WEDNESDAY'S BIG STORIES
Shooting for gold
The Euros are a thing of the past, the new domestic season is a few weeks away, friendlies mean nothing, and so why not tuck into some football at the Olympics.
Little selected as captain for Team GB’s match against Japan
As you’re reading this there’ll likely be action taking place at Tokyo 2020, with the Team GB women’s football team getting the ball rolling against Chile today, with five more matches also taking place.
The time difference means you’ll have a nice morning of matches to feast on before lunchtime, and it feels like a bonus too given the Opening Ceremony is not until Friday.
That means any 11th-hour cancellation of the Olympics will only come after…. what, the 12th hour as far as the football is concerned?
The head of the organising committee, Toshiro Muto, admitted all options remain on the table amid Covid cases in the Olympic Village, but the action could well be a welcome distraction and proof that this Olympics like no other can go ahead despite the difficulties.
No pressure, football.
- 'Absolutely no conversations' about Olympics being scrapped – Team GB chief
- Hayward: Tokyo presents a crossroads for Team GB's recent Olympic gold rush
Same again, Celtic?
It is becoming a painfully recurring sight for Celtic fans - their side struggling in the Champions League qualifying rounds.
It was 2017-18 when they last reached the group stages, with AEK Athens, CFR Cluj and Ferencvaros all sending the Bhoys packing in qualification rounds the past three seasons.
Now, before they can even entertain the prospect of facing PSV Eindhoven or Galatasaray in the third qualifying round, they have a tricky away tie next week having drawn 1-1 at home with FC Midtjylland last night.
Not an entirely name for Ange Postecoglou, the manager whose surname will be copy and pasted from Google every time we dare mention him, and once more reaching Europe’s premier competition looks like it could evade them for a fourth season.
Over to you, Spectator
Professional footballer – an England and Manchester United footballer, that is – makes money commercially. Breaking news? Of course not. Mildly interesting? It’s hard to even say, but after Marcus Rashford was made aware of an upcoming article from the Spectator (set to be published today) the campaigner for free children’s meals (plus their overall wellbeing) felt the need to make a very good point.
He added: “Last summer, 1.3M children had access to food support, through my relationship with Burberry children have a safe place to be after school where they will be fed, following the November investment vulnerable children have safe places to go this summer holiday, and due to my relationship with Macmillan 80,000 children now have a book to call their own.
“Do I have a larger commercial appeal following the U-turns? I’m sure. But I’m also a Manchester United and England international footballer. Why has there always got to be a motive? Why can’t we just do the right thing?”
As was pointed out, Rashford comfortably topped The Sunday Times Giving List 2021 – and so as doesn’t really need point out anymore, he is a better human than most. What the point of this article is, therefore, we’ll soon find out – maybe.
IN OTHER NEWS
Covid chaos for Arsenal
They won’t be the last team affected this pre-season, but it is a mighty change for Arsenal after they were forced to cancel their plans to head stateside following a number of Covid cases in the camp.
The Gunners had been duo to play in the Florida Cup, with Everton, Inter Milan, and Colombian side Millonarios also participating, but with just a few weeks to go they will need to think up a new schedule. Maybe no bad thing, but far from ideal.
IN THE CHANNELS
Ronaldinho in a Barca shirt
We could post every Barcelona tweet last night featuring Ronaldinho, to be honest, but as this one runs through the whole team that was in action for the El Clasico legends match, and finishes with the Brazilian licking his lips at the end of the line – then this is the one worth showing.
BONUS: We’ll show Ronaldinho scoring from the spot too.
Let’s celebrate Olympic football getting under way by taking a look at the best goals from the past editions. That Angel Di Maria chip… tidy.
Apparently Tottenham have a friendly at Colchester United tonight, but more importantly there are six Tokyo 2020 matches taking place throughout the day. We’ve mentioned the Team GB women’s football team kicking it all off against Chile, and you also have China v Brazil, Sweden v USA, Japan v Canada, Zambia v Netherlands and Australia v New Zealand to enjoy!
Oh, and watch every unmissable moment live from Tokyo 2020 across Eurosport, Eurosport app and discovery+
Goals of the Day: Brazil put four past Germany, Argentina stunned