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Russia 2018: Sleepy Mbappe and Mandzukic’s Plan

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With just some few hours to go until the first semi-final, things are starting to get tense at the World Cup.

The France star appears to be rather at peace with the world ahead of the biggest game of his career to date, which was something not lost on team-mate Benjamin Mendy.

Live score news shows that, Harry Maguire has promised a gift to the man who seems to have become his biggest fan, Ashley Young took up bowling on his birthday and Mario Mandzukic auditioned for the role of most unlikely semi-final goalkeeper ever.

France owe a large part of their run to the semi-finals to Mbappe, who continues to look like a player capable of dominating European football for the best part of the next decade.

It’s easy to forget that the Paris Saint-Germain forward is still only 19, a veritable infant on the World Cup stage. Mendy, however, does not seem to have forgotten his compatriot’s tender years.

With Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann joining in, Mendy took a photo that included a caption asking whether Mbappe had been watching “too much Razmokets” – Rugrats, to an English audience.

Mandzukic promised to “surprise” Jordan Pickford, who has excelled in goal for England in these finals.

It was thought the Croatia striker was referring to his side’s ability to score goals from across the pitch, with only Belgium able to better their record of eight separate players finding the net in Russia.

 




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