The head coach of Iran’s football team said that he will hold the training camps with all the players.
According to ISNA, Carlos Queiroz, who met with the country’s Football Federation, said, “We had a good discussion. I gave my plan for the team. The fixtures of the league games and warm-up matches have to be fixed. The main goal of the session was to be fully prepared for our crucial games in May.”
Iran is fighting for the place in the 2014 World Cup games in Brazil. The team has collected 7 points so far to stand third in the 5-team Group A of the tournament. Uzbekistan and South Korea are above Iran.
Iran’s next task is against Qatar on March 26 in Doha.
Queiroz added, “I have to have the full squad. Previously we held some training camps without the participants of the full squad. We should have plans for the upcoming games and trainings.”
He also said that if Iran has world cup in mind, everyone has to help the national team.
Asked about Mehdi Rahmati’s retirement from the national team Queiroz said that, “ As long as I am at the helm of the team, will not call up him.”
Rahmati Withdraws From Nat’l Squad
Iran international goalkeeper Rahmati has withdrawn from the national team due to some problems.
“At the moment, I don’t want to talk about the matter but I have to say I’ve temporarily withdrawn from the national team,” the 30-year-old keeper said.
The Iranian Football Federation (IFF) has recently opened an inquiry into German-Iranian keeper, who currently plays for Eintracht Braunschweig in the 2. Bundesliga.
It seems Rahmati has decided to step down after the Iranian federation showed interest in inviting Davari to the national team.
Sneijder Quits Inter for Galatasaray
He was once a prized asset chased by a host of Europe’s top clubs but after months in the wilderness at Italian giants Inter Milan, Wesley Sneijder has opted to join Turkish club Galatasaray.
The midfielder, who was part of the Netherlands’ side that lost the 2012 World Cup final to Spain, has joined the Istanbul-based outfit in a deal thought to be worth around $10 million, CNN wrote.
Sneijder, a former Real Madrid player, is due to fly into Istanbul to be paraded in front of the club’s notoriously loyal and vociferous fans on Monday.
The 28-year-old last played for Inter back in September and had been linked with English clubs Liverpool and Manchester United, but he has opted for a move to the less regarded Turkish league instead.
In quotes posted on Galatasaray’s official Twitter feed Sneijder said, “I am very happy with my agreement with Galatasaray.
“I can’t wait to wear the Galatasaray shirt. I know that Turkish people are very passionate about football. I feel in good shape and hope to already play in the next match against Besiktas.
“I heard a lot about Coach Fatih Terim and know his career in Italy well. It will be good to work finally work together. Turkish? I hope to learn it soon.”
Sneijder also thanked Inter’s fans on his official Twitter page, “Bye Milan, thanks for everything ... Always in my heart! Thanks to all the fans. On my way to Istanbul now ... Excited!”
The club also confirmed the deal had been completed on their Twitter account and their official website, over a week after they agreed a fee with Inter, the 2010 European Champions League winners.
A statement on the Gala Twitter feed read, “An agreement with Inter Milan and Wesley Sneijder for the transfer has been agreed. The conditions of the deal will be made public and the player will sign the contract after health checks.’’
Glock Parts Company With Marussia
German Timo Glock will not race for Marussia this year after he and the team “agreed to part company with immediate effect”.
The German, 30, has raced for Marussia since their debut in 2010 as Virgin. Team boss John Booth said “commercial” considerations were behind the move, BBC wrote.
“Tough economic conditions prevail and the commercial landscape is difficult for everyone,” Booth added.
Glock earned a salary; Marussia need a driver who brings sponsorship.
Marussia did not say in their statement who would be replacing Glock. They have already confirmed the English novice Max Chilton in one of the seats.
Brazilians Bruno Senna, who raced for Williams last year, and novice Luis Razia have been linked to the team.
Booth said, “Timo is a fantastic driver and he has been a very popular member of the team.
“Our team was founded on the principle of benefiting from proven experience while also providing opportunities for young emerging talent to progress to the pinnacle of motorsport.
“Thus far, this philosophy has also been reflected in our commercial model.
“The ongoing challenges facing the industry mean that we have had to take steps to secure our long-term future.
“Tough economic conditions prevail and the commercial landscape is difficult for everyone, Formula 1 teams included.
“We would like to thank Timo for working with us to reach this decision, especially as he had a valid contract, and also for the contribution he has made to our team.”
Glock, who is expected to race in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) this year, said, “I have had three excellent years with the Marussia F1 Team, during which I had the chance to actively participate in building and developing the team in its endeavors to succeed within the Formula 1 World Championship.
“I would like to wish the team good luck in navigating this next period and thank everyone for the great times we shared and the support I have received.
“Although it is not the path I expected to be taking, I am in fact very excited about what the future holds in terms of my own career and I hope to comment on that very soon.”
Spurs Hold Off Hawks
With Tim Duncan given a night off and Manu Ginobili still out with a hamstring injury, Tony Parker took the lead for the San Antonio Spurs.
Parker had 23 points and 12 assists, and the Spurs held off the short-handed Atlanta Hawks 98-93 on Saturday night for their fourth straight victory, AP reported.
‘’Tony is just incredible,’’ said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. ‘’What competitiveness. What a will to win. What a will to carry the team. He’s really fun to watch at both ends of the court. And he’s been doing that all year.’’
The Spurs snapped a streak of three straight road losses with their first win away from San Antonio since Jan. 2.
Matt Bonner added 17 points, and Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter each had 14 for the Spurs.
