David Luiz unveiled at PSG, World Cup woes a thing of the past

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The World Cup was kind for defender David Luiz until Germany trounced his home country in the semifinals, 7-1, with his subpar performance as a leader of Brazil’s back line drawing substantial criticism.

Nonetheless, in his professional club career, he had made the switch from the BPL to Ligue 1–leaving a three-year stint at Chelsea for a new adventure at Paris Saint-Germain, a reported fee of £50 million forcing his departure from Stamford Bride.

Flashing David Beckham’s former No.32, Luiz was unveiled at his new side today, glad to rid himself of the recent international misfortune.

“If the World Cup had finished at the quarter-final stage then you wouldn’t be asking questions about my ability,” Luiz said. “I’ve had time to digest the end of our World Cup and now I’m ready to do everything to help PSG.”

Luiz will join a PSG team that will look to capture its third straight league title, having to face competition, besides AS Monaco, that generally isn’t capable of challenging the French giants.

This scene should provide the Brazilian footballer with comfort, considering the fierce chase for the Premier League title with a handful of squads vying for the top spot. Luiz will also have the companionship of his fellow countryman and center back Thiago Silva, who left AC Milan in 2012 to come on board at PSG.

“Brazilian defenders play for all the best clubs,” Luiz said. “Thiago Silva and I are very good friends, we understand what the other is thinking with one look and we respect each other. We trust each other and will give our all out on the pitch. But I am ready to help out in any position; it’s not up to me to choose, I just play football.”

PSG will face Reims in Ligue 1 play on Friday, but Luiz will likely not be fit for the match after his post-World Cup rest.

Report: Man City, Guardiola to discuss new contract this summer

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Manchester City does not want to let Pep Guardiola start the third year with the club without signing on for longer term.

Guardiola enters the third and final year of his deal in August, and the BBC reports that Man City plans to negotiate a new deal with the Catalan wizard this summer.

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This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given City’s outstanding sophomore season under Guardiola.

Unbeaten City has an 11-point lead on the Premier League table after 18 weeks, with one draw and a PL record 16-straight wins. They have 56 goals scored, conceding just 12.

They’ve won five of six UEFA Champions League matches, only losing a match their opposition needed and they did not, 2-1 to Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine. City faces Basel next, and visits Leicester City in the League Cup quarterfinals Wednesday.

Lanzini charged by FA for fooling ref with dive

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Manuel Lanzini dove to earn a penalty in West Ham’s 3-0 win over Stoke City on Saturday at the bet365 Stadium, and he may pay for it.

Lanzini, who also posted an assist in an influential performance, drew the penalty converted by Mark Noble when he hit the deck under minimal contact from Erik Pieters.

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He could miss two matches for “successful deception of a match official,” the same penalty given to Everton’s Oumar Niasse for a similar offense.

West Ham pulled out of the drop zone with the win, but has three bottom-half battles coming up over the festive fixtures: Saturday versus Newcastle, Dec. 26 at Bournemouth, and Jan. 2 versus West Brom.

Griezmann backtracks over ‘insensitive’ blackface tweet

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MADRID (AP) Soccer star Antoine Griezmann has apologized for any offense caused after posting an image of himself on social media in blackface as part of an NBA party costume on Sunday.

Griezmann, who is white, was also wearing a wig and holding a basketball in the photo which had “NBA 69 ALLSTARS” on the jersey.

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The photo on his official Twitter account was accompanied by the message “80’s Party” followed by basketball and laughing emojis.

One response called the photo a “bad idea” with others urging the France forward to delete the tweet.

Griezmann at first reacted to the criticism by tweeting: “Calm down friends, I’m a fan of the Harlem Globetrotters and of this great era… It’s a tribute.”

He later tweeted an apology to those he had offended.

“I recognize that’s it’s insensitive on my part. If I offended some people I’m sorry,” he wrote.

The 26-year-old Griezmann plays for Spanish team Atletico Madrid but has been linked to a move to Barcelona.

Alex Morgan named CONCACAF Female POY, Navas wins Male POY

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CONCACAF awarded some of its finest players and coaches on Sunday night, and two familiar faces took home the evening’s most notable awards.

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U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride) and Keylor Navas of Costa Rica and Real Madrid each earned Female and Male Player of the Year honors, after boasting tremendous 2017 seasons.

Morgan who primarily plays for Orlando in the NWSL, was also a member of Lyon, who went on to win the Women’s Champions League this past season.

Navas, on the other hand, played a key role in Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League run, as well as Los Blancos’ La Liga title.

For Morgan, the award is her third since CONCACAF began handing out its annual awards in 2013. Meanwhile, Navas has now won Male Player of the Year on two occasions.