This is football, sometimes illogical, absolutely unpredictable. And therefore loved.
The final became a showdown between the two systems. The traditional one, where great players met and played for years in the team, on the one hand. And the stars of the Argentine team who met a week before the World Cup. After all, the entire main team performs in European clubs, and there is no time for filigree teamwork. The role of the coach Lionel Scaloni is great here, who only had time to hastily sew, although not very tightly to each other, parts of the front frock coat. But this hastily tailored frock coat wasn’t much needed.
The final game, like all the others, was controlled by little Napoleon – Messi. That is who skillfully and dictatorially commanded a great battle. Unquestioning obedience to subordinates, that is, to players. The whole game is only for the captain, or rather, the marshal Messi. And the most primitive scheme worked splendidly. She refused only in those rare moments when Napoleon – Messi was wrong and did not feel that at his age of 35, that he is not young for football, it is almost impossible to be everywhere on time.
The genius of the player against the whole world. And solid victories. Sometimes the impression was created, perhaps false, that Messi’s team was lying without knowing it. She was favored by the judges, patted on the head by FIFA officials, unintentionally wanting to achieve an incomparable informational effect from the victory of one against all.
President Macron, after the end of the final match Argentina – France, tried to comfort the heartbroken Kylian Mbappé for a long time. Photo: EPA
The French were, in every sense of the word, a team. Magnificently prepared physically and tactically, nothing weakened by the absence of the injured Ballon d’Or Benzema. A man shone in the composition, not inferior, if only in my opinion, to the greatest Pele. Kylian Mbappé, 23, is the greatest discovery in football today. How quickly he managed to break through the ranks of the already somewhat boring Ronaldo, Messi, Kane. He was brilliant, inimitable, and his ingenious hat-trick in the final suggests that it is the PSG striker who will replace the aging and not-so-bright stars.
Antoine Griezmann performed with him. His movements around the field were fantastic. He triumphed everywhere. It can be assumed that Antoine’s role in the team was one of true sacrifice for the victory of France. He voluntarily stepped down as a soloist, dedicating himself to the battle for his home power, shooting rockets for Mbappé and Olivier Giroud, who woke up suddenly from a goalless hibernation. Hugo Lloris, the best goalkeeper of the 21st century, shone at the gate.
And this team fit, they lost, how could this happen? But it happened. This is the great injustice of the mysterious game. I rule out a series of 11 meters. After all, this is a typical Russian roulette. The result is unpredictable, not always fair, sometimes just shocking. A lot of pity for the French and a lot of joy for the Argentines. The type of banality, and a warrior on the field, won the final game.
And here I want to refer not to politics, no. Although the French president, Emmanuel Macron, is a purely political figure. But how touching something he whispered into the ear of the heartbroken Mbappé. How he comforted him, how he selflessly hung medals, alas, not gold, on the wide necks of his players. Having abandoned state affairs, Macron twice flew to Qatar, supporting the national team in the semifinals and the final. Worthy of respect. Once again: I am not talking about Macron’s policy, his views, the opposition he is giving us Russians. discard. Here he showed what was always hidden behind a service smile, a face full of indifference and numerous designations of light touches: handshakes spread to the right and left. In Qatar, Macron was a true fan and a die-hard fan. It’s great if the national teams have such fans who do not leave them in difficult times.
The French were, in every sense of the word, a team
The championship is over. Called by some the most outstanding, the loquacious FIFA president Gianni Infantino considered it the best ever. He gave exactly the same assessment to the 2018 World Cup in Moscow. But the point is not at all in Infantino, but in the fact that football has once again proved that this is the best game in the world, thanks to which not only the rival teams, but also the fans are even. Kings, presidents and chancellors become one, one. In people, in football in love.
from the scene
Buenos Aires rejoiced until morning
What is happening in Argentina after the victory of the soccer team in the World Cup final over France is not just joy.
The country has come to a complete standstill. For the first time in many years of economic and political instability, all Argentines united around their flag, around their country, forgetting about all the troubles, problems and disputes. They remembered Diego Maradona, who “went to Lionel Messi from heaven”, as the main song sung by the local fans this year. The country now idolizes the new idol, who officially replaced the legendary ten.
A few days before the main game of the year in Argentina, all the products with the symbols of the ‘albiseleste’ were sold out. The official shirt brand of the national team, Adidas, has announced that the shirts with the number 10 of Lionel Messi “are not and will not be available”.
The same is observed in street trade throughout the country: at the largest metropolitan fair “La Salada”, where more than 10 thousand stalls are located, the national team jerseys are simply not to be found.
As Lionel Messi lifts the trophy at the Lusail Stadium after the historic victory over France, the central square of Buenos Aires, where the famous obelisk stands, is already packed with cheering fans.
The country has been waiting for this victory for a long 36 years, since the very day that Maradona’s team won the second world title in the Mexican championship. The emotions of the Argentines against the backdrop of victory cannot be expressed in words, they can only be felt.
Argentine sports commentators and journalists like to repeat a phrase that explains the essence of this phenomenon: “Argentines are born and live to suffer soccer.” When things don’t go well for the team on the pitch, many sincerely feel pain and discomfort. When the Dutch team tied the score a few minutes from the end of the game in the quarterfinals, turning the game into a penalty shootout, the country was left with a real scare. “I have never felt so bad”, “It was the most difficult match of my life”, “We seriously thought about calling an ambulance” – local social networks were full of such comments.
During the championship, newspapers and television regularly gave space to professional psychologists to help people overcome these difficult moments. “For Argentines, soccer has become a thermometer of their own self-esteem,” said psychiatrist and publicist José Abadi. In addition, there is a strong collective football memory in the country, uniting fans of all generations.
According to experts, Argentines take soccer too much to heart, especially when the national team plays. Many sincerely believe that literally everything is at stake in every game.
In conversations with the RG correspondent, people of different ages and professions admitted to having experienced the entire championship in one go. With the conquest of the third title, it is unlikely that the situation will change.
It seems that the love, passion and pain around the national team matches will always accompany the Argentines. In addition, before his eyes, a new legend on the scale of Maradona was born – Lionel Messi, or, as he is called here, “Messiah”.
Prepared by Alexey Churikov, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Buenos Aires