Jude Bellingham is expected to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of this season, with numerous clubs lining up to sign him.

The England international, who has impressed during the World Cup, is contracted with Dortmund until 2025.

It has been speculated that Bellingham will cost English clubs more than £100million to fund the deal.

TOP STORY – CITY TO USE GREALISH IN DEAL FOR BELLINGHAM

Manchester City will dangle Jack Grealish to Borussia Dortmund as part of a deal to land Bellingham, claims Football Insider.

Grealish, who City signed for £100m from Aston Villa 18 months ago, has not fully convinced since his switch to the English champions.

According to the report, City are intensifying their interest in Bellingham and are willing to use Grealish.

Le10Sport have also reported French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in 19-year-old Bellingham.

 

ROUND-UP

Liverpool are plotting a surprise move for Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic, reports Calciomercato. The Serbian striker has scored six Serie A goals this term.

– Mundo Deportivo reports Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Meunier is willing to listen to offers from Milan, Juventus, Manchester United and two other Premier League clubs if Barcelona do not bid for him.

– Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix is open to a Premier League switch amid interest from Chelsea, claims GiveMeSport transfer expert Dean Jones.

– Calciomercato reports that Arsenal are interested in a January move for Real Madrid's Marco Asensio.

Leeds United are interested in a January move for Newcastle forward Chris Wood, claims Football Insider. Wood left Leeds for Burnley in 2017.

Sofyan Amrabat has been at the centre of Morocco's surprise success at the World Cup, and his performances have put the Fiorentina midfielder on the radar of several Premier League clubs.

Amrabat, 26, had his first taste of Serie A football when he was loaned from Club Brugge to Hellas Verona for the 2019-20 season, catching the eye of Fiorentina, who scooped him up the following year.

The defensive midfielder has steadily increased his role at Fiorentina, making 10 starts and three substitute appearances in the league this season.

He played every minute of Morocco's three group games, guiding his side to an undefeated record (W2 D1) with clean sheets against both Belgium and Croatia, and now he is reportedly wanted by the English elite.

 

TOP STORY – AMRABAT EMERGES AS LIVERPOOL AND TOTTENHAM TARGET

According to Sky Sports Germany, Liverpool believe Amrabat can address their midfield depth issues, and could be available for €30million in January.

An earlier report from La Repubblica claimed Tottenham had enquired about a potential deal last January, and his terrific tournament has only strengthened their interest. 

With a blockbuster last-16 clash booked against Spain on Tuesday, another standout performance could have Amrabat packing his bags for an impending move to England.

 

ROUND-UP

– Calciomercato is reporting 23-year-old Barcelona target Martin Zubimendi is also on Manchester United's radar, although the Spaniard's contract ties him to Real Sociedad until 2027.

– Calciomercato is also reporting Cristiano Ronaldo is "very interested" in joining Chelsea if the Stamford Bridge side will have him.

– According to Fichajes, Inter would like to bring Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie back to Serie A, but cannot afford to purchase him outright in January, while the Spanish side are not willing to let him leave on a loan deal.

– 90min is reporting Real Madrid would need Kylian Mbappe to agree to certain conditions – including a pay cut and significantly less behind-the-scenes influence – if he wants to come to the club in the near future.

– Newcastle United are not planning any moves in January, and are open to parting ways with 28-year-old winger Ryan Fraser, according to the Telegraph.

Lionel Messi will walk out the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium tunnel on Saturday with the expectations of millions on his shoulders when Argentina face Australia in the last 16 of Qatar 2022.

That is nothing new, of course, for this will be the 1,000th match of a remarkable career that may yet to have peaked – though that will depend on whether Messi can inspire his country past Australia and all the way to World Cup glory.

Now aged 35, Messi has already accepted this will be his final chance to lift the most famous trophy of them all, a little over a year on from helping La Albiceleste end their 28-year wait for a major title with Copa America success.

Ahead of the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner's milestone match, Stats Perform looks at the numbers behind his previous 999 appearances for club and country – and why the next two weeks could yet define his career.

Barca Breakthrough

October 16, 2004. It would not be hyperbolic to suggest this was a day that football as we know it changed, with a 17-year-old Messi replacing Deco from the substitutes' bench in Barcelona's 1-0 win over city rivals Espanyol.

