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Qatar 2022: Will Argentina’s Loss Impact The GOAT Conversation Between Ronaldo And Messi?

The memory of the first match loss in the opening 2022 FIFA World Cup game with Saudi Arabia in Qatar will continue to linger in the minds of the Argentines, after they suffered a humiliating 1-2 defeat at the Lusail Stadium.

Perhaps, fans of Manchester United player, Cristiano Ronaldo, will have more reason to crown the Portugal front-man as the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT), after Lionel Messi failed to motivate his side to victory in the opener.

Ranked as third in world, many expected the South American team who have been unbeaten for three years and among the favorites to win the tournament, to trample on the Saudi Arabian, ranked 48 places below it in the world rankings.

Both players will be featuring at their fifth World Cup, having first taken to international football’s biggest stage in 2006. Neither has claimed the coveted trophy yet.

Now that Messi was unable to motivate his team to victory, what will be in the mind of his fans as per the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT)?

Many football fans believe GOAT Leonel Messi was roasted at the opener by the Saudi Arabians.

Football fans across the micro-blogging app Twitter have made a mockery of Lionel Messi, as Argentina stumbled to an unexpected opening-day defeat against Saudi Arabia.

Messi became Argentina’s youngest-ever World Cup player when he came off the bench to set up one goal and score another in a 6-0 win over Serbia and Montenegro 16 years ago.

The Argentine then celebrated his 19th birthday by coming on in the last-16 against Mexico, which they won 2-1 after extra-time, but his side were eliminated in the following round by hosts Germany.

At the same tournament, Ronaldo became Portugal’s youngest-ever World Cup scorer aged 21 with a penalty against Iran in the group stage, while he scored the winning penalty against England in the quarter-finals – not to mention producing *that* wink when Wayne Rooney was sent off. He couldn’t prevent a 1-0 semi-final defeat to France.

In 2010, Messi and Argentina were again eliminated in the quarter-finals by Germany, despite being considered among the tournament favourites, while Ronaldo and Portugal were knocked out by eventual winners Spain in the last 16.

Four years later, Ronaldo, by now Portugal’s all-time top scorer, battled through fitness problems to feature in Brazil, but his country suffered an embarrassing group stage exit on goal difference.

Messi, meanwhile, was man of the match in Argentina’s first four games and inspired his country to the final in his first World Cup as captain.

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USA 1 – 1 Wales: Bale scores late to deny the Americans

Gareth Bale scored a late minute goal to deny the USA maximum points in their first game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The United States dominated play right from the blast of the whistle and took the lead in the first half when Tim Weah fired his side in front in the 36th minute of action.

After maintaining their lead into half time, the United States met a much better Welsh side in the second half.

Their resillience finally paid off when captain Bale was felled inside the 18-yard box and the referee wasted no time in pointing to the spot kick.

Bale stepped up to it and converted in the 82nd minute to end the tie at 1-1.

The game went down inside the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium at 8 pm local time.

🔴LIVE

GOALLLLLLLLLLLL!

Gareth Bale equalises for Wales.

GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

Tim Weah puts the Americans ahead.

Memorable moment

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Harry Kane, Eden Hazard face sanction if they wear LGBT+ armband

England captain, his counterpart in Belgium, Eden Hazard and six others may be handed suspensions if they go ahead to wear the OneLove rainbow armband in a mark of solidarity for the LGBT+ community.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Three Lions begin their World Cup campaign against Iran, a Middle East country where homosexuality is still illegal.

FIFA’s strict rules about apparel that can be worn by players indicate that the armband is not allowed under the code, but eight countries have insisted they will use the armband.

Unless FIFA backs down today, the English talismanic striker could face an immediate yellow card this afternoon if he walks out wearing the ‘OneLove’ armband as England take on Iran in their opening match. And if he wears it again in their second match, the skipper could be slapped with another yellow card, automatically banning him from the third game.

