Soccer digest

Updated: 2013-07-19 07:34

(China Daily)

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La Liga

Messi confident advisers will resolve tax woes

Lionel Messi is optimistic his advisers will be able to sort out his tax problems after he and his father were accused of defrauding the Spanish authorities last month. The Argentine World Player of the Year and his father, Jorge, who have denied any wrongdoing, allegedly hid more than 4 million euros ($5.3 million) by filing false tax returns for the years 2006-09. "I am very calm," Rosario-born Messi said on Wednesday, his first since returning from holiday. "I never take care of that stuff myself and neither does my father," the 26-year-old said.

Serie A

Napoli chasing Higuain and Damiao

Napoli is in talks to buy Real Madrid's Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain and Internacional's Brazil striker Leandro Damiao and is close to a deal for Real's Spain defender Raul Albiol, president Aurelio De Laurentiis said on Wednesday. The Serie A club is flush with cash after agreeing to the sale of Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani to Paris St. Germain for a reported fee of 64 million euros ($84.1 million) on Tuesday and is looking to strengthen its squad for its domestic and Champions League campaigns.


Reggae Boyz name Schafer as coach

Jamaica's Reggae Boyz, all but eliminated from contention for the 2014 World Cup, named Winfried Schafer as their new coach on Wednesday for the remainder of CONCACAF qualifying matches. The 63-year-old German will guide Jamaica for the final four matches after Theodore Whitmore was fired following the Reggae Boyz's woeful qualifying start, including four losses in a row.

Premier League

Cisse quits tour on religious grounds

Papiss Cisse has withdrawn from Newcastle's preseason tour of Portugal after refusing to wear club sponsor Wonga's logo on religious grounds, the BBC said on Wednesday. The Senegal striker, a Muslim, told club officials he was not prepared to promote Wonga, a firm which offers short-term, high-interest loans. Islamic law forbids borrowing or paying money with interest.

Maicon joins AS Roma from Man City

Former Brazil international right-back Maicon has left Manchester City for Serie A side AS Roma, the Premier League club confirmed on Thursday. Maicon, 31, who played 66 times for Brazil between 2003 and 2011, joined City from Inter Milan for 3 million pounds ($4.55 million) a year ago, but made only 13 appearances in all competitions during his solitary season at the Etihad Stadium.

Ligue 1

PSG signs Lille leftback Digne

Paris St. Germain has signed promising leftback Lucas Digne from Lille on a five-year contract, the club said on Wednesday. Digne, who will turn 20 on Saturday, became a first-team regular for Lille last season and featured in the Champions League for the Ligue 1 club. Digne played for France during its Under-20 World Cup winning campaign in Turkey earlier this month. Digne said: "To play for Paris St. Germain, with these exceptional players, is a dream come true."

Copa Libertadores

Olimpia wins first leg of Libertadores final

Alejandro Silva and Wilson Pittoni scored to help Olimpia of Paraguay beat Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro 2-0 on Wednesday night in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final. Silva scored on a left-footed shot in the 23rd minute that went in off the near post to beat keeper Victor, and Pittoni added the second goal with a freekick deep into second-half stoppage time. The second leg is next Wednesday in Belo Horizonte.


(China Daily 07/19/2013 page22)