Yannick Carrasco missed a last-gasp penalty as Atletico Madrid crashed out of the Champions League following a 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen, who were also eliminated.

Requiring victory to maintain any hopes of progressing from Group B, Diego Simeone's side twice came from behind as Carrasco and Rodrigo de Paul cancelled out efforts from Moussa Diaby and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

There was late drama at the Wanda Metropolitano, where Clement Turpin had initially blown the full-time whistle before VAR penalised Piero Hincapie for handball in the box.

However, Carrasco was denied by Lukas Hradecky as Atletico bowed out at the group stage for the first time in five years.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas feels sanctions against Paris Saint-Germain are too lenient, comparing potential fines as comparable to "a cup of coffee" in cost for the club.

The Ligue 1 outfit, who are owned by Qatar Sports Investments, are one of the highest-spending sides in European football, under the watch of chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

PSG's transactions have come under intense scrutiny from critics, with the club previously handed a €65million fine - with €55m suspended - for Financial Fair Play breaches.

Tebas, however, feels such repercussions are too soft on the French outfit, who he claims are dismantling the sport's rulebook.

"€10m for PSG and Nasser is a cup of coffee!" he told L'Equipe. "Sanctions have to be dissuasive and also affect the sporting side of things.

"That has not been the case with those that were taken. These penalties don’t work, they have to be sanctioned now.

"Over the last six or seven seasons, PSG have lost a billion euros. They are breaking the European football ecosystem.

"How can other clubs compete with someone who has losses of one billion euros? It’s difficult."

 

European champions England will face off against Copa America Femenina champions Brazil at Wembley in the inaugural Women's Finalissima next year.

The clash on April 6 has been organised between UEFA and CONMEBOL to follow on from the success of the men's Finalissima in June, where South American champions Argentina defeated European title-holders Italy in front of a sold-out crowd at Wembley.

A cross-continent fixture has also taken place at youth level, with UEFA Youth League winners Benfica overcoming Uruguay's Club Atletico Penarol at the Estadio Centenario in August in Montevideo.

The clash will give both England and Brazil the opportunity to clinch a further title before the Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, leading Three Lionesses head coach Sarina Wiegman to outline her excitement for the fixture.

"The great games keep on coming for us. This time, we have the opportunity to welcome Brazil to Wembley and it will be another big moment after the Euros and USA match," she said.

"Like us, they will be thinking about the World Cup next summer. This is a chance to again test ourselves against another top 10 team in the world, an opportunity to win another trophy and give our fans something special to watch, hopefully in a packed-out Wembley."

England's Euro success was only the second senior title they have ever lifted, while Brazil's triumph against Colombia in the Copa America was their fourth in a row and eighth in the nine editions of the tournament.

Chelsea have announced the arrival of Laurence Stewart from Monaco as technical director with a focus on global football, in what is seen as the first move towards a multi-club model.

Stewart, a former performance analyst for England during the 2014 World Cup, will arrive at Stamford Bridge upon the completion of his tenure with the Ligue 1 outfit.

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has made little secret of his desire to move the Premier League outfit towards a multi-club model, akin to Manchester City and the City Football Group, who own teams in 11 countries.

Stewart, who has experience with such a model through Monaco, appears to be arriving to help facilitate that vision, given the emphasis his role will have on global matters.

"Laurence is an important appointment as we plan to build a deep sporting team that will collaborate closely," Boehly said in a statement with co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali.

"[He's] a world-class football leader who understands talent management, data and scouting, player development and performance."

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly preparing to rival Chelsea in the pursuit of RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku, with this expected to be the forward's last season in the Bundesliga.

Nkunku, 24, burst onto the world stage this past season when he raised his goal tally in all competitions to 35 in 52 games, after previously never having scored more than seven goals in a season.

This season he has shown it was no fluke, with eight goals from Leipzig's first 11 Bundesliga fixtures, while adding another two in the Champions League, including one in Tuesday's home win against Real Madrid.

