Brazil, Belgium Target World Cup Quarters After Spain Bow Out

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

He has more knockout goals than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo put together.

They join 2014 winners Germany, Argentina and European champions Portugal in being knocked out of a competition for which neither Italy nor the Netherlands - two of the great World Cup names - even qualified.

I am still challenging him, for example to get more goals for United next season than the 27 he got last season, and to get the Golden Boot at this World Cup too.

"Maybe Belgium feel the tournament is starting after their three wins, but I'd like to feel we are on a par with them".

The Spurs defender's goal also made the history books, becoming the longest-ranged recorded header in World Cup history. It was the World Cup, and we were faced with the depth and the strength of Belgium.

A few years later, the boy was with us, sitting next to me in the Chelsea dressing room.

With the exits of the pair, both five-time world players of the year, confirmed on the same day, the stage is clear for a handful of young, hungry pretenders to seize the spotlight.

Subtle shades of Romania at the 1998 World Cup, all of whom opted for the peroxide look after beating England in the group stages of the tournament.

"But he's in another category. That's why he's Neymar, the great player in Brazil", Casemiro said.

The Paris Saint-Germain striker, who as a child had posters of Ronaldo plastered across his bedroom wall, has three goals in three starts in Russian Federation. He's not so much as arriving as arrived. "He has to score two goals per game over seven games".

He struck twice in an opening win over Tunisia before bagging a hat-trick in his next outing and is the key figure for a youthful England side. "We have to play football to beat Mexico".

The team was on track to reach their first quarter-final in three last-16 attempts after going 2-0 ahead early in the second half, only to see Belgium roar back and snatch a 3-2 win with an explosive counterattack deep into stoppage time.

Mexico pulled off an upset by beating Germany 1-0 in the group opener for its first victory over the four-time champions in a competitive match.

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