Gibraltar Under-19s suffered a 16-1 defeat to 10-man Switzerland in qualifying for the European Under-19 Championship on Tuesday, rounding off a week in which they have conceded 43 goals.

Following on from a 14-0 loss to Austria and a 13-0 defeat at the hands of Ireland on November 14 and 16 respectively, Gibraltar will have been hoping for a change in fortune in the meeting with the Swiss.

But the youngsters suffered more of the same as Switzerland raced into a 5-0 lead by the 33rd minute - Brighton and Hove Albion's Lorent Tolaj helping himself to a hat-trick - in Strasswalchen, Austria.

A red card for Switzerland's Noel Wetz enabled Craig Galliano to convert the resulting penalty and give Gibraltar one thing to be pleased about, considering it was their first goal in 11 games, ending a run which stretched back to 2015.

Yet any hopes Galliano's goal would spark a miracle comeback were ended within a minute as Tolaj got his fourth before Felix Mambimbi's penalty paved the way for a further 11 Switzerland goals in the second half.

Tolaj scored three to take his total to seven, substitute Darian Males claimed a hat-trick and Orges Bunjaku also netted his third goal, with Ilan Sauter and Simon Sohm getting in on the act as Switzerland scored six goals in the final 13 minutes.

Luis Enrique has returned as Spain head coach, replacing Robert Moreno at the helm heading into Euro 2020.

The former Barcelona coach stepped away from his role earlier this year as his young daughter Xana battled bone cancer. She died in August.

Former assistant Moreno took on the job in his place, but Luis Enrique is now back in charge, taking over a Spain team arguably in better shape than the one he left.

Qualification for Euro 2020 is clinched, while Moreno brought in a number of new faces - including members of Spain's successful European Under-21 Championship side.

Luis Enrique would do well to note the progress under Moreno, and we have picked out five breakthrough stars who can have a role to play at next year's finals and beyond.


FABIAN RUIZ

Arguably the outstanding player of that European Under-21 Championship team, Napoli midfielder Fabian had already caught Luis Enrique's attention and was called up in March. It was under Moreno that he established himself, though, making six appearances since his June debut. Fabian idolised Xavi as a child and he looks capable of running the midfield at the Euros.

PABLO SARABIA

Slightly older than some of the new faces at 27, Sarabia was made to wait until after his big move to Paris Saint-Germain in July for a first call-up. It will not be easy to hold down a place at PSG and nor has a fledgling international career been straightforward, but injuries saw Sarabia, an exciting, effective creator, recalled this month and he scored against Malta.

DANI OLMO

Winger Olmo left Barcelona's academy for Dinamo Zagreb in 2014 but, still just 21, looks all the better for the first-team opportunities. He starred for the Under-21s and then scored three minutes into his senior debut. Olmo is already fielding questions on a potential return to Barca and, whether now or in the future, looks set to be a Spain regular.

MIKEL OYARZABAL

Although 22-year-old Oyarzabal had featured once for Spain before Moreno took charge, he never featured under Luis Enrique - earning his sole cap for Vicente del Bosque ahead of Euro 2016, for which he did not make the squad. After a couple of seasons scoring regularly in LaLiga, however, Oyarzabal is back in the mix and opened his international account against Sweden in June.

GERARD MORENO

Sarabia may have been made to wait for senior recognition, but Gerard - also 27 - is a true late bloomer. Uncapped at youth level, the Villarreal striker debuted in October and scored three times across the November international break. Gerard has netted eight goals in LaLiga already this season and will hope to retain his form with the Euros approaching fast.

The management team of the Reggae Boyz have expressed disappointment at the performance against Guyana at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on Monday night.

Luis Rubiales does not believe the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) is guilty of mis-handling Luis Enrique's return to the role of Spain coach, despite Robert Moreno reportedly being upset at how the situation has been managed.

Rubiales confirmed on Tuesday that Luis Enrique will return as coach and lead Spain at Euro 2020.

The former Barcelona coach began a leave of absence in March and officially resigned in June as his young daughter, Xana, battled bone cancer. She died in August.

