AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
MONTE CARLO: Italian Claudio Ranieri was on Wednesday unveiled as coach of fallen giants Monaco, who finished eighth in the French second division last season. The 60-year-old former Chelsea coach signed a two-year deal, with an option on a third year, and takes over from Marco Simone, who left Monaco earlier this month. Ranieri was sacked as Inter Milan coach in March after a year in charge there and previously also coached Napoli, Fiorentina, Juventus, Roma, Parma, Atletico Madrid and Valencia. The Italian “is today considered one of the best coaches in European football and brings to Monaco all the richeness of his experience and all he has achieved in football”, Monaco said in a statement.
ROME: Andrea Stramaccioni was appointed Inter Milan coach on a permanent basis on Tuesday when he signed a three year contract, the 2010 Champions League winners president Massimo Moratti announced. The 36-year-old — who guided the club’s youth team to the under-19s Champions League equivalent title against Ajax in March — replaced the sacked Claudio Ranieri in late March. While he was unable to get them into next season’s Champions League Stramaccioni did guide them to a 4-2 win over city rivals AC Milan in the penultimate game of the season.
‘No Euro surprises’
MADRID: Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo played down hopes of his side lifting the European Championship title on July 1 on Tuesday saying he just hoped they could reach the knockout stages. The 27-year-old — fresh from lifting the Spanish League title with Real Madrid — couldn’t really see too many surprises on the horizon at Euro where his side faces a tough battle to progress from their group. The Portuguese — who reached the final in 2004 when they hosted it and the quarter-finals last time out — have been drawn with three former champions in Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark. — AFP
Woods still hopeful
SAN FRANCISCO: Tiger Woods spent 35 minutes answering questions from fans in an online chat session on Tuesday, saying that even at age 36 he has plenty of time to pass Jack Nicklaus in all-time major wins. Woods went on Google-Plus after what he called a comfortable practice round at The Olympic Course, site of June’s US Open, and the 14-time major winner repeated his belief that he will break Nicklaus’s record of 18 major titles. “I figure it’s going to take a career, but I have plenty of time,” Woods said. Woods has not won a major since the 2008 US Open and has been nagged by knee injuries in recent years.
Oosthuizen to play
BEIJING: Major-winners Louis Oosthuizen and YE Yang have boosted the field for this year’s $1 million Nanshan China Masters, organisers said on Wednesday. Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open winner, will return to Asia for the October 11-14 event following his win at last month’s Malaysian Open — which came a week after he lost a playoff for the US Open title. South Korea’s Yang, who became Asia’s only major champion to date at the 2009 PGA Championship, is also a two-time winner on the OneAsia circuit, which is sanctioning the event at Nanshan International Golf Club.