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Walcott says Dortmund experience has England youngster Sancho ready

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18-year-old Jadon Sancho is thriving in front of Borussia Dortmund’s Yellow Wall, and for Theo Walcott, that’s enough for him to know the pressure of playing for England won’t affect the youngster at all.

Sancho, a Manchester City youth product, is playing at Dortmund after moving to Germany this summer, and has embraced his super-sub role scoring a goal and assisting six despite just one lone start this season. His stellar play has given England manager Gareth Southgate cause to bring him into the national fold, a positive experience for Sancho even if he does not see the field during Nations League matches against Croatia and Spain.

“He can deal with it, he’s been in the Dortmund dressing room, he’s played at their stadium which is fantastic,” Walcott said. “He won’t be fazed at all.”

Walcott was just 17 when he was selected to the England squad for the 2006 World Cup despite not having made a senior appearance for Arsenal in his career, and while he didn’t make an appearance in Germany, he would know what that kind of pressure is like. With Dortmund, Sancho plays at 81,000-capacity Westfalenstadion where the fans are known for their ferverous support.

Thankfully for Sancho, Walcott believes the presence of other young players will help Sancho fit in.

“It’s completely different now, there are a lot of young players in that group,” Walcott said. “When I came through there was Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard – completely established players in the team – so it’s a different environment I would say. Of course it’s still daunting but when you get down on the field and play football that’s all you want to do, you just want to play, it doesn’t matter who it’s for.”

Alongside Sancho, the young players Walcott is referring to include 20-year-old Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, 21-year-old Leicester City playmaker James Maddison, and 22-year-old Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks

Charlton wins promotion to Championship in stoppage time

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Charlton Athletic struck a wildly late blow to clinch the final place in the 2019-20 Football League Championship, defeating Sunderland 2-1 in Sunday’s promotion playoff at Wembley Stadium.

A stoppage time free kick in a cagey affair led to a scrum in the box, with Patrick Bauer sliding to strike a shot off a Sunderland defender and into the goal.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The goal came at the 3:55 mark of four minutes stoppage time, and was the 26-year-old defender’s first goal of the season.

Ben Purrington had leveled the score line for Charlton after Sunderland went ahead via an early own goal. The Addicks were relegated from the Championship after the 2015-16 season, while Sunderland went down last year.

It had to feel extra special to manager Lee Bowyer, who played with Sunderland local rivals Newcastle United from 2003-06.

Pique: Copa-losing Barca still “really hurting” from UCL exit

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Barcelona was the favorite to win La Liga, the UEFA Champions League, and the Copa del Rey for the majority of the season, but only claimed one.

Liverpool’s amazing comeback to beat Barca in the second leg of the UCL semifinals met Saturday’s loss to Valencia in the Copa del Rey Final to give Barca a league title alone.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Even with that La Liga advantage being decisive — Barca carried the table by 11 points over Atletico Madrid and finished 19 ahead of Real Madrid — there’s a very dour mood and promised change for the Camp Nou set.

And Gerard Pique says it all traces back to the loss against Liverpool. From The Liverpool Echo:

“I believe that if we had gotten through at Liverpool, we would have won the treble. We would have come here [to the Copa del Rey final] with a different mood, and I’m convinced we would have won the Champions League final, but that is football. We are really, really hurting.”

There are hints of a massive clear-out at Barcelona, with Lionel Messi and Pique two of the only safe bets to stay. When will Barca get over it?

Brazilian team tangles in locker room futmesa (video)

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It was defense versus attack in the Brazil dressing room.

Neymar and Gabriel Jesus squared off with international teammates Filipe Luis and Ederson in a game of futmesa/table soccer this week.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Neymar and Filipe Luis are used to be on different sides of the field from their time in La Liga, while Jesus and Ederson are teammates at Manchester City.

Brazil is hosting this summer’s Copa America and is the favorite to win its first tournament since 2007, when it claimed its fourth in five tries.

It’s really impressive stuff for us normal to subpar athletes, even if standard for those with such deft talent.

Quite a winner from Man City’s young striker.

Jovic could see himself in Premier League, Serie A

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Maybe Luka Jovic’s presumed move to Real Madrid won’t happen this summer.

Or at all.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The Eintracht Frankfurt striker has been tipped for a move away from the Bundesliga after another strong campaign, and taking the center forward reins from Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.

Several outlets reported the deal as done, but Jovic isn’t speaking that way (or at least the Serbian is throwing us off the scent.

From Goal.com:

“In terms of the physique, the Bundesliga is very demanding, but after the games against Chelsea or Inter Milan, I personally had the feeling that I could feel even better [playing] in the Premier League or Serie A. … The way the teams play there suits me better.”

Jovic scored 27 times in 48 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists at the tender age of 21. Ten of those came in the Europa League, and we’re not talking about flooding the nets of minnows; Jovic scored against Chelsea (twice), Marseille (three), Lazio (two), and Inter Milan (once).