Sadio Mane was crowned African Player of the Year in Rabat on Thursday for the second time.

The Senegal forward first won the honour in 2019 while he was at Liverpool.

The 30-year-old left the Premier League club last month after signing a three-year deal with Bayern Munich.

“I am really honoured and highly delighted to receive this award again,” Mane said.

“Thanks to my coaches, my club and national team colleagues and those friends who stood by me during difficult times.”

Mane was in the Moroccan capital to receive the award after a dash across the Atlantic having converted a penalty for his new club in a 6-2 pre-season friendly win over DC United in Washington on Wednesday.

It was the second successive continental player of the year award for Mane after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the last two editions.

He won ahead of former Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah from Egypt and fellow Senegal international and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Mane and Salah played pivotal roles last season with Liverpool, who lifted the FA Cup and English League Cup and finished runners-up in the Premier League and Champions League.

Salah has since signed a new contract at Anfield while Mane opted for a move, with Bayern reportedly paying an initial 32 million euros ($32.5 million) that could rise to 41 million euros.

The transfer fee was a far cry from the four million euros Red Bull Salzburg paid Metz in 2012 when Mane made his first move in Europe.



Sebastien Haller says he has completed the first step of his treatment after being diagnosed with a testicular tumour.

Borussia Dortmund’s former West Ham forward complained about feeling unwell following training on Monday and immediate medical examinations detected the tumour.

Posting a picture from his hospital bed on Thursday, a smiling Haller tweeted: “Hello everyone, I wanted to let you know that Step 1 has been completed!

“I would like to thank the @BVB (Dortmund) and the medical team who were exceptional with me.

“A big thank you also to all the nursing staff of the hospital for their support – benevolence.”

Haller added prayer and flexed biceps showing strength emojis to the tweet.

The 28-year-old Ivory Coast international joined Dortmund from Ajax earlier this month for a reported £27million.

He signed a four-year deal, after scoring 32 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions for the Dutch club last season.

Haller spent one and a half seasons at West Ham, making over 50 appearances, before the Hammers sold him to Ajax for £20.25 million in January 2021.

Dortmund quote tweeted Haller’s message and said: “Always a smile on his face…get well soon Seb!”

West Ham replied to their former player’s tweet: “We’re all with you, Seb!”, adding a heart emoji.



Already wearing Barcelona’s colors, Robert Lewandowski joined the squad in Miami on Sunday ahead of his medical and the signing of his contract with the Catalan club.

“I am very happy to have joined FC Barcelona,” Lewandowski said from Miami in a video released by Barcelona ahead of its U.S. tour.

The striker will sign his contract and be officially introduced by the club after undergoing the medical on Monday.

Barcelona on Saturday reached an agreement with Bayern Munich to acquire the Poland striker in a deal expected to reach nearly 50 million euros ($50.5 million).

Barcelona’s squad, still without Lewandowski, had its first training session in the United States on Sunday. It will play Miami in Florida before facing Real Madrid in Las Vegas, Juventus in Dallas and the New York Red Bull in New Jersey.

The 33-year-old Lewandowski has been one of soccer’s most prolific scorers in the last decade and was voted as FIFA’s best player of the year in 2020 and 2021. He arrives to boost a Barcelona team that did not win any titles last season following the departure of Lionel Messi.



The Borussia Dortmund forward Sébastien Haller has a testicular tumour and has left his new club’s preseason training camp in Switzerland.

In an official statement, Dortmund said that the 28-year-old first complained of feeling unwell at training on Monday. The tumour was found during a medical examination, with Haller returning to Germany to undergo further tests. Tumours can be benign and do not always lead to a diagnosis of cancer.

“This news today came as a shock to Sebastien Haller and everyone else,” the club’s sporting director, Sebastian Kehl, said. “The entire BVB family hopes that Sébastien makes a full recovery as soon as possible and that we can give him a hug again soon. We’ll do everything in our power to ensure that he receives the best possible treatment.”

Haller joined Dortmund earlier this month from Ajax, with Dortmund paying an initial €31m for a player they targeted to replace Erling Haaland. The France-born Ivory Coast international scored 34 goals for the Dutch side last season, including 11 in eight Champions League games.

Following Dortmund’s announcement, Ajax simply tweeted “Seb” with heart and prayer emojis. West Ham, where Haller played from 2019 to 2021, tweeted: “We’re with you, @HallerSeb. Wishing you the best with your recovery.”



Manchester United have moved a step closer to a third signing of the summer after an agreement was reached with Ajax over the transfer of Lisandro Martinez.

New boss Erik ten Hag saw Christian Eriksen complete a switch to Old Trafford on Friday, 10 days after Tyrell Malacia became the first addition of the Dutchman’s era, and another is on the horizon.

United announced on Sunday afternoon that Martinez was on the verge of signing, pending a medical, personal terms and a UK visa requirement.

