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Croatia’s real World Cup star? The president in the stands

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovi saw all but one game at her own expense while sporting a national team shirt She wore the team shirt and cheered as Croatia faced France in a Golden Ball award winner, Luka Modri, as well as Ivan Perii and Mario Manduki. More than 80% of the stories were positive, Mediatoolkit said, for a woman who travelled to Russia at her own expense in economy class and often watched from the non-VIP stands missing only the semi-final against England because it clashed with the Nato summit. Boris Deulovi,…

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Photographer proves a good shot after getting squashed by Croatia players

Celebrating Croatians fall on Mexican photographer Yuri Cortez, who gets a kiss on the forehead for his troubles Give their proximity to the field of play, perhaps it is a surprise it does not happen more often. But when one World Cup photographer found himself at the bottom of a Croatian pile-on during the World Cup semi-final against England, he got closer to the action than he might have imagined. At Moscows Luzhniki Stadium to record proceedings from behind his camera, Agence France-Presse snapper Yuri Cortez became part of the…

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No more tears or pain now this young England team deserve our applause | Barney Ronay

A young, unheralded bunch of players have gone further than those before who were considered more obviously talented, more golden, more authentic Leave the flags out. Have another glass. Take another look, if you can, at those moments from Kaliningrad to Moscow when this capable England team played above itself and turned a drowsy, toxic summer back home into something else. Lets not have any anguish this time. Englands four and a half weeks at the World Cup deserves a little better, even after a Colombia and against England fans…

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Brazil knocked out of World Cup by Kevin De Bruyne and brilliant Belgium

A Fernandinho own goal and Kevin De Bruynes fine strike gave Belgium a 2-1 win over Brazil in their World Cup quarter-final In years to come, when this stadium is a crumbling white elephant, they will sit in almost empty stands, hear the wind whisper across the marsh that surrounds it and believe what they hear is the ghosts of giants. In three games Kazan has claimed the winners of 11 World Cups. First Germany went, insipid against South Korea. Then, in a full-blooded epic, Kevin De Bruyne Roberto Martnez…

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Neymar hits out at campaign to undermine him after acting accusations

Brazil coach Tite tried to calm the furore over Neymars histrionics against Mexico, after the forward claimed the criticism was designed to put him off his game After another controversial match in which he was accused of diving and feigning injury, Neymar insisted the hum of talk around his behaviour was just opponents trying to put him off his game. Juan Carlos Osorio, without mentioning Neymar by name, had made clear he felt his antics and fake fouls had been responsible for Mexico losing their rhythm as, after a promising…

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World Cup 2018 power rankings: Brazil and Croatia lead the way

At the end of the group stage we rank the 32 teams at the World Cup in Russia, with Brazil top, England in 10th and Panama last 1) Brazil It is hard to shake the feeling that Brazil are the best-balanced side at this World Cup. win over Serbia and they look capable of raising things further. thumping win over Argentina. A meeting with Spain in the last eight looks likely and Zlatko Dalics side cannot be ruled out of doing something special. 3) Belgium Whether or not they really…

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Edinson Cavani sends Uruguay to World Cup last eight as Portugal bow out

Edinson Cavani scored twice to secure Uruguays path to the World Cup last eight as Cristiano Ronaldos Portugal crashed out in a 2-1 defeat Cristiano Ronaldo walked Edinson Cavani out of this game, helping the Uruguayan to the touchline, but not before Cavani scored the goals that put Portugal out of the World Cup. Cavani departed with 20 minutes remaining, slowly making his way around the edge of the pitch, limping slightly, a lost look on his face after he felt a pain in his calf that prevented him from…

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Toni Kroos brings off late miracle for Germany to stun Sweden

Germany had Jrme Boateng sent off but dramatically beat Sweden 2-1 with a goal deep in added time, when a draw would have meant them losing control of their fate Joachim Lw had been asked about the curse of world champions past. Three of the previous four World Cup winners had exited at the group phase France (2002), Italy (2010), Spain (2014) and the Germany manager knew his team stood to be the next. After the debacle that had been the defeat against Mexico in the opening Group F tie,…

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Fox replaces ESPN’s cult of British accents with maximum volume at World Cup

US viewers have a new broadcaster in charge for Russia 2018, and it looks like Fox is not afraid of a gimmick or eight No one likes to be condescended to unless youre talking about the American soccer public. That, it appears, is the core of the strategy Fox Sports is applying to its World Cup coverage. This is, of course, virgin territory for Fox, the six previous World Cups having been beamed out to American households by ESPN. In 2011, when Fox won the bidding war to show the…

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Iceland become smallest nation ever to qualify for World Cup finals

Iceland sealed their place in Russia with a 2-0 victory over Kosovo, becoming the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup finals Iceland sealed a place in Russia with a 2-0 victory against Kosovo in Reykjavik, becoming the smallest nation ever to qualify for a World Cup finals. Heimir Hallgrimssons team knew a win against Group Is bottom side would guarantee top spot and an automatic qualifying place, and Evertons Gylfi Sigurdsson settled their nerves with a superbly taken goal five minutes before half-time. Sigurdsson also set up…

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