Cristiano Ronaldo's humility and attitude towards his Juventus team-mates have impressed Gianluigi Buffon as much as his evident skill.

Ronaldo joined Serie A giants Juve in 2018, bringing to an end a hugely successful nine years at Real Madrid, and won the Scudetto in his first campaign in Italy.

Club icon Buffon has returned to Turin for the 2019-20 season, too, and has immediately been struck by the humble approach of one of the sport's great names.

"When I met Cristiano in Turin for training, I discovered a very humble guy," Buffon told reporters at the Festival dello Sport.

"I like his attitude and his relationship with our team-mates a lot. Very often, after training, we spend a couple of minutes talking in deep about some aspects of the game.

"I discovered a very nice person besides the footballer."

Ronaldo joined Juve just months after extending their painful wait for a Champions League triumph with three goals across the two legs of Madrid's quarter-final win.

The tie included one of the competition's great goals in Italy as Ronaldo executed a stunning overhead kick, beating Buffon for a strike the goalkeeper now acknowledges he could only admire.

"This is one of those moments that shows that I don't hate anyone," Buffon said. "After the first 25 seconds, when I felt really frustrated, I thought about the beauty of his goal.

"Despite being scored against us, I could not fail to recognise he just did something extraordinary.

"So when he walked beside him, I just asked him, 'Cristiano, how old are you?' He, smiling, replied, 'I'm 33... not bad, right?' And we both started laughing."

Neymar does not have to leave Paris Saint-Germain to fulfil his goal of becoming the world's best player, according to Brazil team-mate Alisson.

The forward was strongly linked with a return to Barcelona during the transfer window, but no move to Camp Nou came to fruition.

Neymar has instead remained in the French capital, scoring four goals in five Ligue 1 games since recovering from a foot injury.

The 27-year-old did not finish in the top 10 for the 2018 Ballon d'Or but, asked if Neymar could become the best player in the world by joining Barcelona, Alisson told Mundo Deportivo: "I think that Neymar can be the best in the world on any team.

"Neymar is a high-level player and would be fundamental in any team in the world. If he returns to Barcelona or not... I wish him good luck and to play with his usual joy and energy, wherever he is."

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi was reportedly pushing for Neymar to be signed by Barca, but he told RAC1 this month he was surprised his former team-mate did not join Real Madrid after it became clear he wanted to leave PSG.

Messi and Alisson met in the Champions League for the second season in a row last term, with the former Roma goalkeeper again coming out on top with a stunning second-leg comeback.

The Argentina captain had struck twice in the first leg to seemingly give Liverpool a mountain to climb but they won 4-0 at Anfield to overturn their deficit, going on to win the tournament by defeating fellow Premier League side Tottenham in the final.

Alisson also got the better of Messi at this year's Copa America, where Brazil beat Argentina 2-0 in the semi-finals before going on to lift the trophy on home soil with a win over Peru.

"The truth is that Messi played very well in the first leg in Barcelona and achieved two goals, but in the return I managed to stop him in some important moments," Alisson added.

"Messi is one of the best players in football history, but I don't think only of duels with him. Both Barcelona and Argentina are two very good teams that have high quality players.

"Luckily, in the last three matches I have been able to overcome him, but the merits are of the whole team: Rome, Liverpool and Brazil."

 

Emre Can said he is unhappy at Serie A champions Juventus as the Germany international struggles for game time in Turin.

Can has only made three substitute Serie A appearances for Juventus after being left out of the club's Champions League squad this season.

The 25-year-old midfielder was a 71st-minute substitute against Inter last week, taking his tally to just 78 league minutes in 2019-20 under head coach Maurizio Sarri.

Can did manage to complete the full match in Germany's 2-2 friendly draw with Argentina on Wednesday and he told reporters: "I'm not happy [at Juventus] right now. I don't play much at the moment.

"Last season I played a lot. Especially in important games for Juventus. And I also played well there.

"I haven't had a chance this season. But now I think, when I come back to the club, I will get chances again.

"I am definitely grateful to Joachim Low. Because I didn't play much in the club and he invited me anyway.

"Nevertheless, he gave me the chance. That's why I was simply happy that I played again."

Can and Germany are back in action on Sunday, when they travel to Estonia for their Euro 2020 qualifier.

 

 

Neymar attempted to draw a line under months of transfer speculation by insisting he is "happy and comfortable" and Paris Saint-Germain, for whom he vowed to give his all.

