FC Barcelona vs. AC Milan

El campeón inició la defensa del título de Champions League.

Ilkay Gündogan von Manchester City hat sich zu den anhaltenden Gerüchten eines Transfers zum FC Barcelona geäußert. "Jeder kann sehen, dass ich hier sehr glücklich bin", sagte der Mittelfeldspieler gegenüber Arab News .
Premier League: Gündogan über Barca: "Hängt vom Klub ab"
Ilkay Gündogan von Manchester City hat sich zu den anhaltenden Gerüchten eines Transfers zum FC Barcelona geäußert. "Jeder kann sehen, dass ich hier sehr glücklich bin", sagte der Mittelfeldspieler gegenüber Arab News .
El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d), intenta golpear el balón ante el jugador del FC Barcelona Lassa, Sergio Lozano, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega en Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE
El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d), intenta golpear el balón ante el jugador del FC Barcelona Lassa, Sergio Lozano, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega en Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE
El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d), intenta golpear el balón ante el jugador del FC Barcelona Lassa, Sergio Lozano, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega en Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE
El brasileño del FC Barcelona Lassa Ferrao (d) intenta superar al portero del Movistar Inter Jesús Herrero, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega en Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE
El brasileño del FC Barcelona Lassa Ferrao (d) intenta superar al portero del Movistar Inter Jesús Herrero, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega en Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE
El brasileño del FC Barcelona Lassa Ferrao (d) intenta superar al portero del Movistar Inter Jesús Herrero, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega en Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE
El brasileño del Movistar Inter, Elisandro (d), celebra el primer gol del equipo madrileño durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que disputan frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE
El brasileño del Movistar Inter, Elisandro (d), celebra el primer gol del equipo madrileño durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que disputan frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE
El brasileño del Movistar Inter, Elisandro (d), celebra el primer gol del equipo madrileño durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que disputan frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE
Ilkay Gundogan mengaku bahagia bersama Manchester City dan akan menghormati kontraknya yang tersisa dua tahun di Etihad Stadium.
Bahagia di Manchester City, Gundogan Tepis Rumor Gabung Barcelona
Ilkay Gundogan mengaku bahagia bersama Manchester City dan akan menghormati kontraknya yang tersisa dua tahun di Etihad Stadium.
El restaurante "Osteria Franciscana", del cocinero Massimo Bottura, en Módena (Italia) ha sido reconocido hoy como el mejor del mundo, mientras que el español "El Celler de Can Roca" ha sido segundo y el "Mirazur" francés tercero en los premios "The50 best" de los 50 mejores restaurantes del mundo.Los galardones han sido entregados esta noche durante una gala celebrada en el Palacio Euskalduna de Bilbao, y aunque han cambiado los lugares de los primeros, no han tenido muchas novedades. Lo más destacado, el triunfo de la cocina mediterránea, que ha copado el podio.La "Osteria Franciscana" fue segundo el año pasado y primero en la edición del 2016. Se ha premiado así a un chef muy reconocido y pasional, que ha reinventado platos de la cocina italiana como la lasaña.Bottura juega con las tradiciones y experimenta con ingredientes de la región de donde proviene, incluyendo tratar el queso "parmiggiano-reggiano" en diferentes temperaturas, texturas y sabores.Tras recibir el galardón, Massimo Bottura ha destacado la evolución positiva de su restaurante en los últimos años: "Estamos evolucionando; somos un equipo más fuerte