Southern Europe – Michmutters

Premier League, Chelsea transfers, rumor mill, transfer flops, Fernando Torres, Timo Werner, number nine jersey curse, Romelu Lukaku

Heavy spenders Chelsea have already been busy during the transfer window, and are almost certainly not finished despite spending €186.59m ($A270m) so far.

According to reports, the club are reportedly prepared to sign both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, ​​as well as Wesley Fofana from Leicester.

Chelsea have already signed Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Gabriel Slonina, Carney Chukwuemeka and Marc Cucurella in their squad overhaul.

World-class striker Aubameyang, a former club captain of London rivals Arsenal, would represent the latest in a long line of superstar strikers to have joined Stamford Bridge – although many have struggled to make their mark.

Indeed, Chelsea’s number nine jersey has been worn by so many flops in recent years that coach Thomas Tuchel revealed that no-one will wear the number this season.

“It’s cursed, it’s cursed, people tell me it’s cursed … nobody wants to touch the No 9,” he said.

But it’s not just the number nine jersey that has been a curse at Chelsea. Dating back to the end of the last century, many of Chelsea’s big-name attacking signings have failed to make their mark.

Here are some of the great Blues flops of the modern era.

Watch the world’s best footballers every week with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. LIVE coverage from Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Carabao Cup, EFL & SPFL. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >


Transfer fee: £10m ($17m AUD) from Blackburn in 1999

Playing record: One goal in 28 Premier League games

Chelsea reached deep into their pockets to lure Sutton to Stamford Bridge from relegation stricken Blackburn, for what was then a club record fee.

The striker had signed from the Rovers, where he starred alongside Premier League icon Alan Shearer, after they placed second-last in the 1998-99 season.

Haaland scores twice in EPL debut! | 01:07

But the former England international had a forgettable debut campaign with the Blues, scoring just one goal from his 28 Premier League appearances.

Sutton’s sole contribution on the scoresheet came in a 5-0 thrashing of English giants Manchester United, which was a highlight in an otherwise quiet tenure in London.

His season went from bad to worse when he failed to make Chelsea’s bench for the 2000 FA Cup Final against Aston Villa, which the Blues won 1-0.

Sutton was a one season flop at Chelsea, though, after securing a transfer to Scottish giants Celtic.


Transfer fees: €22.5m ($32m AUD) from Parma in 2003

Playing record: 10 goals from 38 games

Mutu began his Chelsea career in fine form, scoring four goals from his first three appearances for the giants of English football.

Playing in front of new fans for the first time, the Romanian scored the winning goal on his club debut against Leicester City.

But drama ensued as his relationship with Jose Mourinho reportedly reached its boiling point, with Mutu facing backlash from his manager after he claimed to be injured.

Chelsea later fired the striker after he tested positive for cocaine use in 2004, and was suspended for seven months.

Although he was not at the London club anymore, Mutu failed another anti-doping test in January of 2010, as reported by the Guardian.

Mutu, who also wore the number seven jersey at Chelsea, was handed a nine-month ban for that incident.

Boyle sends Hibs into Bedlam with a goal! | 01:24


Transfer fees: €43.9m ($63m AUD) from Milan in 2006

Playing record: Nine goals from 48 Premier League games

Chelsea splashed the cash once again to sign Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko, who became the biggest signing in English football at the time.

Shevchenko, who was 30-year-old when he moved to London from Milan, was handed the number seven jersey under decorated coach Jose Mourinho.

But he failed to live up to the hype, scoring just 14 goals from 51 games during his first season with the famous London club.

Andriy Shevchenko had a forgettable spell with Chelsea.
Andriy Shevchenko had a forgettable spell with Chelsea.Source: AP

Shevchenko was loaned out to AC Milan, the club he’d signed from, during the 2008/09 season after failing to hit his stride at Stamford Bridge.

As reported by The Guardian, manager Carlo Ancelotti believed that Shevchenko was the fourth best striker at the club, just three years after he secured his record transfer.

Shevchenko was left out of Chelsea’s squad for the 2009/10 Champions League, and later returned to Dynamo Kyiv.


Transfer fees: £50m ($85m AUD) from Liverpool in 2011

Playing record: 20 goals in 110 Premier League games for Chelsea

Fernando Torres rose to footballing stardom during a successful stint at Liverpool, where he truly embodied the phrase ‘human highlight reel’.

Torres had already made his name in Spain, after being handed the Atletico Madrid captaincy at just 19 years of age.

The Spaniard left Madrid for Liverpool, although he’d return to the club at the back end of his career, and quickly proved himself to be one of the most exciting players in England.

Fernando Torres struggled to find some form after completing his move to Stamford Bridge. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

But drama struck early in 2011, as Torres completed a sensational transfer to Premier League rivals Chelsea.

The Blues again broke the British transfer record for a reported fee of £50 million, as the striker completed a mid-season move sent shockwaves throughout the league.

Hollywood couldn’t have scripted it better, though, as Torres made his club debut for Chelsea after Liverpool.

The Blues lost that 1-0 and maybe it was a sign of things to come, as Torres went on to score just 20 goals in 110 Premier League appearances for Chelsea.

But while he failed to fire, these big money moves are all about making an impact when it counts, and Torres did that in the biggest competition that world football has to offer.

While he was far from an overwhelming success at Stamford Bridge, Torres did score a game sealing goal against Barcelona in a Champions League semi-final.

Chelsea went on to win their first ever Champions League crown in the 2011-12 campaign, beating German powerhouse Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties.


