04 Royal Blues off to the World Cup!
Four Royal Blues will represent their countries at the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer after the final squads for the tournament were revealed on Monday. Leon Goretzka (Germany), Breel Embolo (Switzerland), Amine Harit (Morocco) and Marko Pjaca (Crotia) will all look to make an impact for their nations in the competition which gets underway on 14 June.
Senegalese international and new Royal Blue recruit Salif Sane will also be at the tournament. Matija Nastasic, who made the preliminary squad for his native Serbia, decided to withdraw himself from selection and go on holiday to allow a cruciate ligament rupture suffered in April to fully heal.
Leon Goretzka: Strong in all areas
Reigning champions will compete against Mexico, Sweden and South Korea in Group F in Russia, and Leon Goretzka, who will move to FC Bayern Munich next season, will be a part of that squad. The Royal Blue thinks Die Mannschaft are in good shape heading to the tournament. “We are strong in all areas,” said the 23-year-old, who will be hoping for some game time in Russia. “I am most at home in defensive midfield, and I think I will get my chance.”
Sunday 17 June, 1700, Moscow
Germany vs Mexico
Saturday 23 June, 2000, Sochi
Germany vs Sweden
Wednesday 27 June 1600, Kazan
South Korea v Germany
Breel Embolo: Last 16 the aim
Breel Embolo will be given no easy introduction into the tournament as his Switzerland gear up to face Brazil. But the Swiss will not want to hide away against the record world champions. “Hopefully I can be a part of it from the beginning,” said the forward. Serbia and Costa Rica make up the rest of the group. Embolo and Switzerland will be at least hoping to get out of the group, before a potential second round clash with Germany.
Sunday 17 June 2000, Rostov
Brazil vs Switzerland
Friday 22 June 2000, Kaliningrad
Serbia vs Switzerland
Wednesday 27 June 2000, Nischni Nowgorod
Switzerland vs Costa Rica
Amine Harit: A dream come true
Amine Harit has also made the final cut for home country going to Russia this summer. Morocco, at the tournament for the first time since France in 1998, will meet Portugal, Spain and Iran in their group. “It’s a dream come true for me,” said Harit. “Playing in the World Cup is the pinnacle for every footballer.
Friday 15 June 1700, St. Petersburg
Marocco v Iran
Wednesday, 20 June 1400, Moscow
Portugal – Morocco
Monday 25 June 2000, Kaliningrad
Spain v Morocco
Marki Pjaca: Honour and feeling of pride
Marko Pjaca has been called up to the final Croatia squad for Russia 2018. The forward, who is still under loan contract at Schalke until 30 June before he is set to return to Juventus, will meet Nigeria, 2014 runners-up Argentina and Iceland in Group D. “It is an honour and a feeling of pride that I might get the chance to be a part of it all,” he said.
Saturday 16 June 2100, Kalingrad
Croatia vs Nigeria
Thursday 21 June 2000, Nischni Nowgorod
Argentina vs Croatia
Tuesday 26 June 2000, Rostow
Iceland vs Croatia