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Netherhall Road, Maryport, Maryport, CA15 6NT
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Football Team News

» Gareth Bale's foot valued at £100million - the same as Kylie Minogue's bum
The Real Madrid star has explained his left leg is insured to the tune of £100million
» Premier League stars to film pre-match video selfies to air during matches
EXCLUSIVE: Top-flight players are set to record pre-match messages which will be broadcast during matches - as Premier League bosses try to reconnect fans ahead of Project Restart
» Ben Chilwell tempted by Chelsea transfer amid Leicester City uncertainty
The Blues are eyeing a summer swoop for the England left-back but the Foxes want to keep hold of the defender
» Premier League clubs agree date for 2020/21 season to officially start
The 20 Premier League clubs gave the green light at Thursday’s meeting to start next season in the second weekend of September, Saturday 12 and Sunday 13th.
» Premier League clubs hope fans will be able to attend matches in September
The remainder of this Premier League campaign will be behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic
» Dejan Lovren says he has "a duty" to speak on social issues after refugee past
The Liverpool defender fled Yugoslavia as a three year old to escape the Bosnian War - and in the wake of his experiences he wants to be someone who spreads "love and positivity"
» Chelsea emerge as frontrunner for Werner transfer with big-money contract offer
The league-leaders are unwilling to meet RB Leipzig's asking price for the Germany international - and the Blues are now in pole position to land the striker's signature
» PL TV fixtures mapped out as kick-offs unveiled for first three rounds of return
EXCLUSIVE: We can reveal that Sky, BT Sport, BBC and Amazon have asked for the following games all the way up to July 2, with the TV channels trying to agree on final details
» Liverpool double down on Timo Werner stance amid RB Leipzig transfer claims
The league-leaders have been heavily linked with a summer swoop for the Bundesliga star - but they are refusing to meet the €60million asking price for the Germany international
» Premier League clubs' "broad agreement" on Everton vs Liverpool at Goodison Park
Mirror Sport has been told the number of potential neutral venues is now down to as few as two and it could be more likely that it involves London derbies than any Liverpool game
» Dejan Lovren confirms commitment to Liverpool despite lack of first-team action
The Reds centre-half has made only nine Premier League appearances this season and admits it is hard to see himself being benched - but insists he respects Jurgen Klopp's decisions
» Valencia star Ferran Torres responds to Liverpool and Man Utd transfer links
Torres is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in Spain after showcasing his talents for Valencia, with Liverpool and United among the teams keeping tabs on the winger
» Odion Ighalo compares Mason Greenwood to Man Utd great Robin van Persie
On-loan Ighalo has lauded his fellow strikers at Old Trafford - reserving special praise for 18-year-old star Greenwood, who has burst onto the scene this season
» Jesse Lingard insists Paul Pogba is Man Utd's best player despite injury issues
Paul Pogba has struggled with injury this term but has still been hailed as the best player currently in Man Utd's squad by team-mate Jesse Lingard
» Gareth Southgate in regular contact with England squad including fringe stars
COLUMN: The England boss has been holding virtual meetings with his players, in a month where they would have normally been involved in the European Championships
» You can watch Premier League matches for free on BBC, Sky and Amazon
Four channels will show Premier League matches between now and the end of the season. Of the 92 games left, 33 will be free-to-air on the likes of Sky Sports, BBC and Amazon
» Arsenal legend Tony Adams explains why him and Lauren 'didn't like each other'
Adams and Lauren were teammates for two seasons and featured in the same side that won a prestigious domestic double for Arsenal in the 2001/02 season
» Tottenham the only Premier League club to apply for Government coronavirus loan
The Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) is designed to help large businesses affected by the global pandemic through purchase of their short-term debt
» Havertz 'open' to Man Utd transfer as Leverkusen star eyes Premier League switch
Leverkusen remain hopeful of keeping hold of their star man but are aware they could prove powerless in fending off Europe's big guns, with United among the interested parties
» Liverpool legends Barnes and Carragher disagree over youngster Curtis Jones
Curtis Jones has shown his quality when given an opportunity at Liverpool this term but he has struggled to break into the first team picture under Jurgen Klopp
» Dennis Bergkamp names top Arsenal teammates and makes Thierry Henry admission
The legendary Dutchman played with a whole host of star names in north London but says none of them could compare to Henry
» Premier League approve new substitute rule ahead of 2019/20 season restart
The English top-flight is still on target to return on June 17, and clubs will now be able to use a new rule that has been introduced by FIFA to help squads deal with fixture congestion
» Barcelona dealt Neymar transfer blow as 'PSG slap £155m price tag on forward'
Neymar is keen on a return to his former club but PSG are reluctant to let the superstar leave unless Barcelona stump up much of what they were paid for him in 2017
» Mikel Arteta told to sell 2 players that are 'not cut out for Arsenal'
Arteta needs to offload some players to raise funds for transfers this summer, and former Arsenal midfielder Charlie Nicholas believes there are two candidates who should be first out the door
From

