Hypegram : This will get you in the mood for the World Cup - BBC Sport's World Cup 2018 opener ARTICLE 159128411 This will get you in the mood for the World Cup - BBC Sport's World Cup 2018 opener english ARTICLE For every football fan, the World Cup provides a melting pot of memories and emotions - get excited as Russia 2018 is about to begin. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44475953 /itemImage/159128411 Wed Jun 13 2018 17:36:24 GMT+0000 (UTC) {}

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This will get you in the mood for the World Cup - BBC Sport's World Cup 2018 opener


BBC
157 d ago


For every football fan, the World Cup provides a melting pot of memories and emotions - get excited as Russia 2018 is about to begin.
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The World Cup is upon us, which means it’s time to gather together as a global community and enjoy The Beautiful Game. Or, well, just blow off work and watch some soccer.
In anticipation of this thing, I wanted to make a list of a group of players that I feel you might fall in love with this tournament. My criteria for this list is, well, I don’t know. It sorta shifts. Basically: Players I don’t think a lot of casual soccer fans know about who are also extremely dope. Also, there are no defenders on this list, because people tend not to fall in love with defenders, except that one World Cup where we all decided to talk about Fabio Cannavaro for the entire tournament for some reason.
Before I dive into these potential breakout stars, I should probably also include a list of players you could fall in love with if you have never watched soccer at all. Here are some of those people: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah, Isco, Antoine Griezmann, and Paul Pogba.
If you haven’t heard of any of those guys, I implore you to go and Google them. Watch their highlights. They are all exceedingly good at soccer!
OK let’s get to the hipster shit now.
Hirving Lozano — Mexico
Hirving “Chucky” Lozano not only has one of the best nicknames in world soccer, he’s also just 22 years old and had a huge breakout season as a winger for PSV, where he scored 17 goals in just 29 appearances for the club. Look for Mexico to try and create space for Lozano to work in the attacking third, and don’t be surprised if he puts the ball in the net. Also some club is going to pay a goddamn truckload of money for in a couple years.
Saîf-Eddine Khaoui — Tunisia
Khaoui doesn’t have quite the worldwide attention on him as some of the other players on this list, but I’ve watched a few Tunisia friendlies and I really, really like this kid. Just 23, playing an attacking winger or pure 10 role, Khaoui doesn’t possess truly elite speed or skill, but what I will say about him is: He tries shit. Tunisia builds their team on the counter, and what I love about Khaoui is he always seems eager to get the ball and try something creative. That’s a real skill.
Son Heung-min — South Korea
I’m certain the soccer-heads are all scoffing at this pick, because they all already know Son — a flashy and exciting winger and striker for Tottenham Hotspur — but there are some of us out there who don’t wake up early every Saturday morning and ignore our families to watch Spurs play West Ham.
Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
Anyway, Son is exciting, and if his South Korea team can maintain possession in these games and get him in attacking spaces, he can make stuff happen against just about any defender in the world.
Kylian Mbappé — France
Another one the soccer-heads know, another one that good lord if you haven’t seen Kylian Mbappé play drop everything you’re doing and watch this kid play soccer. He’s just 19 years old, and in a team that features Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba, it’s entirely possible that France builds their attack around him. He’s 19!
Goncalo Guedes — Portugal
Just 21, Guedes is already being set up to play the complementary role to Cristiano Ronaldo in this World Cup. That’s not an easy thing to do, and it’s easy to get overshadowed by one of the greatest to ever play the game. But Guedes is bright, skilled, and eager, and if he and Ronaldo can work out some chemistry, the PSG-owned winger could see himself vaulted into the worldwide spotlight.
Christian Cueva — Peru
Peru is good. PERU IS GOOD. Look at this shit:
Peru's goal against Croatia in March. Watch out for them in the World Cup
( : @NikolaJanjic291 ) pic.twitter.com/fqp6TxzpiG
— Troll Football Media (@Troll__Footbal) June 2, 2018
That’s 26-year-old Christian Cueva with that incisive pass to spring the striker in that run of play. The No. 10 currently plays for Sao Paolo in Brazil , and plays well for them, but if Peru makes any sort of run in this tournament, and Cueva plays like I think he’ll play, the big European clubs are going to come calling.
Timo Werner — Germany
Germany has like 75 world-class players, so it’s hard to get excited about one over the other, but you should really get excited about Timo Werner. The 22-year-old RB Leipzig attacking midfielder is already being linked to some of the top clubs in the world, and with good reason. It should say something that for all the talent Germany has at its disposal, it looks like Werner will be one of the focal points of its attack.
Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images Hakim Ziyech — Morocco
Ziyech is just 25, but when you play for Ajax, that makes you one of the elder statesmen of the team. The Moroccan attacking midfielder likes to dribble people and score free kick goals . If either of those are your things, you will probably like him, and perhaps ... love him.
Gabriel Jesus — Brazil
He’s young, he’s Brazilian, he plays for Manchester City, and he’s going to score a lot of goals this tournament. If you follow soccer, you probably know him already. If you don’t know him for some reason, get ready to.
Sergej Milinković-Savić — Serbia
Milinković-Savić, a 23-year-old Serbian midfielder, is being linked to Manchester United and other top clubs after impressing for Lazio over the last two seasons. A pure box-to-box midfielder, Milinković-Savić’s Wikipedia page compares his play to that of Zidane’s, which makes me think maybe Milinković-Savić has been editing his Wikipedia page. Kidding. Sort of. He’s extremely good, though, and if Serbia puts it together for a run, he will be important in them doing so.
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Daily Mail
158 d ago
How England's stars might pass the long hours in their World Cup camp in Repino
For England, it's been a World Cup conundrum every bit as vexing as tactics and team selection. How best to wile away the long hours struck in the team hotel in between their matches?
SB Nation
158 d ago
The XI best players who didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup
The best players who won’t be appearing in 2018 World Cup in Russia ... because their countries didn’t qualify.
One day, FIFA’s grand plan will be realised, and all 211 national associations will qualify for the World Cup . But until then, we have to deal with the hard reality that not all of the world’s best players will be going to the World Cup.
Fortunately, where reality lets us down, our imaginations can step in. Here, then, is the SB Nation Soccer invitational XI picked from those countries that failed to make the big tournament. We’ve restricted our picks to one player from each country, because otherwise we’d end up with eight or nine Wales players, and nobody wants that. Please note that while these choices maybe appear to be subjective and up for discussion, they are in fact objectively correct.
Jan Oblak, Slovakia
The world of goalkeeping is currently divided into David de Gea, all on his lonesome at the top, and then a ferocious scrum behind him for second place. Of those, Oblak has as good a claim as any: he’s big, he’s exceptionally agile, and like every other part of Diego Simeone’s Atletico side, he seems to have steel in his blood. Pity he chucked one in against England , really.
Anyway, with Manuel Neuer only just back from injury, there’s finally some competition for the title of Best Goalkeeper Who Looks Like a Simple Farmhand (Who Can Lift a Hay Bale With His Bare Hands, and Will Die a Futile Death in a Far Away War). Now is Oblak’s time.
David Alaba, Austria
He may play in midfield for Austria, but we need a left back and so we’ve gone for Bayern Munich’s. Seems a reasonable call. In truth, Alaba is irritatingly perfect at almost everything, and you suspect he’d be a perfectly decent striker if the mood took him. For he is one of those players blessed with a rare and strange power: the ball just does what it’s told.
Fun fact: Austria were the best team in qualifying for Euro 2016. Second fun fact: since their failure to qualify for Russia was confirmed, with a 1-1 draw against Georgia , they’ve won seven games in a row, including wins over Uruguay and Germany . Timing is everything.
Virgil van Dijk, Netherlands
He’s massive, he’s strong in the air, he’s hard in the tackle, he can pass long and short, he cost Liverpool millions upon millions of pounds, he played in the Champions League final … and he’s not going to Russia because Dutch football is a big orange mess.
Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images Eric Bailly, Cote d’Ivoire
We’ll level with you: we mostly picked Bailly here because we want to revisit Jose Mourinho’s deeply weird excuse for leaving Bailly out of Manchester United’s side towards the end of the season. Apparently players that aren’t going to the World Cup don’t get selected, even when they’re really good. We look forward to Mourinho’s eventual move into international management, and the moment when Portugal fail to qualify and so he just refuses to pick anybody ever again.
Antonio Valencia, Ecuador
As with Alaba, Valencia has played a number of positions for Ecuador, but we’ve had to bounce him back to full-back for the sake of this team. And unlike all the players we’ve had so far, Valencia’s age — he’s 32, and he’s definitely tiring — means that this World Cup would likely have been his last. Yes, we’re on to the Those We Have Lost section of the exercise, and this exemplary international servant, almost ever present in a consistently okayish side, is our first.
[sad violin music begins]
Perhaps Valencia’s biggest contribution to the World Cup came in 2006, when he finished top of an online poll to determine the Young Player of the Tournament. The favourite, Cristiano Ronaldo, could only finish second, after what appeared to be an organised effort by England fans angry that Ronaldo had cynically assaulted Wayne Rooney’s foot with his testicles. In the end, Lukas Podolski won. Hooray?
Daniele De Rossi, Italy
[sad violin music continues]
Limited to just one Italian, we’ve gone with De Rossi, because he exists at the precise intersection of technical excellence, cynicism, and barely-fettered fury that defines the Italian national team. At least, defines what the Italian international team should be; this current lot were a bit weird and rubbish, which is why they didn’t make it.
Arturo Vidal, Chile
[sad violin music swells to a crescendo]
Sniff. If Italy are missed for reasons of familiarity and tradition, then Chile and Vidal will be missed for reasons of good, solid, honest fun. Chile’s emergence as a genuine force has been one of the most delightful stories in the last couple of cycles of international football, and Vidal’s been the energetic, dynamic heart of it all.
Naby Keita, Guinea
Look, if we can’t all use the World Cup as a cheat sheet ahead of a promising young player’s big-money move, then what even is the point of the competition? What are we supposed to go on, Youtube compilations and half-watched Bundesliga highlights? The Europa League? It’s just not fair.
Gareth Bale, Wales
New rule: if a nation’s best player scores an overhead kick in the Champions League final, then that nation is immediately placed into the World Cup, on the understanding that they spend the entire tournament attempting to recreate that goal. Three glorious games of Aaron Ramsey attempting to tee up Chris Gunter, so that he can tee up BALE! Oh, he’s missed and landed on his topknot.
Call us, Gianni. Our rates are reasonable.
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images Edin Dzeko, Bosnia & Herzegovina
What do you want your no. 9 to do? Score goals. Hold the ball up. Annoy defenders into mistakes. Have a first touch that looks weird, given their angular frame. Score some more goals. Have a really good angry-celebration-face. Score different kinds of goals. In decent numbers.
Congratulations! You want Edin Dzeko. Here he is.
Christian Pulisic, USA
Look, the kid’s 19. It would be unfair to expect him to win a whole World Cup at such a tender age. And it would be even more unfair, on everybody else, to have him win the competition at such a tender age. Better to keep him back for four years. Let him get a bit older. It’ll make it less embarrassing for everybody else, when it finally happens, as it certainly will.
The Guardian
158 d ago
What to watch during the World Cup if you can't stand football
Couldn’t care less about the action in Russia? Here is a top TV alternative to tune in to on each day of the group stage
For those who are football-averse, the terrestrial TV schedules for the rest of June look misshapen and diseased, distended into unnatural shapes by aggressive clusters of World Cup fixtures. Thanks to Russia’s relatively sympathetic time difference, these seemingly endless group games squat over daytime and early evening while highlights dominate the post-News at Ten slot. But don’t despair. There is a life raft of excellent counter-programming out there to enjoy if you are prepared to seek it out. Here is one option for each day of the group stage. You’ll just have to imagine the accompanying wallchart …
Continue reading...
The Guardian
158 d ago
Julen Lopetegui to join Real Madrid as head coach after World Cup
• Spain coach signs three-year contract at the Bernabéu
• European champions pay €2m compensation for Lopetegui
Real Madrid have chosen Julen Lopetegui to be their next manager, with the current head coach of the Spanish national side set to move to the Bernabéu after the World Cup.
Lopetegui, who has signed a three-year-deal at Real, has a long association with the club, though he made a single professional appearance as a player. The 51-year-old will now face the challenge of refreshing a side that have won the Champions League three times in a row and boasts some of the biggest talents – as well as egos – in world football.
Continue reading...
CNN
158 d ago
'Trump factor' helping Morocco's 2026 World Cup bid
Morocco has had an unexpected helping hand from US President Donald Trump over the last few months in its bid to win the right to stage the 2026 World Cup, according to a member of the North African country's bid.
USA Today
158 d ago
Brazil right at home at World Cup base in sunny Sochi
Brazil feeling right at home at its World Cup base in sunny Sochi
         
 
 
