Spain fans are gutted at the loss. But who's to blame? Spain's World Cup roller-coaster ride finally ground to a halt on Sunday and the finger-pointing began after their third consecutive failure at a major tournament. Following humiliation at the hands of the Netherlands in 2014 and a limp defeat to Italy at Euro 2016, this was perhaps the most gauling exit of all, given it came at the hands of Russia, ranked 70th in the world, just above Macedonia and El Salvador. It would be a stretch to say Russia deserved their win, with 26 per cent possession and only six attempts at goal compared with Spain's 25, but they had a plan, stuck to it, and fought to the bitter end. A 4-3 victory on penalties, after the sides were locked at 1-1 at the end of extra time, sends the hosts through to their first World Cup quarter-final since 1970. Spain's dominance will do nothing to ease the disappointment following what can now be judged … [Read more...] about Who’s to blame for Spain’s World Cup failure?
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Spain, your asymmetry is showing. Nigeria, you're so bright I need shades! Croatia, Russia's fresh out of Big Boy restaurants. No worries, though, your party duds will be just the ticket once the World Cup gets underway June 14. Those countries are among several of the more festive standouts in jerseys for the global soccer showcase, with loads of sentimental touches in the designs of the 32 teams. With millions in exposure and retail sales at stake, the World Cup kits of 2018 can be categorized, generally speaking, like this: Team Plain, Team Retro and Team Cool Kid on the Pitch. Here's how the 2018 FIFA World Cup works. (Published Monday, June 11, 2018) "We didn't used to care so much," said Roger Bennett, who is half the wacky British duo of the "Men in Blazers" soccer show on NBC Sports. "What's changed is the fusion of the World Cup and the Premier League and the Champions League and television as a global platform, and advertising, which has essentially transformed them from … [Read more...] about Nigeria’s Bright, Trippy Uniforms a Hit Among World Cup Uniforms
Spain coach Julen Lopetegui will replace Zinedine Zidane as Real Madrid coach after the 2018 World Cup, the Spanish giants said Tuesday. "Real Madrid announce that Julen Lopetegui will be the coach of the first team during the next three seasons. Julen Lopetegui will join the club after Spain's participation in the World Cup, after two years leading the national team," Real said in a statement. The announcement comes shortly after Lopetegui extended his contract as Spain coach until 2020 in a pre-World Cup boost for one of the tournament favourites. He was appointed to the role in the wake of Spain's poor showing at Euro 2016 in France when they were eliminated in the last 16. Lopetegui succeeded Vicente del Bosque, who had overseen Spain's triumphs at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, but had also been in charge for the disappointing group stage exit at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Zidane quit Real on May 31, saying he had decided to leave at the top and that it was time … [Read more...] about Lopetegui to coach Real Madrid after World Cup
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?
Matt Bonesteel, The Washington Post Published 12:29 pm, Monday, June 4, 2018 Photo: Photo For The Washington Post By Tom Peterson Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Neymar (11) and Marcelo (6) lead the Brazil World Cup roster. Neymar (11) and Marcelo (6) lead the Brazil World Cup roster. Photo: Photo For The Washington Post By Tom Peterson World Cup teams unveil their final 23-man squads 1 / 1 Back to Gallery The 32 teams set to play in this year's World Cup unveiled their official 23-man rosters on Monday. If any of these players suffer a training injury that will keep them out of the World Cup, teams have until 24 hours before their first match to name a replacement. Once tournament play begins for each team, no replacements are allowed. ARGENTINA Goalkeepers: Franco Armani, Willy Caballero, Sergio … [Read more...] about World Cup teams unveil their final 23-man squads