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  • The Significance of Raphaël Varane and Samuel Umtiti’s Roles in France’s World Cup Wins

    In the 94th minute, deep into added time of France’s encounter with Belgium in the World Cup semi-final, poised 1-0 to France, Kevin de Bruyne launched yet another high ball towards Romelu Lukaku, and the heart of the French defence. Raphaël Varane leaped high into the air and headed the ball clear…for one second. Toby…

  • The Rise of the Centre-Back; from World Cup to Club Season

    The centre-back; often disregarded or underrated in some way or another – despite being one of the, if not the, most important positions in the sport. The centre-back’s duty is typically to sit in the central heart of the defence, usually alongside one or two fellow centre-backs; with a variety of different sub-duties and responsibilities…

  • Best World Cup Matches: Uruguay-Portugal

    With Uruguay breezing through Group A, and with Portugal failing to beat Iran on the final matchday, Uruguay faced off against Portugal in the Round of 16. It was a match of two defensive stalwarts, as Óscar Tabárez’s La Celeste, which had conceded zero goals throughout the entire group stage, took on Fernando Santos’ Portugal, whose…

  • Best World Cup Matches: Portugal-Iran

    With one matchday remaining in Group B, Spain and Portugal had 4 points each, with the Spaniards leading Portugal on goals scored. Trailing the Iberian sides were Iran with 3 points, and Morocco with none. This set up a dramatic final set of games, with Iran probably needing a win to have a chance of…

  • Best World Cup Matches: Switzerland-Serbia

    Despite not containing one of the more popular national teams at the World Cup, Serbia vs. Switzerland in round two of the group stage proved to be a memorable one. The Orlovi had defeated Costa Rica 1-0 in the first round, and after a 1-1 draw between Switzerland and Brazil, a second win would see…

  • Best World Cup Matches: Belgium-Brazil

    Belgium struck early and held off a late Brazil comeback to send the five-times champions tumbling out of the World Cup with a 2-1 victory in an end-to-end thriller that earned the Red Devils a place in the semifinals against France. A Fernandinho own goal and a brilliant Kevin De Bruyne strike gave Belgium a…

  • Best World Cup Matches: Mexico-Germany

    Line-ups: Manuel Neuer was deemed fit to start in goal for Germany after his long spell out with a fractured foot. Marvin Plattenhardt was a surprise choice at left-back, ahead of Jonas Hector, while Julian Draxler was preferred to Marco Reus. Mexico’s line-up was as expected, though set up in a 4-2-3-1 rather than their…

  • Best World Cup 2018 Matches: France-Argentina

    Group C winners, France, faced Group D runner ups, Argentina, in a seven-goal game that ended Lionel Messi’s latest chase for a World Cup title. This fixture had the makings of an unforgettable match leading up to it, as Jorge Sampaoli was reportedly losing the dressing room with Argentina, while France’s starting eleven was fresh…

  • La Vida sin Zlatan

    “Creo que hemos jugado muy bien estos dos años sin él. Es el mejor jugador que hemos tenido en Suecia, pero hemos aprendido a jugar sin él y creo que lo hemos hecho bien, debemos continuar de la misma forma” Marcus Berg   Que la selección de Suecia que dirige Janne Andersson, se encuentre en cuartos de…

  • Belgium’s Golden Generation?

    After Takashi Inui, the Real Betis man, scored and increased the deficit to two goals for Belgium early in the second half, the camera panned to the Red Devils’ manager, Roberto Martinez. Martinez looked unruffled as he was ruminating his next move. Subsequently, he made a double substitution, a move that seldom a manager will…