WTF Nike football: Great adverts, current player roster & latest boots Ryan Kelly 23:42 28/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty/Goal WTF Premier League Primera División Serie A Ligue 1 Bundesliga Some of the greatest footballers of all time have worked closely with the sportswear giant, producing ads and promoting clothing Over the past two decades and more, sportswear giant Nike has shown tremendous creativity in showing off their brand and products in football.By marrying the appeal of the greatest footballers in the world with high-level production, the corporation has become synonymous with a certain style of football.Speed, skill and success are the message in their advertising, but they also have fun with it, setting their vision of the game in an upbeat light. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Goal takes a closer look at some of Nike’s football adverts, the star players they are associated with and some of their latest products.Nike football adsIn the 1990s, Nike brought out a number of memorable advertisements featuring footballers, fantastic concepts and catchy soundtracks.The 1996 ‘Match in Hell’, in which a slew of the game’s then-current stars took on the Devil and his demonic football team, kicked things off in the brand’s unique series.The likes of Luis Figo, Paolo Maldini and Ronaldo form a team expected to save the beautiful game in a match that culminates with Eric Cantona’s nonchalant utterance of “au revoir” as he blastes a flaming ball through the Devil to rescue the day.Around the time of the 1998 World Cup another Nike advert captured the imagination of football fans as the Brazil national team kill boredom in an airport by playing an impromptu game filled with tricks and flicks. Fittingly, it was amplified by Sergio Mendes’ 1960s song ‘Mas que Nada’, which has become synonymous with ‘Samba football’. And in the 2000s, they really set themselves apart from competitors with a series of brilliantly produced efforts. In the early part of the decade, Louis van Gaal led a crack team of skilled footballers to a high-security complex to retrieve a special ball that was said to be “rounder”. A few years later, long after his retirement, Cantona returned as the man overseeing a high-stakes underground tournament featuring three-man teams, including the likes of Thierry Henry, Roberto Carlos and Ronaldinho. A remixed version of the Elvis Presley song ‘A little less conversation’ was the soundtrack and the concept was revisited a number of years later in a winner-takes-all bout.Skilful footballers performing freestyle tricks figured a lot in the ads and the idea of Joga Bonito (meaning ‘Beautiful Game’ in Portuguese) was explored in a series of ads featuring the Brazil national team, recalling the 1998 effort. The Portugal national team, with the likes of Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo, even became involved.Director Guy Ritchie was involved in a famous Nike football ad depicting the meteoric ascent of a non-league player to the very summit of the game. The short film is shot entirely from the viewpoint of the footballer as he climbs the ladder to success, fame and glory.Some films have incorporated Nike athletes from other sports and NBA star Kobe Bryant featured in an ad that focuses on the narrow margins between success and failure, showing the different fates that await stars should they score a winning goal, for example. In it, Wayne Rooney becomes a hero for England, while Cristiano Ronaldo’s path – foreshadowing reality – brings a gigantic statue and a feature-length movie.Fast, fierce, fearless. It’s in their DNA. A select few have it. The rest have to deal with it. Fast by nature. #BornMercurial @Cristiano @neymarjr @KMbappe @marcoasensio10Get notified: https://t.co/45SwifKvcE pic.twitter.com/3eNvi4RVDp— Nike Football (@nikefootball) February 7, 2018Generally speaking, the Nike ads air ahead of major tournaments or events, but they have also produced slick films to promote their latest releases, such as football boots. While they are not always as elaborate, funny or fantastic, they still possess that star quality and show their products in an alluring light.Nike football rosterAs one of the biggest sports brands in the world, it is not surprising that Nike is associated with some of the best footballers on the planet.Chief among them is five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who has long been the face of the football strand of the corporation, but the Real Madrid superstar is supported by a supremely talented cast too.Other current Nike football ambassadors and sponsees include Neymar, Alexis Sanchez, Kylian Mbappe and Harry Kane. The likes of Luka Modric, Christian Pulisic and Robert Lewandowski also feature among the illustrious billing.You