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    Who is Japan vs Costa Rica referee Michael Oliver?

    PREMIER LEAGUE referee Michael Oliver has been chosen as one of England’s representatives at the 2022 World Cup.A familiar face to English football fans, Oliver is one of 18 officials appointed by the Uefa Referees’ Committee and will take part in his first major international tournament.
    Michael Oliver was in charge of Sheffield United’s controversial game against Aston Villa when the Blades clearly had a goal not given that was over the lineCredit: AFP
    It will cap off a long but productive season for the 36-year-old, who officiated in every matchday of the top flight season and took charge of May’s FA Cup final as Leicester beat Chelsea.
    Who is Michael Oliver?
    Born in Ashington, Northumberland, Oliver began refereeing at the age of 14 after being introduced to it by his father.
    By 2007 he became the youngest referee to officiate at Wembley stadium when he whistled the Conference National play-off final.
    Oliver continued to break records becoming the youngest ever Football League referee and youngest Premier League fourth official.
    Michael Oliver awarded a controversial penalty to Real Madrid against Juventus in 2018 and sent off Gianluigi BuffonCredit: REUTERS
    Michael Oliver took charge of Blackburn’s game with Birmingham in 2010 when he was just 25 years oldCredit: PA:Empics Sport
    In 2010, Oliver became the youngest ever Prem referee at the age of 25 years and 182 days old when he officiated Birmingham City’s game with Blackburn Rovers.
    He was selected for Champions League duty in 2016 where he took charge of three group stage games.
    Oliver was caught up in controversy in April 2018 when he refereed to Champions League quarter final second leg between Real Madrid and Juventus.
    In injury time and with the aggregate score level at 3-3, Oliver awarded Real Madrid a controversial penalty and, in the melee, sent off Juventus Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
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    In the aftermath, police investigated threatening messages sent to Oliver’s wife after her phone number was leaked on social media.
    Buffon was rapped for his explosive post-match interview.
    The Italian legend clearly let himself down when he said: “The team gave their all, but a human being cannot destroy dreams like that at the end of an extraordinary comeback on a dubious situation.
    “The referee has a trashcan where his heart should be.
    “On top of that, if you don’t have the character to walk on a pitch like this in a stadium like this, you can sit in the stands with your wife, your kids, drinking your Sprite and eating crisps.”
    What games is he taking charge of at Euro 2020?
    Oliver refereed multiple games in the group stages of the tournament.
    He will also referee Switzerland’s quarter-final clash with Spain.
    Is Michael Oliver allowed to take charge of England games at Euro 2020?
    No.
    Referees are not allowed to officiate matches involving the team from their association, the same as applies in Champions League and Europa League matches. More

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    Who is World Cup star Raheem Sterling’s fiancee Paige Milian and do they have children together?

    PAIGE MILIAN is the fiancee of Chelsea star Raheem Sterling.And she’ll no doubt be in Qatar cheering on her long-term partner as he represents England at the World Cup.
    Paige regularly posts photos of herself on Instagram.
    Who is Paige Milian?
    Paige met Sterling during his spell with Queens Park Rangers.
    She gave up her job in JD Sports to live with him in Liverpool after he left QPR.
    They now live together in London after the England superstar signed for Chelsea last summer in a £47.5million transfer deal.
    She has racked up over 100,000 Instagram followers from uploading pictures of herself and their children to her page alongside giving fans an insight to her lifestyle.
    When are they getting married and do they have children together?
    Sterling proposed to the beauty in March 2018 with a HUGE diamond ring.
    They had hoped to tie the knot in 2020 but wedding plans were put on hold due to the Covid pandemic.
    Paige gave birth to their son Thiago on January 16, 2017, and Sterling has a daughter, Melody Rose, from a previous relationship.
    And in 2019, the couple had a second son – Thai Sterling.
    Sterling and Milian have been together since teenagers More

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    Inside Robert Lewandowski’s incredible £7million apartment in Warsaw complete with a golf simulator

    ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI knows where his roots are.Despite being based in Germany since 2010 and then moving to Barcelona this summer, the striker was happy to splash £7million on a deluxe pad in his home city of Warsaw back in 2016.
    Robert Lewandowski owns a stunning apartment in Warsaw that cost £7mCredit: CEN/ Zlota44
    Lewandowski’s apartment comes equipped with a golf simulatorCredit: CEN/ Zlota44
    The deluxe pad comes with access to a state-of-the-art sports and recreation centreCredit: CEN/ Zlota44
    The living room is spacious and comfortable
    The flat boasts incredible views of the city of Warsaw
    Standard flats in the Zlota 44 tower block range between £242,000 to £1.9m, with the more pricey apartments costing up to £7m.
    Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind designed the 192-metre tall block and ensured the property was fully stocked with all Lewandowski will need.
    There’s a state-of-the-art sports and recreation centre, a private cinema, golf simulator and wine tasting room, according to Luxurious Magazine.
    Lewandowski, who rakes in £165,000 in his first season as Barca but will earn more each year, said: “Choosing my new apartment was based on practical considerations.
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    “The tower provides some of the best residences in Poland, whilst the sports and recreation centre allows me to complete my training program in the highest quality surroundings.
    “It is important in my profession to always have world-class training facilities on hand and now I’m just a short elevator ride from a full-size swimming pool, fully-equipped gym, luxury spa area, as well as treatment and massage rooms.
    “This was essential for me as it allows me at any given moment to complete my training program in the best surroundings.”
    Lewandowski is widely considered one of the best strikers of his generation.
    He was cruelly denied the Ballon d’Or in 2020 when the award was scrapped due to Covid after he spearheaded Bayern Munich to Champions League glory.
    The bedroom boasts floor-to-ceiling windows
    Standard flats in the Zlota 44 tower block range between £242,000 to £1.9m, with the more pricey apartments costing up to £7m
    A grand piano sits in a reception room
    Lewandowski is Poland’s record goalscorerCredit: Getty Images
    The Polish hero spent eight successful years at the Allianz Arena, winning the Bundesliga title every season.
    He also smashed in a staggering 344 goals in 375 games for the club before deciding he wanted out in the summer.
    Despite being in £1billion of debt, Barcelona somehow stumped up £42.5m to sign him following Sergio Aguero’s retirement.
    Lewandowski bought the apartment back in 2016
    Lewandowski is originally from Warsaw
    The home boasts modern decor throughout
    Robert Lewandowski takes a cheeky picture of and wife Anna as they work out togetherCredit: CEN / Robert Lewandowki More

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    Chelsea star N’Golo Kante is football’s Mr Nice, while boasting a £25m fortune and being one of the richest

    N’GOLO KANTE is a regular among football’s most popular players and broke into the Sunday Times Young Sport Rich List.The Chelsea and France midfielder has amassed an impressive fortune of £25million but he is well-known as a humble, down-to-earth figure off the pitch.
    The much-loved midfielder is a regular for FranceCredit: Getty
    Kante has enjoyed a rapid rise from his early days playing in the French second-tierCredit: Getty – Contributor
    Despite his wealth, Kante still drops by local mosques to pray and hang out with fans and even shows up at a supporter’s wedding.
    Even on the pitch, his sparkling attitude comes across when deliberately refusing to punish teammates in a fun training game and memorably being too shy to hold the World Cup.
    It is clear his humble mantra spills over into his finances too with Kante saving more than a few pennies by driving a Mini rather than a supercar.
    And it isn’t hard to see how the Frenchman made it to seventh in the Sunday Times ‘Young Sportsmen’ Rich List, for athletes aged under 30 in 2020.
    After signing a new Chelsea contract in November 2018, he is thought to have doubled his pre-tax wages from £150,000-a-week to £300,000-a-week.
    The Blues also paid out handsomely after Kante helped Antonio Conte’s side win the 2016/17 Premier League title.
    A £5m fund was reportedly set up by Roman Abramovich to reward the squad, weighting bonuses towards those who made the most appearances – such as Kante and his 35 matches.
    A similar prize of around £250,000 was mooted for every member of France’s World Cup-winning squad in 2018 and no doubt he will have received another tidy bonus after helping Chelsea beat Manchester City in the Champions League final in 2021.

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    However Leicester’s title run of 2016 came so unexpectedly that no cash bonus was set aside for Kante and Co – leaving them to share a £6.5m pot between them for simply finishing above 12th.
    Of course, the Foxes got plenty of other perks and the midfielder would cash in by heading to Stamford Bridge the following summer.
    In 2020, he agreed a fresh deal to remain a brand ambassador for German sports clothing giant Adidas. More

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    Cristiano Ronaldo international goals: How Portugal striker’s world record stacks up against Lionel Messi and Pele

