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“Qatar, rich in gas and oil, poor in football”

Winning is the best remedy for the soul, no one knows a better tonic. That they ask the eighteen million Ecuadorians how they feel today. They played the anthem, the world saw them, they won… Can you ask for more…? La Tricolor had its maximum exposure since it existed as a selection. More than four billion people were expected to watch the opening match of the World Cup on TV (at least Infantino, president of FIFA, expected it). Everyone saw Ecuador triumphant, give a sample of football and mental solidity. And achieve a record: he is the first visitor in almost a century of World Cups to defeat the host in the opening match. Round.

Everything is impressive in Qatar: highways, subways, buildings, luxury hotels, shopping malls… And the stadium chosen to host the opening ceremony and kick-off match couldn’t be more impressive. The brand new Al Bayt -60,000 seated spectators- close to the desert, radiates its light on the edge of the Persian Gulf. It is a great yellow lamp in the young Qatari night. It was built as a tribute to the nomadic inhabitants of the infinite arena. That is why its roof resembles a tent. It is in Jor, 25 kilometers north of Doha, the only city detached from the capital-state-epicenter-everything. It’s almost an opera, a theater turned into a soccer field, surrounded by gardens, with an imposing and exquisite good taste, of sober modernism. And there are no painters giving the last touch, everything is finished, perfect. It fully deserves the word impressive. The World Cup Supreme Committee and FIFA gave him the honor of kick-off.

All very beautiful, although Ecuador did not shine. It was a bureaucratic, almost administrative triumph, which was greatly outweighed by the pomposity of the environment. Gustavo Alfaro, always so defensive and opening dozens of umbrellas, had declared in the previous one that Qatar was a favourite. It became clear not. A team as weak as this Qatar, rich in gas and oil, poor in soccer, has not been seen in the World Cups for a long time. Elemental, primal, no visible attributes, just a good physical presence on most. Without Ecuador being a locomotive, Qatar finished off the goal for the first time in minute 75. And it was local…! On top of that he went very high. Before, he had had two head butts -unsuccessful- that could have brought danger to the goal of the Argentine-Ecuadorian Hernán Galíndez.

The result (0-2) is not unworthy for a rookie team like Qatar, but against the Netherlands they can have a much worse time. A Clockwork Orange attacks by air, sea and land. The emir, who put 220,000 million to set up his birthday party, should not be so happy. The team did not reciprocate at all. The Catalan coach Félix Sánchez arrived in the emirate sixteen years ago and has been in the local Federation since 2013. He first took charge of the Under-20 National Team and, since 2017, of the largest. Ten of the players are nationalized, however, no weighty edges were seen in the red wine team. In the press box he began to run like a trail: “And he earns five million dollars a year…!” But you don’t have to mess with the salary of others.

In a correct performance, Ecuador’s virtue was to score the goals and play seriously at all times, as if they were facing Germany. That speaks of the competitive mentality of this team that seemed like the yellow submarine.

Enner should have taken the ball as a souvenir, he had made a hat trick. At 3 minutes he took advantage of a Chilean half cross from Félix Torres and opened the safe. The VAR invalidated it, but the feeling remained that it was completely legitimate. His goal with his head is to pass it on to the boys in schools, a marvelous hit, excellent jump, perfectly directed, pike to the ground, and a precise match between the ball and the head, so that the force that the neck gives reaches the whole of the ball. ball. His execution of the penalty was also a delicatessen. And the headed goal that was annulled was another pearl. He has 37 official goals in the national team, Enner.

Another highlight of the winner: his fans; 5,860 Ecuadorians made up a happy mosaic in the stands and will tell their grandchildren of this victory. If we count them…? No, the number comes from the Hayya Card, a mandatory identification card that every foreigner must get to enter the emirate. And they were all there. Therefore the record is accurate.

Historic day: another World Cup began, number 22. The Cup started simply and in a single city in Uruguay in 1930, today it is the greatest event of humanity. Sporty and of all order.


Source: Elcomercio

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