After speculation about his future at the club, Kieran McKenna has signed a new four-year contract at Ipswich Town.

McKenna took over at Ipswich in December 2021, with the club in League One, and has since led them to back-to-back automatic promotions.

The Tractor Boys finished the Championship season in second, just one point behind champions Leicester City, to secure Premier League football for the first time in 22 years.

That feat also earned McKenna the League Managers Association’s Manager of the Year award, as he beat Pep Guardiola to the award.

Since then, the Northern Irishman has been linked to a move away from Ipswich, with Brighton, Chelsea and Manchester United all thought to be interested in him at some stage.

After signing his new contract, McKenna told the club website: "I am extremely proud to have signed a new contract with the club.  

"We have enjoyed incredible success together over the last two seasons and I'm excited to have the opportunity and responsibility of leading this fantastic club into its first season in the Premier League in 22 years.

"Preparation and planning for the challenge ahead has been ongoing since we won promotion at the beginning of May, with plenty of work still to do before the start of the new season at what is such an exciting time for everyone at the club. 

"I am so happy to have committed my future to taking the next step with Ipswich Town and am really excited for what's ahead as we continue this journey together.

Christian Eriksen and Rasmus Hojlund have been named in Denmark's squad for Euro 2024, although there is no place for Matt O'Riley in the 26-player party.

Eriksen's Euro 2020 campaign was notoriously curtailed after he suffered a cardiac arrest during his nation's opening match against Finland in Copenhagen.

The midfielder watched on from hospital as the Red and Whites went on to reach the semi-finals, but he will feature again this time around alongside Manchester United team-mate Hojlund.

However, O'Riley has been left out, despite an impressive season with Scottish Premiership champions Celtic in which he scored 18 goals.

"It's hard to disappoint someone, these are boyhood dreams that come up short," head coach Kasper Hjulmund told reporters, "[but] I'm very happy with the squad we have."

Simon Kjaer has also been included, despite a thigh injury limiting the veteran defender's game time with Milan towards the end of the Serie A season.

"We have a lot of data on him, we have visited him and have it fully under control," Hjulmund added. "He is now in a place where he is completely ready, he is in good physical condition."

Norwich City have appointed Johannes Hoff Thorup as their new head coach on a three-year deal.

Thorup replaces David Wagner, who was sacked earlier this month following Norwich's 4-0 defeat to Leeds United in the Championship play-off semi-final.

The Dane moves from Nordsjaelland, where he took over in January 2023 after being promoted from his role as assistant coach.

He led them to a second-place finish in the Danish Superliga that season to earn a spot in the Europa Conference League qualifying rounds.

In his first full campaign in charge, Thorup took them to the group stage of the European competition before finishing fourth in the Danish top-flight.

Speaking to the club website, Thorup said: "I'm excited, I hope that the supporters are excited as well. I hope that we can create something together. It's so important that they are proud of the team.

"I feel the connection with the people, the club and the city. Everyone I have met with so far is so humble, nice, and easy-going.

"I have my ideas and I have my principles in the way that we are going to play, but I am also here to listen to some of the good stuff that has already been done. I have to make sure that I am very clear that this is something that we do together, and everyone has to have that feeling."

The Canaries finished sixth in the table last season and will now prepare for their third consecutive season in the Championship under Thorup. 

Bernardo Silva admits he prefers team awards over individual honours and would choose the Champions League over a Ballon d’Or if given the chance.

Silva was a key figure as Manchester City retained their Premier League title for an unprecedented fourth consecutive season, making 33 appearances in the competition.

The midfielder chipped in with six goals during their title charge, adding nine assists, while also scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup semi-final – a competition they ultimately lost to Manchester United.

Since joining City in July 2017, Silva has won 13 major honours, including six Premier League trophies, two FA Cups, a Champions League, and the Club World Cup.

The Portugal international was ranked the eighth-best men’s player of 2023, but when asked about the subject, he admitted that he does not rate individual awards as highly as those won by a team.

"Recognition is always nice," he told Sky Sports.

"In my opinion, I give the right amount of importance to these awards, because, at the end of the day, we are playing a collective sport. Nowadays, the individual awards always go to the strikers because they have that last touch.

