World Cup

News, commentary, tickets, pre and post match reaction alongside opinion about the World Cup, the best international tournament in world football.

Europe, Tickets, World Cup

Spain Drawn With Poland And Sweden At Euro 2020

Spain 2020 Euro Tickets

Spain will face Poland and Sweden in Group E at next summer’s European Championships, following the finals draw in Bucharest today.

La Roja, who won the competition in 2008 and 2012, were ranked as top seeds for the draw, and will be guaranteed a set number of home games (in Bilbao), as one of the co-host nations.

After sealing qualification earlier this month, the Spanish national team has been mired in controversy, following the return of head coach Luis Enrique.

The former Barcelona boss stepped away from the role during the qualification campaign, due to the illness and tragic death of his young daughter, however he has now retaken his role.

Europe, Tickets, World Cup

Scotland v Israel In Euro 2020 Play-Off Semi-Finals

Scotland have found out the route they need to reach Euro 2020 after being drawn to face Israel in the semi-finals of the play-offs.

Steve Clarke’s team flopped in the European Championship qualifiers, but their performance in last season’s Nations League was enough to give them a second chance of reaching next summer’s finals through the play-offs.

Scotland have not qualified for a major tournament since reaching the 1998 World Cup but face their biggest chance yet to end that drought, with their semi-final taking place in front of home supporters at Hampden Park in the one-leg tie.

Europe, World Cup

Luis Enrique Returns As Spain Boss

Luis Enrique has officially returned as Spain boss five months after stepping down for personal reasons, it has been confirmed.

Former Barcelona boss Enrique stepped down from the role in June to spend time with his terminally ill daughter, who tragically passed away earlier this year.

The 49-year-old was replaced by his assistant, Robert Moreno, who went unbeaten through his nine matches at the helm – winning seven, and they have sealed their place in next summer’s European Championships finals.

World Cup

Luis Enrique Sacked Friend For Being “Disloyal”

luis enrique spain

Luis Enrique made his official return as head coach of the Spain team on Wednesday morning in Madrid, admitting that he felt betrayed by his former No 2 Robert Moreno.

Moreno took over from Luis Enrique in June when he resigned to care for his nine-year-old daughter Xana before she died of bone cancer in August.

Moreno saw Spain safely into next summer’s tournament but then left the job in tears after the last qualifier without giving his final post-match press conference.

The Spanish Football Federation [RFEF] reappointed Luis Enrique the following day amid suggestions he had not wanted Moreno on his staff.

Tickets, World Cup

Mancini Extends Italy Contract Until 2022

Roberto Mancini has extended his contract as Italy boss until 2022 after sealing qualification for Euro 2020.

Mancini has honoured a clause in his deal to commit his future for another three years, having transformed Italy’s fortunes since taking charge in May 2018.

Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup less than two years ago but the former Manchester City boss has guided his side to seven wins out of seven in Euro 2020 qualification.

Italy’s latest victory, a 2-0 victory over Greece, booked their place at the tournament next summer and prompted Mancini to put pen to paper on an extension.

Tickets, World Cup

Brazil Wins Copa America

brazil copa america

In front of 70,000 revellers at the Maracana, Brazil prolonged their record of having won the Copa America each time they have hosted the tournament by beating Peru 3-1 on Sunday evening.

Despite it being the Mecca of Brazilian football, this was only the host’s third game at the iconic stadium since a 2013 friendly against England and the Confederations Cup final win over Spain in the same year, which tricked Brazil into being fooled about its standing in the international power ranks after overcoming the reigning world and European champions at the time.

World Cup

Portugal Win First UEFA Nations League

Portugal Win Nations League

There was moment deep in the second half when Cristiano Ronaldo went back into his own penalty area and began to bark out orders.

Rui Patricio, the Wolves goalkeeper, was lectured; so too was Portugal left-back Raphael Guerreiro. The hosts had just taken the lead in the Nations League final and the message from the man who has carried his country’s hopes and dreams was clear: this does not slip.

Ronaldo will never forget the pain he went through in 2004, when Portugal lost at home in the final of the European Championships to Greece, and it would be wrong to say that this new tournament carried the same kind of emotion and kudos.

Tickets, World Cup

Messi Returns From International Duty Injured

Lionel Messi has touched back down in Barcelona after pulling out of the Argentina squad due to injury.

The talisman had made his much anticipated return to the national set-up in a friendly with Venezuela, but his comeback was dampened as Argentina fell to a 3-1 defeat.

Salomon Rondon’s strike in the sixth minute got things off to a bad start, before Jhon Murillo doubled the lead and Josef Martinez scored a third.

Lautaro Martinez pulled a goal back for Argentina but it wasn’t enough, though Messi was able to get through the full-match despite his injury concern.

World Cup

Icardi Thrilled To Score First Goal For Argentina

The wait is finally over for Mauro Icardi, who scored his first international goal for Argentina in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Mexico.

The 25-year-old was playing in his eighth match for his senior national side and, despite being a lethal scorer for Inter Milan at the club level, was still searching for his first goal for the Albiceleste.

He wouldn’t have to wait long.

Inside the first two minutes Icardi had his side in front, taking down a long pass from Erik Lamela and cutting back on his left foot between two defenders before slotting home.

Europe, Tickets, World Cup

Holland Reach Nations League Semi-Finals

Virgil van Dijk

Holland scored twice in the last five minutes to recover from two goals down and earn a 2-2 draw against relegated Germany in the Nations League, thereby securing a spot in next year’s finals ahead of world champions France.

Virgil van Dijk struck a close-range volley in stoppage time to equalise for the visitors after Quincy Promes had cut the deficit in the 85th minute, with the Germans having led through early goals from Timo Werner and Leroy Sane.

Switzerland, England and hosts Portugal had already qualified for the four-team finals in June.