Top games to watch this week
Saturday, June 26
Wales vs Denmark (UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16)
Italy vs Austria (UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16)
Sunday, June 27
Netherlands vs Czech Republic (UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16)
Belgium vs Portugal (UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16)
Brazil vs Ecuador (Copa America)
Venezuela vs Peru (Copa America)
Monday, June 28
Croatia vs Spain (UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16)
France vs Switzerland (UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16)
Uruguay vs Paraguay (Copa America)
Bolivia vs Argentina (Copa America)
Tuesday, June 29
England vs Germany (UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16)
Sweden vs Ukraine (UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16)
Wednesday, June 30
Mexico vs Panama (International Friendly)
What are the must-watch games this week?
Belgium vs Portugal this Sunday at 3 p.m. ET live on ESPN, ABC, TUDN, Univision, fuboTV, and Sling TV
Wales vs Denmark kicks off the knockout stage of Euro 2020 on Saturday, but fans will have to wait until Sunday for the first of the two standout round of 16 fixtures and that is Belgium vs Portugal – England vs Germany is the other tie, but more on that later. Having only registered a 2-2 draw with France in their third and final group-stage tie, Cristiano and Co. only managed to finish third in their group, and as a result, will face Group B leaders the Red Devils. Ronaldo scored both goals in that thrilling stalemate to equal the record for most international goals by a single player. Will he lead his nation to victory over Roberto Martinez's side? Lukaku and Co. boast a perfect record, having beaten Russia, Denmark, and Finland in the group stage, showing that they are no pushovers!
Brazil vs Ecuador this Sunday at 5 p.m. ET live on Fox Sports, TUDN, Univision, fuboTV, and Sling TV
Will Brazil make it four wins out of four in the 2021 Copa America or will Ecuador become the first team to successfully stop the defending champions? This is the question on everyone's mind ahead of this weekend clash as the Selecao look to continue their amazing winning streak. Tite's men came close to their first slip-up in this tournament when they took on Colombia, needing a stoppage-time winner from Casemiro to come away with all three points. La Tri, on the other hand, are yet to pick up a victory, drawing twice and losing once in their opening three games. Mark your schedules for this weekend's interesting Copa America tie.
Croatia vs Spain this Monday at 12 p.m. ET live on ESPN, PrendeTV, TUDN Radio, and many other platforms
Both teams failed to impress in the group stage, but Croatia's struggles predate this European Championship. As a result, Modric and Co. will need to find their rhythm, or at the very least, emulate the performance they put in against the Scottish. Spain, on the other hand, had their own issues, drawing their first two fixtures and heading into the final group-stage game in danger of crashing out. La Furia Roja went on to secure their round of 16 ticket in emphatic style, beating Slovakia 5-0, but only managed to finish as runners-up behind Sweden. Alongside the aforementioned outlets, this tie will also be aired via American streaming television services fuboTV and Sling TV. Do not miss this Monday showdown.
England vs Germany this Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET live on ESPN, PrendeTV, TUDN, fuboTV, and Sling TV
Winning your group typically earns a team a favorable knockout stage fixture, but this was not the case for England, with the Three Lions drawing Germany in the round of 16. Their 1-0 victory over Czech Republic sealed their fate, with Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka shining in that triumph. It remains unclear whether the Arsenal youngster, who was named the UEFA Star of the Match, will retains his starting XI spot or make way for Phil Foden, so it will be interesting to see what lineup Gareth Southgate goes with. As for die Mannschaft, they secured progression on the final day courtesy of their 2-2 draw with Hungary, but that fixture wasn't a straightforward affair as Neuer and Co. twice went a goal down, meaning they came narrowly close to an early exit. Joachim Low's men showed that they are capable of abysmal displays and ecstatic performances, having thrashed Portugal 4-2 a while back. Tune in to find out whether the 2014 World Cup winners will add England to their list of victims or bow out of the competition in the last 16.
The world of women's football keeps on turning as the NWSL regular season unfolds and transfer deals surface from around the world. Here is what is trending in women's football.
