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62 matches down – which XI make your Dream Team? – FIFA on GBP Sports

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

We’ve only got two games to go. And you’ve only got two days to finalise your Fan Dream Team!

You, the supporters, 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 Sunday – the day of the France-Croatia 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 Goal Videos, 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.
Visit the Fan Zone

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FIFA calls on stakeholders to continue their work on LGBT+ rights in Russian sport  – FIFA on GBP Sports

After one month of events organised by the Russian LGBT Sport Federation during the FIFA World Cup, the closing conference took place at the Goethe Institute in Moscow.

In attendance were international guests including Ryan Atkin, the first openly gay referee in English football; Sophie Cook, the first transgender woman working as a staff member of a club at the English Premier League; Carrie Serwetnyk, the first female member of the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame and FIFA’s Head of Sustainability & Diversity Federico Addiechi and Russian representatives from football and civil society. The overall aim of the conference was to exchange experiences and best practices on promoting LGBT+ rights and discuss next steps in Russian football.

“We thank all involved stakeholders in Russia who supported the creation a safe environment for the international LGBT+ community during the FIFA World Cup. In a few days, our tournament will be over. It will be important to use the positive experiences of the past weeks to continue the collaboration between the Football Union of Russia, the Russian LGBT Sport Federation and other stakeholders to promote diversity and fully inclusive football in Russia,” said FIFA’s Addiechi.

“I’m very happy that the conference succeeded,” said Aleksandr Agapov, President of the Russian LGBT Sport Federation. “We had outstanding panellists to discuss acceptance of LGBT+ persons in fans subculture, the importance of coming outs and role models, and the difference openly LGBT+ professional footballers and referees can make. We certainly could not pass by a discussion of the World Cup legacy. We look forward to continuing to work together with FIFA and other stakeholders. It is our duty to make football truly inclusive for LGBT+ persons both in Russia and globally.”

This year’s World Cup broke new ground, with the introduction of a new protocol to handle incidents during each match and extensive training given to all involved personnel on anti-discrimination. While experienced anti-discrimination observers have been deployed in the stadiums, referees are also now able to intervene following a three-step process.

More information on Diversity & Discrimination at FIFA available here.

FIFA’s Good Practice Guide on Diversity and Anti-Discrimination is available here.

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Hernandez and Pavard, France’s unexpected heroes – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • Hernandez and Pavard are Les Bleus’ breakout stars
  • Similar players with lots of potential
  • Both have close relationships with Didier Deschamps
By Adrien Gingold with France

Surprise inclusions in Didier Deschamps’s first-choice XI at the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, 22-year-old defenders Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez wasted little time in establishing themselves as key players in the France team.

Coming into the side in place of Djibril Sidibe and Benjamin Mendy, Pavard and Hernandez were virtually unknown to France fans seven months ago. Yet in just a handful of matches, these two tireless workers have imposed themselves on the French flanks and lived up to the expectations placed on them.

As well as being the same age, the defensive duo have similar builds, share an appetite for hard work, and like to get forward. They have also come to prominence in leagues outside France: the Bundesliga in Pavard’s case and La Liga in Hernandez’s.

Pavard, who runs out for Stuttgart, and Hernandez, who earned his place in the Atletico Madrid line-up after Filipe Luis picked up an injury, each began their Russian adventure with only five caps to their name. “To begin with I thought I’d be on the bench,” Hernandez told us. “In the end, I’ve been lucky enough to play, and I still can’t get over it. The hard work is paying off. I’m not someone who talks a lot, but I do work my socks off.”

Voicing similar sentiments, Pavard said: “Six months ago I couldn’t even have imagined getting a call-up to the national team, and yet here I am, on the brink of playing in a World Cup Final. I’m going to make the most of it because I don’t think I’ll have the chance to experience this again.”

Despite what they say, their international careers could go on much longer than they think, such has been the quality of their performances and so consistent have they been. Their sudden breakthrough seems to have ended France’s long search for reliable performers down both flanks. As they showed in teaming up for a spectacular goal in the Round of 16 against Argentina – which saw Pavard score with a sublime drive from a Hernandez cross – these are two players who are very much on the up.

