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Soccer: Real Madrid’s Marcelo, midfielder Isco confirm exits

After lifting a fifth Champions League trophy with Real Madrid, captain Marcelo and midfielder Isco said they will be leaving the Spanish and European champions.

Brazilian defender Marcelo is the most decorated player in Real’s 120-year history, picking up his 25th trophy with the club as they beat Liverpool 1-0 in the Champions League final on Saturday.

The 34-year-old made more than 500 appearances for the club during his 16-year stint and inherited the captain’s armband from Sergio Ramos following the Spaniard’s move to Paris St Germain last year.

He has found playing time limited in recent seasons, however, and made only 12 appearances in the league during the 2021-22 campaign.

“It is a wonderful moment in my life, I close a cycle here, in the best club in the world,” Marcelo told supporters during Real’s trophy celebrations in Madrid on Sunday.

“Today is not a day of sadness, but a day of joy because we have once again won the best championship in the world. I am very proud of myself and so is my family. We have lived many magical nights together.

“I tell you one thing, the future of Madrid is very good with the young players. Hala Madrid.”

Marcelo, who made his debut for Real in January 2007 after joining from Fluminense, added that his relationship with the club was not at an end, saying he would do “something else at the club” in the future.

Spanish playmaker Isco confirmed his departure on Monday after nine years in the Spanish capital, having made more than 350 appearances and won 19 trophies since arriving at Santiago Bernabeu from Malaga.

Isco, 30, was sparingly used by manager Carlo Ancelotti in the 2021-22 season, playing only 17 times in all competitions.

“After nine years I finish my journey at Real Madrid, a club that has made it possible for me to fulfil all the dreams I had as a kid,” Isco wrote on Instagram.

“Apart from fulfilling dreams, winning more titles than I had ever imagined, playing with the greatest players, meeting incredible people – I have had the best time… See you always and Hala Madrid.”

Constantine interviewed by Chennaiyin FC

Former India coach Stephen Constantine has been interviewed by ISL franchise Chennaiyin FC for the head coach’s position.

The 59-year-old Constantine confirmed this on Twitter. Asked if there was truth to the speculation, he responded in the positive.

Two-time ISL champions Chennaiyin FC have not won the silverware since their triumph in the 2017-18 season. Their first title came in 2015-16.

Constantine, who was the Indian national team coach on two occasions (2002-05 and 2015-19), guided the country to the 2002 LG Cup title and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

He remains among a handful of coaches who were involved with the game in India during the erstwhile National Football League and the Indian Super League.

He ended his four-year reign as the head coach of the Indian football team following their group-stage exit from the AFC Asian Cup in 2019.

This was Constantine’s second tenure as India coach after being in charge of the team from 2002 to 2005.

His second stint began in 2015 after he succeeded the Netherlands’ Wim Koevermans. Under Constantine, India did make progress, especially in FIFA world rankings after a string of good results.

I-League club FC Bengaluru United appoint Khalid Jamil as head coach

Khalid Ahmed Jamil has been appointed as FC Bengaluru United head coach for the upcoming season.

Jamil was previously associated with Indian Super League club NorthEast United FC. He holds the distinction of being the first Indian head coach of an ISL team and the first Indian coach to qualify for the ISL playoffs.

He has also worked with East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in a managerial capacity and was instrumental in leading Aizawl FC to their first I-League title in the 2016-17 season.

“Khalid has been one of the most sought-after coaches in Indian football,” said Gaurav Manchanda, owner, FC Bengaluru United.

“He brings with him nuanced leadership and technical skills that stem for his decade-long management and coaching experience.

“FC Bengaluru United is on an upward growth trajectory; we are excited to be working with Khalid and are confident that we will see the club reach even greater heights under him,” he added.

Speaking on his appointment, Jamil said, “The FCBU squad is a blend of youth and experience, and I am eager to work with them and sharing all my learnings.

“I am confident we can work together and see the club reach its greatest potential – both from an individual player perspective as well as a team.”

Valencia sack president Murthy after leaked audio recordings

Valencia have sacked president Anil Murthy after leaked audio recordings and the Spanish club’s initial defence of his actions tarnished their reputation, the LaLiga side said on Monday.

Spanish newspaper Superdeporte had published audio of Murthy speaking at a work dinner where he allegedly described Liverpool and Newcastle as “shit” cities while also threatening to vilify Valencia players in the media if they forced an exit.

The club had initially released a statement earlier this month which said Superdeporte had looked to “distort reality” while Murthy described it as a smear campaign. But the club have now changed their tune.

“The board of directors of Valencia CF wish to address recent events which have regrettably affected the club’s relationship with fans, government authorities and the community,” the club said in a statement.

“The board would like to clarify that the content of the leaked conversations between Anil Murthy and various third parties are the personal views of Anil Murthy and not of Valencia CF. Valencia CF disassociates itself from his views.

“The board hold the view that a change in leadership is required, in order to regain the trust of the fans and the community… Effective immediately, Anil Murthy will cease to be both President and an employee of Valencia CF.”

Valencia added that Sean Bai, the director of the club’s academy, has been appointed as acting Director General on an interim basis as they look to appoint a permanent replacement.

Valencia finished ninth in LaLiga this season, failing to qualify for any European competition for a third straight season.

 

 

 

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