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Football / Soccer News from the World:

Real Madrid can win Europe without Ronaldo
Ryan Bailey explains why to believe in the three-time defending Champions League winners despite losing their star striker and manager.

Ronaldo has sights on Champions League after drought breaker
After finally getting off the mark for Juventus in the league, Cristiano Ronaldo has his sights set on his favorite competition: the Champions League. Ronaldo was under pressure after three games without scoring for Juventus since his move from Real Madrid, but he broke his mini-drought with two goals in Sunday's 2-1 win over Sassuolo in Serie A. Next up for Juventus and Ronaldo is a trip to Valencia on Wednesday as the Champions League kicks off this week.

Hazard inspires Chelsea recovery, shows what team could miss
Chelsea should be savoring Eden Hazard's talents while he is still with the team. "When I arrived I thought that Hazard was one of the best players in Europe," Sarri said. Sarri lauded Hazard's importance to the team after tearing apart Cardiff with three goals in a 4-1 victory on Saturday that made it five wins from five matches.

Bale 'quite angry' before Champions League heroics
Real Madrid attacker Gareth Bale revealed he was "quite angry" after missing out on a starting spot for the Champions League final, before his heroics in Kiev. Bale was started on the bench by Zinedine Zidane for the decider against Liverpool in May, but proved to be the hero after being introduced around the hour-mark. The Wales international needed just three minutes to have an impact, his stunning overhead kick giving Madrid the lead before he scored the sealer in a 3-1 win.

Lack of English players in Champions League hurts national team, study shows
England's lack of success in major international tournaments can be linked to the relatively low number of English players taking part in the Champions League, a study has suggested. Analysis by sports statisticians Gracenote of the nationalities of players starting games in the Champions League reveals that England still lags behind other major footballing nations, just as it has ever since the competition was expanded to 32 teams in 1999. "All 10 World Cups and European Championships this century have been won by the countries in the top five for most players starting Champions League matches that season," says Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at Gracenote.

Liverpool need to be ready for '100 percent fresh' Neymar - Klopp
After being rested for PSG's last game, Liverpool's Klopp acknowledges the threat of a "100 percent fresh" Neymar

Angry Bale lifts lid on Ronaldo-less Real Madrid
Gareth Bale seemed more than a little fired up when he spoke to the media ahead of the UEFA Champions League group stages kicking off this week. The Wales and Real Madrid star, who scored twice in the UCL final victory over Liverpool (including this stunner) in May revealed that he couldn’t believe that goal wasn’t on the shortlist for UEFA’s Goal of the Season. “Obviously it’s going to be a little different from having such a big player there,” Bale told the Daily Mail.

LaLiga: I am on the same level as Messi and Ronaldo, claims Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann claimed he is on the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as he set his sights on winning the Ballon d'Or despite admitting he can make improvements to his game. In contrast to FIFA's prize, the Ballon d'Or winner is determined by votes from journalists, and Griezmann described the prize as more prestigious. "It is clear that I am a different player than Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar or [Kylian] Mbappe.

Liverpool are one of the Champions League favourites – Tuchel
Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel has warned his players ahead of their Tuesday trip to Liverpool that the Reds are one of the favourites to win the Champions League. Jurgen Klopp’s men fell in last season’s final against Real Madrid, and the former Borussia Dortmund boss believes that they have the potential to go all the way this season.

Arteta 'so happy' to stay at Man City despite almost landing Arsenal job
Milkel Arteta insisted he is so happy that the decision was made for him to stay at Manchester City, despite being one of the leading contenders for the Arsenal job in the summer.

Show me the money, guys - Guardiola sets City's Champions League expectations
Pep Guardiola told Manchester City players to "show me the money, guys" as they prepare to start their Champions League campaign among the tournament's favourites. The Catalan won the Champions League twice while in charge of Barcelona but could not deliver European success during his time in charge of Bayern Munich before arriving at City in 2016.

Coutinho: I have to improve a lot to earn Iniesta comparisons
Philippe Coutinho feels comparisons between himself and "genius" Andres Iniesta are not appropriate as he wants to be known for his own game. Coutinho's arrival from Liverpool in the January transfer window was widely accepted to place the Brazilian in pole position to be Iniesta's heir. The long-serving midfielder moved to Vissel Kobe at the end of the season and Coutinho has slotted in to take the former Spain international's place.

Bale poised for part two at Real Madrid without Zidane and Ronaldo
If the summer had gone differently, Gareth Bale might have been on a plane to Switzerland on Monday to play for Manchester United against Young Boys. Spurs never had the financial clout, nor Bale any inclination, to engineer a return to London. Bale was left out of the Champions League final team to face Liverpool, came off the bench to score with an astonishing bicycle kick, and then declared during the celebrations he would be considering his future.

