News

England name Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane captain for World Cup

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner examines England's strike force and wonders if they'll have what it takes to lead the Three Lions to glory at the World Cup. After the excitement of England's World Cup squad announcement, the Exploding Heads are here to break the bad news to those who didn't make the cut. England have named striker Harry Kane as their captain heading into the World Cup in Russia this summer. Kane, 24, the two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, is the vice captain to Hugo Lloris at Tottenham and has occasionally worn the armband since Wayne Rooney retired from international competition in 2017. England manager Gareth Southgate made the announcement in a live video on Twitter on Tuesday morning. "Last night, we told the rest of the players that we've named Harry as captain for...

Read more May 22, 19:55

Troisi embraces competition for spots

James Troisi speaks from Socceroos camp in Turkey.

Read more May 22, 19:53

Troisi embraces competition for spots

James Troisi speaks from Socceroos camp in Turkey.

Read more May 22, 19:53

Zlatan introduces himself, Salah's lookalike, Ronaldo statue redemption in best of Toe Poke

Relive 10 of the best stories that amused and amazed in this season of football around the world. It's that time of year again when we here at Toe Poke pause a moment to take stock of the season just gone -- the thrills, the spills, the truly, truly dreadful penalty kicks (stay tuned!). Here are our various winners and indeed losers from 2017-18 ... Redemption of the season November brought with it redemption for one of the biggest laughing stocks of last season, as Portuguese artist Jose Antonio Navarro Arteaga was handed an artistic reprieve. Arteaga is of course the man who made a hash...

Read more May 22, 19:24

Zlatan introduces himself, Salah's lookalike, Ronaldo statue redemption in best of Toe Poke

Relive 10 of the best stories that amused and amazed in this season of football around the world. It's that time of year again when we here at Toe Poke pause a moment to take stock of the season just gone -- the thrills, the spills, the truly, truly dreadful penalty kicks (stay tuned!). Here are our various winners and indeed losers from 2017-18 ... Redemption of the season November brought with it redemption for one of the biggest laughing stocks of last season, as Portuguese artist Jose Antonio Navarro Arteaga was handed an artistic reprieve. Arteaga is of course the man who made a hash...

Read more May 22, 19:24

West Ham appoint Manuel Pellegrini as manager to replace David Moyes

The FC panel pore over the next manager odds for West Ham and Everton. Mark Ogden discusses David Moyes' departure from West Ham and Sam Allardyce's sacking at Everton. West Ham United have announced that Manuel Pellegrini has been named their next manager, replacing David Moyes. More to follow...

Read more May 22, 19:03

Manuel Pellegrini wants West Ham signings to begin era of attacking football

Manuel Pellegrini has targeted four or five signings to launch a blueprint of attacking football at West Ham United. Pellegrini, 64, signed

Read more May 22, 19:03

Nigeria to pay World Cup bonuses before DRC friendly

Nigeria players will in all likelihood become the first to receive their 2018 FIFA World Cup bonus payments. That is the word from Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick, who tells KweséESPN that the squad will receive their payments ahead of Monday's planned friendly against the Democratic Republic of Congo. The NFF and players agreed and signed a graduated bonus structure in November, which is in line with a FIFA directive for all such matters to be dealt with ahead of the...

Read more May 22, 15:09

Zidane: We have the same desire as Liverpool

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane insists his side have just as much hunger as Liverpool ahead of the UEFA Champions League final.

Read more May 22, 14:28

Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid winning Champions League would be 'damn great'

The ESPN FC crew discuss Jurgen Klopp's comments on the role experience will play in the Champions League final. Ahead of Saturday's final, take a look back at how the front three for Real Madrid and Liverpool have performed this Champions League season. Ahead of Saturday's final, take a look back at how the front three for Real Madrid and Liverpool have performed this Champions League season. Captain Sergio Ramos hopes Real Madrid can win third consecutive UEFA Champions League title. Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane insists his side have just as much hunger as Liverpool ahead of the UEFA Champions League final. Cristiano Ronaldo said it would be "damn great" to win a fifth career Champions League medal if Real Madrid beat Liverpool in Saturday's final in Kiev, Ukraine. Ronaldo won his first Champions League medal with Manchester United in 2009, and has added three more in recent years as Madrid lifted the trophy in 2014, 2016 and 2017. "It would be an historic moment," Ronaldo told Real Madrid TV on Tuesday. "We are excited -- the whole team. We do not realise completely the history we are making, and...

