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World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 20, 2018 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal as Morocco's Munir Mohamedi picks the ball out of the goal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco
World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 20, 2018 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal as Morocco's Munir Mohamedi picks the ball out of the goal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
1:44PM 44 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 More smart play by those Moroccan men on the right side. First time, the ball is hacked clear. Second time, the ball is chested back to Patricio to bring an end to the attack. "Guerreiro is making Amrabat look world class," says Martin Keown. 1:42PM 42 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Guedes probably should have done better with that chance. He had a lot of goal to aim at, but stuck it far too close to Mohamedi. 1:40PM 40 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A big chance for Portugal to double their lead! It's come from nothing as Morocco switch off slightly and allow Guedes to latch onto a little Ronaldo dink over the top. The Portugal frontman hits the ball on the run and Mohamedi palms away, moving to his left. Benatia is then booked for a foul on Ronaldo soon after. 1:38PM 38 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A lovely overlap sees Hakimi drive high up the pitch for Morocco, but Boutaib cannot keep hold of the ball inside the Portugal penalty area. Back they come again though and Portugal twice have to hoof the ball clear. 1:36PM 36 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A few fouls coming in from both sides in the middle of the park. Still no yellow cards been shown. Portugal vs Morocco shots on goal 1:32PM 32 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 ... Ronaldo marks out his run-up, pulls up his shorts, puffs his cheeks... and then whacks the ball into the Morocco wall. 1:31PM 31 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are again appealing for a penalty as Fonte crashes into Boutaib inside the penalty area, but the referee isn't interested. Portugal then go straight down the other end and win a free-kick 20 yards out from goal. Step up you know who... 1:30PM 30 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ronaldo has barely got a look for the past 15mins or so. His side just cannot retain possession. Morocco fans at Luzhniki respond to Ronaldo’s complaints by singing ‘Messi, Messi’. An old one but a good one— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) June 20, 2018 1:28PM 28 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Amrabat, playing on the right wing today (he played right-back against Iran) is tearing Guerreiro to pieces every time he gets the ball. He just about wriggles clear of the Portugal left-back, ventures into the Portugal penalty area and then tumbles over as Guerreiro fights back to apply some pressure. It looked as though both players were clinging on to their opposite man and Morocco's penalty appeals are waved away. Correct. No need for VAR to intervene. 1:25PM 25 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A bit of an ouchy for Ronaldo prompts the Portugal star to roll around in howls, while clutching his ankle (which was caught by Benatia). A foul is given, but no card shown, and Ronaldo's recovery is swift - almost like it didn't hurt that much in the first place. 1:23PM 23 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ziyech, who has been making quite a name for himself at Ajax this season, is causing plenty of problems and this time tries his luck from range. Nothing too troubling for Patricio, but Ziyech is an attacking player of some talent. 1:22PM 22 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Portugal are really struggling to retain possession. Morocco are pressing so high in the opposition half and Portugal are frequently pushed further and further back. Bar the goal, you have to be impressed with how the Moroccans have played so far. 1:19PM 19 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are continuing to cause all sorts of problems. Amrabat and Dirar link up smartly down the right (where all the problems are coming from), before the Morocco right-back pulls the ball back dangerously into the penalty area, but the shot under pressure flies over the bar. 1:17PM 17 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 BREAKING NEWS: Amrabat has just flung his skull cap towards the bench in disgust, revealing his gloriously shaved bonce. 1:16PM 16 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 This game is very open in these early stages. Neither side is sitting back on the ball, which is making for plenty of action. Morocco are a goal behind but not playing poorly at all. They are pressing with vigour. 1:14PM 14 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 The Moroccans are pushing hard at the moment, forcing Portugal deep inside their own half and winning another corner. It is only half-cleared before being delivered again for Da Costa to head well wide. 1:13PM 13 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A couple of nice Ronaldo stats: 85 - Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored more international goals than any other European player in the history of football (85 goals for Portugal). Historic. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/I3wsEJTGlQ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 2 - Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first Portugal player since José Torres in 1966 to score a goal with his right foot, left foot and head in a single World Cup tournament. Collection. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/liZrUSyXmq— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 1:12PM 11 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Credit to Morocco, they haven't responded too badly to going behind and Amrabat is causing problems against an ageing (actually, very much aged) Portugal defence down the right. The north African side win a corner, which finds Da Costa unmarked in the middle of the box and his header is held on the line by Patricio diving low to his right. 1:10PM 9 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Here comes Ronaldo again. Guerreiro is allowed far, far too much space to bring the ball deep inside Morocco's half. Inside it comes to Ronaldo, who attempts to let fly from the edge of the penalty area but scuffs his shot wide of the post. He's in the mood. 1:07PM 6 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 That was such poor marking and Ronaldo is just too good for that. Morocco's World Cup 2018 future is dangling by a thread. 1:05PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL And you don't even need me to tell you who scored it. The corner is whipped to the edge of the six-yard box where Ronaldo is woefully marked. The Real Madrid man flings himself powerfully at the ball and bullets a header past Mohamedi in goal to put Portugal ahead. Portugal 1 - 0 Morocco (Cristiano Ronaldo, 4 min) 1:04PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 Now it is Portugal's turn to venture upfield through Bernardo Silva on the right. He wins a first corner that ends with Guerreiro seeing a shot deflected over for a second corner... 1:02PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 An early foray forward sees the skull-capped Amrabat deliver a cross from the right. Portugal cannot release the pressure and the ball is worked back into the penalty area from the left where Boutaib meets it and heads over the bar. A lively start from the Moroccans. 1:00PM Kick-off Morocco in red get this match underway. Portugal are in white. Morocco must win to keep their hopes of progressing alive. 12:55PM Game time The teams are out and the anthems are being sung. Almost ready. 12:48PM Bang to the head It had been assumed that Amrabat would not feature for Morocco today after he was forced off during the match with Iran when he bashed his head against the floor and suffered a concussion. However, he has been selected and is wearing a Petr Cech-style skull cap in the warm-up. Unsurprisingly, his inclusion in the starting XI has prompted some raised eyebrows. Nordin Amrabat starts. ����#MOR team doctor - Abderrazak Hifti: "I asked him five questions and he could only answer one, I saw clear symptoms of cerebral concussion.” FIFA concussion protocol. Return to competitive play - 6 days ���� pic.twitter.com/m4xi5Coore— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) June 20, 2018 12:45PM Sun shining on the Luzhniki Credit: reuters Credit: reuters 12:36PM Mismatch? JJ Bull has watched every minute of every match so far at this World Cup, and is thus perfectly placed to tell you who is good and who is rubbish. He has produced a handy guide to all 32 teams, ranking them from worst to best after their opening encounters in Russia. READ IT BY CLICKING HERE. The teams involved in this match are ranked second... and 25th. 12:24PM I see some changes Just the one change from the Portugal side that drew 3-3 with Spain: Joao Mario comes in for Bruno Fernandes on the left wing. Morocco have tinkered a bit more after their shock defeat against Iran, making three changes to the side that started that game. Nabil Dirar and Manuel Da Costa come in, which sees Watford's Nordin Amrabat shifted further forward into a midfield role. Khalid Boutaib replaces Ayoub El Kaabi up top. 12:10PM Here are your teams The teams are in for #PORMAR! #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/73Cx1XolJV— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 20, 2018 12:05PM The main man Let's focus a little more on the undoubted star of today's show: CR7. I don't know what you're talking about guys, I think the Ronaldo statue looks pretty good pic.twitter.com/JIUwQBuqUY— keewa (@keewa) March 29, 2017 Dashing, isn't he? His hat-trick against Spain was phenomenal and broke or matched a number of records: He joined Uwe Seeler, Pele and Miroslav Klose as only the fourth player to score in four separate World Cup tournaments. He became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships, Copa America). At 33 years and 130 days, he became the oldest hat-trick scorer in World Cup history. At an age when most players are considered either past it or on the decline, Ronaldo has shown no signs of slowing. Consider this: 2006, 2010, 2014 World Cups = 70 shots, 3 goals. 2018 World Cup = 4 shots, 3 goals. Stop him if you can. 11:35AM Ronaldo vs Morocco The meticulously marked out run-up, the ludicrous power pose, the rolled up shorts to expose those bulging thighs, the puff of the cheeks and the fiery stare. Everything about Cristiano Ronaldo's 89th-minute hat-trick goal against Spain last Friday was pure theatre. And wasn't it brilliant? A man who - love him or loathe him - lives for the biggest moments. A man who makes it All. About. Him. And then - THEN - he goes and delivers. If anyone thought Portugal were a one-man team at this World Cup, last Friday's match only reinforced such an opinion. Their 3-3 draw against Spain showcased two things about Portugal's team: Ronaldo's total brilliance and the rest of team's (including your Bernardo Silvas, your Joao Moutinhos etc) bang averageness. That draw means Portugal have emerged from their toughest match of Group B with a point and today they face a Morocco side who were stunned by Iran in their opener. The Moroccans would have come to this World Cup knowing the scale of the task facing them in a group containing Spain and Portugal. The plan: do Iran over and then see if you can get a result against one of the big boys. So much for that. The north African side dominated for much of their opening match, but paid the price for their profligacy in front of goal. Just as it looked like Iran would cling on for an admirable goalless draw, Morocco substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz stuck the ball in his own net in the 95th minute to gift the most unlikely of victories. That has left Morocco in a whole heap of bother. Herve Renard knows his side now cannot afford to lose either of their remaining two games against the two heavyweights of the group. These two sides have met once before at a World Cup and it was Morocco who came out on top in a 3-1 win. That was Portugal's only defeat against African opposition at any World Cup and the bookies have Ronaldo and chums as fairly heavy favourites to triumph today.
Portugal vs Morocco, World Cup 2018 - live score and latest updates as Cristiano Ronaldo scores again
1:44PM 44 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 More smart play by those Moroccan men on the right side. First time, the ball is hacked clear. Second time, the ball is chested back to Patricio to bring an end to the attack. "Guerreiro is making Amrabat look world class," says Martin Keown. 1:42PM 42 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Guedes probably should have done better with that chance. He had a lot of goal to aim at, but stuck it far too close to Mohamedi. 1:40PM 40 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A big chance for Portugal to double their lead! It's come from nothing as Morocco switch off slightly and allow Guedes to latch onto a little Ronaldo dink over the top. The Portugal frontman hits the ball on the run and Mohamedi palms away, moving to his left. Benatia is then booked for a foul on Ronaldo soon after. 1:38PM 38 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A lovely overlap sees Hakimi drive high up the pitch for Morocco, but Boutaib cannot keep hold of the ball inside the Portugal penalty area. Back they come again though and Portugal twice have to hoof the ball clear. 1:36PM 36 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A few fouls coming in from both sides in the middle of the park. Still no yellow cards been shown. Portugal vs Morocco shots on goal 1:32PM 32 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 ... Ronaldo marks out his run-up, pulls up his shorts, puffs his cheeks... and then whacks the ball into the Morocco wall. 1:31PM 31 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are again appealing for a penalty as Fonte crashes into Boutaib inside the penalty area, but the referee isn't interested. Portugal then go straight down the other end and win a free-kick 20 yards out from goal. Step up you know who... 1:30PM 30 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ronaldo has barely got a look for the past 15mins or so. His side just cannot retain possession. Morocco fans at Luzhniki respond to Ronaldo’s complaints by singing ‘Messi, Messi’. An old one but a good one— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) June 20, 2018 1:28PM 28 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Amrabat, playing on the right wing today (he played right-back against Iran) is tearing Guerreiro to pieces every time he gets the ball. He just about wriggles clear of the Portugal left-back, ventures into the Portugal penalty area and then tumbles over as Guerreiro fights back to apply some pressure. It looked as though both players were clinging on to their opposite man and Morocco's penalty appeals are waved away. Correct. No need for VAR to intervene. 1:25PM 25 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A bit of an ouchy for Ronaldo prompts the Portugal star to roll around in howls, while clutching his ankle (which was caught by Benatia). A foul is given, but no card shown, and Ronaldo's recovery is swift - almost like it didn't hurt that much in the first place. 1:23PM 23 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ziyech, who has been making quite a name for himself at Ajax this season, is causing plenty of problems and this time tries his luck from range. Nothing too troubling for Patricio, but Ziyech is an attacking player of some talent. 1:22PM 22 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Portugal are really struggling to retain possession. Morocco are pressing so high in the opposition half and Portugal are frequently pushed further and further back. Bar the goal, you have to be impressed with how the Moroccans have played so far. 1:19PM 19 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are continuing to cause all sorts of problems. Amrabat and Dirar link up smartly down the right (where all the problems are coming from), before the Morocco right-back pulls the ball back dangerously into the penalty area, but the shot under pressure flies over the bar. 1:17PM 17 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 BREAKING NEWS: Amrabat has just flung his skull cap towards the bench in disgust, revealing his gloriously shaved bonce. 1:16PM 16 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 This game is very open in these early stages. Neither side is sitting back on the ball, which is making for plenty of action. Morocco are a goal behind but not playing poorly at all. They are pressing with vigour. 1:14PM 14 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 The Moroccans are pushing hard at the moment, forcing Portugal deep inside their own half and winning another corner. It is only half-cleared before being delivered again for Da Costa to head well wide. 1:13PM 13 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A couple of nice Ronaldo stats: 85 - Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored more international goals than any other European player in the history of football (85 goals for Portugal). Historic. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/I3wsEJTGlQ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 2 - Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first Portugal player since José Torres in 1966 to score a goal with his right foot, left foot and head in a single World Cup tournament. Collection. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/liZrUSyXmq— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 1:12PM 11 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Credit to Morocco, they haven't responded too badly to going behind and Amrabat is causing problems against an ageing (actually, very much aged) Portugal defence down the right. The north African side win a corner, which finds Da Costa unmarked in the middle of the box and his header is held on the line by Patricio diving low to his right. 1:10PM 9 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Here comes Ronaldo again. Guerreiro is allowed far, far too much space to bring the ball deep inside Morocco's half. Inside it comes to Ronaldo, who attempts to let fly from the edge of the penalty area but scuffs his shot wide of the post. He's in the mood. 1:07PM 6 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 That was such poor marking and Ronaldo is just too good for that. Morocco's World Cup 2018 future is dangling by a thread. 1:05PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL And you don't even need me to tell you who scored it. The corner is whipped to the edge of the six-yard box where Ronaldo is woefully marked. The Real Madrid man flings himself powerfully at the ball and bullets a header past Mohamedi in goal to put Portugal ahead. Portugal 1 - 0 Morocco (Cristiano Ronaldo, 4 min) 1:04PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 Now it is Portugal's turn to venture upfield through Bernardo Silva on the right. He wins a first corner that ends with Guerreiro seeing a shot deflected over for a second corner... 1:02PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 An early foray forward sees the skull-capped Amrabat deliver a cross from the right. Portugal cannot release the pressure and the ball is worked back into the penalty area from the left where Boutaib meets it and heads over the bar. A lively start from the Moroccans. 1:00PM Kick-off Morocco in red get this match underway. Portugal are in white. Morocco must win to keep their hopes of progressing alive. 12:55PM Game time The teams are out and the anthems are being sung. Almost ready. 12:48PM Bang to the head It had been assumed that Amrabat would not feature for Morocco today after he was forced off during the match with Iran when he bashed his head against the floor and suffered a concussion. However, he has been selected and is wearing a Petr Cech-style skull cap in the warm-up. Unsurprisingly, his inclusion in the starting XI has prompted some raised eyebrows. Nordin Amrabat starts. ����#MOR team doctor - Abderrazak Hifti: "I asked him five questions and he could only answer one, I saw clear symptoms of cerebral concussion.” FIFA concussion protocol. Return to competitive play - 6 days ���� pic.twitter.com/m4xi5Coore— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) June 20, 2018 12:45PM Sun shining on the Luzhniki Credit: reuters Credit: reuters 12:36PM Mismatch? JJ Bull has watched every minute of every match so far at this World Cup, and is thus perfectly placed to tell you who is good and who is rubbish. He has produced a handy guide to all 32 teams, ranking them from worst to best after their opening encounters in Russia. READ IT BY CLICKING HERE. The teams involved in this match are ranked second... and 25th. 12:24PM I see some changes Just the one change from the Portugal side that drew 3-3 with Spain: Joao Mario comes in for Bruno Fernandes on the left wing. Morocco have tinkered a bit more after their shock defeat against Iran, making three changes to the side that started that game. Nabil Dirar and Manuel Da Costa come in, which sees Watford's Nordin Amrabat shifted further forward into a midfield role. Khalid Boutaib replaces Ayoub El Kaabi up top. 12:10PM Here are your teams The teams are in for #PORMAR! #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/73Cx1XolJV— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 20, 2018 12:05PM The main man Let's focus a little more on the undoubted star of today's show: CR7. I don't know what you're talking about guys, I think the Ronaldo statue looks pretty good pic.twitter.com/JIUwQBuqUY— keewa (@keewa) March 29, 2017 Dashing, isn't he? His hat-trick against Spain was phenomenal and broke or matched a number of records: He joined Uwe Seeler, Pele and Miroslav Klose as only the fourth player to score in four separate World Cup tournaments. He became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships, Copa America). At 33 years and 130 days, he became the oldest hat-trick scorer in World Cup history. At an age when most players are considered either past it or on the decline, Ronaldo has shown no signs of slowing. Consider this: 2006, 2010, 2014 World Cups = 70 shots, 3 goals. 2018 World Cup = 4 shots, 3 goals. Stop him if you can. 11:35AM Ronaldo vs Morocco The meticulously marked out run-up, the ludicrous power pose, the rolled up shorts to expose those bulging thighs, the puff of the cheeks and the fiery stare. Everything about Cristiano Ronaldo's 89th-minute hat-trick goal against Spain last Friday was pure theatre. And wasn't it brilliant? A man who - love him or loathe him - lives for the biggest moments. A man who makes it All. About. Him. And then - THEN - he goes and delivers. If anyone thought Portugal were a one-man team at this World Cup, last Friday's match only reinforced such an opinion. Their 3-3 draw against Spain showcased two things about Portugal's team: Ronaldo's total brilliance and the rest of team's (including your Bernardo Silvas, your Joao Moutinhos etc) bang averageness. That draw means Portugal have emerged from their toughest match of Group B with a point and today they face a Morocco side who were stunned by Iran in their opener. The Moroccans would have come to this World Cup knowing the scale of the task facing them in a group containing Spain and Portugal. The plan: do Iran over and then see if you can get a result against one of the big boys. So much for that. The north African side dominated for much of their opening match, but paid the price for their profligacy in front of goal. Just as it looked like Iran would cling on for an admirable goalless draw, Morocco substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz stuck the ball in his own net in the 95th minute to gift the most unlikely of victories. That has left Morocco in a whole heap of bother. Herve Renard knows his side now cannot afford to lose either of their remaining two games against the two heavyweights of the group. These two sides have met once before at a World Cup and it was Morocco who came out on top in a 3-1 win. That was Portugal's only defeat against African opposition at any World Cup and the bookies have Ronaldo and chums as fairly heavy favourites to triumph today.
1:44PM 44 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 More smart play by those Moroccan men on the right side. First time, the ball is hacked clear. Second time, the ball is chested back to Patricio to bring an end to the attack. "Guerreiro is making Amrabat look world class," says Martin Keown. 1:42PM 42 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Guedes probably should have done better with that chance. He had a lot of goal to aim at, but stuck it far too close to Mohamedi. 1:40PM 40 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A big chance for Portugal to double their lead! It's come from nothing as Morocco switch off slightly and allow Guedes to latch onto a little Ronaldo dink over the top. The Portugal frontman hits the ball on the run and Mohamedi palms away, moving to his left. Benatia is then booked for a foul on Ronaldo soon after. 1:38PM 38 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A lovely overlap sees Hakimi drive high up the pitch for Morocco, but Boutaib cannot keep hold of the ball inside the Portugal penalty area. Back they come again though and Portugal twice have to hoof the ball clear. 1:36PM 36 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A few fouls coming in from both sides in the middle of the park. Still no yellow cards been shown. Portugal vs Morocco shots on goal 1:32PM 32 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 ... Ronaldo marks out his run-up, pulls up his shorts, puffs his cheeks... and then whacks the ball into the Morocco wall. 1:31PM 31 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are again appealing for a penalty as Fonte crashes into Boutaib inside the penalty area, but the referee isn't interested. Portugal then go straight down the other end and win a free-kick 20 yards out from goal. Step up you know who... 1:30PM 30 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ronaldo has barely got a look for the past 15mins or so. His side just cannot retain possession. Morocco fans at Luzhniki respond to Ronaldo’s complaints by singing ‘Messi, Messi’. An old one but a good one— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) June 20, 2018 1:28PM 28 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Amrabat, playing on the right wing today (he played right-back against Iran) is tearing Guerreiro to pieces every time he gets the ball. He just about wriggles clear of the Portugal left-back, ventures into the Portugal penalty area and then tumbles over as Guerreiro fights back to apply some pressure. It looked as though both players were clinging on to their opposite man and Morocco's penalty appeals are waved away. Correct. No need for VAR to intervene. 1:25PM 25 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A bit of an ouchy for Ronaldo prompts the Portugal star to roll around in howls, while clutching his ankle (which was caught by Benatia). A foul is given, but no card shown, and Ronaldo's recovery is swift - almost like it didn't hurt that much in the first place. 1:23PM 23 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ziyech, who has been making quite a name for himself at Ajax this season, is causing plenty of problems and this time tries his luck from range. Nothing too troubling for Patricio, but Ziyech is an attacking player of some talent. 1:22PM 22 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Portugal are really struggling to retain possession. Morocco are pressing so high in the opposition half and Portugal are frequently pushed further and further back. Bar the goal, you have to be impressed with how the Moroccans have played so far. 1:19PM 19 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are continuing to cause all sorts of problems. Amrabat and Dirar link up smartly down the right (where all the problems are coming from), before the Morocco right-back pulls the ball back dangerously into the penalty area, but the shot under pressure flies over the bar. 1:17PM 17 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 BREAKING NEWS: Amrabat has just flung his skull cap towards the bench in disgust, revealing his gloriously shaved bonce. 1:16PM 16 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 This game is very open in these early stages. Neither side is sitting back on the ball, which is making for plenty of action. Morocco are a goal behind but not playing poorly at all. They are pressing with vigour. 1:14PM 14 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 The Moroccans are pushing hard at the moment, forcing Portugal deep inside their own half and winning another corner. It is only half-cleared before being delivered again for Da Costa to head well wide. 1:13PM 13 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A couple of nice Ronaldo stats: 85 - Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored more international goals than any other European player in the history of football (85 goals for Portugal). Historic. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/I3wsEJTGlQ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 2 - Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first Portugal player since José Torres in 1966 to score a goal with his right foot, left foot and head in a single World Cup tournament. Collection. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/liZrUSyXmq— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 1:12PM 11 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Credit to Morocco, they haven't responded too badly to going behind and Amrabat is causing problems against an ageing (actually, very much aged) Portugal defence down the right. The north African side win a corner, which finds Da Costa unmarked in the middle of the box and his header is held on the line by Patricio diving low to his right. 1:10PM 9 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Here comes Ronaldo again. Guerreiro is allowed far, far too much space to bring the ball deep inside Morocco's half. Inside it comes to Ronaldo, who attempts to let fly from the edge of the penalty area but scuffs his shot wide of the post. He's in the mood. 1:07PM 6 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 That was such poor marking and Ronaldo is just too good for that. Morocco's World Cup 2018 future is dangling by a thread. 1:05PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL And you don't even need me to tell you who scored it. The corner is whipped to the edge of the six-yard box where Ronaldo is woefully marked. The Real Madrid man flings himself powerfully at the ball and bullets a header past Mohamedi in goal to put Portugal ahead. Portugal 1 - 0 Morocco (Cristiano Ronaldo, 4 min) 1:04PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 Now it is Portugal's turn to venture upfield through Bernardo Silva on the right. He wins a first corner that ends with Guerreiro seeing a shot deflected over for a second corner... 1:02PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 An early foray forward sees the skull-capped Amrabat deliver a cross from the right. Portugal cannot release the pressure and the ball is worked back into the penalty area from the left where Boutaib meets it and heads over the bar. A lively start from the Moroccans. 1:00PM Kick-off Morocco in red get this match underway. Portugal are in white. Morocco must win to keep their hopes of progressing alive. 12:55PM Game time The teams are out and the anthems are being sung. Almost ready. 12:48PM Bang to the head It had been assumed that Amrabat would not feature for Morocco today after he was forced off during the match with Iran when he bashed his head against the floor and suffered a concussion. However, he has been selected and is wearing a Petr Cech-style skull cap in the warm-up. Unsurprisingly, his inclusion in the starting XI has prompted some raised eyebrows. Nordin Amrabat starts. ����#MOR team doctor - Abderrazak Hifti: "I asked him five questions and he could only answer one, I saw clear symptoms of cerebral concussion.” FIFA concussion protocol. Return to competitive play - 6 days ���� pic.twitter.com/m4xi5Coore— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) June 20, 2018 12:45PM Sun shining on the Luzhniki Credit: reuters Credit: reuters 12:36PM Mismatch? JJ Bull has watched every minute of every match so far at this World Cup, and is thus perfectly placed to tell you who is good and who is rubbish. He has produced a handy guide to all 32 teams, ranking them from worst to best after their opening encounters in Russia. READ IT BY CLICKING HERE. The teams involved in this match are ranked second... and 25th. 12:24PM I see some changes Just the one change from the Portugal side that drew 3-3 with Spain: Joao Mario comes in for Bruno Fernandes on the left wing. Morocco have tinkered a bit more after their shock defeat against Iran, making three changes to the side that started that game. Nabil Dirar and Manuel Da Costa come in, which sees Watford's Nordin Amrabat shifted further forward into a midfield role. Khalid Boutaib replaces Ayoub El Kaabi up top. 12:10PM Here are your teams The teams are in for #PORMAR! #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/73Cx1XolJV— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 20, 2018 12:05PM The main man Let's focus a little more on the undoubted star of today's show: CR7. I don't know what you're talking about guys, I think the Ronaldo statue looks pretty good pic.twitter.com/JIUwQBuqUY— keewa (@keewa) March 29, 2017 Dashing, isn't he? His hat-trick against Spain was phenomenal and broke or matched a number of records: He joined Uwe Seeler, Pele and Miroslav Klose as only the fourth player to score in four separate World Cup tournaments. He became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships, Copa America). At 33 years and 130 days, he became the oldest hat-trick scorer in World Cup history. At an age when most players are considered either past it or on the decline, Ronaldo has shown no signs of slowing. Consider this: 2006, 2010, 2014 World Cups = 70 shots, 3 goals. 2018 World Cup = 4 shots, 3 goals. Stop him if you can. 11:35AM Ronaldo vs Morocco The meticulously marked out run-up, the ludicrous power pose, the rolled up shorts to expose those bulging thighs, the puff of the cheeks and the fiery stare. Everything about Cristiano Ronaldo's 89th-minute hat-trick goal against Spain last Friday was pure theatre. And wasn't it brilliant? A man who - love him or loathe him - lives for the biggest moments. A man who makes it All. About. Him. And then - THEN - he goes and delivers. If anyone thought Portugal were a one-man team at this World Cup, last Friday's match only reinforced such an opinion. Their 3-3 draw against Spain showcased two things about Portugal's team: Ronaldo's total brilliance and the rest of team's (including your Bernardo Silvas, your Joao Moutinhos etc) bang averageness. That draw means Portugal have emerged from their toughest match of Group B with a point and today they face a Morocco side who were stunned by Iran in their opener. The Moroccans would have come to this World Cup knowing the scale of the task facing them in a group containing Spain and Portugal. The plan: do Iran over and then see if you can get a result against one of the big boys. So much for that. The north African side dominated for much of their opening match, but paid the price for their profligacy in front of goal. Just as it looked like Iran would cling on for an admirable goalless draw, Morocco substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz stuck the ball in his own net in the 95th minute to gift the most unlikely of victories. That has left Morocco in a whole heap of bother. Herve Renard knows his side now cannot afford to lose either of their remaining two games against the two heavyweights of the group. These two sides have met once before at a World Cup and it was Morocco who came out on top in a 3-1 win. That was Portugal's only defeat against African opposition at any World Cup and the bookies have Ronaldo and chums as fairly heavy favourites to triumph today.
