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Joao Felix took serious pay cut to make Barcelona transfer possible

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Joao Felix has revealed that he took a serious pay cut in order to join Barcelona from Atletico Madrid and is open to completing a permanent transfer.

The Portugal international forward made his way to Camp Nou on an initial season-long loan agreement towards the end of the summer window.

He never shied away from the fact that Barca were his “dream” club – much to the annoyance of some of those in the Spanish capital.

Felix, who spent time on loan at Chelsea last season, has told Mundo Deportivo of making personal sacrifices in order to link up with the reigning La Liga champions

“It’s true I gave up a significant part of my salary, but I needed a change. I needed to come to a place where I can play my style of football and I have always said I think this is the ideal place. Things are going well – I didn’t expect to start so well – and it was an effort I needed to make to be able to find joy playing football again.”

Felix has registered three goals and an assist through three appearances for Barca in La Liga and Champions League competition and would welcome the opportunity to stay on in Catalunya if Atletico play ball in future negotiations.

He added: “Well, for me it depends on how the season ends. Afterwards, Barcelona is the one who has to negotiate with Atleti and that depends after Atleti, if they want to make things easier or not. But those are business things, values, which I don’t get involved in. I do my job on the field, I try to do my best so that they want to sign me in the end and that thing about values, whether I go or not go or for how much, doesn’t interest me.”

There is no purchase option within Felix’s deal at Barcelona, meaning that the 23-year-old – who joined Atletico for €126 million (£109m/$134m) back in 2019 – is going to have to play his way into contention for another big-money move

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Ten Hag blasts ‘inconsistent’ Man Utd after Bournemouth misery

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Erik ten Hag blasted his “inconsistent” Manchester United charges after Bournemouth made history with their first ever victory at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Ten Hag’s side slumped to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat that underlined the array of problems threatening to ruin United’s season.

Just three days after beating Chelsea to revive their bid for a top four finish in the Premier League, United reverted to the sloppy form that has plagued them for much of the campaign.

Goals from Dominic Solanke, Philip Billing and Marcos Senesi handed Bournemouth a memorable win as Ten Hag and his players were booed off at full-time.

With the pressure mounting on Ten Hag with each defeat in his troubled second season as United boss, the Dutchman slammed his team’s lacklustre performance.

“Of course, annoyed and disappointed, definitely. I expected something different,” Ten Hag said.

“I hoped before the game you can build on the performance and result from Chelsea, so then it’s very disappointing.

“That (consistency) is of course the question, but I think we have to always be ready for the game, so I have to take the responsibility for that.

“I have to prepare my team so that they are ready for the game, so from my point of view I’m very disappointed the way we started so I have to do the things better.”

United have now lost 35 home league games since Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012-13 title-winning season.

During the iconic 26-year reign of the Scottish manager, United were only beaten in the league at Old Trafford 34 times

Ten Hag shouldered much of the responsibility for United’s 11th defeat in all competitions this term.

But alarmingly for United fans, the former Ajax boss conceded he did not believe his squad were consistent enough to thrive at the highest level.

“We are really inconsistent. We have the abilities to do it, but you have to do it every game and every third day,” he said.

“I think as a squad we are not good enough to be consistent and we have to work as a squad to improve that.”

It was an eye-catching remark at the end of a week that began with reports that some United players had grown unhappy with the manager.

Ten Hag denied those claims but, with his team mired in sixth place, he desperately needs some positive results quickly.

United host Bayern Munich in the Champions League next week knowing they must win to have any chance of progressing to the last 16.

A trip to in-form Liverpool in the Premier League follows the Bayern clash.

“As a group, we have to improve,” Ten Hag said. “That’s a fact. We have to get tougher, that we are ready for the game and from the start.

“I said on Friday, it can’t be in this league that you are not playing on the highest levels because you get killed.

“That’s what happened in the five minutes and then you are following facts and especially against them, such a good transition team, you make life easy for them. They have the perfect conditions to play in.

“Then you see the team fighting, battling, put a lot of effort in for a long period to return in the game, but it can’t happen that you so easily concede a goal.”

