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Football Team News

» Project Restart should ditch big grounds for EFL venues like QPR and Fulham
Without supporters filling them, Germany’s cavernous arenas are sucking the life out of the acoustics and atmosphere created by the players and management staff
» Henderson defends Van Dijk over fake "lucky" quote on social media
The Liverpool captain leapt to the defence of the centre-back after a fake quote attributed to former Chelsea star Michael Ballack was circulated on social media
» Gary Neville sums up Cummings press conference performance with apt comparison
The former Manchester United defender was quick to prepare the Downing Street adviser's performance in front of the camera to his own managerial career
» Man Utd make decision on Henderson after claim of 'weakening' Sheffield United
The goalkeeper has impressed during his loan spell at Bramall Lane, and helped the Blades challenge his parent club for an unlikely top four finish
» Bacary Sagna says Arsenal feared Chelsea much more than the other way round
Bacary Sagna believes his former Arsenal team-mates lacked self-confidence and "under-evaluated" themselves, which resulted in them struggling against top teams
» Adidas launch face masks to help protect against coronavirus
The reusable face covers have been made with high performance material to "help prevent the spread of transmissible viruses and germs" as the world begins to open up again after lockdown
» Women's Super League and Women's Championship seasons ended immediately
The seasons have been ended at both the top and second tiers following "overwhelming feedback from the clubs" at a meeting of both boards on Monday
» Lewandowski in the form of his life as he returns to Dortmund once more
Robert Lewandowski heads back to his old stomping ground for Der Klassiker on Tuesday night, with 41 goals to his name already this season, and in better form than he has ever been
» Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola disagree over Philippe Coutinho
Mikel Arteta worked under Pep Guardiola for two years at Manchester City before he was hired to manage his former club Arsenal following the sacking of Unai Emery
» Bruno Fernandes selects which Man Utd teammate he would self-isolate with
Fernandes has been isolating at home during lockdown with his partner and new-born baby daughter, but was quizzed which of his colleagues he'd pick to share a similar experience with
» New Man Utd away kit for 2020/21 season leaked ahead of proposed launch date
United will be sporting a new second strip again next season and partners Adidas have come up with the latest colour and design, which is described as 'legacy green'
» 10 Premier League players you forgot had featured in the 2019-20 season
It's been a while since the Premier League was suspended and, obviously, even longer since the campaign first began - so long in fact, that there are some players we'd forgotten had even taken part
» Coutinho's agent on Arsenal transfer rumours as Gunners 'open talks'
Philippe Coutinho's agent Kia Joorabchian is an Arsenal fan, and is reportedly in contact with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta as he looks to find a new club for his client
» Timo Werner told he would not displace Roberto Firmino at Liverpool
Speculation continues to link Werner with a move to Liverpool, but the Red Bull Leipzig star has previously expressed concerns over playing time if he were to complete a switch to Anfield
» Man Utd arrive for training as Premier League prepare vote on new proposals
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his United stars continue to arrive at Carrington where strict rules are in place, but new proposals could see changes made later this week
» Gary Neville slams 'nonsense' Premier League training protocol ahead of restart
The Premier League have notified clubs on new guidelines around contact between players during training sessions in a bid to try and safeguard against unnecessary risk of spreading coronavirus
» Paul Pogba told he isn't needed at Real Madrid because he's "not humble"
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford in recent months, with Real Madrid and Juventus linked with his signature
» Neutral venues 'back on the table' as Premier League ramps up Project Restart
Clubs are set to discuss the Premier League's latest proposals for Project Restart on Thursday and will be offered a compromise around plans to involve neutral stadiums
» Dortmund handed warning ahead of Der Klassiker as Sancho admission made
Borussia Dortmund sit second in the Bundesliga, four points behind league leaders Bayern Munich, as the pair face off in Der Klassiker on Tuesday, while whether Jadon Sancho starts remains in question
» Man Utd waive loan fees for young stars to help clubs through coronavirus crisis
Gary Neville has warned that clubs lower down the pyramid could face economic "carnage" in the coming months, with Man Utd now doing their bit to alleviate some financial strain
» Rafa Benitez's half-time message that sparked Liverpool's epic Istanbul comeback
Liverpool were trailing AC Milan by three goals to nil at the half-time break of the 2005 Champions League final before mounting a comeback and winning on penalties
» EFL warned 60 clubs could go bust if fans are not allowed in grounds next season
The English Football League has been warned that as many as 60 of its clubs could go to the wall if supporters are banned from stadiums next term
» Neville fears "looming nightmare" for EFL clubs in wake of coronavirus
Salford City co-owner Neville believes that there is a looming economic "nightmare" for a number of EFL clubs, many of whom will be forced into administration
» Man Utd could lose Odion Ighalo next week as Shanghai Shenhua want him back
The Chinese Super League season is due to start next month and talks over extending Ighalo's loan contract have reached a standstill between United and Shenhua

