MATT BARLOW’S WORLD CUP DIARY: Harry Maguire confuses fans after FIFA print his name as Jacob… while Bernardo Silva tries his hand at bookmaking in a playful bet with Ruben Dias
The World Cup is now gearing up for the quarter finals, with Croatia vs Brazil and Holland vs Argentina set to decide the first two semi final spots in Qatar on Friday.
England, France, Morocco and Portugal will follow on Saturday as we rapidly approach the sharp end of the tournament.
It has been a World Cup full of intrigue both on and off the pitch, and here Sportsmail’s MATT BARLOW shares the latest instalment of his World Cup diary.
Fans were left scratching their heads after Harry Maguire is down as Jacob on FIFA’s lists
Confusion over Harry Maguire’s name
Harry Maguire has cleared up confusion surrounding his name, which has appeared in FIFA lists as Jacob Maguire during this tournament.
It turns out he was named Jacob Harry at birth but his parents quickly decided they weren’t keen on Jacob and always called him Harry. He had to wait until he turned 18, but is now officially Harry Maguire in his passport and on other official ID, so the Jacob thing is crackers.
Still, it’s probably better than Slab Head.
Back to the drawing board for Spain
And so it was a footballing death by a thousand penalties for Luis Enrique, who told his Spain players a year ago that he wanted them to practice at least 1,000 penalties before the World Cup, then saw them lose a shootout to Morocco without scoring one.
Enrique was sacked yesterday and will be replaced by Luis de la Fuente. This World Cup also marks the end of the road for Paulo Bento (South Korea), Gerardo Martino (Mexico) and Roberto Martinez (Belgium).
Spain are out of the World Cup after failing to score in a penalty shoot-out against Morocco
Cat controversy for Brazil
Cat lovers were concerned Brazil might be taking pet tips from Kurt Zouma when the team’s press officer dealt with a moggy strolling across the desk at a Vinicius Junior press conference desk by picking it up and dropping it on the floor.
Brazil manager Tite referred questions about the welfare of the cat, raised at his media briefing yesterday, to his press officer and one journalist miaowed angrily in his general direction.
Brazil manager Tite fielded questions about a cat that was mishandled by Brazil’s press officer
Bernardo the bookie
Who knew Bernardo Silva was a budding bookmaker?
Not until his glimpse into Portugal’s World Cup camp and revelations he was challenging Ruben Dias to bet on the number of free-kicks their Manchester City team-mate Jack Grealish would win for England when he came on against Senegal.
‘I was filming Ruben saying, “How many fouls do you think he will win in these 25 minutes?” Ruben said nine and I said seven. I was closer.’
Bernardo Silva has revealed having a friendly bet with Ruben Dias over Jack Grealish
Jonathan Swain makes colleagues groan again
It did not go down well with the English football journalists who were there when GMB reporter Jonathan Swain invited France players to criticise the English media’s coverage of Kylian Mbappe’s absence from training on Monday, even though they reported accurately that Mbappe had been on his usual recovery programme and there was no drama.
Swain is the reporter who, during Euro 2020, took a selfie with a Jurgen Klopp lookalike before going on air to tell viewers, in all seriousness, that he had been with Liverpool’s manager. Remarkable.
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