England manager Gareth Southgate has London Underground tube station renamed in his honour

16 Jul

A London Underground tube station has been temporarily renamed in Gareth Southgate, the England manager’s honour.

The Three Lions didn’t win anything in Russia, but the fourth place finish was the best England have managed since 1990 and Transport for London wanted to celebrate the ‘achievement’ by calling ‘Southgate Station’ on the Piccadilly line ‘Gareth Southgate Station’.

Gareth Southgate celebrates another England victory

Luka Modric wins the World Cup Golden Ball as best player at tournament

15 Jul

Luka Modric has won the 2018 World Cup Golden Ball award and been declared the best player of the entire tournament.

Eden Hazard won the silver ball (second best) and Antoine Griezmann took the bronze ball (third best).

The 32-year-old couldn’t hide his disappointment from World Cup final defeat when presented with the award

Modric played a key role as Croatia’s star player, dragging his country to the first World Cup final in their history, however was not overjoyed to receive the award having just lost to France.

He scored twice in the tournament, as well as netting in two penalty shoot-outs.

The award is given to the player deemed to have performed the best out of all 736 at the World Cup.

A shortlist was drawn up by FIFA’s ‘technical committee’ and the winner decided by a vote of media representatives.

FIFA have always named a ‘Best Player’ at each tournament, however the ‘Golden Ball’ itself only came into existence in 1982.

The most recent previous winners have been Lionel Messi (2014), Diego Forlan (2010) and Zinedine Zidane (2006).

Modric joins Thibaut Courtois, who won the Golden Glove, and Harry Kane, who finished top scorer and claimed the Golden Boot, as the three main award winners for the 2018 World Cup.

Messi was far from delighted to claim the prize in 2014, just after losing in the World Cup final

Arsenal fans mock Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris after World Cup final howler against Croatia

15 Jul

Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris made a shocking mistake during France’s World Cup final win over Croatia on Sunday.

The French captain far from led by example as he casually attempted to knock the ball around Mario Mandzukic with the ball at his feet inside his own penalty area.

Lloris was no doubt relieved that his error didn’t end up costing his country

Mandzukic simply tackled Lloris as he attempted to do so and knocked the ball into the back of the net as a result.

Thankfully for France, they were already 4-1 up at the time and the goal ended up as a mere consolation.

However, this didn’t stop rival Arsenal fans from mocking the Spurs man.

You can see a collection of the best Tweets below.

And even talkSPORT’s Adrian Durham got in on the act…

Every World Cup squad ranked by average age – oldest to youngest

15 Jul
Every World Cup squad ranked by average age – oldest to youngest
France international Kylian Mbappe will be one of the youngest players at the World Cup

We all know the famous line – ‘you can’t win anything with kids’.

Alan Hansen was talking about Manchester United in the Premier League back in August 1995, but many believe the same about football on the international stage.

Received wisdom suggests you need a few elder statesmen who have experienced not only international tournaments but the highs and lows of the beautiful game.

With all the World Cup 2018 squads confirmed there are plenty of differences in the average ages of those nations participating in Russia.