Other countries’ captains that may suffer the same fate the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Wales

Last night there were crisis talks as the standoff continued, but England’s Football Association remained firm on taking a moral stand over wearing the rainbow armband, which is intended to signal respect for gay rights and equality in general.

The latest row comes after the competition got off to a tumultuous start on Sunday as it was officially opened by Morgan Freeman in a spectacular opening ceremony.

The start to the tournament dissolved into something of a farce on Sunday evening after a series of controversies in recent days, including a last minute alcohol ban, a largely empty stadium for the opening ceremony and thousands of people involved in a crush to enter FIFA fan zones.

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FIFA World Cup 2022: Which team do you support most? Who’s your favourite player? Tell us your thoughts and show your support

The 2022 World Cup gets underway in just three weeks with Qatar and Ecuador kicking off the tournament on November 20.

Players are now sweating over their fitness ahead of the first-ever winter World Cup with injuries mounting up due to the congested fixture schedule.

Tell us your thoughts!

Which team do you support most? Who’s your favourite player to watch? Tell us your thoughts and show your support 👇

You can easily click here to fill in the form to show your support!

Or you can visit this url to tell us which team you love the most👇

https://forms.gle/uaU1ffqPwcfzMSyc8

We will keep the focus more on the top favorites clubs and players, and on base of the survey result, we will give you the best user experience during the FIFA World Cup 2022!

Background reading

· World Cup fixtures and full schedule

· World Cup team-by-team guide

Follow us on Twitter!

The last and the most important thing: don’t hesitate to follow our Twitter account @ApexFootballApp, we will keep you up to date with all the latest news leading up to football’s biggest international competition.

Click the tweet below and follow us 👇

My Sexy Outfits Is To Make Fans And Families Happy…They Take Pictures With Me In The Stadium, Says ‘World Cup’s Sexiest Fan’

To her, she’s doing what she likes doing best as model, which is, making sure people around her feel her aura of beauty in the positive light. Her name is Ivana Knolls, a German-born model who lives in the Croatian capital Zagreb.

In 2014 World Cup in Brazil, she first attracted fame for her patriotic clothing as well as four years later in Russia.

The former Miss Croatia, 30, told Piers Morgan in a recent interview that her racy outfits have received a glowing reception from ordinary Qataris, and even says families with children have taken selfies with her.

Ivana Knoll, the stunning Croatian model whose distinctive red-and-white chequerboard get-ups have gone viral at this winter’s World Cup, appeared on Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV live from Qatar.

Wearing a revealing bikini top in the colours of the Croatian flag, she claimed that she hasn’t received any negative comments since arriving in the Middle-Eastern country.

Asked by Piers if she had encountered any “resistance” to her skimpy outfits in the majority-Muslim nation, she replied: “No, to be honest. I’ve been very surprised, very happy, they [the Qataris] accept my clothing.”

She added: “Women, men, kids take pictures with me.”

But Piers pressed her on whether the response had been different in Qatar, where strict rules on modesty exist.

“Many people are here from other countries,” Ivana replied. “I didn’t have any bad reactions [to my outfits].”

Ivana has risked flouting Qatar’s laws on clothing as she posed in increasingly racy outfits at Croatia’s games.

She even filmed herself strutting down a beach in Qatar in a red and white swimsuit, pouting at the camera.

Also speaking to Piers was Qatari entrepreneur Mohammed Hassan Al-Jefairi.

He sparked a debate on Twitter last week when he criticised her busty display in the stands.

During her beloved Croatia’s clash with Belgium, a picture of two men in traditional Arab thobes taking a sneaky picture of Ivana took the internet by storm.

Ivana herself shared the photo of the men checking her out on her Instagram as she marked one million followers.

But taking to Twitter, Mohammed said in response to the picture: “Just for your info they take a photo not because they like her but because they don’t like the way she is mis-dressed on regards to our culture.

“You can confirm this with any local Qatari Probably to report it.”

Piers got Mohammed on his show to explain what he meant.

