Monday, July 16, 2018

World Cup highs and lows: From Mbappe to Lopetegui and everything in between

Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
World Cup highs and lows: From Mbappe to Lopetegui and everything in between
After 64 games, the 2018 World Cup in Russia has come to an end.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

France’s bizarre superstitious pre-match routine could be key to them winning the World Cup

Dream Team FC
France’s bizarre superstitious pre-match routine could be key to them winning the World Cup

Some people don’t walk under ladders, some think it’s bad luck if a black cat crosses your path.

And footballers are probably more superstitious than most.

Kolo Toure famously always had to be the last player to enter the pitch, Johan Cruyff used to slap his keeper in the stomach before the game and then spit his chewing gum onto the opposition’s half and Gary Neville always had to wear the same aftershave for a game.

SIGN UP NOW Pre-register for next season’s best fantasy football game here Tie those laces in exactly the same way you did again ArgentinaEPA

But France are taking that pre-match superstition to a new level with their lucky charm at this year’s World Cup.

And it’s all thanks to wonderkid Kylian Mbappe.

In another of those creepy similarities to the 1998 World Cup winning side, of which Laurent Blanc used to kiss Fabian Barthez’s bald before the game to ward off the bad juju, the 2018 generation have their own lucky Buddha.

Adil Rami and his glorious moustacheReuters

Their lucky charm comes from the most unlikely of sources – Adil Rami’s gloriously defined throwback moustache.

Pamela Anderson’s boyfriend has a Captain Hook-style pointed lip beard and ever since Mbappe stroked it before Les Bleus’ impressive win over Argentina in the last-16 it has become a compulsory part of the pre-match routine.

Have some of that palGetty - Contributor

According to French journalist Julien Laurens Dider Deschamps boys have now begun to stroke Rami’s thick facial hair in a bizarre new ritual.

But after putting aside Uruguay in the quarters and then dealing with possibly the best team in the tournament in Belgium in the semi-finals you cannot question whether it’s working or not.

Surely it will be the time a player has been the secret to a team’s World Cup success without actually playing a minute during the tournament?

“Maybe if I stroke it I might get into the team for the final”AP:Associated Press

Rami might not be playing for France, but he’s not doing badly these days.

Could bag himself a World Cup winners’ medal and when it’s all finished he will go back to his life with girlfriend Anderson.

Ah to be a footballer, eh?

With Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann both playing brilliant after getting some magic dust from Rami’s beard, you can bet goalless Olivier Grioud will want a turn next.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Belgium finishes 3rd at World Cup, beats England 2-0

Football – Inquirer Sports
Belgium finishes 3rd at World Cup, beats England 2-0
Belgium finishes 3rd at World Cup, beats England 2-0

Belgium and England both leave the World Cup happy to have reached the semifinals. Belgium may be a little happier, though.

The post Belgium finishes 3rd at World Cup, beats England 2-0 appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Friday, July 13, 2018

World Cup 2018: England semi-final success reminds Gareth Southgate of Germany's own bright beginnings

The Independent - Football
World Cup 2018: England semi-final success reminds Gareth Southgate of Germany's own bright beginnings
World Cup 2018: England semi-final success reminds Gareth Southgate of Germany's own bright beginnings
Southgate pointed to the example of Germany's 2006 campaign, which marked the start of a new era of international dominance for the country

Thursday, July 12, 2018

England vs Belgium: Gareth Southgate set to ring changes for World Cup 2018 third-place play-off

The Independent - Football
England vs Belgium: Gareth Southgate set to ring changes for World Cup 2018 third-place play-off
England vs Belgium: Gareth Southgate set to ring changes for World Cup 2018 third-place play-off
It is highly unlikely Kieran Trippier will play and there are doubts over Harry Kane

Brussels metro blares French World Cup anthem after defeat

Football – Inquirer Sports
Brussels metro blares French World Cup anthem after defeat
Brussels metro blares French World Cup anthem after defeat

Sleep-deprived Belgians were not having a bad dream Wednesday morning: Brussels metros resounded with a French football anthem after Les Bleus qualified for the final of the World Cup. The STIB transport network in Brussels had lost a bet against its Paris counterpart, the RATP, agreeing to play a 2002 song by French rock hero […]

The post Brussels metro blares French World Cup anthem after defeat appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Salgado: Real make those who wear the shirt great

English // marca
Salgado: Real make those who wear the shirt great
Salgado: Real make those who wear the shirt great

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

World Cup 2018: Why Russians might be be supporting England - despite Croatia being Slavs

The Independent - Football
World Cup 2018: Why Russians might be be supporting England - despite Croatia being Slavs
World Cup 2018: Why Russians might be be supporting England - despite Croatia being Slavs
Relations between Moscow and Zagreb are not straightforward

