by Joga Bonito
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by Joga Bonito
Watch Live Football Streaming on GBP Sports:
Watch Live Football Streaming on GBP Sports:
The Best FIFA Football Awards™
While the globe takes a collective breath after the frenzy of fantastic football that has been the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ so far, four titans of the game were in Moscow to look ahead to an event that is appearing on the horizon: The Best FIFA Football Awards.
Russia 2018 is the final sprint in the race to be The Best – in a number of categories – with the awards ceremony taking place in London on 24 September. Jorge Campos, Lothar Matthaus, Ronaldo and Lindsay Tarpley-Snow were in Russia’s capital today to reveal the panels who will decide the candidates for a number of awards to be presented in just over two months’ time.
FIFA.com was there to hear what the legends had to say.
For a goalkeeper, we need to work to concede less goals. You need to save everything and have clean sheets. If you concede one or two goals in six games it’s safe to say you’re a good goalkeeper. We have great goalkeepers here [at the World Cup] who can be The Best.
Well, (Kasper) Schmeichel and (Fernando) Muslera have done a good job. (Guillermo) Ochoa also played well, I think they are good goalkeepers. They are standing out and doing the right things. (Thibaut) Courtois and (Manuel) Neuer have always been one of the best. And the World Cup is something special for goalkeepers, if you’re saving lots of penalties!
It is a difficult thing to decide The Best in a team sport, because the best is dependent on the team. From the results of the team, but also the achievement of the individual player and especially the important goals they have scored. The past winners [of The Best awards] have always been the players who’ve scored important goals. However, the team achievements must be there before the individual can be The Best.
I believe that the best player comes from a team that wins titles. It’s important that the team wins and then you are in the spotlight. When you are in big moments like the World Cup, then you have a big chance to be The Best.
The World Cup here in Russia is a big success. The atmosphere is very good. There are many surprises here at this tournament. Lower ranked teams are playing intensive, pacey, well-disciplined football and can continue to surprise us. These surprises are what makes a great World Cup.
I think the scenario of Messi and Cristiano dominating The Best can change this year with the World Cup. The power of the World Cup is really strong and with Messi and Ronaldo eliminated, Neymar has a huge change to win The Best. But this will happen if he wins the World Cup playing in a collective way like he is doing, without thinking specifically about The Best.
I played for Tite, in my very last season as a footballer. I’m very thankful for that final year with him, and it’s a pity we didn’t work together for longer. A good performance here with Brazil will give him the ticket to The Best awards. For me, he’s already one of the best coaches in the world.
The most beautiful goal is the one by Ricardo Quaresma from Portugal, the trivela against IR Iran.
It’s important to use this platform of the World Cup and continue to build. It’s very exciting for women’s football, it’s continuing to grow. It’s important to use the momentum into next year.
Women’s football is growing and evolving at such a rapid pace. I know that this year, with World Cup qualifying there are a lot of clubs that have their seasons going on. If you look across the world, it’s amazing how many leagues have formed. I think that looks back on the progress of the game and it’ll be very exciting to have the World Cup next year, to come together and see the level that women’s football is playing at.
The race for a brand new Kia Sportage is tighter than Brazil’s defence has been since conceding to Switzerland – just nine points separate the top ten teams atop the McDonald’s FIFA World Cup™ Fantasy.
One Kiss Team executed their Bench Boost to perfection – One Kiss earned 16 points from its four substitutes – and got 24 points from having Kylian Mbappe as captain to assume pole position.
Florid’s investment in Swedish defensive players, and an attack comprising Mbappe, Harry Kane and Eden Hazard, got Sladuna 72 points from the Round of 16, moving them second. Zirka10, the leaders going into the knockout phase, dropped to third, but coach Zirka instils fear in fellow contenders.
EngAliAdel2’s defensive expertise continues to astound. EngAliAdel2 have won points from a staggering 16 clean sheets at Russia 2018. Alisson, Andreas Granqvist, Miranda and Thiago Silva cumulatively got them a 24 points in Round 4 – even EngAliAdel2’s reserve goalkeeper, Robin Olsen, kept a shutout (unlucky!).
Other teams propelled into contention courtesy of monster Round 4s were Ludaslol coached by FC Lös (71 points, up to 7th), Molotov75 coached by Molotov Sygrove (71 points, 12th), Richio76 coached by Dynamo Dibdob (75 points, 12th), KPEngland9 coached by Taimur Ka Khilona (74 points, 20th) and Akihabara coached by Akihabara_f10 (79 points, 20th).