Read more May 22, 14:13

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah wouldn't get in Real Madrid side - Vicente Del Bosque

Ahead of Saturday's final, take a look back at how the front three for Real Madrid and Liverpool have performed this Champions League season. As Liverpool head to Kiev, a look behind the scenes at Anfield as Salah meets Lampard, van Djik nutmegs Lovren and ESPN meets Wijnaldum. Former Liverpool forward Michael Owen believes that if his former club win the UEFA Champions League, Mohamed Salah will deserve to win the Ballon d'Or award. The ESPN FC crew discuss Jurgen Klopp's comments on the role experience will play in the Champions League final. Vicente Del Bosque has said no Liverpool player, not even Mohamed Salah, would get into the Real Madrid team and predicted a 4-1 Madrid win in the Champions League final on Saturday. Del Bosque, a player and coach at Madrid, lost a European Cup final to Liverpool in 1981 but guided Los Blancos to Champions League triumph in both 2000 and 2002. The former Spain coach told "El Partidazo" radio show that even Egypt international Salah's 44 goals this season would not get him into the Madrid team. "Real...

Read more May 22, 13:44

The Final Word on Serie A: Paulo Dybala leads Juve, Atalanta surprise, Milan struggle

It's ironic that just as the national team hit rock bottom by failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years, the club game felt like it underwent a resurgence in Italy. This season in Serie A will live long in the memory. It had everything. The best title race in Europe's top five leagues which went back and forth until the end of April. Ultimately though, as Maurizio Sarri put it, the Scudetto was lost in a Florence hotel -- his Napoli players should have gone to bed earlier...

Read more May 22, 13:11

World Cup preliminary squads: Who will be on the plane to Russia?

Ian Darke leads the ESPN panel in predicting the 2018 World Cup winner with names of Germany, Brazil, France and England among the list. Joachim Low has a deep German squad with World Cup winning experience. Ian Darke leads the discussion as to why the Germans may once again be favourites. After humiliation on home soil for Brazil in 2014, Ian Darke and ESPN's expert panel feel redemption could be in the cards for Neymar and company. With the clock ticking on Lionel Messi's international career, Ian Darke poses the question whether Argentina have enough firepower to win the World Cup. Twenty years after winning the 1998 World Cup, the ESPN panel feel Didier Deschamps' man management will be crucial for France's World Cup hopes. Ian Darke asks ESPN's expert panel if Juan Carlos Osorio's Mexico, after bowing out in six straight round-of-16s, can overcome their World Cup curse. Ian Darke likens Belgium to a band who can never get a number one. The ESPN panel question if Roberto Martinez can get it right for Belgium's golden generation. While Portugal shocked the world at EURO 2016, Ian Darke and company feel Cristiano Ronaldo's aging side may not be able to punch above their weight. Despite England's recent struggles, Ian Darke and the ESPN panel are cautiously optimistic about England's World Cup chances. Ian Darke asks the ESPN panel which of the five African nations has the best chance of making a big splash at the 2018 World Cup. With the surprise factor gone for Iceland, the ESPN panel feel Iceland's lack of depth could cause them trouble at the World Cup in Russia. World Cup squads are being announced. Find out who is in contention before FIFA's final deadline on June 4; the tournament starts on June 14. Note: Squads below may vary in size ahead of the deadline for 23-man rosters to be submitted. Additionally, names are subject to change. ARGENTINA: 23-man squad -- Injury doubt Sergio Aguero is in, as is Paulo Dybala, but Mauro Icardi has been left out. Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Wilfredo Caballero (Chelsea), Franco Armani...

Read more May 22, 13:11

Brazil's Philippe Coutinho is famous because of his football

Philippe Coutinho's fame derives entirely from how he plays football. This is a profile of Philippe Coutinho, who is part of ESPN's World Fame 100. He does not have the fame of Neymar, nor the charisma of Daniel Alves or Marcelo. Philippe Coutinho's fame is nearly entirely associated with football. The youngster first appeared in Vasco showing promise. He went to Inter Milan without a lot of fanfare, and later in much the same fashion to Espanyol. But it was in Liverpool where he exploded. He became famous as a football player, and that made him a celebrity. The elite...

Read more May 22, 13:00

Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa has stood out in Europe and with El Tri

When Guillermo Ochoa takes the stage, he shows what he can do. This is a profile of Guillermo Ochoa, who is part of ESPN's World Fame 100. One of Mexico's storied goalkeepers, Guillermo "Memo" Ochoa has excelled under intense pressure on the World Cup stage with El Tri. As the starting goalkeeper for Club America at 18, Ochoa showcased cat-like reflexes in stopping shots that seemed impossible. In time, a number of prominent goalies lost their starting position to Ochoa, like Adolfo Ríos and then Argentine goalie Sebastian Saja. The young man with the...