Portugal vs Morocco, World Cup 2018 - live score and latest updates as Cristiano Ronaldo scores again
1:44PM 44 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 More smart play by those Moroccan men on the right side. First time, the ball is hacked clear. Second time, the ball is chested back to Patricio to bring an end to the attack. "Guerreiro is making Amrabat look world class," says Martin Keown. 1:42PM 42 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Guedes probably should have done better with that chance. He had a lot of goal to aim at, but stuck it far too close to Mohamedi. 1:40PM 40 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A big chance for Portugal to double their lead! It's come from nothing as Morocco switch off slightly and allow Guedes to latch onto a little Ronaldo dink over the top. The Portugal frontman hits the ball on the run and Mohamedi palms away, moving to his left. Benatia is then booked for a foul on Ronaldo soon after. 1:38PM 38 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A lovely overlap sees Hakimi drive high up the pitch for Morocco, but Boutaib cannot keep hold of the ball inside the Portugal penalty area. Back they come again though and Portugal twice have to hoof the ball clear. 1:36PM 36 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A few fouls coming in from both sides in the middle of the park. Still no yellow cards been shown. Portugal vs Morocco shots on goal 1:32PM 32 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 ... Ronaldo marks out his run-up, pulls up his shorts, puffs his cheeks... and then whacks the ball into the Morocco wall. 1:31PM 31 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are again appealing for a penalty as Fonte crashes into Boutaib inside the penalty area, but the referee isn't interested. Portugal then go straight down the other end and win a free-kick 20 yards out from goal. Step up you know who... 1:30PM 30 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ronaldo has barely got a look for the past 15mins or so. His side just cannot retain possession. Morocco fans at Luzhniki respond to Ronaldo’s complaints by singing ‘Messi, Messi’. An old one but a good one— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) June 20, 2018 1:28PM 28 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Amrabat, playing on the right wing today (he played right-back against Iran) is tearing Guerreiro to pieces every time he gets the ball. He just about wriggles clear of the Portugal left-back, ventures into the Portugal penalty area and then tumbles over as Guerreiro fights back to apply some pressure. It looked as though both players were clinging on to their opposite man and Morocco's penalty appeals are waved away. Correct. No need for VAR to intervene. 1:25PM 25 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A bit of an ouchy for Ronaldo prompts the Portugal star to roll around in howls, while clutching his ankle (which was caught by Benatia). A foul is given, but no card shown, and Ronaldo's recovery is swift - almost like it didn't hurt that much in the first place. 1:23PM 23 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ziyech, who has been making quite a name for himself at Ajax this season, is causing plenty of problems and this time tries his luck from range. Nothing too troubling for Patricio, but Ziyech is an attacking player of some talent. 1:22PM 22 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Portugal are really struggling to retain possession. Morocco are pressing so high in the opposition half and Portugal are frequently pushed further and further back. Bar the goal, you have to be impressed with how the Moroccans have played so far. 1:19PM 19 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are continuing to cause all sorts of problems. Amrabat and Dirar link up smartly down the right (where all the problems are coming from), before the Morocco right-back pulls the ball back dangerously into the penalty area, but the shot under pressure flies over the bar. 1:17PM 17 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 BREAKING NEWS: Amrabat has just flung his skull cap towards the bench in disgust, revealing his gloriously shaved bonce. 1:16PM 16 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 This game is very open in these early stages. Neither side is sitting back on the ball, which is making for plenty of action. Morocco are a goal behind but not playing poorly at all. They are pressing with vigour. 1:14PM 14 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 The Moroccans are pushing hard at the moment, forcing Portugal deep inside their own half and winning another corner. It is only half-cleared before being delivered again for Da Costa to head well wide. 1:13PM 13 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A couple of nice Ronaldo stats: 85 - Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored more international goals than any other European player in the history of football (85 goals for Portugal). Historic. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/I3wsEJTGlQ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 2 - Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first Portugal player since José Torres in 1966 to score a goal with his right foot, left foot and head in a single World Cup tournament. Collection. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/liZrUSyXmq— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 1:12PM 11 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Credit to Morocco, they haven't responded too badly to going behind and Amrabat is causing problems against an ageing (actually, very much aged) Portugal defence down the right. The north African side win a corner, which finds Da Costa unmarked in the middle of the box and his header is held on the line by Patricio diving low to his right. 1:10PM 9 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Here comes Ronaldo again. Guerreiro is allowed far, far too much space to bring the ball deep inside Morocco's half. Inside it comes to Ronaldo, who attempts to let fly from the edge of the penalty area but scuffs his shot wide of the post. He's in the mood. 1:07PM 6 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 That was such poor marking and Ronaldo is just too good for that. Morocco's World Cup 2018 future is dangling by a thread. 1:05PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL And you don't even need me to tell you who scored it. The corner is whipped to the edge of the six-yard box where Ronaldo is woefully marked. The Real Madrid man flings himself powerfully at the ball and bullets a header past Mohamedi in goal to put Portugal ahead. Portugal 1 - 0 Morocco (Cristiano Ronaldo, 4 min) 1:04PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 Now it is Portugal's turn to venture upfield through Bernardo Silva on the right. He wins a first corner that ends with Guerreiro seeing a shot deflected over for a second corner... 1:02PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 An early foray forward sees the skull-capped Amrabat deliver a cross from the right. Portugal cannot release the pressure and the ball is worked back into the penalty area from the left where Boutaib meets it and heads over the bar. A lively start from the Moroccans. 1:00PM Kick-off Morocco in red get this match underway. Portugal are in white. Morocco must win to keep their hopes of progressing alive. 12:55PM Game time The teams are out and the anthems are being sung. Almost ready. 12:48PM Bang to the head It had been assumed that Amrabat would not feature for Morocco today after he was forced off during the match with Iran when he bashed his head against the floor and suffered a concussion. However, he has been selected and is wearing a Petr Cech-style skull cap in the warm-up. Unsurprisingly, his inclusion in the starting XI has prompted some raised eyebrows. Nordin Amrabat starts. ����#MOR team doctor - Abderrazak Hifti: "I asked him five questions and he could only answer one, I saw clear symptoms of cerebral concussion.” FIFA concussion protocol. Return to competitive play - 6 days ���� pic.twitter.com/m4xi5Coore— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) June 20, 2018 12:45PM Sun shining on the Luzhniki Credit: reuters Credit: reuters 12:36PM Mismatch? JJ Bull has watched every minute of every match so far at this World Cup, and is thus perfectly placed to tell you who is good and who is rubbish. He has produced a handy guide to all 32 teams, ranking them from worst to best after their opening encounters in Russia. READ IT BY CLICKING HERE. The teams involved in this match are ranked second... and 25th. 12:24PM I see some changes Just the one change from the Portugal side that drew 3-3 with Spain: Joao Mario comes in for Bruno Fernandes on the left wing. Morocco have tinkered a bit more after their shock defeat against Iran, making three changes to the side that started that game. Nabil Dirar and Manuel Da Costa come in, which sees Watford's Nordin Amrabat shifted further forward into a midfield role. Khalid Boutaib replaces Ayoub El Kaabi up top. 12:10PM Here are your teams The teams are in for #PORMAR! #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/73Cx1XolJV— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 20, 2018 12:05PM The main man Let's focus a little more on the undoubted star of today's show: CR7. I don't know what you're talking about guys, I think the Ronaldo statue looks pretty good pic.twitter.com/JIUwQBuqUY— keewa (@keewa) March 29, 2017 Dashing, isn't he? His hat-trick against Spain was phenomenal and broke or matched a number of records: He joined Uwe Seeler, Pele and Miroslav Klose as only the fourth player to score in four separate World Cup tournaments. He became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships, Copa America). At 33 years and 130 days, he became the oldest hat-trick scorer in World Cup history. At an age when most players are considered either past it or on the decline, Ronaldo has shown no signs of slowing. Consider this: 2006, 2010, 2014 World Cups = 70 shots, 3 goals. 2018 World Cup = 4 shots, 3 goals. Stop him if you can. 11:35AM Ronaldo vs Morocco The meticulously marked out run-up, the ludicrous power pose, the rolled up shorts to expose those bulging thighs, the puff of the cheeks and the fiery stare. Everything about Cristiano Ronaldo's 89th-minute hat-trick goal against Spain last Friday was pure theatre. And wasn't it brilliant? A man who - love him or loathe him - lives for the biggest moments. A man who makes it All. About. Him. And then - THEN - he goes and delivers. If anyone thought Portugal were a one-man team at this World Cup, last Friday's match only reinforced such an opinion. Their 3-3 draw against Spain showcased two things about Portugal's team: Ronaldo's total brilliance and the rest of team's (including your Bernardo Silvas, your Joao Moutinhos etc) bang averageness. That draw means Portugal have emerged from their toughest match of Group B with a point and today they face a Morocco side who were stunned by Iran in their opener. The Moroccans would have come to this World Cup knowing the scale of the task facing them in a group containing Spain and Portugal. The plan: do Iran over and then see if you can get a result against one of the big boys. So much for that. The north African side dominated for much of their opening match, but paid the price for their profligacy in front of goal. Just as it looked like Iran would cling on for an admirable goalless draw, Morocco substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz stuck the ball in his own net in the 95th minute to gift the most unlikely of victories. That has left Morocco in a whole heap of bother. Herve Renard knows his side now cannot afford to lose either of their remaining two games against the two heavyweights of the group. These two sides have met once before at a World Cup and it was Morocco who came out on top in a 3-1 win. That was Portugal's only defeat against African opposition at any World Cup and the bookies have Ronaldo and chums as fairly heavy favourites to triumph today.
1:44PM 44 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 More smart play by those Moroccan men on the right side. First time, the ball is hacked clear. Second time, the ball is chested back to Patricio to bring an end to the attack. "Guerreiro is making Amrabat look world class," says Martin Keown. 1:42PM 42 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Guedes probably should have done better with that chance. He had a lot of goal to aim at, but stuck it far too close to Mohamedi. 1:40PM 40 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A big chance for Portugal to double their lead! It's come from nothing as Morocco switch off slightly and allow Guedes to latch onto a little Ronaldo dink over the top. The Portugal frontman hits the ball on the run and Mohamedi palms away, moving to his left. Benatia is then booked for a foul on Ronaldo soon after. 1:38PM 38 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A lovely overlap sees Hakimi drive high up the pitch for Morocco, but Boutaib cannot keep hold of the ball inside the Portugal penalty area. Back they come again though and Portugal twice have to hoof the ball clear. 1:36PM 36 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A few fouls coming in from both sides in the middle of the park. Still no yellow cards been shown. Portugal vs Morocco shots on goal 1:32PM 32 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 ... Ronaldo marks out his run-up, pulls up his shorts, puffs his cheeks... and then whacks the ball into the Morocco wall. 1:31PM 31 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are again appealing for a penalty as Fonte crashes into Boutaib inside the penalty area, but the referee isn't interested. Portugal then go straight down the other end and win a free-kick 20 yards out from goal. Step up you know who... 1:30PM 30 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ronaldo has barely got a look for the past 15mins or so. His side just cannot retain possession. Morocco fans at Luzhniki respond to Ronaldo’s complaints by singing ‘Messi, Messi’. An old one but a good one— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) June 20, 2018 1:28PM 28 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Amrabat, playing on the right wing today (he played right-back against Iran) is tearing Guerreiro to pieces every time he gets the ball. He just about wriggles clear of the Portugal left-back, ventures into the Portugal penalty area and then tumbles over as Guerreiro fights back to apply some pressure. It looked as though both players were clinging on to their opposite man and Morocco's penalty appeals are waved away. Correct. No need for VAR to intervene. 1:25PM 25 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A bit of an ouchy for Ronaldo prompts the Portugal star to roll around in howls, while clutching his ankle (which was caught by Benatia). A foul is given, but no card shown, and Ronaldo's recovery is swift - almost like it didn't hurt that much in the first place. 1:23PM 23 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ziyech, who has been making quite a name for himself at Ajax this season, is causing plenty of problems and this time tries his luck from range. Nothing too troubling for Patricio, but Ziyech is an attacking player of some talent. 1:22PM 22 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Portugal are really struggling to retain possession. Morocco are pressing so high in the opposition half and Portugal are frequently pushed further and further back. Bar the goal, you have to be impressed with how the Moroccans have played so far. 1:19PM 19 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are continuing to cause all sorts of problems. Amrabat and Dirar link up smartly down the right (where all the problems are coming from), before the Morocco right-back pulls the ball back dangerously into the penalty area, but the shot under pressure flies over the bar. 1:17PM 17 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 BREAKING NEWS: Amrabat has just flung his skull cap towards the bench in disgust, revealing his gloriously shaved bonce. 1:16PM 16 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 This game is very open in these early stages. Neither side is sitting back on the ball, which is making for plenty of action. Morocco are a goal behind but not playing poorly at all. They are pressing with vigour. 1:14PM 14 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 The Moroccans are pushing hard at the moment, forcing Portugal deep inside their own half and winning another corner. It is only half-cleared before being delivered again for Da Costa to head well wide. 1:13PM 13 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A couple of nice Ronaldo stats: 85 - Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored more international goals than any other European player in the history of football (85 goals for Portugal). Historic. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/I3wsEJTGlQ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 2 - Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first Portugal player since José Torres in 1966 to score a goal with his right foot, left foot and head in a single World Cup tournament. Collection. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/liZrUSyXmq— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 1:12PM 11 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Credit to Morocco, they haven't responded too badly to going behind and Amrabat is causing problems against an ageing (actually, very much aged) Portugal defence down the right. The north African side win a corner, which finds Da Costa unmarked in the middle of the box and his header is held on the line by Patricio diving low to his right. 1:10PM 9 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Here comes Ronaldo again. Guerreiro is allowed far, far too much space to bring the ball deep inside Morocco's half. Inside it comes to Ronaldo, who attempts to let fly from the edge of the penalty area but scuffs his shot wide of the post. He's in the mood. 1:07PM 6 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 That was such poor marking and Ronaldo is just too good for that. Morocco's World Cup 2018 future is dangling by a thread. 1:05PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL And you don't even need me to tell you who scored it. The corner is whipped to the edge of the six-yard box where Ronaldo is woefully marked. The Real Madrid man flings himself powerfully at the ball and bullets a header past Mohamedi in goal to put Portugal ahead. Portugal 1 - 0 Morocco (Cristiano Ronaldo, 4 min) 1:04PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 Now it is Portugal's turn to venture upfield through Bernardo Silva on the right. He wins a first corner that ends with Guerreiro seeing a shot deflected over for a second corner... 1:02PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 An early foray forward sees the skull-capped Amrabat deliver a cross from the right. Portugal cannot release the pressure and the ball is worked back into the penalty area from the left where Boutaib meets it and heads over the bar. A lively start from the Moroccans. 1:00PM Kick-off Morocco in red get this match underway. Portugal are in white. Morocco must win to keep their hopes of progressing alive. 12:55PM Game time The teams are out and the anthems are being sung. Almost ready. 12:48PM Bang to the head It had been assumed that Amrabat would not feature for Morocco today after he was forced off during the match with Iran when he bashed his head against the floor and suffered a concussion. However, he has been selected and is wearing a Petr Cech-style skull cap in the warm-up. Unsurprisingly, his inclusion in the starting XI has prompted some raised eyebrows. Nordin Amrabat starts. ����#MOR team doctor - Abderrazak Hifti: "I asked him five questions and he could only answer one, I saw clear symptoms of cerebral concussion.” FIFA concussion protocol. Return to competitive play - 6 days ���� pic.twitter.com/m4xi5Coore— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) June 20, 2018 12:45PM Sun shining on the Luzhniki Credit: reuters Credit: reuters 12:36PM Mismatch? JJ Bull has watched every minute of every match so far at this World Cup, and is thus perfectly placed to tell you who is good and who is rubbish. He has produced a handy guide to all 32 teams, ranking them from worst to best after their opening encounters in Russia. READ IT BY CLICKING HERE. The teams involved in this match are ranked second... and 25th. 12:24PM I see some changes Just the one change from the Portugal side that drew 3-3 with Spain: Joao Mario comes in for Bruno Fernandes on the left wing. Morocco have tinkered a bit more after their shock defeat against Iran, making three changes to the side that started that game. Nabil Dirar and Manuel Da Costa come in, which sees Watford's Nordin Amrabat shifted further forward into a midfield role. Khalid Boutaib replaces Ayoub El Kaabi up top. 12:10PM Here are your teams The teams are in for #PORMAR! #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/73Cx1XolJV— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 20, 2018 12:05PM The main man Let's focus a little more on the undoubted star of today's show: CR7. I don't know what you're talking about guys, I think the Ronaldo statue looks pretty good pic.twitter.com/JIUwQBuqUY— keewa (@keewa) March 29, 2017 Dashing, isn't he? His hat-trick against Spain was phenomenal and broke or matched a number of records: He joined Uwe Seeler, Pele and Miroslav Klose as only the fourth player to score in four separate World Cup tournaments. He became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships, Copa America). At 33 years and 130 days, he became the oldest hat-trick scorer in World Cup history. At an age when most players are considered either past it or on the decline, Ronaldo has shown no signs of slowing. Consider this: 2006, 2010, 2014 World Cups = 70 shots, 3 goals. 2018 World Cup = 4 shots, 3 goals. Stop him if you can. 11:35AM Ronaldo vs Morocco The meticulously marked out run-up, the ludicrous power pose, the rolled up shorts to expose those bulging thighs, the puff of the cheeks and the fiery stare. Everything about Cristiano Ronaldo's 89th-minute hat-trick goal against Spain last Friday was pure theatre. And wasn't it brilliant? A man who - love him or loathe him - lives for the biggest moments. A man who makes it All. About. Him. And then - THEN - he goes and delivers. If anyone thought Portugal were a one-man team at this World Cup, last Friday's match only reinforced such an opinion. Their 3-3 draw against Spain showcased two things about Portugal's team: Ronaldo's total brilliance and the rest of team's (including your Bernardo Silvas, your Joao Moutinhos etc) bang averageness. That draw means Portugal have emerged from their toughest match of Group B with a point and today they face a Morocco side who were stunned by Iran in their opener. The Moroccans would have come to this World Cup knowing the scale of the task facing them in a group containing Spain and Portugal. The plan: do Iran over and then see if you can get a result against one of the big boys. So much for that. The north African side dominated for much of their opening match, but paid the price for their profligacy in front of goal. Just as it looked like Iran would cling on for an admirable goalless draw, Morocco substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz stuck the ball in his own net in the 95th minute to gift the most unlikely of victories. That has left Morocco in a whole heap of bother. Herve Renard knows his side now cannot afford to lose either of their remaining two games against the two heavyweights of the group. These two sides have met once before at a World Cup and it was Morocco who came out on top in a 3-1 win. That was Portugal's only defeat against African opposition at any World Cup and the bookies have Ronaldo and chums as fairly heavy favourites to triumph today.
Portugal vs Morocco, World Cup 2018 - live score and latest updates as Cristiano Ronaldo scores again
1:44PM 44 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 More smart play by those Moroccan men on the right side. First time, the ball is hacked clear. Second time, the ball is chested back to Patricio to bring an end to the attack. "Guerreiro is making Amrabat look world class," says Martin Keown. 1:42PM 42 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Guedes probably should have done better with that chance. He had a lot of goal to aim at, but stuck it far too close to Mohamedi. 1:40PM 40 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A big chance for Portugal to double their lead! It's come from nothing as Morocco switch off slightly and allow Guedes to latch onto a little Ronaldo dink over the top. The Portugal frontman hits the ball on the run and Mohamedi palms away, moving to his left. Benatia is then booked for a foul on Ronaldo soon after. 1:38PM 38 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A lovely overlap sees Hakimi drive high up the pitch for Morocco, but Boutaib cannot keep hold of the ball inside the Portugal penalty area. Back they come again though and Portugal twice have to hoof the ball clear. 1:36PM 36 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A few fouls coming in from both sides in the middle of the park. Still no yellow cards been shown. Portugal vs Morocco shots on goal 1:32PM 32 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 ... Ronaldo marks out his run-up, pulls up his shorts, puffs his cheeks... and then whacks the ball into the Morocco wall. 1:31PM 31 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are again appealing for a penalty as Fonte crashes into Boutaib inside the penalty area, but the referee isn't interested. Portugal then go straight down the other end and win a free-kick 20 yards out from goal. Step up you know who... 1:30PM 30 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ronaldo has barely got a look for the past 15mins or so. His side just cannot retain possession. Morocco fans at Luzhniki respond to Ronaldo’s complaints by singing ‘Messi, Messi’. An old one but a good one— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) June 20, 2018 1:28PM 28 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Amrabat, playing on the right wing today (he played right-back against Iran) is tearing Guerreiro to pieces every time he gets the ball. He just about wriggles clear of the Portugal left-back, ventures into the Portugal penalty area and then tumbles over as Guerreiro fights back to apply some pressure. It looked as though both players were clinging on to their opposite man and Morocco's penalty appeals are waved away. Correct. No need for VAR to intervene. 1:25PM 25 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A bit of an ouchy for Ronaldo prompts the Portugal star to roll around in howls, while clutching his ankle (which was caught by Benatia). A foul is given, but no card shown, and Ronaldo's recovery is swift - almost like it didn't hurt that much in the first place. 1:23PM 23 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ziyech, who has been making quite a name for himself at Ajax this season, is causing plenty of problems and this time tries his luck from range. Nothing too troubling for Patricio, but Ziyech is an attacking player of some talent. 1:22PM 22 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Portugal are really struggling to retain possession. Morocco are pressing so high in the opposition half and Portugal are frequently pushed further and further back. Bar the goal, you have to be impressed with how the Moroccans have played so far. 1:19PM 19 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are continuing to cause all sorts of problems. Amrabat and Dirar link up smartly down the right (where all the problems are coming from), before the Morocco right-back pulls the ball back dangerously into the penalty area, but the shot under pressure flies over the bar. 1:17PM 17 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 BREAKING NEWS: Amrabat has just flung his skull cap towards the bench in disgust, revealing his gloriously shaved bonce. 1:16PM 16 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 This game is very open in these early stages. Neither side is sitting back on the ball, which is making for plenty of action. Morocco are a goal behind but not playing poorly at all. They are pressing with vigour. 1:14PM 14 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 The Moroccans are pushing hard at the moment, forcing Portugal deep inside their own half and winning another corner. It is only half-cleared before being delivered again for Da Costa to head well wide. 1:13PM 13 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A couple of nice Ronaldo stats: 85 - Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored more international goals than any other European player in the history of football (85 goals for Portugal). Historic. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/I3wsEJTGlQ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 2 - Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first Portugal player since José Torres in 1966 to score a goal with his right foot, left foot and head in a single World Cup tournament. Collection. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/liZrUSyXmq— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 1:12PM 11 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Credit to Morocco, they haven't responded too badly to going behind and Amrabat is causing problems against an ageing (actually, very much aged) Portugal defence down the right. The north African side win a corner, which finds Da Costa unmarked in the middle of the box and his header is held on the line by Patricio diving low to his right. 1:10PM 9 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Here comes Ronaldo again. Guerreiro is allowed far, far too much space to bring the ball deep inside Morocco's half. Inside it comes to Ronaldo, who attempts to let fly from the edge of the penalty area but scuffs his shot wide of the post. He's in the mood. 1:07PM 6 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 That was such poor marking and Ronaldo is just too good for that. Morocco's World Cup 2018 future is dangling by a thread. 1:05PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL And you don't even need me to tell you who scored it. The corner is whipped to the edge of the six-yard box where Ronaldo is woefully marked. The Real Madrid man flings himself powerfully at the ball and bullets a header past Mohamedi in goal to put Portugal ahead. Portugal 1 - 0 Morocco (Cristiano Ronaldo, 4 min) 1:04PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 Now it is Portugal's turn to venture upfield through Bernardo Silva on the right. He wins a first corner that ends with Guerreiro seeing a shot deflected over for a second corner... 1:02PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 An early foray forward sees the skull-capped Amrabat deliver a cross from the right. Portugal cannot release the pressure and the ball is worked back into the penalty area from the left where Boutaib meets it and heads over the bar. A lively start from the Moroccans. 1:00PM Kick-off Morocco in red get this match underway. Portugal are in white. Morocco must win to keep their hopes of progressing alive. 12:55PM Game time The teams are out and the anthems are being sung. Almost ready. 12:48PM Bang to the head It had been assumed that Amrabat would not feature for Morocco today after he was forced off during the match with Iran when he bashed his head against the floor and suffered a concussion. However, he has been selected and is wearing a Petr Cech-style skull cap in the warm-up. Unsurprisingly, his inclusion in the starting XI has prompted some raised eyebrows. Nordin Amrabat starts. ����#MOR team doctor - Abderrazak Hifti: "I asked him five questions and he could only answer one, I saw clear symptoms of cerebral concussion.” FIFA concussion protocol. Return to competitive play - 6 days ���� pic.twitter.com/m4xi5Coore— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) June 20, 2018 12:45PM Sun shining on the Luzhniki Credit: reuters Credit: reuters 12:36PM Mismatch? JJ Bull has watched every minute of every match so far at this World Cup, and is thus perfectly placed to tell you who is good and who is rubbish. He has produced a handy guide to all 32 teams, ranking them from worst to best after their opening encounters in Russia. READ IT BY CLICKING HERE. The teams involved in this match are ranked second... and 25th. 12:24PM I see some changes Just the one change from the Portugal side that drew 3-3 with Spain: Joao Mario comes in for Bruno Fernandes on the left wing. Morocco have tinkered a bit more after their shock defeat against Iran, making three changes to the side that started that game. Nabil Dirar and Manuel Da Costa come in, which sees Watford's Nordin Amrabat shifted further forward into a midfield role. Khalid Boutaib replaces Ayoub El Kaabi up top. 12:10PM Here are your teams The teams are in for #PORMAR! #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/73Cx1XolJV— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 20, 2018 12:05PM The main man Let's focus a little more on the undoubted star of today's show: CR7. I don't know what you're talking about guys, I think the Ronaldo statue looks pretty good pic.twitter.com/JIUwQBuqUY— keewa (@keewa) March 29, 2017 Dashing, isn't he? His hat-trick against Spain was phenomenal and broke or matched a number of records: He joined Uwe Seeler, Pele and Miroslav Klose as only the fourth player to score in four separate World Cup tournaments. He became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships, Copa America). At 33 years and 130 days, he became the oldest hat-trick scorer in World Cup history. At an age when most players are considered either past it or on the decline, Ronaldo has shown no signs of slowing. Consider this: 2006, 2010, 2014 World Cups = 70 shots, 3 goals. 2018 World Cup = 4 shots, 3 goals. Stop him if you can. 11:35AM Ronaldo vs Morocco The meticulously marked out run-up, the ludicrous power pose, the rolled up shorts to expose those bulging thighs, the puff of the cheeks and the fiery stare. Everything about Cristiano Ronaldo's 89th-minute hat-trick goal against Spain last Friday was pure theatre. And wasn't it brilliant? A man who - love him or loathe him - lives for the biggest moments. A man who makes it All. About. Him. And then - THEN - he goes and delivers. If anyone thought Portugal were a one-man team at this World Cup, last Friday's match only reinforced such an opinion. Their 3-3 draw against Spain showcased two things about Portugal's team: Ronaldo's total brilliance and the rest of team's (including your Bernardo Silvas, your Joao Moutinhos etc) bang averageness. That draw means Portugal have emerged from their toughest match of Group B with a point and today they face a Morocco side who were stunned by Iran in their opener. The Moroccans would have come to this World Cup knowing the scale of the task facing them in a group containing Spain and Portugal. The plan: do Iran over and then see if you can get a result against one of the big boys. So much for that. The north African side dominated for much of their opening match, but paid the price for their profligacy in front of goal. Just as it looked like Iran would cling on for an admirable goalless draw, Morocco substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz stuck the ball in his own net in the 95th minute to gift the most unlikely of victories. That has left Morocco in a whole heap of bother. Herve Renard knows his side now cannot afford to lose either of their remaining two games against the two heavyweights of the group. These two sides have met once before at a World Cup and it was Morocco who came out on top in a 3-1 win. That was Portugal's only defeat against African opposition at any World Cup and the bookies have Ronaldo and chums as fairly heavy favourites to triumph today.
1:44PM 44 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 More smart play by those Moroccan men on the right side. First time, the ball is hacked clear. Second time, the ball is chested back to Patricio to bring an end to the attack. "Guerreiro is making Amrabat look world class," says Martin Keown. 1:42PM 42 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Guedes probably should have done better with that chance. He had a lot of goal to aim at, but stuck it far too close to Mohamedi. 1:40PM 40 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A big chance for Portugal to double their lead! It's come from nothing as Morocco switch off slightly and allow Guedes to latch onto a little Ronaldo dink over the top. The Portugal frontman hits the ball on the run and Mohamedi palms away, moving to his left. Benatia is then booked for a foul on Ronaldo soon after. 1:38PM 38 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A lovely overlap sees Hakimi drive high up the pitch for Morocco, but Boutaib cannot keep hold of the ball inside the Portugal penalty area. Back they come again though and Portugal twice have to hoof the ball clear. 1:36PM 36 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A few fouls coming in from both sides in the middle of the park. Still no yellow cards been shown. Portugal vs Morocco shots on goal 1:32PM 32 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 ... Ronaldo marks out his run-up, pulls up his shorts, puffs his cheeks... and then whacks the ball into the Morocco wall. 1:31PM 31 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are again appealing for a penalty as Fonte crashes into Boutaib inside the penalty area, but the referee isn't interested. Portugal then go straight down the other end and win a free-kick 20 yards out from goal. Step up you know who... 1:30PM 30 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ronaldo has barely got a look for the past 15mins or so. His side just cannot retain possession. Morocco fans at Luzhniki respond to Ronaldo’s complaints by singing ‘Messi, Messi’. An old one but a good one— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) June 20, 2018 1:28PM 28 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Amrabat, playing on the right wing today (he played right-back against Iran) is tearing Guerreiro to pieces every time he gets the ball. He just about wriggles clear of the Portugal left-back, ventures into the Portugal penalty area and then tumbles over as Guerreiro fights back to apply some pressure. It looked as though both players were clinging on to their opposite man and Morocco's penalty appeals are waved away. Correct. No need for VAR to intervene. 1:25PM 25 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A bit of an ouchy for Ronaldo prompts the Portugal star to roll around in howls, while clutching his ankle (which was caught by Benatia). A foul is given, but no card shown, and Ronaldo's recovery is swift - almost like it didn't hurt that much in the first place. 1:23PM 23 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ziyech, who has been making quite a name for himself at Ajax this season, is causing plenty of problems and this time tries his luck from range. Nothing too troubling for Patricio, but Ziyech is an attacking player of some talent. 1:22PM 22 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Portugal are really struggling to retain possession. Morocco are pressing so high in the opposition half and Portugal are frequently pushed further and further back. Bar the goal, you have to be impressed with how the Moroccans have played so far. 1:19PM 19 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are continuing to cause all sorts of problems. Amrabat and Dirar link up smartly down the right (where all the problems are coming from), before the Morocco right-back pulls the ball back dangerously into the penalty area, but the shot under pressure flies over the bar. 1:17PM 17 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 BREAKING NEWS: Amrabat has just flung his skull cap towards the bench in disgust, revealing his gloriously shaved bonce. 1:16PM 16 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 This game is very open in these early stages. Neither side is sitting back on the ball, which is making for plenty of action. Morocco are a goal behind but not playing poorly at all. They are pressing with vigour. 1:14PM 14 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 The Moroccans are pushing hard at the moment, forcing Portugal deep inside their own half and winning another corner. It is only half-cleared before being delivered again for Da Costa to head well wide. 1:13PM 13 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A couple of nice Ronaldo stats: 85 - Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored more international goals than any other European player in the history of football (85 goals for Portugal). Historic. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/I3wsEJTGlQ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 2 - Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first Portugal player since José Torres in 1966 to score a goal with his right foot, left foot and head in a single World Cup tournament. Collection. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/liZrUSyXmq— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 1:12PM 11 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Credit to Morocco, they haven't responded too badly to going behind and Amrabat is causing problems against an ageing (actually, very much aged) Portugal defence down the right. The north African side win a corner, which finds Da Costa unmarked in the middle of the box and his header is held on the line by Patricio diving low to his right. 1:10PM 9 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Here comes Ronaldo again. Guerreiro is allowed far, far too much space to bring the ball deep inside Morocco's half. Inside it comes to Ronaldo, who attempts to let fly from the edge of the penalty area but scuffs his shot wide of the post. He's in the mood. 1:07PM 6 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 That was such poor marking and Ronaldo is just too good for that. Morocco's World Cup 2018 future is dangling by a thread. 1:05PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL And you don't even need me to tell you who scored it. The corner is whipped to the edge of the six-yard box where Ronaldo is woefully marked. The Real Madrid man flings himself powerfully at the ball and bullets a header past Mohamedi in goal to put Portugal ahead. Portugal 1 - 0 Morocco (Cristiano Ronaldo, 4 min) 1:04PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 Now it is Portugal's turn to venture upfield through Bernardo Silva on the right. He wins a first corner that ends with Guerreiro seeing a shot deflected over for a second corner... 1:02PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 An early foray forward sees the skull-capped Amrabat deliver a cross from the right. Portugal cannot release the pressure and the ball is worked back into the penalty area from the left where Boutaib meets it and heads over the bar. A lively start from the Moroccans. 1:00PM Kick-off Morocco in red get this match underway. Portugal are in white. Morocco must win to keep their hopes of progressing alive. 12:55PM Game time The teams are out and the anthems are being sung. Almost ready. 12:48PM Bang to the head It had been assumed that Amrabat would not feature for Morocco today after he was forced off during the match with Iran when he bashed his head against the floor and suffered a concussion. However, he has been selected and is wearing a Petr Cech-style skull cap in the warm-up. Unsurprisingly, his inclusion in the starting XI has prompted some raised eyebrows. Nordin Amrabat starts. ����#MOR team doctor - Abderrazak Hifti: "I asked him five questions and he could only answer one, I saw clear symptoms of cerebral concussion.” FIFA concussion protocol. Return to competitive play - 6 days ���� pic.twitter.com/m4xi5Coore— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) June 20, 2018 12:45PM Sun shining on the Luzhniki Credit: reuters Credit: reuters 12:36PM Mismatch? JJ Bull has watched every minute of every match so far at this World Cup, and is thus perfectly placed to tell you who is good and who is rubbish. He has produced a handy guide to all 32 teams, ranking them from worst to best after their opening encounters in Russia. READ IT BY CLICKING HERE. The teams involved in this match are ranked second... and 25th. 12:24PM I see some changes Just the one change from the Portugal side that drew 3-3 with Spain: Joao Mario comes in for Bruno Fernandes on the left wing. Morocco have tinkered a bit more after their shock defeat against Iran, making three changes to the side that started that game. Nabil Dirar and Manuel Da Costa come in, which sees Watford's Nordin Amrabat shifted further forward into a midfield role. Khalid Boutaib replaces Ayoub El Kaabi up top. 12:10PM Here are your teams The teams are in for #PORMAR! #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/73Cx1XolJV— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 20, 2018 12:05PM The main man Let's focus a little more on the undoubted star of today's show: CR7. I don't know what you're talking about guys, I think the Ronaldo statue looks pretty good pic.twitter.com/JIUwQBuqUY— keewa (@keewa) March 29, 2017 Dashing, isn't he? His hat-trick against Spain was phenomenal and broke or matched a number of records: He joined Uwe Seeler, Pele and Miroslav Klose as only the fourth player to score in four separate World Cup tournaments. He became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships, Copa America). At 33 years and 130 days, he became the oldest hat-trick scorer in World Cup history. At an age when most players are considered either past it or on the decline, Ronaldo has shown no signs of slowing. Consider this: 2006, 2010, 2014 World Cups = 70 shots, 3 goals. 2018 World Cup = 4 shots, 3 goals. Stop him if you can. 11:35AM Ronaldo vs Morocco The meticulously marked out run-up, the ludicrous power pose, the rolled up shorts to expose those bulging thighs, the puff of the cheeks and the fiery stare. Everything about Cristiano Ronaldo's 89th-minute hat-trick goal against Spain last Friday was pure theatre. And wasn't it brilliant? A man who - love him or loathe him - lives for the biggest moments. A man who makes it All. About. Him. And then - THEN - he goes and delivers. If anyone thought Portugal were a one-man team at this World Cup, last Friday's match only reinforced such an opinion. Their 3-3 draw against Spain showcased two things about Portugal's team: Ronaldo's total brilliance and the rest of team's (including your Bernardo Silvas, your Joao Moutinhos etc) bang averageness. That draw means Portugal have emerged from their toughest match of Group B with a point and today they face a Morocco side who were stunned by Iran in their opener. The Moroccans would have come to this World Cup knowing the scale of the task facing them in a group containing Spain and Portugal. The plan: do Iran over and then see if you can get a result against one of the big boys. So much for that. The north African side dominated for much of their opening match, but paid the price for their profligacy in front of goal. Just as it looked like Iran would cling on for an admirable goalless draw, Morocco substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz stuck the ball in his own net in the 95th minute to gift the most unlikely of victories. That has left Morocco in a whole heap of bother. Herve Renard knows his side now cannot afford to lose either of their remaining two games against the two heavyweights of the group. These two sides have met once before at a World Cup and it was Morocco who came out on top in a 3-1 win. That was Portugal's only defeat against African opposition at any World Cup and the bookies have Ronaldo and chums as fairly heavy favourites to triumph today.
Portugal vs Morocco, World Cup 2018 - live score and latest updates as Cristiano Ronaldo scores again
1:44PM 44 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 More smart play by those Moroccan men on the right side. First time, the ball is hacked clear. Second time, the ball is chested back to Patricio to bring an end to the attack. "Guerreiro is making Amrabat look world class," says Martin Keown. 1:42PM 42 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Guedes probably should have done better with that chance. He had a lot of goal to aim at, but stuck it far too close to Mohamedi. 1:40PM 40 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A big chance for Portugal to double their lead! It's come from nothing as Morocco switch off slightly and allow Guedes to latch onto a little Ronaldo dink over the top. The Portugal frontman hits the ball on the run and Mohamedi palms away, moving to his left. Benatia is then booked for a foul on Ronaldo soon after. 1:38PM 38 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A lovely overlap sees Hakimi drive high up the pitch for Morocco, but Boutaib cannot keep hold of the ball inside the Portugal penalty area. Back they come again though and Portugal twice have to hoof the ball clear. 1:36PM 36 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A few fouls coming in from both sides in the middle of the park. Still no yellow cards been shown. Portugal vs Morocco shots on goal 1:32PM 32 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 ... Ronaldo marks out his run-up, pulls up his shorts, puffs his cheeks... and then whacks the ball into the Morocco wall. 1:31PM 31 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are again appealing for a penalty as Fonte crashes into Boutaib inside the penalty area, but the referee isn't interested. Portugal then go straight down the other end and win a free-kick 20 yards out from goal. Step up you know who... 1:30PM 30 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ronaldo has barely got a look for the past 15mins or so. His side just cannot retain possession. Morocco fans at Luzhniki respond to Ronaldo’s complaints by singing ‘Messi, Messi’. An old one but a good one— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) June 20, 2018 1:28PM 28 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Amrabat, playing on the right wing today (he played right-back against Iran) is tearing Guerreiro to pieces every time he gets the ball. He just about wriggles clear of the Portugal left-back, ventures into the Portugal penalty area and then tumbles over as Guerreiro fights back to apply some pressure. It looked as though both players were clinging on to their opposite man and Morocco's penalty appeals are waved away. Correct. No need for VAR to intervene. 1:25PM 25 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A bit of an ouchy for Ronaldo prompts the Portugal star to roll around in howls, while clutching his ankle (which was caught by Benatia). A foul is given, but no card shown, and Ronaldo's recovery is swift - almost like it didn't hurt that much in the first place. 1:23PM 23 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Ziyech, who has been making quite a name for himself at Ajax this season, is causing plenty of problems and this time tries his luck from range. Nothing too troubling for Patricio, but Ziyech is an attacking player of some talent. 1:22PM 22 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Portugal are really struggling to retain possession. Morocco are pressing so high in the opposition half and Portugal are frequently pushed further and further back. Bar the goal, you have to be impressed with how the Moroccans have played so far. 1:19PM 19 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Morocco are continuing to cause all sorts of problems. Amrabat and Dirar link up smartly down the right (where all the problems are coming from), before the Morocco right-back pulls the ball back dangerously into the penalty area, but the shot under pressure flies over the bar. 1:17PM 17 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 BREAKING NEWS: Amrabat has just flung his skull cap towards the bench in disgust, revealing his gloriously shaved bonce. 1:16PM 16 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 This game is very open in these early stages. Neither side is sitting back on the ball, which is making for plenty of action. Morocco are a goal behind but not playing poorly at all. They are pressing with vigour. 1:14PM 14 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 The Moroccans are pushing hard at the moment, forcing Portugal deep inside their own half and winning another corner. It is only half-cleared before being delivered again for Da Costa to head well wide. 1:13PM 13 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 A couple of nice Ronaldo stats: 85 - Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored more international goals than any other European player in the history of football (85 goals for Portugal). Historic. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/I3wsEJTGlQ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 2 - Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first Portugal player since José Torres in 1966 to score a goal with his right foot, left foot and head in a single World Cup tournament. Collection. #POR#MAR#PORMAR#Ronaldo#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/liZrUSyXmq— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 20, 2018 1:12PM 11 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Credit to Morocco, they haven't responded too badly to going behind and Amrabat is causing problems against an ageing (actually, very much aged) Portugal defence down the right. The north African side win a corner, which finds Da Costa unmarked in the middle of the box and his header is held on the line by Patricio diving low to his right. 1:10PM 9 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 Here comes Ronaldo again. Guerreiro is allowed far, far too much space to bring the ball deep inside Morocco's half. Inside it comes to Ronaldo, who attempts to let fly from the edge of the penalty area but scuffs his shot wide of the post. He's in the mood. 1:07PM 6 mins - Portugal 1 Morocco 0 That was such poor marking and Ronaldo is just too good for that. Morocco's World Cup 2018 future is dangling by a thread. 1:05PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL And you don't even need me to tell you who scored it. The corner is whipped to the edge of the six-yard box where Ronaldo is woefully marked. The Real Madrid man flings himself powerfully at the ball and bullets a header past Mohamedi in goal to put Portugal ahead. Portugal 1 - 0 Morocco (Cristiano Ronaldo, 4 min) 1:04PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 Now it is Portugal's turn to venture upfield through Bernardo Silva on the right. He wins a first corner that ends with Guerreiro seeing a shot deflected over for a second corner... 1:02PM 2 mins - Portugal 0 Morocco 0 An early foray forward sees the skull-capped Amrabat deliver a cross from the right. Portugal cannot release the pressure and the ball is worked back into the penalty area from the left where Boutaib meets it and heads over the bar. A lively start from the Moroccans. 1:00PM Kick-off Morocco in red get this match underway. Portugal are in white. Morocco must win to keep their hopes of progressing alive. 12:55PM Game time The teams are out and the anthems are being sung. Almost ready. 12:48PM Bang to the head It had been assumed that Amrabat would not feature for Morocco today after he was forced off during the match with Iran when he bashed his head against the floor and suffered a concussion. However, he has been selected and is wearing a Petr Cech-style skull cap in the warm-up. Unsurprisingly, his inclusion in the starting XI has prompted some raised eyebrows. Nordin Amrabat starts. ����#MOR team doctor - Abderrazak Hifti: "I asked him five questions and he could only answer one, I saw clear symptoms of cerebral concussion.” FIFA concussion protocol. Return to competitive play - 6 days ���� pic.twitter.com/m4xi5Coore— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) June 20, 2018 12:45PM Sun shining on the Luzhniki Credit: reuters Credit: reuters 12:36PM Mismatch? JJ Bull has watched every minute of every match so far at this World Cup, and is thus perfectly placed to tell you who is good and who is rubbish. He has produced a handy guide to all 32 teams, ranking them from worst to best after their opening encounters in Russia. READ IT BY CLICKING HERE. The teams involved in this match are ranked second... and 25th. 12:24PM I see some changes Just the one change from the Portugal side that drew 3-3 with Spain: Joao Mario comes in for Bruno Fernandes on the left wing. Morocco have tinkered a bit more after their shock defeat against Iran, making three changes to the side that started that game. Nabil Dirar and Manuel Da Costa come in, which sees Watford's Nordin Amrabat shifted further forward into a midfield role. Khalid Boutaib replaces Ayoub El Kaabi up top. 12:10PM Here are your teams The teams are in for #PORMAR! #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/73Cx1XolJV— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 20, 2018 12:05PM The main man Let's focus a little more on the undoubted star of today's show: CR7. I don't know what you're talking about guys, I think the Ronaldo statue looks pretty good pic.twitter.com/JIUwQBuqUY— keewa (@keewa) March 29, 2017 Dashing, isn't he? His hat-trick against Spain was phenomenal and broke or matched a number of records: He joined Uwe Seeler, Pele and Miroslav Klose as only the fourth player to score in four separate World Cup tournaments. He became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships, Copa America). At 33 years and 130 days, he became the oldest hat-trick scorer in World Cup history. At an age when most players are considered either past it or on the decline, Ronaldo has shown no signs of slowing. Consider this: 2006, 2010, 2014 World Cups = 70 shots, 3 goals. 2018 World Cup = 4 shots, 3 goals. Stop him if you can. 11:35AM Ronaldo vs Morocco The meticulously marked out run-up, the ludicrous power pose, the rolled up shorts to expose those bulging thighs, the puff of the cheeks and the fiery stare. Everything about Cristiano Ronaldo's 89th-minute hat-trick goal against Spain last Friday was pure theatre. And wasn't it brilliant? A man who - love him or loathe him - lives for the biggest moments. A man who makes it All. About. Him. And then - THEN - he goes and delivers. If anyone thought Portugal were a one-man team at this World Cup, last Friday's match only reinforced such an opinion. Their 3-3 draw against Spain showcased two things about Portugal's team: Ronaldo's total brilliance and the rest of team's (including your Bernardo Silvas, your Joao Moutinhos etc) bang averageness. That draw means Portugal have emerged from their toughest match of Group B with a point and today they face a Morocco side who were stunned by Iran in their opener. The Moroccans would have come to this World Cup knowing the scale of the task facing them in a group containing Spain and Portugal. The plan: do Iran over and then see if you can get a result against one of the big boys. So much for that. The north African side dominated for much of their opening match, but paid the price for their profligacy in front of goal. Just as it looked like Iran would cling on for an admirable goalless draw, Morocco substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz stuck the ball in his own net in the 95th minute to gift the most unlikely of victories. That has left Morocco in a whole heap of bother. Herve Renard knows his side now cannot afford to lose either of their remaining two games against the two heavyweights of the group. These two sides have met once before at a World Cup and it was Morocco who came out on top in a 3-1 win. That was Portugal's only defeat against African opposition at any World Cup and the bookies have Ronaldo and chums as fairly heavy favourites to triumph today.
Soccer Football - World Cup - Germany Press Conference - Sochi, Russia - June 20, 2018 Germany's Thomas Muller during the press conference REUTERS/Hannah McKay
World Cup - Germany Press Conference
Soccer Football - World Cup - Germany Press Conference - Sochi, Russia - June 20, 2018 Germany's Thomas Muller during the press conference REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Bert van Marwijk is often reluctant to single players out for praise but he believes Aaron Mooy could reach a bigger Premier League club.
Mooy can play at a higher level, says Socceroos boss Van Marwijk
Bert van Marwijk is often reluctant to single players out for praise but he believes Aaron Mooy could reach a bigger Premier League club.
Steven Gerrard will launch his competitive managerial career at home when his Ranger side – currently in the process of a major overhaul – take on FK Shkupi of Macedonia in the Europa League at Ibrox on July 12. Shkupi, who are based in Skopje, finished fourth in the Macedonian First Division and are competing in Europe for the first time. On the face of it, they should not present a significant obstacle to Gerrard and his players but the former Liverpool and England captain has only to look back a year to be warned that hazards exist even at this embryonic stage of the competition. Last summer Rangers suffered the worst European result in their history when, under Pedro Caixinha, they were beaten by Progres Niederkorn, of Luxembourg despite winning 1-0 in the first leg at Ibrox. Although the allure of watching the first appearance of Gerrard’s Rangers will attract a crowd of close to the Ibrox capacity of 50,817, far fewer travelling supporters will be able to travel to the second leg in Macedonia on July 19. Shkupi’s Cair Stadium can accommodate just 6,000 spectators, of whom only 2,000 can be seated. Gerrard and his squad are in Spain for pre-season training and the manager has declared that his priority is to see an improvement in fitness levels. Meanwhile, Neil Lennon’s Hibernian were also in the draw for the first qualifying round of the Europa League and will begin by meeting NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands at Easter Road on July 12, before heading north for the return on July 19. Runavik have made 11 appearances in European competition and have yet to record an aggregate win although, like Shkupi, the islanders can draw inspiration from Progres Niederkorn, who were in the same situation until they accounted for Rangers.
