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2018 FIFA World Cup... is over!



  • Danimal5981
    2477 posts Fans' Favourite
    edited September 2018
    Thanks @Alastair

    For a brief moment, World Cup and Ajax will be in synch. Because Netherlands have reached so far, Ajax will not be able to use Daley Blind, Matthijs de Ligt and Donny van de Beek until August.

    This will have influence on my Ajax FIFA 19 CM pre-season and the 2nd Qualifying round for UCL against SK Sturm Graz

  • Danimal5981
    2477 posts Fans' Favourite
    edited September 2018
    MATCH 61 - BELGIUM v FRANCE [1st semi final]
    Red versus Blue



  • Danimal5981
    2477 posts Fans' Favourite
    MATCH 62: NETHERLANDS v BRAZIL [2nd semi final]
    always iconic and entertaining 1974 2-0 NLD- 1994 3-2 BRA- 1998 2-2p BRA- 2010 2-1 NLD- 2014 3-0 NLD


    sorry- system kicked me out, unable to make the usual statistics screenshots
  • Danimal5981
    2477 posts Fans' Favourite
  • Danimal5981
    2477 posts Fans' Favourite
    edited September 2018
    MATCH 63: match for 3rd place


    They've never met at the World Cup; Netherlands defend their 3rd place from Brazil 2014



  • Danimal5981
    2477 posts Fans' Favourite


    Will Samba Football win for a sixth time, or will Belgium go all the way?






  • subpop
    3364 posts National Call-Up

    Julio Maldonado @Moscow



    Belgium reached the final thanks to an uninvited hero. After 90 minutes of more fear than football, Chadli appeared in the last minute to take Belgium to their first time ever. France, who were the favourites to win the game, paid the consequences of the slacker style and this time no individuality appeared to make the difference.

    In the second semifinal, Brazil was tested by the surprise of the tournament Netherlands. The Dutch team surprised early in the game, when they took the lead before Brazil had even touched the ball. However, the Brazilians didn't panic and, as the minutes passed, they became superior, and tied before half time. In the 2nd chapter of the game, Brazil seemed to be ready to decide the game soon, but the Dutch resisted the impulse. In the final stages of the game, the Netherlands seemed to recover control as the legs the Brazilians suffered the consequences of the extra time played against Spain. But in the best moments of the Dutch, Gabriel Jesus appeared to complete his brace and take Brazil to a new final.

    Brazil, the "Pentacampeao", vs Belgium, the rookie.

    The final

    No clear favourite. Belgium and Brazil were deserved finalists of this World Cup and the collection of talent on the pitch was spectacular. Belgium faced their first final ever, but with their best generation ever. Brazil is a usual in this situations, the shirt was the main asset. Probably, not the best 'Canarinha' to see, but as in the World Cup 94, Brazil was a TEAM.

    However, bad news to start for Brazil as Coutinho, a key player for Tite, got injured in the early minutes. It was yet to see the impact in the game. The game started with alternatives for both sides, although Brazil seemed more comfortable on the pitch. In a set piece, Paulinho reached higher than anyone else to give Brazil the lead.

    This goal sparked the best moments of football of a shy Belgium. Hazard and De Bruyne started to appear. It didn't take long until Carrasco saw Lukaku's run and the striker leveled the game again. The game started again and there wasn't a clear owner of it.

    Before half time, Belgium repeated a defensive mistake. After a new corner kick, De Bruyne's handball finished in a penalty. Neymar still needed to defeat Curtois, who had stopped two penalties in the quarter-finals. But Belgium didn't need Courtois this time, because Neymar, who has had an awful World Cup, sent the ball to the post.

    Roberto Martinez introduced substitutions. The hero of the semis, Chadli, appeared to replace Carrasco. Later, surprisingly, Lukaku went to the bench for Mertens. The two players that had built the first goal disappeared in a couple of decisions that ultimately had consequences.

    And Paulinho appeared again. The Brazilian midfielder built the action from his natural position, connecting with an inspired Gabriel Jesus. Paulinho saw the space behind the naive defense of Belgium. It was the 2-1. This time, Belgium didn't react anymore.

    In the last minutes of the game, Belgium gave a step forward in a desperate move. However, this attacking attitude didn't make Brazil hesitate. Quite the opposite, they enjoyed the spaces left between the lines by Belgium. Paulinho, the best player of this World Cup, appeared to assist Willian who faced and executed Curtois again. It was over, it was the 6th for Brazil.

    Brazil win the World Cup. Neymar was supposed to be the leader, but instead Brazil appeared as a block, a team that base their football in the dark task of Fernandinho in midfield, the quality of Coutinho, the expansive game of Paulinho and the goals of Gabriel Jesus. Over any individuality, the team prevailed. On the other side, Belgium was yet a victim of their defensive errors. This time the attack couldn't compensate the irregular World Cup of their defenders.

    Brazil has been the best team of this World Cup, being superior in all the games and surviving to their worst day against Spain in the quarter-finals. Parabéns Brasil!

    The Best

    Best XI

    GK - Thiboud Courtois - Belgium
    RB - Thomas Meunier - Belgium
    CB - Thiago Silva - Brazil
    CB - Samuel Umtiti - France
    LB - Daley Blind - Netherlands
    CM - Paulinho - Brazil
    CM - Davy Pröpper - Netherlands
    CM - Eden Hazard - Belgium
    FW - Kylian Mbappé - France
    FW - Gabriel Jesus - Brazil
    FW - Memphis Depay - Netherlands

    Ballon D'Or

    Paulinho (Brazil) - Not the most skillful player on Earth, but definitely tactically superior. Fundamental for the balance of his team, well positioned in defense, surprisingly productive in attack, the most intelligent of the class. He appeared to make the difference in important games and his 2 goals and the assist in the final show his importance. He was the best among the best.

    Golden Gloves

    Thiboud Courtois - The goalkeeper of Belgium has been fundamental to take his team to the final, where he wasn't to blame for the defeat. If Belgium had a weakness, that was the defense. But Courtois was usually there to change the games and make the difference.
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