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So now at the completion of the group stage, we were down to the last 16 teams. There was a one day rest between the final group game in Group G, and the start of the knockout stage. After having two weeks of relentless football, the intermission seemed to take a lifetime.
 
Last 16
Saturday June 30th – Day 16
The first last 16 game, saw Group C winners France, play Group D runners up Argentina. France’s Antoine Griezmann slammed the crossbar with an early free kick. France were then awarded a penalty. …

Many World Cups have passed and they just seem to fly by ever so quickly. There is so much football played, that though we have watched a lot of it, whether it has been seeing the game live or watching highlights, it can really scramble the brain to pinpoint everything that has happened. I therefore had an idea to keep a diary/log from day to day, something that can be just as useful in many years as it is now, in regard to jogging the memory. So here I present …

So, to the fourth in this series of 6 articles looking at the top 60 players in world football and probably the hardest list to select. In researching this list I realised our generation is blessed with a group of fantastic central midfielders and picking just 13 was very difficult. In fact, it proved too difficult and I had to choose 4 honourable mentions instead of just 3. I apologise and hope you will understand the difficulty. Thank you and please enjoy, comment, discuss, vent your outrage at my selections and read the …

The third in a series of six articles looking at the best 60 players in the world at the moment, we are now onto full-back having done golkeepers and centre-backs. Please enjoy, comment, discuss and read the next article; the top 10 central midfielders.
Full-backs
Honourable mentions:

Fabio Coentrao – A frustrating year for the 26 year old former Benfica man, playing second fiddle to Marcelo for club and having a disappointing World Cup for country. However, he is still an intelligent player, who is technically skilful and tactically versatile. Young enough to still …

Leading on from the top 10 goalkeepers in the world; I now present you the top 10 Centre-backs in the world. Remember, this is partly judged on recent performances and partly on permanent class. Enjoy, comment and discuss and remember to look out for the remaining four articles in this series of 6, the next one being the top 10 full-backs.
Centre-backs
Honourable mentions:

Diego Godin – An old school centre-half who bought into the ‘Simeone way’ from the very beginning to great effect. His dogged style and aerial prowess means he is now crucial …

France won group E and progressed into the last 16 of the World Cup after drawing against Ecuador at Rio de Janeiro`s Estadio do Maracana.
A red card for Ecuador captain, Antonio Valencia, condemned Ecuador as the first South American team to leave the tournament.
France, who only needed a point to get through the group stages, made six changes from the team that won 5-2 against Switzerland,
One absentee was Yohan Cabaye who was serving his match ban for two yellow cards, as France looked to go eight games without …

The first four games of this season saw the Frenchman play three times for his country and open the Premier League season at home to Aston Villa. In his opening matches Koscielny was on the losing side on three occasions out of the four matches, drawing once, and received four yellow cards – one being a second yellow resulting in a red. Since his poor start to the season, Laurent has played 19 games for club and country without receiving a caution, and losing only three times (Champion’s League home …

The play-offs for a spot at the FIFA World Cup next summer were revealed-Ukraine were to play the French. France were in the World Cup, they said, it would be a walk in the park, they said. However, a major doubt now looms over whether the likes of Franck Ribery, Samir Nasri, Hugo Lloris and Giroud will be playing in Brazil next summer or not, and if they do end up making it, it certainly would not have been easy for Les Bleus.
A 2-0 defeat in the first leg in …

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has claimed Borussia Dortmund are very close to securing a deal to bring St Etienne forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the club  with the German club’s representative stating to Kicker, “We are very far in negotiations for Aubameyang.”
With the future of Robert Lewandowski still relatively unclear with Dortmund standing by their decision to straight up refuse to sell their Polish striker to their Bavarian rivals the move to bring Aubameyang to the club suggests a deal to sell Lewandowski may well be in the pipeline …

France and Nike have unveiled their Away Shirt for the 2013 international season. The shirt is mainly light blue with the ‘tricolore’ detail around the sleeve hems. The shorts and socks are also pale blue giving a classy design and colouration.

The shirt fuses French tradition with style and pride as there is a distinctive new look summing up the ambitions of the French football teams. The shirt features a button collar with a French cockerel crest offering a unique and classy look.

The French Female Football Team will be the first …