Brazil’s elimination from the World Cup came as a shocker to the entire world of football, for the sheer talent in the South American outfit’s squad is outrageous.
For a team with the likes of Neymar Jr, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, Raphinha, Antony and Richarlison to go out in the quarter-finals is embarrassing, more so when one considers that they can second best on spot-kicks.
A lot has been made of Tite’s substitutions on the night, for the changes clearly weakened the set Brazilian team and opened up holes for Croatia to exploit. Further, they had a big role to play in the penalty shootout.
One such decision was to remove Vinicius Jr and bring on Rodrygo against the European side. According to reports from Jorge C Picon (h/t MadridXtra), Vinicius was fuming at Tite’s decision to take him off in a game of such massive proportions and did not like it at all.
The winger has been phenomenal for Brazil this World Cup, stepping up on the big nights and making a difference through moments of individual magic. In four appearances, he scored a goal and provided two assists. Moreover, he averaged two shots and two key passes per game.
Tite’s decision to take off his most dynamic winger is indeed questionable, for the team missed out on not only a difference maker but a reliable penalty-taker. After all, it was Rodrygo, the man who replaced Vinicius, who missed the first spot-kick for Brazil.
At the same time, it is clear that the 22-year-old was far from his best against Croatia. He completed just eight passes in over an hour and had just one shot on target with no key pass.
Real Madrid the most likely destination for Kylian Mbappe with Liverpool not pushing for transfer
Journalist Florian Plettenberg has affirmed that despite Liverpool’s continued interest, Real Madrid remain the most realistic destination for Kylian Mbappe either for next year or the year after that.
As far as PSG are concerned, the Ligue 1 champions are totally relaxed over the drama as they are now financially secure for his possible departure. Nonetheless, Liverpool are not at all pushing for the player which leaves Real Madrid as the only team as suitors.
Mbappe has declined an extension offer from PSG, as his current deal is set to expire in 2024 and the 24-year-old forward seems poised to determine his future destination sooner rather than later.
As for Real Madrid, while they have denied holding any talks with the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner, the interest in him has always been there as he remains one of the club’s main targets for 2024.
One last attempt for Mbappe?
Real Madrid have been chasing Mbappe since 2021 and while there have been instances when he almost joined, the move has always failed to materialise for some reason.
Last year, he ended up signing a new contract and this year, as he looked certain to leave PSG, a sudden change of heart saw him stay put. Now, there are going to be some repercussions of his continued ignorance.
These repercussions Mbappe will experience if rejects Madrid once again as it is said that the team from the Spanish capital is fed up with playing this game and if the move fails next summer, the door for Mbappe will be closed forever.
On the contrary, Plettenberg reports that it is not a matter of if for Mbappe, but a matter of when.
So even if they somehow miss out on his acquisition this summer, they will be able to sign him in 2025 as they are currently the only team running for his signature.