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Soccer: Barca boss Xavi urges fans not to boo Dembele

Last updated on: February 07, 2022 11:18 IST
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Ousmane Dembele has not played for Barcelona since January 12 after failing to renew his contract, which is set to expire at the end of the season.

IMAGE: Ousmane Dembele has not played for Barcelona since January 12 after failing to renew his contract, which is set to expire at the end of the season. Photograph: Twitter

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez urged fans not to jeer winger Ousmane Dembele after the France international was greeted with a chorus of boos on his return to the squad in Sunday's LaLiga win over Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou.

 

Barcelona bounced back from a goal down to beat Atletico 4-2 as they clinically saw off the champions by scoring four goals from only four shots on target.

Dembele has not played for Barcelona since January 12 after failing to renew his contract, which is set to expire at the end of the season.

Barcelona asked him to leave before the January transfer window closed, but the 24-year-old was unable to find another club and will stay at the Catalan club until the end of the campaign. He was an unused substitute in Sunday's match.

"The fans were 10 of 10 and the support was brilliant throughout the game," Xavi told a news conference.

"But I would like them to support Ousmane, too. I'd ask them to stop booing him.

"The idea was for him to come on, but I decided on other things because of the red card and the way the game went," Xavi said, referring to Dani Alves' sending-off in the 69th minute.

The win moved Barcelona up to fourth place on 38 points from 22 games, leapfrogging Atletico, who are two points adrift in fifth.

Neuer undergoes knee surgery

Manuel Neuer underwent a successful knee surgery on Sunday

IMAGE: Manuel Neuer underwent a successful knee surgery on Sunday. Photograph: Manuel Neuer/Facebook

Bayern Munich will be without Manuel Neuer for "the coming weeks" after the goalkeeper successfully underwent knee surgery on Sunday.

‘Hey guys, I had a little surgery on my knee this afternoon. Everything went fine, so I'll be able to start rehabilitation training soon. Keep your fingers crossed that I'll be back on the pitch in a couple of weeks.  Greetings from the hospital, Manuel’ the 35-year-old Neuer posted on Facebook.

Neuer played in Bayern's 3-2 league win over RB Leipzig on Saturday, keeping out a late attempt by Sweden forward Emil Forsberg to secure a record-equalling 310th Bundesliga victory, drawing level with Oliver Kahn.

"All of us in the club and the team wish Manuel a good and speedy recovery, and we're sure he'll be back to full fitness with us soon," Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said in a statement.

Bayern face VfL Bochum on Saturday, before taking on Austria's RB Salzburg in a Champions League knockout tie on February 17.

Ajax director Overmars quits over 'inappropriate messages' to female colleagues

Ajax director of football affairs Marc Overmars has left his role with immediate effect over a series of inappropriate messages sent to several female colleagues, the Dutch club said late on Sunday.

Former Netherlands winger Overmars played for Ajax from 1992 to 1997 and became the director in 2012. He was recently re-appointed for a new term until June 30, 2026, the club said.

Overmars, 48, said in a statement he was ashamed and his behaviour had been "unacceptable".

"Last week I was confronted with reports about my behaviour. And how this has come across to others. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that I was crossing the line with this, but that was made clear to me in recent days," Overmars said.

"I suddenly felt enormous pressure. I apologise. Certainly for someone in my position, this behaviour is unacceptable. I now see that too. But it is too late. I see no other option but to leave Ajax.

"This also has a major impact on my private situation. That is why I ask everyone to leave me and my family alone."

Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar said the situation was "appalling".

"A safe sport and working climate is very important. We will pay even more attention to this in the near future," he said.

"We are working on something very wonderful here at Ajax, so this news will also be a blow to everyone who cares about Ajax."

Ajax are top of Eredivisie on 51 points after 21 matches.

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Source: REUTERS
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