The Campionato has found a ruler already, and it is – surprise, surprise – once again Massimiliano Allegri and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus. The Zebras got rid of their most plausible contender, coming from behind to topple Napoli 3-1 in the match clou of Serie A Round 7 and widening their lead to 6 points. Juve thus increased their perfect records to 8 seasonal wins in a row.
The France squad that just won their second World Cup title didn’t make our jaws drop. Beauty and appearance were rather left to the Gioconda’s smile and to Napoleonic conquers. But in football, those who win are always right. And so, The Cult of Calcio’s final Top 11 lineup could not but feature many French – pardon, World Champions – representatives.
The World Cup Winners remains an elite club with very strict admission rules. France covered themselves with glory for the second time, while brusquely rejecting Croatia’s application to join the club. The Final in Moscow ended 4-2 for Didier Deschamps’ side, but we need to thank both teams for giving life to one of the most entertaining finals in decades.
Croatia are the second finalist of World Cup 2018. Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic pushed the Balkan side into their first world final ever, overturning Kieran Trippier’s initial lead for England. The Vatreni will thus face France next Sunday at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow for the last act, a totally deserved achievement for the white-and-red checkered squad.
A flash in the night of Saint Petersburg, Samuel Umtiti’s header brought France back to a World Cup Final, 12 years after the bitter outcome of Berlin 2006. Didier Deschamps’ side prevailed in their Semi Final over Belgium with a lone goal by their Barcelona-based center back. Just like 4 years ago in Brazil, the Red Devils faded away in the decisive moment.
Last stop for the host country. Russia left the competition in the hands of the Croatians, who survived the second penalty battle in a row. 120 minutes were not enough to determine the outcome of the last World Cup Quarter Final, which promoted coach Zlatko Dalic’s team. Mistakes by Fedor Smolov and Mario Fernandes proved fatal to Stanislav Cherchesov’s side.
Another penalty shootout lottery, another goalkeeping drama in the 4th game of the Round of 16 between Croatia and Denmark. Danijel Subasic saved three penalties, Kasper Schmeichel did the same – but one of them was kicked during extra time, and thus the shootout roulette promoted the Croatians after an infinite struggle in Nizhny Novgorod.
Too bad to be true. The Argentinian squad seen last night was an embarrassing collection of horrors assembled by their confused coach Jorge Sampaoli. Croatia, on the other hand, are one of the most dangerous side seen in the World Cup so far. They showed no mercy for the confused Albiceleste, which are now hanging by a thread in Pool C.