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Messi aims for goal No. 500 goals in El Clasico

Barcelona star Lionel Messi says it would be a special moment to score his 500th career goal in Saturday's Clasico vs. Real Madrid at Camp Nou. He scored his 499th career goal from the penalty spot in Argentina's 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Bolivia on Tuesday.

Wolfsburg aims to boot Bendtner

Wolfsburg wants to terminate the contract of Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner 15 months early. His disciplinary issues this season included being fined for oversleeping and being late for training. The 28-year-old has scored three goals in 31 league appearances since joining the Bundesliga club from Arsenal in 2014.

Alex Ferguson: England will be tough for Pep Guardiola

Former Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson believes Pep Guardiola will need time to adapt to EPL soccer when he takes charge of Manchester City in July: "Without question Pep has got a fantastic work ethic about him. ... But Pep won't find it easy, English football is not easy. Every foreign coach that has come to England will tell you ...

German players promised $340,000 for Euro win

Germany's players will each receive a bonus of 300,000 euros [$340,000] if they win Euro 2016, national soccer association DFB said on Thursday, announcing the same scale of top-up payments on offer when the tournament was last played in 2012.

WCQ: China reaches final round for first time since Bora era

China moved into the final round of Asian World Cup 2018 qualifying for the first time since 2001 when it beat Qatar, 2-0, to clinch one of four second-place berths in the 12-team final round (two groups of six). You have to go back to the tenure of Bora Milutinovic for the last time the Chinese have advanced this far. ...

Not unexpectedly, Gary Neville's tenure at Valencia ends quickly

Former Manchester United star and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville was fired as Valencia coach on Wednesday, just three months after he was hired.

WCQ: Brazil drops to sixth place in South America

Brazil was lucky to escape with a 2-2 tie against Paraguay in World Cup 2018 qualifying, getting goals from Ricardo Oliveira in the 80th minute and Dani Alves in the last minute.

WCQ: Argentina is back on track with third straight win

Lionel Messi's 50th international goal inspired Argentina to a 2-0 victory over Bolivia in Cordoba, its third straight win in World Cup 2018 qualifying. It pulled the Albiceleste to within two points of Ecuador and Argentina, tied for first place. Ecuador's unbeaten run ended with a 3-1 loss to Colombia in Barranquilla. Edinson Cavani gave Uruguay a 1-0 win over ...

Mexican players launch anti-homophobia campaign

Mexican national team players have finally spoken against fans who shout the homophobic slur "puto" when opposing goalkeepers take goal kicks. Players including Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Rafael Marquez and Hector Moreno, read out a manifesto against abuse under the title "Embraced by Soccer."

Everton puts $70 million pricetag on Romelu Lukaku

Everton, currently in 12th place of the English Premier League, has reportedly indicated that bids on its Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, who has scored 25 goals this season, will start at $70 million.

Soccer wins over new generation In Cuba

Baseball might be as Cuban as cigars and rum, but the game is losing popularity. Soccer is winning-over new fans and exposing a generation gap, as NPR's Carrie Kahn reports. "In baseball, you just stand around and it's boring," says 14-year-old Miguel Marzocintra at a Havana pickup game.

A challenge to soccer's version of solitary confinement

According to player advocacy groups, there is a widespread labor issue in Europe in which players are given the choice between bending to their employers' demands or enduring harsh, punitive training regimens. The practice is known by the catchall term training alone, and it is regarded as soccer's version of solitary confinement. Sam Borden reports on the case of Sebino ...

Conte will leave Italy post even if Azzurri win Euro 2016

Italy national team coach Antonio Conte says he won't stay on even if the Azzurri win Euro 2016.

Sturridge set for return to England starting lineup

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, who missed Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with various injuries, will make his first start for England in 18 months in Tuesday's Wembley friendly against the Netherlands.

Former Honduran president pleads guilty in FIFA corruption case

Former Honduran President Rafael Callejas pleaded guilty to charges that he took "hundreds of thousands" of dollars in bribes from a Florida-based marketing company so it could obtain media and marketing rights for Honduran qualifiers for the 2014, 2018 and 2022 World Cups.