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Germany favoured; Ronaldo's success

Five Aside

Germany's second string earn draw vs. Chile that bodes well for World Cup

Steve Nicol and Shaka Hislop break down what stood out for them in Germany's 1-1 draw with Chile.

KAZAN, Russia -- Earlier this month, Joachim Low was forced to defend himself against accusations of "making the heart of football fans bleed" by choosing to tackle Germany's Confederations Cup campaign with an inexperienced squad in Russia, rather than the stars who helped lift the World Cup in Brazil three years ago.

It was Alexey Sorokin, head of Russia's World Cup organising committee, who claimed that Low's decision went against the whole idea of a fan attending a football match -- to watch...

Germany's second string pass their test -- but only just -- vs. Australia

Three different goalscorers helped Germany edge a resolute Australia in their Confederations Cup Group B opener.
Three different goalscorers helped Germany edge a resolute Australia in their Confederations Cup Group B opener.
Mark Donaldson and Alejandro Moreno dissect Joachim Low's much-changed Germany side after a narrow win over Australia.

SOCHI, Russia -- The clock at Sochi's Fisht Olympic stadium read 89:41 when Australia went up to take a corner. Germany were leading 3-2, and Joachim Low was more touchy and fidgety than usual in his technical area. The Socceroos' fans -- sparse but noisy -- howled in anticipation. They were joined by the Russian neutrals, at least those who weren't spending the last 20 minutes of the second half trying (unsuccessfully) to start a wave.

The corner was cleared away, but the moment was in itself...

Germany are Confed Cup favourite; Cristiano Ronaldo eyes more success

Germany coach Joachim Low looks on during a training session at Park Arena training ground on June 16, 2017 in Sochi, Russia.
Coach Joachim Low opens the Confederations Cup on Monday against Australia.

Even though several of their biggest stars will be staying home, Germany still have the best chance of winning the Confederations Cup when it begins in Russia on Saturday.

Germany, which qualified for the eight-team event by winning the World Cup in 2014, have a 38 percent chance of winning the final in St. Petersburg on July 2, according to ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI).

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil, Real Madrid's Toni Kroos and Bayern Munich's Mats Hummels are among the most notable players who were...

 By Nick Miller

U21 Euros: What to watch for as England, Spain, Germany, Italy contend

Gab Marcotti explains why Gianluigi Donnarumma has not renewed his contract at AC Milan and assesses possible next steps.
Jordan Pickford sealed his big move to Everton on Thursday. Can he now lead England's U21s to glory?

The European U21 Championships kick off in Poland on Friday, with seven former champions among the 12 participating nations and one country, Macedonia, making their debut. Nick Miller previews what to watch for in the group stages.

GROUP A: England, Poland, Sweden, Slovakia

Must-see game: Sweden vs. England (June 18)

The first match of the group could set the tone as the holders face an England side with plenty of Premier League quality and experience. Sweden are without a few high-profile...

 By Nick Ames

Confederations Cup predictions: Chile to edge Portugal in the final?

Portugal's head coach Fernando Santos believes Portugal are determined to win the Confederations Cup to prove they're the best in the world.

The 2016-17 football season has come to an end, but the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup is already upon us to fill the gap. Nick Ames reviews the eight teams involved and predicts their progress in the tournament.



Russian football could do with an injection of positivity after such a disastrous European Championship last summer, both on and off the pitch, and with next year's World Cup on the horizon. Two respectable friendly results -- a 3-0 friendly win in Hungary and 1-1 draw...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain: Who is best at breeding success?

The FC crew discuss the differing impacts of England's victory at the U-20 World Cup and Venezuela's run to the final.
The guys respond to your tweets about England's hopes at the World Cup, Kylian Mbappe and Mamadou Sakho.
England have won their first major trophy since 1966, after Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Venezuela.
Germany head coach Joachim Low speaks on the importance of bringing in young players to the squad after the Cup win in 2014.
Italy manager Gian Piero Ventura discussed his side's upcoming match against Spain in World Cup qualifying.

England's victory in the Under-20 World Cup final on Sunday was their first competitive triumph since 1966, and brings hope that the national team finally has a group of young stars that can replicate that success at senior level.

There is a long way to go before England gains parity with Europe's other major football nations in terms of trophies won -- at any level. France, Germany, Italy and Spain have all shown at varying times how success at youth level can be transferred into European Championship...