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France beware, sympathy for Neymar, importance of VAR

With the World Cup over, here's a look at what we've learned from the tournament - which includes a warning for the winners and sympathy for Neymar.

Michael Regan/FIFA via Getty Images

World Cup stock: Mbappe rises as Messi, Neymar fall

The World Cup always leads to a spike in value for some of its star performers. So whose stock has gone up and whose has gone down?

FIFA's legacy in Russia should be measured by the people, not politics

There are reasons to be cynical about the World Cup, but in the end, Russia 2018's legacy will be about the connections fans made with one another.

World Cup analysis

Is 'the new Paul Pogba' here to stay?

After Julien Laurens hails Paul Pogba's role in France's World Cup triumph, the FC crew examine whether the tournament was a new beginning for him.

3:54

Extra Time: Mbappe the real king of PSG? France in '18 or '98?

The ESPN FC team answer your tweets on Kylian Mbappe's stock at PSG, the 2018 France squad vs. the 1998 World Cup winning side and much more.

9:45

Assessing the World Cup Best XI

Julien Laurens takes issue with ESPNFC.com's omission of France's N'Golo Kante in their World Cup team of the tournament.

1:46

OTL: What Putin achieved with the World Cup

ESPN investigative reporter T.J. Quinn reflects on how Vladimir Putin used the World Cup as part of his geopolitical strategy.

4:26

Football Headlines

Juventus

Ronaldo Officially Arrives

Cristiano Ronaldo arrives at Juventus: How did he fare?

Cristiano Ronaldo was as genuine as he was convincing at his Juventus unveiling, a player who has won it all but still has plenty to prove.

Stefano Guidi/LightRocket via Getty Images

Ronaldo not obsessed with Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo said he is not obsessed with winning the Champions League but acknowledged he joined Juventus to help them claim the title.

Hysteria encompasses Juve upon Ronaldo's arrival

Juventus came oh so close to landing Cristiano Ronaldo 15 years ago. Now that the Old Lady finally has her man, Turin can't contain its excitement.

Marcotti: Juventus didn't bring in Ronaldo to win UCL

Now that Juventus have Cristiano Ronaldo, the FC crew assess the Old Lady's chances of reclaiming the Champions League title after 22 years.

2:36

Ronaldo: Age is irrelevant, I'm more motivated than ever

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo admitted he joined the Italian club as he wanted to challenge himself again and insists he win just as many trophies in Italy.

0:38

How Ronaldo's move to Juve raised eyebrows

After being unveiled as a Juventus player following his move from Real Madrid, ESPN take a look at how Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Turin unfolded.

3:16

Will Cristiano Ronaldo take Juventus to the next level?

With his official presentation complete, the FC guys discuss how far Cristiano Ronaldo can take Juventus domestically and in European competition.

4:26

France

The World Cup champions return home

Inside France's World Cup party: The Pogba Show takes over

How did the France players celebrate their World Cup success? Julien Laurens tells the story from the dressing room to the streets of Paris.

Getty

France celebrate World Cup: The story from streets of Paris

France celebrated their second World Cup success at the weekend. ESPN FC correspondent Jonathan Johnson was in Paris to soak in the raucous scenes.

Laurens: 2018 World Cup more special to France than 1998

Julien Laurens explains why France's 2018 World Cup title and the resulting celebration feels more special than Les Bleus' first title in 1998.

3:16

Ghana

Football

Kwadwo Asamoah confirms Black Stars return

Ghana midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah has confirmed that he will return to international duty in September after four years of self-imposed exile.

Football returns to Ghana after five-week absence

After five weeks without an official game, football returns to Ghanaian soil on Wednesday as Aduana Stars host AS Vita Club of DR Congo.

Transfer Talk

Transfer Talk: Benzema role under threat

Los Blancos need a top-level striker to replace the goal scoring void left by Cristiano Ronaldo and the could spell trouble for Karim Benzema.

Pulisic won't pay transfer rumours 'much attention'

Christian Pulisic said that he is focused on his preseason ahead of Borussia Dortmund's trip to the U.S. as transfer rumours continue to swirl.

Transfer Rater: Perisic to Man United; Higuain to Chelsea?

