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Barcelona shirt replaces stripes with checkerboard pattern

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says its new shirt for next season will be missing its stripe design for the first time in club history.

Instead, the club’s famous blue-and-burgundy colors will be distributed in a checkerboard pattern.

[ MORE: Liverpool looks to lock up Klopp ]

The club says that its first-choice uniform used for home matches has always used some form of stripes until now.

The shirt will be accompanied with blue shorts.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Report: Liverpool in talks with Nike for big-money apparel deal

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Apparel and sponsorship deals continue to break records every year, and Liverpool appears on the verge of breaking another one.

A report in ESPN states that Liverpool is close to signing an apparel deal with Nike, one that is worth reportedly more than the $979 million deal Manchester United recently signed with Adidas. The report states Liverpool is heading into the last season of its nearly $60 per season deal with New Balance, which began in 2015 and would pay out only around $300 million over the life of the deal.

When signed in 2015, a $300 million kit supplier deal was one of the best in the world, but deals have skyrocketed in recent years as brands look to push their products on successful teams and brands, such as Manchester United, Arsenal, Juventus, Barcelona, and Real Madrid.

Barcelona has a reported $130 million per season deal with Nike since 2018, which is considered the most-expensive deal in the world, barely beating out Real Madrid’s $128 million deal with Adidas signed in 2015. While Liverpool’s deal reportedly won’t come close to those two clubs, it still could be a substantial increase and provide the club with either more profits to enjoy, or more money to spend towards new signings and youth development.

As revenues continue to rise, one hopes that it could remain in soccer, with more transfer fees going to lower-level clubs as Liverpool signs some of the top youngsters, instead of more big transfer spending with money going to agents.

With Liverpool back in the title picture under Jurgen Klopp, this is a great move in the short term for Nike but it’s unclear how it will look in the long term. Man United has continued to be a name brand across the world, despite struggling in recent seasons in the Premier League, and Liverpool, due to its history, should still carry that weight. However, who knows how Liverpool will be in the coming years, should ownership or the front office fail on some signings.

At the same time, it could force other major apparel brands, such as Puma, New Balance, and Under Armour to invest even more in soccer sponsorships, both in the Premier League and elsewhere.

PHOTOS: 14 kits released for 2019 Women’s World Cup

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The USWNT jerseys for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France were unveiled yesterday, and Nike had a pretty busy day.

They revealed the new kit designs for 14 nations they supply, and some of the jerseys are absolute beauties.

[ MORE: USMNT unveil new away jersey ]

From France’s away jersey to England’s home kit, and don’t forget about Nigeria’s epic away jersey, it is time to place your orders.

Take a look below to see the fresh jerseys that the stars of the women’s game will be wearing this summer.


Nike ‘deeply concerned’ by ‘disturbing’ Ronaldo rape claim

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LONDON (AP) Pressure built on Cristiano Ronaldo from his sponsors Thursday after Nike joined EA Sports in expressing its deep concern with the rape allegation facing the soccer star.

[READ: Juventus releases controversial statement in support of Ronaldo]

The five-time world player of the year has denied the claim. Late Thursday night, he received public backing from his Italian club, Juventus, shortly after Nike issued its statement to The Associated Press.

Nike has had a contract with the 33-year-old Ronaldo, one of the wealthiest and most famous soccer players in the world, since 2003. The latest terms signed in 2016 are worth a reported $1 billion and Ronaldo has suggested that it was a deal “for life.”

But the Beaverton, Oregon-based apparel maker is troubled by the details emerging in a lawsuit filed last week in a Nevada state court by a woman who alleges she was raped by Ronaldo in Las Vegas in 2009.

“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation,” Nike said in an emailed statement to the AP.

Ronaldo wears Nike boots and appears in its advertising.

The Portugal captain is also the face of the EA Sports FIFA video game franchise, appearing on the cover of the 2019 game that was released worldwide last week.

“We have seen the concerning report that details allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo,” EA Sports told the AP. “We are closely monitoring the situation, as we expect cover athletes and ambassadors to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with EA’s values.”

Whereas other players might be winding down their careers at 33, Ronaldo is still in demand by leading clubs around the world. Ronaldo made the third big transfer of this career in July, leaving Real Madrid after nine years for Juventus, a move that cost the Italian club 112 million euros (then $132 million).

Breaking its silence on the alleged assault, Juventus strongly backed its most expensive star in a Twitter statement.

“Cristiano Ronaldo has shown in recent months his great professionalism and dedication, which is appreciated by everyone at Juventus,” the Italian league champions said. “The events allegedly dating back to almost 10 years ago do not change this opinion, which is shared by anyone who has come into contact with this great champion.”

Tottenham announces Nike partnership ahead of 2017/18 season

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Tottenham will not only be playing in a new stadium for the 2017/18 season, but the club will also be donning new gear when they step on the Wembley Stadium pitch.

[ MORE: Bournemouth completes record signing of Chelsea’s Ake ]

The club has struck a multi-year sponsorship deal with Nike, which will provide Spurs with its kit for the 2017/18 season.

Popular website Footy Headlines has revealed all three potential kits for Spurs next season, which can be seen below.

Footy Headlines
Footy Headlines
Footy Headlines