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Messi tops Ronaldo as highest-paid player (See top five)

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Messi PSV Vs Barcelona

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is the highest paid footballer in Europe, beating out Cristiano Ronaldo by over £3million per month.

This was revealed by French publication, L’Equipe, in its annual report of the top football salaries.

Messi is number one, earning £7.3million ($9.5m) a month before tax.

Ronaldo, who is now at Juventus, comes in second with a salary of £4.1m.

Atletico Madrid and France forward, Antoine Griezmann, is next with £2.9million thanks to the new deal he signed with the club last year.

Neymar is fourth, earning £2.7million a month.

Messi’s team-mate, Luis Suarez, rounds out the top five, earning £2.5million.

The list is made up entirely of players from the Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A and Ligue 1.

The Bundesliga is the only top-five league, that does not have a representative in the top 10.

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Senegal reach AFCON final as own goal sinks Tunisia

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Senegal reached the Africa Cup of Nations final for the second time with a Dylan Bronn own goal giving them a 1-0 win over Tunisia on Sunday in a tense last-four clash in Cairo.

With 11 minutes gone in extra time, goalkeeper Mouez Hassen pushed a free-kick against the head of Bronn and the ball went backwards into the net.

Tunisia thought they would have a chance to equalise when Idrissa Gueye handled in the box, but the Ethiopian referee rejected their penalty appeals after checking the incident on the VAR monitor.

Both teams missed penalties in regular time with Ferjani Sassi the Tunisian culprit before Henri Saivet failed for the Senegalese.

Senegal will miss star defender Kalidou Koulibaly for the final against Algeria or Nigeria, who meet in Cairo later Sunday, after he was yellow-carded.

It was the second caution of the knockout phase for the Napoli centre-back and triggered an automatic one-match suspension.

Senegal last reached the title decider 17 years ago, when current coach Aliou Cisse captained a team beaten on penalties by Cameroon in Mali.

Cisse made one change to the team that defeated Benin in the quarter-finals with 20-year-old forward Krepin Diatta replacing Keita Balde.

Tunisia coach Alain Giresse changed two of the side that eliminated Madagascar, promoting Mohamed Drager and Ayman Ben Mohamed and benching Wajdi Kechrida and Ghaylen Chaaleli.

The countries were meeting for the sixth time in the Cup of Nations with each winning one match and the other three drawn.

– Clearcut chance –
Tunisia had the first clearcut chance at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital, but unmarked captain Youssef Msakni headed a corner well over.

Senegal then took control and had three opportunities before half-time to end the deadlock and edge closer to the July 19 final.

Youssouf Sabaly unleashed a curling shot from the edge of the box that beat Mouez but cannoned back into play off the woodwork on 26 minutes.

Then, in a 60-second purple patch, Mbaye Niang and Liverpool star Sadio Mane were unable to convert chances before a small crowd.

Niang swivelled inside the box only to fire well wide and Mane rounded Hassen but his shot from an acute angle finished well off target.

Giresse took off Msakni at half-time and introduced Naim Sliti, scorer of the stoppage-time goal that sealed a convincing last-eight win over giantkillers Madagascar.

Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis, a virtual spectator in the opening half, reacted quickly early in the second half to push away a Sassi snap shot.

Attackers Niang and Diatta were having little success and came off with Mbaye Diagne and Ismaila Sarr replacing them as an intriguing semi-final entered the final quarter.

The Sassi penalty was weak, allowing Gomis to save comfortably, while Hassen made a brilliant one-hand block to foil a powerfully struck spot-kick by Saivet.

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Mahrez stunner sends Algeria into Africa Cup of Nations final

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Riyad Mahrez rifled in a stoppage-time free-kick to earn Algeria a dramatic 2-1 victory over three-time champions Nigeria on Sunday and set up a rematch with Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Algeria led through a first-half own goal by William Troost-Ekong before Nigeria equalized with an Odion Ighalo penalty awarded after a VAR review.

However, as extra time looked necessary, Mahrez blasted in from 20 yards with the last kick of the match to send the Desert Foxes through to their first final since lifting the trophy for the only time in 1990.

Algeria will take on Sadio Mane’s Senegal for the title on July 19, in a repeat of a group stage clash they won 1-0.

An injury to Youcef Atal, who fractured his collarbone during the quarter-final win over Ivory Coast on penalties, forced Djamel Belmadi to start Mehdi Zeffane at right-back, while Nigeria fielded the same team that overcame South Africa here.

Algeria supporters filled most of the lower tier at one end of the ground, dwarfing a small section of Nigeria fans, but there were large swathes of empty seats at the 75,000-capacity Cairo International Stadium.

Leading scorers in the tournament and considered the most impressive side, Algeria quickly asserted themselves as Ramy Bensebaini headed narrowly over before a wicked Youcef Belaili cross nearly lead to a goal for Baghdad Bounedjah.