Rangers handed Europa League first qualifying round tie with FK Shkupi
Steven Gerrard will launch his competitive managerial career at home when his Ranger side – currently in the process of a major overhaul – take on FK Shkupi of Macedonia in the Europa League at Ibrox on July 12. Shkupi, who are based in Skopje, finished fourth in the Macedonian First Division and are competing in Europe for the first time. On the face of it, they should not present a significant obstacle to Gerrard and his players but the former Liverpool and England captain has only to look back a year to be warned that hazards exist even at this embryonic stage of the competition. Last summer Rangers suffered the worst European result in their history when, under Pedro Caixinha, they were beaten by Progres Niederkorn, of Luxembourg despite winning 1-0 in the first leg at Ibrox. Although the allure of watching the first appearance of Gerrard’s Rangers will attract a crowd of close to the Ibrox capacity of 50,817, far fewer travelling supporters will be able to travel to the second leg in Macedonia on July 19. Shkupi’s Cair Stadium can accommodate just 6,000 spectators, of whom only 2,000 can be seated. Gerrard and his squad are in Spain for pre-season training and the manager has declared that his priority is to see an improvement in fitness levels. Meanwhile, Neil Lennon’s Hibernian were also in the draw for the first qualifying round of the Europa League and will begin by meeting NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands at Easter Road on July 12, before heading north for the return on July 19. Runavik have made 11 appearances in European competition and have yet to record an aggregate win although, like Shkupi, the islanders can draw inspiration from Progres Niederkorn, who were in the same situation until they accounted for Rangers.
Ushuru will be playing Mwatate United in the Shield Cup this weekend in the round of 32
Kenyatta: We have to treat each game like a final
Ushuru will be playing Mwatate United in the Shield Cup this weekend in the round of 32
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 20, 2018 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 20, 2018 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 20, 2018 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 20, 2018 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 20, 2018 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Carl Recine
World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 20, 2018 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Carl Recine
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 20, 2018 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Carl Recine
World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 20, 2018 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Carl Recine
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 20, 2018 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo scores their first goal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 20, 2018 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo scores their first goal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 20, 2018 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal as Morocco's Munir Mohamedi picks the ball out of the goal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group B - Portugal vs Morocco - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 20, 2018 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal as Morocco's Munir Mohamedi picks the ball out of the goal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
West Ham United are increasingly confident of signing Lazio winger Felipe Anderson for a club-record fee which could be as high as £35 million. Talks have progressed between West Ham and Anderson’s representatives with one source close to the deal saying there is now a “big chance” that it will be completed. It comes after West Ham announced their third signing after appointing Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager with the confirmation that goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has been acquired from relegated Swansea City for £7m on a three-year contract. Having signed the 33 year-old, who is at the World Cup with Poland, West Ham are also continuing to hold talks for another Swansea player, Alfie Mawson. West Ham had been searching for a replacement for Joe Hart following the end of his loan spell from Premier League champions Manchester City and targeted Fabianski, who is Swansea’s current player of the year. "Lukasz is an experienced and established Premier League goalkeeper, with great quality that he has shown at both domestic and international level," said West Ham’s new director of football Mario Husillos. "He fits perfectly the mould of the modern goalkeeper, with excellent agility, presence and distribution, and will bring strong competition to the position." Lukasz Fabianski has signed for West Ham Credit: getty images West Ham also have Adrian who played much of last season after Hart was dropped. In a sign of their ambition - and wanting to get deals done quickly - West Ham have also completed the signing of defender Issa Diop from Toulouse for £22m on a five-year deal. The 21 year-old is a France Under-21 international and was club captain at his hometown club. West Ham have also brought in Ryan Fredericks from newly-promoted Fulham, on a four-year contract, after he became a free agent. Issa Diop has his West Ham medical Credit: getty images However, it will be the signing of Anderson which will excite the West Ham fans. The 25-year-old right-winger scored four goals and provided seven assists in 21 appearances in Serie A last season and also scored three times in the Italian club’s Europa League campaign. Anderson has been capped by Brazil and was signed from the Brazilian club Santos by Lazio for £6.75m in 2015 and has been scouted by a number of leading clubs, including those in the Premier League.
West Ham confident of signing Lazio winger Felipe Anderson for club-record £35m fee
West Ham United are increasingly confident of signing Lazio winger Felipe Anderson for a club-record fee which could be as high as £35 million. Talks have progressed between West Ham and Anderson’s representatives with one source close to the deal saying there is now a “big chance” that it will be completed. It comes after West Ham announced their third signing after appointing Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager with the confirmation that goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has been acquired from relegated Swansea City for £7m on a three-year contract. Having signed the 33 year-old, who is at the World Cup with Poland, West Ham are also continuing to hold talks for another Swansea player, Alfie Mawson. West Ham had been searching for a replacement for Joe Hart following the end of his loan spell from Premier League champions Manchester City and targeted Fabianski, who is Swansea’s current player of the year. "Lukasz is an experienced and established Premier League goalkeeper, with great quality that he has shown at both domestic and international level," said West Ham’s new director of football Mario Husillos. "He fits perfectly the mould of the modern goalkeeper, with excellent agility, presence and distribution, and will bring strong competition to the position." Lukasz Fabianski has signed for West Ham Credit: getty images West Ham also have Adrian who played much of last season after Hart was dropped. In a sign of their ambition - and wanting to get deals done quickly - West Ham have also completed the signing of defender Issa Diop from Toulouse for £22m on a five-year deal. The 21 year-old is a France Under-21 international and was club captain at his hometown club. West Ham have also brought in Ryan Fredericks from newly-promoted Fulham, on a four-year contract, after he became a free agent. Issa Diop has his West Ham medical Credit: getty images However, it will be the signing of Anderson which will excite the West Ham fans. The 25-year-old right-winger scored four goals and provided seven assists in 21 appearances in Serie A last season and also scored three times in the Italian club’s Europa League campaign. Anderson has been capped by Brazil and was signed from the Brazilian club Santos by Lazio for £6.75m in 2015 and has been scouted by a number of leading clubs, including those in the Premier League.
West Ham United are increasingly confident of signing Lazio winger Felipe Anderson for a club-record fee which could be as high as £35 million. Talks have progressed between West Ham and Anderson’s representatives with one source close to the deal saying there is now a “big chance” that it will be completed. It comes after West Ham announced their third signing after appointing Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager with the confirmation that goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has been acquired from relegated Swansea City for £7m on a three-year contract. Having signed the 33 year-old, who is at the World Cup with Poland, West Ham are also continuing to hold talks for another Swansea player, Alfie Mawson. West Ham had been searching for a replacement for Joe Hart following the end of his loan spell from Premier League champions Manchester City and targeted Fabianski, who is Swansea’s current player of the year. "Lukasz is an experienced and established Premier League goalkeeper, with great quality that he has shown at both domestic and international level," said West Ham’s new director of football Mario Husillos. "He fits perfectly the mould of the modern goalkeeper, with excellent agility, presence and distribution, and will bring strong competition to the position." Lukasz Fabianski has signed for West Ham Credit: getty images West Ham also have Adrian who played much of last season after Hart was dropped. In a sign of their ambition - and wanting to get deals done quickly - West Ham have also completed the signing of defender Issa Diop from Toulouse for £22m on a five-year deal. The 21 year-old is a France Under-21 international and was club captain at his hometown club. West Ham have also brought in Ryan Fredericks from newly-promoted Fulham, on a four-year contract, after he became a free agent. Issa Diop has his West Ham medical Credit: getty images However, it will be the signing of Anderson which will excite the West Ham fans. The 25-year-old right-winger scored four goals and provided seven assists in 21 appearances in Serie A last season and also scored three times in the Italian club’s Europa League campaign. Anderson has been capped by Brazil and was signed from the Brazilian club Santos by Lazio for £6.75m in 2015 and has been scouted by a number of leading clubs, including those in the Premier League.
West Ham confident of signing Lazio winger Felipe Anderson for club-record £35m fee
West Ham United are increasingly confident of signing Lazio winger Felipe Anderson for a club-record fee which could be as high as £35 million. Talks have progressed between West Ham and Anderson’s representatives with one source close to the deal saying there is now a “big chance” that it will be completed. It comes after West Ham announced their third signing after appointing Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager with the confirmation that goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has been acquired from relegated Swansea City for £7m on a three-year contract. Having signed the 33 year-old, who is at the World Cup with Poland, West Ham are also continuing to hold talks for another Swansea player, Alfie Mawson. West Ham had been searching for a replacement for Joe Hart following the end of his loan spell from Premier League champions Manchester City and targeted Fabianski, who is Swansea’s current player of the year. "Lukasz is an experienced and established Premier League goalkeeper, with great quality that he has shown at both domestic and international level," said West Ham’s new director of football Mario Husillos. "He fits perfectly the mould of the modern goalkeeper, with excellent agility, presence and distribution, and will bring strong competition to the position." Lukasz Fabianski has signed for West Ham Credit: getty images West Ham also have Adrian who played much of last season after Hart was dropped. In a sign of their ambition - and wanting to get deals done quickly - West Ham have also completed the signing of defender Issa Diop from Toulouse for £22m on a five-year deal. The 21 year-old is a France Under-21 international and was club captain at his hometown club. West Ham have also brought in Ryan Fredericks from newly-promoted Fulham, on a four-year contract, after he became a free agent. Issa Diop has his West Ham medical Credit: getty images However, it will be the signing of Anderson which will excite the West Ham fans. The 25-year-old right-winger scored four goals and provided seven assists in 21 appearances in Serie A last season and also scored three times in the Italian club’s Europa League campaign. Anderson has been capped by Brazil and was signed from the Brazilian club Santos by Lazio for £6.75m in 2015 and has been scouted by a number of leading clubs, including those in the Premier League.
West Ham United are increasingly confident of signing Lazio winger Felipe Anderson for a club-record fee which could be as high as £35 million. Talks have progressed between West Ham and Anderson’s representatives with one source close to the deal saying there is now a “big chance” that it will be completed. It comes after West Ham announced their third signing after appointing Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager with the confirmation that goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has been acquired from relegated Swansea City for £7m on a three-year contract. Having signed the 33 year-old, who is at the World Cup with Poland, West Ham are also continuing to hold talks for another Swansea player, Alfie Mawson. West Ham had been searching for a replacement for Joe Hart following the end of his loan spell from Premier League champions Manchester City and targeted Fabianski, who is Swansea’s current player of the year. "Lukasz is an experienced and established Premier League goalkeeper, with great quality that he has shown at both domestic and international level," said West Ham’s new director of football Mario Husillos. "He fits perfectly the mould of the modern goalkeeper, with excellent agility, presence and distribution, and will bring strong competition to the position." Lukasz Fabianski has signed for West Ham Credit: getty images West Ham also have Adrian who played much of last season after Hart was dropped. In a sign of their ambition - and wanting to get deals done quickly - West Ham have also completed the signing of defender Issa Diop from Toulouse for £22m on a five-year deal. The 21 year-old is a France Under-21 international and was club captain at his hometown club. West Ham have also brought in Ryan Fredericks from newly-promoted Fulham, on a four-year contract, after he became a free agent. Issa Diop has his West Ham medical Credit: getty images However, it will be the signing of Anderson which will excite the West Ham fans. The 25-year-old right-winger scored four goals and provided seven assists in 21 appearances in Serie A last season and also scored three times in the Italian club’s Europa League campaign. Anderson has been capped by Brazil and was signed from the Brazilian club Santos by Lazio for £6.75m in 2015 and has been scouted by a number of leading clubs, including those in the Premier League.
West Ham confident of signing Lazio winger Felipe Anderson for club-record £35m fee
West Ham United are increasingly confident of signing Lazio winger Felipe Anderson for a club-record fee which could be as high as £35 million. Talks have progressed between West Ham and Anderson’s representatives with one source close to the deal saying there is now a “big chance” that it will be completed. It comes after West Ham announced their third signing after appointing Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager with the confirmation that goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has been acquired from relegated Swansea City for £7m on a three-year contract. Having signed the 33 year-old, who is at the World Cup with Poland, West Ham are also continuing to hold talks for another Swansea player, Alfie Mawson. West Ham had been searching for a replacement for Joe Hart following the end of his loan spell from Premier League champions Manchester City and targeted Fabianski, who is Swansea’s current player of the year. "Lukasz is an experienced and established Premier League goalkeeper, with great quality that he has shown at both domestic and international level," said West Ham’s new director of football Mario Husillos. "He fits perfectly the mould of the modern goalkeeper, with excellent agility, presence and distribution, and will bring strong competition to the position." Lukasz Fabianski has signed for West Ham Credit: getty images West Ham also have Adrian who played much of last season after Hart was dropped. In a sign of their ambition - and wanting to get deals done quickly - West Ham have also completed the signing of defender Issa Diop from Toulouse for £22m on a five-year deal. The 21 year-old is a France Under-21 international and was club captain at his hometown club. West Ham have also brought in Ryan Fredericks from newly-promoted Fulham, on a four-year contract, after he became a free agent. Issa Diop has his West Ham medical Credit: getty images However, it will be the signing of Anderson which will excite the West Ham fans. The 25-year-old right-winger scored four goals and provided seven assists in 21 appearances in Serie A last season and also scored three times in the Italian club’s Europa League campaign. Anderson has been capped by Brazil and was signed from the Brazilian club Santos by Lazio for £6.75m in 2015 and has been scouted by a number of leading clubs, including those in the Premier League.
The curious case of Alex Smith and the NFL Top 100 list
No, this is not a new entry-level Dacia.
Renault Kwid Spied Hiding A Minor Facelift
No, this is not a new entry-level Dacia.
No, this is not a new entry-level Dacia.
Renault Kwid Spied Hiding A Minor Facelift
No, this is not a new entry-level Dacia.
No, this is not a new entry-level Dacia.
Renault Kwid Spied Hiding A Minor Facelift
No, this is not a new entry-level Dacia.
No, this is not a new entry-level Dacia.
Renault Kwid Spied Hiding A Minor Facelift
No, this is not a new entry-level Dacia.
No, this is not a new entry-level Dacia.
Renault Kwid Spied Hiding A Minor Facelift
No, this is not a new entry-level Dacia.
No, this is not a new entry-level Dacia.
Renault Kwid Spied Hiding A Minor Facelift
No, this is not a new entry-level Dacia.
No, this is not a new entry-level Dacia.
Renault Kwid Spied Hiding A Minor Facelift
No, this is not a new entry-level Dacia.
El árbitro Bjorn Kuipers asiste a una sesión de entrenamiento en Moscú, Rusia - 12 de junio de 2018. REUTERS / Tatyana Makeyeva
El árbitro Bjorn Kuipers asiste a una sesión de entrenamiento en Moscú, Rusia
El árbitro Bjorn Kuipers asiste a una sesión de entrenamiento en Moscú, Rusia - 12 de junio de 2018. REUTERS / Tatyana Makeyeva
The award for the top goalscorer at this year's World Cup is set to be one of the most hotly contested in years with an array of attacking talent descending on Russia this summer. Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez is the current holder of the coveted golden boot but the chances of him retaining the award look slim with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane all coming into the tournament on the back of impressive domestic seasons in front of goal. Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the leading contenders for the award before a ball was kicked, stole a march on his rivals with a sensational hat-trick in Portugal's 3-3 draw with Spain. The Real Madrid striker netted collected his 51st match ball after his 89th-minute free-kick snatched a point for his country after it looked as though Spain had the game wrapped up. Diego Costa finds himself a goal behind Ronaldo in the early running for the award after scoring a brace in the same game. Russia's Denis Cheryshev is level with Costa after scoring to sublime goals in Russia's 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia on the opening day of the tournament.
World Cup 2018 golden boot race - latest updates
The award for the top goalscorer at this year's World Cup is set to be one of the most hotly contested in years with an array of attacking talent descending on Russia this summer. Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez is the current holder of the coveted golden boot but the chances of him retaining the award look slim with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane all coming into the tournament on the back of impressive domestic seasons in front of goal. Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the leading contenders for the award before a ball was kicked, stole a march on his rivals with a sensational hat-trick in Portugal's 3-3 draw with Spain. The Real Madrid striker netted collected his 51st match ball after his 89th-minute free-kick snatched a point for his country after it looked as though Spain had the game wrapped up. Diego Costa finds himself a goal behind Ronaldo in the early running for the award after scoring a brace in the same game. Russia's Denis Cheryshev is level with Costa after scoring to sublime goals in Russia's 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia on the opening day of the tournament.
El arquero de la selección de Túnez, Mouez Hassen, se tira en el suelo después de sufrir una lesión, Volgograd Arena, Volgogrado, Rusia - 18 de junio de 2018 REUTERS / Gleb Garanich
El arquero de la selección de Túnez, Mouez Hassen, se tira en el suelo después de sufrir una lesión, Volgograd Arena, Volgogrado, Rusia
El arquero de la selección de Túnez, Mouez Hassen, se tira en el suelo después de sufrir una lesión, Volgograd Arena, Volgogrado, Rusia - 18 de junio de 2018 REUTERS / Gleb Garanich
People walk past Russian and Spanish flags in the old town of Damascus, Syria June 19, 2018. Picture taken June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
People walk past Russian and Spanish flags in the old town of Damascus
People walk past Russian and Spanish flags in the old town of Damascus, Syria June 19, 2018. Picture taken June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
People watch the World Cup 2018 match between Egypt and Russia, at a cafe in Damascus, Syria June 19, 2018. Picture taken June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
People watch the World Cup 2018 match between Egypt and Russia, at a cafe in Damascus
People watch the World Cup 2018 match between Egypt and Russia, at a cafe in Damascus, Syria June 19, 2018. Picture taken June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
A man holds the Egyptian flag as he watches the World Cup 2018 match between Egypt and Russia, at a cafe in Damascus, Syria June 19, 2018. Picture taken June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
A man holds the Egyptian flag as he watches the World Cup 2018 match between Egypt and Russia, at a cafe in Damascus
A man holds the Egyptian flag as he watches the World Cup 2018 match between Egypt and Russia, at a cafe in Damascus, Syria June 19, 2018. Picture taken June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
People watch the World Cup 2018 match between Egypt and Russia, in Damascus, Syria June 19, 2018. Picture taken June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
People watch the World Cup 2018 match between Egypt and Russia, in Damascus
People watch the World Cup 2018 match between Egypt and Russia, in Damascus, Syria June 19, 2018. Picture taken June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
A woman holds the Russian flag as she watches the World Cup 2018 match between Egypt and Russia, in Damascus, Syria June 19, 2018. Picture taken June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
A woman holds the Russian flag as she watches the World Cup 2018 match between Egypt and Russia, in Damascus
A woman holds the Russian flag as she watches the World Cup 2018 match between Egypt and Russia, in Damascus, Syria June 19, 2018. Picture taken June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
A woman holds the Russian flag as she watches the World Cup 2018 match between Egypt and Russia, in Damascus, Syria June 19, 2018. Picture taken June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
A woman holds the Russian flag as she watches the World Cup 2018 match between Egypt and Russia, in Damascus
A woman holds the Russian flag as she watches the World Cup 2018 match between Egypt and Russia, in Damascus, Syria June 19, 2018. Picture taken June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
Poland soccer fans sing their national anthem prior to the start of the group H match between Poland and Senegal at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
The Latest: Moroccan player starts in protective headgear
Poland soccer fans sing their national anthem prior to the start of the group H match between Poland and Senegal at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Morocco's Noureddine Amrabat, left, challenges for the ball Portugal's Raphael Guerreiro, right, during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
The Latest: Moroccan player starts in protective headgear
Morocco's Noureddine Amrabat, left, challenges for the ball Portugal's Raphael Guerreiro, right, during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
The Latest: Moroccan player starts in protective headgear
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Referee Joel Aguilar of Salvador signals for video review during the group F match between Sweden and South Korea at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Nizhny Novgorod stadium in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
The Latest: Moroccan player starts in protective headgear
Referee Joel Aguilar of Salvador signals for video review during the group F match between Sweden and South Korea at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Nizhny Novgorod stadium in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Morocco's Noureddine Amrabat is attended to after suffering an injury during the group B match between Morocco and Iran at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
The Latest: Moroccan player starts in protective headgear
Morocco's Noureddine Amrabat is attended to after suffering an injury during the group B match between Morocco and Iran at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Goatee & goals turn this into Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Goatee & goals turn this into Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo warms up before the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Goatee & goals turn this into Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo warms up before the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, center, heads the ball to score the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Victor Caivano)
Goatee & goals turn this into Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, center, heads the ball to score the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Victor Caivano)
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, with blue captain's armband, heads the ball to score the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Victor Caivano)
Goatee & goals turn this into Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, with blue captain's armband, heads the ball to score the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Victor Caivano)
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Goatee & goals turn this into Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Victor Caivano)
Goatee & goals turn this into Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Victor Caivano)
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Goatee & goals turn this into Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Goatee & goals turn this into Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo scores his side's opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Goatee & goals turn this into Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo scores his side's opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Yoan Moncada is unable to field Michael Brantley's ground ball, committing his 9th error of the season in the bottom of the 1st
Moncada's 9th error
Yoan Moncada is unable to field Michael Brantley's ground ball, committing his 9th error of the season in the bottom of the 1st
Yoan Moncada is unable to field Michael Brantley's ground ball, committing his 9th error of the season in the bottom of the 1st
Moncada's 9th error
Yoan Moncada is unable to field Michael Brantley's ground ball, committing his 9th error of the season in the bottom of the 1st
Yoan Moncada is unable to field Michael Brantley's ground ball, committing his 9th error of the season in the bottom of the 1st
Moncada's 9th error
Yoan Moncada is unable to field Michael Brantley's ground ball, committing his 9th error of the season in the bottom of the 1st
With the basketball world already buzzing over Puma's projected NBA lottery pick pounce, Michael Porter Jr. joined in on the fun.
Michael Porter Jr. signs with Puma
With the basketball world already buzzing over Puma's projected NBA lottery pick pounce, Michael Porter Jr. joined in on the fun.
With the basketball world already buzzing over Puma's projected NBA lottery pick pounce, Michael Porter Jr. joined in on the fun.
Michael Porter Jr. signs with Puma
With the basketball world already buzzing over Puma's projected NBA lottery pick pounce, Michael Porter Jr. joined in on the fun.
El cantante portugués fue el ganador de Eurovisión en 2017 pero se mojó al bromear sobre uno de sus compatriotas más ilustres.
Salvador Sobral: "Soy como Cristiano Ronaldo pero pago impuestos"
El cantante portugués fue el ganador de Eurovisión en 2017 pero se mojó al bromear sobre uno de sus compatriotas más ilustres.
Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Luis Avilan throws out Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis at first base in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Kluber is first to 11 wins, Indians rout White Sox 12-0
Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Luis Avilan throws out Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis at first base in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis watches his ball after hitting a three-run home run off Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Bruce Rondon in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Cleveland. Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Kluber is first to 11 wins, Indians rout White Sox 12-0
Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis watches his ball after hitting a three-run home run off Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Bruce Rondon in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Cleveland. Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor, left, celebrates with Tyler Naquin after the Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox 12-0 in a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Kluber is first to 11 wins, Indians rout White Sox 12-0
Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor, left, celebrates with Tyler Naquin after the Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox 12-0 in a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Kluber is first to 11 wins, Indians rout White Sox 12-0
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Yan Gomes, left, and relief pitcher Josh Tomlin celebrate after the Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox 12-0 in a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Kluber is first to 11 wins, Indians rout White Sox 12-0
Cleveland Indians' Yan Gomes, left, and relief pitcher Josh Tomlin celebrate after the Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox 12-0 in a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Yan Gomes, right, slides safely into home plate as Chicago White Sox catcher Omar Narvaez watches in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Cleveland. Gomes scored on a single by Rajai Davis. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Kluber is first to 11 wins, Indians rout White Sox 12-0
Cleveland Indians' Yan Gomes, right, slides safely into home plate as Chicago White Sox catcher Omar Narvaez watches in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Cleveland. Gomes scored on a single by Rajai Davis. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
<p>Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout took a swing at an NFL prediction Tuesday when he said the Cleveland Browns will have more wins than the Chicago Bears in 2018.</p>
Mike Trout says Browns will win more games than Bears in 2018

Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout took a swing at an NFL prediction Tuesday when he said the Cleveland Browns will have more wins than the Chicago Bears in 2018.

