WORLD CUP LIVE: Gareth Southgate 'to have January debrief with the FA'

WORLD CUP LIVE: Gareth Southgate ‘to have a January debrief with the FA to decide his England future’… as Sven-Goran Eriksson urges the Three Lions boss to STAY ‘for at least another two years’

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Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for all the latest World Cup news and updates ahead of Sunday’s final between Argentina and France.

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France have only kept one clean sheet in Qatar, but Raphael Varane has still had a fine tournament at the heart of his team’s defence.

The Manchester United centre-back looks set to play a key role in trying to stop Lionel Messi on Sunday, and Toni Kroos has labelled Varane as the ‘complete package’.

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Commentator Clive Tyldesley has opened up on why he left the World Cup before the quarter-finals.

Tyldesley has admitted he was left ‘bitterly disappointed’ after being demoted to third-choice commentator by ITV, and decided it would be better to leave Qatar early rather than stick around.

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Lionel Messi is looking to cap off his glittering career by winning the World Cup for the first time.

Sportsmail’s Oliver Holt feels Messi needs to win the sport’s biggest prize or he will not be able to match the legacy of Pele and Diego Maradona, and Holt believes the pressure on Messi could give France an edge.

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We are just over 48 hours away from Sunday’s final and the mind games have already begun.

Lionel Messi currently plays his club football in France for PSG, and L’Equipe have claimed Messi is now a ‘Frenchman’ who ‘feels Parisien’ after spending over a year in the capital.

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Lionel Messi has been criticised for struggling to replicate his club form on the international stage, but he is about to captain Argentina to their second World Cup final in eight years.

Mauricio Pochettino has praised the 35-year-old for taking the ‘next step’ at international level, with Messi’s stunning performances in Qatar leaving Argentina on the brink of their third World Cup triumph.

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Fernando Santos’s eight-year reign as Portugal manager was brought to an end on Thursday after he was sacked following the team’s quarter-final exit.

Santos won Euro 2016 and the Nations League in 2019 with Portugal, but made the controversial decision to drop Ronaldo for his final two games in charge in Qatar.

Ronaldo is now one of 10 Portugal players yet to thank Santos for his work with the national team.

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David Beckham has finally responded to Joe Lycett after the comedian pretended to shred £10,000 last month due to being unhappy at Beckham’s ambassador role in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

Lycett admitted afterwards that the money that he shredded was fake, but still wanted a response from Beckham on the issue, and he has finally received one.

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All eyes will be on the World Cup final on Sunday, and some fans are still trying to get tickets to watch the match at the Lusail Stadium.

They will have to push the boat out to get their hands on some, though, as tickets are going at four times face value, with supporters desperate to see Lionel Messi on the biggest stage for the final time.

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Speculation has been mounting that Karim Benzema could make a dramatic return to the France squad for the final against Argentina after recovering from injury.

However, the player is understood to be ‘furious’ with the treatment he has received from manager Didier Deschamps, and does not plan to fly out to Qatar for Sunday’s match.

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Portugal are looking for a new manager after parting ways with Fernando Santos following their World Cup exit.

Jose Mourinho has been touted as a potential replacement, but the Roma boss has declined to comment on the role for the moment.

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Polish referee Szymon Marciniak has been confirmed as the man in the middle for Sunday’s showpiece event.

He will become the first referee from his country to take charge of a World Cup final.

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It remains unclear as to whether Southgate will stay or not, but former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson thinks he should.

Eriksson, who managed England between 2001 and 2006, wants Southgate to remain in his role for ‘at least another two years’.

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It has been almost a week since England were knocked out of the World Cup by France at the quarter-final stage.

Gareth Southgate’s future remains unclear but we should know whether he is going to continue in the job by next month as he is due to have a January debrief with the FA.

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Thank you for joining us for today’s World Cup blog, with Sunday’s mouthwatering final between Argentina and France now just two days away.

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