-old as they try to add to their squad ahead of the new season.
Del Piero - who left Juventus to join Sydney FC in September 2012 - initially agreed to move to the Stade Francois Coty, but has since had a change of heart, opting to remain with the A-League club, who will be aiming to secure their second league title when the new campaign starts in October.
A statement on Ajaccio's official website read: "For several weeks now, the club has been in advanced talks with the famous Italian striker Alessandro Del Piero. Aged 38 and currently a Sydney FC player, the striker won’t come to AC Ajaccio after all.
"After finding an agreement in principle, Alessandro Del Piero has decided to continue his adventure in Australia for family reasons."
Ajaccio finished 17th in Ligue 1 last term, narrowly avoiding relegation on the final day of the season.
Del Piero made 24 appearances for Sydney during the previous A-League campaign, scoring 14 goals. ---------------------- SoccerWay

From shoe shop to Super League

From shoe shop to Super League

London teenager Harry Little went from working in a local shoe shop to making his Super League debut away at Wakefield last weekend.
Little, 19, was voted man of the match by his fellow players, and has been included in Tony Rea's 19-man squad for this weekend's game against Salford.
The centre, who was scouted in 2012 at the Rosslyn Park Sevens tournament, has been juggling part-time rugby training with his day job.
He said: "Even this week we had training on Tuesday, we finished about 2pm and I had to be in the shoe shop at 3pm, so it’s sort of like living two lives. It’s worth it.
"The call up was really unexpected to be honest. I was called into training on Friday and I thought I was just getting the experience in. I was really excited and it was good to get the opportunity.
"Obviously Super League was a hope, but it hadn’t even come into my mind this year. Getting the call was one of those ambitions you’ve always had.
"It was good to get my first chance, once you’ve had the experience of Super League you just want to keep doing it." ---------------------- Love Rugby League

'Fifa could never have imagined Brazil would react like this' - the troubled tale of the Confederations Cup

The dress rehearsal has unearthed more problems than solutions ahead of next year's World Cup finals, as Goal's reporting team in the host cities discovered

In Brazil: Greg Stobart, Kris Voakes, Eric Gomez & Luiz Moura

The Confederations Cup comes to a close on Sunday with the final that Fifa, and much of the viewing public, would have wished to see. But while Brazil versus Spain in the Maracana represents the dream setting that the governing body would dearly love to see repeated in the summer of 2014, the tournament has produced a host of concerns that will require swift resolution before the true eyes of the world are upon them.

Goal's team of reporters, covering the tournament from all of the host cities, have witnessed the logistical and political issues that have made this event as memorable for issues off the pitch, as the stunning goals on it.


The streets of Brazil's major cities have felt safe to walk during the tournament, but locals are angered that the massive police presence on the streets is absent on a normal day. Their stories are somewhat more cautionary, claiming they would usually hail a taxi to travel as little as 200 yards after dark.

When the anti-government protests commenced, initially the security response was regimented and organised, allowing demonstrators to make themselves heard.

Yet as the events have taken a more hostile tone, so has the police reaction. Last week, as 300,000 people marched through the centre of Rio, the repercussions were hails of rubber bullets and tear gas. It represented a loss of control from a police perspective, and newspaper front pages the next morning condemned the escalating unrest.

And while Brazil booked their place in the final on the pitch in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday, they did so against the backdrop of tear gas emanating into the stadium as police and the public again clashed outside.

As the World Cup edges closer and the protests show no signs of abating, Fifa will want to know how the Brazilian government will ensure the safety of fans, players and staff.


Fifa could never have imagined that Brazilians, football fans without condition, would react as violently to hosting a tournament as they have in the past two weeks.

It began with bad timing; the Confederations Cup commenced immediately after several local governments had raised bus fares, giving people a cause to march against.

In just a few days, protesters added a multitude of other issues to their agenda. The fight against corruption, against unpopular projects soon to be voted into congress, and against the amount of public money spent in building stadiums, without the previously promised improvements in the cities, all became part of the debate. This feeling of dissatisfaction has been clear in all the protests organised on matchdays, almost all of which culminated in violent confrontations.

The fear now is that groups connected to controversial political figures could rise and take advantage of the general instability. Next year's World Cup takes place only three months before the elections for president, governor and congress.

However, Fifa can root for one particular outcome, as secretary general Jerome Valcke observed - if Brazil win the Confederations Cup, it will imbue a degree of calm in the nation.


The arenas may have looked spectacular on TV, but the matchday attendee has had a fair bit to negotiate before taking up their seat.

In Brasilia, the first-class stadium bowl belies the chaos behind the scenes. The Estadio Nacional, which will be home to a fourth-division club by the time the World Cup is over, has distinctly fourth-division surroundings and organisation. Slightly to the north-west of the town centre, its approach consists mainly of dirt tracks and pebbled car parks and walkways.

Elsewhere, Salvador's Arena Fonte Nova is surrounded on all four sides by run-down favelas, leaving locals with a constant reminder of where government money has been spent.

