Liveblog: Inter-Real Madrid, Liverpool-Atalanta

Join us for all the build-up and action as it happens from the Champions League, as Inter must beat Real Madrid and Atalanta seek redemption in Liverpool.

They kick off at 20.00 GMT.

If you are on a mobile device or tablet, then follow the Liveblog HERE.

Inter risk crashing out of Europe entirely, but their group is also still extremely tight and unpredictable, so it could all hinge on tonight’s result against Real Madrid at San Siro.

Atalanta were beaten 5-0 in Bergamo by Liverpool and want to prove that was a one-off with this prestigious visit to Anfield.

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Zanetti: ‘Maradona presence will always be felt’

Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti assures Diego Maradona’s presence ‘will always be felt in every football pitch and every courtyard where football is played in Argentina.’

The Nerazzurri play Real Madrid this evening in the Champions League, but inevitably all thoughts were for the legendary Maradona, who died today at the age of 60.

“What Maradona represented for everyone who loves football. He was unique, the way he made us happy on the field,” Zanetti told Sky Sport Italia.

“Diego was accustomed also to dealing with all these challenges and staying on his feet. We can barely believe that it’s true, Diego has gone. It is a sad moment for everyone who loves this sport.”

Zanetti was a teenager when Argentina won the World Cup with Maradona in 1986.

“I was 13 years old, it was one of the most wonderful moments of my life. Seeing Argentina win the World Cup and seeing what Diego did in that tournament gave us such joy.

“Diego passed on his immense love for the sport and his presence will always be felt in every football pitch, every courtyard and street corner where football is played in Argentina.”

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Zidane: ‘Conte a real leader’

Zinedine Zidane assures Real Madrid ‘know how important this game is and are ready’ against ‘real leader’ Antonio Conte’s Inter, but shrugs off an Isco-Christian Eriksen exchange.

It kicks off on Wednesday at San Siro at 20.00 GMT and failure to win would effectively eliminate the Nerazzurri from the running for the Round of 16.

“We know how important this game is and we are ready,” insisted the coach in his press conference.

Real Madrid made the trip without key players Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema, so Mariano Diaz seems likely to start.

“He has proved on the pitch what he can give us. We know how important Sergio is for us, but we can’t just stop because he’s injured.

“It’ll be like a Final tomorrow, we will be made to suffer, but approach this with the right mentality. This is football, there are moments when you feel strong and everything you try comes off, then other more complicated times when you have to roll your sleeves up. It’s not just at Real Madrid, but every team gets that.”

Real Madrid were held to a draw by Villarreal in La Liga at the weekend and struggled to beat Inter 3-2 in the Champions League last time out.

“We had been in front against Villarreal until the 74th minute, so it wasn’t that bad. We are concentrated and I am not a fatalist. Our future is in our hands and we are working to improve.

“There are many games to be played, it’s not easy with no real time to prepare, but there are no excuses and we’re all in the same boat. We always aim for the victory, no matter the circumstances, so we’re certainly not going there for a draw. There is an element of risk in every Champions League match, but we must always try to win.”

There have been some reports that Isco wants an exit, potentially in an exchange with Inter midfielder Christian Eriksen.

“Isco is with us, he is our player and we’re happy to have him.”

Zidane was teammates with Antonio Conte during their time together at Juventus.

“He was my captain, a real leader on the field. I always had a good rapport with Antonio and I still do.”

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Modric: ‘Like a Final with Inter’

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric warns it’ll be ‘like a Final’ tomorrow with Inter in the Champions League and they can make do without Karim Benzema.

It kicks off on Wednesday at 20.00 GMT, with both teams having struggled so far in Europe this season.

“We have to face this game like a Final, playing as a team. I hope we’ll do it well,” said Modric in his press conference.

There are many injury problems for the Merengues, including top scorer Benzema.