His form warranted his senior international debut for France in March, and as he is preparing to play a role for the defending champions at the World Cup, his old club have reportedly decided they want him back.

 

TOP STORY – PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN LOOK TO RECLAIM LEIPZIG'S NKUNKU

Nkunku spent nine years with PSG after arriving as a 13-year-old in 2010, earning 55 Ligue 1 appearances before being sold to Leipzig for a fee of €13million in 2019.

According to Fichajes, they now view that move as a mistake, and will look to reclaim France's new star as soon as January.

The report states both Liverpool and Chelsea are prepared to activate his €60m release clause in January, with Chelsea already said to have completed a preliminary physical in the previous transfer window, having been engaged with Leipzig in the sale of Timo Werner and an enquiry about Josko Gvardiol.

It is not known if PSG will have the funds to complete the move in January, especially while in contract renegotiations with superstar Lionel Messi.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to 90min, Bayern Munich are considering a move for 32-year-old German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan from Manchester City at the end of the season.

– Sport reports that Barcelona are in talks with Wolves about securing 25-year-old midfielder Ruben Neves, with a deal believed to be possible in January. 

– The Los Angeles Times claims Cristiano Ronaldo could come to Major League Soccer to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy, Los Angeles FC or Inter Miami if he can not find a European club.

– Calciomercato is reporting Manchester United have joined Chelsea and Barcelona with their interest in 25-year-old Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez.

Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to pay €30m for 16-year-old Brazilian Endrick, per UOL Esporte. Endrick is playing in the Brazilian league with Palmeiras, and will not be allowed to make the jump to Europe before turning 18.

Retired Reggae Boy Ricardo Fuller is set to step into coaching after taking a role at the academy of former club Stoke City.

The 42-year-old former player is a cult favorite at the West Midlands club where he made 182 appearances between 2006 and 2012 and scored 43 goals.

The Jamaican will return to the club as part of the Professional Player to Coach scheme, an initiative that is jointly administered by the Premier League, EFL, and Professional Footballers' Association.  The aim of the program is to increase the presence of minority coaches in the game of English football, a major talking point for the last several years.

Fuller will do work with all age groups at the club’s youth academy, where players range in age from 9-21.  Despite being a former fan favourite, the club made it clear the retired striker was not simply handed the position.

“Ricardo was one of a host of applicants for the role and he proved to be the strongest candidate after a thorough interview process,” Garth Owen, the director of the club’s academy, explained.

Fuller made 72 appearances for the Jamaica national team and scored a total of 9 goals.

 

 

Casemiro has highlighted the importance of Brazil remaining grounded after being labelled as one of the favourites to win the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.

Brazil last lifted football's most prestigious trophy 20 years ago, when Ronaldo Nazario scored eight goals as Luiz Filipe Scolari's team triumphed in Japan and South Korea. 

However, Tite's team have been tipped by many to end that drought this year, with the Selecao topping the FIFA World Rankings ahead of the tournament and seeing the likes of Neymar and Vinicius Junior start the club season in fine form.

Speaking to Manchester United's media channels, Casemiro said: "There are two sides to it. Of course, there's no hiding from the fact Brazil are favourites, but the favourites don't always win in football, the favourites aren't always champions.

"We know there are other national teams doing some great work, teams that are also favourites. Football, nowadays, speaks for itself. We know there are other teams playing very well.

"We know our responsibility, we know we have to respect the teams we come up against. 

"It's inevitable when we talk about Brazil, though we do this with our feet on the ground and a lot of respect for our opponents."

With 65 senior caps to his name, Casemiro appears a certainty to feature when Brazil open their Group G campaign against Serbia on November 24, and he could be joined by United team-mate Antony.

The winger has scored three goals in his first six Premier League appearances since joining Red Devils from Ajax, and now hopes to make an impact for Brazil on the grandest stage of all.

"My first call up to the Selecao was this year, so it's a wonderful experience for me," Antony said, being interviewed alongside Casemiro.

"I've always dreamed of putting on the Brazil shirt, today I can live that dream leading up to a World Cup.

"Putting on the national shirt, representing your country and your family is very important to me. I hope to be putting it on more and more and make history with the Brazilian national team."

Juventus winger Angel Di Maria wants to finish his playing career where it started, back in Argentina with Rosario Central.

Di Maria, 34, joined Rosario as a four-year-old, spending the next 15 years with the club before a starring performance in the Under-20 World Cup saw Benfica come knocking.

His move to Benfica was the beginning of a remarkable European career, where he proceeded to play for Real Madrid, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain before landing in Italy with Juventus.

Despite all his success in Europe, Di Maria spoke about his desire to return to his roots in an interview with former player Ezequiel Lavezzi, who represented Argentina on the international stage 51 times between 2007 and 2016.

"I'd like to go back to Rosario," he said. "I know it's difficult... but it's as I always say – the dream of all those in Argentina is to come and play in Europe, mine is to return one day to wear the Rosario Central shirt. 

"It's reality, I've always said it. If I get the chance, I'd love to."

Rosario currently sit 19th in the 28-team top division in Argentina, and with little spending power, it would require a massive pay cut to become a reality.

Paris Saint-Germain can "do great things" in the Champions League if the attacking trio of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar continue their rich vein of form, according to defender Achraf Hakimi.

With Neymar operating just behind Mbappe and Messi, all three were on target as Christophe Galtier's side soared through to the knockout stages with a dominant 7-2 victory over Maccabi Haifa at Parc des Princes.

Supported by a midfield trio of Fabian Ruiz, Renato Sanches and Vitinha, the front three embraced the opportunity to express themselves more freely with PSG netting seven goals in a Champions League game for only the third time.

"We played a good game, we fulfilled the objective of qualifying," Hakimi told RMC Sport 1. "We scored a lot of goals. The coach chose the system to try things.

"The coach likes to play with this midfield, we hope it's a good possibility for the team. If the front three stay like that, it's possible to do great things. We're glad they all scored."

Galtier added: "It would be pretentious to think that we have the best team in the world. There are high quality teams in this competition.

"But I have three extraordinary players up front. We had to find a system so that they could express themselves more freely.

"Everyone knows the technical quality of the three, but we also realise that, in this competition, defending more in density allows us to have transitions. It's very nice to see, they play for each other."

Although disappointed by the manner in which the second goal was conceded, Galtier was impressed by the overall performance of his players, who he is urging to secure top spot in Group H when they face Juventus next week.

"I regret the second goal. We lacked requirement and rigour at the beginning of the second half to avoid reviving the team," the head coach added.

"Apart from that, I'm happy with the game. Overall, the team has been fantastic. We played lively, alert football, with a lot of technical relationships and connections between the lines. I am satisfied.

"We are qualified; it's very good, it's the most important. The competition is not over, we have to go for first place against Juventus. PSG's ambition is to finish first. We remain focused on this objective."

Gabriel Heinze has been appointed as the new coach of Newell's Old Boys.

The former Argentina defender replaces Adrian Coria, who had been caretaker boss following Javier Sanguinetti's resignation in August.

Heinze's last coaching role was with MLS franchise Atlanta United, where he was in charge for only seven months before being sacked.

The ex-Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Real Madrid full-back will now continue his coaching career in his homeland at the club where he started and ended his playing days.

Six-time Argentine champions Newell's did not state the length of contract Heinze has signed.

The 44-year-old also coached Godoy Cruz, Argentinos Juniors and Velez Sarsfield before a spell in the United States.

Paris Saint-Germain will not win the Champions League because they are "terrible at defending," according to former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel.

Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi scored twice while Neymar was also on target in the thumping 7-2 victory over Maccabi Haifa at Parc des Princes. 