Transfer fee: £11m ($18m AUD) from Basel in 2014

Playing record: Two goals from 13 games

Mohamed Salah has cemented his legacy as a Premier League legend after a stellar career with Liverpool, but his career in England wasn’t always so successful.

The ‘Egyptian King’ made just 19 appearances for Chelsea, before he was loaned out to Fiorentina just 13-months after moving to London.

Klopp laments ‘really bad’ Liverpool | 03:00

Salah’s two best Premier League games in Blue came in a 6-0 win over rivals Arsenal, where he scored, as well as a promising showing against Stoke.

Salah was later loaned out to Roma, before securing a permanent move to the Italian capital soon after.

But the scintillating winger really took his career to the next Liverpool after he secured a well-known transfer to Liverpool.

Not only has Salah tasted success in both the Champions League and Premier League with the Merseyside club, but he’s widely considered to be one of the best footballers on the planet.

In fact he’s become so popular, the Economist revealed that more than one million Egyptians spoiled their ballots by trying to vote for Salah during the presidential election in 2018.

With many noteworthy individual accolades on the football field to speak of as well, Salah is certainly another gem that Chelsea failed to cherish when they had the chance.


Transfer fees: Around £60m ($103m AUD) from Real Madrid in 2017

Playing record: 24 goals from about 72 games

After impressive spells with European giants Juventus and Real Madrid, Morata was brought into the club as a replacement for Diego Costa.

Costa, who won two Premier League titles and scored 59 goals for Chelsea, returned to Atletico Madrid after being told he was free to look elsewhere.

Morata was another striker who had the weight of the world on his shoulders when he moved to Stamford Bridge, due to the hype surrounding his arrival.

But the Spaniard failed to make an impression on the scoresheet, scoring just 15 goals in his 48 games.

After initially signing for the club on a five year deal, Morata was eventually loaned out to Atletico Madrid on an 18-month deal.

Atletico signed him on a permanent deal later, although he was loaned out to Juventus soon after in September, 2020.


Transfer fees: €60m ($87m AUD) from RB Leipzig in 2020

playing record 23 goals in 89 appearances

Werner was one of the hottest properties on the football transfer market as European giants came looking to sign the star striker after an incredible spell at RB Leipzig.

During his four years at the German club, Werner scored 90 goals and had 40 assists from 156 competitive games.

Liverpool were also believed to be in the hunt for his signature, before he completed an expensive move to Chelsea on a five-year deal.

But the German quickly fell out of favor at Chelsea, having scored just 23 goals in 89 appearances.

With Chelsea reportedly looking to sign some strikers in the ongoing transfer window, the 26-year-old left the club and returned to RB Leipzig.


Transfer fees: £97.5m ($167m AUD) from Inter Milan in 2021

Playing record: 15 goals in all competitions from 44 games

Belgian Romelu Lukaku may have had a fairly expensive price tag to his name last year, but that didn’t stop Chelsea from making another mind-blowing investment in their future.

Once again, the Blues broke their transfer record to sign the striker from Italian giants Inter Milan.

Romelu Lukaku was a marquee signing for Chelsea, but he failed to make his mark on the scoresheet. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

With their Champions League glory still fresh in the minds of football fans, Chelsea managed to lure the powerful striker back to Stamford Bridge on an incredible transfer.

Despite their European success, Chelsea had come fourth in the Premier League the year before, but this signing was widely considered to be a difference maker.

Many believed that Lukaku could fire for the Blues after a previous stint at the club earlier in his career, before more well-known and successful stints with the likes of Everton and Manchester United.

But it was a disastrous return to the Premier League for Lukaku, who scored just eight goals before completing a loan move back to Inter Milan – and leaving the number nine jersey vacant.



Manchester United results, UK media reaction to defeat to Brentford, Cristiano Ronaldo, Erik Ten Hag, Liverpool

Manchester United slumped to a 30-year low as their shocking start to their Premier League campaign continued, proving again when it rains it really does pour.

And monsoon season might be rolling in at Old Trafford ahead of a crunch clash with fierce rivals Liverpool next week.

After losing their opening match of the season at home against Brighton, United were heavily favored to bounce back against Brentford on Sunday morning (AEST).

Watch the world’s best footballers every week with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. LIVE coverage from Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Carabao Cup, EFL & SPFL. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

PL wrap: Mixed results for ‘Top 6’ teams | 03:06

But disaster struck, with a goalkeeping howler from David de Gea allowing the Bees to strike first in what would become a 4-0 first-half riot at the Gtech Community Stadium.

It’s safe to say few saw that coming.

Manager Erik ten Hag, much like the rest of the world, was left stunned as the halftime whistle marked both a moment of reprieve and realization for the Red Devils.

The damage had already been done by that point, though, as a scoreless second period saw United languish at the bottom of the Premier League table for the first time in 30 years.

This is also the first time since 1936 United have lost seven straight away league games, while Brentford recorded the biggest win in the top division since 1938.

Premier League greats Gary Neville and Jamie Redknapp reached their boiling points after the abysmal display, as the extent of the defeat added more chaos to the existing drama the club.

“At this moment in time, it’s really desperate. There’s no leadership, there’s no voice, you can’t blame the individual player or the manager, you’ve got to look above and look to the very top,” Neville said on SkySports.

“This week, they’re going to get peppered those players, the coach, the sporting department, the new CO – they’re all going to get peppered. But there’s a family over there in America who are just literally letting their employees take all the hits for them – and that is unforgivable.”

