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.
More Spectator for less. Stay informed leading up to the EU referendum and in the aftermath. Subscribe and receive 15 issues delivered for just £15, with full web and app access. Join us.