In addition, the stadium surroundings remain far from complete. In Salvador, cones directed vehicles into a new traffic-flow system which has yet to be completed, while a road outside one of the main entrances was being tarmaced on the afternoon before Nigeria and Uruguay squared off in the stadium's opening fixture.

The Mineirao in Belo Horizonte has at least retained much of the feel of a true Brazilian experience. It lies on the outskirts of the city, but that is one of its only downsides. And, of course, it is ready. The World Cup will be a better place with more arenas like it.


Uruguay captain Diego Lugano perhaps said it best when asked about logistical issues ahead of his side's semi-final against Brazil, stating simply: "Brazil is a country with a lot of traffic. That's just the way it is."
Public transport can certainly be better. In Brasilia, there are only two metro lines, and even then both service the same route until 20 kilometres away from the centre of town. Belo Horizonte, meanwhile, has just one line and Salvador has no such mode of transport. Taxis are plentiful in all three cities, but come at a cost.

The bus is by far the most common mode of public transport, the reason why price increases sparked the initial disorder. But given the clogged roads, it is also the slowest. The traffic in and around the arenas, almost without exception, is an ordeal to negotiate.

Rio's transport network is far more advanced than in other Brazilian cities, in no small part down to the fact that the city will also host the Olympics in 2016. Three metro stations serve the Maracana, with trains at regular intervals and the subway - which is clean, air-conditioned and privately owned - free to use for ticket-holders.


As anyone lucky enough to attend a home nation fixture during this Confederations Cup will attest to, the Brazilian torcida is a spectacle all of its own. The passionate singing of the national anthem truly inspires goosebumps.

Fans attending the matches are well aware of the protests, but their focus is plainly on football. When asked, most share the view that the political statements are healthy and ultimately positive, but that the associated violence will lead nowhere.

The warmth and willingness of locals to strike up a conversation with anyone they perceive to be a non-Brazilian is welcoming, and they know that the Confederations Cup is serving as their preview to next year's main event. A Brazilian win in the final on Sunday may go some way to appeasing those in opposition to the merits of bringing the World Cup home for the first time since 1950. ---------------------

Messi relishing Neymar link-up

Messi visited Senegal to promote an anti-malaria campaign on Thursday

Messi relishing Neymar link-up

Messi visited Senegal to promote an anti-malaria campaign on Thursday
The Argentine is looking forward to playing alongside the Brazil star and thinks the arrival of Pep Guardiola makes Bayern Munich even stronger

 Lionel Messi is eagerly anticipating teaming up with Neymar next season and hopes the former Santos star can replicate his Brazil form at Barcelona.

The 21-year-old has been in fine form at the Confederations Cup, netting three goals and setting up two more to lead Brazil to the final of the competition, and Messi hopes there's more to come from his new team-mate at club level.

"Neymar really is a great player and I have no doubt that he will contribute a lot," the Argentine was quoted as saying by Sport.

"I hope that he can keep up his current form at Brazil with Barcelona in the new season."

The prolific attacker then went on to discuss the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti as Real Madrid coach and thinks the Santiago Bernabeu side will be back challenging for the Liga title again in 2013-14.

"Barcelona's goal will again be to fight for all trophies. We will have to compete against a great team, though. It will not be easy because Madrid have some great players.

"They already had a good coach before and have now found another great one."

Messi also had his say on Pep Guardiola's move to Bayern and believes that the former Barca boss will make the Champions League winners even stronger.

"Bayern were already a great team before Pep's arrival. They won it all last season and have some fine players. The arrival of Guardiola will only make them stronger."

Guardiola started pre-season with Bayern earlier this week. ---------------------------

Give AVB credit for Bale form – Ardiles

Give AVB credit for Bale form – Ardiles

28th June 2013 7:00am BST
Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas deserves credit for Gareth Bale’s outstanding form last season, according to former Spurs player and manager Ossie Ardiles.
The 23-year-old picked up the PFA player of the year and young player of the year awards after a scintillating season with the north Londoners during which he scored 26 goals.
Ardiles, who won the FA Cup and Uefa Cup as a Tottenham player, thinks the club’s Portuguese manager should receive plaudits for his decision to give Bale more freedom in the Spurs line-up
He told SportsDirect News: “It’s very important [for Spurs to keep Gareth Bale this summer].
"He’s had a great season; he won the player of the year and the young player of the year so clearly it was a fantastic season for him.
“But a lot of credit has to go the AVB because he put him [Bale] in a kind of free role – one striker and Bale behind or sometimes he put Bale on the right whereas before he was just used as a left winger only.
“If Spurs lose him they will suffer. It’s not going to be easy to replace him.” -------------------- SPORTSDIRECT NEWS

WWE Star CM Punk Gets 2-Year Restraining Order Against Mom

WWE Star CM Punk
Gets 2-Year Restraining Order Against Mom
CM Punk
's legal wish has been granted -- a judge has issued a 2-year restraining order against the WWE superstar's estranged mother after she allegedly bombarded him with threats, TMZ has learned.

