Brazil soccer star Neymar

World-class soccer player Neymar leads the Brazil team at the Olympics.

Meunier: Cavani, Mbappe and Neymar must fear for their place!

After taking his season's tally to seven goals for club and country, Thomas Meunier says PSG's star forwards should watch out.

LIVE: Dijon vs Paris Saint-Germain

Neymar & Co. return to domestic action as the Parisiens look to stretch their lead at the top of Ligue 1 - follow the action LIVE!

Police raid villa as part of criminal investigation into PSG president

A £6 million Sardinian villa which police suspect was used by Paris St-Germain’s Qatari president to bribe Sepp Blatter’s disgraced right-hand man at Fifa was raided on Friday as part of criminal investigations into the duo. The Villa Bianca was put at the disposal of Jerome Valcke by Nasser Al-Khelaifi as a “means of corruption”, according to Italian police, who conducted the search as part of a fraud inquiry into the man who masterminded Neymar’s world-record move from Barcelona. Police also said documents and computer equipment were seized and several people had been questioned in connection with the property in an operation carried out on the request of the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland. The OAG’s ever-expanding inquiry into football corruption, which began with 2015’s dawn raids of a five-star Zurich hotel and the arrest and indictment of some of the game’s most senior figures, also saw Fifa announce its ethics committee would launch a preliminary investigation into Al-Khelaifi. The 43-year-old was in danger of being provisionally suspended over suspicions he bribed the world governing body’s former secretary general Valcke in his capacity as chief executive of beIN Sports – the Paris offices of which were raided on Thursday – in order to secure World Cup broadcast rights. A villa in Porto Cervo on the Italian Sardinia island seized by the Italian Police Credit: ITALIAN FINANCIAL POLICE “We can confirm that the investigatory chamber of the independent ethics committee will initiate a preliminary investigation into the matter,” Fifa said in a statement on Friday of a process similar to that which led to a 90-day suspension for its own disgraced president, Blatter, two years ago after criminal proceedings were opened against him. Al-Khelaifi, who was instrumental this summer in PSG’s controversial £200 million purchase of Neymar from Barcelona and of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for £166 million, last year joined Uefa’s professional football strategy council. That was as a representative of the European Club Association, the executive board of which he was also appointed to in 2016. Neither Uefa nor the ECA had any plans yesterday to suspend him from those roles. PSG and beIN did not respond to requests for comment on the latest developments following the latter’s statement on Thursday saying it “refutes all accusations made by OAG” and promising to “fully co-operate with the authorities”. Valcke, who was questioned by Swiss prosecutors the same day, broke his silence to deny the claims against him, telling L’Equipe: “I just want to say that it’s not true. I have never done that. I have never received anything in exchange for anything. “I refute the accusations against me or Nasser. I have received nothing from Nasser, I can assure you. There was never any exchange between Nasser and I. Never.” Valcke was already facing a separate criminal inquiry, launched in March last year over “various acts of criminal mismanagement”. That probe related to his sacking by Fifa and ban from football for a series of offences, including attempting to sell World Cup TV rights for far below their value. Nasser Al-Khelaifi oversaw the world record breaking transfer of Neymar from Barcelona to PSG Credit: PA The OAG revealed on Thursday fresh proceedings had been opened on the basis of findings obtained during the earlier inquiry. It said in a statement: “It is suspected that Jerome Valcke accepted undue advantages from a businessman in the sports-rights sector in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the Fifa World Cups in 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 and from Nasser Al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the Fifa World Cups in 2026 and 2030.” Valcke was questioned a day after appearing the Court of Arbitration for Sport to appeal his 10-year ban from football, a suspension that had already been reduced from 12 years by Fifa’s appeal committee. He and Blatter, who is serving a six-year ban from the game, have always denied any wrongdoing.

Police raid villa as part of criminal investigation into PSG president

A £6 million Sardinian villa which police suspect was used by Paris St-Germain’s Qatari president to bribe Sepp Blatter’s disgraced right-hand man at Fifa was raided on Friday as part of criminal investigations into the duo. The Villa Bianca was put at the disposal of Jerome Valcke by Nasser Al-Khelaifi as a “means of corruption”, according to Italian police, who conducted the search as part of a fraud inquiry into the man who masterminded Neymar’s world-record move from Barcelona. Police also said documents and computer equipment were seized and several people had been questioned in connection with the property in an operation carried out on the request of the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland. The OAG’s ever-expanding inquiry into football corruption, which began with 2015’s dawn raids of a five-star Zurich hotel and the arrest and indictment of some of the game’s most senior figures, also saw Fifa announce its ethics committee would launch a preliminary investigation into Al-Khelaifi. The 43-year-old was in danger of being provisionally suspended over suspicions he bribed the world governing body’s former secretary general Valcke in his capacity as chief executive of beIN Sports – the Paris offices of which were raided on Thursday – in order to secure World Cup broadcast rights. A villa in Porto Cervo on the Italian Sardinia island seized by the Italian Police Credit: ITALIAN FINANCIAL POLICE “We can confirm that the investigatory chamber of the independent ethics committee will initiate a preliminary investigation into the matter,” Fifa said in a statement on Friday of a process similar to that which led to a 90-day suspension for its own disgraced president, Blatter, two years ago after criminal proceedings were opened against him. Al-Khelaifi, who was instrumental this summer in PSG’s controversial £200 million purchase of Neymar from Barcelona and of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for £166 million, last year joined Uefa’s professional football strategy council. That was as a representative of the European Club Association, the executive board of which he was also appointed to in 2016. Neither Uefa nor the ECA had any plans yesterday to suspend him from those roles. PSG and beIN did not respond to requests for comment on the latest developments following the latter’s statement on Thursday saying it “refutes all accusations made by OAG” and promising to “fully co-operate with the authorities”. Valcke, who was questioned by Swiss prosecutors the same day, broke his silence to deny the claims against him, telling L’Equipe: “I just want to say that it’s not true. I have never done that. I have never received anything in exchange for anything. “I refute the accusations against me or Nasser. I have received nothing from Nasser, I can assure you. There was never any exchange between Nasser and I. Never.” Valcke was already facing a separate criminal inquiry, launched in March last year over “various acts of criminal mismanagement”. That probe related to his sacking by Fifa and ban from football for a series of offences, including attempting to sell World Cup TV rights for far below their value. Nasser Al-Khelaifi oversaw the world record breaking transfer of Neymar from Barcelona to PSG Credit: PA The OAG revealed on Thursday fresh proceedings had been opened on the basis of findings obtained during the earlier inquiry. It said in a statement: “It is suspected that Jerome Valcke accepted undue advantages from a businessman in the sports-rights sector in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the Fifa World Cups in 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 and from Nasser Al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the Fifa World Cups in 2026 and 2030.” Valcke was questioned a day after appearing the Court of Arbitration for Sport to appeal his 10-year ban from football, a suspension that had already been reduced from 12 years by Fifa’s appeal committee. He and Blatter, who is serving a six-year ban from the game, have always denied any wrongdoing.

