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Bale, Ozil & Lloris Miss out as FIFPro Reveal World XI Nominees

FIFPro world XI

Gareth Bale and Mesut Ozil were absent as FIFPro revealed their list of nominees for this year’s World XI.

Sergio Aguero and Roberto Firmino were also absent as the 55 candidates for the best team of the last year were all revealed on Monday.

Bale, 29, helped Real Madrid win a third consecutive Champions League crown, scoring twice in the final against Liverpool in May.


READ ALSO – BREAKING!!! Messi, Mbappe, Ronaldo & Others Nominated For FIFA BEST Player Of The Year Award


However, the Wales star missed out on making the candidates list alongside Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who captained France to World Cup glory.


READ ALSO – Neymar Finally Speaks On Diving Accusations At World Cup


Bale was also not included on the shortlist for UEFA’s Goal of the Season award despite his wonderful bicycle kick against Liverpool.

FIFPRO world XI

Ozil, on the other hand, helped Arsenal reach the Carabao Cup final and also the Europa League semi-finals in 2017-18, but the playmaker was still snubbed by FIFPro.


READ ALSO – Manchester United Finally Identify The Manager To Replace Jose MOURINHO (Read Details)


Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and Liverpool ace Roberto Firmino were both in fine form last season yet missed out on making the forwards category.

And England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford also missed the goalkeeper’s list despite playing a key role in helping the Three Lions reach the World Cup semi-finals.


READ ALSO – World Cup!!! Messi Breaks Maradona’s Record In Argentina Lucky Win Over Nigeria


The team is voted for by over 25,000 professional footballers from 65 countries around the world, with the full side set to be revealed at FIFA’s The Best Awards night on September 24, with the formation listed as 4-3-3.

Full list:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus, PSG, Italy) Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea, Real Madrid, Belgium), David De Gea (Man Utd, Spain), Keylor Navas (Real Madrid, Costa Rica), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona, Germany).

Defenders: Jordi Alba (Barcelona, Spain), Dani Alves (PSG, Brazil), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid, Spain), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus, Italy), Virgil van Dijk (Southampton, Liverpool, Netherlands), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid, Uruguay), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich, Germany), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich, Germany), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool, Croatia), Marcelo (Real Madrid, Brazil), Yerry Mina (Barcelona, Everton, Colombia), Benjamin Pavard (France, Stuttgart), Gerard Pique (Barcelona, Spain), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid, Spain), Thiago Silva (PSG, Brazil), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham, England), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona, France), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid, France), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid, Inter, Croatia), Kyle Walker (Man City, England).

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona, Spain), Casemiro (Real Madrid, Brazil), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool, Barcelona, Brazil), Kevin De Bruyne (Man City, Belgium), Eden Hazard (Chelsea, Belgium), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona, Vissel Kobe, Spain), Isco (Real Madrid, Spain), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea, France), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid, Germany), Nemanja Matic (Man Utd, Serbia), Luka Modric (Real Madrid, Croatia), Paul Pogba (Man Utd, France), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona, Croatia), David Silva (Man City, Spain), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Chile).

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid, France), Edinson Cavani (PSG, Uruguay), Paulo Dybala (Juventus, Argentina), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid, France), Harry Kane (Tottenham, England),Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, Poland), Romelu Lukaku (Man Utd, Belgium), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus, Croatia), Sadio Mane (Liverpool, Senegal), Kylian Mbappe (PSG, France), Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Argentina), Neymar (PSG, Brazil), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, Juventus, Portugal), Mohammed Salah (Liverpool, Egypt), Luis Suarez (Barcelona, Uruguay).

Premier League Player of the Month

BREAKING: Premier League Player Of The Month For August Announced

Premier League Player Month

Lucas Moura has won the Premier League Player of the Month award for August after a string of fine performances for Tottenham.

Moura, who has been given a run in the Spurs team under Mauricio Pochettino with Heung-Min Son on international duty with South Korea, has enjoyed his finest spell at the club since joining from Paris Saint-Germain in January.


READ ALSO – Download Highlight: Tottenham 4 vs 1 Liverpool || EPL Goals & Highlights 22/10/2017


The 26-year-old scored his first Premier League goal in Spurs’ 3-1 win over Fulham, and then put in a man-of-the-match performance as Pochettino’s side won 3-0 at Manchester United on Monday Night Football.


