FIFA World Cup 2018 | Sportzwiki

FIFA World Cup 2018

The world is getting ready for yet another edition of the FIFA World Cup - one of the biggest sporting extravaganzas on the planet.

Under the governing body, Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or just FIFA, the competition has been held every four since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. 13 teams had taken part in the inaugural edition which was won by Uruguay. Since then, the competition has only grown from strength to strength.

The 21st edition of the competition will be held in Russia. The competition kickoffs on June 14 while the final will be played on July 15.  32 teams will fight it out for the holy grail of the football as the fans are looking towards another enthralling edition of the tournament which has always lived up to expectations.

Of the 32 teams taking part, 20 of those will be making back-to-back appearances, including reigning champions, Germany.  There are also some teams who are appearing in the World Cup for the very first time such as Iceland and Panama. On the other hand,  this edition would also be the first in 60 years without the participation of Italy. The four-times World Cup winners missed out this time after losing to Sweden in the qualifying playoff in November.

Hosts Russia will take on Saudi Arabia in the curtain-raiser at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Defending Champions Germany will open their campaign against Mexico on the 17th, before taking on Sweden and Korea Republic in their remaining fixtures.

Last editions' runners-up Argentina will take on Icelandbefore locking horns against  Croatia and Nigeria. Lionel Messi & Co. are one of the favourites to lift the tile.

Reigning European champions Portugal will fight it out against Spain in their first game of Group B which also consists of Morocco and Iran.

The much-awaited tournament will witness a watershed moment in the game. The upcoming edition will be the first World Cup in history to make use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

Real Madrid dominate FIFA's 2018 World XI
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Real Madrid dominate FIFA’s 2018 World XI

London, Sep 25: The 2018 FIFPRO World XI announced here includes four current Real Madrid players and erstwhile teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.

The team was presented at The Best FIFA Football Awards gala here on Monday, reports Efe.

Ronaldo — now with Juventus — is joined on the list by Real Madrid defenders Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos and midfielders Marcelo and Luka Modric.

Only two other clubs had more than one player qualify for the World XI: Chelsea, with Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante; and Paris Saint-Germain, with Dani Alves and Kylian Mbappe.

Blanco’s archrival FC Barcelona are represented by Lionel Messi, while the goalkeeper spot goes to Manchester United’s David de Gea.

Nobody was surprised to see so many Real Madrid players selected after the side won the Champions League for the third straight year, but some of the omissions were striking.

The World XI excludes Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah, a finalist along with Madrid and Ronaldo for a male player of the year, and Thibault Courtois, even though the Belgian international was named goalkeeper of the year.

FIFA World Cup 2018
Here are the five talking points from the FIFA World Cup 2018 finale between France and Croatia.
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FIFA World Cup 2018, Final – France vs Croatia – Five Talking Points

France vs Croatia has lived up to the expectation of a FIFA world cup final. Both the sides have entertained the fans with their own style of football.

However, France’s incredible conversion rate has helped them secure an easy win. On the other hand, Croatia have had an incredible run to the world cup final. The team takes a lot of pride from their efforts.

Here we look at the top 5 talking points from the biggest event in football.

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FIFA World Cup 2018 Awards

The Croatian captain Luka Modric has been named the FIFA 2018 World Cup Golden Ball winner. While, France’s 19-year old star Kylian Mbappe was named as the best young player at the tournament.

Croatia’s Modric won the Golden Ball despite his side’s defeat in the 2018 FIFA World Cup final.

Modric helped Croatia to the World Cup final with his outstanding play in the middle of the park. The nation of just over 4 million people made a fairytale run through the competition with wins over the likes of Argentina and England along the way.

Modric edged out Belgium’s Eden Hazard and France’s Antoine Griezmann, who finished second and third respectively, for top honours. Mbappe was also impressive throughout the tournament and was among the scorers in the final. The 19-year-old also scored a brace in a  4-3 win Argentina in the round of 16.

England’s Harry Kane claimed the Golden Boot for the competition with his six goals for England. His side made it all the way to the semi-final before being knocked out after extra time by Croatia.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Awards 2

Griezmann was the man nearest Kane at the top of the scoring charts. Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku finished third while his side also finished as third after defeating England 2-0.

Lukaku’s team-mate Thibaut Courtois was named as the tournament’s top goalkeeper. He won the  Golden Glove award and Spain claimed the FIFA Fair Play trophy.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Awards 3

France’s array of superstars came out to shine as Antoine, Mbappe and Pogba fired them to World Cup glory with an emphatic 4-2 win over Croatia. France became the first team to score four goals in a World Cup final since Brazil beat Italy 4-1 in 1970. While, Croatia are the first team to lose in their first ever appearance in a World Cup final since the Netherlands in 1974.

