The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) announced on Saturday that it has joined forces with sportswear giants Adidas.

“The Jamaica Football Federation is proud to announce that sportswear giant Adidas will equip all Jamaican National Football teams beginning in January 2023. The partnership, which is built on cultivating and supporting talent and the joy that football can bring, will include major tournaments such as the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 2024 Summer Olympics and the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” the JFF said in a statement.

President of the JFF Michael Ricketts said, “We are incredibly proud to announce this unprecedented partnership with Adidas and are looking forward to achieving great things together.”

“The partnership will support the JFF’s effort to develop Jamaica’s football at all levels and will facilitate further success at the professional level in the years to come. The JFF is now a part of the Adidas portfolio of international federations, joining giants such as The DFB (Germany), RFEF (Spain), AFA (Argentina), FIGC (Italy) and the RBFA (Belgium),” Ricketts added.

General Manager of Adidas Global Football Nick Craggs said “We are delighted to be announcing this long partnership with the Jamaica Football Federation.”

“The country’s potential on the pitch-of which the consecutive World Cup qualifications of the Women’s team is a testament-along with the richness and global relevance of its culture, which resonates far beyond football and Jamaica’s borders, make it a great fit to join our Adidas International Federations family. We look forward to celebrating many achievements together while contributing to the progress and future of Jamaican football at all levels of the game,” he added.

“The past doesn’t equal the future, and the future of Jamaican football is looking bright,” said CEO of Business 2 Sports Group Marlon Gilbert-Roberts who, alongside sports lawyer Jonathan Himpe and Fitzroy Simpson, was one of the architects of this historic deal.

Edinson Cavani is eyeing a move to Spain following his departure from Manchester United, according to Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere, who has ruled out a deal to sign the Uruguay international.

Cavani left United as a free agent at the end of last season, having scored 12 goals in 41 Premier League appearances during a two-year spell at Old Trafford.

The 35-year-old's 200 goals for Paris Saint-Germain, meanwhile, make him the Ligue 1 club's all-time top goalscorer, and he had been touted to make a return to France with Nice.

But Rivere has shut down such speculation, revealing the striker sees his future in LaLiga.

"Cavani, he wants to play in Spain," Rivere told reporters. "We will close the subject of Cavani [coming to Nice]. What is important is the balance of the team. 

"The coach has needs, we will try to meet those needs. What is important is to find a team that is balanced with young and old, and with more than headliners - it's not the goal to have a headliner. 

"The goal is to have players who perform well and who respond to what the coach wants, to be able to work as well as possible. 

"So [with] Cavani, let's close the case, I had already clarified it, but I'll clarify it again."

Nice, who lost boss Christophe Galtier to PSG following their fifth-placed finish in Ligue 1 last term, recently signed Aaron Ramsey and Kasper Schmeichel after reappointing Lucien Favre as head coach in June.

Marcos Alonso looks to be on his way to Barcelona after he was left out of Chelsea's squad to face Everton.

The Spain full-back reportedly said his goodbyes at the London club this week as he nears a return to his homeland.

Alonso did not travel to Goodison Park for the Blues' opening match of the Premier League season and is expected to become big-spending Barca's next recruit.

Chelsea splashed out to sign Marc Cucurella from Brighton and Hove Albion on Friday, while Ben Chilwell has returned after a long spell on the sidelines due to injury.

Thomas Tuchel also omitted Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi from his squad for the trip to Merseyside amid reports they could leave the club.

Barca president Joan Laporta on Friday said he was confident the Catalan giants would be able to register all of their new players despite claims LaLiga will require them to generate more funds.

Juventus and Atletico Madrid will face off at the Serie A giant's training ground on Sunday after security concerns led to the cancellation of a pre-season friendly in Tel Aviv.

The teams had been due to meet at Bloomfield Stadium on Sunday, but heightened tensions in the Gaza Strip raised doubts over whether the match could take place in Israel.

Earlier on Saturday, it was announced that the contest had been cancelled, but Juventus have now revealed the match has been moved to Italy.

"Originally scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv, the game between the two footballing giants will now be played in Turin at the Juventus Training Centre in Continassa," read a statement from Juve.

The friendly, which will serve as both teams' final outing before they begin their respective league campaigns, will take place behind closed doors.

