european champions

Football World Cup

Future stars on show as wide-open U20 football World Cup kicks off

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Seoul (AFP) – The FIFA Under-20 World Cup kicks off in South Korea on Saturday and looks wide open after the 2015 champions Serbia and beaten finalists Brazil both failed to qualify.

Some of the world’s top young footballing talent will be on display with more than 500 players in 24 teams taking part, but the bookmakers are split on who to make favourites.

Future stars on show as wide-open U20 football World Cup kicks off

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Seoul (AFP) – The FIFA Under-20 World Cup kicks off in South Korea on Saturday and looks wide open after the 2015 champions Serbia and beaten finalists Brazil both failed to qualify.

Some of the world’s top young footballing talent will be on display with more than 500 players in 24 teams taking part, but the bookmakers are split on who to make favourites.

Real Madrid

Real seal multi-million Telefonica deal

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid signed a 15-million-euro ($16 million) sponsorship deal with Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica on Thursday, the European champions said.

The two-year agreement will swell Real’s coffers once more - Deloitte’s Football Money League 2017 puts the Champions League winners third only to Manchester United and then great rivals Barcelona for annual revenue.

Real seal multi-million Telefonica deal

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid signed a 15-million-euro ($16 million) sponsorship deal with Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica on Thursday, the European champions said.

The two-year agreement will swell Real’s coffers once more - Deloitte’s Football Money League 2017 puts the Champions League winners third only to Manchester United and then great rivals Barcelona for annual revenue.

Zidane relishes showdown with Ancelotti

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insists he will be the “pupil” to Carlo Ancelotti’s “master” when the European champions face Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Zidane was Ancelotti’s assistant when Madrid won their 10th European Cup in 2014 before going onto match the Italian’s achievement by winning the Champions League in his debut season as coach last year.

Reina out to stop old Premier League foe Ronaldo

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Milan (AFP) – If Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina reproduces the kind of form that was key to Saturday’s 2-1 win over Roma against Real Madrid in midweek, a Champions League upset could be on the cards.

But the former Barcelona and Liverpool shot-stopper would be forgiven for also hoping Cristiano Ronaldo forgets his shooting boots Tuesday when Napoli bid to overturn a 3-1 first leg, last 16 defeat against the 11-time European champions.

Benzema puts Ronaldo-less Madrid back on top

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Madrid (AFP) – Karim Benzema scored twice as Real Madrid made light of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale’s absence to move back to the top of La Liga with a 4-1 win at Eibar on Saturday.

Benzema proved decisive when he was needed most by the European champions without his usual strike partners as the Frenchman finished twice from close range inside the first 25 minutes.

Benzema puts Ronaldo-less Madrid back on top

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Madrid (AFP) – Karim Benzema scored twice as Real Madrid made light of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale’s absence to move back to the top of La Liga with a 4-1 win at Eibar on Saturday.

Benzema proved decisive when he was needed most by the European champions without his usual strike partners as the Frenchman finished twice from close range inside the first 25 minutes.

Critics part of being at Madrid – Zidane

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane insisted there is still plenty for the European champions to be positive about on Saturday despite a run of just one win in five games.

Madrid were dumped out of the Copa del Rey by Celta Vigo on Wednesday and have seen their lead at the top of La Liga cut to just a point from Sevilla after being defeated by their closest challengers for the first time in 40 matches two weeks ago.

“Lucky” Zidane determined to win group

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane insists the European champions aren't prepared to settle for second place behind Borussia Dortmund in Champions League Group F despite the potential for an easier last 16 tie.

Madrid need to beat the German giants at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday to secure top spot and the second leg of their last 16 clash at home.

Winning el Clasico for Johan Cruyff motivates Barcelona, says Iniesta

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Photo credit: AFP

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta says the European champions will be extra motivated to honor legendary former player and coach Johan Cruyff when they host Real Madrid in Spain's El Clasico on Saturday.

More than 90,000 fans will take part in a pre-match display reading "thank you Johan" in Barca's first match since the Dutch master died at the age of 68 last week after a five-month battle with lung cancer.

Winning el Clasico for Johan Cruyff motivates Barcelona, says Iniesta

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Photo credit: AFP

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta says the European champions will be extra motivated to honor legendary former player and coach Johan Cruyff when they host Real Madrid in Spain's El Clasico on Saturday.

More than 90,000 fans will take part in a pre-match display reading "thank you Johan" in Barca's first match since the Dutch master died at the age of 68 last week after a five-month battle with lung cancer.

Minnows Eibar next on rampant Barca’s radar

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European champions Barcelona can take another step closer to a sixth La Liga title in eight years when they travel to the humble surroundings of Eibar's 6,000 capacity Ipurua on Sunday.

Barca are on a record 35-game unbeaten streak stretching back to October to put them well on course to repeat the treble of league, Cup and Champions League they won last season.