Silva: I knew second season at City would be easier
Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva pinpointed greater confidence and the chance to settle as the keys to his improved form to start this season. Silva, 24, has impressed to begin the campaign, helping City win four of their opening five Premier League games.

Benzema: Real Madrid favourites to win Champions League
Karim Benzema insists Real Madrid are favourites to win the Champions League this season, despite the departure of the club's record goalscorer this summer. Real have won the past three competitions, and Benzema is confident that, even without the Portugal international, they will be able to taste success for an unprecedented fourth time come May. "This competition is another level, all the matches are important, there is no easy one, and it's one thing I like: Real Madrid is the best club in the world, every year you have to succeed," he told Codere, per AS.

'I already sit where Messi and Cristiano are' - Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann claimed he is on the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as he set his sights on winning the Ballon d'Or, despite admitting he can make improvements to his game. In contrast to FIFA's prize, the Ballon d'Or winner is determined by votes from journalists, and Griezmann described the prize as more prestigious. "It is clear that I am a different player than Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar or [Kylian] Mbappe.

LA Galaxy pay tribute as Ibrahimovic brings up 500 career goals
Club side release animation as Swedish striker achieves rare landmark

Premier League clubs to start the season with five wins - and what happened next
Following Watford's defeat to Manchester United over the weekend, just two teams can now boast 100 per cent starts to the current Premier League campaign. Since the start of the Premier League, there have been eight other occasions of teams opening with five straight wins. Of those, only Chelsea, in 2005-2006 and 2009-2010, have gone on to be crowned champions.

Fekir’s magic right foot does it again
What is this, a free kick festival? Nabil Fekir netted the fourth direct FK of the still-young Ligue 1 season to put Lyon ahead against Caen...

Barca desperate to make amends in Europe with memories of Rome still fresh
Meanwhile, Barcelona's key players - Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta - stayed quiet. Barcelona had failed and this made it even harder to bear. "Obviously it's infuriating (for us)," Suarez said in an interview with RAC1 earlier this month.

Report: Raheem Sterling, Man City contract talks stall
According to a report by The Guardian, Manchester City has not made progress on contract talks with Raheem Sterling. With Sterling costing Man City near $74 million to sign, and the England international enjoying a leap in development under Pep Guardiola, it’s unlikely the club would accept losing him for far less than the value he was acquired for. According to the Guardian report, there is “some distance” between the two parties.

Five things we learned from the Premier League
Both Chelsea and Liverpool maintained their perfect starts to the English top-flight season with wins over Cardiff and Tottenham respectively, while West Ham climbed off the bottom of the table with a 3-1 success away to Everton that gave them a first league victory under manager Manuel Pellegrini. Liverpool's upgrades in the transfer market meant they were expected to push City for the title, but Chelsea's 100 percent start was not as confidently foreseen after a chaotic summer at Stamford Bridge.

'I don't feel 34' - Robben enjoying current role with Bayern
Ajren Robben says that he is enjoying his time with Bayern Munich as he approaches his 35th birthday. Robben has scored two Bundesliga goals, with his most recent finish coming on a spectacular 20-yard volley in a 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen. As he gets older, Robben says he understands that he will spend more time on the bench than in previous years, but he also feels prepared to go "peddle to the floor" when he is called upon by Niko Kovac.

Mourinho's Euro woes add to pressure on Man United
Jose Mourinho is facing an unsettling new reality in the Champions League as Manchester United launch their campaign at Young Boys of Bern on Wednesday. Mourinho was once the Champions League's pre-eminent force, winning the tournament twice and making the latter stages virtually every year. In that time, the 55-year-old has been surpassed by Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp, Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone and former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane as the tournament's most innovative and successful coaches.

Spurs face crunch time in bid to shed nearly-men label
Tottenham open their Champions League campaign at Inter Milan on Tuesday bidding to banish the growing belief that they lack the steel to win major silverware. Packed with dynamic young stars and well drilled by charismatic manager Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham appear to have all the ingredients required for a winning recipe. Having nine Tottenham players among the four World Cup semi-finalists, a group that does not include key players Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min, underlines just how potent their squad should be.

Man in GoFundMe dispute with homeless good Samaritan: Everything will be 'crystal clear'
The man who is part of a dispute with a homeless good Samaritan over a $400,000 GoFundMe account said everything will become "crystal clear."

Inter lose Vrsaljko ahead of Champions League opener
Inter right-back Sime Vrsaljko will be assessed on a "day-to-day basis" after aggravating a knee injury on international duty. The 26-year-old, on loan from Atletico Madrid, was forced off 20 minutes into Croatia's 6-0 Nations League loss to Spain on Tuesday. Vrsaljko missed Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Parma and has already been ruled out of the Champions League clash with Tottenham on Tuesday.

