Former Juventus and Arsenal defender Stephan Lichtsteiner has retired from football.

The 36-year-old had planned to play for Switzerland at the Euro 2020 finals before calling time on his career, but with the coronavirus pandemic forcing the tournament to be postponed to 2021, he has chosen not to continue playing for another year.

Lichtsteiner had spent the 2019-20 season with Augsburg, making 20 appearances in the Bundesliga as Heiko Herrlich's side finished 15th.

"The plan would have been to retire after the European Championship in 2020," Lichtsteiner, who was Switzerland captain, said in an interview published by the Swiss Football Association.

"After UEFA's decision to postpone the European Championship to 2021, it became clear to me that the time had come and I didn't want to add another year.

"The length of a footballer's career is limited. I was allowed to play at a high level until I was 36. Now, it's time to take a new path. It was a cool time that I really enjoyed."

Lichtsteiner earned 108 senior caps for Switzerland and competed at five major tournaments: Euro 2008, co-hosted by Switzerland and Austria, the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, and Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup, at which he was captain under Vladimir Petkovic.

"Every tournament was an incredible event," he said. "I always felt a tingling feeling. It was a shame we narrowly missed out on the quarter-finals in the last three tournaments, which were of a high level.

"If you're able to play more than 100 international matches, that makes you proud. Every single game was an honour. And each one felt like it was the first, in terms of nervousness!"

Lichtsteiner's most successful spell came in his seven years with Juventus, where he won seven Serie A titles in a row, lifted the Coppa Italia four times and twice reached the Champions League final.

"We were able to build a generation of winners and won 14 trophies in seven years. That was definitely the most formative and successful phase of my career. The downside were those two lost Champions League finals," he said.

Lichtsteiner, who spent 2018-19 with Arsenal, is now planning for a career in coaching but is also considering a future "in the economic sector".

"I am open and currently being inspired by various things," he said.

Spain have announced they will travel to Portugal for a friendly on October 7. 

The fixture between the neighbouring countries will be staged in Lisbon ahead of both featuring in Nations League games during the October international window. 

Luis Enrique's squad are scheduled to host Switzerland on October 10 before travelling to Ukraine three days later - Germany are the other team in Group 4. 

Defending champions Portugal, meanwhile, are away to France on October 11, followed by a home game against Sweden.

Spain are also set for friendly duty against the Netherlands in November, with that meeting originally set to take place in March before the coronavirus pandemic caused major changes to the schedule.

Euro 2020 was pushed back a year due to the COVID-19 crisis, with the tournament now set for June and July in 2021.

Olivier Giroud has set his sights on overtaking Michel Platini as France's second-highest goalscorer as the Chelsea forward aims to win 100 caps for Les Bleus.

Giroud – who reached the Euro 2016 final with France before winning the 2018 World Cup – has scored 39 international goals in 97 appearances.

The 33-year-old has been a stalwart of Didier Deschamps' squad and needs just three more goals to overtake Platini and move second in the all-time list, behind Thierry Henry, who netted 51 times between 1997 and 2010.

Now, Giroud has set his sights on becoming only the eighth centurion in France's history, as well as matching Platini's goal haul.

"I had the chance to make a Euro final and win the World Cup," he said in an interview with Canal+.

"I'm still thirsty for trophies and to break records in the French team. It would be good to pass 100 caps, and then try to get past Platini in second place in the team's top scorers rankings.

"These are goals and the Euro next year is of course a goal."

Giroud scored six goals as France successfully qualified for Euro 2020, only for the tournament to be pushed back a year due to coronavirus.

There was plenty to digest following UEFA's Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday.

European football's governing body finalised decisions for the completion of its 2019-20 club competitions, as well as details for its international competitions.

With so much to take in, we have broken down the key outcomes for the Champions League, Women's Champions League, Europa League, Euro 2020 and the Nations League.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE:

- Lisbon will host an eight-team tournament between August 12 and 23, with the final to take place at Benfica's Estadio da Luz.

