After Tuesday’s meetings, Croatia and the Czech Republic join the English, first in group D. The France group will close this Wednesday the waltz of qualifiers for the final phase of the competition.
It was a simple, gentle and clinical gesture that reminded us why football is such a revered sport. While his Croatia was defeated by a Scotland who was much weaker on paper, Luka Modric shifts with a magnificent outside foot Josko Gvardiol on the left side. The center side, a first teammate plays in handing-over, a second gives it back to Modric. The Real Madrid midfielder soars and strikes with a foot surface that is more of a dream than the advice of a sports educator, from his outside of the foot, once again, and the ball spins on itself until spraying the Scottish skylight.
His coach, Zlatko Dalic, was inflamed after the meeting: “Nobody knows how Luka manages to keep playing like this. You would expect him to drop, to lose his energy, but there is still the strength that drives the whole team. Everything that could be said about him falls short of the truth. I am proud to have such a player on our team. ”
The aestheticism of Modric’s gesture should not make us forget its usefulness since the Croats then stumbled upon the Scots who were among the weakest nations involved in Euro 2021. But the logic was respected, and by winning 3-1 the selection of Ivan Perisic finished second. The finalists of the last world will have to wait until Wednesday to know which of the group of Spain they will meet.
Five potential opponents for France
In the first place of a group D which did not keep all its promises, England also struggled against the Czech Republic, despite the best in the game. The only small goal of Raheem Sterling, on a malicious center of Jack Grealish and the few opportunities, including a Harry Kane who remains silent, will not erase the frequent imbalances in midfield. “I think England are favorites to win the tournament”, yet dared midfielder Tomas Soucek after the match.
Among the best thirds, the Czechs are still qualified, too. The English will face the second in Group F, which could be France. The other potential opponents of the Blues are Switzerland or Ukraine, if they finish first, Belgium or the Netherlands of Georginio Wijnaldum and Frenkie de Jong, if they finish third.
Verdict this Wednesday evening (at 9 p.m.) against Portugal from Cristiano Ronaldo. At the same time, Germany will host Hungary, in a stadium that will not be in rainbow colors, on orders from UEFA, despite the Germans’ desire to condemn Viktor Orbán’s homophobic policy. Group E will end at 6 p.m. with Sweden-Poland and Slovakia-Spain.