Category Archives: International Friendly

Michael Carrick: midfielder asked to no to be picked for England

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Michael Carrick has revealed he asked not to be picked for England after becoming “depressed” on international duty.

Carrick, who plays as a midfielder for Manchester United has also made 34 appearances for his country, with the last being in a friendly against Spain in November 2015.

However, he said that his experience at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa left a lasting impression.

“I’d been in the squad a long time and I’ll be honest, I was finding it hard going away with England. I didn’t mind going away with United pre-season for three weeks or whatever and coming back, but going with England, it was almost depressing in a way.”

“It made me really down, so I came to the point after South Africa where I thought: ‘I can’t do that again.’ People would be saying: ‘Pull yourself together and be grateful for it’ and I understood the position I was in, the privileged position I was in, but I just found it so hard and I couldn’t deal with it any more.”

“I was probably on the verge of … yes, I was depressed at times, yes. I told the FA: ‘Look, please don’t pick me.’”

Carrick, 36, has revealed his intentions earlier this season to retire as a player at the end of the season, when he will join the coaching staff at Manchester United

Gabriel Jesus scores for Brazil and ends Germany’s unbeaten streak

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Gabriel Jesus scored Brazil as the South American nation defeated Germany by 1-0 in Berlin to end the hosts’ 22-game unbeaten run.

For some, it may also restore some lost pride for the five-time world champions following the humiliating mismatch between the two sides in their previous meeting, when Germany crushed the hosts by 7-1 in the 2014 World Cup semi-final in Belo Horizonte.

It also meant that Joachim Low’s side, the reigning world champions and the team top of the world rankings, lost for the first time since a 2-0 defeat by France in the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

Gabriel Jesus’s first-half header settled the friendly seven minutes before the interval when the goalkeeper, Kevin Trapp, flapped at his powerful but centrally positioned header and allowed the ball go in.

Jesus had also missed a good chance minutes earlier when he left two Germany defenders sprawling on a counterattack and then fired over with only the goalkeeper to beat.

On the other side of the pitch, Ilkay Gundogan had the home side’s best chance when he mishit the ball after Julian Draxler pulled it back.

There was also a contentious moment in the game as the referee, Jonas Eriksson, asked the Brazil captain, Dani Alves, to calm his players down after Toni Kroos felt the effect of yet another robust challenge.

Despite their lead, Brazil emerged with more intent after the break, with Antonio Rüdiger blocking Willian and Paulinho drawing a good save from Trapp off the rebound, before Philippe Coutinho fired just over.

The Barcelona forward was also denied when Joshua Kimmich produced a vital interception, and Jesus missed an open goal from the resultant corner.

As the game later, Sandro Wagner twice headed good chances wide but that was as close as Germany got as Brazil adopted a 6-3-1 formation to protect their lead.

Ronaldo scores brace in injury-time to lift Portugal over Egypt

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored two stoppage-time headers as Portugal rallied from behind to win 2-1 against Egypt, who had taken the lead though Mohamed Salah’s second-half strike, in a match billed as a stage for two of Europe’s current top strikers.

After a tame first half, Salah, who scored 28 Premier League goals this season so far, brought his superb domestic form to the international arena during a lively showing, and opened the scoring in the 56th minute with a sharp left-footed finish from the edge of the area.

Indeed, Egypt had looked superb and displayed defensive discipline under Argentine coach Hector Cuper as they looked primed to hold on for a famous victory until Ronaldo’s late intervention.

The Real Madrid star first met a Ricardo Quaresma cross in the 92nd minute to head home past the previously excellent Ahmed El-Shenawy, who fumbled the ball over his line.

Not content with that, he added a second just moments later when he rose again to divert a free kick from Quaresma into the far corner, and sealed the win.

The crowd, who were keen for a restart to equalize, were annoyed and jeered as there was initial confusion when the match referee consulted the video assistant referee (VAR) system for a possible offside before allowing Portugal’s second goal.

With the brace, Ronaldo moved into third place all-time with 81 international goals — past Japan’s Kunishige Kamamoto and behind only Iran’s Ali Daei (109) and Hungary’s Ferenc Puskas (84).

The former Manchester United star has also made it 43 goals in 40 appearances this season as Portugal laid down a marker before the World Cup, with 23 of those coming from his last 12 games.

Wales hit six over China as Bale sets new international record

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Welsh star Gareth Bale scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 thrashing of China to become the nation’s leading goalscorer.

Wales international coach Ryan Giggs, who was making his debut, watched as the striker put Wales ahead inside three minutes with a fine run and finish clipped into the top corner.

Bale then slotted in a second soon after to move level with Ian Rush’s mark of 28 goals, before Sam Vokes’ flick and Harry Wilson’s excellent whipped effort on his 21st birthday gave the visitors a 4-0 half-time lead.

Vokes then added his second and Wales’ fifth after the break, and then Bale sealed his hat-trick and surpassed Rush’s milestone with a clinical low finish to complete the rout.

“This is right up there, if not the best achievement I have done,” said Bale, who has won three Champions League titles with Madrid. “Anything you do for your country is the pinnacle, it is the biggest honour you can have. It’s not just an individual thing, it’s thanks to the whole team, everyone who I’ve played with and all the managers I’ve had.”

“The most important thing for me and for us was to get off to a good start under the new manager and I thought we played very well. We did exactly what Ryan asked. There are still things to work on, but we’re happy with the way we’re going.”

“It’s a tremendous achievement for Gareth to be the top goal scorer in front of someone like Ian who was a legendary goalscorer and one of the best I have ever seen,” Giggs added.

“Once upon a time his was a record that many people thought would not get beaten, but Gareth has not only beaten it, he will carry on scoring as he is a tremendous talent. It’s a fantastic moment for him and he fully deserves it. It was a great result and a great performance.”

The Wales team will now play in Monday’s final of the China Cup friendly tournament, against the winner of the second semi-final between Uruguay and the Czech Republic on Friday.