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England’s teenage EURO 2016 hopefuls

Roy Hodgson likes teenagers. He has included two in each of the England squads he has picked for major tournaments. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Jack Butland went to EURO 2012 at 18 and 19. Raheem Sterling and Luke Shaw were 19 and 18 when Hodgson took them to the 2014 World Cup. Who from England’s…

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Thoughts on the Under 17 World Cup draw

The draw for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup was made in Santiago, Chile yesterday. The tournament kicks off on October 17 and there are some very interesting ties in store. Stars from Chile’s sporting past and present including Ivan Zamorano and Marcelo Salas picked the teams and two groups stand out immediately. If Group C,…

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Dayot Upamecano flying with Red Bull

Red Bull Sulzburg had to fight some of the biggest clubs in the world to sign Dayot Upamecano. Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City had all been linked with the 16-year-old but he chose to move Austria from Valenciennes. Salzburg have wasted little time integrating him into their first team squad – justifying their move…

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World academies . . . Portland Timbers

How they do in Stumptown Who has the best youth system in the world?     Barcelona? Ajax? Partizan Belgrade? This highly subjective question is almost impossible to answer. Much has been written about the world’s great academies but what about the setup at clubs less famous for talent production? We thought it would be interesting…

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More English kids should follow Mandela Egbo to Europe

  Crystal Palace had high hopes for Mandela Egbo. The 17-year-old right back was one of the best prospects to come through their academy in recent years. Palace offered him a good contract but he chose to sign his first full professional deal with Borussia Monchenglabach in Germany. The English club will receive approximately £200,000…

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Why Barca are hot for cool Marlon

Marlon Santos of Fluminense was the classiest defender at the Under 20 World Cup in New Zealand. Calm and composed throughout as Brazil reached the final he was the defensive rock on which their potent attack was based. Quick but unhurried, dynamic yet languid – Marlon is a cool centre back. And now news emerges…

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