Moreno took over and won each of his three matches while overseeing the team in a caretaker capacity and recorded a further four wins and two draws after assuming the position on a permanent basis.

He will reportedly not return to his previous role as Luis Enrique's assistant and is said to have left the Wanda Metropolitano in tears after Monday's emphatic 5-0 victory over Romania.

Rubiales, however, is adamant no blame should be laid at the feet of the RFEF.

"It was clear that in the moment that Luis Enrique felt strong to return, the door was always open for him," Rubiales told a media conference. "I have always said that, and have always been honest, nobody can feel tricked.

"We want to thank Robert Moreno for his work, he did very well, and we are very happy with what he did. But Robert Moreno told us he'd spoken with Luis Enrique, who had told him he wanted to return. We found out through Moreno that Luis Enrique wanted to return.

"We knew Luis Enrique wanted to return but [sporting director Jose Francisco] Molina and I decided not to say anything until after the qualification phase was done.

"On Sunday, Molina spoke with Robert Moreno, and Robert Moreno said he wanted to know now what is going to happen. Molina told him to wait, but if Luis Enrique wants to return to his job we will consider it.

"On Monday, we received a message from Robert Moreno, who said he would not stand in the way of Luis Enrique returning.

"The first person who knew that Luis Enrique wanted to return, even before us at the federation, was Robert Moreno.

"We have always acted with respect and transparency. And we have kept our word. The federation has acted coherently with everyone. We are loyal to Luis Enrique and the person who occupied his job.

"Luis Enrique stepped down for the worst possible thing that can happen in a family. He has always been the leader of our project and has a contract until the [2022] World Cup in Qatar.

"We had a meeting set up with Robert Moreno at 10:00 (9:00 GMT) this morning. But he did not come, just two lawyers. If he decided not to talk to the press yesterday [following the Romania game], we must respect that.

"I believe we have acted - on all levels, with humility - I cannot find any mistake. If there was one I would apologise, but we have been very honest."

Bonucci renews with Juve

November 19, 2019

Leonardo Bonucci has signed a contract extension with Juventus running until June 2024, the Serie A champions have confirmed.

Italy centre-back Bonucci is in his second spell at Juve, having stunned the football world with a €42million switch to AC Milan in 2017.

However, the 32-year-old was back in Turin for the start of the following campaign and he has now committed for the next four-and-a-half seasons.

Initially signed from Bari in 2010, Bonucci has made 376 appearances and scored 17 times for the Bianconeri.

He has proved a pivotal figure under Maurizio Sarri, who was installed as Juventus head coach before the start of the 2019-20 season.

Bonucci is an ever-present in Serie A and the Champions League this term, while also featuring for the national team throughout their unblemished qualification campaign for Euro 2020.

Monday's 9-1 thrashing of Armenia was Bonucci's 95th cap for Italy.

Juve are also reported to be closing in on contract renewals for goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and winger Juan Cuadrado.

Leonardo Bonucci has signed a contract extension with Juventus running until June 2024, the Serie A champions have confirmed.

Brazil eased the pressure on Tite as they ended a five-match winless run with a comfortable 3-0 win over South Korea on Tuesday.

Tite has come under scrutiny as Brazil have failed to claim a victory since winning the Copa America in July.

Their miserable run included a 1-0 loss to arch rivals Argentina on Friday, but they bounced back in style in Abu Dhabi.

Lucas Paqueta opened the scoring early on and a brilliant Philippe Coutinho free-kick doubled the lead for Brazil, who secured a routine triumph through Juventus defender Danilo's second-half goal.

Paqueta broke the deadlock in the 10th minute, meeting Renan Lodi's superb cross with a stooping header after the Atletico Madrid full-back had been played in down the left by Coutinho.

Lodi continued to cause problems going forward but South Korea also threatened in an entertaining first half.

Son Heung-min bent an effort narrowly wide but South Korea's task was made considerably harder when Coutinho doubled their deficit in style.

The Bayern Munich winger found the top-left corner with a stunning free-kick from 25 yards after Hwang Ui-jo hacked down Fabinho.

South Korea were almost gifted a lifeline in an incredible passage of play as Alisson fumbled Jung Woo-young's low free-kick, with Coutinho kicking the ball against his own post in the resulting scramble before clearing behind for a corner.

