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Xavi content with bit-part role BARCELONA: Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez insisted he hasn't been frustrated by his lack of opportunities under new boss Luis Enrique after starting for the first time this season in a much-changed side in a 1-0 victory over APOEL Nicosia on Wednesday.Gerard Pique's first-half header was enough to hand the Catalans an unconvincing winning start to their Champions League campaign against the Cypriot champions.Xavi started alongside youngsters Sergi Samper and Sergi Roberto in midfield as Enrique made nine changes in all from the side that started Saturday's 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao."I am happy. When my turn to play comes I will try to be useful," said the 34-year-old, who moved level with Real Madrid legend Raul for the all-time record of Champions League appearances with 142.Despite the presence of Lionel Messi and Neymar in attack, Barca struggled to create clear-cut chances against the mass ranks of the APOEL defence and ...

Wilko-less Toulon in kicking turmoil PARIS: Defending Top 14 champions Toulon go into their sixth game of the season at Brive on Friday in the midst of a kicker crisis.The double European champions suffered a hiccup last weekend when they went down 28-24 to Stade Francais, three players missing six penalties and a conversion between them.The metronomic Jonny Wilkinson hung up his boots last season, and his normal kicking back-up, Australian Matt Giteau, has sat out the last three matches ...

Tamgho serves time honing triple jump in Cuba BACURANAO: Teddy Tamgho could have been excused for taking it easy after being handed a one-year ban for missing three drugs tests.But the world triple jump champion is doing anything but, pushing himself to the limit in a five-week training camp in Cuba with coach Ivan Pedroso."It's more than 30 degrees Celsius (84F) at 9 o'clock in the morning - it's very, very tough," Tamgho tells AFP at Bacuranao beach, close to Havana, big droplets ...

London favourite as UEFA to announce Euro 2020 hosts GENEVA: The long wait to find out who will host the 2020 European Championship -- the first time the event will be held in 13 countries simultaneously -- ends on Friday when UEFA meet in Geneva, Switzerland.European football's governing body will have to pick from 19 candidates, stretching from Israel and Spain to Azerbaijan and Wales. But London's Wembley already looks the odds-on favourite to host the semi-finals and final, after German officials hinted they ...

US police arrest Cardinals player LOS ANGELES: US police arrested Jonathan Dwyer of the Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday on suspicion of assault, just the latest NFL player to hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.The allegations stem from an incident in July at a Phoenix home and involved a 27-year-old woman and an 18-month-old baby boy, media reports said."We became aware of these allegations this afternoon when notified by Phoenix police and are cooperating fully," the Cardinals said in ...

Scott and caddie Williams part ways SYDNEY: Adam Scott says he has parted ways with Steve Williams, the caddie who helped him become Australia's first Masters champion and pushed him to golf's top ranking.New Zealander Williams, 50, who formerly caddied for Greg Norman and Tiger Woods, was hoping to remain on Scott's bag in a part-time capacity but the Australian decided that would not be workable.The world No. 2 announced the news via a statement late Wednesday, just days after finishing ...

Asian Games: 'Fire up the barbie!' Sun teases swim rival Park INCHEON: China's controversial Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang has bet rival Park Tae-hwan a barbecue dinner that he will beat the South Korean at the Asian Games.In a tongue-in-cheek Chinese television commercial, Sun even claimed he was the prettier of the two freestyle heavyweights before their showdown in the pool next week as he set his sights on the local hero."Please keep up with your efforts," Sun said, the hulking swimmer wearing little red armbands. ...


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