John Agriano: The Real Test


If soccer is a state of mind, as Jorge Valdano once succinctly said, Spain would be the favorites to win the World Cup right now. The atmosphere of optimism, confidence and enthusiasm experienced by Luis Enrique and his players in the national team is very difficult to miss, in fact it may be impossible. If they arrived in Qatar with morale already high, they have it through the roof or beyond after their 7-0 loss to Costa Rica. Even in South Africa it did not go that far. It is true that, after the extraordinary victory in Durham against Germany in the semi-finals, Vicente del Bosque and his players felt very strong and proud, but if there was anything key to Potchefstroom’s concentration ahead of the grand final it was stress, no. The inescapable anxiety of being able to fail, taking that last step toward glory and completing what seemed like the written fate of an unforgettable generation. Being a Spanish international now wanting to sing and dance in the rain, more animated than the waiters at San Fermín’s txupinazo, is obviously much nicer. All coaches work to achieve happiness within the group and Luis Enrique applies himself to this like few others, perhaps because he himself was a very temperamental footballer who wanted to play the game not only technically but also Most of all, without understanding football, they did not understand football. , emotional. Winning this duel, which is of the heart, is important in any sport. No one has achieved anything worth being sad about, says Ishmael at the beginning of ‘Moby Dick’, with a sultry and rainy November on the soul. That aside, things cannot be discussed: La Rosa, redder than ever in Qatar, is in an unbeatable position after completing its best start in World Cup history. However, it is also not convenient to be overly enthusiastic and open the champagne ahead of time. I say this for two reasons. The first is that, as we all know, football is sometimes very volatile and a team can go from euphoria to depression in just 90 minutes. They should tell Argentina, who went 36 games unbeaten at the World Cup with the kind of conviction and self-esteem that only the most optimistic Argentines on the planet can muster, and are now reeling from a potentially historic failure. . Or ask Germany, which was surprised by Japan’s second kamikaze run and could pack its bags on Sunday. Related News Opinion Yes Columnists’ Picks A World Tour Jose F. Peláez Rai Yes Brief and below World Cup history Hughes The second reason is that the game against Costa Rica, no matter how you look at it, was not a good measure of Spain’s true potential. And before you look like sad ash, let me explain. Honestly, I don’t think I can serve as a reference, as a benchmark, an opponent who doesn’t score your goals, who makes blatant mistakes in defense and lets you down comfortably without any criteria. Lets pass more than a thousand pressure maniacs. any moment. On Wednesday the ‘Tikos’ were the ideal opponent any team would wish for. He allowed Spain to express all its virtues and did not examine any of its vices. In short, they condemned themselves to disaster. What’s more, his lack of reaction seemed to suggest that after the 2-0 draw he had accepted that fateful fate with deep resignation, like old elephants walking wearily to a graveyard. that their end has come. The real test for the national team will be against Germany on Sunday. That will be when the true consistency of a Spain whose talent with the ball, group spirit and youthful audacity are peerless and make it arguably the most attractive team in the world is verified. It is quite possible that, for both Hans Flick and his players, the selection of Luis Enrique gives them a certain coolness. Well-mannered, brash, success-hungry kids are always a little intimidating. or a lot. Furthermore, Manshaft would not only have to win, but he would also have to make up for his miserable shipwreck in the first leg of the World Cup in Russia, where he suffered the curse of the champion. But still, it would be really strange if the Germans don’t compete at a good level this Sunday and test La Roja top-down, front-and-back, press them up top, dispute possession and force them into defence. I force to maneuver well. If Spain passes this cotton test, it would not only be entirely reasonable to be optimistic. It shall be a liability.-


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