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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!

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Best Game ever….Not World Cup but still can,t beat Sunderland 🙂

    December 20, 2022
    • Which one? 😄

      December 20, 2022
      • Went to Both, but 1988 can,t be beaten. I remember being lucky enough to get a ticket from a Contact of My Mum’s. ( Jules) She was working at The Farmers opposite Sevenoaks Station and I drove down with my wife from Malvern.There was a convoy of Coaches that left from The Farmers, and we had a Police escort onto the M25…..Let me entertain you blaring out, and Curbs and Peacock leading the team out Immaculatly dressed , set the scene ( Reidsy just didn’t look happy in his dull coloured suit ) End to End football by both teams, not just for the 90, but throughout…. It was also a privilege to watch Phillips and Quinn play ( sorry loose)…… and just how did Sasa survive being leapt upon by the whole team ( and everyone else) I,m surprised he didn,t suffocate or have multiple crushed ribs…..The Coach back to Sevenoaks was surprisingly Quiet..I think we were just in total shock…I also had to drive back to Malvern that night….Very early hours of the next morning

        December 20, 2022
  2. Daggs #

    I watched the WC final from half-time. I actually thought the second half was as dull as ditchwater, until the 80th minute.
    I still strongly dislike penalty shoot-outs to settle a game.

    December 20, 2022
    • Exactly what I said Daggs. There must be a better way. Golden goal after ET, or remove two players every 5 mins. Pens work to a point and I get the excitement, but to decide the world’s biggest sports competition?

      December 20, 2022
  3. Jelfy #

    Best Final Ever ? Everybody knows that was in May 1998 at Wembley when Clive Mendonca got his hat-trick and Richard Rufus got his first goal for the club in the 4-4 draw after extra time. Seven perfect penalties for Charlton before Sasha Ilic saved Sunderland’s seventh. Its only club football that matters for me, but in any case, that match was exciting from start to finish unlike Sunday’s spectacle of cynical fouls, play-acting and cheating, punctuated by an occasional flash of skill.

    December 20, 2022
    • Chris #

      Have to agree….I was at Wembley and it was a roller coaster… if the best games ever !!!

      December 20, 2022
    • Sent a shiver down my spine that Jelfy.

      December 20, 2022
  4. houndal #

    Come on – of course the best game ever was May 1998. I still play the replays now and it still gives me goosebumps.
    Super Clive – what an absolute legend.

    December 20, 2022
  5. Joseph Hallinan #

    Best game ever for me was 21/12/1957 – 7-6 against Huddersfield – unfortunately there is no film/videos for this match as far as I know!

    December 20, 2022
  6. Shadow Play #

    People are calling the best ever final etc, but for 80 minutes France were nowhere, Mbappe had barely had a kick, France as a team didn’t manage even a shot off target and then Otamendi for reasons known only to himself conceded a penalty out of nowhere and that gave France a sniff of victory that they didn’t deserve. From 80 minutes on it was a classic, but another day Otamendi would have booted the ball away and Argentina would have completed a deserved dramaless 2-0 routine win.

    December 21, 2022

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