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
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
Appearing on the Russian scoresheet would be Yuri Zhirkov who continues to make some impressive plays.
He’s not the only Russian player appearing on the scoreboards through and impressing players as Dmitri Payet, KinglseyComan, Andre-PieereGignac and Aleksandr Kokorin have also been making some impressive plays. We all know that Russian teams haven’t been in the best of positions lately and they need all the help they can get but it looks like Zhirkov is a well-rounded player with great form who might be a great addition to his team.
In other news, we have France winning their very first match since attacks that occurred on November 13 and this game ended with a 4 to 2 victory. This was a friendly game against Russia in the Stade De France in Saint-Denis. We also have a 25th birthday being celebrated by N’GoloKante and at the same time, he managed to celebrate his very first international goal. Antoine Griezmann is to thank for setting up the clean goal and giving the hosts a clean victory. Continue reading