Ronaldo To Make Second Man Utd Debut Against Newcastle

A cardboard cut out of new signing Cristiano Ronaldo is held by Manchester United supporters during the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on August 29, 2021. Oli SCARFF / AFP
In this file photo, a cardboard cut out of new signing Cristiano Ronaldo is held by Manchester United supporters during the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on August 29, 2021. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed Cristiano Ronaldo will make his first Manchester United appearance since his blockbuster move from Juventus when Newcastle visit Old Trafford on Saturday.

Portugal superstar Ronaldo returned to United in a shock transfer just before the transfer deadline.

The 36-year-old striker, who left United to join Real Madrid in 2009, has been training with his new team-mates for the past few days.

United manager Solskjaer confirmed on Friday that Ronaldo would play at least some part in the Premier League clash with Newcastle but it remains to be seen whether the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will start or come off the bench.

“He’s been having a good pre-season with Juventus, he’s played for the national team, he’s had a good week with us here,” Solskjaer said.

“He will definitely be on the pitch at some point, that’s for sure.”

Ronaldo won three Premier League titles and the Champions League during six trophy-laden years with United, before going on to shine with Real and Juventus.

His status as one of the world’s all-time greats is unquestioned, but initially it seemed United would miss out on a reunion with their former star when Manchester City moved to sign him.

Ronaldo said his relationship with former United manager Alex Ferguson played a key role in convincing him to return to Old Trafford.

Solskjaer, who played with Ronaldo during his first spell at the club, said: “Of course we’ve followed his career from afar since he left here and I think everyone’s very happy to have him back.

“He can speak for himself but he seems like he’s happy to be back as well.

“The mood’s been very good, he’s worked well and we’re looking forward to Saturday, of course.”

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‘No place to hide’ 

Fergusson retired from Manchester United in 2013. Photo: Instagram/Manchester United.

 

Ronaldo’s return to Manchester came after Solskjaer had already strengthened his squad with swoops for England forward Jadon Sancho and France defender Raphael Varane.

United will be expected to challenge champions Manchester City for the title after such a productive transfer window.

Solskjaer believes Ronaldo will add a higher level of quality to the squad, both physically and mentally, as they look to win the first trophy of the Norwegian’s reign.

“We have grown as a group the last few years. The determination, the desire, the focus has improved over time and bit by bit,” he said.

“Even like bringing Raphael (Varane) in, he’s come in with a winner’s mentality, an unbelievable focus.

“Then of course Cristiano comes in as well and there’s no place to hide when you’ve got winners like them. You can’t go into training and give 95 percent or not being focused.”

As a former Manchester United player, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce appreciates what an emotional afternoon it will be for Ronaldo and the club’s supporters on Saturday.

“The goals he’s scored at every club he’s played for is quite remarkable,” Bruce said.

“That, quite rightly in my opinion, makes him the best player in the world. It’s a terrific signing by Manchester United.

“It’s quite an incredible story of him going back and I’m sure they could have sold out Old Trafford 10 times over if they wished.”

AFP

Egypt Name Ex-Real Madrid Boss Queiroz As New Coach

Queiroz Plays Up Iran Unity Ahead Of Morocco Clash
Iran’s coach Carlos Queiroz (C) leads a training session at Saint Petersburg Stadium on June 14, 2018, ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup football game Iran vs Morocco. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

 

Carlos Queiroz was appointed Wednesday as Egypt’s new coach following the sacking of Hossam El-Badry after an unconvincing start to qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

The Egyptian football federation said Queiroz, a former Manchester United assistant and Real Madrid manager, would be supported by Diaa El-Sayed and long-time former national team goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary on his coaching staff.

It is the latest in a long line of international jobs for the 68-year-old Queiroz, who took Portugal to the 2010 World Cup. He also coached Iran at the 2014 and 2018 tournaments.

The Portuguese will take over from El-Badry, who was dismissed Monday in the wake of a 1-1 draw in Gabon.

