a Croatia ready to “stand up” to a Brazil yet “favorite”

hot in front

Brazil – Croatia and Netherlands – Argentina

Brazilian striker Neymar takes part in a training session with his teammates at the Al-Arabi SC stadium in Doha on December 8, on the eve of the match against Croatia.

“Let’s be clear, Brazil are the favourites. » The Croatian coach, Zlatko Dalic, is under no illusions, at a time when his men must face Neymar and his teammates for a place in the last four of the World Cup (4 p.m.). Winners with authority of South Korea (4-1) in the round of 16, the five-time world champions have demonstrated, match after match, their offensive power.

The contrast with the Vatreni is striking. Since the start of the tournament, the finalists of the 2018 edition have been sluggish, snatching their ticket for the quarters thanks to their goalkeeper Livakovic, author of three saves in the decisive penalty shootout (1-1, 3-1 tab) against Japan. History does not plead in favor of Luka Modric and his family either: Brazil have won the two previous meetings between the two teams in the World Cup. But Zlatko Dalic is convinced: Croatia can “stand up” to the Auriverdes. “In any case, we will give the maximum, we will not lay down our arms before the match. »

At 8 p.m., it will be the turn of Lionel Messi and his Albiceleste to enter the track against the Netherlands. The Argentinians would be well advised to be wary of a revanchist Batavian team: the South Americans had deprived them of the final, during the 2014 World Cup in Sao Paulo (0-0, 4-2 pens). This crucial meeting for the semi-finals serves as a real “classic” of the World Cup: in five confrontations, the Netherlands have won two matches, for an Argentinian victory and two draws.

water in the gas

International attendance below expectations

According to a report from the organizers of the 2022 World Cup, obtained by Reuters news agency, Qatar welcomed 765,859 international visitors during the first seventeen days of the competition, more than half of whom have now left. The country expected an influx of 1.2 million people during the month-long event.

Fans and empty seats before the England-Senegal match counting for the round of 16 of the World Cup at the Al-Bayt stadium in Al-Khor, north of Doha, on December 4, 2022.

A substantial increase in the number of visitors now is very unlikely: there are only eight games left to play. The organizers had estimated that the period from November 24 to 28 was the most likely to attract a large flow of international visitors. In full group phase, the thirty-two nations involved were still represented there and no less than four meetings were scheduled each day.

Qatar Postal

When Vinicius Jr. is upstaged at a press conference

A cat invited itself to the press conference of Brazilian Vinicius Junior, provoking bursts of laughter from the latter.  In Doha, on December 7.

Brazilian striker Vinicius Junior’s press conference before the quarter-final against Croatia was briefly interrupted by… a cat, who came to the stage. The animal was bluntly pushed back by the Seleçao press officer, provoking some dismayed reactions from the journalists present.

Felines are definitely a recurring element of this World Cup: from Ousmane Dembélé’s phobia to the passion of the English John Stones and Kyle Walker for Dave, the stray cat they promised to adopt in the event of the final victory of the Three Lions in the tournament.

Grain of sand


Like the number of players still present in Qatar currently under contract with a Premier League club. The English championship is the most represented in the squads of the eight quarter-finalist nations, ahead of the Spanish Liga (thirty players in eight clubs) and the Italian Serie A (twenty-three players in nine clubs). For clubs, the two Manchesters – City and United – have the strongest contingent of players, with eleven players each. Then come Paris Saint-Germain and Ajax Amsterdam (seven players).


Cristiano Ronaldo leaving the field after the match between Portugal and Switzerland, at the Lusail stadium, in Qatar, on December 6, 2022.

” The Portuguese Football Federation clarifies that at no time did the captain of the national team, Cristiano Ronaldo, threaten to leave the national team […] in Qatar. »

Two days before the quarter-final between the Seleçao and Morocco, the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) wanted to put things right. According to the sports daily Record, “CR7” would have had little taste of his non-tenure during the round of 16 victory against Switzerland (6-1). A heated exchange with the coach, Fernando Santos, would have followed, the 37-year-old player saying he was ready to pack his bags. “Cristiano Ronaldo builds a unique track record every day in the service of the national team and the country, which must be respected and which attests to an undeniable degree of commitment”insisted the FPF in a press release.

Our selection of articles on the 2022 World Cup

Find all our content on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, from November 20 to December 18.

  • Know everything : The calendar, the results, the rankings, the “unofficial” guide to the 2022 World Cup
  • Investigations: France-Qatar, a friendship full of resources; Award of the World Cup to Qatar: Sarkozy, Platini and the takeover of PSG at the heart of the French justice investigation; For the environment, an event at the critical stage
  • Report : To the Mbappé-Giroud duo, France very grateful against Poland
  • Editorials: The World Cup of excesses; FIFA at the stage of blindness
  • Decryptions: The delicate speech of footballers on human rights; The reasons for the discomfort; A very political “World Cup”
  • Reports: In the “engine room” of Qatar, where live the immigrant workers whom Doha does not want to see; In Qatar, a pan-Arab festival atmosphere; At the University of Dakar, “when Senegal plays, we forget all our problems”
  • Grandstand (Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International) : “By calling to ‘focus on football’, Gianni Infantino is trying to exonerate FIFA from any responsibility”
  • Portraits: Walid Regragui, the new signature of the Atlas Lions; Harry Maguire, a certain idea of ​​English football
  • Chronicle: “Changing the method of calculating additional time in a match is to take the risk of breaking the game”; “With video refereeing, the goals are conditional, the emotions too”
  • Podcast : Ecology, human rights, corruption: why the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is a problem
  • Video : A “carbon neutral” World Cup? What lies behind Qatar’s untenable promises; For the first time, a match will be refereed by women

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