A quick break from domestic football gives teams the chance to prepare for the upcoming World Cup tournament or simply build their squads. The world’s greatest players go head to head in some of the friendly matches.
Italy vs. Argentina
Italy may have missed out on the World Cup, but the historic failure offers them no time to pause and reassess. The team is back under new management and will once again be captained by veteran Gianluigi Buffon.
Argentina, on the hand, is gearing up for the Russian World Cup. With a team that features some of the best players, they are unsurprisingly favorites to win the trophy. Last time around they made it all the way to the final. And with Lionel Messi ahead of what could turn out to be his final chance at winning the trophy, there is a good degree of tension in the air.
Buffon shared his opinion about the ongoing debate of whether Messi is better than Ronaldo. The Italian goalie seems to think so.
“Messi is more complete, because he starts deeper, has more technical quality and a vision of the game that is worthy more of a trequartista than a finisher. Cristiano Ronaldo, perhaps because he is a little older, has become a killer in the penalty area. Compared to how he was before, Ronaldo preserves his energy more, so he no longer goes out to the flank for a nutmeg or trick-shot, but with one ball into the box he can create a goal.”
Egypt vs. Portugal
Speaking of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese is set to feature in his side’s friendly against Egypt. The main talking point will be, naturally, the expected meet-up between Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah, who has emerged as one of Europe’s best since his arrival at Liverpool.
Portugal is the reigning European champion and will want to defend the reputation at the World Cup. With the winner’s medal being Ronaldo’s single high-profile achievement currently missing from his trophy cabinet, expectations are undeniably high.
Netherlands vs. England
This friendly brings together two of the most famous national teams in unusual circumstances. Netherlands is one of the most high-profile teams to miss out on the Russian tournament. England, on the other hand, qualified with barely breaking a sweat. But now the Three Lions are considering boycotting the tournament following the recent diplomatic tension between Britain and Russia. Nevertheless, the match is bound to be an exciting encounter between two of Europe’s most famous national teams.
Germany vs. Spain
Not a friendly game, so much as a drill and show of strength, two of the usual suspects to win the World Cup trophy meet tonight in Dusseldorf. Managers Joachim Löw and Julen Lopetegui have a headache most managers would kill for ahead of the tournament. They both have to decide on their final squads from a very large list of high-profile players. This is most likely why the teams chose to organize this friendly in the first place, with both teams requiring a difficult exam to let them know of their potential.
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