Mbappé delivers for France as captain; Lukaku nets hat trickMarch 24, 2023 GMT
Kylian Mbappé delivered for France again, this time wearing the captain’s armband.
Leading a new era for Les Bleus, there was something very familiar about the way Mbappé slotted home two unforgiving finishes to headline a 4-0 win over the Netherlands in European Championship qualifying on Friday.
Crusaders beat ACT, Chiefs still unbeaten in Super RugbyMarch 24, 2023 GMT
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Leicester Fainga’anuku scored two tries Friday to bring his tally to five in his last two matches as the Crusaders produced a 35-17 win over the previously unbeaten ACT Brumbies in Super Rugby Pacific.
Lyon condemns online racist abuse aimed at Houssem AouarMarch 22, 2023 GMT
LYON, France (AP) — French soccer club Lyon has condemned the online racist abuse suffered by midfielder Houssem Aouar after he chose to represent Algeria despite previously playing for France's national team.
Injured Netherlands midfielder De Jong out for France matchMarch 20, 2023 GMT
ZEIST, Netherlands (AP) — Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong and winger Steven Bergwijn dropped out of the national squad for the team's opening European Championship qualifier against France, coach Ronald Koeman said Monday.
Brothers Khéphren and Marcus Thuram are both in France squadMarch 16, 2023 GMT
PARIS (AP) — Brothers Khéphren and Marcus Thuram were called up by France coach Didier Deschamps on Thursday for upcoming European Championship qualifiers against the Netherlands and Ireland.
They are the sons of former France defender Lilian Thuram, who played alongside Deschamps when France won the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000.
FIFA expands 2026 World Cup again to create 104-game programMarch 14, 2023 GMT
The expanded World Cup in North America got even more supersized on Tuesday.
The governing body of soccer increased the size of the 2026 tournament for the second time — six years after the first — by approving a bigger group stage for the inaugural 48-team event.
NZ: Next All Blacks coach to be appointed within 6 weeksMarch 1, 2023 GMT
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Rugby will appoint the next All Blacks head coach “within four to six weeks,” dealing a blow to Ian Foster who will lead the national team to the World Cup in France later this year.
World Cup qualifying enters final days, with 10 spots leftFebruary 25, 2023 GMT
There are still 10 spots left unclaimed for this summer’s Basketball World Cup, with all but one of them expected to be decided on Sunday.
Angola became the 22nd team to qualify for the 32-team field, getting in on Saturday.
World Cup winner Raphael Varane retires from France teamFebruary 2, 2023 GMT
PARIS (AP) — France defender Raphaël Varane announced his retirement from the national team on Thursday, the second major player to leave Les Bleus following the World Cup final defeat to Argentina.
Messi scores in 1st game after World Cup as PSG winsJanuary 11, 2023 GMT
PARIS (AP) — Lionel Messi scored in his first game since leading Argentina to the World Cup title as French league leader Paris Saint-Germain beat Angers 2-0 on Wednesday.
Deschamps extends contract as France coach to next World CupJanuary 7, 2023 GMT
PARIS (AP) — After leading France to another World Cup final, coach Didier Deschamps is signing up for another shot at the title, prolonging his contract to July 2026.
Croatia defender Dejan Lovren returns to LyonJanuary 2, 2023 GMT
LYON, France (AP) — French club Lyon has signed Dejan Lovren to a contract until June 2025 as the Croatia defender makes his return to the seven-time champions.
Barcelona, Madrid resume Spanish league fight post World CupDecember 29, 2022 GMT
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona and Real Madrid resume their fight for the Spanish league title as the competition starts again following a seven-week hiatus for the World Cup.
When club play stopped in early November, Barcelona and Madrid were already threatening to make it a two-team race with nine points separating second-place Madrid from Real Sociedad in third.
PSG stars Mbappé, Neymar fired up as French league resumesDecember 27, 2022 GMT
PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain stars Kylian Mbappé and Neymar could take out their World Cup frustrations on struggling Strasbourg when the French league resumes on Wednesday.
Arsenal fights back to extend league lead to 7 pointsDecember 26, 2022 GMT
LONDON (AP) — Arsenal showed how to fight back on Boxing Day, traditionally a busy time in English soccer, by beating West Ham 3-1 to stretch its lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points.
Kane scores, Tottenham rallies for 2-2 draw with BrentfordDecember 26, 2022 GMT
LONDON (AP) — Harry Kane returned to the Premier League and scored a goal to help Tottenham come back from a two-goal deficit in a 2-2 draw with Brentford on Monday.