Football resources

» The FA
» BBC Sport
» SportsCoach
» Little Kickers
» Kiddikicks

Other sport news:

» Premier League edges closer to return with clubs to vote on training protocols
  • Players and coaches to see new rules before Wednesday meeting
  • Quarantine protocols remain an area of uncertainty

Players and managers will at last be able to examine the Premier League’s rules for a return to contact training on Tuesday, just 24 hours before they are put to a crucial vote.

On Sunday night government advice was updated to allow elite sports to move to “stage two” of a return to play. The advice is broad, setting the parameters within which sports can operate. The crucial details on how precisely to minimise risk must be devised by governing bodiess.

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» Der Klassiker returns with Bayern and Dortmund's rivalry perfectly poised

Tuesday’s match will be played in strange circumstances but a home win would fire up title race and keep the world watching

Ever since the Bundesliga’s fixture list was released way back in July last year, the timing has looked delicious. For neutrals, the two fixtures that tend to leap out are the confrontations between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Fans have practically been able to set their watch on the arrival of the return fixture, placed within the span of a week in early April for five of the last seven seasons.

In 2019-20, the return had a twist. For the first time since 2016, the second match would be played in Dortmund, more significant than it sounds given BVB’s woeful record in Munich in recent years – six successive Bundesliga losses, with three goals scored and 24 conceded. For Dortmund, another trip to their Allianz Arena field of screams in a potential title run-in would have been a major psychological obstacle.

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» WSL and Women's Championship end with immediate effect
  • Decision on final standings yet to be taken
  • Promotion and relegation also remain in balance

The FA Women’s Super League and Championship board has agreed to end the seasons of the top two divisions with immediate effect.

Decisions on whether the tables will be voided or teams will have their positions determined using a points per game formulation and whether promotion and/or relegation will stand have yet to be taken, with a proposal on sporting outcomes being taken to the full FA Board.

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» Barnsley warn they 'will not accept' relegation in furious letter to EFL
  • Barnsley bottom with rival clubs pending punishments
  • ‘Governance of violations is appallingly worse in England’

Barnsley have sent a stinging letter to the English Football League expressing their concern over the “inability of governance to hold its members accountable” in relation to rival Championship clubs charged with breaching financial regulations.

Barnsley are unhappy that, if this season is not resumed, they stand to be relegated despite clubs such as Derby and Sheffield Wednesday facing independent disciplinary hearings relating to the controversial sale of their stadiums to owners.

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» Odion Ighalo's stay at Manchester United likely to end next week
  • Shanghai Shenhua refuse to extend striker’s loan
  • Nigerian’s Old Trafford deal expires at end of month

Manchester United’s wish to extend Odion Ighalo’s loan beyond next Monday is set to be rejected, with Shanghai Greenland Shenhua unwilling to allow the striker to finish the Premier League campaign at Old Trafford.

While the top flight could return in June following its suspension because of the coronavirus crisis, talks between United and Ighalo’s parent club have stalled. His deal expires on 31 May and United’s expectation is that the player will be forced back to Shenhua.

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» Chelsea negotiate sell-on clause for Boga but will not use buyback option
  • Chelsea opt against bringing winger back from Sassuolo
  • Napoli among clubs interested in Ivory Coast international

Chelsea have decided against using their buyback clause for Sassuolo’s Jérémie Boga, despite the 23-year-old having emerged as one of the best young wingers in Serie A. Instead the club are negotiating with Sassuolo to include a sell-on clause for the Ivory Coast international, who is likely to be sold this summer.

