With a 1-0 victory over Norway on the road, Spain secured their spot at Euro 2024 on Sunday. Scotland advanced from Group A, while Turkey became the latest qualifier.
With two games remaining, Spain advanced to the finals in Germany the following year thanks to a goal scored by Barcelona midfielder Gavi early in the second half in Oslo.
Due to goal differential, they topped Group A, but the outcome also guaranteed Scotland’s place in the tournament, with Norway trailing by five points heading into their final game of the next month.
Although Norway hasn’t advanced to the playoffs since Euro 2000, a squad that includes Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard still has a chance.
The other match in that group saw Georgia smash Cyprus 4-0.
Turkey turned on the flair in the last minutes to defeat Latvia 4-0 and secure their spot in the finals, capping off a historic week that saw them appointed as co-hosts of Euro 2032 alongside Italy.
The game was won by the leaders of Group D after Kerem Akturkoglu’s goal and two late goals from former Everton forward Cenk Tosun broke the deadlock just before the hour mark.
Wilson Brings Back Wales
They lead Wales by six points, who moved up to second place after Croatia after Harry Wilson scored twice in a 2-1 triumph over the World Cup semifinalists in Cardiff last year.
Shortly after the break, Wilson outran the Croatian defense to loft in the first goal, and he then flicked in a cross from Dan James for the second.
Although Mario Pasalic narrowed the gap, Wales are now in charge of their own fate as they prepare for the final qualifying rounds in November.
Following back-to-back losses, Croatia may miss a major event for the first time since the 2010 World Cup.
Switzerland needed two late goals to salvage a 3-3 draw against Belarus at home, but they lost first position in Group I to Romania.
In St Gallen, Xherdan Shaqiri gave the Swiss the lead before Max Ebong pulled Belarus, who had been defeated 5-0 by the Swiss in March, even.
After Denis Polyakov nodded Belarus ahead from a corner, Dmitri Antilevski’s third goal in the 84th minute appeared to put the visitors on track for an unexpected victory.
The hosts staged a dramatic comeback when Manuel Akanji scored following a Shaqiri free kick. Zeki Amdouni, a substitute, spared Switzerland’s blushes by netting an equalizer in the ninetieth minute.
Romania easily defeated Andorra 4-0 to take the lead, but the Swiss still have a game ahead of them after Thursday’s trip to Tel Aviv was canceled due to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The Czech Republic defeated the Faroe Islands 1-0 thanks to a penalty kick in the 76th minute by Tomas Soucek, moving his team up to second place in Group E behind Albania.
In the absence of injured striker Robert Lewandowski, Poland struggled and had to rally late in a 1-1 draw with Moldova at the Warsaw Arena.
Despite having played one more game than the top two, the Poles are ranked third in the section. On November 17, they play a must-win match against the Czechs.
Messi is a doubt for Argentina’s match against Paraguay.
Despite “looking good” in training, Lionel Messi is iffy for Argentina’s South American World Cup qualifier against Paraguay on Thursday, according to coach Lionel Scaloni.
After overcoming an injury, Messi joined forces with the World Cup winners on Saturday in Major League Soccer, coming on as a second-half substitute for Inter Miami.
Messi had only made 37 appearances for his team since September 3 after returning from an injury sustained while serving for his country last month.
“We have one more training session left, and it’s a crucial one for him. I need to discuss it with him and make sure we both agree that he may begin. He appeared well. We shall see the rest of the team based on it,” Scaloni remarked.
The Peruvian team was scheduled to play Argentina in Lima five days later, which the Argentina coach stated he also had to consider.
“The most important thing is that whoever gets out will do just as well if he is not fit to play, which gives us peace of mind,” he stated.
Argentina is tied with Brazil at the top of the table with six points after winning their first two qualifiers.
In the event that Messi is deemed unfit to play, Scaloni may choose to start Lautaro Martinez of Inter Milan and Julian Alvarez of Manchester City together.
As starters, they have already shared the field. I’m amenable to a wide range. Depending on the game, yes. Nothing would be wrong with it. They can play, despite their differences,” he continued.
With one point from their first three games, Paraguay is in sixth place, which is the last spot available for automatic qualification to the 2026 World Cup.
On Thursday, Brazil will play Venezuela in Cuiaba. The “Vinotinto” have three points following a 1-0 victory against Paraguay and a close 1-0 loss to Colombia.
The “Selecao,” according to midfielder Casemiro, won’t undervalue a rival hoping to make their first finals appearance.
“This game is going to be challenging. Venezuela has merits; they have several talented players who play in Europe. Respect is crucial in this situation, the midfielder for Manchester United and former member of Real Madrid stated at a press conference.
One of the rare sports where the favorite does not always prevail is football. and there is no easy game in South America,” he continued.
