collectionfifatips | What's New in FIFA 19 Gameplay

Posted June 9th at 12:00pm.

EA SPORTS™ FIFA 19 delivers a champion-caliber experience on and off the pitch, thanks to the introduction of the UEFA Champions League and a series of gameplay innovations on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, that provide new ways for you to control every aspect of every minute on the pitch. 

Active Touch System
This new system fundamentally changes the way you receive and strike the ball, enabling closer control, improved fluidity in movement, more creativity, and increased player personality when. First touch gets an overhaul with new tools such as the disguised touch, flick-up volleys, or even skill specific animations like the Neymar Trap, so that you can stay one touch ahead of your opponent and create scoring chances.

Dynamic Tactics

The reimagined tactical system gives players the tools to set multiple tactical approaches, deeper pre-match customization, and new options for in-match adjustments. Each tactical approach combines formations, mentalities, and attacking and defensive play styles so that you can easily customize your play in any situation.

50/50 Battles

User reactions and player attributes determine the outcome of loose ball duels across the pitch. Thanks to increased teammate intelligence and spatial awareness, every challenge matters in the fight for possession.

Timed Finishing
Get another level of control over every shot with the Timed Finishing system, which puts users in charge of how accurately they connect with the ball. Trigger a timed finish by double tapping the “shoot” button when attempting a strike. The precision and timing of the second button tap determines the result of the contact; perfectly timed strikes increase a shot's accuracy and power, while poorly timed contacts make the shot more likely to miss the mark. Whether it's a hit from outside the box, a precision header, or a deft touch, timed finishing adds a higher layer of control to finishing in FIFA 19.

Real Player Motion Technology

The game-changing animation system, which brought enhanced player personality and movement fidelity to EA SPORTS FIFA, is back with increased coverage of the entire pitch. Enhanced animations for tactical shielding, impact balancing, and physical jostling take realistic player movement, responsiveness, and personality to unbelievable heights.


FIFA 19 releases worldwide on September 28, 2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Pre-order* now to get incredible offers, including three days early access with the Ultimate and Champions Editions.

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Conditions and restrictions apply. See https://www.easports.com/fifa/fifa-19-game-and-offer-disclaimers for details.
*Only available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
*FROSTBITE GAME ENGINE TECHNOLOGY AND THE JOURNEY: CHAMPIONS IS AVAILABLE ON XBOX ONE, PLAYSTATION 4 AND PC PLATFORM VERSIONS ONLY. NOT ALL FEATURES AVAILABLE ON ALL PLATFORMS.
**Conditions and restrictions apply. See offer disclaimers for full details.

FIFA 19 Pre-Order Offers – Ultimate, Champions, Standard Editions on collectionfifatips

Posted June 9th at 12:30pm.

The wait is almost over! FIFA 19 releases worldwide on September 28, 2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Pre-order* now to get incredible offers, including three days early access with the Ultimate and Champions Editions. Plus, give your FIFA Ultimate Team™ squad an early upgrade with special pre-order bonuses and FUT items.

Find out what's included in each version of FIFA 19:

STANDARD EDITION 

  • Up to five Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (one per week for five weeks)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo loan item for seven FUT matches
  • Special Edition FUT kits designed by FIFA soundtrack artists

Pre-order for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Also available for Nintendo Switch.

CHAMPIONS

  • Up to 20 FIFA Ultimate Team Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (one per week for 20 weeks)
  • Play from September 25 with three days early access 
  • UEFA Champions League Gold Player Pick (Choose one of five 80 to 83 rated gold players from qualified teams)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr. loan items for seven FUT matches
  • Special Edition FUT kits designed by FIFA soundtrack artists

Pre-order for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

ULTIMATE

  • Up to 40 FIFA Ultimate Team Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (two per week for 20 weeks)
  • Play from September 25 with three days early access 
  • UEFA Champions League Gold Player Pick (Choose one of five 80 to 83 rated gold players from qualified teams) 
  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr. loan players for seven FUT matches
  • Special edition FUT kits designed by FIFA soundtrack artists

Pre-order for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

CHAMPIONS EDITION FOR NINTENDO SWITCH

  • Up to 20 FIFA Ultimate Team Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (one per week for 20 weeks)
  • Play from September 25 with three days early access 
  • UEFA Champions League Gold Player (One 80 to 83 rated gold player from qualified teams) 
  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr. loan items for seven FUT matches
  • Special Edition FUT kits designed by FIFA soundtrack artists

* Conditions and restrictions apply. See offer disclaimers for full for details. 


