Sunday, December 10, 2023

Either Costa Rica is the worst or Spain is the best, by Matías Vallés

Spain has not only won the first of its seven World Cup matches in Qatar. Either Costa Rica is the worst team in the championship, or the Spanish are the best in the tournament. Victoria is an insufficient term to describe the showcrushing too. The Streamer’s Disciples Luis Enrique they braided an infinite filigree without wearing out.

It is difficult to highlight individualities, due to their excess. Pedri delivers each pass with an eye on the history of footballl, and only in the first part he wrote down a dozen scrolls that will be taught in academies. Dani Olmo was in charge of uncorking the victory, even Ferran Torres gave the impression of not having been lined up in the position of the coach’s son-in-law. It was clear that he would take the penalty, but the second goal not only showed that nepotism is underestimated, but also that living with Lewandowski at Barça is catchy.

Two personalities stand out greatly among the general effulgence. Jordi Alba’s enemies grant him a truce. He needed to vindicate himself against Barça with as much anxiety as Marco Asensio against Ancelotti. For this reason, when the Barcelona player unsheathed one of the passes from the left of the area that he previously reserved to feed Messi, the Madrid player did not finish off with the mathematical expertise of the Argentine genius, but the unusual collaboration of Keylor Navas scored the goal anyway. And in the seventh minute of the second part, the Spaniard returned to play billiards inside the area.

We have not solved the riddle of how Spain can win without Luis Enrique winning. The coach does not trust young people, as has been said, he recruits strangers. He does not summon anyone who can overshadow him. Nevertheless, it’s hard to deny credit of the orderly conviction that his troops deployed. There was mischief, skill and resources, but above all wisdom.

Spain scored three goals in half an hour and left Costa Rica (I was going to write “to Qatar”, they are such and such) out of breath. The meeting only served as training, and the Spaniards could already look for their rival in the round of 16 if they had not mediated the resounding defeat of the vain Germany against Japan. Another comeback to a giant, like in Saudi Arabia against Argentina.

A more powerful team could be made with Qatar’s players absent than with those present, but Spain is not to blame. In order not to rush blindly into patriotism, perhaps Luis Enrique will find himself in greater trouble against a team that begins to regress before the initial whistle. This mystery will be resolved in the dramatic Spain-Germany on Sunday, where the Spanish can afford a defeat if they commit to eliminating Japan afterwards. On the other hand, the Germans need a victory because the Costa Ricans are a selection for all audiences.

Costa Rica is worthy of being boycotted for mistreating the soccer rights of fans at the level of Qatar, and it should be remembered here piously that the best coach in Qatari football answers for Xavi Hernández. However, it is not convenient to discredit the only World Cup group that contains two of the eight world champions that have ever existed, with five titles between them.

The praise that is heaped on the Spaniards omits the devastating impression caused by the rival. For this reason, once the game was over at half-time, it was the opportune moment to temper the euphoria. All teams in Group E will beat Costa Rica, that she would lose the match even if she played against herself. Therefore, the exhibition of Spain must be verified in another of the mandatory matches, if it does not want to get bogged down in that sterile gallantry that characterizes the aforementioned country since the times when Luis Enrique played instead of training. Always with the same character, clearly improvable.


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