Starlin Castro smacks a grounder into left field to plate Miguel Rojas and pull the Marlins within two runs in the 7th inning
Castro's RBI single
Starlin Castro smacks a grounder into left field to plate Miguel Rojas and pull the Marlins within two runs in the 7th inning
Starlin Castro smacks a grounder into left field to plate Miguel Rojas and pull the Marlins within two runs in the 7th inning
Castro's RBI single
Starlin Castro smacks a grounder into left field to plate Miguel Rojas and pull the Marlins within two runs in the 7th inning
Starlin Castro smacks a grounder into left field to plate Miguel Rojas and pull the Marlins within two runs in the 7th inning
Castro's RBI single
Starlin Castro smacks a grounder into left field to plate Miguel Rojas and pull the Marlins within two runs in the 7th inning
Philadelphia Phillies' Odubel Herrera, right, rounds the bases after hitting a home run off St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Sam Tuivailala during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 4-3. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Herrera's solo homer lifts Phils to 4-3 win over Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies' Odubel Herrera, right, rounds the bases after hitting a home run off St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Sam Tuivailala during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 4-3. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia Phillies' Odubel Herrera, left, hits a home run off St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Sam Tuivailala during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Philadelphia. At right is catcher Yadier Molina. Philadelphia won 4-3. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Herrera's solo homer lifts Phils to 4-3 win over Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies' Odubel Herrera, left, hits a home run off St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Sam Tuivailala during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Philadelphia. At right is catcher Yadier Molina. Philadelphia won 4-3. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia Phillies' Jake Arrieta pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Herrera's solo homer lifts Phils to 4-3 win over Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies' Jake Arrieta pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia Phillies' Jake Arrieta pitches during the second inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Herrera's solo homer lifts Phils to 4-3 win over Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies' Jake Arrieta pitches during the second inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
St. Louis Cardinals' Michael Wacha pitches during the second inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Herrera's solo homer lifts Phils to 4-3 win over Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals' Michael Wacha pitches during the second inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
St. Louis Cardinals' Michael Wacha pitches during the second inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Herrera's solo homer lifts Phils to 4-3 win over Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals' Michael Wacha pitches during the second inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia Phillies' Carlos Santana hits an RBI-sacrifice fly off St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Philadelphia. At right is Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Herrera's solo homer lifts Phils to 4-3 win over Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies' Carlos Santana hits an RBI-sacrifice fly off St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Philadelphia. At right is Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
【6/20世足小組賽戰報】葡、西B組並列領先 烏拉圭晉級16強
【6/20世足小組賽戰報】葡、西B組並列領先 烏拉圭晉級16強
【6/20世足小組賽戰報】葡、西B組並列領先 烏拉圭晉級16強
【6/20世足小組賽戰報】葡、西B組並列領先 烏拉圭晉級16強
【6/20世足小組賽戰報】葡、西B組並列領先 烏拉圭晉級16強
【6/20世足小組賽戰報】葡、西B組並列領先 烏拉圭晉級16強
【6/20世足小組賽戰報】葡、西B組並列領先 烏拉圭晉級16強
【6/20世足小組賽戰報】葡、西B組並列領先 烏拉圭晉級16強
【6/20世足小組賽戰報】葡、西B組並列領先 烏拉圭晉級16強
El capitán de la Selección Española responde al mito argentino, quien aseguró que el madridista no era un crack como Diego Godín
Sergio Ramos: "Argentina sabe que Maradona está a años luz del mejor futbolista de la historia: Messi"
El capitán de la Selección Española responde al mito argentino, quien aseguró que el madridista no era un crack como Diego Godín
FILE - In this June 14, 2018 file photo, fans cheer during a 2018 soccer World Cup group A at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia. Some South American fans at the World Cup in Russia are receiving strong criticism for sexist behavior and could even face workplace consequences for posting videos in which fans encourage foreign women to say offensive things in languages they don't appear to understand. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)
Fans at World Cup criticized for videos disrespecting women
FILE - In this June 14, 2018 file photo, fans cheer during a 2018 soccer World Cup group A at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia. Some South American fans at the World Cup in Russia are receiving strong criticism for sexist behavior and could even face workplace consequences for posting videos in which fans encourage foreign women to say offensive things in languages they don't appear to understand. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)
Renard, with no hope of advancing to the next round, is finding the experience bittersweet.
Renard, Morocco “very proud” of its unlucky national team
Renard, with no hope of advancing to the next round, is finding the experience bittersweet.
Renard, with no hope of advancing to the next round, is finding the experience bittersweet.
Renard, Morocco “very proud” of its unlucky national team
Renard, with no hope of advancing to the next round, is finding the experience bittersweet.
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group B - Iran vs Spain - Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia - June 20, 2018 Spain coach Fernando Hierro during the match REUTERS/John Sibley
World Cup - Group B - Iran vs Spain
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group B - Iran vs Spain - Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia - June 20, 2018 Spain coach Fernando Hierro during the match REUTERS/John Sibley
FILE - In this March 14, 2018, file photo, Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley shouts to his players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball tournament First Four game in Dayton, Ohio. Arizona State broke through to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in four years last season. The Sun Devils lost key players from that team, but are building toward making it consecutive NCAA Tournaments. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
Arizona St will have more size, lineup options this season
FILE - In this March 14, 2018, file photo, Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley shouts to his players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball tournament First Four game in Dayton, Ohio. Arizona State broke through to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in four years last season. The Sun Devils lost key players from that team, but are building toward making it consecutive NCAA Tournaments. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2017, file photo, Arizona State guard Remy Martin (1) goes to the basket against Pacific forward Jack Williams (32) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State broke through to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in four years last season. The Sun Devils lost key players from that team, but are building toward making it consecutive NCAA Tournaments. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
Arizona St will have more size, lineup options this season
FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2017, file photo, Arizona State guard Remy Martin (1) goes to the basket against Pacific forward Jack Williams (32) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State broke through to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in four years last season. The Sun Devils lost key players from that team, but are building toward making it consecutive NCAA Tournaments. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets quizzed on the drivers he beat to earn race wins.
NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dale Jarrett preview upcoming races
Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets quizzed on the drivers he beat to earn race wins.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets quizzed on the drivers he beat to earn race wins.
NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dale Jarrett preview upcoming races
Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets quizzed on the drivers he beat to earn race wins.
Spain's Diego Costa, right, tries to shot as Iran's Morteza Pouraliganji tries to block during the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Diego Costa scores again, Spain beats Iran 1-0 at World Cup
Spain's Diego Costa, right, tries to shot as Iran's Morteza Pouraliganji tries to block during the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Iran's Saeid Ezatolahi sits on the ground after the end of the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Spain won the match 1-0. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Diego Costa scores again, Spain beats Iran 1-0 at World Cup
Iran's Saeid Ezatolahi sits on the ground after the end of the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Spain won the match 1-0. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Spain's Gerard Pique, front, shields the ball, as Iran's Karim Ansarifard challenges him, during the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Diego Costa scores again, Spain beats Iran 1-0 at World Cup
Spain's Gerard Pique, front, shields the ball, as Iran's Karim Ansarifard challenges him, during the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Spain's Diego Costa, right, celebrate after scoring his side's opening goal with Spain's Isco during the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Diego Costa scores again, Spain beats Iran 1-0 at World Cup
Spain's Diego Costa, right, celebrate after scoring his side's opening goal with Spain's Isco during the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
El delantero se enzarzó en rueda de prensa con un periodista del país árabe.
Diego Costa contra un periodista de Irán: "Nos estaban provocando todo el rato a nosotros"
El delantero se enzarzó en rueda de prensa con un periodista del país árabe.
6/20/18: Baez, Schwarber lead Cubs to 4-0 victory
Recap: CHC 4, LAD 0
6/20/18: Baez, Schwarber lead Cubs to 4-0 victory
6/20/18: Baez, Schwarber lead Cubs to 4-0 victory
Recap: CHC 4, LAD 0
6/20/18: Baez, Schwarber lead Cubs to 4-0 victory
6/20/18: Baez, Schwarber lead Cubs to 4-0 victory
Recap: CHC 4, LAD 0
6/20/18: Baez, Schwarber lead Cubs to 4-0 victory
Manchester City have finally agreed a deal with Napoli for Jorginho worth an initial £43.1 million after weeks of protracted negotiations with the Italian club. The Premier League champions are hopeful of completing the transfer in the coming days and it is thought the fee could rise up to £48.3 million with add ons. Napoli had been holding out for around £50 million for the Brazil-born Italy midfielder but City were reluctant to go that high, despite Pep Guardiola’s eagerness to sign the 26-year-old. City switched their attention to Jorginho after backing out of a move for Brazil midfielder Fred, who has agreed to join Manchester United, and Guardiola is confident he will provide quality competition for Fernandinho in the defensive midfield role following the departure of Yaya Toure. Napoli are already on the verge of signing Fabian Ruiz from Real Betis after meeting the £26.4 million release clause in the Spain Under-21 midfielder’s contract. Ruiz flew into Naples yesterday (Wednesday) ahead of a medical and has agreed a five-year deal. City are also signing highly rated 17-year-old midfielder, Adria Bernabe, from Barcelona.
Manchester City agree Jorginho deal with Napoli for initial £43.1m
Manchester City have finally agreed a deal with Napoli for Jorginho worth an initial £43.1 million after weeks of protracted negotiations with the Italian club. The Premier League champions are hopeful of completing the transfer in the coming days and it is thought the fee could rise up to £48.3 million with add ons. Napoli had been holding out for around £50 million for the Brazil-born Italy midfielder but City were reluctant to go that high, despite Pep Guardiola’s eagerness to sign the 26-year-old. City switched their attention to Jorginho after backing out of a move for Brazil midfielder Fred, who has agreed to join Manchester United, and Guardiola is confident he will provide quality competition for Fernandinho in the defensive midfield role following the departure of Yaya Toure. Napoli are already on the verge of signing Fabian Ruiz from Real Betis after meeting the £26.4 million release clause in the Spain Under-21 midfielder’s contract. Ruiz flew into Naples yesterday (Wednesday) ahead of a medical and has agreed a five-year deal. City are also signing highly rated 17-year-old midfielder, Adria Bernabe, from Barcelona.
After hitting the winning goal in a 1-0 Group B defeat of Iran, Spain striker Diego Costa took exception at a question from a journalist.
What game were you watching? - Costa bites back at journalist
After hitting the winning goal in a 1-0 Group B defeat of Iran, Spain striker Diego Costa took exception at a question from a journalist.
Hunter Pence lines an RBI double down the left-field line, giving the Giants a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 6th inning
Pence's run-scoring double
Hunter Pence lines an RBI double down the left-field line, giving the Giants a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 6th inning
Hunter Pence lines an RBI double down the left-field line, giving the Giants a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 6th inning
Pence's run-scoring double
Hunter Pence lines an RBI double down the left-field line, giving the Giants a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 6th inning
Hunter Pence lines an RBI double down the left-field line, giving the Giants a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 6th inning
Pence's run-scoring double
Hunter Pence lines an RBI double down the left-field line, giving the Giants a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 6th inning
Leeds Rhinos looked to be heading for victory at half-time at Headingley, only for Catalans Dragons to rally on the road.
Catalans capitalise on Leeds collapse to secure victory
Leeds Rhinos looked to be heading for victory at half-time at Headingley, only for Catalans Dragons to rally on the road.
Ross Stripling strikes out seven over six innings of work, while allowing three runs in the Dodgers' 4-0 loss to the Cubs
Stripling K's 7 vs. the Cubs
Ross Stripling strikes out seven over six innings of work, while allowing three runs in the Dodgers' 4-0 loss to the Cubs
Ross Stripling strikes out seven over six innings of work, while allowing three runs in the Dodgers' 4-0 loss to the Cubs
Stripling K's 7 vs. the Cubs
Ross Stripling strikes out seven over six innings of work, while allowing three runs in the Dodgers' 4-0 loss to the Cubs
Ross Stripling strikes out seven over six innings of work, while allowing three runs in the Dodgers' 4-0 loss to the Cubs
Stripling K's 7 vs. the Cubs
Ross Stripling strikes out seven over six innings of work, while allowing three runs in the Dodgers' 4-0 loss to the Cubs
6/20/18: Morales, Happ lead Blue Jays to 5-4 victory
Recap: TOR 5, ATL 4
6/20/18: Morales, Happ lead Blue Jays to 5-4 victory
6/20/18: Morales, Happ lead Blue Jays to 5-4 victory
Recap: TOR 5, ATL 4
6/20/18: Morales, Happ lead Blue Jays to 5-4 victory
6/20/18: Morales, Happ lead Blue Jays to 5-4 victory
Recap: TOR 5, ATL 4
6/20/18: Morales, Happ lead Blue Jays to 5-4 victory
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group A - Russia vs Egypt - Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia - June 19, 2018 Russia's Denis Cheryshev celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates REUTERS/Michael Dalder
World Cup - Group A - Russia vs Egypt
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group A - Russia vs Egypt - Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia - June 19, 2018 Russia's Denis Cheryshev celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates REUTERS/Michael Dalder
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group A - Russia vs Egypt - Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia - June 19, 2018 Russia's Denis Cheryshev celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates REUTERS/Michael Dalder
World Cup - Group A - Russia vs Egypt
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group A - Russia vs Egypt - Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia - June 19, 2018 Russia's Denis Cheryshev celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates REUTERS/Michael Dalder
Nigeria train ahead of their match with Iceland (AFP Photo/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI)
Nigeria train ahead of their match with Iceland
Nigeria train ahead of their match with Iceland (AFP Photo/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI)
Brandon Belt cracks a pitch that bounces over the wall in right-center for an RBI ground-rule double that ties the game at 1 in the 6th
Belt's long RBI double
Brandon Belt cracks a pitch that bounces over the wall in right-center for an RBI ground-rule double that ties the game at 1 in the 6th
Brandon Belt cracks a pitch that bounces over the wall in right-center for an RBI ground-rule double that ties the game at 1 in the 6th
Belt's long RBI double
Brandon Belt cracks a pitch that bounces over the wall in right-center for an RBI ground-rule double that ties the game at 1 in the 6th
Brandon Belt cracks a pitch that bounces over the wall in right-center for an RBI ground-rule double that ties the game at 1 in the 6th
Belt's long RBI double
Brandon Belt cracks a pitch that bounces over the wall in right-center for an RBI ground-rule double that ties the game at 1 in the 6th
Javier Baez makes an aggressive baserunning decision to turn a double into a triple to lead off the bottom of the 7th inning
Baez legs out a triple
Javier Baez makes an aggressive baserunning decision to turn a double into a triple to lead off the bottom of the 7th inning
Javier Baez makes an aggressive baserunning decision to turn a double into a triple to lead off the bottom of the 7th inning
Baez legs out a triple
Javier Baez makes an aggressive baserunning decision to turn a double into a triple to lead off the bottom of the 7th inning
Javier Baez makes an aggressive baserunning decision to turn a double into a triple to lead off the bottom of the 7th inning
Baez legs out a triple
Javier Baez makes an aggressive baserunning decision to turn a double into a triple to lead off the bottom of the 7th inning
Kyle Schwarber cranks a solo homer to deep center field, extending the Cubs' lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the 4th inning
Schwarber's solo homer
Kyle Schwarber cranks a solo homer to deep center field, extending the Cubs' lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the 4th inning
Ross Stripling fans Jon Lester swinging to strike out the side in the bottom of the 2nd inning
Stripling K's the side
Ross Stripling fans Jon Lester swinging to strike out the side in the bottom of the 2nd inning
Jon Lester allows just five hits over seven shutout innings against the Dodgers to improve to 9-2 on the season
Lester's 7 shutout innings
Jon Lester allows just five hits over seven shutout innings against the Dodgers to improve to 9-2 on the season
Ross Stripling fans Jon Lester swinging to strike out the side in the bottom of the 2nd inning
Stripling K's the side
Ross Stripling fans Jon Lester swinging to strike out the side in the bottom of the 2nd inning
Jon Lester allows just five hits over seven shutout innings against the Dodgers to improve to 9-2 on the season
Lester's 7 shutout innings
Jon Lester allows just five hits over seven shutout innings against the Dodgers to improve to 9-2 on the season
Jon Lester allows just five hits over seven shutout innings against the Dodgers to improve to 9-2 on the season
Lester's 7 shutout innings
Jon Lester allows just five hits over seven shutout innings against the Dodgers to improve to 9-2 on the season
Kris Bryant laces an RBI single to left to bring Javier Baez home, extending the Cubs' lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the 5th inning
Bryant's RBI single
Kris Bryant laces an RBI single to left to bring Javier Baez home, extending the Cubs' lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the 5th inning
Kris Bryant laces an RBI single to left to bring Javier Baez home, extending the Cubs' lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the 5th inning
Bryant's RBI single
Kris Bryant laces an RBI single to left to bring Javier Baez home, extending the Cubs' lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the 5th inning
Kris Bryant laces an RBI single to left to bring Javier Baez home, extending the Cubs' lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the 5th inning
Bryant's RBI single
Kris Bryant laces an RBI single to left to bring Javier Baez home, extending the Cubs' lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the 5th inning
Anthony Rizzo grounds out to second base to bring Jason Heyward home, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning
Rizzo's RBI groundout
Anthony Rizzo grounds out to second base to bring Jason Heyward home, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning
Anthony Rizzo grounds out to second base to bring Jason Heyward home, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning
Rizzo's RBI groundout
Anthony Rizzo grounds out to second base to bring Jason Heyward home, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning
Tommy La Stella plates Javier Baez with an RBI single to right field, extending the Cubs' lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the 7th inning
La Stella's RBI single
Tommy La Stella plates Javier Baez with an RBI single to right field, extending the Cubs' lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the 7th inning
Tommy La Stella plates Javier Baez with an RBI single to right field, extending the Cubs' lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the 7th inning
La Stella's RBI single
Tommy La Stella plates Javier Baez with an RBI single to right field, extending the Cubs' lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the 7th inning
Tommy La Stella plates Javier Baez with an RBI single to right field, extending the Cubs' lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the 7th inning
La Stella's RBI single
Tommy La Stella plates Javier Baez with an RBI single to right field, extending the Cubs' lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the 7th inning
Anthony Rizzo grounds out to second base to bring Jason Heyward home, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning
Rizzo's RBI groundout
Anthony Rizzo grounds out to second base to bring Jason Heyward home, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning
Condensed Game: CWS@CLE - 6/20/18
CG: CWS@CLE - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: CWS@CLE - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: CWS@CLE - 6/20/18
CG: CWS@CLE - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: CWS@CLE - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: CWS@CLE - 6/20/18
CG: CWS@CLE - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: CWS@CLE - 6/20/18
Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed the inspiration behind his new facial hair as a fourth goal of the World Cup secured victory over Morocco.
Ronaldo facial hair inspired by Quaresma joke
Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed the inspiration behind his new facial hair as a fourth goal of the World Cup secured victory over Morocco.
Following Mark Canha's homer, Matt Olson hammers a solo home run to right-center field, adding to the A's lead in the 3rd inning
Olson goes back-to-back
Following Mark Canha's homer, Matt Olson hammers a solo home run to right-center field, adding to the A's lead in the 3rd inning
Following Mark Canha's homer, Matt Olson hammers a solo home run to right-center field, adding to the A's lead in the 3rd inning
Olson goes back-to-back
Following Mark Canha's homer, Matt Olson hammers a solo home run to right-center field, adding to the A's lead in the 3rd inning
Following Mark Canha's homer, Matt Olson hammers a solo home run to right-center field, adding to the A's lead in the 3rd inning
Olson goes back-to-back
Following Mark Canha's homer, Matt Olson hammers a solo home run to right-center field, adding to the A's lead in the 3rd inning
Condensed Game: STL@PHI - 6/20/18
CG: STL@PHI - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: STL@PHI - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: STL@PHI - 6/20/18
CG: STL@PHI - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: STL@PHI - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: STL@PHI - 6/20/18
CG: STL@PHI - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: STL@PHI - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: DET@CIN - 6/20/18
CG: DET@CIN - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: DET@CIN - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: STL@PHI - 6/20/18
CG: STL@PHI - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: STL@PHI - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: STL@PHI - 6/20/18
CG: STL@PHI - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: STL@PHI - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: DET@CIN - 6/20/18
CG: DET@CIN - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: DET@CIN - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: DET@CIN - 6/20/18
CG: DET@CIN - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: DET@CIN - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: DET@CIN - 6/20/18
CG: DET@CIN - 6/20/18
Condensed Game: DET@CIN - 6/20/18
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, Mike Oz and Tim Brown discuss their favorite baseball term and some synonyms for it. Subscribe to the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast on https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/yahoo-sports-mlb-podcast/id1364685293
Favorite Baseball Terms
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, Mike Oz and Tim Brown discuss their favorite baseball term and some synonyms for it. Subscribe to the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast on https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/yahoo-sports-mlb-podcast/id1364685293
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, Mike Oz and Tim Brown discuss their favorite baseball term and some synonyms for it. Subscribe to the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast on https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/yahoo-sports-mlb-podcast/id1364685293
Favorite Baseball Terms
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, Mike Oz and Tim Brown discuss their favorite baseball term and some synonyms for it. Subscribe to the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast on https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/yahoo-sports-mlb-podcast/id1364685293
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, Mike Oz and Tim Brown discuss their favorite baseball term and some synonyms for it. Subscribe to the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast on https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/yahoo-sports-mlb-podcast/id1364685293
Favorite Baseball Terms
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, Mike Oz and Tim Brown discuss their favorite baseball term and some synonyms for it. Subscribe to the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast on https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/yahoo-sports-mlb-podcast/id1364685293
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, Mike Oz and Tim Brown discuss their favorite baseball term and some synonyms for it. Subscribe to the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast on https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/yahoo-sports-mlb-podcast/id1364685293
Favorite Baseball Terms
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, Mike Oz and Tim Brown discuss their favorite baseball term and some synonyms for it. Subscribe to the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast on https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/yahoo-sports-mlb-podcast/id1364685293
Even though a fortunate Diego Costa strike earned Spain a 1-0 win over Iran, right-back Dani Carvajal hit out at their tactics.
This is not football - Carvajal criticises Iran tactics
Even though a fortunate Diego Costa strike earned Spain a 1-0 win over Iran, right-back Dani Carvajal hit out at their tactics.
6/20/18: Reds use the long ball to power past Tigers
Recap: CIN 5, DET 3
6/20/18: Reds use the long ball to power past Tigers
6/20/18: Reds use the long ball to power past Tigers
Recap: CIN 5, DET 3
6/20/18: Reds use the long ball to power past Tigers
6/20/18: Reds use the long ball to power past Tigers
Recap: CIN 5, DET 3
6/20/18: Reds use the long ball to power past Tigers
El central del Barcelona reta a la directiva del club, de quienes se rumorea que están molestos por la implicación del jugador en el famoso documental
Piqué sobre el vídeo de Griezmann: “Que me llamen, tienen mi teléfono y saben dónde está el vestuario”
El central del Barcelona reta a la directiva del club, de quienes se rumorea que están molestos por la implicación del jugador en el famoso documental
They were branded the worst team ever to stage the World Cup, a side so bad their fans feared they were destined for humiliation. But after making the best ever start to football’s flagship tournament by a host nation – and one of the best by any country – Russia have got their supporters believing anything is possible. Following victories over Saudi Arabia and Egypt by an aggregate score of 8-1, headlines predicting they were “doomed to fail” have been replaced by those proclaiming: “Hooray! We can play football.” So, how have a team who had won just one of their previous nine tournament matches and none of their last seven warm-up games suddenly become so good that they are into the knockout phase for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union – and with a game to spare? It may all be down to how far and fast their players have run so far, judging by data on the distances covered and speeds reached by individuals and teams at the World Cup. Up until yesterday, no side had run further than the 73 miles Russia clocked up in the opening match against Saudi Arabia. The closest anyone had come since were the hosts themselves, who covered 71 miles against Egypt on Tuesday. Distance covered per 90 minutes Egypt are next on the list after running nearly 70 miles in their defeat by Uruguay on Friday. Russia also had three players in the top 10 for distance covered from the opening round of matches, with the 7.9 miles by midfielder Aleksandr Golovin leading the way. By way of comparison, Cristiano Ronaldo ran just 5.4 miles in scoring a hat-trick in Portugal’s 3-3 draw with Spain. And it is not as if Russia’s players have been strolling round the pitch, with only Australia spending less time moving at under 4 mph than the hosts. There are lots of possible reasons why they are running so far and fast. They are at home and the adrenalin will be flowing perhaps more than it would otherwise; the least the country will expect is for the players to give their all; and they may be trying to compensate for their perceived technical inferiority. Whatever the reasons, Russia are revelling in their remarkable change of fortune, one that comes as the country is still facing accusations of cheating its way to sporting glory. It emerged last year that Russia’s entire squad at the 2014 World Cup was under investigation over whether members were among those to benefit from having positive drugs tests covered up in sport’s biggest ever doping scandal. Russia have been the surprise package of this year's World Cup Credit: AFP Fifa last month announced the partial closure of that investigation, ruling there had been “insufficient evidence” to charge members of the current squad with an anti-doping rule violation, although it said inquiries into those not picked for this tournament were “ongoing”. A little over a week later, the man who blew the whistle on the Russian doping scandal, former Moscow lab director Grigory Rodchenkov said he recognised one member of the country’s World Cup squad from his own doping programme. He declined to identify the player and provided no evidence to back up his claims. Further allegations made this week by Rodchenkov were raised with Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov after his side’s victory over Egypt, prompting an angry response. “This is actually a post-match press conference, isn’t it?” he said. “It has no relation with the match whatsoever. Maybe you have a question about the match we just played. If you do, I’ll be happy to answer you.” A Fifa spokesman said on Wednesday: “The Russian squad has been one of the most tested teams prior to the 2018 Fifa World Cup.”
Russia leave World Cup rivals in their wake to top running stats - what's behind the hosts' revival?
