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Winterstoke Road, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, BS24 9AA
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Football Team News

» MPs' plan to save struggling EFL clubs is too late and reeks of hypocrisy
MPs have come up with a plan to save EFL clubs amid the current crisis but they've had years to try and make a difference
» Klopp says 'who cares' where Liverpool celebrate title - he's absolutely right
Liverpool face the prospect of winning the Premier League title away from Anfield but Jurgen Klopp hasn't objected to the idea
» Juventus 'propose Adrien Rabiot' to Man Utd in Paul Pogba swap transfer
Paul Pogba's Man Utd future remains unclear with Juventus keen on bringing him back to Serie A and are prepared to use Adrien Rabiot in a swap transfer
» Government 'pave way' for Liverpool to secure Premier League title on Merseyside
Liverpool face the prospect of winning the Premier League title at a neutral venue but the Government has said the decision rests with chiefs on Merseyside
» John Barnes says Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are 'available' for right price
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have both been linked with moves away from Liverpool and a former Red has warned they could leave
» Premier League clubs set to discuss allowing TV cameras into dressing rooms
Premier League clubs will get together to discuss new ways to bring fans closer to the action which could include TV cameras being allowed dressing room access
» Barcelona 'name terms for Coutinho loan' as Premier League trio consider swoop
Philippe Coutinho could be on his way back to the Premier League with the likes of Leicester and Chelsea previously linked with the Barcelona man
» Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette makes decision on Inter Milan transfer
Alexandre Lacazette has no interest in being Lautaro Martinez's replacement at Inter Milan despite their interest in the Arsenal star
» Man Utd and Man City facing two-week close season if they reach European finals
Man City and Man Utd face the prospect of immensely short pre-seasons as they look to juggle league commitments alongside the Champions League and Europa League
» Trippier slams Spurs for surgery delay that saw him miss seven Atletico games
Former Tottenham defender Kieran Trippier says he should have gone under the knife last year - instead he was forced to miss seven matches at new club Atletico Madrid
» FA Cup final on August 1 could be played in front of 20,000 fans at Wembley
EXCLUSIVE: Plans are being explored for 10,000 fans from each club that reaches the FA Cup final to attend the English domestic season's showpiece game
» Ronald Koeman admits he almost became collateral damage in coronavirus fight
EXCLUSIVE: Former Everton boss Ronald Koeman suffered a heart attack last month - but believes the problem would have been picked up if a routine hospital appointment had not been cancelled
» Paul Ince explains why Roy Keane is player he misses most from stellar career
Former England midfielder Paul Ince played with some of the greatest players of his generation - but he misses none more than old Manchester United teammate Roy Keane
» David Luiz facing £38,000-a-week pay cut to seal dream transfer back to Benfica
EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal defender David Luiz will need to take a hefty pay cut if he is to secure a move back to Benfica where he started his career in Europe
» Dean Smith eases players' fears about restart after father's death from Covid-19
The Aston Villa manager's father Ron passed away earlier this week at the age of 79 after testing positive for the pandemic four weeks ago
» Trippier says "unbelievable" Simeone makes him wish he joined Atletico earlier
Former Tottenham defender Kieran Trippier's only regret about moving to Spain to play for Atletico Madrid is he didn't make the switch earlier
» Former Man Utd kit man recalls moment Ferguson and his team got covered in poo
The Red Devils had a disastrous start during a trip to face Sunderland in 2010 when a leak in the dressing room caused a rather unpleasant spillage
» Odion Ighalo's Man Utd future to be decided by Chinese Super League restart date
The Nigerian striker has been a huge hit during his time at United but he may be unable to return to action for the Red Devils with his loan deal coming to an end
» Wembley emerges as most likely venue for Mersey derby and Man City vs Liverpool
Liverpool's matches against Everton and Manchester City are among 12 matches identified as 'high risk' which could be played on neutral territory
» Terry McDermott claims he'd be happy to see Liverpool win league 'on the Moon'
EXCLUSIVE: It appears likely the Reds will not seal the title at Anfield due to safety concerns but McDermott insists Liverpool fans won't care
» Riyad Mahrez 'has three luxury watches stolen by thieves in £500k raid on home'
It is believed cash, football shirts and bracelets were also swiped from the penthouse of the Manchester City and Algeria star
» Liverpool 'identify Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele' as Timo Werner alternative
The Reds are said to still be keen on bringing in another forward despite seemingly dropping out of the race for RB Leipzig's Werner
» EFL confirm 10 positive coronavirus tests from eight Championship clubs
It is not yet clear when England's second tier will resume but the latest round of tests have shown the virus is still prominent
» Gary Neville on Man Utd tradition that Old Trafford giants must 'never' stop
The Red Devils have a long and proud heritage and since the success of the Sir Alex Ferguson era have arguably become the biggest club in the world

Football resources

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Other sport news:

» Bundesliga may have pressing problems but it's at the tactical forefront | Jonathan Wilson

The rustiness on display in Germany since play restarted shows how valuable regular drilling is but Dortmund v Bayern was an overtly modern game of exceptional quality

All sporting events have their myths, the useful narratives hung on them as the flags are lowered on the final day and we have to work out what the past month, all that effort, all that emotion, all that money, was for. Remember how the 2012 Olympics in London brought us together as an open, multicultural nation inspired to a more active future? The 2006 World Cup, we were told, was about the patriotic celebration of a new Germany. And perhaps it was.

