Elmohamady excited to play for Bruce again

Ahmed Elmohamady has revealed that the lure of working with manager Steve Bruce again played a big role in him re-joining Hull City.

The 25-year-old Egypt international spent last season on loan at Hull, making 42 appearances in the team that won promotion to the Premier League.

Elmohamady, who Bruce brought to England when he was the manager at Sunderland, had fallen out of favour at The Stadium of Light but it was the Hull boss’ loan bid that resurrected his career in the United Kingdom.

Playing as a wing-back, Elmohamady was awarded Hull’s Player of the Year award and he signed a permanent deal at the club last week, for a reported fee of £2 million.

And Elmohamady, who has signed a three-year deal, is excited to work with Bruce once more.

He told the Hull Daily Mail: “The gaffer, he brought me from Egypt to Sunderland and I have had a fantastic time working with him, firstly with Sunderland and then here last year.

“He brought me here for a fantastic season last year and I am really looking forward to playing under him in the Premier League again.

“When you know the manager and he knows you and your game, it gives you confidence to play well for him.

“I know all the players here are all ready to play in the Premier League, and that is why I believe we can do well under the gaffer.”

Hull will open their 2013-14 Premier League campaign with a trip to Stamford Bridge to face UEFA Europa League winners Chelsea.

Sun 30 June, 2013
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Russia World Cup plans gain pace

Russia’s plans for hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup are going smoothly, the tournament’s chief executive has insisted.

Alexey Sorokin, formerly secretary general and general director of the Russian Football Union, gave assurances that plans for the 2018 World Cup to be the most expensive in history will not hit supporters in the pocket.

Fans in attendance will be able to enjoy free transportation to and from games, while the 41-year-old also vowed that accomodation prices will be set with travellers in mind.

“Free ground transportation to the matches. That is everyone with a ticket will be able to travel free 18 hours before the match and 18 hours after the match,” Sorokin revealed.

“Hotel prices will be controlled by law, that is very important. The government has now the authority to interfere if the market goes crazy.

“While we were making this presentation, one stadium was commissioned, which is Kazan, so we have one stadium ready and four under construction.

“There are seven more that are being designed now and there is no doubt those are going to be glamorous stadiums.”

Sun 30 June, 2013
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Ribery open to central role

Bayern Munich attacker Franck Ribery says he is happy to play as a number 10 under new boss Pep Guardiola.

The Frenchman was a fixture on the wing for the Bavarian club last season, making 43 appearances as his side won the Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League and DFB-Pokal under Jupp Heynckes.

However, he has now revealed that Heynckes’ replacement wants to give him a central attacking berth, and says he is happy to fulfil that role.

“He asked me which is my preferred position and if I could possibly play as a number 10,” Ribery told L’Equipe.”I told him that I can play anywhere in attack. He has lots of ideas.”

The 30-year-old, who signed a new four-year contract with Bayern earlier this week, also praised former Barcelona boss Guardiola’s impact.

“Guardiola is extremely motivated. You feel exactly what he wants to do. He will make us even better,” he added.

Ribery netted on 11 occasions and provided 22 assists for Bayern in 2012-13.

Guardiola began life as Bayern boss with a 15-1 win over a selection of the club’s members on Saturday.

Ribery got on the scoresheet in the game that also saw Toni Kroos make his first appearance since recovering from injury and young attacker Patrick Weihrauch net four.

Sun 30 June, 2013
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Neymar: Rooney should join Barcelona

Barcelona new-boy Neymar has urged want-away Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney to move to Camp Nou.

The England forward is widely expected to depart Old Trafford having handed in a transfer request at the conclusion of the 2012-13 campaign.

And Neymar, who joined Barca from Santos for €57 million in May, believes the 27-year-old would fit in perfectly with the reigning Liga champions.

“The style of football we (Barcelona) play and the level of the players we have – we are the perfect club for the top players to join,” he said.

“I have met Wayne on a few occasions and he seems a good guy but importantly, he is one of the players I admire most in the world. Wayne is one of the most gifted and technical players in the world.

“Of course he would improve Barcelona. He would improve any club in Europe. And on a personal level, it would be a dream to play with him.”

Rooney scored 16 goals in 36 appearances last term, but found himself controversially benched in high-profile fixtures such as the second leg of his side’s UEFA Champions League last-16 defeat to Real Madrid.

Rumours of a falling out with then-manager Alex Ferguson subsequently surfaced, and the striker is reported to have a similarly tense relationship with the 71-year-old’s successor David Moyes.

Sun 30 June, 2013
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Iniesta predicts bright City future for Navas

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has tipped Spanish team-mate Jesus Navas to become a star in the Premier League for Manchester City.

Iniesta and Navas have helped Spain reach the final of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, in which they will face hosts Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

Navas was signed from Sevilla for a reported fee of £25 million, as the club’s new manager Manuel Pellegrini bolstered his attacking options with the signing of the quick winger.

And Iniesta has backed the pint-sized Navas to be a hit at the Etihad Stadium this season.

“Navas is a very special player. He is going to cause the defences in the Premier League a real problem when he plays for City,” Iniesta said.

“Jesus has so much speed, and his feet are so quick, that it becomes nearly impossible to stop him without fouling him.”

Iniesta feels that only one player in the Premier League is similar to Navas, and that is Tottenham star Gareth Bale.

Bale – who has been linked with a switch to Iniesta’s Barcelona, and Real Madrid – scored an excellent 26 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions for Tottenham.

