World Sports News in Brief

Wanted to join Juventus even before Ronaldo chat, says De Ligt

Saturday, 2019-07-20 07:28:33
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Soccer Football - Champions League Semi Final Second Leg - Ajax Amsterdam v Tottenham Hotspur - Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands - May 8, 2019 Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt celebrates scoring their first goal. (Reuters)
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Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt had made up his mind to join the Serie A champions even before Cristiano Ronaldo asked him about a potential move to Italy, the teenager said on Friday. Juventus announced the signing of the 19-year-old from Ajax Amsterdam for EUR75 million on Thursday.

* Manny Pacquiao plans to teach WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman a painful lesson when the two face off in Las Vegas on Saturday. Pacquiao said he was in better shape now than when he faced Adrien Broner in January in a fight the Filipino won by unanimous decision.

* Veteran former Italy international Daniele De Rossi is "99%" sure of joining Boca Juniors, the Argentine giants' president Daniel Angelici said on Friday. The 35-year-old midfielder brought down the curtain on an 18-year career with his hometown club Roma at the end of last season.

* Tiger Woods will take time off to rest and recuperate after a difficult two days at the British Open left him with little chance of making the cut at Royal Portrush. Despite shooting a one-under-par round on Friday, the 15-time major champion was made to paid for a disastrous first round of 78 to finish on six over, still five shots off the projected cut.

* Bulgaria have been ordered by UEFA to play their next two home Euro 2020 qualifiers in a partially-closed stadium due to racist behaviour by their supporters.

* Wout van Aert abandoned the Tour de France after suffering a leg injury in a crash during the 13th stage, a 27.2-km individual time trial on Friday. The Belgian's foot clipped a barrier on a right-hand bend and was attended to by race medics before being taken away in an ambulance.

* Nigel Owens, who refereed the 2015 Rugby World Cup final, will get the 2019 tournament underway when he takes charge of the opening game between Japan and Russia in Tokyo on Sept. 20.

* Tour de France organisers are looking to launch a women's equivalent of the most prestigious race in men's cycling, they said on Friday. A senior Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) official told Reuters that ASO was setting up a group dedicated to developing women's cycling.

Reuters, CNA