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Will Netherlands destroy Messi’s World Cup dream?



In a 2014 World Cup semifinal rematch, the Netherlands and Argentina will lock horns at the Lusail Iconic Stadium for a place in the semifinals.

Oranje beat a lively United States side 3-1 to reach the quarterfinals, while Argentina saw off a resilient Australian unit.

The Netherlands had to weather the storm in the opening minutes against the USA in the round of 16.

The Stars and Stripes were playing a positive brand of football, but it was the Dutch who took the lead.

Memphis Depay and Daley Blind fired the Netherlands to a 2-0 lead. Haji Wright momentarily brought the US back into the equation. But Denzel Dumfries, who had assisted the first two goals for the Netherlands, got his name on the scoresheet and binned off the USA’s hope for a resurgence.

The Netherlands did not lose a quarterfinal match since the 1994 World Cup, and their current form will make them hopeful of keeping that form intact.

Louis van Gaal’s men have not experienced defeat in their last 19 matches.

They have two in-form attackers, Memphis Depay and Cody Gakpo, up front. And the rearguard, led by the mercurial Virgil van Dijk, has conceded only twice in more than six hours of football in Qatar.

Argentina took their time to exert their dominance in the match when they played Australia on Saturday night.

Lionel Messi ended his wait for a World Cup knockout stage goal as he brilliantly put the ball into the back of the net.

Julián Álvarez exploited a Matt Ryan mistake to make the scoreline 2-0.

The Socceroos set up a nervy finale after Enzo Fernández deflected a ball into his net. But Argentina custodian Emiliano Martínez made a brilliant late save before Lisandro Martínez produced a block reminiscent of the iconic Javier Mascherano tackle on Arjen Robben in the 2014 World Cup semifinal. So, the score remained 2-1 in favour of Argentina.

Argentina arrested their three-match losing streak in the World Cup quarterfinals when they previously played in the last eight.

Argentina overcame Belgium to play the Netherlands in the semis. They will hope to get the better of the 2010 World Cup runner-ups once again to book a spot in the semifinals.

Team News

Jeremie Frimpong fought off an ankle injury to make it to the starting XI against the US.

The fullback will keep his place in the lineup once again.

Stefan de Vrij has also pulled through fitness issues to provide competition for the settled back three of Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Aké, and Jurrien Timber.

Argentina might not get to call upon Papu Gómez, who sprained his ankle during the Australia match and had to come off only five minutes after the second half started.

But La Albiceleste could get back the experienced Ángel Di María, who is on the brink of returning from a quadriceps injury.

Our Prediction

Argentina are on a 13-match scoring streak, but they might struggle to break through the organized Netherlands defence.

Similarly, the Dutch could also fail to unlock the Argentina defence, which has the ability to fend off top attacks.

We expect the tie to end goalless and then Argentina to win on penalties, because of their penalty specialist goalkeeper.

Date: 10 December

Kickoff: 12:30 AM IST

Venue: Lusail Iconic Stadium

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WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo performs obscene gestures as fans chant Lionel Messi’s name




Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi

During the Saudi Pro League game between Al Shabab and Al Nassr, Nassr skipper Cristiano Ronaldo was seen making obscene gestures towards rival fans. The Shabab fans were chanting Ronaldo’s biggest rival Lionel Messi’s name. Not for the first time though, some Saudi football fans do prefer Messi over the Portuguese player. Meanwhile, during the game on Sunday, the Portugal international crossed all the limits as he made some obscene gestures.

Watch the video here

Talking about the game, the Yellow Brigade, Nassr won against Shabab. Ronaldo gave his team as he made the most of the penalty in the 21st minute of the game. However, in the injury time of the first half, Yannick Carrasco scored an equalizer before going into the break. In the first minute of the second half, Anderson Talisca gave a lead to Nassr. In the 67th minute, Carlos scored the equalizer for Shabab, and the game looked like ending in a tie before Talisca scored the match-winning goal in the 86th minute.

