The year was 1982. Maradona’s Argentina came against Belgium in the group stages. It was the match in which the iconic picture of Maradona taking on six Belgian defenders simultaneously was shot. It was rather a trick of the camera, as most of you might know already, if you have seen this photo before. Most importantly, Belgium went on to win that day, 1-0.
Spain have been in a free fall for some time. I have said so before but I could not predict they will crumble like this. No one could.
Against Netherlands, the attack was at its creative best (if not best than good) but the defence was in shambles.
When they walked out of the tunnel, it seemed like noise level might take the roof off the stadium, if there had been one. Playing at the home ground, with the expectations of 200 millions of winning the world cup, these boys (all millionaires, though had the humblest of beginnings) can at the very best, match those expectations.
There was an argument for starting fellow Chelsea-man Willian ahead of Oscar in the press but not in Scolari’s mind. Oscar as we found out is not just the favorite of Jose Mourinho. And he repaid the faith, in full.
There has been a gradual decline in the quality and level of Spanish national team. La Roja still have the best talent pool any nation can hope for, but a couple of factors have still led to Spain not being labelled as favorites for the tournament.
There has been a lot of positivity in the English media since Roy Hodgson named a young squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2014. Whether it was because he got pressured by media or instructed by FA is only a conjecture. I have my doubts though. Why was Rooney shifted to left wing in the recent friendly after a lot of calls from English media to drop him.