Barcelona dismissing Xavi after the head coach initially reversed his decision and seemed set to stay came as a shock to some, no more so than Blaugrana winger Lamine Yamal.

The LaLiga giants were expected to part ways with former midfielder Xavi at the end of the season, only for the Spaniard to change his mind and opt to fulfil his contract with the club.

Yet in another unexpected turn of events, Xavi was given his marching orders as Barca president Joan Laporta acted swiftly to bring in former Germany and Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick.

As Yamal prepares for the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament with Spain in Germany, the Barca forward admitted Xavi's sacking raised a few eyebrows.

"It was a very strange moment," the teenager told Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo. "At first he left, then he stayed...

"It was strange, because we saw the same thing that you saw too.

"[It was] very sad because for me he was the first coach in the elite that I've had, but these are things that happen in football."

Though Yamal remains surprised by the decision, the Spain attacker is "excited" to link-up with new boss Flick when the 2024-25 season comes around.

"The last thing I saw was when he was at Bayern, and also in the German national team," he added.

"They have a fairly offensive game, quite direct. I'm very excited."

Barcelona fell short in their LaLiga title defence as Real Madrid roared to the Spanish crown, as well as Champions League glory for the dominant Los Blancos.

Yet Yamal believes the Blaugrana can compete with any side on their day.

"We struggled this season, scoring a goal and adding another before going into the second half and suddenly having two goals scored against us," he continued.

"That's the only thing we have to improve, because I think we can compete with any team in the world."

Erik ten Hag is set to stay at Manchester United after surviving a review over his future, according to widespread reports.

United stunned neighbours Manchester City in the FA Cup final, winning 2-1 last month at Wembley, but a second trophy in two seasons was not expected to be enough for Ten Hag to keep his job.

The Red Devils finished eighth in the Premier League this season, with that being their lowest-ever finish in the competition.

An underwhelming league campaign saw speculation grow over the former Ajax head coach's future, though reports on Tuesday claim Ten Hag is set to remain in charge at Old Trafford.

United are said to have concluded their review of the 2023-24 season and started negotiations on a contract extension with Ten Hag, whose current deal ends at the end of the 2024-25 campaign.

Mauricio Pochettino, Thomas Tuchel, Kieran McKenna and Gareth Southgate were all linked with the United job before the club committed to their future with Ten Hag.

Netherlands midfielder Teun Koopmeiners was expected to star for his country at Euro 2024, but instead is left rueing a "nightmare" injury that has ruled him out of the tournament.

Koopmeiners was an integral figure as Atalanta secured their first-ever European trophy this term, beating Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa Conference League final last month.

With Ronald Koeman already missing Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong for the upcoming tournament in Germany, the Netherlands boss was dealt another blow on Tuesday.

Koopmeiners took to Instagram to confirm his absence for UEFA's 17th edition of their flagship competition after his injury in Monday's warm-up victory over Iceland.

"What should have been a wonderful month has unfortunately turned into a nightmare," wrote Koopmeiners.

"With great disappointment and sadness, I heard the results of the tests. Unfortunately, they found I have no possibility of participating in the European Championship 2024.

"Playing for the Dutch team at a finals tournament and with such a great squad would have been a great honour.

"From now on, like the rest of the Oranje fans, I will encourage and support the team on their way to a great tournament!"

Koopmeiners, a reported target of Juventus and Liverpool, has appeared 21 times for his country as Oranje supporters grew hopes of a fearsome partnership with De Jong in midfield.

Atalanta team-mate Marten de Roon has already been ruled out through injury, leaving Koeman short on options in the middle of the pitch.

In response to the absence of the two players, Koeman has called up Borussia Dortmund loanee Ian Maatsen, who returns after initially failing to make the Netherlands' final Euro squad.

The Netherlands open their campaign against Poland on Sunday before facing France and Austria in Germany.

Jon Rahm has withdrawn from the US Open due to a troublesome foot injury, just two days before the tournament starts in North Carolina.

The Spaniard arrived at Pinehurst's famed Number Two course wearing one shoe on his right foot and a flip-flop on his left after a cut between his toes turned into an infection.

"It is doing better, but the pain is high," said the 29-year-old at his pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday.

