2018 FIFA World Cup | Sportzwiki

2018 FIFA World Cup

Luka Modric named best male player at FIFA awards

Luka Modric named best male player at FIFA awards

London, Sep 25: Croatian footballer Luka Modric was named the world’s best male player at the Best Fifa Football Awards here.

The Real Madrid midfielder, 33, beat former team-mate, Cristiano Ronaldo, now with Juventus, and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah to the award, BBC reported on Monday.

Modric won his third Champions League title in a row in May and guided Croatia to their first World Cup final in July.

Brazil and Orlando Pride forward Marta won the best female player award.

France’s Didier Deschamps — whose side beat Modric’s Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup final — was named best men’s coach.

Salah received the Puskas award for the best goal, for his effort against Everton in the Premier League at Anfield last December.

Peru’s supporters won the Fifa Fan Award after many thousands of them flew to Russia in support of their nation — playing at the finals for the first time since 1982. This accolade was voted for solely by supporters.

Another stadium named after France coach Deschamps

Another stadium named after France coach Deschamps

Paris, Sep 13:  France head coach Didier Deschamps has got a second stadium named after him following the triumph at the 2018 FIFA World Cup with the national football team.

Deschamps already had one stadium named after him in his hometown Bayonne, reports Xinhua news agency.

Stade Marquet in Cap d’Ail, southern France, adjacent to Ligue 1 club Monaco’s home Stade Louis II, was renamed Stade Didier Deschamps following Wednesday’s ceremony, attended by Deschamps, Prince Albert II of Monaco and nearly 500 people.

Deschamps felt it is “a huge honor” for himself and his family.

Two decades after winning the World Cup with France as a player, Deschamps guided the team to glory again this summer in Russia.

Striker Morata optimistic about return to Spain squad

Striker Morata optimistic about return to Spain squad

Madrid, Sep 4: Spanish striker Alvaro Morata said on Tuesday he was optimistic after being called up by his national team, although he said he was saddened by his absence from the squad which went to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Chelsea forward Morata said his life has changed. “I have been a father, I have a new coach and I have returned to the national team, many positive things have changed in my life… I hope to show that difference on the pitch,” the 25-year-old Morata said, reports Efe.

The forward said he experienced “very hard moments” when he was excluded from the World Cup, but stressed that now he will do everything he can to continue competing with his national team.

Morata praised La Roja’s new coach Luis Enrique, stating that the new national Spain coach is “a very sincere person who wants to win”.

Jose Mourinho Paul Pogba
Jose Mourinho has lavished praise on Paul Pogba.

Jose Mourinho Urges Paul Pogba To Understand ‘Why He Was Very Good At The World Cup

Lavishing praise on Paul Pogba, Manchester United boss, Jose Mourinho urged the midfielder to “understand why” he was one of the stars for France at the FIFA World Cup 2018.

Contrary to his lukewarm season with United last season, Pogba proved his worth in gold for the Les Bleus, helping them win the coveted title.

Paul scored a brilliant third goal for his side in the final which had effectively put the tie beyond’s Croatia reach.

France had gone on to thrash their opponent 4-2 to win their second FIFA World Cup. The performance in the final was an icing on the cake for Pogba.

Jose Mourinho Urges Paul Pogba To Understand 'Why He Was Very Good At The World Cup 2
Credits: Getty

The former Juventus star had made a poor start to the campaign, struggling in the group games. But as the tournament wore on, he showed the same form that had made him one of the most sought-after players in the world not very long ago.

Pogba had endured a tough last season under Mourinho. He found himself left on the bench for both legs of the Champions League last-16 defeat to Sevilla.

The France international also got withdrawn during losses to Tottenham and Newcastle United. The turn of events had even given rise to speculations that not everything is fine between Pogba and Mourinho.

Pogba’s displays must have delighted Mourinho. And the Portuguese now wants the midfielder to analyse his World Cup performances and understand how he can contribute in a similar way to United.

Speaking at his first news conference of United’s pre-season tour of the United States, Mourinho confirmed he passed on congratulations to Pogba before praising the player.

“I hope that he understands why he was very good,” Mourinho said.

“I think that’s the point about his performance level and his contribution to a winning team – for him to understand why he was so good, especially in the second part of the competition.

“In the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final he was absolutely brilliant.”

He further said,

“To win the World Cup can only be a positive thing. It’s difficult to say that to win the World Cup is not good for a player’s career. So many good players never have the chance to be a world champion.

Jose Mourinho Urges Paul Pogba To Understand 'Why He Was Very Good At The World Cup 3
Credits: Getty

“It’s a young [France] team, apart from [Olivier] Giroud, [Hugo] Lloris and a few others they are all young and have more years to play together,” he added. “The future for [Pogba] in the French national team, among that fantastic group of players, can only be brilliant.”


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

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.




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.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Spain and Russia to face each other for the knockout.

FIFA World Cup2018: Moscow Mystique; where India is key to unlocking Russian warmth

Moscow, Jul 14: “Stereotype-shattering”, “stunningly warm” — a trip to Russia for the FIFA World Cup was largely a “pleasant surprise” for those touching down from the west but for thousands of tourists from a country which didn’t even have a team of its own to cheer for, it was “usual warmth”.

“I am from India,” that’s all one need say to unlatch the Russian warmth, which has now bowled over the world at large after years of scepticism based on the mystique of Soviet era.

