Parker willing to face Chisora, wants rematch with ‘lucky’ Whyte

David Higgins believes there will be a Joseph Parker-Dillian Whyte rematch, but the New Zealander is happy to fight Dereck Chisora next.

Joseph Parker’s promoter says the former WBO champion wants a rematch with Dillian Whyte, who “got lucky” in their first fight last year.

Whyte – who has won nine on the spin since his solitary pro loss at the hands of rival Anthony Joshua – is yet to reveal his next move after beating Dereck Chisora for a second time in December.

As for Parker, he was offered the opportunity to face Chisora in April but rejected the bout due to a lack of preparation time.

Promoter David Higgins feels Parker should get another crack at Whyte after the latter won on points at the O2 Arena last July, having felt aggrieved over a clash of heads in the second round.

Parker is willing to accept a bout with another Londoner in Chisora if given enough notice, yet Higgins believes the New Zealander has unfinished business with Whyte.

Higgins told Omnisport: “There is no ego in the Joseph Parker-Duco Events camp. Some heavyweights are obsessed with being the main event and will not be on the undercard.

“Provided they put the right deal on the table we will happily be on the undercard for a Whyte fight in July. Whyte would then hopefully explain why he thought it wasn’t fair to give Joseph Parker a well-deserved rematch.”


He added: “The one that publicly said he is prepared to step up is Chisora, so credit to him for having the spine to step up. At the moment that looks possible, but the deal and the timeline has to be right.

“We privately and publicly suggested that Dillian Whyte should give Joseph Parker a rematch just out of respect and honour because the cold, hard facts are that a proper headbutt was ruled a knockdown by the referee and not only did it create a draw into a loss, it also left Parker concussed for several rounds.

“Dillian won and got lucky through an officiating error, that is fine but we suggested a rematch and nobody in England would have complained if there was a rematch because it was a damn good, close contest.

“Parker pretty much knocked him out at the end and Whyte got up to scrape a win. I think Eddie Hearn would be willing to book a rematch, but the Whyte team – and Dillian Whyte himself – have not acknowledged they got lucky and they have not commented about the headbutt or officiating error.

“Whyte calls out all sorts of heavyweights all the time, but he never mentions Joseph Parker, well what does that tell you?

“I think having got lucky against Parker, Whyte wants to go in a different direction for a world title shot or some money and that’s fine, but I’m fairly certain Parker and Whyte will meet again some time.”


Alaba hands Bayern pre-Liverpool injury boost

David Alaba has completed a light running session, while Bayern Munich have also delivered positive injury updates on three key players.

Bayern Munich have confirmed David Alaba is closing in on a return to action after the Austria international completed a light training session.

A tendon injury meant Alaba missed Bayern’s last game, a 5-1 demolition of Borussia Monchengladbach that moved the defending champions level on points with Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga table.

Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Leon Goretzka have also returned to training this week to add to the options available to coach Niko Kovac, although Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman are still out for Saturday’s home game against Wolfsburg.

Bayern host Liverpool on Wednesday in the second leg of their last-16 Champions League tie, the two sides having played out a goalless draw at Anfield last month.


The club also released a statement from chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic condemning Joachim Low for announcing Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng are no longer being considered for Germany selection.

Serge Gnabry, who signed a new Bayern contract to 2023 this week, has broken into the Germany team and he sympathised with the plight of his trio of club team-mates, who all played a key part in the 2014 World Cup triumph.

“I also only heard that after the training on my way home,” the winger told a news conference. “I’ve been also very surprised like many others, like the whole country and the players as well.

“It’s clear that it is a setback for the three of them. Nevertheless you have accept that and the guys got going today in training again. Their careers still go on and let’s see what happens in the future.

“I have to look on myself but of course I’m sorry for the three of them. Nevertheless everyone has his own performance in mind. I don’t bother if Thomas is with me or not, I also think that he doesn’t worry about if I’m on the pitch with him or not.”


NBA free agency rumors: Andrew Bogut finalizing 1-year deal with Warriors

The 7-foot center has agreed to return to the Bay Area after receiving his letter of clearance from Australia and the NBA.

Andrew Bogut is heading back to the Bay Area.

