I’m going to split up the weekend’s worth of obituaries into two groups. After all, who wants to read that much on a Monday morning?
Ramble of the Day
Friday saw the last of the South American sides go home, with France handling Uruguay in the earlier match. The trip to Russia was likely the last for a generation of Uruguayan talent that entertained many with a lot of talent and a little bit of that word of the moment, shithousery. This time around, the show was a bit dry to begin, as the team collected defensively-minded victories against Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Eventually, though, Uruguay’s offensive unit shined, thanks in large part to Edinson Cavani. He proved that he could do all that was asked of him, and the team shone as a result. His unavailability for the quarterfinal was quite the blow for his side and neutrals around the world, but Uruguay leaves with its generation of talent respected.
Brazil’s elimination was much more of a surprise. One of the favorites to win the World Cup, they never exactly put a bad foot forward. Brazil was almost always solid defensively, and managed enough opportunities to get the results needed, they went through their first four matches with relative ease. It felt as if the best was yet to come for the that qualified for the tournament with more than a year to spare, but it never really did. A quarterfinal defeat to Belgium saw them open and exposed, and quickly out of Russia. Despite any major shortcomings, the World Cup’s most successful team goes home with supporters disappointed and neutrals with little to remark, good or bad.
tl;dr: See you, Uruguay and Brazil.
Links of the Day
Fernando Hierro will not return as the Spanish national team’s coach or sporting director following the team’s Round of 16 exit at the World Cup.
Transfer roundup: Paris Saint-Germain have signed Gianluigi Buffon from Juventus; Paulinho has rejoined Guangzhou Evergrande a year after leaving the club for Barcelona; Monaco have signed Guinea-Bissau international Pelé from Rio Ave and Jonathan Panzo from Chelsea
Today’s longer read: Jeré Longman on the forced isolationism of Crimean football for The New York Times