Some of the Biggest Disappointments in World Cup 2018

The 2018 FIFA World Cup left us with so many great memories to cherish. Some soccer fans even think that this is the best World Cup so far.

Whilst it’s an overall successful and exciting tournament, there was no tournament in the history of World Cup that is void with disappointments or down moments. There may have been a lot of moment where we are left astonished or impressed, but let us not forget those moments when we almost smashed our TV screen in disbelief or anger. Those moments when you question all the Gods in sports heaven why the heck a certain player or coach did that.

Below are some of the biggest disappointing moments in the most recent World Cup 2018.

  1.   The Epidemic of Own Goal

The tournament so far has been marked by an unprecedented spike in own goals. The opening round of the World Cup has been loaded with upsets and own goals, with the latter having a high frequency that it may set a new tournament record.

Senegal pulled off a victory over Poland and Polish own goal early in the match is partially responsible for this. It was already the fourth of the World Cup though that owns goal was more of a deflection rather than a mistake from a defender.

There is no fun in own goals – they are awkward, embarrassing and often low-quality. The teams doing this are not obviously picky about things but the fans who are watching can be.

Click here to know more about the number of own goals in the World Cup 2018.

  1.   CONMEBOL

The South American Football Confederation is packed with two traditional powerhouses in Argentina and Brazil plus a 2014 quarterfinalist in Colombia. They have five teams in the tournament; however it’s disappointing that they only have three wins thus far. Two of these winnings can be credited to Uruguay but they did not have to fight hard because their opposition was inferior. Third is Brazil’s late show against Costa Rica on Friday.

Argentina has yet to win a game and Peru is out of contention for the knockout rounds with a game to spare. South American confederation has work to do if they want things to turn around.

  1.   Goals from Open Play

Just as own goals were so prevalent, so do goals from set pieces too. As of June 19, out of the 38 goals in the tournament, 15 of them are from free kicks, penalties or corners.

It may not be a bad thing totally, but it could be an indication that teams are having a difficult time creating chances in open play and putting attacks together. Though there is a slight improvement but a total turn around would make things at least a little easier on the eyes.

  1.   Neymar

Neymar is one of the most popular names in the world of soccer. He is even considered as one of the greatest player. But based on the analysis of thaicasino88.com his performance in the most recent World Cup failed to meet the expectation of many spectators.

Sure, we don’t dismiss his score when Brazil beat Costa Rica but it was long overdue. He was incessantly fouled and never really got going in the tournament opener against Switzerland. We should not totally blame him for this incident but nuances like these don’t really matter.

People were expecting Neymar to lead a talented Brazilian squad to a World Cup but sadly that did not happen.

  1.   Germany

The German story may be one of the few World Cup disaster stories.

They won the competition in 2014 and breezed through qualification with a perfect record; they had certainly a strong arrival in Russia. A do-or-die game was set up against South Korea with a tense 2-1 victory against Sweden and 1-0 loss to Mexico. It was rather a death game when they slumped to 2-0 loss against South Koreans, matching their dire record of a first-round exit set in 1938.

Germany’s woes were an early sign that the 2018 World Cup was going to be the traditional powerhouses of football. Germany never lost to an Asian side before losing to South Korea. Their loss against Mexico was the first opening game loss since 1982 for Die Mannschaft.

It was never a surprise for German fans though that their team crashed out so early in the tournament. France (2002), Italy (2010), and Spain (2014) did not succeed in escaping their groups after winning the preceding competition.

  1.   Argentina

The cruise of Argentina in this World Cup tournament was turbulent. They were widely perceived to be the favorites after they finished as runners-up to Germany in 2014. They had an enviable squad just like Spain and there were plenty of motivation ahead of their opening match.

La Albiceleste were in damage control after 3-0 loss to Croatia and a 1-1 draw with Iceland. After these two games, it’s a must that they win the final group stage clash against Nigeria. And they were able to do so, much to the delight of their supporters. However, the joy did not last that long as they squared up against eventual winners France in the next round.

It was a classic World Cup outing in the end, ending 4-3 to the French after heroic performances from Benjamin Pavard and Kylian Mbappé. Supporters of Argentina take comfort in the fact that France was undoubtedly the hardest teams to play in the knockout rounds. It does not change the fact though that Argentina came up short in this competition.

  1.   Spain

There is no doubt that Spain needs to be labeled as disappointing. It was clear that the golden era of Spanish football has ended, as evident with their opening clash to the depths of extra time against Russia. La Furia Roja appeared sluggish and dull which is so far if you compare with his Euro 2008 performance.

