Tuesday, June 28

Europe’s madhouse that threatens the World Cup

Luis Enrique issued a warning after Spain‘s Nations League win over the Czech Republic.

“Look at what is happening in European football,” the Spain coach said of the tremendous level of competition on the Old Continent.

We find ourselves in an atypical situation in which the major powers have succumbed, or have come close to succumbing, to the so-called second-tier nations.

The Nations League has turned the pre-established order upside down and is a clear threat to what could happen at the World Cup in Qatar in just a few months’ time.

Just a glance at the top four groups in UEFA’s new competition reveals that something very strange is going on.

France, the reigning world champions, are bottom of their group, England suffered a historic drubbing at Wembley against Hungary, Italy are going downhill and with no brakes…

The group of death… for Hungary

The draw gave us a group of death, with a clear underdog: Hungary. Now, with two games to go, the Magyars are top of their group ahead of three previous world champions: Germany, Italy and England.

In fact, the Three Lions are bottom of the group with no wins, and the reigning European champions are coming off the back of a hammering from Germany.

What’s wrong with France?

But surely the most worrying development is the situation France find themselves in.

The French team, reigning world champions and favourites to retain the title, have been knocked out of the competition and will lose the Nations League crown.

Mediocre performances coupled with a depleted and demotivated team have set alarm bells ringing throughout the country.

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Neither Mbappe nor Griezmann, nor Tchouameni nor Benzema have been able to pull an inconsistent France team out of the doldrums at the end of the season.

Will the all-powerful France be able to pull themselves together ahead of Qatar?

After observing other people’s ills, one often becomes aware of their own wellbeing.

And that is what Luis Enrique and his team are observing.

Leaders in a strong group with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and all their stars included and ready for the big occasion in November.

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