Kane, who missed a penalty in the World Cup quarterfinal loss to France two weeks ago, scored in the 65th minute.
AP PHOTOS: Favorite photos from AP staff at the World CupDecember 24, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — A World Cup that ended with Lionel Messi finally holding the golden trophy in his hands produced some unforgettable images from the staff of Associated Press photographers at the tournament in Qatar.
France World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi retires from soccerDecember 23, 2022 GMT
PARIS (AP) — France World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi announced his retirement from soccer on Friday.
The 35-year-old Matuidi won the World Cup in 2018 and made the last of his 84 appearances for Les Bleus three years ago.
AP Week in Pictures: Europe and AfricaDecember 23, 2022 GMT
DEC. 16 - DEC. 22
From the continuing aggression across Ukraine to fans reacting to World Cup games in France and Morocco and the nurses' strikes in England, this photo gallery highlights some of the most compelling images made or published in the past week by The Associated Press from Europe and Africa.
Girona upset at 4th-tier rival in Copa; Atlético advancesDecember 23, 2022 GMT
MADRID (AP) — Girona became the first top-flight Spanish team to be upset in the Copa del Rey’s round-of-32 on Thursday, while Atlético Madrid had to fight back for victory at another minnow.
Girona, which is 13th in the Spanish league, was upset 2-1 at the fourth-tier Cacereño in western Spain.
French federation plans contract talks with coach DeschampsDecember 22, 2022 GMT
PARIS (AP) — France coach Didier Deschamps will meet with French soccer federation president Noël Le Graët next week to discuss a new contract.
Deschamps, who has been in charge for 10 years, has led Les Bleus to three major finals and won the 2018 World Cup.
Sunday’s World Cup final most-watched soccer match in U.S.December 21, 2022 GMT
Argentina’s dramatic victory over France in penalty kicks in the World Cup final has become the most-watched soccer match of any kind in the United States.
With Nielsen and Fox releasing the “match only” rating on Wednesday, Sunday's match had an English- and Spanish-language total combined audience of 26,726,000.
More than 25 million watched World Cup final in U.S.December 20, 2022 GMT
Argentina's dramatic victory over France in penalty kicks in the World Cup final was the second most-watched soccer match of any kind in the United States.
The early numbers from Nielsen, Fox and Telemundo show Sunday's match had an English- and Spanish-language combined audience of 25,783,000.
French federation to go after abusers of World Cup playersDecember 20, 2022 GMT
PARIS (AP) — The French soccer federation wants to go after social media users who targeted some of the national team's players with racist comments following France's loss to Argentina in the World Cup final.
Thousands in Paris welcome France home after World Cup lossDecember 19, 2022 GMT
PARIS (AP) — Thousands of fans in central Paris cheered the arrival home of a France team that lost one of the greatest World Cup finals.
Kylian Mbappé and teammates landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport from Doha just after 8 p.m.
FIFA mostly wins big but loses some trust at Qatar World CupDecember 19, 2022 GMT
Even before an epic final won by Lionel Messi and Argentina, FIFA president Gianni Infantino was calling it “the best World Cup ever” in Qatar.
Benzema indicates international retirement on social mediaDecember 19, 2022 GMT
PARIS (AP) — France forward Karim Benzema indicated he is retiring from internationals in a post on social networks on Monday, a day after the team lost the World Cup final without him.
After earning the Ballon d’Or as the world's top player to crown his remarkable rise, Benzema’s dream of winning the World Cup ended before the tournament in Qatar when he tore a left thigh muscle in training with Les Bleus.
With Mbappé and Deschamps, France’s future looks just fineDecember 19, 2022 GMT
LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — France played its part in one of the most memorable finishes in World Cup history, even though the defending champions failed to retain the title.
World Cup review: Best and worst of the tournament in QatarDecember 19, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — After 64 matches, 172 goals and one of the best finals in history, the 2022 World Cup is over.
Argentina is the champion for the third time after beating France in a penalty shootout.
Argentines erupt in joy after epic World Cup finalDecember 19, 2022 GMT
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentines let loose on Sunday and streets across the country became places of celebration after an epic World Cup final in which the national team beat France on penalties.
Messi’s hometown of Rosario celebrates after World Cup winDecember 19, 2022 GMT
ROSARIO, Argentina (AP) — The streets of Lionel Messi’s hometown of Rosario erupted in celebration on Sunday after Argentina beat France to win its third World Cup title.
