A perfect ladder for adjustments and corrections: Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland. Lionel Messi’s Argentina got the ideal ball of copon 4, the Saudis. One of the two most desired of copon 2, the Mexicans, and a demanding European rival of 3…, the Poles, but it will be the third meeting of the group, perhaps with the team already qualified for the round of 16. He looks a lot like an ideal bolillero.
The obligatory step will be to win at the premiere, on November 22, so that the march is not loaded with emergencies. We already know the storm that broke out in Russia 2018 for not defeating Iceland in the debut. If he doesn’t get it, he deserves the quagmire.
(Also read: Egan Bernal: “I said to myself: cycling is worth egg, first my family”)
Facing minor rivals means chaining victories, oiling the operation, high self-esteem and avoiding friction that can even lead to injuries and expulsion. There are advantages that it would be naive to ignore, such as being able to go from less to more depending on the rigor of the examiner.
The risk for Argentina: underestimating rivals
Now that Argentina knows that it will be able to manage its attrition better than many, it will have to take care of the feeling of ‘winning naturally’ like never before. Especially since the renewed Argentine squad is growing in victory, with the temptation to fall into ridicule and underestimation of rivals. Otamendi, ‘Dibu’ Martinez and ‘Cuti’ Romero have already offered tests. The draw warns of the internal monster that Argentina may have.
You don’t have to beat everyone in a World Cup, but seven of the 31 possible rivals. And if the first three are between light and accessible…, perfect. And then? Naturally, the tension grows: France or Denmark in the round of 16. And in quarters the Netherlands could wait. Only from the semifinals would Brazil appear, -or Spain-, if it obtains its zone. And England in the final, or France or Germany if they won their group, but it seems like a delusion to spy so far away.
The accomplice wink that comes from Doha is undeniable. No rival is intimidating, and even the formation of the area is related to the best draw in recent decades for the national team: France-98. That raffle, in Marseille, threw Japan, Jamaica and Croatia as opponents. Identical confederations are repeated, and in the same order.
That formation of Daniel Pasarella resolved the three games with victories and did not receive any goals. Croatia with Davor Suker –today, Poland with Robert Lewandowski–, would later grow in the competition and finish third, on the podium.
(Also: Qatar 2022 World Draw: this is how the groups and matches were)
Another advantage for Argentina: it does not have two Europeans
Let’s go back to the present. Finally there were not two Europeans in the area. Advantage. It is that of the 45 games of the Scaloni cycle, he barely faced Germany from the ‘Old Continent’ (2-2 in October 2019). An already incorrigible deficit, trials will be for points. That’s why the benefit of gradualness…
Poland in the third duel to make contact towards the round of 16, probably with France or Denmark. So that the contrast is not so abrupt, because the real location of Argentina on the elite map is still an intrigue. The team’s last 27 matches were against South American opponents. Dangerous distortion.
(In other news: Bayern Munich, in trouble: played for a while with 12 players)
That is why the possibility that the draw gave him to find the calibration in full competition takes value. For now he has dedicated himself to hunting in the South American zoo and the World Cup will propose him to go into the jungle. But at least at first he won’t come across the lions.
The Nation (Argentina)