Formula One has arrived at the most prestigious race on the calendar, and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc would be desperate to end an awful run of form at his home race.

Born and raised in Monaco, Leclerc's string of bad luck on the historic circuit dates back to his days in Formula Two, where he set the F2 lap record in 2017 before suspension problems caused a DNF.

The next year, in F1, he was in the points for Sauber before brake failure led to a crash with Brendan Hartley.

After poor strategy and Q1 elimination in his first Monaco Grand Prix for Ferrari in 2019, Leclerc charged up the field early on but pushed a little too hard and collided with Romain Grosjean at Rascasse.

In 2021, he surprisingly stuck an inferior Ferrari on pole position but crashed at the end of Q3, and extensive drive-shaft damage led to him cruelly retiring on the formation lap.

The 24-year-old became the first Monegasque to claim pole, but his three DNFs – from as many F1 entries – are his most at any circuit.

Despite ending up in the barriers on a demonstration lap in Niki Lauda's Ferrari last week, another pole could finally put Leclerc on the top step in his home race.

Twelve of the past 17 winners at Monaco have started from pole, as little room to overtake with bigger cars on Monte Carlo's notoriously tight streets makes track position critical.

It would be a welcome way for Leclerc to buck his trend of failing to convert poles into race victories, winning only four times from 13 starts at the front of the grid.

The title race adds another dimension, with Max Verstappen taking a six-point lead from him in the drivers' standings after successive victories at Imola, Miami and Barcelona.

In-form Red Bull with records in sight

Monaco has been a happy hunting ground for Red Bull, and this weekend could bring a number of records for the team.

This weekend could see Red Bull claim their highest number of race wins (six), pole positions (six), podiums (24, with both drivers) and points earned at a circuit, surpassing the 356 collected in Spain.

Meanwhile, reigning world champion Verstappen has the chance to record the longest winning streak of his career, beating last year's three wins between France and Austria.

Ricciardo in need of renaissance

Daniel Ricciardo has come under criticism from McLaren team principal Zak Brown for his recent performances, with a clear need for improvement.

The 32-year-old suffered one of the lowest points of his career last year in Monte Carlo, when he was lapped by teammate Lando Norris.

Ricciardo is suffering his worst streak of finishes outside the points (three) since 2012, when he had five consecutive empty-handed returns for Toro Rosso.

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 110
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 104
3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 85
4. George Russell (Mercedes) 74
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 65

Constructors

1. Red Bull 195
2. Ferrari 169
3. Mercedes 120
4. McLaren 50
5. Alfa Romeo 39

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have paid tribute to the "charismatic" Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after the 37-year-old brought his 18-year professional career to a close.

Tsonga, who reached a career-high ranking of world number five in 2012, confirmed in April that he would retire at the culmination of his French Open campaign.

That duly came in the first round on Tuesday as he bowed out to world number eight Casper Ruud 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 7-6 (7-0).

He retires having won, according to Opta, 464 Tour-level matches since September 2004.

Tsonga is one of just three players, along with Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro, to have beaten Nadal, Federer and Djokovic while they were ranked world number one.

He is also one of three players, alongside Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych, who have defeated Nadal, Federer and Djokovic at grand slams.

A video tribute was played on court after his defeat to Ruud, which featured messages from the sport's most iconic players.

Federer said: "I wanted to congratulate you on an amazing career and it was a pleasure to share the court with and play against you, even to lose against you!

"We had some great battles. Enjoy the moment in Paris with all your friends and family, in front of all your adoring spectators."

Djokovic added: "Jo is one of the most charismatic tennis players ever to play the game. I was very happy to share the court with him many times.

"We get along well and he's a really nice guy. He brought a lot of positive attention and popularity to our sport not just because of his dynamic game style, but also his charisma and his personality, so it's a big loss for professional men's tennis to have him retire.

"I wish him all the best, and he definitely should be happy about his career and his achievements. He's made his mark and his legacy in our sport."

Nadal said: "He is very charismatic. I've known him since we were kids; he is a good guy and I think he brings a lot of positive things to our sport so I'm sad to see him going but we are getting old so it's going to happen for everyone."

Speaking at a media conference after his defeat, Tsonga said he would now spend some time relaxing before focusing on the development of his tennis academy.

