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05-30-2016, 10:05 AM

Bellerin in line to replace Carvajal for Spain's Euro 2016 campaign


Vicente del Bosque has confirmed Hector Bellerin will replace Dani Carvajal in the Spain squad for Euro 2016 if the Real Madrid defender is forced to withdraw due to injury.Carvajal picked up a muscle problem in Madrid's Champions League final win over Atletico Madrid on Saturday and is doubtful for the tournament in France.

Bellerin, meanwhile, made his Spain debut in Sunday's 3-1 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina and will remain with the squad until there is clarity about Carvajal's fitness."It all depends on what the medical staff say about Carvajal's fitness," Del Bosque said at a news conference.

"Bellerin will stay with the squad until we know the extent of Carvajal's injury."I also considered [Villarreal defender] Mario [Gaspar], but we have to remain consistent and bear in mind this training camp was in order to prepare for the Euros. That's why Bellerin will stay with the squad."

Del Bosque fielded a young team against Bosnia-Herzegovina as he was still without the Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and some Barcelona players, but he was nonetheless pleased with his side's display as they prepare to try and retain their crown.

"We felt comfortable in the first and were in control with Bruno Soriano and Cesc Fabregas," he added."Even though we had a man more following their red card, we were less in control after the break. We did not take advantage of the fact they were down to 10 men.

"I am very happy with the youngsters, though. They will all return to Spain on Monday, except Bellerin. I then have 48 hours left to announce the final squad."
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05-30-2016, 10:06 AM

'Manchester United have another Marcus Rashford in Ashley Fletcher'



Manchester United have another exciting youth prospect on their hands in Ashley Fletcher, according to Barnsley’s caretaker head coach Paul Heckingbottom.

Fletcher joined Barnsley on loan in January and scored a stunning effort in Sunday’s League One play-off final against Millwall to help fire the Tykes back to the Championship.

And Heckingbottom believes that the 20-year-old forward has the ability to make the same impact Marcus Rashford made earlier at Old Trafford this season.

"I don't know the pecking order there, but if he wasn't here he could have been making his debut instead of Rashford," said Heckingbottom.

"I think he will get better and better. United will have seen his progression and they'll know he has the attributes to get better."
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05-30-2016, 10:07 AM

Portugal 3-0 Norway: No Ronaldo, no problem for dominant hosts



Portugal showed they are far from a one-man team with a convincing victory over Norway on Sunday, as the Lusitanians won 3-0 in a one-sided friendly.

With Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe both absent following Real Madrid's Champions League victory, Ricardo Quaresma made his own case with a stunning strike to open the scoring.

Raphael Guerreiro doubled Portugal's advantage in the second half, curling a brilliant free-kick out of Jarstein's reach to press his claims to be first choice at left-back for Portugal at the tournament in France.

Portugal's comfortable victory was wrapped up when Eder finished off Joao Mario's low cross, with Norway unable to seriously test goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.

Fernando Santos' men, who face Hungary, Austria and Iceland in a potentially tough group, extended their fine run of form to six wins from their last eight games.
Norway narrowly missed out on earning a place at Euro 2016 and Per-Mathias Hogmo's side have now won only one of their last six internationals.After a low-tempo opening to the game, Portugal took the lead in spectacular fashion in the 13th minute.

Guerreiro fed Quaresma, who beat Martin Linnes easily then cut inside off the left wing to bend an unstoppable strike across Norway goalkeeper Jarstein and into the top corner.

And the hosts almost added a second goal within a minute, but Eder turned a terrific cross by right-back Cedric Soares wide of the post.

Norway then went close to an equaliser when Lopes misjudged Joshua King's pace, the AFC Bournemouth striker lifting his shot on to the roof of the net after the goalkeeper had raced off his line.

Veton Berisha's looping header caused no problems for Lopes after 24 minutes, before King's speed again created an opening, the striker forcing an error from Jose Fonte but placing his finish straight at the Portugal goalkeeper.

King was bundled over in the box between a combination of challenges by Fonte and Ricardo Carvalho after 51 minutes, but the referee felt it was not a penalty.Norway continued to press and Valon Berisha hit the crossbar with a header from Anders Trondsen's terrific left-wing cross.

Portugal's attack looked light on quality with star man Cristiano Ronaldo not in action due to his Champions League-winning exploits on Saturday, while Real Madrid team-mate Pepe also missed the game.

Ronaldo's absence freed up set-piece duties for his colleagues, Guerreiro taking full advantage after 65 minutes.From just outside the box, he whipped a sumptuous left-footed free-kick over the wall and into the top corner, leaving Jarstein helpless.

Portugal, galvanised by fresh legs from the bench, added a third goal five minutes later, Eder timing his run into the box perfectly to slot home a low right-wing cross from Joao Mario.

