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From the Seleção, a selection box of treats. While their rivals falter, beset by rusting parts and in some cases complete mechanical failure, Brazil roll on and their claim to a sixth World Cup now looks more persuasive than at any point in the past four years. The strut of champions-elect is returning and, as players and staff piled on after Roberto Firmino’s far-post tap-in, it did not take an outrageous leap to envisage similar scenes unfolding 13 days down the line when this often bewildering summer party finally winds down. Nike Daryl Williams Ash Jersey: #60 NFL Backer Carolina Panthers T-ShirtIn a tournament that has shown little tolerance for the cult of the individual, this felt like a particularly telling afternoon. Ciao Cristiano, lovely knowing you Lionel … no more, Neymar? The stars have lined up for the chopping block Brazil and their talisman never looked close to the axe after a few early flutters and what sets them apart at this stage is the steady click-click of their key components. Mexico were furious with Neymar’s second-half histrionics but the simple truth is that they were defeated by a team, a collection of world-class players who have stepped up in sequence and made their quality tell. #15 Nike Swingman Vince Carter Women's Royal Blue NBA Jersey - Orlando Magic Icon EditionIf that sounds like the minimum requirement for a title contender, it is not as though many others have achieved it. Neither Argentina nor Portugal could muster anyone to make a difference beyond their A-listers; the more rounded gifts of Germany and Spain Womens Kamalei Correa Jersey were consumed, in different ways, by a total loss of the identities that have served them, and Brazil have struck a balance in the meantime. Philippe Coutinho, Paulinho and Thiago Silva pulled out decisive moments of their own in a patchy group stage performance; in the oppressive heat of Samara it was Willian, little more than quietly effective in earlier games Womens Luke Willson Jersey but playing in fast-forward mode after half-time, who provided the telling burst of initiative with his dart towards the line and the impression grew of a camp in which labour is happily shared. The celebrations that greeted Firmino at the death cut a different image to the relatively austere picture Brazil had sought to project in the buildup. Neymar’s modest choice of haircut – certainly in contrast to the newly peroxided mops sported by three of their opponents, who looked a half-hearted version of Romania’s 1998 side – set some kind of tone but his captain’s pre-match comments were perhaps more revealing. Thiago had described himself as a “shy” and “embarrassed” character far more comfortable expressing himself on the pitch than off it; Brazil have often found it difficult to distil the exuberance and excitement that surrounds their every move into a gimlet-eyed focus during games but in Russia they appear free of distraction, blinkers fixed and racing line firmly set. That was shown in the early stages in the way Thiago and Miranda shackled Mexico, the latter throwing himself in front of an early Hirving Lozano shot that could have changed everything, and paved the way for their more expressive colleagues. This is not a Brazil side given to weaving pretty patterns at length, but at their best they resemble a coiled spring and their front four have, in short but devastating spells, played the most effective football seen over the past two and a half weeks. They certainly showed up Mexico, who were rightly lauded for running a hot knife through Authentic Ryan McDonagh JerseyGermany but failed to inflict any kind of wound when invited by Brazil to do the same. After their left-back Jesús Gallardo wasted a glorious counter early in the second half, he had barely got back into position by the time Willian and Neymar had combined so lucidly to punish him. It was Mexico’s run of consecutive second-round exits, which now extends to seven, shrunk into one sequence but it also showcased a clarity and collaboration that lifts Brazil above everyone else. Let nobody get too carried away: this carnival of participation has not yet included Gabriel Jesus, who snatched at one half-opening before the break and, while moving sharply, has yet to produce on the level of those around him. Perhaps it is simply his turn next. In Kazan on Friday they will have to cope without Casemiro, who picked up his second yellow card of the tournament against Mexico; Fernandinho, praised pointedly by Tite on Sunday, will deputise and they will hope Marcelo is fit to join him. More clinical opponents would have punished Filipe Luís and, in particular, Fagner during an opening 25 minutes in which Brazil’s full-backs were exposed by Lozano and the equally frustrating Carlos Vela. At one stage during that spell it all appeared to have affected Fagner, who embarrassingly threw the ball into vacant space midway inside the Mexico half and scampered back as they broke once again. He and Brazil gathered themselves though and that, these days, is exactly what they seem to do. wholesale jerseys wholesale jerseys from china wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys free shippingwholesale jerseys wholesale jerseys
