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Football: Valdes out for seven months with knee injury

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes will miss the rest of the season and Spain's defence of the World Cup as he will be sidelined for seven months following knee surgery. "Victor Valdes underwent surgery on his torn anterior cruciate ligament on Monday morning with doctors Ulrich Boenish and Ricard Pruna in Augsburg, Germany," Barcelona said in a statement on Monday. "They made an incision in the internal meniscus of the right knee and the surgery was completed in a satisfactory manner. "The estimated time out will be seven months."

Football: Vogts to advise US World Cup squad

United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann has appointed former Germany manager Berti Vogts to be a special advisor to his team for this summer's World Cup in Brazil, the US Soccer Federation announced on Sunday. The two men have a close relationship, with Vogts having been in charge of the German side, including Klinsmann, which won the Euro 1996 title in England.That was the last major trophy won by Germany. "We are absolutely thrilled to have Berti join us as an advisor," Klinsmann told the federation's website.

U.S. hire former Germany coach Vogts as special adviser

BERLIN (Reuters) - The United States have hired former Germany coach and World Cup winner Berti Vogts as a special adviser until the World Cup in Brazil as they look to boost their chances of getting through the group stage, the team said on Monday. The United States have been drawn with Germany, Ghana and Portugal for the preliminaries at the June 12-July 13 finals.

Football: Flamini makes Man City wait for top spot

Manchester City could not exploit an earlier defeat by Premier League leaders Chelsea and had to be content with a point from a 1-1 draw at Arsenal on Saturday. The visitors looked on course for the summit after taking an 18th-minute lead through David Silva, but Mathieu Flamini earned his side a share of the spoils early in the second half. City would have moved ahead of Chelsea, who had surprisingly lost 1-0 at Crystal Palace, and Liverpool, who are at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, had they won, but Chelsea remain at the summit for now.

Football: UEFA launches Nations League

European countries agreed Thursday to launch a Nations League tournament in 2018 to run parallel to the World Cup and European Championship. The tournament could take on immediate importance as it will offer four places in the European Championships finals. The 54 UEFA countries will be divided into divisions with promotion and relegation and offer an extra chance to qualify for the European Championship.

Football: Platini says only he can beat Blatter

UEFA president Michel Platini said in an interview Thursday that he is the only person capable of stopping Sepp Blatter in an election for FIFA president. But the French football legend is still not saying whether he will stand in the FIFA election to be held next year. "Only one person can beat Blatter," the UEFA leader told a small group of journalists, including AFP, on the sidelines of the UEFA congress in Astana. When pressed, Platini answered that he was the person.

Football: Platini says only he can beat Blatter

UEFA president Michel Platini said in an interview Thursday that he is the only person capable of stopping Sepp Blatter in an election for FIFA president. But the French football legend is still not saying whether he will stand in the FIFA election to be held next year. "Only one person can beat Blatter," the UEFA leader told a small group of journalists on the sidelines of the UEFA congress in Astana. When pressed on whether he was that person, Platini answered "yes".

Football: Platini blasts FIFA over business control of players

UEFA president Michel Platini on Thursday blasted the world federation's lack of action over secretive companies owning players as he stepped up a war of nerves with FIFA rival Sepp Blatter. Platini, who promised he would announce later in the year whether he will run for the FIFA presidency next year, said the so-called 'third party ownership' of players is a "danger" to football. He called on FIFA to impose a global ban on the practice and praised the English Football Association for being the first to act against the secretive companies which control many top players.

I am the only one who can beat Blatter, says Platini

By Mike Collett ASTANA (Reuters) - UEFA president Michel Platini told Reuters on Thursday he was the only person capable of beating Sepp Blatter in an election battle for the FIFA presidency. The 58-year-old emphasized that he is yet to decide whether or not to stand for world soccer's top job next year, but told Reuters in a briefing following the completion of the UEFA Congress in Kazakhstan, "There is only one person who can beat Blatter." Asked who that was he said: "Me."

Football: Platini vows more talks on FIFA bid

UEFA president Michel Platini said Thursday he would decide later in the year whether to seek the presidency of the FIFA world federation. Platini, 58, told the European federation's congress in Astana he would hold talks with individual member countries in the coming months before deciding his future plans. FIFA and UEFA are to hold leadership elections in 2015. Current FIFA president Sepp Blatter, 78, has not formally announced whether he will stand again but has said he will do so if asked by member nations.
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