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Who might emerge -- as Messi once did -- at South America Under-20 Championships?

In 2005, South America's under-20 tournament proved a springboard for Lionel Messi to U20 Wrld Cup and global stardom.

Venezuela are the only South American nation never to have made it to a World Cup. But they are convinced that their time will come in 2022 -- and their optimism is based on much more than mere faith. Two years ago they went to the final of the Under-20 World Cup, where they missed a penalty before losing 1-0 to England.

In Venezuela, they believe this generation will carry them all the way to Qatar -- an illustration of the importance that South America attaches to its under-20 teams.

There is...

Marcelo has unfinished business at left-back before inevitable move to midfield

Real Madrid's Marcelo holds onto his place as the best left-back, but there's controversy amongst his challengers.

Back in 2006, when a teenage left-back called Marcelo made a huge impression with Fluminense in his home city of Rio de Janeiro, a consensus was already forming: this was a player whose long-term future was likely to be in midfield.

Thirteen years later, the consensus remains.

Many believe that he is still destined to feature in midfield. It will surely take place one day, but Marcelo is already 30; he has spent more than a decade as Real Madrid's left-back. Whatever happens in the future, he...

West Ham's Felipe Anderson making a strong case for a role with Tite's Brazil

Nathan Redmond's opener was cancelled out by a pair of goals from Felipe Anderson, who propelled West Ham over Southampton at St. Mary's.

The Felipe Anderson bandwagon is starting to roll.

The Brazilian, who arrived from Lazio in the summer, is suddenly exceeding expectations in his debut season with West Ham. There were fitful signs of promise in an uncertain start for him and Manuel Pellegrini's new look lineup.

After just one goal in his first 10 Premier League games, Anderson has now hit the target seven times in his last nine matches. Many of these have been match-winners -- like the pair against Southampton on Thursday night...

If the 2022 World Cup started today: Looking at the major nations

ESPN FC's Stewart Robson shares his thoughts on the team most likely to win the World Cup if it were to take place tomorrow.
Gianni Infantino believes Russia 2018 is the benchmark for Qatar to live up to at the 2022 World Cup.
Watch E:60's eye-opening segment on the migrant worker issues in Qatar.

The next World Cup is four years away, but if the tournament began today, how would the biggest countries line up? Further, what do they need to do between now and kickoff on Nov. 21, 2022?

We asked our writers to look into the future. Click on the flags below to see that nation.

ARGENTINA

Starting XI if the World Cup began today
Sergio Romero; Renzo Saravia, Juan Foyth, Nicolas Otamendi, Nicolas Tagliafico; Giovani Lo Celso, Leandro Paredes, Exequiel Palacios; Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala,...


Tite yet to find the right blend in Brazil's unsatisfactory win over Uruguay

Neymar reacts during Brazil's friendly win over Uruguay.
Brazil earned a friendly win over Uruguay without ever getting out of second gear.

Brazil's past two games have ended up in 1-0 wins over their historic South American rivals -- first Argentina, and now Uruguay. Even so, there is something unsatisfactory about the scenario, and not just because Argentina have a caretaker coach in charge of an experimental team and Uruguay's defensive resources were so depleted and the victory came as a consequence of a disputed penalty.

Much more important than results at this stage of the South American calendar are performances. As hosts...

Neymar penalty decides battle of big forwards as Brazil better Uruguay

Neymar's penalty was the difference in Brazil's 1-0 friendly win over Uruguay.

LONDON -- Three quick thoughts from Brazil's 1-0 friendly win over Uruguay at the Emirates Stadium on Friday.

1. Neymar decides battle of the forwards

You don't usually associate a game featuring Neymar, Luis Suarez, Roberto Firmino and Edinson Cavani with a cold, drizzly night in north London, but the Emirates played host to one of South America's most historic rivalries on Friday.

Brazil came out on top, beating Uruguay 1-0 in this slightly underwhelming friendly thanks to a contentious...