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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

CONCACAF has not agreed to back Michel Platini, says CFU chief

Michel Platini has announced he will run for the FIFA presidency, immediately beconing the clear favourite for the role.
Get up to speed with FIFA presidental candidate Michel Platini's amazing record as a player
Michel Platini will stand as a candidate to replace Sepp Blatter as the next president of FIFA, world football's governing body.

CONCACAF has not agreed to back FIFA presidential hopeful Michel Platini, the head of the influential Caribbean Football Union (CFU) told Reuters on Thursday, saying the claim was "just politics."

CONCACAF has 35 votes in the Feb. 26, 2015 election to replace outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

CFU president Gordon Derrick told Reuters that the governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean has not formally agreed to support Platini.

"I know that no one has spoken to us collectively,...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

West Ham call Enner Valencia's knee and ankle injuries 'significant'

With the Hammers largely overachieving in the first half of last season's Premier League campaign, it would seem the West Ham will be looking for consistency.

Enner Valencia suffered "significant" injuries to his right knee and ankle in Thursday's Europa League game, West Ham revealed on Friday.

The forward is set to see a specialist on Monday to determine the full extent of the damage.

"It is too early to put a timescale on how long Enner's recovery and rehabilitation period may be," West Ham said in a statement.

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West Ham already face a difficult trip to Romania on Aug. 6 to stay in the Europa League after Thursday's 2-2 draw at home against FC Astra,...

Premier League's top breakout players

Jordan Ibe could be poised for a big season for Liverpool in 2015-16.
Jordan Ibe could be poised for a big season for Liverpool in 2015-16.

The 2014-15 Premier League season was full of individual breakout performances. Tottenham striker Harry Kane rose from relative obscurity in 2013-14 to ranking second in the league with 21 goals, while other players like former Burnley forward Danny Ings simply took the success that they enjoyed in the lower divisions and translated it to the Premier League level.

These breakout performances require a mix of skill and opportunity. Players must not only be talented enough to compete in one of the world's most competitive leagues, but also fortunate enough to be in a club situation where there are significant minutes available at his position. These circumstances allow for young players to make a lasting early impression on their club, and from there each player must focus on remaining consistent throughout the long, intense Prem season.

Here is look at 10 players who are likely to have breakout seasons in the 2015-16 Prem campaign. As a baseline, all 10 of these breakout players are either joining the Prem from a non-top five European league (i.e. the English Championship), or have appeared in fewer than half of their team's games in one of Europe's top five leagues through 2014-15.


ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Fernando Torres says he'll fight for Atletico Madrid titles

The ESPN FC crew respond to your questions in regards to why Craig Burley has not made a big deal about the Fabian Delph saga and how many goals Fernando Torres will score next season.
Brazil left-back Filipe Luís talks about his return to Atlético Madrid after a season at Chelsea, and says the Premier League is much 'better organised' with more 'attractive' matches.
New Atletico Madrid signing Jackson Martinez has said that his new team can challenge Barca and Real for the Spanish title.
Atletico Madrid's marquee signing, Jackson Martinez, was unveiled in front of fans following his move from Porto.

Atletico Madrid forward Fernando Torres said he will fight for titles and that the club's performance level "should be better than last season."

Torres returned to his boyhood club in January after 7½ up-and-down years at Liverpool, Chelsea and Milan, in a loan deal involving both Chelsea and Milan in what he said was an effort to relaunch his career.

"It's difficult to arrive midway through the season, as I did last season. We all want to play, and in the end the coach's decision is fair,"...

 By Mike Whalley

Rickie Lambert completes move to West Brom after year at Liverpool

The ESPN FC crew discuss the impact that recent signing Christian Benteke will have for Liverpool.

West Brom have signed striker Rickie Lambert from Liverpool in a £3 million deal.

The striker, who has 11 England caps, signed a two-year contract at The Hawthorns on Friday.

Lambert, wearing the No. 17 shirt, went straight into the Albion squad for Friday's preseason friendly at League Two side Bristol Rovers, one of his former clubs.

Stevan Jovetic joins Inter Milan on loan from Man City, permanent deal agreed

Stevan Jovetic started just nine Premier League matches for Manchester City in 2014-15.
Stevan Jovetic scored 11 goals in 44 appearances for Manchester City.

Stevan Jovetic has joined Inter Milan in a move that could make Manchester City £14.25 million.

The Montenegrin moved to the 2010 Champions League winners on loan, but Inter are obliged to purchase the former Fiorentina forward at the end of his temporary spell.

Jovetic passed a medical in Milan on Tuesday after arriving in Italy on Sunday, bringing to an end his injury-hit two-year spell with City.