However, Brazil made the game safe on the hour mark as Danilo met Lodi's pull back with a rasping drive that Cho Hyun-woo could not handle despite getting both hands to the shot.

Brazil took their foot off the gas thereafter, with South Korea reduced to efforts from distance as they failed to score for the third successive game.


What does it mean? Relief for Tite

Brazil will not play another international until the start of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers in March, and the manner of their victory will make Tite breathe a little easier following a troubling run of form. South Korea were always second best but there was nothing in their performance that suggested they will fail to progress to the third round of AFC qualifying. South Korea have yet to taste defeat in the second round.

Renan carries the Lodi

Lodi was excellent down the left for Brazil, he carried a constant threat and was rewarded with two assists. Atletico will want to see more of the same from Lodi when he returns to club action.

Hot-headed Hwang

South Korea were still very much in the game at 1-0 down but Hwang's rush of blood afforded Coutinho the opportunity to give them a mountain to climb and he took it in magnificent fashion.

What's next?

Brazil will learn their first opponents in qualifying when the draw is made next month. South Korea will compete for the East Asian title in December before returning to qualifying action in March.

Matthijs de Ligt feels a degree of regret about choosing Juventus over Barcelona, according to the Catalan club's director of youth football Patrick Kluivert.

Juve beat out strong competition to sign Netherlands international De Ligt from Ajax in June.

The defender had been heavily linked to LaLiga champions Barca but opted to sign a five-year deal in Turin after Ajax accepted an offer worth an initial €75million.

De Ligt was thrust into the starting XI after Giorgio Chiellini suffered a serious knee injury and has faced criticism for conceding two penalties – both for handball – in his nine Serie A appearances.

Former Netherlands striker Kluivert believes the 20-year-old may now be second-guessing his transfer choice.

"I would not say I tried to convince him, I could only tell him very good things about both Barcelona the city, as well as the club," Kluivert told Mundo Deportivo when asked about talks he held with De Ligt.

"But in the end it is the player and his agent who decide. Of course De Ligt is a great defender, but in the end he made a choice. I think he is a little sorry, but it is what it is.

"In life you make choices and sometimes you do it well and sometimes badly. You have to learn from your decisions."

Frenkie de Jong, De Ligt's former Ajax team-mate, did make the move to Barca in the close season and has flourished, with Kluivert praising the "very high quality" midfielder.

Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman coaches both players at international level and has called the Barca job a "possibility" beyond Euro 2020, after which a clause in his contract would allow him to leave for Camp Nou.

When asked whether Koeman could return to the club as head coach, Kluivert told SPORT: "I don't know, maybe, but I insist, out of respect for Valverde, I don't want to talk about other coaches when there's one in a job at this club."

He added: "I know Ronald very well. Out of respect for Valverde, I don't want to position myself.

"[Koeman] is a very good coach, he's doing really well with the Dutch national team."

Kingsley Coman was back running at Bayern Munich's training ground after leaving the France squad early with a muscle problem.

Coman was forced off in the 88th minute of France's 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifying victory over Moldova on Thursday. He was sent home early by France, meaning he missed Sunday's 2-0 away win in Albania.

An examination by Bayern's chief medical officer Dr. Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt revealed a muscle hardening in his thigh.

Bayern said the former Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus forward would undertake a reduced training programme following the injury but he appeared to making progress at the club's Saebener Strasse training ground on Tuesday.

The defending Bundesliga champions are third in the table, four points adrift of leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.

Bayern visit Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday, before travelling to Serbia to face Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.

Luis Enrique has returned to the role of Spain coach and will lead the 2010 world champions at Euro 2020.

The former Barcelona and Roma boss began a leave of absence in March and officially resigned in June as his young daughter, Xana, battled bone cancer. She died in August.

Robert Moreno replaced Luis Enrique and won each of his three matches while overseeing the team in a caretaker capacity and recorded a further four wins and two draws after stepping into the position on a permanent basis.

However, Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales confirmed on Tuesday that Luis Enrique will re-assume charge of the two-time European champions, and rejected any talk of the governing body mismanaging the situation.

