Kia Champ into the Arena – Global Glory for Colombia!

From Malaysia to Argentina, 16 national champions from around the world came together in Moscow to contest the Kia Champ into the Arena tournament finals on June 30, 2018. 

National pride was on the line, along with the chance to get into a 2018 FIFA World Cup clash from Kia’s skybox! 

The competition in the group stages was intense, and there was no shortage of surprises as Panama and Kyrgyzstan progressed into the knockout stages. The Latin American sides also performed strongly – with Mexico, Argentina and Colombia all joining Panama in the quarter-finals.

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With the temperature soaring, the action in the elimination stages stepped up again, with a brilliant range of skills on display.

The Russian team matched the brilliant performances of their national side as they triumphed over Argentina and South Africa to reach the final. But there could only be one winner – Colombia saw off Poland and Mexico in the knockout stages, before a superb performance saw them past Russia, becoming the world champions in the Kia Champ into the Arena Final! 

With the players celebrating wildly, Kia had one final surprise left for the teams: 2010 FIFA World Cup-Winner and Spain legend Cesc Fabregas arrived to meet them and present the winners with the Kia Champ into the Arena Final trophy!

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Relive all the festivities and Champ Into the Arena with Kia.

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Mbappe could win Ballon d’Or, but this is no golden generation for France – Matthaus

World Cup winner Lothar Matthaus does not believe that a French era of dominance is near despite Les Bleus lifting a second world crown on Sunday.

France beat Croatia 4-2 in Moscow to add 2018 success to their 1998 triumph, while banishing the memories of defeat to Portugal in the European Championship final two years ago.

Nineteen-year-old Kylian Mbappe was named the tournament’s best young player, while 15 of the 23-man squad are 25 and younger giving France the second youngest squad in the tournament.

Many have suggested France can dominate world football in years to come but, writing in Bild , Matthaus disagreed.

He wrote: ”I do not believe that the French will establish an era.

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”The team did not adopt any style or convince with fascinating football.

“They did not push their opponents to the edge.”

Matthaus’ criticism is nothing new for Didier Deschamps’ side, who were criticised by some for a perceived lack of adventure.

Belgium goalkeeper Thibault Courtois accused them of playing “anti-football” during the semi-final, while Croatia’s Dejan Lovren said they “did not play football” in Sunday’s showpiece.

There is, however, a general consensus that Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe is a superstar of the future.

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Matthaus is prepared to agree with that, with a man who helped Germany to World Cup glory in 1990 of the opinion that the teenager could be challenging for Ballon d’Or honours later in the year.

He said: “He plays with a tremendous ease, but is also down to earth. Mbappe plays seriously, he does not play for show.

 “He now as a world title and is certainly a hot tip for the World Player of the Year award for 2018.”

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Asamoah Gyan congratulates Croatia’s Dalic on World Cup feat

Asamoah Gyan has cheered coach Zlatko Dalic for helping his Croatia finish second at the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia.

Against all odds, the Blazers who spanked Nigeria 2-0 in their opening game reached the final where they bowed 4-2 to eventual winners, France.

Dalic’s tactical prowess played a key role as Croatia navigated their way through the Second Round, quarter-final and semi-final after 120 minutes.

And Gyan, who played under the 51-year-old at Al Ain is impressed his former manager’s feat.

“Congratulations coach Dalic Zlatko for taking your country Croatia to the World Cup Final second place. I have always believed you would be a great coach one day. I’m happy to have worked with a great person like you,” Gyan wrote on Twitter.

Dalic’s side had started the at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium stronger but were undone by Mario Mandzukic’s own goal and strikes from Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe.

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Cameroon striker and Benin defender on trial at TP Mazembe

Congolese giants TP Mazembe are assessing Cameroonian striker Landry Ntakeu and Benin international defender Apollinaire Danvide Ogouloye.

Former Cameroon youth international Ntakeu arrives on trial from Angolan side Recreativo de Caala and has also had a stint in Algeria before.

Ogouloye is in the books of Ivorian outfit Sewe Sport and is part of the Benin national team.

Following the departure of Salif Coulibaly to Egyptian giants Al-Ahly last week, 25-year-old Ogouloye is being auditioned with the possibility of being a direct replacement for the Mali defender.

“By bringing the 24-year-old forward (Ntakeu), TP Mazembe relies on his technical skills in front of the goal and his speed to give new life to Ravens offensive line,” said TP Mazembe in a statement.

“Apollinaire Danvide Ogouloye central defender is 25 years-old, 1.85m and 78 Kg, is of Benin nationality. He comes from Sewe Sport of San Pedro in Ivory Coast. He is a former player of the AS Douanes de Niamey (Niger), with which he has often distinguished himself in the Champions League.

“The big family of Ravens welcomes them and wish them a very good trial period.”

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The two arrive at TP Mazembe as the club is reeling from being dethroned as DRC champions by old foes AS Vita.

On Tuesday the Congolese will play Algerian giants MC Alger in a Caf Champions League Group B in which they so far enjoy a 100 percent winning record.

They prepared for MC Alger with a friendly match against South African giants Orlando Pirates last week in Zambia.

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Latest Transfer Odds: Hazard set to swap Chelsea for Real Madrid

Real Madrid look set to land Eden Hazard after completing the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus according to the bookmakers.

The Portugal star moved to the Serie A champions for €100m (£88m) and the European champions could turn to Chelsea to find his replacement.

SportPesa offer just 1/4 (1.25) that Hazard swaps London for Madrid after spending six years at the Blues and winning two Premier League titles.

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The 27-year-old has been a target of Los Blancos before but with Ronaldo leaving for pastures new, his move to the Spanish capital looks more likely than ever.

“After six wonderful years at Chelsea it might be time to discover something different,” said the forward after Belgium’s win over England in the World Cup third place play-off.

However, nothing in football is certain and SportPesa price Hazard staying at Chelsea at 2/1 (3.0) ahead of the new season and playing under his seventh permanent manager there.

Maurizio Sarri was recently confirmed as the new Blues boss and that could play a part in whether the Belgium superstar stays in the English capital.

Club after Summer Transfer Window (1st Sept 18) Price
Real Madrid 1/4 (1.25)
To stay at Chelsea 2/1 (3.0)
Paris Saint-Germain 17/2 (9.50)
Barcelona 14/1 (15.0)
Manchester City 22/1 (23.0)

Similarly, Real Madrid are also under new management in Julen Lopetegui, who infamously agreed to join Los Blancos just days before the World Cup started and was fired by Spain on the eve of their first match.

Real’s reported pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain stars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar could also have an impact and SportPesa offer 17/2 (9.50) that Hazard moves to PSG this summer.

The online bookmaker also goes 14/1 (15.0) that Barcelona swoop for Hazard, with Manchester City out at 22/1 (23.0) and cross-city rivals United at 25/1 (26.0).

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