Football - Champions League Final - Manchester City v Chelsea - Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal - May 29, 2021 Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne in action with Chelsea's Jorginho. (Photo: Pool via Reuters)
Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne and Chelsea pair N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are in the running for UEFA’s 2020-21 male player of the year award after topping an all-midfield shortlist published on Thursday (Aug 19).
All featured in Euro 2020 – De Bruyne for Belgium, Kante with France and Jorginho with winners Italy – and the shortlist is the first in the 11-year existence of the award to feature only midfielders. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, the six times Ballon d’Or winner who has moved from Barcelona to Paris St Germain, was fourth on the list.
* American duo Reilly Opelka and John Isner along with Australia's Nick Kyrgios have been picked as the final players to represent Team World at next month's Laver Cup, tournament organisers said on Thursday. The trio join Canada's Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime, alongside Argentine Diego Schwartzman.
* The Western & Southern Financial Group, the title sponsor of the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament being staged in Cincinnati, said it would match Naomi Osaka's prize money pledge for Haitian earthquake relief efforts. Four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka said she would donate her earnings from the tournament to the impoverished nation after it was struck by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake last weekend.
* World number one and Olympic champion Nelly Korda was one of three co-leaders after the first round of the British Women's Open at Carnoustie on Thursday. The American carded eight birdies on her way to a five-under 67 to top the leaderboard with Sweden's Madelene Sagstrom who dropped a shot at the 18th.
* Kamui Kobayashi put Toyota's number seven car on pole position for the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Thursday with the Japanese driver hoping to finally shrug off his jinx in the endurance race. Thursday's half-hour hyperpole shootout was ultimately a battle between the two factory Toyota GR010 hybrid hypercars, with Kobayashi fastest in three minutes 23.900 seconds and New Zealander Brendon Hartley 0.295 slower.
* Arsenal forwards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette missed last week's defeat by Brentford due to positive COVID-19 tests, the Premier League side confirmed on Thursday. While Aubameyang has tested negative since and is in contention to feature against Chelsea on Sunday, strike partner Lacazette is still recovering from the illness.
* Lionel Messi will not be included in Paris St Germain's squad for Friday's Ligue 1 game at Brest, French daily L'Equipe reported, adding that his former Barcelona team mate Neymar has also been left out. L'Equipe added on its website that Italy's Euro 2020 winning goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has been called up alongside compatriot Marco Verratti, Marquinhos and Angel Di Maria.
* Chelsea defender Emerson has joined French side Lyon on loan for the rest of the season, the Premier League club said on Thursday. The 27-year-old, who moved to Chelsea from Roma in January 2018, has made 71 appearances in all competitions for the London side, winning the Europa League in 2019 and the Champions League last season.
* Leeds United are unlikely to make any further signings in the current transfer window, the Premier League side's manager Marcelo Bielsa said on Thursday. Leeds signed three players ahead of this season, adding left back Junior Firpo from Barcelona, winger Jack Harrison from Manchester City on a permanent deal and Norway Under-21 goalkeeper Kristoffer Klaesson from Valerenga.
* Patrick Reed's hopes of qualifying for this year's US Ryder Cup team took a hit as the former Masters champion withdrew from the opening event of the FedExCup Playoffs in New Jersey before his early-morning tee time on Thursday. The decision marked the second consecutive week Reed has pulled out of a tournament before the opening round and leaves him with just the Aug. 26-29 BMW Championship in Maryland to automatically qualify for the Ryder Cup.
* Watford have signed midfielder Ozan Tufan from Turkish Super Lig side Fenerbahce on a season-long loan with an option to buy, the Premier League club said on Thursday. The Turkey international started his career at Bursaspor before joining Fenerbahce in 2015, where he made 174 appearances in all competitions.
* New Zealand defender Rebekah Stott will return to W-League club Melbourne City this season after battling stage 3 Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer, the club said on Thursday. Former Brighton & Hove Albion player Stott said in March she would need to go through four months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with the condition.
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