Football resources

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Other sport news:

» Chelsea set to beat Liverpool to £53m signing of RB Leipzig's Timo Werner
  • Chelsea close to sealing five-year deal for forward
  • Liverpool linked with Werner but have not made a bid

Chelsea are close to signing Timo Werner after holding productive talks with the RB Leipzig forward, who is set to disappoint Liverpool by moving to Stamford Bridge for £53m.

Related: Premier League plan fixture list with Everton-Liverpool set for first Sunday

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» Premier League plans fixture list with Everton-Liverpool set for first Sunday
  • Provisional list for first three full rounds given to clubs
  • Teams agree to neutral venues where needed and more subs

The Premier League’s clubs have been presented with a provisional fixture list for the first three full match rounds of Project Restart, with the standout detail on the opening weekend being that Everton are set to face Liverpool on Sunday 21 June at 7pm – a game Sky plans to show on its Freeview channel.

If Manchester City were to lose to Arsenal on Wednesday 17 June on the reopening night when the games in hand from when the competition was shutdown in mid-March are played, then Liverpool could claim their first league title since 1990 with a victory in the derby.

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» Football chiefs talk a good game on racism but it still looks like bluster | Barry Glendenning

Fifa’s and Uefa’s response to the solidarity shown by players with George Floyd needs to be more than platitudes

Talk is famously cheap and out of the mouths of international football administrators tumble platitudes that are not worth the paper they will soon be written on. While encouraging, the apparent freedom granted by Fifa to players who wish to throw their collective shoulder to the wheel of protest against the sickening death of George Floyd at the knee of a Minnesota policeman should perhaps be greeted with scepticism.

“For the avoidance of doubt, in a Fifa competition the recent demonstration of players in Bundesliga matches would deserve an applause and not a punishment,” said Gianni Infantino after on-field gestures made by the brave Bundesliga players Jadon Sancho, Achraf Hakimi, Weston McKennie and Marcus Thuram.

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» Tottenham take £175m Bank of England loan to ease coronavirus impact
  • Spurs fear losing more than £200m of revenue to June 2021
  • Loan will not be used to buy new players in summer

Tottenham have borrowed £175m from the Bank of England to help them through the next year or so, as they respond to the financial destruction of the Covid-19 crisis.

The club fear that they may lose more than £200m of revenue in the period from the start of lockdown to June 2021, including broadcast rebates, and they have sought help from the government’s Covid corporate financing facility lending scheme, which has provided them with the unsecured loan. It is repayable in full next April at a rate of 0.5%, which is low in commercial terms, although Spurs could redraw it for another year.

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» Joshua Kimmich: 'We have to wear masks, sit alone and shower at home'

The Bayern Munich midfielder on playing without fans, not having to shout at the referee and the chip that appeared to settle the title race

“This year we have to drink all the beer,” Joshua Kimmich says, his tone deadpan as he ponders how weird it would be for Bayern Munich not to have their traditional beer-throwing celebration in front of their supporters if they win the Bundesliga this season. “I cannot imagine it now. I just know that it is strange if you win a game at the Allianz Arena and cannot celebrate with your fans. But we don’t have the choice now.”

