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Cristiano Ronaldo takes swipe at Gary Neville over ‘easy criticism’

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Cristiano Ronaldo has taken aim at former Manchester United teammate Gary Neville as comments from his TalkTV interview continue to emerge.

Ronaldo and Neville played together at Man Utd for six years. However, Neville has become a critic of Ronaldo since his return to Old Trafford last season.

The Portugal star stressed that he and Neville are ‘not friends,’ but what he sees as constant criticism of him is ‘disappointing.’

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“People can have their own opinion, but they don’t really know what’s going on, for example, inside the training ground, or even my life.

“They should listen to not only one point of view, they have to listen to my point of view as well.

“It’s easy to criticise but if you don’t know the whole story…

Ronaldo recently blanked Neville on the side of the pitch ahead of a live Sky Sports broadcast, which always suggested that whatever relationship they once had has broken down.

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He says he is sympathetic to the demands Neville’s role on TV, but he has accused his former Man Utd teammate, and many of his colleagues, of ‘taking advantage’ of his name to further their own careers.

“They have a job in television where they must criticise to be more famous,” Ronaldo said. “I really don’t understand.

“I think they take advantage [of my name] because they are not stupid. But it’s hard when you see people who were in the dressing room with you criticise in that way.

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“I’m not going to sleep badly because of the criticism, but it’s not good to listen to.”



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Twitter reacts as Giroud breaks record in comfortable France win

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France saw off a spirited display from Poland to advance to the World Cup quarter-finals, as goals from Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe saw them cruise to a 3-1 win.

Things are really hotting up now out in Qatar, with teams no longer able to afford a single slip-up as the competition heads towards its conclusion. As a result, Twitter was buzzing with activity throughout the game, with everyone looking to get involved with the action on the pitch.

Before the game, there was time for fans to appreciate the luxury of being treated to two absolutely banging national anthems.

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One of the most powerful narratives going into this clash was the match-up between Kylian Mbappe and Poland right-back Matty Cash, who was playing in the Championship just three years ago.

As always, 23-year-old Mbappe was the centre of attention and the internet loved seeing these kids’ reaction to the PSG forward appearing in the tunnel.

Poland have been criticised for their conservative football so far at this World Cup – so seeing them actually attempt to attack the French goal in the early stages of the match was too much for some people.

Meanwhile, France defender Jules Kounde did his best to insert himself into the narrative by playing while still wearing his chain.

Sure enough, once the match officials noticed Kounde’s bling they forced the Barcelona defender to remove it. It only took them 41 minutes to realise.

The best chance of the first half hour fell to Olivier Giroud, who went into this match gunning for the all-time French male scoring record. Unfortunately, the former Arsenal and Chelsea striker fired wide from Ousmane Dembele’s cutback, much to the display of French supporters everywhere.

Giroud didn’t have to wait long to make amends, however, popping up just before half-time to write his name into the history books.

Giroud almost went one better in the second half, finding the net again with an audacious overhead kick – only for it to be ruled out for a foul in the build-up.

Alongside Mbappe and Giroud in attack was Antoine Griezmann, who looked so calm and composed on the ball you’d almost think he’d done this at a World Cup before.

In the end, though, it was Mbappe who put the finishing touches on a resounding French victory with two sumptuous goals.

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Lewandowski pulled one back for Poland late on with a penalty – but had blushes spared after an embarrassing miss when Hugo Lloris was found to have stepped off his line.





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Player ratings as Mbappe scores twice & Giroud makes history

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Olivier Giroud became France’s all-time men’s record international goalscorer and Kylian Mbappe scored twice as their strikes saw off Poland to earn the reigning champions a place in the 2022 World Cup quarter finals.

Former Arsenal and Chelsea striker Giroud collected Mbappe’s pass to fire beyond Wojciech Szczesny. Mbappe smashed in the second on the counter attack before a stoppage-time third – another wonderful Mbappe effort – wrapped up the victory.

Poland showed a little more intent than they did in their tough-to-watch group stage games but only got a consolation from the penalty spot as Robert Lewandowski rolled one in late on.

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The early exchanges saw Raphael Varane head an Antoine Griezmann corner wide before Aurelien Tchouameni brought a save from Szczesny with a strike from distance.

Elder statesman Grzegorz Krychowiak carelessly lost possession to allow Ousmane Dembele to drive at goal. The Barcelona winger cut in onto his left foot but his shot failed to trouble Szczesny.

Les Bleus’ attacking intent continued as a floated ball forward from Tchouameni found Griezmann, whose clever backheel forced Szczesny into action before Kamil Glik cleared the danger.

Poland did attempt to press high in the early exchanges but only got a first clear sight of the 21st minute, though Lewandowski’s ambitious shot from distance never looked like troubling Hugo Lloris.

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Giroud sliced a fizzed Dembele cross wide of the post from close range – Dembele was flagged offside – before France escaped a goal-mouth scramble in front of their own net shortly before half time.

Lloris was needed to bat away Piotr Zielinski’s drive before the Napoli midfielder’s rebound effort was blocked by Theo Hernandez. Varane then diverted Jakub Kaminski’s strike away from goal as France eventually cleared their lines.

France ramped up the pressure before half time and got the breakthrough as Giroud made history. Mbappe slipped in the AC Milan striker and he finished superbly across Szczesny for his 52nd senior international goal, surpassing the great Thierry Henry at the top of France’s scoring charts.

The reigning world champions came close to extending their lead at the start of the second half as Mbappe cut inside and saw his shot deflect off Krychowiak, bouncing inches wide of the post.

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Poland pressed without creating chances through the second half and the result was wrapped up with more than 15 minutes to play as Mbappe struck on the counter.

