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Replying To Lockjaw:  "A statement performance from Portugal last night with rising star Goncalo Ramos announcing himself to the world. I think even Ronaldo must realise at this point that his days as the marquee man are over. Hopefully he'll show some humility now and accept his role as an impact sub - something which could still be a very dangerous weapon for Portugal.

I see Piers Morgan is still on his Ronaldo crusade. He is one loathsome individual. Leveraging Ronaldo's celebrity and status to further his own ends. Despite all evidence to the contrary, he still puts Ronaldo up on a pedastal as the world's best."
I never got involved in offending or defending Ronaldo either on or off the field, the Fernando Santos was damned if he did and damned if he didn't site Ronaldo on the bench for the game start against Switzerland as he had no way of knowing that Goncalo Ramos was going to stand up and be counted by scoring not one but three quality goals the youngest player at 21 in over 50 years to that at world cup level, lots of people are using Ronaldos age (37) as a reason to drop him or phase him out by using him as an impact sub, but when you look at Pepe who will be 40 in a couple of months time he went head and shoulders above the rest to power home an unstoppable header for Portugals second goal, he continued to do lenghtly runs of the pitch brushing aside his challengers, at 40 years of age, Ronaldo is three years younger than Pepe.

If headlines were made in last nights game I think its only the start, with more to come, In my list of 8 teams I have Morocco penciled in at No. 8, Morocco play Portugal in their next game, it should be interesting, at least.

I watched the game on ITV, just couldn't watch it on RTE or BBC, worse again, I clearly heard it being mentioned not once but twice, once during the commentary of the game and once at half time, it was said that Ronaldo is scheduled to be in Saudia Arabia to sign his contract on the day of the world cup final. Ronaldo looked very, very happy through out the game. I just wonder are we feeling the doing of his substitution more than he is.?

Please don't shoot the messenger.

As an aside, for years I believed along with others that Tiger Woods was the worlds greatest golfer, and I followed his game with great interest, then things started happening in his personal life so I took a dislike to him, I still followed his game and sub-consciously I still thought he was the greatest professional golfer ever even though he was slipping back a bit, then his car accident happened with no apparent way back for him, he defied all the odds, bounced back to play with the worlds best again at his best at 46.
I admire both Woods and Ronaldo as Professional players only, not their life styles etc.

supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 2907 - 07/12/2022 12:51:04    2449747

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Ronaldo made his career as a goal scoring machine based on mostly on his footballing talent but also due to his supreme conditioning and athleticism. Unfortunately, as we all experience, pace, power and agility desert us as we grow older and Ronaldo simply does not make the same impact as he used to. He can't reinvent himself either. So if teams aren't specifically instructed to play to suit his needs, he becomes pretty ineffective and his team suffers. That isn't opinion either, it's matched by cold hard stats. People dislike his attitude because he still feels he should be the main man.

Pepe's situation is different I think. It's easier to keep goals out than to score them. His experience means he can shout and organise those around him to compensate for any physical deficiencies. Like Ronaldo, he has kept himself in serious shape and it's clear by the fact he was given the captain's armband that he commands respect.

Portugal definitley moved up in my estimation after last night. They have some serious technically gifted players and when it all clicks like it did last night they can take down any team. Can they repeat the trick 3 more times? That will be the challenge for Santos and team now.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 9133 - 07/12/2022 14:11:16    2449764

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "A statement performance from Portugal last night with rising star Goncalo Ramos announcing himself to the world. I think even Ronaldo must realise at this point that his days as the marquee man are over. Hopefully he'll show some humility now and accept his role as an impact sub - something which could still be a very dangerous weapon for Portugal.

I see Piers Morgan is still on his Ronaldo crusade. He is one loathsome individual. Leveraging Ronaldo's celebrity and status to further his own ends. Despite all evidence to the contrary, he still puts Ronaldo up on a pedastal as the world's best."
Liam Brady recently said that he has two regrets in his career. One is that he never played in a major championship for Ireland and the other is that Piers Morgan is an Arsenal supporter!