Moscow hummed with the sound of car horns and pavement parties on Sunday as Russia celebrated defeating Spain in a nerve jangling World Cup penalty shootout and England fans to join the carnival in the capital. Men's Nike Seattle Seahawks #97 Patrick Kerney Game White NFL JerseyThe hosts, who are the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, produced the biggest upset so far by beating Spain, a giant of the game and world champions eight years ago. A ripple and then a roar passed through a 78,000 sellout crowd at the Luzhniki stadium, and the Russian players stormed the pitch, the noise was so loud it hurt. Youth Kareem Hunt Limited White Nike Jersey: NFL Kansas City Chiefs #27 Road Vapor UntouchableOn Nikolskaya Street, a pedestrianised thoroughfare near Red Square illuminated by twinkling fairy lights, hundreds of local people and fans from around the world strained to see outdoor TV screens in cafes. They huddled under umbrellas as the rain began to fall towards the end of the last-16 match with the score remaining 1-1 after extra time. When goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev made a save with his left foot to secure a 4-3 penalty shootout victory, the buildings seemed to shake. Many swung flags above their heads and others sobbed in amazement. Vladimir Kondratyev, a manager at a sales company who was inside the stadium, hugged the Brazilian man beside him. “I told everyone they were going to win,” he said as he walked out of the Luzhniki with the aid of a cane. “I never doubted them for a second.” The festivities continued into the night, with drivers beeping their horns in celebration and some leaning out of car windows to high-five passing pedestrians. The unexpected success of Russia has undoubtedly contributed to a feelgood atmosphere at the World Cup, and increasing numbers of England fans are keen to experience it for themselves. Their first knockout round match against Colombia here on Tuesday is being called England’s biggest game for over a decade by many, with expectation intensifying after the premature exits of Spain and reigning champions Germany. England supporters were scouring the internet for tickets and some online touts were quoting three times the face value. It is understood the FA’s entire official allocation of 1,520 seats has now sold out, which with Fifa stating that there are no Irving Fryar Youth jersey more tickets available means any other fans who want to watch the game inside Moscow’s Spartak stadium will have to obtain tickets through other channels. Up to 6,000 England fans are expected to make the journey to the Russian capital, which has been transformed by a riot of colour, music and good-natured rivalry for the past three weeks. With internal flights between the 11 World Cup host cities requiring a stopover in Moscow in transit, the city has benefited from a carnival atmosphere Nick Foles Jersey as Joaquin Benoit Youth jersey fans from all 32 of the tournament’s countries converge in the main squares. However many England fans make it to Moscow, it is certain they will be dwarfed in number and noise by Colombians, with the country estimated to have 50,000 supporters currently in Russia. A sea of their yellow shirts streamed past the red-brick Kremlin walls on Sunday, through the metal detectors and into Red Square. On a humid afternoon in front of St Basil’s Braden Holtby Youth jersey Cathedral, they gathered en masse. Some were from the capital, Bogota, others from Cartagena and Santa Marta, but 12,000km from home they came together in support of their team. cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale jerseyscheap jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys
It was Sunday afternoon, in a beachfront hotel in Repino, and Gareth Southgate was thinking back to the night England qualified for the World Cup and one of those jarring occasions at Wembley – of which there have been a few – that somehow still feel so relevant when charting the trajectory of his team. NHL Women's Montreal Canadiens Big & Tall Logo T-Shirt - BlackSouthgate was reminiscing about a scratchy 1-0 win against Slovenia last October when the overriding memory was not Harry Kane’s late winner but the sour indifference of the crowd and the jarring of thousands of fans feeling it necessary Womens Nick Vannett Jersey to make their own entertainment – origami in this case. The paper planes that landed on the pitch felt like a symbol of the fans’ apathy. Jeers Womens Duke Ihenacho Jersey soon followed. “Bored spectators, paper planes and early exits – something is seriously wrong with this England team,” was one headline. And it was even worse, as Southgate could also remember, during England’s excursion to Malta the previous month when the opponents featured a centre-half from Ebbsfleet United and, for many of the travelling Robert Thomas Jersey supporters, something snapped. NFL Men's Nike Kansas City Chiefs #10 Tyreek Hill Stitched Black Anthracite Salute to Service Player Performance HoodieThe mass walkout around the 70-minute mark that night seemed like a choreographed protest. The chants of “We’re fucking shit” told their own story and what has never been reported until now is that England’s players were also targeted as they left the ground. Malta were 190th out of 211 teams in Fifa’s rankings and had won only five competitive matches in 55 years. Yet it was 0-0 at half-time and a late goal rush, when England scored three times, did not spare Southgate and his players on the journey away from the stadium. The chants informed them they were not fit to wear the shirt. It was spiteful, mutinous and the culmination, undoubtedly, of too many years of pent-up frustration. Ten months on the current side will be in Moscow on Tuesday to take on Colombia for a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup and Southgate – the man who applied for several Championship jobs without even getting an interview only a few years ago – has held himself in such a way he is doubling up, apparently, as an unexpected leader of fashion, asked in one BBC interview whether he was aware how much waistcoat sales had rocketed back in England. “They’ve been able to change perceptions of how an England team might play,” Southgate said of his players. “We mustn’t lose sight of that. When we qualified, people were throwing paper aeroplanes on to the pitch at Wembley. We were