Dani Blanco’s article on Scotland

He wanted to adjust the launch too much Aleksandar Mitrovic. The Fulham player aimed to his right, at the post, but David Marshall got his stretch right. The goalkeeper of the English Derby County classified, with the masterful save, to Scotland to the Eurocup, and they will be in the great competition in summer, 25 years after the last they stepped on, in England in 1996, and 23 years after the last big event they attended, the 1998 World Cup in France.

Marshall looked at Mateu Lahoz and, as if asking for explanations, it took him five seconds to react. The feat was sublime, a country with a soccer tradition but separated from the elite in the last quarter of a century. Marshall looked at the Spanish referee seeking full approval. He was confident that one of his feet had not taken off the goal line. When he found the refereeing OK, he broke out in fierce jubilation.

It was an agonizing classification, a reward for insistence and the belief that it could be done. Scotland has had two repechages on penalties, against Israel in October and the other day at the Rajko Mitic in Belgrade, formerly Little Maracana. Serbia had every chanceIt is true that without an audience, but he played home. Scotland believed in the 240 minutes that this express trip to the Euro took. And they have succeeded.

The precious will sound again The flower of Scotland, the national anthem, considered one of the ten best in the world in a recent vote among fans of various teams. Scotland will once again meet in a group with England, their great historical rival, with whom they also met in 1996. That afternoon at Wembley Paul Gascoigne he invented a scandal play to defeat his rival 2-0. In that tournament Scotland was eliminated with 4 points and after drawing against the Netherlands and winning Switzerland, but losing the average general with the Dutch.

The feat that he has achieved Steve Clarke is uppercase. No player on your team could be included in a European Top 11. Maybe, if we spin fine, the left side Andrew Robertson. The Liverpool player dominates his wing in the Premier and is one of the best in his position, but it is insufficient if you do not have work and tenacity. That part has been put by his teammates and has been put by Clarke, an unknown coach until 2019, the year in which he took over the national team. The former Chelsea player had been mostly an assistant in his career until West Bromwich Albion gave him the opportunity, at 49, to be head coach.

Clarke played some key of the team and began to defend with three centrals, more long lanes, something that is more comfortable for having Robertson on the side, a player who steps on the baseline. 2019 had been very bad for the Scots and the play-off was the only option to get into the Euro. The coach has achieved it with suffering but it has been worth it.

Fleeting memories will pass in the minds of Scottish fans. The minds of the youngest will remember the last years of crossing in the desert, far from always fighting for a place in a big tournament. Someone more mature will remember Berti Vogts, the former German coach who dared to test the challenge of the British team. In 2004 they fell to the Netherlands in the play-off for the Euro, the closest they have been in recent years to a big event.

Now Scotland will compete again, without many options, in the European Championship (Croatia, England, Czech Republic in their group) but football will smell of tradition again. To that football of the 70s and 80s. Historical figures will be remembered. The Eurocup will meet us again with a traditional team, with Gordon Strachan, with McCallister, with Kenny Dalglish, with Walter Smith. And with Jock Stein mythical Scottish coach and ideologue of a sublime Celtic in the late 1960s, European champion in 1967. Jock’s heart stopped on September 10, 1985 in Wales, on the way to the World Cup in Mexico. The summer of 2021 will be special on the streets. That old football is back. The football that they carry in their veins.


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