We broke the story ... Punk filed legal docs in Illinois claiming his mom threatened to commit suicide several times after he stopped giving her money to pay for her living situation. Punk also claimed his mom had threatened to expose humiliating secrets from his past.

Punk had already received a temporary restraining order against his mom -- but today, the judge decided to extend the order of protection for 2 years.

Punk had asked the court to also ban his mom from WWE wrestling events -- but it's unclear if the judge signed off on that request as well.

Read more:

The Rock ranks 25th on Forbes ‘Most Powerful Celebrities’ 2013 rankings

The Rock ranks 25th on Forbes ‘Most Powerful Celebrities’ 2013 rankings

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has gone from being one of the WWE’s biggest superstars into one of the world’s most powerful celebrities. According to on June 26, The Rock is the 25th most powerful celebrity in the world.

When The Rock entered Hollywood originally, it seemed like the sky was the limit. His fans loved his action movies and he also threw in some quirky roles to go along with it, learning all he could. He then hit the big time with more family oriented movies, but when his core fans began to tune out those movies, and “The Tooth Fairy” was a flop, The Rock switched things up.
He went back to action movies and then became the band-aid for dying franchises. It is mostly thanks to his efforts in saving both the “Fast and the Furious” and “G.I. Joe” franchises that helped The Rock become a powerful man in Hollywood, helping make the studios millions of dollars. Next up, The Rock will play Hercules in a Brett Ratner movie and then he is rumored at hitting another franchise, playing opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Terminator 5.”
For his take on his ranking as the 25th most powerful celebrity in the world, The Rock talked about starting out wrestling in flea markets and alluded that hard work will always pay off with the hashtag #EmbraceTheGrind. The Rock ranked higher on the Forbes Most Powerful Celebrities list than Tom Cruise, Mark Wahlberg, Will Smith and Donald Trump. --------------------

76ers select Carter-Williams, deal Holiday

76ers select Carter-Williams, deal Holiday

Modified: June 28, 2013 at 12:50 am • Published: June 28, 2013
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers are taking another gamble on a big man with bad knees.
With the Andrew Bynum debacle seemingly behind them, the Sixers made a splash Thursday night in the NBA draft when they acquired Nerlens Noel from New Orleans for All-Star guard Jrue Holiday.
Noel, out of Kentucky, had a March 12 operation to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. The 6-foot-10 post player expects to return to the court by Christmas, a long road back likely to involve countless hours of rehabilitation.
A person familiar with the trade says the Pelicans sent Noel, the sixth overall pick, and a protected 2014 first-round pick to the Sixers for Holiday and the Sixers' second-round selection — 42nd overall — in this year's draft. The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced.
Noel was still wearing a New Orleans Pelicans hat in New York when he learned he was traded.
"They've got a great organization there, too. I'm just staying positive about everything," he said. "It shows how much confidence they have in me. I'm just looking to get down there and work hard."
With the Sixers suddenly in the market for a point guard, they selected Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams with the 11th pick.
Carter-Williams, a 6-foot-6, 185-pound guard, played two seasons at Syracuse. He led the Orange in assists (7.3) and steals (2.8) and averaged 11.9 points last season.
General manager Sam Hinkie came out swinging in his first draft running the team. Hinkie traded the Sixers' best player and acquired a big man to go along with a bounty of draft picks for next season.
The Sixers were in the draft lottery mostly because Bynum never played a game for them because of bone bruises in both his knees. Philadelphia also cleared Holiday's $41 million contract off the books, giving them plenty of cap space to continue to reshape a team that went 34-48 last season. The Sixers still have not hired a coach two months after Doug Collins resigned.
Hinkie said he has not yet interviewed any candidates for the vacancy. Michael Curry, who worked on Collins' staff, will coach the 76ers summer league team.
Hired on May 14, Hinkie made his first draft night a memorable one by sending Holiday to New Orleans. Hinkie could not yet discuss the trade, but alluded to the difficulty of dealing the popular All-Star.
"It was a challenging night in a bunch of ways with one gut-wrenching phone call," Hinkie said. "All in all, I think the right thing to do." ---------------------- NEWSOK

