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1 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 1 July, 2018 03:57:28 AM
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Road to quarterfinals

Rupu banks on Spain, Croatia

Rupu thinks Spain are playing really good football at the moment, while Croatia have proved their mettle in the group phase winning all three matches, including that against heavyweight Argentina. From this point of view, the former national star predicts Spain and Croatia would come out with flying colours in two matches to be played today
M Anwar Ullah
Rupu banks on 
Spain, Croatia
M Anwar Ullah

Sattyajit Das Rupu, former captain of the national side, gave his views on the third and fourth matches of the knockout phase. Spain and hosts Russia will meet in the third match, followed by Croatia and Denmark clashing in the fourth. Rupu, now the manager of the national football team, was straightforward. “Spain are favourites in today’s first match against hosts Russia,” he said. “Surely, they have the advantage of having some experienced performers, who are up for the challenge posed by the hosts. They are really playing good football at the moment in the buildup to the knockout phase,” he added.

“In their three group-phase encounters, they had to work a bit hard to win one match and draw the other two matches. But their playing style is special—it’s always different from others. So, it’ll be difficult for others to cope with Spain’s Tiki-Taka style,” Rupu said.

“Maybe, Russia were outstanding in their very first match and almost comfortably confirmed their room in the last 16, but the knockout phase will be a different ball game. It will be very difficult for Russia to deal with the passing and pressing football of Spain,” he added.

“Spain’s wonderful capacity to keep the ball in their possession for a long time will be more than difficult for the hosts to get by with their (Russia) counter-attack strategy,” he observed.

“Spain always play with a complete team strategy. The experienced Andre Inieasta, Jordi Alba, Ramos, Diego Costa, and youngster Koke can keep the ball in their possession for a long time,” he said.  

“I mean they can control the ball and cause huge trouble for any time any time. It’s difficult for the opponent team to handle the situation perfectly. For Russia, it’ll not be possible to stop the Spanish aggression,” predicted Rupu.

Crotia-Denmark (Second match)

 About the day’s second match, the former national star said: “Croatia are the favourites in today’s second match. They have proved their mettle after winning all their group matches, including against powerhouse Argentina, to storm into the knockout phase.”

In high praise for Croatia, Rupu said: “In the group phase, every game they played was a great show. There was a very good buildup for the team. The players looked eager to give their best. All the players were really putting in a lot of effort. I’m sure they will rise to the occasion to go far.”

The former national star was specially charmed by three players of Croatia: “It will become more than tough for Denmark to manage the Real Madrid duo of Luka Modric, Kovacic and the Barcelona star Ivan Rokatic.”

“Denmark could manage only one win against Peru. Even though a goalless draw against France in the last group match was somewhat inspiring for them, they will not be good enough to properly handle the three sharp weapons of Croatia,” he added.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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