The national team of Spain is still filled of promising athletes though. The likes of Sergio Ramos and David de Gea are constant favorites in international tournaments. The faith in Spain that they can reinvigorate themselves is never lost, as long as they can adopt a more modern approach to the game.

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FIFA Best Player 2018 Nominees

We may have just concluded the FIFA World Cup 2018 but football fans all over the world are now looking forward on who will make it to the FIFA’s ‘The Best’. Last year, we witnessed how Lionel Messi beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar won his second award.

Since FIFA released their list of nominees, everyone has their own pick to vie for. Did your favorite player make it to the list of nominees? Will he get the award that most athletes are coveted of?

Below is the list of nominees and see how they stand in winning the title.

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid / Portugal)

 

There is no doubt this Portuguese forward has ruled the Champions League. Ronaldo was the Champions League’s top goal scorer with 15 goals and Real Madrid won their fourth title in five seasons. Having a Champions League trophy on your hand will make you a world class player. Now imagine how legendary Ronaldo was when he lifted his fifth Champions League trophy.

He made a strong impression in the 2018 World Cup when he kicked things off with a superb hat-trick against Iberian rivals Spain. Portugal may have been knocked out by a much stronger Uruguay but Ronaldo finished with four goals.

His overwhelming popularity with Real Madrid fan makes him a strong contender in winning this award yet again.

  1. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain / France)

 

Kylian Mbapp can’t be counted as a breakout star anymore, as evidence of his achievements in the past one-and-a-half years with PSG and Monaco. He had proven during the World Cup tournament that he’s here to stay and that he has international appeal.

It’s a big deal to be compared to the legendary Pele at such a young age but he has already been recognized as mirroring the career path of the Brazilian legend. Mbappe is following the lead of Pele as the first teenager to win the World Cup. Just as Pele, he also scored in the final.

He grabbed the Best Young Player award with four goals which includes the knockout punch in the final and a brace against Argentina. And let’s not forget his winning a domestic treble with PSG having scored 21 goals in the 2017/18 season.

  1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona / Argentina)

 

Lionel Messi may have bagged the best goal scorer in club football last season. Messi was a force to reckon with in La Liga, leading his team Barcelona into the championship. With his 12 assists (1st), 33 goals (1st), 174 successful dribbles (1st) and 84 chances created (1st), he sure does dominate the Spanish top flight.

A poor squad and an even poorer coach in Jorge Sampaoli disappointed his World Cup performance. Messi was successful in dragging them to the knockout stages but France was just superior in so many ways.

  1. Luka Modric (Real Madrid / Croatia)

 

If you really want to grasp Modric’s importance to Real Madrid, watch games when he is not present on the starting lineup. This European-trophy-winning machine has a strong presence in midfield.

Real Madrid is not an easy opponent, thanks to Modric’s passing range, skills on the ball and general ability to find space in crowded areas. Modric was also instrumental in making history when playing an advanced role for his country qualified for the final for the first time ever.

His goal nailed Argentina’s coffin while winning World Cup Golden Ball award can be credited to his all-round displays.

  1. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool / Egypt)

 

It seems like the Premier League record for most goals in a season can’t be broken for the longest time. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers) and Luis Suarez (Liverpool) were the closest with their 31 league goals in a season.

But then Mohamed Salah came. Given his travails at Chelsea a few years ago, not many have strong faith with this Egyptian forward. But he was on a mission to prove his doubters wrong, and sure he did.

Liverpool scored 84 goals under Jurgen Klopp, with the trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmin and Mohamed Salah working wonders. Salah walked away with the Premier League Golden Boot with 32 goals. He also led the Reds to the Champions League final with 10 goals.

  1. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid / France)

 

He may not have gone home with the Golden Boot at the World Cup but Griezmann  was undeniably one of France’s best players with his 4 goals and 2 assists.

Nonetheless, he should be proud for leading Les Bleus to their second World Cup title. He was also a driving force in their Europa League campaign with 29 goals for Atletico Madrid. He was also one of the top goalscorers in the competition with six goals having taken part only in the latter stages of the tournament.

  1. Eden Hazard (Chelsea / Belgium)

 

Hazard’s season with Chelsea may not be the best. As defending champions, the Blues failed to qualify for the Champions League and finished outside the top four.

The team was clearly declining but Hazard was the gleam in the dark. By the end of the season, the Belgian had 4 assists and 12 goals. His goal saw the London side beat Manchester United 1-0 in the final which earned him an FA Cup winner’s medal. He said goodbye to his disappointing season and led the Golden Generation to the World Cup, and it was a successful campaign for the Red Devils.