However immersion in the Bundesliga over the past three weeks suggests the most tangible legacy was the wholesale adoption of pressing.

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» Premier League clubs told depleted squads will not delay restart
  • More strains and short-term muscle injuries expected
  • Clubs raised issue after spike in Bundesliga lay-offs

Premier League clubs have been told games will still go ahead once the season restarts even if they are down to only 15 fit players, it has emerged.

West Ham vice-chair Karren Brady has revealed the subject of depleted squads was discussed in Thursday’s conference call between clubs after Bundesliga teams reported a spike in strains and short-term muscle injuries following the resumption of football in Germany.

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» Vincent Kompany turns down assistant coach job at Manchester City
  • Anderlecht player-coach will see out contract in Belgium
  • Door likely to remain open for him at the Etihad

Vincent Kompany has turned down an opportunity to become Pep Guardiola’s coaching assistant at Manchester City in favour of continuing in his player-coaching role at Anderlecht.

The vacancy at City arose when Mikel Arteta left to join Arsenal, who are due to play at the Etihad when the Premier League is planned to return on 17 June.

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» Schalke's Weston McKennie wears 'Justice for George Floyd' armband
  • Midfielder tweets: ‘We have to stand up for what we believe in’
  • Floyd’s death at hands of Minneapolis police prompts protests

The Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie took to the pitch for Saturday’s Bundesliga game with Werder Bremen wearing an armband reading “Justice for George”, the African-American whose death at the hands of Minneapolis police has led to protests across the United States.

After the match McKennie tweeted: “To be able to use my platform to bring attention to a problem that has been going on to long feels good!!! We have to stand up for what we believe in and I believe that it is time that we are heard! #justiceforgeorgefloyd #saynotoracism.”

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» Nick Pope: 'England is so far away but being the No 1 is something I want'

Burnley’s goalkeeper on his lower-league journey, learning not to fear mistakes and his desire to dislodge Jordan Pickford

The goalkeeper’s lot is the peculiarity that hides in plain sight. They train alone most of the time, their technical and fitness work being entirely bespoke, and, come match day, it is preferable that they see as little of the ball as possible. Their view of the pitch is different, fixed and detached – everything feels different – and, for them, the game is as much psychological as physical, the ultimate test of focus.

Nick Pope uses words such as “singular” and “individual”. The Burnley and England goalkeeper remembers how as a young player, he had no teammate to talk him through matches, to offer positional tips. You are on your own between the sticks and the deal can seem thankless, unbalanced; one in which reliability, even excellence, is taken for granted and single mistakes tarnish reputations.

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» Robert Lewandowski hits double as Bayern go 10 points clear in Bundesliga
  • Werder Bremen beat Schalke to raise hopes of survival
  • Hoffenheim eye European place after victory over Mainz

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski ended a personal jinx when he opened his account against Fortuna Düsseldorf and added a second in a 5-0 win on Saturday as the holders moved closer to a record-extending 30th Bundesliga title.

The thumping victory left Bayern, who are chasing an eighth successive league title, top of the table on 67 points from 29 games, 10 ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund who visit bottom-of-the-table Paderborn on Sunday.

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» Harry Kane says Tottenham have to be near-perfect to finish in top four
  • ‘We have to win seven or eight to get into Champions League’
  • Spurs’ hopes boosted by key players returning from injury

Harry Kane thinks Tottenham will have to win “seven or eight” of their remaining nine Premier League games if they are to get in the Champions League next season. Spurs’ hopes were in tatters before the season shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic but the three-month hiatus has given them a chance to resurrect their push to finish inside the top four.

Kane, Son Heung-min, Steven Bergwijn – who were all due to miss most of the rest of the season – and Moussa Sissoko are now fully fit for the proposed restart on 17 June. They are still up against it, sitting seven points off fourth-placed Chelsea, but have key games against Manchester United, Sheffield United, Arsenal and Leicester, while they will hope that Manchester City’s appeal against their European ban is rejected.

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» Emile Heskey: extra caution needed for BAME footballers when play resumes

Ex-England star says players from minority backgrounds will feel especially nervous

The former England footballer Emile Heskey has called for extra precautions to be taken for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) footballers when the Premier League returns to screens in June, three months after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to a halt.

With a provisional restart date for the of 17 June with all games behind closed doors, the former England, Liverpool and Leicester striker said all footballers, but especially those from minority backgrounds, would feel nervous about returning to play.

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» Fuenlabrada's José Ramón Sandoval: 'My first task was to win the players over from home'

The Spanish second-tier side appointed Sandoval on the eve of lockdown. He got to know his players via Zoom but is finally on the training pitch

José Ramón Sandoval has been Fuenlabrada’s manager for 11 weeks but hasn’t taken charge of a single game. He has led only two full training sessions at the Segunda División club, has barely met his players and never even got presented to the media, let alone the fans. He has suffered coronavirus and his timing could hardly have been worse, but he’s wearing a huge grin. Not that you can see it under the Fuenlabrada face mask he ordered himself. “This period has been a like doing a master’s,” he says.

Sandoval had just overcome a hernia operation when Fuenlabrada, based on the outskirts of Madrid, called him. He had been out of work for 16 months, since the second of two short-lived spells with Córdoba. His appointment was announced on 11 March and there was a brief session that evening, his first contact with the entire squad. The following morning, 15 hours into the job, he had his second. And, it turned out, his last. That day, Spain’s football teams were sent home and told not to come back. His presentation was cancelled: this was not the time, the club decided. A state of alarm was declared two days later, the country locked down. “I’m a tsunami, taking everything with it, but after a day the tsunami was stopped,” says the 52-year-old, who made his way into management via amateur clubs starting in the mid-90s, having made little impression as a player.