Minnows Eibar next on rampant Barca’s radar

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European champions Barcelona can take another step closer to a sixth La Liga title in eight years when they travel to the humble surroundings of Eibar's 6,000 capacity Ipurua on Sunday.

Barca are on a record 35-game unbeaten streak stretching back to October to put them well on course to repeat the treble of league, Cup and Champions League they won last season.

Barcelona equal 28-game unbeaten record with Levante win

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Photo credit: AFP

Barcelona equaled a club record of 28 games unbeaten to move three points clear at the top of La Liga with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Levante on Sunday.

The European champions were far from their best in coach Luis Enrique's 100th game in charge, but David Navarro's first-half own goal and Luis Suarez's strike in stoppage time was enough to secure a 10th consecutive win in all competitions.

Barcelona equal 28-game unbeaten record with Levante win

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Photo credit: AFP

Barcelona equaled a club record of 28 games unbeaten to move three points clear at the top of La Liga with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Levante on Sunday.

The European champions were far from their best in coach Luis Enrique's 100th game in charge, but David Navarro's first-half own goal and Luis Suarez's strike in stoppage time was enough to secure a 10th consecutive win in all competitions.

La Liga Preview: Barcelona Return To Barcelona Face Athletic Bilbao Demons

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Barcelona won't have to wait long to try to correct the errors that saw them lose the Spanish Super Cup to Athletic Bilbao as they return to San Mames on Sunday in their La Liga opener.

The European champions were thrashed 4-0 in Bilbao just a week ago as an under-manned Catalan defence failed to cope with the presence of Aritz Aduriz, who struck a hat-trick and then also scored in the return leg as the Basques won the final 5-1 on aggregate.

REAL MADRID EUROPEAN BASKETBALL CHAMPIONS

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United confirm striker exit

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Javier Hernandez has reached an agreement with Real Madrid and will be unveiled at the Santiago Bernabueu later on Monday, after completing his loan move to the European Champions.

With Radamel Falcao arriving on loan from Monaco, Hernandez's opportunities to break into the first XI appeared even more limited and Louis Van Gaal decided the Mexican could be moved on, after months of speculations had linked him a host of European clubs, including Juventus, Valencia and Inter Milan.

Real Madrid Fans Going Crazy Over James Rodríguez

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Once again Real Madrid have signed the star of the World Cup, this time it is James Rodriguez, who has joined the European Champions for a reported £63 million.

The winner of the World Cup's Golden Boot got a rapturous reception from a 45,000-strong crowd, around a third of whom were wearing Colombia shirts, when he was introduced at the Bernabéu on Tuesday night.

Video: Jose Mourinho points to Chelsea crest, threatens to leave press conference

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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho threatened to walk out of his Super Cup press conference after being asked about his record against Pep Guardiola during their Real Madrid and Barcelona days. The Special One reignites his rivalry with Guardiola in tonight's match against Bayern Munich, but is clearly not happy with the match being viewed in [.

Man Utd line-up Bastian Schweinsteiger as Fabregas alternative

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Manchester United have made Bayern Munich star Bastian Schweinsteiger their back-up option if a third and final bid for Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas fails this week. United will bid £35m plus £5m in add-ons for Fabregas, with Schweinsteiger waiting in the wings if Barca refuse to do business, the Sunday Mirror reports.

FC Barcelona

Rested Barcelona seek to keep record run rolling

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A well-rested Barcelona look to take another step closer to the Spanish title when struggling Getafe visit the Camp Nou on Saturday looking like cannon fodder for the rampant European champions.

Barca haven't lost in a Spanish record 36 games to open up an eight-point lead over Atletico Madrid in the title race with just 10 games remaining.

Rested Barcelona seek to keep record run rolling

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A well-rested Barcelona look to take another step closer to the Spanish title when struggling Getafe visit the Camp Nou on Saturday looking like cannon fodder for the rampant European champions.

Barca haven't lost in a Spanish record 36 games to open up an eight-point lead over Atletico Madrid in the title race with just 10 games remaining.

Barcelona look to underscore their dominance with a world title in Japan

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Photo credit: AFP.

Barcelona were mobbed by Japanese fans on Monday after holding their first training session at the FIFA Club World Cup. The European champions, bidding to become the first team to win the competition three times, had a gentle run-out in Yokohama after being greeted like rock stars on their arrival in Japan earlier in the day.

Barcelona look to underscore their dominance with a world title in Japan

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Photo credit: AFP.

Barcelona were mobbed by Japanese fans on Monday after holding their first training session at the FIFA Club World Cup. The European champions, bidding to become the first team to win the competition three times, had a gentle run-out in Yokohama after being greeted like rock stars on their arrival in Japan earlier in the day.

