Best game ever?
Just like for the final of The Euro’s I was once again on a (long-booked) flight during the majority of the World Cup Final yesterday. I landed just at the beginning of the 2nd half and with the result seemingly a formality, I escorted the family to the mall for a bit of Christmas shopping.
The mall in Miami was pretty sparse, but there were pockets of people crowded around phones and after the gasps that followed France’s incredulous comeback, the place erupted at the finale. Whether they were Argentinian, I’m not sure – it would seem odd an Argentinian would be out shopping at this time – but the considerable Latino populace in Miami clearly enjoyed it.
I watched the game back last night, and admittedly the element of surprise was gone, but was it really the best ever World Cup Final, let alone the best ever game?
The first half Argentina dominated, the 2nd was a bit of a haul, accepting that I really wanted to go to bed, and all I could really think about until Kylian Mbappe turned the game on it’s head, was how England missed such an opportunity to beat the French.
Two goals in extra time is quite unusual and then we had the drama of the penalties. The worldwide storylines of Messi, Mbappe, France’s comeback and then the penalties will of course long be written in the annals of football history, and I may have felt differently if I watched it in real time, but I was less seduced by it than apparently others.
I was by Lionel Messi though. I think these past four weeks has put to bed who is the greatest of all time debate. Messi was fantastic, truly worthy of being able to lift the trophy like Pele, Maradona, Moore, Beckenbauer, Zidane and Ronaldo (the other one) all did.
Despite all of the undercurrent to Qatar – wasn’t it odd that the emir of Qatar put a bisht around Messi as he held the World Cup aloft? It was a very enjoyable World Cup with some memorable games, shocks and moments. Even England in disappointment left with a positive feel.
I suspect Qatar won’t just fade into the background now, and I hope the media still keep it under the spotlight. A rumoured Qatar Olympic bid looks next. Mhmm, a summer Olympics in the winter. How odd. As is the melancholy of the end of a World Cup taking us straight into Christmas!