NBA Draft 2013: Behind the scenes with Michael Carter-Williams

NBA Draft 2013: Behind the scenes with Michael Carter-Williams

Published 1 hour and 30 minutes ago

NEW YORK—Michael Carter-Williams was just getting started. You might think that, in the wake of hearing your name called on NBA draft night, your next step is into a town car and off to a Manhattan establishment for dinner and revelry. Not exactly.
Michael Carter-Williams was chosen No. 11 in the NBA draft and will play with Nerlens Noel, the No. 6 pick and one of his best friends, for the 76ers. (AP Photo)
Instead, what happens is this: You’re handed over to a league employee, who carries with her a checklist of obligations each player must fulfill, starting with, “Player shakes hands with David Stern on stage,” rolling through two live television interviews and a live radio interview, followed by a press conference with print and Internet reporters.
MORE: Anthony Bennett was shocked | Noel traded to 76ers | NBA Draft first round
Then comes the gauntlet—the TV Live Shot Room. Ten interviews with a variety of outlets, including NBA TV, ABC, CBS, NBC and Comcast Sports. Oh, and also on the list is a talk with two diminutive reporters from the NBA wing that reaches out to kids, Hoop Troop. The Live Shot Room is a lively place, draft prospects milling about among the booths of television interviewers, NBA employees directing them from spot to spot.
It’s also a powerful place. When Carter-Williams sat down with Craig Sager for his NBATV spot, he was doing an interview that would be beamed into 61 million homes. When he did a chat with the NBA’s social media team, he was on a platform that has more than 410 million ‘likes’ and followers combined, on a website that had a record 9.5 billion page views. For his stint in that spotlight then, Carter-Williams was very, very famous.
The Live Shot Room is not, however, a fun place. After the third or fourth interview, having answered the same questions six or seven times, most prospects look physically winded. That may be why the area is off-limits for most. But Carter-Williams agreed to let Sporting News tail him throughout his draft night, and it was here in the Live Shot Room, after just his second interview, that Carter-Williams got a message from an NBA official.
Check your phone, he was told. There is a message, from a 215 area code. It’s Sam Hinkie.
Less than an hour earlier, Hinkie—the new general manager of the Sixers—had changed Carter-Williams’ life, choosing him with the No. 11 pick in the draft. Naturally, he wanted to talk to his new player. But there was a problem: Carter-Williams’ phone was dead. He shrugged. “What do you think I should do?” he asked an NBA official. It was decided that he should simply finish out his interviews, and contact Hinkie afterwards.
Heck, he still had eight interview sessions left to go.

Carter-Williams is, of course, a sophomore point guard from Syracuse. He played just 10.3 minutes per game last year, but came into his own this year, averaging 11.9 points and 7.3 assists for the Orange, and establishing himself as one of the top point guards in the nation.
Coming into the draft, though, he had little idea of where his stock stood. Despite his obvious playmaking skill, and the fact that he is 6-6, scouts had questions about Carter-Williams, starting with his poor shooting—he shot just 39.3 percent from the field as a sophomore. He is also thin, just 184 pounds. Would he have the strength and physical stamina to withstand an 82-game season?
I stood with him in the green room about a half hour before the draft was scheduled to start. He was rumored to be on the board for the Pelicans at No. 6, though it was conceivable that he could slip out of the lottery altogether. “I have no idea,” he said. “I haven’t been told anything, my agent hasn’t been told anything. Your guess is as good as mine.”
It wasn’t until Noel was finally picked by New Orleans at No. 6 that Carter-Williams got his first inkling of what was going to happen. Noel was traded by the Pelicans almost immediately after he was chosen, going to the Sixers for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday. Carter-Williams had been somewhat baffled last weekend when the Sixers asked him in for a workout, just days before the draft. Carter-Williams can play some shooting guard, but he is a point guard at his essence. If the Sixers had Holiday, why were they working out Carter-Williams?
“I almost didn’t go to that workout,” he said. “It didn’t seem to make sense. But I figured, I will go, I will get through it and just finish it and move on. I figured it couldn’t hurt. I am definitely glad I went.”
Is he ever. Not only will he walk into a situation in which he will take over the starting point guard spot from Day One, he will be doing so with Noel. Carter-Williams grew up in Hamilton, Mass., and Noel grew up in Everett, Mass. They’ve been friends for years, and played on the same AAU team.
“Seriously, he is one of my best friends,” Carter-Williams said, beaming a smile. “It is just unbelievable the way it worked out.”

Carter-Williams entered the NBA’s Live Shot Room at 9:05 p.m. It was well after 10 when Carter-Williams sat down for his final interview, with Comcast in Philadelphia. Before going on camera, his interviewer asked whether he was a Sixers fan growing up. No, Carter Williams informed him, saying he grew up near Boston and was a fan of the Celtics.
“Maybe I will start with that,” the interviewer suggested. “Who is your favorite team?”
“I don’t know if I want to start off with that,” Carter-Williams said. “I don’t think people in Philadelphia would like that, a Boston fan. I am a Sixers fan now.”
Now that’s some high basketball IQ.
When he was done with television, Carter-Williams had been grinding through the interview circuit for more than 75 minutes. Keep in mind that, after the most momentous point in his life, he hugged his parents and his stepfather, went to shake Stern’s hand, and had not seen his family since.
“It was a lot,” Carter-Williams said. “It’s just interviews but it wears you out. I am anxious to go see my family.”
There was still one more to go, an interview with Sirius satellite radio. Carter-Williams sat down, holding a microphone. The interviewer began by saying, “We’re here at the NBA Draft with C.J. McCollum …” Carter-Williams politely shook his head. Um, no.
“Sorry, we’re here with Michael Carter-Williams. Sorry, it has been a long night.”
At 10:50, Carter-Williams had moved on from the interviews and was taking post-draft photos for the NBA in a curtained-off area behind the draft stage. That was when his family contingent wandered back to the area and was directed to his booth.
It has been a difficult year for Carter-Williams’ family. In March, when Syracuse was playing for a spot in the Sweet 16, he noticed his mother had begun to cry in the stands. During a break, he tried to find out what was wrong with her. She didn’t want to upset him, so she pretended things were fine. In fact, the house she shared with Carter-Williams’ stepfather in Hamilton caught on fire, and nearly everything in it had burned. Only after Syracuse beat California that night did she tell her son what had happened.
When Carter-Williams emerged from the photo area, he saw his family for the first time in three hours. Immediately, he hugged his mother. “That was hard, of course,” Carter-Williams said. “But this is kind of the reward. We have been so focused on this now that, really, we’re not even worried about it anymore.”
The 11th spot in the draft, likely a starting job on a young team, alongside one of his best friends. It might have been a grind of a night for Carter-Williams. But as he left the Barclay’s Center bound for a Manhattan dinner, he was much more focused on the reward. --------------------------- SportingNews NBA