Egypt’s sluggish performance against Gabon on Sunday, in which they needed a 90th-minute equaliser to rescue a point, and a laboured 1-0 win against Angola in their opening World Cup qualifier, had prompted furious criticism from disappointed fans on social media.

Egypt are second behind Libya in their group with four points from two games. They face a crucial doubleheader against the Libyans in October, with only the group winners advancing to the final qualifying round.

Queiroz is expected to arrive in Cairo next week. He left his role as Colombia coach late last year after a 6-1 defeat by Ecuador.

A former assistant to Alex Ferguson at United, Queiroz has also previously had spells in charge of South Africa and United Arab Emirates.

AFP

Uncertainty Trails Mbappe’s Transfer To Real Madrid As Deadline Looms- Reports

Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe runs on the pitch during the French L1 football match between Stade de Reims and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stade Auguste Delaune in Reims, northern France on August 29, 2021.
FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

Kylian Mbappe’s dream move to Real Madrid hangs by a thread as the deadline to the transfer window draws close.

Mbappe stole the show on Sunday by scoring both goals in a 2-0 win against Reims in Ligue 1 despite Lionel Messi making his debut as a 65th-minute substitute for Neymar.

Madrid has offered PSG an amount in excess of €170m for Mbappe, but the French giants are yet to reply.

Europe’s transfer window closes on Tuesday.

Madrid are said to be waiting till Monday evening for a formal response, according to Sky Sports.

Earlier in the week, Paris Saint-Germain’s sporting director Leonardo had confirmed the 22-year-old wanted to leave the club but was adamant he wouldn’t let the superstar leave without the appropriate price tag placed on him being met.

“If Real Madrid are making an offer, that seems clear. We cannot, the week before the end of the window, change our plans. If he wants to leave, we will not hold him back, but on our terms,” he said in an interview with EuroSports.

Leonardo was also critical of Madrid’s conduct, claiming the Spanish club have contacted Mbappe illegally.

“For the last two years, Real Madrid have been behaving like this, it is not correct, illegal even because they contacted the player,” he said.

“It is unacceptable for us because it is not correct. It is proof of the strategy: an offer comes 1 year before the end of his contract and 7 days before the end of the window.”

Real Madrid are keen on landing Mbappe, and if talks fail to yield positive results before deadline day, they will try to sign him on a pre-contract agreement in January as he runs out of contract at PSG in 10 months.

PSG Reject Real Madrid Offer For Mbappe

Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe reacts during the French L1 football match between Stade Brestois and Paris Saint-Germain at Francis-Le Ble Stadium in Brest on August 20, 2021.
LOIC VENANCE / AFP

 

Paris Saint-Germain turned down Real Madrid’s bid to prise away Kylian Mbappe on Wednesday, with sporting director Leonardo saying the offer of around 160 million euros ($188 million) was “not enough” for a player they wanted “to keep”.

“Our position has always been to keep Kylian, to renew his contract” which expires next June, said the Brazilian to some media including AFP.

He went on to describe the Spanish club’s approach to the France World Cup winner as “disrespectful, incorrect and illegal”.

Leonardo went on to say that if the 22-year-old Mbappe “wants to leave, we will not retain him, but he will leave or stay on our terms”.

“If a player wants to leave, he will leave. The club, the project, remain above everyone,” added the Brazilian leader, addressing some media including AFP. But “we have done everything” to convince him to stay.

PSG paid 180 million euros to Monaco for the forward in 2017 and are keen for him to sign a new deal.

After the arrival of Lionel Messi in Paris, earlier this month club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said Mbappe “has no reason to do anything else” but stay.

Mbappe has scored once and provided two assists in three appearances so far this term with Messi expected to make his PSG debut at Reims on Sunday.

