Russia's World Cup - story with a good ending

Russia's World Cup - story with a good ending

The 21st FIFA World Cup, held in Russia, was concluded with a convincing victory of the French team. Twenty years on from their first World Cup title, Les Bleus regained the title of the best national team in the world. France was considered one of the World Cup favorites before the tournament started. As well as Brazil and Germany, maybe Spain. Then there were other football powers and strong teams. Not everyone lived up to expectations.

Suddenly Spain and Germany have failed, as well as Argentina, but it was more expected. Obviously, their failure will force the national football federations of these countries to review the situation. As far as I know, a serious analysis is being conducted in Germany. Argentina's cranky head coach Jorge Sampaoli has been dismissed, and José Pekerman, who worked with Colombia, was returned to his native country to improve the country's football situation.

Belgium and England played in full force. Others - "just played," Some fatally unlucky, their game deserved more than the result. I mean Brazil in the first place. Russia jumped above the head, as well as Croatia, which showed an amazing strength of spirit and gave future champions a hard time in the final.

The Cup in Russia was not marked by some kind of tactical discoveries, revolutionary moves. It showed that standard provisions has begun to play a very big role, a protective attitude towards scoring moments finally formed into a determining factor, and team spirit has become even more important. The Cup was yet another proof that the times when favorites could beat less status rivals have become the thing of the past. The World Cup is attended by skillful teams. Almost all of them. Of course, such a team will not win against a favorite in a series of matches, but is capable of letting blood in one match. It seems that it's going to get worse, because 48 teams will participate in the World Cup since 2026. But the class of teams is still not so high so that all matches of the Cup would be of interest.

The World Cup in Russia was a success: a festive atmosphere (it seems that there were no dissatisfied people at all), an excellent organization, high attendance, guests from all over the world, luxurious stadiums, a minimum of judicial errors (thanks to video replay in the first place). There is hope that thanks to the unexpectedly successful performance of the Russian national team, the Cup will give a strong impetus to the development of children's football. It can be expected that thousands of boys will cease playing football simulator and spend more time on real football fields. If this happens, in a few years we will see a real return already at the youth, and then at the adult level.

The sports event was crowned by the final match, which "canceled" the low number of goals scored at decisive games of the last World Cups. Six goals, even tragicomic one, which changed nothing - how long has it been?!

Thanks to the Croatian national team for their indomitable spirit, a good fight, but despite excellent players, this national team did not deserve to win the Cup. In any case, it is not serious to claim a title with such a goalkeeper. As a consolation - the teams' captain Luka Modrić was named the World Cup's best player. In my opinion, this was an unjust decision, which smacks of political correctness. Although, what kind of consolation does the Croats need? Someone even predict them in the finals? Did they expect such a quickness from themselves? The Croats made a feat. So, "a consolation" is not a right word. The names of the national team's players that won silver medals will be etched in gold in the history of Croatia's sport - a small Balkan state with a complicated history.

France is a champion by right. It seems that no one will turn their tongue to talk about some kind of luck, or something like that. The French national team demonstrated an amazingly holistic and rational game. Then, after a convincing victory over Germany in the semi-final - an age-old rival, success went to the French heads, that they had to remember the players that there was still a final duel. They tragically lost that final. But the lesson was learnt. In any of the seven matches held in Russia the French have never given any grounds for anyone to doubt their strength, their superiority. In my opinion, there was a big injustice. The Croatian Luka Modrić is, of course, a phenomenal player. But the way Antoine Griezmann played during the championship is something incredible. One should be blind, deaf or too, as it was  noted, politically correct, in order give someone a chance to get ahead of Les Bleus, while choosing the best football player of the 2018 World Cup. Anyway, probably for Griezmann it's nothing against the backdrop of winning the world champion title. Team France will add another star of World Cup winners to their T-shirts. The elite club of world champions has not expanded in Russia, having stopped at "8": Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Germany, England, Spain, France.

So, the 21st World Cup held in Russia was completed, becoming a very nice happy story with a happy good ending.


Vestnik Kavkaza

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