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Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 West Ham United: Hammers come from behind as Spurs drop points again

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Jarrod Bowen smashes the ball into the Tottenham net
Jarrod Bowen is West Ham’s top scorer with nine goals across all competitions this season

West Ham United manager David Moyes called his side’s comeback at Tottenham “one of the biggest wins I’ve had in football” as they continued their fine run of form.

Cristian Romero’s early header had given Spurs a deserved opener in the 11th minute as the defender nodded in Pedro Porro’s corner with a looping effort.

But Jarrod Bowen hit back for the Hammers, latching on to a loose ball in the penalty area and firing in a 52nd-minute equaliser.

And, after a poor backpass from Spurs defender Destiny Udogie, James Ward-Prowse side-footed an effort against the post before knocking in the rebound to complete West Ham’s turnaround in the 74th minute.

“I think it is a huge win to come here and win against this side,” Moyes told BBC Radio 5 Live.

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“I’m pleased with how we were resilient and diligent in our work, organised, defensively structured and we were always a threat as well.”

West Ham have won five of their past six fixtures across all competitions while Tottenham suffered their fourth defeat in five and have dropped points from a winning position for a fifth consecutive game.

Bowen epitomises tireless performance

West Ham are in a purple patch, but for much of the first half against their London rivals the Hammers barely had a touch as Tottenham seemed to dictate play at will.

Ghanaian Mohammed Kudus had a strike ruled out for offside and Lucas Paqueta sent a header narrowly wide as the visitors got a foothold just before the break.

Having absorbed Spurs’ pressure West Ham were fortunate to level when Kudus’ shot deflected off both Romero and Ben Davies and into the path of Bowen who dinked the ball over onrushing Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario.

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Twenty minutes later Bowen, again playing up front with regular number nine Michail Antonio recovering from a hamstring injury, forced Vicario to rush off his line to deal with Udogie’s horror backpass.

The Italian pushed the ball straight to Ward-Prowse who duly netted West Ham’s second after first striking the post.

“We were up against it tonight, we had to dig in and thankfully we just about scraped it,” Moyes added on Amazon Prime.

“[It was a] huge performance because of the quality of the opposition. We are a team who can give some of the good teams a bloody nose, we have that in us.”

West Ham were clinical when they needed to be with leading scorer Bowen epitomising his side’s tireless performance.

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They have won 10 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season – only Brighton (11) and Liverpool (15) have recovered more.

And the visitors’ latest win means they remain ninth in the table and host Fulham in their next league match on Sunday.

Spurs drop points from winning positions again

Just over a month ago, Tottenham beat Crystal Palace to go five points clear at the top of the Premier League table with their eighth league victory in 10 matches.

Five games without a win have followed, Spurs’ longest winless run since November 2019.

Having taken an early lead, Ange Postecoglou’s side were seemingly cruising and almost had a second just before the break when Giovani Lo Celso’s dangerous cross was deflected on to the woodwork by returning West Ham captain Kurt Zouma.

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And in the 70th minute, with the scores level at 1-1, substitute Richarlison should have headed Spurs back in front, but glanced a Porro cross wide from close range.

Defeat means Tottenham have lost 16 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, more than any other side.

They stayed fifth in the table, three points off Manchester City in fourth and face seventh-placed Newcastle in their next match on Sunday.

Player of the match

BowenJarrod Bowen

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West Ham United

  1. Squad number20Player nameBowen

  2. Squad number7Player nameWard-Prowse

  3. Squad number8Player nameFornals

  4. Squad number14Player nameKudus

  5. Squad number1Player nameFabianski

  6. Squad number27Player nameAguerd

  7. Squad number33Player nameEmerson

  8. Squad number28Player nameSoucek

  9. Squad number5Player nameCoufal

  10. Squad number19Player nameÁlvarez

  11. Squad number10Player nameLucas Paquetá

  12. Squad number4Player nameZouma

Line-ups

Tottenham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Vicario
  • 23PorroBooked at 59mins
  • 17RomeroBooked at 89mins
  • 33Davies
  • 38Udogie
  • 8BissoumaSubstituted forGilat 84′minutes
  • 5HøjbjergSubstituted forRicharlisonat 67′minutes
  • 21KulusevskiBooked at 90mins
  • 18Lo CelsoSubstituted forSkippat 67′minutes
  • 22JohnsonSubstituted forSarrat 84′minutes
  • 7Son Heung-minSubstituted forVélizat 88′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Skipp
  • 9Richarlison
  • 11Gil
  • 12Emerson Royal
  • 20Forster
  • 29Sarr
  • 36Véliz
  • 63Donley
  • 65Dorrington

