Unfortunately at my age when I roll a joint now it’s usually my ankle but this World Cup is akin to those heady days of youth where anything could happen.
We’ve already had Germany going out for the first time at the group stage since 1938 thanks to a totally mental 2-0 South Korea win with both goals coming in injury time.
Not only that but the 2014 champions finished BOTTOM OF THEIR GROUP. Suck it up buttercups! Auf Wiedersehen, Pets! Don’t mention the VAR!
Portugal were also within a whisker of going out – but Iran’s Medhi Taremi could not and find the net late on in a moment of pure drama.
Leo Messi and Argentina also squeaked through, needing a 2-1 win over Nigeria and snookers to ensure no embarrassing early exit. Their mercurial No 10 scored a stunner to once again save his country and Marcos Rojo’s superb 86th-minute finish stunned everyone who has ever watched him play for Manchester United.
England scored SIX in a real tournament – it still seems like a daze. Shut up at the back about it just being Panama! Harry Kane with five goals is making good on his pre-tournament promise of aiming to be top scorer and JLingz is living up to his jokey Messi Lingard nickname.
Cristiano Ronaldo just loves to break a record although his latest one as the first Portugal player to fluff a spot-kick at a finals is probably one he could do without, especially if it stops him winning the one he really wants –the Golden Boot!
Neymar – meant to be the young pretender ready to step into the superstar shoes of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – has scored just one goal against lowly Costa Rica and has alienated everyone with his tempestuous toddler antics.
VAR has been insane. The technology, although far from universally popular, is sound but you can’t legislate for human error. It needs improving but has added to the theatre of the beautiful game.
David De Gea – meant to be the best keeper in the world – has made zero saves and committed an absolute howler although Spain are through to the knockout stage.
The first 0-0 came in Game 38, there has already been 21 penalties awarded with 16 being converted; late winners, wonder goals and shocks.
Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations – that’s what the likes of Argentina, Germany and Portugal will be telling themselves as the Last 16 looms.
AND finally Essam El-Hadary was a World Cup history maker on Monday.
The Egypt goalkeeper became the oldest player to feature in the tournament at 45 years and 161 days.
His side may have lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia but his superb penalty save to deny Fahad Al Muwallad showed he can still drop it like it’s hot – he just may need a little help getting back up!