He said that he hoped the World Cup was a chance for Ivana, as well as other foreign supporters, to “learn more about Qatari culture”.

Mohammed added that “no one” would have been rude enough to directly confront her about her clothing choices.

He also cheekily added that Ivana could wear a traditional Qatari dress, called an abayha, saying she would “look good” in one.

Ivana told Piers that her outfits were nothing to do with insulting Qatari culture, and said locals had confirmed that she could dress how she wanted during the tournament.

“I respect every country,” she said. “They are making exceptions for the World Cup.

She added that she had had extremely positive experiences with local women in Qatar, with women in hijabs posing for selfies with her.

Ivana’s World Cup adventure is set to continue as Croatia knocked out Japan on penalties to advance to the Quarter Finals, setting up a mouth-watering clash with Brazil on Friday.

Netherlands vs Argentina: H2H, referee, stadium, possible lineup and top news about Messi

No doubt, a World Cup quarter final fixture between Netherlands and Argentina is an iconic encounter that will be filled with thrills and frills.

The game will kick-off at 8pm local time on Friday December 9, 2022.

It will be a much contested fixture as captain Lionel Messi will hope to get closer to his dream of winning his first World Cup with Argentina.

Back in history, Mario Kempes’s brace and the ticker-tape celebrations after Argentina’s 3-1 victory in the 1978 final have gone down in folklore. As has Dennis Bergkamp’s legendary late winner in the last eight in 1998.

If Friday’s quarter-final clash at the Lusail Stadium can be half as good as those meetings, then we’ll be in for a cracker. However, the two previous World Cup meetings, in 2006 and 2014, “failed to produce a goal”, said Sporting News. And the last competitive goal scored in this fixture was Bergkamp’s 24 years ago.

At the semi-final stage in Brazil in 2014, Argentina progressed on penalties after the match ended goalless. Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal said that his team have got “a score to settle” with Argentina “for what happened two World Cups ago”.

Messi

One of the big storylines at Qatar 2022 has been about Argentina skipper Lionel Messi, who is playing in his fifth and final World Cup. In the round of 16 Messi played his 1,000th career match and scored in the 2-1 win over Australia.

Now 35, the brilliant No.10 has lifted the Copa América with his country, but is still to emulate the great Diego Maradona by winning the World Cup.

Referee

FIFA has appointed world renowned Antonio Mateu to be the man in charge of the match. While top CAF and PSL referee Victor Gomes is the fourth official for Friday’s World Cup clash between Argentina and Netherlands.

Gomes, who could retire after the World Cup, will officiate in his third game in Qatar.

Team news

Netherlands boss Van Gaal had everyone fit for the round of 16 win over the USA and that should be the case for Friday, too. He is expected to name the same starting XI.

Argentina have concerns over winger Angel Di Maria. He missed the win over Australia because of a thigh injury and is a doubt to face the Dutch. Papu Gomez came off against Australia with an ankle sprain and is also a doubt.

Possible starting XIs

Netherlands: Noppert; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, De Roon, De Jong, Blind, Klaassen; Gakpo, Memphis

Argentina: Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Di Maria or Gomez, Alvarez, Messi

BREAKING: Luis Enrique Leaves Spain Job After Morocco Defeat at the World Cup

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have announced that Luis Enrique will no longer be the manager of the Spanish national team, effective immediately.

Luis Enrique took over the Spanish national team in 2018 following the World Cup in Russia and with a brief break in 2019. Previously his spell was considered fairly successful, reaching the semi-final of the Euros, but their dramatic exit on penalties to Morocco in the World Cup Round of 16 meant that a renewal of his contract was not considered by the RFEF.

The Asturian was thanked by the RFEF for his work, deciding that a ‘new project’ was needed in order to progress the Spain side. As of yet, they have not announced a successor.

Their full statement reads below.

The RFEF would like to thank Luis Enrique and his entire coaching staff at the helm of the senior national team in recent years.

