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James Rodriguez signs 6-year deal with Real Madrid

Colombia forward James Rodriguez signs 6-year deal to play at Real Madrid
Harold Heckle, The Associated Press

MADRID - A week after finishing the World Cup as the tournament's top scorer with six goals, Colombia forward James Rodriguez signed a six-year deal with Real Madrid on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old Rodriguez, who helped Colombia reach the quarterfinals in Brazil, passed a medical examination at the Sanitas Clinic in the northern suburb of La Moraleja.

"I'm very happy," Rodriguez said as he left the clinic. "Everything went well."

Shakhtar midfielder says players' lives at risk

Brazilian midfielder Douglas Costa says Shakhtar players' lives at risk in Ukrainian conflict
The Associated Press

Douglas Costa says he and his fellow players who are refusing to return to Ukrainian champion Shakhtar Donetsk do so because the conflict in the country puts their lives at risk.

Costa and five other South American players refused to leave France last weekend with the rest of the team to return to Donetsk for Shakhtar's first match of the season on Tuesday.

6 South Americans refuse to return to Donetsk club

6 South American players risk fines, suspensions after refusing to return to Ukrainian club
James Ellingworth, The Associated Press

MOSCOW - Six South Americans — five Brazilians and one Argentine — have refused to return to Ukraine to play for their football club in the troubled city of Donetsk, risking possible fines and suspensions for breach of contract.

The players remained in France following Ukrainian league champion Shakhtar Donetsk's friendly against Lyon on Saturday. The Ukrainian military is attempting to retake Donetsk in the east of the country from pro-Russian rebels.

Shakhtar players refuse to return to Ukraine

6 Shakhtar Donetsk players refuse to return to Ukraine for new season
The Associated Press

MOSCOW - Shakhtar Donetsk's owner says six players have refused to return to Ukraine for the new season as conflict rages around the club's home city.

Five Brazilian and one Argentine player remained in France following a friendly against Olympique Lyon on Saturday.

"If they don't come then in the first instance they will suffer," the club's billionaire owner Rinat Akhmetov said in a statement on the Shakhtar website.

2 Newcastle fans flying to games killed in crash

2 Newcastle fans flying to EPL team's games in NZ among victims of Malaysia Airlines disaster
The Associated Press

LONDON - Two Newcastle fans flying to watch the team play in New Zealand were among the 298 people killed on the Malaysia Airlines jet shot down near the Ukraine-Russia border, the English Premier League club said on Friday.

Replica jerseys and flowers were left outside Newcastle's St. James' Park after the team named the fans on Thursday's Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur flight as John Alder and Liam Sweeney. Ages were not given.

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