Atletico’s Filipe Luis sidelined with hamstring injury

Atlético Madrid defender Filipe Luis looks set to be out of action for around three weeks after the club confirmed he has suffered a hamstring strain. The Brazilian left-back was forced off an hour into Atlético’s dramatic 3-2 win at Real Valladolid on Saturday. Atlético announced on Monday that, following an MRI scan, the 33-year-old sustained a grade one strain. Although the club have not set a specific return date, a rest period of three weeks is recommended after such injuries. As such, Filipe Luis will most likely miss Saturday’s visit of Espanyol and…

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Manchester United draw PSG in Champions League, Liverpool to face Bayern Munich

Manchester United have drawn Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League, while Liverpool will face Bayern Munich and Tottenham will take on Borussia Dortmund. Manchester City were drawn against Bundesliga side Schalke, meaning three of the four English teams will face German opposition. Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the city of Madrid, with Juventus drawn against Atletico. Holders Real Madrid must overcome Dutch side Ajax, while Barcelona will take on Lyon and Roma will face FC Porto. The first legs of the last-16 ties will be split…

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Yaya Toure leaves Olympiakos three months after rejoining Greek club

Former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has left Olympiakos, just three months after rejoining the Greek club. The 35-year-old’s contract has been terminated by “mutual agreement”. Toure, who was a free agent in the summer after leaving City, chose to join Olympiakos in September, where he spent the 2005-06 season. The former Ivory Coast international, who also played for Barcelona, made just two starts and two substitute appearances while in Athens. “Olympiakos and Yaya Toure would like to announce to the fans that they have mutually agreed to end their cooperation,”…

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Villarreal sack coach Javi Calleja after poor run of results

Villarreal have sacked coach Javi Calleja with the club just three points above the relegation zone in La Liga. A former Villarreal midfielder, Calleja took over as coach in September 2017, leading the Yellow Submarine to a fifth-placed finish and Europa League football last season. However, this campaign the club has struggled, winning just once in La Liga since September and progress through to the knockout stages in Europe is still in the balance. “Villareal has decided to rescind Javi Callejas contract as first-team coach. The club would like to…

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Ronaldo challenges Messi to leave Barcelona and La Liga

Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has suggested that Lionel Messi “maybe needs more” after so long at Barcelona and has invited his eternal rival to join him in Serie A. Two talismanic performers who have cemented standings among the all-time greats spent nine years battling for supremacy in Spain prior to a stunning summer transfer window. Ronaldo’s decision to leave Real Madrid for Turin in a £90m deal has left Messi as the standalone five-time Ballon d’Or winner in LaLiga. Ronaldo has called on his great rival to join him in Serie…

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Luka Modric wins Ballon d’or to end Ronaldo and Messi dominance

Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award in more than a decade. Modric, 33, won his third successive Champions League in May before helping Croatia to a first World Cup final. Former Brazil and AC Milan forward Kaka, in 2007, was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win it. Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, came second. Barcelona forward Messi finished fifth, with…

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Uefa announces introduction of ‘Europa League 2’ from 2021

A third European club competition with the working title ‘Europa League 2’ will be introduced from 2021. One English team will enter the play-offs of the new tournament, while Scottish sides may miss out on Europa League places in a reshuffle. As part of Uefa’s 2021-2024 cycle, the Europa League will be halved in size to 32 teams with an extra play-off round between the group stage and last 16. The new tournament will be played on Thursdays alongside the Europa League. Every country’s champions will still enter the Champions…

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Postponed Copa Libertadores final to be played at Santiago Bernabeu

Conmebol has confirmed that the postponed second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors will be played at the Bernabéu stadium, more than 6,000 miles away from the original venue, on 9 December. Fans of both sides will be given an equal allocation of tickets. Argentina’s two biggest teams drew the first leg 2-2 at Boca’s ground and were due to play the second match in South America’s equivalent of the Champions League final at River’s El Monumental stadium on Saturday. However, three Boca players, including the former Manchester…

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Manchester United activate one-year extension on David de Gea contract

Manchester United have triggered the one-year option on goalkeeper David de Gea’s contract to avoid any uncertainty over his future heading into the January transfer window, according to a report in the BBC. His contract was due to end in the summer, allowing him to talk to overseas clubs from 1 January and sign a pre-contract agreement. However, United have extended his deal for another year. As manager Jose Mourinho confirmed after Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Young Boys, United are keen to hold on to the keeper, who has won…

