Top games to watch this week
Friday, July 2
Switzerland vs Spain (UEFA Euro 2020 quarter-finals)
Belgium vs Italy (UEFA Euro 2020 quarter-finals)
Peru vs Paraguay (Copa America quarter-finals)
Brazil vs Chile (Copa America quarter-finals)
Saturday, July 3
Czech Republic vs Denmark (UEFA Euro 2020 quarter-finals)
Ukraine vs England (UEFA Euro 2020 quarter-finals)
Uruguay vs Colombia (Copa America quarter-finals)
Argentina vs Ecuador (Copa America quarter-finals)
Mexico vs Nigeria (International Friendly)
Monday, July 5
Copa America Semi Final 1
Tuesday, July 6
UEFA Euro 2020 Semi Final 1
Copa America Semi Final 2
Wednesday, July 7
UEFA Euro 2020 Semi Final 2
What are the must-watch games this week?
Belgium vs Italy this Friday at 3 p.m. ET live on ESPN, PrendeTV, fuboTV, Sling, TUDN Radio, and SiriusXM FC
The Euro 2020 quarter-finals get underway this Friday, with the latter of the two clashes scheduled for July 2 set to grab all the headlines. That fixture is none other than Belgium vs Italy, as two of the favorites prepare to go head-to-head for a spot in the semi-finals. This clash will see the only two remaining teams with a perfect record lock horns as the Azzurri look to build on their impressive return to glory by beating FIFA's no.1 ranked nation. The Red Devils overcame defending champions Portugal in the round of 16, a far more impressive feat than Italy's triumph over Austria, but unfortunately lost two key players to injury: Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard. Both look set to miss out on the quarter-finals, which is a huge blow to Roberto Martinez's side.
Brazil vs Chile this Friday at 8 p.m. ET live on Fox Sports, TUDN, Univision, Unimas, fuboTV, and Sling TV
In the latest chapter in Brazil's Copa America title defense, the South American powerhouses are gearing up for a crucial quarter-final battle with none other than Chile. Tite's men booked their spot in the knockout stage after racking up three wins and a draw in the group stage, beating Venezuela, Peru, and Colombia before drawing 1-1 with Ecuador on the final day. Neymar and Co. will be looking to bounce back from that minor slip-up as a spot in the semi-finals is at stake. La Roja, on the other hand, managed only one victory in the group stage, beating Bolivia 1-0, drawing with Argentina and Uruguay, and losing 2-0 to Paraguay on the final day. Can they beat the Selecao come Friday's highly-anticipated showdown? Tune in to find out.
Ukraine vs England this Saturday at 3 p.m. ET live on ESPN, TUDN, Univision, ABC, fuboTV, Sling TV, and SiriusXM FC
Will football be coming home this summer? England's round of 16 victory over Germany has left fans optimistic over their chances of winning Euro 2020, or, at the very least, making it all the way to the final. Goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane helped them to a 2-0 triumph over die Mannschaft, a result which made amends for their drab group-stage campaign. Next up for the Three Lions is a quarter-final showdown with Ukraine, a side which they should beat on paper. However, if Switzerland's round of 16 victory over tournament favorites France taught us anything, it is that football isn't decided on paper.
Argentina vs Ecuador this Saturday at 9 p.m. ET live on Fox Sports, TUDN, Univision, fuboTV, and Sling TV
Lionel Messi's quest for his first senior international trophy resumes this weekend, with Argentina set to take on Ecuador in the Copa America quarter-finals. La Albiceleste are, once again, one of the favorites, having beaten Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia to top their group and book their ticket to the last eight. However, their group-stage campaign was not without fault, with Lionel Scaloni's men scoring only once in three of those four fixtures. The last time these two sides met was in October 2020, with the two-time World Cup champions emerging triumphant via a 1-0 score line thanks to a 13th-minute goal from Lionel Messi – notice a trend? Will Argentina make the semi-finals or will misfortune finally catch up with them? Don't miss Saturday's interesting encounter.
The world of women's football began to pick up the pace with numerous transfers and more games for fans to watch. Here is what is trending in women's football.
Where to watch NWSL games from Friday, July 2, through Sunday, July 4
National Women's Soccer League action is back with five games across the USA this weekend.
Friday, July 2
Gotham FC vs. Kansas City at 7 p.m. ET on Paramount+ (USA) & Twitch (international)
Washington Spirit vs. Chicago Red Stars at 7:30 p.m. ET on Twitch (international including the USA)
Houston Dash vs. OL Reign at 8:30 p.m. ET on Paramount+ (USA) & Twitch (international)
Saturday, July 3
Racing Louisville vs. Portland Thorns at 7:30 p.m. ET on Paramount+ (USA) & Twitch (international)
Sunday, July 4
Orlando Pride vs. NC Courage at 6 p.m. ET on Paramount+ (USA) & Twitch (international)
USWNT vs. Mexico doubleheader
The U.S. women's national team hosted Mexico on Thursday, July 1, and will get a rematch on Monday, July 5. The two games will serve as preparation for the USA before the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Thursday, July 1
USWNT vs. Mexico at 7 p.m. ET on FS1 (USA) & TUDN (USA, Mexico)
Monday, July 5
USWNT vs. Mexico at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN (USA)
Top women's football transfers
Fifteen-year-old midfielder Olivia Moultrie signed a three-year contract with the Portland Thorns following a long legal battle with the NWSL over her age.
