Germany doctor quits after 23 years following World Cup flop | 7/20/2018 8:50 pm

BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — Germany's long-serving team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt quit yesterday after 23 years in the job, becoming the first casualty of the country's World Cup flop. “I have decided to retire as team doctor. I have informed the Germany Team Manager Oliver Bierhoff and coach Joachim Loew,” the 75-year-old told DPA news agency. Known fondly as “Mull”, the doctor is the first member of Loew's back room staff to quit following the 2014 World More

Indeed, World Cup 2018 – the greatest show on earth | 7/19/2018 5:20 pm

After a scintillating Goal Rush 2018, we take an in-depth look at what was served up to us over the period June 14 to July 15, 2018. It has been a long, gruelling month, but after 64 games, four weeks and one incredible final, it is all over. In the end, World Cup 2018 belongs to France, but the path to the final was far from predictable. fallen giants, rising stars, VAR controversies and 70 set piece goals all played a part in this stunning show that the world has come to love and have for yea More

US TV host's gibe over 'African-ness' of World Cup victors sparks wider debate | 7/19/2018 5:20 pm

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — A light-hearted quip about a football team has sparked a serious debate about identity politics and the merits of France's “colour-blind” republican model versus American multiculturalism. When the host of American television's popular The Daily Show joked that the real winner of the World Cup was “Africa,” it prompted a fierce reaction on social media and drew a pointed rebuttal from the French ambassador to Washington. Trevor No More

Record scorer Cahill retires from Socceroos | 7/17/2018 3:40 pm

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australia's all-time leading goalscorer Tim Cahill retired from international football yesterday, ending an illustrious career that has taken him to four World Cups. The 38-year-old, who scored 50 international goals in 107 appearances, last played for the Socceroos when he came off the bench for their final group game against Peru at the World Cup in Russia. “Today's the day that I'm officially hanging up my boots on my international career with the Socce More

'Africa real' World Cup winners, says Venezuela's Maduro | 7/17/2018 3:40 pm

CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro believes Africa and not France are the true winners of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. France beat Croatia 4-2 in Sunday's final in Moscow, but with a team featuring a number of players of African heritage. “The French team seems like the African team. In reality Africa won the African immigrants who arrived in France,” Maduro said at an event to celebrate Police Day in Venezuela on Monday. “How much have they More

France win World Cup after beating Croatia in Moscow thriller | 7/15/2018 11:10 pm

Moscow , Russia (AFP) — France celebrated their second World Cup win 20 years after their maiden triumph yesterday, overcoming a passionate Croatia side 4-2 in one of the most gripping finals in recent history. The breathless victory under stormy skies at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium means Didier Deschamps' side — balancing youthful zest and tournament nous — have buried the pain of their defeat in the Euro 2016 final on home soil. For Croatia, a country of just over four millio More

Photo: Vive la France! | 7/15/2018 9:40 pm

Fans celebrate on the Arc de Triomphe-framed Champs Elysées in Paris yesterday after France defeated Croatia 4-2 in the final match at the 2018 soccer World Cup played in Moscow, Russia. It is France's second World Cup win in 20 years. (Photo: AP) More

Vive la France! And a lot of other nations, too | 7/15/2018 10:00 pm

MOSCOW (AP) — Antoine Griezmann's father emigrated from Germany, and the France forward's mother is of Portuguese decent. Paul Pogba's parents arrived from Guinea. Kylian Mbappe's dad is from Cameroon, his mom Algerian. Immigrants, sons of immigrants, and grandsons of immigrants bonded together with scions of families that have been French for generations, all for the rouge, blanc et bleu. And for only the second time, France is the World Cup champion. About two-thirds of Les Bleus' ro More

Deschamps' World Cup win a triumph for substance over style | 7/15/2018 11:10 pm

Moscow , Russia (AFP) — Didier Deschamps' France side have not always won admirers for their way of playing at this World Cup, but that will not matter to the hundreds of thousands celebrating in the streets back home after their final victory over Croatia. France won 4-2 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow yesterday, with star men Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe all scoring as they lifted the trophy for the second time in their history. They are the first team to score fou More

Modric says Golden Ball 'bittersweet' after World Cup defeat | 7/15/2018 11:20 pm

Moscow, Russia (AFP) — Croatia captain Luka Modric said being awarded the Golden Ball for the World Cup's best player was “bittersweet”, after losing the final 4-2 to France yesterday. “Obviously I liked the recognition and thanks to those who chose me, but clearly I would have preferred to have won the World Cup,” said the Real Madrid midfielder. “It wasn't to be and now we will rest and in the coming days celebrate this because it is still a huge thing for More

Hazard, Belgium too good for England in World Cup play-off | 7/14/2018 6:00 pm

SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia (AFP) — Belgium achieved their best World Cup finish as goals from Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard secured a 2-0 victory over England in yesterday's third-place play-off in Saint Petersburg. Meunier, who missed the semi-final loss to France due to suspension, scored after just four minutes before Hazard grabbed a late second as Belgium eclipsed the side that came fourth at the 1986 edition. Belgium have now defeated England twice in a fortnight, having waited 82 y More

Road to the final | 7/14/2018 6:50 pm

MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — France play Croatia in the World Cup final at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium today. Here is each team's path to the showpiece match.   France Group stage France had a helping hand from the video assistant referee (VAR) in their World Cup opener and a dash of good fortune when Paul Pogba's effort deflected off Australia's Aziz Behich and into the net to seal a 2-1 win. A low-key 1-0 victory against Peru put them in a prime position to qualify and a 0-0 draw against Den More

#WC2018: France clinches World Cup with win over Croatia | 7/15/2018 12:00 pm

MOSCOW, Russia (AP) — France has clinched its second World Cup title with a 4-2 win over Croatia in a dramatic final in Moscow featuring a series of firsts and a pitch invasion orchestrated by Russian protest group Pussy Riot. France led 2-1 at halftime courtesy of the first own-goal and the first video-reviewed penalty in a World Cup final. The own-goal off the top of Mario Mandzukic's head was the 12th of the tournament. That's double the previous World Cup record of six. Croatia ralli More

#WC2018: France leads Croatia 2-1 at halftime | 7/15/2018 11:00 am

MOSCOW, Russia — The first half ended with thunder rolling over Moscow after France regained the lead from an Antoine Griezmann penalty in the 38th minute following the first use of video review in a World Cup final. France had taken the lead in the 18th through Mario Mandzukic's own-goal — the first in a World Cup final and a record 12th in the tournament — off a Griezmann free kick, before Croatia's Ivan Perisic equalized with a fierce left-foot strike 10 minutes later. Per More

#WC2018: France and Croatia name unchanged teams for World Cup final | 7/15/2018 9:52 am

 MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — France and Croatia go into Sunday's World Cup final in Moscow with the same starting line-ups as in their semi-final wins over Belgium and England respectively.  Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann support Olivier Giroud in attack in France's 4-2-3-1 formation, while Ivan Perisic and Ivan Strinic, who had been pre-match injury doubts, have been passed fit for Croatia.  Perisic was the star of Croatia's 2-1 extra-time victory over England at the same Luzhniki Stadi More