Sun, Aug 10, 2014 - Page 18 News List

SOCCER SHORTS

Agencies

IVORY COAST

Drogba quits internationals

Veteran Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba on Friday announced his retirement from international soccer at the age of 36. “It is with much sadness that I have decided to retire from international football,” Drogba wrote on Twitter. “I am very proud to have been captain of this team for eight years and to have contributed to playing for my country on the world stage of football taking part in three [FIFA] World Cups and two Africa Cup of Nations finals. I cannot convey enough thanks to the fans for all the love and support during these years. All my goals, all my caps, all our victories are for you — I love you.” Drogba, who recently rejoined Chelsea for a second spell at Stamford Bridge, retires after scoring 66 goals in 106 games for the Elephants.

PREMIER LEAGUE

City seal Zuculini transfer

Manchester City completed their swoop for Argentina midfielder Bruno Zuculini from Racing Club de Avellaneda on Friday. Although Zuculini has officially sealed his move, the Argentina U20 international has been part of City’s pre-season tours of Scotland and the US, and scored in the Premier League champions’ friendly against Kansas City. The 21-year-old, who is available for today’s FA Community Shield tie against Arsenal, said he cannot wait to sample life at a major club after leaving his former Argentine team for a fee reported to be in the region of £3 million (US$5 million). In other transfer news, Aston Villa signed French defender Aly Cissokho from La Liga side Valencia on Friday. Cissokho agreed a four-year contract with Villa as the leftback made a quick return to the Premier League after spending last season on loan at Liverpool. The 26-year-old is believed to have cost Villa about £2 million.

PREMIER LEAGUE

Schneiderlin’s exit barred

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has said France midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin is not in the right frame of mind to play for the club after being told he will not be allowed to join the St Mary’s exodus. Schneiderlin attracted interest from Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, but Koeman is determined to hang on to the 24-year-old after a series of star departures from the Saints since the end of last season. England internationals Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Rickie Lambert have all been sold, along with Croatia defender Dejan Lovren. With the squad being rebuilt and the club’s prospects looking grim, Schneiderlin wants to leave. Yet he held talks with Koeman and Saints chairman Ralph Krueger on Friday and was again told he would not be sold. Afterward, Koeman revealed the player was too unsettled to feature in yesterday’s friendly against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, saying Schneiderlin has to accept he will not be sold. “It is not unfair. Unfair is signing a new contract and wanting to go, that’s unfair... If this is still the situation next week then Morgan has a big problem.”

PREMIER LEAGUE

Hart faces fight to stay No. 1

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has warned Joe Hart he has no room for error if he wants to remain the team’s first-choice goalkeeper. Hart suffered a dip in form last season which saw him replaced for a month by Costel Pantilimon before the England international re-established himself as Pellegrini’s regular No. 1. City let Pantilimon to leave the club in June, but Pellegrini replaced him with Argentina’s Willy Caballero. “I have two No. 1 goalkeepers,” the Chilean said. “I am sure Willy will be very important for us, but I also continue thinking we have the best goalkeeper in England in Joe Hart.”

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