Monday, July 9, 2018

Huddersfield Miss Out on French Defensive Target After He Joins Bundesliga Outfit Mainz

All the latest breaking football news, transfer rumours, analysis, and match reports - 90min
Huddersfield Miss Out on French Defensive Target After He Joins Bundesliga Outfit Mainz
Huddersfield Miss Out on French Defensive Target After He Joins Bundesliga Outfit Mainz
Huddersfield Town apparently missed out on a perceptibly key defensive signing this week, with German side FSV Mainz stealing a march to sign Moussa Niakhate from Metz. According to French news outlet L'Equipe (H/T Sport Witness), the Premier League outfit approached the player's camp with a significant offer but were turned down. The defender is understood to have been linked with several clubs this summer off of the backdrop of a solid season in France, and he's now set to play his football...

Roberto Martinez urges Belgium to ‘play without fear’ against France

Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
Roberto Martinez urges Belgium to ‘play without fear’ against France
The Red Devils have reached the semi-finals of the World Cup for the second time in their history.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Croatia ends Russia’s run, advances to World Cup semifinals

Football – Inquirer Sports
Croatia ends Russia’s run, advances to World Cup semifinals
Croatia ends Russia's run, advances to World Cup semifinals

Croatia has beaten host Russia 4-3 in a penalty shootout to advance to a World Cup semifinal against England.

The post Croatia ends Russia’s run, advances to World Cup semifinals appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

England to play Croatia in World Cup 2018 semi-final after Ivan Rakitic ends hosts' run in penalty shootout

The Independent - Football
England to play Croatia in World Cup 2018 semi-final after Ivan Rakitic ends hosts' run in penalty shootout
England to play Croatia in World Cup 2018 semi-final after Ivan Rakitic ends hosts' run in penalty shootout
Ivan Rakitic stroked home the winning penalty to send Croatia into a semi-final against England after a night of unremitting tension in Sochi

Friday, July 6, 2018

Ozil in 2010, James in 2014 and now Hazard in 2018

English // marca
Ozil in 2010, James in 2014 and now Hazard in 2018
Ozil in 2010, James in 2014 and now Hazard in 2018

World Cup 2018 LIVE: France vs Uruguay and Brazil vs Belgium, plus latest news from England and Russia ahead of quarter-finals, predictions, updates

The Independent - Football
World Cup 2018 LIVE: France vs Uruguay and Brazil vs Belgium, plus latest news from England and Russia ahead of quarter-finals, predictions, updates
World Cup 2018 LIVE: France vs Uruguay and Brazil vs Belgium, plus latest news from England and Russia ahead of quarter-finals, predictions, updates
All the latest World Cup news from day 23 in Russia

Thursday, July 5, 2018

FIFA rebukes Maradona for criticizing World Cup referee

Football – Inquirer Sports
FIFA rebukes Maradona for criticizing World Cup referee
FIFA rebukes Maradona for criticizing World Cup referee

MOSCOW — FIFA’s patience with Diego Maradona’s World Cup antics finally ran out on Wednesday. Soccer’s world body said it “strongly rebukes” comments by the Argentina great criticizing American referee Mark Geiger’s handling of England’s win against Colombia in the World Cup round of 16. It was yet another controversial moment involving Maradona —an official […]

The post FIFA rebukes Maradona for criticizing World Cup referee appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Chelsea Reportedly Close to Signing Gonzalo Higuain With Maurizio Sarri Arrival Imminent

All the latest breaking football news, transfer rumours, analysis, and match reports - 90min
Chelsea Reportedly Close to Signing Gonzalo Higuain With Maurizio Sarri Arrival Imminent
Chelsea Reportedly Close to Signing Gonzalo Higuain With Maurizio Sarri Arrival Imminent
Despite not actually being Chelsea manager yet, Maurizio Sarri is reportedly pulling strings behind the scenes to try and bring Gonzalo Higuain to Stamford Bridge. ​The sensational rumours that ​Cristiano Ronaldo could be on his way to Juventus are dominating the Bianconeri-related headlines and the Italian champions could sell Higuain to partly fund the transfer. If Sportmediaset (via ​Fox Sports) is to be believed, Chelsea are very keen on Higuain and are closer to completing a deal than one...

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

James Rodriguez left heartbroken by Colombia elimination

English // marca
James Rodriguez left heartbroken by Colombia elimination
James Rodriguez left heartbroken by Colombia elimination

Let’s talk about Neymar — overrated actor or future legend?

Dream Team FC
Let’s talk about Neymar — overrated actor or future legend?

Alright mate, d’ya see Neymar yesterday? Rolling around and playacting. Pathetic wasn’t it?

