England stonks Switzerland stonks Germany are great but maybe already doomed Tunisia are very much at this World Cup Was this all really worth $200bn to break historic on-field ground as a host?.
A quarter of matches at the World Cup are in the books but if anything, there are fewer teams we can assess with much certainty now that the first round of group stage games are complete. For every statement win by a contender there has been a shock for the World Cup history books while the string of 0-0 draws throughout the early days mean few teams will feel that they are really behind in the race for the last 16.
Undoubtedly, the standout result of the opening days was Saudi Arabias 2-1 victory over Argentina, the greatest upset in the history of the competition according to data company Gracenote. It certainly had enough improbable moments to feel like a miraculous result; does that mean we can effectively dismiss its impact on the prospects of the Copa America champions? If they top their group, then quite possibly we can.
Equally, the big wins for France, England and Spain may come with caveats over the quality of opposition. Luis Enriques side might at least get to address them against Germany, shellshocked by Japan, while the reigning champions can feel much more confident of their prospects against Denmark after the impressive opener.
On the subject of low quality opposition, a penny for the thoughts of those who wield power in Qatar. Was this really worth a reported $220 billion to be the subject of western media focus for all the wrong reasons while your players break new ground for poor performances by a World Cup host nation?
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