West Ham

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Fabianski
  • 5Coufal
  • 4Zouma
  • 27Aguerd
  • 33EmersonBooked at 57mins
  • 28Soucek
  • 7Ward-ProwseBooked at 80mins
  • 19ÁlvarezBooked at 90mins
  • 20Bowen
  • 14KudusSubstituted forFornalsat 88′minutes
  • 10Lucas Paquetá

Substitutes

  • 3Cresswell
  • 8Fornals
  • 15Mavropanos
  • 18Ings
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 22Benrahma
  • 24Kehrer
  • 45Mubama
  • 49Anang

Referee:
Michael Salisbury

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Oliver Glasner: Crystal Palace boss tells fans ‘I am not David Copperfield’

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New Crystal Palace manager Oliver Glasner has told the club’s fans he is not a “magician”.

The Austrian, 49, replaced Roy Hodgson as Palace boss on Monday and watched from the stands as the Eagles drew 1-1 at Everton that evening.

Palace are now 15th in the Premier League – five points above the relegation zone – after 10 defeats in their past 17 league games.

“I’m no magician, I am not David Copperfield,” said Glasner.

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“It’s important we work together to reach our vision.”

Hodgson’s coaches Ray Lewington and Paddy McCarthy were in the dugout at Goodison Park, so the first game in charge for Glasner, who has signed a contract until June 2026, will be Saturday’s home game against second-bottom Burnley (15:00 GMT).

“The players are listening and are great characters. We have had more meetings than training sessions on the pitch, but the important thing is the game tomorrow and to get the three points at Selhurst Park,” added the former Wolfsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt boss.

“The short-term goal is to get ourselves – myself and my staff – known.

“We can see what happens in the future but I am a guy who lives in the present, working with this squad and preparing them to play games.”

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Supporters unfurled a banner that read “No shared vision, no structured plan” during Palace’s 4-1 defeat against rivals Brighton on 3 February.

The protests, aimed at owner Steve Parish, came before Hodgson’s decision to step down.

“When you have bad points, you need support, and I’m sure the fans will support the team immediately in this next game,” said Glasner.

“I really am convinced that they will be supporting us until the end of the season.”

Palace’s ‘bold appointment’ – analysis

BBC Sport’s Alex Howell

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Crystal Palace have made a bold appointment, and Oliver Glasner is taking on a significant challenge. For the first time in his career, the Austrian has taken charge of a team in mid-season.

But it’s a challenge he feels he is up to. At his first media conference since taking the job, Glasner said he would not be sitting in the Crystal Palace manager’s chair “if he thought we were going to get relegated”.

Managing in England for the first time, Glasner has sought out advice on what to expect in the Premier League. He mentioned that he has spoken Ralf Rangnick, the former Manchester United interim manager, who he knows from his time working in the Red Bull group.

More than once at the media conference, Glasner said that he is “not a magician”. He indicated that it will take a while before English football sees what a true team of his looks like.

The suggestion that we won’t see the best of Palace straight away under the new man is a fair one. Although his appointment has given the club a lift, he is still without Michael Olise, Marc Guehi, Eberechi Eze and Cheick Doucoure although he said Eze should be back next week.

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Palace have won just four of their last 19 Premier League matches, and need good results quickly. A home game against 19th-placed Burnley offers an opportunity to start the ball rolling. But whatever happens this weekend, this is an appointment that Palace have made for the long term.

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Ce qui se cache derrière le vernis noir aux ongles de Ronaldo !

