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EXCLUSIVE: Sykes chats with ESPN FC

 By Chris Wright

Wolverine - aka Hugh Jackman - gets his claws on Champions League trophy

Social media erupted with Ranieri's sacking, Villarreal meet the Pope and much more in The Sweeper.
Relive Claudio Ranieri's best moments during his unforgettable season that saw Leicester City crowned league champions.

The Champions League trophy has been lifted by some incredibly famous hands over the years, with the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho and David May all getting their paws on UEFA's grand prize.

However, the iconic cup was hoisted aloft by two of the most easily-recognisable hands in the world on Friday morning, not least because they usually have eight-inch blades jutting out from the knuckles.

Indeed, Marvel superhero Wolverine -- or actor Hugh Jackman, as he's known professionally...

 By Nicolas Anil

Mehmet Durakovic takes over at Perak after Karl Heinz-Weigang exit

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey gives an inside look at the 2015 Malaysia Cup final as Selangor were crowned champions for the 33rd time.
New Perak boss Mehmet Durakovic last coached in the MSL with Selangor in the 2015 season.

Former Australia international Mehmet Durakovic has been appointed Perak coach after Karl Heinz-Weigang officially left the silver state side on Wednesday, leaving many fans shocked by his exit.

Durakovic's appointment comes after Weigang led the Bos Gaurus to a stunning 2-1 win over Johor Darul Ta'zim in the Malaysia Super League last Saturday.

The victory at a full-house Perak Stadium ended the reigning champions 25-match MSL unbeaten run and lifted Perak to equal second, only a point behind leaders...

Golden Boot winner Ash Sykes opens up about W-League finals, Matildas

Ashleigh Sykes
Canberra United striker Ashleigh Sykes won this year's W-League Golden Boot Award with 12 goals.

What a shame winning trophies doesn't pay the bills.

Last Saturday, Ashleigh Sykes had her shooting boots on, scoring a double in Canberra United's 7-2 win over Melbourne Victory which not only secured the W-League premiership for Canberra but also took Sykes' individual goal tally to 12, confirming her as the Golden Boot winner for Season 9 of the Australian W-League.

After the weekend however, it was business as usual for the reigning Player of the Year, back to work at "Coffers" -- the cafe under...

 By Rob Brooks

World Cup qualification is the most important task for Australian football

The past 12 months have been a topsy-turvy affair for Australian football, but with crucial international matches on the horizon and the stakes continually rising in club land, there's plenty to wish for as we begin 2017.

Here are five wishes to help Australian football grow toward its potential:

1. World Cup qualification

The prize every nation is vying for in 2017 is a ticket to Russia 2018, and the Socceroos are no different. A fourth consecutive World Cup appearance is in the offing if Ange Postecoglou...

 By Jason Dasey

Ex-Benfica junior Patafta now Lanexang United GM, targets A-League

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey catches up with former Australian footballer and current Lanexang United general manager Kaz Patafta.

In a crisp white shirt, with black suit and tie, the baby-faced general manager had a familiar look about him as he mingled with other Asian football bosses at last week's AFC draws at the Petaling Jaya Hilton.

At the age of just 28, Kaz Patafta might well have expected to be wearing yellow as part of Australia's ongoing 2018 AFC World Cup qualifying campaign. His former national junior teammates Robbie Kruse, Matt Spiranovic and Nathan Burns, also born in 1988, are key members of the current squad.


ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

Argentina, Netherlands, Japan and Ghana in danger of missing World Cup

With 12 months to go before we know the 31 teams who will join hosts Russia at the 2018 World Cup, we take a look at some of the major nations and familiar names who appear to have a battle on their hands to make the finals.

Argentina and Chile

Argentina's 3-0 defeat in Brazil last week left them facing a huge crisis in their qualification bid. However, victory at home to Colombia on Tuesday averted this for now, as at least that win left them fifth and that offers a playoff against the winners of...