The Brazil forward openly discussed the fact  he wanted to leave the Parc des Princes after two years with the French champions but says he is no longer at odds with the club.

PSG fans booed Neymar when he made his return to action this season, yet he has responded by scoring four goals in five Ligue 1 appearances.

At a news conference on the eve of Brazil's clash with Senegal, in which he is set to win his 100th international cap, Neymar told reporters: "Everyone knows what happened in the summer market and the desire I had to leave.

"Today, I feel happy and comfortable with the club, too. It's not just with the national team that I'm happy. The season started out very well for me.

"I will defend my club tooth and nail. I will give 100 per cent for us to achieve great things.

"It was a long summer for me. I knew that I had to prepare, in all circumstances, for a good season. Thank God, it has started well and I hope it stays that way."

The 27-year-old forward missed three months of the 2018-19 season with a foot injury, similar to an issue he suffered in the previous campaign.

The problems restricted Neymar to 20 Ligue 1 appearances in his first season in France and just 17 in his second, and he has targeted a healthier, more fruitful year for Thomas Tuchel's men in 2019-20.

"There have been more than three months of injury treatment in the last two years," he said. "This gets in the way of any athlete.

"But if you look at all the games and numbers you will see that I never stopped playing football. Unfortunately in an athlete's life, this can occur. You have to have a good head and be prepared to go through it.

"My hope for this season is to stay fit, to hope that nothing bad happens."

Christian Eriksen concedes he is going through the toughest spell of his Tottenham career but insists it has nothing to do with the rumours that surrounded his future during the transfer window.

Spurs headed into the international break on the back of a dismal week in which a 3-0 Premier League defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion followed an embarrassing 7-2 home loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Tottenham are already 13 points adrift of leaders Liverpool after eight matches and questions have been raised about the long-term future of boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Eriksen was one of several Spurs stars linked with a move away from the club during the window, with Real Madrid, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain all having been tipped to head for the exit door.

The Denmark international is adamant such talk has no effect on a player's performances on the pitch, though.

"It doesn't matter at all. Everyone is professional and in all clubs there is talk of players going away," Eriksen told Danish outlet Ekstra Bladet.

"That side of the matter has no bearing on how we have performed so far this season.

"If I, as a football player, took all the rumours to me, I would float on a cloud. But I know that it can't all be true. It does not affect me what is written."

Eriksen says Tottenham, Champions League finalists last term, are dealing with different expectation levels than they were when he joined from Ajax in 2013.

"It's definitely my hardest time right now at Tottenham," he added. "The first year when I came was probably a bit up and down, but since Pochettino came in 2014 it has been a success story.

"Expectations for us are at a completely different level now. We have to win every time and it's the same feeling we have as players as well.

"We as players must try to keep all the negative things completely out. But the reason for our results is actually hard to answer. We can't close the matches, even though we are ahead. But we have also been unlucky."

European Club Association (ECA) chairman Andrea Agnelli believes the Champions League needs to change because it has become predictable.

Proposals for a revamp to European club football's flagship competition, bringing in a promotion and relegation system, were reportedly shelved last month amid criticism and fears of a closed competition developing.

But Agnelli, who is also chairman of Juventus, insists there is no desire to move towards an effective European "super league", even if he feels the Champions League current format is flawed.

"We started thinking, some months ago, about what is it that we want within the ECA. What are the principles we want to go by?" he said when addressing the Leaders Sport Business Summit at Twickenham on Tuesday.

"When I say 'we', I mean representatives from Poland, Greece, Finland, Portugal and also representatives from the big leagues.

"What we felt was, if we want to create a platform that allows for all clubs to succeed on and off the pitch, more European football is good for the game. Possibly the introduction of a relegation system to deliver sporting dynamism across Europe.

"If we think about the group stage of the Champions League, all of us can guess 15 out of 16 who will qualify for the last 16. The first two teams in each group of the Champions League are probably written. We want to find more relevant games.

"Much has been said about wanting to kill domestic leagues. No - we want to maintain symbiosis with the leagues. We absolutely agree that champions should have access to international competitions."

Agnelli believes football is now vying for attention against non-traditional competitors, heightening to need for European club football to capture the imagination.

"We will now have to tackle a shift in consumer behaviour. We're looking at 'Generation Z', the new digital natives who are turning into adulthood," he said.

"We have to look at what is the behaviour of 'Generation Z'. We should seriously start to think that the competitors are not clubs next door but League of Legends, e-sports, Fortnite. I think those are going to be the ones who are going to be our competitors going forward.

