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England may win 2022 World Cup – De Bruyne

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Ahead of the England and Belgium clash on Sunday, the Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne says he expects England to win Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup, with the current form of the quality of players in their squad.

The Manchester City star is part of the Red Devils squad taking on the Three Lions in a UEFA Nations League game at Wembley on Sunday.

Being part of the Premier League, De Bruyne has seen at firsthand the talent currently in the England squad and is tipping them to win the two major tournaments.

He said, “I think they should be very excited. It is a very young team with a lot of potential and I think they should aim to win the next Euros and World Cup – I think they have that potential.”

“There are always a lot of teams who want to win it, but I think the team they have, the players who play in top clubs, they should do that,” he added.

Belgium currently the world’s top-ranked team beat England twice at the 2018 World Cup but they will be without key men Dries Mertens and Eden Hazard this Sunday.

In today’s clash, analysts say England may be looking to exact a small measure of revenge for their 2018 World Cup defeat.

Gareth Southgate’s side were beaten by the Red Devils in the group phase and the third-place match in Russia and the teams clash again now in the Nations League.

Belgium are currently top, with two wins from two, while England have a win and a draw after games against Iceland and Denmark.

Both teams played a midweek friendly with rotated teams, as England beat Wales and Belgium drew with Ivory Coast.

England will have Jadon Sancho and Tammy Abraham available again after they were forced to miss the Wales friendly having attended a party last week, but Ben Chilwell remains absent through injury.

However, captain Harry Kane could miss out after suffering a muscular injury in training.

Belgium fully rotated their side for the match against Ivory Coast and so are likely to revert to  full-strength line-up for this fixture, with the exceptions of Thibaut Courtois and Dries Mertens, who have withdrawn from the squad.

Predicted line-ups

ENG: Pickford; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Maguire, Chilwell; Rice, Henderson, Winks; Sancho, Kane and Rashford.

BEL: Mignolet; Denayer, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Meunier, Witsel, Tielemans, Castagne; De Bruyne, Lukaku and Hazard.

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Messi to finish his career at Barca – Koeman

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Ronald Koeman says Lionel Messi “has to finish his career at Barcelona”, with the Blaugrana boss expecting a contract extension for the mercurial Argentine to be announced “soon”.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is yet to make an official decision on his future, with the 33-year-old still seeing his current deal run down towards free agency.

The expectation is, however, that he will extend a career-long association with the Liga heavyweights, with fresh terms on the table and ready to be signed.

Koeman told Sport when asked for an update on a long-running saga in Catalunya: “Messi has to finish his career at Barcelona, so I hope we can make it official soon.”

Barca president Joan Laporta has stated on a regular basis, even before he returned to office at Camp Nou, that he believes Messi will stay put.

That message has been reiterated, although he has suggested that paperwork will not be completed imminently by a man currently away on Copa America duty with his country.

“The renewal isn’t at an advanced stage,” Laporta has admitted.

“It’s okay, I believe that Leo’s boots will stay on Camp Nou’s pitch.

“I can’t contemplate a no from Messi; he wants to stay. We’re doing what we can but there’s no need to seduce him.”

While waiting on a call from Messi, Barca are working hard to put more pieces of a trophy-winning puzzle in place alongside their iconic captain.

Deals have been done for Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal, while Memphis Depay is expected to complete a switch from Lyon as a free agent.

Koeman is pleased with progress being made on the recruitment front, with the Dutchman adding: “We are working on building a competitive team, one that will be much stronger than in previous seasons.”

Ronald Koeman is already looking ahead to next season at Barcelona and he was spotted in Amsterdam for the Netherlands’ game against Austria at Euro 2020 on Thursday evening.

Although Koeman himself is Dutch and was their coach during qualifying, meaning he could well have been attending just to see his team play, it’s said that he was there to watch Memphis Depay.

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The domestic seasons might have ended, but Ronald Koeman is already looking ahead to next season at Barcelona and he was spotted in Amsterdam for the Netherlands’ game against Austria at Euro 2020 on Thursday evening.

Although Koeman himself is Dutch and was their coach during qualifying, meaning he could well have been attending just to see his team play, it’s said that he was there to watch Memphis Depay.

Memphis is expected to join Barcelona in the coming days or weeks. Koeman himself said on Wednesday that talks were going in the right direction and he took the chance to watch the player on Thursday night.

Koeman will return to Catalonia to take Barcelona’s pre-season training from July 12.

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Eriksen discharged from hospital after operation

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Denmark’s Christian Eriksen has been released from hospital after undergoing a successful operation, the Danish Football Association confirmed in a statement on Friday.

Eriksen was admitted to hospital after he collapsed due to cardiac arrest in the 43rd minute of Denmark’s opening Euro 2020 game against Finland on June 12.

The FA announced on Thursday that he would receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a small electronic device that is a type of pacemaker and can prevent fatal cardiac arrests by discharging a jolt to restore a regular heart rhythm.

“Christian Eriksen has been through a successful operation and was today discharged from Rigshospitalet,” the FA said in a statement on Twitter.

“Today he also visited the national team in Helsingor — and from there he will go home and spend time with his family.”

The incident reverberated through football, with many players sending well-wishes to Eriksen and his teammates.

The game between Belgium and Denmark on Thursday was stopped in the 10th minute as a tribute to Eriksen.

A banner was also displayed among fans in one of the stands, which read: “All of Denmark is with you, Christian.”

Before kickoff, a large flag in the shape of a Denmark shirt with Eriksen’s name on the back was unfurled on the pitch. Eriksen wears the No. 10 shirt for his country.

“Thank you for the massive number of greetings — it has been incredible to see and feel,” Eriksen said in a statement following his release from hospital.

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French Open: Djokovic beats Tsitsipas to win 19th Grand Slam

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Novak Djokovic on Sunday came from behind to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (6-8) 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 to win the 2021 edition of the French Open.
The Serbian top seed Djokovic by the victory has claimed his 19th Grand Slam title.
His opponent, the Greek fifth seed Tsitsipas, was appearing in maiden major final.
“I tried my best,” says Stefanos Tsitsipas, but his speech is almost drowned out by the fifth seed’s adoring fans in the Chatrier crowd.
He says, “I had a good run and am happy with myself, but let’s give it to Novak because he has shown us over the past couple of years what a great champion he is.
“I am inspired by the things he has achieved and I hope one day I can maybe do half of what he has done so far!
“I would like to thank the Greek fans who came, my team who have been constantly backing me up and helping me achieve my dreams. It is a difficult journey and takes a lot of work every day.
“I hope to be back next year and put out a good show again.”

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