The Guardian
158 d ago
Robbie Williams 'selling soul to dictator Putin' in World Cup gig
Singer handing Russian leader PR coup by performing at opening ceremony, say critics
Robbie Williams has been accused of selling his soul to the “dictator” Vladimir Putin after it emerged he will be performing in Russia for the football World Cup.
The singer will headline Thursday’s opening ceremony, which will be attended by the Russian president prior to the tournament’s first game, between Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Continue reading...
Daily Mail
158 d ago
Alan Shearer shows off BBC's World Cup base
Alan Shearer has shown off the BBC's punditry base which is situated next to the iconic Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow as he prepares to play a key role in their World Cup coverage.
Business Insider
158 d ago
The World Cup could send Twitter's stock soaring, JPMorgan says (TWTR)
Reuters / Brendan McDermid
JPMorgan upgraded Twitter on Tuesday, giving it a $50 price target. The bank estimates ad revenues will grow by more than 20% in upcoming quarters, with a boost from the World Cup.  Follow Twitter's stock price in real-time here. 
The World Cup could help propel Twitter 's surging stock price another 16% higher, JPMorgan said Tuesday.
The bank upgraded shares of the social-media company, giving them a $50 price target as it continues to show signs of a financial turnaround. The bank's previous target was $39.  See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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The Guardian
158 d ago
Marcus Rashford an injury concern as England arrive in Russia for World Cup
• Forward sustained ‘slight knock’ in England training session
• Ashley Young has no racism concerns as squad land in Russia
Marcus Rashford will be examined by England’s medical staff on Wednesday to assess whether there are any doubts about his involvement in the team’s opening game of the World Cup finals, against Tunisia.
Rashford hurt a knee during a training game at St George’s Park on Tuesday and the Manchester United striker was still complaining about soreness when the squad arrived in Repino, outside St Petersburg, for their first look at the training base for the tournament.
Continue reading...
Reuters
158 d ago
Russian World Cup bear finally ready to roar
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Nobody would have hand picked the tournament's two worst teams to launch the 2018 World Cup, but when Russia and Saudi Arabia meet on Thursday form will be irrelevant as the world's biggest sporting festival explodes into life in Moscow.
Daily Mail
158 d ago
The World Cup Golden Boot race: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar
The 2014 World Cup Golden Boot was won by Colombia's James Rodriguez, who set the tournament alight with six goals and goal of the tournament before earning a transfer to Real Madrid.
BBC
158 d ago
World Cup 2018: Assistant refs to keep flag down for tight offside calls
World Cup assistant referees are told to keep their flag down for tight offside calls so the VAR system can make the correct decision.
Reuters
158 d ago
VAR at World Cup will not be perfect, warns FIFA refereeing chief
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Video Assistant Referees (VARs) will be making their debut at the World Cup in Russia this month but the technology will not be perfect, FIFA's director of refereeing, Massimo Busacca, warned on Tuesday.
Daily Mail
158 d ago
World Cup 2018: Red cards will be 'more likely' as referees turn to video assistant, study says
The 2018 World Cup in Russia will be the first time VAR (video assistant referee) will be implemented in a major tournament. But scientists believe this system could result in harsher referees.
Daily Mail
158 d ago
Jose Mourinho tips Brazil to knock England out of World Cup in quarter-finals
Jose Mourinho has predicted England will be knocked out of the World Cup by Brazil in the quarter-finals. He sees Gareth Southgate's side overcoming Poland in the last 16.
Fox News
158 d ago
World Cup 2018 opening ceremony performers, start time and how to watch
Everything to know about the 2018 World Cup opening ceremony.
SB Nation
158 d ago
Enjoy the World Cup this summer, because international soccer is about to change forever
It’s the end of the World Cup as we know it.
The World Cup is, from a purely structural standpoint, a beautiful sporting event.
Every four years, 32 teams meet in a perfect format — a small round robin, followed by a knockout tournament. It’s elegant, clean, and with just 32 out of 211 FIFA members qualifying, the competition is fierce enough to make the event truly special.
Say goodbye to it.
(And the rest of the way men’s international soccer is organized, while you’re at it.)
The 2018 World Cup might mark the end of men’s international soccer as we know it. There’s a serious possibility Russia is hosting the final 32-team edition of the tournament, while the rest of the soccer world will be drastically altered as well.
FIFA has already announced the World Cup will expand to 48 teams by 2026, but the people behind the 2022 tournament in Qatar — which, while we’re talking changes, is being held in the winter — are pushing to get the field expanded even sooner for their World Cup . At the same time, FIFA is considering a proposal to expand the Club World Cup and create a new, between-World-Cups tournament.
This is in addition to the UEFA Nations League, which is another new tournament that takes place between World Cups involving European countries.
The inaugural UEFA Nations League kicks off in September , by the way, as UEFA aims to cut down time filled with meaningless friendlies and qualifiers with no stakes. That will lead into UEFA 2020, which will not have one or two host countries, but 12 of them .
On the other side of the Atlantic, the North and South American confederations — CONCACAF and CONMEBOL — are looking to build off the success of 2016’s Copa America Centenario, a tournament which featured teams from both continents and drew big ratings. Not only do they want to hold the tournament again , both federations are actually considering merging together .
That’s an expanded World Cup field, a new European tournament, a possible new world tournament, and a possible merging of two confederations into one, hemispheric-spanning confederation.
Imagine Rip Van Winkle as a soccer fan, laying down for a nap in 2002. He’ll wake up 20 years later to a soccer landscape that is completely unrecognizable to him. What might happen in the next four years could represent the largest change over one World Cup cycle in the game’s history.
If you’re wondering why this is happening, the very easy answer is money, though who ultimately pockets that money is very much to be determined. It’s also remains to be seen what current fans of the sport will think of the changes.
What we do know is that these changes are coming in the name of expanding the game to a more global audience.
FIFA’s mission to make soccer more accessible in all corners of the world makes sense, and expansion of international tournaments isn’t inherently corrupt. But the speed with which changes are being thrust on the sport raises legitimate questions about how the game — from the competition on the pitch to the fan experience — will be affected. The thing with those questions, though, is that with the amount of money that’s set to be generated, it’s unclear if world soccer’s top executives even care to answer them.
FIFA wants you to believe it’s doing socialism, not corruption
Sepp Blatter is very easy to hate — he was the president of FIFA when Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup despite their deeply troubled bid , and he’s a sexist asshole . But despite public perception, neither criminal investigators nor FIFA’s ethics committee were ever able to prove that Blatter took bribes from anyone. He’s banned from FIFA for dereliction of duty because he paid another dude, former UEFA president Michel Platini, not because he took money from someone. He didn’t even have the most interesting stories during the scandal.
That distinction belongs to Chuck Blazer and Jack Warner, the two men who used to run CONCACAF, the governing body that oversees soccer in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Blazer had a Trump Tower apartment just for his cats , as well as a confederation-issued Hummer to drive around Manhattan (which is probably a more egregious waste of money than the cat apartment). The FBI caught on to his shenanigans and convinced him to rat out his partner in crime, Warner. If you’re unfamiliar, Warner has the air of a cartoon villain and once allegedly solicited and received a bribe in the form of a shitload of cash in a suitcase , allegedly pocketed money intended for Haitian earthquake victims , and got into a public spat with John Oliver .
Blazer and Warner screwed up the game for everyone else with the brazen nature of their alleged corruption. Before those two, no one could prove that any of FIFA’s dealings were shady, and there was a legitimate explanation for all kinds of payments that the public might view as bribery. No one was ringing up the United States Department of Justice to investigate, say, a fee for consulting services here, or an allocation of funds for new fields there — but alleged off-the-record briefcases full of cash draw different attention.
You might think Blatter was a crook, but he did a pretty good Robin Hood bit . He made sure that a lot of countries got funding they needed for various projects, and as a result, they voted for him. New president Gianni Infantino is continuing Blatter’s legacy by spreading FIFA’s wealth around to a large number of countries. A cynical person might view that as buying votes to retain power, but Infantino will tell you that he’s trying his best to grow the game. It’s an entirely defensible point.
The World Cup is the largest sporting event on the planet, but it has yet to include some of the world’s most populous countries. There are eight Asian countries that make up half the world’s population that are currently nowhere near making it to a World Cup . This is a huge problem for a sport that brands itself as the global game.
FIFA wants a 48-team World Cup to give not just China and India, but other countries — like Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Philippines — hope that they could qualify for a World Cup. That increased hope could lead to those countries investing more in soccer. FIFA says it wants to generate $25 billion from new tournaments to help fund projects in countries where soccer is still struggling to take a strong foothold. China is already on its way to eventually establishing itself as a top-four team in Asia, but the others appear decades away.
This strategy from FIFA stands in stark contrast to world cricket’s governing body, which is regularly accused of corruption for the exact opposite reason. That sport’s Big Three — England , India, and Australiahave taken control of the ICC , and actively work to consolidate their control of the game, rather than grow it. Despite massive global interest, the Cricket World Cup has shrunk . That’s what a completely self-serving brand of executive corruption looks like. FIFA, at least, is genuinely spreading resources to a lot of countries and creating new opportunities for a lot of players. Some guys just skim $40 million off the top for themselves in the process .
International soccer is changing dramatically in the name of spreading the game to a truly global audience, and some greedy people are probably going to make money for themselves at the same time. That’s why dramatic changes are incoming, but what no one can possibly know is what the results will be.
What might this new world look like?
It’s easy to envision world soccer’s dedicated fanbase — the people who watch more than just the major tournaments — developing international soccer fatigue. The most intriguing part of the World Cup is that we get an opportunity to see matchups for the first — and likely only — time. If you miss it, you might miss some great moments in soccer history, never to be duplicated again. The UEFA Nations League is already going to dilute the specialness of the World Cup by pitting Europe’s best teams against each other more often than ever before. If a FIFA copy of the concept comes into existence, it’ll make the big inter-confederation matchups less special as well.
A stadium under construction in Qatar
Perhaps FIFA will find a way to make this nations league and confederation championships double as World Cup qualifying, but it seems more likely that we’re going to have a system with a lot of bad, pointless qualifying matches. Everyone will have more margin for error, so we’re unlikely to see a USMNT in Trinidad situation ever again. You might think that’s a good thing if you’re a USMNT fan, but a lower level of competition and larger margin for error means the team isn’t going to be forced to get better.
A 48-team World Cup is also going to have more matches than any previous edition, and test the endurance of the viewer. Inevitably, fans who used to watch every single game of the tournament are going to skip some. FIFA might have to put two games on at the same time more often. And unlike now, when every game has the chance to be very competitive, a 48-team tournament will mean that the likes of Germany and Brazil will end up in matches against low-quality opposition that they can sleepwalk through.
More international matches could also lead to some of the world’s best players opting out of national team duty between big tournaments, or just retiring from international duty altogether. Coaches might be nice enough to rest players on teams who are involved in a lot of club competitions, but with campaigns already being so demanding — players for the biggest teams are already playing more than 60 matches in a season — it’s even more likely that there’s an uptick in players like Joel Matip, who retired from the Cameroon national team at age 25 .
These are the bad scenarios. They’re far from guaranteed. Maybe the expanded tournament will be more exciting, and there will be wild upsets and crazy Cinderella runs. Big teams won’t miss the tournament anymore, so fanbases of bigger countries — including the U.S. — will never have to sit out a cycle. Maybe more soccer is always better.
Maybe.
The thing is: We don’t know. We don’t know what will happen to the Euros, Copa America, and the Nations League. We can’t foresee whether a 48-team World Cup and the build-up to it will suck, just like we can’t tell whether Blatter and Infantino are making a good faith effort to grow the game or simply trying to make themselves and their associates richer.
But there is a very real possibility that men’s international football, the most popular iteration of the most popular sport in the history of the world, is about to get irreparably screwed up.
With that in mind, this World Cup might be more than just another World Cup. It could be the last of a generation of superb tournaments, and our last opportunity to enjoy international soccer as it is now before it’s altered beyond all recognition. Do not take this World Cup for granted. Savor every match.
USA Today
158 d ago
Why you shouldn't root for these countries in the 2018 World Cup
With United States missing World Cup for first time since 1986, many Americans will adopt another team. But here are reasons against them all.
         
 
 
Daily Mail
158 d ago
Poland 4-0 Lithuania: Robert Lewandowski scores brace in final World Cup warm-up game
Poland took the lead after 19 minutes when Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski, preparing for his first appearance at a World Cup, finished a team move with a precise strike.
Reuters
158 d ago
Tri-nation North American bid set for 2026 World Cup
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The World Cup will be heading to North America for the fourth time if the hosting rights to the 2026 are, as expected, handed to the joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada at Wednesday's FIFA congress in Moscow.
Reuters
158 d ago
Brazil power grid braces for demand swings during World Cup games
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The Brazilian government has prepared the country's power grid to deal with the wild swings in demand for electricity as most people in the soccer-mad country tune out everything except their televisions to watch the national team play in the Fifa 2018 World Cup.
CNN
158 d ago
World Cup child trafficking plot stopped in Nigeria
Ten Nigerian children who were being smuggled out of the country to Russia have been rescued, the country's anti-trafficking agency said Tuesday.
BBC
158 d ago
World Cup: Nike boots barred for Iran footballers amid US sanctions
Nike's withdrawal of its boots to Iranian footballers has polarised opinion on social media.
The Guardian
158 d ago
Leave it to VAR: World Cup linesmen told not to flag for tight offsides
• Pierluigi Collina tells officials to let video rule out goals
• VAR rulings will be replayed on big screens inside stadiums
Fans inside the World Cup stadiums will be shown replays of incidents requiring video assistant refereeing decisions to reduce the confusion that has reigned during trials of the technology in England and other domestic leagues.
Supporters at the tournament in Russia will be shown clips of the passage of play that was under revision but only once the referee has made his decision and play has restarted.
Continue reading...
Reuters
158 d ago
Markets turn down the volumes when the World Cup starts
LONDON (Reuters) - The World Cup kicks off in Russia on Thursday and investors should be warned that financial markets tend to act like any emotional soccer fan during the matches - they go quiet and nervy and don't like losing.
USA Today
158 d ago
2018 World Cup: Iceland, Belgium among sleeper teams to watch
Iceland is one of the teams to follow at this year's World Cup in Russia, but the underdogs arguably face the longest odds among these five sleeper teams.
         
 
 
