- France saw off Croatia 4-2 to win their second World Cup in the final at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.
When describing the two shirts, a statement said, “The new home kit features a modern design with the iconic gold shirt complemented by bold diagonal black stripes running across the torso – the stripes representing traditional spears rising together to create a sense of motion and unity on the field.
Former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri has been unveiled as Chelsea’s next manager in a three-year deal, ahead of the 2018/19 English Premier League season.
The FA Cup holders confirmed the sacking of Italian tactician Antonio Conte on Friday, despite winning the league title in his first season which was followed by the FA Cup trophy last season.
Sarri started his reign at Stamford Bridge by snapping up former Napoli charge Jorginho for £57million.
The new Chelsea boss left Italian side Napoli after three seasons in Serie A, with former Blues manager Carlo Ancelotti taking over the reigns in May.
Sarri said: ‘I am very happy to be coming to Chelsea and the Premier League. It is an exciting new period in my career.
‘I look forward to starting work and meeting the players on Monday ahead of travelling to Australia, where I will be able to get to know the squad and begin our match action.
‘I hope we can provide some entertaining football for our fans, and that we will be competing for trophies at the end of the season, which is what this club deserves.’
He will become the 14th manager of owner Roman Abramovich’s reign since taking over the London club.
Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs have appointed Italian-born coach Giovanni Solinas as the club’s new head coach ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
Amakhosi made the announcement via the club’s official twitter account on Friday afternoon, ending months of speculation as to who would take over the hot seat vacated by Steve Komphela back in April.
Solinas who is familiar with the PSL, returns to Mzansi having taken charge at Free State Stars in 2015, but was shown the exit door in January 2017.
The Italian tactician joins Amakhosi from Saudi Arabian club Al-Faisaly, where he was in charge between 2013 and 2014.
FA Cup holders Chelsea finally confirmed the sacking of title-winning manager Antonio Conte following media reports that the Italian tactician’s days at Stamford Bridge were edging closer to an end.
Former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri is now clear to take over from Conte with just 28 days until the start of the 2018/19 Premier League season.
The statement on the club’s website read:
‘During Antonio’s time at the club, we won our sixth league title and eighth FA Cup.
‘In the title winning season, the club set a then-record 30 wins in a 38-game Premier League season, as well as a club-record 13 consecutive league victories.
‘We wish Antonio every success in his future career.’
Eddie Newton and former goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini took charge of Friday’s session as Sarri prepares to take the reins.
The Blues have reportedly agreed a compensation package which could be worth up to £9million with Conte, who had one year left on his contract.
Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez has finally completed his £60 million (R1.07 billion) club-record move to Manchester City from Leicester City, weeks before their Premier League title defence against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
The 27-year-old has been eager to seek a move away from the Foxes and missed training on a couple of occasions in order to seal a move through to the Etihad outfit.
At the weekend, Leicester granted Mahrez leave of absence from their training camp in France in order to undergo his medical at Wilmslow, which was completed on Tuesday afternoon.
Mahrez revealed his excitement to work under Pep Guardiola after completing a club-record move to the Premier League champions.
The 2015/16 PFA Player of the Year could not contain his excitement upon his unveiling saying:
“Watching them from afar has been a pleasure,” Mahrez told the club’s website.
“Pep Guardiola is committed to playing attacking football, and City’s performances last season were outstanding.
“I think we can be successful over the coming years and I believe my own game can develop under Pep’s management.”
Since joining the Foxes over five seasons ago, Mahrez scored 48 goals and registered 38 assists in 179 games for the Foxes, while winning promotion to the English top-flight in his first season and leading them to a historic Premier League title.
Brighton are close to signing playmaker Percy Tau from Mamelodi Sundowns.
Sundowns released a statement on Monday in which their president “gave instructions to the management to finalise the deal”.
The 24-year-old is now free to take a medical and discuss personal terms with the club, however, he will need a work permit.
Tau, who has been capped 12 times by South Africa, was named Premier Soccer League Footballer of the Year in 2018 after a season in which he scored 11 goals in 30 league appearances.
He had refused to report for training in recent weeks in an attempt to get the deal done, but the club’s statement said: “Tau and his agent came to see [the president] and apologised for disclosing confidential information to the media and for Percy Tau not reporting for training”.