In a sign of the mini maestro's longevity, he has since played alongside two players born after his Barcelona debut – Warren Zaire-Emery and El Chadaille Bitshiabu, born in March 2006 and May 2005 respectively.

Both teenagers are on Paris Saint-Germain's books, where Messi is now plying his trade after ending his two-decade association with Barcelona in emotional circumstances in August 2021.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of Messi's career appearances came during his 17 seasons at Camp Nou. He featured 778 times for Barca, scoring a staggering 672 goals and assisting 265, which amounts to 937 direct-goal involvements.

He made more appearances against Real Madrid than any other opponent, playing 47 times against Barca's fiercest rivals.

 

Good times under Guardiola

Barcelona's inability to offer Messi a new contract due to their dire financial situation allowed PSG to pounce. After an underwhelming first campaign in Paris, the superstar forward has found his form this term.

Messi has featured 53 times for the Parisians to date and has scored (23) and assisted (28) a combined 51 goals – just short of one goal involvement every match on average.

He has already had two different managers at the Parc des Princes, with Christophe Galtier having replaced Mauricio Pochettino in the hot seat. That takes the number of head coaches Messi has worked under to 19.

It was under Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, between 2008 and 2012, that Messi played his most games as he featured on 219 occasions under the Catalan and scored 211 times.

Luis Enrique is next on that list (158 games), followed by Ernesto Valverde (124) and Frank Rijkaard (110), the man who gave him his debut against Espanyol.


1,000 not out

Some 18 years and 48 days on from that first appearance comes match number 1,000 for club and country – and what a truly huge occasion it is for Messi and Argentina, who recovered from a slow start in the group phase to advance.

Messi has featured in 22 previous World Cup matches – one more than Diego Maradona as the most ever for an Argentina player – scoring eight times and assisting six more. 

Incredibly for a player of his game-changing quality, Messi has yet to score in the knockout stages of the World Cup – 23 efforts, zero goals. Interestingly, the same is also true of archenemy Cristiano Ronaldo (25 shots without a goal).

 

The aim for Messi will be to put that right against Australia on what will be his 169th senior cap, 17 years on from his senior international bow against Hungary, which came just 10 games into his career for club and country.

And while it will be a special occasion for Messi, the man many consider to be the greatest of all time will hope to make it to 1,003 matches before Argentina's Qatar campaign concludes.

Should that be the case and Argentina go on to lift the World Cup for the first time since 1986, a centre-stage Messi will have the defining moment of a truly special career that still has some way to go yet.

Atletico Madrid are reportedly ready to part ways with their club-record signing, setting a €100million asking price for Portuguese forward Joao Felix.

Felix, 23, was purchased from Benfica back in 2019 for a fee of €126m – shattering their transfer record by more than €50m.

He helped Atletico to a LaLiga title in the 2020-21 season, before being named the club's Player of the Season for the 2021-22 campaign, but he has now fallen out of favour, starting just five of his side's 14 league games.

Felix has been able to put himself in the shop window during his two starts to begin Portugal's World Cup group stage, including a goal against Ghana, and now Champions League contenders are expected to come calling in January.

 

TOP STORY – PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN NAMED AS ONE OF THREE SUITORS FOR FELIX

Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Manchester United have been named the main interested parties by Spanish publication AS.

The report states Felix's relationship with head coach Diego Simeone has become too strained to continue persisting, and includes a claim that Atletico rejected a €130m offer from United before the season.

With his contract tying him to the club until 2026, there will be no need to settle for an offer deemed unsatisfactory, but AS believes anything approaching that €100m figure – including bonuses – will be enough to get a deal done.

 

ROUND-UP

– Sport is reporting Barcelona view 32-year-old Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan as a potential replacement for Sergio Busquets when the German international's contract expires after the season.

– According to Express, Saudi Arabian clubs Al Hilal and Al-Nassr are considered the leading candidates to fight it out for ex-United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Paris Saint-Germain will offer Lionel Messi a new contract at the conclusion of the World Cup, according to Goal.

Chelsea and Newcastle United are competing to land 18-year-old Vasco da Gama midfielder Andrey Santos, per 90min.

– Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting Milan would like to bring in Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech on a loan deal with the option to make it permanent, but the Moroccan's contract demands could be too expensive.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have confirmed they will boycott next week's LaLiga summit in Dubai, which Los Blancos have labelled as "illegal".