Boga came through the Chelsea youth system and made the step to the senior squad in 2015 but played only 18 minutes of competitive football for the first team, against Burnley in the Premier League in December 2017. He had loan spells at Rennes, Granada and Birmingham before being sold to Sassuolo in the summer of 2018.

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» EFL could introduce artificial crowd noise if season resumes
  • Innovation has been discussed at Bristol City
  • Only three home wins from 18 in Bundesliga

The English Football League is expected to discuss the subject of implementing artificial crowd noise in behind-closed-doors matches, with Championship clubs, the majority of whom returned to training on Monday, exploring how to make up for the absence of supporters when the season resumes.

Broadcasters offered the option of fake fan noise during RB Leipzig’s win in the Bundesliga last weekend, while Borussia Mönchengladbach utilised 12,000 cardboard cut-outs of fans. The Championship, which is expected to restart in June, is exploring similar options, with Bristol City discussed varying innovations at club level. Last month Brighton’s chief executive, Paul Barber, said they had internally discussed introducing crowd noise for their Premier League games.

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» Football quiz: when Liverpool won the Champions League final in 2005

Who replaced Harry Kewell? Who hacked? Who hit the showers?

Take our quiz on the 2012 Champions League final

What was the half-time score?

Milan 2-0 Liverpool

Milan 3-0 Liverpool

Milan 3-1 Liverpool

Milan 3-2 Liverpool

Who was the official Man of the Match?

Steven Gerrard

Hernán Crespo


Jerzy Dudek

Five days before the Champions League game, Milan drew 3-3 in their penultimate league game. Who were they playing?





Whose cross led to Steven Gerrard’s goal just after half-time?

Djimi Traoré

John-Arne Riise

Luis García

Xabi Alonso

Who was the youngest member of Liverpool’s starting line-up?

Djimi Traoré

Milan Baros

Xabi Alonso

Harry Kewell

Who was the first Milan player to have a penalty saved by Jerzy Dudek in the shootout?

Andrea Pirlo


Jon-Dahl Tomasson

Andriy Shevchenko

What was the combined age of Milan’s back four?





Who replaced Harry Kewell when he was injured in the first half?

Dietmar Hamann

Vladimir Smicer

Djibril Cissé

Luis García

Which player committed the most fouls during the match?

Jamie Carragher

Sami Hyypia

Steven Gerrard

Milan Baros

Which Liverpool player was in the showers at half-time, thinking he had been substituted, before being told to urgently put his kit back on?

Steve Finnan

John-Arne Riise

Djimi Traoré

Vladimir Smicer

1 and above.

You've played as well as Liverpool did ... in the first half

2 and above.

You've played as well as Liverpool did ... in the first half

3 and above.

You've played as well as Liverpool did ... in the first half

4 and above.

You've played as well as Liverpool did ... in the first half

5 and above.

You've played as well as Liverpool did ... in the first half

6 and above.

You took the opposition to penalties but missed a key spot-kick

7 and above.

You took the opposition to penalties but missed a key spot-kick

8 and above.

You took the opposition to penalties but missed a key spot-kick

9 and above.

You took the opposition to penalties but missed a key spot-kick

0 and above.

You've played as well as Liverpool did ... in the first half

10 and above.

You are the champion of this quiz

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» My favourite game: wonderful Wolves put nine past Cardiff in 1955 | Chris Corrigan

Stan Cullis’s legendary side were devastatingly good at Ninian Park – and even as a Cardiff fan I enjoyed the show

“City beaten in 10-goal thriller” screamed the front page of the Football Echo Pink ’Un in September 1955. When the paper was sold in Cardiff’s pubs that Saturday evening, the banner headline prompted many a double-take from those who had been at Ninian Park shortly before. After all, Wolves had won the First Division match 9-1.

I will leave it to you to decide whether the sub-editor who wrote it was enterprising or taking a liberty. But it did provoke laughs from gloomy home fans nursing their pints of Brains. It was the only fun they had all day.

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» The Premier League must finally share wealth to save English football | David Conn

The argument for financial reform is at last beyond credible dispute as historic clubs face ruin owing to the Covid-19 crisis

Even before football was plunged into crisis by the Covid-19 pandemic, influential people in the game were discussing the need for the Premier League’s improbable fortunes to be shared more equally. As historic, stalwart lower-division and semi-professional clubs stare at ruin, and promised investment could drain from the grassroots, the argument is finally beyond credible dispute.

However the Premier League resolves its struggle to finish this season so that it can clutch the remainder of the TV money, it will still be a huge draw for broadcast billions when normal life finally returns. The pre-pandemic position, that the big clubs keep 93% of the current, 2019-22, £8.65bn TV deals, handing most of it to players in wages while trickling drops down for good works, does not look sustainable following the crisis.

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» England's Euro 96 win over Netherlands revisited – Football Weekly

Max and Barry are joined by Simon Burnton and Jacob Steinberg to discuss England’s Euro 96 victory over the Netherlands. Plus Archie Rhind-Tutt and Sid Lowe are on hand to talk Bundesliga and the return of La Liga

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, Simon Burnton and Jacob Steinberg to discuss England’s Euro 96 victory over the Netherlands. Plus Archie Rhind-Tutt and Sid Lowe are on hand to talk Bundesliga action and the return of La Liga.

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» Gary Neville warns of looming financial 'nightmare' for Football League clubs
  • Neville predicts ‘carnage economically’ in coming months
  • West Brom chairman says club want to play out season

Gary Neville has said he fears a financial “nightmare” is looming for Football League clubs because of the coronavirus crisis, though is not sure that the number of clubs that will go out of business without crowds next season is as high as some fear.

“I do think there will be clubs considering going into administration in the next three to four months, basically just to save themselves,” the Salford City co-owner and former England international told Sky Sports.

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» Elite athletes must be able to miss contact training, says report
  • Government’s latest guidelines pave way to ‘opt out’
  • Seven-page document contains eight points of guidance

Elite athletes must be given the ability to opt out of a return to contact training, according to new advice from the government that paves the way for the return of the Premier League.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has published the second stage of its “return to training” guidance for elite athletes – the Covid-19 guidelines all sports must follow if they aim to return to competition behind closed doors, should circumstances allow, after 1 June.

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» Unnamed Bournemouth player self-isolates following positive Covid-19 test
  • Two positive tests from 996 players and staff across league
  • Hull City confirm two people from club have tested positive

Bournemouth have announced that one of the two positive Covid-19 tests from the Premier League’s second round of screening is a player from their squad. The club did not divulge his identity. He will now self-isolate for seven days.

Related: Two more Watford players isolate while UK quarantine rules may hit Uefa plans

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» Bundesliga roundup: Werner treble fires Leipzig back to third, Schalke crash
  • RB striker makes it 24 league goals this season
  • Augsburg shock Schalke with 3-0 away win

Timo Werner scored a hat-trick as RB Leipzig demolished hosts Mainz 5-0 on Sunday to reclaim third place in the Bundesliga after their disappointing draw with Freiburg last week.

The Germany international Werner, a target for several clubs including Liverpool this summer, opened his account in the 11th minute before Yussuf Poulsen nodded in the second 12 minutes later. Marcel Sabitzer killed off the contest before the break, sidefooting into the top corner after another rapid break as Mainz collapsed.

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» Frank Lampard says football used to be 'in stone age' on mental health
  • Chelsea manager to appear in documentary with Prince William
  • Lampard believes situation has improved but more can be done

Frank Lampard has said attitudes around mental health in football were stuck in the stone age during his playing career and that footballers would benefit from opening up more about their emotions.

Chelsea’s manager admitted he lacked maturity when it came to understanding the importance of mental health in his younger days and argued that men need to be more comfortable about speaking up. Lampard told a BBC One documentary, Football, Prince William and our Mental Health, that more could be done to improve the situation and that players remained reluctant to talk to each other about their feelings.

