SWISS STAR JOINS REDS

Shaqiri leaves rel­e­gated Stoke for Liver­pool

Calgary Sun - - SPORTS - WORLD CUP NOTEBOOK — POSTMEDIA WIRE SER­VICES

Swiss World Cup for­ward Xher­dan Shaqiri has left rel­e­gated Stoke City for Champions league run­ner-up liver­pool.

liver­pool said the 26-year-old player had signed “a long-term con­tract”, but did not dis­close the trans­fer fee. Me­dia re­ports put it at $17.2 million.

“I’m very happy to be here. It’s a huge club with big history, big play­ers and a fan­tas­tic coach (Jur­gen Klopp),” Shaqiri said. “as a player you al­ways want to be on the big­gest stage in foot­ball.

“a few years ago I wanted to come too, but it didn’t hap­pen. I’m re­ally happy I’m fi­nally here. I want to im­prove my­self too, I want to be with the best and I want to win ti­tles. that’s what I’m here for.”

Stoke was rel­e­gated from the Pre­mier league in May. liver­pool, beaten 3-1 by real Madrid in the Champions league final, fin­ished fourth in England’s top flight.

MORE FINES FOR SOCKS

FIFa has fined Croa­tia and Swe­den $49,990 each for play­ers wear­ing non-ap­proved socks in games against England.

FIFa says one Croa­tia player “dis­played unau­tho­rized com­mer­cial brand­ing on play­ing equip­ment items” dur­ing the team’s World Cup semi­fi­nal match on Wed­nes­day.

Croa­tia’s soc­cer fed­er­a­tion had been asked by FIFa to “cease the ac­tiv­ity that led to the breach.”

Swe­den was pre­vi­ously fined $69,800 for sev­eral play­ers wear­ing the un­ap­proved socks in rus­sia.

FIFa says one player broke the World Cup mar­ket­ing rules dur­ing Swe­den’s quar­ter­fi­nals loss.

RON­ALDO MANIA IN ITALY

an ice-cream flavour in his hon­our, a pizza named af­ter him, queues to buy his shirt: For some, Cris­tiano Ron­aldo is as im­por­tant as the Pope.

Ju­ven­tus made shock­waves over the world on tues­day when it com­pleted the sign­ing of ron­aldo from real Madrid for a Serie a record of 112 million euros, with the five-time Bal­lon d’Or win­ner sign­ing a four-year deal with the Ital­ian cham­pion. and ron­aldo mania is in full swing in turin, with en­ter­pris­ing busi­ness­men not miss­ing the op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate the oc­ca­sion and cash in on the ar­rival of the Por­tu­gal for­ward.

Leonardo La Porta, who has owned Ge­la­te­ria Miretti in the heart of turin for 30 years, has cre­ated a flavour called Cr7 — ron­aldo’s fa­mous brand name. the 50-year-old la Porta is not a Ju­ven­tus sup­porter, nor even a foot­ball fan, but has of­ten cre­ates flavours to mark im­por­tant events in the city.

How­ever, he has only cre­ated one flavour in hon­our of a per­son be­fore — when the Pope came to turin in 2015.

Nearby is a pizza restau­rant, which is also hop­ing to at­tract the foot­balling su­per­star. Tommy Tegamino, which is owned by two Ju­ven­tus sea­sonticket hold­ers, broth­ers Filippo (31-year­sold) and Tom­maso Crozaso (26), now boasts the “Pizza Cr7.” the deep-dish pizza is topped with stracchino cheese and black olives in the shape of the num­ber “7” and that also sym­bol­izes the black and white colours of Ju­ven­tus.

It costs an ap­pro­pri­ate seven euros.

IN­FANTINO TALKS QATAR

FIFa pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino says talks over chang­ing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar can ease ten­sions with re­gional neigh­bours.

Saudi ara­bia has joined with other Mid­dle East states in en­forc­ing a hos­tile boy­cott of Qatar since June 2017.

In re­cent months, In­fantino has sup­ported calls to add 16 more teams to the 2022 tour­na­ment — a plan likely to make Qatar share host­ing du­ties be­cause it is building only eight sta­di­ums.

In­fantino says Qatar can in­sist on keep­ing a 32-team for­mat, though he is “pretty sure that all op­tions will be on the ta­ble.”

“Maybe we could bring those who are hav­ing dif­fi­cul­ties com­mu­ni­cat­ing with each other to start di­a­logue,” the FIFa pres­i­dent said at his only World Cup news con­fer­ence. “the door is slightly ajar and we will see how it moves on from there.”

THAI BOYS TEAM GETS IN­VITE

the boys soc­cer team in thai­land res­cued from a flooded cave this week has been in­vited to FIFa’s an­nual awards event.

In­fantino says they will be in­vited to come to lon­don, where the world’s best player prize will be pre­sented on Sept. 24.

XHER­DAN SHAQIRI

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