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LIVE Transfer Talk: Real Madrid need to top Neymar fee to land ¬225m Eden Hazard

After Eden Hazard hinted at a Chelsea exit, the FC crew explain why it makes sense for him to join Real Madrid this summer. The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow along with our daily blog throughout the summer. Real Madrid’s double raid on Chelsea With reports of Real Madrid’s interest in Eden Hazard escalating, both Belgian newspaper HLN and England’s The Times say Chelsea value their star at €225 million, or £200m. Those numbers would eclipse the world-record €222m (£198m) fee that Paris Saint-Germain paid to land Neymar from Barcelona last summer. So if Real Madrid want to replace Cristiano Ronaldo this summer, they might have to spend more than double what they got for him from Juventus. HLN also reported Real ...

LIVE Transfer Talk: Real Madrid eye ¬250m Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois double swoop

After Eden Hazard hinted at a Chelsea exit, the FC crew explain why it makes sense for him to join Real Madrid this summer. The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow along with our daily blog throughout the summer. Real Madrid’s double raid on Chelsea Real Madrid are preparing a double bid of more than €250 million for Chelsea’s Belgian duo Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, according to HLN. Los Blancos will offer €225 million for Hazard and over €30m for Courtois. After losing Cristiano Ronaldo, the European champions are in the market for a new, exciting forward — while they have made a new goalkeeper one of their top summer priorities. Meanwhile, The Times claim Chelsea will demand in excess of £200m for Hazard if R...

World Cup from the Darke Side: Ian Darke’s hits and misses from Russia

ESPN’s Charlie Gibson puts a bow on Project Russia from a scintillating final, as France claimed World Cup glory. The 2018 World Cup has thrown up some great moments, but which are Ian Darke’s favourites? And what did he not like about Russia 2018? Best player: Kylian Mbappe’s Olympian speed and four goals for France made him the poster boy of the World Cup, but Luka Modric was a good choice for the Golden Ball. The Croatia captain produced inspired craft and excellence in his team’s run to the final. Best coach: France’s Didier Deschamps silenced his critics, but Belgium were the best team to watch. So this World Cup was a personal comeback concert for Roberto Martinez after his undignified exit at Everton. World Cup 2018 must-reads – World Cup fixtures...

World Cup best and worst: Our correspondents’ five weeks in Russia

The 2018 World Cup had some brilliant moments, but what did our correspondents on the ground in Russia think of the tournament? Here we run through some of the best and worst. Best game OGDEN: Nigeria 1-2 Argentina: This was win-or-bust for Argentina in Saint Petersburg, but it felt as though the whole nation turned up for this game, with 60,000 fans backing Lionel Messi and his teammates in the stadium. Messi scored a wonder goal and then Marcos Rojo sealed victory with a dramatic late winner, followed by Diego Maradona’s unfiltered celebration. A game that had everything. MARCOTTI: Spain 3-3 Portugal: What a way to begin the tournament! Spain shook off the Julen Lopetegui affair and played arguably the best football they played in the tournament. Diego Costa scored the most Diego C...

Top 10 ‘what ifs’ of the 2018 World Cup: Messi’s penalty vs. Iceland, Spain’s Lopetegui decision

ESPN’s Charlie Gibson puts a bow on Project Russia from a scintillating final, as France claimed World Cup glory. This World Cup, as with any major tournament, has hinged on some pivotal moments. But what if they had gone the other way. Here are 10 “What if…” moments from the last month in Russia… 10. Harry Kane had scored against Croatia In the end, there were a wide range of reasons for England’s defeat to Croatia: Gareth Southgate’s side not creating enough chances, inexplicably being outrun by a team who’d previously played two extra times, Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic. But in the first half, or at least for the first 20 minutes or so, they were well on top, and needed to score a second goal. Their best chance came when Harry Kane was put...

Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba lead World Cup team of the tournament

The FC guys answer your tweets about the controversies in the World Cup final, Paul Pogba’s performance and where the 2018 World Cup ranks all time. The World Cup is over, but who are the 11 best performers of the tournament? From the flying brilliance of England’s Jordan Pickford to the rapier speed of Kylian Mbappe, here’s who impressed us the most. ESPN FC’s World Cup team of the tournament. Goalkeeper: As England’s hero of the hour, Jordan Pickford helped the Three Lions banish their World Cup shootout curse by denying Colombia’s Carlos Bacca from the spot in the round of 16. The Everton goalkeeper was only elected to be No.1 on the eve of the tournament, but he was unfazed by the occasion, producing a series of stunning stops against Sweden and Croa...

