A couple of weeks before the Croatian national team left for Russia and the start of a surprising World Cup run that has carried it to Sunday’s final, fans of Dinamo Zagreb, the country’s most important club team in its largest city, gathered before a monument at Maksimir Stadium, a spot they consider hallowed ground.
Kevin de Bruyne said a big factor in Belgium’s recent rise to global prominence in soccer is the fact this generation was the first to send its players in great numbers to top-flight foreign leagues to play and learn.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has never coached a game at the international level, yet his influence was considered partly responsible for the success of the last two World Cup champions and could play a role in next Sunday’s final was well.
Invisible to the crowds flocking to World Cup venues all over Russia are legions of migrant workers from Central Asia, who built the stadiums and keep them running, staff concession stands, and clean up after fans who revel through city streets.
China does not have a team in the World Cup — it finished fifth in its six-team group in Asian qualifying — but it does have a lot of fans in Russia, where the country’s economic clout has given it a huge presence.
If Mexico had taken care of business in its final group-stage game with Sweden, it would be facing Switzerland in the round of 16 this week, safely tucked in the softer side of the World Cup bracket alongside Russia, Denmark and Colombia.
Mexico is on to the final 16 for a seventh straight World Cup, and goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa says the team should be recognized for how it got there, not for the fact that it almost tripped on its way through the door.
As Mexico fell behind by one goal, two goals and then three in its World Cup game against Sweden on Wednesday, Mexico fans across the world switched their television channels to another game that had suddenly become much more important.
Senegal’s Aliou Cisse is the only black coach at this year’s World Cup and he says more must be done to create opportunities for others to follow in his path. ”In European countries, in major clubs, you see lots of African players.
A little over an hour after FIFA awarded the 2026 World Cup to the U.S., Mexico and Canada earlier this month, the three co-chairmen of the United 2026 bid committee took the stage for a news conference at Moscow’s sprawling Expo Center.
Carlos Hermosillo played on the last Mexican team to reach the World Cup quarterfinals and he sees some similarities between that squad and the one that opened this summer’s tournament by upsetting defending champion Germany.
The shine from Mexico’s opening-game victory over Germany was dulled Monday when the Associated Press reported FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the team because its fans used an anti-gay slur during the game.
They played the game on the banks of the Moscow River, but given the noise, the waves of green Mexican national team jerseys and multicolored sombreros and the loud renditions of “Cielito Lindo,” Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday might as well have been Estadio Azteca.
Russia welcomed the world to its World Cup on Thursday with a quick, energetic opening ceremony that featured a giant fire bird made from crepe paper, English pop singer Robbie Williams flipping off the cameras, a lot of juggling and a speech from President Vladimir Putin.
Spain will go into the World Cup under new management after the country’s soccer association fired manager Julen Lopetegui on Wednesday, two days before its tournament opener against Portugal in Sochi, Russia.
Undeterred by the changing politics that have buffeted the United States-led North American bid for the 2026 World Cup, leaders of the three-nation campaign are banking on a more dependable ally to get them past the finish line — money.
A look at the teams that make up Group D of the Russia 2018 World Cup: ARGENTINA FIFA world ranking: 5 Last World Cup: 2014 Best World Cup finish: Champions, 1978, 1986 How qualified: Finished third in South American qualifying tournament.
A look at the teams in Group C of the 2018 World Cup in Russia: AUSTRALIA FIFA world ranking: 40 Last World Cup: 2014 Best World Cup finish: Round of 16, 2006 How qualified: Beat Honduras in interconfederation playoff Key players: GK Mat Ryan, MF Mile Jedinak, MF Aaron Mooy It’s a fact: Interim coach Bert van Marwijk took the Netherlands to the World Cup final in 2010 and guided Saudi Arabia through a successful qualifying campaign in 2017 before resigning in a contract dispute and accepting the Australia job.
Brothers Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos of the Galaxy and forward Carlos Vela of the Los Angeles Football Club were officially named Monday to Mexico’s 23-man World Cup roster, but Vela’s LAFC teammate Laurent Ciman wasn’t as fortunate, with the central defender failing to make the final cut for the Belgium team.
To design the most technologically advanced World Cup ball in history, Adidas had to go back to a time when TV transmissions were mostly in black and white, soccer balls were made from heavy, unforgiving leather and chips were something you put in cookies, not sports equipment.
As the final seconds ticked away on the U.S. national team’s last World Cup qualifier this past October, the mood on the American bench darkened quicker than the Caribbean skies over the tiny stadium in Couva, Trinidad.