Barca Pre-Season Friendly - Bayern - 2 : 0 - Barca Highlights

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Barca started their Pre-Season officially with a 2-0 defat at the hands of current European Champions, Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

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Bayern Announce Thiago Transfer

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Bayern Munich have confirmed the signing of Thiago Alcantara from Barcelona. The European Champions nnounced the news on their official Twitter account on Sunday evening.

#FCBayern signs Thiago #Alcantara from FC Barcelona. pic.twitter.com/R77nw0hMSd

— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) July 14, 2013

Bayern reportedly paid €25m for Thaigo, which is €7m more than his release clause.

English Premier League

Wijnaldum Turned Down AC MIlan To Join Newcastle

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There's news in Holland that Georginio Wijnaldum joined Premier League club Newcastle United, and there was interest also from AC Milan and other clubs according to his agent. AC Milan have been European Champions seven times so it say something that Georginio wanted to play in England and was happy enough to join us, [.

Ferguson’s retirement caps a crazy season on the Premier League managerial merry-go-round

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It is almost impossible to believe that come June 1, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will be the fifth longest serving manager currently working in the Premier League! Rodgers will have been in the Anfield hot seat for one year but given the nature of the modern Premier League, he has overtaken 15 rivals in the [.

Top 10 conclusions: Premier League weekend, 19-20 January

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1. A Fergie never forgets. Make a mistake running the line once and it stays on your record for life. 2. No wonder Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea looked uncomfortable yesterday. He hates white things falling from the sky. 3. Even with Roman Abramovich's millions you can't justify throwing out a perfectly good coat.

GIF It: Branislav Ivanovic’s double balls-up (Chelsea 0-2 Swansea)

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Things are really hotting up in the Crappyteam Won Cup, the competition no self-respecting team wants to win. After Premier League side Aston Villa attempted to give League Two Bradford a bye to to the final in their semi-final first-leg on Tuesday night, last night it was the turn of European champions Chelsea to give [.

Bayern Munich

Pep Guardiola says Chelsea defender David Luiz will not be going to Bayern Munich

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Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has rejected transfer rumours linking Chelsea centre-back David Luiz with a move to the European champions. The Brazil international was said to be a £40m target for Bayern, but Guardiola has denied that. He said: "He will not come to Munich. We have four, five centre-backs.

Video: Bayern Munich present Mario Goetze, Thiago Alcantara and Pep Guardiola, get carried away with smoke machine

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Bayern Munich's pre-season presentation turned into a passable impersonation of Stars In Their Eyes thanks to the European champions' liberal use of smoke machine. Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be Mario Goetze, Thiago Alcantara and Pep Guardiola. The Bavarians presented their two star signings and their new manager to a decent crowd gathered at the [.

Did Thiago Alcantara pay €2m to avoid ending up at Manchester United?

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New Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara had seemed set for a move to Manchester United this summer. But it's now emerged that he was so desperate to ensure he went to the European champions that he personally paid €2m of the €25m transfer fee. German newspaper Bild reports that the former Barcelona player stumped up [.

Franck Ribery Signs New Contract With Bayern

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Franck Ribery has committed his long-term future to Bayern Munich by signing a new four-year contract with the club.

Ribery said that towards the end of last season that he wanted to extend sign a new deal with the European Champions and following the beginning of pre-season training Bayern took the opportunity to tie down the three-time Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal winner.

The Rest

Chelsea Transfer Rumors: Mourinho Scouting Radamel Falcao?

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Mourinho was spotted in the stadium at Brussels watching the friendly between Belgium and Colombia. But it wasn't to keep an eyes on Chelsea young eggs like Hazard, De Bruyne or Courtouis. He had his eye on Colombian ace striker Radamel Falcao.

Chelsea tried to sign Falcao in many previous occasions but a deal was never struck between the two.

Liverpool and Arsenal in fresh transfer tussle

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Liverpool and Arsenal are involved in a new transfer battle this time to see who can sign their respective Bayern Munich targets quickest. Away from the Luis Suarez saga, both clubs are pursuing transfer targets. Arsenal are reportedly close to signing Bayern midfielder Luis Gustavo, while Liverpool want to take left-back Diego Contento from [.

Newcastle vs Chelsea – Match Preview

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Demba Ba returns today to St. James Park in a Chelsea shirt, and he will be one of the danger men for the reigning European Champions. Newcastle lifted the gloom and doom on Tyneside last Tuesday night with a vital 2-1 win at Aston Villa. That was after we played miserably in the second half [...]

‘Keep smiling’ – Sacked Nigel Adkins leaves a farewell note for Southampton players

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If you are somehow dead inside and don't feel sympathy for axed Southampton boss Nigel Atkins, youcertainlymust now. In one of his last acts before leaving the Saints training ground for the last time, the 47-year-old penned this farewell message on a changing room whiteboard. After being put out on his backside despite two [.