And the upbeat pre-tournament mood in Porto was summed up when a young pitch invader ran on to plant a kiss on Lopes' cheek as Portugal eased to victory.
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05-30-2016, 10:08 AM

Colombia 3-1 Haiti: Cuadrado helps Pekerman's side to win



Colombia will carry winning form into the Copa America Centenario after a 3-1 victory over Haiti in a friendly on Sunday.Juan Cuadrado and substitute Roger Martinez struck in the second half at Marlins Park in Miami in what was the only lead-up friendly ahead of the tournament for Jose Pekerman's men.

Dayro Moreno had put Colombia ahead before Wilde-Donald Guerrier levelled for Haiti, who had Max Hilaire sent off before the break.

Pekerman's men capitalised through Cuadrado and Martinez to seal a third straight win heading into their Copa opener against the United States on Friday.Haiti have won just one of their past six matches and face Peru, Brazil and Ecuador in Group B at the Copa.

Cuadrado threatened early for Colombia, but saw his long-range strike deflected and well saved by Johnny Placide.

Colombia's early pressure would lead to the 13th-minute opener.Sebastian Perez mis-kicked an effort towards goal, but Dayro Moreno was on hand to find the net on the turn to make it 1-0.

As Haiti chased an equaliser, Colombia threatened as Perez went close and Marlos Moreno sent a shot straight at Placide on the counter-attack on the half-hour mark.

However, poor set-piece marking would lead to an equaliser 10 minutes before half-time.Wisla Krakow's Guerrier lost his marker at a corner before heading in a Jeff Louis cross for the leveller.

Haiti's chances of a result were dealt a blow six minutes prior to the break, with Hilaire given a second yellow card for a rash challenge on Daniel Torres.Colombia had to wait until the second half to take advantage of their numerical advantage through Cuadrado.

The Chelsea-owned attacker was the beneficiary of a lightning counter, Dayro Moreno feeding Cuadrado through down the right before he chipped the onrushing Placide from an angle.Guerrier had a chance to respond immediately but was denied by David Ospina in a one-on-one, with the Arsenal goalkeeper also called into action just after the hour-mark.

After containing Haiti through that period, Colombia made it 3-1 thanks to Martinez, who replaced Carlos Bacca at half-time.A fine team move saw Marlos Moreno put Guillermo Celis in down the right and he squared for Martinez to tap in the sealer.
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05-30-2016, 10:09 AM

Panama 0-2 Brazil: Jonas breaks goalscoring drought, Gabriel nets on debut



Brazil put in a dominant performance on Sunday as it secured a 2-0 win over Panama in their pre-Copa America Centenario warm-up game.

Jonas, called up as an injury replacement for Ricardo Oliveira, gave Brazil the lead inside two minutes at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Denver. It was the Benfica striker's first international goal since November 2011, when he scored a double in Brazil's 2-0 friendly win over Egypt.

Debutant Gabriel doubled Brazil's lead in the second half to round out the win in their final friendly before facing Ecuador in its first Copa America group-stage match.

Brazil also faces Haiti and Peru in Group B, while Panama must tackle Argentina, Chile and Bolivia in Group D of the special-edition tournament taking place in the United States.

Brazil got off to a flying start and took the lead just under 120 seconds into the contest, after Jonas finished off a great passing move from the South American side.

Panama managed to calm itself down after the early goal, and it was not until the 21st minute when Brazil had its next shot. Dani Alves had a long-range free kick saved by Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo before Willian had a shot from inside the area blocked by Felipe Baloy.Renato Augusto should have put Brazil 2-0 up in the 32nd minute but his header from an Alves cross was directed just wide.

Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho had two chances in the space of a few minutes but hit both strikes wide as Brazil went into the halftime break with just a one-goal advantage.

Coutinho turned provider in the second half for the recently introduced Hulk, but his close-range header was spectacularly kept out by the in-form Penedo. Brazil eventually doubled its advantage in the 73rd minute when Gabriel scored on his international debut, the Santos winger slotting the ball into the right-hand corner of the goal.

Dunga also handed a Brazil debut to Rodrigo Caio with 10 minutes remaining as they ran out the closing stages of the game, while another debutante - Douglas Santos - played the 90 minutes.

Second-half substitute Kaka, who was called up as an injury replacement for Douglas Costa, was denied by Penedo in the 84th minute with a brilliant diving save.
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05-31-2016, 10:44 AM

Dani Alves set to join Serie A champions Juventus



Barcelona full-back Dani Alves will join Serie A winners Juventus this week on a two-year contract, Goal can reveal.

The 33-year-old is expected to earn around €4 million-per-year during his stay in Turin, with the option of an additional year inserted into his contract.

The marauding right-back brings with him a wealth of international experience, having won 89 caps for his country, and is highly regarded by Massimiliano Allegri, who is eager to stamp his authority on Europe.

Alves, who joined the Blaugrana from Sevilla in 2008, will arrive with considerable UEFA Champions League exposure, having lifted the European Cup on three occasions in 2009, 2011 and 2015.

Wing-back Stephan Lichtsteiner has a contract at the club until 2017 and is unlikely to depart the Old Lady of Italian football following the Brazilian's impending switch, with Juan Cuadrado tipped to join former manager Antonio Conte at Chelsea this summer.

