Russia 2018: World Champions Germany eliminated after Korea defeat…


There will be a new name on the World Cup trophy for 2018 as holders Germany were beaten by South Korea in Kazan.

The 2-0 defeat also marks the first time that ‘Die Mannschaft’ will not participate in the knockout stages of the tournament since 1938, after manager Joachim Low’s side finished bottom of Group F.

The four-time winners crashed out after conceding twice in second half stoppage time as they went in search of the goal that would send them through to the last 16.

In an astonishing turn of events, Kim Young-gwon’s 92nd minute goal, despite being initially ruled out for offside,  left the 2014 champions staring at the prospect of elimination. The goal was then given after VAR overturned the on-the-field call.

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Kim Young-gwon initially saw his goal ruled out for offside before VAR overturned the call.

However, worse was to come for the Germans when, deep into stoppage time and appearing evermore desperate for a goal, goalkeeper and Bayern Munich star Manuel Neuer lost possession of the ball in the Korean half.

Ju Se-jong capitalised on the error, launching the ball forward where Son Heung-min was able to poke the ball into an empty German net for his side’s second of the afternoon.

South Korean fans inside the stadium were jubilant while, in contrast, some Germany fans were in tears after watching their national side lift the Jules Rimet trophy just four years ago in Rio; a fitting end to a tournament that had seen ‘Die Mannschaft’ beat hosts Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals.

Wednesday’s defeat to Korea followed their opening game loss against eventual group runners up Mexico, while it took a dramatic late winner from Toni Kroos to see off group winners Sweden – their only points of the group stage.

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The final Group F table sees Sweden go through as group winners, while Mexico take the runner-up spot. Holders Germany are out.


World Cup: Canada, Mexico and USA win the right to host to host 2026 tournament…


The biggest and, arguably most prestigious, football tournament in the world is heading to North America.

For the first time ever, the FIFA World Cup will take place across three nations after the United bid of Canada, Mexico and the United States of America (USA) saw off Morocco for the right to host the tournament in eight years time. It will also be the first World Cup that features an expanded field of 48 teams and a schedule featuring a record 80 matches.

The North American bid defeated the bid of Morocco by winning the first ever public vote involving all 203 eligible FIFA nations by a score of 134-65 (67% of the vote). All four bidding nations (Canada, USA, Mexico and Morocco) were not permitted to vote.


For the first time ever the FIFA World cup will be spread across three different nations – USA, Canada and Mexico

The United bid also scored higher than that of Morocco in FIFA’s technical report released earlier this month. North America earned a mark of 4 out of 5, while Morocco only managed 2.7 out of 5. Both bids made one final presentation in front of the FIFA Congress in Moscow, just before the vote got underway.

The 2026 tournament will be the second hosted on US soil, with the first in 1994 holding the record for most tickets sold and most revenue generated. Mexico has hosted the tournament on two separate occasions – 1970 and 1986 – and Canada has never hosted the tournament.

It is not the first time that the US has attempted to host the FIFA World Cup. In December 2010, the country lost a bid for the 2022 edition following a secret ballot held between the 24 members of the FIFA executive committee and awarded the tournament to Qatar. That, in turn, led to an overhaul of the voting process due to charges of corruption and wrongdoing.

A statement from Major League Soccer, the top domestic football league in North America, said: “The decision to host World Cup 2026 in Canada, Mexico and the United States is a testament to our three nations coming together for the United Bid, and a monumental step in our collective mission to further advance the game of soccer in North America,

“We congratulate all of those who worked tirelessly to bring the World Cup back to North America and thank the countries that voted for the United Bid, and for their belief in our vision for the future of the sport in our region,

“There is no doubt that World Cup 2026 will elevate the sport of soccer to entirely new levels and Major League Soccer is honoured to be a part of this joyous day.”

Reaction to the announcement can be found here:

International Football: England striker Wayne Rooney calls time on international career…


England’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney has announced his retirement from international football.

The Everton striker was asked by England manager Gareth Southgate to be part of the squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia, but turned down the offer.

Speaking about his decision, the 31-year-old said: ‘Everytime I was selected was a real privilege but I believe now is the time to bow out.’

He scored 53 times in 119 internationals for the Three Lions.

Rooney’s England career…


Rooney’s England career statistics, courtesy of Opta

Rooney made his England debut in a 3-1 defeat to Australia at Upton Park in February 2003.

His debut at a major tournament came as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004, with his last international appearance being last November’s 3-0 victory over Scotland at Wembley, where he was named as captain.


Wayne Rooney in action for England against Scotland at Wembley

This summer saw him rejoin his boyhood club Everton and his international retirement comes days after scoring his 200th Premier League goal in a 1-1 draw with Manchester City.

Southgate is due to name his squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Malta (September 1) and Slovakia (September 4) on Thursday.

Rooney’s statement in full…
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Tributes to a legend…
A number of tributes poured in once the news broke of Rooney’s retirement, not only from current club Everton, but former employers Manchester United and host of England stars past and present, including BT Sport pundit Michael Owen and BBC’s Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker.

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