It’s summer and the World Cup continues.
Games at 8, 11, 2 Eastern.
Today at 8, Denmark v Australia
Today at 11, France v Peru
Today at 2, Argentina v Croatia.
Much as I love France, I’m most psyched about the Argentina game. Messi is just amazing and at times is playing at a level I just can’t even understand.
Note: Anne Laurie is off for a few days, so I’m hosting the World Cup posts for the next few days. As I’m not as cool as she, my posts will be simple and focused on providing a place for interested folks to chat about the cup.
Messi is a god, or at least a gift of the gods.
Alain the site fixer
@OzarkHillbilly: It’s true. I mean Neymar and Ronaldo are both amazing to watch, but Messi is just plain awe-inspiring. Mid-match, I can’t believe he’s everywhere on the pitch, part of almost every play. It’s just amazing.
Half time score 1:1 in Australia v Denmark match. The VAR again the invisible man on the pitch. The Danes have reason to be aggrieved about the penalty against them. Looking forward to second half.
I just spent a week in Croatia so I’ll root for them.
@Alain the site fixer:
Ronaldo is so purdy though. I confess I do a fair amount of objectification watching the games. Everyone should go ahead and roll your eyes at me. That’s what my kids do.
ETA In my defense, I’m not alone. The site gofugyourself runs “thighlights” every day.
Being a first generation high school soccer player in the US, it amazes me to be at a loud full capacity MLS soccer game. My BIL would only allow his four boys to play American sports – Baseball, Football, and Basketball. Not even hockey was allowed. Now they ask me to bring back team scarves when I go overseas, and I can talk to them about futball. Who coulda predicted?
Messi looks like he is just piddling around and next think is he has just worked thru five defenders and is dropping a pass to the foot of an open forward. Renaldo flips his beautiful locks way too much during the beautiful game for me, so I will take a pass on the “thighlights”.
Messi certainly is one of the great players of all time, but recently he just hasn’t been as good as he used to be. Plus, he’s never really delivered in the large tournaments with Argentina. His game against Iceland was disappointing not just because of the missed penalty. The whole Argentina squad is getting old and isn’t as good as they were 4 years ago. They barely qualified for this World Cup.
OTOH, Croatia has played really well in their first game, they seem to have a strong team. If you’re looking for a shocking upset in the group stage, this might be the game (or next Saturdays Sweden – Germany game).
Gin & Tonic
@Mart: Not sure what “first-generation” means in this context. I graduated HS in 1972, and my school had a first-rate soccer team that was widely followed, was certainly an equal to the other sports in terms of fan base, and produced at least a couple of D-I scholarship recipients (I was OK, but not good enough to make the team.) The NASL was developing around that time – by the mid-70’s, the New York Cosmos were drawing 30,000-40,000 fans per match.
Lots of other players there, too. Only one photo of Ronaldo. He’s sporting a buzz cut these days so no lock flipping to worry about.
La Marseillaise never fails to stir. Peru side looks ready to explode. Hope Messi has calmed himself down by now, but he’s battling a helluva hex, and meanwhile, Cronny is in form. I love tournament footy.
Gin & Tonic
Maybe it’s the time I’ve spent in Melbourne, but I always thought “footy” was a different sport.
@Gin & Tonic: From GWBush’s gut and my experience, for most of the country I would say first generation public H.S. soccer was introduced late 60’s to mid 70’s. I had a neighbor who played for a private High School in Pittsburgh PA who introduced the game to me in the alley when I was about 8 – mid-1960’s. Was not played in Pittsburgh public High Schools at the time. .
Upon further review decided to look at Wikipedia and it says – “In 1967 there were 100,000 people playing soccer in the US; by 1984, that number had grown to over 4 million.” Also notes St. Louis University won the inaugural NCAA championship in 1959.
@Gin & Tonic: Pro soccer collapsed in the late ’70s, and by the early ’80s the ASL and NASL went bankrupt – just as I reached the age when I hoped I could start a career. It was an incredibly frustrating time to be playing soccer in the US. In ’74 when I sent my public school board a proposal to start a soccer team, the board just mocked me for it: ‘when you reach high school you’ll discover that there are several sports you can play’.
@Gin & Tonic: that thing they play in oz needs armor and better shorts. This is footy (or sawkerbawl) or footie (or soccer). https://binged.it/2ltrAHj
“Messi is just amazing and at times is playing at a level I just can’t even understand.” That post aged well…
Nobody in this thread anymore, so I’m just gonna shout into the void: ‘I told you so!’.
@Onkel Fritze: “recently he [Messi] just hasn’t been as good as he used to be.”
Nonsense. He’s as good as ever, which was obvious in this game. He can still ride close challenges from two or more defenders better than anyone. It’s the current Argentine setup that’s shite. No-one can win a game on their own.
Ask Barcelona if they think he’s not as good as he used to be.
Ronaldo 4, Messi 0. But who’s counting
@Paul Waterhouse: “who’s counting”
People who’ve placed bets on the top scorer, or who are easily impressed by context-free numbers. If Ronaldo doesn’t score again, and Cheryshev and Costa score two more each, does that mean they are better than CR? I wouldn’t say so.