"But if you understand the game, a person who is inside the game, either a player or a manager, you know how important it is to have a proper goalkeeper, a proper defender, a proper midfielder and a proper striker. Not just a proper striker.

"Strikers do not win you titles alone. The base comes from defence. If you defend well, you will attack better. When I look at individual awards and I see that only the guys who score goals win the awards, I feel a bit like it does not represent our sport that well.

"I always do my best to support my team-mates and do what is best for the team. In the end, winning the Champions League is much better than winning a Ballon d'Or. I would not swap it. No chance."

Silva’s attention now turns to Euro 2024 as Portugal aim to challenge for their second title in the competition.

The 29-year-old missed their success in 2016 due to injury, and he concedes there was a "mix of emotions" at seeing Portugal win their first major tournament while not being able to have an impact.

He said: "I was so frustrated before the competition for not going because I wanted to be a part of it. I did all the qualifying. It would have been my first big tournament, and I would have been there, but I got injured.

"But then, in the end, when they won it, I am Portuguese. Everyone was so happy; all my family, all my friends, everyone. So, it was a mix of frustration for not being there but also being very happy because it was our first big title as a country."

However, Silva is up for the challenge of competing in the 2024 edition.

"You are representing your whole country, your family and friends. We are all human. You are going to feel [the pressure] more. Playing for Portugal is always a bit different and special," he added.

"If you love the game, you want to do it well. And if you want to do something well, you feel that responsibility. That is why you feel pressure. In a way, that pressure is a good thing. It is your mind and your body telling you that you want this.

"It is up to you to try to control these emotions."

Portugal begin their Euro 2024 campaign in Group F against the Czech Republic on June 18.

Robert Andrich and Jonathan Tah highlighted their "greed and hunger for another title", as the Bayer Leverkusen duo target Euro 2024 glory with Germany.

Tah and Andrich enjoyed a memorable 2023-24 season with Leverkusen, winning the club's first ever Bundesliga title and the DFB-Pokal, with their only defeat across all competitions coming against Atalanta in the Europa League final.

Xabi Alonso's side completed the double with victory over Kaiserslautern in the DFB-Pokal final at Berlin's Olympic Stadium last time out. 

Andrich is desperately hoping for a swift return to the same venue, where the Euro 2024 showpiece will be played on June 14, and for further silverware to follow.

"We have this greed, the hunger for another title," the midfielder said. "I think that [German Cup final] was very special for me - the Olympic stadium, training there, playing the final. These are special moments, more special than in other matches.

"You cannot buy these memories and this gives you a boost to play there again."

Team-mate Tah concurred: "I would say the double win definitely puts wind in your sails. With a lot of greed, we want to keep being successful and play the entire year successfully.

"After a few days, our batteries will again be fully loaded. We are looking forward to the tournament, which is special for all of us, so the batteries kind of charge themselves because of that."

Germany launch the tournament against Scotland on June 14, while Julian Nagelsmann's side will also face Hungary and Switzerland in Group A.

Vincent Kompany challenged Bayern Munich to bounce back from their 2023-24 disappointment, and wants to see which players are "most hungry to win again".

The Belgian was named Bayern's new boss on a three-year deal, replacing the outgoing Thomas Tuchel following a trophyless campaign at the Allianz Arena.

The Bavarian giants surrendered their 11-year grip on the Bundesliga title to Xabi Alonso's unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen, while Real Madrid defeated them in the Champions League semi-finals.

Kompany knows what it takes to respond in the face of adversity, with Manchester City coming up just short against the likes of Manchester United in the Premier League in between the four titles he won during his time with the Citizens. 

And he has urged his new squad to demonstrate that character and determination to get back in the winner's circle next season.

"We're in a situation now where, last year, we lost," he told reporters during his introductory press conference. 

"Having been in this position myself as well as a player, I know that this is when you react, this is where you see real winners come to life.

"I'm actually excited to start pre-season with them. I make no distinction; I just want to see which players are most hungry to represent this club next season and win again, and be successful.

Kompany's appointment earlier this week was widely reported as a surprise one, after he was unable to keep Burnley in the Premier League in 2023-24.

However, the 38-year-old insists he has already settled into his new surroundings.

