It has been 10 years since Barcelona seemingly changed European football forever with a stunning 2-0 Champions League final win over holders Manchester United.

Samuel Eto'o opened the scoring early on and Lionel Messi's 70th-minute header clinched a second Blaugrana triumph in four seasons.

This side were very different to the 2005-06 vintage, though, with new coach Pep Guardiola dictating an incredible passing style that quickly became the envy of their rivals.

"They get you on that carousel and can leave you dizzy."

That was Alex Ferguson's description of Barca's approach and here we take a look at the 11 starters who subjected United to that punishment in Rome - part of a historic treble.

 

VICTOR VALDES

Goalkeeper Valdes was perhaps not always given the credit he deserved for his ability as a shot-stopper - there were a couple of brave blocks from Cristiano Ronaldo in the final - but there was no doubting his reputation as a pioneer with the ball at his feet.

The Spaniard was key to the way Barca played as he offered an option to his defenders, continuing to contribute to the club's success until 2014 and then ending his career in England with United and Middlesbrough.

CARLES PUYOL

Just as Barca brought something different to the goalkeeping position, Dani Alves altered the full-back's role. He was absent for the final due to suspension, so captain Puyol moved across from centre-back and was similarly effective, marauding down the right.

Puyol scored a World Cup semi-final winner the following year and retired in 2014 having won just about every trophy imaginable.

YAYA TOURE

With Puyol out of position, Toure had to be too. Rafael Marquez was injured and the Ivory Coast midfielder was given an uncomfortable time by Ronaldo at centre-back.

But Toure prevailed and went on to become a Premier League great at Manchester City, winning the last of his three titles after being reunited with Guardiola in 2017-18.

GERARD PIQUE

A former United man, Pique kept Barca on terms early on with a brave block following a Ronaldo free-kick.

And despite having since got his hands on almost every piece of silverware the sport has to offer, some would argue Pique is still improving after a fine campaign in 2018-19 - even if this month's Champions League semi-final against Liverpool was a real low point.

SYLVINHO

Eric Abidal's absence compounded Barca's defensive worries ahead of the final, with veteran left-back Sylvinho turning out for the final time before he joined City.

A short stint in the Premier League, where he had previously played for Arsenal, saw the end of the Brazilian's playing days, but he is back in the spotlight now as the new head coach of Lyon.

SERGIO BUSQUETS

This was Busquets' breakthrough season and he has scarcely stopped winning since. A calmer influence than the more expansive Toure, he nailed down a position in the middle of the carousel.

Seen for many years as the least glamorous of Barca's midfield options, the club are now hoping to groom a long-term replacement in the form of €75million man Frenkie de Jong.

XAVI HERNANDEZ

This was a match that typified Xavi's brilliance. One of the greatest passers of all time, he created the second goal for Messi with a gorgeous lofted ball, having earlier struck the post with a 20-yard free-kick.

He took in a further two Champions League final triumphs, bowing out in the 2015 defeat of Juventus. He retired from playing with Al-Sadd this month.

ANDRES INIESTA

Iniesta's sensational strike at Chelsea took Barca to the final, where he again showed his wonderful blend of passing precision and untouchable dribbling.

A decisive World Cup final goal when Spain downed the Netherlands in 2010 followed and Iniesta, like Xavi and now Busquets, has proved extremely difficult for Barca to replace. A once-in-a-generation talent in any other Blaugrana generation.

LIONEL MESSI

Heading into the 2009 final, Messi had never played on such a stage - having missed out through injury three years earlier - and was coming off his first season with more than 20 LaLiga goals. A stunning header capped the triumph.

What has happened since requires little explanation. Messi has established himself as perhaps the greatest player of all time, with goals, assists, runs, passes and lots and lots of trophies.

SAMUEL ETO'O

Eto'o was the only player in this side to go on to win the trophy again the following year. Barca were up against it for 10 minutes until a glorious dart inside Nemanja Vidic opened space for a low finish.

A move to Inter followed and Eto'o triumphed again, playing a supporting role to Diego Milito as Jose Mourinho's men beat Bayern Munich 2-0, before touring Europe in the latter stages of his career. He now plays in Qatar.

