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Author Archive for Ed Aarons

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The day Lilian Thuram turned into a goalscorer supreme for France | Ed Aarons

A mistake by the classy defender allowed Croatia to take the lead in the 1998 World Cup semi-final but he quickly atoned“It was what I call my Miles Davis moment,” revealed Lilian Thuram in 2007. “Footballers can be like artists when the mind and body …

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Golden boys: the World Cup’s best XI of players aged 23 or under | Ed Aarons

France’s Kylian Mbappé is a shoo-in and three Uruguayans, one Nigerian and an England player also make our teamAwarded for the first time in 2006, Fifa’s best young player award is usually a hotly contested prize to honour the best player aged 23 or un…

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‘It hurts a lot’: Harry Kane vows England will be back after defeat

• Captain posts emotional message on social media• Jadon Sancho says watching England was ‘an inspiration’Harry Kane has admitted England’s defeat against Croatia in the World Cup semi-final “will hurt for a while” as Gary Lineker led the tributes to G…

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Croatia motivated by England’s lack of respect, says Luka Modric

• Real Madrid midfielder says media underestimated his side• ‘They should be more humble and respect their opponents’Luka Modric has accused English journalists and pundits of showing a lack of respect to Croatia’s players and admitted his teammates ha…

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Do not mention Croatia to Steve McClaren – the man who signed Southgate

The former England manager bought his eventual successor at Middlesbrough but saw his own reign with the national team end on a damp night at Wembley“One of the main qualities of leadership is to make the players around you perform better,” beamed an e…

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Do not mention Croatia to Steve McClaren – the man who signed Southgate

The former England manager bought his eventual successor at Middlesbrough but saw his own reign with the national team end on a damp night at Wembley“One of the main qualities of leadership is to make the players around you perform better,” beamed an e…

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World Cup semi-finalists: four success stories with a common driving force

Be it Croatia’s hero hailing from Switzerland or the 50% of French and Belgian players with African ancestry, immigration is at the heart of each squadPelé’s prediction that an African team would win the World Cup before the turn of the 21st century en…

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‘Brolin-Dahlin-Brolin!’ – when Sweden knocked England out of Euro 92

Two players from the final group stage game of the 1992 European Championship recall a match remembered for a sublime goal, a notorious substitution and a tabloid headlineEven 26 years later, the memories are raw for Tony Daley. England’s infamous defe…

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Neymar can be the best in the world but he has to grow up first | Ed Aarons

The Brazilian has been heavily criticised for his reaction to being trodden on by Mexico’s Miguel Layún but perhaps it is no wonder he is self-centred when he has always got his way“I do not punish him for pleasure, I do it because it is necessary,” in…

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Colombia fans share World Cup tonic in London amid fears for community

Events in Russia are followed closely in Elephant and Castle as tournament helps take minds off regeneration uncertaintyWorld Cup fever may slowly be gripping England supporters as Gareth Southgate’s side prepare to face Colombia in the last 16 but the…

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Colombia set-piece prowess spells out warning to England

Still waters run deep for last-16 opponents whose Juan Quintero is a proven dead-ball specialistIt was a moment that Idrissa Gana Gueye would surely rather forget. The Everton midfielder’s casual application to defending Senegal’s near post from a corn…

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Argentina’s Jorge Sampaoli hits back amid reports of squad revolt

• Coach says he has been made to feel like a ‘criminal’ • Lionel Messi’s mother reveals he cried after Croatia defeatAfter five days of soul-searching that has seen everyone from Diego Maradona to Lionel Messi’s mother have their say on where it has go…

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Denmark’s new generation hoping for a 2002-style shock against France

Åge Hareide’s side will top Group C with victory over France and ‘the Brazilians of Scandinavia’ can draw inspiration from a seismic World Cup momentIt went down as the one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history. France’s group-stage exit as the ho…

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South African trio make it to the World Cup finals at the fifth attempt

Bafana Bafana may not have made it again but three men from Limpopo did get there after being inspired by France 98For most players the World Cup is the culmination of a long journey that requires years of sacrifice. But in terms of dedication there ar…

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‘The fact we exist is huge’: Iran’s women plotting course to world stage

Twelve years ago Kat Khosrowyar arrived in Iran on holiday. Now she’s driving a revolution in women’s football thereTo say things have changed for women’s football in Iran since Katayoun Khosrowyar first arrived in the country more than 12 years ago wo…

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Senegal and Aliou Cissé quietly confident of recreating spirit of 2002 | Ed Aarons

In the first World Cup of the millennium Senegal beat the holders, France, in the opening match before reaching the quarter-finals. Their captain then coaches the current side“Really we cannot thank him enough,” said West Ham’s Cheikhou Kouyaté. “In 20…

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Thrills, spills and stomach trouble: a history of England’s World Cup openers

Tom Finney sparred with the Soviets, the ‘golden generation’ raised hopes – and the heroes of ‘66 were booed off at WembleyGoals from Stan Mortensen and Wilf Mannion helped England secure a comfortable victory over Chile in Rio, only for them to lose t…

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Real Madrid accuse Spain of ‘absurd reaction’ over Lopetegui sacking

• President Florentino Pérez defends conduct over appointment• New Madrid coach Lopetegui: it was “saddest day of my life”The Real Madrid president, Florentino Pérez, has accused the Spanish Football Federation of taking an “absurd reaction” in sacking…

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Sporting meltdown casts shadow over Portugal’s World Cup buildup

The chaos at the Lisbon club, where staff have been attacked and whose president’s outbursts have sparked player unrest, has been an unwelcome distraction for Portugal“Spoiled kids, let’s resolve this then …” wrote the Sporting president, Bruno de Carv…

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Kevin De Bruyne backs Pep Guardiola in Yaya Touré racism row

• Belgium midfielder dismisses claims against Man City manager• ‘When you don’t play there’s always something you try to find’Kevin De Bruyne has dismissed concerns from former Manchester City team-mate Yaya Touré over Pep Guardiola’s attitude towards …