can see some of the top footballers who are currently on their roster in the table below. Player Country Club Gonzalo Higuain Argentina Juventus Mauro Icardi Argentina Inter Kevin De Bruyne Belgium Man City Eden Hazard Belgium Chelsea Philippe Coutinho Brazil Barcelona Neymar Brazil PSG Alexis Sanchez Chile Man Utd Arturo Vidal Chile Bayern Munich Harry Kane England Tottenham Raheem Sterling England Man City Alexandre Lacazette France Arsenal Kylian Mbappe France PSG Jerome Boateng Germany Bayern Munich Mario Gotze Germany Borussia Dortmund Leonardo Bonucci Italy AC Milan Lorenzo Insigne Italy Napoli Robert Lewandowski Poland Bayern Munich Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Real Madrid Andres Iniesta Spain Barcelona Sergio Ramos Spain Real Madrid Christian Pulisic United States Borussia Dortmund Notable former Nike footballersAs already mentioned, Nike has a long history of sponsoring and working closely with the world’s best players.Manchester United legend Eric Cantona figured prominently in ad campaigns during the 1990s and 2000s along with Brazilian stars such as Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.Italy hero Francesco Totti and the unmistakabale Edgar Davids were also heavily involved in promotions.Below you can see some of the biggest names Nike has worked with in the past. Player Country Ronaldo Brazil Ronaldinho Brazil Roberto Carlos Brazil Romario Brazil Paul Scholes England Ian Wright England Eric Cantona France Thierry Henry France Fabio Cannavaro Italy Paolo Maldini Italy Francesco Totti Italy Hidetoshi Nakata Japan Edgar Davids Netherlands Ruud van Nistelrooy Netherlands Luis Figo Portugal Latest Nike football bootsNike’s sponsorship of the world’s best footballers is an ideal vehicle through which they can show off their latest equipment and football boots in particular.For example, back in 1998, Ronaldo’s status as the best player in the world was capitalised on as Nike launched a new boot design – the R9s – in time for that year’s World Cup.Since then, players have naturally been central to the promotion of new footwear and in February the latest designs were launched at a party featuring a cluster of their roster.The Mercurial range is arguably the most well known of Nike’s football boots and the latest offerings are the Mercurial Superfly 360 and the Mercurial Vapor 360, which became available to buy on Valentine’s Day.On the official Nike website, the Superfly 360 are priced at £229.95 ($275) and the Vapor 360 is slightly cheaper £209.95 ($250).Some of the other recent offerings include the Hypervenom, the Magista and the Tiempo ranges. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Leicester City v AFC Bournemouth Riyad Mahrez, Mo Salah and the Goal Pressure Index Team of the Week Goal 00:18 6/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Getty Images Leicester City v AFC Bournemouth Tottenham Hotspur v Huddersfield Town Liverpool v Newcastle United Manchester City v Chelsea Leicester City AFC Bournemouth Tottenham Hotspur Huddersfield Town Liverpool Newcastle United Manchester City Chelsea Premier League The Liverpool star found the net once again to inspire his side to another win, while the Leicester man struck a fabulous last-minute equaliser Mo Salah did it once again. This was the sort of match in which this counter-attacking Liverpool side were supposed to struggle – but Newcastle United’s deep block simply couldn’t contain the magnificent Egypt international.Pouncing to open the scoring in the Reds’ 2-0 win over Rafa Benitez’ side, Salah set another record as he sailed to the top of Europe’s top five leagues by scoring in his 26th separate competitive club match this season. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp His performance earned him a score of 90/100 on the Goal Pressure Index, presented by Sure and powered by Opta data, to make the Pressure Index Team of the Week.He is joined up front by Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez, who struck a sensational 97th-minute free-kick to earn his side a 1-1 draw against Bournemouth, and Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son, who netted his eighth and ninth PL goals at Wembley this season to secure Spurs’ 2-0 win over Huddersfield.Son’s South Korean compatriot Ki Sung-yueng leads the midfield after he scored and assisted in a Premier League game for the first time since January 2014 (against Fulham for Sunderland) to inspire Swansea to a 4-1 over West Ham. Ki leads the Pressure Index overall this week, with a score of 97/100 as he came up trumps for the relegation-threatened Swans.Watch the video above to discover the full team.The Goal Pressure Index is presented by Sure, Official Partner of Chelsea FC, Everton FC and Southampton FC. Join the conversation on Twitter @Sure.