THIERRY HENRY

Henry and Arsenal were beaten by Barca in the 2006 final and a move to Camp Nou was long mooted for the Premier League's standout player. It finally came in 2007, and he initially excelled on the left of Guardiola's front three.

But Pedro's emergence hastened his departure a year on from Rome and he ended his career with a successful stint at New York Red Bulls. This season's brief tenure in charge of former club Monaco will not be so fondly remembered.

Manchester United battered Barcelona for nine minutes, with Cristiano Ronaldo roving maniacally in apparent pursuit of some sort of Champions League final shots record.

It was time for Pep Guardiola to again make the switch that helped to destroy Real Madrid earlier that month: Lionel Messi inside to false nine – a long forgotten position his exquisite Barca team and mercurial forward were beginning to revive.

Samuel Eto'o shuffled from centre-forward to the right of the front three and duly opened the scoring. Messi belied his diminutive stature to net a wonderful second-half header and Barcelona unseated reigning European kings United 2-0, adding the most satisfying part of a historic 2008-09 treble.

Ten years on, the ripples from that captivating night at Rome's Stadio Olimpico can still be felt across modern football. For the outstanding coach and player of their generation, it was the night it became clear everything was possible.

Messi unleashed

The season that earned Messi the first of his five Ballons d'Or was undoubtedly a watershed moment in his career.

Prior to Guardiola's arrival the Argentinian kid with a fondness for pizza and fizzy drinks had suffered frequent injury problems. The 2008-09 campaign was the first where he appeared in more than 30 LaLiga matches.

It was also the first time he broke through 20 top-flight goals. Only twice in the intervening years has he failed to net more than 30.

Messi's game, as with all true greats, has continued to evolve. While he was the most dazzling cog in Guardiola's whirring 2008-09 machine, he now carries Barca on his slight shoulders to a greater degree than ever before.

It feels like heresy to suggest Messi might have become simply the latest "next Diego Maradona", a shimmering talent waylaid by injury and expectation. But that was a possibility 10 years ago.

The Champions League final against United coming hot on the heels of him inspiring a 6-2 routing of Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu demonstrated he was so much more. That he did it within Guardiola's intricate team structure was perhaps the most compelling element.

Messi looked like a superstar entirely at odds with the Galactico age. In that sense he was completely in tune with his coach.

Winning Romanticism

Guardiola's swift salvage job at Barcelona after success had turned to excess under Frank Rijkaard, primarily through giving a tranche of outstanding youngsters their head, is a well-worn tale.

However, the wider footballing landscape in which he prevailed was just as important in establishing the meticulous Catalan as this decade's foremost tactical influencer.

This was the age of 4-2-3-1 – power, pace, pragmatism and confirmation of an accepted basic truth. Flair and invention would always capture the imagination and maybe even win occasionally, but organisational and solidity were the foundation of major titles.

Bolt on a superstar signing or two in an era of ever-spiralling transfer fees and you satisfied both factions, or at least tried to. Real Madrid's "Zidanes y Pavones" model of combining hard-working local players with global superstar yielded mixed results.

The difference with Guardiola's La Masia graduates was his "Pavones" – the label given life by unremarkable Madrid defender Francisco Pavon, the unassuming face of the other side of the Galactico coin – included Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, players every bit as good as Zinedine Zidane.

Guardiola updated Johan Cruyff's Barcelona vision of slick passing and positional play with some of his own influences – namely tactical fundamentalists such as Marcelo Bielsa, Juan Manuel Lillo and Ricardo La Volpe, men romantically attached to their principles of how the game should be played, seemingly at the expense of major honours. Guardiola winning because of, and not despite, those virtues was revelatory.

It captured the imagination of fans everywhere, including some men with very deep pockets.

Petrol and ideas

Fast forward to Manchester City's domestic treble this season and the reaction in some quarters to Guardiola's latest masterpiece has been very different. He is the darling of the romantics no more.

Critics have expressed distaste that City's back-to-back Premier League points hauls of 100 and 98 come fuelled by an Abu Dhabi fortune, fearing their dominance to be a demonstration of a game broken beyond repair. This aspect of coverage seems to have troubled Guardiola, whose commitment to playing the "right" way – as Cruyff would see it – has always projected an element of football moralism.

