Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 24th 2014 Contents A71
Thursday, July 24, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Mathieu signs for Barcelona
MADRID---Barcelona says it has signed France de-
fender Jeremy Mathieu on a four-year contract with an
option to extend it for another season.
The club says in a statement yesterday that it
reached an agreement with Valencia, where Mathieu
has played since 2009.
Barcelona says it has paid €20 million (US$27 mil-
lion) for the 30-year-old Mathieu, with a buyout clause
fixed at €50 million .
The 1.90-metre (6-foot-3) Mathieu has seven goals
in 176 matches with Valencia, and is prized for his cool
assurance while defending high balls in the penalty
The defender will be presented to fans at the Camp
Rodgers praises Suarez,
says Liverpool moving on
BOSTON---Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
says the team is moving on after Luis Suarez' depar-
ture to Barcelona for a US$130 million transfer fee.
"He gave everything for Liverpool," Rodgers said
Tuesday when asked if Suarez had let the club down.
"Of course there have been issues, but they're in the
past. He was a brilliant player for us and for me. ... It's a
shame he's not here. But Liverpool, as a club, is bigger
than any one player."
The Uruguay national scored 82 goals in 133 Liver-
pool appearances. But his three years in England were
overshadowed by bans for racial abuse and biting. He
was suspended for four months by Fifa for biting Italy
defender Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup. Suarez
cannot join his new team in Spain until after the sus-
pension is over.
Rodgers also said that Liverpool captain Steven Ger-
rard's retirement from the national team "brings an end
to a great career." But it might be beneficial to Liver-
"Liverpool means everything to him," Rodgers said.
"And there's certainly no doubt missing out on interna-
tional football means he will be fresher and at his opti-
mum level as often as possible for us."
Porto swoop for Brahimi
Porto have stepped up their intensive recruitment
drive with the €6.5 million capture of Algerian mid-
fielder Yacine Brahimi from Granada.
The 24-year-old, who recently represented his coun-
try at the World Cup in Brazil, where he scored his first
senior international goal against South Korea, has
signed a five-year contract at the Estadio do Dragao.
A statement published on Porto's official Web site
yesterday revealed Brahimi's contract features a mini-
mum release clause of €50 million.
Porto are wasting no time in the summer transfer
window as they bid to rebuild heavily in order to make
amends for a disappointing third-placed finish in the
2013-14 Primeira Liga table.
Adrian and Oliver Torres have arrived from Atletico
Madrid, Cristian Tello and Casemiro have left Barcelona
and Real Madrid respectively to move to Portugal, while
Holland left-back Bruno Martins Indi and Ghana right-
back Daniel Opare have also been added to coach Julen
Lopetegui's new-look squad.
Juan Iturbe, Fernando, Andre Castro, Sinan Bolat,
Marat Izmailov and Jorge Fucile have all left the club.
Samuel makes Swiss move
Former Inter Milan, Roma and Real Madrid defender
Walter Samuel has signed a one-year contract with
The 36-year-old Argentinian was a free agent after
leaving Inter at the end of last season and, after reject-
ing an offer from Serie A club Sampdoria, he has opted
to join the reigning Swiss champions.
Basle president Bernhard Heusler told the club's Web
site: "In Walter Samuel Basle have signed a very experi-
enced player with a great personality to boot.
"Once again, this is a transfer that proves how attrac-
tive Basle and the Swiss league are becoming."
Samuel, who made 172 league appearances over his
nine years with Inter, added: "I am very happy and look-
ing forward to the new challenge and adventure offered
winner Joachim Loew will
remain the Germany coach
through the 2016 European
Championship in France.
There was speculation Loew
might step down after Germany
lifted its fourth World Cup title
with a 1--0 victory over Argenti-
na in the final in Rio de Janeiro
10 days ago, although Loew s
contract was extended well
before the tournament.
"At the moment, I can imag-
ine nothing more beautiful than
to continue working with this
team, to guide it to the Euro-
pean Championship in France,
to develop the team and the
individual players further,"
Loew said in an interview pub-
lished yesterday on the German
Football Federation (DFB) Web
"I am as motivated as I was
on the first day with DFB. We
celebrated a gigantic success in
Brazil but there are other goals
that we want to achieve. The
World Cup 2014 was a highlight
for all, but it was not a conclu-
Loew said he needed some
time to come to terms with his
emotions after the World Cup
but had not thought "even for
a second" about stepping
Loew has been with the DFB
since 2004, and head coach
since 2006, but had never won
a title until the triumph in Brazil.
