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Daily Schmankerl: Russia rolls; Germany news; Bayern signs a Leipzig man; and MORE!

Opening day of the 2018 World Cup is in the books, so grab a coffee, give the Schmankerl a read, and settle in for an exciting day of pretending to work while the World Cup is on!

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Russia routes Saudi Arabia to open World Cup 2018 (

After an exciting yet controversial statement made by Robbie Williams in the opening ceremony, Russia made a statement of their own, routing Saudi Arabia 5-0 to kick off the FIFA World Cup.

With Russian President Vladimir Putin watching in the stands, the home country displayed dominance in every way imaginable.

Saudi Arabia had the minds of Barcelona: their ideas were creative in the build-up with the ball stuck to their feet; however, their technical ability seemed equal to that of a local U7 club. The Saudis turned over possession in their own half numerous times, leading to so many dangerous Russian attacks.

World Cup hosts are 15-0-6 all-time in their opening match. Russia just made it 16 wins with ease, and Saudi Arabia better hope Mohamed Salah is spared by Egypt. Otherwise, they can book their flight back home because Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez of Uruguay will be a near-impossible test.

— Drake Hills

The game also marked the coming out party for Russian central midfielder Aleksandr Golovin. Golovin, who plays for CSKA Moscow, had a goal and two assists and made himself a household name (and likely some major money) yesterday with his performance.

The English media is already creating a buzz around Golovin. Per a Metro report, Juventus is already in on Golovin and Arsenal fans are clamoring to bring the Russian into their fold. Let the hype train begin...ALL ABOARD!

Aleksandr Golovin admitted that he’s flattered by Juventus’ interest following Russia’s 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia. The 22-year-old CSKA Moscow star was Russia’s poster boy going into the World Cup and produced an outstanding performance in the opening match of the tournament on Thursday evening. Golovin bagged two assists and scored a stunning 94th-minute free kick and Arsenal fans were demanding that Unai Emery’s revives the club’s interest in the youngster.

— Chuck Smith

Denis Cheryshev scored an absolute beauty! (@FOXSoccer)

Denis Cheryshev scored two goals to help Russia on the way to their victory. The wild thing was that he wasn’t even a starter! He came on early in the first half when Alan Dzagoev was subbed off due to a hamstring injury, and he definitely made his point to the coach that he should be starting the rest of the tournament. Take a look at each Russian goal goal below:

Philipp Quinn

Die Mannschaft watched Russia-Saudi Arabia in style (@DFB_Team_EN)

The German team had a pretty sweet setup to watch the World Cup opener.

In trying to identify who was in the room, take a look and tell me if I’ve got it correct or am wrong (it wont be the last time today!).

— Chuck Smith

Germany’s press conferences are on Mixer (

One area where German soccer continues to dominate is with self promotion. Aside of the numerous, excellent Twitter accounts for the Bundesliga teams, Germany’s national team has taken the same fan-friendly and open approach to how it manages marketing the squad and giving fans access.

One great example is the team having its press conferences available on The broadcast even included an English translator. The Mixer landing page for Germany is for anyone who would like to try to follow along as the tournament progresses.

— Chuck Smith

Robert Lewandowski goes postal (@BILD_Bayern)

This has nothing to do with a teammate sending him a cross that is two inches off the mark, but postal in the form of a stamp. Yes, in Poland you can get your own Robert Lewandowski postage stamps.

This is a HUGE week in the building of the RL9 brand (or whatever it may be named). Lewandowski’s video series dropped on Twitter, he’s got a stamp, and he’s about to have the opportunity to display his vast talent for the world.

— Chuck Smith

This is not the RB Leipzig signing some of us were hoping for, but we’ll take it (

Bayern Munich signed Kilian Senkbeil, a center back, who most recently played for the RB Leipzig U-19 squad.

The amateurs of Bayern may welcome another new signing for the upcoming season. Kilian Senkbeil changes from the youth of RB Leipzig to the reserve champion. At FCB, the 19-year-old defensive player has signed a contract for three years until June 30, 2021.

Kilian Senkbeil strengthens the : #ttps:// #BayernAmateure

Bayern Campus Manager Jochen Sauer was happy to bring a young talent to help bolster the U-23 squad.

With Kilian, we were able to win a very well-trained and talented player for the defensive center. For the first time in our U-23, he should prove himself in the men’s field and develop it further.

Senkbeil has spent the previous eight years in the RB Leipzig youth system and was the captain of U-19 team last season. Senkbeil played in 24 games in the A-Juniors Bundesliga, where he scored three goals.

Senkbeil also played five times in the UEFA Youth League and once in the DFB Junior Cup. As far as international experience goes, Senkbeil was on the German U-19 national team in the European Championship qualifier against Northern Ireland and has made seven total appearances over the years for German youth national teams.

Senkbeil is yet another player eager to move over to Bayern in hopes of developing his skillset.

I’m very happy to be able to play for Bayern in the future and want to make the next step in my development with the amateurs.

—Chuck Smith

James has some political trouble back home (Bild)

On the eve of a runoff presidential election in Colombia, supporters of Gustavo Petro have created unauthorized advertisements featuring James Rodriguez’s image accompanied by a fake quote. James’s mother, Pilar Rubio Gomez, took to social media to declare the advertisements fake.

The false advertisement reads:

I know the poverty of my country, because I suffered it. I want a change for my country. We don’t want the same thing anymore. Colombia deserves peace.

James’s manager, David Pérez, told Bild:

We will not press charges. These are unauthorized actions by political fanatics. The World Cup is the most important thing now. This photograph annoyance is behind us.

John N. Dillon

Relive Bastian Schweinsteiger’s epic 2014 World Cup (@ChicagoFire)

John N. Dillon

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