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Bamber Bridge United »
Worden Lane, Pitch 4, Leyland
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Burnley College »
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Kendal Town Ladies »
Parkside Road, Kendal, Cumbria
Adult Female
Preston Rangers Womens »
Fulwood Barracks, Preston, Lancashire
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University Of Cumbria »
Bowerham Road, Lancaster, Lancashire
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Football News

» Solskjaer identifies key areas to strengthen in pursuit for Man Utd glory
United face another busy window in the transfer market when it reopens as Solskjaer targets two major signings to help his side compete for honours next season
» Ferdinand details part Ferguson played in England's lack of trophies
Ferdinand was part of the Three Lions' golden generation - which included the likes of David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard - but they failed to live up to their hype
» Jamie Carragher explains why Jordan Henderson praise has left him baffled
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has put in a series of top-drawer performances this season and is a leading contender to win the PFA Player of the Year award
» Guardiola quitting Man City because of Champions League ban 'is option for him'
Man City have been hit with a two-year ban from European football for breaching financial fair play rules, and Emmanuel Petit believes Pep Guardiola could leave as a result
» Inside match fixing scandal that involved Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal
Top-flight football never seems to be too far away from a scandal but rewind a century and the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool were involved in match-fixing
» Gerrard, Suarez, Hazard and David Silva face off in World Cup of PL greats
The former Liverpool pair do battle with a couple of magicians from Chelsea and Manchester City in one of the toughest groups to call in the whole tournament
» Souness launches new Pogba rant and explains why he'd be easy to play against
Football may have been suspended since early March, and Paul Pogba may not have kicked a ball since Boxing Day, but Graeme Souness has still found reason to rant
» How the 9 Man Utd players out on loan have performed this season
Man Utd allowed plenty of players to head out on loan last summer with each enjoying varying levels of success as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues to shape his squad
» James McClean should thank Stoke City for keeping job after abhorrent post
Stoke City and Republic of Ireland star James McClean was fined two weeks wages over an Instagram post he made regarding a "history lesson" he was giving his kids last week
» Tottenham 'looked at' transfer for Chelsea's Olivier Giroud after phone call
Moving from Chelsea to Tottenham is always risky for any player but Olivier Giroud could've headed across London in the January transfer market
» Chelsea 'look to hijack' Man Utd's Jude Bellingham transfer
Jude Bellingham is the subject of mounting interest as Chelsea rival Man Utd for his signature while also battling with the Red Devils for Jadon Sancho
» Pep Guardiola and Man City could be forgiven for feeling as cursed as Liverpool
Pep Guardiola and Man City are looking to end their Champions League curse but the coronavirus pandemic may curtail this season's efforts
» Paul Ince admits he's jealous of current Wolves stars enjoying glory days
Wolves only won promotion less than two years ago but are already on the cusp of the Champions League as their steep rise continues
» Bolton legend Kevin Davies joins NHS volunteers to fight coronavirus crisis
EXCLUSIVE: Former Bolton star Kevin Davies has offered to help the NHS as the country fights against the coronavirus
» Newcastle's Longstaff brothers could join 'super-agent' amid transfer rumours
Sean and Matty Longstaff are two of Newcastle's academy products but their time at St.James' could be short lived as the club stall over new contract offers
» Marcus Rashford provides encouraging injury update after admitting struggles
Man Utd's top marksman Marcus Rashford has been absent for months due to a back injury but is closing in on a return, although the Premier League is currently postponed
» Germany World Cup winner Mario Gotze advised to join Everton or West Ham
Mario Gotze could well be on the move this summer and has been encouraged to consider a Premier League switch
» Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang discusses Arsenal contract on Instagram
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been linked with the exit door at Arsenal as his contract winds down and was pressed for an answer on his future on social media
» Man City believe Arsenal behind Premier League club plot to have UEFA ban upheld
EXCLUSIVE Manchester City believe Arsenal are the driving force behind eight Premier League clubs writing to the CAS to demand their UEFA ban be upheld if they cannot appeal
» Paul Ince predicts 'uproar' if Liverpool are denied Premier League title
Liverpool's Premier League title dreams are in doubt after the delay to the season caused by the coronavirus crisis - and Paul Ince believes there would be uproar if the season was declared void
» Chelsea approach Real Madrid over Hakimi transfer as full-back search continues
Achraf Hakimi has spent the season on loan at Borussia Dortmund but Chelsea are now eyeing a transfer move for the versatile young Real Madrid full-back
» Jurgen Klopp tipped to finish career as Germany manager by tennis great Becker
EXCLUSIVE Boris Becker believes Jurgen Klopp is destined to end his career as Germany manager - but fortunately for Liverpool he believes his compatriot still has unfinished business at Anfield
» Man Utd face being denied £16m summer tour including ground-breaking India game
Man Utd's lucrative summer tour - including a ground-breaking game in India - is at serious risk due to the coronavirus crisis in a scenario which could cost the club £16m
» Leon Bailey's journey to stardom after leaving Jamaica for European road trip
Bayer Leverkusen star Leon Bailey has attracted interest from the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Bayern Munich - but his journey could have been very different

Other sport news:

» My favourite game: Argentina v Cameroon, 1990 World Cup

Arguably the greatest upset in World Cup history and one that made me well and truly fall in love with football

Life is filled with memorable summers and among my first was that of 1990. I was nine at the time and for the past year or so a Liverpool supporter. But that was as far as my love of football went – they were the only team I cared about, the only team I wanted to watch, and games that did not involve men in red shirts with Candy across the middle didn’t interest me much. That, however, was about to change.

