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Forget Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo: Krzysztof Piatek leads Europe's top five leagues in goals

Fri, 19 Oct 2018 08:58:00 PDT

Krzysztof Piatek now has eight goals in six games, after scoring twice against Frosinone at Stadio Benito Stirpe to earn three points for Genoa. Maurizio Sarri feels Eden Hazard is the best player in Europe following his hat trick display against Cardiff City. Forget Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi -- there are some new names challenging for the European Golden Boot this season. Three of Europe's top five leagues -- La Liga, the Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 -- have leading marksmen that few would have predicted at the beginning of the campaign. And while there are some familiar names topping the scoring charts in France, most of the chasing pack may not be as recognizable. Last season, household names led the scoring charts...

Ben Thornley, Man United's Class of '92 star, not bitter about lost career

Sun, 14 Oct 2018 02:00:00 PDT

Ben Thornley, pictured at a 2017 Manchester United Legends match, was one of the big prospects of the 'Class of 92'. Ben Thornley was in the Nou Camp on May 26, 1999. He should have been on the pitch. He should have been among those lifting the Champions League trophy, the final part of Manchester United's remarkable Treble. But while his peers, friends and a group of players who at one time he was regarded as better than celebrated their own glory, Thornley was in the stands. Of the "Class of '92," the extraordinary generation that formed the core of Manchester United's great side of the 1990s and early 2000s,...

Power Rankings: Juventus stay No. 1 ahead of PSG; Atletico up, Barcelona down

Wed, 10 Oct 2018 06:00:00 PDT

Cristiano Ronaldo scored with a powerful first-time strike to help guide Juventus past Udinese at the Stadio Friuli. ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop unveils his latest power rankings, which see Juventus maintaining their top spot while Barcelona gain ground. The top two remain the same. Below Juve and PSG, though, Atleti have made a move up, while Barca and Man City go in the opposite direction. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Dropping out: Liverpool. Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV!

International W2W4: England, Italy face relegation; Brazil, Argentina meet again

Wed, 10 Oct 2018 12:22:00 PDT

Club football takes another break as the eyes of the world turn to the international game. Among the highlights are a pair of tough away tests for England and the renewal of a fierce rivalry in an unlikely venue. Watch the UEFA Nations League in the U.S. on ESPN+. England need points from away games Friday's clash between Croatia and England is not simply about settling scores from July's World Cup semifinal, which the Croats won 2-1 after extra-time. There are UEFA Nations League points to...

Kylian Mbappe tops Player Power Rankings; Paco Alcacer, Eden Hazard included

Mon, 8 Oct 2018 08:09:00 PDT

Kylian Mbappe had a monstrous second half, netting four goals in a mere 14 minutes for Paris Saint-Germain against Lyon. Check out all the action from around Europe this weekend, from Man United's win against Newcastle to Kylian Mbappe's monster second half against Lyon. Kylian Mbappe found his scoring touch in the second half, scoring four goals in 14 minutes to lead PSG to victory over rivals Lyon. Four goals in 13 minutes? Yeah, that'll get you a No. 1 spot! Our global editorial desks to pick their top 10 performers from the weekend action. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Also receiving votes: Suso (Milan), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Pablo Sarabia (Sevilla), Lacazette (Arsenal), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Lars Stindl (Borussia Monchengladbach) Let us know what you think of the countdown by commenting below or on Twitter using #ESPNFCrankings.

Power Rankings: Juventus stay top; Barcelona make big climb, Liverpool slip

Thu, 4 Oct 2018 02:00:00 PDT

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop unveils his latest power rankings, which see Juventus maintaining their top spot while Barcelona gain ground. ESPN FC's Craig Burley recaps Juventus' comfortable win over Young Boys, powered by Paulo Dybala's hat trick. From the pre-match build-up to the post-match celebrations, ESPN FC takes you inside Juventus' big win over rivals and Scudetto challengers Napoli. There is no change at the top after the Italian champions' two-win week. Below them, Lionel Messi inspires Barca's jump and there are two newcomers. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Dropping out: Bayern Munich, Lyon. Agree? Disagree? Let us know and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV!

