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WORLD CUP LIVE 2022 – Reaction as England set up quarter final with France; Japan v Croatia and Brazil v South Korea to come

Paul Hassall
By
Paul Hassall
Updated 05/12/2022 at 10:41 GMT
10.45
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THE FOOTBALL WORLD HAS BEEN SENDING BEST WISHES TO PELE
Brazil will hope to put in a performance that will make the legendary Pele smile later today.
The man regarded by many as the greatest player of all-time has been in hospital with some reports suggesting he may be receiving palliative care.
However, his family deny this, saying: "... he's sick, he's old, but he's there because of a lung infection. He's on antibiotics and when he gets better he'll go home again. He's not saying goodbye at the hospital."

'Idol' Pele receives prayers from Wenger and Klinsmann

10.30
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RICE SETS SIGHTS ON DOUBTERS AFTER ‘FLAWLESS’ W/C RUN
Declan Rice believes England’s performances in Qatar have been undervalued by the media and is convinced rival countries will be keen to avid facing them.
Speaking following the 3-0 win over Senegal that secured a quarter-final clash with world champions France on Saturday, the West Ham midfielder said:
"I don't think we get the credit we deserve in our performances. If you look at other teams, like the Netherlands and Argentina, they win their games comfortably and they get called 'masterclasses'.
"With us, it always gets picked off. The negative things always come that way. If you look at the last couple of games, it's been faultless. I think countries should be starting to fear us now because we're a great team."
He added: Going into the tournament, there was a lot of talk that we don't score enough goals. That's another one we've kept people quiet on. There was a lot of scrutiny around the defence and conceding goals, but it's been solid. We're going to keep building and pushing."

Image credit: Getty Images

10.15
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EX-CROATIA STAR HEAPS PRAISE ON MODRIC
Ivan Rakitic has highlighted the importance of Luka Modric as Croatia bid to reach the last eight when they face Japan later today.
“Luka is Luka – he’s played this way for the last 10 years for the national team and Madrid,” Rakitic told FIFA. “He’s an amazing player, the most important player for us and one of the best players in the world. I think Luka understands football differently to other great players. The other players benefit a lot from playing with him, following his rhythm, his movement.”
Asked about Japan, he added: “I think everyone was really surprised that Japan won the group, and that Germany are out. But when you watch them play, you understand why it happened. They have a lot of individual and team qualities. It will be very hard to play against them. We’ll need to be at 100 per cent against Japan.”

Image credit: Getty Images

10.00
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JAPAN V CROATIA HEAD-TO-HEAD
The first Last-16 clash of the day is swch3eduled for 15.00 GMT when surprise Group E winners Japan face 2018 finalists Croatia.
Unsurprisingly, the two sides have not met too many times over the years, on just three occasions in fact.
Japan have won once, Croatia have been victorious once and the teams have drawn once, underlining how tight the match could be.
The last meeting was a goalless draw in the group stage of the 2006 World Cup.
How to watch Japan v Croatia last 16 World Cup match
09.45
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SAMBA LEGEND DELIGHTED AT NEWS OF NEYMAR’S RETURN
Zico claims Brazil are well-placed to go on and win the World Cup – but believes their chances will be greatly enhanced if Neymar is fit and able to fire.
The former Selecao star reckons the PSG man has that rare, special quality to make a difference and feels his teammates benefit from the burden 30-year-old places on his own shoulders.
“Brazil are capable of winning, for sure, but it would be good for him to play. He was the cherry on top of the cake. He was in great physical shape; better than before the World Cup.
"You see Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, who are players with a similar impact to Neymar. Whether they play badly or play well they can decide a match in any instant, but they can also worry the opponents and open up space for others. This is why Neymar is hugely important for the Seleção.”

Image credit: Eurosport

09.30
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ENGLAND'S MEN'S FOOTBALL TEAM DOMINATE THE UK BACK PAGES
No surprise there then!
09.15
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NEYMAR SET TO RETURN FOR BRAZIL
The Selecao's talisman missed the final two group matches with an ankle injury but trained on Sunday and should feature in tonight's Last-16 clash with South Korea according to coach Tite.
"...if he trains well he will play."
Neymar took to his Instagram following Sunday's session with the comment: "I feel good. I knew that I would now," referencing James Brown's classic song.

