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Youssoufa Moukoko stated he is "overwhelmed" after being named in Hansi Flick's Germany squad for the World Cup.

The 17-year-old forward could earn his first senior appearance at the tournament, having come into the squad amid the injury absences of Timo Werner and Lukas Nmecha.

Moukoko's selection comes after stellar form for Borussia Dortmund this season, scoring six goals and contributing three assists in 13 Bundesliga appearances.

Following the announcement of the squad on Thursday, Moukoko took to social media to express his delight.

"I just can't believe it. Last year, around this time I was still out of the window, struggling with many injuries and little playing time," he posted on Instagram.

"Yet, I always tried to stay positive and believe in myself. I knew what I could achieve and now just to be part of a World Cup, a goal that players dream of their entire career, makes me incredibly proud.

"All the hard work has paid off, and I am just incredibly happy and overwhelmed.

"I would like to send a special thank you to my family, Edin Terzic, Sebastian Geppert, Peter Herrmann and the entire Borussia Dortmund coaching team, and my advisor Patrick Williams.

"Thanks also to my teammates and the fans of Borussia Dortmund and everyone who has supported and accompanied me for years. I love you guys."

Germany face Oman in a friendly on Wednesday, then begin their World Cup campaign on November 23 against Japan.

Gareth Southgate says Harry Maguire is one of England's "best centre-backs" after the defender was named among the Three Lions' Qatar 2022 World Cup squad.

The Manchester United captain will head to his third major tournament with the national team, following Russia 2018 and Euro 2020, despite struggling for regular minutes at club level.

One of a dozen players retained from the squad that reached the semi-finals four years ago, Maguire has been a regular for England under Southgate.

That experience in major knockout encounters has helped him keep his spot despite underwhelming for United, with inclusion indicating the strong support Southgate has for his player.

"He's one of our best centre-backs," he stated. "I think within the squad, we've got a lot of players that have been to tournaments, have performed at that level, and know what's required.

"We've got other players who are playing well, who are in form right at this moment, and we've got to balance all of that when picking our team."

Maguire's selection was expected but has nevertheless raised eyebrows amid the promising form of younger understudies, such as Milan's Fikayo Tomori and Crystal Palace's Marc Guehi.

Southgate suggested that, despite limited opportunities for Maguire, his youthful rivals had not shown enough to dislodge his faith in Maguire and others, such as Everton loanee Conor Coady.

"We've picked our more experienced defenders," he added. "In this moment in time, the younger ones have got some really good qualities.

"But we don't think they've done quite enough to push the more experienced ones out. With the tournament we're going into and the level of the matches, that had to be the pecking order."

Gareth Southgate says James Maddison "earned the right" to be called up to England's squad for the World Cup in Qatar.

Maddison's 22 Premier League goal involvements in 2022 are the second most among England players behind Harry Kane's 32.

But despite his impressive form this year, Maddison was not called up for England's Nations League games in September and, having not featured for the national team since 2019, there was a debate over whether he should be included in the squad for Qatar.

Thursday's announcement confirmed his seat on the plane, and Southgate says the Leicester City man deserves it.

"He's playing really well. He's a good player, we've always said he's a good player. He's earned the right," the England boss said.

"We think he can give us something slightly different to the other attacking players that we've got.

"We like the fact he finds those pockets of space. He plays forward, not enough players play forward in this day and age.

"His set-play delivery is outstanding. He can score goals from distance, which against low-block defences is another attribute which is a little different from our other players."

Maddison has only collected one cap, and his three-year absence for the Three Lions came after he was spotted in a casino the same evening he said he was too unwell to play for England.

But Southgate says this was not the reason for his exile, explaining: "That was unfortunate from his perspective because it became a bigger issue than it was for me.

"You end up in the papers, nobody likes that. But for me, that wasn't the drama that it seemed to be for everyone else. He's always been up against some really good players in that area of the pitch."

One of those to miss out on the squad was Roma's Tammy Abraham, who has only managed three Serie A goals this term after scoring 17 last season.

Southgate cited that poor form as the reason for his exclusion, saying: "Tammy's had a poor run of scoring form at the wrong time, really.

"It's not a case where we are three or four weeks away from the finals and the first match, we're now 10 days. Form could be more important.

"We don't really know with any of the players. We're watching their club form, but we don't know where they are until we see them face-to-face on the training pitch."

