Carlo Ancelotti has the "desire of a child" to keep winning trophies, according to Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro.

Los Blancos followed up last season's Champions League triumph by beating Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 in the Super Cup on Wednesday.

David Alaba put Madrid ahead before Karim Benzema moved to outright second in the club's all-time goalscoring charts with a second-half finish past Kevin Trapp.

Benzema's effort took him to 324 goals in all competitions for Madrid, putting him one ahead of legendary Spain forward Raul and trailing only Cristiano Ronaldo (450).

The triumph in Helsinki makes Ancelotti the first coach to win the Super Cup four times, and Casemiro does not think the Italian is planning to stop collecting the silverware anytime soon.

"I've spoken many times about Carlo Ancelotti, he's a footballing legend," Casemiro, who was named man of the match after a dominant midfield display, told a media conference.

"I speak with my heart when I say how much I admire him. I think he's 63 now, but he still wants to win.

"He has the desire of a child to keep winning, so that's great for us. With the wealth of experience he has, he can bring so much. He has helped us win many trophies.

"He deserves it; he is a wonderful coach and an absolutely fantastic person. When there's a change of the coach it's important to have a winning desire, and we've certainly had that with Carlo Ancelotti."

Madrid will have more players than most involved in the mid-season World Cup in Qatar, yet Casemiro does not think it will have a negative impact on the club's season.

"We don't need to make many changes; we're professional and want to win," the Brazil international said.  

"We're excited about playing at the World Cup. We've never had the opportunity and we're excited to play at one in the middle of the season.

"I don't think it will change a player's mentality. In terms of staying fit I don't think it changes much."

While Ancelotti also has no concerns about the build-up to the tournament, he does worry about the impact of his players not having a proper break before resuming domestic football.

"Until the start of the World Cup we are not going to have any problems," he told reporters.

"They will be focused and fit for the World Cup, but when the players are back that's when we have the doubts.

"Before we don't have a lot of problems. After we have to check, they could be tired. Most of them usually after a World Cup can go on holiday, but after this World Cup they will be going into the tough moment of the season."

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez ruled out further additions following Los Blancos' Super Cup win over Eintracht Frankfurt, as he backed the team's ability to cover for talismanic striker Karim Benzema. 

Goals from David Alaba and Benzema – who moved above Raul in Madrid's all-time goalscoring charts – sealed a deserved win for the Champions League holders on Wednesday.

The triumph represented the ideal start to Madrid's 2022-23 campaign and meant the Spanish giants have now won 17 of their last 19 one-legged finals. 

Since winning the Champions League and LaLiga last season, Madrid have added highly rated midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni and powerful defender Antonio Rudiger, both of whom appeared from the bench in Helsinki.

And Perez is satisfied with Madrid's business as he ruled out signing a back-up striker to cover for Benzema.

"We have to continue training well, Ancelotti managed the squad, today we don't contemplate anything else," he told Movistar after the match.

"Look at all the strikers we have. If he [Benzema] does [get injured] we have so many strikers that it won't be noticed."

Asked whether he believed the France striker was on course to win the Ballon d'Or, Perez added: "In my opinion he already deserved it last year and this year more."

 

Madrid's victory also saw Carlo Ancelotti surpass Pep Guardiola as the coach with the most Super Cup titles (four) and Perez showered praise upon the European specialist after he brought yet another trophy to the Santiago Bernabeu.

"We've had a good season and this Super Cup makes us very excited," Perez said. "First you have to reach the finals and then win them. We have a great team, it's hard work well done.

"Ancelotti manages this squad very well, it is an important part of the success and we start this new season, which begins on Sunday, with great enthusiasm. 

"This year it is true that everything has gone well for us and nobody can be dissatisfied but you have to keep working, every day you work for your future."

Carlo Ancelotti highlighted the experience and unity of his Real Madrid side as key to their Super Cup win after goals from David Alaba and Karim Benzema downed Eintracht Frankfurt in Helsinki.

Madrid lifted their fifth Super Cup on Wednesday as Ancelotti, who also won the competition in 2003 and 2007 with Milan and 2014 with Los Blancos, became the first coach to claim four victories in the European season's curtain-raiser.

Benzema's goal sealed a 2-0 win and moved him clear of Raul as Real Madrid's second highest all-time goalscorer, with only Cristiano Ronaldo (450) now bettering his tally of 324 strikes for the club. 