UEFA Europa League AC Milan vs Arsenal: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview Ryan Kelly 20:43 7/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images UEFA Europa League Milan v Arsenal Milan Arsenal The Gunners are at a low ebb as they get set to face Gennaro Gattuso’s upwardly mobile Rossoneri side in Europe Crisis-stricken Arsenal head to Italy on Thursday to take on Serie A side AC Milan in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.Arsene Wenger’s men are on a dismal run of form and come into the game against the Rossoneri on the back of four consecutive defeats, losing most recently to Brighton in the Premier League.Their hopes of achieving a Champions League finish – in the top four – have effectively been extinguished so the Europa League is now their only way of reclaiming a seat at the top table. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp They come up against a Milan side that, conversely, are experiencing an upswing in fortunes, with Gennaro Gattuso finally discovering the formula for success at San Siro. Game AC Milan vs Arsenal Date Thursday March 8 Time 18:00 GMT / 13:00 ET Stream (US only) fubo TV (7-day free trial) TV Channel & Live Stream In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream Fox Sports 2 fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on BT Sport 2 and it can be streamed live online using the BT Sport app. UK TV channel Online stream BT Sport 2 BT Sport app Squads & Team News Position AC Milan players Goalkeepers Storari, G. Donnarumma, A. Donnarumma, Guarnone Defenders Calabria, Conti, Romagnoli, Gomez, Zapata, Bonucci, Abate, Musacchio, Antonelli, Gabbia, Bellanova, Rodriguez Midfielders Mauri, Bonaventura, Suso, Calhanoglu, Montolivo, Biglia, Pobega, Locatelli, Kessie Forwards Borini, Kalinic, Silva, Forte, Cutrone The hosts will be without the services of Andrea Conti and Luca Antonelli, while Ignazio Abate is considered a doubt. Other than that, Gattuso has a full complement of players ready to play at San Siro.Potential AC Milan starting XI: G. Donnarumma; Rodriguez, Bonucci, Romagnoli, Calabria; Biglia, Kessie, Bonaventura; Suso, Calhanoglu, Cutrone. Position Arsenal players Goalkeepers Ospina, Cech, Macey Defenders Mertesacker, Koscielny, Holding, Monreal, Mustafi, Chambers, Bellerin, Mavropanos, Kolasinac Midfielders Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Iwobi, Cazorla, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Nelson, Mkhitaryan Forwards Lacazette, Welbeck, Nketiah, Willock Arsenal will be without Nacho Monreal in defence as the Spaniard continues to recover from a back injury, while Alexandre Lacazette and Santi Cazorla are long-term absentees. As well as that, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ineligible.Potential Arsenal starting XI: Ospina; Koscielny, Mustafi, Chambers; Bellerin, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil; Welbeck.Betting & Match Odds AC Milan are favourites to win according to dabblebet, who price them at 11/10, while Arsenal are rated 23/10 to beat the Rossoneri. A draw is available at 9/4.Click here to see all of dabblebet’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.Match Preview Arsenal arrive in Milan for the Europa League last-16 game at what may be their lowest point since Wenger took the reins of the club over 20 years ago. Not only do they have a point to prove, they are under serious pressure to go all the way in the competition but they have been handed a tough assignment in the form of Gattuso’s Rossoneri.Two months ago it would not have appeared to be as difficult a prospect, but, after enduring a slow start to his tenure, the divisive World Cup winner has seemingly cracked the code.Milan are unbeaten in 12 matches in all competitions and, while the Gunners are on a four-game losing streak, the Italians have won their last five, beating the likes of Ludogorets and Roma.Gattuso’s men are currently thriving, with players such as Hakan Calhanoglu, Suso and Patrick Cutrone responding well to their new coach’s demands. As well as the aforementioned talent, they also boast the experience of Leonardo Bonucci, Ricardo Montolivo and Nikola Kalinic, so the Gunners cannot take anything for granted in Italy.Indeed, the north London men are a wounded entity and, given that their season now hinges on success in the Europa League, they must dig deep for a result, particularly away from home.
