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World Cup party is over, Galtier tells PSG stars after another loss

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World Cup party is over, Galtier tells PSG stars after another loss

Christophe Galtier sucked up another painful Ligue 1 defeat for his Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) team on Sunday and told his 2022 World Cup stars they must find their focus again.

PSG began the year with a seven-point lead at the top of Ligue 1, but that has been clipped to three after defeats to Lens and now Rennes.

Rennes beat the Parisians 1-0 on Sunday.

Head coach Galtier will face scrutiny for such domestic losses, given the superstars at his disposal, and he knows he and the team must start to show their best again.

Galtier said: “I’m mainly disappointed with our performance. We didn’t create anything, we had very few favourable situations.

“We focused on having possession of the ball and we had far too many players who dropped back without having players high enough to secure the Rennes defensive line.”

PSG had only eight attempts on goal, their lowest total in a league game this season, and only one went on target.

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The defeat was a third in their last four trips to Rennes in the league, with the Breton side firmly established as a bogey side for the capital giants.

Galtier pointed to issues with Lionel Messi and Neymar having no obvious targets when looking to move the ball forward.

That situation persisted when Kylian Mbappe came on as a substitute early in the second half, replacing the ineffective Hugo Etikike.

The former Lille, Saint-Etienne and Nice coach said there was an “urgent” need for PSG to get back on track.

“Obviously we’re going to have to find a lot more play and connection between the lines,” he said. “We knew we would have a difficult match, and we had it.

“The opposing goalkeeper was barely troubled. We need to find a lot more rhythm, intensity and technical relationship between one another.

“I’m not going to talk about worry, but there has to be awareness. We can find a thousand excuses, but the World Cup is over.

“Even if we have been dispersed for eight weeks, we need to find cohesion and rhythm in our game.”

PSG will head to Saudi Arabia next to face a Riyadh Season Team, made up of players from Al Hilal and Al Nassr, in an exhibition game on Thursday.

Al Nassr’s new signing Cristiano Ronaldo could be involved in that game, but Galtier wants intense focus from his players when they get a chance to train on the getaway.

They do not have another Ligue 1 game until Reims visit the Parc des Princes on Jan. 29, although there is a Coupe de France tie against minnows Pays de Cassel on Jan. 23.

“We will have 10 days to work,” Galtier said.

Lens are their nearest challengers, but Marseille are only five points adrift of PSG.

“The championship is tight,” Galtier said. “I’m not used to looking at the standings, but I’m concentrating on performance and I have work to do.”

Warren Zaire-Emery, at the age of 16 years and 313 days, became the youngest player in PSG’s history to start a Ligue 1 match.

He played 72 minutes before being replaced by Carlos Soler.

Galtier will gather his players to show them video comparisons with how the team are performing now and how they played prior to the World Cup.

Mbappe was the World Cup’s top goalscorer, while Messi brilliantly captained Argentina to the trophy, being named player of the tournament.

Such form has been mostly lacking since resuming PSG duties, but they are not the only ones culpable.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who was absent from Qatar 2022 after Italy failed to qualify, said PSG’s players are furious by their collective drop-off in performance.

“We are angry, and we have to bounce back immediately after this match, from this defeat, because we have no more time to lose,” Donnarumma said, quoted on the club’s website.

“It was an avoidable loss. They didn’t have many chances but we should have done more. We have to learn from this game.

“We are upset, but now we have to focus on the next game.”

World Cup party is over, Galtier tells PSG stars after another loss

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Int’l youth championship: Mailantarki Boys whip Swedish 2nd Division, Enkoping SK 5-1

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Int’l youth championship: Mailantarki Boys whip Swedish 2nd Division, Enkoping SK 5-1

Mailantarki Boys, on Tuesday thrashed Swedish Enkoping SK 5-1 to open the 2024 Dana Cup campaign holding in Denmark.
This is contained in a press statement issued on Tuesday to newsmen in Gombe by Adamu Usman Ahmed, Mailantarki Care FC media manager.

Ahmed described the win as a good start for the boys whom he said were determined to maintain their good record at international level.

He said that the high flying Nigeria National League side, Mailantarki Care FC begun their promising run of form at the International Youth Championship with a harvest of goals as they defeated their opponent in Hjørring, Denmark.

“Young sensational winger Miko Dalha showed what it takes to grab another accolade in the competition as he opened his goals account with a brace before the break.

“Dana Cup debutant Tijjani Muhammed who came off the bench also fired twice in quick succession, the 2022 Champions completed the dominance with a beautiful left footed curler from Lamido Abubakar,” he said.

Adamu said early into the game, Alexander Littlewood levelled the score after netting Enkopings’ goal to cancel Miko’s opener before the game got out of hand for the Swedish 2nd division side.

The Light Boys will tackle Norwegian club Bergen Nord FK later in the day 17:30pm (4:30pm WAT) for the second match of the busy group stage.

Int’l youth championship: Mailantarki Boys whip Swedish 2nd Division, Enkoping SK 5-1

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Messi Misses MLS All-Stars Game Due to Injury

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Messi Misses MLS All-Stars Game Due to Injury

Messi Misses MLS All-Stars Game Due to Injury

By Halima Abdulkadiri

Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi will not play in this week’s MLS All-Stars Game, Major League Soccer (MLS) said on Monday. This comes eight days after the Argentine superstar left the Copa America final match with an ankle injury.

Messi was listed among unavailable players for Wednesday’s match in Columbus, Ohio, pitting MLS All Stars from 18 league clubs against top talent from Mexico’s LIGA MX.

The game would have been the 37-year-old’s MLS All-Stars Game debut after he joined Inter Miami in July 2023 following a storied career in Europe.

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner has 12 goals and 13 assists in his first 12 games of 2024 for Inter Miami, making him the quickest to 25 goal contributions in an MLS season.

The All-Stars Game will be played at 8 p.m. EDT (0000 GMT) on Wednesday.

Messi Misses MLS All-Stars Game Due to Injury

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Pope Hopes Paris Olympics Inspire Global Truce

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Pope Hopes Paris Olympics Inspire Global Truce

Pope Hopes Paris Olympics Inspire Global Truce

By Halima Abdulkadiri

Pope Francis on Sunday expressed hope that the Paris Olympics, beginning this Friday, would serve as an occasion for truces in global conflicts. During his weekly address to the crowd in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope urged athletes to be messengers of peace and role models for young people.

The games will start with an opening ceremony on the River Seine featuring about 10,500 athletes and over 100 heads of state and government. Pope Francis said he hoped that “according to the ancient tradition, the Olympics will be an opportunity to establish a truce in wars, by demonstrating a sincere desire for peace.”

He specifically mentioned conflicts in Ukraine, Gaza, Myanmar, and other countries, reminding everyone that “war is a defeat.” Last month, the Group of Seven (G7) leaders’ meeting in Italy included a unanimous call for a truce in global conflicts during the Olympic Games.

Pope Hopes Paris Olympics Inspire Global Truce

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