Brazil are out (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fact that Martinez is a genius) - Football

Brazil are out (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fact that Martinez is a genius) – Football

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SATURDAY’S TOP WORLD CUP STORIES

Belgium’s boys bloom to beat brittle Brazil

All of us keep in mind the 1930 World Cup, don’t we? Mark Lawrenson was having fun with soccer, Rafael Marquez was approaching his peak and – severely, although – that was the final time the event didn’t function Brazil or Germany in its final 4.

Name me naive, however there used to be a time – not that way back – when tuning in for Brazil at a World Cup was one thing of a deal with: 1994, 1998, 2002. Now, as somebody who I can’t keep in mind pointed out on Twitter final evening, they’re simply one other workforce pinning most of their hopes and placing most of their eggs in the basket of 1 famous person participant.

And, like Brazil, Neymar by no means actually acquired going at this World Cup regardless of a good bit of fuss. In his defence, it took a succession of assist acts – Willian, Gabriel Jesus and, lastly, the lethally fast Douglas Costa – earlier than Brazil gathered some late momentum. By then, although, Belgium had lastly produced a assertion efficiency at the highest stage.

Ah, Belgium. Really easy to write about the previous couple of years, as a result of the story was largely the identical. Then got here Roberto Martinez who, with Thierry Henry at his facet, fashioned an unlikely-wanting worldwide administration workforce. His job, like Marc Wilmots earlier than him, was to shoehorn all that simultaneous world-class expertise into the workforce whereas nonetheless teasing out Champions League performances from its people.

Final evening was that evening. Vincent Kompany was an damage-free titan in defence, in entrance of the telescopically-limbed Thibaut Courtois. Kevin De Bruyne thumped in one other of this World Cup’s gorgeously-hit objectives for the very important 2-zero lead. Romelu Lukaku, with the tempo and willingness to use it that no 6ft 3in striker ought to have the proper to, tore Brazil intermittently to shreds down the channels.

After which there was Eden Hazard – 10 dribbles tried, 10 accomplished, the greatest numbers since Opta information started – who got here into his personal as Brazil actually began to chase the sport in the second half. If he actually needs to elevate himself to Ballon d’Or stage (and generally you get the sense from his nice put up-match smiles that he isn’t that bothered) it is video games like this that will guarantee it.

Brazil are out, demons from 2014 not fairly exorcised, however 2018’s dignity fairly intact. However Belgium – nice equipment, stupidly good squad, supervisor sacked by Everton two years in the past – are totally able to capturing the creativeness. In the event that they gained the World Cup, it could be bizarre, however recent and – fairly in all probability – deserved. Their semi-closing in opposition to France ought to be a belter.

Belgium's midfielder Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after scoring his team's second goal

Belgium’s midfielder Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after scoring his workforce’s second aimGetty Photographs

France journey Uruguay’s mini-storm into the semis

We’ve heard a lot about Uruguay in concept. Soiled they mentioned: fewest yellow playing cards of any of the quarter-finalists, the information mentioned. Just about impregnable, they mentioned: Fernando Muslera, we noticed.

This is not to say Uruguay are, god love them, frauds. However, shorn of the unfit Edinson Cavani, whose event had lastly come collectively in opposition to Portugal in the final 16, they shortly ran out of concepts in opposition to France apart from “press France almost inhumanely hard in the first 20 minutes”.

For the first time at a World Cup, Luis Suarez failed to contact the ball as soon as in the opposition penalty space and, at 31, it’s clear he can not win video games alone. The sunshine-blue huffing and puffing made for some meaty challenges in the first half, however France – with out being scintillating – stored their heads. Raphael Varane used his to nice impact, guiding in the opener simply earlier than half-time.

Then, on the hour, Fernando Muslera had his “Oooooooh, Pat Bonner!” second, permitting a swerving, dipping Antoine Griezmann shot to slip past his palms and agonisingly out of attain.

France, like Belgium, have their very own array of expertise and, like Belgium, that will take a few years to assemble correctly into a workforce. World champions, although? They’re forward of schedule, at the least.

WORLD CUP SHORTS

Add one other factor to England’s record of worries in opposition to Sweden: timewasting. US analytics web site FiveThirtyEight has painstakingly researched how lengthy every World Cup facet has taken to carry out routine duties similar to throw-ins, aim kicks, nook kicks, free kicks and substitutions.