Police raid villa as part of criminal investigation into PSG president

A £6 million Sardinian villa which police suspect was used by Paris St-Germain’s Qatari president to bribe Sepp Blatter’s disgraced right-hand man at Fifa was raided on Friday as part of criminal investigations into the duo. The Villa Bianca was put at the disposal of Jerome Valcke by Nasser Al-Khelaifi as a “means of corruption”, according to Italian police, who conducted the search as part of a fraud inquiry into the man who masterminded Neymar’s world-record move from Barcelona. Police also said documents and computer equipment were seized and several people had been questioned in connection with the property in an operation carried out on the request of the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland. The OAG’s ever-expanding inquiry into football corruption, which began with 2015’s dawn raids of a five-star Zurich hotel and the arrest and indictment of some of the game’s most senior figures, also saw Fifa announce its ethics committee would launch a preliminary investigation into Al-Khelaifi. The 43-year-old was in danger of being provisionally suspended over suspicions he bribed the world governing body’s former secretary general Valcke in his capacity as chief executive of beIN Sports – the Paris offices of which were raided on Thursday – in order to secure World Cup broadcast rights. A villa in Porto Cervo on the Italian Sardinia island seized by the Italian Police Credit: ITALIAN FINANCIAL POLICE “We can confirm that the investigatory chamber of the independent ethics committee will initiate a preliminary investigation into the matter,” Fifa said in a statement on Friday of a process similar to that which led to a 90-day suspension for its own disgraced president, Blatter, two years ago after criminal proceedings were opened against him. Al-Khelaifi, who was instrumental this summer in PSG’s controversial £200 million purchase of Neymar from Barcelona and of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for £166 million, last year joined Uefa’s professional football strategy council. That was as a representative of the European Club Association, the executive board of which he was also appointed to in 2016. Neither Uefa nor the ECA had any plans yesterday to suspend him from those roles. PSG and beIN did not respond to requests for comment on the latest developments following the latter’s statement on Thursday saying it “refutes all accusations made by OAG” and promising to “fully co-operate with the authorities”. Valcke, who was questioned by Swiss prosecutors the same day, broke his silence to deny the claims against him, telling L’Equipe: “I just want to say that it’s not true. I have never done that. I have never received anything in exchange for anything. “I refute the accusations against me or Nasser. I have received nothing from Nasser, I can assure you. There was never any exchange between Nasser and I. Never.” Valcke was already facing a separate criminal inquiry, launched in March last year over “various acts of criminal mismanagement”. That probe related to his sacking by Fifa and ban from football for a series of offences, including attempting to sell World Cup TV rights for far below their value. Nasser Al-Khelaifi oversaw the world record breaking transfer of Neymar from Barcelona to PSG Credit: PA The OAG revealed on Thursday fresh proceedings had been opened on the basis of findings obtained during the earlier inquiry. It said in a statement: “It is suspected that Jerome Valcke accepted undue advantages from a businessman in the sports-rights sector in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the Fifa World Cups in 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 and from Nasser Al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the Fifa World Cups in 2026 and 2030.” Valcke was questioned a day after appearing the Court of Arbitration for Sport to appeal his 10-year ban from football, a suspension that had already been reduced from 12 years by Fifa’s appeal committee. He and Blatter, who is serving a six-year ban from the game, have always denied any wrongdoing.

Neymar Presentation In Paris

FILE PHOTO: PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi waves, Paris St Germain vs Amiens SC, Ligue 1, Paris, France, August 5, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Barcelona reinvented themselves after Neymar left - Simeone

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone feels Saturday's opposition Barcelona are one of the best teams in the world, even without Neymar.

Barcelona reinvented themselves after Neymar left - Simeone

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone feels Saturday's opposition Barcelona are one of the best teams in the world, even without Neymar.

Barcelona reinvented themselves after Neymar left - Simeone

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone feels Saturday's opposition Barcelona are one of the best teams in the world, even without Neymar.

