It seems as though Real Madrid are determined to land one of Paris Saint-Germain’s biggest stars this summer! After reports surfaced linking them with a move for former Barcelona striker Neymar were followed by rumours that Kylian Mbappe could be on his way to the Bernabeu for humongous change this summer, Julen Lopetegui’s side have now reprotedly targeted yet another of the French champions’ prized assets – this time, it is Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani. The third member of this holy trinity was not to be left out of the talk that a move to La Liga could be on the cards, and after a great World Cup in Russia this summer there were always likely to be clubs keeping him on their radar when it comes to transfer targets.
As France prepare for their World Cup semi-final clash with Belgium on Tuesday evening, all eyes will be on Saint Petersburg as they battle it out for a place in the 2018 World Cup Final. While Belgium will of course be no pushovers the French are likely to be slight favourites going into the game. Both teams have claimed major scalps in this tournament, with France having eliminated Uruguay and Belgium overcame Brazil to get to this stage. The Belgian national team are enjoying a golden age, however, with several world class players among their ranks. Interestingly enough, the last time Belgium got this far in a World Cup tournament was in Mexico in 1986. They lost 2-0 to Argentina in the semi-final – before losing the third place playoff to France.
France have become the first team to advance to the World Cup semi-finals after overcoming the threat of South Americans Uruguay in Nizhny Novgorod. The stage was set for one of the bigger quarter-final games – the only one to feature two previous winners of the tournament – and Didier Deschamps’ men ultimately emerged comfortable victors. The result set up a semi-final tie against the winners of the other quarter-final being played on Friday, contested between Brazil and Belgium. This will be France’s first semi-final appearance since 2006 and has denied Uruguay the chance of their first tie in the final four since finishing fourth in 2010.
As the heat is turned up on the remaining nations to deliver and end their World Cup campaign successfully (or at least heroically), so to the race for the Golden Boot continues to get interesting. James Rodriguez won the award at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but was absent from the pitch as Colombia exited the tournament in the last-16 this time around at the hands of England by way of a penalty shootout. Three Lions frontman Harry Kane loves getting goals of course, and sits atop the goalscoring charts ahead of the quarter-finals getting under way. It is therefore now time to ask: is the race for this year’s Golden Boot now a two-horse race?
With the last eight of the 2018 World Cup now confirmed, the real attention turns to who can win the competition.
With pre tournament favourites and holders Germany already out, alongside other big hitters including 2010 champions Spain, current European champions Portugal and Argentina.
Brazil are now the most established name left in the tournament – alongside Didier Deschamps’ France – however neither of them have won the competition in the last 16 years.
France navigated themselves to the top of Group C, with wins over Australia and Peru – and a draw against fellow qualifiers Denmark.
Dave and Jamie return to round up what’s been going on in those seven long days since they last darkened the airwaves. The group stages have finished, the round of 16 is now also done and dusted and now we look ahead to the quarters, and beyond.
Nicholas Carroll and Chloe Beresford pick their best fantasy team of 11 for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals.
The World Cup is notoriously a tournament in which new stars can often emerge or firmly establish themselves as someone deemed eligible for the upper echelons of world football.
With us on the brink of hitting the quarter finals of the tournament, we’ve taken the opportunity to look at some of those building a reputation in 2018
Whilst the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi failed to drag their sites through from the round of 16, Mbappe was the man of the hour when his side needed a star to save the day against Argentina. Continue reading
After the first break of the tournament, the World Cup is ready to proceed with what promise to be four great days of football. The round of 16 will kick off later today with two of the most interesting match-ups on paper: France-Argentina and Uruguay-Spain.
Les Bleus have won two out of three matches in the group stage, but they have been rather uninspiring so far, squeaking by Australia and Peru and drawing with Denmark. The Albiceleste is the poster child of not playing up to their talent: they showed great character in the thriller against Nigeria, but their manoeuvre is still way too discombobulated. Both teams need to improve to go far, but they have an excellent launching pad early because eliminating a contender always gives you a big boost. Continue reading
With the World Cup group stages now having drawn to a close, it is time to take a look back and see just which side impressed the most tactically during the past few days. While there were some fine approaches to matches, the winner would have to be Uruguay for the way they took apart hosts Russia, who were enjoying a 100% record before facing off with the South Americans.The match was essentially a playoff to see who could win Group A, and two-time world champions Uruguay emerged victorious with a 3-0 win on the day. Much of the credit for that fine performance should go to coach Óscar Tabárez – both the longest-serving and oldest coach in this summer’s tournament.