Adil Rami has announced his retirement from international football after winning the World Cup with France on Sunday.
Marseille centre-back Rami made his France debut back in 2010 and has played 35 times for his country.
Despite getting to be a member of Didier Deschamps’ squad in Russia, the 32-year-old did not actually get on to the pitch during the tournament.
Nevertheless, he still feels a part of the team’s success following the gruelling days of training – and has now decided to go out on a high.
Speaking to TF1, Rami said: “The France team is over for me.”
And, when talking to RMC Sport, he added: “Even if I did not play, I had to be ready at all times to play 90 minutes.
“I trained twice a day. The team was huge, I do not have words for that. The atmosphere is extraordinary.
“I have never seen a team from France with such an atmosphere, so much joy, every day, even after the matches, before the matches. It’s beautiful.”
Lautaro Martinez earned praise from Inter boss Luciano Spalletti after netting a debut goal in a 3-0 friendly win over Swiss side Lugano on Saturday.
Signed from Racing Club this month, 20-year-old Martinez needed just 16 minutes to provide a glimpse of his promise by tucking away the rebound from fellow new boy Radja Nainggolan’s initial effort.
The pair were among five new signings to feature for the Nerazzurri, with Stefan de Vrij, Matteo Politano and Kwadwo Asamoah also involved.
Martinez’s half-time replacement, Yann Karamoh, sealed the visitors’ victory with a second-half brace, suggesting he could improve on the four Serie A starts he managed in his first season at the club.
Captain Mauro Icardi, who has been linked with Real Madrid, sat out the encounter.
“Lautaro did well to keep the ball, put himself about and threaten the goal,” Spalletti said after the match.
“He can play with Icardi, and we’ll try it out soon depending on how easy it is. There are some other things still to cover and the defensive side to work on.”
Inter’s tour of Switzerland continues with a clash against Sion on Wednesday.
| FT Lugano 0-3 Inter
— Inter (@Inter_en) July 14, 2018
Ivan Rakitic has joked he will get a tattoo on his forehead if Croatia win the World Cup.
Croatia have never reached the final of the tournament before but will play France in Sunday’s showpiece in Moscow.
Rakitic has been one of the star players for Zlatko Dalic’s side, along with midfield partner Luka Modric.
And Rakitic suggested he would mark Croatia’s success in a special way if his team beat France.
“On my forehead!” Rakitic told reporters when asked if he was planning a tattoo if Croatia win.
“There’s plenty of space there, as you can see! But first I’ll have to ask my wife.
“Frankly, I have this feeling there will be hundreds of millions rooting for us. I’ve had messages from Argentina, Spain, Germany, all four corners of the world. It’s fantastic.
“What really makes me happy is people said they could never imagine celebrating a goal scored as if it had been scored by their own national team. It goes to show we’re deserved finalists, we want to show the world we play as one and we’ll leave everything on the pitch.”
— HNS | CFF (@HNS_CFF) July 13, 2018
Croatia have gone to extra-time in all three of their knockout matches, triumphing on penalties against Denmark and hosts Russia before edging past England 2-1 in the semi-final.
But Rakitic rejected suggestions Croatia could suffer from tiredness against France, who have also had an extra day of rest since their last match.
“There will be excess energy, don’t worry about that. This is an historic game, not just for us but for everybody who is Croatian,” Rakitic said.
“There are 4.5 million players on the pitch. We will carry one another. We know this is the biggest game of our lives and we want to leave the pitch with our heads held high and say we did everything.
“You only need to look at the footage coming from Croatia. This joy felt by people there from day one, when we departed for Russia, was incredible. You can’t put it into words. The unity, the pride, it’s incredible. I think we all deserve this.
“It doesn’t only concern the 23 players, our coach, the staff, the physios, doctors, journalists, but the 4.5 million people back home. It’s incredible pride and joy. We were lucky to reach the final but we’ve shown this kind of commitment in each game. If there was a stadium big enough for 4.5 million people, it would be full.”
Wayne Rooney has revealed that Everton “made it clear” they wanted him to leave the club before his move to DC United last month.
Rooney returned to Goodison Park last July following a trophy-laden 13-year stint at Manchester United, and went on to net 11 goals for the Toffees, finishing 2017-18 as their top scorer.
The 32-year-old failed to find consistency in an often-struggling side, though, and new manager Marco Silva and director of football Marcel Brands confirmed in June that the former England captain was in talks with MLS club DC.
The forward finally completed the move on 28 June, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract, suggesting at the time that the decision to leave Merseyside was not just down to him.
He has now expanded on the reasons behind his move, saying that it became clear that he did not feature in the club’s first-team plans.
Rooney – who is set to make his debut against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday – told ESPN: “Obviously at Manchester United that [playing] wasn’t happening as much as I would have liked and I quite easily could have stayed there with two years left on my contract and picked up the wages and been happy with that and that’s it.
— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) July 10, 2018
“But I wanted to play, went back to Everton and had a year there, then as I’ve said before, Everton made it clear towards the end of the season that they’d be happy for me to leave.
“For whatever reason, I still don’t know. I felt I was doing okay, I was top goal scorer [despite] playing most of the season from midfield.
“But that’s football. And that gave me a decision to make, and I made this decision.”
“I said to Everton, ‘Listen, I’m not a kid and if this [leaving the club] is what you want, tell me. If you want me to stay, tell me’ and we talked about it.
“So, this option became available as well as a few different ones, and I just felt this was the right one.”
Lazio have signed defender Francesco Acerbi on a five-year contract from Serie A rivals Sassuolo.
The Biancocelesti announced the completion of the deal on Wednesday, with the centre-back joining for an undisclosed fee.
Acerbi, who spent five seasons with Sassuolo, arrives as a replacement for Stefan de Vrij after the Dutch defender joined Inter on a free transfer.
The 30-year-old has won two caps for Italy and previously had a single-season spell with AC Milan.
Simone Inzaghi guided Lazio to fifth last term, securing a berth in the Europa League group stage.
— S.S.Lazio (@OfficialSSLazio) July 11, 2018
England captain Harry Kane does far more than just score goals, according to Brazil icon Marta.
Kane is the highest scoring player at the World Cup with six strikes to his name, leading the Three Lions to an unexpected semi-final against Croatia.
But five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the year Marta highlighted there is more to the Tottenham striker’s game than simply putting the ball in the net.
”I was convinced before the World Cup that Harry Kane would have a good tournament – and he has not failed me,” Marta wrote in The Guardian.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 10, 2018
“We can all see the difference he has made for England, not only with his goals but also because of his great movement, which creates so many chances for team-mates.
“He knows this is his and England’s chance to achieve something incredible. But despite this he has not displayed any signs of nervousness or fear – only a desire to score goals and for England to win.
”He is playing his best football and he is making a difference to a team. He is showing all the attributes to be a world-class striker.
“Harry Kane has shown us what he is capable of at this tournament but he has to retain his focus. The whole England team have to keep their minds on their goal. Only then can they win the World Cup. Four years is a long time to wait for the next chance.”
England will set up a final showdown against France on Sunday if they overcome Croatia, with Belgium awaiting the losers in the third-place play-off.