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» Football is back and all it took was the spectre of financial catastrophe | Jonathan Liew

Project Restart has shrunk the sport to an elite pursuit within a sterile bubble, throwing up questions no one can answer

Well done, everyone: we did it. They said it wasn’t possible. They said it wasn’t safe. They said it would be tactless to start up one of the world’s most lucrative sports leagues while thousands are dying. They said it wouldn’t be a fair competition. They may still be right about all of this, of course. More on that in a moment.

But for now, football is back. Watch it. Drink it in. Lose yourself in a pure six-week football bender: 92 Premier League fixtures, spread across every day of the week and every conceivable time slot, all of it live on television, much of it free to air. Take that, null-and-voiders; dry your tears, PPG; up yours, Troy Deeney. Football is back and all it took was the spectre of financial catastrophe and the sight of Germany handling things far more adeptly.

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» My favourite game: Charlton beat Sunderland in classic play-off final | Nick Allbury

Clive Mendonca’s hat-trick and Michael Gray’s ashen face are among the memories from an incredible encounter

Football stirs the same emotions in all of us. Joy and despair, fragile optimism and resigned acceptance. Yet it’s how we manage these feelings that shapes our relationship with the game.

As a youngster, football was my master. All I wanted in the world was to see my team, Charlton Athletic, walk out at Wembley Stadium, and also, if it wasn’t too much trouble, to see us play in the Premier League. Both always seemed improbable, and yet, remarkably, on one heady late-spring day in 1998, via the Division One play-off final against Sunderland, I was offered one and the tantalising prospect of the other.

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» Riyad Mahrez sets Manchester City's sights on Champions League glory
  • ‘We have the team, the manager … everything’
  • City lead Real Madrid 2-1 going into home leg

Riyad Mahrez is confident Manchester City can win the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history.

Uefa is intent on the competition returning in August when domestic leagues have been completed following football’s suspension. Should that prove to be the case, City will resume a last-16 tie against Real Madrid leading 2-1 from the first leg at the Bernabéu.

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» PSG reach £45m agreement with Internazionale to sign Mauro Icardi
  • Argentinian forward to join permanently after loan
  • Clubs agree €50m initial fee with €7m in add-ons

Paris Saint-Germain are set to land their first major signing of the summer after reaching an agreement with Internazionale for Mauro Icardi.

The Argentinian striker has spent the season on loan at PSG and the clubs have struck a deal worth €50m (£45m), plus €7m in add-ons, to make the transfer permanent.

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» Liverpool and Everton to oppose plans to play games at neutral venues
  • Merseyside derby among fixtures deemed ‘high risk’
  • Local police happy for title to be won at Anfield

Liverpool and Everton will next week oppose plans to make them play at neutral venues when the Premier League restarts, with Merseyside Police having no objections to any matches at Anfield or Goodison Park “in relation to crime and disorder”.

Jürgen Klopp’s runaway leaders will be denied any opportunity to win the club’s first league title in 30 years at Anfield under plans outlined by Mark Roberts, the national lead for football policing and deputy chief constable of South Yorkshire Police.

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» Wolfsburg thrash Cologne as Frauen Bundesliga bucks trend with restart
  • Wolfsburg 4-0 Cologne (Harder 33pen 78, Huth 45, Popp 66)
  • German top flight is first major women’s league to resume

The Frauen Bundesliga, the top tier of women’s football in Germany, resumed on Friday after a two-month shutdown. League leaders Wolfsburg picked up where they left off, routing Cologne 4-0 to maintain their unbeaten season.

Pernille Harder opened the scoring from the penalty spot, before forward Svenja Huth doubled the lead just before half-time. The visitors kept the three-time defending league champions in reach, but Alexandra Popp made sure of victory with 66 minutes played.

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» Fate of League One season still unclear as clubs prepare for crucial meeting
  • Teams remain divided over how to complete campaign
  • Monday summit could pave way for vote on curtailment

League One clubs are set to remain engulfed by uncertainty for more than a week as prospects of the third tier resuming this season continue to recede.

English Football League clubs will meet on Monday 8 June with the intention of approving the league’s new mechanism for ending a campaign early in the event of the coronavirus pandemic ruling out the possibility of a normal conclusion.

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» Freiburg 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen: Bundesliga – as it happened

Kai Havertz continued his fine recent form with a terrific winning goal to settle a game of few chances and lift Leverkusen to third

That’s it from me. Thanks for reading along; 99% of that match won’t live long in the memory, but that Kai Havertz winner will. I’ll leave you with a roundup of a busy day in Germany. Auf wiedersehen!

Related: Wolfsburg thrash Cologne as Frauen Bundesliga bucks trend with restart

Tapsoba makes an important interception to deny Freiburg’s final push forward, and the visitors get the win!

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» Golden Goal: Dietmar Hamann for Germany v England (2000) | Alex Hess

The final goal at the old Wembley marked the end of an era – and the start of the golden generation’s big-stage letdowns

The final goal at the old Wembley had all the hallmarks of a footballing fairytale: it was a long-range thunderbolt that snatched an unlikely win and gave the complacent favourites their comeuppance. Only problem was, those favourites were the hosts of the party. In the final match at the old national stadium on 7 October 2000, England were beaten by the Germans. Again.

