World Sports News in Brief

Robben calls it a day after 12 league titles

Friday, 2019-07-05 06:37:45
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Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben in action - Champions League - Group Stage - Group E - AEK Athens v Bayern Munich - OAKA Spiros Louis, Athens, Greece - October 23, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)
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Arjen Robben has retired from football, foregoing the chance for a few more seasons in his native Netherlands, the 35-year-old Dutch international said on Thursday.

Robben won 12 league titles in a glittering career, and 96 caps for his country including playing in the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg.

* Egypt forward Mohamed Salah missed training with a cold on Friday, two days before the Africa Cup of Nations hosts meet South Africa in a round-of-16 tie. The Egyptian Football Association said in a statement on Twitter that coach Javier Aguirre had ordered Salah not to train "so as not to worsen his condition" without giving further details.

* Andy Murray made a winning return to the All England Club, after hip surgery in January had threatened to end his career, when he teamed up with Pierre-Hugues Herbert to beat Marius Copil and Ugo Humbert 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-0 and ease into the second round at Wimbledon.

* Second seed Roger Federer equalled Jimmy Connors’s Open-era record of 17 appearances in the third round with a 6-1 7-6(3) 6-2 win over Britain’s Jay Clarke. The Swiss maestro, seeking his ninth Wimbledon title, won 31 net points and fired 46 winners past the 20-year-old.

* Defending champion Angelique Kerber was dumped out in the second round by American Lauren Davis who won 2-6 6-2 6-1. The German baseliner, seeded fifth, was broken seven times by Davis, who won 14 points at the net and hit 45 winners.

* Serie A runners-up Napoli have signed Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina on a permanent transfer after a season's loan from Arsenal, both clubs said on Thursday. The 30-year-old is Colombia's most capped goalkeeper with 98 international appearances, including the 2014 and 2018 World Cups. He played 70 games for Arsenal, including the 2017 FA Cup final win over Chelsea, after joining from French club Nice in 2014.

* Paris St Germain have signed free agent Ander Herrera on a five-year deal after the Spanish midfielder ran down his contract with Manchester United, the French champions said on Thursday. Herrera, 29, joined United from Athletic Bilbao in 2014 but confirmed in May that he would not extend his contract with the Premier League club.

* Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will attempt to set a world record for attendance at a tennis match, with the help of some celebrity guests, when they play an exhibition game in Cape Town in February. The clash on Feb. 7 will take place under the banner of the Roger Federer Foundation, which is involved in charitable work in Africa, and will be staged at the Cape Town Stadium. The attendance record for a tennis match is 35,681, set at an exhibition game in Brussels between Belgian Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams in 2010.

* Padraig Harrington shot a superb seven-under 63 for his lowest opening round on the European Tour in 18 years to take a one-shot lead on the first day of the Irish Open on Thursday. Home favourite Harrington, 47, had eight birdies and a lone bogey to sit a shot ahead of South Africa's Zander Lombard, with a group of seven players tied for third at Lahinch Golf Club.

* Sheffield United have signed free agent Phil Jagielka on an initial one-year contract after the defender was released by Everton, the promoted Premier League side said on Thursday. Defender Jagielka, 36, returns to Bramall Lane 12 years after leaving United to play for Everton, and follows midfielder Luke Freeman into the team as manager's Chris Wilder's second signing of the close season.

* Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, one of the biggest names in Italian football over the past two decades, has returned to champions Juventus for another season after a year at French club Paris St Germain. The 41-year-old has made 640 appearances in Serie A, within striking distance of the 647-game record of AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini.

* Spanish champions Barcelona kick off their La Liga defence with a tricky clash at Athletic Bilbao on Aug. 18 while Real Madrid are at Celta Vigo as the 2019-20 fixtures were announced on Thursday. Barcelona, who eased to the title with 87 points, were held to draws by Bilbao in both league matches last season. Atletico Madrid, who finished as runners-up last season, welcome Getafe to the Wanda Metropolitano when the new campaign kicks off next month.

* Italian rider Danilo Petrucci will continue with Ducati's works MotoGP team next season in an unchanged lineup with compatriot Andrea Dovizioso, they announced at the German Grand Prix on Thursday. Petrucci, who took his first win in the top category at his home Italian Grand Prix in June, had signed a one-year deal last season and was competing with Australian Jack Miller for the 2020 seat.

* Leicester City have signed striker Ayoze Perez from Newcastle United on a four-year contract, the Premier League club said on Thursday. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed but British media reported that Leicester would pay Newcastle 30 million pounds for the 25-year-old Spaniard.

* The United States will face Mexico in the Gold Cup final after two goals from Christian Pulisic helped the hosts to a 3-1 win over Jamaica on Wednesday.

* Brazil winger Willian has been ruled out of Sunday's Copa America final against Peru due to a muscle injury, his side said in a statement on Thursday. Willian, who will remain with the team at their training base ahead of the final, scored Brazil's final goal in their 5-0 drubbing of Peru in the group stage and scored in their penalty shootout victory over Paraguay in the quarter-finals.

* Tokyo 2020 Olympic organisers said on Thursday that two more ticket lotteries will be held for residents of Japan, after millions missed out in the first draw last month.

* Real Madrid have completed the sale of striker Raul de Tomas to Portuguese club Benfica for a fee of US$22.5 million. The 24-year-old striker leaves Madrid after two seasons on loan with Rayo Vallecano, which saw him net a total of 38 league goals, 14 of which came in last season.

Reuters, Xinhua