“Karim is a very important player for us, while Mariano Diaz is a different type of role, but we trust he’ll prove his worth. When some players are missing, we need to be even more of a team to cover the gaps in the best possible way.

“We know every match has its issues and when you are not at your best, especially in Europe, it’s difficult to get the victory. We must prove our strength and our character in this competition.

“Despite the criticism, we have done some good things this season and there are circumstances to be considered, such as the lack of fans in the stadium.”

Even coach Zinedine Zidane, in his second stint at Real Madrid, has not been spared criticism in the media.

“We have won so much with him and hope to continue winning together.”

Former Ballon d’Or winner Modric has not yet clarified his future and there are reports he could move on.

“I feel good and play when the coach decides. I feel there’s an ideal condition to continue and help the team. Obviously, I’d like to remain and end my career at Real Madrid.”

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Handanovic: ‘Inter need seven points’

Ahead of the match against Real Madrid, captain Samir Handanovic said Inter ‘will need seven points’ to advance to the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Nerazzurri are bottom of Group B after three games and the match against Real Madrid at San Siro can be vital to extend their stay beyond the group stages of the competition.

“To go through, we need seven points,” Handanovic told Sky Sport Italia. “There are three games left and everything is at stake.

“The importance of tomorrow’s match is fundamental. In these games, you need everything, that everyone raises the level.”

Inter seemed set to turn things around in Madrid, as they bounced back from 0-2 to 2-2, before Rodrygo scored 3-2 and sealed the win for the home side.

“In the first leg we played well, but unfortunately these situations make the difference in football and sometimes we make our life complicated all by ourselves.

“You must be better at this. I don’t think it’s not possible, I think we must understand that when teams play against Inter, they give a little extra and sometimes we haven’t matched the intensity of other teams.

“When you don’t, you can be put in difficulty. And at the start of this season, it has happened three or four times already.”

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Agent confirms Inter want Musso

Juan Musso’s agent has confirmed Inter want to sign the Udinese goalkeeper but warned the Nerazzurri La Liga and Premier League clubs are also interested.

The Nerazzurri are reportedly looking for a replacement for their experienced goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and the Argentinean is on the Nerazzurri’s shortlist.

“Rumours about Inter are persistent, so much so he’s being considered the future goalkeeper of the Nerazzurri. I haven’t spoken with their directors but their interest has emerged through agents and people around the club,” Vicente Montes told FcInternews.

“Juan has reached a top level, he admires and respects Handanovic and is ready to join a big club,” he added.

“Everyone knows him, we are talking about Argentina’s goalkeeper. We are convinced Udinese can do a great season, he wants to help the team as he is one of the leaders of the group.”

Inter, however, are not the only club interested in the 26-yer-old.

“We’ll evaluate the opportunities that we’ll have. Juan is not obsessed by joining a big club, I can’t deny several Serie A, Premier League and La Liga clubs are interested in signing him. It’s a logic, he is a great goalkeeper with a bright future ahead.

“Theoretically, his price-tag is €30m but the fee would need to be reanalysed considering the global context [during the COVID pandemic]. Udinese should examinate all the offers they will receive.”

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Benzema worsens Real’s injury crisis ahead of Inter

Real Madrid star Karim Benzema trained apart from the rest of the team today and could miss the upcoming Champions League clash against Inter.

The Frenchman limped off the pitch during Real Madrid’s 4-1 defeat at Valencia before the international break and according to Marca he won’t recover in time for Wednesday’s meeting at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

Real Madrid will travel to Milan without the injured Sergio Ramos, Federico Valverde, Alvaro Odriozola and Luka Jovic who tested positive for COVID after his return from the international break.

Casemiro and Eder Militao could be included in the team provided the swab tests they had today come back negative.

Inter have the likes of Marcelo Brozovic, Aleksandar Kolarov and Daniele Padelli positive for COVID while Stefano Sensi returned to training today and should be included into the Nerazzurri’s squad list to face the Merengues.

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Italian and Serie A candidates for Globesoccer Awards

Ciro Immobile is the only Italian candidate for the Globesoccer Awards’ Player of the Year, while Gian Piero Gasperini has been shortlisted for the Coach of the Year award.

The Globesoccer award will take place in Dubai on December 27. Ciro Immobile and Cristiano Ronaldo are the Serie A candidates for the Player of the Year award alongside Karim Benzema, Lionel Messi, Marquinhos, Robert Lewandowski, Sadio Mané and Serge Gnabry.

Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini has been shortlisted among the best coaches of the year together with Hans-Dieter Flick, Julen Lopetegui, Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel while several 2006 Italy World Cup winners such as Francesco Totti, Gigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro and Andrea Pirlo are the candidates for the Player of the Century award.

Check out all the nominees:

Player of the year:

Ciro Immobile, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Lionel Messi, Marquinhos, Robert Lewandowski, Sadio Mané, Serge Gnabry.

Club of the year:

Bayern Munich, Juventus, Liverpool, PSG, Real Madrid, Sevilla

Coach of the year:

Gian Piero Gasperini, Hans-Dieter Flick, Julen Lopetegui, Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel.

Player of the century 2001-20:

Andrea Pirlo, Andres Iniesta, Andriy Shevchenko, Arjen Robben, Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Fabio Cannavaro, Francesco Totti , Franck Lampard, Gigi Buffon, Iker Casillas, Kaka, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Luka Modric , Luis Figo, Manuel Neuer, Mohammed Salah, Neymar, Philipp Lahm, Robert Lewandowski, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Steven Gerrard, Xavi, Zinedine Zidane, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Club of the century 2001-20:

Al Ahly, Barcelona, Bayern Municj, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester United, PSG, Real Madrid.

Coach of the century: Alex Ferguson, Carlo Ancelotti, Didier Deschamps, Joachim Low, Pep Guardiola, José Mourinho, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Marcello Lippi, Vicente Del Bosque, Zinedine Zidane.

Agent of the century 2001-20:

Giovanni Branchini, Jonathan Barnett, Jorge Mendes, Mino Raiola, Pini Zahavi.

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Liveblog: Serie A Week 8 Super Sunday

Join us for all the build-up and action as it happens from today’s seven Serie A games, including Fiorentina-Benevento, Inter-Torino, Roma-Parma and Napoli-Milan.

If you are on a mobile device or tablet, then follow the Liveblog HERE.

We begin at 11.30 GMT with Cesare Prandelli’s return to the Fiorentina bench, replacing sacked Beppe Iachini against Benevento.

At 14.00 GMT there are four matches, Inter taking centre-stage as they host a Torino side battling COVID-19.

Roma are also missing some key players against Parma, while high-flying Sassuolo visit Hellas Verona and Sampdoria take on Bologna.

At 17.00 GMT, Udinese and Genoa go head-to-head in a relegation tussle.

And all eyes are on the Stadio San Paolo at 19.45 GMT, when leaders Milan visit Napoli, who could catch them in the top spot with a victory.

Stefano Pioli and his assistant manager both have COVID, so Daniele Bonera is on the bench against former teammate Gennaro Gattuso.

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Highlights: Inter 4-2 Torino

It was a wild game at San Siro, as Torino took a 2-0 lead and seemed destined for a shock victory, only for Inter to turn it around and win 4-2.

The Granata lost star striker Andrea Belotti in the warm-up and Simone Verdi soon after, but Simone Zaza still gave them a deserved lead on the counter-attack.

VAR was used to give Cristian Ansaldi a penalty for 2-0, but that woke the Nerazzurri up for a furious comeback.

Within a few minutes, it was 2-2 through Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku, then VAR intervened again for a Lukaku penalty, as Achraf Hakimi was not offside following a second Nicolas Nkoulou touch.

Lautaro Martinez completed the rout on a Lukaku assist, meaning Torino have thrown away 14 points from leading situations this season.

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