Zinedine Zidane (left) will be forced to rely once again on evergreen players such as Karim Benzema (right), Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric. File / Reuters
While Barcelona was working to keep Lionel Messi, defending champion Real Madrid was quietly making moves to get ready for the Spanish league season.
A depleted Real Madrid delivered a major boost to Atletico Madrid’s title hopes on Sunday by drawing 0-0 with Getafe in La Liga. Atletico had thrashed Eibar 5-0 to reignite their own fading challenge and their victory proved even more valuable after Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid have stayed strong at the top of La Liga, but the Spanish League leaders cannot afford to be complacent with Real Madrid having hit their stride and Barcelona gaining momentum, ahead of what could prove a crucial month in the title race.
Namibia reached the Twenty20 World Cup second round for the first time on Friday when they defeated Ireland by eight wickets.World number 19 Namibia, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, chased down their modest target of 126 with skipper Gerhard Erasmus making an unbeaten 53.
Fans from both the nations have shown immense interest in watching Sunday's game in Dubai as tickets for the key contest were sold out hours after they went on sale early this month.
Ireland and Namibia face off in a knockout clash of the T20 World Cup with a Super 12 berth at stake in Sharjah on Friday. The match will mark the exit for the loser while winners will punch a ticket for the Super 12, which gets under way on Oct.23.