Frustration, shock and disappointment was felt across the country with many of the UK’s leading football scribes weighing in on the reality facing the English giants – if they’re still worthy of that moniker.


Klopp rages as Liverpool cop HUGE scare; Spurs’ statement in crushing win: PL Wrap

‘The team we want to be’: Ange ecstatic as Hoops show spirit with last-gasp winner

TRANSFERS: Chelsea lands fifth player in $300m spree; star joins rooney

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was at the wheel for the Red Devils until he very much wasn’t, as a poor run of form saw the former United star fired.

Louis van Gaal and David Moyes, another two managers who promised so much before they were sacked, still hadn’t sunk as low as Erik ten Hag after just two matches in charge.

Ten Hag is the first United manager to lose his first two league games since John Chapman in 1921.

Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton told the BBC United have “hit rock bottom”, while Sky Sports pundit Karen Carney believes that the club “can’t get any lower”.

Premier League legend Alan Shearer believes that issues have been festering for years at the famous club.

Shearer added that the Red Devils are currently “miles away” from the level that they should be playing at — and even suggested recent speculation about a shock move for 33-year-old striker Marko Arnautović may have been an inside job.

“I’m convinced that someone from Man United’s leaked the story linking them with (Marko) Arnautovic, just to see what the reaction was,” Shearer said on Match of the Day.

“I think that sort of sums up where United are.

“A man’s game” Souness comments torched | 00:32

“They’re in a mess and it’s going to take time, an unbelievable amount of money to get things right inside the football club and in terms of the right recruitment and it’s going to take a lot of patience from the Manchester United fans because of where they are now to where they want to be – miles away.”

The Telegraph’s Jim White didn’t mince his words as he provided his analysis of United’s “humiliation”, saying that it was the worst performance he’s ever seen by the club.

“Having watched Manchester United for over 50 years, this performance against Brentford is without question the worst I have ever seen them deliver,” White wrote.

“The grim times of Dave Sexton, the misery of the David Moyes era, the negativity of Louis van Gaal, all looked like halcyon days compared to this performance.

“No joy, no coherence, no spirit: this was a team in name only, delivering the kind of performance that Frenkie de Jong would have had on the phone to his agent with instructions to quickly follow up any interest from Chelsea.

“Mistakes happen. But it was the response to that setback that spoke so damagingly of what is going on at Old Trafford. Instead of launching the kind of fight back that once characterized the club, United folded.

“Everywhere they looked hapless, hopeless and haunted.”

Goalkeeper David de Gea, who was once considered to be one of the best players in the world in his position, had an outing to forget in what is becoming a key issue for the club.

Two mistakes from goalkeeper David de Gea saw Manchester United trail 2-0 to Brentford early in their clash on Sunday (AEST).  (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Two mistakes from goalkeeper David de Gea saw Manchester United trail 2-0 to Brentford early in their clash on Sunday (AEST). (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

The Guardian’s Jonathan Wilson said that while de Gea was still an “excellent shot-stopper”, that his inability to play with the ball at his feet was an issue.

“Can you play out from the back with De Gea? De Gea remains, despite Saturday’s howler, an excellent shot-stopper, which is why last season he was named United’s player of the year for the fourth time,” Wilson wrote.

“But there is a reason he has not played for Spain since October 2020 and why he has apparently fallen behind Brentford’s David Raya in the pecking order.

“He is simply not comfortable on the ball. Last season he completed just 71.3% of his passes. By comparison, Ederson completed 88.1% and Alisson 87.1%.

“While it’s true that’s partly because De Gea was encouraged to play more longer balls, it’s also true that one of the reasons United played more longer balls is De Gea.

Man U HOWLERS gift Brentford goals! | 01:17

“This is a major problem for United: De Gea is one of the few United players who has performed consistently in recent years and yet those struggles with the ball at his feet make it very hard for them to switch to a modern style.

“That, perhaps, is the most disconcerting thing for United. This is supposed to be ten Hag’s honeymoon period, but already he looks in danger of being overwhelmed by just how shambolic the club is … And they’ve got Liverpool next.”

The Athletic’s Adam Crafton said “each week manages to conjure a new sense of stupefying shock” when it came to United, with their fans ruthlessly mocked at half-time.

“At halftime, Brentford, who had not beaten Manchester United since 1938, led their opponents. And this was more than a lead. This was 4-0 and deservedly so,” Crafton wrote.

“There was, in the press box, almost a numbing madness to it all. Brentford’s supporters, too, stared at one another, open-mouthed.

“They taunted their United opponents, telling them they’d be ‘going down with the Fulham’. Fulham, on two points after two games compared to United’s zero, may be offended by the comparison.”

The Red Devils appear to be at a crossroads after failing to sign Arnautovic, as well as other players during the English summer.

Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford for what feels like forever, although Chelsea have since emerged as another potential destination.

According to the BBC, United have spent £672 million ($1.14 billion AUD) since winning their last major trophy in 2017, which was the Europa League.

So far during the transfer window, United have signed Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez.

Club great Rio Ferdinand said that he feels “sorry” for ten Hag after an uneventful transfer window has so far failed to add key players to a struggling squad.

“I don’t feel sorry for the players, I feel sorry for ten Hag,” Ferdinand told the Vibe with Five podcast.

“He’s coming under false pretenses. He’s coming expected new signings.

Wonder goals galore as Celtic slot 5! | 01:00

“He’s probably sitting there thinking, ‘I’ve been sold a dummy here. I didn’t know I was coming into this’.

“This is an indefensible situation right now because it’s so bad, it’s terrible.

