Neymar under fire after World Cup ‘mea culpa’ advert

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SAO PAULO (AP) Neymar’s decision to use a sponsored advert to admit he sometimes over-reacted to fouls at the World Cup has backfired, with Brazilian marketing experts saying it had made the Paris Saint-Germain striker’s image even worse.

[ MORE: Matt Miazga set to go on loan to French side Caen ]

Under the title `A New Man Every Day,’ Sunday’s video was backed by personal care products maker Gillette and broadcast on several Brazilian TV networks.

“You may think I exaggerate. And sometimes I do exaggerate. But the truth is I suffer on the pitch,” Neymar said in the advert, referring to the constant fouls he received at the World Cup.

“I took long to accept your criticism. I took long to look at myself in the mirror and become a new man.”

Brazil was knocked out by Belgium in the World Cup quarterfinals earlier this month.

Marketing specialists said the advert damaged the 26-year-old player’s brand as much as his histrionics did in Russia.

“The whole market waited 15 days since the end of the World Cup to hear from him,” Amir Somoggi, a partner at marketing company Sports Value, told The Associated Press.

“He gave some interviews, but did not admit his exaggerations then. Now he has hidden behind a TV commercial to do that. This was great for the sponsor, after all we are talking about the brand. But it was not good for Neymar, who now has an even bigger image crisis to handle.”

Sports marketing consultant Erich Beting believes the timing of the advert was a mistake.

“Neymar’s problems happened on the pitch, and he will not play tomorrow to show he has changed, as the ad says. That fact, and his decision to pick an ad to do it, will make it all sound empty. It will be weeks until he has a chance to show any real improvement,” Beting said.

Jose Colagrossi, another sports marketing consultant, agreed.

“It would be different if he really meant it, in a live press conference, looking eye to eye and not in a sponsored video,” he said.

It is not the first time Neymar has used an advert to handle an image crisis.

In 2011, he was criticized for constant misbehavior and he used an advert sponsored by phone carrier Nextel to address his fans.

“You cursed at me when I made mistakes, you screamed when I didn’t listen,” he said in the ad. “You know who I am. Only another happy boy playing with his ball.”

Now, some of the criticism for the image crisis is aimed at Neymar da Silva Santos, his father and the man who manages his career.

Ricardo Fort, who heads global sponsorship deals at Coca-Cola, said the Brazil striker needs to take control of his career.

“After this World Cup, who thinks of Neymar thinks of theatrics, faking. These are attributes that no brand wants to get associated with,” Fort wrote in an open letter to the player in Monday’s edition of magazine Meio & Mensagem.

“It is time for you to hire a professional to take care of your career. You are too valuable to be treated like that.”

Asked to comment on the negativity, Neymar’s staff directed the Associated Press to Procter & Gamble, owners of Gillette. The company did not discuss the criticism of the player, or the ad.

“Like many others, Neymar Jr. faces challenges, injuries and defeats, and the objective of Gillette is to encourage every man, with no distinction, to reflect on the opportunity of becoming a new man every day,” the company said in a statement.

The firm also denied a report by newspaper O Globo saying the striker was paid about $250,000 for the ad.

Kylian Mbappe bags brace as France advances with win over Denmark

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France sealed a spot in the knockout rounds of the 2022 World Cup with a 2-1 win over Denmark at Stadium 974 in Doha on Saturday.

Kylian Mbappe’s 61st-minute goal was answered by Andreas Christensen, but the French wizard completed his brace in the 86th minute to score his 14th goal in his last 12 matches for France.

STREAM LIVE FRANCE vs DENMARK

Antoine Griezmann assisted Mbappe’s late winner as France’s bid to become the third team to repeat as World Cup champions continues to look strong ahead of a group stage finale with Tunisia on Wednesday.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

For Denmark, it will need to beat Australia after the Socceroos toppled Tunisia earlier Saturday and hope that Tunisia doesn’t surprise the already-through French as goal differential could come into play.


Mbappe puts pair of dents in Denmark’s durable defense

The reigning World Cup champions are no stranger to scoring boatloads of goals — ask Australia — but even the removal of Denmark’s captain didn’t change how strong the Danes defending has been in Qatar.

It was Galatasaray’s Victor Nelsson, not Simon Kjaer, who joined Andreas Christensen and Joachim Andersen in stifling Les Bleus this time, and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was there when needed with three saves and six recoveries.

But Mbappe.

The French center forward made the most of good service from Theo Hernandez on the first goal and an impeccable pass from Antoine Griezmann on the second as Denmark pushed France all the way.

