I really felt for Croatia. They showed real intent right from the off, maybe sensing they needed to win it in 90 minutes, and showed huge character the entire game, even when they went 4 – 1 down which would have killed most teams. They deserve huge credit.
I didn’t think it was a penalty either. If that wasn’t given then who knows what might have happened. In the end the score line flattered France but that’s how it goes sometimes. France have some real talent in that squad and, crucially, they also had the best defense which could really stand them in great stead for the next 2/3 tournaments. That performance against Belgium really seemed to give them a huge lift.
It’s been a cracking tournament overall, maybe the best I can remember although I would still maybe put ‘98 above it just because of the quality of the strongest teams. It’s arguably been the most open and entertaining however. I found it hugely refreshing after some of the more recent dirges, particularly 2006 and 2010. 2014 had a strong group stage but lacked the great games in the knockout stage to really elevate it. I did find the performances of Spain, Argentina and Germany hugely disappointing. As much I want surprises and underdogs doing well there is something about the glamour and history of those nations which makes me want them in the knockout stages. It didn’t feel right not having the Italians or the Dutch either. Argentina have issues and really need to find some creative midfielders. Spain and Germany will be fine I think and have some very good young players. The next Euros could be a real cracker.
I agree with G about Senegal. They were very unlucky to go out (yellow cards!) and I certainly think they would have given England more of a game than Colombia.
Team of the tournament:
Trippier (Eng) Varane (Fra) Maguire (Eng) Hernandez (Fra)
Pogba (Fra) Modric (Cro)
Hazard (Bel) Mbappe (Fra) Perisic (Cro)
Subs: Courtois, Godin, Inui, Cheryshev, De Bruyne.
Player of the tournament: Modric. Totemic.
Game of the tournament: France v Argentina or Belgium v Japan.
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.
Copehead wrote:we have lost touch with anything normal