The Guardian
158 d ago
Morocco receive late boost in their bid to host 2026 World Cup
• Joint USA, Mexico, Canada bid promises higher profit
• Belief Donald Trump could alienate some nations
The race to host the 2026 World Cup finals was too close to call, according to Fifa insiders, as Morocco received a late boost to their hopes with the expectation that four US territories will abstain from voting on Wednesday.
The so-called united bid of the USA, Mexico and Canada is the technically safer option and definitely more attractive financially to the voting federations but that may not be enough to carry them over the line. Their position was weakened by the expectation that four US territories at the centre of a voting row will not take part.
Continue reading...
SB Nation
158 d ago
The definitive Super Smash Bros Best XI in honor of the 2018 World Cup
Don’t at me.
I was told to make a Best XI out of Super Smash Bros in honor of the World Cup . [Editor’s note: Glad you’re psyched to be doing this, Kofie. Love to see that “Mom told me I have to empty the dishwasher” enthusiasm in the opening sentence.]
Keep in mind we all have opinions and all of our opinions are trash in some way, shape or form.
Except for mine. LET’S DO THIS.
For a formation, we’re going with an attacking 3-4-3. We’re taking the game to them. I don’t know much about soccer, please bear with me. [Editor’s note: Great.]
Goalkeeper: Kirby.
Nothing escapes him. NOTHING. Try almost any shot you want and it’s not getting past him. He can also float to get to shots out of his reach. He can also kick the shit out of you and absorb the other team.
Left back: Kirby
Oh, I can’t use Kirby for every position? Fine.
Left Back: Bowser
He has a shell with SPIKES on it and can BREATHE FIRE.
Center Back: Wii Fit Trainer.
Do I have to explain myself?
The combination of fitness and power should strike fear into anyone dumb enough to attach.
Right Back: Pokemon Trainer
I’d be able to switch between these Pokemon and not have to use substitutions. This was an easy choice!
Left Midfielder: Yoshi
He has both fast feet and a quick tail. One of the more versatile characters on the roster. It’s an easy choice.
Center Midfielder: Fox
Fox’s dashing speed and mobility make him super versatile. I want Fox around the ball at all times no matter what.
Center Midfielder: Captain Falcon
He’s the obvious Captain. What you thought I was going to make someone with CAPTAIN in their name NOT the captain? Come on now.
Right Midfielder: Lucario
Lucario is here for the swag points and kicking power. What’s not to love?
Left Wing: Sonic
Why would not want Sonic’s speed and ability to curl up into a ball and wreck you on your side?
Striker: Mewtwo
Its height, psychic ability and tail make it the PERFECT Target for crosses, set pieces and corners.
Right Wing: Lucas
Quick feet. Did a bicycle kick in the Smash Bros Ultimate reveal. I’m in.
Fox News
157 d ago
World Cup 2018 teams to watch, from Germany to Iceland
Thirty-two teams are competing in Russia for the 2018 World Cup, including defending champion Germany.
Daily Mail
158 d ago
Jesse Lingard gives fans glimpse of England players' hotel rooms at World Cup
Gareth Southgate's squad checked in to their team hotel in nearby Repino on Tuesday. Manchester United's Lingard wasted no time in showing fans the homely rooms the squad are staying in.
Fox News
156 d ago
World Cup contender Iceland emerges as 2018's Cinderella story: What to know about the team
Iceland defeated Kosovo in October 2017 in the European Championship to solidify its spot in the 2018 World Cup, becoming the smallest team to do so.
Ad Week
158 d ago
Facebook Has Some 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Features of Its Own
2018 FIFA World Cup Russia fun is not exclusive to Facebook Messenger, as the social network revealed some special features of its own for the tournament, which kicks off Thursday. Starting Wednesday, soccer fans on Facebook may start seeing animated messages atop their News Feeds encouraging them to show their pride in their favorite World...
Fox News
157 d ago
World Cup mascots through the years, from Zabivaka to World Cup Willie
The World Cup has had a number of different mascots.
Daily Mail
158 d ago
Meet Sportsmail's team of experts for the World Cup
Sportsmail will also be bringing you unrivalled analysis from eight experts who know what playing, managing and refereeing at a major international tournament is all about.
Daily Mail
158 d ago
Former Manchester United winger Andrei Kanchelskis fears the worst for Russia at the World Cup
IAN HERBERT IN MOSCOW: ‘The football was better organised in those old days,’ the Ukraine-born former Manchester United winger Andrei Kanchelskis says.
Business Insider
157 d ago
World Cup 2018: The 11 cities across Russia that will host the biggest tournament in soccer
Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
This week 32 teams will meet in Russia to compete for the 2018 World Cup .
For some teams, the trip will be over after just three matches, but for the two country's that make it to the final, seven matches will take them all across Russia for the next month. See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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The Guardian
158 d ago
England World Cup squad told they will be soft targets for Russian hackers
• Gareth Southgate’s team were briefed by security experts
• Online activity and unsafe safes among the dangers in hotel
England arrived at their World Cup training base in Russia with explicit instructions aimed at preventing them from being victims of online hacking.
Gareth Southgate and his players, along with the entire Football Association entourage, have been briefed by a team of experts from Government Communications Headquarters and warned they will be seen as soft targets unless they take stringent measures to improve their online security.
Continue reading...
New York Times
158 d ago
North Korea, Time Warner, World Cup: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing
Here’s what you need to know at the end of the day.
Reuters
158 d ago
No 'Party Like A Russian' for Robbie Williams at World Cup opening
MOSCOW (Reuters) - British pop star Robbie Williams, who will be performing at the World Cup opening ceremony in Moscow on Thursday, said he will not be performing his hit song "Party Like A Russian."
Fox News
158 d ago
World Cup attendees urged to get measles vaccine: Signs and symptoms of the viral illness
What is the norovirus?
Daily Mail
158 d ago
Alvaro Morata shows he can still find the net after World Cup snub with basketball court shot
Alvaro Morata is already practicing finding the net ahead of next season as he pulled off an incredible shot on the basketball court while on holiday, utilising his time after Spain World Cup snub.
Reuters
158 d ago
Exclusive: U.S. counterspy warns World Cup travelers' devices could be hacked
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. counterintelligence official is advising Americans traveling to Russia for football's World Cup beginning this week that they should not take electronic devices because they are likely to be hacked by criminals or the Russian government.
Daily Mail
158 d ago
Messi gets serious in World Cup photoshoot... as Aguero and Dybala practice goal celebrations
Lionel Messi and Co posed for a number of snaps as they get ready for the tournament, practising their celebrations and pulling some moves in front of the cameras for their portraits.
Daily Mail
158 d ago
Scottish striking coach is England's secret agent at the World Cup
While Scotland once again remain at home during a World Cup, Allan Russell will be mixing it with the great and the good in Russia this summer.
Daily Mail
158 d ago
The best and worst tattoos on display at this summer's World Cup
A number of international stars head to the World Cup in Russia with unique ink on their one or both of their hands and Sportsmail has picked out some of the best examples for your enjoyment. So, enjoy!
The Guardian
158 d ago
World Cup 2018: Guardian writers give their predictions for the tournament
Who will triumph in Russia? Which player will be top scorer? Who will be the breakthrough star? How far will England go?
My time of selecting Spain to win every tournament is now officially over – probably four years too late – and I’m reverting back to Germany, in a penalty shootout against France. Daniel Taylor
Continue reading...
Daily Mail
158 d ago
USA, Mexico and Canada joint-bid set to beat Morocco to host World Cup 2026
The World Cup will be heading to North America for the fourth time if the hosting rights to the 2026 are, as expected, handed to the joint bid from the USA, Mexico and Canada.
Daily Mail
158 d ago
Blatter reveals that he will attend World Cup in Russia as guest of Vladimir Putin
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said he will attend the World Cup as a guest of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Business Insider
158 d ago
The country hosting the World Cup usually sees big stocks gains for that year
Andrew Halseid-Budd/Getty Images
The host country of the World Cup sees hugely outperforming stock gains for the year it hosts the Cup. Russia, which is hosting this year, is only outperforming marginally.  Russia has likley already seen most of its gains from the Cup. 
On June 14, the FIFA World Cup will kick off.
The World Cup is the world’s biggest single sporting event… by far. See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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Daily Mail
158 d ago
FIFA refereeing chief Massimo Busacca warns that VAR will not be perfect at the World Cup
Video Assistant Referees (VARs) will be making their debut at the World Cup in Russia this month but the technology will not be perfect, FIFA's director of refereeing, Massimo Busacca said
Polygon
158 d ago
Epic announces the 2019 Fortnite World Cup event
Epic is giving everyone a chance at competitive Fortnite glory
Continue reading…
The Verge
158 d ago
The first Fortnite World Cup with $100 million in prize money is happening in 2019
Epic Games announced more details about its e-sports plans for Fortnite, revealing today during its live celebrity-streamer ProAm tournament in Los Angeles during E3 that the competitions will all be part of what’s called the Fortnite World Cup. The prize pool, first announced earlier this year , will be $100 million. It will be spread out over a number of different “organized events, online events, and major organized competitions all over the world,” reads the developer’s blog post .
Crucially, Epic is taking a far different approach than other e-sports leagues, like Blizzard’s Overwatch League . (Though Blizzard does operate an annual Overwatch World Cup as well.) “This is for you, the players. Qualifications for the Fortnite World Cup...
Continue reading…
The Wall Street Journal
157 d ago
A World Cup With It All, Just Not U.S.
Just because Team USA won’t be there when play begins in Russia on June 14 doesn’t mean it can’t be a sublime World Cup.
Gawker Media
158 d ago
Newsweek Is Not Sorry For Their Horrible SEO Headlines Also When Does the World Cup Start
Newsweek’s shitty, SEO-optimized articles following the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade last week exposed how the site has essentially thrown morality out the window, in order to drive clicks and cash in on celebrity deaths.
Read more...
New York Times
157 d ago
Europe Edition: North Korea, French Strikes, World Cup: Your Wednesday Briefing
Here’s what you need to know to start your day.
The Guardian
158 d ago
'Much nicer than expected': World Cup fans size up modern Moscow
Russian capital has changed perhaps more than any other European city in recent years
On Tuesday as Moscow was bathed in warm sunshine, the streets around Red Square gave a hint as to what is in store over the next few weeks as the World Cup comes to town.
A dozen flag-waving Moroccans walked through the cavernous interiors of the GUM department store, singing in perfect harmony; a Russian family posed for photographs with a quartet of Mexicans in oversized sombreros behind the domes of St Basil’s Cathedral; and three Peruvians clad in their team’s colours joined thousands of locals strolling around the newly landscaped Zaryadye Park in central Moscow.
Continue reading...
Reuters
158 d ago
Iran's Queiroz slams Nike over World Cup boots
(Reuters) - Iran coach Carlos Queiroz has called on Nike to apologize to his team after the U.S. sportswear firm said it could not supply the players with football boots for the World Cup due to sanctions.
USA Today
157 d ago
2018 FIFA World Cup predictions: Can Germany become first repeat winner since 1962?
Can Germany become the first back-to-back World Cup winner in more than a half century? Find out as USA TODAY Sports staff and guest experts reveal how they see this summer's tournament playing out.
         
 
 
BBC
158 d ago
World Cup wallchart: Download yours for Russia 2018
Download your wallchart for Russia 2018 and keep up to date with all the fixtures and results at the summer's World Cup.
BBC
158 d ago
World Cup 2018: BBC pundits predict what will happen in Russia
Who will win, who can spring a surprise, and how will England do? BBC pundits predict what will happen at the World Cup.
USA Today
158 d ago
Live stream: FIFA Congress meets to pick 2026 World Cup host
The FIFA Congress will decide if Morocco or North America will host the 2026 World Cup.
         
 
 
BBC
158 d ago
World Cup 2018: Can you name the 32 teams at this summer's tournament?
Can you name the 32 teams taking part in this summer's World Cup in Russia in three minutes?
USA Today
158 d ago
North American trio beats Morocco to host 2026 World Cup
North America will host the 2026 World Cup after FIFA voters opted for the financial and logistical certainty of a United States-led bid over risky Moroccan proposals for the first 48-team tournament
         
 
 
USA Today
158 d ago
The Latest: Mexico midfielder Reyes ruled out of World Cup
Mexico's football federation says that midfielder Diego Reyes has been ruled out of the World Cup with a right thigh injury he picked up playing for Porto
         
 
 
Daily Mail
158 d ago
Kevin De Bruyne tips Raheem Sterling to 'light up' World Cup
Kevin De Bruyne has backed Raheem Sterling to 'light up' the World Cup. The Manchester City midfielder tipped his club team-mate to excel in Russia.
The Guardian
158 d ago
How Russia became lowest ranked team at the 2018 World Cup – video
The eyes of the world will fall on Russia this summer but hopes for the hosts' national team are not high, with the side currently ranked 70th in the world, three places above Saudi Arabia. Russia has only managed to make it out of the group stages at one international tournament since the break up of the Soviet Union. We take a look at the history of Russian and Soviet football to see how we got to where they are today
Continue reading...
The Guardian
158 d ago
Naked, cheering and drinking: Juergen Teller's riotous World Cup photography
He’s been in bed with Pele. He’s been naked with a football at his dad’s grave. Now the fashion photographer is capturing all the joy, absurdity and horror of his life as a soccer fanatic
Juergen Teller dangles a cigarette from his lips as he reviews his bacchanalian celebration of Bayern Munich’s sixth straight Bundesliga title. Here he is in short shorts fleeing a shower of wheat beer, here drowning in Paulaner brew frothing like sea foam, here draped in a white towel looking like Moses or a Madonna.
The fashion photographer’s newest exhibition, Trembling on the Sofa, is his paean to football, or rather, to watching football: a personal exhibition of dreams fulfilled and dashed, of father-son bonding and family tragedy, and of the banality of sitting on one’s couch in west London and screaming at footballers – usually his German countrymen, toiling thousands of miles away.
Continue reading...
USA Today
158 d ago
Pence to address Southern Baptist Convention, 2026 World Cup bid: 5 more things to know Wednesday
Vice President Mike Pence addresses the Southern Baptist Convention, 2026 World Cup bid and more things to start your day.
         
 
 
Daily Mail
158 d ago
FIFA 2018 World Cup minnows guide: Everything you need to know about underdogs in Russia
Sportsmail have done the research and compiled everything you need to know about the competition's eight underdogs ahead of its commencement on June 14.
The Guardian
158 d ago
Gay rights abuses, war crimes and World Cup fever – it’s an ugly mix | Peter Tatchell
I’m in Russia – but I’m not here for the football. Fifa has allowed the sport to legitimise Putin’s abnormal regime – and I’m here to protest
I’m in Moscow trying to lie low and evade the Russian security service the FSB. I’m exhausted from the stress. It’s my sixth time in the country; each time I’ve visited in order to support LGBT+ campaigners who were attempting to hold a Pride parade and festival. On every occasion, these were suppressed by the authorities, sometimes violently. I’ve been arrested twice and once been beaten almost unconscious.
This time I’m here for the World Cup – but unlike thousands of fans I won’t be cheering on this festival of football. There can be no normal sporting relations with an abnormal regime like that of Vladimir Putin. LGBT+ people and many other Russians suffer state-sanctioned persecution and far right violence. These abuses need to be challenged – that is why I am in Moscow.
Continue reading...
The Guardian
157 d ago
Fernando Hierro to manage Spain at World Cup after Lopetegui sacked – live!
Full story: unbeaten Lopetegui axed after Real Madrid deal World Cup 2026 vote: North America to host tournament! Send your thoughts to rob.smyth@theguardian.com
4.24pm BST
Mwah-ha-ha department AS reports that Real Madrid’s press release yesterday has saved them €2m – that was the buy-out clause in Julen Lopetegui’s contract.
Julen Lopetegui abandona Rusia. Punto y final a la aventura en #Rusia2018 para el ya ex seleccionador de #ESP pic.twitter.com/dny1kql3tf
4.16pm BST
One day to go! This time tomorrow, the 2018 World Cup will be 15 minutes old, and the score will almost certainly be Russia 0-0 Saudi Arabia.
Continue reading...
The Guardian
158 d ago
North America to host 2026 World Cup after winning vote over Morocco – live!
Fifa nations pick USA-Mexico-Canada over Morocco Why Guardian US is supporting Mexico at World Cup 2018 Spain sack Julen Lopetegui on eve of World Cup 2018 – live! Tweet Bryan at @BryanAGraham or email him
1.04pm BST
Donald Trump, who actively lobbied for the bid in his own inimitable way, has weighed in on the result. The US president could be midway through his third term when the tournament kicks off during America’s Sestercentennial.
The U.S., together with Mexico and Canada, just got the World Cup. Congratulations - a great deal of hard work!
12.56pm BST
Oscar De La Hoya embodied the American dream when he went from a poor Mexican-American teenager to Olympic gold medalist ... and ultimately one of his generation’s richest and most decorated world champions as a professional. He’s written an essay for Guardian US, in English and in Spanish , on why Americans should back Mexico at the World Cup.
Related: Why Americans should support Mexico at the World Cup
Continue reading...
The Guardian
158 d ago
Colombia World Cup 2018 team guide: tactics, key players and expert predictions
The flair of James Rodríguez and the finishing of Radamel Falcao are key to Colombia’s hopes of equalling or bettering their last-eight finish in 2014
This article is part of the Guardian’s 2018 World Cup Experts’ Network , a cooperation between some of the best media organisations from the 32 countries who have qualified for Russia. theguardian.com is running previews from two countries each day in the run-up to the tournament kicking off on 14 June.
Related: Juan Cuadrado: Colombia's talisman driven by family sacrifices
Continue reading...
Reuters
158 d ago
Kremlin says all welcome when asked about U.S. World Cup invite
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be glad to host everyone in Moscow, when asked if he would invite high-ranking U.S. officials.
CNN
158 d ago
The secrets to Germany's World Cup success
Former captains Lothar Matthäus and Bastian Schweinsteiger tell CNN Sport what makes Germany's football team special.
BBC
158 d ago
World Cup 2018: Predict how the World Cup will unfold round by round
How accurately can you predict what will happen in Russia? Choose who you think will go through round by round and share it with your friends.
Reuters
158 d ago
Day before World Cup, Putin thanks FIFA for keeping politics out of sport
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked FIFA on Wednesday for keeping politics out of sport, the day before the start of the soccer World Cup.
The New Yorker
158 d ago
Awaiting the Transfixing, Transporting, and Transcendent Moments of the 2018 (and 2026) World Cup
Michael Luo writes about the nature of soccer fandom in advance of the 2018 World Cup, expanding on arguments from “What We Think About When We Think About Soccer,” by Simon Critchley.
The Guardian
158 d ago
Which stars were left out of Panini's World Cup sticker albums? | The Knowledge
Plus: players who were more prolific at international level and missing the World Cup due to bizarre injuries. Mail us here or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU
“Panini have to select the players for their World Cup sticker albums in advance of the squads being announced – so what has been the most glaring omission?” enquires Dan Leach.
Publishing schedules mean Panini and other sticker-album manufacturers cannot wait for the World Cup squads to be announced – and they certainly can’t wait for unlikely heroes to emerge once the tournament starts. That, and the fact the albums usually contain around 16 players rather than the full squad, inevitably means a few have slipped through the net.
Continue reading...
TechRadar
158 d ago
Fortnite now boasts 125 million users - teases $100 million Fortnite World Cup
It's not even a year old yet but Fortnite has amassed quite the following since launch. According to latest figures, it now has 125 million registered players and to celebrate this fact, it has released more details about its Fortnite World Cup, which comes with the massive total prize fund of $100 million .
Over the course of this year, Fortnite will be holding Fortnite World Cup Qualifiers and the idea is that this will culminate in the Fortnite World Cup in 2019. 
The good thing about this tournament, is how much Epic Games is making it inclusive - everyone will be given a chance and everything will be determined on merit. 
“This is for you, the players,” explains the blog post . “Qualifications for the Fortnite World Cup will be based on merit. Epic will not be selling teams or franchises, and won’t allow third-party leagues to do so either.”
Charity battle
At E3 2018 , there was a little preview of what’s to come with the tournament. It hosted a ProAm event in the Banc of California stadium, pairing 50 Twitch and YouTube personalities with 50 celebrities - all battling it out for a $3 million dollar charity prize pool.
This was all shown on a Twitch livestream (as well as to people in the full stadium). The stream was three hours long and, at points, there were over 700,00 people watching at once which is an impressive number. The tournament was eventually won by Fortnite superstar Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins.
Epic Games finally revealed this week that Fortnite is being made available for the Nintendo Switch . Unfortunately, though, crossplay has been blocked between the PS4 and Switch which has disappointed a number of users.  
Quite rightly, Xbox has been capitalizing on this situation on Twitter. 
Now, all we have to do is wait patiently for the game to be released on Android - once this happens, expect Fortnite’s numbers to balloon even more.
E3 is the world's largest exhibition for the games industry, stuffed full of the latest and greatest games, consoles, and gaming hardware. TechRadar is reporting live from Los Angeles all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated E3 2018 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about the next year in gaming.  
USA Today
158 d ago
Salah races to be fit for Egypt's World Cup opener v Uruguay
Mohamed Salah is expected to recover from a shoulder injury in time to play in the World Cup, but will he be fit enough to play Egypt's opening match against Uruguay?
         