According to The Athletic, the 7-foot center has agreed to return to the Warriors after receiving his letter of clearance from Australia and the NBA.

The report noted that the two sides will work to finalize a one-year minimum contract, adding that Bogut is expected to hold a formal press conference with the Sydney Kings of Australia’s NBL to announce his move in the near future.

Bogut, 34, was selected by the Bucks with the first overall pick in the 2005 draft and went on to spend 13 years in the NBA. He last played with the Lakers during the 2017-18 season.

During his time in the NBA, Bogut averaged 9.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.6 blocked shots through 694 games.

He is coming off an MVP campaign with the Sydney Kings.


Racing suspended at Santa Anita Park following spate of horse fatalities

Santa Anita Park racecourse has been closed following a spate of deaths in a short period of time.

Racing and training has been suspended indefinitely at the world-famous Santa Anita Park in California following the reported death of 21 horses at the venue since December 26.

The announcement comes after four-year-old filly Lets Light the Way was fatally injured on the main track on Tuesday.

Among the other horse fatalities over the course of the past 10 weeks was 2017 Breeders’ Cup winner Battle of Midway, who died while training last month.

The closure, which will allow for safety tests to be carried out, forces the postponement of two of Santa Anita’s biggest annual events scheduled for Saturday: the San Felipe Handicap, a major Kentucky Derby prep race for three-year-old thoroughbreds, and the Santa Anita Handicap, a lucrative race for older horses.

“The safety, health and welfare of the horses and jockeys is our top priority,” said Tim Ritvo, chief operating officer of course owners the Stronach Group.

“While we are confident further testing will confirm the soundness of the track, the decision to close is the right thing to do at this time.”

An official statement from the group added: “The Stronach Group has been in constant communication with the California Horse Racing Board and numerous key industry stakeholders who are in full agreement with the decision to suspend racing and training.”

It has also been announced that former Santa Anita track superintendent Dennis Moore, who retired from the role in December, has returned to the track as a consultant.

While Santa Anita is closed, Los Alamitos Race Track, around 30 miles south in Cypress, has offered its course for training.

Animal rights organisation PETA had called for the closure of the racecourse prior to the latest death.


Sarri: I never lost the dressing room

Chelsea’s players are “not very difficult to manage” according to Maurizio Sarri, who praised the way his side have returned to form.

Maurizio Sarri rejected the idea that Chelsea’s players have started showing him more respect, saying that their return to form is down to an improved mentality rather than a shift in his relationship with his squad.

Following a troubling sequence of four defeats in seven games across all competitions, Chelsea have shown signs that they are regaining confidence after back-to-back victories against Tottenham and Fulham in the Premier League.

Those wins have teed the Blues up for the visit of Dynamo Kyiv in the Europa League on Thursday and Sarri said he was happy with his side’s response since the chaos of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s refusal to be substituted in the EFL Cup final loss to Manchester City.

When asked whether his squad is difficult to manage, Sarri told reporters: “In my opinion no. Of course the situation is not easy because we are Chelsea, we have to win something, but the players are not very difficult to manage.

“They respected me before. It wasn’t a problem for me, the dressing room. We have some problems with the mentality because we did very bad in two or three matches, not the dressing room.

“I was lucky because I have two very good goalkeepers. In the match against Tottenham, [Willy] Caballero did very well, in the match against Fulham, Kepa did very well.

“I am lucky for this because we have really two very, very good goalkeepers. You can see the situation was well managed, I was lucky I think.”

Chelsea go into their round-of-16 tie against Kyiv having qualified with a 5-1 aggregate win over Malmo, and Sarri indicated that the Europa League is an important competition for his players.

However, the Italian does not see it as Chelsea’s best hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

He said: “I think we can gain the spot in the Champions League in the Premier League. We are fighting.

“We are only two points away [from the top four] at the moment, and have to play one match [in hand]. But the Europa League is a very important competition, the second in Europe, an important trophy with a spot for the Champions League.”

Blues defender David Luiz backed his coach’s comments about the club’s handling of recent controversies and described Sarri as “a great human”.

“You don’t change your character because of the situation; you change the situation,” said the Brazil international.

“He’s a great human, someone with the love and passion with football, loving with people and trying to help everyone, giving the best advice.

