Stage en Angleterre : Un rêve devenu réalité pour trois footballeurs mauriciens

Le 2 novembre sera le début d’un rêve pour trois jeunes footballeurs. Darel Arthée, Shaun Toussaint et Rahul Mungur mettront le cap sur l’Angleterre, soit à l’académie de Sheffield United. Pendant un mois, ils bénéficieront d’un stage et cela a pu être réalisé grâce au Trust Fund for Excellence in Sports (TFES) et au ministère de la Jeunesse et des Sports.

Lors d’un point de presse jeudi au siège du MJS au Citadelle Mall à PortLouis, les trois jeunes footballeurs ont reçu leur billet d’avion. « Nous avons longtemps entendu dire que le TFES soutenait uniquement les disciplines individuelles, alors que ce n’est pas le cas. Ces trois jeunes ont démontré leur talent et grâce à cela, ils ont émergé. C’est tout à fait normal que le TFES leur apporte le soutien nécessaire afin qu’ils puissent progresser dans leur jeune carrière », a souligné Thevarajen Ponambalum, président du TFES.

Parmi les trois, Darel Arthée est celui que les Mauriciens ont pu voir évoluer le plus fréquemment, car il a participé à la COSAFA U17 avec le Baby Club M. Quant à Shaun Toussaint, il fait partie de la sélection U15, alors que Rahul Mungur a lui été sélectionné grâce à sa capacité à prendre des décisions cruciales devant le but. « Mon rêve est d’être footballeur professionnel et je me donnerai au maximum à Sheffield afin de briller aux yeux des formateurs. Je viens d’une famille qui vit le foot, à l’exemple de mes deux grands frères qui ont joué dans la ligue mauricienne. Je souhaite qu’ils soient fier de moi », fait ressortir le milieu offensif âgé de 15 ans.

Pour Shaun Toussaint, 14 ans, l’objectif est clair. « Tout comme mes deux amis, c’est un rêve devenu réalité. J’ai débuté à l’âge de six ans à l’école de foot de Riverland, et maintenant j’ai eu la chance de faire partie de ce voyage et de bénéficier de ce stage. Je me donnerai à fond. » « Là-bas, ce sera très difficile car il n’y aura pas seulement nous, mais d’autres footballeurs qui voudront briller. Je ne baisserai pas les bras et je me battrai pour que je puisse être performant, comme je l’ai appris durant ma formation à Maurice », souligne Rahul Mungur, 15 ans lui aussi, habitant de GrandBaie.

Stephan Toussaint, ministre de la Jeunesse et des Sports, a voulu également encourager les trois joueurs. « S’ils ont été pris pour faire ce stage, c’est qu’ils ont les moyens de passer à un niveau supérieur. Le respect, la discipline et l’humilité les aideront à franchir ce palier. » Pour l’Anglais David Callow, directeur de Football First Ltd, « ces trois footballeurs ont démontré qu’ils avaient du potentiel pour passer professionnels. Ils sont très talentueux.

L’an prochain, des représentants de Sheffield United viendront à Maurice afin de détecter à nouveau les joueurs qui seront aptes à rejoindre l’académie lors d’un essai. » À savoir que David Callow a contribué au déplacement des 24 Mauriciens à l’académie de football de Barcelone en 2014.

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Ruthless England leave Spain shell-shocked

England ran riot by scoring three first-half goals to stun Spain and earn a 3-2 away win in the Nations League on Monday as they moved back into contention in League A Group 4 with their first victory on Spanish soil for 31 years.

Raheem Sterling gave England the lead against the run of play in the 16th minute by finishing off a swift counter-attack and Marcus Rashford fired into the top corner for the second on the half-hour after a superb pass from captain Harry Kane.

Sterling, who had not got an England goal for three years, struck again from another Kane assist to give Gareth Southgate's side a big halftime lead against Spain, who had scored 12 goals in their last three games and beat England 2-1 last month.