No one can complete more dribbles than Hazard did – 40 successful dribbles at 6.7 per game – both tournament highs. His performances could even lead to a Chelsea exit with Real Madrid waiting to sign the Belgian talisman.

  1. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City / Belgium)

Thanks to Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City has broken records in the Premier League.

16 assists and 18 goals helped Manchester City in racing away to the Premier League title with a record haul of 100 points.

De Bruyne was being eyed for in the Player of the Year award but a certain Egyptian forward hit the form of his life. De Bruyne’s position may have been experimented at the World Cup but he still managed to provide an impressive delivery.

Click here for the full list of nominees of The Best FIFA Football Awards.

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Real Madrid in 2018 International Champions Cup

The cat is out of the bag.

Real Madrid had just made an announcement on who makes up their squad list for the three games they will play in the United States for the International Champions Cup. The team is on their way to Miami now.

Real Madrid Squad

Goalkeepers:  Casilla, Navas, Lunin and Luca.

Defenders: Vallejo, Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Odriozola, Theo, Quezada, Reguilón, Javi Sánchez, Sergio López, León and De la fuente.

Midfielders: Llorente, Kroos,  Isco, Asensio, Odegaard, Ceballos,  Seoane, Valverde, Feuillassier and Óscar.

Forwards: Bale, Benzema, Mayoral, Lucas Vázquez, Vinicius and De Tomás.

The pre-season stages include 32 men in the list. Theo Hernandez traveled with the team but he is expected to complete his loan deal to Real Sociedad in the upcoming days.  Carvajal and Ramos will meet the squad in the United States.

Fans are looking forward on what young players like Vinicius, Odegaard, Marcos Llorente or Ceballos will bring on the table during this pre-season. There is no doubt coach Lopetegui is paying close attention to them. This list is made up of players who have been working out in Valdebebas for two weeks. Bale is unquestionably the star amongst this group and Vinicius showcasing a promising potential.

Real Madrid Kick-off US tour in Miami

Real Madrid will have their first match of the season on Tuesday and this will be held in Miami. As Coach Julen Lopetegui’s  first opening season as Madrid coach, he hopes that his team will adapt well to his coaching methods on the ICC tour.

He expects that the team will utilize these preseason matches to build their form for the European Super Cup, where they will face Atletico Madrid for the first title of the season. The match represents the first of five trophies that he will face in his opening season.

The Los Blancos boss understands how important it is that he begins his Madrid career in a positive note; he knows a fast start can facilitate a more comfortable experience after the triumphant era of Zinedine Zidane on the bench. To get his team ready, he conducts training in Madrid as opposed to Montreal and have the key players rest from the World Cup.

The litmus test of the Lopetegui era will be on August 1st against Manchester United. August 5th will also mark their game against Juventus in Washington and Roma August 7th, at 2am in New York. From the Big Apple, they will return to Madrid for a one week preparation in an effort to grab their third consecutive European Super Cup.

2018 International Champions Cup

The 2018 International Champions Cup (or ICC) is the sixth edition of a series of friendly association football matches. It started on July 20 and final game will be on August 11, 2018.

Teams

The competition is made up of a total of 18 participating teams. Announcement of the participants was made in four waves on April 10, 11, 12 and 17, 2018. On June 18, Sevilla was replaced by Lyon in the competition.

         Nation             Team
England Arsenal
England Liverpool
England Chelsea
England Manchester United
England Manchester City
England Tottenham Hotspur
France Paris Saint-Germain
France Lyon
Germany Borussia Dortmund
Germany Bayern Munich
Italy Juventus
Italy Inter Milan
Italy Roma
Italy Milan
Portugal Benfica
Spain Barcelona
Spain Atlético Madrid
Spain Real Madrid

 

Venues

The announcement for the 22 venues for the International Champions Cup was made on April 13 and 17, 2018 but the venues were later increased to 23. 15 of these venues are in the United States while 1 venue is in Singapore and 7 are in Europe.

After Sevilla had to eplaced by Lyon, matches tha due to take place in Zürich and Warsaw have been canceled and replaced by matches in Faro-Loulé and London. Also, venues for the Chelsea matches have been relocated from Solna and Gothenburg to Dublin and Nice respectively.