“When you lose a game, like we did in Manchester [6-0 at City], no one is going to be happy and coming here joking around. He’s a real person, and real people have feelings good and bad.”



Gordon Hayward on Celtics’ big win over Warriors: ‘One to build off’

After scoring just 26 total points in the last five games, Hayward put up a team-high 30 points Tuesday at Oracle Arena.

Gordon Hayward had a particularly good outing Tuesday against Golden State.

The Celtics forward delivered one of his best performances of the season as he led with 30 points, seven rebounds and four assists, coming off the bench to power his team past the defending-champion Warriors, 128-95.

“One to build off, no doubt,” Hayward said. “That’s the goal.”

Hayward spent all of last season on the sideline after suffering a gruesome leg and ankle injury just minutes into the regular-season opener against the Cavaliers but has progressively worked toward his old form.

After scoring just 26 total points on 8-of-26 shooting in the last five games — four of which the Celtics lost — Hayward went 12-for-16 to lead the team in scoring Tuesday at Oracle Arena, marking the third time this season he has had at least 30 points as a reserve. Kyrie Irving followed with 19 points, while Jayson Tatum added 17.

“I understand it’s one game,” Hayward said. “You are going to have ups and downs in the season. I’ll try to build off the things I did correctly tonight, and the next time you have a bad game, try to learn from that one.”

Boston is 10-2 this season when Hayward has scored 18 or more points.

The Celtics (39-26) sit at fifth in the Eastern Conference and continue their road trip through California with games against the Kings (32-31), Lakers (30-34) and Clippers (37-29) through Monday.


Dembele is better than Neymar, claims Barcelona’s Bartomeu

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has spoken about potential moves for Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt and former forward Neymar.

Ousmane Dembele is a better player than Neymar, according to Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Neymar became the most expensive player in the world in August 2017 when he left Barca for Paris Saint-Germain after the Ligue 1 side triggered his €222million release clause.

Barca invested the sum in the likes of Dembele, who arrived from Borussia Dortmund for an initial €105m, although his time at Camp Nou has been disrupted by injury and disciplinary issues.

But Dembele has made 23 LaLiga appearances so far this season, scoring eight goals to help Ernesto Valverde’s side establish a seven-point lead over Atletico Madrid in the title race.

And although Barca have regularly been linked with pushing for Neymar to return, Bartomeu signalled he is happy with Dembele as the Brazilian’s replacement.

“I won’t say yes or no,” Bartomeu told Cadena SER when asked if Barca could buy Neymar back.

“I say that with their [PSG’s] money, Barca made a sporting bet.

“With that money we went for players like Dembele and [Philippe] Coutinho.

“Dembele is better than Neymar. He’s at Barca and he is better.”

Barca have already sealed a deal worth a total €86m for Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who helped dump Real Madrid out of the Champions League on Tuesday.

Matthijs de Ligt has been linked with following his fellow Netherlands international to Camp Nou and Bartomeu appeared to confirm the Ajax captain is a transfer target.

“We have to talk about it from March,” he added of the Golden Boy winner. “Which is when we take the decisions, but his name is on the table, of course.”


Inter hold ‘cordial’ meeting with Icardi

Inter’s CEO Giuseppe Marotta has held a meeting with Mauro Icardi, who has missed their last five games.

Mauro Icardi and his wife and agent Wanda Nara held a “cordial” meeting with Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta as they seek a resolution to the saga surrounding the striker.

Icardi has been left out of Inter’s last five matchday squads after being stripped of the captaincy last month, and speculation over his future at San Siro persists.

The Argentina international posted a lengthy statement on Instagram last week in which he questioned whether Inter’s decision-makers were showing him respect, although he professed his love for the club and claimed to have previously rejected several significant offers.

Despite his affection for the Nerazzurri, Icardi and Inter have been unable to reach an agreement over a new contract, raising the likelihood that he has played his last game for the club.

Nara recently dismissed a report in Marca that her outspoken nature put Real Madrid off a move for Icardi, who now appears to have at least taken a step towards resolving the situation.

In a post on their Twitter account, the club wrote: “Inter’s Sport CEO Giuseppe Marotta today held a cordial meeting with Mauro Icardi and Wanda Nara in search of a solution to satisfy the best interests of all involved.”


