FIFA officially approved the use of video assistant referees at this summer’s World Cup during a FIFA Council meeting on Friday in Bogota, Colombia. After testing the system out at last year’s Confederations Cup, World Cup VAR is sure to annoy all the England fans who like to complain about not having anything to complain about.
Men's World Cup
The dawning of the 21st century saw a massive shift with regards to FIFA World Cup stadia. For example, when West Germany hosted the 1974 World Cup, the majority of the matches were played in existing stadiums built for a variety of purposes. They all had running tracks and were built in the 30s and nobody cared.
This past week, supporters of both England and Iceland were left to fear for their World Cup futures after injuries to one-man strike force Harry Kane and talismanic playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson, respectively.
Kane will return in four weeks while Sigurdsson will be out for six to eight, meaning they should both be available in Russia, but it just goes to show how terrifying these last two months of the club season are in a World Cup year.
United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May announced a sort of England World Cup boycott on Wednesday, confirming no British royal family or government ministers will be in Russia for the 2018 World Cup this summer.
The partial England World Cup boycott comes after the attempted murder of former spy Sergei Skripal, who was poisoned recently in England. British authorities have said the attack was “highly likely” to have been committed by Russia. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, before Donald Trump fired him via tweet, concurred.
Between Spain’s run of back-to-back European Championships with the 2010 World Cup sandwiched in between, Cesc Fabregas and David Villa put La Furia in La Furia Roja.
Fabregas was the top assist provider at Euro 2008; Villa won the Golden Boot. Fabregas assisted on Andres Iniesta’s match winner in the 2010 World Cup final; Villa won the Silver Boot. Fabregas was named to the Euro 2012 Team of the Tournament; Villa tragically missed the tournament with a broken tibia (although he finished top scorer in UEFA qualifying Group I with seven goals).
With FIFA set to begin the general sales phase of tickets for the 2018 World Cup in Russia today, two previous phases have resulted in an allocation of 1,303,616 tickets for the 64 matches — knocking two matches entirely off the docket: the final at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and June 16’s Group D opener between Argentina and Iceland at Otkritie Arena in Moscow.
As a little kid, I would feverishly collect Panini World Cup sticker albums every four years. The World Cup rush was even further intensified as everyone at school was collecting the stickers. Of course, all kids specially valued their national team stamps above anything else.
There was nothing a Mexican boy or girl would hold dearest to his or her heart than a Cuauhtemoc Blanco sticker.
In Antoine Griezmann, Alex Lacazette, Anthony Martial, Olivier Giroud, Dimitri Payet, Ousmane Dembele, Nabil Fekir, Kylian Mbappe, Kevin Gameiro and the ostracized Karim Benzema, France possess 10 forwards that, if hypothetically American, would waltz into the discussion of the greatest U.S. attacker of all-time.
It’s an embarrassment of attacking riches, especially when coupled with the dreamy midfield play of players like Paul Pogba, Thomas Lemar, Kingsley Coman and Corentin Tolisso.
With 102 appearances, 18 goals and as a veteran of two World Cups, history is on Giovani dos Santos’ side. However, his play on the field over the last year and a half makes his inclusion in Mexico’s 2018 World Cup squad, by Juan Carlos Osorio’s own stated standards, a real doubt.
When Dos Santos arrived in MLS in 2016, his initial return of 14 goals, 12 assists and a place in the MLS Best XI seemed to fully justify a Designated Player salary of $5.5 million per year.
The greatest footballing nation to have never won the World Cup? It’s the Netherlands. The Oranje have thrice reached the final, losing to hosts West Germany in ’74, hosts Argentina in ’78 and Spain in 2010. The most famous of those defeats came against the Germans, because this was a tournament that had been turned into a pageant for the Dutch vision of Total Football.