READ ALSO – Download Highlight – Manchester City 5 vs 1 Leicester || EPL Goals & Highlights 10/02/2018 HD


Moura scored twice in that game, and has now given Pochettino a selection headache for when Son returns to the squad following international duty.

Premier League Player Month

Moura’s Spurs take on Liverpool at Wembley after the international break, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 12.30pm on Saturday, September 15.


READ ALSO – Download Video: Arsenal 5 vs 1 Everton || EPL Goals & Highlights – 03/02/2018


In the other August awards, Watford’s Javi Gracia picked up Manager of the Month, while Jean Michael Seri won Goal of the Month for his fine strike for Fulham in their 4-2 home win over Crystal Palace.

Liverpool 1 – 0 Brighton & Hove Albion || Premier League Highlights

Download Highlight: Liverpool 1 – 0 Brighton & Hove Albion || Premier League Highlights (25/08/2018)

Liverpool 1 – 0 Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League Highlights

Liverpool 1 – 0 Brighton & Hove Albion || Premier League Highlights (25/08/2018)

Liverpool maintained their 100 per cent record in the early weeks of the Premier League season thanks to Saturday’s 1-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Liverpool 1 – 0 Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League Highlights

Mohamed Salah, the Golden Boot winner last term, scored the only goal of the game midway through the first half to net his second of the new campaign – a precise curling finish from Roberto Firmino’s assist.


READ ALSO: Download Highlight: Liverpool 1-1 Everton || EPL Goals & Highlight 10/12/2017


Firmino had already been superbly denied by Mat Ryan by that stage, but the Australian was not given the thorough examination he might have expected at Anfield.

Watch below!

DOWNLOAD HIGHLIGHT HERE

Download arsenal vs west ham premier league highlights

Download Highlight: Arsenal 3 – 1 West Ham United [Premier League] Highlights || 25/08/2018

Download arsenal vs west ham premier league highlights

Download Highlight: Arsenal 3 – 1 West Ham United [Premier League] Highlights || 25/08/2018

Unai Emery claimed his first win in charge of Arsenal as Issa Diop’s own goal and a stoppage-time Danny Welbeck strike secured a 3-1 Premier League victory over West Ham at Emirates Stadium.


READ ALSO: Download Video: Arsenal 5 vs 1 Everton || EPL Goals & Highlights – 03/02/2018


Marko Arnautovic gave the visitors a 25th-minute lead, with Nacho Monreal restoring parity five minutes later.

Download arsenal vs west ham premier league highlights

 

An entertaining and error-strewn contest continued to flow from end to end but an injury to Arnautovic robbed West Ham of their prime attacking threat before Diop erred.

Watch below!!!

DOWNLOAD HIGHLIGHT HERE

Sarri - More To Come From Chelsea after Delighted 3 : 0 Result against Huddersfield

Sarri – More To Come From Chelsea after Delighted 3 : 0 Result against Huddersfield

Sarri - More To Come From Chelsea after Delighted 3 : 0 Result against Huddersfield

Sarri – More To Come From Chelsea after Delighted 3 : 0 Result against Huddersfield

Maurizio Sarri insists there is still more to come from Chelsea following their 3-0 win at Huddersfield on the opening weekend of the Premier League.

 

Chelsea had to dig deep early on against Huddersfield but went in at the break with a two-goal cushion thanks to N’Golo Kante and summer signing Jorginho.

 

Pedro wrapped up a 3-0 opening-day win after Eden Hazard came off the bench as Sarri’s men made a confident start to the campaign, looking far stronger compared to last weekend’s Community Shield loss to Manchester City.

 

“I’m very happy for the three points,” Sarri told Sky Sports. “For us, in this first part of the championship it’s not very easy to gain points. I think in this moment we are not at the top of our potential.

 

“The first half was hard. If you look at the result, you can think about an easy game, but in the first half we were in trouble for 15 minutes against a very physical team.

 

“We are not a physical team and I think the best of the game is the capacity of suffering for 15 minutes. Then I think in the second half the opponents were a bit tired and it was easier.”

