Star players do make a difference

We often put emphasis on how you need a solid team of players to win tournaments. Sure, this makes sense. You cannot win a major trophy with a mediocre team. However, you probably also cannot win one without one or more star players. Ronaldo and Pepe at Euro 2016, Neuer and Kroos in 2014, Iniesta and Ramos from 2008-2012. All these are top players who took a well rounded team to the next level.  Continue reading Star players do make a difference

The real France finally shows up

The score does not reflect the performance in France’s 4-3 win over Argentina. Les Bleus, strongly criticized after their dismal game versus Denmark, upped their gear against the Albiceleste. Kylian Mbappe won a penalty and scored 2 goals to send Lionel Messi out of the World Cup. In the other game of the day, Edinson Cavani’s double saw Ronaldo and Portugal eliminated. The World’s two best players in recent history are going back home.  Continue reading The real France finally shows up

Much controversy as Spain top Group B, with Portugal second

Spain drew Morocco 2-2, in a game where the Africans will feel they were let down by the referee. Gerard Pique’s two-footed tackle on Boutaib early in the game should have seen him sent off. In the other game of Group B, Portugal and Iran both benefited from very doubtful penalties, called after the referee consulted the video review. Cristiano Ronaldo missed his penalty but the Iranians did not and that goal had a direct effect on the rankings in the group.  Continue reading Much controversy as Spain top Group B, with Portugal second