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Florid fly first as Robocop FC surge – FIFA on GBP Sports

Sladuna is the latest coach to lead the McDonald’s FIFA World Cup™ Fantasy. Despite disappointing returns from their captain and strike force, Florid grabbed 16 points from a masterfully played Bench Boost, and benefitted from Harry Maguire (11 points), Benjamin Pavard (6) and Jesse Lingard (6), to climb from second to first.

YazanX returned to second, where coach YazanYaz sat after the group stage, while Allstars Anonymous seized 65 points to fly third. Key to that success was Jerseyman8’s defensive players, with Hugo Lloris, Pavard, Lucas Hernandez, Maguire and Kieran Trippier getting 35 points between them.

Former leaders Zirka slipped one place to fourth, while Wanderers and Robocop FC pocketed a whopping 73 and 75 points respectively to rocket joint-fifth, with both playing their Maximum Captain to ensure Maguire finished Round 5 in their armband.

Mr Bell’s Boys enjoyed a blistering round – and without playing a Booster. Maguire, assist provider Ashley Young and captain Antoine Griezmann helped them claim 73 points and go joint-ninth.

Other big climbers were @Gameweek38 coached by John.Mount (70 points, up to 17th), Miskatonic CF coached by TitoTaete (70, 22nd), Tartar125 coached by Tartar125 (70, 24th) and Os Fenomenos coached by Seanst87 (70, 27th).

Round 5: Highest-scoring players

Raphael Varane (12 points)
Harry Maguire (11)
Antoine Griezmann (9)
Ashley Young (9)
Dele Alli (8)
Denis Cheryshev (7)
Kevin De Bruyne (7)
Mario Fernandes (7)
Hugo Lloris (7)
Jordan Pickford (7)

Prizes

The Grand Prize:

  • ​Brand new Kia Sportage
  • Signed captain’s armband from the Russia 2018 winners
  • Copy of EA SPORTS FIFA 18 for PS4

Runner-up:

  • ​Hisense television
  • Signed captain’s armband from the runners-up team at Russia 2018
  • Copy of EA SPORTS FIFA 18 for PS4

There are also prizes for the third to fifth-place finishers and the top three coaches from each round!
PRIZES

The leaders

1- Florid coached by Sladuna (345)
2- YazanX coached by YazanYaz (342)
3- Allstars Anonymous coached by Jerseyman8 (340)
4- Zirka coached by Zirka10 (334)
5- Wanderers coached by WanderersXV (333)
5- Robocop FC coached by Amoskywalker (333)
5- One Kiss Team coached by One Kiss (333)
8- Tselepoul coached by Telonis (332)
9- Loaibarca coached by Loai.Alrwas (331)
9- Mr Bell’s Boys coached by Tinnedtuna (331)
LEADERBOARD

Join the Fantasy fun

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!


DON’T MISS THE ROUND 6 DEADLINE of 20:00 CET on TUESDAY

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Real Madrid Should Replace Cristiano Ronaldo With Neymar Because… | #SundayVibes – Football Daily

Football Daily video, Enjoy:

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Sweden to return home as unforgettable heroes – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • Sweden reach quarter-final since fabled class of 1994
  • Pride resonates through the squad
  • Captain Granqvist: “I’m extremely proud of this team”
By Alexandra Jonson with Sweden

Every four years there is a FIFA World Cup™ and every four years everyone in Sweden speaks of 1994. But now, after 24 years, the Swedes finally have a new World Cup story to talk about and remember.

When the final whistle went in Samara on Saturday the Swedish players all fell to the ground, beaten and with tears falling down their cheeks. “You feel very disappointed and sad, you don’t want to leave Russia”, Robin Olsen said after the match.


© Getty Images

A little while later Janne Andersson collected his players and the coaching staff in front of the Swedish supporters, to have a talk. With their arms around each other, the players listened as the coach tried to remind them of the incredible feat they had achieved. And little by little it started to sink in.

“I have this enormous pride for this team,” Olsen said. “Of what we have done together. From the first match in the qualifiers against the Netherlands, the play-off against Italy and then come to this World Cup and do this. It’s something we will be able to look back at and be extremely proud of.”

Back home in Sweden, the nation has been in a grip of complete World Cup fever. The Swedish national team shirts sold out in stores and online, millions watched the matches in front of the TV, bringing the entire country to a stand-still. And even if it’s summer, the typical Christmas tree – spruce trees – have been more popular than ever.