Juve will also offer Alves' team-mate Javier Mascherano a two-year deal, however the option of a third will not be included. The Argentine defender is keen to move to the Italian north and talks with his agents have gone smoothly, but an agreement with Barca is still yet to be met.

The European heavyweight clubs enjoy a great working relationship and Juve are hesistent to stretch their correspondence but Mascherano is enamoured with the idea of being allowed to return to a midfield role under Allegri.
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05-31-2016, 10:44 AM

Spain full-back Carvajal ruled out of Euro 2016


Real Madrid have confirmed that right-back Dani Carvajal has suffered a hamstring injury and will now miss Euro 2016.The Spain right-back picked up the problem in the Champions League final victory against Atletico Madrid, leaving the pitch in tears after 52 minutes.

And, following tests on Monday, a statement on Madrid's official club website has confirmed that Carvajal has suffered a hamstring injury.

"After the tests carried out today at the Sanitas La Moraleja University Hospital," it read, "the player Daniel Carvajal has been diagnosed with a grade-two injury to the right iliopsoas. His recovery will continue to be assessed."
Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin is now set to replace Carvajal in Vicente del Bosque's squad for the tournament in France, with the Spain coach having revealed that the Gunners full-back would step in if the Madrid star failed to recover in time.

He told reporters on Sunday: "It all depends on what the medical staff say about Carvajal's fitness. Bellerin will stay with the squad until we know the extent of Carvajal's injury.

"I also considered [Villarreal defender] Mario [Gaspar], but we have to remain consistent and bear in mind this training camp was in order to prepare for the Euros. That's why Bellerin will stay with the squad."

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05-31-2016, 10:45 AM

Robben and Ribery in line for Bayern renewals



Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has suggested both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery will be offered contract renewals at some stage in the coming months.Both wingers' contracts are due to expire in June 2017, but Bayern are yet to open talks over new deals with the experienced attackers.

Nevertheless, Rummenigge has made it clear the Bundesliga champions are keen to hold on to both Robben and Ribery beyond the expiration of their existing deals.

"I do not rule out that both will sign renewals with Bayern," Rummenigge told Kicker. "We all know how incredibly important they are, both on and off the pitch."But both will have to be patient for a bit. It is only normal to wait a bit longer with players who are older than 30."

Robben, 32, joined Bayern from Real Madrid in August 2009. The 33-year-old Ribery, meanwhile, has been with club since signing from Marseille in June 2007.
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05-31-2016, 10:46 AM

Terry certain of Mourinho success at Manchester United



Chelsea defender John Terry is certain Jose Mourinho will be a success at Manchester United.

Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea halfway through the 2015-16 campaign following a dreadful start to the defence of their Premier League title, but was appointed as Louis van Gaal's successor at Old Trafford last week.

Terry worked under Mourinho during his two spells at Stamford Bridge and he has confidence that his former boss will lead United back to the top."Mourinho's appointment is fantastic news for Manchester United," Terry told Sky Sports.

"It was unfortunate the way it ended at Chelsea this year but I wish him well because he's also a great man. He'll be great for Manchester United, I'm sure."I'm sure that United's fans and players will be delighted with that because, as I've said many times before, he's the best manager I've worked under.

"I'm sure he'll settle in well with the likes of Ryan Giggs - hopefully he will stay and support him as well."Mourinho will return to Stamford Bridge with United next term after his dismissal last December and Terry believes the Portuguese manager will get a warm welcome.

"It will feel very different, but I've come up against Jose for various teams before so it will be interesting to play against him," Terry added."He'll get a great reception when he comes back to Stamford Bridge, for sure."
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05-31-2016, 10:48 AM

Rashford signs new Manchester United deal



Manchester United starlet Marcus Rashford has pledged his future to the club, signing a contract extension that keeps him at Old Trafford until 2020, with the option to extend for a further year.

The 18-year-old's previous deal was due to expire at the end of the 2016-17 season, but the young striker has been rewarded for his fine performances this campaign with a new and improved contract.

Rashford ends his debut campaign in professional football with eight goals in 18 games in all competitions, having made his maiden appearance for the senior side as a late call-up to the UEFA Europa League encounter with FC Midtjylland.

The United academy graduate has grown in stature throughtout the season after being handed a regular starting role under former manager Louis van Gaal.

The teenage sensation netted within three minutes of his England debut against Australia on Friday to stake his claim for a place in Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad ahead of Euro 2016 in France.Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward - who announced the appointment of Jose Mourinho as the club's new manager on Friday - is excited by Rashford's prospects and believes the youngster will continue to improve at Old Trafford.

"Marcus is a naturally talented footballer with great potential. He has taken his chances well and has integrated into the first team very quickly," he told the club's official website.

"I am delighted that Marcus has signed a new contract, he is at the right club to continue his development. He is still very young and we need to be patient but he is developing in the right way and we believe he has a great future ahead of him."
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