There’s an irony that the party pooper in question would go on to become one of his country’s most popular players on these shores: a German whose long career in England left him with a cricket obsession and an enduring scouse-Bavarian twang.

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» Slavisa Jokanovic: 'Euro 92 was taken away from us. We were better than Denmark'

The former Fulham manager on the day 28 years ago that Yugoslavia were thrown out of the Euros and why he still wants to keep going

“They’re sad memories,” Slavisa Jokanovic says. “The current generation of players won’t play this summer but they’ll get the chance next year; we had the Euros taken away from us and never got it back.”

This Saturday was supposed to be the Champions League final, the club season then giving way to the European Championship. Instead, the 552 footballers who should have been joining national teams across the continent have been left in limbo, denied perhaps the best days of their lives. For most, at least it’s not for long; for those 20 men, it was forever.

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» 'People say you shouldn’t do this': Nathan Jones heads into fire at Luton

Fans and staff felt betrayed when their manager left in a promotion season – now he’s back to save them from the drop

They say never go back but, 16 months on from an acrimonious exit, Nathan Jones’s return to Luton ranks as one of the more unlikely managerial comebacks. “People say you shouldn’t do this, you shouldn’t do that but deep in my heart this feels right,” he says.

“I’ve had time to think and talk it over with my wife and the key people in my life, and that includes going to God with it, and it sits right. I have peace with this decision – other decisions I’ve made, I haven’t. When I have peace, they are normally the right decisions.”

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» Workington raise funds reliving day they stunned Manchester United | Jamie Jackson

A charity webcast recalling a famous 1958 FA Cup tie is being held to help people hit by the coronavirus crisis

A Friday night in early January 1958 in Cumbria and Keith Burkinshaw of Workington Reds is meeting Duncan Edwards of Manchester United. Burkinshaw, who was in the army with Edwards in Wales, enjoys a catch-up with one of United’s greatest footballers before tomorrow’s FA Cup third-round tie, when he will play for fourth-tier Workington against Matt Busby’s English champions of the past two seasons.

The game takes place in front of a record home crowd of 21,500 at Borough Park and they see Workington stun a first-choice United XI featuring Harry Gregg, Roger Byrne, Bill Foulkes, Mark Jones, Eddie Colman, Edwards, Kenny Morgans, Albert Scanlon, Bobby Charlton, Dennis Viollet and Tommy Taylor, via a six-minute Clive Colbridge goal that gives them a deserved half-time lead. It was a moment to remember even if United did go on to win 3-1.

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» 'I dance to Joe Wicks every morning': football commentators in lockdown

Peter Drury and Guy Mowbray have been enjoying their time off, volunteering for the NHS, doing homework and keeping fit

By Richard Foster for the Guardian Sport Network

Even during the current hiatus, Peter Drury is still spending time at a football ground. “I have just finished wiping my final tray and my final table,” says Drury. “I do two days a week at Watford’s ground, which is my local club. They have given over the hospitality boxes in the Graham Taylor stand to the doctors and the nurses who work at the hospital that is bang next door to Vicarage Road. So the club provides breakfast, lunch and somewhere to chill out and I go in to wipe tables and trays, clean away plates, knives and forks and ketchup.” 

Drury’s voluntary work for the NHS at Vicarage Road gives him a connection to the game he has been commentating on since his days at BBC Radio Leeds in the early 1990s. “All of us who play our little part in the football industry need to just make sure we are looking at our humility compass when we return,” he says.

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» When Nottingham Forest retained the European Cup 40 years ago

Brian Clough’s team went to the 1980 final without their record signing. They returned as two-time European champions

By Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports Blog

“You win something once and people say it is all down to luck,” reflected Brian Clough after Nottingham Forest had successfully defended the European Cup on 28 May 1980. “You win it twice and it shuts the buggers up.”

Winning the 1979 European Cup was hardly a fluke. Defeating Liverpool and Cologne on their way to the final in Munich, Nottingham Forest could not be accused of having things easy. Admittedly, Malmo were not the most testing of opponents in the final. But a year on, Forest’s opponents in the final at the Bernabéu could not be dismissed so lightly.

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» Football fans take usual places via Zoom as matches restart in Denmark – video

Thanks to a virtual stand, fans of the Danish Superliga side AGF Aarhus were able to watch their season opener against Randers despite  coronavirus restrictions.

The screens allowed fans to show their support – and let the players hear them – throughout Thursday's game.

The home side had little to cheer for most of the match, but Aarhus bagged a stoppage-time equaliser, sending fans watching via Zoom into raptures. 

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» ‘Our defenders have been socially distancing all season’ – keeping Tranmere Rovers alive

When league football was paused in March 2020 due to coronavirus, the Tranmere Rovers chairman, Mark Palios, devised Project Malthus, his plan to keep the League One club alive. As he waits for fellow clubs to vote on the outcome of the season, which could mean their relegation, he explains why football needs to get serious about its messy economic situation, and why a club like Tranmere needs to look after its community in difficult times.

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» Celtic champions, Hearts relegated: how Scotland ended its season – video

Celtic have been crowned the SPFL champions for the ninth season in a row. The decision to end the season prematurely amid the Covid-19 pandemic divided opinion in Scotland, but could the English Premier League eventually do the same? The Guardian's Ewan Murray thinks it over.

