The Real Madrid forward finally found the form he was lacking at the European Championship, scoring twice in a sparkling performance Sunday to give Portugal a 2-1 win over the Netherlands and a spot in the quarterfinals. Don’t be surprised if it takes until Sunday for the Champions League title to be decided. A longtime Real Madrid supporter, Nadal appeared with a Atletico Madrid jersey during the club’s Europa League match against Arsenal last week, making headlines across Spain and attracting a wave of social media reactions from fans from both teams. “The (club’s) president gave me a T-shirt as a gift,” Nadal said. Atletico fielded a host of new arrivals, including club record signing Joao Felix, who immediately caught Real cold on the counter before playing Costa in for his opening goal in the first minute. He produced an equalizer with his first goal of the tournament in the 28th minute and scored the winner in the 74th. He had a half dozen other attempts at goal, including a low drive that clipped the post in the 16th, and he set up two clear chances for teammates.
Real fielded a strong side once again, with new signings Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic starting up front and Gareth Bale again on the bench, but were 5-0 down at the end of a shambolic first half. The punishment did not stop after the break, as Felix again fed Costa six minutes into the second half before Nacho pulled one back for Real near the hour-mark. “We started quite well but we were playing against one of the better teams today,” Van der Vaart said. Neither was able to find the net at the Metalist Stadium, although midfielder Rafael van der Vaart did give the Dutch an early lead. Virgil van Dijk chewed gum, while Mohamed Salah was among several players wearing headphones. It was a physical affair in which Real’s players did all they could to stop Messi, and Zinedine Zidane’s team were on the cusp of earning a point through James Rodriguez’s late equaliser. They are playing in a competition in Europe against an English team. With Bale’s future hanging over the tour which has seen them conceded 12 goals from three games, coach Zinedine Zidane remained defiant after the match, insisting the club are not panicking as the new Spanish league season nears.
“We are preparing a season and being calm. “We have to improve,” Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco said through a translator. In liaison with the best suppliers from all corners of the world, we have rounded up items to ensure that you get what perfectly suits your tastes and preferences. Have I made a decision over my future? The Swedish goalkeeper watched as the ball was expertly curled over the wall and went in the far corner. How one club went from Messi, Suarez and Neymar to Braithwaite, de Jong and Memphis in four years, via spending $430 million on Griezmann, Dembele and Coutinho – the Barcelona story. Sources told ESPN’s Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez on Tuesday that Madrid had lodged a renewed offer worth €200 million for Mbappe, only to receive no reply from PSG. This came after Los Blancos opened with a bid of €160m for Mbappe last week, followed by an improved offer of €170m plus €10m in add-ons — both of which were rebuffed by the French giants.
It was mooted that Mbappe might take the No. 19 shirt vacated by Alvaro Odriozola, the No. 5 formerly worn by fellow French icon Zinedine Zidane, the No. 23 jersey in tribute to Michael Jordan (a la David Beckham), or even that he might take another such as the No. 7 or No. 10 off Eden Hazard or Luka Modric respectively. The 22-year-old is now set to remain in the French capital, with his contract due to expire next summer. PSG have put a contract extension on the table, offering the highest wage package at the club (even bigger than Neymar and Messi) and promises of a very competitive team to come, pledging more big signings in the summer. Amid all the chaos of transfer deadline day of the 2021 summer window, Barcelona veteran Gerard Pique found time to troll archrivals Real Madrid over their failure to sign Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe. It’s not the first time Pique has found himself at the centre of a viral storm alongside Mbappe either, with Barca getting very upset about a certain meme that did the rounds on social media earlier this year. Pique’s tweet quickly went viral, but perhaps he should have remembered that those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, as Barca had endured a risible transfer window themselves.
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