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Real Madrid made a point of trying to reduce their wage bill this summer, yet the club continue to have four centre-forwards on their payroll, and there is an ongoing mess at the position with Zinedine Zidane only trusting Karim Benzema. Mariano Diaz is an additional forward, although despite being told he isn’t wanted by Zidane, is refusing to leave this summer. Benzema is the least pure No.9 of all the centre forwards on the team’s books, yet he is by far the most productive. His 2019/20 campaign was sensational and Zidane trusts him completely, but the problem comes with a lack of alternative options and goalscoring was a…

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Leeds can finally call themselves a Premier League team once more. FFT retraces an extraordinary journey of upsets, angst and unruly ownership with ex-bosses, players and a famously tearful fan his Leeds feature first appeared in the Season Preview 2020/21 issue of FourFourTwo magazine. Buy it now and get free delivery! Leeds United fans stood disconsolately in the rain at the compact Glassworld Stadium, as a postman rose highest to meet a corner-kick and deliver the moment they had dreaded. Champions League semi-finalists just seven years earlier, now defender Matt Langston’s header had put them on course for a defeat against a…

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Atletico Madrid may well win La Liga this season – but there’s still reason to believe that Diego Simeone’s side are not what they once were Enter the bad guys. Perhaps they are often introduced in the third scene and La Liga has navigated its way through two weekends without the anti-heroes arriving. But Atletico Madrid begin their campaign against Granada on Sunday and the sense of malevolence could be ramped up. If Diego Simeone and Diego Costa are joined by Luis Suarez, they could have the greatest collection of pantomime villains in footballing history. When the season ends, Atletico may yet…

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The clubs have announced that the move is official, as the prolific striker says goodbye to the Camp Nou and hello to the Wanda Metropolitano. Atlético Madrid have signed striker Luis Suárez from Barcelona, the Spanish clubs said on Wednesday, bringing to an end his six-year stint at the Camp Nou. Suárez moves to Barcelona rivals Atlético Barça’s statement said Atlético will pay the Catalans six million euros ($7 million) in bonus payments to sign the 33-year-old. The Uruguay striker, who became Barça’s third all-time top scorer, had a year left on his contract with the club. Suárez will replace…

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The Global Esports Federation has added the World Karate Federation, the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM), and the International Canoe Federation as members. In addition to becoming members, the trio also join GEF’s advisory council. The latest additions mean the GEF has now confirmed eight international federations. The other five are: World Taekwondo; International Tennis Federation; World Squash Federation; International Surfing Association; and World Archery. The GEF has been busy this year in its attempts to develop esports more widely, forming a strategic partnership with digital marketing communications company Dentsu, in June and beginning an “exploratory partnership” with the Commonwealth Games Federation in May.…

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Scottish Premiership club Celtic has entered into a sponsorship agreement with global video technology company Dahua Technology. The six-figure deal in pounds sterling will grant Dahua branding on LED pitch-side banners and on the club’s website and match programmes for the 2020-21 season. Dahua will also supply the club with video-based technology and equipment, including video walls for locations such as the Celtic Store and media centre at Celtic Park stadium, drones to help with player training and development, and electronic whiteboards for staff training and meetings. The deal represents the first ever major sponsorship by Dahua Technology in the…

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Spanish telecoms operator Telefónica has renewed its exclusive domestic broadcast rights agreement with Liga ACB, the top tier of Spanish basketball, for another three seasons. The new deal runs from 2020-21 to 2022-23 and also includes renewed sponsorship rights to the ACB competitions. Telefónica has retained rights to show all matches from the Liga Endesa, Copa del Rey and Endesa Super Cup on its Movistar Plus pay-television channels. As part of the new agreement, the top match of the week will be shown by Vamos, Movistar Plus’ multi-sports channel, with all other matches to be broadcast by Movistar Deportes. Domestic…

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Esports organisation Riot Games has signed up premium car brand Mercedes-Benz as the latest sponsor for its League of Legends series. The global deal will see Mercedes-Benz sponsor League of Legends events, such as the World Championship, the Mid-Season Invitational and the All-Star Event. The sponsorship will begin with the 2020 World Championship, where the brand will become the first ever sponsor of the trophy ceremony. Alongside global payment specialists Mastercard, it will be one of two brands to be granted visibility at the tournament’s opening ceremony. As part of the deal’s activation, Riot’s newly-available in-game banner advertising will be utilised for the series.…

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Italian Serie A club AC Milan has signed a renewal to its sponsorship contract with pharmaceutical brand Bioscalin. The association began in 2018 and will now extend until the end of the 2020-21 season. The Giuliani company-owned Bioscalin sits in the third tier of AC Milan’s sponsorship portfolio, known as the ‘major partner’ tier. As detailed by SportBusiness Soccer, the previous contract between the two organisations was worth €1.2m ($1.4m) per season. The extension follows a flurry of recent sponsorship activity at AC Milan, underpinned by a broader shift in its sponsorship strategy. This was detailed to SportBusiness by Casper Stylsvig,…

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To celebrate 40 years of the Zenit Supporters Association, the fans will take on a team of Zenit legends at the Petrovsky stadium this Saturday. The programme starts at 7.30pm St. Petersburg time with a celebratory concert. The match itself will kick-off an hour later at 8.30pm. The legends team will include star players such as Andrey Arshavin, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Alexander Spivak and others. Admission to the event is free but please arrive in good time and remember to wear your mask and gloves! The nearest metro to the Petrovsky stadium is Sportivnaya and the stadium is located at the end of…

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