I became immediately concerned for our server space shortly after Marshall Scott wrote the following words on his look back at the 2012 Fiesta Bowl.Weeden finished with 399 yards, three passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown to Andrew Luck’s 347 yards and two touchdowns. I think I’m ready to say Weeden is the No. 2 quarterback in program history behind Mason Rudolph. By fractions. [PFB]Thankfully the servers held, and the reaction was actually [squints hard and stares into the distance] what is that … cordial? There were comments because there are always comments, but the discussion was good. One of the best responses I saw was this email from Kurt, who, like me, says Weeden > Rudolph.At QB, wins matter. You’re the captain of the ship. Stats matter at lots of positions, but wins are the measuring stick for greatness. For this reason alone MJ is the GOAT too. Dont @ me youngsters. Six championships, no finals losses, no game sevens either. Wins matter more than stats and longevity.I have seen a lot of QBs at OSU. Gundy was my first. I was 9. Now at 40, having seen 31 years of OSU football, I have concluded that wins matter. And memorable wins matter the most. Because of that Weeden is the GOAT at QB.Weeden in two years and one game went 24-3 with two of the program’s biggest wins ever, a Big 12 conference title and a BCS win against No. 4 Stanford. He had two seasons of 4200+ yards and had 34 TDs to 13 INT each year. His worst loss was at ISU(* forever). Also memorable wins at No. 8 ATM, UT, and the Route 66 at Tech. Probably had the best 2nd half debut at QB on national television until Tua. Rudulph had three losses in each of his three full seasons. His best win was vs. No. 5 TCU at home. His TD-INT ratio was better than BW’s but he only had one season with more than 4200 yards. Rudolph had a handful of not great losses. CMU (more **) being the worst. Stats are comparable, his wins aren’t.Mason was great. Heck, my parents named their new golden retriever puppy Mason. But he isn’t the GOAT.And if you ask me who Is No. 2, I’d say Zac. He did more with less talent overall and he had huge wins that changed the trajectory of the program. At Nebraska (their worst home loss EVER at the time), UGA to open BPS officially, and the best road win that put OSU clearly on the map, No. 3 Mizzou in Columbia.I love this. It’s a good reminder for those of us that go straight for the stats. Wins do matter, and Weeden won some monsters. The Rudolph truthers will point out that Weeden had Blackmon and a killer offensive line — both of which are true — but as Kurt pointed out, he very nearly won every single game he played at quarterback. There was almost no room for any improvement. I spent three years of Mason’s career hollering about how good he was, but even I can admit this … Weeden was (at least a little and maybe a lot) better as a quarterback for OSU. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Defense: Tre SterlingThe sophomore safety is still learning the ropes as starter but he was all over the place on Saturday night. He led the Cowboys with seven tackles (six solo) and added a pass breakup and a QB hurry.According to Gundy, he’s been one of his more improved defenders.“He’s made a big change from last year to this year,” said Gundy on Saturday. “Sometimes we see men that are just there and a year later they decide football is important to them and they play much better. He falls into that category. He’s been a reliable player for us.”Questions for Texas TechRed zone solutions? The Cowboys continued to struggle in the score zone, settling for 3 points on four of five trips inside the 20. That, simply, won’t do against the OUs and Texas’ (seen that episode) and possibly even Texas Techs of the world. Can Gleeson and Co. make strides on that front before next week?Can Spencer settle down? Probably not and maybe that’s okay. What I mean is that Sanders is a gunslinger. He was born a gunslinger. He will always be a gunslinger, and I love it. This needs to be, and should be, tempered by experience but I wouldn’t want to wish away that fight in my QB1.Play(s) of the GameChuba broke the Wildcats’ back with this 84-yard touchdown that looked all too routine for the best running back in the country. (There, I said it.)✌️ pic.twitter.com/1CxPYHKiJ8— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) September 29, 2019My weekly mantra: Don’t take watching Tylan Wallace on weekly basis for granted. Don’t take watching Tylan Wallace on weekly basis for granted. Don’t take watching Tylan Wallace on weekly basis for granted.Freak show. pic.twitter.com/CMxSv7xfbX— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) September 29, 2019 Can we get a little Heisman hype for Chuba Hubbard??— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) September 29, 2019 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The Cowboys were able to right the ship on Saturday night taking down the previously unbeaten Wildcats 26-13. While missed opportunities continue to be a trend for its offense, OSU’s defense was solid throughout. Oh yeah, and Chuba went off … again.As we put a bow on K-State and looked forward to Texas Tech, let’s debrief on the Cowboys’ first Big 12 win of 2019.The Short Story (With Some Interesting Numbers)OSU’s defense faced a Kansas State team that was averaging its highest three-game scoring output (44 points per game) in eight years, and basically shut it down. K-State’s 13 points scored were the fewest for the Wildcats against OSU in 27 years.The impressive numbers don’t stop there for the OSU defense.