But Madrid could have gone behind early on when Thibaut Courtois made a fine one-one-one save from Daichi Kamada, and Ancelotti was delighted by the resilience displayed by his team.

"It was a difficult game, at the start they were so close in a low block, and we had difficulty," he told BT Sport.

"After we scored the first one at the end of the first half, we had more control and deserved to win, we didn't take risks or play with super intensity, but I think we had good control."

Madrid became the first Champions League winners to name the same line-up in the final and the subsequent Super Cup since at least 2006, and the experienced midfield trio of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro quickly established control after Alaba's opener. 

Frankfurt only managed one shot on target after the break, and Ancelotti believes his team's collective know-how was invaluable. 

"They're used to playing together, they're comfortable," he added. "For them, it's simple to play together, to find the right time of the game to sometimes have a low block or use a counter-attack.

"They are so used to playing together."

Meanwhile, Ancelotti was asked about the future of his son Davide, Madrid's assistant coach who proved a lively presence in the technical area throughout.

Ancelotti revealed he sees Davide as having a future as a head coach, insisting: "He's an assistant now, [but] for sure he will be a coach in the future.

"He is working a lot on the set pieces, he has more energy than me! It's normal."

Having already claimed their first trophy of the season, Madrid begin their LaLiga title defence with a trip to Almeria on Sunday.

Newcastle United will travel to League Two side Tranmere Rovers in the second round of the EFL Cup.

The Magpies, who are one of the richest clubs in the world, will travel to Prenton Park later this month after Micky Mellon's men beat Accrington Stanley on penalties in the first round on Tuesday.

Frank Lampard's Everton travel to League One outfit Fleetwood Town, while Leeds United host Barnsley at Elland Road.

Aston Villa travel to Bolton Wanderers, Brighton and Hove Albion visit Forest Green Rovers, and Fulham are on the road to Crawley Town.

All fixtures will take place during the week commencing August 22, with the seven Premier League sides in European competition set to join in round three. 

EFL Cup second-round draw in full:

Northern Section

Bolton Wanderers v Aston Villa
Derby County v West Brom/Sheffield United
Wolves v Preston North End
Leeds United v Barnsley
Fleetwood Town v Everton
Sheffield Wednesday v Rochdale
Tranmere Rovers v Newcastle United
Rotherham United v Morecambe
Barrow v Lincoln City
Stockport County v Leicester City
Bradford City v Blackburn Rovers
Grimsby Town v Nottingham Forest
Shrewsbury Town v Burnley

Southern Section

Stevenage v Peterborough United
Norwich City v Bournemouth
Newport County v Portsmouth
Oxford United v Crystal Palace
Watford v MK Dons
Colchester United v Brentford
Wycombe Wanderers v Bristol City
Walsall v Charlton Athletic
Crawley Town v Fulham
Cambridge United v Southampton
Gillingham v Exeter
Forest Green Rovers v Brighton and Hove Albion

Real Madrid have not, yet, rounded off their pre-season. Carlo Ancelotti's team do not start their LaLiga campaign until Sunday, when they take on Almeria.

Yet at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium, the Champions League holders picked up where they left off just over two months ago – with European glory.

A 14th European crown came their way in Paris back in May, when Vinicius Junior's goal – combined with Thibaut Courtois' heroics – saw off Liverpool.

And on a comfortable summer's night in Finland on Wednesday, Madrid's assortment of superstars claimed the club's fifth Super Cup with a 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt, as Ancelotti's decision to stick with the team that won at the Stade de France was repaid in full. 

Eintracht, who defeated Rangers to win the Europa League last term, performed admirably, but shorn of Juventus-bound talisman Filip Kostic, the Bundesliga side could not cope with the power and quality at Madrid's disposal.

Not that it would have definitely been any different with Kostic in the team, as this was a game won mostly in midfield, that is where Madrid exerted their dominance. Though on the occasions when Eintracht did threaten, particularly in the opening 30 minutes when Courtois made two impressive stops, it would be easy to imagine Kostic, who crafted 420 chances, provided 56 assists and scored 30 goals across 167 appearances for the club after joining from Hamburg in 2018, would have helped their cause.

In a pre-match news conference on Tuesday, Luka Modric – 37 next month – was asked if he planned on asking Ancelotti to manage his minutes with the mid-season World Cup in mind. 

"I speak to the coach every day, but not about that. The coach knows I like playing and I feel better when I play," Modric replied. "I'm feeling good, available to the team to give my all to help the team in every way. The World Cup doesn't change anything for me."

