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Preview: Football news, match reports and fixtures | guardian.co.uk

Football | The Guardian



Football news, results, fixtures, blogs, podcasts and comment on the Premier League, European and World football from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice



Published: Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:58:41 GMT2017-06-27T08:58:41Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2017
 



Shrewsbury Town set to become first English club to introduce safe standing

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:03:24 GMT2017-06-27T08:03:24Z

• League One club applies for permission to fit rail seats in Salop Leisure Stand
• Hope to ‘pave the way for other clubs in England and Wales to follow suit’

Shrewsbury Town have applied to become the first English club to introduce safe standing at their ground. The League One side want to have rail seats in use at the 10,000 capacity Greenhous Meadow stadium before the end of the 2017-18 season and have formally approached the Sports Ground Safety Authority to get permission to fit them.

Crowdfunding will be used to raise the money – estimated at around £50,000 to £75,0000 – for the installation of around 500 rail seats in the Salop Leisure Stand similar to those used at Celtic last season.

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Scotland wring concessions from SFA after taking stand on pay | Suzanne Wrack

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 07:12:50 GMT2017-06-27T07:12:50Z

Players use strong hand heading into the European Championship to step up their complaint in the face of a seemingly intransigent governing body

Equal pay for equal work. It sounds simple enough. Yet it was enshrined in law only in 2010. However, pay parity wasn’t achieved when pen hit paper on the Equality Act. Just as it wasn’t when the women machinist strike at Ford Dagenham in 1968 forced the Equal Pay Act. Though the gender pay gap has been shrinking, in 2017 it stands at 9.4% in Britain.

What has sport got to do with it? So stark is the pay disparity between sportsmen and sportswomen that it has become a hotbed of action. Wave after wave of teams and players have stepped up in an attempt to pull their sport into the 21st century and give girls the chance of a more sustainable career in sport in the future. There are examples across multiple sports but women’s football has been increasingly at the forefront of the fight for change.

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Aidy Boothroyd urges England Under-21s to keep up the momentum

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 21:54:01 GMT2017-06-26T21:54:01Z

• Manager challenges team to look beyond semi-final against Germany
• Says: ‘In order for us to be better, we’ve got to win these games.’

For Aidy Boothroyd the frustration is still raw. Eleven months on from England’s semi-final defeat by Italy at the European Under-19 Championship, the manager sacked by Northampton Town in December 2013 with his side rooted to the bottom of the Football League will watch his Under-21 team face Germany in the Silesian city of Tychy for a place in Europe’s most prestigious youth tournament.

Since that 2-1 loss in Mannheim last July England’s age-group sides have embarked on a remarkable run of 17 wins from the 20 matches they have played in tournaments, the only defeat coming in a shootout in the final of the European Under-17 Championship against Spain last month. That was followed just over a fortnight ago by a first global success since 1966 and all that when many of the players in Boothroyd’s charge last year became Under-20 world champions in South Korea by beating Venezuela after an inspirational comeback against Italy in the semi-final.

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Crystal Palace will aim to play like Ajax, says Frank de Boer

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 21:53:47 GMT2017-06-26T21:53:47Z

• Dutchman succeeds Sam Allardyce at Selhurst Park
• ‘I want to play dominant when we can be dominant’

The new Crystal Palace manager, Frank de Boer, says he wants his side to dominate opponents in the same way as Ajax, the club where he learned his trade.

De Boer has signed a three-year contract at Selhurst Park and has been tasked by the chairman, Steve Parish, with turning perennial relegation battlers into a “solid” Premier League side. The former Dutch international, who won multiple titles as both player and manager at Ajax, replaces Sam Allardyce, who stood down from the role last month.

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Bertrand Traoré joins Lyon from Chelsea after clubs agree £8.8m fee

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 19:21:33 GMT2017-06-26T19:21:33Z

• Burkina Faso forward signs five-year contract with Ligue 1 side
• The 21-year-old impressed during season on loan at Ajax

Bertrand Traoré has joined Lyon from Chelsea, the two clubs have announced.

The Burkina Faso international, 21, has spent recent seasons on loan at the Dutch clubs Vitesse Arnhem and Ajax and will now move to France on a contract until 2022.

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Football transfer rumours: Tottenham target Adrien Silva and Carles Aleñá?

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 07:24:30 GMT2017-06-27T07:24:30Z

Today’s gossip does not have a light

The Mill loves the smell of gossip in the morning. How better to start a new day than with that fresh, invigorating, hopeful, malodorous, fetid, putrid, fecal scent wafting up our freshly tweezered snout. It’s true that 95% of football tittle-tattle makes us retch, but it’s worth the pain and suffering for the 5% of rumours that turn out to be true.

There is something persuasive and thrilling, for example, in the suggestion that Liverpool want to sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal, thus prompting all kinds of banter-based hilarity about Arsenal being a feeder club. Chelsea and Manchester City have also set up an RSS feed for Oxlade-Chamberlain.

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Manchester United set to sign Nemanja Matic from Chelsea for around £40m

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 11:21:48 GMT2017-06-26T11:21:48Z

• United hopeful of completing midfielder’s transfer this week
• José Mourinho keen to land player he signed for Chelsea in 2014

José Mourinho is intent on signing Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic, with Manchester United hopeful of completing a £40m transfer this week.

The midfielder is understood to have accepted personal terms and the clubs have agreed a price. The 28-year-old, who will earn around £155,000 a-week, is expected to have a medical soon, though the death of Mourinho’s father, Felix, on Sunday may slow the transfer. The manager is in Portugal for the funeral but Matic is expected to sign before the United squad travel to the US for a pre-season tour on 9 July.

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Liverpool target Naby Keïta can leave RB Leipzig but German club want £70m

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 08:27:12 GMT2017-06-26T08:27:12Z

• Liverpool considering £50m offer for Guinea midfielder
• Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk still wanted by Jürgen Klopp

Liverpool have been handed encouragement in their attempt to sign Naby Keïta from RB Leipzig, although the German club have indicated they are not prepared to let the Guinea international leave for less than £70m.

Jürgen Klopp has identified the 22-year-old central midfielder as a key target after completing the £36.9m club record signing of the Egypt international Mohamed Salah from Roma last week, with Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk also still wanted by the Liverpool manager despite the club publicly apologising this month over their approach for the Holland defender and saying they had ended their interest.

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Transfer window 2017 – every deal in Europe's top five leagues

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:46:07 GMT2017-06-22T11:46:07Z

All the moves in the top leagues of England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany as well as club-by-club guides for all the ins and outs this summer

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Should Celtic's safe standing trial be rolled out to the Premier League? – video

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:47:44 GMT2017-06-27T08:47:44Z

Last season Celtic became the first British club to use a ‘safe standing’ system of rail seating in a section of their stadium. Standing was banned in the top two tiers of English football on the recommendation of the Taylor Report, issued after the Hillsborough disaster. After the inquest cleared fans of any wrongdoing last year, attitudes towards standing at top-level football have softened, and the Premier League is currently consulting its members on whether they should reintroduce it.

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North-south football divide is a figment of the imagination | Louise Taylor

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 12:11:08 GMT2017-06-26T12:11:08Z

David Moyes thinks Sunderland suffers for its location but a look around the north-east and a conversation with Newcastle’s Rafael Benítez reveals it can attract the best talent

David Moyes is discussing culture shock, regional imbalances and their role in his club’s relegation. “Along with Manchester, London is the capital of English football and those cities will always attract the best players,” says Sunderland’s manager, a few weeks before his resignation.

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Six Germany players who could threaten England’s Euro Under-21 hopes

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 14:54:04 GMT2017-06-26T14:54:04Z

Wolfsburg’s youngest-ever player, a forward just bought by Borussia Dortmund for €20m and a former Arsenal winger with Bayern Munich feature on our list

The withdrawal of the highly rated Bayer Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah on the eve of the tournament left a large gap to fill at the back and Stark – who was outstanding in central midfield for Hertha Berlin as they secured Europa League qualification by finishing sixth in the Bundesliga last season – was chosen to fill it. A sloppy pass against Italy forced the classy midfielder Mo Dahoud into an uncharacteristic mistake that gifted Federico Bernardeschi the only goal in the Azzurrini’s Group C victory on Saturday as Germany conceded their first goal of the tournament. The 22-year-old will be looking to make amends against England.

