FIFA World Cup 2018 tour diary: After Samara Arena's last fixture, fans enjoy match on big screen and a walk on the field
The best bits and bobs from the sidelines of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, this time from the city of Samara.
FIFA World Cup 2018: Belgium pay price for coach Roberto Martinez's strange tactical decisions against astute France
On Tuesday, Roberto Martinez once again fell for the lure of change. But in the process, he ended up breaking what was in prime condition.
FIFA World Cup 2018: Sweden’s work ethic could be decisive against an England side prone to sloppy moments
If England are defeated, Sweden can visualise another reality in which they no longer live under the shadow of the country which brought the first football revolution to its shores.
FIFA World Cup 2018: Belgium face Brazil wall as familiar, but unknown, rivals meet in quarter-finals
Belgium are the top-scorers in this World Cup with 12 goals, while Brazil have had the most attempts on goal in the tournament (77) despite scoring just seven times.
FIFA World Cup 2018: Balance of power rests firmly in Europe after traditional South American powerhouses face decline
But with no structural overhaul in football forthcoming, it is unlikely that we will see the hold of Europe over football weaken anytime soon. The headline surprises, if any, will come only from the continent.
FIFA World Cup 2018 tour diary: Exuberant Argentina supporters, the extensive Tatar cuisine and other notes from city of Kazan
The best bits and bobs from the sidelines of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, this time from the city of Kazan
FIFA World Cup 2018: England, despite goal-happy start, must discover defensive cohesion, momentum against Colombia
The question of momentum will arise too. Has the nine-day gap between the match against Panama and Tuesday’s encounter versus Colombia benefitted England’s first choice team? Or is the long wait in a major tournament counter-productive?
FIFA World Cup 2018: Spain pay the price for unidimensional kneading of the ball against stoic Russia
Spain finished with four-fifths of the possession, but that may have been their only achievement. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass... So sounded Spain’s death knell.
FIFA World Cup 2018: Russia need to show inch-perfect positional sense to thwart Spain at fortress in Moscow
A strong possibility is that Russia’s tale may end where it started so beautifully. The 0-3 defeat to Uruguay exposed the fragilities which encumber their football, sobering the expectations which had soared in the first week of the World Cup.
FIFA World Cup 2018: Group stage troubles of big guns like Germany, Spain and Argentina have enriched tournament
Over the past 15 days, major contenders like Germany have slipped when least expected and only Belgium among the heavyweights won all three group games.
FIFA World Cup 2018 diary: Discussing Bollywood, sanitation in India and other notes from Nizhny Novgorod
The best bits and bobs from the sidelines of the FIFA World Cup in Russia, this time from the city of Nizhny Novgorod.
FIFA World Cup 2018: Lionel Messi's genius shines against Nigeria, helps Argentina extend stay in Russia
Against Nigeria, Lionel Messi sang more like the canary we know him to be, the croaking displays of the previous two matches a blur on the night.
FIFA World Cup 2018: For Panama fans, joy of maiden World Cup appearance trumps pain of humbling loss to England
Panama fans have stood out for their vociferous chanting, their genial disposition and a disarming cheeriness even when things have gone bad.
FIFA World Cup 2018: Jorge Sampaoli's tactical errors relegate Lionel Messi to sidelines as Argentina stare at early exit
Manager Sampaoli's tinkering has left this Argentina side feeling lost; a bumbling bunch which supplicates its saviour — Lionel Messi — at the slightest hint of trouble.
FIFA World Cup 2018 diary: Mithun Chakraborty’s fandom, discussing politics with locals and other notes from Russia
The best bits and bobs from the sidelines of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
FIFA World Cup 2018: Mexican wave washes over Moscow as vibrant fans celebrate team's victory over Germany
The cheap cups were thrown in air, the expensive beer in them a trivial concern. The alcohol flowed freely; it spread wide too. For the Mexicans at the Luzhniki Stadium, this was a moment to jump, scream, and act recklessly.
With crisis, worries and poor planning, the World Cup threatens to have a limited impact. But that may change if the Russian national side turns around its fortunes on the big day.
FIFA World Cup 2018: After the sacking of Julen Lopetegui, Spain's task of clinching title becomes near impossible
For Spain, the departure of Lopetegui has made the already-difficult task of winning the World Cup nearly impossible. Miracles, of course, happen. So do shocks, as we witnessed on Wednesday afternoon
Zinedine Zidane steps down: Real Madrid manager's exit on his own terms shows his immaculate sense of timing and occasion
With his resignation, Zidane has also ensured that his status at Madrid will only rise in his absence. And he could possibly find more glory in a new job, at a new place. This certainly did not seem possible anymore in Madrid. The chapter had to end now.
Champions League: Zinedine Zidane's tactically-flexible Real Madrid display fortitude under pressure to claim 13th title
In a time when their opponents seem to be held back by the most fundamental of deficiencies or mistakes, Real Madrid have stood out for its ability to withstand pressure with admirable fortitude.