Karim Benzema, who scored Los Blancos' second to become Madrid's outright second leading goalscorer after Cristiano Ronaldo, added: "Age does not come into it."

Benzema's statement rang true. Madrid's starting midfield three of Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro had a combined age of 98, yet surely covered every blade of grass between them, both on and off the ball.

Having spent much of the opening stages looking to drop into space and ping searching diagonals out to Vinicius Junior, who along with Federico Valverde and Eder Militao adds the effervescence of youth to the starting XI, Modric grew into the game as it wore on, finding the pockets of space only he can.

 

The Croatian's mercurial talents were on full show early in the second half, after David Alaba had put Madrid ahead – his tap-in having been teed up by a combination of Benzema and Casemiro. 

In the space of five minutes, Modric linked up exquisitely with Benzema to find Ferland Mendy and create a chance for Vinicius Junior to test Kevin Trapp, who was well beaten from the next opportunity Modric teed up – Casemiro rattling the crossbar from the edge of the box.

Modric's race was run after Benzema made it 2-0 with his 324th Madrid goal (only Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more), and the playmaker headed for the bench having completed 53 of 57 passes (93 per cent), with two of those leading directly to opportunities, though those statistics do not tell the whole story. He was simply spellbinding at times, deft flicks and quick feet toying with Frankfurt's hopes and dreams.

And what of Casemiro? His tally of nine tackles led the game, with a sliding challenge on Jesper Lindstrom in the 51st minute a highlight.

Kroos, as Kroos does, went about his business efficiently, without breaking stride. He strolled off with five minutes remaining, making way for big-money signing Aurelien Tchouameni having had 120 touches, completed 97 passes and gained possession nine times, second only to UEFA's man of the match Casemiro (10).

 

Ancelotti, who has now won the Super Cup a record four times after previous success with Madrid (2014) and Milan (2003, 2007), was able to change things up late on, with Antonio Rudiger joining Tchouameni for a competitive debut, but 34-year-old Benzema who lasted the duration.

Benzema's goal came from a familiar source. Vinicius found space down the left channel, drilled in a cross and his partner in crime was there to finish it off. The Brazil forward has now assisted Madrid's number nine 16 times. 

It was he, as Madrid's new club captain following Marcelo's departure, who lifted the trophy. If this evidence, with a team still rounding off their preparations, is anything to go by, it will not be the last piece of silverware he lifts this season.

Karim Benzema moved to second in Real Madrid's all-time goalscoring charts as Los Blancos followed up May's Champions League win by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 in the Super Cup.

David Alaba prodded home when Eintracht failed to deal with a first-half corner to give Carlo Ancelotti's men the lead in Helsinki, before Benzema fired past Kevin Trapp 20 minutes after the break to seal the win.

Benzema's effort took him to 324 goals in all competitions for Madrid, putting him one ahead of legendary Spain forward Raul and trailing only Cristiano Ronaldo (450).

Having made a bright start, Europa League victors Eintracht were ultimately second best as Madrid cruised to victory, offering a reminder of their nous on the European stage at the outset of the new season.

Eintracht missed the first clear chance when Daichi Kamada forced Thibaut Courtois into a superb one-on-one save after 14 minutes, before Tuta denied Vinicius Junior with an incredible goal-line block two minutes later.

Vinicius again went close when Trapp tipped his low effort around the post 36 minutes in, but Madrid broke the deadlock from the resulting corner as Casemiro nodded down for Alaba to convert into a gaping net.

Benzema flashed a fierce volley wide of the bottom-left corner as Madrid ended the first half on top, before Trapp made a reflex save from Vinicius' left-footed strike 10 minutes after the break.

With Madrid establishing greater control, Casemiro rattled the crossbar with a sweet left-footed strike from range before Courtois made a routine save when Ansgar Knauff led a rare Eintracht foray. 

But Benzema, the outstanding candidate for the Ballon d'Or, was determined to have the final say, drilling Vinicius' cut-back under Trapp to ensure LaLiga champions Madrid would take another piece of silverware back to the Spanish capital.

What does it mean? Another title for continental kings Madrid

Madrid won the Super Cup for the fifth time on Wednesday, as they atoned for a memorable defeat in their last appearance in the competition (4-2 v Atletico Madrid in 2018).

