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Southgate confident Nations League will provide tough test

England face Spain and Croatia. Credit: PA

England manager Gareth Southgate is confident everyone will get behind the UEFA Nations League campaign which features "high-quality" fixtures against Spain and Croatia.

In the new format, England have been drawn into Group Four of League and the UEFA competition is designed to allow teams to play against those who are similarly ranked - and will offer some nations who do not qualify for Euro 2020 via the normal route a path to the play-offs.

Southgate is confident the new venture can prove a success, both on and off the pitch.

"The whole concept of this tournament is you play high-quality and competitive matches, so that criteria is fulfilled by the group we are in," the England manager said on Sky Sports News.

"Croatia we haven't played for a while so we are looking forward to that and Spain, of course, are one of the best teams in the world, so it will be good to test ourselves in those games.

"Everybody is still getting to grips with what that (winning the Nations League group) will mean, and I am sure there will be a bigger focus after the World Cup.

"But we like the concept of fewer friendlies and the concept of games against high-level teams, I think that is really important."

Horses run through fire in Las Luminarias festival

The annual Las Luminarias festival has taken place in San Bartolome de Pinares in central Spain.

During the event, horses run through fire and are blessed by a priest in order to protect and purify them for the year ahead.

The tradition has been going for 500 years and looks set to continue.

María Jesus Martin, Mayor of San Bartolome de Pinares, said: "This festival is very special, it is all about feeling. And this is because we are transmitting it from one generation to other generation, from parents to children."


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