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Way-too-early predictions for 2022: France to fail?

The World Cup is over, so why not look ahead four years? France will have the world's best player but defending champions have struggled recently. Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo will star, then retire.

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

Laurens: 2018 World Cup more special to France than 1998

Julien Laurens explains why France's 2018 World Cup title and the resulting celebration feels more special than Les Bleus' first title in 1998.

3:16

World Cup best and worst: Five weeks in Russia

The 2018 World Cup had some brilliant moments, but what did our correspondents on the ground in Russia think of the tournament?

Cristiano Ronaldo transfer

Soccer

Hysteria encompasses Juve upon Ronaldo's arrival

Juventus came oh so close to landing Cristiano Ronaldo 15 years ago. Now that the Old Lady finally has her man, Turin can't contain its excitement.

Daniele Badolato/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Ronaldo's press conference: How did he do?

Cristiano Ronaldo was as genuine as he was convincing at his Juventus unveiling, a player who's won it all but still has plenty to prove.

Will Cristiano Ronaldo take Juventus to the next level?

With his official presentation complete, the FC guys discuss how far Cristiano Ronaldo can take Juventus domestically and in European competition.

4:26

How Ronaldo's move to Juve raised eyebrows

After being unveiled as a Juventus player following his move from Real Madrid, ESPN take a look at how Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Turin unfolded.

3:16

Ronaldo: Age is irrelevant, I'm more motivated than ever

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo admitted he joined the Italian club as he wanted to challenge himself again and insists he win just as many trophies in Italy.

0:38

Ronaldo arrives in Turin

Cristiano Ronaldo is in Italy to undergo his medical ahead of his big money move to Juventus.

1:21

Kaka: Ronaldo move to Juve will improve Serie A

Former AC Milan midfielder Kaka believes Cristiano Ronaldo can help to raise the level in Italy and help Italian teams become great again in Europe.

0:55

Ronaldo's transfer changes the landscape of European football

ESPN FC's Stewart Robson and Craig Burley explain just how monumental Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Juventus is for world football.

6:27

TOP HEADLINES

Transfers

Transfer Talk: Manchester United eye Croatian duo

Croatia may have lost to France on Sunday, but their journey to the World Cup final has caught the eye of Man United. Transfer Talk has the latest.

Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Transfer Rater: Cillessen to Liverpool; Courtois to Real?

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop breaks down the latest rumours making the rounds in Transfer Rater, involving Jasper Cillessen, Thibaut Courtois and more.

3:31

Transfer Rater: Milinkovic-Savic to Chelsea

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Chelsea and Danny Ings to Southampton are two of today's hot rumours, according to Football Whispers.

Mbappe shows he is football's future king

When Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi retire, Kylian Mbappe will be the sport's leading light, and there's no limit to what he can do from here.

Michael Regan/FIFA via Getty Images

Thrilling World Cup gets fitting finale

Didier Deschamps got France's stars to buy into his work ethic and the result was glory in Russia, though not before Croatia pushed them all the way in Sunday's entertaining final.

For Croatia, World Cup run must be a beginning

After the pain of falling short against France subsides, it's vital that Croatia channels its emotions into ensuring this isn't their last final.

France given heroes welcome in Paris

Led by captain Hugo Lloris, France were given a heroes welcome as they arrived back in Paris for the first time since they beat Croatia to win the World Cup.

1:35

Croatia parade around Zagreb

Croatia celebrated finishing World Cup runners-up with their fans by parading around the capital city of Zagreb in an open-top bus.

2:11

Project Russia: Allez les Bleus!

2:42

Marcotti: Croatia won its World Cup

Croatia fell short in their first World Cup final, but the FC crew explain what made the Vatreni's run so impressive.

3:14

Croatia welcomed back after World Cup campaign

Croatia's World Cup team returned to a heroes' welcome at Zagreb airport following their 4-2 defeat to France in the World Cup final in Moscow.

3:07

LEGO World Cup: France lifts second World Cup trophy

Relive the best of France's victory over Croatia in the World Cup final in LEGO form.

1:54

Was Kante the catalyst for World Cup winners France?

N'Golo Kante had an off day in the World Cup final, but Julien Laurens and the FC crew explain why he was pivotal to France's triumph in Russia.

4:25

Burley: Scary how ambiguous handball rule is

Craig Burley and Ale Moreno explain why the referee was put in a tough position when he awarded France a penalty for a handball by Ivan Perisic.

5:20

Robson: Pogba can be the world's best player

Stewart Robson reflects on Paul Pogba's performance at the World Cup and explains why the World Cup winner can become the best player in the world.

1:54

FIFA World Cup

Top 10 'what ifs' of the 2018 World Cup

It's easy to go back and say "what if" after the fact but it's fun to do nonetheless. Here are the top 10 'what ifs' from the 2018 World Cup.

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Mbappe, Pogba lead team of the tournament

The World Cup is over, but who are the 11 best performers of the tournament?

'The world is blue' - media reaction to World Cup final

France beat Croatia in the World Cup final and the media in the two countries celebrated/commiserated their teams' respective achievements.

Major League Soccer

The protracted battle with MLS that ended Wynne's career

Marvell Wynne is still coming to grips with how his professional soccer career ended, and his ire is directed at Major League Soccer.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Power Rankings: New York City FC streak to top

With Atlanta United dropping two points at home to in front of a record crowd on Sunday, NYCFC has become the team to beat in Major League Soccer.

Ale's 'You Know It, You Love It' MLS Awards

Alejandro Moreno runs through his awards for Week 20 in MLS, including the best and worst of Zack Steffen and a bit of magic from Alphonso Davies.

3:54

MLS: 42 goals in 90 seconds

Check out every goal from Week 20 in MLS, including Paul Arriola's big night at D.C.'s new home and Dom Dwyer helping Orlando City end their slump.

1:31

Was Petke out of line with criticism of MLS officiating?

Alejandro Moreno and Stewart Robson debate the merits of Mike Petke's post-match reaction to referee decisions in RSL's loss at Minnesota United.

5:20

Atlanta 1-1 Seattle: Draw in front of record crowd - Via MLS

Atlanta United set another MLS attendance record, and Josef Martinez's 19th goal of 2018 helped the Five Stripes earn a home draw against Seattle.

1:59

LAFC 0-0 Portland Timbers: Unbeaten streaks continue

LAFC remain unbeaten at home while Portland have yet to lose in 12 consecutive MLS games following their scoreless draw at Banc of California Stadium.

1:46

NYCFC 2-0 Columbus: Boys in Blue keep rolling - Via MLS

After a dominant first half from Columbus, NYCFC sprung to life in the second and found two late goals to keep their home unbeaten record intact.

1:52

Moreno: Alashe-Stahre confrontation a nightmare for San Jose

Alejandro Moreno describes the confrontation between San Jose's Mikael Stahre and Fatai Alashe as a microcosm of bigger issues for the Earthquakes.

2:07

New England 2-3 LA Galaxy: Late, late show - Via MLS

Stoppage-time goals from Dave Romney and Chris Pontius saw the LA Galaxy steal all three points from a wild affair in New England.

2:27

Orlando 2-1 Toronto: Lions end slump - Via MLS

James O'Connor's second game in charge saw Orlando halt a nine-game losing run with a narrow win over fellow strugglers and defending MLS champions Toronto.

1:59

Minnesota 3-2 Real Salt Lake: Quintero guides Loons - Via MLS

Darwin Quintero followed up last week's hat trick with another goal and two assists, helping Minnesota hold off Real Salt Lake in Minneapolis.

1:59

D.C. United 3-1 Vancouver: Rooney writes a new chapter - Via MLS

Wayne Rooney picked up an assist in his MLS debut as D.C. christened Audi Field with a comfortable win over Vancouver.

2:00

FIFA World Cup

LEGO World Cup: France lifts second World Cup trophy

Relive the best of France's victory over Croatia in the World Cup final in LEGO form.

1:54

Extra Time: Mbappe the real king of PSG? France in '18 or '98?

The ESPN FC team answer your tweets on Kylian Mbappe's stock at PSG, the 2018 France squad vs. the 1998 World Cup winning side and much more.