driving back to our hotel in Malta with obscene chants being thrown at us from supporters. “I feel like we’ve started to connect the team with the public again. I feel like we’ve created excitement, that we’ve played in a style that has really shown what young English players are capable of, and I want us to continue doing that. I really believe in the group of players we’ve got. They are young. They are inexperienced. For some of them, this will be one of the biggest games they’ll have been involved in. But maybe not the biggest. We’ve always got to keep that context for the players.” His belief is that England cannot “consider ourselves a top team until we have beaten a top team” but he is encouraging them to think like one before they get the chance to stake that claim against players such as Radamel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado and, injury permitting, James Rodríguez. Ever since the start of this tournament one phrase has been heard more than any other within the England camp. It is to “attack Womens Jason Sanders Jersey the tournament”. Don’t hold back, don’t play with the restraint of other England teams. Don’t be the team of Euro 2016 and many others. Southgate played in an era for England when the team spirit was undermined by club cliques. Yet on Saturday, when given a day off, Jordan Henderson, Danny Welbeck, Marcus Rashford, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jesse Lingard went together to the Divo Ostrov amusement park in St Petersburg. Or to put it another way, two players from Liverpool, two from Manchester United and one from Arsenal, all acting daft on a rollercoaster because they thought it was going to pull away before they had fixed their seatbelts. “You have to put club rivalries to one side,” Lingard said. “We have been like family. We all get along with each other and that’s why we have done so well. There is no squabbling. There are no cliques.”
If a manager’s demeanour in front of the cameras is an indication of the state of his team then France risk staring into the void. The auditorium inside the Kazan Arena is cavernous but after 20 minutes in the presence of Didier Deschamps it seemed to have been sucked dry of air. Nobody present came away feeling remotely illuminated as to how his team may galvanise themselves to overcome Argentina on Saturday, although they did, at least, depart reassured Deschamps knew the identity of their bete noire. Women's Joe Mullen Gold Adidas : NHL Pittsburgh Penguins #7 One Color Backer Pullover Hoodie“Messi is Messi,” pronounced Deschamps, an observation he repeated later on for good measure. “We’d like to mark and neutralise him but we know very well he can make the difference with very little. We have to take that into account.”Men's Adidas San Jose Sharks #53 Brandon Mashinter Authentic Black 1917-2017 100th Anniversary NHL JerseyFrance will look to keep Messi quiet with three defenders – Samuel Umtiti, Raphaël Varane and Lucas Hernandez – familiar with him from La Liga and the most salient point in Deschamps’ show of monotony came when he was invited to reflect on whether such knowledge may count in their favour. “I hope to be able to answer after the match with a yes,” he said. “I’m not sure Danielle Hunter Youth jersey it’s an advantage but it’s not a disadvantage. If you’ve played against him already, you may be aware of some situations that repeat themselves.” One state of affairs seemingly stuck on an eternal loop is France’s inability to get the Johan Larsson Womens Jersey most from a wealth of talent that, now Germany have departed, is rivalled only by Spain for depth. France never threatened to go the same way as the Germans in the group stage and ended up qualifying with ease; was largely stultifying fare though and more than once Deschamps felt compelled to defend their performances on account of their relative inexperience. “I’m not looking for excuses,” he said. “On the contrary. But as you know, we have 14 players’ve never competed at a World Cup. Five played for the first time against Australia, another five against Denmark, so Greg Zuerlein Womens Jersey whatever their individual abilities I think this should allow some indulgence.” It still fails Lavonte David Jersey to explain adequately why France’s attacking players appear so inhibited. Antoine Griezmann has been among those to start uncertainly, although it presumably does not help that Deschamps cannot settle on whether to play him as a No 9 or No 10. “The beginning a bit difficult,” Deschamps admitted of a player France desperately need to pick up some form. “He played 65 minutes against Denmark and that was good for him because he picked up some rhythm, some momentum. It’s true the French team needs Antoine Griezmann at the top level and he’s doing everything for this to be the case.” It was, in the manner of his other contributions to the session, neither a ringing endorsement nor a kick up the backside. Hugo Lloris, taking the floor before Deschamps, had been a fittingly stiff warm-up act but he did point to the potential impact of another France forward, Kylian Mbappé, whose early-career exploits have drawn inevitable comparisons with Messi. “Kylian has huge potential,” Lloris said of the Paris Saint-Germain player, who scored the winner against Peru and has been France’s liveliest player so far. “He’s fast, explosive, needs space, and I think he will have more space than in the first three matches. We will have to step up our level and Mbappé has the ability to make the difference at big moments.” Lloris said several times that Saturday marks the start of a new World Cup, a knockout tournament of clean slates and new possibilities. It at least brings hope that, should they break with the habit of their spokesmen and stop going through the motions, France may just click after all.
