Qatar 2022

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Son Heung-min has been included in South Korea's 26-man squad for the World Cup despite the Tottenham forward's injury.

The 30-year-old sustained a fractured eye socket playing against Marseille in a Champions League fixture earlier this month, putting his participation in serious doubt.

However, Son assured South Korea fans earlier this week that he would be on the plane to Qatar.

"I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you all for the messages of support I have received over the last week," the forward wrote on Instagram on Wednesday.

"I have read so many of them and truly, truly appreciate you all.

"In a tough time I received a lot of strength from you. Playing for your country at the World Cup is the dream of so many children growing up, just as it was one of mine too.

"I won’t miss this for the world. I can’t wait to represent our beautiful country. See you soon."

Son has now officially been included in South Korea's travelling part for the tournament that starts on November 20, with their first Group H assignment taking place four days later against Uruguay. 

Head coach Paulo Bento was not able to offer clarity on when Son could start training prior to that game.

In quotes reported by BBC Sport, Bento said: "We don't have that information yet.

"We are in contact with him, with the Tottenham medical department. We need to wait, we need to analyse day by day his situation.

"We have time to decide and the most important is he recovers as well as possible, he feels comfortable and then we will take the final decision."

Noel Le Graet, president of the French Football Federation, does not want France captain Hugo Lloris to wear a rainbow armband at the Qatar World Cup in support of LGBTQ+ rights.

The 'One Love' campaign was announced in September in which 10 European nations declared they wanted to "send a message" against discrimination, including captains wearing an armband featuring a heart containing multi colours to represent all backgrounds during the 2022 World Cup.

The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, England and Wales each signed up to the initiative, aimed to take place at the tournament and beyond.

However, Le Graet has now said he will "discuss it" with Lloris, admitting he would "rather" the defending world champions not take part.

"We're going to discuss it. But I'd rather [Lloris] doesn't do it," Le Graet said in an interview with L'Equipe. "We're playing in a country which we must respect. But if we have to wear it, we'll wear it.

"It's not that I'm not in favour of this armband, but sometimes I think we want to lecture others so much that we should also look at what's happening in our country."

Concerns have been raised about the World Cup being held in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal and was described earlier this week as "damage in the mind" by tournament ambassador Khalid Salman on German television.

FIFA recently wrote to all competing nations to remind them to "focus on football" during the tournament, which starts on November 20.

Achraf Hakimi has described Sergio Ramos as the "best defender in the world" after the latter was left out of the Spain squad for the 2022 World Cup.

Spain head coach Luis Enrique announced his 26-man selection for the upcoming tournament in Qatar on Friday, with Ramos a notable absentee after being a part of the provisional 55-man list.

The former Real Madrid centre-back has 180 caps for Spain, and was a part of the team that won the 2010 World Cup, as well as the 2008 and 2012 European Championships.

After an injury-troubled debut season at Paris Saint-Germain following his move from the Santiago Bernabeu in 2021, Ramos has made 19 appearances this campaign already, and recently became the first PSG player to remain undefeated in his first 30 games for the club in all competitions.

However, following the news that the 36-year-old will not be heading to Qatar, his club team-mate Hakimi – who will be representing Morocco at the tournament – posted on Twitter: "Sergio Ramos. Best defend[er] in the world", with an applause emoji.

Ramos was previously left out of the Spain squad for Euro 2020 after an injury-hit final season in Madrid, with his most recent international cap coming against Kosovo in March 2021 in qualifying for Qatar 2022.

Other high-profile names left out of the squad included Manchester United's David De Gea, Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez and Thiago Alcantara of Liverpool.

At his squad announcement press conference on Friday, Luis Enrique explained: "I have a rule not to talk about absences. This happens to all coaches.

"I will not judge those who are not on the list. I thank all those who played. The most important are the 26 who are there. The absentees, I prefer not to comment. I leave it to you."

Paulo Dybala has overcome injury to take his place in the Argentina squad for the 2022 World Cup.

The Roma forward has not played since the Giallorossi's win against Lecce on October 9 after suffering a thigh problem, though reports had suggested he was close to a return.