The results means the Champions League holders have won nine of the last 10 editions while the Spanish giants have won 17 of their last 19 one-legged finals.

Karim the dream

Benzema's unbelievable return of 15 Champions League goals helped Madrid to their 14th European crown last season, and the France star picked up where he left off to steal the headlines in Finland.

Only Ronaldo has now outscored Benzema in the famous white shirt, while his bid to be named the world's best player has gone from strength to strength. 

Don Carlo reigns again 

Ancelotti became the first coach to win four European Cup/Champions League titles with May's hard-fought final win over Liverpool, and his latest success saw him become the Super Cup's most decorated boss.

His fourth triumph in the competition (having also won with Milan in 2003 and 2007 and Madrid in 2014) saw him move one clear of Pep Guardiola. 

What's next?

Madrid begin the defence of their LaLiga title at Almeria on Sunday, while Frankfurt go to Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga on Saturday. 

Karim Benzema became Real Madrid's outright second-highest goalscorer as he overtook Raul by netting in the Super Cup.

Benzema tied level in second place on the club's list of scorers back in May, when he equalled Los Blancos great Raul on 323 goals with a header in a 6-0 rout of Levante.

He is now alone in second, on 324, after netting Madrid's second against Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday in Helsinki.

With David Alaba having put Madrid ahead in the first half, Benzema made it 2-0 in the 65th minute as he struck up with Vinicius Junior for a familiar combination.

Vinicius assisted Benzema 10 times last season, and the Brazil winger's cross from the left side of the area presented Madrid's new club captain with the chance to side-foot home a first-time finish that crept through Kevin Trapp.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored a remarkable 450 goals during his nine-year spell at Santiago Bernabeu between 2009 and 2018, stands ahead of Benzema, though it would seem unlikely the 34-year-old France striker will go on to match that record.

 

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti named the same team to start against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Super Cup as he did for the Champions League final victory over Liverpool.

Ancelotti had already confirmed his team would be the same as the one that started in Paris, and he followed through on that pledge for Wednesday's clash in Helsinki.

Thibaut Courtois was the star of the show in the 1-0 win over Liverpool on May 28, and the Belgian kept his place in goal behind a defence of Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, David Alaba and Ferland Mendy, with new arrival Antonio Rudiger among the substitutes.

Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro were given the nod in midfield, while Federico Valverde and Vinicius Junior – who combined for the winner at the Stade de France – would flank Karim Benzema, who is one goal away from passing Raul as the outright second-highest goalscorer in Madrid's illustrious history, behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

Madrid's bench included Rodrygo, a hero of their Champions League campaign, and Aurelien Tchouameni, another new signing.

Meanwhile, Eintracht coach Oliver Glasner made two changes to his starting XI following Saturday's 6-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

One of those alterations was enforced, with star player Filip Kostic absent from the squad as he closes in on a move to Juventus.

He has been replaced by Christopher Lenz, while former Bayern and Borussia Dortmund playmaker Mario Gotze made way for Daichi Kamada.

Madrid are in the hunt for a fifth Super Cup triumph. The last time Los Blancos met Eintracht, they triumphed 7-3 in Glasgow in the 1960 European Cup final.

Chelsea have allowed Malang Sarr to join Monaco on loan with an option to buy.

The 23-year-old centre-back will move to the Ligue 1 club for the 2022-23 season, with Monaco then able to make the arrangement permanent for a reported €15million (£12.7m).

Monaco's purchase option could become mandatory if certain conditions are met, according to widespread reports.

Sarr joined Chelsea on a free transfer in August 2020 but was soon sent out on loan to Porto, where he made 19 appearances across all competitions.

He returned to Stamford Bridge for the 2021-22 season and became a member of the first-team squad, playing 21 times on all fronts, though only eight of those were in the Premier League.

In joining Monaco, Sarr returns to Ligue 1 after a two-year absence having previously been regarded as one of the most promising young defenders in Europe during his breakthrough as a teenager at Nice.

Sarr is Monaco's fourth signing of the window after Takumi Minamino, Breel Embolo and Thomas Didillon.

Monaco saw their Champions League qualification hopes ended on Tuesday when a 3-2 defeat after extra time away to PSV saw them suffer a 4-3 aggregate loss in the penultimate stage of qualifying.

 

Bernardo Silva expects any developments around his Manchester City future to be "very respectful" but says the club "know what I want".

Silva has been an outstanding performer for City since signing from Monaco in 2017, winning four Premier League titles in five years.

