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ashdgr8

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ashdgr8

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Posted: 07 July 2014 at 8:27am | IP Logged


  ClapClapARGENTINA  BRAZIL GERMANY HOLLAND ClapClap

World Cup 2014: In Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Holland this tournament has the four great semi-finalists it deserves


Everybody must be looking for some news+updates about their respective teams, players, pictures and what not about Semi-Finals n FINALS so plz share all the updates here so that we can talk to our respective teams coach and plan our strategy accordingly LOLLOL

Keep Posting + Discussing  n Have FUN Thumbs Up




Edited by ashdgr8 - 08 July 2014 at 8:42am

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ashdgr8

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Posted: 07 July 2014 at 8:35am | IP Logged

Lionel Messi : We're hitting form at just the right time


LIONEL MESSI believes Argentina are hitting top form at the perfect time to win the World Cup.

But their title challenge has been dealt a massive blow with midfielder Angel di Maria set to miss the rest of the tournament.

Messi was adamant his side produced their best display of the competition in beating Belgium 1-0 in the last eight.

Striker Gonzalo Higuain smashed the only goal in Brasilia to leave the best player in the world purring with excitement.

Argentina haven't won the World Cup since 1986 but Messi is adamant they could be peaking at the right time ahead of Wednesday's semi against Holland, their first in 24 years.

He said: "We produced a complete match against Belgium. We weren't able to create that many chances but they didn't make many either.

"Was it Argentina's most accomplished display of the tournament? I think it was.

"Argentina have gone a long time without reaching a semi-final and it was us who crossed the frontier."

Higuain's superb strike after just eight minutes was enough to get Argentina through and the Napoli striker was thrilled to end his scoring drought since touching down in Brazil.

He said: "Strikers live for goals and it was a beautiful thing.

"I wasn't getting desperate because I knew I was going to get a goal sooner or later.

"I'm happy, especially with this being such a historically important win."

As Argentina savoured the highs they were brought crashing back to earth by news of di Maria's injury.

While their supporters mocked crocked Brazilian hero Neymar and waved plastic spinal chords in the air news of the Real Madrid star's torn thigh muscle was not as well received.

Di Maria sustained the injury during the first period and, despite trying to carry on, eventually hobbled off in tears.

Boss Alejandro Sabella initially expressed hopes the injury wouldn't prove too serious, claiming the 26-year-old would undergo scans on their return to the team's base near Belo Horizonte.

However, the severity of the tear then became apparent with Argentine media reporting the winger - who had scored a late winner against Switzerland in the last 16 - was now resigned to missing the remainder of the finals.

An official announcement is expected today confirming the extent of di Maria's injury.

Belgium failed to fire against the Argies but coach Marc Wilmots launched a blistering attack on the victors.

He claimed the South Americans were nothing special and also insisted Messi had received special treatment from the match officials.

The Belgian gaffer said: "Messi is the star player, the man who gives them rhythm and never loses the ball. But he made three fouls and there was no yellow card. We had one foul and got a yellow card."

But Argentine boss Sabella was keen to praise Messi and said: "He gives us water in the desert. When it was dry he gave us that breath of fresh air every time he held on to the ball."

Argentina, however, need the whole group to prosper to go all the way and defender Pablo Zabaleta is a believer.

He said: "We have all been working so hard to reach the semi-finals and now is the time to enjoy it.

"It's a huge mistake if we start thinking about Brazil-Argentina in the Final. We have to play one more game."



Edited by ashdgr8 - 07 July 2014 at 8:42am

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ashdgr8

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Posted: 07 July 2014 at 8:41am | IP Logged
Brazil vs Germany: With Neymar out, how will the Selecao line up for their World Cup semi-final clash?

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolarihas to find the answer to a question he hoped would never be asked.

It's one that has been on the lips of Seleo fans for the last year or so, albeit always hypothetical before this week: What do Brazil do without Neymar?

Thanks to Juan Zuniga's clumsiness, the Barcelona star has been ruled out for the rest of the World Cup. Brazil must find a way to cope without their talisman and best player.

