Tue, May 30, 2017 | updated 12:38 AM IST

Matuidi downplays France's `favourites` tag for Euro final against Portugal

Updated: Jul 09, 2016 11:57 IST      
Matuidi downplays France's `favourites` tag for Euro final against Portugal
Madrid, July 9 (ANI): Ahead of the tantalizing Euro 2016 finale on Sunday, France midfielder Blaise Matuidi has refused to label his side as the clear cut favourites for the summit clash against resurgent Portugal.

"I don't think we enter the final as favourites," Matuidi was quoted as saying in Spanish newspaper Marca. "I think this will be a highly contested match. Portugal are trending in the right direction at the moment and they have phenomenal players. I foresee a great match between two football powerhouses."

The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder observed that Portugal will be 'extremely hard to beat', while pointing out that their rivals attack do not just consist of star striker Cristiano Ronaldo but also other experienced players.

"Portugal are a well-oiled machine with plenty of experienced players and will be extremely hard to beat, the 29-year-old said. "In a final, the goal is to win rather than to play attractive football."

Matuidi further tried to lower the expectation of those expecting France to put up a ruthless performance. He said, "We must not get ahead of ourselves. Firstly we need to make sure we earn on the pitch our right to be considered heroes."

Hosts France has been swept up in a wave of national football fervour following their 2-0 win over world champions Germany in Thursday's semifinal clash.

Meanwhile, Portugal will aim to erase harsh memories of Euro 2004 final defeat to Greece, which was one of the biggest upsets in the history of the continental tournament. (ANI)

Biju George named Indian Women's team fielding coach

Updated: May 29, 2017 21:08 IST     

Mumbai [India], May 29 (ANI): The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced the appointment of Biju George as the fielding coach of the Indian women's cricket team.

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Djokovic, Nadal kick start French Open with a bang

Updated: May 29, 2017 20:47 IST     

Paris [France], May 29 (ANI): World number two and defending champion Novak Djokovic kicked off his French Open campaign on a positive note as he thrashed Marcel Granollers of Spain in straight sets in opening round of the men's singles event here on Monday.

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BCCI, PCB delegations meet in Dubai

Updated: May 29, 2017 20:03 IST     

Dubai [UAE], May 29 (ANI): Top officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday met in Dubai to discuss the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two cricket boards in 2014.

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New Delhi [India], May 29 (ANI): India's junior shooting squad returned with a rich haul of 11 medals from the recently-concluded 27th Meeting of the Shooting Hopes, a renowned international shooting competition for future stars in the Rifle and Pistol disciplines, held annually at the Czech city of Plzen.

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Reykjavik [Iceland], May 29 (ANI): Indian fencer Bhavani Devi made the country proud on Saturday after she bagged the gold medal in the sabre event of the Women's World Cup Satellite Tournament held here in Reykjavik.

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Tendulkar lone Indian in Younis' best Test XI

Updated: May 29, 2017 18:02 IST     

Melbourne [Australia], May 29 (ANI): Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is the only Indian to have been named in former Pakistan cricketer Younis Khan's all-time Test XI.

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Surprised at being asked to open batting: Luke Ronchi

Updated: May 29, 2017 17:01 IST     

London [UK], May 29 (ANI): New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi has admitted that he was surprised to be handed the opening slot along with Martin Guptill during his side's 45-run defeat at the hands of India in their Champions Trophy warm-up game at the Oval on Sunday.

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New Delhi [India], May 29 (ANI): Justice Mukul Mudgal has backed the central government's decision not to play bilateral cricket series with arch-rivals Pakistan.

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New Delhi [India], May 29 (ANI): Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official Rajeev Shukla on Monday reiterated that India will not play any bilateral series with Pakistan without getting consent from the central government.

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Johannesburg [South Africa], May 29 (ANI): Former South Africa batsman Richard Levi has been recovering well after being hit on the head during a county match in England.

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IPL has helped Stokes to mature as cricketer: Botham

Updated: May 29, 2017 14:19 IST     

Melbourne [Australia], May 29 (ANI): With just three days left to the commencement of hosts England's Champions Trophy campaign against Bangladesh, former skipper Ian Botham has said that in-form all-rounder Ben Stokes has developed mentally as a player after his successful maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) stint.

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New Delhi [India], May 29 (ANI): As the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) prepares to meet the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to discuss the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two countries in 2014, Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Monday asserted that there cannot be a bilateral series between the two nations until there is terrorism from the Pakistani side.

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], May 29 (ANI): Indian men's hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh has insisted that the upcoming 3 Nations Invitational Tournament in Germany will provide them with the opportunity to assess their performance and get ready for the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi Final to be played in London.

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Asian Junior Tennis Championship begins in Pune

Updated: May 29, 2017 11:40 IST     

Pune (Maharashtra) [India], May 29 (ANI): Asian Junior Tennis Championship 2017, which is the most reputed tennis championship in the Asian circuit for the under 18 category, has today begun in Pune, Maharashtra.

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Ibrahimovic's agent unsure about forward's Man Utd return

Updated: May 29, 2017 11:29 IST     

London [UK], May 29 (ANI): Zlatan Ibrahimovic's agent has admitted that he doesn't know whether the striker will be back at Manchester United next season.

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London [UK], May 29 (ANI): Manchester City are close to signing Benfica goalkeeper Ederson Moraes for a fee reported to be 34.9 million pound.

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Dougie Brown appointed UAE head coach

Updated: May 29, 2017 10:37 IST     

Dubai [UAE], May 29 (ANI): Former England and Scotland all-rounder Dougie Brown has been appointed as the head coach of UAE.

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Karachi [Pakistan], May 29 (ANI): Former Pakistan cricketer Younis Khan believes that the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side has the ability to beat India in the much anticipated high-voltage Champions Trophy encounter scheduled to be played on June 4 at Edgbaston.

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Mangalore (Karnataka) [India], May 29 (ANI): The second edition of the 'Indian Open of Surfing' came to a picturesque finish as the Sasihithlu Beach reveled with cheers for the participating surfers in the finals on Sunday.

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London [U.K.], May 28 (ANI): India defeated New Zealand by 45 runs through the Duckworth-Lewis method in its first warm-up match of the Champions Trophy played at the Oval, Kennington on Sunday.

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