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PHOTOS: France’s World Cup winners get glitzy rings

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The 2018 World Cup winners have a very special ring to commemorate their achievement.

Paul Pogba is the man they have to thank, as he paid for them.

France’s World Cup heroes have already received the customary winners medal after winning it all in Russia last summer, but now in true U.S. sports fashion they have been handed diamond-encrusted, customized rings to remember their success with Pogba and Antoine Griezmann designing the rings and Pogba then bought them for this teammates.

“It’s a small gesture after winning a World Cup with great players,” Pogba said. “I consider them my family. It’s a small gift from me.”

Take a look at the photos and video below to see the incredible rings.


Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin to miss rest of season through injury

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Morgan Schneiderlin may well have played his last game for Southampton.

The French international midfielder hobbled off in the dying stages of Saints’ 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur last weekend and the knee injury he suffered will rule him out for up to five weeks, meaning his season is over.

[ RELATED: Saints’ five-year plan ]

Saints’ boss Ronald Koeman confirmed the news in his pre-match press conference before his side head north to face relegation-haunted Sunderland on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via Live Extra) at the Stadium of Light.

“Morgan will be out until the end of the season,” Koeman said. “He has [injured] the ligaments in his left knee and he will be out for four, five weeks and that means until the end of the season.”

Schneiderlin, 25, has had another stellar campaign in the engine room for Southampton and has been a driving force in their highest ever points total as they aim to clinch a spot in the top six (that would be their best position in Premier League history) and qualify for the Europa League.

His injury means that he will now miss Saints’ four remaining games of the season away at Sunderland and Leicester City, a home game against Aston Villa and the final match of the campaign away at Manchester City.

It also means that after a seven-year stay at St Mary’s, which has seen him rise with the team from League One to the upper echelons of the Premier League, Schneiderlin may well be on his way to a new club. Last summer he publicly displayed his unrest at not being able to leave Saints when a host of others players did and he has since expressed his desire to only remain with Southampton if they qualified for the UEFA Champions League this season.

That was always going to be a long shot, even if Saints still have a mathematical chance of finishing in the top four, so Schneiderlin could be on his way with Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United all rumored to be interested in his services.

Koeman calmed any talk of him leaving and said that there were “no serious bids” for any of his players. He also said that Schneiderlin was happy but that the decision about sticking around is “up to the player.”

With a price tag in excess of $30 million, let’s see if anyone plumps for the two-way French midfielder this summer.

Ribery could face suspension if he denies France call-up

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Franck Ribery could be in for a very short retirement.

After calling it quits from international football earlier this summer, Ribery could be forced to suit up for France if called upon by manger Didier Deschamps.

Ribery, 31, missed the World Cup with a back injury and retired from France in August. It was a decision that shocked many, considering Ribery is still one of the best players in the world and has been in good form with Bayern Munich. With Euro 2016 coming up in France, it seemed like an odd time for Ribery to hang up his boots.

But now fellow-Frenchman and UEFA President Michel Platini says Ribery would face a suspension if he did not play for France.

“If (coach) Didier Deschamps picks him, he must come. That’s the FIFA rule. If he doesn’t come, he will be suspended for three Bayern Munich games.”

FIFA rules stipulate that a player must accept call-ups from their national teams, in an effort to prevent clubs from picking and choosing which players can go out on international duty.

It is rare that a manager would select a player who has announced his retirement, but it could happen. And if Didier Deschamps is trying to put together France’s best possible squad, Ribery’s name would be at the top of the list.

However unlikely any of this is to happen, it’s always fun to hear about the roller-coaster ride of representing France.

 

Franck Ribery announces retirement from French national team

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Franck Ribery will no longer be suiting up for Les Blues.

Coming as a shock, the 31-year-old Bayern Munich winger has been quoted as saying he has quit the French national team. The interview was released during the German Super Cup final between Bayern and Borussia Dortmund with Ribery on the sidelines as he continues his recovery from a back injury.

According to German magazine Kicker, Ribery said that “the moment has come” to quit, adding that the move comes “purely” for personal reasons because he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Ribery missed the 2014 World Cup in Brazil due to injury and was an influential part of French manager Didier Deschamps’ plans. His announcement does seems a little surprising considering his superb form for Bayern over the past two seasons and the fact that the next European Championships are being held in his homeland in 2016.

Our friends over at Soccerly have all the details, as Ribery calls it quits.

French winger Franck Ribery has announced his retirement from international football at just 31-years-old. Ribery told German magazine Kicker that it is now time for him to focus on his family, club and make way for the younger players who have a thirst to shine in the international stage.

“I am stopping, I realized that this moment has come,” Ribery said. “I want to focus on my family and fully concentrate on my work at Bayern Munich and make win in the national team for the many you and exciting players.”

The Bayern Munich starlet, who was arguably having the best year of his career in 2013, suffered a sorry back injury that left him out of the French squad that competed in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The 2013 UEFA Player of the Year, came with this surprising news on Wednesday morning, on a time where many critics hailed the winger to be on his prime.

Juventus sign Patrice Evra from Manchester United

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Patrice Evra is finally on the move, as the French left back has completed his long-awaited move to Juventus.

On Monday Evra ended his eight-and-a-half year association with the Red Devils and is swapping the Premier League for Serie A.

Evra, 33, joins Juve on a two-year deal after the French international was allowed to leave Old Trafford for a $2 million fee and United signed 19-year-old England left back Luke Shaw for $60 million earlier this month. Evra only signed a contract extension in May but as soon as Juve came in for him he was on his way.

During 379 appearances for United the Frenchman won a UEFA Champions League, five Premier League titles, three League Cups and a World Club Cup in his nine seasons and proved to be a fans favorite with his marauding runs from the left back spot. Under Sir Alex Ferguson, Evra was handed the captains armband on several occasions and his leadership alongside the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand saw his name go down in Red Devils history as a key component in one of their best-ever sides.

Speaking to the club website about his decision to up sticks and move to Italy, Evra had the following to say.

“After a great deal of thought I have decided the time is right for me to leave Manchester United. It is the biggest decision of my career as this club is, and will always remain, in my heart. My biggest thanks go to the fans. We have had some fantastic times together, we lifted all of those trophies together and that night in Moscow will live with us all forever. Every single time I stepped out in that shirt I knew I was playing for the badge and for a very special club. My passion for this club will live on and I know you guys will go on to enjoy more success in the coming seasons.”

With Evra’s decision to leave United, it truly marks the end of the old guard.

After Vidic left for Inter Milan this summer and Ferdinand departed for Queens Park Rangers, United’s defense is looking extremely young and inexperienced. Evra proved at the World Cup that he still has plenty more to give, as he put in some typically explosive displays from and was solid defensively. He will be remembered as a player who gave his all for United, as well as getting involved in several spats with other sides. Most famously his feud with Luis Suarez over allegations of racial abuse.

Fans of the Red Devils will be sad to see Evra leave but will be looking to usher in a new era with Shaw at left back and hopefully Mats Hummels in the center.