World Cup Watch: England, Croatia too tough to call

By Sports Desk July 10, 2018
Croatia vs England. Croatia vs England.

Our panel of experts believe it will be even-stevens in the tough second semi-final of the FIFA World Cup.

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  • Xavi insists a 48-team World Cup in Qatar 'will not be good' Xavi insists a 48-team World Cup in Qatar 'will not be good'

    Spain legend and World Cup 2022 global ambassador Xavi believes a 48-team tournament in Qatar 'will not be good'.

    In 2017, FIFA voted to add an extra 16 teams to the 2026 competition, which will be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

    The Qatar tournament is currently scheduled to take place between November 21 and December 18 2022 with 32 teams, but FIFA president Gianni Infantino is pushing to bring forward the expansion.

    At a FIFA Council meeting in Miami on Monday, the governing body decided to defer the final expansion decision.

    Official Statement from the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy on the ongoing discussions around the possible expansion of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar pic.twitter.com/Y8vexGRJXd

    — Qatar Football Association (@QFA_EN) March 15, 2019

    Xavi, a 2010 World Cup winner who now plays in the Qatar Stars League for Al Sadd, believes 32 teams is 'more than enough' for Qatar.

    "It's too much and too long," said Xavi.

    "Imagine 48 teams in Qatar, it will not be good in my opinion.

    "It's still for the organisers to decide, but for now Qatar is doing everything to prepare for 32 teams and it will be difficult to change it for more teams.

    "Also, it's good for football to have 32. That's more than enough."

  • Casillas convinced Porto team-mate Militao will succeed at Real Madrid Casillas convinced Porto team-mate Militao will succeed at Real Madrid

    Eder Militao will prove to be an exceptional signing for Real Madrid, according to former Los Blancos stalwart Iker Casillas.

    Madrid announced the signing of the 21-year-old defender on March 14, for a reported €50million, with the transfer to officially go through on July 1.

    Militao only signed for Porto in August 2018, but goalkeeper Casillas has no doubt that his team-mate will go on to be a success at his former club.

    "It's fantastic management by Real Madrid," Casillas told reporters at a 'LaLiga Icons' event.

    "They've taken a very good player with a huge future. I'm convinced he'll succeed at Real Madrid."

    But while harbouring no doubts over Militao's ability to play at the highest level, Casillas warned that Madrid fans may have to show the youngster patience as he adapts to a new league.

    "Porto gambled on him when he was very young and he showed a big personality," Casillas added.

    "He's very noble and wants to do things the right way, I'm just a little afraid for his adaptation because in Spain it's different.

    "I always tell him that when he arrives in Madrid, he'll realise what it means."

    Brazil centre-back Militao has made 34 appearances for Porto across all competitions this season, and will have another chance to impress when the Primeira Liga giants take on Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-finals in April.

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