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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Soccer

France World Cup star randomly shouts out Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose

Perhaps Derrick Rose served as something of an inspiration for one member of the World Cup-winning France squad.

During a Fox Sports interview with midfielder Paul Pogba, French teammate Antoine Griezmann wandered into the shot and was given an opportunity to deliver a message in English. The forward, who scored in the final, went with a simple one: he just loves Derrick Rose.

There is no elaborate backstory. The simple explanation is that Griezmann is a huge NBA fan and has long counted Rose as one of his favorite players.

Rose has had a rough couple years, but they’ve inspired him to prove his doubters wrong. Griezmann is very clearly not one of those doubters.

Soccer coach apologizes for expletive-laden rant

Real Salt Lake coach Mike Petke is apologizing for a profane rant that he went on following a loss to Minnesota United on Saturday.

Petke’s side fell by the final of 3-2 in what was their 20th match of the MLS season, and he went off afterwards as he addressed reporters. The expletive-laden episode saw the 42-year-old ripping what he saw as uneven officiating (including the use of the video assistant referee or VAR) before daring the league and executive Jeff Agoos to fine him.

On Sunday, Petke took to Twitter to apologize publicly for the tirade, calling it “uncalled for and immature.”

Petke, a former player who previously managed the New York Red Bulls and was just hired by Real Salt Lake in March, is known for his fiery approach to the game.

While the league will almost assuredly take Petke up on the offer to fine him, at least this wasn’t as bad as another soccer coach’s incident with the media.

Croatia manager critical of key penalty in World Cup final

Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic was not happy after France were awarded a critical penalty in the first half of the World Cup Final.

With the game tied at one late in the first half, Argentine referee Nestor Pitana used VAR to award a controversial handball penalty against Croatia. Pitana judged that Croatia’s Ivan Perisic intentionally handled the ball in the box, awarding the penalty that ultimately made it 2-1 to France.

After the match, Dalic gave credit to France, but made clear that he felt the penalty award was ridiculous.

VAR has definitely had an impact on the World Cup. Many would argue that, rightly or wrongly, it had a huge impact on the outcome of this match as well.

Watch: FOX nearly misses out on shot of World Cup trophy lift

FOX’s World Cup coverage ended somewhat awkwardly, with what should have been an iconic shot of France lifting the trophy going somewhat awry.

After French captain Hugo Lloris was handed the trophy, FOX cut to a wide shot to capture the entire group of players celebrating their 4-2 victory over Croatia. There was just one problem: almost immediately after cutting to the shot, three men made it impossible for viewers to see what was going on.

The image of the World Cup winners lifting the trophy is an iconic one every time, and FOX will not be happy that their view of it was spoiled here. It wasn’t even FOX’s only gaffe of the broadcast, though the other one may not have been their fault.

This was the first time FOX Sports televised the World Cup, and their coverage wasn’t always popular with fans. Just about missing the trophy lift isn’t going to silence critics.

France president celebrated World Cup win in unexpected fashion

France have officially been crowned the kings of the soccer world, and the most powerful man in their nation is as excited as anyone about it.

Following his team’s 4-2 win over Croatia in the World Cup final on Sunday, French president Emmanuel Macron was so elated that he jumped onto a table and threw his arms in the air.

After the match, Macron headed down to the field to individually congratulate all of the players. He clearly didn’t mind the pouring rain after the skies opened up in Russia.

We also saw some tremendous displays of sportsmanship from Macron and Croatia president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

In a game that featured everything from remarkable goals to one of the worst goalkeeping blunders you will ever see, Macron’s unmatched enthusiasm was a fitting end.

France goalkeeper mocked for brutal blunder in World Cup final

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made some remarkable saves throughout the World Cup, but he made one of the most embarrassing blunders during the final match against Croatia on Sunday. Fortunately, France had a sizable lead at the time.

Lloris received a pass from one of his teammates roughly halfway through the second half, and he tried to dribble around a Croatian attacker rather than simply booting it away. Let’s just say it did not go well.

That was about as bad of a blunder as you’ll see, and all of the good things Lloris had done to that point would have been forgotten if France didn’t have a three-goal lead.

It should be noted that Lloris made arguably the best save of the entire World Cup to help France advance to the final, so he deserves credit for that. Either way, he’d love to have his error from Sunday back.

Twitter reacts to FOX airing commercial during play in World Cup final

The first half of the World Cup Final on Sunday featured about as much action as possible, and some fans were furious that they were forced to miss a small portion of it due to a broadcasting error.

In the 40th minute of play between Croatia and France, Xfinity customers had their broadcast of the game cut out for a commercial. That’s not supposed to happen in the middle of a half during a soccer match, and fans went ballistic on Twitter:

France were leading 2-1 at the time. Their first goal came by way of an own goal, and the second was on a penalty kick that was awarded due to a handball in the box. Sandwiched between France’s two goals was a laser from Croatia to tie the score at 1-1, so you can understand why viewers didn’t want to miss any of the action.

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