World Cup 2022 diary: Brazil's press conference cat, Depay turns down Van Gaal's advances

The World Cup has been taking a break for the last two days, with the action set to resume in Qatar on Friday.

Argentina take on the Netherlands and Brazil face Croatia in the first two quarter-finals.

Yet there was plenty going on around Doha as some teams enjoyed well-earned rest, while others geared up to get back into the swing of things.

Stats Perform's daily diary has you covered.


Walker gets one up for England

England take on France on Saturday, with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs.

It's sure to be a tight game, though Kyle Walker got one over on a French journalist at England's training camp, by winning a game of darts.

England will be hoping that's a good omen ahead of their clash with the world champions at Al Bayt Stadium.

Cat stops play

South Korea could not stop Vinicius Junior on Monday, as they lost 4-1 to a rampant Brazil team.

But the winger's flow was interrupted by, of all things, a cat, in a press conference at Brazil's training camp.

Brazil's media officer had to intervene after the feline made itself comfortable on the desk, with Vinicius in hysterics.

A cat did what many teams couldn't, and stop Vinicius Junior
A cat did what many teams couldn't, and stop Vinicius Junior

Dalic on thin ice

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic began his pre-match press conference on Thursday by making a statement in which he apologised for any offence caused after he said "this is not figure skating, this is a fight for a result" in a previous interview.

"I would like to explain something: a statement I gave in the Croatian media about ice skating," said Dalic, who seemed a little under the weather only a day out from Croatia's match with Brazil.

"Ice skating is a very difficult sport, where aesthetics are very important. I drew a comparison between ice skating and football because in football people don't care about the aesthetics, they care about results. I would like to apologise if some people were offended."

Van Gaal left hanging

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has been a consistent entertainer during his media duties in Qatar, and after the Dutch team's win over the United States on Saturday, he even planted a kiss on the cheek of Denzel Dumfries.

Van Gaal tried to go a step further on Thursday when, while previewing his team's game with Argentina alongside Memphis Depay, he said: "And now I will kiss Memphis... on the mouth-to-mouth!"

Unluckily for Louis, Depay wasn't having any of it.

"I'm not allowed to kiss him on the mouth, he doesn't want that. Quite unfortunate," Van Gaal quipped.

Memphis Depay turned down Louis van Gaal's advances
Memphis Depay turned down Louis van Gaal's advances

More sleeping media members

It's been a busy schedule for the players in Qatar, but equally so for members of the world's media who have gathered in Doha.

Earlier in the tournament, one Stats Perform reporter sat next to a journalist who slept through an entire game.

On Wednesday, during Adrien Rabiot's press conference ahead of France's meeting with England, another journalist seemed to be struggling to stay awake. In fact, they failed to do so, and nodded off while the Juventus midfielder was speaking.

Let's hope Rabiot didn't take any offence!