Hesitant defending from Kenneth Omeruo just outside his own area then allowed Bounedjah to nip in, but the Al-Sadd striker could only shoot tamely at Daniel Akpeyi.

Seemingly having moved on from the penalty miss that reduced him to tears in the last round, Bounedjah was consistently proving a nuisance to a nervy Nigeria backline with Jamilu Collins relieved to see a toed clearance land on the roof of the net.

Nigeria countered intermittently as Ighalo dragged wide after Mahrez was caught in possession, but the Manchester City winger promptly atoned as Algeria made the breakthrough on 40 minutes.

After gathering the ball on the right Mahrez danced past Collins before sending over a cross that flicked off the left-back and struck a helpless Troost-Ekong in the midriff before tricking over the line.

Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr has praised his side’s resilience, particularly the way they bounced back from a shock loss to Madagascar to eliminate defending champions Cameroon, and Nigeria again hit back with the aid of VAR.

Gambian referee Bakary Gassama initially dismissed Nigerian penalty appeals when a Peter Etebo shot struck the arm of Aissa Mandi but reserved that decision, with Ighalo sending Rais Mbohli the wrong way from the spot for his competition-best fourth goal.

Sofiane Feghouli blazed over late on and extra time beckoned after Ismael Bennacer rattled the bar in stoppage time, but Mahrez won it at the death with a thunderous strike into the top corner.

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Djokovic defeats Federer to claim fifth Wimbledon title

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Novak Djokovic saved two match points to clinch a fifth Wimbledon title and 16th major on Sunday, shattering Roger Federer’s bid to become the oldest Grand Slam champion in the longest final ever played at the tournament.

Despite being outplayed by the 37-year-old Swiss for large parts of the knife-edge encounter, the world number one triumphed 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 13-12 (7/3).

At 4 hours and 57 minutes, it was the longest Wimbledon final ever played and settled by a final set tiebreak for the first time.

Djokovic is the first man in 71 years to win the title from match points down. He is now level with Bjorn Borg as a five-time Wimbledon winner.

“I think that if this is not the most exciting final then definitely it’s in the top two or three of my career against one of the greatest players of all time, Roger, who I respect,” said Djokovic.

“Unfortunately in this type of match, someone has to lose. It is quite unreal to be two match points down to come back and strange to play a tie-break at 12-12.”

Djokovic is just four Grand Slam titles shy of the all-time record held by Federer who is more than five years older.

It was incredibly tough on Federer, chasing a ninth Wimbledon crown, who didn’t face a breakpoint until the eighth game of the fourth set.

He even had two match points in the 16th game of the deciding set which lasted over two hours.

“It was long and it had everything. I had answers, so did he and we played some great tennis,” said Federer.

“I hope I give some other people at 37 the feeling it is not over yet.”

Djokovic’s win meant that the ‘Big Three’ of men’s tennis — himself, Federer and Rafael Nadal — have won the last 11 Slams.

He has now won nine of his last 11 clashes against Federer and three of their four Wimbledon meetings.

With William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge looking on from the Royal Box, Federer carved out the only break point of the opening set.

But Djokovic saved it and with serve dominating, the set was decided by the tiebreak.

Two match points saved
The top seed was 3-1 up, then Federer inched to 5-3 before Djokovic swept the next four points.

At 58 minutes, it was two minutes longer than the women’s final on Saturday.

Djokovic, however, then went completely off the boil, losing his footing as he was broken in the first game of the second set.

Federer broke twice again and after just 25 more minutes the final was all-square with Djokovic managing just two winners in the set.

Federer was comfortably on top in the third set, flashing winners from all parts of the court but was unable to convert a set point in the 10th game.

Djokovic made him pay. Despite not managing a single breakpoint in the match, he pounced again in the tiebreak to reclaim the lead.

Federer wasn’t finished. Back came the veteran with a double break for 5-2.

Djokovic then carved out his first breakpoints of the match in the eighth game.

The first was saved after a breathtaking 35-shot rally before the Serb finally broke for the first time.

It was too little, too late, however, as Federer deservedly leveled the final.

Into a tense finale, Federer saved three break points in the fourth game but a drilled, backhand passing shot gave Djokovic the break in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead.

The world number one couldn’t back it up and Federer had Centre Court on their feet when he restored parity in the next game.

Despite twice being just two points from defeat, Federer broke for 8-7 but was unable to serve out for the match.

As the clock ticked past the previous longest final of 4 hours and 48 minutes it took Nadal to beat Federer in 2008 final, the match was decided by the first 12-12 tiebreak in a singles match at the tournament.

Djokovic prevailed, moving to three championship points and claiming victory when Federer shanked a return wide. Federer finished with 25 aces and 94 winners to Djokovic 10 aces and 54 winners.

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