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Weston United

Weston Super Mare, , BS23 3AN
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01934 413280
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Football Team News

» Barcelona 'agree personal terms' with Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez
Lautaro Martinez has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona and the Spanish club are edging closer to a deal after agreeing personal terms
» Arsenal 'reconsider Ryan Fraser transfer' with Bournemouth ace available on free
Arsenal were interested in signing Fraser last summer, and Tottenham have also been linked with signing the winger, who is out of contract at the end of the season
» Thierry Henry delivers impassioned plea following death of George Floyd
Thierry Henry is the latest superstar to deliver a message amid the continues protests in the United States that were ignited by the tragic death of George Floyd
» Piers Morgan and Harry Kane to take part in celebrity pro-am golf tournament
Paddy Power are hosting a pro-am tournament in Hertfordshire this Friday which will see golfers including Tommy Fleetwood and Thomas Bjorn face off with the likes of Peter Crouch and Freddie Flintoff
» Igahlo provides insight into Man Utd's training ahead of Premier League restart
Odion Ighalo has extended his Man Utd loan stay and is now focused on getting himself in top shape ahead of the Premier League's restart
» Saul Niguez announces 'new club' amid Man Utd transfer speculation
The Atletico Madrid central midfielder sent tongues wagging when he announced last week that he had news regarding a new club
» Jamie Carragher gives two reasons why Liverpool were pipped to title by Man Utd
Carragher was a key figure in the Liverpool side that pushed rivals Man Utd to the brink of the Premier League title in the 2008/09 season but narrowly missed out
» Arsenal 'playing hardball over Aubameyang future as they risk losing star''
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been linked with a move away from Arsenal with Chelsea and Barcelona linked but the Gunners won't let him go unless their £50m transfer value is met
» Ozil's contract details emerge after Arsenal ace is 'axed' from £22m deal
Ozil, 31, has been sponsored by Adidas since his days as a Real Madrid player from 2013 but his contract is now coming to an end
» Amazon Prime to stream all four Premier League games free-to-air in UK
The American tech giants have already shown a number of games so far this season and will continue to do so when football returns
» Riyad Mahrez opens up on his Man City struggles after club-record transfer
Riyad Mahrez became Man City's record signing when he joined in 2018 but has had to work hard to earn Pep Guardiola's trust at the Etihad
» Aston Villa star Jack Grealish opens up on regret over breaking lockdown rules
The Aston Villa captain crashed his Range Rover in Birmingham after visiting a friend's house in March despite the government advising people to stay at home
» Trent Alexander-Arnold and Dele Alli to take part in lockdown challenge
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dele Alli and Paulo Dybala are among the footballers taking part in a FIFA tournament to raise funds to fight Covid-19
» Neville details Aubameyang mistake Arsenal made from 'day one'
Arsenal are in a compromising position with Aubameyang heading into the summer transfer window as the striker has just a year remaining on his current contract
» Son Heung-min opens up on his military training experience
Son Heung-min has completed his mandatory military service during lockdown and the Tottenham striker has opened up on his experience
» Arsenal legend Robert Pires declares desire to move into management
Pires spent six years at Arsenal as a player from 2000-06, and was invited back to the club in a coaching role by former boss Arsene Wenger, which has since given him a taste for a role in the dugout
» Peter Crouch using lifesize cut outs to ward off burglars at his £4.5m mansion
Peter Crouch's height gives him quite a presence and the former England striker has used a cardboard cut-out of himself to keep burglars away from his Chesire mansion
» Former Reading boss Jose Gomes fires warning to English football chiefs
Gomes says there is “no point” in playing football again unless the games mean something and relegation is at stake
» Ryan Giggs details 'fantastic' Liverpool's influence on his Wales team
The Manchester United legend has begrudgingly admitted how impressed he has been with Jurgen Klopp's side over the past two seasons
» Man Utd legend Phil Neville slammed for 'showing a lack of respect'
Neville has announced he will be stepping down as England women's manager at the end of his contract next year as he was using the role as a stepping stone into club management
» Liverpool and Chelsea 'have 12 days' to trigger Werner's £49m release clause
Timo Werner's release clause will expire in less than a fortnight meaning Liverpool and Chelsea must act if they want to secure the £49m transfer
» Lacazette sends message to Aubameyang over Arsenal contract wrangle
Aubameyang's future at the Gunners is in some doubt with the forward yet to sign an extension on his current deal, which expires next summer
» Liverpool could yet win title at Anfield due to neutral venue 'confusion'
It had appeared likely that any game in which the Reds could seal first place would be forced to take place away from Merseyside but there is some dispute over the matter
» Real Madrid 'eye Jadon Sancho transfer in 2021' if Premier League sides miss out
The Dortmund forward is one of the most in-demand young players in world football and has been strongly linked with a move back to England recently

Football resources

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Other sport news:

» 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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» 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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» Football quiz: when Manchester United won the 2008 Champions League final

Manchester United beat Chelsea in the first all-English Champions League final in 2008. Do you remember the details?