THE FIFA 2018 AWARDS:

Golden Ball Winner: Luka Modric (Croatia)
Best Young Player Of The Tournament: Kylian Mbappe (France)
Golden Boot Winner: Harry Kane (England)
Golden Glove Award: Thibaut Courtois (Belgium)
FIFA Fair Play Award: Spain

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2018 FIFA World Cup: Revealed – The Whopping World Cup Prize Money

fThere is absolutely no denying that winning the World Cup is the pinnacle of football for almost every footballer. The prestige associated with winning the coveted trophy of the holy grail of the game lasts a lifetime. Being a part of the World Cup-winning team immortalise the player in his country’s football history.

What makes winning the title even more glorious is that it only comes around every four years. The top 32 nations vying for the top prize in the game makes this competition one of the best spectacles. Well, the World Cup trophy is not the only thing the 32 teams competing in the tournament are playing for.

2018 FIFA World Cup: Revealed - The Whopping World Cup Prize Money 4
World Cup Prize Money

As with most top-level football competitions in the modern era there are financial rewards for winning the World Cup. And what makes the World Cup even more interesting is that there is some lucrative reward even for every side. Even for those who don’t win the title or progress far.

In October 2017, FIFA had confirmed that a total of $400 million would be shared between the participants at the tournament in the form of prize money. The amount was a 12 percent increase from the previous tournament in 2014.

Simply qualifying for the tournament was worth a minimum of $9.5m ($8m for taking part in the group stage and $1.5m for tournament costs).

If a team progressed from the group stage but got knocked out at the round of 16 they got an extra $4m (a total of $12m).

Teams that lost in the quarter-final received a further $4m ($16m) and the semifinalists each received different amounts based on the result. The beaten semi-finalists who contest the third-place play-off shared $46m, with $24m going to winner and $22m going to the loser.

The final was a $66m game and the winner received $38m with the runners-up getting $28m.

That means France pocketed a handsome $38m after thrashing Croatia 4-2 in the title-decider.

So here is the 2018 World Cup prize money breakdown:

Finish Payout Team(s)
Champion $38,000,000 France
Runner-up $28,000,000 Croatia
Third Place $24,000,000 Belgium
Fourth Place $22,000,000 England
Quarterfinal $16,000,000 Uruguay, Russia, Brazil, Sweden
Round of 16 $12,000,000 Portugal, Argentina, Mexico, Japan, Spain, Denmark, Switerland, Colombia
Group Stage $8,000,000 Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Iran, Australia, Iceland, Peru, Nigeria, Serbia, Costa Rica, South Korea Germany, Tunisia, Panama, Senegal, Poland
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2018 FIFA World Cup, France vs Croatia: Paul Pogba & Kylian Mbappe Seal Thrilling World Cup Triumph For Les Bleus

France won their second World Cup after beating Croatia 4-2 in a pulsating final on Sunday in Moscow.

The Les Bleus took the lead in the 18th minute through a Mario Mandzukic own goal. However, Ivan Perisic fired home an equaliser 10 minutes later. But seven minutes before half-time, referee Nestor Pitana controversially awarded a spot-kick for a handball by Perisic after consulting pitch-side replays, which Griezmann duly converted.

Second-half goals from Paul Pogba (59) and Kylian Mbappé (65) took the game away from Croatia before Mandzukic pulled one back for his side after a Hugo Lloris error.

If this World Cup was full of drama then the finale just put the icing on the cake.  Contrary to the popular speculations, Croatia, the debutants in the final, started the stronger. They enjoyed the majority of possessions early on and tested France from both the flanks.

However, France took the lead against the run of play in the 18th minute. Griezmann tumbled when Marcelo Brozovic clipped his heels and the Atletico Madrid star’s floated free-kick was headed unintentionally into his own net by Mandzukic. But Croatia soon responded in style as Perisic scored the equaliser just ten minutes later.

2018 FIFA World Cup, France vs Croatia: Paul Pogba & Kylian Mbappe Seal Thrilling World Cup Triumph For Les Bleus 5

Perisic was tripped by N’Golo Kante, who was booked for his indiscretion. France failed to adequately deal with Luka Modric’s deep free-kick and Perisic seized on a knockdown from Domagoj Vida with a clever right-footed touch and an eye-catching left-footed finish. But Perisic’s joy soon turned into despair afterwards when a lengthy VAR review saw him penalised for handball from Griezmann’s corner. Replays left no doubt the ball struck Perisic’s left hand.