Juve begin their Serie A campaign at home to Sassuolo on August 15, with Diego Simeone's Atleti travelling to Getafe on the same day to get their LaLiga season under way.

A pre-season friendly between Juventus and Atletico Madrid scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv on Sunday has been postponed due to security concerns.

Juve and Atleti were due to meet at Bloomfield Stadium, but the game was called off on Saturday.

Increasing conflict in the Gaza Strip had raised doubts over whether the match will go ahead.

LaLiga club Atleti said in a statement: "Due to the current security situation, Comtec Group (match promoter), Juventus and Atletico de Madrid announce that the friendly game between the two teams that was to take place in Israel this Sunday 7 August at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, has been cancelled."

It was due to be the final match for both clubs before they start their seasons.

Juve begin their Serie A campaign at home to Sassuolo on August 15, with Diego Simeone's Atletico side travelling to Getafe on the same day to get their LaLiga season under way.

Simon Kjaer has challenged Milan winger Rafael Leao to "grow enormously" and realise his potential to be one of the top five players in the world.

Leao played a big part in the Rossoneri's first Serie A title triumph in 11 years last season and has been linked with Real Madrid.

The 23-year-old Portugal international, who has just under two years remaining on his contract, scored 14 goals and provided 10 assists across all competitions in the 2021-22 campaign.

Milan defender Kjaer wants to see Leao scale new heights, while he is also expecting big things of 22-year-old midfielder Sandro Tonali and new signing Divock Origi.

"This year I want to see Leao and Tonali: they are no longer kids, they have to grow enormously," the Denmark captain told Sportweek.

"What they did last year is no longer enough. Leao has quality. extraordinary and therefore he can no longer afford games in which one sees little: he must always be decisive.

"If he can make this leap, he can be one of the top five in the world.

"Then I want to see Origi: I was with him in Lille, he was a kid, now I expect a champion who makes the difference because he has everything to be, speed, strength and feet."

Kjaer has returned to action in pre-season after a long lay-off due to a knee injury.

 

Miguel Gutierrez has completed a permanent move from Real Madrid to Girona for a reported fee of €5million.

The 21-year-old full-back made just nine appearances in all for Madrid's senior team, spending most of his time at the LaLiga giants playing for the Castilla team.

After just three games for Los Blancos last season, Gutierrez has moved on and signed a five-year-deal with Girona as he seeks regular first team football.

He was a part of the Spain team that won the Under-19 European Championship in 2019, and also won the UEFA Youth League with Madrid under the guidance of legendary striker Raul in 2019-20.

Gutierrez becomes the sixth signing for Girona in this transfer window, with other arrivals including last season's Major League Soccer top goalscorer Valentin Castellanos on loan from New York City FC.

Manchester United are reportedly willing to meet Salzburg's £41.8million asking price for 19-year-old Slovenian striker Benjamin Sesko.

Sesko, who does not turn 20 until next May and measures in at 195cm tall, scored 11 goals in 37 games last season, and he opened the new Bundesliga campaign with a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win over Austria Vienna.

According to The Athletic, United decided against signing Sesko for £2.5m as a 16-year-old, and they will now have to pay up to secure the services of the in-demand forward.


TOP STORY – UNITED PLAN BIG MOVE FOR TOWERING SLOVENIAN STRIKER

The report from Express calls Sesko "a priority target" for new boss Erik ten Hag, but also mentions that the Austrian club is extremely high on him as a prospect – going as far as comparing his future to that of former Salzburg man Erling Haaland.

Meanwhile, Sport Klub claims Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are also monitoring the situation, and that Sesko and Salzburg will be meeting in the next week to make a firm decision on his future.

Sesko is also Slovenia's youngest-ever international debutant, having debuted one day after his 18th birthday, and became their youngest international goalscorer a few months later.


ROUND-UP

– Calciomercato claims Tottenham are set to sign 19-year-old defender and Manchester City target Destiny Udogie from Udinese for a deal in the range of £25m.

– The Mirror is reporting that Everton have swooped in to land West Ham target Amadou Onana from Lille with a fee of £33.7m.

Leeds United are making a £22m bid for Paris Saint-Germain forward Arnaud Kalimuendo, according to the Sun.

– A Sky Sports report states Crystal Palace are interested in bringing back defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka from United.

– Liverpool are exploring a potential £50m move to bring in Leroy Sane from Bayern Munich, according to 90min.