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Ex Gunners Star Jack Wilshere Reveals Why Arsenal SACKED Arsene Wenger (See Details)

Ex Gunners Star Jack Wilshere Reveals Why Arsenal SACKED Arsene Wenger (See Details)

Ex Gunners Star Jack Wilshere Reveals Why Arsenal SACKED Arsene Wenger (See Details)

Former Arsenal midfielder, Jack Wilshere, has claimed that the club decided to sack Arsene Wenger as manager, after 22 years in charge.

Wenger announced that he was stepping down in May this year, with few games of last season left.

The club at the time insisted the decision was mutual and staged a memorable farewell for the Frenchman.

But Wilshere, who left for West Ham this summer, insists that Wenger was fired.

Wilshere was in the final year of his contract at the Emirates, when Unai Emery was appointed as the new boss and quickly told him he would not feature regularly.

“They finally offered me a deal in January which I was ready to sign and then Arsene got sacked.

“It was strange, everyone was just shocked,” the England international told Sky Sports.

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Wizkid, Tiwa Savage Feature Alongside Coutinho, Neymar In New Nike Advert (Watch Video)

Wizkid, Tiwa Savage Feature Alongside Coutinho, Neymar In New Nike Advert (Watch Video)

Wizkid, Tiwa Savage Feature Alongside Coutinho, Neymar In New Nike Advert (Watch Video)

Wizkid, Tiwa Savage Feature Alongside Coutinho, Neymar In New Nike Advert (Watch Video)

Conquering the global music market is one great thing, breaking into the world of football is even greater. Our very own Starboy Wizkid has once again broken another record. Wizkid, Tiwa Savage and music producer, Mutay all appear in Nike Football’s “Awaken the Phantom” advert.


Download Video: Starboy – “Soco” ft. Wizkid x Terri x Spotless x Ceeza Milli



The new promotional video, had a couple of big football stars like Barcelona’s Coutinho and world most expensive football player, Neymar. Also appearing in the clip were legendary footballers, Ronaldinho and Adre Pirlo.

This is by far a big achievement as our finest diva and superstar now roll shoulder to shoulder with football’s biggest stars.

Watch the promo clip below.

BREAKING NEWS!! Mbappe, Ronaldo & Others Nominated For FIFA BEST Player Of The Year Award

BREAKING!!! Messi, Mbappe, Ronaldo & Others Nominated For FIFA BEST Player Of The Year Award

BREAKING!!! Messi, Mbappe, Ronaldo & Others Nominated For FIFA BEST Player Of The Year Award

BREAKING!!! Messi, Mbappe, Ronaldo & Others Nominated For FIFA BEST Player Of The Year Award

Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah are among the nominees for FIFA’s The Best Men’s Player of the Year award for 2018.

World Cup winners Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane join international team-mate Mbappe on the list, while Golden Boot winner in Russia Harry Kane is also included.

Salah, meanwhile, is rewarded for an incredible season at club level with Liverpool, with the 26-year-old having scored 32 goals in 36 league appearances to help the Reds finish fourth in the table.

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric also makes the final 10 as he claimed Champions League glory, the club’s third in a row, and played a pivotal role in Croatia’s run to the World Cup final.

BREAKING!!! Messi, Mbappe, Ronaldo & Others Nominated For FIFA BEST Player Of The Year Award

See The Full Nominees Below;

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid >> Juventus)

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Antoine Griezmann (Atl Madrid)

Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Raphael Varane (Real Madrid).

Note That This List Will Eventually Be Skinned To three (3) top players.

Ozil Quits Germany National Team, Citing Racism and Disrespect

Ozil Quits Germany National Team, Citing Racism and Disrespect

Ozil Quits Germany National Team, Citing Racism and Disrespect

Ozil Quits Germany National Team, Citing Racism and Disrespect

Germany’s Mesut Ozil announced his retirement from international football Sunday at the age of 29, citing racism and lashing out at the president of the German football federation.

The Arsenal midfielder will not add to his 92 caps, 23 goals and 40 assists for his country following political tensions regarding his Turkish roots and being dropped from the starting XI during this summer’s World Cup as the defending champions crashed out in the group stage.

Ozil was heavily criticised in Germany for his meeting with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May, when he and Ilkay Gundogan posed for a photo with the Turkish president during his visit to London.

