Futydose: Three Reasons Why France Surprised Us All And Lifted The Trophy

So finally it has come to an end. The World Cup extravaganza which lasted a whole month threw a lot of surprises at us. Many of the pre-tournament favourites went out early. The big names fell by the wayside. Everyone who was calling for Ronaldo or Messi to own this World Cup was left disappointed. Most people had tipped Brazil to take home the trophy (Admittedly, that includes us!). But they fell well short, same with defending champions Germany. There were upsets everywhere. The so-called smaller footballing nations were thriving. Remarkably, England were doing well under Gareth Southgate! Amidst all this chaos, one team has reigned supreme – Les Blues. So let’s take a look at the 3 reasons why France lifted the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

1) Pragmatic Approach

Since the day they played their first match, it was quite evident that France would use all their experience and play in a pragmatic manner. This displeased a lot of fans, but ultimately it’s the medal around the neck that matters. They were cautious in midfield and defended well throughout the tournament, apart from the final itself. Whenever they got a chance on the counter, they utilized it fully. This was the base of their success. Nobody can deny the fact that they were supremely lethal on the attack and finished off teams well.

2) Kante Stop Him!

What more can be said about Ngolo Kante? The guy has been touted as someone who plays like two players and that is the truth! He was absolutely instrumental in France being able to win the ball back. He was also the key for Paul Pogba to have a good tournament. He allowed Pogba to get forward and did all the dirty work himself. This provided much needed balance to the French side. Kante was ever present and made sure that most counter attacks against France fizzled out. He was the vital cog in this side.

3) Marvellous Mbappe

Kante did very well in this tournament. But that is what we expect from him. One player which surprised us all and finally showed his true worth is Kylian Mbappe. The 19 year old played some fantastic football in this tournament. His goals were sheer class and he also created a number of chances for his team-mates. Mbappe proved that his hefty price tag in club football is totally worth it. He showed that he has the ability to become a really special player in the future. He has a certain swagger about him which resembles Pele, although it is too early to make any such comparisons!

To sum up, France were able to go all the way since they played as a cohesive unit. They were well coached by Didier Deschamps who got his tactics right. The strategy of playing this way worked wonders. He also utilized his substitutes very well. The midfield combination of Pogba and Kante reigned supreme. And adding to that was the sublime partnership between Griezmann and Mbappe. Overall, France have proved that they could be the team to beat in the years to come!

Futydose: Three Reasons Why Neymar Is Still Nowhere Near Being Messi’s Heir

Over the last few years, there have been numerous articles published in the media about Neymar. Most of these have been pointing towards Neymar being the heir apparent to Lionel Messi as the best player in the world. He was also touted as the natural successor to Messi at Barcelona, although that has been ruled out due to his mega move to Paris Saint Germain. But time and again, Neymar has been letting everyone down – his fans, pundits, his coaches, and most of all himself. With Brazil now knocked out of the tournament which they were universal favourites for, Neymar needs to take a good look at himself. So here are three reasons why Neymar is still nowhere close to being Messi’s successor.

1) Torrid Temperament

One thing which all of us agree on is Neymar’s peculiar antics on the pitch. He is someone who believes in maximizing any foul that is made on him. He dives and rolls around on the pitch a bit too often. If he focuses more on his game and on showing the right skills, he might get somewhere. At the moment, he seems to be an immature player who doesn’t have his priorities straight. He has not evolved into the player we all thought he would be. Comparisons with Messi came too early in his career and he has fallen well short. Although he still has plenty of time to turn it around, he needs to get his act together.

2) Flaccid Under Pressure

Neymar has never managed to quite convince anyone when the pressure has been on him. On the grandest stage in the world cup, we hardly saw him work wonders. The goals he scored were mostly a result of the hard work of his team mates. The only headlines that Neymar managed to grab were about his diving skills rather than his dribbling skills. And this is what needs to change. Neymar needs to understand that unless he performs on the pitch, reputations can be lost fairly quickly. It’s not necessary to win the world cup in the future to be considered amongst the best, but at least he needs to perform as an individual.

3) Off The Field Circus

Time and again, Neymar has come out as a player who is more interested in off-the-field stuff rather than showcasing his skills on the pitch. His protracted transfer to PSG was a good example. Various sources implied that the move had to do with money rather than anything else. And after such a short stint at PSG, rumour has it that he again wants a move to Real Madrid. These things only add to the fact that Neymar is focused on the big bucks rather than the big goals. This world cup was the perfect stage for Neymar to dominate world football headlines for the right reasons, but he has dived away from this opportunity!