Bayern’s outstanding midfielder can be forgiven for his confidence. The German champions were motoring before the coronavirus pandemic brought football to a halt in March and they have effortlessly picked up the pace since the Bundesliga season resumed last month, gliding seven points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table since returning to action.

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» My favourite game: when Blackburn stunned Arsenal in the 2013 FA Cup | Michael Butler

As a Rovers fan living across the road from the Emirates, it was a great feeling to watch this scrappy win even from the home end

It is a wonderful thing to live next to a football ground. Every other week my road, bordering the Emirates Stadium, would become transformed and a palpable, fleeting feeling of community would blossom. Groups pouring out of pubs, singing or huddled in conversation; parents skipping down the road, just as excitable as their wide-eyed sons and daughters; a few older figures in hats and scarves that might give you a nod before shuffling off to get in their seats, nice and early.

Related: 'It's still ridiculous' – Van Persie's 2012-13 season at Manchester United

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» When England turned up at Aylesbury United for a pre-Euro 88 friendly | Barry Glendenning

Bobby Robson brought his squad to Buckingham Road for a warm-up and though they scored seven unanswered goals, little good it did them

Despite scoring, Gary Lineker has no recollection of playing in the game, but 32-year-old pre-match footage proves the tanned striker, playing for Barcelona at the time, was definitely there. A text inquiry to Stuart Pearce, not quite as prominent in the extremely cramped dressing room but present on the England squad sheet, drew a similarly bewildered blank. “Sorry, can’t help you on this, I don’t remember the game,” came his reply.

A similarly high-profile international legend was at least able to dredge up some sketchy recollection, which we will get to anon. By contrast, Cliff Hercules, the splendidly monikered star striker for the home team, admits he has pondered the events of 4 June 1988 every day since. It was on that day non-league Aylesbury United hosted England in a friendly. Approaching the anniversary his memories, while vivid, are not entirely fond.

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» The Fiver | Newcastle, Sunderland and shows of outright contempt for fans

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It really wasn’t meant to be like this. As June approached, Newcastle fans were brimful of optimism that the long, drawn-out sale of their club by one universally reviled, despotic, tyrannical owner to another would finally be completed. They would be free to dream of a brave new dawn, a happy future in which Neymar was banging them in for fun up front and they were spending endless hours on the internet angrily pointing out London-based media agendas, typing the words “what about” more often than is humanly necessary and unconvincingly arguing that war crimes, beheadings and human rights abuses aren’t really anything to be concerned about if they are carried out in a way that doesn’t really affect you.

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» 'Man, this isn't MLS': An oral history of USA's quarter-final run in 2002

Eighteen years ago this week, Bruce Arena’s team started their campaign. They would change how American players were perceived at home and abroad

On 7 October 2001, the US men’s national team carried the weight of a nation’s grief on their shoulders. The crucial 2002 World Cup qualifier with Jamaica was the first national sports event since the 9/11 attacks. And the galvanizing feeling of responsibility that the players shared that evening would prove a crucial ingredient in the team’s eventual run to the World Cup quarter-finals eight months later.

This is the story of an unlikely group – largely written off and ridiculed – who not only delivered an unforgettable accomplishment but exorcised some long-lasting tournament trauma, properly announced the team as a competitive force on a global stage and may have saved North America’s flailing domestic league from extinction.

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» Football quiz: when Ajax won the Champions League final in 1995

An 18-year-old Patrick Kluivert scored the winner against Milan. Do you remember the details?

More Champions League quizzes: 1999, 2005, 2006, 2008 2012

Patrick Kluivert scored the only goal of the game, becoming the youngest player to score in a Champions League final – a record he still holds 25 years later. Who is the oldest player to have scored in a Champions League final?

Mario Mandzukic

Franco Baresi

Paolo Maldini

Teddy Sheringham

Who were the reigning champions in 1994-95?

Marseille

Juventus

Barcelona

Milan

Who set up the winning goal?

