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Re: Football thread another new one
Posted by: Supporting Middlesex since 1999
Date: 11/07/2018 23:32
It would have been great had England won the FIFA World Cup, but sadly it is not meant to be.

Apparently, our run to the semi-finals means that it is the start of a successful era. Where have I heard that said before? Actually, it might not be such a bad thing if there is a parallel with Middlesex, as we finished second in the County Championship in 2015 and won it the following season, so hopefully the England football team can build on their reasonably successful 2018 World Cup by winning Euro 2020 and/or Qatar 2022. The winners of the last three World Cups have all failed to progress beyond the group stage in the subsequent tournament, so at least we haven’t busted our chances of winning in Qatar!

Before the tournament, I would have said that an ideal tournament for England would have been reaching at least the quarter-final stage, with the circumstances of our elimination being that we came up against one of the heavyweight nations and lost valiantly. I suppose we lost valiantly and were eliminated by a more experienced side, but I would have been disappointed had someone told me before the tournament that the team to knock us out would be Croatia. However, Croatia have clearly done something right to have beaten Argentina and hosts Russia on the way to being a win away from being world champions.

I doubt that I will be able to watch Saturday’s third-place play-off match, as my parents and I will be at the Bluebell Railway. This fixture is often called the match that no-one wants to play. However, it is much better than having long been eliminated or having not qualified. To finish third and to beat Belgium would mark a nice last taste of the World Cup. The last time England were involved in this fixture was when they lost 2-1 to hosts Italy in 1990. That match took place at the Stadio San Nicola in Bari, which is a city I recently visited when my cousin got married. However, I was unable to catch sight of the ground, as it is situated as far from the centre of the nearest city as the Ageas Bowl is!

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