Manchester City defender Sergio Gomez has completed a move to Real Sociedad in a deal reportedly worth €10million (£8.4m). 

Gomez ends a two-year stay at the Etihad Stadium having made 38 appearances for Pep Guardiola's side, winning five major honours that included their maiden triumph in the Champions League and two Premier League titles. 

The 23-year-old struggled to cement a place in the Citizens first-team having arrived from Anderlecht in 2022 in a deal worth £18million. 

Gomez made just 18 appearances in the Premier League, with Guardiola preferring summer arrival Josko Gvardiol in the left-back position. 

City have a 30% sell-on clause in the transfer, with the Spaniard joining the La Liga side on a six-year deal. 

Gomez returns to his homeland where he started his senior career with Barcelona B, followed by spells at Borussia Dortmund and Huesca. 

“It’s time to leave Manchester City but I’d like to thank everyone at the CFA for their support and guidance during my time at the club,” Gomez said.

“Being part of such a talented, ambitious and successful squad was a true honour and winning a host of major trophies, including the treble, is something I will never forget and will always look back fondly on.

“I am excited for this new adventure but I wish Pep Guardiola and the players every success in the future.”

Manchester City defender Sergio Gomez has completed a move to Real Sociedad in a deal reportedly worth €10million (£8.4m). 

Gomez ends a two-year stay at the Etihad Stadium having made 38 appearances for Pep Guardiola's side, winning five major honours that included their maiden triumph in the Champions League and two Premier League titles. 

The 23-year-old struggled to cement a place in the Citizens first-team having arrived from Anderlecht in 2022 in a deal worth £18million. 

Gomez made just 18 appearances in the Premier League, with Guardiola preferring summer arrival Josko Gvardiol in the left-back position. 

City have a 30% sell-on clause in the transfer, with the Spaniard joining the La Liga side on a six-year deal. 

Gomez returns to his homeland where he started his senior career with Barcelona B, followed by spells at Borussia Dortmund and Huesca. 

“It’s time to leave Manchester City but I’d like to thank everyone at the CFA for their support and guidance during my time at the club,” Gomez said.

“Being part of such a talented, ambitious and successful squad was a true honour and winning a host of major trophies, including the treble, is something I will never forget and will always look back fondly on.

“I am excited for this new adventure but I wish Pep Guardiola and the players every success in the future.”

Ollie Watkins labelled Spain's Lamine Yamal as a "generational talent" ahead of England's clash with La Roja in the Euro 2024 final on Sunday. 

Yamal played a key role in Spain reaching their first major tournament final since 2012, scoring a stunner to cancel out Randal Kolo Muani's opener before Dani Olmo's winner four minutes later. 

The teenager has had 13 shot involvements following a ball carry at Euro 2024 (six shots, seven chances created), at least three more than any other player.

Having beaten Pele's record in becoming the youngest player to score at a major tournament, more history beckons for Yamal in Berlin. 

A day after his 17th birthday, the Barcelona forward could be the youngest player to feature in a World Cup or European Championship final, again, beating Pele's record from the 1958 World Cup (17y 249d).

“Everyone's seen what he can do. It's not often that you are scoring a goal against France in the top corner in the semi-final of the Euros when you're 16," Watkins said.

"He’s got the world at his feet and is miles ahead of me when I was 16 or 17.”

England left it late to secure their place in their first major tournament final on foreign soil, with Watkins striking the deciding blow against the Netherlands. 

The Three Lions' hopes of reaching back-to-back European Championship finals were dented early on when Xavi Simons fired beyond Jordan Pickford from distance. 

However, Harry Kane levelled from the spot, before Watkins emerged from the bench to fire Gareth Southgate's side into the tournament's showpiece game. 

Watkins was under no illusions about the difficulty awaiting his side in Berlin, acknowledging Spain's run to the final where they have beaten Italy, Germany and France.

“They’ve had to come through a harder journey than us playing against Italy, Germany and France - the so-called bigger teams - and I feel like they have been probably the best team of the competition so far," he said.

“The wingers for Spain are very dynamic, young, full of confidence and direct but also across our team, we have goals from everywhere and world class talent, so it's going to be a very exciting match.

"I can't wait to watch it and be a part of it. And hopefully we can get the get the job done."

