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Football Briefs: 'New Liverpool keeper Alisson desperate to play'

Last updated on: July 23, 2018 19:02 IST
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Liverpool's new goalkeeper Alisson is 'desperate' to play for the Merseyside club and could make his debut against Serie A side Napoli in a pre-season match on August 4, manager Juergen Klopp has said.


IMAGE: Alisson Becker reacts. Photograph: Alberto Lingria/Reuters

Liverpool signed Brazil international Alisson from AS Roma this month, smashing the world record for a goalkeeper in a deal worth up to 72.5 million euros ($85 million).

"He is desperate to play. He could have joined us here in America but it made absolutely no sense," Klopp told a news conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they lost a pre-season clash 3-1 against Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.


"He had a long year and as Brazil's number one, it was quite an intense year, so I sent him on holiday again... I would say he plays in Dublin (against Napoli)."

Alisson, 25, is expected to replace Loris Karius as first choice goalkeeper with the club's other keeper Simon Mignolet set to drop lower down the pecking order.

Klopp defended Germany's Karius, who was blamed for two of Real Madrid's goals when the Spanish side beat Liverpool 3-1 in the Champions league final in May.

"We need a stronger squad and Loris is an outstanding goalkeeper. That is the truth. Nothing else," Klopp added.

"My job is together with Michael Edwards (sporting director) and Mike Gordon (president) to bring the best players who are available for Liverpool – if they fit in. That is what we have tried to do."

Liverpool next face league champions Manchester City in New York on Wednesday before taking on Manchester United in Michigan at the weekend.

They then play Napoli in Dublin and Torino at Anfield. Klopp's side meet West Ham United in their first match of the season on August 12.

Parma striker Calaio banned for match fixing, club handed points deduction

Parma striker Emanuele Calaio has been banned for two years for match fixing, while the Italian club will start the 2018-19 Serie A campaign with a five point deduction, the nation's soccer federation (FIGC) said on Monday.

Italy's National Federal Court (TFN) imposed the sanctions after Calaio sent "suspicious messages" to some of his former team mates ahead of Spezia's Serie B match against Parma on May 18.

The 36-year-old Calaio has also been 20,000 euros ($23,446) for the incident.

Parma denied any wrongdoing and said they will appeal the ruling.

The match in question finished 2-0 to Parma, which ensured they finished second in the Serie B standings to return to Italy's top flight.

The club were relegated to Serie D after being declared bankrupt in 2015, but will return to Serie A after three consecutive promotions.

"Parma Calcio 1913 takes note of today's ruling from the National Federal Court with extreme disappointment," the club said in a statement.

"We believe that the sentence handed to our registered player Emanuele Calaio with respect to the facts that led to the legal process is abnormal, unjust and inconsistent with recent decisions made in sporting justice, considering the extremely heavy sanction applied to our club on the grounds of objective responsibility.

"We believe that Parma Calcio 1913's total lack of involvement in any unlawful behaviour will be recognised by the Federal Court of Appeal which we will approach in the shortest time possible in the hope of finding justice."

New Poland coach to keep Lewandowski as captain and blood youngsters

Poland's new coach Jerzy Brzeczek said on Monday he will retain influential striker Robert Lewandowski as captain and bring in younger players gradually to the national team, heavily criticised for a poor showing at the recent World Cup.

Poland were the first European side to crash out of the tournament in Russia in the group stage, a big disappointment after the team had reached the quarter-finals of the 2016 European Championship.

Brzeczek's contract runs until the end of 2019 and will be automatically extended if Poland qualify for Euro 2020, the country's football association said.

Speaking at his first news conference, Brzeczek, a former captain of Poland, said he realised the severity of the situation after a "difficult" World Cup in which the side's only win was a 1-0 victory over Japan after they had already been eliminated.

"I am aware of what responsibility lies with me," he said.

"But I am full of enthusiasm, faith and I am available for the players so that we return to the shape they've been in before the Euros."

"Unfortunately, something went wrong at the World Cup in Russia," Brzeczek added, explaining that he was bringing in a dedicated psychologist for the team.

Asked if he wanted to rejuvenate the squad, Brzeczek said he would take small steps and keep Lewandowski, who turns 30 in August, as captain of a team that was among the oldest competing in Russia.

"Lewandowski stays on as captain," Brzeczek said. "I don't intend to carry out any revolutions. Evolution, introducing new players... but we have to do it in a cool way to keep a balance in the team."

A former midfielder, Brzeczek was part of the Poland side to win a silver medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Since 2010, he has managed various clubs in Poland's top two domestic divisions

Iniesta, Torres make J.League debuts

Andres Iniesta and Fernando Torres made their much-anticipated debuts in Japanese soccer on Sunday, but both ended up on the losing side.

The Spanish pair recently joined J.League teams following illustrious careers in Europe.

Iniesta's signing for Vissel Kobe has been met with understandable excitement in Japan and the home crowd were given their first sight of the former Barcelona great when he came on as a second-half substitute against Shonan Bellmare.

Iniesta, in his first appearance since Spain’s disappointing World Cup campaign, failed to make an impact, however, as Kobe lost 3-0.

The defeat means Kobe are in sixth place in the table, just past the halfway point in the Japanese league season.

Compatriot Torres, who left Atletico Madrid at the end of the Spanish season, also started on the bench for new club Sagan Tosu.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea striker came on shortly after halftime but failed to get on the scoresheet as his new team lost 1-0 to Vegalta Sendai following Takuma Nishimura’s late winner.

Sagan Tosu are now second from bottom in the 18-team table and will be desperate for Torres to start scoring as they bid to avoid relegation.

Sanfreece Hiroshima currently lead the league, seven points clear of Tokyo FC in second place.

Napoli chief accuses Sarri of trying to 'dismantle' squad after Chelsea move

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has said that former manager Maurizio Sarri tried to 'dismantle' the Italian team's squad by signing their players for his new club Chelsea.

Sarri coached Napoli for three seasons before joining the Premier League side earlier this month and his arrival at Stamford Bridge was closely followed by the signing of midfielder Jorginho from his former team.

While De Laurentiis said Jorginho's transfer was sanctioned after discussions with Napoli's new manager Carlo Ancelotti, he accused Sarri of trying to take more of Napoli's players to Chelsea.

"He wanted to take my whole team to England and dismantle it. I had to lay down the law to Marina (Granovskaia, Chelsea director)," De Laurentiis told Sky Sports Italia.

"He wanted Jorginho and I gave him away after I talked to Ancelotti, who told me he was banking a lot on (Amadou) Diawara and that he wanted to play (Marek) Hamsik deeper."

Sarri will lead FA Cup holders Chelsea in his first competitive match in charge against league champions Manchester City in the Community Shield on Aug. 5.

The London club open their league campaign against Huddersfield Town on Aug. 11.

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