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La Liga: Barcelona ponder Messi rest as Madrid await Hazard

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images 92 La Liga: Barcelona ponder Messi rest as Madrid await Hazard

Barcelona must weigh up the decision whether to rest Lionel Messi for Saturday ’ s trip to Getafe ahead of a congested run of fixtures, while Real Madrid are still waiting on the return of Eden Hazard from injury.
Messi played the full 90 minutes in Argentina ’ s World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Bolivia during the international break , the second of which was played at altitude in La Paz .
The Barca captain has not missed a single minute for his club since football resumed in June following the coronavirus shutdown .
However, with seven games in the space of 21 days awaiting Barca , coach Ronald Koeman could elect to give Messi a breather before the start of the team ’s Champions League campaign .
Barca host Hungarian side Ferencvaros on Tuesday and then face sworn enemies Real Madrid four days later behind closed doors at the Camp Nou .
The Catalan club head to Italy for a Champions League clash with Juventus on October 28 before games against Alaves and Real Betis either side of the visit of Dynamo Kiev .
Leaders Madrid are unbeaten in La Liga since March, winning 13 of their past 15 games , and welcome Cadiz to the capital this weekend .
Zinedine Zidane could also opt to rotate some players but Thibaut Courtois , Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior are in line to play after resting while others were away on international duty .
Courtois left the Belgium squad with a back injury and while he is fit to return, compatriot Hazard is not yet ready for action .
The 29 -year – old has yet to feature this season having picked up a muscle injury as he worked his way back from an ankle problem .
He is also expected to miss next weekend ’ s Clasico , but Courtois believes Hazard will come good after scoring just once in an injury -plagued first season in Spain.
“ I have no doubt we are going to see the best of Hazard ,” Courtois told Cadena Ser radio .
“ He is more desperate than anyone to show it . He’ s coming along well and hopefully soon he can prove it .
He added, “ I am sure that in no time he will explode and will give many joys to the team . ”
Atletico Madrid visit Celta Vigo in their first game since the sale of Ghana midfielder Thomas Partey to Arsenal on transfer deadline day .
Partey made 188 appearances for the Atletico and was part of the sides that reached the 2016 Champions League final and beat Arsenal on the way to winning the Europa League in 2018 .
One to watch : Oussama IdrissiThe Dutch -born Morocco international could make his Sevilla debut at Granada after joining the club on a five -year deal from AZ Alkmaar .
Idrissi , 24 , scored 13 goals in 25 games in the Eredivisie last season before it was declared over in March due to the Covid- 19 outbreak.
Julen Lopetegui’ s Europa League winners are one of four undefeated teams in La Liga this term , with seven points from their first three matches .
Key stats12 – goals scored by Sergio Ramos since the start of the 2019 / 20 season, more than any other defender in Europe ’ s top five leagues .
250 – goals scored by Karim Benzema for Real Madrid . The Frenchman is only the fifth player to reach the mark in club history
FixturesSaturday ( all times GMT)
Granada v Sevilla ( 1100 ) , Celta Vigo v Atletico Madrid ( 1400 ) , Real Madrid v Cadiz ( 1630 ) , Getafe v Barcelona ( 1900 )
Sunday
Eibar v Osasuna ( 1000 ) , Athletic Bilbao v Levante ( 1200 ) , Villarreal v Valencia ( 1400 ) , Alaves v Elche ( 1630 ) , Huesca v Real Valladolid ( 1630 ) , Real Betis v Real Sociedad ( 1900 )

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Solskjaer defends Man Utd striker Greenwood

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0 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Solskjaer defends Man Utd striker Greenwood

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Friday defended the professionalism of Mason Greenwood , saying the “ whole English press ” have targeted the Manchester United forward after he was sent home from England duty last month.
The 19 -year – old has made a big impact at Old Trafford since making his first -team debut in March 2019 , scoring 17 goals last season and recently making his international debut.
Greenwood was sent home from his first England camp for breaching coronavirus protocols in Iceland and he has reportedly been warned about his behavior , including his time -keeping , by the club .
But Solskjaer, speaking at his pre -match press conference on Friday , brushed that issue aside as the teenager prepares to make his return against Chelsea this weekend .
“ You do ( make a target for yourself ) when you play well and I’ m not concerned at all with Mason making a target of himself, ” said the United boss .
“ He ’s come in , he’ s played fantastic, he played his first league game against ( Arsenal ) last season, was brilliant and just kicked on .
“ Yeah , he ’ s made a mistake this summer with England and suddenly the whole English press go after him and that ’s something we’ve got to look after .”
Solskjaer described Greenwood as a “ fantastic boy to work with ” .
“ I have to disappoint you , he ’ s never , ever late for training , he’ s never a problem when he ’s in the training ground ,” he said.
“ He ’s always on time . I’ve seen the stories, actually, some ex -United players talking about him and they don ’t really know anything that they ’re talking about because , well , we’ ve got photographers outside the training ground every day so they can check the time every day . ”
The Norwegian boss added : “ He ’s a good trainer , he trains really well , and I cannot believe all these stories about him not being professional . ”
Greenwood missed United ’s impressive Champions League win at Paris Saint -Germain on Tuesday with an unspecified issue , while captain Harry Maguire and new signing Edinson Cavani were other high-profile absentees.
Solskjaer said he expected all three of them to be available for the visit of Chelsea on Saturday.

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Pelé turns 80, isolated at home

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images 2020 10 23T161704.355 Pelé turns 80, isolated at home

Considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time , Pele will celebrate his 80 th birthday Friday , confined to his home in Brazil because of Covid-19 but meeting the milestone with his trademark laugh .
“ The King ” has suffered from a series of health problems in recent years, but has not lost his charisma or sense of humor .
“ I’ m fine , it ’s just I won ’t be able to play” on his birthday , he joked this week in a video conversation with the head of the Brazilian Football Confederation .
The only player in history to win three World Cups ( 1958 , 1962 and 1970 ) , Pele plans to celebrate his birthday quietly — as he does almost every year , he says, coronavirus pandemic or not .
But several tributes are planned in Brazil , from an exhibit in his honor at the Sao Paulo Football Museum to a mural designed by renowned street artist Kobra in Santos , the city where Pele started his professional career as a 15 – year -old prodigy in 1955 .
Pele also recorded a song with Grammy – winning Mexican duo Rodrigo and Gabriela , billed as “ a little birthday present for his fans and himself. ”
“ Thank you to Brazil and all Brazilians. I was always very happy wearing this jersey . Thank you for all your warm wishes for my birthday ,” he wrote Wednesday on Instagram , posted with a photo of himself celebrating one of his 1 ,281 goals .
Whether captured in grainy black and white early in his career , or with his yellow and green number 10 Brazil jersey flitting across the screen in the era of color TV , many of those goals were spectacular displays of athletic prowess , setting the standard for the “ jogo bonito , ” or “ beautiful game ,” that would come to define Brazilian football .
His legacy looms so large that FIFA named him the greatest footballer of the 20 th century in 2000 , alongside Argentina ’ s Diego Maradona — who celebrates his 60 th birthday on October 30 .
– Health scares – Born October 23 , 1940 , in the city of Tres Coracoes in southeastern Brazil , Edson Arantes do Nascimento — Pele ’s real name — has grown increasingly frail with age .
His public appearances had become rare even before the pandemic confined him at home in Brazil , where Covid- 19 has now claimed 155 ,000 lives , the second -highest death toll in the world after the United States .
Pele has been in and out of hospital in recent years for various health issues .
Last year he was rushed to the hospital for kidney problems after traveling to Paris for a promotional appearance with French star Kylian Mbappe .
In 2014 , he was placed in intensive care for dialysis after contracting a severe urinary infection .
“ The King ” has only one kidney, after a broken rib during a match forced doctors to remove the other .
He has also suffered a series of hip problems , forcing him to use a walker .
Earlier this year , his son Edinho said health problems had left his father depressed and reclusive .
“ Just imagine , he ’ s the ‘ King ,’ he was always such an imposing figure , and now he can ’t walk normally , ” he said .
Pele quickly reassured fans that he was fine .
“ I have good days and others that are less good . That ’ s normal for someone my age ,” he said.
Pele said he was happy for his good mental health in a video sent to the media Tuesday .
“ I thank God for giving me the health to make it this far lucid . Not very intelligent, but lucid , ” he joked .
“ I hope when I die God will welcome me the same way I ’ve been welcomed all over the world because of our beloved football ,” he added .

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Man Utd confirm 25-man Premier League squad, Jones & Romero out

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images 2020 10 23T103655.722 Man Utd confirm 25-man Premier League squad, Jones & Romero out

Manchester United’s 25-man squad for the Premier League has been submitted in advance of Tuesday afternoon’s deadline.

This group does not include players under the age of 21, so Academy products Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood, and recent recruit Facundo Pellistri, fall into this category.

There are also two separate lists – the main one and another for the homegrown classification, which refers to players who, irrespective of nationality or age, have been registered with any club affiliated to the FA or FAW for a period of three entire seasons, or 36 months, before their 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which they turn 21). Hence, this does not merely refer to players who have come through our own ranks.

Marcos Rojo, who is back at the Aon Training Complex following his loan move in his native Argentina with Estudiantes, is one of 13 names on the non-homegrown list, along with new deadline-day signings Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani.

The limit for players on this particular list for all clubs has been set as 17 by the Premier League, with the rest made up of those fulfilling the homegrown criteria.

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