Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne labelled Euro 2020 a "fake competition" and claimed the draw format is a sign of football becoming more of a business than a sport.

Roberto Martinez's side won all 10 qualifiers to finish top of Group I and qualify automatically for next year's finals, which will be staged in 12 different cities across Europe.

The group draw will take place on November 30 but, due to seedings and rules involving host nations, Belgium already know they will be drawn into Group B with Russia and Denmark.

Belgium can start planning for the expansive tournament, but Manchester City star De Bruyne is unhappy with the format.

"It's a shame," he told VTM Nieuws after scoring twice in Tuesday's 6-1 win over Cyprus.

"For me, this feels like a fake competition. Football has become more and more [like] a business."

De Bruyne featured in six of Belgium's qualifiers, scoring four times and assisting a further six goals.

Former England Women's manager Mark Sampson has been charged by the Football Association (FA) for allegedly using racist language.

Sampson is now caretaker boss at League Two side Stevenage and is alleged to have breached FA Rule E3, relating to a comment that was "improper and/or abusive and/or insulting".

It is claimed to be an "aggravated breach", meaning it referenced "ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality".

Stevenage undertook an internal investigation in September after "allegations of racially discriminatory language" were reported in the media.

The club said the claims, purportedly made by a Stevenage coach dismissed by Sampson, had "no foundation".

However, following the FA's own investigation, Sampson now has until December 6 to respond to the charge.

The Welshman, who led England to the semi-finals of the 2015 Women's World Cup, was sacked as the Lionesses boss in September 2017.

The FA said it had made the decision after evidence emerged of "inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour" during his time with Bristol Academy.

It insisted Sampson's dismissal was not linked to allegations made by former England forward Eniola Aluko that there had been alleged discriminatory behaviour on the manager's part.

Bayern Munich have tied 19-year-old goalkeeper Christian Fruchtl to a new contract that keeps him in Bavaria until 2022.

The Germany Under-20 international's deal with the Bundesliga champions had been set to expire at the end of the season.

Fruchtl, who joined the club in 2014, is yet to feature for the Bayern first team but has been named on the bench 12 times since the start of 2017-18.

"It’s a great feeling that the best club in Germany has put its faith in me," he said. "I want to continue making a name for myself this season in the third division [with the reserve team] and push for the first team.

"When you train with world-class players on a daily basis, you also mature as a person. That's always been something special for me."

Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic added: "Christian is a true Bavarian boy and has grown up here in the club. We're very pleased to have him.

"He's shown continuous development and we want to continue that together. We're certain he's got a great career in front of him."

Joshua Kimmich gave a strong endorsement of Mauricio Pochettino's coaching ability after the rumoured Bayern Munich target departed Tottenham.

Spurs brought Pochettino's well-regarded stint in charge to an abrupt end on Tuesday, dismissing the man who led them to the Champions League final following a poor start to the new season.

The development could have ramifications in Bavaria, where the Argentinian is said to be held in high regard.

Bayern were reportedly interested in Pochettino even before they parted company with head coach Niko Kovac at the beginning of November and could now pursue him as a free agent.

The Bundesliga champions have entrusted Hansi Flick with overseeing the team until the end of 2019 but have not committed to a long-term appointment.

"I do not know if he is a candidate for us," Kimmich told reporters when asked about Pochettino after Germany's win over Northern Ireland in Euro 2020 qualifying.

"What you can say is that Tottenham were fighting at the top for years. They have had huge consistency.

"He's a top coach, but I do not know if he's an option for us."

Flick has won each of his two matches since taking charge on an interim basis, the second a 4-0 thrashing of Der Klassiker rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge last week said: "We decided that he will be coach at least until Christmas and possibly beyond. We trust Hansi Flick."

Bayern have reportedly identified Ajax boss Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain's Thomas Tuchel as their preferred candidates but would likely struggle to prise either coach away from their clubs before the end of the season.

Jose Mourinho had also been linked with the Bavarian club, but he was appointed Pochettino's successor at Spurs on Wednesday.

Stefan Savic has suffered a setback as he bids to return from a hamstring injury.

The Atletico Madrid centre-back has been out of action since Montenegro's 0-0 draw against Bulgaria in Euro 2020 qualifying on October 11.

Atleti announced Savic, who was substituted after 39 minutes of that match, had suffered a hamstring issue but did not offer an estimated recovery time.