"My mentality is that I never haven't ever worked for a top club in my head," he added. 

"A top club is the environment you create. It's the mentality you have towards your job in good and bad times, that's what defines working at the top level. It already feels like home."

Gerardo Martino refused to comment on suggestions that Lionel Messi was saving himself for the Copa America, following Inter Miami's 3-1 defeat by Atlanta United.

Despite his 11th goal of the season - and first in three games - Messi was unable to prevent a first loss in 11 MLS matches for the Eastern Conference leaders at Chase Stadium.

Saba Lobjanidze scored in each half to put 12th-place Atlanta in control and, though Messi halved the deficit, Jamal Thiare struck in the 73rd minute to snap the visitors' nine-game winless streak.

Messi, who was back in the starting line-up after missing Miami's 2-1 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps last time out, will soon link up with Argentina ahead of their Copa America title defence, which starts in a couple of weeks' time.

Martino was asked whether he thought the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner's focus was distracted by the forthcoming tournament in the United States, where the reigning world champions will seek their third silverware in four years.

"No, I will not speculate if Messi is saving himself for Copa America because [that question has] no validity," the head coach said.

On Miami's performance, he continued: "The first feeling is that we were missing one more gear compared to Atlanta, and that was evident in the first half and during the second half. 

"It was a night where the team regressed compared to other games. I think we were very well outmatched, and they beat us well.

"The conditions were favourable, much more for us than them. But their position on the table is deceiving, and they showed that."

Vincenzo Italiano says Fiorentina "really believed we could have a different ending", after La Viola suffered Europa Conference League final heartbreak for the second year running.

Italiano's side were beaten by West Ham in last year's showpiece, with Jarrod Bowen snatching a last-gasp winner in Prague.

Fiorentina suffered a similar fate 12 months later, as Ayoub El Kaabi struck four minutes before the end of extra time to give Olympiacos their first title in a major European competition.

La Viola embarked on a club record 13-match unbeaten run to reach their second successive Europa Conference League final.

But Italiano, who will depart the club at the end of the season, admitted it counted for nothing, with his side once again left to wonder what might have been.

"We really believed this time. It hurts," he told Sky Sports Italia. "It's disappointing for the second time.

"It's disappointing because again we had many situations to score goals, but the players did everything they could. It hurts to see my players cry. We really believed this time we could have a different epilogue to this campaign.

"Losing hurts; going all the way for two years running is something good, but naturally you have to lift a trophy, and we didn't manage it.

"The journey feels ruined when you have to watch the others lift the silverware. At this moment, I feel too bitter, disappointed, let down, because I really believed we could have a different ending."

Jose Luis Mendilibar rejoiced "it is an honour to have made the fans happy" after leading Olympiacos to their historic Europa Conference League final triumph over Fiorentina.

Thrylos became the first Greek side to win a major European competition, as Ayoub El Kaabi's extra-time winner snatched a dramatic 1-0 victory at AEK Arena.

It provided a happy ending to an eventful season for Olympiacos, with Mendilibar their third different manager of the campaign having replaced Carlos Carvahal in February.

Following his Europa League success with Sevilla 12 months ago, the Spaniard became the first coach since Rafael Benitez (2003-04 UEFA Cup with Valencia; 2004-05 Champions League with Liverpool) to win major European competitions in consecutive seasons with different clubs.

"I am very happy and satisfied, and it is an honour to have made the fans happy," Mendilibar said. 

"I am very happy that we achieved something that the club had not achieved before. We will celebrate, we will cheer, and then we will get back to work for what comes next."

Olympiacos winger Giorgos Masouras added: "I have no words. It has not yet sunk in. We did it together. I was certain we would win it, and we held on and got it in the end.

"We are now part of Europe's elite and have more responsibilities. We have to maintain this level now."

Ayoub El Kaabi will be the toast of Piraeus after his match-winning heroics secured Olympiakos' first-ever European trophy following their Europa Conference League success on Wednesday.

The Olympiacos striker delivered the fatal blow against Fiorentina, bundling home with four minutes remaining of extra time to snatch a 1-0 victory at the AEK Arena.

El Kaabi is the first player to score 11 goals in a single knockout stage campaign in major European competition since the introduction of group stages.

