The Krestovsky stadium in Saint Petersburg will bring together the English and Belgians, who would give everything to be in the Russian capital. Because the place where the World Cup is decided is Moscow. Both countries were confident in the chances of their teams, who did not stop trying to come back until the final whistle. No one can deny them the commitment and honor shown on the pitch. Maybe that's the taste of bronze.
This meeting is the first opportunity to rise before the fall. Not only that, for Belgium a victory means making history. If the Red Devils win, they will sign the best Belgian performance in World Cup history. They would surpass the selection of Pfaff, Claesen or Ceulemans who got fourth place in Mexico '86. Roberto Martínez's team can go down in history beyond victory. Leaving a mark is something that Balaguer's coach has not been bad at, in Swansea and in Wigan they can confirm it.
Bronze should have that bitter taste that comes with not being the best. But it also reminds you that you are close to gold. Just two steps away. That is what England needed, to feel among the best. After suffering hosts of all kinds, so many that even the pain became comical, The Three Lions have lived up to expectations in a great date. Some players have even far exceeded them. This is the case of Harry Maguire. The Leicester City defender would not have expected two years ago to be the main protagonist of his team. In 2016, the now Leicester City center-back experienced his team's defeat from the stands. Two years later, the euphoria with her figure is such that even a follower has tattooed her face.
Another factor that makes this fight for bronze attractive is the absence of fear. The fear of defeat, that a mistake will leave you without the title. That has already happened. Stripped of that burden, the twenty-two protagonists will only have victory in mind, without the ghost of defeat hovering over their thoughts. An English victory will further strengthen the success of the Football Association, giving confidence to Gareth Southgate's project. On the contrary, a Belgian triumph will confirm this generation of footballers as the best in history. It may seem like nothing is at stake, but I think so. The difference between going home with a medal or going home empty-handed is abysmal.
Written by Mario Tena
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