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Man City impress at Arsenal; Pogba vs. Mourinho

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

Premier League
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Cristiano Ronaldo swapping Real for Juventus? Not so fast

Cristiano Ronaldo
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How much Portugal rely on Ronaldo

Portugal
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Spanish FA was right to fire Lopetegui

Spain
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World Cup ref chief Pierluigi Collina dishes on VAR impact at Russia 2018

Former Premier League referee Peter Walton explains why the use of VAR in Russia exceeded his expectations.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino breaks down VAR's usage at the 2018 World Cup and how pleased he is with its implementation.
Various ESPN FC correspondents and fans weigh in on VAR and its impact at the World Cup in the latest episode of Project Russia.

A month has passed since the end of the World Cup in Russia, hailed by many as one of the best ever. Gab Marcotti caught up with Pierluigi Collina, chairman of FIFA's referees committee and the man in the middle for the 2002 final between Brazil and Germany, to talk about officiating, video assistant referees (VAR) and the future.

When you look back at 2018 and the fact that relative to previous World Cups, it had perhaps the least amount of refereeing controversy, to what do you attribute it? Could...

Man City impress at work-in-progress Arsenal; Madrid keepers; Pogba vs. Mourinho

Manchester City picked up where they left off last season with a dominant performance to win 2-0 at Arsenal.

It is worth noting that the defending Premier League champions unpicked the opposition on Unai Emery's debut without Gabriel Jesus, Fabian Delph, Leroy Sane, David Silva, Nicolas Otamendi and Kevin De Bruyne in the starting lineup. In other words, six of their 11 most frequently used players from last season were missing, when they set a new Premier League points total with 100.

The scary...

FIFA's World Cup legacy in Russia should be measured by the people, not the politics

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

MOSCOW -- In this line of work, you're taught to be cynical and contrarian. So when Gianni Infantino, the FIFA President, says "Today I am a happy man ... as far as I am concerned, we all fell in love with Russia," you want to blow holes in it.

It's very easy to do. From the way the World Cup even got to Russia (remember the "destroyed" computers?), to the state-sponsored doping program that gutted the country's Olympic medal count and led to a lifetime ban for the minister of sport and former head...

Maurizio Sarri's charisma, poetic football an intriguing move for Chelsea

With Maurizio Sarri's appointment at Chelsea now official, Gab Marcotti explains what the former Napoli manager brings to Stamford Bridge.
After Antonio Conte and Chelsea parted ways, ESPN takes a look at the managers to have fallen during the Roman Abramovich era.
With Antonio Conte on his way out at Chelsea, ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti reflects on the Italian's tenure and what led to his undoing.

Maurizio Sarri might be Italian, like his predecessor at Chelsea, but there are few other similarities between him and Antonio Conte.

The brand of football Sarri deployed in his three seasons at Napoli (and, before that, at little Empoli) is starkly different. Conte meanwhile lived every game as if it was some sort of medieval epic, filled with gritted teeth, suffering and wild-eyed intensity. Even when he won -- and, lest we forget, he picked up a Premier League title and an FA Cup in two seasons...

The inside story of Cristiano Ronaldo's move from Real Madrid to Juventus

This time, it's real. This time, he's gone.

Gone after nine seasons, 450 goals, four Champions League titles and four Ballon d'Or awards.

Cristiano Ronaldo's move from Real Madrid to Juventus isn't just the second-biggest transfer in history -- the deal, once you factor in wages, transfer fee and commissions, will be comfortably north of $350 million, surpassed only by Neymar -- it's also an enormous gamble for everyone involved.

Real Madrid lose their talisman, their alpha and omega, capable of...

Cristiano Ronaldo swapping Real Madrid for Juventus? Not so fast

ESPN FC's Raphael Honigstein explains how both Juventus and Real Madrid are benefitting from having Cristiano Ronaldo linked with a move to Turin.

Cristiano Ronaldo flew home from Russia and the World Cup on Monday, but he didn't stay out of the headlines for long, as evidenced by the massive headlines Tuesday linking him with a move to Juventus.

As with all things involving Cristiano and Real Madrid, nothing is quite straightforward. Here's an attempt to make sense of it.

Q: So Juventus have made an offer, have they?

A: Easy there. Juventus haven't confirmed anything, and it's worth noting who pushed this story initially: Marca, the...