Atletico Madrid have agreed a deal to bring Marcos Llorente to the Wanda Metropolitano in a reported €40million move from Real Madrid.

Llorente made just seven LaLiga appearances last season and will hope for more opportunities with Atleti, where he appears set to replace Manchester City target Rodri.

Incredibly, Llorente is following in the footsteps of his father, Paco, and his grandfather, Ramon Grosso, who also represented both of the capital's biggest clubs.

They are not the only players to turn out for the two teams, though. Here are six of the best players to have featured for Atleti and Madrid...

Thibaut Courtois

Courtois enjoyed a superb three-season loan spell at Atletico, helping them to end an 18-year wait for a LaLiga title and reach the Champions League final in 2014, having also won the Copa del Rey and Europa League. He was similarly successful upon returning to Chelsea, adding two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the EFL Cup to his list of honours, but he has yet to hit those same heights at Madrid after leaving Stamford Bridge last year.

Theo Hernandez

Before older brother Lucas agreed to depart Atletico for Bayern Munich, Theo controversially left them for Madrid in 2017 having not played a professional game for Simeone's side. The left-back made 23 appearances in his debut season for Madrid, winning the Champions League, but was loaned to Real Sociedad for 2018-19.

Raul

Though he went on to secure a place as a legendary figure in Madrid's storied history, things could have been very different for Raul, who was in Atletico's academy until it was closed as a cost-saving measure. Madrid took advantage and got him on their books, and Raul went on to win six LaLiga titles and three Champions League trophies with the club, becoming their record goalscorer with 323 strikes to his name before eventually being displaced by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Alvaro Morata

Morata spent four seasons with Atleti as a youth player but made his breakthrough in senior football with bitter rivals Madrid, where he won eight trophies - either side of two seasons with Juventus - including two LaLiga crowns and two Champions Leagues. A lack of first-team football saw Morata on the move again in 2017, but he failed to settle after being made Chelsea's record signing and was sent back to boyhood club Atleti on loan in January. A steady start returned six goals in 17 appearances in all competitions.

Santiago Solari

Midfielder Solari made the move from River Plate to Atletico in 1999, but their relegation from LaLiga in 2000 led him to the Santiago Bernabeu, where he served as a workmanlike force for the 'Galacticos'. Solari won a pair of LaLiga titles and the 2001-02 Champions League, thanks to Zinedine Zidane's stunning volley against Bayer Leverkusen, but did not enjoy the same success as his former team-mate in the dugout, lasting less than five months in charge last season.

Bernd Schuster

Schuster evidently did not mind making controversial transfers. After great success at Barca, he moved to the other side of the Clasico rivalry and won two LaLiga titles and the Copa del Rey. The German midfielder and future Madrid coach went on to claim a further two Copas with Atletico following his 1990 move across the city.

Serie A promises to be fascinating next season, with four of the biggest clubs in the league under new leadership.

Champions Juventus surprisingly parted company with Massimiliano Allegri and replaced him with Maurizio Sarri despite winning the title yet again, although runners-up Napoli have stuck with Carlo Ancelotti.

Inter and AC Milan both appointed new head coaches, with Antonio Conte and Marco Giampaolo taking charge respectively, while Paulo Fonseca is the new man in the Roma dugout.

But what do the four men need to do to make a success of their new jobs? Omnisport takes a look.

 

Maurizio Sarri (Juventus)

Perhaps the most daunting task awaits Sarri next season, as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of Allegri, who won five consecutive Scudetti. Indeed, the last campaign in which the Bianconeri did not win the title was 2010-11, and if Sarri cannot sustain their dominance his spell in Turin could be short-lived.

What's more, he will be tasked with turning an Allegri team that, for all its success, was criticised for playing dour, defensive football into the kind of free-flowing, passing side Sarri created at Napoli. He was unable to make that transformation happen during a tumultuous year at Chelsea, but perhaps a return to Serie A will rekindle his particular brand of magic.


Paulo Fonseca (Roma)

Roma narrowly missed out on a place in next season's Champions League, leaving new coach Fonseca in charge of a club in need of a morale-boosting return to Serie A's top four.

The Giallorossi will still be expected to progress in the Europa League and Fonseca arrives in Rome with a strong track record in continental competition, having guided Shakhtar Donetsk to the last 16 of the Champions League in 2017-18. However, he will need to get more out of a talented group of players and keep on top of what Francesco Totti claimed has become a toxic environment at the Stadio Olimpico.

 

Paulo Fonseca: “I am excited and motivated by the task ahead of us. I cannot wait to move to Rome, meet our fans and get started.

"Together, I believe we can create something special.” #ASRoma pic.twitter.com/PnSAeTxcYN

— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) June 11, 2019 Antonio Conte (Inter)

Inter's return to the Champions League did not go according to plan in 2018-19, and despite having their fate in their own hands, Luciano Spalletti's side dropped out in the group stage and lost to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League round of 16. Spalletti did secure a second successive top-four finish, though, meaning Conte's primary target will be to better the performance in Europe's elite competition, while also closing the gap on Napoli – if not Juventus quite yet – who finished 10 points above the Nerazzurri.

Mauro Icardi is the elephant in the room and getting the best out of the striker who was stripped of the captaincy as a dispute over a new contract rumbled on in the second half of last season will also be top of Conte's to-do list, should the Argentine remain at San Siro. If not, then it could well be Romelu Lukaku who leads Inter's line next term.