And the club announced on Wednesday the defender "suffered a relapse of the grade II injury".

Savic has undergone tests and, according to Atleti's short statement, "is pending response to treatment".

Jose Mourinho has proven a successful, and controversial figure, during his long managerial career.

Trophies have been plentiful, as have confrontations with rival managers.

There have been clashes in Italy, Spain and England as the former Porto, Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid and Manchester United has made waves throughout Europe.

Here, we look back at five of Mourinho's most heated moments.


"Demenza senile"

Premier League managers having a go at each other is nothing new, but it felt like Antonio Conte and Mourinho crossed a line in the 2017-18 season. Mourinho appeared to implicate Conte when he suggested counterparts act like "clowns" on the touchline, with the Italian often running into the crowd to celebrate Chelsea goals.

From there, the row quickly escalated. Conte hit back, suggesting Mourinho was suffering from "demenza senile", which translates as senile dementia. Mourinho famously ran down the touchline at Old Trafford when Porto scored a key Champions League winner, but Conte had gone too far and Chelsea quickly clarified that he meant "amnesia".

Having successfully provoked Conte, Mourinho blamed the media for the whole affair and referenced match-fixing allegations made against Siena during Conte's time in charge. The former Italy boss served a ban but was later cleared of any wrongdoing. 

Conte then called Mourinho a "little man" and suggested he would seek to meet his rival "in a room" to sort out their difficulties.

Poking Tito Vilanova in the eye

It was assumed that Pep Guardiola and Mourinho would renew their old rivalry when the pair were appointed by Manchester City and United respectively in 2016, but the row never boiled over.

The closest they have come to fireworks was a clash in the Old Trafford tunnel following City's 2-1 win in the Manchester derby in December 2017. Mourinho allegedly went to the away dressing room to complain over the volume of City's celebrations, only for a melee to ensue. Guardiola was not present at the time and Mourinho later blamed a "diversity in education" between the two Manchester squads for the fracas.

Mourinho and Guardiola go way back, with the Portuguese believing he should have been appointed by Barcelona before they moved for their former player. Later, while in charge of Real Madrid, Mourinho saw his side thrashed 5-0 at Camp Nou, while he was sent off for gouging the eye of Guardiola's assistant, Tito Vilanova, during the 2011 Supercopa de Espana. Mourinho also suggested Guardiola's Barcelona won the 2010-11 Champions League by virtue of generous refereeing.

Wenger a 'specialist in failure'

That Mourinho seemingly lost interest in rowing with former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was probably a sign of how far the Gunners eventually fell under the veteran Frenchman. Mourinho no longer saw Wenger as a rival. It was not always the case, though, as Wenger was the subject of one of the 56-year-old's most famous rants, when he called the Arsenal manager a "specialist in failure".

Mourinho's Chelsea were a point clear of the Gunners atop the Premier League table in February 2014 when the Portuguese hit out at a long trophy-less wait for the Gunners. "If I do that in Chelsea, eight years, I leave and don't come back," Mourinho said.

Back in 2005, Wenger was called a "voyeur" by Mourinho. "He likes to watch other people," he said. "There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea."

"I don't want to win the Europa League"

Mourinho has often had a problem with managers who succeeded him at clubs, with Rafael Benitez drawing his ire on multiple occasions. 

After Mourinho left Inter, Benitez took over and claimed the Club World Cup with the Serie A side. "I thought he was going to thank me for the title I gave him," said the ex-Porto boss.

Benitez took charge of Chelsea briefly between Mourinho's two spells at Stamford Bridge, leading the Blues to Europa League glory. "I don't want to win the Europa League," Mourinho said. "It would be a big disappointment for me."

Mourinho had obviously changed his tune by 2017, when winning the Europa League earned Manchester United a route into the Champions League.

Parking the bus

At United, Mourinho's team were often accused of 'parking the bus', which is ironic as he is credited with introducing the phrase to English football.

After a 0-0 draw against Tottenham in 2004 during his first Chelsea spell, Mourinho said: "As we say in Portugal, they brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal."

And after Inter knocked out Barca on the way to the Champions League title in 2010, Mourinho extended the metaphor further.

"We won the tie in Barcelona, but everyone talks about Barcelona winning and says we parked the bus in front of the goal," said Mourinho. "We didn't park the bus, we parked the plane."

