First Team 26/06/2018

My Footballing Hero: Sebastian Prödl

With France in action this afternoon, delved through the archives to find out which French star Sebastian Prödl grew up idolising.

“My footballing hero when I was younger was Zinedine Zidane,” the defender told the club's matchday programme. “I thought he was such an elegant player.

“He was a creator, he was always confident on the ball and he was always taking care of his teammates on the pitch.

“He always put a lot of intensity into his work and he never put himself in the main role, but he played like he was the leader.”

Zinedine Zidane won the World Cup with France in 1998

“I never had the chance to watch him live,” said the Austrian. “But I always watched him on television when he was playing for Juventus, Real Madrid and the French national team.

“Unfortunately, I never played against him either, but hopefully one day I can play against a team that he manages

“He's had an impressive career as a manager too at Real Madrid, where he's won major trophies and proved himself once again.” said Prödl.

France play Denmark in their final group game at the 2018 FIFA World Cup at 3pm.

First Team 26/06/2018

World Cup: Amrabat Impresses

Nordin Amrabat and Morocco exited the World Cup last night despite playing their part in an entertaining, and at times controversial, 2-2 draw with eventual Group B winners Spain.

The Watford winger was the stand out performer for Morocco as he featured for the third consecutive game and caused the Spaniards plenty of problems on the right flank.

Amrabat was again chosen as Man of the Match - this time by BBC Sport's Mike Whalley - having been given the same accolade by viewers in Morocco's previous fixture against Portugal.

He came close to scoring one of the goals of the tournament so far in the second half but his 20 yard strike cannoned off the angle of the post and bar and out to safety with David De Gea beaten.

Morocco twice led but were denied their first win of the tournament by a late Spanish equaliser from Iago Aspas, which was originally ruled out by an offside flag but the goal was awarded after being reviewed by VAR.

The Atlas Eagles will feel hard done-by after good performances over all three group games left them with only a point to show for their efforts.