football

Football

Madrid: Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo said Friday that his future lay with the Spanish club.

The Portuguese international brushed aside rumours linking him with a return to Manchester United.

The fact that Ronaldo's current contract expires in two years and he has shown few inclinations to sign a new deal with the Spanish club has provoked thoughts that United may try and re-sign him, reports Xinhua.

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Baghdad: World soccer body FIFA has again barrd Iraq from holding any friendly football matches due to soaring violence, just three months after the ban was lifted.

Iraq received the notification from FIFA Wednesday and the ban will be in force until further notice, reports Xinhua.

FIFA has issued a resolution to prevent any friendly matches in Iraq after increasing attacks on playgrounds and an assault in which Mohamed Abbas, the coach of the Karbala football club, was killed.

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Salvador (Brazil): Italy secured the third spot in the Confederations Cup after a pulsating 3-2 penalty shootout victory here over Uruguay.

After a 2-2 scoreline at the end of extra time Sunday, Gianluigi Buffon saved shots from Diego Forlan, Martin Caceres and Walter Gargano to hand Italy the consolation prize at the World Cup warmup tournament, Xinhua reports.

Earlier, Davide Astori gave Italy the lead with a 24th minute strike that went in off the post before Edinson Cavani equalised just before the hour.

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Rio De Janeiro: Brazil destroyed world and European champions Spain 3-0 to win a third straight Confederations Cup title with a dazzling display of football which left the Maracana Stadium in raptures here.

The turbo-charged samba stars roared to victory Sunday with two goals from Fred and a stunning strike from Neymar, dominating a weary Spanish side whose strength was sapped after edging Italy on penalties in Thursday's semi-final.

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Rio de Janeiro: Brazil's Neymar has been included on a six-man shortlist for the FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Ball award.

He will vie with Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Luis Suarez (Uruguay), Paulinho (Brazil) and Sergio Ramos (Spain) for the tournament's most valuable player award, reports Xinhua.

The players were named Saturday by FIFA's technical study group who will announce the winner after Sunday's final between hosts Brazil and Spain at Rio's Maracana Stadium.

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Rio de Janeiro: More than 10,000 police officers will be deployed at the Maracana Stadium Sunday for the Confederations Cup final between Brazil and Spain.

A further 7,400 military troops will be on guard across other parts of Rio de Janeiro in the biggest security operation for a sporting event in Brazil's history, reports Xinhua.

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Rio de Janeiro: Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari says he has identified weaknesses in the Spanish team ahead of Sunday's Confederations Cup final at the Maracana Stadium here.

Brazil will be aiming for a record fourth Confederations Cup title while Spain is bidding for their first, and the only major trophy to elude Vicente del Bosque's team, reports Xinhua.

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Rio de Janeiro: Italy forward Mario Balotelli has been sent back home after he was ruled out of the rest of the Confederations Cup with a thigh injury.

The 22-year-old took the flight back home after it was revealed that he would not get fit even if Itlay make the final slated for Sunday, reports Xinhua.

Balotelli strained his left quadriceps during Italy's 4-2 defeat to Brazil in Salvador Saturday.

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Rio de Janeiro: Fernando Torres struck four goals and David Villa scored a hat-trick as Spain trounced Tahiti 10-0 for a Confederations Cup record to all but qualify for the semifinals of the tournament in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.

A crowd of more than 70,806 in the Maracana stadium cheered virtually every touch of the ball by the Tahitians, but the overwhelming home support was not enough to prevent the world champions smashing the previous tournament record score of 8-2 by Brazil against Saudi Arabia in 1999.

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Fortaleza (Brazil): Brazil superstar Neymar scored one goal and set up the other to give hosts Brazil a 2-0 win over Mexico in their Group A game and all but assure them of a place in the semifinals of the Confederation Cup in Fortaleza on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old took his tally to 13 goals in his last 15 games for his country with a superb left-footed volley early in the first-half, and then produced a brilliant shimmy between two Mexican defenders in second-half stoppage time to set up Jo for the second goal.

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