en el que trabajamos todos juntos y ahora somos un mejor restaurante".Para Bottura, "Es increíble ser el número uno de toda la comunidad de chefs", y este éxito es "como un terremoto" para todo su equipo de trabajo. Lo siguiente, después de recibir este reconocimiento, es "seguir siendo normales", ha añadido.Según el mejor chef del mundo, en términos gastronómicos, "es muy importante hacer visible lo invisible".Bottura se ha mostrado "impresionado" por el hecho de que turistas chinos se paren frente a su restaurante de Modena y que incluso algunos comensales le paren por la calle para darle las gracias.Se ha mostrado satisfecho de que la comunidad de cocineros esté considerando de nuevo a Italia como un referente gastronómico, y ha dicho que siente que no se trata solo de su trabajo sino de la cocina de su país en general.El gerundense "El Celler", de los hermanos Roca, tercero el año pasado, ha quedado segundo este año. Los Roca, con el cocinero Joan, el sumiller Josep y el pastelero Jordi, son otros indiscutibles de la alta gastronomía mundial.Joan Roca ha mostrado su "gran satisfacción" por pasar al segundo puesto, y ha bromeado con el "pique" con Bottura, "con el que me llevo muy bien. Lo importante es mantenerse año tras año en las primeras posiciones".Tercero ha sido "Mirazur", ubicado en el pueblo de Menton, en el interior de la costa azul francesa, en el que su joven cocinero, el argentino Mauro Colagreco, basa sus platos en las hortalizas y flores de su propio huerto. Sube un puesto desde el cuarto del año pasado.Tras recibir el premio, Colagreco ha comentado que estaba "muy feliz. Tengo una alegría enorme por estar en el top-ten de la gastronomía mundial, mañana tendremos que abrir y será un día con mucha responsabilidad por representar a la elite"."Pasar del cuarto al tercero es un gran logro porque es una medalla olímpica. La cocina latinoamericana tiene un gran lugar en el mundo, como la peruana, que se merece los premios, aunque yo hago cocina mediterránea", ha comentado el argentino.Al cuarto lugar ha descendido el líder del año pasado, el neoyorquino "Eleven Madison park", del chef Daniel Humm.Quinto ha sido el extrovertido cocinero hindú Gaggan Anand, aunque trabaja en Tailandia, en el "Gaggan" de Bankgkok. Ayer dijo que su sabor preferido era "picante, picante y picante".Dos peruanos, de Lima, se han consolidado en la lista: el "Central" de Virgilio Martínez ha sido sexto y mejor de Latinoamérica. Fue quinto el año pasado.Su vecino limeño, el "Maido", se ha llevado el séptimo puesto para su cocina nikkei, peruano-japonesa, de su cocinero "Misha" Tsumura, que sube un puesto respecto al año anterior.El octavo puesto ha sido para el parisino "Arpege" de Alain Passar, otro experto en vegetales, y el noveno y décimo puesto para dos restaurantes españoles, vascos, el donostiarra "Mugaritz" de Andoni Luis Aduriz, noveno, y el asador vizcaíno "Etxebarri", de Víctor Arginzoniz, décimo.Dos mexicanos, "Quintonil" de Jorge Vallejo, y "Pujol", de Enrique Olvera, han subido hasta los puestos 11 y 13, desde el 22 y 20 del año pasado, respectivamente.La mayor novedad de la lista -ha sido la mejor entrada, llegando al puesto 18-, ha sido para "Disfrutar", de los chefs Mateu Casañas, Oriol Castro y Eduard Xatruch, que abrió sus puertas en diciembre de 2014 en Barcelona. Es uno de los "herederos" de El Bulli, por donde pasaron los tres, con una cocina divertida que no se pasa en el precio.Entre los latinoamericanos han destacado también "Boragó", de Rodolfo Guzman, en Santiago de Chile, el 27, antes el 42; el brasileño "D.O.M.", de Álex Atala, que ocupó el puesto 30 -ha bajado desde el 16 del año pasado; y el peruano "Astrid y Gastón", de Gastón Acurio, el 39, que ha recibido el premio a la trayectoria;El galardón de mejor chef pastelero se fue para el joven francés Cedric Grolet y el restaurante que se mereció el premio de la sostenibilidad fue el "Azurmendi vizcaíno" de Eneko Atxa.El ránking de los 100 mejores restaurantes se elabora a partir de los votos de poco más de 1.000 personas "del sector" elegidas por la revista "Restaurant".