Paul Gascoigne believes Tottenham's appointment of Jose Mourinho will energise the squad and prove an excellent decision.

Spurs named Mourinho their new manager less than 12 hours after dismissing Mauricio Pochettino, the man who led them to the Champions League final last season.

Results have soured this term and Pochettino left the role on Tuesday without having added to the club's trophy cabinet.

Tottenham great Gascoigne thinks Mourinho is the man to buck the trend of near-misses and, despite his adversarial managerial style, expects a reportedly fractured set of players to unite behind the new boss.

"The way Manchester City have put pressure on everybody, people are looking for the best," Gascoigne, who won the FA Cup with Spurs in 1991, told Sky Sports.

"As far as I'm concerned, Jose Mourinho is an unbelievable manager.

"If I was a Tottenham player now and knowing Jose Mourinho was going to be manager I would be more than happy.

"Have you had a look at what Jose Mourinho has won? Jesus. Alex Ferguson was an unbelievable manager, the best ever in the world, and Jose Mourinho isn't far from him."

Asked whether it might take time for Mourinho to win over the dressing room, Gascoigne replied: "I wouldn't have thought so. Definitely not, no way.

"There will be sadness because obviously a lot of players were close to Pochettino and I feel sorry for him. I suppose he will go on holiday and have a think about what he wants to do next. I'm sure a great club will come in for him.

"The players will warm to [Mourinho] and if they don't they'll be on the bench. He's definitely a manager I would play for, that's for sure. A manager is only as good as the players he's got and if he's not happy with the players he's got he will bring in players."

The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust said it was "shocked and saddened" by the decision to dismiss Pochettino, who spent over five years in charge, but Gascoigne reckons fans can look forward with optimism.

"All they have to look at is Jose Mourinho's trophy cabinet," he said.

"The players have got to understand they haven't won anything. Jose Mourinho has – what he has achieved as a manager is second to none.

"Tottenham's future looks bright and if I was a Tottenham supporter now I'd be more than excited."

Manchester City are going to great lengths to keep Raheem Sterling.

Though contracted until 2023, the England international's exceptional form has led to links with Real Madrid.

But it could earn him a fresh extension to his bumper deal at the Etihad Stadium.

 

TOP STORY – CITY SEEK STERLING INSURANCE

Premier League champions City have opened contract talks with star forward Sterling, according to the Mirror.

The 24-year-old agreed a new three-year extension a mere 12 months ago but City are taking no chances with his future amid rumours of interest from LaLiga giants Madrid.

Sterling has scored 14 goals in 17 club appearances this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Corriere dello Sport says Juventus are preparing a €100million offer for Valencia winger Ferran Torres, who has also been linked to Liverpool.

- Bayern Munich are interested in Tottenham teenager Troy Parrott and Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson, reports the Daily Mail. Parrott, 17, has caught the eye, while Henderson is on loan at Sheffield United.

- Napoli have offered Fabian Ruiz a contract extension through to 2025, claims Mundo Deportivo. Barcelona and Madrid are rumoured to want the Spain international midfielder.

- According to reports in Spain, Athletic Bilbao want to re-sign Javi Martinez from Bayern Munich. Martinez left the Basque club for Bayern in 2012.

Tottenham have appointed former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho as Mauricio Pochettino's replacement.

Mourinho, 'The Special One', arrives at Tottenham, who sacked Pochettino just five months after the club's remarkable run to the Champions League final.

Tottenham opted to make a change at the end of the international break, with Spurs languishing in 14th position in the Premier League after 12 rounds.

"I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters," Mourinho said in a statement, having been appointed head coach until the end of 2022-23.

"The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me. Working with these players is what has attracted me."

Mourinho was sacked by Premier League rivals United in December but the former Chelsea boss is back in management and London, where the Portuguese will be tasked with salvaging Tottenham's season.

The 56-year-old – a three-time Premier League winner during two spells in charge of London rivals Chelsea – saw his two-and-half-year tenure as United boss come to an end amid poor form and reports of dressing-room unrest.

Mourinho, who also won the treble with Inter in 2010 and led Real Madrid to LaLiga glory in 2011-12, most notably clashed with United star Paul Pogba prior to his Old Trafford exit.

