Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka is determined to represent England at senior level despite overtures from Democratic Republic of Congo.

The 21-year-old right-back has enjoyed a fine campaign at Selhurst Park that has led to him being linked with Manchester United and Arsenal.

A potential senior England call-up has been mooted, though Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate is well stocked in that department thanks to Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez.

Wan-Bissaka is of Congolese descent and has represented DR Congo at youth level, but the England Under-21 international said he still aspires to play for the country of his birth.

"The aim is England," he told Standard Sport.

"I am happy playing with England and representing England, so that is what I am going to continue doing.

"My aim is just to keep playing and improving. By improving, hopefully that does not go unnoticed and that will get me the chance, the same as it did with the [Crystal Palace] team now."

Fabio Cannavaro stepped down as China head coach to focus on his role with Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, the Italy World Cup winner announced.

Cannavaro decided to quit after just two matches in charge of the national team – both home losses to Thailand and Uzbekistan in the China Cup last month.

The 45-year-old was juggling his commitments as coach of Chinese Super League giants Evergrande after China turned to him to replace Marcello Lippi in March.

After Evergrande edged Chongqing Dangdai Lifan 1-0 on Sunday, Cannavaro confirmed his international exit.

"Out of respect for the country that has been hosting me for some years, I feel the duty to communicate that I have renounced my position as head coach of the Chinese National Football Team," Cannavaro wrote via Instagram.

"I wish to sincerely thank Guangzhou Evergrande Football Club and the Chinese Football Association for having offered me the position of the head coach of the two most important football teams in the country, however this double assignment would take me away from my family for too long.

"More than one month ago I informed my club about my intention to dedicate myself exclusively to my squad and my players. By maintaining only the position as head coach of Guangzhou Evergrande, I hope to contribute to the growth of young Chinese football players, working every day with passion and professionalism.

"I wish the Chinese National Team all the best for the qualifications to the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup. Thanks again to everybody."

Cannavaro, who returned to Evergrande in 2017 having been sacked in 2015, has overseen six wins from seven matches as the CSL powerhouses sit second and three points adrift of leaders Beijing Guoan.

Evergrande are also on track to qualify for the AFC Champions League last 16, with Cannavaro's men second heading into the final two matchdays in Group F.

Lionel Messi says he has been carrying a pelvic injury since December after being criticised for withdrawing from international duty.

Messi had not played for Argentina since the World Cup but returned to the fold in a friendly defeat to Venezuela this month.

But he pulled out of the squad to face Morocco in another international friendly citing injury, much to the frustration of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation.

Messi faced criticism in his homeland as a result but he hit back in an interview with Buenos Aires-based FM Club 947.

"Somebody says whatever they want to say about me and then people believe it and I'm painted as the son of a b****," the Barcelona captain said.

“It has become the custom to say things about me. They invent things about me when I am not there. Nothing surprises me.

"The truth is I came back to the Argentina team with a pubis injury that I have been carrying since December and I have been training less and not playing all games.

"Pubis injuries are complicated; you cannot shake them off from one day to the next. I feel better but I have to take care of myself.

"I wanted to play both games with Argentina but after the first game I had some pain and I decided to rest so as not to aggravate the injury. It is improving all the time but it is not completely cleared up."

Barcelona, 10 points clear at the top of the LaLiga table, return to action on Saturday with a Catalan derby at home to Espanyol.

Lionel Messi says his six-year-old son has questioned why he receives so much criticism in Argentina.

While Messi has inspired Barcelona to domestic and European dominance during his glittering career, international success has continued to elude him.

Argentina have lost successive Copa America finals and were beaten by Germany in the final of the 2014 World Cup despite Messi's efforts.

After Argentina were knocked out by France in the last 16 at Russia 2018, Messi stepped away from international duty and only made his return from a nine-month absence in a loss to Venezuela last week.

Messi subsequently pulled out of the Argentina squad to face Morocco in another friendly on Tuesday, a decision that has re-opened the debate surrounding his commitment to his country.

The Argentina captain was quick to hit back, however, in an interview with Buenos Aires-based radio station FM Club 947.

"I dearly want to win something with the national side, I wanted to come back and want to participate in all the big games," Messi said.

"When I made the decision to return, there were many who criticised the decision. My six-year-old son asked me: 'Dad, why do they crucify you in Argentina?'.

"I tell him that it's just a handful of people. I've shown my desire to play for Argentina and don't need to prove this to anyone."

Lionel Scaloni, who replaced Jorge Sampaoli as coach after the World Cup, welcomed Messi back into the fold and the captain feels Argentina could have a bright future due to the development of young players.

