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  1. The French squad is being considered as one of the most talented squads at the FIFA World Cup 2018. However, they come with the pressure of having been knocked out in the 2014 World Cup quarter finals by Germany and failing to secure the Euro '16 finals against Portugal. History Reuters Since 1932, the French national football team has featured in 18 of the 20 FIFA World Cups. They have always been a respectable name in world football, with legendary players like Michel Platini, Didier Deschamps, Zinedine Zidane, and Thierry Henry having been part of the squad at different points of time. However, when compared with their European neighbours Germany, Italy, they haven't been as dominant. Their first noticeable run at the World Cup came in 1958, when they finished 3rd because of the heroics of Just Fontaine. Fontaine holds the record for scoring the maximum goals in a single World Cup campaign when he smashed 13 goals in 6 games at the 1958 tourney. They were able to repeat this feat in 1982 when they reached the semi-finals, and 1986 when they finished third place. The 1986 World Cup, however, is more recalled for Diego Armando Maradona's Hand of God. Their quest for glory was finally realized in 1998, when under Didier Deschamp's captaincy and Zidane's heroics, they lifted the cup on their home soil in front of a packed audience at Stade de France. 8 years later, Zidane exceptional performances single-handedly got his team to the finals yet again. That game is now remembered more for Zidane's head-butt on Italian Marco Materazzi than his chipped penalty that beat one of the world's finest keepers, Buffon. Current Form Reuters The French national team got knocked out by rivals Germany at the quarter-final stage in World Cup 2014. The French can take little solace in the fact that they were beaten by the strongest squad that year, as Germany went on to hammer hosts Brazil 7-1 in the finals, and eventually clinched the title. At the Euro 2016, they were pipped as one of the favourites to lift the cup, which was taking place on their home soil. After a great run of games where they played with attacking flair, Deschamp's defensive tactics in the final surprised many. France held the possession for long periods of time but failed to create spaces. Portuguese keeper Rui Patricio's heroics in front of the goal dampened their chances further. France's run to the World Cup 2018 qualification include a 4-1 victory against Bulgaria despite being 1-0 down, a 4-0 victory over the Oranje squad (Netherlands), and a 2-1 victory against Belarus, where current Chelsea frontman Giroud and Athletico Madrid talisman Griezmann scored the first half goals. They have also played 4 friendlies in the last 3 months, of which they won 3 and lost 1. They lost 3-2 against Columbia, and won their next three games 3-1 against Russia, 2-0 against the Republic of Ireland, and 3-1 against Chiellini's Italy. Expectations At The World Cup Reuters Expectations are very high from this talented and young French squad. In the two years since the Euro '16 finals, they have definitely matured both professionally and personally, and can take on much more pressure. This French squad has grown up watching the 1998 triumph, and for many, that was a trigger to pick up this beautiful game. They need to show that they are worthy successors to the 1998 team. Coincidentally, the leader of that '98 squad, Deschamps, is currently the coach. He can definitely share a thing or two about winning World Cup finals with his squad! The French team has always relied on a leader personality, such as Deschamps in 1998 and Zidane in 2006. All eyes will be on Pogba to pick up the mantle and be a leader on the pitch. Griezmann will be expected to display his goal scoring prowess. Squad Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandana (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (PSG) Defenders: Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Benjamin Mendy (Man City), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (PSG), Lucas Hernandez (Athletico Madrid), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgard), Adil Rami (Marseille), Djibril Sidebe (Monaco) Midfielders: Steven N'Zonzi (Sevilla), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), Paul Pogba (Man Utd), N'Golo Kante (Chelsea) Forwards: Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Athletico Madrid), Ousman Dembele (Barcelona), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Florian Thauvin (Marseille).