“Manchester United is delighted to announce the club has reached agreement with Ajax for the transfer of Argentine international defender Lisandro Martinez, subject to medical, to player terms being finalised, and to UK visa requirements,” a statement read.

Martinez flew into England over the weekend to complete his deal, which is expected to be a five-year contract.

Centre-back Martinez will depart Ajax for an initial $57.37 million (€57 million) but it could rise by a further $10 million, the Dutch club confirmed in a statement.

The 24-year-old moved to the Eredivisie outfit three years ago and has made 120 appearances during that time, scoring on six occasions.

Martinez worked with Ten Haag throughout his time at the Johan Cruyff Arena and will link up with him again in Manchester.

United are currently out in Australia for their pre-season tour and have two more friendly fixtures before they conclude their time Down Under.

The Red Devils will face Crystal Palace on Tuesday and another Premier League side next weekend in Aston Villa.

Fellow new addition Eriksen will not be flying out to Australia, the PA news agency understands, and it could also be a similar case for Martinez, who will join fellow Argentinian Alejandro Garnacho at Old Trafford.



Erik Ten Hag is not getting carried away with Manchester United’s 4-0 friendly victory against rivals Liverpool in his first match in charge.

More than 50,000 were in the cavernous Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok to see the Premier League giants open their respective pre-season campaigns on Tuesday night.

New boss Ten Hag saw promising signs in Thailand, where Jadon Sancho, Fred and Anthony Martial scored in the first half and Facundo Pellistri wrapped up the eye-catching win.

It was a dream start in terms of result but the Dutchman wants much more from his team.

“Of course we are satisfied today because I think that was a team with a great spirit and we know we are just starting and things went wrong, clear,” Ten Hag said.
“We did the press, we made some mistakes in pressing, we conceded some chances, but also we created a lot.

“I think our team played brave, played proactive. We have to work really hard to cut out the mistakes but of course we are happy with the first game. I know we have good players.

“Now we have to construct a team and we started the first game now, so I am happy with the first game.”

Liverpool had numerous chances to score across a match in which they made sweeping changes on three occasions.

United changed their outfield line-up at half-time and were under the cosh in the second half of the Bangkok Century Cup clash.

“Believe me, I have seen a lot of mistakes,” Ten Hag told MUTV. “You would not say (that when you look) at the result but, be honest, Liverpool plays in three teams.

“They were not in their strongest so we have to not overestimate this result. We have to (be careful).

“But, still, I have seen some really good things and I think what you see is we have a lot of creativity and speed up front, so we have potential.”
Ten Hag skipped the press conference as United hotfooted it to the airport to fly to Australia, but Jurgen Klopp faced the media after a night in which his side somehow failed to score.

New boy Fabio Carvalho and Luis Diaz hit the post in the opening period, with Mohamed Salah rattling the woodwork in the second half among a glut of chances.

“The result obviously stands there so we have to accept that always,” Klopp said, admitting it was “pretty freaky” they did not score.

“But of course I think it’s clear that we could have scored our goals as well.

“But then I think it would have been an even more spectacular game because I think the goals we gave away to United…we should get assists for it, to be honest.

“But they used their chances, so that’s how it is. They had really good moments, caused us problems in a few, but I saw a lot of good stuff from a team as well.

“The game obviously came a bit too early for us, for a few of our players. You can see that as well. Mistakes happen in football.

“We could have scored I think three or four in the last five minutes but didn’t and that was our fault.

“The atmosphere great, welcome fantastic, organisation really, really good. The result (not) so that’s what the situation pretty much.”

Among the new faces on display on Tuesday was big-money summer signing Darwin Nunez.

“It was his third session and I think after his third sprint his lung was nearly ready to explode, like we killed him nearly,” Klopp said.

“But he offered the runs and the boys wanted to pass the ball there, so that’s for sure one of his strengths.

“He was dangerous, all these kind of things. Now we will see but I think his profile is a proper number nine so that’s helpful with speed, all these kinds of things, with aggression, use his body.”



England secured their place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2022 in stunning fashion as they hammered Norway 8-0 at the Amex Stadium to record the biggest win in the competition’s history.

The tournament hosts scored six times in a rampant first-half display, with Georgia Stanway’s 12th-minute penalty and a finish from Lauren Hemp three minutes later being followed by a brace apiece from Ellen White and Beth Mead.

That equalled the most amount of goals scored by one team in a Euros match, and England went on to set a new record for the most emphatic victory at a finals, surpassing their 6-0 win over Scotland in 2017, following an effort from substitute Alessia Russo and Mead completing her hat-trick.

With the remarkable win seeing them seal top spot in Group A, the Lionesses will be returning to Brighton a week on Wednesday to play the runners-up in Group B – which features Germany and Spain – in the last eight.

The demolition job was watched by a crowd of 28,847, from which cries of “football’s coming home” rang out at various stages as England’s unbeaten run under boss Sarina Wiegman extended to a 16th match with a 14th victory.

