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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Soccer

Thierry Henry gets meme treatment after France defeats Belgium

Thierry Henry was caught between a rock and a hard place during Tuesday’s World Cup semifinal pitting France against Belgium, and many got in a good laugh at his expense.

Henry, a French football legend but now an assistant coach for Belgium, saw his new side fall 1-0 to France in the pivotal match. With the French making their first World Cup final since Henry led them there in 2006, Twitter had some jokes about the mixed feelings that he must have been experiencing.

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Twitter reacts to France goalkeeper making best save of World Cup

France should have fallen into a very early 1-0 hole in their World Cup semifinal match against Belgium on Tuesday, but their goalkeeper had other plans.

Belgium was awarded a corner kick in the 21st minute, and a fortunate bounce left defenseman Toby Alderweireld with a clean look near the top of the box. He got a shot off on goal, and France goaltender Hugo Lloris made arguably the best save of the tournament.

The full-extension stop drew plenty of praise on Twitter, and Lloris deserved every bit of it.

Those are the types of saves that keep World Cup hopes alive. Should France go on to win the whole thing, that will easily be remembered as one of the moments that made it possible.

France star taunts Belgium assistant ahead of semifinal

French football icon Thierry Henry is in an awkward position ahead of Tuesday’s World Cup semifinal, and Olivier Giroud is having some fun with it.

Over the weekend, the star French forward Giroud took an opportunity to playfully taunt Henry, who is now an assistant coach for Belgium.

“There’s a lot of mutual respect. I don’t resent him,” said Giroud of Henry, per Joe Miles of The Sun. “My job’s to be good on the pitch, to help my team. But I’d be proud to show Titi [Henry’s nickname] that he chose the wrong side!

“He’s a living legend of French football, and we have a lot of respect for him,” Giroud continued. “We have a lot of respect for what he’s done, but we’re not going to think about very much. I’d have preferred him to be with us and to be giving his advice to me.”

Henry, 40, may be the most renowned Frenchman in the history of the sport. He retired from international play in 2010 as the country’s all-time leading goalscorer and helped lead France to their only World Cup victory in 1998.

However, the former Arsenal great has served as the second assistant for Belgium under manager Roberto Martinez since 2016. At this point though, Henry is probably already used to stirring up controversy at the World Cup.

Isaiah Thomas hilariously points out likeness to World Cup star

Isaiah Thomas Cavs

It’s been pointed out to free agent point guard Isaiah Thomas that he looks an awful lot like one of the leading stars at the World Cup.

Thomas fully embraced the comparisons to France forward Kylian Mbappe, who has been a big part of the French national team’s run to the World Cup semi-finals. In fact, the NBA star even donned the same track suit just to pose for a photograph that emphasizes the similarity.

So do we really look alike? LOL

A post shared by Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) on

That’s Mbappe on the left and Thomas on the right. The verdict is pretty clear: they’re basically twins.

Tipped by many as a potential breakout star, Mbappe has three goals in five World Cup appearances so far. If he leads France to glory, maybe Thomas can fly out to Paris and get some free drinks by playing up his likeness.

10 biggest surprises of the FIFA World Cup

Harry Kane

The 2018 FIFA World Cup has been one of the most enthralling and surprising tournaments in recent memory. That includes good surprises, like underdogs who weren’t expected to do much and players who are breaking out on the international stage. There are also bad surprises, which is inevitable when so many favorites crash out of the tournament early.

Here are the ten biggest surprises, both positive and negative, of this year’s World Cup.

10) Argentina

A definite disappointment, Argentina never looked like a team likely of getting out of their group, much less winning the World Cup. They did so on a late goal against Nigeria, and they did lead France at one point in what was ultimately one of the tournament’s most entertaining games. Still, we expected much more from an Argentina side that still possessed a lot of attacking talent. Unfortunately, Jorge Sampaoli seemed to lose the team and didn’t get the best out of any of their players.

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Devastated Neymar shares social media message after World Cup elimination

Neymar is having a tough time coping with Brazil’s World Cup defeat.

The pre-tournament favorites were eliminated on Friday in a 2-1 loss to Belgium, and Neymar said in his first public comments that he was experiencing the “saddest moment” of his career and that he would find it a struggle to play soccer again.

“I can say that it is the saddest moment of my career,” Neymar wrote, as translated by Spanish outlet AS. “The pain is very great because we knew we could get there, we knew we had the conditions to go further, to make history, but it was not this time. Difficult to find the strength to want to play football again, but I’m sure God will give me enough strength to face anything, so I’ll never stop thanking God, even in defeat, because I know that your way is much better than mine.

“Very happy to be part of this team, I am proud of all, interrupted our dream but they did not get out of our head and neither of our hearts.”

Neymar had a tough World Cup. He scored twice in five matches, and he responded defiantly to huge amounts of criticism about his diving and other theatrics. After coming back from a serious injury to play in the World Cup, this was not how he wanted it to end.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has bet for soccer icon ahead of Sweden-England game

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

England and Sweden will face off in the World Cup quarterfinal on Saturday, and Sweden’s most iconic soccer player wants to raise the stakes.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic wants to get England legend David Beckham in on a bet — and there’s an IKEA purchase on the line if Sweden win the game.

Zlatan is not known for his modesty. He is, without a doubt, ready and expecting to win this bet. He has to get Beckham to agree to it first, though, which has yet to occur.

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