Egor Titov

One of the most successful football players in the history of Russian football, Yegor Titov, in his column on RBC Sport, talks about the failure of the Argentines and the strength of the Spaniards, criticizes Ronaldo and talks about the trends that can be traced at the World Cup

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Egor Titov

(Photo: Cristiano Ronaldo (global look press))

Egor Titov. Coach, former footballer and captain of the Russian national team and Spartak. Six-time champion of Russia. Twice the best football player of the championships of Russia. Participant of the World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

Photo: Egor Titov (global look press)

Photo: Egor Titov (global look press)

So far, we can only mention Spain, Brazil, France and England, these are two bright teams that lived up to expectations. Canadians surprised me too. I didn’t even follow, I didn’t even expect to see an absolutely equal game against the Belgians. You have to give credit to the Japanese. How the Japanese improved their skills in a matter of years, at what speed they work with and without the ball. They get to control the ball. And the magnificent goals scored – this once again says that there will still be sensations at the World Cup. I will also note the Portuguese team, namely, how they run away to the counterattack. Yes, and about the coach Fernando Santos, thanks to Dmitry Alenichev, who played with him in Porto, I heard a lot of good things.

disappointments

In general, the tournament upsets me more. Still, the result prevails over all. The height of discontent was right after the Croatia-Morocco match, I spat. Croats are the finalists of the last World Cup, you expect more from them. I even liked Moroccans more than them. Maybe Morocco doesn’t have the depth of a squad like Croatia does, but there are Ashraf Hakimi and Hakim Ziyech who play at top clubs.

But the main disappointment is Argentina. People came out to beat easily, very academically, there was no speed at all. During the match, it is already difficult to rebuild, because from the first minutes they had an underestimation of the opponent. I know this myself. But we must pay tribute to Saudi Arabia, how they have changed after the 2018 World Cup! Very good, they looked worthy against the backdrop of the favorite. I think that Argentina will get it, they will take their points. But then, if Saudi Arabia comes out, creates another sensation, then they will write their names for life. Still, where is football in Saudi Arabia, and where is football in Argentina.

You can see how badly passed Cristiano Ronaldo. The interview with Piers Morgan played a cruel joke on him. His time is up, but he doesn’t understand it yet. It’s hard to come to terms with this when for many years you have been the best football player in the world. It must be given credit that he refused the forfeit. During the match with Ghana, he repeatedly made mistakes when he went to the dribble. Yes, and a dubious penalty was against him. I wouldn’t put it on! It’s not even a foul. I don’t know why the chief arbiter was not advised to watch the replay. And the penalty is his, he did it great.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

(Photo: Getty Images)

At the current world championship, there is a tendency for teams to return as quickly as possible – that is, everyone falls behind the ball line. For example, Spain has total control. Their level of technology allows them to play this football. Teams of average and below average first of all play backwards, build redoubts. It is better to win 1:0 in closed mode than to lose in open football. “What is our football about, scoring goals, or what?” Vadim Evseev asked. This joke turned out to be true.

Gavi and Pedri (Spain national team)

Gavi and Pedri (Spain national team)

(Photo: Global Look Press)

The fashion for laterals has gone, there are practically no classic dozens. This is not an easy position, it requires not only a great ability to create chances, but also a huge amount of work. There are no two attackers in the classical sense. Now the game unfolds more through the laterals. Fashion is the same as with clothes, in 5-10 years they may again begin to play through creatives.

A high level of organization can beat such a rival as Argentina or Germany. Skill beats class – it’s a fact, the first round proves it. The exception is England, Spain, Brazil and France, and the rest of the games are all about the same. Equal rivals.

Brazil national team

Brazil national team

(Photo: Getty Images)

About the huge amount of added time

“Pier Luigi Collina, who is now at FIFA, explaining injury time is nonsense. Then shorten or punish long goal celebrations with yellow cards if you say that you leave because of them for a minute. It also takes a minute to replace. If you look at it this way, calculate it, provide assistance, then you can always give each match plus 10 minutes stably. I think FIFA did not find a golden mean in this matter. Georgy Cherdantsev correctly said: “There is an ethereal grid. And what about us TV people? Advertising, how about it? I understand him.

What would the Russian team look like?

Now our opponents are different. For Uzbeks and Tajiks, the Russian team is like a rag for a bull. It is difficult to judge the full strength of the Russian team: there is no Alexei Miranchuk, Alexander Golovin. Many were given pause to watch other newcomers. Therefore, we played matches and thank God. I do not understand this hysteria, they say, why was it necessary to play these matches. It turns out that we need to close the games of national teams altogether. No, we must continue to live on, life does not end there. Therefore, everything is correct that these matches were played.

Dejan Lovren and Alexander Golovin

Dejan Lovren and Alexander Golovin

(Photo: Getty Images)

In the first match with the Tajiks, it was obviously a terrible field. I know how it interferes with showing my best qualities, so I would also make allowances for this. And there was really little thought – what, of course, I want to see: variety, interesting moves, running, walls. The football that I fell in love with in Spartak and played it, this football, alas, the performers were of a slightly different quality in my time. Therefore, do not scold the pianist, he plays as best he can.

After watching the match against Croatia a year ago, I realized that I could and should have played more boldly. I was sitting at the stadium then and I was ashamed of the football that we showed. Such cowardice. You have to play and show yourself. Yes, against you is a high-level team, which their own fans drive in a crazy way. But it is necessary to prepare psychologically, first of all, by the players themselves. Today, many national teams have psychologists, and the players themselves go to them. Therefore, perhaps, it is necessary to join the national team and involve a psychologist, why not. The teams have nutritionists and psychologists. Today, football has gone beyond the ordinary. Football is much wider and much more interesting.

The Saudis got together and beat the Argentines, it would seem, why can’t we also go charged against the Croats. But you need to understand that the Saudis will be forgiven for everything. Tried it, didn’t work, no problem. And how are we in Russia? We have everything, they will eat it later. And you don’t know what is better: to play, concede 7, but play boldly, or like this, like an own goal, but playing constantly in defense for all 95 minutes and lose 0:1. Still, we have one small centimeter from love to hate, unfortunately.

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