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This is a free service to help you find a football team in your local area. We cover football for toddlers, junior football, youth football, kids football, football for children, football for teenagers, boys football, girls football, disability, adult and veteran football teams.

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You can find a football team here for U7, U8, U9, U10, U11, U12, U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, U18, U19, U21, Adult and Veterans.

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Football News

» Luka Modric tips Antoine Griezmann for Ballon d'Or ahead of France teammate Kylian Mbappe
The Croatian is the hot favourite for the award, but has played down his own chances
» Jordan Pickford thought "he was a midfielder" when attempting horror Cruyff turn during England's victory over Spain
Three Lions keeper Pickford attempted to pull off a ridiculous piece of skill while under pressure from Spain striker Rodrigo
» Why Manchester United are not for sale? Huge amount the Glazers have pocketed in recent years revealed
The Glazers say the club is not for sale amid reports Saudi Arabia crown prince Mohammad bin Salman is eyeing a takeover
» Raheem Sterling focused on "causing havoc" as he breaks "frustrating" three-year goal drought with Spain brace
The Manchester City forward struck twice while Marcus Rashford also found the net in a jaw-dropping first-half display
» Liverpool fans love what Eric Dier did to Sergio Ramos in England's win over Spain
The Tottenham man crunched into the Real Madrid and Spain skipper in the early stages of the game in Seville, and it set the tone for England's night
» Harry Winks scout report: Tottenham star's quiet authority and desire shine through on England return
The Spurs midfielder has made just two Premier League starts but could be a key man for Gareth Southgate moving forwards
» James Milner fit for Liverpool's clash with Huddersfield after making lightning recovery
Reds star Milner damaged a hamstring against Manchester City 10 days ago and was expected to be sidelined until November
» Angel Di Maria set for Premier League return as Argentina ace ready to quit PSG next summer
Despite an unhappy spell at Manchester United, the 30-year-old is open to coming back to England
» Olivier Giroud sends warning to young France strikers over his international future
The World Cup winner, who turned 32 last month, is in line to win his 84th cap against Germany in Paris on Tuesday night
» Toby Alderweireld transfer: Barcelona join Manchester United in battle for Tottenham defender
The Spanish giants want a new centre-back and are targeting the Spurs centre back - who has less than a year on his contract
» Edin Dzeko transfer: Former Manchester City star wanted by Premier League trio Southampton, Crystal Palace and Cardiff
The ex-Manchester City striker, 32 is currently at Roma, but won two Premier League titles during five season in England
» Spain 2-3 England RECAP: Sterling double and Rashford strike hand Three Lions victory in Seville
The Three Lions ran out victorious in a rambunctious encounter in Seville
» England's victory over Spain must go down as one of their great nights and proves World Cup wasn't just a dream
Sterling double and Rashford's strike sent the Three Lions into scintillating lead to bring back memories of Russia
» Spain 2-3 England: Raheem Sterling leads Three Lions to stunning success in Seville - 5 talking points
The Manchester City forward ended his international goal drought, while Marcus Rashford also found the net
» Spain 2-3 England player ratings: Raheem Sterling stars as Three Lions turn in superb display in Seville
The Three Lions produced a scintillating first-half performance to lead 3-0 at the break
» Eric Dier's crunching tackle on Sergio Ramos was THE moment of the match against Spain and summed up England's confidence
The Tottenham midfielder was booked for an early reducer on the Real Madrid and Spain skipper in 3-2 victory
» Luka Modric reveals the bet Real Madrid players made about Cristiano Ronaldo leaving for Juventus
The Croatian says that Ronaldo's move to Turin was unsurprisingly the talk of the Real Madrid changing room this summer
» Stan Collymore’s England verdict: Why you must not underestimate first-half performance in Spain
The Three Lions produced a memorable opening 45 minutes to stun Spain in their UEFA Nations League clash
» Nathan Ake transfer: Why Chelsea have the advantage over Man United and Tottenham in £40m defender chase
The Bournemouth defender has impressed since making his move from Chelsea a permanent switch in a £20million deal
» Raheem Sterling's first goal against Spain immediately got compared to a VERY famous England strike
The England man struck in the 16th minute in Betis to end a long international drought
» Jose Mourinho has been in the spotlight for over a decade - it's no surprise the Manchester United boss is frazzled
Guardiola and Zidane have given themselves breaks from football and Collymore reckons the Portuguese should follow them
» Virgil van Dijk handed injury boost by Ronald Koeman ahead of Liverpool's clash with Huddersfield
Reds defender van Dijk was forced to leave Holland international duty over the weekend to return back to Anfield
» Paul Pogba edges closer to Barcelona as Mino Raiola 'agrees deal in principle' to join Spanish giants
The World Cup winner has been linked with a move to Barcelona since the summer
» Spain vs England TV channel and live stream tonight: How to watch UEFA Nations League clash
The Three Lions are looking for a victory which would all but secure a second Nations League campaign in the second tier

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Other sport news:

» Raheem Sterling’s double inspires England to stunning victory in Spain

• Spain 2-3 England
• Alcácer 58, Ramos 90; Sterling 16 38, Rashford 29

Where to start? It was a wild night under the lights of Seville and, ultimately, these are the kind of moments England ought to cherish. Any win against Spain is to be celebrated but to overcome one of the world’s most refined teams on their own soil makes this, without any exaggeration, one of the great nights in England’s modern history.

Related: Spain 2-3 England: Nations League – as it happened

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» Dean Smith says John Terry will be an asset not a threat at Aston Villa
• Villa manager behind decision for Terry to be his No 2
• Smith: ‘I felt it was a win-win for both of us’

Dean Smith has insisted that he was behind the decision to make John Terry his No 2 at Aston Villa.

Laughing off suggestions that Terry could undermine him, Villa’s new manager said he is looking forward to developing a productive working relationship with the former Chelsea and England captain.

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» Wales to go on the offensive in Dublin without Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey
• Ryan Giggs missing key figures for Tuesday’s match
• Martin O’Neill looking to ease pressure in Nations League game

Ryan Giggs, the Wales manager, has challenged his team to prove their strength in depth by winning in the Republic of Ireland without Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.

Giggs explained that Bale will miss the match because of “a bit of fatigue” but will probably be fit enough to play for Real Madrid on Saturday. Ramsey, meanwhile, is unavailable after becoming the father of twins on Sunday. Wales will also be without the injured teenager Ethan Ampadu, who controlled midfield when Wales thrashed Ireland 4-1 in Cardiff last month. Victory in Dublin would take Wales above Denmark to the top of their Nations League group while defeat would put them bottom. Wales have won only three competitive matches without Bale since he made his international debut in 2006.

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» Nations League roundup: Northern Ireland face relegation after Dzeko double
• Michael O’Neill’s side beaten 2-0 in Sarajevo
• Switzerland relegate Iceland with 2-1 victory

Northern Ireland were shown the value of clinical finishing as the Bosnia-Herzegovina captain, Edin Dzeko, condemned them to a third successive Nations League defeat in a match during which they hit the post three times.

Dzeko scored in either half on the ground where he began his professional career, but Northern Ireland will rue a shocking miss from Gavin Whyte and an early George Saville effort that came back off the frame of the goal.

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» Empty grounds, wrong anthems and Usain Bolt – Football Weekly

Max Rushden, Lars Sivertsen, Faye Carruthers and Andy Brassell discuss international action, WSL, Thierry Henry and the passing of Peter Brackley

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

Max Rushden is joined by Lars Sivertsen, Faye Carruthers and Andy Brassell to look back at a weekend of international football as the home nations won precisely zero games in either the Nations League or friendlies. We start with England’s 0-0 draw with Croatia, which didn’t prove much, except that fans are quite important to the spectacle of football.

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» Luke Shaw in advanced talks over new Manchester United contract
• Left-back could sign extension within days
• Shaw wants sizeable rise on £100,000-a-week wage

Luke Shaw is in advanced talks with Manchester United regarding a new contract, with the left-back content to commit his long-term future to the club following an impressive start to the season.

Related: Jake Clarke-Salter: ‘I was with players I played with on PlayStation. Crazy’

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» The Fiver | The extraordinary reinvention of England's football

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Gareth Southgate went into England’s League Q Group 73 Matchday B3 encounter with Spain in September pointing out that the Ethics World Cup had gone quite well and Euro 2020 was just around the corner, so “we don’t want to waste time looking at new things”. And then Spain shellacked them in what was a pretty effective end to all that throwing beer all over Croydon Boxpark stuff from the summer.

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» Paul Gascoigne hits back at Scottish FA over Hall of Fame snub
  • Former Rangers player: ‘I feel the love & support of the People’
  • Gascoigne tweets footage of Euro 96 goal against Scotland

Paul Gascoigne has hit back at the Scottish Football Association and insisted he does not need to be in the Scottish Football Hall of Fame to know he was “the best”.

Related: Eden Hazard faces impossible choice with the benefit of perspective | Jacob Steinberg

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» Next Generation 2018: 60 of the best young talents in world football

From Lilian Thuram’s son to Real Madrid-bound Rodrygo and the ‘Croatian Neymar’, the Guardian picks 60 of the most talented players born in 2001. Check out the progress of our 2017 class | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

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» Luis Enrique sees Spain’s optimism washed away in the Seville rain | Sid Lowe
After winning his first three matches he oversaw the country’s first competitive home defeat for 15 years as England won 3-2

The inquiry began way before the game had finished. The stadium clock had not yet reached half an hour when to the right of it, high in the Benito Villamarín, England’s drenched fans began to chant: “Are you Scotland in disguise?!” They were not, of course, but nor, it seemed, were the team down below Spain. Luis Enrique has been swift to quieten comparisons to that Spain – the team who won three tournaments in a row, European, world and European champions – but nor, at that point, were they this Spain, the team who had recovered so well since Russia.

Related: Raheem Sterling’s double inspires England to stunning victory in Spain

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» Women’s Super League: talking points from the weekend’s action

Arsenal look unstoppable, Chelsea are missing Chapman, miserly Birmingham win again and Yeovil are improving

The way Arsenal are brushing teams aside this season is reminiscent of their glory days. They have won every match, most of them with ease – their four league games include two 5-0 wins and a 7-0, and this week it was the reigning champions on the receiving end. The major difference this season is how clinical they have been in front of goal, with Vivianne Miedema, who has six goals and four assists already and scored another two at Chelsea, seeming unstoppable. Their best play comes down the middle, with Miedema combining with Kim Little and Jordan Nobbs to cut through their opponents. They only had 11 shots on Sunday, and seven on target, but five of those went in. They are getting the rub of the green in some situations – their third goal was a cross from Nobbs that flew straight in – but that kind of clinical chance conversion demonstrates the confidence bubbling through the team at the moment.

