Germany's elimination from the World Cup at the hands of South Korea on Wednesday (June 28) would have come as a shock to football fans and even casual observers. The reigning champions, who are also the world's top-ranked team, had flown into Russia with justifiably high hopes of defending the title they so stylishly won in Brazil four years ago. Loaded with experienced stars, talented upstarts and a proven manager, Germany had appeared to be the team to beat. Yet they lost their opening game 0-1 against Mexico, before briefly reigniting hopes of a title defence thanks to Toni Kroos' last-gasp freekick winner against Sweden. Needing a convincing win against the South Koreans to advance into the last 16, Die Mannschaft ended up losing 0-2. But their fall from grace is not without precedent. Three defending champions were eliminated in the group stages of football's most prestigious tournament in the last four editions, with only Brazil bucking the trend in 2006. Here … [Read more...] about World Cup champions’ curse? Germany latest to fall victim after shock group stage elimination
Spain world cup 2014
BERLIN: Isco scored a hat-trick as Spain hammered an Argentina side without Lionel Messi 6-1 in a friendly on Tuesday (Mar 27), while Brazil defeated Germany 1-0 in their first meeting since the 2014 World Cup.Gareth Southgate's England were denied victory over Italy at Wembley after the visitors were awarded a late penalty in a 1-1 draw following consulation with the video assistant referee.Spain underlined their status as chief contenders at this year's World Cup in Russia as they extended their unbeaten run under Julen Lopetegui to 18 matches in sensational fashion in Madrid.Diego Costa bravely forced home Spain's opening goal on 12 minutes and Isco doubled the lead before Nicolas Otamendi halved the deficit prior to half-time.The absence of Messi, left out of the squad by Jorge Sampaoli despite the coach insisting on Monday that his star striker was fit, was telling as Spain dominated the South Americans in the second half.Isco bagged his second on 52 minutes and Thiago … [Read more...] about Football: World Cup hopefuls Spain crush Argentina, Brazil edge Germany
BUENOS AIRES: Argentina captain Lionel Messi admitted Monday that his generation has a score to settle at the World Cup in Russia after a series of agonising near misses in major tournaments. "The debt we owe it to ourselves, not to the people. We always give our all, we reached three finals. We haven't been far off," Messi said in an interview with Fox Sports. Argentina lost the 2014 World Cup final to Germany 1-0 after extra time and then finished runners-up at successive Copa America tournaments, losing to Chile on penalties in both 2015 and 2016. "We always take each World Cup as a big opportunity, and now more than ever because an important generation will move on, several players will change," Messi said, ahead of Tuesday's friendly against Spain in Madrid. Vice-captain Javier Mascherano has already announced he will retire from international duty after the World Cup, while Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain will all be 30 come the finals. Messi will turn 31 during … [Read more...] about Argentina have a ‘debt’ to settle at World Cup
SINGAPORE: As a member of France’s 1998 World Cup winning team, former defender Bixente Lizarazu knows first-hand his country’s failure to win the trophy for a consecutive time.The closest the French have got to the title again was their quarter-final berth in 2014, where they lost against current champions Germany.Appearing in Singapore recently to promote the Bundesliga, the Frenchman said that his countrymen currently have the best team in years to win the World Cup, which will begin in Russia in less than three months.“I would say that France are among the (top) favourites alongside Germany, Spain and Brazil. I think they can at least reach the semi-finals,” said the former Bayern Munich star, in an interview with Channel NewsAsia.“From then on ... anything can happen,” added the 48-year-old.Although some key players like Manchester United star Paul Pogba have been in stuttering form of late, Lizarazu noted how the current team has a … [Read more...] about Football: Can either Germany or France lift the 2018 World Cup?
caption Mohamed Salah. source Getty Images The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia kicks off in three months’ time and will likely be one of the most-watched sports competition on the planet. France, Brazil, and Argentina are among the favourites to win the tournament with players like Antoine Griezmann, Neymar, and Lionel Messi expected to excel. But those nations are far from reliant on just one player and it takes a team effort for a single country to lift the World Cup trophy when the competition finishes on July 15. For that reason, we’ve collected a list of one player you really need to know from every nation in the tournament. Argentina — Nicolás Otamendi. source Getty Images Position: Defender. International appearances: 51 (3 goals). We’re well aware one of the best players on the planet, Lionel Messi, plays for Argentina. As does Paulo Dybala, Sergio Agüero, and Gonzalo Higuaín. Argentina has an embarrassment of riches up … [Read more...] about The one player you need to know from every country competing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup