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Albert Roca Leaves Hyderabad FC to Join FC Barcelona; Gareth Southgate on Tenterhooks About Possible Player Withdrawals in England Team and More (Football Round-Up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): Albert Roca leaves Hyderabad FC to join Ronald Koeman’s staff as a fitness coach at Barcelona | Gareth Southgate left to wait over possible player withdrawals owing to coronavirus quarantine rules in the England football team | Chelsea beat Manchester City 2-0 to win Women's Community Shield | Ultimate dream is to qualify for World Cup: Sandesh Jhingan | Barcelona unwilling to negotiate Lionel Messi departure.
Albert Roca leaves Hyderabad FC to join FC Barcelona

Albert Roca, 57, will join FC Barcelona as their fitness coach under new manager Ronald Koeman.

Albert Roca parted ways with the Indian Super League (ISL) side Hyderabad FC on August 29. He will travel to Catalonia to join FC Barcelona as a member of the coaching staff of Ronald Koeman.

In January, Roca signed a two-year contract with Hyderabad FC and was supposed to coach the club for the upcoming season.

Also Read | UEFA Women's Champions League Final Preview (Part 2): A Lyonnais Legacy

“After lengthy deliberations, Hyderabad FC has taken the decision to allow Albert Roca, who hails from Catalonia, to rejoin the club where he was part of the first team staff from 2003 to 2008,” a club statement said.

The 57-year-old will join FC Barcelona as their fitness coach under new manager Koeman, and said he was thankful to Hyderabad FC for showing faith in him.

“For me, it’s been a tough decision to make. I am thankful to everyone at HFC for showing immense faith in me since I joined back in January. I am aware that all our fans will be disheartened but believe me, it’s not an easy goodbye for me either,” Roca said.

Southgate Left Waiting

Gareth Southgate has a long wait over the weekend to know how many players from his team would have to back out because of the coronavirus quarantine rules.

Since there is high patient confidentiality, neither the Premier League clubs, nor the FA, have said anything about any player from England testing positive for Covid-19. But it has come to light that a number of Chelsea players -- including Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount -- are under self-isolation as a precautionary measure.

Also Read | UEFA Women's Champions League Final Preview (Part 1): The Wolfsburg Juggernaut

Tottenham's Harry Kane is in self-isolation after he returned from his holiday in the Bahamas, also as a precautionary measure.

Last Thursday, the FA's medical team were assured that all 23 members of Southgate's squad will make it past the quarantine rules, and will be free to join up on Monday (August 31) morning as planned, although Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford is still doubtful, but that is because of an ankle injury and not coronavirus.

Chelsea Win Women's Community Shield

Millie Bright’s goal from long-range, and a great finish by Erin Cuthbert ensured Chelsea beat Manchester City in the Women's Community Shield final at Wembley Stadium.

After the initial exchanges, Chelsea's Sam Kerr made some brilliant attempts at goal but were saved. Bright then scored the opening goal for Chelsea, the Women's Super League champions.

FA Cup holders Manchester City inched very close to scoring a goal in the first half when Chloe Kelly struck the inside of the left post, but a very smart save from goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger kept the ball out.

Jhingan’s FIFA World Cup Dream

India's central defender Sandesh Jhingan said the ultimate goal for the team is to make it to the FIFA World Cup.

Jhingan said in order to qualify for the World Cup, the Indian team will need to regularly be a part of the AFC Asian Cup, break into the top 100 and then look at top 50 in the FIFA rankings.

Also Read | From Jarnail To Jhingan: Punjab Flavour to Evolution of Defenders in Indian Football

"Our ultimate dream as a nation is to qualify for the World Cup," Jhingan said.

"... but there are certain steps which we need to climb on the pathway — like being regular for the AFC Asian Cup, breaking into the top 100, then into the top 50, winning tournaments at home, and abroad."

"Physically and mentally, you need to be in sync. As players, we need to stay hungry," he added.

Barca’s Hard Stance

Barcelona are fixed on their decision to keep Lionel Messi in their ranks even after the Argentine insisting that he wants to leave.

Spanish media reported that Messi is in talks with the club to resolve the situation, but Barcelona confirmed that they will not negotiate to let Messi leave before his contract ends next year.

Earlier this week, Messi said he wanted to make use of the clause that allowed him to leave at the end of last season, but the club retorted saying the clause has already expired.

A long legal battle might be in order since the 33-year-old forward is adamant that the clause in question is valid till August since the season ended late due to the pandemic.

Messi's contract will come to an end in June 2021, and comes with a buyout clause of 700 million Euros, which is roughly $831 million. 

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