Marco Giampaolo (AC Milan)

Giampaolo's task will be, on the face of it, a simple one – gain qualification for the Champions League. Gennaro Gattuso's failure to do just that ultimately cost the Milan icon his job at San Siro. It was a frustrating campaign for Milan and having led Sampdoria to a ninth-place finish last season, Giampaolo must now settle on a system that can see the Rossoneri challenge for the top four.

Milan's squad does not have the quality it once did but Giampaolo has a natural goalscorer at his disposal in Krzysztof Piatek. However, his first port of call should be to solidify a defence that was left exposed under Gattuso, with Gianluigi Donnarumma having to come to their rescue far too often.

Part of the fun of the NBA Draft is trying to figure out who is going to be good and who is not.

It is easy to say guys like LeBron James or Kevin Durant or Zion Williamson will be good, but what about Kawhi Leonard or Marc Gasol?

Who are those guys who you thought could be good, but a team were still taking a chance by taking them?

We are looking at a few of those guys here, those who could be All-Stars in three years or who may never make it out of the G-League.

Three players with boom or bust potential

 

Bol Bol

At 7-2 and 235 pounds with athleticism to boot, this one should be easy. Bol Bol has the size to dominate inside and be the odd type of player who can run the court despite being absolutely massive. But here are the issues, for one he is fragile, and two he is incredibly raw.

Coming out of Bishop Miege High School just outside of Kansas City, Bol played against competition that simply was not up to snuff for him. Private schools play alongside public schools in the state, and at the 4A level, Bol simply did not see great competition. That is why he transferred to Mater Dei and then to Findlay Prep. He needed to see better competition and he went out and found it.

But he did not play his whole life in tough competition and was not truly tested until he got to college when he went to Oregon. And he showed he could play well there, averaging 21 points and 9.6 rebounds. However, he played just nine games before getting hurt and he showed what a lot of scouts feared in his time there as well. He does not want to play inside. He likes to shoot the three and does not play with the physicality someone of his size would be expected to.

And then if he is to do that can he stand up to the physical nature inside? There are more questions around Bol Bol than answers, but again, he is 7-2, has the potential to dominate inside and can also shoot the three-pointer. He has a massive skill set, but will it all come together or will he fall apart?

Jarrett Culver

Culver could either be the best player to come out of this draft or one who never gets aggressive enough to succeed. Here is the thing with Culver. Where he comes from is both his best asset and his worst. He was a two-star recruit coming out of Lubbock, Texas, but after two years with Texas Tech he was the Big 12 Player of the Year and a Naismith finalist.

While he has grown a lot he still has the same issues he had coming out of high school – he is not nearly aggressive enough on the offensive end and often can get overpowered by NBA-bodied guys like De'Andre Hunter of Virginia showed in the National Championship game.

He is still very young and very raw so if a coach sees that and believes he can put on 20 to 30 pounds and maintain the athleticism that makes him as good as he is now he could wind up being absolutely fantastic in the NBA. But if he does not get more aggressive and cannot put on weight – or if he does and slows down – he could be in for a lot of trouble at the NBA level as a man who should be a stretch-four playing at the size of a smaller small forward.

Rui Hachimura

There is a ton to like about Hachimura. As a guy who did not start until his last year at Gonzaga, Hachimura took a massive step from Year 2 to Year 3 and showed how he could be a dominant force on the offensive end, both featuring post moves and an ability to knock down a shot if you leave him open. He also can run the floor, giving teams a lot to dream up with what he could do in a small-ball lineup.

But he really is a four who is not all that big nor all that athletic. He can struggle defensively at times and may not be quite a good enough shooter to truly be a stretch-four. He could be the type of guy stuck guarding men three inches taller than him who are better athletes. That could result in being a mismatch on the floor who can only come off the bench in limited minutes.

But if he continues to develop and adjusts to the NBA three-point line well he could very well be an absolute steal if he falls down the draft. It depends on which team he ends up with though and he will need to keep getting better if he wants to be an NBA star.

Every year, NBA teams find rotation players in the second round of the draft.

Malcolm Brogdon was named the Rookie of the Year after he was selected 36th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2016. Draymond Green was picked 35th by the Golden State Warriors in the 2012 draft and became an instrumental part of three NBA championship teams.

Isaiah Thomas, DeAndre Jordan and Paul Millsap were second-round draft choices, and all have gone on to make at least one All-Star team.

Here are five players projected to be picked in the second round of this year's draft who could make an impact.

 

Tremont Waters, guard, LSU

Waters is a pure point guard who thrives with the ball in his hands. He can score off the pick-and-roll, push the pace and he willingly distributes to his team-mates. Waters, however, is undersized at 5-10, which could prevent him from becoming an adequate defender.  

Terance Mann, forward, Florida State

Mann is a versatile defender who should develop into someone capable of guarding multiple positions in the NBA. He currently projects as a role player, at best, but his ceiling could be raised significantly if he develops his shot. The 6-7 wing connected on just 32.7 per cent of his three-point attempts over four seasons at Florida State.