From wide smiles to generous discounts, nostalgic Russians, who still aren’t over their love for Raj Kapoor and Mithun Chakraborty, go an extra mile when they hear an Indian voice calling out for directions, shopping or mere chit-chat.

“I love India, the food, the people, the movies, the colours. Discount for them always,” said a shopkeeper selling traditional Matryoshka dolls, which are among the most prominent symbols of Russian culture.

“Russian people have a special affection for India. They are always extended extra warmth,” added a tour guide, who has had a busier-than-usual one month thanks to the huge influx of fans for the World Cup.

The tourist flow from India rose by a conservative estimate of 20 to 30 per cent for the FIFA World Cup, according to prominent travel agencies. Russian news agency Sputnik pegged the hike in ticket bookings by Indians at an audacious 400 per cent based on feedback from a travel agency.

This, despite the fact that India does not have a team of its own at the World Cup and is unlikely to have one for some time to come.

“Russia is always a welcoming place for Indians. The westerners are now realising how warm the Russian people are but for us Indians, we know it for a long time. It’s always great to be here whether there is a World Cup or not,” said one Indian tourist, who is here to catch the extravaganza that gets over this Sunday but is also a frequent traveller to the Russian capital for business dealings.

Moscow alone has been paid a visit by over three million global tourists, according to the historic city’s head of Department of Sport and Tourism, Nikolay Gulyaev.

The Indians, however, don’t figure among the top-five in numbers this summer which are dominated by German, Dutch and French nationals.

“But there is no denying that they (Indians) have the pride of place in Russian hearts. You can link it to Bollywood or the Soviet era close political ties, but it is special,” said a tour operator here.

Among the Indian celebrities, mega-star Amitabh Bachchan was there in St Petersburg to catch the first semifinal between France and Belgium and his lesser-seen and known Bollywood colleague Fardeen Khan was among the over 78,000 who filled in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow for the second semifinal between Croatia and England.

They were among the thousands who descended to catch the greatest show on earth’ where India’s on-field presence is at best a pipedream right now.

“But Moscow ended up offering so much more than just football. The sites, the history, the food and of course the affection is unforgettable. I’ll be back to explore more,” said an Indian tourist, draped in a tri-colour, as he headed in to watch England lose to Croatia in the historic second semifinal at the Luzhniki.


2018 FIFA World Cup: Mario Mandzukic’s Extra-Time Winner Sends Croatia To Their First Final

Croatia set-up a mouth-watering clash with France in their first World Cup final after coming from behind to dash England’s dreams with a 2-1 extra-time victory at the Luzhniki Stadium.

Mario Mandzukic made the difference, scoring the winner in the extra time after the full-time failed to produce any winner. It looked like England would continue their dream after taking an early lead. Kieran Trippier scored a stunning free-kick to fire his team to the lead in the fifth minute. However, Ivan Perisic forced extra-time by scoring the equaliser on 68 minutes.

And just when it looked a penalty shoot-out would decide the game, Mandzukic capitalised on a brief lapse in the English defence. Croatia then held on to register the biggest win in their football history so far.  They will now take on high-flying France in the title-decider.

2018 FIFA World Cup: Mario Mandzukic's Extra-Time Winner Sends Croatia To Their First Final 14
Credits: Reuters

On the other hand, Gareth Southgate’s men will fight it out against Belgium in Saturday’s third-place play-off.

The young English team started the proceedings on a stunning note as Trippier fired home a delightful 20-yard free-kick into the Croatian net. England continued to dominate while Croatia failed to find their rhythm early on. Croatia took 19 minutes to register their first attempt.

2018 FIFA World Cup: Mario Mandzukic's Extra-Time Winner Sends Croatia To Their First Final 15
Credits: Reuters

England nearly got the reward for their dominant display. The Three Lions should have doubled their lead on the half-hour mark. However, Danijel Subasic denied Harry Kane from a Jesse Lingard through pass after which the England captain struck the rebound against the post.

2018 FIFA World Cup: Mario Mandzukic's Extra-Time Winner Sends Croatia To Their First Final 16
Credits: Reuters

Croatia soon woke up from their slumber as England needed a last-gasp block from John Stones to cut out an Ante Rebic’s cross. Jesse Lingard then missed a glorious chance to double England’s lead when he fired wide from the edge of the box. The first half ended with England holding an one-goal advantage.

Croatia started on a good note after the break but were still tested by England. Dejan Lovren had to prevent a Lingard volley from finding the target and a Trippier cross from reaching Kane on 58 minutes. It, however, did not stop the Croatians from attacking and they duly got their reward. In the 68th minute, Perisic poked Sime Vrsaljko’s whipped cross beyond Jordan Pickford.

2018 FIFA World Cup: Mario Mandzukic's Extra-Time Winner Sends Croatia To Their First Final 17
Credits: Reuters

Four minutes later, Perisic had the chance to fire Croatia ahead but his effort hit the inside of the post.  Harry Kane had the chance to send England through in stoppage-time but he headed a relatively easy chance wide.

In the extra time,  Vrsaljko headed a goal-bound John Stones header off the line before Pickford made a stunning save to deny Mandzukic. However, England soon paid the price for missing their early chances when Mandzukic capitalised on a defending lapse and scored the winner with a low drive into the bottom corner.

2018 FIFA World Cup: Mario Mandzukic's Extra-Time Winner Sends Croatia To Their First Final 18
Credits: Reuters
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