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Real Madrid arrive in UK as kids 'taught to live and play the Real Madrid way'

Sid Lowe believes the ability of Real Madrid's stars to come through when it counts could prove vital for their La Liga title hopes.

LONDON -- Following a glittering career in which he bagged six La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, two UEFA Cups and made it to 10th on the all-time list of Real Madrid top scorers (123 goals in 341 games), Emilio Butragueno is accustomed to stepping out onto more hallowed turf than a soggy south London football pitch surrounded by rowdy youngsters.

But for the former Real Madrid and Spain legend, who terrorised defenders and earned the nickname El Buitre (The Vulture) before retiring in 1998, this...

 By Nick Miller

Jack Wilshere's once promising career remains in limbo after England snub

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop has his say on Jack Wilshere and links with Pep Guardiola and Manchester City.

Eddie Howe seemed baffled. When he was asked about Jack Wilshere's omission from the England squad to face Germany and Lithuania, the Bournemouth manager said: "Am I surprised? Yes because of the quality of the player Jack is."

Howe's confusion would be a little easier to take at face value if Wilshere had been in the Bournemouth team recently. Instead, the Arsenal loanee was on the bench for their trip to Old Trafford at the start of March and after that creditable 1-1 draw, that was where...

 By Tim Vickery

Tite's Brazil pass another test with superb comeback win over Uruguay

Paulinho admitted his surprise after scoring a hat-trick against Uruguay in their World Cup Qualifier in Montevideo.
Brazil celebrated an unlikely 4-1 victory at Uruguay on Thursday.
Tite has Brazil dancing to his tune as they continue their splendid run in the World Cup qualifying campaign.

Brazil are not yet mathematically over the line -- it is still possible to draw up a sequence of results that would leave them in sixth place, meaning they'd miss the trip to the World Cup in Russia next year. But effectively they are home and dry after their series of consecutive wins under coach Tite stretched to seven -- and the latest was the most impressive of the lot.

There was one test that Tite's men had yet to pass -- how would they react to going a goal down? It happened Thursday against...

 By Shaka Hislop

Juventus remain top of the Power Rankings, but watch out for Monaco

Nuno Espirito Santo has insisted that Juventus could go on to win the Champions League after knocking out his Porto side.
The FC guys discuss Juve's place among the Champions League favourites as they take an unbeaten record into the quarterfinals.

As clubs take a break over the international break, the state of play atop the Power Rankings remains much the same. But watch out for Monaco...

1. Juventus (no change)

Max Allegri's side headed into the international break with a win at Sampdoria and currently lead Serie A by eight points with nine games remaining. Such a cushion should enable them to focus fully on their Champions League quarterfinal vs. Barcelona.

2. Bayern Munich (no change)

Like Juve, Bayern are very much champions-elect...

England's Harry Kane reliance shows vs. Germany, may hurt them in Russia

Tottenham and England's Harry Kane remains upbeat despite suffering an ankle injury.
Tottenham and England's Harry Kane remains upbeat despite suffering an ankle injury.

DORTMUND, Germany -- If there can be such a thing in professional sport, England suffered a "positive defeat" against Germany in Dortmund on Wednesday.

Gareth Southgate's team showed signs of being able to adapt to an unfamiliar defensive formation with three at the back, their use of the ball was an improvement on recent encounters with elite opponents, and the likes of Adam Lallana, Dele Alli and Eric Dier all underlined their growing importance within England's World Cup plans.

But with Southgate's...

 By Sam Kelly

Can Argentina overcome their distractions to get vital win vs. Chile?

Alejandro Moreno calls on Argentina's star players to deliver strong performances to overcome Chile in World Cup Qualifying.
ESPN Deportes' Ricardo Ortiz and ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno dissect Argentina's struggles in World Cup Qualifying.

Another international date means another chance for Argentina to confront familiar obstacles. Thursday's opponents in Buenos Aires are Chile, who have done much to become the Albiceleste's bogey team in recent years but are not the only thing standing in their way; Argentina must also face pressure from public expectation, increased media attention due to the players' boycott, and the mental block that affected the side at times during the second half of 2016.

Argentina's start to life under Edgardo...