Icardi’s deal, which reportedly contains a relatively low release clause of €110million, has two and a half years left to run.

He has scored 15 goals in 28 appearances in all competitions this season but has not played since the 1-0 Serie A win over Parma on February 9.

The former Sampdoria striker complained of knee pain after missing the Europa League win at Rapid Vienna, with head coach Luciano Spalletti saying Icardi had withdrawn from the squad himself before Inter issued a statement in which they stated medical tests could not identify any specific problem.

Inter lost 2-1 to Cagliari on Friday in Icardi’s absence and are fourth in Serie A, a point behind rivals AC Milan in third and three clear of fifth-placed Roma.


Newcastle confirm Beardsley departure

Former Newcastle United coach Peter Beardsley

Former England international Peter Beardsley has left his post as a coach at Newcastle United, the Premier League club have announced.

Newcastle United have confirmed Peter Beardsley is no longer employed as an under-23 coach by the Premier League club.

Beardsley had been on a period of leave since January 2018 while an investigation into his behaviour was carried out.

But the 58-year-old – a former England international – has now left his post, it was announced by Newcastle on Wednesday.

“We are grateful for the contribution Peter has given over the years as a player, coach and ambassador and we wish him well for the future,” a statement said. “The club will make no further comment at this time.”

In a statement released via his legal representatives, Beardsley also opted to give no details over his departure from the club.

“The time is now right for me to seek a new challenge and I wish the players all the best and the supporters the success they deserve,” Beardsley’s statement said.

“I have always honoured my contractual obligations of confidentiality to the club and maintained my silence, which has in itself been very difficult.

“I am incredibly grateful for the tremendous support I have received and I look forward to the future.”

A previous statement from Beardsley said he “categorically denies the allegations” facing him.

Beardsley, who had two spells as a player at Newcastle, saw a Premier League inquiry over allegations of bullying during a previous period of employment with the club dismissed in 2003.

Real Madrid confirm Vinicius injury

Real Madrid teenager Vinicius Junior

Real Madrid have confirmed medical tests on Brazilian winger Vinicius Junior have diagnosed the teenager with ligament damage.

Vinicius Junior faces a spell on the sidelines after Real Madrid confirmed the Brazilian teenager has torn ligaments in his right leg.

The winger sustained the injury in the first half of Madrid’s Champions League defeat at the hands of Ajax on Tuesday.

He was substituted in the 35th minute, with Ajax leading 2-0, and the Eredivisie side went on to win 4-1 and dump the three-time defending champions out in the round of 16.

Vinicius has been a rare highlight for Madrid in a terrible season that has seen the club dismiss Julen Lopetegui, with Santiago Solari reportedly close to following suit.

He has made 15 LaLiga appearances in 2018-19, scoring two goals, while he has also featured in four Champions League matches.

Madrid gave no timescale for his recovery in a statement released on Wednesday.

“After the tests made today to our player Vinicius Jr by the Medical Services of Real Madrid, he has been diagnosed with a torn ligament of the tibiofibular joint of the right leg. Evolution pending,” the statement said.

Solari’s future is under severe threat with Madrid 12 points off the top of the LaLiga table after Saturday’s 1-0 home Clasico loss to leaders Barcelona.

Madrid were also knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Barca at the semi-final stage, losing 4-1 on aggregate, although Solari led the team to Club World Cup glory last year.

Bayern ‘irritated’ by timing of Low’s Boateng, Hummels and Muller dismissal

Thomas Muller with the World Cup trophy

Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller are no longer being considered for Germany selection, with Bayern annoyed by the timing.

Bayern Munich have hit out at Germany coach Joachim Low over the timing of his announcement that Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller will no longer be considered for selection.

Low confirmed in a Bild interview on Tuesday the experienced Bayern trio – all part of Germany’s triumphant squad at the 2014 World Cup – are being dropped ahead of Euro 2020 qualifying.

Germany had an appalling title defence at the World Cup in Russia last year, failing to progress from the group stage, before suffering relegation in their inaugural Nations League campaign.

Boateng, Muller and Hummels have played 246 international matches between them and Bayern complained that Low and Germany’s general manager Oliver Bierhoff arrived unannounced at the club’s Sabener Strasse training facility to inform the players.