    CRISTIANO RONALDO is the clear leader in the all-time rankings for international goals.The Portugal captain, 37, is now up to it 117 strikes in internationals – a year after leapfrogging Iran legend Ali Daei on 109 goals.
    Cristiano Ronaldo is the world record holder for international goalsCredit: AP
    Pele is in the top 10 for the top all time international goalscorersCredit: Rex
    The Manchester United striker had been chasing the tally for his entire career – and finally overtook the magic mark in a 2-1 win against Ireland, where he scored two late goals.
    So confident was Ronaldo of beating the world record that he even TOLD the Portuguese bench he would do it – scoring in the 89th and 96th minute after the Irish had taken a 1-0 lead.
    Lionel Messi can leapfrog Malaysia’s Mokhtar Dahari into third on the all-time standings when Argentina play Jamaica or in their final World Cup warm-up against the UAE.
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    Argentina then face Saudi Arabia at the World Cup.
    Daei notched an incredible 109 goals in 140 appearances for Iran, before retiring from the game in 2006.
    His record has stood for an impressive 14 years, and not even Lionel Messi or Neymar have come anywhere near it.
    Robert Lewandowski can also hop into the top 10 scorers in history at the World Cup.
    Poland face Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Argentina in Group C.
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    Most international goals in football history

    Cristiano Ronaldo* – Portugal – 2003 to present – 117 goals
    Ali Daei – Iran – 1993 to 2006 – 109 goals
    Mokhtar Dahari – Malaysia – 1972 to 1985 – 89 goals
    Lionel Messi* – Argentina – 2005 to present – 88 goals
    Ferenc Puskas – Hungary/Spain – 1945 to 1962 – 84 goals
    Sunil Chhetri – India – 2005 to present – 84 goals
    Ali Mabkhout – UAE – 2009 to present – 80 goals
    Godfrey Chitalu – Zambia – 1968 to 1980 – 79 goals
    Hussein Saeed – Iraq – 1977 to 1990 – 78 goals
    Pele – Brazil – 1957 to 1971 – 77 goals
    Robert Lewandowski* – Poland – 2008 to present – 76 goals

    *Player due to play at this year’s World Cup More

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    Ukraine boss Shevchenko’s son Kristian, 15, is future star at Chelsea’s academy and could qualify to play for England

    ANDRIY SHEVCHENKO’S son is part of Chelsea’s academy – and could qualify to represent England through his residency status.Former Blues star and ex-Ukraine boss Shevchenko Sr could one day see his son Kristian play in white.
    Former Chelsea star and ex-Ukraine boss Andriy Shevchenko’s son Kristian, 15, is at the Blues’ academy
    Kristian Shevchenko turned 15 last November and is the second of the former Blues striker’s four sons.
    He was born and raised in London, making him potentially eligible to play for the Three Lions as a UK passport holder.
    Shevchenko scored Chelsea’s opening goal in a 4-0 win against Watford in 2006 – just his second Stamford Bridge goal following his £30m move from AC Milan – the day after his son’s birth.
    He and team-mates Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Didier Drogba marked the goal with a ‘rock the baby’ celebration.
    And in 2020, Shevchenko confirmed his son was playing for the Blues youngsters, saying: “My second son is training at Chelsea academy.
    “This is a very good school, which brought up more than a dozen players of excellent level.”
    Kristian would also qualify to play internationally for Ukraine and likely the USA and Poland via his mother’s citizenship – Shevchenko’s wife is Polish-American model Kristen Pazik.
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    Asked which national team he would like his son to represent in the future, the 45-year-old said: “I would like to face such a choice. I’d love to. If there is to be such a choice, then we will talk.”
    The ex-Ukraine international-turned-boss, who scored 48 goals in 111 games for his country between 1995-2012, is their all-time top scorer and was appointed manager in 2016.
    He failed to lead them to the 2018 World Cup in Russia after the team were knocked out in qualifying by eventual runners-up Croatia.
    Shevchenko eventually quit after losing to England in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.
    He then had a short stint with Italians Genoa, lasting just two months as he lost seven times with just one win.
    The former AC Milan striker famously struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League after leaving San Siro for Chelsea, scoring only 23 goals for the Blues during his two-season stay.
    Asked whether he believed the move to West London had been a mistake, he said: “In no way. I’m not even going to discuss that. I do not tidy up the past. Everything is as it should have happened, so it happened.
    “I have been living in London for the past 13 years. My family is there, it’s convenient there, plus I wanted my children to go to school there.” More

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    France star Antoine Griezmann picks his dream 5-a-side team including Kante, Beckham and Barcelona’s Dembele

    ANTOINE GRIEZMANN has played with some pretty decent players in his time, it’s fair to say.But the 31-year-old France forward, who is currently seeing his match action on loan at Atletico Madrid restricted by a bizarre clause inserted by parent club Barcelona, did managed to pick his dream five-a-side team from team-mates and one footballing legend when pressed for it two years ago.
    France star Antoinne Griezmann has named his dream five-a-side teamCredit: The Mega Agency
    Antoine Griezmann picked his dream 5-a-side team from team-mates and one footballing legend
    And he is backing them to stay undefeated despite two notable absentees.
    The striker even opted to go WITHOUT a goalkeeper in his all-star team.
    Speaking to Oh My Goal, Griezmann talked through his side: “I’d go with Ousmane Dembele and I would say NG, N’Golo Kante, because you never lose when he’s on your team.
    “I would take Godin because he always finds a way to cheat and win!