The Arsenal midfielder finally broke his silence on the issue Sunday by posting a lengthy statement on social media insisting that he had done nothing wrong, before finally concluding that he was done playing for the German national team.

Ozil Quits Germany National Team, Citing Racism and Disrespect

“It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events, I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect,” he wrote. “I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don’t.”

Born in Gelsenkirchen to Turkish parents, Ozil opted to play for Germany in November 2006 when invited by Turkey’s FA to take part in a friendly against Italy, saying that he did “not plan to take on Turkish citizenship.”

Ozil became a key player for Germany’s golden generation, starting by winning the 2009 Under-21 European Championships, as Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Sami Khedira, Benedikt Howedes and Ozil became a core group in the senior team that went on to win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Ozil made his senior debut for Germany in February 2009 and went on to become one of the stars of a revived German side at the 2010 World Cup, as the team finished third, starting in every match in South Africa.

He would then start in every game at a major tournament until Germany’s 2-1 win against Sweden at the 2018 World Cup, which came after a 1-0 defeat to Mexico in the opening game, amid the ongoing row over his willingness to integrate into German society.

While Gundogan had explained his part in the Erdogan photograph in the lead-up to the World Cup, Ozil opted to remain silent on the issue, leading to political turmoil. The German football federation (DFB) has said the meeting was ill-advised, and Ozil’s performances at the World Cup were also heavily scrutinised in the wake of the controversy.

And Ozil on Sunday defended his part in the photo, saying it wasn’t about politics but about respecting the office of the presidency, adding that he believed his critics used the photo “as an opportunity to express their previously hidden racist tendencies.”

“I’m aware that the picture of us caused a huge response in German media, and whilst some people may accuse me of lying or being deceitful, the picture we took had no political intensions,” Ozil wrote. “For me, having a picture with President Erdogan wasn’t about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family’s country.”

Earlier this month, the head of the German football federation, Reinhard Grindel, had said Ozil owed fans an explanation for his actions when he returned from his post-World Cup holiday. Ozil’s statement was posted as Arsenal were preparing to fly to Singapore for a preseason tour, with Ozil having joined up with the squad just in time for the trip.

Ozil said the “mistreatment from the DFB, and in particular” Grindel was the issue that “frustrated” him the most. He accused Grindel of being “far more interested in speaking of his own political views and belittling my opinion” and said the federation turned him into “political propaganda.”

“I will no longer stand for being a scapegoat for his incompetence and inability to do his job properly,” Ozil wrote. “I know that [Grindel] wanted me out the team after the picture, and publicised his view on Twitter without any thinking or consultation, but [coach] Joachim Low and [director] Oliver Bierhoff stood up for me and backed me.

“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose.”

Ozil also criticised Grindel’s past record as a member of Germany’s Parliament, concluding: “People with racially discriminative backgrounds should not be allowed to work in the largest football federation in the world that has many players from dual-heritage families.”

Ozil went on to list a number of honours he received for contributing to German society, and questioned why the public appeared reluctant to accept him.

“Are there criteria for being fully German that I do not fit?” he asked. “My friend Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose are never referred to as German-Polish, so why am I German-Turkish? Is it because it is Turkey? Is it because I’m a Muslim?”

 

In an earlier statement, Ozil said “the past couple of weeks have given me time to reflect” on the situation — adding that having been born in Germany to a Turkish family means that “I have two hearts, one German and one Turkish.”

And he explained that his mother taught him as a child to “never forget where I came from.”

“Although the German media have portrayed something different, the truth is that not meeting with the President would have been disrespecting the roots of my ancestors, who I know would be proud of where I am today,” his statement said. “For me it didn’t matter who was President, it mattered that it was the President.

“Having respect for political office is a view that I’m sure both the Queen and Prime Minister Theresa May share when they too hosted Erdogan in London. Whether it had been the Turkish or the German President, my actions would have been no different.”

Ozil went on to highlight the charity work he did while in Russia, which included paying for surgeries for 23 children — a similar venture to one he undertook in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup.

He also said several of his commercial partners abandoned him during the media storm, including an unnamed charitable partner and his former school in Gelsenkirchen, who cancelled an event he was set to attend before the World Cup.

