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La Liga: Xavi ready to coach Barcelona, names two potential recruits

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Xavi Hernandez

Xavi believes he is ready to manage Barcelona but insists there cannot be any “toxicity” in the dressing room.

The midfielder spent the majority of his playing career with Barcelona, from 1998 to 2015, playing more than 700 matches and winning eight La Liga titles. In recent years he has moved into management with the Qatari club Al Sadd, where he finished his playing career.

“I am clear that I want to return to Barcelona, I am very excited,” Xavi said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.

“Now that I have seen myself coaching I think I can bring things to the players. But I made it clear to them that I saw myself in a project that started from zero and in which the decision-making was mine.”

Barcelona have already shown an interest in their former midfielder, reportedly approaching Xavi for the job following the departure of Ernesto Valverde, but the Spaniard did not think it was the right time.

“I don’t take it back,” he said of his decision.

“I have no problem. I don’t hide. I would like to work together with people in whom I have confidence, with whom there is loyalty and who are very valid people. There can’t be anyone toxic around the dressing room.”

Outlining what he would want in his Barcelona team, Xavi labelled several of their current side – including Lionel Messi, Gerard Piqué and Marc-André Ter Stegen – as the best in the world in their positions and the midfielders Frenkie de Jong and Arthur as players to “win for 10 more years”.

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Asked about possible additions, he said:

“I don’t know if Neymar would fit in due to the social issue, but in football terms I have no doubts it would be a spectacular signing. They don’t need many new players: maybe Jadon Sancho [or] Serge Gnabry.”

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Santi Cazorla reacts as Arsenal defeats Chelsea to win FA Cup

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Former Arsenal midfielder, Santi Cazorla has congratulated the Gunners for winning this year’s FA Cup final.

Arsenal beat London rivals Chelsea 2-1 at an empty Wembley Stadium on Saturday to lift the FA Cup.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the star of the show with two goals, cancelling out Christian Pulisic’s opener for Frank Lampard’s side.

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Cazorla took to their official Instagram handle on Sunday, to hail Arsenal’s achievement.

“Well done boys, one more for all of you,” Cazorla posted alongside a picture of Arsenal squad including the club coaches celebrating.

Cazorla and Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta were former teammates at Arsenal.

The 35-year-old played his last game for Villarreal last month.

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Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix despite puncture on final lap

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Lewis Hamilton has won the British Grand Prix for the seventh time in his career but endured a nervy end to the race at Silverstone after his car suffered a puncture on the final lap.

Hamilton’s Mercedes limped across the finish line with a puncture to the front left tyre, while Max Verstappen, who finished second and was forced to pit for the fastest lap of the race, did not have enough time to close the gap.

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Hamilton had been having a smooth race despite two other Mercedes drivers experiencing punctured tyres, until he too suffered a puncture, this time heading down the back straight towards Brooklands.

Then it was a question of whether he could finish the remainder of the lap – more than half of it – before Verstappen caught him.

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Hamilton speaking to reporters after the win said in relief: “That was close.”

“Up until the last lap, everything was relatively smooth sailing.

“The tyres felt great. Valtteri was really pushing incredibly hard and I was doing some management of that tyre and he looked like he wasn’t doing any.

See photos below:

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Australia’s Kyrgios withdraws from U.S. Open

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Australia’s Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from the U.S. Open and again criticised some of his fellow professionals for their decisions to ignore health advice during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kyrgios follows compatriot and women’s world number one Ash Barty, who withdrew from the Aug. 31-Sept. 13 tournament earlier this week.

“I will not be playing this year at the U.S. Open,” Kyrgios said in a video on social media on Sunday.

“It hurts me at my core not to be out there competing in one of the sport’s greatest arenas, Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“But I’m sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds and thousands of Americans that have lost their lives, for all of you. It’s my decision.”

Kyrgios had no problems with the USTA scheduling the tournament or players competing if they chose, “so long as everyone acts appropriately and acts safely”.

The 25-year-old said he recognised that lower-wage employees at the event, such as restaurant staff, cleaners and locker room attendants, needed the tournament to take place.

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The world number 40, however, also took another shot at some of his fellow players, with whom he has been involved in a running battle over the last two months after they chose to play in a Novak Djokovic-organised exhibition event in Europe.

Djokovic, Borna Coric, Grigor Dimitrov and Victor Troicki all tested positive for COVID-19 during the event, which was hastily cancelled.

“Tennis players, you have to act in the interest of each other and work together,” Kyrgios added.

“You can’t be dancing on tables, money grabbing your way around Europe or trying to make a quick buck hosting an exhibition. That’s just so selfish.

“Think of the other people for once, that is what this virus is about.”

 

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Reuters

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