After leaving West Bromwich Albion’s 0-0 tie with Everton on Saturday in the 77th minute, Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster will be out for up to three months with a stress fracture in his foot, the club announced on Tuesday. It will require surgery.
West Brom will get Boaz Myhill back from his own injury in time to start against Swansea City on Sunday. Welsh international Myhill, who was born in Modesto, Calif., started training again on Monday after a wrist injury. Former Manchester United trainee Luke Daniels came on for Foster against Everton.
“There’s no hiding the fact this is disappointing news, as Ben is a key player for us,” West Brom manager Steve Clarke told the club website. “He was excellent on Saturday before his injury forced him off. In the meantime, I’ve got two other very good goalkeepers to choose from.”
Foster has been on course recently to challenge Joe Hart for the starting spot on the English national team, but those hopes will be derailed for a while with this injury. Both men were set to be on the England roster for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, but the job is seemingly Hart’s to lose now.
In 2011, Foster announced he would take a hiatus from international soccer to better allow himself to heal from niggling injuries that resulted in a downturn in form. In March 2013, England manager Roy Hodgson named Foster in the squad to face San Marino and Montenegro in qualifiers.
On Tuesday, as he announced the 27-man roster for England’s latest tests, Hodgson lamented not having Foster available for selection:
Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse is embroiled in a bizarre investigation into the extortion of a sex tape.
The 34-year-old French striker has been arrested by French police who have confirmed that are investigating attempts to bribe another international footballer.
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Unconfirmed reports from France claim that the individual in question is France and Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, a former teammate of Cisse at both Marseille and with the French national team.
According to Reuters news agency, Cisse was questioned because he was familiar with the people involved and in total four individuals were arrested as it is alleged they plotted to ask for money from Valbuena for the sex tape to not be released. It is unclear if the tape is of Valbeuna and his partner Fanny Lafon, or if other individuals are involved.
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Cisse won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool and scored 24 goals in 79 games during his three-year stay at Anfield until 2007. He also had spells with Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, while he is currently out of contract after being released by Ligue 1 side Bastia following nine goals in 41 appearances. Cisse is due to appear on the French version of “Dancing with the Stars” in the coming months.
Further reports from France say that Cisse is expected to be “exonerated” and that the existence of the video is “not proven” at this point.
Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.
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Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.
Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:
“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”
That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”
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There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?