A good chunk of Serie A players who were called up for the World Cup have already been eliminated, so it is time to review their performances in Russia. First off, Sami Khedira was part of the Germany team that flopped big time and he did not have good showings at all. He started in the two games they lost, against Mexico and South Korea, and was replaced in both for offensive purposes. In the other match, Rudy was picked over him.
The veteran did not look at ease in a two-man midfield and had troubles containing opponents, often looking too slow and lethargic. Continue reading →
A couple of shockers, late drama, clutch goals: the third round of the group stage did not fall flat. The biggest surprise was obviously Germany dropping the ball against South Korea: Die Mannschaft just had to win two-nil (or more) to be safe, but despite multiple good chances, they did not manage to score and eventually the Taeguk Warriors took advantage of their unbalanced tactics and punished them, much to the jubilation of Mexico.
The World Cup Champion curse continues, as also Spain in 2014, Italy in 2010 and France in 2002 also were not able to get past the first phase after lifting the trophy. Continue reading →
Despite topping their group following a dramatic 2-2 draw with Morocco last night, even the most ardent of Spanish football fans will feel that their World Cup campaign has yet to reach the high expectations that are set for the national team.
With the slow erosion of the national team’s tiki-taka prime since the retirement of the iconic duo of Xabi and Puyol, coupled with Iniesta’s waning influence on proceedings and the omission of Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas, Spanish football is facing an identity crisis shaped by an uncertainty as to the sort of team that they now are.
This loss of a strategic approach to their last two international tournaments, Continue reading →
The second round will end today with England looking to secure the qualification against Panama. Japan and Senegal will square off in the afternoon, trying to maintain the momentum they obtained after the surprise wins in their respective debuts. The main event will be Poland versus Colombia, where both teams need a win to bounce back to stay alive.
Let’s recap the already sealed verdicts ahead of the third and final match. Four squads have gained access to the elimination stage: Russia and Uruguay in the group A, France and Croatia in C and D one. Continue reading →
An action-packed week on the World Cup is the books and the tournament rages on with an uncanny amount of penalties and own goals. The first verdicts are already in: Russia and Uruguay have advanced in the group A after their wins against Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Croatia did the same in the G one.
While La Celeste has been doing it with minimal efforts, the other two teams, along with Belgium have been the most impressive squads so far. The Sbornaya is on an incredible run and is very well-structured. As for the Red Devils, who have more than one foot in the next phase, Romelu Lukaku keeps terrorizing defences, while Eden Hazardnetted his first two goals in a World Cup.