When asked which players he had spoken to in order to deliver the good or bad news, Southgate added: "I did speak to James [Maddison] because I think this morning there was a lot of speculation that James wouldn't be with us.

"We'd decided a couple of weeks ago that we would, but we weren't obviously going to go and tell him then.

"My priority always on these days is the difficult conversations and sad news, and that is really tough. There's not many situations in football harder than that.

"But the nature of those conversations, good and bad, reminds you of how much it means to a player to go to a World Cup. So it is a great day, but for some of those, I've had to disappoint them."

Gareth Southgate has recalled James Maddison and Callum Wilson to his England squad for the World Cup, with Kyle Walker also featuring.

Maddison has been in superb form for Leicester City this season, though his only previous cap for the Three Lions came in November 2019.

Yet his six Premier League goals and four assists have persuaded Southgate to hand the playmaker a recall along with Newcastle United striker Wilson, though like Maddison the last of his caps came three years ago.

Wilson and Maddison join Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Sako and Harry Kane, the winner of the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup, as the forwards heading to Qatar.

There is no room however for Tammy Abraham, who scored 27 goals for Roma last season but has managed just four this term, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jadon Sancho and Ivan Toney also miss out.

Brentford striker Toney was included in Southgate's squad for England's September internationals, yet has not made the cut for Qatar despite being the Premier League's highest-scoring English player this season after Kane.

In defence, Southgate has been able to call on Manchester City defender Walker, who has been recovering from a groin issue, though Chelsea duo Reece James and Ben Chilwell are unavailable due to injury.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw have been called up, though Fikayo Tomori – a Serie A champion with Milan – and Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi have missed out.

Ben White's form for Arsenal has seen him named alongside Conor Coady, Eric Dier, John Stones and Harry Maguire, who has struggled for minutes at Manchester United under Erik ten Hag, though Southgate has stood by the 29-year-old.

Jude Bellingham's terrific season continues as he heads to his second major international tournament, while Kalvin Phillips has been selected after having surgery to fix a shoulder problem last month. 

Jordan Pickford was superb in England's run to the semi-finals in Russia and to their progression to the final at Euro 2020, with Nick Pope and Aaron Ramsdale also picked.

England squad:

Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Newcastle United), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ben White (Arsenal); Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham); Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), James Maddison (Leicester City), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Callum Wilson (Newcastle United).

Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen was one of the notable omissions from the United States' 26-man World Cup squad confirmed by head coach Gregg Berhalter on Wednesday.

Chelsea's Christian Pulisic, Juventus' Weston McKennie, Milan's Sergino Dest and Leeds United pair Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams were all included in the squad which is in Group B alongside Wales, England and Iran.

Steffen, who is on loan at Championship club Middlesbrough from City, missed out with Matt Turner, Sean Johnson and Ethan Horvath preferred as the three goalkeepers.

Fulham defender Tim Ream along with Turkey-based forward Haji Wright have also been included, while exciting 19-year-old striker Ricardo Pepi has missed out, along with Paul Arriola and Jordan Pefok.

"Final roster decisions are always difficult, and we appreciate everyone's contributions who helped us get to this point," Berhalter said. "We believe we have a talented group, a strong team spirit, and one that is ready to compete."

This year's event marks USA's return to the World Cup having failed to qualify for Russia 2018. Deandre Yedlin is the only member of their last World Cup squad from 2014 to be carried over in this group.

The United States face Wales in their opening Group B match on November 21, before taking on England and Iran.

USA squad: Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Sean Johnson (New York City), Matt Turner (Arsenal); Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic), Sergino Dest (AC Milan), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Shaq Moore (Nashville), Tim Ream (Fulham), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville); Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Tyler Adams (Leeds United), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders); Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (Norwich City), Tim Weah (Lille), Haji Wright (Antalyaspor)

Karim Benzema will do everything he can to be 100 per cent fit for the World Cup after making France's squad for the tournament amid an injury-hit season, says Didier Deschamps.

Benzema won his first Ballon d'Or after leading Real Madrid to glory in LaLiga and the Champions League by scoring 44 goals last term, but has endured a frustrating 2022-23 campaign to date.

The striker has started just 11 games in all competitions this season, hitting the net six times, and Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti said the 34-year-old was "struggling" on Sunday after he suffered from muscular fatigue in his left quadriceps. 

However, Benzema will join the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud among France's attacking options in Qatar, and Deschamps hopes he will be in peak condition.