Radamel Falcao, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema all only ever managed 10 such goals in one campaign of UEFA competitions, and El Kaabi moves next to greatness in another aspect, too.

The Moroccan forward is the first non-European player to score 14 goals in major European competition in a single season, since Lionel Messi in 2011-12 (also 14).

Olympiakos have their star striker to thank after becoming the first-ever Greek side to lift a trophy in major European competition, while Fiorentina will be wounded by another failure in this tournament.

Having lost to West Ham in last season's Conference League final, Fiorentina have now lost five of their last six finals in Europe, their only success coming against Rangers in the 1961 Cup Winners' Cup.

Defeat also ended La Viola's longest unbeaten run in Europe in their history, halting a 13-match undefeated streak in abrupt fashion.

Ayoub El Kaabi was the hero as Olympiacos won their first major European honour in history as they snatched a dramatic 1-0 extra-time victory over Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final.

After nothing could separate the sides inside 90 minutes, talisman El Kaabi scored a 116th-minute winner at the AEK Arena as they became the first Greek side to win a major European competition.

Once again, Fiorentina fell at the final hurdle of this competition, with La Viola also losing out to West Ham in the Prague showpiece last season.

However, the success belonged to Olympiacos and head coach Jose Luis Mendilibar, who secured continental glory in successive seasons following his Europa League triumph with Sevilla this time last year.

Daniel Podence tested Pietro Terracciano early on before Fiorentina thought they had opened the scoring just nine minutes into the final.

Cristiano Biraghi's cross crept into Konstantinos Tzolakis' bottom-right corner, but Nikola Milenkovic was ruled offside for his position in front of the Olympiacos goalkeeper.

Despite their celebrations being cut short, Fiorentina continued with the greater attacking impetus throughout the first half.

Yet La Viola's dominance paid little dividends as Giacomo Bonaventura – their scorer in last season’s final defeat to West Ham – wasted the best chance, shooting straight at Tzolakis from close range after 21 minutes.

Opportunities remained elusive after the break but Fiorentina again went close in the 69th minute as Dodo found Christian Kouame, whose scuffed effort was pushed away by Tzolakis.

Olympiacos almost struck 11 minutes later when Francisco Ortega's free-kick was met by Iborra, but the 36-year-old's header missed the inside Terracciano's right-hand post as the final headed for extra-time.

Mendilibar had earlier introduced former Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic, who almost came back to haunt his old club in the 96th minute, when cutting inside before fizzing a strike that Terracciano tipped away.

A penalty shoot-out appeared likely when Tzolakis denied Jonathan Ikone, until El Kaabi ghosted in to nod home Santiago Hezze's cross with just four minutes remaining and send Olympiacos' fans into ecstasy after a lengthy VAR check for offside in Athens.

Senior Reggae Girlz Head coach Hubert Busby expressed pleasure with the foundation laid at the team’s first in-person engagement since his reappointment, and he believes it sets a good tone for the remainder of the camp in Brazil.

Busby and his squad –with the exception of Jody Brown, who was scheduled to arrive late –went through what he said was a lively two-hour session to hit the ground running ahead of the two-match friendly series against The Female Canaries on June 1 and June 4.

While the games will aide Brazil’s preparations for the upcoming Paris Olympic Games, for Busby and his team, the outing is more about rekindling their competitive spirit, as it represents the first assignment together for the core group of players after almost nine months apart.

Those Girlz that represented at last year’s Fifa Women’s World Cup withdrew their services after the Olympic qualifiers against Canada in September, citing nonpayment and mistreatment from Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) among their reasons.

Now reunited, Busby pointed out that the first session was to get the Girlz reacquainted with the structures the team plans to implement going forward.

Reggae Girlz celebrate their historic progression to the knockout rounds at the 2023 World Cup after a 0-0 stalemate with Brazil.

“Obviously a great first day, the players…some of them came in a little bit late, but they came with a great attitude. We got some passing patterns in, and also got into a little small-sided game just to open up the legs and we also did a little bit of implementation of some of the tactics in terms of how we want to play and build. So overall, spirits are very high, the attitude was good, energy is very good, and everybody was fantastic,” Busby said shortly after Wednesday’s session at Nautico Football Club.

“Everyone is in good conditions coming off part of a little bit of the season. It was a long travel, there's no way of getting around it, but the players are good. So, you know, all we do need to do now is just really kind of get them recovered, review some film, and to implement that plan a little bit more and get ready for our training tomorrow (Thursday),” he added.

Having last guided the team in 2021, Busby pointed to the significance of this first camp to reengage players, individually and collectively with a broader view of what his coaching staff is hoping to achieve, as well as to reinforce roles and responsibilities when it comes to team selection.

“Obviously, the core of this particular group of players have been away for a long time, so the excitement level is good to come in and see their fellow sisters. It's good for them to pull on the jersey and take that pride in playing for their national team and that showed today (Wednesday) and I'm really proud of the way they came out and showed that attitude,” the former national goalkeeper shared.

“But really for us now, it's for them to kind of focus on what needs to happen. That was the base on some of those one-on-one conversations, as well as to get their expectations of us and also to share our expectations of them…around the roles and responsibilities within our system and then for us to go out and continue to implement that in the daily training sessions,” Busby noted.

Reggae Girlz vs Brazil at the 2023 World Cup in Australia.

While the expectation is for his 42nd-ranked Girlz to prove formidable against the number 10-ranked Brazilians, Busby pointed out that getting back to and, by extension, surpassing the team’s competitive level at the World Cup will be a process.

Jamaica and Brazil met twice at the 2019 and 2023 World Cups. The South Americans won the first encounter in France 3-0, while the Girlz fought gallantly for a goalless stalemate in Australia last year, and made an historic appearance in the knockout stages of the global showpiece.  

“I think it's been a process, right. I think the idea now we're talking about is how we look to evolve as a team, as a group, and as a programme. Also to best sort of put into place the characteristics of what a Jamaican women's football player should possess on the world stage,” the tactician reasoned.

“There is also our playing principles in terms of what we want to do, so I think that's the key heading into these next two games. But it's a process and I think after speaking to the players and obviously with the staff, we're committed to that process,” Busby ended.

England manager Gareth Southgate has no doubt over the talent of Kobbie Mainoo after watching the Manchester United youngster flourish this campaign.

Mainoo was on target in Saturday's FA Cup final victory over rivals Manchester City as Man Utd triumphed 2-1 at Wembley Stadium.

Having caressed past Stefan Ortega in the first half, 19-year-old Mainoo became the first English teenager to score in an FA Cup final since Steve MacKenzie for City against Tottenham in 1981.

That match-winning finish capped a fine breakthrough campaign for Mainoo, who has been rewarded with a place in England's preliminary squad for Euro 2024.

As the Three Lions joined together for their pre-tournament training camp, Southgate reserved special praise for the exciting England midfielder.

"The curious thing about young talent is how will they cope under pressure," Southgate said in an interview with England's media channels. 

"You can see the technical ability but it's about how tactically aware they are, how mature, ability to cope with big matches.

"When you're playing for Manchester United, you're always under the spotlight. He's shown that with them, with us in March.

"We've never been afraid to put young players in. If players are good enough we're not so concerned about their age. 

"Kobbie has had an amazing season and it was fabulous for him to finish the season with a goal and a trophy."

Decisions remain for Southgate, though, as the England boss prepares to cut his 33-man squad to just 26 players ahead of the upcoming tournament in Germany.

He added: "It will be extremely difficult. It was very difficult to leave players out of this 33 and, of course, there are some younger players coming in with slightly different expectations to this camp.

"But there are going to be some difficult calls to make. We're hoping that not too many of these calls are decided by injury and we've got the strongest possible squad to pick from."

England will play warm-up friendlies against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland next week, before starting their group-stage campaign in a June 16 meeting with Serbia.

Denmark and Slovenia will follow for England, who will hope to go one better than their runners-up finish to Italy in the last European Championship three years ago.

"There are so many aspects to being with this group of people that I love," Southgate continued, looking ahead to the upcoming international tournament.

"Ultimately we're trying to form a team and a group that have got to push each other and be there for each other. There's a team dynamic that's crucial to winning that we have to find.