Dylan Windler, forward, Belmont

Windler is a knock down three-point shooter – he made 40.6 per cent of his shots from behind the arc during his collegiate career – who moves well without the ball. The 6-7 forward is a reliable defender, as well, and could develop into a solid three-and-D player. He has a chance to go in the first round, however, he is projected to be taken with the 35th pick, so he fits here.

Carsen Edwards, guard, Purdue

Edwards is a proven scorer who averaged 24.3 points and led Purdue to the Elite Eight in 2018-19. He is a knockdown shooter who found ways to create for himself despite facing double teams. Edwards will struggle defensively at the next level, but his ability on the other end of the floor is well worth the risk.

Tacko Fall, center, Central Florida

The 7-6 center will certainly be a project. His offense is raw, and he will struggle to guard the pick-and-roll. But, with his size, he is an excellent shot blocker. He has the potential to become a strong rim protector, which is definitely valuable in the modern NBA. Fall has a chance to go undrafted, but he has met with multiple teams — including the New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers. It seems like someone may take a flier on him.

The 2019 NBA Draft is approaching, and teams have had plenty of time to evaluate the top talent in this year's class.

It is inevitable that a few players will be selected earlier than they probably should be, though.

Here are three players that could be picked too soon in the 2019 draft:

 

Darius Garland, guard, Vanderbilt

Garland is consistently projected to be a top-five pick in multiple mock drafts. The 6-2 guard out of Vanderbilt left this year's draft combine early, and there was speculation that he may have been promised a lottery spot by a team.

Garland tore his meniscus just five games into his collegiate career, and that may have been the best thing for his stock. He scored more than 35 points in three of his five appearances for the Commodores and notched 28 in another, leaving little room to poke holes in his skill set. The freshman averaged 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 47.8 per cent from deep.

There is no indication that Garland's game will not translate to the NBA, but he never quite got to showcase much passing ability or elite athleticism. Nevertheless, offensive-minded point guards with range are in high demand, so many teams struggling at that position are willing to take a risk.

But, it does not always work out as well as it did for Kyrie Irving.

Nassir Little, forward, North Carolina 

Little was one of the nation's top recruits out of high school but was not quite able to crack the starting line-up at North Carolina during his freshman year. The 6-7 forward had some impressive spurts, but it is his measurables that has NBA scouts drooling.

Little's 7-2 wingspan and 38.5-inch vertical make him a candidate to be an elite defender. But he did not shoot the ball well as a Tar Heel, making just 26.9 per cent of his three-point attempts. 

"I think I shoot the ball way better than I get credit for," Little said after a Charlotte Hornets workout in May.

He could be a catch if he refines his ball handling and works on his shot, but there are other prospects around his size that are more developed in those areas.

Bol Bol, center, Oregon 

The Oregon big man has one of the most interesting bodies in this year's class. Perhaps the most perplexing, if Zion Williamson did not exist. 

Bol, 7-2, has a 9-8 standing reach, can create his own shot off the dribble and has NBA range as a shooter. He was very productive for the Ducks, averaging 21 points and 9.6 rebounds per game while shooting 52 per cent from beyond the arc. However, a foot injury brought his collegiate career to an end after just nine games.

Oregon listed his weight at 235 pounds, but he weighed in at a worrisome 208 at the NBA combine. That os not what you want to see someone with his frame tip the scales at. If Bol does not get stronger, his impact will be limited on the offensive and defensive ends. 

Bol might end up being a project, but he definitely has star potential. 

When his name is called on Thursday night, and it will be called first in the 2019 NBA Draft, Zion Williamson is not sure how he'll react.

It is the one uncertainty he admitted to before an assembled throng of reporters at the league's pre-draft media availability in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday.

"Honestly, I don't know. I don't know how I'm going to react," he said. "I don't know if I'm going to cry or have this giant smile on my face.

"We'll see tomorrow night. But I know I'm very excited about it."

Outside of that admission, Williamson offered a mix of self-assessment, draft scouting and, yes, humour as he patiently and calmly answered a half-hour's worth of questions from the media. There were no huge reveals. But there were a few telling comments.

Here is a half-dozen things we learned from Zion Williamson on Wednesday:

 

1. He's not just a physical specimen.

You have no doubt seen the vast array of rim-rattling dunks, altered shots made from awkward angles and, yes, his head rim-high on the defensive end.

But the physical side is only part of the story.

"One thing I'm good at is just my will to win," Williamson said. "I feel like when I want to win, I'll do things, I'll do whatever I need to do to win."

2. He's not "the next."

As the projected number one pick (he was careful to couch most of his answers with "if" he is the top pick), Williamson is hearing a lot of comparisons with NBA superstars who have come before him. That is fine, but he is out to cut his own incomparable path.

"Honestly, with the comparison stuff, it's nice, it's cool, but I don't look into it," he said. "I just look to be myself. I'm not trying to be nobody.

"I'm just trying to be the first Zion."

3. He's not feeling any pressure as the projected top pick.

Seemingly relaxed and frequently smiling during the 30-minute interview with a densely packed group of reporters, Williamson appeared thoroughly at ease with the world he is in now and the one he is about to be the centre of.

"I don't really see the pressure," he said. "I'm doing what I love to do, and that's play basketball. I don't try to live up to nobody's expectations. They can set them there, I don't try to live up to them.

"I just try to be me, be the best version of myself that I can be."