Germany and Argentina have
a rematch in a friendly in Dues-
seldorf on September 3, before
Germany kicks off qualifying for
Euro 2016 against Scotland four
Before then, the 54-year-old
Loew will have to find an assis-
tant coach and a new captain.
Hansi Flick, his assistant
throughout his tenure, is to be
the technical director at DFB.
Philipp Lahm, captain since
2010, surprisingly ended his
Germany career as soon as the
team returned home.
Lahm informed him about his
decision to retire from interna-
tionals on the morning after the
final, Loew said, calling it a great
loss for the team.
"I could not have wished for
a better captain, he did an out-
standing job influencing, leading
and presenting the team," Loew
said. "I regret that he will not
return but I accept and respect
Striker Diego Costa has
vowed to do his utmost to
deliver trophies for Chelsea.
The Brazil-born Spain striker
joined the Blues from Atletico
Madrid, who he helped to a first
Primera Division title in 18 years,
breaking the duopoly of Real
Madrid and Barcelona.
Jose Mourinho s Chelsea are
chasing a first Barclays Premier
League crown since 2010 when
the new season kicks off next
Costa carries a heavy burden,
with Mourinho bemoaning his
strikers last term and Chelsea s
forward recruits having a history
of struggling to make a pro-
longed impression, Didier Drog-
Costa told Chelsea TV: "I d
say to the fans that you need to
be confident that I personally
will fight for this club to make
sure we are in contention to win
as many trophies as possible
"I m part of a great group here
of players and we will do every-
thing we can to give the fans
what they want - and that s
Costa insisted it was a
straightforward choice to move
to Stamford Bridge.
"It was an easy decision for
me to make," he added on
"We have some of the best
players in the world, the best
manager in the world and it s a
club with great history.
"I want to improve, not only
as a player but as an individual,
and I believe this is the perfect
place for me to do that. That s
the reason I chose Chelsea and
why I want to defend this shirt."
Mourinho wants Costa to per-
form the way he did for Atletico
and the striker believes his
attributes mean he is suited to
the Premier League.
"One of the main things he
(Mourinho) said was that he
doesn t want me to change,"
added Costa, who scored 64
goals in 134 appearances for
"It was Jose s and the club s
decision to buy me and the rea-
son they signed me was because
of the way I played at Atletico.
"I don t feel I have to change
much, I just have to improve
fine details to become a better
player, hopefully I will have a
similar season to the last one."
he will stay on
German national soccer coach Joachim Loew celebrates on stage
at the German team victory ceremony, near the Brandenburg Gate
in Berlin, last Tuesday. AP PHOTO
Costa makes Chelsea vow
Swansea have confirmed the signing of
Gylfi Sigurdsson from Tottenham and the
sale of Ben Davies and Michel Vorm to
the north London club for undisclosed
Sigurdsson returns to Swansea where he
enjoyed a successful loan spell in 2012, scor-
ing seven goals in 18 top-flight appearances.
Davies, 21, has signed a five-year contract
at White Hart Lane while Vorm, 30, has
penned a four-year deal.
Sigurdsson joined Spurs from Hoffenheim
in July 2012 but struggled to establish himself
in the starting side.
The Iceland midfielder has signed a four-
year contract and says he wants to help
Swansea back into Europe next season.
"The main aim for the club is obviously
to stay in the Premier League but we want
to push on even further and get the club
back into the Europa League like they were
last season," Sigurdsson told Sky Sports
"Hopefully we can finish in the top half
of the table."
Sigurdsson continued: "I really enjoyed
my time here last time.
"I know the club, I know the manager,
I know the players and I obviously know
the fans and the city as well so that wasn t
that difficult for me.
"Leaving Tottenham is because I enjoyed
my time there as well for two seasons but
Swansea were interested and that s the club
I want to play for."
Crystal Palace were reported to have had
a bid accepted for Sigurdsson but the play-
maker insists Swansea s style of football
persuaded him to choose the Welsh club.
"The way they play football was a big
factor," he said.
"They ve got some great players here.
"Hopefully we ll be a lot better than we
were last season and get back to the top
half of the table where Swansea belong."
Swans and Spurs tie up deals
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