"Benzema has had a few minor injuries, but he knows that the World Cup is a very important moment," Deschamps said after revealing his 25-man squad on Wednesday. 

"He will do everything, like the whole group, to be 100 per cent."

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has also been included despite sustaining a leg injury in the Red Devils' Premier League draw at Chelsea last month, and Deschamps is optimistic regarding his chances of facing Australia in the team's Group D opener on November 22. 

"Presnel [Kimpembe] had a little problem but he will be available for the last league game on Sunday," Deschamps said.

"For Varane, it's a longer injury, but he will be available for the first game against Australia on the 22nd, if all goes well."

The World Cup holders will head to Qatar with a depleted set of midfield options after Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante were ruled out, while left-backs Ferland Mendy and Lucas Digne, as well as Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan – who suffered a calf injury in September – are among the other notable absentees.

France will be captained by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in Qatar, whose inclusion in a fourth World Cup squad sees him equal the national record set by Thierry Henry (in the 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010 tournaments).

France World Cup squad: Alphonse Areola (West Ham), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Rennes); Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Theo Hernandez (Milan), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), William Saliba (Arsenal), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Manchester United); Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid), Jordan Veretout (Marseille); Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Milan), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig).

Gareth Bale's lack of playing time is of no concern for Rob Page, who has backed the Los Angeles FC forward to leave his mark for Wales at the World Cup.

Former Real Madrid star Bale was named as part of Page's 26-man squad on Wednesday that will travel to Qatar for just Wales' second ever participation in the tournament.

The 33-year-old has managed only two starts for LAFC since joining from Madrid in July and has accumulated just 370 minutes on the field.

Bale has made his impact felt, though, having scored an extra-time equaliser from the substitutes' bench in Saturday's 3-3 draw with Philadelphia Union in the MLS Cup final.

Speaking after that match, which LAFC won on penalties for their first title, Bale said he is "not 100-per-cent fit" heading into Qatar 2022.

But having played an integral role in Wales' qualifying campaign, with winning strikes in the play-off wins over Austria and Ukraine, Page is confident he will play a big part again.

"Ideally would we want him to play more minutes? Of course. Am I worried? No," Page told reporters. 

"He's shown time and time again that irrespective of how many minutes he's played at club level he always comes in and has important moments in the game.

"Big players step up for big occasions. We've said it with Aaron [Ramsey] in the past – Hungary at home when he got two goals for us – and it's no different with Gareth.

"Opposing managers will look at the team sheet and if they see his name they know at any moment he can win a game for you."

Bale captains a squad that has no surprising inclusions or omissions, with Ramsey and Joe Allen also included, despite the latter being considered a major fitness doubt.

Rhys Norrington-Davies misses out with a hamstring issues, meaning a recall for Tom Lockyer, while forward Tyler Roberts also misses the cut due to a calf issue.

Wales face the United States in their opening Group B match on November 21, before taking on Iran and England.

Wales squad: Adam Davies (Sheffield United), Wayne Hennessey (Nottingham Forest), Danny Ward (Leicester City); Ethan Ampadu (Spezia, on loan from Chelsea), Ben Cabango (Swansea City), Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur), Chris Gunter (Wimbledon), Tom Lockyer (Luton Town), Chris Mepham (Bournemouth), Connor Roberts (Burnley), Joe Rodon (Rennes, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Neco Williams (Nottingham Forest); Joe Allen (Swansea City), Rubin Colwill (Cardiff City), Dylan Levitt (Dundee United), Joe Morrell (Portsmouth), Aaron Ramsey (Nice), Matthew Smith (Milton Keynes Dons), Sorba Thomas (Huddersfield Town), Jonny Williams (Swindon Town), Harry Wilson (Fulham); Gareth Bale (Los Angeles FC), Mark Harris (Cardiff City), Dan James (Fulham, on loan from Leeds United), Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest), Kieffer Moore (Bournemouth).

Lionel Messi may have declared Qatar 2022 will be his last World Cup, but Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni is hopeful that will not be the case.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Messi will take part in the global showpiece for a fifth time when the tournament gets under way later this month.

Messi, who will turn 39 during the 2026 edition, stated in an interview last month this would be "my last World Cup, surely, yes".

However, Scaloni is optimistic the former Barcelona star will still have a part to play for Argentina should they qualify for the next finals in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

"It may be his last World Cup, but hopefully not," Scaloni told CNN. "He is happy on the field and makes a lot of people happy.