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Cristiano Ronaldo se retrouve malgré lui au cœur de l’actualité une nouvelle fois. Tout ceci est parti du dernier cliché qu’il a dévoilé avec son fils aîné.

Encore une fois, Cristiano Ronaldo fait parler de lui. Alors que la star portugaise a dévoilé une photo de lui avec son fils de 13 ans, les internautes se sont penché sur un détail. En effet, Ronaldo a partagé une photo de lui avec Cristiano Jr sur ses réseaux sociaux après une séance de gym. Toutefois, c’est le vernis sur les ongles de CR7 qui ont retenu le plus l’attention de certains followers. Nombreux sont donc ceux qui ont cherché à comprendre la raison pour laquelle Ronaldo l’a fait.

Et l’explication est plutôt toute simple. En effet, Bild Sport indique que Cristiano Ronaldo n’a pas mis des vernis noirs sur les ongles pour le plaisir ou juste pour l’esthétique. Le but, c’est de juste éviter les bactéries et les champions en tant qu’athlète. Mettre du vernis permet de protéger les ongles et de les endurcis également. Ce qui les évite do´c de se fissurer. À noter que c’est un procédé beaucoup utilisé par les sportifs, surtout chez les pratiquants de boxe et de MMA. D’ailleurs, Mike Tyson qui en a beaucoup utilisé, c’est de quoi il est question.

 

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Valencia’s La Liga match against Granada postponed after deadly fire in city

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Emergency services tackle a blaze in Valencia
At least ten people died in the fire

Valencia’s La Liga match against Granada has been postponed after a deadly fire in the city.

At least ten people were killed after the fire ripped through two apartment blocks in the Spanish city on Thursday, with up to 15 people missing.

Valencia, who are eighth in La Liga, had been due to host Granada at the Mestalla Stadium on Saturday.

The club say they are“devastated”external-link and “offer our help to emergency services for any need they may have”.

Their men’s, women’s and academy squads held a minute’s silence before their training sessions on Friday morning and the club will fly flags at half-mast at their facilities.

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Firefighters were called at about 17:30 local time (16:30 GMT) to the incident, with emergency services rescuing several residents from their balconies using cranes.

More than 20 fire crews tackled the blaze, which was made worse by high winds.

Fifteen people, including six firefighters and a young child, were injured in the fire but their lives are not in danger.

Writing on X (formerly known as Twitter) Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said: “Dismayed by the terrible fire in a building in Valencia… I want to convey my solidarity to all the people affected and recognition to all the emergency personnel already deployed at the scene.”

Experts say highly flammable cladding on the building enabled the fire to spread rapidly.

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A three-day period of mourning has been declared in the Valencian region.

A fire blazes through a tower block in Valencia
The fire occurred in the Campanar neighbourhood of Valencia.
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Le Barça vise la deuxième place face à Getafe

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Le FC Barcelone n’a pas encore trouvé la solution pour garder sa cage inviolée. Après quatre matchs consécutifs sans clean sheet, dont un match nul 1-1 contre Naples en Ligue des Champions, les Blaugrana se tournent vers la Liga pour tenter de se relancer.

La deuxième place est en jeu face à Getafe, une équipe que le Barça n’a battue qu’une seule fois lors de ses quatre dernières confrontations en championnat (1v, 3n).

Malgré une défense fébrile ces derniers temps (14 buts encaissés en 5 matchs à domicile), le Barça reste invaincu contre Getafe au Camp Nou (16v, 4n).

Getafe, en milieu de tableau, n’a perdu qu’un seul de ses cinq derniers matchs (2v, 2n) et vise une place européenne. Un nul n’est pas à exclure, car 7 des 10 derniers matchs à l’extérieur de Getafe en Liga se sont soldés par un score de parité (1v, 2d).

