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Famous Football Memes ► World Cup 2018, Neymar Jr, Mbappe, Ronaldo

by Joga Bonito

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10 Players Who Got BIG MONEY Transfers From The World Cup! – Football Daily

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Five reasons behind Russia’s historic success – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • Russia 2018 has been a huge success for the hosts
  • Victory against Spain in the Round of 16 caused a sensation
  • Appetite for the tournament is growing and Russia are ready to go further
By Igor Borunov with Russia

As the nation still reels in a state of disbelief following the unprecedented penalty shootout victory against mighty Spain, the question on everyone’s lips is: “How did they manage that?” 

Before the start of the FIFA World Cup, there was, to put it mildly, a great deal of scepticism around Stanislav Cherchesov’s side. Since then, however, the Sbornaya have won the pride of their countrymen and the journey is not yet over: only Croatia stand between Russia and a spot in the semi-finals. FIFA.com lists the reasons behind the hosts’ success at the 2018 World Cup.

A close-knit squad

This team has been two years in the making for head coach Stanislav Cherchesov. In that time, many different players have been called up and there have been numerous question-marks over the best line-up among the media. Ultimately the team have come together into a rock-solid unit, where the players are prepared to work for each other in pursuit of the common goal.

“The secret to our success is that not only the starting players,” explained Ilya Kutepov to FIFA, “but everybody in the squad, plus the coaching and backroom staff, are working towards the same objective. We have been one united whole. It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing or not, you can feel support from all sides in the squad. We’ve reaped the rewards of this.”

Support from the fans

When Igor Akinfeev stretched out his leg to save Iago Aspas’ penalty, there was more than just a cheer at the Luzhniki Stadium, you could almost feel the acoustic impact from the stands, as if a plane was taking off there and then. It was not just Akinfeev who saved that penalty, the whole stadium saved it, causing wide celebrations at FIFA Fan Fests and all over the country.

“If it weren’t for our fans and the World Cup were taking place elsewhere,” midfielder Roman Zobnin said, “our results may have been different. Ninety-five percent is credit to the fans, who have been supporting us and driving us forward since the first match. We’ve felt their support and we couldn’t let them down.”

Total dedication

In years gone by, one of the main criticisms levelled at Russian players was that they didn’t work hard enough, but that is now a thing of the past. At the World Cup on home soil, the Sbornaya have given everything they could and then some.

Striker Artem Dzyuba summed up their commitment after the Spain game: “The only way we could win was through this type of performance, by holding out and fighting. The pain and cramps will come later. The footballing gods didn’t always favour us, but they helped us out like never before today. I’m proud to be in this team, it’s a huge honour. Well done to everyone, we’ve been amazing today. We were virtually out on our feet at the end there. We believed that self-sacrifice, discipline and structure could overcome class.

Tactical flexibility

It is not easy to pin down Russia’s tactical system. In every match at the 2018 World Cup so far, the hosts have not been afraid to adapt to each opponent and try to exploit their weaknesses. Cherchesov’s rigorous game-by-game planning has brought results.

“We analysed Spain in depth,” continued Zobnin, “how they attack, where their weaknesses are, what problems they have in defence and where they’re strongest. We followed the game plan to the letter. We withstood and kept them at bay, knowing how good they are in attack. Aside from a few exceptions, we pretty much didn’t give them any chances.”

Superb fitness

A lot of praise for Russia’s performances should go to the fitness coaches, Paulino Granero and Vladimir Panikov. The Russians are leading the way at the World Cup in a number of physical statistics, such as total distance run, the intensity of their pressing and how often they have recovered possession.

“Over the past two years, we’ve tried to maintain positive trends,” explained the Spaniard Granero. “Our team is showing good physical fitness. The players have been disciplined when it comes to their duties, they understand that the World Cup is an opportunity to show themselves at their best.”

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Modric dreaming of a Croatian fairy tale – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • ​Croatia enjoying their best World Cup for 20 years
  • Modric lets go of decade-old penalty pain
  • “To win the World Cup almost unthinkable, like a beautiful fairy tale!”
By Vjekoslav Paun with Croatia

New life has been breathed into Croatia after their penalty shoot-out win over Denmark. One player more than most, their talisman, who finally exorcised the ghosts of UEFA EURO 2008 in Vienna ten years ago.

