South Korea’s manager Paulo Bento resigns following Brazil loss

Following a massive 4-1 loss in the Round of 16 match against Brazil, South Korea’s manager Paulo Bento has confirmed that he has resigned from the high-profile position.

The Selecao killed the game for the South Koreans with an unassailable 4-goal lead before the first-half whistle. However, the South Koreans got one back with a stunning strike from Seung-Ho Paik in the 76th minute.

Bento has confirmed his decision in the post-match announcement. “I have just announced to the players and the president of the federation that this is a decision I took in September. It is set in stone, and I have confirmed it. I have to thank everyone for everything they have done,” he said.

He further added, “From now onwards, we have to think about the future. I‚Äôm going to rest, and we have to see what will happen after I rest.”

South Korea blew hot and cold at the FIFA World Cup. Starting their campaign, the Asians played a goalless draw against Uruguay and a dramatic 3-2 loss to Ghana, which saw their manager Bento being sent off. The South Koreans then beat title contenders Portugal 2-1 in their final group stage game to qualify for the Round of 16.

close-up-football-scene-night-match-with-player-red-uniform-kicking-fiery-ball-with-power

Footballers Who Didn’t Play For Their Birth Nation at the World Cup

It is a dream for every player to represent their country at the highest level. Playing for a top club is a major achievement, but nothing can match the ecstasy of representing one’s country at a major global event like the FIFA World Cup. From a rookie to a legend, no footballer will ever want to miss the opportunity to play for their national sides. However, not every player gets the national call, and sometimes they are forced to change their nationality just for the sake of playing at the international level.¬†

Players are left with no options but to represent other countries due to a lack of opportunities on their national side. Many players opt for a stronger nation that has a better chance of winning a major trophy. Almost 16 percent of the players are representing other countries in the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Let’s look at some of the big names from the list.¬†

Players who don’t play for their birth nation at the FIFA World Cup¬†

1) Kalidou Koulibaly 

Kalidou Koulibaly 

DOHA, QATAR – NOVEMBER 29: Kalidou Koulibaly of Senegal controls the ball during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Ecuador and Senegal at Khalifa International Stadium on November 29, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Born: France 

Representing: Senegal 

The Chelsea superstar was born in Saint-Die-des-Vosges, France but plied his trades with Senegal at the international level. Koulibaly was born in a Senegalese household that allowed him to represent either France or Senegal on the national level; the centre-back chose the latter. 

Interestingly, Koulibaly represented France at the 2011 U20 World Cup in Colombia. However, he later decided to switch sides and started his international career with Senegal in September 2015.

2) Pepe 

Pepe 

MADRID, SPAIN – JUNE 04: Pepe of Portugal reacts during the international friendly match between Spain and Portugal at Wanda Metropolitano stadium on June 04, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Born: Brazil 

Representing: Portugal 

Pepe has been the backbone of the Portuguese national team for 15 years now. The 39-year-old became the second oldest outfield player in the history of the World Cup after representing Portugal against Uruguay in the 2022 World Cup group stages. However, Pepe could have played for Brazil as he was born in Marceio. 

According to Pepe’s father, the former Real Madrid centre-back refused the opportunity to represent Brazil in 2006 when he was offered the chance by the Brazilian coach Dunga. Nevertheless, Pepe made history with Portugal after winning UEFA Euro 2016.¬†

3) Alphonso Davies 

Alphonso Davies

Picture Credit:
Creator: Vaughn Ridley
Copyright: 2021 Vaughn Ridley

Born: Ghana 

Representing: Canada

The Bayern Munich starlet could have represented Ghana, but Canada left no stone unturned to grab the raw talent. The Canada national team signed him up for their U15 team. Davies was born in Buduburam and was a Liberian citizen by birth. 

4) Sergej Milinkovic-Savic 

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic 

ROME, ITALY – MAY 21: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic of SS Lazio greets the fans at the end of the Serie A match between SS Lazio and Hellas Verona FC at Stadio Olimpico on May 21, 2022 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Silvia Lore/Getty Images)

Born: Spain 

Representing: Serbia 

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was born in Lleida, Spain. Sergej’s father, Nikola Milinkovic, played for UE Lleida. However, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic decided to represent Serbia. Milinkovic-Savic has been a crucial part of the Serbian national team. 