Parker had 10 points in the final period as the Spurs held off the Hawks’ comeback. He was effective with his drives and when setting up Splitter on pick-and-roll plays.
‘’In the fourth quarter I was trying to be aggressive and take more shots and at the same time still find Tiago on the roll,’’ Parker said. ‘’It worked out pretty well tonight.
‘’That’s what I do best. I go to the paint and try to create, and if I feel comfortable when I go to the basket, I always feel like I can get a shot up. I’ve been doing that my whole life.’’
The Hawks began the game with a new depth problem in their backcourt. The problem reached crisis level in the second half.
The Hawks announced about 90 minutes before the game that guard Lou Williams faces season-ending surgery for a torn ACL in his right knee. Williams was hurt Friday at Brooklyn and the tear was found when Williams was examined on Saturday by Dr. Michael Bernot in Atlanta.
Then the Hawks lost guard Devin Harris to a sprained left ankle early in the final period. Harris didn’t return from the locker room after having the ankle taped.
Hawks coach Larry Drew said he had ‘’no idea’’ on the severity of Harris’ injury. Harris was hobbling in the locker room after the game, unable to put weight on his left foot.
‘’We are down to one point guard,’’ Drew said, referring to Jeff Teague.
‘’We’re certainly going to have to talk about getting some more bodies in here because we are depleted.’’
Karimi Out for 2 Months
Persepolis midfielder Ali Karimi has been ruled out of Friday’s derby against Esteqlal due to a foot injury.
Last week, Karimi came off the bench against Saba after suffering knee ligament damage.
“Karimi will be out for two or three months. He should not rush back before he is fully fit,” orthopedic surgeon Mohammad Razi said.
Persepolis Adel Kolahkaj also strained his shoulder during the match against Damash on Friday and was carried off on a stretcher.
“The MRI scan showed his shoulder strained and he will be out at least for two weeks,” Persepolis doctor Vajihollah Cheshmehsari said.
Persepolis keeper Nilson will be available to play in the derby, according to the doctor.
The Brazilian keeper injured against Damash on Friday.
Asked him if Persepolis midfielders Mehdi Mahdavikia will be fit for the derby, Cheshmehsari said, “Mahdavikia has started his training and I think he has no problem for this match.”
Steven Gerrard is Liverpool’s “greatest player” of all time, according to defender Jamie Carragher.
The Liverpool and England skipper was honored with a tribute by the Football Writers’ Association on Sunday.
Gerrard has never won a league title but the midfielder has helped steer the Reds to a Champions League title, two FA Cups and three League Cups, BBC wrote.
“I think we are in the presence of the greatest player ever to play for Liverpool,” said Carragher, 34.
“People will say I am biased because we are good friends and because of the trophies we have won together, but it is a fair accolade to give him.
“There are guys like Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness, Ian Rush, all world-class players, but the difference was they were in a world-class team--and Stevie has not played in a world-class team.”
Gerrard, 32, has spent his entire career with the Anfield club and proved inspirational in the 2005 Champions League win and the 2006 FA Cup victory.
The Reds captain has played every minute of every Premier League game this season and has made more than 600 appearances for the club.
Manager Brendan Rodgers is confident that the midfielder can play on for several more years.
Carragher added: “Stevie’s one strength is he has no weakness, he can run, tackle pass and score goals.
“Football is a team game, but special players do special things at special times, and that is Steven Gerrard.”
Murray Eases Into Quarters
Andy Murray barely broke sweat as he reached the last eight at the Australian Open with victory over an exhausted Gilles Simon.
In a low-key afternoon encounter on Hisense Arena, the Briton won 6-3 6-1 6-3 in one hour and 32 minutes, BBC wrote.
Murray, 25, is through to the quarterfinals in Melbourne for the fourth year in a row, and will play another Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy, on Wednesday.
He has yet to drop a set in four matches and enters the final stages as fresh as he could possibly hope for.
Up against a player who could barely walk after his near five-hour win in the last round, and with a 9-1 record in their previous meetings, Monday’s match never threatened to extend the Scot.
“It was a tough situation for both players--more obviously for him,” said Murray. “After the first few games, it didn’t feel that competitive. At this stage of a Grand Slam, you’re sort of geed up and prepared for a tough battle.
“That’s why it becomes hard, because the emotions aren’t quite into it. You’re not quite necessarily feeling pressure, but you’re wanting to try to finish the match as quickly as possible.
“It was quite a tough situation for both of us.”
Simon, 28, said he had “completely lost control” during the grueling four hours and 43 minutes required to see off Gael Monfils in round three, and gave himself little chance of challenging Murray.
The US Open champion did his best to help him out early on.
After breaking serve immediately, Murray handed it straight back to love with a poor service game that saw him misjudge a Simon drop shot and then fire a backhand wide and a forehand into the net.
Murray was hardly bristling with intent, and the Hisense Arena crowd--in marked contrast to the previous night’s crackling atmosphere on Rod Laver Arena--was sleepy.
Simon simply did not have the legs to test Murray, who sensibly had him on the move from the word go. The Frenchman sent a forehand wide to make it three breaks in a row, and that was pretty much that.
Murray wrapped up the first set after 37 minutes that had seen the pair hit 31 unforced errors between them, and just 11 winners.
Simon was visibly struggling by now, barely moving for one thumping Murray forehand, but the third seed again handed back an early break thanks in part to a wayward overhead.
Despres Secures Fifth Dakar Victory
Cyril Despres stayed out of trouble on the final stage of the Dakar Rally to wrap up a fifth overall victory in the race.