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Why Fred did not play at all in Brazil's World Cup campaign

Why Fred did not play at all in Brazil's World Cup campaign

Following Croatia's shootout win over Russia, Fox Sports soccer analyst Alexi Lalas suggested that Russia 2018 was the greatest World Cup ever.

Centre-forward Romelu Lukaku spent much of that game on the right flank, with midfielder Kevin de Bruyne at times operating as a false nine.

Whatever the outcome of England's semi-final, the team will remain in Russian Federation at the very least until next Saturday when the Third Place Play-Off is contested - the final will be played on Sunday 15 July. After a brace in Atletico Madrid's Europa League final win over Marseille, firing France to their second World Cup would cap a glittering year for the newly contracted 27-year-old.

Neymar was personally tipped for glory in the competition but endured a hard tournament, scoring twice for Brazil but also receiving severe criticism from around the world as a result of his perceived tendency to dive and exaggerate injuries.

Adding insult to (exaggerated) injury, Brazil was knocked out of the tournament in that game, losing 2-1 to Belgium.

It was Brazil's exit - not Argentina's, not Spain's, not even Germany's - which created the greatest feeling of possibility at this World Cup for nations who haven't historically scalped the heights on the world's biggest sporting stage.

With Russia eliminated, this marks the fifth straight World Cup in which the host has not been able to protect home soil.

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, RUSSIA-The minirevolt that started eight months ago, when Sweden toppled Italy in qualifying and barred the four-time champions from the World Cup for the first time since 1958, is blowing up into a full rebellion at the tournament itself.

So backing a Belgian player to score first makes sense given that they are the more potent of the two teams.

There has also been the rise of new strong teams in the case of Belgium.

Belgium are just the ninth team in World Cup history to win* five successive matches in a single World Cup tournament, though the feat has been achieved 11 times.

Fred was left on the bench for all of Brazil's games. A match won is only over 90 or 120 mins.