Germany have remained an obvious force to reckon with in the round leather game for years.
They are undoubtedly the most consistent side in the game through several generations. After breaking their jinx to lift the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, they remain a strong force to retain the title at the tournament in Russia next year.
The strength in depth, the succession planning, consistency, confidence and good management all favour them ahead of the competition for the World Cup 2018 title. Joachim Low has taken an experimental and youthful side to the ongoing Confederations Cup and it might pay off next year. Only three players from the 2014 squad provide experience at the Confed Cup but the benefits would be reaped for many years.
Manuel Neuer is strong in goal – arguably the best keeper in the world for the past three years. Barring any injury, he is expected to start in goal next year. Joshua Kimmich has had a bit of a snag under Bayern Munich Coach Carlo Ancelotti, who prefers experience to youth. However, Kimmich would likely get a spot in the first team next year. Mat Hummels and Jerome Boateng are decent and expected central defensive options. In left back, Jonas Hector or Marcel Schmelzer could easily boss opponents. Continue reading
The Russian Football Union (RFU) and the German Football Association (DFB) signed a memorandum on cooperation, according to reports.
The President of both associations Vitaly Mutko and Reinhard Grindel respectively were in unison as they signed the document at the office of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of Russia 2018 World Cup campaign.
They agreedon a number of issues, with a friendly game between both sides ticked off. They had agreed initially in 2012 but they have now included more points as they seek broader cooperation between both bodies.
However, Mutko asked that fans not expect the game anytime soon. He said: “Friendly matches should be discussed separately. [The German team] have a very tight schedule. There are no exact dates yet.
“The memorandum, however, stipulates not only a friendly match between the Russian and German teams, but a possible friendly game between the two national youth teams.”
Last year, Mutko and his team signed something similar with the Italian Football Federation as they seek to relate well with the biggest nations in Europe. Continue reading
The 2017 Confederations Cup is the only edition of that football competition that the Russian national football side has ever managed to qualify and the only reason why they were qualified is because Russia is serving as the hosts.
When it comes to qualifying for the Confederations Cup, it’s something that Russia has never really managed to do and the furthest round that the Russian national side has reached was the semi-finals of the UEFA European Championship which was back on 2008.
It’s clear that Russia has struggled trying to reach the advanced stages of the bigger international football competitions but nonetheless the head coach of the Russian national side StanislavCherchesov is feeling like his team is going through a very impressive progress and that his squad is being rebuilt. Continue reading
Controversy continues to surround the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 version in Qatar ever since they were simultaneously awarded the hosting right in 2011, amid accusations of bribes, vote buying, and backhanders.
Last week brought a fresh evidence of the depths Russia’s odious sports system plumbed into in her subversive, secretive modern war on fair play. A report submitted by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren exposed the extraordinary plots that saw more than 1,000 Russian athletes fed banned performance-enhancing drugs, with the subsequent doping tests tampered with or fabricated to foil the system.
While the narrative of Russian drug cheating has majorly revolved around the Paralympics and Olympics, both winter and summer, football among the 30 sports named. In the case of the “beautiful game of soccer,” the doping conspiracy involved a number of a Russian youth team, another unsavory example of how far the state has gone to facilitate cheating.
The Soviet Union, subsequently Russia, has long been using sports as a tool to promote its international image. Although It is not the only country to do so but being organized enough and rich enough to successfully host a global competition on the scale of a World Cup provides the kind of political chest-beating Vladimir Putin loves. Losing the chance to showcase the power, because your government supported a cheating blueprint on an unprecedented scale, is the sort of heavyweight embarrassment that can make a dent in the walls of the Kremlin.
Cheating aside, Russia has lost the privilege to be granted the benefit of the doubt and should not have been awarded the hosting right in the first place. Continue reading
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko says Uefa chief Michel Platini does not deserve such a long suspension from football-related activities as he is being given.
On Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the suspension of the UEFA president. The Russian minister released a statement after the judgement which CAS reduced from the initial six years to four and the penalty from 80,000 to 60,000 Swiss francs.
Mutko said on Monday:
“This is a complex situation and it is difficult to comment on the judicial body’s decision,” he started with.
“Platini is an outstanding person and a serious organiser. He has done much for UEFA.
“The causes of his suspension do not deserve such a decision on him. I can only regret about that,” Mutko said.
Platini and former FIFA president Sepp Blatter were both suspended for the period of 90 days from their posts as part of the investigation into corruption allegations against them in October last year. Among a number of corruption allegations, Blatter is suspected of a disloyal payment of 2 million Swiss francs to Platini in February 2011. Continue reading
Liverpool appear to have beaten stiff competition from several Russian clubs for the signature of highly rated Serbian teenager Marko Grujic.
The 19-year-old has been watched by several top clubs across European football. However, the likes of Liverpool were one of the first to comment with an official offer for the player. Just days after it was believed that the Premier League outfit had agreed a £ 7.5 million deal for the player, it emerged that CSKA Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg were looking to hijack the deal. The Russian league represents a great attraction for Serbian players and both these top Russian clubs were looking to take advantage of this fact.
Signing players at this age for this price will allow CSKA Moscow and others to sell him at a substantial profit later on. Liverpool, however, appear to be signing the player with a long-term view. The Premier League club recently went through a managerial change that has seen them appoint former Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp. The signing ofGrujic appeared to be a major doubt over the last few weeks, but a few days ago, the player confirmed that he has indeed signed for Liverpool. Continue reading