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Gerard Pique was on Spain World Cup shortlist before retirement

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Spain manager Luis Enrique has revealed that Gerard Pique was on his initial 55-player shortlist for this winter’s World Cup in Qatar prior to his shock retirement.

Pique confirmed in recent weeks that he would be leaving Barcelona this month and would not consider playing for any other club.

His final match for Barça came in a win at Camp Nou against Almeria, while he was sent off as an unused substitute in their comeback victory at Osasuna.

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Enrique confirmed his 26-player squad to head to Qatar on Friday, with the likes of Sergio Ramos and Thiago Alcantara omitted from the final roster.

And the Spain boss has since admitted that Pique was in contention to go to one last World Cup before retiring altogether.

“Yes, Gerard was on the pre-list,” Enrique said. “He is one of the most important centre-backs in Spain of all time and I put him on the list not as one of the first options, but as a possibility if anyone dropped out.

“Pique is a competitive beast, a great player. Last season, he ended up playing injured and producing excellent performances like always. That is why he was on the list.

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“For me, he is a great centre-back. Another thing is the situation with his club, but I can’t control that. He is a top-level centre-back. I ended up going for continuity, though, which is why I picked others in the end.”

Pique ended his career with 102 caps for Spain, winning the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 with La Roja.



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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

On Sunday, England and Senegal, their opponents in the last-16 of the World Cup, square off at Al Bayt Stadium in a battle for a spot in the quarterfinals.

The Three Lions take on the Lions of Teranga, who advanced to the knockout stages thanks to a crucial intervention from their captain, in a first-ever meeting after Gareth Southgate’s team defeated Wales to win Group B.

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USMNT players apologize for World Cup elimination

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US men’s national team players took to social media to apologize to fans following their elimination from the 2022 World Cup.  

After failing to qualify for the 2018 edition of the tournament, the American side entered Qatar with high hopes. The team kicked off with draws against England and Wales, before triumphing 1-0 over Iran to make the knockout round as second place of Group B. 

Gregg Berhalter’s side was forced to face the Netherlands on Saturday at Khalifa International Stadium for the highly anticipated match up. Despite an energetic start to the game, the USMNT ultimately lost 3-1, with goals from Memphis Depay, Daley Blind and Denzel Dumfries proving to be the difference between the two sides.

The Americans will now look forward to the 2026 World Cup where they will serve as hosts alongside Mexico and Canada. 

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France vs Poland: Confirmed lineups

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France vs Poland: Confirmed lineups

In Sunday’s last-16 matchup at the Al-Thumama Stadium, Poland and France, the current champions, prepare for battle after both teams lost in their World Cup 2022 group stage campaigns.

Les Bleus completed first in Gathering D to endure to the knockout rounds, while Czeslaw Michniewicz’s men set up a bind with the holders subsequent to putting second in Gathering C.

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