But which countries have the youngest average age? Scroll down to find out…

31= The average age of Panama’s squad is 29.6-years-old

31= The average age of Costa Rica’s squad is 29.6-years-old

30. The average age of Mexico’s squad is 29.4-years-old

29. The average age of Argentina’s squad is 29.3-years-old

28. The average age of Egypt’s squad is 29-years-old

27. The average age of Russia’s squad is 28.8-years-old

26. The average age of Saudi Arabia’s squad is 28.7-years-old

23= The average age of Brazil’s squad is 28.6-years-old

23= The average age of Iceland’s squad is 28.6-years-old

23= The average age of Japan’s squad is 28.6-years-old

22. The average age of Spain’s squad is 28.5-years-old

21. The average age of Portugal’s squad is 28.4-years-old

20. The average age of Poland’s squad is 28.3-years-old

19. The average age of Sweden’s squad is 28.2-years-old

16= The average age of Australia’s squad is 28.1-years-old

16= The average age of Uruguay’s squad is 28.1-years-old

16= The average age of Colombia’s squad is 28.1-years-old

15. The average age of Croatia’s squad is 27.9-years-old

14. The average age of South Korea’s squad is 27.8-years-old

13. The average age of Belgium’s squad is 27.6-years-old

12. The average age of Peru’s squad is 27.4-years-old

8= The average age of Morocco’s squad is 27.2-years-old

8= The average age of Iran’s squad is 27.2-years-old

8= The average age of Switzerland’s squad is 27.2-years-old

8= The average age of Senegal’s squad is 27.2-years-old

6= The average age of Denmark’s squad is 27.1-years-old

6= The average age of Germany’s squad is 27.1-years-old

5. The average age of Serbia’s squad is 26.8-years-old

4. The average age of Tunisia’s squad is 26.5-years-old

2= The average age of England’s squad is 26-years-old

2= The average age of France’s squad is 26-years-old

1. The average age of Nigeria’s squad is 25.9-years-old

‘He’s indisciplined’ – Graeme Souness explains criticisms of Paul Pogba at 2018 World Cup

15 Jul

Former Liverpool midfielder and manager Graeme Souness has admitted he’s “warmed” to Manchester United’s Paul Pogba with France at the World Cup.

However, the pundit stuck fiercely to his previous criticisms of the 25-year-old during his role with beIN SPORTS.

Souness has been far from Pogba’s biggest fan

When asked directly if he had “warmed” to Pogba, Souness responded: “Most definitely, yeah.”

“I’ve been a critic of his back in the UK and I wouldn’t back off the things I’ve said about him while he’s been a Man United player, but I see a different Paul Pogba in this competition.

“The number one criticism: He’s got a ‘fast forward’ gear when he’s attacking and when he loses it he doesn’t sprint back as quickly as he does when he’s going to try and do things.

Pogba received high praise for his dominant performance against Belgium in the semi-final

“I think he’s been more of a team player in this competition. But when you’re playing with Matuidi and the likes of Kante I think you’d be embarrassed if you didn’t put the same shift in as them.”

Paul Pogba has been key in France’s World Cup campaign which has seen Les Bleus progress all the way to the final.

Despite this, Souness insists his poor discipline has let him down in the past.

“Put it this way, do you bring Paul Pogba on in the last ten minutes if you’re 1-0 up and you’re looking to close a game down?

“You don’t do that. You bring Paul Pogba on to try and get you a goal in the last ten minutes if you’re chasing something.

“I think he’s indisciplined, I think that’s the kindest thing I can say about him.”

France vs Croatia: Live talkSPORT commentary, stream, team line-ups and kick off time for World Cup final

13 Jul

It seems a lifetime ago when Brazil legend Ronaldo joined Robbie Williams to perform the World Cup opening ceremony.

Russia kicked off with a thumping 5-0 win against Saudi Arabia and since then it has been a tournament to remember, especially on these shores.

England made it all the way to a first semi-final since 1990, but were beaten by Croatia in extra-time.

Mario Mandzukic celebrates the goal that sent Croatia into the final

The Three Lions will now play Belgium to decide who comes third. Croatia, meanwhile, will play in the big one, when they take on 1998 winners France in the final.

When is the World Cup final?

The World Cup final will be held on Sunday, 15 July.

It will take place at 4pm UK time and talkSPORT will be there.

How can I follow it?

It’s live on talkSPORT, with build up to football’s biggest match going on all day here.

The 2018 World Cup final between France and Croatia is live on talkSPORT

What stadium will the game be held in?

It’s at the redeveloped, but iconic 81,000-seater Luzhniki Stadium, which has played host to the 1980 Olympics, the 1999 UEFA Cup final and 2008 Champions League final.

Confirmed teams

France XI: Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Kanté, Pogba, Matuidi; Mbappé, Griezmann, Giroud.

Croatia XI: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Brozovic, Rakitic, Modric; Perisic, Rebic, Mandzukic.

Jose Mourinho has his say on England after World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia

12 Jul

Jose Mourinho says England have every reason to cry after their World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia, but have also made the country proud.

The Manchester United boss declared the Three Lions should be disappointed having been within touching distance of football’s greatest prize.