Spain hit back with a header by substitute Paco Alcacer just before the hour and were almost gifted another goal after an error from Jordan Pickford although the keeper managed to tackle Rodrigo Moreno, sparking fierce penalty appeals from the hosts.

Captain Sergio Ramos got a second for Spain with a diving header in the eighth minute of added time with the last action of the match, leaving his side tasting their first defeat over 90 minutes since they were beaten 2-0 by Italy in Euro 2016.

Spain lead the group with six points after three games while England are second on four, leaving Croatia bottom with one point although the World Cup runners-up have a game in hand.

Gareth Southgate fielded the youngest England starting 11 this century and his side had to withstand a whirlwind of early Spain attacks at a packed Benito Villamarin stadium in Seville, with Pickford using his head to thwart Marcos Alonso.

England took the lead through a lightning quick break involving Kane, Sterling and Rashford, and the three forwards had their footprints all over the three goals which led to the home fans booing their team off the pitch at the interval.

Sterling and company were helped by their team mates' aggressive pressing which unsettled Spain, a side usually so comfortable in possession but who were suddenly surrendering the ball with alarming frequency.

Luis Enrique's side were a different prospect in the second half and kept threatening Pickford's goal, with Marco Asensio smashing wide and Alonso heading against the bar just before Ramos struck, but England hung on to claim a first win away to Spain since a Gary Lineker-inspired 4-2 victory in 1987.

RELEGATED ICELAND

Iceland needed to beat Switzerland for the first time to avoid relegation but the Swiss got off to a two-goal lead and held on to victory.

Switzerland routed Iceland 6-0 at home in the team's opener. It moved into a tie with Belgium for first place in Group 2. The Belgians have a game in hand.

LOWER LEAGUES

In League B, Bosnia-Herzegovina defeated Northern Ireland 2-1 at home to take a six-point lead over Austria atop Group 3.

In Group 2 of League C, Finland beat Greece 2-0 at home to remain perfect with four wins and a clean sheet after four matches. Estonia and Hungary drew 3-3 in the group's other match.

Luxembourg defeated San Marino 3-0 to take the lead in Group 2 of League D, ahead of Belarus, which was held by Moldova to 0-0.

Spain look to continue winning run as England visit Seville

The Spain national side can assure their place in the Final Four of the UEFA Nations League if they are able to defeat England in Betis' Benito Villamarin Stadium on Monday night.

Even a draw would probably be enough for Luis Enrique's side after they began the competition with a 2-1 win over England at Wembley in September and followed that up with a 6-0 demolition of Croatia, with the Spanish cause also helped by the 0-0 draw between Croatia and England on Saturday night.

Luis Enrique's first three matches as Spain coach have seen three convincing performances, including a 4-1 win in Wales on Friday and as well as home advantage, his side have enjoyed an extra 24 hours to recover after their last match.

England are without several key players on Monday with Jesse Lingard, Danny Rose and Dele Ali injured, while Jordan Henderson and Kyle Walker after suspended after picking up bookings in Croatia.

England coach Gareth Southgate has to decide whether to stick with the four-man back line that he used against Croatia or with the three central defenders he used in previous games, although he is likely to stick with the back four to allow an extra central midfielder to start.

Henderson's suspension could give the chance for James Maddison to make his full debut, while it will be interesting to see if Southgate starts with 18-year-old Jadon Sandro, who impressed after coming on as a substitute at the weekend.

Luis Enrique meanwhile probably won't make too many changes to his side with Paco Alcacer likely to keep his place after scoring two goals against Wales on his return to the international fold.

Sergio Busquets will return in midfield, despite Rodrigo's impressive display in Wales, while Marc Bartra will no doubt be anxious to get the chance to play in his home ground, which is expected to be close to full with over 50,000 tickets sold by the end of Saturday night as fans look to catch a glimpse of Luis Enrique's impressive new-look team.

Champions League: Neymar’s Hat Trick Powers P.S.G. in Rout

Paris St.-Germain’s attack overwhelmed Red Star Belgrade, 6-1, in the Champions League on Wednesday, with Neymar scoring a hat trick that included two brilliant free kicks.