GreenandRed (Mayo) - Posts: 7344 - 07/12/2022 18:56:55    2449794

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Well we're down to the business end of things now so how do we see things panning out? According to my World Cup predictions chart, I had a Brazil France final in mind before the tournament. That can still happen but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was different. In fact I'm even starting to think France's reign as champions could end this weekend!!

For a bit of craic, this is how I think the quarters will go.

Quarters:
Argentina - Holland:
Holland to progress in a turgid arm wrestle of a match with Messi in tears afterwards (hope I'm wrong though) 1-0.

Brazil - Croatia:
Brazil to win comfortably enough 3-1

England - France
The hype machine to go into overdrive following a 2-1 England win.

Portugal - Morocco
Portugal to eventually wear down a game Morocco 2-0

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 9133 - 09/12/2022 10:12:39    2449916

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "Well we're down to the business end of things now so how do we see things panning out? According to my World Cup predictions chart, I had a Brazil France final in mind before the tournament. That can still happen but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was different. In fact I'm even starting to think France's reign as champions could end this weekend!!

For a bit of craic, this is how I think the quarters will go.

Quarters:
Argentina - Holland:
Holland to progress in a turgid arm wrestle of a match with Messi in tears afterwards (hope I'm wrong though) 1-0.

Brazil - Croatia:
Brazil to win comfortably enough 3-1

England - France
The hype machine to go into overdrive following a 2-1 England win.

Portugal - Morocco
Portugal to eventually wear down a game Morocco 2-0"
Am I reading correctly that you are predicting Morocco to win 2 - 0

supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 2907 - 09/12/2022 11:10:47    2449926

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "Well we're down to the business end of things now so how do we see things panning out? According to my World Cup predictions chart, I had a Brazil France final in mind before the tournament. That can still happen but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was different. In fact I'm even starting to think France's reign as champions could end this weekend!!

For a bit of craic, this is how I think the quarters will go.

Quarters:
Argentina - Holland:
Holland to progress in a turgid arm wrestle of a match with Messi in tears afterwards (hope I'm wrong though) 1-0.

Brazil - Croatia:
Brazil to win comfortably enough 3-1

England - France
The hype machine to go into overdrive following a 2-1 England win.

Portugal - Morocco
Portugal to eventually wear down a game Morocco 2-0"
Will jump in on this

Quarters:
Argentina - Holland:
1-1 Argentina to go through on Pens

Brazil - Croatia:
Brazil to win 4-2

England - France
0-0 Mbappe to score winner deep in Extra time

Portugal - Morocco
Portugal 3-0

tiobraid (Tipperary) - Posts: 4119 - 09/12/2022 11:50:40    2449940

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Replying To supersub15:  "Am I reading correctly that you are predicting Morocco to win 2 - 0"
No, I probably could have structured that sentence better! I think Morocco will put it up to Portugal but will eventually be defeated 2-0. Portugal had a relatively comfortable victory in the last 16 whereas Morocco had an immense battle with Spain, suffering some injuries to key men in the process.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 9133 - 09/12/2022 11:52:59    2449941

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Argentina 0 - 2 Holland:
Brazil 2 - 1 Croatia:
England 2 - 1 France
Portugal 1 - 0 Morocco

GreenandRed (Mayo) - Posts: 7344 - 09/12/2022 13:18:40    2449956

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Argentina 3 - 1 Holland
Brazil 1 - 0 Croatia
England 2 - 2 France (England to win penalty shoot out).
Portugal 3 - 2 Morocco

Cockney_Cat (UK) - Posts: 2460 - 09/12/2022 14:49:58    2449971

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Argentina 2- 1 Holland:
Brazil 3 - 1 Croatia:
England 2- 2 France - - England 3 - 2 aet

Portugal 3 - 1 Morocco

supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 2907 - 09/12/2022 15:26:14    2449974

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Didn't see to much dancing from the samba boys today..also I see Neymar not showing much nerve to volunteer to take an early penalty..pity they couldn't take a leaf out of Croatia book and just get on and play..modric showing great leadership.and sportsmanship..