Below are the 23 Venues for the 2018 ICC:

United States:

  • Michigan Stadium (Ann Arbor) – Capacity: 107,601
  • AT&T Stadium (Arlington) – Capacity: 80,000
  • StubHub Center (Carson) – Capacity: 27,000
  • Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte) – Capacity: 75,525
  • Soldier Field (Chicago) – Capacity: 61,500
  • MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford) – Capacity: 82,500
  • Red Bull Arena (Harrison) – Capacity: 26,104
  • Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens) – Capacity: 64,767
  • FedExField (Landover) – Capacity: 82,000
  • S. Bank Stadium (Minneapolis) – Capacity: 66,655
  • Rose Bowl (Pasadena) – Capacity: 90,888
  • Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia) – Capacity: 69,176
  • Heinz Field (Pittsburgh) – Capacity: 69,690
  • SDCCU Stadium (San Diego) Capacity: 70,561
  • Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara) – Capacity: 68,500

Europe:

  • Aviva Stadium (Dublin) – Capacity: 51,700
  • Estádio Algarve (Faro/Loulé) – Capacity: 30,305
  • Wörthersee Stadion (Klagenfurt) – Capacity: 32,000
  • Stadio Via del Mare (Lecce) – Capacity: 40,670
  • Stamford Bridge (London) – Capacity: 41,631
  • Metropolitano Stadium (Madrid) – Capacity: 67,703
  • Allianz Riviera (Nice) – Capacity: 35,624

Singapore:

  • National Stadium (Kallang) – Capacity: 55,000

Matches

The schedule of match was initially announced on April 17, 2018 but was updated on June 18 after the replacement of Sevilla. There are a total of 27 matches, with each team playing 3 matches.

July 20, 201820:05 CDT

Manchester City vs. Borussia Dortmund

Venue: Soldier Field, Chicago

 

July 21, 201816:05 CEST

Bayern Munich vs. Paris Saint-Germain

Venue: Wörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt

 

July 22, 201816:05 EDT

Liverpool vs. Borussia Dortmund

Venue: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

 

July 25, 201819:05 EDT

Juventus vs. Bayern Munich

Venue: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia

 

July 25, 201820:05 EDT

Borussia Dortmund Germany vs. Portugal Benfica

venue: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh

 

July 25, 201820:00 EDT

Manchester City England vs. England Liverpool

Venue: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford

 

July 25, 201819:05 PDT

Roma Italy vs. England Tottenham Hotspur

Venue: SDCCU Stadium, San Diego

 

July 25, 201820:05 PDT

Milan Italy vs. England Manchester United

Venue: StubHub Center, Carson

 

July 26, 201819:35 SGT

Atlético Madrid Spain vs. England Arsenal

Venue: National Stadium, Kallang

 

July 28, 201819:35 SGT

Arsenal England vs. France Paris Saint-Germain

Venue: National Stadium, Kallang

 

July 28, 201813:05 EDT

Benfica Portugal vs. Italy Juventus

Venue: Red Bull Arena, Harrison

 

July 28, 201820:05 CEST

Chelsea England vs. Italy Inter Milan

Venue: Allianz Riviera, Nice

 

July 28, 201817:05 EDT

Manchester United England vs. England Liverpool

Venue: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor

 

July 28, 201819:05 EDT

Bayern Munich Germany vs. England Manchester City

Venue: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens

 

July 28, 201820:05 PDT

Barcelona Spain vs.England Tottenham Hotspur

Venue: Rose Bowl, Pasadena

 

July 30, 201819:35 SGT

Paris Saint-Germain France vs. Spain Atlético Madrid

Venue: National Stadium, Kallang

 

July 31, 201820:05 EDT

Manchester United England vs. Spain Real Madrid

Venue: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens

 

July 31, 201819:35 CDT

Tottenham Hotspur England vs. Italy Milan

Venue: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis

 

July 31, 201821:05 CDT

Barcelona Spain vs. Italy Roma

Venue: AT&T Stadium, Arlington

 

August 1, 201820:05 IST

Arsenal England vs. England Chelsea

Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin

 

August 1, 201821:05 WEST

Benfica Portugal vs. France Lyon

Venue: Estádio Algarve, Faro/Loulé

 

August 4, 201820:00 CEST

Inter Milan Italy vs. France Lyon

Venue: Stadio Via del Mare, Lecce

 

August 4, 201818:05 EDT

Real Madrid Spain vs. Italy Juventus

Venue: FedExField, Landover

 

August 4, 201817:05 PDT

Milan Italy vs. Spain Barcelona

Venue: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara

 

August 7, 201820:05 BST

Chelsea England vs. France Lyon

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London

 

August 7, 201820:05 EDT

Real Madrid Spain vs. Italy Roma

Venue: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford

 

August 11, 201821:05 CEST

Atlético Madrid Spain vs. Italy Inter Milan

Venue: Metropolitano Stadium, Madrid

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The 2 Biggest Football Clubs in England

Football 

When a person thinks of soccer or football the first place that usually comes to mind is England.
With some of the biggest football star names known the world over and the clubs that made their names for them.
It also has some of the biggest football clubs around.  There are a number of factors that make the football club make this list like the actual size of the club, the wealth, supporters, its history and current league standing. 

