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Carlos Bilardo, 1986 Argentina WC Coach, Tests Positive for Coronavirus; Espanyol Sack Another Coach and More (Football Round-up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): Carlos Bilardo, who coached Diego Maradona’s Argentina to the 1986 FIFA World Cup triumph, tested positive for coronavirus | Struggling Espanyol sack third coach this season | Liverpool fans urged to stay home to avoid second wave of infections | Aston Villa survival hopes suffer further blow as Dendoncker scores a goal for the Wolves | Odisha FC and assistant coach Thangboi Singto part ways.
Carlos Bilardo and Diego Maradona at Mexico 1986

Carlos Bilardo, who led Diego Maradona and Argentina to the World Cup crown in 1986, was admitted to intensive care in July 2019 with Hakim-Adams syndrome. Since his release, he has resided in a nursing home.

Carlos Bilardo, who coached Argentina to the World Cup victory in 1986, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“They carried out a test and it was positive, although he has not shown symptoms and he is good,” said the source.

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The 82-year-old suffers from a brain disorder and lives in a nursing home where 10 other people  tested positive for coronavirus. He received support from Estudiantes La Plata, his former club where he played and managed.

"We are in this match with you Carlos!" the club posted on twitter on Friday.

Bilardo was admitted to intensive care in July 2019 with Hakim-Adams syndrome. Since his release, he has resided in a nursing home.

He was the coach who led Diego Maradona to the World Cup in Mexico, and won three Copa Libertadores titles as a player with Estudiantes between 1968 and 1970.

Till now, Argentina has reported 1,184 deaths from coronavirus, as per the Health Ministry numbers.

Espanyol Sack Coach Again

Struggling Espanyol said they have sacked coach Abelardo Fernandez as they fight to extend their 26-year stay in La Liga.

Fernandez was appointed in December after David Gallego and Pablo Machin were dismissed, but despite a positive start since play resumed after a three-month break, the  1-0 defeat at Real Betis on June 25 turned out to be his last match for the side.

“Espanyol announce that Abelardo Fernandez has been relieved of his duties as first team coach,” the Barcelona club said in a statement.

“This decision has been taken due to the team’s recent performances and with the clear aim of keeping the club in the top flight.

The club said that sporting director Francisco Rufete will be taking charge of the team for the remaining season. His first game will take place on Sunday against La Liga leaders Real Madrid.

Liverpool Fans Urged to Stay Home 

Liverpool have condemned fans who gathered to celebrate at Liverpool city centre for a second night on June 26 to celebrate their team’s Premier League title win and urged them to stay at home.

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Local media reported that fans launched fireworks at the Royal Liver Building, and a fire also broke out on the second floor of the building.

After the win, Jürgen Klopp has said he is focused on keeping his squad together after the team’s 30-year wait for the title. The Liverpool manager said his team “doesn’t need a break” and, with players who are at their peak, the possibility of the champions being too active in the transfer market is going to be a rare sight.

“I cannot promise we will dominate football now, nor do I know if it is time to talk about major upheavals,” he said in an interview with Bild. “But I know our goal is to keep the team together. The boys are currently at a great age for football.”

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner also backed the newly-crowned Premier League champions to enjoy a period of "sustained success."

"We want to undersell and overdeliver. We hopefully would be ensuring another period of sustained success," Werner told Liverpool's website on Saturday.

"The competition is fierce and I know our rivals are working tirelessly to upend us. But we've got such talent in place as Jurgen, as Michael (Edwards, sporting director) and the team on the pitch.

Aston Villa Survival Hopes Suffer 

Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrated their Champions League qualification hopes with a 1-0 West Midlands derby win at Aston Villa on Saturday. Leander Dendoncker scored a goal in the 62nd minute for the Wolves.

The victory has put the Wolves above Manchester United in fifth place, and they currently stand two points behind the fourth-placed Chelsea, although they have played a game more than both teams.

The loss has turned out to be a big blow for Villa in their battle against relegation and leaves them at the second last spot with 27 points.

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The major moment from the match turned out to be the time when Raul Jimenez swung a ball in from the left flank and Jonny did well to set up Dendoncker, who opened up enough space to score a goal

"I think we performed well in terms of our organisation and in terms of staying in the game. We approached the game really well. We didn't settle down early on, but once we had a couple of opportunities we started to control the game and create more chances," said Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo.

Odisha FC Part Ways With Singto

Indian Super League (ISL) club Odisha FC and its assistant coach Thangboi Singto have taken decision to part ways.

Singto joined the club ahead of the 2019-20 ISL season and also served as the head of the club's youth development.

“It was a great and wonderful experience for me at Odisha FC and would like to thank everyone at the club for their support. It was great to work with head coach Josep Gombau.

“I would like to wish the club, management, staff and players all the best for the upcoming ISL season. Will miss Odisha, its peace loving people and the cheers of the Juggernauts. Dhanyabad OFC,” said Singto.

Earlier on Friday, Odisha FC signed Arsenal goalkeeping coach Gerald Peyton as assistant to coach Stuart Baxter, who became a part of the club a month before.

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