Nasri confirms retirement from football at the age of 34

Samir Nasri has confirmed his retirement from football at the age of 34.

The former Manchester City and Arsenal attacking midfielder had been without a club since leaving Anderlecht last year.

Nasri, who also had a brief stint at West Ham, twice won the Premier League as a player at the Etihad Stadium, and was named in the 2010-11 PFA Team of the Year.

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He scored five goals in 41 appearances for his national side, making his final appearance in 2013.

Nasri received a six-month ban, later extended and back-dated by a further 12, in 2018 after being found guilty of doping offences.

The Frenchman received an intravenous drip at a clinic in Los Angeles in breach of World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) rules.

Nasri explained that the incident had badly affected him and maintains that he did nothing wrong.

“One episode hurt me badly and changed my relationship with football: my suspension,” Nasri told French paper Le Journal du Dimanche.

“I found that more than unfair – I had not taken any doping product. It was just an injection of vitamins because I was sick.

“That stopped me in my tracks.”

Nasri, now a pundit for Canal+, explained that no challenge had excited him after his reunion with Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht did not work out as planned, with a return to hometown, boyhood club Marseille not an option.

“There was an emotional side, but also the idea of being a player and coaching, too,” Nasri said of his time in Belgium. “I told myself that I would learn with him, [but[ it didn’t go as planned.

“Then [the Belgian league] stopped because of Covid and afterwards I didn’t necessarily want to [continue]. No challenge excited me. And I couldn’t see myself coming back to France if it wasn’t to Olympique Marseille.”

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Celtic fall to defeat at Real Betis in Europa League opener

Celtic’s Europa League campaign kicked off in disappointing fashion as they let a two-goal lead slip to lose 4-3 at Real Betis.

The Bhoys made a rapid start in Seville and were in control through a goal from Albian Ajeti and Josip Juranovic’s penalty.

Juan Miranda’s quicksilver feet set Betis on the comeback trail as he danced through the Celtic defence to cut the deficit on 32 minutes.

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Juanmi’s first of two on the night levelled the contest on 35 minutes. His second followed hot on the heels of Borja Iglesias putting Betis ahead – with Anthony Ralston‘s late header proving a mere consolation for Celtic.

Bayer Leverkusen came from behind to beat Ferencvaros 2-1 thanks to goals from Exequiel Palacios and Florian Wirtz, with the result meaning Celtic are joint-bottom of Group G.

An own goal from Thomas Strakosha was enough for Galatasaray to beat Lazio 1-0, while the other game in Group E saw Lokomotiv Moscow and Marseille draw 1-1. The Russian side earned a point when Faustino Anjorin’s goal on 89 minutes cancelled out a Cengiz Under penalty.

Crvena Zvezda are top of Group F after beating Braga 2-1, while FC Midtjylland and Ludogorets drew 1-1.

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