FIFA World Cup

Thousands of fans welcome Griezmann home

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Russia’s Vladimir Putin wants World Cup stadiums used for football

A quick run through of the 2018 FIFA World Cup that took place between 14 June – 15 July 2018. KALININGRAD, Russia — Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the country’s 12 World Cup venues should be mainly used for football, and not transformed into concert halls or exhibition centres. Russia hosted the World Cup in 11 cities in June and July without any major security or discriminatory incidents, receiving praise from fans and global football governing body FIFA. The country’s efforts are now turning to ensure that the venues and infrastructure built for the month-long tournament do not fall into disuse. Speaking at a meeting of government and sports officials at the World Cup stadium in Kaliningrad, Putin said the government would financially suppor...

Brazil and PSG defender Dani Alves slams Neymar memes: It’s not a joke

Dani Alves backed fellow Brazilian Neymar and said the criticism he received throughout the World Cup was unfair. Paris Saint-Germain right-back Dani Alves doesn’t think the jokes being made at Neymar’s expense are funny and has urged his teammate with club and country not to pay them any attention. At this summer’s World Cup, Neymar became a target of widespread ridicule from fans and media for at times over-selling contact in an attempt to get the referee’s attention. Countless memes were created around the Brazil star’s embellished reactions and many have become viral sensations on social media, with videos of individuals imitating his falls also becoming a trend worldwide. However, Alves doesn’t see the humour in fans’ online actions, telling r...

Kylian Mbappe ahead of where Thierry Henry was at same age – Didier Deschamps

Former director of football for PSG Patrick Kluivert shares his thoughts on Kylian Mbappe’s World Cup and his chances of winning a Ballon d’Or. Nineteen-year-old Kylian Mbappe etched his name into football lore in Russia. Here’s how the France prodigy won the FIFA World Cup Best Young Player award. The ESPN FC team answer your tweets on Kylian Mbappe’s stock at PSG, the 2018 France squad vs. the 1998 World Cup winning side and much more. Free-Kick: Classic World Cup final as ‘Best Young Player’ Mbappe powers France to World Cup glory; Luka Modric wins World Cup Golden Ball Kylian Mbappe “has already grown up” and is ahead of where France greats Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet were at a similar age, France coach Didier Deschamps has said. He...

Patrick Kluivert: Mbappe is a future Ballon d’Or winner

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TV host Trevor Noah rebuked for joking ‘Africa’ not France won World Cup

Julien Laurens explains why France’s 2018 World Cup title and the resulting celebration feels more special than Les Bleus’ first title in 1998. Nineteen-year-old Kylian Mbappe etched his name into football lore in Russia. Here’s how the France prodigy won the FIFA World Cup Best Young Player award. Former France international Robert Pires said his country mirrored the spirit they showed in 1998 during their World Cup winning campaign. The ESPN FC team answer your tweets on Kylian Mbappe’s stock at PSG, the 2018 France squad vs. the 1998 World Cup winning side and much more. PARIS — Trevor Noah, the South African host of a popular U.S. TV show, sparred with the French ambassador in Washington after the comedian joked that Africa, not France, won the World Cup. ...

Man United must free Paul Pogba; France role won’t work in Premier League

After Julien Laurens hails Paul Pogba’s role in France’s World Cup triumph, the FC crew examine whether the tournament was a new beginning for him. Back in 1998, the last time France won the World Cup, Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf returned to England and appeared on “They Think It’s All Over,” a sport-based comedy television show. In other countries, or other programmes, Leboeuf might have been greeted with reverence. Instead he was the target of mockery throughout and responded to every joke with a simple line: “I don’t care. I won the World Cup.” Which, in fairness, serves as a decent response to any jibe. Once you win the World Cup, who cares what anyone says about you? Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been subjected to simila...

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Paul Pogba answered Manchester United critics at World Cup

Stewart Robson reads between the lines of Jose Mourinho’s press conference comments on Paul Pogba and feels his compliments were backhanded. Bryan Robson sheds light on Man United’s preseason preparation, which youngsters he’d like to see shine, Paul Pogba’s leadership role and more. ESPN FC’s Rob Dawson discusses Manchester United’s needs in the transfer window and what to expect from Paul Pogba when he returns. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said former Manchester United teammate Paul Pogba silenced critics with his impressive displays for France as they won the World Cup. Pogba was imperious as Les Bleus clinched World Cup glory in Russia — capping it all off with a crucial goal in the 4-2 victory over Croatia in the final. Yet, he remains the subject o...

Australia legend Tim Cahill exits as the most effective Socceroos player of all time

Tim Cahill calls time on his decorated international career, retiring as the Socceroos’ all-time leading goal scorer. ESPN’s Stephanie Brantz recaps Australia’s World Cup journey and looks ahead to what’s next for the Socceroos. It seems as though a large hole has been left in Australian football following the international retirement of Socceroos legend Tim Cahill. Not that the news came as a shock to anyone. It was inevitable that Cahill would exit the international stage at this time. It has been in the cards for some time. After making 107 appearances for his country and becoming its greatest goal scorer with 50 goals, it was simply the right time for the 38-year-old to step aside. That fact was confirmed when the forward played just 37 minutes at this year̵...

Five things the Premier League might learn from the World Cup

Julien Laurens takes issue with ESPNFC.com’s omission of France’s N’Golo Kante in their World Cup team of the tournament. The World Cup offered some great insight into players who have not shown fans their best for their clubs. But what could the Premier League learn for next season? 1. Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku can play if they’re allowed Jose Mourinho is a stubborn man. This is not exactly a startling revelation, and of course a manager who has been as successful as him must be stubborn to a point. But that has become frustrating when it comes to a couple of Manchester United players, specifically Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba. Both men have enjoyed their moments at the club, but there’s a clear sense that neither have played to their potential. However, o...

Man United need to show Marcus Rashford he has a future, or he may leave

The guys respond to your tweets about the best World Cup final, Harry Kane, England’s midfield, Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and the 2022 World Cup. After reaching the World Cup semifinals, England’s unexpectedly golden generation return to their Premier League clubs with vastly enhanced reputations. Yet while most will have regular places in the starting XI, Marcus Rashford goes back to Old Trafford with an uncertain future. Though the 20-year-old was outstanding in one of Manchester United’s most significant wins of last season — a 2-1 home win over Liverpool — he did not manage to escape his role as an impact substitute and started 17 Premier League games, with 18 on the bench. And that followed him to Russia as he played just 211 minutes, coming off the ben...

Paul Pogba: France didn’t ‘give a s—-‘ about Messi at World Cup

After Julien Laurens hails Paul Pogba’s role in France’s World Cup triumph, the FC crew examine whether the tournament was a new beginning for him. Paul Pogba gave a passionate team talk before France’s World Cup round-of-16 win over Argentina, stating to teammates “Messi or no Messi, we don’t give a s—.” The Manchester United midfielder also called on his teammates to “kill” their opponents, a French TV documentary has shown, as France came from 2-1 down to win 4-3 in Kazan. Pogba was heavily criticised before the tournament after an underwhelming season with United, and a France Football poll showed fans felt the midfielder was not even worth a starting role in Russia. Coach Didier Deschamps ignored public and media opinion as Pogba s...