MLS Power Rankings: New York City FC knocks Atlanta United off top spot

1. New York City FC Record: 12W-4D-4LWeek 19 ranking: 6 Three games, three wins for Dome Torrent as head coach of NYCFC. A 3-0 win over Columbus at home on Saturday put the New Yorkers just a point back of Atlanta in the Supporters Shield race, making things very interesting in the East. 2. LAFC Record: 10-5-4Week 19 ranking: 2 The Angelenos were stalemated by a red-hot Portland team in a clash of likely Western Conference playoff sides on Sunday. Carlos Vela’s return to the starting lineup showed promise of a big second half of the season for the Mexican star. 3. Atlanta United Record: 12-5-4Week 19 ranking: 1 Certainly a two-points dropped situation for the Five Stripes on Sunday after a 1-1 draw against the Sounders in front of another record crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Numero...

Thrilling World Cup gets fitting finale as France end Croatia’s dream run

Twenty years on from their first World Cup title, France are back on top of the footballing world following a 4-2 victory over Croatia. Twenty years on from their first World Cup title, France are back on top of the footballing world following a 4-2 victory over Croatia. The Kwese studio crew assess whether or not France were the most deserving team to lift the World Cup trophy in Russia. ESPN’s Charlie Gibson puts a bow on Project Russia from a scintillating final, as France claimed World Cup glory. Kwese’s Daniel Amokachi and Andrew Kabuura applaud France for their World Cup triumph and reflect on Croatia’s unexpected run to the final. Stewart Robson reflects on Paul Pogba’s performance at the World Cup and explains why the World Cup winner can become the best pla...

Transfer Talk: Chelsea plot Gonzalo Higuain move as Sarri era begins

With Maurizio Sarri’s appointment at Chelsea now official, Gab Marcotti explains what the former Napoli manager brings to Stamford Bridge. With Antonio Conte on his way out at Chelsea, ESPN FC’s Gab Marcotti reflects on the Italian’s tenure and what led to his undoing. The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow along with our daily blog throughout the summer. TOP STORY: Sarri era to begin fast with Higuain prime target Maurizio Sarri is the new Chelsea manager and he has already spent £57 million on Jorginho as his first signing, but there is plenty more to come it appears. The Mirror claims the Italian is prepared to sell both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud (who has just 12 months left on his contract) to make room f...

Croatia must make sure World Cup heartbreak leads to long-term success

ESPN’s Charlie Gibson puts a bow on Project Russia from a scintillating final, as France claimed World Cup glory. Stewart Robson reflects on Paul Pogba’s performance at the World Cup and explains why the World Cup winner can become the best player in the world. The stars came out for France as Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe all scored to help Les Bleus to their second-ever World Cup title. ESPN’s Alison Bender reports from outside Luzhniki Stadium with her key takeaways after France overpowered Croatia to win the World Cup. MOSCOW — Luka Modric collected his golden ball award, accepted the congratulations of Gianni Infantino and Vladimir Putin, and set off down the line of well-wishers in inscrutable fashion. Next to hail the World Cup’s best ...

France World Cup win proves Kylian Mbappe is the sport’s future king

ESPN’s Charlie Gibson puts a bow on Project Russia from a scintillating final, as France claimed World Cup glory. ESPN’s Alison Bender reports from outside Luzhniki Stadium with her key takeaways after France overpowered Croatia to win the World Cup. Stewart Robson reflects on Paul Pogba’s performance at the World Cup and explains why the World Cup winner can become the best player in the world. The stars came out for France as Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe all scored to help Les Bleus to their second-ever World Cup title. Stewart Robson breaks down France’s World Cup final victory over Croatia, which came on a night when they were often second best to the runners-up. MOSCOW — He is still only 19 years old but Kylian Mbappe has already gone o...

World Cup Closing Ceremony: Bongos, Ronaldinho, Will Smith star

It’s the Final, It’s France v Croatia and it is the final episode of Ballsupski. Find out who Anthony Richardson saves Ian Fiveankles or Monsieur Le. Before the real business got under way, there was the World Cup closing ceremony. Of course, social media reacted in its own unique way. Watching this on loop Quite frankly, one of the most surreal things I’ve ever seen at a World Cup. Ronaldinho on the bongo at the closing ceremony. pic.twitter.com/jeBX606Vuj — Jarrad (@guitarsandvinyl) 15 July 2018 We are not surprised by this  Roy Keane is not a massive fan of the closing ceremony… Watch the World Cup Final LIVE on @ITV pic.twitter.com/VueDtWtTHM — ITV Football (@itvfootball) 15 July 2018 When it’s not in a Louis Vuitton case … That trophy – sends ...