FIFA 18 is Available Now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.  Conditions and restrictions apply.  See https://www.easports.com/fifa/fifa-18-game-and-offer-disclaimers for details. 

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The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ update is available as a free content download to all FIFA 18 players on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. 

FIFA 19 Release Date Details on collectionfifatips

Posted June 9th at 12:30pm.

EA SPORTS™ FIFA 19 officially launches worldwide September 28 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch™, and PC.

Powered by Frostbite™*, FIFA 19 gives you the chance to experience the world’s most prestigious club competition with the addition of the legendary UEFA Champions League. Whether you want to achieve glory in the pinnacle of club football in the brand-new UEFA Champions League tournament mode, or experience the dramatic conclusion to Alex Hunter's story in The Journey: Champions*, the UEFA Champions League is woven into every mode in FIFA 19. Find out more about all of the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and Super Cup game modes and features.

Champions Rise in FIFA 19.

Pre-order** the Champions Edition to get three days early access, up to 20 Jumbo Premium Gold FUT Packs, a UEFA Champions League player pick, Cristiano Ronaldo & Neymar Jr FUT Loan Items for 7 matches, and more.

Pre-order the Ultimate Edition to get three days early access, up to 40 Jumbo Premium Gold FUT Packs, a UEFA Champions League player pick, Cristiano Ronaldo & Neymar Jr FUT Loan Items for 7 matches, and more. Find out more about our pre-order offers. 

Ronaldo returns to the cover, joined by neymar JR

The best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, is back as the FIFA 19 cover star, now joined by Brazil star Neymar Jr for the Champions and Ultimate Edition covers.

Ronaldo continues to rack up the honours for both himself and his club this season, picking up yet another Ballon d'Or trophy alongside a historic third consecutive Champions League title. Already the competition's all-time record scorer, the Portuguese superstar became the first player to win five UEFA Champions League trophies after Real Madrid's 3-1 victory over Liverpool in Kyiv.


Neymar had an electrifying first season at Paris Saint-Germain fresh off his blockbuster transfer last summer. Not only did the Brazilian winger dazzle defenses throughout the league on the way to being named Ligue 1 Player of the Year, he also helped PSG in their unprecedented domestic quadruple.

Play FIFA 19 from September 20 with Play First Trials (available on EA Access on Xbox One and Origin Access Basic on PC) and save 10% if you decide to buy the full game. PC players can upgrade to Origin Access Premier to get unlimited access to the full game ahead of launch.

*FROSTBITE GAME ENGINE TECHNOLOGY AND THE JOURNEY: CHAMPIONS IS AVAILABLE ON XBOX ONE, PLAYSTATION 4 AND PC PLATFORM VERSIONS ONLY. NOT ALL FEATURES AVAILABLE ON ALL PLATFORMS.

** Conditions and restrictions apply. See offer disclaimers for full details.


FIFA 18 is Available Now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.  Conditions and restrictions apply.  See https://www.easports.com/fifa/fifa-18-game-and-offer-disclaimers for details. 

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collectionfifatips – Behind the Music: Champions League Anthem Remix with Hans Zimmer

Posted June 12th at 4:00pm.

Experience the UEFA Champions League in FIFA 19 like you've never seen—or heard—before.

EA SPORTS brought in Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer (in collaboration with rapper Vince Staples) to create a special remix of the tournament's famous anthem that reflects the grandeur of the Champions League and everything it brings to FIFA 19. The track, officially titled “Champions League,” was itself a “remix” of sorts: English composer Tony Britten adapted it from George Frederick Handel's “Zadok the Priest” when the European Cup was re-branded as the Champions League in 1992.

Check out this exclusive behind-the-scenes video as Zimmer brings in top musicians from around the world to create the track specifically for FIFA 19.