-AFP

Man Utd Agree Deal To Sign Varane From Real Madrid

 In this file photo taken on January 04, 2020 Real Madrid's French defender Raphael Varane celebrates his goal during the Spanish league football match between Getafe CF and Real Madrid CF at the Col. Alfonso Perez stadium in Getafe on January 4, 2020. OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP
In this file photo taken on January 04, 2020 Real Madrid’s French defender Raphael Varane celebrates his goal during the Spanish league football match between Getafe CF and Real Madrid CF at the Col. Alfonso Perez stadium in Getafe on January 4, 2020. OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP

 

Manchester United have agreed a deal with Real Madrid to sign France centre-back Raphael Varane, the Premier League giants announced Tuesday. 

“Manchester United is delighted to announce the club has reached agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of French international defender and World Cup winner, Raphael Varane, subject to a medical and to player terms being finalised,” said a club statement.

It is not expected, however, that Varane will be able to undergo a medical until next week because of current UK coronavirus restrictions.

No fee has been disclosed but British media reported value the deal at £34 million ($47 million) rising to £48 million with add-ons.

 

AFP

Tearful Ramos Says He Wanted To Stay At Real Madrid

In this file photo taken Real Madrid’s Spanish defender, Sergio Ramos addresses journalists during Real Madrid’s Media Open Day. PHOTO: GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

 

Sergio Ramos has claimed he is only leaving Real Madrid because the club withdrew their offer of a new contract, as the defender bid an emotional farewell on Thursday after 16 years. 

Ramos said in a press conference he had pushed for a two-year contract extension and when he decided to accept one extra year, the club told his agent and brother “about a week ago” the offer had expired.

The 35-year-old, who will become a free agent on July 1, gave no indication as to where he will play next, although he ruled out joining Barcelona. He also said he was “not contemplating” a return to Sevilla.

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Ramos joined Real Madrid from Sevilla for 27 million euros in 2005 and went on to become one of the club’s greatest ever players, playing 671 games and winning 22 titles, including five in La Liga and four in the Champions League.

Despite making clear his disappointment over the failed negotiations with Real Madrid, Ramos refused to criticise president Florentino Perez directly, describing their relationship as like a “father and son”.

Perez and Ramos delivered short speeches and shared a cordial embrace during a goodbye ceremony at Valdebebas, with Ramos’ family among those in a small audience.

Ramos said bidding farewell was one of the “most difficult moments” of his life.

Afterward, he answered questions from the media on his own in a press conference room. “I have never wanted to leave Real Madrid,” he said.

“I go back to the season during lockdown when we won the title. The club offered to extend my contract but because of Covid, it was delayed.

“In recent months, the club made me an offer of one year, with a lower salary, and I want to emphasise that money was never a problem. I wanted two years for continuity, for me and my family. There was never a financial issue.

“When I finally decided to accept the offer of one year and a lower salary, I was told the offer had an expiration date that I was not aware of.”

Ramos insisted he did not know why the offer expired and said he was “really surprised”.

“I would have liked to stay here many more years,” he said. “Madrid is my home and my family.”

Earlier, Madrid’s captain opened the door to a return in the future. “This is a ‘see you later because sooner or later, I will come back,” Ramos said.

He had just started his speech when he broke down in tears as he began paying tribute to his family.

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are among the clubs credited with an interest in signing Ramos.

“We never thought about any other team but there have been some calls from interested clubs,” he said. “Now we will look for a good option.”

On the unlikely prospect he could join Barcelona, Ramos said: “It would be impossible to see Ramos in a Barca shirt. A resounding no as big as the new Bernabeu.”

He also discarded the option of returning to Sevilla.

“I do not contemplate that option, just as Sevilla does not contemplate it,” he said. “It is a different moment now, for them and for me.”

Injuries restricted Ramos to only 21 appearances for Real Madrid last season before Luis Enrique left him out of the Spain squad for Euro 2020.

But Ramos said he is fit again now and “excited to show his highest level for years to come”.

Perez said it was “not an easy day”, saluting Ramos as “one of the great legends of Real Madrid”.

“You have grown as a player and been our iconic captain for years,” Perez added.

AFP

Real Madrid Announce Ancelotti As New Coach

A file photo of new Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti.
A file photo of new Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti.