Champions League return offers Salah stage to dispel second-season struggles
Mohamed Salah outshone Neymar and Kylian Mbappe on the Champions League stage last season, but as Paris Saint-Germain's star duo head to Anfield on Tuesday seeking to make amends, the Egyptian is struggling to match the heights of his debut campaign at Liverpool. Salah's failure to hit top form dates back to his last Champions League appearance four months ago. Back in May, Salah was on the crest of a wave as his 44-goal campaign had carried Liverpool to the Champions League final and ensured qualification for this season's competition.

Kanté delighted to be able to spread his wings in Sarri’s midfield
In the three years since arriving in England from France, N'Golo Kanté has become one of the best midfielders in the world, proving invaluable to Premier League titles at both Leicester City and Chelsea by playing at the base of midfield and shutting down any and all attacks by the opposition. His tackling numbers were off the charts, his interceptions were legendary, and he always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. He played as if there were two of him, the joke went ... except it probably wasn’t really a joke but the amazing reality of the N’Golo Kanté twins. But then Maurizio Sarri rolled into town, brought along his own personal deep-lying midfielder, and, rather unthinkably,

Mauricio Pochettino says he would be ‘crazy’ to rest Harry Kane 
Mauricio Pochettino says he would be “crazy” to rest Harry Kane after the Tottenham Hotspur captain ­dismissed concerns of post-World Cup burnout. Kane says he feels “sharp and fit” and is not feeling the effects of his exertions in Russia. Pochettino said Kane will ­definitely start against Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday.

'Mourinho is fun, he just wants to win more than anyone else' - Begovic defends Man Utd boss
Jose Mourinho’s methods and demeanour may have been questioned at Manchester United this season, but Asmir Begovic claims the Portuguese merely “wants success more than anyone”. The Red Devils boss cut a frustrated figure at the start of the 2018-19 campaign, with a disappointing transfer window souring his mood.

Pellegrini foresaw win over Everton, ‘convinced’ by West Ham team
Manuel Pellegrini finally has a Premier League win as manager of West Ham United, and it came on his 65th birthday. The former Man City boss saw his Hammers beat Everton 3-1 on Sunday through an Andriy Yarmolenko brace and another goal from Marko Arnautovic, putting to end a run of four-straight league defeats.

Goal! But! Tor! Three is the magic number for unlucky Paulinho
Paulinho finally got on the scoresheet at the third time of asking, after seeing two goals disallowed in Guangzhou Evergrande's CSL match against Shanghai SIPG.

Emery wants Arsenal players to be 'angry'
Unai Emery insisted he wants his Arsenal players to be angry after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was visibly upset when he was substituted against Newcastle.

Opta Premier League review - week 5
A review of the weekend's Premier League action with the help of Opta.

Canine pitch invader injures player in Romanian football match
It's not every day that you see a dog gate-crash a football match to disrupt play.

Why '40 goal' Eden Hazard is a must-have in fantasy soccer
Kieran Darcy ESPN Staff Writer Kieran Darcy is an ESPN.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball. Follow Kieran on Twitter » Follow on Twitter The biggest star of Matchweek 5 in the Premier League -- the first matchweek of ESPN Fantasy Soccer -- was clearly Eden Hazard. The Chelsea midfielder scored a hat trick in his team's 4-1 victory over Cardiff City and finished with a whopping 45.6 fantasy points. Five games into the season, Hazard has accumulated 117.4 fantasy points -- nearly 26 more than Sergio Aguero (91.6) in second place. He has a league-leading five goals, also has two assists,

Rob Maclean's team of the week: Souttar, Mallan, Coulibaly
Hearts continued their terrific start to the season with a fifth successive league victory and another clean sheet at Fir Park. Ten-man Celtic stuttered to a goalless draw at St Mirren and Rangers brushed struggling Dundee aside at Ibrox. Livingston made it three wins on the spin, Hibs edged a five-goal thriller with Kilmarnock, while St Johnstone and Aberdeen shared the spoils in Perth. But who were the standout players from another action-packed weekend? BBC Scotland commentator Rob Maclean picks his team of the week... 4-4-2 formation: Zlamal (Hearts); Gray (Hibs), Souttar (Hearts), Lithgow (Livingston), Hodson (St Mirren); Lawless (Livingston), Mallan (Hibs), Coulibaly (Rangers), Kent (Rangers);

Wright-Phillips hat trick rescues Red Bulls against DC
Josef Martinez’s historic season in Major League Soccer has dominated the headlines, but Bradley Wright-Phillips continues to come up in big moments for his side. The New York Red Bulls earned a 3-3 draw against D.C. United on Sunday at Audi Field behind

Frank Lampard faces first fine as manager after being charged with improper conduct by FA
Frank Lampard has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association and is set for his first fine as a manager. Lampard, the Derby County manager, is facing punishment after he was sent off during the 1-0 defeat at Rotherham on Saturday. The former England international was furious with official Peter Bankes for his failure to award Derby a penalty and was sent to the stands.