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Joueurs à suivre:

İlkay Gündoğan: Le milieu de terrain de Manchester City est en forme, avec 5 buts lors de ses derniers matchs de championnat qui ont tous produit au moins 3 buts.
Mason Greenwood: L’attaquant de Getafe, prêté par Manchester United, pourrait chercher à marquer rapidement pour impressionner le Barça, qui s’intéresse à lui pour cet été. 4 de ses 5 buts en Liga avec Getafe ont été marqués en première mi-temps.

Statistique: Barcelone a marqué 16 buts après la 80e minute, le plus haut total de Liga.

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Highlights: NI secure first-leg win over Montenegro

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Goals by Lauren Wade and Demi Vance help Northern Ireland to a 2-0 victory against Montenegro in the first leg of their Women’s Nations League play-off.

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Theo Hernández dans le viseur du Bayern pour remplacer Davies ?

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Coup de chaud sur le mercato ! Theo Hernández, 26 ans et défenseur vedette de l’AC Milan, serait sur la liste du Bayern Munich pour remplacer Alphonso Davies ! Cette information intervient alors que l’avenir de Davies reste flou, avec des négociations contractuelles en cours et l’intérêt d’autres clubs.

Le polyvalent Hernández, capable d’évoluer sur tout le flanc gauche, est un profil intéressant pour le Bayern. Il peut jouer en tant qu’arrière latéral, piston, voire plus haut sur le terrain si nécessaire, offrant une flexibilité tactique qui correspond au style de jeu du club.

Toutefois, il ne s’agit pour l’instant que de rumeurs. Aucune information concrète ne fait état d’une approche officielle du Bayern, et le contrat d’Hernández avec l’AC Milan court jusqu’en 2026. Néanmoins, cela suggère que le Bayern explore ses options et se prépare à tous les scénarios possibles avec Davies.

Trouver une solution à long terme pour le flanc gauche sera l’un des premiers défis majeurs pour le nouveau duo dirigeant du Bayern, Sebastian Kehl et Matthias Sammer. Bien que Davies soit un jeune joueur talentueux, assurer son avenir avec le club reste une priorité, et Hernández pourrait être une alternative potentielle si les choses ne se déroulent pas comme prévu.

Considéré comme l’un des meilleurs latéraux gauches au monde, Hernández serait sans aucun doute un atout précieux pour n’importe quelle équipe. Ses contributions offensives et défensives ont été cruciales pour le succès de l’AC Milan, et son expérience sur la scène internationale avec la France ajoute du poids à son profil.

Reste à voir si l’intérêt du Bayern pour Hernández se traduira par une offre concrète. Cependant, le fait que son nom soit mentionné aux côtés de Davies montre que le géant allemand ne prend aucun risque et envisage activement des remplaçants potentiels au cas où son joueur vedette déciderait de partir.

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Grace Clinton’s impressive England debut: ‘She plays like a natural’

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Grace Clinton is congratulated after scoring
Grace Clinton came through Everton’s academy before joining Manchester United and having successful loan spells at Bristol City and Tottenham

Grace Clinton’s England debut could not have gone much better.

The 20-year-old has caught the eye this season while on loan at Tottenham from Manchester United and she did not waste any time in impressing Wiegman in Spain.

Playing in an unfamiliar number eight position, Clinton did not look out of place alongside England midfield regulars Georgia Stanway and Ella Toone.

By the time she was substituted in the second half – receiving a warm hug from Wiegman before she took her seat in the dugout – she had shown a convincing reel of her skillsets and will surely get another opportunity to do so again soon.

“She plays like a natural. She wants to have the ball. She picks up the things we talk about very quickly and that’s what you see on the pitch too,” said England boss Wiegman afterwards.

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“It was a new role for her so we did some tactics and some individual things and you can tell she takes things on board. She just goes out there and plays.”

‘You work hard for these moments’

Sat in the stands at Estadio Nuevo Mirador, a 7,200-capacity stadium in Algeciras, a fair distance from England’s hotel in Marbella, were Clinton’s mum and dad, who had flown over in the hope of seeing her make her senior debut.

Clinton is one of several youngsters to have broken into the first-team squad under Wiegman and on Friday she proved to be an example for the under-23s players who have joined the Lionesses out in Spain.

