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Friday, Nov 24th

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European News

La Liga Round-up: Atletico, Athletic win, Villarreal beaten

Goals from Koke and Felipe Luis helped Atletico Madrid register a 2-0 win away over Malaga and jump to the third spot provisionally in the La Liga football championship. Atletico on Saturday night did their homework with a typically solid performance that saw them happy to soak up pressure and hit their rivals with two sucker punches.

Koke put Atletico ahead in the 26th minute and a rare Felipe Luis goal confirmed the win 15 minutes from time to mean that while Atletico are warming up nicely for next weekend's Madrid derby Malaga are slipping ever closer to relegation.

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Neymar sets his sights on Ballon d'Or

FC Barcelona striker Neymar da Silva Santos Jr has expressed a desire to win the Ballon d'Or one day, adding that he is not in a hurry to do so.

"To win the Ballon d'Or is something that I've set as a goal, it would be a personal victory. But I'm not in a hurry," the Brazil star told Russian publication Sport-Express.

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Manuel Neuer to return for Real Madrid clash

Bayern Munich chief coach Carlo Ancelotti on Friday said that ace goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will return to play no later than the first leg of the Champions League's quarter-finals against Real Madrid on April 12.

Ancelotti told a news conference that Neuer had a small problem in his toe during training on Wednesday.

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Attempt to launch European Super League with 7 Premier League clubs quashed

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Satisfaction was written all over the face of European Club Association (ECA) President and German football legend Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after the organisation rejected plans for a widespread reform of the Champions League and a new European Super League starting from 2018.

An initiative of investors from the US, England and Asia sought the formation of a new 24-club league with 16 permanent teams and eight qualifiers.

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Italian footballers waste the least time, Spain's players waste the most

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For many years, an unwritten rule in football said a game lasted 90 minutes. The survey by a sports magazine has now revealed that the actual average playing time in the top four football leagues in Europe is less than 58 minutes - even accounting for added time.

While in Germany's Bundesliga, the actual net playing time is 56 minutes and five seconds, in the English Premier League it is also about 56 minutes. The Spanish La Liga only provides its fans with just under 54 minutes. Italian fans are best off with the Serie A's 57 minutes.

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German striker Kevin Kuranyi announces retirement

Former Germany striker Kevin Kuranyi has in an official statement announced his retirement from professional football.

"I will retire from football. Why now? Because it was a process over several months to come to this conclusion, and because it was very difficult for me to say goodbye," Kuranyi said on Friday.

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Arsenal, Bayern fined; Delle Alli suspended

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The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) decided on Friday to fine Arsenal and Bayern Munich, as well as suspend Tottenham Hotspur's Delle Alli for three matches.

UEFA stated that a fine of 5,000 euros (about $5,400) has been imposed on Arsenal for the field invasion by their fans in the second leg of the Champions League's last 16, played in London on March 7 against Bayern Munich.

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