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» 'It is very odd': empty stadiums as Bundesliga returns – video report

The Bundesliga has become the first major football league to restart after the coronavirus outbreak after two months of action being paused.

Matches were played behind closed doors as only teams, broadcasters and match officials were allowed to enter the grounds. Speaking after the game Borussia Dortmund manager, Lucien Favre, said: 'It is very odd you don't have any crowd noise. You shoot, you score, you make a great pass and nothing happens.' 

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» Project Restart: what hurdles are facing the Premier League? – video explainer

As the Premier League weighs up a possible return in June, many questions remain unanswered. From testing regimes to where games will be played, Paul MacInnes takes a look at the key hurdles

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» Andrés Iniesta calls children born because of his goal against Chelsea in 2009 – video

Barcelona icon Andrés Iniesta has video-called the children born because of his famous goal against Chelsea in 2009. The late winner at Stamford Bridge led to a spike in pregnancies. 'Has your mum shown you the goal?' Iniesta asks Ignacio, born on 18 January. Of course she had, Ignacio says: 'You were a star.'

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» Barcelona keen on Miralem Pjanic and refuse to give up on Lautaro Martínez
  • Club in talks with Juve despite no swap deal with Arthur
  • Barça may offer €90m plus player for Martínez

Barcelona are refusing to give up on their pursuit of Internazionale’s Lautaro Martínez despite the Serie A side saying that any club interested in the Argentinian would have to pay the full release clause of €111m (£99.6m). Barça are also hoping to find a way to sign the Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic.

The two clubs have been in discussions for more than three months about a possible move for the highly rated 22-year-old Martínez but the Inter sporting director, Piero Ausilio, told Sky Sports Italia on Wednesday night that they do not want to sell him.

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» Serie A gets the go-ahead to resume in just over three weeks
  • Italian league will restart on Saturday 20 June
  • Serie A has been suspended since 9 March

Top-flight football has been given the go-ahead to resume in Italy from 20 June. Italy’s minister for sport, Vincenzo Spadafora, said that Serie A would be allowed to restart after a conference call involving the league, the players’ association and the Italian Football Federation.

“The meeting was very useful,” Spadafora said. “Now Italy is starting again and it is right that soccer starts again too.

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» Bayern end title race and reaffirm game's significance in strange times | Andy Brassell

Bundesliga title is heading to Munich again after a win at Dortmund so absorbing it was easy to forget the emptiness

As Joshua Kimmich roared his approval on the final whistle, hearts may well have sunk among newly assembled enthusiasts around the world and, likewise, in the Bundesliga’s marketing department. Bayern Munich’s Tuesday teatime win at Borussia Dortmund may have been narrow but it was also as significant as football can be in today’s strange world. 

Moving the defending champions seven points clear of their closest irritants with six games to go, there is really no way of looking at the aftermath that suggests the contest is still alive.

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» Espanyol and Leganés will give fans free tickets for next season
  • Season-ticket holders to be compensated
  • La Liga due to restart on 12 June

Espanyol and Leganés season-ticket holders will be handed free passes for the 2020-2021 campaign to compensate for missing matches owing to the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

La Liga is set to resume in June after being suspended in March with 11 rounds of matches remaining but, as in Germany, fans cannot attend games.

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» La Liga given green light and plans restart with Seville derby on 12 June
  • Spanish PM clears league to restart next month
  • Teams are already training in groups of 10

Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has given the green light for football to return in the week beginning 8 June, allowing La Liga to go ahead with plans to restart the first division with the Seville derby on 12 June. A formal announcement on the date of the return to competition will be made by the league’s president, Javier Tebas, in the next couple of days.

Sánchez made the announcement on Saturday when he said that the “worst has passed” and that Spain was now at “the end of the tunnel”, allowing for a further relaxing of the state of alarm, which was first declared on 14 March.

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» 'This is unjust': Amiens president rails against relegation from Ligue 1

The club has taken legal action after being relegated from a league that had 10 rounds of fixtures left to play

By Jeremy Smith for Get French Football News

When son of the city Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France on 7 May 2017, the people of Amiens must have expected that proud event to be the highlight of their month. However, the small northern city straddling the River Somme was the centre of attention again a fortnight later, when Emmanuel Bourgaud scored a 96th-minute winner against Reims on the final day of the Ligue 2 season to take Amiens from sixth to second in the table. With the last kick of the season, Bourgaud had earned the club promotion to Ligue 1 for the first time in their history.

For club president Bernard Joannin this was the culmination of 11 years of work, most of which was spent in France’s third tier, the club only regaining professional status in 2016. Joannin, a 70-year-old former PE teacher who owns several Intersport franchises (think Sports Direct, although the suave, affable Frenchman could not be more removed from Mike Ashley), had the people of the city in mind when he bought the club. “I took over in 2009 with other local businessmen and my objective was to give back to the city what they had given us by helping us to build successful businesses,” he says.

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» Alleged victims of Haiti FA president say they have received death threats
  • New allegations of sexual abuse made against Yves Jean-Bart
  • FHF says claims are ‘baseless’ and he will be ‘fully exonerated’

Several alleged victims of sexual abuse by Yves Jean-Bart, the president of the Haiti Football Federation (FHF), say they have received death threats since claims against him were reported.

The Guardian has also learned of new claims of alleged abuse from other alleged victims who have come forward. Authorities in Haiti have opened an investigation into the claims.