2018 FIFA World Cup, France vs Croatia: Paul Pogba & Kylian Mbappe Seal Thrilling World Cup Triumph For Les Bleus 6

However, there were doubts over the legitimacy of the penalty as he was pulling his arm down. He was also left largely unsighted by Raphael Varane. But the referee decided to award the penalty and Griezmann duly converted it. France then survived a sustained spell of set-piece pressure to keep their lead intact at the break.

Croatia started brightly after the break too. Three minutes after the restart, Ante Rebic was put through on goal by a wonderful pass from Ivan Rakitic. However, his effort was tipped over the bar by Hugo Lloris. Croatia kept on attacking but just could not find the back of the net. And they soon paid a hefty price for it.

One minute before the hour-mark, Pogba handed France a two-goal cushion. The Manchester United star started the move with a sensational half-volleyed through ball for Mbappe who then found Griezmann. The ball was laid back to Pogba and on his second attempt, fired a left-footed shot that completely wrong-footed Danijel Subasic.

2018 FIFA World Cup, France vs Croatia: Paul Pogba & Kylian Mbappe Seal Thrilling World Cup Triumph For Les Bleus 7

Six minutes later, Mbappe put the game to the bed by scoring France’s fourth. In the process, he became the second teenager after the legendary Pele to score in a World Cup final. Mandzukic scored one after a howler from Lloris but it was a mere consolation. France held on to lay their hands at the coveted title for the second time and the first time since 1998.

 

 

FIFA World Cup 2018
Here are the five talking points from the FIFA World Cup 2018 finale between France and Croatia.
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FIFA 2018, France vs Croatia: Twitter Reacts As France Thrash Croatia To Win Their Second World Cup

France ended Croatia’s fairytale run in the World Cup in the most of brutal of fashions, thrashing the first-time finalists 4-2 to win their second World Cup title.

Despite being far from their best, France headed into the break with a 2-1 lead. The Les Bleus’ two goals came from set-pieces as Mario Mandzukic became the first player to score an own goal in the World Cup final. Ivan Perisic brought Croatia level with a crisp strike on his left foot. However, he was then the villain as Antoine Griezmann’s corner struck his hand and after a VAR review, the referee pointed to the spot. Griezmann duly converted to put France back in front at the break.

After the break, Paul Pogba all but sealed Croatia’s fate by scoring France’s third just before the hour mark. Kylian Mbappe then put the icing on the cake by scoring the fourth in the 65th minute. Four minutes later, Mandzukic pulled one back for Croatia but it turned out to be merely a consolation goal.

Contrary to popular speculations, it was debutant Croatia who started the game on the frontfoot. Croatia showed no nerves as they applied pressure to the 1998 winners. However, France once again showed their strength at the back as they dealt with the Croatian attack quite well.

In the third minute, Peresic won the ball off Pavard and burst forward on the counter-attack. He drove into the penalty area but Varane came across to make a crucial tackle. Six minutes later,  Rakitic released Strinic into the box and he almost made some  room to fire a low ball across the face of goal. However, Mbappe got back in time to make the challenge, diverting the ball out for a corner.

But all the early pressure counted for little as France took the lead against the run of play in the 18th minute. After being fouled at the edge of the box, Antoine Griezmann whipped the resulting free-kick into the penalty area. The ball flicked off the head of Mandzukic before finding the back of the net.

Croatia, however, were not pegged back by the unfortunate goal and soon got the reward. In the 28th minute, Perisic scored a brilliant goal to equalise. France failed to clear the danger from a free-kick as Manzukic then Vida knocked the ball towards Perisic. The Inter Milan star took time and space to pick his spot on his left foot before drilling his effort past Lloris.

But 5 minutes later, Perisic turned into villain when he handled Griezmann’s corner-kick. The referee pointed to the spot after reviewing the VAR and Griezmann made no mistake from the spot. Croatia tried to find the equaliser before the break but France held on to keep their lead intact.

Croatia started brightly after the break too. Three minutes after the restart, Ante Rebic was put through on goal by a wonderful pass from Ivan Rakitic. However, his effort was tipped over the bar by Hugo Lloris. Croatia kept on attacking but just could not find the back of the net. And they soon paid a hefty price for it.

One minute before the hour-mark, Pogba handed France a two-goal cushion.  His first effort was blocked by Vida before he curled in with his left-foot from the rebound. Six minutes later, Mbappe put the game to the bed and in the process became just the second teenager after the legendary Pele to score in a World Cup final.

A howler from Lloris then saw Mandzukic reduce the deficit but France held on to win the coveted title.

