phase of "16"…

Since today is the first day of a vacuum after fifteen days of pounding, the recap will put the eight pairs of the '16' phase in order, starting with the least important and ending with the one that will load you with eternal guilt, in case losses.

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Belgium-Japan. We would love, quite frankly, to see the Japanese struggling with the Martins team, but this is something that will hardly happen for more than half or a half. It is one of the rare times that I accept the supremacy of a favorite paper. The groove that the Asians missed in the match against Poland will be their happiest moment in the tournament. Belgium is already dealing with its first serious knockout, the quarter-finals.

Croatia-Denmark. There is an ancient, unwritten rule in the Mundials. Never trust a knockout between European teams, especially when there is a noticeable capacity difference between them. The tournament shouts that Croatia should be the least of the '8' and we obey.

Spain-Russia. It's a weird knockout in which the home side plays. Every time we think about it, the image of the South Korean host 2002 annoys us. Nevertheless, nothing predates an easy Spanish dominance. No seats and no extraneous factors are needed to see it. Hierro seemed the most insecure technician in the tournament, and the Russians have already played (much) better than we expected.

Sweden-Switzerland. Honorable fifth place for this couple. It could very well be a quarterfinal of the next Euro. We bet on the derby factor which is almost guaranteed. The Swedes and the Swiss have the same potential, the same motivation and the same historic opportunity to be in the next phase. Neither of them would choose another opponent for the '16' phase.

Brazil-Mexico. If we were given the lead of the Mexicans this couple would be in the forefront of our impatience. But because it's more likely that the Brazilians are ahead of us and see the time to end up in trouble, it's getting into the 4 position and I think they're all happy.

Uruguay-Portugal. There's football of rhythm and spectacle, there's football of kick and half-zero. This is the absolute final of the second. In addition, the column insists that Portugal is the favorite of the World. Each match will be another confirmation of our position.

France-Argentina. One has fed millions of football fans with the group's three games. The other has come to frustrate them, make them angry, and upset them. The hardships have passed. There is a chance of seeing an unprecedented soup, but it is not great. Logic says that in this match, we will see what we lacked in their previous six. The French obviously have more talent, the Argentines have the Messi.

Colombia-England. What we wished to happen at the end of yesterday. England against a great, but not inaccessible opponent. For the tons of picturesqueness in case of qualification of the 'lions'. For British tabloid front pages inspired by Colombian culture. Because Southgate has beaten us with his moderation and seriousness. Because Colombia is the biggest favorite of the teams that have never picked it up.