Manchester City's Aoife Mannion, Geum-min Lee and Tyler Toland departed from the club following contract expirations.
Everton signed French midfielder Kenza Dali on a two-year deal from West Ham.
Manager Oscar Ferno will take charge of Atletico Madrid Femenino. The 34-year-old has experience managing Primera Iberdrola and second division sides Madrid CCF and AD Union Adarve, respectively.
Swedish forward Sofia Jakobsson joined Bayern Munich from Real Madrid.
Bayern Munich announced the departure of Swedish defender Amanda Ilestedt.
Swedish forward Kosovare Asllani extended her contract with Real Madrid until 2022.
Aston Villa announced the signing of Swiss attacking midfielder Alisha Lehmann.
Chelsea signed academy graduates Charlotte Wardlaw and Emily Orman to their first professional contract.
Brazilian midfielder Thaisa announced her departure from Real Madrid. The 32-year-old looks to be on her way to join Roma.
German international Turid Knaak arrived at VfL Wolfsburg on a free transfer from Real Madrid.
Real Madrid extended German defender Babett Peter, French midfielder Aurelie Kaci and Spanish midfielder Malena Ortiz Cruz's contracts until 2022.
Striker Natasha Dowie joins Reading from Milan after a 14-goal season.
West Ham United signed Glasgow City midfielder Zanera Wyne.
Swedish manager Jonas Eidevall joined Arsenal from Rosengard.
Manager Lluis Cortes stepped down as Barcelona manager.
Barcelona renewed Melanie Serrano (2022), Andrea Falcon (2023) and Ana Crnogorcevic's (2022) contracts.
The Orlando Pride signed Manchester United defender Amy Turner to a two-year contract.
Midfielder Kheira Hamraoui departed from Barcelona and looks to be on her way to either Real Madrid or PSG.
DAZN acquires UWCL broadcast rights through 2025
Coverage of the Women's Champions League will be available globally through a single broadcaster for the first time in history.
DAZN and YouTube will partner to cover the UEFA Women's Champions League through 2025.
DAZN became the new worldwide home of the UWCL after agreeing to a four-year deal with UEFA. As a result, DAZN will make 61 matches of each season available on its global sports streaming platform and free on YouTube.
Women's football fans around the globe will not have to be asking themselves or Twitter where to watch games days before the fixture. The fans will be able to seamlessly watch defending champion FC Barcelona, as well as Olympique Lyonnais, PSG, Chelsea, FC Bayern Munich, and players like Spain's Jenni Hermoso, France's Wendie Renard, Denmark's Pernille Harder and Norway's Ada Hegerberg, compete in Europe's most prestigious women's club competition.
Biggest stories of the week
Pogba, Mbappé and Rabiot involved in spat caused by their families
The end of France's run in the UEFA Euro 2020 was embarrassing both on and off the pitch, as relatives of Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappé, and Adrien Rabiot were in the middle of a highly-publicized argument that took place inside the stadium.
The argument began on the pitch, as Adrien Rabiot complained to Paul Pogba for losing the ball that led to Switzerland's equalizer. The duo kept exchanging words on the pitch even after the final whistle was blown, prompting Didier Deschamps to intervene so things did not escalate between the midfielders.
Unfortunately, this argument was replicated in the stands by Rabiot's mother, Veronique, and members of the Pogba family. According to RMC Sport, the players' relatives got into a heated exchange, which escalated to the point where Rabiot's mother criticized Pogba's ball-handling skills that led to the Swiss team's equalizer.
If that was not embarrassing enough, Rabiot's mother also aimed a few digs at Kylian Mbappé for dropping the ball in the penalty shootout. To make matters worse, Kylian Mbappé's father got yelled at by Veronique Rabiot, who blamed the striker's "poor attitude" and "arrogant behavior" as key reasons for Les Bleus' exit from the competition. Once again, Pogba's family stepped into the argument and tried to back Mbappé's family, but Rabiot's mother did not hold back, causing tension between the relatives.
The round of 16 defeat on penalties, a catalyst for the aforementioned row, means it will be Switzerland, not France, who face Spain in the quarter-finals
Transfer: Manchester United finally confirm the signing of Jason Sancho
Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund. The 21-year-old forward is set to complete a switch to Old Trafford that is expected to cost the Red Devils £73M in transfer fees, making him the club's third-most expensive signing. Sancho has long been linked with a move to the Premier League outfit with his transfer set to be finalized after the Euros. The player will sign a contract that will end in 2026 and is expected to be among the top-earners at the club.
Barca president offers Messi update as Blaugrana sensation officially becomes a free agent
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has offered fans an update on the Lionel Messi situation, with the Blaugrana icon officially becoming a free agent after passing the June 30 expiration date of his previous Camp Nou contract.
