Porto defender Cissokho heading for Milan

Lisbon  - AC Milan have agreed to buy Porto's French left-back Aly Cissokho for 15 million euros (21 million dollars), Portuguese media reported Sunday citing Porto club sources.

Cissokho, 21, will undergo a medical examination in Milan on Monday, it was reported.

The defender is Milan's first signing since the departure of coach Carlo Ancelotti to Chelsea and the sale of Brazilian midfielder Kaka to Real Madrid.

The Serie A giants are also hopeful of signing Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko and Sao Paulo midfielder Hernanes. (dpa)

Portugal's ambassador to Senegal recalled over prostitution scanda

Portugal's ambassador to Senegal recalled over prostitution scandaLisbon - Portugal's ambassador to Senegal has been recalled over a prostitution scandal, media reports said Friday.

Ambassador Antonio Montenegro, 64, was under investigation and would be replaced, a government source confirmed.

The ambassador had arranged for luxury callgirls to come to the embassy, where prostitution was practised late at night, Senegalese media were quoted as saying.

The people frequenting the embassy allegedly included well-known musicians.

Eurozone set to slide into deflation

Eurozone set to slide into deflation Brussels  - Belgium on Thursday joined Germany, Portugal, Ireland and Spain in posting a drop in consumer prices, highlighting concerns that the 16-member eurozone may soon slide into deflation as a result of the global recession.

Belgian consumer prices fell in May from April, by 0.37 per cent, for the first time since December 1960. The drop was largely the result of a 17.7 per cent fall in electricity, gas, heating fuel and petrol prices, Belgian media reported.

Figo to Join Inter Milan staff after quitting playing

fifa logoRome - Portuguese veteran Luis Figo appears set on retiring after winning a fourth Serie A title in as many seasons with Inter Milan.

Italian media reported Tuesday that the 36-year old forward is likely to discuss his future with Inter president at the end of the season.

He spoke with Portuguese daily A Bola at the weekend while his side celebrated a scudetto won off the pitch as city rivals AC Milan were defeated, leaving Inter an unassailable lead with three games left to play.

Blake battles back over two days into Estoril final

James BlakeEstoril, Portugal  - James Blake on Sunday became only the second American to play for the title at the Estoril Open as he completed a rain-hit two-day semi-final win over Russian Nikolay Davydenko, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-2), 6-3.

The fourth seed with ten trophies and just one on the dirt was due to face off later Sunday against Spanish seventh seed Alberto Montanes, who got through his semi on Saturday despite an afternoon of rain.

But Blake was caught, out forced to abandon due to lack of light on Saturday down a set but leading 4-2 in the second against the 2003 champion Davydenko.

Davydenko's tennis game back on track in slow return from injury

Nikolay DavydenkoEstoril, Portugal  - 2003 ATP winner Nikolay Davydenko showed the healing effect of a three-month injury break as the Russian second seed powered into his second tennis semi-final in three weeks with a 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Mardy Fish at the Estoril Open Friday.

Davydenko, last year's losing finalist against Roger Federer, didn't touch a racket from January through March due to a heel problem, which left him unable to run.

But the time away for the 27-year-old proved to be a benefit for his tennis, after years of grinding week-in, week-out tournaments on the ATP.

Blake, Fish score US one-two with Estoril victories By Bill Scott

Blake, Fish score US one-two with Estoril victories By Bill Scott, dpa Estoril, Portugal - Florida golfing mates James Blake and Mardy Fish both had to work to salvage comeback victories Wednesday to advance on the clay of the Estoril Open.

Blake, whose career-long lack of success on the surface has left him with little to show each spring, deflated local hopes with his first-round win over Federico Gil, defeating the Portuguese player 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

Fellow Florida resident Fish, his television gameshow presenter wife watching, reached the quarter-finals 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 over Spain's Ivan Navarro.

Portugal confirms first case of swine flu

Portugal confirms first case of swine fluLisbon - The Portuguese government Monday said the first case of swine flu had been confirmed in the country.

The patient was a 30-year-old woman who had passed through an infected area in Mexico, Health Minister Ana Jorge said.

The patient, who was under isolation at home, was doing well.

Neighbouring Spain meanwhile increased the number of confirmed cases to 54. Only 11 of the patients needed to stay in hospital. (dpa)

Ronaldo rocket carries United to semi-finals

Cristiano RonaldoPorto, Portugal  - A stunning goal from Cristiano Ronaldo gave Manchester United a 1-0 victory over Porto on Wednesday, taking them into the Champions League semi-final by a 3-2 aggregate.

No English side had ever won in the Dragao Stadium, but then none perhaps have ever been able to call on a player to capable of the spectacular as Ronaldo.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had publicly criticised the Portugal winger's attitude in the build-up to the game, and he could hardly have responded more positively.

Portugal and Jordan to push for Middle East peace

Portugal and Jordan to push for Middle East peaceLisbon  - Jordan and Portugal will launch joint diplomatic efforts to push for an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians over the next few months, Jordan's King Abdullah II said after meeting Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva on Monday.