Neymar all smiles as he returns ahead of Brazil last 16 tie

09.05
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MBAPPE BREAKS MEDIA SILENCE AND CALLS QATAR TITLE AN OBSESSION
Kylian Mbappe has explained why he opted to pay fines instead of speaking to the media following France’s group matches.
The PSG forward was named player of the match in two of his country’s games but refused the obligation of talking in the mixed zone as a result of winning the award, leading to the French Football Federation and the player being subject to a fine.
Speaking after the 3-0 win over Poland, he explained: "I have nothing against journalists, if I didn't come to talk it's because I need to fully concentrate on the competition and not waste energy on other things.”
He alluded to inevitable questions about his future at club level and added: "This World Cup is my obsession, it is the competition of my dreams. I have built my entire season around this competition, I have prepared myself to the fullest both physically and mentally to win it, which is the goal I have set for myself, although it is still far away. The only goal is to win the World Cup, the rest is secondary."
08.55
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WILL SOUTHGATE STICK OR TWIST AGAINST FRANCE?
Andi Thomas ponders a possible formation change to deal with Mbappe amidst the usual fun that comes with today's the Warm-Up.
Southgate has given himself a problem - The Warm-Up
08.45
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SOUTHGATE SALUTES KANE AND RELISHES LES BLEUS TEST
“France are world champions, incredible depth of talent, outstanding individual players, very difficult to play against and score goals against so a fantastic challenge. It’s a brilliant game for us to be involved in and test ourselves against the very best.”
On Kane:
“For any striker who hasn’t scored it is there in the back of your mind and you get that lift of confidence when it comes. There is still nobody I would rather have bearing down on goal. It was a clinical finish and that will do him the world of good.“

Image credit: Getty Images

08.35
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MORE ON MBAPPE AS BELIEF GROWS THAT HE IS NOW THE WORLD'S BEST
Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand claimed “heir to the throne” Mbappe has now overtaken Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the world’s best player.
“Right now you have to say, he’s the best."
‘The best there is now’ - Ferdinand says ‘phenomenal’ Mbappe has overtaken Messi and Ronaldo
08.20
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WORLD CUP TRANSFER GOSSIP: DUTCH STAR SET FOR UNITED?
Cristiano Ronaldo has been linked with his boyhood club Sporting Lisbon, while Manchester United hope to replace him with PSV Eindhoven striker Cody Gakpo.
United are also reportedly keen on Napoli central defender Kim Min-jae, while Liverpool could offer defender Ibrahima Konate in a swap deal for Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic, currently at Juventus.
Check out the latest rumours in today's Paper Round.
United line up £50m Gakpo as Ronaldo eyes Sporting return - Paper Round
08.05
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KYLIAN MBAPPE AND WORLD CHAMPIONS FRANCE STAND IN ENGLAND'S WAY
France eased into the last eight with a 3-0 win over Poland on Sunday.
Mbappe was the star of the show with two memorable strikes and looks like the man to stop if the Three Lions are to continue their World Cup adventure.
Mbappe’s remarkable World Cup numbers as he passes Ronaldo and matches Messi in goals tally
07.55
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'ENGLAND NOW LOOKS LIKE A TEAM AT THE PEAK TO DELIVER'
FIFA's Chief of Global Football Development Arsene Wenger praised England's progress in recent international tournaments, billing Gareth Southgate's team as one of the international sides in contention for this year's World Cup.

Wenger assesses 'peak' England, 'past their time' Belgium, Klinsmann bemoans Germany striker woes

07.40
RAHEEM STERLING LATEST
The Chelsea man is to return to England to check on his family after intruders broke into his family home. He missed England's 3-0 win over Senegal as a result.
"Sometimes football isn't the most important thing and family should come first," said Southgate following the Last-16 clash.
Sterling to fly back to England after armed break-in at family home
07.30
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THE MATCH REPORT: ENGLAND 3-0 SENEGAL
Aaron Barton had the privilege of summing up England's victory for Eurosport last night.
"When England move through the attacking gears like they did tonight, they are not far off unstoppable," he wrote. "Southgate's side have scored 12 goals at this World Cup, which is the joint-most England have ever scored at a major tournament, matching the 12 goals they scored at the 2018 World Cup."
Check out his full piece with player ratings, player of the match etc below.
Kane scores as England beat Senegal to set up France showdown
07.20
HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE
07.15
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THE MAN HIMSELF WAS KEEN TO PUSH SOME PRAISE HENDO'S WAY
07.10
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ALL HAIL JUDE BELLINGHAM
The 19-year-old's display truly caught the eye in an all-round impressive England showing.
The plaudits have been effusive for the Borussia Dortmund midfielder, with teammate Phil Foden amongst many to wax lyrical.
"I don't want to big him up too much because he is still young, but he's one of the most gifted players I have ever seen," Foden said in a post-match chat with ITV.
"He has no weakness in his game. I think he will be the best midfielder in the world."
Keane: England youngsters won’t fear France, Bellingham produced best midfield performance in years
07.05
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MONDAY'S SCHEDULE
The Last 16 ties continue:
  • Croatia v Japan 15.00 GMT
  • Brazil v South Korea 19.00 GMT

Image credit: Getty Images