Beckham fined US$1,000
Los Angeles Galaxy’s David Beckham was slapped with a US$1,000 fine on Friday for provoking his own team’s fans during the Galaxy’s 2-2 draw with AC Milan at the Home Depot Center. Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber fined the Galaxy midfielder for his part in an ugly halftime scene, where he allegedly challenged abusive Los Angeles fans to come down onto the field. “We support our players interacting with fans, whether it is at clinics, charity events or by high-fiving their supporters in the stands while celebrating a goal,” Garber said. “However, our players should never engage in conduct that can be interpreted as encouraging fans to come out of the stands and onto the field, regardless of the reason.” Video footage of the incident at last Sunday’s exhibition game also apparently shows Beckham trying to climb over a sideline railing before being stopped by security guards. Police arrested a fan who left the stands to meet Beckham’s alleged challenge.
Benitez talks with Alonso
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez said yesterday that he had spoken to Real Madrid target Xabi Alonso and urged him to stay at Anfield, telling his fellow Spaniard that the fans loved him. The unsettled Alonso has been tipped to join new signings Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka at the Bernabeu, with Spanish media suggesting the move was imminent. Alonso has avoided questions on the subject during the team’s pre-season tour of Asia and on Friday he held talks with Benitez, who sounded upbeat yesterday. “I talked to Xabi yesterday and told him, as he can see here, that the fans love him and said to him: ‘Maybe you have to stay,’” Benitez said.
Ibrahimovic deal imminent
The transfer of Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Inter to Barcelona is expected to be completed tomorrow, Camp Nou official Txiki Begiristain said on Friday. “There is agreement in principle between Inter and the player, and the documents are being prepared at the moment,” he said on the Spanish club’s Web TV channel. “The club will do all it can to conclude the agreement quickly and to present the player as soon as possible. It might be on Monday,” he said. Ibrahimovic has left the club’s pre-season training camp in the US and returned to his native Sweden. The complex deal between the Italian and Spanish clubs will also see Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o switch from Barcelona and Belarusian winger Alexander Hleb go on loan to the San Siro.
Zhirkov nets the winner
New signing Yuri Zhirkov smashed a 69th-minute winner from 20m to give Chelsea a 2-1 victory over their manager Carlo Ancelotti’s former club AC Milan in a friendly on Friday. Didier Drogba also scored for Chelsea, while Clarence Seedorf scored for Milan in the friendly match in front of a sell-out crowd of 71,203 at the home of the Baltimore Ravens. “We have to improve, we have to work, the victory is important because the atmosphere is good in the team and for this we are happy,” Ancelotti said.
Black Cats sign Cana
Sunderland on Friday signed Albanian international Lorik Cana from French giants Marseille on a four-year contract in a deal worth more than £5 million (US$8.2 million). The midfielder is Sunderland boss Steve Bruce’s third signing of the summer, following the arrivals of Paraguay skipper Paulo Da Silva and England under-21 striker Fraizer Campbell.