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La Liga's plan to play games in U.S. is smart business

Blog - La Liga
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Man United need to make this work

Marcotti's Musings
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Man City impress at Arsenal; Pogba vs. Mourinho

Marcotti's Musings
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Can Sarri's charisma, poetic football help Chelsea rebuild?

Premier League
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Cristiano Ronaldo swapping Real for Juventus? Not so fast

Cristiano Ronaldo
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How much Portugal rely on Ronaldo

Portugal
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Spanish FA was right to fire Lopetegui

Spain
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La Liga's plan to play matches in the U.S. isn't going to ruin football -- it's smart business

Relevent Sports chairman Charlie Stillitano explains his vision to build and promote the La Liga brand through games played in the U.S.

When the notion of playing a 39th game was first raised about a decade ago, it turned into one of the few times Premier League boss Richard Scudamore badly misjudged public opinion. Such was the opposition that you would have thought Scudamore wanted clubs not just to play an extra game abroad, but to do so while clad in baby seal fur.

The idea was so toxic that only one owner -- David Gold (then at Birmingham, now at West Ham) -- was willing to speak out in favour of the idea. Everybody else...

Man United need to get on same page, Ronaldo's mixed Juve debut, more

It's all about spin, I guess. Spin, and how you view the person doing the talking.

Paul Pogba came out after Manchester United's 3-2 defeat at Brighton and,  as I saw it, took the loss on the chin.

"The attitude that we had was not like we wanted to beat them," he said. "They had more hunger than us and that showed on the pitch. I put myself first. My attitude wasn't right enough. We'll keep trying and pushing and obviously it's a lesson for us."

I read that as a team captain saying the...

World Cup ref chief Pierluigi Collina dishes on VAR impact at Russia 2018

Former Premier League referee Peter Walton explains why the use of VAR in Russia exceeded his expectations.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino breaks down VAR's usage at the 2018 World Cup and how pleased he is with its implementation.
Various ESPN FC correspondents and fans weigh in on VAR and its impact at the World Cup in the latest episode of Project Russia.

A month has passed since the end of the World Cup in Russia, hailed by many as one of the best ever. Gab Marcotti caught up with Pierluigi Collina, chairman of FIFA's referees committee and the man in the middle for the 2002 final between Brazil and Germany, to talk about officiating, video assistant referees (VAR) and the future.

When you look back at 2018 and the fact that relative to previous World Cups, it had perhaps the least amount of refereeing controversy, to what do you attribute it? Could...

Man City impress at work-in-progress Arsenal; Madrid keepers; Pogba vs. Mourinho

Manchester City picked up where they left off last season with a dominant performance to win 2-0 at Arsenal.

It is worth noting that the defending Premier League champions unpicked the opposition on Unai Emery's debut without Gabriel Jesus, Fabian Delph, Leroy Sane, David Silva, Nicolas Otamendi and Kevin De Bruyne in the starting lineup. In other words, six of their 11 most frequently used players from last season were missing, when they set a new Premier League points total with 100.

The scary...

FIFA's World Cup legacy in Russia should be measured by the people, not the politics

ESPN investigative reporter T.J. Quinn reflects on how Vladimir Putin used the World Cup as part of his geopolitical strategy.

MOSCOW -- In this line of work, you're taught to be cynical and contrarian. So when Gianni Infantino, the FIFA President, says "Today I am a happy man ... as far as I am concerned, we all fell in love with Russia," you want to blow holes in it.

It's very easy to do. From the way the World Cup even got to Russia (remember the "destroyed" computers?), to the state-sponsored doping program that gutted the country's Olympic medal count and led to a lifetime ban for the minister of sport and former head...

Maurizio Sarri's charisma, poetic football an intriguing move for Chelsea

With Maurizio Sarri's appointment at Chelsea now official, Gab Marcotti explains what the former Napoli manager brings to Stamford Bridge.
After Antonio Conte and Chelsea parted ways, ESPN takes a look at the managers to have fallen during the Roman Abramovich era.
With Antonio Conte on his way out at Chelsea, ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti reflects on the Italian's tenure and what led to his undoing.

Maurizio Sarri might be Italian, like his predecessor at Chelsea, but there are few other similarities between him and Antonio Conte.

The brand of football Sarri deployed in his three seasons at Napoli (and, before that, at little Empoli) is starkly different. Conte meanwhile lived every game as if it was some sort of medieval epic, filled with gritted teeth, suffering and wild-eyed intensity. Even when he won -- and, lest we forget, he picked up a Premier League title and an FA Cup in two seasons...