Galletti in emotional return
Former Argentina international Luciano Galletti has made an emotional return to the Greek top flight following a three-year absence, after recovering from a kidney transplant. The 33-year-old midfielder, who won two Greek league and cup doubles with Olympiakos Piraeus from 2007 to 2009, has agreed to join Super League team OFI Crete on a one-year deal. Galletti was diagnosed with severe kidney failure in February 2010, prompting him to retire from soccer aged 30. The former Real Zaragoza and Atletico Madrid winger underwent a successful kidney transplant in October last year, the donor being his father. “I’m delighted to have come to Heraklion to play for this club,” said Galletti, who was welcomed by thousands of fans at the airport late on Friday. “I am feeling great and have trained with [Argentine club] Estudiantes. I expect to continue my fitness training here to be ready for the start of the season. I believe I have two to three years of top-level soccer to offer.” Galletti joined Olympiakos in 2007 and quickly became a fan favorite with his creative and direct attacking play. He played 13 times for Argentina.
Gay impresses at US trials
Tyson Gay won the 100m at the US athletics championships in an impressive 9.75 seconds on Friday to stamp himself as a major World Championships challenger to Jamaican Usain Bolt. Gay, trailing out of the blocks, exploded near the midway point and powered home to win in the fastest time in the world this year. Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic gold medallist who handed six-time Olympic champion Bolt a rare defeat in Rome this month, just could not match Gay in the closing stages. Running warily with a mild right hamstring strain, Gatlin finished second in 9.89 seconds. Charles Silmon seized the third World Championships berth on offer by the narrowest of margins, finishing third in 9.98 seconds with Michael Rodgers relegated to fourth by just two-thousandths of a second. The top trio will spearhead the US challenge to six-time Olympic gold medallist Bolt at the World Championships in Moscow from Aug. 10 to Aug. 18.
Reds sign Sevilla striker
Liverpool yesterday announced the signing of young Spanish striker Luis Alberto from Sevilla on a long-term contract. The 20-year-old, who has been capped at several levels of youth soccer by Spain, completed the deal after passing a medical, although international clearance has still to be given. Alberto spent last season on loan with Barcelona B, where he scored 11 goals and collected 17 assists in 38 appearances. “We are all delighted that Luis has decided to join Liverpool,” manager Brendan Rodgers said. “He has the correct footballing profile and mentality to be a Liverpool player. I look forward to working with him to develop his talent and he joins a group of young exciting players at our club.”
Courtois to stay in Spain
Belgian international goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will spend a third season on loan at Atletico Madrid after the Spanish side announced they had reached an agreement with his parent club Chelsea. Courtois has played 98 times during his previous two seasons with Atletico and was instrumental as they lifted the Copa del Rey this season and the Europa League in 2011-2012. The 21-year-old also won the Zamora award for the goalkeeper that conceded the fewest number of goals in La Liga last season as he was beaten just 29 times in 37 league appearances.