Riots! What riots? FIFA's official World Cup champagne announced amid Brazilian social unrest

Riots! What riots? FIFA's official World Cup champagne announced amid Brazilian social unrest

Ever the grand arbiters of taste, the FIFA bods figured now was the best time to announce such a deal
Taittinger was today announced as FIFA's official champagne of World Cup 2014 - while embers still smouldered in Belo Horizonte from violent unrest.
Protests have marred this month's Confederations Cup as ordinary Brazilians took to the street to express their disgust at the misuse of public funds, including the hosting the global football showpiece.
Police and the BOPE - Brazilian special forces - have retaliated to protests across the country with the use of tear gas and rubber bullets, a response condemned by international onlookers.
Protests in pictures: ONE MILLION demonstrators take to the streets
MirrorFootball's Jack Lang last week described how Brazil's footballers had taken the brave and unusual step of supporting the protests, while FIFA President Sepp Blatter brashly complained that people shouldn't be using his competition to give visibility to their protest:
“I can understand that people are not happy, but they should not use football to make their demands heard," Blatter told Brazilian newspaper O Globo.
“Brazil asked to host the World Cup. We didn’t force it on them,” he oinked unsympathetically.
FIFA's ill-timed announcement will do nothing to abate anger in Brazil at the conduct of world football's governing body.
Estado de Minas - the local newspaper for Belo Horizonte, the city that hosted Brazil's semi-final win over Uruguay on Wednesday - led with "Brazil wins, Belo Horizonte loses" and a picture of the blazing city.

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Manchester United's Leighton Baines chase puts Everton on collision course with former manager Moyes

Manchester United's Leighton Baines chase puts Everton on collision course with former manager Moyes

Toffees instantly reject initial £12m bid but may sell for close to £20m...Trouble is, champions don't want to pay more than £15m
Higher and higher: Everton will want top dollar if they sell Baines
Higher and higher: Everton will want top dollar if they sell Baines
Michael Regan
David Moyes will have to battle his old club to land Leighton Baines after Everton rejected his £12million offer for the England defender.
Everton have been bracing themselves all summer for an approach from their former boss to take Baines with him to Manchester United, and they immediately rebuffed his opening salvo when it finally came on Thursday.
The Toffees feel Moyes' bid hugely undervalues Baines, who was acclaimed as the Premier League’s best left-back last season.
Although Everton maintain Baines is not for sale because he is such a key figure in their team, it is understood they may do business if Moyes offers around £20m.
That stance will put Moyes on collision course with his former employers as it is believed he does not want to pay more than £15m to bring the ex-Wigan star to the Old Trafford giants.
Moyes' predecessor, Sir Alex Ferguson, ran into a similar brick wall when he enquired after Baines last summer.
Fergie baulked when word came back that he would need to stump up £18m to convince Moyes to sell.
Although Ferguson felt Baines was the ideal long-term successor to Patrice Evra, he was not prepared to pay what he felt was over the odds and instead bought Vitesse Arnhem's Alex Buttner for around £4m.
Everton do not believe Baines has depreciated 12 months on.
He also has two years left on his current contract, and is in his prime at 28.
The Toffees are determined to fight to hold on to one of their two most-prized assets.
They plan to offer Baines a new deal that will make him their joint best-paid player, alongside their other crown jewel, Marouane Fellaini.
Chairman Bill Kenwright briefed new manager Roberto Martinez - back in England on Friday after the Confederations Cup - on Baines’ position on Thursday night.
Kenwright claims Martinez wants to preserve the squad he inherited from Moyes.
“It’s difficult for me talking for Roberto, but he thinks the squad is fantastic,” he said.
“He wants to hold onto it, but he also wants to bring in two or three players in the positions were we need them.”