They were branded the worst team ever to stage the World Cup, a side so bad their fans feared they were destined for humiliation. But after making the best ever start to football’s flagship tournament by a host nation – and one of the best by any country – Russia have got their supporters believing anything is possible. Following victories over Saudi Arabia and Egypt by an aggregate score of 8-1, headlines predicting they were “doomed to fail” have been replaced by those proclaiming: “Hooray! We can play football.” So, how have a team who had won just one of their previous nine tournament matches and none of their last seven warm-up games suddenly become so good that they are into the knockout phase for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union – and with a game to spare? It may all be down to how far and fast their players have run so far, judging by data on the distances covered and speeds reached by individuals and teams at the World Cup. Up until yesterday, no side had run further than the 73 miles Russia clocked up in the opening match against Saudi Arabia. The closest anyone had come since were the hosts themselves, who covered 71 miles against Egypt on Tuesday. Distance covered per 90 minutes Egypt are next on the list after running nearly 70 miles in their defeat by Uruguay on Friday. Russia also had three players in the top 10 for distance covered from the opening round of matches, with the 7.9 miles by midfielder Aleksandr Golovin leading the way. By way of comparison, Cristiano Ronaldo ran just 5.4 miles in scoring a hat-trick in Portugal’s 3-3 draw with Spain. And it is not as if Russia’s players have been strolling round the pitch, with only Australia spending less time moving at under 4 mph than the hosts. There are lots of possible reasons why they are running so far and fast. They are at home and the adrenalin will be flowing perhaps more than it would otherwise; the least the country will expect is for the players to give their all; and they may be trying to compensate for their perceived technical inferiority. Whatever the reasons, Russia are revelling in their remarkable change of fortune, one that comes as the country is still facing accusations of cheating its way to sporting glory. It emerged last year that Russia’s entire squad at the 2014 World Cup was under investigation over whether members were among those to benefit from having positive drugs tests covered up in sport’s biggest ever doping scandal. Russia have been the surprise package of this year's World Cup Credit: AFP Fifa last month announced the partial closure of that investigation, ruling there had been “insufficient evidence” to charge members of the current squad with an anti-doping rule violation, although it said inquiries into those not picked for this tournament were “ongoing”. A little over a week later, the man who blew the whistle on the Russian doping scandal, former Moscow lab director Grigory Rodchenkov said he recognised one member of the country’s World Cup squad from his own doping programme. He declined to identify the player and provided no evidence to back up his claims. Further allegations made this week by Rodchenkov were raised with Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov after his side’s victory over Egypt, prompting an angry response. “This is actually a post-match press conference, isn’t it?” he said. “It has no relation with the match whatsoever. Maybe you have a question about the match we just played. If you do, I’ll be happy to answer you.” A Fifa spokesman said on Wednesday: “The Russian squad has been one of the most tested teams prior to the 2018 Fifa World Cup.”
They were branded the worst team ever to stage the World Cup, a side so bad their fans feared they were destined for humiliation. But after making the best ever start to football’s flagship tournament by a host nation – and one of the best by any country – Russia have got their supporters believing anything is possible. Following victories over Saudi Arabia and Egypt by an aggregate score of 8-1, headlines predicting they were “doomed to fail” have been replaced by those proclaiming: “Hooray! We can play football.” So, how have a team who had won just one of their previous nine tournament matches and none of their last seven warm-up games suddenly become so good that they are into the knockout phase for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union – and with a game to spare? It may all be down to how far and fast their players have run so far, judging by data on the distances covered and speeds reached by individuals and teams at the World Cup. Up until yesterday, no side had run further than the 73 miles Russia clocked up in the opening match against Saudi Arabia. The closest anyone had come since were the hosts themselves, who covered 71 miles against Egypt on Tuesday. Distance covered per 90 minutes Egypt are next on the list after running nearly 70 miles in their defeat by Uruguay on Friday. Russia also had three players in the top 10 for distance covered from the opening round of matches, with the 7.9 miles by midfielder Aleksandr Golovin leading the way. By way of comparison, Cristiano Ronaldo ran just 5.4 miles in scoring a hat-trick in Portugal’s 3-3 draw with Spain. And it is not as if Russia’s players have been strolling round the pitch, with only Australia spending less time moving at under 4 mph than the hosts. There are lots of possible reasons why they are running so far and fast. They are at home and the adrenalin will be flowing perhaps more than it would otherwise; the least the country will expect is for the players to give their all; and they may be trying to compensate for their perceived technical inferiority. Whatever the reasons, Russia are revelling in their remarkable change of fortune, one that comes as the country is still facing accusations of cheating its way to sporting glory. It emerged last year that Russia’s entire squad at the 2014 World Cup was under investigation over whether members were among those to benefit from having positive drugs tests covered up in sport’s biggest ever doping scandal. Russia have been the surprise package of this year's World Cup Credit: AFP Fifa last month announced the partial closure of that investigation, ruling there had been “insufficient evidence” to charge members of the current squad with an anti-doping rule violation, although it said inquiries into those not picked for this tournament were “ongoing”. A little over a week later, the man who blew the whistle on the Russian doping scandal, former Moscow lab director Grigory Rodchenkov said he recognised one member of the country’s World Cup squad from his own doping programme. He declined to identify the player and provided no evidence to back up his claims. Further allegations made this week by Rodchenkov were raised with Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov after his side’s victory over Egypt, prompting an angry response. “This is actually a post-match press conference, isn’t it?” he said. “It has no relation with the match whatsoever. Maybe you have a question about the match we just played. If you do, I’ll be happy to answer you.” A Fifa spokesman said on Wednesday: “The Russian squad has been one of the most tested teams prior to the 2018 Fifa World Cup.”
Russia leave World Cup rivals in their wake to top running stats - what's behind the hosts' revival?
They were branded the worst team ever to stage the World Cup, a side so bad their fans feared they were destined for humiliation. But after making the best ever start to football’s flagship tournament by a host nation – and one of the best by any country – Russia have got their supporters believing anything is possible. Following victories over Saudi Arabia and Egypt by an aggregate score of 8-1, headlines predicting they were “doomed to fail” have been replaced by those proclaiming: “Hooray! We can play football.” So, how have a team who had won just one of their previous nine tournament matches and none of their last seven warm-up games suddenly become so good that they are into the knockout phase for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union – and with a game to spare? It may all be down to how far and fast their players have run so far, judging by data on the distances covered and speeds reached by individuals and teams at the World Cup. Up until yesterday, no side had run further than the 73 miles Russia clocked up in the opening match against Saudi Arabia. The closest anyone had come since were the hosts themselves, who covered 71 miles against Egypt on Tuesday. Distance covered per 90 minutes Egypt are next on the list after running nearly 70 miles in their defeat by Uruguay on Friday. Russia also had three players in the top 10 for distance covered from the opening round of matches, with the 7.9 miles by midfielder Aleksandr Golovin leading the way. By way of comparison, Cristiano Ronaldo ran just 5.4 miles in scoring a hat-trick in Portugal’s 3-3 draw with Spain. And it is not as if Russia’s players have been strolling round the pitch, with only Australia spending less time moving at under 4 mph than the hosts. There are lots of possible reasons why they are running so far and fast. They are at home and the adrenalin will be flowing perhaps more than it would otherwise; the least the country will expect is for the players to give their all; and they may be trying to compensate for their perceived technical inferiority. Whatever the reasons, Russia are revelling in their remarkable change of fortune, one that comes as the country is still facing accusations of cheating its way to sporting glory. It emerged last year that Russia’s entire squad at the 2014 World Cup was under investigation over whether members were among those to benefit from having positive drugs tests covered up in sport’s biggest ever doping scandal. Russia have been the surprise package of this year's World Cup Credit: AFP Fifa last month announced the partial closure of that investigation, ruling there had been “insufficient evidence” to charge members of the current squad with an anti-doping rule violation, although it said inquiries into those not picked for this tournament were “ongoing”. A little over a week later, the man who blew the whistle on the Russian doping scandal, former Moscow lab director Grigory Rodchenkov said he recognised one member of the country’s World Cup squad from his own doping programme. He declined to identify the player and provided no evidence to back up his claims. Further allegations made this week by Rodchenkov were raised with Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov after his side’s victory over Egypt, prompting an angry response. “This is actually a post-match press conference, isn’t it?” he said. “It has no relation with the match whatsoever. Maybe you have a question about the match we just played. If you do, I’ll be happy to answer you.” A Fifa spokesman said on Wednesday: “The Russian squad has been one of the most tested teams prior to the 2018 Fifa World Cup.”
Charlotte traded Howard to Nets
Brendan Haywood: Former Hornets teammates ‘sick and tired’ of Dwight Howard’s act
Charlotte traded Howard to Nets
Charlotte traded Howard to Nets
Brendan Haywood: Former Hornets teammates ‘sick and tired’ of Dwight Howard’s act
Charlotte traded Howard to Nets
The superstar has scored all of Portugal's goals in Russia, but that’s precisely why he should be trusted, according to his international team-mate
Why Cristiano Ronaldo is so special - Soares
The superstar has scored all of Portugal's goals in Russia, but that’s precisely why he should be trusted, according to his international team-mate
The former French Open champion Sue Barker expressed her bafflement on Wednesday at the All England Club’s decision to refuse Dan Evans a wild card into Wimbledon. Evans was not among the 22 singles players announced on Wednesday in a press release, split almost evenly between Wimbledon’s main draw and qualifying event. Yet he has won 10 matches on grass already this season, which is more than the rest of the British top 10 put together. AELTC sources confirmed that the decision was made on principle – ie. the fact that Evans, now ranked No. 340 in the world, is on his way back up the ladder after earning a 12-month ban for a positive cocaine test. Yet Barker – who fronts the BBC’s tennis coverage – argued that Evans has already served his punishment. As she told the Telegraph on Wednesday, being turned away from Wimbledon on moral grounds is akin to double jeopardy. “I feel like Dan has served his time and should be entitled to a Wimbledon wild card, at least into qualifying,” said Barker. “He has put his hands up and apologised for what happened, he has missed almost a year of competition because of his positive test, and now he is back and playing good grass-court tennis. Sue Barker fronts the BBC's tennis coverage Credit: PA “Personally, he is one of my favourite players to watch, and I know there are plenty of other people who would love to see him play at Wimbledon. I would be interested to know what the thinking of the wild-card committee was because I just don’t understand this one.” Evans still has the opportunity to earn a place in the Wimbledon main draw, but he will have to come through two tournaments to get there, starting today with the pre-qualifying event at Southlands College in south-west London, where he will be the top seed. Should he win three matches there – two of which must be played tomorrow – he can then progress to the main qualifying event at Roehampton on Monday. Evans declined to comment on the news. But during his post-match press conference on Tuesday night, he declared himself ready to go the long way around. “If someone had said I'd be playing pre-qualies a year ago, I'd have taken it,” Evans said. “It's fine by me if I'm playing in that tournament.” The workload will be intense, involving six matches in eight days if he keeps winning. But there is no reason why he cannot follow the route trodden two years ago by the then world No. 772 Marcus Willis, who went on to earn a hugely entertaining second-round meeting with Roger Federer. Wild cards are one of tennis’s great imponderables. The lesser tournaments – which often struggle to cover their costs – usually hand them out on a purely commercial basis, but the majors are already awash with money and can thus afford to take a loftier stance. Marcus Willis made it all the way from pre-qualifying to the Wimbledon second round two years ago Credit: Reuters We saw this last year in the case of Maria Sharapova, who was refused a wild card by the French Open, yet simultaneously invited to play in the WTA International event at Strasbourg. Both tournaments are run by the French Tennis Federation, so where was the moral clarity? It is harder to locate hypocrisy in the AELTC’s stance, largely because of its status as a private club. Committee members can thus hide behind their elegant gates while the Lawn Tennis Association gets on with the difficult and messy business of running British tennis. It is true that Martina Hingis, who also tested positive for cocaine, received a wild card into Wimbledon’s doubles competition in 2014. But seven years had elapsed between the two events, whereas Evans’s ban only elapsed two months ago. According to hardliners, a loss of ranking is part of the punishment. By handing wild cards to returning offenders, you are giving them a leg up, and thus subverting the whole process. But this debate has many shades of grey. On a completely separate topic from drug-taking, a sceptic might ask why Naomi Broady appears on Wimbledon’s wild-card list when she refuses to play in the Fed Cup? Sticking with the same theme, doesn’t Evans deserve some credit for his Davis Cup win over Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy in 2013? Without that result, Great Britain could not have lifted the title two years later. Overall, he has surely been a net contributor to the British game.
Dan Evans Wimbledon wild card snub baffles Sue Barker
The former French Open champion Sue Barker expressed her bafflement on Wednesday at the All England Club’s decision to refuse Dan Evans a wild card into Wimbledon. Evans was not among the 22 singles players announced on Wednesday in a press release, split almost evenly between Wimbledon’s main draw and qualifying event. Yet he has won 10 matches on grass already this season, which is more than the rest of the British top 10 put together. AELTC sources confirmed that the decision was made on principle – ie. the fact that Evans, now ranked No. 340 in the world, is on his way back up the ladder after earning a 12-month ban for a positive cocaine test. Yet Barker – who fronts the BBC’s tennis coverage – argued that Evans has already served his punishment. As she told the Telegraph on Wednesday, being turned away from Wimbledon on moral grounds is akin to double jeopardy. “I feel like Dan has served his time and should be entitled to a Wimbledon wild card, at least into qualifying,” said Barker. “He has put his hands up and apologised for what happened, he has missed almost a year of competition because of his positive test, and now he is back and playing good grass-court tennis. Sue Barker fronts the BBC's tennis coverage Credit: PA “Personally, he is one of my favourite players to watch, and I know there are plenty of other people who would love to see him play at Wimbledon. I would be interested to know what the thinking of the wild-card committee was because I just don’t understand this one.” Evans still has the opportunity to earn a place in the Wimbledon main draw, but he will have to come through two tournaments to get there, starting today with the pre-qualifying event at Southlands College in south-west London, where he will be the top seed. Should he win three matches there – two of which must be played tomorrow – he can then progress to the main qualifying event at Roehampton on Monday. Evans declined to comment on the news. But during his post-match press conference on Tuesday night, he declared himself ready to go the long way around. “If someone had said I'd be playing pre-qualies a year ago, I'd have taken it,” Evans said. “It's fine by me if I'm playing in that tournament.” The workload will be intense, involving six matches in eight days if he keeps winning. But there is no reason why he cannot follow the route trodden two years ago by the then world No. 772 Marcus Willis, who went on to earn a hugely entertaining second-round meeting with Roger Federer. Wild cards are one of tennis’s great imponderables. The lesser tournaments – which often struggle to cover their costs – usually hand them out on a purely commercial basis, but the majors are already awash with money and can thus afford to take a loftier stance. Marcus Willis made it all the way from pre-qualifying to the Wimbledon second round two years ago Credit: Reuters We saw this last year in the case of Maria Sharapova, who was refused a wild card by the French Open, yet simultaneously invited to play in the WTA International event at Strasbourg. Both tournaments are run by the French Tennis Federation, so where was the moral clarity? It is harder to locate hypocrisy in the AELTC’s stance, largely because of its status as a private club. Committee members can thus hide behind their elegant gates while the Lawn Tennis Association gets on with the difficult and messy business of running British tennis. It is true that Martina Hingis, who also tested positive for cocaine, received a wild card into Wimbledon’s doubles competition in 2014. But seven years had elapsed between the two events, whereas Evans’s ban only elapsed two months ago. According to hardliners, a loss of ranking is part of the punishment. By handing wild cards to returning offenders, you are giving them a leg up, and thus subverting the whole process. But this debate has many shades of grey. On a completely separate topic from drug-taking, a sceptic might ask why Naomi Broady appears on Wimbledon’s wild-card list when she refuses to play in the Fed Cup? Sticking with the same theme, doesn’t Evans deserve some credit for his Davis Cup win over Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy in 2013? Without that result, Great Britain could not have lifted the title two years later. Overall, he has surely been a net contributor to the British game.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has admitted that he doubted whether he would be playing any first-team football this season, let alone hoping to make a first World Cup start for England. And Loftus-Cheek has delivered a warning to Chelsea that he will not take any risks over his international career by returning from Russia to sit on the substitutes’ bench. Dele Alli’s injury has potentially opened up a place in England’s midfield for the second Group G game against Panama on Sunday, which Loftus-Cheek is favourite to take ahead of Fabian Delph. Loftus-Cheek made an impressive 10-minute cameo in which he helped England secure a stoppage-time victory over Tunisia and is now determined to build on what has already been a breakthrough season. “Playing in the World Cup didn’t go through my thoughts once,” said Loftus-Cheek. “Because, obviously, not playing for so long, going on loan to Crystal Palace was all about fighting for a position. I wasn’t sure I was going to play regularly, so I didn’t think about the World Cup.” Pick your England XI to face Panama Like so many of Chelsea’s players, Loftus-Cheek travelled to the World Cup unsure of his future while the club try to sort out their managerial situation. But following a season at Palace, he is not prepared to drop back down to being a reserve. “I want to play,” said Loftus-Cheek, who has three years remaining on his Chelsea contract. “That’s the key for me next season regarding where I end up. I want to play. I want to play as much as I can. And even this past season just gone I didn’t play as much as I would have liked to because of injuries. So I still feel I need a proper season of playing, wherever it is. “I’m confident in my ability that I can do well wherever it is. But I’m just not thinking about whether I’m going to play at Chelsea right now. I’m focussed on the tournament.” There have been doubts over whether or not Loftus-Cheek can remain fit enough to play throughout a tournament after suffering back problems during his early career. England vs Tunisia Player ratings But the 22-year-old said: “I’m getting more confident the more I play. I had that period at Palace in December time where we had loads of games and I played and got through that well. In that sense, I was getting confident the more I play. Look, I still get back problems, I’m working on that a lot and it’s getting better. “I do some yoga, but it’s just about managing my back because that step up physically to men’s football is big. I know I look big and strong, but it’s still hard on my body. But I’m feeling stronger and stronger the more I play.” Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford, who also made an impressive substitutes’ performance against Tunisia to put pressure on Raheem Sterling, believes England can achieve “anything” in Russia. Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama “We’ve got a whole new mentality and style of playing that we understand and we’ve had time to work on it, and it is still going to continue to improve,” said Rashford. “I think my understanding of the game has improved dramatically and anything is achievable.” Asked if that means he thinks England can get to the final, Rashford replied: “We have to have that mentality otherwise you are not going to get there, to get to the final or win the trophy so it’s important that we keep improving as a team. If we do it as a team then, you know, it’ll be happy days!” On his chances of starting against Panama, Rashford added: “Every player wants to start but, at the same time, you have to understand the squad is going to win the tournament. It is not going to be the 11 players. Of course you want to start, you want to keep starting and that is just the motivation of us as individuals.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Ruben Loftus-Cheek not prepared to be a Chelsea reserve next season after making England World Cup squad
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has admitted that he doubted whether he would be playing any first-team football this season, let alone hoping to make a first World Cup start for England. And Loftus-Cheek has delivered a warning to Chelsea that he will not take any risks over his international career by returning from Russia to sit on the substitutes’ bench. Dele Alli’s injury has potentially opened up a place in England’s midfield for the second Group G game against Panama on Sunday, which Loftus-Cheek is favourite to take ahead of Fabian Delph. Loftus-Cheek made an impressive 10-minute cameo in which he helped England secure a stoppage-time victory over Tunisia and is now determined to build on what has already been a breakthrough season. “Playing in the World Cup didn’t go through my thoughts once,” said Loftus-Cheek. “Because, obviously, not playing for so long, going on loan to Crystal Palace was all about fighting for a position. I wasn’t sure I was going to play regularly, so I didn’t think about the World Cup.” Pick your England XI to face Panama Like so many of Chelsea’s players, Loftus-Cheek travelled to the World Cup unsure of his future while the club try to sort out their managerial situation. But following a season at Palace, he is not prepared to drop back down to being a reserve. “I want to play,” said Loftus-Cheek, who has three years remaining on his Chelsea contract. “That’s the key for me next season regarding where I end up. I want to play. I want to play as much as I can. And even this past season just gone I didn’t play as much as I would have liked to because of injuries. So I still feel I need a proper season of playing, wherever it is. “I’m confident in my ability that I can do well wherever it is. But I’m just not thinking about whether I’m going to play at Chelsea right now. I’m focussed on the tournament.” There have been doubts over whether or not Loftus-Cheek can remain fit enough to play throughout a tournament after suffering back problems during his early career. England vs Tunisia Player ratings But the 22-year-old said: “I’m getting more confident the more I play. I had that period at Palace in December time where we had loads of games and I played and got through that well. In that sense, I was getting confident the more I play. Look, I still get back problems, I’m working on that a lot and it’s getting better. “I do some yoga, but it’s just about managing my back because that step up physically to men’s football is big. I know I look big and strong, but it’s still hard on my body. But I’m feeling stronger and stronger the more I play.” Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford, who also made an impressive substitutes’ performance against Tunisia to put pressure on Raheem Sterling, believes England can achieve “anything” in Russia. Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama “We’ve got a whole new mentality and style of playing that we understand and we’ve had time to work on it, and it is still going to continue to improve,” said Rashford. “I think my understanding of the game has improved dramatically and anything is achievable.” Asked if that means he thinks England can get to the final, Rashford replied: “We have to have that mentality otherwise you are not going to get there, to get to the final or win the trophy so it’s important that we keep improving as a team. If we do it as a team then, you know, it’ll be happy days!” On his chances of starting against Panama, Rashford added: “Every player wants to start but, at the same time, you have to understand the squad is going to win the tournament. It is not going to be the 11 players. Of course you want to start, you want to keep starting and that is just the motivation of us as individuals.” World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Steve Holland has revealed fascinating detail of how England’s World Cup plans, including an overhaul of the team, style of play and the formation, were hatched on a road trip around Russia with Gareth Southgate last summer. The England assistant manager, who enjoyed six remarkably successful years on the Chelsea backroom staff, also said that Southgate shares the same three qualities every successful manager - including Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte - requires. Southgate held off his “revolution” until England had qualified after picking up the pieces following Sam Allardyce’s dismissal - after just one game in charge - and the Iceland debacle overseen by Roy Hodgson at Euro 2016 which led to him quitting. But it was at the Confederations Cup that Southgate and Holland, as they travelled around Russia watching matches but also looking at possible World Cup base camps, found the time to work on their detailed plans - with the key decision of switching to a defensive back three made over dinner in Sochi. “We spent about four weeks on the road, the two of us,” Holland, who first worked with Southgate as his assistant with England Under-21s, said. “We spent a lot of time on a plane but it really gave us the opportunity to speak about what we'd learnt in the year. We came to some conclusions. We watched the matches in the Confeds Cup; Germany, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, some good teams. Tried to envisage how we would play, how our team would look in those kind of fixtures against that kind of opposition, and we made some decisions. One of those was a back three. We felt we would be better with and without the ball with a back three. We had dinner in Sochi and that was more or less where it was named. Steve Holland and Gareth Southgate finalise their plans Credit: pa “We looked at Terry Venables’ Euro 96 team, (Steve) McManaman and (Darren) Anderton as wing-backs and (Gary) Neville in a back three, the balance of the midfield etc, etc. Even back to Bobby Robson, in Italia 90, who started with one way of playing then went to a back three... the process really was: what gives us the best chance of not conceding many goals? What gives us the best chance of having more control of the game with the ball? “They were the two factors really. Also given the players that we’ve got, the type of players we had. That meant once we were going down that road, to fit one of those three positions you had to be a certain profile of player. It’s been documented some players maybe are, some maybe aren’t, but we were very clear if that’s what we’re going to do, to play in one of those three roles, to be able to handle the ball to a good level, is one of those criteria.” One casualty was Chris Smalling, deemed not good enough with the ball at his feet, while Kyle Walker was switched from right-back - in much the same way as Chelsea, under Conte, and with Holland there, moved Cesar Azpilicueta. “Chelsea won the league that year with a 3-4-3, with Azpilicueta as a full-back in a back three, with (Gary) Cahill on the left and David Luiz, as it was then, in the middle. It was a combination of how we viewed our own players,” Holland said. “The next stage of that, really, was what best suited the midfield balance? We then felt three rather than two, given the profile of players we have. Three brings a (Jesse) Lingard, a (Dele) Alli, a (Adam) Lallana, who unfortunately we couldn’t have but was England’s player of the year last year. If we play with two, it’s much more difficult for that kind of player to play that role, the responsibility becomes more to provide structure and balance to the team. England appear more fluid in a 3-5-2 Credit: getty images “Also, we have good forwards. If we play 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 we can only play one of them. We play two, we can get two on the pitch, and also refresh the two more who are probably just as good. So (a back) three we thought was a good decision, three is better than two (in midfield), and two is probably better than one (in attack), given the profile of players we have. The only criteria we have after that is do we have the wing-backs? I think the wing-backs probably are the least of our problems. We have all sorts of different types of wing-backs, so it made sense.” One of those is Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the inclusion of the 19 year-old a prime example of diligent scouting and bravery. “I went to watch Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Champions League quarter-final at Man City, second leg,” Holland said. “After three minutes they’re 1-0 down Liverpool, and he’s playing one against one against (Leroy) Sane, the crowd are up, the atmosphere, the place is rocking, they can smell there’s a comeback on. He had to survive, and he did more than survive. So that night you don’t learn ‘is he a good crosser?’ and ‘can he play quickly out of pressure?’ You learn, ‘OK, this kid has got some personality when it matters’. They’re the kind of things that we’ve tried to learn, and build profiles on all of the players.” Pick your England XI to face Panama Certainly Southgate and Holland are a good combination, with the assistant, at 48, also just four months older. “I think with Gareth, he ticks so many of the boxes that the best that I’ve worked with tick,” Holland said. “There is an obvious difference. And I’m trying to say this without being in any with disrespectful towards Gareth, because clearly I wouldn’t. Jose Mourinho has won this title or that title in four or five different countries, and Gareth hasn’t. His pathway has been different. And he’s a different personality. But does he understand man-management and getting the best out of players? Yes. Does he understand the value of giving staff ownership and responsibility, and getting the best out of the staff? Yes, absolutely. Does he have experience of international football at the highest level? Yes. So he has some outstanding qualities, and I’ve really seen him grow into the role.” Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama As for Holland himself, why did he leave Chelsea and take the England role? “The best thing is this... to be at a World Cup with England, wow,” he said. “Do I miss the day-to-day training and being on the pitch, yeah of course. I’d much rather be doing that than driving here and there. But I think the role can be whatever you want it to be. I hear it’s a job for an experienced guy who’s at the end of his career, nice and calm, and enjoys his life. When the camp comes round, focus on the camp. That isn’t how we’ve approached this massive responsibility.” In England, more than 20 million people watched the Tunisia game. “It’s a massive responsibility. What more important role could you have?” Holland added. England 2-1 Tunisia: Did Southgate's big calls pay off? | Matt Law's verdict Holland knows that scoring more goals - and being less dependent on Harry Kane - is “the next bit” of the master-plan. “If you look at the England team, where are our goals? We've been so dependent on Harry but we've not always had Harry. After that where are our goals? (Jamie) Vardy and (Danny) Welbeck have reasonable goal records for England and after that we've got potential. It might just take a bit of time there. “If you imagine these guys in a couple of years, and I hope I'm still around then, once they've become more seasoned at this level that could be really exciting. It already is now.” Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
How England's World Cup plans were hatched on a road trip around Russia last summer
