NEWS
Monday July 2 2018
World Cup: Belgium beat Japan in thriller

Belgium were given an almighty scare by Japan, but emerged victorious in a 3-2 thriller in Rostov.

The Asian side took a 2-0 lead early in the second half, but the Belgians fought back to 2-2 and Nacer Chadli won it at the death to set up a quarter-final with Brazil.

Roberto Martinez’s Diables Rouges were heavy favourites going into the game, and fielded a strong line-up featuring Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Napoli’s Dries Mertens.

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NEWS
Monday July 2 2018
WC Player Profile: Dries Mertens

Once considered too short to be a professional, ‘Ciro’ Mertens is Belgium’s most popular player, explains Vincent Van Genechten.

There are so many stars in the Red Devils squad at this World Cup, from Eden Hazard to Romelu Lukaku, yet it is Dries Mertens who commands the most affection in the public eye.

His cheeky persona and tangible love for the sport also won over the Napoli fans and they rewarded him with the most quintessential Neapolitan nickname - Ciro.

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NEWS
Sunday July 1 2018
Mertens on free TVs and a hairdon't

Napoli striker Dries Mertens revealed what went wrong with his new hairstyle and why his friends want a free TV with Belgium goals.

The forward has impressed so far at the 2018 World Cup, including a spectacular volley, and is preparing for the Round of 16 clash with Belgium on Monday.

“My friends bought a television, so I am thinking about that as motivation,” joked Mertens in a Press conference.

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NEWS
Sunday July 1 2018
Inter balance books for Dembele

Inter have more than met their FFP requirements with €51.5m worth of sales, so can now dive in for Tottenham’s Mousa Dembele.

The Nerazzurri have been under Financial Fair Play limitations for several years, but this time have managed to balance the books without selling any major stars.

La Gazzetta dello Sport calculated director of sport Piero Ausilio has brought in €51.5m so far this summer, well above the €45m that UEFA guidelines forced them to raise.

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NEWS
Sunday July 1 2018
Roma approach for Mertens?

Roma are considering a proposal for Napoli forward Dries Mertens and would return him to his wide role, according to La Repubblica.

His career was transformed by Maurizio Sarri when used as a False 9 in the absence of injured Arkadiusz Milik and hasn’t stopped scoring since.

For Belgium at the World Cup, Mertens is back in his old position on the left wing, providing assistance to centre-forward Romelu Lukaku.

La Repubblica newspaper claims that Roma are interested in giving Mertens that role next to Edin Dzeko.

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NEWS
Thursday June 28 2018
World Cup: Januzaj defeats England

Adnan Januzaj’s stunner means Belgium top the group and will face Japan in the Round of 16, while England take on Colombia.

This was an extremely strange situation to be in, because both teams were qualified and not particularly eager to top the group, because they would then face Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Portugal, France and Argentina on their path to the Final. Runners-up, on the other hand, faced the prospect of Colombia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Russia, Croatia and Denmark.

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NEWS
Tuesday June 26 2018
Cahill reveals Mertens apology

England international Gary Cahill revealed an anecdote showing Napoli and Belgium striker Dries Mertens is “obviously a decent fella. I really respect him for that.”

The pair met in unfortunate circumstances during a friendly just ahead of Euro 2012, when Mertens shoved Cahill in the back and he clattered into teammate Joe Hart.

A fractured jaw ruled Cahill out of the tournament and they’ll meet again on Thursday in the 2018 World Cup in Kaliningrad.

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NEWS
Sunday June 24 2018
Napoli turned down Witsel

Napoli reportedly turned down Axel Witsel from Tianjin Quanjian as part of an exchange deal for Marek Hamsik.

President Aurelio De Laurentiis explained the situation to reporters this week, but kept the names of club and player a secret.

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Sunday June 24 2018
World Cup: England hit Panama for six

England go head-to-head with Belgium for top spot in the group after Harry Kane’s hat-trick in an historic 6-1 demolition of Panama.

Gareth Southgate’s side thanked a Harry Kane brace for their last-gasp win over Tunisia and Ruben Loftus-Cheek stepped in for injured Dele Alli, but Panama used the same XI that lost 3-0 to Belgium.

The Central Americans wasted a golden opportunity on the counter after four minutes with Anibal Godoy’s horrible mis-kick. Instead, John Stones was allowed a free header on a corner to give England the lead.

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NEWS
Saturday June 23 2018
Mertens feels 'support from Italy'

Napoli star Dries Mertens is enjoying the 2018 World Cup with Belgium and can “feel the support even from Italy.”

The Red Devils have booked their spot in the Round of 16 after beating Panama 3-0 and Tunisia 5-2.

“We are playing well and want to continue like this, as the important thing is that we’ve secured our place in the next round,” Mertens told the Corriere dello Sport.

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