The sports management of the RFEF has transferred to the president a report in which it is determined that a new project should start for the Spanish Football Team, with the aim of continuing with the growth achieved in recent years thanks to the work carried out by Luis Enrique and his collaborators. Both the president, Luis Rubiales, and the Sporting Director, José Francisco Molina, have communicated the decision to the coach.

The Asturian coach managed to give a new impetus to the national team since his arrival, in 2018, through a profound renewal that has consolidated a generational change in the team and in Spanish football.

Luis Enrique qualified for two Final Four of the UEFA Nations League, of the three he played as coach; and reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020 with his own stamp and through a defined style. He opted for young talent and has sown hope for the future of the Spanish team.

The RFEF energetically wishes Luis Enrique and his team the best of luck in their future professional projects. The coach has earned the love and admiration of his team in the national team and of the entire Federation, which will always be his home.

England vs France: Kick-off time, H2H, stadium and all you need to know

The quarter final fixture between England and France is one of the highly anticipated matches this weekend with high tension between fans of both teams.

Both teams have immense quality all over the pitch, with the likes of Jude Bellingham and Kylian Mbappe shining so far this tournament for their respective countries.

The eagerly anticipated World Cup quarter-final encounter will take place at Al Bayt Stadium.

Kick-off has been set for 8 pm local time on Saturday December 10, 2022.

England’s emphatic 3-0 win over Senegal earned them a 2022 World Cup quarterfinal against holders France, who beat Poland 3-1 in their Round of 16 fixture.

The clash at Al Bayt Stadium is an eye-catching one for neutrals, who have seen the likes of England’s Jude Bellingham and France’s Kylian Mbappe in superb form so far, as their respective sides topped their groups and cruised through to the knockout stage.

The Three Lions and Les Bleus have been facing off for almost 100 years but rarely have the stakes been as high, with a semifinal against Portugal or Morocco in the offing for Saturday’s victors.

Despite being close geographically in Europe, England and France have played each other just 11 times in the last three decades, and this period has been the most successful in Les Bleus’ history with — two World Cup triumphs coming along the way.

France have won five of their matches against England since the two teams played out a goalless draw in the 1992 European Championships, including a dramatic 2-1 group-stage victory in the 2004 European Championships.

England’s only wins over France in their last 10 attempts came in 2015, when goals from Dele Alli and Wayne Rooney clinched a 2-0 friendly victory, and in the 1997 Tournoi de France summer exhibition series.

However, the further back you go into the history between these two teams, the better England’s record gets.

England have won 17 of their 31 international matches against France, dating back to May 1923.

The two teams have met twice in the World Cup, with England winning both encounters: the first a 2-0 victory during England’s glorious 1966 campaign, and the second a 3-1 group-stage win over Les Bleus at the 1982 World Cup.

Recent meetings between England and France have largely gone the way of Didier Deschamps’ team, with the last competitive fixture a 1-1 draw in the group stage of the 2012 European Championships.

There seems not to be any serious injury worries in the camp of both teams as all top players are in good shape.

Qatar 2022 – Apex Football World Cup Review and Catch-Up

After seventeen days of action, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is into its quarter-final stages, as the round-of-16 phase came to a conclusion on Tuesday night.

So far, 56 matches have been played at the Mundial with 148 goals scored. Eight more games are yet to come – four quarter-final fixtures, two semi-final ties, one third-place match and the Final set to go down on December 18th.

While we catch our breath with the two match-free days afforded to us by FIFA just before the commencement of the quarter-finals, we shall take a seat and rewind to the last seventeen days where action at the 22nd edition of football’s greatest spectacle have thrilled fans and audiences the world over.

