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World Cup

Waiting for the Messiah’s resurrection to lift La Albiceleste

From the magnitude of a penalty he missed in a third consecutive final, the Argentine super star, arguably the best player on the earth, Lionel Messi walked-off from MetLife Stadium pulling his shirt on his face after the Copa America final defeat of 2016. He would later create a seismic reaction across the football world with his decision to retire from International arena. And when prayers and appeals from millions of fans brought him back, to 2018 FIFA World Cup, whole of Argentina peeped to Russia with new hopes. But,…

The Albanian Eagles hover Switzerland- Serbia match, evoke Balkan Politics at World Cup

Emotions were at the heart of celebration in Kaliningrad, Russia during the World Cup group E match between Switzerland and Serbia on Friday night, as nationalist symbol of Albania, two-headed eagles flapped from the ground attacking the Serbian sentiments. Switzerland boarding four players with Albanian ethnic heritage, three of them from Kosovo, evoked emotions and political gestures to the ground. The unquenched  thirst throughout the first half with an early goal deficit made the Swiss, especially the Albanians…

The Iceland Fairy Tale: Fighting Ice with Fire

As the first round of Russia World Cup group stage came to an end, it's been well and truly a tournament of the unexpected. Almost all of the pre-tournament favourites failed to put up a convincing show with defending champions Germany sinking at the face of relentless Mexican waves being the most eye catching failure of the lot. But to me the standout memory was the passion of the Icelandic Vikings and their incredible defensive shutout against Argentina, with such an offensive surplus that they had to leave out Mauro…

Kerala gets her due: Malayalam Finds a place in Saudi Arabia’s popular FIFA World Cup Squad Video!

Riyadh: It was a few days back Saudi Arabia announced its final squad for the World Cup 2018. Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) took a unique manner to make the announcement, with a quirky video published through the social media which became an overnight sensation. The 2.53 minute video is an on-screen presentation of Saudi daily lives where each player name is announced under different occasions by word of mouth in airport, college, hospital, coffee shop, saloon, theatre, marriage, football pitch etc. In one…

Germany see off battling Saudi to end winless run

Munich: World champions Germany survived a late scare to see off Saudi Arabia 2-1 and end their five-game winless run in the build up to the World Cup in Russia. Germany looked to be heading for a comfortable win at Bay Arena of Bayer Leverkusen when youngster Timo Werner opened the scoring and Omar Hawsawi's own goal doubled their lead in the first half. https://twitter.com/DFB_Team_EN/status/1005211353769021443 But Saudi Arabia, who will feature in the opening match in Russia against the hosts made late comeback…

England and Portugal impress in Pre-World Cup friendlies

LEEDS: England beat Concacaf side Costo Rica 2-0 to conclude their World Cup preparations in impressive style at Elland Road in Leeds. Manager Gareth Southgate’s rotation policy proved to be effective as the Three Lions with 10 changes from Saturday's win against Nigeria at Wembley showcased some individual displays and a good team performance in their final friendly before going to Russia. Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford was excellent throughout, pressing his World Cup claims with an outstanding first-half…

Palestine score as Argentina abandon Israel friendly

Buenos Aires: Argentina has cancelled their final World Cup warm-up match with Israel, apparently under political pressure over Israel's apartheid regime and inhuman treatment of Palestinians under military occupation. Argentina’s Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain told the ESPN sports channel on Tuesday the game had been cancelled. "They've finally done the right thing," Higuain said in an interview. The Israeli Embassy in Argentina tweeted to confirm that the football friendly between the two countries has been…

Brazil fans relieved as Neymar is back with a bang

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Neymar needed only 23 minutes to reassure Brazilians that his recovery is right on track for the World Cup. Three months after undergoing surgery on his right foot, Neymar returned to action for Brazil and inspired a 2-0 win over Croatia in an international friendly that showed fans, teammates and coach Tite that he's in good shape for Russia. "Any team would be relieved having such a player back," defender Thiago Silva said after Sunday's win at Anfield. "We are a great team, but Ney has that…

Cahill and Kane on target as England beat Nigeria

London: England continued their build up to the World Cup with a hard fought victory against Nigeria at Wembley stadium on Saturday. Gareth Southgate's side swept into a two-goal lead as Gary Cahill who made his first England appearance since October headed home from a corner and captain Harry Kane scored in the first half before Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi pulled one back for the Eagles in the early second half. https://twitter.com/alexiwobi/status/1003052272727752705 Iwobi then came close to find an equalizer after…

Germany lose to Austria in Neuer comeback

A below-par performance saw World Champions Germany slump to a shock defeat against neighbours Austria. Joachim Low’s side was however boosted by a solid display by the first choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who played his first full game since September.