How to watch five NWSL games on Saturday, June 26
All ten NWSL representatives will play on Saturday, June 26. Prepare yourself for a Saturday afternoon packed with North American women's football.
Chicago Red Stars vs. Racing Louisville at 2 p.m. ET
The Chicago Red Stars will host Racing Louisville at Toyota Park on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET. The game will stream live exclusively on Paramount+ in the USA and internationally on Twitch.
OL Reign vs. Gotham FC at 4 p.m. ET
A fired-up OL Reign and a Gotham FC looking to avenge a midweek draw against league-leaders Orlando Pride will meet at Cheney Stadium on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. The match will stream live exclusively on Paramount+ in the USA and internationally on Twitch.
NC Courage vs. Portland Thorns at 7 p.m. ET
The North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns, the two of the best scoring teams so far in 2021, will meet at WakeMed Park on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. The clash between the Courage and the Thorns will stream live exclusively on Paramount+ in the USA and internationally on Twitch.
Houston Dash vs. Orlando Pride at 8 p.m. ET
The space race between the Houston Dash and the Orlando Pride will resume on Saturday at 8 p.m. at BBVA Stadium in Houston, Tex. The heated space race rivalry game will stream live exclusively on Paramount+ in the USA and internationally on Twitch.
Kansas City vs. Washington Spirit at 8:30 p.m. ET
Kansas City is still in search of its first regular-season win after a fifth-consecutive loss. On the other hand, the Washington Spirit will look to get back to winning ways after consecutive one-all draws. Kansas City will host the meeting at Legends Field on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET.
NWSL fans from around the globe, including the USA, can tune into Twitch to watch the game for free.
Top women's football transfers
June 24 – American duo Christen Press and Tobin heath have officially left Manchester United after a one-year stint.
June 23 – Forwards Jess Sigsworth and Jane Ross left Manchester United due to their contracts running out.
June 22 – Olympique Lyonnais signed OL Academy product Alyssia Paljevic. The goalkeeper celebrated her nineteenth birthday by signing her first professional contract.
June 22 – Liverpool signed 22-year-old striker Leanne Kiernan after three seasons at West Ham. Kiernan will reunite with former Hammer's head coach Matt Beard.
June 21 – Olympique Lyonnais signed Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler and Danish striker Signe Brunn from PSG. Also, Dutch midfielder Danielle Van de Donk joined Lyon from Arsenal.
June 19 – Italian midfielder Aurora Galli, 24, departed from Juventus. Galli is linked with a move to Everton.
Biggest stories of the week
UEFA Euro 2020: Wembley to host 60,000+ fans for semi-finals and final
Crowd capacity at Wembley Stadium will be increased to more than 60,000 fans for the first time in almost a year and a half. The UK government made the pronouncement on Tuesday, with the new directive set to be implemented for the semi-finals and finals of Euro 2020.
Ahead of the commencement of the group fixtures, Wembley's capacity was increased to 22,500 as part of plans to ease restrictions in the UK. The number will be maintained for the round of 16 match between Italy and Austria on June 26 but will rise to 40,000 for the other round of 16 match on June 29 before it is finally increased to 60,000 for the penultimate and final games.
PSG secure record deal for Inter's Hakimi
It's been a very busy for PSG in terms of the transfer market, and lately, Les Parisiens have been doing quite a bit of their shopping in Serie A.
Their latest acquisition is Inter's Achraf Hakimi who, according to sources, will cost them €70 million.
And that also happens to be a record. Hakimi, 22, will become the most expensive full back in history once everything is finalized and will put pen to paper on a five year contract.
He's already agreed personal terms with the club weeks ago, so all that remains is for some small details to be ironed out before he is officially announced as a PSG player within the next week.
Hakimi was signed by the Scudetto winners last season for €40 million from Real Madrid, and had spent two seasons on loan at Borussia Dortmund.
Introducing the soon-to-be world's most expensive full back: Achraf Hakimi!
