Euro 2016: Sing, Chant, Be The 12th Man, Gareth Bale Urges Fans

Gareth BaleWales star, Gareth Bale, has sent out a special message to supporters before they face Belgium in their UEFA EURO 2016 quarter-final match on Friday.

He told Uefa.com, “We know it’s a massive game, it’s a quarter final of the European Championships but it’s one we want to go out and enjoy.

“We want everybody to sing and chant, enjoy the occasion and keep an eye on the team and be the 12th man as they have always done.

“We will try as a whole nation to win the game and try to enjoy the experience as a nation. Hopefully we can celebrate after.”

Wales’s manager, Chris Coleman, also acknowledges the uniqueness of the occasion, “We’re not going to talk it down. We’re going to savour this occasion, as we have done all along.

“This is another huge test and it’s another in a line of challenges that we’ve already met. It’s a great position to be in. We’ve got to go and do all the things that have got us in this position in the first place.

“Within the group the pressure is on us to keep performing. We’ve had to win differently [at this tournament].

“Belgium are recognised as one of the best teams in international football and we’ve played them four times in the last two campaigns. But it’s all about us and our preparation. Just because it’s Belgium, there’s been no dramas in our camp.”

Belgium will be without the services of Jan Vertonghen who turned his left ankle at the very end of training and has torn two ankle ligaments.

Manager, Marc Wilmots, nevertheless is not perturbed by the setback.

“We are now in the quarter-finals – the Hungary game is in the past and we need to focus on this game against Wales. I think we have to keep doing what we’ve done well so far. Nobody knows what sort of team will be put out, so I really need everyone to stay on their toes.

“A manager is always scared of his team having an off-day. It can happen. Hungary went well, but now we must remain focused and not take it for granted that we will win easily.

“It will be a tough match, it’s a different opposition this time. They are a team with pace, who play good football and a lot of them play in England.

“They are a side who defend really well and who have real talent on the counterattack. Now the stakes are different, this is no longer a qualification game for points. We are going out there with the semi-finals of the EURO as a prize – that is completely different.”

Ian Wright Criticises England’s ‘Abject’ Performance

Iceland defeat EnglandFormer England international, Ian Edward Wright, has said Roy Hogson’s decision to resign as the manager of the England Football Team was the right thing to do after a round of 16 loss to Iceland.

He criticised England’s “abject” performance in the disappointing and shocking 2-1 defeat that came after Wayne Rooney’s penalty gave them a fourth-minute lead.

“He’s done the right thing, from his point of view, but also the team’s point of view.

“He couldn’t have taken the team any further.

“He’s a lovely guy, honourable, (but) from a coaching point of view, there were glaring errors there from the set-pieces and others which weren’t taken care of.

“It was just abject.

“There was no organisation, there was no speed, the organisation of letting a goal in from a throw-in: there was little attention to detail.

“It was an abject performance from the boys, but the preparation in what Iceland do was pretty obvious. We were found wanting in that respect.

“(Hodgson) said ‘They’ve been fantastic’, which is a nice thing to say, but they’ve not been fantastic”, Wright told Evening Standard.

England were knocked out of the UEFA Euro 2016 on Monday by Iceland who came from behind to win the game 2-1.

Iceland have qualified for the Quarterfinals of the Euro 2016 where they would meet host nation, France on Sunday July, 3.

Super Eagles Of Nigeria Unmoved In New FIFA Rankings

Super eaglesThe Super Eagles of Nigeria remain unchanged in the latest FIFA rankings for the month of May.

The Super Eagles retain the 14th spot in Africa and 67th in the world, Algeria remains Africa’s best playing nation on the 33rd spot.

The continent’s top ten team remind unchanged, with Cote D’ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Egypt, Cape Verde Islands, Tunisia, Cong Dr, Guinea and Congo.

With no grade A international matches played in April, the world’s top ten team were also unchanged.

 

Nigeria Moves Up In Latest FIFA Ranking

FIFAThe Super Eagles of Nigeria have moved up three places in the latest FIFA world ranking for the month of February.

Despite the early exit from the African Nations Championship in Rwanda, the team are up from 66th to 63rd in the world and 12th in Africa.

Cote d’ Ivoire dropped nine spots to 28th but remains Africa’s best playing nation, while Cape Verde moved six places to 33rd in the world and second in Africa.

Algeria slid eight places to 36th, dropping to the third spot in Africa, the Black Stars of Ghana also dropped to the 41st position while Senegal who occupy the 45th spot completes the continent’s top five.

Meanwhile, with the current 10 best-ranked teams yet to play a game in 2016, the top 10 positions remain unchanged for the February edition of the ranking.

Belgium, Argentina, Spain, Germany, Chile, Brazil, Portugal, Colombia, England and Austria stay in the world’s top ten.

Teams from Asia, Africa and Central America dominated the list of teams that improved by more than five positions.

FIFA Ranking: Nigeria Drops Seven Places As Belgium Tops

FIFA The Super Eagles of Nigeria have dropped seven places to 66th in the latest FIFA world ranking.

The Super Eagles garnered a total of 541 points to fall to 14th in Africa, behind Cote d’ivoire, Algeria, Ghana, Cape Verde, Tunisia, Senegal, Congo, Guinea, Egypt, Cameroon, Congo Dr, Mali and Uganda.

Cote d’ivoire are ranked first in Africa with 950 points, while Algeria end 2015 as runners-up, after gathering 845 points.

Ghana are third on the log with 778 points.

Team of the Year

Belgium will end the year as the number one ranked football playing nation in the world.

The red devils moved into first position in November, and consolidated their position with a 3-1 victory over four-time world champion Italy, in Brussels on November 13.

Argentina, Spain, Germany, Chile, Brazil, Portugal, Colombia, England and Austria round off the top 10.

The first-place finish on the last FIFA ranking of the year sees Belgium claim the Team of the Year award for 2015.

Turkey receive the award for Best Mover of the Year thanks to the 329 points they collected over the last 12 months of football.

Having last competed at a major tournament back in 2008, Turkey secured a place at the UEFA EURO 2016 in a campaign that saw them defeat Netherlands, Czech Republic and Iceland during the crucial final stages.

Further big movers for 2015 include Hungary (20 places, 313 points) and Nicaragua (92 places, 295 points).

Hazard Injured, To Miss Belgium’s Euro Qualifier

HazardThe Belgian national team manager, Marc Wilmots, has confirmed that Chelsea’s in-form midfielder, Eden Hazard, would miss Belgium’s Friday night Euro 2016 qualifier against Andorra.

This is a precaution ahead of the team’s Monday night duel against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zenica.

Hazard’s exclusion from the home game against Andorra is to get him 100% fit for a supposedly tougher match away to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Coach Wilmots, via his twitter had announced; “As a precaution, @hazardeden10 will not play against Andorra because of a bruised toe. Trying to get him 100 per cent for #bosbel.”

Harzard had picked up a knock in Chelsea’s 2-0 Premier League win over Arsenal at the weekend but still joined the national team in preparation for the double qualifiers.

News on FIFA.com also revealed that Coach Wilmot has certified Hazard’s club and international team-mate, Thibaut Courtois, fit after the head injury which ended his weekend involvement against the Gunners.

Belgium are placed in Group B alongside Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Wales and Israel for qualification towards the UEFA Euro 2016.