Soccer Digest

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 September, 2012, 1:22am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 September, 2012, 3:34am

Christian Vieri wins phone-hacking payout

Former Italian international striker Christian Vieri is set to receive €1 million (HK$9.7 million) after he fell victim to a phone-tapping affair, it was reported. A dossier on Vieri, 39, was discovered by chance in 2006 as part of an unrelated investigation into the Italian telephone company Telecom Italia. It later transpired that his former club, Inter Milan, had been “spying on him”, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport website. In 2008 he sued the phone company for €12 million and Inter for €9.25 million after complaining of “stalking and the wrongful acquisition of phone records”, according to The report said that the now retired striker, who played 49 games for Italy, would receive compensation of €1 million. AFP


Argentina bench role OK for Carlos Tevez

The new-look Carlos Tevez, sharp, slim and totally dedicated, would be happy just sitting on the Argentina bench, the striker said. Tevez has been overlooked by his country since his defection from Manchester City in the middle of last season and has never been called up by coach Alejandro Sabella.  Argentina face Paraguay at home tomorrow and Peru away four days later in World Cup qualifiers. Sabella, who replaced Sergio Batista last August after Argentina’s Copa America ended with a penalty miss by Tevez against Uruguay, has said he was keeping a close eye on the striker. “It’s no drama to sit on the bench but we have to let Sabella work calmly, not with the pressure of calling me up and having to put me on the bench,” Tevez said. Reuters


Zenit St Petersburg sign Hunk and Axel Witsel

Big-spending Zenit St Petersburg have spent a record €80 million (HK$780 million) on Brazil striker Hulk and Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel,  the Russian champions said. Hulk, 26, joined from Porto and Witsel, 23, moved from Portuguese rivals Benfica. “It’s now official. Both players have signed five-year deals,” Zenit spokesman Dmitry Tsimmerman said. A club source said Zenit had paid €40 million for each player. Hulk helped Porto to win three league titles and the 2011 Europa League trophy after joining from the Japanese J-League in 2008. Hulk and Witsel became Zenit’s first major signings in the summer transfer window, which remains open in Russia for another week. Zenit, drawn in Champions League group C along with AC Milan, Anderlecht and Malaga, will be able to use both players. Tsimmerman declined to comment on reports linking Zenit with a US$40 million bid for Manchester United striker Nani. Reuters


Russia’s Nikolai Tolstykh vows to eradicate evils

Nikolai Tolstykh has vowed to eradicate match-fixing and other evils from Russian soccer after being elected president of the nation’s Football Union (RFU). “No-one would deny the fact there are problems in Russian football, many problems. But I’m confident we can solve all of them,” the former Dynamo Moscow defender said in his post-election speech. Media and soccer experts say match-fixing and corruption have been rife in Russia for years but rarely has anyone been brought to trial. With a reputation as a no-nonsense administrator, willing to fight “the enemies of soccer”, Tolstykh seems the perfect man for the job. He has the huge task of reshaping the RFU, which faces a deficit of up to US$30 million as Russia prepares to host the 2018 World Cup. Reuters