World Cup player watch: The games keep coming, on and off the pitch
A daily look at what the tournament’s players have been getting up to in their time off the pitch.
The 2018 World Cup opened in emphatic style on Thursday following Russia’s dominant 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia and the hosts lapped up the attention after their first victory in eight matches.
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Скучали по этим эмоциям?😍 ⠀ Счастливы, что смогли порадовать всю страну и открыли Чемпионат мира так ярко. Спасибо, что вы с нами! Уже завтра будем готовиться к следующему матчу. А турнир только начинается, время наслаждаться праздником футбола! ⠀ #СборнаяРоссии #РоссияСаудовскаяАравия #RUSKSA #ЧМ2018 #ВместеМыКоманда Фото: @photoponomarev
Denis Cheryshev, who started on the substitutes bench, was awarded the first man-of-the-match award of the tournament following his two-goal display and the trophy is pretty impressive.
England play their World Cup opener against Tunisia on Monday and manager Gareth Southgate had a full bill of health when Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford returned to training after sustaining a knock before travelling to Russia.
And the 20-year-old seemed “in good spirits” as he joked with his team-mates.
On Thursday, the England players enjoyed a spot of bowling during a media session in Repino and the games continued on Friday with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford stepping up to the dartboard, under the pressure of the British press.
Elsewhere, several World Cup stars are saying “Eid Mubarak” as they mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Eid Mubarak❤️ pic.twitter.com/nj4dt7yGNn— Xherdan Shaqiri (@XS_11official) June 15, 2018
Eid Mubarak to all the Muslims around the world. May Allah bless us and protect us. Enjoy this day with your family and friends 🙏🏿 🇸🇳 Dewenati leen , Baal leen ma akkh Baal na nieup akkh ,yalla nagnou yalla bollé Baal amine 🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/2iVN8kivCN— Idrissa Gana Gueye (@IGanaGueye) June 15, 2018
Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan, who immediately retired from international football after missing out on Belgium’s World Cup squad, is still supporting his country as they open their Group G campaign against Panama.
Luckily, the match kicks off on Monday afternoon as it appears he still needs to learn the national anthem despite picking up 30 caps for Belgium.
Prepping for the game... 🇧🇪— Radja Nainggolan (@OfficialRadja) June 15, 2018
Maar het lukt ni al te goe 😂 pic.twitter.com/B2oSfbvDdh
In Russia, it looks like his former international colleagues are not missing the maverick midfielder too much – if the boyband pose during a training session in Moscow is anything to go by.
And finally, after the five-goal blitz on Thursday, there was much hope of this continuing in the clash between Uruguay and Egypt on Friday afternoon.
However, the Group A match still brought drama as defender Jose Maria Gimenez headed home the only goal of the game in the 90th minute to nick all three points for Uruguay.
Uruguay Noma!! Importantísima victoria para empezar este camino con fuerza!!! 🇺🇾💪 pic.twitter.com/eK2nAa9Y8K— Diego Godín (@diegogodin) June 15, 2018