 

Carlo Ancelotti will return to Real Madrid as coach for the next three seasons, the Spanish club said Tuesday following last week’s resignation of Zinedine Zidane.

The 61-year-old Italian, who won the Champions League for Real Madrid during his first spell at the club between 2013 and 2015, will sign his new deal and be presented to the media on Wednesday, the club said in a statement.

Ancelotti joined Everton in December 2019 and thanked the English club ands its fans “for the tremendous support they have all given me”.

“While I have enjoyed being at Everton I have been presented with an unexpected opportunity which I believe is the right move for me and my family at this time,” he added in a statement published on Everton’s website.

The English club said it would “begin the process of appointing a new manager immediately and will provide updates in due course.”

Real won the Champions League three times under Zidane but ended the 2020-21 campaign without a trophy having finished second in La Liga behind city rivals Atletico Madrid.

The Spanish giants also lost to eventual winners Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals.

It was the first time that the 13-time European champions had failed to win a trophy in 11 seasons.

AFP

Alaba Leaves Bayern For Real Madrid

 In this file photo taken on May 22, 2021 Bayern Munich's Austrian defender David Alaba gestures prior the German first division Bundesliga football match Bayern Munich vs FC Augsburg in Munich, southern Germany. CHRISTOF STACHE / POOL / AFP
In this file photo taken on May 22, 2021 Bayern Munich’s Austrian defender David Alaba gestures prior the German first division Bundesliga football match Bayern Munich vs FC Augsburg in Munich, southern Germany. CHRISTOF STACHE / POOL / AFP

 

Austrian defender David Alaba will join Real Madrid on a five-year contract after leaving Bayern Munich, the Spanish giants confirmed on Friday.

The announcement of the signing of the 28-year-old, who had also been linked with several English Premier League clubs, comes a day after Zinedine Zidane quit as Real coach.

“Real Madrid has reached an agreement with David Alaba, who will be linked to the club for the next five seasons,” Madrid said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Zidane Resigns As Real Madrid Manager

Alaba will be presented as a Real player after Euro 2020, the statement added.

The Austria international has been hugely successful at Bayern, having won two Champions League trophies and 10 league titles among other silverware.

Alaba had said in February that he would leave Bayern when his contract expires at the end of the season after 13 years with the German club.

Alaba and Bayern were in talks about a new contract but the club said in November 2020 that the negotiations had broken down, reportedly over the player’s salary.

 

AFP

Zidane Resigns As Real Madrid Manager

 

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 11, 2019, Real Madrid´s newly appointed French coach Zinedine Zidane arrives to give a press conference. According to media reports
PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP

 

Zinedine Zidane has resigned as Real Madrid manager with immediate effect, according to media reports, just days after the club were beaten to the La Liga title by Atletico Madrid.

The Frenchman’s reported departure comes at the end of a disappointing campaign for the 13-time European champions, who also lost to Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals as they failed to win a trophy for the first time in 11 seasons.

Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano broke what he called  “exclusive” news in a tweet that was picked up by Spanish sports outlets including Madrid sports dailies Marca and AS, and the radio station Cadena Ser.

An official announcement of his departure, said Romano, would be made “in the next hours/days”.

Only 10 days ago Zidane, who has a contract until 2022, denied media speculation that he had already told his players that he would be leaving at the end of the season.

“How am I going to tell my players that I am going now? It’s a lie,” he said after a 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao.

“I focus on this season. There is a game left and we are going to give everything. I only care what happens in this finale.”

But, perhaps tellingly, he added: “The rest, we will see at the end of the season.”

If confirmed, it marks the end of Zidane’s second spell in charge of the Spanish giants.

The 1998 World Cup winner first took the helm in January 2016 and guided Real to the 2017 La Liga title and an unprecedented hat-trick of Champions League titles before abruptly quitting on May 31, 2018.

He returned in 2019, winning a second La Liga crown in 2020 and the Spanish Super Cup.