He said he will miss the adrenaline of playing on court, as well as how he was able to express himself completely when competing.

"It's adrenaline, to step onto a big court like this one," he said. "It's adrenaline you can feel when you have 15,000 people shouting out your name, supporting you on the court.

"This is what I'm going to miss – the contact with the crowd. And with those who have been supporting me for all these years.

"You know, in real life, it's sometimes difficult to be intense. You don't want to shock, you don't want to be too rude, you don't want to hurt somebody.

"You always try to act to be nice, to be sociable. But, you know, on the court, you can express your fever. You can express everything about you, and it's sometimes freeing."

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga brought his 18-year professional career to a close on Tuesday, after his first-round loss to Casper Ruud at the French Open.

Tsonga, who reached a high ranking of world number five, confirmed in April that he would retire at the culmination of his French Open campaign.

For the 37-year-old, that was short-lived, as he bowed out to world number eight Ruud.

Tsonga gave it his all, taking the lead and forcing a tie-break in three of the four sets, but Ruud had too much and prevailed 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 7-6 (7-0).

That confirmed the end of Tsonga's long career. He bows out having won, according to Opta, 464 Tour-level matches since September 2004.

Tsonga is one of just three players, along with Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro, to have beaten Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic while they were ranked world number one.

He is also one of three players (also Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych) who have defeated Nadal, Federer and Djokovic at grand slams.

Tsonga also became the first player since Guillermo Canas in 2002 to defeat four straight top-10 players at a Masters 1000 tournament when he triumphed in Toronto in 2014.

"It's tough for me and all the players that you're stopping. You've been an inspiration to me and so many of the other players, so thank you for the memories," Ruud told Tsonga after the match.

"[I have] so many good memories watching Jo on TV. He's such a great guy [and] nice person on and off the court. He's a good example of what a player should be."

Erik ten Hag will not be targeting a Premier League title challenge in his first season as Manchester United manager, instead aiming for a return to the Champions League.

Ten Hag was confirmed as the club's next permanent manager in April, with the Dutchman set to pick up from interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

After guiding Ajax to a third Eredivisie title in four full seasons at the helm, Ten Hag ended his contract in Amsterdam early in order to start work with United ahead of schedule.

The 52-year-old and his two assistants, Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren, were present on Sunday as United lost their final match of the season 1-0 to Crystal Palace.

Ten Hag was in Manchester the following day to be introduced to the media for the first time, with playing philosophy, recruitment and squad personnel among the key topics discussed at his news conference.

Talk of seasonal targets was surprisingly absent, but in a separate interview with the club's media channels, Ten Hag provided some insight.

"I said this is the project, to bring Man United back on top, but also we have to accept the current situation we are in," he said.

"First of all, Man United belong in the Champions League, so that will be the first target."

United did appear to be in contention – even if generally regarded as an outside bet – for the top four during much of the 2021-22 season.

But their form suffered badly during the final stages of the season after they were knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid in March.

Since losing 1-0 to Atletico at home on March 15, United won just twice in the Premier League and lost five times – among those defeats were 4-0 reverses at the hands of Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion.

Their form over the past two months has laid bare the size of the task facing Ten Hag. While Rangnick did initially stabilise United slightly at the back after his appointment, in recent times they became leaky again and this was exacerbated by a lack of attacking ruthlessness.

The choice of Ten Hag was said to have been influenced by the brand of football his teams play, with fans appearing to react more positively towards him than Mauricio Pochettino when it was reported the pair were the frontrunners.

And he seems convinced success will follow if he can get his ideas across to the players.

Asked about any wisdom he can take away from Ajax, he added: "There are similarities but also contradictions.

"I have to learn and I have to adjust but I also have to stay myself. I'm convinced that we can bring in the structures and the way of play that we want.

"If we get that done, we get that communicated to the players, then we will get that success.

"Like I want to win. Winning is the most important, but also I have the intention to do that in a certain way and in an attacking way. 

"If we cannot do it like that, we still have to win. That is what we have to put in our team."

Harry Kane's future at Tottenham hinges on whether he can achieve his ambitions by staying put, according to former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas.

Kane was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City at the end of the 2020-21 season, but the Premier League champions were seemingly unwilling to meet Spurs' asking price.