Spanish top-flight clubs have been asked to attend the meeting on December 7 in which a number of topics regarding the league will be discussed.

However, LaLiga's two biggest clubs – who have been embroiled in a long-running battle with league chief Javier Tebas – will not be present in the United Arab Emirates.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Madrid questioned the location of the event and the timing.

"We believe the meeting is illegal, given that the clubs are being called to attend the meeting more than 5,000 kilometres away from LaLiga's headquarters," the statement read.
 
"It's completely unjustifiable to address in such an improvised and urgent manner, in the absence of the appropriate discussion and careful analysis, relevant modifications to LaLiga's internal regulations.
 
"It's completely inappropriate and deeply incoherent for LaLiga to undertake the economic expense of transporting more than 100 people to hold an event of this nature, at this time of year, in the United Arab Emirates, when the same could be held at LaLiga's headquarters without involving excessive costs. 

"Clubs are going through very difficult times financially, burdened by the drop in income experienced in recent years, making it incomprehensible that excessive and unnecessary expenses should be incurred, in particular in the current economic climate.
 
"Real Madrid will not be sending any representative to Dubai for the reasons stated above and once again laments having to act against the irresponsible actions taken by the president of LaLiga, which are of unjustifiable economic cost and which seriously undermine the image and reputation of Spanish football."

Barcelona's statement, which was released at the same time, read: "Extremely relevant business is on the agenda concerning the modification of LaLiga's regulations that requires prior debate and a more extensive and participatory analysis to come to the best consensus that such a wide-ranging reform deserves.

"Barcelona's position has always been that of reaching consensual agreements after having examined the issue coherently and respecting all positions.

"For that reason, we do not believe it is the right time to travel to Dubai for an event that could take place at LaLiga's headquarters and once again we show our opposition to any form of action that we consider damaging to the rights and interests of the club."

LaLiga issued a response later on Wednesday in which it said the trip could "in no way be classed as illegal", and explained the choice of location was to help clubs grow internationally.

"With stops in Dubai and Doha, it is an opportunity to learn more about the region as well as to attend a World Cup game and an event that takes place in Dubai next week where various people from the footballing world are in attendance," the statement added.

"No club is obliged to travel to Dubai to participate in the assembly, since remote participation systems are in place, and they have been informed as such from the beginning."

Lionel Messi is destined to return to Barcelona one day as the player and club "deserve one last dance together", according to the Catalan giants' sporting director Jordi Cruyff.

Paris Saint-Germain star Messi's 21-year association with Barca came to an end in August 2021 as the club could not afford a new deal under LaLiga's financial fair play rules.

Messi is now into his second season with PSG, but he is out of contract at the end of the campaign and has been linked with a move to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner turns 36 next year and Cruyff hopes to see him back at Camp Nou in the future, though accepts that it may not be in a playing capacity.

"It's clear Barcelona and Messi have to be together again one day," Cruyff told RAC1. "It may be after his career, but they deserve a final hug, one last dance together."

Messi scored 672 goals across 778 appearances for Barcelona and provided a further 265 assists, amounting to 937 goal involvements across that trophy-laden spell.

 

He featured more times (219) and scored more goals (211) under Pep Guardiola than any other head coach, with the Catalan winning 14 trophies in four seasons at the helm.

Guardiola has since spent three seasons with Bayern Munich and is into his seventh season with Manchester City, where he remains under contract until July 2025.

Speaking this week, Guardiola said he would return to Barcelona one day if the club needed him, adding that "nothing is comparable" to managing a club so close to your heart.

Asked about the possibility of Guardiola managing the Blaugrana again further down the line, Cruyff said: "He's reached the level of being able to choose his own destiny.

"Not many have reached that point; it's the dream of every professional. Whether he returns or not, I have no idea. I think he's happy at City."

Barcelona will ask Sergio Busquets to provide clarity on his future plans when he returns from the World Cup, Jordi Cruyff has revealed.

Midfield stalwart Busquets is due to reach the end of his Barcelona contract at the end of this season, and he has been linked with a move to Inter Miami.

After 15 seasons at Camp Nou, Busquets could elect to finish his career in Major League Soccer with the team part-owned by David Beckham.