"I left the World Cup squad and then didn't speak with anyone at the federation," Messi added. "Later, Scaloni called me and told me to take some time off and that he'd be keen for me to come back as he was preparing a solid project.

"A transitional phase is totally normal and it's something that should have happened years ago. The young guys have come through and need to be given time, we can't crucify these guys.

"They are a good bunch of guys and are great players. Apart from the Venezuela game they've played well and I've watched them develop with their club sides and I like the way things are going."

Everton manager Marco Silva expressed his frustration with Colombia after Yerry Mina returned with a hamstring injury that is likely to rule him out for a number of weeks.

The 24-year-old defender – who has featured just 14 times for the Toffees this season since arriving from Barcelona – was carried off on a stretcher during Colombia's international friendly with South Korea on Tuesday, four days after playing the full 90 minutes against Japan.

No timescale has been put on his return, but Silva is angered by Colombia's refusal to listen to Everton's advice that back-to-back international games would be too much for him.

"It is not good news," Silva told a media conference ahead of Everton's Premier League clash against West Ham on Saturday. "It is serious. Bad news for us as a club and for him too.

"It has not been an easy season for him since he joined the club. He's had some unlucky moments and some bad injuries. We knew before he went to the international team that it could have been a risk to play two matches.

"We communicated this to them, but we cannot control their decisions. We advised them after he played 90 minutes against Chelsea [on March 17] that it was a risk to play him in two matches in a short period.

"He is not out for the season. Let's see how many weeks it will be but I expect Mina training again with us and playing in a blue shirt again before the end of the season."

United States head coach Gregg Berhalter moved to allay injury fears over Christian Pulisic after Borussia Dortmund attacker hobbled off against Chile.

Pulisic scored before the Chelsea-bound star was forced from the field due to a muscle injury in USA's 1-1 friendly draw in Houston on Tuesday.

After breaking the deadlock inside five minutes for his 10th international goal, Pulisic received treatment and left the BBVA Compass Stadium pitch in the 35th minute – US Soccer describing the problem as a right quadricep injury.

Afterwards, Berhalter – who revealed Pulisic was in the process of undergoing an MRI – told reporters: "I'm not worried.

"You look into the why, you do an inquiry of why that's happening, and you make adjustments. He's at a top club, he's going to a top club [in Chelsea].

"We have very high-level medical personnel on our side and we'll get it right."

Pulisic has scored two goals and tallied three assists in 15 Bundesliga appearances for title hopefuls Dortmund this season.

Dortmund will be sweating over the fitness of the 20-year-old, with a top-of-the-table showdown against Bayern Munich looming on April 6.

United States head coach Gregg Berhalter moved to allay injury fears over Christian Pulisic after Borussia Dortmund attacker hobbled off against Chile.

Pulisic scored before the Chelsea-bound star was forced from the field due to a muscle injury in USA's 1-1 friendly draw in Houston on Tuesday.

After breaking the deadlock inside five minutes for his 10th international goal, Pulisic received treatment and left the BBVA Compass Stadium pitch in the 35th minute – US Soccer describing the problem as a right quadricep injury.

Afterwards, Berhalter – who revealed Pulisic was in the process of undergoing an MRI – told reporters: "I'm not worried.

"You look into the why, you do an inquiry of why that's happening, and you make adjustments. He's at a top club, he's going to a top club [in Chelsea].

"We have very high-level medical personnel on our side and we'll get it right."

Pulisic has scored two goals and tallied three assists in 15 Bundesliga appearances for title hopefuls Dortmund this season.

Dortmund will be sweating over the fitness of the 20-year-old, with a top-of-the-table showdown against Bayern Munich looming on April 6.

Brazil head coach Tite said Vinicius Junior has to play well for Real Madrid if he is to be involved at the Copa America after the teenage sensation "missed an opportunity" during the international break.

Vinicius was set to make his Brazil debut before pulling out of friendlies against Panama and the Czech Republic due to an ankle injury.

Ajax star David Neres replaced the 18-year-old winger and impressed in Tuesday's 3-1 victory over the Czech Republic.

Vinicius may not return until early May and with the Copa America scheduled to get underway in June, Tite told reporters: "Vinicius missed an opportunity, he's going to have to play very well in his club.

"Neres is going to have to continue playing very well, just as Richarlison entered a situation where Pedro was injured."

"We say to them: 'Play very well in your clubs.' We will accompany, monitor and the moment they are in will be decisive," Tite continued.

Criticised following a 1-1 draw against Panama on Saturday, Brazil were unconvincing in their win away to the Czechs in Prague, where Gabriel Jesus' brace spared Tite's blushes.

