The final day of the first round of matches of the World Cup brought together the player and the cover team
And so, as always happens, dessert is at the end. Yes, because the final day of the first round of matches brought together the player and the cover team. The footballer is of course Cristiano Ronaldo, who closed his fantastic record with a goal against Ghana: no one had ever managed to score five consecutive World Cups. Pelé, Seeler, Klose and Messi hadn’t succeeded, stopped – so to speak – at four. He, Cristiano, has managed to beat everyone, not missing a beat since that June 17, 2006, when he made himself known to the sportsmen with his goal against Iran.
A 21-year-old boy, with the number 17 shirt – because Figo would never give up on number 7 – who over time has been able to forcefully place himself in the ranking of the strongest players of all time. Because, despite not having the technique of Pele or Maradona, Messi or Cruijff, but also Platini or Zidane, he has managed to build a fantastic career with his determination, strength of character, professionalism and passion. Working on the physique in football – and here is the extraordinary nature of him – increasingly physical and therefore harder. And keeping himself at stratospheric levels after earning astronomical figures, never giving up an inch. A penalty – and in this case the goal against Ghana has nothing to do with it – inimitable. But if, as mentioned, Ronaldo took the cover on an individual level, the final match of the first round also showed the team that most impressed from a choral and collective point of view.
There was curiosity for Brazil, against a tough and capable opponent like Serbia, but at the end of the first ninety minutes, curiosity turned – among the opponents – into concern. Because, and it is very true, even France, Spain, England – to name a few – have fully done their duty. But, given that the overall figure of the rivals cannot be ignored, Brazil have really taken the stage. And even if it is early to venture into definitive judges – given the surprises on the agenda, with Argentina and Germany above all paying the price – for what we saw last night, Richarlison and his companions really have everything to be great protagonists. A Brazil perhaps different from its institutional structure, in which the qualities of the attackers have often blinded and hidden some limits – or excess of ruthlessness – in defense.
The team today is based on two authentic pillars such as Thiago Silva and Marquinhos, with Danilo and Alex Sandro (suddenly back at his best levels) carefully guarding the flanks. On this solid foundation – to the point that Alisson was never seriously engaged – Tite’s team built its performance against Serbia. With Neymar to embroider, Raphinha to invent, Vinicius to enchant with his accelerations with the turbo and Richarlison to stamp the success with perhaps the most spectacular goal seen so far. A bicycle kick, or rather a scissor kick, like the theme song of a sports broadcast. To the delight of Antonio Conte who this summer, by phoning him personally, convinced him to accept Tottenham and say no to Arsenal and Chelsea. A show, that of Brazil – two goals, two woodwork and at least seven scoring chances – which didn’t stop even with the substitutions, because if the starters leave and Rodrigo, Gabriel Jesus and Antony enter, it’s hard to say that in the end it was given space to…reservations. In short, a Brazil of the past for the richness of its attacking players, but with a soul and a much more solid structure, with Casemiro acting as a pivot to the triangles in continuous movement that inspire every maneuver. And if Neymar gave his fans a thrill by coming out with a swollen ankle that risks putting him out of action for a while, his opponents must have felt the same when they saw all this abundance. And it is from here, without the pretension or the recklessness of anticipating sentences and verdicts, that today we start again.
November 25 – 07:56
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