To sum up, Neymar has not lived up to the expectations of his fans and he needs to buckle up. The only impressive record he has right now is the number of goals scored for his national team. But this is not sufficient for him to be considered as the best in the world. With the emergence of other wonderful players like Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane and Eden Hazard, Neymar might just lose his grip on the title of being the third best player in the world behind demi-gods Messi and Ronaldo.

Futydose: Three Reasons Why Mbappe Is Starting To Live Up To The Hype

Over the past two years, Kylian Mbappe has been the most talked about youngster in football. The way he emerged as a skilled forward for Monaco, he was touted as a future superstar. He was snapped up by Paris Saint Germain soon after. However, in recent months his form had been up and down. He couldn’t perform too well in the Champions League this year and PSG’s “elaborate” dreams crashed again. Many were starting to wonder whether Mbappe was worth the hype? But in this FIFA World Cup, Mbappe is showing his true class. So here are three reasons why Mbappe has managed to impress in the biggest event of them all.

1) Faith Shown By Deschamps

France coach Didier Deschamps has shown his faith in the abilities of Mbappe. As recently as one year ago, France were playing with Griezmann and Lacazette up top, with substitute appearances from Giroud. But in recent months, as Lacazette has fallen out of favour, Mbappe has been given his chance. And how well has he taken it! His finishing against Argentina was superb. It was one of the best World Cup performances you are ever likely to see from a 19 year old. He played like an accomplished player who knows what he is doing on the pitch.

2) Understanding With Fellow Attackers

What is worth noting in this year’s World Cup is the way Mbappe has built an understanding with the other French forwards. He seems to be on the same wavelength as Griezmann and Giroud and this has been a huge positive for France. Even in his club side, we have seen signs of a good partnership with Neymar, which can only bode well for the future. Mbappe has been making thr right runs and has managed to draw the right pass as well. His movement against Argentina was sensational and it was a true delight to watch for any football fan!

3) Fan Following

Mbappe has enjoyed great support from the fans at this year’s tournament. The French seem to be aware that they have a real gem in the shape of Mbappe and they cherish him a lot. They have been chanting about him throughout matches. Seldom is this seen that a 19 year old is treated with such fanfare. But to be honest, if anyone deserves it, it’s Mbappe. He is the standout youngster in the world of football right now. Infact, even fans of other teams realize how special this kid is. If he can continue to perform this way for the next decade then he could be the successor to Ronaldo and Messi.

To sum up, Kylian Mbappe has come to the party and shown that he has the potential to be one of the very best. The whole of France is excited about this youngster and they will hope that he can be their superhero in the years to come. Mbappe had been compared with Thierry Henry very early in his career and if Mbappe can be even 80% as good as Henry, we will have a real player on our hands!

Messi

Futydose: Three Reasons Why Messi Is The GOAT

Just days after Lionel Messi was written off (yet again!), he has again managed to turn things around. His fantastic goal has led Argentina into the round of 16 at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Most critics and Messi-haters were desperate for Argentina to be knocked out in the group stage, so that they could prove a point. Instead, it’s Messi who has managed to prove a point. He is still going strong and his will to play international football is still alive and well despite all the rumours. So let’s have a look at three reasons why Messi is the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT):

1) Performing Under Pressure

Let’s face it, Argentina were under tremendous pressure. Before the final round of matches, they were bottom of their group, and in need of a win. At the same time, they needed the other result in their group to go their way. Step forward Leo Messi. In the 14th minute against Nigeria, Messi managed to score a beautiful goal from inside the box. This gave the team a huge boost, and they managed to go on to win the match. Messi played well throughout this crunch match, creating a number of other chances. This supreme performance under pressure has once again proved that Messi is the best by far. He may not have won a World Cup till now, but he truly is a magician and a joy to watch.

2) Goalscoring Record

Messi’s goalscoring record has been phenomenal throughout his career. He may not be a typical centre forward but he has atoned for this by using his magical feet. He has won a host of individual and team trophies at club level. Barcelona’s recent thumping success has been attributed to Messi’s rise. He has scored 50 goals in a season consistently, which is a massive achievement. To add to this, he has also provided a huge number of assists. People compare him to Ronaldo but forget that Messi is much younger and has plenty of time to overtake Ronaldo’s scoring records, and perhaps even Pele’s!

