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Football news

Keeper Buffon hits back at doubters

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has come in for criticism in recent weeks after errors while on duty for club and country but the 38-year-old vowed to make his doubters eat their words.

“It’s fun when people want to hold your funeral and then you prove them wrong,” Buffon said when journalists suggested his level is starting to drop.

“I live to make them eat their rash words. When the time comes I’ll decide to retire but for now I’m not thinking about it.

“I want to play at the World Cup in 2018.”

Man. City profits up

Manchester City made a profit of £20.5m and generated record revenues of £398.1m during the 2015-16 season.

It is the second successive year the club have recorded a surplus and underlines their continuing growth under the ownership of Sheikh Mansour and his Abu Dhabi investment firm.

The figures also show Man. City are operating on a 50 per cent wage-revenue ratio and with zero financial debt.

As recently as 2012, City sustained a £98m loss.

Clarke quizzed over Warnock allegations

Football manager Neil Warnock made players pay to be selected for games, a committee of MPs heard this week.

The allegation came from tweets from Crystal Palace midfielder Jason Puncheon in 2014 on Twitter, which were deleted.

Puncheon’s claims, which have been denied by Warnock, were repeated in Westminster on Monday by Damian Collins, the chairman-elect of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Collins was questioning FA chairman Greg Clarke about the governing body’s attempts to investigate possible wrongdoing in the game and cited Puncheon’s outburst as an example of an allegation that was not pursued.

Wing-back system working – Kante

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante backed Antonio Conte’s wing-back formation used in recent games, saying the tactical changes have suited him and the club.

Following the introduction of Conte’s new 3-4-3 system in recent games, Chelsea secured successive Premier League wins over Hull City and Leicester City, without conceding a goal in the process.

Frenchman Kante, who has featured in all eight of Chelsea’s league games this campaign, said: “The new system is working well. We have been better with and without the ball, and we have conceded fewer chances.

“Personally, I like the system too. My job in a defensive central midfield position is to cut off attacks against us, but it has been a bit different in the past two games as I have been able to get forward a bit myself.”

Modric agrees new R. Madrid contract

Luka Modric has committed his future to Real Madrid until 2020.

The Croatian midfielder, who arrived at the Bernabeu from Tottenham four years ago, has been an influential figure in Real’s two recent Champions League-winning campaigns.

A statement published on the capital club’s official website revealed Modric had agreed a new four-year deal, tying him to the 32-time Spanish champions well beyond his 34th birthday.

Modric, who will meet the press today, has scored 11 goals across 180 appearances in all competitions for Real. In addition to his two European Cups he tasted Copa del Rey glory in 2014.

Robertson injury

Hull City defender Andrew Robertson will be out of action for up to eight weeks after injuring his calf in Saturday’s 6-1 league defeat to Bournemouth.

The 22-year-old Scottish international has made 10 appearances for Hull in all competitions this season, including all eight of their league games.

“Andy Robertson is likely to be sidelined for up to eight weeks with the injury sustained against Bournemouth at the weekend,” the club said on their website.

After a bright start to the league campaign, manager Mike Phelan’s Hull have slipped to 16th in the standings after four defeats in the last five games.

Shaqiri backs Bony to end goal drought

Stoke City midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri is unfazed by Wilfried Bony’s dry spell in front of goal this season and has backed the on-loan striker to rediscover his scoring touch.

Ivorian Bony joined Stoke from Manchester City on a season-long loan and is yet to open his tally in the Premier League after making five appearances.

“Of course, for a striker it’s always good and important to score goals but Wilfried is in a very good way,” Shaqiri said.

“I’ve enjoyed playing with him, he’s getting closer and he’s getting in the right positions so soon he will score, there’s no doubt about that.”

The 27-year-old Bony was a bit-part player for Manchester City last season, scoring four league goals in 26 games.

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