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Bundesliga

Bayer Leverkusen’s Hakan Calhanoglu available again after suspension

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Calhanoglu played only 15 times in the Bundesliga last season before his four-month suspension.It’s a day Hakan Calhanoglu and Bayer Leverkusen fans around the world have had marked on the calendars for months now – and today it finally arrived. The Leverkusen midfielder’s four-month suspension from football is over.

Calhanoglu’s suspension related to a contract dispute with Turkish club Tranzonspor in 2011, which the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled amounted to a breach of contract.

The 23-year-old’s ban from all football began on 2 February 2017, meaning the midfielder missed the final 16 matches of Leverkusen’s Bundesliga campaign, plus the UEFA Champions League last-16 ties against Atletico Madrid.

Calhanoglu had been in hot form for Die Werkself before his enforced absence, scoring six goals and assisting five in his 15 Bundesliga appearances in 2016/17. He has continued to train with the Leverkusen first team throughout his time on the sidelines in a bid to keep up his fitness.

Whilst Calhanoglu is now officially available to play again, he has not been called up to Turkey’s latest squad for their friendly against Macedonia and World Cup qualifier against Kosovo due to a lack of match practice.

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Bundesliga

Messi an alien that should live in sky not earth – Montella

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Sevilla manager, Vincenzo Montella has described Barcelona star, Lionel Messi as an ‘alien’ who is supposed to be living in the sky rather than on the earth.

He stated this ahead of Sevilla clash with Barcelona in the Copa del Rey finals at Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday night.

Montella, who said Messi’s talents are not of this world believes his Sevilla side have a chance against Barcelona in today’s final.

“Barcelona are a great team, as we have seen in La Liga,” Montella, who joined Sevilla in December replacing Eduardo Berizzo told reporters.

“They have almost won it, so they are favourites.

“But we have to think about ourselves and our attitude and quality and skills. We have to think how to face Barcelona that way.

“I also think that Messi is an alien. I hope he will be that high tomorrow instead of on the Earth. We have to try to avoid him receiving the ball.

“We’ve seen that it is possible to win against Barcelona, but for this to happen we have to be focused throughout the whole game and not lose concentration at any moment.

“I’m hoping for a balanced game, one that will be decided by smaller details, keeping us in the running.”

The kick off time for the match is 8:30pm.

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Bundesliga

Copa del Rey finals: Sevilla vs Barcelona: Team news, injuries, possible lineups

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Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona will clash with Sevilla on Saturday night in the Copa del Rey final at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium. (more…)

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Argentina

Pogba jokes around in Manchester United training after ban

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Paul Pogba enjoyed Manchester United training despite confirmation of his three-game suspension. (more…)

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