Eden Hazard's time at Real Madrid will develop into something "very special", according to Belgium coach Roberto Martinez.

Hazard appeared to be finding some form for Madrid before suffering an ankle injury in a Champions League draw against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

The former Chelsea star has just one goal and two assists in 13 games this season, but Martinez believes the Belgium playmaker will become a Madrid star.

"I saw Eden at the [Santiago] Bernabeu against PSG and I have to say that we saw a fascinating hour," Martinez said on Saturday.

"He taught us how his season with Real Madrid will be and the truth is that it makes your mouth water.

"Too bad he had to come off because of the injury, but we see an Eden Hazard that is going to contribute more and more, that his mates know him more and more and the truth is that the project of Eden at Real Madrid will be very special."

Martinez was speaking after Belgium were drawn to face Denmark, Finland and Russia in Group B at Euro 2020.

Another player sure to be key to possible success for Belgium at next year's tournament is Romelu Lukaku, who has scored 11 goals in 17 games for Inter this season.

"The truth is that he had a very difficult period in Manchester United, especially the last six months," Martinez said about the striker.

"He is now leading a project with Antonio Conte and it will be very interesting to see its evolution."

Luis Enrique was "looking on the bright side" after Spain were handed a good draw for the group stage at Euro 2020.

Spain will face Sweden, Poland and a play-off winner in Group E, with all their games to be played at San Mames in Bilbao.

The three-time European champions avoided the 'group of death' – featuring France, Germany and Portugal – and Luis Enrique was satisfied.

"It's about always looking on the bright side," the Spain coach told reporters.

"If we had to face France or Portugal, finishing first or second we would have avoided them until the end, which is not bad either way. Now future planning doesn't make much sense.

"I'm happy for the draw and to come back to represent the Spanish national team. Now let's wait for the months to pass to arrive at the competition."

With Spain playing at home, Luis Enrique said San Mames was among Europe's best stadiums.

"For me, without any doubt, San Mames is one of the most beautiful stadiums in Europe, along with Wembley. It's wonderful, beautiful," he said.

"The atmosphere that we are going to live there will be full of support and I hope not to disappoint, that we can do great in the group stages and win the three games."

Spain will begin their campaign against Sweden on June 15.

Didier Deschamps accepted France faced a huge test at Euro 2020 as Germany coach Joachim Low had no doubt Group F was the "group of death".

World champions France were drawn alongside Euro 2016 winners Portugal and Germany, plus a play-off winner, in the group on Saturday.

Deschamps acknowledged his team would be challenged in Group F, which will be played in Budapest and Munich.

"It's a difficult group, but I think that Joachim Low and Portugal head coach [Fernando Santos] think the same thing. It's the hardest group, but we have to accept it," he said.

"We will need to be ready at the beginning of the competition because our first game will be against Germany in Munich. They will play at home.

"On paper, it's a tough group. These two teams have many qualities and they recently had good results."

France's first match will be against Germany at the Allianz Arena on June 16 before playing two games in Budapest.

Deschamps said: "It could be better, but what can we do? Germany and Portugal are in our group. We know when we will play and where.

"We still have to wait to know our third opponent. But we already know the quality of two of our opponents. So we can prepare to be ready for the match day."

Low was surprisingly happy about getting the opportunity to play against France and Portugal, but said it was undoubtedly the toughest group.

"At first I feel joy because these are highlight games against France and Portugal. We play against the reigning world champions and European champions," the Germany coach said.

"I think the players are also looking forward to these games. Of course it's a group of death. Everyone in this group has to go to the limit if they want to get ahead.

"But I think that these games will be football festivals. Then we also play in Germany. I'm looking forward to it."

Gareth Southgate is relishing renewing acquaintances with Croatia after England were drawn to face the side that beat them in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup at Euro 2020.

Mario Mandzukic's extra-time winner sent Zlatko Dalic's men through to the final in Russia at the expense of the Three Lions.

England gained a measure of revenge for that loss by edging out Croatia to reach last season's Nations League Finals.

They have since progressed to Euro 2020 courtesy of a free-scoring qualifying campaign with a youthful squad, although Southgate believes any suggestions Croatia's experienced generation led by Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic is on the slide are premature.

"I thought that maybe 12 months ago but they recovered really well in their group," he told BBC Sport after having confirmation Croatia will be England's first opponents of the competition at Wembley on June 14.

"We know the quality of their midfield players when they can leave [Mateo] Kovacic on the bench.

"That tells you a story. That's a really top-level fixture."