Steve Holland has revealed fascinating detail of how England’s World Cup plans, including an overhaul of the team, style of play and the formation, were hatched on a road trip around Russia with Gareth Southgate last summer. The England assistant manager, who enjoyed six remarkably successful years on the Chelsea backroom staff, also said that Southgate shares the same three qualities every successful manager - including Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte - requires. Southgate held off his “revolution” until England had qualified after picking up the pieces following Sam Allardyce’s dismissal - after just one game in charge - and the Iceland debacle overseen by Roy Hodgson at Euro 2016 which led to him quitting. But it was at the Confederations Cup that Southgate and Holland, as they travelled around Russia watching matches but also looking at possible World Cup base camps, found the time to work on their detailed plans - with the key decision of switching to a defensive back three made over dinner in Sochi. “We spent about four weeks on the road, the two of us,” Holland, who first worked with Southgate as his assistant with England Under-21s, said. “We spent a lot of time on a plane but it really gave us the opportunity to speak about what we'd learnt in the year. We came to some conclusions. We watched the matches in the Confeds Cup; Germany, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, some good teams. Tried to envisage how we would play, how our team would look in those kind of fixtures against that kind of opposition, and we made some decisions. One of those was a back three. We felt we would be better with and without the ball with a back three. We had dinner in Sochi and that was more or less where it was named. Steve Holland and Gareth Southgate finalise their plans Credit: pa “We looked at Terry Venables’ Euro 96 team, (Steve) McManaman and (Darren) Anderton as wing-backs and (Gary) Neville in a back three, the balance of the midfield etc, etc. Even back to Bobby Robson, in Italia 90, who started with one way of playing then went to a back three... the process really was: what gives us the best chance of not conceding many goals? What gives us the best chance of having more control of the game with the ball? “They were the two factors really. Also given the players that we’ve got, the type of players we had. That meant once we were going down that road, to fit one of those three positions you had to be a certain profile of player. It’s been documented some players maybe are, some maybe aren’t, but we were very clear if that’s what we’re going to do, to play in one of those three roles, to be able to handle the ball to a good level, is one of those criteria.” One casualty was Chris Smalling, deemed not good enough with the ball at his feet, while Kyle Walker was switched from right-back - in much the same way as Chelsea, under Conte, and with Holland there, moved Cesar Azpilicueta. “Chelsea won the league that year with a 3-4-3, with Azpilicueta as a full-back in a back three, with (Gary) Cahill on the left and David Luiz, as it was then, in the middle. It was a combination of how we viewed our own players,” Holland said. “The next stage of that, really, was what best suited the midfield balance? We then felt three rather than two, given the profile of players we have. Three brings a (Jesse) Lingard, a (Dele) Alli, a (Adam) Lallana, who unfortunately we couldn’t have but was England’s player of the year last year. If we play with two, it’s much more difficult for that kind of player to play that role, the responsibility becomes more to provide structure and balance to the team. England appear more fluid in a 3-5-2 Credit: getty images “Also, we have good forwards. If we play 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 we can only play one of them. We play two, we can get two on the pitch, and also refresh the two more who are probably just as good. So (a back) three we thought was a good decision, three is better than two (in midfield), and two is probably better than one (in attack), given the profile of players we have. The only criteria we have after that is do we have the wing-backs? I think the wing-backs probably are the least of our problems. We have all sorts of different types of wing-backs, so it made sense.” One of those is Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the inclusion of the 19 year-old a prime example of diligent scouting and bravery. “I went to watch Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Champions League quarter-final at Man City, second leg,” Holland said. “After three minutes they’re 1-0 down Liverpool, and he’s playing one against one against (Leroy) Sane, the crowd are up, the atmosphere, the place is rocking, they can smell there’s a comeback on. He had to survive, and he did more than survive. So that night you don’t learn ‘is he a good crosser?’ and ‘can he play quickly out of pressure?’ You learn, ‘OK, this kid has got some personality when it matters’. They’re the kind of things that we’ve tried to learn, and build profiles on all of the players.” Pick your England XI to face Panama Certainly Southgate and Holland are a good combination, with the assistant, at 48, also just four months older. “I think with Gareth, he ticks so many of the boxes that the best that I’ve worked with tick,” Holland said. “There is an obvious difference. And I’m trying to say this without being in any with disrespectful towards Gareth, because clearly I wouldn’t. Jose Mourinho has won this title or that title in four or five different countries, and Gareth hasn’t. His pathway has been different. And he’s a different personality. But does he understand man-management and getting the best out of players? Yes. Does he understand the value of giving staff ownership and responsibility, and getting the best out of the staff? Yes, absolutely. Does he have experience of international football at the highest level? Yes. So he has some outstanding qualities, and I’ve really seen him grow into the role.” Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama As for Holland himself, why did he leave Chelsea and take the England role? “The best thing is this... to be at a World Cup with England, wow,” he said. “Do I miss the day-to-day training and being on the pitch, yeah of course. I’d much rather be doing that than driving here and there. But I think the role can be whatever you want it to be. I hear it’s a job for an experienced guy who’s at the end of his career, nice and calm, and enjoys his life. When the camp comes round, focus on the camp. That isn’t how we’ve approached this massive responsibility.” In England, more than 20 million people watched the Tunisia game. “It’s a massive responsibility. What more important role could you have?” Holland added. England 2-1 Tunisia: Did Southgate's big calls pay off? | Matt Law's verdict Holland knows that scoring more goals - and being less dependent on Harry Kane - is “the next bit” of the master-plan. “If you look at the England team, where are our goals? We've been so dependent on Harry but we've not always had Harry. After that where are our goals? (Jamie) Vardy and (Danny) Welbeck have reasonable goal records for England and after that we've got potential. It might just take a bit of time there. “If you imagine these guys in a couple of years, and I hope I'm still around then, once they've become more seasoned at this level that could be really exciting. It already is now.” Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The former French Open champion Sue Barker expressed her bafflement on Wednesday at the All England Club’s decision to refuse Dan Evans a wild card into Wimbledon. Evans was not among the 22 singles players announced on Wednesday in a press release, split almost evenly between Wimbledon’s main draw and qualifying event. Yet he has won 10 matches on grass already this season, which is more than the rest of the British top 10 put together. AELTC sources confirmed that the decision was made on principle – ie. the fact that Evans, now ranked No. 340 in the world, is on his way back up the ladder after earning a 12-month ban for a positive cocaine test. Yet Barker – who fronts the BBC’s tennis coverage – argued that Evans has already served his punishment. As she told the Telegraph on Wednesday, being turned away from Wimbledon on moral grounds is akin to double jeopardy. “I feel like Dan has served his time and should be entitled to a Wimbledon wild card, at least into qualifying,” said Barker. “He has put his hands up and apologised for what happened, he has missed almost a year of competition because of his positive test, and now he is back and playing good grass-court tennis. Sue Barker fronts the BBC's tennis coverage Credit: PA “Personally, he is one of my favourite players to watch, and I know there are plenty of other people who would love to see him play at Wimbledon. I would be interested to know what the thinking of the wild-card committee was because I just don’t understand this one.” Evans still has the opportunity to earn a place in the Wimbledon main draw, but he will have to come through two tournaments to get there, starting today with the pre-qualifying event at Southlands College in south-west London, where he will be the top seed. Should he win three matches there – two of which must be played tomorrow – he can then progress to the main qualifying event at Roehampton on Monday. Evans declined to comment on the news. But during his post-match press conference on Tuesday night, he declared himself ready to go the long way around. “If someone had said I'd be playing pre-qualies a year ago, I'd have taken it,” Evans said. “It's fine by me if I'm playing in that tournament.” The workload will be intense, involving six matches in eight days if he keeps winning. But there is no reason why he cannot follow the route trodden two years ago by the then world No. 772 Marcus Willis, who went on to earn a hugely entertaining second-round meeting with Roger Federer. Wild cards are one of tennis’s great imponderables. The lesser tournaments – which often struggle to cover their costs – usually hand them out on a purely commercial basis, but the majors are already awash with money and can thus afford to take a loftier stance. Marcus Willis made it all the way from pre-qualifying to the Wimbledon second round two years ago Credit: Reuters We saw this last year in the case of Maria Sharapova, who was refused a wild card by the French Open, yet simultaneously invited to play in the WTA International event at Strasbourg. Both tournaments are run by the French Tennis Federation, so where was the moral clarity? It is harder to locate hypocrisy in the AELTC’s stance, largely because of its status as a private club. Committee members can thus hide behind their elegant gates while the Lawn Tennis Association gets on with the difficult and messy business of running British tennis. It is true that Martina Hingis, who also tested positive for cocaine, received a wild card into Wimbledon’s doubles competition in 2014. But seven years had elapsed between the two events, whereas Evans’s ban only elapsed two months ago. According to hardliners, a loss of ranking is part of the punishment. By handing wild cards to returning offenders, you are giving them a leg up, and thus subverting the whole process. But this debate has many shades of grey. On a completely separate topic from drug-taking, a sceptic might ask why Naomi Broady appears on Wimbledon’s wild-card list when she refuses to play in the Fed Cup? Sticking with the same theme, doesn’t Evans deserve some credit for his Davis Cup win over Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy in 2013? Without that result, Great Britain could not have lifted the title two years later. Overall, he has surely been a net contributor to the British game.
Dan Evans Wimbledon wild card snub baffles Sue Barker
The former French Open champion Sue Barker expressed her bafflement on Wednesday at the All England Club’s decision to refuse Dan Evans a wild card into Wimbledon. Evans was not among the 22 singles players announced on Wednesday in a press release, split almost evenly between Wimbledon’s main draw and qualifying event. Yet he has won 10 matches on grass already this season, which is more than the rest of the British top 10 put together. AELTC sources confirmed that the decision was made on principle – ie. the fact that Evans, now ranked No. 340 in the world, is on his way back up the ladder after earning a 12-month ban for a positive cocaine test. Yet Barker – who fronts the BBC’s tennis coverage – argued that Evans has already served his punishment. As she told the Telegraph on Wednesday, being turned away from Wimbledon on moral grounds is akin to double jeopardy. “I feel like Dan has served his time and should be entitled to a Wimbledon wild card, at least into qualifying,” said Barker. “He has put his hands up and apologised for what happened, he has missed almost a year of competition because of his positive test, and now he is back and playing good grass-court tennis. Sue Barker fronts the BBC's tennis coverage Credit: PA “Personally, he is one of my favourite players to watch, and I know there are plenty of other people who would love to see him play at Wimbledon. I would be interested to know what the thinking of the wild-card committee was because I just don’t understand this one.” Evans still has the opportunity to earn a place in the Wimbledon main draw, but he will have to come through two tournaments to get there, starting today with the pre-qualifying event at Southlands College in south-west London, where he will be the top seed. Should he win three matches there – two of which must be played tomorrow – he can then progress to the main qualifying event at Roehampton on Monday. Evans declined to comment on the news. But during his post-match press conference on Tuesday night, he declared himself ready to go the long way around. “If someone had said I'd be playing pre-qualies a year ago, I'd have taken it,” Evans said. “It's fine by me if I'm playing in that tournament.” The workload will be intense, involving six matches in eight days if he keeps winning. But there is no reason why he cannot follow the route trodden two years ago by the then world No. 772 Marcus Willis, who went on to earn a hugely entertaining second-round meeting with Roger Federer. Wild cards are one of tennis’s great imponderables. The lesser tournaments – which often struggle to cover their costs – usually hand them out on a purely commercial basis, but the majors are already awash with money and can thus afford to take a loftier stance. Marcus Willis made it all the way from pre-qualifying to the Wimbledon second round two years ago Credit: Reuters We saw this last year in the case of Maria Sharapova, who was refused a wild card by the French Open, yet simultaneously invited to play in the WTA International event at Strasbourg. Both tournaments are run by the French Tennis Federation, so where was the moral clarity? It is harder to locate hypocrisy in the AELTC’s stance, largely because of its status as a private club. Committee members can thus hide behind their elegant gates while the Lawn Tennis Association gets on with the difficult and messy business of running British tennis. It is true that Martina Hingis, who also tested positive for cocaine, received a wild card into Wimbledon’s doubles competition in 2014. But seven years had elapsed between the two events, whereas Evans’s ban only elapsed two months ago. According to hardliners, a loss of ranking is part of the punishment. By handing wild cards to returning offenders, you are giving them a leg up, and thus subverting the whole process. But this debate has many shades of grey. On a completely separate topic from drug-taking, a sceptic might ask why Naomi Broady appears on Wimbledon’s wild-card list when she refuses to play in the Fed Cup? Sticking with the same theme, doesn’t Evans deserve some credit for his Davis Cup win over Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy in 2013? Without that result, Great Britain could not have lifted the title two years later. Overall, he has surely been a net contributor to the British game.
Steve Holland has revealed fascinating detail of how England’s World Cup plans, including an overhaul of the team, style of play and the formation, were hatched on a road trip around Russia with Gareth Southgate last summer. The England assistant manager, who enjoyed six remarkably successful years on the Chelsea backroom staff, also said that Southgate shares the same three qualities every successful manager - including Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte - requires. Southgate held off his “revolution” until England had qualified after picking up the pieces following Sam Allardyce’s dismissal - after just one game in charge - and the Iceland debacle overseen by Roy Hodgson at Euro 2016 which led to him quitting. But it was at the Confederations Cup that Southgate and Holland, as they travelled around Russia watching matches but also looking at possible World Cup base camps, found the time to work on their detailed plans - with the key decision of switching to a defensive back three made over dinner in Sochi. “We spent about four weeks on the road, the two of us,” Holland, who first worked with Southgate as his assistant with England Under-21s, said. “We spent a lot of time on a plane but it really gave us the opportunity to speak about what we'd learnt in the year. We came to some conclusions. We watched the matches in the Confeds Cup; Germany, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, some good teams. Tried to envisage how we would play, how our team would look in those kind of fixtures against that kind of opposition, and we made some decisions. One of those was a back three. We felt we would be better with and without the ball with a back three. We had dinner in Sochi and that was more or less where it was named. Steve Holland and Gareth Southgate finalise their plans Credit: pa “We looked at Terry Venables’ Euro 96 team, (Steve) McManaman and (Darren) Anderton as wing-backs and (Gary) Neville in a back three, the balance of the midfield etc, etc. Even back to Bobby Robson, in Italia 90, who started with one way of playing then went to a back three... the process really was: what gives us the best chance of not conceding many goals? What gives us the best chance of having more control of the game with the ball? “They were the two factors really. Also given the players that we’ve got, the type of players we had. That meant once we were going down that road, to fit one of those three positions you had to be a certain profile of player. It’s been documented some players maybe are, some maybe aren’t, but we were very clear if that’s what we’re going to do, to play in one of those three roles, to be able to handle the ball to a good level, is one of those criteria.” One casualty was Chris Smalling, deemed not good enough with the ball at his feet, while Kyle Walker was switched from right-back - in much the same way as Chelsea, under Conte, and with Holland there, moved Cesar Azpilicueta. “Chelsea won the league that year with a 3-4-3, with Azpilicueta as a full-back in a back three, with (Gary) Cahill on the left and David Luiz, as it was then, in the middle. It was a combination of how we viewed our own players,” Holland said. “The next stage of that, really, was what best suited the midfield balance? We then felt three rather than two, given the profile of players we have. Three brings a (Jesse) Lingard, a (Dele) Alli, a (Adam) Lallana, who unfortunately we couldn’t have but was England’s player of the year last year. If we play with two, it’s much more difficult for that kind of player to play that role, the responsibility becomes more to provide structure and balance to the team. England appear more fluid in a 3-5-2 Credit: getty images “Also, we have good forwards. If we play 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 we can only play one of them. We play two, we can get two on the pitch, and also refresh the two more who are probably just as good. So (a back) three we thought was a good decision, three is better than two (in midfield), and two is probably better than one (in attack), given the profile of players we have. The only criteria we have after that is do we have the wing-backs? I think the wing-backs probably are the least of our problems. We have all sorts of different types of wing-backs, so it made sense.” One of those is Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the inclusion of the 19 year-old a prime example of diligent scouting and bravery. “I went to watch Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Champions League quarter-final at Man City, second leg,” Holland said. “After three minutes they’re 1-0 down Liverpool, and he’s playing one against one against (Leroy) Sane, the crowd are up, the atmosphere, the place is rocking, they can smell there’s a comeback on. He had to survive, and he did more than survive. So that night you don’t learn ‘is he a good crosser?’ and ‘can he play quickly out of pressure?’ You learn, ‘OK, this kid has got some personality when it matters’. They’re the kind of things that we’ve tried to learn, and build profiles on all of the players.” Pick your England XI to face Panama Certainly Southgate and Holland are a good combination, with the assistant, at 48, also just four months older. “I think with Gareth, he ticks so many of the boxes that the best that I’ve worked with tick,” Holland said. “There is an obvious difference. And I’m trying to say this without being in any with disrespectful towards Gareth, because clearly I wouldn’t. Jose Mourinho has won this title or that title in four or five different countries, and Gareth hasn’t. His pathway has been different. And he’s a different personality. But does he understand man-management and getting the best out of players? Yes. Does he understand the value of giving staff ownership and responsibility, and getting the best out of the staff? Yes, absolutely. Does he have experience of international football at the highest level? Yes. So he has some outstanding qualities, and I’ve really seen him grow into the role.” Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama As for Holland himself, why did he leave Chelsea and take the England role? “The best thing is this... to be at a World Cup with England, wow,” he said. “Do I miss the day-to-day training and being on the pitch, yeah of course. I’d much rather be doing that than driving here and there. But I think the role can be whatever you want it to be. I hear it’s a job for an experienced guy who’s at the end of his career, nice and calm, and enjoys his life. When the camp comes round, focus on the camp. That isn’t how we’ve approached this massive responsibility.” In England, more than 20 million people watched the Tunisia game. “It’s a massive responsibility. What more important role could you have?” Holland added. England 2-1 Tunisia: Did Southgate's big calls pay off? | Matt Law's verdict Holland knows that scoring more goals - and being less dependent on Harry Kane - is “the next bit” of the master-plan. “If you look at the England team, where are our goals? We've been so dependent on Harry but we've not always had Harry. After that where are our goals? (Jamie) Vardy and (Danny) Welbeck have reasonable goal records for England and after that we've got potential. It might just take a bit of time there. “If you imagine these guys in a couple of years, and I hope I'm still around then, once they've become more seasoned at this level that could be really exciting. It already is now.” Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
How England's World Cup plans were hatched on a road trip around Russia last summer
Steve Holland has revealed fascinating detail of how England’s World Cup plans, including an overhaul of the team, style of play and the formation, were hatched on a road trip around Russia with Gareth Southgate last summer. The England assistant manager, who enjoyed six remarkably successful years on the Chelsea backroom staff, also said that Southgate shares the same three qualities every successful manager - including Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte - requires. Southgate held off his “revolution” until England had qualified after picking up the pieces following Sam Allardyce’s dismissal - after just one game in charge - and the Iceland debacle overseen by Roy Hodgson at Euro 2016 which led to him quitting. But it was at the Confederations Cup that Southgate and Holland, as they travelled around Russia watching matches but also looking at possible World Cup base camps, found the time to work on their detailed plans - with the key decision of switching to a defensive back three made over dinner in Sochi. “We spent about four weeks on the road, the two of us,” Holland, who first worked with Southgate as his assistant with England Under-21s, said. “We spent a lot of time on a plane but it really gave us the opportunity to speak about what we'd learnt in the year. We came to some conclusions. We watched the matches in the Confeds Cup; Germany, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, some good teams. Tried to envisage how we would play, how our team would look in those kind of fixtures against that kind of opposition, and we made some decisions. One of those was a back three. We felt we would be better with and without the ball with a back three. We had dinner in Sochi and that was more or less where it was named. Steve Holland and Gareth Southgate finalise their plans Credit: pa “We looked at Terry Venables’ Euro 96 team, (Steve) McManaman and (Darren) Anderton as wing-backs and (Gary) Neville in a back three, the balance of the midfield etc, etc. Even back to Bobby Robson, in Italia 90, who started with one way of playing then went to a back three... the process really was: what gives us the best chance of not conceding many goals? What gives us the best chance of having more control of the game with the ball? “They were the two factors really. Also given the players that we’ve got, the type of players we had. That meant once we were going down that road, to fit one of those three positions you had to be a certain profile of player. It’s been documented some players maybe are, some maybe aren’t, but we were very clear if that’s what we’re going to do, to play in one of those three roles, to be able to handle the ball to a good level, is one of those criteria.” One casualty was Chris Smalling, deemed not good enough with the ball at his feet, while Kyle Walker was switched from right-back - in much the same way as Chelsea, under Conte, and with Holland there, moved Cesar Azpilicueta. “Chelsea won the league that year with a 3-4-3, with Azpilicueta as a full-back in a back three, with (Gary) Cahill on the left and David Luiz, as it was then, in the middle. It was a combination of how we viewed our own players,” Holland said. “The next stage of that, really, was what best suited the midfield balance? We then felt three rather than two, given the profile of players we have. Three brings a (Jesse) Lingard, a (Dele) Alli, a (Adam) Lallana, who unfortunately we couldn’t have but was England’s player of the year last year. If we play with two, it’s much more difficult for that kind of player to play that role, the responsibility becomes more to provide structure and balance to the team. England appear more fluid in a 3-5-2 Credit: getty images “Also, we have good forwards. If we play 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 we can only play one of them. We play two, we can get two on the pitch, and also refresh the two more who are probably just as good. So (a back) three we thought was a good decision, three is better than two (in midfield), and two is probably better than one (in attack), given the profile of players we have. The only criteria we have after that is do we have the wing-backs? I think the wing-backs probably are the least of our problems. We have all sorts of different types of wing-backs, so it made sense.” One of those is Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the inclusion of the 19 year-old a prime example of diligent scouting and bravery. “I went to watch Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Champions League quarter-final at Man City, second leg,” Holland said. “After three minutes they’re 1-0 down Liverpool, and he’s playing one against one against (Leroy) Sane, the crowd are up, the atmosphere, the place is rocking, they can smell there’s a comeback on. He had to survive, and he did more than survive. So that night you don’t learn ‘is he a good crosser?’ and ‘can he play quickly out of pressure?’ You learn, ‘OK, this kid has got some personality when it matters’. They’re the kind of things that we’ve tried to learn, and build profiles on all of the players.” Pick your England XI to face Panama Certainly Southgate and Holland are a good combination, with the assistant, at 48, also just four months older. “I think with Gareth, he ticks so many of the boxes that the best that I’ve worked with tick,” Holland said. “There is an obvious difference. And I’m trying to say this without being in any with disrespectful towards Gareth, because clearly I wouldn’t. Jose Mourinho has won this title or that title in four or five different countries, and Gareth hasn’t. His pathway has been different. And he’s a different personality. But does he understand man-management and getting the best out of players? Yes. Does he understand the value of giving staff ownership and responsibility, and getting the best out of the staff? Yes, absolutely. Does he have experience of international football at the highest level? Yes. So he has some outstanding qualities, and I’ve really seen him grow into the role.” Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama As for Holland himself, why did he leave Chelsea and take the England role? “The best thing is this... to be at a World Cup with England, wow,” he said. “Do I miss the day-to-day training and being on the pitch, yeah of course. I’d much rather be doing that than driving here and there. But I think the role can be whatever you want it to be. I hear it’s a job for an experienced guy who’s at the end of his career, nice and calm, and enjoys his life. When the camp comes round, focus on the camp. That isn’t how we’ve approached this massive responsibility.” In England, more than 20 million people watched the Tunisia game. “It’s a massive responsibility. What more important role could you have?” Holland added. England 2-1 Tunisia: Did Southgate's big calls pay off? | Matt Law's verdict Holland knows that scoring more goals - and being less dependent on Harry Kane - is “the next bit” of the master-plan. “If you look at the England team, where are our goals? We've been so dependent on Harry but we've not always had Harry. After that where are our goals? (Jamie) Vardy and (Danny) Welbeck have reasonable goal records for England and after that we've got potential. It might just take a bit of time there. “If you imagine these guys in a couple of years, and I hope I'm still around then, once they've become more seasoned at this level that could be really exciting. It already is now.” Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The former French Open champion Sue Barker expressed her bafflement on Wednesday at the All England Club’s decision to refuse Dan Evans a wild card into Wimbledon. Evans was not among the 22 singles players announced on Wednesday in a press release, split almost evenly between Wimbledon’s main draw and qualifying event. Yet he has won 10 matches on grass already this season, which is more than the rest of the British top 10 put together. AELTC sources confirmed that the decision was made on principle – ie. the fact that Evans, now ranked No. 340 in the world, is on his way back up the ladder after earning a 12-month ban for a positive cocaine test. Yet Barker – who fronts the BBC’s tennis coverage – argued that Evans has already served his punishment. As she told the Telegraph on Wednesday, being turned away from Wimbledon on moral grounds is akin to double jeopardy. “I feel like Dan has served his time and should be entitled to a Wimbledon wild card, at least into qualifying,” said Barker. “He has put his hands up and apologised for what happened, he has missed almost a year of competition because of his positive test, and now he is back and playing good grass-court tennis. Sue Barker fronts the BBC's tennis coverage Credit: PA “Personally, he is one of my favourite players to watch, and I know there are plenty of other people who would love to see him play at Wimbledon. I would be interested to know what the thinking of the wild-card committee was because I just don’t understand this one.” Evans still has the opportunity to earn a place in the Wimbledon main draw, but he will have to come through two tournaments to get there, starting today with the pre-qualifying event at Southlands College in south-west London, where he will be the top seed. Should he win three matches there – two of which must be played tomorrow – he can then progress to the main qualifying event at Roehampton on Monday. Evans declined to comment on the news. But during his post-match press conference on Tuesday night, he declared himself ready to go the long way around. “If someone had said I'd be playing pre-qualies a year ago, I'd have taken it,” Evans said. “It's fine by me if I'm playing in that tournament.” The workload will be intense, involving six matches in eight days if he keeps winning. But there is no reason why he cannot follow the route trodden two years ago by the then world No. 772 Marcus Willis, who went on to earn a hugely entertaining second-round meeting with Roger Federer. Wild cards are one of tennis’s great imponderables. The lesser tournaments – which often struggle to cover their costs – usually hand them out on a purely commercial basis, but the majors are already awash with money and can thus afford to take a loftier stance. Marcus Willis made it all the way from pre-qualifying to the Wimbledon second round two years ago Credit: Reuters We saw this last year in the case of Maria Sharapova, who was refused a wild card by the French Open, yet simultaneously invited to play in the WTA International event at Strasbourg. Both tournaments are run by the French Tennis Federation, so where was the moral clarity? It is harder to locate hypocrisy in the AELTC’s stance, largely because of its status as a private club. Committee members can thus hide behind their elegant gates while the Lawn Tennis Association gets on with the difficult and messy business of running British tennis. It is true that Martina Hingis, who also tested positive for cocaine, received a wild card into Wimbledon’s doubles competition in 2014. But seven years had elapsed between the two events, whereas Evans’s ban only elapsed two months ago. According to hardliners, a loss of ranking is part of the punishment. By handing wild cards to returning offenders, you are giving them a leg up, and thus subverting the whole process. But this debate has many shades of grey. On a completely separate topic from drug-taking, a sceptic might ask why Naomi Broady appears on Wimbledon’s wild-card list when she refuses to play in the Fed Cup? Sticking with the same theme, doesn’t Evans deserve some credit for his Davis Cup win over Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy in 2013? Without that result, Great Britain could not have lifted the title two years later. Overall, he has surely been a net contributor to the British game.
