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France Takes Down Croatia To Bring Home The World Cup

France beat Croatia 4-2 on Sunday to take home the World Cup.

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The 2018 World Cup will go down as one of the most thrilling World Cups in recent memory. And when all the dust cleared, France was crowned the champion. They beat Croatia 4-2 in the tournament’s final game.

Croatia put up there best fight, but in the end, France was just too talented and too deep. Since the length of games was increased to 90-minutes, the 6 total goals were the most goals we’ve seen in a final since 1958. Which, by the way, was the first appearance of the greatness that was Brazil. He scored in the ’58 final that saw his Brazil team beat Sweden. And this time around, France’s Kylian Mbappe was the 19-year-old that stole the show.

There were plenty of moments in plenty of games in which France did not play their best football. But they stuck to their game to get the job done. And that game is a cautious and economical one. It was almost as if they were constantly playing a game of cat and mouse. Never fully at 100% but always capable of doing so. But they did catch their fair share of lucky breaks as well. Croatia, on the other hand, did not.

“What we had in terms of luck earlier in the tournament, we lacked in the final,” Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic said after the game. “I don’t think you can give a penalty like that in a World Cup final, but this in no way diminishes France’s victory.”

Another major part of France’s success was the group of lightning-fast youngsters coach Didier Deschamps had at his disposal. Players like Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, and Paul Pogba. And yet, despite the pure athleticism and speed of such players, Deschamps still managed to get them to buy into a hard-working, almost blue-collar attitude that ground down their opponents.

And now all the talk is about Mbappe and his future stardom. Over the generations, football has been all about the stars. Just look at the international fame and financial success of players like Messi and Ronaldo. And after his incredible World Cup performance, many believe Mbappe will soon be joining them in the fame department. Oh, and by the way, neither Messi or Ronaldo have ever won a World Cup.

And it’s not like he just showed up out of the blue. He was already a major and highly paid star in the Champions League. “Kylian Mbappe is the guy that Ronaldo and Messi are handing the crown over to,” former Man. U defender Rio Ferdinand said in an interview with BBC. “He is the guy who will be standing up on that Ballon d’Or podium in years to come. Easy.”

High praise for such a young player. But it’s hard to argue with. I for one can’t wait to see what this young phenom has in store for us.

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Baseball

Why Do We Love Sports?

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Why do we love sports? There are many reasons why a lot of us fall in love with sports—why many of us continue to support and watch our favorite players, spending time and money to attend regular meets. In fact, some of us aren’t mere fans. Many are also athletes, coaches, and managers of the different teams we love.

Sports as Passion

Being a sports enthusiast is a passion. Many of us watch or play various sports because we consider them a passion in life. Whether it is baseball, basketball, football, or golf, we focus on a specific sport because it provides us with more significant meaning in life. Athletes, for instance, do not merely play a particular sport just because they want to. Many of them train for a sport because it enables them to do something that they’re good at—it allows them to gain self-worth and, in the process, inspire others, as well.

Sports as Platform

Playing a sport enables us to have a veritable platform to be heard and to be noticed. For instance, women athletes get to inspire more women to join a field that is primarily dominated by men. Due to the increase of female athletes excelling in various games worldwide, the measure of being a woman is finally changing. Nowadays, women are gaining more respect due to the influx of more women joining various sports worldwide—games are, in a sense, acting as equalizers, showcasing how women can capably do physical activities that were previously only reserved for men. Sports, then, serve as excellent platforms for women empowerment.

Sports for Healthy Living

Actively playing a specific sport alters your lifestyle. Watching a particular sport also inspires you to try it out, as well. We all know that regular exercise promotes muscles’ development and helps prevent various health complaints like obesity, hypertension, and cholesterol build-up. Sports also perpetuate the body’s production of endorphins—the hormone responsible for the feelings of pleasure and joy. Training for a specific sport eradicates the feelings of depression and worthlessness.

Sports as a Career Choice

When a sport is one’s passion, it can quickly be developed into a career choice. Athletes, for instance, earn because of their expertise in a particular sport. They get to represent the country, earning medals and trophies for the country, their state, their team, and themselves. They also get to inspire others, as well. The crowds in a baseball stadium attest to this glorious phenomenon—sports’ ability to inspire people from all walks of life.

The Sports That We Love

Indeed, sports aren’t just competitions and recreational activities. They are way more significant than that. They have the ability to inspire people to reach their dreams, to represent others, and to gain self-worth. Sports perpetuate healthy living and even provide athletes the careers that they worked so hard for. 

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How Women Are Changing The Arena Of Sports

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Title IX was established 50 years ago. It opened the gates of playing fields and gymnasiums to females. Nowadays, women aren’t only athletes; they are college graduates and executives, as well.

Women and Sports

USA Today SPORTS’ newest podcast, “Changing the Game,” is exclusively sponsored by Artistry Studio directly from Amway. The said podcast examines women’s sports accomplishments. It also explores the reasons behind the need further to encourage gender equality, empowerment, and acceptance.

The podcast’s guests include various sports celebrities like basketball coach Muffet McGraw, Olympic swimmer Simone Manuel, NBA broadcaster Doris Burke, former NFL coach Jen Welter, BMX rider Chelsea Wolfe, professional golfer Cheyenne Woods, and Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez.

Sports and Change

Allowing women to participate in sports encourages them to harness leadership skills. It improves their self-worth and self-esteem as well. Sports involvement permits them to dream of more incredible achievements—something that they have never thought possible before. This also helps reshape society’s view and treatment of women.

Seeing how McGraw coached her players would have made you realize how a woman can capably be a leader or even run a company—how a woman is equally capable like a man.

Women Representation

Sports offer women a venue to represent women, set good examples, and make themselves heard. In a world that is dominated by men, women get to represent their peers and show society their strengths.

Simone Manuel comments on the problem of stereotyping and its corresponding limiting effect. When we see women engaging in sports—and winning trophies because of it, we get to understand that stereotypes aren’t doing us any good. Typecasting individuals is tantamount to putting them in a box and mandating what they can—and can not—do.

In contrast, permitting everyone to do what they like—and encouraging them to achieve more—allows them to go beyond expectations and prove their worth, as well. Sports are terrific platforms to start that open-mindedness with.

Change the Game

Aptly titled, “Changing the Game,” the USA Today SPORTS’ newest podcast attempts to commemorate women’s achievements due to sports. It also serves as a call for improvement in terms of women’s participation. It is meant to encourage not only future female athletes but also women all over the world.

Women representation in all the different fields of expertise is essential. Active female participation promotes the transcendence of limiting norms and eradicates the power of destructive labels. When more women unite in something that is enjoyed and celebrated by everyone else, they get to prove their worth, not only to the world but also to themselves.

Life, indeed, is what you make it. Massive reports of domestic abuse and unequal gender treatment are possibly neutralized when more people become aware of the dangers posed by dictating how everyone else should act. The prevalence of these issues worldwide is the main contention of gender appropriation. Yet when more women transcend these existing limitations, they set perfect examples for everyone else to act and achieve their dreams—an ideal cycle that must be encouraged and maintained. 

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Soccer

The 2026 World Cup Is Coming To America

The World Cup will return to America in 2026. 

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Despite the fact that The United States missed the World Cup this year for the first time since 1986, they still managed to secure hosting duties for the 2026 Cup. It was a historic moment as it is the first time that the winning bid was actually a joint one between three countries.

Technically the Cup will be played in Mexico, The United States, and Canada. but 60 of the total 80 games will be played in the U.S., including all games from the quarterfinals and beyond. So while Mexico and Canada will host some of the games, the 2026 World Cup will be remembered as taking place in the good ole’ U.S. of A. If that number 80 seems off to you, that’s because this will be the first World Cup to feature a field of 48 teams, rather than the usual 32. A massive jump.

The three countries beat out poor Morocco, the only other country on the ballot. The final tally was 134 votes for The United States of Mexanada and 65 for Morocco. Iran strangely chose neither option. While Slovenia, Spain, and Cuba abstained from the process altogether.

It was a long-awaited sigh of relieve for U.S. Soccer, as they were surprised (to say the least) when they didn’t win the bid to host the 2022 World Cup in 2010. That went to Qatar in a vote that was eventually revealed to be about as corrupt as they get. It was wrought with bribes and other illegal dealings that lead to multiple arrests of high-powered individuals in 2015.

The big difference between the two votes is that the voting system was completely overhauled! In previous votes, only a few dozen people at FIFA were responsible for picking the eligible countries and voting on who would host. So it’s easy to see how they were corrupted. But this most recent vote involved representatives of all eligible countries. A refreshing and fair process.

Carlos Cordiero, the president of United States soccer is largely responsible for the victory as he spent many of the past months visiting as many countries as he could to convince them the Cup should come to America. “I’m convinced that it was critical to get in front of people, face-to-face,” he said. “They are elected federation officials just like we are, and you can relate to them because of that – whether it’s a big country or a small one.”

Well, I for one thank you, Carlos, and couldn’t be more excited for the Cup to come back to America! I just wish I didn’t have to wait eight years to see it. 2026 can’t come fast enough!

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