Football notes: Neymar doubt for Barca, Friedrich to Indian Super League

Barcelona striker Neymar's sprained ankle could keep him from playing in the club's La Liga opener against Elche while former Borussia Dortmund defender and Germany international Manuel Friedrich has agreed to join Mumbai City.

Neymar shown stretching at a Barcelona training session ahead of the La Liga season. Alex Caparros / Getty Images / August 17, 2014
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Forward Neymar has a sprained ankle and is struggling to face Elche on Sunday. “Neymar had a pain in his left ankle after finishing training on Thursday and tests have shown that the player has a grade one sprain,” the club said. The Brazilian was only given the all-clear by medical staff at Camp Nou on Monday after fracturing a vertebra playing for his country in the World Cup quarter-final against Colombia in early July. Neymar looked lively in Barca’s final friendly match against Mexican outfit Leon on Monday in which they won 6-0 and he bagged a brace.

Indian Super League

Former German international defender Manuel Friedrich is the latest player to move to the new Indian Super League, with German media reports saying he had agreed a one-year deal with Mumbai City. “I have always played with the idea of playing in Asia one day,” said Friedrich, 34, who played for Borussia Dortmund last season after six years with Bayer Leverkusen. Before that Friedrich, who has been capped nine times by Germany, won the Bundesliga title with Werder Bremen in 2004.


Former Scotland, Rangers and Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has returned to football, being appointed as coach of Belgian side Genk on Friday.

Genk said that McLeish, 55, had signed a two-year deal at the Cristal Arena, making his managerial comeback after a short-lived spell with English Championship side Nottingham Forest ended in February.

Genk, Belgian champions in 2011 and Cup winners in 2013 and the club where the likes of Thibaut Courtois and Kevin De Bruyne initially broke through, parted company with previous coach Emilio Ferrera after a 3-1 defeat to Mechelen on the opening day of the Pro League season.


Bastia’s Brazilian striker Brandao was held in custody for several hours on Friday and will face charges following his headbutt on Paris Saint-Germain’s Thiago Motta, said a court source. Brandao, 34, will appear in court on a date yet to be named on charges of committing premeditated assault in a sporting arena and causing his victim to be signed off work for seven days. The Paris public prosecutor’s department had launched a preliminary investigation into the incident, which was filmed by CCTV cameras inside the tunnel. Brandao has been provisionally suspended until September 18 by the French league for the incident, which left Motta with a fractured nose. French Football Federation rules allow for a ban of anything from eight matches to two years for such an offence.


European football’s governing body Uefa said it would not recognise the results of any matches played by clubs from Crimea in competitions organised by the Russian Football Union. Uefa said that the decision to punish Crimean clubs playing in the Russian Premier League had been made by its emergency panel “in light of the complex and difficult factual and political considerations, and until an agreed solution can be found”. Crimea was annexed from Ukraine by Russia in March.


Major League Soccer has three clubs even at the top of its Western Conference after FC Dallas beat Real Salt Lake 2-1 on Friday night.

The result brought Dallas even with Salt Lake and a third club, Seattle Sounders, thanks to goals from Je-Vaughn Watson and Fabian Castillo. All three sides have earned 42 points, though Seattle have two games in hand on their rivals, having played 23 of 34 matches.

With the Eastern Conference’s Sporting Kansas City, four clubs have 42 points in the race for the Supporters Shield, awarded to the club with the most points at the end of the MLS season, and with it an automatic place in the Concacaf Champions League.

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