Will Lionel Messi leave Barcelona? Who will win the European Championships? Could Erling Haaland become one of the most expensive players in the world?
The upcoming year of football promises some huge storylines, and Eurosport's contributors have each made one big prediction for the 12 months ahead.
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Erling Braut Haaland will become the third most expensive player of all time. Covid means transfer fees won’t get near the £198m PSG spent on Neymar or the £163m they paid for Kylian Mbappe, but Haaland’s incredible goalscoring form means he has already outgrown Borussia Dortmund and a mammoth move will be on the cards. Driving the price up is that basically every big club in Europe will want one of the most devastating goal machines in football at the moment.
Gareth Southgate to be sacked as England boss. The sniping has already begun – chiefly around his selection of certain players in certain positions - and by the time the Euros come and go without England winning them, the clamour for his sacking will become incessant.
England, without their talisman Harry Kane after the striker’s injury in the final game of the Premier League season, will limp into their second match of the European Championship group stage needing a result following a loss to Croatia. Up step Scotland to send the auld enemy packing.
It is appropriate to be as confident about the winner of the Champions League in 2021 as it has ever been possible to be with Europe’s elite competition. Bayern Munich will triumph once more, and it will not even be close. Any clubs even pretending to have a slim chance of usurping Hansi Flick’s absurdly dominant side – which has been improved from last season, believe it or not – may as well forget it and just focus on their domestic prospects.
Lionel Messi will stay at Barcelona. Sorry transfer fans, seen this one before. Just last summer in fact. Messi will continue to get linked with a mega-money away from Barca but will end up signing a new contract and will probably utter the words ‘I never really wanted to leave’.
Phil Neville's Team GB still won't win the Olympics.
Lionel Messi teases the world about leaving Barcelona… and then signs a new Barcelona contract. (My initial prediction of Norway winning Euro 2021 was spoiled by them forgetting to qualify)
Cristiano Ronaldo is going to step up and singlehandedly deliver his nation back-to-back European championships at whatever stadium the final will be played in.
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