Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says he has no immediate plans to retire and that it would be a waste to quit now when he feels he is still in top form. The 37-year-old, speaking after Juventus beat Monaco 1-0 in the Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday evening, said: “At the first sign of slipping, I would be the first to bow out. “But why bid farewell to football if you are playing well? I think one should stop playing when you go onto the field and see that you are no longer the same person.”
Today is the 26th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, when 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives at the start of an FA Cup semi-final, following a crush on the steel-fenced terraces of Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium in 1989. To mark the occasion, the Liverpool website has put together a photo compilation which “powerfully expresses how and why the 96 fans who lost their lives will never be forgotten”.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather says he will fight just once more after next month’s clash with Manny Pacquiao, because he no longer enjoys the sport. The unbeaten American’s 2 May fight with Pacquiao is the fifth of a six-fight contract with broadcaster Showtime. And Mayweather, 38, says the “fun” has gone out of boxing, which he now regards as “a job”. He added: “I don’t enjoy it like I once did. My last fight is in September.”
Crystal Palace defender Joel Ward has signed a new three-and-a-half year contract which will keep him at the club until 2018. The 25-year-old has been an ever-present for the Eagles this season, playing every minute in the Premier League. “It’s been something that has been talked about a little bit and I’m glad to now put that to the back and just concentrate with my football and I’m delighted to have signed the deal,” he told the club website. Crystal Palace has rejuvenated since the arrival of coach Alan Pardew and are currently 11th of the Premier League standings having quickly moved away from relegation battle.
Kosovo has been recognised as a provisional member of the International Association of Athletics Federations. The decision follows a similar verdict from the International Olympic Committee in October and it means Kosovo becomes the 214th member of the IAAF. A statement from the governing body read: “The IAAF has received and reviewed an application for IAAF membership from the Kosovo Athletic Federation. The application was judged to meet the requirements, as set out in article 4.3 of the constitution, and provisional IAAF membership was granted.”
Newcastle fans are planning to boycott Sunday’s home match against Tottenham after it was revealed the club had more than £34m in their bank account at the end of the last financial year. Newcastle recently announced a record annual profit of £18.7m for 2013-14, but many fans have criticised the ambition of owner Mike Ashley. “A lot of fans would ask why was a significant portion of that money not spent on team strengthening,” said Newcastle fanzine editor Mark Jensen. “The idea of a boycott has been building for a long time and you can’t blame the fans. The frustrating thing for them is the money is there but the club won’t spend it.”
Brazilian teams are on alert because of a dengue fever outbreak that is affecting some of the country’s top clubs. Three players were diagnosed with the mosquito-borne disease this week, while clubs have been supplying insect repellent during training. Cases of dengue fever have increased significantly across Brazil this year, with most of them reported in Sao Paulo state. Corinthians midfielder Renato Augusto said some of the club’s players have been training with pants and long sleeves to try to avoid the mosquitoes. Brazil’s health ministry said there have been more than 460,000 cases of the disease in the country in 2015, while more than 130 people have died this year already.
Holders Manchester United and Chelsea will be among the sides playing in the pre-season International Champions Cup North America. The tournament will also include Barcelona, Paris St Germain, Porto, Fiorentina, New York Red Bulls, LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes and Mexican side Club America United and Real Madrid attracted a crowd of 109,318 to Michigan Stadium during last year’s tournament before Louis van Gaal’s side went on to beat Liverpool in the final.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has told the club’s television channel MUTV that he is already scouting players for next season. “Already in January [we began thinking about the 2015/16 season] because we have to prepare our pre-season,” he explained. “We also think about the scouting of players, the scouting of our own players because we have a lot on loan and then we have to analyse their performances, so it’s a lot of work. It’s not only the present season but also what we have to decide for players next season.”
On-loan Brighton midfielder Joao Teixeira will be out for the rest of the season with a broken leg. The 22-year-old, who is on loan from Liverpool, sustained the injury in the 0-0 draw with Huddersfield on Tuesday. “Our thoughts are with Joao, as this is a real blow to him after such a good season for the club,” Seagulls boss Chris Hughton told the club website. The Portugal Under-21 international joined Brighton in August and scored six goals in 35 appearances during his time at the Amex Stadium.
Thirty-two tons of dead fish have been cleared out of the lagoon where Olympic rowing and canoeing events will take place next year, officials in Rio de Janeiro said on Wednesday. More than 60 people from the city’s sanitation department have been working daily since week to remove the fish from the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, with many thousands washed up on the shore, and will keep doing so until the problem is resolved. Specialists dispute what caused the fish to perish, with some claiming it is down to a sudden drop in water temperature and others saying pollution is to blame.
Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez has been found guilty of first-degree murder over the fatal shooting of his friend. Relatives of the victim wept in the Massachusetts courthouse as the verdict was announced on live television. Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was arrested in 2013 and charged with killing Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro player found near his home. Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée, was found dead with six bullet wounds. At the time, Hernandez had a contract worth $40m (£27m). But within hours of his arrest, the Patriots sacked Hernandez, considered one of the top tight ends playing the game. Hernandez is not an isolated case. National Football League (NFL) players have been charged with any number of crimes over the years, from rape to dog-fighting.
Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has said he will leave the Bundesliga club at the end of the season. The 47-year-old German asked to be released from his contract, which had been due to run until 2018. “It’s not that I’m tired, I’ve not had contact with another club but don’t plan to take a sabbatical,” he said. Klopp has coached Dortmund since 2008, taking them to two league titles and the Champions League final in 2012-13, but this term they are currently 10th. They lie 37 points behind leaders Bayern Munich, having been bottom of the league in February before a partial revival. Klopp told a news conference: “I always said in that moment where I believe I am not the perfect coach anymore for this extraordinary club I will say so. “I really think the decision is the right one. This club deserves to be coached from the 100% right manager.” Referring to the departures of Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich over the past two summers, he added: “I chose this time to announce it because in the last few years some player decisions were made late and there was no time to react.” Regarded as one of the most talented coaches in Europe, the charismatic Klopp led Dortmund to successive Bundesliga titles and became the first boss to win the domestic double with the club. He also guided them to the Champions League final, in which they were beaten 2-1 by fellow German side Bayern Munich at Wembley.