The Greatest Story Ever Told-and, Destroying The Beautiful Game
Or-Former Rangers Target Lionel Messi Wins Argentina World Cup,as the headline to an article from Adam Miller @OldFirmFacts in The Herald claimed!
I have no wish to blaspheme by using such a headline for this article. I apologise in advance to anyone offended. The 2022 World Cup will NOT go down in history as the greatest ever,that’s for sure. There are certainly other candidates for that,such as 1954,1970 and 1974. 1982,and simply for their importance in relaunching the game,1990 and 94.
I could even make an argument for 2002,which I certainly have a very high opinion of. But 2022 never stood a chance,its location and spot in the calendar year saw to that. Too much politics,too much greed,too much of everything we have come to detest about the upper echelons of the sport and its governance. No,good riddance,I say. Every vote for a hosting nation or nations in future should be subject to confirmation by an independent panel of football experts no later than a week afterwards.
No,this tournament was heading to irrelevance-until the quarter-finals! It exploded into life after that,and managed to save the best for last. Sure,the final wasn’t the BEST game ever,there are too many candidates for that question ever to get a definitive answer. It probably wasn’t even the best final ever-I think 1974 just beats it.
But the fairytale of Messi,the best player of the modern era being within touching distance of his crowning glory,of captaining his country to World Cup success in his final attempt? And TWICE having the glory snatched back,despite his two goals and his overall display? Or-the heir to his mantle,Mbappe,scoring only the second hat trick in a World Cup Final-and still ending up on the losing side?
Oh yes,the seven games prior to the final may have lit the fuse,but the fireworks were to be saved for The Grand Finale. It will be remembered and talked about for years to come. A fitting tribute to Messi’s career-even if it isn’t quite over just yet-and the starting gun,potentially,for another star for the game to savour.
Meanwhile,of more pressing concern for Celtic supporters was our visit to Pittodrie. It was certainly a day where the sheep were grateful for their woolly coats,though the home side did nothing to get the blood of their fans coursing through their veins. Third in the table,and in-form with five wins from their previous six,that home side simply parked the bus. A performance which would get fitba’ stopped. A tactical plan that would have me demanding such a course of action,for it was an act of fraud against the paying public. Thankfully,only 1600 Celtic supporters were allowed to be fleeced on this occasion,which is a mercy.
I’ve spoken before about how Kyogo is simply masterful in finding or creating space in the box,and he is. But it wasn’t working for him on the day,and the service to him wasn’t the best either. Yes,the wee genius can find that space too for a cross into the box,and somehow even get his napper on it,but I thought we could have done with the additional aerial threat that G-Mak provides. Still,all’s well that ends well,and our nine point lead is preserved. Of course,that was ultimately down to Captain Marvel and his trusty sidekick Jamesie. That they are our two longest-serving players,both survivors from the NL Mk I era just goes to show that the days of the one club player may not be over,after all.
Who knows,we might yet get to see the two of them getting a testimonial for the reason that such events were originally conceived-to recognise and reward a player for his long service with a club. I think Tommy Boyd was the last serving Celtic player to get one for that reason,and Paul McStay before him. It will be good to see a revival of an old tradition!
Above article by BMCUWP