Brazil’s third game under temporary head coach Fernando Diniz is coming up, and Casemiro stated the team is still getting used to a new strategy.
“We’re working hard to adjust as soon as we can, but it takes time. At the club level, months are typically needed. In order to adhere to that work culture as swiftly as possible and reduce errors, the national team is attempting to do it via films and other materials, he stated.
Tuesday in Montevideo, Brazil will pay a visit to Marcelo Bielsa’s Uruguay following their match against Venezuela. Chile will visit Venezuela.
In the other games on Thursday, Peru will visit Chile, Bolivia will play Ecuador, and Colombia will host Uruguay.
Owner of Napoli requests Super Cup be relocated from Saudi Arabia following war outbreak
Following the commencement of war between Israel and Hamas, Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis stated on Tuesday that he prefers Italy to Saudi Arabia as the venue for the Italian Super Cup.
Along with Lazio, Inter Milan, and Fiorentina, four Serie A teams—including the defending champions of Italy, Napoli—are slated to compete in the redesigned Super Cup in the Gulf state in January.
Napoli and Fiorentina were reportedly planning to skip the competition, but De Laurentiis claimed he just wanted it returned to Italy out of concern that traveling to Saudi Arabia may be unsafe.
“Have you heard about what’s happening in Israel? There might be an air blockade over some places, De Laurentiis suggested at a Rome event, according to news agency ANSA.
“How in the world can you ever consider boarding a plane with 120 players who are paid what they are worth? All that for a few million dollars more in revenue? Let’s just hold it at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.
“I don’t intend to boycott it. I merely requested that we consider shifting the tournament.
The Serie A champions and Italian Cup winners have traditionally competed in the Super Cup; Inter Milan defeated AC Milan in the most recent edition, which took place in Riyadh in January.
In a move similar to the one made to the Spanish Super Cup, this season’s top two finishers in Serie A as well as the two Italian Cup finalists will compete.
The Super Cup was supposed to take place on the weekend of January 4–8 of the next year, but after a request from the Saudi authorities earlier this month, the event will now take place January 21–25.
The Super Cup’s organizers, Serie A, have not officially announced the new dates, but they have rescheduled four unnamed league games from the previous weekend to January 17–18.
Since Saturday, when hundreds of Hamas terrorists stationed in Gaza launched an unexpected attack on Israel, more than 3,000 people have perished in the conflict.
Eden Hazard announces his retirement from the game of football at the age of 32
Eden Hazard, a former player for Chelsea and Real Madrid, has declared his retirement from the game at the age of 32.
The former captain of Belgium announced his retirement from football on Tuesday via his Instagram page. He had played the game for 16 years.
You must listen to yourself and quit when it is appropriate, he advised.
“I have decided to finish my career as a professional player after 16 years and more than 700 games. I was able to fulfill my dream, and I have enjoyed playing on numerous fields all over the world.
Thank you to everyone for these wonderful moments; I will miss you all. Throughout my career, I had the good fortune to work with excellent management, coaches, and colleagues.
“I also want to thank the teams I’ve played for, including LOSC, Chelsea, and Real Madrid, as well as the RBFA for selecting me for the Belgian national team. A particular thank you to my friends, family, advisors, and those who have stood by me through good and difficult times.
Finally, I want to express my gratitude to all of you, my fans, for supporting me over the years and for your support wherever I have performed. I should spend time with my loved ones and try new things right now. Soon, my friends, I’ll see you off the field.
Despite making only 76 appearances in four seasons with Real Madrid, the winger has been without a club since being released by the club in the summer.
Turkey will submit a bid to host Euro 2032.
When UEFA determines where to hold Euro 2032 this week, Turkey is finally expected to receive the hosting rights for a significant international football tournament after four previous unsuccessful attempts.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, has long desired to organize one of the most famous athletic events in the world.
Despite the fact that the nation is engulfed in an economic crisis and the yearly inflation rate is hovering around 60%, he is now about to get the chance.
The hosts for the 2028 and 2032 European Championships will be revealed at a meeting of UEFA’s executive committee on Tuesday.
Turkey dropped its application to host the tournament in 2028 in order to concentrate all of its efforts on a joint proposal with Italy to host the event four years later.
There are no competitors for that offer.
Erdogan is not pretending to be interested in football, which is the most popular sport in Turkey; he played the sport in his youth and is a devoted fan of Fenerbahce, one of the largest clubs in the nation.
One of the pinnacles of his rule would be getting the chance to host the biggest sporting event in Europe.
Additionally, it would have strong political symbolism.
According to Daghan Irak, an English lecturer in media communication at the University of Huddersfield, “sport has always been seen as a way for Turkey to forge its own legitimacy and compete equally with the rest of the western world.”
“Erdogan has not departed from that traditional course of action.”
