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Angels Links: Provisional 2018 World Cup squads released

We have seen more and more World Cup rosters, including a couple surprises.

Soccer: FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

2018 World Cup provisional rosters released

As we get closer and closer to the World Cup, the participants have started releasing their preliminary rosters for the tournament. A nation can name up to 35 players, as long as the roster is down to 23 on the June 4th deadline. Some interesting omissions from a couple of the rosters include Mario Gotze — who scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final — being left off Germany’s squad, Alex Sandro missing the cut for Brazil, and Jonathan Gonzalez not being called by Mexico. This list compiled by NBC Sports includes all of the rosters released at the time of publishing, in either tweet or list form.

New Italy Boss Roberto Mancini “wants to bring Italy back,“ and might bring in Mario Balotelli

On Monday, Roberto Mancini was officially named Italy’s next national team manager, after the Azzurri failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

“I hope that I can be the person who brings Italy back to a significant triumph. The failure to qualify for the World Cup caused mourning and this shows how important it is for our country.”

”To coach the national team is a reason to be proud for anyone. I think that it’s the right moment for me. To be able to win something with Italy would be unique. It’s a difficult time and there’s a lot to do.”

He also commented on possibly bringing Nice striker Mario Balotelli back into the fold for the first time since 2014, saying he would talk with the forward. Balotelli has played with Mancini at both Inter and Manchester City, and has been linked to a return to the Azzurri after the Italians did not score a goal against Sweden in 180 minutes with the World Cup on the line.

“Eriksen ready for Barcelona or Madrid,“ says former Denmark teammate Sorensen

Tottenham fans, look away. According to former Denmark teammate Thomas Sorensen, Christian Eriksen is ready to move from the London club onto either Barcelona or Real Madrid.

“If Barcelona or Real Madrid came calling, he would definitely need to consider it. He would definitely fit in there -- he’s mature enough now to go to a big club like that with the expectations and playing with other great players.

“He is at the right time now that he’s ready for that so, if the opportunity comes and it’s possible for him, he should go.”

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