USMNT and Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic recently sat down for an exclusive interview with ESPN FC from Dortmund’s winter training camp in southern Spain, taking time to answer questions from Raphael Honigstein ranging from the USA’s World Cup failure to how he deals with the burden of expectation as a 19-year-o
FIFA Men's World Cup
Aged 31, Mexico international Andres Guardado recently told FIFA.com that he now prides himself more on bringing “balance to the team” rather than being the “box-to-box player” of old, so the Real Betis midfielder is probably less than pleased with the club’s defensive record this season — they’ve allowed 34 goals in 18 matches, third-worst in La Liga.
This Pique-Neymar interview will bring tears to the eyes of many Barca nostalgics who still cannot understand the Brazilian star’s decision to leave Barcelona for PSG.
Paolo Guerrero will be able to play in the World Cup after all. A couple weeks after FIFA suspended the Peruvian captain for a year for testing positive for a banned substance, FIFA partially upheld Guerrero’s appeal and reduced his ban to six months. Because the ban began in November, he will be back in time for Peru’s World Cup opener against Denmark.
Compared to the pain of missing the event entirely, the tale of the USMNT’s 2006 World Cup can now be viewed in a more favorable light. However, after reaching the quarterfinals of the 2002 competition and subsequently breezing through CONCACAF qualifying for the ’06 tournament in Germany, it was with huge belief and soaring naivety that we approached the world’s biggest stage.
Colombia’s friendly against South Korea on Nov. 10 did not endear the South Americans to the world. Midfielder Edwin Cardona made a racist gesture to South Korean players following an embarrassing flop by James Rodriguez. We wrote then that if FIFA had any sense, Cardona would be given a lengthy ban lasting through the World Cup.
Paolo Guerrero thought he could be Diego Maradona. Now Peru’s captain and all-time leading goal scorer will be suspended for the country’s first World Cup in 36 years. FIFA handed down a 12-month ban to Guerrero for testing positive for a banned stimulant following a CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier, football’s world governing body announced Thursday.
Carles Puyol is a legend. One of the best central defenders of all time, he won 20 major trophies with Barcelona and helped Spain to their 2010 World Cup triumph. Because of his impressive resume, it makes sense that Puyol was asked to participate in the draw for the 2018 World Cup. Puyol drew groups G and H and everything went off without a hitch.
Until that evening, when a fan hit Puyol in the face with a dildo.
Mexico did not receive the easiest group in Friday’s World Cup draw and some would argue (perhaps unsuccessfully) that El Tri’s Group F is the Group of Death. But one thing Mexico fans can be happy about: Their team won’t be playing in the World Cup opener.
The 2018 World Cup opening match will pit Russia vs. Saudi Arabia on June 14 at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. It’s a matchup of the two worst teams (by FIFA ranking) in the entire tournament. The World Cup opening match in 2018 is going to unequivocally be the worst ever. But it’s not the end of the world.
The World Cup opening match has only been a big deal for the past 13 World Cups (out of 20), with a mixture of previous champions and hosts taking part in the first kickoff. Five of the first seven World Cups began with simultaneous matches.