Barcelona midfielder and captain Xavi confirmed on Thursday he will leave the club at the end of the season and has agreed to join Qatari side Al Sadd.Xavi, 35, who signed up with Barca’s academy in 1991 at the age of 11 and has won 23 trophies during 17 seasons in the first team, made the announcement at a news conference. “It’s a definitive decision, it’s not an easy one, it’s the right moment to go,” Xavi, Barcelona’s appearance record holder, told reporters.”I still feel useful here but a change of scene is necessary, my head tells me so but not my heart,” he said, adding that his aim was to return to Barca after completing his coaching qualifications.Xavi will receive an emotional send-off in Barcelona’s final La Liga game of the campaign at home to Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday, when he will hoist aloft the La Liga trophy after the match.Last weekend Barca wrapped up the title, Xavi’s eighth, and he can win two more trophies in the King’s Cup final against Athletic Bilbao on May 30 and the Champions League showpiece versus Juventus a week later. Xavi Factbox:* Born Xavi Hernandez Creus on January 25, 1980 in Terrassa.* Joins Barca’s academy in July 1991. Scores on his first-team debut seven years later in a Spanish Super Cup match against Real Mallorca.* Makes first appearance for Spain in a friendly against the Netherlands in November 2000.* Suffers a cruciate knee ligament injury in Barca training in December 2005 that sidelines him for five months.* Returns to action the following April but has to watch from the bench as Barca beat Arsenal 2-1 in Paristo win the 2006 Champions League. * Voted player of the tournament as Spain end 44 years without a major trophy at Euro 2008. Xavi sendsFernando Torres through to score the winner against Germany in the final.* With Pep Guardiola in his first season in charge in 2008-09, Xavi helps Barca win an unprecedented treble of Champions League, La Liga and King’s Cup titles.* Xavi’s floated cross is headed in by Lionel Messi to make it 2-0 against Manchester United in the Champions League final in Rome.* Barca go on to win the Spanish and European Super Cups and the Club World Cup for a full house of six trophies in 2009.* Xavi finishes third in the 2009 Fifa Ballon d’Or, the first of three straight third-place finishes. * Helps Spain to their debut World Cup triumph in July 2010 in South Africa.* In January 2011, equals Migueli’s Barca appearance record of 549 official matches.* Makes superb assist for Pedro to open the scoring as Barca beat United 3-1 in London to win the 2011 Champions League.* Spain defend their continental title at Euro 2012 and Xavi sets up two goals in the final, including another for Torres, as La Roja thrash Italy 4-0.* Spain are eliminated from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after losing their opening two games and Xavi announces his international retirement after 133 appearances, a record for an outfield player. * Barca last weekend wrap up their seventh La Liga title in 11 years, and Xavi’s eighth, and he announces he is leaving at the end of the season to join Al Sadd.* Xavi won 23 titles with Barca: eight in La Liga, three in the Champions League, two King’s Cups, two European Super Cups, six Spanish Super Cups and two Club World Cups.He has a chance for two more in the King’s Cup final against Athletic Bilbao on May 30 and the Champions League final against Juventus a week later.–
PITTSBURGH — Three weeks after he returned to the lineup and nearly three months after he was hit by a pitch, Justin Turner’s left wrist still hurts.He knew it would.“Everyone I’ve talked to who’s done it before said there’s probably going to be a few months of dealing with crap,” Turner said. “Really, it’s been almost three months and yesterday was the first time it’s really flared up.“You can’t be too disappointed about it. There’s going to be good days and bad days until it completely goes away – and when that day is, nobody really has an answer.” Whicker: Dustin May yet another example of the Dodgers’ eye for pitching Dodgers’ hot-hitting Corey Seager leaves game with back injury Dodgers’ Dave Roberts says baseball’s unwritten rules ‘have changed, should change’ “I’m 100 percent satisfied with the quality of my at-bats,” Turner said, pausing. “If I told you I was happy with my results, I’d be lying to you. I don’t think there’s a guy in here right now who’d say they’re happy with their results – except maybe Matt Kemp. (Max) Muncy’s having a good year. But I’m sure he’d rather be hitting .300 with nine homers.“I don’t think anyone’s ever satisfied. That’s why we’re in here working every day.”Related Articles Dodgers bench slumping Cody Bellinger for a day Dodgers’ Justin Turner looking rejuvenated on defense Turner acknowledged that the wrist that was fractured by that pitch in a Cactus League game on March 19 “hasn’t felt 100 percent yet.” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts gave him Tuesday off (on the heels of the team’s off day Monday), hoping the two-day rest combined with the treatment Turner is receiving would give his third baseman some relief from the soreness in his wrist.“It’s something he’s going to have to deal with unfortunately for the next month or two, off and on,” Roberts said. “Just talking to him, it’s something that’s low on the soreness scale. It’s something he can manage.”Turner acknowledged that, saying, “Swinging or taking ground balls, it’s not going to break again. There’s going to be some soreness in there that I’m going to have to deal with.” That also affects his range of motion with his left hand, Turner said.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.“It’s something that I knew going into it, from talking to Freddie Freeman, talking to (Ian) Desmond this weekend,” Turner said, mentioning players who had similar injuries. “It’s just something that they said is going to (stink) for a little bit.”Roberts said Turner has told him it doesn’t really bother him while hitting, mostly just when he has to reach to backhand a ground ball. But through Wednesday’s game, Turner was batting .243 with a .668 OPS and only five extra-base hits (four doubles and one home run) in 19 games since returning from the injury. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
In the hall of Culture-Sports Centre of Bugojno and International Handball Tournament ‘Handball is my future’ started with U-17 and U-19 teams from 8 countries participating, reports FENA.Today, matches of U-17 teams will be played, and in next two days, matches of U-19 teams will be played.Tournament will last 3 days and will offer 22 matches, with 10 teams from seven European countries and two teams from Qatar will participate making this competition the largest in Bugujno in the last 20 years.Initiator of the entire tournament is former player and coach of handball club ‘Iskra’ Asim Šahman, who has worked is a successful coach in Qatar.According to Šahman, 20 players from BiH play in Qatari clubs, and some of them play for Qatari National team and added that there is a possibility that several young players from six Balkan teams also start playing for some Qatari club and continue their career in Qatar.Šahman added that Qatar is investing huge amounts of money in sports, and in 2015 it will be the host of World Handball Tournament, and in several years to come World Athletics and Football Championships.