ESPN FC's Stewart Robson takes a look at the latest rumours in Transfer Rater, featuring Ivan Perisic, Gonzalo Higuain and more.

2:26

CAF Competitions

Sundowns stunned in Togo as Champions League bid falters

Mamelodi Sundowns' CAF Champions League hopes suffered a blow, after they lost 1-0 at Group C minnows AS Togo-Port in Lome on Tuesday.

Guide to the African Champions League pools

The group stages of the African Champions League resume on Tuesday after a two-month break as the battle for the quarterfinal places commences.

CAF Confederation Cup: Midweek Preview

The group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup resume on Wednesday following an extended break since May.

Liverpool

Cocksure Lovren must build on Croatia exploits for Liverpool

Dejan Lovren isn't short on confidence and he'll need that iron clad self-belief to remain a fixture in Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool XI.

Robson: Alisson would make Liverpool title challengers

ESPN FC's Stewart Robson explains why the goalkeeping position is so pivotal for Liverpool's chances at winning the Premier League this season.

1:39

Lack of depth means Sturridge must stay

Liverpool have few options behind Roberto Firmino beyond youngsters full of potential, which is why it's imperative the Reds keep Daniel Sturridge.

NFF Crisis

NPFL suspended indefinitely due to NFF crisis

Nigeria's ongoing football crisis has taken another twist with the LMC suspending the NPFL indefinitely.

Giwa and Dalung must take responsibility if Nigeria face ban

Nigeria may imminently face the real prospect of a ban from FIFA, and Christopher Giwa and Solomon Dalung must be held accountable.

Infantino: Nigeria risk FIFA ban after domestic turbulence

Gianni Infantino has stated that Nigeria risk a FIFA ban if the Nigeria Football Federation's leadership continues to be compromised.

Manchester United

Will World Cup be catalyst for Pogba in red?

Mourinho pays Ajax-bound Blind heartfelt tribute

Man United boss Jose Mourinho has branded Daley Blind "one of the most professional players he has ever worked with" ahead of his return to Ajax.

Manchester United's new kit revealed

Manchester United have launched their new home kit for the 2018-19 season, which the club are using to mark their 140th anniversary.

Pogba can enjoy World Cup glory, then lead Man United

When Paul Pogba returns to his club after a well-deserved holiday, Man United fans will want to see the player who inspired France in Russia.

Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Arsenal

Football

Arsenal greats regret Wilshere West Ham move

Former Arsenal star Ray Parlour says he's "gutted" that Jack Wilshere left the club, but he understands why the midfielder left to play regularly.

Boreham Wood a fitting place to start Emery era

Arsenal's relationship with non-league Boreham Wood goes back nearly 20 years, so it was a welcome place to start Unai Emery's Gunners tenure.

Wenger: I love Bob Marley

The former Arsenal boss (still feels weird, writing that ...) opened up about his musical tastes and guilty pleasures.

Chelsea

Can Blues hold on to Hazard?

Will Sarri turn Chelsea around like he did Napoli?

Stewart Robson delves into how Maurizio Sarri transformed Napoli and what he'll need to do to replicate a similar turnaround at Stamford Bridge.

3:02

Chelsea want Hazard stay as Real loom - sources

Chelsea's focus is on keeping Eden Hazard despite the Belgian's recent comments fuelling speculation of a move to Real Madrid, sources told ESPN FC.

Chelsea's new midfield pecking order

Jorginho's importance to Maurizio Sarri shifts Chelsea's midfield pecking order significantly, with some likely to face a reduction in playing time.

Transfer Talk

Blind leaves Man United to rejoin Ajax

Sources told ESPN FC the fee for the 28-year-old is £14.1 million, possibly rising to £18.5m with add-ons, giving United a slight profit.

Transfer Talk: Hazard would top Neymar fee

Los Blancos need an elite star to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo and are in the market for a new top class goalkeeper.

Transfer Rater: Cillessen to Liverpool; Courtois to Real?

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop breaks down the latest rumours making the rounds in Transfer Rater, involving Jasper Cillessen, Thibaut Courtois and more.

3:31

South Africa

Transfer news and insight

Sundowns secure Lakay capture from Cape Town City

South African league champions Mamelodi Sundowns have completed the signing Lyle Lakay from Cape Town City, completing a four-year pursuit of him.

Maritzburg sign Masegela from French side Ajaccio

South African side Maritzburg United have announced the signing of two new players, including former junior international Tholang Masegela.

SA's Jordaan hoping for FIFA General Council seat

SAFA President Danny Jordaan is seeking election to the FIFA General Council in September as a replacement for Ghana's Kwesi Nyantakyi.

2018 FIFA World Cup

Kane thanks teammates after winning Golden Boot

Six goals were enough for Kane to claim the award by a convincing two-goal margin ahead of France pair Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe.

Dan Mullan/Getty Images

The best and worst of 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?

Ian Darke's World Cup hits and misses

The 2018 World Cup is over, but which moments were Ian Darke's favourites? And what did he not like about Russia 2018?

Thrilling World Cup gets the finale it deserves

Didier Deschamps got France's stars to buy into his work ethic, and the result was glory in Russia, but not before Croatia pushed them all the way.

Mbappe shows why he's the future king

When Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi retire, Kylian Mbappe will be the sport's leading light and there's no limit to what he can do from here.

This must be just the beginning for Croatia

After the pain of falling short against France subsides, it's vital that Croatia channels its emotions into ensuring this isn't their last final.

Extra Time: World Cup final special

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.

7:53

SC: Takeaways from the World Cup final

Stewart Robson shares his reflections on the World Cup final following France's 4-2 victory over Croatia in Moscow.

2:43

Paris Celebrations

Police arrest 102 in Paris WC celebrations

Police in Paris said they arrested 102 people celebrating France's victory in the World Cup final after demonstrations began to turn violent.

Chelsea

Maurizio Sarri Appointed Manager

Can Sarri's charisma, poetic football help Chelsea rebuild?

Maurizio Sarri might not look the part for Chelsea, but his charisma and poetic brand of football will be fascinating to watch as Chelsea rebuild.

Sarri's to-do list at Chelsea topped by Hazard, Courtois talks

There will be no honeymoon period for new Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri as he acclimatises to life as Antonio Conte's successor.

What are Chelsea getting in Maurizio Sarri?

With Maurizio Sarri's appointment at Chelsea now official, Gab Marcotti explains what the former Napoli manager brings to Stamford Bridge.

1:13

Marcotti: Chelsea was a learning curve for Conte

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.

4:18

Extra Time: Conte a Top 5 manager? Griezmann or Neymar?

The FC guys answer your tweets on Luka Modric, Antonio Conte's standing among top managers and their preference between Griezmann and Neymar.

6:59

Chelsea's managerial merry-go-round

After Antonio Conte and Chelsea parted ways, ESPN take a look at the managers to have fallen during the Roman Abramovich era.

1:07

Real Madrid

Madrid players meet Lopetegui at training

While Cristiano Ronaldo was completing his €100 million move to Juventus, 14 Real Madrid players underwent medical and fitness tests in Madrid.

James won't make early Madrid return

James Rodriguez will not leave Bayern Munich to return to Real Madrid a year before the end of his two-year loan.

'No intention' of Neymar bid, Madrid insist

Real Madrid have said they have "no intention" of pursuing a move to sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.

Transfers

Transfer Talk: Sarri plans Higuain reunion at Chelsea

Maurizio Sarri is reportedly prepared to sell both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud to make room for Gonzalo Higuain. Transfer Talk has the latest.

Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Liverpool sign Swiss star Shaqiri from Stoke

Liverpool have completed the signing of Xherdan Shaqiri, the Merseyside club announced on Friday.

West Ham unveil record signing Felipe Anderson

Get a first look at Felipe Anderson in West Ham colours as he becomes the Hammers' record signing.

0:55

Nicol: Shaqiri will need an attitude change at Liverpool

Steve Nicol explains why Xherdan Shaqiri's attitude worries him after the Swiss star completed a move to Liverpool from relegated Stoke City.

2:12

Would a Barcelona move make sense for Kante?