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

Manchester United did not lose a game in the Champions League that season (the most recent winners who can say that). Which team beat Chelsea over 90 minutes earlier in the competition?





What was the local time in Moscow when the game kicked off?





Which member of the Chelsea squad had already scored in a Champions League final before the game kicked off?

Michael Ballack

Nicolas Anelka

Juliano Belletti

Michael Essien

How many times did Alex Ferguson select the starting XI that he picked for this final?





Which players started at right-back?

Rafael and Ashley Cole

Fabio and Branislav Ivanovic

Wes Brown and Michael Essien

Mikaël Silvestre and Paulo Ferreira

Who scored in the game and the penalty shootout?

Cristiano Ronaldo

Frank Lampard

Ryan Giggs

No one

Who was the last player to touch the ball that night?

John Terry

Nicolas Anelka

Ryan Giggs

Edwin van der Saar

There were 14 penalties in the shootout. Who would have taken the 15th?

Rio Ferdinand

Nemanja Vidic

Owen Hargreaves

Carlos Tevez

This was the first all-English Champions League final, but not necessarily the first final between two clubs from the same country. Which country was the first to provide two finalists in the same year?





Which of these anniversaries did Manchester United observe in 2008?

40 years since they won their first European Cup

50 years since the Munich Air Disaster

100 years since they first won the league

All of the above

Fourteen Chelsea players made it on to the pitch that night. How many of them retired without having won the Champions League?





When looking back at the final two decades later, Alex Ferguson said he had one regret about the night. What was it?

That he forgot to set his TV to record the game

That he did not deliver a line as iconic as “football, bloody hell” for the post-match interview

That he did not learn some Russian to speak to Vladimir Putin

That he did not find a place for Park Ji-Sung on the bench

Which Chelsea player followed up losing the Champions League final by losing the European Championship final a month later?

Juan Mata

Michael Ballack

Claude Makélélé

Nicolas Anelka

What went wrong for United during their celebrations?

Rio Ferdinand dropped and damaged the cup and it had to be taken away to be fixed

Their team bus broke down on the way to their after party

There power went off in the stadium at 2am and they had to light candles in the dressing room

They could not find any champagne

Why was Ferguson given "plenty of stick by the players" at the after party?

He said it was the 'happiest moment of his life' and his wife did not look amused

He had sworn on live TV after the game

He was wearing trainers

He got a little drunk and nearly fell off a chair while giving a speech

1 and above.

JT, is that you?

3 and above.

JT, is that you?

2 and above.

JT, is that you?

5 and above.

JT, is that you?

4 and above.

JT, is that you?

6 and above.

You made it to the final but lost on penalties

7 and above.

You made it to the final but lost on penalties

8 and above.

You made it to the final but lost on penalties

9 and above.

You made it to the final but lost on penalties

10 and above.

You made it to the final but lost on penalties

11 and above.

Sir Alex, is that you?

12 and above.

Sir Alex, is that you?

13 and above.

Sir Alex, is that you?

14 and above.

Sir Alex, is that you?

0 and above.

JT, is that you?

15 and above.

Sir Alex, is that you?

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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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» 'I never feel 100% safe': MLS footballer Nedum Onuoha says he fears US police
  • Real Salt Lake defender speaks after death of George Floyd
  • Former Man City and QPR player ‘always wary of how I behave’

The Real Salt Lake defender Nedum Onuoha, formerly of Manchester City and QPR, has said he never feels completely safe in the United States and has a “fear and distrust” of police in the country.

Speaking following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis last week, the Nigerian-born Onuoha said he was “always wary of how I behave and how it could be viewed by people who have power”.

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» Tottenham's Son Heung-min says he enjoyed his 'tough' military service
  • South Korean finished shorter period of service over lockdown
  • ‘We spent every day together in one room, 10 people very close’

Tottenham forward Son Heung-min has described his military service in South Korea as “tough” but said he was able to enjoy it during the Premier League’s enforced hiatus.