4. He thinks former Duke team-mate R.J. Barrett will shine in the NBA …

But enough about Zion. The pre-draft media availability was in New York, after all. So, just spit balling here, if the New York Knicks were to draft Barrett, would he live up to fans' high expectations?

"R.J. is cold-blooded. He's built for people doubting him or telling him he's not ready. R.J. is built for that," Williamson said. "I got to see it first-hand at Duke. I don't doubt R.J. in the slightest. If he gets drafted out here, he's going to come out here and handle his business.

"I think they'll get a great player."

5. … and former AAU team-mate (and fellow South Carolinian) Ja Morant is a revelation.

Williamson recounted Morant's ability to make a pass that would surprise even its intended target: Williamson.

"I'd make backdoor cuts, and I didn't think he would see me," Williamson recalled. "But he'd put it in the perfect spot.

"Can I sit here and say I knew Ja would be this good? I can't say that. I knew he'd be good but not to this level. For him to be here and to be like a top-three pick, it means a lot to me, it means a lot to the state of South Carolina."

6. He didn't order the kid's meal at Commander’s Palace.

Williams ate at the world-renowned (and James Beard Award-winning) New Orleans restaurant with Pelicans brass last week as a part of his pre-draft visit.

"I've been seeing some people saying I got chicken tenders," he said. "No, that was my five-year-old brother that did that. I got fried shrimp with some mashed potatoes."

The Golden State Warriors will have their first chance to acquire a rotation piece in the 2019 NBA Draft, where they hold the 28th selection.

Golden State's attempt at a three-peat came up short when they fell to the Toronto Raptors in six games in the NBA Finals.

Stars Kevin Durant (ruptured Achilles) and Klay Thompson (torn anterior cruciate ligament) suffered serious injuries in the finals and both will be free agents this offseason.

Even if they do re-sign with the Warriors, the pair be sidelined for much, if not all, of next season.

The Warriors' bench also declined in 2018-19 and they will need to add multiple rotation pieces in the upcoming months.

Here are four draft options for the Warriors ahead of Thursday's NBA Draft:

 

Cameron Johnson, forward, North Carolina

Johnson could be just what the Warriors need. He is a knockdown shooter who will excel at the next level spotting up in the corners and getting open using off-ball cuts. He is 23 and spent five years in college, so he may not have much room to develop. But, Johnson should be able to contribute beginning next season. The 6-8 wing is 20th on Sporting News' latest Big Board, so the Warriors will have to hope he falls a bit on draft night.

Dylan Windler, forward, Belmont

Windler is another player with three-and-D potential. He hit 40.6 per cent of his shots from behind the arc during his collegiate career and is reliable on the other end of the floor. Windler projected as an early second-round pick and should be available when the Warriors are on the clock. He is a good option for them.

Grant Williams, forward, Tennessee

Williams is an undersized forward who does not have a consistent shot, which could hurt his stock in the current NBA. Yet, Williams is a proven scorer with the ability to play in the pick and roll and should develop into someone capable of guarding multiple positions, as well. He would be a solid addition to Golden State's bench next season.

Trade pick for a veteran

The 28th pick might not have much value on the trade market, but Golden State should at least explore that option. Multiple other key role players besides the Warriors' stars – including Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell and DeMarcus Cousins – are set to be free agents. Dealing the selection may be the Warriors best way to acquire a veteran this offseason.

Mats Hummels will be back at Borussia Dortmund next season after the club agreed a transfer with Bayern Munich, but questions have been asked over the size of the fee.

Dortmund are reported to have parted with €38million to bring back Hummels, who at 32 is likely heading into the latter years of his career at the highest level.

It is clear there is no real resale value involved in the deal for Dortmund, but if he can help break Bayern's dominance of the Bundesliga the club will feel he is worth every penny.

Hummels' club career could also be extended by the fact he will not be playing international football, having this year been dropped from the Germany squad by Joachim Low.

With the help of Opta numbers, Omnisport assesses the success of Hummels' career to date to examine whether the transfer represents good value for money.

 

PERFECT IN POSSESSION?

The signing of Hummels, the club's former captain, should help Dortmund keep the ball. In 2018-19, Opta numbers show he had the best passing accuracy of his whole Bundesliga career at 89.4 per cent, with anything near 90 per cent considered elite for a defender.

Hummels' passing accuracy improved by a significant amount in his three seasons in Munich, each of them showing a figure higher than anything he recorded in black and yellow. In fact, in five of his eight seasons with Dortmund, he had a passing accuracy rate below 80 per cent.

The trend is the same when European performances are assessed. In the Champions League last term, Hummels had a pass success rate of 87.6 per cent, whereas his last Champions League campaign with Dortmund in 2014-15 saw him record just 79.7 per cent.

Data suggests Hummels has improved in possession radically at Bayern and he will be expected to demonstrate this development back at Dortmund, where he could make his next debut for the club in August's DFB-Supercup, which is of course against Bayern.

FLAWLESS IN 2018-19

During the 2018-19 season with Bayern, Hummels did not make a single error that led to a goal, providing such solid displays he was named the best centre-back in the league by Kicker. 

However, the 2012-13 campaign with Dortmund was the only season during which Hummels made more than one error leading to a goal (two), suggesting he has merely maintained a high level of performance.