France’s full-back “twins” have something else in common: their respect for, bond with, and gratitude to Didier Deschamps. The France coach has been bold and brave in pinning his hopes on the two young players. “Didier was a player himself and he understands us. He knows how this works,” said Hernandez. “He’s a fantastic coach and I’ve learned so much from him.” 

Pavard echoed those words: “It’s amazing to play for him. He gives a lot of advice and we’re lucky to have him. And then there’s the fact that he captained the side that won the World Cup.”

Both are now beginning to believe that France’s dream might just come true. They are, after all, only 90 minutes away from seeing it fulfilled. For the scorer of one of the goals of the tournament, it is all a little too much to comprehend: “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, to be honest. I don’t think I’ll actually realise that I’ve been playing in the World Cup until it’s all over.”


© Getty Images

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Three reasons why Croatia deserves to win the Final – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • World Cup Final: France v Croatia, 15 July, Luzhniki Stadium (Moscow)
  • Croatia competing in first-ever World Cup Final
  • Our Croatia team reporter gives three reasons why Vatreni would be deserving champions
By Vjekoslav Paun with Croatia

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Final is just around the corner, as 1998 winners France prepare to face first-time finalists Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Ahead of kick-off, let’s take a closer look at why this Vatreni (The Blazers) team are deserving of lifting the coveted Russia 2018 trophy and writing their names in the history books of Croatia forever.

1. A miraculous collective and maximum motivation

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has done something incredible. The atmosphere in the team has never been better, something the players have repeatedly said.

They have felt like a real family during this World Cup, having been together for 50 days. The players look like they would die for each other on the pitch in the effort they put in. Despite playing in three consecutive extra time matches, they have shown that their desire to win as a collective is very high.

2. Mental strength and character

Denmark, Russia and England — those were three come-from-behind wins for Vatreni, with two of them coming from winning in penalty shootouts. The Croatian comeback kings dominated those games from a mental and physical perspective.

Captain Luka Modric repeatedly said: “We have shown our character.” Croatia’s strength of personality will serve them well in the final against France. Every World Cup winning team throughout history has had to have a great amount of character.

3. Experience equals self-confidence

Modric is the leader of this great Vatreni generation. Besides the Real Madrid talisman, there are other stars in Dalic’s squad, including players from Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Liverpool like Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Mateo Kovacic and Dejan Lovren. With an average age of 27 years and ten months, Croatia have a lot of experience and self-confidence as well, because almost everyone has their place in their clubs’ first XI. They are all well aware of their capabilities.

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Cristiano Ronaldo ● Welcome To Juventus ● HD – Football Skills

Football skills by Footoz, enjoy:

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Nestor Pitana to referee World Cup Final – FIFA on GBP Sports

Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana, along with his assistants Hernan Maidana and Juan Pablo Belatti, will officiate the Final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ between France and Croatia on Sunday at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Pitana, a 43-year-old physical education teacher, has already refereed four matches at Russia 2018, taking charge of Russia v Saudi Arabia (Opening Game) and Mexico v Sweden in the group stages, the Round of 16 match between Croatia and Denmark, as well as the quarter-final between Uruguay and France.

Pitana has been an international referee since 2010. He is the second Argentinian referee to participate in two World Cups after Norberto Coerezza, who oversaw two games in 1970 and one in 1978. After Horacio Elizondo in 2006, he becomes the second Argentinian referee to officiate a World Cup Final.

Pitana is one of South America’s most experienced referees and also has playing experience at youth level. Three games an the U-17 World Cup in 2013 preceded a call-up the following year for the World Cup in Brazil, where Pitana supervised four fixtures, including France v Germany in the quarter-finals. In 2015, he was called up for his first, and so far only, Copa America, in addition to handling River Plate v Huracan in the final of the Supercopa Argentina.

Pitana returned to Brazil in 2016 for the Olympic Football Tournament, where he was the man in the middle for the semi-final between Germany and Nigeria. In 2017 he took charge of the Confederations Cup semi-final between Germany and Mexico.

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Did The Referee COST England A Place In The World Cup Final?! | #WorldCupReview – Football Daily

Football Daily video, Enjoy:

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