OVERVIEW:

The past 56 fixtures of the Mundial have seen the following occur:

  • The use of longer than usual added-on time to compensate for goal celebrations, use of VAR and time wasting by players and teams.
  • The use of semi-offside technology.
  • History being made when Stephanie Frappart became the first female referee to officiate a FIFA Men’s World Cup encounter.
  • Disciplinary record has been generally good, with just three red cards being brandished (Wayne Hennessey for Wales and Vincent Aboubakar for Cameroon while the now-departed South Korea manager Paulo Bento was given his marching orders from the touchline).
  • Shocks and upsets of seismic proportions as in the case of Morocco defeating Belgium and Spain en route to the quarter-finals, Japan upsetting Spain and Germany on their way to the Round-Of-16, Tunisia edging France 1-0, and Saudi Arabia defeating Argentina 2-1.
  • Predictions being ripped apart in the case of Belgium, Denmark and Germany exiting the Mundial in the group stages.
  • Fairytale stories as Morocco became the fourth African country to reach the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup, Japan and Australia also progressing to the knockout rounds in Qatar.

WHO HAS DISSAPOINTED:

BELGIUM: The Red Devils of Belgium came into the tournament with the tag of favourites, having gone on to the semi-finals at the last edition in Russia 2018, even claiming the bronze medal in the process.

Their golden generation of exceptional players were practically on a last-chance salon to claim football’s biggest prize but they fell short in the first round. The Red Devils earned a fortuitous 1-0 win over Canada, lost to Morocco and drew goalless with Croatia to crash out. The consequences of their early ouster has seen head coach Roberto Martinez leave his role as manager, while captain Eden Hazard has announced his retirement from international football at the age of 31.

DENMARK: Denmark had a brilliant qualifying campaign where they conceded only one goal and they defeated France home and away in the UEFA Nations League to cement their status as one side who could go far.

But when competition in Qatar commenced, the squad which had the likes of Christian Eriksen, Martin Braithwaite and Andreas Christensen, finished bottom of their group with only a solitary point as they made an early exit.

GERMANY: Four-time winners Die Maanschaft were looking to put Russia 2018 behind them where they suffered a first-round exit. A group featuring the likes of Spain, Japan and Costa Rica meant on paper that Hansi Flick’s side would qualify easily but the reverse was the case. A shock 2-1 defeat to Japan was followed by a 1-1 draw with 2010 champions Spain before salvaging a 4-2 triumph over Costa Rica which ensured they endured another humiliating early exit at the Mundial.

SPAIN: La Furia Roja simply flattered to deceive in Qatar. After opening their campaign with a 7-0 hammering of Costa Rica, they were pegged 1-1 by Germany before succumbing to an embarrassing 2-1 loss to the Blue Samurai of Japan. At one point, the Spaniards were in danger of being eliminated in the group stages had it been Costa Rica had emerged victorious against Germany (which seemed likely, as the CONCACAF nation led briefly in the tie).

Germany’s eventual win saw Luis Enrique’s charges qualify as runners-up and they got what looked on paper an easy pairing with the Atlas Lions of Morocco in the round-of-16. But lo and behold, much to fans dismay, Spain were dumped out via penalties with none of their players managing to convert even a single spot-kick.

WHO HAS SURPRISED:

MOROCCO: Many critics would never have thought that the Atlas Lions would be in the quarter-final stage of the World Cup at this point in time, but here they are! Morocco have not only upset the apple cart, but have done way more than that as they march on to the last-eight of the Mundial for the first time in their history. Victories over Belgium and Canada in the group phase was followed by a penalty shootout triumph over Spain in the last-16.

JAPAN: The Blue Samurai gave a good account of themselves after being pitted in a tough group that had heavyweights in Germany and Spain. They earned come-from-behind 2-1 victories over Die Maanschaft and La Furia Roja to top Group E.

AUSTRALIA: The Socceroos made this Mundial in the Middle East their best-ever yet, recovering from an opening 4-1 defeat to France on Matchday One to beat both Tunisia and Denmark (1-0 apiece) to qualify for the knockout rounds as runners-up with six points.

AFRICAN TEAMS (GHANA, CAMEROON, MOROCCO, SENEGAL, TUNISIA): This has been Africa’s best-ever outing in the history of the Mundial. For the first time, all of the continent’s representatives won at least a match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, with some recording shock results.