The Opta numbers for this area of Hummels' game suggest Low may have been too hasty in jettisoning the defender from Germany duty, although his club form at Dortmund could yet force him back into the international picture.


DUEL SUCCESS STILL HIGH

The perception that Hummels may be on the wane is not backed up by his duel success rate, either.

Last term, Hummels won 66.8 per cent of his duels in the Bundesliga and 67.7 per cent of Champions League duels, a return similar to the numbers he recorded at Dortmund.

His duel success has been impressive both at Dortmund and Bayern. Throughout his career on average he has won 66 per cent of his duels.

Should he maintain those numbers in the 2019-20 season and beyond, Dortmund will no doubt be thrilled with their latest recruit, who also adds much-needed experience to a young squad.

Mats Hummels is set to return to Borussia Dortmund from Bayern Munich, joining former team-mate Mario Gotze back at Signal Iduna Park.

Hummels and Gotze were both part of the Dortmund teams that won back-to-back Bundesliga titles under Jurgen Klopp, so Lucien Favre will hope they can lead BVB back to the top.

Deals between the two German giants are not very common, but there have been some high-profile examples of players to feature for both Bayern and Dortmund.

Omnisport picks out six of the best, with Hummels' return costing Dortmund a reported €38million fee.

Mats Hummels

Hummels will know his way around Signal Iduna Park as it is only three years since the former BVB captain left Dortmund for Bayern. And he had already moved in the other direction earlier in his career. It is often forgotten Hummels started his career at Bayern only to sign for Dortmund, initially on loan, in January 2008. There, he would become one of the most impressive young defenders in the game, so it was no surprise Bayern bought him back in 2016.

Even at the age of 30, Dortmund will hope Hummels has more to give, especially as he will no longer be playing international football after Joachim Low's decision to drop him from the Germany squad. Hummels could make his next Dortmund debut against Bayern in August's DFB-Supercup.


Robert Lewandowski

Like Hummels, Lewandowski made his name at Dortmund and played a key part in their double title-winning success in the Klopp era. And, like Hummels, he was tempted away by Bavarian giants Bayern, making the switch in 2014.

Since then, the Poland international has developed a reputation as one of the world's finest strikers, often scoring against Dortmund, but the last couple of years have seen him linked with a move away. It is possible his star is on the wane too as the 22 Bundesliga goals last term were his lowest return since the 30-year-old's first season at Bayern.


Mario Gotze

There will be a familiar face for Hummels in the Dortmund dressing room as Gotze is also back at the club. The playmaker, who scored the goal that clinched World Cup glory for Germany in 2014, left Dortmund for Bayern in 2013 but never truly settled at the club and it made sense for BVB to bring him back after three mostly unhappy seasons.

"I can understand many fans could not accept my decision [to leave Dortmund]," he said. "I wouldn't reach it today either." Although a metabolic disorder has kept Gotze on the sidelines, he still scored seven Bundesliga goals last term and has won the club's fans back over.


Torsten Frings 

Germany midfielder Frings had short spells for both Dortmund and Bayern, but he is best remembered for his two long periods as a Werder Bremen player.

Dortmund signed Frings from Werder during the 2002 World Cup but after two years he left for Bayern, where he won a domestic double. It was his only season in Munich, though, and he was soon back at Bremen.


Christian Nerlinger

Even though he was from Dortmund, it was at Bayern where Nerlinger started his career, winning a brace of Bundesliga titles as well as the UEFA Cup in 1995-96. 

Nerlinger joined hometown club Dortmund in 1998 but injuries affected his ability to make an impact and the midfielder, capped six times by Germany, was forced into early retirement in December 2005.


Thomas Helmer

Euro 1996 winner Helmer joined Dortmund from Arminia Bielefeld in 1986, but only won the DFB-Pokal at the club. Bayern were interested in buying the defender in 1992 but Dortmund were unwilling to sell him to their Bundesliga rivals.

Instead, Helmer moved to Ligue 1 side Lyon, but he then switched to Bayern in controversial circumstances only three months later. Helmer would become Bayern's captain and won three league titles before an inauspicious end to his career at Sunderland.

Robert Moreno has been appointed as Spain's permanent head coach after Luis Enrique stepped down from the role.

The 41-year-old has already overseen three Euro 2020 qualifiers – all of which were wins – while Luis Enrique was absent due to a family emergency and has now been handed the reins on a full-time basis.

During Wednesday's news conference, Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales confirmed Moreno will be in charge until the end of Euro 2020.

But who is Moreno and how did someone with such little pedigree as a head coach come to arrive in Spanish football's most senior role?

 

EARLY CAREER

Rather than the traditional route of going from the pitch to the dugout, Moreno, born in Barcelona in 1977, started out as a coach at a young age.

Moreno worked his way up through the coaching ranks at a local level in Catalonia, plying his trade at several teams including Damm, a youth club famed for its development of young players.

Nurturing youth players set him up nicely for a role at Barcelona B, where he met Luis Enrique.

 

LUIS ENRIQUE LINK

Moreno soon struck up an effective working relationship with Luis Enrique, so much so he joined the head coach in moving to Roma in 2011, serving as assistant.

Things did not go to plan for the pair in Serie A, however, leaving after one season having failed to secure European qualification.

