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Patrick Vieira Reopens His Feud With Roy Keane 



Patrick Vieira couldn’t resist a few digs at Roy Keane in the latest installment of BT Sport’s What I Wore series, joking that he didn’t want to touch the Manchester United legend’s shirt while insisting he was the ‘much better’ player of the two.

Vieira enjoyed an iconic rivalry with Keane during his time at Arsenal, sharing a number of fiery and ill-tempered battles on the pitch as the Gunners and United went toe-to-toe at the top of the Premier League.

Their mutual disdain also boiled over during an infamous 2005 spat in the Highbury tunnel, where a furious Keane could be heard shouting that his old adversary was ‘not a nice guy’.

Since retiring the pair have put their feud to bed and even worked alongside each other as pundits, but Vieira still took a hilarious swipe at Keane while looking back at the shirts which best evoke memories of his career.

When presented with one of Keane’s United shirts, the Frenchman joked: ‘That’s why I put my hand in my pocket, I don’t want to [touch] the shirt.

On a more serious note, however, Vieira expressed his admiration for Keane’s leadership qualities and insisted he has ‘massive respect’ for the Irishman.   

‘From the first game [against Keane], I knew straight away that it will be a fight in every single game,’ he continued.

‘So I loved the way he was on the field, it was massive respect. And he was a leader, he was the captain of the team, he was the one who was driving the team and the players to compete at the level he was, challenging the players.

‘I admire him as a captain and I knew that would be one of the battles to try to win when you’re on the pitch.’

Nevertheless, after boasting that he got the better of Keane ‘really often’, Vieira was asked if he felt he was the better player of the two.   

‘Much better,’ he said with a wry smile. ‘I would say much better, yes.’

Arsenal and United dominated English football throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, sharing the Premier League title between them from 1996 up until 2004. 

Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson’s managerial rivalry during that time remains one of the most fondly remembered in top-flight history, with Vieira and Keane personifying their friction on the pitch.

‘They were the best team, they were the team to beat,’ Vieira said when shown United’s away strip from the 1999/00 campaign. ‘If you wanted to win the league you had to be above United.

Vieira also opened up on Arsenal's historic Invincibles campaign in the 2003/04 season

‘So that was passion, that was competitiveness, and I don’t want to use the word hate, but it was love and hate.’ 

The high point for Arsenal during that period came in 2003/04, when they became champions while going through the entire season unbeaten. No other Premier League team has achieved that feat.

When asked if he knew they could pull it off, Vieira said: ‘No, not at all. I’m 100 per cent sure. To be honest, the only one that was believing we could go through the season unbeaten was Arsene. But he never mentioned anything to us.

‘For us, we go through the season and we wanted to compete our best to win the league. We knew that we were good enough to win the league, but we never thought about going through the season unbeaten.

‘Of course you’re building that kind of belief, you play well in each game, the confidence, the belief, you manage to win the title and there’s a couple of games left, then we said “ok we could do something special here.”‘

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Paul Pogba’s Brother Florentin Pogba 31, Joins ATK Mohun Bagan



ATK Mohun Bagan have completed the signing of Florentin Pogba, brother of France World Cup winner, Paul Pogba.

ATK Mohun Bagan are strengthening their defence this season, ahead of a crucial semifinal of the AFC Cup in September. With Spanish defender Tiri injuring himself during the group stage, signing a central defender was priority and Florentin ticked all the boxes.

“ATK Mohun Bagan had a lot of profiles (from player representatives) and Florentin impressed the most. He has more to offer than just a famous surname. He is at the club purely on merit,” said one source who has tracked the development.

Brother of former Manchester United and Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, Florentin signed a two-year deal with ATK Mohun Bagan, after parting ways with French Ligue 2 club FC Sochaux-Montbeliard where he still had a year left on his contract.

“Florentin Pogba transferred to @atkmohunbaganfc one year from the end of his contract. FCSM wishes the best to its now former central defender who will turn 32 in a few weeks,” the French club said in a tweet late on Friday.

Caught off-guard by FC Sochaux’s goodbye on social media, ATK Mohun Bagan are now likely to make an official announcement of the transfer in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Born in Guinea, Florentin was brought up in France and kickstarted his professional career with CS Sedan in Ligue 2 in 2010.

After making 45 appearances over two seasons for the club, he moved to AS Saint-Etienne in 2012, before making his Ligue 1 debut the next year.

With Saint-Etienne, he had a long spell and played regularly in the Europa League where he was up against his famous brother Paul Pogba, then with Manchester United.

Florentin made his international debut for Guinea against Mali as a 19-year-old in 2010.

His twin brother Mathias is also a footballer and last donned colours for ASM Belfort.

Interestingly, Mathias shared the dressing room with Ishan Pandita during their time at Lorca in 2020, before the young India striker returned home to join FC Goa.

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Nike Announces Full Exit From Russia



Fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, as another major brand is pulling its business from the country.

Nike has announced that it’s making a full exit from Russia, confirming the move in a statement issued to Reuters on Thursday.

“Nike has made the decision to leave the Russian marketplace. Our priority is to ensure we are fully supporting our employees while we responsibly scale down our operations over the coming months.”

The move comes after Nike announced that it was suspending online and physical retail business in Russia this past March.

In May, it was reported that Nike had not renewed agreements with Inventive Retail Group (IRG), which operated 37 Nike-branded stories in Russia through its Up and Run subsidiary.

This continues a trend of Western brands rolling back business in Russia, including Nike’s rival Adidas, which has indefinitely suspended all of its Russian business.

While leaving Russia is significant, Nike’s bottom line likely won’t be drastically impacted.

The company recently revealed that it gets less than 1% of its revenue from Ukraine and Russia combined.

The decision, however, does add to Russia’s increasingly growing economic isolation.

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Mason Greenwood Has Bail Extended As Rape Investigation Continues



Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood will remain on bail over allegations he raped and assaulted a young woman following a court hearing.

The 20-year-old was arrested in January after images and videos were posted online, and he was also questioned on suspicion of making threats to kill.

His bail was due to expire in April but Greater Manchester Police made an application to the courts to extend it, with a hearing held on Thursday.

On Friday, a force spokesman said: “Following a hearing yesterday, a 20-year-old man arrested on suspicion of rape, assault and making threats to kill on Sunday, January 30 remains on bail.”

The spokesman said no further updates would be issued until the suspect was charged or released facing no further action.

Within hours of the allegations surfacing online, the striker – who has made one appearance for England – was suspended from playing or training with the Old Trafford club until further notice.

Nike suspended its sponsorship deal with Greenwood, and later terminated it, while Electronic Arts confirmed his removal from active squads on its Fifa 22 game.

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