FIFA World Cup 2018 | Sportzwiki

FIFA World Cup 2018

Here are the most picturesque football stadiums/grounds in the world.

In Pictures: The Most Beautiful Football Grounds/Stadiums in the World

Perhaps the beauty of football lies in its simplicity. No matter where you are, all you need is a football and a ground, and you are good to enjoy a good game.

The very simplicity can be the biggest reason behind football’s huge popularity across the globe which is only increasing with every passing moment. Around the world, people have developed football pitches on different landscapes, and the results have been spectacular.

The pitches are as varied and diverse as the people who play on them. The magic and spirit of this beautiful game have transcended landscapes, territories and other obstacles.

The likes of Wembley, Nou Camp and the San Siro can boast impressive histories to go with their huge capacities, but their concrete structures and inner-city locations push them well behind when it comes to some of the most picturesque football grounds in the world.

Grounds on the beach of Faroe Island or in a dusty mountain trail in Nepal or even perched on top of shops in Japan certainly give the biggest stadiums a run for their money. Playing at those big stadiums might be a dream for many, but these ground are more than enough to satisfy every soul.

So here we take a look at some of the most stunning grounds you’re ever likely to see.

In Pictures: The Most Beautiful Football Grounds/Stadiums in the World 1

A football pitch above a shopping mall in Seoul.

Olivier Giroud, World Cup
Olivier Giroud talks about not having a single goal in the World Cup. Image Courtesy: Getty

My Zero Goals Doesn’t Stop me from Sleeping – Oliver Giroud on Getting No World Cup Goals

A striker of a team and a World Cup winner, but with zero goals. This rare sight might happen only once, and the world has seen it in the World Cup in Russia. However, Oliver Giroud has defended himself in full voice despite failing to score a goal.

Oliver Giroud is a World Cup winner with zero goals under his belt.

After failing to score a single goal and also with zero shots on goal, Oliver Giroud got criticised heavily. While on the other side, his team-mates Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe scored four goals each.

But Giroud explained how he helped the team and what sacrifices he had to make to help his side to go for the glory. And the World Cup glory made him forget the disappointment of his performance. Giroud told Le Parisien,

“It necessarily results in a little frustration. But it has largely been filled by the title. The collective takes precedence over individuals. I often had to do a little bit of different work, make sacrifices to help the team hold the lead. In fact, you have less energy to be decisive in the last third. Except against Belgium in the second half, I do not have the memory of having missed many opportunities. I even produced two assists.”

Olivier Giroud, World Cup
Olivier Giroud talks about not having a single goal in the World Cup. Image Courtesy: Getty


The Chelsea player forward added,

“My zero goals does not stop me from sleeping. In the street people tell me: even if you have not scored, you have been important. We might not have been world champions if I scored. Statistics can be used for anything and everything. I was decisive in another way.”

Despite being 32 years old, Giroud has no plans to retire any time soon.

“A team-mate at Chelsea already asked me this question. As long as I feel good, can bring something to the team and the coach calls me, I am available. I am aware of being closer to the end than the beginning. So I enjoy every moment. I do not put myself any barrier; I do not set any limit.”

Joachim Low, Germany
Joachim Low of Germany takes the blame for his side's World Cup exit. Image Courtesy: Getty

We Want to Bring the Ship Back on Course – Joachim Low

Germany coach Joachim Low has talked about what went wrong in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and he is now motivated to turn things around before the 2020 Euro Cup.

Joachim Low’s men crashed out from the group stage in the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The defending champions crashed out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the worst possible way. After losing their opening match against Mexico, they came back strongly after a stoppage-time winner against Sweden. However, it all came to an end, when they suffered a shock 2-0 defeat against South Korea. Low has agreed to blame himself, and he feels his style of play was not convincing.

“It was almost arrogant of me. I wanted to push this style of play as far it could go, perfect it even more.”

The German coach in the earlier tournaments had significant success with the team. He had won a World Cup and reached at least the semifinals of every other major competition in the past.

Joachim Low, Germany
Germany’s Joachim Low takes the blame for World Cup exit.

