Stephen Appiah calls Russia 2018 'best World Cup ever'

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Stephen Appiah of Ghana
The two-time World Cup participant has nothing but praise for this year's global showpiece

Ghana's 2006 Fifa World Cup captain Stephen Appiah has hailed this year's event in Russia as the best in the history of the competition. 

The tournament has reached the homestretch, with 1998 champions France set to take on 1998 bronze medalists Croatia in Sunday's finale. England, winners in 1966, meanwhile take on Belgium in the third-place playoff on Saturday. 

The likes of defending champions Germany, 2010 winners Spain, Lionel Messi's Argentina and the Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal disappointingly fell off earlier than anticipated. 

“I think so far so good, it’s been very fun," Appiah, who played at the 2006 and 2010 tournaments, said. 

"I was telling my friends that this is the best World Cup ever. 

"Football today is not played by names anymore, talent alone is not enough to win games, it’s all about tactical discipline and hard work.

“Ten years ago, fifteen years ago, if Argentina were going to play against Iran, you know definitely Argentina were going to win big. 

"But look at what countries like Iran and Japan are doing now, so it is not [about] names again.

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"It is about how you stay focused and play the game."

Russia 2018 is the 21st edition of the World Cup. The next gathering is scheduled for Qatar in 2022.