Ronaldinho to sign with Chinese or US club

Rio de Janeiro, March 26 (IANS) Football legend Ronaldinho is set to sign with a Chinese or United States based club in what could be the final contract of his decorated career.

The 36-year-old former Barcelona star has not played competitively since ending a disappointing two-month spell with Rio de Janeiro outfit Fluminense last September.

Roberto Assis, who has managed his brother’s affairs throughout his entire career, said Brazilian clubs have been “ruled out” of reckoning for the playmaker’s next move.

“The probable destination for him is Major League Soccer (MLS) in the US or the Chinese Super League (CSL),” Assis said on Friday.

Ronaldinho, who twice won the FIFA World Player of the Year award, will make a one-off appearance for Las Vegas City next month in their friendly against Miami United. The match will also feature Ronaldinho’s former Brazil teammate Adriano in his debut for the Florida club.

Chile urgently calls-up back-ups for World Cup qualifiers

Santiago, March 26 (IANS) Chilean midfielders Diego Valdes, Esteban Pavez and Jaime Valdes from local clubs Audax Italiano and Colo Colo were urgently called up by their national football team coach Juan Antonio Pizzi for the upcoming World Cup qualifying match against Venezuela.

The match, which will take place on March 29, will be Chile’s sixth qualifying match for the 2018 World Cup to be held in Russia. Matias Fernandez and Marcelo Diaz were injured in Chile’s 1-2 defeat to Argentina on Thursday and for that reason Pizzi was forced to bring in new forces urgently, reports Xinhua.

“It is an honour for us and we are very happy because people will be able to see all the work we have done with Diego. He is a player who has been trained on home soil all his life with the help of Jorge Pellicer’s coaching team, and we are confident that we have given him everything to allow him to perform at his best on the pitch,” Lorenzo Antillo, Audax’s sports manager, said of Valdes.

These three players will join the squad on Saturday and then travel to Barinas for their match against Venezuela on Tuesday.

Algeria beat Ethiopia 7-1 in AFCON qualifying

Algiers, March 26 (IANS) Algeria defeated visiting Ethiopia by a massive margin of 7-1 to maintain the top spot in Group J of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying tournament.

Valencia ace Sofiane Feghouli opened the scoring in the 24th minute and then Sporting Lisbon striker Slimani added the second in the 32nd minute on Friday. The ‘Desert Foxes’ could have added the third before the end of the first half but Porto playmaker Yacine Brahimi hit a penalty wide, reports Xinhua.

In the second half, Algeria maintained full control of the game and added another five goals. Ethiopian striker Getaneh Kebede scored the lone goal for his team.

Algeria will play against Ethiopia on March 29 in Addis Ababa in the next round of qualifiers. Algeria are on top of Group J with nine points, followed by Ethiopia (4) in second place.

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