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Rosberg Extends Deal with Mercedes

Nico Rosberg has agreed to a contract extension that will keep the German Formula One driver with the Mercedes team through the 2013 season.

Rosberg, who joined Mercedes for the 2010 season, has earned 217 points for the team and currently sits seventh in the driver standings just ahead of teammate and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.

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Neymar Extends Contract with Santos

Highly-coveted Brazilian striker Neymar put a definitive end to speculation about his future on Wednesday as he extended his contract with Santos for a further two years to 2014.

The 19-year-old had already said in September at a hastily-assembled press conference that he would not be moving in the transfer window in January dashing the hopes of several European clubs, primarily Spanish giants Real Madrid.

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Euro 2012 Lineup Close to Completion with Playoffs

The lineup for the European Championship could become clearer Friday when the playoffs for the final four places at next year’s tournament get under way.

While already qualified Germany, France and the Netherlands are in friendly action, the Czech Republic hosts Montenegro as it tries to maintain a record of reaching every European Championship since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

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Yaya Toure, Drogba up for African Player Award

Ivory Coast trio Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba, and Gervinho were among 10 footballers nominated for the African Player of the Year award on Wednesday.

The three English Premier League players were joined by 2010 winner Samuel Eto’o and Ghanaian internationals Andre Ayew, Asamoah Gyan and Kevin-Prince Boateng on a list announced by the Confederation of African Football.

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Balotelli: I’m Not Crazy But I Do Strange Things

Mario Balotelli insists he’s not crazy, although he does acknowledge that he “can do strange things” from time to time.

For example, Balotelli recently had to evacuate his house in England after fireworks were let off in his bathroom. And he has been questioned by Naples prosecutors over a visit with the Camorra crime syndicate.

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Ecclestone Takes Stand in Formula One Bribery Case

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone took the stand in Munich on Wednesday as the star witness in the trial of a German former banker accused of receiving bribes from the motorsport chief.

The testimony from Ecclestone, Formula One's commercial rights holder who has run the sport for nearly 40 years, was keenly awaited in the trial of Gerhard Gribkowsky, who is accused of corruption, tax evasion and embezzlement.

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Djokovic, Murray Reach Paris Masters Third Round

Novak Djokovic dismissed Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-4, 6-3 in the Paris Masters second round on Wednesday amid concerns about the shoulder injury which bothered him last weekend at the Swiss Indoors.

The top-ranked Djokovic complained of shoulder pains in his semifinal loss to Kei Nishikori in Basel. He said he was fine after practice on Tuesday.

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French Climbers Found Dead in Alps after Week-Long Search

Two French climbers who were at the center of a dramatic week-long search after they were stranded in the Mont Blanc massif were found dead on Wednesday, rescuers said.

"The two people are dead," Oscar Taiola, who led rescue efforts on the Italian side of Mont Blanc, told AFP, after rescuers earlier announced they had located the climbers.

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Germany's Goetze Eager to Face Dutch

Germany's teenage star Mario Goetze is hoping for the chance to take on World Cup runners-up the Netherlands on Tuesday and for the opportunity to play alongside Real Madrid play-maker Mesut Ozil.

Goetze, who turned 19 in June, has been in stellar form this season for both his club, Borussia Dortmund, and country, but Germany coach Joachim Loew has so far resisted playing him alongside Real's Ozil.

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Former Juve Boss Moggi Gets More than Five Years in Prison

Former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi was sentenced to five years and four months in jail on Tuesday for his role in the 2006 Calciopoli match-fixing scandal.

Fiorentina owners Andrea and Diego Della Valle and Lazio president Claudio Lotito received sentences of 15 months, though, they will not have to serve them as under Italian law sentences under two years don't require the guilty party to serve time.

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