3) Creative Spark

Although he has played in very successful teams, many many times Messi has provided that but of magic required to turn a game. A good example was the Champions League Round of 16 match against Chelsea this season. Messi hadn’t scored against them previously and the Chelsea defence was doing well in the clash at Stamford Bridge. But Messi managed to score and led Barcelona to an aggregate win in the tie. This is the sort of creative spark he can provide. Even for his national side, he has managed to unlock resolute defences plenty of times, proving that there is no one quite like him!

To sum up, it is appropriate to put the GOAT tag on a player who has won 5 Ballon d’Ors and been the leading player in the world for the past decade. He has shown his magic time and again and proved that he is simply the best footballer there has ever been. And he has achieved all this after being diagnosed with a hormonal disease at a very young age. Now that is what you call Messi Magic!

Super Harry Kane

Futydose: Three Reasons Why England Won’t Win The FIFA World Cup

Whenever England embark on a World Cup campaign, their journey is preceded by a lot of hype and unusual fanfare. Fans are always hopeful of a 1966-esque miracle, even though they know the harsh realities. England might have scraped through against Tunisia with a late winner last night, but this game has clearly showed their failings once again. So here are 3 reasons why England will fall short in the FIFA World Cup – yet again.

1) Chokeslam Without Kane

Yes, this is the ultimate truth. England are more dependent on Harry Kane than any other side has been in recent history. Yes, Sterling and Rashford are good players, but let’s be honest – Kane is the be all and end all. Last night, this point was further proven. If it was not for him, England would have stuttered to a 1-1 draw against an unrecognisable Tunisia and the media would have started obituaries a-la The Ashes!

2) Heading South With Southgate

Even though England did very well in qualifying, Southgate has not been the most inspiring appointment. Yesterday’s injury time winner only added further weight to this point. For long periods of the game, England were abject and the media were sharpening their tools! England need to perform much better to have any chance in this tournament.

3) Plenty Of (Big) Fish

If Tunisia caused so much trouble, imagine what the Belgians could do! Belgium looked imperious against Panama and would be licking their lips against this England defence. With teams like Germany and France waiting in the advanced rounds, it could be really hard for England to even make the semis. Let’s be honest, Harry Maguire and Kyle Walker are not exactly world class defenders! If De Bruyne and Hazard find their flair then god save the queen!!

To sum up, if England make it past the quarters, it would be quite an achievement, since they do not have the ingredients to win such an event. As much as Harry Kane tries single-handedly, there’s only so much he can do! They need much more in attack – how they wish Jesus was on their side!!

CR7

Futydose: Three Reasons Why Ronaldo Is Far From Finished

Well, technically Cristiano Ronaldo has given us three reasons already today by scoring three goals in Portugal’s World Cup opener! But let’s have a look at the three major reasons why Ronaldo’s critics need to keep quiet and admire this genius player.

1) Big Stage Performer

Portugal were not given much of a chance against Spain. Experts believed the playing eleven was too inexperienced. Expextations from Ronaldo were fairly limited considering the strength of the opponents. But he delivered on the big stage – and how! A World Cup hat trick against Spain is a rare phenomena, let alone against defenders of the calibre of Ramos and Pique. The respective Barca and Real captains could not do much to stop Ronaldo – and that is a big statement in itself. Portugal might not have won the match, but Ronaldo has certainly proved that he is a big match player. Rivalries do not come much bigger than Portugal vs Spain. And he conquered it!

2) Supreme Fitness

For a 33 year old who was written off very recently, Ronaldo has managed to maintain supreme fitness levels. This is all down to his work ethic and training regime. And this showed against Spain. He was dominating the best defenders in the world and that is no mean feat. He might not be the quickest in the world but he made up for it using his skills. All those who witnessed his goals will realize that fitness had a key role to play in them, along with his undoubted skills.

3) Bouncebackability

Rewind a few months to the beginning of the year. Real Madrid were struggling in La Liga. Ronaldo was badly out of form. Even Iago Aspas was far ahead of him in the scoring charts – ask Liverpool fans what an insult that is! But Ronaldo has managed to turn things around – and how! Real have won their third successive Champions League – led by some great goals by Ronaldo, he has just scored a wonderful hat trick in his country’s World Cup opener, and he is now a real contender for the Ballon D’Or again! Now that is what you call bouncebackability!

