Coach

Euro 2020: Swiss coach confident of last-16 spot despite tough travel

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic is confident his side have done enough to reach the last 16 at Euro 2020 after a 3-1 win over Turkey on Sunday but he criticised the long distances his side have had to travel during the tournament. Xherdan Shaqiri scored two superb goals as Switzerland secured third place in Group A at Euro 2020 with the win against Turkey, but they now face an anxious wait to see if they will reach the last 16. The Swiss, who finished level on four points with Wales but behind on goal difference, will hope to secure a spot in the knockouts as one of the four best third-placed finishers from the six groups. “We scored a few goals but unfortunately we had more chances we didn’t convert,” Petkovic said. “It wasn’t a perfect game but it was a good game.” “It should be enou...

Euro 2020: Wales set for hostile crowd as Italy eye knockouts

Wales are bracing for a hostile reception when they face Turkey in Baku at Euro 2020 on Wednesday while rejuvenated Italy can seal their place in the last-16 with victory against Switzerland. After drawing 1-1 with the Swiss in their opening Group A game, Wales play in the capital of Azerbaijan, with locals expected to get behind their Turkish neighbours, who will also have several thousand travelling fans on their side. Wales captain Gareth Bale, who experienced a dizzying run to the semi-finals at Euro 2016, said he was unfazed by the prospect of an aggressive atmosphere. “Hostility is no problem,” said the Real Madrid forward. “This is what we do for a living. We’re used to playing in away games and being in front of hostile crowds.” Turkey are desperate to shake off the disappointment ...

Imama Amapakabo: Why Andre Onana should consider Arsenal move

Andre Onana leaving Ajax and joining Arsenal would be “a good move” for the Cameroon international, according to former Nigeria U23 coach Imama Amapakabo. The Gunners have held discussions with the 25-year-old’s representatives, albeit, they have yet to decide whether they will step up their chase of the goalkeeper. Arsenal was on the lookout for a keeper following the departure of Emiliano Martinez in September 2020 and the underwhelming form of summer recruit Alex Runarsson. Despite technical director Edu and Mikel Arteta being big admirers of Onana, financial issues prevented the North London outfit from making a firm offer, instead they opted to sign Mat Ryan on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion. Amapakabo – who was a goalkeeper during his active career – and was part of the Nigeria...

Euro 2020: Spain boss rues missed chances but defends game plan

Spain coach Luis Enrique rued missed chances from his side in their 0-0 European Championship draw with Sweden on Monday, insisting he will not be changing his style of play despite getting off to a disappointing start in the tournament. It was a familiar story for Spain, who enjoyed 85 per cent possession in Seville, the highest figure for a team in a European Championship fixture since 1980 when Opta started recording the data. “We were by far the better team, the opposition tried to hang back, we completely controlled the game and tried to generate as many chances as possible,” Luis Enrique told a news conference. “We were up against a physically strong team. We did have the chances to win the game. What went wrong was that we did not take these chances.” The Spain coach was also keen t...

Cristiano Ronaldo is unconcerned over Juventus future

Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo insists his sole focus is on Euro 2020 and reports of interest from rival clubs are causing him no “sleepless nights”. Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juve in 2019, but the move has not worked out quite as planned. Although the Bianconeri won the Serie A title for a ninth successive season in the forward’s first campaign, they lost their crown to Inter this term and scraped Champions League qualification. Success in Europe’s premier club competition, which Ronaldo won five times with Manchester United and Madrid, continues to evade the Turin giants. A frustrating season ended with Massimiliano Allegri returning to replace Andrea Pirlo, and there has been speculation Ronaldo could follow his coach out of the door. Madrid, United and Paris Saint-Germain have...

Cristiano Ronaldo is unconcerned over Juventus future

Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo insists his sole focus is on Euro 2020 and reports of interest from rival clubs are causing him no “sleepless nights”. Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juve in 2019, but the move has not worked out quite as planned. Although the Bianconeri won the Serie A title for a ninth successive season in the forward’s first campaign, they lost their crown to Inter this term and scraped Champions League qualification. Success in Europe’s premier club competition, which Ronaldo won five times with Manchester United and Madrid, continues to evade the Turin giants. A frustrating season ended with Massimiliano Allegri returning to replace Andrea Pirlo, and there has been speculation Ronaldo could follow his coach out of the door. Madrid, United and Paris Saint-Germain have...