The Grand Prize:
* a brand new Kia Sportage
* a signed captain’s armband from the Russia 2018 winners
* a copy of EA SPORTS FIFA 18 for PS4.
* a Hisense television
* a signed captain’s armband from the second-placed team at Russia 2018
* a copy of EA Sports FIFA 18 for PS4.
There are also prizes for the 3rd to 5th-place finishers and the top three coaches from each round!
1- One Kiss coached by One Kiss Team (290 points)
2- Sladuna coached by Florid (289)
3- Zirka10 coached by Zirka (287)
4- EngAliAdel2 coached by EngAliAdel2 (286)
5- YazanYaz coached by YazanX (284)
6- Telonis coached by Tselepoul (283)
7- Ludaslol coached by FC Lös (282)
7- Excelente123 coached by Sanomar (282)
9- Josrib coached by Lopetegui Fc (281)
9- Renò90 coached by Last But Not Least (281)
Not yet playing the McDonald’s FIFA World Cup™ Fantasy? Don’t miss out any longer. Put your coach’s cap on, join over two million fellow fans from across the globe, compete against your friends and for some fantastic round prizes!
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The star names are usually the ones receiving the plaudits and writing the headlines when a team makes a deep run into a prestigious tournament like the FIFA World Cup™. With an achievement such as reaching the quarter-finals of a major knockout tournament comes a mountain of work and sacrifice from various individuals behind the scenes.
Before the quarter-finals start, FIFA.com takes a look at an individual from each team whose work behind the scenes or sacrifices made for the team deserve special recognition.
Uruguay: He has not played a single minute at Russia 2018, but Uruguay’s record-caps holder Maximiliano Pereira’s influence and significance to La Celeste has been exceptional. “He has been very important to the team for many years and continues to be, even though he doesn’t play at the moment,” said captain Diego Godin. “His experience helps the youngest ones a lot.”
France: Didier Deschamps’ No2 and confidant is Guy Stephan. Stephan, who has known Deschamps since 2000 and has been his assistant with Les Bleus for six years and he’s seen as a father figure inside the camp. “People like him are rare. Three words are not enough to describe him: He’s faithful, honest, efficient and intelligent,” said French Football Federation President Noel Le Graet.
Brazil: Brazil assistant coach Cleber Xavier (pictured wearing glasses in top photo) has worked with head coach Tite for 17 years. Xavier has been taking part in press conferences with Tite, alternating with fellow assistant Sylvinho—a symbolic representation of Tite’s trust and respect for his team of coaches. “I’m a practical guy and Tite is a man of ideas. Tite is not a centralising figure, so I’m like a second coach, with the same power, while he has the final word.”
Belgium: From the sideline back to the pitch, and it is Axel Witsel’s importance to Belgium that cannot be overstated. Playing in a deep-lying midfield role, Witsel exemplifies versatility that coaches love. “It is my nature to be calm. It helps us on the pitch when facing tense moments and I try to convey this serenity to the rest of the players when they need it.”
Russia: For the hosts, veteran Yury Zhirkov deserves recognition for his role in their remarkable run to the last-eight. “Even before the game I felt pain in the achilles tendon. After the first half it became so strong, so I had to ask for a substitution.” As coach Stanislav Cherchesov confirmed, it is unlikely he will feature again, unless Russia were to make the final.
Croatia: Iva Olivari is Croatia’s team manager and is a pioneer being the first woman to sit on the bench for the national team at a World Cup. A former national tennis champion at U-14 level, Olivari takes care of their logistics and travel plans, and much more, and has been working for the Croatian Football Federation since 1992. “Iva is really a great person,” said Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic. “She is always with us. She’s like our guardian angel! I’ve known her for ten years. It is not easy to manage all of us guys. She loves to joke and we all love her because of it.”
Sweden: A large part of the Swedes’ success has been down to their unity and mental strength thanks to their sports psychology advisor Daniel Ekvall. “I am available for individual talks and then there are group sessions. From what the players say in those, I create a mental plan for the upcoming match. I know full well that we are doing this together.”