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» Manchester United sues Football Manager makers over use of name

Premier League club alleges that its trademark is infringed in simulation video game

Manchester United is suing the makers of the Football Manager series for allegedly infringing its trademark by using the club’s name “extensively throughout the game”.

The English Premier League club has taken legal action against Sega Publishing and Sports Interactive (SI), the publisher and developer of the popular football management simulation.

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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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» 'A volcano that exploded': the '95 Ajax side that changed European football

Exactly 25 years on, Patrick Kluivert, Ronald de Boer and more recall Ajax’s famous Champions League triumph over Milan

Patrick Kluivert has, with the precision that accompanies an Ajax upbringing, just offered a photo-realistic description of the goal that changed European football. Twenty-five years have passed but no detail is spared: the gap into which he invited Frank Rijkaard’s pass; the ricochet that set him teetering as Zvonimir Boban slid in; the instinctive adjustment and extension of a toe that sent the ball rolling beyond Sebastiano Rossi. He knows it by heart but the feelings that came out eight minutes later can be explained more simply. “It was crazy, what happened after the final whistle,” he says. “Everybody was just out of their brains.”

It is, appropriately, a regression to teenage wonder. Kluivert did not know where to run as the bodies flew across the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna and nothing would be the same. Ajax’s victory over Milan in the 1995 Champions League final, earned by that single prod from the 18-year-old substitute, may not have heralded an era of domination from the Dutch side but its ramifications went further.

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» 'It’s going to be very hard': pandemic leaves academy players in limbo | Ed Aarons

Many teenagers have been unable to find a new club and there are fears they could be lost to the game

Zubayr Boadi thought his big chance had finally arrived. Having spent two years on the fringes of the academy system, the 16-year-old defensive midfielder from south London who models his game on Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté was invited for a week’s trial at Derby in March in the hope of earning his first professional contract.

“It was a great experience for me,” says Boadi, who attended trials at the French clubs Le Havre and Amiens in February. Despite all three having indicated a desire to sign a player previously briefly on the books at Chelsea, Tottenham and Fulham, the coronavirus pandemic has meant his fledgling career has been put on hold.

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» Hollow promises of equality are to blame if Women's Super League is cancelled | Suzanne Wrack

If the FA and Premier League were truly invested in women’s football, it may not have come to this for the WSL and Championship

Two months after the Football Association informed clubs in the Women’s Super League and Championship that it would not be offering any specific Covid-19 financial support, making curtailment almost a foregone conclusion, that last resort is finally being discussed. And in one way it feels overdue. But should we be looking at cancellation at all?

In Germany this Friday, two weeks after the resumption of the men’s Bundesliga, and in the same week the fate of the WSL and Championship will likely be confirmed, the Frauen-Bundesliga season will resume.

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» Haaland, Ronaldo, Streltsov and the miracle of simplicity | Jonathan Wilson

Erling Braut Haaland’s ability to make the game look so easy is reminiscent of the Brazilian and Russian prodigies, whose cautionary tales show talent should not be taken for granted

Of course it was Erling Braut Haaland who scored the first Bundesliga goal after the resumption. Who else could it have been? Nobody else in the modern game seems to play with such a disregard for complication. Nobody else seems to treat the basic problem of getting the ball from his foot to the back of the net with the brusque clarity of Alexander contemplating the Gordian Knot. Nobody else seems such an embodiment of tomorrow.

Related: World watches with relief as Bundesliga makes a safe return – for now

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» My favourite game: Dundee shock Rangers in seven-goal thriller | Stephen Flynn

Simon Stainrod’s side were expected to be blown away by the champions but instead they put on a remarkable show

Dundee were thinking big at the start of the 1992-93 season, their first in the Premier Division for two years. The manager, Simon Stainrod, had revamped the squad, with the former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe and the former Arsenal midfielder Graham Rix among that summer’s arrivals. The club’s new home strip was modelled on Sampdoria, who had been European Cup finalists that year. And the club’s owner, the Canadian businessman Ron Dixon, had plans to build a new stand at Dens Park with an ice rink underneath.

