Former Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio has joined Zenit on a free transfer, the Russian club have announced.Marchisio ended a 25-year association with the Scudetto holders in August, having made a total of 389 appearances as a professional.The 32-year-old was restricted to just 15 appearances in Serie A last term due to competition for places and injury problems. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Emre Can’s arrival in Turin gave every indication Marchisio was to fall even further down the pecking order this term, and the announcement of the Italy international’s mutual contract termination in August surprised few.He now embarks on a new adventure in Russia, joining Zenit on a free transfer in a deal which has been seen as a real coup for Sergei Semak’s men, who are two points clear at the top of the Russian Premier League after six matches.He will wear the number 10 shirt for the club as they look to win their first league title since 2015, having slumped to a fifth-placed finish last season.With the exception of a single season spent on loan at Empoli during the 2007-08 campaign, Marchisio spent his entire professional career with Juve, helping them to the Serie A title in seven consecutive campaigns, dating back from this year to 2011.He is also a four-time winner of the Coppa Italia and a three-time victor in the Supercoppa Italia.At international level, Marchisio has won 55 caps for Italy to date, between 2009 and 2017, and was a member of the national team that finished runner-up at Euro 2012 to Spain.In addition, he was a member of the Azzurri squads that took part in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, and was named in their team for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, though he was forced to return home due to injury.
Australia’s victory over South Africa in the second one-day international on Friday helped lift the pressure following a poor run of results for a side coming to terms with plenty of off-field distractions, according to vice-captain Josh Hazlewood.Cricket in Australia has been mired in controversy since the side were embroiled in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March, with a damning report into the sport’s administration leading to a slew of resignations and sackings.The team had also not won a limited-overs match since January, which may have been one of the reasons behind a crowd of fewer than 18,000 turning up at the vast Adelaide Oval to watch them set up a series decider in Hobart on Sunday.2nd ODI: Pace battery helps Australia end their longest losing streak in ODIsThe seven-run win, however, could be the catalyst for the team as they looked ahead to India’s visit Down Under later in the Australian summer, Hazlewood told reporters in Adelaide on Saturday.”It will probably relax the guys a little bit, if anything,” the fast bowler said of the victory, which snapped a seven-match losing streak in white-ball cricket. “It’s a little bit of relief, I guess.Australia vs South Africa 2nd ODI in Adelaide: Highlights”It’s a good step moving forward to get one on the board… (but) we know one win doesn’t make a summer. It makes tomorrow (Sunday) a pretty important game for us to try and win the series.”Australia defended a modest 231 against Faf Du Plessis’ side at a more-than-half-empty Adelaide ground that has a capacity in excess of 53,000.advertisementAustralia not playing the Australian way, ready to help: Shane Warne”Whenever we play one-day cricket before test cricket in the summer, the crowds don’t tend to come as much as they do in January and February, when we’re playing one-dayers,” Hazlewood said.”Maybe everyone is holding out for the test match.”Aaron Finch says Cricket Australia controversy distracting playersWhile captain Aaron Finch had said before the match that off-field issues may have been causing “doubts” among his side, Hazlewood felt the opposite was the case and they were just making sure they concentrated on getting it right on the field.”We’re obviously aware of it, but I don’t think it’s a distraction by any means. We have been doing the right things at training and are really focused on the process and (have) put results a little bit out of our mind,” Hazlewood said.