Ruud Gullit

Frank Rijkaard

Marc Overmars

Nwankwo Kanu

Frank Rijkaard had a great record in this competition, winning it three times as a player (including twice with Milan) and once as a manager. Who were the beaten finalists the year Rijkaard won the Champions League as a manager?

Manchester United

Liverpool

Chelsea

Arsenal

Ajax and Milan had already met in the group stage that season. What happened?

Both games finished goalless

Milan won their home game 3-0; Ajax won their home game 3-0

Ajax won both games 2-0

Both games finished 3-3

Which city hosted the final in 1995?

Rotterdam

Brussels

Vienna

Edinburgh

The final was a cagey affair, with Milan manager Fabio Capello seemingly wary of Ajax’s attacking threat. Which team had Ajax trounced 5-2 in Amsterdam in the second leg of the semi-finals?

Hajduk Split

Benfica

PSG

Bayern Munich

Ajax had two foreign players in their starting XI: Finidi George from Nigeria and Jari Litmanen from Finland. Which countries did Milan’s two foreign players represent?

The Netherlands and Nigeria

France and Croatia

Germany and Spain

Brazil and Argentina

Which member of this Ajax team ended up winning the Champions League with three different clubs?

Edwin van der Sar

Edgar Davids

Michael Reiziger

Clarence Seedorf

Ajax had an incredible season in 1994-95. In which of these tournaments did they lose a game?

The Champions League

The Eredivisie

The KNVB Cup

The Dutch Supercup

None of them

A number of that Ajax team went on to win the Premier League. Although only one of them went on to win the treble in Scotland. Which one?

Edgar Davids

Ronald de Boer

Jari Litmanen

Frank de Boer

11 and above.

You are even more impressive than the Ajax team

7 and above.

A superb score

1 and above.

Don't worry. It was a long time ago

2 and above.

Don't worry. It was a long time ago

3 and above.

Don't worry. It was a long time ago

4 and above.

Nice work

5 and above.

A fine score

6 and above.

A fine score

8 and above.

You are just as impressive as the Ajax team

9 and above.

You are just as impressive as the Ajax team

0 and above.

Don't worry. It was a long time ago

10 and above.

You are just as impressive as the Ajax team

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» The life and times of Barney Ronay – Football Weekly Extra

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning and Barney Ronay to discuss Barney’s life and times, including how Charlton v Manchester City got him hooked on football

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning and Barney Ronay to discuss Barney’s life and times, including how Charlton v Manchester City got him hooked on football, an unfortunate injury, why Cornwall gets the worst sports news and why Barry’s accusations of poshness are misplaced. Oh, and witch’s curses …

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» 'The atmosphere was brilliant:' fans fail to keep their distance in Hungary

Having been starved of football for months, excitement got the better of the limited number of fans at the Hungarian cup final

With chanting, drums and some very loosely enforced social distancing regulations, the Hungarian cup final on Wednesday evening almost felt like a normal football match. The game, which Budapest club Honvéd won 2-1 against underdogs Mezokovesd, was the first big game in Europe to be played in front of paying spectators since coronavirus led to the suspension of live sport across most of the world in March.

Roughly 10,000 fans were allowed into the 65,000-seater Puskás Arena for the match, and while social distancing regulations meant spectators had to sit four seats apart from each other, hardcore fans ignored their ticket numbers to gather behind the two goals. At the whistle, hundreds of Honved fans jumped and cheered in close proximity, in scenes that may prove controversial if there is any spike in the country’s coronavirus case numbers in coming weeks.

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» Milan's Asmir Begovic: 'When I first came back, nobody was in the streets' | Ewan Murray

It has been an interesting 12 months for the Bosnian goalkeeper since he was loaned out by Bournemouth, with spells at Qarabag and now San Siro

Asmir Begovic was in the midst of a year less ordinary long before a pandemic brought football to a shuddering halt. “Unorthodox?” he asks with a laugh. “A great couple of chapters in my book one day. That’s one of the reasons I love football, you just don’t know what is round the corner. As much as people want to plan, it’s such a reactive game. Things on a daily or weekly basis can change your future.”

