Mon | Dec 4, 2023

Analysts go with sentiment for World Cup final

Published:Sunday | December 18, 2022 | 2:48 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
National men’s football team manager Roy Simpson
National men’s football team manager Roy Simpson
Clyde Jureidini
Clyde Jureidini
Argentina’s players attend a training session ahead of their final football match against France in Doha, Qatar on Saturday.
Argentina’s players attend a training session ahead of their final football match against France in Doha, Qatar on Saturday.

NATIONAL MEN’S team manager Roy Simpson and Harbour View stalwart Clyde Jureidini have made some tough calls during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Jureidini went against the grain and predicted that the magnificent run by Morocco would end at the hand of France in the semifinals earlier this week in Qatar.

Similarly, Simpson gave Argentina the green light over Holland in their knockout clash. However, with just today’s World Cup final between holders France and Argentina, these two hard-nosed football men are showing some sentiment for Argentina and maestro Lionel Messi.

Both Simpson and Jureidini would love to see him raise the World Cup today.

“I am kind of biased in the sense that because Messi has served the sport which I am a part of for so long and has been one of the biggest ambassadors in the last two decades, I want him to win because I think that would be a good send-off for him.”

Jureidini started the World Cup with a sense that either Argentina or Brazil would win and with the stylish Brazilians long gone, he is leaning to a brilliant World Cup farewell for Messi. He mirrored Simpson’s sentiment when the semifinals were finished.

“Just the variables, at a glance, they tend towards Messi, at this day in time and in fairness, in a heartwarming football godsend, I would want Messi to get that prize and go, because essentially Mbappé has already gotten it. That has nothing to do with the analysis, but it is a personal token. My heart is with Messi to lift it,” he said.

In a preview of Argentina’s semifinal game against Croatia, TVJ analyst Andrew Price gave his own recommendation.

“One of the things that Argentina has to do is get Messi on the ball some more. I believe that these are the last two games that he has for this World Cup, so there’s no need any more for him to conserve anymore energy. I think he has been conserving his energy throughout this entire World Cup and now is an opportunity for him and his teammates to bust loose,” Price suggested.

Messi delighted fans during his long stay at FC Barcelona and came to Qatar off the back of fine form at his current club, Paris St Germain.

Incidentally, he and his club teammate Kylian Mbappé of France will start today’s encounter as the tournament’s joint top scorers with five goals apiece.