The two countries wanted Israel and the Palestinians to start negotiating "as soon as possible," the king said at the start of his two-day state visit to Portugal.

Portugal and Jordan were to sign cooperation agreements in sectors including education, science, technology, culture and social communication.

State funeral begins of Guinea-Bissau's slain president

State funeral begins of Guinea-Bissau's slain president Lisbon - The state funeral ceremony began Tuesday at Guinea-Bissau's parliament for slain president Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira, Portuguese media reported.

The 69-year-old president was shot dead in his home a week ago by soldiers angered by the killing of army chief Tagme Na Wai, Vieira's long-time rival, a few hours earlier. Tagme was buried over the week- end.

The room where Vieira's coffin lay-in-state was so crowded that some diplomats could not sit down.

No peacekeeping operation needed in Guinea-Bissau, Portugal says

PortugalLisbon - Portugal is excluding foreign military intervention in Guinea-Bissau, where the army and the civilian authorities have given the former colonial power assurances of their will to maintain peace, a senior official was Wednesday quoted as saying.

Portugal's Foreign Affairs Secretary of State Joao Gomes Cravinho spoke to the Portuguese news agency Lusa in Cape Verde after visiting Guinea-Bissau, the president of which Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira was shot dead on Monday.

Argentine Di Maria amazes Portugal with "goal from another world"

Young Argentine winger Angel Di MariaLisbon  - Young Argentine winger Angel Di Maria is not a regular starter at Benfica, but he got wide-spread praise on Monday for a goal from 35 metres.

"Brilliant," said the sports daily A Bola of the Argentine's performance in Benfica's 3-2 win Sunday at home against Pacos de Ferreira in the Portuguese championship.

"It was a goal from another world," A Bola said.

Fellow sports daily Record, in turn, described the shot that made the score 3-1 with just three minutes of play remaining as the "Di Maria bomb."

Portuguese premier faces corruption suspicions despite denial

Portugal's new security laws blasted as "totalitarian"  Lisbon- A corruption scandal deepened Thursday in Portugal as media reports said the British authorities had requested information about the possible involvement of Prime Minister Jose Socrates in the so-called Freeport case.

Ronaldo building ‘£6.1m dream pad’ in Portugal

Ronaldo: A dream come trueLondon, Jan 29 : Cristiano Ronaldo is having his dream home built in Portugal, which is worth a whopping 6.1million pounds, according to reports.

The five acres mansion has seven-bed pile and has three floors connected by a ramp.

Its swimming pool is half inside and half out, reports the Sun.

The glass-fronted pad has a vegetated "eco roof" and garage for five cars.

Sources have claimed that the Man U ace is "very excited" about the home in Santo Estevao. (ANI)

Ronaldo describes himself as a “Footballing Ferrari"

Cristiano RonaldoLondon, Jan. 27 : Portuguese and Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo believes footballers are like cars when it comes to value – the sleeker and more sophisticated the model, the higher the price.

The World Player of the Year believes he is in the “super car” bracket of players who are worth 100 million pounds.

Smaller F1 teams hopeful of challenging in 2009

Smaller F1 teams hopeful of challenging in 2009Portimao, Portugal - Testing on the Portuguese Algarve draws to a close Thursday for five Formula teams with Renault's Nelson Piquet Jr saying the top teams are beatable this season and Toyota's Timo Glock believing he can be one of the top five drivers in 2009.

"It's going to be a very interesting season. There have been countless changes such as new wheels, new aerodynamics and the KERS system," Piquet Jr said.

"Whichever team works hard and gets used to the new rules faster will definitely have an advantage."

2009 simply a battle to survive for many Formula One teams

2009 simply a battle to survive for many Formula One teamsPortimao, Portugal - The mood has been sober during Formula One testing this week on the Portuguese Algarve with many of those involved in the sport more concerned about merely making it through the 2009 season than the upcoming battle for championship points.

"It's about surviving," said Renault team principal Favio Briatore candidly at the circuit in Portimao, where testing by five F1 teams continues until Thursday. "We have never had such a critical moment as this one."

A relaxed, optimistic Alonso only frowns over Ferrari

A relaxed, optimistic Alonso only frowns over FerrariPortimao, Portugal  - If his optimism and his coolness are anything to go by, Fernando Alonso has half a Formula 1 title - the third of his personal count - in his pocket already, even before the 2009 season starts on March 29 in Australia.

In southern Portugal, where the year's first joint tests were being held until Thursday, only one word could take away the Spaniard's smile: Ferrari.

"I've been having to answer that question for five years," he complained at a press conference in the brand new Portimao circuit, when asked by a journalist.

Briatore stressed that Formula 1 is trying "to survive"

Briatore stressed that Formula 1 is trying "to survive" Portimao, Portugal  - Formula 1 is going through an unprecedented crisis and is fighting "to survive," in the eyes of key player Flavio Briatore, managing director of the Renault team.

"This is a crucial moment for Formula 1," Briatore warned Monday in the Portimao circuit in southern Portugal.

Following the first day of joint tests, he stressed he wants "to secure the chance to survive the crisis and improve business" in the main category of world motorsport.

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