On Friday 8 June 1990 to be precise, and having sat down in front of the living-room television to watch Argentina versus Cameroon in the opening fixture of that year’s World Cup. Diego Maradona was key to my decision to do so. I had heard of him, how he was the best player of his generation and probably of all time, and here he was – on show at the start of a global tournament taking place across an entire month. I was intrigued by what lay ahead and there was to be no disappointment, thanks in large part not to Maradona but rather to the team with lions on their chests and stardust in their boots.

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» Last league standing: Belarusian football basks in new-found popularity
  • Belarusian Premier League has signed 10 new TV rights deals
  • 94 cases of coronavirus reported in the country

With professional football at a virtual standstill around the globe, fans in need of their weekly fix are turning to the Belarusian Premier League to fill the void as it carries on with matches despite the coronavirus outbreak.

The league, one of Europe’s least glamorous competitions whose teams rarely reach the Champions League group stage, is drawing foreign fans’ attention and a string of new broadcast deals.

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» I know what we shouldn't have done last summer: what Premier League clubs would change | Jonathan Wilson

Tottenham and Manchester City are among the clubs who would probably make very different decisions if they could reset the Premier League as if it were Football Manager

The season must be completed. The season must be abandoned now. As the arguments gabble on, only occasionally acknowledging their own hypothetical nature given how little we know about how the virus will proceed, how long the lockdown may last and whether there may be a second wave of infections when it is lifted, it’s tempting t o dip into another hypothetical. What if this were like a game of Football Manager? What if we could quit without saving and go back and start again last summer? What would Premier League clubs, given their time over, do differently?

Let’s start with the obvious one: Tottenham’s decision to sack Mauricio Pochettino and replace him with José Mourinho. Once a path has been embarked on, there is perhaps some logic in pursuing it to its conclusion, but would Daniel Levy really take that road again? Tottenham are without a win in their past six games. They’ve gone out of the FA Cup and Champions League. They’re seven points adrift of fourth. They’ve kept three clean sheets in 26 games under Mourinho. For Spurs, this season has been a shambles.

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» The Joy of Six: goalscoring goalkeepers | Jacob Steinberg

From a free-scoring Brazilian to a galloping goalie scoring a stunner for the ages, half a dozen keepers finding the net

Whenever a goalkeeper scores a goal, there are probably people who think that they have committed a crime against nature and who believe that such heretical behaviour will bring forth a storm of biblical proportions as punishment, washing the illogicality away. Yet by the same token, there is something inherently glorious about a goalkeeper who refuses to be constrained by the “rules” of “society”, which is why Stuart Pearce’s brainwave to have Manchester City’s David James galumphing about in Middlesbrough’s area on the final day of the 2004-05 season is a Hall of Fame moment. Weirdly unsettling but also totally adorable, like watching a cat trying to turn a door handle. Ha! Look at the keeper go! He thinks he’s people! He thinks he has opposable thumbs!

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» Premier League players will be told to stop training amid doubts over restart

The Premier League is ready to accept the inevitable over the coronavirus pandemic and tell its players to take a break from training as doubts increase over the likelihood of restarting the season in a month’s time.

Clubs have been attempting to keep their players fully fit for a possible resumption of games after 30 April. But even if the plan to play matches behind closed doors goes ahead, it seems that early May will be too soon.

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» Juventus players waive four months' wages due to coronavirus outbreak
  • Maurizio Sarri also agrees to reduction in pay
  • Club will save €90m as Serie A suspension stretches on

The Juventus players and manager have reached an agreement over a wage reduction that will save the club €90m (£81m), it was announced on Saturday. Maurizio Sarri and his players will take what amounts to a four-month pay cut to help the Italian champions during the coronavirus crisis.

The agreement comes at a time when leading clubs around Europe have had to slash wage bills because of the dramatic impact of matches being postponed or played behind closed doors due to the spread of the virus.

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» Scotland 3-2 Netherlands: World Cup 1978, first group stage — as it happened

A defiant final roar from our “born winner”! A couple of drops remain of his signature optimism. There’ll be a couple of drops of malt downed tonight, that’s for sure, both in Mendoza and back home. Goodbye, Argentina ‘78, we hardly knew ye. This campaign will surely go down in legend as one of the most reckless, hopeless, needlessly farcical failures in the entire history of the World Cup. Sent homeward, tae think again. Again. But hey, at least you can’t say it was boring. And maybe we’ll look back at all this carry-on with fondness given time. After all, who knows what other horrors may supersede it years to come?

A word with Ally MacLeod, who makes sure we get the top line of his message. “It’s just one of those things.” He says this six times in a five-minute press conference. “As manager you must take the blame. I told my kids to save up to see us defend the World Cup in Spain but it’s not to be. When we were 3-1 up, I looked at the clock and saw there was 20 minutes and realised it might be in our hands. But you get a bit elated when it’s like that and you get caught. It’s just one of those things. If we’d played like that from the beginning, we would have won the competition.”

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» Eight West Ham players in self-isolation with mild coronavirus symptoms

West Ham have eight players in self-isolation showing mild symptoms of coronavirus, according to the club’s vice-chair, Karren Brady.

In her weekly column in The Sun, Brady wrote: “I am relieved to say they are all showing mild symptoms and, along with their families, seem to be well. But it is no more than a handshake, sneeze or cough away from any of us, so no one should be complacent.”

