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Barcelona Appoints Interim Coach After Koeman’s Dismissal

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Barcelona Appoints Interim Coach After Koeman’s Dismissal

Barcelona have named their ‘B’ side coach Sergi Barjuan as interim manager following the departure of Ronald Koeman, the LaLiga club said in a statement on Thursday.

Dutchman Koeman was sacked after Barca’s 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday, their fourth defeat in six games in all competitions.

“(Barjuan) shall be taking provisional charge of the technical management of the senior squad. His interim position as first-team head coach shall end as soon as the club has hired a full-time head coach to replace the dismissed Ronald Koeman,” the club said in a statement.

Former midfielder Xavi, who enjoyed a trophy-laden 17-year career at the club and is currently head coach of Qatari side Al Sadd, is widely tipped to take over on a permanent basis.

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Sergi Barjuan © Getty Images

Barcelona said president Joan Laporta would officially introduce Barjuan to the first team squad later on Thursday at the club’s Ciutat Esportiva training ground.

Barjuan will be presented to the media on Friday before concentrating on the task of preparing the side for the LaLiga clash with Alaves in which the Catalan club will be seeking to avoid a third successive league defeat.

They are ninth in the standings with 15 points from 10 games while in the Champions League they face a crucial match away to Dynamo Kiev on Nov. 2 when defeat would leave them in serious danger of failing to reach the knockout phase.

While Barjuan has been entrusted with steadying the ship, it looks increasingly likely that Barcelona have earmarked former Spain international Xavi as Koeman’s replacement.

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He was a key player in a golden era for the club before leaving in 2015 to play for Al Sadd, then taking over as head coach in 2019 after hanging up his boots.

In April, the 41-year-old led the team to the Qatari domestic league title while remaining unbeaten. He lifted his seventh trophy as Al Sadd boss just a few days ago as his team beat Al Rayyan 5-4 on penalties to win the Emir Cup.

Xavi is under contract with Al Sadd until 2023.

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World Sports

Real Madrid Stun Manchester City With Historic Comeback

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Real Madrid Stun Manchester City With Historic Comeback

Manchester City suffered one of the most remarkable Champions League collapses as Real Madrid came back from the abyss to set up a final showdown with Liverpool.

City were two goals ahead on aggregate going into the 90th minute after Riyad Mahrez’s strike had added to their 4-3 first-leg win last week.

And then Rodrygo happened.

The Brazilian substitute turned home Karim Benzema’s left-wing ball from close range in the final minute – with Real’s very first shot on target.

And 90 seconds later he levelled the tie with a header into the top corner after Marco Asensio flicked on Dani Carvajal’s cross.

That sent an already rowdy Bernabeu into absolute euphoria.

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City, who thought they were going through to a second consecutive all-English Champions League final, were shell-shocked.

Both sides had chances to win the tie before the full-time whistle. Ederson denied Rodrygo a quick-fire hat-trick and then an unmarked Phil Foden fired over inside the box.

And so to extra time the game went – and it was Real who got the decisive goal in maybe the greatest Champions League semi-final ever.

Real Madrid Stun Manchester City With Historic Comeback

Real Madrid Stun Manchester City With Historic Comeback

Benzema beat Ruben Dias to a loose ball in the box and was brought down by the City defender. He stepped up to take the penalty himself and scored his 43rd goal of the season. There is no doubt it is the most important.

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Real’s Thibaut Courtois, who was by far the busier keeper, tipped away Foden’s header with Fernandinho inches away from scoring the rebound – but City could not find a goal to send it to penalties.

That sets up a repeat of the most memorable Champions League final of recent years, when Real beat Liverpool 3-1 in 2018.

For City and manager Pep Guardiola now, the Premier League title – they sit one point above Liverpool with four games to go – is their only target.

 

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They Killed Me Second Time In 4 Months – Mino Raiola Finally Breaks Silence Amidst Death Rumor

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They Killed Me Second Time In 4 Months - Mino Raiola Finally Breaks Silence Amidst Death Rumor

The prominent football agent Mino Raiola has tweeted to say he is alive, in response to multiple reports in Italy and then rehashed across other European media outlets that he had died.

The Italy-born Dutch national, one of football’s most powerful and high-earning agents, tweeted: “Current health status for the ones wondering: pissed off second time in 4 months they kill me. Seem also able to ressuscitate [sic].”

His statement came after Dr Alberto Zangrillo from San Raffaele hospital in Milan told the news agency Ansa: “I’m outraged by the phone calls from pseudo-journalists speculating on the life of a man who is fighting to survive.”

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Raiola, whose clients include Paul Pogba, Erling Haaland and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is understood to have been living with a serious illness since January.

A tweet from Raiola’s official account in January said he had undergone medical checks requiring anaesthesia, but that he had not had emergency surgery.

 

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BREAKING NEWS: Mino Raiola Dies At Age 54

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BREAKING NEWS: Mino Raiola Dies At Age 54

Mino Raiola has passed away aged 54 following an illness.

The Italian was one of the biggest football agents in the world, representing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Erling Haalandf, Marco Verratti, Moise Kean, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Mario Balotelli any more more high-profile figures.

The news was announced by reporters in Italy on Thursday.

Raiola played a role in many big-money transfers during his successful career, such as Pogba’s record-breaking move from Juventus to Manchester United in the summer of 2016.

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