FRANCE: In the four years since the last Women's World Cup in Canada, the competition and talent among female footballers has gotten stronger - and more global. The stage will be as big as ever when this year's tournament kicks off Jun 7 in Paris.In our latest ESPN FC Rank, we polled our experts to gauge which players will stand out in France.25. SHANICE VAN DE SANDENAnother from the Lyon dynasty, Shanice van de Sanden is best known for two things: her blazing speed and her trademark bright red lipstick. One of the fastest players in the women's game, Van de Sanden is an absolute handful to deal with on the right wing for opposing full-backs due to her pace and skill. A player who debuted for the Oranje at just 16, she was a key member of the Netherlands' victorious European Championship side in 2017 and will be appearing in her second World Cup this summer. Van de Sanden, now 26, has 15 goals in 63 caps for the Netherlands, but it is her ability to get in behind … [Read more...] about Who is the best player at the Women’s World Cup?
2018 uefa champions league final
GUIMARAES, Portugal: Ronald Koeman's Netherlands team continued their impressive renaissance on Thursday by earning a place in the inaugural Nations League final with a 3-1 triumph over England after extra time to secure a meeting with hosts Portugal.It was a victory that came courtesy of two dreadful errors from England in the extra period and thanks to the intervention of a VAR review that cancelled out what could have been a winner for Gareth Southgate's side in the 83rd minute.But the specifics of the deciding goals - after the game was level at 1-1 in 90 minutes - should not take away from the achievement of Koeman's team in setting up a fascinating clash with Cristiano Ronaldo and company on Sunday in Porto.A year on from a World Cup the Dutch watched from home having failed to qualify, their young side now have a chance of winning UEFA's new tournament and, whatever status that brings, Koeman cannot be anything but delighted with their progress.To reach the last four in … [Read more...] about Dutch revival continues with De Jong at the heart
DOHA: Xavi Hernandez's dazzling career came to an anti-climactic end when his side Al Sadd were beaten 2-0 by Iranian giants Persepolis in their last group match of the AFC Champions League on Monday (May 20).The 39-year-old midfield genius, who helped Spain win the World Cup in 2010 besides helping Barcelona win two UEFA Champions League titles and eight La Liga titles, was cheered by poster-carrying fans at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran where already-eliminated Persepolis put on an improved display to register only their second win in six matches.Xavi was also honoured by the Persepolis management, but Al Sadd's second defeat in a row, following their 4-1 thrashing by domestic rivals Al Duhail in last week's Amir Cup final in Doha, must have left him with mixed feelings.Al Sadd had already qualified for the last 16 of the Asian tournament and they had hoped a victory on Monday would be an apt send-off for their captain who has been with them for four years.But although the Spaniard … [Read more...] about Football: Xavi’s last match ends in defeat for Al Sadd
Manchester City have not yet held their victory parade after edging Liverpool in a thrilling Premier League title race but already they are plotting for next season. The champions are not alone. A huge summer splurge on transfer fees is likely after Premier League spending fell last year, in part due to a short window for clubs to complete their business between the end of the World Cup and a new transfer deadline, which fell before the season began. The Premier League's transfer deadline will again come before most of the rest of Europe, on August 8, meaning clubs cannot afford to waste time. The window for domestic deals opens on Thursday. International transfers can be completed from June 11. AFP Sports looks at where each of the top six are set to strengthen. Manchester City The champions may have claimed a remarkable 198 points over two title-winning campaigns, but Pep Guardiola promised they will come back stronger next season and are likely to invest heavily for a variety … [Read more...] about Premier League set to splash the cash as transfer window opens
MADRID: France striker Antoine Griezmann will leave Atletico Madrid at the end of the season, the player said in a video released on the club's official Twitter account on Tuesday.The 28-year-old did not reveal where he would be playing next but widespread reports in the Spanish media said he would be joining Barcelona, who he famously rejected last year before penning a new contract with Atletico until 2023.World Cup winner Griezmann, who signed a new five-year contract last June, said he had told Atletico coach Diego Simeone and chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin of his decision and addressed the supporters in the video message."After speaking to Simeone and Miguel Angel and the club hierarchy I wanted to immediately tell you, the Atletico fans who have always given me a lot of love that I have taken the decision to leave, to see other things, to have other challenges," he said."The truth is it has been difficult to arrive to this point but I feel it's what I need to do, I want … [Read more...] about Griezmann says he is leaving Atletico at end of the season