Brazil star Neymar denies alleged rape in Paris hotel

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PSG forward Neymar on Sunday strongly denied an accusation that he raped a woman at a Paris hotel last month.

According to a complaint filed with Sao Paolo police and reported by the UOL and GloboEsporte websites, the Brazil star is accused of “using violence to have sex with the victim without her consent.”

The unidentified woman, who lives in Brazil, met Neymar through Instagram, and after exchanging messages, the footballer invited her to visit him in Paris last month.

According to the complaint, Neymar arrived at the hotel apparently intoxicated, and he became aggressive and used violence to have sex with the victim without her consent.

A statement issued by Neymar’s management on his website said the 27-year-old forward completely denied the allegations made against him.

“Although he was surprised by the news, the facts were already known to the player and his staff, considering that a few days ago he was the victim of an attempted extortion, practiced by a lawyer from Sao Paulo who said he represented the interests of the alleged victim,” read the statement.

“The player’s lawyers were immediately notified and have since taken all appropriate steps.

“We completely repudiate the unjust accusations and, above all, the exposure in the press of an extremely negative situation.

“All evidence of attempted extortion and non-rape will be submitted to the police authorities in a timely manner.”

Neymar’s father, who is also his agent, denied the accusations in an interview with Brazilian broadcaster Bandeirantes.

“This is not true, he has never committed any crime,” he said, arguing that his son was a victim of blackmail. “We have all the evidence and we already gave everything to the lawyers.”

“My son can be accused of many things, but I know what kind of man he is … it’s clear that this was a trap,” he said, adding that the WhatsApp messages released by the player would exonerate him.

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Sarri 'happy' to stay at Chelsea but will discuss his future with the club

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Maurizio Sarri believes he deserves to stay at Stamford Bridge next season after leading Chelsea to their Europa League victory.

The taskmaster Italian boss claimed the first major trophy of his managerial career as Chelsea thrashed Arsenal 4-1 to claim the Europa League title in Baku.

Sarri is being courted by Juventus for a return to Serie A after just one year in west London, but insisted in the wake of the Europa League triumph that he wants to remain with the Blues.

The former investment banker now hopes to meet with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to thrash out the way forward, though he has two years left on his current Blues contract.

“You know very well that I love the Premier League, the level of the competition, and I am lucky because I am in Chelsea, one of the best teams in the best championship in the world,” said Sarri.

“So at the moment I am happy, but of course I want to know if the club is happy, if we can improve.

“It’s normal I think; I have a discussion with the owner after every season with every club.”

Asked if he thinks he deserves to stay on as Chelsea manager, Sarri said: “I think so, but it’s only my opinion.

“My opinion is not enough. Now I have to speak to my club. The season is finished one hour ago.

“So tomorrow I will being to speak to my club, with the owner, with the director, Marina (Granovskaia) I don’t know.

“But we need to speak of course, like every club at the end of the season. We need to know what the club can do for me and what I can do better for the club.

“I need to speak to the club but also the club needs to speak to me. Then in a couple of days I will decide.

“But I have a contract, so at the moment I am talking about nothing.”

Belgium talisman Hazard scored twice and laid on a goal for Pedro as Chelsea powered home in Azerbaijan.

The 28-year-old then immediately admitted he expects to leave Chelsea this summer for his long-mooted move to Real Madrid.

Sarri has hailed Hazard's character.

Sarri hailed Hazard’s character.

Chelsea manager Sarri hailed Hazard’s character, then conceded he has known for some time that Hazard was likely to leave Stamford Bridge this summer.

“Hazard is a wonderful player, but you have to spend two, three months to understand him as a man,” said Sarri.

“But when you are able to understand him as a man, he is a wonderful man.

“I knew. I knew that Eden wanted to leave, of course.

“But as I said in every press conference I want to respect his decision.”

Gritty boss Sarri has found himself under fire plenty of times in his maiden campaign at Chelsea, but has ended up with a third-place Premier League finish and a European trophy.

Sarri revealed the season’s turning point as the 6-0 drubbing at Manchester City in February that forced the Blues to recalibrate their entire approach.

“I am really very happy but I think that the shirt is important, the front of the shirt,” said Sarri.

“The trophy is very important for the club, then it’s less important the back of the shirt, the name of the players, the name of the coach.

“Of course the trophy is very important for us, because our feeling was we deserved to win.

“We were in trouble in January and February, but then we reacted. It’s very important for me, but of course it’s very important for us.

“Something changed at the beginning of February I think. We lost 6-0 at Man City but we started something different.

“And so our feeling is we deserved to win.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Emery optimistic for Arsenal's future after Europa League final defeat

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Unai Emery believes Arsenal have closed the gap on their competitors but will need to strengthen if they hope to return to the Champions League.

An Eden Hazard-inspired Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1 in the Europa League final in Baku, leaving the Emirates Stadium men facing a third straight season away from Europe’s top table.

The Gunners boss admitted failing to qualify for next term’s Champions League could limit the club’s transfer options, but backed his side to take a step forward next season.

“Maybe some players need to leave for us to take a new way,” said Emery.

“But it’s not the moment to speak about that. I am very proud of our work.

“I think the players did all we can to achieve our target, and we are closer to the other teams, but at the moment it’s not enough.

“We can continue with the same team but also some players will come and help us get better.”

Asked if failing to qualify for the Champions League would dent Arsenal’s recruitment drive, Emery said: “Maybe, but I think we are a big team, and I think Arsenal is a big name in the football world and a lot of players want to play here.

“We are in one process and we need in this process to be strong in our idea, strong in our way, and that’s the reason why we started this season to get more competitive like a team, get closer to the other teams. And we’ve done that.

Hazard ran the rule over Arsenal at Baku.

“At the moment it’s not enough for our target, but the next week, the next year, we’ll continue with that in mind.

“And also we have a lot of players with the possibility to improve and grow up with us.

“I am positive for our future, creating our way and getting better in our way.”

He added: “Next year we need the same players, the same idea, maybe also to add some new players to give us some situations we can improve.

“But it’s the same way as this year, just to take one more step.

“A lot of players who have played their first year with us can get better and give more in performance for us.”

Hazard’s two goals and an assist floored the Gunners, who had looked comfortable in a goalless first half but crumbled after the interval.

“The first half we had some chances, but we didn’t concede many chances for them,” said Emery.

“The second half the idea was the same, carry on our gameplan, take our moment to take the chances to score. But they scored first.

“And the first goal was very important in this match, because after that you need to play calmly, but we made some mistakes and they have very good players to use these mistakes and take chances to score.

“We were, I think, in the match until they scored the second goal, and after that it was not possible.

“I want to say to all the supporters, we are in this process.

“The first target was not achieved, but I think we are closer, first in the Premier League, and in this competition.

“Next year is a big challenge to take one more step on the way.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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