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FA release powerful statement after England World Cup exit

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The chief executive of the Football Association, Mark Bullingham, has expressed his pride at England’s performances at the 2022 World Cup in an extremely supportive statement.

The Three Lions were eliminated by holders France on Saturday night, as goals from Aurelien Tchouameni and Olivier Giroud condemned Gareth Southgate’s side to a quarter-final exit for a record seventh time.

England’s players will perhaps look back at what might have been, with their performance here far superior to the one put in against Croatia when losing in the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup.

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They were more than a match for France, whose boss Didier Deschamps admitted his side got a “bit lucky” after conceding two penalties, and had a great chance to level the game at 2-2 with just six minutes to go.

But captain Harry Kane was unable to convert for a second time from 12 yards out having already dispatched one spot-kick past club teammate Hugo Lloris.

Southgate said in the immediate aftermath of the game that he’d need time to ‘review and reflect’ on England’s performances before deciding whether or not to continue as manager, but it’s clear that he has the support of English football’s governing body following the release of a statement from CEO Bullingham.

“Like all England fans we feel the pain of losing a quarter-final, along with the coaches, players and support team who are hurting this morning,” the statement began.

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Harry Symeou hosts Andy Headspeath, Quentin Gesp and Jack Gallagher to look back on the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia – join us!

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“Gareth and Steve [Holland] prepared the team exceptionally well throughout the tournament. The players were committed to winning the trophy and were very well led by Harry Kane. But sport can have fine margins and on the day, against the current world champions, it was not to be.

“This is a very exciting young English squad and, despite the intense disappointment of last night, they should be very proud of their performances in Qatar.

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“We are incredibly proud of Gareth, the players, the coaches and the support team and appreciate all the hard work they put in.”

France’s reward for beating England is a semi-final date with surprise package Morocco. The Atlas Lions upset the apple cart once more in Saturday’s early game, beating Portugal 1-0 having already seen off Spain in the round of 16.



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Tottenham confirm loan signing of Pedro Porro

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Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed the signing of wing-back Pedro Porro from Sporting CP on loan.

The Lilywhites had been trying to push through a deal to sign Porro for the past number of weeks and finally struck a deal late in the January transfer window, signing the player on loan with a €48m obligation to buy – Porro’s release clause.

Speaking on Monday following the news that a deal had been struck, Porro said: “I’m grateful to Sporting, I love the club.

“I didn’t train as I was only focused on the transfer to Spurs but I will always be thankful to the club.”

With Porro coming into Antonio Conte’s squad, there have been some outgoings at right wing-back too with Matt Doherty agreeing to join Atletico Madrid, and Djed Spence leaving on loan too. In sealing the move, Doherty becomes the first Irish footballer to ever play for one of Spain’s three biggest clubs.

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Orlando City & Inter Miami bolster rosters

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The MLS transfers are heating up as the 2023 campaign approaches. Here’s everything you missed:

Orlando City make another signing.

Orlando City make another signing. / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City have signed midfielder Dagur Dan Thórhallsson from Icelandic top-flight side Breidablik. He joins on a two-year contract through the 2024 Major League Soccer season with club options in 2025 and 2026, pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and ITC.

“Dagur Dan is a versatile player that can play both in the midfield for us, out on the wings or even at right back if we need and he’s been involved with Iceland’s national team program since his days with the U16s,” Luiz Muzzi, Orlando’s EVP of soccer operations and general manager, said in a release.

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“He has a great engine and fits the profile of a box-to-box player that can give us strength in both our attack and defense.”

Moussa Djitte

Austin FC loan Moussa Djitte. / Lyndsay Radnedge/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Austin FC loan forward Moussa Djitte to Ligue 1 side AC Ajaccio through June 30, 2023. The deal includes a purchase option.

He departs temporarily after joining the team in 2021 from Ligue 2 side Grenoble Foot 38, for their inaugural Major League Soccer season. He managed five goals and two assists in 30 appearances for Austin.

Djitté has held a U22 Initiative spot for the Verde & Black.

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Sergii Kryvtsov

Inter Miami sign Sergii Kryvtsov . / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Inter Miami sign defender Sergii Kryvtsov from Shakhtar Donetsk.

He joins on a two-year contract through the 2024 MLS season, with an option for 2025. 

The defensive veteran managed 17 titles during his 13-year spell with Shakhtar, and featured for the Ukrainian national team on 31 occasions. 

“Sergii is a composed defender who will provide valuable experience to our defensive line after many years playing at the highest levels both at the club and international levels; he is a solid defender in the air and possesses strong leadership skills having been vice-captain at his previous club,” Chris Henderson, Miami’s chief soccer officer and sporting director, said in a release.

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“Sergii is arriving after preseason with Shakhtar Donetsk, so he is ready to get incorporated into the group. We look forward to watching him represent the Inter Miami colors and help the team work towards a successful season in 2023.”



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Hector Bellerin joins Sporting CP from Barcelona

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Full-back Hector Bellerin has joined Sporting CP until the end of the season from Barcelona.

The Spanish international was signed by Barca in the summer but made just three La Liga appearances for the club in the first half of the season.

As such, Bellerin has now left the club in search of more first team football.

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A statement on Barcelona’s website reads regarding the move reads: “Barcelona and Sporting Clube de Portugal have reached an agreement for the transfer of the player Hector Bellerin. 

“FC Barcelona would like to express publicly their gratitude to Bellerin for his commitment and his dedication and wish him all the best for the future. 

“Hector Bellerin made seven appearances for the first team. FC Barcelona announced his arrival in the summer of 2022 after he left Premier League side Arsenal as a free agent. The right back returned to the Club 11 years after leaving the youth teams at FC Barcelona to join the London club. 

“Bellerin made his first team debut on 10 September in the 4-0 win away at Cádiz, starting the game at right back. The defender went to make two more appearances in La Liga, two in the Copa del Rey and two in the Champions League.”

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