Image taken from The Sun

David Beckham gets the band back together, as ex-Manchester United stars roll back the years

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22 years to the day that they signed their first professional contracts in 1991, six Manchester United stars met up for a reunion in Manchester, with superstar David Beckham leading the way.

Known as ‘Fergie’s Fledglings” as they all came from the United youth setup and into Sir Alex Ferguson’s first team together, David Beckham, brothers Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes rolled back the years as they hit the town for a night out in Manchester.

All six will go down as greats of the famous English club, as well as carving out top careers on the international stage.

But it is quite amazing to see all the players getting on so well, 22 years after they first came together.

So here is the rundown on what the class of ’92 are up to now, in case you didn’t know.

Beckham has just retired this season, obviously you knew that, so did Phil Neville and Paul Scholes who were both offered the role of assisting David Moyes at United. Phil Neville took that offer but Scholes decided he wanted a break, as he famously enjoys his life in the shadows. (In fact I don’t think anyone outside of the United locker room has ever heard him talk longer than 30 second since 1991. Seriously.)

MORE: David Beckham announces retirement from soccer

Then there is former United captain Gary Neville, who is carving out a superb career for himself as a soccer pundit for Sky Sports. While Nicky Butt retired a few years back but is United’s current reserve team coach. And then there is Ryan Giggs, who began playing in United’s first-team before them all and is still planning to do this season, while also taking on a role as player-coach for Moyes.

Just incredible. So will we ever see a youth team like this again? It will take some beating.

source:
Beckham and co. roll back the years on a night out. (The Sun)

Between these six players seen going out for a casual stroll on the cobbled streets of Manchester (pictured, left) they’ve amassed 428 international appearances. If you put all their medals together you would have 132 and the list of incredible achievements just goes on.

And the incredible thing is that all of them are still enraptured by the indomitable pull of Manchester United. Despite all that time spent at the club and all they have given, they can’t wait to give something back.

The Nevile brothers are heavily involved, Phil more so now with his coaching role. Butt manages the reserve squad, Scholes will no doubt be involved at some point, Giggs is a player-coach and I wouldn’t bet against Beckham returning in an ambassadorial role one day.

Whatever happens, 22 years on, seeing these six men grouped together brings memories of United dominance flooding back. Whether you are a Manchester United fan or not, you have to marvel at the incredible things these six fellows achieved in their playing career.

MORE: Manchester United appoint Ryan Giggs as player-coach

MORE: Paul Scholes turns down coaching job at United

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.