Still, France took 20 of the game’s 28 shots and won the xG battle 2.35 to 0.61. Rivals will hope that the set piece goal is a way to beat the champs but France was otherwise solid again in its bid to win a second-straight World Cup.


Kylian Mbappe goal video: Come the hour (mark), come the man

Andreas Christensen goal video: Set piece equalizer for Danes

Kylian Mbappe goal video: Griezmann’s sweet service seals win


How to watch France vs Denmark live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11am ET, Saturday Nov. 26
Stadium: Stadium 974, Doha
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Denmark’s defenders were ready for Tunisia but its midfield could not dictate the pace and its forwards were nearly non-existent. To say France presents a bigger challenge for Andreas Skov Olsen, Kasper Dollberg, or whoever else Denmark puts in attack is an understatement.

France, meanwhile, allowed an early goal to the Socceroos before turning on the style for most of the remainder of the patch. Antoine Griezmann looks especially lively for Les Bleus after contract issues limited his minutes for Atletico Madrid earlier this season.


France quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 4
World Cup titles: 2 (1998, 2018)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group D)
Coach: Didier Deschamps
Key players: Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema

Denmark quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 10
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group F)
Coach: Kasper Hjulmand
Key players: Kasper Schmeichel, Simon Kjaer, Christian Eriksen

World Cup tables – Group stage standings in full

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The World Cup tables are shaping up to be very intriguing viewing as the group stage unfolds in Qatar.

[ LIVE: Watch World Cup en Espanol en Peacock ]

With teams now scrambling to be in the top two in order to reach the last 16, goal difference will make a big difference and it is going to be very tight and tense over the next few days.

If you need a reminder on the tiebreakers for the group stage, here is everything which will help you work out the two teams who will make it through and the two who will go home from reach group.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Below are the World Cup tables from all eight groups, as fans across the globe will be glue to these standings as they try to figure out the permutations needed for their team to make it through.


Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D | Group E | Group F | Group G | Group H

Group A table

1. Ecuador — 4 points (+2 GD)
2. Netherlands — 4 points (+2)
3. Senegal — 3 points (0)
4. Qatar — 0 (-4) – ELIMINATED

Matches played

Recap/highlights: Qatar 0-2 Ecuador – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Senegal 0-2 Netherlands – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Qatar 1-3 Senegal – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

Matches remaining

Tuesday, November 29: Netherlands vs Qatar – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 10am
Tuesday, November 29: Ecuador vs Senegal –  Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am


Group B table

1. England — 4 points (+4 GD)
2. Iran — 3 points (-2)
3. USA — 2 points (0)
4. Wales — 1 point (-2)

Matches played

Recap/highlights: England 6-2 Iran – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: USA 1-1 Wales – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Wales 0-2 Iran – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: England 0-0 USA – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

Matches remaining

Tuesday, November 29: Wales vs England – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
Tuesday November 29: Iran vs USA – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


Group C table

1. Poland — 4 points (+2)
2. Saudi Arabia — 3 points (+1 GD)
3. Mexico — 1 point (0)
4. Argentina — 0 points (-1)

Matches played

Recap/highlights: Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Mexico 0-0 Poland – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Poland 2-0 Saudi Arabia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

Matches remaining

Saturday, November 26: Argentina vs Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
Wednesday, November 30: Poland vs Argentina – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm
Wednesday, November 30: Saudi Arabia vs Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm


Group D table

1. France — 3 points (+3 GD)
2. Australia — 3 points (-2)
3. Denmark — 1 points (0)
4. Tunisia — 1 points (-1)

Matches played

Recap/highlights: France 4-1 Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Recap/highlights: Denmark 0-0 Tunisia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Tunisia 0-1 Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

Matches remaining

Saturday, November 26: France vs Denmark – Stadium 974, Doha – 11am
Wednesday, November 30: Tunisia vs France –  Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
Wednesday, November 30: Australia vs Denmark – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am


Group E table

1. Spain — 3 points (+7 GD)
2. Japan — 3 points (+1)
3. Germany — 0 points (-1)
4. Costa Rica — 0 points (-7)

Matches played

Recap/highlights: Spain 7-0 Costa Rica – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Germany 1-2 Japan – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

Matches remaining

Sunday, November 27: Spain vs Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm
Sunday, November 27: Japan vs Costa Rica – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 5am
Thursday, December 1: Japan vs Spain – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
Thursday, December 1: Costa Rica vs Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


Group F table

1. Belgium — 3 points (+1GD)
2. Croatia — 1 point (0)
3. Morocco — 1 point (0)
4. Canada — 0 points (-1)

Matches played

Recap/highlights: Belgium 1-0 Canada – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Morocco 0-0 Croatia – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

