Heroes And Villains Of The World Cup: Matchday 13

I’ll be honest, I don’t have that many eyes. I just have the two and they largely need to be fixed on the same thing. In fact, if I had to describe it to you, my vision basically just looks like what you’d presumably see with one giant eye. I describe my lovely eyes and their function just as a means to say that with the World Cup having moved to simultaneous kick offs, my eyes can’t be everywhere.

On Tuesday I watched France vs. Denmark (kill me now) and Argentina vs. Nigeria (let me live a while longer), so those two matches will be my focus here.  

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Heroes and Villains of the World Cup: Matchday 13

Hero: Ever Banega (Argentina)

If Argentina was to advance to the Round of 16, it’d need a midfield. It’s certainly a modern tactic, but one you can only dismiss if you’re Uruguay and have Diego Godin. Lucas Biglia and Enzo Perez couldn’t give Argentina a midfield, but Banega did just that against Nigeria.

You wouldn’t call the 29-year-old a revelation — he started every match at the Copa America Centenario and looked pretty ineffective throughout World Cup qualifying — but damn he brought it Tuesday. What an assist.

Honorable mention: 78,000 Angry Spectators (Luzhniki Stadium)

France vs Denmark

The Denmark fans had a decent enough time, but no one else. Photo: Shutterstock

Denmark and France played to a scoreless draw in Moscow because that’s exactly what they wanted, but credit to the massive crowd for giving both teams hell for every backwards pass. There was a strong contingent of both French and Danish supporters there, but you could tell the vast majority of fans inside the stadium were Russian neutrals who payed a lot of money to watch a marquee European encounter featuring the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Christian Eriksen.

It was terrible. 

Villain: Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina)

I mean, is it really too late to get Mauro Icardi involved?

Honorable mention: Lucas Hernandez (France)

Lucas Hernandez

This guy is a clown. Photo: Shutterstock

After admitting to feigning injury and wasting time against Australia and then kicking out at Peru’s Pedro Aquino, the young French full back took a dive against Denmark and rolled around for a minute. 

There’s been no joy in watching this side so far, and now the French media has even pushed Paul Pogba to the brink. Great. Good job everyone.

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