Like many England fans, Watkins has had his fourth international goal from their semi-final win over the Netherlands on repeat. 

"I watched it quite a few times, when I got back to camp," said Watkins. "I was manifesting it, a lot has led up to it.

"A good friend said he felt like I would score in the Euros final, I did it a match before, but you never know, I might be saving another one for the final."

Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Renato Veiga from FC Basel on a seven-year contract.

The Blues have paid a reported €14million (£11.8m) for the youngster, with the option to extend his deal for an extra year, which could keep him at the club until 2031.

Veiga joined Basel in August 2023 on a four-year deal, and cemented his place in the first team after making his debut in September.

He went on to make 26 appearances in all competitions, scoring twice in the Swiss Super League.

"I'm absolutely buzzing to be here," Veiga told Chelsea's media channels. "This is one of the biggest clubs in England – the biggest for me – and I'm just really excited to get started."

Veiga is the fifth player signed by Chelsea in this transfer window, following Tosin Adarabioyo, Omari Kellyman, Marc Guiu and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall into the club.

Columbus Crew head coach Wilfried Nancy has praised his side's "humble" attitude ahead of their trip to Los Angeles FC in MLS on Saturday.

The Crew are on a four-match winning streak, scoring 15 goals and keeping three clean sheets during that run.

They sit third in the Eastern Conference, and after a 4-0 victory over Toronto FC last time out, Nancy showed his admiration for their impressive run.

"The fact that we are humble enough to accept that we have to improve all the time, the consequence of that is we are able to do something new and to improve all the time," Nancy said.

"Again, this desire to get better and better depends on what the opposition is going to give us.

"[I'm proudest of] the fact that we don't take anything for granted. That's why we were able to attack well and to defend well. This is the spirit that I really like."

LAFC, meanwhile, sit joint-top of the Western Conference, with Real Salt Lake and LA Galaxy also on 43 points.

Their high-flying season has drawn attention, with head coach Steve Cherundolo's name one of those linked to the currently vacant USA national team job.

Cherundolo has brushed aside any concerns that he will be leaving LA though, instead using it to highlight the club's work this season.

"I am LAFC's head coach right now," he said. "That is my job, it's what I do every day. We have training tomorrow and I will be there for it.

"I think it has more to do with LAFC and all that's going on here.

"We're all moving in the same direction. When the group functions well, individuals shine, it's just a well-run organisation, and it's partly my job to make sure we keep going in that direction."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Los Angeles FC – Denis Bouanga

Denis Bouanga (one goal) and Mateusz Bogusz (one assist) were each involved in a goal in LAFC's 2-1 win against LA Galaxy last time out, the league-leading 10th time both have contributed to a goal in the same match this season.

Columbus Crew – Diego Rossi

Cucho Hernandez (11 goals, seven assists) and Diego Rossi (seven goals, nine assists) are one of two MLS team-mate duos to each have 7+ goals and 7+ assists in 2024, along with Real Salt Lake's Cristian Arango and Andres Gomez.

MATCH PREDICTION: LOS ANGELES FC WIN

LAFC have won six consecutive regular-season home matches, scoring at least three goals in four of those wins. They have only one longer home-winning run in their history – a nine-match streak in 2022.

However, they lost to Columbus when the two last faced each other, as the Crew came out on top with a 2-1 victory in the 2023 MLS Cup Final last December. Prior to that match, LAFC had won all three of their meetings by a combined 7-0.

The Crew are coming off a 4-0 victory over Toronto FC, their second shutout win by at least four goals this season (4-0 over Sporting Kansas City last month). It is the first time Columbus have had multiple such wins in MLS play in a single season.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Los Angeles FC – 42.4%

Draw – 26.7%

Columbus Crew – 30.9%

Nick Cushing believes his New York City FC side are in a good place as they seek to improve their form on the road against Chicago Fire this weekend.

NYCFC are winless in their last three games away from home, with their latest defeat coming against Austin FC last time out as Gyasi Zardes’ double cancelled out Andres Perea's early strike.

The result leaves them in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings, a point behind rivals New York Red Bulls ahead of the upcoming Leagues Cup break.

Despite their recent loss, Cushing’s side have impressed on home turf and is happy with the moment his players find themselves at an important stage of the season.

