World Cup Day 21 | A-League | A-League expansion | Socceroos
It's an all European World Cup, and A-League players are "a genuine revenue stream" for clubs07 July 2018 | FT Editor
World Cup at a glance
- Uruguay, 0 v France, 2 (Raphael VARANE 40'; Antoine GRIEZMANN 61')
- Brazil, 1 (Renato AUGUSTO 76') v Belgium, 2 (FERNANDINHO 13' og; Kevin DE BRUYNE 31')
The two remaining South American teams are eliminated and it now becomes an all-European World Cup, regardless of the results on the other side of the draw tonight. France and Belgium will meet on Tuesday night (Wednesday 4.00am AEST). Brazil's departure also sees the third of the 'big three' players of Messi, Neymar (pictured) and Ronaldo out of the tournament.
In a game of high tension, Uruguay struggled without the injured Edinson Cavani and while France dominated, they struggled to create any real danger in the first half. Their opener came from a set piece, and France were saved from an equaliser on the stroke of half time thanks to Hugo Lloris. In the end, France and Lloris were just too good.
Belgium surprised Brazil with a tactical switch, and their first goal was an own goal off the shoulder of Fernandinho with the Brazilian defence under pressure. With 30 minutes to go, the game look done-and-dusted but Brazil had one last flourish - and a terrific goal from August - but it was not to be. Like France, Belgium was just too good.
TONIGHT: England v Sweden at midnight AEST, followed by Russia v Croatia at 4.00am AEST.
Harry Kane (England) remains the top scorer with six goals, with Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) on four.
In the context of President Trump's impending meeting with President Putin, a Fairfax editorial notes that there's lots to like about the World Cup and congratulations to Russia on the successful staging of it, but ... there's lots not to like about Russia including, of course, its conduct of its own World Cup bid that gave Russia this tournament, and the way it has behaved, in sport and in many other areas outside sport, since. (A consistent line to the one taken here which we shared the other day).
Despite the fact that Sydney FC is about to lose two of its big starts in Adrian Mierzejewski and Bobo on $1 million and $800,000 transfer fees respectively, and possible impending losses of Daniel Arzani, Rhys Williams and Josh Risdon, agent and one of the men behind the Western Melbourne A-League bid, Lou Sticca, tells Ray Gatt there's no need to despair about the A-League. Sticca says it's actually doing well when other, bigger, richer leagues look to our players - or those we import - and that clubs now see players as a "genuine revenue stream". He makes the point that Melbourne Victory sold players in the middle of last season, and it didn't hurt them (they went on to win the A-League grand final). Not surprisingly, and maybe somewhat redundantly, Sticca says he's in favour of expansion.
Adelaide United has signed former Danish international, Kenni Ilso, as their new number 10, continuing the Danish influence in Adelaide. Ilso has previously played with Fulham, Chelsea, FC Copenhagen and Kaiserslautern FC.
Meanwhile, Adelaide United coach Marco Kurz, is unsure whether he has a bigger player budget this season. The salary cap is now $3.06 million and there is a new ownership structure in place, but Kurz isn't informed of the budget.
Tony Sage says what many have been saying behind the scenes for a while - and that is, FFA should scrap the license fee for A-League expansion teams. It is understood (well, fairly much known actually) that the new teams will not have access to any of the TV money to cover the salary cap until 2021. Sage says FFA should take a financial guarantee, but not expect new teams both to pay a hefty license fee - thought to be in the vicinity of $10 million - and forego the salary cap relief.
Mark Milligan has been axed by his Saudi Arabian club, Al Ahli. He moved there in the middle of the last A-League season and played eight games with Al Ahli who finished second, and which helped him be in contention for the World Cup squad. Milligan was seen as one of the pivotal players in the World Cup squad and was "rock solid" in defence. The report also mentions Milos Degenek's move to Red Star Belgrade from Yokohama Marinos, and possible moves for Matt Jurman, Trent Sainsbury and Josh Risdon.
Daniel Arzani looks set to sign for Manchester City on a three-year deal (what did we tell you?), with an immediate loan deal, possibly to Club Brugge or NEC Breda. However, City have to fight off interest from Juventus also, which is also rumoured to be interested in signing Cristiano Ronaldo.
2018 world cup, #russia2018, a-league, a-league expansion, socceroos