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Category: Albania

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Euro 2020 roundup: Ronaldo gets four, France stroll it, Czechs bounce back

• Ronaldo takes international tally to 93 in 5-1 win over Lithuania• Czech Republic leapfrog Kosovo with 3-0 victory in MontenegroPortugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo took his international goals tally to 93 when he scored four times to give the European…

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Euro 2020 roundup: France find it easy after Albania anthem embarrassment

• 4-1 win for world champions follows Stade de France PA gaffe• Portugal get campaign on track with 4-2 win in SerbiaA weakened France side scored four goals for the fourth time in five Euro 2020 qualifiers as the Group H leaders swept aside Albania 4-…

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Albania consign Ryan Giggs and Wales to embarrassing friendly defeat

Wales suffered an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to Albania as Ryan Giggs’s first year in charge ended on a low note. Albania are ranked 42 spots below 18th-placed Wales in the Fifa rankings but Bekim Balaj’s penalty condemned them to a shock defeat and damag…

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Albania consign Ryan Giggs and Wales to embarrassing friendly defeat

Wales suffered an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to Albania as Ryan Giggs’s first year in charge ended on a low note. Albania are ranked 42 spots below 18th-placed Wales in the Fifa rankings but Bekim Balaj’s penalty condemned them to a shock defeat and damag…

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Ryan Fraser fires Scotland close to Nations League promotion

• Albania 0-4 Scotland• Fraser 14, Fletcher 45pen, Forrest 55 67Scotland are within 90 minutes of promotion from the third tier of the Nations League after an emphatic 4-0 win over 10-man Albania at the Loro Borici Stadium in Shkoder.Ryan Fraser’s firs…

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Nations League: Italy v Portugal, Albania v Scotland and more – live!

Live updates from the 7.45pm GMT gamesAnd you can email Nick or tweet @NickMiller79 4.23pm GMT As it turns out, this Nations League business has been pretty good. Sport tends to be a fairly conservative business, broadly speaking happy with how things …

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Steven Naismith strikes to give Scotland hope of Nations League salvation

• Scotland 2-0 Albania • Xhimshiti 47og; Naismith 68There was no acceptable alternative to victory for Alex McLeish in this, Scotland’s Nations League opener. The manager – unmoved from the pitchside for 90 minutes in pouring rain – knew that all right…

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Scotland v Albania, Portugal v Italy and more: Nations League – live!

Nations League updates from the latest set of gamesFootball Weekly: the pod on the Nations League so farAnd feel free to email Ben or tweet him @benfisherj 6.58pm BST Headline team news: Allan McGregor is preferred to Craig Gordon in goal, Stephen O’Do…

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Alex McLeish expectant of upturn in Scotland fortunes after sticky start

• Scotland have won just one match in previous five • McLeish: ‘This is where it really begins’It would be unfair – for now – to draw comparisons between this Scotland setup and Only Fools and Horses. Nonetheless, smiles were inevitable on Sunday as Al…

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Scotland manager Alex McLeish under pressure to deliver Albania win

• Hosts beaten 4-0 by Belgium in Friday’s friendly • One win from five matches since McLeish’s returnIf it seems extreme to be in the territory of must-win matches within seven months of an international managerial appointment, Alex McLeish has become …

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Serbia to protest about use of Albanian symbol by Switzerland players

Players of Kosovan heritage accused of inflaming political tensions when celebrating goalThe Serbian Football Association has said it will make a formal complaint to Fifa after Switzerland’s Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri celebrated their goals durin…

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Xhaka and Shaqiri goal celebrations bring Balkan politics to World Cup

Switzerland pair, who have Albanian heritage, inflame tensions with Serbia by making nationalist symbolsXherdan Shaqiri completes comeback win against SerbiaSwiss footballers Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri have risked inflaming political tensions in …

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Republic of Ireland v Moldova, Spain v Albania: World Cup qualifiers – live!

8.11pm BST

The Real Madrid playmaker, who’s having a fine season, doubles Spain’s lead in Alicante. And what’s this?

8.10pm BST

Israel can’t qualify but a goal’s a goal.

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Italy’s veteran manager turns to youth to restore their former World Cup glories

Gian Piero Ventura has been coaching for 41 years but the squads he has picked for Italy’s World Cup qualifiers show he has not lost his faith in young players

By Matt Santangelo for The Gentleman Ultra, of the Guardian Sport Network

Two hours of football in Berlin’s Olympiastadion were not enough to separate Italy and France in the 2006 World Cup final. In the resultant penalty shoot-out, Italian defender Fabio Grosso stepped up to take his kick with the dreams of a nation in his left boot. He confidently converted his penalty, floating the ball into the top-right corner as Fabien Barthez dived the other way. Italy were champions of the world and there was pandemonium at the Piazza Venezia back in Rome as Italians celebrated winning their fourth World Cup.