“I think the upcoming games are important because I think everybody in the league sees the League Cup break as a natural marker in the season,” Cushing said. “You then focus on the Leagues Cup, and then you've got the run in through until the end of the season.

“I think the only way that we have to approach it is to improve the performances from the previous games. The Austin game was vastly improved compared to the Nashville and the LA Galaxy game.

“We dominate the game, we control the game, we showed a real maturity in when to have the ball and when to go out and counterattack. We created many chances, but we just fell on the wrong side of the result.

“We have to take the positives out of the performance and we have to improve in the areas where we don't get the result and ultimately that is executing in the final third. We missed chances that we created and we gave two moments that in this league you will be punished for.

“We have to fix that fast. Whether it is understanding whether it is mentality, I think this group is in a good place."

Chicago Fire, meanwhile, suffered a third defeat in four games at the hands of San Jose Earthquakes, leaving them precariously close to the bottom of the Eastern Conference table.

Just four points separate seven teams at the wrong end of the standings, with the Fire guilty of squandering several opportunities to put important points on the board.

It was the seventh time this season that Chicago have failed to score in a game. No team has failed to do so more often in the MLS this season.

Head coach Frank Klopas acknowledged his side’s wastefulness in front of goal, insisting his players need to find that clinical edge moving forwards.

“For me, the staff and the players, it felt like a missed opportunity for us to go and pick up points,” Klopas said.

“It was probably not a game that we came out with the highest intensity of energy. I think both teams had a little bit of a slow start. We did create opportunities, but again conceded one goal.

“We created enough to come away with points. It’s disappointing because it was an opportunity with the results around us for us to pick up some important momentum and gain some ground on teams.

“We missed that opportunity. We don’t always make it easy on ourselves when those chances come and we can’t let too many more of those slide away because the season is running out.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Chicago Fire – Hugo Cuypers

Hugo Cuypers has scored in each of his last three MLS appearances at Soldier Field and will be brimming with confidence ahead of facing NYCFC.

No Fire player has had a longer single-season home scoring streak since Nemanja Nikolic scored in four straight home matches to end the 2017 campaign.

NYCFC – Tayvon Gray

Tayvon Gray continued his influential displays for NYCFC in the final third, notching his fifth assist of the season in their win over Philadelphia Union.

Only two MLS players have more assists this season without having a secondary assist (San Jose’s Cristian Espinoza — 10, New York Red Bulls’ Dante Vanzeir — six).

MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

Heading into the encounter at Soldier Field, NYCFC hold the better head-to-head record from their previous meetings with Chicago, having lost just three times in their 20 all-time fixtures (W11, D6), including going unbeaten in their last five encounters (W4, D1).

Chicago, however, will have confidence in front of their home supporters. Of the 15 points they have taken from NYCFC, 13 have come at home (W3, D4, L2).

The Fire have won back-to-back home matches after a six-match winless run at Soldier Field from mid-April to the end of May. Chicago scored six times in their two home wins after scoring only twice in their previous six games at home.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Chicago Fire – 35%

Draw – 26%

NYCFC – 39%

Simone Inzaghi has committed his future to Inter by signing a new contract extension to run through to the end of the 2025-26 season.

Inzaghi led Inter to a dominant Serie A title win last term, the Nerazzurri finishing 19 points clear of rivals Milan as they clinched the Scudetto for the first time since 2020-21.

One season earlier, Inzaghi masterminded Inter's run to a first Champions League final since they won the trophy in 2010, only for Manchester City to beat them 1-0 in Istanbul.

Inzaghi has been tentatively linked with Premier League jobs throughout his three-year spell at San Siro, but he has now signed on for another two years with the Italian giants.

Inzaghi's previous deal had been due to expire at the end of the 2024-25 campaign.

Inter president Giuseppe Marotta told the club's website: "Today, we begin a new journey together, our jersey will be embellished with the tricolour and the legendary second star, which we will carry with us for years to come.

"We will still have coach Simone Inzaghi with us. It is with great pleasure that I want to inform you that our relationship with Simone will continue until 2026, with the hope of continuing it even further."

Inzaghi has won six trophies with Inter overall, also leading them to back-to-back Coppa Italia triumphs in 2021-22 and 2022-23, as well as winning the last three editions of the Supercoppa Italiana.

He has won 104 of his 158 games in charge of the Nerazzurri overall, with the team scoring 311 goals under him.

