The France squad that just won their second World Cup title didn’t make our jaws drop. Beauty and appearance were rather left to the Gioconda’s smile and to Napoleonic conquers. But in football, those who win are always right. And so, The Cult of Calcio’s final Top 11 lineup could not but feature many French – pardon, World Champions – representatives.
Last stop for the host country. Russia left the competition in the hands of the Croatians, who survived the second penalty battle in a row. 120 minutes were not enough to determine the outcome of the last World Cup Quarter Final, which promoted coach Zlatko Dalic’s team. Mistakes by Fedor Smolov and Mario Fernandes proved fatal to Stanislav Cherchesov’s side.
The life of a goalkeeper is made of single events that can change a career, for the best or for the worse. 4 years ago in Brazil, Igor Akinfeev had condemned Fabio Capello’s Russia to a disappointing early exit with two colossal blunders. But yesterday, he redeemed himself by saving two penalties from Spain, pushing the host country into the World Cup Quarter Finals.
Uruguay made it three, and the Celeste can now dream big. Three games, three wins, five goals scored and not a single one conceded for coach Oscar Washington Tabarez’s selection, which trampled Russia today in Samara, and won Group A with merit. Facing the host country of World Cup 2018, Uruguay produced an almost perfect performance.
Five goals to Saudi Arabia, three to Egypt. The Russians are scary, and put one foot and a half in the knock-out phase tonight, catching their second win in a row. The match in Saint Petersburg was supposed to be Mohammed Salah’s comeback, but the Pharaohs’ star could only collect his first World Cup goal with a penalty conversion to set the score to 1-3.
As World Cup 2018 officially kicked off today, it was imperative for host country Russia to be off to a good start at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Mission was fully accomplished for the Russian squad, with their jewel Aleksander Golovin serving two assists and scoring from a free-kick in a convincing 5-0 pummeling of Saudi Arabia in the opening match of Group A.
With that suffering expression of his, midfielder Aleksandr Golovin reminds of Aleksei Ivanovich, the main character of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novella The Gambler. But rather than going through his fictional alter ego’s pains, Golovin could be Russia’s young leader in the upcoming World Cup – as well as of one of our Top 10 young players to keep an eye for…
Scoring five goals in a single match surely is a heck of an exploit. Doing it in a world championship game makes it even more noteworthy. Indeed, this is something that has happened only once, as of today. The author of that astonishing glut was Oleg Salenko, Russia’s top striker during the 1994 World Cup in the U.S.A. It happened on June 28, in Stanford, California.