It’s another World Cup off day, so let’s take a peek at those Messis of the World Cup and see how they did.
Ramble of the Day
Right before the World Cup started, I googled the Messi of each country, because every country has a Messi for whatever reason. So did they actually pull of Messi-like feats? Let’s check.
Russian Messi: Ayaz Guliyev | did not make the roster
Saudi Arabian Messi: Fahad Al-Mullawad | no goals
Uruguayan Messi: Kevin Méndez | did not make the roster
Egyptian Messi: Mohamed Salah | 2 goals (1 penalty)
Portuguese Messi: Rafinha | did not make the roster
Spanish Messi: Brahim Díaz | did not make the roster
Moroccan Messi: Sofiane Boufal | did not make the roster
Iranian Messi: Sardar Amzoun | no goals, retired from national team after online abuse
French Messi: Romain Alessandrini | did not make the roster
Australian Messi: this five-year-old named Niccolo | did not make the roster
Peruvian Messi: Raúl Ruidíaz | no goals
Danish Messi: Viktor Fischer | no goals
Argentine Messi: Lionel Messi | 1 goal
Icelandic Messi: Gylfi Sigurdsson | 1 goal
Croatian Messi: Ante Ćorić | did not make the roster
Nigerian Messi: Nura Mohammed | did not make the roster
Brazilian Messi: Luan Vieira | did not make the roster
Swiss Messi: Xherdan Shaqiri | 1 goal
Costa Rican Messi: Joel Campbell | no goals
Serbian Messi: Andrija Živković | no goals
German Messi: Marko Marin | did not make the roster
Mexican Messi: Diego Lainez Leyva | did not make the roster
Swedish Messi: Emil Forsberg | 1 goal
Korean Messi: Lee Seung-Woo | no goals
Belgian Messi: Dries Mertens | 1 goal
Panamian Messi: Armando Cooper | no goals, two yellow cards
Tunisian Messi: Youssef Msakni | did not make the roster
English Messi: Patrick Roberts | did not make the roster
Polish Messi: Kamil Grosicki | no goals
Senegalese Messi: Papiss Cissé | did not make the roster
Colombian Messi: Dorlan Pabón | did not make the roster
Japanese Messi: Takefusa Kubo | did not make the roster
Congratulations, Salah on scoring the most goals of any Messi! Two is not impressive, but at least you won something!
tl;dr: The Messis didn’t do so well in Russia.
Links of the Day
Nestor Pitana of Argentina will referee Sunday’s World Cup final between France and Croatia.
Chelsea have fired Antonio Conte.
Transfer roundup: Fulham have signed Jean-Michaël Seri and Maxime Le Marchand from Nice; Kenedy will return to Newcastle on a season-long loan from Chelsea; Barcelona have signed Clément Lenglet from Sevilla; Henry Onyekuru has joined Galatasaray on loan from Everton
Today’s longer read: Rory Smith on the history of contradictions that is Russian football for The New York Times