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August issue available now online and in store

Inside
Nations League: Another victory for Portugal | Holland back in the big time

Plus
Mo Johnston's shock move | Bundesliga boost for Berlin | Liverpool's consolation | Maidenhead & Chertsey: Non-League success stories | WSC writers' competition | What will Arsenal do now? | Workington look to the future | Focus on Hermann Hreidarsson | Corinthian-Casuals on tour | Learning to run the line | Argentina and Colombia's women fight their corner | Jim Bentley's Morecambe magic | Yorkshire host Parishes of Jersey | Communism crumbles in Romania

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Season finale Nations League

“This is special, like it was at Euro 2004 and Euro 2016. Three finals. I hope to win two out of three,” confided Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the Nations League final. He got his wish and won his 29th trophy for club and country, this of relatively minor importance, to be sure; as one columnist wrote, the venues chosen – Porto and Guimarães rather than the capital Lisbon – were proof of that. But it was the first such final and Portugal are, as sports daily O Jogo trumpeted, “Campeoes Carago” (Champions Godammit!).

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Continental drift Liverpool triumph in Europe

It probably seems churlish, or even entitled, to consider the European Cup an afterthought or a consolation prize. But for many Liverpool fans, that’s how the competition felt for a good chunk of the 2018-19 season. Everything was so heavily geared towards an ultimately unsuccessful League title challenge that anything else felt like a distraction, and to some that even extended to the most prestigious club competition in the world.

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Lifting Curfews Chertsey's greatest day

It was mid-afternoon on a warm Sunday in May when I collapsed back into a Wembley Stadium seat and cried like a baby. The outpouring of unbridled emotion was triggered by a goal of beauty, scored by Chertsey Town’s Quincy Rowe. The strike sealed a 3-1 victory for my Surrey club and it was at that moment, deep into extra time, FA Vase victory was ensured. I celebrated without a scrap of dignity.

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389 WritersComp

Veterans' day Writers' competition winner

I’m standing on the touchline, though it’s more of a contorted crouch, as I try to shield myself from the wind whipping thousands of tiny, icy ball-bearings straight into my face. I am sodden and cannot imagine how I could possibly ever be wetter or colder. I’m holding a linesman’s flag but can’t raise it as whenever I try the flag falls off. I can’t really follow what’s going on anyway as the path of the hail is from the far side of the pitch to my side. I’m not even a linesman. I’m just filling in, as one of the substitutes tends to do. One of the other subs has already gone home. Another is sheltering elsewhere, back in the dressing room I think. I’m not entirely sure I’m even going to get on the pitch today. It is May.

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Writers' competition illustration by Adam Doughty

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