Sport

Indeed, World Cup 2018 – the greatest show on earth

BY CHRISTOPHER SAWYERS
Contributor

Friday, July 20, 2018

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After a scintillating Goal Rush 2018, we take an in-depth look at what was served up to us over the period June 14 to July 15, 2018. It has been a long, gruelling month, but after 64 games, four weeks and one incredible final, it is all over.

In the end, World Cup 2018 belongs to France, but the path to the final was far from predictable. fallen giants, rising stars, VAR controversies and 70 set piece goals all played a part in this stunning show that the world has come to love and have for years described as “the greatest show on earth”.

Russia vs Saudi Arabia didn't look the most appetising of openers, but the hosts, the lowest-ranked side in the tournament before it began, were brilliant. they totally destroyed the Saudis and threw down a challenge for the other 31 nations that was readily accepted.

One of the shocks of Russia 2018 came about when Germany, the defending champions were knocked out at the group stage joining three of the past four defending champions that have achieved that unwanted feat in the past.

Argentina limped through the group stage and also failed to impress, but by July 2nd, Argentina and Spain were on their way home. France putting Messi and company out of their misery, while Russia did likewise to Spain.

BEST GAME – PORTUGAL 3-3 SPAIN this will go down as one of the all-time classic World Cup matches as the tension and excitement were incredible. Cristiano Ronaldo was simply sensational; unstoppable as he single-handedly dragged Portugal to a point.

BEST PLAYER – LUKA MODRIC Croatia's talisman and midfield genius was awesome throughout the tournament. He deserves to go down as one of the best midfielders of his generation. this after winning a third-consecutive Champions League title, then leading a nation of only four million people to a World Cup final.

BIGGEST LET-DOWN – LIONEL MESSI one great goal against Nigeria could not cover up that Messi, who arrived as the best player on the planet, failed to live up to the billing.

BEST GOAL OF THE TOURNAMENT Cristiano Ronaldo against Spain, with two minutes to go and Portugal down 2-3, stepped up Ronaldo to deliver under immense pressure, and that he did with a brilliant free kick to score a hat-trick and earn a point for his country.

WORST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE – Neymar against Switzerland was childish, self-indulgent and ultimately damaging to himself and his team.

BEST TEAM PERFORMANCE – Mexico defeating Germany on a wild opening weekend. It was a plan, six months in the making from Juan Carlos Osorio, and it resulted in a brilliant display that showed the weakness of the World Champions and nullified their strengths.

If this England team have a bright future ahead of them, then for the World's two greatest footballers, the opposite is true. Messi and Ronaldo will be 35 and 37 by the time the next World Cup comes around. In any case, the next World Cup will boast not two super stars but several. We saw the previewing of the new generations of champions; players we always knew had the talent but now have delivered on the grandest stage of all. these players include the irrepressible teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe, Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, and Antoine Griezmann.

Based on the figures revealed, this was the most expensive World Cup in history and it also proved to be the best-organised, with virtually no violence nor unsavoury incidents. In four years' time the circus moves to Qatar, another of the so-called racist states, so we must remain vigilant. As witnessed in Russia, football does bring people together. it brought together our collective spirit like nothing else on earth; however, as long as there's football to watch, the reservoir of human happiness will never quite run dry.

JustBet Goal Rush 2018 thanks its many customers for participating in superb World Cup.

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