“I can’t even describe it to be honest, it feels amazing. I found out on Thursday night [I was starting],” said Clinton.

“Throughout the week you might have ideas and stuff, but I couldn’t believe it. It’s surreal but you work so hard to get these moments so you really have to soak it in.”

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Clinton said she “couldn’t wait” to “see the reaction” of her parents at full-time but joked that she expected a potentially “harsh” debriefing from her dad on where she could still improve.

“My dad knows his football so he will have a proper chat with me and I’ll be there a while,” added Clinton.

Playing alongside Stanway, who thrived in a deeper midfield role against Austria, and United team-mate Toone, Clinton said she felt “really comfortable”.

“The girls supported me so much. It was nice playing with Tooney because I know her really well and Georgia was really helpful behind – so really comfortable,” added Clinton.

“The number eight position this season is a bit new to me. Sarina told me at the start of the week she was trying new things so to be in there is different, but nice.”

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‘It’s exciting she still has so much to work on’

Sarina Wiegman and Grace Clinton
Sarina Wiegman congratulated Grace Clinton when she came off in the second half

Manchester City defender Alex Greenwood, who wore the captain’s armband for England on Friday, hopes plenty of other youngsters can follow in Clinton’s footsteps and make an impression on the main stage.

“This week we’ve had the under-23s squad with us so for them to see that happen will be a bit of motivation for them to know they can have an opportunity in the future,” said Greenwood.

“Obviously we’re really proud of Grace for taking her opportunity and getting herself a goal.

“She’s brilliant. She’s actually really mature for her age and is obviously a fellow Scouser as well so that’s always nice to have another one in the camp.”

Earlier this season, Tottenham boss Robert Vilahamn said Clinton would be “the next superstar in this country”.

With four goals and two assists in 13 appearances for Spurs, Clinton has been a standout performer in the Women’s Super League, but Greenwood believes there is still more to come.

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“She’s a great kid, really energetic, wants to learn and is always asking questions, which I love about her. She takes criticism really well and wants to improve,” said Greenwood.

“I think she’s a really good midfielder on the ball and makes good runs into the box. She’s an intelligent footballer and it’s exciting that she still has so much to work on actually.”

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La date de la présentation de Mbappé au Real Madrid dévoilée

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L’arrivée de Kylian Mbappé au Real Madrid semble tellement évidente et certaine que l’on commence déjà à parler du jour où il pourrait être présenté comme nouveau joueur du club merengue.

Le Santiago Bernabéu l’attend déjà à bras ouverts. Sa présentation promet d’être à la hauteur de celle de Cristiano Ronaldo en 2009, lorsque 90 000 personnes avaient assisté à l’événement.

À l’époque, le prodige portugais venait de Manchester United avec un triplé de Premier League, un titre de champion d’Europe et les titres de Ballon d’Or et de Soulier d’Or en cours.

Mbappé arrivera en tant que champion du monde et vice-champion du monde après le Mondial au Qatar, et après être devenu le meilleur buteur de l’histoire du PSG.

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Dates possibles de la présentation

L’émission El Chiringuito de Jugones a révélé hier soir les dates auxquelles Kylian Mbappé pourrait être présenté comme nouveau joueur du Real Madrid après la fin de la saison en cours.

Il faut tenir compte du fait que la finale de la Ligue des champions cette année aura lieu le 1er juin au stade de Wembley, où le PSG et/ou le Real Madrid peuvent être présents (ce qui serait une bombe).

Il faut également noter que l’Euro 2024 en Allemagne commence le 14 juin et il est fort possible que le joueur participe également aux Jeux olympiques de Paris.

Par conséquent, la présentation de Mbappé au Santiago Bernabéu aura lieu soit au début du mois de juin, soit à la fin de l’été, lorsque le joueur reviendra des Jeux olympiques.

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Georgi Sudakov: Air strikes & explosions, the reality of war for one of Ukraine’s top prospects

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Sudakov taking a corner
Georgi Sudakov played every minute of Shakhtar’s Champions League campaign this term

Georgi Sudakov is as mature and pragmatic as he is talented. You grow up quickly as a young father when your country is at war.