The Argentine superstar has long been locked in negotiations with the Catalan giants, with fans fretting over his future after his failed attempt to leave last summer. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner, who turned 34 last month, issued a transfer request last year and was pushing for a move to one of Man City or PSG after another disappointing campaign, but was forced to remain by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
La Pulga is no longer a Barcelona player, meaning he is free to join the likes of City and PSG for nothing should those two clubs still hold interest in pursuing him. Talks with the Blaugrana have been promising and all fingers pointed to a two-year extension being completed. However, the South American has not yet put pen to paper and with his contract being over, many are beginning to wonder if the talisman forward will pull off a surprise U-turn. Despite this, Laporta was quick to offer a positive update, telling Onda Cero's 'El Transistor' that the Argentine has agreed to stay, with only formalities standing in the way of an official confirmation.
"We want Leo to stay and he wants to stay," the Blaugrana president said.
"Everything's going the right way, and we're trying to find a solution that we're all happy with.
"It's about 'fair play' now.
"I'd love to say he is staying but I can't say that yet because we're still working through things."
Laporta's statement will be music to the ears of Barcelona fans
TRANSFER: USMNT starlet leaves Barcelona for Marseille
Marseille endured a turbulent campaign last season, namely with the drama surrounding Andre Villas-Boas's squabble with the club and subsequently having to finish the season under a new manager following Jorge Samapoli's emergency appointment. Nonetheless, L'OM ultimately turned their fortunes around to finish in fifth spot and thus secure a spot in the Europa League group stages.
To prepare for their battles on multiple fronts, Marseille have already started the task of making some key upgrades to their squad. And they've turned to La Liga for their latest acquisition. 19-year-old Konrad de la Fuente has now become a Marseille player after Barcelona agreed to sell him to the French side for €3 million.
De La Fuente also signed a four-year contract, but as per ESPN, Barcelona will also recoup 50 percent of any future transfer fee Marseille receive if they sell the USMNT starlet.
Many American fans had hoped to see De La Fuente make a name for himself at Barcelona, especially after the Miami-born player enjoyed a fair share of success with Barcelona B and thus was promoted to the first team during last season. However, he was only able to make a total of three appearances, and none were in La Liga.
And with the arrivals of Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay, De La Fuente was set to find playing time even more hard to come by in an already congested attacking line-up at Barcelona. As such, this move just may be the break he needs in order to eventually secure a main spot in the USMNT senior team.
Other key headlines from the world of football
Tottenham Hotspur appoint Nuno Espirito Santo as new head coach
Tottenham Hotspur have appointed Nuno Espirito Santo as their new manager, the club confirmed on Wednesday evening. The Portuguese manager joins the North London club on a contract until 2023, replacing interim boss Ryan Mason who took over the club following the departure of Jose Mourinho.
The latter, who had an underwhelming start to the 2020/2021 season, was shown the exit door in April. In his absence, Tottenham's 29-year-old caretaker only managed a seventh-place finish, failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League. They will however make an appearance in the maiden Europa Conference League.
Speaking on his appointment, Nuno said: "When you have a squad with quality and talent, we want to make the fans proud and enjoy. It's an enormous pleasure and honor (to be here), there's joy and I'm happy and looking forward to starting work. We don't have any days to lose and we must start working immediately as pre-season starts in a few days."
Atletico Madrid get $200 million funds boost after US firm investment
Atletico Madrid, who recently won their first La Liga title since 2014, were among those who struggled to balance the books due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to varied sources, Los Rojiblancos ended up seeing their already significant debt balloon, with figures reported as high as $1.2 billion (€999 million) at the conclusion of the 2019/2020 campaign.
With that kind of burden weighing on their shoulders, it's no surprise that Atleti had to look for ways to get a quick injection of cash. And now, they may have gotten a major reprieve. As per Sports Pro Media, the capital-based club have now agreed a deal with Ares Management, a US-based investment firm. In exchange for a capital injection of $216.9 million (€181.8 million), Atletico Madrid have agreed to allow Ares to acquire 33.96 percent ownership of the club's holding company, Atletico HoldCo.
As part of this arrangement, Ares will also serve as a strategic investor and will have a representative on Atletico HoldCo's board of directors.
Zidane linked to France National Team job after Round of 16 exit
The end of France's run in the UEFA Euro 2020 has sparked rumors about Didier Deschamps possible sacking, and with Zinedine Zidane available, fans and experts believe that the former Real Madrid boss could be the right man for the gig after such a disappointing end of the European competition.
In that spirit, French Football Federation boss Noel Le Gräet revealed that although Zidane is a candidate to become France's boss one day, the former midfielder may have to wait a bit to be appointed, mainly because Le Gräet will not rush to make such a call.
"Zidane's name will always emerge, and the media will always suggest him whenever Les Bleus have ended a competition. I appreciate the man, we're not going to categorize his path as coach or as a player. Zidane will end up coaching the national team. When? I don't know. I don't have any breaking news to share with you today," Le Gräet stated to Le Figaro.