NEWS
Monday September 10 2018
Mertens avoids freak injury

Napoli forward Dries Mertens has avoided a freak shoulder injury – from taking a free kick.

Calciomercato.com reports Mertens dislocated his shoulder as he went up for the set-piece during Belgium’s 4-0 victory over Scotland last week.

“It’s never happened to me before! My shoulder dislocated when I went to take a free kick,” he told his country’s Press.

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NEWS
Saturday September 8 2018
Mirallas: 'Pay cut for Fiorentina'

Kevin Mirallas “gave up on a lot of money to join Fiorentina” after Everton scuppered a move two years earlier. “I’ll rediscover the joy of playing football in Serie A.”

The Belgium international arrived from Everton in August, on loan with option to buy for a total of €7.5m.

“(Director of sport Pantaleo) Corvino had already tried to bring me to Florence two years ago, but at the time Everton asked for crazy money and quite rightly Fiorentina left it,” Mirallas told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

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NEWS
Thursday September 6 2018
Mertens: 'I talked to Ancelotti'

Dries Mertens assures Carlo Ancelotti confirmed he will “play more regularly” for Napoli as the season wears on.

Since taking over from Maurizio Sarri, Ancelotti has largely dropped Mertens to the bench, preferring Arkadiusz Milik as a more traditional centre-forward.

“It’s quite simple. I came back late from the World Cup, I spoke to the Coach and he intends to play me more regularly in future,” Mertens told reporters while on international duty with Belgium.

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NEWS
Friday August 31 2018
Castagne debuts in Belgium squad

Atalanta right-back Timothy Castagne has earned a first-ever call-up to the Belgium squad.

Castagne is one of only two Serie A representative in Roberto Martinez’s selection alongside Napoli forward Dries Mertens, while Radja Nainggolan announced his retirement from international football before the World Cup in Russia.

Belgium get the international break under way with a trip to Scotland on September 7, before starting their Nations League campaign against Iceland four days later.

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NEWS
Tuesday August 21 2018
Nainggolan replies to partying critics

Inter midfielder Radja Nainggolan hit back on social media after he was spotted out partying late Friday night.

The Belgium international is currently out injured and missed Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Sassuolo.

A clip emerged online of him partying at a club late Friday night and a fan taking the footage asked if he shouldn’t be resting or training.

Nainggolan replied by flipping him the middle finger.

He then turned up to Inter training on Saturday morning in the same clothes.

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NEWS
Wednesday July 25 2018
Miranda: 'Italy-style Brazil'

Inter defender Joao Miranda credits Italian football with Brazil’s newfound solidity. “We learned a lot from Serie A about defending.”

The Selecao have swept through to the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and will face Dries Mertens’ Belgium on Friday July 6.

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BLOG ITALIA
Monday July 16 2018
The saddest summer

The 2018 World Cup has concluded and Italy fans like Giancarlo Rinaldi found it an oddly empty experience watching from the outside.

The family group chat buzzed only occasionally. We set it up to share our thoughts during the last European Nations and kept it alive for the joy and desperation that only following the Azzurri can provide. Throughout the World Cup in Russia, however, it sat as an all-too-often-silent reminder of Italy's failure to qualify for the first time in a generation or two.

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NEWS
Saturday July 14 2018
World Cup: Bronze medal for Belgium

Belgium defeated England for the second time in this World Cup and secured the bronze medal in Russia 2018, their best ever finish.

These sides had also met in the group stage when both were already qualified, Belgium winning 1-0 in a game between two second-string teams. They met again in St Petersburg for the bronze medal after losing their semi-finals to France and Croatia respectively.

It took all of four minutes to break the deadlock, as Thomas Meunier got the right side of Danny Rose to slide on to a Nacer Chadli low cross from the left.

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NEWS
Thursday July 12 2018
Atalanta ask after Dendoncker

Atalanta are reported to be in negotiations with RSC Anderlecht for Belgium international Leander Dendoncker.

The 23-year-old had already been linked with a Serie A move to Sampdoria.

Sky Sport Italia claim talks have started between Atalanta and Anderlecht for the midfielder, who can also play as a centre-back when needed.

Dendoncker is at the World Cup in Russia, but made only one appearance in the victory over England.

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NEWS
Thursday July 12 2018
Pitana ref for World Cup Final

Argentina’s Nestor Pitana has been named as the referee for the 2018 World Cup Final between France and Croatia.

The big game is in Moscow on Sunday afternoon and is the first for Croatia, while only the third in the history of Les Bleus.

FIFA announced today that Pitana will officiate the showdown, aided by assistants Hernan Maidana and Juan Belatti, with Dutch Bjorn Kuipers as the fourth official.

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