 
 
The Guardian
158 d ago
UK Home Office bans 1,200 fans from going to Russia for World Cup
Those with history of football-related violence or disorder told to surrender passports
More than 1,200 Britons with a history of football-related violence or disorder have been blocked from going to the World Cup in Russia after having their passports seized.
The Football Banning Orders Authority (FBOA), part of the Home Office, has ordered 1,312 individuals subject to banning orders who hold a passport to surrender the document to police.
Continue reading...
Daily Mail
158 d ago
Ibrahimovic picks out Pogba andMbappe as the two star man to watch at the World Cup
Zlatan Ibrahimovic may not be going to the Russia World Cup, but the iconic forward is sure keen to have his say on how he thinks things will play out.
TechRadar
158 d ago
Ultimate World Cup home entertainment setup: the AV tech you need to buy
When England won the World Cup in ‘66, home entertainment consisted of little more than a game of shove ha'penny and a couple of rounds of buttered tea cakes. If you wanted big screens and kick ass sound, you’d have to drag the sofa a little closer to the small black and white telly (rented) and wind up the volume dial.
Today, we expect a rather more immersive experience when lounging in our boxers. If you want to make the most of the FIFA Russia World Cup, and live sporting events to follow, then a new UHD TV screen and cinematic sound system constitute the bare essentials.
To help you prepare, we've shortlisted all the kit you need…
Best for... watching football Hisense U7a (HE55U7A1WTSG)
You don't need to spend a big bucks to get a big screen. Basic 50-inch panels can be had for a few hundred. Up your budget though, and you can take home a 55-incher built from the boots-up for footie. This Hisense even powers up with the FIFA logo!
It may not cost a transfer fee, but build quality is high. Smart connectivity is good too. Hisense’s connected interface offers easy access to apps, inputs, media and settings. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Youtube all support 4K streaming.  This set is compatible with HDR10 and HLG, and will  stream the World Cup in glorious 4K HDR via the BBC iPlayer app (if you are in the UK). 
UHD images are razor sharp and motion handling is spot on. Hisense’s Ultra Smooth Motion processing, specifically the Clear and Standard modes, keep players crisp and panning smooth. The cherry on the cake is a dedicated sports mode. The U7A auto detects sports content from its tuner and optimises picture and audio to suit. 
Best for... watching fast-moving sports Sony AF8 4K OLED
OLED is fast becoming the MVP at the higher-end of the telly market, and Sony’s AF8 dominates the front line. The KD-65AF8 combines superb imagery with class-leading motion handling.
Sony’s proprietary Motionflow processing does a remarkable job, smoothing pans and maintaining clarity. Our advice is toggle between Standard and Clear, and choose the one that works best for you, if you want to follow all the action.
The panel has premier league good looks. Clean and minimalist, a central foot provides support. There are no visible speakers, because the TV uses Acoustic Surface technology. The panel itself vibrates, courtesy of two attached actuators on the rear, which creates forward facing stereo sound. It sounds mad, but works brilliantly. Twin rear-mounted woofers lend extra depth.
While there’s no Freeview Play, a bespoke YouView app provides most of the same functionality. The core platform is the Android TV OS,  with integrated Chromecast and Google Assistant.  The AF8 can handle the BBC’s 4K HDR iPlayer streams, but also offers Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, DisneyLife and  Rakuten TV.
Key to picture performance is its X1 Extreme image processor. This supports HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG. SDR handling is particularly good (significant given that ITV will not be showing its matches in 4K). There’s a faux HDR lift to SDR material that seems entirely naturalistic.
Best for... an all-in-one TV sound upgrade Q Acoustics M2 soundbase
Nothing builds excitement quite like good sound. While some tellies make a decent noise, a dedicated sound system will always pay back in dividends. If you want to crank it up, but keep things simple, then Q Acoustics Bluetooth-enabled M2 soundbase is the box to bring home. 
This all-in-one delivers with aplomb. Pop it under your TV (it’ll  take the weight of screens up to 25kg) or in a cabinet, and connect via either HDMI ARC to your display, or a digital optical audio lead. There’s no need for a seperate subwoofer, as the screen has a down-firing 100mm x 150mm dual voice-coil subwoofer on-board. Front-facing 58 x 58mm BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) drivers ensure a wide stereo spread.
Given that the M2 is plug ‘n’ play, there’s no auto calibration system to worry about. Two switches on the rear help optimise performance, but that’s about it. 
The M2 may be unapologetically stereophonic, but it delivers a stadium-sized soundstage that’s perfect for sports. A power plant of 80W (with 2 x 20W going to the stereo pair, and 40W going to the sub), keeps things lively.  
Best for... adding Dolby Atmos to your setup Sony STR-DN1080 AV receiver and Focal Sib Evo Dolby Atmos speakers
If you demand something more elaborate that a stereophonic soundbase, then an AV receiver with multichannel speakers is the obvious upgrade. For value as well as performance, our suggestion is the Sony STR-DN1080 Dolby Atmos AV receiver coupled to Focal Sib Evo Atmos speakers.
The Sony AVR features six 4K HDMI inputs, with two HDMI outputs, enabling it to support a TV as well as the projector. Other connectivity is covered by Bluetooth, Airplay and Chromecast Built-in (for audio only). You can even pair the AVR with Bluetooth headphones, if you’d rather listen to matches without disturbing family or flat mates. 
The STR-DN1080 has seven channels of grunty amplification, giving Dolby Atmos in a 5.1.2 configuration. Power output is (optimistically) rated at 165W per channel, but there’s no shortage of real world welly.  The STR-DN1080 also boasts phantom rears to give the impression of full wraparound crowd ambiance. While no World Cup matches are being broadcast in the UK in Dolby Atmos audio, this receiver is able to upmix a 5.1 stream, for a surprisingly effective listening experience. 
Partnering the STR-DN1080, is Focal’s Sib Evo Dolby Atmos loudspeaker package. It may be compact in design, but will have no problem recreating the roar of the crowd.
The Focal system comprises two Sib Evo (with integrated) Dolby Atmos upfirers for left/right and height, plus a Cub Evo subwoofer, and three Sib Evo satellites, which handle the rear surround and centre channels.  
Best for... projecting sports on a big screen Optoma UHD51 4K projector
If you want to supersize your soccer (and who doesn’t?), consider upgrading your TV to a projector. Optoma’s UHD51 is the cheapest 4K projector we’ve seen, and it’s bright enough to deliver pin sharp images in rooms with moderate ambient light.
Weighing just 5.22kg, it’s small enough to park on a coffee table, so you can fire it at walls and screens with ease.
Rear connections include two HDMI inputs, both of which are 4K ready. It also has an internal 5w sound system, so you don’t have to use outboard speakers. That said, you can always use it with a separate sound system (like our Sony STR-DN1080/Focal Sib Evo combo) if you want to audio to match the scale of its images.
Picture quality is excellent, offering beautiful detail with no visible pixel structure, even when watching at more than 100-inches across. The UHD51 features a  0.47-inch DMD device, which cleverly employs hyper-fast switching to create a 4K (8 million pixel) image from just over 2 million mirrors .
Crucially, the projector features top notch image interpolation, in the form of PureMotion. Our advice is keep the PureMotion mode High for all sports, to retain detail during fast action (probably not required for England matches).  
TechRadar's World Cup coverage is brought to you in association with Honor.
Reuters
158 d ago
Russia bans fan leader deported from Euros from World Cup
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian fan group leader Alexander Shprygin said on Wednesday he had been denied a document required to attend World Cup matches.
Daily Mail
158 d ago
World Cup fans travelling to Russia are likely to have their phones HACKED by Russian spies
Fans travelling to the 2018 World Cup, which kicks off in Moscow on Thursday, should bring 'burner phones' that can be destroyed before heading home, intelligence officials said.
Daily Mail
158 d ago
Tickets still available for World Cup, including England opener
Tickets are still available for at least 20 matches at the World Cup in Russia — including England's Group G opener against Tunisia. FIFA insist it is because of 120,000 tickets being made available.
Business Insider
158 d ago
Spain has stunned the soccer world by firing its manager Julen Lopetegui the day before the World Cup — here's why
Getty Images
Spain has sacked Julen Lopetegui. The decision to fire Lopetegui comes one day before the 2018 FIFA World Cup begins, and two days before Spain takes on Portugal in a huge Group B match. The Spanish FA felt Lopetegui acted unprofessionally for agreeing a deal to join Real Madrid after the World Cup ends in July — so it fired him. Read all of Business Insider's World Cup coverage here .
 
Spain has stunned the soccer world by sacking its manager Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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DON'T MISS:  The one player you need to know from every country competing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup
BBC
157 d ago
World Cup 2018: Spain sack manager Julen Lopetegui two days before first match
Spain sack head coach Julen Lopetegui after he was named the new Real Madrid boss - sporting director Fernando Hierro will take charge for the World Cup.
Reuters
158 d ago
Lopetegui fired by Spain two days before World Cup debut
KRASNODAR, Russia (Reuters) - Spain coach Julen Lopetegui was sensationally sacked on Wednesday, two days before their opening World Cup match against Portugal, after the country's federation said he failed to tell them he had agreed to join Real Madrid after the tournament.
USA Today
158 d ago
Spain fires coach Julen Lopetegui a day before World Cup begins
A day after being announced as Real Madrid's next coach, Julen Lopetegui was dismissed by Spain – just two days before the team's World Cup opener.
         
 
 
SB Nation
158 d ago
Spain sack head coach Julen Lopetegui one day before 2018 World Cup begins
Lopetegui pays the price for accepting the Real Madrid job.
Julen Lopetegui has been sacked from his position as head coach of Spain . The decision was taken following Real Madrid’s announcement yesterday that Lopetegui would take over at the Bernabeu after the tournament. It appears that this didn’t go down well with Lopetegui’s bosses at the Spanish Football Federation:
Rubiales on why he sacked Lopetegui "The Spanish national team is the team of all the Spaniards. We only found out just five minutes before that he was leaving for Madrid."
— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 13, 2018
Lopetegui’s time in charge had been largely successful: they were unbeaten in qualification and among the favourites going into the tournament. Indeed, he had recently signed a new deal with Spain stretching up to Euro 2022. Instead, he’ll be heading to the Bernabeu a month early. It looks as though his replacement will be one of Albert Celades or Fernando Hierro, both of whom are already involved in the national set-up.
Reports suggest that a late appeal from the players, asking the federation to swallow their pride and focus on the World Cup , was unsuccessful. Quite how the squad will be feeling, having both lost their manager and been publicly ignored by the administrators, remains to be seen. Spain’s first game is on Friday, June 15, against Portugal . Should be a fun one.
BBC
157 d ago
World Cup 2026: Canada, US & Mexico joint bid wins right to host tournament
A joint bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico wins the right to host the 2026 Fifa World Cup.
SB Nation
158 d ago
2026 World Cup awarded to United States, Canada and Mexico
The united North American bid overcame some backlash to beat Morocco and the “neither” option.
The 2026 World Cup is coming to the United States, Canada and Mexico. On Wednesday, FIFA’s voting members chose the North American united bid over Morocco, with only those two countries opting to bid for the world’s biggest sporting event.
A total of 203 of 211 FIFA members were available to vote. Spain was not present after leaving to fire its manager , while seven others recused themselves due to potential conflicts of interest.
Under the old system of rotating the World Cups between continents, North America would have been due. The United States hosted the 1994 World Cup, and every other continent has held the tournament since then. Africa last held the World Cup in 2010, when South Africa hosted the tournament on the continent for the first time in its history.
Ahead of the voting, FIFA conducted a risk assessment of both bids, with Morocco barely passing. Its bid was given a score of 2.7 out of 5, with three technical components rated high risk. The North American united bid was given a score of 4 out of 5, with no components rated high risk. Government support was the only criteria by which Morocco was rated higher than the North American bid.
FIFA's official risk assessments for 2026 World Cup host candidates. Morocco much riskier than USA/Canada/Mex, they say. So based on 2018 & 2022 decisions, when the most unsuitable bids won, it's Morocco 2026! pic.twitter.com/w20wUhCf3F
— Nick Harris (@sportingintel) June 1, 2018
Ahead of each bidder’s presentation, FIFA outlined the voting process. Members could have voted to award the World Cup to neither bid, which would have caused the process to start over again, with neither original candidates allowed to resubmit bids.
Here's the 2026 #WorldCup voting procedure explained by FIFA, including how Morocco & North America can be rejected today and the process reopened.
Follow @AP live coverage from Moscow here https://t.co/ORpzfgQVei pic.twitter.com/WVYEDV4ADB
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) June 13, 2018
Both bids put their projected profit up on the big screen during their presentations, and the difference was stark. The North American united bid is expected to generate more than double the profit of a potential Moroccan World Cup.
US Soccer president Carlos Cordiero gets straight to the main selling point "$11 billion dollars"
— Simon Evans (@sgevans) June 13, 2018
Morocco's video presentation was very American in style and voice. But they *only* offered $5 billion profits.
— Simon Evans (@sgevans) June 13, 2018
Despite speculation that the “neither” option could collect a number of bids, almost everyone committed to a vote in the end. The North American bid collected 134 votes to win on the first ballot, 65 members voted for Morocco, and only one country voted for neither.
The host cities have not been finalized, but the list has been narrowed down to 23 candidates . From there, 16 cities will be selected to host matches. If the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is not expanded at the last minute, the 2026 tournament will be by far the largest in history, with 80 matches to be played. The proposed opening day of the tournament will see games played in Mexico City, Toronto and Los Angeles, while the final would be played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
BBC
158 d ago
World Cup 2018: England want redemption after Iceland defeat - Harry Kane
England captain Harry Kane says the World Cup is the pinnacle of any footballer's career and that the side are looking for redemption after losing to Iceland at Euro 2016.
Fox News
158 d ago
US-led joint bid wins right to host 2026 World Cup
A united bid of the U.S., Canada and Mexico was awarded the right Wednesday to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The Guardian
158 d ago
England's 2018 World Cup team photo – the fashion verdict
From Harry Kane’s hair to John Stones’ coy pose, we rate the Three Lions’ lineup for their Marks & Spencer photoshoot
It is always curious to see a footballer in a suit, rather than his or her kit. Like seeing your teacher in jeans at the weekend or a dog when it gets wet, they always appear smaller than they are and just a bit ... off. Continue reading...
CNBC
158 d ago
US, Mexico, and Canada beat Morocco to host the 2026 World Cup
FIFA voted to play the 2026 World Cup in North America over a Moroccan bid.
Reuters
157 d ago
U.S., Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada after FIFA's Congress voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to back the tri-nation joint bid to host the tournament, with Morocco missing out for the fifth time.
CNN
157 d ago
US-Mexico-Canada bid chosen as 2026 World Cup host
A joint North American bid has been chosen as hosts of the 2026 World Cup, following a FIFA association member vote in Moscow Wednesday.
USA Today
158 d ago
United States, Canada and Mexico win vote to host 2026 FIFA World Cup
The U.S., along with Canada and Mexico, will host the 2026 World Cup, defeating Morocco for the rights to stage the world's most popular sporting event.
         
 
 
USA Today
158 d ago
United States, Canada and Mexico awarded the 2026 FIFA World Cup
USA TODAY Sports' Martin Rogers discusses the victory for the United States who will host the 2026 FIFA World Cup along with Canada and Mexico.
         