    That means there is no place for France team-mate Kylian Mbappe in the side.
    However, when asked who the most skillful player is, Griezmann said either Mbappe or fellow Frenchman Dembele.
    The Atleti star also said that Diego Costa is the best player he has played with, saying: “I would have to say Diego Costa, for the support he gives me on the field.

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    “Because he allows me to play freely. He’s a guy I really work well with on the pitch.
    “We understand each other with a single look, we know where we’re both at.
    “On top of that he’s a fighter and he brings that out in me, which I love. It’s rare to have that with a team-mate.”
    Surprisingly, Griezmann said the best player he has faced on a football field is Dutch midfielder Frenkie De Jong, who is now at Barcelona.
    The Dutchman is now a teammate at Barcelona.
    But Griezmann said former Real Madrid defender Pepe was the toughest to play against.
    Griezmann added: “I tried to put pressure on De Jong and never succeeded.
    “Pepe is always breathing down your neck. He’s always on top of you and he’s a player who’s very difficult to get past.”

    A team with N’Golo Kante in doesn’t lose according to his international team-mateCredit: AP:Associated Press
    Diego Godin gets into the side because he will always find a way to win – even if it means cheatingCredit: AFP OR LICENSORS

    Diego Costa helped to get the best out of his strike partner at the Wanda MetropolitanoCredit: AFP OR LICENSORS
    Griezmann struggled to even get close to Ajax and Netherlands midfielder Frenkie De JongCredit: Reuters
    But the World Cup winner was very much sat on the fence when he was asked to settle the ongoing debate.
    “Best player of all time? Well, you know… It depends on the era but I would say either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.
    “I never saw how Diego Maradona and Pele played. It’s a tough question, everyone has their own style.
    “There’s also Zinedine Zidane. Zidane won the World Cup, Messi and Ronaldo never have.”
    Finally, Griezmann made a shock selection when asked to pick his best footballing memory.
    Despite helping France win the World Cup in 2018, he did not opt for that.
    Instead, he said: “When we moved into the first division with Real Sociedad [2009/10].
    “It was honestly the first time that my knees were shaking because it was my first year and the atmosphere was incredible. It was all new for me and it was intimidating.”
    The Frenchman spent nine years at Real Sociedad and helped them get promoted back into La LigaCredit: AFP – Getty More

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    ‘Bloody hell… it’s come home!’ – Jubilant Piers Morgan leads celebrations as England fans go wild after Euro 2022 win

    PIERS MORGAN and Harry Kane led the jubilant celebrations as England won the women’s 2022 European Championship. Chloe Kelly’s extra-time winning goal saw off Germany at Wembley and marked a historic day.
    England’s Chloe Kelly celebrates scoring the winning goalCredit: AP
    And England’s Lionesses were hailed online as the nation celebrated an iconic win.
    Arsenal fan Morgan posted: “Bloody hell.. it’s come home! Congrats @Lionesses brilliant.”
    England captain Harry Kane tweeted: “Absolutely unreal scenes at Wembley!!
    “Massive congrats to the amazing @Lionesses!! @ellatoone9 take a bow for that finish too.”
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    Raheem Sterling added: “History-makers.”
    Arsenal legend Ian Wright, talking to the BBC, said: “I can’t put into words how much work has gone into this.
    “I’m so proud, I can’t believe it!”
    Alex Scott, a 140-cap England international, added: “This is a dream.
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    “An absolute dream for every young girl who dreamed of playing football. Wow. This is incredible.”
    Gary Lineker wrote: “Football is a simple game. 22 women chase a ball for 90 minutes and, at the end, England actually win.
    “Congratulations @lionesses. Fabulous.”
    In a statement, the Queen said: “My warmest congratulations, and those of my family, go to you all on winning the European Women’s Football Championships. 
    “It is a significant achievement for the entire team, including your support staff. 
    “The Championships and your performance in them have rightly won praise.
    “You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations. Queen Elizabeth
    “However, your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned. 
    “You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations.
    “It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today.”
    Ella Toone set England on their way as she brilliantly opened the scoring on 62 minutes with a scoop finish.
    But Lina Magull’s leveller with ten minutes to go threatened to hand England familiar heartbreak.
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    And as the game looked be heading to penalties – where England have historically struggled and Germany shined – up stepped Kelly.
    A goalmouth scramble saw the Manchester City forward poke home and win the game.
    England celebrate their Euro 2022 victoryCredit: Getty More