- The remaining last-16 ties will take place at venues yet to be determined. If Portugal hosts these matches as well, Porto and Guimaraes will host games if necessary.

- Quarter-final and semi-final contests will be played as single-leg ties as opposed to the traditional two-leg showdowns.

- The draw for the quarters and semis will take place at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon on July 10.

- Extra time and penalties will be used as deciders for matches ending in a draw and teams will be allowed to make five substitutions (as will those in the Europa League) in line with temporary changes to the Laws of the Game.

- Istanbul, which was supposed to host the showpiece game, will now be the final venue for 2021.

- Newly transferred players will not allowed to be registered for the remaining rounds.

- The group stages of the 2020-21 Champions League will be begin in October, with September traditionally the start date for the competition proper.

- Qualifying rounds for next season's Champions League and Europa League will be played as single-leg fixtures, bar the play-off round of the Champions League.

EUROPA LEAGUE:

- Europe's secondary competition will take place as a straight knockout tournament from the quarter-finals onwards, with Germany to host matches between August 10 and 21.

- Matches will be played in Cologne, Duisburg, Dusseldorf and Gelsenkirchen.

- The six last-16 ties that have a second leg to be played will take place a venue yet to be concerned. 

- The last-16 contests between Inter and Getafe, and Sevilla and Roma will be single-leg affairs.

- Gdansk will host the 2021 Europa League final, having been originally slated to put on this year's showpiece.

- The 2020 Super Cup will take place at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on September 24. Porto was originally supposed to have the game.

- As with the Champions League, the Europa League group phase starts in October.

WOMEN'S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE:

- Like the men's tournament, the Women's Champions League will be completed as a straight knockout tournament from the quarter-finals.

- Matches will take place in Spain, with the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao and the Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian putting on games between August 21 and 30.

- The draw for the quarter-finals and semi-finals will be held in Nyon on June 26.

- Gothenburg will be the host venue for the 2021 final.

EURO 2020/NATIONS LEAGUE:

- All 12 original host cities for Euro 2020 will remain in place for the rescheduled tournament taking place next year.

- The updated match schedule was also approved by the ExCo and UEFA said all existing tickets purchased by supporters will remain valid.

 - International windows in October and November 2020 will feature triple-headers so that postponed Euro 2020 play-off qualifiers can be played at the beginning of the respective windows on October 8 and November 12.

- Group-stage games for the 2020-21 Nations League will take place on the following dates: September 3/4/5 and 6/7/8; October 10/11 and 13/14; November 14/15 and 17/18.

All 12 host cities for Euro 2020 will remain the same when the tournament takes place a year later than planned in 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis.

A meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee was held via videoconference on Wednesday.

After their deliberations, European football's governing body announced a host of decisions, including on how the Champions League and Europa League would be completed.

It was also confirmed the original 12 venues would host matches in the rescheduled Euros.

The meeting had been postponed in May after UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said nine cities had affirmed their commitment to hosting, though there were issues with the remaining three.

But those concerns have been alleviated and, along with confirming the 12 venues, an updated match schedule was also approved.

The tournament will begin with a game between Italy and Turkey in Rome on June 11, 2021 with the final taking place a month later in London on July 11.

Baku, Copenhagen, Munich, Budapest, Amsterdam, Dublin, Bucharest, St Petersburg, Glasgow and Bilbao are the other host cities.

"All existing tickets remain valid for the tournament in 2021," added a UEFA statement.

"Existing ticket buyers who nevertheless wish to return their ticket(s), will have a final opportunity to request a refund from June 18 to June 25.

"The Executive Committee expressed its appreciation to the host associations, cities and their authorities for their continuous support and commitment in organising the postponed Euro 2020."

Four spaces in the 24-team competition remain up for grabs as the play-offs are yet to take place.

The October and November international windows are to become triple-headers rather than double-headers, meaning those ties can be played on October 8 and November 12.

Meanwhile, a new season of Nations League action will begin on September 3, with group-stage matches taking place at regular intervals until November 18.

"UEFA took a bold decision when it decided to postpone Euro 2020," said Ceferin.