“I mean, we’re only two games in, but we’re two games in on the back of what happened last season as well by the way.

“I wouldn’t blame ten Hag right now. You can pick at his team selection or whatever but this is a bigger problem, a wider problem.”

Midfielder Bruno Fernandes, meanwhile, has been accused of getting “away with murder” on the football field by a former Premier League striker.

Gabby Agbonlahor blasted the Portuguese star on the well-known British radio station talkSPORT.

“For me, Fernandes, since he’s been in the Premier League, yes he’s had great stats, goal scoring and assists but he looks like the worst teammate,” Agbonlagor said.

“Every time a player gives it away, every time he gives it away, he throws his arms up at his teammates, he throws his arms up at the bench.

“I’ve played with players like him, you’d be smoking at him. He’ll press now and then. If that was Paul Pogba they would be slaughtering Pogba in the media.

“Fernandes gets away with murder. Did you see Fernandes do anything? It’s easy to say (Harry) Maguire, (Cristiano) Ronaldo, (Marcus) Rashford, (Jadon) Sancho.”

The Red Devils failed to qualify for this year’s Champions League after finishing sixth in the 2021/22 Premier League season – 35 points behind champions Manchester City.

While they appear set to sign Adrien Rabiot from Juventus, French journalist Julien Laurens also slammed United’s transfer strategy.

“They are not helping themselves,” Laurens told BBC Radio 5 Live’s EuroLeagues podcast.

“The non-existence of a transfer strategy, not just now but since Fergie (Sir Alex Ferguson) left, is not just baffling, it’s outrageous.”

The club have reached a new low as a non-league side threw a jab, literally laughing in the wake of United’s horror loss.

Oldham Athletic’s chairman Frank Rothwell was interviewed after his side’s 3-2 win over Dorking Wanderers, where he made the most of his chance to have a dig.

“Do you know what’s happening to United?” Rothwell said, before he reportedly began to laugh.

Manchester United face rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford on Tuesday week and when it comes to their future



Football news 2022, Socceroos, World Cup Qatar, Aaron Mooy Celtic, Tyrese Francois, Fulham, EPL results, transfers, Ajdin Hrustic

Socceroos star Ajdin Hrustic appears destined for a late transfer after being exiled at German club Eintracht Frankfurt.

Hrustic played 38 times for the German first-tier side over the past two seasons – mostly off the bench – culminating in scoring a penalty in a shootout win over Rangers in the Europa League final.

But the playmaker has been entirely left out of Frankfurt’s match-day squads for the opening three matches of the season, including their UEFA Super Cup clash with Real Madrid.

Watch the world’s best footballers every week with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. LIVE coverage from Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Carabao Cup, EFL & SPFL. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

Tuchel & Conte see red in feisty derby | 00:42



Ange hails ‘first rate’ Celtic as Hoops run riot in five-goal thrashing

‘It’s ridiculous’: PL thriller ends in chaos as Spurs, Chelsea bosses SENT OFF over fiery handshake

‘Get in the bin’: Football legend called out after ‘disgraceful’ comment sparks sexism row

Reports from Spain claim Real Betis – which finished fifth in La Liga last year – is interested in his signature, having previously considered a move for the classy 26-year-old in the last transfer window.

Serie A battler Salernitana are also rumored to be interested in signing the Aussie, whose priority is gaining match minutes ahead of the World Cup, in which he should play a key role for the Socceroos.

Salernitana narrowly avoided bankruptcy as well as relegation last campaign, presenting a high-risk option for the Australian.


It might have been brief, but Australia has a Premier League player once more. Young Tyrese Francois came off the bench for Fulham in stoppage time of their 0-0 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

A Fulham Academy player, Francois previously managed one Premier League appearance when Fulham were last in the top flight in 2020-21.

Having just turned 22, Francois has reportedly signed a new two-year deal with an option in the club’s favor for a third season.

The Olyroos star will be hoping for more minutes in coming rounds to build his case for a shock World Cup call-up.


Veteran midfielder Aaron Mooy is showing promising signs at Celtic. He has now appeared off the bench in all three of the Scottish giant’s league matches so far this season, but having been given just eight minutes then five minutes in the first two rounds, the Australian played 24 minutes in a 5-0 win over Kilmarnock FC. The win took Ange Postecoglou’s men top of the table on goal difference.

Also in Scotland, Aziz Behich made his Scottish Premiership debut, starting and playing the full 90 at left back for Dundee United. Kye Rowles also played the full match for Dundee United at centre-half in a crushing 4-1 win. Meanwhile Martin Boyle came off the bench for Hibernian at halftime in a 2-1 defeat.

In Spain, Awer Mabil made his debut for Cadiz CF in a 1-0 loss to Real Sociedad – the team that Mat Ryan recently departed. Mabil played the second half off the bench but could not find the all-important equalizer.

Over in Japan, Mitch Duke played 61 minutes for Fagiano Okayama in the second tier in a 3-2 win over Renofa Yamaguchi, the victory taking their unbeaten streak to seven games.

“A man’s game” Souness comments torched | 00:32



David Popovici breaks 100m freestyle world record, age, who is he, European Championships, latest, updates

As David Popovici has accelerated past his older rivals in the pool this summer, it seemed inevitable that the skinny 17-year-old would threaten world records, the only surprise when he broke the 100m freestyle mark in Rome on Saturday was that he got so quick so fast

On Friday, the Romanian had become only the fourth man in history to swim under 47sec as he set a European record to win his semi-final at the European Championships in Rome.