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» 'It's horrible': Halesowen halted with promotion and Wembley in sight

All of the club’s hopes and expectations have dissolved after the FA announced their season had been cancelled

If everything went as well for Halesowen Town as planned, their time spent in the Southern League Division One Central would have been over in a flash. After years of struggling in the division above, last season they were finally relegated. The failure prompted a complete rehauling of the team, with an entirely new set of players and a new head coach brought in. It worked. By March they sat second, one point off the top with a game in hand, well on course for promotion.

On Thursday afternoon, all those hopes and expectations dissolved. After weeks of postponements because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Football Association finally announced in conjunction with the National League System that all leagues from steps three to six were cancelled. All results have been “expunged” and no teams will face promotion or relegation.

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» No coronavirus financial support for struggling top women's teams, says FA

Women’s Super League and Championship clubs must pay players during lockdown, with FA determined to finish current season

The FA has told struggling Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship teams there is no financial support available and that it remains determined to wait out the pandemic and complete the 2019-20 seasons of the top two tiers.

The FA voided the season for all tiers of the women’s pyramid from the National League down (tiers three to seven and grassroots football) on Thursday. The move drew criticism from a number of clubs, including Barnsley, who said they were not consulted until shortly before the plans were made public and urged the FA to “immediately reconsider” the decision.

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» Football clubs' good deeds go a long way but shutdown exposes financial faultlines | Paul Wilson

The game’s wealthier end is doing what it can in the coronavirus crisis but the precarious financial reality for too many lower-league clubs also plain to see

“What is football without a crowd?” Pep Guardiola asked a couple of weeks ago, just before it became plain that crowds of any kind now had to be avoided.

The short answer is not very much. Football has probably only just realised how much of its appeal lay in its ability to attract and entertain large numbers of people packed close together. Football stadiums are designed to accommodate crowds, to facilitate companionship; up and down the country those large edifices now standing empty and silent are powerful reminders that the human urge to congregate and commune is what has been suspended indefinitely.

Consider also the distinct lack of appetite for any sort of behind-closed-doors conclusion to the various loose ends of the season. No one is really going to do that, surely? It is hard to imagine anything more likely to demonstrate that football’s imperatives and emergencies are utterly disposable when set against the present difficulties in the real world. As an industry with crowd-pleasing as its raison d’etre, football is just going to have to wait until crowds can make a reappearance, however long that might take.

Related: 'It's horrible': Halesowen halted with promotion and Wembley in sight

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» Jürgen Klopp says he cried when NHS staff sang You'll Never Walk Alone

Jürgen Klopp has said he was moved to tears by footage of NHS staff singing You’ll Never Walk Alone and hopes the response to the coronavirus pandemic will generate greater solidarity across the world.

The Liverpool manager has given his first full interview since the Premier League season was suspended on 13 March and said any problems he may have – such as when football may resume and Liverpool may win the league – are “embarrassing” compared with the global crisis.

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» Players' refusal to compete could stall return of Premier League and EFL

Attempts to resume the Premier League and English Football League seasons after 30 April could be thwarted by players refusing to ­compete because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Premier League, English Football League and ­Professional Footballers’ Association ­ officials held a conference call on Friday to discuss a unilateral response to the threat posed to clubs and players by the crisis, along with the prospect of resuming their seasons “when it is safe and conditions allow”. But even the possibility of playing matches behind closed doors after 30 April appears remote with players concerned about putting their health, and their ­families’ health, at risk by returning to work while the crisis continues.

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» James McClean fined by Stoke over balaclava 'history lesson' post
  • McClean fined two weeks’ wages and deletes Instagram account
  • Player apologises for posting ‘ill-advised and offensive’ picture

James McClean has been fined two weeks’ wages by Stoke City after his club took a dim view of an “inappropriate social media post” on Instagram.

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» PFA threatens legal action after Perth Glory stand down A-League players
  • Glory owner Tony Sage describes move as ‘heartbreaking’
  • PFA is demanding all players be reinstated immediately

Australia’s professional footballers’ union is demanding Perth Glory owner Tony Sage revoke the stand-down notices sent to the A-League club’s players.

Less than a week after the FFA suspended the 2019-20 A-League season until at least April 22 due to the coronavirus outbreak, Sage has stood down all of the club’s players and staff. The outspoken club owner said the decision was “heartbreaking”.

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» Nolberto Solano sorry after being detained for breaking Peru curfew

The former Newcastle United midfielder Nolberto Solano apologised on Friday after being detained by Peruvian police for being outside his house during tight quarantine hours set up to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Solano claimed he left his home on Thursday before the 8pm curfew began for a lunch that went on longer than planned.

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» 'It’s definitely real': Newcastle Jets player tests positive to coronavirus
  • Player was tested before a pre-scheduled international flight
  • ‘He was fine, no symptoms,’ the Jets chief executive said

An unnamed Newcastle Jets player has become the first professional footballer in Australia to test positive to Covid-19. The player, who underwent the test as a precaution before a pre-scheduled international flight, was a member of the Jets squad for last weekend’s A-League matches against Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City.

The player was asymptomatic and Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna said he remains in good health.

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» My favourite game: Chelsea v Napoli 2012 | Luke McLaughlin

As this unforgettable night wore on, the teams abandoned their tactical systems and went for the jugular

Eamon Dunphy once described a hectic, high-scoring Premier League encounter as “like watching two drunks fighting in an alley”. He wasn’t being wholly complimentary about that spectacle, but still acknowledged the thrill of seeing two sides cast off any pretence of tactical discipline and go for broke. Dunphy’s phrase came back to me at Stamford Bridge in March 2012. Trailing 3-1 from the first leg in Naples, a 2-0 victory would have sent Chelsea into the Champions League last eight. Walter Mazzarri’s Napoli, playing 3-4-3, arrived aiming to hit on the break.

The context was fascinating. Chelsea’s first-leg defeat hastened the dismissal of André Villa-Boas, lured from Porto less than a year earlier. Roberto Di Matteo took caretaker charge of a battle-hardened team who had hated Villas-Boas’s methods: John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba among them. They had an unhappy recent history in the competition, often crashing out in controversial circumstances, complaining bitterly over perceived refereeing injustices.

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» No easy solutions: clubs across Europe in the dark as players battle wage cuts

Clubs across the continent from FC Sion to Dinamo Zagreb are facing standoffs with their playing staff as they look to contend with the coronavirus crisis

As clubs across Europe move to reduce or defer their footballers’ salaries, one thing is crystal clear. There will be no comfortable, one size fits all solution to an issue that faces almost everyone: the need to save money during the coronavirus crisis in an industry that, taking the continent as a whole, pays out 64% of its revenue in wages.

That figure, Uefa’s latest, is accurate up to 2018 and will certainly have risen. It is no wonder that, with income streams compromised indefinitely, clubs at all levels are seeking new arrangements. Goodwill – and an understanding that no two situations are the same when dealing with governments, leagues, clubs and even individuals – is essential and the positive stories are offset by examples of clubs being, at best, ham-fisted in their attempts to force through cuts.

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» Viv Solomon-Otabor: the player who took a risk with Bulgaria move

Since England’s game in Sofia the London-born midfielder has been racially abused by fans, including of his club CSKA Sofia

When Viv Solomon-Otabor stepped off the plane after returning from his first international call-up, his phone would not stop buzzing. The messages were not ones of congratulations for being part of the Nigeria squad that had faced Brazil but about the shocking racism at England’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria.

London-born Solomon-Otabor left Birmingham City for CSKA Sofia last summer in search of a new adventure after seven years at St Andrew’s. The midfielder’s early experiences in Bulgaria were enjoyable and the football was going so well he was called up by Nigeria for that friendly in Singapore. Since England’s visit to Sofia last October, however, the 24-year-old’s time in the country has been repeatedly soured by racist abuse, leaving him isolated.

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» Football quiz: guess the missing clubs in these goalkeepers' careers

Can you identify the missing names in these lists of clubs?

More quizzes: sliding doors, globetrotters, stadiums and La Liga

Let's start with one of the greats. Peter Schmeichel: Hvidovre > Brondby > Manchester United > Sporting > ??? > Manchester City


Aston Villa


AEK Athens

Keeping it in the family ... Kasper Schmeichel (excluding loan moves): Manchester City > ??? > Leeds United > Leicester


Nottingham Forest


Notts County

Now a man better known for his kits than his clubs. Jorge Campos: Pumas UNAM > Atlante > ??? > Cruz Azul > Chicago Fire > Pumas UNAM

Real Madrid

Kashima Antlers

LA Galaxy

Boca Juniors

England's all-time No 1? Gordon Banks (excluding loans): Chesterfield > Leicester > Stoke > ???

New York Cosmos

Tampa Bay Rowdies

Fort Lauderdale Strikers

Washington Diplomats

Banks's main rival ... Peter Shilton: Leicester > Stoke > Nottingham Forest > ??? > Derby > Plymouth




West Ham

Cláudio Taffarel (excluding loans): Internacional > Parma > Atlético Mineiro > ??? > Parma





The man who denied England in 1998, Carlos Roa: Racing Club > Lanus > ??? > Albacete > Olimpo

Real Sociedad

Real Madrid

Real Mallorca

Real Zaragoza

World Cup winner Dino Zoff: Udinese > Mantova > ??? > Juventus





Jens Lehmann: Schalke > ??? > Dortmund > Arsenal > Stuttgart

Bayern Munich




José Luis Chilavert: San Lorenzo > Real Zaragoza > Vélez Sarsfield > ??? > Penarol



Sporting Lisbon

Sheffield Wednesday

Mark Schwarzer: Marconi Stallions > Dynamo Dresden > Kaiserslautern > ??? > Middlesbrough > Fulham > Chelsea > Leicester

Bradford City

Borussia Dortmund

Brisbane Roar


David James: Watford > Liverpool > West Ham > ??? > Portsmouth > Bristol City > Bournemouth


Manchester United

Manchester City


Petr Cech: Chmel Blsany > Sparta Prague > ??? > Chelsea > Arsenal

Red Star Belgrade

Rubin Kazan


Real Mallorca

David Seaman: Leeds > Peterborough > Birmingham > ??? > Arsenal > Manchester City





And finally, perhaps the best ever. Lev Yashin: ???

Spartak Moscow

Lokomotiv Moscow

Dynamo Moscow

CSKA Moscow

14 and above.

You've kept a clean sheet!

10 and above.

You're pretty tough to get past

5 and above.

You've let a few past you

0 and above.

You've had a shocker

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» Marching on together: Bielsa and Leeds show team spirit as wait goes on

The manager, squad and coaching staff have accepted wage deferrals to help others as football takes a back seat

The plinth supporting the landmark statue of Billy Bremner outside Elland Road bears a simple, yet evocative, message. “Side before self, every time,” it declares, reminding everyone of the former Leeds United captain’s personal mantra.

In a very different way and a very different context, Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds are now showing they are every bit as big on teamwork as the trophy-hoarding, no-quarter-given Don Revie side Bremner led with such a memorable mixture of finesse and ferocity.

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» Sid Lowe on Sid Lowe – Football Weekly Extra

Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning and Sid Lowe discuss... Sid Lowe! Find out how Sid’s PhD on fascism is connected to his career path, how Estella is now less of a Get Out Of The House Free card than a week ago and how a boy from north London came to idolise Kenny Dalglish

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

In the first of our stay-at-home pods, Max and Barry talk to Sid Lowe about his career, how he got into football, we find out which team Sid supports and he finally answers the question: Messi or Ronaldo?

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» Toilet roll keepie-uppies: sports stars' coronavirus lockdown challenge – video

With the sporting calendar on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, football stars around the world are challenging each other to perform tricks with loo roll as part of the #stayathomechallenge to encourage fans to practise social distancing

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» Coronavirus: Gary Neville says NHS staff will stay at his hotels for free – video

Gary Neville has announced that two hotels he co-owns with former Manchester United teammate Ryan Giggs will close to the public from Sunday and be made available to NHS staff free of charge. Hotel Football and The Stock Exchange, both in Manchester, will remain fully staffed to offer accommodation to health workers who cannot live with their families due to the coronavirus pandemic. 'The whole of our industry needs to show solidarity, not just for our staff in these uncertain times but obviously for those who need the accommodation most in the coming months,' Neville said. 'It will operate free of charge and our staff will operate the hotels as normal.'

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» Euro 2020 postponed: 'This virus has made football quite impossible,' says Ceferin – video

Euro 2020 has been postponed to 2021 as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The tournament was due to have been held this year from 12 June to 12 July across 12 countries, including England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland

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» Napoli fans in coronavirus quarantine sing 'Un Giorno All'Improvviso' from balconies – video

With Italy in lockdown and Serie A suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Napoli asked quarantined fans on Twitter to gather on their balconies and sing 'Un Giorno All'Improvviso', the song popularised during their 2016 title challenge.

This is how Naples responded

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» Home workouts and quarantine: how the football world is dealing with coronavirus – video

The coronavirus outbreak has caused huge disruption to football around the world, with leagues suspended, some players under quarantine and matches played behind closed doors. Here's how players and fans coped over an unprecedented weekend.

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» Nigel Pearson condemns Boris Johnson over 'lack of leadership' on coronavirus
  • Watford manager ‘totally underwhelmed’ by PM’s handling
  • Pearson wary of fan fears of attending football amid outbreak

Nigel Pearson has hit out at Boris Johnson over a “lack of leadership” in the prime minister’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, that has seen sport around the world postponed, cancelled or retreating behind closed doors.

The Watford manager referenced Johnson’s press conference on Thursday in saying: “I don’t think we had any great leadership last night, listening to the prime minister. I was totally underwhelmed by the lack of leadership and clear message.

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» A letter from Italy: 'We were shouting: you need to stop and go inside'

We watched in horror as football continued elsewhere despite the coronavirus monster that has united us as never before

A few days ago it felt as if the light was finally switched off and since then we have been living in the dark: stopped in our tracks and scared of the silence that has engulfed us. The only sound breaking the silence is that of the ambulances, too many of them, and every single one a punch in our collective gut.

I normally report on the transfer market for the Guardian but at the moment I am not writing about that. Which player is on the move is not important at a time like this, but I would still like to share my experiences of what we have been through here in Italy in the past few weeks.

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» Lorenzo Sanz: the man who recovered the European Cup for Real Madrid

The former president, who died of coronavirus at the weekend, said he would always have that night in Amsterdam in 1998 but two years later he was out

Not long after the 1998 European Cup final, Real Madrid’s president Lorenzo Sanz took a copy of the sports newspaper AS, framed it and hung it in his toilet. The front page ran with the headline “King of Kings”. In the photo, Sanz holds the trophy sitting on the shoulders of two players: Clarence Seedorf and his son Fernando. “How could I ever forget?” he said once. “Every morning, when I wake up and do what I have to do, I see it.”

No one else could forget it either, even if Sanz came to feel his work had not been recognised, deliberately written out of the club’s history. On Sunday morning, after he became the latest victim of coronavirus in a country where more than 1,700 have died, that moment dominates memories of him, the 76-year-old’s role fully embraced at last. This time, AS’s cover calls him “the man of the séptima [the seventh]”. Marca bids “farewell to the man who recovered the European Cup for Real Madrid”.

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» Wellington Phoenix player sorry for golf buggy joy ride while in quarantine
  • FFA investigating alcohol-related incident in Sydney
  • All Whites’ Tim Payne ‘incredibly embarrassed’

Wellington player Tim Payne has issued a tearful apology for a joyriding incident during the team’s A-League quarantine period in Sydney which will have legal ramifications.

Football Federation Australia and Phoenix management are investigating the alcohol-related incident in which Payne and teammate Oliver Sail drove a golf buggy beyond the team’s remote Sydney facility, where they were undergoing 14 days of self-isolation.

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» Suspension of Lazio's scudetto charge reveals scars of century-old dispute

Football feels insignificant with Italy in lockdown, but if the season is scrapped it will carry echoes of 1915 for Lazio

It is the fate of Lazio supporters, according to the Italian voice actor Pino Insegno, to “suffer even in those moments when we were not supposed to”. The Biancocelesti were enjoying one of their finest seasons prior to the coronavirus outbreak, sitting one point off the top of Serie A at the moment when games were suspended. They are undefeated in the league since September, and beat the leaders, Juventus, twice in December.

Football, as Insegno was quick to remind listeners to the Roman station Radiosei last week, is of secondary importance at a time when Italy is on lockdown. “We need to stay home, and that’s it,” he continued. “We have not lived through a moment like this since the war.” Still, it is a curious quirk of fate that Lazio – champions of Italy just twice in their history – were denied a shot at a title on the only previous occasion when football was suspended mid-season on the peninsula.

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» The doors have closed on La Liga, just like front doors all over Spain | Sid Lowe

Footballers train at home as stadiums, schools and parks sit empty. There are army vehicles on the streets. This is real, even if it remains surreal

Sevilla midfielder Óliver Torres was at home making dinner when the match he had looked forward to more than any other was supposed to be kicking off, a “magic moment” that didn’t arrive. Across the city that hosts the biggest, noisiest derby there is, the Real Betis goalkeeper Joel Robles was preparing food and bed for his daughter, who is six months old. For 90 minutes, they like to say, the whole of Seville stops. This time it stopped for much longer, and so did the rest of Spain. How much longer, no one knows.

Torres and Robles were due to face each other on Sunday night, but the Sánchez Pizjuán stood empty and so did the streets, bar the occasional police car passing to ensure no-one was out. The country was on lockdown because of coronavirus. There was effectively a curfew only this one was all hours and so they, like everyone else, were stuck at home. Betis striker Borja Iglesias and Sevilla defender Sergio Reguilón, though, did face each other: from their sofas, online and on Fifa, they played the derby. Broadcast live, Betis won and Borja scored, which was convenient.

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» Ronaldinho: from World Cup winner to Paraguayan prison football star
  • Former Brazil playmaker excels in prison futsal
  • Ronaldinho accused of using fake Paraguayan passport

Football in South America is all but shut down as the Covid-19 outbreak spreads across the continent, but one Brazilian star is still making his mark on the game. Ronaldinho, whose last professional game came in 2015 for Fluminese, scored five goals this weekend and set up another six. Admittedly he did this from a Paraguayan jail, but such details are trivial during a global crisis.

As first reported by the Paraguayan newspaper La Nación, Ronaldinho was taken into custody in the country’s capital, Asunción, on 6 March. He and his brother had allegedly used fake Paraguayan passports and IDs, although his lawyer maintains that his client did not know the documents were falsified, as they were given to him by a local sponsor.

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» Uefa to reschedule Women's Euro 2021 after men's tournament moved

Uefa today confirmed that the 2021 Women’s European Championship in England will be rescheduled to accommodate the men’s edition, which was due to take place this summer but was pushed back a year as football attempts to get to grips with the coronavirus crisis.

With the start of the men’s tournament postponed until 11 June 2021 and the Wembley final set for 11 July, there is a four-day overlap with the women’s tournament, which was due to kick off on 7 July at Old Trafford.

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» 'Will we have to strike?' Football in Brazil continues despite coronavirus

Some matches in Brazil have been called off but the response to the pandemic has been slow and inconsistent

By Joshua Law for Yellow & Green Football

On Sunday morning in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, Grêmio players and coaching staff emerged from the tunnel at their empty stadium wearing surgical masks in protest at having to fulfil their Campeonato Gaúcho fixture against São Luiz despite the coronavirus pandemic. While many countries have brought a halt to all sporting activities, Brazilian football has been slow and inconsistent in its reaction to the pandemic.

Later on Sunday, the national football confederation, the CBF, released a statement announcing that all national competitions would be suspended indefinitely and with immediate effect. Ongoing tournaments under their jurisdiction include the first and second divisions of women’s Brazilian championship, as well as the men’s U17 national championship and men’s U20 Brazilian Cup. Yet the men’s senior game in Brazil is in the midst of the state championship season and the power to suspend those competitions rests with local federations rather than the CBF.

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» Mikel John Obi leaves Trabzonspor over concern Turkey season is continuing
  • Super Lig team confirms contract has been mutually terminated
  • ‘There is more to life than football,’ says former Chelsea player

Mikel John Obi has left Trabzonspor days after the former Chelsea midfielder said he did not feel comfortable with top-flight games in Turkey being played despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The Super Lig team confirmed in a statement that the Nigerian, who joined them last year and had a contract until May 2021, had left by mutual consent.

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» From Mané to Ings: awards of the Premier League season so far

With football on hold we select some of the highlights of the top-flight campaign until now – and the biggest flop

Jordan Henderson’s influence deserves acclaim but Sadio Mané is remarkably consistent and reaches heights that his captain cannot. The temptation for players who can do it all is to overdo it, but Mané is too smart for that. He is the purest epitome of this Liverpool team because he is supremely efficient. Sometimes that means doing something as simple as running on to a long pass by Virgil van Dijk and slotting the ball past the keeper in the way he did for the winning goal against Bournemouth in Liverpool’s last domestic game before the suspension of the Premier League; and sometimes it means producing supernatural flourishes like his stoppage-time headed winning goal at Aston Villa or the touch that enabled him to take down a pass by Henderson while pirouetting past a defender before ramming the ball into the net against Norwich. Having the athleticism and skill to play as he does is rare; having the presence of mind to use those gifts with such effectively and selflessly is rarer still.

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» 'Football does seem a bit irrelevant': how Covid-19 left Portsmouth reeling | David Hytner

Five Pompey players have tested positive for the virus and though the signs are good it is nevertheless impossible to shake the slightly unreal feeling that has enveloped the club

In the words of Joe Gallen, the Portsmouth assistant manager, the results came back in “dribs and drabs”. The League One promotion chasers had ordered 48 of their players and staff to test for Covid‑19 last Tuesday, in the wake of the club’s FA Cup meeting with Arsenal on 2 March. The Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, was diagnosed with the virus on 12 March, and that was really the moment when everything unravelled in English football, leading to the suspension of action.

And so, to quote Gallen again, there was “a bit of a wait for everyone”. He was in the first batch to find out last Thursday, along with nine others. Everybody was clear. But the situation darkened from Friday as the next set produced three positives, Saturday one more and Tuesday yet another. The club have said they are waiting on one last result for a member of the backroom team.

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» My favourite game: Everton v Bayern Munich, 1985 Cup Winners' Cup

I was a ballboy that night and even though Jean-Marie Pfaff tried to waste time by miscontrolling my perfectly weighted passes Everton sent Bayern packing

When Søren Lerby sauntered into the Goodison cauldron without shin pads even my 13-year-old eyes could see it was a reckless act. Nearly 35 years on, the artful Bayern Munich midfielder’s decision can now be dismissed as the quaint machismo of a bygone age.

It was 24 April 1985, the night Howard Kendall’s Everton came of age to blow away the West German giants and reach the European Cup Winners’ Cup final. Somehow Lerby survived unscathed. Not so Bayern’s red shield of invincibility.

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» David Squires on … Premier League managers under lockdown

Our cartoonist on how English football’s top-flight gaffers are coping during the coronavirus pandemic

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» The Fiver | We ran and we ran, and now we’ve found ourselves back in 1978

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The Fiver woke up late to discover there’s a reasonable chance Dominic Raab will be in temporary control of the country soon. We thought about that for a moment. Then we thought about necking the rest of that Mogadon and Dettol cocktail we’d fixed for ourselves last night but didn’t quite finish before blackout. But instead we decided to run. So we ran. And we ran. And we ran and we ran and we ran and we ran and now we’ve found ourselves back in 1978.

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» Which teams have played in front of fake fans or pumped-in atmosphere? | The Knowledge

Plus: prolific single-season penalty scorers, unusual ways to decide a tournament and more

“With the increase in games with no spectators because of the coronavirus outbreak, have there been instances in the past of teams using loudspeakers, cardboard cutouts of fans, or similar effects to try and replicate the atmosphere of a full stadium?” wonders Christopher Sato.

“Sadly, my lot (Boro) tried this during Steve McClaren’s race to try to pep up the atmosphere for our Uefa Cup run,” writes Garry Brogden. “They put out a casting call for people to go down and record a few chants one day – about 12 people turned up, including an acquaintance from a Middlesbrough online forum. They duly recorded a few of the current chants.

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» Football quiz: stadiums of yore

Who flew The Nest? Who hosted the Spice Girls? Who was amused?

More quizzes: sliding doors, globetrotters and La Liga in the 1990s

Who are the only British club to have played home matches in a stadium that has also hosted gigs by U2, the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson and the Spice Girls as well as a World Student Games?


MK Dons

West Ham


Whose old ground featured the "Chocolate Boxes" – the only uncovered upper-tier terracing in British football?





Whose former ground derives its name from a 20-ton rock that may have been a place of worship for ancient druids?





Which two bird-nicknamed clubs started life in the Football League at grounds called The Nest?

Bristol City and Swindon Town

Cardiff and Brighton

Crystal Palace and Norwich City

Swansea City and Sheffield Wednesday

In January 1990 Ramsline Halt, a single-platform railway station, was built at a cost of £26,000 next to Derby County's Baseball Ground. How many trains ever stopped there?



Several hundred

Three a day ever since

At which football ground would you have found “The Chicken Run”?

Upton Park

Maine Road


Belle Vue

There’s a small bronze sculpture in the middle of a housing estate marking the exact spot from which North Korea’s Pak Doo-ik struck his famous winner against Italy in the 1966 World Cup. On the site of which ground does it stand?

Burnden Park

White City Stadium

Roker Park

Ayresome Park

Whose recently vacated old ground was very nearly called Percy Park when it opened in 1899?

West Ham

Manchester City



Which club used to play at a ground known as The Kursaal, an amusement park on the town’s seafront?

Southend United




Which stadium had a record crowd of 75,118 in 1933 but when it closed in 1997 a capacity of only 22,500?

Christie Park


Roker Park

Elm Park

4 and above.

Did you get a bit lost?

5 and above.

That is a fine score. Well played

6 and above.

That is a fine score. Well played

7 and above.

That is a very impressive score. Well played

8 and above.

That is an extremely impressive score. Well played

9 and above.

That is an extremely impressive score. Well played

10 and above.

That is an extremely impressive score. Well played

3 and above.

Did you get a bit lost?

2 and above.

Did you get a bit lost?

0 and above.

Did you get a bit lost?

1 and above.

Did you get a bit lost?

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» England v Germany: Euro 96 semi-final – as it happened

Our new retro MBM feature continues with an epic occasion at Wembley. Spoiler: he misses

There’s not much left to say. It wasn’t an epic match - but it was an epic occasion, and we’ll be talking about that first period of extra-time forever. In the end, just as at Italia 90, it ended in the cruellest possible way.

For the last two and a half weeks, England’s euphoric Euro 96 campaign has been our entire world. And like that, it’s gone.

Terry Venables runs straight over to Gareth Southgate, whose life has just taken the most horrible turn. Jurgen Klinsmann also limps over to console him - and then Tony Adams drags him over to start a lap of honour before beckoning the rest of the England team to join them. There are no tears, as far as I can tell, but a few of the players are close. A lot of them look in shock.

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» My favourite game: Uruguay v Ghana, World Cup 2010 quarter-final | John Brewin

I was in the stadium to see Luis Suárez break Ghanaian hearts with his handball. It was cheating, but also an understandable act of self-sacrifice

Almost a decade on, the 2010 World Cup is recalled as a tournament of low-scoring matches, played out amid the distracting honk of vuvuzelas. As is usually the case, the host country showed its best and most welcoming side, rendering happy memories to visitors only to leave a disappointing legacy for South Africa itself.

Every tournament, though, will throw up at least one segue of incredible drama, of unlikely and since-forgotten heroes, skulduggery and adrenaline-surging plot twists. The rest of the quarter-final between Ghana and Uruguay was decent enough. The climax to the 120 minutes made the night unforgettable.

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» What are the highest fees paid by football clubs for others' managers? | The Knowledge

Plus: more early league winners, more teams playing at rivals’ grounds, keepers winning penalties and more

“What are the highest fees paid by clubs for other teams’ managers?” asks Alan Gomes.

“I immediately thought of the fee paid by Frank Lampard’s Chelsea to acquire Frank Lampard from Derby County, which was reported to be £3m-4m,” begins James Wayne. “A quick search led me to this tweet, and a list drawn up by Portuguese newspaper A Bola.”

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» Liga MX gold, the best of the XFL and absentee handshakes | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features Ronaldinho’s prison kickabout and a tribute to Martin Fourcade

1) Whilst the rest of the sporting world is shutting down, the relatively low spread of coronavirus in Mexico means that Liga MX was one of the few major global football leagues still playing matches last weekend. As this parish has previously covered, the Mexican top flight is no backwater. It has been recently graced by the mercurial Ravel Morrison, the deadly Keisuke Honda and the, erm, Vincent Janssen.

Perhaps the best-known Liga MX import is French international Andre-Pierre Gignac, who signed for the wonderfully-named Tigres five years ago and is still banging in goals aged 34.

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» My favourite game: England v Canada, women's World Cup quarter-final 2015

Mark Sampson’s side beat the hosts and in so doing transformed the fortunes of the women’s game in England

Perfection can be likened to a flame it is possible to touch but very rarely hold. Almost five years ago Jodie Taylor, Lucy Bronze and their fellow Lionesses grasped it for just long enough to transform not only their own lives but the entire landscape of women’s football in England.

The repercussions would prove so far-reaching that many of those of us present as extras – the journalists and fans in the background behind the central stage – can still feel Canada’s reassuringly strong late June sun beating down on our forearms during the walk to BC Place.

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» The footballers who have already agreed to switch clubs this summer

Chelsea, Barcelona, Ajax, Benfica and Bayern Munich are all expecting to welcome new players onboard this summer

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored

With football quite rightly postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, there is so much up in the air. Leagues will need to be restructured drastically when the 2019-20 season resumes. There is also the issue of expiring contracts, with clubs potentially offering short-term extensions to players who would otherwise leave before the season concludes. Some players have already signed pre-contract deals with other clubs and are due to make their moves in June.

Whatever happens, with so much uncertainty over the summer transfer window, those teams who had secured new signatures in preparation for the next campaign will be pleased to have done so. Here are five notable signings and the roles they will play for their new clubs when football eventually returns.

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» When football played on during world war one and inflamed a London derby

The 1914-15 season, which was played out to the backdrop of a world war, is one of the most controversial in history

By Richard Foster for the Guardian Sport Network

These are unprecedented times, but the Football League also had to face the prospect of postponing or cancelling the season when war was declared on 4 August 1914. The league’s management committee met a few days later and concluded that it was business as usual, with one caveat: a number of grounds would be used for mobilisation purposes. White Hart Lane was requisitioned as a site for manufacturing protection equipment, such as gas masks, so Tottenham had to play their home matches at Highbury.

Many people believed the war would not last for longer than a few months. So, on 1 September, the Division One season kicked off with two fixtures. Manchester City beat Bradford City 4-1 in front of 9,000 fans at their Hyde Road ground while a crowd of 12,000 saw The Wednesday (they did not become Sheffield Wednesday until 1929) overcome Middlesbrough 3-1 at Hillsborough. On the same day, there were Division Two games at Arsenal, Clapton Orient and Grimsby.

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» Enough of this epic delusion: coronavirus makes sport in front of fans a long way off

We must accept that it will be many months before packed crowds will be returning to watch live competition

We still don’t get it. Even now, as death tolls rise exponentially across Europe and the greatest economic crisis of our age deepens, the white lies persist. That the football season could be completed by mid‑July. That the Olympics could take place a week or two after. That a bumper summer of sport will give the nation the mother of all pick‑me‑ups. It is an epic delusion. And, frankly, we have had enough of them already.

Over the weekend I spoke to a leading expert, who is involved with the national response to the coronavirus pandemic, to ask him when sport as we know it – in front of packed crowds – might return. His response was sober and downbeat. “My expectation is that this is something that is going to be around for a long period of time,” he said. “There are no silver bullets on the horizon. We are talking months and months – and perhaps even next year and beyond.”

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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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