But three matches into the season, and despite being handed a gentle start with games against Falkirk, Airdrie and St Johnstone, Dundee were still looking for their first win. And the best team in the country were up next.

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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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» Lockdown, Bayern and growing up as a refugee: Gary Lineker meets Alphonso Davies – video

Alphonso Davies was born in a refugee camp after his parents fled civil war in Liberia. He has since become the youngest footballer to play for Canada and won a Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich. The 19-year-old talks to Gary Lineker about his incredible journey

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» Dedryck Boyata seals Union bust as Hertha Berlin breeze to 4-0 derby win

Hertha Berlin celebrated their second successive win since the resumption of the Bundesliga after a dominant second-half performance gave them a 4-0 home derby victory over neighbours Union Berlin.

Related: Hertha Berlin 4-0 Union Berlin: Bundesliga – as it happened

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» Bundesliga roundup: Bayern beat Frankfurt while Dortmund keep pace
  • Bayern Munich maintain four-point lead with 5-2 win
  • Sancho sets up second in Dortmund’s 2-0 win at Wolfsburg

Bayern Munich refused to give up ground in the Bundesliga title race after surviving a second-half comeback to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2. Earlier, the substitute Jadon Sancho helped Borussia Dortmund pressure the leaders with a 2-0 win at Wolfsburg. Dortmund now host Bayern on Tuesday and can cut their lead to one point, while Hansi Flick’s side chase an eighth successive championship, with victory in der Klassiker.

Goals from Leon Goretzka, Thomas Müller, Robert Lewandowski and Alphonso Davies did the damage for Bayern, along with a Martin Hinteregger own goal. But lax defending from set pieces allowed Hinteregger to score twice for Frankfurt in the space of four second-half minutes that briefly threatened to derail the procession.

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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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» 'Industrial espionage': Lask Linz hit back after claims club 'torpedoed' guidelines
  • 11 Austrian clubs say ‘clear video’ shows Covid-19 rule violations
  • Linz say men broke into their training ground to install cameras

The Austrian league leaders, Lask Linz, have been accused by their rivals of holding training sessions that break coronavirus rules but have themselves complained they have been victims of industrial espionage.

Eleven of the 12 teams in the Austrian Bundesliga, which is due to restart in June, said they had been presented with “clear video material” showing Linz had ignored guidelines that restrict training to small groups of players.

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» No football, no A-League grand final, no hype... but also no despair | Jonathan Howcroft

FFA CEO James Johnson is in a honeymoon period and the well-practised urge to despair about the state of the game is on hold for now

Last year’s grand final was the best-attended in A-League history and the buzz around the event breathed new life into football in Western Australia. In the days preceding the match headlines celebrated the demand for tickets as Optus Stadium turned Perth Glory purple in preparation for the domestic game’s marquee fixture.

The contrast with the corresponding weekend this season could not be starker. The A-League, like sporting competitions around the world, is waiting for its opportunity to return to action amid the Covid-19 pandemic. There is nothing to hype. Fans are not flocking anywhere and there are no heated debates about premiers-elect Sydney FC squatting in Western Sydney Wanderers’ home for the day. On the plus side there can be no VAR catastrophe.

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» 'An exceptional case' – Aritz Aduriz, the striker who got better and better

The 39-year-old, robbed by the crisis and injury of a cup final farewell, had a long road to becoming an Athletic Bilbao legend

Even the man who turned back time eventually ran out of it, denied the perfect farewell by a hip that needs replacing and a virus that has stopped everything. There is something cruel about the way it came to a close, and in what lies before him, but when he announced his retirement on Wednesday Aritz Aduriz had a message for everyone: “Don’t worry about me.”

In the midst of a situation “far more serious, far more painful” that has caused “irreparable damage”, this doesn’t matter, he said. And yet it does, if any of it does – that recurring theme of these past two months. Not least as a symbol of the pandemic, how it reaches everything. Of football’s reach too, what it means, way beyond the medals and the money.