Sam Allardyce and David Moyes in frame as hunt for Gordon Strachan's Scotland successor begins

Sam Allardyce for Scotland manager? David Moyes, the bookies’ favourite, or Malky McKay, already in-house at Hampden Park? So began the inevitable speculation, following the announcement from the Scottish Football Association that Gordon Strachan’s tenure was over after a second tournament qualification failure. The statement said that the 60-year-old’s spell in charge had come to an end ‘by mutual consent’ but the SFA chief executive, Stewart Regan, added: “After almost five years the board felt it was time for a new direction to prepare for the Uefa Euro 2020 qualifying campaign and also the forthcoming Uefa Nations League.” Allardyce’s name became prominent this week because, although he declined to declare an interest in the Scotland job, out of respect for Strachan – ‘somebody is already in that position,’ – the former England manager did not rule himself out. Moyes, meanwhile, has been looking for work since resigning as Sunderland boss on May 22, while McKay is already employed by the SFA as performance director. Strachan might, in fact, have survived as he did when the Scots fell short of qualification for Euro 2016 but were cheered by the Tartan Army after the final group match against Gibraltar in Faro. His win rate of 46.3% from 40 games was bettered by only one of his 10 most recent predecessors as Scotland manager – his former Aberdeen team-mate, Alex McLeish (70% from 10 games) – and Strachan’s record this year was estimable. Strachan left his role on Thursday Credit: Reuters Four wins and two draws from six fixtures, representing a 75% success rate, with four clean sheets and the only goals scored by any of the Group F contenders against Slovenia in Ljubljana, took the Scots to the brink of a play-off place. Strachan’s team selection against the Slovenes, however, was the subject of criticism because he switched to a 4-4-2 deployment which left the Scottish midfield outgunned in the second half, when they fell behind after leading at the interval. The manager’s use of substitutions was also condemned and he stepped into a morass of his own making when, in trying to explain that his options had been restricted because of a lack of height in his squad, Strachan cited the genetics of the Scots as a disadvantage and suggested that taller Scottish women should apply themselves to producing better proportioned players for the future. Northern Ireland have had huge success under Michael O'Neill, who lives in Edinburgh Credit: PA The consequent ridicule and satire, in newspapers, TV and radio, was matched by scorn on social media. As one SFA source told Telegraph Sport: “It was not Gordon’s finest hour.” The longer view also yields unflattering comparisons with the achievement of Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in qualifying for Euro 2016 while the Scots, alone of the home nations, stayed at home. Northern Ireland, have again reached the play-offs under Michael O’Neill, who lives in Edinburgh, and whose resources are comparable with those available to Strachan. What Scotland do have is a core of six Celtic players, two of whom – Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong – were notable performers, whose absence through injury did not help Strachan’s cause in Slovenia. Potential Scotland replacements Their club manager, Brendan Rodgers, expressed dismay at the outcome on Thursday when he said: “It was a missed opportunity. There’s no doubt about that. It was clear the improvement the squad had made in, first, performance and, second, results.” “The frustrating thing about it is that it was a good result, in terms of going to Slovenia, a team that hadn’t conceded any goals at home. And you go there and muster a point on the back of five other good results. “That second part of the competition was actually very, very good and that’s why it’s so frustrating, because you’ve had 20 years of it. There is a genuine chance there because there is a group of young, vibrant, exciting players who have shown in an energetic way that they can do the things you want at that level. Marco Verratti doesn't struggle given his size Asked for his view on Strachan’s comments about genetics, Rodgers said: “Who are the best players in the world? Messi, Suarez, Hazard, Iniesta, Neymar, Verrati. “Verrati is 5ft 6ins but he’s not in conflict with the ball. He keeps it. Scotland can find a systematic approach to work in, to play in, so that if there are players missing, the next ones can come in, if you have a profile and a clear identity – because that’s what it’s going to take, a collective effort. “Northern Ireland lost against Norway but you could clearly see good organisation and an identity in the team. They have created a spirit these last few years and that is what also makes the difference.” And that is why the SFA might wait to see how Northern Ireland fare in the play-offs before ruling O’Neill out as a potential successor to Strachan.

Sam Allardyce and David Moyes in frame as hunt for Gordon Strachan's Scotland successor begins