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» Graham Arnold off to a flyer as Socceroos thrash Kuwait in friendly
  • Kuwait 0-4 Australia
  • Debutant Awer Mabil scores in coach’s first full-time match

Solid, mixed, promising, auspicious – take your pick of adjectives. Australia’s first competitive match under new coach Graham Arnold ended with a straight-forward friendly win over Kuwait in a near empty stadium, with little insight into revolution or raw change.

The Socceroos stayed with the same formation, the 4-3-3 employed by Bert van Marwijk at the 2018 World Cup. Most of the starting line-up remained, with an identical back four as in Russia and the wing spots taken up by Robbie Kruse and Mat Leckie, but with a new skipper in Mark Milligan and a new No 9, Apostolos Giannou.

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» Peter Brackley, football broadcaster with Channel 4, BBC, ITV and Sky, dies aged 67
Brighton & Hove Albion announce the death of Brackley, who was also the voice of Jimmy Greaves’s Spitting Image puppet on the television series

The broadcaster Peter Brackley has died aged 67, Brighton have announced.

Brackley, best known as the voice of Channel 4’s Football Italia, was a lifelong Brighton & Hove Albion supporter and the club announced his death on Sunday evening.

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» Rampant Arsenal end Chelsea’s two-year unbeaten home run in style

• Chelsea 0-5 Arsenal
• Viv Miedema and Jordan Nobbs both score twice

The Chelsea manager, Emma Hayes, was philosophical in defeat as Arsenal scored five on the road to reclaim top spot in the Women’s Super League.

“Let’s put life into perspective, it’s not the worst thing in the world,” Hayes said. “Being humbled occasionally doesn’t do us any harm. They’re in the ascendancy and their top players played well today.”

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» USA rampage past Jamaica to qualify for 2019 Women's World Cup
  • Alex Morgan scores twice as USWNT beat Jamaica 6-0
  • Canada also book place in France with win over Panama

It was only eight years ago that the US almost missed out on the 2011 Women’s World Cup due to a shock loss in qualifying. Coming into Sunday’s Concacaf Women’s Tournament semi-final against Jamaica, the players and coach Jill Ellis were keenly aware of what happened in 2010, admitting they talked about it before the tournament started.

But this time around, there was no such suspense for the No1-ranked team in the world. On Sunday, the Americans steamrolled their way past Jamaica, 6-0, and clinched their spot at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, giving them the chance to defend their title.

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» Premier League fans rate the season so far. Part one: Arsenal to Huddersfield

Fans assess the best and worst of the opening stages – top performers, biggest mistakes and the funniest moments
• Part two: Leicester to Wolves

Best performance? The chant of “We’ve got our Arsenal back” during the 5-1 flaying of Fulham summed up the season so far. Will we see a better team goal than the skilful combination that ended with Ramsey scoring our third?

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» Premier League fans rate the season so far. Part two: Leicester to Wolves

Fans assess the best and worst of the opening stages – top performers, biggest mistakes and the funniest moments
• Part one: Arsenal to Huddersfield

Best performance? Away at Newcastle. It was like a training session for us. Then again, maybe they just made us look good.

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» Jake Clarke-Salter: ‘I was with players I played with on PlayStation. Crazy’
Chelsea’s defender, on loan at Vitesse Arnhem, draws comfort from Sergio Ramos after three red cards in his fledging career

As the referee reached for his back pocket less than half an hour into Vitesse Arnhem’s Europa League qualifier against Basel in August it was easy to imagine what was going through Jake Clarke-Salter’s mind. The Chelsea defender’s previous loan, at Sunderland last season, was overshadowed by back-to-back dismissals and now another red card – and a harsh one, too – was about to be shown in his direction. Holding his head in his hands, Clarke-Salter had only one thought: “Not again.”

Pulling up a chair at St George’s Park before England Under-21s’ game against Scotland on Tuesday, Clarke-Salter talks about “a massive learning curve” as he reflects on those red cards and his loan experiences, starting two years ago at Bristol Rovers, where he ended up having a metal plate inserted in an arm after a painful fracture-dislocation of his elbow.

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» When Gary Lineker scored four goals to help England win 4-2 in Spain

A few weeks after scoring a hat-trick for Barcelona against Real Madrid, Lineker went to the Bernabéu and hit four for England

By Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports Blog

Any Real Madrid fans with a close affiliation to the Spanish national team would have been sick of the sight of Gary Lineker in early 1987. Eighteen days after he had scored a hat-trick for Barcelona in their 3-2 win over Real Madrid at Camp Nou on January 31, Lineker went to the Santiago Bernabéu and scored four more for England against Spain. At the time, it seemed that anything Lineker touched turned to gold.

He had been top scorer in the First Division in the 1985-86 season, then won the Golden Boot at the World Cup in Mexico, earning him a lucrative move to Barcelona. In the lead-up to England’s friendly in Madrid, he also signed a new boot deal with Quasar that would earn him a reported £1m over five years.

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» When Brian Lenihan left football in 2017 it was from despair, not injury | Barry Glendenning
Former Cork City, Hull City, Blackpool and Republic of Ireland Under-21 can be an example to others in the game

“I poured my heart and soul into football and all I got in return was money. That might sound strange to some people, but it’s true.” In a world where more and more professional sportsmen and women are increasingly comfortable discussing the psychological demons which plague them, the former footballer Brian Lenihan gave an extraordinary, at times chilling and vitally important interview that was broadcast last week.