Big finance and big success have long been easy bedfellows but the focus of City's spending – leaving aside its sources and any outcome of ongoing investigations – is significantly different because Guardiola was always their priority signing. His system suitably fitted out guaranteed success in a way that simply punting on the latest superstars would not.

Arsene Wenger's observation of City having "petrol and ideas" remains pertinent and the influence of the methods European football first fell for in Rome are easy to spot far beyond Manchester.

Bayern Munich, steeped in their own historically successful style, grabbed a piece of the action as Guardiola led them to three consecutive Bundesliga titles between 2013-14 and 2015-16. When he left Germany's top flight, his nearest rival was Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Tuchel. A disciple of the positional style, Tuchel is now trying to bring ideological focus to Paris Saint-Germain's own petrol.

Back at Barcelona, Gerard Pique this week dismissed suggestions that a dispiriting end to the season is in part down to a turn away from Guardiola's style.

The Champions League final will be contested by Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool and Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham – coaches who have come closer than most to finding the Guardiola antidote, but who similarly demonstrate the prime importance of a high-tempo, hard-working collective. Like Guardiola, they are the single most important people at their clubs. Real Madrid's mooted €500m spending spree on the biggest names looks a strangely dated approach by comparison.

Such cycles invariably come to an end, but for the foreseeable future football's course remains set by the magic Messi and his colleagues weaved so irresistibly 10 years ago.

Alex Ferguson praised Bayern Munich's footballing structure as the former Manchester United manager lauded the club's links to their past.

While United have struggled since Ferguson departed in 2013 – failing to win the Premier League – Bayern continue to dominate the Bundesliga with seven successive titles.

United finished sixth in 2018-19 as they missed out on Champions League qualification, while the Red Devils are still searching for a director of football to assist manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

And Ferguson hailed Bayern's hierarchy, which is led by president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

"They're a great club. It's a club run in the proper foundation of it," Ferguson told MUTV prior to Sunday's Treble Reunion game, which United won 5-0 at Old Trafford.

"Former players who run it really, Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, they run the club in the right way and they are always winning the league in Germany. They're a great club."

Solskjaer and United are facing a big off-season after finishing 32 points adrift of rivals and champions Manchester City.

Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia have already announced their departures, while there is uncertainty over Paul Pogba, David de Gea, Romelu Lukaku, Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez.

Jaap Stam, who won three consecutive Premier League trophies in three years in Manchester, said Solskjaer has to make some "hard decisions" in his quest to restore glory.

"I think we definitely could do with some more quality up front, in midfield and the back four as well," Stam told Sky Sports News.

"You want a squad that is competitive towards each other. Everyone needs to push each other to get the maximum out of everyone - to achieve something.

"As manager and as a club you need to have a look at that. After the last couple of seasons and how everything is going, I think it is good to re-evaluate everything in the team.

"Look at the players, what they have done and what they have achieved. Even players who have a contract for another three or four seasons - you need to make your choices towards them and what you want to do with them.

"At the end of the day the most important thing is to achieve the goals you set out, sometimes you need to make hard decisions to do that."

Matthijs de Ligt insists his next destination remains undecided as Barcelona and Manchester United reportedly battle for the star defender's signature.

The 19-year-old Netherlands international is one of the most wanted players in Europe and his impending departure from Ajax was confirmed by Erik ten Hag in April.

Where he will end up, however, continues to be a matter for debate, with speculation in recent weeks suggesting United could trump LaLiga champions Barca with a big-money bid.

Questions have been raised over just how much both clubs are willing to pay for the centre-back's services and the player himself is keeping all options open.

"Where do I see myself? Well, obviously the Premier League is a big competition, Spain also," De Ligt told reporters from a Netherlands training camp.

"But you have other competitions, it's not just about those two.

"I still don't know anything about where my future is, so I'll see how it goes. First we have to play two games and then after that I will see what happens next."

De Ligt heads into the off-season fresh from skippering Champions League semi-finalists Ajax to the Eredivisie title.

He and Ronald Koeman's Oranje side are preparing for a Nations League date with England on June 6, the winner of which will face either Switzerland or hosts Portugal in the final.

