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World Cup 2022 LIVE: Ramos and Thiago out of Spain squad

Gareth Southgate suggests England will ignore plea to avoid human-rights discussions

Sergio Ramos and Thiago Alcantara have missed out on Spain’s World Cup squad as Luis Enrique opted for youth as La Seleccion ramp up preparations for Qatar. The 2010 winners have maintained a wealth of experience in the shape of Sergio Busquets, Dani Carvajal and Alvaro Morata.

Elsewhere the Netherlands have selected an exciting squad with Xavi Simons the standout pick, with the PSV starlet causing havoc recently as the Dutch giants outplayed and beat Arsenal. Louis Van Gaal’s squad has both strength and pace, while there is also flair running through the side, with Cody Gakpo another skilful option. The Dutch head coach also outlined plans for his players to meet with migrant workers in Qatar.

Sadio Mane faces a race against time to make it for Senegal, however, with mixed messages coming from his country and Bayern Munich. Follow all the latest news and squad announcements from the 32 teams below

You can get daily World Cup updates direct to your phone throughout the tournament by joining our World Cup channel.


Qatar migrant workers suffered discrimination and wage theft, new report finds

Migrant workers who built Qatar’s World Cup stadiums often worked long hours under harsh conditions and were subjected to discrimination, wage theft and other abuses as their employers evaded accountability, a rights group said in a report released Thursday.

The 75-page report by the London-based charity Equidem comes less than two weeks before the Gulf Arab nation hosts the world’s biggest sporting event, with over 1.2 million fans expected to descend on the tiny emirate for the month-long tournament.

Under heavy international scrutiny, Qatar has enacted a number of labour reforms in recent years that have been praised by Equidem and other rights groups. But advocates say abuses are still widespread and that workers have few avenues for redress.

Qatari officials from the ruling emir on down accuse critics of ignoring the reforms and applying double-standards to the first Arab or Muslim nation to host the tournament.

Michael Jones11 November 2022 15:20


Phil Foden backed to deliver for England on World Cup stage by Steve Cooper

Foden, who has been named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the Qatar tournament which starts next week, was one of the heroes as England won the Under-17s World Cup in 2017 under Cooper.

He was named the player of the tournament, scored two goals in the final and put in a performance in the semi-final against Brazil where Cooper said he was the most Brazilian player on the pitch.

The 22-year-old only played a fleeting part at Euro 2020, but Cooper, now managing at Nottingham Forest, says Foden is ready to deliver on the biggest stage.

Michael Jones11 November 2022 15:10


Gareth Southgate takes considered yet significant risk with James Maddison selection

Strangely, the headline from this World Cup squad announcement was always likely to be the inclusion or non-inclusion of a player with a grand total of one international cap. James Maddison has become the type of English cause celebre that always seems to emerge on the eve of a major tournament, his unpredictable, mercurial abilities providing a skeleton key to unlock defences in Qatar. Given Gareth Southgate’s supposed safety-first nature, many expected that he would be overlooked. Instead, he will go to the World Cup.

Southgate’s inclusion of Maddison is the biggest surprise in his 26-man selection and appears to belie a reputation for standing by trusted, familiar faces. The Leicester City playmaker was the only fully fit player included in this squad to receive a call from Southgate on the morning of the announcement. The England manager wanted to reassure him that, despite speculation that he would miss out, he was in. “We’d decided a couple of weeks ago but weren’t going to tell him then,” Southgate revealed.

It would be unfair to suggest that this represents a sudden change of heart on Southgate’s part. “He’s a good player. We’ve always said he’s a good player,” he insisted, adding that fitness troubles and tactical set-ups have prevented Maddison being called up in the past, but there is no doubt that the biggest difference now is that his performances are too good to ignore. “He’s earned the right,” said the England manager. “I think he’s playing as well as any of the attacking players in this country.”

Michael Jones11 November 2022 15:00


James Maddison ‘full of joy’ after England World Cup call-up

There were large question marks over his place having played just 36 minutes for the Three Lions under Southgate, with stories as late as Wednesday night suggesting he was not in the squad, but he is on the plane.

Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers revealed that Maddison had to phone Southgate back from his office to get the news he was going.

Michael Jones11 November 2022 14:50


James Maddison: The misunderstood playmaker who left Gareth Southgate with no other choice

Gareth Southgate’s decision to pick James Maddison was such a surprise that the Leicester City playmaker genuinely had no idea it was coming. It meant the phonecall was one of those genuinely endearing moments, where the 25-year-old was audibly shocked and “delighted”.

Maddison had pretty much written off his chances at playing at this World Cup, or really be involved with Southgate’s England at all. It was even a big deal for his camp that he made it onto the 55. While that offered intrigue, they weren’t all that encouraged it would lead to a full call-up.

The feeling was that Southgate just had a personality issue with the player. The manager hadn’t been all that taken with Maddison when he had him at the under-21s. There was then the withdrawal from a squad for a 2019 match against Czech Republic with injury, only for the playmaker to be photographed in a casino the night of the game.

That, pointedly, had been his last call-up.

Michael Jones11 November 2022 14:40


Netherlands confirm plans for players to meet migrant workers at World Cup

The Netherlands World Cup squad will meet a group of migrant workers in Qatar as part of the Dutch football federation’s continued push to promote human rights at the tournament.

The Royal Dutch Soccer Association announced the plan Thursday night, on the eve of coach Louis van Gaal announcing his final squad on Friday.

“First of all, we are going to Qatar to become world champions, but of course we look beyond football,” Van Gaal said in a statement.

He said that, as a team, “we find it important to meet the people involved. We therefore invite them to our training to give them a nice memory as well.”

Michael Jones11 November 2022 14:30


Portugal World Cup squad: Cristiano Ronaldo selected to play in fifth tournament

Liverpool forward Diogo Jota is unavailable due to injury while the uncapped Benfica full-back Antonio Silva receives his first call-up.

Michael Jones11 November 2022 14:20


Sepp Blatter admits ‘Qatar was a mistake’ on eve of World Cup

Mr Blatter was Fifa president in 2010 when its executive committee controversially voted to award the hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

Qatar has faced criticism over its treatment of migrant workers and discriminative LGBT+ laws, while the tournament also had to be moved to November and December due to heat.

Fifa’s decision to stage the World Cup in Qatar has also been the subject of scepticism after several members of the executive committee who voted in 2010 were later convicted or indicted in criminal or ethics cases.

Michael Jones11 November 2022 14:10


Fifa 23 predicts winners of 2022 World Cup – after getting last three correct

The Albiceleste haven’t lifted the trophy since Diego Maradona inspired them to victory back in 1986 for a second title in their history.

Lionel Messi‘s side are one of the tournament favourites this time around after a hugely impressive South American qualifying campaign.

If Argentine fans are looking for good omens, the Fifa game has actually correctly predicted the last three winners of the men’s tournament – Spain in 2010, Germany in 2014 and France last time around in 2018.

Michael Jones11 November 2022 14:00


Five biggest England omissions ahead of Qatar

Southgate has also included a couple of late bolters, with the in-form trio of Ben White, James Maddison and Callum Wilson all receiving recalls to the national side just in time to make the plane.

However, it means there is no place for some players who have featured in recent squads, only to be left out at the last moment. Here’s a look at some of the biggest omissions ahead of the tournament.

Michael Jones11 November 2022 13:50

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