La "Osteria Franciscana", de Italia, elegido mejor restaurante del mundo
El restaurante "Osteria Franciscana", del cocinero Massimo Bottura, en Módena (Italia) ha sido reconocido hoy como el mejor del mundo, mientras que el español "El Celler de Can Roca" ha sido segundo y el "Mirazur" francés tercero en los premios "The50 best" de los 50 mejores restaurantes del mundo.Los galardones han sido entregados esta noche durante una gala celebrada en el Palacio Euskalduna de Bilbao, y aunque han cambiado los lugares de los primeros, no han tenido muchas novedades. Lo más destacado, el triunfo de la cocina mediterránea, que ha copado el podio.La "Osteria Franciscana" fue segundo el año pasado y primero en la edición del 2016. Se ha premiado así a un chef muy reconocido y pasional, que ha reinventado platos de la cocina italiana como la lasaña.Bottura juega con las tradiciones y experimenta con ingredientes de la región de donde proviene, incluyendo tratar el queso "parmiggiano-reggiano" en diferentes temperaturas, texturas y sabores.Tras recibir el galardón, Massimo Bottura ha destacado la evolución positiva de su restaurante en los últimos años: "Estamos evolucionando; somos un equipo más fuerte en el que trabajamos todos juntos y ahora somos un mejor restaurante".Para Bottura, "Es increíble ser el número uno de toda la comunidad de chefs", y este éxito es "como un terremoto" para todo su equipo de trabajo. Lo siguiente, después de recibir este reconocimiento, es "seguir siendo normales", ha añadido.Según el mejor chef del mundo, en términos gastronómicos, "es muy importante hacer visible lo invisible".Bottura se ha mostrado "impresionado" por el hecho de que turistas chinos se paren frente a su restaurante de Modena y que incluso algunos comensales le paren por la calle para darle las gracias.Se ha mostrado satisfecho de que la comunidad de cocineros esté considerando de nuevo a Italia como un referente gastronómico, y ha dicho que siente que no se trata solo de su trabajo sino de la cocina de su país en general.El gerundense "El Celler", de los hermanos Roca, tercero el año pasado, ha quedado segundo este año. Los Roca, con el cocinero Joan, el sumiller Josep y el pastelero Jordi, son otros indiscutibles de la alta gastronomía mundial.Joan Roca ha mostrado su "gran satisfacción" por pasar al segundo puesto, y ha bromeado con el "pique" con Bottura, "con el que me llevo muy bien. Lo importante es mantenerse año tras año en las primeras posiciones".Tercero ha sido "Mirazur", ubicado en el pueblo de Menton, en el interior de la costa azul francesa, en el que su joven cocinero, el argentino Mauro Colagreco, basa sus platos en las hortalizas y flores de su propio huerto. Sube un puesto desde el cuarto del año pasado.Tras recibir el premio, Colagreco ha comentado que estaba "muy feliz. Tengo una alegría enorme por estar en el top-ten de la gastronomía mundial, mañana tendremos que abrir y será un día con mucha responsabilidad por representar a la elite"."Pasar del cuarto al tercero es un gran logro porque es una medalla olímpica. La cocina latinoamericana tiene un gran lugar en el mundo, como la peruana, que se merece los premios, aunque yo hago cocina mediterránea", ha comentado el argentino.Al cuarto lugar ha descendido el líder del año pasado, el neoyorquino "Eleven Madison park", del chef Daniel Humm.Quinto ha sido el extrovertido cocinero hindú Gaggan Anand, aunque trabaja en Tailandia, en el "Gaggan" de Bankgkok. Ayer dijo que su sabor preferido era "picante, picante y picante".Dos peruanos, de Lima, se han consolidado en la lista: el "Central" de Virgilio Martínez ha sido sexto y mejor de Latinoamérica. Fue quinto el año pasado.Su vecino limeño, el "Maido", se ha llevado el séptimo puesto para su cocina nikkei, peruano-japonesa, de su cocinero "Misha" Tsumura, que sube un puesto respecto al año anterior.El octavo puesto ha sido para el parisino "Arpege" de Alain Passar, otro experto en vegetales, y el noveno y décimo puesto para dos restaurantes españoles, vascos, el donostiarra "Mugaritz" de Andoni Luis Aduriz, noveno, y el asador vizcaíno "Etxebarri", de Víctor Arginzoniz, décimo.Dos mexicanos, "Quintonil" de Jorge Vallejo, y "Pujol", de Enrique Olvera, han subido hasta los puestos 11 y 13, desde el 22 y 20 del año pasado, respectivamente.La mayor novedad de la lista -ha sido la mejor entrada, llegando al puesto 18-, ha sido para "Disfrutar", de los chefs Mateu Casañas, Oriol Castro y Eduard Xatruch, que abrió sus puertas en diciembre de 2014 en Barcelona. Es uno de los "herederos" de El Bulli, por donde pasaron los tres, con una cocina divertida que no se pasa en el precio.Entre los latinoamericanos han destacado también "Boragó", de Rodolfo Guzman, en Santiago de Chile, el 27, antes el 42; el brasileño "D.O.M.", de Álex Atala, que ocupó el puesto 30 -ha bajado desde el 16 del año pasado; y el peruano "Astrid y Gastón", de Gastón Acurio, el 39, que ha recibido el premio a la trayectoria;El galardón de mejor chef pastelero se fue para el joven francés Cedric Grolet y el restaurante que se mereció el premio de la sostenibilidad fue el "Azurmendi vizcaíno" de Eneko Atxa.El ránking de los 100 mejores restaurantes se elabora a partir de los votos de poco más de 1.000 personas "del sector" elegidas por la revista "Restaurant".