Ex-Warrior Arenas arrested with 100 pounds of fireworks

Ex-Warrior Arenas arrested with 100 pounds of fireworks
June 27, 2013, 10:00 am

Former Warrior Gilbert Arenas was caught with 100 pounds of illegal fireworks early Thursday morning in Los Angeles. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
Former Warrior Gilbert Arenas, who hasn't played in the NBA since the 2011-'12 season, was arrested early Thursday morning for speeding, driving without a license, and possession of 100 pounds of illegal fireworks.
TMZ Sports reports that Arenas, who averaged 15.6 points in 129 games with Golden State from 2001-2003, was booked for misdemeanor possession and released without bail.
LAPD called in a bomb squad to handle what a TMZ cameraman counted as 20 boxes of fireworks after catching Arenas driving 80 mph in a Ford pickup truck around 2:30 am Thursday.
Arenas was sentenced to 30 days in a halfway house and suspended for 50 games in the 2009-'10 season for a locker room incident with then-Wizards teammate Javaris Crittenton in which Arenas brandished a gun.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard hopes Manchester United "wobble" without retired manager Alex Ferguson

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard hopes Manchester United "wobble" without retired manager Alex Ferguson

"From a biased point of view" Reds star wants change of boss to hurt their biggest rivals but he admits Moyes is world-class too
Happy days: Gerrard and Liverpool's fans have their fingers crossed United's crown will slip
Happy days: Gerrard and Liverpool's fans have their fingers crossed United's crown will slip
Andrew Powell
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard hopes arch-rivals Manchester United will have a "wobble" without Sir Alex Ferguson as manager.
The Anfield giants' on-pitch leader has tremendous respect for Fergie's successor, David Moyes, after years of facing his Everton teams in Merseyside derbies and believes he can carry on the Old Trafford success story.
But the die-hard Kopite in Gerrard hopes United will go downhill under Moyes.
"They have replaced a world-class manager with another, who has done a fantastic job at Everton," he said. "So I think David will continue to do a good job there.
"It's new for Manchester United. From a biased point of view, let's hope they have a wobble!"
Gerrard expects the champions to be the team to beat again, but feels next season's title race will be more competitive than this year's turned out to be, as United cantered home with an 11-point cushion.
Best season... ever? Will Liverpool and the rest catch up with United in 2013-14?
Matthew Peters
 "I think they have too many good players to fall out of the title race," said the England star. "They have world-class players and I expect them to fight for the league again.
"There's no getting away from it, the competition in the Premier League is going to get stronger and stronger.
"Manchester City are going to add to their squad, Jose Mourinho is back at Chelsea and we are going to make numerous signings.
"Tottenham and Arsenal are going to come back again... so I think we are in for a very interesting Premier League campaign."

Carlos Tevez causing trouble at Juventus already just hours after transfer from Manchester City

Carlos Tevez causing trouble at Juventus already just hours after transfer from Manchester City

Turin giants' fans are angry new boy has been given the No.10 shirt previously worn by legends Del Piero, Baggio and Platini
Wrong number? Tevez has been given Juve's iconic No.10 shirt
Wrong number? Tevez has been given Juve's iconic No.10 shirt
Carlos Tevez has walked into a fresh controversy at Juventus because some fans are unhappy with him being given the club’s iconic No 10 shirt.
The fabled number of Michel Platini and Roberto Baggio was last worn by Alessandro Del Piero in 2012, and a section of supporters feel it is wrong Tevez has been handed it after joining from Manchester City.
Juve's No 10 jersey was unused last season after Del Piero opposed the club’s suggestion to retire it and fans feel Tevez does not deserve this honour.
The striker - well used to controversy from his time at City and West Ham - claimed at his Thursday unveiling that he understands the responsibility of wearing this special shirt.
“I feel the responsibility of wearing this number and I’m aware of the great responsibility of representing Juventus and playing for the club, so this number is certainly a great challenge,” he said.
“Top players have worn it before and I was No 10 with Boca Juniors before - Maradona played in it too. So the great responsibility is now I’m going to play for this great club so certainly the greatest challenge is for me to do my best.
“Obviously I didn’t want to forget Del Piero, who was the last player to wear No 10. He is a person and player who I greatly respect and who certainly represents an emblem and symbol of esteem.
“It is a great pleasure and honour to wear this jersey with his number.”
Tevez, 29, also admitted he was determined to quit City after four years at the Etihad despite the sacking of his nemesis Roberto Mancini.
Tevez had a huge row with Mancini following his Munich mutiny in September 2011 and did not want to stay, even when the club replaced the Italian with Manuel Pellegrini.
“I thank Manchester City for the beautiful years they gave me,” said the former City skipper, who has cost Juventus £7.6million rising to £12.74million.
“I talked to Pellegrini, telling him that I wanted to go away from Manchester City because I considered my cycle ended there.”
Carlos Tevez undertakes medical examinations at Juventus
Vested interest: Tevez completes his Juventus medical
 Tevez has promised “respect” for his new coach Antonio Conte and “full responsibility” for his actions.
The low point of his time at City came when he refused to come as substitute during a Champions League match, and asked how he can operate under Conte, who is also known for an explosive personality, Tevez said: “With one word - respect.”
Tevez cannot completely sever his ties with England yet and it is understood he must finish the 250-hour community service order he has given in April for flouting a driving ban.
The Argentine has until next April to complete his sentence and his focus is on helping Juve defend the Scudetto and succeed in the Champions League.
“I do feel the obligation and desire to win the Scudetto with Juventus, and obviously everybody wants to win the Champions League,” he said.
“I do feel Juventus is now a very strong team so that is our dream, but we want to take it gradually and slowly.”