Jadon Sancho is guaranteed to stay at Borussia Dortmund for next season, according to CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.

England winger Sancho has been heavily linked with Manchester United after a standout 2018-19 in the Bundesliga, in which he registered 12 goals and 14 assists in 34 appearances.

Dortmund have always maintained they do not intend to sell the 19-year-old, though, and Watzke has made it clear Sancho is not on the market.

"It can be assumed that Jadon will not play more than 10 years at BVB," he said to Bild. "But we have clear agreements about the present. Jadon is not on the market and he plays next season at Borussia Dortmund, guaranteed."

Dortmund, who missed out on the league title to Bayern Munich by two points, have wasted little time in strengthening their squad.

Deals for Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard and Nico Schulz have all been confirmed in the past week, with the majority of the outlay funded by Christian Pulisic's move to Chelsea.

"If you look at the transfer fees, you see that we were not wasteful: we got around 64million euros for Christian Pulisic and invested about 10million euros net in the three new signings," said Watzke.

"We turned one into three. My big compliment goes to our sporting director Michael Zorc."

Next up among Dortmund's priorities is to extend the contracts of head coach Lucien Favre and midfielder Mario Gotze, with Watzke saying: "I feel they both feel very well. We will deal with these two topics in the next few weeks. We want to extend with both.

"With the runner-up spot, he [Favre] achieved more than we expected. He has finally given the team a clear style of play again. Lucien is the right person for Dortmund. In the second and third year, it will become clear whether we can collect titles together."

Champions Bayern have also made significant moves in the market, spending a reported €118m on deals for Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard and 19-year-old Jann-Fiete Arp.

They are also interested in Manchester City's Leroy Sane, something Watzke says he would be happy to see.

"I think it would be very good if Bayern bring Leroy Sane back as a German national player, because that would increase the appeal of the league. I would be the first to congratulate them," he added.

Undimmed by the passage of time and present-day struggles at Old Trafford, Manchester United's 1999 treble remains the greatest single-season achievement in English club football history.

While Manchester City's current domestic dominance is one of towering points totals and smashed records, Alex Ferguson's finest hour was one built upon a death-or-glory knife edge.

From Birmingham to Barcelona via Turin, a United side packed with household names secured their legacy in unforgettable style.

To mark the 20th anniversary of a remarkable triumph, we look back at some of the signature wins in a campaign that came to define Ferguson's Old Trafford dynasty.

Manchester United 2 Liverpool 0 (Premier League, September 24)

Never mind three trophies, United were yet to claim three league wins by the time bitter rivals Liverpool arrived at Old Trafford in late September and Ferguson's men had been beaten 3-0 by reigning champions Arsenal four days earlier. Denis Irwin hammered in a 19th-minute penalty after fellow Republic of Ireland international Jason McAteer was penalised for handball and Paul Scholes thrashed left-footed into the top corner 11 minutes from time to crown a trademark counter-attack. The victory launched a three-match winning streak – United were up and running.

Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1 (FA Cup fourth round, January 24)

Tottenham knocked a much-changed United out of the League Cup in December and Liverpool looked set to end their FA Cup ambitions after Michael Owen nodded in an early opener. Dwight Yorke converted Andy Cole's knockdown from a floated David Beckham free-kick to level in the 88th minute and, following some neat footwork from Scholes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pounced in stoppage-time – a theme we'll return to later.

Nottingham Forest 1 Manchester United 8 (Premier League, February 6)

Forest's day did not look like it could get much worse when Solskjaer trotted on to replace Yorke in the 71st minute, United already 4-1 to the good at the City Ground. The "Baby-Faced Assassin" duly pilfered four goals in the final 10 minutes of the contest as United clinically and mercilessly pulled their ill-equipped foes to pieces.

Benfica will not sell teenage forward Joao Felix unless his full €120million release clause is met, according to club chief Domingos Soares de Oliveira.

Joao Felix scored 15 Primeira Liga goals in a breakout season, reportedly attracting the attention of several top European clubs - including Premier League pair Manchester City and Manchester United.

But the 19-year-old has a significant release clause in his contract and Benfica do not plan to let the player move for anything less.