England: A large part of the Three Lions’ efficiency in front of goal at Russia 2018 is thanks to the work of attacking coach Allan Russell. “There are very few people who actually work at this level of detail—looking at technique, where goals come from,” said England manager Gareth Southgate. “With more senior players that tends not to happen because you are going from game to game. But Allan focuses specifically on technique.”
The Best FIFA Football Awards, the premier annual awards celebration held by football’s world governing body, today announced two panels to decide shortlisted candidates for the Best FIFA Men’s and Women’s Players and Coaches for the 2017/18 season.
The men’s panel includes legends Ronaldo, Fabio Capello and Frank Lampard, while stars Mia Hamm, Sun Wen and Maia Jackman form part of the women’s panel.
The judges will shortlist ten candidates for each category, which will be unveiled on 23 July 2018 – with a public vote opening on the same day. Football fans, national team captains, head coaches and more than 200 media representatives will then cast their votes to decide who will be crowned the best players and coaches in the men’s and women’s games from last season.
With the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ currently showcasing the finest footballing talent on the planet, the race for the Best FIFA Football Awards is even more intense and the showpiece event will take on added significance when it returns to London for a second time on 24 September 2018.
At last year’s awards, Cristiano Ronaldo picked up the Best Men’s Player Award, the Netherlands’ Lieke Martens was crowned Best Women’s Player, French icon Zinédine Zidane was named Best Men’s Coach and the Netherlands’ Sarina Wiegman was Best Women’s Coach.
Separate panels will shortlist candidates for the Best FIFA Goalkeeper Award, the FIFA Puskás Award and the FIFA Fan Award, with the winner of the Best FIFA Goalkeeper Award chosen by a panel of FIFA Legends.
In recognition and celebration of the essential role played by football fans in the game, the FIFA Fan Award, an appreciation of memorable moments created by fans, is voted for by supporters. The FIFA Puskás Award, handed out to the player judged to have scored the best goal of the year, is also determined by fans’ votes.
The voting process for the men’s and women’s awards will open on 23 July and close on 10 August.
FIFA will announce the final lists of the three nominees for each of the four categories listed above – as well as for the FIFA Puskás Award, the FIFA Fan Award and the Best FIFA Goalkeeper Award – in September.
For more information on the voting process for each of The Best FIFA Football Awards, see the Rules of Allocation.
To keep up with the latest news about The Best FIFA Football Awards™, visit fifa.com/fifafootballawards, facebook.com/fifafootballawards or the FIFA TV YouTube page.
Join the discussion about who should win this year’s prizes by using the hashtag #TheBest.
Sami Al-Jaber (KSA)
Cha Bum-kun (KOR)
Didier Drogba (CIV)
Wynton Rufer (NZL)
Frank Lampard (ENG)
Fabio Capello (ITA)
Carlos Alberto Parreira (BRA)
Alessandro Nesta (ITA)
Lothar Matthaus (GER)
Emmanuel Amunike (NGA)
Andy Roxburgh (SCO)
Belinda Wilson (AUS)
Sun Wen (CHN)
Jacky Shipanga (NAM)
Clementine Toure (CIV)
Mia Hamm (USA)
Andrea Rodebaugh (MEX)
Diego Guacci (CHL)
Patrick Jacquemet (FRA)
Maia Jackman (NZL)
Anna Signeul (SWE)
Nadine Kessler (GER)
Alex Scott (ENG)
Miroslav Klose (GER)
David Trezeguet (FRA)
Aline Pellegrino (BRA)
Iker Casillas (ESP)
Marco van Basten (NED)
Pablo Aimar (ARG)
Vítor Baia (POR)
Peter Schmeichel (DEN)
Jorge Campos (MEX)
Gordon Banks (ENG)
Rinat Dasayev (RUS)
Mark Schwarzer (AUS)
Rene Higuita (COL)
Diego Forlan (URU)
Frederic Kanoute (MLI)
Alessandro Altobelli (ITA)
*Strikers and goalkeepers represented
Homare Sawa (JPN)
Christie Pearce Rampone (USA)
Lucas Radebe (RSA)
Christian Karembeu (FRA)
Bora Milutinovic (SRB)
Lindsay Tarpley-Snow (USA)
Gareth Southgate’s players have debunked one of the longest-standing myths: England cannot win a FIFA World Cup™ shootout. Bruised and exhausted, yet elated, they celebrated emotionally with fans on the Spartak Stadium pitch. They had just booked their place in the quarter-finals from the penalty spot, which had haunted so many Englishmen before them.
