The other day Ancelotti was complaining about the high number of games and he is right, but now who can avoid it? It weighs on him more than anyone for many reasons. Madrid wins a lot and therefore plays everything, because they usually rush the Champions League to the final stages, this year also the Cup, and the titles bring super cups, Mundialito… To make things more complicated, two thirds of their squad are international and on top of that there are four that do not count. They no longer counted last year and by fas or nefas they were not given an outlet to replace them for useful elements.
This week Madrid has resolved a match that they had been hanging since the Spanish Super Cup, against Valencia, and they will soon have the one for the next day hanging, which will catch them in the Mundialito, which a pious formula allows them to join on the fly , at the height of the semifinals, just like the champion of the Libertadores, Flamengo. Mundialito is how we know what is officially and pretentiously called the FIFA Club World Cup, but we call it that because it is not such a thing, but rather a little brother and birrioso of the real World Cup, the one for national teams. The champions of all the confederations plus the organizing country compete, but the gap between them and those of South America and Europe, and for some time now between that of South America itself and Europe, is so great that no one sees it as a balanced competition. but a feast that FIFA gives to the illusion of the minor football countries, which give votes, and added fatigue to that of Europe, in this case and frequently Madrid.
Well seen, for the white club it is a nuisance. Enter less than for the Spanish Super Cup. Winning it is not going to give him more credit or prestige than he already has, enormous after his fourteenth Champions League. Losing him leaves him bad, because no one will admit that he falls to Flamengo, an expected finalist (if another arrives, even worse), a reserve for returning veterans such as Arturo Vidal, Filipe Luis, David Luiz or Gabigol, returned from Europe due to age, injuries or combination of both. The fans care so much that the other day, when Militao and Benzema were injured, everyone was counting on whether they would arrive in time to play against Liverpool; Nobody thought of this competition whose dates and country FIFA did not think of until a few weeks ago.
This started out as the Intercontinental Cup, pitting the European and South American champions against each other and eliciting the most interest and excitement. I still remember the commotion when Di Stéfano’s Madrid won the first, against Peñarol, and the disappointment when six years later the ye-yés lost it to the same rival. Then, Argentine teams hit so hard that more than one European champion resigned, some years it was not done, once they took over the European runner-up (the one that Atlético won, due to the resignation of Bayern) and Toyota saved that by taking him to Tokyo, to single party. Then came FIFA with this formula that mixes churras with merinos and that she herself discredits by using it for experiments. In a Mundialito the VAR was tested (and despite the fact that it turned out badly he jumped forward), and in this the slightest nonsense has been introduced that the referee explains his decision after the VAR. I suppose that when it is Mateu’s turn, he will do it in a sonnet. Or in Alexandrian hendecasyllables if it is a Classic.
As it is obvious that this is not going, Infantino has in the drawer, in search of more money, a formula with 24 teams, which would include the eight best Europeans, or perhaps more. It would be in odd years, it is not yet known if biennial or only quadrennial, in the year before the real World Cup, that of the national teams. The project still does not define how many by confederation (everyone wants more, of course), nor how they will be chosen, for example, the Europeans, if by the last year or by a ranking of several seasons. We’ll see. If today is rubbish, tomorrow will end up being fodder for the greats of Europe after a preamble in which steers from smaller herds will banderille. Like it or not, the best in the world is the one who wins the Champions League. Increasingly.
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