It was tough, it was tense and it could have so very different had Mauricio Pinilla’s smashing effort in the 119th minute had dropped an inch or so below Julio Cesar’s crossbar. But in the end after a gruelling penalty shout-out, the hosts Brazil marched into the quarter-finals of their own World Cup with our skipper Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Maxwell flying the Parisien flag in South America.
The competition said goodbye to the Azzurri last week with little Marco Verratti, Thiago Motta and Salvatore Sirigu all making their way home back to Europe. Edinson Cavani who had netted just one goal in the competition also said goodbye as Colombia humbled Uruguay at the Maracana on Saturday with a 2-0 victory. The boys from Les Bleus Blaise Matuidi, Yohan Cabaye and Lucas Digne who made his World Cup bow in that thumping 5-2 win over Switzerland will come up against Nigeria where they are red hot favourites to make into the last-eight. Then there is Ezequiel Lavezzi’s much fancied Argentina who will also relish their chances as they take on Switzerland tomorrow. So there is still a real possibility of potential World Cup winner(s) heading back to Camp des Loges later on in the summer.
David Luiz has been showing what he will bring when he arrives at the club and opened the scoring against Chile where he was assisted by none other than Thiago Silva. As I said on Twitter during the game it was a goal made in Paris. Lovely to see on the biggest stage that Paris Saint-Germain are playing a predominant role in player representation. All the more so with Brazil who have lit the torch paper on the soul of this carnival like tournament. The protests have dampened down as a country gets behind the selecao, itching to capture a sixth World Cup triumph.
Club matters have been quiet as it has with many due to the emphasis on the tournament. But, after losing Kingsley Coman to Juventus, which I thought was a shame, Adrien Rabiot has more or less rubberstamped his impending departure. It emerged yesterday that the young centre midfielder rejected a new three-year contract from the club which leaves the door open for a move to Juventus according to France Football. With just one-year on his contract the club can do no more than they have to convince the lad to stay. It is a strange situation as he would most definitely get playing time under Laurent Blanc. He would be no means a starter – to begin with next season anyway – but he would be in the team’s plans. But, ever since Yohan Cabaye arrived and he picked up that injury in the quarter-final of the Coupe de la Ligue against Bordeaux he has been on a slippery slope. Constant talk regarding new contracts as well as his mother persistently airing her opinion has not gone down too well inside the walls of the Parc des Princes and now this rejection of a new contract will inevitably see him depart. It is a real pity. He is a player I really like and he showed yet more promise at the turn of the year. But the club can only do so much and the patience from many of the PSG fans has worn thin.
With our Champions League squad reduced it is vital to retain home-grown talent but he is another that will slip away. Coman was a loss in my opinion, a player who has a bright future. But, the Old Lady of Turn is a massive lure for any professional and the Serie A winners will have done terrific business if they can capture Rabiot as well.