French parents prevented from naming baby ‘Griezmann Mbappe’ by court

16 Mar

A French couple have been barred from naming their baby son ‘Griezmann Mbappe’ after a five-month court process.

Last November, an issue arose when the football supporting family attempted to register their newborn under the World Cup winners’ names.

Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe fired France to victory in Russia

They were initially prevented from doing so and now this decision has been officially upheld in court.

Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe were two of France’s star attackers en route to World Cup victory in 2018 and both scored in the 4-2 final win over Croatia.

The baby made international headlines just days after its birth

As a result, the parents wanted the name their child after the due, but according to La Montagne, this wasn’t allowed because: “These first names seem contrary to the interests of the child or ignore the right of third parties to have their family names protected.”

The boy has instead been called Danny Noe.

England World Cup 2018: A look back on the Three Lions in Russia, including that Trippier free-kick, Gareth Southgate’s song and Harry Kane’s goals

31 Dec

It may not have ended in success, but England’s World Cup campaign was one hell of a ride.

From Harry Kane’s goals, finally winning a penalty shoot-out to Jordan Pickford swimming with an inflatable unicorn, 2018 will live long in the memory for many England fans – at least it will for those who didn’t throw their beer into the sky.

England reached the World Cup semi-final for the first time since 1990

The manager even had his own song, as he oversaw the closest England had come to reaching the World Cup final since Italia ’90, so when Croatia spoiled the fun, supporters wept into their collective plastic pint cups.

But could they have reached a first final since 1966, the year they won the tournament?

“Of the four semi-finalists, with the 40 outfield players that started, we had 10 from the Premier League in our team,” England assistant manager Steve Holland told the Telegraph when discussing the benefits a winter break would bring.

A Luka Modric-inspired Croatia knocked England out in the semi-final

“Croatia had one. Belgium had nine in their team; France had three. We don’t rest at Christmas and every game in our league you have to be on the money or you are in trouble.

“So the demands on our players are higher. It’s worth making that point – the World Cup Final had just four Premier League players in it. At the end of the tournament, fatigue is really significant. I am not blaming that, don’t get me wrong, but I would think it’s a mistake to ignore the fact.”

The year, though, still ended positively as England got their own back on Croatia by topping their Nations League group with a dramatic win against their World Cup foes at Wembley.

Gareth Southgate’s wounds from Euro 96 penalty miss healed by 2018 World Cup journey

21 Dec

Gareth Southgate has revealed that he felt like he ‘had a debt to pay’ to the nation after his Euro 96 penalty shootout miss against Germany.

Southgate has said that England’s success in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where they reached the semi-finals, has helped to heal those wounds.

'I might not have survived as a manager without Euro 96 semi-final penalty miss,' says Gareth Southgate
Southgate was the only one of 12 penalty takers to see his effort denied at Wembley at Euro 96

The 48-year-old was appearing on Bear Grylls’ TV show Bear’s Mission when he told the adventurer what it felt like to have gone through those experiences.

“Nobody can know what that feels like. You are embarrassed. Now people are very complimentary for this summer,” he said.

“People used to poke their heads out of vans and shout things at me in the street. I had a 20-year playing career but I was really only ever remembered for that one moment. That’s what made this summer even better because I felt like I had a debt to pay.

“When I look back, we didn’t really have support for those sorts of things. It was a kind of fend for yourself. You’ve got to deal with those things and you’ve got to come through them and make sure you don’t allow those things to shape you.”

Southgate steered England to their best performance at a World Cup in 28 years in the summer before they were knocked out by Croatia.

The England boss also outlined his ambitious plans for his young squad heading forward after capturing the imagination of the nation in Russia.

Southgate captured the imagination of a nation in Russia

He added: “We want to go and win the Euros (in 2020). We want to be the No.1 team in the world and there’s no reason why we can’t go and do that.’

England and Everton star Jordan Pickford joins in with England chants at raucous Courteneers gig in Nottingham

20 Nov

Jordan Pickford lived up his mantra by leading the chants at a nightclub in Nottingham to celebrate England’s Nations League victory over Croatia.

The Three Lions left it late, but won their group thanks to captain Harry Kane’s late winner in a 2-1 win at Wembley on Sunday.

Pickford was seen belting out the classic songs at the top of his lungs

Clearly keen to celebrate, Pickford enjoyed a gig at Nottingham night club ‘Rock City’ to watch indie band ‘The Courtneeners’.

And, clearly keen to have a good night, the Everton No.1 was caught on camera singing ‘Southgate You’re the One’ and ‘It’s Coming Home’ at the top of his lungs.

The Everton shot-stopper was keen to enjoy his night after relegating Croatia

Pickford, who had the phrase ‘Get The Rave On’ stitched into his boots during the World Cup in Russia, was seen at the top of a balcony in the venue belting out the hits which became synonymous with England’s glorious summer.