Twelve months ago the goalkeeper had not featured in the closing stages of a Bournemouth season during which Premier League status was comfortably retained. If an exit from the Vitality Stadium seemed likely, nobody could have reasonably predicted what happened next.

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» Tottenham reveal unnamed player has tested positive for coronavirus
  • Spurs say player will self-isolate for seven days
  • Only one positive test from 1,197 players and staff

Tottenham have revealed that one of their players has tested positive for Covid-19 and will self-isolate for seven days, although he is not experiencing any symptoms of the virus. The London club want to keep his identity confidential. It is understood he is not a key first-team player.

The positive test was the only one from the Premier League’s fifth and latest round of screening, which took in 1,197 players and members of staff at the 20 clubs – representing another boost on the road to Project Restart.

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» Nine people at six Championships clubs test positive for coronavirus
  • Sheffield Wednesday and Preston among affected clubs
  • Four League Two play-off clubs produce no positive tests

Concerns that the Championship’s provisional restart date of 20 June could prove ambitious were heightened as nine people from six second-tier clubs tested positive for Covid-19 in the English Football League’s latest round of testing.

A total of 1,094 players and staff were tested under the mandatory twice-weekly system with Sheffield Wednesday confirming a staff member had returned a positive result and Preston saying they accounted for another of the nine.

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» Joshua Kimmich wants white players to join black teammates' protests
  • Kimmich: ‘We have a lot of power to reach other people’
  • ‘We are one world … it doesn’t matter if you are black or white’

Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich has said that white players should join their black teammates in protesting against the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

On a day when the German FA announced that Jadon Sancho, Marcus Thuram, Achraf Hakimi and Weston McKennie will not be sanctioned after leading protests in the Bundesliga against Floyd’s killing, Kimmich said all footballers have a duty to make a stand against racism.

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» Everton offer Leighton Baines one-year contract to remain at Goodison Park
  • Deal would extend left-back’s stay at club into 14th season
  • Niasse, Martina and Stekelenburg not yet offered new terms

Everton have offered Leighton Baines a one-year contract extension with the manager, Carlo Ancelotti, keen to extend the veteran’s stay at Goodison Park into a 14th season.

Baines is one of four senior Everton players out of contract at the end of the month and the only one offered new terms so far. The others are Oumar Niasse, Cuco Martina and Maarten Stekelenburg. All three were expected to be released on 30 June but that is no longer a foregone conclusion because of a growing injury list at the club.

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» 'It's still ridiculous' – Van Persie's 2012-13 season at Manchester United

Jonny Evans and Anders Lindegaard pull back the curtain on how the Dutchman gave Sir Alex Ferguson his final title

This was Robin van Persie in the 2012-13 season: 26 goals, two hat-tricks and the Premier League golden boot. It was a campaign in which the Dutchman elevated new teammates and was the X factor in Manchester United’s 20th and most recent championship triumph.

Van Persie’s move from Arsenal in the summer of 2012 was the final masterstroke of Sir Alex Ferguson’s gilded 27-year tenure. The £24m purchase on 17 August had echoes of the Scot’s signing of Eric Cantona from Leeds United in November 1992 for £1m.

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» Jack Grealish: 'I am a footballer but I’m still human. We all make mistakes'

The Aston Villa captain opens up about his lockdown incident and how the club are set on staying up for the memory of Dean Smith’s father

The challenge facing Aston Villa is to emerge from the Premier League hiatus better than they were before it. Jack Grealish accepts that applies to him more than most. Over the past couple of months he has spent time, and money, trying to prove that he does not deserve to be defined by that serious mistake he made in late March.

You know the one. The photograph went everywhere. Less than 24 hours after he publicly urged people to stay home to prevent the spread of coronavirus, he was pictured looking bewildered and dishevelled on a Birmingham street beside his damaged Range Rover, which had collided with parked cars to expose the fact that he broke lockdown to travel to a friend’s house. West Midlands Police’s investigation continues. The day after the incident Grealish acknowledged his hypocrisy on social media.

