With the World Cup now underway, here are the big stories from football over the past wee
Ezri Konsa became our first signing of the summer as the Charlton Athletic defender joined for an undisclosed fee on Tuesday. The 20-year-old signed a three-year contract with a club option for an additional year. Ezri, a member of England’s Under-20 World Cup winning squad, racked up 86 appearances in all competitions over the past two seasons and played for Charlton in both their League One Play-Off games against Shrewsbury Town last month.
History was made on Saturday night as Henrik Dalsgaard became our first ever contracted player to appear in a FIFA World Cup game. The right-back impressed as Denmark got their campaign off to a winning start, a single Youssef Poulsen goal enough to see off Peru in Saransk. A win over Australia on Thursday would all-but confirm The Danes place in the last 16 ahead of their final group game against France
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Two managers with vastly differing CVs, but with the same goal of promotion to the Premier League, were appointed by Leeds United and Swansea City last week.
Hugely experienced former Argentina, Chile, and Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa took charge at Elland Road last Friday four days after Graham Potter’s arrival in South Wales. Potter has established a reputation as one of the most progressive and unconventional coaches in Europe following his successful eight-year spell with Swedish side Östersund. Methods include encouraging players and staff to engage in community activities, such as performing in theatre and music productions designed to take them out of their comfort zone.
On the player front, Nottingham Forest signalled their intentions last week with a double swoop for Benfica's Portuguese Under-21 pair of Joao Carvalho and Diogo Goncalves. Carvalho joined for a club-record fee of £13.2m while team-mate Goncalves arrives on a season-long loan. Elsewhere, Norwich City have today accepted a reported £20 million bid from Leicester City for James Maddison, days after allowing Marley Watkins to join Bristol City. There was a boost for Stoke City fans earlier with Joe Allen agreeing a new four-year deal at the bet365 Stadium.
World Football News
The opening five days of the World Cup have produced no end of drama with late goals, controversy, and upsets the order of the day so far. Germany got their defence of the Jules Rimet trophy off to the worst possible start with defeat to Mexico on Sunday, just hours before pre-tournament favourites Brazil were held 1-1 by Switzerland; Steven Zuber's equaliser for The Swiss re-igniting the debate on VAR.
Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show on Friday night as his hat-trick earned Portugal a point against Spain while Lionel Messi’s missed penalty proved costly as Argentina were held by Iceland. Elsewhere there have been wins for hosts Russia, Iran, Uruguay, Croatia, France, Serbia, and Sweden.