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Chelsea will go all-out to sign Robert Lewandowski under Man United and City's noses if Cavani says no

Chelsea will go all-out to sign Robert Lewandowski under Man United and City's noses if Cavani says no

Premier League trio have all been linked with the striker Borussia Dortmund are refusing to sell to rivals Bayern Munich
Plan B: Chelsea will steam in for Lewandowski if Real beat them to Cavani
Plan B: Chelsea will steam in for Lewandowski if Real beat them to Cavani
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is ready to switch his sights back to Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski if Edinson Cavani slips through his grasp.
The Londoners still want to land Napoli hitman Cavani, whose future will be addressed properly now his Uruguay side cannot win the Confederations Cup.
Despite initial talks between Chelsea and the Italians, Cavani's desire to move to Real Madrid seems likely to be a decisive factor.
Chelsea are reluctant to come close to the 26-year-old's £53million buy-out clause, but would be willing to give up forward Fernando Torres in part-exchange.
If Real end up winning the battle to land Cavani, Chelsea will launch an all-out attempt to secure the services of in-demand Lewandowski.
While the Poland international, who has 12 months left on his current deal, has not hidden his wish to join Bayern Munich, Dortmund are refusing to do further business with their biggest rivals after watching Mario Goetze make the same move earlier this summer.
Chelsea do not believe Dortmund, runners-up to Bayern in last season's Bundesliga and European Cup, will want to see a £25m asset leave for nothing next summer - assuming that the Germans will be willing to talk terms.
And with the Blues ready to offer Lewandowski £170,000 a week, the Stamford Bridge outfit hope the Pole can be tempted.
Mourinho, likely to let Demba Ba go this summer as he shakes up Chelsea's squad but keen to utilise the power and presence of Romelu Lukaku, has already identified Lewandowski as the kind of player he could work with.
It is understood that the 24-year-old's brilliant four-goal haul in the Champions League semi-final win over Mourinho's Real helped persuade the Blues' hierarchy he is good enough to play for them.
Chelsea's likely title rivals Manchester United and Manchester City are also keen on bringing the Pole to the Premier League.
But the Blues feel the Mourinho factor may give them a key advantage, if Dortmund recognise they have to sell.

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Run-in with Vettel not a factor in leaving F1: Webber

Run-in with Vettel not a factor in leaving F1: Webber

Run-in with Vettel not a factor in leaving F1: WebberSilverstone (England): Formula 1 driver Mark Webber Thursday said his run-in with Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel during the Malaysian Grand Prix earlier this year played no part in his decision to leave the sport at the end of the year.

The Australian announced Thursday that he would leave Formula 1 at the of the season for sportscar racing in World Endurance Championship (WEC).

On March 24, Webber was leading the Malaysian GP at Sepang and was set for victory until triple World Champion Vettel defied team orders
to hold position, and passed Webber for the win.

Asked if that incident had influenced his signing for Porsche’s sportscar programme from 2014, Webber said: “No, I’ve had a personal plan and I’ve stuck to it. This is the next chapter. Going forward I will remain tightly inside the Red Bull family, working with the brand and watching and supporting fellow Red Bull athletes push the boundaries.”

The 36-year-old stated on his official website that although he had options to stay in F1, the sport was never in his plans for 2014, adding that the chances of returning to F1 is “extremely unlikely”.

“I realise F1 is seen as the absolute pinnacle of motorsport and I’ve worked with some incredible people, in particular (Red Bull technical chief) Adrian Newey. I`ve driven in some of the toughest and most challenging conditions and circuits and against some incredible drivers which I’ll continue to do until the end of the year. Will I miss some of this? Yes, of course, but time doesn’t stand still for anyone and it’s time to move on to my next challenge,” added Webber.

IANS ---------------------------

Murray fears losing against Serena Williams on grass courts

Murray fears losing against Serena Williams on grass courts

Murray fears losing against Serena Williams on grass courtsLondon: British tennis star Andy Murray has said that he believed that he would lose if he played against American ace Serena Williams on grass courts.

Making his admission on Twitter, Murray, who marched into the third round at Wimbledon on Wednesday with a 6-3 6-3 7-5 victory over Taiwanese Yen-Hsun Lu, said that he does not rate his chances against the five-times Wimbledon winner, the Daily Star reports.

Responding to a tennis fan`s comment on Twitter that he reckoned that Williams could beat the World No.2 on grass, Murray replied that he also believed the same, adding that a match should be set up between him and Williams on grass to see how far he can go against the American.

Meanwhile, the report said that Murray fans with tickets for Centre Court in Wimbledon were furious after the No2 seed`s match was relegated to Court One on Wenesday.

Murray got a huge boost on Wednesday as defending champion Roger Federer crashed out to Ukranian Sergiy Stakhovsky, and No.6 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga quit through injury - leaving the Scot with a clear path to the final, the report added.

