World Cup Big Guns Limber Up In Russia As Atmosphere Builds
Zeeshan Mehtab 8 days ago Mon 11th June 2018 | 09:54 PM
The World Cup big guns limbered up on Monday ahead of the tournament opener in Russia while brash underdogs Australia warned Euro 2016 finalists France to brace for an early shock.
Moscow, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 11th Jun, 2018 ) :The World Cup big guns limbered up on Monday ahead of the tournament opener in Russia while brash underdogs Australia warned Euro 2016 finalists France to brace for an early shock.
Neymar, who broke a bone in his foot in February, marked his first start in more than three months by scoring in Sunday's easy victory in Vienna, drawing level with Romario on the list of Brazil's all-time leading scorers behind only Pele and Ronaldo.
- Disputed choice - Russia was a disputed choice when it was handed the World Cup in a closely watched 2010 vote that has since been tainted by bribery charges, and the 2018 tournament takes place against a background of international tensions.
But as the clock ticks down to the opener in Moscow's imposing 80,000-capacity Luzhniki stadium, the tournament is beginning to catch the public mood, with about 3,500 fans attending Australia's training session in the central city of Kazan.
Fans shouted "Austral-iya" several times during training and also "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, go, go, go".
"Come the France game, we're going to be ready... and giving ourselves opportunities to win this game," the Brighton stopper warned."We can't wait for Saturday." France, who boast "world-class" talent in Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba, according to Australia midfielder Massimo Luongo, are among the tournament favourites in Russia alongside Brazil, Germany and Spain.
- Salah trains - A big question mark hangs over the participation of Egypt and Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah, who is still receiving treatment for the shoulder injury he suffered in the Champions League final.
But Salah did some light running in Grozny on Monday, monitored by medical staff, as the other Egypt players took part in a group warm-up.
Argentina captain Lionel Messi said his international future will be determined by his country's performance at the World Cup.
"It will depend on how far we go, how we're going to finish" at the finals, Messi told Spanish daily Sport.
"We've just lost three finals in a row, which has led to us going through some difficult moments with the press," the Barcelona forward said.
"I must acknowledge the fact that, unfortunately, our team have not achieved big results in recent times," Putin said last week.
Even before the tournament gets under way, world governing body FIFA has the major task on Wednesday of choosing the host of the 2026 World Cup -- a straight fight between a joint bid featuring the United States, Canada and Mexico and Morocco.