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Saturday, Apr 29th

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Rafinha ruled out for 4 months with knee injury

FC Barcelona have suffered a setback to their treble hopes with the news that Brazilian midfielder Rafinha will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. The versatile player, who is able to perform in several different areas of the pitch, including wing-back, suffered the injury in Barca's 4-1 win away to Granada on Sunday.

First indications were that the injury was not too bad and that Rafinha would be available in around 15 days, but an arthroscope showed on Friday that he has suffered more serious damage to his meniscus ligament than first thought and that he will need an operation.

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Jose Mourinho: "This is a fantastic learning experience for Rashford"

After initially frowning at the prospect of striker Marcus Rashford being selected by England for this summer's European Under-21 football championship, Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho has said he has "no legal right" to block the teenager's participation.

England head coach Gareth Southgate has asked under-21 chief coach Aidy Boothroyd to select Rashford, 19, for the European meet in Poland in June, despite the player being a regular in the senior international squad.

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Ligue 1: Balotelli brace keeps Nice in title hunt

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Italian striker Mario Balotelli scored twice to keep Nice alive in the race for the Ligue 1 title with a 2-1 win at Lille. Having played two more games, Nice went past defending champions Paris Saint-Germain into the second position of the French football league, just one point adrift of leaders Monaco.

Lille went up on Ibrahim Amadou's deflected shot in the 14th minute on Friday, before Balotelli nailed his first goal away from home and finished a brace before the interval.

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La Liga: Villarreal ease past Athletic Bilbao 3-1

Victor Ruiz scored a goal and assisted another as Villarreal proved to be the better side in a 3-1 victory over Athletic Club Bilbao to remain fifth in the La Liga football championship.

The match on Friday between Villarreal, who are fifth in La Liga, and sixth-place Athletic got off to a bright start. While the struggle was fairly equal in midfield, the hosts were sharper on the attack and threatened twice in the early going before taking a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute on a goal by Ruiz.

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Bundesliga: Werder Bremen squander two goal lead against Eintracht Frankfurt

Eintracht Frankfurt secured a 2-2 draw at home after coming back from two goals down against Werder Bremen in a Bundesliga match. Bremen squandered a two-goal advantage on Friday as Frankfurt turned up in the second half to score twice for a draw on home soil.

Frankfurt assumed control from the kick off to work out promising opportunities through David Abraham, who rattled the woodwork from 25 meters, before Branimir Hrgota missed a square pass at the far post in the opening period.

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Liverpool superstar Sadio Mane ruled out for the season

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Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp on Friday said that forward Sadio Mane will miss the rest of the English football season as the Senegal star will undergo surgery on his injured left knee. The 24-year-old, who has scored 13 goals in 29 appearances this term, sustained the injury during the second half of Saturday's Merseyside derby victory over Everton.

"Sadio will, we're pretty sure, need surgery. We're not 100 per cent sure when it will happen, but then it is clear his season is over," Klopp said, according to Liverpool FC's website.

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Manchester United youth product inks new long term deal

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English football giants Manchester United announced that winger Jesse Lingard has renewed his contract and will remain at Old Trafford at least until 2021. Lingard, 24, will see his salary rise to 100,000 pounds ($125,000) a week under the new contract, which gives the club an option to extend the deal for an additional year.

"I have been with the club since the age of 7 and I feel great pride every time I pull the shirt on. To have scored in two cup finals for my boyhood club were immensely proud moments for me and my family," Lingard said in comments posted on the club's website on Thursday.

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