But they were back together in Spain at Celta Vigo in 2013, the same year Moreno's book 'My Recipe of 4-4-2' – including a prologue written by Luis Enrique – was published.

Luis Enrique's star as a coach rose in Vigo and he earned a return to Barcelona in 2014, again taking Moreno with him.

A stunning start to life back at Camp Nou saw Barca claim a treble in 2014-15 and, although they did not maintain those lofty standards, Luis Enrique's reputation was enhanced by the time he departed at the end of his contract in 2017.

Moreno returned to Celta Vigo to assist Juan Carlos Unzue – a former Barca colleague – as Luis Enrique sat out the 2017-18 season, yet the Spain call came after the World Cup.

 

SPAIN JOB

Moreno continued to work under Luis Enrique throughout Spain's Nations League campaign, where impressive victories over England and Croatia were followed by defeats to the same two sides.

However, when international football returned earlier this year, a family emergency meant Luis Enrique was absent following the opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Norway.

Moreno was left in charge and guided Spain to a 2-0 win over Malta on what he called the "worst day" of his career, as he got a taste of the big job because of his friend's family emergency.

He reprised the role again earlier this month with Luis Enrique still on leave. Spain defeated Faroe Islands 4-1 and Sweden 3-0.

The long-time assistant insisted he was eager to have Luis Enrique back available for the next fixtures in September, yet the latter has now called time on his career with Spain.

Moreno said on Wednesday: "It's a bittersweet day. I didn't expect to be the head coach this way. We are going to try to continue the high-level work that Luis started."

Kyle Walker's fresh contract running until 2024 continues a trend at Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.

The Catalan led his club to back-to-back Premier League titles last season, before completing a clean sweep of domestic honours and he is keen to keep a core of proven winners together.

An ongoing FIFA investigation into City that could result in a transfer ban means this approach could be prudent, although it is a policy that predates football's authorities taking an active interest in the club's affairs.

A £50million signing from Tottenham in 2017, England defender Walker is in it for the long haul at the Etihad Stadium – and he is far from the only one.

Kyle Walker (age 29, contracted until 2024)

Significantly older than the other players on this list, underlining the esteem in which Guardiola holds the full-back. Walker overcame a mid-season form slump with flying colours in 2019 and brought up 100 City appearances as Watford were swatted aside in the FA Cup final. Danilo is reportedly seeking pastures new due to Walker locking down the right-back slot, with Juventus' Joao Cancelo a rumoured target to bring fresh competition.

Bernardo Silva (age 24, contracted until 2025)

A £43.5million signing from Monaco in May 2017, Silva truly came to the fore last season. The Portugal playmaker's superb form and versatility meant Kevin De Bruyne's injury woes did not hinder City to any major extent. Like Walker, his initial deal ran until 2022. A Guardiola favourite.

Ederson (age 25, contracted until 2025)

A sharp, fearless shot-stopper, Ederson's composure and skill on the ball felt like the final piece in the jigsaw for Guardiola, enabling City to fully take on their manager's style. Despite agreeing a six-year contract after joining from Benfica for £35m in June 2017, he confirmed an additional two years at the conclusion of the 2017-18 campaign.

Aymeric Laporte (age 25, contracted until 2025)

The French centre-back has become Guardiola's 'Mr Dependable' at the heart of defence, mixing an elegant assurance on the ball with an imposing physical side to his game. A £57m recruit after City triggered Athletic Bilbao's release clause last January, Laporte bolted two more years on to his Manchester stay this February.

Raheem Sterling (age 24, contracted until 2023)

Arguably the greatest success story of Guardiola's City tenure, Sterling is now an indispensable attacking asset for club and country. The former Barcelona boss had long been keen on his star winger signing fresh terms before he settled upon a three-year extension in November 2018.

Kevin De Bruyne (age 27, contracted until 2023)

Forced to be a peripheral figure for much of the treble assault, De Bruyne was named City's Player of the Season in 2017-18. The Belgium midfielder's stellar form towards the back end of 2017 apparently had Europe's super clubs licking their lips, meaning his renewed commitment in January 2018 was a source of joy and relief for supporters.

Gabriel Jesus (age 22, contracted until 2023)

Brazil forward Jesus has perhaps not kicked on as expected from his emphatic introduction to life in Manchester in 2017, when he threatened to unseat Sergio Aguero as City's premier striker. Aguero's status is once again undisputed, but a new contract signed last November showed Jesus remains an important part of City's future.

Phil Foden (age 19, contracted until 2024)

The jewel of City's much-vaunted academy system, Foden finished last season with seven goals in all competitions - including a vital headed winner on his second Premier League start against Tottenham in April. A mesmeric solo goal for England Under-21s against France on Tuesday underlined Foden's enticing potential.

Ahead of Liverpool's Champions League final victory over Tottenham, Mohamed Salah glanced at a photograph to draw up pain and fuel his already burning desire

"I looked at the picture from last year before the game," he said, referring to the Reds' 2018 defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev, where a controversial tangle with Sergio Ramos left Salah stricken inside half an hour.

"I was very disappointed that I got injured and went off and we lost the game. It was something to motivate me to win. I just looked at it one time and said, 'Okay, let's go'."

Moments later, the back-to-back Premier League Golden Boot winner was dispatching an early penalty and sending Liverpool on their way to a sixth triumph in Europe's top competition.

