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Vitolo's boundless energy something to behold for Sevilla, Spain

Vitolo and Diego Costa have become a potent 1-2 scoring punch for Spain in World Cup qualifying.

As Sevilla are preparing to visit Camp Nou on Wednesday evening, Vitolo doesn't hide his aspirations to call the legendary stadium his home in the near future. Responding to recent reports regarding the Catalans' interest in his services, the star remarked: "Barcelona are one of the best teams in the world, and any player would like to play for them."

It is easy to see why Barca are keen to make Vitolo one of their key targets come summer, because in the last year he has proved his abilities beyond...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

The Next XIs: England, Germany, Spain, Italy, France's emerging stars

The latest international break has seen many top countries trying out their next generation of talent on the road to the 2018 World Cup. The need for regeneration is constant given injuries, loss of form and, simply, the passage of time. So how do the top five nations in Europe look for quality in this World Cup cycle and beyond?

We asked ESPN FC writers to pick the players we'll need to know about during the next decade. There's a lot to be excited about here.

England

Demarai Gray is remarkably raw but boasts the skills that could help England in the long run.

Gareth Southgate's...

Spain's 'Next XI' could revolve around Saul Niguez, Jose Gaya, Inaki Williams

Although many of the players who delivered the 2008 Euros, 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euros remain on the scene for Spain, Russia 2018 is likely to be the last hurrah for that once-in-a-century generation. Since taking over as manager, former U-21 coach Julen Lopetegui has been gradually bringing through some newer blood to the setup, and within a couple of years a whole new, different team is likely to take shape.

Here's who might well form the core of Spain's next great team:

SpainNextXI
Is this the next golden generation of Spanish talent rising through the ranks in La Liga?

Kepa Arrizabalaga...

Spain's win over heavily-fancied France is a positive sign for Julen Lopetegui

Two of the biggest football countries were on display but it was Video Replay Technology that starred, disallowing one goal and overruling a linesman on another.

Throw away the traditional cliches about not reading too much into a friendly match. Instead, read on, I beg you. Spain's five-star defeat of France in Paris on Tuesday night was rich with conclusions and nourishment for our understanding of where Julen Lopetegui's team are right now.

The first point was that this was an impressive shaking of "weight off their shoulders." Regardless of how results may look, the Stade de France has never been a place where Spain find it simple to win. "Saint-Denis...

Video assistant referees are an imperfect but important solution

Shaka Hislop and Alexis Nunes discuss the notion that VAR delays will become a nuisance during matches.
Shaka Hislop and Alexis Nunes discuss the notion that VAR delays will become a nuisance during matches.
Antoine Griezmann thought he'd had the opener for France, but the video assistant referee (VAR) ruled the goal was offside.
International Friendly: Gerard Deulofeu (77'), France 0-2 Spain
Two of the biggest football countries were on display but it was Video Replay Technology that starred, disallowing one goal and overruling a linesman on another.

When France hosted Spain in a friendly on Tuesday night, the match offered the first "official" example of a video assistant referee (VAR) in a high-profile international. (The first instance was back at the FIFA Club World Cup in December ... and the first "unofficial" instance was probably this, even though we may never know for sure.)

VAR proponents could not have hoped for a better outcome.

Simply put, without VAR, this game would have finished in a 1-1 draw. Instead, Spain won 2-0. You don't...

 By Sid Lowe

Julen Lopetegui trusting his young stars as new Spain generation begins

Lopetegui is leaning on players he knows and trusts from his days coaching Spain's junior sides to glory.

LAS ROZAS DE MADRID, Spain -- There were a lot of familiar faces at Las Rozas this week as the Spanish national team's headquarters welcomed back men who have spent an enormous amount of time there over the years. Not just Andres Iniesta or Sergio Ramos, either, but pretty much all of them. If some of the Spain squad that gathered a short distance north-west of Madrid are a little less recognisable to football fans around the world, everyone here knows them very well indeed, from the groundsmen...