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Fiji Time: 10:35 PM on Friday 18 April

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Puyol to retire

MADRID - Barcelona captain Carles Puyol is considering an end to his illustrious playing career due to ongoing fitness problems, Catalan sports daily Mundo Deportivo reported yesterday.

The 5-year-old has been dogged by injury problems over the past couple of seasons and returned to action following two knee operations in October.

Coach sacked

LONDON - West Bromwich Albion full-back Steven Reid said yesterday that the English Premier League club's players had been left in shock by the abrupt dismissal of head coach Steve Clarke.

Clarke was sacked late on Sunday, following a run of four consecutive defeats that left the Midlands club two points above the relegation zone.

Stop work

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Public prosecutors want to halt construction at the World Cup stadium where a man fell 35 metres to his death while working on a roofing structure in the jungle city of Manaus.

Prosecutors want the immediate interruption of work in all areas high above the ground. Work should only restart after constructors show that all safety measures are in place.

Soccer awards

MADRID - Cristiano Ronaldo might be favoured to win world soccer's prestigious Ballon D'Or, but the Portuguese forward says he is not sure if he will attend the awards ceremony.

The Real Madrid star has told Europa Press agency "there are still some days to go. I am still talking about it with the club and I will see if I go".

Good form

BARCELONA, Spain - Real Sociedad's promising playmaker Ruben Pardo set up three goals to lead a 5-1 rout of bottom side Real Betis in the Spanish soccer league yesterday.

Sociedad might have flopped out of the Champions League, but have found form in the domestic competition winning six of their past eight games and climbing to sixth in the Europa League.

Vital win

BERLIN - Schalke eked out a 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Freiburg to ease the pressure on coach Jens Keller in the German soccer league.

Despite dominating possession, Schalke needed an own-goal from Nicolas Hoefler a minute before the interval.

The Freiburg midfielder misjudged a corner and bundled the ball into his own net.

Title race

LONDON - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists the Premier League title race will not be decided until the final moments of the season.

The Blues' 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday moved Mourinho's side to within two points of leaders Arsenal. Chelsea's next fixture takes them to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal.

Five clear

MADRIDP - Barcelona moved five points ahead of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga with a 2-1 win over Villarreal on Sunday, thanks to a double from Brazilian star Neymar.

Madrid, meanwhile, had to fight back from 2-0 down with 10 men to rescue a point in a 2-2 draw at lowly Osasuna, in a game which saw Gareth Bale taken off.