"It is fair to say and assume that, in the quarter-finals of the two competitions [Champions League and Europa League] you have six to seven of eight clubs that come from the big five leagues. That is mainly thanks to the economic advantage they have."

One of clubs who appear to have benefitted most from such competitive advantage are Agnelli's own, with Juve chasing a ninth consecutive Serie A title this season.

Maurizio Sarri's side moved to the summit on Sunday with an impressive 2-1 win at nearest rivals Inter.

"I think [Inter] are challengers. It was a good game on Sunday. It was a solid game," Agnelli added.

"It is a domestic league. They are true in their values, when you have a stronger team it comes out over 38 games. The only exception is the Premier League, which is not as certain as in other countries.

"Bayern Munich Juventus, PSG, a duopoly in Spain with Real Madrid and Barcelona. This is an element of why reform should be put in place [in European competitions].

"I am happy with that [domination for Juventus], I won't complain too much about it. But is this what a fan wants to see? Total domestic domination. You will find five out of eight teams winning the big five that are the usual suspects in Europe."

Neymar is a "really good guy" according to Thomas Tuchel – although the Paris Saint-Germain head coach admits such a label might be a hard sell to outsiders.

The Brazil star saw his stock tumble with PSG fans as speculation over a move back to LaLiga dominated pre-season.

Despite being booed on his return, the 27-year-old has four goals in five Ligue 1 appearances this term and Tuchel is not surprised by the instant returns.

"This guy has a good background. It may be hard to imagine when you see it from the outside but he is really a good guy," the former Borussia Dortmund boss told beIN SPORTS. 

"It's not hard to be close to him and convince him to do the right thing."

Real Madrid and former club Barcelona were both linked to blockbuster moves for Neymar and Tuchel accepts the player's head was turned.

"Between us, not much has changed," he said. "I knew he wanted to leave the club and he knew I was against it, that for me it was neither the right moment nor the right decision to take. 

"He clearly knew that as a coach, I did not want him to leave. But we also knew that it was not my decision or really his either in the end. 

"There was need for a club to set the price. We both agreed that it was not decided at our level and that this should not affect our relationship, because we knew that there was the possibility of continuing to work together. It would have been stupid to ruin everything."

Indeed, Tuchel identified last season's shock Champions League exit against Manchester United as a bigger setback to bounce back from.

PSG shelled a 2-0 first-leg advantage to go out on away goals against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's injury-hit side and proceeded to stagger over the line in Ligue 1, before losing the Coupe de France final on penalties to Rennes.

"For three days I was in a really dark place like never before," Tuchel said.

"I knew what we worked for and I knew how hard it was to reach this point with this team and this club, after the past seasons and what happened.

"I knew how hard we tried to influence the squad and how the squad responded – it was really big work to achieve that kind of level, to beat Liverpool, to win at Red Star Belgrade and to go to Manchester United and be the first French team to win there.

"To make this kind of a performance and crash in the second leg… like you have a car accident, running over the green lights and you get a crash from the side. It felt like this. What did we do wrong? We could feel after that how big that crash was.

"Even between the two games, we could feel everybody in the city believed it was different and we could go through. We did not, we could not hold it. It felt like sand running through our fingers."

He added: "Suddenly a lot of injuries, the mood changes in the dressing room, the mood from outside. The players were not immune to all this and it was very, very hard for us to finish the season with the same spirit.

"It was not possible. The biggest example is the cup final, where we led 2-0 and it was a clear victory for us and we lost in the end.

"I trained myself not to read too much, because who knows more about us than us, but I feel it, I hear it. It was immense."

Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris has been ruled out for the rest of 2019 after tests confirmed he has suffered ligament damage.

The goalkeeper dislocated his elbow after landing awkwardly during his side's 3-0 Premier League defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

France head coach Didier Deschamps said on Monday that Lloris would almost certainly not be fit to return until the new year.

Spurs later issued a statement to confirm that Lloris is unlikely to be able to train again until the end of this year, even though he does not require surgery.

"Hugo Lloris has undergone further assessment this morning after sustaining a dislocated elbow in our match against Brighton on Saturday," the club said.

"The findings have shown that although surgery will not be required, our club captain has suffered ligament damage and is not expected to return to training before the end of 2019.

"Hugo is currently in a brace and will now undergo a period of rest and rehabilitation under the supervision of our medical staff at Hotspur Way."

Speaking earlier at Clairefontaine, Deschamps said: "I talked to him after he recovered emotionally from what happened.

"It is difficult to give you an exact date in terms of how long he'll need to recover. The possibility of a fracture has been ruled out, but his ligaments are affected. I'm not an anatomy specialist.

"Anyway, as far as we are concerned, he will obviously not be able to play during this international break or the next one.

"I'm not a specialist and I can't tell you exactly [how long he will be out]. It is not a week, either, but he will not be back on the pitch in 2019. That's almost a certainty."

Lloris will miss France's Euro 2020 qualifiers this month against Iceland and Turkey and will also be absent from November's matches against Moldova and Albania.

The 32-year-old is due to miss Spurs' remaining 16 matches this year, including four Champions League group games and Premier League clashes with Liverpool, West Ham, Manchester United, Wolves and Chelsea.

Spurs, who have won only three games in all competitions this season, are ninth in the Premier League with 11 points from eight games.

Hugo Lloris will almost certainly miss the rest of 2019 due to an elbow injury, according to France head coach Didier Deschamps.

The Tottenham goalkeeper dislocated his elbow after landing awkwardly during his side's 3-0 Premier League defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Spurs have not yet offered an indication on his recovery time, but Deschamps expects Lloris to be out of action until the new year due to ligament damage.

"I talked to him after he recovered emotionally from what happened," Deschamps told a news conference. "We talked again [on Monday] and had more medical examinations.

"It is difficult to give you an exact date in terms of how long he'll need to recover. The possibility of a fracture has been ruled out, but his ligaments are affected. I'm not an anatomy specialist.

"Anyway, as far as we are concerned, he will obviously not be able to play during this international break or the next one.

"I'm not a specialist and I can't tell you exactly [how long he will be out]. It is not a week, either, but he will not be back on the pitch in 2019. That's almost a certainty."

Lloris will miss France's Euro 2020 qualifiers this month against Iceland and Turkey and appears almost certain to be absent from November's matches against Moldova and Albania.

The 32-year-old also seems to be a doubt for Spurs' remaining 16 matches this year, including four Champions League group games and Premier League clashes with Liverpool, West Ham, Manchester United, Wolves and Chelsea.

Spurs, who have won only three games in all competitions this season, are ninth in the Premier League with 11 points from eight games.

Eric Dier admitted Tottenham were in a "crisis" after making a poor start to the season.

Thrashed 7-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Spurs were stunned 3-0 by Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday.

Mauricio Pochettino is under pressure at the helm with Tottenham ninth in the Premier League, just four months after losing the Champions League final to Liverpool.

Dier accepted Spurs were going through a tough spell as they head into the international break on the back of four losses in their past five games.

"We are obviously going through a difficult period. Is saying it's a crisis a bit too strong? No," he said, via the Mirror.

"If you lose like we've lost in these last two games, it's normal. For us, this is the worst period we've been in, but we have to be all together and push through it.

"The stuff about the squad, I know that's not the case, but it's natural these things will come up now because of the situation we find ourselves in.

"It's the first time that we've found ourselves in this position, we can't back down from it. We've got to push through it."

Tottenham are next in action at home to Watford on October 19.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer acknowledged Manchester United are already facing a monumental task to challenge for Champions League qualification in the Premier League.

United slumped to their third Premier League defeat of the season as Matty Longstaff's debut goal earned Newcastle United a 1-0 win at St James' Park on Sunday.

The Red Devils have now made their worst start to a league campaign since 1989-90, with Solskjaer's side managing just two wins from their eight matches so far.

Things do not get any easier for United, who welcome league leaders Liverpool to Old Trafford after the international break on October 20.

Solskjaer, however, believes United – who could be boosted by the return of Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba from injury – can use the Liverpool fixture as a chance to push on, though he acknowledged his team need to start picking up points swiftly.

"Very symptomatic of where we are at the moment. We don't create enough chances to deserve to win a game of football, that's the short version," Solskjaer, who has taken just 17 points since taking permanent charge of United, told a news conference.

"We have given ourselves a very tough task to get into the top four. We need points straight away, get on a run. We need momentum.

"I can't tell you what is acceptable, every game should be one you need to win at this club but at the moment we can't win games, especially away from home.

"But we have the perfect opportunity to get players back and get supporters' mood up with Liverpool at home.

"We're unhappy with the results, they bring down the mood in everyone. I've got to say sorry to the fans that we're not winning games but that is down to starting a rebuild.

