News of all that's transpired on and off the football field
Diego Maradona says he has a solution to Real Madrid's scarcity of goals this season -- sign France teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe from Paris St Germain and give Gareth Bale away for free.
Real's record signing Bale has endured another nightmare season with injuries but fired the European champions into the Club World Cup final on Wednesday by striking the winner in a nervy 2-1 win over Abu Dhabi side Al Jazira.
Real will face Gremio in Sunday's decider to add some more silverware to manager Zinedine Zidane's trophy cabinet.
Their domestic form, however, has been poor and they find themselves eight points behind Barcelona in the Liga standings.
Yet Argentina's former World Cup winning captain said things might have been different had president Florentino Perez heeded his advice.
"I told Florentino to sign Mbappe but he told me had Cristiano Ronaldo," Maradona said in an interview with AS.
Asked where signing Mbappe would leave Bale, Maradona said: "They should sell Bale, they should give him away. I expect Florentino wouldn't, but maybe he can do a deal, and let Bale go to AC Milan or Inter (Milan).
"They have to sign Mbappe, for me he's the next big thing, he could overtake many players."
Maradona, who inspired Argentina to win the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, also said Lionel Messi could take a leaf out of his book when it comes to rallying the national team at next year's tournament in Russia.
"Messi is not capable of giving a team talk to 20 guys and motivating them like I did," Maradona said of Argentina's captain and all-time top scorer, who has never won a major international trophy despite reaching four finals.
"He would just say 'What do you want to ask me?' and they would ask him all the questions."
ISL: Kerela Blasters beat NorthEast United 1-0
CK Vineeth scored the only goal as Kerala Blasters defeated NorthEast United FC 1-0 to register their maiden win in the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) season in Kochi on Friday.
Blasters started well and put persistent pressure on their rivals. Their efforts bore fruit when CK Vineeth and Rino Anto combined in the 24th minute to send the crowd into delirium.
Vineeth send a flying header into the net, after getting a beautiful cross from Rino Anto.
With this win, Kerala Blasters grabbed three vital points.
NorthEast United were dealt with a huge blow when their goalkeeper TP Rehenesh was sent off for a last ditch tackle on Mark Sifneos when he was played through by Courage Pekuson just before the interval.
The visitors had their moments in the second half with Danilo Lopes looking the most threatening. He came really close a couple of times but missed out.
In the end, NorthEast United couldn't muster an equaliser before the final whistle and the two big moments in the first half -- the goal and the red card -- swayed the three points Kerala’s way.
Simeone will not stand in the way of Griezmann leaving Atletico
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has said he will have no problem letting his side's talismanic forward Antoine Griezmann walk away from the club in the future.
Griezmann, who has scored 90 goals in 178 games for Atletico since 2014, was reportedly close to moving to Manchester United in the close season but opted to remain at Atletico after the club's appeal against a ban on registering new players was rejected.
The 26-year-old signed a new contract last June until 2021 with a buy-out clause of 100 million euros ($117.94 million).
"Of course he can leave at some point, like Diego Costa and Arda Turan did, I'm not an ungrateful person," Simeone said in an interview with French newspaper L'Equipe published on Friday.
"I love watching my players grow, and if one of them tells me that they have the chance of playing for a certain team, after they did everything they could for me, like Griezmann has, I won't cause him any problems. I know he needs to grow."
With Diego Costa returning to the team in January when the ban expires and with Griezmann enduring an inconsistent run in front of goal, reports are gathering pace in Spain that this campaign could be the France international's last with Atletico.
Barcelona and Manchester United are his most likely destinations, according to Spanish media reports.
Brazilian football boss Del Nero banned for 90 days: FIFA
Brazilian soccer chief Marco Polo del Nero was banned for 90 days by FIFA on Friday while he is investigated over possible unethical conduct, the global body said in a statement.
Del Nero, a former member of FIFA's executive committee, was among 42 soccer officials and sports marketing executives indicted in the United States in 2015 in a corruption scandal that sparked the biggest crisis in FIFA's history.
Brazil does not allow the extradition of its own citizens and Del Nero had remained as president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) until Friday's decision.
Del Nero, 76, has denied wrongdoing while the CBF could not immediately be contacted for comment on Friday.
His two immediate predecessors, Jose Maria Marin and Ricardo Teixeira, were also among those indicted in the United States.
Marin is currently standing trial in the US alongside former South American Football Confederation president Juan Napout and former Peruvian football boss Manuel Burga.
The three have pleaded not guilty to allegations they were involved in a conspiracy to take bribes from sports marketing companies in exchange for lucrative marketing rights to soccer tournaments, including the Copa America and Copa Libertadores.
Teixeira, who has denied wrongdoing, has remained in Brazil.