The ex-Porto boss had been linked to Inter before Antonio Conte's appointment, while Mourinho was reportedly in the frame to move to Bayern Munich following Niko Kovac's sacking.

A Madrid comeback had also been touted amid Zinedine Zidane's initial struggles, but Mourinho will now prepare for Saturday's trip to West Ham.

Tottenham have appointed former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho as Mauricio Pochettino's replacement.

Mourinho, 'The Special One', arrives at Tottenham, who sacked Pochettino just five months after the club's remarkable run to the Champions League final.

Tottenham opted to make a change at the end of the international break, with Spurs languishing in 14th position in the Premier League after 12 rounds.

"I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters," Mourinho said in a statement, having been appointed head coach until the end of 2022-23.

"The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me. Working with these players is what has attracted me."

Mourinho was sacked by Premier League rivals United in December but the former Chelsea boss is back in management and London, where the Portuguese will be tasked with salvaging Tottenham's season.

The 56-year-old – a three-time Premier League winner during two spells in charge of London rivals Chelsea – saw his two-and-half-year tenure as United boss come to an end amid poor form and reports of dressing-room unrest.

Mourinho, who also won the treble with Inter in 2010 and led Real Madrid to LaLiga glory in 2011-12, most notably clashed with United star Paul Pogba prior to his Old Trafford exit.

The ex-Porto boss had been linked to Inter before Antonio Conte's appointment, while Mourinho was reportedly in the frame to move to Bayern Munich following Niko Kovac's sacking.

A Madrid comeback had also been touted amid Zinedine Zidane's initial struggles, but Mourinho will now prepare for Saturday's trip to West Ham.

Uriel Antuna's 93rd-minute winner secured a dramatic 2-1 victory for Mexico against Bermuda in their final CONCACAF Nations League group game.

Tuesday's clash had been petering out for a draw after Sebastian Cordova's stunning solo goal cancelled out Dante Leverock's shock opener in Toluca.

However, Antuna spared Mexico's blushes deep into stoppage time as El Tri made it four wins from four matches in Group B in League A.

Already assured of a semi-final spot, Mexico handed a debut to Luis Romo, while there were seven players in the starting XI with under 10 caps.

There was an early chance for Mexico, but the home side were made to pay for a lacklustre start against Bermuda.

After Hugo Gonzalez almost handed Bermuda the lead following a poor pass – Hector Moreno's desperate defending rescuing Mexico – the visitors broke the deadlock from the resulting corner.

Bermuda captain Leverock gave the minnows a shock lead in the 10th minute when he sprinted into the six-yard box and rose highest to bundle the ball over.

Cordova almost equalised three minutes later, however, his free-kick was pushed away by the diving Dale Eve, who was less than convincing in dealing with Jose Macias' long-range effort in the 24th minute.

Mexico eventually equalised approaching the half-hour mark, a moment of individual brilliance from Cordova restoring parity after the 22-year-old received the ball on the edge of the area, dummied and switched feet before firing a shot across goal and past Eve for his first international goal.

Some neat play almost saw Macias put Mexico ahead in the 38th minute but his side-footed effort looped just over the crossbar.

Bermuda threatened to restore their lead, but some more last-ditch defending prevented Mexico from falling behind again just past the hour-mark.

A diving Eve, meanwhile, was relieved to see Antuna's header fly past the post minutes later.

Gerardo Martino turned to Raul Jimenez for a goal and the Wolves star nearly delivered – his chested attempt from close-range saved by Eve with 14 minutes remaining – but Antuna stepped up at the death to secure all three points.

 

What does it mean? Improvement needed

Martino made changes for this fixture, handing chances to a host of players with their semi-final passage already sealed. While Mexico preserved their 100 per cent record, it was a sluggish display.

Cordova a shining light for Mexico

On a night Mexico failed to impress, Cordova further highlighted his growing quality. A maiden international goal capped a memorable outing for the America midfielder, who has been linked to Manchester United, Sevilla and Benfica.

Bermuda prove frustrating

Not much was expected of Bermuda, who were routed by Mexico 5-1 in the reverse fixture. But Bermuda deserve credit for their display away from home. Ranked 168th in the world, Bermuda were disciplined and threatening on the break.

What's next?

Mexico's international commitments have concluded for the year, with El Tri looking ahead to the 2020 Nations League semis. Bermuda will be hoping to bounce back next year.

