BREAKING NEWS: Simeone extends Atletico Madrid to 2024 after LaLiga triumph

By Sports Desk July 08, 2021

Diego Simeone has boosted LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid by extending his contract with the club until 2024.

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  • Rennes 2-2 Tottenham: Spurs lose Lucas and Bergwijn to injury in Europa Conference League opener Rennes 2-2 Tottenham: Spurs lose Lucas and Bergwijn to injury in Europa Conference League opener

    Tottenham lost Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn to injury as they played out a 2-2 draw with Ligue 1 side Rennes in Thursday's opening Europa Conference League match.

    Lucas played a big part in Tottenham's opener, which was credited as a Loic Bade own goal, before having to make way following a poor challenge from Flavien Tait.

    It was Tait who had earlier equalised for Rennes with a curled finish at an atmospheric Roazhon Park, shortly before Bergwijn was withdrawn with an apparent ankle issue.

    Gaetan Laborde completed the turnaround 19 minutes from time, only for substitute Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to quickly hit back and earn Spurs a point in the Group G clash.

    Tanguy Ndombele was brought into the Tottenham side for his first appearance under Nuno Espirito Santo and played a huge part in the opening goal with 11 minutes played.

    The Frenchman kept the ball in play with a fancy backheeled pass in a swift move that culminated in Lucas' attempted cross hitting Bade's boot and wrong-footing Romain Salin.

    Serhou Guirassy then had a shot saved by Pierluigi Gollini but exchanged passes with Tait soon after for his team-mate to curl one into the bottom-right corner for the equaliser.

    That ended Rennes' 212-minute wait for a goal and the hosts spurned a big chance to edge in front before half-time when Kamaldeen Sulemana headed wide from close range.

    The second half had a disrupted feel to it following a number of fouls, one of which led to Lucas' injury, with the Spurs attacker unable to run off the damage.

    That all changed when Laborde converted a rebound after Gollini pushed Sulemana's shot into his path, but it took Nuno's side just five minutes to respond through Hojbjerg's poked finish from close range to ensure the points were shared.

  • Kean does not feel pressure to replace Ronaldo Kean does not feel pressure to replace Ronaldo

    Moise Kean has insisted he does not feel the pressure of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus following his return to Turin.

    Ronaldo, who scored 101 goals across 134 matches in all competitions at Allianz Stadium, moved back to Manchester United in August as he ended a 12-year absence from Old Trafford.

    Moments after the Portugal captain's departure, Kean signed for Juve on an initial loan from Everton, with the Serie A outfit obliged to buy if certain objectives are met.

    The Italy forward spent last season on loan at Paris Saint-Germain, where he impressed with 13 goals in 26 Ligue 1 matches.

    Despite arriving in the wake of Ronaldo's move, Kean told reporters at his Juve presentation that he is focusing on achieving success with Massimiliano Allegri's team and not on who he has replaced.

    "I don’t feel any pressure in replacing Ronaldo,” he said at Thursday's news conference. "I just want to lend a hand to the team where I grew up and where I lived good times.

    "I just want to play, I have no pressure, I just feel the responsibility of wearing the Juventus shirt."

    Indeed, the 21-year-old has played for the Bianconeri before, making his debut aged just 16 years, eight months and 21 days to become the club's youngest ever player.

    He managed seven goals in 16 Serie A appearances before an underwhelming spell at Everton, where he managed only two goals in 32 outings.

    Allegri has already granted Kean cameo appearances against Napoli and Malmo and Juve's new signing is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

    "Wearing the black and white jersey has always given me great emotions," he continued.

    "It is the right choice, I am ready for this new challenge. I'm lucky to have played in foreign championships.

    "I'm here to give a big hand to the team I grew up in. I don't feel its weight, but the responsibility of wearing this shirt and giving 100 per cent.

    "We didn't start well but we have great objectives. I'm sure we will aim for great results."

  • England jump to third in FIFA rankings as record-breaking Italy stay fifth England jump to third in FIFA rankings as record-breaking Italy stay fifth

    European champions Italy are on a world record 37-game unbeaten streak, but they remain lodged at number five in the FIFA rankings.

    The world governing body published its new list on Thursday and the only change in the top five saw England jump to third, nudging France down to fourth.

    England were runners-up to Italy in the Euro 2020 final, losing on penalties at Wembley after a 1-1 draw, and two wins and a draw from World Cup qualifiers in September have seen Gareth Southgate's team edge ahead of Les Bleus.

    It is the first time since 2012 that England have reached the top three, and third place remains the highest position they have achieved in the rankings.

    Didier Deschamps' France could only manage two draws and a win in this month's international break, while Italy were held by Bulgaria and Switzerland before landing a 5-0 victory over Lithuania.

    Italy have been a roaring success under the leadership of Roberto Mancini, who inherited a team that failed to qualify for the last World Cup and had plummeted to 21st in FIFA's rankings.

    They set the record for the most games unbeaten at international level during their run of September games, staying in control as leaders of World Cup European qualifying Group C.

    With FIFA's rankings offering significant weighting to World Cup tournament performance, Italy could make a significant leap should their strong form under coach Mancini continue into the Qatar 2022 finals.

    Belgium remain top of the FIFA list, with Brazil in second. Copa America winners Argentina stay sixth.

     

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