P.S.G. Coach Thomas Tuchel went with his strongest lineup up front, with Neymar, the World Cup star Kylian Mbappé, Edinson Cavani and Angel Di María. They all scored in the first half except for Mbappé, who had to wait until the 70th minute for his goal, created with some more deft footwork by Neymar.

“It wouldn’t be fair just to talk about Neymar, but everything revolved around him,” Red Star coach Vladan Milojevic said. “He’s on another level.”

Neymar opened the scoring with his first free kick after 20 minutes, then added his second two minutes later after swapping passes with Mbappé.

Cavani beat two players before scoring with a deflected shot in the 37th, and Di María guided in a fourth shortly before the break. Neymar created the fifth with a clever flick over the defense to the Spanish left back Juan Bernat, who cut it back to Mbappé for an easy tap-in.

Red Star midfielder Marko Marin rifled home a shot in the 74th minute to spoil the shutout, then Neymar responded with an even better free kick into the top right corner to finish P.S.G.’s scoring.

 

BARCELONA 4, TOTTENHAM 2 Lionel Messi received a helping hand from Luis Suárez’s clever dummy runs to score twice and ensure Barcelona overcame Tottenham in London.

Two times, Suárez wisely left the ball drift past him to Messi to claim second-half goals in a virtuoso performance at Wembley Stadium.

Messi was also selfless, helping set up Philippe Coutinho to score into a net unguarded by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the second minute. Ivan Rakitic made it 2-0 with a rocket off the post in the 28th minute.

Harry Kane pulled one back in the 52nd minute, but Messi started and completed a move four minutes later that restored Barcelona’s two-goal lead.

The prospect of a Tottenham comeback flickered again when Erik Lamela scored in the 66th but Messi had the final say in the 90th, again after Suárez let a ball go past him, to snuff out the resistance.

It left Tottenham with no points in Group B. Inter Milan, which beat PSV Eindhoven 2-1, joined Barcelona with six points.

 

NAPOLI 1, LIVERPOOL 0 Lorenzo Insigne scored in the 90th minute to give Napoli a win over a surprisingly listless Liverpool in Naples, Italy.

Having threatened all night without anything to show for it besides Dries Mertens’s volley off the crossbar, Napoli finally broke through when Insigne redirected a cross from José Callejón by the far post.

 

The victory vaulted Napoli atop Group C with four points, one ahead of Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.

SCHALKE 1, LOKOMOTIV 0 Weston McKennie’s late header gave Schalke a win over host Lokomotiv Moscow as the German team continued to recover from a poor start to the season. McKennie, the 20-year-old American midfielder, made the difference in the 88th minute when he leapt unmarked at the far post to head in Yevhen Konoplyanka’s corner kick.

United Cup exit adds to Mourinho woe after Pogba rift

Paul Pogba's fractured relationship with Jose Mourinho hit an all-time low yesterday when the Manchester United supremo told the Frenchman in front of team-mates that he will never captain the club again.

Mourinho broke the bombshell news to his stunned squad at United's Carrington training ground after reacting furiously to Pogba's criticism of the team's tactics at Old Trafford in the wake of last Saturday's 1-1 draw against Wolves.

The United manager - whose woes deepened last night when they beaten by Derby in a League Cup penalty shoot-out at Old Trafford - is thought to have accused Pogba of believing he is bigger than the club as the Portuguese's patience with his club record €105m signing snapped.

The turn of events puts the two biggest personalities at Old Trafford in direct confrontation and creates a huge headache for Ed Woodward, the club's executive vice-chairman.

Woodward will be under pressure to back Mourinho's stance over Pogba, but doubts over whether the manager will still be in charge beyond the summer will complicate making any decison.

While United have insisted Pogba is not for sale, his latest spat with Mourinho may intensify the Frenchman's desire to join Barcelona, who have been courting the 25-year-old since the summer.

Pogba had claimed after the Wolves game that United needed to attack more at Old Trafford and offer more movement up front in an apparent dig at Mourinho's tactics, even though it was from his mistake early in the second half that the Midlands club equalised. 

