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Sympathy for Dick Advocaat

Marcotti's Musings

UEFA Nations League finals: Don't write off England but Portugal are favourites

The last time Portugal hosted a major tournament, a teenage Cristiano Ronaldo ended up in tears after the hosts fell to a shock defeat against Greece in the final of Euro 2004. It has pretty much been an upward curve since then for the Juventus forward in terms of his club career, with Manchester United and then Real Madrid -- with five Champions League winners' medals -- but on the international stage, even Portugal's surprise success at Euro 2016 was tarnished for Ronaldo due to the player being...

Memphis Depay's cringeworthy freestyle rap marks five million Instagram followers

Memphis Depay has treated his legion of fans to a freestyle rap as thanks for pushing him beyond the five million follower mark on Instagram.

Filmed on location in Paris, the Lyon forward has also produced an accompanying video to go with it.

Smoking a cigar and jigging about in front of the Eiffel Tower while wearing one of his custom-made velvet blouses, Depay thanked his fans for the continued support while skilfully rhyming the word "idol" with the word "idol."

"The football pitch is like a...

Virgil van Dijk deployed as STRIKER: Netherlands tactics vs. Germany revealed

The Netherlands trailed 2-0 with five minutes to play at Germany, but two late goals earned the Oranje a spot in the first Nations League finals.
Craig Burley and the FC crew reflect on Germany's inability to close out games and the fighting spirit of the Netherlands in their comeback draw.
Gab Marcotti and the FC crew break down Dutch duo Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong, a pair of Ajax stars catching the eyes of Europe's elite.

It took a stoppage time goal but Netherlands salvaged an important draw against Germany in the UEFA Nations League on Monday evening to book themselves a berth in the final tournament next June.

Virgil van Dijk provided the decisive goal, but only after the Liverpool defender was sent up front by Dutch coach Ronald Koeman in a desperate attempt to snatch parity from the jaws of defeat.

A closer look at Koeman's tactical note reveals his ploy to send Van Dijk up front, with the centre-back's name...

 By Simon Kuper

Believe the hype: Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong are next big stars on radar of Barca, Man City

Gab Marcotti and the FC crew break down Dutch duo Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong, a pair of Ajax stars catching the eyes of Europe's elite.

You wait years for any sort of talent, then two great ones come along at once.

That's the feeling among Dutch fans now, and among the scouts of clubs such as Barcelona and Manchester City who have become regulars in Ajax's Johan Cruijff Arena. Matthijs de Ligt, Ajax's central defender, looked a man among boys even when facing Manchester United in the 2017 Europa League final aged 17. Now, at 19, he's Ajax's captain and an automatic choice for Netherlands. His teammate Frenkie de Jong, 21, recently...

Mark van Bommel was a legend as a PSV player. Now he's a hero as manager

Gastón Pereiro and captain Luuk de Jong both scored braces in PSV's 6-goal demolition of visitors FC Emmen VV.
Hirving Lozano netted a brace, while Érick Gutiérrez scored one in PSV's comfortable 4-0 win over VVV Venlo, sealing the club's eighth-straight league win.
Hirving "Chucky" Lozano was back on the score-sheet for PSV as they rebounded from their UCL defeat at Barcelona in a 3-0 win over rivals Ajax.

Anyone lucky enough to have been at Philips Stadium when PSV Eindhoven hosted Groningen in April 2013 is extremely unlikely to have forgotten the experience. Very rarely, if ever, was a footballer treated in such a stunning and touching way.

Rumours that Mark van Bommel was considering retirement prompted PSV fans to show their love in order to convince their idol to continue playing. They sung his name for the entire 90 minutes -- loud, louder and then louder still. At first, it seemed that...

UEFA Nations League next gen: Sancho, Barella, Ndombele, Suso, Bergwijn

The switch from international friendlies to the new UEFA Nations League has prompted concerns that managers will be less inclined to blood untested youngsters. With points on offer, promotion to be gained and relegation to avoid, it makes sense for coaches to prioritise results over development.

There are, however, some extremely talented young players amongst Europe's major nations at the moment. Here are five who might make their competitive debut in this round of Nations League fixtures.