Saturday, December 9, 2023

Rodri, nine more and Morata

Standing out in life is making a difference for the better compared to your colleagues. Because if it is for evil it is the path to perdition. And that’s what Rodri does among the players who play with him and against him since he settled into Guardiola’s starting eleven at City. The center half of our national team is today, surely, the best in the world in his position. Path started after excelling at Villarreal and Atlético.

And now, Morata also stands out, after years of coming and going in four teams. But, yes, always between big clubs: Madrid, Juventus, Atlético and Chelsea, with back and forth in the first three. Even Barça thought about signing him before going for Lewandowski, but that interest divided the culé fans, who did not see the Madrid native as a relevant or indisputable option. Circumstance experienced in his flesh in all the teams he has been in, including Simeone’s Atlético. Because our man has only felt the firm and continuous support of Luis Enrique, first, and then of De la Fuente in the Spanish team, despite the fact that he also continues to be discussed by both the fans and the press, no matter how much he now goes through. a sweet moment: eleven goals in the last eleven games he has played. Figures that surpass those of Mbappé and Haaland themselves in their respective teams and national teams.

Two successful footballers and two different realities. Rodri, praised by everyone, enjoys playing for the current European champion, where he is a leader, and Morata is condemned to continue being pilloried, although now he seems to enjoy the favor of Simeone in an Atlético team that is always in need. But that sambenito has been earned in his career for not settling definitively in any of his great teams. We will see now, when it seems that he has reached his sporting maturity, equal to his personal one. If he has overcome the brittle morale, which always hindered him, Morata has several years ahead of him in his thirties to finish his career as one of the great Spanish scorers. Because, be careful, despite his late maturation, like so many other athletes, with his current 34 goals he is only surpassed by Silva with 35, Torres with 38, Raúl with 44, whom he can soon leave behind if he continues on a streak, and the difficult to reach Villa with 59.

Luis de la Fuente is making a good national team, but except for Rodri and the current Morata, he does not have any footballer who can be considered among the three best in the world in his position. But he also inherited that circumstance from the previous coach because it is also the reality of Spanish football. Which speaks well of any recent or future success. Succeeding with a team in which only one footballer would be indisputable among its best rivals, Rodri, and now also occasionally Morata as the first alternative to its starters, would be an impressive guarantee to be considered one of the best coaches in the world, if not the best. . The next Euro Cup will be his Rubicon and the exciting challenge that the Rioja native has.

Going into details, our selection has its greatest weakness at the back. And more specifically in the center of defense, because the full-backs do not clash with their rivals. Carvajal, Navas, Balde and Gayá, being useful and fit, provide certain guarantees, although more in attack. Not so Laporte and Le Normand, who cannot be compared to the great centre-backs who have worn the national shirt; neither defending nor serving the ball played. They are neat defenders, but they would be substitutes in any of the best European teams or clubs. The same could be said of Unai Simón or whoever replaced him. And these weaknesses generate weaknesses that are difficult to overcome. The best Spain of Luis or Del Bosque always knew how to keep the goal well and, with few goals in favor, because we did not have the best scorers in the world or in Europe, we were champions of everything based on some dream midfielders who were world leaders. Now, although not at that level, our midfield is the best guarantee to aspire to something. If Pedri recovered it would be even better, without forgetting Koke, but Rodri, Gavi, Merino, Fabián or Zubimendi are a solvent average.


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