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» Premier League: the 10 most in-form players before lockdown

Harry Maguire, Mo Salah, Harvey Barnes and Sébastien Haller will be hoping to pick up where they left off

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored

With a return date now in place and anticipation building, it is easy to forget just how the season was left off. Bruno Fernandes had made a fine start to life in England after his arrival from Sporting in January, yet others had dipped. Having looked back at the last six rounds of fixtures, here are the 10 players who were enjoying the best form before the league was suspended in March.

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» Neutral venue option assumes that football fans are inherently disorderly | Owen West

The vast majority of supporters are responsible community spirited people who, if asked to stay away, will do so

The Premier League is set to resume the 2019‑20 season on 17 June, but all the remaining games will be played without fans. It will look and sound like nothing we have seen before. Of course, that’s the way it has to be in order to resume the national game in the middle of a pandemic.

Related: Everton hopeful of staging Liverpool derby at Goodison Park

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» Anson Dorrance: 'We raise young women to not be competitive. What the heck is going on?' | Suzanne Wrack

The most decorated coach of a single sport in the NCAA shares his coaching philosophy and how he helped turn the USA into a powerhouse of women’s football

“When I was hired the United States had never won a game in international competition. Five years later, we were world champions. The way we established the United States is the same way I established my collegiate programme,” says Anson Dorrance, head coach of the University of North Carolina women’s football team.

If you are reading this in the US, you will most likely have heard of Dorrance. Beyond the US, though, he is virtually anonymous. Yet he is one of the most successful American coaches of any sport, in any time. At 69 Dorrance is still going, 43 years after he took charge of the UNC men’s team and 41 after he helped to launch the women’s. He coached both for 13 years before switching solely to the women’s side, with whom he has won 22 division one titles. For context, the nearest to that record are Notre Dame and Stanford universities with three titles apiece. From 1986 he managed the US women’s national team for eight years, including to their first World Cup win in 1991.

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» Which football team has been the quickest to take a 2-0 lead? | The Knowledge

Plus: goal-averse well-capped international forwards, almost perfect mid-table mediocrity and professional grandparents

Mail us your questions or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

“What is the shortest time it’s taken a team to get a two-goal lead from the start of a game?” writes Paul Landsberg. “Has anyone managed to get 2-0 up by the second minute?”

“Yes they have,” yelps Robin Tucker. “England’s Women beat Turkey 8-0 in 2013. Not only did they go 2-0 up in the second minute, but Toni Duggan got both goals too. You can read all about it here.”

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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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» The soccer v football debate still lingers on in MLS

The game is not the behemoth in North America that it is in most of the rest of the world, so the league and its team have always had to tread carefully

Originally, there was not a single football club in Major League Soccer. Indeed, when the league was launched back in 1996 not one of its 10 founding members labelled itself “FC”. Now, 25 years later, 10 MLS clubs use the term, plus Inter Miami, or Club Internacional de Futbol Miami to give them their title. It will be 11 when Austin FC join MLS next year.

When MLS jokingly tweeted that “it’s called soccer. If anyone disagrees, reply to this” last month, more than a few people pointed out the disagreement within the league’s own ranks.

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» Serie C to conquerers of Europe: when star-studded Parma lived the dream | Nicky Bandini

Before being struck by scandal, this once lowly club enjoyed an electrifying rise – and it all began with the vision of one man

Everybody remembers how it ended. From 1990 to 2004, Parma competed as one of Italy’s foremost teams, qualifying for Europe in 14 consecutive seasons and winning four pieces of continental silverware. Then their parent company and chief sponsor, Parmalat, collapsed amid one of the most staggering financial fraud scandals the world has ever known.

Parma avoided instant oblivion. Technically the club did fold, but a subtly renamed version sprung up in its place, taking over the contracts, debts and – crucially – Serie A status of its predecessor.

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» Jürgen Klopp: 'Tony Yeboah had a big impact on German society'

In an extract from a new book on African players, the Liverpool manager talks about Tony Yeboah and his respect for Mo Salah

“I love the fact that we have so many African players … until the Africa Cup of Nations starts. Then it’s: ‘Oh my God!’” says Jürgen Klopp, breaking into his famous guffaw.