"People will have slightly different roles that they will with their clubs. At their club, all of these guys are pretty much the first choice on the team sheet, so some have different roles in the next few weeks.

"The challenge of winning the games and the excitement of seeing our fans out there in some of the biggest occasions in world football is why you're in the game really. That's what we're looking forward to."

Jude Bellingham will hold no grudges if Real Madrid team-mate Vinicius Junior wins the Ballon d'Or, saying "I'd feel just as proud as if I won it".

The England international was voted LaLiga's Player of the Season following a tremendous maiden campaign with Madrid, who he helped land a 36th league title.

Bellingham scored 19 goals and had six assists in 28 league games this season, while tallying 35 goal contributions across all competitions for Los Blancos.

His exploits led former Madrid and England striker Michael Owen to claim he has a "massive chance" of winning the Ballon d'Or, though the 20-year-old believes there is a more suitable candidate for the accolade.

"I'm not really too fussed about it," he said. "I always thought the Ballon d'Or and those sorts of things were for the strikers, the wingers and the flashy players.

"I know I can entertain the crowd, but no-one can do it like Vini. When he's at his best, I think he's the best player in the world. I know he likes to say the same about me, and that's the kind of relationship we have. 

"You don't always have to be friends with your team-mates, but it helps when you can be so close off the pitch as well. And then, on the pitch, it reflects. We have a good understanding of each other's movements.

"To be honest, if he was to win it, I'd feel just as proud as if I won it, because I know I've helped contribute to the success."

Both players are likely to feature in Saturday's Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium, when Los Blancos seek a record-extending 15th Champions League title.

Pepsi® and UEFA have revealed that legendary rock musician Lenny Kravitz will headline the UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show presented by Pepsi. The highly anticipated performance is set to take place on June 1, 2024 at Wembley Stadium in London, marking the eighth consecutive year of this spectacular curtain raiser.

Lenny Kravitz, the Grammy-award-winning artist known for his dynamic stage presence and iconic hits, is set to captivate audiences with his genre-defying sound just minutes before the biggest final in the club football calendar. Kravitz, who recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is currently generating buzz with his upcoming album, Blue Electric Light, that was launched on May 24, just one week before his UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show performance.

Pepsi has further built anticipation for the event by releasing an energetic short film titled ‘Wembley Is Blue | Lenny Kravitz x UCL Final Kick Off Show by Pepsi’. The film features the unmistakable echoes of the UEFA Champions League anthem as Kravitz walks down a tunnel, paintbrush in hand, covering the walls in Pepsi Blue before stepping onto the hallowed turf of Wembley Stadium. The camera reveals a blue mural of his face on the pitch, setting the stage for an unforgettable show.

“I’m really looking forward to my performance for the UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show presented by Pepsi in London, a city which holds a special place in my heart,” said Kravitz. “It’s going to be such an exciting event ahead of a final that means so much to so many. We can’t wait to show you all what we have in store.”

Eric Melis, VP of Global Brand Marketing at PepsiCo, expressed the brand’s excitement about the upcoming event. “As a brand with a rich heritage in both music and football, we are proud to bring together once again, in the host city, millions of viewers from around the world and one of the most iconic names in music for an electrifying performance live from iconic Wembley Stadium in London, the home of music, sports, and entertainment. Lenny Kravitz adds unparalleled dynamism and energy to the show. He lives by our ‘Thirsty For More’ philosophy, which celebrates people’s thirst for life - and we can’t wait to see how fans react to this unmissable show.”

Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA Marketing Director, highlighted the significance of the performance. “This year’s UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show presented by Pepsi will bring fans to their feet as legendary rock and roll icon Lenny Kravitz takes the stage to deliver one of his signature performances ahead of this year’s UEFA Champions League final. Our longstanding and fruitful partnership with Pepsi fills us with enormous pride as we collaborate to make this flagship match on the football calendar more memorable and entertaining for fans inside Wembley and those watching around the globe.”

Pepsi and UEFA have consistently marked the UEFA Champions League final with momentous music performances, uniting football and music fans through one compelling entertainment spectacle. The UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show presented by Pepsi will air in over 200 countries and territories globally, just minutes before the standout fixture of the club football calendar, embodying Pepsi’s ‘Thirsty For More’ global platform.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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