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France find set-piece success vs. Iceland

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ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

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

Alejandro Moreno talks how Brazil and Argentina are looking following the latest round of World Cup qualifiers.

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...

Italy lack the world-class strikers of generations past

The FC crew debate Giovinco's future prospects for Italy after Giampiero Ventura criticised the quality of MLS.
Alison Bender and Gabriele Marcotti discuss whether Sebastian Giovinco deserves to be in the Italy squad.
Alison Bender and Gabriele Marcotti discuss the news that Mario Balotelli has been overlooked for a place in the latest Italy squad.

The great Gigi Riva turned 72 this week. One of the gifts he received couldn't be opened; it had to be played. Italy captain Gigi Buffon recorded a special video message for one of the greatest, if not the greatest striker to ever wear the blue shirt of Italy and it revealed the great affection and high regard he is still held in more than 40 years after his retirement from international duty.   

"Hey Big Gigi," Buffon said, smiling. "Today's a special day. A legend is another year older....

 By Tim Vickery

A tribute to Brazil legend and 1970 World Cup hero Carlos Alberto

Steve Nicol and Stewart Robson reflect back on the memorable career of the late Carlos Alberto.

The man who scored the perfect goal has died.

Carlos Alberto Torres, captain of Brazil's 1970 World Cup winning team, passed away in his native Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday at the age of 72. And if Saint Peter is a football fan, then Carlos Alberto will not have the slightest problem getting through the pearly gates. Because in magnificent style he rounded off one of the game's most iconic, most joyful moments.

Encapsulated in a few seconds towards the end of the 1970 World Cup final are all the elements...

Wayne Rooney captain debate is silly, Kimmich ace for Germany, Spain OK

ESPN FC's Craig Burley says Wayne Rooney's current form and style of play slow down the youngsters in the England squad.

One of the side effects of living in London and caring about football is that you're never far away from the Wayne Rooney debate. That applies to both versions: the Manchester United one and the England one, which has the delightful coda of also being a captaincy debate.

With this being an international break, the focus was firmly on the latter. Some papers called for him being stripped of the captaincy in favor of John Stones. Others revealed that he was going to be dropped for Tuesday's clash...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Barcelona's Gerard Pique to call time on Spain career after Russia

ESPN FC's Ross Dyer takes us on a journey through a special international break edition of the Sweeper.
Spain finally found their rhythm in the second half with goals from Diego Costa and Nolito to down Albania 2-0.

Here are the latest stories for Monday.

SPAIN: Gerard Pique says the 2018 World Cup in Russia will be his final tournament with Spain because he feels he is not wanted in the national team by some.

- AS has apologised to Pique for fuelling the suggestion he had cut the Spain colours off his sleeves while playing for La Roja on Sunday. 

- Spain and Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos will miss a month of action after suffering a knee injury in La Roja's 2-0 defeat of Albania in World...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger not a fit for England - Robert Pires

Alejandro Moreno equates Arsene Wenger's time with Arsenal to a long-standing relationship you just can't walk away from.

Here are the latest stories for Thursday.

ENGLAND: Robert Pires believes Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger may be turned off the England job by a lack of hands-on management, adding: "I don't know what happens but it would be a good opportunity for England, I don't know [if it would be] for Arsene Wenger."

- John Stones says under-fire Wayne Rooney remains key for England in this period of change for the national team and their captain, calling the skipper a "massive" part of the team.

- Association...