Their group fixtures conclude with Friday’s meeting at St Mary’s with now-eliminated Northern Ireland, who had lost 2-0 to Austria earlier on Monday.



Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has returned to the club to take up a coaching role.

The 30-year-old, who announced his retirement as a player last week after battling a series of injuries, has been appointed head coach of the Gunners’ under-18s.

Wilshere, who spent some time at London Colney last season working with the club’s young players, told Arsenal’s official website: “It’s a huge honour to have this role.

“It’s no secret that I love this club. I love what we stand for and a big part of my life was spent in this academy, some of the best days of my life. This is a big opportunity for me and I’m ready.

“I’m hungry and can’t wait to help these young players thrive and be the best they can be on and off the pitch.

“It’s a special feeling to be part of the Arsenal family. It never left me and, even though I moved on for a few years, my heart was always still at Arsenal. I can’t wait to get started and help these young players thrive with a great team around me.”

Academy graduate Wilshere, who also had spells with Bolton, Bournemouth, West Ham and Aarhus, made 197 appearances for the Gunners and was part of the FA Cup-winning sides of 2014 and 2015.

Academy manager Per Mertesacker said: “Everyone knows how passionate Jack is about Arsenal. He understands what we want to achieve here and he really impressed us last year.

“He knows exactly what it takes to progress through the academy into first-team football.”



Powerhouses Germany and Spain have a chance to further enhance their Euro 2022 credentials when they go head-to-head on Tuesday evening.

The Group B rivals meet at the Brentford Community Stadium with the Germans having launched their campaign with 4-0 victory over Denmark while the Spaniards beat Finland 4-1.

Here, the PA news agency looks ahead to Tuesday’s fixtures in the wake of a big night at the finals on Monday.

Spain coach Jorge Vilda is refusing to be cowed by Germany’s formidable reputation ahead of their showdown.

Despite the loss of star player Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas to an anterior cruciate ligament injury before the opening game, Vilda is confident his side are capable of ending their barren run against the eight-time European champions.

He said at his pre-match press conference: “We’ve played Germany in recent years and not managed to win but have drawn with them on a couple of occasions.

“The last time, we were five minutes away, we were very close. That means we’re there.”

Finland coach Anna Signeul has warned her players not to be taken in by Denmark’s opening result as they prepare to lock horns at Stadium MK on Tuesday.

The Danes went down 4-0 to the eight-time winners on Friday, but Signeul said at her pre-match press conference: “Perhaps Germany made Denmark not look so good, but we know they are a good team.

“They have world-class players like Pernilla Harder that everyone knows. We respect Denmark but we are also ready for tomorrow.”



Liverpool have included summer signing Darwin Nunez in their 37-man squad ahead of Tuesday’s pre-season friendly against Manchester United in Bangkok.

Just 24 hours after United arrived in Thailand on Saturday morning, Liverpool arrived in the country on Sunday, greeted to a similar reception to the one Erik ten Hag and his players received the day before. Hundreds of fans and photographers were eager to catch a glimpse of the squad and manager Jurgen Klopp.

After facing United in the The Match Bangkok Century Cup at the Rajamangala National Stadium, Liverpool will continue their tour by travelling to Singapore. United, meanwhile, will travel to Australia for matches against Melbourne Victory, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.

Just like Ten Hag this pre-season, Klopp had to wait until last Monday before his international contingent returned to the AXA Training Centre, meaning they have not had as long as other members of the squad on the training ground. However, the tour will represent Klopp’s chance to assess the whole of his squad, starting with the clash against United.

The German has been able to name many of his star players in his 37-man squad, including Alisson, Andy Robertson, Thiago and Mohamed Salah. New recruits Fabio Carvalho and Nunez have also made the cut.
However, fellow new recruit Calvin Ramsay — signed from Aberdeen — has been left out because of a minor injury problem. Earlier this week, Klopp said: “Unfortunately, Calvin is now not training with us at the moment, he has a little injury.

“Nobody knew, we found it when he did his medical check. Until today he has had no problems but the medical department tells us if we don’t take care of that now, he will have a problem in the future.

“So, when you are that young then of course he has a long career ahead of him, so we are very responsible in these moments, so he didn’t train yet with the team but is doing a lot of fitness work. So, it will not take too long I think.”

Full Liverpool squad available ahead of pre-season friendly vs United:

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Adrian, Harvey Davies & Fabian Mrozek.

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez, Nat Phillips, Rhys Williams, Sepp van den Berg, Stefan Bajcetic, Andy Robertson, Kostas Tsimikas, Luke Chambers & James Norris.

Midfielders: Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones, Fabinho, Thiago, Harvey Elliott, Tyler Morton, Leighton Clarkson, Melkamu Frauendorf, Isaac Mabaya & Thomas Hill.

Attackers: Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez, Roberto Firmino, Fabio Carvalho & Bobby Clark.