Stream Over 50 Sports Live & On-Demand with Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

That was more than half a second faster than his gold-medal time at the World Championships in June.

On Saturday, he was even quicker, swimming 46.86sec to slice 0.05sec off the record set by Brazilian Cesar Cielo in the 2009 World Championships, also in Rome, in the era of buoyant body suits.

“Yesterday I said that the European record was just one step in the right direction – and I was right. There was no rush and I had to be extremely patient about the world record, ”he said after his victory about him.

In the World Championships in Budapest, Popovici outpaced Caeleb Dressel, who had swum the fastest 100m in a textile suit, in the heats.

The Olympic champion withdrew from the competition before the semis.

Romania’s David Popovici set a new world record in the men’s 100m freestyle. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)Source: AFP

“It’s nice being able to say that I am the fastest to ever do it and it’s a good thing to know I clashed with all of the titans of this race.”

His coach, Adrian Radulescu said that he was too surprised by the speed of Popovici’s progress.

“It’s amazing that it is happening so early,” said Radulescu, just 32.

Asked on Thursday what makes him successful, Popovici acknowledged that success comes at a price.

“When Erling Haaland, a football player, was asked the same question, he replied ‘hard work’ So, it’s just really a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice and it all comes down to the question of how badly do you want Item; and I really do want it, badly!”

“What are you willing to do that others aren’t? This includes living a completely different lifestyle.”

This summer, Popovici has dominated the World Championships and the European Junior Championships in his home town, Bucharest.

After Rome he plans to head to the world junior championships in Lima

“Really, all I want to get out of this meet and out of world juniors in Peru is simply having fun. The medals, the records, everything, the good times are simply a bonus. If we manage to have fun, that’s very satisfying,” he said.

Not everyone might share his idea of ​​fun.

“Everything in sports is fun. Getting extremely tired and then wanting to vomit,” he said.

“Having all sorts of lactate problems… that’s fine. It’s not fun at the time but after half an hour you don’t want to kill yourself anymore and you feel as if its all worth it.”

Popovici was nine when he joined the swimming club where Radulescu coaches.

Popovici is just 17 years of age. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)Source: AFP

“He wasn’t the easiest to train, he was mostly looking for fun, to skip his turn… But there was something special about him, he was very competitive.”

“He must have been ten years old, we were organizing a competition for swimmers of the same age,” recalled the coach.

“A 25-meter swim and the last one was eliminated… Each time, David finished second last. Ahead of him, they wanted to prove that they were good, they got tired. In the final race, the other survivor was so tired, David won.”

Popovici is unusually thin for a top swimmer.

“David has a keen sense of water,” said Radulescu.

“It’s not about how much force you can generate, but how you can put it into the speed you develop. So, yes, he is very thin, but he has enough strength to swim at higher speeds.”

But, added, the coach, Popovici’s physique will change.

“He’ll be 18 in September, his body will grow, evolve to a man’s size. It’s a challenge… to get the right balance between strength and efficiency.”

Popovici already has a nickname: ‘The Magician’.

“I was passionate about magic when I was younger, the card tricks and illusions and stuff but not anymore. It was a little hobby before swimming,” I explained.

“But yes, some people have called me The Magician because of what I do in the pool but again, I don’t think it represents me. I like to think of myself as a simple guy who just swims fast.”



Teen sensation David Popovici stuns swimming with recordbreaking 100m freestyle at European Championships, video

World swimming has another bona fide superstar on its hands.

Teenage sensation David Popovici continued his breakout season at the European Swimming Championships on Saturday (AEST), posting a sizzling time in the 100m freestyle semi-finals.

The 17-year-old touched the wall in 46.98 seconds, setting a new European record and breaking his own world junior record.

Stream Over 50 Sports Live & On-Demand with Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

He won his heat easily, finishing over a second ahead of Italian Lorenzo Zazzeri, while only two other swimmers, Kristof Milak and Alessandro Miressi, managed to go under 48 seconds.

Popovici became just the fourth swimmer ever to dip under the 47-second barrier, after world record holder Cesar Cielo (46.91), Alain Bernard (46.94) and Caeleb Dressel (46.96).

Bernard is still the fastest European ever but his time was not ratified by FINA in 2009 because it was swam in a non-approved suit.

Swimming fans were blown away by Popovici’s scintillating effort in Rome.

The Romanian, who goes by @chlorinedaddy on Instagram, is expected to threaten the world record again in the final, which he goes into as the raging favourite.

“It’s a fine route to the final and a step towards the right direction,” an understated Popovici said after the semi-final.

“It feels normal for me to go step-by-step and keep improving my time.”

Popovici has taken the swimming world by storm since emerging onto the scene with solid results at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

And in June, he became the first man to win the 100m and 200m freestyle double at the World Championships in nearly 50 years.

He dominated the 200m freestyle final and claimed gold in the 100m final in the absence of Kyle Chalmers and Dressel.

Earlier this year he also won three European junior titles in his home town of Bucharest.

In other events, Italian world champion Nicolo Martinenghi won the 100m breaststroke.

Martinenghi was a double gold winner at the Budapest worlds and got the home crowd roaring in Rome with a time of 58.26sec in his final, beating countryman Federico Poggio by 0.72sec.

Andrius Sidlauskas took the bronze for Lithuania.

Margherita Panziera won the 200m backstroke, Thomas Ceccon claimed the honors in the 50m butterfly and Simona Quadarella won European gold in the 800m freestyle for the third straight time.

