December 2, 2022

Game of cojones: Serbia suffer and give Granit Xhaka the last word | Barney Ronay

Switzerland’s captain offered a snapshot of the bad blood between Albania, Kosovo and Serbia with one crude gestureMaybe Fifa does have a sense of humour after all. Certainly there was a note of dark comedy in the news, relayed breathlessly over the PA on the final whistle, that the player of the match in this fraught Group E decider was Granit Xhaka.Not that Xhaka didn’t deserve it. He played well in deep midfield on a steamy night at Stadium 974. He controlled the tempo at times. More to the point Xhaka also controlled the noises off, directing the dark energy that must always accompany this fixture with the poise of a veteran conductor. Albeit, a veteran conductor with one hand down his shorts. Continue reading...
December 2, 2022

Switzerland and Serbia feel the weight of history before high-stakes clash

The scars of the Kosovo conflict are yet to heal as both sides pledge no repeat of 2018 World Cup flashpointsThe flashpoints had been well signposted. When Serbia and Switzerland met in Kaliningrad at Russia 2018 it was clear from the outset that nobody would be fading out quietly. Xherdan Shaqiri’s decision to recognise the land of his birth with a Kosovo flag stitched into the heel of his right boot had warmed a tinderbox that was already well stocked and, when Granit Xhaka celebrated his thudding equaliser by forming an Albanian eagle with his hands, tensions ignited.Both players repeated the gesture when Shaqiri scored a dramatic late winner that ultimately ensured their side were the ones who reached the last 16; the recriminations were long, loud and ended with Fifa issuing several fines. Continue reading...
November 29, 2022

Could a new euro coin help Serbia and Croatia value a shared history?

Both Balkan countries claim that the world-famous inventor is ethnically one of their own. But can Serbia and Croatia find common ground regarding Tesla's heritage after all?
November 29, 2022

Football Daily | Bare footballing facts, plus the deployment of various kitchen sinks

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Absolutely nothing is off the table at these Human Rights World Cup finals. For all Gianni Infantino’s protestations, his “shut up and dribble” pre-tournament message has been about as effective as Serbia’s offside trap against Cameroon striker Vincent “Scoop” Aboubakar. So if HRWC 2022 proves anything, it’s that history is rarely forgotten. And that means you, Ingerlund-supporting berks who think it a wheeze to visit the actual Middle East clad in crusader costumes. Did you not do history at schoo … oh, what’s the use?The Big Website World Cup guide to all 830 players is a wonderful document (presumably no Football Daily input). However, the Senegalese defender with the No 24 has been included as ‘Moustapha Name’. Perhaps, for the sake of completeness, a bit more work was needed?” – John Lawton. Continue reading...
November 28, 2022

Choupo-Moting thwarts Serbia to cap Cameroon’s wild World Cup comeback

What happens when two sides with a propensity for meltdown clash? Something like this. A game with very little pattern, enormous amounts of drama, some exceptional goals and, in the end, a thrilling draw that doesn’t really suit either side. These are two of the great underachievers of the past three decades – Cameroon had lost their last eight World Cup games and Serbia nine of their last 11 – and the likelihood is that, again, neither will make it through to the last 16, but they have at least had some fun along the way.Nothing that happened at Al Janoub on Monday was without complication, not the traffic, not the security and certainly not the buildup for two teams who always embrace chaos. In an echo of the golden age of the Indomitable Lions, their coach Rigobert Song had expelled the Internazionale goalkeeper André Onana from the squad on the morning of the game. Continue reading...
November 28, 2022

Brazil look unified and have strength in depth to cope without Neymar | Juninho Pernambucano

The World Cup favourites showed enough in their win against Serbia to suggest they can perform well against Switzerland even without their star playerBrazil had a decent start to their 2022 World Cup. The first game of the tournament is always a little bit more difficult. An early wrong turn, a miscontrolled ball or a badly placed pass can dictate the story of the game. A team that wants to go on to win the tournament need to realise that and manage the raw emotions and the overall energy of those first minutes. Brazil did that in their 2-0 win against Serbia. But let’s be careful. The three points does not guarantee anything, not even progress to the knockout stage. The players need to know that humility and respect is key here and you can never have too much of that.Now comes a game against another European competitor, Switzerland. Football is exciting because we will never be able to fully understand it, but a win on Monday and early qualification for the second round is what the coach, Tite, is after. Then he could use the third game to rotate the squad somewhat and try a few different tactical things for the battles ahead. Continue reading...
November 27, 2022

‘Everyone was completely terrified’: the British film-maker who helped Ukrainian crew escape war

Art reflected life when Hugh Welchman of Breakthru Films started work on an animation of The Peasants, set during Russia’s occupation of PolandRussia-Ukraine war – latest news updatesMaking a movie is hard enough at the best of times, but an Oscar-winning British film-maker and his crew found themselves with a particularly daunting challenge. Hugh Welchman of Breakthru Films, which has painting animation studios in Poland, Lithuania and Serbia, opened another in Kyiv in January – only to have to close it weeks later and help its artists flee to safety after Russia invaded Ukraine. Continue reading...
November 25, 2022

Richarlison praised as ‘idol Brazilians deserve’ after Bolsonaro era

Goalscorer against Serbia at World Cup is being celebrated as much more than just a sporting heroRicharlison’s “balletic barnstormer” has been called one of the great World Cup goals; an unstoppable scissor kick that launched Brazil’s campaign in Qatar with a bang. But after his thrilling two-goal blitz against Serbia, the Tottenham forward is being celebrated as much more than just a sporting hero.Brazilian fans, pundits and politicians lined up to hail Richarlison as a paragon of human decency, compassion and good sense after four gruelling years in which Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right government divided society, wrecked the environment and mishandled a Covid outbreak that killed nearly 700,000 citizens. Continue reading...
November 24, 2022

Uruguay v South Korea: World Cup 2022 – live

Updates from the 1pm GMT kick-off in Group HYou can contact Daniel by email or TwitterLooking at the South Korea XI, the presence in it of Son is obviously the big story. Because his injury was facial, he should be able to get going more easily than had it been muscular. I’m also looking forward to seeing how Inbeom gets on – he plays for Olympiakos and at 26, should be hitting this competition at exactly the right time.Cameroon will be rueing the chances they missed in the first half of that one. With Serbia then Brazil next, they’re in a lot of trouble. Continue reading...
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