GELENDZHIK, Russia — Sweden have moved on from the Zlatan Ibrahimovic era and are focusing only on the World Cup, team captain Andreas Granqvist said on Tuesday after arriving at their Black Sea coast team base. The 36-year-old Swedish icon retired from the national team after Euro 2016 but speculation lingered in the run-up to the squad announcement last month that the former Juventus, AC Milan, Barcelona and Manchester United striker could make an international comeback. "Zlatan has been the best player for Sweden for many years, but after the European Championships he said that he would finish with the international team, we respected his answer," said Granqvist in Gelendzhik after the team’s first training session. "We must focus on us, we are here now, the squad that has been selected is the one that will play," the 33-year-old Krasnodar defender said. Granqvist replaced Ibrahimovic as captain, and won the Swedish footballer of the year award in 2017, the first … [Read more...] about Post-Ibrahimovic Sweden keeps ‘focus’ on World Cup: Granqvist
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PUBLISHED: 14:54 10 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:36 10 June 2018 Lauren Hemp's parents, Julie and Kevin, and her sister Amy, in Lauren's bedroom looking through the family photo album. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Copyright: Archant 2018 As young girls Amy and Lauren Hemp loved a casual game of football in their back garden in North Walsham. Lauren Hemp aims to make her mark at Manchester City Picture: Tom Flathers/Manchester City Amy, now 20, blazed the trail with her younger sister, 17, tagging along to training to keep her company. Amy quit after twice suffering cruciate ligament damage, but Lauren, who used to play for Norwich City Ladies, made stunning progress and has just signed for Manchester City Women’s FC. Julie Hemp, the girls’ mother, said her dream had been for both to play football for England. That dream has been put on hold by Amy’s injuries. But her younger daughter is already an England youth international, and the reigning PFA … [Read more...] about Norfolk teenage football sensation signs for Manchester City
World 2018 World Cup Russians have decided to grow mustaches in a desperate bid to help their lowest-ranked national soccer team perform well in the World Cup starting in a week. Ivan Urgant, a popular late-night host, put forward the idea on his Tuesday-evening show. He suggested fans grow facial hair to support the national team’s coach Stanislav Cherchesov, who sports an iconic mustache. Stanislav Cherchesov head coach of Russia looks on prior to the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 Group A match between Russia and Portugal at Spartak Stadium on June 21, 2017 in Moscow, Russia Ian Walton/Getty Images “Everything is against him now: expectations, the weather, the laws of physics, the anatomy of certain footballers and just plain-old logic,” Urgant said, according to The Moscow Times. The host called on fans to grow “mustaches of hope” and share the images on social media. Recommended Slideshows 51 In Pictures: The 50 Most Powerful … [Read more...] about Russians Hope Growing Mustaches Will Help World Cup Chances
In hosting the World Cup, Putin is hoping to replicate the success of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. Here, the Russian president plays soccer with Infantino. ALEXEI DRUZHININ/TASS/GETTY World Vladimir Putin kept a watchful eye on a black-and-white soccer ball as it soared toward him through a spacious Kremlin office, before he deftly bumped it back with his head. On the other side of the room, Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, waited for the return pass. When it came, he flicked the ball up, juggling it from foot to foot before kicking it back to the Russian president. The two men, both dressed in suits and ties, were taking part in a promotional video for this summer’s World Cup, which Russia will host for the first time.In May, just weeks after the filming of the video, Putin and Infantino met again, this time in Sochi, on Russia’s Black Sea coastline, where they inspected the Fisht Olympic Stadium. The … [Read more...] about World Cup 2018: Will ISIS and Other Enemies Spoil Games for Putin’s Russia?
Reuters Vladimir Putin is struggling to get a summit with Donald Trump, has little hope of ending Western sanctions, and is seen in much of the West as a pariah. So hosting the World Cup this month is a welcome moment in the global limelight. Putin does not want Russians to think their country is isolated because that could undermine his narrative of Russia as an influential great power with a seat at the top table of global affairs. Russia won the right to host the "greatest show on earth" in 2010. Putin denied media allegations that Moscow had bribed its way to victory. MOSCOW (Reuters) - Vladimir Putin is struggling to get a summit with Donald Trump, has little hope of ending Western sanctions, and is seen in much of the West as a pariah. So hosting the World Cup this month is a welcome moment in the global limelight. In the Russian president's eyes, it sends a message of defiance to the world and his own people which fits his favored storyline: Russia is succeeding … [Read more...] about Russia’s World Cup shows the West can’t stop Putin from realizing his dream