Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

World Cup diary – Thank God the reign of Spain is over!

It is a wicked thing to revel in someone else’s misery. Trouble is, occasionally it can’t be helped. So – bye, bye Spain! I think I would have traded England winning tonight (and therefore prolonging the agony) for Spain’s magnificently rapid exit from this world cup. Oh, Chile – you brave sons of Pinochet and Allende! Whichever you prefer – who cares? It is the more civilised parts of Latin America which have shone in this world cup – Chile themselves and Costa Rica. Brazil struggled and have been, uh, “fortunate”, Argentina looked distrait, Uruguay simply incompetent (though that opinion may need to be revised later); Mexico, the world’s great under-achievers, look set to under-achieve again.

The Spanish reign has not been good for football, generally, despite what the purists think. Stultifying matches and a thousand deluded imitators tapping the ball about to one another. Hop it, Pedro, and give us back our ball.

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