Related: Some Premier League clubs to face three matches in seven days

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» FA unlikely to discipline players for taking a knee as Fifa urges leniency
  • FA will take ‘commonsense approach’ in Premier League
  • Fifa’s Gianni Infantino says player protests ‘deserve applause’

The Football Association will adopt “a commonsense approach” if Premier League players heed the call from the chairman of Kick It Out to take a knee in protest at the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

The president of Fifa, Gianni Infantino, has said that Jadon Sancho, Achraf Hakimi, Weston McKennie and Marcus Thuram deserve applause after leading protests in the Bundesliga against Floyd’s killing. With players from Chelsea and Newcastle following their Liverpool counterparts by going down on one knee at training, the FA is reluctant to discipline individuals who stand against racism when the Premier League season resumes on 17 June.

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» 'Quarantine our sad, sick game': how Heysel tragedy changed English football | Simon Burnton

English clubs’ ban from European competition, imposed 35 years ago on Tuesday, led to years of isolation until the 1990 World Cup helped to initiate change

In May 1985 the Sunday Times published a now-notorious editorial which alleged that British football was “in crisis: a slum sport played in slum stadiums and increasingly watched by slum people, who deter decent folk from turning up”. That deterrent was reaching peak effectiveness: in the following season top-flight attendances dropped to their lowest level since the first world war, and in the second tier to depths not seen since 1906-07.

If this was English football in the gutter, it had taken more than Heysel and a European football ban to drag it there. Indeed, that Sunday Times editorial was published 10 days before Liverpool and Juventus met in Brussels. Already that season had seen riots involving Luton and Millwall fans in March and the Bradford fire, which led to 56 deaths, on 11 May, among countless lesser known incidents caused by decaying infrastructure or fan violence.

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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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» Abraham Klein, the 'master of the whistle': part one – podcast

The best stories from the beautiful game that you may never have heard before, written by some of the world’s leading sports journalists, and spanning more than 100 years of sporting history from across the footballing planet.

In this episode: the first of a two-part feature-length story about how the little Israeli Abraham Klein survived politics, prejudice and even the Holocaust to become the best referee in the world

Read the text version here.

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» Some Premier League clubs to face three matches in seven days
  • League close to announcing provisional fixture list
  • Schedule will be debated by clubs at Thursday meeting

The Premier League is close to presenting a provisional fixture list for the remainder of the season to its clubs, with the unlucky ones facing a sequence of three games in seven days.

Related: FA says it will show common sense if footballers take a knee in matches

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» Jürgen Klopp told Liverpool players to wear masks and gloves when outside
  • Klopp is confident Premier League games will be ‘100% safe’
  • ‘I do not understand why everyone is not wearing a face mask’

Jürgen Klopp has revealed he instructed Liverpool’s players to wear face masks and gloves whenever they ventured out during lockdown, but he believes matches will be “100% safe” when the Premier League restarts.

Related: Everton hopeful of staging Liverpool derby at Goodison Park

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» Newcastle's DeAndre Yedlin feels US is an unsafe place for a young black man
  • ‘My heart goes out in solidarity to George Floyd’
  • Former Tottenham defender has 62 USA caps

DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle’s USA defender, has shared his grandfather’s opinion that their country is not a safe place for a young black man.

As protests continue across the US in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis, the former Tottenham right-back displayed his own anger and despair on Twitter on Tuesday.

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» Everton hopeful of staging Liverpool derby at Goodison Park
  • Everton ask safety group to convene meeting
  • Merseyside police have no objections to game

Everton are hopeful of staging the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park when the Premier League season restarts after requesting a meeting of the local safety advisory group.

Liverpool’s visit to Goodison on 20 June, when Jürgen Klopp’s team could win the club’s first league title in 30 years, was among several “high-risk” matches that Mark Roberts, the UK’s national football police chief, wanted switched to neutral venues amid concerns over demands on police and fans gathering outside stadiums.

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» Phil Foden latest footballer to fall foul of physical-distancing guidelines
  • Midfielder seen playing with public on Formby beach
  • City did not discipline Kyle Walker for similar breach

Phil Foden has become the latest footballer to fall foul of physical-distancing guidelines during lockdown, after the Manchester City midfielder was pictured in an impromptu kickabout with members of the public on Formby beach.

City intend to speak to the 20-year-old and remind him of his responsibilities, not least because beach football carries the risk of injury in addition to the dangers of spreading coronavirus.

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» Valencia criticises Atalanta coach who attended match with Covid-19

Gian Piero Gasperini admits he had symptoms prior to Champions League match in Spain

The Spanish football club Valencia has criticised the coach of Italian team Atalanta for “putting the health of numerous people at risk’’ after confessing he had symptoms of Covid-19 prior to the Champions League match between the two sides in March.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Gian Piero Gasperini admitted he was very sick the day before the second leg match in Valencia on 10 March, which took place behind closed doors, but that he was afraid to go to a hospital as they were overflowing with Covid-19 patients at the time.

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» The footballer who signed his first EFL contract a fortnight before lockdown

After years of waiting for his Football League debut, Paco Craig was finally getting his chance aged 27. Then a pandemic arrived

By Gavin Willacy for Playing in the Shadows

The story of Jim Morris was so good Disney made a film about. In The Rookie, baseball pitcher Morris – played by Dennis Quaid – emerges from coaching a high school team to play in the major leagues for the first time at the age of 35. Paco Craig did not move into teaching after he left West Ham’s academy, but he has spent nine years outside British professional football. Just as he was on course to finally make his Football League debut with Wycombe Wanderers at the age of 27, coronavirus swept across the world and brought his dream to a shuddering halt.

Unless he becomes a Premier League regular, Paco is unlikely to become as famous as his dad, Mikey Craig, who played bass in Culture Club. “I’m no musician but I get my athleticism from dad,” says Craig. “He was a good sprinter. My endurance is from mum: even after she’d had us she did a good time in the marathon! I’m blessed with that combination.”

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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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» Food science has turned cooking into an art form for some footballers

Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson and Mark Noble of West Ham have honed their culinary skills during lockdown while others have discovered a new interest

Lockdown has offered plenty of food for thought and for most people stuck indoors all day it’s not long before thoughts turn to food. But while many of us have spent the past weeks fine-tuning banana-bread recipes and pondering the earliest acceptable time to raid the alcohol cupboard – with waistlines widening across the country as a result – Premier League players have been entitled to no such indulgences.

Instead they have had to maintain strictly regimented intake which, until a couple of months ago, was pretty much put on a plate for them. When lockdown came into effect, the remit of a Premier League nutritionist suddenly became a lot harder. To keep a squad of two dozen elite sportsmen on a fine-tuned high-performance diet is a tough enough task in itself, let alone doing so while banned from having real-world contact.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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» The Fiver | Bland news, please! Is that too much to ask?

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With giggling incompetents in Downing Street and a real length of tube in the White House, The Fiver has got to the point where it no longer hopes and prays to hear of good news, merely to be informed of stuff that isn’t catastrophically bad and monumentally depressing. Bland news, please! Is that too much to ask? Thankfully some has just arrived with the welcome announcement that Southampton boss Conan O’Br … hold on, will you … that Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhüttl has signed a new four-year contract with the club, and will be staying put until 2024. It’s all we’ve got today, and it’s more than good enough. Ah, delicious vanilla pabulum.

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» Football quiz: when Barcelona won the Champions League final in 2006

Arsenal reached their first (and so far only) Champions League final in 2006. How well do you recall the game?

More Champions League final quizzes: 1999, 2005, 2012

Where was the final played?





Arsenal kept a staggering 10 consecutive clean sheets on their way to the final. Who started at left-back in their six knockout games against Real Madrid, Juventus and Villarreal?

Ashley Cole

Gaël Clichy

Kolo Touré

Mathieu Flamini

Whose free-kick was headed in by Sol Campbell to give Arsenal the lead?

Alexander Hleb

Cesc Fàbregas

Gilberto Silva

Thierry Henry

How many future Barcelona players were in the Arsenal starting XI for the final?





Jens Lehmann was sent off after 18 minutes for fouling which Barcelona player?

Samuel Eto’o


Ludovic Giuly


How many Thierry Henry shots did Víctor Valdés save?





In his final game for the club, at the age of 34, Henrik Larsson set up both Barcelona goals. Which team did he join that summer?

Manchester United

IFK Gothenburg

Hogaborgs BK

Helsingborgs IF

The first two substitutes used by Arsenal were Manuel Almunia and Mathieu Flamini. Who else came off the bench?

Robin van Persie

José Antonio Reyes

Dennis Bergkamp

Gaël Clichy

Who scored Barcelona’s winning goal?

Samuel Eto'o

Oleguer Presas

Juliano Belletti

Ludovic Giuly

How many of Barcelona’s Little Mix – Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta and Xavi – started the game?





1 and above.

Champions League? You're having a laugh

2 and above.

Champions League? You're having a laugh

3 and above.

Champions League? You're having a laugh

4 and above.

You made it to the final, but were well beaten

5 and above.

You made it to the final, but were well beaten

6 and above.

A fine effort

7 and above.

A superb effort

8 and above.

A superb score

9 and above.

A superb score

0 and above.

Champions League? You're having a laugh

10 and above.

Pep, is that you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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» 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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