The Quarter final stage of the 2018 FIFA world cup is in view, 8 out of 32 participants are left vying for a shot at glory.
The world cup has brought intense drama and unbelievable results so far. We summarie the turn of events and actions coming from Russia in the last few days.
Host Nation? Yes Indeed!
It’s a good time to be a Russian, football has never been this appealing since the glory days of the Soviet Union in the 70’s.
Parading a team that had four key players injured at the start of the tournament, Russia has surprised the whole world with their brilliant display.
Young sensation Aleksandr Golovin exemplifies how this team is set up to play, with long bursts up and down the pitch relentlessly.They dispatched Spain via penalty shoot-out with veteran goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev showing his class on the biggest stage.
Optimism is high that this could finally be their chance of winning the biggest football tournament on earth.
Forget The Crutches, Oscar Tabarez Is Still At His Peak!
Uruguayan manager Oscar Tabarez was diagnosed with chronic neuropathy two years ago. Many thought the end was imminent for the veteran manager but instead, he has managed to prepare the only Uruguayan team to win its first four matches at a World Cup Tournament.
Playing a classic 4-4-2 formation, Uruguay have excelled on the pitch, winning all three-group stage matches thanks to the most lethal strike pairing at the world cup – Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani; they pair have six goals and three assists between them.
With the South Americans are playing with so much confidence and tenacity, it is very possible they add to their world cup tally of two at this tournament.
Francia! Glory Glory Les Blues!
Blessed with an array of immense young talents, the French national team are dripping of Class and were heavily considered one of the favorites to win the tournament before it began.
Although many have not been impressed by their showing, they have delivered when it matters. 19-year-old sensation Kylian Mbappe showed why he is regarded as the best teenager in the game right now with a breath taking performance against Messi and co in the last round.
Of the last eight, their squad depth and attacking prowess can only be matched by Brazil. Les Blues fans are very optimistic this group of players can match the ’98 class and win the world cup 20 years on
Dream Team Again?
When Davor Suker scored the opener in the 1998 World Cup semi-finals against France, it was his 6th and it validated the claim of the Croatian dream team. They were exceptional, playing thrilling soccer and scored lots of goals. Zlatko Dalic and his maestro Captain Luka Modric are doing their best to re-create the feats of that Dream team, winning all group games – including a 3-0 demolition of Argentina.
Possessing arguably the best midfield duo left in the tournament, The Croats would look to go one step further than their childhood heroes.
The Gem And The Rolling Stone
Phillipe Coutinho and Neymar are two similar yet different football stars with different stories for the Selecao at the ongoing World Cup.
The former turning all he touches to gold and the latter feeding off scraps from his many theatrics and dramatic scenes.
The greatest football nation on earth are among the last eight for the 12 time, not the same show of panache as the star-studded teams of the past but the same venom and team coordination.
Brazil’s quest for a record sixth title face a stern challenge in the form of Belgium. Will they be able to overcome the Red Devils?
Zweden Or Sweden?
Let’s be honest, we all prefer to watch the Zlatan Led Sweden team, but who cares about drama and overhead kicks if it doesn’t bring you results?
Sweden have been outstanding at Russia. Call it whatever you want, making it the last eight is a monumental achievement for a Scandinavian nation.
Head Coach Janne Andersson have been impeccable with his tactics and the way the team plays. Topping a group that had the defending World Champions Germany and Perennial world cup participants in Mexico isn’t any easy feat.
Defender and team leader Granqvist would be hoping this fairy-tale story doesn’t come to an end just yet.
It’s Coming Home!
The buzz on the streets in England is like never before; for the first time the Three Lions won a penalty shoot – out at the World Cup. A perfect description of England’s tourney so far would be – Majestic! Exhilarating displays and lots of goals which begs the question… could it finally be coming home?
Gareth Southgate have made this English side look formidable and dangerous. Playing with a mobile three-man defence, the team have managed to churn out expected results. Skipper Harry Kane will be chasing a personal glory of finishing top scorer (He currently has 6) while steering his young lions to the trophy.
Red Devils, Dare Devils
Belgium’s 3-2 victory over Japan was the first time a team would overturn a two-goal deficit in regular time at the world cup. Boasting the very best players from across various teams in Europe, the Red Devils finally look set to deliver on the expectations on their golden generation.
The Belgians have been ruthless upfront, creating chances and scoring goals at ease. The trio of Lukaku, Hazard and Batshuayi have 8 goals and 3 assists between them
Roberto Martinez often looks flat and indecisive, but this star-studded team are more than capable to go all the way.