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» Atalanta's Gian Piero Gasperini: 'Players who aren't used to working hard scare me'

The manager on turning his club from relegation candidates to Champions League quarter-finalists – and living through Covid-19 in Bergamo

Gian Piero Gasperini is getting animated. Atalanta’s manager is talking about how he motivates players. He describes how he often puts up messages in the changing room and one of the most recent, he says, was from Michael Jordan: “Twenty-six times, I have been trusted with the final shot and I missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And this is why I succeed.”

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

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» White to Williams: breakthrough players in the Football League this season

Ten players from the Championship, League One and League Two who shot to prominence before matches stopped

The latest Brentford player to make a seamless transition from Ligue 2 to the English second tier, following a path trodden by Saïd Benrahma and Neal Maupay after a club-record £5.5m move from Troyes last summer. Benrahma and Ollie Watkins, who has been reborn as a No 9, have stolen the headlines but Mbeumo has been remarkably consistent in his debut season in the Championship, contributing 14 goals and six assists and, in some quarters, is considered to possess the most potential. Another Brentford forward, Marcus Forss, proved prolific on loan at AFC Wimbledon, scoring 11 goals in 19 appearances before a hamstring injury curtailed his progress in January.

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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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» My favourite game: Crystal Palace make history in the ZDS Cup final | Ed Aarons

Palace’s 4-1 win over Everton in the 1991 Zenith Data Systems Cup was a huge moment for the club and life-changing for me

Let me start with a confession: I haven’t always supported Crystal Palace. Growing up in Croydon at the same time as Ian Wright and Mark Bright were inspiring the club whose stadium I could see from my bedroom window to reach the top flight for the first time in a decade, I probably should have done; it was the obvious choice. But I didn’t.

Instead I was seduced by the skills of John Barnes and Liverpool’s all-red strip and, as such, there was only one team I wanted to win when the two teams met at Villa Park in their 1990 FA Cup semi-final, which happened to take place the day after my ninth birthday.

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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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» The Fiver | Doing unto football as Justin Timberlake did unto sexy

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Week two, and they’re still playing football in Germany. A big part of The Fiver, the part that doesn’t answer the door to anyone selling positive news, assumed there would be a load of positive tests after last weekend’s matches. We thought we’d be spending Friday night watching a repeat of a rewatch of a replay from the 1990s. Instead we’ll have our peepers fixed firmly on the Berlin derby, Hertha v Union, which kicks off another weekend of Bundesliga action.

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» Football quiz: last goodbyes

Who was sent off? Who was taken off? Who slacked off?

Frank Rijkaard won a Champions League final and an Eredivisie title in the last week of his playing career. What was the year?





Zinedine Zidane was sent off in his final game as a player. In which city?





Zidane is not the only player who finished his career with a red card. Edgar Davids, his old Juventus teammate, was sent off in a Conference game in 2013 and never played again. Which club was he playing for at the time?

Crystal Palace

Salisbury City

Bristol City


In which minute was John Terry substituted in his last match as a Chelsea player?

The 1st minute

The 24th minute

The 26th minute

The 89th minute

Steven Gerrard scored one goal in his last game for Liverpool. How many goals did the opposition score?





Winston Bogarde left Chelsea and retired from football in 2004. When did he last appear for the club in the league?





Where was Peter Schmeichel’s last game in a Manchester United shirt?





Who scored for Liverpool in a Champions League final and then never played for them again?

Phil Neal

Alan Kennedy

Dirk Kuyt

Vladimir Smicer

Who scored a hat-trick in Alex Ferguson’s last game as a manager?

Robin van Persie

Wayne Rooney

Romelu Lukaku

Shinji Kagawa

Didier Drogba’s greatest moment in a Chelsea shirt came in the last game of his first stint at the club, when he inspired them to victory in the Champions League final in 2012. Drogba scored Chelsea’s equaliser to take the game to penalties and then scored the decisive spot kick in the shootout. Which player scored Bayern Munich’s goal in that final?

Arjen Robben

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Thomas Müller

Franck Ribéry

3 and above.

Zinedine, is that you?

4 and above.

Zinedine, is that you?

5 and above.

A fine score. Have a great weekend

6 and above.

A fine score. Have a great weekend

7 and above.

Superb. Have a great weekend

8 and above.

Superb. Have a great weekend

9 and above.