With AFP



UK grandmother, 91, looks 20 years younger when in a bikini

A great grandmother aged 91 gets chatted up by men 20 years younger when in a bikini.

And Joan Richmond-Woodhouse says her envied beach body look comes despite her love of meat pies and pub grub, The Sun reports.

The mum of eight and grandma of 18 says she is regularly mistaken for a woman in her 70s when sunbathing.

“I don’t know how to behave as a 91-year-old — I just act the same as I did when I was 21,” she said.

“I’ve always looked young and people are always shocked when I tell them my age as I don’t look, talk or act like I am 91.

“I love wearing a bikini and going to the beach with my granddaughter.”

Granddaughter Lydia, 27, a beauty ambassador, said, “It’s mad people 20 years younger try and chat her up.

“They don’t believe us when we tell them her real age — she doesn’t age.

“I hope when I’m older I’m like my grandma and inherit her genes and look as good as she does at her age.

“I really hope to have her luck. Lots of members of our family get complimented on our youthful looks and it’s almost like we get to a certain age then we age backwards.”

Retired dressmaker Joan, of Blackburn, now spends most of her time with boyfriend David Winder, 84, on Spain’s Costa Calida.

“I don’t do anything special to stay young,” she said.

“I love pies and English grub so I’ve stuck to eating that. I love a meat pie.

“I always go for a carvery every Sunday. I don’t follow any silly diets.

“I just eat what I want and what makes me happy. I just love English food — especially pub grub.”

Joan — who lost her retired solicitor hubby Trevor Woodhouse — swears by a Nivea cream, which she has used since she was 16 and she moisturizes her whole body once a week.

She also loves clothes and likes to dress glamorously.

“I’ve never put any weight on,” she added.

“I think that must be my secret to my young looks.

“That and I just love life and have never had the mindset of being old.

“Age is just a number. I keep young by staying positive and eating what I want. It works for me.”

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission



Kmart budget dupe for $1900 vintage Italian Murano lamp

Excited shoppers are racing to Kmart to get their hands on a table lamp that looks identical to its $1900 designer dupe.

TikTok was sent into a frenzy after a shopper posted a video of her buying the Amelie table lamp, which costs just $35.

People in the comments were quick to point out the lamp’s likeness to the highly sought-after vintage Murano lamp, which can be sold for upwards of $1900 on collector sites.

These original Italian made lamps were popular in the 1970s and are harder to come by in modern times, hence their hefty price tag.

The originals are made of glass in Venice with a soda-lime metal and are usually elaborately decorated, with various glass-forming techniques, as well as gilding, enamel, or engraving.

“The infamous Kmart light and it lives up to the hype,” TikTok user Shani Dayna captioned her video.

In the short clip, she excitedly unboxes the lamp and decides to put in a colour-changing light globe to create a unique ambience.

“I have one too! It’s such a vibe,” commented one. “It’s a replica of the vintage Murano ones.”

“Oh my god I’m running to Kmart to get this tomorrow,” another commented. “It’s so pretty! I need.”

This is not the first time Kmart has whipped up a frenzy by selling dupes for expensive items.

An influencer excited her followers earlier this year when she discovered a cheap puffer jacket that was a “perfect dupe” of a $400 version.

Melbourne woman Georgia Clay shared the stylish outerwear with her 40.2k followers on the platform, with many remarking the $40 piece was a perfect dupe for the likes of those from the North Face, at just 10 per cent of the cost.

The style – which launched as part of the retailer’s Autumn/Winter collection – “has quickly become a popular choice among customers”, a Kmart spokeswoman told

Cooks across the country were also excited after getting their hands on a budget version of the iconic Le Creuset cast iron pot.

The pot, which is available in different colours, sent Aussies into a frenzy online – as did the $30 price tag, considering similar Le Creuset casserole dishes can set you back up to $450.

Read related topics:KmartTikTok



Premier League news, lineups, fixtures, Chelsea vs Tottenham, team news, Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo, start time, scores

A thrilling opening weekend saw the Premier League return with a bang. Liverpool and Manchester United were stunned, Spurs claimed a statement victory, while Erling Haaland made his mark for Manchester City.

Now attention turns to Matchday 2. Erik ten Hag faces a huge call over Cristiano Ronaldo as the Red Devils seek to get their season off and running, while Spurs visit Stamford Bridge in the first big-six blockbuster.

Here are the big storylines to watch out for this weekend.

Watch the world’s best footballers every week with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. LIVE coverage from Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Carabao Cup, EFL & SPFL. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

Reds star savaged over ‘atrocious’ brainfade; Spurs find missing piece of puzzle: PL Talking Pts

Ten Hag booed after United’s horror loss | 01:18


Manchester United finished last season by losing their final six away games – a nightmare streak that ruined any hope of Champions League football. It was their worst run of road losses since March 1981 – but defeat at Brentford this weekend would make it their worst run since all the way back in 1936, when they lost ten on the trot away from Old Trafford.

But is it a serious prospect against a relative minnow in the Bees? Well, history hasn’t helped United much to start this season – their defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion last week was their first-ever loss at home to the Seagulls.

Christian Eriksen starred for the Bees last season, winning 7 of his 11 games on the park, but struggled in a false nine position for United against Brighton.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival in the second half shifted Eriksen into the midfield, a move which benefited the team immensely.

Whether Erik ten Hag rushes Ronaldo into the starting line-up in search of a maiden Premier League win will be a crucial selection conundrum, especially since the Portuguese legend is still short of fitness.