“We’re champions, which is all we wanted, more than anything for (Messi) and for the whole team,” Santiago Ferraris, 25, said.
‘Very sad’ Macron congratulates Argentina for World Cup winDecember 18, 2022 GMT
LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — Dejected but still proud of France’s World Cup team, French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Argentina and Argentines for their win in Sunday’s final.
World Cup final ends just in time for Fox’s NFL coverageDecember 18, 2022 GMT
Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi provided more drama leading up to Sunday's early NFL games on Fox than Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw.
Sunday's World Cup final in Qatar between Argentina and France went to extra time and penalty kicks, bumping Fox's “NFL Sunday” pregame show off the air.
Messi wins World Cup, Argentina beats France on penaltiesDecember 18, 2022 GMT
LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — Lionel Messi, wearing a black Qatari robe over his blue-and-white Argentina shirt, kissed the World Cup, shuffled toward his teammates and hoisted the golden trophy high in the air.
Mbappé electrifies in World Cup epic, ends up on losing sideDecember 18, 2022 GMT
LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — Kylian Mbappé scored a hat trick seemingly from out of nowhere to electrify the World Cup final, he ended the tournament as the leading scorer with eight goals, and he still missed out on winning a second straight title.
France’s dismay mixed with awe for Messi in World Cup finalDecember 18, 2022 GMT
PARIS (AP) — In the pain, there also was consolation. Losing to Argentina in the World Cup final wasn't the ending that heart-broken France fans hoped for.
Live updates | Argentina wins World Cup final against FranceDecember 18, 2022 GMT
LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — The Latest from the World Cup final between Argentina and France:
Lionel Messi says he cannot wait to return to Argentina with the World Cup trophy.
World Cup in Qatar sets scoring record with 172 goalsDecember 18, 2022 GMT
LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — The six-goal final between France and Argentina set a World Cup record of 172 at this year’s tournament.
The previous tournament record of 171 goals was set in 1998 and 2014.
Messi, Mbappé lead selections for AP’s team of the World CupDecember 18, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé head the selections for the team of the tournament as chosen by writers covering the World Cup for The Associated Press.
World Cup champions to get $42 million in prize moneyDecember 18, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The World Cup champions will earn $42 million in prize money for their soccer federation.
The losing team in Sunday's final between France and Argentina will get $30 million from a FIFA prize fund of $440 million.
Southgate to stay on as England manager after World CupDecember 18, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — After saying he needed time to consider his future, England coach Gareth Southgate has confirmed he will stay on beyond the World Cup.
Southgate has moved quickly to end the uncertainty around his job by informing the FA of his intention to lead the team at the European Championships in 2024.
In footsteps of France’s Mbappé, kids and parents dream bigDecember 17, 2022 GMT
BONDY, France (AP) — On the football fields where Kylian Mbappé honed the feints, dribbles and shots that all of France hopes to see in the World Cup final, another generation of French kids with big dreams is already hard at work trying to follow in the superstar's footsteps.
Deschamps, France feeling ‘alone’ ahead of World Cup finalDecember 17, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — France coach Didier Deschamps knows most neutral fans want Argentina to win the World Cup final to give Lionel Messi the perfect send-off from soccer's biggest tournament.
Scaloni answers critics with Argentina’s World Cup final runDecember 17, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Argentina’s gamble paid off.
Criticism came quickly when Lionel Scaloni was hired as the unqualified, somewhat accidental coach of Argentina’s national team in 2018.
How, the nay-sayers said, could someone with no club experience — in fact, no senior coaching experience at all — be expected to lead a squad containing the great Lionel Messi?
Argentina fans adopt ‘Muchachos’ as their World Cup anthemDecember 17, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — “Muchachos” has become a hugely popular unofficial anthem of Argentine fans at the World Cup.
The song, which was written by a fan, includes references to soccer greats Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.
How Argentina can beat France in the World Cup finalDecember 17, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Lionel Messi stands on the brink of a long-awaited World Cup winner's medal as Argentina faces defending champions France in Sunday's final.
Each World Cup semifinal seen by 9M people in USDecember 16, 2022 GMT
NEW YORK (AP) — Victories by Argentina and France in the World Cup semifinals were each seen by nine million people in the U.S.
Argentina's 3-0 win over Croatia on Tuesday was seen by 9.3 million.