The bad news for Egypt's rivals at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, as Salah looks to add to another history of success, is the same stinging motivation remains.

Still feeling the effects of his shoulder injury, Salah was a shadow of the attacker that ransacked the best defences in Europe at the World Cup in Russia last year. He still scored twice but the Pharaohs bowed out at the group stage after three straight defeats.

Hector Cuper paid with his job and experienced Mexican head coach Javier Aguirre has since led Egypt to six wins and a draw from his eight matches at the helm, with 20 goals in that time.

A settled and experienced squad featuring the likes of captain Ahmed Elmohamady, Ahmed Hegazi and Mohamed Elneny provide a solid foundation for Salah's brilliance, and the tournament hosts are worthy of their favourites' tag as they line up in Group A alongside DR Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe – their opponents in Friday's tournament opener.

Cameroon beat Egypt in the 2017 final but their build-up has not been ideal.

Stripped of the hosting rights, head coach Clarence Seedorf's initial decision to snub China-based players led to Benjamin Moukandjo's international retirement amid an unconvincing qualification campaign. 

They line up in a tricky Group F with Benin, Guinea-Bissau and fellow heavyweights Ghana.

As such, former Indomitable Lions defender Lauren believes another nation with a strong recent pedigree in the tournament could prove Egypt's toughest obstacle in pursuit of an eighth continental crown.

"Egypt are one of the favourites but I would go for Nigeria," he told Omnisport. "I saw Nigeria in the World Cup, a very young team with a lot of quality and a young squad.

"We will see them progress and they are one of the favourites together with Egypt, Cameroon and Senegal."

Since being denied a knockout place by Argentina in heart-breaking fashion in Russia, Nigeria have not always found consistency under Gernot Rohr but are the only side to have beaten Egypt during the intervening period.

Wilfred Ndidi and John Obi Mikel provide prowess and experience in midfield, while a favourable Group B draw alongside Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi should give Ahmed Musa and his attacking colleagues a chance to find their groove.

Group D looks devilishly tough on paper, with two-time winner Herve Renard leading a stylish Morocco boasting Ajax star Hakim Ziyech. A run of three consecutive defeats heading into the tournament has dampened expectations – a slump they must halt in the opener against Namibia with Ivory Coast and South Africa lying in wait.

A North African staging could work in favour of Tunisia – top seeds in Group E where they face Mali, Mauritania and Angola, as well as benefiting Algeria.

Djamel Belmadi's Desert Foxes are unbeaten in six and play Kenya and Tanzania either side of a mouth-watering Group C showdown with Senegal, whose hopes rest on the defensive might of Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and the effervescent Sadio Mane in attack.

Nevertheless, most eyes will remain trained on another brilliant Liverpool forward and his bid fully right the wrongs of 12 months ago.

Zion Williamson is receiving most of the attention ahead of the 2019 NBA Draft, but there are plenty of players who could make their mark early.

There are obvious ones like RJ Barrett, who finished 14th in the nation in points per game with 22.9 for Duke in 2018-19, and other guys like Coby White out of North Carolina – who has a lot of De'Aaron Fox to his game.

Those are the easy ones. We decided to look at the one at the top of the draft but then also a little further down the list to see who could play some good minutes and make more of an impact than maybe you would have thought.

Here are four instant-impact picks in the 2019 NBA Draft, with the New Orleans Pelicans poised to select first on June 20.

 

Zion Williamson

Did you think we would do a draft list without Williamson? Of course not. But it is like that for good reason. Williamson has LeBron James' athleticism and a work ethic that might (maybe) even exceed the Los Angeles Lakers superstar.

The young man loves the game and competes hard every night, though it remains to be seen how an 82-game NBA schedule will wear, especially as a rookie.

But, seriously, he is a big body who is very hard to stop going to the basket and when he is being stopped there he finds a way to alter shots at the rim and get out in transition and wear teams out. Zion will be must-watch TV when he makes his NBA debut.

Grant Williams

Williams is similar to Williamson in that he is a player who influences the game in multiple ways that cannot really be quantified strictly by numbers. He hustles constantly, always appears to be in the right place to make a play and grabs a lot of offensive rebounds that give his team second chances.

And he is a better shooter than people give him credit for. He is not that big and he is not that athletic, but to use a cliché, the whole is greater than the sum of his parts. He is a mature player who was part of a team that helped Tennessee win again. He could be very valuable in the late first round or even go higher than you might think.

Carsen Edwards

Sure, Edwards can get knocked for being a ball hog (nearly 20 shots per game for Purdue last season), is not all that tall (6-1) and makes some silly mistakes. But he can shoot like crazy, has athleticism off the charts and plays really good defense, too.

He could instantly be a sixth man who produces offense. Think Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors but with more athleticism.

If he were 6-4 he might be a top-10 pick.

Dylan Windler

Likened to Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles, once you watch Windler play, that comparison cannot be unseen.

Windler averaged 21.3 points while shooting 42.3 per cent from beyond the arc for Belmont this year. He is tall (6-9), lanky (6-11 wingspan) and oddly slippery and more than good enough on defense.

He may look a little awkward, even goofy, but he finds a way to help his team, accumulates points quietly and has all of a sudden dominated a game.