Tunisia earned a surprise 1-0 win over France on Matchday Three to finish on four points, Senegal won two games against hosts Qatar 2-0 and Ecuador 2-1. The Black Stars of Ghana were 3-2 better than South Korea, Morocco accounted for Canada and Belgium (the latter in stunning fashion), while the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon upstaged five-time champions Brazil 1-0 to end their campaign on four points.

WHO WILL WIN???:

We are now left with eight teams out of 32 that began the journey to be crowned world champions. The countries left to contend for the 2022 FIFA World Cup crown include; Netherlands, Argentina, France, England, Croatia, Brazil, Morocco and Portugal.

Having seen nearly every game played by the aforementioned nations, I dare say that the champions of the world will come from these three teams: France, the Netherlands, Brazil and Portugal.

Argentina have a fine squad but I think they will fall short. England are all noise and the hype while the road may be just too far for Croatia and Morocco.

OVER FOR CRISTIANO RONALDO??:

The 2022/2023 season has not been kind to one of the game’s greatest ever players in the person of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has endured a frustrating opening half to the campaign at Manchester United. His subsequent tirades with manager Erik ten Hag and the Red Devils hierarchy led to his contract being terminated just before the start of the World Cup, while he has only found the back of the net just once in Qatar and that was a penalty.

The 37 year-old’s performances at the Mundial have not been inspiring to say the least and his confidence must have taken a hit, following Portugal’s 6-1 thumping of Switzerland in the round-of-16. Ronaldo was benched for the tie and his replacement Goncalo Ramos notched a hat-trick, which prompted calls for manager Fernando Santos to continue benching the five-time Ballon DÓr winner.

Is this really the end of the greatest player of all time? Join us on Twitter via our handle @ApexFootballApp on Thursday 8th December, 2022 at 18:00 WAT (West African Time) as we hold a Twitter Space where we shall give our analysis on Cristiano Ronaldo and catch-up on all the happenings from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar in readiness for the quarter-finals.

MOVING ON: 2 things Man United boss Erik ten Hag said as he breaks silence on Ronaldo’s outburst and exit

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has commented for the first time since the club and legendary striker Cristiano Ronaldo parted ways in November.

United terminated Ronaldo’s contract by mutual consent two days before Portugal’s World Cup campaign began after he gave an explosive interview to Piers Morgan on Talk TV in which he criticised the club and manager Ten Hag.

Ronaldo did not mince words when he said he felt “betrayed” by people at the club for trying to force him out and that he has “no respect” for Ten Hag because “he doesn’t show respect for me”.

Erik ten Hag has not publicly made any comment since Ronaldo’s outburst, but has now found his breath to do so.

The Dutchman, is in Spain with the other Man United players not at the World Cup for a winter training camp.

Here are two things he said in his first reaction since Ronaldo’s exit.

  1. Ronaldo is in the past: Ten Hag has refused to be taken aback on the issue of Ronaldo as he said the he has thrown the matter behind him.

“He’s gone and it’s the past.” Ten Hag told MUTV.

“We are now looking forward and we’re looking to the future”, added Ten Hag ahead of Wednesday night’s friendly against Spanish top-flight side Cadiz.

  1. Moving on in the right direction: Ten Hag said Manchester United is headed in the right direction.

The coach has had a transformative impact on the performances at Old Trafford after what was a nightmare start, losing their first two games of his tenure to Brighton and Brentford.

“I have the feeling, we have the feeling, that we are in the right direction, but we also know that it’s still a lot of work to do for us here,” he added.

Ronaldo, who is now free to find another club, has played down talk of a deal being agreed for him to join Saudi club Al Nassr, saying the reports are “not true”.

The 37-year-old has failed to set the World Cup alight so far and was dropped for Tuesday night’s last-16 encounter against Switzerland, with his replacement Goncalo Ramos’ hat-trick inspiring a 6-1 thrashing.