Yet the world number eight, who won the US Open title in 2021, confirmed his withdrawal later in the day.

"After consulting with numerous doctors and my team, I have decided it is best for my long-term health, to withdraw from this week's US Open Championship," Rahm wrote on social media.

"To say I'm disappointed is a massive understatement!

"I wish all my peers the best of luck and want to thank all of the USGA staff, volunteers and community of Pinehurst for hosting and putting on what I'm sure will be an amazing championship!

"Hopefully I'll be back in action sooner than later!"

Rahm has not won since making the move to LIV Golf from the PGA Tour last December, while the 29-year-old shared 45th at this year's Masters and missed the cut at last month's PGA Championship.

The two-time major winner had previously finished inside the top 25 in his last five outings at the US Open.

Travis Kelce has no intentions of making this upcoming NFL season his last, though acknowledged the end is nearer than the beginning of his illustrious career.

The Kansas City Chiefs star is a three-time Super Bowl champion, defeating the San Francisco 49ers for his most recent crown last season.

With preparations already underway for the 2024 campaign, the 34-year-old – a nine-time Pro Bowler – understandably has the future on his mind.

Yet Kelce has no doubts over his ambitions this year, signalling that there is still life in his ageing career with the Chiefs.

"I love coming to work every single day and doing this, so I am going to do it until the wheels fall off and hopefully that doesn't happen anytime soon," Kelce said after the Chiefs' practice on Tuesday.

"I can't put a time frame on it, man. I know that there are opportunities outside of football for me and I think you've got to keep in perspective that I'm still a little kid when I come into this building.

"I know I'm 34 years old, about to be 35, but I have a love to do this right here in the middle of the heat in June."

Kelce's relationship with global superstar singer Taylor Swift has drawn unprecedented media attention off the field, while he has shown interest in acting after his career ends.

Hosting a podcast with his brother Jason, another former NFL star, Kelce has multiple options when he chooses to call time on his playing days.

"I do take the offseason to get away and kind of recharge, but at the same time, I'm a football player," Kelce added.

"I love playing in the NFL and this will always be my main focus, but outside of that, football ends for everybody, so kind of dipping your toes in the water and seeing what you like in different areas in different career fields, I think the offseason is the best chance you can get."

As for on the field, the Chiefs added two tight ends this year with veteran Irv Smith Jr. and draft pick Jared Wiley. 

Noah Gray, their fourth-leading receiver last season, is also back, suggesting Kansas coach Andy Reid is keen to manage Kelce's workload.

"It's my job to make sure that Coach Reid has full confidence in me whenever he needs me out on that field or whenever I'm out on that field," Kelce said.

"As much as I want to be out there every single play, I understand that it's for the better of the team when I'm not.

"I'm more comfortable with that right now because of the guys that we have in the room. We've got a lot of great tight ends in the building and it's fun seeing them have success as well."

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice on his international return as Portugal completed their Euro 2024 preparations with a 3-0 victory over Republic of Ireland in Aveiro.

Roberto Martinez's side were 2-1 losers against fellow European Championship hopefuls Croatia on Saturday but responded three days later with a convincing victory at Aveiro Municipal Stadium.

Joao Felix opened the scoring after just 18 minutes, while Ronaldo was denied by the woodwork in a one-sided first half against John O'Shea's visitors on Tuesday.

Ronaldo would not be stopped after the interval, though, curling in a fine 50th-minute strike before adding a second soon after in a dominant win, just a week before Portugal's Euro 2024 opener against Czechia.

Data Debrief: Ronaldo stars again

Ronaldo stole the headlines with his 129th and 130th goals for his country, having already broken the Saudi Pro League's single-season scoring record in the campaign just gone.

The Portugal talisman was at his brilliant best here, scoring twice from just 0.49 expected goals (xG) – his personal tally marginally higher than the 0.48 xG for O'Shea's lacklustre side.

Steve Clarke hopes to take Scotland into the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time at Euro 2024, with their target simply four points to progress.

Scotland have failed in their previous 11 attempts across the World Cup and European Championship to make it past the group stages.

Hosts Germany await in the Group A opener for Clarke's side on Friday before clashes with Switzerland and Hungary.