A team that drafts him in the second round will be very happy, and having played four years in college will only help Windler, who will turn 23 before the NBA season starts. His maturity will be a huge asset coming off the bench in 2019-20.

This year's NBA Draft could help a number of teams accelerate their progress toward success - or set them back.

Just a few picks could change the direction of a franchise and some of them have a lot on the line in 2019.

We take a look at three such sides ahead of Thursday's draft.

 

New York Knicks

New York had their sights set on getting the top pick and selecting Zion Williamson, but things did not shake out that way. Instead, the Knicks ended up with the number three overall pick and are expected to select RJ Barrett, another Duke star.

The Knicks appeared to be front-runners to land Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency this summer, too, but recent reports suggest otherwise.

The team were also was reluctant to part with young assets to land the New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis in a trade and missed that train, as the Los Angeles Lakers forked over a massive hall to secure the superstar.

In a market that emphasises going for championships as soon as possible, making the right selection on Thursday is imperative.

 

Phoenix Suns

Yet another victim of unexpected draft lottery results, the Suns were banking on landing in the top three. They instead sit at sixth. 

Phoenix are in dire need of a point guard, with their makeshift depth chart at the position causing the young team plenty of problems last season. It seems unlikely that the Suns will get a chance to select Ja Morant, though, 2019's most coveted floor general.

Darius Garland could be a good consolation prize, though. He was productive at Vanderbilt in a limited college career hampered by an early knee injury. However, reports suggest Phoenix would also be willing to trade for a veteran guard who is ready to play now.

The Suns' assortment of combo wings has not led to much success so far, so they need to discover some sense of direction, especially since they have a new coach and general manager.

 

Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets could this offseason lose what has brought most fans to games. Kemba Walker is coming off a career year in which he averaged 25.6 points per game and was third-team All-NBA.

Walker, 29, qualified for a supermax deal, which could cripple Charlotte and limit their ability to build a better team around him. He is willing to take less, but he also wants to win - very soon.

The Hornets have significant money tied up in players like Marvin Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Nic Batum and Bismack Biyombo, who have not contributed much of late. But they also have young assets like Miles Bridges and Malik Monk that could be used for leverage in a big trade.

Charlotte have the number 12 pick in Thursday's draft but are reportedly looking for a way to move up. The Hornets will have to do so to get the game-changer they need.

Zion Williamson will almost certainly be selected by the New Orleans Pelicans with the number one pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, but his new team is about to get a full makeover.

New Orleans sent its first No.1 overall pick Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers for a bevy of assets, including Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and three first-round selections.

The Pelicans now have one of the most talented young cores in the NBA, and Williamson, who turns 19 in July, will be at centre stage in the franchise's renaissance.

New Orleans' play will be different in 2019-20 and we take a look at how.

 

Defense

The Pelicans will field one of the more intriguing defensive units in the NBA next season, as it has acquired plenty of length and athleticism. The starting unit, however, may have to face some unique challenges given its personnel.

Jrue Holiday has made an NBA All-Defensive team in each of the past two seasons, so he is unquestionably one of the more talented defensive guards in the league. The 6ft 4in floor general can defend both guard positions with ease and will likely see plenty of minutes with 6ft 6in Ball, who is one of the NBA's most underrated off-ball defenders. And then there is Hart, who ranked third in defensive real plus-minus among all shooting guards in 2018-19. Only Jimmy Butler and Danny Green edged him out in that category.

Needless to say, New Orleans have a solid rotation of defensive guards lined up.

Williamson will likely play in a forward spot alongside the lanky, 6ft 9in Ingram. Ingram's 7ft 3in wingspan next to Williamson's 285-pound frame and 45-inch vertical could be a nightmare for opposing teams. Both are quick on their feet, which bodes well for shot-blocking and switching on the perimeter and in the paint. These two can definitely provide some versatility on the defensive end.

Julius Randle has declined a $9million player option and, while he would be an undersized center at 6ft 9in, the experiment could be worth a shot. Jahlil Okafor might come into the picture, but given the lack of depth in the middle, Williamson could fill in as a small-ball five from time to time. He has a natural ability to protect the rim.

All in all, the front line of this Pelicans team doesn't look as if it'll fold easily on this end.

Offense

One interesting topic of discussion is what position Williamson should play in the NBA.

Though he was a power forward at Duke, Williamson is only 6ft 7in. But we have seen other undersized forwards thrive in an era of positionless basketball — most notably Draymond Green, who also is 6ft 7in. Green can push the pace and serve as a primary distributor, something Williamson has yet to do. However, he has plenty of room to grow.

Williamson made it clear at times that he can handle the ball and is an able and willing passer. But by no means will he be asked to run the offense. Can a high-flying Williamson develop a traditional back-to-the-basket game against considerably taller players? That question needs to be answered.

He certainly has the speed and spring to gel with the Pelicans' new roster. At the very least, he will be a lethal option on the break. If he develops his jump shot for pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop scenarios, even better. New Orleans' newest attraction simply is not the kind of player you can just draw up a play for on the block right now, but he is someone with the natural talent to rack up hustle points.

The Pelicans also still have the No. 4 pick in their back pocket. It appears as if they would ultimately like to trade it for a veteran piece. New Orleans need a shooter, as its current group will not allow for much floor spacing.

This much we know: New Orleans will be an exciting team everyone will be watching in 2019-20.

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