England vs France: 3 shocking updates ahead of blockbuster quarter final showdown

England are faced with a major test when they take on defending champions France in one of the quarter final matches on Saturday.

The Al Bayt Stadium will host one of the biggest contentions in this World Cup come 8pm local time on Saturday.

Following the conclusion of the Round of 16 matches, attention has now shifted to the quarter final fixtures with the tie between England and France the most talked about at the moment.

Here are three fresh updates as we count down to the quarter final showdown.

  1. Tickets sell for £10,000: Tickets for England’s blockbuster World Cup clash against France are now selling for £10,000 – more than 28 times the face value.

This shocking development only confirm how big the match is. Irrespective of the massive increase in ticket price, the stadium is expected to be jampacked.

Nearly 800 have appeared on resale sites at hugely inflated prices, with many being sold by fans whose teams have been knocked out.

The Standard found a pair of £175 category 2 seats being sold on Ticombo for £5,000 each, including a £709 booking fee.

Fans no longer need a match ticket to get the necessary Hayya immigration permit to enter Qatar, meaning they can fly in at short notice without having to negotiate red tape.

  1. 9,500 England supporters expected: About 9,500 English fans are expected to drum support for the Three Lions when they face France on Saturday.

The 9,500 England supporters are boosted by ex-pats and hundreds flying in from the UK on flights costing over £1,600.

This is no doubt a big deal, a big game, a big stage that take big spending.

Thomas Concannon, from the Football Supporters’ Association fans’ embassy in Doha, said there had been no arrests or police incidents in two-and-a-half weeks.

He said: “All the England fans have been fantastically well-behaved, very respectful of where we are and just enjoyed themselves.”

  1. Mbappe injury rumour: There was speculation around star Kylian Mbappe who missed training on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon’s session has been suddenly closed to the media.

Officials insisted there are no concerns for the 23-year-old who is working away from his team in the recovery room.

Others suggest Didier Deschamps’ side are playing mind games with England.

The PSG forward is the top scorer at the tournament with five goals

Eden Hazard Retires From International Football

Belgium front man, Eden Hazard, has retired from international duty.

He made the decision after his nation’s exit from the 2022 World Cup at the group stage. Belgium finished third in Group F, beating Canada in their opening game before losing to Morocco and then drawing with Croatia.

Hazard, 31, played in all three games but did not score for his country.

A message from Hazard on Instagram read: ‘A page turns today… Thank you for your love. Thank you for your unparalleled support. Thank you for all this happiness shared since 2008.

‘I have decided to put an end to my international career. The succession is ready. I will miss you.’

Morocco 3-0 Spain: Two key things Okocha discovered about goalkeeper Bono

Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou was the hero on the night when Morocco held their own in a marathon 120 minutes of football to withstand endless threats from Spain attack. It ended goalless still and the game went into penalty.

The African side came out 3-0 winners after Bounou (Bono) save Spain’s kicks.

In the Round of 16 fixture at Education City Stadium, the Atlas Lions produced a solid performance to deny the 2010 World champions in normal and extra-time.

During penalties, the Sevilla goalkeeper was the hero and kept out Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets’ efforts while Pablo Sarabia hit the post. Abdelhamid Sabiri, Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi scored for Morocco.

Bono’s display no doubt caught the attention of the 49-year-old former Super Eagles captain Jay Jay Okocha, who insists Morocco knew they would succeed during penalties.

Here are two key things Okocha discovered as he praised the performance of the goalkeeper.

  1. He trust himself: Okocha said the confidence of Bono is one thing to envy as the goalkeeper believed in himself.

He added that Bono’s body language showed how much of confidence he has in his abilities.

“From the body language of the keeper, he trusts himself, he’s very confident. He trusts in his ability,” Okocha told SuperSport TV.

  1. The only way: Okocha said it appears Bono and his teammates knew the only way they could have beaten Spain is via penalty, hence their strong defence on the back line.

