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It seems all the traditional media football journalists had the day off yesterday - some still holidaying in Russia, some elsewhere in Europe, and stalwarts like Ray Gatt keeping the home fires burning having his regular mid-week day off - so we bring you a few things that caught our eye even if not strictly Australian football related from the traditional media (our usual remit here).

Our feature photo today is Brazilian goalkeeper, Alisson, playing with his daughter Helena following a training session in Russia. 

World Cup

First, terrific to see Fairfax and Football Today think alike! Peter FitzSimons goes through the teams to support in the World Cup and, to make the likes of so many of our friends on social media, not to mention past and current Socceroos, happy he goes for CROATIA. 

Only hours before, we published a similar piece from our own Stuart Thomas who opts for BELGIUM or SWEDEN. (Please note for those who didn't get it that the cover picture is the Manneken Pis in Brussels (capital of Belgium) and two men struggling over an IKEA thing (Ikea is a Swedish company). 

We also ask you tell us who you're going for in our current poll on our front page

The heartwarming

  • Almost everyone around the world has seen images related to the Japan team and fans, but they're worth sharing again via ABC Online. Japan lost the match against Belgium in the toughest of circumstances with a 94' winner for Belgium. Their team's staff still managed to leave their dressing room looking like this, and their fans also cleaned-up from around them in the stadium. They are legends. It's one of the reasons we love visiting Japan, and look forward to seeing them in the UAE in January. 

The predictable

  • If you thought the billions the Russian oligarchs have poured into the World Cup on behalf of their government and the continuing system of patronage at work wasn't all about soft diplomacy and getting articles like this published in newspapers around the world, then frankly and with respect, you were born yesterday. For Vladimir Putin, this World Cup has worked a treat - just as the Qatar 2022 win also did, because everyone ignored how easily and how Russia won also. 

Reminder

  • And in case you were feeling soft-and-cuddly towards FIFA and friends, here's a reminder of some of the funny goings-on that we might not otherwise know about - this one regarding the appointment of referees. 
  • While so many don't want to be reminded - especially while the party is still on - here's Bonita Mersiades on how the World Cup is thrilling, but it doesn't mean everything is okay with FIFA. 

FFA Cup

In case you missed it (because it was an unfortunate time to release the information), the round of 32 fixtures in the FFA Cup are underway later this month. 

One player hoping to make his mark for Canberra FC is Kofi Danning, who has written off the chance of an A-League return. Canberra FC meet Broadmeadow Magic on 25 July at Deakin (Canberra).

The complete list of fixtures is here


2018 world cup, #russia2018, vladiimir putin, japan, ffa cup

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