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For Messi, retiring is a nonverbal apology

Copa America
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Ramos: Messi picks worst time to "retire"

Lionel Messi
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Argentina should drop Angel Di Maria, add creativity to midfield vs. Croatia

Editor's note: This was originally published by ESPN Argentina. Read it here.

MOSCOW -- Argentina's 1-1 draw against Iceland in their World Cup opener left them with at least three certainties: They can (and need to) play much better; doubts persist regarding key positions; and "this is just the beginning," the phrase that has become the motto of both players and coach alike.

While the tie at Spartak Stadium is not a complete disaster, it confirmed that Argentina's group is not as simple as...

 By Arch Bell

U.S. could have flourished at 2019 Copa America but won't get a chance

Herculez Gomez cites a lack of accountability from the U.S. about missing the World Cup after comments from Alejandro Bedoya and Jurgen Klinsmann.

Once United States national team fans knew that their team would not be playing in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, among the many topics raised (besides revolutionary changes within U.S. Soccer, of course) was the date of the next tournament for the U.S. men's national team.

Although not as illustrious as the World Cup, the 2019 Copa America in Brazil could have been framed as the perfect tournament for a new generation of players to start turning the page after that night in Couva last October....

 By Tim Vickery

United States' Copa Centenario a turning point for CONCACAF's World Cup teams

Neymar gave a 7-year-old fan the surprise of a lifetime on Steve Harvey's talk show with a heartfelt message and signed Brazil jersey.

As the World Cup looms closer, a growing level of frustration in the United States soccer community would be understandable. But even though the U.S. national team will not be in Russia, the country can take some comfort from the role it played in shaping the road to the World Cup, especially as far as the South American teams are concerned.

Nowadays the Copa America is played every four years, kicking off a new cycle of competitive action. In the year after the World Cup there has been nothing...

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi show national pride amid differing fortunes

Both their summers ended in tears. Lionel Messi, devastated after losing to Chile in the Copa America Centenario, his third straight loss in an international final; Cristiano Ronaldo, stretchered off the field in the 25th minute of the Euro 2016 final, only to see his agony turn to tears of joy as Portugal defeated France to lift the trophy.

Portugal's success and Argentina's defeat means that Ronaldo now looks likely to take back that Ballon D'Or from Messi. He has achieved the one thing that...

Ronaldo beats Cristiano Ronaldo in modern era's most vital scorers

It is around the late stages of a tournament when you hear the football truisms: "It doesn't matter how you got there," "The results don't record performance." What matters -- the only thing that matters -- is that you pick up the trophy at the end, or so the argument goes. But there is one tournament award in which this argument isn't so straight forward: the Golden Boot.

At the 1994 World Cup, for example, both Hristo Stoichkov and Oleg Salenko won the Golden Boot. But did their six strikes apiece...

ESPN FC  By ESPN

FC Talking Points: Euro predictions, Bale vs. Ronaldo, Man Utd transfers

Football always inspires debate, and this weekend was no exception. Here are five burning questions -- have your say!

Vote and comment below or on Twitter using the hashtag #FCtalkingpoints.

The semifinals are set at Euro 2016, with Wales set to face Portugal on Wednesday, July 6, and Germany playing France on Thursday, July 7 (both at 9 p.m. CEST/3 p.m. ET on ESPN). 

The coaches and players will say Portugal-Wales is not all about Cristiano Ronaldo against Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale,...