But he has been linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium in this transfer window, with big-spending Barcelona said to be interested.

It has been suggested Silva would be keen to join Barca, and the midfielder did not rule out the possibility of a transfer in a wide-ranging interview with ESPN.

"I've always said that I'm happy here, but I have no idea what's going to happen," Silva said. "We'll see, honestly.

"My relationship with the club is very honest. I've been open with them, and they know what I want.

"If I stay, I'm very happy, and I will always respect this club and give all my best. If not, it's football and we'll just see what happens.

"It's a big club, and they don't want players who are not happy at the club. They always say to all of us that if you're not happy, you can go.

"Of course, they are in business and they want the right amount of money for letting us go, but personally it's a relationship with the club that is very respectful.

"They have always been honest with me, and I have always been honest with them.

"As I said, I will always respect my relationship with Man City, with the fans, with the staff, with my team-mates, so whatever happens happens, and for sure, it will happen in a very respectful way."

Having started 33 matches in the Premier League last season, Silva was a substitute in Sunday's opening win over West Ham, appearing for the final 12 minutes.

Alexis Sanchez officially signed his contract as a Marseille player on Wednesday after passing a medical with the Ligue 1 club.

A busy week for Sanchez had seen him depart Inter on Monday when his contract was terminated, before Marseille announced a deal in principle had been agreed on Tuesday.

Marseille fans were made to wait little longer for formal confirmation of an eye-catching signing.

The former Barcelona, Arsenal and Manchester United man arrives in France looking to recapture his best form, having started only seven matches in Serie A last season – albeit he still scored five goals.

Sanchez had netted seven for Inter the previous season, again often appearing from the bench, as the Nerazzurri won the Scudetto.

Marseille's statement on Wednesday described Sanchez as "a world-class player with a great experience of the very highest level".

Nemanja Matic, not Paulo Dybala, is the signing that will provide the biggest boost to a Roma side who should be looking to push Inter for the Serie A title this season, according to former Giallorossi boss Fabio Capello.

While Roma's sixth-placed finish in Italy's top flight last term was nothing out of the ordinary, Jose Mourinho did lead the club to success in the inaugural Europa Conference League.

Overall, the season provided a solid foundation for Mourinho and Roma to build on, and they have enjoyed a promising transfer window as they prepare for the new campaign.

Georginio Wijnaldum, Mile Svilar and Zeki Celik all add depth to the squad, while Paulo Dybala arrived on a free transfer after his Juventus contract expired – the Argentinian's signing galvanised the fanbase and has been seen as a real statement of intent for the season to come.

Yet while Dybala may have attracted most of the focus, Capello – who spent time at Roma as a player and coach – thinks Matic may be an even shrewder acquisition after the experienced Serbian joined on a free from Manchester United to work under Mourinho for the third time.

Asked if he liked the signing of Dybala for Roma, Capello told Il Mattino: "Sure, who doesn't like him?

"But Mourinho's real shot is there in the middle, and it's Matic. He's impressive, few know how to dam the middle of the field like he does.

"Obviously Roma cannot hide [not play proactively], but I don't think, given the enthusiasm, that they think of doing that."

Roma have not won the Scudetto since the 2000-01 season, which was their first title success in 18 years.

Capello is not getting carried away and suggesting they are the frontrunners, but he does expect it to be the Giallorossi and Milan presenting the biggest challenge to Inter.

"It will be fun. I see a very balanced Serie A, a bit like last year, although the balances may still change based on market operations this month," he continued. "But, for example, Roma is there [as a challenger], with intelligent operations.

"Inter are always a step ahead. Roma and Milan are the ones that seem to me already complete, and that's a plus.

"Juventus live with [Paul] Pogba's injury and there is a risk that he could play with the handbrake pulled due to the injury, fearing he could miss the World Cup in Qatar.

"And also Napoli is there in the running for a place in the Champions League."

Roma begin their campaign away to Salernitana on Sunday.

Football might not be the first thing that springs to mind if you were to think of Finland.

Long winter nights, saunas, Lapland, reindeer. A quick google search highlights telecommunications company Nokia as its most famous exporter, and that it is renowned for being "the happiest country in the world" with the best education system and cleanest air… oh, and the hotel where this reporter has been staying boasts "the best tap water in the world", too.

Little mention of football, though. After all, ice hockey is the prominent sport here.

