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Spain

Netherlands win easily as Spain still struggling with post-World Cup rebuild

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque gives reaction to 2-0 defeat to Netherlands in friendly.
Davy Klaassen scored the second Dutch goal as the hosts enjoyed a comfortable win over struggling Spain.

Two goals in three minutes put Netherlands on course for an easy 2-0 win over Spain. Here are three points on Tuesday's friendly in Amsterdam.

1. Spain stung by speedy Dutch start

Goals in the opening 16 minutes from Stefan de Vrij and Davy Klaassen were easily enough for the Netherlands to defeat a still out-of-sorts Spain side. Neither team impressed over much after that; the Dutch were happy enough to hold onto their deserved early lead while the visitors huffed, puffed and made the odd...

Atletico Madrid's Koke on the way to being the 'boss' of Spain

Koke, right, and Isco, left, represent the future of Spain's midfield.

As Spain struggled to make a breakthrough against a robust, if limited, Ukraine side in Seville last week, they were in need of inspiration and a spot of magic.

Without the likes of Xabi Alonso and Xavi Hernandez, and with Andres Iniesta's influence waning, a lot was expected from the likes of Isco. It was one of the less mainstream midfielders who took the proverbial bull by the horns and showed that extra bit of quality that has been lacking from La Roja's play until then: Koke.

The Atletico Madrid...

 By Michael Cox

Netherlands and Spain's recent World Cup meetings have grown a rivalry

The ESPN FC panel discuss Falcao's status in Old Trafford, Guus Hiddink's future with the Netherlands and Harry Kane's rise to stardom.

Most football rivalries originate from geographic or political concerns, but the most intriguing are often those based purely upon football.

In this respect, the 2010 and 2014 World Cup matches between the Netherlands and Spain, who meet again in Amsterdam on Tuesday night, have been significant enough to form a brand-new rivalry on the international stage.

Before the 2010 final, these two countries had never previously met at a major tournament. They'd faced one another in friendlies, in qualifiers...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Harry Kane goals, Gareth Bale exit, U.S. team, Spain strikers, Netherlands

Football always inspires debate, and this weekend was no exception. Here are five burning questions on the ESPN FC radar.

Vote and comment below or on Twitter using the hashtag #FCtalkingpoints.

They hype surrounding Harry Kane was hard to miss ahead of his England team debut vs. Lithuania. The Premier League goal-scoring leader headed home the Three Lions' fourth goal of the match just seconds after coming on in their 4-0 victory.

How many career goals will Harry Kane score for England?

The U.S. national team returned to competition this week vs. Denmark....

Ukraine win positions Spain for Euro qualification, still work to do

Alvaro Morata scored his first goal for Spain to give La Roja a 1-nil victory over Ukraine.

Alvaro Morata got the only goal, and fellow youngster Isco impressed, but Spain's 1-0 Euro 2016 qualifying win over Ukraine on Friday night did not exactly suggest a bright new dawn for La Roja.

The game began as Spain coach Vicente del Bosque presumably hoped, with his bet to play the emerging star duo in central attacking roles paying off. Juventus centre-forward Morata's clever movement was causing the visiting defence plenty of problems, while Madrid playmaker Isco was revelling in a No. 10...

 By Michael Cox

Can Verratti, De Gea and Kane break into their national teams' starting XIs?

The ESPN FC crew debate whether or not Harry Kane should start up front for England against Lithuania.

The European Championship's expansion to a 24-team tournament has a multitude of effects -- one is that it effectively gives the major countries a free pass. Therefore, managers have more license to experiment and evolve their side with significantly less risk of failure.

Here are five fine talents still attempting to break into their country's first-choice XI -- what chance do they have of overhauling more established names?

1. Marco Verratti, Italy

By this stage, we expected Verratti to be Italy's...