Author Topic: The World Cup 2018  (Read 1147 times)

Offline Zoologic

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The World Cup 2018
« on: 16-06-2018, 16:06:13 »
It is day 2 now, and watching Portugal being carried by Ronaldo to luckily held the Spain at bay, and Messi simply choked against the plucky Iceland that beat the mighty Dutch and England, I learn one thing. You have to have some kind of attitude, be it cocky arrogant child like CR7 or a larger than life self-worshipper Zlatan Imbrahimnovic. Lionel Messi only relies on his skill and technique, which from various Youtube compilations, we can clearly see that he is far more gifted than CR7, if only he was as physically as good as CR7.

I think Ronaldo's confidence is a gift, something that is lacking with Messi. Ronaldo had nobody. Pepe and Quaresma might be enough for him to even the former champion still sporting enough stars to have a shot at the cup. But Messi? He got Agüero, Ángel Di María, Higuaín, the veteran Mascherano, Biglia, and Dybala. Messi failed to shine despite all the Argentine football team has given him. Granted, Iceland is proven to be a good team, they did park the bus, they swarm Messi with more than 2 guys when he received the ball, but then he had 3 chances to prove that he is better than Ronaldo. But still, he blown 1 penalty and 2 goal-ranged set pieces. Ronaldo missed 1 set piece and converted the rest.

I am started to be convinced now, that talent is not everything. And Ronaldo > Messi in your team, really. It is like the kid who scored the highest in test vs. the confident kid. Messi is clearly the smarter kid, but Ronaldo is the guy who gets the job done. You know, my boss is not a particularly nice guy, he is a schmoozer, a bullshitter, cocky, arrogant, talentless, almost skilless at job, yet like Ronaldo his performance said the otherwise. He raised our income, both business and personal.

It is very sad, I believed that this is his last chance to shine and bring the cup to Argentina's possession for the third time. It might be too early to tell, but France is not the good either. All those expensive talents just choked in front of the plucky socceroos. It takes Paul Pogba's reluctant ball to bring back victory for them. That being said, this year's world cup may belong to the underdogs once more.
« Last Edit: 16-06-2018, 16:06:50 by Zoologic »

Offline Torenico

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Re: The World Cup 2018
« Reply #1 on: 16-06-2018, 17:06:26 »
Watch the Qualifier games that Argentina played without Messi and enjoy that horrendous 0-2 defeat against Paraguay in which Aguero was absolutely SHIT, among other games that almost costed us a World Cup qualification.

This World Cup was to be intended to serve as a complete renovation of our team, departing the "stars" from the 2014 WC, 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa America Centenario. Our coach, who I think is a big asshole, promised us change but he didn't deliver.

You point out Messi lacks confidence on himself, probably, yes, Ronaldo is a fanatic of himself and he does what he does for himself. Both players had almost the very same situations in their respective games (penalties and last-minute free kicks), one did better and the other didn't. Messi had a bad day and we can't expect his teammates to be of much help, and we pay the price.

However Spain and Iceland are very different teams imo. Iceland did indeed parked the bus, but not in a "anti-football" way like, say, Greece, but in a smart way. The still played on the counter and executed them pretty well, they shown that the Argentine defence is bad and weak, but the Iceland team had great discipline and were very organized overall. Spain is different, they attack more so they are prone to letting some players through. The quality varies, of course, with more spaces Argentina would have won, it was smart from Iceland to be conservative, the moment they decide to switch to a more offensive playstyle they would have lost.


Still, Iceland wins 1-1, I can't hate the guys. I wish my team would play with that passion and discipline.


I think Argentina will struggle a lot in groups stage and we highly depend on what happens with Croatia, they have a superb midfield but are also more offensive, which would leave open spaces to Messi. We need to kick Di Maria out of the team and have Pavon play there, he did much better in 15 minutes than Di Maria in this match and the whole Qualifiers together.

