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.
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