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Reece James Swapped Shirts At Full-Time With Real Madrid Talisman Karim Benzema

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Benzema, 34, was seen in a clip asking the England defender for his shirt after Madrid won 5-4 on aggregate in extra-time.

Times journalist Henry Winter was quick to notice the actions between both players and heaped praise on Benzema and James.

Fans also took to social media after Benzema took James’ shirt before the Chelsea defender headed down the tunnel at the end of the match.

One fan said: “Benzema exchanged jerseys with R. James. Game recognizes game.”

Another wrote: “Benzema getting James’ shirt. Bloke knows a winner.”

Others also said: “Reece James is absolutely incredible, I was in awe by his performance. Says a lot that Karim Benzema asked him for his shirt after the game.”

With another wrote… “Benzema begging for Reece James’ shirt tho, that should tell us something.”

The Blues’ reign as European champions came to an agonising end despite beating Los Blancos 3-2 on Tuesday night at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Mason Mount’s strike and Antonio Rudiger’s header wiped out Real’s 3-1 first-leg advantage, before Timo Werner put the visitors ahead on the night.

However, Brazilian winger Rodrygo, who was introduced from the bench, sent the match to extra-time following an outrageous assist from Luka Modric.

Modric’s piece of brilliance was arguably the greatest ever assist in the Champions League and was applauded by fans and pundits alike.

Benzema’s header in the 96th minute was enough to send the hosts through 5-4 on aggregate, with either city rivals Atletico or Manchester City awaiting Carlos Ancelotti’s side in the semi-finals.

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“Loves to create” – Exclusive: Guernsey’s Tony Vance on what Bristol City can expect from Ben Acey

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Guernsey FC manager Tony Vance has revealed what Bristol City can expect from new signing Ben Acey, speaking exclusively with Football League World.

The Championship club announced last week that the 17-year-old has signed a one-year professional contract at Ashton Gate while 16-year-old Tim Ap Sion has also joined from Guernsey on a two-year scholarship.

The pair’s arrival has generated a fair bit of excitement given Alex Scott’s remarkable emergence at City in 2021/22 – with the 18-year-old winning the club’s Young Player of the Season award just two years after he joined from the Green Lions.

Acey has impressed in the Isthmian League South Central Division (the eighth tier of English football and step four of the National League System) for Guernsey but beyond a few clips, supporters are unlikely to have seen the teenager play.

Vance manages the first team and has coached the midfielder from a young age meaning he is uniquely well-positioned to offer insight into what we can expect from him at Ashton Gate.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with FLW, he said: “Look, we don’t want to get everyone’s hopes up including Ben’s but he’s a nice player. He likes to get on the ball and make things happen. He’s confident.

“He plays in a central midfield role but can play wide as well. He loves to create and has good balance.

“He’s very pretty on the eye but what he will need to do is in his first few months is definitely hit the ground running. He’s got to improve his physicality a bit but he runs some distance. He’s got good pedigree.

“There is obviously going to be a little bit of pressure on him now because of how Alex Scott has gone on to incredible things and we’ve got to make sure that there is no comparison.”

Pressed on what Acey’s best position is, Vance said: “Either an eight or a ten. Probably an eight, which is what they seem to call it these days. That’s where he likes to be to get on the ball.

“Similar to Alex when Alex broke into the Guernsey team as a youngster, you tend to start them on the bench and see how they go.

“You see them in training and they’re performing. The players see and realise that they have to play. Alex was very much like that in his early days, he was too good in training, made his mark in the first time, and then went on to Bristol City and took his chance.

“Ben has been similar, when he turned up he was performing in training. We were particularly harsh on him because he needed to improve his physicality and he stepped up to that challenge.

“He was coming off the bench and making a massive impact so like Alex, he had to start. They’ve had similar sort of journeys.

“We’ve played him wide a bit where he’s done really well and created a lot of opportunities for us but central midfield is definitely his strong point, though that’s a very competitive environment.”

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French club join Rangers and Norwich City in transfer battle for West Brom player

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West Bromwich Albion defender Cedric Kipre has seen another club join the race for his signature this summer, with French outfit FC Metz believed to be keen on a deal for the Ivorian, according to Footmercato.

According to BirminghamLive, the 25-year-old is destined for the exit door at The Hawthorns this summer, having not made a single appearance under Steve Bruce since his appointment in February.

Kipre did play 14 times under Valerien Ismael earlier in the 2021-22 Championship season, but after going unfancied by the Baggies’ most recent appointment, all signs point towards his departure.

Quiz: Which club did West Brom sign these 24 players from in the 2000s?

Norwich City, who will be West Brom’s league rivals next season, and Europa League finalists Rangers have both been linked with a swoop for the towering centre-back, but now Metz have apparently entered the reckoning.

Despite suffering relegation to France’s second tier for the 2022-23 campaign, Metz are believed to have made an enquiry over Kipre’s availability, with a view to striking a deal for his services.

Any deal for Kipre though will likely require a transfer fee, with the Paris-born defender still contracted until the summer of 2024.

The Verdict

Despite having Championship experience with Wigan Athletic, it’s never quite worked out at West Brom for Kipre.

It appears that he was brought in as a squad player on the cheap due to Wigan’s financial situation at the time and he wasn’t given a chance until Valerien Ismael came in.

And once the Frenchman had departed from his role as head coach, Kipre’s chances of success at the Baggies were gone and it looks like Bruce will have more-than enough players to feature at centre-back next season.

A Championship team could be picking up a decent player in Kipre should they go in for him, but there’s every chance that he may fancy a return to the country of his birth in France.

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