Denmark’s assistant coach has some unique insights into the Socceroos after working under Bert van Marwijk as one dedicated Peru fan goes to extraordinary lengths to attend the FIFA World Cup™.
Plus France’s coach speaks about Antoine Griezmann’s influence on the team as he looks to bounce back from being substituted against Australia.
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Denmark will be without midfielder William Kvist for the challenge of the Socceroos, but their other midfield lynchpin has drawn similarities between the two countries’ styles.
After Kvist suffered two broken ribs and a punctured lung in the win over Peru, Thomas Delaney will need to be paired with a different holding midfielder for Thursday night.
But Delaney, who will soon complete a AU$31 million transfer to Borussia Dortmund, has described facing the Socceroos as like facing another European country.
“I see Australia a little bit more like us," Delaney said. “They have this European approach where they want to play football but they are still big guys.’’
Denmark will also have a unique insight into Australia’s style of play under new manager Bert van Marwijk, with their own assistant coach a former star player under the Socceroos boss.
“I know the trainer, I know the coach," explained Danish legend Jon Dahl Tomasson, a former 112-capped international.
Tomasson played under van Marwijk for two years at Feyenoord from 2000 to 2002, during which time the Dutch giants lifted the 2002 UEFA Cup.
And the 41-year-old knows van Marwijk isn’t one to change his approach to how football should be player.
“He wouldn’t change his game plan, not at all,” Tomasson said.
He added: “I also read all the Dutch newspapers and I think they have been working defensively the last couple of weeks.
“They have been training on the defensive part you can see that, a solid team, they don’t give spaces away or not much.’’
France coach Didier Deschamps has called on star attacker Antoine Griezmann to show more at the FIFA World Cup™ after his goal and man of the match display against Australia.
Griezmann won and slotted the penalty for France’s first goal in their 2-1 win but was then left disappointed to see his number light up on the substitute’s board as Deschamps changed up his attack in search of a winner.
And fresh off penning a new five-year contract with club side Atletico Madrid, the focus is now on Griezmann to go one better against Peru.
“Antoine is our attacking leader and he will remain so, but he must do more and he is aware of that,” Deschamps told reporters in a press conference.
“Players are never happy when they are taken off but he was short of his best and the players who came on instead of him did a good job.”
Full-back Lucas Hernandez has gone one step further, explaining the anger of Griezmann after he was substituted in place of Olivier Giroud, who played a key role in the lead up to Aziz Behich’s unfortunate own goal.
“Antoine was angry when he was replaced because he’s a very ambitious player who wants to be involved all the time,” said Hernandez.
“But he was happy again after the match and maybe that was because FIFA named him Man of the Match. That seems to have helped him smile again.”
One Peruvian fan has gone to incredible lengths to watch his country play at the FIFA World Cup™.
Sports Illustrated have detailed the one month mission of one fan to gain 25 kilograms, all to nab himself a disabled seat to watch his country in Russia.
Named in the report only as Miguel, the 24-year-old is one of nearly 44,000 Peruvians who travelled to Russia.
But with such a high demand for Peru games, Miguel’s only option was to pick up one of the few remaining disabled tickets.
"The only tickets that remained on the FIFA website were tickets for the disabled,” Miguel said.
"I noticed what the requirements were: being in wheelchairs, something specific for women and suffering from morbid obesity, 35 BMI, the body mass index.
"I looked at mine, I was in 30 and I did accounts, I had to raise 25 kilos (almost four stone).
"First I bought the tickets and then I started to get fat, I ate a lot of carbohydrates, I had three months to present the medical certificates for body obesity, luckily I was able to comply and FIFA accepted it.
"For the benefit of the doubt, I continued eating."