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At the World Cup, it's always time for packed bags

At the World Cup, it’s always time for packed bags

The eighth finals begins after the group stage matches. All Continents represented, no team has managed to win three matches and the feeling that some surprises are still possible

That’s it, the music is over. The Serbian Hotel was withdrawn from service, who always lacked a penny to earn a lira. Costa Ricans are vacating rooms, spoiled by refunds and realpolitik. They waited a long time to see each other, but it didn’t help. Farewell to Arab and Ecuadorian football, known to those who grew up among you: the Indomitable Lions and the Guardians of the Great Lakes, see you after four years to keep thinking of you with surprises. The end of the qualifying rounds August 16th of the World Cup: the umbrellas are not closed yet, but the spleen and new memories are the same. Another cycle begins, perhaps more direct clashes, but less total, naive and carefree because everything is in its infancy. Qatar 2022 originated in the fall and must quickly forget about the sand inside the bag: there is no immediate nostalgia, the circus continues.

However, for a while you will miss the stealth matches on RaiPlay at 11 am and the fierce matches at 2 pm, penalties saved by Szczęsny (which was being discussed and never felt enough), the wonderful scissor kick of Richarlison and the important goals of Abo Bakr. The Brutal Punishments of Chavez and Rashford, Dossary’s Ballet on the Crystals and Leakey’s Imperial Ride, Obsession with Cristiano Ronaldo: which, for example, is not owned by Messi, and is probably never seen beforereduce self-representation.

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As Italians, we were excited about the final day of the German group, in the swing of the changing scores that always generated different qualifiers, able to empathize with everyone, now one, now the other. And so, for Korea’s final minutes, the same medal hastily grinding under the rug the dust of Pastéis de nata that Portugal provided to get Uruguay out of the way. All can be compared with the Christmas trains that Spain gave as a gift to Japan, in order to avoid Brazil: but risking a collision with Portugal itself (which has always suffered … Portugal), and then the winner in the end between England and France. Not a genius with eyes before.

Elimination rounds as the referees, mighty in semi-automatic offside like a pistol, continually denied themselves and forced them into grueling VAR sessions and recoveries without any justification: the goal that denied Griezmann against Tunisia was a paradigm shift, now he will no longer be valid for returning from offside, But it will be necessary to finish the action practically outside the stadium, on pain of annulment. It is a pity that Füllkrug scored the next day in the same way, seeing the goal, and shortly before Lukaku missed another center in similar circumstances in his unfortunate match (I broke a spear against memes: many uncontrollable balls were knocked into it).

Data: Neither team finished on full points. Three straight group wins seems like a utopia, but for some, losing En plein was a deliberate choice, the result of rotation And Crossroads: Result is a pinball board, where not every encounter has a predictable or predetermined outcome. Now the real maximization will appear: Japan can extend the effect of its rapid volleys, and the United States wants to fly. Start again with Netherlands and USA and England-Senegal: but the halfway point is always sad and less cheerful than the beginning, thinking of those who have had to leave, perhaps through no fault of their own. Those who stay, at least in the news, are always right: and with all five continents represented in the Round of 16, this World Cup can be said to have already outdone itself.

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