Raheem Sterling, Nani

Nani signs a new 5 year deal with Manchester United

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Portuguese international Nani has committed his future to Manchester United signing a five year deal to remain at Old Trafford through June 2018.

The deal was made after Nani came off the bench and put in an impressive performance in last weekend’s 1-0 loss at Liverpool.

Following Thursday’s signing, United manager David Moyes spoke highly of the winger.

“I’m really pleased Nani has re-signed for the next five years,” Moyes said. “He has great ability and experience beyond his 26 years. I’ve been impressed with his approach to training and look forward to working with him in the coming seasons.”

Nani, who arrived at Old Trafford in 2007 following a $26.5 million (£17m) move from Sporting Lisbon, seemed equally delighted that the deal was finalized.

“Playing at United has been a fantastic experience for me,” Nani said. “When I came to the club, I never imagined the success we have enjoyed. I’m very happy that the new manager has shown this faith in me and I’m looking forward to helping the team compete for more honors this season.”

Nani’s impact in helping the team compete is a topic of debate.

There is little doubt that he is one of the most electric winger’s in the game. With bags of pace, skill and a thunderbolt of a shot when Nani is “on,” he is virtually unplayable.

Consistency, however, has been a blemish on his career. Long touted as United’s replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani has to come close to justifying the comparisons to his fellow countryman.

source: Reuters
Despite a down year in 2012-13, Nani was awarded a new 5 year contract keeping him at Old Trafford through June 2018.

After a four year warm-up period that saw him record a mere 8 goals in 62 league appearances, Nani exploded in 2009-10 for 9 goals and 14 assists in 33 league appearances. He followed up on that breakout the next year by recording 8 goals and 10 assists in 29 appearances.

Last season, however, Nani’s form slumped and Sir Alex Ferguson took note, handing the Portuguese international 11 league matches which saw a return of one goal and two assists.While sections of Red Devils supporters felt it was time to rid themselves of Nani, Ferguson and the United higher-ups maintained their belief in the player. Wages, however, were an issue in re-signing.

With Nani’s contract set to expire at the end of 2014, negotiations to re-sign the winger began last March with Nani’s advisers wanting $200,000 (£130k) per week and United unwilling to budge from the $140,000 (£90k) per week salary already in place.

With today’s deal secured there is no word on which side bent on the wage issue but one thing’s for sure, Nani will remain a Red Devil for the foreseeable future.

USA 4-0 Panama: United States top Group A

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 01:  Jordan Morris #9 of the USA celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the 1st minute of the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying match against Canada at Sporting Park on October 1, 2015 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The United States U-23 team exploded for four goals in the second half to down Panama 4-0, as the U.S. finish atop Group A in Olympic qualifying with a perfect three wins from three matches.

They advance to the semifinals, where they will face either Mexico or Honduras.

Thanks to a 2-2 draw between Canada and Cuba earlier in the evening, the U.S. had already clinched the top spot in Group A before this match began. With the United States’ win, Canada also advances into the semifinals as the second-place team.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

The U.S. had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 11th minute, but Panama goalkeeper Elieser Powell made a higlight-reel save on Gedion Zelalem. Maki Tall moved in and fired a low shot on goal, forcing Powell to dive down and make a stop. The rebound rolled right out to Zelalem, who had the whole goal in front of him, but somehow Powell reached to get a hand on it, deflecting the shot over the bar.

Tied 0-0 at halftime, Andreas Herzog made some adjustments to his lineup, bringing in Jordan Morris and Jerome Kiesewetter for Tall and Zelalem. The substitutions paid immediate dividends, as the United States jumped out to a three-goal lead within minutes.

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In the 51st minute, Gboly Ariyibi’s cross took a deflection off Fidel Escobar and into the net, ruled an own goal on the Panamanian defender.

Two minutes later, substitute Jerome Kiesewetter took a pass from Luis Gil and fired a right-footed shot from a tight angle to the far post, doubling the United States’ lead. It was a very clean finish from the German-born Stuttgart product.

Three minutes after scoring a goal, Kiesewetter grabbed an assist as he combined with fellow substitute Jordan Morris to make it 3-0. Kiesewetter ran down the right wing and played a low cross in, where Morris tapped home his third goal of the tournament.

Kiesewetter continued his stellar half, blowing by a defender before doing well to draw a foul in the box. Luis Gil stepped up to the spot and buried the penalty, as the U.S. went 4-0 up in the 71st minute.

With the result, the United States heads into the semifinals with a +11 goal differential, outscoring their opponents 13-2 in the group stage. A win in the semis would guarantee the U.S. a spot in the 2016 Olympics.

Bayern, Germany legend Gerd Muller suffering from Alzheimer’s

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY  01:  Gerd Muller during a media event discussing the Golden Boot comptetition in the FIFA 2010 World Cup held at the adidas Jo'bulani Central in Sandton Convention Centre on July 1, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Dominic Barnardt/Getty Images for adidas)
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Bayern Munich has confirmed that legendary goalscorer Gerd Muller is suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Muller’s 70th birthday is in November, and the club published a statement that no celebrations would be held due to his ongoing treatment.

One of the greatest strikers to ever play the game, Muller scored 525 goals during his 15-years with Bayern, the most in club history. Karl Heinze-Rummenigge is Bayern’s second leading goalscorer with 218 goals.

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Rummenigge currently serves as the club’s director, and spoke about Muller’s legacy.

Gerd Müller is one of the all-time greats of world football. Without his goals, Bayern Munich and German football would not be what it is today.

There will probably never be another goalscorer like Gerd, yet despite all his successes, he was always very humble and reserved, which particularly impressed me.

He was a fantastic team-mate and is a friend. Gerd will always enjoy a place in the Bayern family.

After he ended his playing career, he brought his experience as a coach of youngsters to the club, helping define the likes of world champions Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller, and we are also grateful to him for this.

Muller won the Golden Boot at the 1970 World Cup with ten goals, helping West Germany to a third-place finish. That same year he won the Ballon d’Or as the best player in the world, and helped the West German team capture the European Championship in 1972 and the World Cup in 1974.

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He is one of the top scorers in German national team history with 68 goals, second only to Miroslav Klose’s 71. However, Muller reached 68 goals in just 62 caps, while it took Klose 137 appearances to reach his mark. His 14 World Cup goals are third all-time to Klose (16) and Ronaldo (14).