Lionel Messi’s missing trophy still on as Argentina reach the Copa America semi finals but Brazil are waiting


Lionel Messi is known as one of the greatest players that the game has ever produced, some say and rightfully so in most cases that he is the best player ever. He has won everything multiple times over and scored well over 600 goals, but there is one major gap in his resume and that is his lack of trophies for his national side Argentina.

True Messi does actually have two trophies. The under 20 World Cup and the Olympic Gold with Argentina. But his critics are not going to count that and question his greatness based on the fact that he hasn’t won a World Cup or a Copa America.

Messi has been to 4 major finals- 3 Copa America’s an 1 World Cup, including 3 finals in a row and lost them all. The ability then has been there but the final push or dare we say it a little frozen in a final has come back to haunt Messi on several occasions.

This year after a poor start Argentina find themselves in the semi-final of the Copa America. That’s the good news, the bad news is that it is against Brazil, and it is in their home country and everyone believes Brazil to be the big favourites to win. Indeed some bookmakers have Argentina at 4/1 to win the game.

All of the pressure will be on Argentina, although they will remember that last time Brazil were in a semi final in a major competition it was the World Cup when they historically lost 7-1 against Germany.

This is a massive match for Argentina and then again for Brazil too and the final will be on July 7th this Sunday. The other semi-final will be against Chile and Peru, Chile might be the favourites but Peru have proved their worth holding Uruguay to a 0-0 result in the quarter finals and then beating them on penalties and look like tough opposition. Having said that Chile have won the competition for the last 2 tournaments and are aiming for 3 in a row, each time beating Argentina in the final. Could it be destiny that they meet each other again?

Messi has not scored many goals in the competition just one so far which was a penalty- but he won’t care if he doesn’t light up the tournament but Argentina win it. At the same time his side will need to see Messi perhaps put in a vintage display against their great rival to get to the final. The match will take place early on Wednesday morning and shouldn’t be missed. Indeed with a plethora of football all around us at the moment this will be the biggest game in world football.

World Cup Weekly Recap

Brazil v Costa Rica: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

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 Hazard netted his first two goals in a World Cup.

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Lucky Denmark must change approach to beat Australia following Peru win


If there is one thing that can be taken from Denmark’s victory over Peru on Saturday, it is that every game the South Americans play at their first World Cup in 36 years will be an exciting watch. They came into the tournament predicted to be everyone’s second favourite team; given the energy and attacking intent they showed, it is easy to see why. Continue reading

World Cup Weekly Preview


Two contenders will take the field on Sunday: Germany will square off against Mexico, while the Neymar-led Brazil will take on Switzerland, both looking to get off on the right foot, but their opponents are no pushovers. Today’s first game will be between Costa Rica and Serbia.

Two other top national teams will make their debut in Russia on Monday: Belgium will face Panama and England will challenge Tunisia. They will try to take advantage of favourable match-ups on paper. The slate will be opened by Sweden versus South Korea. Two intriguing teams in the second tier, Colombia and Poland, will day view on Tuesday, respectively against Japan and Senegal.  Continue reading

World Cup Weekly Recap


A very eventful start for the World Cup. The most anticipated game of the early stages, Spain versus Portugal, certainly delivered both in terms of intensity and spectacularity. Despite going down in the score twice, the Red Fury pulled the strings for most of the game and found the target with two magnificent goals, one from distance by Nacho and a very crafty one by Diego Costa in the box. However, the Navigators were not to be denied and came away with a point thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick, whose dazzling free kick to tie in the final minutes capped off an all-around great match.  Continue reading

Denmark vs Peru Preview: Christian Eriksen can lead them to victory


Everybody knows who the favourites for this summer’s World Cup are, and it is hard to see one of them not going on to win it in Moscow next month. Germany are chasing a second successive crown and a record-equalling fifth in all, while Brazil are aiming for a sixth World Cup win. Spain, despite their managerial situation, are expected to challenge again; France have a squad brimming with youth and quality, so it could be their year.