David Pavelka put the Czech Republic ahead before half-time, though Roberto Firmino equalised early in the second half.

Substitute Jesus came off the bench and scored twice to ease some of the pressure on Tite with a Copa America on home soil looming.

"Criticism can come from everyone, I'm exposed in my line of work and I must know how to deal with it. I just can't deal with situations regarding moral or education, the rest is ok. I'm exposed and I have no intent of hitting back. No hypocrisy," Tite said.

On Brazil's form since their quarter-final exit at the 2018 World Cup, Tite added: "It's been normal. If I had to use an adjective, let's be careful not to synthesise too much. It's normal, as far as modifications can be.

"For one who is listening, when he's working with people [players] that he already knows, things flow easier. On the creative phase it might hurt a little, but our standard has been normal."

Jonathan dos Santos ended his wait for a first international goal, scoring in Mexico's 4-2 win over Paraguay in a friendly in California on Tuesday.

Dos Santos finally netted his maiden goal for Mexico, opening the scoring at Levi's Stadium in his 40th appearance for his nation.

In Gerardo Martino's second game in charge, Mexico claimed their victory on the back of a strong start, with a Gustavo Gomez own goal and Javier Hernandez strike following Dos Santos' opener.

Hernan Perez pulled a goal back for Paraguay in the second half before substitute Miguel Almiron's red card, and Derlis Gonzalez's effort gave them some hope.

However, Luis Montes sealed Mexico's win in additional time.

After a victory over Chile, Martino opted for changes – making 10 in total to his starting line-up.

But it seemed to have no impact on Mexico as they made a dream start, scoring twice in the opening nine minutes.

Dos Santos opened the scoring after Edson Alvarez – the only player backing up for Mexico – tried to pick out Hernandez, a Paraguayan defender's clearance falling for the LA Galaxy man to volley in smartly from close range.

Paraguay produced some more poor defending to fall 2-0 behind through a Gomez own goal.

Hernandez fed a pass to Erick Gutierrez on the left side of the area and his cross was turned in by Gomez.

Just as Paraguay looked for a way back into the contest, Hernandez scored his 51st international goal to extend Mexico's lead.

Gutierrez found Dos Santos, whose first-time pass released Hernandez to finish clinically in a one-on-one with Antony Silva.

It should have been 4-0 in the 53rd minute, but Gutierrez struck the post with an effort from near the penalty spot after a cross from the right.

Instead, Paraguay pulled a goal back through Perez, who drilled in a pass from Oscar Romero just before the hour-mark for his second international strike.

However, their chances of an incredible comeback were dealt a blow when Newcastle United midfielder Almiron was sent off seven minutes after coming on for a poor challenge on Jose Juan Vazquez.

Paraguay found a second goal when Gonzalez struck from inside the area in the 84th minute after a poor turnover deep in defence, but Montes sealed Mexico's win following an Alexis Vega flick-on, although the goal should have been ruled out for offside.

 

What does it mean? Martino's Mexico making quick progress

While a win over Chile in Martino's first game in charge was impressive, the first-half display against Paraguay was even more so. Mexico were clinical and looked dangerous, but unlike during their victory over Chile, they appeared in control for longer periods.

Dos Santos grabs chance

Dos Santos is yet to shine for Mexico, but he took a major step on Tuesday. The 28-year-old scored his first international goal and also set up Hernandez's strike with a nice pass in a performance sure to keep him in Martino's plans.

Rough start for Berizzo

Starting something of a rebuild of Paraguay, former Sevilla coach Eduardo Berizzo suffered defeats in his first two games in charge. However, Matias Rojas was handed a starting debut, while the likes of Santiago Arzamendia and Carlos Gonzalez were also in the XI and picked up their first international caps. Pleasingly for Berizzo, Paraguay continued to fight, although their efforts defensively would have been a worry.

What's next?

Mexico look to continue their strong start under Martino when they face Venezuela and Ecuador in June, while Paraguay are not scheduled to be in action until the Copa America, although they may opt for at least one friendly before the tournament starts.

Lionel Scaloni said Argentina's best is yet to come following their unconvincing 1-0 friendly victory over Morocco in the absence of Lionel Messi.

Substitute Angel Correa spared Scaloni's blushes with the match-winning goal seven minutes from time in a blustery Tangier on Tuesday.

Argentina, who were stunned 3-1 by South American rivals Venezuela in Madrid on Friday, were without superstar Messi and Scaloni's side underwhelmed on the road.

While acknowledging Argentina's room for improvement, head coach Scaloni lamented the windy conditions post-match.

