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Real Madrid defender Alaba to undergo surgery after knee injury

Real Madrid defender David Alaba ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament on his left knee in his team's 4-1 win over Villarreal in the Spanish league on Sunday.

Madrid said after the match that Alaba will need to undergo surgery in the next few days. The club did not immediately say how long he is expected to be sidelined.

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Draw lists for knockout round playoffs in Europa League and Conference League

Draw made Monday for the knockout round playoffs in the Europa League and Conference League (matches to be played from Feb. 15):

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Club World Cup dates confirmed in the US, Players' union FIFPRO not happy

The first edition of the expanded FIFA Club World Cup in the United States will be staged from June 15 to July 13, 2025, world soccer's governing body said.

FIFA said the 32-team tournament, which will officially be called Mundial de Clubes FIFA, would be "harmoniously aligned with the International Match Calendar" to ensure there would be enough of a gap between the final and the start of domestic leagues.

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Premier League to have its first female referee on Dec. 23

Rebecca Welch will become the first female referee in the Premier League when she takes charge of the match between Fulham and Burnley on Dec. 23, the competition said Thursday.

Welch has already worked as the fourth official in the Premier League, for the match between Fulham and Manchester United on Nov. 4, and she was the first woman to referee matches in the second-tier Championship and FA Cup.

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Messi, Mbappé or Haaland to be FIFA best player in 2023, Women's best is Bonmatí, Hermoso or Caicedo

The FIFA best men's player award for 2023 will be another contest between Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland.

FIFA announced the shortlist on Thursday with the same top three in the voting as for the Ballon d'Or prize that Messi won in October.

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Women's World Cup winner Spain rises to the top of FIFA rankings ahead of US

Women's World Cup winner Spain rose atop the FIFA rankings published Friday after advancing to the final four of the UEFA Nations League.

Spain finished top of a Nations League group this month that included Sweden, which had led the most recent FIFA rankings published in August after the Women's World Cup.

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Mourinho gets away without touchline ban, is only fined for labeling referee unstable

Roma coach Jose Mourinho escaped a touchline ban after cooperating with the Italian soccer federation's disciplinary prosecutor and was instead only fined 20,000 euros ($22,000) on Friday for labeling a referee unstable.

Before a recent match with Sassuolo, Mourinho questioned the abilities of referee Matteo Marcenaro.

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Antetokounmpo scores 64 in stormy Bucks win, Lakers down Spurs

Giannis Antetokounmpo erupted for a career-high 64 points as the Milwaukee Bucks avenged last week's in-season tournament exit to the Indiana Pacers with an ill-tempered 140-126 victory on Wednesday.

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Draymond Green suspended 'indefinitely' over Nurkic clash

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has been "suspended indefinitely" following his clash with Phoenix player Jusuf Nurkic that saw him ejected for the third time this season, the NBA said Wednesday.

The NBA said in a statement that Green had been handed an open-ended ban given his "repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts," adding that he would be "required to meet certain league and team conditions" before he is allowed to return to play.

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Bucks, Pacers square off in dispute over game ball after Giannis' record-setting performance

Giannis Antetokounmpo exchanged heated words with members of the Indiana staff and raced toward the Pacers' locker room Wednesday night as the teams squared off in a hallway in a dispute over the game ball following the Milwaukee star's franchise-record 64-point performance.

After the Bucks' 140-126 victory, Antetokounmpo had an animated discussion with Indiana star Tyrese Haliburton and other Pacers before rushing from the court toward the Indiana locker room in search of the ball.

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