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Mon 21 May by Mark Gleeson

Preview

* Maverick legend Diego Maradona is set for a new adventure in Belarus after being named managing director of Dinamo Brest, a topflight club in the Eastern European country, on a three-year contract. The 57-year-old, who will assume his new role after the World Cup in Russia, is to be in charge of the “strategic development” of the team.
* South Africa remain unchanged at number 72 in the latest FIFA World Rankings released, but will have the opportunity in the coming weeks to climb the table.
Bafana Bafana stay 15th on the African continent with little movement around them, but the upcoming COSAFA Cup tournament in the Limpopo province is an opportunity to score points.
* Lionel Messi heads the ranking of footballers who have played at least 1,800 minutes over the season according to their performance level, ahead of David Silva and Paulo Dybala. Six Manchester City players are in the top 10 list while Robert Lewandowski heads the table for German Bundesliga players (10th overall). The English Premier League is the most represented competition in the top 100 positions (30 footballers), while Bayern Munich is the most represented club (11 players).
* Atletico Madrid is planning a shock move for Leicester striker Jamie Vardy. Coach Diego Simeone believes Vardy will complement Diego Costa, and needs to strengthen with Antoine Griezmann set to leave for Barcelona and veteran Fernando Torres also on his way out.
* Gianluigi Buffon’s departure from Juventus means he will likely lose his record as the longest serving player at one club. The legendary Italian goalkeeper has spent for 17 seasons at Juventus, six months more than the second placed Sergio Pellissier (Chievo Verona), and one year more than for Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) and Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund). Iniesta has already stated he will be leaving Barca next month.