Official: UEFA remove the away goals rule from all European club competitions
In a groundbreaking decision, UEFA have voted to remove the away goals rule from all European club competition (men, women, and youth) with immediate effect, bringing an end to a law that had been a staple of the beautiful game for 56 years!
This move was announced after the UEFA Executive Committee greenlighted a proposal to abolish the away goals rule as per recommendation from the UEFA Club Competitions Committee and the UEFA Women's Football Committee. This change will kick into effect starting from the qualifying phases of the 2021/22 competitions.
Since 1965, away goals were used to determine the winner of a two-legged knockout match when the aggregate score line was all tied up. The team that had scored more times on the road would secure progression, but this will no longer be the case for the upcoming seasons.
Starting from 2021/22, should both teams score the same number of goals across both legs, the game will immediately head into extra time and, if needed, penalty shootouts. Furthermore, away goals will also "be removed from the criteria used to determine the rankings when two or more teams are equal on points in the group stage".
UEFA have abolished the away goals rule for the 2021/22 season onwards
Cristiano Ronaldo joins Ali Daei as all-time top scorer for National Teams
The UEFA Euro 2020 will forever be remembered by football fans all over the world as it became the tournament where Cristiano Ronaldo matched the all-time record for most goals scored by a member of a national team.
The Portuguese footballer equaled Ali Daei as the top scorer in the men's category with a couple of penalties against France, which also proved to be crucial for A Selecao's hopes to progress in the tournament.
If that was not enough reason for CR7 to brag about, he also became the player with the most goals scored in FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro games, surpassing the tally reached by Miroslav Klose.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner reached the milestone after 177 games with A Selecao, but if that is not impressive enough for you, his recent numbers hint that he will do everything but slow down with the national team, having netted 47 times in his last 45 international games.
Other key headlines from the world of football
La Liga wins crucial battle with Spanish football federation over match scheduling
For the past few years, as followers of Spanish football were tracking what stars like Karim Benzema, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, and Lionel Messi were all up to, there was another battle taking place in the background.
This battle was between La Liga and Spain's football federation (RFEF). The issue? When matches could be staged. La Liga had hoped to be able to also hold games on Mondays and Fridays in order to increase broadcast revenue opportunities, but RFEF disagreed, feeling that it wasn't in the league's best interest. RFEF also had gained quite a lot of support from fans, who weren't so keen on attending matches at the start and at the end of the business week.
After both sides were unable to come to a compromise, the case eventually ended up going to trial in February 2020, and now, the Provincial Court of Madrid had made a decision. In its ruling, the court decided to side with La Liga, stating that RFEF's attempts to influence the matchday schedule basically represented "act of unfair competition" and that the sole responsibility of deciding when and where matches are staged lies with the competition's organizer - which is La Liga.
UEFA Euro 2020 - All Round of 16 fixtures confirmed
The group stage in the UEFA Euro 2020 is over, and now, the remaining 16 teams will enter the knockout stage with very little surprises in the first round of the competition. So, with all the knockout-stage participants determined, we give you the complete round of 16 fixtures as they will be played:
Saturday, June 26
Wales (2A) vs Denmark (2B)
Italy (1A) vs Austria (2C)
Sunday, June 27
Netherlands (1C) vs Czech Republic (3D)
Belgium (1B) vs Portugal (3F)
Monday, June 28
Croatia (2D) vs Spain (2E)
France (1F) vs Switzerland (3A)
Tuesday, June 29
England (1D) vs Germany (2F)
Sweden (1E) vs Ukraine (3C)
Football fans set to return to La Liga stadiums this season
Good news for La Liga fans from around the world, as the chance to watch their favorite players live has been given a major boost by Spanish health authorities.
Speaking in a press conference earlier today, Health Minister Carolina Darias revealed that a limited number of fans will be allowed inside all sports venues, which will give supporters a chance to attend football or basketball games.
"We will slowly return to normality when it comes to sports venues. The decision on the percentage of fans that will be allowed inside the stadium will be up to the local health committees in all Spanish communities," Darias stated.
The ruling will also end the mandatory face mask rule while outdoors, although Darias has stated her desire to keep using the device on certain occasions.