Superb. Have a great weekend

10 and above.

Superb. Have a great weekend

2 and above.

Zinedine, is that you?

0 and above.

Zinedine, is that you?

1 and above.

Zinedine, is that you?

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» Berlin derby passions, the phantom punch and classified results | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features Robin Smith, Martina Hingis and great golfing escapes of 2020 so far

1) We’re all Bundesliga hipsters now – and this weekend’s most appetising fixture (albeit shorn of the atmosphere that would have made it special) is the Berlin derby between Hertha and Union, a fixture the latter won in the first Bundesliga meeting of the sides earlier in the season. Here’s a reminder of that one and some background on Union matchwinner Sebastian Polter. Savour that atmosphere here.

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» Uefa's Aleksander Ceferin: 'Football with fans will come back very soon' | Sebastián Fest

The Uefa president admits to sleepless nights from the Covid-19 crisis but is confident ‘good old football’ will return to normal

The most important official in European football talks to the Guardian about the coronavirus fallout, how clubs could face a “luxury tax” and why he believes footballers are not greedy. Below is an edited transcript.

How would you describe the current situation and your feelings about it? There’s a lot of work still to be done. I was in Switzerland last week for the first time in two months and had meetings from 9am to 11pm. There is so much information [to take in] and so many calendar issues – and so many millions and millions, dozens of millions of dollars, that we will lose. It is then hard to fall asleep at night. You would be quite irresponsible if you could fall asleep immediately after a day like that. The situation for Uefa is not that alarming, we’re not in a dangerous situation, but we still care about the clubs and the leagues and the stakeholders so it is a lot of work.

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» Jürgen Klopp: on clothes, the keys to coaching and Liverpool team talks | Jacob Steinberg

Liverpool’s manager took part in a mentoring session set up by Kick It Out and shared what he thinks it takes to succeed

“Your football has to be mirrored by your soul,” Jürgen Klopp says as he explains why his appearance on the touchline has no effect on his team’s performance. Liverpool’s manager is midway through a fascinating answer about his dress code and has an important message for the aspiring coaches listening to him on Zoom. “You have to bring your own character in.”

This is an unusual setting for Klopp. It is Liverpool’s first day back in phase one training but the manager of the Premier League’s dominant force has given up part of his afternoon to take part in a mentoring session for Kick It Out, football’s anti-discrimination charity. Troy Townsend, Kick It Out’s head of development, has got top coaches involved in the organisation’s Raise Your Game programme – England’s Gareth Southgate is another star attraction – and has landed Klopp.

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» England Women prove to be big social media hit during lockdown | Suzanne Wrack

A concerted effort to stay in regular contact with fans has attracted significant levels of interest on Twitter and Instagram

England Women have reached the World Cup semi-finals, won the SheBelieves Cup and attracted a crowd of more than 77,000 to Wembley. But rarely, it appears, has their popularity been greater than during lockdown.

Players have swapped pitch-side selfies and signings for substantial social media interaction and the forward Beth England is far from alone in having enjoyed producing content and engaging with fans. “They are the voice for us when we’re on the pitch, we can help be the voice for them off it,” she said.

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» Ghost player for the ghost game: Thomas Müller is perfect for the pandemic | Jonathan Liew

Bayern Munich returned on Sunday and so did the forward for whom spatial distancing is his entire job

The silence, really, is only a problem if you want it to be a problem. We football fans are an adaptable bunch. What at first feels disconcertingly novel soon becomes part of the furniture. We survived animated advertising hoardings. We survived Saturday 12.30pm kick-offs. We survived club mascots taking part in the minute’s silence. We’ll get through this too.

Perhaps, conversely, it helps to see the silence as an opportunity. As live Bundesliga football returned to our screens over the weekend amid empty stadiums and eerie hush, it was only natural to wonder how the aural void could be filled. Canned crowd noise feels a bit North Korea: Behold, Our Glorious Footballers Undertaking Athletic Endeavours For The Edification Of A Grateful Nation! If it has to be a crowd, might as well make it a real one: simply assemble the home club’s millions of fans on one giant Zoom call, and pipe in the real-time mayhem.

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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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