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Time is now for Argentina

Copa America
 By Tim Vickery

Chile running out of time to turn it around in World Cup qualifying

The ESPN FC crew debate how difficult it is to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in South America and Chile's waning chances.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno explains why he believes one of the 'favourites' in CONMEBOL may miss the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Let's go round again!  All ten of South America's sides have now faced each other once in the continent's marathon World Cup qualification campaign.  On Tuesday they start playing the return games - which means a second chance to enjoy an intense Pacific derby between Chile and Peru.

When the final whistle blew on the first one, a year ago in Lima, Chile could hardly have been happier. They had just won their first ever major title, claiming the Copa America on home soil.  Did that...

 By Tim Vickery

Neymar's petulance puts Brazil in danger, while Uruguay top CONMEBOL

Brazil coach Tite has insisted that Brazil must learn to play without star man Neymar.

At the halfway point of World Cup qualifying, Brazil, Uruguay and Ecuador are looking good, Argentina are missing Messi and Chile are outsiders.

1. Brazil have to get a grip on Neymar

Things could hardly have gone better for Tite since taking over as manager of Brazil. His team have put together three victories, consolidating an attractive style of play and winning back their own supporters. It could hardly have gone better. But there is one problem: the behaviour of the star player.

In the 5-0...

 By Tim Vickery

Uruguay, Brazil look to solidify World Cup places in wide-open CONMEBOL

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said Venezuela will test his team in the top vs. bottom CONMEBOL meeting.

There is a striking coincidence in the fixture list as South America's marathon World Cup qualification campaign reaches the halfway stage Thursday. In the ninth round, the top half of the table take on the bottom half. The first five are up against the last five.

The highly competitive nature of the campaign is evidenced by the clash between the team at the top of the table (Uruguay, with 16 points) and the team at the bottom (Venezuela, with two). It has been only four months since these teams...

France need a boost; Southgate takes charge of England

Gerard Pique says the scoring prowess of Juventus and Napoli refutes the perception of Italian football as defensive.
Giampiero Ventura stresses the importance of Italy being prepared and focused for their clash against Spain.
Julen Lopetegui says Spain's lineup for their match with Italy is decided, and Diego Costa will be on the pitch.
Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci has said his side are mindful of Spain ahead of their World Cup 2018 qualifier.
Despite finding the departure of ex-manager Sam Allardyce disappointing, England's Gary Cahill feels it's time to move on.
Italy head coach Giampiero Ventura says the Spain team they're facing are much improved to the Spain that played in Euro 2016.

2018 World Cup Qualification picks back up during the October international break. Miguel Delaney looks ahead to the action.

New elements to an old rivalry in Turin, Italy v Spain (Thursday)

It would have been the game of the week anyway, but this meeting of international football royalty in Turin is all the richer because of the sub-plots to this particular fixture. The Spanish players are looking to avenge their Euro 2016 last-16 defeat to Italy, but even that motivation is complicated by the...

 By Tim Vickery

Messi's retirement among biggest takeaways from Copa Centenario

Might Lionel Messi have been shaping up to retire from international football even if Argentina had won the Copa Centenario? It is a possibility. The criticisms of the Argentine FA that he said he would outline after the tournament, and the way he said he had been thinking about his decision, could add up to a plan of jumping ship whatever happened at MetLife Stadium.

If this is the case, then Argentina's penalty shootout defeat to Chile -- and Messi's missed kick -- probably make a rethink more...

 By Arch Bell

Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez lead way in Copa America Best XI

ESPN's Kevin Negandhi reports on the news of Lionel Messi's announcement of his retirement from international football.

The Copa America Centenario is done and dusted, with Chile claiming their second major trophy in as many years, a 4-2 victory on penalties over Argentina. There were a number of stalwart performances from players throughout the tournament, yet only a select number made the ESPN FC Copa America Best XI.

GK David Ospina, Colombia -- Arguably the toughest decision of them all. Ospina had a very good tournament from start to finish for Colombia, including a massive save to deny Peru a late winner...