Read more May 22, 13:00

Mooy features in AUS/NZ World Fame 100

Read more May 22, 12:51

Ronaldo tops ESPN World Fame 100

To find the 100 most famous athletes in the world, we started with 600 of the biggest names in sports, drawn from 68 countries. Real Madrid and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is No. 1. Read »

Read more May 22, 12:50

Ronaldo tops ESPN's World Fame 100

Read more May 22, 12:50

Man United's Marcus Rashford writes letter to city on bombing anniversary

Alejandro Moreno and Shaka Hislop question Jose Mourinho's positive outlook after Man United's loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup final. The ESPN FC panel rate the success of Jose Mourinho's time at Manchester United and discuss his relationship with Paul Pogba. Ander Herrera maintains that Man United were "the better team by far" in the FA Cup final, and feels the club is still headed in the right direction. Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford wrote a tribute to his home city on the anniversary of the Manchester Arena bombing. Twenty-two people were killed in a terror attack following an Ariana Grande concert. Manchester's two top-flight football clubs adopted the motto of "a city united" in the wake of the bombing. Rashford, from Wythenshawe in the south of the city, wrote on United's website of his memories of growing up in Manchester and what it means to him. The first time you...

Read more May 22, 12:10

Mexico's Javier Hernandez has followed his family's path to glory

Javier Hernandez has made the most of his soccer inheritance. This is a profile of Javier Hernandez, who is part of ESPN's World Fame 100. Soccer flows through his veins. His father and grandfather were professional soccer players, instilling the most popular sport in the world in him. He has followed their path to the point of becoming one of the most revered Mexican idols in recent years. Javier Hernandez has penned his story with remarkable passages in the Mexican national team, where he already ranks as the all-time leading scorer with 49 goals in 100...

Read more May 22, 12:00

Brazil's Dani Alves enjoys fame, gets people talking, liking and sharing

Dani Alves does a lot to get people talking, liking and sharing. This is a profile of Dani Alves, who is part of ESPN's World Fame 100. Dani Alves likes fame. And he does a lot to get people talking, liking and sharing. The social-network pages belonging to the Paris Saint-Germain defender are a paradise for his followers. There, Dani Alves shows his fashionable side through his new clothes and shoes. To some, he dictates fashion. To others, he is a little extravagant. For everybody, he is fun. And that is not all. It is there that Dani Alves shows his artistic...

Read more May 22, 12:00

Is Marcelo Brazil's best, most charismatic left-back?

Marcelo has established himself as one of the great left-backs in Brazil's history. This is a profile of Marcelo, who is part of ESPN's World Fame 100. The curly-haired boy who showed great promise with the youth sides at Fluminense has won over Europe. Make that, the world. Marcelo is charismatic, with an easy smile that has led nearly 25 million fans to follow his photos on Instagram. Marcelo has established himself as one of the great left-backs in Brazilian history. Many think he has eclipsed Roberto Carlos, who immortalized himself in that position. Both had great success...

Read more May 22, 12:00

Neymar cannot escape fame in Brazil, no matter where he goes

Neymar's face is pretty much inescapable across Brazil. This is a profile of Neymar, who is part of ESPN's World Fame 100. Neymar is the biggest celebrity in Brazil. He's bigger than any other actor, singer or sportsman. Neymar is the guy when you're talking about fame. No one there has more followers on social media. Neymar dominates on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. One picture of him, and there are millions of likes. One video and more millions of hearts appear. Fame begets fame, right? In the case of Neymar, yes. After all, between breakups...

Read more May 22, 12:00

Lionel Messi's achievements cannot yet be fully appreciated

The scale of Lionel Messi's achievements on the football pitch are too immense to appreciate in real time. This is a profile of Lionel Messi, who is part of ESPN's World Fame 100. We are not yet fully aware of the place that Lionel Messi has already carved for himself in the history of football. The scale of his achievements will be better appreciated after he retires from the sport. With his daily feats, Barcelona's star generates a false belief that it is simple to leave opponents behind, to assist when there's a wall in front, or to score using all possible resources. We are so used to seeing him...

Read more May 22, 12:00

Brazil's Philippe Coutinho is famous because of his football

Philippe Coutinho's fame derives entirely from how he plays football. This is a profile of Philippe Coutinho, who is part of ESPN's World Fame 100. He does not have the fame of Neymar, nor the charisma of Daniel Alves or Marcelo. Philippe Coutinho's fame is nearly entirely associated with football. The youngster first appeared in Vasco showing promise. He went to Inter Milan without a lot of fanfare, and later in much the same fashion to Espanyol. But it was in Liverpool where he exploded. He became famous as a football player, and that made him a celebrity. The elite...

Read more May 22, 12:00