"But in doing so, we created the space which has allowed domestic club competitions across the continent to resume, where possible, and play to a conclusion. 

"While the game has suffered huge difficulties as a result of the pandemic, those blows would have landed much harder if we had not shown leadership in those early days."

Giorgio Chiellini plans to play at least one more season before retiring as he aims to sign off in style with Italy at the delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

The Juventus defender has missed the majority of the 2019-20 season after suffering a serious knee injury in August, though he returned to action prior to the coronavirus-enforced suspension.

While he will turn 36 in August, Chiellini has no intention of hanging up his boots in the near future, suggesting there is a possibility of him carrying on beyond the 2020-21 campaign.

In an Instagram Live chat with actress Martina Colombari, the wife of former Milan and Italy defender Alessandro Costacurta, the centre-back also revealed how a move into coaching is unlikely once his playing days are finally over.

"I will play another year, then I'll see how I feel and how my legs hold up," Chiellini said.

"I could retire next summer or have another season after that. I would like to continue in football, probably more a directorial role than management, but you never know in life.

"I hope to get there [Euro 2020] in excellent condition to live this last international event to the fullest.

"We have experienced players and many strong youngsters. Ending with a great European [Championship] would be a great satisfaction, closing the circle."

Chiellini admitted the injury was a huge blow but embraced the "challenge" of making a full recovery, something that may not have been the case at an earlier stage in his career.

"At the beginning it was difficult, accepting an injury is not easy, but I'm glad I had it at 35 because you have a different maturity. I found it as a challenge with myself," he explained.

Sven-Goran Eriksson believes his England starting XI was stronger than the current generation, but feels Gareth Southgate's overall squad is more impressive.

Eriksson became the first non-British manager to be appointed England boss when he left Lazio to take over in 2001, turning around their qualification campaign for the 2002 World Cup and securing a spot at the tournament in Japan and South Korea.

With the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Michael Owen, the Three Lions were fancied to make an impact.

But they were beaten by eventual champions Brazil in the last eight. Two years later they fell at the same hurdle in Euro 2004 to Portugal, who also sent England packing in Eriksson's final tournament in charge – the 2006 World Cup.

One of the main legacies of Eriksson's time in charge was a perceived inability to get the best out of England's so-called 'golden generation', but he thinks Southgate has more options at his disposal.

When asked if he feels the current England team was better than his, Eriksson told Stats Perform News: "Maybe not, but they have more choices today than we had.

"Number 20, number 21, the quality went down a bit. It's easier today, there are many hugely talented football players.

"They did well at the last World Cup, they will be even better in the next Euros. It's a new generation. They are young, they are good.

"They have a lot of quality all over. It looks like a very hungry team. They have a lot of pace and that's important.

"If you defend well, then you will be very strong in counterattacks and then, you have a born goalscorer [Harry Kane], and you need that man who can score [many] goals in a major tournament."

Recently, Eriksson was criticised by Ferdinand for apparently urging the former Manchester United centre-back to not play out from the back – but the Swede insists that was not the case.

"He was one of the best central defenders in the world, maybe the best, and as he rightly said, he could play," Eriksson added. "He was a very modern central defender. Football was different then.

"Everybody wants to play like Barcelona, but not everybody should. Not everyone can play like Ferdinand. But that back four was very, very strong.

"I always in all my career was very keen not to lose the ball when we have it in our own half of the pitch: you give opportunities to your opponents to create.

"If you're going to lose it, then do so up front, but if we could play in a secure way from behind, then do it, if not then don't make life difficult for us. But I never ever said don't play from the back."

Euro 2020 was due to start on Friday, but due to the coronavirus pandemic it was postponed for 12 months in March.

England will face Croatia, Czech Republic and as yet undetermined third team, who will be decided by the qualification play-off, when the tournament takes place from June 11, 2021.

Ronald Koeman said "everyone knows it's my dream to coach Barcelona", but the Dutchman remains focused on the Netherlands.

