The 31-year-old can now show off his range of passing and his work rate from midfield, while also providing a threat with his set-piece deliveries.
FIFA claims the expansion is good for the global game. However, a bigger World Cup will advance the business and revenue interests of football's regulatory body, which is marred by corruption.
In fact, it was a rather sad sight. A veteran in decline departing the scene as his teammates — some barely half his age — continued to party.
As good as midfielders Pedri and Gavi are, they still lack a decisive, regular match-winner. The coach buys "the complete pack" when it comes to possession football, for better or for worse.
The Real Madrid man clipped a cross for Lucas Pacqueta whose first-time shot went through a mass of South Korean legs before nestling into the net.
Morocco has been the biggest surprise of the tournament and will next face either Portugal or Switzerland.
This was the third time South Korea has reached the knockout round. Its best performance was in 2002 when it co-hosted the event with Japan and reached the semifinals.
The manner of exuberant celebrations during the game caught the eye of many, with the Brazilians rolling out a set of choreographed dance moves.
The Roma playmaker hasn't played a minute in Qatar, despite the injuries afflicting Argentina on its turbulent run to the quarterfinals.
Victories over former World Cup champions Spain and Germany in the group stage showed Japan has improved enough to compete with top soccer nations.
Goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saved three penalty kicks Monday in Croatia’s 3-1 win over Japan in a shootout, securing a return to the quarterfinals for the runner-up in the 2018 tournament.
The quarter-final match promises fireworks between Messi's men and Van Gaal's.
19-year-old Bellingham is emerging as the heartbeat of the England team. He's now its youngest-ever player to provide an assist at the tournament after setting up Henderson's goal against Senegal.
His nine career World Cup goals make him the first player to score that many before the age of 24, breaking a record previously held by Pelé, who had seven at that point.
Two-time World Cup winners ease past Poland at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha
More representation from teams outside Europe and South America in last 16 of ongoing World Cup in Qatar, a good indicator that gap between powerhouses and smaller teams is closing
The Selecao, which had already reached the knockout stage after victories over Serbia and Switzerland, will face South Korea in the round of 16.
Switzerland will next face Portugal on Tuesday at Lusail Stadium.
South Korea advanced on the tiebreaker of goals scored, pushing Uruguay into third place Friday in one of the wildest finishes to a group in the tournament’s 92-year history.
Games and entertainments also are an integral part of life, and we need not create a necessary binary between religion and sports.