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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Borussia Dortmund bus attacker sentenced to 14 years in prison

A German court has convicted a man on 28 counts of attempted murder during last year’s attack on the Borussia Dortmund bus. The defendant, identified only as Sergej W in line with German privacy rules, was sentenced to 14 years by the Dortmund state court on Tuesday. The Dortmund defender Marc Bartra and a police officer were injured when three explosions hit the team’s bus as it left a hotel for a Champions League home game on 11 April 2017. Prosecutors alleged that W took out a loan to place a bet that Dortmund’s…

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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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UEFA president dismisses possibility of breakaway Super League

Proposed plans for a breakaway European Super League are “fiction” – according to the two most powerful officials in European football. Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin and Andrea Agnelli, the chairman of the influential European Club Association (ECA) which represents over 200 leading teams, say they are “united” – despite recently leaked documents claiming secret talks had been held over the creation of a new elite league. “The Super League will not happen. It is in a way a fiction now or a dream,” said Ceferin. Agnelli, who is also chairman…

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PSG sweat over Neymar and Mbappe fitness ahead of Liverpool clash

Paris St-Germain face an injury crisis after star forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe went off injured playing for Brazil and France respectively in Tuesday’s round of international friendlies. Neymar played for only six minutes as Brazil edged out Cameroon in Milton Keynes as he suffered an adductor muscle injury while taking a shot and was replaced by Everton’s Richarlison. Brazil’s team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said that while a scan was needed to confirm the exact diagnosis, he did not think the injury to Neymar’s adductor muscle would keep him out…

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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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Germany without Julian Draxler for Netherlands clash

Germany have Julian Draxler will not join their squad for their Nations League game against the Netherlands on Monday in Gelsenkirchen. Draxler had been included by coach Joachim Low but missed their friendly win over Russia as he was granted compassionate leave. Germany’s relegation from League A was confirmed on Friday as Netherlands won 2-0 at home against world champions France. Nations League relegation rounds off an atrocious year for Low’s Germany, who flopped badly at Russia 2018 with a dire World Cup title defence. Nice to have @woodyinho back in team training…

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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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Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic open to Premier League move

Christian Pulisic has said he is open to moving to the Premier League, with Chelsea understood to be leading the race to sign the forward from Borussia Dortmund next summer. Pulisic has been linked to several Premier League sides including Liverpool and Tottenham in the past but it is understood that Chelsea have shown most interest in prising him away from the Bundesliga leaders. The 20-year-old – who spent a year in Oxfordshire as a child before moving back to the United States with his family – has so far refused to discuss a…

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James Rodriguez out for several weeks with LCL tear in knee

Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodriguez faces several weeks on the sidelines following a knee injury in training Tuesday. The club said Rodriguez partially tore the Lateral Collateral Ligament in his left knee and requires at least 10 days of rest before undergoing treatment. A timetable for his return is unavailable. Bad news ☹@jamesdrodriguez has suffered a partial LCL tear in his left knee and will be out of action for several weeks 🚑 Get well soon! #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/psCkd2Wxd2 — FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) November 14, 2018 The 27-year-old remained in Germany for the international break…

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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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Nicklas Bendtner sentenced to 50 days in jail in Denmark for assault

Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner has been sentenced to 50 days in jail in Denmark for assaulting a taxi driver. But the 30-year-old Rosenborg player has appealed and has been released until a hearing at a higher court. The incident took place in September, with the City Court of Copenhagen shown CCTV footage in which it appeared Bendtner struck the driver in the face. The Denmark international admitted hitting the taxi driver but said it was because he felt threatened. Bendtner said the driver threw a bottle or a can…

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Usain Bolt leaves Australia’s Central Coast Mariners football club

Usain Bolt’s trial with Australian football club Central Coast Mariners has come to an end. The Jamaican eight-time Olympic sprint champion, 32, joined the A-League side for an “indefinite training period” in August. He scored two goals in his first effort for the Mariners in a friendly, but did not play matches when the season began. Efforts to secure a “commercial solution” to keep Bolt at the club had failed, the Mariners said on Friday. Last month, the Mariners said they had made a contract proposal broken down into “football” and “commercial” terms. However, it…

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Buffon to face Lille but Tuchel unsure on Cavani’s return

Gianluigi Buffon will start for Paris Saint-Germain against Lille and the veteran goalkeeper is set to make his Champions League debut for the club, says coach Thomas Tuchel. Buffon is yet to appear in European competition for PSG after joining the Ligue 1 champions from Juventus, with Alphonse Areola taking the gloves for all three matches in Group C. A 2-2 home draw with Napoli last time out left PSG’s Champions League qualification in the balance, Tuchel’s men having taken four points from three games to sit in third place And Tuchel…

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Bayern Munich apply to host the Champions League final again

Bayern Munich will apply to host the 2021 Champions League final at the Allianz Arena. The Bundesliga champions and five-time Champions League winners last hosted the final in 2012, losing to Chelsea on penalties. “I am now allowed to confirm that Bayern Munich, along with the city of Munich, will officially apply to host the 2021 Champions League final,” said chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in an statement released on Wednesday. “Despite the defeat and enormous disappointment against Chelsea in 2021, we’d still love to have another ‘Home Final’. München bewirbt…

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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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10-man Monaco suffer defeat on Henry managerial debut

Thierry Henry suffered defeat in his first match as a head coach when his 10-man Monaco side slumped to a 2-1 loss at Strasbourg on Saturday to drop into the Ligue 1 relegation zone. The principality club have failed to win in 11 games in all competitions since the opening weekend of the French top-flight season, and are only above bottom team Guingamp on goal difference. Monaco, who were runners-up to PSG last season, are now 24 points adrift of the reigning champions after they cruised to a 5-0 thrashing…

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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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