The reason being that Sweden’s captain Andreas Granqvist is nicknamed ‘Granen’ meaning Spruce in Swedish. A collection was even started by some fans to buy the biggest possible bunch of flowers for Granqvist and his wife as their second child was born the day before the quarterfinal. The collection reached such a high amount, that the family got not only flowers but also spruces sent to them. In addition, a big donation was made to the project ‘Allas rätt till en gran’ (‘Everyone’s right to a spruce’) which gives Christmas trees to people who cannot afford one themselves.

“I think we have written history in Sweden, with this performance” Emil Forsberg said after the match. Looking at how the country has reacted, there is no doubt that he is right.

“We didn’t have the odds on our side when we came to this World Cup and we made it to the quarter-finals. We have to be proud, but you never want it to end,” said Marcus Berg.


© Getty Images

Speaking to FIFA after the match, head coach Janne Andersson said: “We have created a team that worked very well, the guys together, the way we’ve played football. It’s worked against the best in the world several times. This time we played a team that might go all the way, England look very good. But we have a way of playing and the boys’ attitude has been incredible.”

While the spruce, Granqvist himself, put it like this: “I’m extremely proud of this team, the coaching staff and everyone who’s been a part of this, how we’ve all acted this summer,” he told FIFA. “We made it to a quarter-final, it’s been 24 years since we were last at this stage. So I have an incredible joy and pride for what we archived this summer”

On Sunday, Sweden leave their team base in Gelendzihk, and they leave Russia. But when they arrive in Stockholm, they do so as heroes. Heroes that like those in 1994, will be spoken about for many years to come.

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Croatia show nerves of steel to make semis – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • Croatia reach World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1998
  • The Balkan side have won two straight penalty shoot-outs at Russia 2018
  • Andrej Kramaric played a key role in quarter-final win over the hosts
By Vjekoslav Paun with Croatia

Saturday night in Sochi is sure to live long in the memories of every Croatian, as the Balkan nation overcame a committed Russia side and their passionate support to win 4-3 on penalties after their dramatic quarter-final clash ended 2-2 after extra time.

There were some notable performances in Croatia’s triumph at the Fisht Stadium. Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic made some important saves, despite nursing a leg injury in the latter stages of the contest, while Ivan Rakitic showed his composure to score his side’s winning penalty in a shoot-out for a second straight match. Yet, the performance of Andrej Kramaric was also key in assuring Zlatko Dalic’s side continued their journey at these world finals.

“Honestly, I’m not even aware of what we’ve achieved,” said the 27-year-old, who cancelled out Denis Cheryshev’s spectacular opening goal with a headed finish late in the first half. “I am proud to be part of this team that will remain enrolled as one of the biggest in Croatian sports. But we do not want to stop now, we have to make it a step further.”

The magnitude of reaching the semi-finals for the first time since the country’s World Cup debut at France 1998 proved evident from the celebrations that both the striker and his team-mates witnessed back home. “We here in Russia do not feel the joy of our fans in the cities of Croatia, but surely the emotions are very special,” Kramaric said. “Now, we have to get together and continue this way, for our great fans.”

Having endured a similar test against Denmark in the Round of 16, Vatreni have shown a level of resiliency to reach this stage of the competition. “The match against Russia is yet another victory of our character. We have nerves of steel,” Kramaric said. “We showed how calm and self-confident we are. Perhaps the match was not the most beautiful, but it will be remembered. The goal I scored was dedicated to my family and friends. I will certainly remember it. It is a goal in the World Cup.”

Victory over the tournament hosts sets up a showdown against England in the last four in Moscow on Wednesday. It is a Three Lions side that Kramaric rates highly. “Before the World Cup, I chose England as one of the favourites,” he said. “They are young and fast, so it will not be easy for us. It will be an interesting game and we will fight to make the final.”

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Croatia through as hosts pay the penalty – FIFA on GBP Sports

Twenty years on from Croatia first taking the FIFA World Cup™ by storm, Zlatko Dalic’s team have booked the country’s place in the semi-finals for the second time in their history. Having emerged victorious on penalties after a gruelling encounter, the Balkan side have also got a monkey off their back by ending their hoodoo against World Cup hosts, having been knocked out by France in 1998 and lost to Brazil in the Opening Match of the 2014 edition.

Roared on by a boisterous crowd at the Fisht Stadium, the Russians sought to press high up the pitch early on. Yet despite this pressure and the din, which rose to deafening levels every time the hosts sprang forward on the break, the Croats refused to be cowed, continuing to play their game and giving as good as they got.