Indeed, Soares de Oliveira insists Benfica are in no rush to part with the Portugal youth international, not even for €100m.

"Selling for the release clause is what we are trying to do," Benfica's chief executive officer told TVI24. "If Joao Felix is to leave for another club, we are looking for them to meet the clause.

"But hopefully that will not happen. The aim is to keep the squad together.

"If someone bids €100m for Joao Felix, the intention is not to sell. €100m is a lot of money - there has never been a player sold for that amount in Portugal - but the aim is to win on the pitch.

"We will do everything to move in that direction. If they do not bid €120m, the player stays."

Soares de Oliveira added that there is still the possibility Benfica will look to alter the release clause, though Felix's interests must be considered in any negotiations.

"I believe the president still has the intention to review it," he said. "But on the other side, there is the player, the agent, the family.

"What we have to consider is the potential of the player, as long as we can convince the other club.

"No offer has come. There are talks and rumours - the biggest European clubs have been linked - but no proposal has come to us."

And Soares de Oliveira adds that Benfica do not necessarily now need to sell their top players, as was the case in previous years.

"The financial situation is more robust than in the past, but still the sale remains part of the business," he said. "[Outgoing players] do not need to be the starters."

Manchester United have announced they will be playing against manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's hometown club Kristiansund during pre-season.

Both the United men's and women's teams will play in Oslo, with Solskjaer's side tackling Kristiansund on July 30 at the Ullevaal Stadium, while Casey Stoney's will take on Valerenga at the Intility Arena the next day.

Solskjaer said: "I am delighted we are playing a match against Kristiansund BK, they are from my hometown in Norway, which is an added bonus for me.

"We have a massive following in Scandinavia and it's great that I meet United supporters wherever I go in Norway.

"This match will be really important in terms of our preparation for the new season.

"We want to hit the ground running and give ourselves a chance to challenge once the new campaign starts and the best way to do that is with some momentum behind you."

Former striker Solskjaer took over from Jose Mourinho in December and, although late-season results saw United miss out on a Champions League spot, he proved to be a popular appointment as permanent boss with the club's fans.

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic said he would "love" to play alongside Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann at Camp Nou.

Griezmann has announced his plan to leave Atletico after five years, with LaLiga champions Barca emerging as the favourites to sign the French World Cup-winning forward.

The 28-year-old turned down a move to Barca last year but Rakitic would relish the opportunity to team up with Griezmann.

"He is a top-level player, [among] the best in the world, and of course I would love to have Griezmann on my team," Rakitic told Mundo Deportivo.

"He is a great professional who has won almost everything and that surely can add to any team."

Rakitic's future is also uncertain amid links with Serie A side Inter and Premier League giants Manchester United.

The 31-year-old has won four LaLiga titles – including back-to-back – and the Champions League since arriving from fellow Spanish side Sevilla in 2014.

But, with Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong set to join in 2019-20, Barca are reportedly open to selling Croatia international Rakitic.

Rakitic, however, dismissed the speculation by saying: "I cannot explain where this information comes from.

"I have great respect for all the teams, and Inter is a very important club that I faced this year in the Champions League.

"Some of my national team team-mates play for them, but I am right now where I want to be. If they are thinking of me, it is because my performances are positive, but I am happy at Barcelona. My family is also very well and I have no other thoughts."

Paul Pogba and Eden Hazard joining Real Madrid is possible because great players are always welcome at the club, says Raphael Varane.

Madrid have been linked with big-money moves for the Manchester United midfielder and Chelsea winger as Zinedine Zidane looks to rebuild the squad following a disappointing 2018-19 season.

Pogba has struggled to stamp his mark on United since returning in 2016 for a then world-record £89million, while Hazard appears set to leave Stamford Bridge with just one year remaining on his contract.

Varane, who has vowed to remain with the club next term despite links to the likes of United and Juventus, believes players of such calibre will always have a place at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"I can't say what I talk to [Pogba] about, but any great player has a place at Madrid and he is one," Varane told Marca.

"In Madrid there is a lot of competition. It is a possibility, there is a lot of noise around and we will see in August where he is."