He also criticised Mercedes, which has a long-standing sponsorship deal with Ozil and the German football federation. The statement didn’t mention the car-maker by name but made a scathing reference to the German government ordering the company to recall more than 200,000 vehicles because of unathorised software devices.

“I was renounced by another partner,” Ozil wrote. “As they are also a sponsor of the DFB, I was asked to take part in promotional videos for the World Cup. Yet after my picture with President Erdogan, they took me out of the campaigns and cancelled all promotional activities that were scheduled. For them, it was no longer good to be seen with me, and called the situation ‘crisis management.’

“This is all ironic because a German Ministry declared their products have illegal and unauthorized software devices in them, which puts customers at risk. … Am I right in thinking this is worse than a picture with the President of my family’s country? What does the DFB have to say about all this.”

Neymar Finally Speaks On Diving Accusations At World Cup

Neymar Finally Speaks On Diving Accusations At World Cup

Neymar Finally Speaks On Diving Accusations At World Cup

Neymar Finally Speaks On Diving Accusations At World Cup

Brazilian and PSG Superstar, Neymar has broken his silence on the criticism directed towards him with regards to diving during the just concluded World Cup in Russia.

Neymar said that people “will never understand.”

The Paris Saint Germain star was under scrutiny at the World Cup for his over reactions to tackles.

Fans suggested that he was diving and faking pain rather than actually being fouled.

However, the former Barcelona star has fired back at critics and explained why he was often seen on the floor and on the receiving end of many fouls.

“Do you think I want to suffer tackles all of the time? No, it is painful, it hurts,” Neymar said on Instagram.

“After the games I stay back for four or five hours putting on ice, it’s complicated but if you haven’t experienced that you will never understand. I saw [the jokes], but I took them with a humour.

“Even yesterday I posted on Instagram a joke with the children about it.

“My football is to dribble, to face the opponent, I can’t stand in front of the opponent and say ‘my dear, excuse me I want to score a goal’, I can’t do that.

“I have to dribble past him, I have to try to do something and he will not allow me to go past and he will try to foul me.

“A lot of time I’m faster and lighter than other players and they tackle me, and the referee is there for that.”

Spanish Legend Iniesta Announces Retirement From International Football

Spanish Legend Iniesta Announces Retirement From International Football

Spanish Legend Iniesta Announces Retirement From International Football

Spanish Legend Iniesta Announces Retirement From International Football

Andres Iniesta has announced he has played for Spain for the last time after getting knocked out of the World Cup by Russia.

 

Fernando Hierro’s side were shocking dumped out of the competition on penalties by the unfancied hosts – having drawn 1-1 in normal time.

 

Iniesta came off the bench, having started each of Spain’s Group B fixtures against Portugal, Morocco and Iran, in the 67th minute.

 

Barcelona legend Iniesta played 131 times for his country, netting 13 times – including the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup.

 

Iniesta was also a main member of Spain’s golden generation which saw them lift the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.

Messi, Ronaldo Gear up for World Cup Knockout Phase

Messi, Ronaldo Gear up for World Cup Knockout Phase

Messi, Ronaldo Gear up for World Cup Knockout Phase

Messi, Ronaldo Gear up for World Cup Knockout Phase

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi take centre stage as the World Cup shifts into high gear at the weekend with the start of the knockout matches in the loaded top half of the draw.

 

Football heavyweights France, Argentina, Portugal and Brazil are all clustered in one section of the competition, with only Spain among recent winners in the other half.

The unbalanced nature of the knockout phase sparked debate ahead of Thursday’s England-Belgium group match — was it better to win and enter the tougher side of the draw or lose and face potentially easier fixtures down the line?

In the event, third-ranked Belgium won, adding even more firepower to the top half, while if England can get past Colombia they will fancy their chances of reaching a potential semi-final against 2010 winners Spain.

The first phase in Russia featured just one goalless draw and already a record number of penalties, with the video assistant referee (VAR) often in the spotlight.

Of the half-dozen winners of the trophy since 1970, Germany have gone home in the biggest shock of the tournament by far while Italy never even qualified for Russia.

The standout last-16 tie on paper pits France against Messi and Argentina, two teams who laboured through the group stage.

France are packed with firepower, boasting Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud, but they have failed to click so far, finding the net just three times in three matches — one of those was a penalty and another an own goal.

