THIS morning I’m wondering how a man or indeed a woman is going to get any work done over the coming four weeks or so!
It’s going to be nigh impossible now that the World Cup in Qatar kicked off yesterday (Sunday) with host nation Qatar playing Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium.
I mean have you had a look at the schedule? It’s ridiculous. Today (Monday) England play Iran at 1pm, Senegal face the Netherlands at 4pm and three hours later it’s the turn of Wales and the USA.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) there are four matches. Argentina and Saudi Arabia lock horns at 10am, Denmark take on Tunisia at 1pm, Mexico and Portugal square up at 4pm and France face Australia at 7pm.
On Wednesday the pick of the games is Spain against Costa Rica at 4pm and it’s Thursday before we get a first glimpse at Portugal and Brazil who take on Ghana and Serbia at 4pm and 7pm respectively.
Thank goodness for working from home – the old flexi-time will be fully operational over the coming weeks. Lunch will be bang on one-o’clock every day, elevenses will be at 10, afternoon tea at four and needless to say there will be many early mornings and late evenings to maintain productivity.
You get my drift? It’s going to be a nightmare to fit it all in!
But all joking aside it’s going to be a fascinating few weeks when the planet’s best players and teams take to the world stage.
A winter World Cup in Qatar just doesn’t seem right to many observers and it’s fair to say that before the tournament started there has been no shortage of controversy.
But to be honest now that we are here – I wish – I’m ready to sit back and enjoy the ride.
This time around I sense the build up has been a bit low-key. How could it not be? The Premier League season has just taken a break and we are straight into a World Cup.
In normal circumstances you get a good month to build up to a World Cup following the conclusion of the domestic season and that is just enough time without football to really whet the appetite for what is essentially the greatest show on earth.
So now that we are here, who is going to win it?
The bookies and the computer predictor have five-times winners Brazil to triumph yet again with Argentina second favourites and France, the holders, third.
The last odds I saw Brazil were 15/4, Argentina 11/2, France 13/2, England and Spain 8/1, Germany 10/1, Portugal and Netherlands 14/1 and Belgium slightly longer at 16/1.
There are a few tempting prices there for punters and realistically you wouldn’t expect any early fallers from that group, although mind you there’s always one casualty!
Personally speaking I want to see England do well. Whether you like them or loathe them, a World Cup always generates more interest if the Three Lions are involved.
Some of you readers can dispute that fact all you want but you all know it’s true. The longer Gareth Southgate’s team stays involved the better. That said, given their recent form, it’s very hard to make a case for a repeat of…………..what was the year…….1966 I think!
So if England don’t win it – of course they won’t- then who will ultimately triumph in the impressive Lusail Stadium come December 18?
Nine times out of 10 Brazil will be favourites and perhaps not surprisingly they are this time again. France might not be far away either while many are talking up Portugal and the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes as dark horses – really!, not for me.
The romantic in me wants Argentina to rule supreme in Qatar, chiefly because it would be the final piece in the jigsaw to Lionel Messi’s truly astonishing career.
Messi, who has won every honour the game has to offer including something like a record 35 trophies at Barcelona and a magnificent seven Ballon d’Ors, except the World Cup, has been the greatest footballer the world has ever known. Lifting the World Cup would be the crowning glory for the little magician.
Surely this time is Messi’s time – let’s hope so!
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