GRAF3672. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Jugadores y cuerpo técnico del Movistar Inter celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3672. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Jugadores y cuerpo técnico del Movistar Inter celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3672. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Jugadores y cuerpo técnico del Movistar Inter celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3670. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El jugador portugués del Movistar Inter, Ricardo Filipe Da Silva "Ricardinho", celebra su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3670. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El jugador portugués del Movistar Inter, Ricardo Filipe Da Silva "Ricardinho", celebra su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3670. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El jugador portugués del Movistar Inter, Ricardo Filipe Da Silva "Ricardinho", celebra su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3670. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El jugador portugués del Movistar Inter, Ricardo Filipe Da Silva "Ricardinho", celebra su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3670. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El jugador portugués del Movistar Inter, Ricardo Filipe Da Silva "Ricardinho", celebra su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3670. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El jugador portugués del Movistar Inter, Ricardo Filipe Da Silva "Ricardinho", celebra su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3669. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El guardameta del Movistar Inter, Jesús Herrero, celebra su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3669. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El guardameta del Movistar Inter, Jesús Herrero, celebra su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3669. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El guardameta del Movistar Inter, Jesús Herrero, celebra su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3668. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del Movistar Inter celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3668. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del Movistar Inter celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3668. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del Movistar Inter celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3667. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El jugador brasileño de Movistar Inter, Elisandro Teixeira Gomes, celebra su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3667. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El jugador brasileño de Movistar Inter, Elisandro Teixeira Gomes, celebra su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3667. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El jugador brasileño de Movistar Inter, Elisandro Teixeira Gomes, celebra su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3666. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del Movistar Inter celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3666. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del Movistar Inter celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3666. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del Movistar Inter celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3665. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los porteros del Movistar Inter, Jesús Herrero y Alejandro González, celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa, en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3665. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los porteros del Movistar Inter, Jesús Herrero y Alejandro González, celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa, en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3665. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los porteros del Movistar Inter, Jesús Herrero y Alejandro González, celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis al FC Barcelona Lassa, en el último encuentro disputado en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3663. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del Movistar Inter celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis en el último encuentro disputado frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3663. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del Movistar Inter celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis en el último encuentro disputado frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3663. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del Movistar Inter celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis en el último encuentro disputado frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3663. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del Movistar Inter celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis en el último encuentro disputado frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3663. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del Movistar Inter celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis en el último encuentro disputado frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3663. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del Movistar Inter celebran su victoria en la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala tras derrotar en la tanda de penaltis en el último encuentro disputado frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3630. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter, Elisandro, celebra el primer gol del equipo madrileño durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que disputan frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3630. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter, Elisandro, celebra el primer gol del equipo madrileño durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que disputan frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3630. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter, Elisandro, celebra el primer gol del equipo madrileño durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que disputan frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3628. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter, Elisandro (d), celebra el primer gol del equipo madrileño durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que disputan frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3628. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter, Elisandro (d), celebra el primer gol del equipo madrileño durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que disputan frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3628. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter, Elisandro (d), celebra el primer gol del equipo madrileño durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que disputan frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3628. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter, Elisandro (d), celebra el primer gol del equipo madrileño durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que disputan frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3628. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter, Elisandro (d), celebra el primer gol del equipo madrileño durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que disputan frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3628. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter, Elisandro (d), celebra el primer gol del equipo madrileño durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que disputan frente al FC Barcelona Lassa en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3621. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d), intenta golpear el balón ante el acoso del jugador del FC Barcelona Lassa, Sergio Lozano, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3621. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d), intenta golpear el balón ante el acoso del jugador del FC Barcelona Lassa, Sergio Lozano, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3621. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d), intenta golpear el balón ante el acoso del jugador del FC Barcelona Lassa, Sergio Lozano, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3613. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d), protege el balón ante el acoso del jugador del FC Barcelona Lassa, Sergio Lozano, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3613. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d), protege el balón ante el acoso del jugador del FC Barcelona Lassa, Sergio Lozano, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3613. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d), protege el balón ante el acoso del jugador del FC Barcelona Lassa, Sergio Lozano, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3613. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d), protege el balón ante el acoso del jugador del FC Barcelona Lassa, Sergio Lozano, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3613. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d), protege el balón ante el acoso del jugador del FC Barcelona Lassa, Sergio Lozano, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3613. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d), protege el balón ante el acoso del jugador del FC Barcelona Lassa, Sergio Lozano, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3612. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d), protege el balón ante el acoso del jugador del FC Barcelona Lassa, Diego, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3612. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d), protege el balón ante el acoso del jugador del FC Barcelona Lassa, Diego, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3612. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d), protege el balón ante el acoso del jugador del FC Barcelona Lassa, Diego, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
Segundo o "Mundo Deportivo", Pjanic e Manolas estão na mira do Barcelona
Jogadores do futebol italiano aparecem no radar do Barcelona
Segundo o "Mundo Deportivo", Pjanic e Manolas estão na mira do Barcelona
GRAF3590. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del FC Barcelona Lassa, Ferrao (d), se dispone a golpear el balón ante la defensa del jugador de Movistar Inter, Adrián Alonso Pereira "Pola", durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3590. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del FC Barcelona Lassa, Ferrao (d), se dispone a golpear el balón ante la defensa del jugador de Movistar Inter, Adrián Alonso Pereira "Pola", durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
GRAF3590. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del FC Barcelona Lassa, Ferrao (d), se dispone a golpear el balón ante la defensa del jugador de Movistar Inter, Adrián Alonso Pereira "Pola", durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín.