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FULL LIST: Final shortlist for CAF Awards 2023

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced the final three nominees for all categories in the 2023 CAF Awards, just days before the ceremony in Morocco on Monday, December 11.

The ultimate winner of each category will be decided by votes from a panel consisting of the CAF Technical Committee, media professionals from Member Associations, Head Coaches and captains of Member Associations and clubs involved in the group stages of the Interclub competitions and will be announced at the Palais des Congrès, Movenpick, Marrakech, Morocco.

Here’s a full list of the final nominees (in alphabetic order by Member Association):

1. Player of the Year (Men)

Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool)

Achraf Hakimi (Morocco, Paris Saint-Germain)

Victor Osimhen (Nigeria, Napoli)

 

2. Player of the Year (Women)

Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria, Barcelona)

Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa, Racing Louisville)

Barbara Banda (Zambia, Shanghai Shengli)

 

3. Interclub Player of the Year (Men)

Fiston Mayele (DR Congo, Pyramids)

Peter Shalulile (Namibia, Mamelodi Sundowns)

Percy Tau (South Africa, Al Ahly)

 

4. Interclub Player of the Year (Women)

Refilwe Tholakele (Botswana, Mamelodi Sundowns)

Fatima Tagnaout (Morocco, AS FAR)

Lebohang Ramalepe (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns)

 

6. Coach of the Year (Men)

Abdelhak Benchika (Algeria, Simba SC)

Walid Regragui (Morocco)

Aliou Cisse (Senegal)

 

7. Coach of the Year (Women)

Reynald Pedros (Morocco)

Desiree Ellis (South Africa)

Jerry Tshabalala (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns)

 

8. Goalkeeper of the Year (Men)

Andre Onana (Cameroon, Manchester United)

Mohamed El Shenawy (Egypt, Al Ahly)

Yassine Bounou (Morocco, Al Hilal)

 

9. Goalkeeper of the Year (Women)

Khadija Er-Rmichi (Morocco, AS FAR)

Chiamaka Nnadozie (Nigeria, Paris FC)

Andile Dlamini (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns)

 

10. Young Player of the Year (Men)

Abdessamad Ezzalzouli (Morocco, Real Betis)

Lamine Camara (Senegal, Metz)

Amara Diouf (Senegal, Metz)

 

11. Young Player of the Year (Women)

Comfort Yeboah (Ghana, Ampem Darkoa)

Nesryne El Chad (Morocco, Lille)

Deborah Abiodun (Nigeria, Pittsburgh Panthers)

 

12. National Team of the Year (Men)

Gambia

Morocco

Senegal

 

13. National Team of the Year (Women)

Morocco

Nigeria

South Africa

 

14. Club of the Year (Men)

Al Ahly (Egypt)

Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco)

Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)

 

15. Club of the Year (Women)

AS FAR (Morocco)

Sporting Casablanca (Morocco)

Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)

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‘I need to rest, enjoy my family,’ Luis Suarez drops retirement hint

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Former Liverpool and Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has dropped a hint that he may be considering retirement from professional football.

The Uruguayan recently played his final game for Brazilian club Grêmio, fueling speculations about his future plans.

After scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory against Vasco da Gama, Suarez suggested that his body is speaking to him and that he wants to take some time to rest and enjoy his family before making a decision about his future.

“I can feel pain, my body is speaking for me. I want to enjoy and then decide for myself after a long career. I need to rest, enjoy my family… then the destiny will know where I’ll be in the future,” Suarez said.

Suárez’s career has been filled with success and goal-scoring achievements. He first made his mark in Europe with Ajax, scoring 111 goals in 159 appearances and winning the Dutch league title. His move to Liverpool in 2010 propelled him to new heights, as he scored 82 goals in just 132 appearances and played a crucial role in Liverpool’s title challenge in the 2013-2014 season.

After joining Barcelona in 2014, Luis Suarez formed a formidable attacking trio with Messi and Neymar, winning numerous domestic and European titles. He continued his goal-scoring exploits at Atlético Madrid before returning to South America to play for Nacional and Grêmio. Throughout his career, Suárez has scored an impressive 487 goals in 799 appearances

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