With the top two sides progressing, as well as four of the best third-placed finishers, Clarke made his ambitions clear for the upcoming UEFA tournament.

"The bottom line is we need four points to come out the group, that guarantees that you'll come out of the group almost forever," Clarke told BBC Sport.

"That always happens. Three points and a zero goal difference would probably get out of the group so that's what we have to look at – every game in isolation, make sure that we're competitive in every game and realistically you go into the last game with a chance to qualify.

"Hopefully, we've done it before that with the points tally from the first two games but if we get to the last game like we did in the last tournament, we had to go to Wembley, we had to get at least a point against England, we gave ourselves a chance going into the Croatia game.

"Okay, we didn't quite get over the line but at one each in the Croatia game you've got a chance, you've always got that hope, that expectation that you might do it."

Scotland will appear at their fourth European Championship, after 1992, 1996 and 2020, having failed to reach the knockout stages in each of those tournaments.

Clarke's side have just two wins in the finals of the tournament's history, against CIS in 1992 and Switzerland in 1996, and have not found the net in six of their nine matches.

The Scotland manager will become just the third to lead his nation to consecutive international tournaments, along with Andy Roxburgh (1990 World Cup, Euro 92) and Craig Brown (Euro 96, 1998 World Cup).

His message to the players is clear: take it to the last game.

Clarke added: "We play against Hungary in the last game, that's where we want to be – in a similar situation where we know we can get a result and we can qualify."

As for Scotland's starting line-up in Munich, captain Andy Robertson and Lawrence Shankland returned to training in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Tuesday. 

"I've probably got two in my mind that I'm still mulling over and we'll work on that in the next couple of days," Clarke concluded.

Emma Raducanu felt like she was playing "two v one" as the Briton criticised umpire Ana Carvalho following her Nottingham Open first-round victory over Ena Shibahara.

The former US Open champion, who opted to miss the French Open to focus on preparing for the grass-court season, overcame the Japanese 6-1 6-4 in her first match since losing to Maria Lourdes Carla at the Madrid Open in April.

It was also Raducanu's first win on surface since the 2022 Wimbledon Championships, having missed last year's grass-court season after undergoing wrist and ankle surgery that, at one point, left her confined to a mobility scooter.

Although, the 21-year-old was left unhappy with several questionable decisions by umpire Carvalho, suggesting some of the calls were deliberately made in order to extend the contest.

It comes just 24 hours after fellow Briton Harriet Dart slammed "pretty appalling" officiating during her defeat to Katie Boulter in Nottingham, where electronic line-calling technology is not in use.

Nevertheless, Raducanu was pleased to eventually prevail and book her place in the second round.

"I feel like I was playing two v one on court, it was insane," said Raducanu. "I would have used probably at least four challenges!

"I think a lot of the time they go both ways. Today, I felt they were all against me, but it just makes me feel better that I managed to beat her and the umpire as well.

"It is difficult when there is no challenge, but it is something everyone has to deal with. You can be fortunate in some ways. Maybe it was just trying to make the match more competitive.

"It's something I had to deal with and overcome. I am very pleased with the attitude I came out with from the get-go and also having to deal with the adversity.

"I haven't played in a match for a while. Playing someone who comes through qualifying and is used to the conditions, I am very pleased to have won that match."

The world number 209 was also thrilled to get a win under her belt on home soil, and set up a last-16 clash with Ukrainian Daria Snigur, who defeated second seed Marta Kostyuk.

"An element of me forgot what it was like to play at home and have that support behind me, and it is amazing," she added. "It's a great feeling.

"I am very lucky to have great support wherever I play, but it's not quite like coming and playing in the UK. It's something that me and all the Brits cherish and look forward to every year."

Boston Celtics centre Kristaps Porzingis sustained a rare injury to his left leg, putting his status for Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday into question.

The Celtics announced on Tuesday that he suffered a torn medial retinaculum allowing dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon.

The injury occurred with 3:27 to play in the third quarter of Sunday's 105-98 win over the Mavericks, which gave Boston a 2-0 lead.

The team described the injury as being rare, and said it is unrelated to a right calf strain that side-lined Porzingis for 10 games earlier in the play-offs.