The United States moved into the CONCACAF Nations League semi-finals after a 4-0 win over Cuba on Tuesday.

USA were ahead inside a minute in the Cayman Islands through Josh Sargent and never looked back, Jordan Morris adding a first-half brace.

Morris continued his fine run of form for USA before Sargent sealed his side's victory during a quieter second half.

The win ensured Gregg Berhalter's side of top spot in Group A of League A and a spot in the semi-finals on goal difference.

USA opened the scoring inside 40 seconds through Sargent.

Paul Arriola did the hard work down the right before crossing for Sargent, who scored from close range as he put Cuba goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez under pressure.

USA dominated the first half and Weston McKennie had a goal-bound effort cleared off the line by Erick Rizo in the eighth minute.

However, the visitors doubled their lead through Morris, who made no mistake in a one-on-one with Sanchez after a great flick-on header by McKennie.

Morris struck again six minutes before half-time, although the forward seemed apologetic to Aaron Long.

Long's ball from the left side of the area went over Sanchez and Morris tapped in on the goal-line to make it 3-0.

After a quieter start to the second half, USA added to their lead through Sargent's second.

Tyler Boyd flicked Reggie Cannon's back-post cross into the path of Sargent, who converted from inside the area in the 66th minute.

USA cruised late on, easing to an important victory and seeing Cuba finish without a point in the group.

 

What does it mean? USA put Canada hiccup aside

A 2-0 loss to Canada in Toronto in October had Berhalter under enormous pressure at the helm, but USA have responded. Wins over Canada (4-1) and Cuba this international break – and a spot in the semi-finals – have surely been enough to ease the pressure on Berhalter.

USA developing fast-start habit

For the second game in a row, USA scored inside two minutes. They also netted three times in the opening nine minutes against Cuba in October and Berhalter will be hoping they can continue their fast starts going forward.

Morris caps off stellar 2019

Morris' brace meant he has scored in four of his past five appearances for USA. The Seattle Sounders forward has netted five of his 10 international goals since September in a fine run of form.

What's next?

Both countries have played their final games of the year, but USA can look forward to the Nations League semi-finals in June 2020.

Roberto Martinez believes Belgium deserve to win Euro 2020 but acknowledges that will count for little if they do not perform at the finals.

Belgium completed their qualification campaign on Tuesday, thrashing Cyprus 6-1 to end with 10 wins from 10 in Group I, scoring 40 goals in the process.

Martinez has already seen enough to suggest Belgium are worthy of a maiden major international title, yet he knows there is plenty of work to do.

"Whether we can win the European Championship, that is something that we have in our hands," head coach Martinez said. "We need to get even better and then we see if we can play another great tournament.

"We have set the standard at the World Cup [finishing third] and we are continuing to develop into a team with a great deal of togetherness. And the fans are also important.

"We now have seven months to become as good as possible. This team deserves to win the European Championship but, in football, it's not that simple."

Reflecting on qualifying, he added: "I think everyone just worked really well this year. The players know what to do and they do it with an incredible focus.

"Scoring six times and then playing again in this way is very good."

Kevin De Bruyne, who scored twice in a playmaking masterclass against Cyprus, added: "It's always beautiful. Nobody has given it to us.

"Once you start the qualification, you have to go match by match and we did. It's very nice to finally get there [with 10 wins]."

Tite rejected criticism of his decision to play Rodrygo Goes for just two minutes in Brazil's 3-0 win over South Korea on Tuesday.

The Brazil coach said on Monday he would be patient with the teenage forward, who has made an impressive start to life at Real Madrid.

Rodrygo has scored twice in four LaLiga appearances for Madrid and notched a hat-trick in their 6-0 Champions League demolition of Galatasaray this month.

The 18-year-old got 19 minutes on his debut in the 1-0 loss to Argentina on Friday and received even less playing time in Abu Dhabi.

"It's one thing to throw Rodrygo into a system that's already structured, like Real's. It's another thing to put him in a team that is being reassembled, even if he was doing the same job in the same position," said Tite.

"It was so hard to organise for the team for today and they responded well. They were close to scoring a fourth and a fifth.

"It was a chance for Fabinho, Renan Lodi and Militao. They earned the chance and asserted themselves. Could it have been Rodrygo? Yes, but I preserved the continuity and the good moment of the team in the game."

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