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Football From Russia with love... Brief stories from the World Cup

AFP Sport takes a look at some of the stories you may have missed at the World Cup:

  • Published:
Diego Maradona was watching on as Argentina crashed to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat by Croatia play

Diego Maradona was watching on as Argentina crashed to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat by Croatia

(AFP)

AFP Sport takes a look at some of the stories you may have missed at the World Cup:

Tears of God

Peter Shilton had little sympathy for Diego Maradona, who was left in tears after Argentina's defeat by Croatia, and was quick to have a little jab at his nemesis via social media.

Friday marked 32 years since Maradona rose above then-England goalkeeper Shilton to punch the ball into the back of the net in the sides' quarter-final meeting at the 1986 World Cup. Maradona also scored an incredible second goal as Argentina won 2-1.

Shilton used the anniversary of the 'Hand of God' goal to have a dig at the 57-year-old.

He tweeted: "God was looking down on me this morning! Having watched the worst football Argentina has played in a World Cup on the eve before the anniversary of the hand of god incident."

Who needs Messi? We've got Modric

Croatian newspapers were ecstatic after the stunning 3-0 win over Argentina that put them in the knockout phase of the World Cup, terming it: "The night when Modric was Messi!".

It was the "biggest victory of the generation", according to the front page of Sportske Novosti daily.

Captain Luka Modric, who drove in the second goal in Nizhny Novogrod, had a "masterly game", bringing the "great Gaucho to his knees", it said.

They pushed "the great Messi to the verge of the exit", it said.

The Jutarnji List said the game had been a "Fiery Tango".

Spurs winning the World Cup?

Fans of Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur are having a great World Cup, so far at least.

Striker Harry Kane has scored twice for England, midfield playmaker Christian Eriksen has been producing man-of-the-match performances for Denmark and captain Hugo Lloris is already into the last 16 with France.

Spurs old boys are not doing too bad either -- former fan favourite Modric, now of Real Madrid, scored one of the goals of the tournament against Argentina.

In fact, 10 of Tottenham's 12 players at the World Cup remain unbeaten with only South Korea's Son Heung-min and Colombia's Davinson Sanchez tasting defeat so far.

It would be possible to field a balanced starting XI of Tottenham players currently in Russia in a 4-4-1-1 formation: Hugo Lloris (FRA); Kieran Trippier (ENG), Jan Vertonghen (BEL), Toby Alderweireld (BEL), Danny Rose (ENG); Mousa Dembele (BEL), Eric Dier (ENG), Christian Eriksen (DEN), Son Heung-min (KOR); Dele Alli (ENG); Harry Kane (ENG). Substitute: Davinson Sanchez (COL).

Where's Reus?

Germany have their backs to their wall for Saturday's crunch match against Sweden and two thirds of German fans think head coach Joachim Loew picked the wrong team for their shock 1-0 defeat by Mexico.

A survey for German internet provider t-online.de showed 67 percent of Germans think Loew got it wrong.

Pundits agree, with ex-players Lothar Matthaeus and Stefan Effenberg calling for World Cup winners Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira to be dropped.

"I did not understand why (Marco) Reus did not play against Mexico right from the start, and, if what Reus said after the game that he was earmarked for the 'important games' is true, then the coach has totally misjudged that the most important game was that against the strongest group opponent: Mexico," said Effenberg.

Loew clears his head

The under-fire Loew faces the biggest test of his 12-year reign in Saturday's crunch World Cup group-stage game against Sweden in Sochi -- and he warmed up with an early-morning jog to the stadium on Friday.

Bild, Germany's biggest selling daily, spotted Loew, wearing sun glasses and Germany training kit, leaving the team hotel at around 0730 and covering the four-kilometre round trip along Sochi's promenade to the Fisht stadium in 38 minutes -- after posing for a few selfies with fans and security staff before he set off.

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