Sam Allardyce for Scotland manager? David Moyes, the bookies’ favourite, or Malky McKay, already in-house at Hampden Park? So began the inevitable speculation, following the announcement from the Scottish Football Association that Gordon Strachan’s tenure was over after a second tournament qualification failure. The statement said that the 60-year-old’s spell in charge had come to an end ‘by mutual consent’ but the SFA chief executive, Stewart Regan, added: “After almost five years the board felt it was time for a new direction to prepare for the Uefa Euro 2020 qualifying campaign and also the forthcoming Uefa Nations League.” Allardyce’s name became prominent this week because, although he declined to declare an interest in the Scotland job, out of respect for Strachan – ‘somebody is already in that position,’ – the former England manager did not rule himself out. Moyes, meanwhile, has been looking for work since resigning as Sunderland boss on May 22, while McKay is already employed by the SFA as performance director. Strachan might, in fact, have survived as he did when the Scots fell short of qualification for Euro 2016 but were cheered by the Tartan Army after the final group match against Gibraltar in Faro. His win rate of 46.3% from 40 games was bettered by only one of his 10 most recent predecessors as Scotland manager – his former Aberdeen team-mate, Alex McLeish (70% from 10 games) – and Strachan’s record this year was estimable. Strachan left his role on Thursday Credit: Reuters Four wins and two draws from six fixtures, representing a 75% success rate, with four clean sheets and the only goals scored by any of the Group F contenders against Slovenia in Ljubljana, took the Scots to the brink of a play-off place. Strachan’s team selection against the Slovenes, however, was the subject of criticism because he switched to a 4-4-2 deployment which left the Scottish midfield outgunned in the second half, when they fell behind after leading at the interval. The manager’s use of substitutions was also condemned and he stepped into a morass of his own making when, in trying to explain that his options had been restricted because of a lack of height in his squad, Strachan cited the genetics of the Scots as a disadvantage and suggested that taller Scottish women should apply themselves to producing better proportioned players for the future. Northern Ireland have had huge success under Michael O'Neill, who lives in Edinburgh Credit: PA The consequent ridicule and satire, in newspapers, TV and radio, was matched by scorn on social media. As one SFA source told Telegraph Sport: “It was not Gordon’s finest hour.” The longer view also yields unflattering comparisons with the achievement of Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in qualifying for Euro 2016 while the Scots, alone of the home nations, stayed at home. Northern Ireland, have again reached the play-offs under Michael O’Neill, who lives in Edinburgh, and whose resources are comparable with those available to Strachan. What Scotland do have is a core of six Celtic players, two of whom – Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong – were notable performers, whose absence through injury did not help Strachan’s cause in Slovenia. Potential Scotland replacements Their club manager, Brendan Rodgers, expressed dismay at the outcome on Thursday when he said: “It was a missed opportunity. There’s no doubt about that. It was clear the improvement the squad had made in, first, performance and, second, results.” “The frustrating thing about it is that it was a good result, in terms of going to Slovenia, a team that hadn’t conceded any goals at home. And you go there and muster a point on the back of five other good results. “That second part of the competition was actually very, very good and that’s why it’s so frustrating, because you’ve had 20 years of it. There is a genuine chance there because there is a group of young, vibrant, exciting players who have shown in an energetic way that they can do the things you want at that level. Marco Verratti doesn't struggle given his size Asked for his view on Strachan’s comments about genetics, Rodgers said: “Who are the best players in the world? Messi, Suarez, Hazard, Iniesta, Neymar, Verrati. “Verrati is 5ft 6ins but he’s not in conflict with the ball. He keeps it. Scotland can find a systematic approach to work in, to play in, so that if there are players missing, the next ones can come in, if you have a profile and a clear identity – because that’s what it’s going to take, a collective effort. “Northern Ireland lost against Norway but you could clearly see good organisation and an identity in the team. They have created a spirit these last few years and that is what also makes the difference.” And that is why the SFA might wait to see how Northern Ireland fare in the play-offs before ruling O’Neill out as a potential successor to Strachan.

Sam Allardyce and David Moyes in frame as hunt for Gordon Strachan's Scotland successor begins

Sam Allardyce for Scotland manager? David Moyes, the bookies’ favourite, or Malky McKay, already in-house at Hampden Park? So began the inevitable speculation, following the announcement from the Scottish Football Association that Gordon Strachan’s tenure was over after a second tournament qualification failure. The statement said that the 60-year-old’s spell in charge had come to an end ‘by mutual consent’ but the SFA chief executive, Stewart Regan, added: “After almost five years the board felt it was time for a new direction to prepare for the Uefa Euro 2020 qualifying campaign and also the forthcoming Uefa Nations League.” Allardyce’s name became prominent this week because, although he declined to declare an interest in the Scotland job, out of respect for Strachan – ‘somebody is already in that position,’ – the former England manager did not rule himself out. Moyes, meanwhile, has been looking for work since resigning as Sunderland boss on May 22, while McKay is already employed by the SFA as performance director. Strachan might, in fact, have survived as he did when the Scots fell short of qualification for Euro 2016 but were cheered by the Tartan Army after the final group match against Gibraltar in Faro. His win rate of 46.3% from 40 games was bettered by only one of his 10 most recent predecessors as Scotland manager – his former Aberdeen team-mate, Alex McLeish (70% from 10 games) – and Strachan’s record this year was estimable. Strachan left his role on Thursday Credit: Reuters Four wins and two draws from six fixtures, representing a 75% success rate, with four clean sheets and the only goals scored by any of the Group F contenders against Slovenia in Ljubljana, took the Scots to the brink of a play-off place. Strachan’s team selection against the Slovenes, however, was the subject of criticism because he switched to a 4-4-2 deployment which left the Scottish midfield outgunned in the second half, when they fell behind after leading at the interval. The manager’s use of substitutions was also condemned and he stepped into a morass of his own making when, in trying to explain that his options had been restricted because of a lack of height in his squad, Strachan cited the genetics of the Scots as a disadvantage and suggested that taller Scottish women should apply themselves to producing better proportioned players for the future. Northern Ireland have had huge success under Michael O'Neill, who lives in Edinburgh Credit: PA The consequent ridicule and satire, in newspapers, TV and radio, was matched by scorn on social media. As one SFA source told Telegraph Sport: “It was not Gordon’s finest hour.” The longer view also yields unflattering comparisons with the achievement of Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in qualifying for Euro 2016 while the Scots, alone of the home nations, stayed at home. Northern Ireland, have again reached the play-offs under Michael O’Neill, who lives in Edinburgh, and whose resources are comparable with those available to Strachan. What Scotland do have is a core of six Celtic players, two of whom – Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong – were notable performers, whose absence through injury did not help Strachan’s cause in Slovenia. Potential Scotland replacements Their club manager, Brendan Rodgers, expressed dismay at the outcome on Thursday when he said: “It was a missed opportunity. There’s no doubt about that. It was clear the improvement the squad had made in, first, performance and, second, results.” “The frustrating thing about it is that it was a good result, in terms of going to Slovenia, a team that hadn’t conceded any goals at home. And you go there and muster a point on the back of five other good results. “That second part of the competition was actually very, very good and that’s why it’s so frustrating, because you’ve had 20 years of it. There is a genuine chance there because there is a group of young, vibrant, exciting players who have shown in an energetic way that they can do the things you want at that level. Marco Verratti doesn't struggle given his size Asked for his view on Strachan’s comments about genetics, Rodgers said: “Who are the best players in the world? Messi, Suarez, Hazard, Iniesta, Neymar, Verrati. “Verrati is 5ft 6ins but he’s not in conflict with the ball. He keeps it. Scotland can find a systematic approach to work in, to play in, so that if there are players missing, the next ones can come in, if you have a profile and a clear identity – because that’s what it’s going to take, a collective effort. “Northern Ireland lost against Norway but you could clearly see good organisation and an identity in the team. They have created a spirit these last few years and that is what also makes the difference.” And that is why the SFA might wait to see how Northern Ireland fare in the play-offs before ruling O’Neill out as a potential successor to Strachan.