"On Sunday [RFEF sports director Jose Francisco] Molina spoke with Robert Moreno, and Robert Moreno said he wanted to know now what is going to happen. Molina told him to wait until after games, but if Luis Enrique wants to return to his job we will consider it," Rubiales said.

"On Monday, we received a message from Robert Moreno, who said he would not stand in way of Luis Enrique returning.

"The first person who knew that Luis Enrique wanted to return, even before us at the federation, was Robert Moreno.

"We have always acted with respect and transparency. And we have kept our word. The federation has acted coherently with everyone. We are loyal to Luis Enrique and the person who occupied his job."

Moreno, who will not resume his former role as an assistant, reportedly left the Wanda Metropolitano in tears following Monday's convincing 5-0 victory over Romania, officially his sixth game as head coach.

Ahead of the Romania match, Spain's final qualifying fixture, he reportedly learned of the RFEF's plans to replace him and is said to have been upset with the handling of Luis Enrique's return.

Moreno skipped the usual post-match media conference, which was reportedly his own decision.

In September, Moreno said of Luis Enrique: "If one day he wants to return, I will be happy to step aside and work with him."

Ex-Celta and Girona head coach Juan Carlos Unzue is instead expected to take over as assistant as the team builds towards Euro 2020.

Marcus Rashford believes England's "frightening" attacking talent can power the World Cup semi-finalists to a successful Euro 2020.

Gareth Southgate's side cruised through qualifying for next year's tournament, winning seven of eight matches and scoring 37 times.

Only once before – in 1908 – have England struck more goals in competitive matches in a calendar year than the 38 scored in 2019.

Question marks remain over certain positions in the starting XI but in Rashford, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling there looks to be a defined and dangerous attacking trio.

"I think it is a good combination," said Manchester United forward Rashford.

"But we have played games without that particular front three and it is frightening what we can do as a group of attackers.

"I think all of these games are just gearing you up for the summer and if we go into the summer anywhere near the sort of form we have been in recently then it will be a successful tournament."

Rashford was among the scorers as England signed off from qualifying with a 4-0 win over Kosovo on Sunday.

Jadon Sancho, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who started in Pristina, are among those pressing for spots, while Jamie Vardy could add another element to the squad if the in-form Leicester City striker reverses his international retirement.

Rashford said: "I have been in two tournaments now and the squad is so important.

"With the qualities that every individual has in this team, it is something we have to use to our advantage. People are going to be playing at different moments but when you are on the pitch you have to do your best and try to come up with the goods.

"It is good competition. We really do have that kind of environment when we are in the camp together and it is positive."

It was the year of Easy Rider, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Midnight Cowboy, Kes and The Italian Job; Abbey Road, Let It Bleed, Dusty In Memphis and Kick Out The Jams.

OK boomer.

Woodstock was a totemic cultural moment in 1969 - but so too the first flight of the Boeing 747, the wedding and bed-in of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, the Stonewall riots and the first manned Moon landing, Neil Armstrong and all that jazz. And jazz. Miles Davis’ classic In A Silent Way split critics down the middle.

There was Monty Python's television debut but also the Manson Family murders and the ongoing Vietnam War. The US magazine Life revealed at least 12 million Americans had experimented with marijuana.

All very adult, magic meets toxic; spaceman versus off your face, man.

Little wonder then, that when Pele scored his 1,000th career goal on November 19 of that year he begged the world to please think of the children. The babes of US boomers may have been treated to the very first broadcast of Scooby Doo on CBS in September, but Pele knew the kids in Brazil were still being sold short as the end of the decade drew near.

"For the love of God, people," the 29-year-old Pele said in Rio de Janeiro, on that historic night. "Now that everyone is listening, help the children, help the helpless. That's my only wish at this very special time for me."

Paul Pogba has decided where he wants his next move to be, while Mauricio Pochettino is nearing a Tottenham exit.

Pogba, 26, was linked with a Manchester United departure during the close season but ended up staying at Old Trafford.

However, the France midfielder's future remains a talking point.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA PREFERS JUVENTUS RETURN OVER MADRID MOVE

Pogba would prefer to return to Juventus but would not say no to Real Madrid, according to Tuttosport.

The Serie A champions and LaLiga giants were the two clubs most heavily linked with a move for Pogba – who is contracted until 2021 – during the close season.

A potential Juve deal for Pogba could see Mario Mandzukic head to Manchester United, the report says.

ROUND-UP

- Pochettino has held "crisis talks" with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy as he nears an exit, according to The Telegraph. Spurs have struggled this season and sit 14th in the Premier League table through 12 games.

- While Mandzukic is wanted by United, Borussia Dortmund are ready to compete for the striker, according to Kicker. Mandzukic starred during two seasons with Bayern Munich before leaving the Bundesliga in 2014.

- Spain have offered Luis Enrique a chance to lead the nation at Euro 2020, according to AS. The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have called a news conference for Tuesday, with Luis Enrique reportedly set to replace Robert Moreno at the helm.

- Manchester United are preparing to try to sign both Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and RB Salzburg's Erling Haaland in January, according to Goal. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to try and strengthen his squad with United nine points adrift of the top four in the Premier League.

- Chelsea attacker Willian and Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz have slowed contract talks with their respective clubs amid interest from Barcelona, according to Mundo Deportivo. Willian is out of contract at season's end, while Fabian's deal runs until 2023.

- Manchester City are considering making a move for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, according to the Mirror. The Premier League champions lost Aymeric Laporte to a knee injury in September and may look to strengthen, although the Frenchman is expected to be back in early 2020.

Roberto Mancini is unsure if rivals are worried about Italy ahead of Euro 2020, but feels they may prefer to avoid playing his side at the tournament.

Italy completed a perfect qualifying campaign in Group J with a 9-1 demolition of Armenia in Palermo on Monday.

While their impressive performances are sure to see them considered among the favourites at next year's showpiece tournament, Mancini feels other nations are ahead of Italy in their growth.

"I don't know if they are worried or not," the Italy coach told a news conference.

"I think they are stronger because they are one step ahead with their plan. France started some years ago, they reached a Euro final and won the World Cup. They are young and I think they are one of the strongest teams. Spain the same.

"Belgium in the last five, six years produced a lot of outstanding talents. Then England.

"All those teams stared earlier. Italy has a great history. I don't think other teams will face Italy easily.

"Maybe they are not scared, buy if they could choose would face another opponent instead of Italy."

Ciro Immobile and Nicolo Zaniolo scored braces against Armenia, while Nicolo Barella, Alessio Romagnoli, Jorginho, Riccardo Orsolini and Federico Chiesa were also on the scoresheet.

Mancini praised his players for their improvement and hopes there is more to come from Italy at Euro 2020.

"These are all young lads who are improving game by game. Playing at international level brings experience, they've got the quality, it's just a matter of time," he told Rai Sport.

"We’ll see what happens at Euro 2020. We'd never won all 10 games in a qualifying group, we've got six months to prepare for the championship and unfortunately I will have to leave some behind, as I can only bring 23 players.

"If we can continue like this, that would be great."

The draw for the final tournament will be held on November 30.

Lionel Scaloni is satisfied with Argentina's progress after a friendly draw against Uruguay on Monday.

Argentina came from behind twice to secure a 2-2 draw in Tel Aviv, where Lionel Messi's stoppage-time penalty cancelled out Luis Suarez's goal after Edinson Cavani and Sergio Aguero had struck earlier.

It extended Argentina's unbeaten run to seven matches as they continued preparations for 2022 World Cup qualifying, which begins next year.

Scaloni is pleased with Argentina's development, although the coach still sees room for improvement.

"At the level of results, we are fine. At the level of the game, it can be improved," he said, via Ole.

"The team feeling is the best we have. The important thing is that the players who play do it well. Some make a difference and others support."

Scaloni acknowledged the challenge awaiting his team, describing the CONMEBOL qualifiers as the toughest in the world.

"Now we have to think about what we did well and what we can correct. What is coming is difficult," he said.

"I spoke with people from Uruguay. It will be difficult in the qualifiers. Those in South America are the most difficult in the world.

"We have a good base."

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