27 things we loved at the World Cup: Kante, Maguire, Hazard & more

Quick Reads

The 2018 World Cup was an absolute cracker – and Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool men were among those to catch our eye at various points in Russia.

France lifted the trophy for a second time on Sunday after beating Croatia 4-2 in the final.

It was obviously an unforgettable tournament for Gareth Southgate and England, and we’ve rounded up some of the best moments on and off the pitch from a glorious summer.

N’Golo Kante

What. A. Man.

Milad Mohammadi

A moment so great it earned Iran’s left-back a place in our (alternative) team of the tournament.


Thanks for the gifs, Alisson.


Annoying, but really good.

Eden Hazard

Just to reiterate the point: Eden Hazard is an absolutely wonderful footballer. This Nike ad summed the Belgian attacker up wonderfully.

😉 @nikefootball Believe. #justdoit

A post shared by Eden Hazard (@hazardeden_10) on

John Jupp

He still belieeeeeeeeves.


There are going to be lots of these. Football fans are ace.

Ally McCoist and Jon Champion

Everybody’s favourite commentary duo. We hotly anticipate the buddy cop movie.

Panini stickers

We’d all love to see ourselves as a Panini sticker. This Brazil fan made his dream a reality.

Lionel Messi

After Argentina’s crucial win against Nigeria, a reporter told Messi: “After the first game I gave you a good luck amulet that my wife gave me, I don’t know if you threw it away or something…”

His disbelief when Messi shows him he had it on the whole time is wonderful.

Nigeria fans

We sing this at every single penalty now.

The ITV studio

Wrighty, Keane, Bilic. ITV’s studio was a lot of fun this year. Keane was on such good form, in fact, that we analysed every single comment he made before, during and after England’s defeat to Croatia.

Gareth Southgate

We love him. Of course we bloody love him. But he also deserves praise for services to waistcoat sales.


Plenty of people have tried to denigrate England’s achievement in reaching the semi-finals, but what happened on the pitch is secondary. The real story is that the country has united behind its football team for the first time in a long time. It’s been great.

READ: 16 things we loved about England’s World Cup: Southgate, you’re the one

Jo Hyeon-Woo

Textbook goalkeeping.

Harry Maguire

Give that man and his big head a knighthood.

Sadio Mane

Senegal quickly became one of our favourite teams, while it’s good to see Mane still loves to join in with a celebration.


Like the Gods

Even St Petersburg’s Academy of Fine Arts Museum has got World Cup fever.

Michy Batshuayi

Still funny. Still sore, no doubt.


Subjected to racist abuse after the defeat to Germany, Jimmy Durmaz had the backing of the whole Sweden squad.

Mexico’s Korean embassy

This sounds like the start of a very good night.

Nordin Amrabat

Not a fan of VAR, Nordin?

Harry Maguire and John Stones

You can take the boys out of Yorkshire…

Japan fans

Japan’s supporters earned plenty of praise for clearing up in the stands after themselves, and fans of other teams often joined in to help.

Diego Maradona

A lively tournament for El Diego, shall we say.


It was worth a try.

Senegal supporters

Honestly, we might just start supporting Senegal now.

Football, bloody hell

This Germany fan’s reaction to Toni Kroos’ last-minute winner against Sweden pretty much sums up how we feel about the whole tournament.

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