A draw in Bucharest that placed holders Portugal, Germany and world champions France in the same Group F fell favourable for England, who will also take on the Czech Republic and the winner of the play-off path featuring Scotland, Israel, Norway and Serbia in Group D.

"There are eight to 10 top nations. If you look at the history of European Championships, there are so many different winners," Southgate said.

"A lot of teams prepare their squads for the World Cups, they rebuild after World Cups. The margins are really, really fine."

England hammered the Czech Republic 5-0 at Wembley in qualification, with Raheem Sterling scoring a hat-trick, but they were beaten 2-1 in the return fixture.

"We were very poor in Prague," Southgate conceded. "They've definitely improved. A new coach [Jaroslav Silhavy] has had time to bed in, a couple of younger players came into their squad.

"We know we have to be on our game. It won’t be like the first game at Wembley, that's for sure.

"If you can win and be top seeds, you've got to try and take control of your own destiny. We've got to be confident of our own ability and take on whoever comes."

The multi-host format of Euro 2020 means major-tournament football returns to England's national stadium for the first time since Southgate and his team-mates reached the semi-finals of the same competition in 1996.

"I just think that's going to be a brilliant experience for our fans and our public," he added.

"Ten nations have that opportunity so it doesn't make it an advantage in terms of winning the tournament unless we can get to the semi-finals [that take place at Wembley along with the final], which is then back in our favour.

"We're really looking forward to the experience."

The last three European winners of major tournaments will play in the same pool at Euro 2020, after France, Portugal and Germany were all drawn together

Germany and France - victors at the respective 2014 and 2018 World Cups - will take on reigning European champions Portugal and a play-off winner in Group G.

Croatia, runners-up at last year's World Cup, will renew acquaintances with England, the side they beat in the semi-finals.

Here is the draw in full for next year's event, with four places in the finals still to be determined by the four path-winners in March's play-offs.

 

Group A: Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland

Group B: Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia.

Group C: Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, play-off winner from Path D (Georgia, Belarus, North Macedonia or Kosovo) or Romania if they win Path A.

Group D: England, Croatia, Czech Republic, play-off winner from Path C (Scotland, Israel, Norway or Serbia)

Group E: Spain, Sweden, Poland, play-off winner from Path B (Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland)

Group F: Germany, France, Portugal, play-off winner from Path A (Iceland, Bulgaria, Hungary) or winner of Path D (Georgia, Belarus, North Macedonia or Kosovo) if Romania win Path A.

Holders Portugal will face world champions France and fellow heavyweights Germany in a daunting Group F at Euro 2020.

Saturday's draw in Bucharest pitted Fernando Santos' men and their talismanic captain Cristiano Ronaldo against the winners of the two World Cups either side of their Euro 2016 triumph.

It means Didier Deschamps' Bleus will have an opportunity for revenge after Portugal beat them on home soil at the Stade de France to lift the trophy.

The nation with the dubious pleasure of joining them is still to be determined. Iceland, Bulgaria or Hungary would claim the fourth spot if they progress through their play-off route in Path A.

However, if Romania are victorious in Path A, they will go into Group C with Netherlands, Ukraine and Austria.

In permutations that underline the convoluted and criticised format, one of Georgia, Belarus, North Macedonia or Kosovo from play-off Path B would enter Group F if Romania qualify. Otherwise, the winner of Path B goes into Group C.

Italy open the tournament, which will take place across 12 host cities, when they entertain Turkey in Rome on June 12. Wales and Switzerland are also in Group A.

England and Croatia renew acquaintances at Wembley in Group D – Gareth Southgate's men having been sunk by a Mario Mandzukic winner in the semi-finals of Russia 2018 before progressing to the Nations League Finals at the expense of Zlatko Dalic's team.

There is the possibility of an all-British encounter if Scotland prevail from their play-off path alongside Israel, Norway and Serbia, while Czech Republic will meet England again in the finals having traded victories with the Three Lions during qualification.

Group B is the second group not waiting to see how play-off cards fall, with the world's number-one ranked team Belgium lining up alongside Denmark, Finland and Russia.

Spain are aiming to make it three European titles in four attempts after securing glory in 2008 and 2012.

They head up Group C, where the winner of the play-off route including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Northern Ireland, Slovakia and the Republic of Ireland will round out the line-up alongside Sweden and Poland.

The Euro 2020 play-offs take place during next March's international break.

The last three European winners of major tournaments will play in the same pool at Euro 2020, after France, Portugal and Germany were all drawn together

Germany and France - victors at the respective 2014 and 2018 World Cups - will take on reigning European champions Portugal and a play-off winner in Group G.

Croatia, runners-up at last year's World Cup, will renew acquaintances with England, the side they beat in the semi-finals.

