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World Cup 2018: A quick look at all 32 managers

There are few positions in sports as pressure-packed as that of World Cup manager. Here is a look at the 32 men privileged with that pressure heading into the start of the tournament that kicks off on June 14 in Russia: Group A Stanislav Cherchesov, Russia The man tasked with leading the home nation this summer? Not a foreign emissary like Guus Hiddink or Fabio Capello. Not the popular former CSKA coach Leonoid Slutsky but the comparatively underwhelming 54-year-old Stanislav Cherchesov. Cherchesov, a former goalkeeper whose last job was in Polish football with Legia Warsaw, is regarded cooly in Russia.

The post World Cup 2018: A quick look at all 32 managers appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Salah joins Egypt training, but doesn’t take part

Cairo (AFP) – Liverpool star Mohamed Salah turned up for Egypt training in Cairo on Saturday ahead of the Pharaohs’ departure for the World Cup in Russia but didn’t take part, AFP witnessed. Thousands of supporters turned up to watch Egypt’s final, late night training session before taking flight for Russia, cheering wildly. The training session began just before 10pm. Although dressed in kit, Salah stood around in the middle of the pitch chatting to backroom staff while his team-mates trained. The record seven-time African champions have qualified for the World Cup for only the third time and first since

The post Salah joins Egypt training, but doesn’t take part appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Pogba improves but France held 1-1 by US

Décines-Charpieu (France) (AFP) – Paul Pogba put in an improved performance but France looked flat in a 1-1 World Cup warm-up draw against the United States in Lyon on Saturday. Julian Green gave the US, who failed to make it to Russia, the lead on the stroke of half-time but teenage starlet Kylian Mbappe equalised for the hosts. Pogba had been jeered a week ago in a 3-1 victory over Italy but it was his pass that teed up Mbappe to save face for the Euro 2016 finalists in a match they were expected to win. With perhaps one eye

The post Pogba improves but France held 1-1 by US appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Salah joins Egypt training, but doiesn’t take part

Cairo (AFP) – Liverpool star Mohamed Salah turned up for Egypt training in Cairo on Saturday ahead of the Pharaohs’ departure for the World Cup in Russia but didn’t take part, AFP witnessed. Thousands of supporters turned up to watch Egypt’s final, late night training session before taking flight for Russia, cheering wildly. The training session began just before 10pm. Although dressed in kit, Salah stood around in the middle of the pitch chatting to backroom staff while his team-mates trained. The record seven-time African champions have qualified for the World Cup for only the third time and first since

The post Salah joins Egypt training, but doiesn’t take part appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Colombian full-back Fabra out of World Cup with knee injury

Bogota (AFP) – Colombia defender Frank Fabra has been ruled out of a maiden World Cup with a serious knee injury hours before the South Americans were scheduled to travel to their team base in Kazan, the Colombian football federation said on Saturday. The Boca Juniors left-back uffered a “ruptured anterior cruciate ligament” in his left knee during a training session in Italy, the federation said in a statement. “I fought, I worked hard and tried to get better… but now my heart is broken into a million little pieces,” Fabra lamented in a message on his Instagram account. According

The post Colombian full-back Fabra out of World Cup with knee injury appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Lyon cancel dealings with Liverpool over Fekir transfer

Lyon (AFP) – Lyon ended negotiations with Liverpool on Saturday over the possible transfer of forward Nabil Fekir to the Premier League club. “Nabil Fekir is staying at Lyon… pending other propositions,” said Lyon in a statement, just hours after the president of the French football federation (FFF) claimed Fekir had undergone a Liverpool medical. “The three-way negotiations with Liverpool and Nabil Fekir for the transfer of the Lyon captain have not succeeded and Lyon have decided to end these negotiations tonight (Saturday) at 8pm,” added the Ligue 1 club in their statement. The latest development in the on-off transfer

The post Lyon cancel dealings with Liverpool over Fekir transfer appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Neymar due to start Brazil’s final World Cup warm-up

Vienna (AFP) – Neymar’s Brazil put the finishing touches to their World Cup preparations against Austria on Sunday in a game coach Tite described as the “most difficult” of all their warm-ups on the road to Russia. Neyamr proved his fitness with an explosive return after injury, his stunning strike inspiring a 2-0 win over Croatia in Liverpool last weekend. The Paris Saint-Germain star was introduced in the second half against the Croats but is due to have his first start against Austria since spraining his ankle in late February. Neymar announced himself “80 percent” fit after last week’s prep,

The post Neymar due to start Brazil’s final World Cup warm-up appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Giant mural tribute to ‘legend’ Messi at Argentina base camp