"If we take care of him and carry him as we have to, there is the possibility of more games, because the world of football asks for it."

Messi has a combined 26 goals and assists for PSG this season – a tally only Erling Haaland and team-mate Neymar can match among players from Europe's top five leagues.

The 35-year-old is nursing an Achilles injury that kept him out of PSG's 2-1 win at Lorient last weekend, but Scaloni has no concerns over his fitness.

"No player is going to reach 100 per cent ahead of the World Cup," he said. "We will do our best in the final week before the tournament to help every player.

"There are some who will not play the last games [for their clubs] as a precaution, but we know they are fine."


Messi has scored six goals at the World Cup, but he has yet to find the net in 756 minutes of action in the knockout stages of the competition.

The closest Messi has come to lifting the famous trophy was in 2014 when playing a big part in Argentina's run to the final in Brazil, where they were beaten by Germany.

He scored (four) or assisted (one) five of his side's eight goals in that edition en route to winning the Golden Ball award.

Argentina did not fare as well at Russia 2018, where they lost to France in the last 16, but they head to Qatar as one of the favourites on the back of winning the Copa America.

"The most important thing is the players enjoy playing in this jersey," Scaloni added. "You cannot think about the title because it generated an anxiety that doesn't let you perform.

"The prelude to the first match of a World Cup generates a different attitude in you, and we have to work a lot on the emotional side of things."

Argentina begin their World Cup campaign against Saudi Arabia on November 22, before facing Mexico and Poland in their other Group C matches.

"Wales, golf, Madrid, in that order," read the flag – and that order of priority means Gareth Bale will miss out on his favourite pastime while at the Qatar World Cup.

Bale is a keen golf fan – his love of the sport celebrated by fans of Wales and irritating supporters at former club Real Madrid – but Wales come first.

That is the explanation Rob Page had for his captain after revealing there will be no time for golf during the finals.

Wales boss Page had sought to arrange a round for his team in Doha, but the limited daylight put paid to those plans.

"Yeah, there's no golf," Page said of his conversation with Bale. "We're out there to do a job.

"In the past, I may get Gareth, Kieffer Moore or Aaron Ramsey come up to me and say, 'What's the plan for tomorrow afternoon? Are there meetings?'

"I'd say, 'No, there are no meetings, so if you want nine holes then go and play'. But that is when you have a week building up to a double-header.

"Out there, we won't have enough time. Every four days, there is a game. It's relentless."

Wales open their World Cup campaign against the United States on November 21, before then facing Iran and England in their other Group B matches.

Ecuador will keep their place at the 2022 World Cup after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled in their favour on Tuesday, following attempts from Chile and Peru to have them thrown out of the tournament. 

Chile and Peru appealed to FIFA after discovering Ecuador had used ineligible right-back Byron Castillo in their successful qualification campaign.

The Federacion de Futbol de Chile (ANPF) provided proof that Castillo was born in Colombia and not Ecuador, as stated on his official documents.

FIFA dismissed all charges in June and again in September when the fresh evidence came to light, but Chile and Peru took the case to CAS with a further appeal.

However, the hearing on November 4 and 5 adjudged that "no violation of the rules on eligibility has occurred", leaving Ecuador free to compete in Qatar later this month.

Ecuador will, however, be deducted three points in qualifying for the 2026 tournament after being found to have used false information to obtain a passport for a Colombian-born player.

The South American nation, who face hosts Qatar in the opening game of the tournament on November 20, must also pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss Francs ($101,605).

In a statement released on their official website after the verdict was delivered, the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) suggested they may themselves appeal those sanctions.

"The Ecuadorian Football Federation is analysing the next steps to follow, since it does not share the sanction imposed," the statement read.

Castillo appeared eight times in qualifying for Ecuador, including in both of their two meetings with Chile, but he did not play in either game against Peru.

Chile argued Ecuador should forfeit the games Castillo played in, having finished fourth in CONMEBOL's qualification group, while Peru felt they should have replaced Ecuador in Qatar as they finished fifth.

With only four teams qualifying automatically, Peru instead dropped into the intercontinental play-offs and were beaten 5-4 on penalties by Australia following a goalless draw.

Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay are the other nations representing CONMEBOL at the global showpiece event, which runs until December 18.

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