It was inevitable that, at some point, the conversation with Gareth Southgate would turn to the most harrowing ordeal of his professional life and the reasons why the England manager, after two decades of living with the consequences, is so determined to make sure his team will not fall into the same trap. Youth Malik Beasley Swingman Navy Blue Nike Jersey: NBA Denver Nuggets #25 City EditionSouthgate was thinking back to that night against Germany in the semi-final of Euro 96, with the game drawn 1-1, and the traumatic events that led to John Major, the prime minister, offering him a sympathetic hug outside Wembley. The night Southgate was asked by Terry Venables, just moments before the penalty shootout Joey Bosa Womens Jersey started, if he would take one and it hit him, in his own words, like “a bolt from the blue”. The night he assured Bryan Robson that, yes, he had taken a penalty before. “Bryan didn’t ask for details,” Southgate later recalled. “That suited me. My penalty career had been brief: one missed effort for Crystal Palace three seasons previously.” Nike Men's Chris Boswell Limited Black Jersey - Pittsburgh Steelers NFL #9 Tank Top SuitIt is 22 years since Southgate set off on that lonely walk from the centre circle and, if nothing else, at least it means he can speak from authority now England have reached the stage of the World Cup where the line between success and failure could feasibly rest on one team’s accuracy from 12 yards. Southgate can remember that walk and how dark it had suddenly become: the realisation the world was watching, the nauseous feeling that Andreas Köpke, the German goalkeeper, seemed to have grown a few inches and, worse, the moment the crowd made out who it was walking towards the Mike Reilly Jersey penalty area. “It’s Southgate, the inexperienced lad,” was how it felt at the time, nerves mangled. For England, Southgate’s haunted look that night is all part of a wider narrative. Add Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle at Italia 90, Paul Ince and David Batty at France 98, David Beckham and Darius Vassell at Euro 2004, the misses of Frank Lampard, Steven Joe Sakic Womens Jersey Gerrard and Jamie Carragher at the 2006 World Cup and the Euro 2012 aberrations of Ashley Young and Ashley Cole. England’s shootout record is, frankly, abysmal: six defeats from seven in major tournaments, the exception being against Spain at Euro 96. And not forgetting, the penalty misses of Les Ferdinand and Rob Lee against Belgium in the King Hassan II International Cup in Authentic Randy Jones Jersey Morocco in 1998. Equally, it is fair to say England’s players will never have been better prepared if Tuesday’s game against Colombia, or any of the possible assignments beyond that point, goes the same way and perhaps that should not be a surprise given the identity of the manager and his own story. “I have had a couple of decades thinking it through,” Southgate said. “I was a volunteer, really [in Euro 96]. The type of character I was, I felt you should put yourself forward. It is probably braver not to, if you are not confident. But in defence of the staff who were there at the time, penalty shootouts weren’t as regular then. FA Cup ties, for instance, went to two or three replays, so we weren’t in those situations as often as now. The depth of knowledge and understanding wasn’t so great and we didn’t have as much information as we do now.” Southgate was asked after the 1-0 defeat against Belgium in Kaliningrad whether players had started practising penalties and he replied the process had started in March rather than cramming in everything over a matter of days. His players have been encouraged to practice at the end of virtually each training session, starting with the walk from the centre circle. A team of video analysts – two of whom, Stephen O’Brien and Mike Baker, are in Repino – have studying the opposition penalty-takers to offer Jordan Pickford clues, as well as analysing the diving patterns of all the World Cup goalkeepers. England already have their five designated penalty-takers drawn up and the back-up options. Southgate even has a list of the staff who are allowed to go on the pitch and others he wants to keep out of the way. The phrase he uses, more than once, is to “own the process” – meaning to take control rather than wilting under the pressure, as he did. England’s players even had psychometric tests before the tournament to help the process. wholesale nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys from china cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys free shipping cheap jerseys china cheap jerseys from china
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