Some teams have world class players leading them, but cannot back them up with sufficient quality elsewhere on the pitch to go far into the tournament. Euro ‘92 winners Denmark have previous in springing surprises, but as the World Cup goes with form more often than not, they are not expected to make too many waves in Russia. Arguably France’s biggest test in Group C, the Danes will hope Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen can shine, starting against South American qualifiers Peru at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk on Saturday.

Eriksen is not the only threat for Denmark, but he is the man who makes an organised, hard-working team tick. At a tough moment in the playoffs against the Republic of Ireland, after a 0-0 draw in the first leg at home, he stepped up and took responsibility by scoring a hat-trick in a 5-1 win in Dublin to book his side’s place this summer. The Spurs man is linked with a move to Real Madrid and Barcelona, which is a sure-fire mark of quality; he will give Denmark a chance in all three group games, particularly their first, which is viewed as crucial in the battle to join France in the last 16. Peru are at the World Cup for the first time since 1982 and have been boosted by the availability of their record goalscorer, Paulo Guerrero, who had his suspension for drug-taking lifted so he could take part this summer. He, like Eriksen, is a talismanic figure, but he must prove his fitness quickly if he is to make the impact he is capable of.

For Denmark, failing to get out of the group willl be seen as a failure; they have the spine of a talented side, with a strong defence protecting Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester City’s goalkeeper and son of the legendary Peter. Andreas Christensen, who broke into the Chelsea side under Antonio Conte last season, will partner captain Simon Kjaer at the back. Up front, former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner, who has an impressive record at international level despite being seen as a figure of comedy for much of his career, is not in the squad; Kasper Dolberg could be their breakout star after a superb rise at Ajax, while Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen, linked with a move to Newcsalte United in January, is another option for manager Age Hareide. Red Bull Leipzig striker Yussuf Paulsen has scored just four goals in 28 appearances for Denmark, but he can give the side a focal point; so many attackining options can lead them to a crucial early victory.

But, whatever happens, Eriksen will be at the heart of it. At Tottenham, he is one of a number of key players in their system, which relies on high pressure and intensity, under Mauricio Pochettino, but he is the centrepiece of this Denmark team, the man who sets the tempo and dictates the game. It will be tough for them to break down Peru; they are organised and keep things tight in defence, scoring 26 goals and conceding 27 in qualification. Denmark can win this game in midfield; one of the biggest assets Eriksen brings to the team is his work-rate, and alongside Ajax’s Lasse Schone, he can dominate the centre of the park. Defensive strength, creativity and goalscoring prowess aren’t an issue, but they do lack pace, which means Celta Vigo winger Pione Sisto, who came to prominance in the under-21 European Championships back in 2015, has a crucial part to play in the side.

It will be important for Denmark to win both of their games, against Peru and Australia, before facing France on matchday three. That way, their progression to the next round will be all but guaranteed; Les Bleus are overwhelming favourites to win this group, but they cannot underestimate Denmark because of the strength they have across the pitch.

Hareide’s men can’t look too far ahead, though; a professional job should see them beat an inconsistent Peru. They won eight and lost eight of their games in qualification, and although it is impressive that they edged out Copa America winners Chile, there are definite weaknesses that can be exposed, mainly in the centre of the park. If Christian Eriksen gets on the ball and plays like he can, he can lead his side to a big three points to kick off their World Cup journey.

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World Cup Weekly Preview


The World Cup is finally here, so let’s take a look at the first few days of action. The home team of Russia will kick things off on Thursday facing Saudi Arabia in the pretty open group A. There is a lot of curiosity towards the Red Army, which obviously skipped the qualifications and has played only three official games in the past two years, in the Confederations Cup, and had mixed showings in the friendlies.

Their main rivals to advance, Egypt and Uruguay, will square off on Friday.  Continue reading