Iran 0-1 Spain: Player Ratings as Iranian Hearts Are Broken After Diego Costa Spares Spain’s Blushes

Iran fought hard but were unable to hold out Spain for the whole 90 minutes as they were eventually defeated 1-0 by La Furia Roja in Rostov.

Spain dominated the match in terms of possession but it took a fluke goal to break the deadlock midway through the second half, as a clearance cannoned off of Diego Costa’s knee. The result means that Spain are now in a prime position to qualify for the last 16, but aren’t mathematically there just yet.

Here’s a look at how the players fared: 

1. Iran: Goalkeeper & Defenders

Alireza Beiranvand 7/10 – Very solid performance, dealing well with crosses into the box and also made a flying save to deny Busquets in the second half. Stood no chance with the goal.

Ehsan Hajisafi 6/10 – Took a knock in the first half and fought on bravely to play admirably at left back.

Morteza Pouraliganji 7/10 – Threw his body on the line so many times and won virtually every header Spain lumped up towards him. Unlucky to be on the losing side.

Majid Hosseini 6/10 – Not quite as heroic as his colleague by his side but not much found its way past him.

Ramin Rezaeian 6/10 – Incredibly unlucky with the goal as his clearance cannoned off of Diego Costa’s knee. Otherwise very steady.

2. Iran: Midfielders

Saeid Ezatolahi 7/10 – Screened his defence superbly and even had the ball in the back of the net, only for it to be disallowed after a VAR referral. 

Omid Ebrahimi 6/10 – Formed a strong partnership with Ezatolahi and often broke up play when Spain looked threatening.

Karim Ansarifard 6/10 – Popped up a few times in the first half and looked threatening but his influence diminished as the game went on.

Medhi Taremi 6/10 – Worked hard for his side and was inches away from connecting with a cross that would have levelled the match. Should have done better with a header with ten minutes to go.

Vahid Amiri 6/10 – Iran’s best attacking threat but on the few occasions he broke beyond the Spanish defence, he lacked the necessary quality.

3. Iran: Forward

Sardar Azmoun 5/10 – Barely played as a striker all evening and was instead acting as another midfielder for most of the 90 minutes. Did do well to win a few long balls but he was starved of service when Iran broke into the opposing half.

4. Iran: Substitutes

Milad Mohammadi 6/10 – Slotted well into right-back and kept Spain quiet on the right hand side.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh 5/10 – Couldn’t stamp any authority on the match after coming on and misplaced a few passes in promising positions late on.

5. Spain: Goalkeeper and Defenders

David De Gea 6/10 – Virtually untested all match. Made a very important punch right at the death to relieve some pressure.

Jordi Alba 6/10 – Steady performance at left back and was rarely tested defensively.

Sergio Ramos 7/10 – A captain’s performance from the centre back, dealt comfortably with anything Iran had to throw at him and virtually played as a defensive midfielder for most of the match.

Gerrard Pique 6/10 – Nothing got past him all evening and he dealt well with Azmoun.

Dani Carvajal 6/10 – Justified his inclusion back in the squad over Nacho. Always offered an outlet in the right flank for Spain.

6. Spain: Midfielders

 Sergio Busquets 6/10 – A very typical performance in the heart of midfield. Barely put a foot wrong but didn’t do anything spectacular either.

Andres Iniesta 6/10 – A few passes didn’t quite come off for him, but that was testament to the Iranian defence. Played the pass into Costa for the goal.

David Silva 6/10 – Tended to drift in and out of the match but created a few very promising situations in the first half.

Isco 7/10 – Spain’s most threatening player all evening and anything good tended to come through the Real Madrid man when he dropped deep to receive the ball off of the centre-backs.

Lucas Vazquez 5/10 – Not a brilliant match for the winger and he was often wasteful in possession when he found himself in promising situations.

7. Spain: Forward

Diego Costa 7/10  – His goal was one of the most fortunate he will ever score but it wasn’t a vintage performance from the Atletico Madrid striker. He forged his own luck however and he should be praised for sticking at it to score the goal.

8. Spain: Substitutes

Koke 6/10 – Quietly went about his business in the centre of midfield after coming on.

Marco Asensio 5/10 – Didn’t have long to make an impact but he barely featured in the fifteen minuted he was on the pitch.