It was from one such counter-attack that Russia took the lead, Denis Cheryshev unleashing a left-footed piledriver that flew into the top corner. However, the Vatreni were not about to lie down and hit back a few minutes later, Andrej Kramaric stooping to head past Igor Akinfeev and ensuring the home fans’ celebrations were short-lived.

Besides an Ivan Perisic strike that clattered Akinfeev’s post, clear-cut chances were few and far between in the second half, which was as tense as it was bereft of goalscoring action. Domagoj Vida headed home in the first period of extra time to silence the Russian supporters again, only for fans up and down the country to erupt with joy when Mario Fernandes equalised with just minutes remaining. Fernandes would go from hero to villain in the shoot-out though, his miss proving decisive as Stanislav Cherchesov’s charges ultimately bowed out.

Team Reporter Analysis
Igor Borunov with Russia [Follow: Twitter | Facebook]
Russia came a cropper against their strongest opponents at the competition. The first half was relatively evenly matched, with chances and a goal at both ends. The Croats gained the ascendancy in the second half, but Russia displayed their spirit once again to hold firm and force extra time, like in the previous round. Unfortunately, on this occasion they did not keep their cool from the spot.

Vjekoslav Paun with Croatia [Follow: Twitter | Facebook]
Croatia are through to the last four! It wasn’t their most breathtaking performance in Russia, but the result is what counts and the Vatreni came away with another massive victory. Zlatko Dalic’s men maintained their composure, dominated possession and continued to attack, and their perseverance was rewarded with the win – albeit not without some suspense. Ice man Ivan Rakitic was the match-winner for the second straight game, having also scored the final penalty against Denmark last time out.

Budweiser Man of the Match
Luka Modric was a metronomic presence in the Croatia midfield yet again, spraying passes around and helping his side to starve Russia of the ball. He also showed character to convert his penalty in the shootout again, having missed from the spot during normal time against Denmark.

The stat
2 – Russia is the first country in World Cup history to contest two shoot-outs while hosting the event. Tonight’s match was the 30th time that a game has been decided on penalties at the competition; the first was the 1982 semi-final between West Germany and France.

What’s next
Croatia v England – semi-finals, 11 July, Moscow (Luzhniki Stadium)

Follow Russia 2018
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Pickford: We can create our own history – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • Jordan Pickford excelled again in England’s 2-0 win over Sweden
  • The 24-year-old was later hailed as a prototype modern goalkeeper
  • Pickford spoke about England’s strengths and desire to make history
By Laure James with England

It has been quite the week for Jordan Pickford.

On Tuesday, the England goalkeeper played an instrumental role in propelling the Three Lions to their first ever World Cup penalty shootout victory. Then Saturday saw him emerge as hero once more, as he pulled off off save after incredible save to keep Sweden at bay in his side’s quarter-final victory.

At the other end, England scored twice to move within a goal of their record haul for an individual World Cup – 11 from their triumphant 1966 campaign. But it was Pickford’s acrobatics that ensured the win was a comfortable one.

He was on hand to deny Marcus Berg on two occasions, first diving to his left to tip a goal-bound header round the post and then reaching up instinctively to palm a snapshot over the bar. Ola Toivoinen also found himself thwarted by Pickford’s quick reflexes when the net seemed sure to bulge.

These feats cap a remarkable rise from the 24-year old, who was playing semi-professional football as recently as 2013 with English sixth-tier club Alfreton Town. Pickford had joined Sunderland’s academy when he was eight, signing his first full-time contract in 2011, but went out on loan to lower league sides for first-team experience.

The modest keeper says that those experiences have helped to make him the player he is today. And despite thriving in that shootout win over Colombia, the Budweiser Man of the Match from England’s quarter-final win would always pick shutouts over penalty drama.

“The highlight of that was the clean sheet,” he said of the victory over Sweden. “But it’ll go on my mantelpiece, that one,” added Pickford, referring to his Man of the Match trophy. “It’s about keeping performing and getting better, and the more games you play, the better you become.

“This is where I want to be. I just want to be playing in the biggest matches against big teams. I just keep myself level-headed and do my best for the team. 

“I wasn’t born the last time England reached a World Cup semi-final. We have always said we would it take one game at a time but we can go on and create our own history.

“We are a young side but we’re an experienced young side, as daft as that sounds. We know how to work and play for each other, and what our strengths are. We know how to win.”

