World Cup 2022 news LIVE: Portugal respond to Cristiano Ronaldo ‘threat’ claim as Luis Enrique replacement confirmed

England have nothing to fear against France, says Bukayo Saka

Raheem Sterling will rejoin England’s World Cup squad with the Three Lions continuing their preparation for what promises to be a massive quarter-final tie against France.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s name continues to dominate the headlines with his involvement for Portugal now likely reduced to a bench role ahead of the last eight match against Morocco.

Steve Holland has detailed the lengthy process surrounding how to combat the threat of the in-form Kylian Mbappe, who now leads the Golden Boot race.

Brazil kick off the quarter-finals on Friday when they face Croatia before Argentina take on the Netherlands in a tie dripping with history.

Follow the build-up to England vs France and the latest from Qatar below:


World Cup: The best moments so far

Richard Jolly, Senior Football Correspondent: Ghana’s thrilling victory over South Korea

Ghana versus South Korea might not have stood out on the fixture list. But, like the Cameroon-Serbia match earlier that afternoon, it was both high drama and a prime example of what the World Cup should be about, a chaotic classic played by teams from different continents who rarely meet, amid an atmosphere of mutual excitement.

Ghana surged into a lead, South Korea mounted a fightback, the outstanding Mohammed Kudus scored the winner and Son Heung-Min ended up in tears, thinking his side were out. And in the end, they qualified for the last 16 and compellingly fun Ghanaians did not.

World Cup: The best moments so far

Amid controversy and continued human rights concerns surrounding Fifa and Qatar off the pitch, it’s been an exhilarating ride so far on it

Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 17:00


World Cup: Latest odds


  • France 4/1
  • Portugal 6/1
  • Argentina 11/2
  • England 6/1
  • Netherlands 16/1
  • Croatia 33/1
  • Morocco 40/1

Golden Boot

  • Kylian Mbappe 8/15
  • Richarlison 15/2
  • Lionel Messi 12/1
  • Olivier Giroud 20/1
  • Goncalo Ramos 20/1
  • Marcus Rashford 30/1
  • Cody Gakpo 30/1
  • Bukayo Saka 35/1
  • Harry Kane 40/1
  • Neymar 40/1

Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 16:45


‘A page turns. The succession is ready’: Eden Hazard retires from international football

Eden Hazard has announced his international retirement for Belgium after a group stage exit at the Qatar World Cup.

The Real Madrid forward follows coach Roberto Martinez in walking away from the Red Devils.

A desperately disappointing campaign saw Belgium lose to Morocco and draw with Croatia in the final game to finish third in Group F.

Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 16:30


World Cup: The best moments so far

Miguel Delaney, Chief Football Writer: Germany stand up to Fifa and Messi’s magic against Mexico

The manner that Germany’s admirable silence gesture has provoked angry responses reflects a victory greater than anything happened on the pitch, but this is ultimately about the pitch. There are many moments, the World Cup transcending its problematic stage in the way it often does, from Morocco’s rise to Richarlison’s acrobatics. In terms of its historic weight and emotion, though, there was something even more transcendental about Leo Messi’s goal against Mexico. The strike itself was divine, with its beauty made all the better because it was such a defining moment, rescuing Argentina after the shock of Saudi Arabia, and setting them on a new path – perhaps destiny. Fittingly, in the moments after such a release, Messi showed his relief in a manner even more freighted with grandeur. “Thank you, Diego.” It was a moment of private prayer, amid the most raucous public atmosphere.

World Cup: The best moments so far

Amid controversy and continued human rights concerns surrounding Fifa and Qatar off the pitch, it’s been an exhilarating ride so far on it

Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 16:15


Liverpool make ‘big step in pursuit of Morocco’s Sofyan Amrabat’

Liverpool have taken the lead in the pursuit of Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat, according to reports.

Foot Mercato say the Reds are in pole position to sign the Morocco star, who has shone in Qatar at the World Cup.

Tottenham were previously linked with the 26-year-old, but the Reds are now frontrunners for his signature, having met with the Morocco international prior to the World Cup.

Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 16:00


England have planned for France clash for two years, says Steve Holland ahead of World Cup quarter-final

England have been planning for Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final with France for two years, and have been giving consideration to tackling Kylian Mbappe by pinning him back with England’s own attacking strengths.

Gareth Southgate had a 9am presentation on the world champions the morning after the late win over Senegal, with FA head of coaching Tim Dittmer detailing a number of key points like the thinking of Didier Deschamps and tactical choices depending on opponent.

The England staff have been working on that resolutely since, with assistant Steve Holland believing this is a genuine “50-50” game. Southgate’s second-in-command also described Jude Bellingham as “unique” and possessing every ingredient, with his introduction to midfield amplifying how other young attackers have gone up a level since Euro 2020.

Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 15:45


Tite vows to dance through World Cup in celebration of Brazil’s football ‘culture’

If Brazil are to conquer the world again, it will be as the dancing kings. If, over the decades, the Selecao became a byword for flair and exuberance with the ball at their feet, their willingness to express themselves when the ball is in the net has drawn criticism so far this World Cup. If Richarlison’s overhead kick against Serbia may be the goal of the tournament, Brazil’s quartet of strikes against South Korea became more notable for the rehearsed routines that followed, certainly amid one of the more needless controversies involving events in Qatar.

World Cups can be a place where footballing cultures collide. Brazil’s has tended to earn acclaim, for its aesthetic appeal and entertainment factor, though not from a particularly irascible Irishman whose comments went global. Roy Keane’s predictable reaction and unsurprisingly scathing verdict was designed for an audience of television viewers in the United Kingdom but it made headlines in Brazil. The message from manager Tite was that his side – and even he – will carry on dancing. Keane and other such killjoys may be misunderstanding the Brazilian psyche. Certainly the favourites to lift the World Cup do not believe their capacity to enjoy goals deflects from their attempts to win it or shows any disrespect to opponents.

“We dance when a goal is scored because it is Brazilian culture,” Tite said. “It is not being disrespectful, that is how we do things as a culture … we will continue doing things in our manner.”

Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 15:30


England squad hoping ‘Dave the cat’ will be their lucky World Cup mascot

England may be known for wearing three lions on their shirts – but a cat could be their lucky charm if they go all the way to World Cup glory in Qatar.

A number of the squad have taken a shine to a stray who has made himself at home at their Al Wakrah-based hotel.

Given the name ‘Dave’, the feline has appeared in plenty of social media posts since the team arrived in Qatar.

Manchester City pair John Stones and Kyle Walker, in particular, are fans, with stray cats a common sight around restaurants and hotels in the Gulf state.

Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 15:15


Xherdan Shaqiri apologises to Switzerland fans after World Cup thrashing by Portugal

Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick, with Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro and Rafael Leao also on the scoresheet as Portugal put Switzerland to the sword to storm into a first World Cup quarter-final since 2006.

Fernando Santos benched Cristiano Ronaldo and was rewarded with a far slicker and more artful display from his team than anything they had shown in the group stages as Switzerland were outplayed in every part of the pitch.

Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 15:00


Hansi Flick to remain Germany boss for Euro 2024 despite World Cup exit

The DFB has confirmed they will stick by the former Bayern Munich coach, even though the Germans were unable to progress from a group containing Spain, Japan and Costa Rica in Qatar.

It was the second World Cup in a row where they failed to reach the knockout stages.

Flick, who took over from Joachim Low in 2021, got the good news after talks with DFB president Bernd Neuendorf and vice president Hans-Joachim Watzke on Wednesday.

Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 14:45

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