In the round of 16 Holland, France, England and Croatia played their part; the fifth European will be the winner of Portugal-Switzerland and Luis Enrique wants to join. Possible to match the six of Russia 2018
Europe is regaining its “central” role at the World Cup. True, it had never happened in the history of the World Cup that all continents were represented in the round of 16. The supremacy was possible thanks to the presence of Australia, which for the second time passed the round, and of the Asian Japan and South Korea. Many were ready to bet that the Old Continent was about to step down from the throne of world football , occupied continuously since 2006 (in that order, Italy, Spain, Germany and France triumphed). And instead the results of the round of 16 played so far have relaunched the quotations of the Europeans, all capable of gaining access to the next round. A resounding four out of four waiting for CR7 or Switzerland and Spain.
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From the beginning of the knockout stage, i.e. from Saturday afternoon, the Netherlands, who beat the United States, France, who beat Poland, England, who beat Senegal , and Croatia, who suffered until penalties to defeat Japan. In addition to Argentina, which ousted Australia, and Brazil, which folded South Korea. Europe, therefore, did the en plein, sending forward all four of its representatives who have taken the field so far. Today Morocco-Spain and Portugal-Switzerland are scheduled and therefore, in the worst case scenario, the Europeans who will be able to aim for the cup will be five. If, on the other hand, Luis Enrique does his duty against Morocco, the picture will be similar to Russia 2018 when there were 6 national teams from the Old Continent in the running for the quarterfinals (France, Belgium, Russia, Sweden, England and Croatia). There would also be another analogy: today as four years ago there would be only two continents represented: Europe and South America. There were four European quarter-finals in 2014, three in 2010 and six in 2006.
The big difference compared to 2018 is Argentina’s return to the nobility of world football, which in Russia had been eliminated in the round of 16 by France. The Albiceleste’s goal is to go all the way, as in Brazil in 2014. The Seleçao was the last… non-European to lift the Cup: in 2002 they folded Germany thanks to the Ronaldo Phenomenon. Now an entire nation hopes that Neymar, who returned against Korea and immediately scored, will repeat the deeds of the former Inter player. If Spain eliminates Morocco, we will have the certainty that a European will arrive on the right side of the draw in the final; on the left instead Brazil and Argentina could find themselves in the semifinals. The last World Cup final was all European (France-Croatia), but the same happened in 2010 (Spain-Netherlands), in 2006 (Italy-France) and in 1982 (Italy-Germany). An all-South American final hasn’t happened since 1950 and the wait is bound to continue.
December 5, 2022 (change December 5, 2022 | 22:23)
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