Sam Allardyce and David Moyes in frame as hunt for Gordon Strachan's Scotland successor begins

Sam Allardyce for Scotland manager? David Moyes, the bookies’ favourite, or Malky McKay, already in-house at Hampden Park? So began the inevitable speculation, following the announcement from the Scottish Football Association that Gordon Strachan’s tenure was over after a second tournament qualification failure. The statement said that the 60-year-old’s spell in charge had come to an end ‘by mutual consent’ but the SFA chief executive, Stewart Regan, added: “After almost five years the board felt it was time for a new direction to prepare for the Uefa Euro 2020 qualifying campaign and also the forthcoming Uefa Nations League.” Allardyce’s name became prominent this week because, although he declined to declare an interest in the Scotland job, out of respect for Strachan – ‘somebody is already in that position,’ – the former England manager did not rule himself out. Moyes, meanwhile, has been looking for work since resigning as Sunderland boss on May 22, while McKay is already employed by the SFA as performance director. Strachan might, in fact, have survived as he did when the Scots fell short of qualification for Euro 2016 but were cheered by the Tartan Army after the final group match against Gibraltar in Faro. His win rate of 46.3% from 40 games was bettered by only one of his 10 most recent predecessors as Scotland manager – his former Aberdeen team-mate, Alex McLeish (70% from 10 games) – and Strachan’s record this year was estimable. Strachan left his role on Thursday Credit: Reuters Four wins and two draws from six fixtures, representing a 75% success rate, with four clean sheets and the only goals scored by any of the Group F contenders against Slovenia in Ljubljana, took the Scots to the brink of a play-off place. Strachan’s team selection against the Slovenes, however, was the subject of criticism because he switched to a 4-4-2 deployment which left the Scottish midfield outgunned in the second half, when they fell behind after leading at the interval. The manager’s use of substitutions was also condemned and he stepped into a morass of his own making when, in trying to explain that his options had been restricted because of a lack of height in his squad, Strachan cited the genetics of the Scots as a disadvantage and suggested that taller Scottish women should apply themselves to producing better proportioned players for the future. Northern Ireland have had huge success under Michael O'Neill, who lives in Edinburgh Credit: PA The consequent ridicule and satire, in newspapers, TV and radio, was matched by scorn on social media. As one SFA source told Telegraph Sport: “It was not Gordon’s finest hour.” The longer view also yields unflattering comparisons with the achievement of Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in qualifying for Euro 2016 while the Scots, alone of the home nations, stayed at home. Northern Ireland, have again reached the play-offs under Michael O’Neill, who lives in Edinburgh, and whose resources are comparable with those available to Strachan. What Scotland do have is a core of six Celtic players, two of whom – Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong – were notable performers, whose absence through injury did not help Strachan’s cause in Slovenia. Potential Scotland replacements Their club manager, Brendan Rodgers, expressed dismay at the outcome on Thursday when he said: “It was a missed opportunity. There’s no doubt about that. It was clear the improvement the squad had made in, first, performance and, second, results.” “The frustrating thing about it is that it was a good result, in terms of going to Slovenia, a team that hadn’t conceded any goals at home. And you go there and muster a point on the back of five other good results. “That second part of the competition was actually very, very good and that’s why it’s so frustrating, because you’ve had 20 years of it. There is a genuine chance there because there is a group of young, vibrant, exciting players who have shown in an energetic way that they can do the things you want at that level. Marco Verratti doesn't struggle given his size Asked for his view on Strachan’s comments about genetics, Rodgers said: “Who are the best players in the world? Messi, Suarez, Hazard, Iniesta, Neymar, Verrati. “Verrati is 5ft 6ins but he’s not in conflict with the ball. He keeps it. Scotland can find a systematic approach to work in, to play in, so that if there are players missing, the next ones can come in, if you have a profile and a clear identity – because that’s what it’s going to take, a collective effort. “Northern Ireland lost against Norway but you could clearly see good organisation and an identity in the team. They have created a spirit these last few years and that is what also makes the difference.” And that is why the SFA might wait to see how Northern Ireland fare in the play-offs before ruling O’Neill out as a potential successor to Strachan.

Paris Saint-Germain want to help Neymar win Ballon d'Or, Emery says

Neymar stepped out of Lionel Messi's shadow when he left Barcelona, and now Paris Saint-Germain want to help him usurp the Argentinian.