Jose Mourinho and Manchester United must make changes to salvage season

Tue, 2 Oct 2018 01:00:00 PDT

ESPN's Mark Ogden and Rob Dawson share their thoughts on Jose Mourinho's future at Manchester United as well as his comments during his pre-match press conference ahead of their match with Valencia. Gab Marcotti shares his thoughts on Jose Mourinho's motives at Manchester United, while the rest of the crew explain why it's time for him to go. Jose Mourinho questions the attitude of some Manchester United players after a turbulent start to the season. So it comes down to this: Can Jose Mourinho ever produce the exciting and successful Manchester United side that fans crave? You sense they would accept the endless sideshow that comes with this manager -- even accept not winning things -- if they could see a team worth watching again. In other words, can he reinvent himself as a coach in the way the late David Bowie did repeatedly as a rock star? Can Mourinho accept that the formula, which brought him so much success, does not work so well in the...

Cristiano Ronaldo leads Serie A-heavy edition of Player Power Rankings

Mon, 1 Oct 2018 10:20:00 PDT

Alejandro Moreno and Ross Dyer delve into this weekend's Player Power Rankings, which see Cristiano Ronaldo rewarded for his contributions against Napoli. Who were the star performers from the weekend's action? We asked our global editorial desks to pick their top 10 and collated the results to produce our final list. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Also receiving votes: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Paco Alcacer (Borussia Dortmund), Vedad Ibisevic (Hertha Berlin), Neto (Valencia). Let us know what you think of the countdown by commenting below or on Twitter using #ESPNFCrankings.

Kylian Mbappe and the curse of winning a World Cup

Fri, 28 Sep 2018 07:28:00 PDT

One of the most damaging things that can happen to a player's career is winning a World Cup. Once you've climbed the game's highest peak, where is there left to go? Most of the French world champions of 1998 went on to have dreadful league seasons in 1998-99. Their captain, Didier Deschamps (now France's coach) later admitted to feeling "physical and moral apathy" after lifting the trophy. In the next World Cup, the French were knocked out in the first round, the fate of four of the past five...

Power Rankings: Juventus go top, PSG make big rise, Barca drop, Madrid out

Thu, 27 Sep 2018 07:53:00 PDT

Mina Rzouki breaks down all the action from Turin, on a night where Paulo Dybala was dynamic in attack and Cristiano Ronaldo was off the mark. Following Juve's 2-0 win over Bologna, fans voiced their desire for a Paul Pogba return to Turin. A bad week for Spain's big two is reflected in the latest Top 10, which is led by the Italian champions and features a surge by France's top team. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Dropping out: Real Madrid, Galatasaray. Agree? Disagree? Let us know and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV!

Ultimate 'FIFA 19' preview: Best players, fastest and slowest, strongest and more

Wed, 26 Sep 2018 10:14:00 PDT

It's the end of September and that means only one thing in video games: It's time for the latest version of the FIFA franchise to hit our consoles and keep us occupied through the grim, snowy misery of winter. FIFA 19 hits the stores/internet/whatever this Friday, a run that began with the first pixels hitting our Segas in 16-bit glory back in 1993. Like those versions that came before, FIFA 19 is great fun. It's enhanced in subtle ways that move the game ever closer to realism but with enough...

Why Germany is no longer confident about Euro 2024 vote vs. Turkey

Wed, 26 Sep 2018 04:57:00 PDT

Germany's Euro 2024 bid led by Reinhard Grindel, left, started off as a foregone conclusion but feels far from certain ahead of Thursday's vote. The concept of a big sporting upset is fresh in the mind when it comes to Germany. Their unexpected failure to defend their World Cup title in Russia this summer has introduced fresh doubt around the national team and Thursday's vote for the right to host Euro 2024 feels equally uncertain. From the moment the two countries registered their intention to bid for Euro 2024 in March of last year, seasoned tournament operators Germany were widely seen as the no-risk favourites with hopeful first-timers...

Wissam Ben Yedder tops Player Power Rankings ahead of Cristhian Stuani

Mon, 24 Sep 2018 10:01:00 PDT

Who were the star performers from the weekend's action? We asked our global editorial desks to pick their top 10 and collated the results to produce our final list. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Also receiving votes: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Federico Di Francesco (Sassuolo), Hirving Lozano (PSV), Exequiel Palacios (River Plate). Let us know what you think of the countdown by commenting below or on Twitter using #ESPNFCrankings.

