Croatia’s Ivan Rakitić Announces International Retirement

Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitić has called time on his international career with the 2018 World Cup runners-up, he said on Monday.

The former Barcelona player, 32, was an integral part of the Croatia side who reached the World Cup final in Russia before losing 4-2 to France.

Rakitić, who made 106 appearances and scored 15 goals for his country, discussed the decision with national captain Luka Modrić, coach Zlatko Dalić and Croatian Football Association president Davor Šuker.

İlkay Gündoğan Tests Positive For COVID-19 Ahead Of Today’s EPL Fixture Vs. Wolves

Manchester City midfielder İlkay Gündoğan has tested positive for COVID-19, the Premier League club said on Monday, making him the third player in the squad to return a positive test in recent weeks.

City winger Riyad Mahrez and defender Aymeric Laporte previously tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month.

"İlkay is now observing a 10-day period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine," the club said in a statement.

RB Leipzig Opens Bundesliga With Win And Tyler Adams Looking Comfortable In Midfield Role

RB Leipzig eased past Mainz 3-1 in their Bundesliga opener on Sunday to enjoy a successful start to league life without striker Timo Werner.

Werner joined Chelsea in the close season and missed their run to their Champions League semifinals in August but Leipzig had little trouble finding the back of the net against Mainz, striking twice in four minutes.

Emil Forsberg converted a 17th-minute penalty for a foul on Dani Olmo and Yussuf Poulsen rose high to drill in a header for the second goal. 

Liverpool Signs Thiago From Bayern Munich For $26 Million

Liverpool have reached an agreement to sign Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcântara from Bayern Munich, the German club's CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on Thursday.

British media reported the deal will cost the Premier League champions around $25.81 million with $6.5 million in add-ons. Thiago will leave the German giants a year before his contract is set to expire and is expected to sign a four-year deal with the Anfield club.

Creating The Best Transfer Bargain XI In World Football

This year, the transfer market promises to look very different as clubs look to conserve money during a difficult financial time. While COVID-19 might put a damper on expensive transfers, there is still plenty of good value in the market.

Many of the best players in today's game have been purchased for just a fraction of the enormous transfer fees paid for superstars like Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. 

Bring The Fatted Calf And Kill It, For Martin Ødegaard Is Returning To Real Madrid

The18’s Prodigal Son returns. Five years, two months and 19 days since Norway’s mischievous sprite sent Cristiano Ronaldo to the substitutes’ bench with a tender hug, Martin Ødegaard is set to the return to the Bernabéu with Zinedine Zidane ready to hand him his second LaLiga appearance for Los Blancos.

Inter Miami Signs World Cup Champion And Former Juve Midfielder Blaise Matuidi

Inter Miami’s historically awful start to Major League Soccer might have reached its turning point with the signing of Blaise Matuidi from Juventus. 

Frenkie De Jong’s Hand Bandage Was Hiding The Worst Bee Sting We’ve Ever Seen

Barcelona’s 3-1 victory over Napoli on Saturday was a throwback to Barça’s more controlled days with Ivan Rakitić deputizing smartly for the suspended Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong going from strength to strength in midfield.

Napoli couldn’t get close to the 23-year-old Dutch maestro, who hardly put a foot wrong while completing 94% of his passes in the attacking third and going three-for-three in take-ons. He also had a would-be assist contemptuously chalked off after the ball grazed Lionel Messi’s upper arm.