Phil Jones to miss Champions League tie against Basel after Manchester United withdraw appeal

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Manchester United have withdrawn their appeal against Phil Jones’ two-match European suspension, meaning the defender will miss next week’s Champions League opener against Basel.

The 25-year-old has enjoyed a bright start to the season with club and country, starting all three Premier League wins without conceding a goal before helping his country to the brink of World Cup qualification.

Jones has so far only missed the UEFA Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid through the two-match ban handed down by European football’s governing body for abusing a match official after May’s Europa League final win against Ajax.

The centre-back was also hit by a 5,000 euros fine for the incident – sanctions the player feels are “a bit out of the ordinary”.

United saw an application to have the case delayed until after the Super Cup rejected and UEFA has now confirmed “the appeal has been withdrawn”.

Jones will join fellow suspended defender Eric Bailly on the sidelines when Jose Mourinho’s men kick-off Group A against Basle next Tuesday.

The 25-year-old scored the last time United met the Swiss champions, albeit it was only a late consolation goal in a shock 2-1 loss at St. Jakob-Park.

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The longest serving managers in Europe's top-five leagues after Diego Simeone signs new Atletico deal

Diego Simeone is already among the longest-serving managers at a single club in Europe’s top five leagues, and his stay at Atletico Madrid is set to go on for longer.

The Argentinian’s contract was due to expire at the end of this season, but he has now signed a two-year extension that will keep him at the club until the summer of 2020.

Simeone has been Atletico manager since 2011, leading the club to a Copa del Rey triumph and the league title in the 2013-14 season, while also taking Atletico to the Champions League final twice in three seasons.

He is the longest-serving manager in La Liga among current contingent, as he nears six years in charge at the Madrid club. That places him at fourth among the longest-serving current managers in Europe’s top five leagues.

Arsene Wenger is the obvious name who tops this list – have a look at the gallery above to see the rest of the top ten.

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Dani Alves says Ronaldo is the toughest to face but Messi and Neymar are superior players

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Former Barcelona star Dani Alves admits that Cristiano Ronaldo is the toughest opponent he has faced, but Neymar and Lionel Messi are superior players.

The Brazilian has come up against Ronaldo on many occasions during his time at Barcelona and Juventus, most recently in the Champions League final defeat in May.

However, the 34-year-old, who played eight seasons with Messi – the five-time Ballon d’Or winner – and three seasons with Neymar at the Camp Nou, maintains that his former Barcelona teammates are better than the Portuguese star.

Alves answered Ronaldo when asked by FIFA TV  who his toughest opponent has been over the years, but said: “I say Messi [is the best of all time] because I’ve seen him play.

“Of the other greats, I have heard what people say about them, but I can’t corroborate it because I haven’t seen them.

“I choose Messi next to Neymar, they are the most spectacular I’ve seen.”

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