His long-standing team-mate Gerard Pique recently retired in mid-season, surprising Barcelona, and the club want to be sure they are aware of Busquets' next intentions.

Cruyff said in an interview with TV3: "When the World Cup is over, we will talk to him. He's earned every right to decide his future, but the club also needs to plan its squad."

The 34-year-old Busquets remains a key figure for Barcelona and Spain, and for his club, only four team-mates have played more minutes than him so far this season (1,201).

He has played close to 700 first-team games for Barcelona since making his debut in 2008.

Cruyff also spoke about Barcelona's transfer plans for the January window and said it was "clear that there are some positions that we can reinforce."

Spending limits may remain a factor; however, if Barcelona get the go-ahead to make a move, Cruyff said they would not hang about.

"If there is an option to sign, we know what we have to do," he said.

Memphis Depay, who has featured for the Netherlands at the World Cup, has played just 131 minutes for Barcelona this season.

He may be expendable and with his contract due to expire at the season's end, this may be a last chance to receive a transfer fee for the Dutch forward.

Cruyff told the Spanish broadcaster: "We are going to see what happens.

"In the summer, he was able to leave but in the end, his departure could not materialise. With [Robert] Lewandowski being suspended for three games, we will see what happens because if there were any injuries, he could be needed."

Joan Laporta believes Barcelona's strong contingent of players within the Spain squad can help propel the national side to victory at the World Cup.

A 7-0 demolition of Costa Rica was followed by a 1-1 draw with Germany and has put the 2010 champions on the brink of qualifying for the knockout stage.

Young Barca pair Gavi and Pedri have caught the eye in midfield during the opening two fixtures, while Ferran Torres hit a brace against Costa Rica.

Laporta expressed his pride at their performances, with the Barcelona president believing Spain's positive displays are down to head coach Xavi's work at club level.

"I think it's fantastic. It gives pride for Barcelona to see how the national team is playing and how our players are doing," he told AS.

"[Spain head coach] Luis Enrique has been able to take on all the pressure, which is a way to relieve all the pressure on the players.

"He has been very brave betting on very young players who are falling in love with the world and it just so happens that most are from Barca.

"The good role of Luis Enrique's national team is also thanks to the good work that Xavi is doing in Barcelona, where there are the most players.

"For me, Spain, along with Brazil and France, are the big favourites of the tournament."

Spain face Japan in their final group match, where victory would confirm top spot.

Lionel Messi has been linked with a blockbuster move to MLS club Inter Miami.

The Times report that the US franchise, co-owned by David Beckham, are ready to make Messi the highest-paid player in MLS history.

Messi is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season and has also been linked with a move to his former club Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY - MESSI AND BUSQUETS COULD BE BOUND FOR MIAMI

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets is set to join ex-team-mate Lionel Messi at MLS club Inter Miami, according to Cope.

The 34-year-old Spain captain is out of contract at the end of this season and has been weighing up his future at Camp Nou.

Messi and Busquets spent more than a decade together at the Blaugrana and could re-unite in Florida, where the Argentina great regularly vacations at a house he owns.

ROUND-UP

- ESPN reports Manchester United are exploring a January loan move for Chelsea's Christian Pulisic. Newcastle United and Arsenal have also been linked with the United States international by the Mail.

- Chelsea have been keeping a close watch on Bayer Leverkusen's Ecuadora centre-back Piero Hincapie during the World Cup, reports the Mirror.

- Fichajes claims that Real Madrid's German midfielder Toni Kroos has rejected the chance to move to Manchester City.

- Newcastle will move for 18-year-old Vasco da Gama midfielder Andrey Santos in January, according to the Northern Echo.

- Milan are eager to discuss lowering the €22m purchase option fee for on-loan midfielder Brahim Diaz with parent club Real Madrid, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Spaniard's two-year loan deal is due to expire at the end of the season.

Barcelona boss Xavi has revealed he was offered a role as part of Brazil's backroom team ahead of the World Cup, but turned it down to hold out for the top job with the Blaugrana.

The former Spain international succeeded Ronald Koeman last year in charge at Camp Nou, and has helped to revive fortunes at the Catalan side since his arrival.

Though his team have slipped into the Europa League for a second season running, they remain competitive in the domestic top-flight, sitting two points ahead of rivals Real Madrid at the World Cup break.

Xavi has revealed he was approached by Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Rogerio Caboclo over a role with the Selecao during his time in charge at Al Sadd, but that he turned them down to hold out for Barca.

"It was an opportunity [that came] through the president of the CBF," Xavi told ESPN. 

"They [came] to Qatar, and they talked to me, [and asked if] I could be part of Tite's staff.

"But I wanted to be a coach, not an assistant. My desire was to be a coach.

"It would be a tremendous opportunity - it was [a chance] to make history, to be the first European to work in the Brazilian national team.

"But, at that moment, it did not happen. I was clear that I wanted to be coach of Barcelona, ​​which was my dream, and here I am."

However, Xavi teased he would not rule out taking up the chance if it was offered again, adding: "You never know. It would be a spectacular opportunity.

"But my intention was to take over Barcelona. You never know about the future [though]. I'm working hard, and you can't rule anything out."

Argentina can recover from their woeful World Cup start and reach the knockout rounds, says Barcelona boss Xavi.

Lionel Scaloni's side were handed a shock defeat in Group C by Saudi Arabia in their opener, with Lionel Messi's first-half penalty cancelled out by goals from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari.

With Mexico and Poland drawing their first match elsewhere, it has handed La Albiceleste an arduous, though not improbable, pathway beyond the opening stages of Qatar 2022.

But speaking for Adidas in Qatar, Xavi, who was a member of the Spain squad that lost their opener at South Africa 2010 before rallying to win the tournament, believes they have what it takes to turn matters around.

"I know [how it feels], because it happened to us in 2010 in South Africa," he stated, in reference to his own defeat a dozen years ago to Switzerland. "It is a very difficult moment.

"[There is] more tension, more pressure, but I think they have everything. They have the capacity to come back, to win against Mexico and beat Poland.

"I believe a lot in Leo, in the Argentina squad, in Scaloni. They have the capacity to get six points and qualify for the next round, sure."

Argentina will be bidding to avoid a first group stage exit since Korea/Japan 2002, the only time they have failed to reach the knockout rounds in the expanded 32-team format era.

They face Mexico on Saturday in Lusail, before wrapping up their Group C campaign against Poland in Doha on November 30.

Barcelona head coach Xavi wants to sign Brazilian teenager Endrick, revealing he has held talks with the player and his father.

The 16-year-old Palmeiras forward is widely considered to be one of the finest prospects in South American football, drawing the attention of some of Europe's biggest sides.

Endrick's father will reportedly travel to Spain to tour Real Madrid's facilities later this month, but a fight is expected for his services, with Barcelona's own interest now being confirmed.

"We've been talking to his father and also directly to the player. I explained the project we have in Barcelona," Xavi told ESPN.

"We want talent and he's a talent, able to make a difference. He can score goals, he can dribble, he's got a brutal ability to make a difference.

"He's the kind of player we need. He already knows the project we have in Barcelona and we are talking.

"I hope he becomes our player. It's up to him. It always depends on the player. Usually, a player will end up playing where he wants to play. So, it's a very personal decision of Endrick."

While Endrick's future lies away from South America, any club looking to sign him will not be able to move him to Europe until he is 18 due to FIFA regulations.

Gavi and Pedri will emerge as leaders of a new generation for Spain, according to Lothar Matthaus, who is expecting a World Cup classic when La Roja take on Germany on Sunday.

The Barcelona youngsters starred as Spain began their campaign by hammering Costa Rica 7-0 on Wednesday, while Germany surrendered a half-time lead in a shock 2-1 defeat to Japan.

Should Die Nationalmannschaft slump to consecutive group-stage losses at a single World Cup for the first time on Sunday, it may be enough for them to replicate 2018's humiliating early exit.

With Gavi and Pedri pulling the strings for Spain and Germany having suffered an embarrassing 6-0 defeat when they last met La Roja two years ago in the Nations League, Matthaus is not overly confident.

Asked about the duo's potential impact against Germany, Matthaus told Marca: "They are going to lead this new generation and Luis Enrique is giving them a lot of confidence, and that is essential for them.

"La Roja always brings new values. If I go to the last game, I don't have a good feeling, but that is already past and tomorrow will be a new story. 

"They are the two favourites of the group, but Japan should not be neglected.

