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Stoke City sign Michael Owen on one-year deal

Stoke City have confirmed the signing of Michael Owen on a one-year contract.

The 32-year-old, who was released by Manchester United in the summer, will join Tony Pulis' side subject to approval from the Premier League.

The striker moved to Old Trafford back in 2009 as Sir Alex Ferguson looked to bolster his attacking options following Cristiano Ronaldo’s £80 million move to Real Madrid.

Despite netting a dramatic winner in the Red Devils' 4-3 win over local rivals Manchester City, he failed to establish himself at the club and made just 31 league appearances, scoring five times. Speculation over recent days suggested a return to Liverpool could happen but the Potters have completed a deal to bring him to the Britannia Stadium.

Owen has scored 40 times for England in 89 appearances but has failed to represent his country in recent years.

The ex-Real Madrid man will provide competition upfront for Peter Crouch, Jon Walters and Cameron Jerome.

Iniesta wins Uefa best player award ahead of Ronaldo and Messi

Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta has scooped Uefa's award for the best player in Europe over the last season ahead of Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 28-year-old shined as the Blaugrana finished second in La Liga and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.

He also performed admirably as Spain retained their European Championship crown in Ukraine and Poland in the summer and was subsequently named the best player at the tournament.

And he has now scooped another award, pipping the Argentine and Portuguese forwards, despite their respective 73 and 60-goal campaigns.

"Without my team-mates at the Spanish national team and Barcelona I wouldn't have won this individual trophy," he commented.

His captain at club level, Carles Puyol, was quick to congratulate the Albacete-born schemer on his official Twitter page.

"Congratulations, Andres!! You deserve this."

Iniesta received 19 votes from the panel, while Messi and Ronaldo were both given the nod by 17 voters.

In last year's edition of the award, Messi was named as the best player in Europe, with fellow Barcelona star Xavi and Ronaldo finishing in second and third place respectively.

Zenit St Petersburg sign Hulk and Witsel in reported €80m double deal

Zenit St Petersburg have signed Hulk from Porto and Axel Witsel from Benfica, both on five-year deals, for a reported fee €80 million, according to the Russian club's website.

The 26-year-old Hulk will wear the No.29 shirt for Luciano Spalletti's side, who currently sit top of the Russian Premier League after seven games.

Hours after announcing a deal for the Brazilian, Zenit also confirmed the signing of Belgian midfielder Witsel, who will take the No.28 jersey.

"It's now official. Both players had signed five-year deals," Zenit spokesman Dmitry Tsimmerman was reported as saying by Rueters.

"We were trying to sign them before the September 3 deadline for the Champions League so they can play for us in that competition as well as the Russian league."

Having cut his teeth in Japanese football with Kawasaki Fontale, Consadole Sapporo and Tokyo Verdy, Hulk moved to Os Dragoes in 2008 and helped the club to three league titles, three Tacas de Portugal and the Uefa Cup.

He has won 13 Brazil caps since making his debut in 2009, and was part of the Selecao's Olympic team that claimed silver in London.

Witsel, meanwhile, had been heavily linked with a summer move to Real Madrid, but the former Standard Liege man, who has represented Belgium at every age group, has now made the move to Zenit.

Benfica confirmed on their official website that the fee paid for their prized asset was the contractual release clause of €40m.

The St Petersburg club have been drawn against AC Milan, Anderlecht and Malaga in the Champions League.

'I didn't celebrate because I'm unhappy' - Cristiano Ronaldo makes shock claim after Real Madrid win

The Portuguese international scored his 150th goal for the club during the 3-0 victory over Granada, but afterwards claimed he is far from happy due to a 'professional issue'

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo made the shock claim that he was unhappy with the club after he refused to celebrate his 149th and 150th Blancos goals in the win over Granada on Sunday.

The Portuguese was the catalyst behind his side's first win of the new Liga season, but his lack of elation on the back of two landmark strikes was the main talking point after the game, which he explained after full time.

"I'm sad because of a professional issue and the club know why. That's why I didn't celebrate the goals, because I'm not happy. The people [at the club] know why," he told reporters after the match.

"It's nothing to do with Iniesta [winning European player award]. I won't talk about this any more and I will concentrate on Portugal for now. There are more important things [than this]."

"The people at the club know about this. I can't say any more."

Xabi Alonso and Higuain react to Ronaldo affair

Xabi Alonso and Gonzalo Higuain have reacted to Cristiano Ronaldo's comments that he is unhappy at Real Madrid, by claiming that they know nothing of his dissatisfaction.

Los Blancos duo were coy when asked about the news that their team-mate could be moving away from Santiago Bernabeu in the near future, and in turn confirmed that they were content in the Spanish capital.

“I speak for myself when I say I am happy here,” Alonso told AS. “Each person feels as each person wants.

“I think many of us are in a fortunate position where we are part of a group that has made history, but we don’t want to rest on our laurels. We just want to have the chance to win more trophies.”

Argentina international Higuain also commented on the situation surrounding his forward partner, saying: “I cannot speak about it because I know nothing. Cristiano has not said anything in the changing room, and what I've learned is only from the press.”

Messi refuses to comment on Ronaldo situation

Lionel Messi has refused to comment on Cristiano Ronaldo's quotes that he is unhappy at Real Madrid.

The Barcelona superstar claims that it has nothing to do with him, and avoided speaking about the situation when asked about the talented winger.

“That's something Ronaldo said,” he told a press conference in Buenos Aires on Tuesday. “There's no reason to ask me about what he says and vice-versa. It's nothing to do with me. I do not have to answer questions about that.”

Instead, the Argentine striker chose to focus on his country's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Peru, for which Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero will be missing.

“No Aguero? That's bad for the team. Losing a player like that is bad for any team. Personally, I love playing next to Kun.

“I respect the coach's decision [to leave out Tevez]. If Carlos returns to the team, he will be welcome, but the decision is the coach's.”

The 25-year-old concluded by confirming that he is enjoying playing for Argentina, despite rumours that the fans are yet to be won over by the Blaugrana man.

“The team is playing well, and I am happy with how things are going. We are winning games and winning them playing good football. I just want to play for the fans - they are always supportive to me.”



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