Twitter user @ReillyPhoenix videoed the stopper in full voice on what appears to be a balcony at Rock City in the East Midlands.

Jordan Pickford helped England to the historic feat of winning a penalty shootout at the World Cup

And later in the evening, the former Sunderland man was seen belting out Baddiel and Skinner’s 1996 classic, ‘It’s Coming Home’ in front of his adoring fans.

With the 24-year-old in tremendous form at the back, the young Three Lions side got to the semi-finals before being knocked out by Croatia.

But Gareth Southgate’s men managed to exact a modicum of revenge on the weekend, relegating Zltako Dalic’s side.

The Croatia boss was extremely gracious in defeat, even managing to admit himself that ‘football is coming home very soon’.

Sam Allardyce EXCLUSIVE: ‘It could have been me’ – Former England boss admits watching the World Cup was tough after being forced to leave role

3 Nov

Sam Allardyce has admitted he found it hard to enjoy England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in the summer after his acrimonious dismissal from his role as coach in 2016.

The former England manager was speaking to sports broadcaster and psychotherapist Gary Bloom on the latest episode of talkSPORT’s ‘On the Sporting Couch’ – the second series begins on Sunday November 4 at 8pm.

Former England manager Sam Allardyce.

The 64-year-old had to leave the job after just 67 days and one match – a 1-0 win over Slovakia – when the Daily Telegraph published the results of an undercover investigation.

His successor, Gareth Southgate, has been an inspired replacement, leading England to the last four of the World Cup in Russia, while he recently guided the Three Lions to a victory over Spain.

And Allardyce revealed it’s been tough to watch on knowing he could have done something similar.

“It took me a long time to be able to watch England after what had happened with the Telegraph,” he told Gary Bloom on talkSPORT.

“I couldn’t watch the games at the beginning and I didn’t enjoy the World Cup as much as I had done in the past.

“It could have been me.

“That wouldn’t have been my team, I don’t know whether I would have been as brave as Gareth was when he picked that side…

Southgate captured the imagination of a nation in Russia

“But I think they’re on a great road now.

“It could have been me, but it isn’t.

“I’m comfortable in life and I’m comfortable with the position I’m in at the moment.

“Everton dumped me, we finished eighth and you’re still not good enough, so you have to move on.”

On the Sporting Couch starts on Sunday 4th November on talkSPORT with Sam Allardyce, with a podcast of each episode available on Acast.

Petition to put England and Leicester star Harry Maguire riding a unicorn on the new £50 note signed by 15,000 people

16 Oct

Could Harry Maguire be the face of the new £50 note?

More than 15,000 people have now signed a petition calling for an image of the England and Leicester City riding an inflatable unicorn during the Wolrd Cup in Russia to feature on the design.

Maguire captured the hearts of the nation when this picture emerged

Twitter user @JonnyGabriel started the petition after the Bank of England asked the public to held decide who should feature on the new note.

The description for the petition reads: “The Bank of England are redesigning the £50 following the successful redesign of the £5, £10, and £20 notes.

“None of these notes so far have featured a World Cup semi finalist floating on a mythical creature, and in the interests of football’s attempts to come home, who would be more appropriate to feature than Harry Maguire riding an inflatable unicorn?”

How the new £50 could look

Maguire, who opened the scoring in the quarter-final against Sweden, earned rave reviews across the globe for his marauding runs from the back in Russia and for his incredible knack of getting his rather large head to seemingly every stray ball.

You can show your support to the unicorn-riding Maguire and add your signature to the petition by following the link provided here!

It is even being supported by one of Maguire’s England teammates, Kyle Walker.

 

‘Paul Pogba is a team player’ – Didier Deschamps defends Manchester United midfielder

23 Sep

France coach Didier Deschamps has leapt to the defence of his World Cup “leader” Paul Pogba, describing him as a team player who has been misunderstood by some fans and the media.

Deschamps was the guest of honour at the FIFA Football Conference in London, where more than 300 international coaches, including England’s Gareth Southgate and Wales boss Ryan Giggs, gathered on Sunday to discuss lessons learned from this summer’s World Cup.

Deschamps has defended Pogba

Asked how he got more out of Pogba in Russia than Jose Mourinho is managing to at Manchester United, the 49-year-old French said: “I think the rest of the world, and certainly in France, has an image of Paul Pogba that doesn’t really reflect who he is.

“He’s been in the national team since 2013 and he’s always thought about the collective. There’s this idea that he’s a bit individualistic and only thinks about himself but that’s not the case at all. I think that’s one thing that needs to be said.

“Another is that he arrived at the World Cup really prepared and he took on the mantle of leadership, on and off the pitch. He became a bit of a spokesman for the team and he can do that because he’s a good speaker.

Deschamps says Pogba is a natural leader

“I’ve spoken to him about his relationship with the media and I think he’s been unfairly criticised in the past. That’s why there has been this aggressive vibe and he’s had this strained relationship.