“A whole new competition begins now, direct elimination,” said manager Didier Deschamps. “We got what we wanted. Now the mountain looms up in front of us but we’re there and we’re aiming to get through to the next round after that.”

Five-time world player of the year Messi underlined his importance to Argentina with a sublimely taken opening goal against Nigeria but that came after his penalty miss against Iceland in a lacklustre 1-1 draw that set the tone for a disappointing campaign so far.

Ronaldo on the other hand started his tournament with a hat-trick against Spain but has slipped behind England’s Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot after seeing his penalty saved in Portugal’s 1-1 draw with Iran.

The Real Madrid star, who has four goals in Russia and looks certain to be crowned world player of the year for a sixth time, will come up against a tight Uruguay defence that did not concede a single goal in the group phase.

Aside from their watertight defence, two-time winners Uruguay boast two of the greatest goal-scorers of their generation in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.

The Uruguayans are aware that Ronaldo is not the only threat for the European champions — he is supported by younger talents such as Bernardo Silva and Goncalo Guedes.

“We will mark him with the same respect we mark everyone, despite him being a superstar,” said Sebastian Coates of Ronaldo. “You don’t prepare a match just looking at one player.”

– ‘Fair play’ debate –

Debate was still raging on over Japan’s approach to their final group game against Poland after the Asian side sneaked into the last 16 on the back of their superior disciplinary record.

The Asian side faced an angry backlash for running down the clock in the last 15 minutes even though they were losing 1-0 on Thursday, gambling that Senegal would not equalise against Columbia in the other Group H game.

Kozo Tashima, president of the Japan Football Association (JFA), insisted the team deserved a place in the knockout stage in Russia, won at the expense of the west African team by virtue of having picked up fewer yellow cards.

“It is our commitment to fair play that has got us through,” Tashima told local media after Japan moved on to face Belgium next week.

“We had fewer yellow cards so we were able to progress. It’s the result of the ‘Japan Way’ — a thorough dedication to passing football and playing in a fair manner.”

FIFA said it had no plans to change its fair play criteria.

“This is the first time (the fair play rule) has been used in a senior World Cup in this way. Obviously what we want to avoid is the drawing of lots,” Colin Smith, FIFA’s chief tournament and event officer, said Friday.

African nations are licking their wounds after Senegal’s elimination meant no team from the continent reached the tournament’s second round for the first time since 1982.

Didier Drogba, who appeared at three World Cups with Ivory Coast, said African teams had taken a “big step back” in Russia.

“Africa is going to be successful one day but we need to think again how we approach these big competitions,” he told the BBC in his role as a TV pundit.

(AFP)

Source: PunchNg

World Cup!!! Messi Breaks Maradona’s Record In Argentina Lucky Win Over Nigeria

World Cup!!! Messi Breaks Maradona’s Record In Argentina Lucky Win Over Nigeria

World Cup!!! Messi Breaks Maradona’s Record In Argentina Lucky Win Over Nigeria

World Cup!!! Messi Breaks Maradona’s Record In Argentina Lucky Win Over Nigeria

Lionel Messi scored his first goal of the 2018 World Cup against Nigeria on Tuesday as La Albiceleste booked their place in the last 16 of the competition.

 

It was yet another landmark strike for Messi as he bagged the 100th goal of the competition in Saint Petersburg.

 

He also surpassed a Diego Maradona record during the win over Nigeria, as shown by OptaCan Tweet below:

Next up for Messi is a clash with France which will see him take on Barcelona team-mates Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele…

Mikel Reveals what Ref told him after not giving Rojo handball - it's very interesting

Mikel Reveals what Ref told him after not giving Rojo handball – it’s very interesting

Mikel Reveals what Ref told him after not giving Rojo handball - it's very interesting

Mikel Reveals what Ref told him after not giving Rojo handball – it’s very interesting

There was more drama in the World Cup on Tuesday in Group D.

Croatia had already qualified going into the final game of the group, but who joined them in the last-16 was unclear.

Nigeria were in pole position to progress, while Iceland and Argentina both needed victories to keep their hopes alive.

The Super Eagles, however, needed to see off Lionel Messi and Argentina to progress.

The African outfit put in a spirited performance and, with Iceland losing, looked as if they would secure their spot in the knockout rounds.