The Vancouver Whitecaps produced a miraculous comeback to treat their fans to a 2-1 home win against the Houston Dynamo on Friday.

With both sides desperately needing the three points to stay in touch with the Western Conference playoff picture, it was Houston striking first through a corner in the sixth minute.

After the initial corner was cleared, Sam Junqua's floating ball back into the box beat the goalkeeper after it bounced, although Fafa Picault was credited with the goal after claiming he got a toe on it.

Houston controlled 63 per cent of the possession in the first half and were good value for their lead, leading the shot count six-to-three and the pass count 358-to-199.

But the longer the game went, the more passive the visiting side became, and instead of dictating the play, they sat back and looked to protect their lead.

Sadio Mane scored his first Bundesliga goal as Bayern Munich opened the new campaign with a stunning 6-1 victory at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Europa League winners Frankfurt seemed a tricky first opponent for the champions, but Julian Nagelsmann's side swept them aside in sensational style.

Having defeated RB Leipzig 5-3 in the DFL-Supercup in their first competitive match after Robert Lewandowski's departure last week, Bayern were five up by half-time on Friday – Joshua Kimmich, Benjamin Pavard, Jamal Musiala and Serge Gnabry joining Mane on the scoresheet.

Manuel Neuer's sloppiness gifted Randal Kolo Muani a consolation, yet it was a minor blip in a supreme Bayern display, and Musiala capped things off with his second late on.

Bayern had full control by the 10th minute. Kimmich fooled Kevin Trapp with a long-range free-kick that clipped in off the right-hand upright, before Pavard lashed in his second goal in as many games.

Juventus-linked Filip Kostic teed up a golden chance for Frankfurt to drag themselves back into contention, only for Tuta to head against the woodwork, which then denied Bayern a third after Gnabry's poor pass sold Thomas Muller short in front of goal.

Another glorious Eintracht chance went begging due to Jesper Lindstrom's profligacy, but Bayern had their third after Trapp had parried Musiala's effort onto the crossbar – Mane stooping low to head in Gnabry's cross.

Mane turned architect for Bayern's fourth six minutes later, drawing out the Frankfurt defence and finding Muller, who squared for Musiala, and it was five before half-time when Gnabry squeezed home.

Kristijan Jakic, one of three half-time Frankfurt substitutes, thought he had pulled a goal back in the 56th minute, yet it was disallowed for offside.

Neuer hardly covered himself in glory in that incident, and Bayern's captain was entirely at fault eight minutes later when he was bundled off the ball by Kolo Muani.

Musiala had the final say, though, tucking in after Leroy Sane's exquisite pass to add further gloss to a statement win.

What does it mean? No Lewy, no problem

Bayern have now gone unbeaten in their opening league fixture for 11 straight seasons – they went on to win the title in each of the previous 10.

Although Bayern have lost more times away to Frankfurt than they have any other team (23), they were in top gear from the off, and there was never any danger of another defeat.

Lewandowski may have gone, but Bayern's attack – spearheaded by Mane and the evergreen Muller, who matched Hans Georg Schwarzenbeck's 416 Bundesliga outings for Bayern (the second-most among outfield players) and finished with two assists – looks scintillating. 

Magical Mane off to a flyer

In five of his six Premier League campaigns for Liverpool, Mane scored in his first away game of the season, including on his Reds debut in a 4-3 win at Arsenal in August 2016.

The Senegal forward always seemed likely to start fast in Germany, and he has done just that. He is the first player to score in his maiden Bundesliga away game for Bayern since Joshua Zirkzee did so against Freiburg in December 2019, while Mario Mandzukic, in 2012, was the last Bayern player to score in his first two appearances for the club in all competitions.

Few home comforts for Frankfurt

Friday's game was the ninth example of an away team scoring five before half-time in Bundesliga history, and Bayern are responsible for four of those occasions.

But in truth, they were helped by a woeful defensive display from their hosts. Frankfurt picked up just 19 points at home (W4 D7 L6) last season, bettering only the two relegated sides in Arminia Bielefeld and Greuther Furth, and Oliver Glasner must strike a better balance.

What's next?

Bayern host Wolfsburg in their second Bundesliga game of the season, while Frankfurt travel to Helsinki for the small matter of facing Champions League winners Real Madrid in the Super Cup.