Luka Modric is a world-renowned footballing magician, capable of staggering on-lookers with his technical talent. But his magic touch wavered during their round-of-16 game. The pressure weighing on this special generation was huge, and particularly on him.

“Since 2008 we have never gone beyond this first knockout game and it was very important for us to get that monkey off our back,” Modric told FIFA, who missed the opening penalty in their shootout defeat to Turkey a decade ago.

“We have secured a great result after many years of trying and that means a lot to me. I’ve been in this team since 2008 and we have experienced several unlucky defeats in that time, particularly against Turkey and Portugal [at EURO 2016]. We needed some luck this time and I think we deserved it”

With five minutes of extra-time remaining Modric had the chance to end things early, standing over a penalty to put Croatia 2-1 up. He froze for a while, before composing himself, but Schmeichel saved it. Just 15 minutes later, he picked up the ball to face him again, firing straight down the middle this time, and finally succeeded.

“I was calm and focused. I embraced the responsibility as a captain and I had to do it. As a result I was very emotional after the game. I wanted this Croatia to confirm their talent, to take that step further. The game was not an enjoyable one, but our goal was achieved”.

Looking ahead, the host nation has overcome long odds to reach this point as the lowest-ranked team in the entire tournament. The organisation and attitude shown by Russia’s team were of the utmost importance in limiting Spain’s potential as they earned their own triumph on penalties. The same scenario and against Croatia?

“Yes, I expect a similar tactic. Russia are very uncomfortable [to play against]. They run a lot and are very well organised. They deserve to be in quarter finals and will certainly be looking for their chance to progress. Facing Russia and their fans is going to be a spectacle,” the Real Madrid man said.

While Luka has enjoyed being a part of this World Cup, he has another, bigger, dream.

“To be at this World Cup is a great privilege. Playing for my team is a great honour and a pleasure, but to win the World Cup with Croatia is almost unthinkable, like the most beautiful fairy tale! It would be incredible to lift the trophy as captain.”

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Which 11 make your Fan Dream Team? – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • You, the fans, will determine the Fan Dream Team for Russia 2018
  • You can pick your XI now and make unlimited changes to it until the end of 15 July
  • Five winners will receive a 65” Hisense FIFA World Cup™ Edition 4K UltraHD TV

Several players starred in the Round of 16. But they did they do enough to play their way into your Fan Dream Team presented by Hisense?

You, the fans, will determine the team of the tournament for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. You can pick your Fan Dream Team now, if you haven’t already, and make unlimited changes to your XI until the end of 15 July 2018 – the day of the Russia 2018 Final.

And if helping to decide the team of the tournament wasn’t enough, five lucky players will win a 65” Hisense FIFA World Cup™ Edition 4K Ultra HD TV.

So, refresh your memory with our Match Highlights, and create or update your Fan Dream Team.

Criteria

  • You must select XI players into one of these four formations: 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 3-4-3 or 3-5-2
  • Players must have made at least three appearances at Russia 2018 to be eligible
  • You can only select three players per country

Prizes

Once the deadline has passed, the players with the most votes will make Russia 2018’s official Fan Dream Team presented by Hisense. The fans who most accurately predict the XI will be entered into a randomly selected prize draw.

Five lucky winners will each receive a 65” Hisense FIFA World Cup™ Edition 4K Ultra HD TV. And another 50 fans will win a Hisense World Cup package, which includes an adidas Telstar 18 FIFA World Cup™ Replica match ball.
View all prizes

Fan Zone

The Fan Zone is the go-to place for FIFA World Cup™ followers. You can still join our McDonald’s FIFA World Cup Fantasy and Match Predictor games – they’re free, fascinating and offer fantastic prizes. Stick, swap and share Panini Digital Stickers, vote for the Man of the Match for every Russia 2018 contest, and vote for your best XI players of the tournament in the Fan Dream Team.
Visit the Fan Zone

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Torreira, Uruguay’s little giant – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • ​Lucas Torreira was a key man in Uruguay’s midfield versus Russia and Portugal
  • He only made his international debut four months ago
  • The diminutive 22-year-old has worked his way into Oscar Tabarez’s plans
By Florencia Simoes with Uruguay

For many football observers, he was an unknown quantity, but Lucas Torreira, nicknamed ‘the Dwarf’ for his short stature, has thoroughly altered that status with the battling qualities and vision he has so far displayed at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. After dominating the middle of the park during Uruguay’s Round of 16 clash with Portugal, he is now faced with an even greater challenge: keeping France’s collection of superstars – Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Co – at bay.

