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Russia 2018: Best moments of the Global Sports Forum

As the dust settles on a memorable Russia 2018, we look back at the highlights and talking points as debated by financial professionals on our Global Sports Forum on Eikon Messenger.


  1. Free to join for financial professionals, the Global Sports Forum (GSF)

    re-opened for the World Cup Russia 2018 to enable lots of specialist debate, networking opportunities and daily prizes.

  2. Hosted on Eikon Messenger, the GSF also gave members access to on-the-ground Reuters journalists reporting ahead of all major games.
  3. Until the GSF re-opens to cover the next major sporting event, members can continue to chat and debate by joining the Global Markets Forum.

Even before the opening ceremony, this World Cup Russia 2018 had no shortage of drama for our GSF members to debate on in Eikon Messenger.

From Spain’s unceremonious sacking of Julen Lopetegui days before the start, to Iceland’s unexpected draw against Argentina; and Belgium’s stunning late comeback against Japan through to France’s final triumph in a six-goal thriller.

How accurate were predictions of the crowd at Russia 2018?

Well, not very.

Unsurprisingly, Brazil — five-time winners and the only team to have played in every tournament — were the clear favorites, banking 32 percent of the vote.

Not even GSF special guest Michael Bolliger, from UBS Global Wealth Management, would have forecast that four-time winners Germany wouldn’t even make it to the last 16.

Michael did correctly call out that Russia would benefit from home team advantage, but few could have anticipated they would go on to knock out odds-on favorites Spain on penalties before succumbing themselves to a penalty shoot-out defeat in the quarter-finals at the hands (or is that feet?) of finalists Croatia.

Penalty shoot-out psychology

Maybe Koke, Iago Aspas and Mario Fernandes could have benefited from the GSF Q&A on the psychology of penalty shoot-outs with another one of our GSF guests, Danny Golding.

As a specialist in dealing with stress and coping in sport, Danny gave us some pointers on taking a good penalty — like using the walk back from a successful penalty as an advantage:

Mental resilience was a key talking point

Despite falling short of the final, Gareth Southgate’s managerial style was praised for bringing calm to the England camp.

Richard Bevan, Chief Executive of the League Managers Association, speaks frequently with Southgate, who is current LMA President, and gave GSF members a glimpse into Southgate’s thinking: “He fully recognizes the pressure is a privilege.”

In contrast, GSF members were critical of individual England players, for example questioning Raheem Sterling’s ability to handle the pressure when playing for his country.

GSF members also decided that having the mental resources to cope was the deciding factor that gave Ronaldo the edge over Messi in the “greatest player” debate, despite both of them missing key penalties.

“Has anybody seen Messi?” jokingly asked the Forum.

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And finally, is VAR ruining the “beautiful game”?

Views were mixed on video technology ahead of the World Cup. 48 percent of those we surveyed were in favor, but almost 20 percent were undecided.

However, with every incident and every ‘right’ outcome, the sentiment began to shift. Here’s what the public poll said:

We suspect the debate will continue to rage on.

Until the next major sporting event, join the Global Markets Forum

Finally, big congratulations to all our 27 GSF daily quiz winners who have walked away with an international jersey of their choice.

Until the GSF returns to cover the next major global sporting event, make sure you opt-in to receive our marketing updates so you won’t miss our next event!

Meanwhile, members can continue chatting in the Global Markets Forum, our flagship forum hosted on Eikon Messenger and moderated by Reuters journalists.

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