Finland qualified for Euro 2020, but their sole win in the competition was overshadowed by the fact it came in a game in which Denmark's Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch in Copenhagen, having suffered a cardiac arrest. It was the nation's first appearance at a major international tournament.

Not that there haven't been some notable Finnish players down the years. Jari Litmanen played for Ajax, Liverpool and Barcelona throughout a long career. Sami Hyypia spent a decade at Anfield from 1999 to 2009, while Jussi Jaaskelainen played in the Premier League for 18 years over spells with Bolton Wanderers and West Ham. Laura Osterberg-Kalmari was nominated for FIFA Women's Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006.

More recently, Teemu Pukki has impressed with Norwich and Lukas Hradecky has been one of the most consistent goalkeepers in the Bundesliga across recent seasons.

Hradecky, now at Bayer Leverkusen, made his name at Eintracht Frankfurt, and it is the German side – Europa League winners last season – who have travelled across the Baltic Sea to take on the might of Champions League holders Real Madrid in the Super Cup.

Litmanen, Osterberg-Kalmari and Jaaskelainen were all guests at UEFA's fan park on Tuesday, a day ahead of the match at the 36,000-capacity Olympic Stadium.

The Champions League, Europa League and Super Cup trophies were on show, though outside the fan park it would have been easy to miss that there was a major European match heading to the city. Indeed, on the opposite side of Helsinki’s grand central train station to UEFA's festivities, a music and arts festival was drawing a much larger crowd.

That will surely change on Wednesday.

Madrid are expected to bring approximately 1,800 fans. Meanwhile, 10,000 are anticipated to be arriving in support of Eintracht. 

The signs were there even as Stats Perform arrived in Helsinki on Monday, with pockets of Eintracht supporters travelling into the city. A day later, the fan park was mostly populated by local football fans enjoying the rare occasion of such a major sporting event – involving one of the world's biggest clubs – coming to their city.

Helsinki's centre will likely be a hub for Eintracht's travelling masses, and even as Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti ran the rule over his side in an opening training session on Tuesday, fans of the German team were making their presence heard outside the ground as the team coach departed.

It's nothing new, though. Barcelona coach Xavi was left furious last season after 30,000 visiting Eintracht fans were said to have managed to gain entry to Camp Nou to watch their team sensationally knock out Barcelona in the Europa League quarter-finals. For the final against Rangers, held in Seville, authorities estimated that 50,000 Eintracht supporters made their way to the Andalusian city.

"They played a big role, if I remember the game in Barca, 30,000, something special and it helped us a lot to perform at this level. They're not here to sightsee, they're here to support us because they believe in us," said goalkeeper Kevin Trapp in Eintracht's pre-match news conference.

"Tomorrow will be the same, we know there’s going to be 10,000 again. We try to give our best and be able to celebrate again. It's a huge part of this club, this team, it's helping us every time."

Eintracht might have the more raucous travelling support, but any local neutrals are likely to be in attendance to watch the stars of Madrid. Ancelotti, asked about his brief experience of Finland so far, compared the country to Canada, the home of his wife, and in training his team looked sharp as they put on a show for the assorted media and a small group of fans soaking in the late evening sun.

Karim Benzema and Luka Modric accompanied Ancelotti in Madrid's media conference, just two of the superstars set to line up in all-white on Wednesday. Ancelotti, as amiable and as composed as ever, confirmed both players would start – unless they had any objections. His team are just rounding off their pre-season, and there were some signs of players still shaking off some rustiness in the finishing drills that ended their practice session.

Eintracht opened their Bundesliga campaign with a 6-1 hammering at the hands of Bayern Munich, and head coach Oliver Glasner knows that, even if his side are underdogs, they cannot show such naivety against the 14-time European champions. With key player Filip Kostic absent to complete a move to Juventus, Eintracht must avoid another humiliation, even if it is an outstanding achievement to have reached this showpiece in the first place.

As for Helsinki, it might be a far cry from the football hotbeds of Paris, London, Milan, Munich or Madrid, but those cities have their fair share of big matches already. The welcome has been warm, the weather perfect and the stadium – constructed in the 1930s but recently renovated – an ideal venue.

Interviewed after his appearance at the fan park, Litmanen told Stats Perform: "It's very important for us to have this kind of game because we don't see these things very often. We cannot get the Champions League final we haven't been in the World Cup or the European championships. This is a big game for Finland."

Now it's time to enjoy the show.