Gab Marcotti says N'Golo Kante wouldn't fit at Barcelona, but Craig Burley and Shaka Hislop think he could be a replacement for Sergio Busquets.

2:15

DC united

Rooney makes MLS debut

Rooney, DCU take shaky first step into promising new era

Wayne Rooney's Major League Soccer career got off a winning start. For his club, D.C. United, it was a shaky first step into a promising new era.

Rooney provides assist in D.C. United debut win

D.C. United forward Wayne Rooney made his Major League Soccer debut in a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday.

Hazard, Belgium deservedly grab bronze

In a match with little intrigue, Belgium were the better side against England with Eden Hazard outclassing Raheem Sterling the most glaring example.

Spurs duo Kane, Rose disappoint vs. Belgium

England were left frustrated against Belgium in the third-place game, notably Harry Kane, who failed to score for the third straight game.

Belgium's 10-pronged attack, Kane's open play struggles

Belgium cruised to their sixth victory in Russia, beating England 2-0 to secure third place at the World Cup. ESPN brings you the best numbers.

Barcelona

Everton in Mina talks with Barca - sources

Everton are in talks with Barcelona over a deal for Colombian defender Yerry Mina, sources close to the the Premier League club have told ESPN FC.

Yerry Mina: I'm happy at Barcelona

Yerry Mina opens up about his future with Barcelona, as rumours continue to swirl over a possible move to Everton.

0:30

Lenglet 'would love' Rabiot to join Barcelona

Lenglet, 23, penned a five-year deal with Barca on Friday after the club executed his €35.9 million release clause to bring him in from Sevilla.

Premier Soccer League

Solinas is a solid choice for Chiefs

Kaizer Chiefs fans may feel a little underwhelmed after Italian Giovanni Solinas was named as the club's new coach on Friday, but shouldn't be.

Kaizer Chiefs unveil Giovanni Solinas as coach

Kaizer Chiefs have unveiled Italian Giovanni Solinas as their new coach, ending months of speculation over who would take over at Naturena.

Fresh Sundowns resume stuttering Champions League campaign 

Mamelodi Sundowns resume their CAF Champions League campaign on Tuesday, when they travel to West Africa to face AS Togo-Port.

Morocco

Atlas Lions On The Move

Dortmund secure first refusal on Hakimi

The Morocco defender joined BVB on a two-year loan deal on Wednesday, and the German giants have also negotiated first refusal on the defender.

El Kaabi seals Hebei China Fortune switch

The Chinese Super League side have signed the Morocco international from Renaissance Berkane.

Nigeria

Onyekuru completes Galatasaray loan switch

The 21-year-old failed for a second successive year to qualify for a work permit to play in the English Premier League, and the move means he will play outside of Belgium for the first time since 2015.

EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

NPFL goal king Okpotu joins Difaa El Jadida

The Moroccan side have signed the reigning NPFL top scorer from Lobi Stars on a three-year deal.

Sadiq excited to work with Gerrard at Rangers

Umar Sadiq has revealed that the allure of working under Steven Gerrard was influential in his decision to sign for Glasgow Rangers.

Major League Soccer

Rooney talks before debut

D.C. United's Rooney: Everton 'happy for me to leave'

Wayne Rooney spoke exclusively to Taylor Twellman about the circumstances behind his summer move. He's set to make his MLS debut on Saturday as D.C. United open its new stadium, Audi Field, against the Vancouver Whitecaps (8 p.m. ET, ESPN+).

Rooney: Bosses need more faith in English youth

Wayne Rooney says England will find more international success if foreign coaches have "a little bit more faith in young English players."

Exclusive: Rooney opens up over Everton exit

ESPN's Taylor Twellman sits down with Wayne Rooney to speak about how his exit from Everton all went down.

2:00

Algeria

Riyad Mahrez Joins Manchester City

Inside Riyad Mahrez's first day - Via Man City

10:05

Mahrez: Signing for City a big step for me

After finally sealing a move to Manchester City, Riyad Mahrez says he has to perform and show that can play at the top level.

0:32

Africa's ten most expensive players

Where does Manchester City new boy Riyad Mahrez rank among Africa's most expensive transfers in history?

2018 FIFA World Cup

Watch All Matches Live On Kwesé TV

Man United stars put on a show in World Cup knockout rounds

Seven Man United players are in the World Cup through the weekend, but none has impressed Gary Neville quite like Ashley Young and Jesse Lingard.

Belgium's Meunier: 'We are better than England'

Belgium defender Thomas Meunier says his side are better than England and believes finishing third is the minimum requirement for his side.

Balotelli uses England exit to hit back at 'insults'

Mario Balotelli responded to England's World Cup exit with a message on Instagram in which he said it was payback to all those who had insulted him.

Instagram @mb459

England are no longer a laughing stock

England came up short against Croatia, but overall, they've turned a corner from being "home before the postcards" at major tournaments.

Self-deception, lies get Croatia to final

England's collective mind got fuzzier as the game went on. Croatia's, somehow, seemed to grow clearer, scything through pain, fatigue and errors.

Russia 2018 can't be a false dawn for England

England surprised everyone at the World Cup, including themselves. The foundation of something great is in place, but that's been said before.

Project Russia: Has VAR been a success?

Various ESPN FC correspondents and fans weigh in on VAR and its impact at the World Cup in the latest episode of Project Russia.

2:44

Arsenal

Emery didn't guarantee Wilshere's Arsenal place

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has confirmed that he couldn't offer Jack Wilshere a regular starting role for next season.

Emery: Leno to battle Cech for No. 1 spot

Gunners boss signed Bernd Leno, despite having Petr Cech and David Ospina, but insists he has not decided who will start the campaign.

Ozil affected by Turkey fallout - Wenger

Germany were knocked out of the group stage in Russia and Ozil received criticism for a controversial photo with the Turkish president.

German Bundesliga

Dortmund transfer moves reflect philosophical shift

There's a lot of talk of change at BVB following a dip in performance. Technical skill is now less prized than strong mentality and the will to win.

TF-Images via Getty Images

Bayern plan to keep Thiago - Salihamidzic

Spain international Thiago, 27, signed from Barcelona in 2013 and has won five successive Bundesliga titles and the DFB Pokal twice.

Lewandowski decides on Bayern stay - report

Robert Lewandowski has had a change of heart and now wants to stay at Bayern Munich next season, according to Bild.

Manchester United

News

Man United announce club's first sleeve sponsor

The Red Devils agreed new a long-term deal with a U.S.-based lifestyle brand and will have a second sponsor along with car manufacturer Chevrolet.

Man United begin training before U.S. tour

Anthony Martial, Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind have returned to training at Manchester United amid doubts over their futures at Old Trafford.

Man United youth pair sign new contracts

The pair had seen their existing deals expire on June 30 but have now agreed fresh terms to extend their stays at Old Trafford.

Liverpool

Liverpool's new kit inspired by PES '19

Liverpool unveiled their third kit for the upcoming season on Thursday by using footage from video game Pro Evolution Soccer 2019.

Shaqiri to Liverpool makes sense for Klopp

Xherdan Shaqiri is a no-brainer for Liverpool. He's available for a reasonable fee and could provide strong competition for Jurgen Klopp's squad.

Liverpool discuss Shaqiri with Stoke - source

Liverpool have opened talks with Stoke City over a potential transfer for Xherdan Shaqiri, who is keen to remain in the Premier League.

Ghana

Partey opens door to Premier League move

The Atletico Madrid midfielder has revealed that he's keen to test himself in the English top flight one day.

CAF hands Ghana U-20 extension

Ghana's 2019 Africa Youth Championship qualifier against Benin has been postponed for two weeks by CAF.

One month on, Ghana football remains in limbo

It has been the most chaotic month in Ghana football and, ominously for clubs, officials and fans, there seems to be no immediate end in sight.

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Hazard: I'd rather lose than win with France

Eden Hazard criticised France's playing style after Belgium's 1-0 defeat in a World Cup semifinal on Tuesday.

Belgium's golden generation miss best chance to win World Cup

The golden generation has blown its best chance to take that title to its logical conclusion.

France frustrate Belgium and book World Cup final spot

Belgium's stars stumbled when it mattered, and their form vanished as France showed impressive character to win 1-0 en route to the World Cup final.

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