Asisat Oshoala, Onome Ebi join Super Falcons for Portuguese showdown

Officials have disclosed that skipper Asisat Oshoala and experienced defender Onome Ebi have overcome visa hitches and should feature for the Super Falcons against Portugal Sunday in continuation of the Summer Series in Texas, USA. Both players missed the Falcons opening game against Jamaica, which the African champions lost 1-0 Thursday. Belarus-based central defender Ebi, for one, will be expected to bring her vast experience to bear on a defence that coach Randy Waldrum described as “disorganised” against the Reggae Queens of Jamaica. Waldrum said Ebi and Ohale were the main anchors of the Super Falcons back four. The Falcons have suffered several withdrawals for this invitational tournament due to injury and visa hitches. Get more stories like this on Twitter You Deserve to Make Money ...

Euro 2020: Germany still need some work ahead of France opener – coach

Germany still need to work on parts of their game before the start of the European Championship, coach Joachim Loew said on Sunday at the end of their nine-day training camp in Austria. The Germans, starting their tournament against world champions France on June 15, play their last warm-up match against Latvia on Monday. The Euros open on Friday. “I cannot fully draw conclusions from our camp just yet because our preparation continues and after the game tomorrow we have a week in Duesseldorf to prepare for France,” Loew, going into his final tournament as Germany coach, told a news conference. Loew has been in charge since 2006 and will be succeeded by his former assistant and former Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick after the tournament. The Germans also play European champions Portugal as...

Xavi explains why he has snubbed Barcelona managerial job twice

Xavi has been explaining why two offers from Barcelona to become their next manager were snubbed. The Liga giants have sounded out a familiar face on a couple of occasions in recent years when finding themselves in need of inspiration from the dugout. Both approaches have been knocked back, with a club legend who continues to cut his coaching teeth in Qatar with Al Sadd not yet of the opinion that the time is right to retrace his steps to Camp Nou. Discussing his decision to reject two advances from Catalunya, Xavi has told La Vanguardia: “Fortunately or unfortunately I have said no to Barcelona twice, due to different circumstances, family, professional, contractual… “And of course it was very difficult because I am a Barcelona fan, but it was not the [right] time.” The World Cup winner a...

Jordi Cruyff returning to Barcelona in advisor role

Jordi Cruyff, the son of Barcelona legend Johan, is returning to Camp Nou in an advisor role. The 47-year-old followed in the footsteps of his famous father when stepping out of the La Masia academy system in Catalunya. Much of his career was spent away from Barca, while he has also dabbled in coaching since hanging up his boots, but a familiar face now forms part of the restructuring work being put in behind the scenes by Blaugrana president Joan Laporta. Barca have said in a statement on the club’s official website: “FC Barcelona announces that Jordi Cruyff will join the football area of the Club and form part of the new organisational structure as of August 1. “Jordi Cruyff, who was a player in Barca’s youth teams and in the Barca first team from 1993 to 1996, returns in a strategic rol...

Belgium coach: Kevin De Bruyne’s Euro 2020 participation still unclear

The possibility of Kevin De Bruyne competing for Belgium in the European Championship remains unclear as he recovers from facial fractures, coach Roberto Martinez said on Wednesday. The midfield talisman broke his nose and eye socket in a clash in the Champions League final last weekend but it would be days before Belgium were clear about his chances of competing, Martinez told reporters. “I would say that until next week we won’t know exactly where we are with Kevin. Now, allow him now to relax. “He could be available for the Euros but when, we don’t know at the moment. It’s too early to give you an answer now, we must first get the green light from the medical side.” De Bruyne had been scheduled to join up with Belgium’s squad just days before their opening Group B match against Russia i...

Eden Hazard says he will be ready in time for Euros

Eden Hazard is still having “some thigh problems” after missing much of Real Madrid’s season but “will be there when the Euros start”, he told a video press conference on Monday. The midfielder said he was “not yet at 100 percent” but added that “physically I still have to prepare myself and I obviously hope to be ready for the first game on 12 June.” Belgium, one of the favourites for the title, start Euro 2020 on June 12 against Russia in a group that also includes Denmark and Finland. Hazard arrived at the national training centre at Tubize on Monday, at the same time as most of his team-mates and, as captain, was the first to speak at the press conference. “I missed the last game with Real because of a little discomfort in my thigh. Since then I have been able to rest for a week and me...