Europe against rapa at the World Cup – 12/08/2022 – PVC

Brazil and Argentina have the challenge of avoiding the sixth Cup with semifinals only between Europeans, the second consecutive. Morocco has the same mission, against Portugal, but let’s say that for South America it’s a matter of honor, because the champion comes from Europe for 16 years.

The early eliminations of Spain, Germany and Belgium provoked hasty reflections, as if it were a mistake to repeat that the elite of the game are in the old continent. See the Club World Cup. Before, the Libertadores champions attacked and the Champions League defended. The axis reversed almost 30 years ago, after the Bosman sentence.

It is important to note the difference between club and national team tournaments and pay attention to the fact that De Arrascaeta was the only player from a South American team to score a goal in Qatar.

The World Cup is the moment when European club stars spread out to defend their national teams. Love affairs, like that of Hakimi, Spanish by birth, Moroccan by culture, and the players from Brazil and Argentina, who like to play for their countries. Or contractual episodes, like those naturalized to play for Qatar.

Champions League teams hire the best Spaniards, Italians, Portuguese, Germans, Brazilians, Argentinians, Moroccans like Ziyech from Chelsea, Algerians like Mahrez from Manchester City, Canadians like Davies from Bayern.

The richest spend more. Hence, for 12 years it has been possible to unveil the champion of the Champions League before the tournament starts: Real Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Bayern or an Englishman.

Among the clubs in America, only the Campeonato Brasileiro can become competitive, to be part of the first floor of football.

In the Cup, that changes. Argentina has Messi, Brazil has Neymar and Vinicius Junior, Morocco can beat Belgium, eliminate Spain and dream of sending Portugal to Lisbon.

That’s why Brazil are favorites against Croatia and why Argentina has a chance to beat the Netherlands.

Pay close attention to the Dutch. Van Gaal has never lost a Cup match. It finished third in Brazil in 2014, with five wins and two draws. In Qatar, they won three and drew once.

He is obsessed with being champion and does not give up rigid defensive principles, fierce counterattack. Cruyff was his biggest critic. It is said that the two fell out over dinner in 1989, but the truth is that Johan thought Van Gaal was a supervisor of young players, trapped in the Ajax apprenticeship system, which the legend created and Van Gaal transformed.

Despite enemies, Van Gaal followed in Cruyff’s footsteps all his life. He managed Ajax three years after Cruyff and took over at Barcelona two years after Cruyff left.

Johan Cruyff, football’s greatest thinker, waited and was not invited by Rinus Michels to take charge of the Netherlands in the 1990 World Cup, despite requests from Gullit and Van Basten.

Van Gaal dons an orange tie for the third time.

He is sure he can be world champion, as his master – and enemy– never achieved.

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