Anyways, this edition is Brazilian, if they do just fine, they'll win. Germany comes in second, the rest are watching imo.



Offline Stubbfan

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Re: The World Cup 2018
« Reply #2 on: 16-06-2018, 17:06:55 »
Pfft, Brazil will loose against Sweden in the 8th's  ;D

Offline Captain Pyjama Shark

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Re: The World Cup 2018
« Reply #3 on: 16-06-2018, 18:06:42 »

This World Cup was to be intended to serve as a complete renovation of our team, departing the "stars" from the 2014 WC, 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa America Centenario. Our coach, who I think is a big asshole, promised us change but he didn't deliver.

You point out Messi lacks confidence on himself, probably, yes, Ronaldo is a fanatic of himself and he does what he does for himself. Both players had almost the very same situations in their respective games (penalties and last-minute free kicks), one did better and the other didn't. Messi had a bad day and we can't expect his teammates to be of much help, and we pay the price.

I think Argentina will struggle a lot in groups stage and we highly depend on what happens with Croatia, they have a superb midfield but are also more offensive, which would leave open spaces to Messi. We need to kick Di Maria out of the team and have Pavon play there, he did much better in 15 minutes than Di Maria in this match and the whole Qualifiers together.

Anyways, this edition is Brazilian, if they do just fine, they'll win. Germany comes in second, the rest are watching imo.

Argentina looks a bit of a shambles. You need a decent team as a springboard for stars to shine and they do not have that, although I think Messi has done heroic work getting them to the World Cup so I think it's unfair when people say he's useless as an international player. In their pre-WC interviews, some of the Argentine players were talking about how they hope they will be "worthy of Messi" or things like that. It just seems like there is a really fatalistic attitude there.

Offline Torenico

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Re: The World Cup 2018
« Reply #4 on: 16-06-2018, 23:06:01 »

This World Cup was to be intended to serve as a complete renovation of our team, departing the "stars" from the 2014 WC, 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa America Centenario. Our coach, who I think is a big asshole, promised us change but he didn't deliver.

You point out Messi lacks confidence on himself, probably, yes, Ronaldo is a fanatic of himself and he does what he does for himself. Both players had almost the very same situations in their respective games (penalties and last-minute free kicks), one did better and the other didn't. Messi had a bad day and we can't expect his teammates to be of much help, and we pay the price.

I think Argentina will struggle a lot in groups stage and we highly depend on what happens with Croatia, they have a superb midfield but are also more offensive, which would leave open spaces to Messi. We need to kick Di Maria out of the team and have Pavon play there, he did much better in 15 minutes than Di Maria in this match and the whole Qualifiers together.

Anyways, this edition is Brazilian, if they do just fine, they'll win. Germany comes in second, the rest are watching imo.

Argentina looks a bit of a shambles. You need a decent team as a springboard for stars to shine and they do not have that, although I think Messi has done heroic work getting them to the World Cup so I think it's unfair when people say he's useless as an international player. In their pre-WC interviews, some of the Argentine players were talking about how they hope they will be "worthy of Messi" or things like that. It just seems like there is a really fatalistic attitude there.

Argentina is in shambles, overall. From football to economy, from society to politics. The National Team is a realistic reflection of what we are now: Sad and Desperate.

There are good talents that can be called instead of the burned out "stars" like Aguero, Higuain, Biglia, Mascherano, Di Maria, Banega and others...

Something is going on inside the team, sampaoli went a couple of times to watch Lautaro Martinez, a former Racing Club player now in Internazionale, it looked it he was going to receive a call-up to be the reserve CF, a young talent who did very very well for Racing and also the Argentine U-20 team. He decided not to call him for whatever reason, he did the same to another Racing Club player, Ricardo Centurion, who is quite a polemic fellow, but has that gift few players in the world have, huge balls.

Well, he did call Martinez to play against Italy and Spain this year, he didn't feature in the Italy game and he came in from the bench against Spain when we were losing 4-1 already...

We were expecting change, swapping Higuain for Icardi (as he does better in Serie A and his Juventus counterpart, plus is a fresh player), Di Maria for Acuña (Sporting player, he did REALLY WELL when Argentina was desperate against Venezuela in the Qualifiers, he plays in Di Maria's position but he has been transferred to the left back position..) he could have kept Lautaro Acosta who did just fine, Gomez from Atalanta, Garay (best Argentine defender in the 2014 WC) is nowhere to be seen...

Something's rotten inside the team, Sampaoli is here to preserve the team, the names. Acuña could have EASILY benched Di Maria but he was moved back to a position he is not naturally adapted, Centurion could have easily benched Di Maria also, he was to be called but wasn't at the very last minute, Martinez wasn't called as he would take the CF position easily.. benching Higuain.


I see a pattern here. AFA is corrupt as hell and they might want to milk the famous stars for one last WC for that sponsors money.



There are two great Argentine coaches, Pekerman leading Colombia and Gareca leading Peru. Both should be clear candidates once we kick Sampaoli out (who has a millionaire contract also), but they won't be called. Why?, because there is no clear idea on what to do, no Youth Program or any kind of project to develop new players, we leave it all to luck and "see what happens next". That's also how we run our country...

Pekerman and Gareca are hard workers, but we prefer Sampaoli for the "scientific phrases" he often says. Bullshit, I hope we reach the finals and lose 4-0 to England, that'll hurt our pride big time.


Offline Hjaldrgud

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Re: The World Cup 2018
« Reply #5 on: 17-06-2018, 01:06:21 »
As usual, no Norwegian team in a cup. I cheer primarily on our brother from a past mother: Iceland. Of course also our brother from a slightly more distant mother: Denmark. If (when) those two fail I will cheer on our brother from a distant mother: Germany.

Sweden is uncheerable.

« Last Edit: 17-06-2018, 18:06:14 by Hjaldrgud »

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Offline Zoologic

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Re: The World Cup 2018
« Reply #6 on: 17-06-2018, 18:06:50 »
Germany lost 0-1 against Mexico. It is either: attacking football is dead or Germany simply doesn't have a decent attacker or creative attacker (as Fàbregas & Shearer said).

Case for attacking football is dead: Spain who dominated the game cannot take advantage over Portugal. Argentina cannot subdue Iceland as well (they don't have decent midfielder perhaps?). Only Uruguay and France was rewarded for their persistent push against team who can't seemingly convert their counter attacking opportunities.

Case for Fàbregas and Shearer's argument: Both BBC pundits are pro players and qualified. Fàbregas, a creative playmaker himself is dying breed nowadays. Today most teams go for the false 10 or incredible wingers. Sure, Leicester City won't get that title if it wasn't for decent midfielders and attackers that can convert opportunities ruthlessly, from Mahrez, Kante, and Vardy. Germany simply doesn't have them. They could have Sané, but saying that from this hindsight perspective isn't going to help Germany.

Offline Torenico

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Re: The World Cup 2018
« Reply #7 on: 19-06-2018, 02:06:44 »
Mexico's game was excellent, relentlessly attacking a quite surprised German side. They better be careful now, as it might end in yet another Spanish 2014 WC run...

I still wanted Germany to win, despite the rivalry...

I watched most of the England game today. These guys suffer a lot, they have some very good names in their squad but somehow they struggle big time on World Cups. I wouldn't be mad if they grab the title this year, I might be the only Argentine to wish for an English win, hehe.


Also Belgium, in 2014 the team was still green, effective but green. I now noticed a more mature Belgium, calm and decisive. I like them, they're gonna be a surprise this year if they keep up their good work.

My candidates for the title are Brazil, despite going to sleep in mid game against the Swiss (Who are a really good side btw, but funny since few of them are actual people born in Switzerland), when they get their stuff together they show FANTASTIC football, a true orgasmic combination of good collective teamwork with amazing individual skills from players like Neymar, Paulinho, Willian and even Marcelo.. it looked like they were going to destroy the Swiss but they didn't. Neymar was not feeling well at all either.

