Florentino Perez touts revamp of 'worn out' Champions League format

The Blancos president celebrated victory in Milan just days ago, but he believes that the European tournament needs major changes to stop it becoming stale

Just days after Real Madrid were crowned European champions for the 11th time, club president Florentino Perez has led calls for the revamping of the Champions League format.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the decisive penalty as Zinedine Zidane’s men claimed a shoot-out triumph over city rivals Atletico Madrid in Milan on Saturday.

But Perez believes the “worn out” tournament would benefit from major changes to its structure.


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“I believe that the future is open to everything; to a true European competition, and that’s where we’re going to be,” Perez told Marca.

“It’s very difficult at present, but it’s a possibility in the future I’m sure.

“We have asked that UEFA change the format of the Champions League because I believe that the current version is rather worn out.”

Chelsea move for Rudiger still alive despite Roma deal

The Serie A outfit could be tempted to sell the full-back despite having signed him on a permanent deal, with a source claiming the move is “possible”

Chelsea remain in the hunt to sign Germany international defender Antonio Rudiger despite him agreeing a permanent move to Roma, Goal understands.

The full-back impressed in his 30 outings for the Serie A outfit last season during a loan spell from Stuttgart, with the Italian club agreeing to €9 million to sign him on a four-year deal after paying an initial €4m for his temporary stay.

His impressive form has seen his value increase, however, and Roma could yet look to cash in and avoid paying an extra €0.5m that would be owed to Stuttgart depending on appearances after incoming Blues boss Antonio Conte showed an interest in the player.


GOALREAD MORE  | REVEALED: Chelsea’s summer transfer plans


The Italy manager has given the Stamford Bridge hierarchy a shortlist of possible signings – with the majority currently plying their trade in Serie A – and a source has told Goal a deal is still “possible”, though any transfer would not be finalised until after Euro 2016.

Roma’s director of sport, Walter Sabatini, has already been in contact with Chelsea this year after he was pictured in London having been in discussions regarding a permanent move for Mohamed Salah after his own loan spell at Stadio Olimpico.

Goal also understands Chelsea are one of many Premier League clubs interested in his Roma defender Kostas Manolas and that the clubs have been in contact over Conte’s interest in midfielder Radja Nainggolan

He's done a Nasri! Ramsey bleaches his hair ahead of Euro 2016

The midfielder has emulated his former Arsenal team-mate with a daring bleached look, which may require his Wales colleague to don sunglasses if they wish to pass him the ball


GOALEXTRA TIME

With Wales gearing up for their first major international tournament in 58 years, Euro 2016 will be a momentous occasion for the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Gareth Bale and their team-mates.

The 1958 World Cup, with soon-to-be Juventus idol John Charles leading the line, was the last time the nation competed at a top competition.

And in preparation for the tournament in France, Ramsey has apparently opted to make statement by bleaching his hair a shade brighter than the sun.

 

Una foto publicada por Aaron Ramsey (@aaronramsey) el31 de May de 2016 a la(s) 6:57 PDT

The Arsenal midfielder took to Instagram to publish a touching photo with his infant son but all eyes were on his hairstyle, dyed to a blonde halfway between ‘electric’ and ‘blinding’ in the catalogue.

At least Wales’ players will have no problems picking him out on the pitch – provided they are not dazzled by the very sight of him.

Turan, Sahin and Calhanoglu lead Turkey's Euro 2016 squad

Barcelona midfielder Arda Turan leads Turkey’s final 23-man squad for Euro 2016, with Nuri Sahin also making the cut despite an injury-plagued season.

Borussia Dortmund’s Sahin had to wait until February 18 to make his first start of the campaign after a persistent tendon problem, managing just six subsequent starts in the Bundesliga.

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However, Sahin makes Fatih Terim’s final selection, along with Bayer Leverkusen ace Hakan Calhanoglu and surprise inclusion Emre Mor, who made his full international debut in last Sunday’s friendly against Montenegro after impressing for Nordsjaelland.

Eight players, including Gokhan Tore of Besiktas and Galatasaray’s Yasin Oztekin, have been cut from Terim’s initial party.

Turkey start their Euro 2016 campaign against Croatia on June 12, before meeting Spain five days later and Czech Republic in their final Group D game on June 21.

Morata: Improving on Spain's Euro feats is impossible

Alvaro Morata has admitted that improving on Spain’s last two showings at the European Championship is “impossible”.

Juventus striker Morata was not involved in the history-making Spain squads that won both Euro 2008 and 2012, but is heading to France with Vicente del Bosque’s party this time around.

And the 23-year-old is hopeful of making it an historic hat-trick for the 2010 world champions.

“To do better than Spain have already done in recent years will be difficult, because surpassing what that team achieved is impossible,” Morata told AS. “But we can try to equal it.”

With regard to how Spain can retain their crown once again despite the retirements of key men such as Xavi and Xabi Alonso since their triumph in Poland and Ukraine four years ago, Morata added: “Germany put faith in their younger players and came out as world champions in Brazil, and that’s what we’ll try to do.

“We hope we can win the Euros, but we know it won’t be easy. Germany just lost to Slovakia in their friendly, so that gives us lots of belief, but also the knowledge and respect that not one team in France will be pushovers. 

“And of course, you need some luck at these tournaments.”