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France capped off a month of football fever as they defeated Croatia 4-2 to be crowned World Cup winners for the second time in the country’s history. The four weeks in Russia produced one of the best tournaments the game’s ever seen, with the introduction of VAR, a record number of penalties and huge upsets including Germany finishing bottom of group F. Didier Deschamps became only the third person ever to lift the World Cup as both a player and manager (joining Mario Zagallo, Franz Beckenbauer) as his France side brushed aside Croatia in a thrilling finale.
Here, we look back at the 64 Champion Performances from the 2018 World Cup.
64. Russia win the opening game of the tournament
RAKBANK, the national bank of Ras Al Khaimah, has become the official bank of FC Barcelona in the United Arab Emirates after signing an exclusive three-year partnership with the Spanish giants.
The new deal was sealed in the presidential box at the Camp Nou and was attended by FC Barcelona’s Chief Executive Officer, Oscar Grau, and Frederic de Melker, Managing Director of Personal Banking at RAKBANK. Speaking about the partnership to Sport360 de Melker said, “At the beginning of 2018 we refreshed our strategy for the coming five years and the key focus in that new strategy is our customer relationship. From a banking perspective we know what to do but we wanted to appeal to our customers in a much broader way so we started talking to FC Barcelona. From their perspective they wanted an active partnership so the Barcelona brand can grow in the local markets, they’re not just after sponsorship money and so after some discussion a lot of boxes were ticked from both sides. Barcelona is more than just a football club and we want to be more than a bank so we are looking at what our customers’ interests are, and how that can be reflected in our relationship with brands,” de Melker stated.
The association means RAKBANK customers can look forward to access to Barcelona branded merchandise and opportunities to watch the La Liga champions among other benefits. “In terms of products we’re going to launch new credit cards with benefits to those living in the UAE, we’ll also have sports-related cards which will help customers get deals on sportswear and events. We also want agreements with FC Barcelona as well so if people visit the stadium and official shop they benefit from using our cards,” said de Melker.
Since 2005 the Spanish giants have won four of the club’s five Champions League titles and nine of their 25 domestic league titles. “If you look at FC Barcelona as a brand it’s one of, if not the biggest in the world and their engagement on social media compared to other football clubs is incredible,” added de Melker. “The club is very open and flexible to work with so the club was absolutely our first choice and we’re delighted that they’ve agreed to partner with us. We wanted to partner with Barcelona because we know how big football is in the UAE and GCC so we wanted to partner with someone who would be of genuine interest to our customers.”
RAKBANK has the option of extending the agreement with Barcelona for a further two years. Customers will be able to sign up for the new FC Barcelona dedicated co-branded products including Mastercard platinum credit and debit cards, which are due by the end of 2018.
Wayne Rooney had his hand in two goals on his MLS debut as DC United beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1.
England’s record goal scorer was named on the bench for DC’s first game at Audi Field, but the number 9 made an impact after coming on for the last half hour.
DC were up 1-0 thanks to a Yamil Asad strike after 27 minutes, and Rooney nearly had a dream start after replacing Darren Mattocks on 59 minutes.
But his first touch – a free-kick 30 yards from goal – struck the wall.
The 32-year-old was involved in the buildup for the second goal of the game on 69 minutes, the debutant laying off the ball on the edge of the box in a swift move which was capped off by US international Paul Arriola.
Arriola’s second and DC’s third was assisted by Rooney, laying the ball off to his teammate who took two touches before firing past keeper Brian Rowe.
The former Manchester United man also had a few chances to get on the scoresheet himself – he was first to a cross into the penalty area but Rowe was equal to the header, and he attempted a lob late in the game which sailed safely over the bar.
Vancouver got a consolation through Alphonso Davies late into stoppage time, as Rooney finished the game with four attempts and one shot on target in front of a capacity crowd of 20,504.
— D.C. United (@dcunited) July 15, 2018