Mourinho praises Pogba, Shaw, Dalot after United Swiss stroll

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho heaped praise on captain Paul Pogba and full backs Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot after they shone in a 3-0 win at Champions League debutants Young Boys Bern on Wednesday.

France World Cup winner Pogba scored two goals and assisted compatriot Anthony Martial’s third while Shaw and 19-year old Dalot, making his United debut, looked solid on the flanks after a stormy opening 30 minutes.

“I felt Paul was a bit tired in the last part of the game, but he was class,” Mourinho told BT Sport.

“He gave the team the pace we needed at times, keeping possession and keeping control of the tempo. The goal was good, and the penalty showed personality.”

Pogba opened the scoring with a sublime left-footed finish in the 35th minute before calmly drilling in a 44th-minute penalty.

He carved Young Boys open with a defence-splitting pass which presented Martial with a simple finish at the near post in the 66th minute.

Close-season signing Dalot, who missed the start of the campaign with a knee injury, showed pace going forward and delivered several good crosses from the right.

Shaw, often criticised by Mourinho last season for below-par performances on the left, has looked more consistent and confident this term.

“I thought Dalot was very good, but I prefer to speak about both full backs,” said Mourinho.

“Shaw played like he has done since the start of the season. Dalot is one of the best right backs in Europe already. He has a lifetime to play for Manchester United.”

The United boss was also pleased with the overall display.

“Job done. Not phenomenal but good enough. After the first goal the game was in control - after that, it was just a question of scoring the goals to give us the stability we needed for the second half,” Mourinho said.

Champions League round-up: Messi bags hat-trick in Barca victory

Lionel Messi scored the eighth Champions League hat-trick of his career as 10-man Barcelona recovered from a disappointing start to thrash PSV 4-0 in Group B.

Messi's superb 32nd-minute free-kick was his side's first shot on target and set up a comfortable win in which Ousmane Dembele also got on the scoresheet with a top-class solo goal.

PSV had their chances with Gaston Pereiro coming close early on but the game changed when Messi curled home his opener after Dembele was pulled down.

Dembele lashed home Barcelona's second from long range in the 74th minute before Messi rounded off another dazzling display despite French defender Samuel Umtiti's late red card for two bookable offences.

Messi's hat-trick took him clear of his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has seven trebles to his name in this competition.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said: "He does extraordinary things and makes them seem routine.

"Today it was three goals, and he unlocked the match with his free-kick. The strike was masterful and he simply doesn't tire of scoring hat-tricks."

Substitute Roberto Firmino came to Liverpool's rescue after Paris St Germain hauled themselves back from two goals down in a five-goal thriller at Anfield.

Jurgen's Klopp's men eased into a 2-0 lead through Daniel Sturridge, on his first start in the competition, and a James Milner penalty inside the first 36 minutes.

Thomas Meunier pulled one back for PSG and Kylian Mbappe equalised in the 83rd minute before Firmino, who was not considered ready to start after suffering an eye injury at the weekend, stepped up to give his side the points in the second minute of added time.

Inter Milan also left it late to dispatch Tottenham 2-1 at the San Siro after trailing to Christian Eriksen's 53rd-minute opener.

The Italian side drew level eight minutes from time through a superb first-time volley from Mauro Icardi, before Matias Vecino headed home deep into injury time to complete Inter's comeback and seal Spurs' third defeat in succession.

Atletico Madrid came from behind to win 2-1 in Monaco, after Samuel Grandsir had given Leonardo Jardim's Ligue 1 strugglers an 18th-minute lead.

Diego Costa equalised for the visitors on the half-hour and Jose Gimenez netted what turned out to be the winning goal in injury time at the end of the first half.

Goals from Garry Rodrigues, Eren Derdiyok and Selcuk Inan helped Galatasaray to a comfortable 3-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow in Istanbul, despite the late sending-off of midfielder Badou N'Diaye.