5) Giovanni Reyna 

Giovanni Reyna

SWANSEA, WALES – NOVEMBER 12: USA player Giovanni Reyna beats Chris Gunter to the ball during the international friendly match between Wales and the USA at Liberty Stadium on November 12, 2020 in Swansea, Wales. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Born: England 

Representing: USA 

Giovanni Reyna has already made a name for himself at the young age of 20. However, not many people know that the Borussia Dortmund academy graduate was born in Sunderland, England. Giovanni Reyna’s father, Claudio Reyna, played for Sunderland FC. However, the Reyna family moved back to the USA when Giovanni was just 5 years old. Giovanni Reyna later joined the USA national team.¬†

6) Raheem Sterling 

Raheem Sterling 

2JCDP43 11 Jun 2022 – England v Italy – UEFA Nations League – Group 3 – Molineux Stadium
Raheem Sterling during the match against Italy.
Picture Credit : © Mark Pain / Alamy Live News

Born: Jamaica 

Representing: England 

Raheem Sterling is one of the most established English footballers of the modern generation. He is a regular starter for Gareth Southgate in the English side as he is a very critical part of the Three Lions in their 2022 Qatar World Cup campaign. 

However, Sterling was born in Kingston, Jamaica and not in England. Nevertheless, his family moved to England when he was just five and made it to the top of the English football scene with the abundance of talent he holds. 

7) Luuk de Jong 

Luuk de Jong 

Netherland’s forward Luuk de Jong warms up before the UEFA EURO 2020 Group C football match between North Macedonia and the Netherlands at Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam on June 21, 2021. (Photo by Peter Dejong / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PETER DEJONG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Born: Switzerland 

Representing: Netherlands 

Luuk de Jong is as Dutch as any Dutch can get, just going by his name. Interestingly, the former Barcelona striker was born in Aigle, Switzerland. However, Luuk de Jong was very sure about representing the Netherlands from the start and earned his first senior team call in 2011. Luuk de Jong has scored 8 goals in his 28 appearances for the Netherlands.

8) Eric Choupo-Moting 

Eric Choupo-Moting

TOPSHOT – Cameroon’s forward #13 Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group G football match between Cameroon and Serbia at the Al-Janoub Stadium in Al-Wakrah, south of Doha on November 28, 2022. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP) (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Born: Germany 

Representing: Cameroon 

Eric Choupo-Moting has been the key striker for Bayern Munich since Robert Lewandowski left for Barcelona in the summer of 2022. Choupo-moting has spent a large chunk of his career in Germany, the country where he was born. However, as unrealistic as it sounds, Choupo-Moting decided to play for Cameroon in 2010 and has been representing the country since then. 

Other Players who didn’t represent the country they were born in

Simone Perrotta 

Born: England 

Represented: Italy 

Mauro Camoranesi 

Born: Argentina 

Represented: Italy 

Eduardo Da Silva 

Born: Brazil 

Represented: Croatia

Marcos Senna 

Born: Brazil 

Represented: Spain

Lukas Podolski 

Born: Germany 

Represented: Poland

Eusebio 

Born: Mozambique 

Represented: Portugal

Deco

Born: Portugal 

Represented: Brazil

Diego Costa 

Born: Brazil 

Represented: Spain

Alfredo Di Stefano 

Born: Argentina 

Represented: Spain

Marcel Desailly 

Represented: France

Born: Ghana 

Miroslav Klose 

Born: Poland 

Represented: Germany

Patrick Vieira 

Born: Senegal 

Represented: France

John Barnes 

Born: Jamaica

Represented: England

Team of Japan football players is celebrating winning moment in FIFA

Japan’s stunning win over Spain throws Germany out of the World Cup

Seems like Japan is the dark horse of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. After shocking Germany with a 2-1 win with a 2-1 win, the South Asian team has stunned 2010 World Cup champions Spain by making a wonderful comeback after being 1-0 down.

The match started with Spain’s usual possession game. This tactic worked amazingly, with the team getting on the scoresheet in the 11th minute with a wonderful header from Alvaro Morata in the box. The Spaniards went into halftime with a comfortable lead.

However, as soon as the second half began, Japan equalised with an amazing counter-attacking goal from Ritsu Doan in the 48th minute. The Japanese, ranked 24 on FIFA men’s rankings, killed the game with a VAR-backed goal in the 51st minute by Ao Tanaka.