Low admitted he failed to create a hunger for success in Russia. But he is now pumped up again to turn things around.

“With all of our energy, we want to bring the ship back on course.”

For Low and his men, all eyes are now on Euro 2020. There are also some changes announced in the backroom staff. Thomas Schneider, the assistant coach, has now taken over as head of scouting.

Meanwhile, General Director, Oliver Bierhoff called for a new identity within the Germany squad. He promised to work against the alienation between the national team and its fans.

“We had a fan-friendly match in the build-up to the tournament with a 6 p.m. kick-off against Saudi-Arabia. We held a public training session in our training camp in Italy, and the players cycled to training. They signed autographs. But we want to open more doors.”


Mario Mandzukic Retires From International Football

Croatia forward Mario Mandzukic has announce retirement from International football with immediate effect.

Mario Mandzukic’s Croatia had a dream run in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

After having a dream in the World Cup in Russia and ending up as runners-up, Mandzukic has decided its time to call it a day. The 32-year old has played 89 matches and scored 33 goals for Croatia. He is also second leading goal-scorer of his country only behind former player Davor Suker.

Mandzukic announced his retirement by releasing a statement on Tuesday:

“Dear fans, I always preferred to do my talking on the pitch than off it. That is why these words are harder than slide-tackling an opponent or sprinting in the 120th minute. It is harder as I know how much joy all the gatherings, matches and victories bring. It is harder as I know that listening to ‘Lijepa Nasa’ before a match is the biggest emotion. It’s harder because it is an honour to wear the Croatian shirt and to represent my country. It is harder because I know this is final and after these words, there is no coming back.”

Mario Mandzukic Retires From International Football 4

The Juventus forward further added:
“But, it is time nevertheless for these words. I am retiring from the Croatian national team. However much the silver medal gave me new energy, it made this tough decision easier. I experienced my dream, achieved historic success and felt the unbelievable love of the fans. Thank you, everybody, because everyone in their own way left a mark on my career. I always had my closest friends alongside me, and I thank them for their great support.”

Mandzukic also seeked forgiveness to the fans for all the chances he missed and for all the times he disappointed them.

“And finally, thank you to the fans. Nobody is perfect. I missed chances, lost the ball and made bad passes. But, I always gave it my all and left my heart on the pitch. Thank you for recognising that and being with me and the Croatian national team. Love, Mandzo.”

In 2007, Mandzukic made his debut for Croatia. He has participated in four major International tournaments Euro 2012, World Cup 2014, Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018. He bids farewell also being Croatian Footballer of the Year in 2012 and 2013.


David Silva Announces Retirement From International Football

Just two days after Gerard Pique announced his retirement from International football, Pique’s team-mate David Silva has also decided to call it a day.

The 32-year old David Silvia decided to hang off his boots.

Silva, who played 125 matches for Spain feels its time to move on and give a chance to the future youngsters. The midfielder scored 35 goals in his 12-year career with Spain.

Silva announced his retirement through a open letter. The letter says:

“There have been days and weeks of reflection and analysis to make the decision to finish my time in Spain. Without a doubt it is one of the hardest decisions in my career.  The national team has given me everything and has allowed me to grow as a player and as a person from my first days in the youth set-up. I’m leave with pride after playing 125 games and scoring 35 goals in a 12-year spell where we lifted the World Cup and two European Championships.”

“I leave happy with all I have achieved, experienced and dreamed with a team that will be remembered forever. I have ended an era filled with emotion from all those moments that come to my mind, like the figure of Luis Aragones, a teacher that none of us will ever forget.”

David Silva Announces Retirement From International Football 6

Silva also thanked his supporters, fans, team-mates and the Spain federation for keeping faith in him.

“I cannot leave without thanking all of my team-mates, the coaches that had faith in me and the RFEF employees that do everything to make our lives easier.  I also want to thank my family for their support over the years, without their help I would never have been able to form part of this team. And of course, the fans who have always given me their support and respect every time I wore the Spain shirt. Thank you, good luck and farewell!”

