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Atletico Madrid punished for fans' far-right banner at Europa League final

Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke admits he's keen for Antoine Griezmann to stay at the club because of his huge impact.

NYON, Switzerland -- UEFA has ordered Atletico Madrid to close a section of their stadium as punishment for fans displaying a far-right banner at the Europa League final last month.

European football's governing body says Atletico must shut off at least 3,000 seats at their first home game in the Champions League next season.

The Spanish team's Metropolitano Stadium will also host the Champions League final next June.

UEFA's disciplinary panel found Atletico guilty of a charge of "racist behavior"...

Liverpool to play away in Premier League before every Champions League group game

Gab Marcotti and the ESPN FC crew discuss how far along Liverpool are in their contract negotiations with Roma's Alisson.
The FC crew analyse the major curveball thrown by Lyon as they ended negotiations with Liverpool over the transfer of Nabil Fekir.
Steve Nicol and Craig Burley defend Sergio Ramos for appearing unapologetic upon learning Loris Karius suffered a concussion in the UCL final.
French football expert Julien Laurens and the FC panel examine Fabinho's move to Liverpool and how the Reds' midfield will take shape in 2018-19.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol explains why Roma's Alisson has to be Liverpool's No. 1 transfer target this summer.

Liverpool will play away from home in the Premier League before every Champions League group game this season.

The fixture list, released on Thursday morning, provisionally shows that Liverpool will face rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Arsenal before European matches.

It starts in September when Liverpool travel to Tottenham's new stadium ahead of the opening game of the Champions League group stages, which both teams automatically qualified for.

Prior to matchday two in the Champions League...

 By Reuters

Man United most valuable club but Barcelona, Real Madrid closing - Forbes

While Diogo Dalot may not be a Man United regular next season, Shaka Hislop feels it's a statement of intent for the future.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho used his footballing expertise to predict the outcome of the World Cup group stages.

Manchester United are the world's most valuable football club for a second consecutive year, according to the annual list published by Forbes on Tuesday.

The Premier League runners-up, who last year ended European champions Real Madrid's four-year stint at the top of the list, were valued at $4.12 billion, up 12 percent from a year ago, Forbes said.

The average value of the top 20, which relates to the 2016-17 season, rose by 14 percent over the period.

Real Madrid, who last month won a third-straight...

Real Madrid hire Spain's Julen Lopetegui to take over as coach after World Cup

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti discusses the tricky situation Julen Lopetegui finds himself in as he coaches Spain before taking over at Real Madrid.
Alejandro Moreno explains why the timing of Real Madrid's hiring of Julen Lopetegui as manager could be a detriment to Spain at the World Cup.
After Spain laboured to a narrow win over Tunisia, the FC crew fear La Roja don't have enough cutting edge to unlock opposing defences.

Spain national team coach Julen Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid manager after the World Cup, the Spanish club announced on Tuesday, just two days before the tournament begins in Russia.

Madrid had been looking for a replacement since Zinedine Zidane stepped down from the position last month, just days after winning a third consecutive Champions League trophy.

Lopetegui, after guiding Spain easily through qualification to the World Cup finals, had agreed a new contract up until Euro 2022...

Chaos rules at Madrid post Zinedine with Ronaldo, Bale futures on hold

The FC panel respond to reports of Cristiano Ronaldo's unhappiness at Real Madrid and discuss why this story doesn't seem to go away.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno explains why Cristiano Ronaldo's repetitive threats to leave Real Madrid are losing value.
ESPN FC's Stevie Nicol feels Zinedine Zidane left Real Madrid at exactly the right time after rumours suggest a rift with Florentino Perez.
Sid Lowe explains what Real Madrid will be looking for in their managerial search, and the FC crew ponder whether Arsene Wenger is a good fit.

Real Madrid are in a state of flux. The club continue their search for Zinedine Zidane's replacement, with a long list of issues which cannot be resolved until the new man is appointed.

Zidane's shock decision to step down just days after winning a third consecutive Champions League trophy appears to have taken everyone at the Bernabeu by surprise. There's speculation and uncertainty over Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale's future, as well as where the team will do the majority of their preseason...