That appears to be the case as Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni has named Dybala in his 26-man squad for Qatar, a list headlined by Lionel Messi in what is expected to be his final World Cup.

The 35-year-old has rediscovered his form at Paris Saint-Germain, scoring 12 goals in 18 games this season, and he will be joined in attack by the only Albiceleste player to equal him for goals in qualifying (seven), Lautaro Martinez, as well as Dybala, Angel Di Maria, Joaquin Correa, Julian Alvarez and Nicolas Gonzalez.

Like Dybala, Tottenham centre-back Cristian Romero has recovered from injury in time to make it, with Manchester United's Lisandro Martinez also on the plane.

However, Villarreal midfielder Giovani Los Celso has failed to make the cut after recently sustaining a hamstring injury.

Impressive 21-year-old midfielder Enzo Fernandez earns his place in the squad after a good start to life at Benfica, while Brighton and Hove Albion's Alexis Mac Allister has also been rewarded for his form in the Premier League.

The two-time World Cup winners begin their campaign on November 22 against Saudi Arabia, before facing Mexico and Poland in their other Group C games.

Argentina squad:

Franco Armani (River Plate), Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Geronimo Rulli (Villarreal); Marcos Acuna (Sevilla), Juan Foyth (Villarreal), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Nicolas Tagliafico (Lyon); Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Enzo Fernandez (Benfica), Alejandro Gomez (Sevilla), Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton and Hove Albion), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen), Leandro Paredes (Juventus), Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis); Julian Alvarez (Manchester City), Joaquin Correa (Inter), Angel Di Maria (Juventus), Paulo Dybala (Roma), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Lautaro Martinez (Inter), Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain).

England's all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney hopes Harry Kane smashes his record during the World Cup.

Kane heads to the tournament with 51 goals for the Three Lions, two behind Rooney's record hail, with the pair standing as the only England players to have hit the half-century mark.

Having scored six times in Russia four years ago to win the Golden Boot, Kane will be confident of surpassing Rooney's tally in Qatar.

While others may wish to hold onto such a record, Rooney is fully behind Kane taking a record that is "there to be broken".

"I'm delighted for him, I think he'll go on and smash the record, I think he'll end up on 70-odd goals," Ronney told TalkSPORT.

"He deserves it for the work he puts in. It's a huge honour to have the record but the record is there to be broken and I couldn't think of anyone better to take that record.

"Hopefully, he gets it during this World Cup because it will mean he's doing well for England."

Kane was one of the sure-fire picks for Gareth Southgate's 26-man squad, which was named on Thursday, though the England manager's selection of Harry Maguire has come under some criticism.

Rooney, who took up a coaching role with D.C. United in MLS earlier this year, believes Southgate has made the right choice in picking the Manchester United centre-back, though he questioned the exclusion of Milan's Fikayo Tomori.

"Harry has been great in the last two tournaments. When I was in the squad, Gareth reiterated to me that he is picking players on form and I wasn't playing, so I didn't get picked, but he seems to have gone away from that now," he added.

"There's a couple of players within the squad who haven't been playing but I think Harry is a very good professional, he'll start the games, I have no doubt, and I'm sure he won't let England down.

"The squad is probably as strong as it could be, if I'm being honest. The only one really is Tomori, from my point of view. He was the one who was pushing to be in the squad, and he will be disappointed that he is not. Everything else is really what I expected.

"With Maguire not playing as much as he wants, I think Southgate might go for the protection with three centre-backs and that is obviously why he's gone with Eric Dier ahead of Tomori, because he fits into the back three.

"I hope we go for four [at the back] and get an extra attacker on the pitch but I think he might go for the back three."

England kick-off their group stage campaign against Iran on November 21, then tackle the United States and Wales in Group B.

Gareth Southgate should leave his role as England manager "with his head held high" after the World Cup, according to Jamie Carragher, who says the Three Lions have overachieved during his reign.

Southgate has led England to at least the semi-finals in consecutive major tournaments, becoming the only boss to do so since Alf Ramsey (World Cup winners in 1966, Euro 1968 semi-finalists). 

However, he has faced heavy criticism since he oversaw England's relegation from the top tier of the Nations League in September, and was jeered by supporters following a defeat in Italy.  