He said Morocco were battered as Spain gained so much of the ball possession, but the Atlas Lions defended their own.

“It looked like this is the only way they could have won the game because they got battered when it came to possession play but when your game is to defend, you should at least have some qualities when it gets to penalties. And that’s what they showed.”

The Atlas Lions now become the fourth African team to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament after Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.

2022 World Cup: Gavi, Balde, Xavi, Bellingham… Top Ten Under 20 Wonderkids Who played In Qatar

For most of these next generation wonderkids, it is a dream come true for them to debut in their first World Cup experience in Qatar. Usually, it often presents itself as an opportunity for them to make a name for themselves and this year is no different.

As it stands, about 14 teenagers have featured in the World Cup so far. Several of them have already had a huge impact on the tournament so far.

Below is the list of the top 10 youngest players to have played at the 2022 World Cup;

10. Xavi Simons

The Dutch playmaker had been in fine form for PSV in the build-up to the World Cup with eight goals and three assists in 14 Eredivisie appearances.

Simons is the youngest player in the Netherlands squad and was just 19 years, seven months, and 12 days old when he featured in their 3-1 win against the USA.

9. Brandon Aguilera

Costa Rica had quite the mix of youth and experience within their squad this year. Aguilera was only 19 years, four months and 26 days old when he made his first appearance against Spain.

The young midfielder played a total of 89 minutes throughout the tournament and started in their 4-2 loss against Germany.

8. Jude Bellingham

Bellingham was one of the most sought-after midfielders in Europe before the tournament began, but now the hype has reached a totally new level.

The Borussia Dortmund was only 19 years, four months and 23 days old when he starred against Iran during England’s 6-2 opening victory.

7. Alejandro Balde

The Barcelona full-back is the understudy to his fellow teammate Jordi Albia in the Spanish national side and he has been given plenty of opportunities by Luis Enrique.

Balde was 19 years, one month and five days old when he played against Costa Rica and he has since featured in all three of Spain’s group-stage matches.

6. Antonio Silva

Portugal have both the youngest and oldest centre-half at the World Cup this year which is some achievement. There was a 20-year age gap between Silva and Pepe when they both started for Portugal against South Korea.

Silva was just 19 years, one month and two days old when he made his World Cup debut, making him the youngest centre-half at the tournament.

5. Abdul Fatawu Issahaku

Fatawu just sneaks onto the list after his only appearance at the World Cup came in Ghana’s final group stage match against Uruguay where he was introduced as a 98th-minute substitute.

He did get two touches of the ball while he was on the pitch and was just 18 years, eight months and 24 days old at the time. The youngster looks like a huge prospect for the future.

4. Jewison Bennette

Bennette has looked lively in the Championship this season for Sunderland and he got his chance to shine on the world stage with Costa Rica.

The winger featured in all three of their matches during the tournament and was 18 years, five months and eight days old during his first match of the tournament.

3. Gavi

Barcelona’s Gavi practically stole the show with a superbly composed performance in Spain’s 7-0 hammering of Costa Rica.

Spain’s midfield now looks set for the next decade with Gavi and Pedri looking like one of the best duos at the tournament. Gavi himself was only 18 years, three months and 18 days old when he starred against Costa Rica.

2. Garang Kuol

To have played against France and Argentina at the World Cup must have been a surreal experience for the young Kuol.

The Australian forward was only 18 years, two months and seven days when he came off the bench for Australia in the second half against France.

1. Youssoufa Moukoko

The award for the youngest player to have featured at the 2022 World Cup goes to Germany’s Moukoko who had just turned 18 when he featured against Japan.

The Borussia Dortmund forward has been in fine form this season, scoring six goals in the Bundesliga so far this season. He made his World Cup debut for Germany aged just 18 years and three days old.

While this tournament didn’t exactly go to plan for Germany, we’re sure that we’ll be seeing plenty more from Moukoko in the future.