The Liberian Government has bestowed upon outgoing European Union Ambassador, Attilio Pacifici, one of the nation’s highest distinctions for his numerous contributions and services to Liberia.Amb. Pacifici, who has served in the country since 2009 and has, in collaboration with government entities, overseen several development initiatives, was conferred upon by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the distinction of Grand Commander in the Order of the Star of Africa.The ceremony took place at a farewell reception held in his honor in the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.As EU Ambassador to Liberia, Mr. Pacifici’s first engagement was to spearhead the restoration of Liberia’s ownership of EU development interventions through the re-opening of the National Authorizing Office (NAO). The NAO powers had been revoked during the crisis in the country. He met an NAO that fell short of the standard of a full Embassy in terms of staffing and capacity. His first milestone was the signing of a Financing Agreement that would inject EUR 20 million into Liberia’s National Budget as a grant for macroeconomic stability.President Sirleaf, in her remarks before conferring the distinction, described the Italian-born EU diplomat as a great man who had accomplished a lot for Liberia and its people.She said during Amb. Pacifici’s tenure, the EU was transformed into a full-fledged diplomatic mission and from a humanitarian institution to a development oriented body. It was also during his tenure that the Liberia-EU dialogue and many other initiatives were realized.She regretted that the astute Ambassador was leaving at a time when the country was still facing the onslaught of the Ebola virus disease thereby resulting in an atmosphere of a low key celebration. Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh, too, described the outgoing EU diplomat as not just a partner, but a dependable friend and a true advocate for Liberia.Min. Konneh noted that through the Ambassador’s advocacy and commitment to Liberia, the country has witnessed a gradual increase in direct budget support amounting to EUR 40 million and EUR 35 million in budget support for the health sector from the European Union.“This EUR 75 million constitutes support provided through our budget, and is only part of the total EUR 161 million we have received through the 10th EDF as support to the health, education, agriculture, infrastructure, fisheries and forestry sectors; and to capacity building for the General Auditing Commission and the Bureau of Customs and Excise,” Min. Konneh said.He indicated that upon Amb. Pacifici’s arrival in 2009, the country’s engagements with the EC were limited because there was not a full EU Delegation in Liberia; and more importantly, the EU Delegation in La Côte D’Ivoire was performing the duties of the NAO for Liberia, in managing the European Development Fund (EDF) allocation for the country because our NAO powers were revoked.“We met, and decided that our first goal as counterparts was to restore country ownership of EU development interventions, so that Liberia could optimally benefit from EU’s support to our national recovery and development agenda,” the Minister said.He recalled that in 2013, Liberia and the EU signed the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) allowing Liberia to export its forestry materials to EU at no cost. “This agreement has a six-year life span 2014-2020, during which we expect substantial revenue and job creation as we gain access to international markets for our natural resources.”He noted that with Amb. Pacifici’s leadership, Liberians are assured of the strong continuity of this level of support from the EU, as substantive investments were made in terms of financial and technical support to build the capacity of the NAO which manages the EDF and ensures transparency, mutual accountability and optimal allocation toward viable, impactful projects and programs.“Having supported us in building a credible and competent NAO, we can now look forward to the next envelope of EU support in the amount of EUR 279 million, which constitutes the 11th EDF, set for implementation from early next year up to 2020. This represents a 73 percent increase in the EDF allocation for Liberia.”Another immense contribution of the outgoing diplomat was what Minister Konneh termed, as the swiftness and impact of the EU’s support to Liberia at a time “when we needed all of our friends the most – when the Ebola Virus invaded our country.”“The Ambassador responded quickly,” he said, “by advocating strongly with the EU Headquarters for increased budget support for Liberia. As a result, we have received more than US $35 million as grant directly into our budget, since the beginning of the crisis.The EU Ambassador thanked the government for the honor and said that it has always been part of his nature to serve humanity, noting that when one wants to be a good diplomat, he/she should try to understand the culture and makeup of the people whom one works with.The Outgoing EU boss noted that most of his interactions with the government have culminated in actions that are critical for the future of the nation.He noted that he has always stood out as a diplomat because he likes what he does, interacting and knowing the needs of people. “There is nothing worse in life than doing something you don’t like.”He praised the Liberian people for the level of impression they had on him during his tour of duty in the country.Meanwhile, the traditional people of Liberia, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs, gowned the outgoing EU Ambassador and gave him the title of Paramount Chief of the newly created Tehr district in Bomi County. The district was recently created by the Johnson Sirleaf administration. The word “Tehr” is a Gola name meaning “Center.”The ceremony was attended by an array of high profile government officials, especially from the Executive branch including the conferrer, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Internal Affairs, Agriculture and many others.The Doyen and several members of the Diplomatic Corps were also in attendance. The Chairman of the Governance Commission, Amos C. Sawyer, and several other eminent Liberians were also present.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)