Paris Saint-Germain want to help Neymar win Ballon d'Or, Emery says

Neymar stepped out of Lionel Messi's shadow when he left Barcelona, and now Paris Saint-Germain want to help him usurp the Argentinian.

Paris Saint-Germain want to help Neymar win Ballon d'Or, Emery says

Neymar stepped out of Lionel Messi's shadow when he left Barcelona, and now Paris Saint-Germain want to help him usurp the Argentinian.

Emery backs Neymar for Ballon d'Or

PSG boss Unai Emery says he and his players will do everything in their power to help Neymar win the Ballon d'Or.

Emery backs Neymar for Ballon d'Or

PSG boss Unai Emery says he and his players will do everything in their power to help Neymar win the Ballon d'Or.

Emery backs Neymar for Ballon d'Or

PSG boss Unai Emery says he and his players will do everything in their power to help Neymar win the Ballon d'Or.

Barca can cope without Neymar - Figo

Neymar's world record 220 million Euro transfer from Barcelona to PSG will not drastically alter the Catalan's fortunes at the Camp Nou, according to Luis Figo.

Barca can cope without Neymar - Figo

Neymar's world record 220 million Euro transfer from Barcelona to PSG will not drastically alter the Catalan's fortunes at the Camp Nou, according to Luis Figo.

Barca can cope without Neymar - Figo

Neymar's world record 220 million Euro transfer from Barcelona to PSG will not drastically alter the Catalan's fortunes at the Camp Nou, according to Luis Figo.

Barca can cope without Neymar - Figo

Neymar's world record 220 million Euro transfer from Barcelona to PSG will not drastically alter the Catalan's fortunes at the Camp Nou, according to Luis Figo.

Barca can cope without Neymar - Figo

Neymar's world record 220 million Euro transfer from Barcelona to PSG will not drastically alter the Catalan's fortunes at the Camp Nou, according to Luis Figo.

Barca can cope without Neymar - Figo

Neymar's world record 220 million Euro transfer from Barcelona to PSG will not drastically alter the Catalan's fortunes at the Camp Nou, according to Luis Figo.

Los diez jugadores que más patadas recibieron en las Eliminatorias

Neymar
País: Brasil
Faltas: 81
Foto: Goal

Swiss prosecutors open criminal proceedings against PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi

The Qatari president of Paris Saint-Germain was under criminal investigation on Thursday as the Fifa scandal was dramatically reignited to engulf the man who masterminded Neymar’s world-record move from Barcelona. Proceedings were opened against Nasser Al-Khelaifi over suspicions he bribed Sepp Blatter’s disgraced right-hand man, Jerome Valcke, in his capacity as chief executive of beIN Sports in order to secure World Cup broadcast rights. The media giant’s Paris offices were searched, as were properties in Italy, Greece and Spain, in an operation coordinated by the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) as part of an investigation into football corruption that began with the dawn raids of a luxury hotel in Zurich in May 2015 and the indictment of several Fifa executives. Criminal proceedings were also opened against Valcke, who was interviewed in Switzerland on Thursday by Swiss prosecutors. Both he and Al-Khelaifi are being investigated on suspicion of bribery, fraud and forgery.  Jerome Valcke, former Fifa secretary general Credit: KEYSTONE The 43-year-old Al-Khelaifi was appointed chairman and chief executive of PSG in 2011 shortly after the club’s buyout by a Qatari-led consortium. He was instrumental this summer in their controversial £200 million purchase of Neymar from Barcelona and that of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for £166m. Valcke was already facing a separate criminal inquiry, launched in March last year over “various acts of criminal mismanagement”.  That probe was related to his sacking by Fifa and ban from football for a series of offences, including attempting to sell World Cup TV rights for far below their value. The OAG confirmed Thursday's proceedings had been opened on the basis of findings obtained during the earlier inquiry. It said in a statement: “It is suspected that Jérôme Valcke accepted undue advantages from a businessman in the sports rights sector in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the Fifa World Cups in 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 and from Nasser Al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the Fifa World Cups in 2026 and 2030.” Valcke was questioned a day after appearing the Court of Arbitration for Sport to appeal his 10-year ban from football, a suspension that had already been reduced from 12 years by Fifa’s appeal committee. Al-Khelaifi was instrumental this summer in PSG's controversial purchases of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe Prosecutors from the Parquet National Financier (PNF) in France confirmed it conducted Thursday's raid on beIN’s Paris office. The OAG revealed that, to date, it had received 180 Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROS) reports in connection with football investigations and was conducting 25 criminal proceedings. One of those is against disgraced former Fifa president Blatter, which was opened more than two years ago. Blatter is currently serving a six-year ban from football for making a £1.3 million disloyal payment to then Uefa president Michel Platini. The OAG also said it was currently analysing seized documents containing around 19 terabytes of data. Blatter, Platini and Valcke have always denied any wrongdoing. A formal investigation was also opened into PSG by Uefa last month following their signings of Neymar and Mbappe.  European football’s governing body acted in relation to its Financial Fair Play regulations amid claims the club were on course to breach them for a second time, having been punished for doing so three years ago. The president of the Spanish football league, Javier Tebas, also accused PSG of “financial doping”. They deny any wrongdoing. Al-Khelaifi's rising status in European soccer has seen him earn a seat on Uefa’s strategy panel as a delegate of top clubs. The governing body declined to comment on the criminal proceedings against him. beIN Media Group issued a statement confirming the search of its Paris offices and denying any wrongdoing. “The employees on site co-operated with the authorities until the end of the search,” it said. “beIN Media Group refutes all accusations made by OAG. The company will fully co-operate with the authorities and is confident as to the future developments of the investigation.” Valcke did not respond to requests for comment, while Fifa said it “fully supports the investigation” by Swiss and other authorities. “Fifa has constituted itself as a damaged party in this investigation,” it added.

