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Southgate’s future to be decided, Spain legend calls time on international career

Here’s all the latest FIFA World Cup news.

Southgate set for FA meeting

After a heartbreaking loss in the quarter-finals to France, England manager Gareth Southgate will meet top Football Association officials in January to debrief the campaign, with an eye towards the manager’s future.

Southgate, who has now taken the Three Lions to the final four and final eight from two attempts at World Cup level as well as the Euro 2020 Final on home soil, has been backed by England greats including Gary Neville and Ian Wright and it is understood the FA are keen for him to remain in the top job.

The former England international in his playing days has, however, expressed the need to re-evaluate whether he wants to stay as the qualifying campaign for the European Championships begins in March, and another World Cup cycle looms.

“I think whenever I’ve finished these tournaments I’ve needed time to make correct decisions because emotionally you go through so many different feelings and the energy that it takes through these tournaments is enormous,” Southgate said.

“I want to make the right decision, whenever that is, for the team, for England, for the FA, and I’ve got to be sure whatever the decision I take is the right one. I think it’s right to take a bit of time to do that because I know in the past how my feelings have fluctuated in the immediate aftermath of tournaments.”

Should Southgate leave the role, potential homegrown candidates to replace him include Graham Potter and Eddie Howe. Foreign options such as Thomas Tuchel and Mauricio Pochettino have also been touted as possible replacements.

Busquets retires from international football

Barcelona and Spain legend Sergio Busquets, one of the best defensive midfielders of all time, has called time on his glittering international career after Spain’s second straight round of 16 in Qatar.

A veteran of 143 appearances for his country – beaten only by teammates Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos – the midfielder won the European Championship in 2012, and was an important cog in the engine room as Spain claimed their only World Cup crown in 2010.

“It has been an honour to represent my country at the highest level, to be a world and European champion, to be captain and play so many games, with greater or less success but always giving it my all,” Busquets said in a message posted on Instagram.

At club level the one-club man has worn the Barcelona shirt 463 times, notching 11 goals.

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