Beyoncé and Jay Z’s “On The Run II” tour had some very special guests last night. This wasn’t a cameo from Beyoncé’s sister Solange or Jay’s honorary little brother, Kanye West. This was bigger than the royal family, this was the Obamas.
Michelle and Sasha both attended the show together at the Paris’ Stade Nationale in what now seems to be a mother-daughter tradition; the two plus sister Malia attended when the first “On The Run” tour came through Chicago in 2013. The Obamas didn’t just go to be alone, either. Michelle appears in a photo with Beyoncé’s mother Tina that looks more like a painted portrait royal matriarchs than a casual phone photo a concert. The two stand apart in front the front-row barricades, well-dressed, not even looking at each other in true royal fashion.
Today the Carters also hosted a World Cup viewing party in Paris as a nice bookend to their stay, in which they played two shows in the city. No doubt Beyoncé and Jay Z are pleased at the coincidence being on tour in Paris on the day that France wins the World Cup, as the city looks more lively than it probably has in decades, with the Champs Élysées packed shoulder-to-shoulder and parties no doubt going on in every arrondissement.
Conor McGregor is as credible as they come right? His latest proclamation has him claiming he was the personally invited guest Russian leader Vladimir Putin for this afternoon’s World Cup Final. He followed up his announcement by labelling Putin as one the greatest leaders our time, and the invitation a great honor.
As you can see, McGregor mirrored his post on all social platforms, including a second photo on IG where he appears to be giving Putin and his confidantes the sweet lowdown. Regrettably, Conor McGregor’s home nation Ireland fell two points shy group leaders Serbia during World Cup Qualifying, and then failed against Denmark by a 5-1 aggregate score.
The full caption read:
“Today I was invited to the World Cup final as a guest Russian President Vladimir Putin. This man is one the greatest leaders our time and I was honored to attend such a landmark event alongside him. Today was an honor for me Mr. Putin. Thank you and congratulations on an amazing World Cup.”
Interestingly enough news broke this weekend that Conor McGregor and his partner were expecting their second child.
All the best.
It seems like the culture turned on Will Smith for a few years. After reaching heights stardom that only a few other actors have touched, Smith starred in several movies that weren’t received well by audiences. It didn’t help that he was snubbed at the Oscars for his performance in Consussion, and that Suicide Squad was ridiculed by critics. At some point in 2018, Smith must have decided that he was ready for a major comeback and the multi-talented artist took over social media.
Smith teamed up with Nicky Jam, Diplo, and singer and songwriter Era Istrefi to create the ficial anthem for the FIFA World Cup. Entitled “Live It Up,” the catchy single sounds like a mix reggae and electronic vibes with a slight hip-hop twist. Smith, Nicky Jam, ad Istrefi will perform the song tomorrow (July 15) at the closing ceremony for the soccer World Cup at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium. France is facing Croatia in the finals, and the former is heavily favored to win. This will be Croatia’s first World Cup finals appearance, and they had to fight to reach this match. France has had a much easier road getting to the finals, but this match-up could prove to be their undoing.
The 2018 World Cup has been erratic for bookkeepers who probably thought even the most lopsided victories would be low-scoring affairs. Then again, I’m in no way concerned how much money was lost or gained f the backs World Futbol. Sunday’s final pits a known soccer powerhouse against a Nation serving up quite possibly its most talented roster in history. France vs. Croatia has the makings psychological warfare, don’t be deceived by their standing prile.
A France Victory
France will likely try to assert the pace the match. If they do, and retain possession on the break, France could very well win the tournament in stunning fashion. Their current talisman Kylian Mbappé is simply unstoppable inside the opponent’s half. When the fullbacks push up, namely Benjamin Pavard, it’s as if a Tetris wall is being enclosed. If holding midfielder N’Golo Kanté is allowed to be his regular self, and I reckon he will, look for France’s outfield players to let their guard down just a little. If so it could prove advantageous for the flat footed Croatian defenders, but also disastrous if they lose their focus.