 
 
The Wall Street Journal
157 d ago
North America Wins Bid to Host 2026 World Cup
The united bid of the U.S., Canada and Mexico secured the right to host the 2026 World Cup, the most popular sporting event on the planet.
Daily Mail
157 d ago
United States, Canada and Mexico awarded 2026 World Cup
The football showpiece will return to the U.S. for the first time since 1994 after gaining 134 votes, while Morocco got 65 at the FIFA Congress in Moscow on Wednesday.
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Cesc Fabregas makes Spain call-up joke as Julen Lopetegui is sacked on eve of World Cup
The world of football took no time at all to react to the shock news that Spain had sacked boss Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the Russia World Cup. Cesc Fabregas couldn't resist making a joke.
Daily Mail
158 d ago
Thomas Muller wants World Cup glory and to celebrate it with a boozy night at Alexandra Palace
Muller needs seven goals in Russia to become the highest goalscorer ever in the World Cup but is more interested in helping his country defend the title they won four years ago in Brazil.
BBC
158 d ago
World Cup: Reporter defies French-only rule at Griezmann
Spanish journalist Pedro Morata used a phone translator to question France's Antoine Griezmann.
Daily Mail
157 d ago
World Cup 2018 betting tips for matches, winner and top goalscorers
Can Germany do it again? Will the Brazilians be brilliant? Or can Messi get his hands on the trophy he wants more than any other? There's a lot to get stuck into. Here's our best bets for 2018 World Cup.
Daily Mail
158 d ago
From fan at Euro 2016 to England World Cup star... Harry Maguire ready to 'give everything'
Harry Maguire fully understands the privilege of representing England at a major tournament. The centre-back watched his national side at Euro 2016 as a fan from the stands.
Daily Mail
158 d ago
Belgium team jet off for World Cup in Russia on personalised 'Red Devils' plane
Roberto Martinez's star-studded side lived up to their alias by boarding a personalised 'Red Devils' plane for their flight to Russia. Their mascot also came out on to the runway to send the team off.
ABC
158 d ago
US, Mexico, Canada to host 2026 World Cup
The North American trio beat out Morocco.
The Guardian
157 d ago
'We're just trying to survive it': Russian cities brace for World Cup
The Russian prazdnik – celebration – must not be ruined at any price as hosts prepare to give enemies five-star treatment
On a riverboat between the World Cup cities of Kazan and Samara last month, a Russian couple in their 50s asked earnestly whether “all these rumours” about Moscow’s poisoning of Sergei Skripal could lead the west to boycott or cancel the tournament.
“Russians don’t surrender to pressure like that, we push back hard,” said Yevgeny Prigov, a hefty businessman who trades in machine parts, echoing a popular Russian cliche.
Continue reading...
The Guardian
158 d ago
World Cup Fiver | You have to hand it to Real Madrid
Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now !
The bid staged by Canada, Mexico and USA! USA!! USA!!! has won the right to try and make the World Cup great again after Qatar 2022, beating off Morocco in the big Fifa 2026 vote shindig. Lots more here .
Continue reading...
The Guardian
158 d ago
Why Americans should support Mexico at the World Cup | Oscar De La Hoya
Can I see hardcore American Outlaws wearing Mexico shirts this summer? Maybe not just yet but El Tri have plenty to offer fans in the US
As an athlete of Mexican descent who won gold for the United States at the Olympics, I know there is a little friction, to say the least, between the US and Mexico.
Continue reading...
Ad Week
157 d ago
How to Livestream the World Cup, and Why Most Viewers Will
Good news for those broadcasting and streaming the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off tomorrow in Russia. Of the 67 percent of consumers surveyed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau who said they have livestreamed video, 65 percent said they will stream matches on their smartphone. 71 percent said they plan to watch live matches...
CNET News
157 d ago
Fortnite hits 125M users ahead of first World Cup in 2019 - CNET
Qualifiers for the competition begin later this year.
USA Today
158 d ago
Give Trump credit for USA getting the World Cup
The United States, along with Canada and Mexico, won Wednesday's vote to host the 2026 World Cup, and it was President Trump who helped, not hinder, the bid.
         
 
 
SB Nation
158 d ago
Wait, so which of the 2026 World Cup’s 3 hosts gets the automatic bid?
It’s still to be determined how the auto-bid will work.
Congratulations to the United States , Canada and Mexico , who will act as joint hosts of the 2026 World Cup . While Mexico always qualifies for the tournament anyway, this could be huge for the other two hosts. The USMNT missed out on the 2018 World Cup, while Canada has only been to one men’s World Cup, in 1986. Those automatic bids for the hosts will come in handy...
...if they’re given out.
As of the granting of the bid, we still don’t know whether or not the host countries will have to qualify, or if a singular auto-bid will be given out. The United States is hosting 60 of the 80 matches and is most likely to end up not needing to qualify for the tournament, but that’s still yet to be determined. FIFA could make one, two, all three, or none of the teams qualify for the tournament.
That’s likely to be decided at the next FIFA Congress, which will be held on June 5, 2019 in Paris. Until then, all of the hosts will be sweating.
In the event that the hosts are made to go through qualifying, the good news is that they’ll have an easier time making the 2026 World Cup than they did the 2018 edition. The World Cup field is set to expand from 32 teams to 48 , meaning CONCACAF could have six or more bids available . During the last four World Cup cycles, three teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean have qualified automatically, while one team has gone to an inter-confederation playoff.
CNBC
158 d ago
Soccer fans could pay around $1,000 to complete the official World Cup 2018 sticker collection
It is estimated that you would have to purchase 967 sticker packets to complete the World Cup collection.
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Hierro to manage Spain at the World Cup after Lopetegui is sacked
The 50-year-old will now take his place at the top table for another media briefing at 4.30pm. He will take his first training session on Thursday ahead of Friday's opening clash against Portugal.
Business Insider
158 d ago
US, Canada, and Mexico win joint bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup
Getty Images
The World Cup is returning to North American soil. A joint bid from the US, Mexico, and Canada, dubbed United 2026, defeated Morocco's proposal in a landslide vote in Russia on Wednesday. The 2026 World Cup final is scheduled to take place in the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup is heading to North America after a joint bid from the United States, Canada, and Mexico defeated Morocco in a landslide vote on Wednesday.
The North America proposal, dubbed United 2026, was an overwhelmingly popular choice among FIFA nation members, receiving 134 votes to Morocco's 65. See the rest of the story at Business Insider
NOW WATCH: NFL cheerleaders reveal the best and worst parts of their job
See Also:
Here's when the 2018 FIFA World Cup starts where you live — and how you can watch it live online Russian workers are undergoing training to learn how to smile ahead of the World Cup 8 members of the Mexican national football team reportedly 'partied with 30 escorts' ahead of the World Cup
SEE ALSO:  Here's when the 2018 FIFA World Cup starts where you live — and how you can watch it live online
DON'T MISS:  Anti-Trump sentiment around the world could reportedly cost the US a chance to host the 2026 World Cup
UP NEXT:  FIFA says it will expand the World Cup to 48 teams in 2026
CNBC
158 d ago
Why soccer fans are spending hundreds on Panini World Cup stickers
All eyes will be on Russia this summer for the soccer World Cup, but if you can't make it to Moscow, there's another way you can get involved in the action — by collecting stickers for the official tournament album.
The Guardian
158 d ago
Ronaldo, Messi, Salah: best World Cup 2018 portraits – in pictures
As teams arrive in Russia for the World Cup, the players have been gamefully posing for official Fifa portraits. Here are some of the highlights
World Cup predictions time! Guardian writers give theirs Continue reading...
Reuters
158 d ago
Lopetegui fired by Spain two days before World Cup debut, Hierro takes charge
KRASNODAR, Russia (Reuters) - Spain coach Julen Lopetegui was sensationally sacked on Wednesday, two days before their opening World Cup match, for failing to tell his federation about his move to Real Madrid after the tournament and replaced by Fernando Hierro.
Reuters
158 d ago
Fernando Hierro named Spain's new national team coach for World Cup
MADRID (Reuters) - Sporting Director of Spain's Football Federation (RFEF) Fernando Hierro has been named the national team's new coach for the duration of the World Cup in Russia, the Federation said in a tweet on Wednesday.
CNN
156 d ago
Who you should root for in the World Cup when your country isn't even in it
For the next month, the world will be glued to the biggest sporting event on the globe: the World Cup. Thirty two countries qualified, but alas, yours isn't among them. (We're looking at you, US and Italy.)
SB Nation
158 d ago
Surreal photos of Russian stadium that added seats OUTSIDE THE ARENA to be World Cup compliant
Make sure your Russia World Cup tickets are actually inside the stadium.
A soccer stadium in Russia needed to devise a quick solution for a big problem: One of the stadiums being used in the 2018 World Cup was too small to meet FIFA standards, so a stand was added — outside the stadium.
Если ты чувствуешь себя одиноко, просто вспомни про трибуну стадиона в Екатеринбурге, которая будет стоять отдельно от всего стадиона pic.twitter.com/GjG7NWL8NF
— Лентач (@oldLentach) September 28, 2017
This is the Ekaterinburg Arena, home of FC Ural in the Russian Premier League. It’s been pegged to be a host stadium for the 2018 World Cup, but it had only 27,000 seats. This is a problem, as FIFA’s “Stadium Requirements Handbook” told Russia how many seats needed to be available, and the Ekaterinburg Arena was short.
Rather that constructing a new stadium, a new stand was added outside the arena on massive scaffolding, ballooning the capacity from 27,000 to 45,000. The stand is only temporary and will be removed after the World Cup — but it’s unlike anything we’ve seen before.
Watching a game from the stand is almost like seeing it on a giant TV screen because of how the stadium walls frame things:
Nice view from the new stadium in Ekaterinburg that will host the WC next summer. ‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/kdBZ0mHD45
— Stefano Conforti (@confortistefano) September 27, 2017
The whole structure just looks terrifying.
AFP/Getty Images AFP/Getty Images AFP/Getty Images AFP/Getty Images AFP/Getty Images
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Jose Mourinho predicts Portugal vs Argentina final at the Russia World Cup
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has given his prediction for the World Cup final, and backs his country to go all the way to the last two. Portugal will battle with Argentina for the trophy, says Mourinho.
The Guardian
158 d ago
US, Canada and Mexico beat Morocco in vote to host 2026 World Cup
• Joint bid chosen by Fifa congress in Russia on eve of 2018 event
• United 2026 received 134 votes compared to Morocco’s 65
The 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico after they beat Morocco by a margin of 69 votes to host the tournament which will be expanded to 48 teams for the first time.
The Moroccan bid used its final address to Fifa congress to point out the country has a ban on weapons and would not hike up ticket prices to increase profit, a thinly veiled swipe at its rivals. But it was not enough to sway the room as it lost the vote, with the United 2026 bid receiving 134 votes to its 65.
Continue reading...
SB Nation
157 d ago
Senegal are back where they belong at the World Cup, and they look dangerous
Led by Sadio Mane and Kalidou Koulibaly, the team looks to build off history and take down giants.
The dream ended with a swing of Ilhan Mansiz’s right boot four minutes into extra time. The Besiktas striker met Umit Davala’s cross from the right with a precise half volley to send Turkey through to the semifinal of the 2002 World Cup . The end was abrupt — this was the era of the Golden Goal, sudden death, when a single kick could end a nation’s hopes.
The team that lost was Senegal.
In the build-up to that quarterfinal clash, Senegal told anyone who cared to listen they would win the World Cup. It seemed overly ambitious — and that’s without considering they would’ve faced Brazil if they got past Turkey — but when you defeat the world champions, as Senegal did against France in their first ever World Cup game, “impossible” doesn’t exactly exist in your lexicon.
Mansiz’s right foot ended those lofty goals, but the fact that a country of Senegal’s size (just 10 million people) that was making its World Cup debut even harbored such dreams was frankly remarkable.
That was 2002, and it only seemed like Senegal were heading for bigger and better things. A quarterfinal appearance in a country’s first World Cup sent a signal to the rest of the world — Senegal were ready to become a global soccer power.
Then, they weren’t.
Senegal failed to qualify in 2006, 2010, and 2014. Stars came and went. Coaches came and went. Players began international careers and ended them.
Now, 16 years later, they’re finally back.
The similarities between the 2002 side and the current team heading to these World Cup finals in Russia are numerous. And the obvious place to start is with head coach Aliou Cisse, the captain of Senegal’s golden generation back in 2002. Cisse was a standout for the team that, heading into the tournament, had very few internationally recognizable names, save for the exception of then 21-year-old El-Hadji Diouf.
Diouf was playing his football in France with Lens at the time, and as the reigning African Footballer of the Year, he had the world at his feet. A move to Liverpool followed. This talented Senegal side also has its own Liverpool star in Sadio Mané, the team’s most dangerous attacker and on-field leader. In Mané, Senegal has a genuine world-class talent in its ranks, a turbo-charged winger with lightness in his boots and an unerring ability to finish off chances.
Coming off the back of a successful season that included 10 Champions League goals, Mané is the man with the weight of expectations on his shoulders. And unlike Diouf, who had a combustible character, Mané is shy and disciplined, a quiet leader who shows the way through his actions rather than chest-thumping bravado.
For all of Mané’s brilliance, though, Senegal is not a one-man team. This is a squad chock-full of talent from back to front, their nation’s best team in 16 years.
Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly is a giant of man, a one-man defensive unit whose robustness at the heart of defense contributed immensely to his side’s title charge in Serie A. Playing alongside him is Anderlecht’s Kara Mbodji, and together they form a formidable pairing. The midfield trio of Idrissa Gueye, Cheikhou Kouyate, and Badou N’Diaye is as steely as a midfield trio gets at a World Cup.
Cisse favors a 4-3-3 that allows his side take advantage of their pace upfront as they break in numbers. A front three of Keita Balde, M’Baye Niang, and Mané is full of pace and goals. Diafra Sakho and Moussa Sow are more physical options from the bench, a couple of machetes among an array of Swiss Army knives.
There is an air of cautious optimism that Senegal could emulate its sole appearance at the World Cup. With remarkable talent comes expectations, and despite goodwill from fans, there are legitimate questions to be asked of Cisse and whether he’s getting the best out of his team. Heading to the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon in 2017, Senegal was massive favorites to win.
And how could they not be? They had the best squad on paper, and with the absence of superpowers like Nigeria and big names such as Egypt just finding its feet, this proved a great opportunity for Senegal to break its run of bad luck. Yet despite playing some impressive football in the group stage, Senegal fell to a lacklustre Cameroon side on penalties in the quarterfinal.
For a global perspective, there are striking similarities between Senegal and Belgium : A talented bunch of players perceived to have what it takes to go all the way but with what seems to be a coaching handicap.
Yet it would be churlish to heap all the blame on Cisse, as there are structural issues to contend with on the field. For all their brilliance on the counterattack, Senegal has a problem funneling the ball to its forwards when the pace slows down. The midfield trio are all natural ball winners and in the absence of a natural playmaker, Senegal’s play can become turgid and hard to watch.
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images Aliou Cisse, Manager of Senegal
Despite the questions about Cisse’s aptitude hope abounds that Senegal could make a mark at the World Cup yet again. Drawn in a group of no obvious favorites with Colombia , Japan and Poland , Senegal is quietly confident of making it out of the group at least. Much will depend on Mané, the obvious heir to Diouf, better and without the theatrics. If the Liverpool winger shows anything close to his best form, Senegal stands an excellent chance to advance.
Senegal will not only be competing against the rest of the world, but the weight of expectations both from its fans and those still pining for the success of the 2002 team.
Cisse knows comparisons with his team of yesteryear are inevitable. The players themselves are all aware of the historical significance of following in the footsteps of a team they watched as starry-eyed boys still hoping to make their way in the game. The scale of their achievement bears repeating for just how improbable it was.
Senegal, under the stewardship of Metsu, roared its way to the quarterfinal in Korea /Japan, becoming only the second African side at the time to make it that far. They captured the world’s attention with their style of football and rhythm — an unheralded bunch of players who left their mark on the global stage when nothing was expected of them.
The foundation of success for that team were laid months ahead of the tournament, in the rough and tumble competition of the Africa Cup of Nations held in Mali in January and February 2002. The Teranga Lions shocked an entire continent by making it to the final, where they lost to a Cameroon side at the peak of its powers.
It was a notice to African teams and anyone paying attention: Senegal was ready for the World Cup. Captained by Cisse, whose penalty miss in that final proved decisive, this was the golden age of Senegalese football, with a squad also containing generational talents like goalkeeper Sylva, Khalilou Fadiga, Daf and, of course, Diouf.
And now, after years of failure, it appears we have a new golden age.
The intervening period between Korea/Japan and Russia has been unkind to a Senegal side that is delighted to be back to the World Cup. After the historic high of that glorious summer in Korea/Japan, manager Bruno Metsu’s departure saw a wave of underwhelming appointments off the pitch and disappointing results on it. The team failed to make any impact on the African scene, and couldn’t qualify for the World Cup either.
There was a dearth of talent as middling mediocrity became the order of the day. Senegal remains Africa’s perennial underachievers, the best side on the continent never to have won the continental title. In 2015, Alain Giresse led Senegal to the Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea ... and couldn’t make it past the group stage.
The FA took decisive action: Giresse was out and despite high-profile managers throwing their hat in the ring, former captain Cisse was appointed. He was 38 and with little in the way of managerial experience under his belt. But he was there in Seoul marshaling the midfield and snapping at French heels as Senegal made a grand entry to the World Cup finals all those years back. Yet the appointment was a gamble, even if there was some method to the madness.
Tired of high-profile names who routinely failed to deliver, the FA went for a blank canvas, a manager untainted by failures of years past and whose wealth of experience leading the national side on the pitch suggested he could do a similar job off it.
Cisse surrounded himself with a number of teammates from their golden era: Tony Sylva as goalkeeping coach, Omar Daf as assistant manager, and Lamine Diatta as team coordinator. After failing to qualify for three successive World Cups, Senegal did not lose a game en route to Russia, conceding five and scoring 15 in eight games. At 42, Cisse will be the youngest manager at the World Cup and only the second African manager at these finals. It’s fair to say the gamble has paid off.
Unlike the 2002 side that was unknown to many, the exponential surge of knowledge among football fans means this side’s potential success will not come as such a surprise as the team 16 years ago. As it was in Seoul, much will depend on Cisse’s ability to get things right. If he does, the dream could, implausibly, be on in Moscow.
The Daily Beast
157 d ago
Everything You Need to Know About the 2026 U.S., Canada & Mexico World Cup
Emmanuel Foudrot / Reuters
Get ready—the 2026 World Cup is coming to North America. A joint bid by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico was chosen Wednesday morning to take on the task of hosting the biggest tournament in world soccer.
The competition—returning to North America for the first time since the U.S. hosted it in 1994—will see 16 host cities across the three countries put on 80 matches between a record 48 national teams. Forty matches are due to take place in the U.S., with Mexico and Canada hosting ten each.
It will be the first to host 48 teams, up from the normal 32 who will compete in Russia in the 2018 competition beginning this week.
Read more at The Daily Beast.
Fox News
158 d ago
'Fortnite's' first World Cup boasts staggering $100M in prizes
"Fortnite" has become a cultural phenomenon, engaging celebrities such as Drake and Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price and making stars out of gamers such Tyler "Ninja" Blevins. Now, the game will host its first "World Cup" with a prize package totaling $100 million.
The Guardian
157 d ago
Iran coach Queiroz demands apology as Nike refuse to supply World Cup boots
• ‘This arrogant conduct against 23 boys is absolutely ridiculous’
• President Trump reimposed sanctions against Iran in May
The Iran head coach, Carlos Queiroz, has demanded an apology from Nike after the US sportswear firm said it could not supply the players with football boots for the World Cup because of sanctions.
“US sanctions mean that, as a US company, Nike cannot supply shoes to players in the Iranian National team at this time,” Nike had said in a statement.
Continue reading...
USA Today
157 d ago
How geopolitics influenced the 2026 World Cup vote
A look at who voted for who as the USA, Canada and Mexico won the 2026 World Cup vote - and why.
         