The shadow of the Calciopoli scandal loomed large over Italian football at the time, but the Azzurri could not have done a better job alleviating the embarrassment of the scandal that rocked their domestic game. Throughout the tournament, the Italians – led by Ballon d’Or winning captain Fabio Cannavaro – had pulled together and, when necessary, deployed their famed Catenaccio tactics. Their “door-bolt football” limited opponents to only two goals in seven matches – and one of those was an own goal and the other was a penalty.

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Ciro Immobile double takes Italy past Macedonia, Spain beat Albania

• Italy win 3-2 while Diego Costa and Nolito score in Spain’s 2-0 win
• Dusan Tadic orchestrates Serbia’s 3-2 home win over Austria in Group D

Ciro Immobile scored twice in the last 15 minutes to earn Italy a 3-2 win in Macedonia after the four-times champions were on the brink of a humiliating defeat.

Andrea Belotti gave Italy a 24th-minute lead after the visitors, who have not lost in a qualifying competition for 10 years, had made a shaky start.

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Ciro Immobile double takes Italy past Macedonia, Spain beat Albania

• Italy win 3-2 while Diego Costa and Nolito score in Spain’s 2-0 win
• Dusan Tadic orchestrates Serbia’s 3-2 home win over Austria in Group D

Ciro Immobile scored twice in the last 15 minutes to earn Italy a 3-2 win in Macedonia after the four-times champions were on the brink of a humiliating defeat.

Andrea Belotti gave Italy a 24th-minute lead after the visitors, who have not lost in a qualifying competition for 10 years, had made a shaky start.

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Ten rising stars to watch across Europe’s World Cup qualifying campaign | Alan Smith

From Italy’s 17-year-old keeper to Poland’s Premier League winger we choose the most exciting youngsters to watch out for in the forthcoming games

Elevated into Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid team during the opening two weeks of the La Liga season, the attacking midfielder was included in Julen Lopetegui’s first squad for a friendly with Belgium and Monday’s visit of Liechtenstein, though he did not make it off the bench for the win in Brussels on Thursday. Capable of operating centrally and out wide, the 20-year‑old will need to bide his time for opportunities but such has been his rapid rise it would not be a massive surprise if he became a regular later in the campaign. In the meantime it would be good to see him get some game time in noncompetitive fixtures. His only cap so far came against Bosnia‑Herzegovina at the end of last season.

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Euro 2016 picture of the day – a happy return to Tirana

The Albanian players and officials are welcomed back to Tirana with a formal red-carpet ceremony. The team scored their first goal in a major tournament to beat Romania 1-0, but narrow defeats to Switzerland and France denied them a place in the knocko…

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Euro 2016 power rankings: Croatia go top but problems for France

Croatia’s win over Spain puts them top of the pile, hosts France fail to impress with the pressure off, Germany show inconsistent flashes of brilliance while Iceland and Republic of Ireland’s late shows see them climb

The most notable thing from beating Spain is that without Luka Modric they remain a force to be reckoned with. Their record should have been 100% only for that bizarre collapse against Czech Republic – and, really, the disruptive element in their fanbase deserve as much blame as the players. Based on what we have witnessed so far, calling them dark horses is playing their chances down, especially now their path in the knockout stages is moderately easier on account of finishing above the reigning champions. While Modric and Ivan Rakitic are the star turns, Ivan Perisic has arguably been their best player. Defensively they are sound. And Mario Mandzukic could yet have a big impact in attack.

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France and Switzerland tear it up as Albania wait – Euro 2016 Football Daily

The podders look back on France’s 0-0 draw with Switzerland and Albania’s historic win against Romania: will it be enough for them to get through to the last 16? Plus, England ring the changes for Slovakia and Wales get ready for Russia

AC Jimbo is joined in the pod for tonight’s Football Daily by Michael Cox to reflect on the conclusion of Group A. Barney Ronay was in Lille to watch France’s latest unconvincing performance, while Iain Macintosh had the pleasure of watching all 90 minutes of Albania’s win against Romania.

Plus, we look ahead to tomorrow’s action. Lukáš Vráblik gives us an insight into England’s opponents Slovakia, while Sasha Goryunov tells us about the Russia-shaped stumbling block standing in Wales’ way to the last 16.

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