Benjamin Park

Benjamin Park

BARCELONA defender Gerard Pique has signed a contract extension with the club until 2022.

The 30-year-old’s contract, which sees him tied to the Catalan club until 30th June 2022, has a massive €500m buyout clause.

The current La Liga leaders posted a video celebrating the Spaniard’s achievements with the side after the news was confirmed.

Pique joined Barcelona’s coveted La Masia academy as a 10-year-old in 1997, but left for the Premier League in 2004 when he joined Manchester United.

He enjoyed 4 successful seasons at Old Trafford and was part of the double winning side that won the Premier League and beat Chelsea in Munich in the 2008 Champions League final.

The central defender was bought back to the Camp Nou by Pep Guardiola in the summer of 2008 and has since won a staggering 25 trophies during his time with the Catalan Giants, including 3 Champions Leagues, 6 La Liga titles, 5 Copa del Reys, 5 Spanish Supercopas, 3 European SuperCups and 3 Club World Cups.

The Spaniard is one of just seven players to win four Champions League titles alongside club mates, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi, former team-mates Samuel Eto’o, Xavi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who both won the title with Manchester United in 2008, and Clarence Seedorf.  

THE LIFELESS body of a newborn baby has been reportedly found at a recycling plant in Granada.

According to reports, the baby, estimated to be between eight or nine months, was found inside a bag on Tuesday by workers at the plant in Alhendin.

The infant’s body has reportedly now been transferred to the Institute of Legal Medicine of Granada for an autopsy to determine the circumstances of the death.

Guardia Civil officers will now investigate the identity of the baby’s mother in an attempt to try and understand what happened. 

FORMER Malaga boss Michel has penned a letter thanking fans and members of the club’s staff for the ‘best of memories’ during his time with the club.

The 54-year-old was let go by Los Boquerones after the side’s 1-0 lost to Getafe on Friday following a poor run of results that have left the club’s La Liga future in doubt.

Malaga’s loss was their third consecutive 1-0 defeat, which left the team joint bottom of La Liga on just 11 points.

But after being let go the former coach has taken to social media to thank people for their support during his tenure.

The letter, which was posted to twitter with the comment “Thank you everyone”, said: “Since my arrival at this club, I have not stopped receiving samples of affection and teachings. For all my gratitude and, as it could not be otherwise, the best of memories.

“For a coach, who always has the hours counted and the suitcase made, value you and make you feel that you will be eternal in this Club, it is an exclusive experience thanks to those who work and collaborate in the Málaga CF joining vocation and feeling.

“Take note because that is not seen everywhere and is something that encourages the workers of any department of this Club.

“Thank my Sports Directors, who brought me and who had to fire me. The two trusted the person and valued the coach over the days and our many conversations. For Mario Husillos has been the bad drink and I thank you to make it happen without trauma.

“As athletes we are still, we accept that the results do not know about merits, nor full dedication; only of the goal although we no longer put it.

“My eternal debt to my collaborators, those who came with me and those who met here; physiotherapists, doctors, kit people, physical trainers, technicians and communication. To all without exception my hug and my debt for life. 

“Seeing your tears in my farewell in private and with your subsequent messages, confirms that there is room for you in my family album. You are like the rest of the employees, who maintain this malaguista spirit, because Málaga is not yours as a business or a way of life, but as an unbeatable feeling as a Boquerón.

“I told my players that I would have liked to make them better, much better and that they could enjoy it to the fullest, but when you give everything, you cannot demand more. If those who were in charge had more patience, it was your commitment to me, your faith and especially your willingness every day.

“Saying goodbye to malaguistas and malagueños - those who continue to cheer me on the street and those who shouted at me "Míchel go now" - because everyone has something to say in this situation of instability marked by the results.

“I wish with absolute sincerity that the victories begin to arrive to be able to enjoy that calm that is needed. I hope my successor gets it; I do not just want it, I believe it...

“Thanks to all without exception

Míchel.”

POLICE are on the hunt for a suspected arsonist after multiple incidents of bin fires in Mallorca.

Firefighters in Palma were called early on Tuesday morning to put out two large fires after several bins became engulfed in flames.

Huge flames rose from bins in the neighbourhood of El Molinar at approximately 3am and less than half an hour later, similar flames rose from bins in Coll de Rabasa.

Emergency services were able to quickly extinguish the flames, but two homes, a parked car and a telephone pole were reportedly affected by the fires.

According to Spanish media, further bins were then found on fire in the Ciutat Jardi neighbourhood in the evening around 11:30pm.

Firefighters again acted quickly to put out the fire but the extent of the damage caused by the blaze is currently unknown.

It is not yet known whether the incidents are linked, but police reportedly believe that it is the same person/people behind the fires.

An investigation is reportedly now underway.

 

NATIONAL Police have seized 3000 kilos of hashish and arrested four alleged drug traffickers in La Linea.

The four arrested allegedly formed a criminal group that specialised in transporting the drug from Morocco to Spain, via the Gibraltar strait, with the intention of distributing it to other cities.

During the operation that saw the seizure of the hashish, police also intercepted two loaded firearms, five vehicles, three of which were stolen, €2,500 in cash and twelve mobile phones.