Mourinho has previously stated he would be open to managing England in the future

Mourinho told Russia Today: “England have reason to cry because they were so close, but they also have reason to be optimistic.

“The team improved a lot in relation to previous appearances.”

The nation reached their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years at Russia 2018, despite limited expectations.

However they ultimately fell to Croatia, losing 2-1 after extra time.

Looking forward to the future, the Special One added: “It’s a young team, the majority of the players will play in the next World Cup with more experience at club level.

“If I was in charge of the FA there would be no doubt that I would keep Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland in their jobs and give them the chance to take the team to the next Euros and the next World Cup.

“The players and the squad, everybody involved in the World Cup, have a reason to come back home with pride after giving everything and making the country proud.”

THE THIRD PLACE PLAY-OFF AND WORLD CUP FINAL WILL BE LIVE ON talkSPORT, JULY 14 AND 15.

Chris Hoy glad Chris Foy wasn’t the referee during England v Croatia as fans scream ‘bias’ during World Cup semi-final

12 Jul

England are out of the World Cup, but fans have loved every minute of it as the Three Lions reached the semi-final.

Listening to fans singing well after referee Cuneyt Cakir had blown his whistle for full-time, it was clear they were proud of the team.

England fans salute the players in Russia after defeat

However, supporters need something or someone to blame and on Twitter, Cakir provoked a lot of anger.

Here’s a flavour of what supporters watching the game thought were saying (the cleaner tweets.)

 

Not happy

Not happy
Not happy

 

Not happy
Proud, but not happy with one person
Even he could see it

Meanwhile, in an attempt to lighten the mood, British Olympian Chris Hoy joked he was just happy Chris Foy was not the man in charge, making reference to the previous occasions fans have directed their anger at him after Premier League games.

The cyclists’ notifications were at a minimum during the semi-final

Previously, the six-time gold medal medal winner has attempted to make it clear he is not a football referee with the hashtag #foynothoy.

 

Just for the record, people
His phone was pinging

 

England fans, including Gareth Southgate lookalike, enjoying Moscow atmosphere ahead of World Cup semi-final

11 Jul

England v Croatia is live on talkSPORT at 19:00 (UK time) on 11 July here.

So it’s here. England are playing in their biggest game for 22 years and their first World Cup semi-final for 28 years.

And in Russia, thousands of Three Lions supporters have turned up in Moscow, the capital city, in the hope of witnessing history.

‘Gareth Southgate’ is loving life

‘Mange tout, mange tout,’ it’s Rodney and Del Boy
It’s not Goldberg. We checked.

 

Moscow’s Red (and white) Square

Exeter City being represented over there
In case you were wondering, that’s not actually Southgate
Around 10,000 England fans are expected to have descended on Moscow
Proud to be Croatian

When Lothar Matthaus consoled Chris Waddle the last time England were in a World Cup semi-final

11 Jul

The World Cup semi-final between England and Croatia is live on talkSPORT at 19:00 (UK time) on 11 July.

When Germany’s players realised they would be playing in the 1990 World Cup final thanks to Chris Waddle’s penalty miss, almost all of them celebrated wildly.

Except for Lothar Matthaus.

The driving force behind his nation’s win in Italy and a veteran of two previous World Cups, he wanted to make sure his opponent was alright.

Matthaus consoles Waddle in 1990

“We won the match when Waddle blasted the decisive penalty over the bar, but I didn’t join in the celebrations with the rest of the German team,” he told fifa.com.

“I went over to console him instead. I could really appreciate what he must have been feeling at the time. I couldn’t help him, but I felt really sorry for him.”

Diego Maradona once said Matthaus is the best rival he ever had. “I guess that’s enough to define him,” he quipped. He’s wrong. Competing in five World Cups (an outfield record in itself), playing 25 matches and being the driving force behind Germany’s Italia ’90 win are things that defined him.

“It’s a great honour to win the World Cup, not only for the team but also for the captain who’s the first to be given the trophy everyone wants to win,” Matthaus added. “It was a unique sensation. I was afraid of doing something wrong, dropping the trophy.”