Six weeks to the day since Liverpool’s victory over Tottenham in the Champions League ended his personal run of six straight defeats in major finals, Klopp is in his office at the club’s Melwood training ground. For once, though, as he leans back on the sofa loading up a new vape, the former striker turned central defender, who has become one of football’s most famous personalities, seems to be only half-joking.

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» Salzburg's Patson Daka: 'There'll only be one Haaland and only one Patson'

Zambia striker has blazed a trail from Kafue to Mozart’s hometown in Austria and is about to resume a prolific season

Patson Daka has just spent half an hour recounting the journey that led from school playing fields in Zambia to the spearhead of Red Bull Salzburg’s attack, so it seems cheap to follow up with the kind of question that speaks of football’s maddening impatience levels. But he is about to resume a season whose success can be measured by a strike rate of a goal every 74 minutes in Austria’s Bundesliga, so here goes: would it be fair to say he is the next Erling Braut Haaland?

There is laughter at one end of the line and some relief at the other. “I’m not the next anything,” Daka says. “There’ll only be one Haaland and there’ll only be one Patson. I just want to become the best vision of myself.”

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» Schalke return with a whimper as reality bites for David Wagner | Andy Brassell

Die Königsblauen’s small squad are paying the price as their winless run extends to 11 games with a home defeat by Werder Bremen

Few teams have been grateful for the eerily empty stands synonymous with the Bundesliga’s restart and Schalke, used to the heaving bearpit of the Veltins Arena that has over 60,000 fans hemming them in every fortnight, are certainly not one.

What is true is that the current representatives of the Königsblauen are feeling less heat on their necks than they would be in normal times. Much post-Klassiker talk has been of the Bundesliga’s players bringing the intensity on the pitch that we miss from the stands but there can be no substitute for an affronted crowd in Gelsenkirchen.

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» Barcelona will resume La Liga title defence with late kick-off in Mallorca
  • Barça play Real Mallorca at 10pm on Saturday 13 June
  • Real Madrid to host Eibar at training ground on 14 June

Barcelona will resume their bid to defend the Spanish title on Saturday 13 June with a trip to Real Mallorca, while Real Madrid will host Eibar the following day as La Liga confirmed dates for the first two rounds of fixtures after the restart.

Quique Setién’s side will kick off their first game back at 10pm local time (9pm BST). Real Madrid’s match with Eibar will kick off at 7.30pm (6.30pm BST), with Atlético’s trip to face Athletic Bilbao at 1pm (12pm BST).

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» Andrine Hegerberg: 'Roma feels like a family. That helps speed up progress'

The elder Hegerberg shares how Ada’s successes motivate her and the source of her passion for the power of football

Andrine Hegerberg – Andy to her family and friends – laughs when I ask her about sibling rivalry with her younger sister, the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner, Ada. “I try to just turn it around,” she says with a grin. “When we’re playing with our dad, I’m always joking around. If I have a better practice than her, I’ll be like: ‘I’m better than the Ballon d’Or.’ I flip the coin and use it as a motivation, rather than being jealous. That wouldn’t help anyone.”

The Roma midfielder, and senior Hegerberg by two years at 26, also has the upper hand from the two times the sisters have met on the pitch, with Ada at Lyon and Andy then representing Paris Saint‑Germain. They drew in the league and PSG pipped Lyon to the French Cup in torrential rain. “So far I haven’t lost a game against her,” she says with another big grin. “At least that’s something I have. During family dinners that’s what I can go to. My mum was like: ‘OK, that’s fair enough, actually.’”

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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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» 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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» Women's football must escape shackles of the FA if it is to thrive after this crisis | Suzanne Wrack

The governing body has made it clear the men’s game will always come first, but inspiration lies across the Atlantic

Less than a year after England reached a World Cup semi-final watched by 11.7 million people and a new season got under way in front of 31,213 fans at the Etihad Stadium, we are facing more than six months without professional women’s football in England. 

Seven months to be precise if, as expected, the new Women’s Super League and Championship seasons begin in September. Meanwhile the resolution of the Women’s FA Cup campaign is yet to be decided, but it is hard to see it returning given clubs are winding down now the leagues have concluded. 

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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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» 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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» The Fiver | It sure feels like forever since we watched … the Primeira Liga

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Like an exasperated reader, a terrible thought struck The Fiver today. Big Website and lots of Sworn-at Enemies have been using the recent suspension of football to go all retro, serving up deep-frozen takes on fascinating events from the past: and we have been missing that trick all along! So let’s right that wrong right now. All aboard for a trip down memory lane as we recall Great Fivers of Yesteryear! Woo-hoo!

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» My favourite game: a perfect view of another Liverpool v Newcastle classic | Gregg Bakowski

Hope of a ticket was fading when I was spirited into Anfield pretending to be a TV technician to watch a thriller

I have never been one for obsessing about what view I have of a match. Just being able to see the pitch is enough. If I cared deeply enough I would not have chosen to have a season ticket miles from the action at the back of the Kop but for me atmosphere and who I want to be with has always been more important than the vantage point.

So perhaps it’s strange that I should choose this game as my favourite as I was not on the Kop next to my dad or with any other official Liverpool fans when it kicked off. On 28 December 1998 I was six months from finally being offered a Liverpool season ticket, so how and where I watched games depended on whether I got lucky at the ticket office or by picking up a spare outside the ground.

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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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» 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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» 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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» Buy a classic sport photograph: Euphoria at the 1966 World Cup

The latest of a Guardian Print Shop series featuring classic sports images. Today’s picture is of the moment England won the 1966 World Cup final, beating West Germany 4-2 at Wembley

Forget the best known photographs from the 1966 World Cup final: Geoff Hurst smashing home the fourth goal (“They think it’s all over … it is now!”); Bobby Moore riding on the shoulders of his teammates with the Jules Rimet trophy raised aloft in his right hand. Those frames don’t quite capture the raw emotion of that historic victory as well as this image by Gerry Cranham. Shot at the final whistle, it features England’s manager, Alf Ramsey, in a state of shock, being congratulated by his colleagues. But the scene is wonderfully stolen by the physiotherapist, Harold Sheperdson, whose explosive leap punctures the boundary of the frame. Ordinarily, as a picture editor, you wouldn’t want a person’s hand to be chopped off like this. Yet, somehow it just feels right, here – as if the euphoria of winning the World Cup simply couldn’t be contained within the frame.

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» The forgotten story of ... Alvin Martin's hat-trick past three goalkeepers

On 21 April 1986 the West Ham defender scored a historic treble against an injury-ravaged Newcastle in an 8-1 win at Upton Park

On 21 April 1986 West Ham welcomed Newcastle United for the 37th and, as it turned out, most memorable match of their greatest league campaign. They were fifth in the table but with genuine title pretentions, holding as they did between two and four games in hand on those above them, and had won six of their past eight matches.

Newcastle’s previous seven games had featured 30 goals at an average of 4.3 each and the Guardian’s chief football writer, David Lacey, in his report on their relatively dreary 1-1 draw at Chelsea two days earlier, had concluded that “if Newcastle’s defence repeats its sluggish performance West Ham should net a shoal of goals”. It was quite the prediction: at Upton Park, in a state of complete, injury-enforced disarray, they conceded eight.

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» England's first World Cup adventure was a voyage of the damned | Neil Duncanson

In 1950 the ‘kings of football’ were presented as certain to win, but what followed was calamitous

Roll back 70 years to a grey, austere postwar Britain, still in ruins, still enduring food rationing, queues and misery, a nation where football provided a scarce escape. It was also when, for the first time, England took part in the game’s major global tournament, the World Cup, which began on 19 June 1950 in Brazil.

To hyperbole stirred up by the national prints, England were presented as certain to be returning home triumphantly from South America with the Jules Rimet trophy. Failure was never considered. Here, after all, was the greatest assembly of footballing talent ever to leave England’s shores: Matthews, Finney, Mannion, Mortensen, Wright and Milburn, a confection of Boy’s Own heroes. It was, after all, England’s game.

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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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» 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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» 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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» 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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