“But criticism is part of the job and I think you learn to take that on board as you get more experienced. That’s what’s happened with him and I think he’s gained some respect. He joined us ready to become a world champion and he took the whole squad with him.”

The 25-year-old midfielder capped a superb World Cup campaign with the decisive third goal in the final against Croatia and his overall play for France was far more consistent and disciplined than anything United fans have seen from him since he rejoined the club for a then-world record £89million in 2016.

And Pogba’s patchy club form has continued this season – superb one game, sloppy the next, while on Saturday he set up United’s opener only to lose the ball for Wolves’ equaliser.

The Best FIFA Men’s Player award: Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos wants Luka Modric to win ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah

11 Sep

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos believes Luka Modric deserves the FIFA ‘Best Men’s Player’ award, despite his team-mate being up against ‘players with more marketing’ for the trophy.

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the prize in its two-year existence, but the defender thinks Modric – the World Cup’s player of the tournament – deserves some acclaim.

Ronaldo has won the FIFA award twice

The Croatian captained his country to the 2018 World Cup final and Ramos suggested that awards have often been handed out to players with the best off-field image and he would like to see it presented to a player who ‘deserves’ it more.

“We will see [who wins The Best],” he said when asked whether Modric should get it ahead of former team-mate Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. “There are few players that I am as proud of having in my team as him.

“He is a great friend and a great player. He is one of the few players who [if he wins] would make me as happy as if they had given it to me.

Modric won the 2018 World Cup Golden Ball

“Maybe there are players with more marketing, with a bigger name but Modric deserves that award.”

The Spaniard was asked if his comments were aimed at any particular individual considering Ronaldo is the only man to win the award.

“No,” he replied. “But since there is nothing that defines the prize, everything adds up [to Modric winning the award].”

The presentation for the award will take place on 24 September.

Harry Kane to receive World Cup 2018 Golden Boot ahead of UEFA Nations League match with Spain

7 Sep

Tottenham Hotspur and England star Harry Kane is set to receive his World Cup 2018 Golden Boot.

The hotshot striker hit six goals in Russia, two more than closest rivals Antoine Griezmann, Romelu Lukaku, Kylian Mbappe, Denis Cheryshev, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Artem Dzyuba.

Kane will pick up the award ahead of the Three Lions’ UEFA Nations League opener against Spain at Wembley Stadium.

In the match, Kane will also wear his brand new Nike boots, which are gold, to celebrate his incredible summer, which saw England reach the World Cup semi-finals under the stewardship of Gareth Southgate

The new Nike boots Harry Kane will wear against Spain at Wembley

 

England ace Dele Alli reveals a bracelet he received from a Russian taxi driver at the World Cup has joined his huge list of rituals and lucky charms

6 Sep

England star Dele Alli says he was given a “lucky charm” bracelet by a taxi driver in Russia – before discovering the injury he sustained at the beginning of the World Cup was not as bad as first feared.

Alli, 22, had a tense 45-minute journey from England’s base camp in Repino to a St Petersburg hospital the day after hurting his thigh during England’s 2-1 victory over Tunisia.

Alli picked up a worrying injury during England’s World Cup opener

In an interview with the Evening Standard, Alli said: “As I got out, the taxi driver gave me a bracelet and said it was good luck.”

And the bracelet seemed to have the desired effect with scans showing Alli had just a thigh strain.

He missed England’s remaining group games against Panama and Belgium, however, the Spurs player playedin England’s knockout games against Colombia, Sweden and Croatia.

Alli added: “So I’ve kept it. I don’t wear it but I keep it in my washbag.”

Alli made four appearances at the World Cup, scoring one goal

The bracelet is one of a number of rituals and lucky charms Alli likes to have in place in preparation for matches.

These include an eight-minute ice bath on the eve of a game and taping his left knee regardless of injury. He has also worn the same shinpads he has owned since he was 11-years-old.

Alli said in July: “Yeah I have a lot of superstitions. There are so many.

“I do all my right leg first, then all my left leg.

“I have an eight-minute ice-bath the night before. I don’t know why, it’s just a superstition.

“Then I always say a prayer, the same prayer, before.”

Speaking in July, he said: “Now you might’ve noticed there’s tape on my knee.

“That’s a superstition as well. I don’t like taking it off.

“I took it off for the first game (against Tunisia) – this is a bit of a silly superstition – but that was the first game in ages I haven’t had it on, and I got injured, so I’m going to be keeping it on again.

“Yeah it is getting out of control. It’s a bit crazy.”

Whether it was down to Alli’s superstitions or not, there is a new found confidence in the national team as England reached their first World Cup semi-final since 1990.

Alli and co. face Spain on Saturday evening

Gareth Southgate’s side will play for the first time since the tournament when they kick-off their UEFA Nations League campaign against Spain on Saturday night at Wembley – a game you can listen to live on talkSPORT from 19:45.