UEFA Nations League: Kosovo close in on shock Euro 2020 place by thrashing Azerbaijan
Kosovo will play in the League D play-offs next year, where Georgia, Belarus and Macedonia will be battling them for a ticket to the 2020 European Championship.
Kosovo sealed a Euro 2020 play-off place only two years after becoming a UEFA-recognised national team, as Arber Zeneli scored a hat-trick in a 4-0 Nations League thrashing of Azerbaijan on Tuesday.
Heading into the game in Pristina, Kosovo knew a draw against unbeaten Azerbaijan would be enough to wrap up top spot in Group D3 and boost their Euro qualifying hopes. But they got off to a dream start, with Heerenveen midfielder Zeneli putting them ahead in only the second minute.
The 23-year-old scored twice more in the second half, with Dinamo Zagreb defender Amir Rrahmani also finding the net, as Kosovo completed a famous win.
Kosovo only claimed their first-ever competitive victory in September by beating the Faroe Islands, but have since won three more times in the Nations League with an incredible turnaround in form.
Bernard Challandes' men are now unbeaten in 10 matches in all competitions, winning eight, since November 2017, having previously lost nine straight games.
They will play in the League D play-offs next year, where Georgia, Belarus and Macedonia will be battling them for a ticket to the 2020 European Championship.
Kosovo is an Albanian-majority former province of Serbia that broke away from the then Yugoslav republic in a bloody war in 1998-1999 and declared independence a decade later. Serbia refuses to recognise its former province.
Portugal's Silva was linked with a move away from the champions in the close season after Guardiola admitted he was concerned by his reduction in playing time last season.
Premier League: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp unsure about team selection after recent drama over South American World Cup qualifiers
Liverpool's Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firminho were selected for this month's World Cup qualifiers in South America but Premier League clubs refused to release players due to the 10-day coronavirus isolation period required on return to Britain.
Messi joining top French club PSG last month is not the only high-profile departure for La Liga. In the last five seasons, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Sergio Ramos have all left either Real Madrid or Barcelona.