Following the exit of Spain from round of 16 in the World Cup in Russia, Spain has been stuck with a big blow with two crucial players retiring at the same time. They have also lost their legendary midfielder Andres Iniesta, who retired just after the World Cup.

Gerard Pique, Retirement
Gerard Pique has announced his international retirement.

Spain’s Gerard Pique Announces International Retirement Aged 31

Spain defender Gerard Pique has announced his international retirement with immediate effect. With 102 appearances for his country, Pique thinks its finally time to hang up boots and concentrate only on his club football at FC Barcelona.

Pique retires from international football at the age of 31.

The 31-year old defender had won the 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euro with Spain. However, he had faced many ups and downs in his international career and also went through criticism and controversies right after he talked in favour of Catalonia’s controversial planned referendum on independence.

Despite, getting the former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique as the new manager of Spain, Pique said he would stick to his retirement call. Pique told reporters,

“I have had a really good time, with a European Championship and a World Cup. But that story is at an end. I have told this to Luis Enrique. “It would make sense to leave it after the World Cup. It has been a wonderful time and I have experienced amazing things, but sometimes you have to end cycles and you have to do that in the right fashion.”

Gerard Pique, Spain, Retirement
Gerard Pique announces international retirement.

The Barcelona defender hinted of taking retirement before the start of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. And now he has finally decided to call it a day.

Along with Pique, midfielder Andres Iniesta also announced retirement just after the FIFA World Cup 2018. The 2010 World Cup champions had a disappointing run in Russia, as they got knocked out by the hosts in tie-breaker in the round of 16. Pique had a match to forget, as he conceded a penalty which helped Russia to crawl back into the game.

In the end, Igor Akinfeev was Russia’s hero after saving two penalties in a shoot-out to sensationally dump Spain out of the World Cup.

Danny Rose
Danny Rose says he thanked people for helping him overcome depression.

Danny Rose Pleased with Support he Received Post Depression Phase

England left-back Danny Rose said he is pleased with the support he received since speaking about his battle with depression before the FIFA World Cup 2018.

Rose was depressed because of his slow recovery from injury.

Rose said in an interview in June that he’s passing a bad phase in his life. A combination of the slow progress of his knee injury and some family problems made Rose suffer for a while.

The English defender said his coaches, teammates and even fans had shared their own stories with him to help him relate. Rose told Daily Mirror,

“The reaction I’ve had has been unbelievable. “I was back home in Doncaster over the weekend. My brother plays for Grimsby, and I was at the game [against Forest Green Rovers]. I had two people come up to me at the game thanking me for what I’d said.”

“They had suffered from it, and it had helped them.  [When] I went away with England, there was a member of staff there who’d suffered from it and [they] thanked me as well. It just made me wish maybe I’d done it sooner. Or maybe after the World Cup, but yes, I’m glad I did it in the end.”

Danny Rose
Danny Rose

A news outlet named The Mirror published the original story about Danny Rose, on the morning of England’s pre-World Cup friendly against Costa Rica. The defender revealed he woke up that morning to some messages from people expressing thanks.

Even England manager Gareth Southgate showed him support and motivated him during his tough times.

“Then that night we played against Costa Rica. And after the game, the manager said that it was one of the best games he’d seen me play. It was as though I’d got a lot of things off my chest.”

Gianluigi Buffon Kylian Mbappe
Gianluigi Buffon says Kylian Mbappe has something special about him.

Mbappe has Something More than the Others – Gianluigi Buffon

After a fantastic performance in the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, France youngster Kylian Mbappe has been flourished with praise by many legends of football. This time he got the appreciation from the former Seria A and Juventus legend, Gianluigi Buffon.

Buffon believes Mbappe has all the qualities one need to win a Ballon d’Or.

Buffon believes Mbappe has all the potential and qualities required to become the best. The Frenchman scored four goals including a goal in the final of the FIFA World Cup 2018.

The 19-year old also won the best young player of the World Cup award. The former Juventus goalkeeper thinks Mbappe can achieve everything he wants if he keeps his foot in the ground and stay humble. Buffon told PSG’s official club magazine,

“Kylian has something more than the others. I hope that he will remain humble and maintain his desire to progress and make sacrifices. If Kylian does that, then he will leave his mark on football history and write some incredible pages in sporting history.”