Rodrigo N/A – Came on with two minutes to go.


Iran 0-1 Spain: Diego Costa & VAR Give La Roja Deserved Group B Win Despite Brave Iranian Resistance

A bizarre goal from Diego Costa – his third of this year’s ​FIFA World Cup – was enough for Spain to earn their first victory in Group B on Wednesday, putting them level on points with joint leaders Portugal. The result was undeniably a fair reflection of the match – although the manner of the defeat was harsh on Iran, who frustrated their opponents for long periods and came desperately close to scoring on a number of occasions.

Although the Iranians were clearly the underdogs at the Kazan Arena, they started the match two points ahead of Spain in Group B – they defeated Morocco 1-0 in their opening match, while Spain could only draw their opener 3-3 against Portugal. Moreover, Carlos Queiroz’s side conceded just two goals and were unbeaten in their qualifying campaign, so it seemed unlikely that they’d be pushovers – even for a side of Spain’s calibre.

Roared on by their infectiously enthusiastic and loud supporters, Iran made a positive start, breaking with intent and winning a free kick in a dangerous position on the left, although it ultimately came to nothing. As expected, Spain soon started dominating possession, but failed to carve out any clear chances in the opening exchanges.

It was obvious that Iran’s primary objective was to frustrate the Spanish, and they did so very effectively. Admittedly, they did also concede quite a few free kicks, but their more illustrious opponents were unable to capitalise on any of these opportunities.


In fact, Spain didn’t really look like scoring at all, at least until David Silva volleyed over the bar from close range in the 30th minute. This was after Andres Iniesta and Isco had tried to inject a little spark into what had become a somewhat laboured display by La Roja.

Although the first half bore a striking resemblance to an ‘attack versus defence’ training session, Iran still threatened sporadically. Sergio Ramos had to head a dangerous cross behind for a corner, although it was subsequently defended easily enough. Silva had a shot blocked from close range and another one deflected behind towards the end of the first half, but that was about as good as it got for the 2010 World Cup winners in the first 45 minutes.

Despite Spain’s overwhelming superiority in terms of technique and movement, they had singularly failed to test the Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand. Incredibly, they mustered just one shot on target in the first half – despite enjoying more than 80 percent of possession.

Fernando Hierro’s side showed greater urgency at the start of the second half, and a Gerard Pique header was cleared off the line. Then Beiranvand was finally tested by a fierce Sergio Busquets drive, which the Iranian did well to save, if a little theatrically.

The underdogs were evidently struggling with Spain’s more dynamic approach, and it seemed only a matter of time before a goal arrived. Remarkably, it was the Iranians who nearly broke the deadlock, when Karim Ansarifard fired into the side netting after some seriously unconvincing Spanish defending.

Finally, in the 54th minute, Spain scored the goal which reflected their superiority, though the goal itself was fortuitous at best. Iniesta found Diego Costa in the box, and Costa’s shot hit Ramin Rezaeian, before rebounding back off the Atletico Madrid striker and into the net.

Iran v Spain: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Now that they’d been forced to come out of their defensive shell, Iran showed far greater attacking intent, as Mehdi Taremi headed a decent opportunity wide. Then, unbelievably, it looked as though the Iranians had levelled the match – only for the goal to be correctly ruled out by VAR for offside.

Spain generally looked comfortable – though far from devastating – from that point on. Nevertheless, Iran still looked menacing at times, and Taremi failed to convert two excellent opportunities in the final quarter of an hour. First, he failed to connect with one superb cross, and then he headed another one over the bar, after Vahid Amiri had brilliantly nutmegged Gerard Pique.

Nevertheless, Spain held on for the victory, and will face Morocco on Monday evening in their final Group B match. At the same time, Iran will take on Portugal, knowing that a win over Cristiano Ronaldo’s side will be enough for them to reach the round of 16.


How Real Madrid-Raised Denis Cheryshev Went From Copa Del Rey Footnote to Russia’s World Cup Hero

Before the first ball of the 2018 World Cup was kicked at the Luzhniki Stadium on June 14 and fans and journalists alike were scouring the web for any factoids and tidbits to gain insight into the Russian national team – one curious incident stood out for benchwarmer Denis Cheryshev.

