Tag Archives: Confederations Cup

Germany wins Confederations Cup with second string squad

Published by:

World Champions Germany asserted their dominance in international football with a 1-0 victory over Chile to win their first FIFA Confederations Cup despite fielding a second-string squad.

After Germany fans saw their team win the under-21 European Championship in Poland on Friday, they can once again celebrate another impressive tournament victory 12 months before they launch the defence of their world title.

Chile had the better of the opening encounters, but Die Mannschaft launched a rapid counter-attack against the run of play and while Chile initially neutralised the move, terrible mistake by Marcelo Diaz allowed Timo Werner to collect the ball and pass to Lars Stindl for an easy-tap in.

Despite the setback, the Copa America winners maintained the pressure against their opponents, somehow even doubling it in the second-half — but the German team that had not managed a clean sheet all tournament held them back as Chile’s Arturo Vidal and Angelo Sagal both blazed over the bar in the closing stages.

The second-half also turned ill-tempered as Vidal and Joshua Kimmich, both team-mates in Bayern Munich, were booked following one spat while frustrated Chile players piled on a prone Emre Can in an attempt to retrieve the ball.

Video assistant referee (VAR) technology was cast under the spotlight too after Chile’s Gonzalo Jara remained on the pitch despite landing an elbow in Timo Werner’s face during a second-half challenge. The foul was brought to the attention of referee Milorad Mazic, who reviewed the footage from the touchline but only proceeded to caution Jara with a yellow.

German coach Joachim Low, while suggesting diplomatically that it “could have been worthy of a red card”, did not allow the issue to dampen his spirits as the youngest team at the tournament lifted the trophy.

“The fact that these young players have won this trophy is a historic achievement. It’s unique in Germany history,” Low said. “It is just outstanding: players with so little international experience, with so few caps in other final matches, have been playing at the top level of quality.”

Even before the game, Low said that he felt “vindicated” of criticism for fielding an inexperienced squad and leaving out stars such as Marco Reus, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng.

Indeed, with just 12 months left from the 2018 World Cup and winning a considerable accolade with what was effectively a second-string squad, Germany is a strong favourite and could very well become the third team ever to defend the World title successfully.

Cristiano Ronaldo unveils twins after Confederations Cup campaign

Published by:

Cristiano Ronaldo has announced the birth of twins hours after he captained Portugal through a semi-final defeat by Chile on penalties in the Confederations Cup in Russia.

The Real Madrid star wrote on Facebook: “I’m very happy, finally, to be with my children for the first time.”

He began his message declaring that he been at the service of the national team “body and soul” despite the birth of the twins, adding: “Unfortunately we couldn’t achieve our main sporting aim”

The semi-final in Kazan ended in a 0-0 draw and Chile went through as Claudio Bravo saved three penalties from Ronaldo’s teammates.

Portuguese media have reported for days that the footballer’s twins had been born to a surrogate mother in the US, but it was only after the national team were knocked out on penalties by Chile that Ronaldo confirmed the birth of his children.

Little information has been revealed regarding the twins, but unconfirmed reports in Portugal said they were born on 8 June, well before the start of the Confederations Cup.

The SIC TV channel added that the boy and girl had been named Eva and Mateo.

In a statement by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF), the organization said it had been informed by Ronaldo before the Confederations Cup that he had become a father again, and yet had decided to travel to Russia with the team.

The FPF described his decision as a “gesture that we must highlight and praise”.

Ronaldo already has a son, Cristiano Ronaldo junior, who was born in June 2010.

Russia’s 2014 World Cup squad under FIFA doping investigation

Published by:

The entire 23-man Russian squad who participated in the 2014 World Cup is being investigated by FIFA for possible violations of drug regulations.

Although the country is currently is in the midst of hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup and is set to stage the World Cup in under a year, the allegations are likely to throw their appropriateness to stage such events into serious doubt.

Russia’s 2014 23-man World Cup team who had been eliminated in the group stages of the Brazil World Cup three years ago, are amongst the 34 Russian footballers currently being investigated by football’s world governing body for possible drug violations.

The allegations made against them were published and authored by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren. It found at least 1,000 people were assisted by what McLaren described as an “institutionalised manipulation of the doping control process in Russia”.

Five of the 23 players tested in 2014 are members of the squad that was knocked out of the Confederations Cup on Saturday.

While it is well-known that Russia is guilty of state-sponsored doping and cover-up across important sport events such as the Olympics, this is the first time top-level footballers in the country have been placed under investigation and there were yet to be evidence of any anti-doping violations.

Although it was understood that FIFA was in possession of detailed evidence and intelligence, a spokesman said: “FIFA is still investigating the allegations made against [Russian] football players.”