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Why Russia 2018 was greatest World Cup: England dreaming, VA

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Why Russia 2018 was greatest World Cup: England dreaming, VA
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Why Russia 2018 was greatest World Cup: England dreaming, VAR, the goals, the drama


sbobet mobile England daring to dream, the goals, the drama, the fans and VAR - we argue why this was the greatest World Cup in history.Ahead of Sunday's showpiece between France and Croatia, FIFA president Gianni Infantino described Russia 2018 as the "best World Cup" ever - and it's hard to disagree.

England daring to dream
This was a summer to cherish for England fans, a time a nation polarised in its politics came together in support of Gareth Southgate's team. 'Three Lions' soared back to the top of the charts and 'It's Coming Home' was common parlance in pubs, schools, workplaces and on social media.

Supporters packed fan parks, basked in the heatwave and flung beer as England's new generation banished the burden of the past with a penalty shootout win over Colombia as the draw opened up like a golden highway to the final.​Southgate's waistcoat, Harry Maguire's 'slab-head' and Jordan Pickford's right hand were becoming national treasures.

Late goals and drama
sbobet mobile Russia's 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia may have kicked things off but the tone for the tournament was set the following evening as Spain and Portugal played out an instant World Cup classic in Sochi.Cristiano Ronaldo had twice put Portugal ahead but, by the time he was lining up an 88th-minute free-kick, they were trailing to Nacho's stunning strike. Ronaldo whipped the ball over the wall and into the top corner to complete his hat-trick and as the tournament went on the late drama kept coming.

VAR excitement... and chaos
"I feel hard done by. I don't feel we were beaten by a better team but almost by technology a little bit."Australia goalkeeper Mat Ryan was not impressed by VAR after his side's defeat to France but, on the whole, the technology has had a positive impact and even those who oppose it would struggle to deny that it has added drama.

Perhaps never more so than in Portugal's group game with Iran.Ronaldo was heavily involved again, VAR leading to a Portugal penalty after the 33-year-old was brought down by Morteza Pouraliganji. Ronaldo's penalty was saved but not long after he and Pouraliganji clashed again and the Portuguese was fortunate to escape with a yellow card following a VAR review after appearing to elbow the Iranian defender.

Shock exits
From heroes in Brazil to being humbled in Russia, defending champions Germany failing to get out of their group was the biggest shock of this World Cup. Joachim Low's side were among the pre-tournament favourites but defeats to Mexico and South Korea saw their stay in Russia cut short."We have to take responsibility. We screwed up, (and) we screwed up together," said goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

World Cups aren't all about going all the way for some teams; making the finals and potentially winning a match or even scoring a goal can send a country wild.Egypt didn't do much scoring or winning in Russia but they did create a bit of history by fielding 45-year-old goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary, who made his first-team debut in 1993.

Changing of the guard
Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar. Make no mistake, all three had their moments in Russia but this World Cup has also seen a new generation of superstars come to the fore, not least Kylian Mbappe.The idea that the 19-year-old Frenchman sbobet mobile has 'burst onto the scene' over the past month ignores his exploits for Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain over the past two years, not to mention the fact that he is already the second most expensive player of all time.

Dim 15 Juil 2018 - 10:01

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