Speaking to his compatriot and fellow former professional Richie Sadlier on the Player’s Chair section of the popular Second Captains World Service podcast, the 24-year-old explained how he had been living the dream – his dream, my dream and quite possibly your dream – as a young Irish player making his way in the English professional game. Having left Cork City, his hometown club, to join Hull City in 2014, the midfielder received his first call-up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad soon afterwards. Lenihan described the week he spent rubbing shoulders with Robbie Keane and others as “the best feeling ever”.

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» Unruffled Raheem Sterling confident goals will soon flow in England shirt

Forward’s meagre haul for Gareth Southgate’s side is a puzzle but he remains intent on casting open the floodgates

It is not easy to understand how a forward with Raheem Sterling’s penetrative qualities has found it so difficult to replicate his scoring form with England and when the question is put to both the player and his manager, Gareth Southgate, it is clear they find it equally perplexing.

How, after all, can anybody make sense of the fact there have been only two occasions in a 45-cap international career, covering nearly six years, when one of the Premier League’s more reliable scorers has been on target for his country? Or that, going into the game against Spain on Monday, a player who is so prolific for Manchester City, with 23 goals last season, has gone 27 appearances since managing one for the national team?

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» Luis Enrique begins to succeed as Spain look to start a new dynasty
Three successive tournaments without a knockout win have followed the golden era started by Luis Aragonés, but the latest coach has already started to make onlookers take note

Spain’s players were at the movies last week. On Tuesday afternoon, across the pitch from the residency and into the main hall at the federation’s Las Rozas HQ, north-west of Madrid, the entire squad sat for the first showing of a documentary about Luis Aragonés, the coach who started it all, leading them to European Championship success in 2008. Of the 23 players in the current set-up, only Sergio Ramos and Raúl Albiol are left from that team but former players joined them for the film, put together by Aragonés’s fitness coach Jesús Paredes. There were some tears and a lot of laughter.

In the build up to the 2008 final against Germany, Aragonés kept referring to Michael Ballack as Wallace, until a player corrected him. “I’ll call him whatever I like,” the coach replied, and then he proved it: in the tunnel minutes before kick-off he sidled up to the German midfielder and said “All right, Wallace?” Spain’s players couldn’t help giggling, the tension gone. They walked out in Vienna and won a major trophy for first time in 44 years, just as Aragonés had always told them they could. Should, in fact. “If I don’t win with this team, I’m shit,” he said.

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» Goalkeeper scores spectacular injury-time equaliser in Belgium – video

Goalkeeper Kevin Frans salvaged a point for K.R.C. Gent in the fourth tier of Belgian football with an acrobatic goal in the final moments of their match against Olsa Brakel. 

Gent had gone into the second half trailing Brakel by two goals, but were able to draw level through a header from Jorgo Waeghe and the skilful 94th-minute equaliser from Frans.

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» Back to the start: Thierry Henry joins Monaco as head coach – video

Thierry Henry has been named as the new head coach at Monaco, the team where he made his professional debut in 1994. His first challenge will be to help them recover from a poor start to the season as they lie 18th in Ligue 1

Thierry Henry appointed as Monaco manager on three-year deal

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» A look back at the life of 'Mr Aston Villa', Sir Doug Ellis – video obituary

The former Aston Villa chairman Sir Doug Ellis has died aged 94. Ellis enjoyed two periods at the club, the first from 1968 to 1975 before returning in 1982. He left the club in 2006 after the club was bought by American billionaire Randy Lerner. A stand was named in his honour and he was made life president of the club

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» Rubin Kazan footballer scores astonishing backflip penalty – video

A Rubin Kazan footballer has scored an incredible penalty in Russia's National Student League. Norik Avdalyan performed a backward somersault as he netted a penalty in Kazan's 4-0 victory over against Cheboksary. This isn't the first time the 22-year-old, who also plays for Rubin Kazan's second team, has scored such a goal – Avdalyan also used the skill back in November 2017

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» Mourinho says 'manhunt' against him affecting Manchester United players - video

Manchester United manager José  Mourinho says speculation over his future had become a "manhunt" and that the atmosphere it has generated has been impacting the players.

United fought back from 2-0 down to defeat Newcastle United 3-2 in the Premier League on Saturday with Alexis Sanchez grabbing the 90th-minute winner.

The game came amid media reports of Mourinho's future being on the line, with one paper saying he would be fired this weekend regardless of the Newcastle result - a claim denied by the club.

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» Referee inadvertently scores goal as ball ricochets off his head – video

A referee deflected in a a goal during a match in the second round of the LFL Dagestan between Keyes DD from Kizilyurt and Manas of Dahadaevskiy. 

A Manas player took a penalty kick in the 43rd minute, but the ball ricocheted off the head of official Atay Daudov and went into the net. Daudov later explained that, according to the rules, referees are active, so he had to allow the goal, but it was instead awarded to Ali Japarov from Manas. The game ended in a 4-4 draw

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» The 100 best footballers in the world 2017

Our panel of 169 experts from 63 nations compile a list of the greatest male players in 2017. Click on an individual to read more about their year.

