Manchester United legend Paul Scholes puts himself up for auction on the internet… Seriously.

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Paul Scholes is one of the greatest natural midfielders Manchester United and England have ever produced.

But now he’s up for sale.

Online.

But don’t worry, the Manchester United legend hasn’t lost the plot, it’s all for a good cause. The highest bidder will get the chance to play alongside Scholes in a charity game to help pay for renovations to Stalybridge Celtic Juniors’ clubhouse.

For a man who shirked the media spotlight for most of his illustrious career, this noble act by Scholes may go unnoticed internationally. But it’s incredibly cool.

The bidding is going reasonably well with almost $10,000 raised and there’s six days left in the bidding, so if you want to play alongside the ‘Ginger Genius’ find out more info here.

Scholes’ son currently plays for Stalybridge’s Junior team, so there’s the reason why the 38-year-old soccer star is putting his name next to this auction bid.

According to the auction on eBay: “Paul Scholes comes out of retirement to play in the annual Stalybridge Celtic Juniors Coaches vs Dads fundraiser on Friday 26 July, Kick off 7:30pm.” And the auction promised 45 minutes to “play alongside one of the greatest midfielders of a generation.” But it also states that, “Paul may be substituted in the final ten minutes to avoid him getting mobbed for autographs at the final whistle.”

Classic.

So when will you ever get the chance to say you played alongside one of “Fergie’s Fledglings?” You’re thinking about it, aren’t you.

(MORE: Paul Scholes turns down Manchester United coaching job)

Scholes played 718 times for Manchester United, scoring 155 goals and accrued 66 caps for England despite retiring from the international scene way back in 2004. Several England managers have tried to make him change his mind since. But to no avail.

Scholes retired (for the second-time after being persuaded to return) in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final game in charge of United at the end of last season, after playing in every EPL season since the 1994-95 campaign.

The world legend gets banded about too openly in today’s game. But Scholes is a legend.

When so many other player have let fame and fortune get in the way, Scholes has put his family first and stayed out of the spotlight.

Now all he’s asking for is a donation to help his son and his teammates have some new facilities at their aging club.

Not a bad trade off after getting to witness his years of brilliance, right?

Pochettino calls out Xavi for Dele Alli-Man City “lie to lie to lie”

Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images
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“He tried to destroy our focus to win because he hates me because he’s Barcelona.”

Even half-kidding, the Derby Barceloni is alive and well for longtime Espanyol man Mauricio Pochettino and Barcelona legend Xavi.

At least that’s why the latter is trying to sabotage the former’s Premier League title fight, Pochettino says.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 4-2 Saints ]

Speaking from his club team in Qatar, Xavi claimed that Manchester City is going to bid high for Spurs’ young star Dele Alli.

Tottenham boss Pochettino says that’s just not true. Pochettino was joking a bit when he answered questions on the topic, but then told a story about Xavi diving for a penalty in the derby. Here are a few of his thoughts, from The Telegraph:

“It wasn’t a penalty but Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored for Barcelona and they won the game. After in the replay it was very funny because it was clear no one touched him. Come on! It goes from lie to lie to lie.”

“He is working for Manchester City, maybe? He wants to help Guardiola and [Vincent] Kompany.”

Boa Esporte goalkeeper back to prison as murder appeal denied

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The risk clearly wasn’t worth it for Boa Esporte.

The Brazilian club signed Bruno Fernandes de Souza in March, not long after the convicted murderer and goalkeeper was released from prison on appeal.

Fernandes, 32, had been jailed for ordering the murder of a lover, who was fed to dogs by the killer. Boa Esporte lost several big sponsors for signing him, but vocally defended the move.

The owner, Rone Moraes da Costa, said he’d rather move the team than not give Fernandes a chance to revive his career. Fernandes admitted his mistakes but said he wasn’t “a bad guy”.

According to the Associated Press:

“Brazil’s Supreme Court decided on Tuesday to deny an appeal to Boa Esporte goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes de Souza, who was released in March while appealing a 22-year sentence in the 2010 killing of Eliza Samudio.”

So it’s back to jail for Fernandes, and we’ll be waiting with baited breath to hear from Boa Esporte’s owner.

Conte: Chelsea “ready to fight to the end”

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Following Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal win over Spurs and Tuesday’s blowout of Southampton — the 4-2 score line didn’t tell the story of the second half — Antonio Conte is fired up for Chelsea to complete its Premier League title run.

The manager admits that his side was under pressure after Spurs narrowed the table gap to four points last week, but the wins have eased the Blues’ burden.

Chelsea had lost two of four PL matches before the weekend.

From Football.London:

“I think we passed a big, big psychological step after the defeat to United. We lost three points and had to prepare a semi-final against Tottenham and then another tough game in the league. In that moment we had a really important test and our answer was very good.

“We must think that this race is open, we have reached the final of the FA Cup. The situation in the league is totally open. We are ready to fight to the end. We must be proud for the job we are doing and to fight to the end.”

Spurs can bring the gap back to four with a win at Crystal Palace on Tuesday, but have a tougher run-in with five matches to play. As long as the gap is within six points, anything is possible, but the Blues have certainly answered the bell over the past four days.

Chelsea: Big win “feels like a massive step” to title

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“It feels like a massive step to be honest,” said game-changing goal scorer Gary Cahill of Chelsea’s 4-2 win over Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

Chelsea’s Premier League lead stands at seven points after the win, which saw a dominant second half from the hosts.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 4-2 Saints ]

Perhaps it was cued up by Cahill’s first half stoppage time header, which boosted the Blues to a 2-1 lead just before the whistle.

Cahill darted in front of Diego Costa‘s scissor kick attempt to power a header past Fraser Forster.

“(Costa) tried to claim it afterward as well,” Cahill said. “When the ball’s just lofted over, it’s dying to be attacked. We went into halftime with our tails up and it was a big boost for us.”

Cesc Fabregas said Southampton surprised the Blues tactically, leading to an entertaining first half that could’ve seen either side ahead before half.

“We needed a little bit of time to adapt to what they did because we prepared for something else,” he said.

Fabregas said the win was big with second-place Spurs watching at home. Tottenham plays at Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

“We needed a good response after the Man United game. We have to keep going with five games to go, to keep it up and make the last push. It would be a big shame if now we relaxed. We just have to push now more than ever,” he said.

“It’s a statement for (Spurs), for us, for everyone, but most of all for us.”
Eden Hazard agreed.
“We scored four beautiful goals,” said the Belgian, who scored the game’s first goal. “It’s good to play before and put pressure on them.”