The Spanish FA fired its national team head coach on Tuesday, sacking Julen Lopetegui simply two days earlier than the World Cup was set to start, after information broke that Lopetegui can be taking the job as Real Madrid supervisor after the conclusion of the World Cup.
There was a gamers assembly the place they implored the affiliation leaders to not do it. They did it anyway. It’s a whole mess.
An entire debacle with a coach getting fired the day earlier than the World Cup is set to start? That doesn’t sound very like Spain, at the least in terms of their nationwide workforce. That’s extra one thing France would do, no? They’re well-known for his or her World Cup coach and workforce having major blowups proper round match time.
So this a lot we all know:
Spain is this World Cup’s France
But if that’s the case, who is France this yr? Well, they’ve received a gifted group of gamers, however there’s already drama about gamers who have been left off the roster, the coach appears helplessly out of his depth, there are damage scares, and followers are already nervous about an enormous letdown. So:
France is this World Cup’s England
…which is odd, I suppose, however take a look at England this yr: A likable group of gifted younger gamers, who’re free to play properly and make a very good run, with out the burden of an excessive amount of expectation. So:
England is this World Cup’s Belgium
And what of Belgium? A golden era of expertise is now on the mistaken aspect of their primes, and a nation is freaking out that possibly this lovable group of uber-talented gamers won’t ever win a global trophy. Thinking again to 2014, which means:
Belgium is this World Cup’s Portugal
Portugal lastly did recover from the hump on the 2016 Euros, however now occupy a bizarre area the place they’re a bit older, and have identified stars, however everybody is sort of sleeping on them. They have a troublesome backbone, veteran gamers, and might make a deep run, so:
Portugal is this World Cup’s Uruguay
Uruguay is additionally in sleeper mode a bit, simply outdoors the subject of dialog, however constructed with a vicious heart midfield, gifted attackers, and a powerful, veteran protection. Which means:
Uruguay is this World Cup’s Netherlands
Netherlands is this World Cup’s nobody, as a result of they aren’t in it.
Same with the U.S.
Oh, and simply so we’re clear:
Germany is nonetheless Germany.
God damnit they’re going to win, aren’t they?
And Argentina is nonetheless Argentina.
Please, Argentina, in the event you don’t win, please don’t do one thing silly and yell at Lionel Messi. I promise you, he’s the very best participant ever. It received’t be his fault.