Investigations reportedly began in mid-September last year, when officers recovered three stolen off-road vehicles that were allegedly used to transport hashish ‘bales’ from beaches and deliver them to different areas.

Intelligence eventually led officers to a property in La Linea where officers were able to seize the hashish, among the many other items, and arrest the four allegedly responsible.

FORMER Rangers and Sporting Gijon player Nacho Novo is said to be in a ‘stable condition’ after suffering a heart attack while playing in a legends tounament.

The Spaniard was playing in a Rangers Legends team at tournament, the AOK Traditions Masters, in Berlin, when the attack occurred.

The 38-year-old was immediately rushed to a Berlin hospital for an operation and the Spaniard’s girlfriend, model, Stephanie Heaney, has now provided an update on his condition.

She wrote on her Facebook page: “Hi everyone I'm absolutely exhausted and with Nacho I appreciate all the messages but I can't answer everyone sorry.

"Nacho is stable and speaking to me and hopefully will be home soon. And thank you.” She also praised the tournament organisers, Rangers football club and the doctors at for their support during the stressful time.

In a separate post, Heaney wrote: “Just want to quickly say that the organiser of this tournament that Nacho was playing at has been amazingly helpful and really looked after myself and my uncle whilst we have been here in Berlin and so supportive would have been lost without him.

“And everyone at Rangers football club have been constantly on the phone and keeping up to date with his progress.

“Nacho’s getting lots of rest at the moment and he's well looked after the doctors have been amazing.

“Thank you again to all the fans and friends for all the amazingly kind messages of support for Nacho.”

A fan favourite among Rangers fans, Novo won three Scottish Premiership titles, two Scottish League cups, a Scottish Cup and reached the final of the 2007-08 UEFA Cup final during his six seasons with the Scottish side.

GENERAL Traffic Minister (DGT), Gregorio Serrano, has announced that parts of the AP-6, A-61 and AP-51 will be 'cut off' due to increased snowfall.

Police and Guardia Civil officers rescued thousands of people earlier in the day after heavy snowfall left hundreds of vehicles trapped on the road overnight.

According to reports, approximately 70 kilometres of motorway between Madrid and Segovia were affected, with the AP-6 motorway in Castile, Leon and north-western parts of the region feeling the full force of the snowfall.

More than 150 members of the army's military emergencies unit (UME) were deployed earlier this morning (Sunday) to help rescue people and the road was temporarily re-opened in a "provisional manner" earlier this afternoon.

But Serrano has now announced the closure of several roads amid more intense snow until further notice.

He tweeted: "The AP-6, AP-61 AND AP-51 will be cut immediately because of the increase in snow intensity. Follow the notices and instructions of the Guardia Civil."

He continued: "The AP-6 is cut due to cloud on a section of the highway, as AEMET has warned us, and at the request of the concessionaire. "Take care of the indications of the Guardia Civil.

"Two units of the Emergency Military Unit (UME)  remain on alert in the AP-6 in case it is needed."

Drivers are advised to watch for regular Guardia Civil updates if travelling in the region.

FORMER King of Spain Juan Carlos made a rare public appearance with the current King and son, Felipe VI, at the annual Three Kings and Epiphany day celebrations yesterday (Saturday).

The former King, who turned 80 on Friday, has reportedly complained about feeling sidelined by the royal family in recent weeks, but appeared in full military uniform alongside his wife Sofia, son Felipe and Queen Letizia at Madrid's Royal Palace.

King Felipe VI praised his father during a ceremony held at the palace, thanking him for his "many years of loyal service to Spain."

Juan Carlos abdicated in favour of his son in 2014 and was given the title of "King Emertius" after nearly 40 years on the throne.

The former king is credited with leading Spain to democracy after Franco's dictatorship but reportedly abdicated after a series of scandals damaged his public image.

A WOMAN has died after being dragged into the sea by a wave while training in northern Spain.

The woman was reportedly training on the San Juan de Nieva jetty in Castrillon, Asturias when she was swept into the sea along with another man.

When emergency services arrived on the scene, the man had reportedly managed to get himself out of the water and helped them in an attempt to locate the woman.

Three people were injured in the attempt to rescue the woman, including the man who also fell in the water, a local police officer and a firefighter.

Emergency CPR was reportedly given to the woman for an hour when she was eventually retrieved from the water, but despite their efforts she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The death comes after a couple died in Mutriku, Basque country earlier this week in similar water-related circumstances, as northern Spain continues to be hit by storms.

MORE THAN 200 African Migrants have entered Spain after storming over a double fence between Morocco and Melilla.

In total, 209 people reportedly forced their way over the two six-metre (20 feet) high double fences between Morocco and the Spanish enclave.

Several people were reportedly injured during the violent barrage, including four of the migrants and a Guardia Civil officer.

Footage captured by journalist Helena Maleno Garzon shows a large group of migrants running through the streets of the city.

Migrants often use Melilla and Cueta , nearly 400 kilometres away, as access points into Europe as they are the only two land borders between Africa and the European Union.

A record number of migrants reached Spain in 2017, with almost 22,900 people accessing the country from Africa according to EU border agency Frontex.

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