Zagueiro do Barcelona participou do documentário de Griezmann (Foto: Divulgação / Barcelona)
Participação de Piqué em filme de Griezmann gera mal-estar no Barça
Zagueiro do Barcelona participou do documentário de Griezmann (Foto: Divulgação / Barcelona)
GRAF3588. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d) se escapa de Adolfo, del FC Barcelona Lassa, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3588. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d) se escapa de Adolfo, del FC Barcelona Lassa, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3588. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del Movistar Inter Elisandro (d) se escapa de Adolfo, del FC Barcelona Lassa, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3587. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del FC Barcelona Lassa celebran el gol de Dyego, primero del equipo ante el Movistar Inter, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3587. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del FC Barcelona Lassa celebran el gol de Dyego, primero del equipo ante el Movistar Inter, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3587. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del FC Barcelona Lassa celebran el gol de Dyego, primero del equipo ante el Movistar Inter, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3578. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del FC Barcelona Lassa Ferrao (d) intenta superar al portero del Movistar Inter Jesús Herrero, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3578. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del FC Barcelona Lassa Ferrao (d) intenta superar al portero del Movistar Inter Jesús Herrero, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3578. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- El brasileño del FC Barcelona Lassa Ferrao (d) intenta superar al portero del Movistar Inter Jesús Herrero, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3582. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del FC Barcelona Lassa celebran el gol de Dyego, primero del equipo ante el Movistar Inter, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3582. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del FC Barcelona Lassa celebran el gol de Dyego, primero del equipo ante el Movistar Inter, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
GRAF3582. TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ (MADRID), 19/06/2018.- Los jugadores del FC Barcelona Lassa celebran el gol de Dyego, primero del equipo ante el Movistar Inter, durante el quinto y definitivo partido de la final de la Liga de Fútbol Sala que se juega esta noche en el pabellón Jorge Garbajosa de Torrejón de Ardoz. EFE/JuanJo Martín
Atletico Madrid made their intentions clear when they announced that ace striker Antoine Griezmann has decided to pen a contract extension with them. Griezmann was being linked with a move to Barcelona for quite sometime but he decided to commit his future with Atletico. It is being touted as the biggest deal of this summer. Here we decode its significance.
Griezmann and Atletico: A match made in heaven
Atletico Madrid made their intentions clear when they announced that ace striker Antoine Griezmann has decided to pen a contract extension with them. Griezmann was being linked with a move to Barcelona for quite sometime but he decided to commit his future with Atletico. It is being touted as the biggest deal of this summer. Here we decode its significance.