While Southgate signed a contract extension to run until the end of Euro 2024 last year, Carragher believes he should call time on his tenure after the trip to Qatar, but says he has earnt the right to make his own decision.

"If I was Gareth Southgate, I would make the Qatar World Cup my swansong as England manager," Carragher wrote in the Telegraph. "Hopefully England will produce to a strong enough level to ensure that is Southgate's call.

"After his excellence in the job to this point, the least he deserves is to leave on his own terms when he feels the time is right. 

"The natural cycle should be for a rethink every four years, so a coach builds towards the next World Cup. Unless Southgate has the energy for that, it is wiser to step away.

"Southgate may win over the doubters for a third time over the next few weeks. My hope for Qatar is for England to again retain interest in the competition until the final week, to give Southgate the option of leaving the job through the front door with his head held high."

Southgate has been charged with adopting a negative approach in several big games during his reign – notably 2018's World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia and the Euro 2020 final loss to Italy.

However, Carragher described criticism of his tactics as a "joke" as he insisted England had not underperformed in recent years.

"He is intelligent enough to have sensed a mood shift over the last few months, even if some of the negativity surrounding him during the build-up to the tournament is a joke," Carragher added.

"It is unreasonable to suggest he should change course from the formula that took England so far in their last two competitions.

"He has not failed to get the most of a talented squad, as some argue. He has over performed with a very good bunch.

"Go through the current England team and there are three players who would be a regular first choice in any club side in the world – Harry Kane, Phil Foden and, in the future, Jude Bellingham.

"The suggestion that this is the greatest England team since 1966 is a myth, but the more it gains traction, the more Southgate must deal with unrealistic demands."

Uncapped trio Andries Noppert, Jeremie Frimpong and Xavi Simons have been named in Louis van Gaal's Netherlands squad for the World Cup, but there is no place for Sven Botman or Ryan Gravenberch.

Van Gaal has opted for Bayer Leverkusen right-back Frimpong over Newcastle United centre-back Botman, while in midfield 19-year-old Simons secures his spot ahead of Gravenberch – who has struggled for minutes since joining Bayern Munich.

Gravenberch's Bayern team-mate Matthijs de Ligt does make it, while Premier League defenders Virgil van Dijk and Nathan Ake are also both unsurprisingly named along with Manchester United's Tyrell Malacia.

In midfield, Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong is in alongside Atalanta duo Marten de Roon and Teun Koopmeiners, with Ajax's 20-year-old Kenneth Taylor also looking to add to his two caps to date.

PSV's Cody Gakpo is the standout name in attack, along with Barcelona's Memphis Depay, but there is no spot for Borussia Dortmund's Donyell Malen or Villarreal's Arnaut Danjuma.

The Netherlands begin their World Cup campaign on November 21 against Senegal, before also facing Qatar and Ecuador in Group A.

Netherlands squad: Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord), Andries Noppert (Heerenveen), Remko Pasveer (Ajax); Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Nathan Ake (Man City), Daley Blind (Ajax), Jurrien Timber (Ajax), Denzel Dumfries (Inter), Stefan de Vrij (Lazio), Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich), Tyrell Malacia (Manchester United), Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen); Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Steven Berghuis (Ajax), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Kenneth Taylor (Ajax), Xavi Simons (PSV); Cody Gakpo (PSV) Memphis Depay (Barcelona), Steven Bergwijn (Ajax), Vincent Janssen (Antwerp), Luuk de Jong (PSV), Noa Lang (Brugge), Wout Weghorst (Besiktas)

Sergio Ramos has missed out on a World Cup recall in a Spain squad announcement that saw few surprises.

The Paris Saint-Germain defender was not included in Luis Enrique's 26-man party, having originally been included in La Roja's provisional 55-man list.

Ramos was previously omitted for Euro 2020 following an injury-hit final season at Real Madrid, with his last international cap coming against Kosovo in March 2021 in qualifying for Qatar 2022.

But there had been an outside chance the 36-year-old would have been invited back into the fold for a fifth World Cup, given his improved form and fitness at PSG, as well as his leadership.

Ultimately, Luis Enrique stuck largely with the players he used during Spain's Nations League campaign.

One shock was at centre-back, where Inigo Martinez missed out as Hugo Guillamon was preferred.

There was no recall for Liverpool midfielder Thiago, but Ansu Fati returned despite starting only five matches for Barcelona this season.

Spain squad in full:

David Raya (Brentford), Robert Sanchez (Brighton and Hove Albion), Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao); Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Jose Gaya (Valencia), Eric Garcia (Barcelona), Hugo Guillamon (Valencia), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Pau Torres (Villarreal); Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Carlos Soler (Paris Saint-Germain), Gavi (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Pedri (Barcelona), Rodri (Manchester City); Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Yeremy Pino (Villarreal), Pablo Sarabia (Paris Saint-Germain), Ferran Torres (Barcelona), Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao).

Sadio Mane has been named in Senegal's squad for the World Cup despite suffering a fibula injury less than two weeks before the tournament begins.

The Bayern Munich attacker limped out of his side's 6-1 Bundesliga thrashing of Werder Bremen on Tuesday, and the Bavarian giants subsequently confirmed he had injured his right fibula head.

Reports in Germany and France said Mane's availability for Senegal's World Cup campaign – which begins against the Netherlands on November 21 – was in question, but Bayern did not rule him out of the tournament.

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse has opted to take a risk on Mane by naming him in his 26-man party for the trip to Qatar, though he acknowledges the former Liverpool star's condition must improve if he is to feature.

"We are monitoring the situation and have sent one of our doctors to assess him," Cisse said at a press conference in Dakar on Friday.

"On Thursday, Sadio spent the whole day in Munich before travelling to Austria for further tests. The good news is that he does not need an operation.

"We want the situation to evolve in two to three weeks. I don't want to rule him out."

Mane scored the winning penalty as Senegal beat Egypt to win their first Africa Cup of Nations title earlier this year, and he has been directly involved in 12 of the last 25 goals scored by Senegal players at major tournaments (AFCON and World Cup), netting nine and assisting three.

Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly will captain the Lions of Teranga in Qatar, with Blues team-mate Edouard Mendy also set to start in goal.

Senegal squad: Seny Dieng (Queens Park Rangers), Alfred Gomis (Rennes), Edouard Mendy (Chelsea); Fode Ballo-Toure (Milan), Pape Abou Cisse (Olympiacos), Abdou Diallo (RB Leipzig), Ismail Jakobs (Monaco), Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea), Formose Mendy (Amiens), Youssouf Sabaly (Real Betis); Pathe Ciss (Rayo Vallecano), Krepin Diatta (Monaco), Idrissa Gueye (Everton), Pape Gueye (Marseille), Cheikhou Kouyate (Nottingham Forest), Mamadou Loum (Reading), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City), Moustapha Name (Pafos), Pape Matar Sarr (Tottenham); Boulaye Dia (Salernitana), Famara Diedhiou (Alanyaspor), Bamba Dieng (Marseille), Nicolas Jackson (Villarreal), Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich), Iliman Ndiaye (Sheffield United), Ismaila Sarr (Watford).

Erik ten Hag says Alejandro Garnacho's potential inclusion in Argentina's Qatar 2022 World Cup squad would not be "the right step" for the Manchester United teenager.

La Albiceleste are set to announce their 26-man party for this month's tournament next Monday, where the reigning Copa America champions are considered among the frontrunners.

With Lionel Messi set to likely compete in his final World Cup, Lionel Scaloni's side will not be short of motivation, and there have been suggestions Garnacho could be a surprise name in the squad.

But Ten Hag is not sure it would be the best thing for the winger's development.

"It's difficult to say," he stated. "I don't know all the available Argentina players, what is available for them from 26. It's a big step to go to a World Cup, where the best players in the world come together.

"It's a big step. I don't know if that's the right step for him. I think he has to keep his head clean, stay calm, work hard and develop. I think [he has to] go from game to game."

Garnacho was a live-wire performer for United as they progressed to the last 16 of the EFL Cup on Thursday with a 4-2 win over Aston Villa, providing two assists after coming off the bench.

The teenager has lacked regular minutes this term, though he has been a frequent performer in Europe, with four Europa League appearances and a goal to his name.

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