Pep Guardiola declined to respond to criticism from Yaya Toure after the ex-Manchester City midfielder accused his former coach of being “cruel to him” and having “problems with Africans.”
Toure, 35, was released by the City boss at the end of his contract after eight years with the club and claimed he wanted to “destroy the Guardiola myth” in an astonishing attack on the coach, for whom he also played at Barcelona.
But Guardiola — who described Toure as one of the “most important players in our history” before his emotional final farewell appearance at the Etihad Stadium — would not answer the player’s controversial remarks.
“I’m not going to comment on Toure’s words. I have nothing to say about Toure,” he said when questioned by reporters after playing in a golf tournament in Girona, Spain.
Guardiola is focusing on next season and wants to bring in at least two new faces in the summer, with Napoli’s Jorginho and Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez identified as his top targets.
Brazil forward Neymar has said he would like to work with Guardiola, while the Paris Saint-Germain forward has also been linked with a move to Real Madrid.
“I know that leaving Paris is not easy,” Guardiola replied when asked about Neymar’s potential move to the Bernabeu. “PSG is PSG.
“Will I coach him one day? I don’t think I’m going to go to PSG, I’m very happy at City.”
Guardiola has more than a month before some of his squad return ahead of their preseason summer tour to the United States in July.
Many of the first team will be given extra time off after the World Cup and may miss the tour but Leroy Sane, the Premier League’s Young Player of the Year, is likely to be involved after he was surprisingly omitted from the Germany squad by coach Joachim Low.
“I have a lot of respect for the Germany coach and he has taken that decision based on what he has seen,” Guardiola said. “He [Sane] has to rest now and return as good as he has been this season.”
Meanwhile, Guardiola will start the season with a touchline ban in the Champions League after UEFA found him guilty of improper conduct after he was sent to the stands in the quarterfinal defeat by Liverpool.
Guardiola was sent off by Antonio Miguel Lahoz after the Spanish official incorrectly ruled out a Sane goal in the second leg at the Etihad.
“Mateu Lahoz is Mateu Lahoz. I have nothing to say. I will watch the two games from the stands. One game if I behave,” he said. “Mateu sent me off. He will be the best Spanish referee to go to the World Cup.”
EPL: Pele predicts club that’ll win title this season
Brazil legend, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pele, has predicted the English Premier League club that will win the title this season.
Pele believes Liverpool will win the 2018-19 Premier League title this season ahead of Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea.
Last season, Man City won the EPL title and finished top of the Premier League with a whopping 100 points, 19 more than second-place United.
Tottenham enjoyed a great season and finished third on 77 points, while Liverpool took up the final Champions League qualifying spot as they finished fourth.
Chelsea suffered the biggest shock of the season, finishing fifth just one year after winning the EPL title.
Pele, however, took to his Twitter page to predict that the Anfield club will win the EPL title, adding that Liverpool’s new goalkeeper, Alisson and striker, Firmino could prove key for Jurgen Klopp’s team.
“It’s the start of the @PremierLeague today. Who do you think will win? I think it’s the year of Liverpool, Alisson and Firmino,” Pele tweeted on Saturday.
Liverpool have not won the League title since 1990.
Klopp’s side will play host to West Ham United in their opening EPL fixture on Sunday.
See tweet below:
Pelé Retweeted Premier League
Feet ‘N’ Tricks to host first Africa Freestyle Football championship
L-R: Ms Jumoke Oyewole-Lawuyi, Brand Manager, Sprite; Mr Scofield Wu, Manager, GAC Motors Africa; Mr. Valentine Ozigbo; Chairman, Feet ‘n’ Tricks International; Mary-Callista Ozigbo; Mr. Iheanyi Nzekwe, Country Distributor of Scavi & Ray, during the Press Conference to announce the commencement the call for entries for Freestyle Football 2018 African Championship to be organised by Feet ‘n’ Tricks International in partnership with the World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA) ,in Lagos on Friday
Feet ‘n’ Tricks International, in partnership with the World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA), has announced the hosting of debut Africa Freestyle Football Championship this year. The African championship is coming on the heels of the successful Nigerian Freestyle Championship organised by Feet ‘n’ Tricks International in 2017.
Freestyle football is described by the WFFA as “the art and sport of juggling a football using all parts of the body to entertain audiences and outperform opponents… a fusion of tricks with a ball, dance and music.”
Registration for this tournament is currently open to both male and female freestylers of African descent and will be closed on August 15, 2018. Registration will be done via the company’s website.
The qualifying rounds and Nigerian championship will hold on September 13 -14, 2018 at the Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos. After the qualifying rounds, the best 16 male and 8 female freestyle athletes in Africa will emerge to battle it out at the grand finale on September 15, 2018 in a bid to become the first African male and female Freestyle Football champions.
The 2018 Africa Freestyle Football Championship is being planned as a perfect fusion of freestyle football and entertainment as top musical and dance artistes will be performing.
BREAKING: Chelsea FC sacks manager, Maurizio Sarri to take over
Antonio Conte and his staff have been sacked by Chelsea FC, paving the way for Maurizio Sarri’s arrival.
The former Italy national coach has essentially been a lame duck at Stamford Bridge since the end of last season, but the Blues couldn’t agree a compensation deal with Napoli for Sarri.
The Blues have moved to dismiss Conte after just two years at the club after they missed out on Champions League qualification last term with a disappointing fifth-place finish in the Premier League.
The writing has been on the wall for some time with Chelsea openly on the lookout for a new boss ever since with a number of high-profile names considered.
Conte had refused to walk away unless the final year of his three-year contract was paid up in full and even returned to take pre-season training which began on Monday.
But a compensation agreement was finally reached on Thursday with Sarri set to be announced as his replacement soon.
Sarri will be joined by former Blues striker and club legend Gianfranco Zola who is set to join as part of a new-look backroom team.
Conte had taken the Chelsea team on early morning on Thursday, and gave his players the afternoon off after it became clear that the two clubs had reached a final compensation agreement.
Antonio Conte won the English Premier League in 2017, and the FA Cup in 2018.
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