Torreira’s style of play made him the perfect fit at just the right time when Oscar Tabarez, coach of La Celeste, was on the lookout for a new lynchpin in the midfield engine room. “I’d describe myself as quick, strong in the challenge and able to deliver accurate passes from deep,” the Sampdoria player told FIFA.com. “I like getting the ball to feet.” Against Portugal, he demonstrated various aspects of his strong all-round game, covering almost 11,000 metres, making four crucial clearances, four blocking challenges and two key interceptions.

Despite this level of effectiveness, the defensive midfielder’s international career is still in its infancy. In 2017, following some strong performances at club level in Italy’s Serie A, there were already calls from the Uruguayan public and media for him to be called up to the national squad, but it was not until March of this year, during the China Cup, that he donned the famous light blue jersey for the first time.

It was there, and in subsequent friendlies, that Torreira secured his spot in Tabarez’s 23-man squad. A substitute in the Egypt and Saudi Arabia group matches, he impressed over 90 minutes versus Russia, earning himself a berth in the starting XI that faced Portugal in the Round of 16. “He offers us solutions that match with the type of game we’re trying to play,” said Tabarez.

Torreira has been unable to hide the emotions brought on by playing on football’s greatest stage, a fantasy that was unthinkable for him just five months ago. “I had always dreamed of pulling on my country’s jersey, and when the opportunity arose, I was so excited when I realised I’d be going to Russia,” he explained. “For me, it’s the absolute summit, and I’m very happy with my performances here.”

The Torreira trajectory

  • At just 16 years of age, he left his hometown, Fray Bentos, to try his luck in Montevideo​
  • He joined Montevideo Wanderers’ youth team, where he played as a wide midfielder, despite being more accustomed to playing in the middle or as a withdrawn striker
  • The following year, in January 2015, he signed for Italian outfit Pescara
  • His coach at the time, Massimo Oddo, moved him back into central midfield. “If not, you’ll never play any higher than Serie C level,” the Italian is reported to have said.
  • In July 2015, he signed for Sampdoria, but he returned to Pescara on loan for the 2015/16 season
  • He made his debut for Uruguay on 23 March 2018 in a friendly against Czech Republic

Full focus on France
The next challenge on the agenda is a much-anticipated quarter-final with France, a match that could allow Torreira and his team-mates to, in the words of Diego Godin, “boost Uruguay’s dreams of achieving the objective that we all want so much.”

The fast-improving 22-year-old is aware of how difficult taming one of the competition’s most explosive frontlines is likely to be, but he has no intention of shrinking from the task in hand. “It’s going to be a very tight match,” he said. “They have some big players, especially in the final third, with a lot of pace that they can use to take advantage of any space we give them. We’ll take a good look at their strengths and weaknesses, so that we can do them damage with our own offensive weapons.”

(Great determination shown by the entire team. I’m happy and proud!!!)

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Preview: Brazil v Belgium – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • Second quarter-final fixture takes place on 6 July in Kazan
  • Belgium are the tournament’s top goalscorers so far
  • THE LATEST: #BRABEL LIVE BLOG

If asked before the kick-off of any FIFA World Cup™ to predict which team will score the most goals, many people would choose Brazil. After all, A Seleção are traditionally known for their flair for the spectacular, their thirst for goals and their ‘Joga Bonito’. Yet, at Russia 2018, the South Americans’ current total of seven goals puts them fifth in the scoring charts, five behind the top team, Belgium.

Indeed, the Red Devils’ return of 12 goals for and just four against is almost more Brazilian-like. As it is though, Brazil’s defensive marshal, Thiago Silva, has helped his side go 310 minutes without conceding, forming the meanest backline at these world finals, with just a solitary goal against so far. Only rarely have Brazil found the balance between controlled attacking and disciplined defending quite as well as they have so far in Russia.