To sum up, he might be 33, but he still has amazing ability and determination to be the best. Messi fans might not agree with this, but Ronaldo has proved yet again that he is as good as Messi, if not better!

Russia

Futydose: Russia Ensures Five Star Inauguration To The Biggest Event On Earth!

As soon as the 2018 FIFA World Cup was allocated to Russia, the media was full of apprehensions as to how successful the event will prove to be. Especially the Western press was unsure how well this event would turn out to be. Well, at least the opening has been spectacular! Not because of the opening ceremony itself – although Robbie Williams tried his best! But because of the five star five goal performance by the hosts against Saudi Arabia. So what led to this spectacular opening? Here are three reasons why the Russian footballers delivered as if they were mafia dons!

1) Rankings Rank Poorly
To be honest, the FIFA ranking system has been outdated for a number of years now. That is the precise reason why Russia, ranked 70, managed to crush Saudi Arabia who are ranked 67! The weightage allocated to friendlies and meaningless rubbers has been way too high. This resulted in a false illusion that Asian also-rans Saudi are better than European also-rans Russia, which is certainly not true now! The Russians managed to trounce the Saudis 5-0 and to be honest the Saudis looked more like 167 in the rankings.

2) Siege Mentality
For political reasons or otherwise, the Russians were in the “us against the world” mode today. And that is how they played as well. An early goal gave them a great morale boost and by half time they were two up. After the break the Saudis created a couple of opportunities but they were not able to get a foothold in the game. Yes, a couple of late goals added superficial gloss to the scoreline, but I believe the Russians deserved this. They managed to execute their game plan perfectly and came out all guns blazing.

3) Home Advantage
Home advantage also proved to be critical. Over the last few years, most of Saudi’s decent performances have come at home. And this was quite a long way off! The Russians felt the support of the crowd and managed to use it to their advantage. Although the next World Cup will technically not be held in Saudi Arabia but it will be as close to home advantage as it can get (Middle East). Looking at the way they defended today, they might as well start planning for 2022!

To sum up, Russia has shown all its might today. Despite all the doubters and haters, they have managed to perform on the opening day! We certainly hope that the average goals per game ratio for this World Cup will be the same on the first day as well as the last!

Futydose: Three Reasons Why Brazil Are Favourites For The 2018 FIFA World Cup

Every four years, the world comes to a standstill. People stop paying attention to their jobs. Students stop focusing on studies. The world unites for one common goal (Pun intended) – The FIFA World Cup. It’s the sort of sporting event that awakens passion amongst one and all. So with the 2018 edition of the tournament just four days away, let us try to analyse why Brazil are the favourites this time. This is the case according to pundits as well as fan surveys.

1) Jesus Is On Their Side!

Well, Brazil have Jesus on their side – quite literally. Gabriel Jesus has been one of the best performers for Man City in this Premier League season. And he is expected to improve in the future! His finishing is up there with the very best and this has led to huge expectations from him in his home country. Let’s face it – nothing unites Brazilians quite like Football. They are amongst the most passionate and live every moment of it. If Jesus is able to perform to the best of his abilities, Brazil might even be able to walk on water!

Brazil_men's_football_team_2016_Olympics

2) Strong Engine Room

With Casemiro and Paulinho making up their central midfield, Brazil have a really strong midfield. These two may be deadly rivals in La Liga, but they are amongst the best central midfielders in European football. Casemiro is a multiple Champions League winner with Real Madrid whilst Paulinho has had a surprisingly good goal-laden season after his move to Barcelona. If these two can manage to put club rivalries aside and strike a chord, Brazil could be really the team to beat in Russia.

3) Keepers Union

The goalkeeping department for Brazil is one with great options for coach Tite. Allison has been one of the most sought after players in Europe whilst young Ederson has been fantastic for Man City in the Premier League. With Brazil’s defence not being the best (When has it been ever?!), it seems that the keeper might be rather busy. Hence, the importance of having great options is even more. It’s going to be a tight call as to whom to pick, although Allison might just have the edge.

To sum up, Brazil is looking like the best team this year, while others like Germany have recently lost to Austria. Even today, with a comfortable 3-0 win over Australia, Brazil showed their credentials. Even if they do not go all the way, they might just prove to be the most entertaining team in this year’s mega event!