-AFP

‘I Don’t Know What Will Happen’: Zidane Casts Doubt Over Madrid Future

FILE: Real Madrid’s French coach Zinedine Zidane looks on before during the Spanish league football match Real Valladolid FC against Real Madrid CF at the Jose Zorilla stadium in Valladolid on January 26, 2020. CESAR MANSO / AFP

 

Zinedine Zidane hinted on Saturday he could leave as coach of Real Madrid at the end of the season, saying he believes “there comes a time when it’s the moment to change”. 

Zidane’s contract expires in 2022 but he has repeatedly refused to confirm he will still be at the club next season.

The Frenchman has a history of surprises after resigning as coach unexpectedly in 2018 before making a shock return a year later.

As a player, he initially announced his retirement from international football in 2004 before coming back for the 2006 World Cup, after which he retired for good.

“You talk about me leaving in 2006 and 2018 and it’s like you think I leave because I’m shirking responsibility or that I quit when things get tough,” said Zidane in a press conference.

“It’s not, the only thing about me is that what I do, I do to the end, and then there comes a time when it’s the moment to change. For everyone, not just for me. For the club, for the good of the club, for the people.

“I don’t leave because it’s easy. It’s not like I turn away and don’t look back. No, there are moments when you have to be there and there are moments when that’s it, it’s finished, it’s time to change. But for the good of everyone, not just for me.”

Zidane spoke warmly about his players, describing his relationship with them as one of “total respect” while adding their time together is “something that will be there forever”.

When it was put to him that it felt like he was saying goodbye, Zidane said: “I can only say the same thing. I don’t know what will happen. I’m here now, yes, and tomorrow we are going to play. Then we will have one match left.

“The rest, I don’t know what will happen. This is Real Madrid. I don’t know if it’s a strength but I am always about the day to day. It’s always been like this.”

Real Madrid play away at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, knowing anything but a victory at San Mames will mean Atletico Madrid win the title if they beat Osasuna at the Wanda Metropolitano.

They sit two points behind Atletico Madrid in La Liga, with two games left to play.

“We have to look at what we can control,” said Zidane. “The important thing is to keep winning ourselves.”

Toni Kroos is the latest player to join Madrid’s lengthy list of absentees, with the German midfielder self-isolating after coming into contact with someone that tested positive for Covid-19.

Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Ferland Mendy, Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez are all injured.

Atletico, Barcelona Play Out Stalemate, Hand Advantage To Real Madrid In La Liga Race

Barcelona's Dutch midfielder Frenkie De Jong reacts to a missed goal opportunity during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona against Club Atletico de Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 8, 2021. Josep LAGO / AFP
Barcelona’s Dutch midfielder Frenkie De Jong reacts to a missed goal opportunity during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona against Club Atletico de Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 8, 2021. Josep LAGO / AFP

 

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid knew victory could fire them towards the La Liga title but Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Camp Nou handed Real Madrid the chance to go top.

Four wins from their last four games will now be enough for Zinedine Zidane’s side to retain their La Liga crown, with a crunch game at home to fourth-placed Sevilla up first on Sunday.

The first part of a blockbuster weekend in the Spanish title race pitched first against third but neither could take a decisive step forward, despite the best attempts of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, who faced each other for the first time since Suarez departed last summer.

A point each leaves Atletico three points clear of Real Madrid, who have a game in hand and also the superior head-to-head over both Atleti and Barcelona.

Barca remain two points off the top but their chances took the biggest hit, given they now need both Atletico and Real Madrid to slip up in the final stretch.

Yet Atletico will be disappointed too, given they spurned a number of chances in during a dominant first half, before Ronald Koeman’s side recovered in the second.

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi leaves the pitch at the end of the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona against Club Atletico de Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 8, 2021. Josep LAGO / AFP
Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi leaves the pitch at the end of the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona against Club Atletico de Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 8, 2021. Josep LAGO / AFP

 

Jan Oblak had to deny Messi after a vintage run forward from the Argentine, who then had a well-placed free-kick in the last minute, only for Atletico to watch the ball spin inches wide.

Diego Simeone said on Friday Suarez had been “vindicated” since being forced to leave Barcelona, his 19 goals making him top scorer for the team.