Power Rankings: Barcelona claim No. 1, Liverpool climb as Real Madrid slide

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:47:00 PDT

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner gives his plaudits to PSV for their efforts, but says Lionel Messi's class shone through once again in Barcelona's UCL opener. It's all change as Barcelona rise to the top, while their great rivals Real Madrid pay the price for dropped points in La Liga. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Dropping out: Watford, PSV Eindhoven, Hertha Berlin. Agree? Disagree? Let us know and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV!

Tigres trump Toronto as Reds' woeful 2018 continues in Campeones Cup

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 07:55:00 PDT

Tigres became the inaugural Campeones Cup champions, defeating Toronto FC thanks to a pair of goals from Jesus Duenas. Here are three points on Tigres' 3-1 Campeones Cup win over Toronto FC on Wednesday at BMO Field. 1. Tigres' quality rises to the surface You could say that this was a classic Tigres performance. First there was a feeling-out period, and then once the weaknesses were properly identified, Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti's men went to work. The lack of communication on a Toronto FC back line consisting of Nick Hagglund, Michael Bradley and Eriq Zavaleta played right into Tigres' hands. The Mexican side...

Domestic struggles of Toronto, Tigres make for interesting timing of Campeones Cup

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:20:00 PDT

During an interview on the Max & Herc Podcast, Michael Bradley shared his view of his interaction at the weekend with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. On Wednesday, the best of Major League Soccer and Liga MX square off in the Campeones Cup (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Toronto FC earned its place in the contest by winning MLS Cup last December, while Apertura 2017 winners Tigres claimed a spot in the match by virtue of their Campeones de Campeones win over Clausura 2018 champions Santos. But despite both clubs' pedigrees, their Campeones Cup meeting comes amid an uncertain and vital part of each's season. Toronto sits in ninth place in the East,...

Eden Hazard tops Player Power Rankings; Cristiano Ronaldo breaks his duck

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 09:43:00 PDT

Alexis Nunes and Shaka Hislop delve into Maurizio Sarri's comment that Eden Hazard is the best European footballer. Who were the star performers from the weekend's action? We asked our global editorial desks to pick their top 10 and collated the results to produce our final list. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Also receiving votes: Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls), Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain), Dimitri Payet (Marseille), Fabio Quagliarella (Sampdoria), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Ajax). Let us know what you think of the countdown by commenting below or on Twitter using #ESPNFCrankings.

Campeones Cup an extra chance to stoke the fire of the MLS-Liga MX rivalry

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 09:24:00 PDT

Toronto edged out Tigres last year in an epic two-legged tie, but can they beat the Mexican champs in the Campeones Cup? There's nothing that quite gets the juices flowing for soccer fans in North America than a good ol' battle between MLS and Liga MX. For MLS, it is the never-ending search for respect and acceptance from their Liga MX counterparts, who have reigned supreme in the CONCACAF region at club level for pretty much forever. It is usually around February or March when articles and such start trickling out about whether THIS is the year an MLS team can finally win a CONCACAF Champions League and prove...

Chelsea off to winning, entertaining start under carefree boss Maurizio Sarri

Wed, 12 Sep 2018 09:34:00 PDT

Jorginho says Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is a man of routine and is unlikely to shake up the team's lineup, unlike new Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti. Chelsea are forever involved in some soap opera or another while continuity seems to be a dirty word at Stamford Bridge. Managers -- even those who win trophies -- never last long in the court of owner Roman Abramovich and yet the silverware keeps rolling in, give or take the odd fallow season. Perhaps this kind of creative tension is a deliberate ploy by the Russian owner to keep everyone on their toes! Into this turbulent environment has walked Maurizio Sarri, dressed on the touchline in a...

U.S.-Mexico rivalry: Has it lost some bite or is it as strong as ever?

Mon, 10 Sep 2018 02:54:00 PDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Landon Donovan being hit with urine bags at the Azteca, Rafa Marquez head-butting Cobi Jones and the legend of Dos a Cero. Clint Dempsey, Brian McBride's goal in the 2002 World Cup last 16 or El Tri scoring four unanswered goals to win the 2011 Gold Cup. These are the moments and personalities that have come to define the U.S.-Mexico rivalry, but not one of the players involved will be in the starting XIs on Tuesday in Nashville (ESPN, 8:30 p.m. ET). Tuesday's game is a bit...


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