Germany, just because it's Germany. We're used to seeing them late in the WC, always. True winners, it's up to Löw if he stays loyal to his playstyle, risking a defeat, or goes for a different approach.

Spain, despite the 3-3 draw, they managed the match and showed some fantastic football. When Spain starts passing the ball around it's just orgasmic. They look a bit weaker on the offense tho, Costa did very well but we will see.

Belgium as I said before looks much more mature. There was a huge Coach in Argentina, Angel Labruna, who said that in order to win a title your teams needs to have a superb backbone. Courtois, Alderwereild, Verthongen, De Bruyne, Witsel, Lukaku, and of course, Hazard. I bet they will get very far this World Cup, I will be surprised if they don't reach Semi-Finals.

France might make it far as well, but it's difficult. They have a strong side, but the Euro 2016 final is scary imo.



Offline Hjaldrgud

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Re: The World Cup 2018
« Reply #8 on: 21-06-2018, 21:06:08 »
Argentina - Croatia

Wow. Entertaining match! Argentina did not impress. Croatia, however.. Very nice!

"Generous and brave men live the best" -Hávamál

Offline Torenico

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Re: The World Cup 2018
« Reply #9 on: 22-06-2018, 02:06:31 »
Completely expected defeat, however I did not expect a 3-0.

I have little to say about the game, we lost fair and square. We brought in Caballero who is supposedly "good" with his feet, yet he fucked up big time and gifted Croatia a goal.

Then after that the team showed little to no character, few players were going for it, among them Acuña. This is what happens when you play with no midfield against a team that relies purely on their midfield, you have Mascherano who looks like he's playing in slow motion against Modric and Rakitic, nice one Masche.

But I'll talk about Messi. I feel bad for the guy. We have been comparing him to Diego Maradona since he first kicked a ball for the national team, and that's WRONG. The media, the people, other players, have been talking NON STOP about him becoming the next Maradona, or even going even further than that. We believe that because we have the best player in the world, winning should be easy.

It angers me, he is not made for that kind of leadership, he doesn't have the personality to do that. Maradona is a big mouth fool, who doesn't give a damn about anything and he'll say anything he pleases. Messi doesn't, he comes from a different place and has been trained by Barcelona Youth System not do be like that.

We did wrong, we gave Messi a HUGE task, with little to no Infrastructure to support him and we DEMANDED titles, titles and more titles. It's "Messi + 10", and that is COMPLETELY NUTS!.

I don't see France saying "Pogba + 10", Germany being like "Muller + 10" or Spain being like "Iniesta + 10". Messi is instrumental to Barcelona, but he is not a god-like figure, he is Barcelona's most important weapon but it's not the only one, they got Suarez, Coutinho, Rakitic, and used to have Iniesta as well. In the National Team, it's our most important weapon... and also the only one.

It also affects the others as well, they feel small compared to him, like they can't be the protagonist. We send Messi to kick that penalty against Iceland when WE KNOW he is not a great penalty taker, but we did anyways, because he is a leader and Maradona also should have done it.


Bullshit. We wasted the biggest talent this continent has ever seen.


Offline Zoologic

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Re: The World Cup 2018
« Reply #10 on: 22-06-2018, 04:06:28 »
I have only seen the first half. It looked like Messi was constantly thinking about his speech to the press if Argentina lost the game. "What should I say?" "What will the public think?" "What my friends are going to say?" as he strolls around the field, gracing the foreign stadium that he might never enjoy again, lamenting while comfortably dwell in defeat acceptance.

I thought the Sampaoli finally figure out to play Messi as "just another Argentina players", as they played the ball mostly away from him.

Yet, Argentina played as if they are the expected winner, constantly under pressure, and then caved in. Well, borrowing from the Mexican Osorio's words "Play for the love of winning, not for the fear of losing." FGS! When they got individual talents like Messi, Higuain, Di Maria, Agüero, Mascherano, they should be ruthless and play to their individual advantage. What a waste.

