Daily Archives: December 12, 2022

Morocco’s ‘Bono’ linked to big clubs after World Cup heroics

“Morocco’s win over Portugal to become the first African side to reach the World Cup semifinals produced some iconic images: Youssef En-Nesyri’s leap for the goal, Sofiane Boufal dancing with his mother on the touchline, manager Walid Regragui being hoisted by his players, the unbridled joy among Moroccan fans in the stands. Yet a crucial moment that enabled these scenes of euphoria came in the 84th minute, with Portugal pressing hard for an equaliser. …”
Aljazeera (Video)
W – Yassine_Bounou
Why is Morocco World Cup goalkeeper Yassine Bounou called Bono? Explaining the Atlas Lions star’s show-stopping nickname (Video)


How England kept France’s star forward Kylian Mbappe quiet

“‘There are a handful of players you need to consider for special attention,’ England assistant coach Steve Holland said before the quarter-final against France. ‘You’d have to put (Kylian) Mbappe in that category. We need to look at trying to avoid leaving ourselves in situations where he is as devastating as we’ve seen.’ On a night when Mbappe recorded just one shot and one key pass, and failed to score or assist for the first time when starting a game at this World Cup, here is how England managed to keep him quiet… ”
The Athletic

No World Cup tickets on sale despite empty seats

“No World Cup tickets are available for purchase on FIFA’s official ticket portal despite swathes of empty seats being clearly visible at many matches during the tournament, The Athletic can reveal. While many tickets were sold long in advance of the first match, FIFA now is in its “last-minute sales phase” where additional tickets can be bought at short notice. All knockout matches are listed as sold out. There is a link to an official resale platform but few appeared to be available. …”
The Athletic

Another World Cup semi-final, but are shot-shy Croatia actually any good?

“It’s difficult to find anyone — aside perhaps from those in neighbouring countries — who have anything other than the utmost respect for Croatia as a football nation. Their debut World Cup as an independent country was only in 1998, and yet in those seven tournaments they’ve reached the semi-finals three times. It’s remarkable for a country with a population of under four million (half that of London), and all the more remarkable considering Croatia have always been intent on playing positive, possession-based football, with a midfield based around playmakers rather than destroyers. …”
The Athletic (Video)
W – Dominik Livaković
BBC – World Cup 2022: Croatia keeper Dominik Livakovic is unlikely hero – again
Dominik Livaković stands tall as Croatia stuns Neymar and Brazil (Video)

The Rise of Georgian Football

“Georgian football hasn’t been the most recognisable location on the footballing map. Still, the recent performances from Giorgi Mamardashvili, Giorgi Chakvetadze and specifically Khvicha Kvaratskhelia have had the footballing world sit up and take notice of what Georgia is cooking over in Eastern Europe. Football in Georgia is underrated within the wider footballing community in general. The general perception about the football played within the area is a lack of quality which has meant the league has been halted in its progression, hence a lack of coverage of the league from outside the country. …”
Football Paradise