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Mina's future looks bright but not at Barcelona

Barcelona
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England embrace ugly win as World Cup turns feisty

FIFA World Cup
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Marlos Moreno's Manchester City plight an example of joining a European giant too young

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop sifts through all the latest transfer rumours surrounding N'Golo Kante, Callum Wilson and many more in Transfer Rater.

When it comes to promising South American talent, the major European clubs appear to have arrived at a conclusion. The best way to do business is to buy them young, and bring them across the Atlantic as soon as possible.

The plus side of this arrangement is clear. Top-level European football offers a different challenge: The games are played at a greater level of intensity, with less space available on the field. The sooner the player can adapt, the better.

But all of this comes with risks, both...

U.S. defense shows its inexperience as Robinson and Saief struggle on the left

TAMPA, Fla. -- For much of Dave Sarachan's time in charge of the United States men's national team, the focus has been on how to generate a more consistent attack. Heading into Thursday's friendly with Colombia, the U.S. had scored just eight goals in its last eight games.

But in the 4-2 defeat to Los Cafeteros, it was the U.S. defense that furrowed more brows and caused more heads to shake. From the opening whistle, Colombia decided it would test the left side of the U.S. defense, manned by left-back...

Colombia makes U.S. defense look slow in heavy friendly defeat

TAMPA, Fla. -- Colombia held off a feisty U.S. side in prevailing 4-2 in an international friendly Thursday. James Rodriguez opened the scoring in the 36th minute, but the U.S. roared back early in the second half thanks to goals from Kellyn Acosta and Bobby Wood. Colombia wouldn't be denied, however, as Carlos Bacca, Radamel Falcao and Miguel Borja responded with goals to give Los Cafeteros the victory.

Here are three thoughts from the match.

1. U.S. fights back but can't hold lead

Even by...

Football statues: Falcao joins Cristiano Ronaldo, Maradona in hall of shame

Colombian sculptor Antonio Irisma was commissioned to create the statue of Radamel Falcao
Colombia striker Radamel Falcao is having a giant sculpture built in his honour.

Radamel Falcao is set to be the latest footballer who, through no fault of their own, gains infamy by having a dodgy statue erected in their honour.

Falcao is the subject of a new installation being constructed in his home city of Santa Marta in the northern Colombian department of Magdalena -- a stunning tribute to his sporting endeavours.

The 20-foot statue, created by sculptor Antonio Irisma, has reportedly cost over 10 million pesos ($3,325) and stands pride of place in the centre of the Parque...

Jackson Martinez releases album of religious, hip-hop inspired songs

There was a time when Colombian striker Jackson Martinez commanded two €35million-plus transfer fees in the space of six months.

Unfortunately, after scoring a deluge of goals in three seasons at Porto, various injuries conspired to hamper subsequent stints at both Atletico Madrid and Guangzhou Evergrande, with the goals and the appearances gradually slowing to a trickle.

Earlier this week, Martinez surprised many by agreeing to move back to Portugal, signing for Primeira Liga bottom club...

South America's top teams still have lots at stake despite low-key break

Pekerman's resignation from the Colombia national team is one of many things to watch amid South America's top teams over the break.
Pekerman's resignation from the Colombia national team is one of many things to watch amid South America's top teams over the break.

This week, Colombia coach Jose Pekerman announced that after more than six-and-a-half years in charge, he is stepping down. Meanwhile, Under-20 coach Arturo Reyes will take charge of the team for the friendlies against Venezuela and Argentina on Friday and Tuesday.

Reyes was asked to step in while Pekerman made up his mind on whether or not he wanted to continue. Pekerman's last match was the second round tie against England in the Russia World Cup, back on June 3. Three months later he has now...