Brazil have been given a scare ahead of Friday’s clash with Costa Rica after Neymar missed training for a second successive day. The news came as Philippe Coutinho warned his Brazil team-mates that there would be no margin for error against the Costa Ricans in St Petersburg following their disappointing 1-1 draw in their opening game against Switzerland on Sunday. Neymar, who had sat out training on Monday, was unable to take part in Tuesday's session after complaining of pain to his right ankle. The Paris St-Germain forward, who had managed only a few warm up exercises, was seen kicking a ball away in frustration as he hobbled off in the company of Brazil physiotherapist, Bruno Manek, at the team’s base in Sochi. Rodrigo Lasmar, Brazil’s doctor, said Neymar would receive more treatment on Wednesday morning but was due to return to full training in afternoon, with Brazil confident the player will be fit to play on Friday. Coutinho said Neymar’s fitness was not a worry and the pain he was feeling was “normal”. URGENTE! Em Sochi, Neymar sente e deixa o treino da Seleção mancando nesta terça-feira (19). Confira o momento! #Copa2018pic.twitter.com/ZNRboOu4Hf— Esporte Interativo (@Esp_Interativo) 19 June 2018 But the situation is still a concern for Brazil, not least as their coach, Tite, had warned before the Switzerland game that Neymar was “not 100 per cent fit” after fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his right foot in February and would require careful handling in Russia. The Swiss result has also increased the pressure to deliver against Costa Rica. “We will treat the game like it’s the final game,” said Coutinho, the Barcelona and former Liverpool forward whose stunning strike had put Brazil in front against Switzerland. “We are aware we have no more room for error.” Brazil blamed Neymar’s problem on his treatment by Switzerland when he was fouled 10 times, more than any player at a World Cup since Alan Shearer at France ‘98. However, it was after Neymar slammed his right foot into Stephan Lichtsteiner on the follow through from a shot that hit the side-netting in the second half that he was left limping. Neymar was fouled 10 times in the draw with Switzerland Credit: Reuters Neymar, who is under acute pressure to help Brazil atone their 7-1 humiliation by Germany in the World Cup semi finals on home soil four years ago, finished the game but was seen hobbling out of the Rostov Arena after urging referees to “do their jobs” and provide more protection. “Neymar complained of ankle pains as a result of the number of fouls suffered against Switzerland,” Lasmar said. “He was referred to physical therapy, and he stayed there today and he will be there tomorrow morning, but he will train tomorrow afternoon.” Any issues with Neymar will increase the onus on Coutinho, who said Tite had addressed the need for the five time world champions to improve their finishing against Costa Rica as well as Serbia next Wednesday. “We already discussed this matter [with Tite]. Now the important thing is to be mentally strong and concentrate on what’s up next. Brazil’s strong point is the collective. Obviously in one game a specific player could steal the show but our real strength is the collective.”
Neymar limps out of Brazil training for a second successive day
Brazil have been given a scare ahead of Friday’s clash with Costa Rica after Neymar missed training for a second successive day. The news came as Philippe Coutinho warned his Brazil team-mates that there would be no margin for error against the Costa Ricans in St Petersburg following their disappointing 1-1 draw in their opening game against Switzerland on Sunday. Neymar, who had sat out training on Monday, was unable to take part in Tuesday's session after complaining of pain to his right ankle. The Paris St-Germain forward, who had managed only a few warm up exercises, was seen kicking a ball away in frustration as he hobbled off in the company of Brazil physiotherapist, Bruno Manek, at the team’s base in Sochi. Rodrigo Lasmar, Brazil’s doctor, said Neymar would receive more treatment on Wednesday morning but was due to return to full training in afternoon, with Brazil confident the player will be fit to play on Friday. Coutinho said Neymar’s fitness was not a worry and the pain he was feeling was “normal”. URGENTE! Em Sochi, Neymar sente e deixa o treino da Seleção mancando nesta terça-feira (19). Confira o momento! #Copa2018pic.twitter.com/ZNRboOu4Hf— Esporte Interativo (@Esp_Interativo) 19 June 2018 But the situation is still a concern for Brazil, not least as their coach, Tite, had warned before the Switzerland game that Neymar was “not 100 per cent fit” after fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his right foot in February and would require careful handling in Russia. The Swiss result has also increased the pressure to deliver against Costa Rica. “We will treat the game like it’s the final game,” said Coutinho, the Barcelona and former Liverpool forward whose stunning strike had put Brazil in front against Switzerland. “We are aware we have no more room for error.” Brazil blamed Neymar’s problem on his treatment by Switzerland when he was fouled 10 times, more than any player at a World Cup since Alan Shearer at France ‘98. However, it was after Neymar slammed his right foot into Stephan Lichtsteiner on the follow through from a shot that hit the side-netting in the second half that he was left limping. Neymar was fouled 10 times in the draw with Switzerland Credit: Reuters Neymar, who is under acute pressure to help Brazil atone their 7-1 humiliation by Germany in the World Cup semi finals on home soil four years ago, finished the game but was seen hobbling out of the Rostov Arena after urging referees to “do their jobs” and provide more protection. “Neymar complained of ankle pains as a result of the number of fouls suffered against Switzerland,” Lasmar said. “He was referred to physical therapy, and he stayed there today and he will be there tomorrow morning, but he will train tomorrow afternoon.” Any issues with Neymar will increase the onus on Coutinho, who said Tite had addressed the need for the five time world champions to improve their finishing against Costa Rica as well as Serbia next Wednesday. “We already discussed this matter [with Tite]. Now the important thing is to be mentally strong and concentrate on what’s up next. Brazil’s strong point is the collective. Obviously in one game a specific player could steal the show but our real strength is the collective.”