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Confederations Cup, the Euro U-21s and more – Football Weekly

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:44:45 GMT2017-06-26T13:44:45Z

The podders preview England v Germany in the Euro U-21s. Plus, the latest Confederations Cup news and all you need to know about Mauricio Pellegrino

On today’s Football Weekly, AC Jimbo is joined by Simon Burnton, James Horncastle and Nick Miller to talk about the hottest happenings on Planet Soccerball.

First up, we hear from Rafa Honigstein about England’s chances against the Germans in the U-21 European Championship semi-final. Will this be revenge on Stefan Kuntz and his charges for Euro 96?

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Confederations Cup: Germany reach semi-final after video replay confusion

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 19:19:25 GMT2017-06-25T19:19:25Z

The world champions, Germany, reached the Confederations Cup semi-final on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over a Cameroon side reduced to 10 men after further confusion with experimental video replays.

Germany were leading through Kerem Demirbay’s strike when a case of mistaken identity halfway through the second half – which replays were meant to eradicate – left Cameroon bemused and irritated.

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Martín Rodríguez’s equaliser against Australia takes Chile to semi-finals

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 17:29:40 GMT2017-06-25T17:29:40Z

• Chile 1-1 Australia (Rodríguez 67; Troisi 42)
• Socceroos exit as Chile line up last-four Confederations Cup tie with Portugal

The line between genius and insanity can be wafer thin. When the Socceroos coach, Ange Postecoglou, made six changes to his starting line-up to face the South American champions, Chile, many critics thought he was deluded. The embattled manager left two of his best attacking players – Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic – on the bench, for an encounter Australia needed to win by two goals to qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup semi-finals.

On a warm Moscow evening Postecoglou’s surprising team selection proved inspired. Australia played with vigour and dynamism, matching and at times even outplaying a Chilean side 44 places above them in the Fifa rankings. Following two insipid performances in recent days the Socceroos were outstanding on Sunday.

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Russia’s entire 2014 World Cup squad face Fifa doping investigation

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 22:11:43 GMT2017-06-24T22:11:43Z

• Investigators deem all 23 players in Russia’s 2014 squad ‘people of interest’
• 34 Russian footballers in total are among 1,000 individuals being looked into

Russia is at the centre of another doping scandal after it emerged the country’s entire 23-man squad from the 2014 World Cup is being investigated by Fifa over possible drugs offences. Russia is currently hosting the Confederations Cup and in under a year will stage the World Cup but these allegations are likely to throw its suitability to stage such events into serious doubt.

The 23-man squad, who were knocked out in the group stages of the Brazil World Cup three years ago, are among 34 Russian footballers being investigated by football’s world governing body. Five of the 23 players tested in 2014 are members of the squad that was knocked out of the Confederations Cup on Saturday.

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West Bromwich Albion ‘very keen’ to trial safe standing in Premier League

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 13:01:16 GMT2017-06-24T13:01:16Z

• West Brom director Mark Miles impressed by rail seating on trip to Celtic Park
• ‘Our position remains that we would be very keen to be involved in a pilot’

West Bromwich Albion have responded positively to the Premier League’s letter asking the 20 teams about their interest in re-introducing standing sections in stadiums on a trial basis.

English clubs are legally required to have all-seater stadiums since the 1990 Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster recommended the change but the league’s governing body is keen on re-opening discussions about the matter.

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Watford sign England U-21s’ Will Hughes from Derby on five-year deal

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 17:25:46 GMT2017-06-24T17:25:46Z

• Hughes signs for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £8m
• The 22-year-old is at the European Under-21 Championship

Watford have announced the signing of the England Under-21 midfielder Will Hughes from Derby County for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £8m. The 22-year-old, currently in Poland for the European Under-21 Championship, has signed a five-year deal at Vicarage Road.

Related: Arsenal hopeful of landing Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette with record £44m bid

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Hirving Lozano seals Mexico win to send Russia out of Confederations Cup

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 18:57:32 GMT2017-06-24T18:57:32Z

• Mexico into semis after hosts Russia throw away lead to lose 2-1
• Portugal beat New Zealand 4-0 to earn semi-final spot

Russia fought valiantly in Kazan but the hosts could not avoid early elimination from the Confederations Cup, losing 2-1 to Mexico, who join the Group A winners, Portugal, in the semi-finals after the European champions beat New Zealand 4-0 in St Petersburg.

Needing a win to advance from their difficult group, Russia played well and took the lead with a goal by Alexander Samedov in the first half, but the experienced Mexico side equalised with Néstor Araujo before half-time and secured the victory early in the second half with a goal by Hirving Lozano after a blunder by the goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

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The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian's sport coverage

Mon, 15 May 2017 11:00:43 GMT2017-05-15T11:00:43Z

With the best of our sports journalism from the past seven days and a heads-up on the weekend’s action, you won’t miss a thing

Let our team of editors be your guide to the best of the Guardian’s award-winning sport coverage from the past week. We’ll email you the stand-out features and interviews, insightful analysis and highlights from the archive, plus films, podcasts, galleries and more – all arriving in your inbox at 12pm every Friday. And we’ll tee you up for the weekend and let you know our live coverage plans so you won’t miss a thing.

Sign up below to start receiving our weekly email – you can see the most recent edition here.

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Chelsea's title, Hull go down and the revival of Dirk Kuyt – Football Weekly

Mon, 15 May 2017 15:11:56 GMT2017-05-15T15:11:56Z

The podders reflect on the results that tied up the top and bottom of the Premier League. Plus, news of Feyenoord, Forest Green Rovers and our final ever debate about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Subscribe and review: iTunes, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast & Stitcher. And join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter

On today’s Football Weekly, AC Jimbo is joined by Barney Ronay, Iain Macintosh and Sasha Goryunov to congratulate Chelsea on successfully swaggering their way to the Premier League title, and to wave goodbye to Hull whose plucky battle against relegation wasn’t quite as plucky as that of plucky Swansea or Crystal Palace.

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Frank de Boer arrives at Crystal Palace with proven vision to pull off grand plan

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 15:30:03 GMT2017-06-26T15:30:03Z

New manager is expected to develop young talent and keep the club in the Premier League. The Dutchman’s time at Ajax shows he is capable of both

Rewind to the 1998 World Cup and Dennis Bergkamp’s winning goal for Holland against Argentina at Marseille’s Stade Vélodrome. It is a moment of breathtaking skill that has been much replayed but often lost in the telling is the pass that made it happen. It came from the boot of Frank de Boer as he edged towards the halfway line and, as well as displaying great range, highlighted a quality Crystal Palace are banking on the Dutchman bringing to the club, having appointed him as their latest manager: vision.

Confirmed as Sam Allardyce’s successor at Selhurst Park on a three-year deal, De Boer’s principal task is keeping Palace in the Premier League. However, the decision of the club’s chairman, Steve Parish, and the American major shareholders, David Blitzer and Josh Harris, to opt for De Boer over, say, Mauricio Pellegrino and Sean Dyche, is also based on a long-term strategy of developing young talent and integrating it successfully into the first team, allowing Palace to become less reliant on big-money signings and quick-fix loan deals, as has been their way in recent years. In that regard De Boer fits the bill perfectly.

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What happens to football managers who fall off the merry-go-round?

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 08:01:29 GMT2017-06-26T08:01:29Z

A few lucky managers always seem to have work but 70% of bosses aren’t given another opportunity after they lose their first job. What do they do next?

By Sean Cole for The Set Pieces, part of the Guardian Sport Network

It can appear as though some managers, no matter how mediocre their records, are never out of work. For all the endless churn in the volatile and highly pressurised industry of professional football, a few seem to skip from one employer to another without any discernible success. But the reality for most managers is rather different. According to figures from the League Managers Association, 70% of first-time managers are not given another opportunity after they lose their jobs. It can be sink or swim, with no second chances.

Kevin Dillon is someone who has struggled to return to a first-team role. The 57-year-old was a spiky and confrontational player for Birmingham City, Portsmouth and Newcastle United, among others, before he went back to Reading, his final Football League club, to take up a coaching position in their academy. He progressed through the ranks to become assistant to Alan Pardew and, via a handful of games as caretaker manager, Steve Coppell.

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Stefan Kuntz hopes to put England on the spot again in Germany semi-final

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 21:30:42 GMT2017-06-25T21:30:42Z

The hero of Germany’s Euro 96 semi-final win prepares his nation’s under-21s for another showdown with their old rivals in the European Under-21 Championship

Stefan Kuntz has good reason to look forward to another semi-final against England. A day short of 21 years since he scored the equaliser and then converted the fifth penalty for Berti Vogts’s side in the Euro 96 shootout, the former striker will lead Germany into the European Under-21 Championship showdown with Aidy Boothroyd’s team on Tuesday night.

Perhaps understandably, Kuntz became something of a folk hero in England and in his homeland after his exploits at Wembley, with the reprisal of David Baddiel and Frank Skinner’s tournament anthem Three Lions before the World Cup two years later featuring the two comedians playing against a team of Germans all wearing shirts bearing his name.

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Aidy Boothroyd shakes off Hoofroyd taunts to find England vindication | Barney Ronay

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 17:12:34 GMT2017-06-25T17:12:34Z

Boothroyd has proved his critics wrong and crafted an effective England Under-21 team preparing for a European Championship semi-final with Germany

There is a good Aidy Boothroyd story in Living On The Volcano, Michael Calvin’s book about the febrile world of Football League management. With half-time approaching Boothroyd takes his Colchester United assistant Joe Dunne to one side. Dunne, Boothroyd explains, should make sure he is not standing near the tactics board during the break. Boothroyd has been thinking about it; he is planning to kick the tactics board across the room as he walks through the door in an explosion of spontaneous rage. He has already put the board in a specific position just for that purpose. “Sure enough, he did,” Dunne says. “It helped him get a point across.”

Boothroyd puts great store in moments of catharsis and inspiration. There was another, more vital one of these at half‑time against Slovakia in Kielce last week, with England’s Under-21s smoking and juddering on the launchpad and in danger of failing to get off the ground at all in this Uefa Championship.

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Rachel Yankey: ‘There aren’t enough female managers. Barriers need to be broken down’

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 14:22:00 GMT2017-06-25T14:22:00Z

One of the most decorated players in women’s football is at the forefront of a campaign to deliver more Uefa-qualified female coaches and believes they would bring different qualities to the job

Would Rachel Yankey like to become the first female manager in the Premier League? “Look, it’s not an ambition of mine. It’s not as if I sit there and think ‘that’s what I want to do’. If I was good enough to go in there and get a job … but right now, I’m nowhere near good enough.” So that’s not a no, then.

Related: 'Women’s football needs to stand on its own' - readers on the FA's new plans

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Mauricio Pellegrino, the complete coach who hates losing and frets when he wins | Sid Lowe

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 11:00:00 GMT2017-06-24T11:00:00Z

Southampton’s new manager, highly regarded for his man-management and tactical nous, obsesses about the damage victory can inflict on players’ hunger

There were around 40 people on the coaching course Mauricio Pellegrino took when he was a player at Valencia in 1999 and he wanted to know what it was that moved them to be there, so he did something he has done ever since football took him from his home in the Argentinian pampas: he asked and he listened. There were all sorts of reasons but surprisingly few matched his. For some, it was just something to do. For others, it was about money, just a job. Not for Pellegrino. He asked a friend there whether he would take it if a tiny third division club came for him. “No,” he said. “Coaching’s not your vocation, then,” Pellegrino replied.

It is Pellegrino’s. “Had it not been for football I would never have left home,” he once said. He was a little introverted, at least to start with, and one former team-mate says football is his life while he told a player who worked under him that through football he found a way to express himself. Especially through coaching, his calling. He has emerged and evolved over the years but even as a player he was a manager. Louis van Gaal once said: “He’ll make a great coach.” Although Pellegrino was not pleased, joking that meant the Dutchman did not think he was much of a centre-back, Van Gaal is not a man given to handing out compliments and he knew he was right.

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Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos revolution delivers mixed results in Russia | Kieran Pender

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 02:06:27 GMT2017-06-27T02:06:27Z

By the coach’s own admission, Australia fell short at the Confederations Cup and much of his legacy will now depend on their next two World Cup qualifiers

Ange Postecoglou wants to revolutionise Australian football. He has said so repeatedly during his four-year reign at the helm of the national team, and his players are quick to repeat this mantra at every opportunity. The 51-year-old aspires to create a Socceroos side that favours passing over pragmatism, creative attack over aerial bombardment.

It is fitting, then, that the first true test of Postecoglou’s football revolution came at the Fifa Confederations Cup in Russia. 100 years after a series of political revolts across this vast country changed the course of human history, the Australians arrived in Sochi intending to show the fruits of their own rebellion.

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Why Houston Dynamo v FC Dallas is becoming MLS's most vital rivalry

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 11:36:40 GMT2017-06-26T11:36:40Z

It may lack the glitz of the New York derby or the grudge match in the Pacific north-west but the Texas clubs are producing fine play on the field

The rivalry between the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas lacks the pageantry of, say, the Sounders-Timbers feud up in the Pacific north-west. Though an official attendance of 22,115 showed up for Friday night’s showdown at BBVA Compass Stadium – Houston’s first announced sellout since July 2015 – the atmosphere was still somewhat short of raucous, and a sprinkling of bright-orange empty seats stood out from the crowd.

Houston-Dallas lacks the big city sparkle of the New York City FC-Red Bulls games, and the historical weight of matches pitting Toronto against Montreal. What the Texas Derby lacks in grandeur, however, it currently makes up for in on-field quality and stakes – a case can be made that, right now, it is the most compelling rivalry in all of Major League Soccer.

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The Swedish Cup where little teams win big thanks to bonus penalties | Laurie Bell

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 10:00:05 GMT2017-06-24T10:00:05Z

Bonkers it may be but Orebro County’s quirky competition is a joy to play in and offers food for thought in an era when inequality defines top-level football

One day during my debut season playing for the Swedish fourth-tier club Karlslunds IF HFK, I was left baffled by a set of footballing circumstances I had never encountered. This sporting riddle was indigenous to Orebro County – a relatively well-populated region nestled into Scandinavia’s forested heartland. There’s a proud football tradition out here. But on this day, after this match, in this competition, I felt like I’d stumbled into another sporting universe. The riddle went something like this: a referee blows his whistle to signal half-time with the away team, my Karlslunds, two-nil up. The opening 45 minutes’ only goalscorers are my team-mates Nabil Osman and Carl Grundel. Yet when the second half kicks off, eighth-tier Hidingsta are back in the game and the scoreboard reads 2-2. How?

Related: Football rule-makers to consider reducing games to 60 minutes

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Shades of Zlatan: Patrik Schick’s £26m Juventus move caps a meteoric rise

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 15:53:52 GMT2017-06-22T15:53:52Z

The Czech Republic striker, who has been likened to Ibrahimovic, has flown on Juve’s jet from the Under-21 Euros to seal a transfer from Sampdoria

“Right now, Patrik doesn’t have the muscles, but you can just imagine him in two or three years,” enthused the 2003 Ballon d’Or winner Pavel Nedved this month. “He reminds me of Zlatan Ibrahimovic because he was like that when he came to Juve. He didn’t have the muscles either.”

As meteoric rises go, it is hard to beat the story of Patrik Schick. The 21-year-old Czech Republic forward was having a medical on Thursday to seal a €30m (£26.4m) transfer from Sampdoria to Nedved’s former club Juventus. Thirteen months ago he had just returned to Sparta Prague from a loan spell at Bohemians – the third-best-supported team in the Czech capital and the club where the 1976 European Championship-winning hero Antonin Panenka is the honorary president.

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Spain Under-21s reap benefit of experience England can only dream of

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:06:32 GMT2017-06-21T16:06:32Z

La Liga clubs seem to find room for their young players to actually play and the advantages look clear given the strength of the Spanish squad at the European Under-21 Championship

Iñaki Williams knew he did not have long to make his mark. He had lost his place in Spain’s starting lineup to Málaga’s Sandro Ramírez just before the tournament but, with 15 minutes to play and Spain leading Portugal 2-0 in their group game at the European Under-21 Championship, the striker was handed his opportunity by Albert Celades.

Within seconds, a brilliant volley from the new RB Leipzig signing Bruma had reduced the deficit to set up a frantic finale between the Iberian rivals in Gdynia on Tuesday. Both sides had their chances but a supreme illustration of pace, power and skill from Williams, the boy from the Basque country with a Ghanaian father and Liberian mother, settled the argument as Spain became the first team to reach the semi-finals with a 3-1 victory.

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Corentin Tolisso: the €41.5m player who broke Bayern Munich's transfer record | Eric Devin

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 09:03:05 GMT2017-06-21T09:03:05Z

The 22-year-old midfielder has given up the comfort of Lyon, his boyhood club, to become the most expensive import in the history of the Bundesliga

By Eric Devin for Get French Football News, of the Guardian Sport Network

It was no secret that Corentin Tolisso would leave Lyon this summer but his destination has raised eyebrows. The young midfielder had been pursued by Napoli in previous windows and was linked with Juventus but, rather than becoming the heir to Claudio Marchisio and Sami Khedira in Turin, Tolisso is on his way to Bayern Munich on 1 July.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said the “young and interesting player” was “Carlo Ancelotti’s wish for our midfield”. With Arturo Vidal, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry all in their 30s, and Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso enjoying their first few weeks of retirement, Tolisso looks like a good bet to rejuvenate the club’s fortunes in midfield. The €41.5m fee makes him the most expensive player in Bundesliga history, with Bayern now responsible for the league’s top five fees. Tolisso tops that list above Javi Martínez (€40m), Mats Hummels (€38m), Mario Götze (€37m) and Vidal (€37m).

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David Squires on ... the Socceroos at the Confederations Cup

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:00:17 GMT2017-06-21T20:00:17Z

Our resident cartoonist has been following the start of the tournament in Russia, where an intervention might be necessary after defeat to Germany

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Gianluigi Donnarumma staying calm as Milan transfer tension rises | Ed Aarons

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 18:15:04 GMT2017-06-19T18:15:04Z

Fake bank notes, alleged threats and contrasting narratives form the backdrop as the Italy Under-21 goalkeeper aims to secure a future away from San Siro

“See? I’m always smiling,” said Gianluigi Donnarumma as he was hurriedly ushered through the mixed zone in Krakow after Italy’s 2-0 win against Denmark in the European Under-21 Championship on Sunday night. Despite the brief delay in the first half as stewards scrambled to clear the fake dollar bills accumulated in his goalmouth, it will clearly take more than a few irate supporters to affect the Azzurri’s new golden boy.

Hours earlier Mino Raiola had been holding court in the kitchen of his apartment in Monte Carlo as he sought to explain the decision to snub Milan’s offer of a new contract worth £80,000 a week at the club Donnarumma joined as a 14-year-old. He holds Milan’s new Chinese owners and sporting director, Massimiliano Mirabelli, chiefly to blame.

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Tony DiCicco, World Cup-winning coach with US women's team, dies at 68

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 18:25:32 GMT2017-06-20T18:25:32Z

  • DiCicco also led USA to victory at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta
  • Former players pay tribute to an ‘amazing man’

Tony DiCicco, who led USA to victory at the 1999 Women’s World Cup and the 1996 Olympic Games has died at the age of 68.

“Today we mourn the loss of one of the most influential coaches in US Soccer history,” said the US Soccer president, Sunil Gulati. “Tony’s passion for the game as a coach, administrator and broadcaster was always evident and his relationships with everyone in the soccer community distinguished him as a compassionate and much-loved man. US Soccer will forever be thankful to Tony for his vast contributions to the game and we extend thoughts and condolences to his family and to the many people who were positively impacted by him during what was a remarkable life.”

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David Villa's tireless work in New York an example for MLS's foreign stars

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 11:49:12 GMT2017-06-19T11:49:12Z

The World Cup winner reached 50 goals for NYC FC on Saturday, and he appears dedicated to lifting up both the league and his team-mates

Player quotes within club-sanctioned press releases are notoriously bland. That is especially true when it is a Major League Soccer club rolling out a decorated European veteran.

When New York City FC announced their first-ever signing in 2014, the summer before its inaugural season, David Villa hit on all the familiar clichés.

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Claudio Ranieri has a new job: repeat the Leicester City miracle at Nantes

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:09:45 GMT2017-06-19T12:09:45Z

When Sergio Conceição swapped Nantes for Porto, the French club needed to replace him with a manager with a big aura. They chose the Tinkerman

By Adam White for Get French Football News, of the Guardian Sport Network

“Stupefied” was how Nantes president Waldemar Kita described himself upon learning that his club’s manager, Sergio Conceição, wanted to leave this summer. Kita’s surprise was warranted; Conceição had been at the club for just six months – time enough for him to quietly instigate a revolution – and he had signed a new three-year contract just days before.

Conceição had taken over last December after René Girard’s limp stewardship of the club had come to an end after a 6-0 defeat at home to Lyon. They were second from bottom, facing a relegation scuffle and barely treading water until Conceição took over. He ramped up the intensity in the squad, moulded them into an aggressive, attacking outfit and dragged them to an outstanding seventh-place finish with the air of a parent who was furious to discover his children had been misbehaving at school.

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Aaron Mooy's likely Manchester City exit raises questions in Australia

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 19:00:15 GMT2017-06-18T19:00:15Z

Manchester City will bank what is set to be an Australian record transfer fee as pure profit after they signed the midfielder for nothing from Melbourne City

The City Football Academy in Melbourne’s north is one of the most impressive sporting amenities in Australia. Architecturally, the complex funnels the attention of staff towards the training ground, as a permanent reminder of the site’s purpose. Those pitches use state of the art hybrid grass technology and their most recent occupants included Lionel Messi, with Argentina using the centre as a training base for the recent SuperClàsico. The facility cost its owners, the City Football Group (CFG), $15m. For context, they acquired City’s A-League licence for $11.25m.

On a tour of the centre shortly after it opened I was taken from the reception atrium into the inner sanctum. One of the first things to emerge behind the security doors was the communal lounge where staff and players ate lunch and played video games. In the corner of the room a noisy table tennis contest was taking place. Among the participants was Aaron Mooy.

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Crotone coach Davide Nicola fulfils promise and finishes 1,300km bike ride

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 21:32:38 GMT2017-06-18T21:32:38Z

• Coach makes journey to celebrate his club avoiding relegation
• Also highlights road safety three years after death of his son

Two months ago the Crotone coach, Davide Nicola, with his team looking set for relegation to the Italian second division, promised he would cycle the 1,300km to his home town in Turin if they escaped the drop.

Crotone went on to pull off one of the greatest escapes in Serie A history and on Sunday Nicola fulfilled his promise as he arrived in Turin after nine days of solid pedalling from the southern region of Calabria.

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Milan’s Donnarumma has fake money thrown at him in Under-21 match for Italy

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 20:15:00 GMT2017-06-18T20:15:00Z

• Milan’s sought-after goalkeeper targeted after deciding to leave San Siro
• Notes thrown into Donnarumma’s goalmouth in match against Denmark

The Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma had fake money thrown into his goalmouth during Italy’s European Under-21 Championship win against Denmark on Sunday night.

Related: England Under-21s must beat Slovakia to advance admits Aidy Boothroyd

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The Joy of Six: Confederations Cup moments | Nick Ames

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 08:54:15 GMT2017-06-16T08:54:15Z

From the early King Fahd Cup finals to Brazilian glory, via Tahiti’s moment on the big stage, half a dozen memories from the tournament’s 25 years

The first two iterations of the Confederations Cup were called nothing of the sort. In 1992 the King Fahd Cup, staged in Saudi Arabia and named after the nation’s monarch at the time, appeared inconspicuously in the fixture calendar and took place over six October days in Riyadh. In the first questionably-timed international tournament to be held in the Middle East – a tradition that will continue into the next decade – only four teams were invited to play: USA, Argentina, Ivory Coast and the Saudis squared off in a simple format that began with two semi-finals. Stardust was minimal beyond an Argentina setup that had brought along Claudio Caniggia, Diego Simeone, Fernando Redondo and Gabriel Batistuta.

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It’s the Sids 2017! The complete review of the 2016-17 La Liga season

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 09:50:02 GMT2017-06-16T09:50:02Z

From Real Madrid’s historic double to a bottom three in a league of their own, via explosive managerial cameos and that statue, it’s the annual awards

Luka Modric went to lift the trophy but there was nothing in his hands, just a look on his face that said it all. Beside him, Gareth Bale was giggling. Real Madrid won the league, shouting, embracing and leaping around the pitch at the Rosaleda where they had just defeated Málaga on the final day, but there was something missing. “What do you mean, no trophy?” the Croatian asked Madrid’s press officer. “They’ll hand it out at the start of next season,” came the reply. “So now we celebrate here, we go back to the dressing room, and that’s it.” That’s it?! Modric gave him a look; baffled, Bale did too. And off they ran to join the rest.

They had no idea. How could they? It happens every May, but this was the first time in five years that Madrid had won the league, only the second in eight years – a wait that was too long, which is why they had made it a public priority from the start, and when it finally came the sensation was that something had shifted in Spain; a fortnight later, that feeling deepened. First, rivals Barcelona won the Copa del Rey, Luis Enrique departing with just the one trophy and leaving Ernesto Valverde to step into his place, a big task ahead. In Cardiff, Madrid won again, becoming the first team to retain the Champions League.

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Latest Russia allegations raise big questions for Fifa – and football | Sean Ingle

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 18:13:34 GMT2017-06-25T18:13:34Z

Fifa must deprive Russia from staging next year’s World Cup if possible doping offences by the country’s 2014 World Cup squad are found to be true

Of course there were denials. There are always denials. It is part of the dance, the fast‑paced barynya, when it comes to Russia and doping allegations. No sooner had the Mail on Sunday revealed that the country’s entire 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup was under investigation by Fifa for possible doping offences, than its deputy prime minister, and chairman of 2018 World Cup Russia, Vatily Mutko, put up the shutters. “There have never been and will never be any problems with doping in our football,” he said. “They have written some sort of nonsense.” He was similarly dismissive about allegations about doping in Russian athletics in 2013. So it goes.

This, of course, is the same Mutko that a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation found might have personally intervened to cover up a failed drug test by a banned foreign footballer, which meant the sample was never declared positive and he was free to keep playing. And the same Mutko who was Russia’s sports minister during the period when the Canadian law professor Richard McLaren found that more than 1,000 elite Russian athletes across 30 sports had benefited from a state-sponsored doping programme. Strangely it did not harm his political career. In fact he was promoted.

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The Joy of Six: Diego Maradona

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 09:30:21 GMT2017-06-23T09:30:21Z

From a debut remembered mainly by opponents to the rousing of Napoli and that goal against England, half a dozen moments that sum up El Diego

“A lot of people claim they were there on 20 October 1976 when we played Talleres de Córdoba at home. The truth is, if everyone who says they were there for that match – my debut in the first team – had actually been there it would have had to be played at the Maracanã, not La Paternal” – Diego Maradona in El Diego, his autobiography

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How England's first wave of heavy metal football conquered Europe | Paul Doyle

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 10:30:56 GMT2017-06-20T10:30:56Z

In the 1970s and 1980s, English success on the pitch and on stage was rooted in a bleak landscape where the only escape was to become a footballer or start a band

England in the 1970s and early ’80s was a grim, violent, angry, lean, ambitious, stimulating place. It had hardship and conflict on a scale unknown since the end of World War II. It was the golden-studded age of English punk and heavy metal. It also had football success of a magnitude unseen since: English clubs won the European Cup in seven of the eight years between 1977 and 1984. Now the English Premier League is the richest and most popular in the world, but English clubs’ dominance on the pitch is a thing of the past – like, alas, Lemmy Kilmister’s throbbing bass in Motörhead and Bob Paisley’s understated cunning at Liverpool.

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The Fiver | Having spent the entire weekend soaking in a tub of after-sun

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 15:26:52 GMT2017-06-26T15:26:52Z

In today’s Fiver: Frank de Boer, Mr Senegal and maverick Swedes

The first thing to say about the new manager at Crystal Palace is that Tactics Tim was available. It’s a point The Fiver’s English cousin, $exually Repressed Morris Dancing Fiver, has been making all day, so we consider ourselves well versed on the topic. Poor $exually Repressed Morris Dancing Fiver. It was the last thing he needed. The Fiver hadn’t seen him go this red in the face since he underestimated last week’s heatwave and stepped outside for a couple of seconds without any suncream on.

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Football transfer rumours: Arsenal and Man City to swap Sánchez and Agüero?

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 07:40:04 GMT2017-06-26T07:40:04Z

Today’s fluff isn’t happy with the lack of Solange

Traditionally, odd years are football-less wastelands, long summers of no tournaments to simultaneously keep us entertained and stave off the nothingness that represents the rest of our lives. Time was, we could all sit back and enjoy the company of our loved ones or read a book, or indeed indulge in some light-hearted transfer hoo-ha. This odd year, however, we’ve had the Confederations Cup, the European Under-21 Championship and a couple of other youth tournaments to distract us, and there’s still the Women’s Euros to come too. Thus, with some actual football to watch, the transfer meat-grinder has taken a little longer than usual to crank into life.

But the mincing is in full swing now though, as we first bring you news of our favourite thing-that-sounds-like-it-could-happen-but-never-actually-happens-but-actually-this-one-might-happen-because-it-does-make-a-certain-amount-of-sense, the player swap. And it’s a doozy: the Daily Star reports that Arsenal and Manchester City have put their heads together and come up with a terrific wheeze, namely to simply exchange relentless, goal-hungry, big-thighed strikers. Yes indeed: it’s Alexis Sánchez going one way, and Sergio Agüero going the other. What fun!

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Can you name the top scorer for all 25 Premier League seasons? – quiz

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 11:08:43 GMT2017-06-21T11:08:43Z

Alan Shearer is the league’s top scorer with 260 goals but can you identify the golden boot winners from the last 25 years?Who was top scorer in the 1992-93 season?Dean HoldsworthAlan ShearerLes FerdinandTeddy SheringhamWho was top scorer in the 1993-94 season?Matt Le TissierAlan ShearerIan WrightAndy ColeWho was top scorer in the 1994-95 season?Robbie FowlerAlan ShearerStan CollymoreAndy ColeWho was top scorer in the 1995-96 season?Dwight YorkeLes FerdinandRobbie FowlerAlan ShearerWho was top scorer in the 1996-97 season?Ian WrightAlan ShearerRobbie FowlerDennis BergkampWho were the joint top scorers in the 1997-98 season?Dennis Bergkamp, Michael Owen and Alan ShearerDion Dublin, Michael Owen and Chris SuttonJimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Dion Dublin and Michael OwenChris Sutton, Dennis Bergkamp and Alan ShearerWho were the joint top scorers in the 1998-99 season?Dwight Yorke, Michael Owen and Jimmy Floyd HasselbainkNicolas Anelka, Matt Le Tissier and Kevin CampbellAndy Cole, Robbie Fowler and Dion DublinJulian Joachim, Hamilton Ricard and Alan ShearerWho was top scorer in the 1999-00 season?Alan ShearerThierry HenryAndy ColeKevin PhillipsWho was top scorer in the 2000-01 season?Mark VidukaThierry HenryMichael OwenJimmy Floyd HasselbainkWho was top scorer in the 2001-02 season?Ruud van NistelrooyAlan ShearerMichael OwenThierry HenryWho was top scorer in the 2002-03 season?James BeattieThierry HenryMark VidukaRuud van NistelrooyWho was top scorer in the 2003-04 season?Ruud van NistelrooyThierry HenryLouis SahaNicolas AnelkaWho was top scorer in the 2004-05 season?Thierry HenryJermain DefoeAndy JohnsonJimmy Floyd HasselbainkWho was top scorer in the 2005-06 season?Thierry HenryRuud van NistelrooyDarren BentWayne RooneyWho was top scorer in the 2006-07 season?Benni McCarthyDidier DrogbaWayne RooneyCristiano RonaldoWho was top scorer in the 2007-08 season?Emmanuel AdebayorFernando TorresCristiano RonaldoCarlos TevezWho was top scorer in the 2008-09 season?Nicolas AnelkaCristiano RonaldoFernando TorresRobinhoWho was top scorer in the 2009-10 season?Didier Drogba Wayne RooneyCarlos TevezFrank LampardWhich players were joint top scorers in the 2010-11 season?Carlos Tevez and Robin van Persie Robin van Persie and Darren BentCarlos Tevez and Dimitar BerbatovDidier Drogba and Darren BentWho was the top scorer in the 2011-12 season?Sergio AgüeroWayne RooneyClint DempseyRobin van PersieWho was top scorer in the 2012-13 season?Robin van PersieLuis SuárezGareth BaleChristian BentekeWho was top scorer in the 2013-14 season?Sergio AgüeroWayne RooneyLuis SuárezDaniel SturridgeWho was top scorer in the 2014-15 season?Sergio AgüeroDiego CostaHarry KaneWayne RooneyWho was top scorer in the 2015-16 season?Romelu LukakuSergio AgüeroHarry KaneJamie VardyW[...]


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Japanese team skipping, Parma's return and the Lions in New Zealand | Classic YouTube

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:15:00 GMT2017-06-22T09:15:00Z

This week’s roundup also features a perpendicular putt, purple umbrellas and mountain bike legend Rachel Atherton going through the pain barrier

1) The wait is almost over; the first Lions test against the All Blacks kicks off this Saturday. The last New Zealand tour back in 2005 was a painful one, not least for Brian O’Driscoll, whose tour was ended by an infamous tackle in the opening seconds of the first Test, which ended in a 21-3 defeat. The second Test was even worse, Dan Carter inspiring a 48-18 thrashing in one of the all-time great No10 displays, before the tourists’ misery was completed in the third fixture at Eden Park. Lions fans looking for a little cheer might enjoy England’s women winning in New Zealand this weekend, these five classic Lions moments, or two Lions tries against the All Blacks from the vault: Rory Underwood in 1993 and JJ Williams back in 1977.

2) It’s Queen’s this week, Wimbledon’s fancy cousin, a tournament which takes an awful lot of work and coordination to get ready. There have been some wonderful moments for Andy Murray in recent years – here he is winning last year’s event, having to come from behind against Milos Raonic to claim his fifth title. The lowest point of recent times came in 2012 when David Nalbandian inadvertently injured a line judge, getting himself disqualified and handing the title to Marin Cilic. Queen’s Club has hosted tennis for 130 years, including a Davis Cup tie in 1930 and a memorable women’s tournament one year later.

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Which football teams have played the most consecutive 0-0 draws? | The Knowledge

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 09:00:26 GMT2017-06-21T09:00:26Z

Plus: the last player to buy a pub, more solitary hat-tricks and relegated top scorers. Send questions and answers to knowledge@theguardian.com or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

After Lahti's fourth consecutive 0-0 draw last night, does anyone know of a similar run? #Veikkausliiga @TheKnowledge_GU

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The forgotten story of ... pushball, a game for giants that bewitched Britain

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:00:01 GMT2017-06-01T08:00:01Z

A monster ball, human skittles and ‘clever’ horses featured in a punishing game that captivated the King and bamboozled his subjects in the early 1900s

A search of the patents registered in the second half of the 19th century by Moses G Crane of Massachusetts reveals a man who was never short of ideas. There is an egg-beater, an ice-cream freezer, a method of making pliers, a restyled bicycle, an electro-mechanical gong and a gun-barrel scraper. There are also several versions of and adjustments to his most lasting contribution to society, the fire alarm, the success of which provided him with enough money to pursue one of his more far-fetched flights of fancy.

Related: The forgotten story of ... Carlos Kaiser, football's greatest conman | Rob Smyth

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The legacy of George Best - Football Weekly Meets Dan Gordon

Fri, 26 May 2017 09:55:40 GMT2017-05-26T09:55:40Z

Iain Macintosh speaks to filmmaker Dan Gordon about his documentary George Best: All By Himself, which charts the career of the Manchester United legend through his glory years on the field and the addictions off it that ultimately killed him

On this edition of our Football Weekly Meets interview series, Iain Macintosh speaks to filmmaker (and long-suffering Sheffield Wednesday fan) Dan Gordon about his documentary chronicling the life and death of George Best.

The film celebrates Best’s footballing legacy but is far from a hagiography and doesn’t shy away from the darker aspects of the Manchester United legend’s life: womanising, absent parenting, domestic violence and alcoholism.

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Mohamed Salah: I joined Liverpool to win trophies – video

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 11:59:55 GMT2017-06-23T11:59:55Z

Liverpool’s latest signing, Mohamed Salah, says he joined the Anfield club to win silverware. The Reds completed the deal for the Egyptian from Roma on Thursday for a club record fee of £36.9m. That figure could rise to £43.9m with add-ons according to the Italian club. Salah impressed with 29 goals in 65 Serie A appearances whilst in Rome

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Could Cristiano Ronaldo really be about to leave Real Madrid? – video report

Sat, 17 Jun 2017 13:26:36 GMT2017-06-17T13:26:36Z

The Portugal forward says he wants to leave Real Madrid and move away from Spain, according to reports which emerged on Friday. The striker is said to be ‘outraged’ with how he has been treated by Spanish authorities following allegations of tax evasion and is seeking to leave Madrid. Will Ronaldo up sticks and find a new club this summer? Only time will tell

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Charlton drawn twice in farcical EFL Cup draw – video

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 14:31:39 GMT2017-06-16T14:31:39Z

The draw for the first round of the Carabao Cup didn’t go as planned on Friday as Charlton Athletic were drawn out twice. Firstly, the Addicks were handed a trip to Exeter before then also apparently being drawn at home to Cheltenham. Audio problems also marred the broadcast of the draw on social media

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Delays, corruption and cheap labour: the budget-smashing World Cup stadium – video

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 16:48:17 GMT2017-06-15T16:48:17Z

The Saint Petersburg Stadium has been delayed so much that the architect who designed it has been dead for almost a decade, has had its budget expanded to at least four times its original estimate and Fifa found evidence of North Korean labour on the project, which they only revealed after the FAs of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland wrote to football’s governing body about the potential human rights violations

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How football is adapting to the demands of the digital world – video

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 11:01:14 GMT2017-06-14T11:01:14Z

From AFC Wimbledon to Manchester City via Hashtag United, Tom Jenkins explores the changing face of football and asks how the world’s most popular sport is adapting in the digital age. The second film in our Sport 2.0 series sees the real and virtual sporting worlds getting more and more entwined

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Manchester United confirm signing of Victor Lindelof from Benfica – video

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 08:48:09 GMT2017-06-15T08:48:09Z

Manchester United have signed Swedish defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica, the club confirmed on Wednesday. 22-year-old Lindelof is José Mourinho’s first signing of summer and makes the move to Old Trafford for a reported fee of £31m. He made 32 league appearances in 2016-17 as Benfica won the Portuguese title

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England win the Under-20 World Cup with a 1-0 win over Venezuela – video

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 14:28:11 GMT2017-06-11T14:28:11Z

England became world Champions for the first time since 1966 when their Under–20 side beat Venezuela 1-0 in a frantic World Cup final in South Korea. Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin gave England the lead in the first half before Freddie Woodman produced an impressive save to deny Adalberto Peñaranda from the penalty spot in the 74th minute. Calvert-Lewin is only the third England player to score in a World Cup final

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Chile 1-1 Australia: Confederations Cup – as it happened

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 17:08:25 GMT2017-06-25T17:08:25Z

Martín Rodríguez struck a second-half equaliser after James Troisi opened the scoring in Moscow as Chile secured passage to the last four

Read Kieran Pender’s match report from Moscow right here:

Related: Martín Rodríguez strikes equaliser against Australia to take Chile to semis

This was a game played at scintillating pace, and in large parts was bossed by the underdog, Australia. In the end, 1-1 felt a fair reflection on both sides, but after doing so much of the leg work to establish a well-earned advantage, it’s hard not to contemplate the notion that Australia just missed a chance to notch a famous win.

It feels a little cheap to say that, though - to want more after your expectations had already been exceeded, so it’s worth pointing out that Australia really did excel today. In what was surely their best performance in the last twelve months, did we start to see a little of Postecoglou’s approach bear fruit today? Channelling the zeal of captain Tim Cahill in his 100th appearance, Australia regularly split open the Chilean midfield and defence through Irvine and Luongo’s industry and Troisi’s creativity. The latter in particular was very dangerous throughout the match, and this must have been one of his best games in a Socceroos shirt. Like a number of his team mates he does retain the capacity to be a little wasteful, but today he regularly created opportunities for those in front of him and of course finished his goal with aplomb.

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Paul Simpson on top of the world and tips England Under-21s for glory

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 21:30:11 GMT2017-06-24T21:30:11Z

The man who masterminded England’s Under-20 World Cup triumph is backing Aidy Boothroyd’s side to go all the way in the European Championship

It is fair to say that this has been a month Paul Simpson will never forget. Born in Carlisle four days before England’s only previous World Cup victory, the former Manchester City winger found himself on the managerial scrapheap six years ago when he was turned down by his old club for a role coaching their under-14 academy side. How times have changed.

Fresh from leading the England Under-20s to World Cup glory in South Korea, the 50-year-old found himself in the BBC radio commentary box in Kielce on Thursday watching Aidy Boothroyd’s under-21s book their place in the semi‑finals of Europe’s most prestigious youth tournament. “I applied for it but they obviously didn’t think I was right for it,” says Simpson of his rejection by City.

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England to face Germany in semi after Federico Bernardeschi strikes for Italy

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 21:25:39 GMT2017-06-24T21:25:39Z

• Italy Under-21 1-0 Germany Under-21
• Bernardeschi scores only goal, with Italy to face Spain in other semi-final

England will face their old foes Germany in the semi-finals of the European Under-21 Championship after a Federico Bernardeschi goal also sent Italy through to the last four.

On a night of head-scratching calculations with only the group winners and best runners-up guaranteed to progress, a mistake from the usually reliable Hertha Berlin defender Niklas Stark settled the match and ensured both Czech Republic and Slovakia are heading home having started the night in contention.

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New Zealand 0-4 Portugal: Confederations Cup – as it happened

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 16:51:08 GMT2017-06-24T16:51:08Z

The European champions win Group A and will be joined in the semi-final by Mexico. Russia are going to bed while their guests continue to party in their gaff.

The substitute gets the ball at the edge of the area, wrongfoots Ingham with a stepover and then sweeps a low shot into the net!

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England’s Demarai Gray steps from bench to seize centre stage

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:30:41 GMT2017-06-23T21:30:41Z

After a season on the periphery at Leicester the forward has made an impact for England in the European Under-21 Championship

It seemed Demarai Gray had been waiting to answer the question for some time. Clutching the boots which had just helped England reach the semi-finals of the European Under-21 Championship on Thursday night for the first time in four attempts, the forward who learned his trade in the junior section of Cadbury Athletic – the non-league club in Birmingham’s south-western suburbs, affiliated to the world-famous confectioners, that produced Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge – twiddled his headphones in his hands and thought for a second.

“It is all about opportunities,” he finally replied when asked about the key to his development. “Playing at first-team level is how you progress the best. You learn about the real game. Managers have to trust you and give you a chance. If they do, we will have more English talent coming on show.”

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Arsenal hopeful of landing Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette with record £44m bid

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:18:32 GMT2017-06-23T17:18:32Z

• France striker would become London club’s most expensive signing
• Offer likely to be accepted by Lyon and player is expected to accept move

Arsenal are hopeful of securing the highly rated France striker Alexandre Lacazette after lodging a club record bid worth £44m, a fee likely to prove acceptable to Lyon and spark a flurry of knock-on movement in the transfer market.

A number of teams had registered an interest in Lacazette, who has 11 caps and is contracted to Lyon until 2019 after graduating through their exceptional academy system. The player had initially expressed a desire to join Atlético Madrid, having deemed the time right to further his career by departing Ligue 1, but the Spanish club’s transfer ban, which stands until January 2018, has complicated their pursuit and allowed Arsenal to steal a march on the 26-year-old’s other suitors.

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Celtic forgo tickets for Linfield match in Belfast amid safety fears

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:34:30 GMT2017-06-23T16:34:30Z

• Clubs on course to meet in Champions League qualifier in July
• Celtic will not make away tickets available to their fans

Celtic will not take up their ticket allocation for next month’s possible Champions League qualifier at Linfield.

Uefa confirmed the first-leg tie in Belfast will take place on Friday 14 July should the Northern Irish champions make it past the San Marino club La Fiorita.

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Southampton appoint former Liverpool coach Mauricio Pellegrino as manager

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:53:14 GMT2017-06-23T15:53:14Z

• Pellegrino left Alavés in May after reaching the Copa del Rey final
• Argentinian coached at Liverpool under Rafael Benítez

Mauricio Pellegrino has expressed his excitement after being appointed Southampton’s new manager and the Argentinian is confident his way of working will help the club be successful.

Pellegrino has signed a three-year contract at St Mary’s having been confirmed as Claude Puel’s successor on Friday. Puel was sacked after guiding Southampton to the EFL Cup final and eighth in the Premier League. Pellegrino chose to leave Alavés in May after a campaign with similarities to Southampton’s: he led the Spanish club to the Copa del Rey final and ninth place in his only season.

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Liverpool, Leyton Orient and Love Island dalliances – Football Weekly Extra

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:42:51 GMT2017-06-23T15:42:51Z

The podders discuss Leyton Orient’s latest owner and football’s dalliances with Love Island. Obviously. Plus all the latest transfer news, including Liverpool splashing the cash on Mohammed Salah

Your post-season bonus pods continue with this special Friday edition of Football Weekly Extra, as AC Jimbo, Barry Glendenning, James Horncastle and Simon Burnton round up all the oodles and oodles of football news from the past, er, four days.

We riff on the success of the England U-21s in Poland, hear from Nick Ames about his experiences at the Confederations Cup in Russia, and get stuck into the real tasty business – Liverpool signing Mo Salah from Roma for a club record fee, and Dunkin’ Donuts getting a piece of Leyton Orient.

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The Fiver | Twitching at the sight of interaction between Mignolet and Lovren

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:51:13 GMT2017-06-23T14:51:13Z

In today’s Fiver: Mohamed Salah, tractors and the power of Fiver letters

Liverpool have officially completed the signing of Egyptian wonder-winger Mohamed Salah from Roma. Both clubs have confirmed that the deal has been done. So has the player himself. Photographic evidence has been supplied to give the whole caper an air of finality. Excited quotes from all parties have been passed around like hot blather about Virgil van Dijk’s sporting proclivities. But don’t go picking Salah for your fantasy teams just yet, that’s The Fiver’s advice. Because anyone who has even flicked through the recently published 53,761-page collection of Liverpool’s Amazing Transfer Market Misadventures (Volume I) knows there is still plenty of time for this deal to go the way of Wile E Coyote’s most cunning wheezes.

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How the Premier League became a dream destination for young Brazilians

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:27:05 GMT2017-06-23T13:27:05Z

Brazilian players once set their targets on Italy or Spain, but England has caught up thanks to satellite TV, video games and a string of high-profile signings

By Tom Sanderson for These Football Times, of the Guardian Sport Network

Para inglês ver,” is a phrase that is used a lot in Brazil. Its roots go back to the early 19th century, when the British government was pushing Brazil to stop using slaves. Treaties were drawn up and signed, which kept the British happy, but coffee production was exploding and slaves kept profits up for decades to come. The law was just for show, “just for the English to see.” Not so long ago young Brazilian footballers who dreamed of life-changing moves across the Atlantic played to impress Spanish and Italian eyes but, thanks to the rise in popularity of the Premier League, they are now increasingly playing for the English to see.

“I want to be City; I want to be Chelsea,” come the enthusiastic cries from a pack of young boys – ball in hand, jumpers for goalposts – as they rush through the forecourt of a public housing building in São Paulo’s second largest favela, Paraisópolis, before receiving a ticking off from a portly porteiro who reminds them of the strict no ball games policy. A few minutes away, on a harsh concrete square adorned by gang graffiti, a group of older boys, some in barefoot and many in Premier League shirts, are playing a one-goal-and-off round robin that will go on until the daylight gives in.

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Loyal Huddersfield fans can watch home Premier League games for £5.26

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:05:28 GMT2017-06-23T13:05:28Z

• Chairman Dean Hoyle honours pledge made in 2010 to 4,000 steadfast fans
• Hoyle promised Huddersfield season card would cost £100 in Premier League

Dean Hoyle has honoured his pledge to enable thousands of Huddersfield Town fans to watch Premier League home games for little more than a fiver a time next season.

The Huddersfield chairman promised in 2010 that fans who had held season cards throughout his tenure as chairman would pay £100 for one if the club reached the Premier League. He took over as chairman in 2009.

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Community Shield proceeds to go to Grenfell Tower fire victims

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:36:15 GMT2017-06-23T12:36:15Z

• Survivors, emergency services and families of victims to attend game
• Arsenal face Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday 6 August

Proceeds from the Community Shield match at Wembley will be donated to those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Football Association hopes to raise around £1.25m for the victims and their families. The number of people to have died, including those classed as missing presumed dead, remains at 79.

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Fifa’s anti-corruption efforts criticised after speedy clearing of Gianni Infantino

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 08:59:20 GMT2017-06-23T08:59:20Z

• María Claudia Rojas cleared president despite only being appointed in May
• Blurring of separation of Fifa and its ethics committee under question

Fifa has been accused of further undermining the credibility of its anti-corruption reforms after it issued a statement reporting that the new chair of its ethics committee had effectively cleared the president, Gianni Infantino, of being under investigation.

Related: Gianni Infantino faced investigation by Fifa ethics committee for alleged malpractice

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Football transfer rumours: Tottenham to bid £17.5m for Schalke's Max Meyer?

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 08:15:57 GMT2017-06-23T08:15:57Z

Today’s fluff can see the sky is blue

Sadly, only one British national newspaper has led this morning with a transfer-gossip story, and even that is more of a repackaging of existing rumour than actual freshly-picked organic gossip. Still, here at the Mill we take what we’re given, which is the Sun’s assertion that Chelsea are “closing in on a £100m double swoop for Juventus stars Leonardo Bonucci and Alex Sandro”, with Antonio Conte “ready to pounce” on £45m-rated Bonucci as well as the Brazilian left-back. Although we read elsewhere that Real Madrid, as they so often do, might come blundering into this happy picture and mess everything up.

Liverpool are still secretly working on a deal to sign Virgil van Dijk, but Sky Italy now insist that Chelsea have submitted a formal offer to Southampton and are very much in the driving seat, though it seems unlikely that even someone as deep-pocketed as Roman Abramovich wants to spend £105m of his soft-earned fortune on two new centre-halves when he already has three perfectly good, title-winning ones (indeed, the Guardian believes Chelsea’s interest is in landing either Bonucci or Van Dijk, but not both). One of Chelsea’s other targets is Monaco’s Tiemoué Bakayoko, for whom they have now agreed a fee of £35.2m, according to the Mail, while they’re going to sell Bertrand Traoré to Lyon for £16m.

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Mohamed Salah may have flopped at Chelsea but he can fly at Liverpool | Jonathan Wilson

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 08:00:19 GMT2017-06-23T08:00:19Z

Jürgen Klopp’s new £36.9m signing struggled with Chelsea but there were mitigating circumstances – he has thrived wherever he has played regularly

All across Europe are scattered forwards who did not quite make it at Chelsea, some more bafflingly than others. There is Marko Marin, signed by Olympiakos last season after four years on Chelsea’s books with only two league starts. There is Patrick Bamford, signed by Middlesbrough in January after five years at Chelsea in which he did not start a single league game. There is Juan Cuadrado, freshly signed by Juventus after three years at Chelsea where he started just three games. It would not be a complete surprise if Chelsea turned out a box room at Stamford Bridge and turned up a Florent Malouda or a John Spencer, players they had bought a while ago and forgotten about.

And now, at Liverpool, there is Mohammed Salah, signed from Roma who bought him last summer after two and a half years at Chelsea in which he started six games. Salah’s time in flux, on loan at Fiorentina and then Roma, seems not to have harmed the winger.

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Alexis Sánchez is Chile’s record scorer after opener in draw with Germany

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:40:57 GMT2017-06-22T22:40:57Z

• Confederations Cup: Germany 1-1 Chile (Stindl 41; Sánchez 6)

Alexis Sánchez became Chile’s all-time leading scorer when he scored an early goal in a 1-1 draw against Germany at the Confederations Cup on Thursday.

Lars Stindl equalised for the world champions just before half-time to leave both teams level at the top of Group B with four points each from their opening two games, although Chile have the better goal difference. Australia and Cameroon have a point apiece after their 1-1 draw earlier on Thursday.

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England sail past Poland to reach European U-21 Championship semis

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:57:02 GMT2017-06-22T20:57:02Z

• England Under-21 3-0 Poland Under-21 (Gray 6, Murphy 69, Baker 82pen)
• England win group to show they are real contenders

England showed they are real contenders to win a second international tournament of the summer after a clinical performance against the hosts booked a place in the semi-finals of the European Under-21 Championship for the first time since 2009.

Goals from Demarai Gray, Jacob Murphy and a late penalty from Lewis Baker capped an excellent display that means Aidy Boothroyd’s side have recovered from a slow start and ended up topping group A with seven points.

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Paolo Maldini courts new love to join grand band of sport switchers | Jacob Steinberg

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:59:25 GMT2017-06-25T08:59:25Z

The legendary Milan and Italy captain will make his professional tennis debut this week after stepping away from football to pursue an unexpected ambition

It was the kind of story that made one do a double take. The Paolo Maldini? The retired footballer? The five-times European champion, former Italy captain and devilishly handsome H&M model? He’s a professional tennis player now? Are you sure? There was a temptation to assume it was nothing more than a joke that had spun out of control. It would have made sense if news had broken about Maldini becoming Milan’s manager. But tennis? At the age of 49?

After all, someone of Maldini’s standing would not have had to wait long for the offers to start rolling in if he had decided to follow in his father’s footsteps by becoming a manager. Yet he has never sounded like a man driven by a desire to enter the cut‑throat world of coaching.

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Sepp Blatter after the fall: ‘Why the hell should I bear all the blame?’

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 05:00:27 GMT2017-06-19T05:00:27Z

David Conn has spent years writing about corruption at Fifa. When he was granted an audience with its deposed president over lunch in Zurich, he found there was more to the man than the arch-villain of popular caricature

In any account of the extraordinary rise and fall into corruption of football’s world governing body, Fifa, since the landmark 1974 election of the Brazilian president João Havelange, Sepp Blatter has to be a central figure. His expulsion at the age of 79 by Fifa’s ethics committee, terminating his fifth stint as president, was as precipitous as a fall can be: from being courted by prime ministers and presidents, to a ban from any activities relating to football.

He is serving that ban still, for the 2m Swiss francs (£1.35m) payment in 2011 to Michel Platini, the former president of European football’s governing body Uefa, which both men claimed was back pay for work at Fifa Platini had concluded nine years earlier.

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Stadiums of the future: a revolution for the fan experience in sport

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 11:00:38 GMT2017-06-15T11:00:38Z

Tottenham’s new stadium will have its own microbrewery, while the Atlanta Falcons’ new home will feature the world’s first 360-degree video wall – what else does the future hold for sports arenas?

With its own dedicated fromagerie, microbrewery and Michelin-calibre restaurant, it might be easy to forget you have come to watch the football when you are reclining in one of the premium lounges of Tottenham Hotspur’s new £750m stadium. The 61,000-seat behemoth will feature the longest bar in the country, heated seats with built-in USB ports, a glass-walled tunnel so you can see the players before the game and even a “sky walk” allowing fans to clamber over the roof of the arena.

“It will be the most technically advanced stadium in the world,” says Christopher Lee, an architect with Populous, the sports and entertainment giant behind the design of the new-look White Hart Lane. “It has to provide a reason for people to get off their sofas and leave their 50-inch flatscreen TVs.”

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