Swiss prosecutors open criminal proceedings against PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi

The Qatari president of Paris Saint-Germain was under criminal investigation on Thursday as the Fifa scandal was dramatically reignited to engulf the man who masterminded Neymar’s world-record move from Barcelona. Proceedings were opened against Nasser Al-Khelaifi over suspicions he bribed Sepp Blatter’s disgraced right-hand man, Jerome Valcke, in his capacity as chief executive of beIN Sports in order to secure World Cup broadcast rights. The media giant’s Paris offices were searched, as were properties in Italy, Greece and Spain, in an operation coordinated by the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) as part of an investigation into football corruption that began with the dawn raids of a luxury hotel in Zurich in May 2015 and the indictment of several Fifa executives. Criminal proceedings were also opened against Valcke, who was interviewed in Switzerland on Thursday by Swiss prosecutors. Both he and Al-Khelaifi are being investigated on suspicion of bribery, fraud and forgery.  Jerome Valcke, former Fifa secretary general Credit: KEYSTONE The 43-year-old Al-Khelaifi was appointed chairman and chief executive of PSG in 2011 shortly after the club’s buyout by a Qatari-led consortium. He was instrumental this summer in their controversial £200 million purchase of Neymar from Barcelona and that of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for £166m. Valcke was already facing a separate criminal inquiry, launched in March last year over “various acts of criminal mismanagement”.  That probe was related to his sacking by Fifa and ban from football for a series of offences, including attempting to sell World Cup TV rights for far below their value. The OAG confirmed Thursday's proceedings had been opened on the basis of findings obtained during the earlier inquiry. It said in a statement: “It is suspected that Jérôme Valcke accepted undue advantages from a businessman in the sports rights sector in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the Fifa World Cups in 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 and from Nasser Al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the Fifa World Cups in 2026 and 2030.” Valcke was questioned a day after appearing the Court of Arbitration for Sport to appeal his 10-year ban from football, a suspension that had already been reduced from 12 years by Fifa’s appeal committee. Al-Khelaifi was instrumental this summer in PSG's controversial purchases of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe Prosecutors from the Parquet National Financier (PNF) in France confirmed it conducted Thursday's raid on beIN’s Paris office. The OAG revealed that, to date, it had received 180 Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROS) reports in connection with football investigations and was conducting 25 criminal proceedings. One of those is against disgraced former Fifa president Blatter, which was opened more than two years ago. Blatter is currently serving a six-year ban from football for making a £1.3 million disloyal payment to then Uefa president Michel Platini. The OAG also said it was currently analysing seized documents containing around 19 terabytes of data. Blatter, Platini and Valcke have always denied any wrongdoing. A formal investigation was also opened into PSG by Uefa last month following their signings of Neymar and Mbappe.  European football’s governing body acted in relation to its Financial Fair Play regulations amid claims the club were on course to breach them for a second time, having been punished for doing so three years ago. The president of the Spanish football league, Javier Tebas, also accused PSG of “financial doping”. They deny any wrongdoing. Al-Khelaifi's rising status in European soccer has seen him earn a seat on Uefa’s strategy panel as a delegate of top clubs. The governing body declined to comment on the criminal proceedings against him. beIN Media Group issued a statement confirming the search of its Paris offices and denying any wrongdoing. “The employees on site co-operated with the authorities until the end of the search,” it said. “beIN Media Group refutes all accusations made by OAG. The company will fully co-operate with the authorities and is confident as to the future developments of the investigation.” Valcke did not respond to requests for comment, while Fifa said it “fully supports the investigation” by Swiss and other authorities. “Fifa has constituted itself as a damaged party in this investigation,” it added.

Swiss prosecutors open criminal proceedings against PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi

The Qatari president of Paris Saint-Germain was under criminal investigation on Thursday as the Fifa scandal was dramatically reignited to engulf the man who masterminded Neymar’s world-record move from Barcelona. Proceedings were opened against Nasser Al-Khelaifi over suspicions he bribed Sepp Blatter’s disgraced right-hand man, Jerome Valcke, in his capacity as chief executive of beIN Sports in order to secure World Cup broadcast rights. The media giant’s Paris offices were searched, as were properties in Italy, Greece and Spain, in an operation coordinated by the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) as part of an investigation into football corruption that began with the dawn raids of a luxury hotel in Zurich in May 2015 and the indictment of several Fifa executives. Criminal proceedings were also opened against Valcke, who was interviewed in Switzerland on Thursday by Swiss prosecutors. Both he and Al-Khelaifi are being investigated on suspicion of bribery, fraud and forgery.  Jerome Valcke, former Fifa secretary general Credit: KEYSTONE The 43-year-old Al-Khelaifi was appointed chairman and chief executive of PSG in 2011 shortly after the club’s buyout by a Qatari-led consortium. He was instrumental this summer in their controversial £200 million purchase of Neymar from Barcelona and that of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for £166m. Valcke was already facing a separate criminal inquiry, launched in March last year over “various acts of criminal mismanagement”.  That probe was related to his sacking by Fifa and ban from football for a series of offences, including attempting to sell World Cup TV rights for far below their value. The OAG confirmed Thursday's proceedings had been opened on the basis of findings obtained during the earlier inquiry. It said in a statement: “It is suspected that Jérôme Valcke accepted undue advantages from a businessman in the sports rights sector in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the Fifa World Cups in 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 and from Nasser Al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the Fifa World Cups in 2026 and 2030.” Valcke was questioned a day after appearing the Court of Arbitration for Sport to appeal his 10-year ban from football, a suspension that had already been reduced from 12 years by Fifa’s appeal committee. Al-Khelaifi was instrumental this summer in PSG's controversial purchases of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe Prosecutors from the Parquet National Financier (PNF) in France confirmed it conducted Thursday's raid on beIN’s Paris office. The OAG revealed that, to date, it had received 180 Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROS) reports in connection with football investigations and was conducting 25 criminal proceedings. One of those is against disgraced former Fifa president Blatter, which was opened more than two years ago. Blatter is currently serving a six-year ban from football for making a £1.3 million disloyal payment to then Uefa president Michel Platini. The OAG also said it was currently analysing seized documents containing around 19 terabytes of data. Blatter, Platini and Valcke have always denied any wrongdoing. A formal investigation was also opened into PSG by Uefa last month following their signings of Neymar and Mbappe.  European football’s governing body acted in relation to its Financial Fair Play regulations amid claims the club were on course to breach them for a second time, having been punished for doing so three years ago. The president of the Spanish football league, Javier Tebas, also accused PSG of “financial doping”. They deny any wrongdoing. Al-Khelaifi's rising status in European soccer has seen him earn a seat on Uefa’s strategy panel as a delegate of top clubs. The governing body declined to comment on the criminal proceedings against him. beIN Media Group issued a statement confirming the search of its Paris offices and denying any wrongdoing. “The employees on site co-operated with the authorities until the end of the search,” it said. “beIN Media Group refutes all accusations made by OAG. The company will fully co-operate with the authorities and is confident as to the future developments of the investigation.” Valcke did not respond to requests for comment, while Fifa said it “fully supports the investigation” by Swiss and other authorities. “Fifa has constituted itself as a damaged party in this investigation,” it added.

Paris Saint Germain's Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi speaks during a press conference to present Brazilian superstar Neymar at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on August 4, 2017

Paris Saint Germain's Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi speaks during a press conference to present Brazilian superstar Neymar at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on August 4, 2017 (AFP Photo/Lionel BONAVENTURE)

'Better than Neymar and Hazard' - Costa hailed as 'the best' by Atletico team-mate Filipe Luis

The prolific frontman has returned to the Spanish capital from Chelsea, much to the delight of a Brazilian colleague who holds him in high regard

'Better than Neymar and Hazard' - Costa hailed as 'the best' by Atletico team-mate Filipe Luis

The prolific frontman has returned to the Spanish capital from Chelsea, much to the delight of a Brazilian colleague who holds him in high regard

'Better than Neymar and Hazard' - Costa hailed as 'the best' by Atletico team-mate Filipe Luis

The prolific frontman has returned to the Spanish capital from Chelsea, much to the delight of a Brazilian colleague who holds him in high regard

'Better than Neymar and Hazard' - Costa hailed as 'the best' by Atletico team-mate Filipe Luis

The prolific frontman has returned to the Spanish capital from Chelsea, much to the delight of a Brazilian colleague who holds him in high regard

'Better than Neymar and Hazard' - Costa hailed as 'the best' by Atletico team-mate Filipe Luis

The prolific frontman has returned to the Spanish capital from Chelsea, much to the delight of a Brazilian colleague who holds him in high regard

Swiss Prosecutors Open World Cup TV Rights Bribery Case Against PSG President

GENEVA (AP) – Swiss federal prosecutors have announced a criminal case for suspected bribery linked to World Cup broadcast rights against Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the Qatari president of Paris Saint-Germain.

The investigation concerns alleged bribes offered to former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke to award 2026 and 2030 World Cup rights to Qatari-owned BeIN Media Group, the office of Switzerland's attorney general said on Thursday.

The latest proceeding in a broader Swiss investigation of FIFA is against ''Jerome Valcke, the chief executive officer of the BeIN Media Group LLC Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and a businessman in the sports rights sector,'' federal prosecutors said.

Valcke was alleged to have received ''undue advantages'' from the businessman, who was not identified, to award ''media rights for certain countries'' for four World Cups from 2018 through 2030.

Valcke was questioned on Thursday and properties were searched in France, Greece, Italy and Spain.

Swiss prosecutors said the action was carried out with Eurojust, a European Union agency for cooperation in criminal matters.

''Multiple premises were searched, assets were seized and interviews were conducted as a result of this joint operation,'' the European justice body said in a statement.

The criminal proceeding was opened on March 20, but only announced on Thursday, the Swiss federal office said.

The proceeding against Al-Khelaifi is one of the first direct links to Qatar in sweeping investigations by authorities in the United States, France and Switzerland of FIFA, international soccer, and the 2018-2022 World Cup bidding contests.

Al-Khelaifi's profile has risen in recent weeks as PSG pursued and sealed a world record transfer of Brazil star Neymar from Barcelona for 220 million euros ($260 million).

The case stemmed from a wider investigation of FIFA's business that saw criminal proceedings opened against Valcke in March 2016.

Valcke was FIFA's CEO-like secretary general under then-president Sepp Blatter from 2007 until he was fired in January 2016.

The French former TV presenter was in Switzerland on Wednesday to testify at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in his appeal hearing against a 10-year ban by FIFA for financial wrongdoing and abuse of expenses.

Neymar a big loss, but Barca will survive - Figo

Barcelona suffered a huge blow to their prestige when Neymar left for Paris Saint-German, and Luis Figo knows they must fight to recover.