Since Serie A first adopted a league format in 1929, only three other coaches have managed 100 victories in charge of Inter – Helenio Herrera (205), Roberto Mancini (176) and Giovanni Trapattoni (124).

Jonny Evans has extended his stay at Manchester United until the end of next season, penning a new one-year contract.

Having come through United's academy and spent an initial nine-year spell in the Red Devils' first team between 2006 and 2015, Evans returned as cover for Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof last year.

With all four of those players enduring injury-hit 2023-24 seasons, Evans played a far more prominent role than expected as United finished eighth in the Premier League.

The 36-year-old made 30 appearances across all competitions, including coming off the bench in May's FA Cup final victory over rivals Manchester City.

Evans has now won every domestic trophy with United, having claimed three Premier League titles and two EFL Cups during his first stint with the club.

Speaking to the club's website after penning his extension, Evans said: "I am delighted to have extended my contract at Manchester United for another season.

"To play for this great club and feel the support from our incredible fans is always a privilege.

"Returning to the club last season was an honour; representing the team on the pitch alongside fantastic team-mates under an excellent manager.

"Winning the FA Cup together was an unforgettable experience; I know we can challenge for more trophies in the season ahead."

The Colorado Rapids are seeking a fifth straight home win when they face the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, but coach Chris Armas says their previous results will count for nothing if they do not execute on the day.

Colorado sit fourth in the Western Conference, six points behind leaders Los Angeles FC, after winning five of their last six games (one defeat).

At DICK'S Sporting Goods Park, they have won their last four matches against Austin FC (2-0), CF Montreal (4-1), Sporting Kansas City (2-1) and St. Louis City (4-1).

Armas, however, says all that good work could easily be undone if they do not understand how to combat the Red Bulls' high-pressing style.

"It's five out of the last six that we've won but this is the past. We have to reset and be ready against a really good team," Armas said.

"Part one is to understand the opposition and part two is to execute. This is very specific, they're very clear in the way they play.

"I've seen a lot of teams play against them but it's not easy against that philosophy. It's very intensive and you have to actually go out and execute your plan."  

The Red Bulls are also flying high, sitting fourth in the East after going five games unbeaten, though four of those have finished level.

They have lost key attacking midfielder Emil Forsberg to injury and he is expected to be sidelined for at least a month, but head coach Sandro Schwarz is confident they can cope.

"With Emil the situation is now clear, but we also played the last two games without Emil," Schwarz said. "We showed, for me, very good performances.

"He's a key player, for sure, but now we have to handle it and it's my job with the coaching staff to cope with this. Hopefully he will come back as soon as possible."

PLAYERS TO WATCH 

Colorado Rapids – Cole Bassett

Bassett, Kevin Cabral and Jonathan Lewis all had a goal and an assist in the Rapids' 4-1 win over St. Louis last Sunday, the first time three Rapids players had done so in the same match since 2008 – Mehdi Ballouchy, Colin Clark and Tom McManus versus the Red Bulls.

Bassett's seven goals in MLS this term have only been bettered by Rafael Navarro (11) and Djordje Mihailovic (10) among Colorado players.

New York Red Bulls – Dante Vanzier

Vanzier averages 0.42 assists per 90 minutes in MLS this year, the fifth-best figure in the competition, while he has also created 1.55 chances per game.

The Red Bulls may have to absorb plenty of pressure on Saturday, but they will be keen to get Vanzier involved whenever they manage to mount an attack.

MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

The Rapids have won their last two meetings with the Red Bulls, including an incredible 5-4 victory the last time the sides faced off in 2022. Colorado had only won three of their previous 12 matches against them in all competitions dating back to 2010.

Colorado have won seven of their last nine games on home soil (one draw, one loss), including their last four in a row, their longest home winning streak since a six-match run spanning the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

The Red Bulls, though, are solid opponents and played out a goalless draw on the road against the Philadelphia Union last time out – their fourth of the campaign. It would be no surprise to see them attempt to keep things tight again here.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Colorado Rapids – 36.8%

New York Red Bulls – 37%

Draw – 26.3%

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has asked Gareth Southgate to "do it for me, Sir Bobby [Robson] and England" in the Euro 2024 final.