Striker Christian Benteke has signed for D.C. United from Crystal Palace as he joins up with Wayne Rooney in MLS.

The 31-year-old has penned a two-and-a-half-year deal in the United States capital as he leaves the Premier League after 280 appearances in which he scored 86 goals.

He arrived in England 10 years ago, joining Aston Villa from Belgian side Genk before going on to score 42 times in 89 Premier League appearances for the Midlands club.

His prolific spell there earned him a big-money move to Liverpool, but he could only manage nine league goals for the Reds before making a switch to Palace in 2016.

Although he scored 15 top-flight goals in his first campaign at Selhurst Park, the Belgium international never quite recaptured his Aston Villa form and has now made the move to MLS.

D.C. United sit bottom of the Eastern Conference, with former Manchester United striker Rooney having taken over in July for the sacked Hernan Losada.

And Rooney is glad to have brought a player of Benteke's quality in, telling the club's website: "Christian is a top player who has played at the highest level for a long time.

"His experience and ability to score goals and help the team will be invaluable. It's exciting for the team and myself to get him in and playing. He will make a huge difference."

Georginio Wijnaldum has joined forces with Jose Mourinho at Roma on a season-long loan deal after a difficult first year at Paris Saint-Germain.

The Serie A club confirmed the signing of Wijnaldum on Friday, just over a year after he moved to PSG from Liverpool as a free agent.

Roma have the option to sign the Netherlands midfielder on a permanent basis at the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

His arrival comes on a day fellow midfielder Jordan Veretout left the Giallorossi to join Ligue 1 side Marseille.

Wijnaldum was signed by PSG in June 2021 after his Reds contract expired, with the French giants muscling in when it had looked like he would join long-time admirers Barcelona.

Yet Wijnaldum struggled to make an impact in France, starting only 22 games and frequently coming in for external criticism for his performances.

He scored three goals and provided three assists across all competitions, and made 16 appearances off the bench, but has been considered expendable by new head coach Christophe Galtier, who replaced the sacked Mauricio Pochettino last month.

Wijnaldum was a first-team regular with Liverpool, starting 34 of the club's 38 Premier League games in his final season at Anfield.

At PSG, he was substituted 15 times last term, with only Angel Di Maria (18 times) replaced more often.

 

Now the 31-year-old heads to Roma, who finished sixth last season in Serie A and won the Europa Conference League.

A number of players have left the Italian capital side, including Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Inter on a free transfer, but head coach Mourinho has brought in Paulo Dybala from Juventus and Nemanja Matic from Manchester United.

Like that pair, Wijnaldum will add considerable experience to the Roma ranks, and the prospect of regular first-team football in a World Cup year was sure to appeal to the Dutchman.

Kylian Mbappe must wait to show why he was worth the bumper pay deal that kept him at Paris Saint-Germain, with the striker unexpectedly forced to miss the team's Ligue 1 opener.

The reigning French champions announced that Mbappe, who was pictured in training on Thursday, would miss Saturday's game away to Clermont due to an adductor injury.

That will surely be welcome news for minnows Clermont, who suffered at Mbappe's hands last season. The France star scored once in PSG's 4-0 home win over Clermont, and then hit a hat-trick in a 6-1 away trouncing in April.

Mbappe's absence came in a team news bulletin from PSG that said an update on the 23-year-old, who signed a new three-year contract in May, would come in 72 hours' time.

It means Christophe Galtier, the coach who replaced Mauricio Pochettino last month, will be unable to field Mbappe together with Neymar and Lionel Messi this weekend.

Galtier's first competitive match with the big three at his disposal must wait, perhaps for the home game against Montpellier on Saturday, August 13.

Mbappe also missed last weekend's Trophee des Champions match. He was absent due to suspension for a game that saw PSG thrash Nantes 4-0, with Messi scoring the opener, Neymar netting twice and Sergio Ramos also weighing in on an all-star demolition of last season's Coupe de France winners.

Reports have claimed Mbappe's new contract, which kept him out of the clutches of long-time admirers Real Madrid, is worth around €50million annually and came with an even heftier signing-on fee.

He was PSG's top scorer last season, netting 39 goals from 46 games across all competitions, playing no part in just three Ligue 1 matches.

Joan Laporta is confident Barcelona will be able to register all of their new signings after they "complied with everything" required by LaLiga.

