Brazil veteran Dani Alves scored the winning goal on his debut for Sao Paulo on Sunday, weeks after signing a three-year deal with the club. Alves, 36, found the back of the net in the 40th minute to score the only goal of the game against Ceara.
Alves and Spanish international Juanfran, 34, are the stars for Sao Paulo, who snapped up both players after their contracts with European clubs expired. Alves’ return to Brazil after 17 years playing for top clubs in Europe has had a big impact on his home country.
The right-back played for Sevilla before going on to play for Barcelona, Juventus and PSG, collecting nine national league titles along the way — six in Spain, one in Italy and two in France. He has collected 40 trophies in all with club and country including three Champions League titles with Barcelona and two UEFA Cups with Sevilla He has also won two Copa Americas with Brazil, most recently in July when he was named player of the tournament as he captained them to victory over Peru in the final at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
Fiorentina await Ribery
‘with open arms’
Italian club Fiorentina have targeted French winger Franck Ribery, the Tuscany club’s sporting director Daniele Prade confirmed. The 36-year-old former French international left Bayern Munich as a free agent at the end of last season after 12 seasons with the German giants.
Ribery won nine Bundesliga titles and the Champions League with Bayern after he joined the club from French side Marseille in 2007. Prade confirmed that Fiorentina defender Cristiano Biraghi was pushing for a move to Serie A rivals Inter Milan. Fiorentina finished 16th in Serie A last season and open their campaign at home against Napoli next weekend. The club changed ownership last June with Italian-American media magnate Rocco Commisso completing a 170mn euros ($190mn) takeover.
MLS set to expand again
with 28th team in St. Louis
Major League Soccer appears set to announce a new expansion club for St. Louis on Tuesday, which would boost North America’s top football league to 28 teams. MLS announced in St. Louis with league commissioner Don Garber, city mayor Lyda Krewson and members of the group seeking an expansion team for the Midwest market known for its giant Gateway Arch. St. Louis would land an MLS team this week, a reports said. There are 24 teams in MLS this season with expansion FC Cincinnati starting earlier this year. David Beckham’s Inter Miami squad and a new team in Nashville, Tennessee, are set to debut in 2020 with a club in Austin scheduled to open in 2021.
Belgium join list of
contenders to host 2023
women’s World CUp
Belgium has become the 10th country to express an interest in hosting an expanded women’s World Cup in 2023, FIFA revealed. World football’s governing body announced late last month that, following the success of this year’s 24-team tournament in France, and in order to “foster the growth of women’s football”, the next World Cup in 2023 would be expanded to feature 32 teams.
Nine countries had already declared an interest in hosting the next tournament before the decision was taken to change the format, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan and South Korea, with the latter potentially making a joint bid with North Korea. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Colombia had also come forward before Belgium became the 10th interested country. They each have until September 2 to confirm their participation and must then submit their bids by December 13. The winning bid will be announced in May next year.
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