In fact, it was probably one of precious few facts most already knew about any of the host nation’s players.

In December 2015, Cheryshev scored his first competitive goal for ​Real Madrid in a routine 3-0 win over Cadiz in the Copa Del Rey round of 32. It should’ve been a proud moment for the winger, born in Nizhny Novgorod but raised in Spain, who had worked his way through Real’s B team to the fringes of the Galacticos set up alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, his goal – a powerful finish after a neat piece of control – was not the story. It turned out no-one from the player himself to coach Rafa Benitez to president Florentino Perez realised that Cheryshev wasn’t actually eligible to feature in the game.

The Russian had picked three yellow cards in the Copa the year before while out on loan, and was technically suspended for the win over Cadiz. The farcical admin error resulted in Real Madrid being expelled from the tournament, with the career of Cheryshev – the first Russian born player to appear for Real Madrid – being (until this summer) reduced to a pub quiz answer for fans around the world.

The incident was the beginning of the end for Benitez’s short reign as Madrid boss but in truth Cheryshev – a promising talent at youth level without ever being encumbered with ‘wonderkid’ status – was always an outside bet to make it under the lights at the Bernabeu. 

Cheryshev operates in a similar left sided attacking role to Ronaldo and had been encouraged to retrain as backup to Marcelo at left back. When it became clear he wouldn’t, he moved to Villarreal permanently in the summer of 2016.

Cadiz v Real Madrid - Copa del Rey: Round of 32

Easy to dismiss as just another not-quite-good-enough player to pass through the Real Madrid system and fail to make the grade, albeit with a rather bizarre asterisk next to his name, Cheryshev’s back story is actually a lot more intriguing.

Almost uniquely for a Russian player, Cheryshev has spent his entire professional career outside of Russia, and the man himself self-identifies as Spanish, having moved to his adopted country at the age of just five when his father Dmitry, also a professional footballer, signed for Sporting Gijon.

He has said of his national identity (via ​El Pais): “I feel half Russian and half Spanish, I was born in Russia and in my house we speak Russian, but I grew up here [in Spain]. Even though my character is Russian, rather cold, my behaviour is Spanish because I like very much to talk to people” 

Villarreal v Celta de Vigo - La Liga

Along with his social gregariousness, Cheryshev’s Western education in football gave him a fast-track to the Russia national team, with Fabio Capello and the FA making an early play to ensure the rising star listened to his Russian half at international level.

While Russia was crying out for a player with the technical abilities gleaned from years training under some of the best coaches on the continent and playing in one of the world’s best leagues, they weren’t so keen on Cheryshev’s injury record.

After an ill-fated loan spell at Sevilla in the run up to the last World Cup, Cheryshev missed out on Capello’s 23-man cut, but was taken along to Brazil for the experience. However, two years later the same generosity was not extended for Euro 2016. With ‘Copa-gate’ still fresh, it was the worst period of the winger’s career.

It would be neat to be able to say that Cheryshev came on leaps and bounds in the last two years and that a stunning season with Villarreal made him an obvious pick for new coach Stanislav Cherchesov, when heading into the World Cup on home soil. However, in reality, Cheryshev’s inclusion in the final squad raised a few eyebrows, after an underwhelming if not disastrous 2017/18 campaign with Villarreal. The one-time Galactico hopeful had faded into obscurity.

With optimism from the home support at an all-time low, few would’ve been surprised to see Cheryshev warm the benches of his homeland – playing second fiddle to Alan Dzagoev, as he had done for Ronaldo before – as Russia crashed out after three games.

He got his chance to when Dzagoev’s hamstring gave out midway through the World Cup curtain raiser against Saudi Arabia. While a forced change, rather than a tactical one, Cheryshev – although too humble to admit it himself in the post match interview – was a perfect substitute for the moment and added pace, drive and two mean finishes to a Russian side, who appeared to be lacking an end product to a dominant spell. Already transformed into an undisputed started by the Egypt game, he added the killer second goal, as the hosts romped to the knockout stages.


After two games, Cheryshev now has two Man of the Match trophies, three goals and has been the unlikeliest star of the first week of the tournament.