By way of contrast, the Belgians have proven to be vulnerable at the back. Nevertheless, with players like Romelu Lukaku – who sits second in scoring at this World Cup with four goals – and Eden Hazard, they have also shown themselves to be capable of scoring or creating something at any given moment. It is not for nothing that they are labelled the country’s golden generation.

Can they get the better of the five-time world champions in Kazan and move into the last four? Doing so would mean Belgium winning a fifth consecutive World Cup match, which would set a new national record. The first and only time the sides previously met at the global showpiece was in the last 16 in 2002 when goals from Rivaldo and Ronaldo earned victory for a Brazil team that would go on to lift the title. That is a result that current playmakers Neymar and Philippe Coutinho, who have each been directly involved in three goals already, would no doubt be more than happy to emulate.

Team Reporter Analysis Giancarlo Giampietro with Brazil [Follow on: Twitter | Facebook​]
This well-balanced Brazil side know they are in for a battle and are prepared for it. The absence of Casemiro is a big blow, but his replacement Fernandinho is likewise a complete midfielder, even if he is not as physically imposing and has a huge task ahead of him against Belgium. The Red Devils will have to contend with the in-form Neymar, who sparkled against Mexico and is arguably the best player remaining at the tournament.

Simon Massart with Belgium [Follow on: Twitter | Facebook]
The last match was a tough one and coach Roberto Martinez will likely have learned some lessons from his side’s difficulties in that Round of 16 outing. Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli, who both came on as substitutes in that game against Japan, could be in line for starts, which would necessitate some minor tactical adjustments. This quarter-final represents one of the last chances for Belgium to shine at the highest level, with the best team in the their history. It is worth noting that this will be the first time that Belgium face Brazil, truly believing they can win.

Did you know?
Since USA 1994, Brazil have always reached at least the quarter-finals of a World Cup. In 1994 and 2002, they were crowned champions, while they finished as runners-up in 1998.

Possible line-ups
Brazil: Alisson; Fagner, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Filipe Luis/Marcelo; Fernandinho, Paulinho; Willian, Philippe Coutinho, Neymar; Gabriel Jesus

Belgium: Thibaut Courtois; Jan Vertonghen, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld; Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Nacer Chadli, Thomas Meunier; Marouane Fellaini, Eden Hazard; Romelu Lukaku

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From Russia with love: Hosts wow the world – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • Fans, players and journalists have lauded the 2018 World Cup
  • Russia and its people have drawn praise from across the globe
  • Volunteers have helped change preconceptions about the country

It was just three sentences, 22 words and 92 characters. But in this single tweet, Gary Neville said it all.

High praise indeed, and what made it more remarkable was the source: a passionate, 85-times capped Englishman. After all, ahead of this tournament, nowhere was scepticism about Russia and the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ greater than in England.

Such was the level of negativity in UK media coverage, in fact, that Three Lions left-back Danny Rose even warned his family against coming out to watch him. It took just a few days of experiencing the country, and enjoying the hospitality of its people, for the defender’s mind to be changed.

“I’d definitely be open now to having my family out here,” Rose said. “It’s different to what I expected. I’m having a great time.”

Among fans, players, coaches and journalists, these sentiments – “different to what I expected”, “having a great time” – have been repeated time and again. Supporters from all continents and cultures have found themselves welcomed with open arms, both by smiling locals and ever-helpful tournament volunteers.

Within the teams, there is also widespread acceptance of new standards having been set. “Everything is top, top, top,” was the glowing verdict of Iran coach Carlos Queiroz. “I think this is what really matters at the World Cup: the spirit of the game, the great facilities and the great environment. And for us, everything has been perfect. Everyone has been so kind, and I must congratulate the Russian people on their wonderful World Cup.”

“It’s all very impressive,” agreed Belgium coach Roberto Martinez. “I’ve been directly involved in the last two World Cups, seeing every day the logistics and the way the organisation works. And I must say that this World Cup is by far the best I have been involved in.

“The hospitality we have experienced has been incredible. The level of it has surprised everyone, and it has given a fantastic image of Russian people and Russia in general.”