Dan Evans Wimbledon wild card snub baffles Sue Barker
The former French Open champion Sue Barker expressed her bafflement on Wednesday at the All England Club’s decision to refuse Dan Evans a wild card into Wimbledon. Evans was not among the 22 singles players announced on Wednesday in a press release, split almost evenly between Wimbledon’s main draw and qualifying event. Yet he has won 10 matches on grass already this season, which is more than the rest of the British top 10 put together. AELTC sources confirmed that the decision was made on principle – ie. the fact that Evans, now ranked No. 340 in the world, is on his way back up the ladder after earning a 12-month ban for a positive cocaine test. Yet Barker – who fronts the BBC’s tennis coverage – argued that Evans has already served his punishment. As she told the Telegraph on Wednesday, being turned away from Wimbledon on moral grounds is akin to double jeopardy. “I feel like Dan has served his time and should be entitled to a Wimbledon wild card, at least into qualifying,” said Barker. “He has put his hands up and apologised for what happened, he has missed almost a year of competition because of his positive test, and now he is back and playing good grass-court tennis. Sue Barker fronts the BBC's tennis coverage Credit: PA “Personally, he is one of my favourite players to watch, and I know there are plenty of other people who would love to see him play at Wimbledon. I would be interested to know what the thinking of the wild-card committee was because I just don’t understand this one.” Evans still has the opportunity to earn a place in the Wimbledon main draw, but he will have to come through two tournaments to get there, starting today with the pre-qualifying event at Southlands College in south-west London, where he will be the top seed. Should he win three matches there – two of which must be played tomorrow – he can then progress to the main qualifying event at Roehampton on Monday. Evans declined to comment on the news. But during his post-match press conference on Tuesday night, he declared himself ready to go the long way around. “If someone had said I'd be playing pre-qualies a year ago, I'd have taken it,” Evans said. “It's fine by me if I'm playing in that tournament.” The workload will be intense, involving six matches in eight days if he keeps winning. But there is no reason why he cannot follow the route trodden two years ago by the then world No. 772 Marcus Willis, who went on to earn a hugely entertaining second-round meeting with Roger Federer. Wild cards are one of tennis’s great imponderables. The lesser tournaments – which often struggle to cover their costs – usually hand them out on a purely commercial basis, but the majors are already awash with money and can thus afford to take a loftier stance. Marcus Willis made it all the way from pre-qualifying to the Wimbledon second round two years ago Credit: Reuters We saw this last year in the case of Maria Sharapova, who was refused a wild card by the French Open, yet simultaneously invited to play in the WTA International event at Strasbourg. Both tournaments are run by the French Tennis Federation, so where was the moral clarity? It is harder to locate hypocrisy in the AELTC’s stance, largely because of its status as a private club. Committee members can thus hide behind their elegant gates while the Lawn Tennis Association gets on with the difficult and messy business of running British tennis. It is true that Martina Hingis, who also tested positive for cocaine, received a wild card into Wimbledon’s doubles competition in 2014. But seven years had elapsed between the two events, whereas Evans’s ban only elapsed two months ago. According to hardliners, a loss of ranking is part of the punishment. By handing wild cards to returning offenders, you are giving them a leg up, and thus subverting the whole process. But this debate has many shades of grey. On a completely separate topic from drug-taking, a sceptic might ask why Naomi Broady appears on Wimbledon’s wild-card list when she refuses to play in the Fed Cup? Sticking with the same theme, doesn’t Evans deserve some credit for his Davis Cup win over Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy in 2013? Without that result, Great Britain could not have lifted the title two years later. Overall, he has surely been a net contributor to the British game.
Steve Holland has revealed fascinating detail of how England’s World Cup plans, including an overhaul of the team, style of play and the formation, were hatched on a road trip around Russia with Gareth Southgate last summer. The England assistant manager, who enjoyed six remarkably successful years on the Chelsea backroom staff, also said that Southgate shares the same three qualities every successful manager - including Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte - requires. Southgate held off his “revolution” until England had qualified after picking up the pieces following Sam Allardyce’s dismissal - after just one game in charge - and the Iceland debacle overseen by Roy Hodgson at Euro 2016 which led to him quitting. But it was at the Confederations Cup that Southgate and Holland, as they travelled around Russia watching matches but also looking at possible World Cup base camps, found the time to work on their detailed plans - with the key decision of switching to a defensive back three made over dinner in Sochi. “We spent about four weeks on the road, the two of us,” Holland, who first worked with Southgate as his assistant with England Under-21s, said. “We spent a lot of time on a plane but it really gave us the opportunity to speak about what we'd learnt in the year. We came to some conclusions. We watched the matches in the Confeds Cup; Germany, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, some good teams. Tried to envisage how we would play, how our team would look in those kind of fixtures against that kind of opposition, and we made some decisions. One of those was a back three. We felt we would be better with and without the ball with a back three. We had dinner in Sochi and that was more or less where it was named. Steve Holland and Gareth Southgate finalise their plans Credit: pa “We looked at Terry Venables’ Euro 96 team, (Steve) McManaman and (Darren) Anderton as wing-backs and (Gary) Neville in a back three, the balance of the midfield etc, etc. Even back to Bobby Robson, in Italia 90, who started with one way of playing then went to a back three... the process really was: what gives us the best chance of not conceding many goals? What gives us the best chance of having more control of the game with the ball? “They were the two factors really. Also given the players that we’ve got, the type of players we had. That meant once we were going down that road, to fit one of those three positions you had to be a certain profile of player. It’s been documented some players maybe are, some maybe aren’t, but we were very clear if that’s what we’re going to do, to play in one of those three roles, to be able to handle the ball to a good level, is one of those criteria.” One casualty was Chris Smalling, deemed not good enough with the ball at his feet, while Kyle Walker was switched from right-back - in much the same way as Chelsea, under Conte, and with Holland there, moved Cesar Azpilicueta. “Chelsea won the league that year with a 3-4-3, with Azpilicueta as a full-back in a back three, with (Gary) Cahill on the left and David Luiz, as it was then, in the middle. It was a combination of how we viewed our own players,” Holland said. “The next stage of that, really, was what best suited the midfield balance? We then felt three rather than two, given the profile of players we have. Three brings a (Jesse) Lingard, a (Dele) Alli, a (Adam) Lallana, who unfortunately we couldn’t have but was England’s player of the year last year. If we play with two, it’s much more difficult for that kind of player to play that role, the responsibility becomes more to provide structure and balance to the team. England appear more fluid in a 3-5-2 Credit: getty images “Also, we have good forwards. If we play 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 we can only play one of them. We play two, we can get two on the pitch, and also refresh the two more who are probably just as good. So (a back) three we thought was a good decision, three is better than two (in midfield), and two is probably better than one (in attack), given the profile of players we have. The only criteria we have after that is do we have the wing-backs? I think the wing-backs probably are the least of our problems. We have all sorts of different types of wing-backs, so it made sense.” One of those is Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the inclusion of the 19 year-old a prime example of diligent scouting and bravery. “I went to watch Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Champions League quarter-final at Man City, second leg,” Holland said. “After three minutes they’re 1-0 down Liverpool, and he’s playing one against one against (Leroy) Sane, the crowd are up, the atmosphere, the place is rocking, they can smell there’s a comeback on. He had to survive, and he did more than survive. So that night you don’t learn ‘is he a good crosser?’ and ‘can he play quickly out of pressure?’ You learn, ‘OK, this kid has got some personality when it matters’. They’re the kind of things that we’ve tried to learn, and build profiles on all of the players.” Pick your England XI to face Panama Certainly Southgate and Holland are a good combination, with the assistant, at 48, also just four months older. “I think with Gareth, he ticks so many of the boxes that the best that I’ve worked with tick,” Holland said. “There is an obvious difference. And I’m trying to say this without being in any with disrespectful towards Gareth, because clearly I wouldn’t. Jose Mourinho has won this title or that title in four or five different countries, and Gareth hasn’t. His pathway has been different. And he’s a different personality. But does he understand man-management and getting the best out of players? Yes. Does he understand the value of giving staff ownership and responsibility, and getting the best out of the staff? Yes, absolutely. Does he have experience of international football at the highest level? Yes. So he has some outstanding qualities, and I’ve really seen him grow into the role.” Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama As for Holland himself, why did he leave Chelsea and take the England role? “The best thing is this... to be at a World Cup with England, wow,” he said. “Do I miss the day-to-day training and being on the pitch, yeah of course. I’d much rather be doing that than driving here and there. But I think the role can be whatever you want it to be. I hear it’s a job for an experienced guy who’s at the end of his career, nice and calm, and enjoys his life. When the camp comes round, focus on the camp. That isn’t how we’ve approached this massive responsibility.” In England, more than 20 million people watched the Tunisia game. “It’s a massive responsibility. What more important role could you have?” Holland added. England 2-1 Tunisia: Did Southgate's big calls pay off? | Matt Law's verdict Holland knows that scoring more goals - and being less dependent on Harry Kane - is “the next bit” of the master-plan. “If you look at the England team, where are our goals? We've been so dependent on Harry but we've not always had Harry. After that where are our goals? (Jamie) Vardy and (Danny) Welbeck have reasonable goal records for England and after that we've got potential. It might just take a bit of time there. “If you imagine these guys in a couple of years, and I hope I'm still around then, once they've become more seasoned at this level that could be really exciting. It already is now.” Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
How England's World Cup plans were hatched on a road trip around Russia last summer
Steve Holland has revealed fascinating detail of how England’s World Cup plans, including an overhaul of the team, style of play and the formation, were hatched on a road trip around Russia with Gareth Southgate last summer. The England assistant manager, who enjoyed six remarkably successful years on the Chelsea backroom staff, also said that Southgate shares the same three qualities every successful manager - including Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte - requires. Southgate held off his “revolution” until England had qualified after picking up the pieces following Sam Allardyce’s dismissal - after just one game in charge - and the Iceland debacle overseen by Roy Hodgson at Euro 2016 which led to him quitting. But it was at the Confederations Cup that Southgate and Holland, as they travelled around Russia watching matches but also looking at possible World Cup base camps, found the time to work on their detailed plans - with the key decision of switching to a defensive back three made over dinner in Sochi. “We spent about four weeks on the road, the two of us,” Holland, who first worked with Southgate as his assistant with England Under-21s, said. “We spent a lot of time on a plane but it really gave us the opportunity to speak about what we'd learnt in the year. We came to some conclusions. We watched the matches in the Confeds Cup; Germany, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, some good teams. Tried to envisage how we would play, how our team would look in those kind of fixtures against that kind of opposition, and we made some decisions. One of those was a back three. We felt we would be better with and without the ball with a back three. We had dinner in Sochi and that was more or less where it was named. Steve Holland and Gareth Southgate finalise their plans Credit: pa “We looked at Terry Venables’ Euro 96 team, (Steve) McManaman and (Darren) Anderton as wing-backs and (Gary) Neville in a back three, the balance of the midfield etc, etc. Even back to Bobby Robson, in Italia 90, who started with one way of playing then went to a back three... the process really was: what gives us the best chance of not conceding many goals? What gives us the best chance of having more control of the game with the ball? “They were the two factors really. Also given the players that we’ve got, the type of players we had. That meant once we were going down that road, to fit one of those three positions you had to be a certain profile of player. It’s been documented some players maybe are, some maybe aren’t, but we were very clear if that’s what we’re going to do, to play in one of those three roles, to be able to handle the ball to a good level, is one of those criteria.” One casualty was Chris Smalling, deemed not good enough with the ball at his feet, while Kyle Walker was switched from right-back - in much the same way as Chelsea, under Conte, and with Holland there, moved Cesar Azpilicueta. “Chelsea won the league that year with a 3-4-3, with Azpilicueta as a full-back in a back three, with (Gary) Cahill on the left and David Luiz, as it was then, in the middle. It was a combination of how we viewed our own players,” Holland said. “The next stage of that, really, was what best suited the midfield balance? We then felt three rather than two, given the profile of players we have. Three brings a (Jesse) Lingard, a (Dele) Alli, a (Adam) Lallana, who unfortunately we couldn’t have but was England’s player of the year last year. If we play with two, it’s much more difficult for that kind of player to play that role, the responsibility becomes more to provide structure and balance to the team. England appear more fluid in a 3-5-2 Credit: getty images “Also, we have good forwards. If we play 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 we can only play one of them. We play two, we can get two on the pitch, and also refresh the two more who are probably just as good. So (a back) three we thought was a good decision, three is better than two (in midfield), and two is probably better than one (in attack), given the profile of players we have. The only criteria we have after that is do we have the wing-backs? I think the wing-backs probably are the least of our problems. We have all sorts of different types of wing-backs, so it made sense.” One of those is Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the inclusion of the 19 year-old a prime example of diligent scouting and bravery. “I went to watch Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Champions League quarter-final at Man City, second leg,” Holland said. “After three minutes they’re 1-0 down Liverpool, and he’s playing one against one against (Leroy) Sane, the crowd are up, the atmosphere, the place is rocking, they can smell there’s a comeback on. He had to survive, and he did more than survive. So that night you don’t learn ‘is he a good crosser?’ and ‘can he play quickly out of pressure?’ You learn, ‘OK, this kid has got some personality when it matters’. They’re the kind of things that we’ve tried to learn, and build profiles on all of the players.” Pick your England XI to face Panama Certainly Southgate and Holland are a good combination, with the assistant, at 48, also just four months older. “I think with Gareth, he ticks so many of the boxes that the best that I’ve worked with tick,” Holland said. “There is an obvious difference. And I’m trying to say this without being in any with disrespectful towards Gareth, because clearly I wouldn’t. Jose Mourinho has won this title or that title in four or five different countries, and Gareth hasn’t. His pathway has been different. And he’s a different personality. But does he understand man-management and getting the best out of players? Yes. Does he understand the value of giving staff ownership and responsibility, and getting the best out of the staff? Yes, absolutely. Does he have experience of international football at the highest level? Yes. So he has some outstanding qualities, and I’ve really seen him grow into the role.” Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama As for Holland himself, why did he leave Chelsea and take the England role? “The best thing is this... to be at a World Cup with England, wow,” he said. “Do I miss the day-to-day training and being on the pitch, yeah of course. I’d much rather be doing that than driving here and there. But I think the role can be whatever you want it to be. I hear it’s a job for an experienced guy who’s at the end of his career, nice and calm, and enjoys his life. When the camp comes round, focus on the camp. That isn’t how we’ve approached this massive responsibility.” In England, more than 20 million people watched the Tunisia game. “It’s a massive responsibility. What more important role could you have?” Holland added. England 2-1 Tunisia: Did Southgate's big calls pay off? | Matt Law's verdict Holland knows that scoring more goals - and being less dependent on Harry Kane - is “the next bit” of the master-plan. “If you look at the England team, where are our goals? We've been so dependent on Harry but we've not always had Harry. After that where are our goals? (Jamie) Vardy and (Danny) Welbeck have reasonable goal records for England and after that we've got potential. It might just take a bit of time there. “If you imagine these guys in a couple of years, and I hope I'm still around then, once they've become more seasoned at this level that could be really exciting. It already is now.” Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Cristiano Ronaldo has four goals in two matches (AFP Photo/YURI CORTEZ)
Cristiano Ronaldo has four goals in two matches
Cristiano Ronaldo has four goals in two matches (AFP Photo/YURI CORTEZ)
Chicago Cubs' Kyle Schwarber watches his home run off Los Angeles Dodgers' Ross Stripling during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Lester wins 5th straight start, Cubs beat Dodgers 4-0
Chicago Cubs' Kyle Schwarber watches his home run off Los Angeles Dodgers' Ross Stripling during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Lester wins 5th straight start, Cubs beat Dodgers 4-0
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester checks the runner at first during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Lester wins 5th straight start, Cubs beat Dodgers 4-0
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester checks the runner at first during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras celebrates after tagging out Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor at home off a throw from right fielder Jason Heyward, to end the top half of the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Lester wins 5th straight start, Cubs beat Dodgers 4-0
Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras celebrates after tagging out Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor at home off a throw from right fielder Jason Heyward, to end the top half of the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Chicago Cubs' Jason Heyward, left, pats Javier Baez on the helmet after Baez scored on a pinch-hit single by Tommy La Stella during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Lester wins 5th straight start, Cubs beat Dodgers 4-0
Chicago Cubs' Jason Heyward, left, pats Javier Baez on the helmet after Baez scored on a pinch-hit single by Tommy La Stella during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez, left, and Brazil's Gabriel Jesus, right, react during the group E match between Brazil and Switzerland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Brazil says FIFA has dismissed its complaint over VAR use
Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez, left, and Brazil's Gabriel Jesus, right, react during the group E match between Brazil and Switzerland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Brazil's Miranda, right, gestures during the group E match between Brazil and Switzerland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Brazil says FIFA has dismissed its complaint over VAR use
Brazil's Miranda, right, gestures during the group E match between Brazil and Switzerland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Automaker diversifies income stream by venturing into dad jokes.
Chevy Unveils New Blazer, Looks To Fit You Perfectly
Automaker diversifies income stream by venturing into dad jokes.
Automaker diversifies income stream by venturing into dad jokes.
Chevy Unveils New Blazer, Looks To Fit You Perfectly
Automaker diversifies income stream by venturing into dad jokes.
Automaker diversifies income stream by venturing into dad jokes.
Chevy Unveils New Blazer, Looks To Fit You Perfectly
Automaker diversifies income stream by venturing into dad jokes.
Automaker diversifies income stream by venturing into dad jokes.
Chevy Unveils New Blazer, Looks To Fit You Perfectly
Automaker diversifies income stream by venturing into dad jokes.
Third baseman Justin Turner makes a diving stop while shifted near the right side of the infield to rob Jason Heyward of a hit
Turner's smooth diving stop
Third baseman Justin Turner makes a diving stop while shifted near the right side of the infield to rob Jason Heyward of a hit
Third baseman Justin Turner makes a diving stop while shifted near the right side of the infield to rob Jason Heyward of a hit
Turner's smooth diving stop
Third baseman Justin Turner makes a diving stop while shifted near the right side of the infield to rob Jason Heyward of a hit
Third baseman Justin Turner makes a diving stop while shifted near the right side of the infield to rob Jason Heyward of a hit
Turner's smooth diving stop
Third baseman Justin Turner makes a diving stop while shifted near the right side of the infield to rob Jason Heyward of a hit
Yasmani Grandal throws out Anthony Rizzo attempting to steal second base in the bottom of the 4th inning
Grandal throws out Rizzo
Yasmani Grandal throws out Anthony Rizzo attempting to steal second base in the bottom of the 4th inning
Yasmani Grandal throws out Anthony Rizzo attempting to steal second base in the bottom of the 4th inning
Grandal throws out Rizzo
Yasmani Grandal throws out Anthony Rizzo attempting to steal second base in the bottom of the 4th inning
Yasmani Grandal throws out Anthony Rizzo attempting to steal second base in the bottom of the 4th inning
Grandal throws out Rizzo
Yasmani Grandal throws out Anthony Rizzo attempting to steal second base in the bottom of the 4th inning
Los representantes de sendos clubes madrileños están brillando en la Copa del Mundo.
Real Madrid y Atlético golean en el Mundial de Rusia más que el Barcelona
Los representantes de sendos clubes madrileños están brillando en la Copa del Mundo.
Spain's Gerard Pique, center, jumps for a header during the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia
Spain's Gerard Pique, center, jumps for a header during the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
France's Antoine Griezmann runs on the field during a training session at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Glebovets, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia
France's Antoine Griezmann runs on the field during a training session at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Glebovets, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
In this Sunday, June 17, 2018 photo, tourists visit the Motherland Calls monument which commemorates the victims of the Battle of Stalingrad, in which the Red Army turned back Nazi Germany's army in Volgograd, Russia. Nearly 60 years since it changed its name to Volgograd, the Russian city once called Stalingrad and its bloody history loom large even in the midst of the fun and football of the World Cup. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia
In this Sunday, June 17, 2018 photo, tourists visit the Motherland Calls monument which commemorates the victims of the Battle of Stalingrad, in which the Red Army turned back Nazi Germany's army in Volgograd, Russia. Nearly 60 years since it changed its name to Volgograd, the Russian city once called Stalingrad and its bloody history loom large even in the midst of the fun and football of the World Cup. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Victor Caivano)
The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Victor Caivano)
Iran's Sardar Azmoun lies flat out in the ground after the end of the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Spain won the game 1-0. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia
Iran's Sardar Azmoun lies flat out in the ground after the end of the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Spain won the game 1-0. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Australia's Tim Cahill, right, and Daniel Arzani talk during Australia's official training for the group C match between France and Australia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia
Australia's Tim Cahill, right, and Daniel Arzani talk during Australia's official training for the group C match between France and Australia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Saudi Arabia's Hussain Almoqahwi , bottom and Uruguay's Diego Godin, top, challenge for the ball during the group A match between Uruguay and Saudi Arabia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia
Saudi Arabia's Hussain Almoqahwi , bottom and Uruguay's Diego Godin, top, challenge for the ball during the group A match between Uruguay and Saudi Arabia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Brazil's Neymar, right, leaves a training session because of pain in his right ankle, in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Brazil will face Costa Rica on June 22 in the group E for the soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia
Brazil's Neymar, right, leaves a training session because of pain in his right ankle, in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Brazil will face Costa Rica on June 22 in the group E for the soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Lionel Messi arrives for a training session of Argentina at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Bronnitsy, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia
Lionel Messi arrives for a training session of Argentina at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Bronnitsy, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
England head coach Gareth Southgate celebrates his team's 2-1 win at the end of the group G match between Tunisia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia
England head coach Gareth Southgate celebrates his team's 2-1 win at the end of the group G match between Tunisia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Spain's Diego Costa, right, celebrates with Spain's Isco his side's first goal during the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia
Spain's Diego Costa, right, celebrates with Spain's Isco his side's first goal during the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Fans shout during the group E match between Costa Rica and Serbia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Samara Arena in Samara, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia
Fans shout during the group E match between Costa Rica and Serbia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Samara Arena in Samara, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Iceland's Hordur Magnusson talks to fans after the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Victor Caivano)
The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia
Iceland's Hordur Magnusson talks to fans after the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Victor Caivano)
England head coach Gareth Southgate attends official training of his team at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Zelenogorsk near St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018 (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia
England head coach Gareth Southgate attends official training of his team at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Zelenogorsk near St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018 (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Spain's Diego Costa, right, celebrate after scoring his side's opening goal with Spain's Isco during the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia
Spain's Diego Costa, right, celebrate after scoring his side's opening goal with Spain's Isco during the group B match between Iran and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

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