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Spain 0-0 Italy (7-6 pens): Navas the hero in gripping shoot-out

0 (7) vs 0 (6)
June 27, 2013 8:00 PM WAT
Estádio Governador Plácido Aderaldo Castelo — Fortaleza, Ceará
Referee:‬ H. Webb‎
Attendance:‬ 56083‎
120+2′ (PSO) Xavi
Antonio Candreva 120+1′ (PSO)
120+4′ (PSO) Andrés Iniesta Luján
Alberto Aquilani 120+3′ (PSO)
120+6′ (PSO) Piqué
Daniele De Rossi 120+5′ (PSO)
120+8′ (PSO) Sergio Ramos
Sebastian Giovinco 120+7′ (PSO)
120+10′ (PSO) Juan Mata
Andrea Pirlo 120+9′ (PSO)
120+12′ (PSO) Busquets
Riccardo Montolivo 120+11′ (PSO)
120+14′ (PSO) Jesús Navas González
Top of the Match
Giorgio Chiellini
Giorgio Chiellini
Iker Casillas
Iker Casillas
Flop of the Match
Alberto Gilardino
Alberto Gilardino
Leonardo Bonucci
Leonardo Bonucci

Spain 0-0 Italy (7-6 pens): Navas the hero in gripping shoot-out

La Roja progressed to the Confederations Cup final as the new Manchester City signing slotted home the decisive spot kick after a tight encounter with the Azzurri in Fortaleza

By Tom Webber

Italy vs Spain Confederation Cup
Italy vs Spain Confederation Cup / Getty
Spain booked a date with Brazil in the Confederations Cup final with an 7-6 penalty shoot-out victory over Italy at the Castelao.

Although the World Cup holders stormed to a 4-0 win over the Azzurri in the Euro 2012 final, this encounter proved far more evenly-contested.

Vicente del Bosque's men monopolised possession but lacked a cutting edge in attack, while Italy missed numerous chances throughout as the match ended goalless.

With nothing to separate the two nations the game went to penalties, where Jesus Navas proved to be the hero as he scored the crucial spot kick as the shoot-out finished 7-6 to Spain.

Cesare Prandelli switched to a three-man defence and his side began impressively, despite letting the Spaniards control possession of the ball.

The Azzurri, though, with the Fortaleza crowd backing them, looked superb on the counter-attack. After Alberto Gilardino had failed to pick out the bottom corner from Antonio Candreva's cross, they became increasingly confident and forged yet more chances to find the net.

Christian Maggio was unable to guide a header from Andrea Pirlo's exquisite pass past Iker Casillas in the 17th minute and Daniele De Rossi's glancing header missed the target 60 seconds later.

In the 19th minute Claudio Marchisio missed the best of the bunch, though, as he nodded the ball well wide of the target from Candreva's cushion despite finding plenty of space between the two centre-backs.

That flurry of activity encouraged Spain to reduce the tempo and steady themselves, but the Azzurri were again next to test the opposing goalkeeper.

Jordi Alba was being nullified by the adventurous combination of Candreva and Maggio, and the latter was only denied a goal when a brilliant Casillas save kept his 36th-minute header out of the net.

Spain almost immediately punished Prandelli's side for their profligacy in front of goal one minute later, but after turning Andrea Barzagli in wonderful fashion Fernando Torres could not find a finish to match as he pulled his shot wide of the target.

With La Roja failing to show an increased threat immediately after the restart Del Bosque introduced Jesus Navas in the 50th minute. The new Manchester City signing had a positive impact, calling Gianluigi Buffon into action with a driven shot from 20 yards shortly before the hour mark.

The conditions began to sap the life from the game as Italy lost the intent on the break and Spain continued to lack creativity. Andres Iniesta attempted to take matters into his own hands, yet after a mazy run from the half-way line he sliced an attempt wide of the goal.

There were chances for both sides to win the game in normal time, though neither team could break the deadlock. Marchisio's attempt from a Candreva cutback was blocked by Gerard Pique before Pedro and the Barcelona centre-back wasted two great opportunities to work Buffon, and extra time ensued.

After three minutes of the additional period Italy had their best chance of the night. Maggio's cross rolled through to Emanuele Giaccherini at the back post, whose attempted shot crashed back off of Casillas' post.

The tempo to the game quickly picked up again and Iniesta's beautiful lifted pass over Leonardo Bonucci was volleyed over by Alba in the 99th minute as La Roja got nearer to breaking the deadlock.

With five minutes left to play Xavi was denied an absolutely magnificent winner when his long-range shot was turned onto the post by Buffon. The Juventus keeper was forced to make another save from Navas one minute later to ensure the game went to penalties.

Candreva got Italy off to the perfect start by dinking the first penalty straight down the middle and all subsequent spot kicks were scored until Bonucci skied from 12 yards with the score level at 6-6. Responsibility fell to Navas who slotted the ball home to send Spain into the final.

Spain will now take place in Sunday's final against Brazil at the Maracana, while Italy will contest the third-place play-off against Uruguay in Salvador on the same day.