Gianluigi Buffon and Kylian Mbappe are now team-mates in PSG after the goalkeeper decided to end his legendary career at Juventus and take a new challenge.

Kylian Mbappe, Gianluigi Buffon.
Kylian Mbappe, Gianluigi Buffon.

Buffon also revealed his former Juventus teammate Andrea Barzagli was stunned after he faced Mbappe in the 2017 UCL semi-final.

“When I spoke with Andrea, one of my great friends, at the end of the match, he told me: ‘Gigi, in my 20 years as a professional football player, I have rarely seen somebody so fast and so quick even with the ball. I had trouble marking him. These words are not trivial. Andrea, when he is focused and on song, is a great defender.”

The legendary goalkeeper’s Ligue 1 career will start on 13th August when PSG will face Caen at Parc des Princes at the Parc des Princes.

Lionel Messi

Messi Will Be Treated With The Respect He Deserves – Lionel Scaloni

After the departure of Argentina from the World Cup in Russia, Lionel Messi still hasn’t spoke about his future. But interim coach Lionel Scaloni believes Messi will be treated with the respect he deserve if he continues to play for the team.

Before the start of the World Cup, Messi said he will speak about his future after the tourney.

Argentina Football Association (AFA) announced Lionel Scaloni and Paulo Aimar as the interim manager last week. They will guide the national team for the next month’s friendlies against Guatemala and Colombia.

The managers have to provide a squad list for the matches by 19th August. And Messi is expected to be given rest until the end of 2019. The coaches also believes it’s not the right time to call the Argentine captain.

Lionel Scaloni said:
“We don’t have the squad list made, not even a small percentage of it. I don’t think this is the time to call Lionel [Messi]. Once we have to name the squad, we will see what we do. I honestly know him [Messi] well and I’m not worried about having to talk to him.”

Messi Will Be Treated With The Respect He Deserves - Lionel Scaloni 9

The interim manager also said that he wants to Messi treat like a way so that the Argentine feels respected.

“We want to treat him in a way that he truly knows that there is a respect there and that we are most certainly going to treat him as he deserves.That is the most important thing of all.”

Jorge Sampaoli was sacked right after Argentina’s disappointing run in the World Cup in Russia. They were eliminated in the round of 16 after a 4-3 defeat against the 2018 Champions France.

The Argentina Football Association is yet to announce a permanent manager. Till then, the duo Scaloni and Paulo will guide the two-time world champions.

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry Denies Report About Taking over Egypt National Team

Thierry Henry, who is currently the assistant coach of Belgium has denied reports about taking over Egypt or Aston Villa.

It means the world has to wait a little bit more to see the France legend as a manager.

Some reports suggested Henry was set to become Egypt’s manager.

The former Arsenal player was the assistant of Belgium during the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. He had a successful campaign, as the red devils were the semi-finalist. They were only one step away from lifting the World Cup but Henry’s country France broke the dreams of Belgium.

Some reports claimed Thierry Henry already had discussions with the Egypt management and he was ready to take the job. But on his Twitter account on Thursday, Henry said he is yet to hold talks regarding any job.

“Since announcing my decision to leave my full time role in broadcasting to pursue my ambition of becoming a manager, I have subsequently been linked with a number of positions both domestically and internationally. Contrary to misleading reports people may have read… at this moment neither myself, nor my advisers have held any discussions with any club or national association. My intention has always been to be patient, and I will take my decision in good time.”

Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry has denied reports of taking over the as manager of Egypt.

However, Henry has shown interest in becoming a manager in the past as well. And becoming the assistant of Belgium was the start of his managerial career. In a press conference last month, Henry said,

“Over the last four years I have had some extremely rewarding coaching experiences in football. These experiences have only made me more determined to fulfil my long-term ambition to become a football manager.”

Before taking the role of assistant coach, Henry worked as a pundit on Sky Sports.

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