Here is the draw in full for next year's event, with four places in the finals still to be determined by the four path-winners in March's play-offs.

 

Group A: Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland

Group B: Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia.

Group C: Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, play-off winner from Path D (Georgia, Belarus, North Macedonia or Kosovo) or Romania if they win Path A.

Group D: England, Croatia, Czech Republic, play-off winner from Path C (Scotland, Israel, Norway or Serbia)

Group E: Spain, Sweden, Poland, play-off winner from Path B (Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland)

Group F: Germany, France, Portugal, play-off winner from Path A (Iceland, Bulgaria, Hungary) or winner of Path D (Georgia, Belarus, North Macedonia or Kosovo) if Romania win Path A.

Gareth Southgate has challenged England to "improve to another level" and mount a serious challenge for Euro 2020.

Southgate led the Three Lions on a surprise run to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where little was expected of a team that had spent the previous decade under-achieving on the biggest stages.

England followed their best major tournament showing of the 21st century with another semi-final berth, this time in the inaugural Nations League.

A functional team have been enhanced by exciting youngsters such as Jadon Sancho, while Raheem Sterling's goal return for his country is now akin to what he produced in back-to-back Premier League triumphs with Manchester City.

Add in the factor that the semi-finals and finals of a pan-continental Euro 2020 will take place at Wembley and there is mounting enthusiasm around England's prospects ahead of Saturday's group-stage draw.

Although he does not wish to dissuade this after a free-scoring qualification campaign, Southgate told BBC Sport he sees room for improvement.

"I think we've gained some respect and I think people would view us as a threat, which certainly wasn't the case ahead of Russia," he said.

"We also know we have got to improve to another level.

"It's hard to assess exactly where we are after this qualifying campaign.

"But if we look at a World Cup semi-final, a Nations League semi-final, and qualifying with the most goals in Europe, we have done all we can and we are on a good track."

He added: "In terms of consistency of performance, we are [close to the top teams]. Nobody else got to the World Cup semi-finals and the latter stages of the Nations League.

"So we are in that mix of teams, but there are lot of good teams and the difference on one day between any of the top 10 teams is so marginal in football."

Southgate was linked to the recent vacancy at Tottenham but feels no need to place his focus elsewhere, with planning for the Qatar 2022 World Cup also on the agenda.

"I haven't planned anything in my managerial career," said the former Middlesbrough and England Under-21 boss. "None of the jobs that I've taken were a reality in my mind until about 48 hours before they happened.

"I love the job I'm doing, we have an exciting team which continues to improve. At every team you work with, there maybe comes a moment when the fans or the players have had enough of you and that's probably the time to go. I don't sense that at the moment."

Robert Pires hopes France are paired with a reinvigorated and "motivated" England in the Euro 2020 group stage.

Both sides finished top of their qualifying groups to get their name in the hat for Saturday's draw in Bucharest.

England will host a total of seven matches in next year's finals and are in Pot 1, while France - despite being world champions - are in Pot 2.

Former Arsenal winger Pires would like to see his native France face off against Gareth Southgate's side, who he believes will be a big threat in the tournament.

"What's for sure is that we're going to draw a big team because unfortunately we're in Pot 2," he told Omnisport, speaking as part of the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour driven by Nissan.

"Which one I would like to play against? France-England would be nice. 

"I think that we're strong but the English are having a renaissance and Southgate has built a good team, quite young, with a bit of experience and they can be a good surprise during the next Euros. 

"And as you know the final is in London so they will be motivated."

One team Pires is eager for France to avoid is Spain, who qualified for the competition with an unbeaten record that sets them out among the favourites.

"The team to avoid is always Spain," added Pires, who won the World Cup and European Championship during his playing days.

"They remain very strong, they're very skilled and they cause problems to us every time."

Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne labelled Euro 2020 a "fake competition" and claimed the draw format is a sign of football becoming more of a business than a sport.

Roberto Martinez's side won all 10 qualifiers to finish top of Group I and qualify automatically for next year's finals, which will be staged in 12 different cities across Europe.

The group draw will take place on November 30 but, due to seedings and rules involving host nations, Belgium already know they will be drawn into Group B with Russia and Denmark.

Belgium can start planning for the expansive tournament, but Manchester City star De Bruyne is unhappy with the format.

"It's a shame," he told VTM Nieuws after scoring twice in Tuesday's 6-1 win over Cyprus.

"For me, this feels like a fake competition. Football has become more and more [like] a business."

De Bruyne featured in six of Belgium's qualifiers, scoring four times and assisting a further six goals.

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.

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."

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.

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