Infantino gives FIFA wish list of new and revamped eventsDecember 16, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — A 32-team men's Club World Cup in 2025. A new version of the tournament for women. National teams from different continents playing each other more often between World Cups.
Varane, Konate miss World Cup training for virus-hit FranceDecember 16, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konaté were among five France players who missed training on Friday, two days before the World Cup final against Argentina.
Macron returns to Qatar for love of sport, despite criticismDecember 16, 2022 GMT
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron is about to jet off to Qatar for the second time in a week, despite broad concerns about the emirate's human rights and environmental record. Why? Because France is in the World Cup final, and Macron really is a big soccer fan — as well as a prominent advocate of the longstanding partnership between the two countries.
Messi, Mbappe, other leading storylines for World Cup FinalDecember 16, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Lionel Messi's last chance. Kylian Mbappé's shot at emulating Pelé. A third World Cup title for either Argentina or France.
10 dead in France’s worst residential fire in yearsDecember 16, 2022 GMT
VAULX-EN-VELIN, France (AP) — Ten people, including five children as young as 3, died after a nighttime fire ravaged an eight-story apartment building Friday in one of the French city of Lyon’s poorest suburbs, local authorities said.
AP Week in Pictures: Europe and AfricaDecember 16, 2022 GMT
Dec. 8 – Dec. 15
From snowfall in Britain and Germany to the Masai Olympics in Kenya and Moroccan soccer fans in Morocco and France celebrating their team's success, this photo gallery highlights some of the most compelling images made or published in the past week by The Associated Press from Europe and Africa.
France: Car hits, kills boy amid World Cup game celebrationsDecember 15, 2022 GMT
PARIS (AP) — A suspect driving a car in the southern French city of Montpellier “violently hit” and killed a teenage boy as crowds celebrated France's victory in the World Cup semifinal, local authorities said Thursday.
Morocco looks to the future after World Cup dream endsDecember 15, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Morocco made history, but couldn’t make it past Kylian Mbappé and France.
The first African country to reach the semifinals of the World Cup was eventually beaten by defending champions France, losing 2-0 at Al Bayt Stadium on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s Sports In BriefDecember 15, 2022 GMT
AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Kylian Mbappé vs. Lionel Messi.
Soccer’s latest superstar against perhaps the sport’s greatest player in the World Cup final just about everyone was hoping for.
France celebrates World Cup victory, fans cheer Morocco teamDecember 15, 2022 GMT
PARIS (AP) — Crowds in Paris and other French cities erupted in shouts of joy as France advanced to the World Cup final Wednesday, while disappointed Morocco fans mingled with the exuberant supporters of the winning team, paying tribute to the African country's unprecedented achievement.
Morocco makes another World Cup statement despite lossDecember 14, 2022 GMT
AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Yassine Bounou stretched out his arm with everything he had, desperately trying to get something, anything, in the way of the ball. It was no use.
France substitute Randal Kolo Muani had come on only seconds earlier and with his first touch assured the defending champions of a second straight World Cup final, putting an end to Morocco’s proud fight once and for all.
Griezmann gives his all, France advances to World Cup finalDecember 14, 2022 GMT
AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Darting runs. Key tackles. Timely interceptions. Calming passes.
Antoine Griezmann did it all for France on Wednesday, and now he's going to his second World Cup final.
Mbappe, France advance to World Cup final, beat Morocco 2-0December 14, 2022 GMT
AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Kylian Mbappé vs. Lionel Messi.
Soccer's latest superstar against perhaps the sport's greatest player in the World Cup final just about everyone was hoping for.
France and Mbappé are headed back to the biggest game in soccer, and to a much-anticipated matchup with Argentina, after ending Morocco’s historic run at the World Cup on Wednesday.
Macron ‘immensely proud’ that France in World Cup finalDecember 14, 2022 GMT
AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron said he was ”immensely proud” that France reached the World Cup final after he traveled to Qatar to watch the team's win over Morocco in the semifinals on Wednesday.
Mbappe attends to fan ahead of World Cup semifinal matchDecember 14, 2022 GMT
AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Kylian Mbappe attended to a fan who was apparently struck by a stray practice ball ahead of the World Cup semifinal match between France and Morocco on Wednesday.
Morocco faces France in politically charged World Cup gameDecember 14, 2022 GMT
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Hind Sabouni bristles with pride as she recalls her country's history-making World Cup run as it eliminated one European soccer powerhouse and former colonial power after another — Belgium, Spain and Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal — to become the first African and Arab nation to reach the semifinals.