Messi edges Ronaldo to No1 | The data behind our 100 | Watch: our top 10
Meet our panel of judges for 2017 | 2016 edition | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

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» Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny calls time on his international career
• Defender says France’s World Cup success damaged him
• Koscielny criticises Didier Deschamps for lack of contact

The Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has announced the end of his international career with France and criticised the World Cup-winning manager, Didier Deschamps.

Related: Didier Deschamps: ‘The biggest victories can lead to the greatest foolishness’

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» Mohamed Salah limps off after scoring goal direct from corner for Egypt

• Liverpool forward suffers muscle strain but ‘not a big injury’
• Northern Ireland beaten by Austria in Nations League

Mohamed Salah limped off towards the end of Egypt’s 4-1 win over Swaziland with a “muscle strain”. The Liverpool forward scored direct from a corner in the Africa Nations Cup qualifier in Cairo before appearing to suffer a hamstring injury. The Egypt assistant coach, Hany Ramzy, eased fears over the 26-year-old’s fitness by insisting it was “not a big injury”.

“The initial diagnosis confirmed that the injury is a muscle strain and there is no possibility of muscle rupture,” Ramzy said. “It is not a big injury. We support him with all our energy and we hope he will return as soon as possible.”

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» How Liga MX is thinking big with a link-up to US and live data for fans
Mexico’s Liga MX is determined to grow and compete with Europe – and it is ready to integrate with MLS to achieve its goal

How do you solve a problem like the Liga? That’s Liga MX, by the way, Mexican football’s top flight. As football’s cultural (and financial) explosion continues, it’s a competition keen to get a piece of the action, but how?

Mexico is, of course, football mad. Hirving Lozano’s goal against Germany triggered earthquake alerts in Mexico City, such was the fervour with which it was celebrated. Footage of supporters bouncing a South Korean embassy official around after Son Heung-min’s goal against Germany sent Mexico through to the second, was one of the highlights of the tournament.

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» Colombia too good for USA as James Rodríguez scores stunner
  • USA 2-4 Colombia

Carlos Bacca, Radamel Falcao and Miguel Borja scored second-half goals to lead Colombia past the United States 4-2 on Thursday night in an match that marked the return of USA captain Michael Bradley to the national team following a one-year absence.





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» Eden Hazard says he may need Real Madrid move to win Ballon d’Or
• Chelsea forward rules out transfer in January
• Bruce Buck: big clubs should not have to join ‘great unwashed’

Eden Hazard has dismissed the possibility of a January move to Real Madrid but said he may have to move to Spain to win the Ballon d’Or.

The Chelsea forward admitted this week that he was torn between wanting to extend his contract and seeking his “dream” move to Real.

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» Authorities charge five in Belgian football corruption claims

• Claims centred on last season’s relegation battle
• Financial fraud revolved around two agents

Belgian authorities have charged five people in relation to a massive financial fraud and match-fixing inquiry into football.

Four were charged with belonging to a criminal organisation while a fifth person was charged with money laundering. Prosecutors said match-fixing allegations centred on the relegation battle from the top division last season and did not involve a major club.

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

• Real claim to have ‘no knowledge’ of newspaper claims
• Correio da Manhã stands by story published on Wednesday

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”.

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» Leonardo Jardim should not be blamed for Monaco's struggles

Monaco’s misguided transfer policy made Leonardo Jardim’s job impossible. He did well to thrive for so long

By Eric Devin for Get French Football News

This is how it ends, then. Monaco’s glorious money-spinning project, so potent and so impressive for the better part of four seasons under Leonardo Jardim, went through one too many rotations and now the manager has left the club by mutual consent. The results – with no wins in their last 10 games – weren’t pretty, but Monaco are in this position because they were short-termist, they over-reached in the transfer market and they alienated their key players.

Jardim’s career before joining Monaco was an itinerant one. He spent single seasons at Braga, Olympiacos and Sporting Clube de Portugal before being appointed to succeed Claudio Ranieri in June 2014. Little was expected of Monaco in Jardim’s first season in charge. Owner Dmitry Rybolovlev’s finances had changed to the extent where the club’s flagship signings, James Rodríguez and Radamel Falcao, were moved on – Rodríguez to Real Madrid for €80m and Falcao on loan to Manchester United to take him off the wage bill – and this process of exporting players for big fees has continued under Jardim. Over the last four seasons, the club have brought in more than €750m from selling players.

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» A year since Bruce Arena quit, the US still have an interim coach. Why?

As the US men enter year two of the rebuilding process following World Cup qualifying failure, the team resemble a construction site without an architect

With a degree of spin not seen since Roberto Carlos in 1997, US Soccer addressed the first anniversary of the grimmest night in its history with a cliche-strewn mission statement that began “Today we look forward” and made liberal use of the word “future”.

But let’s glance back.

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» Why future England squads will have heavy south London accent | Ed Aarons

With its mix of cultures the area is fast becoming one of the most productive breeding grounds for young talent who have grown up playing on estates and in parks

As some black-cab drivers in London used to insist, we never go south of the river. But when England’s Under-21s run out at Tynecastle on Tuesday there is one part of the country that should take particular pride. Having qualified for next year’s European Championship in Italy and San Marino with a 7-0 win against Andorra on Thursday, Aidy Boothroyd’s side to face Scotland could include as many as eight players born and raised in south London – an area fast becoming one of the most productive breeding grounds on the planet.