He is even a very early contender for both the Golden Boot and Ball. Perhaps his biggest rival for both is the man who inadvertently stopped his Real Madrid career from ever getting started – Ronaldo.

[embedded content]

The two could yet face off in the last 16. Cheryshev, humble to a fault after receiving his second Man of the Match award, revealed he would give the trophies to his parents as he didn’t need to look at them anymore. Another standout performance and there will be more than a few looking at him.


Conflicting Reports Claim Real Madrid Could Move for Thibaut Courtois While Alisson Saga Rumbles On

The hunt for an eventual outcome to Alisson Becker’s future at club level rages on as the Brazil stopper looks to his next World Cup group game against Costa Rica. ​Real Madrid seem to be the only side that are yet to be priced out of a move for the 25-year-old, but conflicting reports are causing confusion as to what is actually happening.

The two teams fighting it out for Alisson at the start of summer came in the form of Madrid and Liverpool. Los Blancos are after a man to replace the unreliable Keylor Navas​ between the sticks at the Bernabeu, whereas Jurgen Klopp had seemingly lost faith in Loris Karius following his Champions League final blunders.


But now, with ​Liverpool exploring other options after giving up in the pursuit of Alisson, it looks as though Madrid have a free swing at signing their man. However, it’s all getting a little confusing.

According to CadenaSER, Real will move on from their hunt for Alisson if Roma refuse to budge on their €80m asking price for the keeper. Instead, The Spaniards will look to sign Thibaut Courtois – a player they believed could be bought for half the price considering his contract situation at Chelsea.

The Belgian only has a year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge and Los Blancos feel as though this could make for a great bargaining chip – playing on ​Chelsea’s refusal to let him go for nothing next summer.

However, Marca claims that Madrid president Florentino Perez will push ahead in his plans to sign Alisson by tempting Roma with a €60m bid. The report suggests that both teams will be willing to negotiate a deal.

Brazil v Switzerland: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Perez is said to be fed up of Navas, and is desperate to sign a replacement as soon as he can. Personal details with the Brazilian have reportely been concluded already, with just the fee still to negotiate.


Patrice Evra Shares Amazing Ronaldo Ping Pong Story & Reveals Why You Shouldn’t Eat at His House

​Real Madrid superstar and former Manchester United hero Cristiano Ronaldo showed his steely nerve in his quest for World Cup glory – the last major honour that eludes him – after converting a free-kick under pressure to complete his hat-trick and secure a 3-3 draw against Spain.

The five time Ballon d’Or winner’s personal drive and determination is the stuff of legend. 

He is never satisfied with second best, which is why he can do what he did for Portugal in that 3-3 thriller, and a story from former Old Trafford teammate Patrice Evra involving table tennis and another ex-colleague in Rio Ferdinand is perfect testament to that.

[embedded content]

According to Evra, who was speaking on ITV’s World Cup podcast, Ronaldo’s anger at losing, in whatever he is doing, is what motivates him to always win.

“They were playing table tennis and Rio beat [Ronaldo], and we were all screaming and he was so upset,” the 37-year-old full-back explained.

“Then he sent his cousin to buy a table tennis set, he trained for two weeks at home and he came back and he beat Rio in front of everyone.

Portugal v Spain: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

“So that’s Cristiano Ronaldo, that’s why I’m not surprised today that he wants to win another Ballon d’Or, why he wants to win the World Cup. Because he’s an angry man.”

Another of Evra’s stories about Ronaldo was about a lunch invitation to the Portuguese forward’s house – “When Cristiano invites you for lunch at his house, just say no.”

The ex-United defeder said, “I went [and] I was really tired. At the table there was only salad and plain white chicken so I was like ‘okay…’, and water, not any juice.

“We started eating and I was thinking some big meat would be coming after that but there was nothing. He had just finished and he stood up and he started playing with a ball, doing some skills and he said: ‘Let’s do some two touch’.

“We start playing two touch. After that he said let’s go to the pool to swim, I was like ‘okay…’ after going in the jacuzzi, the sauna, I’m done. I said: ‘Cristiano why have we come here, have we come here because we have a game tomorrow, or just for lunch?’.

UEFA Champions League'Real Madrid v Liverpool FC'

“This guy, he’s a machine, he doesn’t want to stop training.”


