Borussia Dortmund
2:00 AM UTC May 23, 2018
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North Carolina FC
Ocean City Nor'easters
11:00 PM UTC
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Paris Saint-Germain's Adrien Rabiot at early crossroads for club and country

Paris Saint-Germain's Adrien Rabiot and Kevin Trapp were happy that their superstar teammate Neymar was able to join the club that won Coupe de France on Tuesday night, and they believe the Brazilian will stay at PSG.
Despite winning all they could domestically, Paris Saint Germain's Champions League failure still denies them elite status in Europe.

PARIS -- When France coach Didier Deschamps unveiled his 23-man World Cup squad Thursday, one of the biggest talking points was his decision to demote Paris Saint-Germain's Adrien Rabiot to the reserve list.

Club teammates Alphonse Areola, Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe were all selected, but Rabiot did not make the full cut despite arguably being the second-most-established name on that list of four.

If you have been watching PSG regularly in 2018, though, particularly since the 3-1 defeat...

 By Chris Wright

PSG and France forward Kylian Mbappe given waxwork honour

As if one Kylian Mbappe wasn't enough to strike fear into the hearts of Ligue 1 defenders everywhere, a second identical clone appears out of nowhere.

At the age of just 19, the PSG striker has become the youngest ever personality to have his likeness immortalised in waxwork form at the famous Musee Grevin in Paris.

"It's an honour to be the youngest celebrity to enter the Musee Grevin," the PSG prodigy tweeted.

In fairness, it's a pretty good likeness of Mbappe. We wonder if he'll be sending a...

France's World Cup squad skews young, and choosing wasn't easy for Didier Deschamps

ESPN FC's Julien Laurens says Didier Deschamps must get it right with the tremendous amount of talent available to him on the France squad.

"Less experience, more ambition." Didier Deschamps is such a good communicator that he could almost write the headlines for the media himself.

In four words, the France head coach summed up perfectly the 23-man World Cup squad he announced on Thursday evening live on French television. He has gone for youth and talent instead of maturity and experience. The average age of this group of players is only 26, which is the youngest in the last 20 years for France. The average number of caps is only 24...

France's World Cup hopes should get a boost from Benjamin Pavard

France will have one of the strongest squads at the 2018 World Cup. Here's why.
Twenty years after winning the 1998 World Cup, the ESPN panel feel Didier Deschamps' man management will be crucial for France's World Cup hopes.

On Saturday, Bayern Munich lost a league match at Allianz Arena for the first time since March 2016. Granted, the Bavarian giants were not highly motivated after winning the title a long time ago, but getting thrashed 4-1 by VfB Stuttgart in Jupp Heynckes' final Bundesliga game was not in their plans, as they fielded a strong lineup.

However, Stuttgart turned in a superb performance -- finally earning public recognition for a phenomenal season. Having returned to the Bundesliga last summer, Stuttgart...

France talent like Pogba, Mbappe, Griezmann must work together

France will have one of the strongest squads at the 2018 World Cup. Here's why.
Twenty years after winning the 1998 World Cup, the ESPN panel feel Didier Deschamps' man management will be crucial for France's World Cup hopes.

The 2018 World Cup is just over a month away, and all 32 teams are preparing in earnest for their shot at the trophy in Russia. ESPN FC is previewing every team ahead of the opening game on June 14. Find all 32 teams here.

Who they are

Captain: Hugo Lloris
Manager: Didier Deschamps
Nickname: Les Bleus
FIFA Rank (as of April 12, 2018): 7

How they qualified

The French team topped Europe's Group B, which featured Netherlands and Sweden, but qualification was closer than expected. Deschamps'...

 By Ian Darke

World Cup 2018: Only five real favourites to win in Russia

The FC panel answer your tweets on the player most likely to win the World Cup Golden Boot, the differences between Maradona's Argentina and Messi's Argentina and more.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Ale Moreno delve into the differences between Paul Pogba's play with France versus his recent form with Man United.
The FC panel answer your tweets on why Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't have the same pressure to win the World Cup as Lionel Messi, the 'Bayern problem' in the Bundesliga and more.

The World Cup is less than three months away. If that does not quicken the pulse, you're probably better off with a good book. For the rest of us, the guessing games and predictions start here. Late injuries to key players could still upset calculations, but for this observer, there are only five teams with a realistic chance of lifting the trophy.

Top of that list would be defending champions Germany, who have a squad stacked with top players and a coach in Joachim Low with course and distance...