He has not yet been listed on the official injury report, but the Celtics said his status is day to day.

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla told reporters that Porzingis is working hard to be ready to play.

“It's a serious injury," Mazzulla said. "At the end of the day, our medical team is not going to put him in any bad situations. So, we’ve taken the decision to play out of his hands.”

Porzingis was seen wearing a brace before speaking with the media on Tuesday.

"I'll see how I am tomorrow," he said, "and obviously I'm going to do everything I can to be out there."

Porzingis helped spark the Celtics in Thursday's 107-89 win in Game 1, tallying 11 points and two blocks in the first quarter in his first game since April 29.

He finished with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting and six rebounds before recording 12 points and four boards in Game 2.


Tiger Woods has no doubts over his fitness ahead of the US Open, where the golfing legend hopes to capitalise on a "special" relationship with his son Charlie.

The 15-time major winner has triumphed in this event three times – winning in 2000, 2002 and 2008 – and will hope to add to that tally when play begins at Pinehurst's famed Number Two course on Thursday.

Woods made a record 23rd consecutive cut at The Masters earlier this year, too, but finished last of all players to make the weekend at the historic Augusta major.

The 48-year-old has been hampered by repeated injury struggles throughout the back end of his career, though remains confident of competing in North Carolina this weekend.

Asked about his thoughts on overcoming those issues, Woods responded on Tuesday: "I feel like I have the strength to be able to do it. It's just a matter of doing it.

"This golf course is going to test every single aspect of your game, especially mentally. The mental discipline that it takes to play this particular golf course, it's going to take a lot.

"We've been working on that and making sure that I understand the game plan."

Woods failed to make the cut at the year's second major, the PGA Championship, after crashing out on the Masters weekend before that.

The American great had his 15-year-old son Charlie alongside him during his practice rounds at Augusta, though, and hopes to benefit from that relationship once more in North Carolina.

"I think having Charlie out here is very special," said Woods. "As far as his responsibilities, it's the same. I trust him with my swing and my game.

"He's seen it more than anybody else in the world. He's seen me hit more golf balls than anyone.

"I tell him what to look for, especially with putting. He gave me a couple little side bits today, which was great, because I get so entrenched in hitting certain putts to certain pins, I tend to forget some of the things I'm working on.

"I just want to see the balls rolling. He reminds me every now and again, which is great. We have a great relationship and rapport like that, and it's a wonderful experience for both of us."

Woods will be in a group with Will Zalatoris and Matt Fitzpatrick for the first and second rounds of the US Open.

Babar Azam lauded a much-needed T20 World Cup victory for Pakistan against Canada on Tuesday, though still regretted his side not wrapping up the win sooner.

Pakistan made light work of their 107-run target in New York, easing to their first win at this year's competition with 15 balls to spare and still boasting seven wickets in hand.

Mohammad Rizwan made a run-a-ball 53 in the chase, while captain Babar added 33 in what proved to be a routine victory.

Yet having already suffered a shock opening defeat to the United States and a low-scoring loss to rivals India, Babar was frustrated Pakistan could not finish the task sooner against Canada.

"Good for us, we need this win," Babar said during his post-match interview. "We started well with the bowling, in the first six overs we knew we had to be up to the mark.

"[Net run-rate] was in our mind, to win before 14 overs but the pitch made it difficult."

Mohammad Amir managed an economical 2-13 from his four-over spell as Canada's batters failed to get going against Pakistan.

The Pakistan bowler was named Player of the Match for his efforts, referencing a need for adaptability in the USA and West Indies.

"As a bowler you have to adopt the conditions, what the conditions are demanding," Amir said. "My role is very clear, what I'm going to do with the new ball and at the death.

"That's why I'm getting that success. That was a very important win. One more, who knows..."

Canada captain Saad Bin Zafar, meanwhile, was left frustrated.

"Definitely, it was a bit disappointing," he said. "We wanted to play a positive brand of cricket and I think the wicket was not very helpful.

"It was difficult to bat early on; not a good toss to lose. We were about 25 to 30 runs short."

Ukraine completed their Euro 2024 preparations with a commanding 4-0 victory over Moldova in Chisinau.

