MANCHESTER, England (AP) It has been one of the great sights of English soccer in recent years, Yaya Toure picking up possession in central midfield for Manchester City, rampaging upfield and scattering opponents in his path. Those days appear to have gone. Toure is now found sitting in front of City’s defense, reading the game, dictating its tempo, picking off opposition passes, and starting attacks rather than finishing them. His reinvention over the last three months as a holding midfielder — and one of Pep Guardiola‘s most integral players — is one of the stories of City’s season and has coincided with an upturn in the team’s fortunes. It’s as much a tale of the 33-year-old Toure’s enduring
Zinedine Zidane has failed to provide clarity about Isco's uncertain future at Real Madrid amid recent reports linking the midfielder with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and even Barcelona. Meanwhile, the French boss hailed James Rodriguez's decision to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu but failed to confirm whether Pepe will be at the Santiago Bernabeu in the 2017-2018 campaign.
Former Chelsea midfielder Alexei Smertin has been put in charge of investigating soccer racism in Russia, despite previously appearing to deny it existed. "Ahead of the 2017 Confederations Cup and 2018 World Cup, Russia, as a country hosting such big international tournaments, should be an example of global tolerance both on and off the football field," Smertin said Tuesday in a statement on the RFU website.