Thanks to a decades-long career that is still going strong, Zimmer is one of the most well-known and well-regarded composers in the world. After beginning his career in the music industry, Zimmer moved on to film and television scoring in the 1980s. Zimmer became a household name after his work in the 1988 film Rain Man earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Since then, Zimmer has worked on over 100 soundtracks for television, movies, and more, many of which have been nominated for and received awards at the highest level. He won his first and only Academy Award for the 1994 Disney animated film The Lion King, as well as two Golden Globe awards, four Grammy awards, and many more. 

Everything about the addition of the UEFA Champions League to FIFA 19 celebrates world-class talent, so when it came time to find someone to adapt the famous anthem for the game, Zimmer was at the top of the list. “This is an anthem that's known by fans across the world, it's the iconic nature of it,” Zimmer said. “When the Champions League games are on, suddenly the world stops. Everything else falls by the wayside, because everybody is into the game. It doesn't matter which team you support, there is something that connects everybody in this theme.” 

Zimmer pulled together “68 of the most amazing musicians that you can ever get” at AIR Studios in London to create this dynamic track, approaching the project with “a little bit of respect,” while also infusing “a bit of recklessness” into the process. He even jokingly called the technique of building this track “Zimmer-izing,” because his distinctive influence can be heard throughout the song. “Working with EA SPORTS is really working with people who understand the responsibility that comes with a project like this,” said Zimmer. “You hope that you're going to go and thrill the fans and give them a new experience.” With something this big, Zimmer said, you have to “be bold, be brave. Go big or, truly, stay home.”

FIFA 19 releases worldwide on September 28, 2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Pre-order now to get incredible offers, including three days early access with the Ultimate and Champions Editions.

Spenser Davis

 


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collectionfifatips | FIFA 18 Festival of FUTball Team of the Matchday 1

Posted June 21st at 12:30pm.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is in full swing, which means that the Festival of FUTball party is just getting started. The first series of group stage matches set the world on fire with dramatic upsets, late winners, and quite a few stunning goals. Superstars delivered and underdogs rose to the occasion throughout the week to give us the first Team of the Matchday, part of this year's Festival of FUTball.

From Cristiano Ronaldo's sensational hat trick that sealed a 3-3 draw for Portugal against Spain, to Hirving Lozano and his strike that upset reigning champions Germany, these are the players who made the biggest impact in the opening matches of the 2018 World Cup. Look for their special FUT items in packs for a limited time and enjoy the first of many Festival of FUTball events.

Starting XI

Yann Sommer, GK, Switzerland

José Giménez, Uruguay

Aleksandar Kolarov, LB, Serbia

Jesús Gallardo, LB, Mexico

Hirving Lozano, LW, Mexico

Denis Cheryshev, LM, Russia

Phillippe Coutinho, CM, Brazil

Cristiano Ronaldo, RW, Portugal

Harry Kane, ST, England

Romelu Lukaku, ST, Belgium

Diego Costa, ST, Spain

BENCH

Hannes Þór Halldorsson, GK, Iceland

Andreas Granqvist, CB, Sweden

Aleksandr Golovin, CAM, Russia

Aaron Mooy, CDM, Australia

Alfreð Finnbogoason, ST, Iceland

Yussuf Poulsen, RW, Denmark

Isco, LW, Spain

FIFA 18 is Available Now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.  Conditions and restrictions apply.  See https://www.easports.com/fifa/fifa-18-game-and-offer-disclaimers for details. 

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collectionfifatips | Liverpool target Alisson Becker wants future resolved before World Cup starts

ESPN FC’s Steve Nicol explains why Roma’s Alisson has to be Liverpool’s No. 1 transfer target this summer.

Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker hopes to have his future resolved before Brazil begin their World Cup campaign against Switzerland on Sunday.

Alisson, 25, has been strongly linked with Liverpool, Real Madrid and Chelsea in recent months, though Roma have insisted he is not for sale. 

Speaking after Brazil 3-0 victory over Austria on Sunday evening, Alisson wants to make a decision before the weekend otherwise it will have to wait until after the World Cup.

“There are options that we are working on, together with Roma and with respect for my club,” he told Globoesporte. “We’ll see if something happens during this week.