Bronnitsy (Russia) (AFP) – With his arms crossed and a face bursting with pride, Argentina superstar Lionel Messi towers above all those on the main street of Bronnitsy, a town of 20,000 residents some 50 kilometres from Moscow. “When I was painting Messi, I was painting a legend of my time,” says Sergey Erofeev, the artist responsible for the huge mural of Messi located on a wall just a short walk from Argentina’s World Cup team base.  “Messi is the best, he has lots of Ballons d’Or and Golden Boots,” Erofeev, a well-built Russian who goes by the name “Esat786”

The post Giant mural tribute to ‘legend’ Messi at Argentina base camp appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Australia pip Hungary in final World Cup warm-up

Budapest (AFP) – An injury-time own-goal gifted Australia an uplifting send-off for the World Cup in Russia with a final warm-up 2-1 win over Hungary Saturday. Young talent Daniel Arzani had fired the Socceroos into a 74th minute lead but a late Trent Sainsbury own-goal looked like granting the hosts a deserved draw until Hungarian defender Tamas Kadar returned the favour deep into added time. Australia, set to make their fifth World Cup appearance in Russia four years after failing to get out of the group stage at Brazil 2014, face tournament favourites France in their opener on June 16

The post Australia pip Hungary in final World Cup warm-up appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Ronaldo’s Portugal arrive in Russia for World Cup

Moscow (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal arrived Saturday in Russia to begin final preparations for a World Cup campaign that pits them against arch-rivals Spain. The European champions play their Iberian neighbours in the 2014 Winter Olympics host city Sochi in the opening match for both nations Friday. The winner will be in pole position to come out on top in a Group B that also includes Morocco and Iran. The top two teams from each group qualify for the last 16. The Spaniards arrived at their own base in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar on Thursday. Portugal are

The post Ronaldo’s Portugal arrive in Russia for World Cup appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Fekir has had Liverpool medical, says French football boss

Lyon (AFP) – The president of the French football federation  (FFF) said on Saturday that Lyon’s Nabil Fekir would join Liverpool, just a day after his club called reports of the transfer “fake news”.  “Nabil Fekir is in the process of being  transferred,” Nool Le Graet told French radio. “He has undergone a medical.”  Forward Fekir is in the French World Cup squad. British and French media have been reporting for several days that the 24-year-old was on the verge of joining Liverpool for 60 million euros ($71 million, £53 million). On Friday, Lyon released a statement “categorically” denying the

The post Fekir has had Liverpool medical, says French football boss appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Enzo Perez covers for Argentina’s injured Lanzini

Bronnitsy (Russia) (AFP) – River Plate midfielder Enzo Perez will replace the injured Manuel Lanzini in Argentina’s 23-man World Cup squad, the country’s football association said on Saturday. The 32-year-old Perez was called up by Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli after Lanzini ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during training on Friday. West Ham midfielder Lanzini, 25, had been linked with a summer transfer to Liverpool, but he now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.  His injury is a blow for Sampaoli who had counted on Lanzini for a place in his starting line-up, with Lucas Biglia

The post Enzo Perez covers for Argentina’s injured Lanzini appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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I’m on the mend – Salah tells Egypt’s President

Cairo (AFP) – Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah has told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi he is well on the road to recovery following a shoulder injury in the Champions League final. “The president was reassured on the health condition of the player ‘Mohamed Salah’, who affirmed that his condition is improving notably and that he is on his way to recovery, god willing,” presidency spokesman Bassam Radi said on Saturday. Salah, who hit a stunning 44 goals for Liverpool last season in all competitions, was forced out of the May 26 Champions League final in tears clutching his left shoulder

The post I’m on the mend – Salah tells Egypt’s President appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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France vs. USA match preview: Young squad faces huge test against World Cup favorites

The series of friendlies that the USMNT is playing before the start of the World Cup got off to a flying start with a resounding 3-0 win over Bolivia on Memorial Day. The opposition then got more difficult against Ireland and the US fell 2-1 on a last minute winner. Now comes the toughest of the three games against a team that many experts are picking to have a very deep run during this World Cup. That team is France. While the US did not look great against Ireland (they lost obviously) they didn’t look completely overmatched, despite interim manager

The post France vs. USA match preview: Young squad faces huge test against World Cup favorites appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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Achilles the Cat, Russia’s deaf but highly gifted World Cup soothsayer

Saint Petersburg (AFP) – A deaf, white cat named Achilles is soon to begin his work as Russia’s official soothsayer for the World Cup, following in the tentacle-prints of Paul the Octopus who became a star in 2010. Paul predicted winners for that years’ World Cup by choosing one out of two boxes containing food, while Achilles will be presented with bowls marked with teams’ flags. “We went for Achilles because he is beautiful, first of all, but also because — like all white cats with blue eyes — he is deaf, so he has a great deal of intuition,

The post Achilles the Cat, Russia’s deaf but highly gifted World Cup soothsayer appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

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