Erdogan was appointed prime minister at the end of 2002, the same year that Turkey and Greece’s combined application to host Euro 2008 was rejected. At the time, ties between the two nations were improving.
Austria and Switzerland received the tournament’s awards from UEFA.
Later, Turkey entered a competition to host Euro 2012 on its own but lost to a joint Ukraine-Poland bid. In 2016, it was defeated by France.
– Concerns for human rights –
They eventually lost out to Germany for Euro 2024, with concerns raised by UEFA regarding the nation’s “lack of an action plan in the area of human rights” in the appraisal of the bid.
Turkey is now guaranteed to have its shot after four failed tries and having allied with Italy. There are no other competitors.
Erdogan has not announced an amnesty for the tens of thousands of political opponents who have been jailed, despite the fact that human rights issues still exist in the wake of his re-election as president in May.
Osman Kavala, a benefactor and philanthropist convicted of funding anti-government demonstrations in 2013, was just given a life sentence by Turkey’s Court of Cassation.
Kavala won’t be eligible for an early release and will serve his time in isolation.
Nacho Sanchez Amor, the rapporteur for Turkey in the European Parliament, stated that these moves “unfortunately continue to undermine Turkey’s prospects of joining the EU.”
Questions concerning Turkish stadiums have also caused previous Turkish bids to be rejected.
Bagis Erten, a contributor to Socrates and a professor of sports communication at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, claims that this is no longer an issue.
He claims that the AKP (the party in power since 2002) is skilled at construction.
They enjoy that. We now have a ton of excellent stadiums.
Erten provides examples from a number of medium-sized cities, including Izmir, the third-largest city in the nation and located on the Aegean Sea coast, Konya and Eskisehir in Central Anatolia, and Trabzon on the Black Sea.
“Our stadiums are now better prepared than in a lot of other countries,” he continues.
He asserts that while Turkey “is absolutely in a position to host the Euro, in economic and security terms as well as for its footballing culture and the crowds that go to matches,” Turkey “could not bid to host a global event like the Olympics.”
Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul played host to the UEFA Champions League final in June, which saw Manchester City defeat Inter Milan.
Turkey is now prepared, according to Erten.
Irak continues, “Organizing an international football tournament is much easier for Erdogan’s Turkey than respecting the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.”
Marseille is held by Brighton after a comeback, and West Ham breaks an English record in Europe.
On Thursday, Brighton rallied to earn their first Europa League point in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Marseille, while West Ham defeated Freiburg 2-1 to establish a new record for the longest unbeaten streak by an English team in Europe.
Without a manager, Rangers suffered a humiliating 2-1 loss at Aris Limassol, and Dutch powerhouse Ajax’s 1-1 draw at AEK Athens did little to brighten the mood.
The team led by Roberto De Zerbi needed to take something away from their journey to the Stade Velodrome after Brighton lost 3-2 to AEK in their first-ever European match at home.
Despite having a difficult start to the season, Marseille moved ahead 2-0 after scoring twice in the space of two minutes.
Chancel Mbemba gave the French team an early advantage before Jordan Veretout made it 2-0 thanks to a Brighton skipper Lewis Dunk slip.
When Pascal Gross was found by Kaoru Mitoma to cut the deficit in half, Brighton’s chances of suffering their third straight loss in all competitions vanished.
After Tariq Lamptey was brought down in the area two minutes from time, Joao Pedro then equalized from the spot to keep both teams in Group B contention.
After fighting back against Ajax, AEK is now the section’s surprise leader with four points.
The four-time European winners took the lead with Steven Bergwijn’s penalty despite being in the Dutch league’s relegation zone.
Domagoj Vida, a defender for Croatia, scored the Greeks’ equalizer 15 minutes from time.
After extending their unbeaten streak in Europe to 17 games, West Ham is still on track to make it to the round of 16.
With a spectacular header just eight minutes in, Lucas Paqueta gave the victors of the Europa Conference League the lead.
Early in the second half, Freiburg’s Roland Sallai tied the score.
However, Nayef Aguerd’s header on James Ward-Prowse’s corner proved that the Hammers were unstoppable.
The firing of Michael Beale received no response from Rangers, despite the Glasgow giants’ shock in Cyprus.
Steven Davis, a former midfielder for the Gers, assumed interim command but was only able to watch Aris win their first ever European group stage match.
Shavy Babicka and Alex Moucketou-Moussounda scored on a historic night for the Cypriots, with Abdallah Sima’s header serving just as a consolation for Rangers.
Following Real Betis’ 2-1 victory over Sparta Prague, which followed their 1-0 loss to Rangers, all four teams in Group C currently have three points.
competition favorites Later on Thursday, Liverpool will play when Union Saint-Gilloise visits Anfield.