But after conceding two goals in the first half in the opening week – and it could well have been three if VAR didn’t overrule a penalty early in the second half – ten Hag clearly has just as many problems in defense (especially on set pieces ).

With Brentford adding to their well-earned reputation for fighting out of tricky situations when they fought back for a 2-2 draw against Leicester, this one will likely be battled out until the final whistle sounds. It just might signal more woe for the Red Devils.

‘Feels like a spoof’: Utd wasting millions and going nowhere with ‘simply terrible’ plan

‘Unacceptable situation’: United slammed as giants accused of setting coach up to fail

WRAP: Utd ruined in ‘worst possible start’ as City star sounds ominous $87m warning

Chelsea sell Werner back to RB Leipzig | 01:19


It’s the first big-six clash of the season, and it should be an absolute beauty as Chelsea host Tottenham.

But there’s a heavy weight of history standing in their way: Spurs have won just once in their last 37 matches at Stamford Bridge. No wonder the Blues are favorites for this one, despite their ‘rusty’ 1-0 win over Everton last week – as coach Thomas Tuchel described it.

Spurs, on the other hand, fought back from an early deficit to win 4-1 over Southampton – a result that means they have scored the most Premier League in the 2022 calendar year to date.

Antonio Conte has enjoyed a full pre-season and a big transfer window in Tottenham, and this match will be a true litmus test for just how far they’ve come – and whether they can actually challenge at the pointy end this season.

“I think it’ll be a good test to mark whether they are really in the contest for the title,” former Spurs back Pascal Chimbonda told Sky Sports News.”

Perhaps the biggest key to their improvement is their depth: none of their six signings started against Saints. Some, like Richarlison, could start this time out, while Ivan Perisic might also hope to replace Ryan Sessegnon.

PREDICTED XI: Hugo Lloris; Eric Dier, Ben Davies, Cristian Romero; Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Rodrigo Bentancur, Ivan Perisic, Emerson; Heung-Min Son, Dejan Kulusevski; Harry Kane.

Fulham frustrate Reds as Spurs fly high | 02:59

For Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel hasn’t been fully happy with his transfer window so far despite some big-name arrivals in Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling, and Marc Cucurella.

Koulibaly and Sterling both started and should start again this time out, while Cucurella came off the bench and could depose Ben Chilwell from the starting role. Christian Pulisic’s impressive bench cameo could also see him introduced to the XI.

If they fail to score from open play again, it could just nudge the new owners to push even harder to complete the signings of targets Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona, ​​or Wesley Fofana from Leicester City – having already missed out on Manchester City’s Nathan Ake and Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.

The first heavyweight bout of the season is here, and it could have huge ramifications on the trajectories of two big-six members.

Predicted Chelsea XI: Edouard Mendy; Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kalidou Koulibaly; Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante, Jorgino, Reece James, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz; Raheem Sterling.

Klopp rages as Liverpool cop HUGE scare; Spurs’ statement in crushing win: PL Wrap

Premier League Monday morning wrap | 03:00


Frank Lampard might be a Premier League and England great, but this weekend he meets another man of similar pedigree – his old England teammate Steven Gerrard.

The duo met 34 times during their playing careers, and Lampard had the upper hand with 16 wins compared to Gerrard’s 11. Both will be desperate for victory this weekend in their first-ever managerial meeting.

For Lampard, the biggest worry – among many – is his staggeringly poor defensive record away from home.

In 38 games in charge of Everton and previously Chelsea, his sides conceded 73 goals at an average of 1.92 per 90 minutes. That includes a Blues side that would win the Champions League six months after his departure from him.

There were concerns about Everton’s squad entering this season (having sold star striker Richarlison to balance the books), and those only worsened on opening day when defenders Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina both copped serious injuries.

Everton have since pulled a late signing swoop for Conor Coady and midfielder Amadou Onana (from Wolverhampton on Monday and Lille on Tuesday, in that order), while they added another solid defender in James Tarkowski from Burnley in pre-season.

Magpies overrun Forest, Leeds pip Wolves | 00:55

After Everton lost to Chelsea 1-0 and Gerrard’s Aston Villa lost to promoted Bournemouth 2-0, the pressure is on.

But where will the Toffee goals come from?

Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Andros Townsend are months away from returning, but Lampard welcomes back-up forward Salomon Rondon to the team after suspension.

And the club is reportedly chasing Southampton’s Che Adams to boost their stingy offence, having missed out on Burnley winger Maxwel Cornet who instead joined West Ham.

“We know there is a void in forward areas, we are short in numbers there,” Lampard said amid a difficult pre-season.

Arresting his poor defensive record on the road will be a key priority – but their lack of firepower up front could be just as worrying down the track.

Klopp laments ‘really bad’ Liverpool | 03:00



Barcelona signings, news, debt, how did Barcelona sign players? Spotify sponsorship, Frenkie de Jong latest

Barcelona’s attempts to establish themselves once again as a force in La Liga and the Champions League this season have seen the heavily-indebted Catalans gamble with their future to enable a striking summer spending spree.

A year after being forced to let Lionel Messi go as eye-watering reported debts of 1.35 billion euros (A$1.96 billion) crippled the club, Barcelona have spent 153 million euros (A$222m) on transfer fees alone to strengthen their squad, with Robert Lewandowski the most notable new arrival.

“This is a really exciting season. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to make all the fans happy,” coach Xavi Hernandez said before last weekend’s 6-0 friendly win over Mexican side Pumas UNAM.

“That means winning trophies. That is our main objective.”