As well as the regulars Tammy Abraham and Under-20 World Cup winner Ademola Lookman, who hail from Camberwell, Boothroyd’s squad has been boosted by the emergence of a new generation of young players including Roehampton’s Ryan Sessegnon of Fulham and Reiss Nelson, the Arsenal forward on loan at Hoffenheim this season. His fellow 18-year-old, the Kennington‑raised Jadon Sancho, was one of four south Londoners named in Gareth Southgate’s senior squad last week, moreover, along with the young goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli (Croydon), Joe Gomez (Catford) and Nathaniel Chalobah (Gipsy Hill).

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» Investments are protected and for now Cristiano Ronaldo is too big to fail | Barney Ronay

Juve’s response to the Ronaldo rape allegations was to call him ‘a great champion’ but the important thing is to judge on facts

As the Uefa Nations League weekender rolls on from Friday into Tuesday it is hard not to luxuriate a little in the glow of international football, to feel fuzzy and loved-up still from that sun-bleached World Cup. The Nations League has been criticised for its fiddly nature but whatever the background noise there is an undying grandeur to these games. Netherlands v Germany remains one of the great European retro-hate matches, and on Monday night Spain, still stung from the summer, still effortlessly talented, will host England in Andalusia.

There is one significant absence from this spectacle. Cristiano Ronaldo did not play for Portugal against Poland, nor will he in Sunday’s friendly against Scotland. Officially Ronaldo is being rested. Unofficially he is mounting his defence, public and legal, to allegations of rape and physical assault.

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» How many world-class players does the Premier League actually have?
Harry Kane? Eden Hazard? Mo Salah? England’s top division is unmatched for riches but our definition of world class suggests few of its players are of the very highest standard

This time about a year ago, before Mohamed Salah at Liverpool began to push his way to the front of the queue for the nation’s attention, a debate was taking place over whether the increasingly reliable Harry Kane was good enough to be regarded as genuinely world class. Now the same thing is happening in reverse to Alexis Sánchez. By the time the Chilean left Barcelona for Arsenal his credentials as one of the world’s elite were impeccable. Last month a journalist in Santiago made contact asking for information on why Sánchez was failing so badly at Manchester United.

Genuinely world class. The first word ought to be superfluous, though in football discussions it never is. No one quite knows the parameters here. Some would argue you have to be good enough to hold down a place in a notional World XI, to take part in a pan-galactic match against Planet Zog. Others think that might be a bit harsh, and suggest any pan-galactic contest would surely be organised along World Cup lines and would therefore require a squad of 23 players, perhaps even a couple more. So you could envisage the criterion as being enough players to form a trial match between the best two sides in the world.

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» Football transfer rumours: Phil Foden to Dortmund, Leipzig or PSG?

Today’s fluff is fondly remembering some classic commentary

The FA might have saved an awful lot of money on designing and building its English football-DNA lab in Burton had it known that Borussia Dortmund were so keen to play the role of finishing school for them. Having already polished the rough edges off Jadon Sancho and loaded him with enough mojo to make him a full international, Gareth Southgate’s new-found friends in Westphalia are hopeful of doing the same with Phil Foden. With Pep Guardiola having roughly 107 other options in the Manchester City playmaker role, Foden has yet to sign a new contract and, after watching Sancho leave City to become a regular at the Bundesliga giants where he gets to play in an atmospheric bouncy castle every other week, the prospect must be very tempting. Dortmund will have competition for the little creator’s signature as it says here that RB Leipzig and PSG are also hungrily circling the Etihad.

Related: Next Generation 2018: 60 of the best young talents in world football

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» Said & Done: Ronaldinho, marquee clubs and multiple defamations

The season so far – also featuring Fifa 2.0, a fined lion and football’s saddest lament

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» Nations League, Lionesses and roundabouts – Football Weekly Extra

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Lars Sivertsen and Philippe Auclair to discuss international football, Aston Villa, the Ballon d’Or and our Next Generation 2018 list

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

Max Rushden is joined by Respected Journalism’s Barry Glendenning, Lars Sivertsen and Philippe Auclair to discuss the international fixtures, including England’s behind-closed-doors Nations League game in Croatia. Just which England player will have a potty mouth?

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» Which fruit and vegetables have been hurled at footballers and managers? | The Knowledge

Plus: dotty names, goalscoring streakers and the Socceroos’ animal-heavy crest. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

“After Steve Bruce had a cabbage thrown at him, it got me wondering what other odd fruits or vegetables have been tossed in the direction of underperforming managers or players?” asks George Jones.

It wouldn’t take a genius to guess which vegetable was thrown at the late Graham Taylor back in the 1990s. Here’s an extract of Jeremy Alexander’s match report from Bolton Wanderers’ 5-1 defeat of Wolves in 1995. “As Graham Taylor settled on the bench three turnips winged past him on to the pitch. Compared to his goalkeeper he got off lightly. Three shots flew in from 30 yards like sticks of celery.” Three turnips! And not one hit the target. That’s a poor conversion rate.

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» Sports quiz of the week: beer, bears, burgers, a cabbage and the postman

This week’s questions take in the Ryder Cup celebrations, Champions League hat-tricks and Conor McGregor’s comeback

Ian Poulter celebrated victory in the Ryder Cup by dressing up as a postbox. Why is Poulter nicknamed “the postman”?