 
 
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Four more Sporting Lisbon players cancel contracts ahead of World Cup clash with Spain
Portugal face Spain in the first game of their respective World Cup campaigns with both sides in turmoil. Four of Fernando Santos' squad have cancelled their Sporting Lisbon contracts.
Daily Mail
157 d ago
World Cup badge special: From Three Lions to South Korea's tiger, the 32 nations' crests explained
With the World Cup edging closer to commencing, Sportsmail has taken a look at the 32 nations competing and had a trawl through the good - and the bad - crest designs on show in Russia.
Business Insider
154 d ago
Here are the cities that will be hosting the 2026 World Cup
Getty Images
FIFA on Wednesday awarded the 2026 World Cup to the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Of the 80 matches, 60 are scheduled to be played in the US, with Canada and Mexico each set to host 10. Canada and Mexico have already cemented their three host cities, while the US has revealed a list of 17 cities that will be cut down to 10.
North America on Wednesday won a joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup.
The soccer tournament will be hosted by the US, Canada, and Mexico, with the US scheduled to host 60 of the 80 matches. FIFA plans to expand the number of teams to 48 from 32 for that tournament.
Canada and Mexico have already named three host cities each. Matches in Mexico are set to be played in Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara, while games in Canada are scheduled for play in Toronto, Montreal, and Edmonton, according to Pro Soccer Talk .
The US has submitted 17 cities to host matches, but that list is to be narrowed down to 10 by 2021. Each US city would host at least five matches.
Some big-name cities also opted out of hosting, citing uncertainty over cost. They included Chicago, Minneapolis, and Tampa in the US and Vancouver in Canada.
Here are the cities that have been proposed to host matches:
New York (East Rutherford, NJ) — MetLife Stadium MetLife Stadium/Facebook
Capacity: 82,500
Year opened: 2010
Past World Cup experience: None

Los Angeles, CA (Pasadena) — Rose Bowl Jae C. Hong/AP
Capacity: 90,888
Year opened: 1922
Past World Cup experience: Hosted 1994 World Cup Final

Atlanta, GA — Mercedes-Benz Stadium AP Photo/David Goldman
Capacity: 71,000
Year opened: 2017
Past World Cup experience: none

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
See Also:
Here are all 3 times Luis Suarez has bitten opponents Here's when today's 2018 FIFA World Cup starts where you live — and how you can watch it live online World Cup 2018: The 11 cities across Russia that will host the biggest tournament in soccer
Fox News
157 d ago
2018 World Cup stadiums hosting matches in Russia: A guide
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be here before you know it.
Gawker Media
157 d ago
The Totally Exhaustive Guide for Streaming the 2018 FIFA World Cup as Cheaply as Possible
The most beautiful game is about to take place, and thanks to the magic of streaming television we can all watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup without owning some insane cable package (if you own an insane cable package you’re almost certainly set to watch it already).
Read more...
Daily Mail
157 d ago
BRYAN ROBSON: My five-point plan to make a mark at World Cup
Sportsmail's BRYAN ROBSON, who captained England at the World Cup in 1986 and 1990, highlights the tools England need to be successful in Russia.
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Who will win the World Cup... and how far will England go in Russia?
Brazil remain the bookies' favourites to lift their sixth World Cup this summer in Russia. However, current holders Germany and Didier Deschamps' France may have something to say about that.
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Russia vs Saudi Arabia: 2018 World Cup opening game time, odds and how to watch
The World Cup 2018 will kick off with Russia v Saudi Arabia on Thursday, June 14. Here is all you need to know about the opening match including kickoff time, team squads and how to watch it on TV.
ABC
157 d ago
US to co-host 2026 World Cup with Canada and Mexico
The United States will co-host the soccer World Cup in 2026, after winning a joint bid with Mexico and Canada to hold the sport’s biggest competition.
TechRadar
157 d ago
Hisense's AI TV will make you an armchair World Cup expert
The age of the smart TV is over, says Hisense - the future of television is artificial intelligence. These next-generation sets don't just display images and play sound, but know what's actually happening on-screen and bring you into the action, starting with the 2018 FIFA World Cup .
At CES Asia, China's biggest technology show, the company demonstrated its vision with an AI-powered TV that works as a virtual football pundit to help even non-fans wrap their heads around all the tournament's finer details.
It includes facial recognition that identifies all of the tournament's 736 players - in both agony and ecstasy - and present full biographies, statistics and headlines plucked from recent articles.
If you decide to change sides at half time, the app can even direct you to a store where you can buy a replica of a specific player's kit (though you'll need to scan a quick QR code with your smartphone to actually make the purchase).
Every image on the screen should enable interactions
Yu Zhitao
"We believe this is the debut year of AI TVs," said Yu Zhitao, head of smart TVs at Hisense, as he demonstrated the tech on stage in Shanghai. He says there are four key differences between the smart TVs we know now and the AI TVs that'll soon be making their way into our living rooms.
"There's the graphics-based interaction experience, which helps the TV know what it's showing," Yu said. "Voice recognition means the TV can understand and comprehend what the consumer says. Content provided through AI TVs is limitless, and finally they use algorithms and technologies to represent the original graphics and pictures in different scenarios."
In short, it's about transforming a passive experience to an active one. Soon we'll be asking questions and interacting with a TV that watches and understands what's on its screen.
Beyond the game
Recognizing footballers and ordering replica strips is an impressive feat, but a very specific one. After showing off the AI's World Cup expertise, Yu explained some more everyday uses for its image and voice recognition technology.
"We see a lot of good images and they remind us of some celebrity that we've forgotten; we see a beautiful garment but we don't know the brand; we see a beautiful place and we want to buy tickets to go there," he said. "The information is boundless, but in the past, because of the lack of technology, we didn't apply interaction to TV sets. We think that when we watch the best TV programs, we should make sure that every image on the screen enables interactions."
The thoughts of a human will be changing all the time, so new commands must be catered to
Yu Zhitao
When it comes to actually implementing voice recognition, Yu says the simplest methods are sometimes the best, which in this case, is a button on the remote control that brings up what he calls an "interaction scenario" that uses information cards to answer your spoken questions. He demonstrated the system with a simple request for nearby restaurants - nothing too unusual, but the speed was impressive and the system understood the same question asked in a variety of ways ("Where's a good place to eat?" "I want barbecue.")
"It should be accurate in recognizing the voice, no matter the accent, tone or speed," he said as the app delivered a list of Shanghai steakhouses. "It also has to be very fast; the response has to be instant. Finally, the service should be able to interpret. The thoughts of a human will be changing all the time, so new commands should be catered to."
Spot the ball
Hisense will broadcast every FIFA World Cup match in 4K via a dedicated app that launches on June 14. It also has a special World Cup TV channel plus two special edition World Cup TVs - the U9A and U7A - both of which include a sports mode that makes high-speed images brighter and sharper.
"In terms of the sports mode," said Yu, "we look at matches and predict motion on the pitch and make sure there are minimal artefacts. We can dynamically adjust color and saturation, and automatically adjust brightness so we can provide more natural light to the viewer."
Again, football is a convenient way to showcase the technology, but Yu explained it has many other uses: "We started by developing better graphics, but there has always been an issue that physical parameters (brightness, for example) are fixed for a certain TV set and don't change. For example, if we have artefacts when we're playing games or we need subtitles, that can't change automatically without AI.
"We amassed a great amount of knowledge about image enhancing and then used machine learning to make sure that news programs, sports, games and other scenarios can be adapted to give the best picture quality."
It'll be a beautiful game indeed - and you'll look great in that shirt.
TechRadar's World Cup coverage is brought to you in association with Honor.
Reuters
157 d ago
Robbie Williams selling his soul for World Cup gig - Kremlin critic
A long-time Kremlin critic lambasted Robbie Williams for deciding to sing at the World Cup opening ceremony in Moscow on Thursday, while a campaign group offered to brief the British pop star on Russia's human rights record.
Reuters
157 d ago
Song mocking Russian World Cup team goes viral, upsetting some
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian comic's song which mocks the country's World Cup team and questions the financial sense of hosting the event has gone viral on the eve of the tournament, angering some fans and politicians.
USA Today
157 d ago
Youthful England intent on enjoying the ride at World Cup
England's young squad is relatively free from expectation and is seemingly intent on enjoying the ride at the World Cup
         
 
 
Daily Mail
157 d ago
World Cup 2018 by numbers: All the facts and figures for the tournament
The World Cup in Russia is nearly here. That means 32 nations competing in 64 matches to determine which is the world's best. We take a look at some of the fascinating facts and figures.
Business Insider
156 d ago
Satellite images reveal what Russia's World Cup stadiums look like from space
Deimos Imaging, an UrtheCast Company
Games for the 2018 World Cup will be played at 12 stadiums across Russia, with locations spread more than 1,500 miles apart from east to west and more than 1,000 miles from north to south. Deimos Imaging has captured satellite images of these stadiums. Here's what the World Cup stadiums look like from space.

On June 14 at 6:00 p.m. Moscow time (11:00 a.m. ET), teams from Russia and Saudi Arabia will kick off the 2018 World Cup at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
That's just one of 12 stadiums that teams from 32 countries will be playing at during the World Cup. The stadiums are spread across Russia. As a bird flies, the stadiums in Kaliningrad and Yekaterinburg are more than 1,500 miles apart; stadiums in Sochi and St. Petersburg are more than 1,000 miles apart.
This will lead to varying temperatures and conditions, depending on where games are played.
Urthecast subsidiary Deimos Imaging, which operates commercial satellites and is one of the world's leading satellite image providers, has captured images of what each of the stadiums look like from space.
Here's where the games of the 2018 World Cup in Russia will be played.
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow Deimos Imaging, an UrtheCast Company
In addition to the first game of the World Cup, the final on July 15 will also be played at Luzhniki Stadium.

Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi Deimos Imaging, an UrtheCast Company
Kazan Arena, Kazan Deimos Imaging, an UrtheCast Company
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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Fox News
157 d ago
World Cup contender Spain fires coach two days before opening match
Spain fired manager Julen Lopetegui on Wednesday two days before the team’s opening World Cup match because he accepted a job to coach Real Madrid next season.
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Argentina stars train ahead of World Cup opener against Iceland
Jorge Sampaoli's men have been in Russia since last week and have been working hard on the training pitch as they prepare to kick-off their World Cup campaign.
The Guardian
157 d ago
Japan World Cup 2018 team guide: tactics, key players and expert predictions
The sacking of Vahid Halilhodzic two months before the World Cup has left many scratching their heads although Akira Nishino’s appointment suggests a more attacking philosophy
This article is part of the Guardian’s 2018 World Cup Experts’ Network , a cooperation between some of the best media organisations from the 32 countries who have qualified for Russia. theguardian.com is running previews from two countries each day in the run-up to the tournament kicking off on 14 June.
Related: Makoto Hasebe: slow-starter whose diligence paid off with Japan captaincy
Continue reading...
The Guardian
157 d ago
World Cup opener guest list set to be largely ex-Soviet affair
Kremlin’s list of ceremony invitees includes central Asian autocrats plus Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman
Vladimir Putin’s strained ties with leaders across the western world means the audience of presidents and prime ministers for the World Cup opener looks set to be a heavily former Soviet affair.
The Kremlin has released a list of those who will join Putin for Thursday’s opening ceremonies and it features a large helping of central Asian autocrats and the heads of the breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia, along with a smattering of foreign leaders from Africa and South America.
Continue reading...
CNET News
157 d ago
World Cup in your travel plans? US warns of Russian hackers - CNET
Maybe it’s best to leave your gadgets at home.
Reuters
157 d ago
World Cup 2026 goes to U.S., Mexico, Canada despite frayed ties
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States, Mexico and Canada will jointly host the 2026 World Cup, overwhelmingly winning a vote by soccer's world governing body on Wednesday, even though U.S. President Donald Trump has frayed relations with his neighbors and others during his 18 months in office.
Reuters
157 d ago
Cruel World Cup group has Morocco, Iran grasping at straws
SAINT PETERSBURG (Reuters) - A luckless draw has severely dented Morocco and Iran's hopes of making a mark at the World Cup before a ball has been kicked, and they head into their opening match in St Petersburg on Friday knowing defeat could likely mean an early exit.
Reuters
157 d ago
Militias guarding World Cup have links to Kremlin's foreign wars
ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (Reuters) - Russian paramilitary units providing security for the soccer World Cup included among their members Cossack fighters who took part in clandestine campaigns in Ukraine and Syria that Kiev and Washington condemn as backed by Moscow.
USA Today
157 d ago
America has forgotten what it stands for. The 2026 World Cup is our chance to get things right.
United States will welcome the world with 2026 World Cup and 2028 Summer Olympics.
         