The uncertainty around the player's future led to him sitting out the opening-weekend win over City at the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

Despite a slow start to the season, with Kane managing only two goal involvements (one goal, one assist) in his first 13 Premier League games, he went on to record 24 (16 goals, eight assists) over his next 24 games.

The turnaround in form came shortly after the arrival of Antonio Conte as Nuno Espirito Santo's replacement, and the Italian guided Spurs to fourth place and Champions League qualification, secured with a final-day 5-0 rout of Norwich City, in which Kane scored and assisted.

Further questions regarding Kane's future are likely to arise during pre-season, though City have since moved on and completed the signing of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.

Villas-Boas, who managed Spurs for 17 months until December 2013, feels Kane's future will be determined by his personal ambitions, and if any potential buying club is willing to match Tottenham's demands.

"I think it's up to him to decide what is progress in his career or not," he told Stats Perform. "If you fulfil your own ambitions of being in Tottenham and making a part of the history in Tottenham, that is great.

"If you have ambitions to go further and to test yourself in other environments, I think you will depart.

"I think it is up to him, it's also up to the clubs who can come around knocking and take him away, but I wish him all the best as well.

"He's a good boy, he has proved a lot of people wrong, he has established himself and I sincerely hope he does well."

England manager Gareth Southgate has called up West Ham winger Jarrod Bowen and Leicester City's James Justin for the first time, while Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori return.

The Three Lions face Germany, Italy and Hungary next month in the Nations League, with England confirming a 27-man squad on Tuesday.

Bowen, who scored 18 goals for West Ham this season to help David Moyes' side finish seventh in the Premier League and reach the Europa League semi-finals, "was in the frame" to be called up in March, according to Southgate, but did not make the cut.

Only Harry Kane scored more goals in all competitions over the 2021-22 season among Englishmen in the Premier League.

Leicester full-back Justin is a surprise choice, though his ability to fill in at left-back may have seen him get the nod, with Luke Shaw having missed the end of the season due to injury and Ben Chilwell only making his Chelsea comeback on Sunday.

Jordan Henderson does not feature despite being set to play in this weekend's Champions League final with Liverpool, though his club-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold is included. Tyrone Mings and Eric Dier miss out in defence.

"We felt like Hendo [Henderson] we didn't need to see this summer. Trent is slightly different," Southgate told a news conference on Tuesday.

Tomori, who has enjoyed a brilliant season with Serie A champions Milan, is called up in Mings' place, while another English player to thrive in Serie A this season – Roma striker Abraham – is also present. 

A first-half double against Torino on Friday saw Abraham become the highest-scoring English player in a single season in the Italian top flight, surpassing the previous mark of 16 set by Gerald Hitchens at Inter in 1961-62. 

Kyle Walker makes his return after recovering from injury, while Kieran Trippier is also recalled. Reece James figures as well in a defence stacked with right-backs.

Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi is included, though Southgate confirmed the centre-back has a knock, while Harry Maguire is the only Manchester United player to feature in the squad, with Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho unsurprisingly absent again.

Similarly, there is no place for Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe, while James Maddison has been overlooked despite a strong season with Leicester.

England begin their Nations League campaign against Hungary on June 4, before taking on Germany in Munich three days later.

Italy face the Three Lions at Molineux on June 11 in a repeat of the Euro 2020 final, while Hungary also visit Wolverhampton on June 14.

 

England squad in full: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Wolves), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), James Justin (Leicester City) Harry Maguire (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Fikayo Tomori (Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ben White (Arsenal); Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace, on loan from Chelsea), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton); Tammy Abraham (Roma), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

Athletic Bilbao will be searching for a new head coach ahead of next season after Marcelino confirmed he is leaving the club.

Marcelino took over at the Basque club on January 3, 2021. He took Athletic to the Supercopa de Espana title later that month.

Athletic also made the final of the 2021-22 edition of the tournament but lost to Real Madrid, while former Villarreal and Valencia coach Marcelino oversaw two Copa del Rey final defeats – one of which was delayed from the 2019-20 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Marcelino's side made the semi-finals of this season's Copa, beating both Barcelona and Madrid, but they lost over two legs to Valencia, who were beaten by Real Betis in the final.