The deal will reportedly make Tau the most expensive player from the South African Premier Soccer League.
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has joined Juventus, becoming one of the four most expensive players of all time.
A deal worth 112m euros (£99.2m) has been reached between the two clubs that has seen the Portuguese sign a four-year deal with the Italian champions.
Ronaldo, 33, won four Champions League titles in his nine years at Real.
“The time has come to open a new stage in my life, that’s why I asked the club to accept transferring me,” he said.
The top two world record transfer fees have been paid out by Paris St-Germain – the £200m they paid Barcelona for Brazil forward Neymar last August, and the fee of around £166m for France forward Kylian Mbappe in July after a successful season on loan with PSG.
Barcelona also paid Liverpool £142m for Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho in January. For Juventus, the fee they will pay for Ronaldo is set to eclipse the £75.3m they paid for forward Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli in July 2016.
Juventus are set to play Real Madrid in a pre-season International Champions Cup tournament in the United States, with the match taking place at FedEx Field in Washington on Saturday, 4 August.
‘Real Madrid have conquered my heart’ – Ronaldo’s letter to fans
These years in Real Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life.
I only have feelings of enormous gratitude for this club, for its fans and for this city. I can only thank all of them for the love and affection I have received.
However, I believe that the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that is why I have asked the club to accept transferring me. I feel that way and I ask everyone, and especially our fans, to please understand me.
They have been absolutely wonderful for nine years. They have been nine unique years. It has been an emotional time for me, full of consideration but also hard because Real Madrid is of the highest demands, but I know very well that I will never forget that I have enjoyed football here in a unique way.
I have had fabulous team-mates on the field and in the dressing room, I have felt the warmth of an incredible crowd and together we have won three Championships in a row and four Championships in five years. And with them also, on an individual level, I have the satisfaction of having won four Gold Balls and three Gold Boots. All during my time in this immense and extraordinary club.
Real Madrid has conquered my heart, and that of my family, and that is why more than ever I want to say thank you: thanks to the club, the President, the directors, my colleagues, all the technical staff, doctors, physios and incredible workers that make everything work, that tirelessly pursue every minute detail.
Thank you infinitely once more to our fans and thanks also to Spanish Football. During these nine exciting years I have played against great players. My respect and my recognition for all of them.
I have reflected a lot and I know that the time has come for a new cycle. I’m leaving but this shirt, this badge and the Santiago Bernabeu but they will continue to always feel part of me wherever I am.
Thanks to all and, of course, as I said that first time in our stadium nine years ago: Go Madrid!
‘Ronaldo will always be one of the great symbols’ – Real Madrid’s reaction
Ronaldo joined Real from Manchester United for £80m in July 2009 and scored a club-record 451 goals and won the Ballon D’Or – awarded to the world’s best footballer – in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
He has helped them win the Champions League in four of the past five seasons, scoring in the 2014 and 2017 finals.
“For Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of the great symbols,” said a club statement.
“Real Madrid wants to express its gratitude to a player who has proved to be the best in the world and who has marked one of the brightest times in the history of our club and world football.
“Real Madrid will always be your home.”
Who next for Real Madrid?
Despite their dominance in Europe’s premier club competition, Real struggled domestically, finishing 17 points behind champions Barcelona last season.
Real are keen on reshaping their team under new manager Julen Lopetegui and the 33-time La Liga winners have also been linked with a move for Paris St-Germain’s 26-year-old Brazil forward Neymar.
However, it would be a controversial move as Neymar spent four years at Real’s fierce rivals Barcelona before joining PSG in his world record transfer of £200m last summer.
Real have also been linked with a move for another PSG forward, Mbappe, the 19-year-old who has helped France reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.
Italian football expert James Horncastle told BBC Radio 5 live: “Real would be reluctant to lose Ronaldo without a replacement in hand. They have been linked with Neymar, who joined PSG for a world record fee last season, and their flirting with the Brazilian appears to have put Ronaldo’s nose out of joint at Madrid.
“We don’t know who is being lined up, be it Kylian Mbappe, Eden Hazard or Harry Kane.”
‘The deal of the century’ – analysis
James Horncastle, Italian football expert on BBC Radio 5 live
Juventus were made aware a few weeks ago that Ronaldo might be available on favourable terms. Ronaldo had a buyout clause worth $1bn (£886m) and Juventus were told Real Madrid were willing to accept £100m and Juventus were willing to pursue that even though it would mean restructuring their wage system.
