Barcelona need Cruyff’s help
Barcelona: Barcelona president Joan Laporta has reportedly lost faith in Dutch coach Frank Rijkaard and is considering calling in Johan Cruyff.
Cruyff had a successful if turbulent career as a player and coach with Barcelona, who won four Spanish titles under his guidance as well as their only European Cup in 1992. He was sacked in 1996 but is a personal friend of Laporta. The Mundo Deportivo claims Laporta believes only a man of Cruyff’s stature can help Rijkaard revive Barcelona who slumped to 11th in the table after Saturday’s 0-2 home defeat to Deportivo La Coruna. Laporta would apparently keep Rijkaard as coach with Cruyff, who now is seen more often on a golf course or in broadcasting, working alongside him.
Ferguson not to appeal
London: Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has decided not to appeal against his two-match ban and fine for abusing a match official, the English FA said on Tuesday.
Ferguson was banned from the touchline and fined £10,000 ($16,730) on Monday for comments directed at the fourth official during the English champions’ 2-1 Premier League win at Newcastle United on August 23.
“We have received official confirmation that Sir Alex Ferguson will not be appealing against the two-match ban imposed by a disciplinary commission yesterday,” an FA spokesman said in a statement. Ferguson will serve his ban with immediate effect, the FA added.
Melbourne: World No.4 Andre Agassi will begin preparations for the defence of his Australian Open title by playing in the Kooyong Classic eight-man event in Melbourne from January 14-17, officials said on Tuesday. The 33-year-old American beat Sebastien Grosjean in the final to win his third Kooyong Classic crown on January 11 this year. Agassi then clinched his fourth Australian Open title 15 days later.
Next year’s Kooyong Classic field will also include US Open champion Andy Roddick and Wimbledon champion Roger Federer.
Sussex extend Mushtaq deal
London: Pakistan leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed has signed a new two-year deal with Sussex, the team he helped to the English County championship this year.
Mushtaq's 103 wickets were instrumental in helping Sussex to their first-ever title and they also led to a recall to the Pakistan team.
“This is fantastic for everyone associated with the club as Mushtaq's impact both on and off the field has been outstanding," said team manager Peter Moores.
Madrid: The future of Real Madrid rightback Michel Salgado, who finishes his contract at the end of the season, will be resolved in the next week according to the club’s sporting director Jorge Valdano.
The highly-rated Spanish international is reported to be on the target list of a number of leading European clubs. “Our aim is to sort out his future in the course of the next week,” Valdano said on Tuesday.
London: Blackburn Rovers defender Lorenzo Amoruso will undergo surgery on Wednesday on a nagging knee injury, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.
Rovers said the operation would be exploratory on a knee problem that has plagued the Italian for some time.
Sport on screen
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Soccer, Uefa Champions League — Live from midnight on ESPN and STAR Sports