9:45

Assessing the World Cup Best XI

Julien Laurens takes issue with ESPNFC.com's omission of France's N'Golo Kante in their World Cup team of the tournament.

1:46

OTL: What Putin achieved with the World Cup

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

4:26

Was Kante the catalyst for World Cup winners France?

N'Golo Kante had an off day in the World Cup final, but Julien Laurens and the FC crew explain why he was pivotal to France's triumph in Russia.

4:25

Behind the scenes at the 2018 World Cup's global coverage

A rare look at how three global outlets bring the World Cup to their fans, including ESPN partner Tencent's match-day show live from Moscow and Beijing.

4:00

France rarely at their best in World Cup triumph

Stewart Robson breaks down France's World Cup final victory over Croatia, which came on a night when they were often second best to the runners-up.

3:07

Ballsupki: It's all finished now. And I'm sad.

It's the Final, It's France v Croatia and it is the final episode of Ballsupski. Find out who Anthony Richardson saves Ian Fiveankles or Monsieur Le.

5:59

ESPN FC Best of the Week

Relive the highs and lows from the week on the ESPN FC set, which include more dancing from Gab Marcotti and a really excited Dan Thomas.

3:04

Project Russia: Has VAR been a success?

Various ESPN FC correspondents and fans weigh in on VAR and its impact at the World Cup in the latest episode of Project Russia.

2:44

The unique, bizarre & hilarious Cat Theatre

ESPN's Sam Borden takes in a bizarre cat theatre in Russia, which combines cat acrobatics, ballet and a circus.

1:43

France

onscene at the celebrations

The 2018 World Cup Champions have arrived

Patrick Abrahams, ESPN Producer7h ago

Hundreds of thousands of fans line Champs-Élysées to welcome home the 2018 World Cup Champions to Paris

Patrick Abrahams, ESPN Producer9h ago

L'Equipe's front page to celebrate France's World Cup success.

Jonathan Johnson, ESPN22h ago

Manchester United

Soccer

Is 'the new Paul Pogba' here to stay?

After Julien Laurens hails Paul Pogba's role in France's World Cup triumph, the FC crew examine whether the tournament was a new beginning for him.

3:54

Pogba can enjoy World Cup glory, then lead Man United

When Paul Pogba returns to his club after a well-deserved holiday, Man United fans will want to see the player who inspired France in Russia.

Robson: Pogba can be the world's best player

Stewart Robson reflects on Paul Pogba's performance at the World Cup and explains why the World Cup winner can become the best player in the world.

1:54

Who were England's top performers in Russia?

Some of England's players have boosted their standing in the football world and beyond after some impressive World Cup performances.

Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Hazard's reputation, value have never been higher

After tearing up England in the third-place game, Eden Hazard's standout World Cup performances have cemented him among football's royalty.

Hazard, Belgium deservedly grab bronze

In a match with little intrigue, Belgium were the better side against England with Eden Hazard outclassing Raheem Sterling the most glaring example.

Was the World Cup a success for Harry Kane?

After a six-goal output at the World Cup, the FC crew evaluate Harry Kane's performance and whether it would've impressed suitors like Real Madrid.

3:39

Burley: Belgium were good enough to win this tournament

The FC crew felt this World Cup proved Belgium belongs with the world's best teams while England still have work to do to become elite.

2:21

Belgium's stars shine to claim bronze

Eden Hazard and Belgium secured a 3rd-place finish by defeating England 2-0.

0:28

What can Belgium & England take away from Russia?

ESPN FC's Kasey Keller and Alexis Nunes look back on Belgium and England's World Cup journey after the Red Devils' claimed third place.

2:45

United States

Soccer

The Twellman Doctrine: A World Cup blueprint for U.S. Soccer

2:23

LeBron shows off mutual admiration for Pulisic

Christian Pulisic is a known admirer of LeBron James. Now we know the feeling is mutual between the Borussia Dortmund teen and L.A. Lakers star.

LEGO World Cup: Donovan's winner vs. Algeria

Relive Landon Donovan's last-gasp winner from 2010 in LEGO style, as the United States defeated Algeria on their way to winning Group C.

0:28

Why is Arena putting the spotlight back on the U.S.?

Dan Thomas, Kasey Keller and Kate Markgraf discuss Bruce Arena's latest comments and how the USMNT should feel watching the World Cup from home.

8:19

Arena gets candid on U.S. World Cup qualifying failure

Former U.S. head coach Bruce Arena explains why he believes the United States missed the World Cup and the changes he'd like to see in U.S. Soccer.

6:23

Arena talks young USMNT players and general manager position

Former U.S. head coach Bruce Arena shares his thoughts on the USMNT's performance against France and his vision for the U.S. general manager position.

3:10

The Toe Poke

Beyonce and Jay-Z perform in Paris

Beyonce and Jay-Z put on a concert in Paris on Sunday that just so happened to clash with the biggest sporting event on the planet.

Paris Metro stations renamed after World Cup win

Several metro stations in Paris have been renamed in honour of France's World Cup success.

Shaw posts photo of his offseason transformation

With no World Cup to go to, Luke Shaw spent his offseason in the gym, and his return to Manchester United preseason revealed a leaner left-back.

Mexican Liga Bancomer

2018 Apertura: Season starts 7/20

Liga MX 2018 Apertura: What you need to know before kickoff

Who is the favorite to win the Liga MX Apertura? Can Santos Laguna defend their title? What players will emerge as the next stars? Answers here.

Apertura: Martinez tops list of 10 new players to watch

Liga MX has increasingly looked outside of Mexico for transfer targets -- this summer has been no exception, as the incoming class of players shows.

Chelsea

Soccer

Burley: Time is right for Hazard to leave Chelsea

2:35

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

Maurizio Sarri might not look the part for Chelsea, but his charisma and poetic brand of football will be fascinating to watch as Chelsea rebuild.

Sarri's to-do list at Chelsea topped by Hazard, Courtois talks

There will be no honeymoon period for new Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri as he acclimatises to life as Antonio Conte's successor.

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best of the World Cup

Editors' picks

Photos: How the FIFA World Cup trophy is made

Every four years, from a small city in Milan, a FIFA World Cup trophy is created. See how it's made by the master craftsmen.

Paolo Vezzoli

The experience of a lifetime

Trains, planes, and hostels. Fans from all over the world, most with little means, descend upon Russia to follow their national teams.

FIFA World Cup

Quiz: How well do you remember the 2018 World Cup?

And then there were two! But how well do you remember the 30 that went out? Take this quiz to find out.

La Liga influence on World Cup is evident despite Spain woe

Spain left little impression on the 2018 World Cup but La Liga's influence on Sunday's final between Croatia and France is a source of pride.

World Cup exposed flaws in Brazil, South American sides

Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Uruguay all can look back and wonder, but Brazil has the most to sort out following their exit from Russia.

Liverpool

Soccer

Shaqiri to Liverpool makes sense for Klopp

Xherdan Shaqiri is a no-brainer for Liverpool. He's available for a reasonable fee and could provide strong competition for Jurgen Klopp's squad.

Getty

England glee proves why Liverpool fans revelled in CL run

A lot of people revelled in England's World Cup run before they fell short, just like Liverpool in the Champions League final.

Extra Time: Dybala to Liverpool? Best World Cup player?

The guys respond to your tweets about Paulo Dybala, the best player at the World Cup so far and the best player the guys ever played against.

6:06

Arsenal

Soccer

Boreham Wood a fitting place to start Emery era

Arsenal's relationship with non-league Boreham Wood goes back nearly 20 years, so it was a welcome place to start Unai Emery's Gunners tenure.

Five questions for Arsenal vs. Boreham Wood

Unai Emery takes charge of his first game as Arsenal head coach on Saturday. Here are five things to look for.

Emery: The Arsenal squad is complete

Unless a "big opportunity" arises, Arsenal boss Unai Emery says he won't feel the need to make any further summer signings.

1:03

Manchester City

Soccer

Inside Riyad Mahrez's first day - Via Man City

10:05

Is Riyad Mahrez a guaranteed starter at Manchester City?

Riyad Mahrez cost Manchester City a club-record transfer fee, but the FC crew disagree about how the former Leicester star will fit into City's XI.

3:21

Real Madrid

Soccer

Real Madrid should turn to Bale, youth in life after Ronaldo

Madrid have great players and incoming young talent, and the new coach has a system. Don't risk it by trying to fill that superstar-shaped hole.

Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real's €45m starlet 'nervous' ahead of move

The Brazilian forward, who turns 18 on Thursday, is traveling to Spain this week to begin preseason training with the European champions.

Laurens: 'Impossible' Mbappe moves to Real this summer

Julien Laurens expects Kylian Mbappe to play for Real Madrid at some point in his career, but says there's no way PSG sell him this summer.

0:49

Barcelona

Soccer

Barcelona announce signing of Sevilla's Lenglet

Barcelona have completed the signing of Sevilla's Clement Lenglet after the defender deposited his €35.9 million release clause.

Yerry Mina: I'm happy at Barcelona

Yerry Mina opens up about his future with Barcelona, as rumours continue to swirl over a possible move to Everton.

0:30

Arthur welcomes Xavi, Iniesta comparisons

Arthur welcomed comparisons to Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez after becoming the first signing of what's set to be a busy summer at Barcelona.

Paris Saint-Germain

Soccer

PSG hire Neymar's Brazil physiotherapist

Brazil physiotherapist Bruno Mazziotti, who worked with Neymar leading up to the World Cup, has been hired to the same position by PSG.

Buffon's arrival at PSG shouldn't be at Areola's expense

Gianluigi Buffon can provide experience and guidance for PSG on and off the pitch, but the club shouldn't give up on current No. 1 Alphonse Areola.

U.S.'s Weah: I want to be greatest American ever

United States and Paris Saint-Germain rising star Timothy Weah says he wants to become his country's greatest-ever footballing export.

German Bundesliga

German football needs more flair - Bayern's Kovac

New Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac bemoaned German players' lack of flair and criticised youth development in Germany.

Dortmund transfer moves reflect philosophical shift

There's a lot of talk of change at BVB following a dip in performance. Technical skill is now less prized than strong mentality and the will to win.

Mexico

Soccer

Herrera is ready for the challenge of joining Europe's elite

Hector Herrera has been linked with some of Europe's biggest clubs. The Mexico international proved at the World Cup he's ready for the challenge.

Mexico may already be long gone from Russia 2018, but it's still a big week for the national team. News is expected about Juan Carlos Osorio's future. Here are a few thoughts on what could happen.

Tom Marshall, ESPN FC8d ago

Juan Carlos Osorio has to choose: Mexico, U.S. or Europe?

Mexico fell at the last-16 again but Juan Carlos Osorio emerged with plenty of credit. Now, he must decide his next move as a manager.

FIFA World Cup

Letters from Russia: Essays on host cities

A visit to Ekaterinburg Arena... and that crazy seating

Ekaterinburg made headlines for the hilarious and terrifying temporary stands outside the stadium, the latest in the city's architectural legacy.

Eliot Rothwell / ESPN FC

Rostov-on-Don's raki tradition will show visitors a good time

Rostov-on-Don is known for its communal raki (crayfish) dinners and while being a smaller city in the World Cup, it will show visitors a good time.

Moscow transformed as Russia fans, travelers party in harmony

"I've lived in Moscow all my life and never seen anything like it." Eliot Rothwell's new letter from Russia comes from the joyous capital.

LA Galaxy

Soccer

ESPN's Body Issue: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has never been, ahem, a modest man, so posing for the Body Issue just feels right. After the shoot, he revealed the details of his brutal knee injury and how he's adjusting to his new team.

Peter Hapak

Zlatan: I am still the best player in the world!

In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Zlatan Ibrahimovic tells Sam Borden why he is still the greatest and has a strong message for all his haters.

11:59

Review: Ibrahimovic delivers on star power in Zla-La-Land

LA Galaxy fans have seen their share of international soccer royalty, but nothing quite stands up to the franchise of Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

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