3 Key Battles That Could Decide Portugal’s World Cup Clash With Morocco on Wednesday

​Portugal face off against Morocco at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday in Group B’s second round of games. 

Portugal will be looking to build on the impressive performance which secured them a valuable point against favourites Spain in their World Cup opener. Cristiano Ronaldo once again showcased his quality and importance to the national side, scoring all three of Portugal’s goals in the 3-3 draw. 

Morocco, on the other hand, suffered late heartbreak against Iran in their opening fixture of the tournament. The Lions of the Atlas were the better team for much of the game, but Aziz Bouhaddouz’s unfortunate own goal seconds from time meant they left Saint Petersburg with no points. Consequently, Hervé Renard’s side will need to beat Portugal in order to stand a chance of progressing to the next round. 

Here are three clashes which could prove to be decisive: 

3. Ayoub El Kaabi vs. Jose Fonte

RS Berkane forward Ayoub El Kaabi didn’t have the best of games against Iran, although the deep-lying Iranian backline neutralised his preferred style of play, which is somewhat reliant on pace. 

On Wednesday, he’ll come up against Portugal’s vastly experienced centre back duo of 34-year-old Jose Fonte and 35-year-old Pepe. The Seleção das Quinas are more than likely going to play a more attacking game than Iran, with both Pepe and Fonte venturing forward for set-piece deliveries, which could leave Portugal vulnerable on the counter and allow El Kaabi the chance to exploit the backline’s lack of pace. 

2. Amine Harit vs. Cédric Soares

Despite the late loss to Iran, Morocco delivered a promising display in their opening game, and Schalke midfielder Amine Harit was the catalyst to most of their good play. 

Harit is likely to start on the left of a three-man midfield, meaning he’ll come up against Southampton full back Cédric Soares. The 26-year-old is a solid defender, but he’ll also be expected to provide Bernardo Silva with some support down the right flank. 

If the game turns out as expected, Portugal will have most of their players, including full backs, pressing up the pitch. That could leave gaps for Morocco and Harit to exploit, especially on the counter-attack. 

1. Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Medhi Benatia

Portugal aren’t necessarily a one-man team but they are heavily reliant on Cristiano Ronaldo, who isn’t immune to having an off day. 

Ronaldo will start alongside either Andre Silva or Gonçalo Guedes in a two-man attack, although he’ll undoubtedly have the licence to roam around the pitch. 

Juventus centre back Medhi Benatia will probably be handed one of the toughest tasks in football with marking the Portuguese superstar. 

If Ronaldo is allowed to perform against Morocco like he did against Spain, his side will stand a great chance of winning. 


Paris Saint-Germain Reportedly Ready to Offer Cristiano Ronaldo €45m a Year to Move to Ligue 1

French champions Paris Saint-Germain are willing to offer Cristiano Ronaldo a 45m (£39.5m) yearly salary to join them this summer, according to france football.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is fresh off yet another Champions League triumph with ​Real Madrid and looks to be carrying his country through the World Cup, having scored a hat-trick against Spain last week.

Despite being 33, the Portuguese superstar has shown zero decline and is still at the very top of his game. 

Following his Champions League win, though, the attacker intimated that he could be leaving the Bernabeu this summer. 

PSG are said to be very keen on teaming Ronaldo up with Brazilian hotshot Neymar at the Parc des Princes and are ready to make him quite the earner by paying him €45m per year.

Ronaldo currently earns £17.5m on a yearly basis at Madrid and is believed to be frustrated with his wages as he believes that he should be the highest earner in football as he is the best player in the world.

The French side are keen on fulfilling that wish, but Manchester United are also understood to be targeting their former star.

Portugal v Spain: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

As to whether they’re willing to match PSG’s reported offer is unclear, but if the player does leave Madrid this summer, it could turn football on its head.


Bayern Munich Striker Claims He is Entering His Prime as Rumours Over His Future Increase

Poland international Robert Lewandowski has appeared to offer some comfort for potential suitors this summer who could have concerns about spending big on a 29-year-old forward, claiming that he is ‘just starting the best period for a striker.’

Lewandowski is supposedly vying for a move away from Bayern Munich this summer despite the Bavarians’ stance that he is not for sale, with it being rumoured the forward has his heart set on a move to Real Madrid.