It is a bit frustrating at times. Mostly because he’s such a good player. Everyone is talking about his theatrics rather than his ability. It’s a shame.

It’s his own fault though.

Oh yeah, he doesn’t help himself. But the thing is, he gets fouled more than the average player. In fact no player has been fouled at the World Cup. The opposition target him and he takes a proper kicking most games. I think maybe all the playacting is a response to that — his way of getting back at them, you know?

How many Neymar dribbles end in a nothing foul?Getty - Contributor

Maybe. But it’s embarrassing. He’s not the only one who gets clattered.

And he’s not the only one who dives and makes the most of every bit of contact. There’s just more attention on Neymar because he’s the most expensive player in the world and all that.

Well that’s the thing, if he really wants to be considered as good as Messi and Ronaldo then he needs to learn to ride a challenge.

That’s a fair point actually. Messi is very good at knowing when to draw the foul and when to beat the man. Ronaldo was too in his peak. Neymar does seem to settle for the free-kick nearly every time.

Exactly. And if he gets too much of the ball and is always going down then it breaks up Brazil’s play. They can’t get any rhythm if the ref is blowing his whistle every thirty seconds.

Neymar does tend to spend a lot of the game on his backAFP or licensors

That’s definitely been true at times this tournament. Maybe that’s why they’ve had more success playing through Philippe Coutinho?

Yep. Also, Neymar is supposed to be one of Brazil’s leaders. They all look to him to set an example. If he’s throwing himself about, the rest will as well. I remember when Brazil were the good guys.

Sometimes I think Neymar’s a bit too skilful for his good.

Is he really all that though? All style, little substance. Overrated for me.

I kind of get what you mean but I think there’s a fair amount of substance to his game as well. He’s scored *checks Google* 326 career goals and he’s still only 26-years-old.

Is that a lot?

Let’s look up some comparisons. You remember Hernan Crespo, Gabriel Batistuta and George Weah?

Now we’re talking. Quality centre-forwards they were.

All of them finished their career with fewer goals than Neymar has at the age of 26.

BatigolAP:Associated Press

Alright, that’s pretty impressive.

And Neymar has played the majority of his career as a left-sided forward, in fact he’s basically been a winger at times.

Yeah but hang on, he stayed with Santos for a while didn’t he? And he spent last season playing in a farmers’ league.

The standard of Ligue 1 is questionable, I’ll give you that. But he was quite clearly the best player in the league. He was taking the p*** at times — rainbow kicks and all.

BRING ON THE FARMERS!Getty - Contributor

Not convinced. What’s his record in the Champions League?

I’ll check. Says here 27 goals in 47 games, pretty good. He won it with Barcelona in 2015 and scored ten goals that campaign — equal top scorer.

Fair enough, his international record is decent too, right?

Better than decent. How does 57 goals in 89 caps sound? He’s Brazil’s third top-scorer of all time. He’s gone past Romario, Zico, Bebeto, Rivaldo, etc. Only Ronaldo and Pele have scored more but if Neymar stays fit he’ll catch them both before long.

Remember the MSN days? Good times…Reuters

He’s got something about him. And his numbers are impressive. But you’re never going to convince me he’s a decent bloke. He winds me up.

Sure, that’s fine. Although isn’t it possible to not like a player while still appreciating their talent? Take Sergio Ramos for example, I can’t stand the fella. But I’d have him in my team at the drop of a hat.

I see where you’re coming from. Thing is, the way Neymar’s going, when he retires and people talk about him, there’ll be just as much chat about his s**thousery as his ability. He’s harming his own legacy.

HierarchyAFP or licensors

Most the greats have had egos to match their talent. There’s still time for him to cut out the roly-polies.

Not likely though, is it?

Probably not… I’ll always enjoy watching him though.

Each to their own. I’d love to see him lose in the quarter-finals…

Monday, July 2, 2018

A look at the road out of the World Cup’s round of 16

Football – Inquirer Sports
A look at the road out of the World Cup’s round of 16
A look at the road out of the World Cup’s round of 16

MOSCOW — No more ties, or tiebreakers. The World Cup is into the knockout stage, and every match will end with someone going home. On Saturday, that meant two of the greatest players of the era followed each other out of the tournament. Lionel Messi and Argentina lost 4-3 to France, which got two goals […]

The post A look at the road out of the World Cup’s round of 16 appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Croatia vs Denmark, World Cup 2018: Andreas Christensen falls flat on his face in midfield audition – scouting report

The Independent - Football
Croatia vs Denmark, World Cup 2018: Andreas Christensen falls flat on his face in midfield audition – scouting report
Croatia vs Denmark, World Cup 2018: Andreas Christensen falls flat on his face in midfield audition – scouting report
Christensen quickly learning that you get far less time on the ball as you play further up the pitch