The problems don't end there either. Captain Thiago Silva is suspended for the semi-final against Germany after picking up a silly booking against Colombia.

Scolari, then, must reshuffle his pack against Germany on Tuesday. Here are a few options he might be weighing up:

Willian in, Oscar central

Oscar has this far spent much of the tournament on the flanks, ploughing through defensive work in order to free up Neymar.

But with the latter out, it could be time for the Chelsea man to be given a more central role, with Willian coming in on the flank. This would mean sticking with the familiar 4-2-3-1 system and is thus the most straightforward option.

Bernard's moment?


Alternatively, Scolari may opt for Bernard out wide.

The Shakhtar Donetsk man, once described by Felipo as having "joy in his legs", is a popular figure in Belo Horizonte and would inject a little more excitement into an attack that has so far flattered up deceive.

4-3-3 with Fred


Scolari could be tempted to alter his system to combat Germany's midfield strength. Paulinho's energetic display on his return to the starting XI on Friday has brought a 4-3-3 formation into the equation.

The Spurs man could team up with Fernandinho and Luiz Gustavo - who is available again after suspension - to form a formidable unit in the middle, with Oscar and Hulk on the flanks and Fred up top.


4-3-3 without Fred

Fred has cut a frustrated figure in the last three weeks, with Brazil's midfield failing to provide a consistent line.

That problem is likely to be exacerbated with Neymar absent, so Scolari may opt for a more fluid frontline, perhaps with Hulk central and Willian or Ramires on the right.

Wildcard options

Scolari is not afraid of sacrificing style for results, so it wouldn't be entirely surprising to see him mount a side set up to defend. A midfield of Luiz Gustavo, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Ramires and Oscar, with Hulk roaming in attack , would be combative while still offering threat on the break and at set pieces.

Alternatively, Scolari could surprise everyone by playing J, selecting Henrique in midfield or setting his side up to play through Hernanes. After all, with Neymar out, anything goes.







Edited by ashdgr8 - 07 July 2014 at 8:43am

ashdgr8

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Cannavaro: Holland Coach Van Gaal Lacks Respect For His Keeper

Former Italy captain Fabio Cannavarohas publicly criticised Holland's Louis Van Gaal and the decision to substitute his keeper just before the World Cup quarter final shootout against Costa Rica.

The 2006 World Cup winner is one of the very few pundits to have not lauded the Dutch coach's last minute switch which ultimately allowed the Netherlands to progress to the semi finals.

As reported by La Gazzetta Dello Sport, the ex-Juventus defender said, "Right now everybody thinks Van Gaal is a genius, a legend. But I don't like this.  It shows a lack of respect towards his number one keeper.

"Who is going to be the goalie in the next match? A keeper that won't feel he has the full support of his coach."

Cannavaro lifted the World Cup trophy for Italy in Germany after making 136 appearances for his country.




Edited by ashdgr8 - 07 July 2014 at 8:55am

ashdgr8

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Posted: 07 July 2014 at 8:51am | IP Logged

FIFA World Cup: Joachim Loew's Big Test vs Brazil

After eight years in charge of Germany, Joachim Loew so far has one previous World Cup semi-final, the 2008 European Championship final and the Euro 2012 semi-final to show. No trophy.


Rio de Janeiro: Another semi-final is another battle of nerves for Joachim Loew, who risks becoming Germany's nearly man. (Germany Out to Down Brazil)

After eight years in charge of Die Mannschaft, Loew so far has one previous World Cup semi-final, the 2008 European Championship final and the Euro 2012 semi-final to show. No trophy. (Suarez Referee Picked for Brazil vs Germany)

But the 54-year-old former assistant to Jurgen Klinnsman has brought on a team praised for its attacking play. And his tactics have been hailed by World Cup legends Pele and Diego Maradona. (Neymar May Take Painkillers to Play if Brazil Enter Final)

Loew's image is often seen in Germany where he fronts an advertising campaign for a leading cosmetics brand, but the head coach rarely appears in the media spotlight.