 
 
Ad Week
157 d ago
3 Ways Advertisers Can Use Mobile to Reach Consumers During the World Cup
In the 21st century, consumers are increasingly transitioning toward mobile for streaming sports. In fact, a recent Google survey found that 30 percent of sports fans say they now stream live sports on their smartphones or tablets. With the 2018 World Cup just around the corner, marketers across multiple industries have a significant opportunity to...
CNBC
157 d ago
The 2018 World Cup venues seen from space
The Wall Street Journal
156 d ago
World Cup Gives Putin's Policies a Global Stage
Few in Russia have high hopes for their middling national team in the World Cup. But for President Vladimir Putin, the soccer event is an event to showcase Russia’s economic progress and recovered international confidence during his 19-year-rule, despite growing isolation.
The Economist
157 d ago
Russia prepares to welcome 1m visitors for the World Cup
Putin puts the boot in
VLADIMIR PUTIN rarely speaks English in public, but he made an exception in 2010, when Russia won the right to host the World Cup in 2018. “From bottom of my heart, thank you,” he told the FIFA organising committee. For Mr Putin the tournament, like the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, offered a chance to showcase Russia’s revival under his leadership. “We want to show to the world the new Russia, open and hospitable in every sense,” said the sports minister at the time, Vitaly Mutko.
Since then Russia’s actions on the world stage have been anything but friendly. Its annexation of Crimea in 2014, the war in eastern Ukraine and military intervention in Syria have cast a pall over relations with the West. Mr Mutko himself landed at the centre of the Sochi Olympics doping scandal. (Mr Putin rewarded him with a promotion to deputy prime minister.) The poisoning of a former spy, Sergei Skripal, in Salisbury earlier this year led to... Continue reading
GameSpot
157 d ago
E3 2018: Fortnite World Cup Event Announced, Dev Explains Why It's Different Than Overwatch League
Fortnite developer Epic Games has announced more details on the $100 million that it is pouring into competitive Fortnite tournaments and seemingly called out the Overwatch League. In a blog post , Epic said the $100 million will be spread across community-organised events, online events, and "major" organized tournaments in the United States and abroad. According to Epic, "anyone can participate, and anyone can win."
One of the big tournaments is the Fortnite World Cup. Qualifiers for this event start in Fall 2018 and continue thereafter until the finals in late 2019. There are no specifics available as of yet regarding where the tournaments will take place or how you can participate, however.
In the Fortnite World Cup, not to be confused with the Pro-Am , Epic will focus on Solo and Duos, though the studio stressed that people who enjoy Squads will be able to take part in the competition as well.
Also in its blog post, Epic made a point to talk about how its investment in eSports differs from what others are doing in the space. Though Epic never mentions Activision Blizzard or the Overwatch League by name, it is pretty clear that the comparison is aimed at Overwatch League.
Here's what Epic said: "This is for you, the players. Qualifications for the Fortnite World Cup will be based on merit. Epic will not be selling teams or franchises, and won't allow third-party leagues to do so either."
More details on all the specifics about the Fortnite's eSports tournaments--including rules, details on platforms, and a player code of conduct--will be announced in due time, Epic said.
Activision Blizzard charges Overwatch League teams substantial fees in the millions of dollars just to create a franchise. There are currently 12 teams in the Overwatch League. Activision Blizzard also makes money by via broadcasting rights; Twitch reportedly paid $90 million for the opportunity to broadcast Overwatch League matches.
In other Fortnite news, Epic announced at E3 2018 this week that the game has reached an astonishing 125 million players in under a year . Additionally, the game is out now on Nintendo Switch--with some frame rate issues .
Fox News
157 d ago
Argentine inmates go on hunger strike to compel officials to allow them to watch World Cup team
Inmates in Argentina have launched a hunger strike in hopes to compel prison officials to allow them to watch the World Cup, which kicks off Thursday in Russia.
Reuters
157 d ago
U.S. promises to be very different World Cup host from 1994
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The World Cup will return to the United States, 32 years after the groundbreaking first tournament in the country, and organizers are promising a very different experience for fans traveling to the country.
Reuters
157 d ago
No hiding place as video review system makes World Cup bow
KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - If the strongest advocates of Video Assistant Referees are to be believed, World Cup football will never be the same again after the TV review system makes its debut at the finals on Thursday.
Ad Week
157 d ago
This Brewer Will Print World Cup Tweets Onto Beer Foam to Keep Fans Off Their Phones
The FIFA World Cup brings together soccer fans from around the world, most of whom gather around TV screens for a shared viewing experience. But it's also the single most tweeted event in the world. So how could a brand keep attention off of phone screens and focused on the game? Well, here's one...solution? Swedish...
Motherboard
157 d ago
This AI Simulated the 2018 World Cup 100,000 Times to Predict a Winner
During the 2010 World Cup, a psychic octopus named Paul picked the right team in 12 out of 14 games where he was asked to predict the winner, including the final. Eight years later, for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, we have a more scientific method to foresee the future: an AI that simulated the tournament 100,000 times.
According to to these simulations, Spain is the most likely winner, followed by Germany and Brazil.
A group of researchers from the German Technische Universitat of Dortmund and the Technical University in Munich, as well as the Ghent University in Belgium, came to this conclusion using machine learning based on several factors, such as the FIFA rankings, each country’s population and their gross domestic product (GDP), bookmakers’ odds, how many of the national team players play together in a club, the player’s average age, and how many Champions Leagues they’ve won.
Taking these factors into account, the researcher’s AI simulated the soccer tournament 100,000 times, calculating each team’s probabilities to pass to advance past the group stage, and then pass each following round all the way up to the final. The table below shows each team’s odds in the group stage.
And the next table shows the teams’ odds for the whole tournament, including the most likely winner. Spain is the most likely winner, slightly ahead of Germany, according to the researchers’ calculations.
Interestingly, however, the most likely course of the knockout stage has Germany taking home its second World Cup in a row.
The researchers explain that this is because Germany is most likely to beat Spain in the semifinals, but has a much harder road to get there, and thus more chances of getting knocked out.
Of course, take these predictions with a grain of salt. The researchers themselves say that given “the myriad of possible constellations this exact tournament course is still extremely unlikely.”
Plus, their machine learning model could not have predicted that Spain would fire and replace its coach two days before the team’s debut , causing an uproar in the country and within the team.
Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter .
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Mohamed Salah takes part in full Egypt training ahead of World Cup
Mohamed Salah has returned to group training with Egypt ahead of their World Cup opener on Friday as he steps up his rehabilitation from a shoulder injury.
Business Insider
157 d ago
The World Cup starts on Thursday — these photos from around the world show why soccer is the world's most beloved game
Reuters/Stefano Rellandini
Soccer is the world's most popular and beloved sport, and it's played in virtually every corner of the world. Ahead of the 2018 World Cup , Reuters sent photographers around the globe to document the variety of ways people manage to play soccer. Soccer lovers play in the dirt, sand, and even snow, and the narrowest of city streets won't stop them from playing "the beautiful game."

The 2018 World Cup kicks off on Thursday, and soccer fans around the world are eagerly counting down the hours.
Of course, soccer's popularity extends far beyond the 32 countries that qualified for the World Cup this year. Soccer is by far the most popular sport in the world, with an estimated 4 billion fans on all six inhabited continents.
Reuters sent photographers to dozens of countries in May and June to document soccer as it's played around the world — on dirt fields in Chile, the chaotic streets of Kolkata, India, and even a floating field in Thailand.
Here are 18 photos that show why soccer is the world's most popular game.
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. You'll find people playing it everywhere you go, from massive stadiums in Brazil to a quiet street inside the Casbah fortress of Algiers, Algeria. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Source: Reuters

This year's World Cup, which kicks off on Thursday, is being held in Russia. These children in the village of Yelizarovo have already caught World Cup fever. Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin
Source: Reuters

Soccer can be played on any surface, from the streets of Kolkata, India, where children play barefoot … REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
Source: Reuters

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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TechRadar
157 d ago
Alexa will let you bluff World Cup football knowledge with this new update
The World Cup, the greatest sporting event in the calendar, kicks off in Russia tomorrow night. But if a summer of football fills you with the dread of hundreds of awkward conversations about players you've never heard of applying tactics you don't understand, rest easy: Amazon has you covered.
It's Alexa voice assistant, as found in its Echo speakers and smartphone apps, has been updated to help even the most football-phobic bluff their way through the tournament.
You'll be able to ask Alexa trivia questions, like the year England won the World Cup, to more specific questions, like what a "false nine" is or info on Brazil's Roberto Firmino.
And, if you just want a daily rundown of everything you need to blag your way through a conversation on a day-by-day basis, just ask "Alexa, how do I bluff my way through the World Cup" for the latest info you need.
Things to try
While Amazon has hundreds of questions around football and the World Cup that Alexa can answer, it's suggested kicking off with the following:
Alexa, what is a ‘false nine’ in football?Alexa, what is advantage in football?Alexa, what is pressing in football?Alexa, what is counter-attacking in football?Alexa, what is ‘putting it in the mixer’ in football?Alexa, what is ‘parking the bus’ in football?Alexa, what is ‘Row Z’ in football?Alexa, why do international footballers win ‘caps’?Alexa, what does it mean when a football player plays ‘in the hole’?“Alexa, when’s the first World Cup game?”“Alexa, what teams are in the World Cup?”“Alexa, who won the last World Cup?” “Alexa, what country has won the most World Cups?” “Alexa, what group is Sweden in for the World Cup?”“Alexa, when do England play next in the World Cup?”“Alexa, who scored for Germany?“Alexa, when do Iceland play next in the World Cup?”“Alexa, what’s the score of the Panama game?”“Alexa, did Japan win in the World Cup?”“Alexa, who scored for France?”
TechRadar is going football mad this summer, with a host of features looking at the intersection between technology and football, and how gadgetry and gizmos can make the beautiful game more beautiful, and you a more graceful player. Check out our World Cup tech hub for more.
TechRadar's World Cup season : where tech and the beautiful game collide
Reuters
157 d ago
Russia's psychic cat Achilles picks home team for World Cup opener
Want to know who will win the first match of the World Cup? The cat's out of the bag: it's Russia.
CNN
157 d ago
US, Mexico, and Canada to host 2026 World Cup
President Donald Trump is promising soccer's international governing body that foreign teams, officials and fans will be able to travel to the US for the 2026 World Cup if North America wins the bid to host the tournament.
CNN
157 d ago
North America feels divided on everything but the World Cup
Maybe soccer -- or fútbol or football or whatever you want to call it -- will bring North America together.
SB Nation
157 d ago
If Spain is this World Cup’s France, what is France now?
And what is England, for that matter?
The Spanish FA fired its national team head coach on Tuesday , sacking Julen Lopetegui just two days before the World Cup was set to begin, after news broke that Lopetegui would be taking the job as Real Madrid manager after the conclusion of the World Cup.
There was a players meeting where they implored the association leaders not to do it. They did it anyway. It’s a complete mess.
A complete debacle with a coach getting fired the day before the World Cup is set to begin? That doesn’t sound much like Spain , at least when it comes to their national team. That’s more something France would do, no? They’re famous for their World Cup coach and team having major blowups right around tournament time.
So this much we know:
Spain is this World Cup’s France
But if that’s the case, who is France this year? Well, they’ve got a talented group of players, but there’s already drama about players who were left off the roster, the coach seems helplessly out of his depth, there are injury scares, and fans are already nervous about a huge letdown. So:
France is this World Cup’s England
...which is odd, I suppose, but look at England this year: A likable group of talented young players, who are free to play well and make a good run, without the burden of too much expectation. So:
England is this World Cup’s Belgium
And what of Belgium? A golden generation of talent is now on the wrong side of their primes, and a nation is freaking out that maybe this lovable group of uber-talented players will never win an international trophy. Thinking back to 2014, that means:
Belgium is this World Cup’s Portugal
Portugal finally did get over the hump at the 2016 Euros, but now occupy a weird space where they’re a bit older, and have known stars, but everyone is kind of sleeping on them. They have a tough spine, veteran players, and can make a deep run, so:
Portugal is this World Cup’s Uruguay
Uruguay is also in sleeper mode a bit, just outside the topic of conversation, but built with a vicious center midfield, gifted attackers, and a strong, veteran defense. Which means:
Uruguay is this World Cup’s Netherlands
Ah. Um.
Netherlands is this World Cup’s no one, because they aren’t in it. Same with the U.S.
Oh, and just so we’re clear:
Germany is still Germany.
God damnit they’re going to win, aren’t they?
And Argentina is still Argentina.
Please, Argentina, if you don’t win, please don’t do something stupid and yell at Lionel Messi. I promise you, he’s the best player ever. It won’t be his fault.
CNBC
157 d ago
Richard Branson calls on Russia to declare the World Cup a ‘World Cup of Peace’
The billionaire entrepreneur says he supports a truce during the global soccer match.
Business Insider
157 d ago
Who the experts think will be the World Cup winner and top scorer
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Brazil, which lost in devastating fashion at home in the last World Cup, is a strong favorite to win the tournament this year.  And Neymar is a popular pick to be the top scorer at the World Cup. 

The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world, and members of the winning team become heroes of an entire country, and earn sporting immorality. But which team will earn its place among soccer legends this year? 
We looked at choices made by experts from ESPN FC , Sports IllustratedThe Telegraph , and  The Guardian , as well as comments made by a panel of experts attended by Business Insider and tallied them up. It turns out Brazil was the overwhelming favorite to win this World Cup and avenge the disappointment of its semi-final defeat on home soil four years ago.  See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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BBC
157 d ago
Fifa World Cup: Goals, celebrations & moments you may have forgotten
You probably remember Brazil 1-7 Germany, Luis Suarez's bite, and James Rodriguez's stunning volley - but here are some moments you may have forgotten from the 2014 World Cup.
BBC
157 d ago
World Cup 2018: Football showpiece set to begin in Russia
The 2018 World Cup starts on Thursday, when hosts Russia face Saudi Arabia in Moscow in the first of 64 games over 32 days.
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Artificial intelligence projects a 3D soccer game on your kitchen table in time for the World Cup
Researchers from University of Washington, Facebook and Google have created an end-to-end deep learning system that transforms a YouTube video of a soccer game into a 3D hologram.
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Russia enjoy final training ahead of World Cup curtain-raiser against Saudi Arabia
We're less than 24 hours away from the 2018 World Cup beginning and the tournament hosts have completed their final run through ahead of the opener.
Business Insider
157 d ago
49 years ago, a World Cup qualifying match plunged 2 countries into a real war
(AP Photo)
Honduras won the first game (in Honduras). Then El Salvador won the second game (in El Salvador). When El Salvador won the third game in Mexico, all hell broke loose. Literally.
El Salvador was and is one of the most densely populated countries in the Americas. Honduras, in comparison, was and is sparsely populated. By the end of the 1960s , over 300,000 Salvadorians were living and working (often illegally) in Honduras. See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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Fox News
157 d ago
World Cup teams debut colorful, throwback jerseys for the 2018 tournament
It’s all about the bold and the beautiful for the World Cup 2018 kits.
Fox News
157 d ago
Twitter eyes World Cup win with new updates for soccer fans
Twitter is getting ready for the World Cup with a host of new features geared toward soccer fans.
Ad Week
157 d ago
This Machine Learning Model Picked Spain to Win the 2018 World Cup
Statisticians at German technical university Technische Universitat Dortmund built a model that used machine learning to predict Spain will win the 2018 World Cup. The prediction is based on 100,000 simulations of the tournament. Spain was followed by Germany, Brazil, France and Belgium in terms of their chances of winning. And it should be a...
Business Insider
156 d ago
There are just 8 countries with a legit shot to win the World Cup
Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Brazil is once again the pre-tournament favorite to win the World Cup. Only eight countries have at least a 5% chance to win the most celebrated sporting event in the World, and only three have better than an 8% shot.

Brazil is once again the pre-tournament favorite to win the World Cup, but the gap between them and the field is not as wide as it was in 2014.
Brazil has a 19% chance to win the World Cup in Russia, according to Nate Silver's model at FiveThirtyEight . They gave Brazil a 36% chance to be champions on their home turf in the last World Cup. See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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The Guardian
157 d ago
When it comes to fashion, Nigeria has already won the World Cup
As the English team arrived in Russia in Nike tracksuits, the Mexicans looked ready to sell you a flat and the Iranians went tie-less. But it was Nigeria who stole the show
The England team have landed in Russia ahead of the World Cup tournament, which starts on Thursday. They may have shoehorned an M&S promo shoot in beforehand, but they wisely flew in comfortable Nike sportswear allowing for a little mid-flight R&R. Turns out, not every nation was that sensible …
Continue reading...
The Guardian
157 d ago
Risk that Russia may violate doping laws at World Cup, says Usada’s Tygart
• Anti-doping chief says Russia should not be hosts
• Country still considered non-compliant by Wada after scandal
Travis Tygart, the influential US Anti-Doping Agency chief executive, has warned that it would be “naive” not to think that hosts Russia could violate anti-doping rules again during the World Cup.
Tygart also questioned why Fifa had awarded Russia the tournament when it is still considered non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency after evidence was unearthed of its state-sponsored doping programme including at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Continue reading...
The Guardian
157 d ago
Fifa's World Cup: a quadrennial guilty pleasure that is difficult to deny | Aubrey Bloomfield
Amid the pageantry and sense of spectacle it is becoming increasingly hard to stomach
The World Cup happens every four years. And each time many fans who pay close attention to the intersection of sports and politics could be forgiven for experiencing feelings of unease and guilt when faced with the prospect of watching a tournament run by an organisation with such a chequered history as Fifa’s.
Related: Fifa’s Gianni Infantino hits rocky ground on 2018 World Cup eve | David Conn
Continue reading...
Reuters
157 d ago
Mexico, Canada welcome hosting 2026 World Cup with U.S. despite frayed ties
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The leaders of Mexico and Canada gleefully cheered winning the right to host the 2026 World Cup jointly with the United States on Wednesday, emphasizing unity at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump has frayed relations with the two neighbors during his 18 months in office.
USA Today
157 d ago
Why even soccer haters can appreciate World Cup
The possibility this one guy will bite someone is a huge and entertaining wild card.
         