"This is not a similar situation to when I was sat after a [4-0 defeat at] Everton last season, when I felt people had given up. These boys give everything they have got for the shirt and we'll get there again."

Harry Maguire should have given United the lead before half-time, only to head wide from six yards out - a miss which Solskjaer believes sums up the club's current form.

"I missed bigger chances. If you're 2-0 up and your team's winning every game, he'd close his eyes and score," Solskjaer said.

"At the moment it's just not going for us. He knows and we know it's a big opportunity in the game. I've talked about these moments many times over the last month, we have to grasp the moment when it's there. We didn't and we need to clear our heads and get ready for Liverpool."

Tottenham's 3-0 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday condemned Spurs to a second successive loss with 10 goals conceded this week, piling the pressure on manager Mauricio Pochettino. 

Spurs were demolished 7-2 in their own stadium by Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday, prompting further questions of Pochettino, who continues to be linked with a departure. 

Pochettino urged his team to produce a response at Brighton, telling his players to "man up" and put things right. 

But a Brighton side inspired by 19-year-old Aaron Connolly piled on the misery at the end of a crushing week for Spurs, with Pochettino appearing increasingly defeated and deflated. 

With the manager seemingly running out of ideas, we chart the highs and lows of his time at Spurs. 

LOW – The only way is up 

Tottenham's standing compared to the other big clubs at the start of Pochettino's tenure was laid bare in the first month of the new boss' debut campaign. Liverpool were the visitors, with Spurs hoping for the chance to make something of a statement, but Brendan Rodgers' men blew them away with ease by winning 3-0. It was Spurs' first loss under Pochettino and they went on to miss out on Champions League qualification by six points that term. 


LOW – Stamford Bridge implosion hands Leicester the title 

There was no denying Spurs' vast improvement between Pochettino's first few months and 2016 as they looked to challenge for a maiden Premier League title. However, their form at the end of the season saw them come up short, squandering a 2-0 lead at Chelsea in an ill-tempered encounter to come away with a 2-2 draw, therefore securing a famous success for Leicester City. Pochettino's men finished third, 10 points off the top. 


HIGH – Bidding farewell to White Hart Lane in style 

Having seemingly established themselves as top-four regulars, Spurs looked to further consolidate their new-found status by moving to an extravagant new stadium. In their final outing at the more modest White Hart Lane in May 2017, Spurs downed Manchester United 2-1. A glamourous new era seemed to be on the horizon, with Pochettino steering the Spurs ship expertly. 


HIGH – Spurs hit 13 goals in two games 

Spurs then finished that season in remarkable fashion, crushing Leicester City 6-1 and then going one better against relegated Hull City, winning 7-1 despite both games being away from home. Harry Kane was the star on both occasions, netting four at the King Power Stadium and a treble the following week. Those victories wrapped up a second-place finish in the Premier League. 


HIGH – Manchester United crushed at Old Trafford 

In August 2018, Pochettino was among the favourites to replace an under-fire Jose Mourinho at United and he helped inflict more misery on the Red Devils and make his pitch for the job with an emphatic 3-0 win at Old Trafford. Kane and a Lucas Moura double did the damage, making it the hosts' worst start to a league season since 1992-93. 


HIGH – VAR-ty time as Llorente steers Spurs past City 

Spurs' Champions League hopes appeared to be vanishing against Manchester City in April this year when, after winning 1-0 at home, they found themselves trailing 4-2 in the 59th minute despite earlier leading 2-1 on the night. Fernando Llorente then got what proved the vital goal – the ball striking him and going in, the goal standing even after a VAR check for an apparent handball. Raheem Sterling had no such luck, however, as his stoppage-time goal was disallowed by VAR for offside against Sergio Aguero. Pochettino's men survived a bonkers encounter to reach the last four. 


HIGH – Incredible turnaround secures first Champions League final 

Somehow Spurs managed another lucky escape in the semi-finals as well. A 1-0 defeat at home to Ajax in the first leg had them looking doomed, even more so when Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech made it 3-0 on aggregate in the first half of the return fixture in Amsterdam. But a remarkable Lucas Moura hat-trick in the second half sealed a vital 3-2 win in stoppage time and left Ajax devastated. Spurs were heading to Madrid. 


LOW – An underwhelming Champions League final 

Their first Champions League final – it was an historic occasion regardless of the result. Yet, there was an air of frustration at how they approached what proved a tepid contest, with fans bemoaning an apparent lack of attacking intent as a half-fit Harry Kane struggled to make an impact. Mohamed Salah's early penalty gave Pochettino's men an uphill struggle and Divock Origi wrapped things up late on. 