• Only eight first downs allowed. That’s the lowest number a Cowboy defense has allowed since Savannah State in 2012. The fewest first downs ever allowed was four to Baylor back in 1999.• The 1 of 13 third down conversions allowed (7.7 percent) is the lowest that I could find searching back to 2009 (as far back as that info is readily available).• The 126 rushing yards allowed is the lowest to a K-State team since 2010 (110).• The 90.9 passer rating Skylar Thompson was held to is a season-best for the defense and the lowest by K-State, as a team, in the series since 2010 when Carson Coffman and running back Daniel Thomas (because, of course) shared passing duties and turned in a 89.4 rating.On the flip side, OSU’s offense continued its struggles in the red zone and Spencer Sanders turned in his worst statistical outing to date. Fortunately, Chuba Hubbard played out of his mind and basically buoyed the Pokes offense from start to finish.Who Earned a Brand Sticker?Offense: Chuba HubbardThere is no on else. Chuba chewed up 296 yards of BPS turf — the highest rushing total against a ranked team in OSU history and the sixth-best game of all time at OSU. He is, by a considerable margin, the nation’s leading rusher and looks poised to put up an historic season.And the Heisman buzz is officially real.Week 5 Heisman Hype: 1, Justin Fields, tOSU; 2, Tua Tagovailoa, Ala; 3, Jalen Hurts, Okla; 4, Chuba Hubbard, Okla St. 5, J Taylor, Wisc.— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) September 29, 2019
Posted on April 1, 2009November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Welcome to the Maternal Health Task Force Online! This space will function as a primary means of communication with MHTF advisors, colleagues, and friends as well as a way for you to provide input into the Task Force and participate in its activities. I will regularly post updates on the work of the MHTF and other items of interest to the maternal health community to this space. We will also invite others to post from time to time.Please // widely. Participation in the MHTF is open to anyone who works in or is interested in the maternal health field or an allied field. Click here to register and be added to our database. Inquiries about the MHTF may also be submitted here.Please come back soon as we will shortly be posting job announcements for MHTF staff positions.Thank you for joining the MHTF as we all work to improve the lives of women and families.AnnAnn K. Blanc, Ph.DDirector, Maternal Health Task ForceShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
World Cup Germany unrest? Muller and Bierhoff dismiss reports of World Cup disharmony Sacha Pisani Last updated 1 year ago 23:33 6/20/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty World Cup Germany Germany v Sweden The topic of disharmony was raised during Wednesday’s news conference but the Germany forward dismissed the claims. Germany star Thomas Muller and team manger Oliver Bierhoff both rejected speculation of a division within the squad following their shock loss to Mexico at the World Cup.The world champions have returned to the scene of their 2017 Confederations Cup triumph amid sweltering conditions in Sochi but are facing the heat on and off the pitch ahead of Saturday’s crucial showdown with Sweden.A 1-0 defeat to Mexico has put Germany under pressure and sparked reports of cliques in the team following the country’s underwhelming Group F opener. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar The topic of disharmony was inevitably raised during Wednesday’s news conference after training and Muller dismissed the claims.”Is that confirmed? Do you have a source? No? Ok,” Muller said when asked if there were factions within the team amid a strong Bayern Munich presence.”In 2012 we didn’t have great chemistry, but that’s not the case now.”Attempting to pinpoint what went wrong against the Mexicans, Muller highlighted Germany’s performances in the lead-up to the World Cup, which saw Joachim Low’s men scrape past Saudi Arabia having lost to Austria.”I think we took things a bit too lightly after the warm-up games,” Muller said. “Internally we made no bones about it, we were self-critical and said we need to do this, that and the other.”And in warm-up games we had just hoped that in a non-training camp context, without tough and lengthy training sessions, we hoped that when the World Cup came around we could raise our game. And we haven’t been able to. We need to get back to being prepared to walk that extra mile. That’s it.”What is important now is that we look ahead to the two major tasks lying ahead of us in this group. The heat is on.”All eyes on #GER today in Sochi after their shock loss to #MEX Muller and Reus to speak to the media after training. #WorldCup @OmnisportNews pic.twitter.com/vQzM8sxeB7 — Sacha Pisani (@Sachk0) June 20, 2018 Muller spoke after Bierhoff fronted the media at Germany’s hotel amid questions over team unity.Responding to the reports, Bierhoff told reporters: “I can say that the speech did not become as loud as it would have in earlier years. It is another generation and we live in other times. But the speech was very fair and square.”It is important that we find – in terms of the atmosphere within the team and work – a good mixture between focus and tenseness in the next few days. The tenseness is there for sure. Everybody is aware that the match against Sweden is the first final for us. You know that these knockout matches are part of every tournament.”