The 2 biggest football clubs in England 

#1Manchester United 

Manchester United football club is based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester in England.It plays in the Premier League and is one of the top clubs in the league.
Their nickname is the Red Devils, the club was founded in 1878 where it was originally called the Newton Heath LYR football club.  It was not until 1902 that the clubs name was changed to Manchester United.
In 1910 that club moved from its old Newton Heath location to where it is currently located in Old Trafford.
The club won the 2017 Europa League, has won 20 top English titles and 66 trophies.
They have over 16 million Twitter followers and much more of other social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook.
They have a record signing of £89m for Paul Pogba which makes it a British signing record for clubs. 

#2Liverpool 

Based at the Anfield football ground in Liverpool this club as founded on the 3rd June 1982 and has enjoyed being in the Football league for 125 years of its 126-year lifespan.
The club has won 5 European cups, 18 League titles, 3 UEFA Cups to name but a few of its outstanding achievements.
Although there have been a few major supporter tragedies in the club’s history it stands as one of the best and most formidable clubs in England.
Their nickname the Reds and they hail as one of the biggest clubs in the world football having fans from all over the globe. 

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The Top European Soccer Teams for 2018 competing for the UEFA Championship League

UEFA Champions League 

With the 2018/2019 UEFA Championship League qualifying rounds having kicked off on the 28th June 2018 fans flock to catch their favorite teams in action.
This will be the 27th season of the rebranded UEFA Championship League but the 64th season since the start of the Championships League in Europe.
The Competition proper is set to start on the 18 September 2018 in the wake of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.  With the final match set for the 1 June 2019 marking a whole new season of exciting football to see who will take the title from the reigning champions Real Madrid.
It currently ranks third in the current UEFA club rankings but is the one to watch for the upcoming season. 

The top European Soccer Teams for 2018 

Real Madrid

This Spanish football club based in Madrid has been deemed as the most successful football club of all time.   In 2010 the club was recognized as the “FIFA Club of the 20th Century and getting the “FIFA Centennial Order of Merit” in May of 2004.
The club was also awarded the “Best European Club of the 20th Century” by the IFFHS in May 2010.
They made history in May 2018 becoming the first club to win back to back Champions leagues for three consecutive years.
They are the current reigning champions of the UEFA Champions Leagues and are the club to be in the 2018/2019 Championships. 

Bayern Munich 

Based in Munich, Bavaria, Germany this football club is the most successful football club in Germany to date.  This club has gone on to win eighteen national cups and a record-breaking twenty-eight national titles, the first one being in 1932.
They have the UEFA Champions League five times as well have been the runners-up for the championship five times. 

FIFA 2018 World Cup Top 4 Players to Watch this Season

The 2018 FIFA World Cup 

With the world cup kick off on the 14th June 2018 all eyes are on soccer as the top teams from around the world get ready to fight for their place in the championship. 

FIFA 2018 World cup top 4 players to watch this season 

#1Argentina’s Lionel Messi 

Lionel Messi has been regarded as “the greatest football player of all time”.   His professional football career has been spent playing for Barcelona.  He has won five European Golden Shoes awards (which is a record) as well as four consecutive Ballon d’Or awards. He holds numerous soccer records including most official goals in La Liga.  He has scored more than 600 senior career goals for both his country and club. 

#2Portugal’s Ronaldo Cristiano 

Considered to be the worlds best player this Portuguese born forward has played for top clubs such as Manchester United and is currently playing for one of the best football clubs in the world Real Madrid.
He was the first player to ever win four Golden Shoes, ties with Messi in winning five Ballon d’Or awards and has won over twenty-six trophies in his professional career.  These trophies include One UEFA European Championship, Five UEFA Champion leagues and five league titles. 

#3Egypt’s Mohamed Salah 

 

This surprising star hails from Egypt where he started his career playing for the Egyptian premier league with his hometown club El Mokawloon.He joined Basel in Switzerland in 2010 wherein his debut game he won the league title and the SAFP Golden Player Award.He currently plays as a forward for the Liverpool Football Club and the Egyptian National team. 

#4Brazils Neymar da Silva Santos Junior 

This Brazillian born forward first came onto the professional football scene at the age of seventeen where he played for the Brazilian football club Santos. He leads Santos to two successive victories in the Campeonato Paulista championships.
He has been named “South American Football player of the year” in 2011 and again the very next year.
He joined Barcelona in 2013 where he stayed until 2017 when he moved to Paris Saint-Germain.…