Koeman had been linked to Barca after Ernesto Valverde was sacked, before the LaLiga champions eventually turned to Quique Setien in January.

Former Barca defender Koeman previously revealed his Netherlands contract contains a clause that allows him to depart for Camp Nou following Euro 2020, though the European Championship has been pushed back 12 months due to coronavirus.

Koeman, who underwent heart surgery in May, addressed the Barca speculation and his future.

"I had a phone call [from Barca], as I've explained many times. But I want to keep my word with the national team, I thought we'd have Euro 2020 this summer," Koeman told Catalunya Radio.

"I'm happy with how things are with the national team and for me, that's the most important thing at the moment. None of us know what will happen in the future.

"In my contract, there is a clause that will let me leave the national team job after the Euros but now's not the time to be thinking about that. Everyone knows it's my dream to coach Barca.

"Hopefully I might have the opportunity to do so in the future. But as always, that depends on your performance and successes as a coach - you need a lot of experience to coach a team like Barca."

LaLiga leaders Barca were two points clear of bitter rivals Real Madrid when the 2019-20 season was postponed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's really difficult for me to say what I think about Barca," said Koeman, who won four LaLiga titles and the European Cup/Champions League during his time at Camp Nou. "Today's Barca isn't the same as [Pep] Guardiola's, but it's still a fantastic team.

"Because of [Frenkie] De Jong, I've been watching more of their games. I hope they go on to win LaLiga. As for the Champions League, they'll need to improve to be in a chance of winning it."

Netherlands international midfielder Frenkie de Jong joined Barca from Eredivisie champions Ajax at the start of the season.

De Jong had scored two goals and supplied as many assists in LaLiga before the league's suspension.

Koeman added: "I think De Jong is a player who can adapt to a new position in midfield, playing a little further forward. But I still think his best position is just in front of the back four - where [Sergio] Busquets plays. That's his best position- where he plays for the national team and where he played with Ajax.

"It's not a bad thing to adapt to other positions. He's still only young and you have to give young players time. In no time he will show his quality with Barca. He's done that with Ajax and with the national team. I'm in no doubt that he's the right player for Barca. He knows he can do more, but he's taking it all with calm because he's happy at Barca."

Roberto Martinez hopes to help some of the stars in Belgium's golden generation become the next group of the nation's top coaches.

After extending his contract until 2022 on Wednesday, Martinez is relishing the opportunity to serve as both team manager and technical director for the Royal Belgian Football Federation (KBVB).

As well as bidding to challenge for European Championship and World Cup glory over the next two years, he wants to help star players like Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku take the next step.

He is optimistic the star-studded squad will be impacting the future of Belgian football beyond their playing days.

"It's a real opportunity," Martinez told reporters about holding the two roles.

"In Belgium both jobs overlap in many ways. It allows you to concentrate on the games but in between there is a real good opportunity to work towards that vision that we have for Belgian football.

"I work on many different projects in both professional and amateur football, and then linking the two."

He added: "It is about the development of young players, trying to get those young players everything they need to become Red Devils with the expectations that we have being number one in the FIFA rankings.

"And then the development of the current Red Devils, it is very important that our players now start thinking as coaches. I have got a strong belief these players will affect future of Belgian football as coaches.

"I can see already Jan Vertonghen or Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Thomas Meunier, Romelu Lukaku, the list goes on – these players will become coaches and will affect future of Belgian football.

"It is important with that global approach of those two positions, I can really be involved in that journey."

Under Martinez, Belgium finished third at the 2018 World Cup and have lost just three of his 43 matches.

They were drawn to face Russia, Denmark and Finland in the Euros, which will now be held in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Roberto Martinez is targeting the creation of a "beautiful legacy" for football in Belgium after signing a new contract with the nation until 2022.

Having been appointed in 2016, the new deal signed on Wednesday will see him remain as manager for next year's rescheduled European Championship and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Spaniard led the Red Devils to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018, when they were beaten by eventual champions France before defeating England in the third-place play-off to secure their best-ever finish.