In doing, in order that they discovered that the Swedes, on common, have taken six seconds longer to get the sport going whereas they’re profitable than the event common. If England are chasing the sport in Samara, put together to get very pissed off.

IT’S COMING HOME/BRING THEM HOME

“Putting my neck on the line, but if England get to the quarter finals with that squad, I will get the 23-man squad tattooed on me,” tweeted fan Dan Welch again in Could, setting his World Cup expectations relatively low.

WORLD CUP RETRO CORNER

On today, in 1984: Holland’s overwhelmed 1974 closing lineup drag themselves out for a rematch with Germany a decade on from The One That Bought Away. This time spherical, they went 1-zero up once more…and held on.

Revenge? Meh, not fairly, however nice to see an exhibition match performed with such seriousness.

COMING UP

It’s a large day for the hosts. After beating Spain in a dramatic penalty shootout in the final sixt….

[Spoken]

“I think it’s bad news for the English game”

“We’re not creative enough, and we’re not positive enough”

It’s coming dwelling

It’s coming dwelling

It’s coming

Football’s coming dwelling

[Spoken]

“We’ll go on getting bad results, getting bad results, getting bad results, getting bad results”

It’s coming dwelling

It’s coming dwelling

It’s coming

Football’s coming dwelling

It’s coming dwelling

It’s coming dwelling

It’s coming

Football’s coming dwelling

It’s coming dwelling

It’s coming dwelling

It’s coming

Football’s coming dwelling

[Verse 1]

Everybody appears to know the rating

They’ve seen all of it earlier than

They simply know

They’re so positive

That England’s gonna throw it away

Gonna blow it away

However I know they’ll play

‘Cos I keep in mind

[Chorus]

Three Lions on the shirt

Jules Rimet nonetheless gleaming

Thirty years of damage

By no means stopped me dreaming

[Verse 2]

So many jokes, so many sneers

However all these oh-so-nears

Put on you down

By means of the years

However I nonetheless see that sort out by Moore

And when Lineker scored

Bobby belting the ball

And Nobby dancing

[Chorus]

Three Lions on the shirt

Jules Rimet nonetheless gleaming

Thirty years of damage

By no means stopped me dreaming

[Spoken]

“England have done it in the last minute of extra time!”

“What a save! Gordon Banks!”

“Good outdated England, England that couldn’t play soccer

England have gotten it in the bag”

[Bridge]

I know that was then

Nevertheless it could possibly be once more

It’s coming dwelling

It’s coming

Football’s coming dwelling

It’s coming dwelling

It’s coming dwelling

It’s coming

Football’s coming dwelling

[Spoken]

“England have done it”

It’s coming dwelling

It’s coming dwelling

It’s coming

Football’s coming dwelling

It’s coming dwelling

It’s coming dwelling

It’s coming

Football’s coming dwelling

[Chorus]

(It’s coming dwelling)

Three lions on a shirt (It’s coming dwelling)

(It’s coming)

Jules Rimet nonetheless gleaming (Football’s coming dwelling)

(It’s coming dwelling)

Thirty years of damage (It’s coming dwelling)

(It’s coming)

By no means stopped me dreaming (Football’s coming dwelling)

(It’s coming dwelling)

Three lions on a shirt (It’s coming dwelling)

(It’s coming)

Jules Rimet nonetheless gleaming (Football’s coming dwelling)

(It’s coming dwelling)

Thirty years of damage (It’s coming dwelling)

(It’s coming)

By no means stopped me dreaming (Football’s coming dwelling)

(It’s coming dwelling)

Three lions on a shirt (It’s coming dwelling)

(It’s coming)

Jules Rimet nonetheless gleaming (Football’s coming dwelling)

(It’s coming dwelling)

Thirty years of damage (It’s coming dwelling)

(It’s coming)

By no means stopped me dreaming (Football’s coming dwelling)

Video – Commissioner Cantona sings ‘Football’s Coming House’… and it’s great

03:25

Tomorrow’s version can be introduced to you by the trilingual Jack Lang, who nonetheless has two of his three tongues left in the World Cup, the present-off.

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