WORLD CUP KICKOFF: A look at what's ahead at the World CupJuly 12, 2018 6:46pm

MOSCOW (AP) — Here's a look at what's coming up at the World Cup , which is down to its last two matches: the third-place game Saturday in St. Petersburg between Belgium and England, and the final the following day in Moscow between France and Croatia.

PUMP UP THE VOLUME

Will Smith, Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi are headlining the closing ceremony before the final. They'll be singing the tournament's official song , "Live It Up," which has oddly been absent from soundtracks at stadiums around Russia. The three will make their first appearance together in Russia at a Friday news conference. FIFA and its broadcasting partners may be hoping for a less eventful show than the opening ceremony, when British singer Robbie Williams stuck out his middle finger at the camera during his act at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

CHECKERED FUTURE

A bonus for the Croats as they prepare for their nation's first World Cup final : They finally get to wear their unmistakable checkered jerseys again. Croatia's fans have traveled to all of their matches sporting the famed red-and-white shirts but the players haven't been able to wear them since the opening match against Nigeria nearly a month ago. That's because they would have clashed, one way or another, with the uniforms of the five opponents Croatia has played since. With Les Bleus in their own favored shirts, Croatia will again be free to put on the colors shown in the crest on its flag. For a sense of how big a deal that is, look at how quickly coach Zlatko Dalic switched out of his dress shirt and into a jersey after Wednesday's extra-time win over England, or how Croatia President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic proudly wore a checked scarf to a NATO summit this week in Belgium.

PRESIDENT AT THE PODIUM

Speaking of presidents, FIFA President Gianni Infantino is set to meet the media for his first World Cup news conference, two days ahead of the final. Besides praising Russia for a successful tournament, Infantino can expect questions about the 2022 World Cup in Qatar , the $25 billion Club World Cup and the role for the top female FIFA official, Fatma Sasoura, who has rarely been heard from during the tournament.

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a soccer ball to U.S. President Donald Trump, left, during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Putin soccer ball gift to Trump gets routine security check
AP Photos: Editor selections from the past week in AsiaAP Photos: Floods in Manila, watching World Cup finals in India, mud wrestling in South Korea, Thai soccer boys return home.
Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland plays out of the rough on the 1st hole during the first round of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Thursday July 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Ice Man out to conquer British Open, and the famous collapse
FILE- In this file photo dated Friday, July 6, 2018, Brazil goalkeeper Alisson reacts after Brazil's Fernandinho scored an own goal, during the quarterfinal match between Brazil and Belgium at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena, in Kazan, Russia.  Liverpool announced Thursday July 19, 2018, the signing of Brazil goalkeeper Alisson from Roma, in the latest big-money purchase by the English club.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein, FILE)
Alisson joins Liverpool as world's most expensive goalie
Sergio Garcia of Spain walks from the 1st tee box during the first round of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Thursday July 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Kang trying to put cheating accusation behind him at British
Murphy: Sky Blue soccer woes 'unacceptable,' will be fixedNew Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says reports of bleak living and working conditions for members of the women's soccer team he co-owns are 'unacceptable' and will be fixed
This component is currently unavailable.
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices