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Ballon d’Or 2019: Kylian Mbappe can win next year’s award – Messi

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Kylian Mbappe

Barcelona’s talismanic forward, Lionel Messi, has named the player he expects to win the Ballon d’Or in 2020 but it is not his eternal rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Argentine instead picked Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain as a potential Ballon d’Or winner in 2020.

Messi won the award for this year, on Monday, ahead of Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo in Paris, France.

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33-year-old, who is keen to secure more Ballons d’Or in the future, says Mbappe is a new threat.

“I could not imagine it. I would never have thought of winning even one.

“But I am very happy. It’s a recognition that makes me proud. Maybe I will win more. Maybe, I do not know when.

“Kylian Mbappe could too. Surely he’s a great player,” Messi told L’Equipe.

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Barcelona defender, Umtiti, tests positive for COVID-19

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Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has tested positive for coronavirus, the club confirmed on Friday.

Umtiti, 26, is currently recovering from his latest injury setback after once more suffering discomfort in his left knee, which has kept him out of action since July.

And he has now joined fellow defender jean-Clair Todibo in catching the virus,  although without showing any symptoms or health problems.

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Dutch boss Wiegmann to replace Neville as England coach

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Sarina Wiegman is to replace Phil Neville as head coach of the England women’s football team next year, the Football Association announced on Friday.

The 50-year-old Dutch woman will take charge of the Netherlands in next year’s Olympics before assuming control of England.

The former Dutch international defender will be in charge when England hosts the 2022 Euros, the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and the following Euros in 2025.

Wiegman was the FA’s preferred choice ahead of reportedly two-time World Cup-winning former USA coach Jill Ellis.

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Ellis’s second World Cup triumph came at the expense of Wiegman’s Dutch side last year.

“I’m delighted and honored to join England Women next year,” Wiegman said in a statement.

“England is the cradle of football and the major developments in women’s football globally over recent years have been led by the FA.

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“I’m very much looking forward to contributing my experience and expertise to this ambitious team.”

Under Wiegman, Holland won the 2017 European Championship as hosts

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Matuidi joins Beckham’s Inter Miami

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France’s World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi will join David Beckham’s Major League Soccer club Inter Miami, the American club announced Thursday.

Matuidi, 33, has left Italian champion Juventus by mutual consent after three years, for the club co-owned by Beckham, his former Paris Saint-Germain teammate.

Matuidi joined the Turin giant from PSG in 2017 and had one year left on his contract.

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The move comes less than a year before the European football championship, postponed this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Matudi played in the 2018 World Cup final when France beat Croatia 4-2.

Matuidi won three Serie A titles, one Italian Cup and the Italian Super Cup at Juve, where he played 133 games in all competition.

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He helped the club to a ninth Serie A title in a row this season, but the Italian giant crashed out of the Champions League in the last 16.

He also won four Ligue 1 titles during six years at PSG, having previously played for French clubs Troyes and Saint Etienne.

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