"I am very, very happy because it is a very ambitious project," Martinez told reporters after his contract was announced.

"Our president, Mehdi Bayat, has created a very efficient environment for us to work and our CEO, Peter Bossaert, is taking our situation into a different level of professionalism and direction.

"I also believe immensely in this group of players and I am really excited. I feel that everything is in place to work towards a beautiful legacy for Belgian football.

"My family is very happy about this, we feel like an adopted Belgian family. Everyone in Belgium has made us feel very welcome."

Martinez's previous deal was set to expire after Euro 2020, which was postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and many expected him to return to club football at the end of the season.

Asked about why he reportedly turned down offers and opted to stay, Martinez, who also serves as the country's technical director, said: "I do believe in this group of players, we have a very committed staff and we all know how much the fans love the Red Devils.

"We were all so intense with the qualification campaign for the Euros, then the postponement of the Euros brings about a completely different situation.

"I felt it wasn't time to break that relationship, it is time now to look forward to a very intense period in international football.

"We have got the Nations League, then already the qualification campaign for the World Cup and then we'll be able to look forward to the Euros.

"It wasn't the time [to go] and I do feel our relationship needs to go further."

Bossaert was delighted to secure the services of Martinez for a longer period.

He said: "We have big challenges coming up with the Nations League, Euros and the World Cup - we believe that Roberto is the right man in the right place to guide our players to success.

"We are very proud to extend the contract. This beautiful generation deserves a top manager and that manager is Roberto Martinez."

Roberto Martinez has penned a new contract to stay on as Belgium head coach until 2022, the Royal Belgian Football Federation (KBVB) has announced.

Martinez was appointed by Belgium in 2016 and his new contract will see him remain in charge of the team through the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Spaniard led Belgium's so-called 'golden generation' of talent to the semi-finals of Russia 2018, where they were beaten by eventual champions France before defeating England in the third-place play-off to secure their best ever finish at a World Cup.

His previous deal was set to expire after Euro 2020, which was postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Belgium, who are top of FIFA's world rankings, were among the favourites for glory in the tournament after absolutely dominating in qualifying, winning all 10 matches with a plus-37 goal difference.

The announcement was accompanied by a clip of captain and Real Madrid star Eden Hazard playing the popular video game franchise FIFA, while pretending to take a call from international team-mate Romelu Lukaku.

"The coach has signed! The coach has signed, ole, ole, ole. 'Hi Romelu, did you see the coach has signed? Yes, isn't that great news! Okay, bye,'" Hazard says in the short video.

Belgium are due to host a news conference with Martinez later on Wednesday where he will discuss his new contract.

Under Martinez, Belgium has lost just three of their 43 matches and they were drawn to face Russia, Denmark and Finland in the European Championship.

The next UEFA executive committee meeting has been delayed until June 17 due to unresolved issues with proposed venues for next year's Euro 2020.

The meeting had initially been scheduled to take place on May 27.

Euro 2020 was due to get under way across 12 different locations in June but was pushed back by 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome and St Petersburg were scheduled to host games.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin told beIN SPORTS on Sunday that nine cities have affirmed their commitment to hosting matches in 2021, though there were issues with the remaining three.

"We've had conversations with nine cities and everything is set," said Ceferin.

"With three cities, we have some issues. So we will discuss further. In principle, we will do it in 12 cities but if not, we are ready to do it in 10, nine or eight."

In order to gain greater clarity on the circumstances surrounding host venues for the tournament, the executive committee will meet three weeks later than planned.

A UEFA statement released on Monday read: "UEFA today announced that the next meeting of its executive committee, originally scheduled for May 27, has been postponed to June 17, 2020, due to the existence of some remaining open points regarding a small number of proposed venues for the rearranged UEFA Euro 2020 next year."

Euro 2020 was delayed to create space for the completion of domestic leagues, the majority of which have been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Bundesliga returned behind closed doors last weekend, while Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A clubs have been permitted to return to group training – though some restrictions remain in place – this week.

Top flights in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Scotland were ended prematurely.

