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Everton confirm David Moyes’ departure as Scot faces tough task with Wayne Rooney

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As Manchester United scramble to confirm David Moyes’ appointment (it’s been awhile since they’ve had to do this sort of thing), Everton have confirmed that the Scot’s 11 run at the club will come to an end at the end of the season.

After watching Chelsea draw 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge, Moyes went through the departure formalities this morning at Everton’s Finch Farm training base. He leaves the club after taking over from Preston North End in 2002.

Annually strapped with financial constraints at Everton, Moyes consistently outperformed expectations by taking the Toffees to a Top 4 finish in the 2004-05 season, earning them a Champions League qualification. Despite never lifting a trophy, Moyes managed to reach the 2009 FA Cup final where Chelsea defeated the Toffees 2-1 and the 2012 FA Cup semi-final where they lost 2-1 to Liverpool.

Everton’s official website released the following statement confirming Moyes’ departure:

David Moyes will leave the Club at the end of the season. The Manager met Chairman Bill Kenwright early yesterday evening (Wednesday 8th May) and confirmed his desire to join Manchester United. The Chairman, on behalf of the Club, would like to place on record his thanks to David for the massive contribution he has made to Everton since his arrival in March 2002. He has been an outstanding Manager. During his tenure at Goodison Park, David has taken charge of the team on over 500 occasions including four European campaigns. His final two games as Everton Manager will be the remaining Premier League matches against West Ham United and Chelsea. Everton officials will start the search for a replacement manager immediately.

Moyes will arrive at Old Trafford needing to address the current drama surrounding former Toffee Wayne Rooney, who asked to leave United two weeks ago in order to rejuvenate his career. Ferguson reportedly rebuffed Rooney’s request, informing the striker that his future remained at United.

Claiming Rooney would be given a new deal, Ferguson stated, “He’ll be here next year. You can have my word on that.” A spokesman for United reaffirmed this on Wednesday explaining, “Wayne Rooney is not for sale.”

MORE: What now for Wayne Rooney?

But with the changing of the guard at United, speculation has persisted and Rooney has reportedly asked to leave the club for a second time. It will now be up to Moyes to diffuse the situation. The two certainly have history.

The Scottish manager handed Rooney his Premier League debut at Everton in August 2002 in a 2–2 home draw against Tottenham. He was 16 years old at the time. In October of that year, just five days before his 17th birthday, Rooney scored a last minute winning goal against Arsenal, making him the youngest goalscorer in Premier League history (a mark which has since been surpassed by James Milner and James Vaughan). Two years later, Moyes sold Wazza to Manchester United in a deal worth a £27 million.

It will be interesting to see whether Moyes can convince the striker to stay at United. Two years after Rooney’s departure from Goodison Park the pair had a falling out when Moyes successfully sued the striker for allegations made in an autobiography. Rooney thereafter personally apologized and many believe their relationship to be in a decent state.

How healthy that relationship truly is will now doubt be further examined over the coming weeks.

Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Bayern Munich have been mentioned as potential destinations for the England international.

Bayern’s Vidal says “ugly” Atletico not deserved UCL finalists

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 27: Juanfran of Atletico Madrid and Arturo Vidal of Bayern Munich argue during the UEFA Champions League semi final first leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Bayern Muenchen at Vincente Calderon on April 27, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal has declared “ugly” Atletico Madrid unworthy finalists in the UEFA Champions League.

Bayern was eliminated in the Champions League semifinal by Atleti on Tuesday, with Diego Simeone’s Spanish side advancing on away goals.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s UCL coverage ]

However, Vidal believed Bayern were the better team in the second leg, saying Atletico played “ugly football” to get through.

Today ugly football – Atletico – played against the best football in the world. The only time they saw the ball was for the goal.

They are going to be dreaming about us right up to the final. They did not have the ball, they took on the best team in the world, they took their chances and got to the final.

The best does not always win in football, like today. They are not deserved finalists.

Bayern Munich controlled more than 70-percent of possession and had 33 shots compared to Atletico’s nine, but those stats mean little as Antoine Griezmann’s away goal was enough to send Atleti to the final.

[ MORE: Former England striker Joe Cole headed to NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies ]

Atletico may not play the most attractive football, but after eliminating Barcelona and Bayern Munich in consecutive legs, it’s hard to argue anyone deserves this more than Simeone’s men.

Europa League preview: Liverpool, Shakhtar look to overcome Spanish foes

VILLARREAL, SPAIN - APRIL 28:  Cedric Bakambu of Villarreal is watched by the Liverpool defence during the UEFA Europa League semi final first leg match between Villarreal CF and Liverpool at Estadio El Madrigal on April 28, 2016 in Villarreal, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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The second leg of the Europa League semifinals kick off tomorrow, with two La Liga sides looking to make it an all-Spanish final.

[ MORE: Premier League Playback ]

Villarreal holds a 1-0 lead over Liverpool, while Sevilla scored two away goals in their 2-2 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Liverpool vs. Villarreal – 3:05 p.m. ET
Villarreal won first leg 1-0

Adrian Lopez’s late winner in the first leg has given Villarreal a slight lead, while the Spanish side did well not to concede an away goal. However, Liverpool have overcome deficits at Anfield before, including their memorable 4-3 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals. Emre Can is back fit for the Reds, as manager Jurgen Klopp will hope his fellow German can help the team to a cup final in his first year in charge.

[ RELATED: Liverpool preparing for another big Thursday night at Anfield ]

Sevilla vs. Shakhtar Donetsk – 3:05 p.m. ET
First leg ended 2-2 draw 

Sevilla are looking to become the first team to win three consecutive Europa League titles as the two-time defending champions face off against Shakhtar Donetsk. Sevilla are in the driver’s seat after scoring two away goals in Ukraine, and will feel confident of advancing to the final with a great home record at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

Men in Blazers podcast: Celebrating Leicester’s title with Arlo White

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In the latest Men in Blazers podcast, Rog and Davo celebrate Leicester City’s improbable Premier League title with Leicester’s own Arlo White.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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European police say Russian mafia infiltrating soccer clubs

LISBON, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 04:  Sporting Lisbon fans celebrate after their team score a goal during the Portuguese Liga match between Sporting Lisbon and Uniao Leiria at the Alvalade XXI Stadium on November 4, 2005 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Portuguese and European police say they have broken up a cell of an important Russian mafia group that allegedly laundered money through European football clubs.

Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said in a statement Wednesday the group identified EU football clubs in financial distress and infiltrated them with benefactors who brought much-needed cash.

[ MORE: Man City bounced from UCL ]

Once they were in control, the mobsters allegedly laundered millions of euros (dollars) through player transfers, TV rights deals and betting.

Portuguese and European police on Tuesday raided third-division Portuguese club Uniao de Leiria and arrested three key members of the Russian gang. Three other Portuguese clubs’ premises were searched.

Europol said the operation helped identify serious crimes in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom, though it gave no details.