Manchester United are scrambling for further reinforcements after their troubling loss to open the Premier League season, with Watford's Ismaila Sarr, Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata and PSV's Cody Gakpo all named as potential forward solutions.

Sarr, who scored a spectacular goal from the halfway line against West Brom on Monday, slowed after a strong start in the Premier League last season.

Meanwhile, Morata is back at Atletico after two years on loan at Juventus, and Gakpo, just 23, has hit the ground running for Champions League chasers PSV in the new season.

TOP STORY – UNITED WEIGH UP HOST OF FORWARD OPTIONS

The Sun reported interest in Sarr, ESPN detailed the Morata story, and The Telegraph had the scoop on Gakpo, indicating there are plenty of moving parts behind the scenes at United, and they are casting a wide net.

While no price has been named for either Sarr or Morata, Gakpo figures to demand a fee in the range of £35million, while The Telegraph is reporting the club are also assessing the availability of Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who Corriere dello Sport suggests would cost €50m.

Milinkovic-Savic, 27, would likely fill a similar role envisioned by Erik ten Hag for Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong – who has ruled out a move to Old Trafford – and could relegate one of Scott McTominay or Fred to the bench.

ROUND-UP

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting Manchester City are closing in on a transfer worth at least €10m to bring Anderlecht left-back Sergio Gomez to the Premier League. 

– According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are in discussions with Milan about acquiring 22-year-old midfielder Sandro Tonali, who the Italian club value at £46m.

– Metro claims Arsenal are also leading the race for 19-year-old winger Yeremi Pino from Villarreal, with the club said to be willing to meet the £33m asking price, while Liverpool are also interested.

– Foot Mercato is reporting Nottingham Forest are pushing to sign Villarreal's €20m Ecuadorian full-back Pervis Estupinan

Chelsea are preparing a £12m move for 19-year-old Inter midfielder Cesare Casadei, per the Evening Standard.

Eintracht Frankfurt's defence must be "special" to deal with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema-inspired attack in the Super Cup, according to head coach Oliver Glasner.

Europa League winners Frankfurt take on the Champions League victors in Helsinki on Wednesday.

Yet Frankfurt come into the clash on the back of a 6-1 home hammering at the hands of Bayern Munich in their opening Bundesliga fixture on Saturday, while they are also without their creative hub in the form of Filip Kostic, who has been left out of the squad to seal a transfer for Juventus.

While confident his team can come away with a surprise victory at the Olympic Stadium, Glasner acknowledged they must be far less open than they were against Bayern, who were 5-0 up by half-time.

"If we have to play against Real, we need a special defence, especially [against] Benzema, who was the best scorer in the Champions League, really great in box, but it's important that the players who give him passes, whoever plays, that we prevent the players passing into the box because it will always be very difficult to defend Benzema," said Glasner in a news conference.

"That's the idea, act in a compact manner, pressure Madrid so they don't have very much space.

"We're feeling very good, looking very much forward [to the game]. Great compensation for the Europa League final, for the win, playing the Super Cup now, playing a Champions League winner that knocked out Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.

"Of course, the team that waits for us is high quality, we want to show our best football, give our best on the pitch... we're not really scared, we're looking forward to it.

"We showed last year on the European stage there's always a chance, we took that chance."

While Frankfurt, who defeated Barcelona en route to winning the Europa League, might be inexperienced when it comes to matches of this magnitude, they have signed a player who is very much accustomed to big occasions in the form of Mario Gotze. 

Former Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund playmaker Gotze, who scored Germany's winner in the 2014 World Cup final, joined Frankfurt from PSV, and Glasner is delighted with his impact so far.

"We are glad that Mario joined us. He integrated really quickly, his technical qualities, his sense for finding solutions, he's very zealous, running a lot," Glasner said. 

"He already played 50 or 60 Champions League matches, he has a lot of experience at this level, so for him it's not the newest thing to play against teams like Real Madrid."

Another player who has played for one of Europe's biggest clubs is Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who insisted he will not do anything different to prepare for the game, despite going up against the likes of Benzema and Vinicius Junior.

Trapp said: "There are butterflies in my stomach, but I am happy to play in this game tomorrow.

"It's a huge possibility to show our strengths, but I don't prepare in a special way, everyone knows these players and their qualities, how strong they are.

"My job is always the same, to help the team not concede any goals, that'll be my job, but we will face a lot of quality with Benzema and Vinicius, whoever it is."

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