WELL what a tournament Russia 2018 is shaping up to be – if it were a man it would have the face of Brad Pitt, the body of Adonis and take you on a journey filled with fun, awe and excitement like The Rock in Jumanji!

It kicked off with a stunning 5-0 win for the hosts over Saudi Arabia. How lucky was that draw for Mr Putin’s boys hmmmmmm – getting the lowest ranked team they could possibly face to ease their way into the fray?

 

It has had a stunning 3-3 draw between Spain and a Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Portugal; holders Germany lost their opener, yes you read that right GERMANY LOST 1-0 to Mexico; Leo Messi missed a penalty as Argentina could only draw with Iceland who were playing their first-ever World Cup finals game and ENGLAND WON!!

Harry Kane killed two curses stone dead – his dreadful summer scoring record and the Three Lions’ annoying habit of messing it up from the start as we won our first major tournament opener since 2006.

The England skipper’s neck muscles deserve a Knighthood on their own after his sumptuous, powerful and damn perfect injury-time header saw off Tunisia 2-1. How good is it to be on the right side of a late winner for once!?

Our squad, the third youngest in Russia, played brilliantly for the opening half hour and with THREE major penalty decisions going against us victory was all the more sweeter. It was also great to see the passion overwhelm sharp-suited boss Gareth Southgate -usually so reserved – plus the pure joy on the faces of the players.

The only negatives were Raheem Sterling’s finishing and Dele Alli picking up a thigh strain. The pair divide opinion but you can’t be everyone’s cup of tea otherwise you’d be a mug – and we should all be supporting them as they bust a gut to make the country proud.

Tournament football is all about momentum and finally we have some. Next up for Southgate’s side on Sunday are whipping boys Panama who were tonked 3-0 by group favourites Belgium with Manchester United star Romelu Lukaka bagging a brace.

Usually at this point in a tournament our players look like they’re wearing football retardant boots and the mood in the country is darker than a black panther wearing a Darth Vader costume.

This time it feels like the Force is with Kane & Co and the mood is lighter than Neymar’s ridiculous new hair.

ANDY MURRAY is back after an 11-month absence through injury – and that hip of his gave him no gyp.

The Brit’s long-waited comeback was against 23-year-old Nick Kyrgios at Queen’s and he powered his way to take the first set but understandably tiredness crept in as he suffered a narrow 6-2 6-7 5-7 loss.

The three-time major winner, 31, has not played since last year’s Wimbledon but he looked like the Muzza of old – wowing the crowd with some sensational shots against the big-serving Australian.

Some of his passing shots had the adoring crowd on his feet but just remember the old saying – love means nothing to a tennis player.

NOT all Aussies had a good day as their cricketers were humbled as England made the highest one-day international in HISTORY.

At Trent Bridge skipper Eoin Morgan’s side posted an incredible 481-6 with Alex Hales making 147 off 92 balls.

Morgan himself became England’s highest ODI run-scorer of all time and another record to be broken was most boundaries reached with 62.

AND finally this very column said that Sergio Ramos was the type of cringe worthy bloke who talks in the third person.

Here is what the uncharitable Real Madrid skipper said after it was revealed his snide elbow on Loris Karius in the Champions League final gave the Liverpool keeper concussion and contributed to his horror show.

Mocking that and the game-ending World Cup-ruining injured shoulder of Mo Salah after the pair clashed the Spaniard sneered: “He could have played on if he got an injection but when Ramos does something like this, it sticks a little bit more.”

Stay classy Sergio – I mean Barbara says stay classy Sergio.

Tweet @BabsDouglasBP

 

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