Well, pitying Messi aside, on the other hand we got Cristiano Ronaldo, another one-man team. But he seemed to be able to "carry" the hum-drum Portugal squad, unlike Messi who simply choked in the middle of strangers. Messi is like the hyper genius anti-social kid, while Ronaldo is a self-made rags to riches, somehow it shows in their playstyle. Ronaldo knows that sometimes luck will do, so he took all the chances he got. While the superior Morrocan side cannot really finish it properly, despite recieving a flurry of goal scoring chances and dominating the ball possession.

Then we have the England team, finally able to shake off that "we are one of the top team" vanity.

Offline Torenico

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Re: The World Cup 2018
« Reply #11 on: 22-06-2018, 23:06:47 »
It's a mixed bag. From the football perspective we can argue about Messi, Higuain, Di Maria and so on. But there are more things running in the background.

AFA is in total ruins. Grondona, while he was a big son of a bitch, managed to keep the lesser mafia bosses "together". When Don Grondona died, there was a huge power vacuum for the AFA leadership.

A guy named Segura was made president and after some months he called for elections. It went bad, very very bad. There was crisis afterwards even though Argentina was about to dispute a Copa America in Chile. A guy named Claudio Tapia was made president by a "Commission for Normalization". Things did not go very well as Argentina lost yet another final against Chile in 2016. Even players such as Aguero complained about how the travels were arranged. The players stopped speaking with the media as well.

Martino, coach during the 2015 and 2016 Copas Americas was not getting paid as well, he resigned and Bauza took charge. He didn't last long as he was soon replaced by Sampaoli, who won the 2015 Copa America with Chile.

A series of crisis, media lashing out against the players and the lack of "Revolution" from Sampaoli led to an Argentina barely making it to Russia, only to be thrashed hard against Croatia. We're still alive, thanks to the Nigerian win over Iceland we will face them in a true one on one definition, if we beat Nigeria we make it through. But if Iceland does the same against Croatia well.. we'll have to destroy Nigeria like 4-0 to secure a place, goal difference would come into play. If we make it through a very likely rival would be France.

The team itself is last factor to take into consideration, because the ENTIRE structure that supports it is in complete shambles.

We're expecting miracles, and guess what?, Miracles don't exist.


Offline Hjaldrgud

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Re: The World Cup 2018
« Reply #12 on: 24-06-2018, 00:06:59 »
Germany - Sweden:

Entertaining. Sweden did not get a penalty, but got a deserved goal instead some minutes later. First half flew by. Second half a much more effective Germany attacked and got an early goal. Germany totally dominated after that, but just could not get the ball in the net. A well deserved, beautiful goal in the end. I do not know what Löw said to Die Mannschaft in the break, but it obviously worked. Are they good enough to win the cup? I don't know. We'll see vs South Korea.

"Generous and brave men live the best" -Hávamál

Offline Jimi Hendrix

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Re: The World Cup 2018
« Reply #13 on: 24-06-2018, 14:06:14 »
 Belgium looks unbeatable  :o



Offline Robbanswe48

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Re: The World Cup 2018
« Reply #14 on: 24-06-2018, 19:06:24 »
Germany - Sweden:

Entertaining. Sweden did not get a penalty, but got a deserved goal instead some minutes later. First half flew by. Second half a much more effective Germany attacked and got an early goal. Germany totally dominated after that, but just could not get the ball in the net. A well deserved, beautiful goal in the end. I do not know what Löw said to Die Mannschaft in the break, but it obviously worked. Are they good enough to win the cup? I don't know. We'll see vs South Korea.

Sweden does not belong in World Cup when they cant even pass and hold the ball for more than 10s. Ultra-defensive football should and can not win you matches at this level in the long-run.

Sweden would be extremly embassered if they meet Brazil in Round of 16.