“I believe that it will all be resolved before the start of the World Cup, or at least that is what I hope. To be honest, I’ve left it all in the hands of my agents. If it doesn’t get resolved before our first game [of the World Cup], then we’ll talk about it after because during it, my mind is only going to be 100 percent focused on Brazil.”

Despite the transfer speculation, Alisson could yet sign a contract extension with Roma.

Taffarel, Brazil’s goalkeeping coach, says Alisson is more than happy to remain in Rome next season, and he would also be delighted if he does not switch clubs.

“He’s a goalkeeper who gives you tranquillity and I’m truly delighted about him. I’d say his greatest strength, other than his technical ability, is that he’s very relaxed, very intelligent with the way he plays — he’s mentally very strong,” Taffarel told Italy’s Radio Stereo. “He’s very happy at Roma — truly very, very happy. The voices about him moving are only rumours. If he stays at Roma, I’d be very happy.

“I don’t really like making lists of who is the best, but as far as I’m concerned, he’s one of the best in the world, together with [Manuel] Neuer, who I’ve always liked and is getting back now, and [David] De Gea, [Thibaut] Courtois.”

Liverpool target Xherdan Shaqiri after Nabil Fekir deal falls through – sources – collectionfifatips.com

Paul Mariner measures if Xherdan Shaqiri would be a good fit in Jurgen Klopp’s system, N’Golo Kante’s future with Chelsea and more.
The FC crew analyse the major curveball thrown by Lyon as they ended negotiations with Liverpool over the transfer of Nabil Fekir.

Liverpool are leading the race for Stoke City attacker Xherdan Shaqiri, sources close to the player have told ESPN FC.

Shaqiri, 26, is set to leave Stoke this summer following their relegation from the Premier League and a number of clubs have been weighing up moves for the Switzerland winger.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Shaqiri’s brother and agent met with Liverpool officials last Friday to discuss a possible move to Anfield and that talks are also ongoing with several other clubs — though the player himself is currently away in Russia preparing for the World Cup.

Shaqiri is reported to have a release clause of £13.5 million in his contract and that makes him an attractive proposition at that price, with sources telling ESPN FC that Liverpool made their interest clear last week.

The former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan midfielder scored eight goals and provided seven assists for Stoke last season and he has previously indicated he would prefer to stay in England if he does end up leaving Stoke.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is reportedly keen to boost his options in attack next season, as he wants to ease the burden on the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, and is now chasing other targets after Lyon indicated on Saturday that captain Nabil Fekir will be staying in France after breaking off transfer negotiations with the Reds.

Peter O’Rourke is ESPN FC’s transfer news correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @SportsPeteO.

Spain leave Cesc Fabregas, Alvaro Morata, Marcos Alonso out of World Cup squad on collectionfifatips

Spain head coach Julen Lopetegui brings clarity to his decision to leave Alvaro Morata off of La Roja’s 23-man World Cup squad.
Ian Darke leads an expert panel to assess Spain’s World Cup hopes and whether Julen Lopetegui will be able to sort the attack of Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata.
After Andres Iniesta’s last game for Barca, the FC crew assess his place among Spain’s greats and whether he can go out on top at the World Cup.
Spain has shared the goal scoring load quite a bit over the last two years.

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has left Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata, Cesc Fabregas and Marcos Alonso out of his 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia but included Arsenal left-back Nacho Monreal.

Morata, who scored five goals in qualifying, had been a regular in Lopetegui’s squads until March, when he was dropped after losing his starting place at Chelsea.

Alonso was widely tipped to make the squad after impressing this season in the Premier League. He had seven goals in 33 league starts, but Lopetegui elected to take Monreal, who plays the same position.

“Monreal has come with us many times,” Lopetegui said at a news conference on Monday. “We know him well and we are convinced he will help us.”

There are six players from Real Madrid in the World Cup squad, including Spain captain Sergio Ramos and midfielder Isco, a key player for Lopetegui but one who is unlikely to start in Madrid’s Champions League final against Liverpool in Kiev, Ukraine, on Saturday.

