Daily Archives: February 8, 2017

Leicester pledges “unwavering support” for Claudio Ranieri

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Leicester City have given their “unwavering support” to manager Claudio Ranieri despite falling to just one point above the relegation zone.

The Italian faces mounting pressure under several undesirable streaks, which includes a run of just two wins in their last 15 Premier League games, and a record of no wins and no goals since the beginning of 2017.

In their statement, the club acknowledged the “recent speculation” about Ranieri while reaffirming their commitment to the 65-year-old, and insisted their strategy for success was “based on stability”.

In light of recent speculation, Leicester City Football club would like to make absolutely clear its unwavering support for first-team manager, Claudio Ranieri,” the statement read.

While there is a collective appreciation from everyone at the club that recent form needs to improve, the unprecedented success achieved in recent seasons has been based firmly on stability, togetherness and determination to overcome even the greatest of challenges. The entire club is and will remain unified behind its manager and behind its players, collectively.

“Maybe the chairman wants to stop all the speculation,” Ranieri said of the statement.

“For me, it’s important to try to find the right solution for the players, that is it. When you don’t win you lack confidence, it’s normal, but fortunately these players are warriors,” the Italian added.

“They are used to fighting. They already lived this situation. They’ve lived the good things but also the bad. So I stay with the soldiers, with the warriors who know the problem, who know the enemy.”

Ranieri went on to claim he would always be grateful towards the players for their unprecedented Premier League title win last season.

“I love these players, they gave me something special in my career, I thank them all my life for this”, he said.

Leicester club chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha will be flying in from Thailand to watch as his club takes on Derby County at home in their FA Cup fourth round replay, and give a public show of support to Ranieri.

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm announces retirement

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Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has announced that he will retire as a player at the end of the current season.

Lahm, 33, also captained Germany to their 2014 World Cup victory; he retired from international activities after their final victory in Brazil at 113 caps for Die Mannschaft.

“I’m going to stop playing football at the end of the season,” the FC Bayern youth product confirmed following his team’s 1-0 victory over VfL Wolfsburg in Tuesday evening’s DFB Cup Round of 16 tie. It was the defender’s 501st appearance for the Bundesliga champions.

However, the announcement meant that Lahm will stop playing despite having a contract scheduled to expire on 30 June 2018.

“More than a year ago I started checking and questioning myself from day to day and week to week. I’m certain I’ll maintain peak form through to the end of the season. I can manage that until the end of the campaign, but not beyond it.”

With regard to a potential future in the FC Bayern management team, Lahm stated: “There were talks, and in the end I decided it’s not the right time for me to take up a new position at FC Bayern.”

Lahm had made his senior debut for Bayern in 2002, winning seven Bundesliga seasons, 6 DFB Cup trophies as well as one Champions League title alongside the team since then.

Roma thrashes Fiorentina with Dzeko brace

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Edin Dzeko scored twice for Roma as the capital club devastated a visiting Fiorentina to set a new club record.

Roma has now their last 14 home games in Serie A, breaking their previous record of 13 which had stood since 1930.

Radja Nainggolan and Federico Fazio scored the other two goals as the latter also proved crucial at the other end with a goalline clearance to deny Federico Chiesa in the 14th minute.

Chiesa’s effort was also Fiorentina’s only realistic attempt on goal — and after that Roma began to take full control of the game.

They took the lead at with 6 minutes left before half-time following a brilliant Daniele De Rossi cross which Dzeko chested, before turning and driving into the bottom left corner.

It was the first time Dzeko has scored in five successive matches since 2009, when he was playing for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.

His teammate De Rossi then produced a second contribution shortly before the hour, with a free kick which Fazio headed in for his first Serie A goal.

But thirsting for more, Roma continued to surge forward and they tripled their lead in the 75th with a wonderful team move. From a counterattack, Dzeko found De Rossi, who passed to Kevin Strootman on the left. The Dutchman took one touch, looked up and picked out Nainggolan, who controlled the ball and calmly finished it off.

Dzeko doubled his tally seven minutes from time. Catching Fiorentina defender Davide Astori off-guard, Dzeko dispossessed the hapless defender and fired past Ciprian Tatarusanu.

With full three points at the final whistle, Roma ascends up to second place ahead of Napoli. They are now four points behind leaders Juventus, although they have played a game more than the champions.