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Italy's victory in the UEFA Euro 2020 football championship final last Sunday is likely to add 0.7 percent to the country's projected gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year, local economists have said. This will certainly be welcome news for an economy struggling to emerge from a slowdown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Italy's dramatic 3-2 penalty shootout win over England on Sunday earned the Italian side their first European title since 1968 and their first world title since their 2006 World Cup victory.

According to studies, the feat is also sparking new rounds of domestic spending and attracting investments from abroad as it has helped boost consumer confidence and improved the image of Italy and Italian products abroad. This boost may be temporary, analysts said, but is still significant.

All in all, the Italian national football team's Euro 2020 victory is projected to "result in an extra 12 billion euros (14.2 billion U.S. dollars), or around an extra 0.7 percent growth in gross domestic product," Simona Caricasulo, an economist specialized in sports-related topics at Rome's LUISS University, told Xinhua on Thursday. She said the impacts would be felt almost exclusively this year.

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Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in Saturday’s Copa America final to secure the national team’s first title in 28 years, win their first major title since 1993, and Lionel Messi finally lifts his first major trophy for the national team.

Argentina’s winning goal at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro came in the 22nd minute after Rodrigo De Paul made a long pass to Angel Di Maria.

The 33-year-old veteran striker counted on some sloppy defending from left-back Renan Lodi to take control and lob it past goalkeeper Ederson.

It was only the third goal Brazil conceded in the tournament.

Brazil piled on the pressure in an exciting second half but even with five strikers on the field, they could not get an equaliser against the Argentinian defence protected by the outstanding Rodrigo De Paul.

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When Thomas Tuchel was given the job of reviving Chelsea at the end of January, he wanted to return them to next season’s Champions League via a top-four Premier League finish. The notion that he might actually win the thing for only the second time in the club’s history was ludicrous.

Not any more. On a night of glory for him and his team, the manager applied the final brush strokes to his renaissance masterpiece, out-manoeuvring his friend and rival, Pep Guardiola, and watching Kai Havertz score the decisive goal just before half-time.

Chelsea defended like demons to snuff out Manchester City but this was a perfectly calibrated triumph, built upon a structured attacking approach, choosing the right moments to transition, and illuminated by the smoothness of Havertz’s technique.

At the end, after the seven minutes of stoppage time had expired, with Riyad Mahrez having lifted a shot just off target for City with practically the last kick, and as the players in dark blue were overtaken by wide-eyed wonder, by the adrenaline main-lining their systems, Tuchel was relatively calm, trying to take it all in.

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Spanish side claim first European trophy after 11-10 win on penalties over English club.

Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli has scored the decisive spot kick and saved his counterpart David de Gea’s attempt as they claimed their first European title by beating Manchester United 11-10 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the Europa League final.

In the first European final to be played in front of a crowd in two years amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Villarreal survived a tough second half to give coach Unai Emery a record fourth title in the competition on Wednesday, leaving United without a trophy since their Europa League triumph in 2017.

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The European Super League was collapsing on Tuesday night after all six English clubs dramatically signalled their intention to withdraw from the competition after being taken aback by the furious backlash from fans and the government.

It left the £4.5bn league dead in the water less than 48 hours after it was launched, with Chelsea the first go to followed by Manchester City and then, shortly before 11pm, by Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham.

The stunning set of U-turns leaves the reputations of the clubs’ owners at an all-time low as they attempt to repair their relationship with supporters. Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, a key architect of the planned breakaway, also resigned after his position became untenable.

While most club statements blandly acknowledged their decision, Arsenal admitted the response from fans in recent days had given them “time for further reflection and deep thought”. In a statement, the club said: “It was never our intention to cause such distress, however when the invitation to join the Super League came, while knowing there were no guarantees, we did not want to be left behind to ensure we protected Arsenal and its future.

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Some of the world's biggest football clubs have agreed to join a new European Super League (ESL) that will rival the current Champions League competition, one of the biggest club tournaments in world football.

While the new ESL won't replace domestic leagues like England's Premier League and Spain's La Liga, the clubs that compete in it face the threat of being kicked out of their domestic leagues by Europe's football governing body.
Why are these big clubs doing this?

Money seems to be the driving force. The ESL says it will result in a greater distribution of revenue throughout the game.

Football club revenues have been hit hard by the Covid pandemic with disrupted fixtures and lack of spectators. Big clubs have superstar players with multi-million pound salaries that need to be paid.

"The formation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model," said a joint statement released by the 12 founding clubs on Sunday.

The new annual European tournament "will provide significantly greater economic growth and support for European football via a long-term commitment," the statement added.

It is offering "uncapped solidarity payments" to European football which will grow in line with league revenues. ESL says these will be "substantially higher than those generated by the current European competition and are expected to be in excess of €10bn (£8.6bn)" during the early stages.

A statement from the new competition said: “AC Milan, Arsenal, Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as founding clubs.

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