“I want to remember those players that were crucial in qualifying and helped us, including Alvaro Morata, Marc Bartra [and] Vitolo, but have not made the squad,” Lopetegui said. “I spoke to those that I thought that I had to speak to.

“It’s not easy to give 23 players and the doubt always exists. In the case of Morata, he’s had a complex season but he could have come. He hasn’t because another player has convinced us more.”

Morata, in his first season at Chelsea following a move from Madrid, has struggled with a back injury and played just four minutes in his team’s 1-0 win over Manchester United in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Following his omission, Morata sent a message of support to the squad, which read: “The best of luck for the World Cup!! As of right now I will be supporting and cheering until the end as I’ve always done!!”

Lopetegui has included ex-Chelsea forward Diego Costa, who made 20 appearances in all competitions after returning to play for Atletico Madrid in January.

With Costa, Atletico finished runners-up to Barcelona in La Liga and also won the Europa League.

La Liga’s top scoring Spanish players, Iago Aspas and Rodrigo Moreno, are also in. Aspas has scored 20 goals for Celta Vigo and Rodrigo’s 16 goals helped Valencia finish in fourth place and qualify for the Champions League.

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea, who kept 18 clean sheets in the league to win his first Premier League Golden Glove, joins Monreal, Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta and Manchester City’s David Silva as the Premier League players in the squad.

Veteran midfielder Andres Iniesta, who played his final game for Barcelona on Sunday and will retire from international football after the World Cup, has made the squad.

Barca teammates Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have also been included.

Spain, who went unbeaten in qualifying, play a warm-up game against Switzerland at the Estadio de la Ceramica in Villarreal on June 3. They will travel to Russia four days later and take on Tunisia in Krasnodar in their final preparation game on June 9.

“A World Cup is the most beautiful and challenging competition there is,” Lopetegui said. “We only have three games guaranteed. The rest we have to earn it there.”

Spain begin their World Cup campaign against Portugal on June 15 in Sochi and also take on Iran and Morocco in Group B.

Spain’s 23-player squad:

Goalkeepers: Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao), David De Gea (Manchester United), Pepe Reina (Napoli)

Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Nacho (Real Madrid), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Alvaro Odriozola (Real Sociedad), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: Isco (Real Madrid), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid)

Forwards: Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Rodrigo (Valencia), Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid)

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

Belgium World Cup squad: Radja Nainggolan left out by boss Roberto Martinez – collectionfifatips.com

Paul Mariner says the World Cup will be a sadder place without Radja Nainggolan, after the midfielder was left out of Belgium’s provisional squad.
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez explains why he didn’t select Radja Nainggolan for the 2018 World Cup squad.
ESPN FC’s Alexis Nunes talks World Cup expectations with Belgium defender Vincent Kompany and what Roberto Martinez brings to the table.
Ian Darke likens Belgium to a band who can never get a number one. The ESPN panel question if Roberto Martinez can get it right for Belgium’s golden generation.

Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne have all been included in Belgium’s preliminary World Cup squad but there is no place for Roma’s Radja Nainggolan.

Chelsea star Hazard, Manchester United forward Lukaku and De Bruyne of Manchester City were all named in the 28-man selection made public by national team coach Roberto Martinez on Monday.

Nainggolan, however, was a notable absentee. The midfielder — who was only named on the reserve list for the 2014 World Cup but played in all five of the national team’s Euro 2016 matches, scoring in the quarterfinal loss to Wales — had declared last summer he was retiring from international football after being initially snubbed by Martinez.

“Very reluctantly my international career comes to an end,” Nainggolan wrote on Instagram after the squad was announced. I’ve always done everything I could to represent my country. Being yourself can be bothering. From this day on I will be the first fan.”

The former Swansea City and Everton boss did, however, call up the 30-year-old for November’s friendlies with Mexico and Japan, only for Nainggolan to be forced to withdraw through injury.

After convincing performances for his club in both Serie A and the Champions League, Nainggolan featured for just over half an hour in March’s friendly win over Saudi Arabia, winning his 30th cap.

“It’s a tactical reason,” Martinez said at a news conference announcing the squad. “Over the last two years, we have worked in a very attacking way, a very specific system and manner, and other players had those roles. Radja has a very important role in his club, and I don’t feel we can give him that in the national team. He’s not a player to be used in a small role.”