On Hazard, he added: "I've known him since I started at Lens. He is a top player and it's like I said to explain the case with Pogba, he could also play at Madrid.

"He is in the best moment of his career with the age and quality he has. When we [France] faced [Belgium] in the World Cup semi-finals we knew we had to have a special plan to stop him."

Madrid have long been expected to sign a new striker to replace Karim Benzema, but the former Lyon man hit 30 goals in all competitions this season – his best since the 2011-12 campaign.

"To play for Madrid for 10 years and also being the number nine you have to be very good and have a huge mental strength. He is very talented and has reached a moment of fulfilment," said Varane.

"He knows himself very well, he knows what he has to do to be at his best level and he has had a very good season.

"It may be the best of his career, and it is true that I have seen him very comfortable in his role as leader of the attack. I am very happy for him."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains the "perfect match" for Manchester United and should be treated with patience at Old Trafford, according to Robin van Persie.

United appointed Solskjaer on an interim basis following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho in December and he lost just one of his first 17 matches at the helm, reigniting a push for a top-four finish in the Premier League and recovering from a 2-0 deficit against Paris Saint-Germain to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

The Norwegian was consequently handed a three-year contract but oversaw a dismal end to the campaign, winning just twice more as the Red Devils had to settle for a place in the Europa League next season.

Van Persie, part of the last United side to win the Premier League under Alex Ferguson in 2012-13, believes Solskjaer deserves more time due to his history with the club.

"I think it's the perfect match, it's just they're having a bad spell," Van Persie told BBC Sport.

"Back in the day it was normal for a manager to get time. Nowadays if you lose six games, you're out. Is that the solution? Give someone time, especially if it's a kid from the club.

"It's funny because when he started everyone was so positive, they were winning and they made a miracle by beating PSG.

"Everyone was screaming like, 'Give the guy a permanent deal'. And then since that permanent deal the luck went away a little bit; they've been losing more games than they want to.

"But he got a three-year deal and everyone should look at the bigger picture. His presence, the way he presents the club, is the proper way in my opinion. He's positive, he wants to achieve big things with the club and that is the only way forward.

"He's a man of the club, he played there for more than 10 years, he won the Champions League - actually his goal got them the Champions League [in 1998-99] - so he has a big part over the years at the club.

"He's been a coach of the reserves, he is Manchester United. Similar, in a different way, to Ferguson. He was Manchester United and Solskjaer is Manchester United as well.

"Everyone has that at a certain time. He had a fantastic first period - now the last 12 games have been tough. Okay, but next season they have to pick themselves up and go again."

France head coach Didier Deschamps is happy to give Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba his opinion on their futures but has warned them to be sure they make the right choice for their careers.

Atletico Madrid striker Griezmann confirmed last week that he intends to leave the Wanda Metropolitano at the end of the season, despite only agreeing a new five-year contract last year.

Pogba, meanwhile, has been heavily linked with a move to LaLiga giants Real Madrid after a largely difficult season with Manchester United.

Deschamps – who has named both players in his squad for a friendly against Bolivia and subsequent Euro 2020 qualifiers against Turkey and Andorra next month – will give them his view but is keen for them not to come to regret their decisions.

"Players are making choices, I'm not there to advise them," he told a media conference.

"I'm here to give them my opinion, but it's about them. It depends on their career, people and family.

"Most of them ask for my opinion. They can use it or not; it's not my choice.

"What matters is that when they decide something important, they think it is the correct choice. But sometimes you think, 'yes it's a good choice to join that club' and then it's not. It's easy to say after the fact. It goes well or badly."

Despite criticism of Pogba's form towards the end of the campaign, he ended 2018-19 with 13 Premier League goals and a further nine assists – more than any of his United team-mates managed – and earned a place in the PFA Team of the Year.

Deschamps believes people are too quick to find faults in the 26-year-old's game and says he brings a lot more than just goals.

"I hope you're watching all his games in the Premier League," he added. "We see Paul when he scores and gives assists, but Paul is not just about that. With us, he scores fewer goals, but he was and still is very important.

"A season lasts 10 months and players can't be at their peak all the time. With France, he knows I'm asking him different things because we have a team, and he's doing it very well."

