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Messi’s final game for PSG ends in defeat

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Paris Saint-Germain’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi attends with his children prior to the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Clermont Foot 63 at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris on June 3, 2023. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Messi’s final game for PSG ends in defeat

Lionel Messi was jeered by a section of Paris Saint-Germain supporters as he played his final game for the club in the Ligue 1 champions’ 3-2 home defeat by Clermont on Saturday.

Messi’s expected departure from the French giants after two seasons was officially confirmed by PSG in a statement shortly before Saturday’s game.

“His contribution to Paris Saint-Germain and Ligue 1 cannot be underestimated and we wish Leo and his family all the best for the future,” said PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi.

Yet Messi’s name was jeered by some fans as the teams were announced at the Parc des Princes and the Argentinian World Cup winner was again whistled sporadically during the match.

There was little riding on the game itself after PSG wrapped up a record 11th French title last weekend, and Christophe Galtier’s side contrived to throw away a two-goal lead.

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Sergio Ramos, whose own departure from PSG was confirmed on Friday, marked his final appearance by heading in a Vitinha cross for the opener in the 16th minute.

– Tribute to injured Rico –

Mbappe, looking to end a fifth consecutive season as Ligue 1’s top scorer, then scored a penalty to make it 2-0 with his 29th league goal this season, which he marked by holding up goalkeeper Sergio Rico’s number 16 jersey.

Spaniard Rico, PSG’s back-up goalkeeper, is in a serious condition in hospital in Seville after being injured in a horse-riding accident last weekend.

“The most important thing was the tribute to Sergio,” Mbappe told broadcaster Canal Plus.

“There are more important things than football, and on the pitch we were already champions. We could have lost 22-0 and that would not have changed anything for us.

“We had to pay tribute to Sergio. I think we have all been affected by what is an extremely serious situation. We have been worried about that all week and so we tried to pay tribute in the best possible way.”

Mbappe’s goals tally left him two ahead of Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette in the final standings.

Johan Gastien pounced on a Marco Verratti mistake to pull a goal back for Clermont, who then saw Grejohn Kyei miss a penalty.

The visitors then equalised in first-half stoppage time when Mehdi Zeffane netted from close range after Gianluigi Donnarumma spilled the ball.

Kyei got Clermont’s winner in the second half when he turned in a cross with his knee.

Messi’s final game for PSG ends in defeat

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Saudi Arabia to host 2024 CAF Super Cup final

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Saudi Arabia to host 2024 CAF Super Cup final

African football governing body, CAF, has announced that the 2024 CAF Super Cup final between Al Ahly SC of Egypt and Zamalek SC of Egypt will be played in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on September 27 as part of Riyadh Season 2024, the body announced in a statement on Friday.

“CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe and HE Turki Alalshikh announce Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as hosts of the TotalEnergies CAF Super Cup Final 2024 as part of ‘Riyadh Season 2024’,” the statement said.

In the all-Egyptian club final, the current winners of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League, Al Ahly SC and the current winners of the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup, Zamalek SC will face off far away from home in the Middle East.

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“The TotalEnergies CAF Super Cup Final 2024 will feature the current winners of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League, Al Ahly SC and the current winners of the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup, Zamalek SC and will be played on Friday 27 September 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,” the statement added.

It is not the first time that CAF has hosted the Super Cup final outside of the continent. From 2019 to 2021, the one-off game was played in Qatar before it returned to the continent in the following year when Morocco hosted the 2022 edition.

The CAF Super Cup was hosted in the Middle East when Saudi Arabia staged the game in 2023 and will again return to the country.

Saudi Arabia to host 2024 CAF Super Cup final

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PSG stake €200m for Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia

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PSG stake €200m for Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia

French giants PSG have launched a shock €200 million bid for Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen and his Napoli teammate Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

Osimhen has been available in the summer transfer market with a €130 million release clause, but Napoli is willing to lower their asking price to €100 million, as it is no longer a secret that Napoli intends to sell the Nigerian international.

The deal is said to be worth €110 million for Osimhen and €90 million for the Georgian.

According to Corriere dello Sport, PSG and Saudi powerhouse Al Ahli are the most interested parties in Osimhen.

However, Osimhen is not considering a move to the Saudi Pro League, while he also harbours a dream of playing in the Premier League.

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The French giants have now made an offer to lure the striker and Kvaratskhelia to France, offering the Serie A club the opportunity to break the deadlock that has emerged with Osimhen in recent weeks.

While Osimhen is available for sale, the Italian club has repeatedly stated that no deal is possible for Kvaratskhelia, who Napoli have reiterated on numerous occasions is not for sale. In June, PSG put €110m offer for the Georgia international winger, but this was knocked back for the 2022/23 Serie A champions.

Arsenal and Chelsea have both been linked with a move for the 25-year-old Nigeria hitman, yet Napoli’s insistence that they would have to pay the full value of his €130m release fee to secure his services has put both Premier League giants off.

As per Corriere dello Sport, De Laurentiis could accept a lower offer as long as it arrives quickly, allowing Napoli to sign Conte’s primary target, Romelo Lukaku.

PSG stake €200m for Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia

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Anthony Joshua set to break Tyson Fury record

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Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury

Anthony Joshua set to break Tyson Fury record

Anthony Joshua is set to break Tyson Fury’s British attendance record in his upcoming world title fight against Daniel Dubois.

Joshua will face Dubois for the IBF title on September 21 at Wembley Stadium, where promoters expect over 100,000 fans.

Fury set a British attendance record in April 2023, when 94,000 people packed Wembley Stadium to watch him defeat Dillian Whyte. In an interview with talkSPORT, promoter Frank Warren expressed confidence that the upcoming bout would exceed that figure.

“Oh, it is massive. I mean, we will apply to increase capacity, just as we did when Tyson Fury fought Dillian Whyte. And I think we’ve got it; I believe we’ll break the record. So, it looks really good.”

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Joshua, 34, is no stranger to huge sell-out stadium shows, having drawn over 90,000 fans at Wembley in 2017 when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko. He has also attracted 75,000 at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium and another 62,000 at Tottenham’s football ground.

However, his last two bouts took place in Saudi Arabia, where he secured knockout wins over Otto Wallin and ex-UFC champion Francis Ngannou.

Warren acknowledged the challenge Joshua posed but remained optimistic about Dubois’ chances.

“A lot of people are making Joshua a favourite, and they’re saying AJ is a big puncher and so forth and I hope he comes out and comes to fight because if he lets those big punches go I know that will leave him exposed. If Daniel clips him, it will knock him out. I think Daniel is the bigger puncher,” Warren said.

“I genuinely think that Daniel can win this, he’s a young man, he’s fought better opposition in his last three fights than AJ has. And by the way, AJ has looked good in his last few fights but not against as good opposition as what Daniel has been in with.”

Anthony Joshua set to break Tyson Fury record

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