LOW – Battered by Bayern, swept aside at Brighton 

The worst week of Pochettino's reign? If the 7-2 demolition by Bayern Munich at home in the Champions League wasn't bad enough on its own, the embarrassment was exacerbated by the fact an Arsenal academy product – Serge Gnabry – scored four and he certainly milked the occasion. It was the first time Spurs had ever conceded seven at home in a major competition. Despite the pressure increasing on Pochettino, no response was forthcoming on Saturday as Brighton cruised past them 3-0 at the Amex Stadium. 

Diego Simeone was encouraged by the performance of Joao Felix in Tuesday's 2-0 Champions League win at Lokomotiv Moscow, convinced that will help him further his improvement.

Joao Felix joined Atletico for €126million in pre-season, coming in as the replacement for Antoine Griezmann after his move to Barcelona.

The 19-year-old attacker impressed in the close-season, particularly when getting a goal and two assists in the remarkable 7-3 friendly win over rivals Real Madrid in July.

He has had a slightly slower start to life in competitive action for Atletico, scoring twice and setting up one goal in seven LaLiga outings, but Simeone was impressed with his display in Moscow.

The Portugal international scored Atletico's first goal from close range after chasing up his own effort that rebounded back off the goalkeeper, before then playing a key role in their second – winning the ball back and picking out Diego Costa, who squared to Thomas Partey for the finish.

"It was the match in which he was most involved, possibly, in the rhythm of the game," Simeone told reporters ahead of Sunday's trip to Real Valladolid.

"For a player who likes to have the ball, participate in the game of his team, it [the performance] generates more enthusiasm.

"The other day this happened, he was active in the two goals of the team. That will lead him to continue growing.

"What I liked most was when he threw himself on the floor and retrieved a ball near the bench and showing that he understands what football is."

Simeone has been rotating his options in attack this season, opting to play all three of Joao Felix, Costa and Alvaro Morata on Tuesday.

And, according to the coach, that is advantage Joao Felix brings; he can feature either out wide or in a support role behind two main strikers.

"Due to his characteristics, he can play accompanied by a striker or with two striker references," Simeone said. "He has a great vision of the game and the team has more possibilities playing with two strikers and plus Joao, but the work balance of the rest of the team rises and will depend on the players.

"I think he can play in both versions. When he arrived I think he came with chances to play as a second striker. Now, when he participates most is with Costa and Morata, he has more vision to participate."

David Alaba suffered a hairline fracture to his rib in Bayern Munich's 7-2 demolition of Tottenham, the Bundesliga champions have confirmed.

Alaba was on the end of a wild early challenge from Serge Aurier and had to be substituted at half-time of the Champions League clash, complaining of severe pain.

Bayern initially announced the defender had sustained only "a heavy bruise", reporting his ribs had not been broken.

But Niko Kovac then confirmed on Friday that Alaba, along with fellow defender Lucas Hernandez, would miss Saturday's league clash with Hoffenheim.

An additional update followed as Bayern revealed a further assessment from club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt had identified the fracture.

A short statement gave no indication of a return date for Alaba, stating only that the left-back would be out "for the time being".

Alaba had been out with a thigh strain prior to the big win at Spurs, sitting on the bench for Bayern's victory over Paderborn in the Bundesliga last weekend.

Thibaut Courtois has been left out of Real Madrid's squad to face Granada a few hours after the club denied he has an anxiety problem.

Goalkeeper Courtois was substituted at half-time in Madrid's Champions League draw with Club Brugge in midweek, with head coach Zinedine Zidane saying the player "wasn't well and couldn't continue".

It was subsequently claimed in media reports that the former Chelsea man was affected by anxiety, yet a club statement denied this on Friday, instead revealing he is suffering with gastroenteritis.

As such, Courtois was not named in the Madrid squad to face LaLiga surprise package Granada when Zidane announced his 19-man squad later the same day.

Alphonse Areola, who replaced Courtois against Brugge, will be joined by Castilla goalkeepers Javier Belman and Diego Altube in the group.

Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius Junior both featured in the European clash but were left out of this selection, with James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale and Rodrygo Goes returning.

Zidane had already confirmed Madrid were considering starting Eder Militao at left-back due to a number of defensive injuries, with Marcelo, Ferland Mendy and Nacho all out. Alvaro Odriozola is another option.

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