"Argentina's best version is always to come, as happens with all the other teams," Scaloni said. "There is no team always at their 100 per cent.

"Obviously it was impossible to show a good game, both for Argentina and Morocco [because of the wind]. But we will achieve our best version with a lot of hard work, and we have some time to get ready for that.

"As we all know Morocco are a hard team, with a lot of good players, who are capable of complicating any team. This time they faced an eager Argentina. We are eager to play, to get results, to defend these colours, and that is really important for us.

"It was a difficult game for Morocco because they were playing with the home crowd pressure and also maybe the wind did not help them either."

Christian Pulisic scored as the United States stayed unbeaten under Gregg Berhalter thanks to a 1-1 international friendly draw against Chile.

Pulisic opened the scoring inside four minutes for USA, who had won three successive matches without conceding a goal since Berhalter's appointment, with a sublime scooped effort before suffering an apparent muscle injury.

And USA shared the spoils in an entertaining encounter on Tuesday after Oscar Opazo's ninth-minute equaliser at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

Berhalter said he would makes changes and he did just that with seven alterations to the starting XI. One was enforced after Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie suffered an ankle injury against Ecuador, though Borussia Dortmund star Pulisic was named in the line-up.

Meanwhile, Chile, who were stunned by Mexico last time out, featured Arturo Vidal, Gary Medel and Mauricio Isla.

It was a lively and open start to proceedings, with USA needing just four minutes to break the deadlock against the South American visitors.

A delightful one-touch pass from Gyasi Zardes sent Pulisic through and the Chelsea-bound star scooped the ball over Chile goalkeeper Gabriel Arias - becoming the youngest USA international to double figures with his 10th goal.

Not since 1983-84 under Alkis Panagoulias had USA kept four consecutive clean sheets to start a coaching tenure and Berhalter's quest to tie the record was ended by Opazo.

Responding well to falling behind, Opazo – unmarked at the back post – fired a powerful shot across Ethan Horvath and into the far corner of the net for his maiden international goal in the ninth minute.

Both teams looked threatening but USA were dealt a blow 10 minutes before half-time when Pulisic was substituted hobbling off the ground.

Chile gained control as the game wore on but Zardes almost restored USA's lead 10 minutes into the second half after getting through on goal and creating a chance out of nothing, but his shot went over the bar.

What does it mean? USA yet to taste defeat

Berhalter's 100 per cent record as head coach came to a halt but the rebuilding Americans continue to move forward. They were forced to play on the counter against an impressive Chile side and managed to make it four games without a loss.

Zardes cementing his spot

The only player to play in every match since Berhalter's appointment, Zardes impressed again on Tuesday. The Columbus Crew forward was a nuisance throughout, while he produced the moment of skill to unlock Chile and tee up Pulisic in the first half.

Another injury

After McKennie was carried off on a stretcher in Orlando, USA star Pulisic was also forced from the field. Pulisic went down and received treatment before being replaced by Sebastian Lletget. It may be precautionary but USA and Dortmund will be sweating over his fitness.

What's next?

Attention turns to respective tournaments for USA and Chile. A friendly against Venezuela and another yet to be confirmed will be followed by the start of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June. Chile, meanwhile, will focus on defending their Copa America crown in Brazil.

Gabriel Jesus was Brazil's saviour but thought Tite's changes were to blame for their struggles in an unconvincing 3-1 victory over the Czech Republic on Tuesday.

Brazil head coach Tite made six amendments to the starting XI that kicked off a surprise 1-1 draw against Panama on Saturday, with only Casemiro, Lucas Paqueta, Philippe Coutinho, Richarlison and Roberto Firmino retaining their places.

The Selecao boss said in the build-up to the game in Prague that he wanted to maintain consistency with his attacking unit despite the drab performance against Panama, but hooked Paqueta after Brazil went into half-time behind following David Pavelka's opener.

Roberto Firmino struck an opportunistic equaliser before Jesus, who replaced Coutinho in the 72nd minute, scored a late double to snatch the win.

"I think we played a good game. It's not easy when there are a lot of changes, we were lacking a bit of coherency, but we are Brazil and we have to overcome such adversity," Jesus told TV Globo.

"We managed to create more in the second half, we were happy and we got the win.

"At times the opposition defended well, which was the case against Panama. We could have created more, attacked more, but I'm used to playing against a five-man backline in England. Panama had six in the second half. It's difficult and we aren't used to that, but we worked on it afterwards.

"Today, in the first half, it's normal for the home team to come out strongly. We conceded a goal, but we managed to focus on what was required and turn it around."