Gareth Southgate has also hailed the Sunderland native, lauding him as a model for the next generation of goalkeepers to aspire to.

“Pickford, for me, is a sort of prototype of what a modern goalkeeper should be,” said Southgate. “The number of touches goalkeepers have with their feet is exceptionally high in the modern game, especially in international and European football.

“The Premier League is different with crosses into the box, so [demands] different skills. But the saves Jordan made today at critical times, and his distribution in picking out [Kieran] Trippier with a reverse pass – we need goalkeepers of that ilk moving forward.”

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Fantasy Round 6 Preview: Boosters & 5 Free Transfers – FIFA on GBP Sports

Deadline

20:00 CET on Tuesday.
If you haven’t yet registered, you can still play McDonald’s FIFA World Cup™ Fantasy and create private leagues to compete with your friends.
How To Play

Transfers

  • You can make 5 free transfers before Tuesday’s deadline.
  • You can now pick 6 players from each country.

Picking players who advance through the knockout rounds is advantageous. You get five free transfers ahead of Round 7, so to have a full squad out, you’ll need ten of your 15 semi-final players to make it through. Unless, of course, you still have your Wildcard.

Number of free transfers you get before each round:
5 free transfers before Round 6 (semi-finals)
5 free transfers before Round 7 (third-place playoff & Final)
Additional transfers cost you four points each.

Wildcard

You can make unlimited transfers for one round. If you haven’t already used it, consider whether it’s best to use it in Round 6 or Round 7.

Boosters

Bench Boost
For one round, all 15 of your players – rather than just 11 – will score you points. So you need to try and play it when you’ll have as many of your squad playing as possible. Does your 15 for Round 6 look strong?

Maximum Captain
In one of the seven rounds, you can play your Maximum Captain. In that round, you don’t select a captain. Instead, whichever of your 11 players scores the highest points delivers double for you.

Note: You cannot use your Bench Boost and Maximum Captain in the same round. So if you have them both remaining, make sure to activate one before the Round .

Fixtures

Tuesday
France-Belgium

Wednesday
Croatia-England

Captains

Round 6 takes place over only two days. Only the player who finishes the round as your captain scores double points. So, make sure that you have a player in action on Tuesday in your armband. If he does well, you probably want to stick with him, but if he doesn’t, you can select a new captain before 20:00 CET on Wednesday.

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The Best Sports Vines July 2018 (Part 1)

Football vines by Sports Vines, Enjoy:

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Dele, Maguire head England into first semi-final in 28 years – FIFA on GBP Sports

England advanced to their first FIFA World Cup™ semi-final since Italy 1990 with a 2-0 win over Sweden thanks to a pair of headed goals by Harry Maguire and Dele.

After a tepid opening half hour, Maguire was able to spring above his marker and latch on to the end of a floated Ashley Young corner to give the Three Lions the lead.

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was notably called into action early in the second half when he saved Marcus Berg’s header.

But Dele doubled the Three Lions’ lead when he timed his run at the back post and headed in a cross delivered by Jesse Lingard.

England held on to their two-goal cushion thanks to several Pickford saves to seal their place in the semi-finals for the first time since 1990.

Team reporter analysis
Alexandra Jonson with Sweden [Follow: Twitter | Facebook]
A dream can’t last forever; at some point you have to wake up. That moment came for Sweden tonight. Robin Olsen and Victor Lindelof had impressive performances but it wasn’t enough. Mikael Lustig’s absence was notable in the Swedish defence that, for the first time at this World Cup, had troubles in the air. When the disappointment has run its course, these players will look back on this World Cup with pride.

Laure James with England [Follow: Twitter | Facebook]
This was England’s most complete performance of Russia 2018 in what was a highly-credible team effort. Three outstanding saves from Jordan Pickford awarded them with their first clean sheet of the tournament. Raheem Sterling may come under criticism for freezing in front of goal twice in as many minutes, but his driving runs and pace were key to sustaining the pressure on Sweden’s backline. This truly is a team making its own history.

Budweiser Man of the Match
*
England goalkeeper *
Jordan Pickford
made several crucial saves throughout the match to record the Three Lions’ first clean sheet at Russia 2018.

The stat
*
*
11
– Dele’s goal was England’s 11th at Russia 2018, equalling the country’s record of most goals at a single World Cup set in 1966, the first and only edition when they went on to lift the trophy.

What’s next
England will face the winner of Russia-Croatia – Semi-final, 11 July, Moscow (Luzhniki Stadium)

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