Christian Pulisic scored in the 85th minute to give Borussia Dortmund a 1-0 win at Club Brugge, Schalke and Porto drew 1-1 with goals from Breel Embolo and an Otavio penalty respectively, while Red Star Belgrade versus Napoli ended goalless.

Champions League: Firmino a doubt

Roberto Firmino remains a doubt for Liverpool's Champions League meeting with Paris Saint-Germain tonight.

Firmino was forced off during the second half of Saturday's 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur after being accidentally poked in the eye by Jan Vertonghen.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp still hopes to be able to call upon the Brazilian for his side's opening Group C game at Anfield.

However, when asked whether Firmino would definitely be available to play, Klopp said: "No, not definitely. If we played today, no chance, but we all hope there is a chance for tomorrow.

"That is good news, that it will be close. When everyone saw the pictures after the game, we were all shocked.

"When we had first-hand contact with him, after he was in hospital, it was a big relief for all of us.

"It is painful and no-one needs that but he will be fine - we just don't know exactly when. Another 30 hours before the game? We will see how it develops."

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Luke Shaw will start for Manchester United in their Champions League clash against Young Boys on Wednesday night.

The left-back was left out of the Manchester United squad on Saturday due to a head injury suffered while on international duty with England last week.

Manchester United claimed a 2-1 win over Watford in the Premier League in Shaw’s absence this weekend as they secured all three points to make it back to back wins in the top flight for the first time this season.

Shaw was left out as a precaution after he suffered a concussion during England’s clash with Spain.

However, Mourinho has now confirmed that the England defender is in good shape and that he should be ready to face Young Boys in Manchester United’s Champions League group stage opener on Wednesday night.

Speaking at his post-match news conference on Saturday night, Mourinho said: “Luke Shaw plays Wednesday.

“We can’t do it with one left-back and Ashley Young is not just a left-back, he’s also a right-back.

“They both are doing well and they both are different players, and they both understand that one is a young player and the other one is the experienced one, and it’s good for us to have these two options.

“Plus [Matteo] Darmian is my emergency man; he is always ready for everything.”

Manchester United are looking to be one of the main contenders for the Premier League title this season as they look to win the trophy for the first time since 2013.

The Red Devils ended up in second place in the Premier League table and without a trophy last term.

Spanish anti-doping agency investigates Russia's Denis Cheryshev

Spain’s anti-doping agency has opened an investigation into Valencia and Russia winger Denis Cheryshev, following remarks from his father Dmitri in the Russian media about an injection the player took to treat an injury.

“We can confirm we have started an investigation to find out more information about the case,” said a spokesman from the AEPSAD, the Spanish Agency for Health Protection in Sport, which is responsible for the fight against doping.

“The investigation is being carried out with the co-operation of Russia’s anti-doping agency and is in contact with the World Anti-Doping Agency.”

Cheryshev, who scored four goals in Russia’s surprise run to the World Cup quarter-finals, has denied ever taking a banned substance.

The investigation stems from an interview which Dmitri Cheryshev gave to Russian publication Sport Weekend during the World Cup, in which he was quoted saying his son had received an injection containing “growth hormone” in the run-up to the tournament to treat injury.

On the eve of Russia’s last-16 game against Spain, Cheryshev said: “I have never used any prohibited substances and you don’t even have to think twice about it.”

The Russian Football Union said at the time that the treatment the player received had been a platelet-rich plasma injection which is legal and said the journalist had incorrectly interpreted Dmitri Cheryshev’s words.

Cheryshev joined Valencia on loan from Villarreal in August. He scored in Russia’s 2-1 win at Turkey in the Uefa Nations League last Friday.

Valencia’s director general Mateu Alemany said on Wednesday the club was unaware of the investigation, adding he believed the player’s father had been misquoted.

“We haven’t been notified about what has been published. If the player was involved in an investigation then they [the agency] should have told the club and the player,” Alemany said.

“We have had no communication in any form, he was subject to controls at Villarreal and at the World Cup. After reading everything, I think it’s an error in the transcription, because growth factors are not the same as growth hormones.”

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