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Goalkeeper in midfield, only two defenders: Is Thiago Motta's 2-7-2 formation the future of football?

Tactics board
Four at the back? That's kids' stuff.

Having retired at the end of last season, Thiago Motta is currently employed as coach of the Paris Saint-Germain under-19 side, where he is charged with nurturing the club's stars of tomorrow.

In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport this week, the former Italy international was quizzed about his transition into management, and on the kind of tactical philosophy he has adopted as a coach.

Perhaps unsurprisingly as a former defensive midfielder, he admits he favours a "compact team" with a good...

Victor Lindelof teases Zlatan Ibrahimovic after scoring goal for Sweden

A goal in either half gave Sweden their first win over Russia in 20 years and ensured they finished top of their group in the UEFA Nations League.

Mover over, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden has a new soccer star.

After winning Sweden's Player of the Year award for 10 consecutive years, Ibrahimovic was pushed aside last week by Victor Lindelof, who won the individual award after a stellar World Cup and cementing himself in the heart of Manchester United's defence.

On Tuesday, Lindelof took even more of the spotlight, scoring in Sweden's 2-0 Nations League win over Russia.

And the 24-year-old couldn't help but poke fun at his countryman.

Just...

Virgil van Dijk deployed as STRIKER: Netherlands tactics vs. Germany revealed

The Netherlands trailed 2-0 with five minutes to play at Germany, but two late goals earned the Oranje a spot in the first Nations League finals.
Craig Burley and the FC crew reflect on Germany's inability to close out games and the fighting spirit of the Netherlands in their comeback draw.
Gab Marcotti and the FC crew break down Dutch duo Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong, a pair of Ajax stars catching the eyes of Europe's elite.

It took a stoppage time goal but Netherlands salvaged an important draw against Germany in the UEFA Nations League on Monday evening to book themselves a berth in the final tournament next June.

Virgil van Dijk provided the decisive goal, but only after the Liverpool defender was sent up front by Dutch coach Ronald Koeman in a desperate attempt to snatch parity from the jaws of defeat.

A closer look at Koeman's tactical note reveals his ploy to send Van Dijk up front, with the centre-back's name...

Wayne Rooney's sons pose for cute Christmas card photos to herald holiday season

Cass, Kit, Klay and Kai Rooney will star in the family's Christmas cards
Cass, Kit, Klay and Kai Rooney will star in the family's Christmas cards.

Rather than lurid decorations or mawkish TV ads, we choose to believe the true arbiter of the beginning of the festive season to be the annual Rooney family Christmas card.

With dad Wayne back in the UK for his international swansong recently, mum Colleen seized the chance to take the kids along to her photographer of choice and get the 2018 card done.

The four Rooney boys -- Kai, Klay, Kitt and Cass (from oldest to youngest) -- clambered into their matching pyjamas and posed for several suitably...

Worst misses ever? Striker has TWO shockers within seconds of each other

Lesotho forward Tumelo Khutlang's shocking miss vs Tanzania has to be seen to be believed
To miss one open goal is unfortunate, but to miss two just moments apart is... well, just ask Tumelo Khutlang.

Lesotho mustered a narrow win over Tanzania in the qualifying rounds of the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday, with a single goal from Nkau Lerotholi proving the difference between the two sides.

However, the Crocodiles might have been able to coast to a win with a lot less tension had Tumelo Khutlang converted a golden chance early on.

Rather impressively, Khutlang instead actually managed to squeeze not one, but two atrocious misses into roughly three seconds of utterly chaotic incompetence.

Good...

Sergio Ramos vs. Dejan Lovren: Real Madrid star 'likes' Instagram post trolling Liverpool rival

With Dejan Lovren's latest outburst towards Sergio Ramos causing a stir, our ESPN FC crew try to make sense of it all.

While hardly edifying for either player, the spectacularly petty war of words between Sergio Ramos and Dejan Lovren continues to rumble on into yet another new week.

The ill feeling between Ramos and several members of the Liverpool camp began during last season's Champions League final, wherein the Real Madrid captain tangled with Mohamed Salah and injured the Egypt forward's shoulder.

Several minor flare-ups have occurred since, before Lovren fully reignited the feud last month in an interview...