In a statement co-signed by chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, Bayern made clear the club’s position on Low’s latest move.

“National coach Joachim Low has decided not to consider our players Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng in the future,” the statement said.

“Basically, we do not comment on sporting decisions of the national coach, the nomination of the squad of the national team is solely the responsibility of Joachim Low.

“However, we believe the timing and circumstances of the announcement of this decision to the players and to the public is questionable. The last international match of the German national team took place on November 19, 2018.

“The fact that the players and the public got informed about three months later irritated us, right before the key matches of Bayern next Saturday in the title race of Bundesliga against Wolfsburg and just days later the crucial return leg in the last 16 next Wednesday against Liverpool.

“Bayern have great respect for the athletic merits of Thomas, Mats and Jerome for the national team and German football.”

Bayern have moved level on points with Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga table, while Niko Kovac’s men held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their Champions League clash.

Low’s Germany, meanwhile, play Serbia in a friendly on March 20 before embarking on a Euro 2020 qualifying group containing Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Estonia and Belarus.

Pain-free Murray not ruling out Wimbledon doubles return

Andy Murray leaves the court after his defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open

Pain free after a second surgery on his hip, Andy Murray hinted he could potentially return to Wimbledon in the doubles.

Andy Murray hopes to compete again in professional tennis after revealing he has no pain in his hip following a second surgery, and did not rule out a possible Wimbledon return in the doubles.

Before the Australian Open, the former world number one announced plans to end his career at this year’s Wimbledon amid continued struggles with his hip, though an emotional Murray conceded his first-round defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut in Melbourne could serve as his last match.

In an effort to potentially continue his career, Murray underwent a hip resurfacing operation five weeks ago, and the three-time grand slam champion expressed cautious optimism over how his recovery has gone.

“I want to continue playing,” said Murray, speaking at Queen’s Club to announce a new partnership with sportswear brand Castore. “I said that in Australia. The issue is I don’t know if it’s possible.

“I’m a lot happier now than I was 12 months ago and since having the op. I have no pain in the hip. I was in pain for a long time. The rehab has been slow, it’s been going pretty well. I need to wait and see how things progress.

“If it’s possible, I’d love to compete again.”

Speaking later to Sky Sports, Murray suggested he could yet compete at the All England Club in doubles, inspired by Bob Bryan, who made his return from the same surgery at the Australian Open.

He said: “I was struggling for a long time, you could see that in just the way I was walking around, I was limping everywhere I was going, it was tough and in that press conference [in Melbourne] I kind of spoke from my heart and opened up.

“It’d been a tough 18 months, I felt much better after I’d done it and obviously had the operation now and I feel good.

“Rehab is never loads of fun. It’s quite tedious, a little bit boring and I’ve done a bunch of different stints of rehab over the last 18 months, but because I’m seeing progress and because I’m not in pain, it’s motivating me each day to be doing it because I’m noticing that things are getting better and I don’t have to limp anymore and my hip feels good, which hadn’t been the case the last 18 months.

“I’d been doing rehab and my hip was still really sore. Now I’m seeing some good signs and feel positive about the outcome.”

Asked if Wimbledon would be too soon for him, Murray added: “For singles it would be, can’t say for sure but doubles, I mean Bob Bryan was back playing at the Australian Open after five and a half months.

“Wimbledon comes pretty much five and a half months after I had my operation and I communicate with him daily about the rehab he was doing and things that worked and didn’t and he said he feels like he could have done things a bit better at the beginning of rehab, so maybe I can cut a bit of time off that.”

Bale exit likely but Mourinho may make Real Madrid return, says Calderon

Composite image of Jose Mourinho (L) and Gareth Bale (R)

Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon does not expect to see Gareth Bale at the club next season, but feels Jose Mourinho may return.

Gareth Bale has shown a “lack of commitment” to Real Madrid and will likely leave at the end of the season but Jose Mourinho may make a sensational return, according to former Los Blancos president Ramon Calderon.

Wales forward Bale has endured a torrid time at the Santiago Bernabeu in recent weeks, finding himself consigned largely to a bit-part role by head coach Santiago Solari and the focus of heavy criticism from the stands.