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Eden Hazard drops hints at 2019 Chelsea exit

Eden Hazard has dropped his biggest hint yet he could leave Chelsea at the end of the season. The Belgium international has 18 months remaining on his contract and has been linked with both Real Madrid and Paris St Germain and admits a summer departure from Stamford Bridge is possible. Football punters have also been backing his exit with an offer from betdaq, at odds that are surely likely to only get shorter as the summer nears. Hazard himself has played up his interest in joining Real in the past, saying…

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Luis Suarez urges Ousmane Dembele to be ‘more responsible’

Luis Suarez has said Barcelona teammate Ousmane Dembele should be “more responsible” after he reportedly missed training following a marathon nocturnal video gaming session. Dembele was dropped by the Spanish champions for last week’s shock 4-3 home defeat to Real Betis following what coach Ernesto Valverde called a “sporting assessment”. But sports daily AS reports that the Catalans are worried not only that he might be addicted to gaming, but also that it might ruin his career at the club. And Suarez, no stranger to disciplinary issues himself, says that…

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Barcelona confirm Ivan Rakitic hamstring injury

Barcelona have confirmed Ivan Rakitic has been diagnosed with a hamstring injury. Rakitic was substituted midway through the second half of Croatia’s 3-2 Nations League win against Spain, in which Tin Jedvaj scored a late winner. Coach Zlatko Dalic subsequently confirmed Rakitic would not travel with Croatia to London for Sunday’s decisive clash with England. And Barcelona announced on Saturday scans have found Rakitic has a hamstring injury in his right leg, with no timescale given for his recovery. ❗ [INJURY NEWS] @ivanrakitic has a hamstring strain in his right leg. His return…

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Griezmann reveals reason behind Barcelona snub

Antoine Griezmann has revealed playing second fiddle to Lionel Messi at Barcelona was a factor in his decision to stay at Atletico Madrid. Griezmann was heavily linked with a switch to Camp Nou before the World Cup as many Barca fans became excited at the prospect of seeing the France international playing alongside Messi. The striker seemed set for the move before doing a U-turn and pledging his future to Atleti in a Twitter video, Griezmann ultimately signing a contract extension until 2023 in June. Speaking about the transfer saga to Canal Plus on Sunday, Griezmann admitted…

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Real Madrid confirm Solari appointment as permanent manager

Real Madrid have confirmed Santiago Solari’s appointment as their permanent manager after receiving approval from the Spanish football federation (RFEF). The 42-year-old Argentine has led the team to four wins in four games since replacing Julen Lopetegui at the helm of the European champions two weeks ago. Though the club have yet to confirm the news, Spanish rules prevent an interim coach from staying in charge for longer than 15 days, a period that expires on Monday. With victories over Melilla in the Copa del Rey, Viktoria Plzen in the…

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Real Madrid sack Julen Lopetegui after Clasico rout

Julen Lopetegui has been sacked as Real Madrid manager after just 14 matches that culminated in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to Barcelona in el Clasico at the Nou Camp. Former Real player and current coach of the Castilla Santiago Solari will “provisionally” be in charge of the first team until a successor is named, the club confirmed in a statement Monday night. The Spaniard succeeded Zinedine Zidane in June and took a training session on Monday but his fate was confirmed following a board meeting. Real, Champions League winners for the past three…

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De Gea breaks silence amid Manchester United contract uncertainty

David de Gea has said that his focus remains on his on-field performances amid uncertainty over his Manchester United future. Manager Jose Mourinho admitted that he is not optimistic that the goalkeeper will pen a new deal with the club, with his current contract due to expire at the end of the season. The club retain the right to extending De Gea’s deal automatically by another year but that has not stopped transfer links with Juventus, with reports suggesting they’ll swoop in to sign the Spaniard on a free. Despite…

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Real Madrid and Barcelona Aiming to Make Amends

Luis Suarez, Barcelona

So often dominated by Barcelona and Real Madrid, the level of genuine competition for the league title in Spain is often called into question, however, the start of the 2018-19 campaign in LaLiga has been anything but straightforward for the two habitual favourites. Real Madrid have been struggling to find their form and rhythm under Julen Lopetegui of late, particularly finding the back of the net, while many believe the team is missing a vital component following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in the summer. Especially after the…