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» 'I already knew' – the moment dogged Donato gave Deportivo the title | Sid Lowe

Exactly twenty years on, Donato retells the story of sealing La Coruña’s only title, and how he still wanted to play past 40

“When John Toshack came as manager, he said there was nothing left for me to give at Deportivo de La Coruña, that was it,” Donato Gama da Silva says. “I was like: ‘oh, mate’.” It was summer 1995 and the Brazilian was well past his 32nd birthday. Eighteen months later, Toshack was gone; Donato, on the other hand, was still there. In fact, eight more years went by before he left, during which he won a Cup final against Real Madrid at the Bernabéu on their 100th birthday and Depor’s only La Liga title, 20 years ago this Tuesday.

Nothing else to give, huh? “The door had been open, to [Galician rivals] Compostela,” he says, but that first season under Toshack, Donato played 39 league games. The next season it was 30, then 31, 29, 29, and so it went. By the time he reluctantly retired, he had played more games in Spain than any foreigner, was the oldest goalscorer in La Liga history, and still wanted to carry on. That record-breaking goal against Valencia in May 2003 was his 50th; his most important came on the final day of the 1999-2000 season, a header that earned Deportivo the title. He was 37 and a half.

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» As infighting engulfs Ligue 1, Nice CEO Bob Ratcliffe plots a way forward

The Nice boss wants to see stronger leadership from the top and more cooperation from other clubs in France

By Get French Football News for the Guardian Sport Network

The state of French football is somewhat bleak. Luis Campos, one of the sport’s greatest talent-spotters, wants Lille to cancel his contract. Andoni Zubizarreta has quit his role of director of football at Marseille due to tensions with the club’s president, Jacques-Henri Eyraud, who has reportedly tried to turn influential players against him so the club can sell them more easily this summer to assuage pressure from Uefa over their Financial Fair Play violations.

Ligue 1 is the only of Europe’s big five leagues to have terminated the season early due to the coronavirus pandemic, a decision that has triggered three legal cases against French football’s professional body, the LFP – including one from Amiens, who were relegated despite sitting just four points from safety with 10 matches to play.

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» Germany rallied to save women's football – the FA should be embarrassed | Suzanne Wrack

Frauen Bundesliga is restarting and the NWSL will be back in June while conservatism has crippled the English game

On Monday the Women’s Super League and Championship seasons were ended by the Football Association after weeks of waiting for what had become an inevitable announcement. 

While women’s football in England has become the latest sporting casualty of Covid-19, elsewhere the situation is being used to help fuel the growth of the game. On Wednesday details of a one-month 25-game Challenge Cup tournament in the US were unveiled, scheduling women’s football as the first sport to return in the country. And on Friday the Frauen Bundesliga resumes with the league leaders, Wolfsburg, playing struggling Cologne.

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» Lauren: 'No one wanted to ref in training. Wenger hid. Pat Rice was the bravest'

Arsenal’s invincible right-back reveals how the warmth of Dein and Wenger led him to Highbury and the joy almost fighting Henry still brings him

The way he tells it, they messed up his wedding plans and all for nothing but Lauren did not mind. It turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him. There are no regrets; there is just laughter, the Cameroon international cracking up so often it is a wonder he can put himself back together again.

In the summer of 1999 the man who went on to be an invincible in London was supposed to be lying on a beach somewhere with his new wife, Monica; instead, he was in a meeting with a couple of men he could not really understand discussing a deal that did not get done.

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» Saudis' proxy war hits Newcastle to place the Premier League in a diplomatic bind | Louise Taylor

Newcastle United fans dream of a return to the Champions League should Mike Ashley sell the club, but the politically sensitive Saudi-funded takeover seems to have stalled

Glance at some recent headlines concerning Newcastle United and it would seem safe to assume that the Saudi Arabian flag is already fluttering high above St James’ Park. For the moment, though, fans mesmerised by speculation that Philippe Coutinho, Gareth Bale, Harry Kane and Kalidou Koulibaly are all Tyneside-bound must make do with photographs of an estate agent’s “Sold” sign deposited outside the Milburn Stand.

It was a joke intended to celebrate the apparently imminent end of Mike Ashley’s thoroughly miserable 13-year ownership of Newcastle and mark a long-mooted, largely Saudi-funded £300m takeover of the club. Yet, for the moment at least, the laughter has stopped.

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» The Fiver | Who wouldn’t want to spend a second consecutive summer day indoors?

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The schedule detailing how the Premier League planned to RESTART FOOTBALL had been out in the wild for no more than a couple of hours on Thursday when The Fiver remembered what exactly it was that prompted us to launch our ambitious, they-said-it-could-never-work but ultimately successful STOP FOOTBALL campaign all those years ago. Four consecutive matches live on TV on a Saturday? Fantastic, it’s been a while and it’s not like we have anything better to do at the weekend. Another four on Sunday?

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» Sports quiz: social media slip-ups

Which athletes and clubs should turn off their phones?

Which former cricketer claimed his Twitter had been hacked after a picture of a penis appeared, before being swiftly deleted?

Ian Botham

David Lloyd

Darren Gough

David Gower

Which club recently tweeted a photo of the wrong man when announcing their newly appointed manager?

FC Cincinnati

Colorado Rapids

Houston Dynamo

FC Dallas

Which footballer tweeted a picture of an expensive car soon after a heavy defeat, claiming it was "totally accidental" and "happened whilst driving and my phone was in my pocket"?