Matches remaining

Sunday, November 27: Belgium vs Morocco – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 8am
Sunday, November 27: Croatia vs Canada – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 11am
Thursday, December 1: Croatia vs Belgium – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
Thursday, December 1: Canada vs Morocco – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 10am


Group G table

1. Brazil — 3 points (+2 GD)
2. Switzerland — 3 points (+1)
3. Cameroon — 0 points (-1)
4. Serbia — 0 points (-2)

Matches played

Recap/highlights: Brazil 2-0 Serbia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

Matches remaining

Monday, November 28: Brazil vs Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha – 11am
Monday, November 28: Cameroon vs Serbia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 5am
Friday, December 2: Cameroon vs Brazil – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
Friday, December 2: Serbia vs Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm


Group H table

1. Portugal — 3 points (+1 GD)
2. South Korea — 1 point (0)
3. Uruguay — 1 point (0)
4. Ghana — 0 points (-1)

Matches played

Recap/highlights: Portugal 3-2 Ghana – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Uruguay 0-0 South Korea – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

Matches remaining

Monday, November 28: Portugal vs Uruguay – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
Monday, November 28: South Korea vs Ghana – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 8am
Friday, December 2: South Korea vs Portugal – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
Friday, December 2: Ghana vs Uruguay – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am


Iran vs USA: How to watch live, USMNT stream link, team news

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The United States men’s national team seeks a return to the knockout rounds and that’ll only come with a win over Iran at 2pm ET Saturday inside Al Thumama Stadium in Al Khor.

STREAM LIVE IRAN vs USA

It doesn’t matter what Wales does vs England at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan because England already has four points and a draw would give Iran four as well.

The Yanks’ two draws mandate a win-or-go-home mentality on Saturday and there are multiple generations worth of redemption up for grabs after the USMNT was felled by Iran at the 1998 World Cup and failed to qualify for the 2018 tourney in Russia.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

How can Gregg Berhalter unlock the USMNT attack to get the goal or goals he’ll need to reach a date with Group B’s winner or runner-up?

Here is everything you need for Iran vs USA.


How to watch Iran vs USA live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Tuesday Nov. 29
Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

For Iran, it’s about riding the momentum of a huge win after finding inspiration in a huge loss. There’s an ocean’s worth of difference in emotion between the 6-2 tournament-opening loss to England in Al Rayyan and the 2-0 triumph over Wales In the same city. Can Mehdi Taremi or Sardar Azmoun succeed where Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling could not and break down the USMNT defense for a goal?

Meanwhile, the Yanks may still be lamenting a 1-1 draw with Wales as much as they are celebrating a strong performance that kept them unbeaten against England at the World Cup after a scoreless draw with Gareth Southgate’s men In Al Khor. Gregg Berhalter has to find a way to unlock the USMNT’s final-third woes when they hit Al Khor on Tuesday.


Iran quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 20
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC (Won Group A)
Coach: Dragan Skocic
Key players: Ehsan Hajsafi, Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Taremi

USA quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 16
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 9
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (3rd place)
Coach: Gregg Berhalter
Key players: Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams

Brazil vs Switzerland: How to watch, live stream link, team news

Brazil vs Switzerland live
Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)
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Opening match winners Brazil and Switzerland meet Monday at Stadium 974 in Doha.

FIFA world No. 1 Brazil broke through pesky Serbia for a 2-0 win In Lusail to start the tournament as Richarlison scored two goals — one a ridiculous bit of technique — to get the Brazilians off on the right (and left) foot.

STREAM LIVE BRAZIL vs SWITZERLAND

Switzerland meanwhile used a 1-0 defeat of Cameroon to claim three points and set up Monday’s win-and-in match.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Can Neymar-less Brazil take the next step toward a sixth World Cup? Here is everything you need for Brazil vs Switzerland.


How to watch Brazil vs Switzerland live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11am ET, Monday Nov. 28
Stadium: Stadium 974, Doha
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Brazil will not have Neymar for this one and likely the rest of the group stage as the oft-fouled magician felt the sting of Serbian tackles in the opener. The Brazilians have had to play without their captain before and have a wealth of attacking options, but who will join Richarlison in providing the goals in a Ney-less attack.

The Swiss have all the tools to hang with Brazil, but how physical will they want to make it for the favorites? Granit Xhaka will be one to watch as the underdogs try to balance a desire to get forward with the danger of doing so against a potent Brazil.


Brazil quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 1
World Cup titles: 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
World Cup appearances: 22
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (1st place)
Coach: Tite
Key players: Neymar, Thiago Silva, Casemiro, Alisson Becker

Switzerland quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 15
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 12
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Murat Yakin
Key players: Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Yann Sommer, Remo Freuler