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World Cup Open Thread, June 29

Serbia v Brazil: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/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

Rakitic compares Modric and Iniesta

Ivan Rakitic is one of the rare, lucky midfielders who gets to play alongside both Luka Modric and Andres Iniesta. He was asked about the two during yesterday’s presser:

“It’s very difficult to compare them. It seems like both of them are from different planets and they came to play football with us mortals here,” Rakitic said.

”Both of them are among the best players ever in their positions. It has been a great honour to play with Andres in the last four years at Barcelona and with Luka for the last 11 years for Croatia.

”You try to enjoy it as much as you can, to learn from them. It’s the best thing that can happen to any player. If I created a football team, I would have both of them in my team.

”I can thank God to have the opportunity to play with both of them. Hopefully with Luka I am not done yet; unfortunately Andres is not with Barcelona anymore but I wIsh him all the best.

”They are both more than team-mates for me. Andres is one of my best friends and I see Luka as my big brother.”

Recently, Croatia great (and former Real Madrid player) Robert Prosinecki said Modric has surpassed him as the nation’s GOAT. Rakitic agrees:

“I would agree with him completely,” he said. “Not only that Luka is the best player, but he is a great person, a leader and we are following him.”

“I don’t know if this is the last competition for us, we will see about that. But, in any case, we would like to continue the same way we have been playing so far.”

Carvajal backs Hierro

Bernd Schuster came out and criticized Fernando Hierro recently, claiming that Hierro “is not a coach”. Dani Carvajal dismissed that notion:

“I think he [Hierro] is more than capable. I disagree with those words from Bernd Schuster,” Carvajal told a news conference.

”Those who are watching him are us, and we see him more than capable to manage this national team.

”He is a great coach and we are absolutely behind him.”

“We must be self critics. We all need to improve, but there are no easy opponents in a World Cup,” he said.

”It’s true that many favourites are on the other side of the draw, but we’ve got the other seven from the best 16.

”We must focus on putting a good performance against Russia, on going step by step.”

Carvajal on a potential Neymar signing

Speaking with Cadena Ser, Carvajal was asked whether ‘Neymar was born to play for Real Madrid’. Carvajal was open to the Brazilian arriving in Madrid either way:

“If he was born to play in Madrid, I don’t know,” Carvajal said.

”Madrid always want the best in the world. If the president is determined to sign him, we will have to save a locker.”

And on Alvaro Ordriozola rumours...

”If the coach [Julen Lopetegui] and the president believe it necessary, welcome,” he said.

”I think he is a great player, young, with good defensive skills. He’s a very complete player.”

Hotel mattress did not help Marcelo’s back injury

While Marcelo’s back injury seems not-so-serious, with the Brazilian expected to return for Brazil’s World Cup clash with Mexico on Monday, his doctor, Dr. Rodrigo Lasmar, is calling for a change in Marcelo’s sleeping arrangements.

“It is still too early to make an accurate diagnosis,” said Dr Lasmar. “The injury may be related to the hotel mattress.

“Although our expectation is good, but we have to be calm and wait for the next few days.”

”Marcelo is medicated and with medication the tendency is that the response is good and that he can play,” he said. “The important thing is that there is no injury.

”They were muscle spasms. Once he feels good to train, he will return and immediately be ready to play.

”There is no recovery period.”


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