Martinez said he had taken the unusual step of visiting Rome on Sunday to see Nainggolan in person before deciding to leave him out.

“I respect Radja,” Martinez said. “He’s not a young player. He’s got great experience. I value his opinion.

“I didn’t tell him he wasn’t in the squad. I travelled to share some thoughts and the decision was made after the meeting. I was able to look into his eyes. It was a difficult conversation to have. I appreciate his honesty. I was glad to be able to see him before I made a decision.”

Liverpool’s Divock Origi, who spent last season on loan at Wolfsburg, and Everton forward Kevin Mirallas, who joined former club Olympiacos on a temporary basis in January, also missed out, but there was room for Christian Benteke.

The former Liverpool striker struggled for game time and goals at Crystal Palace last term, but with Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku and Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi both coming back from late-season injuries, Martinez said he needed a back-up option ahead of starting their Group G campaign against Panama on June 18 before also facing Tunisia and England.

“Christian is a player who can bring a different No. 9 style,” Maritnez said of Benteke, who won the last of his 33 caps in September 2017. “Given the concerns we have over the other No. 9s, it was a necessity for us to have another one.

“He’s had a difficult season, but I think he’s used to working in that environment, and is experienced enough to perform for the national team. Look at the goals he scored in qualifying. He was in impressive form. We didn’t call him up in March because I didn’t need to see him, but it didn’t affect what we thought of him.”

Martinez said another of his injured players, Thomas Vermaelen, “deserves as much time as we can give him” to recover from a hamstring injury that ruled him out of Barcelona’s last league game of the season.

Another defender, Lazio’s Jordan Lukaku, will also be assessed at the Red Devils’ training camp, which starts on Tuesday ahead of their June 4 warm-up game against Portugal.

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was also named to the preliminary squad despite losing his place as the No. 1 to Loris Karius in January. Mignolet, who started the friendly against Saudi Arabia, has not featured for Liverpool since January.

Martinez also had no problem including two Chinese Super League midfielders — Yannick Carrasco and Axel Witzel — as well as defender Laurent Ciman, who is with MLS side LAFC.

Defender Vincent Kompany, who will make his second World Cup appearance, told ESPN FC that he appreciates the way Martinez approaches his position.

“I think Roberto thinks a lot about the game,” Kompany said. “He has the knowledge about the game that you can expect from a top, top manager and he gives a lot of responsibility to his players so you don’t get treated like schoolchildren. You have a role to play, and with an experienced team like ours now, I think it’s a good combination.”

Belgium’s 28-player squad

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Matz Sels (Newcastle United)

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Laurent Ciman (LAFC), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Christian Kabasele (Watford), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Jordan Lukaku (Lazio), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian)

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli)

Ian is ESPN’s French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

collectionfifatips | Italy appoint Roberto Mancini as new national team manager

Craig Burley responds to the reaction out of Italy following Roma’s Champions League exit, saying people in Italian football need to wake up.

Roberto Mancini is the new coach of the Italy national team, the Italian Football Federation announced on Monday.

The move comes one day after Mancini agreed to terminate his contract as manager of Zenit St Petersburg, which paved the way for him to negotiate his Italy deal.

Mancini reportedly signed a two-year deal, though the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) did not give any details about his contract in announcing his appointment. He will be presented at a news conference on Tuesday.

The 53-year-old former Manchester City and Inter Milan manager failed to lead Zenit to a Champions League qualification spot for next season.

With Italy, Mancini will replace Giampiero Ventura, who was sacked in November after the Azzurri failed to reach the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.


As well as Mancini, Carlo Ancelotti, Claudio Ranieri and Chelsea’s Antonio Conte had been linked with the position, which had been held by caretaker manager Luigi Di Biagio, the coach of Italy’s under-21 side.

Mancini, who won 36 caps for Italy as a player, led City to the Premier League title in 2011-12 after three Serie A title wins with Inter.

Since leaving the Etihad in 2013 he has managed Galatasaray and Inter again before being appointed Zenit boss last June.

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