The German Football Association (DFB) likes the team boss. It has already told him his job is safe and Loew is expected to see out his contract which expires after Euro 2016.

"What can be more beautiful in a football dreamland than to play a World Cup semi-final against the hosts?" Loew said of Tuesday's game against Brazil.

But he also acknowledged before the tournament that "the clock is ticking".

Loew himself only made four appearances for West Germany's Under-21s and played as a midfielder for Eintracht Frankfurt, Karlsruhe and VfB Stuttgart.

He won the 1997 German Cup final as VB Stuttgart coach and after working in Turkey and Austria, Loew became Germany's assistant coach in 2004.

Loew was responsible for tactics with Klinsmann and the pair delighted the nation as Germany finished third at the 2006 World Cup on home soil.

An impressive record of 75 wins in 110 internationals has earned Loew plenty of respect in Germany. And he is not afraid of taking risks.

When striker Mario Gomez struggled at Euro 2008, Loew benched the forward and switched to a 4-2-3-1 system which resulted in a 3-1 quarter-final win over Portugal en route to the final.

At the 2010 World Cup, Loew took the youngest squad since 1934 to South Africa and Germany swept aside England and Argentina before losing their semi-final to eventual winners Spain.

Pele recently called Loew a "great tactician", while Maradona said that Germany "roamed around with perfection" in their 4-0 group thrashing of Portugal.

ashdgr8

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Posted: 07 July 2014 at 9:14am | IP Logged

World Cup semi final: Brazil are not what they used to be, says Germany's Bastain Schweinsteiger

Germany midfelder Bastian Schweinsteiger hopeful for World Cup semi final win against depleted Brazil side

Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger says Brazil's current crop of players is not as impressive as its teams of the past.

"Brazil nowadays are not what they have been", the Germany midfielder told journalists at a press conference ahead of the country's semi-final tie against Brazil.

He said the current Brazil side play a "different style of football" but conceded that the Germans will have to be prepared for the "physical toughness" of the Brazil team.

He added that playing against the host nation in the World Cup is a "great honour and challenge". It would have been "even better" to play Brazil in the final.

Brazil will be without their two most important players for this match. Captain Thiago Silva is suspended for the game, whilst Neymar has been ruled out after picking up an injury in Brazil's quarter final victory over Colombia last week.



Edited by ashdgr8 - 07 July 2014 at 9:17am

ashdgr8

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Angel Di Maria ruled out of Argentina's World Cup semi-final against Holland - but Alejandro Sabella is boosted by news forward Sergio Aguero could play some part

Angel Di Maria has been ruled out of Argentina's semi-final against Holland but fellow forward Sergio Aguero has recovered from a muscle strain and is fit to play, the team doctor said on Sunday.

Aguero looked comfortable in training at the Argentine camp, but Di Maria was missing and undergoing intensive treatment after hobbling out of their 1-0 quarter-final win over Belgium.

In their first semi-final since 1990, the South Americans play Holland in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.

Doubt: Angel Di Maria's World Cup looks to be over after he suffered a thigh injury against Belgium



Edited by ashdgr8 - 07 July 2014 at 9:24am

ashdgr8

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World Cup 2014: Tim Krul will continue 'unsporting' penalty taking antics, says Henry Winter

Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul will continue to resort to mind games if Holland reach another penalty shootout in their match against Brazil says Henry Winter


The Telegraph's football correspondant Henry Winter, who spoke to Tim Krul after Holland's victory over Costa Rica, confirms that the shot stopper will have no second thoughts about using the same penalty shootout antics as he performed against Costa Rica in the World Cup.

According to Winter, Tim Krul's penalty shootout antics against Costa Rica and the World Cup quarter finals were "unsportsmanly".

However Winter acknowleged that it was up to the referee to intervene. The Dutch goalkeeper tried his best to put off the oppostion by walking up to the penalty takers and shouting "vamos" in Spanish.

He added that he thinks Wednesday's World Cup semi finals against Argentina will be decided within normal time.

Holland are through to the semi finals of the World Cup and will face Argentina in Sao Paulo on Wednesday night.

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