FRANCE: In the four years since the last Women's World Cup in Canada, the competition and talent among female footballers has gotten stronger - and more global. The stage will be as big as ever when this year's tournament kicks off Jun 7 in Paris.In our latest ESPN FC Rank, we polled our experts to gauge which players will stand out in France.25. SHANICE VAN DE SANDENAnother from the Lyon dynasty, Shanice van de Sanden is best known for two things: her blazing speed and her trademark bright red lipstick. One of the fastest players in the women's game, Van de Sanden is an absolute handful to deal with on the right wing for opposing full-backs due to her pace and skill. A player who debuted for the Oranje at just 16, she was a key member of the Netherlands' victorious European Championship side in 2017 and will be appearing in her second World Cup this summer. Van de Sanden, now 26, has 15 goals in 63 caps for the Netherlands, but it is her ability to get in behind … [Read more...] about Who is the best player at the Women’s World Cup?
When starts world cup 2018
Sport Ireland's Sean O'Brien will miss September's Rugby World Cup after he was ruled out for six months with a hip injury, his club Leinster said on Sunday. 26 May 2019 11:40PM Bookmark DUBLIN: Ireland's Sean O'Brien will miss September's Rugby World Cup after he was ruled out for six months with a hip injury, his club Leinster said on Sunday.He is the second flanker Ireland have lost to injury for the tournament in Japan. O'Brien, who missed Saturday's PRO14 final win over Glasgow, is to undergo surgery and joins fellow backrow Dan Leavy on the sidelines after his Leinster teammate was ruled out with a serious knee injury last month.The two-time British and Irish Lions player, who featured in Ireland's last two World Cup campaigns, struggled for form in this year's Six Nations but was likely to be one of the backrow options for the tournament in Leavy's absence.Ireland badly missed Leavy's dynamism during this year's disappointing Six Nations, the 24-year-old openside … [Read more...] about Ireland flanker O’Brien out of World Cup through injury
SHANGHAI: Marcello Lippi (pix) was back as coach of China on Friday, four months after the World Cup winner quit and following a failed stint by fellow Italian Fabio Cannavaro. The 71-year-old’s return was broadly welcomed by fans and local media, who are desperate to see China reach the World Cup for only a second time. Lippi, who opted not to renew his contract after China were dumped out of the Asian Cup quarter-finals 3-0 by Iran in late January, is tasked with guiding the team to Qatar 2022. China’s only previous World Cup appearance came in 2002, when they exited without a point or scoring a goal. “Since Lippi coached the national team, they have shown a positive and tenacious fighting spirit,“ the Chinese Football Association (CFA) said. “We believe that in the days to come, under the leadership of Lippi and his coaching team, the national men’s side will make a full impact on their World Cup dreams.” China sit a lowly 74th in the FIFA … [Read more...] about ‘World Cup dreams’
SYDNEY: Before his dramatic fall from grace, Steve Smith was drawing comparisons with Australian batting icon Donald Bradman, and there are signs he is ready to pick up where he left off.Smith was the golden boy of Australian cricket until he opted to turn a blind eye to teammates Cameron Bancroft and David Warner conspiring to alter the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in early 2018.It proved catastrophic, with his career and reputation crumbling - he was banned for a year and sacked as national captain.The 29-year-old has admitted it left him devastated but he has done his time, worked hard to be in prime condition for his return and provided an ominous reminder of his sublime skills in pre-World Cup warm-up games against a New Zealand XI."Best physical condition of his life," coach Justin Langer said recently of Smith, who is also returning from elbow surgery."That was one of his goals at the start of the ban, come back in better physical shape than … [Read more...] about Cricket: Smith ready to pick up where he left off at World Cup
LONDON: The European Champions Cup has the heavyweight final it deserves on Saturday with Leinster and Saracens, the two most dominant clubs in the region with teams who would be a match for most countries in the World Cup, going head-to-head.Defending champions Leinster are seeking to become the first club to win the competition five times following their triumphs of 2009, 2011, 2012, 2018 and have the proud record of never losing in the final.Standing in their way are a Saracens team seeking their third European title in four years after wins in 2016 and 2017.The teams met at the quarter-final stage last year when Leinster triumphed but Saracens, favourites to win a fifth English Premiership crown and fourth in the last five seasons, are in fantastic form.They have won all eight of their Champions Cup matches this season. Only two teams have done that and lifted the trophy - Saracens in 2016 and Leinster last season.The Irish side have actually won 16 of their 17 tournament matches … [Read more...] about European showdown worthy of World Cup year