Find out the impressions of Figaro’s special envoy who attended the Croatia-Belgium (0:0) match at the Bin Ali Stadium and the qualification of Luka Modric’s partners.
Special envoy to Doha
Modric is always very tasty
Right, left, short game, long game, we do it again, but this is a chance to see Luka Modric in action. He does not run fast, he is not strong, but the Ballon d’Or 2018 feels everything and sees everything faster than anyone else. His famous “extra” of the right foot will be broadcast in all football schools, for example, the gesture of the heel to take the ball. The conductor of the finalists of the World Cup held in Russia, the 37-year-old midfielder once again proved his importance in the team of his people. Twice (55, 68) he would deceive his Real Madrid partner and evening opponent Thibaut Courtois. In vain. But Luka Modric again taught a lesson to the very disappointed Belgian midfielder in his ability to control the key moments, weak moments, and adjust the pace with a simple gesture. I look forward to the continuation in the 8th final.
Courtois, the only Belgian to swim
Thibaut Courtois, who was already forced to leave Qatar in the group stages after a Belgian shipwreck, retained his rank on Thursday evening. One of the rare members of Roberto Martinez’s selection is at least able to look himself in the mirror in the decisive encounter that resulted in a dismal draw (0-0) with Croatia on the tired turf of the Ben Ali Stadium. Several times (50th, 54th, 55th, 68th) he kept his team upright, inspired by Kovacic or Modric, the “best goalkeeper in the world”. But it was not enough, his partners, unlike him, were not at the expected level. Light years away from the conquering team who interviewed in Russia in 2018. And confirmation that an era is over for our Belgian neighbors. The concept of “Seum”.
Belgians are crazy and clueless
Wondering who will win on the turf of Bin Ali Stadium in Doha on Tuesday. In the first half, at the same time, with the selection of Morocco leading against Canada (1-2 at the break), the red devils showed absolutely nothing. A team with no ideas, no soul, no change of rhythm, and even less punch and a chance for Mertens (14th), apart from the rush of De Bruyne, who will bring nothing to their mouths. Too little for selection forced to overcome the Croatians, who did not stop playing in their (small) train and could even take the lead after a penalty disallowed for offside (16th). In a sign of an overly neutral performance, Roberto Martinez tried to put pressure on the hosts from the 35th minute with Hazard, Lukaku and Tielemans warming up… To no avail. A little better in the second half, but too little to look at the World Cup playoffs. For the generation of De Bruyne, Hazard, Vertonghen, doubts, conflicts and a fiasco in Qatar that was never at their level.
Stress and Lukaku grape harvest
This is one of the images of the World Cup. Romelo Lukaku prostrated on the sidelines in tears, comforted by Thierry Henry after the final whistle. For long seconds, the 1998 world champion, Roberto Martinez’s assistant in the selection of Belgium will try to comfort the striker of “Inter”. In vain. Romelo Lukaku could have been the Red Devils’ savior with three great chances (60, 87, 90) after coming on from the dressing room to replace Dries Mertens (60, 87, 90). Released. In large widths. He reaped and caused his people to fall. After the meeting, he will project his anger onto the Plexiglas of the Belgian bench, angry and aware that he has missed his meeting. The next few weeks promise to be too long for a bad evening.
Boredom in the stands
When you have the chance to watch several matches at this World Cup in Qatar – which is our case – it is impossible not to compare the atmosphere in the stands. Suffice it to say that this Croatia-Belgium atmosphere will not be etched in our memory despite the 43,984 spectators. I wonder if the supporters of the two camps are aware of the importance of this match… We exaggerate a bit, but when you see the enthusiasm of the Moroccan, Tunisian fans or the madness of the Argentines, there is no decibel on Thursday night. We had the right to expect a warmer welcome at the Bin Ali Stadium for a match that did not qualify for the 1/8 finals. More colorful and enhanced atmosphere. With rare exceptions, it was deathly quiet. With the Croatian fans in heaven, for the deep boredom that was cleverly shaken at the final whistle.
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