Brazil have been given a scare ahead of Friday’s clash with Costa Rica after Neymar missed training for a second successive day. The news came as Philippe Coutinho warned his Brazil team-mates that there would be no margin for error against the Costa Ricans in St Petersburg following their disappointing 1-1 draw in their opening game against Switzerland on Sunday. Neymar, who had sat out training on Monday, was unable to take part in Tuesday's session after complaining of pain to his right ankle. The Paris St-Germain forward, who had managed only a few warm up exercises, was seen kicking a ball away in frustration as he hobbled off in the company of Brazil physiotherapist, Bruno Manek, at the team’s base in Sochi. Rodrigo Lasmar, Brazil’s doctor, said Neymar would receive more treatment on Wednesday morning but was due to return to full training in afternoon, with Brazil confident the player will be fit to play on Friday. Coutinho said Neymar’s fitness was not a worry and the pain he was feeling was “normal”. URGENTE! Em Sochi, Neymar sente e deixa o treino da Seleção mancando nesta terça-feira (19). Confira o momento! #Copa2018pic.twitter.com/ZNRboOu4Hf— Esporte Interativo (@Esp_Interativo) 19 June 2018 But the situation is still a concern for Brazil, not least as their coach, Tite, had warned before the Switzerland game that Neymar was “not 100 per cent fit” after fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his right foot in February and would require careful handling in Russia. The Swiss result has also increased the pressure to deliver against Costa Rica. “We will treat the game like it’s the final game,” said Coutinho, the Barcelona and former Liverpool forward whose stunning strike had put Brazil in front against Switzerland. “We are aware we have no more room for error.” Brazil blamed Neymar’s problem on his treatment by Switzerland when he was fouled 10 times, more than any player at a World Cup since Alan Shearer at France ‘98. However, it was after Neymar slammed his right foot into Stephan Lichtsteiner on the follow through from a shot that hit the side-netting in the second half that he was left limping. Neymar was fouled 10 times in the draw with Switzerland Credit: Reuters Neymar, who is under acute pressure to help Brazil atone their 7-1 humiliation by Germany in the World Cup semi finals on home soil four years ago, finished the game but was seen hobbling out of the Rostov Arena after urging referees to “do their jobs” and provide more protection. “Neymar complained of ankle pains as a result of the number of fouls suffered against Switzerland,” Lasmar said. “He was referred to physical therapy, and he stayed there today and he will be there tomorrow morning, but he will train tomorrow afternoon.” Any issues with Neymar will increase the onus on Coutinho, who said Tite had addressed the need for the five time world champions to improve their finishing against Costa Rica as well as Serbia next Wednesday. “We already discussed this matter [with Tite]. Now the important thing is to be mentally strong and concentrate on what’s up next. Brazil’s strong point is the collective. Obviously in one game a specific player could steal the show but our real strength is the collective.”
Neymar limps out of Brazil training for a second successive day
Brazil have been given a scare ahead of Friday’s clash with Costa Rica after Neymar missed training for a second successive day. The news came as Philippe Coutinho warned his Brazil team-mates that there would be no margin for error against the Costa Ricans in St Petersburg following their disappointing 1-1 draw in their opening game against Switzerland on Sunday. Neymar, who had sat out training on Monday, was unable to take part in Tuesday's session after complaining of pain to his right ankle. The Paris St-Germain forward, who had managed only a few warm up exercises, was seen kicking a ball away in frustration as he hobbled off in the company of Brazil physiotherapist, Bruno Manek, at the team’s base in Sochi. Rodrigo Lasmar, Brazil’s doctor, said Neymar would receive more treatment on Wednesday morning but was due to return to full training in afternoon, with Brazil confident the player will be fit to play on Friday. Coutinho said Neymar’s fitness was not a worry and the pain he was feeling was “normal”. URGENTE! Em Sochi, Neymar sente e deixa o treino da Seleção mancando nesta terça-feira (19). Confira o momento! #Copa2018pic.twitter.com/ZNRboOu4Hf— Esporte Interativo (@Esp_Interativo) 19 June 2018 But the situation is still a concern for Brazil, not least as their coach, Tite, had warned before the Switzerland game that Neymar was “not 100 per cent fit” after fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his right foot in February and would require careful handling in Russia. The Swiss result has also increased the pressure to deliver against Costa Rica. “We will treat the game like it’s the final game,” said Coutinho, the Barcelona and former Liverpool forward whose stunning strike had put Brazil in front against Switzerland. “We are aware we have no more room for error.” Brazil blamed Neymar’s problem on his treatment by Switzerland when he was fouled 10 times, more than any player at a World Cup since Alan Shearer at France ‘98. However, it was after Neymar slammed his right foot into Stephan Lichtsteiner on the follow through from a shot that hit the side-netting in the second half that he was left limping. Neymar was fouled 10 times in the draw with Switzerland Credit: Reuters Neymar, who is under acute pressure to help Brazil atone their 7-1 humiliation by Germany in the World Cup semi finals on home soil four years ago, finished the game but was seen hobbling out of the Rostov Arena after urging referees to “do their jobs” and provide more protection. “Neymar complained of ankle pains as a result of the number of fouls suffered against Switzerland,” Lasmar said. “He was referred to physical therapy, and he stayed there today and he will be there tomorrow morning, but he will train tomorrow afternoon.” Any issues with Neymar will increase the onus on Coutinho, who said Tite had addressed the need for the five time world champions to improve their finishing against Costa Rica as well as Serbia next Wednesday. “We already discussed this matter [with Tite]. Now the important thing is to be mentally strong and concentrate on what’s up next. Brazil’s strong point is the collective. Obviously in one game a specific player could steal the show but our real strength is the collective.”