"We will have to fight for every metre of the pitch. I think the Germans respect Spain a lot, they have a great team. It will be one of the great matches of the tournament."

 

Having started just one of their previous 18 World Cup campaigns with a defeat, Germany have now done so at consecutive editions after losing to Mexico in Russia four years ago.

Having retired from international football after Germany's Euro 2020 exit against England, Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos is absent from his country's squad at a World Cup for the first time since 2006.

With Kroos helping his club win LaLiga and the Champions League last season, some have highlighted his absence as a reason for Germany's struggles, but Matthaus disagrees.

"We have [Ilkay] Gundogan, [Joshua] Kimmich, [Jamal] Musiala. Kroos made the difference, and he continues to do so with Real Madrid," Matthaus said.

"He is a fantastic player, but he decided to leave the national team a few years ago and we have to respect that. In his position, we have [Manchester] City's captain Gundogan. 

"We have two Bayern Munich stars, Kimmich and [Leon] Goretzka, but they are different from Kroos. Toni did incredible things for German football, but we already have others."

 

PSV's Cody Gakpo has become one of the early breakout stars at the World Cup, and will reportedly be courted by some of the world's biggest clubs in January.

Gakpo, 23, has spent his entire career with PSV after arriving at their youth academy back in 2007, and has risen through the ranks to become one of the Netherlands' top attacking options.

He has racked up nine goals and 12 assists in his side's first 14 Eredivisie fixtures, and has started his World Cup campaign with goals in each of the first two group stage matches against Senegal and Ecuador.

Having been linked to Leeds United before the season, he reportedly opted to remain with PSV to secure a move to an even bigger club – and now Champions League teams are said to be calling.


TOP STORY – EUROPEAN POWERHOUSES SET SIGHTS ON GAKPO

According to Dutch journalist Marco Timmer, the clubs who will make an attempt to sign the Dutch talent include Liverpool, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

Having previously said he would be happy to remain in the Netherlands until the end of the season before exploring a move to the Premier League, Gakpo's value is said to have soared past the £50million mark.

There were reports early in the season that PSV's financial situation would force them to accept any further bids around £30m, so if a team with deep pockets comes with a serious offer in January, it will likely be hard to turn down.
 

ROUND-UP

– According to Fichajes, United have added 23-year-old Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby to their list of forward targets. 

– 90min is reporting Milan are considering another bid for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech in January after testing the waters in the previous transfer window.

Memphis Depay could return to former club United in January as Barcelona are considering terminating the 28-year-old's contract to get him off their books.

– According to Sky Sports Germany, United are not considered a realistic destination for Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham.

– CBS is reporting multiple Premier League clubs, including Everton, Leeds and West Ham, are interested in 26-year-old Senegal forward Boulaye Dia, with the Villarreal-contracted player scoring against Qatar on Friday.

Luis Enrique described Gavi's abilities as "out of the ordinary" following his scintillating World Cup debut for Spain.

Barcelona teenager Gavi marked his major tournament bow by scoring an exquisite volley as Luis Enrique's team thrashed Costa Rica 7-0 on Wednesday, becoming the third-youngest goalscorer in World Cup history.

Only Brazil great Pele in 1958 (17 years, 239 days) and Mexico's Manuel Rosas in 1930 (18 years, 93 days) have hit the net at the tournament when younger than Gavi, who did so at the age of 18 years and 110 days.

Asked about Gavi's abilities during a Twitch livestream on Thursday, Luis Enrique said: "It's not very normal, it's something out of the ordinary. 

"We all realise how difficult it is to do it at the age that he does it.

"He has good defensive appreciation. Controlling his energy is one of the things Gavi is improving. Hopefully that impetus helps him to win many balls."

Spain's second Group E fixture sees them take on Hansi Flick's Germany in a heavyweight contest on Sunday, with Die Mannschaft reeling following their surprise defeat to Japan.

Depending on the result of Japan's meeting with Costa Rica earlier on Sunday, another Spain victory could see them condemn the four-time winners to a group-stage exit, and Enrique expects to make changes to his starting line-up.

"I hardly repeat an eleven. It's hard for me. There will surely be some changes," Enrique said. "They train so well that now anyone could play with a total guarantee of a good performance. 

"Today we analysed the Germany-Japan match, and we take into account its characteristics to find the players in the best shape."

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