The 56-year-old's contract expires at the end of June and will not be renewed. He took Athletic to eighth in LaLiga in the 2021-22 season, following on from a 10th-placed finish in the previous campaign.

Marcelino oversaw 59 league games in total, winning 19 (32.2 per cent) and losing 17, with his team scoring 70 goals while conceding 59 in return, averaging 1.36 points per game.

Marcelino told a news conference on Tuesday: "We believe the time has come to step aside and bring an end to a beautiful story. We're proud to have had the privilege of coaching Athletic Club.

"Thank you to everyone, I wish you all the success in the future. This is not a goodbye. You will always be in our hearts. Always.

"Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to the fans. We were orphans while the pandemic attacked us. Then I found out what it really means to be at San Mames as Athletic's coach.

"We have had some magical nights and unforgettable moments."

Athletic, who lost 1-0 to Sevilla in their final game of the season, have been linked with Mauricio Pochettino, should the former Tottenham boss be dismissed by Paris Saint-Germain.

Noussair Mazraoui has joined Bayern Munich on a free transfer following the expiration of his Ajax contract.

The full-back had been widely expected to join Bayern after it was confirmed he would not be signing a new deal with the Eredivisie champions.

Mazraoui has now made that switch, signing a four-year deal with Bayern.

"I had a good feeling right from the first talks with Bayern and I'm happy to be moving to one of the biggest clubs in Europe," said the 24-year-old.

"Bayern have just become German champions for the tenth time in a row and will also be among the contenders to win the Champions League again next year.

"I chose this club because I can win the biggest titles here."

Mazraoui already has plenty of trophies to his name, including two Eredivisie titles.

He made 25 league appearances for Ajax last season, scoring five goals and adding two assists, while he also played in all eight of their Champions League matches.

Since the Bundesliga was founded, only five other players have previously played for both Bayern and Ajax - Soren Lerby, Samuel Kuffour, Jan Wouters, Johnny Hansen and Brian Laudrup. 

Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said: "We are delighted that Noussair is our first signing of this transfer window. 

"He had offers from all over Europe and chose us because we have a clear plan with him and we want to achieve big goals with him.

"Noussair is a player who puts a lot of pressure down the right offensively. We also like his mentality very much. He burns for this challenge at Bayern."

Bayern, who might well have to sell Robert Lewandowski this off-season as the striker has refused to sign a new contract, also have a reported interest in Mazraoui's former Ajax team-mate Ryan Gravenberch.

You would have been forgiven for thinking the days of Jose Mourinho leading teams to European finals were over.

From 2002 to 2010, Mourinho-coached sides appeared in two Champions League finals and one UEFA Cup showdown. On each occasion, 'The Special One' triumphed.

He had to wait seven years for his next appearance in a continental showpiece, but he kept up his 100 per cent record – Manchester United beating Ajax to lift the 2016-17 Europa League trophy.

But that was an early peak in Mourinho's United tenure. His stock has since fallen. He was sacked in 2018 and then lasted just 18 months at Tottenham, the only club he has managed so far where he has not won a trophy.

He might have had the opportunity to win the EFL Cup with Spurs, though he was sacked before that rescheduled match could take place. Hard lines.

It was hard not to feel Mourinho's race had been run. He can no longer be considered among the truly elite managers, and that was reflected as he rocked up at Roma.

Not that Roma, three-time champions of Italy, are by any means a small club. They were in the Champions League semi-finals as recently as 2018.

Yet, their last title came in 2001 and their last trophy of any description came in 2008 when they won the Coppa Italia for the ninth time. Ironically, Mourinho's Inter then beat Roma in the Supercoppa Italiana at the start of the following season, the last time the Giallorossi had a chance to win a piece of silverware.

But Mourinho is a winner, and now he has the chance to remind everyone of that. He is back in a European final as Roma get the opportunity to win their first major European trophy. No other coach has reached the final of a major European competition with four different clubs.

"I am a coach with a certain history and Roma are a big club," he told UEFA's Italian website. "I did feel a little bit of responsibility to make this a big competition.

"The Conference League is our Champions League. This is the level we are at, the competition we are playing for. The club has not reached a game like this for a very long time."

The Europa Conference League may have been scoffed at when it was introduced but for fans of Roma, and their opponents Feyenoord, continental glory that would otherwise have evaded them is now within their grasp.