CTGAA10 (Limerick) - Posts: 2214 - 09/12/2022 18:18:50    2449994

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Unreal Croatia. I had written them off & fully expected Brazil to blow them away. But they dug in & never gave up. Once it went to penalties I knew Croatia would do it as the pressure on Brazil was too much.

It's very hard to call who'll reach the final now from that side of the draw. Holland, Croatia and Argentina are all evenly matched.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 9133 - 09/12/2022 18:38:18    2449997

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After that result our predictions may be way off the mark, - no surprise results from here on to the final, Morocco has as good a chance as any team that's left.

supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 2907 - 10/12/2022 09:21:05    2450010

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Lockjaw everything is pointing to Argentina..blowing a 2 goal lead,having players booked left,right and center..Messi escaping a blatant yellow card for deliberate handball..go to penalties and keeper makes two great saves..a manager who looked like he completely lost the head and players who were ready to explode..outside of Messi I wouldn't really have much of a gra for the others..think semi final will be every bit as fiery as Croatia are harder than the dutch..prepare for battle of Qatar..

CTGAA10 (Limerick) - Posts: 2214 - 10/12/2022 10:18:22    2450015

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Replying To CTGAA10:  "Lockjaw everything is pointing to Argentina..blowing a 2 goal lead,having players booked left,right and center..Messi escaping a blatant yellow card for deliberate handball..go to penalties and keeper makes two great saves..a manager who looked like he completely lost the head and players who were ready to explode..outside of Messi I wouldn't really have much of a gra for the others..think semi final will be every bit as fiery as Croatia are harder than the dutch..prepare for battle of Qatar.."
Yeah I think I mentioned it earlier on this thread, sometimes the best team doesn't necessarily win knockout tournaments. Teams can get on a run of momentum, bits of luck start falling their way & if they have a bit of star quality it can compensate for limitations elsewhere on the team.

The Argies have massive support too. Croatia are no mugs though. In terms of World Cup, I'd liken them to Uruguay. Small countries with small populations but who have great pedigree. Anyone thinking Argentina are just going to ease past them is sadly mistaken.

The game last night was a slow burner but it really came to life. There was so much drama & it will probably go down as one of the great World Cup games. What about the referee though? An absolute clown determined to be the centre of things. He's always at it. I don't know why UEFA and FIFA keep having him involved in big matches.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 9133 - 10/12/2022 14:21:24    2450039

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Morocco has to be at least co- favourites to clinch the world cup.

supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 2907 - 10/12/2022 17:05:13    2450057

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Portugal beaten by Morocco. Brazil beaten after extra time and penalties by Croatia. Two of the fancied teams are going home. The World Cup has thrown up a few surprises, along the way, England could win the tournament, provided they beat France tonight.

thelongridge (Offaly) - Posts: 1741 - 10/12/2022 17:15:21    2450059

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Replying To supersub15:  "Morocco has to be at least co- favourites to clinch the world cup."
Could all happen. Interesting few matches to come.

thelongridge (Offaly) - Posts: 1741 - 10/12/2022 17:25:58    2450064

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This World Cup has been fantastic, delighted for Morocco and Croatia, glad to see the back of Ronaldo and Neymar too, the Portuguese do some amount of diving, glad the ref didn't fall for it,
Now for a France win this evening, I don't care now whether its Argentina Croatia or Morocco that win the Cup, ABE and no big fan if the French either but I'm supporting France tonight.
Had to laugh at Shearers comments the last night, saying Argentina are not a good team, what a bitter clown,
4.0 France, Sterling to get sent off for diving,
looking forward to seeing Declan Rice singing the British anthem with all his might, Tiocfaidh la France Declan.

Tirchonaill1 (Donegal) - Posts: 2747 - 10/12/2022 17:26:10    2450065

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Replying To thelongridge:  "Portugal beaten by Morocco. Brazil beaten after extra time and penalties by Croatia. Two of the fancied teams are going home. The World Cup has thrown up a few surprises, along the way, England could win the tournament, provided they beat France tonight."
Wash you mouth out with soap and water!!

Tirchonaill1 (Donegal) - Posts: 2747 - 10/12/2022 17:34:25    2450070

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