It was not in the plan. Southgate had instructed his players to take care of business within 90 minutes yet, after Yerry Mina’s late equaliser, the doubt crept in. Many supporters then took to social media with sighs of “we all know how this ends” until they saw that this new England was changing the course of history.
So, was it beneficial to have sacrificed the lead and broken the legendary penalty curse?
“I think for the belief of this group of players, and groups of players to come, it was a really important moment,” Southgate said. “Not just winning the shootout, but having to suffer at the end of the game in a stadium where our fans were outnumbered five to one. The fans were brilliant, but just because of the numbers it felt like an away fixture. We’ve spoken to the players about writing their own stories. Tonight was a classic. They don’t have to conform to what’s gone before, so it was a great night for everyone involved in the team.”
The shootout itself was pure drama. Kieran Trippier, who enjoyed another strong performance, kept his composure to convert where Jordan Henderson had, moments earlier, been denied. Eric Dier’s kick, after a tip-toed run-up, powered past David Ospina to seal the win. Jordan Pickford will be a name for England fans to recall for generations to come. His acrobatic save to stop Mateus Uribe’s attempt was lauded by Southgate.
“It was a top class save,” the coach said. “His athleticism around the goal is excellent. He executed the plan in the penalty shootout. We’d studied all their takers, and great credit to all the staff and to him for taking on board that information and preparing in the right way.”
Southgate’s own spot-kick demons, however, live long in the memory. He missed a penalty against Germany at UEFA EURO 1996, and the nightmare resurfaced after England qualified from Group G this time around. England can change a habit, but history can never be rewritten.
“Well, it will never be off my back, sadly,” he admits. “That’s something that will live with me forever. But today is a special moment for this team. It’ll hopefully give belief to the generations of players that will follow.“
On Tuesday evening, Sweden reached the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup™ for the first time since 1994. As they did so, one man’s name was chanted by the thousands of Swedish fans who had made their way to Saint Petersburg Stadium.
“It was a surreal feeling to stand at the side of the pitch, hearing the fans calling out my name,” head coach Janne Andersson said during the post-match press conference. But he was quick to point out that no one, not even himself, is a “star” in this team. “Football is a team sport and this team, for me, exemplifies that. We all work so hard for each other on and off the pitch.”
And yet the man whose name was shouted in Saint Petersburg is largely responsible for Sweden becoming such a hard-working unit. It has in many ways become a “new” Sweden since Andersson took over as head coach in 2016.
Veteran players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andreas Isaksson, Anders Svensson and Kim Kallstrom all retired from international football. Andersson was left building a new national team, and his requirements for the players were clear from the start – work hard, and always do your best. That was all he asked for: nothing more, nothing less.
That is also exactly what the players have given him, and they have gone on to beat the odds again and again, creating what many believe to be the strongest unity in a Swedish national team ever.
“Janne is very good at maintaining a dialogue with all the players. He shows his commitment to everyone in the squad, making them all feel that they are important, and that they are playing a part,” the team’s sports psychology advisor Daniel Ekvall told FIFA.
So who is Janne Andersson?
For starters, he is a man who loves his hot dogs so much that during his time as head coach of Halmstad BK in the Swedish first division (the Allsvenskan), he ranked the opposing teams’ stadiums in terms of who had the best hot dogs (the winner was Stockholm side Hammarby). He is also the all-time top goalscorer of a small club called Alets IK, where he scored 207 goals in 383 matches.
But it is on the touchline that he has really made his mark. In 2015 Andersson took IFK Norrkoping to a surprise league title in the Allsvenskan, with a squad that perhaps did not boast the most celebrated players, but that worked wonders as a team. Not dissimilar to Sweden at Russia 2018, in fact.
He is always calm when things are going his way, but is known to have a temper when he feels his team is being mistreated. “I don’t get angry for the fun of it. I think that every time I have been angry, it has been justified,” he claims. ”But I have to admit that I don’t always feel proud when I see pictures of myself looking like a monster!”
On Tuesday, however, there was nothing but joy after his hard-working team reached a historic quarter-final. “I feel happiness and pride,” he told FIFA. “We worked hard defensively and followed a plan, but we can do even better. The feeling is good now, but we have to refocus and look ahead to Saturday.”
by Tactical Analysis Hub
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