Les Bleus exploited Poland on the counter as Giroud released Dembele. He found the free Mbappe, who took his time to pick his spot, giving Szczesny no chance by hammering into the top corner.

Poland were given a parting gift on their way out of the World Cup by Mbappe in second-half stoppage time. Substitute Marcus Thuram gave him the ball and the 23-year-old picked out the top corner to make it 3-0.

The two strikes took Mbappe clear at the top of the 2022 World Cup scoring charts with five goals. Lewandowski did net a penalty after Dayot Upamecano was penalised for handball – needing a second bite after Lloris came off his line – but it meant little as France surged on in their title defence.

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Olivier Giroud

Giroud made history on Sunday / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

GH: Hugo Lloris – 4/10 – A vital stop from Zielinski was overshadowed by some increasingly sketchy handling and kicking. Almost got a penalty save but was off his line and beaten by the retake.

RB: Jules Kounde – 6/10 – Somehow made it onto the field with a golden chain around his neck. Kept things tight on his side without offering too much in attack.

CB: Raphael Varane – 7/10 – Vital clearance off the line prevented Poland from taking the lead. Rarely gave the ball away.

CB: Dayot Upamecano – 7/10 – On hand to scramble away a couple of dangerous Poland opportunities.

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LB: Theo Hernandez – 7/10 – Blocked a shot in the heat of Poland’s goal-mouth opportunities. A few shots in attack.

CM: Aurelien Tchouameni – 7/10 – Harshly booked in the first half. Early strike from distance was on target but not threatening. A couple of inventive passes forward.

CM: Adrien Rabiot – 6/10 – Didn’t join attacks as much as he would have liked but was workmanlike in midfield.

AM: Antoine Griezmann – 7/10 – Lost the ball a little frequently but was never too far away whenever any scraps for possession.

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RW: Ousmane Dembele – 7/10 – Shot straight at Szczesny when well placed. Made the difference with a precise ball for Mbappe to score the second.

LW: Kylian Mbappe – 9/10 – Played in Giroud who finished clinically. Got more and more opportunities to stretch his legs as Poland chased an equaliser. Everything fell into place when he grabbed France’s second on the counter with a brilliant finish into the top corner. Was just taking the mickey with his brilliant second.

ST: Olivier Giroud – 7/10 – Kept his cool to slot in the opener and cement his place as France’s record men’s goalscorer. Involved in the second goal.

Substitutes

SUB: Youssouf Fofana (66′ for Tchouameni) – 6/10

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SUB: Marcus Thuram (76′ for Giroud) – 7/10

SUB: Kingsley Coman (76′ for Dembele) – 6/10

SUB: Axel Disasi (90′ for Kounde) – N/A

Manager

Didier Deschamps – 7/10 – Went back to his favoured XI after the loss to Tunisia and got a functional display out of it. May be worried at how much France’s attacking displays depend on Mbappe, but it’s another World Cup quarter final.

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Wojciech Szczesny

Szczesny made a lot of saves / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

GK: Wojciech Szczesny – 7/10 – Was required frequently in the first half to prevent France from surging into the lead.

RB: Matty Cash – 5/10 – Given the unenviable task of playing opposite Mbappe. Made two expert recoveries challenges on the PSG forward but was a tough outing for the most part.

CB: Kamil Glik – 7/10 – Made a couple of vital last-ditch interventions to stop France getting in on goal.

CB: Jakub Kiwior – 5/10 – Was beaten by Giroud who got his shot away to score.

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LB: Bartosz Bereszynski – 6/10 – Unlucky to get a booking when he seemed to win the ball off Dembele.

DM: Grzegorz Krychowiak – 5/10 – Looked quite sluggish in the face of some quicker and sharper midfielders. Few sloppy giveaways in possession.

RM: Jakub Kaminski – 5/10 – Had one or two threatening moments in attack but had to do a lot of backtracking in defence.

CM: Piotr Zielinski – 6/10 – Had two glaring opportunities within seconds but was denied by Lloris and Varane.

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CM: Sebastian Szymanski – 6/10 – Lung-busting run back saw him deny Mbappe a shot on goal at the last second.

LM: Przemyslaw Frankowski – 6/10 – Got clear down the left to set up Zielinski’s two chances. Final ball just evaded him.

ST: Robert Lewandowski – 6/10 – Scuppered a few excellent chances when Poland got brief opportunities in transition. A late consolation from the spot earned Poland something.

Substitutes

SUB: Arkadiusz Milik (64′ for Szymanski) – 5/10

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SUB: Nicola Zalewski (71′ for Kaminski) – 5/10

SUB: Krystian Bielik (71′ for Krychowiak) – 5/10

SUB: Jan Bednarek (87′ for Kiwior) – N/A

SUB: Kamil Grosicki (87′ for Frankowski) – N/A

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Manager

Czeslaw Michniewicz – 5/10 – Poland opened up slightly more than their group stage matches. However, their main aim was only to hang on in there and pray for a Lewandowski chance.

Player of the Match – Kylian Mbappe



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USMNT players apologize for World Cup elimination

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US men’s national team players took to social media to apologize to fans following their elimination from the 2022 World Cup.  

After failing to qualify for the 2018 edition of the tournament, the American side entered Qatar with high hopes. The team kicked off with draws against England and Wales, before triumphing 1-0 over Iran to make the knockout round as second place of Group B. 

Gregg Berhalter’s side was forced to face the Netherlands on Saturday at Khalifa International Stadium for the highly anticipated match up. Despite an energetic start to the game, the USMNT ultimately lost 3-1, with goals from Memphis Depay, Daley Blind and Denzel Dumfries proving to be the difference between the two sides.

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The Americans will now look forward to the 2026 World Cup where they will serve as hosts alongside Mexico and Canada. 





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