For the second consecutive European Championships, England booked a place in the final after beating the Netherlands 2-1 in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

In Euro 2020, the Three Lions lost 3-2 on penalties to Italy after playing out a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes. This year, they will face Spain in the showcase match in Berlin on Sunday.

England have never won the Euros, with their last major tournament win coming in the 1966 World Cup.

Eriksson took charge of the national team between 2001 and 2006 and was in charge of their so-called 'golden generation', though they failed to make it past the quarter-finals of either the World Cup or the Euros while he was in charge.

With England now one match away from ending a 58-year wait for a trophy, Eriksson has backed Southgate to get his hands on the trophy.

"Gareth, do it for me, Sir Bobby and England," Eriksson told The Telegraph.

"The job of England manager brings with it a beautiful pressure. You hear so much about 1966 and what Sir Alf Ramsey's team did, and you know how much expectation there is on you to end all those years of hurt.

"I felt it. Sir Bobby Robson felt it. Every one of the 13 managers since Sir Alf [Ramsey] will have felt it. None of us succeeded, but no one has come closer than Gareth Southgate.

"Gareth is certainly the best English coach since Sir Alf. Win in Berlin on Sunday and I believe he should be considered better.

"Gareth has learnt from the mistakes we made – handling the mental block of penalties, in particular – and has gone further than any of us ever did.

"Now he, his players and the entire nation must know England can win. If you believe in something, it can happen, and that includes beating Spain in the final."

In Eriksson's final tournament in charge of England, the 2006 World Cup, the team lost 3-1 on penalties to Portugal.

Under Southgate, England have only lost one of their three shootouts – the final in 2021 – but stayed perfect from the spot as they overcame Switzerland in the quarter-finals last week.

Eriksson admits he should have prepared the team better during his tenure, but is proud of how the current manager has addressed the problem.

"One of my biggest regrets as England manager is that I did not appoint a psychologist to deal with that," Eriksson added. "I thought we were grown up and could handle the pressure of penalties, but unfortunately, it was not like that.

"I never thought I would see the day when England were so good at penalties. During my time, before it, and even a little bit after it, we were not good at them.

"I still hope the final does not go to penalties like the Italy match and is settled in normal or extra time. If there are penalties, though, there is absolutely no fear.

"I would love to see England win. So would every one of the managers who has tried and failed to win a major trophy since 1966. Come on, Gareth. Do what we never could."

Toronto FC head coach John Herdman is hoping his players can rediscover their confidence as they prepare to welcome Philadelphia Union to the BMO Field this weekend.

The Reds come into the game off the back of a defeat in their Canadian Championship semi-final defeat to Forge FC in the first game of their two-legged tie.

But fortunes have not been different in the MLS. Toronto have failed to win a league game since a 5-1 victory against CF Montreal back in May, losing eight of their last nine games.

That poor run of form leaves them in ninth in the Eastern Conference, with Herdman saying that the way in which his side are conceding goals is affecting their confidence on the pitch.

“When you’re on a run like this, confidence is ebbing and flowing so you are more susceptible to the big moments,” Herdman said.

“It’s a few goals that we have conceded, but it’s another goal we have conceded with a ball like that and confidence just ebbs.

“We got back into it and scored our goal. We had a few good chances, but again, I think what we saw was a commitment from our players when there is that desperation and there’s an absolute clarity that it is all on the line.”

For Philadelphia Union, meanwhile, they have endured a similar run of results that leaves them just a point ahead of bottom side D.C. United in the Eastern Conference standings.

Philadelphia’s draw with New England Revolution halted a run of five consecutive losses, but they have also not won since May – a 3-0 win over the Revs.

Head coach Jim Curtin understands the magnitude of the game between two of the division’s out of form sides and insisted that his side need to find a way of getting a result.

"Toronto is a big one for both teams. We're both struggling, both not where we want to be, I think both have more quality within their group than the point total shows,” Curtin said.

“But I've said it before you are what your record says you are, and we have to find a way to get a result.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Toronto FC – Prince Owusu

Having failed to score in six matches after picking up a calf injury, Prince Owusu found himself back among the goals for Toronto against Forge FC.

The striker has three goals from three appearances in the Canadian Championship, and he will be keen to transfer that form into the MLS, having netted six goals from 20 outings so far.