Gossip: Spurs, Arsenal want Manchester United defender, PSG midfielder linked with City, Real
Arsenal and Tottenham’s race for fifth place is not the only battle going on in North London. Eric Bailly’s time at Manchester United has turned slightly sour in recent weeks. Over the summer he was linked with a move away from Old Trafford, only for United to fail in their quest for a new centre-back.

Gutierrez strikes stunner for PSV
Erick Gutierrez struck a stunner for PSV as they smashed Den Haag 7-0 on Saturday.

UK police close off restaurant, call hazardous response team after two sickened in English city where ex-spy poisoned.
LONDON (AP) — UK police close off restaurant, call hazardous response team after two sickened in English city where ex-spy poisoned. .

ISL 2018-19: How to buy tickets for ATK's games
ATK, led by Steve Coppell, are all set to kick-off the 2018-19 Indian Super League (ISL) with an opening game against Kerala Blasters. Here is all you need to know about purchasing tickets for ATK's games.   Which games are ATK selling tickets for?

These are the Champions League games you should watch
The UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League both get their group stages underway this week, and we get to watch some fantastic games right away. Thanks to the way UEFA seeds the Champions League, with winners of the top leagues getting automatic top seeds and everyone else getting judged on five years of cumulative performance, it’s possible to get some serious marquee matchups in the group stage, like Tuesday’s best game — Liverpool vs. PSG. Turner Sports now has the Champions League and Europa League in English, while Univision has taken over the Spanish rights. UEFA figured out that putting every game on at the same time was pretty dumb, and broadcasters weren’t thrilled with paying a ton of money for a product where they could only show two games per week.

Newcastle United’s Diame hopes for winning run after tough opening fixtures
After an unenviable start to the season having played four of the top six teams in the English Premier League, Mohamed Diame hopes Newcastle United kickstart a positive run with their next fixture against Crystal Palace. Saturday's 2-1 home loss to Arsenal meant the Magpies have lost four of their opening 2018-19 top-flight games, with only a point against Cardiff City in the bag, and they languish in the bottom three. Rafa Benitez and his men had the toughest possible welcome to a new campaign with Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Manchester City and the Gunners all lined up for them - and never scaled those hurdles.

5 Things We Learned from the First 5 Weeks of the EPL Season
On the one hand, plenty has gone to plan in the Premiership so far, with Liverpool and Manchester City joined by Chelsea both in the top three of the table and in goals scored. After a wonderful World Cup over the summer for Belgium, Eden Hazard is tearing up the league with a first-in-class 5 goals. And Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke once more finds himself near the top of the “Big Chances Missed” statistical leader board, again with a paucity of actual converted scores to his credit. On the other hand, loads of things have gone off the rails. If you had predicted that Mo Salah would only have the third-most fantasy points not in the league, but ON HIS OWN TEAM (behind defender Andrew Robertson

Bye’s late header lifts Revs to 1-1 draw with LAFC
LOS ANGELES — Brandon Bye tied it in the 82nd minute and the New England Revolution played to a 1-1 draw with Los Angeles FC on Saturday night. Bye powered home the header off Teal Bunbury’s cross for the Revs (8-10-10), who extended their unbeaten streak to three games. It was Bye’s first MLS goal. Marco Urena gave LAFC (13-7-8) the lead in the 52nd minute with the help of a deflection of the defender for his first goal of the season. LAFC is unbeaten over its last five.

Rutgers Women’s Soccer Comes From Behind To Beat Iowa 2-1 In OT
The Rutgers women’s soccer team delivered a thrilling victory on Sunday at Yurcak Field with a golden goal by Amirah Ali with just 11 seconds to play in overtime to defeat Iowa. It completed a four game home stand over two consecutive weekends in which Rutgers went 1-1-2. The win over Iowa was of the come from behind variety, as the Hawkeyes scored in the 15th minute of the game to take an early lead. Trailing well into the second half, sophomore forward Nneka Moneme tied the game for Rutgers in the 74th minute on this beautiful strike. The game looked like it would end in a third consecutive draw for Rutgers, but star Amirah Ali delivered the golden goal right before the final horn sounded.

Olivier Giroud perfects the noble art of hold-up play to finally unlock Eden Hazard's goalscoring potential
Olivier Giroud, to Eden Hazard and Chelsea's early-season benefit, is that wall. Chelsea fans, in particular, will fondly recall Mark Hughes and Gianluca Vialli - two exceptional practitioners of back-to-goal artisanship - sticking out their backsides to protect the ball before skidding it wide, to the obligatory ripple of applause. Eden Hazard has been waiting for this particular platform for quite a while.

African freestyle soccer tournament debuts in Nigeria
Nigeria hosted the first international soccer freestyle tournament in which talented youths from over 20 countries took part.

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