With a record-breaking striker leading the line in the form of Tammy Abraham, Mourinho might just have a fifth European title under his belt.

Life in the old dog?

Mourinho has overseen 54 games so far at Roma, triumphing in 28 of them to give him a win percentage of 52.

That is a slight dip from the 55 per cent in 2020-21, though that was over three fewer matches, but an improvement on the 46 per cent (from 35 games) and 42 per cent (from 24 fixtures) in 2019-20 and 2018-19 respectively.

 

Roma won 18 Serie A games this season, ensuring a place in the Europa League through a sixth-placed finish.

His 47 per cent win ratio in the league ranks him 10th out of Roma coaches to have overseen at least 10 games, while his 52 per cent in all competitions puts him joint-sixth, alongside predecessor Paulo Fonseca, of those bosses to have taken charge of at least 20 matches.

Perhaps Mourinho's decline is highlighted by the fact he is placing so much emphasis on winning UEFA's third-tier club tournament, but from Roma's perspective, that desire will surely be welcome.

Abraham the key?

Having been deemed surplus to requirements at Chelsea, Abraham has become something of a cult figure at Roma.

Abraham called Mourinho "the best manager in the world" in an interview with talkSPORT in April, and he has certainly thrived under the Portuguese's guidance.

 

He has scored 27 goals across all competitions this season, one better than the previous best tally he had managed, which was 26 goals for both Bristol City (in 2016-17) and Aston Villa (2018-19), albeit both of those campaigns were in the Championship.

It has been a record-breaking season for Abraham. A first-half double against Torino on Friday saw the 24-year-old become the highest-scoring English player in a single season in the Italian top flight, surpassing the previous mark of 16 set by Gerald Hitchens at Inter in 1961-62. 

The only Roma player to score more than the England international's haul of 17 in a debut Serie A season with the club was Rodolfo Volk, who registered 21 in the 1929-30 campaign. 

He has featured in all but one of Roma's league games, starting 36 times and averaging a goal every 182 minutes, converting 17.8 per cent of his 95 shots, which ranks better than two of his seasons in the Premier League (13.33 per cent in 2017-18 and 16.22 in 2019-20).

Abraham has scored nine times from 13 Conference League appearances and he has proved many doubters wrong this season.

With a place in Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad later this year potentially up for grabs, playing a pivotal role in Roma's maiden European success would be some way to cap a fine campaign and seal his name in Giallorossi folklore.

Novak Djokovic found his footing after the first set to cruise past Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3 6-1 6-0 in Monday's opening round, and said he feels good returning to Roland Garros after winning the French Open in 2021.

It was a relatively close opening set of the tournament for Djokovic, as Nishioka created three break-point opportunities compared to the Serb's two, but Djokovic was able to save all three, while capitalising on one of his own.

Overall for the first set, Djokovic won 55 per cent of the total points, and that number climbed the longer the match went on. He won 63 per cent of the points in the second set, and 67 per cent in the third.

Speaking with the media after his match, Djokovic was excited to be back on clay as he seeks his third French Open crown – the only grand slam he has not won at least three times.

"I have to be pleased with the match," he said. "I struggled to adapt in the first set. 

"He is a very quick player. The first set was close, but I cruised through the second and third.

"I always expect the highest for myself, but it was a very good start. I have been feeling well on clay in the past few weeks. 

"I am happy to be back. The memories from last year are fresh in my mind."

In the second round, Djokovic will play the winner between Alex Molcan and Federia Coria.

Rafael Nadal has surpassed Roger Federer for match wins at a single grand slam after defeating Jordan Thompson in the first round at the French Open.

Nadal won 6-2 6-2 6-2 against the world number 82 on Monday, as he bids for a record-extending 14th title at Roland Garros.

The 35-year-old, 21-time grand slam champion has recorded 106 victories from 109 matches, excluding walkovers, at the French Open, only losing to Robin Soderling (2008) and Novak Djokovic (2015 and 2021).

Nadal's remarkable form in Paris means that he has now overtaken fellow great Roger Federer when it comes to winning matches at one of the majors.

Federer has tallied up 105 wins at Wimbledon, which the Swiss has won on eight occasions, last doing so in 2017.