Substitute Gabriel Jesus scored a late double as Brazil came from behind to beat the Czech Republic 3-1 despite an underwhelming performance from the Selecao in Prague on Tuesday.

Tite's team faced strong criticism after being held to a 1-1 draw by Panama in Porto on Saturday and they struggled against a Czech Republic side that went down 5-0 to England in Euro 2020 qualifying on Friday.

David Pavelka put the hosts ahead with his first international goal before half-time, but Roberto Firmino pounced on a mix-up between Theodor Gebre Selassie and Marek Suchy to equalise early in the second half.

Jesus replaced Philippe Coutinho in the 72nd minute and struck twice to help ease the pressure that seemed to be mounting on Tite ahead of a Copa America on home soil.

After a tepid start the first shot on target came in the 22nd minute, with Patrik Schick's deflected free-kick pushed aside by Alisson before Pavelka miscued on the follow-up.

The Czech Republic looked more dangerous and their positivity was rewarded in the 37th minute when Schick helped Lukas Masopust's pass beyond Marquinhos and Pavelka drilled a pinpoint finish into the bottom-left corner.

Brazil equalised four minutes after the restart when Gebre Selassie and Suchy contrived to present Firmino with a golden opportunity he did not pass up.

The Czech Republic lost Darida and Ondrej Celustka to injury - and Jiri Pavlenka did superbly to keep out Coutinho and debutant David Neres, who replaced Richarlison in the 63rd minute.

Neres' direct running and pace caused the hosts problems and he latched onto a throughball from Danilo to tee up Jesus, who converted despite sending a bobbling pass uncomfortably close to the crossbar in the 83rd minute.

Manchester City striker Jesus finished off another clinical move seven minutes later to wrap up a seventh win in eight matches for Brazil.

Argentina bounced back from their shock defeat to Venezuela with a slender 1-0 win over Morocco in a blustery Tangier on Tuesday.

Lionel Scaloni's men were soundly beaten 3-1 by their South American rivals in Madrid on Friday and while they avoided another embarrassment at the Stade Ibn Batouta, they rarely looked like a side ranked 11th in the world.

Lionel Messi, who made his return to international football at the Wanda Metropolitano, did not make the trip to Morocco and his side desperately missed his spark and invention.

The chronic wind was hardly conducive to incisive attacking football, but a moment of rare quality from substitute Angel Correa seven minutes from time sealed the win for Scaloni's side.

Morocco started in positive fashion, Khalid Boutaib firing straight at Esteban Andrada from the edge of the penalty area after 10 minutes.

That was the closest either side came, though, in what was an insipid first half with Argentina's forwards Lautaro Martinez and Paulo Dybala cutting particularly isolated figures.

The busiest man in the opening period by some distance was referee Janny Sikazwe, who dished out four yellow cards after numerous flashpoints between the two sets of players.

Martinez was put out of his misery shortly after the interval, hauled off for Matias Suarez after making just a single successful pass in his 56 minutes on the pitch.

Just when the game looked to be petering out for the most forgettable of goalless draws Atletico Madrid forward Correa sparked into life.

The 24-year-old collected Suarez's pass on the edge of the penalty area, waltzed past Achraf Hakimi and clipped a low drive past Yassine Bounou to secure an undeserved win.

Tite insists he will not allow criticism of his Brazil tenure to affect him as his team look to bounce back against the Czech Republic.

The five-time World Cup winners were surprisingly held to a 1-1 draw against Panama - the country ranked 76th in the world - in Portugal on Saturday.

It was the first time Brazil had failed to win a game since the World Cup in Russia last year, when the Selecao suffered a quarter-final exit at the hands of Belgium.

Tuesday's friendly with the Czech Republic in Prague is Brazil's final friendly before the Copa America and Tite claims he is unfazed by those questioning his methods.

"First of all, all criticism, be it if they have a technical, tactical, physical, emotional aspect...I don't have to put them in context or to be at a defensive position," Tite said at a news conference.

"If they are football ideas, they are points of views, visions, that's normal and natural and we must know how to live with it."

Tite also stressed it was not a case of his players needing to perform against the Czechs to ease the pressure on him.

"Athletes don't play for the coach, they play for the Brazil national team, they play for Brazil," he added.

"When we move things from what it's important, we make mistakes.

"They don't play for the coach nor for status, they play for being at the national squad, because they are proud of being at the national squad, for the pleasure, the satisfaction of being here, of doing what he does professionally.

"And the coach is included in it. But that's a cliche that is false - no player plays for the coach. And that's not a selfish thing - one works for oneself in the first place."

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