Max Sakae Ogawa

The best week ever in football

The best week ever in football

I’ll tell you why this week in football has been the best week ever in five words: Euro 2020 and Copa America. Boom. And finally, a post that stretches beyond Madrid, beyond Spain and yes, even football.

Good memories, tears, broken hearts, and insights into the future of football. What a week!

This week in football

No matter if you are a football fan or not, you can’t have missed the two competitions that the world of sport can’t stop talking about this week: Euro 2020 and Copa America. Five words I tell you. Best week ever!

Spoiler alert for those who don’t know who won either competition. For Euro 2020, Italy ended up defeating England in penalties after a 1-1 full-time score. And for the Copa America, Argentina took the win from Brazil 1-0 in normal time.

All eyes are on the players

From these tournaments, there are always players that seem to steal the spotlight and make a name for themselves. Then there are the players that cannot live to their hype. Either way, before, during, and after any game that is played, the pressure is on. And the world has an opinion. Ready to criticize or praise countries, the management team, and most definitely the players.

Jumping on the Messi express

There are many reasons why I love and pay attention to these tournaments. And I’m not the only one.

  • Who wouldn’t want to watch these types of games? Seriously, each country’s best players come together to compete against each other. If you thought PSG or Man City had a dream team, take a look at the squad list of England, Portugal, France, etc.
  • These types of tournaments are so popular that it brings a lot of opportunities for players who didn’t have a lot of exposure. Many football players have been called up to their respective national team following a noticeable performance during their club’s competitive seasons. And before they have time to soak everything in, clubs all around the world are asking them to put pen to paper.
  • It really showcases the different types of mentalities with different football cultures. A lot of players grew up in Third-World countries and football was their exit from poverty. Thus when they enter the football pitch, they have such a strong, determined mentality. From watching games, especially those that took place at the later stages of the tournaments, you could clearly see and compare.
  • To add on to the topic of mentality, these types of events are make or break as no one wants to go home empty handed. This is even truer if their country’s squad is in the golden era or if it is an individual’s final tournament for their career.

Best week ever for the winners

Following the conclusion of the two tournaments, there are a lot of different scenarios that could unfold for an individual. For players that go home with a nationally-recognised trophy and a gold medal, will they take it easy for awhile? Relax and enjoy family?

But what of the losers (if you can call them that)

Is it different for players that leave the tournaments empty-handed? They’re not really losers, let’s face it: every single one of them has done themselves and their country proud.

Some players will be exhausted from the entire season and longing for a break. Others will treat the grueling competition as the start of preseason and segue into the next season after a short break.

Still another may draw inwards, focusing on themselves so they can go into the pre-season fully prepared.

Two big matches in one day in the best week ever

Now, the Copa America and Euro 2020 games were on the same day. However, the final of the Copa America was hours before the final of the Euros. So let’s start there. Why this week in football is the best week ever: two great tournaments on the same day.

It’s the Copa America like you’ve never seen it

Google brings the fireworks for Argentina

As I said earlier, the final was Argentina and Brazil. If you’re just like everyone else that follows football, as soon as you hear Argentina, you think of Maradona and Messi and when you think of Brazil, the people that come to mind are Pelé and Neymar.

On one side was Argentina and all the talk was the chance for Messi to be able to win something at an international level because he has already won basically everything in the world of football, both for club and individual efforts, but the only thing that “haunted” his legacy and reputation was that international achievement.

The win that will become NFT: that’s why

During the competition, without a doubt that the world saw a different kind of Messi on the pitch. He looked more determined to go all the way. He was even trying to defend. That is unheard of!

Squads that represented Argentina previously always lacked something within the squad. Whenever Argentina was playing in a world-renowned tournament, the team faded into the background. Messi needed to put in an inhuman kind of performance in order to drag along both his teammates and country to victory.

Teammates become fierce rivals in the best week ever

For this particular tournament, there was a different feeling. Yes, Messi wanted to win, but it was obvious that his teammates were even more determined to win it, not only for themselves and their families but for him.

On the other hand, there was a strong Brazilian side. And they were the favorites to win before the commencement of the tournament. Just like Messi, Neymar was also lacking a major international achievement at a professional level.

To rewind a bit, the reason Neymar left Barca was to get out from under Messi’s shadow. To shine on his own. So, a bit of history for these former team mates.

Everyone got behind a Messi win

Furthermore, apparently, some Brazilian supporters were rooting for Messi to win because he had been close before, but could never take home the prize. To get the recognition for being the best football player in the world. It is a deserved honor.

This particular matchup was very interesting and definitely made for good entertainment. As you already know if you read earlier, the game ended as 1-0. Argentina were champions of Copa America and Messi was one happy man.

You could tell that it meant so much to him and his teammates. As soon as the final whistle blew, everyone ran to Messi, who fell to his knees, crying, and they embraced him.

Meanwhile, the Brazil national team were heartbroken and a lot of tears were shed. A familiar sight this week if you go across the world to Wembley Stadium.

And why this week in football needs a second post

Stay tuned for next week’s post – talking everything about the Euros.

Max Sakae Ogawa
Max Sakae Ogawa

Random fact #1
Sakae means brilliant. Flourish, prosperity, honor and glory. Take your pick.
Random fact #2
My site icon is the Japanese character for “Sakae”.


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