World Cup Jesus or Firmino, Fred or Paulinho? How Brazil could evolve throughout the World Cup Sam Lee Manchester City correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 22:00 6/21/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images World Cup Brazil Neymar Tite will not make any changes to his starting line-up for Friday’s game with Costa Rica in Saint Petersburg but he has plenty of options available Despite Brazil’s disappointing draw with Switzerland in their opening World Cup match on Sunday, there has not been a major clamour for coach Tite to make sweeping changes to his line-up.It was the first time the five-times champions have not started a World Cup with a victory since 1978, and since the final whistle they have been criticised for sitting back after Coutinho’s opening goal, losing the momentum that they had generated in the opening exchanges and failing to get it back.Tite made two changes to his midfield and one up front in the final half an hour, but Brazil could not open up the Swiss defence. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar And while Globo awarded seven players a rating of either 5 or 5.5 (Coutinho was the highest with 7), there has been nothing like the reaction in Spain, for example, following David De Gea’s opening-game mistake.In fact, Brazil’s scapegoat has been VAR – the Brazilian federation wrote to FIFA asking for an explanation of the decision to let Switzerland’s equaliser stand, and why a penalty was not awarded to Gabriel Jesus.And when VAR is not on the Brazilian news agenda, the locals have been chastising Neymar for paying too much attention to his hair and step-overs.The Paris Saint-Germain forward has been in the news again this week after he limped out of a training session with an ankle injury, but he is expected to face Costa Rica on Friday regardless.Indeed, Tite says he will not make any changes to his team for the match in Saint Petersburg, but he certainly has plenty of options available to him if he wants to shake things up during the game, or later in the tournament.Paulinho, for example, could feel especially vulnerable. The midfielder had a good season for Barcelona and has been important for Brazil again during Tite’s reign, but he struggled against Switzerland’s deep, organised defence, and crucially he has two serious rivals for his position.Renato Augusto, the only China-based Brazilian to play at a World Cup, did bring something different when he replaced Paulinho on Sunday, and is a more creative option, which will almost certainly come in handy against Costa Rica and Serbia, two teams that will look to replicate Switzerland’s approach.Another option is Manchester United new boy Fred. The former Shakhtar Donetsk man brings drive and energy from a deep starting position, allied to a fine range of passing, and is available again after an ankle injury.The defenders and goalkeeper are likely to be unchanged throughout the tournament. Like Neymar, Marcelo had a poor game on Sunday but will almost certainly retain his place, although Felipe Luis is a capable deputy if required. The same goes for Marquinhos, should one of the more experienced centre-backs – Thiago Silva or Miranda – get themselves injured or suspended.Goalkeeper Alisson is rated as one of the best around, and he is keeping out Manchester City’s Ederson, despite his strikingly accurate distribution.Casemiro was actually the first player to make way on Sunday, with Tite bringing on Fernandinho for a little more thrust going forward, but the Real Madrid man is unlikely to lose his starting berth at any point this summer, given his importance to the side. Fernandinho will be used again, but most likely from the bench.Coutinho was only dropped back into a midfield role on the eve of the tournament but he has been playing there for Barcelona since his January move, and his goal against Switzerland is further proof that he is well equipped to stay there. Should he be pushed back into the forward line, most likely at the expense of Willian, then one of Renato Augusto or Fred could fill in.Willian failed to shine on Sunday but, for now, he keeps his place ahead of Douglas Costa. Neymar, despite a wasteful performance and his ongoing recovery from injury, is very unlikely to be left out at any point.Things could be different for Gabriel Jesus, however. Tite does favour the Manchester City striker over Roberto Firmino, but the Liverpool man’s efforts in recent months – for both club and country – have not gone unnoticed.Tite says Firmino is playing with confidence and that his performance in the last 20 minutes on Sunday, in Jesus’ place, was “very good”.Jesus, as is occasionally the case with City, did a lot of good work outside of the penalty area and out of possession, and it would be a little harsh to drop him after one game, given his performances for his country since making his debut in Tite’s first match in charge.But given Firmino’s similar talents, and his arguably more impressive season with Liverpool, he is a strong candidate for a starting spot later in the tournament.
