MOSCOW (AP) Russia has chosen a cocky wolf wearing sporty goggles as the mascot for the 2018 football World Cup. The wolf was chosen in online voting over two other mascot candidates — a cat and a tiger wearing a space suit. The announcement was made early Saturday at the end of an hour-long broadcast on state Channel One television. More than 1 million Russians voted in the contest, according to the broadcast. World Cup matches are to take place in 11 cities in June and July 2018. The venues are in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saransk, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod and Yekaterinburg.
Andres Iniesta’s footballing career has defined for an entire generation the words consistency and professionalism. Now 32 years old and Barcelona’s longest-tenured servant, Iniesta has played more than 40 games (all competitions) every season since the 2003-04 campaign, back when he was a 19-year-old La Masia product quickly breaking into the first team. Part of a run like that is down to unparalleled talent and an unwavering commitment to craft, but, of course, a stroke of good luck on the serious-injury front. It’s looking quite unlikely he’ll extend his 40-games-played streak to a 13th season in 2016-17, however, after the club confirmed fears on Saturday that Iniesta suffered knee ligament
Both Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany have nothing to worry about regarding their place in the Manchester City squad, according to manager Pep Guardiola. Neither was in the starting lineup for the Champions League loss to Barcelona, with Kompany not even in the 18. But according to Guardiola, he had his reasons for both. “Vincent was not perfectly fit,” Guardiola said. “Sergio, I said after the game, was a tactical decision. If Sergio decides to leave it will be his decision.” The former Barcelona manager played a striker-less formation against the La Liga giants, employing Kevin De Bruyne as a false 9. It failed, with Barcelona storming through en route to a 4-0 win, with Lionel Messi scoring