World Cup Weekly Recap


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

World Cup Golden Boot: How Things Are Shaping Up


The Russia World Cup this summer has, of course, created excitement and enthusiasm the whole world over just as any major international tournament does. However, with every tournament there seems to be almost as much excitement about which player can score the most goals – ie earning himself the coveted Golden Boot award – as there is about the overall winner. Taking a look historically, anywhere between 5-9 goals is usually enough to be awarded the trophy – only three times since the first ever World Cup in 1930 has a player hit double figures. The first to do so was Sandor Kocsis of Hungary in 1954 (11 goals), before France star Just Fontaine did so at the next tournament (13 goals in 1958) and finally Gerd Muller of Germany in 1970 (10 goals).

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Worst Big Player of the Week – Mohamed Salah (Egypt)


It is sometimes difficult to know how to feel about Mohamed Salah. The former Chelsea and Roma star has enjoyed quite possibly the finest season of his career this year with Liverpool, having arrived from La Liga last summer. He topped the Premier League goalscoring charts and generally dominated play, lighting up football pitches up and down England whenever he laced up his boots. With that in mind, there were high hopes that he could help inspire his team-mates in the Egypt national team into a good outing at the World Cup this summer. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened, and rumours have been swirling that Salah could even be set to retire from the international stage at just 26 years old.

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Best Midfielder of the Week – Denis Cheryshev (Russia)



When one has limited experience playing international football and is selected for the World Cup squad to represent the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, it could be easy to accept that things aren’t too likely to go your way and do the bare minimum. That has not proven to be the case with Russia midfielder Denis Cheryshev, however. The former Real Madrid midfielder is arguably one of the more well-known names in the Russia national side, despite having only 10 caps to his name before the grand competition kicked off a few days ago. His performance level – and overall contribution – to the host nation’s cause has, therefore, been something of a surprise to some.

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Best Goalkeeper of the Week – Fernando Muslera (Uruguay)


With the World Cup Group stages now heading towards their thrilling conclusion, we are none the wiser of how some groups will finish up. Group A, of course, has now concluded, with hosts Russia finishing second behind former champions Uruguay. It is with some contentment, then, that Uruguay stopper Fernando Muslera can be named the best goalkeeper of the tournament up until this stage.The 32-year-old, full name Néstor Fernando Muslera Micol, has excelled so far and has contributed to his team winning their group without having conceded a single goal in the process.

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World Cup Weekly Preview


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

Defensive duo vital for Uruguay’s hopes


The opening round of games in the 2018 World Cup has been riddled with shock results, and smaller sides gaining results against more esteemed opponents.

The desire for all sides that are finding their way in Russia, is to establish a level of consistency in their play, and approach to group matches.

Despite not exactly setting the world alight with their attacking play against Egypt, Uruguay did set a template for defending, better than any side in the tournament.

Much of the outside focus for Uruguay has been on their front pairing of Luis Suarez  and Edison Cavani, but neither player enjoyed their finest moments in a Uruguay shirt against a Mo Salah-less Egypt.

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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

Uruguay unimpressive in last-gasp victory over Egypt


For the first time since 1970, Uruguay grabbed a victory in their opening World Cup match after the late heroics of Atletico Madrid man José Giménez, whose towering header over Egypt’s Ahmed Hegazi gifted his side a last-gasp three points. The victory was crucial for La Celeste after Russia rolled over Saudi Arabia yesterday evening Continue reading