Roberto Mancini hopes Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo can become an important player for Italy.

Zaniolo was set to miss Euro 2020 after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in January, but the 20-year-old could benefit from the tournament being pushed back by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The highly rated Zaniolo has scored two goals in five games for Italy and coach Mancini believes he could develop into a vital player for his country.

"Zaniolo may be a very important player. He is also very young, he will have one more year to improve," he told Rai Sport on Friday.

"My hope is to have all the players available and have difficulty in making choices.

"I think the team can improve. We came from many games played well and won and there was great enthusiasm. It would have been great to play now."

Mancini has helped turn Italy around since taking over in 2018, leading them to 13 wins in 19 games in charge.

The former Inter and Manchester City coach had Italy as among the favourites for the European Championship, but acknowledged the postponement changed things.

"There will be difficulties because this is something that has never happened before," Mancini said.

"Starting again will not be easy."

Sweden head coach Janne Andersson trusts FIFA and UEFA to come up with appropriate plans over how to restart football following the coronavirus pandemic.

This week, FIFA proposed that teams will be allowed to use five substitutes per match due to a congested schedule when action resumes.

Teams are facing a fixture pile-up when they finally return and FIFA hopes to ease players' workloads by permitting an additional two changes during a match, or six substitutions in total if games go to extra time.

Competitions would have the option to implement the new temporary rule until the end of next season, while it would also apply to national team matches up to and including December 31, 2021.

Andersson is aware tournament organisers like the world governing body and UEFA, who have postponed Euro 2020 until next year, face a challenging task.

"It is not an easy job to fit in the games and tournaments that have been postponed due to the spread of the virus," Andersson told Stats Perform when asked about the five substitutions plan.

"I trust that FIFA and UEFA will find a good way to handle this.

"I am no medical expert and I don't like to speculate. Limiting the virus and the health of people is the most important thing right now. 

"My hope is that we can start playing football as soon as possible."

Sweden qualified for Euro 2020 by finishing second to Spain in Group F, with Andersson acknowledging his team could look very different by June 2021, the revised start time.

"A year is a very long time in football," he said. "A lot of the preparations can be used in 2021 but of course both our team and the teams we are playing can look different in a year. 

"It gives a bit of time to look even closer at details in tactics and we are trying to use this extra time in the best way possible."

On the impact of a busy fixture calendar leading up to the tournament, he added: "I trust that both the players and their clubs will adjust to whatever circumstances the season will be finished in."

Andersson, who took charge of Sweden in the aftermath of Euro 2016, is currently furloughed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added: "I have worked in football for over 30 years. This is the longest break I have ever taken from the game that I love. 

"I am together with my colleagues working on how we can be even better to explain how we want our players to act on the pitch and prepare ourselves for the upcoming games this fall.

"I am no medical expert but I trust the Swedish authorities know what they are doing [with their approach to the lockdown]."

The postponed European Championship will still be known as Euro 2020 despite being contested in 2021.

European football's governing body UEFA last month pushed the tournament back by one year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

UEFA did not make a formal decision on what the competition would be known as in the wake of the postponement.

However, following a meeting of the Executive Committee via videoconference, it was confirmed the Euro 2020 name would remain in place.

A UEFA statement issued on Thursday read: "Following the postponement of UEFA Euro 2020 to the summer of 2021 and after a thorough internal review as well as several discussions with partners, the Executive Committee has decided that the tournament will still be known as UEFA Euro 2020.

"This decision allows UEFA to keep the original vision of the tournament to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the European Football Championships (1960 – 2020).

"It will furthermore serve to remember how the whole football family came together to respond to the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficult times Europe, and the world, had to go through in 2020.

"This choice is in line with UEFA's commitment to make UEFA Euro 2020 sustainable and not to generate additional amounts of waste.

"A lot of branded material had already been produced by the time of the tournament’s postponement. A change to the name of the event would have meant the destruction and reproduction of such items."

Originally scheduled for June 12 to July 12 this year, the revised tournament will run from June 11 to July 11, 2021.

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