Roman Yaremchuk and Artem Dovbyk were on target for Serhiy Rebrov's side, who begin their Group E campaign against Romania next Monday.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Andrii Lunin returned between the sticks for Ukraine, were seeking a response to Friday's 2-1 loss against Poland - and only their second defeat under Rebrov.

Just two minutes were on the clock when Yaremchuk broke the deadlock on his 50th cap and, though Vitalii Mykolenko limped off in the 30th minute, Viktor Tsyhankov doubled the lead before half-time.

Girona striker Dovbyk - LaLiga's top scorer for 2023-24 with 24 goals - got in on the act four minutes after the restart, before Heorhii Sudakov's strike in the 54th minute completed a comfortable win.

Ukraine completed their Euro 2024 preparations with a commanding 4-0 victory over Moldova in Chisinau on Tuesday.

Roman Yaremchuk and Artem Dovbyk were on target for Serhiy Rebrov's side, who begin their Group E campaign against Romania next Monday.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Andrii Lunin returned between the sticks for Ukraine, who were seeking a response to Friday's 2-1 loss against Poland.

Just two minutes were on the clock when Yaremchuk broke the deadlock on his 50th cap and, though Vitalii Mykolenko limped off in the 30th minute, Viktor Tsyhankov doubled the lead before half-time.

Girona striker Dovbyk – LaLiga's top scorer for 2023-24 with 24 goals – got in on the act four minutes after the restart, before Heorhii Sudakov's strike in the 54th minute completed a comfortable win.

Data Debrief: Yaremchuk moves level with Rebrov

Ukraine will head to Euro 2024 in a confident mood, having lost just two of their 13 matches since Rebrov took charge last June.

Yaremchuk got the ball rolling with his 15th international goal, moving him level with his head coach and joint-fourth on the Blue and Yellow's all-time list behind Andriy Shevchenko (48), Andriy Yarmolenko (46) and Yevhen Konoplyanka (21).

Rory McIlroy still harbours hopes of an elusive fifth major title as the US Open awaits at Pinehurst's famed Number Two course in North Carolina.

The Northern Irishman will start the tournament on Friday aiming to end a decade-long wait for another major crown.

McIlroy has won three times this year, defending his Hero Dubai Desert Classic title on the DP World Tour before consecutive PGA Tour victories at the Zurich Classic and Wells Fargo Championship.

The world number three has not tasted major success since his PGA Championship glory back in 2014, but McIlroy believes further joy on the biggest golfing stage could be on the cards this week.

"I've always said I still feel like being the most successful European in the game is within my reach," McIlroy said in his pre-tournament press conference.

"I've got obviously Seve [Ballesteros] and Nick Faldo to pass there in terms of major wins.

"I'm really proud of my body of work over the past 15 years and everything that I have achieved, whether it be season-long titles or individual tournaments or majors.

"Getting my hands on a fifth major has taken quite a while, but I'm more confident than ever that I'm right there, that I'm as close as I've ever been."

Despite enjoying consistent success in various PGA Tour and DP World Tour competitions, major success has remained a challenge for the 35-year-old since his one-shot victory at Valhalla 10 years ago.

McIlroy finished tied for 22nd and 12th at the first two majors this year, The Masters and PGA Championship respectively.

Therefore, the four-time major winner refused to put a target on how many such victories he continues to aim for.

"I wouldn't say I have a particular number of wins [as a target]," he added. "I think the only thing about trying to pick a number is that you're setting yourself up for failure or disappointment.

"Tiger [Woods] wanted to surpass Jack [Nicklaus]. It looks like he might not get there, but are we going to call Tiger's career a failure? Absolutely not. It's arguably the best. He's played the best golf anyone's ever seen.

"There's always going to be that tinge of what could have been. I don't want to do that to myself. If someone had told me at 20 years old I'd be sitting here at 35 and this is the career I've had, I would not have believed them and I would have been ecstatic.

"I still have a good little bit of time here, hopefully for the next 10 years. I still like to think I've got a good run ahead of me.

"Whatever those numbers are, whatever the totals add up to, I'll accept that and feel like I've done pretty well for a little boy from Northern Ireland who dreamed of playing golf for a living one day."

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