Morocco airline says 7 World Cup flights to Qatar canceledDecember 14, 2022 GMT
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Morocco’s national carrier says seven flights that were meant to take soccer fans to Qatar for Morocco’s historic World Cup semifinal on Wednesday against France have been canceled because of restrictions by Qatari authorities.
Sports on TV for Wednesday, December 14December 13, 2022 GMT
ACCN — Appalachian St. at Wake Forest
Sports on TV for Wednesday, December 14December 13, 2022 GMT
ACCN — Appalachian St. at Wake Forest
Soccer craze, pride grip Croatia before Argentina semifinalDecember 13, 2022 GMT
ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Forget Croatia's forthcoming historic change of currency, or joining European Union's travel-free zone. The World Cup semifinal against Argentina is all that most Croats are thinking about.
Perisic looks to seize the big moment again at the World CupDecember 12, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The late run. The timing. The delivery. Leo Perišić has certainly learned a thing or two from his father.
While Ivan Perišić has been his usual consistent self at the World Cup to help Croatia reach the semifinals, the winger’s young son has provided one of the more touching moments of the tournament.
Tchouaméni shows at World Cup why Mbappé wanted him at PSGDecember 12, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Kylian Mbappé is finally getting his chance to play alongside Aurélien Tchouaméni with France into the World Cup semifinals and Morocco up next on Wednesday.
Mbappé to face good friend Hakimi in World Cup semifinalDecember 11, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Kylian Mbappé is going to meet his good friend Achraf Hakimi again at this World Cup.
Not like the first time in Qatar last week, when the France star went to visit his Paris Saint-Germain teammate at the Morocco team hotel in downtown Doha.
England looks to future after latest World Cup heartbreakDecember 11, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — It was a new twist on an old story for England.
Harry Kane's late penalty flew high over the bar at Al Bayt Stadium Saturday, effectively sealing the national team's World Cup fate.
World Cup exit leaves Southgate considering England positionDecember 11, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — After a third shot at a major tournament ended in disappointment, Gareth Southgate wants time to consider his future as England coach.
Kane sends penalty, England’s World Cup hopes, over the barDecember 11, 2022 GMT
AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Late in the match and with the ball resting motionless on the penalty spot, Harry Kane stood ready, concentrated, eyeing the goal and his teammate from Tottenham in front of it.
France advances to semifinals at World Cup, tops England 2-1December 11, 2022 GMT
AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — France’s players reacted as if they had already won the World Cup. What they were actually celebrating, though, was Harry Kane's missed penalty.
Mbappé laughs, shows his joy as World Cup history beckonsDecember 10, 2022 GMT
AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Kylian Mbappé’s immense sense of joy was written all over his face.
The France forward’s mouth opened as wide as could be and his eyes squinted tight in elation after what he had just witnessed at the World Cup.
Memorial to American writer Wahl placed at World Cup gameDecember 10, 2022 GMT
AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — American soccer writer Grant Wahl was honored with a tribute from FIFA on the desk where he was due to work Saturday at the World Cup quarterfinal match between France and England.
Tenacity and penalties, keys to Croatia’s deep World Cup runDecember 10, 2022 GMT
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — With a population of around 4 million people, the magnitude of Croatia's win against Brazil wasn't lost on the team's coach, Zlatko Dalić.
Odermatt dominates World Cup GS to consolidate overall leadDecember 10, 2022 GMT
VAL d'ISÈRE, France (AP) — Olympic champion Marco Odermatt dominated on Saturday to win a World Cup giant slalom and consolidate his lead in the overall standings.
The Swiss skier posted the fastest times in both runs on the Face de Bellevarde course in Val d’Isère to finish 1.40 seconds ahead of Austria’s Manuel Feller.
Dutch eliminated from World Cup in Louis van Gaal’s finaleDecember 10, 2022 GMT
LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — The Dutch were outnumbered in their quarterfinal match at the World Cup.
Argentina had one Lionel Messi and the Netherlands had none.
And still, the Oranje came back and forced extra time in a knockout match for the ages by scoring in the 83rd minute and then on a playground-type restart in the 11th — yes, 11th!
Croatia wins yet another penalty shootout at World CupDecember 9, 2022 GMT
AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — When it comes down to a penalty shootout at the World Cup, count on Croatia to make it through.
Twice already at the tournament in Qatar and twice four years ago in Russia, the Croats had to steel themselves for one of the toughest — and certainly one of the cruelest — tests in soccer.