Following the conclusion to club football in Europe for another season, international football has been under the spotlight. The UEFA Nations League got under way at the beginning of June and it has provided mixed emotions for the Polish national team.
Poland started brightly with a 2-1 victory over Wales, were hammered 6-1 by Belgium and picked up a hard earned point in a 2-2 draw with the Netherlands over the weekend. Having accrued four points Poland sit third in the table and face group favourites Belgium in Warsaw on Tuesday evening.
Poland are competing amongst Europe’s elite in Group 4 of League A, with the competition split into four leagues containing four groups in all but League D. The groups conclude with the remaining two fixtures in September.
Summer transfers hotting up
News away from the pitch has also been garnering much attention with Manchester City completing the signing of Norwegian prodigy Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund for EUR 59.68m
Confirmation of the deal comes as City’s closest domestic rivals Liverpool have reached a deal with Benfica to sign Uruguay forward Darwin Nunez
, the Portuguese club have stated. The transfer fee could reportedly rise to as much EUR 100m.
The purchase of world class strikers by undoubtedly English football’s best two teams will be a cause for concern for not only the rest of the English Premier League but the rest of Europe’s elite clubs, few of whom could hope to spend so much on a single player.
The deals also represent an interesting change of tack for England's top two clubs, who for at least several years have mainly played without traditional out-and-out strikers.
With some of the most exciting striking talents on the move, the future of arguably the world premium number nine has yet to be concluded. Polish striker Robert Lewandowski announced his intention to leave Bayern Munich last month. Whilst there has been reported interest from Barcelona and Chelsea, the German champions have yet to receive a concrete bid.
The other eye-catching transfer over the last seven days was European champions Real Madrid’s purchase of Monaco midfielder and French international Aurelien Tchouameni for EUR 80 mln.
Meanwhile, Poland has been divided by the controversial decision by the country’s left back Maciej Rybus, who is leaving Lokomotiv Moscow to join their local rivals Spartak. Many believe the move is immoral due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the others, including the player’s manager, point to the fact that Rybus has a Russian wife and children and had to take the well being of his loved ones into consideration.
Relief for Ecuador fans
Ecuador fans breathed a huge sigh of relief as FIFA announced that the national team will indeed compete in Qatar at the 2022 World Cup.
Ecuador's place in the competition had been in doubt following Chile’s complaint to FIFA alleging that Byron Castillo
had been ineligible for the eight World Cup qualifiers he played in.
Chile claimed that Castillo had been born in Colombia, not Ecuador, and that he had used a fake birth certificate to deceive FIFA and CONMEBOL.
Had FIFA found Castillo had been lying, all eight qualifiers in which Castillo had featured would likely have been declared as 3-0 losses for Ecuador. It would have enabled Chile to qualify in their stead.
uefa.com, ESPN, BBC