Ranking..DOES it even MATTER..?
3 week’s into the Tournament and the world cup has shown , that on their day any Minnow can surprise the Giant!. One can now contemplate that nothing is impossible in international football, no team invincible, no records unbreakable..!
Of the top 10 FIFA ranking teams , only 3 have made their way past the quarter-finals . Indicating the quality with which the lower-ranked teams have played and the grit and determination ,they have shown while facing the champs!
- Who would have thought 70th ranked Russia would kick out the La-roja(Spain)?
- Who would have predicted that associate nation of Iceland would hold the MIGHTY Argentine’s for a draw?
- Who would have even imagined Mexico to beat the Defending champs..Germany?
But this has been the story of this world-cup so far… Teams like Egypt, Poland which were expected to reach the round of 16 crashed in the league stages , courtesy to strong performances from Russia, Senegal. Players like MO.Salah , Robert Lewandowski who have been the star performers for Liverpool, Bayern Munich have failed to take their teams through.
DRAMA Before the world cup..!
The qualifiers for the world cup saw the exit of two champion squads in the Face of Netherlands and Italy!
2010 world cup runner-ups, The Oranje needed to beat Sweden in their final qualifier by seven clear goals in order to leapfrog their opponents into the play-off spot.And despite winning 2-0, it wasn’t enough to prevent Sweden from securing a play-off spot with a second-placed finish in Group A ,with first place going to France.
The four-time World Cup winners have missed out on their first World Cup finals since 1958 after a 1-0 aggregate defeat to Sweden. The Azzurri, led by the hapless Gian Piero Ventura, couldn’t muster a goal over 180 minutes of football, meaning Jakob Johansson’s first-leg winner was enough to send the Swedes to Russia.
These shocking departures in the qualifiers, also saw some crazy scenes where Lionel Messi had to score a hat-trick to take Argentina to Russia…!!
Argentina’s thrilling campaign follows a heart-breaking exit!
The Runners-up world cup, 2014 found their qualification tough, but the first game versus the Minnows Iceland was truly an eye-opener for the La Albiceleste. Messi , Di maria, Aguero attacked on a consistent basis to score the winner, but the resilient iceland defence was way too good for Argentina to handle.
Playing the next game against Croatia, Argentina needed a fightback. But the Croatian midfielders, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic had other plans..Scoring 3 goals , they made short work of the team.
Argentina now had a do-or-die match against the Nigerians .They had to win the game to stay alive..yet there was a trick! The goal difference had to one greater than the Iceland-Croatia match!!..after the spectacular opener by Lionel Messi , the Nigerians found a neutralizer.The intense attack from Argentina continued and after a series of touch and go, they found a goal by Rojo.
The first game in the round of 16, against the in-form France was a high scoring one and France found their Hero in the 19 yr old sensation Mbappe, his twin strikes were too many for argentina to counter as they went down fighting with 4-3 scoreline!