Opinion – Juca Kfouri: Opening of the World Cup was worth the party


Anyone waiting for a game like Ibis vs Bangu saw an original party for those who had never witnessed football in the so-called Arab world. Original also because cold, but very well organized, better than in 2010 and 2014.

The Ecuadorians, about a thousand, with the traditional “Esta noche tenemos que ganar” drowned out the nearly 60,000 Qataris, if indeed they were Qataris.

VAR gave the appearance of its disgrace right away, but that didn’t stop the South Americans from running the game almost as a mere formality, such was the technical difference. And, not by chance, just after 16 minutes, the number 13, Enner Valencia, opened the victorious walk in penalty that no VAR could contest. The 13 shone again at 31, 13 in reverse.

The second half was just protocol, with nothing that could change the result of the debut.


This is certainly the most wasteful World Cup in history.

Starting with the gigantic media center in Doha, impressive not only for its dimensions but also for the chandeliers on the ceiling.

And then the no less luxurious stadiums, with ultra-modern, daring concepts destined to become golden elephants, unless the trillionaire sheikhs decide to assemble at least five good teams to occupy them. There are no less than eight, seven of them built for the tournament.

Although they are not exactly new rich people, lavishness is typical of those who are, to the point that it is impossible to pretend to be natural in the face of such ostentation. It is really, or princely, impressive.

They say that money doesn’t buy happiness and, although there are controversies, the fact is that it didn’t at least buy the luck of having some of the main players in the Cup.

Starting with the last blow of losing the Frenchman Karim Benzema, number 1 in the world.

He had already lost the Senegalese Sadio Mané, responsible for the elimination of another genius, the Egyptian Mohamed Salah.

Two other Frenchmen, fundamental midfielders, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, were also known to be absent, as well as Argentine midfielder Giovani Lo Celso —perhaps the best countryman that Lionel Messi has found to keep him company, and already in the sunset of his brilliant career, throughout his trajectory in the national team.

It is as if King Pelé was left out in the 1970 Cup, in the 2002 Cup there was no Zinedine Zidane or Messi was missing in 2014.

Irreparable losses that no amount of money on the planet can buy, because higher than their power is that of an exhausted muscle or an injured bone.

So the Cup lost luxurious stars and will be less technically rich than we all expected it to be in the middle of the European season.

Ironies of this mass sport, perhaps in response to the new owners of the ball who do everything to exclude those excluded from stadiums.

From exclusion to exclusion, Benzema, Mané, Salah, Pogba, Kanté, Lo Celso and… Haaland, the fabulous Norwegian goalscorer who had the bad luck (?) of being born in Norway, weak in football, although never lost to the Brazilian team in four games — one of them for the 1998 World Cup, in France, when they won 2-1, adding two wins and two draws.

Incidentally, the always creative José Trajano has a good idea to take advantage of players from eliminated national teams: setting up a selection scheme in which the weaker teams could have one of these players; Haaland, for example, would defend Qatar.

Since it’s all for the show, nationalities be damned.

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