The goal, checked by VAR, appeared to be a little inside the line, while the ball looked out from other angles. After a lengthy review by the Mexico Var Fernando Guerrero, the goal was given to widespread astonishment in the Khalifa International Stadium.

Japan’s dramatic win over Spain threw Germany out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The 2014 World Cup champs have been out in the Group Stage of the World Cup for the second consecutive time.

Tunisia out of World Cup despite stunning win over defending champs France

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is full of surprises. After Argentina and Germany, 2018 World Cup champions France suffered a massive defeat in their Group D clash against Tunisia. As a result, France were beaten in a World Cup match for the first time since the 2014 quarter-final (0-1 v Germany), ending a run of nine games without defeat.

The match started with France making nine changes, with the likes of Matteo Guendouzi, Kingsley Coman and Jordan Veretout given chances to shine. France was quickly down on the backfoot as the Tunisian players took advantage of the low chemistry of the French team. They attacked relentlessly and came quite close to beating the French defence.

The match’s turning point came in the 58th minute when Wahbi Khazri, Tunisia’s star striker, cut through the French defence to land the ball into the net. The goal shocked the entire French team. However, they tried to make a comeback by bringing their first-choice players, including Rafael Varane, Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Greizmann and Ousmane Dembele.

With the clock ticking towards the ninth minute of added-on time, Griezmann looked like he’d broken Tunisian hearts by firing in a loose ball in the box. However, a VAR review was eventually triggered, and the referee was ordered to the pitchside screen to review Griezmann being two yards offside from the original ball.

With this ruled-out goal, Tunisia had one of their most famous World Cup wins. But the FIFA #30 ranked team crashed out of the tournament as Australia defeated Denmark and occupied the second qualifying spot in Group D.

Stephanie Frappart

Stephanie Frappart: First women referee in men’s World Cup game

On Thursday, when Germany and Costa Rica take to the field for their World Cup clash, the attention will be on Stephanie Frappart, the official referee for the match. Stephanie Frappart will be the first women referee to officiate in a men’s World Cup game.

France’s Stephanie Frappart is one of three women referees among the 36 selected for the tournament in Qatar, alongside Rwandan official Salima Mukansanga and Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita. Additionally, three female referees have travelled to Qatar as assistant referees.

Frappart is no stranger to big games. She was the first woman to referee in France’s Ligue 1 in 2019, the same year she took charge of the women’s World Cup final in her home country.

Frappart also officiated the 2019 UEFA Super Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea before refereeing the Champions League in 2020 and the French Cup final last season.

Cameroon‚Äôs Onana suspended from the national team following ‚Äėdisciplinary reasons‚Äô

Cameroon’s first-choice goalkeeper Andre Onana has been suspended from the national team due to disciplinary reasons, the country’s federation (FECAFOOT) said after he was left out of the squad for their clash against Serbia at the FIFA World Cup.

The official statement from FECAFOOT said, ‚ÄúThe Cameroon Football Federation hereby informs the public that following Mr. Rigobert Song Bahanag‚Äôs decision, head coach of the Indomitable Lions, the player Andre Onana has been temporarily suspended from the group for disciplinary reasons.‚ÄĚ

The statement further stated, ‚ÄúThe Cameroon Football Federation reiterates its full support to the head coach and his entire staff as they implement the federation‚Äôs policy aimed at preserving discipline, solidarity, complementarity, and cohesion within the national team. FECAFOOT further reaffirms its commitment to create a peaceful atmosphere for the team and to provide them with adequate facilities for an outstanding performance.‚ÄĚ

Devis Epassy played in the absence of Onana in their Group G clash against Serbia, which ended in a draw with 3 goals scored from both sides. 

Belgium loses to Morocco

Morocco shocks Belgium thanks to Sabiri & Aboukhlal’s goals

Belgium who was considered one of the favourites for the 2022 FIFA World Cup has suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Morocco. The second-ranked football team was outclassed by Hakim Ziyech’s team 2-0 thanks to the two second-half goals scored by Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal.

The match started with both teams attacking consistently to get the lead. Morocco, however, got the better of the Belgian defence. In the 47th minute of the first half, Hakim Ziyech, the star winger of Morocco, scored a fantabulous goal before the stroke of the whistle. But the goal was ruled out as VAR called it offside.

