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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Brazil development council: Stronger clubs will strengthen our football

Brazil have eyes to return their national team to the top of the game.

Brazil's clubs need to be strengthened, especially at the academy level, if the country is to recover its place among the game's elite, said a group of ex-players and coaches formed to improve the country's football on Monday.

The newly-formed Counsel of Strategic Development for Brazilian football met for the first time at confederation headquarters in Rio de Janeiro to discuss the direction of the sport in the country.

The group consisting of current national team coach Dunga, technical director...

Stefan Ishizaki leaves Los Angeles Galaxy to play in native Sweden

Stefan Ishizaki spent the past 1 1/2 seasons with the Galaxy.

CARSON, California -- LA Galaxy midfielder Stefan Ishizaki intends to sign with a team in his native Sweden after mutually parting ways with the Major League Soccer franchise.

Ishizaki and Galaxy coach Bruce Arena announced the veteran's decision last weekend and confirmed it on Monday.

The 33-year-old Ishizaki spent the last 1 1/2 seasons with the Galaxy, scoring six goals. He played a regular role as a midfielder on last season's MLS Cup champion team after spending nearly his entire pro career...

Russia's interest in football at an all-time low, according to poll

Despite being named host of the 2018 World Cup, Russia's interest in football has fallen to an all-time low.

MOSCOW -- Even as Russia prepares to host the 2018 World Cup, football's popularity there is plummeting to record levels.

According to figures released Monday by state-run pollster VTsIOM, 73 percent of Russians say they are "indifferent" to football, the highest proportion the pollster has ever recorded. The figure was only 43 percent 10 years ago.

Just eight percent of Russians said they were dedicated football fans, halved from 16 percent ahead of last year's World Cup in Brazil.

Sports Minister...

 By PA Sport

Micah Richards says injuries hampered his Manchester City career

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Steve Nicol assess Man City's potential transfer targets and predict which ones will end up at the Etihad.

Former Manchester City defender Micah Richards believes injuries prevented him realising his full potential with the club.

Richards was a key member of the side that won the Premier League title in 2012, but was then hit by a succession of problems while Pablo Zabaleta became first-choice right-back.

The 27-year-old spent last season on loan at Fiorentina before joining Aston Villa on a free transfer this summer, ending a 13-year association with City.

Richards told City TV: "I didn't ever expect...

Angelo Ogbonna, West Ham agree a deal, according to sources

Angelo Ogbonna failed to secure a starting spot at Juventus since moving from Torino in 2013.

West Ham United have agreed a deal with Juventus for defender Angelo Ogbonna, sources have told ESPN FC.

ESPN FC revealed earlier on Monday that West Ham were battling Premier League rivals Everton for the 27-year-old's signature, but now West Ham have moved into pole position to land the Italian international.

Juventus are willing to cash-in on Ogbonna as he has been unable to hold down a regular place in the side since his arrival from Torino on 2013.

West Ham have been tracking Ogbonna for some...