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Faces of Football: Saudi Arabia

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Dear Saudi Arabian national team, 

It is almost time for us to head to watch Saudi Arabia once again play on the biggest stage in world football, but before the first whistle blows and before you represent our country with pride, I would like to share this message with you. I’d like to let you all know that we, your fans, are for every step of the journey in Qatar, and will be cheering you on all the way. 

My name is Hala Khashoggi, I’m from Jeddah and I’m a medical student and a football player for Ittihad Ladies Football club. I’ve been a fan of the national team ever since I can remember, and it was you guys who inspired me to go and become a footballer. I am immensely proud every time I watch the team wearing the white and green jerseys, it inspires me and I hope it inspires other men and women from regions such as Mohammed noor, Hattan Bahabri and countless others. What you do on the field makes me so proud to be Saudi Arabian, and I’m sure that at the Qatar World Cup you will show the world what we are made of. 

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Our national team has given us some amazing moments through the years, with the main one of course being reaching the round of 16 in 1994 – a truly remarkable achievement for a country of our size. I truly believe that we can achieve something similar this winter. 

What I love about the current team is the unity you show on and off the pitch, and the modern style of play you have adopted. I have one simple piece of advice for our manager Herve Renard: please trust this style of player and give our young talented players a chance to express themselves at the tournament. 

Unfortunately I will be unable to attend the tournament in Qatar as I will be playing for my club in the Saudi Women’s Premier League, and I’m sure I will be motivated to give my all on the pitch after seeing you all do the same at the World Cup. 

I can’t wait to see what amazing moments you produce at the tournament this winter. It would be wonderful if you get through to the knockout rounds but, regardless of results, we will be here to back you through thick and thin and to cheer you on when you need it. 

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You have given us some incredible moments down the years and I can only thank you for that. 

With much love and support. Carry us to glory! 

Sincerely, 

Hala Khashoggi

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Football

Rangers appoint Michael Beale as new manager

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Rangers have confirmed the appointment of Michael Beale as the club’s new manager, following Gio van Bronckhorst’s sacking.

The former QPR manager has signed a contract which runs until 2026 at Ibrox, returning to the Gers having previously worked as an assistant manager at the club under Steven Gerrard.

90min revealed on Sunday that Beale’s appointment was imminent, and a club statement has confirmed his return to the club: “Michael Beale is the 18th manager of Rangers with the club delighted to confirm his appointment today.

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Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

“Signing a contract to 2026, the 42 year-old joins from his role as manager of Queens’ Park Rangers in West London having previously worked as first-team coach at Ibrox from 2018 to last November. It is an exciting appointment for the club, with Beale undoubtedly one of the most sought-after young managers in British football.”

Speaking about his return to Rangers, Beale said: “It is fantastic to be back and to see everybody this morning, there are some new faces but some people that I know really well so it is great to see everyone. 

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“I am hugely proud, it is a wonderful, wonderful football club, it is an institution. For everyone that works here it is a huge privilege, but to be the manager of this football club, that is extremely special. Some wonderful people have sat in this chair prior to me, and I am hugely proud to be the person sat here now.”



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Portugal vs Uruguay: Confirmed lineups

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By defeating Uruguay in Lusail, Portugal will be hoping to advance to the World Cup’s last 16 in 2022.

During their first match, Cristiano Ronaldo and company defeated Ghana in a five-goal thriller, while Uruguay and South Korea drew 0-0.

Line-up

Portugal XI: Diogo Costa, João Cancelo, Pepe, Rúben Dias, R. Guerreiro, Rúben Neves, William, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, João Félix, Ronaldo.

Uruguay XI:

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Conor Coady responds to ‘daft’ question about Liverpool allegiance

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Conor Coady has told England teammate Jordan Henderson to do better in his goading after the Liverpool captain taunted him over his Everton connection.

Coady was a product of the Liverpool youth system and made a solitary appearance for his boyhood club in the 2012 Europa League. He has since moved on to Huddersfield Town and Wolves before joining Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton on loan last summer.

Speaking on the latest episode of Lion’s Den from England’s World Cup camp, though, Henderson could not resist trying to wind up Coady by quizzing him on his allegiances.

“Conor, we are all England here,” Henderson said. “But what I really want to know is: are you blue or red?”

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Henderson then started laughing, which prompted a similar response from Coady, who appeared both irritated and amused by the question.

“It’s so poor from him,” Coady said while smiling. “We have banter all the time. Of course, I am playing for Everton. He knows deep down.

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

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“So, for him to come out there and ask that question is daft. Of course, I am blue. Of course, I am blue, without a shadow of a doubt.

“For him to say that…you know what I am going to go back there sit down and have a coffee with him. I will give him a bit. That’s nowhere near good enough from the big fella. Blue all day long.”

Everton have a clause allowing them to sign Coady permanently from Wolves this summer for a fee of just £4.5m.



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