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Jose Mourinho denies interest in Real Madrid job for a second time

Jose Mourinho has denied any interest in taking over at Real Madrid, stating he wishes to stay as Manchester United manager beyond his current contract, which ends in the summer of 2020. Reports in Spain have claimed Mourinho is seen by Real as a replacement for Julen Lopetegui following the European champions’ disappointing start to the season. They sit seventh in La Liga, four points behind the leaders Barcelona, following Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Levante. Yet asked about potentially becoming Real manager for a second time having managed the…

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Lionel Messi ruled out of clasico with fractured arm in Barcelona win

Lionel Messi will miss next week’s clasico against Real Madrid with a fracture in his right arm, Barcelona have announced. Messi was injured when he fell awkwardly in the first half of Saturday’s 4-2 win over Sevilla, and the Argentinian now faces three weeks out. Barcelona said on Twitter: “Tests carried out on the first team player Leo Messi have confirmed that he has a fracture of the radial bone in his right arm. He will be out for approximately three weeks. FuerzaLeo.” ❗ [INJURY NEWS] Tests carried out on…

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Lopetegui ‘encouraged’ despite historic Real Madrid loss

Julen Lopetegui has said he his not worried about losing his job after his Real Madrid side slumped to a surprising 2-1 defeat at home to Levante. The loss was Real’s fourth in five games and the result has put further pressure on coach Lopetegui, whose side remain fifth in La Liga, three points behind leaders Alaves and a point behind Barcelona, who have yet to play. “Right now that is the last thing that I’m thinking about,” said Lopetegui when asked if he was worried about losing his job. “I…

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Real Madrid make contact with Antonio Conte – reports

Real Madrid contacted Antonio Conte this week as the Italian is their first choice to replace Julen Lopetegui if he fails to turn his side’s fortunes around, according to reports in his native Italy. The club’s directors have held initial talks with Conte to see if the former Chelsea boss would be keen on taking over the reins. Italian publication Corriere dello Sport suggest current Real Madrid boss Lopetegui has just three games to save his job after a topsy-turvy start to life at the Santiago Bernabeu. Lopetegui will reportedly be sacked if…

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Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen ruled out for six weeks with hamstring injury

Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen is set to miss six weeks of action with a hamstring injury he suffered while on international duty with Belgium, the club has confirmed. The centre-back was forced off during Belgium’s 2-1 win over Switzerland on Friday and now faces yet another spell on the sidelines. The news comes as a blow to Barcelona with Samuel Umtiti also sidelined curently with a knee problem. There have been different reports over the severity of the French defender’s injury, and it’s still unclear when he will return to…

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Real Madrid sue over claims club forced Ronaldo to settle in rape case

Real Madrid have taken legal action against a Portuguese newspaper that reported the club forced Cristiano Ronaldo to settle with the woman who accused him of rape. Real said the information published by Correio da Manhã is “categorically false” and was printed in an effort to “seriously damage the image of this club”. Real said they have “absolutely no knowledge of any of the information that the newspaper published with regard to the player Cristiano Ronaldo, and therefore the club was unable to take action on a matter of which…

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Eden Hazard torn between new Chelsea contract and ‘dream’ Real Madrid move

Eden Hazard has admitted he is undecided between signing a new deal at Stamford Bridge and a “dream” move to Real Madrid. The Belgium forward has two years remaining on his contract with the Blues, but was linked with a move to the European champions in the summer. Hazard has scored seven times in the Premier League already this season. “I don’t want to say, ‘yes, I am signing a new contract’ and then in the end I don’t end up signing,” the 27-year-old told the media. “I want what’s…

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Gareth Bale out of Wales friendly with Spain, doubtful for Ireland clash

Gareth Bale is out of Wales’ friendly against Spain on Thursday and is “50-50” for the Nations League match with the Republic of Ireland on 16 October. The 29-year-old forward was replaced in the 80th minute of Real Madrid’s 1-0 La Liga loss at Alaves on Saturday. “Gareth has got a little bit of muscle fatigue and he won’t be involved against Spain,” Wales manager Ryan Giggs confirmed. “We don’t want to take any risks and we are monitoring it every day.” Bale sat out training with the Wales squad…

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