Micah Richards

Rio Ferdinand

Robert Huth

Joleon Lescott

Which striker edited his Twitter profile to say he played for Burnley, when he had actually just signed for Premier League rivals Crystal Palace?

Andy Johnson

Wilfried Zaha

Christian Benteke

Jason Puncheon

Which footballer tweeted this obvious post-match cut and paste job: “Can you tweet something like ... Unbelievable support yesterday and great effort by the lads! Hard result to take! But we go again”?

Jack Grealish

Harry Kane

Chris Wood

Victor Anichebe

After joining them on loan, which footballer was found to have previously called his new club "sheepshaggers" on Twitter?

Ryan Christie

Akos Buzsaky

Emmanuel Adebayor

Robert Earnshaw

Which World Cup legend accidentally tweeted a screengrab from his computer with pornography visible in a web browser tab?

Carlos Valderrama

Roger Milla

Hristo Stoichkov

Diego Maradona

Which former striker admitted he had been "left red faced" by accidentally tweeting a link to a porn site?

Danny Graham

Grant Holt

Dele Adebola

Jay Bothroyd

Who made the old copy-and-paste error when he posted: "Tweet to be put up tonight - Massive test for us tomorrow"?

Ronnie Whelan

Ray Houghton

Liam Brady

Eamon Dunphy

Lastly and perhaps most embarrassingly, which footballer has often posted to express his admiration for Robbie Williams?

Luis Suárez

Robert Lewandowski

Thomas Müller

Toni Kroos

1 and above.


2 and above.


3 and above.


4 and above.

A respectable effort

5 and above.

A respectable effort

6 and above.

A respectable effort

7 and above.

A respectable score

9 and above.

A superb score

8 and above.

A superb score

0 and above.


10 and above.

A superb score

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» MotoGP last-lap battles, pro-celebrity golf and memories of Glyn Pardoe | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features Champions League highlights, Lance Armstrong and Football Italia

1) This was supposed to be Champions League final week, with a return to Istanbul, scene of 2005’s all-time classic, hosting the showpiece this Saturday evening. The Ataturk Stadium appears to have had something of a scrub-up since then. Those missing the Champions League can relive the thrills and spills of last season’s competition here.

2) The Women’s Champions League final was due this week too and set to be played in Vienna’s Viola Park if a date can be found. Lyon won the last four finals, though were set to be without the brilliant Ada Hegerberg, out for the season with a ruptured ACL. She scored a hat-trick in last year’s 4-1 defeat of Barcelona.

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» David Squires on … English success in the Anglo-Italian Cup

Our resident cartoonist on the now defunct competition, including his beloved Swindon’s victory over Roma and Fabio Capello

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» The Joy of Six: football's wing wizards | Gregg Bakowski

From the ‘Wizard of Dribble’ to Ryan Giggs, via Garrincha and Jimmy Johnstone, we celebrate touchline-hugging wonders

Formations in modern-day football, improved playing surfaces and the evolution of tactics have completely changed the role of the winger. Now it is more accurate to describe an attacking player who plays on one of the wings as a forward, because the modern-day “winger” rarely hogs the touchline and often plays inside-out. Players such as Johan Cruyff, Luis Figo, George Best and Cristiano Ronaldo all excelled as wingers but their talent was such that their positions evolved to the extent that they are rightly remembered as supreme all-round footballers, not just gifted wide men. Those celebrated in this list get to the essence of what a winger used to be, delighting in trickery, seeing their job as that of an entertainer/provider and never more at home than when within a few feet of a white touchline.

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» Have any football champions gone out of business faster than Hallelujah FC? | The Knowledge

Plus: long gaps between players winning the same trophy, the ultimate leisurely pro and Demeaco Duhaney’s ups and downs

“Hallelujah FC, who were the first professional club in South Korea, won the inaugural K-League in 1983,” writes Kári Tulinius. “Two years later they had ceased to be professional, and continued as an amateur club until 1998, when they were dissolved. Despite the name, they were never resurrected. Has any professional club been permanently dissolved so soon after being champion?”

It turns out there are plenty of examples of champions who have tumbled into oblivion in double-quick time. “There are quite a few in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states,” writes Jack Mey. “Unirea Urziceni won the league title in Romania in 2009. By the end of the 2010-11 season, they had been relegated and were subsequently wound up. In Estonia, Lantana Tallinn won the league title twice, in 1996 and 1997. The club was disbanded in 1999. Over the border in Latvia, FK Vindava from the city of Ventspils, won the Latvian Championship in 2007 before being dissolved in 2009. FK Ekranas were one of Lithuania’s most successful clubs, they won the last of seven titles in 2012 and were wound up in 2014.”

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» Happy Hammers: revisiting West Ham's 1980 FA Cup triumph – in pictures

With the coronavirus pandemic putting paid to the plans of 90,000 fans packing out Wembley in this year’s FA Cup final, we’ve had a rummage through the archives to check out West Ham’s win over Arsenal 40 years ago

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» The Guardian and Football School's second Young Sportswriter competition

We have again teamed up for a writing competition for seven to 12-year-olds in the UK and Ireland

For the second year running the Guardian has joined forces with the Football School series to organise a Young Sportswriter of the Year competition. This exciting contest is aimed at seven- to 12-year-olds in the UK and Ireland and looks to bring out all the creativity, imagination and knowledge we know exists in Key Stage 2 pupils.

Entries should consist of a piece of writing, which can be either a match report of a sporting event that has taken place, or a profile piece about an athlete of their choice. The maximum is 600 words but the article can be shorter and it may be about any sport.