Here is how Twitter reacted to the game:

https://twitter.com/Carra23/status/1018532923505627136

https://twitter.com/LuckyHeronSay/status/1018536597128646657

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2018 FIFA World Cup Final: Own Goal And VAR Penalty See France Head Into Break With 2-1 Lead

An own goal and a controversial penalty resulting from VAR sees France heading into the break with a 2-1 lead over Croatia in the ongoing World Cup final.

Contrary to popular speculations, it was debutant Croatia who began the much-anticipated clash on a brighter note. They tested the Les Bleus with a dazzling attacking display but the 1998 winners managed to keep things tight at the back.

In the third minute, Peresic won the ball off Pavard and burst forward on the counter-attack. He drove into the penalty area but Varane came across to make a crucial tackle. Six minutes later,  Rakitic released Strinic into the box and he almost made some  room to fire a low ball across the face of goal. However, Kylian Mbappe got back in time to make the challenge, diverting the ball out for a corner.

France then had their first shot on the target in the 18th minute and it gave them the lead against the run of play. After being fouled at the edge of the box, Antoine Griezmann whipped the resulting free-kick into the penalty area.  It was a teasing cross and it found the back of the net after being flicked off the head of  Mario Mandzukic who had hit Croatia’s winner in the semifinal.

But the heartbreaking goal did not peg back Croatia as they continued to attack and they finally had their reward. Just before the half hour mark, Ivan Perisic, who had also hit the equaliser in the semifinal, scored to restore parity. France failed to clear the danger from a free-kick as Manzukic then Vida knocked the ball towards Perisic. The Inter Milan star took time and space to pick his spot on his left foot before drilling his effort past Lloris.

The game soon witnessed its first controversy when France were awarded a penalty in controversial manner. Perisic turned from hero to villain as Griezmann’s corner struck his hand.

And after a VAR review, the referee pointed to the spot. Griezmann duly converted to put France back in front at the break.

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp says Croatia and Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has been in phenomenal touch. Image Courtesy: Getty Images
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Liverpool Coach Jurgen Klopp Backs Dejan Lovren after Incredible World Cup Run

Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp is full of praise for Croatian defender, Dejan Lovren after the latter’s run to World Cup final. Lovren has been the cornerstone in Croatia’s defence and has contributed to their success in recent years.

The defender recently claimed he is one of the best in the world. Although Klopp did not draw comparisons, he reckons there is still room for improvement for the 29-year old.

The Croatian international also played an excellent role in helping Liverpool reach the Champions League final last season. But Lovren needs to be at his absolute best to give Croatia a chance at winning World Cup against favourites, France.

“People very often judge other people pretty early. I don’t know exactly what happened before I came in,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website. “Since I came in, maybe Dejan made three or four mistakes, two of them in the Tottenham game, maybe one in a Champions League game last year. But it’s for sure not 15 or 20.

“Ninety percent of the time he played outstanding, 95 percent absolutely OK, and five percent probably he was not at his best. But you will find these problems for pretty much all the players in the world.

Dejan Lovren
Dejan Lovren says he should get the respect he deserves.

Despite Lovren having a knack of misjudging few situations, he has developed into a terrific defender during his time at Anfield. He has been one of the leaders on the current Croatian team and will play a massive role for them on Sunday. Klopp reckons Lovren can still improve to reach his potential.

“I’m completely happy. I’m happy that he used the little advice we gave him in the last few years in a very good way. He can still improve, 100 percent.

“But he is on a really good way. I didn’t see all of the World Cup games but a lot — he played a fantastic tournament so far. It’s well deserved, I’m really happy for him.”

Dejan Lovren has enjoyed a great World Cup on a personal note so far. The Croats has surprised everyone with the level of football they played over the past month. They managed to finish, as toppers in Group D and then defeated Denmark, Russia and England.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Croatia pip Russia to enter FIFA World Cup semis

The team has worked as a single unit and ensured they made their efforts count by scoring goals at crucial moments.

However, France is a different class, as they are one of the best teams in the world. If anything to go by, then Croatia will need to play the game of their lives to win the coveted trophy in Moscow.

Luka Modric Top five players to look out for in the finale of the World Cup
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FIFA World Cup 2018: Five Players to Look Out for in the Finale

Twenty-two players on the pitch will battle for the ultimate glory in Moscow tonight. In terms of experience, France are well ahead as they played the 1998 and 2006 finale, while for Croatia, it’s their first ever World Cup final. Here we list the five players to look out for in the finale.

France and Croatia will lock horns at the Luzhniki Stadium in the finale of the World Cup final.

But experience sometimes doesn’t matter in the final if any individual lights up on their day. Here we take a look at the top five players to look out for in the finale.

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