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Welcome to the 2018 FC 100
ESPN FC’s experts ranked the best men’s players and managers in world football. Check out the list.
Jose Mourinho’s Last Stand
Deliberate isolation. Petty feuds. Constant turmoil. The Manchester United manager wouldn’t have it any other way, writes Sam Borden.
Kylian Mbappe and the curse of the World Cup
Is there such a thing as peaking too early? Given all that Kylian Mbappe, just 19, has accomplished, we might soon find out.
“When you love football like we do, you always hear about Wembley. I played there in 2000 with the [Argentina] national team at the old Wembley, and it was a dream come true. Now, every week or two, to have the possibility to play at Wembley is a gift.
“For Jesus [Perez, the assistant manager] it’s the same, because we go together to Wembley. ‘One game more, how lucky we are,’ we say. For me, it’s the best place in the world to play football.
“Of course, we’ll share that with our new stadium. They’re going to be the two best places to play, our new stadium and Wembley.”
Tottenham visit Leicester on Saturday and Pochettino does not intend to risk Kieran Trippier, who limped off with a groin problem against Southampton.
Spurs’ manager feels England should have taken a similar approach at the World Cup after the right-back was forced off in the semifinal defeat to Croatia but played in the third-place playoff three days later — an exertion that he said had caused the groin issue.
“If we apply common sense, it’s difficult to play tomorrow when you come off [on Wednesday],” he said. “After 48 hours or 72 hours I think it’s not common sense to think in playing him, and I don’t believe he’s going to be available for Barcelona [in the Champions League on Tuesday].
“After three days [at the World Cup], to be available to play, it’s a little weird, no? I told you that the problem started there for him.”
Despite that frustration, Pochettino said he had a good rapport with the England setup. “They know how clear we are, after six years working in England,” he said.
“We’re the first that are interested that the national team take all the success that they can. I think we feel part of the success of the English national team.
“We’re always open to helping the coaching staff and the manager, and we have a very good relationship, a very open relationship, very honest.”
Juan Foyth is also out of the trip to Leicester, but Pochettino said he expected him to be back for next weekend’s match against Burnley, while Erik Lamela could return from a thigh strain against Barcelona.