Philadelphia Union – Mikael Uhre

Over the years, three Union players (Sergio Santos, Daniel Gazdag and Mikael Uhre) have scored hat-tricks against Toronto FC since 2020, and Mikael Uhre would love to net another treble this time around.

Uhre has scored four goals in five games against the Reds, the joint-most he has managed in the MLS (Montreal and D.C. United – also four).

MATCH PREDICTION: PHILADELPHIA UNION WIN

With both sides in desperate need of a victory, Opta’s data-led simulations have Philadelphia claiming the win at the BMO Field, but their record in Toronto is far from impressive.

The Union have won just one of their last 10 meetings with Toronto on the road (D2, L7), dating back to 2015. Philadelphia’s only victory in Toronto during that time was a 2-1 win in May 2019.

Toronto FC have lost six straight regular-season matches for the sixth time since the start of the 2021 season. They had one losing streak of six or more matches in their first 14 MLS seasons (2007-20).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Toronto FC – 30.2%

Draw – 24.9%

Philadelphia Union – 44.9%

Minnesota United head coach Eric Ramsay is hopeful they can bounce back after conceding another late goal when they travel to Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

The Loons are currently on a six-match losing streak, their worst such run in club history, which has seen them drop to 10th in the Western Conference.

Minnesota conceded a 90th-minute winner against LA Galaxy last weekend, leaving Ramsay frustrated at being unable to snap their poor streak.

"It's coming down to exceptionally fine margins and what's really tough at the moment is the performances aren't too big a problem, but it's at the end of a very tough month, so it adds insult to injury," Ramsay said.

"I only take it one day at a time and try not to let the big picture loom too large. We're in a difficult period so we need to alter our expectations from what they were a month ago.

"It's a good learning curve for me as a young coach, and a test to stay positive and hope the results don't influence the day-to-day so we can keep putting out a competitive team."

Meanwhile, Houston sit two places and one point above their opponents, though their six-game unbeaten run was ended by a 3-2 defeat to Real Salt Lake.

Their previous match against Los Angeles FC was postponed due to bad weather, so after an extended break, head coach Ben Olsen is looking to improve on that performance.

"We looked a little bit unfocused, and I think we understood the task going into it, but on the pitch, we didn't, and I don't think I hammered that in enough," Olsen said.

"We were lackadaisical, gave up poor goals, played into their hands. Not the greatest performance from us, but maybe we should've come away with something."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Houston Dynamo – Ibrahim Aliyu

Ibrahim Aliyu has scored in back-to-back matches, taking his goal tally to a team-high six for the Dynamo this season.

The Nigerian has scored at least once in each of the last five months dating back to March.

Minnesota United – Teemu Pukki

Teemu Pukki scored his 13th MLS goal in Minnesota's defeat to LA Galaxy on Sunday. Six of Pukki's 13 goals have been scored in four career matches against the Galaxy, while he has scored seven times in his other 26 MLS appearances in total.

MATCH PREDICTION: HOUSTON DYNAMO WIN

Houston have won two of their last three meetings with Minnesota in all competitions (lost one), including a 2-1 road win on April 13, after losing the previous six meetings. The Dynamo have never completed a single-season league double over Minnesota before.

However, Houston have won only four of their last 14 regular-season matches (drawn five, lost five), dating back to mid-April after winning four of their previous five games (L1).

Meanwhile, Minnesota have lost six straight matches for the first time in club history. The Loons had lost five of their previous 20 games dating back to the end of last season.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Houston Dynamo – 53.2%

Draw – 24%

Minnesota United – 22.9%

Spain's Dani Olmo has said he is not afraid of England's Jude Bellingham ahead of their Euro 2024 final in Berlin on Sunday. 

Olmo has starred for La Roja in Germany, notching three goals and two assists, which crucially gives him the edge in the race for the Golden Boot ahead of Harry Kane. 

The Spaniard's statistics are more impressive having only started one of their first four games at the tournament. 

Olmo's goal against France made him the first Spanish player to score in three successive games at the European Championships. 

His five goal involvements for Luis de la Fuente's side is also the most by a Spaniard at a major tournament since David Silva at Euro 2012 (two goals, three assists). 

However, Bellingham has also shone at Euro 2024, carrying on his impressive form that saw him net 23 times in all competitions during his debut season for Real Madrid. 

Bellingham has scored twice for England at the tournament, including the Three Lions opening goal of the competition against Serbia. 

The 21-year-old's late strike against Slovakia in the last 16 was England's latest-ever goal scored in normal time at a major tournament. 

However, Olmo has insisted that he does not fear Bellingham ahead of their showdown for the Henri Delaunay Cup. 

“I'm not afraid. Bellingham is a reference point there, football is played through his boots. He is always in the thick of things," Olmo said. 

"He is a player to be taken into account, but I don't fear anyone.”

 

Spain's Dani Olmo has said he is not afraid of England's Jude Bellingham ahead of their Euro 2024 final in Berlin on Sunday. 

Olmo has starred for La Roja in Germany, notching three goals and two assists, which crucially gives him the edge in the race for the Golden Boot ahead of Harry Kane. 

The Spaniard's statistics are more impressive having only started one of their first four games at the tournament. 

Olmo's goal against France made him the first Spanish player to score in three successive games at the European Championships. 

His five goal involvements for Luis de la Fuente's side is also the most by a Spaniard at a major tournament since David Silva at Euro 2012 (two goals, three assists). 

However, Bellingham has also shone at Euro 2024, carrying on his impressive form that saw him net 23 times in all competitions during his debut season for Real Madrid. 

Bellingham has scored twice for England at the tournament, including the Three Lions opening goal of the competition against Serbia. 

The 21-year-old's late strike against Slovakia in the last 16 was England's latest-ever goal scored in normal time at a major tournament. 

However, Olmo has insisted that he does not fear Bellingham ahead of their showdown for the Henri Delaunay Cup. 

“I'm not afraid. Bellingham is a reference point there, football is played through his boots. He is always in the thick of things," Olmo said. 

"He is a player to be taken into account, but I don't fear anyone.”

 

The stage is set for what could be Lionel Messi's international swansong, as Argentina face Colombia in Sunday's Copa America final in the forward's new home of Miami.

The Hard Rock Stadium is the venue as Messi and La Albiceleste go in search of a record-breaking 16th Copa America crown, currently level with Uruguay on 15. It would also be a second in a row after they overcame old rivals Brazil in the 2021 final.

Standing in their way, however, are arguably the most impressive team at the tournament in Colombia.

Unbeaten in 28 games – a new national record – and led by a rejuvenated James Rodriguez, who is surely the favourite for Player of the Tournament honours, Los Cafeteros downed a much-fancied Uruguay side with 10 men in the last four and are sure to present a stern test.

Ahead of the showpiece game, we dive into the best Opta data surrounding the two finalists. 

What's expected?

Argentina began the tournament as favourites, being given a 30.8% chance of securing back-to-back titles for the first time since 1993 by the Opta supercomputer.

The supercomputer is still on their side ahead of the final, giving them a 50.9% chance of winning the match in 90 minutes.

Colombia are assigned a 25.4% chance of victory and a 23.6% chance of taking the game to extra time (which will take place if required after being scrapped for all other knockout matches) and potentially penalties.  

Argentina have won their last two Copa America shoot-outs, against Ecuador in this year's quarter-finals and Colombia in 2021, though they have lost three of their last four finals at the competition on spot-kicks, versus Brazil in 2004 and Chile in both 2015 and 2016.

Overall, Lionel Scaloni's team are given a 63% chance of lifting the trophy to Colombia's 37%. 

 

Colombia will be featuring in just their third Copa America final (also 1975 and 2001), becoming the fourth team to reach multiple finals at the competition this century, after Argentina (six), Brazil (four) and Chile (two).

Argentina have now reached the final at six of their last eight major tournaments (World Cups and Copa America). The only exceptions were at the 2018 World Cup and the 2019 Copa, losing to the eventual champions (France and Brazil) in both instances.

Colombia have only won one of their last 12 meetings with Argentina (five draws, six defeats) – a 2-0 group-stage win at the 2019 Copa America. The teams' last draw led to Colombia losing on penalties in the 2021 Copa quarter-finals, with Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina and Edwin Cardona all unsuccessful from 12 yards.

The teams have met on 15 previous occasions in the Copa America, with Argentina recording seven wins to Colombia's three and the remaining five being drawn.

Fitting farewell for the GOAT?