Poland v Chile - International Friendly

And the Polish striker, who is set to lead the line for the White and Reds against Senegal at the World Cup, has slyly claimed that his age shouldn’t be cause for concern if clubs are interested in signing him this summer.

I have a plan to play at the top level at least until I’m 35,” Lewandowski told the Guardian ahead of Poland’s World Cup opener on Tuesday. 

“I feel I’m just starting the best period for a striker. I’m mature and have a lot of experience. If I’m healthy, I will play in Europe as long as possible – and then move on. We will see.”

Lewandowski has spent the last four years in Bavaria after letting his contract at Borussia Dortmund expire. The 29-year-old has a contract at the Allianz Arena until 2021, having signed an extension in December 2016.

He has made 257 appearances in the Bundesliga throughout his eight-year spell in Germany, scoring 180 goals and claiming 51 assists. 

[embedded content]

Lewandowski has also notched 28 goals in other domestic competitions since leaving Lech Poznan, as well as another 46 in the Champions League and Europa League combined.


Eden Hazard Admits Interest in Real Madrid Move & Reveals What Chelsea Must Do to Keep Him

​Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard has added fuel to the ongoing speculation that he could leave Stamford Bridge this summer after admitting that he has no intention of staying if the team is not going to improve on a poor 2017/18, while adding that Real Madrid could be of interest.

Hazard, who will shortly enter the final two years of his current Chelsea contract, has been heavily linked with Real for some time.

Chelsea v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

It was thought that interest from the reigning European champions could subside following Zinedine Zidane’s recent exit, given the public admiration the two men hold for each other, but Hazard has essentially put the ball in Real’s court by stating ‘they know what they have to do’.

“I do not want to stay if we are less good. Real Madrid can interest me, everyone knows that,” he told ​L’Equipe ahead of Belgium’s World Cup opener against Panama.

“But if tomorrow [Real] does not want me, we will no longer speak about it. If they want to buy me they know what they have to do.”

As for Chelsea? “I am waiting to see if the club stays or goes. If I stay, it will be because the team will be better than the season we have just experienced,” he said.

[embedded content]

Chelsea finished the 2017/18 campaign by lifting the FA Cup after beating Manchester United at Wembley, but poor Premier League season saw the club finish fifth and miss out on Champions League football for the second time in three years.


Sky Sports Journalist Hints Real Madrid Lead Liverpool in the Race to Sign Primary Target

​Sky Sports journalist Vinny O’Connor has claimed that Spanish giants ​Real Madrid are leading ​Liverpool in the race to sign Roma’s 25-year-old goalkeeper Alisson.

The Anfield club are understood to be looking for a new goalkeeper following Loris Karius’ poor performance in the Champions League final last month and have been linked with a move for the Brazilian throughout the summer.

Croatia v Brazil - International Friendly

Brazilian international Alisson is also wanted by Real Madrid though, as Los Blancos look to try and bolster their own options between the posts ahead of next season, under new boss Julen Lopetegui.

Sky Sports reporter O’Connor revealed during the Sky Sports Transfer Talk podcast, as quoted by Sport Review, that the player may be preferring a move to the Bernabeu over Anfield.

O’Connor said: “The biggest factor for Liverpool is that the player seems more keen on a move to Real Madrid.”

Team Brazil Training Camp - Granja Comary

Alisson, also called Alisson Becker, made 37 appearances in Serie A for Roma this season, conceding just 28 goals and keeping a total of 17 clean sheets.

He moved to the Italian capital from Brazilian club Internacional for a fee of £7.2m in 2016.

Alisson is in Brazil’s World Cup squad this summer, looking to add to his current tally of 26 senior international caps. He played at Anfield in early June with Brazil during a warm-up friendly against Croatia.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is looking to significantly strengthen his Reds team this summer, with transfer targets in a number of positions, as the side prepare for a title push next season.

The Anfield club have already signed midfielder Fabinho from AS Monaco this summer, with the Merseyside club looking to get their business done early in the transfer market to avoid inflated prices.


Liverpool had also targeted a move for French midfielder Nabil Fekir but talks broke down spectacularly in the eleventh hour, and his current club Lyon say he will remain their player next season.