Modric backs Bale amid criticism

Madrid’s season has unravelled in the space of three games, with back-to-back Clasico defeats to Barcelona ending their Copa del Rey and LaLiga title chances, while a humiliating 4-1 home loss to Ajax on Tuesday saw the three-time defending champions crash out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage.

With Madrid likely to make significant changes in the close-season, Bale – who has won four Champions League titles with the club – faces an uncertain future in the Spanish capital and Calderon believes only one outcome is likely.

“It’s true that he wasn’t the leader people expected here after Cristiano [Ronaldo’s] departure,” Calderon told Sky Sports News.

“He showed a lack of commitment. People are not happy – they saw how he shrugged off his team-mates when they went to celebrate a goal with him in [the] LaLiga match [against Levante] and also [his] injuries.

“It’s a pity. I don’t see him here next season unfortunately.”

Earlier this week, Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett labelled his client’s treatment from Madrid’s supporters as a “disgrace” and said they should be “kissing his feet”.

Barnett also denied reports that Bale has failed to learn Spanish and has a disconnect with his team-mates, but Calderon was unimpressed with his comments.

He added: “I think he doesn’t know that the fans that go to the Bernabeu are very respectful, but also are very demanding and mainly with two things. The main one, lack of commitment, is what they have seen in Gareth Bale.

“He’s left the stadium during a few matches before those matches had finished. That behaviour with the team-mates, also that he doesn’t speak the language, are some facts which give the fans the idea that he’s not really committed with the club.

“That’s something the fans are condemning and that’s why he’s the one to blame for that, at least that’s what the fans think.”

Bale is not the only one with a future shrouded in doubt at the Bernabeu, with Solari coming under increased scrutiny after Madrid’s tumultuous week.

Former boss Mourinho, who led the club between 2010 and 2013, has been tipped with a return and Calderon believes the Portuguese – sacked by Manchester United in December – has already been approached.

“I have no doubt Mourinho is the first option for the president. He’s been called in the last weeks,” Calderon said.

“It was when Zinedine Zidane left, Mourinho was with Manchester United and he said it was not the right moment to come back, but maybe now he’s free.

“I think there will be many chances he will be on that bench next season.”

‘Tragic week’, ‘End of an era’ – How the Spanish press reacted to Real Madrid’s Ajax humiliation

Real Madrid fans wave white handkerchiefs against Ajax

The Spanish press were naturally in full swing covering Real Madrid’s humiliating Champions League loss to Ajax.

Real Madrid’s stranglehold on the Champions League came to an unceremonious and humiliating end against Ajax on Tuesday.

A stunned and angry Santiago Bernabeu watched on in disbelief as the Eredivisie side thumped the three-time defending champions 4-1 to secure a remarkable 5-3 aggregate triumph.

It marked the first time Madrid have been knocked out in the last 16 since the 2009-10 season, while not since 2012-13 have the previous season’s winners failed to make the last eight (Chelsea were knocked out in the group stages).

Santiago Solari’s short reign as head coach is now in a perilous position with the shambolic surrender following back-to-back Clasico defeats to Barcelona that ended their Copa del Rey and LaLiga title ambitions.

The Spanish press have piled into Madrid following their meek exit and here we round up the best of the newspaper reaction.

Here lies a team that made history – Marca 

A tagline that reads “[A] humiliating end of an unrepeatable cycle” pretty much summed up the mood for Madrid-favoured daily Marca, who had a poignant image of the scoreboard above an emptying Bernabeu.

Tragic week – AS

It was straight to the point from AS with a two-word summary of one of the bleakest weeks in the illustrious history of Los Blancos. The daily added a tweet of Real Madrid’s crest in broken pieces with the caption: The best love story ever told ends.

End of an era! – SPORT 

There was little surprise that sympathy from Catalan paper SPORT for Madrid’s plight was in short supply, while there was also focus on soon-to-be Barcelona import Frenkie de Jong’s performance for Ajax.

Nothing at all! – Mundo Deportivo

Another Catalan paper similarly shone a glaring spotlight on Madrid’s failure.

The fall of the Gods – La Gazzetta dello Sport

Naturally, it was not just the Spanish press that focused heavily on Madrid’s misfortune. The embarrassing setback has been heavily covered worldwide including this strong headline from Italian paper La Gazzetta.