“The only player that I can compare him with that is already playing in England is Gareth Bale,” Iniesta added.

Sun 30 June, 2013
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Ambrosini set for Fiorentina

Massimo Ambrosini is set to complete his awaited move to Fiorentina this week, his agent has claimed.

The experienced midfielder left Milan after 18 years with the club after the end of last season, and had also been linked with a move to West Ham.

But Florence has always been the 36-year-old’s preferred destination with the switch set to be finalised in the coming days.

His representative Moreno Roggi hailed Fiorentina’s ambition, which has seen them linked with several top talents in Europe, as key to the decision to move to the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

“Next week Ambrosini will be in Italy and I think at this stage we’re in the final strait,” Roggi told Lady Radio.

“We’re just waiting for the call from Fiorentina. It is a destination that Massimo really likes and he isn’t the only one, as you can tell by the interest from players like Mario Gomez and David Villa.”

Fiorentina were agonisingly pipped to the third and final UEFA Champions League qualification spot on the last day of the Serie A season and have already bolstered their squad with the permanent signings of Juan Cuadrado, Joaquin, Oleksandr Yakovenko, Marcos Alonso and Gustavo Munua in the off-season.

Sun 30 June, 2013
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De Boer urges Eriksen to stay

Ajax coach Frank de Boer has urged in-demand midfielder Christian Eriksen to turn down Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool and stay at the club.

Eriksen, 21, enjoyed a superb season for Ajax last term, scoring 13 goals in 46 appearances in all competitions.

The playmaker has established himself as a regular for Denmark and both Dortmund and Liverpool were said to be in a bidding war for the midfielder.

But Eriksen has previously said he would be happy to stay at Ajax if a move abroad could not be sorted, and it appears in recent days that the attention of both Dortmund and Liverpool has switched to Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

De Boer, who led Ajax to their third successive Eredivisie title last season, has asked Eriksen to remain in Amsterdam for at least one more season.

He told NUSport: “A new contract for Eriksen? I hope so.

“He knows what he wants, so it’s up to Christian.”

Sun 30 June, 2013
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AVB to quit coaching in ´five to 10 years´

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas plans to retire from football in the next five to 10 years to take up other pursuits, including motorsport.

Villas-Boas – who is just 35 years old – took charge of Academica at the age of 31 before taking charge of Porto and Chelsea.

Currently at Tottenham, Villas-Boas led the White Hart Lane outfit to a fifth-placed Premier League finish last season.

The Portuguese coach says he loves working in football, but does not see himself embarking on a long-term career in management, and added that competing in the Dakar Rally is a long-held ambition of his.

“My passion for football makes me live it very intensively over 11 months and dedicate myself to that, but I think life allows you to enjoy other things,” Villas-Boas told O Jogo.

“For me, there is a limit and, in the next five to 10 years, I will quit coaching.

“To compete in the Dakar Rally is a lifetime ambition for me and is something I know I have to do.

“It went from a passion to an obligation, a destination of life, but I can only do it when I leave football. I will do it.”

Villas-Boas wants his sides to play an attacking style of football and believes if he manages to achieve that for the majority of his career, he will leave the game as a happy man.

“I just want to be proud of my career,” he said.

“I try to play good football with the teams I join and this is the recognition that fulfils me. I do not know where my career will take me. What I do know is that it will not last too long.”

Sun 30 June, 2013
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Mata loving life in London

Chelsea star Juan Mata says he is “really happy” in London and that he wants to stay in the English capital for as long as possible.

The Spanish playmaker scored 19 goals and laid on an incredible 35 assists in his 64 Chelsea appearances last season.

That sort of form has seen the 25-year-old wizard linked with switches to Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, but ahead of Sunday’s FIFA Confederations Cup final against Brazil, Mata says he loves life in the English capital.

“I love London and all of the famous buildings,” Mata said.

“It’s too early to call it home but I am really happy and content. The English people are so friendly and that includes the players.

“From the first day, all the English players at the club, players such as Frank Lampard, John Terry, Ashley Cole and Ross Turnbull all made me feel really welcome.

“It’s more relaxed in England than in Spain. People are more respectful and friendly without bothering you too much.”

Mata’s outstanding 2013-14 campaign has led the club’s supporters to compare him with another foreign star of theirs, Italian Gianfranco Zola.

And while Mata has some distance to go to replicate the feats of Zola – who scored 80 goals in over 300 appearances for the club – he has made a good start.

“It’s really a great honour to me for Chelsea’s fans to compare me to Zola, especially as he achieved so much with Chelsea and Italy,” the Spaniard added.

“But I feel I have a lot to do yet. Last season was good for me but I want to do better next season.

“I need to win the Premier League for the first time. Then the Champions League again.”

Sun 30 June, 2013
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Moyes, Rooney to decide striker´s future

David Moyes’ first task as Manchester United manager will be to deal with striker Wayne Rooney’s future, with the pair to meet this week.

The long-time Everton boss will officially begin his Old Trafford tenure on Monday, and talks between the two will be the first official meeting between player and manager since they combined in the infancy of Rooney’s career at Goodison Park from 2002-2004.

Rooney’s motivation to carry on at United is questionable – with sources claiming he is all but gone, while others believe he will carry on after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

Ferguson endured a bittersweet relationship with Rooney, most recently shunning him in the preferred striker position for Robin van Persie.

And that has caused the 27-year-old to become jaded about his spot at United, and with interest from Chelsea and Arsenal, Rooney could finally move out of Manchester.

Sun 30 June, 2013
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