El Ayuntamiento de Barcelona ha aprobado obligar a los promotores de vivienda
Ada Colau obliga a destinar 30% de promociones de vivienda a pisos sociales
El Ayuntamiento de Barcelona ha aprobado obligar a los promotores de vivienda
El Ayuntamiento de Barcelona ha aprobado obligar a los promotores de vivienda
Ada Colau obliga a destinar 30% de promociones de vivienda a pisos sociales
El Ayuntamiento de Barcelona ha aprobado obligar a los promotores de vivienda
​Após a derrota da Colômbia para o Japão por 2x1, na estreia de ambas as seleções na Copa do Mundo, a torcida palmeirense questionou a ausência do ex-alviverde Mina entre os titulares Colombianos. Já que o jovem zagueiro é considerado um dos mais promissores na posição e recentemente foi negociado com o Barcelona. Sem essa dupla mermão, tem mais é que se foder bonito. Sem Borja não faz gol. Sem mina toma gol. Aprendam inúteis. pic.twitter.com/ELHLdUGkHf — NeyMila 7 ⓟ VOA MENINO JESUS ...
Técnico explica porquê não escalou Mina: "Tinha sequência no Palmeiras"
​Após a derrota da Colômbia para o Japão por 2x1, na estreia de ambas as seleções na Copa do Mundo, a torcida palmeirense questionou a ausência do ex-alviverde Mina entre os titulares Colombianos. Já que o jovem zagueiro é considerado um dos mais promissores na posição e recentemente foi negociado com o Barcelona. Sem essa dupla mermão, tem mais é que se foder bonito. Sem Borja não faz gol. Sem mina toma gol. Aprendam inúteis. pic.twitter.com/ELHLdUGkHf — NeyMila 7 ⓟ VOA MENINO JESUS ...
De Jong mencuri perharian Barcelona musim lalu.
Wonderkid Belanda Tunggu Pinangan Barcelona
De Jong mencuri perharian Barcelona musim lalu.
-FOTODELDIA- B33 .BADALONA (BARCELONA),19/06/18.- El jugador de los Utah Jazz de la NBA, Ricky Rubio (i) que apadrinará el segundo Torneo de Baloncesto Unificado, que se celebrará en el Palau Olímpic de Badalona entre el 29 de junio y el 1 de julio posa durante el acto en el que ha sido nombrado embajador de Special Olympics. EFE/Alejandro García
-FOTODELDIA- B33 .BADALONA (BARCELONA),19/06/18.- El jugador de los Utah Jazz de la NBA, Ricky Rubio (i) que apadrinará el segundo Torneo de Baloncesto Unificado, que se celebrará en el Palau Olímpic de Badalona entre el 29 de junio y el 1 de julio posa durante el acto en el que ha sido nombrado embajador de Special Olympics. EFE/Alejandro García
-FOTODELDIA- B33 .BADALONA (BARCELONA),19/06/18.- El jugador de los Utah Jazz de la NBA, Ricky Rubio (i) que apadrinará el segundo Torneo de Baloncesto Unificado, que se celebrará en el Palau Olímpic de Badalona entre el 29 de junio y el 1 de julio posa durante el acto en el que ha sido nombrado embajador de Special Olympics. EFE/Alejandro García
Segundo o 'Ouest-France Sport44', Douglas deve ser emprestado ao Nantes (Foto:PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)
Sem espaço no Barcelona, Douglas deve ser emprestado ao Nantes
Segundo o 'Ouest-France Sport44', Douglas deve ser emprestado ao Nantes (Foto:PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)
The club will probe the involvement of the defender and Samuel Umtiti in the forward's decision to stay at Atletico Madrid
Barcelona angered by Pique's involvement in Griezmann saga
The club will probe the involvement of the defender and Samuel Umtiti in the forward's decision to stay at Atletico Madrid
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bear in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo

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