  2. At the turn of the century, Portugal managed to escape years of footballing anonymity and has since appeared in every major international tournament. Having boasted the likes of Luis Figo, Deco, Cristiano Ronaldo in their starting XI's over the years, one would imagine that Portugal can always be a safe bet to perform at the grandest stage. However, it's one of the teams that's caused punters and bookkeepers to lose a lot of money. Simply because, there has been no pattern to their success. Source: Reuters History Successes in the earlier part of the century were followed by ignominious World Cup exits in 2010 and 2014. However, just when everyone had lowered their expectations of them, they sprung up with the biggest surprise of all by winning Euro 2016, cruelly denying France a victory on home turf. A script eerily similar to the Euro 2004 final, when Portugal found themselves on the receiving end. Under lowered expectations, Portugal had well and truly left a mark on the world of football. As pundits continued to decipher the shock victory, a consensus had emerged that the Portuguese manager had built a strong and rigid defense, given that the attack was marshalled by a well-known entity called Cristiano Ronaldo. Source: Reuters Current Form Santos' men carried their momentum and proved to be an extremely tough opposition to beat as they lost just twice in 2017. However, since the turn of the year, the cracks have begun to appear in the Portuguese defense. Out of 4 matches played in 2018, Portugal have won just once, against Egypt, thanks to two injury time goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, drawn twice, and lost once to Netherlands, having conceded three goals in that match. Source: Reuters If their Euro 2016 win exuded confidence in the neutrals, their recent run of form dampens the mood. Critics will rightly point to an ageing defense, consisting of Jose Fonte, Pepe and Bruno Alves, who are 34, 35 and 36 respectively and past their best years. Portugal's defense, although well organised from a tactical perspective, may well serve as its Achilles' heel. Expectations Assessing Portugal's chances at the World Cup seems as hard as ever. While, the attacking aspect seems to have taken care of itself, it is the defense that should give Santos sleepless nights. Compared player to player, Spain are a superior side on paper, while Morocco and Iran, will be no pushovers in Group B. Source: Reuters However, given the wealth of talent and title winning experience in squad, Portugal are likely to get through this group, and anything less than a run till the quarter finals will be considered disappointing. Squad Given their recent success, one would imagine that Fernando Santos would stick to the same youthful side of 2016. However, surprisingly, Santos has axed 10 players from that squad with the biggest casualties being the Young Player of the Tournament in 2016 Renato Sanches, Andre Gomes, Eliseu and Nani (who has 100 caps btw), all of whom have had indifferent, if not miserable domestic seasons. Source: Reuters They have deservedly been replaced by the likes of Bernardo Silva, Gelson Martins, Goncalo Guedes and Andre Silva. Their selections clearly depict that Santos is not afraid of making bold decisions and is ready to put his faith in youth and form. Moreover, Santos is likely to rely heavily on Bernardo Silva, who offers creativity, slick one touch passing and long range shooting from midfield, something Portugal have been accused of lacking in the last two years. Above all, it is Silva's ability to operate from both, midfield and forward positions which makes him so indispensable to this squad. He comes on the back of two title winning campaigns with Monaco and Manchester City, and it is this match winning mentality which Portugal will need if they are to succeed in Russia. Source: Reuters In spite of all the youth, Portugal will look towards their talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo to lead the team. Come the end of the year, he will be taking part in his yearly ceremony at the Ballon D'Or. But, few would've expected him to be there at the turn of the year. As critics continued to write him off, Ronaldo, yet again, proved them wrong with a spectacular run of form in the La Liga and the Champions League and finished the season with 44 goals and yet another Champions League. If Portugal are to succeed, he must serve as their inspiration on the pitch. As for anyone doubting his leadership qualities, one only needs to be reminded of his performance from the dugout in the Euro 2016 final when he cheered, screamed and encouraged the players on the pitch to step up in his stead, after injury had forced him off.
  3. Congratulation @Zarnish Ali Aik baar phir se Many Congrats you are the winner. Member Of The Month (MOTM) With Maximum Reputations and Posts. Thanks for be a part of Fundayforum Community and Team ! Proud of you Also i would like to congrats to Runner Up Members 2nd and 3rd Postion holders for September 2016 are: @Jannat malik 90 Posts @Urooj Butt 89 Posts
  4. Kaab Ibn Ujrah (radhi Allaahu anhu) relates that Rasulullah (peace be upon him) said Come near to the mimbar and we came near the mimbar. When He (peace be upon him) climbed the first step of the mimbar, He (peace be upon him) said “Aameen”, When He (peace be upon him) ascended the second step, He (peace be upon him) said “Aameen”, When He (peace be upon him) climbed the third step, He (peace be upon him) said “Aameen” When He (peace be upon him) came down, We said “O Rasool of Allah (peace be upon him), we have heard from you today something which we never heard before” He (peace be upon him) said When I climbed the first step, the angel Jibraeel (alaihi as-salam) appeared before me and said “Destruction to him who found the blessed month of Ramdhan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness” upon that I said ‘Aameen’. When I climbed the second step, he said, “Destruction to him before whom thy name is taken and then he does not make Dua for Allah’s blessing on me (by saying, for example , Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam).” I replied ‘Aameen’. When I climbed the third step, he said “Destruction unto him in whose lifetime his parents or either one of them reaches old age, and (through failure to serve them) he is not allowed to enter Jannah”. I said ‘Aameen’. (Hakim, Baihaqi) Note In this Hadith, it appears that Jibraeel (alaihi as-salam) gave expression to three curses, upon which Rasulullah (peace be upon him) said Aameen every time. In al-Durr al-Mansoor it is reported that Jibraeel (alaihi as-salam) advised Rasulullah (peace be upon him) to say Aameen. Being an angel of such high mark, Jibraeel ‘s giving these curses is sure to be accepted. May Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) in His infinite mercy grant us His help and save us from these three dangers. Share this, Baarakallaah Feekum: [“One who guides to something good has a reward similar to that of its doer” - Saheeh Muslim vol.3, no.4665] [This website protects the copyrights of the authors/publishers. The Content is posted on this website with implicit/explicit permission from content owners. If you find any copyright violations please inform the same.]
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