Viet Nam News Football ZAGREB — Hundreds of thousands of Croatians took to the streets in Zagreb on Monday to greet their players as they returned home from Russia after losing the World Cup final. A crowd estimated by police at more than 550,000 people cheered the team during its parade on an open-top bus from the airport to the capital’s main square. It took five hours for the bus to get to Jelacic square as it was moving slowly through euphoric fans many waving flags, wearing the famous Croatia red and white shirt and singing popular songs. Since the former Yugoslav republic’s independence in 1991, Zagreb has only once seen a larger crowd - for the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1994. More than 100,000 people thronged the square to hail Vatreni (the "Fiery Ones" in Croatian) led by captain and World Cup Golden Ball winner Luka Modric. "Hrvatska, Hrvatska!" (Croatia) the fans chanted as team coach Zlatko Dalic and the players stepped on an improvised … [Read more...] about Croatians hail returning World Cup squad
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Tears and cries of joy, hugs and chants, firecrackers and flares - Croatia was on fire late on Wednesday (Jul 11) after their victory against England set up a first ever appearance in a World Cup final. Croatia fans in Zagreb celebrate the World Cup semi-final win over England which sets up a first ever appearance in the final. (AFP/Denis Lovrovic) "Croatia in World Cup finals! It is so beautiful! Miracle of all miracles in Russia!" the state-run HRT television commentator Drago Cosic shouted ecstatically. Croatia beat England 2-1 in extra-time thanks to a Mario Mandzukic goal in the second period of extra-time to book a date with France in Moscow on Sunday. Thousands of fans gathered at the country's largest fan zone in Zagreb's main square, braving intermittent rain to cheer on the "Fiery Ones" (Vatreni) on a giant screen. "We can be proud and happy ... we don't want to stop here," Croatia's star player Luka Modric told HRT 'LIKE LIONS' "Only great teams can be so … [Read more...] about World Cup: Croatia on fire after England victory
Viet Nam News By Paul Kennedy Every four years something very special happens. The world grinds to a halt, businesses slow down to a crawl, and people are glued to television screens in living rooms and bars from Liverpool to Lahore. Why? The World Cup of course. Am I excited? Am I delirious? Have I got a World Cup chart pinned to my wall ready to mark the progress of each team game by game? Honest answer? No. I should be. I should be dusting down by St George’s flag and hanging it proudly from the 19th floor balcony of my Times City apartment. I should have "Three Lions" on constant repeat playing around the clock on youtube but this time around I’m feeling a strange empathy towards the goings on in Russia. And I am not too sure why. Maybe it’s because I’ve become so used to England promising so much and delivering so little that I’ve just become blasé to the whole thing. But I think the real reason for my ‘couldn’t care less’ … [Read more...] about World Cup fever grips, but not here in Hà Nội
Around $450 million was spent on Sochi's Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi AFP/Mladen ANTONOV ONE MILLION EXPECTED There won't be an "Oranje" army in Russia, because the Dutch failed to qualify, but there will still be the clapping Icelanders, the chanting English and the distinctive personalities of the supporters of the other 29 visiting countries. The differing languages, songs, flags and fan cultures of the world will energise the streets of Russia's host cities until the middle of July. The figure of one million seems to have been reached by a surprisingly unscientific manner. FIFA has deducted the number of tickets sold to Russians, 872,578, from the two million it says have been sold in total. The biggest demand, outside the host nation, has come from the United States, whose team failed to qualify, with 86,710 sold. Then comes Brazil (71,787), Colombia (64,231) and Germany (60,457). The English are not even in the top ten. Russia's objective, organising committee chief Alexei … [Read more...] about What sort of welcome will World Cup visitors get in Russia?
Two talented 12-year-old football enthusiasts, Nguyen Trong Tuan and Pham Nguyen Quoc Trung, will leave for Russia on June 8 to participate in the 6th Gazprom Football for Friendship International Program, or F4R program. The boys, both from Nghe An Province in central Vietnam, will be joined in Moscow by peers from over 210 countries around the world. Tuan will play as a defender for one of the 32 teams that will compete in the annual friendly tournament. The young lad, who started playing football when he was 9, currently plays for the Under 13 team of Song Lam Nghe An club. For the F4F program, the young footballer will undergo a three-day training camp in Moscow so as to get used to the playing conditions and to practice with this team. Trung, meanwhile, will be a young journalist, covering both local and global activities of the program as part of the International Children's Press Center, a hub for budding sports scribes as they gather information, make reports, write news … [Read more...] about Two Vietnamese boys head for football event in Russia