Watch Corinthians Women make football history

David Cooper 23/08/2019
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Corinthians Women squad set new world record of consecutive wins this Wednesday (August 21) after reaching its 28th victory in a row in all competitions.

The previous mark, held by Welsh side The New Saints with 27 wins over a three-year period, was beaten after Corinthians won the second leg of Brazilian Women League quarter-finals by 1-0, securing a 5-1 aggregate to reach semi-finals.

Corinthians will try to extend its mark on Saturday (24th August) at Sao Paulo State League against Ferroviaria.

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Saudi Professional League ranks third worldwide for Twitter interaction

David Cooper 21/08/2019
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Defending Saudi Professional League champions Al Nassr (Twitter/@AlNassrFC_EN).

The Saudi Professional League [SPL] ranks third on Twitter among global football leagues for conversation and interaction, surpassing major domestic competitions worldwide last season that include the Italian, German and French ones.

The league has attracted huge interest with tweets about the SPL exceeding 80 million, tweeted by 40m accounts and causing high response demonstrating the power of the competition compared to the best globally. Spain’s La Liga and its clubs lead the way being tweeted about 167m times by 97m accounts, followed by the English Premier League with 161m tweets and 91m accounts.

Football in Saudi Arabia is the most popular sport and is being followed by two thirds of the Kingdom’s population, mostly young people, which resulted in huge interaction making the domestic league among the most followed worldwide. This is also reflected by stadium attendances which exceeded 10m supporters for the first time ever last season.

The SPL has been supported massively by the government through the Sport General Authority investing $660m. This reflects a desire to create new professional levels, improve pitches and recruit the best players and managers globally, while also implementing the best technological methods in sports.

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Captain Ashley Williams left out of Wales squad

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Wales captain Ashley Williams has been left out for the squad for the crunch Euro 2020 qualifier against Azerbaijan next month.

Williams, who turns 35 on Friday, is the third most capped Wales player of all time with only Chris Gunter (95) and Neville Southall (92) having made more than his 86 appearances.

But the veteran centre-half, who made his name at Swansea and spent last season on loan at Stoke, has been without a club since being released by Everton in June.

The PA news agency understands Williams has turned down offers from Greece, Turkey, the Middle East and the United States because he wants to continue playing in British football.

Bristol City could complete a move for Williams this week, but Wales manager Ryan Giggs has opted to name a 26-man squad without the player who captained his country against Hungary two months ago.

Aaron Ramsey and Ethan Ampadu both return after the injuries which ruled them out of the Euro 2020 qualifying defeats to Croatia and Hungary in June.

Former Arsenal midfielder Ramsey made his debut for new club Juventus in a friendly last weekend, while Ampadu has moved to Germany this summer after joining RB Leipzig from Chelsea on a season-long loan.

Bournemouth forward David Brooks is sidelined and will also miss the October qualifiers against Croatia and Slovakia after undergoing ankle surgery earlier this month.

But Giggs is boosted by the availability of talisman Gareth Bale, who is suddenly back in favour at Real Madrid after a public fall-out with manager Zinedine Zidane and an aborted move to the Chinese Super League.

Bale started Real’s first league game of the season last weekend and claimed an assist in the 3-1 win at Celta Vigo.

The 30-year-old’s influence is sure to be key if Wales are to keep their Euro 2020 qualification hopes alive.

Wales are six points behind leaders Group E leaders Hungary, albeit with a game in hand, and three adrift of Croatia and Slovakia ahead of Azerbaijan’s visit on September 6.

Three uncapped players – Swansea defender Joe Rodon, Bristol City midfielder Joe Morrell and Wigan striker Kieffer Moore – are included in a squad that also takes on Belarus in a Cardiff friendly on September 9.

There is no place for Newcastle defender Paul Dummett or Schalke’s former Manchester City winger Rabbi Matondo.

Wales squad: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Danny Ward (Leicester), Adam Davies (Stoke), Connor Roberts (Swansea), Chris Gunter (Reading), Chris Mepham (Bournemouth), James Lawrence (Anderlecht), Tom Lockyer (Charlton), Joe Rodon (Swansea), Neil Taylor (Aston Villa), Ben Davies (Tottenham), Ethan Ampadu (RB Leipzig, on loan from Chelsea), Joe Allen (Stoke), Matthew Smith (QPR, on loan from Manchester City), Will Vaulks (Cardiff), Jonny Williams (Charlton), Aaron Ramsey (Juventus), Joe Morrell (Lincoln, on loan from Bristol City), Harry Wilson (Bournemouth, on loan from Liverpool), Daniel James (Manchester United), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Sam Vokes (Stoke), Tom Lawrence (Derby), Ben Woodburn (Oxford, on loan from Liverpool), Kieffer Moore (Wigan), Ryan Hedges (Aberdeen).

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