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Ronaldo and Messi at the 2022 World Cup? Don't bet against them

Ronaldo and Messi return to international duty, and it's not unthinkable that their eternal rivalry will stretch to the 2022 World Cup.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are back on Friday. It's been two-hundred and sixty-five days since we last saw them, each bowing out on the same day, at the same stage of the World Cup, likely with the same heartache.

Lionel Messi was in Kazan, where his Argentina side had let a 2-1 second-half lead slip in a wild, drunken shootout of a knockout game that saw France advance 4-3. Cristiano Ronaldo was in Sochi, a thousand miles away on the banks of the Black Sea, yet shoulder-to-shoulder with...

Playing two upfront becoming a viable approach again in the Premier League

The Exploding Heads review the weekend in the Premier League, including Swansea forgetting to turn on VAR and Millwall fan's actually caring.

The Premier League remains Europe's most international, multicultural top-flight league in terms of players and managers, and yet somehow there often seems to be a distinctly old-school feel to the football. For instance, Pep Guardiola has spoken of the importance of coping with winning second balls, while Jurgen Klopp has spoken about the need to deal with the inclement weather.

Tactically, things are somewhat different: We're in the age of false nines and gegenpressing, rather than long balls...

 By Shaka Hislop

Power Rankings: Messi ensures Barcelona stay in first, Liverpool climb

Premier League clubs are dominating this season's Champions League, but how do they fare in Shaka Hislop's latest power rankings?
Shaka Hislop chooses not to get drawn into comparisons between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi following the Argentine's 33rd La Liga hat trick.

Thanks to Lionel Messi's hat trick, Barcelona went 10 points clear in Spain at the weekend and stay at No. 1 in my Top 10!

Dropping out: 

Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV, which airs daily on ESPN+.

Answering the biggest questions of the international break: Are Germany finished? Can England stay on top?

Netherlands celebrate Van Dijk's goal vs Germany
Netherlands reaffirmed themselves as a footballing power last year in the Nations League and now will look to continue that positive momentum in Euro qualifying.

It is officially international break time, and contrary to the old and tired criticism that international breaks are boring, March's FIFA window offers up some major storylines and heavyweight matchups.

With Euro 2020 qualifying beginning this week and key late-round qualifying games in both CAF and CONCACAF, Nick Ames spans the globe to tell us what to watch for in this jam-packed international break ...

Will the Dutch add to Germany's misery?

Last year, in the Nations League, Netherlands...

ESPN FC  By ESPN

Messi gets standing ovation, tops Player Power Rankings ahead of James

Shaka Hislop chooses not to get drawn into comparisons between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi following the Argentine's 33rd La Liga hat trick.

It's not often a player gets a standing ovation ... from a stadium full of opposing fans. Such a plaudit is enough to top our Player Power Rankings. Our global editors pick their top 10 performers from the weekend.

Also receiving votes: Luis Alberto (Lazio), Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao).

Let us know what you think of the countdown by commenting on Twitter using #ESPNFCrankings.

Lionel Messi routinely delivers magic for Barcelona, but his third goal vs. Betis was interstellar

Here are three sentences whose words do no justice to the majesty of their content: In the depths of a molecular cloud, a star is born. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Lionel Messi chipped Pau Lopez in Barcelona's 4-1 win at Real Betis on Sunday.

All three of the above sentences represent events that are noteworthy on an intergalactic scale. They all mark moments where aliens, sitting peacefully in their suburban homes, looked up to the skies from their Sunday papers and said: "Things done changed."

Though...