Watch the world’s best footballers every week with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. LIVE coverage from Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Carabao Cup, EFL & SPFL. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

Mat Ryan joins FC Copenhagen | 02:10

After three years of struggles, on and off the field, the summer has seen hope return to the Camp Nou, with president Joan Laporta talking of an exciting “new era” when the club unveiled Lewandowski as a Barcelona player.

“Euphoria” was the headline on the cover of local daily Sport the same day. Even partisan Madrid-based sports daily Marca admitted that Barca were “frightening” in the wake of their drubbing of Pumas UNAM last weekend, when Lewandowski scored his first goal since his arrival from Bayern Munich.

Yet how Barcelona have gone about raising the funds to sign Lewandowski, as well as centre-backs Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen, AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, and Leeds United’s Brazilian winger Raphinha have raised eyebrows.

Faced with severe limits on spending in order to comply with La Liga’s financial controls, Barcelona knew they needed to raise money quickly to be able to invest in any signings and, crucially, to register any new players.


Football blindsided by late World Cup schedule change

‘Plenty of hunger’: Socceroos skipper secures vital move ahead of World Cup

Manchester United set sights on Rabiot | 03:09


They quickly set about selling off assets to bring in money by activating a series of what have been called economic “levers”.

The club sold 25 per cent of their domestic television rights for the next quarter of a century to US investment firm Sixth Street for some 400 million euros.

Barcelona sold 24.5 per cent of Barca Studios, which manages the club’s digital business and audiovisual productions, to for 100 million euros on August 1, and then another 25 per cent to US investment firm GDA Luma for 100 million euros more.

In the space of a few weeks, 600 million euros had been brought in to fill the coffers.

The aim was to clean up the club’s finances, make it possible to increase the salary limit set by La Liga and allow the new signings to all be registered for the start of the season.

On top of that, Barca signed the biggest sponsorship deal in their history with Spotify, bringing in a reported 435 million euros for the music streaming giant to feature on the club’s shirts and to have naming rights to the Camp Nou.

All up, that series of deals totals 1 billion euros – so Barcelona look well placed to become serious title contenders again as they prepare to host Rayo Vallecano this weekend.

Only time will tell if mortgaging part of the club’s assets in exchange for an immediate influx of cash will bear fruit.

Chelsea sell Werner back to RB Leipzig | 01:19


Yet, Barcelona are still waiting for La Liga to allow them to register their five new signings, although they hope to be able to do so in time for the season starting this weekend.

They are also hoping to further ease their financial problems by reducing their wage bill.

The Catalans have been trying to persuade Frenkie de Jong to leave, with suggestions even made that a contract he signed in 2020 was not legal. The Dutch midfielder says he wants to stay.

FULL STORY: Barca threaten legal action over contract drama — Rumor Mill

Martin Braithwaite, Samuel Umtiti and Memphis Depay are also candidates to depart the Camp Nou, with the latter reportedly a target for Juventus.

On top of that, efforts have been made to persuade certain players, including Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets, to accept wage reductions.

Barca’s “economic miracle”, as the press have called it, still has to be transformed into a footballing miracle.



Kids orphaned as parents fall to death from Bronx apartment

Investigators are probing whether there was a struggle before an Albanian actor and his wife plunged to their deaths from their apartment in New York over the weekend, a police source said.

Florind Belliu, 35, an actor and aspiring filmmaker originally from Albania, and his wife Ornela Shehi, 28, were found in the rear courtyard of 2199 Cruger Avenue in the Bronx at around 9.15am on Saturday, cops and police sources said.

“There were signs in the apartment that indicated it wasn’t all Kumbaya, like they didn’t just decide to leave their kids behind and jump,” the source told the new york post.

The source wouldn’t provide any more details on the alleged “signs”.

Stream your news live & on demand with Flash. From CNN International, Al Jazeera, Sky News, BBC World, CNBC & more. New to Flash? Try 1 month free. Offer ends October 31, 2022 >

A suicide note was not left behind, according to the source.

Authorities are waiting for autopsy results to determine whether Mr Shehi suffered any injuries not indicative of a fall, the source said.

By late Tuesday morning, the city’s Medical Examiner’s (ME) Office had not made a determination on either Mr Shehi or Ms Belliu’s death.

“Both are pending while the ME awaits additional investigative information,” a spokeswoman said, adding that the signs could include “further testing of remains or investigatory material from the scene”.

Mr Shehi was caught on video plunging from the building’s sixth floor first and hitting the alleyway, with Ms Belliu landing seconds later, sources told the post a day after the couple’s deaths.

The couple moved into the building with their two young children about four months ago, and authorities never received reports of domestic violence related to the couple, according to police sources.

Neighbors told the post on Saturday that the pair were a “quiet couple” who “kept to themselves,” and were often seen taking walks – but also that Mr Belliu had been seen visibly angry Friday.

“I’ve seen them always buying things for the house, like every day together, with two kids together, we didn’t recognize there was something wrong,” said Shadie Perkaj, the wife of the building’s super.

She said Saturday was Mr Belliu’s birthday.

Mr Belliu’s pal Elona Caslli mourned her lost friend on Facebook.

“A multiple tragedy for which there is no word of consolation. God give strength to your children and parents,” Ms Caslli wrote in Albanian.

Ms Belliu was a graduate of the University of Arts in Tirana, Albania, and performed on TV and in the theater before moving to the US, EuroNews Albania reported.

As of two years ago, he was working on two books and a movie script he hoped to pitch to Netflix, the report said.

Police sources said he may have been recently working as a livery driver to help make ends meet.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission