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» Arsenal's Riccardo Calafiori transfer faced with Roma 'legal challenge' amid further delay
Arsenal are pushing to complete a deal for Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori having agreed a fee with the Italian side but there seems to be a significant delay in his arrival
» Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could return to England as Besiktas look to offload wages
Former Liverpool and Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been put on the market by Turkish club Besiktas, who are keen to find a club capable of paying his wages
» Antony's agent lifts lid on Man Utd talks after Erik ten Hag comments
Manchester United winger Antony has been linked with a loan move after struggling last season, but the player's agent has revealed that the Brazilian doesn't want to move
» Man Utd target Matthijs de Ligt gets transfer green light from Bayern Munich president
Matthijs de Ligt continues to be linked with a summer switch to Manchester United - and Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has now seemingly floated the idea of a deal
» Liverpool transfer news: Reds receive Dani Olmo boost as free agent deal rubbished
Liverpool have yet to sign a player under new boss Arne Slot and will soon head away on their pre-season tour of the United States with less than a month until the Premier League returns
» Arsenal transfer news: Riccardo Calafiori fee agreed as second bid made for goalkeeper
Arsenal are close to completing the signing of Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori after finally agreeing a fee for the Italy international, while another goalkeeper is also on the cards
» Man Utd transfer news: Leny Yoro deal triggers club chief fury as Joao Neves bid confirmed
Manchester United have already secured two signings this summer having welcomed Leny Yoro and Joao Neves to Old Trafford while links are also ongoing for Manuel Ugarte, Matthijs de Ligt and Joao Neves
» Lionel Messi has already made feelings clear on £33.5m Tottenham swap deal
Having the backing of a nine-time Ballon d'Or-winner is never a bad thing, and one Tottenham star seemingly on the move this summer boasts that honour ahead of a big-money swap
» Joao Neves transfer: Benfica chief confirms bid as Man Utd offered fresh hope
Benfica wonderkid Joao Neves is wanted by some of Europe's biggest clubs, including Manchester United, but another side have attempted to steal a march by submitting a transfer bid
» Andre Onana delivers Leny Yoro verdict after £52m star's Man Utd bow in Rangers friendly
Leny Yoro made his Manchester United debut against Rangers as the weekend and goalkeeper Andre Onana has no doubts that the Frenchman will be a successful signing for the club
» Enzo Fernandez paraded at ex-club as fans chant offensive France song
Enzo Fernandez is at the centre of a racism storm after the Chelsea ace posted footage of himself and a number of his Argentina team-mates chanting an offensive song about France's black players
» Man Utd told to donate £27m Mason Greenwood transfer fee to women's charities
Mason Greenwood completed a permanent transfer to French giants Marseille on Thursday and Manchester United have been urged to donate the funds from his sale to charity
» Kevin De Bruyne's Man City exit plan amid fresh Saudi Arabia transfer links
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne continues to be heavily linked with a move to Saudi Arabia, but the Belgium star has previously been tipped to retire at The Etihad
» Jude Bellingham became a scapegoat at Euro 2024 and the real problem lies with England
Jude Bellingham was unable to drag England to glory at Euro 2024, having enjoyed a phenomenal first season at Real Madrid, winning both the La Liga title and the Champions League
» Erik ten Hag confirms Scott McTominay plan after Man Utd reject transfer bids
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has addressed the transfer interest in Scott McTominay after the Red Devils turned down bids for their homegrown midfielder
» Arsenal leave 11 players at home as Mikel Arteta names 26-man pre-season squad
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is without a number of key stars for the Gunners' tour of the United States and faces some injury issues while others rest up following their international exploits
» Phil Foden has told Arsenal they’re getting a dressing room leader as Edu eyes £30m ‘discount’
Arsenal are reportedly exploring a summer transfer swoop for one of England's surprise stars from Euro 2024 that could see Eddie Nketiah head in the opposite direction
» Man Utd make decision on Sofyan Amrabat deal after snubbing transfer clause
Manchester United have been weighing up whether or not to sign Sofyan Amrabat permanently after the Fiorentina midfielder spent last season on loan at Old Trafford
» Aston Villa and Tottenham set for swap transfer that will delight Emi Martinez
Aston Villa are reportedly close to agreeing a swap deal with Tottenham that will see Jacob Ramsey move to north London and Giovani Lo Celso touch down in Birmingham
» Arsenal reveal plan for second summer signing with next transfer impacted
Arsenal have completed the signing of Tommy Setford from Ajax - their second goalkeeper of the summer transfer window - but Mikel Arteta still wants to bring in another
» Eddie Howe rejects England, exciting duo sign – Newcastle’s dream month before season
As Eddie Howe prepares for his third full season in charge of Newcastle United, here's what a perfect month could look like for Magpies fans ahead of the big kick-off
» Man Utd target Martin Zubimendi has already made his transfer stance clear
Manchester United are set to continue their push in the transfer market and will prioritise the signing of a defensive midfielder after snapping up Joshua Zirkzee and Leny Yoro
» Man Utd's new kit 'leaked' on official TV channel as club forced to cut away from interview
Manchester United are yet to officially release their third kit for the 2024/25 season, but accidentally showed it to supporters watching their friendly against Rangers on MUTV
» Ex-Liverpool star opens up on £1m gambling debt and how family saved him from addiction
Dominic Matteo progressed through the Liverpool academy and went on to make over 150 appearances for the Reds but his career was blighted by a problematic gambling addiction
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» Flying Without Ings: EFL prepares to enter fun world of fantasy league | Ben Fisher

Championship, League One and League Two players will get moment in the sun thanks to popular online game

Though the new English Football League season does not kick off for almost three weeks with a Friday-night Championship double-header, its fantasy league launches on Monday. Cue punny team names – One Size Fitz Hall, and Ctrl, Alt, De Laet spring to mind – lesser-spotted formations and shrewd, strategic managerial selections. For the first time, Championship, League One and League Two players will get their moment in the sun in a bottomless virtual world as Fantasy EFL embarks on a debut campaign ready to capture the hearts of supporters.

Adebayo Akinfenwa, an EFL icon who surely would have been a popular pick in his heyday, says the Birmingham City goalkeeper and former Wycombe teammate Ryan Allsop, the Leeds winger Crysencio Summerville and Wrexham striker Paul Mullin will be his first picks. “Every year I get put into a WhatsApp group to play in a fantasy league,” says Akinfenwa, revealing an unsurprising team name: Beast Mode. “I think my 14-year-old son and my nephew came first and second in our one last year. They’re methodical when it comes to stats.”

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» Liverpool youth player reports racist abuse in consecutive matches
  • Club abandon matches at youth tournament in Germany
  • Eintracht Frankfurt insist remarks were ‘linguistic issue’

Liverpool have called for an urgent investigation after saying a member of their under-18 team was subjected to racial abuse in two conse­cutive matches during a youth tournament in Germany.

Liverpool players and coaches left the pitch in both fixtures, against Hoffenheim on Friday and ­Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, at the Bundes­liga Cup youth tournament after the same player complained to match officials and coaches that he had been abused. Both matches were abandoned, despite Eintracht’s claim that any remarks were “a linguistic issue”.

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» High-profile pre-season tours are a double-edged sword for women’s game | Suzanne Wrack

Clubs can make money from travelling abroad but there are concerns over the environment and players’ wellbeing

High-profile pre-season tours have become the norm for Premier League clubs. Gone are the days when they would only set up training camps to ready themselves for the new campaign. Now, the summer represents an opportunity for clubs to maximise revenue, reach new audiences outside the saturated European football market and prepare for the new season, all in one go.

Women’s teams embarking on long-distance tours against major international club rivals is a relatively new development. The launch of the Women’s International Champions Cup in 2018 demonstrated the demand for such fixtures, with Lyon, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City travelling to the United States to compete against North Carolina Courage in the mini tournament, which has been held three times since. Clubs have realised there is money to be made and lucrative audiences to reach in the women’s game, too. And things have stepped up a gear this summer. Within days of the final matches of the season, Arsenal went to Australia to play an A-League All Stars team, marking their first time in the country.

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» Erik ten Hag impressed by Leny Yoro’s ‘mature’ Manchester United debut
  • Young centre-back can become a regular, Ten Hag says
  • Manager also hopeful Amad Diallo can seize opportunity

Erik ten Hag praised Leny Yoro’s “mature performance” in his Manchester United debut against ­Rangers at Murrayfield and believes the 18‑year‑old defender can be a regular starter as one of the first‑choice centre-backs.

After joining on Thursday, Yoro, who left Lille for £52.2m, impressed in United’s 2-0 victory in their second pre-season game, playing the first half before Ten Hag changed all 10 outfield players at the break.

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» Eddie Howe seeks right ‘dynamic’ as Newcastle future comes under question

Manager hints his role at St James’ Park is in the balance, saying ‘we’re in the flux of change’

Newcastle’s players have spent part of the past week helping designers at their new kit sponsors, Adidas, test embryonic footwear designs intended to hit the high street in five years. The question of where Eddie Howe may be in five weeks, let alone five months, has provided the backdrop to the time his team have just spent in pre-season training at the sportswear manufacturer’s European HQ near Nuremberg in southern Germany.

Workers on the extensive campus set in idyllic parkland routinely travel between meetings on the bicycles stationed all over the site and Newcastle’s manager has enjoyed whizzing around its vast acreage on two wheels.

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» Enzo Fernández apologises to Chelsea teammates over racist chants
  • Fernández involved in slurs about France team members
  • Player to be fined and sent on racism education course

Enzo Fernández has apologised to his Chelsea teammates in a private message after he was caught on video chanting racist and homophobic slurs about members of the France team.

Fernández, who was signed from Benfica for a British record fee of £106.8m in January 2023, is expected to be fined and sent on a racism ­education course. Chelsea said they had “instigated an internal ­disciplinary ­procedure” against him.

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» Drive to increase diversity of football match officials picks up momentum

BAMREF, which helps give voice to black, Asian and mixed heritage referees, made real breakthroughs last season

For Joel Mannix, witnessing Sam Allison becoming the first black Premier League referee for 15 years when he took charge of Sheffield United against Luton in December was just the start. A founder member of BAMREF – an organisation that seeks to give a voice and support to all officials from black, Asian and mixed heritage communities – Mannix has devoted the past three years to helping others overcome the barriers he faced.

“I knew I would never see the promised land as a referee,” he says. “I was getting bored with the same old negative words from observers. Sometimes, when doors keep closing on you it can get disheartening …”

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» I am a very proud young, BAME, female referee. Why don’t you join me?

Although some players may not approve of my nagging, the overwhelming majority of people at my club are supportive

When you think of a football referee, the words “old white male” probably come to mind – or at least they did for me. Quite frankly, it doesn’t seem like a pleasant job at first glance; you are always the first to be blamed and the last to be praised. However, my experience as a young, black and minority ethnic female referee has been largely positive, and refereeing could be the perfect counter to the phenomenon of young women dropping out of sport.

I always dreamed of a career in football growing up but, as I got older, injuries and, perhaps more accurately, a sheer lack of talent meant that a professional playing career did not materialise. When I was 16, the age that many girls lose interest in playing sports, a few of my teammates were doing the Football Association’s referee course to officiate as a weekend job. For me, the prospect of earning money in a football-related job was far more appealing than working in retail or waitressing, so I soon followed suit.

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» A matured MLS can foster US prodigy Cavan Sullivan where it failed Freddy Adu

The 14-year-old Philadelphian marked for Man City stardom has broken Freddy Adu’s ‘youngest ever’ MLS record, re-igniting age-old debates of how young is too young

The most newsworthy debut of the year in US men’s soccer lasted just eight minutes on a midsummer Wednesday evening in Chester, Pennsylvania. The debutant’s actions consisted largely of pressing the opposition, one loose touch, and an easily saved shot from distance as the game’s last action. He also completed some tidy passes, made intelligent runs, and withstood a physical challenge from an MLS veteran that knocked him to the turf.

As debuts go, it’s a blip on the radar. As debuts for 14-year-olds go, though, it was extraordinary.

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» WSL transfer window: club-by-club guide to who needs what

Vivianne Miedema, Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby have new teams, but what else should we see before 13 September?

Arguably the most pressing matter facing Arsenal at the moment is to sign a goalkeeper, particularly with Canada’s Sabrina D’Angelo having left at the end of her contract and with the American Kaylan Marckese having moved to Tampa Bay Sun on a free transfer. The World Cup-winning forward Mariona Caldentey has been signed from Barcelona to give Arsenal a major boost after Vivianne Miedema’s switch to Manchester City, but it’s understood a goalkeeper should arrive soon.

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» Sexists and misogynists in football exhaust me. But I refuse to let them hold me back | Emma Hayes

In an exclusive extract from her new book, the manager of the US women’s national team relives her final title glory with Chelsea and says she is ready to work in men’s football when the time is right

I know it is a corny old line, but Old Trafford really was the Theatre of Dreams on that rare sunny Saturday in May 2024. I had the luxury of contemplating greatness from the touchline during the game as I looked over the pitch and up, across the stand named in honour of Sir Alex Ferguson, the coach I most admire.

The win over Manchester United, and our fifth successive Women’s Super League title, was secure. Two goals up in eight minutes, four goals ahead at half time, our lead stretched to five two minutes into the second half. I was lost in the moment long before Fran Kirby, Chelsea’s record goalscorer, added a sixth in her final appearance for the club.

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» Men’s transfer window summer 2024; all deals from Europe’s top five leagues

Latest transfers and club-by-club guides for every team in Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A

After financial fair play concerns stifled the January transfer market, what is the outlook for this summer? One club who have already strengthened are Real Madrid. The European champions have signed Kylian Mbappé on a free (but with a €125m signing bonus going to the player), while Brazilian sensation Endrick will join up with Carlo Ancelotti’s side this summer, 18 months after a deal was agreed with Palmeiras.

There have been coaching changes at several European heavyweight clubs already this summer. Vincent Kompany (Bayern Munich), Hansi Flick (Barcelona), Arne Slot (Liverpool), Enzo Maresca (Chelsea), Antonio Conte (Napoli) and Juventus’s incoming new manager, Thiago Motta, will all surely be planning to spend money on reshaping their squads.

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» Women’s transfer window summer 2024: all deals from Europe’s top five leagues

Every deal in the WSL, Liga F, Frauen-Bundesliga, Division 1 Féminine and Serie A Femminile as well as a club-by-club guide

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» New Brighton manager Dario Vidosic happy to talk up WSL title chances
  • Australian says ‘every team should aim to be champion’
  • He credits Ange Postecoglou with helping him get the job

Dario Vidosic said “every team should aim to be champion” at the start of a new season, in his first press conference as Brighton women’s manager.

The former Australia international joins the Seagulls after two seasons as manager of Melbourne City’s ­women’s team and, while he is realistic about where the club are and where they need to go, he wants them to aim for the top.

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» England must not lose Gareth Southgate’s successes in the urge for revolution | Jonathan Wilson

But the three big problems in the team will be hard for anyone to solve without the kind of ball-playing English Rodri the country still isn’t producing

What went wrong? What vital lessons can be learned? How can we make sure England don’t fail again? The postmortems after tournaments are always wearying. So many people have a panacea, an idea of the one detail that will guarantee success. If only we had a deep-lying metronome like Rodri! We’ll never win anything until we control midfield! Unleash this unprecedented generation! Cast caution to the winds! Let the players play! Release the handbrake! Be more like Italy! Be more like France! Be more like Spain!

Gareth Southgate’s greatest strength was his capacity to shut out the noise. A lot of it seems to derive from a basic misunderstanding of football. Being more attacking is a fine sentiment, and perhaps it is true that England could have taken a few more risks with their passing, but the reason England lost against Spain was that after Kyle Walker’s 75th-minute throw-in back to John Stones, which led to Jordan Pickford belting it out for a goal-kick, they didn’t touch the ball in the Spain half for 13 minutes, during which time they conceded. The issue was not what they did with the ball; it was getting the ball back.

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» ‘It wouldn’t happen to the men’: Wakefield AFC women’s team dropped

Players at non-league side said it was obvious club had no intention of supporting and developing the women’s side

Former players and a coach at Wakefield AFC women’s side have spoken out after the club cut training facilities for the team and then disbanded it without prior notice.

Despite the growing popularity of women’s football, especially after England’s Lionesses won the Euros in 2022, many women’s teams still struggle to survive due to a lack of investment and institutional support compared with the men.

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» New recruit Leny Yoro impresses to offer pre-season promise for United

The 18-year-old’s display against Rangers suggests Ten Hag’s rebuild, and Jadon Sancho plan, is well under way

Leny Yoro, 18, a £52.2m signing on Thursday. Jadon Sancho, 24, a £73m signing in 2021 returning from exile. This second Manchester United pre-season warm-up offered an intriguing juxtaposition. It featured Yoro, whose CV shows 46 games for Lille, playing alongside Sancho, whose previous action was for Borussia Dortmund when losing June’s Champions League final to Real Madrid.

Yoro is the latest recruit to the United story, a 6ft 3in defender on whom the club splurged approximately double Real’s reported valuation to win his signature. Wisdom or folly? This was a chance to see, as he debuted alongside Sancho, whose United tale became checkered after he called Erik ten Hag a liar last September.

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» Crystal Palace join Fulham in race for Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe
  • Mikel Arteta wants to keep England attacker
  • Palace’s Marc Guéhi linked with Liverpool

Crystal Palace are vying with Fulham to sign Emile Smith Rowe but Arsenal are expected to reject their offer for the England attacker.

Fulham’s bid worth up to £30m including add-ons was turned down by Arsenal earlier this week and Mikel Arteta is understood to want to keep Smith Rowe despite using him sparingly last season. Palace are believed to be preparing an offer of £35m including bonuses to try to tempt their London rivals into cashing in on the 23-year-old.

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» Marseille sign Mason Greenwood from Manchester United on five-year deal
  • 22-year-old scored 10 goals and assisted six for Getafe
  • Marseille ‘delighted’ with £26.7m signing

Mason Greenwood has completed his transfer to Marseille from Manchester United. The clubs agreed a €31.6m (£26.7m) deal earlier this month, with the Premier League club set to receive a sizeable share of any sell-on for the forward.

Greenwood, who spent last season on loan at Spanish side Getafe, has signed a five-year contract with Marseille.

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» Euro 2024 awards: the Guardian team in Germany give their verdicts

From Georgia beating Portugal to missing out on currywurst, our writers reveal their ups and downs

Austria and Turkey promised high intensity on and off the pitch in their last-16 game. Merih Demiral, later the subject of a Uefa ban, scored within a minute of kick-off and the tempo barely let up. At the very end Turkey’s goalkeeper, Mert Gunok, made one of the best saves you will ever see to deny us extra time amid a tinderbox atmosphere in Leipzig. While Austria had been good, Red Bull fuelled fun, the way Turkey fed off the vibes of their ear-splitting support was a feature of the summer. Nick Ames

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» Comeback kings and queens at major international football tournaments | The Knowledge

Plus: teams wearing their away strip all the time; clubs dominating tournament squads; and did Stuart Pearce’s brother run the line in a Forest game?

“England came from behind to win three knockout games at Euro 2024,” notes Chris Dibsdall. “Are they the first team to do this in a major international tournament?”

Sunday’s Euro 2024 was the irresistible force versus the indestructible object. Eventually Spain broke England, but for a few giddy minutes it looked like England might win Euro 2024 after conceding the first goal in all four knockout matches.

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» How entertaining was Euro 2024? Our readers review the tournament

Georgia, Turkey, Austria and Spain won over a lot of new fans but too many of the favourites flopped

Started so brightly, with a real run of high-scoring matches, but tapered off significantly in the knockout stages. France, Portugal, Belgium and England all arrived with big reps but were criminally negative. It feels very much like an Italia 90 situation, where the tournament will be fondly remembered by England fans, but considered a bit of an anticlimax elsewhere. Only Spain and Germany were consistently brilliant in their attacking verve. Dani Olmo was one of Spain’s best players and I adored the movement and invention of Nico Williams. Georges Mikautadze was a real surprise in a very dynamic Georgia team and I loved the puckish cheekiness and control of Arda Guler for Turkey. I was in Germany for all of 24 hours to see Scotland play Switzerland. Our tournament was woeful from the first minute. Once again Scotland found a way to build up hopes of finally making the knockout stages only to utterly underperform in the tournament itself. Rohan Berry Crickmar

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» David Squires on … England and the sound of silence after Euro 2024

Our cartoonist channels Simon & Garfunkel while looking back on more heartache for the departing Gareth Southgate

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» Erik ten Hag’s needless pre-season rant hints at more Manchester United gloom

Manager’s apparent frustration with coaches and medical team strikes an intriguing tone with the club rebuilding

Feisty, strategic, scattergun, unwitting – Erik ten Hag was definitely disenchanted after Manchester United’s 1-0 loss to Rosenborg on Monday. The manager seemed to take aim at Marcus Rashford, Casemiro, Jonny Evans, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Mason Mount who all played the first half of the pre-season friendly in Trondheim, the 15 academy outfield players deployed throughout, his coaching staff, his medical department plus, inadvertently and clumsily, himself.

“We play pre-season but at Man United the standard is you win games and definitely don’t lose,” the Dutchman told MUTV. “The performance is more important and the performance was below standards. We can make good on everything that was bad, but I am not that guy. As an individual you must make sure you are fit. I know you cannot be match fit, so we need these games. They [young players] are looking to listen and want to transfer that – it didn’t work.”

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» Gareth Southgate’s replacement will benefit from his vision for English football | Kelly Simmons

Former England manager appreciates the struggles young players face in getting meaningful game time

As the dust settled this week on another major tournament and all its repercussions, it’s quite something to reflect that it’s now four major finals in four years for England’s men and women’s teams. But it’s no surprise or coincidence. English football has built a system which is producing world-leading players and teams we can all be very proud of.

The vision to transform English football out of the doldrums came from Howard Wilkinson who has never received the credit he deserves for his Charter for Quality, a blueprint that set out an ambitious plan for a National Football Centre, academies, mini soccer and the raising of standards in children’s football. It was groundbreaking for an organisation that had previously failed to put the football in the Football Association.

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» English women’s football pathway offers encouragement but questions remain | Tom Garry

Player diversity is increasing but WSL lacks English youth as the national side plays catch up with European rivals

With the Women’s Under-19 European Championship currently taking place in Lithuania, the spotlight is shining not only on the brightest young players from across the continent, but also on the health of talent pathways in different countries.

In England, the topic of youth development has been high on the agenda of late, not least because one of the key recommendations in Karen Carney’s extensive review into the women’s game was the need for the Football Association to “fix the talent pathway to create generation after generation of world-beating Lionesses”. The same review also called on the FA to “urgently address the lack of diversity across the women’s game”. That an all-white Lionesses starting XI won the 2022 Euros is just one example highlighting how inaccessible the women’s games has been for players from poorer backgrounds.

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» Euro 2025: who has qualified and which teams will meet in the playoffs?

We look at the main questions for next year’s tournament as Spain, Germany and France suffer defeats but qualify

The makeup of next summer’s Women’s European Championship is becoming clearer, with more than half of the 16 participating nations now confirmed including the holders England. The tournament is being held in Switzerland from 2–27 July 2025.

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» David Squires on … the end for Gareth Southgate with England

Our cartoonist reflects on the England manager calling time on the job and clearing out his office at St George’s Park

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» James, Mead or Kelly – and the other big Euro 2025 calls for Sarina Wiegman | Tom Garry

England manager faces selection dilemmas in four positions as the team prepare to defend their title

With England having secured their place at Women’s Euro 2025, what could the defending champions’ preferred lineup look like in 12 months’ time?

Tellingly, Sarina Wiegman put faith in the same XI for both challenging away fixtures this summer, in France and Sweden, and their return of four points, enough to secure automatic qualification, seemingly vindicated her selections.

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» What is Gareth Southgate's legacy as he steps down as England manager? – video

Guardian journalist Barney Ronay explains what Gareth Southgate's legacy will be as he steps down as England manager after eight years in the role. Southgate led England to two finals, a quarter-final and a semi-final and is arguably one of the most successful managers the team has had. Support by fans took a 'dark turn' however when success became 'expected as a default' and some took umbrage at his politics once England began taking the knee. Due to this Southgate faced serious scrutiny and his legacy of success will be entwined with the criticism he received.

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» Kylian Mbappé fulfils dream as he is presented at Real Madrid in front of 80,000 fans – video

Nearly 80,000 fans welcomed 25-year-old France star Kylian Mbappé during his official presentation as a Real Madrid player. After signing his five-year contract with the Spanish powerhouse alongside club president Florentino Pérez, Mbappé entered the stage set up at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium to loud cheers.

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» Spain receive heroes' welcome in Madrid following Euro 2024 victory – video

Spain's players received a warm welcome back home in Madrid after beating England 2-1 in the Euro 2024 final in Berlin. Thousands of fans lined the streets of the capital to get a glimpse of the players as they made their way to the centre of the city on a bus, championship trophy in tow. England faced heartbreak for the second time in a row on Sunday, four years after their devastating Euro loss to Italy at Wembley

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» Goalkeeper fixes hole in pitch mid-match with conveniently placed shovel and dirt – video

The goalkeeper of the Scottish League Two club Stirling Albion halted their game against Raith Rovers to point out a hole on the pitch. He then ran over to a pile of dirt at the side and used a shovel to carry it back and fill in the hole before play continued

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» Argentina fans celebrate Copa América victory as Colombia supporters are left heartbroken – video

Fans in Buenos Aires and Miami celebrated wildly after Argentina secured a record 16th Copa América title by beating Colombia 1-0. Fans partied in the streets with songs, drums and fireworks. Some even hung from lampposts. Meanwhile, fans in Bogotá were left proud of their team despite the loss. One fan insisted that 'Colombia keep their spirits and heads high'.

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» Fans climb through vents to get into Copa América final – video

The Copa América final between Argentina and Colombia was delayed by more than an hour after thousands of fans without tickets tried to force their way into the stadium. Footage shows fans climbing into air vents and over fences to access to the stadium ahead of the game.

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» Philadelphia’s Cavan Sullivan, 14, breaks Freddy Adu’s youngest MLS player mark
  • Sullivan, 14, is considered future USMNT star
  • Expected to join City at 18 in pre-arranged transfer

Cavan Sullivan became the youngest player to appear in an MLS match, Tai Baribo had his first career hat trick and Kai Wagner added three assists to help the Philadelphia Union end a 10-match winless streak with a 5-1 romp over the New England Revolution on Wednesday night.

Sullivan – at 14 years, 293 days – replaced Baribo in the 85th minute, topping the record by 13 days. Freddy Adu set the previous mark at 14-306 when he debuted for DC United in 2004.

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» Son Heung-min’s father promises change after bullying accusations at academy

Son Woong-jung says he will seek ‘other ways’ to help young athletes stay committed to training

That successful east Asians have strict parents is a well-worn trope in western media but there is no getting away from the fact that Son Heung-min, one of the most successful Asians athletes of all, has a dad with quite a reputation.

I remember being at Korea Football Association (KFA) House in downtown Seoul when officials, some of whom knew Son Woong-jung from a playing career that was cut short by injury, made themselves scarce upon being told he could be about to visit.

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» Lloris says Fernández video is ‘attack on French people’ as Argentinian official sacked
  • Chelsea midfielder has already said sorry for the video
  • Undersecretary of sport sacked for urging Messi apology

Argentina’s undersecretary of sport has been sacked after calling for Lionel Messi to apologise for the racist and transphobic song about France’s players that the former captain Hugo Lloris has described as “an attack on French people”.

Chelsea said on Wednesday they had “instigated an internal disciplinary procedure” against Enzo Fernández after the midfielder posted a video on Instagram that showed him and some of his Argentina teammates involved in the chants as they celebrated their victory against Colombia in the Copa América final. He later apologised, saying the video did not “reflect my beliefs or my character”, and is expected to be fined by his club.

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» Kylian Mbappé fulfils his Real Madrid destiny and 80,000 fans welcome him

After a transfer more than a decade in the making, the France forward was ‘one happy guy’ at his unveiling

“Good afternoon everyone. I’m going to try to speak Spanish.” Unsurprisingly for a transfer that has been more than a decade in the making, Kylian Mbappé came prepared. It was at Monaco – not long after he had been charmed by Zinedine Zidane on a visit to Real Madrid’s training ground just before his 14th birthday – that the talented teenager had started taking Spanish lessons in anticipation of this moment. And now, finally, it had arrived.

“It’s such an incredible feeling to be here, just incredible,” said Mbappé after he was eventually introduced at a packed Santiago Bernabéu stadium on Tuesday by Florentino Pérez. “I spent endless nights dreaming about one day playing for Real Madrid, and today I’m one happy guy.”

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» This Copa América was scorching chaos. Will World Cup 2026 be different?

The days of assuming a major tournament, in the US or anywhere else, will proceed smoothly appear to be over. Organizers must prepare for disruption

Conmebol should have seen it coming.

Throughout this summer’s Copa América, the signs of an impending logistical disaster were clear. In cities throughout the United States, transportation bottlenecks frustrated fans, security failures made them less safe, hot weather endangered everyone and games themselves were either sparsely attended or, as on Sunday, the dangerous opposite.

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» Bruce Mwape banned from private contact with Zambia players at Olympics
  • Coach being investigated for sexual misconduct
  • The 64-year-old denies the accusations

Bruce Mwape will not be allowed ­private contact with any of his ­players at the Olympic Games in Paris but the coach of Zambia’s women’s football team has eventually been granted a visa despite an ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Fifa is still investigating claims that Mwape rubbed his hands over the chest of a player after a ­training ­session at last year’s World Cup in New Zealand. The Guardian also revealed in May that he was accused of ­intentionally touching a Fifa ­contractor’s breast at the same ­tournament. It has been revealed that before the World Cup Mwape – who has previously denied the ­accusations – was the subject of an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by a number of players in the squad that had been referred to world ­football’s ­governing body by the Zambian Football ­Association (FAZ).

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» Struggle to find TV deal leaves French football clubs fearing bankruptcy

League president Vincent Labrune predicted broadcast revenues of €1bn a season but reality has proved different

“My watchword will be ‘unity’,” said Vincent Labrune when he was elected president of the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) – the body that governs France’s top two divisions – in 2020. But with little over a month until the new season, the former Marseille president finds himself in the line of fire, with several clubs in Ligue 1 facing the prospect of financial ruin owing to his failure to find a new bumper TV rights deal.

When Amazon indicated last year that it would not renew the cut-price deal worth only €250m a season it signed in 2021 after the previous rights holder, Mediapro, pulled out of their €800m deal, Labrune made a bold promise. Yet his prediction that broadcast revenues could top €1bn a season in the new four-year cycle has come back to haunt the 53-year-old former communications executive.

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» Martínez inspires Argentina to historic Copa América title in chaotic final

A dramatic extra-time winner from substitute Lautaro Martínez ensured Argentina retained their Copa América title, edging out Colombia 1-0 in a thrilling game in Miami.

The Golden Boot winner’s cool 112th-minute strike settled a scintillating game, which had simply lacked a finishing touch until his arrival on 97 minutes. Martínez latched on to Giovani Lo Celso’s pass to dispatch the ball past a gallant Camilo Vargas in the Colombia goal.

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» Angel City to become world’s most valuable women’s team with $250m sale
  • Bob Iger and Willow Bay announce deal for NWSL club
  • Club founded in 2020 by group including Natalie Portman

Angel City is set to become the world’s most valuable professional women’s sports team after finalising a landmark ownership agreement with Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger and his wife, Willow Bay, the club announced on Wednesday.

Iger and Bay will become the controlling owners of Angel City, which is based in Los Angeles, in a sale that will value the club at $250m. The figure shatters the $120m the Levine Leichtman family paid for the San Diego Wave in March, which was then a record-breaking price for a National Women’s Soccer League team.

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» Six contenders to succeed Gareth Southgate as England manager

Howe may be too young, Pochettino, Potter and Tuchel are available, Carsley could be the continuity candidate while Klopp would be a long shot

The attacking approach that has always been Howe’s hallmark as a manager and his unflappable temperament could make him the obvious choice to replace Gareth Southgate. At the age of 46, however, he may feel this opportunity has come too early and there would undoubtedly be resistance from Newcastle to losing the manager that led them to Champions League qualification in 2023 and seventh last season. Howe’s contract lasts until 2027 but the departures of Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi – who played a key role in his appointment – as directors last week may prove to be significant. Could he be tempted by the outstanding crop of players that would be at his disposal at the 2026 World Cup?

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» Hampton’s inclusion ahead of Earps indicates changing of guard for England | Suzanne Wrack

Sarina Wiegman’s decision is a big statement but the battle for the goalkeeping position will remain highly competitive

Two big saves, a nervy drop, solid distribution and a clean sheet. Hannah Hampton’s stock continues to rise after the Chelsea goalkeeper was given the nod to help England to secure a place at Euro 2025 with a 0-0 draw against Sweden.

Sarina Wiegman’s decision to start Hampton ahead of Mary Earps for England’s penultimate qualifier on Friday raised few eyebrows. It was just one of several changes made for the game against the Republic of Ireland before the trickier trip to Sweden.

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» Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United rollercoaster shows little sign of slowing

Emboldened or the fall guy? United kept faith with the Dutchman but this season could once again be a bumpy ride

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s man for the long term or his patsy if next season nosedives? There are two schools of thought about why Manchester United did not sack Erik ten Hag at the end of last season.

The first suggests that the Dutchman’s slick FA Cup final tactical dismantling of Manchester City impressed Ratcliffe, the trophy claimed despite an injury-riven season. And that after clocking on as United’s sporting director on 1 July, Dan Ashworth wants time to assess the manager.

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» Football Daily | N’Golo Kanté, Dani Olmo and the post-Euros sweet spot for transfers

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An old friend could be about to return. N’Golo Kanté is a wanted man in east London, desired as part of the Julen Lopetegui revolution at West Ham. Kanté, the boy next door of defensive midfielders, had disappeared from view after leaving Chelsea last year, sucked into that lucrative black hole known as the Saudi Pro League. But a few livewire, cover-every-blade-of-grass performances for France at Euro 2024 have brought the loveable footballing vacuum cleaner back into the mainstream, and a move at the backend of his career would see him join a surprisingly healthy list of Premier League winners who have opted for a sunset runabout with the Hammers. Freddie Ljungberg, Patrice Evra and Samir Nasri – you’ve forgotten about these, haven’t you? – budge up and make some room for N’Golo.

The argument they gave was, briefly: we’ve looked at everything and put it all together, but we think we already have the best manager in-house. Then I did say: ‘Then we need to discuss some things, about how we interact and collaborate.’ We had a good, honest, but also confrontational conversation about that. As it should be” – Erik ten Hag recalls the spiky chats that led to Manchester United keeping the best “in-house” manager in the business and how he got fresh and funky with his overlords about the club’s direction.

Re: yesterday’s Football Daily. I would say we are now in the 2024-25 season. I think clubs immediately move up or down to their new league as the old season finishes. Luton Town are no longer Premier League and, more importantly, Bromley are now Football League. If this is not the case then the quiz question ‘which is the only football team whose ground is in a Tory constituency’ doesn’t work. I fear I may have given the answer away” – Dan Ashley.

Speaking as someone enduring the torment/surfing the joyful waves (delete to taste) of a season that’s now halfway through, may I be the first of what I imagine will be substantially fewer than 1,057 pedants to point out that, for many of us, the debate over whether 2024-25 is still ‘next season’ is moot. With second-leg matches of the first qualifying rounds of European competitions taking place, those newly-expanded Big Cup and Big Vase group stages aren’t going to exclude the smaller leagues by themselves, thank you. In Tin Pot, the second-best team in our league this season were unable to overcome a two-goal first-leg deficit against something called Bruno’s Magpies. Elsewhere, the best team in our league this season managed to preserve a narrow first-leg lead against the team who finished one place above those Magpies last season. As my mate Steve said to me as we sat freezing our backsides off watching an opening-day fixture in February a few years back: ‘Thank goodness for summer soccer …’” – Mike Slattery (and others).

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» Moving the Goalposts | ‘Ridiculous’ Wafcon delay leaves African women’s football in a mess

Women’s Afcon qualifying concluded last year but fed up teams now have to wait until July 2025 for the tournament

When the final round of qualifiers for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) concluded in December, the 12 qualified teams presumed the tournament would take place in Morocco at some point this year. But they will now have to wait an unprecedented 19 months – until 5-26 July 2025 – before it is staged in order to avoid a clash with this summer’s Olympics.

“It is a ridiculous situation,” said an official of the Nigeria Football Federation, one of the participating teams, when speaking to the Guardian. “Where has it happened, in any confederation, anywhere in the world, for there to be a one-and-a-half-year gap between the end of a qualifying series and the main tournament? How does a coach maintain team momentum and keep the same players for the tournament?

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» David Squires on … England’s performance art on their run to the Euro 2024 semis

Our cartoonist looks back on some wonky displays in the last eight of the European Championship

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» Moving the Goalposts | ‘Feelgood factor is back’: Nagasato rates Japan Women’s Olympics hopes

The former Nadeshiko striker believes Futoshi Ikeda’s team have the talent to reach the semi-finals in Paris

Yuki Nagasato has experienced it all with Japan. From the ecstatic World Cup-winning high of 2011 to the crushing disappointment of failing to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The 36-year-old may not be part of the Nadeshiko setup any longer – although she continues to play for Houston Dash at club level – but she expects them to make an impact at the Olympics in Paris, which starts this month.

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» What are the most boring (and exciting) goalless draws at the Euros? | The Knowledge

Plus: long-shot winners of the Euros, double trouble in major tournaments and Chris Nicholl’s stunning feat

“After the Portugal/France game I’m wondering what was the most boring Euro game on record (no goals, fewest shorts on target, fewest corners, etc)?” tweets Nicholas Stuart.

There have been 37 goalless draws in the men’s Euros, including a record six at this year’s tournament. The first was in 1968 when Italy beat the Soviet Union on a coin toss. We can’t find the vital statistics for that one, but Sofascore has detailed data for all the others. We’ve based the answer on their “big chances” metric, even though we’re not wholly sure what that entails. Where the games are level, shots on target and then total shots are the tiebreaker.

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» Spain surge into Euro 2024 final and Lamine Yamal takes breath away – Football Daily

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Philippe Auclair and Semra Hunter as Spain see off France to extend march towards glory

Follow Football Weekly wherever you get your podcasts and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

On the podcast today; Spain get a deserved 2-1 win over France as they progress to the final of Euro 2024. Lamine Yamal, how do you talk about him without mentioning he’s just 16? What a goal he scored.

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» The 100 best male footballers in the world 2023

Erling Haaland has been voted the best player in the world for 2023 by our 218-strong panel, with Jude Bellingham finishing second

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» The 100 best female footballers in the world 2023

Aitana Bonmatí, Sam Kerr and Salma Paralluelo top the list of female footballers in the world in 2023 according to our judges

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» Erling Haaland voted the world’s best player – and he’s just getting started | Niall McVeigh

The Norwegian is only 23 but his devastating goal record has seen him voted as the No 1 player in the world by the Guardian’s expert panel

When Pep Guardiola tearfully claimed Manchester City could not replace the departing Sergio Agüero in May 2021, he didn’t just create a meme. Guardiola was soft-launching a global audition for his team’s new attacking talisman. An unsuccessful pursuit of Harry Kane in the summer of 2021 came between two title-winning seasons where Ilkay Gündogan (13) and Kevin De Bruyne (15) were the club’s top league goalscorers. Guardiola’s slick creative machine needed a new front man, and they found him in Erling Haaland.

Like Agüero before him – and in contrast to many of City’s most successful Pep-era signings – Haaland arrived as a bona fide superstar, a plug-and-play addition to an already stellar lineup. Whether he was a bargain is another question. The release clause paid was €60m (£51.2m), but some reports suggest Haaland’s five-year deal could cost the club in the region of £300m. And while there was an ominous logic to the move for City’s rivals, questions remained.

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» Spain and Barcelona lead way in women’s football after year of success | Rich Laverty

Aitana Bonmatí the clear winner of the Guardian’s best 100 female footballers in the world with 15 Spaniards on the list

After Alexia Putellas reigned in 2021 and 2022, her Barcelona and Spain teammate Aitana Bonmatí has been crowned the top female footballer of 2023 by the Guardian’s panel of 112 experts. The World Cup winner triumphed by a clear margin, finishing more than 500 points ahead of second-placed Sam Kerr.

Injuries and a World Cup meant there was a definite changing of the guard feel to this year’s list, sadly emphasised by the fact last year’s top two – Putellas and Beth Mead – missed a large chunk of our 12-month voting period with ACL injuries.

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» Farewell Gareth Southgate: England manager’s reign – in pictures

We look back at the highs and lows of the outgoing manager’s eight-year tenure

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» After Germany’s football fest, rocky road lies ahead for European game

Club World Cup plans have sparked criticism and legal action and new Champions League format is unclear

While English and Spanish supporters mingled good-naturedly enough in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Sunday afternoon, plenty of glad-handing was going on a few metres away. Hotel Adlon Kempinski is one of Berlin’s most famous addresses and made an obvious honeypot for Uefa’s delegation, along with a galaxy of special guests, before the Euro 2024 final.

Arsène Wenger, flying the flag for Fifa in Gianni Infantino’s absence, posed for photographs in the lobby. The Formula One driver Lando Norris fiddled with his phone, while Europe’s football association heads huddled around tables with staff and acquaintances. Anyone not full from the previous night’s lavish dinner could order a “doner kebab” of sous-vide cooked veal and truffle shavings. The summer had passed successfully, went the consensus. Uefa and Germany had not been without wobbles but the show was drawing to an amenable close.

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» Euro 2024: the tournament’s best pictures

Our picture editor, Jonny Weeks, chooses his favourite images from Germany including a distraught Luka Modric and delighted Jordan Pickford

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» Citizen Mbappé taking on far right lends pride to France’s Euros exit | Philippe Auclair

He skied the chance to equalise against Spain but Kylian Mbappé’s eloquence has elevated his team

It is not because Kylian Mbappé spoke out, twice, about the necessity to take a stand against “the extremes” and, more to the point, the National Rally, that he skied a shot that would have brought France level with Spain in their semi-final. But it is because he and others, such as Marcus Thuram and Jules Koundé, did speak out that it will be possible to look back on France’s frustrating Euro 2024 with something like pride. “Never at such a moment, never such a player, never in such a trenchant, brilliant, mastered fashion, never in the history of the French national team, had we witnessed the conjunction of a major moment in French political life, the words of a captain and a great sporting event,” L’Équipe enthused.

The French sports daily had a point, even if other French footballers had taken political stances in the past. The Saint-Étienne forward Dominique Rocheteau had not hidden his unease about taking part in the World Cup held in General Videla’s Argentina in 1978, though he didn’t go as far as the Swedish players who lent their support to the mothers demonstrating on the Plaza de Mayo during the same tournament. More recently, Zinedine Zidane had called on the French electorate to vote against Marine Le Pen’s father, Jean‑Marie, in the 2002 presidential election, calling what was still the Front and not yet the Rassemblement National “a party that does not correspond at all to the values of France”. Kylian, Marcus, Jules et les autres are the heirs of Zizou in more ways than one.

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» Next Generation 2023: 60 of the best young talents in world football

From Warren Zaïre-Emery to Endrick, we select some of the best players born in 2006. Check the progress of our classes of 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018

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» Next Generation 2023: 20 of the best talents at Premier League clubs

We pick the best youngsters at each club born between 1 September 2006 and 31 August 2007, an age band known as first-year scholars. Check the progress of our classes of 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 and look at the editions from further back

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» From Saka to Ackermann: what happened to Next Generation 2018?

Five years ago we picked 80 of the most talented players in the world to follow their progress in a cut-throat business

It is the time of year when we check in on the Next Generation players we picked in 2018 to follow for five years, to assess their progress amid success, setbacks, injuries, trophies won and transfers made.

Next Generation started in 2014 with the aim of showing the difficulties that even the best prospects in the Premier League (we pick one from each club at first-year scholar age) and the rest of the world (we choose 60 born in a specific calendar year) face on their way towards the top.

A defensively minded midfielder who is incredibly strong (he used to be a wrestler) but with an excellent touch to go with his physicality. Made his debut in the Swedish top flight as a 16-year-old last year and captained Sweden as they reached the quarter-finals of the Euro Under-17 tournament in England this summer. Has taken an unusual path to the top. He left the top-flight side IFK Göteborg for sixth division Angered MBIK as a 14-year-old as he felt that he was not getting the right support for his football education. Another Gothenburg club, Häcken, snapped him up in 2017 and he made his senior debut that season. Has signed a new contract with the club from Hisingen until 2021 despite interest from Real Madrid and Benfica and trials at both Manchester clubs.

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