Sampaoli returns to Sevilla as LaLiga club replace Lopetegui

By Sports Desk October 06, 2022

Jorge Sampaoli has been appointed as Sevilla coach for the second time, with the former Argentina boss succeeding Julen Lopetegui.

The 62-year-old, who was in charge of Marseille last season, was originally handed the top job at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in June 2016, succeeding Unai Emery.

During his lone year at the club, he took them to a fourth-place finish in LaLiga, and the round of 16 in the Champions League.

Now, he returns following Lopetegui's exit amid a dismal start to the 2022-23 season for Sevilla, with the club 17th in LaLiga and similarly adrift in Europe following a 4-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

Sampaoli's immediate remit will be ensuring a swift turnaround in fortunes for the club, starting with this weekend's clash with Athletic Club. He has signed a deal running until the end of June 2024.

A return trip to Dortmund will present an opportunity for Sevilla to potentially turn around their flagging fortunes in the Champions League.

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    The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has refuted claims made in a recent interview by national player Leon Bailey and called for evidence in lieu of some of the explosive accusations levied against the organisation.

    In particular, the association took exception to a claim made by the player that suggested that the JFF had actively played a role in preventing his ability to travel abroad when he attempted to do so as a developing young player.

    “From I was 8 or 9 I have been getting 'fight' from the federation. They even tried to block me from going to Europe.  They linked up with the embassy to deny me a visa…the last time I went to Europe I had to fly to Cuba to get my visa,” Bailey told the Let’s Be Honest podcast.

    In addressing the issues, via a press release, the JFF expressed disappointment with many of the utterances made by the player and the manner in which the grievances were aired.

    Leon Bailey speaks out in explosive interview! The 25 y-o says JA football needs a proper system

    “It is unfortunate that Leon has apparently felt this way about the JFF, especially while playing for the Jamaica National team and not expressing it, and knowing his commitment to the program and country. He has indicated that the persons in the JFF, and by implication the JFF, has given him a fight and tried to block him from going to Europe by working through the Embassy…,” the release read.

    “This is quite unfortunate as the JFF has always seen Leon as an important member of the National team, and what he has said is baseless and is consistent with recent similar comments made, which we have called for evidence to be shared, either privately or publicly, so that we can act on it. To date, no such evidence has been shared. It is not credible to make anecdotal accusations without evidence, and by doing so seek to damage the reputation of individuals and the JFF as an organisation. We also find it impractical that a child between 8 and 12 years old would understand what the actions and motives of the JFF or any organisation would be, with any clear understanding as first-hand information,” it added.

    “In fact, by saying that the JFF has the capability to block an Embassy from issuing a visa, also implies that the Embassy is complicit with the JFF in acting, as he implies, in a “corrupt” manner. The JFF can assure everyone that we do not have the ability to influence a visa decision with any Embassy, and we would never seek to intervene in such a process.”

    The release went on to state that the matter had been referred to the team manager and coach for review.

     

     

  • Rashford talks 'massive ambitions' for England after superb double Rashford talks 'massive ambitions' for England after superb double

    Marcus Rashford has "massive ambitions" with England after his double downed Wales and sent the Three Lions into the World Cup's knockout stage as Group B winners.

    Rashford took his goal tally in Qatar to three after a wonderful free-kick and brilliant individual effort helped Gareth Southgate's side book a last-16 data against Senegal with a 3-0 victory at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.

    The forward, who became the first United player to score three times for the Three Lions at a World Cup since Bobby Charlton in 1966, hopes his team-mates can carry their momentum into that clash on Sunday.

    "It's obviously a great feeling [to score two goals]," he told BBC Sport. "To be honest, we were a little bit disappointed as a team after the last game against the USA. I thought we could've played a lot better.

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    "It was just about us killing the game off really and taking the chances when they came.

    "I fancied [a free-kick] in the first half, but the one in the second half was in a better position. From there, it's just about being calm and trying to execute what you've practised in training. They don't go in often, but I'm pleased that it went in today.

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    "Hopefully, we can build on this performance because I still have massive ambitions for this team, and I think we can play even better than what we've shown today."

    Player of the match Rashford was the subject of high praise from team-mate Jude Bellingham, who also highlighted Phil Foden after the Manchester City midfielder marked his first start at the finals with the second goal in Al Rayyan.

    "We've got lots of depth in those attacking areas and whoever comes on always seem to make an impact," the Borussia Dortmund midfielder said. 

    "Whether it's from the start or from the bench, the change of personnel doesn't really affect the style or performance of the team, which is quite rare. 

    "I'm so happy for [Marcus], what a performance - he was brilliant. When he gets the ball and he's got that freedom to take people on.

    "In a game like this, there's big pressure on a free-kick like that, and the way he's delivered is brilliant. He put us in a really good position for the rest of the match.

    "I'm [also] really happy for Phil. He's had quite a bit of pressure on him the last few days, given all the attention. But he's just shown today how good he is again.

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    Rob Page and Gareth Bale insisted Wales should not be disappointed with World Cup elimination as the pair hailed the Dragons' efforts despite a comfortable defeat to England.

    Wales kept England at bay for large parts of the first half at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday but came unstuck after the interval as Marcus Rashford scored a brace and Phil Foden tapped home.

    A 3-0 defeat ensured Wales end a major tournament without a win for the first time in their history, while England have defeated their rivals in seven straight games, scoring 14 and conceding just one in that run.

    United States progressed as runners-up to England in Group B at the expense of Iran, though Page was not disheartened by Wales finishing bottom of the pool in Qatar.

    "The effort we put in I thought was outstanding, we addressed at half-time we could have been better with the ball," the Wales manager told the BBC.

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    Bale was forced off at half-time after managing just four passes and seven touches – both the fewest of any starter in Al Rayyan – as what could prove to be his final World Cup came to a frustrating end.

    Page confirmed after the game that a hamstring issue Bale sustained in the first half was the problem as the former insisted Wales will now "build for the future".

    "Bale felt his hamstring just five minutes before the interval so he had to come off," Page added. "Joe Allen, that was his first 90 mins for ages, Ben Davies had to come off with an injury as well.

    "Ethan [Ampadu] had to go to right-back, so I couldn't be more proud of the effort honestly – just to get here was a massive achievement. 

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    Bale, who scored his nation's only goal in the Middle East with a penalty in the opening 1-1 draw with the USA, echoed Page's sentiment as he reflected on a first World Cup appearance for Wales in 64 years.

    "We have to look at what we have achieved to get here and how far we have come, of course, we're frustrated to go out but football is not easy," Bale told the BBC.

    "We didn't quite live up to our expectations this tournament but we will take massive experience from it. Going forward, we need to look at how far we have come.

    "To be at a World Cup, two years ago if you had asked us that we would have pinched ourselves. It is disappointing to go out but we will walk out of the changing room with our heads held high.

    "It just didn't happen for us at this tournament, the past two tournaments we've had success but it doesn't always happen – we can never have any regrets, though, we gave everything."

    On his future, Bale added: "I'll keep going as long as I can and as long as I want to. It is a difficult moment but we go again, we have a qualification campaign starting in March."

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