Robert Lewandowski was presented as a Barca player at Camp Nou on Friday after the Poland captain was signed from Bayern Munich for a fee that could reportedly rise to €50million.

The Catalan giants have also splashed out on Raphinha and Jules Kounde, while Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen arrived as free agents and Ousmane Dembele signed a new deal.

Barca were in dire straits a year ago, with Lionel Messi leaving the club as they could not afford to keep the legendary Argentina skipper due to a financial crisis at Camp Nou.

There has been talk that LaLiga may not give the green light to register Barca's new recruits due to limits on spending.

Blaugrana president Laporta does not envisage any issues after the club signed up to a hugely lucrative sponsorship deal with Spotify, and sold a percentage of LaLiga broadcast rights, merchandising rights and a stake in Barca Studios.

Laporta said in a media conference after Lewandowski was paraded on the pitch: "We have worked to be able to register all the players that we have incorporated.

"We have worked hard and well to meet the requirements that are needed for the registrations. If any further operation is needed, we will do it, but the documentation has been presented. It's a decision that LaLiga must make. We have complied with everything they require and we are confident that they will be able to sign up."

He added: "The second sale of Barca Studios was approved because we had foreseen it. As a precaution and in anticipation of divergence in some interpretations, we have done it. To have the foresight.

"We had already planned to do the fourth lever, if it also serves to consolidate registrations better. Barca has entered these two months and operations worth 868million euros. We have positive funds, a healthy balance sheet and results also because we have made profits.

"We have made a great effort, we have had to carry out operations to sell some assets, always in a controlled manner."

Laporta revealed that Lewandowski had to be assured his move to Barcelona would not collapse.

"When an agreement was reached with Bayern, we had a series of talks," he said.

"Robert and his agent were concerned about whether we could register him, but I gave them comfort and told them that if we had to register one Robert would be the first. There were other clubs that offered more money and more salary to the player."

Prolific striker Lewandowski has taken the number nine shirt that Memphis Depay wore last year, but Laporta does not feel Barca have been disrespectful to the Netherlands international.

He said: "The number nine thing was a club decision. For reasons that interest the club, for image and publicity reasons. We have considered an appropriate decision and we have made it with all respect for Memphis."

Marc Cucurella has left Brighton and Hove Albion for Chelsea, rather than Manchester City, in a reported £50million transfer.

The Spain left-back enjoyed an outstanding single season at Brighton, having joined from Getafe last August.

With City selling Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal, it appeared Cucurella was set to sign for the Premier League champions

However, it was widely reported Brighton were standing firm with their demands of a £50m fee while City were only willing to pay £40m.

Brighton head coach Graham Potter last week described the club as "confident and relaxed in our position" as they awaited a further bid from City.

Instead, it came from Chelsea, with the Blues moving quickly to sign Cucurella on a six-year deal. He follows Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly in signing for the London club ahead of the new season.

Teenage Blues defender Levi Colwill has moved in the opposite direction, joining Brighton on a season-long loan deal.

Cucurella's arrival comes as a big boost to Thomas Tuchel, who has seen top targets Matthijs de Ligt, Jules Kounde and Raphinha go elsewhere.

With Marcos Alonso – another Spain international – linked with a move to Barcelona, ex-Blaugrana academy graduate Cucurella appears set for a battle with Ben Chilwell for a starting spot, although it has been suggested the new recruit could play in a back three.

Injury restricted Chilwell to seven appearances in the Premier League last season, although he still scored three goals and provided an assist. Cucurella, in 35 matches, netted just once and could also only match Chilwell's single assist.

But Cucurella also showed why he would be a good fit for any team competing at the top end of the table.

The 24-year-old enjoyed 2,827 touches, ranking seventh among Premier League defenders; each of the six players above him played for either City (Joao Cancelo, Aymeric Laporte), Liverpool (Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk) or Chelsea (Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger).

Despite his sole assist, Cucurella finished sixth among defenders for chances created, with his 42 just behind Blues duo Reece James (48) and Alonso (43).

 

Cucurella ranked sixth among defenders for duels contested (323), winning a solid 59.1 per cent.

Listed at 1.72 metres tall, Cucurella is shorter than Lisandro Martinez (1.75m), the Premier League's smallest nominal centre-back, but he still won 52.6 per cent of his aerial duels last term, bettering the 44.7 per cent of James – another Chelsea star who switched between wing-back and centre-back roles.

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