Saturday marks two years since Russian tanks and troops crossed Ukrainian borders and for 21-year-old Sudakov, one of Ukraine’s most promising footballers, the threat remains real.

When the war began, Sudakov and his wife were expecting their first child, yet they were forced to hide away in a makeshift bomb shelter during air strikes on Kyiv.

Their daughter, Milana, is now approaching her second birthday but still the attacks continue.

“The situation is difficult,” Sudakov tells BBC Sport. “Frequent strikes and sounds of sirens. There was an explosion near our house in Kyiv recently.”

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Sudakov is often on the road with Shakhtar Donetsk but there is no escaping the conflict for him and his team-mates. The club’s under-19s goalkeeper Volodymyr Seheda even put his career on hold to join the Ukrainian army.

“It’s psychologically hard when your family is far away and the first thing you see in the morning after waking up is a text from your wife saying that she and your child are hiding in the bathroom,” adds the midfielder.

He speaks frequently with friends and family about what is happening. “It is not a situation that you can forget about or move away from,” he says. “You follow the news or discuss it with your team-mates.

“It’s hard, but I have the opportunity to get a small distraction through my profession.

“When I’m on the pitch, I have two hours where I can forget about all my problems for a while and focus on football. It is on the pitch that I feel most comfortable.”

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Amid the backdrop of war and the pressure of a burgeoning football career, the most significant change to Sudakov’s world has been becoming a father.

“The emotions and experiences cannot be expressed in words,” he explains. “They are special and unique. Nothing in football or beyond can compare to it. Our little miracle brings us joy and emotion every day. Now there is a new meaning to our life – our child.

“Everything I do now is primarily for my family. It is a very strong motivation and source of support.”

On the field, however, Sudakov is turning heads and winning plaudits.

Bids came in for the midfielder in January, with Napoli seeing an offer worth 40m euros (£34.24m) turned down. Sudakov instead renewed his contract, with Shakhtar reportedly adding a 150m euro release clause.

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“There were offers from Juventus and Napoli,” explains Sudakov. “Other clubs also showed interest, but only these two teams made specific proposals.”

Sudakov has done his due diligence on other leagues, seeking advice from Chelsea forward Mykhailo Mudryk, a good friend, as well as confiding in Arsenal defender Oleksandr Zincheko, Genoa midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi and Benfica goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin.

“They all say that the level of football in their leagues is completely different,” he explains, stressing he remains “very happy” at Shakhtar.

“Speed, pace, quality of play and level of thinking are all superior. It is impossible to compare the Ukrainian championship with their leagues.

“If you want to progress as a footballer, then you need to move to the one of the top five leagues. At the same time, Shakhtar are forming a very strong team striving not only to play in European competitions but also to achieve positive results.”

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According to his former youth team coach Fernando Valente, Sudakov could play for Liverpool, Barcelona or Manchester City, though his first football kit was a Manchester United one with Cristiano Ronaldo on the back and his “hero” was Real Madrid’s Luka Modric.

“I feel comfortable with the ball and prefer to play attacking football,” he says, leaving any comparisons for others to make.

“I don’t really like playing with a lot of challenges and without the ball, but I understand that this is an integral part of football and I’m ready to develop those aspects of my game at the right time.”

‘We feel responsibility and pride’

Sudakov Shakthar
Sudakov has been attracting interest from some of Europe’s top clubs

Sudakov played a key role as Shakhtar won the Ukrainian title last season, which was completed behind closed doors after the previous campaign was cancelled.

He also played every minute of Shakhtar’s Champions League campaign this term, scoring against Barcelona, when they finished third in the group after beating the Catalan giants in Hamburg – their current base for European games.

The Miners, who played in Poland last year, may currently call the Volksparkstadion their continental ‘home’, but getting to Germany is often easier for opponents. With Ukraine’s airports closed, the team spend many hours travelling by bus and at border crossings.

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However, a 5-3 aggregate defeat by Marseille in the Europa League play-offs on Thursday, despite Sudakov scoring a penalty, brought their European ambitions to an end for this season.