Despite progressing to the knockout stages with a match to spare, the Champions League trophy has remained elusive to PSG, who are yet to register a clean sheet in this season's competition after Abdoulaye Seck's brace for the visitors.

Schmeichel, who lifted the trophy with United in 1999, heaped praise on the attacking trio of Mbappe, Messi and Neymar after another devastating goalscoring display, but believes that defensive frailties will wreck any title ambitions.

"What was special about this game was the quality of the goals," he told CBS Sports Golazo. "You can't defend against that. These three guys up front, Mbappe, Neymar and Messi, when they play like that, there are no answers.

"I'm not sure when you talk about them winning the Champions League. I think the problem they have also showed today. When they're 3-0 up, all of a sudden, it's 4-2. They need to score a lot of goals to win games, and it's not always going to happen.

"I think they are terrible defending; that's also because of the three front players. When you are at the stadium, and you see how little they take part in defending.

"Everybody else, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, all those teams, it's 11 players attacking, it's 11 players defending. I think in modern-day football, that's what you need.

"That could be the problem in one game, one game against Man City, one game against Real Madrid, it's enough to get knocked out."

Fiorentina have hit out at "plainly false" media reports accusing club president Rocco Commisso of "aggressive and intimidating" behaviour towards Inter players and staff after Saturday's Serie A meeting.

Inter were 4-3 winners at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, but the game was subsequently marred by claims in the press of ugly scenes off the pitch.

It was claimed Commisso aggressively banged on the door to Inter's changing room, while Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta and Fiorentina general manager Joe Barone were said to have engaged in a heated disagreement.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) began an investigation into the alleged incidents on Monday, but Fiorentina have since released a statement insisting the media reports were false, with Inter president Steven Zhang apparently assuring Viola officials the stories did not come from him or his staff.

Fiorentina's statement read: "ACF Fiorentina can confirm that Inter president Steven Zhang has spoken to Fiorentina general manager Giuseppe Barone.

"The Nerazzurri president clarified that neither he nor any other [Inter] club directors ever claimed – at any time or to any individual – what was published by some newspapers on Saturday evening after the Fiorentina v Inter match. These reports alleged that president Rocco Commisso behaved in an aggressive and intimidating manner in the away dressing room. This never took place.

"Fiorentina has taken note of what president Zhang said and would like to highlight that some members of the press are quick to portray president Rocco Commisso in a bad light without carrying out due and diligent checks on the reliability of their information and sources, publicly attributing bad behaviour to Fiorentina's president which has no factual grounding.

"Sadly, once again we are left to rue the fact that the club and its fans have fallen victim to inaccurate reporting by certain members of the media, who reported plainly false information which has caused serious damage to the image of the club and the president.

"We reiterate that Fiorentina has the greatest respect for journalists and their work and expects this to be reciprocated with the club and its employees by not publishing unverified stories which have no basis in reality."

Eden Hazard accepts Belgium must lift a major trophy if they are to justify the 'Golden Generation' label they have carried for almost a decade.

Belgium boast a squad of players that represent some of Europe's biggest clubs, including the likes of Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois.

The Red Devils have ended five of the past seven years at the top of the FIFA rankings, yet they have repeatedly struggled to make an impact at tournaments.

They were eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the past two European Championships and also exited at that point in the 2014 World Cup.

Belgium did go one better by reaching the semi-finals of Russia 2018, where they were beaten by France, and Hazard says the aim in the Qatar World Cup is to go all the way.

"There's always talk of the 'Golden Generation' but there's some truth to it," Hazard, who has struggled for playing time at Real Madrid this season, told FIFA's official website. 

"We've spent almost 10 years together. Now we've got young players starting to come through.

"We've got an incredible generation of players, but we still haven't won anything. If we really want to earn that 'Golden Generation' nickname, that's the one thing we need to do.

"Our collective experience has definitely helped us in previous tournaments, so I hope that it will continue in the same vein for some time yet."

Hazard has played 122 times for Belgium, placing him behind only Toby Alderweireld (123), Axel Witsel (126) and Jan Vertonghen (141) as his country's most capped player.

The Madrid forward scored three goals in six matches for Belgium in the most recent World Cup and is hoping to better that tally in Qatar.

"I have to set the bar high," said Hazard, who also played five times for his country in the 2014 instalment in Brazil. "I'm going to try to do better than in 2018. 

"It'll be tough because that was already pretty good. I'm fortunate to be the captain of a great team and a big footballing nation. We owe it to ourselves to have high expectations."

Callum Hudson-Odoi is happy to be playing with a smile on his face once again at loan club Bayer Leverkusen after feeling left with little choice but to leave Chelsea.

The 21-year-old moved to Leverkusen in August for the duration of the 2022-23 campaign after making just 11 Premier League starts under Thomas Tuchel last season.

Hudson-Odoi has already started eight matches for Leverkusen in the Bundesliga and Champions League, operating predominantly as a left-sided attacker.

That is the three-cap England international's preferred position, though he often found himself filling in as a wing-back last term in a move that ultimately left him disillusioned.

"You're not a natural-born wing-back, are you?" Hudson-Odoi reflected on a conversation he held with Tuchel, who has since been replaced by Graham Potter.

"Definitely not! At times, it was okay. But sometimes in my head, I'm thinking, 'What am I doing, why am I in this position? I'm more defending than attacking'. 

"No matter where I was playing, I was always trying to do my best and help the team – it's not always about myself. I never argued; I just got on with it."

Hudson-Odoi added in his interview with The Athletic his comments were not intended as a criticism of Tuchel, but more a frustration of his past couple of seasons at Chelsea.

"With so many great players in the team, you have to fight for your position and work your hardest," he said. "It was difficult but you have to get on with it and do what you can.

"My mindset was, 'I have to get out of there'. Not in a rude way, as in I don't like the club or I don't want to be at the club, I don't like the club. Nothing like that. 

"But I needed to play football somewhere new. Start afresh. Try the best I can wherever I am. And then go back to Chelsea at the end of the loan."

Hudson-Odoi has yet to score in his 10 appearances for Leverkusen, though he has assisted one goal and only Moussa Diaby (21) has created more than his 15 chances.

Leverkusen are just one point above the Bundesliga relegation zone after a poor start to the campaign that saw Gerardo Seoane replaced by Xabi Alonso.

Regardless of their disappointing form, Hudson-Odoi is glad to be playing more regular football in the German top flight. 

"The results haven't been the greatest but I think experience-wise, it's been very good," he said.

"I'm enjoying my football, smiling every day. And the boys have helped me settle in quick. I feel at home here."

Championship strugglers Middlesbrough have appointed Michael Carrick as their new head coach.

The former Manchester United and England midfielder replaces Chris Wilder, who was sacked this month less than a year after taking the Boro hotseat.

Carrick worked under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford before taking charge of United on a caretaker basis for three games late last year.

The 41-year-old stepped down as Red Devils first-team coach following the arrival of Ralf Rangnick last December and has now been given his first opportunity as a head coach.

"I'm really excited to be here and to be part of a club with such a deep history and tradition," said Carrick.

"Middlesbrough was the first professional club I played for as a nine-year-old boy, so it's a very special feeling to be back here as a head coach.

"Growing up in the north-east myself I'm fully aware of what football means to people. It's a real privilege for me to be in this position and to feel all the passion and enthusiasm you've got for the game and for Boro.

"I'll give everything to help develop the team and keep moving the club forward and make you the supporters proud. I can't wait to get started.”

Carrick has appointed former Boro head coach Jonathan Woodgate as first-team coach of a side languishing just above the relegation zone in 21st place.

 

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