Marcelo to return to Brazil team for World Cup quarter-final against Belgium

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Set to return: Marcelo

Brazil coach Tite has confirmed that Real Madrid full-back Marcelo will return to the side to face Belgium in their World Cup quarter-final on Friday.

Marcelo was forced off early on in Brazil’s final group game as they beat Serbia to assure themselves of top-spot in Group E before the same back problem cost him a place in the team that beat Mexico 2-0.

A soft mattress at the team hotel has been blamed for aggravating the issue but Tite revealed during his press conference in Kazan on the eve of the quarter-final that the 30-year-old will replace Felipe Luis against Belgium.

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Thousands sign petition for England-Colombia last-16 match to be replayed

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Over 170,000 people have signed a petition demanding England’s World Cup last-16 match against Colombia is replayed following the Three Lions’ victory.

The petition, which was started two days ago when Gareth Southgate‘s men won a penalty shootout, argues England were awarded their second-half penalty for “a non-existent foul” and that Colombian striker Carlos Bacca’s extra-time goal should have been allowed to stand.

Bacca had scored after referee Mark Geiger had already halted proceedings, with England defender Harry Maguire distracted by a second ball that would have come on the pitch had the assistant not stopped it.

The petition calls for FIFA “to review these two actions, in order to set a precedent for fair play”.

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Luka Modric is our best player, admits Croatia's Ivan Perisic

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Ivan Perisic has heaped praise on Croatia team-mate Luka Modric, ahead of his team’s quarter-final game against hosts Russia at World Cup 2018.

Speaking to the media, prior to the last-eight clash, the Inter Milan forward said: “He’s our captain, he’s our leader. We all stand behind him. Sure, he is one of the best players here so far, but we still have a few games to play.”

“It doesn’t really matter who gets individual awards, it’s important that the team does as good as possible.”

rebic, perisic

Meanwhile, Ante Rebic too has the same thoughts about the former Tottenham midfieder.

“Luka is our captain, our best player,” he said.

“It’s too early to talk about the best player of the tournament, because we are still only at the quarter-final stage, but that doesn’t matter as much as the team performance.”

Croatia will be facing Russia on Saturday, and the winner of the encounter will go on to face either England or Sweden in the semi-finals of the tournament.

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