Toni Kroos does not believe he will have any problems keeping his place at Real Madrid even if Paul Pogba arrives at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Despite being linked with a move away from the club, Kroos signed a contract extension with Madrid until 2023 on Monday.

After finishing 19 points adrift of Barcelona in LaLiga and failing to win another trophy following their FIFA Club World Cup triumph in December, Zinedine Zidane is expected to overhaul the Madrid squad.

Manchester United midfielder Pogba has long since been viewed as a likely target for Madrid and has made no secret of his admiration for Los Blancos.

Madrid are also expected to make a push to sign Eden Hazard, while Kylian Mbappe's comments that he wants more responsibility either at Paris Saint-Germain or "elsewhere" have fuelled talk of a move for the World Cup winner.

Asked about what impact Pogba's potential arrival could have on his place in the Madrid engine room, Kroos told a media conference: "That doesn't change anything for me.

"I've fought for my place, played well, I don't think I'll have any problems to play.

"I don't know who's going to go, I don't know who's going to come. I've spoken to the manager, I know what his idea is. I'm going to be important, I can't say anything else.

"I don't know how many changes there are going to be. I've never had any doubts about my future. I want to be here always, and I've always said that."

On the subject of the speculation surrounding Mbappe, Kroos said: "I like Mbappe as a player but that question's not for me really. I can't buy him, I've got a good contract but I can't buy him. That's a question for the club."

Kroos has previously expressed a desire to end his career at Madrid and that seemingly remains his ambition, the Germany midfielder confident he can still produce his best for the length of his new contract.

"Many times, after the game against Ajax for example, I admitted that I wasn't at my level, I've got no problem to say that," said Kroos.

"I really want to improve how I played but before I played four years consistently well, this year I played worse than the four years before that's true. I'm still the same player, 29 years of age, and I still have three or four years at the top level I'm sure.

"The idea is to practically finish my career here, at age 38 I don't think I'll still be playing. The idea is this will be my last long contract here."

Nicolas Pepe will leave Lille for a "great European team" in the next transfer window, the Ligue 1 side's coach Christophe Galtier has confirmed.

Pepe has been in outstanding form for Lille this season, scoring 22 league goals from 37 appearances as Galtier's side secured a second-place finish.

His performances have reportedly drawn interest from a number of high-profile suitors, and Galtier conceded Lille have little choice but to cash in on the 23-year-old.

"Nicolas Pepe will leave. Life's like that, football's like that today," Galtier told Canal+.

"He is a player of the highest level who will have a big decision to make on the choice of his next club.

"There will be a battle between the great European teams. I hope that he will take good amount of time to think about it, do his research."

Pepe scored twice in Lille's 5-0 win over his former club Angers on Saturday.

Premier League clubs Liverpool and Manchester United have been credited with an interest, though Paris Saint-Germain are also reportedly eager to sign the Ivory Coast international.

Jadon Sancho said he hopes to win the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund next season amid links to the Premier League.

The 19-year-old winger, who arrived at Dortmund from Manchester City in 2017, is reportedly a transfer target for Manchester United after a season in which he emerged as one of Europe's hottest talents.

Sancho scored 12 goals and tallied a league-leading 14 assists in 34 Bundesliga appearances, while he impressed on his England debut to attract interest from abroad.

Dortmund's failure to pip Bayern Munich to the league title may yet prompt an increase in clubs plotting a swoop for Sancho's signature, but he indicated he would be staying at Signal-Iduna-Park in 2019-20.

"I'm really happy with how I played this season," Sancho told reporters after Dortmund's 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach on the final day of the season, which was not enough as Bayern triumphed by two points.

"I never knew it was going to be like this. From the start I wasn't really playing often, but then I started playing often later in the season. It was all about hard work.

"The team helped me and the coach has faith me in me and I'm thankful. Next season we'll be targeting the win, not to come second."

One Dortmund player who is certain to leave the club is Christian Pulisic, who is heading to Chelsea after spending a season on loan ahead of his move to Stamford Bridge.

Sancho wished the United States international well, saying: "I'll miss [Pulisic] for sure.

"I'm happy for him and I wish him the best at Chelsea. I'm sure he's going to enjoy it there but I'm really going to miss him."

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