Trending: Giorgio Chiellini believes Pep Guardiola has ruined Italy defenders
Friday's latest stories from the world of football in ESPN FC's What's Trending ...
MAN CITY: Giorgio Chiellini believes Man City boss Pep Guardiola has "ruined" Italian defenders with his tactics at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now the Etihad. The Italy international and Juventus defender said in part: "Now defenders know how to set the tone of play and they can spread the ball, but they don't know how to mark."
- Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has told ESPN FC he believes Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne can reach the level of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
- Man City have raced out of the gates but 'invincible' talk is wildly premature, writes Richard Jolly.
- Transfer Talk: Manchester City are set to launch a bid for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, with Manchester United and Juventus also monitoring the Lazio attacking midfielder.
UEFA WORLD CUP PLAYOFFS: Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill said his side will have to "channel the anger" stemming from the "staggering" penalty decision that allowed Switzerland to win the first leg of their UEFA World Cup playoff 1-0.
- In the day's other playoff, Croatia ran out 4-1 winners against Greece in their bid to qualify for Russia 2018. However, Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic cautioned that their playoff tie is "not over" despite Thursday's win.
- Ex-Ireland midfielder Kevin Kilbane has told ESPN FC that there is no bad blood with Thierry Henry despite his infamous handball in a World Cup playoff.
ARGENTINA: Lionel Messi has apologised to compatriot Sebastian Driussi for mistaking him for a fan and not recognising the Zenit St Petersburg striker when having a photograph taken with him.
CHELSEA: Eden Hazard has called Belgium teammate Kevin De Bruyne "the best player" in the Premier League after the Manchester City man's stunning start to the season.
- Alvaro Morata has revealed that he often walks home after his team's games at Stamford Bridge in London -- sometimes with a beer in his hand.
- Michy Batshuayi will not feature for Belgium against Mexico or Japan and has returned to his club with a foot injury, manager Roberto Martinez confirmed on Thursday.
- Eden Hazard says "it would be a dream" to play under Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane and he would happily be reunited with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, although he stressed he is happy at Chelsea.
- France coach Didier Deschamps believes Jose Mourinho could manage in the country one day after the Man United boss was linked with the job at Paris Saint-Germain.
- Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is facing a battle to keep Marouane Fellaini, sources have told ESPN FC.
- Paul Pogba has stepped up his recovery from injury by training with Manchester United's reserves, sources have told ESPN FC.
- Jose Mourinho's frustration with Manchester United may lead him straight to PSG, writes Mark Ogden.
LIVERPOOL: Naby Keita is looking forward to reuniting with his "big brother" Sadio Mane at Liverpool next season, with the Senegal international helping him settle in when the pair were together at Red Bull Salzburg.
- PSG want to extend midfielder Adrien Rabiot's contract before the January transfer window, a source close to the club has told ESPN FC.
- Julian Draxler is enjoying a new lease of life in the French capital after being reinvented as a central midfielder, but, Jonathan Johnson asks will it last?
BAYERN MUNICH: Robert Lewandowski will sit out Poland's friendlies against Uruguay and Mexico to rest a thigh injury.
ENGLAND: Eric Dier will captain England in their friendly against Germany on Friday, the Football Association has announced, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek will start and Tammy Abraham is expected to see minutes as Gareth Southgate continues playing England's generation game.
- Eric Dier will captain England against Germany. Here are five reasons why the Tottenham man could be a good option to have the armband permanently.
- Southgate has said he's unsure when Danny Drinkwater might get another England call-up after the Chelsea defender declined the latest invitation from the England boss due to fitness concerns.
- Germany internationals Sami Khedira and Sandro Wagner have labelled the video assistant referee (VAR) a "catastrophe" ahead of the technology's first use in England on Friday night.
- Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny plans to retire from international duty with France after the 2018 World Cup.
- Plus, ESPN FC's Tom Marshall caught up with defender Miguel Layun for an exclusive interview. Read more here.
- Former Chicago Fire teammates Chris Rolfe and Justin Mapp both took to social media to express deep gratitude to fans, teammates and family in announcing their respective retirements on Thursday.
PREMIER LEAGUE: The Premier League has announced a three-year partnership with LGBT rights group Stonewall that aims to boost equality in football.
- Tactics and style in the Premier League have evolved mightily in the modern era but top teams have yet to reinvent the humble kickoff, writes Michael Cox.
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