But barely four minutes from time, Marcos Rojo struck home a brilliant volley with his weak foot to make it 2-1 and break Nigerian hearts.

It was a fantastic performance from Nigeria, and they may have reason to feel hard done by.

The ball appeared to strike Marcos Rojo in the box in the second half with the score level at 1-1.

After consultation with VAR, the referee, Cuneyt Cakir, waved away Nigeria’s appeals.

It was then Rojo who broke their hearts as he struck home ten minutes later.

The ball did strike Rojo’s arm, but whether it was intentional or not is up to debate.

Watch the incident here:

Regardless, Mikel has revealed what Cakir told him about the penalty decision, and it makes for very interesting reading.

Mikel said after the game: “It was a clear penalty for me.

“If you look at the Portugal game yesterday, this wasn’t close to that. This was worse. We have seen it again in the dressing room. It was a clear handball.

“The referee looked at the VAR. He said it hit the hand. I asked why he didn’t give the penalty, but he said he didn’t know.”

Very interesting.

So according to Mikel, the referee acknowledged the ball hit Rojo’s hand, but he could not offer an explanation as to why he did not award a penalty.

Mikel Reveals what Ref told him after not giving Rojo handball - it's very interesting

That does sound a bit odd.

Cakir may have more questions to answer to about the incident in the near future.

Mikel added he was proud of how his team played.

“We did everything we could,” he conceded.

“In the second half we pushed and pushed. It just wasn’t to be. It’s a young team and in four years most of them will be ready for this tournament.

“I’m very proud of the boys and what we have achieved. I think we have done really well. We have to keep going.”

FIFA May Ban Switzerland Duo Xhaka & Shaqiri For Doing This At The World Cup

FIFA May Ban Switzerland Duo Xhaka & Shaqiri For Doing This At The World Cup

FIFA May Ban Switzerland Duo Xhaka & Shaqiri For Doing This At The World Cup

FIFA May Ban Switzerland Duo Xhaka & Shaqiri For Doing This At The World Cup

FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Switzerland players Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, over their goal celebrations during Friday’s 2-1 win over Serbia at the 2018 World Cup.

Both players, who are ethnic Albanians and of Kosovar heritage, celebrated after scoring with a gesture, which appeared to imitate the eagle displayed on Albania’s flag.

Serbia does not recognise the independence of its former province Kosovo, which broke away 10 years ago and whose 1.8 million people are mostly ethnic Albanians.

The players denied that their celebration was political, though Xhaka acknowledged thinking about his heritage.

“For me it was a really special day.

“This is a victory for my family, for Switzerland, Albania, Kosovo. The gesture was for everyone who has supported me; it was not aimed at our opponents. It was a really emotional game.”

Shaqiri, who also wore the image a Kosovo flag on his boot, said: “It’s nothing to do with politics, it’s about football.”

FIFA said it had also opened proceedings against the Serbian FA, for crowd disturbance and the display of political and offensive messages by Serbian fans.

Transfer Updates!!! Atletico Madrid Star Griezmann Finally Announces Decision On Future

Transfer Updates!!! Atletico Madrid Star Griezmann Finally Announces Decision On Future

Transfer Updates!!! Atletico Madrid Star Griezmann Finally Announces Decision On Future

Transfer Updates!!! Atletico Madrid Star Griezmann Finally Announces Decision On Future

Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann has confirmed he will stay at the club despite interest from Barcelona, revealing his decision in a lavish video documentary.

The France international’s future had been the subject of fierce speculation in recent weeks.

Griezmann had been continually linked with a move to Catalunya, while he kept a tight silence on the subject throughout France’s World Cup preparations.

But on Thursday he finally spoke out in a bizarre production to reveal his future lies at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The player spoke to his father and brother in the documentary screened by Movistar as they gave him advice on his next move.

He also stroked his horses and played basketball with his sibling as the tension built ahead of his final decision.

“My fans, my team, my home,” he finally exclaimed in a message that was also released simultaneously on his Twitter page and shared by his relieved club.

“I have decided to stay,” said Griezmann.

“They are doing everything they can to keep Atletico growing and so that they can play the Champions League final, hopefully at home [in 2019].

“They are making an effort to bring top players. This is going to make a difference.”