A Croatian Victory
Speaking focus, the Croatian have a host characters known handling pressure on the job. Mario Mandzukic has made a career out winning decisive aerial battles, and for scoring goals on the big stage, his overhead kick against Real Madrid in the Champions League a prime example. Of course, Croatia needs to generate scoring chances for players like Mandzukic to maximize their utility.
France will likely enter the game very focused. But if Croatia were to up their “robust” playing style and get a little physical, there lies a possibility France could lose their composure, and hence forego their game plan. Playing with emotion always runs you the risk getting into foul trouble. Croatia has a few creative midfielders to their credit, namely Ivan Rakitic. But if they are to beat France they’ll need to upend France’s relentless drive with their own brand physicality.
Inevitably if both teams remain scoreless after stoppage time, the game becomes a bit crapshoot. Tune in tomorrow at 11am Eastern Time for what promises to be an exhilarating matchup.
England and Croatia needed more than 90 minutes today to decide who would advance to take on France in the World Cup Final. It marked the third straight game that Croatia needed extra time to determine a winner and once again, they came out on top.
The Croatians had never reached a World Cup Final until now, whereas their upcoming opponent, France, most recently made a finals appearance in 2006 and won it all in 1998. The final will take place this Sunday at 11:00am ET. The third place play-f between England and Belgium is scheduled for Saturday at 10:00am ET.
Here’s how today’s thrilling semifinal played out:
England got on the board early, scoring just five minutes into the match f a gorgeous set piece by Kieran Trippier.
England maintained a 1-0 lead for over an hour until Croatia’s Sime Virsajko served a cross from the right in the 68th minute. Ivan Perisic ran around both Trippier and a diving Kyle Walker to deflect the ball into the back the net with his left foot.
Mere moments after the equalizer, Perisic had a chance to give Croatia a 2-1 lead but his shot bounced f the far post keeping things level at 1-1.
Halfway through the first 15-minute overtime, England’s John Stones looked to give his squad a crucial 2-1 lead f a corner kick, but Vrsaljko stood tall on the goal line to redirect the header away from goal.
Croatia’s best opportunity the first OT came in the 105th minute. However, England’s goalie Jordan Pickford was up to the task, sending the game to the final 15-minute overtime with everything knotted at 1-1.
Croatia finally broke the tie early in the second overtime, when Mario Mandzukic got behind the defense and buried a left-footer from inside the six-yard box for the game-winner.
Last night in Russia, France punched their ticket to the World Cup Final with a 1-0 victory over Belgium. Today, England and Croatia will do battle for the right to face the Frenchmen on Sunday in the last game the tournament.
Today’s semifinal matchup is scheduled to kickf at 2:00pm ET, airing on Fox and Telemundo as usual.
Per CBS Sports, “England enters this semifinal match at +130 World Cup odds on the money line, meaning you’d need to bet $100 on an English victory to win $130. Croatia is +240, while a draw in regulation is +220. The over-under on total goals scored in this 2018 World Cup fixture is 2.”
After finishing second in Group G behind Belgium, England survived in penalty kicks against Colombia in the Round 16 and then defeated Sweden 2-0 in the quarterfinals. Croatia cruised through their group without a loss but needed penalty kicks to defeat both Denmark and Russia in back-to-back games in the knockout stage.
England, ranked number 12 in the FIFA World Rankings, has odds 11-4 to win the World Cup. They have not advanced to the Final since 1966, when they won it all. Croatia, ranked 20th, is currently listed with 4-1 odds to hoist the gold trophy, and they have never made it this far in the tournament. Whichever team comes out on top in today’s semifinal showdown will be the underdog against France.
The World Cup Final is scheduled for Sunday, July 15 at 11:00am ET. The loser today’s matchup will face Belgium in the third place play-f on Saturday at 10am ET.