Sudakov for Ukraine versus England
Sudakov started both Ukraine’s Euro qualification games against England

On the international stage, though, Sudakov and his team-mates face an exciting summer. Ukraine will compete in Paris after qualifying for the Olympic Games for the first time.

“It is a special moment,” he says. “I am proud to have the opportunity to represent my country at the Olympics, and equally proud that we qualified through my and the team’s efforts.

“It’s a big responsibility and we’re looking forward to the event.”

They are also still in the running for a place at Euro 2024, with qualification play-offs in March.

Sudakov was part of the squad at Euro 2020, calling it an “unforgettable experience”, and has been a regular this time around, featuring twice against England during qualification.

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There is added motivation now, with the Ukraine squad often receiving messages from soldiers who say watching games is a welcome relief from the war for them.

“Indeed, in every game for the national team we are representing our nation,” he says. “Currently, when the situation in the country is very difficult, all footballers are aware of this.

“When we play for the national team, we feel responsibility and pride, we want to please the people who support us.”

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Scotland can ‘get to the next level’, says head coach Pedro Martinez Losa

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SWNT at training
Scotland are seeking to move on from their Nations League disappointment
Venue: Pinatar Arena Football Centre, Murcia, Spain Date: Saturday, 24 February Kick-off: 13:05 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC Alba & iPlayer, follow live text coverage on the BBC Sport website & app

Scotland are ready to “get to the next level” after “deeply honest and ruthless” reflections on their Nations League campaign, says head coach Pedro Martinez Losa.

They have two Pinatar Cup friendlies – against Philippines on Saturday and Finland or Slovenia on Tuesday – before Euro 2025 qualifying starts in April.

“It’s about reconnecting, building confidence,” Martinez Losa said.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, he added: “The competition has been hard on us in many aspects in the last few months but it is also about the players believing.

“Camp from camp, you get the same squad pretty much, but not all the players are the same because they come in different moments of form.

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“But we really wanted to create a good atmosphere so the first step when they arrive here is that they are happy, and after that, everything else can come.”

Scotland defeated the Philippines in last year’s Pinatar Cup with goals from Lauren Davidson and captain Rachel Corsie. Despite that, and the belief “we are a better side”, Martinez Losa stressed the need to remember “Philippines were at the World Cup, and we obviously weren’t”.

Experienced striker Ross ‘honoured’ to be back

Jane Ross
Jane Ross was out of football for 17 months with an ACL injury

One of the few players who is with the squad in Spain but wasn’t involved in the previous campaign is Rangers striker Jane Ross.

The 146-cap forward missed the inaugural Nations League because of her anterior cruciate knee ligament (ACL) injury, but fit-again Ross is “honoured” to be back in the international set-up.

“It’s something that was a goal of mine when I got injured and was going through the rehab,” the 34-year-old said.

Ross has made an emphatic return to life with SWPL leaders Rangers, scoring 11 goals in nine games, and while she said it “would be the dream” to net on her international recall, she is simply appreciating the game again.

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“I am just first and foremost enjoying being back,” said the former Manchester United player, who is involved in her first SWNT camp in 21 months.

“It’s something you can take a little bit for granted when you’re fully fit and continually going, so to have a period of time to reflect and look at certain things and to get a greater appreciation for the game back again, I’m just loving being back on the pitch again and being able to play.”

While the sight of Ross, whose 62 Scotland goals put her behind only Julie Fleeting in the all-time charts, is a welcome one, Scotland are still without influential midfield pair Caroline Weir and Emma Watson, who are working through their own ACL injuries.

Ross’ return is proof for the duo there is light at the end of the tunnel, but she stressed the importance of discovering why so many female footballers are experiencing it.

“The research needs to be done into it to work out what is causing it to happen to so frequently, that’s the biggest question we need an answer to,” she added.

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“If we try and get to the bottom of that and reduce the amount – I don’t know if we will ever be able to eliminate from the game – but reduce the frequency, then that’s something.”

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