Because he worked as a postman before he became a pro golfer

Because he owns a black and white cat and drives a red van

Because his favourite song is Such Great Heights by The Postal Service

Because “he always delivers” in the Ryder Cup

Which American player had this to say after his team's defeat in France: “I’m 48, I’m not going to play tournaments with rough like that anymore. It’s a waste of my time. They had brutal rough, almost unplayable and that’s not the way I play”?

Tiger Woods

Tony Finau

Phil Mickelson

Patrick Reed

Who said: "It sums up the society we are in at the moment. There’s no respect for anyone"?

José Mourinho while talking about Paul Scholes

Steve Bruce on a fan who threw a cabbage at him

Patrick Reed on his USA teammates

The ballboy who was berated by Fernando Verdasco

Which organisation presented League Two club Forest Green Rovers with an award in New York this week?

United Nations



European Union

Who said: "I ain’t doing this for money. I can’t live a better lifestyle than I live. I live in Morecambe for God’s sake, not Beverly Hills. I live in the arsehole of nowhere. There’s not much to spend millions on. I can get a burger for £1.50 and 20 pieces of rock for £1. If you change a fiver into 2p coins you can spend all day on them machines"?

José Mourinho

Joe Hart

Jürgen Klopp

Tyson Fury

When did Manchester United last win at Old Trafford?





Khabib Nurmagomedov is fighting Conor McGregor this weekend. Who did he wrestle as a nine-year-old?

Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson

Stone Cold Steve Austin

Gennady Golovkin

A Bear

Which of these players did not score a hat-trick in the Champions League this week?


Lionel Messi

Paulo Dybala

Edin Dzeko

Kennedy Bakircioglu scored a cracking, 30-yard free-kick for Hammarby in Sweden this week. How did he celebrate?

He caught a glass of beer thrown from the crowd and had a drink

He proposed to his girlfriend and she said no

He punched the goalpost, broke his hand and was sent off

He grabbed a mic from a TV reporter and sang for his wife

Gareth Southgate has picked a 25-man squad for England’s forthcoming matches against Croatia and Spain. Only one of those players is not based in England. Which club does he represent?



Swansea City

Borussia Dortmund

How did Luis Corcoran make the news this week?

He scored five goals in a game of football but his team still lost

He hit a double century on his debut for England’s Under 21 cricket team

He won the Budapest marathon and broke the world record in the process

1 and above.

Ah well. You tried. Have a super weekend

2 and above.

Ah well. You tried. Have a super weekend

3 and above.

Ah well. You tried. Have a super weekend

4 and above.

Decent shooting. Have a super weekend

5 and above.

Nice work. Have a super weekend

6 and above.

Solid scoring. Have a super weekend

7 and above.

Solid scoring. Have a super weekend

8 and above.

Have a super weekend. You've earned it

9 and above.

Have a super weekend. You've earned it

10 and above.

Have a super weekend. You've earned it

0 and above.

Ah well. You tried. Have a super weekend

11 and above.

Have a super weekend you absolute hero

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» The Joy of Six: footballers who can take or leave football | Nick Miller

Some players are happy to live their lives and not let careers on the pitch dominate their existence. Here are a few of them

Of all the players who seemed to play football with a passion and joie de vivre, Batistuta seemed among the most passionate and joiest de vivrest. Those lusty shots, those screaming celebrations, those goals. But, it seems, he wasn’t especially keen on football. “I do not like football, it is just my profession,” he once said in an interview with Argentinian TV.

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» The Joy of Six: World Cup goal celebrations

From Roger Milla’s hips to a human Slinky, half a dozen joyful celebrations from the festival of football

Want to feel old? Bebeto’s third son Mattheus Oliviera, the celebration’s subject, recently turned 23, and has signed for Sporting Lisbon. Back to 1994, an hour gone, and from a wayward header Bebeto embarrassed the entire Dutch back-four, caught waiting for an offside flag that never came. Running unimpeded through on goal, he rounded Ed de Goey with a touch both deft and impetuous, before slotting into the empty net. Like your dad at a family barbecue, Bebeto started to laugh at his own joke before the punchline, heading towards the corner flag with a giddy grin plastered on his face. Shaping his arms into a cradle, he began to rock the proverbial baby, before being joined by team-mates Mazinho and Romário in a tableau of parental bliss. Hopefully this will have assuaged the anger of his other half; the Brazilian sheepishly explained this was the only child whose birth he wasn’t present for. Perhaps a touch hubristically, he added: “When I made that celebration maybe it was like Mattheus was baptised by God.” At the least it christened a celebration copied in recent years by a succession of happy parents.

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» The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian's sport coverage

With the best of our sports journalism from the past seven days and a heads-up on the weekend’s action, you won’t miss a thing

Let our team of editors be your guide to the best of the Guardian’s award-winning sport coverage from the past week. We’ll email you the stand-out features and interviews, insightful analysis and highlights from the archive, plus films, podcasts, galleries and more – all arriving in your inbox at 12pm every Friday. And we’ll tee you up for the weekend and let you know our live coverage plans so you won’t miss a thing.

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» Kirsty Linnett and Chris Wood: life as a professional football couple

She plays for Liverpool, he for Burnley. They discuss equal pay, the pain of discovering your club has folded and being harsh about each other’s games

Chris Wood and Kirsty Linnett remember vividly the day the reality of life as a professional football couple became far removed from the dream. It was Friday 21 April 2017 and the two strikers, then of Leeds United and Notts County Ladies, were settling into the first home they had bought together two months earlier. As was their new puppy, Luna. It was also two days before the Women’s Super League Spring Series was due to start for Linnett with a trip to Arsenal.