Russia 2018 has, of course, looked spectacular. After Sweden’s last-16 tie on Tuesday, coach Janne Andersson praised the “absolutely magical ” Saint Petersburg Stadium – one of several amazing arenas packed to the rafters game after game. Yet it is the stories of friendship and warmth that have stood out.

One British journalist shared just such a tale in The Telegraph, recounting how two Russian policemen drove 200 miles to reunite an Iran supporter with a jacket and wallet left behind in Kazan. Then there was the volunteer who stunned the Sweden squad by learning and serenading them with their own national anthem.

And if the visiting world has fallen in love with Russian and the Russian people, the feeling has undoubtedly been mutual. From Kaliningrad in the west to Ekaterinburg in the east, and everywhere in between, there has been enchantment at the friendly invasion of fun-loving fans.

There was a sense of awe, too, at the Senegal and Japan supporters, who remained after their team’s matches to tidy their sections of the stadium. Even Japan’s players did the same after their heartbreaking last-16 loss to Belgium, leaving a spotless dressing room and a note for their hosts.

It was written in Cryllic and, like Neville’s tweet, it was short and to the point, reading simply “Spasibo” (Thank You). For everyone who has enjoyed Russia’s World Cup, that note spoke for us all.

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17 referees, 37 assistant referees and 10 Video Assistant Referees appointed for next phase of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ – FIFA on GBP Sports

The FIFA Referees Committee has selected 17 referees, 37 assistant referees and 10 Video Assistant Referees for the final phase of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.

Given the number of matches left and the teams that have qualified for the next round, the number of referees has been reduced. Appointed for the next phase are:

AFC: FAGHANI Alireza (IRN); SHUKRALLA Nawaf Abdulla (BHR)

CAF: DIEDHIOU Malang (SEN); SIKAZWE Janny (ZAM)

CONCACAF: GEIGER Mark (USA); MARRUFO Jair (USA); RAMOS PALAZUELOS Cesar Arturo (MEX)

CONMEBOL: CUNHA Andres (URU); PITANA Nestor (ARG); RICCI Sandro (BRA)

OFC: CONGER Matthew (NZL)

UEFA: CAKIR Cuneyt (TUR); KUIPERS Bjorn (NED); MATEU LAHOZ Antonio (ESP); MAZIC Milorad (SRB); ROCCHI Gianluca (ITA); SKOMINA Damir (SVN)

Video Assistant Referees

CONMEBOL: SAMPAIO Wilton (BRA); VIGLIANO Mauro (ARG)

UEFA: DANKERT Bastian (GER); DIAS SOARES Artur (POR); GIL Pawel (POL); IRRATI Massimiliano (ITA); MAKKELIE Danny (NED); ORSATO Daniele (ITA); VALERI Paolo (ITA); ZWAYER Felix (GER)

The FIFA Referees Committee would like to thank all the match officials that have been involved in the 2018 FIFA World Cup so far for their commitment and professionalism.

Referee designations – 2018 FIFA World Cup Matches 56 and 57 (6 July 2018)

URUGUAY – FRANCE (Quarter-finals)

Referee: Nestor PITANA (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan MAIDANA (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Pablo BELATTI (ARG)
Fourth Official: Alireza FAGHANI (IRN)
Reserve Assistant: Reza SOKHANDAN (IRN)

BRAZIL – BELGIUM (Quarter-finals)

Referee: Milorad MAZIC (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan RISTIC (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor DJURDJEVIC (SRB)
Fourth Official: Jair MARRUFO (USA)
Reserve Assistant: Corey ROCKWELL (USA)

Referee designations – 2018 FIFA World Cup Matches 58 and 59 (7 July 2018)

SWEDEN – ENGLAND (Quarter-finals)

Referee: Bjorn KUIPERS (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander VAN ROEKEL (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin ZEINSTRA (NED)
Fourth Official: Antonio MATEU LAHOZ (ESP)
Reserve Assistant: Pau CEBRIAN (ESP)

RUSSIA – CROATIA (Quarter-finals)

Referee: Sandro RICCI (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson DE CARVALHO (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo VAN GASSE (BRA)
Fourth Official: Janny SIKAZWE (ZAM)
Reserve Assistant: Jerson DOS Santos (ANG)

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The Most Beauty Female Fans in World Cup 2018 – Hottest Fans |HD

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