 

Updates!!! Manchester United Finally Identify The Manager To Replace Jose MOURINHO (Read Details)

Updates!!! Manchester United Finally Identify The Manager To Replace Jose MOURINHO (Read Details)

Updates!!! Manchester United Finally Identify The Manager To Replace Jose MOURINHO (Read Details)

Updates!!! Manchester United Finally Identify The Manager To Replace Jose MOURINHO (Read Details)

Manchester United have identified Juventus manager, Massimiliano Allegri as a possible replacement for Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho recently signed a new contract with United but report last week claimed that top figures at Old Trafford are questioning the former Chelsea boss’ approach in the wake of the club’s Champions League exit to Sevilla.

There are also claims that United’s hierarchy are unhappy with Mourinho’s treatment of England defender, Luke Shaw after substituting the left-back at half-time in the 2-0 win over Brighton on Saturday.

Mourinho also publicly criticised Shaw’s performance at Old Trafford, and United’s board are now concerned that the Portuguese’s handling of the 22-year-old will lower his transfer fee.

A top official at Old Trafford told Corriere dello Sport, that the club are keeping tabs on Allegri’s situation and look at the 50-year-old’s achievements with ‘interest and admiration.’

The report also claimed that the Italian is attracting interest from Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

Allegri, however, has a contract with Juventus until 2020.

Transfer News! Ibrahimovic Leaves Manchester United For This Club (Read Details)

Transfer News! Ibrahimovic Leaves Manchester United For This Club (Read Details)

Transfer News! Ibrahimovic Leaves Manchester United For This Club (Read Details)

Transfer News! Ibrahimovic Leaves Manchester United For This Club (Read Details)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has played his last game for Manchester United, after signing a two-year deal with LA Galaxy.

According to ESPN, the MLS club will pay Ibrahimovic $3million total using targeted allocation money.

The 36-year-old will not be a designated player, with LA already using its three allotted slots for highly paid players on Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan dos Santos and Romain Alessandrini.

The deal is expected to be announced by the end of the week.

Ibrahimovic could make his debut on March 31 in his new club’s first-ever game against MLS expansion team LAFC.

The Swedish striker joined United from Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in 2016, but has not played since aggravating a knee injury against Burnley on December 26.

He has four months left on his current contract, but has been allowed to leave the club as a free agent.

UCL!!! See Why French Club PSG Has Been Hit With A UEFA Ban

UCL!!! See Why French Club PSG Has Been Hit With A UEFA Ban

UCL!!! See Why French Club PSG Has Been Hit With A UEFA Ban

UCL!!! See Why French Club PSG Has Been Hit With A UEFA Ban

Paris Saint-Germain must close part of their stadium at the next Champions League game they host, as punishment for fans lighting flares and fireworks during their 2-1 loss to Real Madrid earlier this month.

UEFA says its disciplinary panel has ordered the north end of the Parc des Princes to be closed.

PSG have already qualified for next season’s Champions League and their next home game in the competition is likely to be in September in the group stage.

The Ligue 1 leaders must also pay a €43,000 fine.

PSG remain under a separate UEFA investigation for possible violations of financial fair play rules, with a decision in that case expected before June.

Injured Busquets a doubt for Champions League quarter-final (Click to Read)

Injured Busquets a doubt for Champions League quarter-final (Click to Read)

Injured Busquets a doubt for Champions League quarter-final (Click to Read)

Injured Busquets a doubt for Champions League quarter-final (Click to Read)

Sergio Busquets is a doubt for Barcelona’s Champions League quarter-final first leg after being ruled out for approximately three weeks with a fractured toe.

The Spain international was injured during the second half of Barca’s 3-0 defeat of Chelsea on Wednesday, which sealed a 4-1 aggregate victory in the last 16.

Busquets was replaced by Andre Gomes shortly after the hour mark at Camp Nou and was subsequently sent for tests, with Barca confirming the defensive midfielder has suffered a fracture to “the phalanx of the fifth toe of his right foot”.

It means Busquets faces a fitness battle ahead of the first leg of the Champions League quarters, which take place on April 3 and 4, while it will also rule him out Spain’s internationals against Germany and Argentina this month.

Barca remain on course for a treble this season, having opened up an eight-point lead at the top of LaLiga and reached the Copa del Rey final against Sevilla next month.

Source: Goal.com