Alexis shows off Ronaldo-like hairstyle for new season

Alexis Sanchez is gearing up for the new season with Manchester United with a fresh new look.

The Chilean winger helped United to a second place finish in the Premier League last term after joining from Arsenal in January.

The Red Devils are looking to make a stronger challenge for the title in 2018-19 after finishing 19 points behind Manchester City, and will be hoping Sanchez is at his best from the beginning.

And although the 29-year-old will be late in joining his team-mates on their tour of the United States because of an administrative issue, he is getting his hairstyle ready before he makes the trip.

Sanchez took to Instagram to show off his new streamlined look, which appears similar to the style a previous United No.7, Cristiano Ronaldo.

“New style, new season,” he posted alongside a video and pictures showing it off.

Sanchez scored two goals and set up three in 12 Premier League appearances for United last season but faced criticism for his performances.

His transition to life at Old Trafford was not all smooth, however, as he opened up about the difficulty of adapting to his new surroundings.

 

New Style, New Season Nuevo look , Nueva temporada

Een bericht gedeeld door Alexis Sanchez (@alexis_officia1) op

And after a disappointing campaign with Arsenal prior to the January move, and missing out on the 2018 World Cup after Chile failed to qualify, Sanchez will be looking to rebound with a strong season at Old Trafford. 

Sanchez’s team-mates will be in action this week as Manchester United kick off their U.S. tour with a friendly against Liga MX side Club America in Glendale, Ariz. on July 19, followed by a matchup with the San Jose Earthquake of Major League Soccer.

The Red Devils kick off their International Champions Cup slate against AC Milan on July 25. 

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Tim Cahill confirms retirement from international football

Australia’s all-time leading goal scorer Tim Cahill has retired from international football after appearing in a fourth straight World Cup for the Socceroos.

Cahill came off the bench against Peru in Russia with that brief cameo in a 2-0 loss set to be his final minutes in the green and gold.

The 38-year-old confirmed his retirement from the national team on Tuesday as he ponders his club future after seeing his contract expire with Millwall.

With 107 Socceroos caps to his name, Cahill has bagged an even 50 goals for Australia – including the nation’s first ever World Cup goal in 2006 against Japan.

Just two appearances shy of matching the all-time record for Socceroos caps, there was some specualtion Cahill might play on until 2019 with Australia looking to defend their Asian Cup crown.

He has however decided to hang up the green and gold jersey with the announcement leaving his club future very much up in the air. 

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Over 10 per cent of Croatia’s population welcomes World Cup heroes home

Croatia were greeted by an estimated half-a-million fans on the streets of Zagreb on Monday, as they returned home to a remarkable reception after losing in Sunday’s World Cup final.

Despite the undoubted individual quality available to coach Zlatko Dalic, few expected Croatia to go as far as they did in Russia.

Croatia’s preparations for the tournament were by no means perfect, considering Dalic was only appointed as the replacement for the sacked Ante Cacic last October with one last qualification group game to go.

He ultimately led them into the play-offs and then to Russia, where they picked up three wins in the group stage – including a brilliant 3-0 triumph over Argentina.

Penalty shoot-out victories over Denmark and Russia followed in the last 16 and quarter-finals, respectively, before a 2-1 win against England in extra-time saw them reach their first ever World Cup final.

Though star midfielder Luka Modric took home the Golden Ball for the tournament’s top player, Croatia came unstuck in the final, losing 4-2 to France.

However, the defeat did not dampen the spirits of those at home as the team returned from their best-ever World Cup performance. 

According to the welcoming ceremony’s presenter, local police estimated 550,000 people – well over 10 per cent of the country’s 4.2 million population – took to the streets of capital city Zagreb throughout the day to see their heroes return, with the Croatia team travelling from the airport in an open-top bus.

A route that would usually take approximately 30 minutes took them over four hours, as the Croatian public greeted them as if they were royalty.

Although Croatia’s Russia adventure did not end with victory in the final, they are clearly seen as champions in the eyes of the public.

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Kahn impressed by Pickford’s World Cup displays but ‘he isn’t used properly’

Germany legend Oliver Kahn has highlighted England’s Jordan Pickford as one of the standout goalkeepers of the World Cup, but believes he could be used to greater effect.

The Everton shot stopper received a lot of praise for his performances throughout the tournament and was the only the Three Lions star to play every minute as they finished in fourth place in Russia.

And former Bayern Munich and Germany star Kahn says Pickford is one shot stopper he has come to admire, but would like to see Gareth Southgate make use of his technical ability.

“The young Englishman, Jordan Pickford plays is the closest to a goalkeeper, like I described him after the final,” Kahn told Goal. “In addition to his strong reflexes, I especially noticed his excellent opening. In the semi-final against Croatia he played fewer passes than his counterpart Danijel Subasic, but was more than twice as often adapted by his teammates and used as a back-up defender.

“Pickford can use both feet and despite his lack of experience, for a long time he has been the first safe No.1 in the England goal. He also proves with his 1.85 metre height that the size of a goalkeeper only plays a minor role.

“But also for Pickford, as happens with so many goalkeepers, he is not used in the best way! The improved footwork of goalkeepers over the last 25 years has almost no influence on the game, unless they are also used accordingly as a goalkeeper and still get more involved in their team’s possession.

“In my view, the involvement of the player who is currently least integrated into the game plan, but could be the most obvious and logical option to make a variety of game situations superior and create a clear advantage. Here I see the greatest potential.”

The 2002 World Cup runner-up had praise for newly-crowned world champion Hugo Lloris, as well as Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois, who won the competition’s Golden Glove.

“Hugo Lloris is one of the best keepers in the world on the line and convinces with an excellent presence and a courageous, offensive positional play.

“Thibaut Courtois is exceptionally strong in one-on-one and control. Danijel Subasic was able to build his self-confidence by the many penalties he saved, show experience and radiate enormous security.”

Kahn is currently doing his part to improve the development of goalkeepers through his company Goalplay and started the Goalplay Academy.

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Boga nears Sassuolo move as £3.5m fee agreed with Chelsea

Chelsea and Sassuolo have agreed a £3.5 million fee for Jeremie Boga, as the midfielder nears a Stamford Bridge exit.

Boga has been looking for a move away from the Blues, which Chelsea hoped would be another loan after he spent last season with Birmingham City in the Championship.

It was Boga’s third straight year on loan having spent the previous two seasons with Rennes of Ligue 1 and Granada of La Liga.

Boga still loves the club and would prefer to remain if he could feature in the first team.

However, he would rather not spend a fourth straight year on loan and believes a permanent switch would be best for his career.

Boga told Goal while on loan last season that he was frustrated with his development, believing he needed to do more at his age.

While an agreement between Chelsea and Sassuolo, which includes a buy-back option for the Blues, has been reached, Boga must still come to terms with Sassuolo over a contract.

That leaves the door open for the 21-year-old to possibly find a home elsewhere if he cannot agree a deal, with Goal previously reporting Lille, Celta Vigo and Real Betis among the clubs vying with Sassuolo over the winger.

Boga joined the Blues after signing from an amateur club in Marseille at age 16. He has only made one senior appearance for Chelsea – the Blues’ 2017-18 Premier League opener against Burnley.

The youngster started but only went 18 minutes in the 3-2 defeat after Gary Cahill’s early red card forced a tactical change from Antonio Conte.

He would go on to a loan at Birmingham City, where he played in 31 games in the Championship, making 24 starts. He scored twice and added three assists for the club, who finished 19th in the league.

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