Names In The News
PELÉ is receiving treatment in Rio de Janeiro after suffering from "severe exhaustion." The Brazilian, 77, "had been due to fly to London for a tribute event" organized by the Football Writers’ Association on Sunday (LONDON TIMES, 1/20). .... ManU midfielder HENRIKH MKHITARYAN agreed to join Arsenal, with ALEXIS SÁNCHEZ "set to move in the opposite direction in a straight swap" (BBC, 1/21). ... Former Formula 1 driver STIRLING MOSS "decided to retire from public life following a long illness." A statement from his son said that he made the decision because of his "slow recovery" from health problems (BBC, 1/19). ... Tongan flagbearer PITA TAUFATOFUA, "who garnered worldwide attention when he carried the Tongan flag oiled up and shirtless" at the Rio 2016 opening ceremony, qualified for next month's Winter Olympics. He is Tonga's "first-ever skiier to qualify for the Winter Olympics" (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 1/21). ... ManU manager JOSÉ MOURINHO confirmed that club captain MICHAEL CARRICK "will retire at the end of the season and will join the Old Trafford coaching staff as he pursues his post-playing career." The 36-year-old veteran "has been plagued by injury and illness concerns this season" (London INDEPENDENT, 1/20). ... Rugby League "Immortal" GRAEME LANGLANDS died, aged 76. The Immortals are eight players named by Rugby League Week magazine as Australia's "greatest ever." Langlands played 45 games for Australia between '63 and '75, which was a record when he retired (London GUARDIAN, 1/20).
AUSSIE POST: GRAHAM ARNOLD was confirmed as a candidate to take charge of the Socceroos but he "remains long odds to lead Australia" at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with Football Federation Australia leaning toward "appointing an interim coach for the tournament." In a sign of the "tapered expectations" for Australia at the World Cup in the wake of ANGE POSTECOGLOU's "abrupt" exit last November, FFA's priority is fixed to "hiring a high-profile foreign coach on a short-term contract for the World Cup" before seeking a permanent Socceroos' coach (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 1/21).