Koeman admitted it would be “strange” for everyone, including Messi, who sent a heartfelt open letter to his former team-mate, neighbour and best friend last year.

Suarez ‘always welcome’

The pair shared a few words in the centre circle before kick-off after the Camp Nou stadium announcer had already beamed that Suarez “will always be welcome”.

But, in truth, the Uruguayan was not at his ruthless best as a handful of openings went unconverted in a contest full of chances but that lacked precision when it mattered most.

Messi was repeatedly knocked over in the opening few minutes before Gerard Pique went through the back of Suarez, both teams scrapping for control.

Atletico slowly took charge, helped by the departure of Sergio Busquets, who was replaced by Ilaix Moriba after a clash of heads that meant he had to be taken to hospital for tests.

Barcelona's Spanish defender Jordi Alba (L) vies with Atletico Madrid's Argentine forward Angel Correa (C) during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona against Club Atletico de Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 8, 2021. Josep LAGO / AFP
Barcelona’s Spanish defender Jordi Alba (L) vies with Atletico Madrid’s Argentine forward Angel Correa (C) during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona against Club Atletico de Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 8, 2021. Josep LAGO / AFP

 

Without Busquets, Barcelona were rudderless for a while and the Atletico chances came thick and fast.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen had to palm away Marcos Llorente’s shot and then stick out a foot to deny Suarez from the angle.

Suarez then tried to nod in the rebound after a winding run from Yannick Carrasco before claiming a penalty after feeling a flick of Ter Stegen’s hand across his head.

Barcelona were rattled, the usually steady Ter Stegen booting one ball straight into the stands, only for Messi to give Atletico a reality check, his driving run past six chasers opening the space for a shot, but Oblak tipped it wide.

Felipe fired over from a well-worked Atleti short corner before half-time but Barca were better after the break, with both Ilaix and Pique going close shortly after the hour.

Both coaches made changes, hoping to inspire a winner. Ousmane Dembele was one of them and he should have grabbed it with six minutes left but headed over from six yards in perhaps the best chance of the game.

Messi could have won it at the end, standing over the ball with a free-kick placed centrally and 25 yards out. Atletico held their breath, the ball whistling just wide of Oblak’s post.

 

AFP

Real, Barca, Juventus Defend Super League In Face Of UEFA ‘Threats’

(COMBO) This combination of file pictures made on May 8, 2021, shows the logos of the following European football clubs: (L-R) Juventus Italian Serie A football club on April 21, 2021, at the Juventus stadium in Turin; Spanish football club Barcelona’s logo at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, on April 19, 2021, 

 

Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Juventus on Saturday defended the aborted Super League project after the nine other clubs were given a financial penalty by UEFA for their involvement.

The three clubs said they had received “unacceptable” threats from UEFA and FIFA since the project collapsed just two days after it was announced last month, when six Premier League clubs and three other teams pulled out.

In a joint statement, Real, Barcelona and Juventus said the Super League had been launched “with the aim of providing solutions to the current unsustainable situation in the football industry”.

They argued that they and the nine clubs who withdrew under pressure from supporters’ protests — Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, and AC Milan — “shared the same concerns… that structural reforms are indispensable to ensure our sport stays appealing and survives in the long term”.

Those nine clubs on Friday agreed to forego five percent of their revenue from UEFA competitions for one season and between them make a 15-million-euro ($18.25 million) donation to support grassroots and youth football in Europe.

They also committed to participating in UEFA competitions for which they qualify and agreed to pay fines of 100 million euros if they ever seek to play in an “unauthorised” competition.

Real, Barcelona, and Juventus said: “We regret to see that our friends and founding partners of the Super League project have now found themselves in such an inconsistent and contradictory position when signing a number of commitments to UEFA yesterday.”

UEFA said it would take “appropriate action” against the three clubs who still support the Super League project.

The clubs responded that “the founding clubs have suffered, and continue to suffer, unacceptable third-party pressures (and) threats.”

-AFP