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totti-pictureHow do you know you have made an impact as a footballer? Your image on the front of the latest video game? Your own range of boots? A position or skill named after you? Not bad.

But how many football players are the subject of a tribute comic from Disney on their birthday? That’s special. And that’s exactly what happened to Francesco Totti.

The AS Roma captain is 40 on Tuesday and to celebrate, Italy’s popular Topolino (Mickey Mouse) magazine featured a character called Papertotti, a combination of a duck and the veteran attacker, on the cover.

dybala-juveJuventus picked up their first three points of their Champions League campaign with a 4-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday night.

First half goals from Miralem Pjanic and Gonzalo Higuain ensured Juventus went into the break with a comfortable two-goal advantage.

Paulo Dybala’s fine long-range strike and Dani Alves’s deflected free-kick in the second half put the icing on the cake as Juventus ran out comfortable winners.

Juventus, who have failed to find the net much in recent times, started on the front foot in Croatia in the second group stage match of the competition. Higuain missed an opportunity in the third minute of the match after his effort was a bit too high.

Champions League trophySevilla have now gone 300 minutes without scoring at the Juventus Stadium but this was a valuable point for Jorge Sampaoli’s team away to the Italian champions.

Having played a goalless 120 minutes against Benfica in the 2014 UEFA Europa League final and lost 2-0 here to Juve last season, Sevilla might have been forgiven for a touch of trepidation but their tactical plan involved pressing Gianluigi Buffon so that Juve could not play out from the back.

That set the tone as Sevilla sought to regain possession quickly, although the game’s best chance came when the tables were turned. Sami Khedira won the ball and quickly found Dani Alves; Gonzalo Higuaín’s header rattled the bar.

diego-simeone-newThe rumors have been circulating for a while that Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone will become the new Inter manager in 2018..

Those rumors were given an added boost on Thursday when Atletico Madrid announced that they had taken the unusual step of reducing the Argentine’s contract by two years, with his current deal now set expire in 2018.

The change underlines Simeone’s desire to bring to an end what will have been a seven-year stay at the club. Simeone is already Spain’s longest serving manager by a distance and having won five trophies with Atletico and taken them to two European Cup finals he has already secured his place in the club’s history as one of its greatest coaches.

arek-milikArkadiusz Milik scored two first-half headers as Napoli came from behind to take the Group B spoils in Ukraine.

Dynamo Kyiv coach Serhiy Rebrov looked set for a dream night as two surprise selections combined for a lovely opener, Denys Garmash lashing in following a cushioned header from 18-year-old Viktor Tsygankov.

Napoli summer signing Milik turned the game on its head before the break, though, with a pair of opportunistic headers over the stranded Olexandr Shovkovskiy.

Dynamo gamely sought an equaliser, but a second booking for Serhiy Sydorchuk midway through the second period ended their ambitions.

joe-hart-torinoJoe Hart’s loan spell started poorly at Torino after the Serie A outfit lost 2-1 to Atalanta on Sunday.

Torino had just gone ahead when the England goalkeeper, who moved to Italy on transfer deadline day after losing his place at Manchester City, gifted Andrea Masiello an equaliser when he made a mess of a punch from a corner.

Hart was beaten again eight minutes from full-time as Franck Kessie beat him from the penalty spot.

Hart had a couple of nervous moments in the first half, needing a combination of good fortune and poor finishing to ensure a clean sheet by half-time.

totti-romaHeavy rain marred much of the Serie A fixture list, forcing the lengthy delay of Roma and Sampdoria, while Genoa and Fiorentina was suspended just 27 minutes into the match.

With Roma down 2-1 at halftime, the game was paused for over an hour as rain poured down in the Italian capital. The game would resume with a pair of changes for the hosts, and Edin Dzeko – on after the long break – equalized for the hosts on the hour mark. Francesco Totti eventually won it for Roma by a 3-2 score with an injury time penalty.

eurosJuventus, Inter and AC Milan have all been linked with a new World Super League that could start playing in 2021.

Set to be launched in 2021, the three MLS sides would join up with the European elite of Spain, Germany and England and play competitive fixtures around the world. The Super League would replace the Champions League and Europa League.

Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid are understood to be the driving force behind the Super League, as the clubs from Germany, Spain and Italy are becoming increasingly fearful of the increased financial power of the Premier League.

baccaIn a report published in today’s Gazzetta dello Sport, striker Carlos Bacca is Milan’s highest paid player earning €3.5 million a season. The Rossoneri’s total gross wage bill comes in at €80 million a season; the fourth highest in Serie A. The list appears in full below:

AC Milan Player Wages 2016-17

  • Bacca €3.5 (contract expires in 2019)
  • Luiz Adriano €3 (2020)
  • Montolivo €2.5 (2019)
  • Honda €2.5 (2019)
  • Abate €2.3 (2019)
  • Bertolacci €2 (2019)
  • Romagnoli €2 (2019)
  • Zapata €1.7 (2019)
  • Sosa €1.5 (2018)
  • De Sciglio €1.5 (2018)
  • Kucka €1.5 (2019)

icardi-goalAs mentioned, Inter have the second highest wage bill in Serie A at €120m, trailing only Juventus..

So how is that money spread around the squad? Before his new contract comes into effect, Striker Mauro Icardi is the clubs highest paid player at €3.6 million net per year with with midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia close behind on €3.5 million.

Inter Wages 2016-17 Season

  • Icardi €3.6m (contract expires 2019)
  • Kondogbia €3.5 (2020)
  • Jovetic €3.5 (2019)
  • Perisic €3 (2020)
  • Benega €3 (2019)
  • Miranda €3 (2018)
  • Gabigol €2.7 (2021)
  • Joao Mario €2.7 (2021)