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Barcelona v Girona In Miami Could Be Cancelled

The plans to stage a La Liga match in the United States has been plunged into doubt following a meeting between the Spanish FA and FIFA.

The Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales, FIFA head Gianni Infantino and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez have all voiced their disapproval of the move – which has caused discontent and havoc among managers and players – after holding a meeting in Madrid this week.

According to Spanish publication Marca, it is now ‘highly unlikely’ that plans for Barcelona to face Girona in Miami in January will go ahead amid the country’s political standoff with Catalonia.

Zidane Wants Quick Return To Management

Zinedine Zidane has indicated his desire to return to management in the near future.

The former France midfielder has been taking a break since resigning as Real Madrid in May after guiding the Spanish club to a third successive Champions League title during his two-and-a-half years at the club.

Zidane is the favourite to replace Jose Mourinho at Manchester United if the Portuguese departs Old Trafford and he has suggested he is getting ready to return.

“Yes, surely. Soon I will return to training because it is what I like and is what I have done all my life,” Zidane told the Spanish broadcaster TVE.

Saul is the new Steven Gerrard, Luis Enrique is an inspired choice as new coach, and bring on next summer’s Final Four. They were some of the reactions to Spain’s 6-0 win over Croatia.

The only negative on a night when Croatia had been made to look like minnows was the fact that all this came two months too late for the World Cup finals.

The magnitude of Luis Enrique’s start certainly magnified the chance that was lost in Russia. Saul – the new engine at the heart of Spain’s midfield – did not play a single minute of football at the World Cup.

The first CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post of the 2018/19 season looked at the transfers that took place over the summer and identified who the bargains were. What players were purchased below their fair market values? They also identified the players that teams overpaid the most for.

According to the report, the bargain of the summer was Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who moved to Real Madrid for €40m, a €22.6m discount on his real market value of €62.6m.

Spain Dominates FIFPro World XI Nominations

FIFPro, the worldwide players’ union, and FIFA have announced the 55 names in contention for the FIFA FIFPro World11 2018.

The FIFA FIFPro World11 is decided by the players, for the players and involves votes from almost 25,000 professional footballers from 65 different countries. During voting, they each select one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards.

This year’s list includes some familiar names, and standout statistics. Ten of last year’s World11 return to make the 55-man list, with Real Madrid the most-represented club side, seeing a full 11 players make the cut. Spain (nine) and France (eight) are the countries with the most players represented on the list.

Scotland Get First Nations League Victory

Scotland got their Nations League campaign off to a winning start with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Albania at Hampden Park.

Steven Naismith was guilty of an awful first-half miss but made up for it shortly after half-time when his header went in off Albanian defender Berat Djimsiti.

The in-form Hearts striker then added a second goal, punishing an error from goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha, as Scotland’s persistent pressure eventually paid off.

Bekim Balaj was guilty of spurning Albania’s best chances, firing straight at Allan McGregor when the score was 1-0 before later blazing a volley over the crossbar from close range.

UEFA To Add A Third Club Tournament

UEFA have confirmed the introduction of a third new European trophy by 2021/22 alongside the Champions League and Europa League.

Andrea Agnelli, the executive of UEFA competitions committee confirmed the news on Tuesday following long-term reports that such a tournament would introduced.

“Pending approval of the UEFA ExCo, the ‘green light’ has been given to introduce a third competition, bringing the overall number of clubs to 96, as of the 2021/22 season,” Agnelli told assembled members, as reported by The European Club Association.

“A detailed assessment of the existing International Match Calendar is required prior to presenting a new model post-2024. The current model needs modernising.”

Barcelona To Play Girona In Miami

The idea of a Spanish game being played in North America has proved controversial, but the date for the first clash appears to have been decided

Barcelona, Girona and La Liga (LFP) have put forward a request to the Spanish FA (RFEF) that they be allowed to play a fixture in Miami, Florida later this season.

In a statement issued by the LFP, Girona’s ‘home’ match against the Catalans could be switched to the Hard Rock Stadium on January 26.

Arsenal were handed two mammoth trips across the continent in Friday’s Europa League group stage draw while Chelsea will be confident of progressing with ease.

Unai Emery, a three-time Europa League champion with Sevilla, will lead the Gunners on an 8,000 mile round-trip to Azerbaijan and Ukraine for games against Qarabag and Vorskla Poltava. Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon completed Group E.

Maurizio Sarri’s first European campaign with Chelsea will see them play in Group L alongside Greek side PAOK, BATE Borisov of Belarus and Vidi in Hungary.

Cristiano Ronaldo will head back to Old Trafford after Manchester United were drawn in Champions League Group H with Italian champions Juventus.

Aside from Ronaldo and Juventus providing a difficult challenge, United should face easier rides against Valencia and Young Boys, who return to the group stages this year.

However Ronaldo’s reunion can’t be dismissed as the 33-year-old tries to win the Champions League for a fourth year in a row.

The pressure is only increasing on manager Jose Mourinho as United, after a poor start to the Premier League season, face Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford.