Simon Kuper at World Cup 2018

Daily reports from across Russia as part of the FT’s World Cup coverage

© Barry Falls

Sons of immigrants in national team are products of France — in ways good and bad

Southgate’s team return to bad old long-ball ways on a disappointing night

Samuel Umtiti header sets up final clash against Croatia or England

World Cup semi-finalists combine best of British and continental traditions

One of the world’s least nationalist nations finds someone worth cheering on

Suddenly the young team find themselves unstoppable in the air

More from this Series

‘I can write about the genius of French forward Kylian Mbappé, knowing the FT is also covering Russian elite corruption’

This set of players is not significantly better than the maligned teams of the past

The Red Devils’ best team since 1986 must outwit the South Americans’ best since 2002

Penalty unpredictability deemed crucial to tournament success 

Gareth Southgate’s team through to World Cup quarter-final with nail-biting win

Southgate must ensure his players are positive, patient and ready for penalties

The story of the World Cup so far defies nativist forces elsewhere

Victory shortens Red Devils’ odds of facing impressive Brazil in the quarter-finals

But under Deschamps, Les Bleus have so far played sterile football

Disastrous result proves no one can defy football’s eternal need for renewal

But the forward might yet prove a uniquely Brazilian saviour as his team meets Serbia

Barcelona veteran, now full of stress and flashes of anger, should rediscover the kid

Löw’s team must show desire to remain in the tournament, let alone retain their crown

South Americans struggle to find formation that allows their matchwinner to thrive

Goalscorers born weeks apart in same city can propel La Celeste into second round

Two goals for captain cannot hide flawed performance

Manager Gareth Southgate is copying methods that have helped other European teams win

‘After 1998, the relationship between Bleus and ordinary French people degenerated into a bad marriage’

Iberian World Cup clash pits the Portuguese captain against his Real Madrid clubmates

Opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia gives ordinary players chance to shine

Gideon Rachman, Murad Ahmed and Simon Kuper in Paris join Jonathan Derbyshire to discuss the World Cup. Produced by Murray Withers

Do switch off Twitter, don’t make predictions: lessons from a tournament veteran

The way the game is experienced away from the pitch is the latest powerful example of digital disruption

As fans flock to sport’s greatest spectacle, efforts to clean up the beautiful game have run into the sand

Will Argentina finally stop asking their superstar to win the World Cup single-handed?