The World Cup final was brilliant. Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe were phenomenal. But it is all about Liverpool because their transfers obviously Mean More
It’s all about us
That front page from The Sun is absolutely sterling work. It wouldn’t be right if there wasn’t a sub-headline of ‘GREATEST WORLD CUP FINAL…SINCE 1966’ after that remarkable game. Because England should always be the story. Especially old England.
It’s all about us, baby
Unless, of course, you are the Liverpool Echo. Then there is only one thing to do after Argentina beat France in the World Cup final, with Ibrahima Konate the only Reds representative for either country.
Here is a selection of their front-page headlines:
‘Enzo Fernandez proves Liverpool right as Luis Diaz sends message to Lionel Messi’ – Liverpool have been proven right by very good midfielder Enzo Fernandez being very good, while Luis Diaz congratulates Lionel Messi.
‘Argentina World Cup winning manager once made team-mates furious for mistake against Liverpool’ – Lionel Scaloni made an error during a game against Liverpool 16 years ago.
‘Enzo Fernandez has already proved Liverpool’s transfer instincts right as World Cup final looms’ – again, Liverpool are geniuses for noticing an Argentina international who has impressed in the Champions League, has a €120m release clause and has been linked with Manchester City among numerous other clubs, might actually be quite good.
‘Lionel Messi speech backfired when Liverpool left Argentina superstar sad, hurting and ‘really screwed up” – you might be a world champion and perhaps the greatest player ever, Leo, but Liverpool beat you three years ago, pal.
It really is a shameless Echo chamber.
But the worst of all those Liverpool-centric headlines to a game that had nothing to do with Liverpool whatsoever is this absolute doozy:
‘Lionel Messi has one last big career challenge and Liverpool are one of the few teams that can stop him’
Long and pretty dreadful story short: Messi would quite like to win another Champions League and that is a competition Liverpool – mentioned a whole two times in 30 paragraphs – are still in.
That is literally it. The story is that Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool are still in the Champions League. Along with 14 other teams, of course. But then the Manchester Evening News, the London Evening Standard, L’Equipe, Marca, Bild and everyone else somehow resist the obvious temptation to make it all about the club they cover.
Writes Charlie Wyett in The Sun:
‘Lionel Messi yesterday put a beaming smile on every football fan around the world – young and old – regardless of what club or country they support.’
‘Because as the little man took to the stage to meet the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to receive his prize, only someone with a heart of stone would not have felt a flicker of emotion and joy.’
Or someone with a French or Brazilian passport. Or Cristiano Ronaldo. Or probably quite a few more people around the world.
Pedantic as it is, Kylian Mbappe probably didn’t feel ‘a flicker of emotion or joy’ as ‘the little man took to the stage’. In fact, The Sun website describe the Frenchman as ‘inconsolable despite winning Golden Boot with amazing hat-trick,’ because he should obviously have ripped his top off and sprinted around the pitch in celebration after the final whistle, before pretending the Golden Boot was his penis.
Handily enough, the brilliant Frenchman has spoken and offered a small insight into his state of mind. Or, as the Daily Mirror website have it…
‘Kylian Mbappe breaks silence over World Cup final defeat with emotional France message’
It was a tweet he made at 10:19 on Monday morning. So about 17 hours after the final whistle, which really does not constitute a ‘silence’ which has to be ‘broken’.
There is one World Cup silence which will remain steadfastly whole, as the MailOnline tell us:
‘Cristiano Ronaldo remains SILENT to his 780 MILLION followers on social media after great rival Lionel Messi shot Argentina to World Cup glory’
The man hasn’t made an Instagram or Facebook post since December 11, nor has he tweeted since December 9. Not sure him being SILENT has all that much to do with Messi winning the World Cup.
The theme of strange capitalisation continues…
‘ITV pundits Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Ian Wright name their World Cup Team of the Tournament with NO England stars’ – The Sun website.
‘ITV pundits Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Ian Wright name their World Cup Team of the Tournament with EIGHT stars from finalists Argentina and France – but there is NO room for any of Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions’ – MailOnline.
England reached the quarter-final. The three pundits unsurprisingly chose eight players from the finalists and the three others from the beaten semi-finalists. Try and name a) which England player should be in that side and b) which player in that side should miss out for them, and you quickly realise why NO England player is in there.
Still, it beats Bryan Robson picking Kyle Walker and Harry Kane in his team for the Daily Mail. Honestly. Walker only played 237 minutes!
The most Sun SEO headline ever
‘What are the lyrics to Argentina’s football chant about the Falklands War?’
Suppose it’s better than publishing Jeremy Clarkson’s latest stream of c**tishness.
The most SEO headline of any kind ever
‘Gary Neville shares Jurgen Klopp view as Liverpool target Jude Bellingham answers question on future’ – Liverpool Echo tick all of the boxes as only they can.
It truly is a rare thrill to see Gareth Southgate being told he ‘must continue to release the handbrake’ by Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail, JUST DAYS AFTER England bowed out of the World Cup as the tournament’s third-highest scorers, behind only the two finalists.
This is a bizarre opening paragraph, though:
‘It is hard to remember the last time an England manager exited a major tournament at the quarter-final stage amid a clamour for him to stay.’
And he even doubles down on it soon after:
‘Southgate, unusually for a manager who has not won anything, exited this World Cup in a position of power. Such was the clamour for him to continue that The Sun ran a front page last week begging him to do so.’
There was at least as much of A Clamour for him to go. Some people wanted him to resign mid-tournament after the United States draw. Don’t be daft.
And finally, Mediawatch would like to welcome Alex Scott as a guest writer:
A friend invites me on my day off to hang out & go the semi final game.. I agree… sorry I didn’t ask where I would be sitting or where the ticket came from (stupid me) 🙄..
Got taken to a box seat filled with famous faces had a ‘free’ Diet Coke saw Argentina win.. went home 🙄 https://t.co/IC4dFFjt1O
— Alex Scott MBE (@AlexScott) December 18, 2022