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Top 20: Ranking the best players ahead of the FIFA Confederations Cup


Just days separate us from the start of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup — a tournament that draws soccer fans and the nations that they support one step closer to next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

[ MORE: Confederations Cup preview — Group A ]

While traditional powerhouses like Germany, Portugal and Chile aim to continue their reign atop the global game in this eight-team competition, the rest of the field looks to put their stamp on the tournament.

[ MORE: Confederations Cup preview — Group B ]

Since the Confederations Cup switched to its current format in 1997, the host nation has won three of the six competitions to date, while Brazil leads any other country with four titles on its own.

Of the eight teams to compete in this summer’s competition, Mexico is the only previous winner, and Juan Carlos Osorio’s side will aim to capture El Tri’s second win when the final takes place at Krestovsky Stadium.

Below, PST ranks the top 20 players that will take the pitch at this summer’s Confederations Cup, which kicks off on June 17.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Confederations Cup coverage ]

20. Fyodor Smolov (Russia)
19. Chris Wood (New Zealand)
18. Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon)
17. Jose Fonte (Portugal)
16. Marco Fabian (Mexico)
15. Tim Cahill (Australia)
14. Ricardo Quaresma (Portugal)
13. Joshua Kimmich (Germany)
12. Miguel Layun (Mexico)
11. Emre Can (Germany)
10. Eduardo Vargas (Chile)
9. Andres Guardado (Mexico)
8. Bernardo Silva (Portugal)
7. Joao Moutinho (Portugal)
6. Giovani dos Santos (Mexico)
5. Arturo Vidal (Chile)
4. Julian Draxler (Germany)
3. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (Mexico)
2. Alexis Sanchez (Chile)
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

VIDEO: A sneak peek of Everton’s Europa League journey – Part 2

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In Part 2 of Everton Unseen, European football returns to Goodison Park as Everton host MFK Ruzomberok in the qualifying round of the Europa League.

Click play on the video below to get a feel for how Goodison Park will be in the second leg of the Europa League in Part 2 of this videos series.

[ MORE: Live Europa League scores

[ WATCH: Part 1 of Everton Unseen ]

FIFA to send in emergency team to run Cameroon football

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA says it is sending in an emergency management team to run the troubled Cameroon football federation.

The panel to be appointed by FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will oversee elections by next March to replace disputed polls in 2015 for the Cameroon federation board.

FIFA’s intervention comes amid speculation Cameroon could be stripped of hosting the next African Cup of Nations in June-July 2019.

CAF President Ahmad this month cast doubt on Cameroon’s ability to prepare for the expanded 24-team tournament.

FIFA says Wednesday it acted after “recent failed attempts … to reconcile the football stakeholders in Cameroon and overcome the current impasse.”

Transfer Roundup: Tottenham complete signing of Sanchez, Clucas joins Swansea

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Tottenham reportedly broke the bank for its first transfer of the summer.

The North London club confirmed that it had completed a transfer with Ajax for defender Davinson Sanchez after the Colombian international passed a medical. According to The Telegraph, the deal is worth around $54 million, a club record. The deal is subject to acquisition of Sanchez’s work permit but given the transfer fee and him being in Colombia’s squad, it’s likely a mere formality at this point.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The 21-year-old defender brings speed and strength to Tottenham’s backline as well as a year of seasoning in the Eredivisie, which features plenty of attacking talent. Sanchez will battle with Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen for a place in Spurs’ three-man backline.

It’s a risk moving to a new club a year ahead of the World Cup, but Sanchez is hoping that with appearances in the UEFA Champions League and Premier League up for grabs, he can do well enough to keep his place in the Colombia National Team squad.

Here’s some more transfer news from across England:


Liverpool bombard Hoffenheim with three-goal first half

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Liverpool got off to a flying start in the second leg of its UEFA Champions League tie with Hoffenheim.

With the loyal Anfield crowd behind the team, the Reds scored three goals in the first 21 minutes, two of them from Emre Can to put Liverpool well in control of the tie.

Can’s opener was followed by a goal from Mo Salah before the German international scored a wide-open goal at the back post to make it 3-0 and 5-1 on aggregate. Sadio Mane played a big role in both of Can’s goals.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann went to the bench right after the third goal and brought on Mark Uth, who promptly scored to bright a little hope back to the German club.

Here’s a look at the flying first half of goals for Liverpool.

Emre Can 10′

Mohamed Salah 18′

Emre Can 21′

Mark Uth 28′