Nadal, one of only three players to have previously won the French Open without losing a single set, will face wild card Corentin Moutet in round two, after the Frenchman defeated Stan Wawrinka – the 2015 champion – 2-6 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-3.

Rafael Nadal cruised through his first-round match against Jordan Thompson to make a strong start to his French Open campaign.

Nadal is in the hunt for a record-extending 14th title at Roland Garros and he turned in a dominant display on Monday, winning 6-2 6-2 6-2 to progress with ease.

It took Nadal a little over two hours to see off his opponent on Court Philippe-Chatrier and claim a 24th win of what is already proving to be a wonderful season.

Nadal, seeded fifth, controlled the match throughout, breaking twice in the first set, which he sealed at the first time of asking.

Thompson, the world number 82, conceded serve again at the start of the second set, and he was left hanging over the net in despair when Nadal turned defence into attack to deny the 28-year-old holding in his next service game.

A deft drop shot saw Thompson recover but Nadal was clinical when chances to break came, and he took all three on offer in the second set, though the Australian also grasped his only chance to do so.

Thompson salvaged the first three break points in set three but Nadal would not be denied, and he nosed into a 3-2 lead before breaking again to serve out for the match.

A stray shot into the net from Thompson wrapped up the win as Nadal – one of only three players to have previously won the French Open without losing a single set – made an emphatic start.

Data Slam: Nadal's incredible Roland Garros record

Nadal is the only player to have won the same grand slam title 10+ times, and of the 109 matches he has now played at Roland Garros (excluding walkovers), the 35-year-old has lost just three – once against Robin Soderling (2008) and twice to Novak Djokovic (2015, 2021).

Thompson, who made 29 unforced errors, seemed frustrated at his own performance, but he was taking on a true great of the game.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal – 27/21
Thompson – 14/29

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal – 1/0
Thompson – 5/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 7/11
Thompson – 1/2

Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min were more deserving winners of the Premier League Player of the Season award than Kevin De Bruyne.

That is according to Liverpool legend Phil Thompson, who also told Stats Perform that Erling Haaland will not necessarily make Manchester City a stronger side next season.

City playmaker De Bruyne last week edged out Son, Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joao Cancelo, Jarrod Bowen, Bukayo Saka and James Ward-Prowse for the award.

The Belgium international played a key part in City's successful title defence with 15 goals in 30 league appearances and a further eight assists.

Remarkably, the 30-year-old's 15 goals came from an expected goals (xG) return of just 6.2, meaning he scored nine goals more than expected from the quality of his chances.

However, his 23 direct goal involvements were fewer than Salah (36), Son (30) and Harry Kane (26) managed, albeit having played at least five games fewer than any of those.

De Bruyne ranked above each of those players for chances created (87), though, and was behind only Alexander-Arnold (90) and Bruno Fernandes (89).

But Thompson believes that Liverpool forward Salah and Tottenham's Son – who shared the Golden Boot with 23 goals – were more consistent than De Bruyne over the season.

"I think it has to be Mo. I know the players have all given it to Kevin De Bruyne and he's a wonderful player," Thompson said. 

"He's been wonderful for the last couple of months, but it's over a season and people get swayed by people who finish the season well. 

"That is still in their minds when they're just putting their name on that form, or whether it's all done on phone now. 

"But I would like to think over the whole year, and yes, Mo hasn't been rattling them in for the last six weeks or so, but overall, he has been.

"They were talking around Christmas time that this is the best player in the world. He's not gone from being the best player in the world to playing second fiddle to De Bruyne. 

"I'm sorry. Mo Salah was the player of the season and then probably Son has probably been more consistent over the whole nine months."

City's title triumph was their fourth in the past five seasons and they have already moved to bolster their squad with the signing of Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.

Haaland scored 86 goals in 89 games for Dortmund, a tally only bettered by Kylian Mbappe (90) and Robert Lewandowski (123) since January 18, 2020. 

But, citing a rather mixed campaign for British record signing Jack Grealish, Thompson questioned whether Pep Guardiola will get the most out of Haaland.

"He is a wonderful player, a great player," said Thompson, who won 17 major honours across 13 years playing for Liverpool, before a stint coaching the Reds.

"Is he a missing piece for the jigsaw for them in the Champions League? They can still do things, but it might upset them a little bit. 

"As you see with Grealish, who was £100million, has that worked? He's playing as a left-winger because it's the system that Pep likes. 

"So you've got an out-and-out centre-forward who, yes, is full of energy, but he doesn't understand the press that City use. It'll be a change for them. That might change things." 

Liverpool, who have seen Luis Diaz hit the ground running since joining from Porto in January, are themselves expected to be active in the upcoming transfer window.

A deal for Fulham teenager Fabio Carvalho is already in place, but Thompson is not sure if signing a big name is really necessary in order to keep pace with champions City.

"We have a set pattern, though I still hope that we'll sign a couple of players," he said.

"I do believe that's what you have to do all the time to give that little bit of a buzz in the dressing room, to change things up on the pitch. And we have just come up short."

The 92 points accrued by Liverpool this season is the joint-eighth most in Premier League history, yet it was not enough to pip City, who finished one point better off.

Thompson added: "We have to find the magic ingredient to go that extra couple of points to win that league, but we don't have to do too much. 

"Chelsea signed Romelu Lukaku and he played well those first half a dozen games. They were going to win the league the way the season started and look how that's unravelled.

"It's not necessarily a gimme that it always works."

Reigning French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova is out of this year's tournament after suffering a first-round defeat to teenage opponent Diane Parry.

The number two seed looked to be cruising on Court Philippe-Chatrier, taking the first set 6-1, before an impressive recovery from Parry saw the 19-year-old take the next two sets 6-2 6-3.

Parry becomes the lowest-ranked woman to beat the second seed at Roland Garros since Arantxa Rus beat Kim Clijsters in 2011.

It looked like Krejcikova was going to follow number one seed Iga Swiatek in easing to a quick win on Monday, winning 15 straight points in the early stages as she ran out to a lead of 6-1 2-0.

However, her determined opponent suddenly found an extra gear and started to trouble the Czech star, actually winning a higher percentage of points on her second serve (67) than her first (64) to win six straight games in the second set.

Krejcikova broke in the first game of the deciding set and looked to have recovered, only for Parry to break back in the fourth game, before breaking again in the eighth, and serving out to claim a famous win.

The French youngster will face Colombian Camila Osorio in the second round.

Erik ten Hag says Cristiano Ronaldo is part of his plans, but the new Manchester United manager has yet to decide if Harry Maguire will remain captain next season.

Former Ajax boss Ten Hag was appointed as Ralf Rangnick's successor last month on an initial three-year deal and officially started work at Old Trafford on Monday.

Ten Hag takes over on the back of United's worst ever Premier League season in terms of points, with 2021-22 their fifth successive campaign without any silverware.

The Dutchman has a number of pressing issues to deal with, not least Ronaldo's future and the wider debate over who should skipper United.

Ronaldo scored 24 goals in 38 appearances for United in his first season back at the club, which is 13 goals more than next-best Bruno Fernandes.

Indeed, aside from Ronaldo and Fernandes, no other United player made it into double figures for the campaign in all competitions.

Despite netting some vital goals for the Red Devils, Ronaldo's place in the side has been questioned due to his work off the ball.

But asked at his unveiling news conference whether the Portugal international has a part to play under him next season, Ten Hag responded: "Of course".

Probed on what he expects Ronaldo to bring to the side, Ten Hag simply replied: "Goals".

Ronaldo captained United at times this term when regular skipper Maguire was absent, with some questioning whether the defender should hand over the armband permanently.

Rangnick previously suggested it should be down to the players to vote on who captains United from next season, though Ten Hag is expected to have the final say.

The 52-year-old, who guided Ajax to three Eredivisie titles in his four full seasons in charge, gave little away when commenting on the situation on Monday.

"Next season is a different season," he said. "Harry's done a good job and he's a great player. 

"He's achieved a lot and has contributed a lot to Manchester United, so I'm looking forward to working with him."

While Ronaldo and Maguire look set to play a part in United's latest new chapter, Ten Hag is expected to oversee a big overhaul in the coming transfer window.

"I'm still in the process of analysing, to set conclusions," Ten Hag said of United's transfer business.

"But I'm looking forward to working with the players I have. The season before, this squad was second in the league, so there is huge potential.

"I think if we improve, if we work with them, I think we can get out more than what was the result from this season."

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