World Cup ‘Completely unacceptable’ – Sweden’s Durmaz hits out at racial abuse after giving away decisive free-kick Goal 00:47 6/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Getty Images World Cup Germany Germany v Sweden Sweden The Toulouse player was the subject of sick ethnic slurs and death threats after giving away the foul that was converted in style by Toni Kroos Sweden star Jimmy Durmaz has been subjected to vile racist abuse and even death threats after giving away a free-kick that cost his team dear against Germany. The Scandinavian side appeared to be on the road to victory on Saturday when Ola Toivonen lobbed over Manuel Neuer in the first half. Marco Reus, however, levelled the game after half-time before a stunning effort from Toni Kroos in injury time gave the World Cup holders three crucial points in the Group F showdown. Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Durmaz had committed the original infraction that led to Kroos’ strike and, after the game, a flood of offensive comments were sent to his Instagram account. The Toulouse player, who was born in Sweden to parents of Assyrian heritage who emigrated to the country from Turkey, was targeted with slurs like “terrorist”, “Arab devil” and “Taliban warrior” in the aftermath of the defeat, and also received death threats, although hundreds of other commenters paid tribute to the star and slammed the racist attitudes espoused in the post. “It’s nothing I’m bothered about,” he told reporters when questioned on the abuse. “I’m here proud and representing my country.”Later, however, Durmaz hit out at those who had used his heritage to insult him, dubbing the situation “completely unacceptable.” “I am a player at the highest level, being criticised is something we are used to, it is part of the job and we have it every day,” he said. “But to be called a suicide bomber and to say you will kill me and my children is completely unacceptable. I am Swedish and I carry my shirt and flag with pride. “I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have spread joy. We are united, we are Sweden.”
World Cup Salah retirement claim is a ‘big lie’, says Egypt FA member Ahmed Atta Last updated 1 year ago 03:44 6/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty World Cup Mohamed Salah Egypt Liverpool African All Stars It has been reported that the Liverpool star wants to cut ties with the national team after the World Cup but the governing body denied such talk Mohamed Salah is not considering retiring from international football, according to Egyptian FA board member Essam Abdel Fattah.It was reported by CNN on Sunday that the forward is unhappy with the way the governing body has treated him and used his image around the World Cup.Egypt will not proceed beyond the first round after losing their first two games, with Liverpool hero Salah missing the first because of an injury and scoring a penalty in the 3-1 defeat to Russia in their second fixture. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Nevertheless, he has been a big focus in the early stages of the competition, but little of it has been down to his exploits on the field.Salah was pictured alongside Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who was installed as the republic’s president by Vladimir Putin and has been accused of a large number of human rights violations.Kadyrov even announced Salah as an honorary citizen of Chechnya, holding a celebratory event for him and his Egypt team-mates.Having already battled with the governing body over their use of his face on the team’s plane, he is said to be thinking about his future already, but Abdel Fattah insists there are no issues.“This is a big lie,” he told Goal when asked about claims Salah could quit. “Nothing like this is true and I wonder how CNN are reporting these things.”When asked for his thoughts on the controversy surrounding meetings with Kadyrov, he added: “I don’t understand this. We’re guests in this men’s land and he invited us for a dinner. We can’t refuse something like that and this is very normal.”[Critics] are mixing politics and sports? We’re a sports team and nothing can involve us in politics.”I’m sick of all these rumours around our team. Today it was also said that an EFA member’s son was selling a ticket illegally…these are silly things and still lies.”Salah has played 58 times for Egypt since his debut in September 2011 and has scored 34 times, putting him fourth in their all-time top scorer list.