This didn‚Äôt deter the confidence of the Moroccan team as they continued to keep possession of the ball and take shots at the target. In the 74th minute, the Moroccans breached past the Belgium defence. Abdelhamid Sabiri scored a carbon-copy free-kick to Ziyech’s earlier ruled-out goal. The Belgians were left shocked due to this absolute error by their defence.

To make the matters worse, the Moroccan team scored another wonderful goal thanks to Zakaria Aboukhlal’s graceful strike inside the box. Aboukhlal’s strike sealed the game for Morocco and gave his team their first World Cup win in over 24 years.

The loss makes matters worse for Belgium to qualify for the knockout stage. They have 3 points from 2 matches with one win and one loss and are in the third position in Group F. The Belgians have one match remaining against 2018 FIFA World Cup runner-up Croatia.

Tite inform Neymar to continue playing in WC

“Neymar will continue to play”, informs Brazil coach Tite

Brazil manager Tite has provided an update on the entire Neymar situation. He informed that the Brazilian will continue playing despite the ankle injury suffered by the player during his team’s opening clash against Serbia.

Although the team won the match quite comfortably, thanks to Richarlison’s brace, there was a lot of talk about Neymar, who himself, asked to be subbed in the 79th minute of the game.

The Paris St. Germain forward was seen limping off while coming out and looked close to tears as he received treatment on the bench, before being pictured with a swollen ankle as he made his way to the dressing room.

Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirmed the 30-year-old will undergo further assessment in the next 24 to 48 hours. Tite, Brazil’s head coach revealed Neymar continued playing a further 11 minutes after sustaining the injury and is adamant he will return.

“[Neymar] felt this pain throughout the game, but he decided to stay on the pitch to help his team,” the head coach said. He further said, “So it’s remarkable that he could bear this pain while his team was playing. He stayed 11 minutes on the pitch after his injury, until the moment he could no longer continue, and he was substituted.

“We are confident that Neymar will continue playing; he will continue playing in the World Cup”, Tite revealed.

Team of Japan football players is celebrating winning moment in FIFA

Japan stuns 2014 World champions Germany in FIFA World Cup

Two big upsets in two days. After Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina, it was time for Japan to outclass the 2014 FIFA World Cup champions Germany. The South Asian team defeated the 11th-ranked football team to register a 2-1 victory in their Group E match.

The game started with the German players posing with their mouths covered to revolt against FIFA‚Äôs ban on the ‚ÄúOne Love‚ÄĚ armband. This was the team‚Äôs idea to show their dissent against the decision.

The Germans showed their dominance on the pitch by relentlessly attacking the opposing team‚Äôs goal. They came close multiple times. However, it was their captain Ilkay G√ľndogan who converted a penalty in the 33rd minute to give his team a lead.

Germany went into the break with a comfortable 1-0 lead over the Asian team. However, little did they knew Japan would turn the tables in such an astounding fashion. After multiple attempts to breach the German defence, Japan finally succeeded. Japan’s Ritsu Doan equalised in the 75th minute with a wonderful goal.

The game was nicely poised with the Germans looking to score the winner with their attacking gameplay. But it was Takuma Asano who smashed the winning goal from a tight angle in the 83rd minute to win the game for Japan.

Germany now faces an uphill task to qualify for the knockouts in a tough group consisting of Spain and Costa Rica besides Japan. 

Lionel Messi In blue and white verticle line jersey

Messi’s Argentina face a huge upset in FIFA World Cup; lose to Saudi Arabia

It’s just the third day of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and we have our first upset. Potential title challengers Argentina have lost to 51-ranked Saudi Arabia. It is a huge loss for the team full of superstars.

Argentina started the match by fielding their best players. Their star man, Lionel Messi, converted a penalty to give them a perfect start. The South American team were looking to kill the game as Lautaro Martinez scored an amazing goal but was ruled out by VAR. 

As soon as the second half progressed, the game saw a different version of Saudi Arabia. The team attacked relentlessly, and the approach paid dividends. Their left winger, Yahya Al-Shehri, scored soon after to level the scoreline. 

To make matters worse, Saudi Arabia’s winger Salem Aldawsari scored a blinder to seal the game. Thereafter, the Argentinians tried their best but couldn’t quite get past the Saudi defence.

The loss will hurt the Argentinians very hard as the South American team are on a mission to win the World Cup trophy for their star player, Lionel Messi and give him a special goodbye.

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