 
 
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Commentary legend Barry Davies claims 'silence can be golden' ahead of World Cup
One of sporting's most iconic commentators, Barry Davies, has revealed what he believes makes good commentary ahead of the World Cup and it involves a little less talking.
CNBC
157 d ago
US Soccer CEO: We need to get our act together on the field before hosting the World Cup in 2026
The U.S. men's soccer team must quickly figure out how to reimagine the American game, says U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn.
The Guardian
157 d ago
USA 94: the World Cup that distracted Americans from Oprah and OJ
Hand-wringing over American indifference was allayed by a World Cup that offered up thrills aplenty while smashing attendance records
There will never be a weirder year in American sports than 1994. The Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan affair. OJ Simpson charged with double murder. The World Series straight up didn’t happen . All while the greatest basketball player on the planet was platooning the outfield for a minor-league baseball team in Alabama.
And the World Cup was somewhat awkwardly staged in a country without a top-level soccer league, whose collective attitude toward the sport ranged from apathetic to downright hostile, where domestic TV announcers were made to explain the game to the uninitiated masses and where weapons-grade commercialism was not a bug but an essential feature.
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New York Times
157 d ago
Can the World Cup Restore Harmony Between Canada and the U.S.?
Some Canadians hope that as two of the tournament’s three co-hosts, the United States and Canada will use the opportunity to renew their close friendship.
Ad Week
157 d ago
Which Players in 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Have the Most Instagram Followers?
Instagram had some fun in the run-up to Thursday's kickoff of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, compiling its All-World Team of participating players, by position and number of followers. The Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network said 146 million people follow soccer-related accounts on Instagram. Instagram's All-World Team is made up of: Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer, Germany,...
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Marcus Rashford allays any World Cup injury fears
Marcus Rashford has reassured England supporters that there is 'nothing to worry about' on his knee injury front going into the World Cup. He took to Twitter on Wednesday night to do so.
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Saudi Arabia out to cause World Cup upset by beating hosts Russia
Saudi Arabia's sports boss Turki al-Sheikh caused a storm with his $3.5m capture of Egypt's top sportscaster. And now he is hoping his unfancied nation can cause another upset on Thursday,
Reuters
157 d ago
Russian women should avoid sex with foreign men during World Cup: lawmaker
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian women should avoid sex with non-white foreign men during the soccer World Cup because they could become single mothers to mixed race children, a senior lawmaker in Moscow said on Wednesday.
SB Nation
157 d ago
How Fox Sports and NBC Sports will both be televising World Cup matches
NBC Sports is now getting into the World Cup.
Fox Sports won the English-language TV rights to the 2018 World Cup in Russia , a big get for the network, who are making the most of it despite the fact that the United States failed to qualify.
The results of their making-the-most-of-it? Mixed, maybe! We don’t really know yet, though the Guardian sure lit them up pretty good . Also, now they’ve got some competition.
On Wednesday, NBC Sports announced that they would also be televising a World Cup match. It’s just they’ll be doing so in Spanish.
NBCSN to Televise First-Ever FIFA World Cup Match in Spanish - Brazil vs. Switzerland - This Sunday, June 17, Live At 1:30 pm ET: https://t.co/0vNZhnmGSZ
— NBC Sports PR (@NBCSportsPR) June 13, 2018
Telemundo owns the Spanish-language rights to the 2018 World Cup in the United States, and Telemundo’s parent company is NBCUniversal, which also owns NBC Sports. So NBCUniversal, for a few matches at least, will be simulcasting the Spanish-language feed on multiple channels they own.
For NBC Sports, it’s a pretty smart bet: A lot of people are going to want to watch the World Cup this summer, and if you can put it on, you might as well. There is no shortage of Spanish-speaking soccer fans in this country, and on top of that, NBC Sports might be able to snag some English-speaking people who aren’t in any mood to listen to, let me just pick a name at random here, Tony Meola.
I’m mostly just hoping this leads to a Anchorman-style broadcaster street fight, one that I am invited to watch, and will be simulcast as a second-screen viewing experience during the third-place game. Don’t just broadcast the content, NBC and Fox. Become the content.
SB Nation
126 d ago
Everything you need to follow the 2018 World Cup
We can help you keep up with the world’s biggest sporting event.
Has it been an agonizing four years waiting for the World Cup to return? Well, your wait is finally over. The 2018 World Cup kicked off from Russia on Thursday, June 14, and will be pumping nonstop soccer into your eyeballs for the next month.
Here is everything you need to know.
The format
The 32 qualifying teams have been separated into eight groups of four teams each. Here’s how that process worked .
Two teams will advance from each group, while the bottom two teams will be eliminated. Every team plays the other teams in their group one time, for three group stage matches apiece. Teams are given three points for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss. The two teams with the most points advance. Goal differential is the first tiebreaker, followed by goals scored, and then head-to-head results.
After the group stage, the 16 remaining teams go into a knockout bracket. The winner of Group A plays the runner-up from Group B, the winner of Group B plays the runner-up from Group A, and so on. There a set bracket — no re-seeding. Group stage games can end in ties, but knockout stage games will go to extra time, then penalty kicks if necessary.
How to watch the World Cup
Games will be broadcast in English on FOX and FS1, while the Spanish broadcast will usually be on Telemundo, and occasionally on other NBC networks. You can find the listings for each day, including listings for other countries, on Live Soccer TV .
All of the games will be streamed online in the United States as well. You can watch for free on Fox Sports Go or Telemundo Deportes en vivo if you log in with your TV provider. Games will also be available on subscription services like Fubo and Hulu .
2018 World Cup schedule, standings and bracket via Google
All times are ET.
The Final 2018 World Cup Group Standings Group A
Uruguay — 9 points, +5 GD
Russia — 6 points, +4 GD
Saudi Arabia — 3 points, -5 GD
Egypt — 0 points, -4 GD
Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia
Egypt 0-1 Uruguay
Russia 3-1 Egypt
Uruguay 1-0 Saudi Arabia
Uruguay 3-0 Russia
Saudi Arabia 2-1 Egypt
Group B
Spain — 5 points, +1 GD
Portugal — 5 points, +1 GD
Iran — 4 points, 0 GD
Morocco — 1 points, -2 GD
Morocco 0-1 Iran
Portugal 3-3 Spain
Portugal 1-0 Morocco
Iran 0-1 Spain
Spain 2-2 Morocco
Iran 1-1 Portugal
Group C
France — 7 points, +2 GD
Denmark — 5 points, +1 GD
Peru — 3 points, 0 GD
Australia — 1 points, -3 GD
France 2-1 Australia
Peru 0-1 Denmark
Denmark 1-1 Australia
France 1-0 Peru
Peru 2-0 Australia
Denmark 0-0 France
Group D
Croatia — 9 points, +6 GD
Argentina — 4 points, -2 GD
Nigeria — 3 points, -1 GD
Iceland — 1 point, -3 GD
Argentina 1-1 Iceland
Croatia 2-0 Nigeria
Croatia 3-0 Argentina
Nigeria 2-0 Iceland
Nigeria 1-2 Argentina
Iceland 1-2 Croatia
Group E
Brazil — 7 points, +4 GD
Switzerland — 5 points, +1 GD
Serbia — 3 points, -2 GD
Costa Rica — 1 points, -3 GD
Costa Rica 0-1 Serbia
Brazil 1-1 Switzerland
Brazil 2-0 Costa Rica
Switzerland 2-1 Serbia
Serbia 0-2 Brazil .
Switzerland 2-2 Costa Rica
Group F
Sweden — 6 points, +3 GD
Mexico — 6 points, -1 GD
South Korea — 3 points, 0 GD
Germany — 3 points, -2 GD
Germany 0-1 Mexico
Sweden 1-0 South Korea
Mexico 2-1 South Korea
Germany 2-1 Sweden
South Korea 2-0 Germany
Mexico 0-3 Sweden
Group G
Belgium — 9 points, +7 GD
England — 6 points, +5 GD
Tunisia — 3 points, -3 GD
Panama — 0 points, -9 GD
Belgium 3-0 Panama
Tunisia 1-2 England
Belgium 5-2 Tunisia
England 6-1 Panama
Panama 1-2 Tunisia.
England 0-1 Belgium
Group H
Colombia — 6 points, +3 GD
Japan — 4 points, 0 GD
Senegal — 4 points, 0 GD
Poland — 3 points, -3 GD
Colombia 1-2 Japan
Poland 1-2 Senegal
Japan 2-2 Senegal
Colombia 3-0 Poland
Japan 0-1 Poland
Senegal 0-1 Colombia
Round of 16
France 4-3. Argentina
Uruguay 2-1 Portugal
Spain 1-1 Russia (Pens. 3-4)
Croatia 1-1 Denmark (Pens 3-2)
Brazil 2-0 Mexico
Belgium 3-2 Japan
Sweden 1-0 Switzerland
Colombia 1-1 England (Pens 3-4)
Quarterfinals
France 2-0 Uruguay
Brazil 1-2 Belgium
Sweden 0-2 England
Russia 2-2 Croatia (Pens 3-4)
Semifinals
France 1-0 Beglium
England vs. Croatia — Wednesday, July 11, 2 p.m.
Third place match
Belgium 2-0 England
Final
France vs. Croatia — Sunday, July 15, 11 a.m.
The pre-tournament favorites
According to the odds makers, Brazil (who lost to Belgium in a quarterfinal clash) was the pre-tournament favorite to win the tournament. They were followed by Germany (who shockingly failed to escape the group stage), then Spain (ousted by the hosts in the round of 16), France (still alive!) and Argentina (also exiting in the knockout round).
The biggest stars in Russia
Still Competing
Neymar — Brazil’s superstar just returned from injury and looked like he was back to his best during warmup games. He was injured for Brazil’s famous 7-1 loss to Germany during the last World Cup, and he’ll want revenge this time around.
Paul Pogba — France’s superstar midfielder is known as much for his hairstyles as his play, though that’s only because he’s been a touch out of form lately. If France can figure out how to best utilize him, they have a chance to win the tournament.
Harry Kane — England ’s center forward was in a tight golden boot race for Salah in the Premier League most of the season. The Three Lions’ success or failure is likely to be pinned on his ability or inability to score goals.
Already out
Cristiano Ronaldo — Even at 33 years old, with over 900 pro games on his legs, Ronaldo is still one of the best in the world. This is almost certainly his last chance to win a World Cup with Portugal.
Lionel Messi — Considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, but his Argentina team is in shambles. It barely qualified for the World Cup, and the Albiceleste defense is extremely suspect. Messi will need to be at his absolute best for Argentina to have a chance.
Mohamed Salah — Possibly the heir to Messi and Ronaldo’s throne, Salah dominated the Premier League with Liverpool this season. He’ll be playing through a shoulder injury while trying to lead Egypt to glory.
If you’re looking for some more under-the-radar players who made it to Russia, we have 10 of those for you .
Fox News
157 d ago
World Cup winners predicted by Russia's 'psychic' cat Achilles
Although he can’t hear, Achilles has a sense of who is going to win the 2018 World Cup.
CNN
157 d ago
It's official! Nigeria is the most stylish team at the World Cup
The World Cup has not started yet and Nigeria has already won -- for being the most stylish team in Russia.
The Guardian
157 d ago
World Cup beauty and outrage takes on the dizzying oddity of Russia | Barney Ronay
Over the next five weeks the greatest show on earth will again show it has the power to enthral, kicking aside Fifa’s tarnished reputation and the murkiness of Vladimir Putin’s regime
Welcome, once again, to the world. Eight years, $19bn and two terms in the glorious 100-year rule of Vladimir Putin in the making, the 2018 World Cup in Russia is upon us. This has been a fittingly Soviet-scale construction project, taking in eight new superstadiums, thousands of miles of new roads and 53,000 civilian volunteers trained in the arts of pointing, waving and – toughest and most Russian of all – smiling at strangers.
As ever the greatest show on earth carries its own irresistible heat before the tournament opener on Thursday afternoon. The World Cup may be compromised by greed and murkiness. Fifa may have become a kind of floating corporate city state, orbiting the globe, planting its great clanking tentacles down among the ripest pastures. But as preparations thrummed up through the gears in Moscow on Wednesday there was a familiar sense of clarity, of that background hum beginning to die away.
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The Guardian
157 d ago
How seven World Cup squads have prepared during Ramadan
Fasting during daylight hours is obligatory during the Muslim festival, and the seven teams in Russia from largely Islamic nations have found various ways of tackling the issue
As World Cup 2018 begins in Russia, the Muslim festival of Ramadan is ending around the world. With fasting during daylight hours obligatory for all adults, Ramadan provides challenges for seven nations taking part in the World Cup with majority or large Muslim populations. Here is how the squads from each country have responded.
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BBC
157 d ago
World Cup 2026: US, Canada and Mexico fans react
Canada, US & Mexico will host the biggest World Cup ever - but has the news come at the worst time?
Fox News
157 d ago
World Cup to use VAR technology for first time: What is it?
The 2018 World Cup in Russia will make history as it’s the first time video assistant referees (VAR) will be used to aide officiating in the tournament.
New York Times
156 d ago
World Cup Puts Mexico and U.S. in Rare Position These Days: ‘Unified’
Mexico is passionate about soccer so news that it, Canada and the U.S., will jointly host the 2026 tournament was greeted enthusiastically.
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Your essential graphic guide to this summer's World Cup in Russia
Who is the tallest player at the tournament? Who are England's highest earners? And what happens if it all comes down to penalties? Sportsmail provides you with all the answers.
Daily Mail
157 d ago
New wave of talent has Germany dreaming of successful World Cup defence but no place for Leroy Sane
KIT HOLDEN: It is an almost impossible task, yet Joachim Low believes that his Germany side can become the first team since Brazil 56 years ago to successfully defend the World Cup.
CNBC
157 d ago
The World Cup: Millennials are disrupting the way the world watches this epic event
The World Cup was one of the last hangers-on of old viewing habits but millennials are seriously starting to disrupt that, the Financial Times reports.
BBC
157 d ago
2018 Fifa World Cup: Watch the BBC World Cup titles
Get a first look at the Match of the Day 2018 World Cup opening titles.
BBC
157 d ago
World Cup 2030: England should have 'confidence' in bidding for tournament - Gill
England should have "great confidence" in bidding for the 2030 World Cup, says Fifa vice-president David Gill.
USA Today
157 d ago
Why you should root for Portugal in the 2018 World Cup
No U.S. team to root for this summer? Don't worry, we've got you covered on how to become a bandwagon fan of this country.
         
 
 
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Peter Crouch's guide to England's World Cup squad
England manager Gareth Southgate has opted for a young, vibrant squad with some bold selections. Sportsmail's PETER CROUCH runs the rule over Southgate's 23-man squad bidding for glory.
Daily Mail
157 d ago
Russia and FIFA pray stars light up the World Cup to put gloss on their shabby images
MARTIN SAMUEL IN ST PETERSBURG: The World Cup starts on Thursday and FIFA need a good one. A lot is riding on the next 32 days. Not just for this World Cup, but for the next one, too.
Daily Mail
157 d ago
CHARLES SALE: Up for the World Cup: England in pole position to host 2030 tournament
CHARLES SALE - SPORTS AGENDA: England’s chances of hosting the World Cup in 2030 were being talked up significantly on the day the 2026 hosts were elected.