Sunday's final could very well be the end of an era, with arguably the greatest footballer of all time contemplating international retirement after the match.

While there are plenty stateside who are desperate to see Messi continue his glittering Argentina career until the 2026 World Cup, the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner said this week he is fighting his "last battles" on the international stage.

Having led Argentina to glory at the 2021 Copa and the Qatar World Cup, Messi could go out on a high by inspiring his country to three straight major tournament successes, a feat they only previously achieved by winning three consecutive Copas in 1945, 1946 and 1947, with the World Cup not held during that time.

It took him a while, but Messi finally got up and running at this year's Copa with a goal in Tuesday's 2-0 semi-final victory over Canada, converting his 12th shot of the tournament.

 

He has now scored at six different editions of the Copa America, matching the record set by Zizinho all the way back in 1957. Messi has netted at the 2007, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2021 and 2024 editions, only failing to get on the scoresheet in 2011.

His semi-final strike came 17 years and one day after his first Copa America goal, versus Peru in 2007. That gap is the longest between goals for a single player in the tournament's history, breaking another record previously held by Zizinho (15 years and 52 days between 1942 and 1957).

Another trophy on Sunday would enable him to end what had previously been a disappointing Argentina career with a perfect run of three tournament triumphs.

There is also the small matter of another international trophy pulling him clear of his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who led Portugal to glory at Euro 2016 and in the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League but now looks unlikely to add to that collection. 

Cafeteros the Copa's best?

Argentina may have star quality unmatched by any of their South American rivals, but they were made to work for knockout successes against Ecuador and Canada. Many would argue they have not been the tournament's outstanding team.

That honour may go to Colombia, who topped Group D ahead of Brazil before dumping out Uruguay – considered second-favourites for the trophy by some – in the semi-finals.

Nestor Lorenzo's team did not even require a full complement to overcome La Celeste, standing firm after Daniel Munoz's first-half red card as Jefferson Lerma's earlier header proved decisive. 

Lerma's goal was Colombia's fifth to come via a header at this tournament, the most by a team at a single edition since Argentina netted six times via that route in 1991, when they lifted the trophy.

Colombia's aerial prowess has been another string to their bow at a tournament where they have been extremely efficient in attack, scoring a competition-high 12 goals from 8.49 expected goals (xG), a tally that puts them second to Argentina (11.1). Colombia rank just sixth for touches in the penalty area (104) but third for shots from inside the box (59).

Only conceding twice, Lorenzo's side have also been solid at the back – a recipe for tournament success. 

 

Per game, they have averaged a tournament-low 0.51 expected goals against (xGA), as well as 9.6 shots faced (the third-best figure) and 2.2 shots on target faced (second-best). 

That solid backline has given James and Luis Diaz the platform from which to make things happen, with the duo ranking third and fourth, respectively, for expected assists (xA) among all players at the competition. 

Miserly at the back and with two of the competition's most creative players in attack, Colombia will back themselves to spoil Messi's Miami party.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Argentina – Angel Di Maria

Di Maria made his 27th Copa America appearance in the last four, becoming Argentina's second-most capped player in the competition, behind Messi (38 matches).

The former Real Madrid wideman will play his final international match on Sunday, and he could go out with a bang, having earned a reputation as a big-game player.

Di Maria, who has 31 goals in 144 games for La Albiceleste overall, scored the winner in the 2021 Copa America final versus Brazil and also got on the scoresheet in the 2022 World Cup showpiece game against France.

Only James (17), Nicolas de la Cruz (14) and Messi (13) have bettered his nine chances created at this tournament, while he also ranks sixth for xA (1.01) and only Messi has matched his tally of four chance-creating carries. 

 

Colombia – James Rodriguez

Colombia captain James has looked a player reborn at this tournament, recording six assists, with the most recent teeing up Lerma's semi-final winner versus Uruguay.

That meant he surpassed Messi (five in 2021) for the most assists at a single edition of the Copa America since this data began being recorded by Opta in 2011.

A remarkable 12 of his 17 chances created at this tournament have come from set-pieces, and with a cagey affair potentially in store, his dead-ball prowess could prove decisive.

Five of Colombia's 12 goals have come from corners or indirect free-kicks, with James' deliveries helping them surpass their previous best goalscoring return at a Copa America (11 in both 1975 and 2001).

 

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