Meanwhile, the former Real Madrid player is set to face disciplinary action. As per the Saudi writer and television host, the disciplinary committee might take action.

“The disciplinary committee is facing the biggest test. We will wait and see. Everything has its limits, no matter how famous you are. This is how the major leagues are” Waleed Al Farraj, a prominent Saudi writer and television host, said on X.

Cristiano Ronaldo faced disciplinary action during his stint with Manchester United

A few months before the FIFA World Cup 2022, he threw a fan’s phone when he was part of the English club, Manchester United. He was banned for a few games which meant that he missed a few games for his current club, Nassr. However, the ban didn’t apply in the World Cup as he was available for selection during the tournament, in which his team lost the Quarterfinal to Morrocco.

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Virgil Van Dijk’s late strike in extra time helps Liverpool beat Chelsea in Carabao Cup final




Liverpool emerged victorious in the Carabao Cup final in 2024. In a thrilling game which was full of twists and turns, Liverpool managed to beat Chelsea to clinch the cup. Jurgen Klopp’s men were awarded with the winner’s medal as they edged out Chelsea in a low-scoring thriller that went to extra time. The defence of both sides was good to watch.

The match had many edge-of-the-seat moments. In the first half, Liverpool attempted a lot of shots over Chelsea. While some were out of target, some were in the target, but stopped by the goalkeeper. Cody Gakpo was unlucky to find the ball hit the goalpost. The strike of the youngster went in vain as the first half did not witness any goal.

Liverpool’s skipper was brilliant in the game. He martialed his troops well and got the coordination going for a long time. He in fact nearly had a goal in the first half, only to be ruled out by the VAR, which was highly controversial. There is a debate for the legitimacy of the goal which was not given despite the help of the technology. Liverpool did not get carried away with the moment.

Captain brilliant Virgil Van Dijk steps up in crunch moments

Klopp deployed younger players as substitutes in the 2nd half. It helped Liverpool a lot as they were able to not just put pressure on Chelsea but also create a lot of chances. While none of them were converted to goals in the second half, they ensured that Chelsea’s players were in check. At one stage, the absence of Mohammad Salah in the middle was felt.

The match went to the extra time, where things got a bit closer. Chelsea attempted to score goals but ended up giving more advantage to Liverpool. The younger legs marked well and provided good assists to the forwards. The moment came in the 118th minute of the game, when Van Dijk netted the goal and helped Liverpool to win the prestigious title.

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Virat Kohli picks his ‘Sporting GOAT’




Virat Kohli was asked to pick his ‘Sporting GOAT’ in a recent interview. The star cricketer was interviewed by Team Blue Rising who asked him to name the greatest sportsperson of all time. “Who is your Sporting GOAT?” asked the host to the star batter. Kohli did not hesitate to take the name of one of the greatest Football players as his pick for the question.

The Indian batter claimed Cristiano Ronaldo to be the greatest Football player of all time. “For me, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Virat in the interview. It came as no surprise to the fans, as Virat has always been a huge admirer of the star Footballer. Even in the past, the 35-year-old has expressed his admiration for the star player from Portugal.

In many instances, the Indian batter has claimed Ronaldo to be his favourite player. Ronaldo has been one of the best players the sport has ever seen. Many claim him to be arguably the greatest Sportsperson of all time. Virat has joined the list of those to claim him to be the greatest athlete in the sports world. Ronaldo has some records to back his claim for the title.

Legacy of Cristiano Ronaldo and Virat Kohli

The Portuguese Footballer has the greatest number of goals for an international team. He also has the greatest number of international caps for a player. The star player is the only player to win four major cups with two different clubs. He did it with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Cristiano has the second most number of Ballon d’Or titles (Five) after Lionel Messi.

Virat, on the other hand, is a great cricketer. He has the greatest number of hundreds for a batter in ODIs. Virat has the greatest number of hundreds in ODIs while chasing. He is also the highest run scorer for India in T20Is. Kohli has the most runs for a batter in the IPL. He has the greatest number of POTT awards for a player in the T20 WC and the ODI WC.

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