“Kirsty came home and said: ‘Our club is no more,’” recalls Wood. “I said: ‘That can’t be possible. Notts County has folded?’ And she said: ‘No, just our side of it.’”

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» Hostile players, irate fans and decisions that haunt you: who’d be a football ref?

From the horror of making a mistake to the teams that came armed with knives, football’s unsung heroes share their stories

It is a wet Saturday morning in September, the kind when the prickling heat of August feels a distant memory. In Regent’s Park in London, a man in a black shirt, shorts and socks jogs over to a group of parents watching their 14-year-olds warm up in the drizzle. He’s clutching two small flags, each in fluorescent yellow and orange. “I need two linesmen,” he says. Technically, he should say “assistant referees”, but we all know what he means.

I step forward. A few days earlier, I had met one of Britain’s leading assistant referees – whose decisions have seen him jeered from the stands and mocked in the House of Commons. This might give me an inkling of what his job entails.

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» The forgotten story of … Luton Town's Manager Idol

Primetime TV would prove the inspiration for one of the most shambolic managerial appointments in football history

Before X Factor, Strictly and Britain’s Got Talent dominated the Saturday evening TV schedules, there was Pop Idol, the Simon-Cowell-backed singathon on which plucky crooners belted their hearts out for the chance to win a recording contract while the public called in – in their droves – to vote for their favourites.

On 9 February 2002 more than 13 million people tuned in to see Will Young take on Gareth Gates in the final of the first series – nearly nine million votes were cast. It was a huge ratings and financial success – even before the No 1 singles and multi-platinum albums, the series made £2.5m from the public’s newfound desire to have its say on premium-rate phonelines.

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» From better than Giggs to ‘drinking and drinking’: how Ben Thornley battled back | David Hytner

At Manchester United Thornley was regarded as superior to Giggs, Scholes and Beckham – then a bad tackle shattered his dreams. He talks regrets, rock bottom and why he is finally at peace

It was a Sunday get-together that featured Manchester United royalty. Sir Matt Busby was there and so was Nobby Stiles, among others. It was the early 1990s; the venue a wine bar in Sale, and the question was for Stiles, then in charge of the B team at Old Trafford. Who was the best up-and-coming youngster at the club?

Stiles did not hesitate. “Ben Thornley,” he replied. What, even including Ryan Giggs? “Ben is the closest I’ve seen to George Best in all my time at the club,” Stiles said. Busby did not bat an eyelid.

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» Spain 2-3 England: Nations League – as it happened

England ended Spain’s 15-year unbeaten home run with a sensational three-goal first-half display before withstanding a determined Spain comeback in the second half

That’s it from me after a crazy night in Seville. For England to go three goals up inside 38 minutes away in Spain is quite remarkable. To withstand a heavy Spain battering in the second half was almost as impressive. Here’s Daniel Taylor’s match report:

Where to start? It was a wild night under the lights of Seville and, ultimately, these are the kind of moments England ought to cherish. Any win against Spain is to be celebrated but to overcome one of the world’s most refined teams on their own soil makes this, without any exaggeration, one of the great nights in England’s modern history.

It was the night when Raheem Sterling, in the space of 22 first-half minutes, doubled his England goals tally from the previous six years. Harry Kane’s run without a goal is now seven games but, seriously, who really cares when he plays this effectively? Marcus Rashford added England’s other goal, all coming in the first half, and when Spain gave everything to pull off a remarkable feat of escapology Gareth Southgate’s players held out – just – in the face of an onslaught.

Related: Raheem Sterling’s double inspires England to stunning victory in Spain

That said, there was luck. Pickford saved from Alonso with the back of his head - and knew nothing about it. He should also have given away a penalty ... but he also he hit a wonderful pass to start the England move that led to Sterling’s first goal, then hit the ball long to Kane who setup the Rashford’s.

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» Inaugural W-League marquee Sam Kerr wants more to join her
  • Perth forward targets one marquee player per team
  • David Gallop says expanded season also a priority

Matildas superstar Sam Kerr wants a longer W-League season and more marquee players, and neither may be too far away according to FFA chief David Gallop. Kerr rejected offers from European clubs to sign for Perth Glory and become the W-League’s inaugural marquee player, something she said was a “huge honour”.

“It’s something I’m really proud of and hopefully it’s a big step for women’s football in the right direction,” Kerr said at Monday’s W-League season launch in Sydney. “Hopefully one day there can be one [marquee] for every team which I think is well deserved for the girls.”

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» USA 6-0 Jamaica: Concacaf Women's Championship – as it happened

You can read a full report from Caitlin Murray in Frisco here:

Related: USA rampage past Jamaica to qualify for 2019 Women's World Cup

This is a fearsome team. Up front -- Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath are the modern-day answer to the “triple-edged sword” of the 1991 World Cup. (That was Michelle Akers, Carin Jennings and April Heinrichs.) Lindsey Horan is an outstanding playmaker. Julie Ertz stops plays dead in midfield and can get into the attack. Rose Lavelle is one of several options for the third midfield slot.

On the bench, you have the great big-game veteran in Carli Lloyd alongside the youngster Mallory Pugh and Christen Press, who simply scores in bunches.

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