We heard yesterday Juventus president, Andrea Agnelli, boarded a plane and then got a helicopter to see Ronaldo on holiday in Greece, and it looks as though the deal is done. They are calling it the deal of the century in Italy.
Juventus have reached the Champions League final twice in the last four years and lost both. One of those defeats was to Ronaldo’s Real Madrid. He scored in the final in Cardiff and he knocked them out in the quarters this year. They believe he is the difference and the player who could achieve the Champions League with Juventus for the first time in 23 years.
Winning the trophy has been an obsession for them. This is much more than about football it’s about them going to the next level as a business. When Deloitte ranked the 10 richest clubs in the world earlier this year, Juventus were only 10th. They believe by being able to leverage and monetising some of his followers on social media and his commercial deals, will help them close the gap financially on Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United.
The Italians are confident there could be an announcement this evening, although the finer details of the deal would take a few more days. Juventus’ share prices on the stock exchange sky-rocketed by 33%.
Ronaldo’s career in stats
- 451 – Ronaldo’s Real Madrid-record goal tally, in 438 games.
- 17 – his record goal tally for a Champions League season, in 2013-14.
- 105 – total Champions League goals for the club, which also included 16 in 2015-16 and 15 in the most recent campaign.
- 311 – goals in La Liga.
- 16 – major trophies with the club, including two La Ligas and four Champions Leagues, three Club World Cups and three European Super Cups.
- 44 – hat-tricks for Madrid including a club-record 34 in La Liga.
- 8 – the number of times he scored four or more goals in a Real match. That included five-goal league hauls against Granada in 2014-15 and Espanyol the following season.
- 61 – his most prolific season for Real came in 2014-15 with 61 goals in all competitions, including 48 in the league.
- 659 – career goals, including five for Sporting Lisbon, 118 for Manchester United, 451 for Real Madrid and 85 for Portugal.
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has signed for Juventus after Real Madrid agreed to grant him permission to leave, the club confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.
The statement released by the club read:
‘Today, Real Madrid wants to express its gratitude to a player who has proved to be the best in the world and who has marked one of the brightest times in the history of our club and world football.’
Ronaldo won four Champions League titles during his nine-year stay at the Bernabeu.
‘Beyond the conquered titles, the trophies achieved and the triumphs achieved in the playing fields during these nine years, Cristiano Ronaldo has been an example of dedication, work, responsibility, talent and improvement,’ the statement added.
‘CR7’ thanked Real Madrid for making his time at the club ‘possibly the happiest of my life’, but added that he felt it was the right decision to move on.
He said: ‘I believe that the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that is why I have asked the club to accept transferring me. I feel that way and I ask everyone, and especially our followers, to please understand me.’
The Ballon D’or holder will reportedly earn £500,000 a week in a four-year deal.
Luis Enrique has been appointed as Spain’s next manager on a two-year contract.
The former Roma and Barcelona coach replaces Fernando Hierro, who stepped down as interim boss following La Furia Roja’s World Cup elimination at the hands of hosts Russia recently.
Hierro, a former Spanish international and Real Madrid captain, was placed in temporary charge of the team after Julen Lopetegui was sacked on the eve of the World Cup, following his decision to take up the coaching post at the Bernabeu without the Spanish FA’s knowledge.
Enrique, 48, has been out of management since leaving the Nou Camp last June, where he won four trophies – the La Liga, Spanish Cup, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup.
Luis Rubiales, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president said:
“The decision was unanimous. I like his commitment and he has turned down better-paid jobs in order to coach Spain.
“He’s a coach who has all the requirements the federation was looking for.”
His first game in charge will be a UEFA Nations League game away to England at Wembley on 8 September.
Former Spain goalkeeper Jose Francisco Molina has also been roped in as the national team’s sporting director.
In a statement released by Mamelodi Sundowns on Monday evening, the club confirmed that star player Percy Tau had apologized to the club for his way-ward ways.
The 24-year-old went absent from training after players reported for pre-season training last week.
This comes after English Premier League outfit Brighton and Hove Albion had tabled a South African record R50-million offer for the Bafana Bafana forward.