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World Cup Open Thread, June 20

Portugal v Morocco: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Today’s open thread. We’re going to try and do this daily for the remainder of the World Cup, just to give you a platform to discuss the games, while allowing the rest of the comment-sections to stay relevant to their respective articles.

Notes & Quotes

Isco with some playful words for Cristiano Ronaldo

“Don’t talk to me about Cristiano! I’m not going to speak to him again after what he did the other day...

“He doesn’t have a high strike rate, but when he has his day… his first two goals gave him confidence and got him looking for a hat-trick.”

On De Gea’s mistake

“These things happen and especially to goalkeepers because if a striker makes a mistake it doesn’t matter but if a keeper does, it tends to get magnified.

”I’ve known David for years, he’s happy, focused, feeling confident and he has the support of the whole squad.”

On the disappointing starts from Argentina, Germany, and Brazil

”At the World Cup, everything is complicated. You have to put in 200 per cent in every game and even if you do, that won’t guarantee you’ll win,” said Isco. “All of the teams are very motivated, there are some very strong teams and it’s just very, very difficult.”

Portugal head coach Santos, on his team’s ‘dependance’ on Cristiano

“We play Morocco [on Wednesday]. I hope Cristiano plays a great match. We’re used to that, not only from the last match but his career as a whole. I hope he and our team are ready.

”Portugal were European champions with Ronaldo because the captain is very important, but I’ve never seen a player win a match on his own.”

Dani Carvajal is back, per Fernando Hierro

“Dani is doing well,” Hierro told reporters in Kazan. “He has been training with the rest of the team for nearly one week so has recovered very well.

”He has been working with doctors, physios and the medical staff. He is available for tomorrow [Wednesday].”

Former Real Madrid head coach Carlos Quieroz praises the work Hierro has done

“It’s sort of ironic because I fought so much and I really tried to have him as a player and I really fought so hard.

”Now he will be my opponent. I admire him very much, I really admire him. These sorts of decision are always hard, I know him well, he is a very skilled person and he is the right person to unite them, a team which could’ve been divided.

”I think picking him as a coach is something which shows how valuable he is as a man and coach. We saw against Portugal the team played like a united team, as if nothing happened.”

Mateo Kovacic, on the upcoming Croatia vs Argentina clash

“Argentina depends a lot on Messi, although they are a great team and one must be careful about other positions,” he said.

”You cannot just prepare for one player [to mark Messi] … it is [better to deal with him] collectively, one on one is quite difficult. The coaching staff will prepare tactics well for him.

”We do not need to be too afraid of Argentina, we are individually better than them, except Messi, and so we have… to look at ourselves, not others.”

Vinicius Jr, on choosing Real Madrid

“I felt that I was making my boyhood dream come true, that I was going to a club that all the best players in the world want to be at. The best are there. I can’t explain the happiness I felt when I signed the contract with Real Madrid.

”The stadium impressed me a lot. We went to a game but in the visit it impressed me a lot too. My brother was with me. We did a really good tour there and it impressed us even more.”

On ‘pressure’

”People who come through Flamengo’s youth system are used to pressure,” said Vinicius. ”Playing in the youth team for the national team helps a lot. I’ve spent some time evolving and learning how to handle the pressure and the responsibility.

”I know that Real Madrid is a different club, one of the biggest in the world. I’m going to leave the biggest club in Brazil for the biggest club in Spain.

”Wearing Real Madrid’s shirt will be priceless.”


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