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» Bobby Moore and the mystery of the missing Bogotá bracelet

Fifty years ago the England captain was arrested for theft. But was it a prank? Did the piece of jewellery even exist?

“Only those four walls know the truth,” Hernando Rojas reflected, jabbing a gnarled finger into the distance, a crooked smile creasing his cheeks. “But something strange went on that day, I can assure you.”

Rojas was well into his 80s when he finally packed it in as the resident shoe shiner at Bogotá’s emblematic Hotel Tequendama. But for almost 60 years he was the eyes and ears of the establishment’s lobby – watching everyone, observing all. From Fidel Castro to Jimmy Carter, Neil Armstrong to Pelé, many were the stars to cross the famous foyer floor. Yet it was a blond Englishman that the octogenarian remembers best. “A giant; the most elegant man I’d ever seen,” Rojas recalled when I saw him a few years back. “Bobby Moore, champion of the world.”

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» Lilian Thuram: 'My classmates judged me because of my skin colour'

In a new book, the World Cup winner discusses growing up in France and the racism he encountered throughout his career

One man in France’s 1998 World Cup-winning squad felt particularly affected by the sense of racial harmony that had descended on the country after that historic triumph. Ever since moving from Guadeloupe as a nine-year‑old, Lilian Thuram was confronted by discrimination. The attitudes he witnessed as a boy shocked him to such an extent that once his career ended, he decided to focus his energy on the fight against racism.

For those few happy weeks after the World Cup, Thuram was delighted to see people in France treated equally regardless of race. “The black-blanc-beur symbol we created was positive and I liked it,” he says of the “black, white, Arab” motto.

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» Joe Hart: 'All I want is to be a big part of a club. That's all that burns through me'

Former England goalkeeper has started three games this season but he is still only 33 and feels he will have to move abroad to get back into the big time

More than 500 days have passed since Joe Hart last played in a Premier League game and so, on Zoom, he leans forward when I say that the hurt of not being picked must eat away at him. “Yeah, but I embrace that feeling,” he says intently. “I’m glad I feel like that because you need that fire in you. You almost need that arrogance to think: ‘Why am I not being picked?’ The reason that I’m at the top fighting, or have been at the top, is because that’s in me.” Hart is 33 and he has been playing professional football for more than 16 years.

He made his debut for Shrewsbury the day after he turned 17 and since then has won two Premier League titles with Manchester City, four Golden Gloves and 75 caps for England. After 12 years with City he played for Torino, West Ham and Burnley. But Hart has been in goal for Burnley only three times this season – a Carabao Cup defeat to Sunderland last August and two FA Cup ties, against Peterborough and Norwich, in January. He has been on the bench for all the other games.

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» World Cup questions: why did gifted England not beat Argentina in 1998? | Barney Ronay

Using the Fifa archive we rewatch a series of memorable games in search of answers we didn’t find at the time

History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.

Back in the early days of the Covid-19 lockdown there was a tendency to talk, hopefully, about the many opportunities for self-improvement confinement would provide. One suggestion was that people would start reading James Joyce’s Ulysses, the most brilliant, and brilliantly difficult, novel of the 20th century.

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» Next Generation 2019: 60 of the best young talents in world football

Eidur Gudjohnsen’s son, the new Paul Pogba and Barça’s Ansu Fati are among our 60 most talented players in the world born in 2002. Check the progress of our 2018 picks | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

Photographs by DZfoot, BackpagePix, Club Atlético Belgrano, EFE, EPA, Getty Images, Uwe Gruen/Hoffenheim, AMA/Getty Images, Rex/Shutterstock, Zuma Press/PA, FIFA, Tigres, Damir Krajac/CROPIX, Alamy, Daniel Reyes/Ecuafutbol, Reuters, Atromitos, Imago/PA, fotoBERNAMA, New Straits Times, José Alonso Paredes Sánchez, Agencja Gazeta, David Price/Arsenal FC/Getty, AP, Asian Football Confederation, Danubio FC and Championat Asia

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» Next Generation 2019: 20 of the best talents at Premier League clubs

The Guardian selects the best young players at each club born between 1 September 2002 and 31 August 2003, an age band known as first-year scholars. Check the progress of class of 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

Photographs by David Price/Arsenal/Getty Images, Neville Williams/Aston Villa/Getty Images, AFC Bournemouth, Paul Hazlewood/BHAFC, Paul Dennis/TGS/Shutterstock, Clive Howes/Chelsea/Getty Images, Danny Loo/PPAUK, Emma Simpson/Everton/Getty Images, Nick Taylor/Liverpool/Getty Images, Manchester City/Getty Images, Ash Donelon/Manchester United/Getty Images, Jason Dawson/Jasonpix, James Wilson/Sportimage, Simon Bellis/Sportimage, Robin Jones/Digital South/Southampton FC, Tottenham Hotspur/Getty Images, Alan Cozzi/Watford, Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United and Sam Bagnall/AMA

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» Next Generation: after five years, how has our first full class of picks fared?

From Rashford to Tielemans, we check in on how our initial Next Generation players have got on before the 2019 ones are announced this week

In 2014 we decided that it would be interesting to pick the best young players from each Premier League club – as well as 40 from around the world – and follow them for five years to see how they progressed.

The idea was to try to get a sense of how difficult it is to become a professional footballer despite being one of the best in that country at the age of 16 or 17.

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