World Sports News in Brief

Buffon to leave PSG after one season

Thursday, 2019-06-06 05:37:11
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Gianluigi Buffon is to leave Paris St Germain following the expiration of his contract. (Photo: Getty Images)
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Paris St Germain goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will leave the Ligue 1 champions when his contract expires at the end of this month, the French club announced on Wednesday.

Italian Buffon, who joined PSG from Juventus in July last year, played 25 matches in all competitions and won a league title and French Super Cup in his season-long stay in Paris. Buffon made his professional debut for Parma as a 17-year-old in 1995 before moving to Juve where he won nine Serie A and four Coppa Italia titles.

* Brooks Koepka arrived at this week's Canadian Open as the star attraction but said he does not really care about his result as long as he leaves with his game sharp ahead of next week's US Open. The US Open runs from June 13-16 at Pebble Beach, where the 29-year-old has a chance to become the first player in over a century to win the tournament in three consecutive years.

* Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman believes 19-year-old Ajax Amsterdam defender Matthijs de Ligt has only scratched the surface of his potential, but deserves a move to a big club. De Ligt was one of the standout performers for Ajax during their run to the Champions League semi-finals this season and has been linked with several of Europe's leading clubs.

* European champions Portugal handed teenager Joao Felix his international debut for their Nations League semi-final against Switzerland on Wednesday. The 19-year-old Benfica player, being closely observed by some of Europe's biggest clubs, will partner 34-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo in attack.

* Aston Villa have signed Spanish winger Jota from fierce local rivals Birmingham City on a two-year contract, the Premier League club said on Wednesday. Jota, 27, is Villa's first signing since they won promotion to the Premier League, which they sealed with a playoff final win over Derby County last month.

* English Premier League clubs voted on Wednesday to allow replays of incidents reviewed by Video Assistant Referees (VAR) to be shown on big screens in stadiums. VAR, which allows incidents to be reviewed with the help of video replays, was used at last year's World Cup in Russia and this season's Champions League knockout stages and will be implemented in the Premier League from next season.

* United States goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher has big boots to fill at the Women's World Cup as she belatedly earns a chance to be the leading lady on the biggest stage after graduating from her previous role as understudy. Naeher was on the bench at the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Olympics when the larger-than-life Hope Solo was the custodian in goal for the Americans. Solo, an outsize personality who had a commanding presence in the box, made the goalkeeping spot her own for eight years and more than 200 appearances, including at five consecutive major tournaments.

* Alexander Zverev is finding top form at just the right time and is set to present a considerable Roland Garros barrier to top seed Novak Djokovic, said Boris Becker. Djokovic and Zverev had been due to clash later on Wednesday in the top quarter-final, but persistent rain has meant no singles play has started, and it is looking increasingly unlikely that the pair will manage to play. Becker, who coached Djokovic for three years, thinks his fellow German is primed to give him a run for his money.

* Liverpool's Champions League goal hero Divock Origi is hoping he will get to stay at the club but conceded on Wednesday he has an uncertain future at Anfield. Belgian striker scored the second goal in last Saturday's 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the final in Madrid and is now preparing for his country's Euro 2020 qualifiers against Kazakhstan on Saturday and Scotland next week.

* Trinidad and Tobago held a tired-looking Japan to a 0-0 draw during an uninspiring friendly at Toyota Stadium in Aichi on Wednesday. Japan have played 15 games since the World Cup, having reached the finals of the Asian Games and Asian Cup, and Hajime Moriyasu's men looked fatigued, failing to break down Trinidad and Tobago, ranked 67 places below them.

* Four of the survivors in French Open women's singles face the prospect of playing three days in a row to win the title after heavy rain washed out the day's action on Wednesday. Defending champion Simona Halep's quarter-final against Amanda Anisimova and Australian Ashleigh Barty's clash with Madison Keys will now be played on Thursday - the scheduled day for the women's semi-finals. Both women's semi-finals will then be played on Friday with the final in its rightful place on Saturday, although more bad weather is forecast and tournament director Guy Forget said there was even the chance the women's final could go to Sunday.

* Liverpool full back Trent Alexander-Arnold, still on a high from becoming a Champions League winner, is hoping for more celebrations as he prepares for Thursday's Nations League semi-final against the Netherlands. The 20-year-old, who played a key role in Liverpool's sixth European Cup success, is battling with Manchester City's Kyle Walker for the right back spot in Gareth Southgate's team.

* Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen says he is ready to leave Tottenham Hotspur to take on a new challenge at another club ahead of next season. Eriksen, who arrived at Spurs from Ajax Amsterdam in August 2013, has been a pivotal figure in Mauricio Pochettino's squad which finished runners-up to Liverpool in the Champions League and took fourth place in the Premier League.

* The sevens are aligning for Lewis Hamilton in Canada with another of Michael Schumacher's Formula One records in his sights as Mercedes aim for a seventh win in seven races this season. Montreal has been a happy hunting ground for the five times world champion and Sunday could see the Briton equal Schumacher's seven Canadian Grand Prix victories between 1994 and 2004.

* Gianni Infantino was re-elected FIFA president unopposed at the congress of world football's governing body in Paris on Wednesday as he claimed to have turned the organisation from being "toxic and almost criminal" back to its core values. The 49-year-old Swiss-Italian lawyer now has a four year mandate to try and accomplish his grandiose plans for football which were partly frustrated in his first term.

* Lennart Johansson, the Swedish former president of Europe's football association UEFA, has died after a short illness aged 89, Sweden's Football Association said on Wednesday.

* The top leagues in Germany and England are against the European Club Association's (ECA) plans to form a 'super league' in 2024, German Football League (DFL) president Reinhard Rauball has said. The ECA is working with European soccer governing body UEFA on a proposal to redesign the Champions League and replace it with a competition featuring promotion and relegation that could be largely closed off to outsiders. La Liga president Javier Tebas has already registered his opposition to the idea and Rauball told reporters in Paris on Tuesday that England and Germany were also against the proposal.

* Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri has said he wants to return to Italy to be closer to his family after a 'heavy' first year in the English Premier League, amid reports that he is wanted by Serie A champions Juventus. Chelsea won the Europa League, finished third in the Premier League and were runners-up in the League Cup this season, but Sarri's time in London has also been marked by a fraught relationship with a section of the club's supporters.