International News - Issue 205

Suarez Crowned Player Of The Year By Fellow Players
Luis Suarez was crowned the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Player of the Year and dedicated the award to his Liverpool team-mates. The Uruguayan striker beat the likes of Manchester City star Yaya Toure and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, who picked up the young player gong, to land the top honour on Sunday night. Suarez’s remarkable goal tally this season, he’s scored 30 times in 31 appearances, has helped the Reds to the top of the table with just two Premier League games of the campaign to go. And the 27-year-old, who started the season serving the remainder of a 10-game ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic, insists his transformation from villain to hero is all down to the support he has received at Anfield over the last 12 months. “The Premier League is full of really great players and so it is a great honour when these players recognise your work on the pitch,” he said. “I always try my best for the team and it is nice to get awards but really this is for my team-mates and the staff at Liverpool because without their help I wouldn’t have this prize.”

Premier League PFA Team of the Year: Petr Cech (Chelsea), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Vincent Kompany (Man City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Yaya Toure (Man City), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

Southampton star Luke Shaw admits he is happy to be linked with big-money moves to Manchester United and Chelsea. The Saints teenage left-back has enjoyed a fantastic season, which earned him a place in the PFA’s Team of the Year on Sunday night. The youngster’s form has inevitably also led to intense speculation linking him with a move away from St Mary’s this summer. United are reportedly leading the hunt, with Shaw’s boyhood team Chelsea also said to be interested. Shaw admits it’s great to be linked with the Premier League giants but also stressed he was happy at Southampton. - Full Story via Metro

Liverpool have reportedly overtaken Manchester United in the race to sign Southampton’s Adam Lallana. United have identified Lallana and his full-back team-mate, Luke Shaw, as key components in their planned £200million rebuilding project this summer. However, the Sunday People claim the Anfield club have offered the £25million-rated Lallana £50,000 per week, with the Reds confident the added lure of Champions League football next term can trump anything United can offer. - Full Story via Metro

Fifa have suspended the ban on Spanish club Barcelona which prevented them from partaking in transfers for the next 14 months, following an appeal from the club. The Catalan club were found guilty of breaching regulations regarding the transfer and registration of underage players, for which Fifa sanctioned them from transferring any players for the next two transfer windows.  Barcelona then appealed the ban, requesting a suspension of their punishment, which has now been granted. - Full Story via Kickoff Nigeria

Chelsea midfielder Ramires will not feature for the rest of his club’s Premier League campaign after receiving a four-match ban for violent conduct. The Brazilian was involved in an off-the-ball incident with Sebastian Larsson in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat by Sunderland. The 27-year-old elbowed Larsson towards the end of the first period, and although not punished at the time, the incident was later reviewed by a panel of former referees, who handed down a four-match ban on the midfielder. Ramires will now be ineligible for Chelsea’s last three remaining League fixtures, as well as the first League fixture of next season, yet he will still be able to feature for the Blues in the Champions League. - Full Story via Kickoff

The footballing world has come out to pay tribute to former Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova, who passed on Friday night. The 45-year-old lost his long-running battle with cancer of the salivary gland. He was Pep Guardiola’s assistant between 2008 and 2012 when they dominated world football. He also took over as manager following Guardiola’s resignation, but was forced to step down due to the illness. Barca players were out in full force praising their former manager, with Lionel Messi writing on Facebook: “A person difficult to forget. - Full Story via Kickoff

Manchester United teenager Adnan Januzaj has chosen to represent Belgium at senior international level, ending widespread speculation of which country he would give his allegiance to. Based on family and residential circumstances, the 19-year-old is eligible to play for either Belgium, England, Albania, Serbia or Kosovo, yet Belgium manager Marc Wilmots confirmed the player’s decision to represent the West-European nation via social media. - Full Story via Kickoff

Ryan Giggs chances of being appointed the next Manchester United manager on a full-time basis have been dealt a blow as his own father admitted he wouldn’t trust him to run the club. The 40-year-old, who was appointed interim manager at Old Trafford last week following the sacking of David Moyes, got his managerial career off to the perfect start with a 4-0 thrashing of Norwich. A poll on Match of the Day revealed that almost 70 per cent of United fans are keen for him to get the job permanently. But it seems that not everyone is so keen for him to land the role. - Full Story via Metro

Rio Ferdinand has shelved talk of retirement by insisting he wants to be handed a new deal at Manchester United. The defender was reported to be considering hanging up his boots at the end of the season after an indifferent campaign for United and with his current contract drawing to a close. No new deal has yet been offered to the 35-year-old, while interest from foreign clubs including Galatasaray, LA Galaxy and Besiktas. But Ferdinand insists he wants to carry on playing next season and hopes he can continue his 12-year association with Manchester United. - Full Story via Metro

Veteran striker Kevin Phillips has retired after helping Leicester City win promotion to the Premier League. Phillips, who scored the play-off final winner to earn Crystal Palace promotion last term, joined the Foxes in January. The 40-year-old, capped eight times by England, will remain with Leicester, joining the coaching staff next season. The Foxes are his ninth professional club - having previously played for Watford, Sunderland, Southampton, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham City, Blackpool and Crystal Palace - in a career which began at Vicarage Road in 1994 and in which he has scored 287 goals. - Full Story via BBC Sport

A glum Hatem Ben Arfa confirmed via Instagram that he has been axed from the Newcastle squad for their trip to Arsenal where the Magpies went down 3-0. The French winger has seen his relationship with Alan Pardew break down over recent months, and this latest snub only seems to edge the 27-year-old closer towards the exit door this summer. “The manager didnt pick me in the group to go in london for the game against arsenal but it s not probl√®me hope my team will win in √©mirat stadium to make our fans happy.’
More than 40,000 women and children celebrated Fenerbahce’s 19th league title win as a result of the Turkish Football Association’s decision to ban men from stadiums as a radical solution for tackling hooliganism. Turkish clubs whose fans are involved in crowd trouble, have to ban all males over the age of 12 from their grounds as an alternative to playing games behind closed doors. The 0-0 draw was enough to secure Fener their first title since 2011.

Tim Sherwood has hit out at rival managers who are touting themselves out for his job. The Tottenham manager signed a two-year contract after replacing Andre Villas-Boas halfway through the season, but is widely expected to be replaced in the summer. Louis van Gaal and Glenn Hoddle have been linked with his post, and Sherwood is unhappy about the professional etiquette being displayed by some of his fellow coaches. - Full Story via Metro

Dani Alves produced a memorable response to racism during Barcelona’s clash in Villarreal, by eating a banana which was thrown at him from the stands. The Brazilian defender was taking a corner when the fruit was launched at him from the home crowd. Nonchalantly, the 30-year-old picked it up, peeled, then ate the banana before disregarding it and proceeding to take his corner. Alves and co. would go on further to have the last laugh over the home supporters after Barca came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 thanks to two own goals and a Lionel Messi strike. - Full Story via Metro

Juan Mata has endorsed Ryan Giggs as the perfect man to lead Manchester United. He may not be under consideration for the post on a full-time basis but many of the 75,208 fans inside Old Trafford wish he was in the running. Mata was dropped to the bench by his new boss but the Spaniard, who netted twice after entering the fray as a 60th-minute substitute, said: “If we speak about Ryan we speak about a Manchester United person. He was very successful here as a player and now he is leading the team. We are all happy because who is better to do it?”  - Full Story via Metro