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Young starlets descend on Zurich – FIFA on GBP Sports

The 80th edition of the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup takes place at the Buchlern Sports Complex in Zurich on 9-10 May.

The tournament, which is staged under the slogan ‘Where Stars are Born’, has attracted teams from across the globe ever since its inauguration in 1939, with some of the biggest clubs in the game participating over the years. Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, their Argentinian counterparts River Plate and Boca Juniors, other European heavyweights such as Juventus and Bayern Munich and Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande are all among the teams to have featured at the competition.

Countless players that subsequently became huge stars have etched their names in the tournament’s rich history, including former idols David Beckham, Pep Guardiola and Markus Babbel as well as current household names like Nani, Kaka, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Admir Mehmedi.

This year there will also be a women’s competition for the first time. Six U-19 sides, from Switzerland and further afield, will jostle for supremacy in tandem with the ten men’s teams. FIFA President Gianni Infantino had expressed his personal desire for FIFA to support women’s football even more intently.

Participating teams – Men
Group A: S.C. Internacional, RCD Espanyol, FC Koln, Young Boys Bern, Grasshopper Club Zurich
Group B: SC Braga, West Ham United, Dinamo Zagreb, FC Blue Stars Zurich, FC Zurich

Women
Group A: Valencia CF, FC Zurich, FC Blue Stars
Group B: Inter Milan, Grasshopper Club Zurich, Young Boys Bern

Format

  • The ten men’s teams and six women’s teams are respectively divided into two groups and will each play in a round-robin format. The placement matches will determine where the clubs finish in the overall standings.
  • In the men’s pool, the winner of Group A faces the winner of Group B for the title in the final. The Group A runners-up play their opposite number in Group B for third place, and so on.
  • In the women’s competition, the top two teams from each section progress to the semi-finals, where the Group A winners will meet the Group B runners-up – and vice versa – for a place in the final. The remaining two sides go head-to-head in the match for fifth place.
  • The games are played in two 20-minute halves (25 for the final).
  • Only players born in the years 1998, 1999 and 2000 may participate. However, each team may have up to five players born after 31 December 2000.

Tournament statistics

  • Manchester United have won the invitational tournament a record 18 times. Only four non-European clubs have ever managed to lift the trophy: Brazil’s Sao Paulo were the first to do so in 1999, and were followed by Boca Juniors (Argentina), Gremio and Atletico Paranaense (both Brazil).
  • Eight different nations are represented at this anniversary edition: Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, England, Croatia and Brazil.
  • The FIFA Legends match immediately after the finals on 10 May will provide a bonus highlight, with Zvonimir Boban, Marco van Basten, Nuno Gomes, Alex Frei, Christian Jimenez, Pascal Zuberbuhler and Matias Delgado among those set to play.

*The words*
“The introduction of a women’s competition at the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup is a great addition and we’re all delighted about it. It offers the women another opportunity to showcase their ability. That’s very valuable for us. Inter will take part with the aim of doing the club proud. That’s our motto at Inter. We’ve got excellent coaches, especially in our youth department. This team will bring a lot of joy to the spectators in Zurich.”
Inter Milan player Regina Baresi, daughter of club legend Beppe Baresi and niece of former AC Milan star Franco Baresi.

Click here for more on the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup.

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37 days to go: Germany, the corner kings – FIFA on GBP Sports

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is getting closer – 37 days to go! Between now and the start of the World Cup, we will take a closer look at a different statistic from the history of the tournament each day.

37 corners were won by Germany on the way to their triumph at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. They resulted in four goals: Mats Hummels against Portugal, Miroslav Klose against Ghana, Thomas Muller against Brazil and Muller again versus the USA – although the last of these goals was not scored directly from the corner kick.

“Set pieces are a great weapon for a team, as they can decide matches,“ Germany coach Joachim Low said during the tournament in South America, before revealing that his players and assistant Hansi Flick had insisted on practising corners and free-kicks in several secret training sessions at their pre-tournament training camp in South Tyrol. “I’m a big fan of rehearsing things.”

This practice paid off, with five of Germany’s ten goals en route to their semi-final against the hosts coming from three corners, one free-kick and a penalty.

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Lionel Messi – Road To World Cup ● Ready For Russia 2018 ● HD

by NugoBasilaiaa

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Mendy: I’m at full power for Russia – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • Benjamin Mendy hasn’t started a game since knee surgery in September
  • The exciting wingback insists he will be in peak condition for Russia 2018
  • *Messrs Digne, Hernandez and Kurzawa provide competition to Mendy
    *

Benjamin Mendy has insisted he will be in in perfect condition – physically and mentally – to represent France at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.

The 23-year-old left-wingback underwent knee ligament surgery in September, but made his second, short substitute appearance since recovering in Manchester City’s 0-0 draw at home to Huddersfield Town on Sunday.

After saying he “felt something amazing” – a referral to the City fans’ support – he added: “I’ll do like everyone else and try to get as much playing time as possible.

“We’ll see when the [squad] list comes out. Physically and mentally, I’m at full power and I’m ready to go to Russia.”

Mendy has only won four caps for France, but did appear to have made a spot in their side his own. In his absence, Lucas Digne, Lucas Hernandez and Layvin Kurzawa have patrolled the left side of Les Bleus’ defence.

France play Australia, Peru and Denmark in Group C at Russia 2018.

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Team bus slogans
Each of Russia 2018’s 32 teams will have a slogan emblazoned on their team bus. You can vote for the winners in the Be There with Hyundai Contest.

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13 Goalkeepers Brings Terror To The Pitch

by Dan1s

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10 Managers Who Deserve To Be SACKED! – Football Daily

by Football Daily

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